Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year 2006!/Gott Nytt År! (in Swedish)

Saying “Happy New Year!” Around the World

Don't forget to watch the 2006 Mummer Parade!

The Mummer's Parade takes place each year on New Year's Day in Philadelphia. It is rooted in tradition from the early 1800's. This new year the parade will march down Market St, heading west and around City Hall counter-clockwise to the judges stand. It runs all day from, 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM.

The origins of the Mummers Parade can date all the way back to the 1700s and even before. This tradition relates back the Swedish who settled outside of Philadelphia, along the roads of Tinicum and Kingsessing. They brought their tradition of "Second Day Christmas" where they would visit their friends. Eventually this tradition extended to the New Year. Marking the occasion were the loud noises that filled the air. Using their pistols and muskets, bells and other noise makers the Philadelphia locals paraded down the streets. The firing of the guns to welcome in the New Year became associated with the Now Year's Shooters. This is how the tradition evolved.

Read the rest of the History of the Parade.

"Bach on Broad St." Uptown String Band

*Oh and don't forget the cocktails...

Friday, December 30, 2005

Meme of 4s

I was tagged by Melissa

Four jobs you’ve had in your life: I was a phone girl/pizza maker/assistant manager at 16, a paper shuffler for Prudential at 19, a geriatric nurse in my twenties, a medical transcriptionist for a rheumatologist’s office (working for my mom) recently. Currently, I’m a wannabe writer.

Four movies you could watch over and over: I usually don’t like to watch films more than once. However four of my many favorites are Before Sunrise, The Outsiders, The Muppet Movie and Quills.

Four places you’ve lived: I’ve lived in Abington Pennsylvania my entire life, except for about four years, which I spent living an hour away in the country-like-snore northeastern corner of the same county (Montgomery).

Four TV shows you love to watch: I don’t watch TV regularly. I liked Sex and the City, The Sopranos and Desperate Housewives all of which I rented on DVD after the seasons were over. I kind of like watching The View in the morning, but I rarely turn it on as I’m usually at the gym.

Four places you’ve been on vacation: I’ve done very little traveling, which is somewhat embarrassing. I’d like to start traveling more now that my kids are a little older. I was a young mother, so I had no time to explore the world. I have visited the Vermont ski areas and lakes, most of the southern New Jersey shore points (most time spent in Sea Isle and Avalon), Baltimore and Maryland.

Four websites you visit daily: Lately, I don’t visit any sites on a daily basis. I am a regular reader of Leftbanker and The Journal of Doubt and several other blogs. I like to check out during baseball season. I shop at and many other clothing, shoe and accessory retailers. I love and for cute gym tees.

Four of your favorite foods: I love junk food! I eat something like this about once a week…a cheeseburger patty melt w/swiss on rye and fries, eggs over medium with hash browns w/ onions and bacon and buttermilk pancakes, lobster tail/shrimp/lump crabmeat/scallops in garlic and butter sauce with a baked potato w/sour cream and butter and a garden salad w/creamy Italian or ranch dressing, and tacos or any Mexican food w/ hot sauce.

Four places you’d rather be: I’d love to by anyplace with a warm, sandy beach and lots of sunny blue sky. I’d also like to visit Sweden, France and Holland.

I’m not in the mood to tag anyone today, but if any of my blog buddies feel like playing along, go for it! Please leave me a note on my tagboard, so I can come and read your answers.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Woman Power

Lately, I have been working out at the gym at least five days per week for up to two hours. I spend at least an hour on the cardio machines and then follow up with resistance training or swimming (Thanks for the cool goggles T-Blue. I love them!) I also started kickboxing with a personal trainer on Tuesday morning. He assessed me during our first session and I was pleasantly surprised to learn that I was at an advanced level for my age group (early 30's) as far as fitness and flexibility. My goal is get longer and leaner by June for swimsuit season and for my sister’s wedding next autumn. My husband also tells me that he wants a divorce every time that he gets angry, so I am preparing for single womanhood.

I include kegel exercises in my daily work out routine. I save them for when I get home from the gym. I usually work on them while I’m typing posts like this one on my laptop. Sometimes repeatedly squeezing my pelvic muscles makes my panties wet and then I have to “rub one out” as a friend of mine so eloquently describes masturbation. Orgasms also help strengthen pelvic muscles, but aren't as effective as kegels. I like that this work out can be pleasurable if you treat yourself to a happy ending. It makes the work out more enticing -- and the finale is a crescendo of beautiful muscle spasms which release tension and lust!

Most women neglect their pelvic muscles because they simply don’t think about them. I recommend that all women do kegels regardless of whether they have given birth or have had an active sex life with a man who has a larger than average sexual appendage.

