And We’re Back…

First, I am so psyched that people are missing a new blog and asking for one. You like me, you really like me! Second, there is a serious list of people I need to call and/or email/myspace message, so if you are on there please know you’re on my mind and I’ve just been buried this week in catch-up at work.

Vacation was great – in a nutshell:

Cruise, never again, hordes of 300 pound tourists stuffing their faces off of the most food I’ve ever seen on a daily basis, just a food orgy, very unevolved and ungrateful in a way. Although I will admit that I spent A LOT more time than absolutely necessary at the fish and chips concession. And the special chocolate dessert buffet left me tweaked and covered in chocolate sauce on a complete sugar bender.

But they overcharge you for every little thing except for the food and you don’t get enough time in each port to see much and the swimming pools on the boat are either packed with hideous, nose-picking, screeching children (family side) or a Cocoon like collection of (albeit lovely, but ginormous) aging people who bob cheerfully and in large groups, getting in the way of any actual swimming. On the upside, the staterooms were gorgeous and we had lovely balconies in a row together with the best of friends.

The dolphin sanctuary we went to on the Isla Roatan in the Honduras was magical. The dolphins were so happy and funny and generous that I understand completely why they (as well as whales) are said to be very evolved beings. I am so grateful that I got the opportunity to learn a little about them and see them close-up in action. It was such a gift. And then after that we went to the most beautiful beach I’ve ever been on and swam with angel fish and stingrays. Drew got stung by a jellyfish and I very kindly offered to pee on him numerous times, but oddly he refused.

However, on the way in to the sanctuary we passed through some extremely poor areas and out of the bus window I saw two very emaciated dogs and our friend James saw a horse in the same condition – ribs and spine breaking through skin, sadness the only energy. So that set me off and I cried the entire way while trying to work out how I could get out of the van mid-trip and track back to the tin shack general store to get some dog food (and horse chow??) and lug it back through the jungle to these random other tin shacks to make it all better. Which of course was impossible, and tragic, and deeply upsetting. If the dolphins’ silliness hadn’t been so infectious I would have ruined everyone’s day with my hysteria. As it is I kept my eyes shut for most of the ride back to the boat, and can only say prayers and trust that there’s a larger plan that I cannot always see.

And drugs…Did you know that you can get valium and vicodin very cheaply and without a prescription in Belize? Neither did we! And unfortunately Drew and I wanted some peace and quiet and did not get out at that port, I got a facial and he worked out instead. So we had to mooch all of Mike’s fabulous new pills for the night’s festivities once he got back on the boat. Everyone enjoyed that night’s cruise entertainment of song and dance tribute to the 80’s waaaay more than it probably warranted sober. I would have given the Purple Rain number (complete with Prince impersonator and a couple in pirate shirts doing a sexy dance on a motorcycle) a standing ovation if I could have stood up for any longer than a few seconds at a time.

So of course our entire group spent the next day in Cozumel running from Farmacia to Farmacia asking for fun drugs in broken Spanish. Although we could not get what we wanted, it was a really fun and silly day just feeling like criminals looking around, and we enjoyed the best Mexican food of our lives.

Although it was great and I wouldn’t trade it, I felt very small in certain ways on the trip, I hated the way I looked most of the time, I felt like I looked very old, I kept finding flaw after flaw in the mirror and just felt insecure in general. I’m really trying lately to step outside of the ego attachments that rule everything I do and say, and it’s great but it’s confusing, like falling down the rabbit hole, and it usually manifests in the physical for me. If I am not this certain set of symbols (being thought of as beautiful being just one example) that I’ve created to represent myself, then who am I? I felt some of that panic on this trip, just floating in the sea or wandering through clanging slot machines and feeling myself drift.

Then I’m back in NY and although I have whatever issues with my age and appearance and past and future, I felt back in my own power and okay about myself. But maybe that fall into the hole is what we must experience to shed old energy and attachments that no longer serve us? Or perhaps I’m just pissy about having to be back at work…

So I had all these deep thoughts on my way to the store today that are mostly gone now that I have time to write. I got into a minor text war early in the morning with a friend who has hurt someone I love, and it made me feel anxious and sad. I just don’t like arguing with people anymore. And another person I love was on my mind as she struggles to keep her whole world afloat in the current economy. I just felt the weight of all the beauty and awfulness of being alive. It’s so fucking hard, sometimes doesn’t it feel amazing that we’re able to do it at all? And yet we just do.

So I stomped to the store in my Patricia Field for Payless boots with my Calvin Klein sunglasses and my Motor jeans and my Montenegro leather jacket, ipod playing rock and roll, all the armor back on and carrying coffee and feeling gratitude for the energy that New York City seems to feed me. It is imperative to get out of this city whenever possible, but for whatever reason it’s where I feel most comfortable in my skin.

And then I just got on with the day. I wish I had something deeper to impart, but I don’t.

Abstinence – Week 1

Well…here’s my report…

The CHEF’S DIET thing is pretty cool. It’s been so easy that if it weren’t outrageously expensive I’d do it on a regular basis. They deliver your fresh food in the middle of the night right on your doorstep, in my case it’s been coming at 10 pm. It arrives in a lovely icepacked container which holds breakfast, lunch, snack 1, dinner, and snack 2, all neatly packaged and labeled. It’s delightful to look at and the food is good.

