Thursday, August 30, 2007

Part II: God?

My current boyfriend is into the God thing.

He's not pushy about it, would never demand that I share is his religious or spiritual beliefs, doesn't chastise me for the way I act in this regard, or for my feelings on the matter. Once, in the beginning, he announced that I do "believe" in God, I just don't know that I do. Since that time, he hasn't said much, other than the fact that he doesn't wish to discuss God or religion or spirituality with me.

This displeases me, if for no other reason than I don't like people to unilaterally decide for me which tops are and are not off limits for discussion. Just because I am dispassionate about the matter (or even passionately against the active practice of religion (for me, not for others)) should not disallow me from speaking intellectually about something. In short, I don't like being told what to do, and declaring an issue off limits is a form of telling me what I am allowed to speak about, what is acceptable to speak about.

But wait. There's more. As much as I hate to admit it, I am a bit resentful. Not of his relationship with God. (As an aside, I cringe when writing the phrase "relationship with God." I find the concept of a personal relationship with something called God so egomaniacal. As if this Thing Called God has time to develop relationships with all of his believers.) It's not his beliefs I resent, it's merely what I perceive to be his sense of spiritual entitlement, if you will. A sense of religious superiority. As if I am somehow less compassionate, less good, less of a person because I don't subscribe to a definite belief in the Almighty. As if he (and others who are steadfast in their beliefs in God) is somehow more "right" than I, "better" in some way.

This is, of course, likely my own issue, developed by past relationships and past dealings with people more religious and God-fearing or God-loving than I. It's not that I disbelieve in God, per se. It's more that I don't care to think about it. And I am resentful of the fact that most religious folks are haughty in their beliefs and arrogant in their humility.

"Finding" God isn't going to make me better, or more capable, or happier. I depend on myself to achieve what I want in and out of life. Why isn't that enough? Why does there have to be more? Why must people insist that I cannot be a healthy and vibrant person on my own?

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

I am a baker's wet dream.

Two-and-a-half weeks ago, I was at the doctor's office for a urinary-tract-cum-kidney infection. Doc gave me a ten-day dose of Ciprofloxacin. It's the anti-anthrax antibiotic. It's some serious stuff. It made me tired, it make me woozy, it made me feel like poop. But it cleared up the the infection.

Merely a day after the ten days were up -- Saturday -- I began to feel a tad itchy. I began to get that not-so-fresh feeling. I ignored it, convinced that the Powers That Be wouldn't be so evil as to throw another infection my way.

I was wrong.

The antibiotic killed nearly all the bacteria in my body. If I'd been exposed to anthrax, I'd have been set. But it killed the good stuff, too. Antibiotics: Our friends, our enemies. As it happened, it killed the bacteria that prevents an overgrowth of yeast.

So today, I finally went back to the doctor. "I have a yeast infection," I said, explaining my previous course of treatment.

He swabbed the delicate folds of my nether region and came back thirty seconds later. "You have a yeast infection," he said.

I could bake bread in my lady parts. I have a brewery in my pants. I am not happy.

Monday, August 27, 2007


I've never really been big on the whole God thing.

When my parents made me go to shul with them on Rosh Hashanah -- long after I'd turned thirteen and they'd promised that religion would be my choice -- I became irate. Why did I have to go? I didn't see the point.

I remember trying to feel something during services. But all I got out of it was a lot of standing up, sitting down, reading along, and boring lectures made by Rabbis who didn't have a very good grasp on proper grammar. It was boring, really. I didn't feel some overwhelming sense of community. The dogma was bothersome. I could (and still can) recite the Sh'ma, but it's wholly rote; it means nothing to me.

For a while, I dated someone who is very involved in spirituality and personal growth. When I told him that I sold my soul on eBay, he insisted that despite that, I still do have a soul. When I spoke of my refusal to believe in some higher power, he pointed out the fallacy of my thinking in ways that I could understand. And so I became interested, and even hopeful, that there really is a something out there, something more, something bigger than us.

