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Archive for December, 2009


Silent blogging of late aside, I would assume that all who have happened upon my little corner of the Internet World have prrrooobably deduced that I’m a bit of an extrovert. I CAN spend alone time – – and do – – but if I’m honest with myself, even a lot of that alone-time is spent e-mailing people, creative writing, talking on the phone, texting or thinking up some hairbrained craziness to put up on Facebook. I enjoy connecting. Thrive on it. And though I have spent the last decade or so learning how to become more Zen in my approach to life, I’ve also spent a lot of time TALKING about my new Zen approach to life. Which isn’t being very Zen, is it?

And let’s face it. Taking pictures of oneself wearing a Viking hat in various poses and settings, while entertaining and ridiculously creative, isn’t exactly…..introspective. In short – – I’m a bit of a handful. Hopefully an insanely AWESOME (and, of course, modest) handful – – but a handful.

My boyfriend – – God bless him – – is an introvert. He’s a sneaky introvert, though, because he can be quite social. People often comment on how well he fits in with any group – – how personable and easy-going he is. He can fit in just as well with a group of Hells Angels as he could a group of Circus Clowns – – would just put on that leather jacket or that face paint….and chill. We share this talent and it’s one of our commonalities – – the ability to be a camelion in any setting and our sincere enjoyment of different life experiences. We both get a kick out of being thrust out of our familiar surroundings and thrown into a pool of the unfamiliar and told to “Swim!”.

But there is a difference – – and this really is the key difference between the introvert and the extrovert: his energy slowly depletes from social engagements and being around people or a person for long periods of time, while mine gets filled to the brim. My energy feeds off of others’ energy while his energy is slowly sucked out by people as they become unknowing vampires of his very Life Force. Oh sure – – I get tired and need a little “down time” after a series of events. But down time for me could just be doing something more lowkey with the one I love, or with friends. For HIM, downtime means complete solitude. Solitude and introspection and zoning out. It is an absolute necessity for him and it’s taken me a while to begin to understand it so that I won’t get offended when he needs it.

The thing is, he’s so GOOD at seeming like an extrovert at times that I forget about the fact that he’s an introvert, and so it’s stunned me at times in the past when he suddenly seems to flip off like a switch. But I’ve gotten to where I can see it start to happen. See him begin to shut down. I used to wonder why he would suddenly say really ODD things at inappropriate junctures in a conversation. Like, for example, after a couple of days of social events and spending ALL of our time together, I would say something like: “These pancakes are really good”. And he (after about a 5 minute zone-out session with methodical chewing) would say “Yes. Beavers have large teeth.”

It’s like watching HAL from “2001: A Space Odyssey” get powered down and start singing “Daisy, daisy, give me your answer do. I’m half crazy, all for the love of….you.” The eyes glaze over and……nothin. He’s done. And all the while, he’s got a dancing, enthusiastic, blond Golden Retriever puppy dog leaping around him saying “I know…let’s go to the MALLL! Let’s go get some CANDY and then take photos of me balancing gummy bears on my HEAD!” And I honestly think that, quite literally, at that moment, if he could be swallowed up by a rabid hippopotamus where he could hibernate within the belly of this beast for a few days, having bits and pieces of other humans and wild animals being chewed up and swallowed on top of him, he would opt for that over going anywhere that involved me possibly injesting more sugar, and balancing any multi-colored jelly-candy on body parts. And sometimes, it doesn’t even have anything to do with what activity I’m wanting to do, it’s just the presence of another body near him that sends him to Zone-Out World – – I could be sitting across a room from him, stone cold, like a statue – – – but my breathing and the sound of my eyelids opening and closing would be too much to take.

It’s taken a while for me to not get so unnerved when it happens; to understand just how deeply it helps him. And to realize that a day to a few days away is good for me too – – it seems I’ve got a little introversion in me as well. And this restoration that is derived from a place of inner peace is often a lot more authentic and solid than that gained from the external. I KNOW this philosophically – – but it’s another thing to make yourself do it.

One of the most frightening things we all have to do in life, after all, is looking inside, and facing ourselves. But it’s so worth it when you do – – because that’s where you find the gold.