The only issue is that except for breakfast the portions are small, ergo the pesky DIET part of the whole thing. And of course there aren’t a lot of carbs. God, I love carbs. So you’re slowly starving at a low-level hum and begin obsessing over your next meal by about 1pm in the afternoon. Lunch and afternoon snack are do-able, then dinner leaves you feeling like you’re being toyed with and the tiny dessert you’re instructed to eat an hour before going to bed sits on the counter laughing at your pain until you break down and tear it open frantically and eat it in two bites. Which isn’t difficult considering its miniscule size.

And then the obsession extends into wondering what you’re going to eat the next day. The food delivery is like Christmas every night, I’ve been opening the door immediately at 10 and excitedly pawing through the container to see what tomorrow holds, listing each item out loud to Drew and/or the pets, depending upon who’s willing to listen. And then I lay them out carefully in order in the fridge like a fetishist. Good times.

The upside is I have all kinds of energy at night from being hungry, and my apartment is looking much cleaner. I call Drew and chatter like a squirrel while scrubbing the tub. He says he feels like he’s living in slightly less clever version of “His Girl Friday” and had no idea that those mounds of pasta were what held me together: I went to Sephora and researched sunblock like a chemist. I have already made a list of what I’m bringing on vacation even though we’re not leaving until the middle of February. I keep sitting up in the middle of the night with new vacation visions of myself – a deep-v one-piece swimsuit with a large hat. Yes! Turbans, I’m going to need turbans, and faux flowers for the beachy updos I’ll be wearing to dinner. And which shoes to bring? Should I rack up my credit card even further and get new gold wedgie sandals to go with my non-existent chiffon floral maxi dresses? Damn it, why don’t I own any flowy halter jumpsuits? I peruse the resort collections in Bazaar like I’m going to to the South of France for a month with Lagerfeld, rather than on a week long cruise with my boyfriend and a slew of complete maniacs, including THESE ONES and THIS ONE and THIS ONE, just to photo ID a few. Let’s be real, by day two I’ll be lucky if I’m sober enough to put my hair in a ponytail and pull on a pair of clean shorts.

And as for the liquor abstinence, my dear pal and co-founder of the Classy (Sometimes Crazy) Old Hags Club, Miss ANKI Supreme, took me out to Brooklyn to a hardcore show last night and I had some fun and managed it pretty well. Yes, Dano, you heard me: BROOKLYN AND HARDCORE. My two favorite things…NOT, although Anki’s enthusiasm is slowly winning me over. She did pick me up in a cab, and I’ve talked her into watching the herd while I’m gone, so it was a trade-off. But if you promise me that brie and wine which we discussed, I may take a train out to you one day, especially if I’m still on this damn diet.

So upon arrival to said Brooklyn hardcore show I was handed a huge pile of drink tickets by BOB, the promoter and all around lovely person. Apparently my friends are used to assuming I’m going to need a lot of alcohol. Hmm…tempting…But I dutifully sipped on my seltzer and cranberry and handed the tickets to Anki one by one so she could happily enjoy her vodka. I stood next to her all smug sober Sally with my lips pursed like Meryl Streep in Doubt. Yes, yes, I’m always this saintly and ladylike, its enough for me just to enjoy watching my friends have fun. My beauty shines unearthly, you say? Oh, no, silly, that’s just the reflection off my halo…

At first I had a mild panic attack, could I do this? I am so accustomed to using alcohol to assuage my social anxiety that it has been years since I have entered a venue and not gone directly to the bar before watching a show or socializing. But it actually turned out to be pretty interesting. I was able to follow conversations much more consciously and I didn’t take it personally when giant hardcore dudes lumbered into me on their way to the bar. I was definitely stiffer, but Anki assures me that I wasn’t completely boring.

AND, when I was ready to leave (which of course was much earlier than everyone else because I was frigging sober), I marveled at how easy it was to navigate down the stairs of Europa without banging into the walls back and forth the whole time. I didn’t freak out about having to call a cab and conversed easily with the cab company and the driver who eventually picked me up. I proudly got out of the cab without dropping anything (bag, keys, cash, etc…) and walked in a straight line to my door.

Ooohh, so that’s how you keep your dignity…

AND THEN I got up this morning and went to the gym. Truly, a miracle of sorts. So I’m looking forward to a few more sober nights out. You know, and then standing on the balcony of my stateroom, looking slender and elegant in a floaty white halter jumpsuit while THIS GUY leans around from the balcony next door and shouts, “What the hell are you wearing? You want an appletini or straight vodka??”

ADDENDUM 1/11/09:
It just dawned on me that I could be sounding like a smug asshole right now considering the current economy. Just to set things straight – Drew and I are both freaking out a little that we decided to do a big trip right when things are so financially dire. It’s especially rough for him at the moment as his job fluctuates and lately he’s making half of what he usually does. But it’s our six year anniversary on Feb 14 and we’ve never gone anywhere except Michigan together, so we’re doing without in other areas to make it happen. And for the record I would never want to make light of the financial situation that many of my friends are in right now.

So how about this look? You know, for casual nights in the casino…

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