Tag Archives: Gratitude

Feeling Incredibly Buoyed

The past few days have been humbling. I’ve wept with gratitude. And marveled at the depth and breadth of support I have from my community.

Tuesday night at 8:55 EDT I launched my IndieGoGo campaign for Lucky. Since then, 114 people have “backed” my beautiful bar vision and deposited almost $7,000 into the kitty. A good chunk of that is money people have donated with no request for a “perk.” I cannot express just how incredible this is. Of course, I am super excited about this project. I am even more excited that so many other people seem equally excited! Some of whom are total strangers! And I am sincerely humbled by the level of belief people have in me and the future success of my bar. Truly. It is so surprising.

I have a crystal clear vision of what I want this bar to be and a keen understanding of why “my people” need this bar, now. So many people feel displaced in the East Village these days, but people also feel displaced in New York City and, more broadly, in America. It goes deeper than drinking. The current climate feels very “us vs. them” and it is so disheartening. I hope to create a place where people who’ve felt “other” elsewhere feel comfortable and at home.

Friday night I was photographed in the semi-demolished space by Stacie Joy. The shots will accompany an article about the bar coming out sometime this coming week. I am bracing myself for the hate because, well, haters gonna hate. And I know what while I have the support of my community, there are no doubt others who won’t be quite as supportive. There are people who hate bars in principle. And there are certainly people who don’t particularly care for me. I’ve never been someone who people were jealous of and realize that I am now in a position for that to happen. Sure, it’s easy to hate on my cautiously optimistic and unbridled joy or side-eye it with cynicism. I’ve experienced that same shallow “screw you and your giant smile” myself. It’s a dark side of the human condition, I suppose, and one we all try to suppress. One particular person went so far as to “unfriend” me, an aggressive move that could’ve more easily been an “unfollow” if they found my effusiveness offensive. Whatevs.

Back to the happy stuff! The momentum is thrilling. I’m madly keeping track of who wants which perk, recording t-shirt sizes and email addresses and ordering the stuff so I can pop it all into the mail. Fulfillment is gonna be sooooooo fulfilling! WOOT! I hope everyone will be patient with me because I’m a one woman operation here!

Anyway, here’s the link for the campaign: “I’m Opening a Bar! What’ll It Be?”

Keep an eye on it! I’ll be updating it with different videos (all silly gems, I assure you) and fabulous new perks as my awesome artist friends make their wares available! MWAH!

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Happy Thanksgiving!

On this day of gratitude, I’d like to thank the Native Americans, who didn’t turn the white interlopers away or slaughter them on sight. Which, in retrospect, would probably have been a wise idea… America may not be perfect but it often seems better than the alternatives.

I was going to save this post for the end of my Yes-Vember! month but decided today would be better. I want to recognize the unparalleled people who love me! They all have their own, individual talents but the one I appreciate most is their patience with and love for me. I’m not always an easy person to be with. I complain a lot. (Which you readers are painfully aware of, I suppose…) Is it lame and lazy to merely list them? Do you need backstory? Screw it. I’ll say that these are the people I call when I’m depressed. When I can’t get out of bed. Or out of the house. They’re the friends who talk me back from the ledge. If I need to borrow money or a couch to crash on, these are the people I’d ask. They’re also the folks who show up to celebrate whatever it is I’m celebrating: birthdays to ridiculously costumed bar crawls, Pink Drinks to unappreciated holidays. (Er, maybe all the holidays. All of ’em. Cinco de Mayo. St. Patrick’s Day. Easter. I’m a sucker for a holiday.) They’re the inner circle of my inner circle. I couldn’t make it without them. And I am so grateful for them. In alphabetical order so no one feels more — or less — important!

Amy
Dayzee
Douggie
Eeva aka Pinky
Jamye
Karen
Marianne
Mel
Natasha
Nick
Robin
Sandra

If you didn’t make the list, don’t feel bad. I know I’ve cried on the phone with a whole lot of people. These folks are lucky to receive the brunt of my meltdowns. Tomorrow I’ll be back with less sap! And maybe more backstory. <wink>

Thankful

Happy Thanksgiving!

I woke up early today and trekked uptown with my friend DA to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. It was a sunny, spectacular day and once Santa rolled by, we strolled over to Rockefeller Center to see the tree. It was, unfortunately, under scaffolding but we wound up beneath it, ice skating! Soooo fun!