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Yes, sports fans. It is moi – – The Blog Slackinator. I will refrain from excuses of why I have not been writing in the blog of late and just say this instead: I haven’t felt like it. I don’t really know WHY I haven’t felt like it but felt like it, I have not. For me, writing involves ideas that I always have cooking on the stove that is my brain – – and there are times when these ideas are at full boil and I have to get them out of my head before they begin to screech of their own volition similar to a lobster that has been chosen for dinner out of that big murky tank found at a Red Lobster near you, and put into a big pot of scalding hot water. Then there are times when the ideas are simmering just below the surface of me – – not in any hurry what-so-ever to be put out there into the world for people to see, judge, and once again conclude that I need to be committed to a cute little mental institution down the street, to lead the pack of patients in pill popping games similar to drinking games but without as much puking (When watching “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”, every time Nurse Ratched gives a scary, icey glare, EVERYONE POP A VALIUIM!!!)

But I digress.

Given that I PROMISED to give you the Halloween story back….you know…during HALLOWEEN…and I didn’t pay up, then I figured I should make good on the promise, despite the fact that I should really be making dirty elf jokes right now instead. And who doesn’t like a good dirty elf joke? But you’ll have to wait until Valentine’s Day for those, folks.

The Halloween story of festive embarrassment that I have to relay took place about 7 or 8 years ago. I’d just started dating my now ex-boyfriend, Luis, at the time – – and he’d been tasked with finding a Halloween party for us and other mutual friends to attend since none of us had heard of any going on that year. He called me up a few days before Halloween and – SCORE – one of his clients had invited him (and any other guests he might want to bring along) to what was advertised to Luis as a “Killer Halloween Party”. It was rather short notice but we called up our friends and everyone was game for the party.

I hadn’t really considered a costume until that moment because it had looked like we weren’t going to be able to find a party to attend – – so the day before Halloween, I went out scouting for a costume at various Party Outlet stores. The result of this trip was realizing that all of the good costumes had been snatched up already, and I was left with things like a “Shaggy” costume from Scooby Doo or a tattered, gold pimp costume with a rip in the leg. I finally found a little Alpine Girl get-up that was called….get this….”Heidi the Ho” on the outside of the bag in which it came. I estimated that the “Ho Factor” was pretty minimal when I looked at all the pieces that came with it – – skirt, bodice, white stockings – – so I don’t know where the manufacturers came up with the idea that Heidi was luring in wayward mountaineers with Come-Hither looks in THIS outfit.

The night of the party, I happened to ask Luis exactly who it was throwing the “Killer Halloween Party” and he said it was a “Software Geek” client of his who gives this party every year and apparently goes all out with the decoration and spook effect. We were even going to have to park in a different location from the house because there were too many cars and there wouldn’t be enough room. The guy had hired a limo service and a limo would pick us up at this satellite location and drive us to the party. This all sounded good to me and I excitedly relayed this information to my friends who were going with us, hoping to get everyone pumped up.

We all met up for dinner before-hand and I quietly surveyed the costumes around the table as we ate: Zorro, Cleopatra, Mark Antony, A Dominatrix, Naughty Nurse and Heidi the Ho. Not a bad little crew there, all told. A proud addition to any Halloween party.

Later, as we made our way to the party in the limo provided, as planned, Zorro popped out a bottle of champagne and we all shared it en route, laughing, and carrying on as people are want to do when wearing costumes and heading to a “Killer Halloween Party” in a limo. We exited the limo in front of a spookily decked out house complete with fog machines, scary sound effects and eerie lighting. The Dominatrix was whipping us all playfully as we made our way up the walk toward the house and we were generally being quite raucous as we entered the house and headed down the hallway into where it appeared that the “life of the party” was supposed to be as we could see movement in there.

What happened next is difficult to fully articulate through written word and completely express the scene. It was like we were characters in a movie, and as we walked into the room, the needle on the record scratched and everything came to a screeching halt.

No one was dressed up. Well…I take that back. A couple of people were wearing jeans and appeared to have painted their faces like characters from some sort of Dungeons and Dragons computer-type games. And there were two kids there who were dressed as vampires. But what we mainly saw were people against the wall, nervously holding paper cups, not wearing a stitch of anything resembling a costume – – gawking at us.