Regular kegel exercises will help prevent urinary incontinence that many women experience after multiple childbirths or after reaching an advanced age. They will also improve your sex life. You will be able to achieve more intense orgasms, as well as provide more pleasure to your lover with increased internal strength.

Here are a sexologist’s instructions on kegel exercises and the reasons for making them a part of your daily routine.

This was a comment I found while reading several sites concerning kegels. It is not worded very well (I fixed the grammar a little), but I liked the idea…

Women who have entered their 30s are the ones who know how to have sex RIGHT! Most women in their late teens and early twenties don't know the first thing about sex. They pretty much know that they're supposed to spread their legs and let a guy put his thing inside their hole. But do they know how to squeeze their internal muscles so that you feel like you're oozing in and out of a slick, tight, pulsating VISE? Do they know how to rapidly oscillate their hips so that they match or surpass the motions of your own hand when you masturbate? Usually, the answer is NO. These are things experienced women know.


An explicit passage which illustrates a powerful reason for working on core strength…

With a single smooth lunge, she settled herself down on her lover’s perfect package. Her tight vaginal walls clutched and massaged his swollen manhood, and when she consciously applied pressure he groaned. His mouth closed over one erect nipple and he tongued it hungrily, making her moan and groan. They began moving together slowly, liquidly, staring deeply into each other's eyes as they f***ed. She had the ability to tighten her p**** muscles to an almost unbearable level, and keep them that way for as long as she wanted. She loved watching her lover trying to concentrate, trying not to loose control as her slick; impossibly tight c*** took him for the ride of his life. She knew she was an incredible sex partner—which made her feel the essence and true power of her womanhood.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

How To Make Her Drunk With Lust and Admiration (or Make Her Sick)

* This post was listed by Philadelphia Weekly under the headline
Blogicized: Don't punch your date in the face.

Ten Things Men Should Say or Do (while trying to establish a sexy relationship)…

1) Whenever you see her give her a warm hug and press your lips gently against hers and tell her that she looks beautiful. Gaze at her with lust in your eyes. The more a man shows his desire, the more hers grows for him.

2) Spend at least fifteen minutes per day trying to get to know her better and be just as willing to share yourself with her. Developing a trusting, warm friendship is the best way to create intimacy that will likely develop into something steamy. Most women love sharing intimacy with someone whom they consider a friend.

3) Open car doors and offer her your arm while walking--and make her feel safe. Good manners are chivalrous and very charming.

4) Give her a flirtatious nickname and say it like you mean it. Adoring nicknames create closeness and make her feel like your treasured pet.

5) Be reliable. Be sincere. Be yourself. If you tell her lies or embellish your occupation or wealth, she will find out eventually and dump you. Honesty shows that you have integrity, which is more important than a fat wallet.

6) Have good hygiene and smell clean all over. (Haircut, shower, shave, clip, trim and brush.) If you look and smell delicious, she will want to taste you.

7) Call her and tell her that you can’t wait to see her again or that you miss her. This makes her feel important, which creates excitement.

8) Make her laugh and touch her affectionately. If you make her giggle and possessively caress her curves, she will probably develop a crush on you.

9) Tell her that she is hot and that you want to lick her all over. This creates intensity. Intensity creates a heady buzz sweeter than champagne’s shimmering bubbles and fresh fruity taste.

10) Tell her and express that you love her often and in various ways. Flowers, cards, holding hands, romantic walks, candle light dinners, sensual massages…

If you establish a great romance it will create a healthy, glowing lust that will enrapture your entire body.

Ten Things Men Shouldn’t Say or Do…

First of all, don’t get involved with her if she is not your type or if you don’t think you would or could fall in love with her. It demeans both of you and makes you a user. Nobody wants to be Miss Right Now. They want to be Miss Right or they want you to LEAVE THEM ALONE!

1) Don’t ever say, “Let’s keep it on the down low.” That statement implies that she is not hot enough for you to claim her as your woman or that you’d like to continue shopping.

2) Don’t tell her, “I’m not into PDAs.” (Public displays of affection.) Most women love to hold hands and share kisses and hugs. This remark would make you appear stuffy and boring or implies the same as above. Effusive affection is a clue that you are a giver in bed.

3) Never mention the term “fuck buddy”. Most women prefer romance and hope to be girlfriend material.

4) Don’t let her see you scamming on (talking with) other attractive, young women. It shows her that you are trying in every direction and that she is not good enough or that you enjoy making her jealous. It also tells her to drop it and find someone else who’s hot.

5) Don’t spend more time talking to another cute woman while you’re on your first date. Duh!

6) Don’t push her head into your lap and expect her to suck your throbbing hard-on before you even kiss her. It’s obviously impatient and lacks romance. Romance is IMPORTANT!