I walked back home along Fifth Avenue and treated myself to some pre-Black Friday retail therapy. On a holiday! Very decadent. Once home, I needed to figure out food. I didn’t manage to convince my friend Nick to come into the city so I picked up a Thanksgiving Special meal at Odessa and brought it home. Scribble enjoyed some of my turkey soup. I made fun of my mom when, years ago, she served us “Thanksgiving in a Box” and now, this year, I enjoyed “Thanksgiving in a to-go bag.” Hah!

Now I’m sitting under my Snuggie, Scribble snuggled beside me and Jeopardy on the TV, scrolling through Facebook and reading what everyone I know is thankful for. Some are poignant or serious, others are silly or sarcastic, but they’re all sincere in their own way. And they’ve served to inspire me. So here’s my list!

My (mostly) happy and (mostly) healthy family.
This AMAZING apartment! In this INCREDIBLE city! (And the exclamation point!)
The freedom to Occupy Wall Street…or my couch.
Just (barely) enough money to get by. And my sister, with her shitton of money, so I’ll never starve.
Seriously, my sister. She helped me keep this apartment. I get to be the crazy aunt to her four beautiful kids. She’s basically taking care of my parents. While I slack.
My bitchin’ summer job workin’ for The Man.
Scribble!
An exciting life that (thus far) has been jam-packed full of awesome experiences.
The brains and ability to learn from those experiences that weren’t quite so awesome.
My health.
Lastly, my enormous network of superlative, supportive friends!

Friendship & Gratitude, Updated

So it was my birthday weekend. I decided to go up to Camp D, essentially a plot of land where a bunch of people show up and camp. And drink. Mostly drink.

The ride up was on my birthday. We left the city hours later than I’d expected and I was vaguely annoyed to be spending it a car. I remedied it by drinking a six-pack I picked up at a bodega. But about half-way up, my friends Dede and Dre surprised me with a party. IN the minivan! Yup, they strung up twinkly lights, made a cheese, bread and salami platter, had wine and beer, and played “cool jazz.” Or was it smooth jazz? Teeny tiny cupcakes — one with a birthday candle — were dessert. It was awesome!

We arrived at our camp site too late to do much more than pass out. But the whole weekend was my celebration. I got another cake and a cupcake on Sunday night, after multitudinous beers and a beautiful day spent at a swimming hole with a waterfall.

There was an interesting dynamic among the somewhat fragmented campers. Some were old friends (of each other, of mine), some I’d never met before and, most peculiar, some seemed to have no interest in becoming friends with anyone they didn’t already know. I mean, I wasn’t expecting the Welcome Wagon — or even “Greeters,” who welcome you to Burning Man (and have, in the past, apparently, welcomed people to Camp D) — but introducing themselves might’ve been a nice gesture, me (and a few others, I’ll assume) being the newcomer. At least a couple people reached out and “friended” me on Facebook. It wasn’t the best bonding experience but it was a warm weekend of co-habitating in a cluster of tents. Right?

In the end, it just made me more grateful for my friends. For the people I love.

I just spent the past two hours thanking everyone who sent me birthday wishes on Facebook. I realize that the site makes us pretty lazy about these things; we can click on someone and instantly connect but there really doesn’t seem to be that much of a connection. So I wanted to close the communication loop. One friend actually wrote back, saying “Aw, a personal thank you? How un-Facebooky.” um, yep.

Which takes me back to…the people I love. There’s no possible way anyone can spend time with everyone they love if they love a LOT of people. Which I do. Many of them live far away. Some I haven’t seen in years. So I’m grateful for Facebook, as much as I hate it most of the time, for offering me an easy way to stay in touch with all my favorite people, peek into their lives, “like” their posts or wish them a happy birthday.

So I’m feeling grateful. But I’m not feeling very eloquent! I’m still dazed from the three-day drunk-fest. Oh, and the three hour Figment meeting. Ack! I just wanted to post, get back in the saddle, so to speak. I’d better get back to the blind date horror stories, though, or I’ll lose all my readers! We’ll see….

Gratitude

The responses to last night’s post have been coming in and they’re kinda cracking me up. One fellow blogger read me to filth for wanting a faithful man while using the Ashley Madison web site. He must’ve missed that I’m not on the site anymore. But still he has a point. My morals have always been questionable. I was never the perfect wife. But I believe I am capable of change. And hope that we all are.

