Be In Harmony With What Is

I've not had the best two weeks. I've been snarky, negative and not willing to play the game. I'm not so happy with work right now and not afraid to let anyone who will listen know it. I've not had sex in a while (well, I hadn't up until a few hours ago, but that's another post that's percolating in my head; and has absolutely nothing to do with Mr. Casablanca) and that always puts one out of sorts.

I was having issues. I was unhappy with everything. And then it hit me.

I was not in harmony with what is. I wanted things to be different from what they were. I wanted things to be as I wanted them. I want Mr. Casablanca staring into my eyes. I wanted all work issues to disappear - I wanted them to listen to me.

In short, I was in a fantasy world.

I realize now that I cannot be out of harmony with what is. Things might change; they might not. And when -- if, they do change, then I must be in harmony with it. Simplicity denotes quality and I want a quality life.

I am in harmony with what is. I am fearless. And so it is.


Let the Man Carry Your Damn Stuff!!!

I have already admitted that I am a lousy flirt.

Now I must confess that I am also slow on the uptake; very slow. I was confusing to the two. I can flirt when I am fast on the uptake. However, in my dealings with Mr. Casablanca (as I will call the objection of my intention from here on in), I can flirt and actually have flirted as he has done with me. The problem has been that we never seem to be doing it at the same time. Nope, when he says something leading, in his oh so cute way, it seems to go right over my head. Same is true when I get up the gumption to slide in a glib and sexy remark, he seems to be on another plain. In both our defenses, I think we're immensely shy around each other and pretty soon his co-workers are going to start yelling, "if you don't ask her out; I'll ask her out for you!" Kinda like mine are, except they don't believe in women asking men out.

For instance, today, I was carrying a box. He and crew were sitting in the courtyard, having lunch. As I approached, Mr. Casablanca got up and asked if I needed help. Me, thinking about the weight of the box and that I only had to carry it a bit further, politely declined. Geesh. Dang, Ndel! Let the man carry your stuff!!! What is wrong with you?

The funny part is the other day, we were talking as I was carrying a box -- he didn't ask to carry it for me. I puzzled over that. I thought, "why the heck didn't he ask to carry this for me?" And then -- he does exactly what I wanted him to do two days ago and I decline. Do you understand me, I declined to let him help me. Am I insane?

See, if I had my wits about me, I would have said, "yes, please," and walked with him - alone - to the building. We could have said something profound. We could have had a moment.

What I did get, was a bit of small talk and found out that he likes spas! I said spas! It just gets better and better with this man. Oh, do I love spas. And I dream of being with a man who loves them too and wants to indulge in some of those couple's massages, baths and wraps. I mean, all of those former football muscles needing my kneading. Yum. Can you say relaxing, amazing sex afterwards? I can!

The bad part is that he's going to Miami for New Year's (oh, those South Beach babes) and I am on vacation for the rest of next week. It is unthinkable for me to not see him for so long. I have no doubt that I will drive every buddy crazy talking about him. Beware! You have now been forewarned.

Speaking of wariness, what about younger men? In theory, I'm for whoever floats your boat, but it is a real question for women. Men can carry on sexually well into their 70s (I think - especially with Viagra and all), but women... Well, I don't know. I guess I'll let you know in thirty years.

But back to the issue - when is a man too young for a woman of a certain age - my age - 39? I mean, I actually don't know how old Mr. Casablanca is. I guess he's about 32-33. I don't find anything weird about that; I'm quite comfortable with it. However, what if he were 23? Now, I know he's not that young; he couldn't have done all the things he has done and be that young, but humor me a little and just imagine he is. Would he be completely inappropriate for me to pursue? What about 27? That's twelve years younger than me... I guess my question is, is any man under 30 fair game? Could, should, would I date a man that young? I don't know. I imagine that someone like Mr. Casablanca couldn't be the man that I'm attracted to if he were much younger than 30, but still, I think I could come across a truly together man under the age of 30.

Quite frankly, it seems of late, I've met a couple of men who under different circumstances, I would most certainly say yes to a date if asked. Okay, let me first say that all of these "stand up dudes", I met through work situations. And normally, I don't do work colleagues (with the exception of Mr. Casablanca - he's a slightly different category). And advise anyone who will listen to steer clear of such entanglements. But, these guys, I think, are great and any woman would be lucky to snag them. One is a direct coworker, so, unless and until we aren't in such close professional proximity, we're just buds who get to make fun of each other's dating fiascoes. The other is young, oh so young and otherwise taken. But, if I had the chance to be The Gal, I would take it.

I won't even bother to tell you about the gay coworker with sex appeal to burn.

Oy vey.


I Believe

The following is the full text of Barack Obama's closing speech in Iowa. He's right – we must lose the cynicism, the fear, the doubts. It is our time; we must seize it.

Ten months ago, I stood on the steps of the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois, and began an unlikely journey to change America.

I did not run for the presidency to fulfill some long-held ambition or because I believed it was somehow owed to me. I chose to run in this election – at this moment – because of what Dr. King called "the fierce urgency of now." Because we are at a defining moment in our history. Our nation is at war. Our planet is in peril. Our health care system is broken, our economy is out of balance, our education system fails too many of our children, and our retirement system is in tatters.

At this defining moment, we cannot wait any longer for universal health care. We cannot wait to fix our schools. We cannot wait for good jobs, and living wages, and pensions we can count on. We cannot wait to halt global warming, and we cannot wait to end this war in Iraq.

I chose to run because I believed that the size of these challenges had outgrown the capacity of our broken and divided politics to solve them; because I believed that Americans of every political stripe were hungry for a new kind of politics, a politics that focused not just on how to win but why we should, a politics that focused on those values and ideals that we held in common as Americans; a politics that favored common sense over ideology, straight talk over spin.

Most of all, I believed in the power of the American people to be the real agents of change in this country – because we are not as divided as our politics suggests; because we are a decent, generous people willing to work hard and sacrifice for future generations; and I was certain that if we could just mobilize our voices to challenge the special interests that dominate Washington and challenge ourselves to reach for something better, there was no problem we couldn't solve – no destiny we couldn't fulfill.

Ten months later, Iowa, you have vindicated that faith. You've come out in the blistering heat and the bitter cold not just to cheer, but to challenge – to ask the tough questions; to lift the hood and kick the tires; to serve as one place in America where someone who hasn't spent their life in the Washington spotlight can get a fair hearing.

You've earned the role you play in our democracy because no one takes it more seriously. And I believe that's true this year more than ever because, like me, you feel that same sense of urgency.

