Putting a toe back in the water

So, 2 years have passed since my last post.  I think that goes way beyond slacker and just into “I forgot I had a blog” territory.  Sorry about that, No One.  Cause I’m sure there’s no one left reading this thing, except probably my parents.  Hi, Folks!

I’d like to try to get this thing started again.  So I’ll give the lightning round update to bring us up to speed and then we’ll just carry on from there, k?

September 2011, HH was injured at work, 2 front teeth knocked out.  She will be home on disability for the next 15 months.  (Don’t worry, she’s all OK and fixed up now with some nice titanium implants.)

Got married on 11/10/11.  me n ildi

Celebrated our faces off on 11/11/11.  A good time was had by all.

January 2012, went on our honeymoon to San Diego.  Had an awesome time.

Kept making jelly and had a good amount of success with our business, Sweetie Pies Preserves.

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September 2012, got a puppy named Luna.  She is super cute!

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November 2012 – got Pregnant!!!

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April 2013 –  It’s a girl!

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June 2013 – HH quits her job to begin her new life as a stay-at-home mommy.  She takes excellent care of the belly and I!  Also, Grandma throws us a baby shower to beat all baby showers!

July 11th, 2013 – I am ridiculously huge…

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July 22, 2013 – Skyler Eileen is born!  8lbs, 8oz. and 20.5 inches long at 5:23am.

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September 2013 – back to work for me….boooo.  But it’s a necessity.

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And from then until now, we’re just letting Skyler teach us how to be the best mommies we can be!  We’re way more conscious of our budget and all that goes into our bodies so we’ve been making so much more of our own things.  Going forward, I’d like to start posting more on our day-to-day, our DIY adventures and updates on the development of our little lady!

That’s all for now, but hey, it’s a start!

What. Is. The. Problem?!?!

So I’ve been sitting on the edge of my seat for the last week or so, waiting to see if NY is going to allow me to become a first-class citizen by passing the Marriage Equality Bill or not, and all I keep reading about is that there have to be religious carve-outs made, we must protect the churches, gays are going to destroy the earth, etc.  So I thought to myself, “What the hell does this bill actually SAY?”  So i go and find it.  Here it is : Marriage Equality Bill.   (Side note: I CANNOT believe that they actually still type this crap on a typewriter and then scan it in, but whatever.)

So I read this fairly simple, 5-page document and I’m left scratching my damn head.  There are several paragraphs specifically stating that any religious body is explicitly exempt from having to go against any tenet of thier faith which may disagree with allowing same-sex marriage.  Furthermore, it says that their refusal on the grounds of faith is NOT subject to any civil case against them.  Basically, any religious body can tell me to go away and that will be fine and they cannot be sued for it.

Soooooo…..what exactly is the holdup?  All we are asking for is for the government to recognize it.  Churches and synagogues and mosques are more than welcome to tell me to go to hell (as I’m sure they will), and I am 100% fine with that.   I just need the city clerk to say, “Sign here.  And you sign here.  Congratulations.   NEXT!”  That’s it.

It’s simple, in my eyes.  But I’ve read such crazy things this past week, that I can’t even wrap my head around it.  I heard a Senator reference a baker, who, after taking their order AND their money, refused to fulfill an order of cupcakes, because those cupcakes were to be used at a gay function.  The senator thought it was a shame that the baker was forced to  pay the customers legal fees for suing them.  Um, hello??  That is business.  I purchase and pay for something from you.  You decided you don’t feel like doing it and don’t feel like refunding my money.  I sue you to get my money back with damages.  Simple.  But no, the senator said that the “gay agenda” (widely used to refer to all gays, as though we all have a membership and meetings somewhere) would be using our “special rights” to cause all of these frivolous lawsuits and we would be costing the state millions.

It’s like they’ve had to go just THAT FAR with their so-called “logic” that they’re grasping at straws.  Seriously?  Cupcakes?  Come on.

And I swear, if I hear one more idiot say that this country was founded on religion, I will scream. Was NO ONE else awake in high school history class??!?!  Cause I’m fairly certain that this country was founded on religious FREEDOM, which includes the right to practice any religion you choose as well as the right to be free FROM religion.

Please, someone, anyone; give me a reason to deny same-sex marriage rights that is NOT based on religious beliefs and is NOT, “ewwww, gross.”

Letting go, for good

OK, so this post today is inspired by an article in the NY Times that I came across: A Kite That Couldn’t Be Tied Down.  Go ahead and read that first.  It’s quick and easy and heart-wrenching.  I’ll wait.

