I’m In Love

I never loved anything so much in my life, though I confess I got a little sick to my stomach when I whispered to this baby that I love her more than I love my cats. And I took it back.

I never loved any human so much in my life. Meet my friend Farrah, trailing angels.
farrah
Texas was wonderful. My bestie had finished her beautiful new home, and we spent the whole time sitting. No makeup, no sightseeing, just baby! Her 4-year-old and I are cut from the same cloth (dancing, imagination, go go go), but this trip was about the little one. Balance will be restored again soon, I imagine, but who can resist an infant?

It might be tricky not to give all focus to Farrah. She really is special. There’s a reason they say that! There’s a reason for the Down Syndrome hashtag, #theluckyfew. We are!

I’ll remember to more fairly split my time on subsequent visits, but this trip was for Farrah, and she healed every last piece of me. I’ve been feeling fine for months. Guys & Dolls did most of the repair work, but I come home feeling 100% myself.

My god, I was gone so long. It makes me sad to realize how unaware I was.

****

Speaking of love, I decided against it with the Viking. It was a wonderful week that we ended the night before I left for Texas. He was pissed, but I thanked him and left warmly. Tried to, anyway. He wouldn’t even walk me to the door. He wouldn’t get up from the couch. It was a shock, but confirmation of intuition. It was a real boon to get that immediately. I needed in-real-time results of trusting myself.

Since Jax, I’ve felt a sense of inner panic. I doubted I could perceive red flags, or ever would again if I had once. I didn’t trust myself or my ability to read the signs. I was also scared that I might read into things that didn’t exist, simply because my ex-boyfriend and his new bride were so abusive in the house we shared for their sick honeymoon.

This week-long affair, however, seemed to come at just the right time, when I was ready to open my heart again, and with all the ingredients to show me that I can trust myself.

How wonderful to find that I can feel twitterpated again! I had so much fun with him. In fact, it’s kind of a bummer that we can’t do all the things we had planned. He was great company, game in a way a lot of guys aren’t. He played along.

Now I’m free to hope that my next inamorato can properly worship my glorious colors.

And there’s the real beauty: I’m talking Next! I don’t see myself as put out to pasture anymore, dried up and shriveled away. I still believe there’s a match for me.

I’m not in any hurry. I have the rest of my life. I don’t need anyone’s babies. Now that I’m not using a man for a stud, I can really find someone to love. Desperation does such sad things to us. I didn’t know that’s what I was doing, but it seems so clear now. I called it a “shared vision,” but I wanted a baby daddy.

Now I need nothing, and I have nothing to lose. Seems like a good way to find something.

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I Met A Boy

I had decided not to kiss a random just because of tradition (or my inclination when I’m drunk and dancing). I want the first person I kiss in 2018 to be someone meaningful, someone I enjoy, someone I love or want to love. (Then I thought, what are you? A Puritan? If someone cute and anonymous wants to kiss you, kiss! Kissing’s fun!)

In other words, I was playing it by ear. So much so that the friend I was meeting to go with to an all-nighter ended up throwing a spontaneous party that was in full swing by the time I arrived – in full costume, alone – and we stayed in. It was awesome.

And I met a boy! He’s cute, tall, bearded, with blue eyes and brown hair (my fave). And… full-spectrum color blindness. I’m writing about him now because for 2 days I’ve been imagining life without color, and I can’t bear it!

I don’t feel sorry for him. He doesn’t know what he’s missing. He can decipher color. It just doesn’t have any value to him. It’s not an identifier. It isn’t anything.

Color is everything to me! I’m sitting here at work, coloring!

Years ago – a decade or more – my bestie Kim said, “You describe the world in color. You should paint.” I thought she meant canvas and images that have to conform to some sort of something-beyond-remedial, and my mind said, “I can’t.” That “no” closed the door to trying, which has, so far, been the theme to much of my life. Little did I know that I would paint one day!