All across this state, you've shared with me your stories. And all too often they've been stories of struggle and hardship.

I've heard from seniors who were betrayed by CEOs who dumped their pensions while pocketing bonuses, and from those who still can't afford their prescriptions because Congress refused to negotiate with the drug companies for the cheapest available price.

I've met Maytag workers who labored all their lives only to see their jobs shipped overseas; who now compete with their teenagers for $7-an-hour jobs at Wal-Mart.

I've spoken with teachers who are working at donut shops after school just to make ends meet; who are still digging into their own pockets to pay for school supplies.

Just two weeks ago, I heard a young woman in Cedar Rapids who told me she only gets three hours of sleep because she works the night shift after a full day of college and still can't afford health care for a sister with cerebral palsy. She spoke not with self-pity but with determination, and wonders why the government isn't doing more to help her afford the education that will allow her to live out her dreams.

I've spoken to veterans who talk with pride about what they've accomplished in Afghanistan and Iraq, but who nevertheless think of those they've left behind and question the wisdom of our mission in Iraq; the mothers weeping in my arms over the memories of their sons; the disabled or homeless vets who wonder why their service has been forgotten.

And I've spoken to Americans in every corner of the state, patriots all, who wonder why we have allowed our standing in the world to decline so badly, so quickly. They know this has not made us safer. They know that we must never negotiate out of fear, but that we must never fear to negotiate with our enemies as well as our friends. They are ashamed of Abu Graib and Guantanamo and warrantless wiretaps and ambiguity on torture. They love their country and want its cherished values and ideals restored.

It is precisely because you've experience these frustrations, and seen the cost of inaction in your own lives, that you understand why we can't afford to settle for the same old politics. You know that we can't afford to allow the insurance lobbyists to kill health care reform one more time, and the oil lobbyists to keep us addicted to fossil fuels because no one stood up and took their power away when they had the chance.

You know that we can't afford four more years of the same divisive food fight in Washington that's about scoring political points instead of solving problems; that's about tearing your opponents down instead of lifting this country up.

We can't afford the same politics of fear that tells Democrats that the only way to look tough on national security is to talk, act, and vote like George Bush Republicans; that invokes 9/11 as a way to scare up votes instead of a challenge that should unite all Americans to defeat our real enemies.

We can't afford to be so worried about losing the next election that we lose the battles we owe to the next generation.

The real gamble in this election is playing the same Washington game with the same Washington players and expecting a different result. And that's a risk we can't take. Not this year. Not when the stakes are this high.

In this election, it is time to turn the page. In seven days, it is time to stand for change.

This has been our message since the beginning of this campaign. It was our message when we were down, and our message when we were up. And it must be catching on, because in these last few weeks, everyone is talking about change.

But you can't at once argue that you're the master of a broken system in Washington and offer yourself as the person to change it. You can't fall in line behind the conventional thinking on issues as profound as war and offer yourself as the leader who is best prepared to chart a new and better course for America.

The truth is, you can have the right kind of experience and the wrong kind of experience. Mine is rooted in the real lives of real people and it will bring real results if we have the courage to change. I believe deeply in those words. But they are not mine. They were Bill Clinton's in 1992, when Washington insiders questioned his readiness to lead.

My experience is rooted in the lives of the men and women on the South Side of Chicago who I fought for as an organizer when the local steel plant closed. It's rooted in the lives of the people I stood up for as a civil rights lawyer when they were denied opportunity on the job or justice at the voting booth because of what they looked like or where they came from. It's rooted in an understanding of how the world sees America that I gained from living, traveling, and having family beyond our shores – an understanding that led me to oppose this war in Iraq from the start. It's experience rooted in the real lives of real people, and it's the kind of experience Washington needs right now.

There are others in this race who say that this kind of change sounds good, but that I'm not angry or confrontational enough to get it done.

Well, let me tell you something, Iowa. I don't need any lectures on how to bring about change, because I haven't just talked about it on the campaign trail. I've fought for change all my life.

I walked away from a job on Wall Street to bring job training to the jobless and after school programs to kids on the streets of Chicago.

I turned down the big money law firms to win justice for the powerless as a civil rights lawyer.

I took on the lobbyists in Illinois and brought Democrats and Republicans together to expand health care to 150,000 people and pass the first major campaign finance reform in twenty-five years; and I did the same thing in Washington when we passed the toughest lobbying reform since Watergate. I'm the only candidate in this race who hasn't just talked about taking power away from lobbyists, I've actually done it. So if you want to know what kind of choices we'll make as President, you should take a look at the choices we made when we had the chance to bring about change that wasn't easy or convenient.

That's the kind of change that's more than just rhetoric – that's change you can believe in.

It's change that won't just come from more anger at Washington or turning up the heat on Republicans. There's no shortage of anger and bluster and bitter partisanship out there. We don't need more heat. We need more light. I've learned in my life that you can stand firm in your principles while still reaching out to those who might not always agree with you. And although the Republican operatives in Washington might not be interested in hearing what we have to say, I think Republican and independent voters outside of Washington are. That's the once-in-a-generation opportunity we have in this election.

For the first time in a long time, we have the chance to build a new majority of not just Democrats, but Independents and Republicans who've lost faith in their Washington leaders but want to believe again – who desperately want something new.

We can change the electoral math that's been all about division and make it about addition – about building a coalition for change and progress that stretches through Blue States and Red States. That's how I won some of the reddest, most Republican counties in Illinois. That's why the polls show that I do best against the Republicans running for President – because we're attracting more support from Independents and Republicans than any other candidate. That's how we'll win in November and that's how we'll change this country over the next four years.

In the end, the argument we are having between the candidates in the last seven days is not just about the meaning of change. It's about the meaning of hope. Some of my opponents appear scornful of the word; they think it speaks of naivete, passivity, and wishful thinking.

But that's not what hope is. Hope is not blind optimism. It's not ignoring the enormity of the task before us or the roadblocks that stand in our path. Yes, the lobbyists will fight us. Yes, the Republican attack dogs will go after us in the general election. Yes, the problems of poverty and climate change and failing schools will resist easy repair. I know – I've been on the streets, I've been in the courts. I've watched legislation die because the powerful held sway and good intentions weren't fortified by political will, and I've watched a nation get mislead into war because no one had the judgment or the courage to ask the hard questions before we sent our troops to fight.