See?  Wasn’t it beautiful?  And it got me to thinking a whole lot about this process that all humans go through at some point.  The falling in love for the first time thing.  How crystal clear everything surrounding that time is, how utterly perfect in all it’s hindsight.  And I take it a little further in thinking that a certain aspect of this phenomenon is unique to being gay, because in addition to falling in love for the first time, it’s the ‘who’ we are falling in love with that tells us something entirely new about ourselves.  So not only are we having the butterflies and the swooning, but the whole “Holy shit, I’m in love with a girl” dilemma as well.

But I truly think the thing about this article that struck me the most was that the author, in some way, was looking for some affirmation that she had affected the other person in some way as well.  That what those two people went through together meant something, to both of them.   The fact that her heart skipped a beat when she saw that the object of her affection had felt something on that day, flying a kite in Tienanmen Square, gave meaning to it all.  She had made a difference that had been recognized by someone else.

And of course, all of this, leads to me thinking about my own experiences with my first falling in puppy love episode, which was also my “Oh shit, it’s a girl” moment.   And how I, much like this author, fell hard and fast without much awareness as to what was actually happening to me other than the fleeting thought of  “I wonder why I ONLY want to spend time with L.”  And then she kissed me, and I knew for a concrete fact why I wanted to spend all my time with her.  But again, much like this author, the object of my obsession would inevitably pull away from me and show up with some boyfriend, acting as though what had happened between us was nothing much, when, to me, she was crushing my heart at every turn.

And for the next 3 years, I would remain her “BFF”, while not-so-secretly pining for her, to no avail.  But whenever she would feel me start to slip away, she would have some way to bring me back; brush my hair behind an ear, hold my  hand while we were driving and a few times would even grace me with some kisses and my heart would soar.  But it was always followed by the inevitable drop of my heart, when, if I tried to kiss her again, not on her terms, I would be rejected.  It was the most vicious roller-coaster ride I’ve ever been on.   And eventually, I wizened up enough to make myself get off of this nauseating ride, because no one was keeping me on it but myself.

“The only thing worse than losing her was the realization that I’d never had her.”

And right here, the point that I’ve been trying to get to, is the wondering that has always nagged at me.  The wondering if I had as profound an effect on her life as she had on mine.  And the back of my head knows that the answer has always been No.  That she did love me, in some way, but she was never in love with me.  That yes, I was a good friend with occasional benefits for those few years, but in the end, I was disposable.  And the event that drove us apart for good, was unforgivable to me.  And this is something that I almost never talk about, but I think I have to just write it down, so I can just release it, once and for all.  The thing that drove us apart was that I was raped, in her house, by her brothers best friend, and she did not believe me.  She sided with him, who took something from me that can never be returned, and said that I had lied about it.  And this betrayal, from her, has hurt me more than the actual event that she denied.  There was no going back to her after that.  So I had loved her, and she didn’t even have the courtesy to believe in something that no woman would ever joke about happening.

(*Deep breath*)

He had hurt my body, which is easily healed, and my mind, which took longer, but healed nonetheless.  But she hurt my very heart, which also eventually healed, but not without a reminder in scar form.  And, in a way, these actions on her part caused me to be much more cautious with my heart in the years that would follow.  Almost too cautious, since there was a small period of time where I almost didn’t let HH into my heart.  But I came to realize that everybody wasn’t like L, and that I was worthy of someone who would love me back.

So I guess, in hindsight, she had an effect on the path my life took.  And I’ve always wondered if I had the same affect on her.  But really, it doesn’t matter anymore, so I’m going to let it go.  Yes, it’s part of my past, but it’s also an unchangeable event.  It is what it is and all that jazz.  In some twisted way, it’s led me to my life today and how happy I am with HH and I just have to be grateful for the experience.  But the wondering is stopping today.  It’s over.

I think the author of the article sums things up perfectly with her closing line so I’m going to steal it: “There are so many fruits in the world; we can’t remember exactly who introduced us to what. But we never forget who showed us that there were, indeed, more fruits to discover than we’d ever realized.”

Lieutenant Dan, you got new legs!

So, for probably the last 9 months or so, I have been having trouble with my feet.  They used to only hurt when I gt up first thing in the morning and then, by the time I was done with my shower, it was all gone and I’d forget about it.  then it started lasting a little longer into the morning.  Then snowboarding season started and I was a little better this year, so I was trying more daring stuff, like jumping.  And as we all know, what goes up must come down, and come down hard.  My toes would jam into the front of my boots when I would land and the whole bottom of my feet would go numb.  And since my feet are the only point of contact with the damn board, this made things fairly difficult sometimes.  So I’d take off the boots, stretch out the feet and go back for some more pain.  I’m smart, I know.