I tried to be spiritual. I read a lot, I learned a lot, and I talked a good game. I developed personal philosophies and pontificated on them. I talked about nonduality as if I had a clue. I professed to be uber-learned about earth-based spirituality and polytheism. I developed my own mores, and was often told that I had an extremely skewed moral compass. I relished that.

At the same time, I began to loathe all organized religious acts. I had a visceral reaction at weddings, at the recitation of Hebrew words, and the empty acts of Jewish tradition (not empty unto themselves, but empty because the people partaking in them had no clue why they were doing what they were doing, but followed the tradition blindly). At work, I would listen to people talk about their relationships with God. I would abstain from comment, holding my tongue, lest I say something offensive and and awful.

These days, I don't really have a set of beliefs. I abhor dogma in any form, including some of the tenets of Judaism. The mysticisms are fascinating, but I know so little about them. I can't stand blind faith. I don't look to God for the answers. I don't trust that everything will be "okay" because God will make it so.

Instead, I have faith in myself. I know I haven't lived that long, but I have gotten through everything that's been thrown my way thus far. I am strong and I am confident that everything will be okay. In fact, it's not even so much that I'm confident that things will be okay: I know it. I know that no matter what happens, things will be, well, fine.

I wish I believed in something more, something greater. I wish I could have that sort of faith in anything. But instead, I have to be content with knowing that I make my own decisions and that I am what makes me happy, or sad, or successful, or not. That will have to be enough.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


Chris has the day off today (and apparently doesn't have to be in his neck of the woods, either; he lives an hour away). And so, he came up to see me last night and is out and about today. He alleges that he is out shopping for materials with which to take down my broken fence, as well as for the necessities for preparing a nice dinner tonight. This is awesome. And I'm anxious to be done with work today.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Jailhouse fun.

For some reason, I doubt my clients do this.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Is this burning....?

I spent last Monday night in the emergency room. I had a urinary tract infection (UTI) that had been asymptomatic. Because it had gone untreated (because I didn't know I had it), it got into my kidneys. I walked in, went to the triage station and told the nurse my symptoms:

"I have pain in my lower abdomen and back, and there's blood in my urine." Yuck. In truth, I was in much more pain than I let on; I had difficulty walking and could hardly sit in one place.

And so the triage nurse, you know, triage'd me and decided that everyone else who came in was far more important and ill than I; people who came in with minor lacerations three hours after I arrived were called first. But I digress... A discussion on the American health care system will have to wait until another day...

During the intake, I was in so much pain that I closed my eyes. I gave the nurse my hand so that she could take my pulse, feel my heart beating. Did she understand? Had she ever felt like this, had she ever felt this sort of pissing blood pain before, had she ever felt the same? It hurt so much that I asked myself if I was only was dreaming. And I wondered, "What is this burning?"

Last night, in my sleep, the answer came to me.... That burning was not from my UTI. No. That burning was none other than an eternal flame.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

We Built This City: A Tribute!

I have been conducting vast amounts of research regarding the so-called worst song of all time, We Built This City. You'll never guess what I've found. Apparently, there are many cities who believe they were built on rock and roll.

The top contender of those cities with the belief of being built on rock and roll is none other than Colonial Williamsburg. Of course! Of course Colonial Williamsburg was built on rock and roll! They have stocks. And hand made baskets. And horse manure on the street. Clearly, horse manure equals rock and roll. Therefore, Colonial Williamsburg is far more justified in their belief of being built on rock and roll than, say, Stockholm's belief of the same. I personally don't believe that either Colonial Williamsburg or Stockholm was built on rock and roll. You know which city was really built on rock and roll? Lego City. And Hogwarts.

In conducting my research, I found another interesting phenomenon. No one can sing the song. No, really. Every group that attempts to sing this song does so about a half step flat. It's incredible. For example, here are five otherwise cute boys doing an a cappella iteration of the song.

Apparently, boys think that being cute absolves them from being unable to sing. Kinda like the Dumdums. Their playing and singing indicates that they are, indeed, dum-dums for thinking they're any good. Perhaps that's harsh. Perhaps I'm just past going ga-ga over grungy garage band types. Of course, I may be apt to like garage bands more if they didn't make my ears bleed.