But I also know this. I know that hope has been the guiding force behind the most improbable changes this country has ever made. In the face of tyranny, it's what led a band of colonists to rise up against an Empire. In the face of slavery, it's what fueled the resistance of the slave and the abolitionist, and what allowed a President to chart a treacherous course to ensure that the nation would not continue half slave and half free. In the face of war and Depression, it's what led the greatest of generations to free a continent and heal a nation. In the face of oppression, it's what led young men and women to sit at lunch counters and brave fire hoses and march through the streets of Selma and Montgomery for freedom's cause. That's the power of hope – to imagine, and then work for, what had seemed impossible before.

That's the change we seek. And that's the change you can stand for in seven days.

We've already beaten odds that the cynics said couldn't be beaten. When we started ten months ago, they said we couldn't run a different kind of campaign.

They said we couldn't compete without taking money from Washington lobbyists. But you proved them wrong when we raised more small donations from more Americans than any other campaign in history.

They said we couldn't be successful if we didn't have the full support of the establishment in Washington. But you proved them wrong when we built a grassroots movement that could forever change the face of American politics.

They said we wouldn't have a chance in this campaign unless we resorted to the same old negative attacks. But we resisted, even when we were written off, and ran a positive campaign that pointed out real differences and rejected the politics of slash and burn.

And now, in seven days, you have a chance once again to prove the cynics wrong. In seven days, what was improbable has the chance to beat what Washington said was inevitable. And that's why in these last weeks, Washington is fighting back with everything it has -- with attack ads and insults; with distractions and dishonesty; with millions of dollars from outside groups and undisclosed donors to try and block our path.

We've seen this script many times before. But I know that this time can be different.

Because I know that when the American people believe in something, it happens.

If you believe, then we can tell the lobbyists that their days of setting the agenda in Washington are over.

If you believe, then we can stop making promises to America's workers and start delivering – jobs that pay, health care that's affordable, pensions you can count on, and a tax cut for working Americans instead of the companies who send their jobs overseas .

If you believe, we can offer a world-class education to every child, and pay our teachers more, and make college dreams a reality for every American.

If you believe, we can save this planet and end our dependence on foreign oil.

If you believe, we can end this war, close Guantanamo, restore our standing, renew our diplomacy, and once again respect the Constitution of the United States of America .

That's the future within our reach. That's what hope is – that thing inside us that insists, despite all evidence to the contrary, that something better is waiting for us around the corner. But only if we're willing to work for it and fight for it. To shed our fears and our doubts and our cynicism. To glory in the task before us of remaking this country block by block, precinct by precinct, county by county, state by state.

There is a moment in the life of every generation when, if we are to make our mark on history, this spirit must break through

This is the moment.

This is our time.

And if you will stand with me in seven days – if you will stand for change so that our children have the same chance that somebody gave us; if you'll stand to keep the American dream alive for those who still hunger for opportunity and thirst for justice; if you're ready to stop settling for what the cynics tell you you must accept, and finally reach for what you know is possible, then we will win this caucus, we will win this election, we will change the course of history, and the real journey – to heal a nation and repair the world – will have truly begun.

Thank you.


The Movie Quiz

Here I am again with more questions.

If a man younger than 35 has seen "Casablanca" and actually likes it, does that mean he'll go to the new Sex & the City movie with me in the Spring - especially if I gather up the gumption to ask him by then? Now, he's seen "Titanic", but didn't think it was romantic (me neither) and was waiting for the damned boat to capsize. He's not necessarily into musicals, but will see one he thinks might be interesting. Yeah, he's a movie watcher, like me. We haven't talked enough for me to figure out just how much of a movie buff he is, but I had to admit, his having seen Casablanca and liked it made my head turn -- yet again.

That, and absolutely getting my 70s party Black Panther costume that almost no one at the job got. He even raised his fist in the air. Damn, that white boy is good!

I haven't asked him out, but oh, in my head, he's asked me out ten different ways and just to make sure that things go right, I've thought of eleven ways to say yes.

Wish me luck. Like I said, I'm a lousy flirt.

Subtlety Is Not Our Strong Suit

"She didn't look like anyone else in the bar - that's why I approached her."

And with that, I knew the picture he was about to show me was of a woman of color. I guessing she would at least be Asian and possibly, just possibly, she might be black. At that moment, I knew he was telling me that he was open to dating a woman of any race. He didn't need to explain further. I doubt he would have explained his attraction to his girlfriend this way if he were telling a white woman. It's a subtle code; one we cross race daters know and use when we don't know if our company is as open as we are. When we aren't sure, but feeling a bit intimate, we ask straight out - do you date "x"?

I know there are other ways WM let us know that they are open to dating ethnic women. Now, I'm not talking about Japanese, Chinese or Korean women - I mean dark skinned, wide nosed babes. And one of those ways is telling us about the pseudo-ethnic women they have dated (the Japanese, Chinese and Korean ones I was talking about earlier). The hints are good and I actually like when they volunteer the information. That makes my investigation work not as hard.
Then, it's just a matter of picking around the edges - what kind of music does he like? If it's country, forget it; he's probably not ever going to be into you. If he lets on that he likes hip hop or better yet, jazz or world music, then you know that he just might really be into you! Simple small talk should get to the heart of the matter and then you know if you can slip him a knowing look, a blink of an eye or a lick of the lips.
Perhaps magic might ensue. Or maybe just hot sex.
But hey, that can be magic too, right?


A Friend Is Gone

Last night, after a short battle with feline leukemia, my fun loving pet baby, Minka, passed away at the foot of my bed. I have a lot of emotions - none of them too positive about the whole thing, but... I am thankful that she passed away near me rather than alone. I feel privileged to have witnessed her last breath on this earth. While she was only five, she was the light of my feline loving eyes. She will be sorely missed. Yet, I am proud that she touched my life and gave our little family all the love she did.

Bless you Minka. I know you're in the light.


Fione Man of the Month

Michael Vartan

Okay, so the character he plays on TV is so obviously in love with his best friend, who happens to be a beautiful BW. Whatever. MV is hot; always has been. Like him soooo much better with a BW than that Jennifer Gardner (what is it about her? I don't get it...).

He's fluent in French and English. He grew up on two continents. He seems rather intelligent (and you know, DRs, how important that is to me). Yup, a yummy man with a mind. Ah, bliss.

Now, his show, Big Shots, is rumored to be in trouble, so tune in. I've been watching since day one and haven't missed an episode yet. Helps that the storyline of his and Nia Long's characters is the strongest. I've already written ABC to register my support of the show. Heck, why am I always alone with this kind of stuff? Well... I was an early adopter of "Heroes".

Check out the James and Katie storyline in vid form. Forget the sappy music, but I think the chemistry between the two actors is palatable, even without lines.