7) Don’t spend brief moments talking to her in person or on the phone and make excuses about why you have to move away or hang up during most of your encounters. It tells her that she’s not important or that you’d like to skip talking and just get to fucking. Women love men who are willing to listen. It creates a warm bond that makes her want to snuggle up next to you and do sensational things to your body.

8) Don’t tell her that she is ONE of the hot women whose sweat you’d like to lick off, which implies that you want to lick every fertile, attractive female you see. Women like to believe that you are selective and that she is special.

9) Don’t try to convince her to have sex with you after you have only had one date. It shows that you aren’t really interested in developing something meaningful both mentally and physically.

10) Don’t ever leave without saying goodbye in an affectionate way. Showing caring respect is provocative.

Focus on finding someone who is right for you. Sex is much sweeter if you share it with someone whom you admire in many ways. Dynamic relationships are like champagne. They are a celebration of elegance and dreams created by nature’s juiciest offerings. Treat her like a vintage doux and she will savor your flavor for as long as possible.


If you find someone whom you’d like to kiss under the mistletoe, share a flute of bubbly and then take her out for a drive to view sparkling Christmas decorations and lights. I’m sure she will give you a gift that is much yummier than the chocolate you will find in your Christmas stocking.

*Add your ideas by commenting below....

Monday, December 19, 2005

Christmas Blog Things

Your Elf Name Is...

Candy Mc Flurry

You Are Vixen

Sexy and sultry, you're the one all the other reindeer dream about.

Why You're Naughty: That fur pulling spat you got into with Dancer over Santa.

Why You're Nice: Because even when you're nice, you're still delightfully naughty!

You Are a White Christmas Tree

You like to fill your holidays with beautiful designs and classy decorations.
When it comes to Christmas, you always expect (and provide) the best.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

My Top Fifteen Favorite Christmas Songs

Trekie asked me to name my favorite Christmas songs. I had to turn off La Vie en Rose, since French music was tuning out Jingle Bells….

1) All Christmas songs by Bing Crosby give me the warm fuzzies.
2) The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)- Nat King Cole
3) Santa Baby-Eartha Kitt
4) Walking In A Winter Wonderland- Trans Siberian Orchestra or Bing Crosby
5) What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve- Harry Connick, Jr. or Count Basie, Lena Horne and Ella Fitzgerald
6) Christmas Time Is Here- A Charlie Brown Christmas
7) Frosty The Snowman, Have A Holly Jolly Christmas, Santa Claus Is Coming To Town- Burl Ives
8) Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas- Frank Sinatra & Bing Crosby, Luther Vandross or Perry Como
9) I Love The Winter Weather/I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm- Billie Holiday
10) Snow Miser/Heat Miser- The Year Without A Santa Claus
11) Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer- Dean Martin or Jewel
12) Away in a Manger since it brings back fond memories of a Sunday School Christmas production performing the song in sign language while wearing a frilly velvet and lace dress.- Martina McBride or The Judds
13) Silent Night- Bing Crosby or Nat King Cole
14) Tomten jag vill ha en Riktig - JULSÅNGER
15) Godnattsang for nissunger- Amalies Jul- Barnesanger

*I know I haven't been posting often lately, but if anyone is still reading shout out your favorite Christmas tunes, please!

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Sans Vêtements Avec Le....

...Mozart. I cleaned my house and took a few photos. I think the lights look prettier sans flash.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Five Kinda Weird Habits

TrekMedic tagged me…

1. I go to bed most nights by 9:30 and wake up very early.
2. I work out for at least an hour, seven days per week.
3. I spend a lot of time making my house as clutter free as possible.
4. While lying in bed I think about writing ideas and sometimes I imagine painting the words in the air.
5. Sometimes I am attracted to a guy before I really know him and then I usually realize that I don’t think that he is worthy of my admiration—and I end up feeling disappointed.

What are five of your sorta weird habits?

You're it Melissa, SCH, and Texas Yankee

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Writing Makes Me Feel Sexy

At his desk the writer worked for an hour. In the end he wrote a book which he called “The Book of the Grotesque.” It was never published, but I saw it once and it left and indelible impression on my mind. The book had one central thought that is very strange and has always remained with me. By remembering it I have been able to understand many people and things that I was never able to understand before. The thought was involved but a simple statement of it would be something like this:

That in the beginning there were a great many thoughts but no such thing as a truth. Man made the truths himself and each truth was a composite of a great many vague thoughts. All about in the world were the truths and they were all beautiful.

The old man listed hundreds of truths in his book. I will not try to tell you all of them. There was the truth of virginity and the truth of passion, the truth of wealth and poverty, of thrift and profligacy, of carelessness and abandon. Hundreds and hundreds were the truths and they all were beautiful.

*Excerpt from a short story called The Book of the Grotesque by Sherwood Anderson

I think of writing as truth of feeling and truth of passion, so when I read this passage I was moved. "All about in the world were the truths and they were all beautiful. Hundreds and hundreds were the truths and they all were beautiful.”