Speaking of bleeding ears... Remember how your ears would bleed when some little cherub of a girl would decide to sing the song Tomorrow at a recital? Now picture a little girl doing the same, but butchering We Built This City instead. Can't picture it? Well, check out this family group singing the song. Methinks they may be from Colonial Williamsburg, proving once again that Colonial Williamsburg was clearly not built on rock and roll. (My favorite is the little girl's way-awful note the second time she sings the word "roll." I know, I know... I should be kinder to little girls.)

So what has this research proved? Maybe, just maybe, We Built This City is the worst song ever. But at least I didn't have to listen to it for twenty-four hours straight. (But if I had, my blog about it would have been way better.)

Just when you thought it was over...

Some cities are built on Mayan ruins.

Other cities are built on old landfills.

Still more cities are build on mazes of sewer lines.

But not this city.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Nature be damned.

I bought a lawnmower. When I first moved into my new house, I bought a lawnmower. Because I have little money, I decided to get one of those non-gas, non-electric manual push-mowers. Think 1950's styled machine. The sort of mower my old Jewish grandfather would have pushed if he hadn't been an immigrant peddler living in a rundown tenement in the Bronx.

I pretend to be all environmentally conscious. "It's green. It's good for the earth." Truth is, I only bought it because it was less expensive and I didn't want to have to fuss with gas cans or worry about running over an extension cord. But I hate the damned thing. Hate it, hate it, hate it. Hate it.

First off, it doesn't do a good job. It doesn't cut the multitude of weeds that sprout up on my lawn. Once I've finished mowing, my backyard looks like the face of a pubescent boy who just learned to shave, with hairy little tufts appearing hither and yon. Every now and then, it just stops. The wheels stop spinning and I have to hit and butt the thing to get it going again.

Be that as it may, it's not the mower I hate the most. It's my pear tree.

Oh but how can you hate a pear tree? I can hear the collective gasp from my faithful readers already. Hate a pear tree?? And we were under the misconception that what with your manual mower you were green and earth-friendly! Hate a pear tree... ::mumble mumble::

Judge me if you will. But I hate my pear tree, my not-hurting-anyone, kind-to-all-human-beings iteration-of-The-Giving-Tree, my shade-providing-affection-seeking pear tree. I hate it. And here's why:

Yesterday afternoon I decided that instead of writing motions that were due today, I would mow my lawn. Nothing like home improvement to put off doing real work. So I went outside. And what did I see on the ground? Pears all over the place. With bugs aloft each one. Fruit flies, bumblebees, yellow jackets, gnats, mosquitoes, and big-ole-regular-nasty-disease-carrying black flies. Each piece of fruit had an infestation of insects crawling about. So what did I do? I got the hose. Wait. That's not entirely true. I spent a good deal of time untangling the hose.

With the hose, I shot the bugs off. I picked up each mushy, rotten piece of sour fruit (I know; I tasted a pear from that tree once) and threw it in a trash bag. After an hour, the fruit was picked up. But the lawn was wet. So I put off the mowing until this afternoon.

I got home from work, threw on my shorts, a tank top and my pink 'Roos. I went out in the backyard. And what was I greeted with? More fallen fruit than yesterday. With at least thrice as many insects. Learning my lesson from yesterday, I darted about picking up the pieces that the vultures hadn't gotten to. The really bug-ridden pears I left on the ground. And proceeded to mow the lawn.

I saved the pear-tree-area until the end. I attempted to mow around it. One particularly irate bee followed me and stung my ankle. So I gave up.

What do I have now? A patchy mess of nature. The rest of the lawn looks like crap anyway -- like the aforementioned face of 13-year-old boy who can't shave to save his life. And a huge circle of grass around the tree is uncut. Just sitting there, gather more rotten fruit and more oh-so-happy and sated bugs.

Totally discouraged, I decided to save the front yard until tomorrow. I'm drenched in sweat, have a welt on my ankle, and my seasonal allergies are running amok. I have work to do, but I'm taking a shower before I do anything else. Maybe that'll put me in a better and more earth friendly mood.