Flashback Video: Slave to Love

One of my favorite songs of all time... Classic and timeless. Makes me feel like drinking champagne and finding someone to jump.


Ask A Man

As I sit home on a Friday night, I've been wondering if a woman can or should ask a man out or should she wait for him to ask her? I know this question has different answers for different people. But I asked my co-workers today because I'm pondering asking out a guy working temporarily in our building who has caught my eye. I know that he's super shy and was intimidated by me at first, but we've hit a comfortable stride lately. If I'm not mistaken, he's even mildly flirted with me, in front of others no less. But that could be up for interpretation; me, I'm really shy when I get a guy in front of me that I am attracted to. I get tongue tied. I miss innuendo. I am so slow to pick up on hints and I lose my sense of humor. I know that I've lost sooo many opportunities to this.

The funny part is that I'm not shy.

I say my mind. I have opinions. It all gets lost when I'm right there in front of the dreamboat, afraid to show my cards. I know it's fear - fear of rejection; something I am trying to stamp out in my life. I believe that everything in life can be boiled down to two things - LOVE and FEAR. Good things come when things are done in love. Not so good things come when things are done in fear. It is definitely a bad thing when I'm missing out on dating men I'm interested in. If I don't give them the signals so that they know I am open to dinner or a movie or a concert... Yup, you guessed it, there's Ndel writing another post on a Saturday night. We have got to get me a date! So, tell me - should I ask the man out? I'm kinda hoping he asks me, but I'm open to any way this situation works itself out.

Whatever happens, I'll let you know. Hopefully, on a Monday.


Ndel's Favorite Things

Heck, if Oprah can have one, I can too, right?

In no particular order, get ready, get set.... and no, everyone who reads this post will not get one of each of the items!

I think these are just lovely, understated, sophisticated and classy - pearl coin earrings from Iridesse, $150

And who doesn't love Masterpiece Theatre? Only someone who has never seen it. Three of my all-time favorites are: I, Claudius; The Jewel in the Crown & Bleak House, $29-$99

I feel so fantastic and French and cool when I wear Eau Fantasque from Fragonard, $85
As I've freely admitted on a frighteningly regular basis, I am a Burberry addict. I cannot resist the stuff. Nova check? Yes, please. Traditional Check. Of course. Scarf? Always. You get the idea. A cap or hat? Oh my god, yes! This one - $200

When I want to be seductive and sexy, I lather up with Bath & Body Works' Aromatherapy Sensuality line vanilla jasmine scent. The brown sugar scrub is scrumptious and makes your skin silky smooth, $20

I still wear pantyhose; I guess I like self-torture. And I've found that the most durable are Calvin Klein's line of hosiery. I like the zero waistband, buff, size d for me please, $12

This time of year, you can catch something before you can say, "boo!" When that certain sinking feeling is coming on, slip into a very hot bath with Kiss My Face's Cold & Flu. It will make you feel much better - $10
Now that I've got my Nintendo Wii console, I'm in love with the infrared remotes. I so need three more of these things so we can party, party, party - $40

If you've never tried honey liqueur, you must try Barenjager Honig Liqueur. Put it in your hot tea; you'll never think of honey the same way again. At BevMo - $27

I happen to like watches, which is ironic, because recently, I've been a johnny-come-lately to almost everything in my life. This Burberry number caught my eye a couple of months ago - $525

The towels by Thomas O'Brien are luxurious, beautiful and inexpensive. They come in all kinds of yummy colors and are available at Target - $4-$15

Yup, I'm making my list and checking it twice.

Sweet Success!


All I Want for Christmas

I've been bitten. I've been smitten. And I'm considering spending up to $400 to get one.

Yes, it's the Nintendo Wii.

And me, not a gamer! Heck, the closest I come to gaming is playing Brick Breaker on my Blackberry. But, I had the good fortune to have the Thanksgiving feast at my pal Andrea's place and she had the office Wii on loan. We had a ball. We played golf and bowling well into the wee morning hours.

I just have to have one. I'm thinking it'll make Cam's third birthday party for adults a much more child-like experience. Especially on the big screen. Oh yeah. I can see it now. All of us adults running around, hitting golf balls (the one game I actually won). Cam can use it, in like two years. He'll appreciate it, I know he will.

Being the obsessive gal that I am, I got online this morning to research where I can find one of these things that the Amazon reviews say is cheap - $250 retail, well below the other "hardcore" gaming consoles; typically at $300-$600. Well, the joke is on me - a day and more than $200 short to the dance. Apparently, there are no Wiis to be found in any retail outlets this side of the Pacific (netnoise says that there are plenty in Japan where the Xbox and Playstation are kings). So, one must resort to an auction site and on those, the consoles are going for - get this - $425 and above!

I have never paid attention to those news stories about fanboys standing in line to get the latest whatever. I just couldn't understand why the lines were long, the enthusiasm over the top and the fans so rabid. Now I do. I totally understand.

Why did I have this epiphany during the holiday season? A day late and several hundred dollars short. Yet again.

Oh, woe is me.


The Urge to Merge

What is it about plain, mousy, smart women who suck any available man's attention out of the room? Yeah, yeah, yeah. I'm smart, but I'm not mousy. I'm cute, not plain. I know where I have the deficit is the weight thing. Gosh, but plenty of men like voluptuous women, especially if said voluptuous woman is smart and cute, right?

We're all used to the stunning beauty who sucks all the manttention out of the room; we hang around hoping that said men will notice she's vapid and vain and can't tell the difference between the Sunnis and Shites. (I'll leave out the gorgeous and smart gal pal that you're always happy to see meet a great guy - but then again, she's rarely single precisely because men snap her up immediately - she spends little time on the open market - better yet for your odds.) But I am continually perplexed by the chick who manages to monopolize any single man's attention within striking distance. I've known - actually worked with two women like this. I simply don't get it. I was always disarmed by their ability to zero in on and then hold a man's attention. It's not that I am jealous - exactly.

No, I'm not jealous; I'm confused. I can't be jealous because the spell never seems to last - a week or two at most, but still, why are these men attracted in the first place? Why do they gravitate to these women to the exclusion of other, shall we say, more interesting and attractive women in the room?

Like yours truly?

I'm not tooting my own horn - okay, yes I am.

I won't say these women, including my acquaintances are not good women. They are. At least, I think they can be, if they lose what I sense is desperation seeping from their pores. If I can see it, feel it and taste it, why can't men? Are men attracted to desperation? I thought that's the one thing that men run from. Is it a matter of being drawn to the fire only to recoil once touched? Is it the protector instinct coming out? Or is it being drawn to the wounded bird? Now, I can't really say that the men that are catches or anything - maybe they're the ones who are wounded and desperate, but heck, I can't know everything...