My goodness, my life is a freebie in so many ways. It really is incredible. I wouldn’t have thought to try… anything… if Marko hadn’t been there for 10 years, waiting patiently for me to find my way in his studio, and ready to supply me with cost-free, risk-free inventory! With fun and a friend attached, no less. I’m really lucky.

My drums! This man will never understand the high I get making my drums. Since I started painting last year, I’ve developed an emotional relationship with color.

My hair! He can never love my beautiful hair! Not even kidding, my heart is breaking a little inside. It’s silly. In 5 years max, I won’t even be a redhead anymore. It’s getting to be such a hassle to henna as much as I have to now, I was considering letting it go for my birthday this year – a nice, solid 45 – but I can’t do it. I love my hair!

And he can’t. He can’t see it! He can tell I’m a redhead, but it means nothing to him. That’s a tough one for me. The easiest way to make me feel adored is to go weak in the knees over my pretty red hair (and to tell me about it again and again).

I remember in the 90s, my first friend with color blindness tried to explain how he can tell I’m a redhead, so I didn’t really press this fellow much. I already know I can’t be made to understand. It’s not the freckles. It’s a spectrum on the gray scale of black and white, and I don’t get it. (There is color, too, but without the impact.)

My suitor’s response to “What’s it like to be color blind?” was “What’s it like not to be?”

AMAZING! That’s what!

My favorite color is Deciduous Leaves In The Late Afternoon Sun, not to be confused with your run-of-the-mill grass green, which I usually have to settle for (and also love, of course), for… my wallet, planner, dishware, decorative pillows, you name it. I mean, you’ve seen my bed. COLOR! So thrive my soul!

the girls
The Girls

It’s not a deal breaker, but it challenges me. That’s the hit to my vanity (which, if I didn’t drive the point home, is stretching me. Is that something I need?). Beyond that, though, it really is curious to consider how such a trivial-seeming thing might precipitate various, small inabilities to relate. I talk about color a lot.

Remember this vision board I made for the New Year a couple of years ago? (Quiet, in terms of color.) There’s the beardy I was dreaming of then. (I’m a pogonophile.) vision board 2014 I’m excited about this guy. I don’t feel that as often or as easily as I used to. I didn’t have it with Jax. He was just a convenience I’m ashamed of now. (Men and women can’t be roommates without having sex? So pedestrian. You know how I love superiority.)

Here’s my vision board from the year before: COLOR!
manifest!

I think I’ll do those again. They’re fun. It’s a throw-back to scrapbooking days and it’s cool to see how much of it I accomplish over the course of the following year/years.

Happy New Year!

Halloween Capers

and Random Acts of Kindness

I’ve been taking a Community Ed class at East High here in Salt Lake. Quinn decided on a break from teaching djembe [that threatens to be a long-term shift], and I needed focus and music in my life. I’m not terrifically self-directed, so I pulled my old guitar out of the garage and started again with Beginning Beginners. I love it.

My wrist has not complained like it did when I dusted off my rusty, twanging dreams 4 years ago, when my real journey with Fibro began. I definitely feel it, but pain patches and yoga really seem to be taking care of me for now. LARGE BLESSINGS!

My body is my own again!

It’s clear that the janitors come during our class, because every week when I leave, the halls simply sparkle. For some reason [I’m weird], last week I got the idea to leave notes for the cleaners. I giggled and giggled dreaming up my caper and yesterday, I finally played out my little impish frolic. I ducked around a corner every time I heard someone approach, then re-emerged to post another note. No explanation can capture the why of this, or how hard I had myself laughing.

Trick or Treat!

Halloween is my FAVORITE HOLIDAY!

2011

Redhead Costume Idea … FIRE Itself!

second-floor

thank-you

“Excellent Work!” “Wonderful Job!”

Remove My Skin!

Gahhhhh!

Months ago, I saw a homeopath. I stopped going when he revealed himself to be a Trump zealot. Like, would not shut up about what nice guy Trump “actually” is.