*Painting by William Blake
Mercy and Truth are met together, Righteousness and Peace have kissed each other

Art Inspires Truth and Truth Makes Art

Sometimes I think that I live in an emotional void in which only writing helps me escape. When I meet people and they inquire, “How are you?” I try to be polite. I usually reply with a smile, “I’m well, thank you. How are you?” I paint pages with words to express what I’m really feeling inside. It helps me to tell the truth. It keeps from doing something crazy like running nearly naked from my house one night in a fit of misery. I don’t want to give in to the idea that there will be no romance.

I don’t want this void to be my home. My solitude has become a narcissistic paradise. Maybe a single brush with adult love would break the spell.

*Painting by Claude Monet
Nympheas Effet du Soir

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Devious Passion

People who left a comment, thanks for taking the time to say what you were feeling. I appreciate it--and your concern.

I write about my life because it helps me examine my reality, which also helps me make better choices.

Your reactions surprise me because I am numb to it after so many years. I am terrified during the moments when he is in a violent rage, but when it's over I can pretend that it didn't happen.

He is extraordinarily sweet and tender at times, which made it all the more shocking when he turned into a monster. I am not shocked anymore, but I’m still usually surprised at the intensity of his anger and his ability to go from 0-100 in about five seconds. I don’t understand that kind of high voltage ferocity. I’ve never felt that way in my life.

I’ve learned to surrender to it and try and coach him down a few notches or to even beg and plead.

After I began telling some of the truth about my relationship to my family, it made me have to accept the truth. Writing about some of the episodes from recent recall forces me out of denial too. It's all part of being honest with myself. I’m forcing myself to see the truth on my computer screen instead of forcing myself to delete certain things.

I was so afraid of the powerful feelings that I had when I thought about it that I just chose not to allow myself to face them. The few times that I did face them I became an insomniac.

At this point, I am mostly past losing sleep over it. I use exercise, writing, reading, watching movies and activities with my kids to look past my less-than-pretty marital issues.

I have planned to leave on many occasions and have even done so a few times. He apologizes, and I see how physically attractive he is--and think about our intense and fulfilling sex life and cannot imagine living without it.

Sex with him feels like I’m kissing a serpent. I feel like I’m sucking on danger and tasting evil parts. I wonder why I’m addicted to it. I wonder how an orgasm can feel so good when it’s laced with contempt for the person who is pushing and pulling my core. I distrust him, but he pierces me with pleasure.

He provides me with plenty of money. He came in second place in a poker tournament last Saturday and he gave me more than half of his winnings. (I paid bills with it because I’m a practical to the point of boring.) He also hands me a generous amount of cash each week to deposit in our checking account.

He’s also the father of my children. I wanted to be a family. I could not imagine ever sharing them—taking turns with them. They are the reasons that make my life important--everyday. I am deeply in love with my son and daughter. I wanted to protect them and provide for them as a unit.

I never gave up hope. I never wanted to quit trying. I tried so hard to be a loving, seductive, supportive wife. I didn’t want to admit that I failed to make him happy.

I am at the point where I realize that even more anger management therapy cannot change his innate temperament.

I love him very much, but I don't feel safe living with him. It makes me very sad.

I don't want to go to a women's shelter. I want to do it on my own. I am hoping that by this summer I will have negotiated a friendly split. I also hope that once we are living in separate homes we can be friends. I am not bitter and I hope that his life will be happier when he is free of me.

I want to move on with my life and find a healthy and sexy relationship with someone who doesn't have a hot temper.

I don’t want to be intermittently afraid and numb anymore. I just want to be a good mother.

Monday, November 28, 2005

A Dangerous Explosion

I woke up this morning nestled up next to my daughter. I felt like the glowing red light on a charging battery. She felt so warm and soft and smelled so sweet. I kept thinking, “I’m in love with her. I’m in love with her.”

I also felt quiet tears trickling down my cheeks, as scenes from last night played in my mind. I thought, “This isn’t what my mother would have wanted for me—this isn’t what she would have wanted.”

I felt relieved when I heard the front door close at 6:30 AM, as my husband left for work.

My husband went on a fishing trip yesterday with a buddy and a guide in hopes of catching stripers. He called me midday to tell me that they were on their way to another location. He explained that, so far, the morning had been fruitless, but he felt like they learned some good fishing tips from the guide. He was eating some lunch, while they drove to the next spot. He said, “I love you.” I replied, “I love you.” And then I went back to working out in my living room.

He left before sunrise and came home after sunset. They didn’t catch any fish. He was tired and disappointed when he came home. He watched the rest of the Eagles game, while I read next to him on our bed. He began snoring after the final minute of football.