Can I?

I want to merge. I have the urge. But desperation just isn't my bag.


Fione Man of the Month

Okay, so I've switched from "Fione Man of the Week" to "Fione Man of the Month". Mostly, I've changed so that I don't go through the entire White House Press Corps by the election. As you see from my choice, I'm partial to smart, articulate, informed men. Yet another political choice. Gosh, I'm predictable.

Richard Wolffe

Wolffe is the senior White House Correspondent for Newsletter. Before Newsweek, he was deputy bureau chief and U.S. diplomatic correspondent in Washington D.C. for the Financial Times. His earlier work included coverage of the Microsoft antitrust trial and the Clinton administration’s plans to break up the company. Wolffe is the author of The Victim’s Fortune, which reveals the behind-the-scenes deals that led to billions of dollars in compensation to the Nazis’ victims in the late 1990s and as co-author of a Spanish cookbook, Tapas: A Taste of Spain in America, published in 2005. He has also written for food magazines such as Food Arts and Food and Wine. Wolffe is an MSNBC political analyst, and appears frequently on Countdown with Keith Olbermann. He has previously appeared regularly on CNN and Fox News, as well as international media including the BBC and CBC. Born in Birmingham, England, Wolffe graduated from Oxford University with first-class honors (summa cum laude) in English and French in 1992. He and his wife live in Washington, D.C.

I also have the very unfortunate habit of having crushes on married men. Oy vey!


Stores That Aren't Here Anymore

Remember Zody's? I used to love that store. It was full of brightly colored clothing that we could actually afford. In Pasadena, where we lived, the local Zody's was above a Ralph's on Villa. We used to go grocery shopping and then head upstairs for a quick look-see.

We always ended up buying something.

As I trolled the aisles of Target on Sunday, I wondered if Zody's just went away or was it the precursor to Target? What happened to those really cool neon bikinis they used to sell (and I used to fit in)? Heck, what happened to Akron and all that really cool macrame and rattan, that I'm sure Huey Newton was familiar with. And what of Gemco and Fedco, Montgomery Ward's? And from when I got older and could afford a more few dollars - I.Magnin, Bullocks, The Broadway, Robinson's, Joseph Magnin's and The May Company. Heck, I want to give a shout out to Builder's Emporium! For all us young, single gals, Judy's was the place. Then, there was Casual Corner, not really ever my taste, but oh well, you get the point. All of these places are gone, as I'm sure many of the establishments patronized by the young folk of today will go the way of the telegraph. Stores, just like cellphones, become obsolete. We mourn their passing for nary a millisecond and we're off to the next big thing. Me? I can't fit in that H&M stuff and Lane Bryant isn't really doing it for me, but hey, I might be able to find something at Bloomingdale's, a name I've heard since childhood but only arrived in SoCal in the mid 90s.

Some go away and some stay around. As long as Wal Mart isn't the last one standing, I'm okay.


Crushed for Lunch

I'll be forty next year. I don't think about it much, except that I'll be a round number (as I get rounder) and that I vaguely feel like I should "do" something. What I'll do is anybody's guess, but I find it quite funny that as I enter the middle part of my life, a ghost - no, a longing, from the past is very much probably going to be a part, a very small part, of my future.

Remember your first real teenage crush? You know, the one you really liked, you hoped liked you back, but you couldn't speak directly to, so you had all kinds of intermediaries taking your messages to? Remember those notes in class? Or how about waiting breathlessly for nutrition or lunch to discuss with your friends the complicated head nods in the hallway, body language and bouts of silence? These things needed to be dissected. No wonder these types of complicated teenage mating rituals almost always end badly.

Brady was my 9th grade crush. He was the one that got away. Although we had P.E. together and spoke, even occasionally walking part way home together (he home, I to the bus stop), we never quite talked directly about the undercurrent of tension that characterized that fall of 1982. We were one of those could have been couples. We could have been a couple if he weren't in the wildly popular established clique and I new to the school. Or, that he was obviously better off than I. Or maybe even, and the most likely, maybe black girls and white boys had a harder time of if than black boys and white girls. Go figure that one out.

Brady and I never "went around" and eventually I got over him. It was bittersweet to see him write in my yearbook, "...too bad things between us didn't work out..." It was the first indication from him at all that we might have had a chance.

And then, life went on.

The next year, I went to Israel for high school. As it so happens, my mother did not save my place, although she meant to, at the high school where Brady went, so I ended up in a succession of schools that never made up for the fact that my future should have been at the school with Brady. I don't think I've forgiven my mother for this. I probably never will. I know in my bones if Brady and I had gone to the same high school, we would have gone out and my life would be drastically different. If only she had remembered to return the paperwork. If only she thought it was important enough to resolve before I returned.

My lifelong friends would be different (although, my BF Amber is from this period and that would not change - a testament to why she is my BF); I would have gone to college; I would probably be married with more than one child now. Yes, I know in my bones that I would be the same person in a different place. I think there are just a few key missteps in our lives that we can look back on and say, "my life would be totally different if it had just happened this way..." And I not going to the same high school with my junior high compatriots is it for me.

Last year was the 20 year reunion. I went as BF's date, as we had agreed years ago; it was imperative that I see Brady - that we see each other. We missed the 10 year; we were not going to miss the 20. I figured he was married - how could he not be? But that wasn't the point. I had to stand next to him; to confirm that yes, we there actually was this spark of something great that didn't get the chance to grow to a full fire. Did he remember as much as I did? Would there be fondness in his eyes? Would there be that patience in his voice? What kind of man is he now? I had to confirm that he turned out to be the stand up guy that I pegged him to be back in day. I had to know if the one person I continued to pine for all these years was indeed worth it.

And, I'm happy to report that yes, he is all that I thought he would be. He is a family man with two lovely children and a gorgeous and gracious wife. He is successful with his MBA from USC. He's still dry and a bit stoic, but his humor comes out at regular intervals. And how do I know this, you ask? Well, funny enough, not from the reunion. He and I only chatted for a little while. I actually talked to his wife more. I was ecstatic to know that he married a good one; that he was a good provider and a good husband. It was some comforting kind of reassurance to me. I didn't go there hoping he'd throw over his wife for me. No, I needed to see him for me. I needed to know that I didn't have totally lousy taste in men.

I followed up with a handwritten note and my card again (we exchanged at the reunion itself), as I did for all the people I talked with at length. No one followed up with me. And that was okay. I do that for most functions I attend. I send a note with my card. That was it. I had his card; he had mine.