The responses from men are, predictably, about whether they “measure up” or not. When I say I want someone “tall, 6’3″ or taller,” it doesn’t mean I would turn down a date with someone 5’8″. These desires are merely that: desires. I wouldn’t turn down a job offer of $50,000 a year. Or even $25,000 a year. But I can dream, can’t I?

The Poet has set out a more life-affirming set of challenges, as I would expect from him:

One: Write a list of the ten things you are most grateful for in your life. You only get 10.
Two: Write a post on what you want and what you have to offer in friendship.
Oh and don’t forget to keep praying for James everyday for two weeks!

So, in response to The Poet:
The 10 Things I Am Grateful For In  My Life
1. My corporeal being: my body, my health, my genetics, I guess. I have been blessed with great health, tall and sturdy stature, good teeth and skin and hair, a complex brain and many innate talents.
2. My family: two loving, doting, attentive parents; a sister who loves me fiercely and does everything she can to help me; an amazing extended family filled with unique characters, passionate and opinionated and extremely loving; my sister’s kids, who give me hope for the future. (Or should I say force me to hope for the future?) They are incredible humans. My grandparents were also pretty fuckin’ cool.
3. An impressive palette of loyal, loving and supportive friends, some of whom have been friends for over 20 years. I am fortunate to make friends easily and am then able to pick and choose the ones I  love most!
4. My creativity: it has allowed me to create costumes that make me smile, produce art that has made others smile and, most importantly, permits me to express myself in an eloquent, easily transmitted manner. Or so people tell me!
5. A wildly interesting life: this is partially my doing, being the experience junkie that I am. But it is also my parents, wanting to expose me to many things, being in a position to travel and see the world, the money to send me to college and support me while I was there. Everyone and everything that has conspired to make my life so enviable.
6. Loving relationships: I’ve had several long-term relationships with boyfriends in my life. While in the relationships I felt great love (or thought I did) and really loved being in love. (That’s a lotta love in one sentence….but that’s the topic here.) While some break-ups were less pleasant than others, I can honestly say that I am on friendly terms with all of these men. (The most recent one being the only possible exception. I will strive for civility in that circumstance as well.) Though some of these men are now far away, living very new and different lives, I believe firmly that if we were stuck across a dinner table from each other, it would be a loving, enjoyable experience. The best part of these loves is that I learned something valuable from each of these men and took those lessons with me into subsequent relationships.
7. This may sound silly, but I must include pets: since I was little I’ve had wonderful, loving dogs. Life is just better with a dog in it, from my childhood poodle to Zoe, my poodle of 16 years, to Noodle, who Eric got in the divorce settlement, to the fosters I’ve taken in, including the two little scruffies sitting on either side of me right now. Dog breath smells sweet. Dogs love their humans. Even their temporary humans. Pure, pure love.
8. Education: I went to a really, really great elementary school that gave me a solid base of education that I’m still calling upon. Junior high and high school weren’t quite as excellent but they were “second in the nation,” so it was better than most. I can spell. I can punctuate. I can string a sentence together. And I have my K-12 teachers to thank for that. Along with all the award-winning authors whose books I’ve read. College was more fun than learning but, looking back, I did take in a lot of knowledge, in between all the drinking and tanning and roller skating. Physics for Poets sticks with me as does my Sociology class that makes me occasionally wish, still, that I had taken that route. My brain loves to learn stuff.
9. Being born in America: okay, now I’m stretching! But I’ve gotta name 10 things and yes, this is one of them. The life I’ve led — and continue to live — can only have been led in America. We have incredible freedoms, a country rich in culture and adventure and…land! I couldn’t have run my fetish magazine in Iraq! And I couldn’t have roller skated on the beach boardwalk in Russia. The ability to constantly reinvent myself is also a truly American thing; this country loves reinvention! The Star Spangle Banner chokes me up. Seriously.
10. Luck: this probably sounds like a cheat. If you look at everything else, they’re all somewhat a result of luck. I am lucky to have been born in America; to two loving parents with means and good genes; to have traveled and met and known so many wonderful, interesting people; to have found love more than once and loved fiercely with all my heart; to have experienced more than just about everyone I’ve met. This is probably the one thing I’m prone to forget the most easily. I need to keep reminding myself how fortunate I am and how grateful I am for this luck. I went to a sort of hippy-dippy life reading once and the woman told me that the Archangel Michael is watching over me. When people ask me if I’ve ever seen a ghost, I can distinctly recall seeing an apparition, a male, all in white, with long blond hair, standing beside my bed. It was when I was in college and, at the time, I wrote it off as too much drinking. Instead of pink elephants I was seeing a blond dude in a white robe. But maybe it was Michael. I am truly a lucky person.