“I’ve met him and…” blah blah blah, he bragged. There it is. Cult of celebrity and hollow name-dropping. I imagine he attended some big event that Our National Shame lent his corrupt brand to.

“I’m sure he’s lovely,” I snarked back. “I’m sure he respects women and people of color, and everything he says to the contrary is all in good fun.”

HE WOULD NOT STOP.

“Okay! Can we get back to my health now?”

Orange-faced people aside, this homeopath was of the opinion that orange-haired people don’t metabolize sulfur. While I’ve never been successful at any diet, I did quit coffee, which is among the worst sulfur offenders. Well, Thursday, it was rainy and cold, and nothing sounded better than jammies and java. I went back on the bean.

Two days later, my skin started crawling! I cannot stop scratching!!! I’m in HELL!

I think I can say that I’ve successfully experienced elimination testing. I AM DYING! My eyeballs hurt. The insides of my ears itch! I can feel every single hair! (I had another bout of trichotillomania and tore out chunks of eyelash. Just last week, I was remarking how long my lashes were. I couldn’t recall the last time I pulled at them. Presumably, when I last drank coffee.)

Tear my flesh from my bones! It itches!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What Happened?

Maybe writing is like reading: Stop doing it for awhile, and years later you find you just… stopped. That happened to me after I finished my English degree. I was so burned out I said, “I’m not reading again until I feel like it!”

Five years later, I realized I hadn’t read a book in 5 years! I never did “feel” like it, just had to do it. I love to read. I can’t believe how easy it was to forget.

So much has happened, too. Like real, cool stuff to write about, beyond my trademark ramblings and wonderings. I took 2 of the best trips of my life. PORTLAND – reconnecting with an old friend – and ESCALANTE/GRAND STAIRCASE – reconnecting with the Earth and my feet on it! (I needed that after Spain 2 years ago, and Texas and New York last year. I was beginning to think I can’t do this travel thing.)

Ha! I still don’t feel like writing. Suffice that they were awesome trips, full of beauty, joy, magic, adventure, bravery, success, and fun. Now, see pics:

Sat. May 21, 2016

Young redhead in braids at Portland’s Redhead Event

hoops

I made hoops. They were a huge hit!

pippi

We had to bring a childhood pic to be counted. (We were far short of the World Record, but 600+ are more ginge than I’ve enjoyed!) May 21, 2016

rojo

ROJO came to the Redhead Fest! I’ve been in love with him since I saw him on Unlikely Animal Friends on Nat Geo. I almost started crying! I fan-girled OUT.

Rojo the Llama of Mountain Peaks Therapy Llamas and Alpacas

lara and me

International Rose Test Garden with old friend, Lara, who was such a warm and gracious host. It was such a fun, comfortable visit. I began to have travel anxiety when I realized, “No, I’m safe. I just have to ask for what I need.” She was so non-judgy and nice to me!

japanese garden

Japanese Garden, where I became convinced that Portland is a land of fairies under a green canopy, where the Mother breathes and loves and pulses and heals. My friend Renae told me to expect a transformation!

ross island

Ross Island in the Willamette River… This is bikeable green space IN the metropolis! I rode 8+ miles my first day.

*****

calf creek falls

Lower Calf Creek Falls

slot canyon

pictographs

Pictographs!

boulder ut

Boulder, UT, is a funky artist/outdoorfolk enclave.

 

*****

Oh, and a quick weekend at my roommate’s family lodge in Wyoming! June 2016lodgepond

black's fork

Black’s Fork River only crosses the property three times, but it splits off into so many tributaries that I felt like I crossed it a dozen times!

old schoolhouse

Old schoolhouse

jax

Roomie on a Rope Swing

soaked

I struggled on my dismount and went for a swim!

My Cat Needs Surgery and I Have Cancer

Well, it’s a grabby headline, anyway.