Three hours later, it was time for me to tuck our kids into bed. I got them settled and snuggled. I came back to my room and put my book on my nightstand and turned off the light. I realized that he was laying on top of the covers when I tried to pull them over me. I gently touched his shoulder and asked him if he could get under them, so I could do the same. He growled and rolled over onto his side.

I got up and went to look for another blanket. I realized that they were in the laundry, so I got back into bed and softly nudged him and repeated that I wanted him to get under the covers. He scowled, but didn’t wake up.

I settled onto my back using what little blanket I could get, since moving them from under 200 pounds is impossible, when I felt my five-pound puppy land swiftly onto my face. He swatted her off of his chest. I didn’t know such a small poodle could pack so much wallop. I petted her and turned over mumbling to myself, “He’s such a jerk.” I didn’t realize that it was audible or that he was awake enough to hear me, but I found out that he did when he sprung up and his hands grasped around my throat. He yelled, “I’M A JERK? I’M A JERK? YOU FUCKING CUNT! I’M A JERK? I WORK HARD ALL DAY SO YOU CAN GO TO THE GYM AND GET YOUR NAILS DONE AND HAVE CLEANING LADIES AND A ROBOT FOR A VACUUM CLEANER, AND I’M A JERK? I felt his hands stop squeezing my neck, as spit continued to splash down onto my face. His pressed his gigantic fist against my cheekbone and nose and threatened to punch me. I could feel him trembling and more saliva was spewing as he repeated, YOU CUNT! YOU CUNT! I heard myself apologizing, “I didn’t mean it. I didn’t mean it. I was just angry because the dog hit me in the face and it hurt. I’m sorry. I’m sorry! Please stop, you’re hurting me. Please, I didn’t mean it.”

He got off of me when he heard our kids coming down the stairs. He stood in the bedroom doorway pointing and yelling at me, “ONE OF THESE DAYS I’M JUST NOT GOING TO COME HOME. THEN YOU’LL BE SORRY! YOU’LL LOSE EVERYTHING! YOU BETTER HOPE THAT BOOK OF YOURS IS A NUMBER ONE BEST FUCKING SELLER! WHEN I DON’T ANSWER MY PHONE TOMORROW, YOU’LL KNOW WHY. Then he addressed our son who was repeating, “Dad, dad, please stop. Calm down, calm down.” He screamed at our son, WOULD YOU KNOCK IT OFF? I’M NOT GOING TO BEAT YOUR MOTHER. JUST GET OUT OF MY FACE! IF I DON’T ANSWER MY PHONE OR COME HOME TOMORROW YOU KNOW WHY!” My son said, “Dad, just go outside and have a cigarette and calm down for a minute.”

My husband paced like a lion waiting to be fed and continued to seethe with hatred. My son continued to block the hallway with his body to deter his father from stomping back into our bedroom. He followed his dad out onto the back porch and tried to change the subject. He was only wearing boxers and a t-shirt.

My daughter was crying. She got into bed with me. I heard her lock the bedroom door. She asked me if the key was in the hallway. She told me to hide it.

I whispered, “It’s over now honey.” I felt her press her little girl body up against my back. She put her small arm around me. We held onto each other tightly. I heard her soft, slumbering breath a few minutes later. I tried to block out the whole scene. I didn’t want to think about it. I could feel my face and neck throbbing. He didn’t punch me, but I was sore. He terrorized me more than he inflicted pain.

I think he stops himself from doing major damage to my face because he doesn’t want to go to jail, not because he doesn’t want to hurt me. He was there briefly once and he doesn’t want to go back.

I tried to go to sleep, but couldn’t relax. I felt the palms of my hands and the soles of my feet sweating. I felt guilty. My kids shouldn’t have to be scared or have to try to protect me.

I went out into the living room out of fear. I was looking for closure and measuring his mood, so I could sleep. He was watching an old movie. He seemed to have calmed down. I apologized for calling him a jerk. I leaned down to kiss his cheek. He turned away and said, “Don’t even try it, Jessica.” You make me out to be such an abusive asshole all the time.” I said, "I’m sorry. Where are you working tomorrow? In New Jersey? He said, “Yeah, Lambertville.” I replied, “Okay, well goodnight.” He didn't reply.

I got back under the covers and told myself that I would be safe for the rest of the night.

Thankfully, my dreams helped me drift into comfort.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Thome, a Phil's Classic

My jaw was hanging open when I caught the news of the Thome trade, while walking on the treadmill at the gym two days ago. I am a major league Jim Thome fan! I'm happy that I have Thome t-shirts and jerseys in my closet. I'll wear them proudly next baseball season, while rooting for my boys in red and white!

I copied this post from TrekMedic251. He worded it so well...

Goodbye, Good Luck, Godspeed

Phils to get Rowand for Thome
Tentative deal has Phillies sending cash to White Sox

Well,'re only as good as your last at-bat, but let me be one among many to wish a fond farewell to Jim Thome.