And it so happens that a few months later, I had the opportunity to pass some business along to him. I called him first and asked him if I could give his number to a vendor that might be able to throw him some business. We played phone tag for a day or two and then finally spoke. It was short and sweet and to the point. I asked him to send his wife my regards. We hung up.

Fast forward six months. I walked into an industry function, expecting to see the usual suspects, when, low and behold, there he stood. Can you imagine my shock? I was floored. I blurted out, "what the heck are you doing here?" I thought perhaps my lead had brought him to the function, but no. He had changed industries completely. He had just started, that week, working for a friend from his college days; a guy that I've known professionally for a few years. His entree into my field was completely separate and most likely, inevitable. I would have seen him even if I had not attended the reunion.


I pinched myself. Maybe there was something to this remembering him with such fondness. Maybe there was destiny in our shared karma or maybe it's dharma; I can never remember the difference between the two.

We tried for a while to get together for lunch; scheduling and rescheduling. Finally, our calendars aligned and we had lunch last week. It was a long lunch, talking business, the past and the present. We laughed. He remembered more than I would have ever dreamed he would. He remembered that I went out with Glenn for a minute that he swears seemed longer. Heck, even I forgot Glenn - one of those convenient bouts of forgetfulness. Glenn did not hold a candle to what I felt for Brady.

But some things never change. I talked around how much I really liked - loved him in those days. I couldn't even voice it now. What good would that do? No, I talked around it, just like I did then. At the reunion, I figured his wife knew; she sensed that I was the one who really cared.

I don't know if my dreams of the past live in him today, but I know I like him; he's a good man. I'd like him if I met him for the first time today. But maybe that's the gift of yesterday; it can give you a new tomorrow. I'm glad that this road has circled back. I'm glad to know both he and his wife. Somehow, a connection from the first part of my life is a signal that the middle part of my life is on track. I am content.

1982 was a stellar year. I'm thinking 2008 might be the same.


Ready or Not

As I was driving home yesterday, listening to All Things Considered on NPR, like all good wishy washy liberals, I heard a piece on the 2008 presidential race (what else?) and Clinton’s poor showing in last week’s debate. Now, I didn’t see that particular debate – there have been too damn many of them – but I have seen the gotcha moment and the other candidates, namely Obama and Edwards, capitalizing off her rare mistake. The reporter asked if a voter was going to give Obama a second look now. The guy said no; he didn’t think the US is actually ready to elect a black man president.

The would-be voter guy was black.

How do I know you ask? I just do. Besides, reporters never ask white people if the U.S. is ready for a black president; and if they do, it’s not a straight out question. It’s more like, “would you vote for a black man for president?” And what are they going to say – no way, hell will freeze over first? No, that wouldn’t do. Reporters feel free to ask black people if we think white people will vote for Obama; it’s so much “nicer”. You don’t know what you think – we do.

And, apparently, we don’t think you’re ready. We think you’re still too racist, too close minded and too fearful. And because you aren’t ready, dear white folk, we aren’t either. You won’t vote for him, so why should we? I don’t get the logic and I don’t get the point.

I support Obama because he is realistic in this complicated world guided by euphemisms and “interests”. He is inspirational. He is smart. And –this is a big one for me - he’s not a Clinton, a Bush nor a Gore. We’ve been there people – and let me remind you, the scenery wasn’t as pretty as you remember it. If Clinton wins the presidency, that will be almost thirty years of either a Bush or a Clinton in the White House. Have we turned into an aristocracy? Well, almost, but that’s another post for when I have way more time. Nope, I’m all for turning the page of history. I would like to see hope in the eyes of my fellow citizens again. I want us to be proud because we are the best and we are doing the best we can. We are not doing that now. We are a fearful, belligerent bunch of sheep, allowing the veiled powers to lead us where they may.

I say no more. This is our Kennedy moment; we can embrace love and fearlessness or we can retreat further into partisan sniping and fighting. We can do better; we can be better. We are the citizens of the United States of America. This is do or die - believe and follow through or slowly succumb to an empire’s inevitable descent into decay and disorder. I don’t know if the U.S. is ready to elect a black man president; I just know that I am when I believe he is the best man to take us into a braver new world; leaving behind 1984. And with that belief, I will go into the voting booth on whatever date is decided, and punch the name of the person that I want to vote for without thought if someone else cannot vote for him because of the color of his skin.

Are YOU ready?


Oh, Let Me Go

This is one of my all-time favorites from the vintage year of 1983 by Heaven 17. It can get me out on the dance floor in seconds - casts or no casts! Pick up the full album, Lap of Luxury by this socialist 80s icon!



What's A Girl To Do?

I have a dilemma. The other day, during my daily LA Times reading, I came across an article on this guy, Kevin Madden, campaign spokesperson for one Mitt Romney. Yes, that Mitt Romney; the one running for president; the Mormon who won't explain what exactly a Mormon believes. Yup, Mr. Madden works for that Mitt Romney.

But, gawd is Madden a babe!

So, I did what every single gal does when she sees a handsome man and actually knows his first and last name - I Googled him. He was still cute, but thanks for the marvels of technology, I also discovered some not so enticing tidbits about the man. Not only does he shill these days for Romney, but he essentially held the same position for Rep. John Boehner (yeah right, it's pronounced "bainer") and former Rep. Tom De Lay. Normally, a man that cute, that accomplished, that articulate is a shoe-in for Fione Man of the Week, if he was left leaning. I will be the first to admit that generally just being a republican is a deal breaker in my book, but here I was still salivating over the man. Visions of a Mary Matlin/James Carville type hook up danced in my head.

What if I met a guy in real life who holds radically different world views than I? Would we be able to overlook the chasm that would be our political philosophies and relate to each other as human beings? Since I call myself liberal, I like to think that I am open minded and would be able to be attracted to right leaning men, but, I wonder if I really can be.

It's no secret that we are very polarized in today's society. I don't see this changing in the near future. But we must get along to thrive and how is that going to happen if we shout instead of discuss? Are political differences a window into how we live our lives a good indicator for what kind of partner we should seek out? Are we self segregating ourselves based on political leanings? Have we become so intolerant that we can't stand the idea of those close to us having different views? Oh, all of these questions swirled in my head.

Did I mention that he's so very cute?

However, I couldn't possibly spend precious fantasy time on someone who worked for Tom De Lay! Nope, I've got to get a hold of myself. There's no way this guy, or one like him could ever be a good partner for me. He's too heartless; too prejudiced; too callous; too right wing.