We gazed into the kitchen and the first thing we saw were about 30 bottles of soda, standing side-by-side on the counter like a Battalion of the Un-Fun. Oh God. There wasn’t even any alcohol to take the edge off of the pain of this moment. The only music was that of silent befuddlement at what spaceship had dropped off this rowdy group of historic figures and sexual deviants into what could only be described as a “First Middle School Dance”…..for adults.

The Dominatrix and the Naughty Nurse grabbed my arm and not-so-subtly herded me toward the bathroom and shut the door on the horror. “What are we going to DO??”, the Dominatrix hissed out of mahogany lips as she widened her silver eye-lashed eyes. “We have to get OUT OF HERE”, she continued with a glare that fully expressed the urgency of the situation. A glare that indicated there was nothing…NOTHING…as dyer as a lame Halloween Party where no one else was dressed up, but where she was currently wearing a black vinyl dress, fishnet stockings, purple wig, and wielding a riding crop.

I said “Look…we can’t just leave…this is one of Luis’s customers and it’s really bad business if we turn around and leave, basically indicating quite plainly that the party is LAME”. They both looked defeated at that point because they knew I was right. I asked that we just make the best of it for about an hour or so and then make a quiet, polite exit. They begrudgingly agreed but not before the Dominatrix hissed again, “Ok…but you owe me BIG TIME”.

When we exited the bathroom, Cleopatra, Zorro and Mark Antony were hanging out in the kitchen drinking some Orange Shasta. They had good news. It was rumored that somewhere in the basement, there was a keg of beer. Zorro and I ventured out on an exploratory mission to locate said keg. We headed down a labrynth of dark stairs and hallways into the bowels of the garage where a small, frightened, shivering keg of beer stood uncertainly in the corner, like someone was holding it there at gunpoint. We filled up six small cups – – rationing carefully since it would appear that there wasn’t much to go around and we wanted to make sure that all of us had the same amount of medicinal assistance to deal with the situation.

When we returned, Mark Antony, Cleopatra, the Dominatrix and The Naughty Nurse had all formed a desperate Conga Line in the kitchen. Like they had suddenly gotten sauced on the Shasta and were overcome with the party spirit. Unfortunately, the party spirit still had not overtaken the other half of the room as they stared at our group quietly, sipping from their cups like it was an afternoon cup of tea and they were on the lawn playing a rousing game of checkers while watching a group of Vagrant “Artists” roll around in the grass doing some sort of vulgar performance art. They were frightened….but fascinated by us.

Zorro and I joined in the Conga line – – trying to willfully manufacture the fun amongst the bottles of soda, boxes of pizza, and plastic platters of grocery store cookies. We eventually stopped, though, when one of the vampire children ventured into the kitchen with an injury. I have no idea where she would have sustained an injury since I had yet to find any activity going on anywhere in the house that didn’t involve just feet shuffling and sipping soda from a cup, but the vampire flung her arm up on the counter in front of the Naughty Nurse with an angry gash staring up from the skin.

It would appear the the vampire child thought that the Naughty Nurse actually had some sort of real, medical know-how because she clearly was seeking HER assistance – – not the rest of ours. One of the more bizarre scenes I remember from that night was looking over at the vampire child being bandaged up by the Naughty Nurse – – whose black, lacy bra was peeking out vulgarly from the inside of her white coat – – as the vampire child gazed down in earnest watching the cut be tended to.

We were finally able to gracefully exit the “Killer Halloween Party” after about an hour, 16 minutes and 22 seconds from when we entered the party. A few of the guys dressed as Dungeons and Dragons characters took a shine to the Dominatrix and the Naughty Nurse and asked to have their pictures taken with them at varying times during the night – -like they were characters at an adult theme park or something. Later on that week, Luis received a montage of photographs taken that night from his customer who’d thrown the party and, sure enough, the Dominatrix and Naughty Nurse were in many of them – – standing beside several different geeky looking guys who were all wearing varying renditions of the same, goofy grin. I’m sure that it had made their night.

All of us never forgot that party – – after all, you never forget the really great parties – – and apparently, you never forget the really lame ones either.

And everytime I see a 2 liter bottle of Shasta, a little shiver is involuntarily released up and down my spine.

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