But right now? I hate nature.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

I feel so wordly.

I should be trying to get some sleep. But because I napped again today, sleep is not coming so easily (I really gotta stop that).

Instead, I've been tooling around on the Internet. And look! States I've visited:

create your own visited states map

Cool huh? But the fun doesn't stop there! Countries I've been to:

create your own visited countries map
or vertaling Duits Nederlands

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Let's talk about sex... and tiramisu.

Warning: Mom and Dad, I know you read this. Don't try to hide that tidbit of information from me. We all know that you cyberstalk me and live vicariously through my oh-so-exciting life. And while I don't intend to disclose a whole lot of personal information in this entry, you probably don't want to read any further. I'm talking about sex. (Oh, and this warning goes for anyone else who would prefer to believe that I am approaching thirty and still chaste and virginal.)

My boyfriends have always had a penchant for comparing me to food. More specifically, they seem to enjoy comparing sex with me to food.

I remember The Psychologist likening one's sexual options to a buffet. He described an assortment of flavorful and luscious things. Caviar, steak, chocolate covered fruits from far away lands, exotic breads, rich and delightful confections. And hotdogs. One can be presented with a cornucopia of grandiose gustatory delights, designed to gratify even the most discriminating palate. But one may, instead, choose to eat hotdogs for the rest of one's life. One can be satisfied with hotdogs. Hotdogs are yummy.

Ignoring the obvious (that I was clearly the hotdog in this scenario), I asked him: "But wouldn't you get bored with hotdogs?" He looked at me as if I were insane. As if to say: Who on earth would ever be bored with hotdogs??

My next relationship after The Psychologist was with Best Friend Mike. Mike was recently divorced when we met and reasonably insane. He, too, prepared a list describing all sorts of tempting and titillating foods, likening them to sex. He concluded with: "But sometimes you just want a cheeseburger."

Ignoring the obvious (that I was clearly the cheeseburger in this scenario), I asked him: "But wouldn't you get bored with cheeseburgers?"

Mike's answer was far more honest than The Psychologist's look of disdain. "Of course I'd get bored with cheeseburgers. I want pizza, too. And steak and lobster. And falafel and tiramisu. But not those last two together." He then paused and thought for a moment. "Actually, if we're talking about sex, I wouldn't mind having falafel and tiramisu on the same plate."

That is how Mike and I entered into a polyamorous relationship. He didn't want boring monogamy. I wanted to be able to sow s'more oats with women. We cared deeply for each other, sure. But does caring for each other, maybe even loving one another, mean we should cut ourselves off from the excitement of novelty? Does a romantic relationship mean eating hotdogs or cheeseburgers forever? Surely not!

And with that, my role quickly shifted from cheeseburger to falafel, and we went on the prowl, searching for the perfect tiramisu.

However, finding the perfect tiramisu proved difficult. And why? Because even though I wanted to eat whatever I desired, I wanted Mike to stick with cheeseburgers. Or falafel. Or whatever the hell I was.

The vast majority of time in my relationship with Mike was spent sorting out the "rules." How could we overcome sexual jealously? It was clear that I would be his primary partner, but how to handle the rest? Secondary partners? Tertiary? An intimate network? We discussed having a "closed group" relationship, where certain people were "approved" for sexual activity. Any new entry into aforementioned group would, of course, have to be approved by the both of us. But what if he got attached to a new girl and I fell by the wayside? What if our secondary partners became our primary partners and we became two people who just used to know each other once? What then?

The lines of communication were open, but the time expended keeping them clear was exhausting. We knew each other well. Even now, he knows me better than anyone else in my life, if only because of the interminable hours spent discussing our ever-evolving relationship. We never did find anyone else to join our relationship. Instead, we'd find ourselves in strange, surreal and comical encounters with other people. It was exciting and fun, sure. We were partners in crime; we were unstoppable. The feelings of guilt generally associated with sex (and even more pertinent in activities sometimes considered taboo) were assuaged by the fact that we were in it together.