After all, it is a question of character.


Some Days Are Different

I have been down lately - literally. Last month, I fell and badly sprained both of my ankles. Don't ask me how that happened, but it did. Right on the heels (or ankle) of July when I sprained the right one. Amazing. The paperwork, the re-arranging schedules, the working from home, it's all been less than fun. I thought that with being homebound and bedbound, I would have plenty of time to write on all sorts of subjects: politics, celibratards, the new television season. But no, all creativity left me. I had nothing to say. The best I did was keep up on my blog reading. Oh, and television watching. I'm up to date on most of the shows. Whoopie! I know the storylines for Cane, Dirty Sexy Money, The Bionic Woman and Life. But I think the show I like the most of Pushing Daisies. It's whimsical, it's funny and it's pretty. Something to take away the sting of wearing two air casts and writing checks to various doctors. The world is still the same place, but hopefully, today is different. Today is the day I reclaim my creativity and my


Foine Man of the Week

James Purefoy

Oh, Rome, Rome, Rome... One of the best reasons to check out the now cancelled series was the gorgeous and sexy James, who played Anthony. Oh, what a hot man and willing to do full frontal nudity, that I would have posted if I could have found it! Hopefully, he'll be on the small or the big screen soon. Here's hoping!

Look for him; I know I will.


Flashback Video: Wherever I Lay My Hat....

This song didn't catch you in the States like it did overseas; I don't know why, it's an excellent cover by a man we should have heard from more, Paul Young.


It's All About Me Me Me Me....

I've been tagged yet again (like I'm oh, so popular...) by Lovebabz. These days, I do follow a few more blogs, but as I said before, most have been tagged already and I am wary of double tagging them. So, I'll come up with seven facts and a few blogs I follow to make up for copping out twice on the whole spreading link thing. You know, it's like getting the same chain email several times over a period of time... But, I love my gurl, so...

1. My childhood canine companion, Zenda, was a direct descendant of the original Rin Tin Tin. She was an awesome dog that my mom gave away for really dumb reasons. My brother and I still bemoan the fact that she did this; although we didn't find out 'til about ten years ago. For years, she told us that Zenda ran away.

2. I was born in the old Cedars of Lebanon hospital. The building is now the world headquarters for the "Church" of Scientology.

3. My favorite statue in the whole wide world is The Pieta by Michelangelo housed in The Vatican. I literally have gone into a beautiful contemplative trance on the two times I have laid eyes on it.
4. I have pieces of the Berlin Wall that I took during a visit with ex-husband to visit his former Luftwaffe grandfather, right after it fell. We walked right up and took it out with our hands and a small hammer. I still remember driving through the desolate countryside of the former DDR. I still have the passport with the pass stamp. It's like having concrete reminders of repression and sorrow right in my closet.

5. For a time, after I spent a year in Israel, I contemplated converting to Judaism. I find the religion smart and satisfying. But, I did not think I could keep the laws or even kosher. I respect the faith so much that I did not feel it would correct to take it on and not be observant. However, I still think Jerusalem is the most beautiful city in the world.

6. I am an absolute fiend of all items Burberry. I think it's classic and modern all at the same time. I own scads of it and see no end of to this addiction.

7. My penchant for dark red lipstick stems directly from seeing Faye Dunaway in the classic movie Chinatown. In my six year old eyes, she was the most beautiful creature and to this day, I adore side parted bobs and old-fashioned riding pants, although my wide hips do not make this look a winner for me.

I'm not going offically tagging these blogs to MeMe (unless they want to, of course).

C-1's site that celebrates BW and the WM who love them. He rarely gives any information on himself and I think his readers would love to know more about the man.

My best friend, Noel's Site. He's a writer and performance artist. I figure he's already been tagged, but it was probably a long time ago. Enlighten us some more man!

Mike Doc's Site on all things entertainment. Mike is one of those people who has such eclectic tastes and interests, that there is always something or someone you've never heard of highlighted on his blog.

Spread the word ya'll! Everyone loves new visitors to their blog and they love even more those who comment!

Fione Man of the Week

Jay Carney
Since I make a habit of watching the Sunday morning gabfests, I see Jay Carney often; sometimes with his lovely wife and fellow journalist, Claire Shipman, and sometimes alone (guess which times I like better). He is Time's Washington bureau chief. has been writing about politics for Time since '93. He's written extensively about the Bush presidency and was one of a handful of journalists who were on Air Force One with the president on 9/11. He has unprecedented access to Vice President Cheney and most other senior advisors. Carney later won the 2003 Gerald R. Ford Prize for Distinguished Reporting on the Presidency. He has covered both the Clinton and Bush 43 White Houses, as well as Congress. Before coming to Washington, he spent three years reporting from Time's Moscow bureau, covering the collapse of the Soviet Union. Prior to that he was Time’s Miami bureau chief. He has also served as a special correspondent for CNN and makes frequent appearances as a political analyst on a variety of television programs. A native Virginian, he earned a B.A. in Russian and Eastern European Studies from Yale University in 1987. In his next life, he would like to write for Sports Illustrated.

There's nothing more intoxicating than an intelligent, handsome man.

Write on Jay!


Fione Man of the Week

Dante Zappala
I first saw him on a segment of Hardball, a show I record every day. He was discussing Petraeus' appearance before the Congress. Zappala lost his brother, Sergeant Sherwood Baker, during the Iraq war. He's now a member of Gold Star Families Speak Out. Recently, he wrote a letter to George W. Bush.

My brother, Sherwood Baker, died in Iraq last week. I tried to call you and I tried to write to you, but you never responded. I'm writing to you again because I believe had you known him, you would have liked him...

And maybe if you knew him, if you knew the other soldiers, you'd have thought differently about sending them.

Sherwood was a foster kid, and he came to our family before I was born. He had limited contact with his biological family. Our parents never let him go. They received him, raised him, and he was their child. He was their son and my brother.

In so many ways, Sherwood represented the country he loved.
He was dealt a tough hand and turned it into opportunity. Always struggling between optimism and reality, he seemed to be on a life-long quest to codify a family.

When he became a father at 21, he embraced the role with enviable
enthusiasm. He joined the Army National Guard in Wilkes-Barre. He wanted to help his community,wanted to support his wife and his son, and wanted to pay off his college loans. He discovered brotherhood in the Army as well.

Now he was part of one more family. He found it whenever he sat and talked.

I can certainly find things about him that you would appreciate. I know you're familiar with fabrications. You remember the things you said about the weapons and the terrorist ties ?