My second task was to write a list of what I want in a friend and what I have to offer in a friendship. I don’t think I need to repeat anything that I’ve already written. I already have what I want in a friend. In many friends. I feel fortunate and fulfilled in my friendships. I can’t claim to want or need more. And what I have to offer in a friendship is the same litany of things I have to offer a lover — with the obvious exception of the sex! I am a great friend.

I tip-tapped all of this out in a bit of a hurry. I guess I’ll wait and see if The Poet accepts my responses. He’s keeping me on my toes. And lives on as an example of something GOOD that can come out of being on Ashley Madison! I will, as he instructed, continue to pray for James’s happiness. And mine!

Almost Lucky

After so many weeks of online dating, this past weekend I ventured out into the brick-and-mortar world to socialize with real, live humans. Friday night I attended Gratitude, a burner-produced event that more or less replaced the Burning Man Decompression. Saturday I participated in SantaCon, the global phenomenon that began in San Francisco in 1994. And a couple of opportunities presented themselves.

At Gratitude, a very nice young man introduced himself and began flirting with me. To be honest, I was a little oblivious. Not obliterated, just oblivious. He was so young it didn’t occur to me that he was interested until he had his hands on me in an obviously, ummm, interested way! I believe I marveled, “Are you flirting with me?” or something similar. He was tenacious, I’ll give him that, standing beside me as I chatted with friends and posed for photos. He followed me around for a while as well, eventually giving up when his affections weren’t sufficiently reciprocated. But it was wonderful to feel…wanted.

On Saturday, like so many oscillating molecules, I kept bumping into the same Santas at our many stops and on random streetcorners. One particularly tall and adorable Santa caught my eye early in the day and not just because he was tall and adorable: he was wearing head-to-toe red fake fur and a preposterous three-pronged Santa hat. Plus he was shlepping an enormous Santa sac overflowing with silly sunglasses that he was handing out to Santa. I saw him at Sarah Delano Roosevelt Park, again as we entered Central Park and once more in the West Village. Probably not so surprisingly, he was also at the same after party I went to at Touch. We were standing on the dance floor, shouting over the  DJ, and just as I was thinking how much I hated the music, I blurted, “Do you wanna make out?” In seconds we were those Santas.

Man, it has been years since Santa made out! And it was awesome! A bunch of us wound up in a cab, after stopping in a deli for beers, headed downtown, me and Santa making out like bandits. We made a quick stop at Ninth Ward so I could show them my favorite new place, but it was woefully overrun by yuppies. We had a beer anyway, after begging the bouncers to hold onto our bags of Stella and PBR. Stumbling out of there, scared by the seriousness of the Muggles, we bumbled down Second Avenue toward my apartment. We found a random Santa on a streetcorner (they were everywhere!) and invited him along. Once ensconced at my place, my little tree blinking away, we made out til Santa passed out. The high point was trying to help Santa out of his drawstring fake fur pants. He was having trouble with the knot and I used a screwdriver to loosen it while another Santa snapped a few photos. I sure hope his friend finds me so I have that shot for posterity! In the end, nothing actually happened, mostly because Santa was shitfaced. And exhausted.

Laying in bed Sunday morning, rhinestones still glued to my face, stripey tights still on and, most uncomfortably, contacts still in, I contemplated my near-conquests. Once upon a time I got lucky. A lot. And there was almost always a whole lotta booze involved. The last few serious relationships I’ve had were initially all drunken encounters, one night stands, if you will, who then, once sober, actually called. In other words, these men more or less “chose” me. Meaning that though we may have chosen each other while stumbling drunk or otherwise ecstatically under the influence, my male counterparts made the next move.

In both instances this past weekend, I didn’t actually “get lucky.”  I can’t say whether it was because I wasn’t quite drunk enough or if I was consciously not choosing these men. And, laying there in bed, it occurred to me that at this point in my life, I’d like to do the choosing, ideally sober. Or at least have the choosing be mutual.