Jim was a consummate professional and a gentleman. He was a paragon of good sportsmanship and we all wish him well in Chicago. And,..if the White Sox get to Philadelphia, the first cheesesteak at Tony Luke's is on me. Thanx!

And to Ryan Howard: these are big shoes you'll be filling in 2006! Please,..don't break our hearts!

"Hear! hear!", Trek!


I’m exhausted. I woke up at 5:30 am. I showered and then put on a pink, Marilyn Monroe babydoll tee, khaki shorts and my favorite running shoes and headed to the gym. I spent 90 minutes trying to burn off an overindulgent Thanksgiving--then came home and straightened up my house, drove my son and his buddy to the football field--and then continued to my sister’s house to help paint her spare bedroom. It has been an ongoing project.

Thanksgiving dinner was delicious in every way. My uncles announced that it was their 25th Thanksgiving dinner as a couple. They still seem to fit together like two pieces of the same puzzle. Their home is beautifully decorated, as my uncle is an interior decorator. It is also filled with books, as his partner is an avid reader.

They seem to have all of the latest technologically advanced gadgets. They showed us how to use TiVo. We cooed over how cool it was, while we sipped sweet white Bordeaux. They gave us several copies of newly released films--and fed us a meal that was I-dare-you-not-to-purr-and-moan-while-you-chew yummy. My family is really great at putting together a fantastic meal as a team. Everyone got along well and the conversation between all 16 of us was lovely. My aunt noticed that I have lost weight, which I appreciated. There were enough desserts for at least five more holidays. I cherish my family!

My dad brought along a photograph of my mom, which was featured in an old newspaper. She was the president of a woman’s club and the local paper covered a meeting in which they prepared fancy cuisine. My mom’s pretty fingers were flared, as she was decorating a turkey with special spices and garnish. She was pregnant with my little sister in the photograph and her luminous, big blue eyes were fringed by her long lashes, as she gazed at the glazed bird. We miss her. My dad said she was “hot stuff”. The article was my dad’s way of bringing her to the table with us.

Speaking of anniversaries, my 13th wedding anniversary was last weekend. I scheduled an appointment for me and my hubby to have full body massages. My husband is having problems with his lower back, so I was hoping it would relieve some knots and tension from his tired muscles. I thought the idea of having them at the same time would be romantic.

The massage was sensational. The woman danced her dexterous fingers all over me, until I felt like I was floating.

My husband really enjoyed the experience. He fell asleep while his feet were being tenderly kneaded.

Afterwards, we went out to dinner. We ate quietly, since we were in a relaxed haze that rosé wine, fresh sourdough bread, garden salad, buttery seafood, well-done steak, rich chocolate mousse cake and hot coffee didn’t diminish. For some reason, the dinner date felt like we were going through the motions of a typical anniversary--the adoration, the spark, the connection felt like it was missing.

The massage was the highlight of our day.

We exchanged gifts in the morning. My husband shoveled down his breakfast and rushed away from the table. He came back and placed two extravagantly wrapped boxes in front of me with a card and strode into our home office to play in a poker tournament. I followed him into the room and left a large bag of presents on the floor next to his big basketball shoes. He opened them while he waited to catch good cards on the river. His reaction was muted compared to the highs and lows of each hand.

I ate my breakfast sandwich slowly with my children, as I unwrapped the ribbons. I like to savor food on Sundays, since I skip breakfast during the week. It felt kind of empty without his interest in my reaction. He was engaged in fishing for a flush, while I opened a romantic card and a large box of my favorite candy, Swedish fish.

Next, I opened a necklace. It was a white gold butterfly encrusted with white diamonds and a canary diamond was its centerpiece. It was a pretty choker. It sparkled on my neck, however I was feeling lackluster.

There were no hugs and kisses afterwards. No smiles. His attention was focused on breaking everyone at the table.

I’m used to receiving dazzling jewelry and gifts. I’m also accustomed to being forsaken for his hobbies. I have learned that he is not willing to share much of his time with me.

My husband is playing in a poker tournament tomorrow at a local club. On Sunday, he and his buddy are going fly fishing with a guide who they found on the internet. They plan to use waders. I think that they will freeze their butts off at this time of year. I hope they don't fall in the chilly water.

He will probably play cards online or Xbox live during most of his leftover free moments this weekend.

I am married, but companionless. I know that my husband loves me, but I don’t feel like we have a real bond. There is no fire to spend time together unless our parts are coupled. It makes me sad that the only time that he sees me, feels me is when I’m naked.

Our sex life is spectacular. Our friendship is lifeless.

This weekend, I’ll probably take my kids to see a movie, do some Christmas shopping and go the gym.

I need to make new friends. Loneliness feels comfortless and boring.