Well, he wasn't as good as you, but listen to him: He told us he would be OK, he'd return safe, we'd see him soon. And check this out - he was a "C" student, too. When he was called up, I told him that if he wanted to get out of guard duty, he, too, could apply to Harvard Business School.

Sherwood just laughed. You made him laugh. Yet, he still went to fight in your war. He never wavered, never cried, never expressed a desire to somehow get out of this mess. He went. Because he knew responsibility. He knew it as well as he knew how irresponsible you had been for sending him. He had honor, and he had pride.

Sherwood had commitment - to his country, to his job and to his unit. Maybe not so much to his commander-in-chief, quite honestly, but that's probably because he didn't know you. Because you didn't sit down with him.

You just sent him a letter and a plane ticket to Baghdad.

I heard that you have yet to attended the funeral of a fallen soldier. I, too, had never been to a soldier's funeral before Tuesday. I fully understand why you're ducking it. It's tough.

I heard Sherwood lived two hours after he was struck in an explosion. Long enough, I hope, to make his peace with everybody he called family. But I can't say for sure if he made peace with you.

He didn't know you.

Sherwood is in a grave now and there's a folded flag in his wife's arms. He's at rest, but he'd be happy to listen to what you have to say. Even now, you can still help him to make peace. You said we need to finish the work of the fallen. You may be surprised to know that the real work he started was not in Iraq. Sherwood's work is here. Mr. President, I want you to look into the eyes of his nine-year-old son and see his unfinished work. Feel free to get back to me. We ought to talk. You won't have a problem finding me. I stick out in a crowd these days. I'm the proud little brother of Sergeant Sherwood Baker.

With hope,
Dante Zappala


What's Wrong With America?

This picture encapsulates the love/hate the US has with women and our bodies. So-called "real women" are celebrated, but in the same breath, we're reminded, "as long as they're thin." Nowhere is this more apparent than in the latest issue of Glamour magazine (yes, that Glamour magazine, the same that suggested BW should perm their hair for the office, setting off a virtual war in the black community).

The lovely, talented America Ferrera (you have seen "Real Women Have Curves", haven't you?) is done so wrong by Glamour. They have obviously photoshopped her face onto someone else's skinnier body. Was there any reason for this? Yeah, the name of the magazine is Glamour. But who better to showcase glamour than the heroine of Ugly Betty, the conscience of a fictional, heartless fashion magazine? Where's the outcry? The outrage? The disgust? Who made this boneheaded decision? And who does their shitty photoshopping? Cam could do a better job than this on his Leapfrog.

Just to show you how wrong Glamour is, here's a shot of America in all her glory.

Now, you tell me. What is wrong with America?

Death & the Alien Have Some Fun

Due to popular demand, the fabulous Pearson Bros have given us some outtakes from Death & the Alien...

Thank you boys!


Fione Man of the Week

Christian Bale
He's Batman, he's the machinist, he's an American Psycho. Since he burst onto the scene in the 80's in Steven Spielberg's Empire of the Sun, Bale has continually strives to perfect his craft. Mostly famously, he lost enough weight to appear a walking skeleton in The Machinist. It's quite the performance. If you haven't seen it, rent it or add it to your NetFlix queue.

Viva Le Christian!


Divorced From Reality

Lately the issue of divorce and how it affects looking for love has been on my mind. I was divorced over fifteen years ago, when I was barely 24. I married and divorced young. Now, I see I am reaching the age when I am meeting divorced contemporaries; they are going through now what I went through long ago. As someone recently said, "I am at a point in my life where I am struggling a bit with my personal life; I am shy/reluctant/afraid of making a second marriage mistake yet in need of companionship."

I understand what he is talking about – emotionally and practically. When I divorced, it took quite a while to get my mind together. The disintegration of my marriage was a devastating blow. He left me for another woman, something that can damage your psyche, your ego and your mind. I was slow to accept the reality of the split, mostly because my ex made a habit of pitting me and Chris (her name) against each other when he was in some way unhappy with the other. It took a long time for me to accept that my marriage was over and that I was again on the search for my soul mate. The first two years was dating hell. Then again, maybe it was better than I remember – I was younger, thinner and freer. But something wasn't right. Finally, about three years after the divorce, Andy (my ex) called me out of the blue. We hadn't spoken in years. But I had been thinking of him. Somehow, I had come to accept his leaving me for Chris as brave. I admired him; he broke his marriage to be with the woman he loved. That was a daring thing to do. How many times in our lives do we do what we want, what speaks to our heart against societal norms? Almost never. And I was ready to tell him this. But he beat me to the punch. He told me that I was a good wife and that his decision to leave was not as easy as I thought. We both broke down and cried and that was before I said my peace. That we forgave each other, I think, really freed our souls to move on. We'd never have to meet again. We'd gotten our informal "Get", a Jewish spiritual divorce.

And yet, after all these years, I am still single. I can't say that I've been in a serious relationship since. Nothing was more than a year and I can't decide if that was just my poor choices, fear of making a mistake or just the fact that I did not meet soul mate material. I have found that it is very difficult to reconcile your own emotional, physical and mental needs with what other people are looking for. And yes, one still needs companionship and intimacy. It's enough to put intimacy off; it's much easier to avoid the temptations altogether, isn't it? Dating yeah, but what happens when you meet someone you have a strong physical attraction to them? You don't want to move too quickly, but the chemistry is taking you there. What to do? You haven't been in the game for a long stretch and you're used to regular sex. Your ego is bruised and here is someone who finds you attractive, hey downright sexy. This person is telling you the things your ex repudiated. How long does it take to process a lost love? How long until you know your heart, your mind and your sex drive? If you carry forward, be warned, the body will may yes, but the actual going will be strange. Many things will go through your mind; you remember that you promised yourself to another, a person whose body you know well. You start to wonder what this new person expects of you. You start to wonder what you can give. Do you love this person? Do you have to? And the next morning, you will find this strange person next to you with a different scent, breathing that is foreign and habits that you cannot anticipate. It can throw you for a loop, that's for sure. And then what do you do? Is it the person's fault? Is it yours? Did you make a mistake? It all goes through your mind and you still want to talk, to connect, to be. It can be overwhelming and frustrating. It's a wonder that anyone dates successfully after a divorce.

So, what do we do? Well, I think we try to listen to our inner voice. And I guess we choose our dates carefully – like the person enough to want to spend significant time with them before we knock boots. There are so many ways to go, so many books you can read, friends you can ask. But, in the end, it's you; you and your heart. That's it. We come into this world alone and so shall we leave it. In the meantime, we hope we can find at least one person to stir the oatmeal with.

Or two.

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