My poor kitty. Her ear has swollen even more since yesterday. Any more, and it will pop on its own. Maybe that would be cheaper. I feel so sad for her. It’s been one thing or another with her since she was 4 weeks old, from the innocuous to the terrifying. I’m always amazed at the next new thing. “Seriously? It never ends for you!”

I’ve decided she has a compromised immune system that makes her vulnerable to attacks of this, that, and everything. “Well, it’s obvious you’re my children,” I tell them. “One of you never stops talking and the other has auto-immune disease. We’re family!”

How I love them. =^..^=pen and crick

And the medical information I had to worry about all night? Well, I didn’t worry. I felt comforted, by my mom and my cheerleaders on high. I spoke with the nurse first thing this morning, and my biopsy came back positive for squamous cell skin cancer. No biggie. I’ll wait for the site to finish healing, and in a month I go back in to start freezing it to death.

When I mapped my genome 2 years ago, it revealed a higher than average risk of squamous and basal cell carcinomas. Both are relatively harmless and very common among fair-skinned people. I’m a redhead in the desert, and I’m a cyclist. Though my hands didn’t burn in the last decade, I confess I didn’t always wear sunscreen. Sheer bike gloves afforded some protection, but I knew better. It’s begun. (I was comforted to learn that I have only average risk for melanoma, the more deadly skin cancer.)

Yesterday, mom told me she got a cream from her dermy to put on her face for a couple of weeks to seek out the bad patches and burn them. She said she looks like she has acne on every square inch of skin. “Poor mom!” I laughed. “I’m sorry you’re ugly!”

Hopefully, it’s like a chemical peel and takes age spots, too, because ALL of my freckles have morphed these days and I, no doubt, will be getting that treatment myself one day.

Mid-life was never supposed to happen to me!

9 to 5, The Musical

Remember last year when I wanted to play a dancing secretary, then got cast in a completely non-dancing supporting lead? Well, now I’m a dancing secretary! I just accepted a position in “9 – 5, The Musical.” I’m in the ensemble, which sings every number but 4, and I get to dance to that glorious 80s anthem! What could be more fun and funky? I may not work 9 – 5, but I’ll be in a musical about it!

It was a real honor, because I didn’t even audition. Maurie, who directed me last year in How To Succeed, called and invited me personally. It’s such a compliment to have your work ethic recognized. I feel like I earned it, and that’s not something I could have said in my twenties. I worked hard, but was unable to enjoy it and made myself (and others) miserable. Falling short in my performance made me endlessly unsatisfied. Not anymore! Don’t think for a moment that there aren’t things I wish I’d done with Hedy LaRue – I’m still thinking about her a year later – but I’m happy with my performance. I like the Hedy that I created. I’m proud of myself, and I’m so excited!

Already, I’m thinking of external things I want to do to distinguish my ensemble character from my small speaking role. For one thing, I need a wig. The only redhead in the show won’t blend. And I’m changing bras, haha! For regular stage life I have an industrial, padded costume bra, looks great from stage and I don’t appear… inverted, if not the promised C on the tag. I’m wearing a regular, padding-free brassiere to play Hart’s wife (Dabney Coleman, you know, the worm). What better way to juxtapose his lust for Doralee? (Our Dolly Parton character is equally busty, bam! and gorgeous.) From there, I immediately saw Missy as this fussy mother-type he goes home to every night, while Doralee is the bombshell he spends his days and dreams with. I’m going to spit-clean his face in our scene together!

I love the creative process! Give me any part, and I immediately begin sculpting her, feeling her, envisioning her, becoming her. I haven’t even seen the script! I love theatre. There’s something about the stage that’s different from all of my other creative pursuits.

I’m so excited for this show! It wasn’t on my radar at all, and it feels like a gift.

______

Here’s how Missy and Frank ended up:mr and mrs franklin hart jr
In the program, I was described as “the bubble-headed wife of Franklin Hart, Jr.” I’m starting to notice a trend. Do I think I’m smart, but everyone else sees a ding dong?