I’d trade my queen sized, overfilled jewelry box with all of its sparkling contents for genuine affection and attention. I crave intimacy embraced by an amiable alliance.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Rosy Ballyhoo

Lately, I haven’t been posting with my usual regularity because I’ve been busy with putting my book together, working out, helping my sister paint and preparing new recipes for Thanksgiving. I miss having the time to sit down and write and reflect on my life. I also miss exploring my blog pal’s thoughts. I am kind of sad that I lost so many readers when I chose to delete my old blog, but I’m thankful for the cool people who are still part of my little world.

Yesterday, my sister and I tried a new recipe for Cranberry Chutney and Banana Crème Pie that we found on the internet. We are also responsible for making carrots and corn with browned butter drizzled over the top. We learned that little trick from watching our grandparents in their kitchen when we were little girls. We are the youngest Swedish chefs on the scene and therefore lack a specialty, so we just make extra stuff. The rest of my family is providing all of the traditional fare.

My uncle is doing the turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing and pumpkin pie. He’s usually our gracious dinner party host, since he and his life partner (or husband, as I think if him) have the most gloriously spacious home in our family. They have been together for over twenty years, so they are my two beloved uncles. My grandparents are making fruit salad, cucumber salad, sweet potatoes, apple pie, pecan pumkin pie, chocolate cake, rice krispie treats, cookies and brownies. My aunt is bringing a veggie tray, green bean casserole and an apple cake. I’m sure that I forgot something, but I think that will be plenty.

This will be the first Thanksgiving without my mother at our table, since we lost her to leukemia last April. My sister and I prepared our dishes in her kitchen yesterday. We used her kitchen tools. We talked about the fact that it will be strange not to share it with her tomorrow. We knew that she would be proud that we were cooking together in her house led by our memories of her examples. Missing her makes every day bittersweet, especially the holidays.

I'm concerned about how my dad will handle his feelings. I know that he misses her as hard as a person can possibly be missed.

I just got home from the gym. I’m sore, but muscle fatigue means progress. I also feel good about dedicating an hour or more per day on improving my fitness level and slimming down my silhouette. I’m happy that my sister and I have been spending more time together. She has even been coming to the gym with me a couple of times per week.
I’ve also met a few interesting people, while sweating in Cardio Heaven. Heaven is really not the adjective that I would choose for the place, but it’s how it was introduced by the trainer who showed me around the place last year. I think of it more as a bacteria infested stink pit with machines meant for body moving.

Body movin' body movin'
A1 sound' sound so soothing
Body movin' body movin'
We be getting down and you know we're crush groovin'
*Beastie Boys

I generally go to the gym during the late morning hours. I usually avoid the evenings unless I’m there to take a class, since the gym is more crowded. The daytime crowd is made up mostly of friendly retirees, a few bored housewives and the occasional second shifter, unemployed person or injury rehabilitator, which means that most of the virile men, who might be curve watching, are at work.

I’m fairly shy, so I’m not usually into socializing with strangers. I’m a loner who usually prefers telling my feelings to a Microsoft Word document rather than talking to my real friends. Besides, I’m at the gym to burn butter so my body stays healthy for hopefully another 60+ years.

With that said, I have met a few friendly faces. My first gym boyfriend was a retired gentleman of advanced age called Milt, who has a knack for kindness and making people smile. He always wears a white t-shirt with gray shorts and keeps a written record of his repetitions. He reminds me of a cute, old turtle with a white head band hugging his balding head and his bespectacled sky-blue eyes. He calls his Monday, Wednesday and Friday gym visits “his religion.” He introduced me to the self-proclaimed midday mayor of the gym, Tom.

Tom calls Milt “Uncle Milty”. He calls me “Jessica Rabbit.” Tom is about six feet tall with an average build, although I’m not sure what he really looks like, since I’m reluctant to really check him out. However, I noticed that he has sparkling blue eyes, a dazzling smile and distracting buns. My impression is that he spends almost as much time getting to know everyone as he does getting physical. He seems to greet most of the people in the gym. I’ve heard him repeat, “I’m glad to see you.” to several gym buddies. I guess that it makes people feel good, which seems to be his specialty, as he is a massage therapist.

Today, I was treated to a surprise back and neck rub while riding the stationary bike. I knew that it must be Tommy Blue Eyes' well-trained hands sending chills through me and melting me into the seat. He politely inquired about my Thanksgiving plans and after a brief conversation, he left the scene for an appointment--and left my body aching for his skilled fingertips. Hormones were coursing through me faster than the 85 reps per minute that I was pedaling. I’m still not sure whether I’m attracted to him or whether it was just the relaxing endorphins that rushed through me at his touch. It felt like lusty cranberry cocktail. I would call it a Cosmopolitan--tart and tinged with pink like my blushing cheeks.

