Words, Weights, Whatever

Friday, May 27, 2005

***Happy b-day, Joel***

(Imagine found on the Internet and all rights belong to its owners.)

I originally did plan to write. I really did. Scheduled at least four hours which got side-tracked.

I originally did plan to write. I really did. Scheduled to take a 0600 class.

But The Spouse reminded me Tueday night that it’s my b-day on Wednesday and why would I want to wake up at such an hour to work out.

Remind me not to listen to my spouse more often.

Food. That was the theme for my b-day which I traditionally take off from work or school (when I used to go to school). From ordering and nearly consuming the four-person appetizer platter (then entrée and dessert) at the Cheesecake Factory that afternoon to the wonderful (and filling) dinner meal with The Spouse (who returned finally. Yeah!), my b-day was a gastronomical delight. Diet? Screw it. Weight maintenance. Yeah, right. Exercise? Puh-leeze (see above)!

After consuming such meals, I spent much of the afternoon and evening (after the spouse was safely ensconced at home) shopping. Bought a goodly number of books and DVDs on various subjects.

Doesn’t sound like much of a b-day, eh? But having the entire day to do whatever one wanted is a rarely luxury these days, one that I jealously guard. And it’s worth it.

***Monday, Tuesday Tales of Mayhem***

I wrote Monday night after working out. Word to the wise: don’t. Energy levels are less than a dead battery. My Muse looked at me sleepy eyed and went back to bed. And when I insisted, she just turned over.

Write first THEN work out.

Hit the gym on Monday and Tuesday. Suffered severe foot probs: I felt as though the bones of my feet were slamming into iron bars. Translation: time for new shoes.

The Spouse was still on-call so lots of phone calls and sweet mutterings. Yes, this is what couples do when they’re apart. See, it’s not difficult to maintain a happy marriage. (Whip cream or, heck, just the whip, does wonders….)

I also met my friends GAC and CS after the workout. This time, though, we met at the restaurant instead of The Center.

Due to the festival over the weekend, there was lots of catch up and gossip. We talked a lot about our mutual acquaintances, my struggles with remodeling, and—of course—books. GAC has already finished next month’s book club’s book: wisely, he said little about it except CS and I will enjoy it. GAC also dropped a pleasant bombshell regarding his life which I wish him the best.

Rest of the evening was spent on writing. Got a little more progress than on Monday.

***Sunday tasks would have been a ton if I had dun them***

I spent much of the afternoon working on PD. Unfortunately, half that time (or even more) was spent in chat.

Argh! Must…not…log…on…the…Internet…when…writing—

(Image found on the Internet and all rights belong to its owner.)

I need to learn how to ignore my spouse when I ask, “do you think I should work out today.” I listened and, of course, didn’t work out.

Monday, May 23, 2005

***Saturday under the sun***

Cardio class in the morning followed by indulgence afterwards. Rest of the day was spent walking the festival (see below).

The Long Beach festival starts off all the major festivals for our community out here in SoCal. Because of its location and the weather in that area, it’s The Spouse’s favorite one.

Unfortunately, we were delayed. We originally planned to be at the festival no later than 1400. One of our contractors, however, decided that, after not making three appointments, to work that afternoon. What could we do? So R. gave instructions and we left them to finish the kitchen and start upstairs in the guest bathroom.

We arrived around a little after 1500 in Long Beach and were immediately drenched in bright and hot sunlight. Only the light breezes kept things from becoming unbearable. Because R. had not eaten or drunk since arriving home from on-call, we immediately checked out the food rows. Then the shopping began. R. obtained info for a new roof and we looked at jewelry. I picked up a free bag from one of the booths to hold our numerous brochures.

Live music played in the background. At one point, we stopped to listen to one particularly good band. I nestled R.’s head between my knees as we listened to the lead singer’s surprisingly good originally pieces. We later purchased their CD. R. would later tell me that was the best part of the festival: to be lying down with me.

We met a few of our friends at the festival, including GAC and CS. While we enjoyed the encounters, we, as a rule, consider festivals our time. Alone and together.

One realization nearly spoiled the day. Once upon a time festivals emphasized our community and its diversity with booths providing information about the many diverse activities and lifestyles available for everyone from hiking to crafts to self-realization groups. Now we just saw endless products to buy: jewelry, shirts, and food. We bumped into an acquaintance whom we knew was active with a local hiking group. I asked him where was the hiking group’s booth. His tanned face saddened and he said the festival was too expensive for them to attend.

R. and I discussed the changes to our community on our way back home that evening and ultimately agreed that tolerance (not necessarily acceptance or even understanding, mind you) by the mainstream community is a mixed blessing.

We ended the evening with a fine and late dinner.

***Friday friendship and fun***

The coffeeshop was packed so I decided to visit an old friend (see below).

Ever been to a “free love” party? That’s where I was Friday night. I originally had planned to write that evening but, after noticing the huge crowd in the coffeeshop where I normally wrote, quickly changed my mind. Instead, I jumped onto the freeways to visit MG, an old friend of mine.

MG’s an older person, either forty or early fifty-ish, in the same category as The Spouse. Ex-military, divorcee, and struggling to survive in today’s highly competitive market. And one of the colorful of my friends, for MG hosts monthly “free love” parties.

Three folks, all in undergarments, greeted me as I entered MG’s abode. I ignored the exposed, giggling, flesh as MG and I greeted each other with the intimacy of friends long-gone.

We spent much of the early part of the evening catching up with each other. MG gave me the tour of the place. In my eyes, little had changed except the already cluttered house looked more like a (clean) packrat’s den, much better organized than our residence. I met MG’s roommate, 29 turning on 18. This was a surprise, since I thought the two had parted ways. They had, but 29 turning on 18 returned roughly a year and a half ago.

MG introduced me to some of the other “guests” who, while all greeted me cordially, looked me over and dismissed me quickly. Well, I reminded myself, I am fully clothed.

A bit of background: I first met MG through a mutual friend and learned of these parties years ago. I was fascinated and told The Spouse, who finally agreed to let me attend just to be a voyeur. I faithfully did so for many months until boredom set in. While I kept in touch with MG via e-mail and an occasional phone call, I didn’t attend any more parties for—according to MG—at least a couple of years.

Anyway, after the tour, MG went to greet more guests. I was hungry so I indulged in the pizza, the spaghetti, and more mundane snack foods made available by my small donation. There was very little action at this time despite the enticements blatantly blaring on the numerous televisions networked throughout the house.

The Spouse called. I noted R. of my surroundings and got the suitable jokes. I then rejoined MG and a few other guests and discussed topics from military ranks to film. One of the guests turned out to be a producer; another, a (minor) actor. When new guests would arrive or the conversation turned boring (or just plain weird even for me), I wandered the main house for imagery.

And it had. Big time.

Time had blunted much of my memories since I last attended these parties. I won’t go into detail, but I'm pretty sure I saw much more action than I had four years ago. I even saw MG naked during a full-body massage session. What made that memorable (besides seeing a friend naked, which is old hat to me), was that the movie Psycho III playing on the main monitor in the living room.

Renewed and happy to reacquaint myself with an old friend, I left that evening around one o’clock in the morning.

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