Then snowboarding season was over, but for some reason, my feet still hurt.  They hurt when I got out of bed, they hurt when I got up from any length of sitting whatsoever, they hurt to walk.  My mother is praying for my soul cause she thinks I have diabetes at this point.  She told me to cut down on sugar and see if helps.  I did and nothing really happened, but I kinda told her it did (Sorry mom!).

Then I’m kinda forced to admit to myself that I’ve put on some extra weight since quitting smoking, and it’s time to do something about that.  So we get these excercise DVD’s called Insanity.   And right here is where you can start laughing at me, because yes, I do realize how stupid I was to go from an excercise routine that included sitting up and reaching for the remote to one in which the people demonstrating, who already have six, eight, TEN-packs for abs and muscles in places I didn’t know there were supposed to be muscles, are struggling and out of breath and pouring sweat off themselves so profusely that they have to periodically mop the floor with towels.  We should have known when that first 10 minutes was up, we were panting like thoroughbreds who’d just run the Preakness, and the instructor said what a nice warm-up that was and are we ready to get started?!?  Excuse me, sir?  I thought we STARTED 10 minutes ago!!!  10 minutes ago, when I was still blissfully ignorant that this sort of abuse even existed.

But anyway, a few days go by, my body is adjusting to this kind of abuse and I’m almost starting to like it.  However, my feet are in revolt.  They say “We quit!  We are NOT doing this ANYMORE!  Suck it!  We don’t care if you stay fat!”  And it’s a special kind of frustrating when I need to lose weight in order for my feet to feel better, but working out is impossible because my feet hurt.  That’s a catch-22 if there ever was one.  After several days of literally being brought to my knees and to tears, I decide that the time has come.  I must go see a podiatrist.

So I go, he watches me walk, takes some X-rays and tells me that my arches start out quite nicely and then they disappear.  So yeah, FlatFoot McGee over here.  I have a lovely little condition called Plantar Fasciitis, which basically means, the bottom of my foot is stretched to its limit and feels like it want’s to snap, which is what’s causing all the pain.  So he says I need orthotics and the image that my brain immediately conjures is Herman Munster feet.  Fortunately, that’s not the case, and all it will be is inserts that I should be able to put into whatever shoes I choose.  So ok, they wrap my feet in casting material to take the impression and send them off to the lab to do god knows what to them.

A couple of weeks go by and I get the call telling me that they’re ready.  So I go on down to the office and slip these funky things into my shoes.  And I stood up.  Completely without pain for the first time in months.  And the first thought that came to my mind at that moment was “Lieutenant Dan, you got new legs!”

What a decade!

So, I’ve very recently turned 30 and upon the eve of the day itself, my friend Ruddyna sent me an email telling me to enjoy the last few hours of my 20s and asking how I felt about the last decade.  My first reaction was a throwaway one.  I thought, “Well, crap, I haven’t done anything in the last 10 years”, which is a sad sort of thing to think about.   But then I started to really think and look at what I have done with the last 10 years.  And all in all, I had a damn fine decade!

– If I were to bottle up all the laughter I’ve had in the last 10 years and unleash it all at once, I’m sure I’d be able to start an earthquake.  

– I have been through 7 changes of address, 5 different cars and 5 different jobs.  

– I have obtained my Bachelor’s degree and an MBA, both with honors.  

– I have been co-mother to 12 different turtles, 1 tortoise, 7 cats, 2 hamsters, 4 beta fish and rescued one floppy, drooly Yellow Lab from a life of sleeping on concrete and snow.  (He now has his own couch in his new home.)

– I have travelled over 200,000 miles.

– I have gotten 6 tattoos.

– I have gotten myself $60,000 worth of raises.

– I have lost (but never forgotten) one of the women who most influenced my young life.

– I have struggled with my sexuality and come to complete comfort with that aspect of myself.

– I have gotten myself into a good portion of debt and am 1 short year away from being free of it.

– I have had more hair styles and colors in 10 years than most people will have in a lifetime.

– I have lost my 127 lb. skinny girl body, but I have grown a woman’s body in her place.

– I have a better relationship with my parents now than I ever have before.

– I have made, and lost and found again, some of the best friends a person could want.

– I have hurt others and been hurt in return, but I have learned from all of these hurts.

– I have turned into that friend that others come to for advice or to listen and I am extremely proud of that.

– I have smoked like a chimney for much of that decade, but I have since beaten that vice.

– And as I said to her on the morning of my birthday, through happy-tear soaked eyes, that the best part of my last 10 years was spending 8 and a half of them with HH.  I can’t imagine my days without her.