I think it would be wise for me to avoid him. If he approaches me to say hello, I’ll be polite, but I don’t intend to initiate a conversation with him. I don’t like the idea of having a crush on a gym buddy. I don’t like the power that it might have over me. I don’t want to think about sex while I’m working out. It’s too distracting.

I wonder what his shaft would feel like if I were to guide my hand up his inner thigh and into the leg-hole of his shorts. I wonder what his hard tool might feel like if he were pressed up against me, caressing my curves.

See what I mean?

My imagination is getting carried away. I don’t even know him--and besides who wants to get naked with a guy who gets off on knowing everyone’s business at the gym? Who cares about all of that gabbing and gossip?

Oh, I met this older guy named Willis last week. He sat down on the bike beside me and asked me to race him. I giggled and told him that he’d probably win. I hear him talking with several guys in his age group whenever they visit the gym. In my head they are the black Manny, Moe and Jack pack. Remember those guys from the old Pep Boys commercials? (I love that place. I want to go buy a new winter white, sheepskin steering wheel cover. My steering wheel is cold in the morning!) I told him that their laughs make me smile. They have such a good time just chatting with each other. They are an endearing bunch of men. I shook their hands today and asked, “What’s your favorite thing to eat on Thanksgiving?” They agreed on turkey. I told them that I liked everything, so I’d be at the gym every day next week. They laughed.

I’ll have a little taste of everything tomorrow. It’s only one day out of the year. I like to splurge on the holidays. I’ll go back to my regular diet routine on Friday. I'll also be back at the gym. I don't like to go shopping on Black Friday. Do you?

Friday, November 18, 2005

Painting and Political Profiling

I am posting quizzes since I don’t have time to write anything with more depth today. This morning, I am going to the gym after I take my daughter to school. This afternoon, I’m helping my sister paint her guest room. This evening, we plan on making Swedish meatballs with buttery egg noodles and broccoli sautéed in sesame oil and fresh garlic. I’m saving up all of my calories for our family dinner.

If you read my old blog, you know that I was exploring my political views and trying to understand what it means to be Liberal or Conservative--or a Democrat or Republican. Whenever I come across a little political quiz, I like to take it. I thought that I was a conservative republican, but I learned that I was wrong about how I defined myself.

What were your results and what are you planning for dinner?

Your Political Profile

Overall: 35% Conservative, 65% Liberal
Social Issues: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal
Personal Responsibility: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal
Fiscal Issues: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal
Ethics: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal
Defense and Crime: 75% Conservative, 25% Liberal

You Are a New School Democrat

You like partying and politics - and are likely to be young and affluent.

You're less religious, traditional, and uptight than most Democrats.

Smoking pot, homosexuality, and gambling are all okay in your book.

You prefer that the government help people take care of themselves.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Blog On!

Special thanks to Andy of amusing Andyland for his latest post, which announces my return!

Thank you Karl of Philly Future for putting me back into Philly’s greatest information center!

Thanks Bud my favorite singer/songwriter buddy for fixing my link!

Tack Melissa, my Square Peg fellow Philly blogette!

Merci Frank of the politically informative iFlipFlop.

Gracias TrekMedic, my conservative buddy with the cool quizzes and maps.

Dank u JacUnivac for the painting, the mention and attention.

Danke Karl from your corner in NJ!

Grazie Space Coast Musings in sunny Florida!

What’s up down south, Texas Yankee!

Shout out to Taorist!

Yo Pal to Howard of the eclectic and informative Smedley Log.

Holla to Jeff from behind the lens of The Thing.

*Update 11/20
Thanks for fixing my button on Romano's Ramblings, Pax!

*Second Update 11/24
Hey Mat, tanks fer puttin me new blog on yer Journal of Doubt!

Thank you everyone on my Luring Link list for putting my new blog on your list! Those of you who haven’t, I’m still hoping that you will get around to it. I’m glad that I saved my old template, so that I didn’t lose all of you, too! Let’s keep an eye on each other.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Yummy Little Thanksgiving Quiz

This quiz is appropriate, since it's just a few days until Thanksgiving. What food are you? What are your favorite things to cook or eat on Thanksgiving?

I think if I had to choose, my plate would be piled with garlic mashed potatoes, my grandma's sweet potatoes with brown sugar and carrots with browned butter--and corn, green beans, and a slice of turkey breast and ham. Then I would probably have some pie, even though pie is not my favorite dessert, but there are lots of homemade pies on Thanksgiving. I love the whole traditional meal, but you can have my stuffing--and the cranberry relish that I'm supposed to make to take to my Uncle's house.
You Are the Stuffing

You're complicated and complex, yet all your pieces fit together.People miss you if you're gone - but they're not sure why.
What Part of Thanksgiving Are You?