It was fun and wild. I got high off the feeling. Literally, high. I would walk around the week following some ridiculously sublime weekend completely buzzed. The feeling became addictive: the thrill-seeking, the acting on wholly hedonistic and quite possibly self-destructive whims. I lusted after that feeling.

In the end, our relationship didn't last; it couldn't last. Our entire foundation was unstable, and that instability is what made it so very fun. Mike is still my best friend and I adore him. But after what we had together, we can't go back. We can't have a "normal" romantic relationship. We've been thrust into the Friend Zone, that evil, dark place where platonic love lurks in every corner.

I've had boyfriends since Mike. With them, I've had a horrible track record regarding monogamy; I've cheated and have rarely felt badly about it. Now I find myself in unfamiliar territory. I'm in a romantic and sexual relationship with someone I am actually in love with. This is pretty cool. Chris is wonderful, wonderful, and even more wonderful. So it should come as no surprise that the only "fight" to speak of, the only real conflict we've had, has been about sex.

Don't get me wrong; our sex life is incredible. It has traveled well beyond the Land of Hotdogs and Cheeseburgers. But I want more. And by "more," I mean that I want to be with women. I have no issue sharing. I long to bring a women into our bordello-styled boudoir and unwrap her. Slowly. I miss the sensuality. And, of course, I miss the newness.

Chris and I spoke about this. He wants a threesome insomuch as he wants to sleep with two women at once. He's had one before, but of course, he had the sort I hate: one man and two straight women. Nothing in it for the women, really. I mean, other than penis worship. I have no interest in that, and I explained that to him. I want it for me, not for him.

I seem to be in love with someone who has values and morals, who isn't seduced by promises of threesomes and whatnot, and who knows that any sort of polyamorous relationship would end badly. And you know what? He's right. It would end badly. I know that it doesn't work. I know that it would never work for me; not with Chris, not with anyone else. The reason for that is, in large part, my own double standard:

I miss the fun. I miss the wild and the crazy. I'm still addicted to that feeling I had when Mike and I were out and partaking in various forms of debauchery. I want to go out and fulfill my wanton desires, but I don't want my partner to do the same. I crave emotional monogamy, but miss the uninhibited and savage, unbridled sexual hedonism.

I want to have my tiramisu and eat it, too.

But I know I can't.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Put yer body in motion!

I interned for the public defender's office back between my first and second years of law school. I had a grand old time spending the majority of the summer helping out with a very complex trial that had our guy exposed to something like 65 years. After he was acquitted of four of the five charges, I was tasked with writing a motion for a new trial based on a lack of sufficiency of the evidence. It was, as one would imagine, quite fact-specific. And so I spent my days hunched over transcripts of the trial and pre-trial hearings, as well as my own trial notes.

When I needed a break, I would try to think of songs and song lyrics with the word "motion" in 'em. Here are some of the things I came up with:

The Locomotion

What's love got to do with it? What's love, but a second hand emotion?

If you feel like giving me a lifetime of devotion, I second that emotion.

Not a very extensive list.

I'm open to further input.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Part II: Happy?

I got off the phone a little while ago with Best Friend Mike.

I explained to him that Chris is saving up to get me high thread count sheets.

"You're happy," he said to me. Accusingly.

"You know, my mom accused me of the same thing the other day," I told him.

"Well, yeah," he responded. "You've never been happy."

When I confirmed that I am, indeed, rather happy, he stated: "You're happy. In a relationship. Things are not right with the world."

Except that things seem to be a-ok with the world. And that's swell.

On the movie RENT.

I first saw the musical version of RENT in Broadway in December of 1996. The movie didn't come out until nearly a decade later.

What the movie did, however, that the musical did not, was give the story a specific time frame. The movie starts of Christmas Eve, 1989.

This is all fine and dandy until the song Today 4 U comes up and Angel, the transvestite street drummer mentions the movie Thelma and Louise. Thelma and Louise premiered in 1991; two years after 1989.

Someone messed up.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Do you believe in miracles?

I was never the sort who believed in miracles. But something happened today that made me change my mind.

I paid $2.78 a gallon for gasoline.