24 January 2015

Not Enough Snow

“Getting an inch of snow is like winning 10 cents in the lottery.” ~ Bill Watterson, Calvin & Hobbes
I knew it snowed last night when I woke up in the middle of the night to the sounds of the snow plows scraping the city streets.  I went back to sleep and dreamt of puffy white snow.  I was hoping to wake this morning and roll around in the snow with G, but Mother Nature just cannot seem to churn it out the way that she used to here in New York City.


Only about two inches fell, and looking out of my window now, it looks like it is turning into freezing rain.  I hate days like this.  It's not solid snow where you can go outside and play, and to go outside in freezing rain simply is not fun. We might venture out later if it stops snowing/raining, but for the moment, we are housebound.

Last night, we did manage to make it out to Jackson Heights in Queens where we met a friend for dinner at Black Thai.

I had the garlic shrimp, which was very, very good, but it was just a little too spicy for my tolerance.  After a few bites, I couldn't stop from sweating and my mouth felt like it was literally on fire.


G, however, thoroughly enjoyed her beer-braised crispy ribs.


So today will be a good day to lay around, watch television, read books, and do some light cleaning around the house.  It won't be a complete day though without my [decaffeinated] coffee.  I've become quite the master at making pumpkin spice lattes.

21 January 2015

Beside Me

“Time that withers you will wither me. We will fall like ripe fruit and roll down the grass together. Dear friend, let me lie beside you watching the clouds until the earth covers us and we are gone.” ~ Jeanette Winterson, Written on the Body
I dreamt that I was walking on the street with my friend, H. It was a stifling, hot day. The heat was making me very dizzy. I felt myself straining to take the next steps. Sure enough, as I took the next step, I fell down, face first into the pavement. I could not move. My legs and arms were like lead, and I could not even move my face. Fortunately, I had fallen onto the side of my face. H saw me fall, and she immediately got onto the ground and planted herself onto the pavement next to me. She positioned yourself so that she was facing me, and she was smiling, saying that it was a good idea to take a little break from walking in the heat. She did that, so that I would not be embarrassed because people were just standing there staring at me on the ground, and after a little while, I was finally able to get up, stand, walk away, and she and I went along on our merry way.



20 January 2015

Whatever

“Sometimes you make choices in life and sometimes choices make you.” ~ Gayle Forman, If I Stay

(photo source: Unknown)

I saw this quote the other day and I thought it made so much sense. But then I started to think about it, and I realized that life and the choices we think we are making – it is not that simple.

I can choose to let whatever stays to stay, for whatever comes to come, and for whatever leaves to leave, but what if what comes is not good for me, or that which needs to go, stays, and it is detrimental to me? I realize that most of my life, I have been trying to hang on to those very same people that eventually left me, whether they be lovers, friends, or even family, and those that I have tried to push out of my life, such as the drunken ex, at one time or another, refused to leave. Do we really have a choice? Or do we just think we do? I think that we do not really have a choice as to who God (or whatever powerful entity you deem superior) brings into our life, and that the only thing we can control is how we react to whatever comes our way.

But this way of thinking has made me very non-reactive. I am almost nonchalant whenever I meet someone new. “Eh, if they want to stay in my life, they will, and if they do not, well, then ‘sayonara!’”

Can I really continue like this, to be dispassionate about whatever and whomever comes and stays in my life? Is this really how we are supposed to live our lives?

I guess I’ve been doing it all wrong all along.

16 January 2015

"No" is a Complete Sentence

“When we begin to set boundaries with people we love, a really hard thing happens: they hurt. They may feel a hole where you used to plug up their aloneness, their disorganization, or their financial irresponsibility. Whatever it is, they will feel a loss. If you love them, this will be difficult for you to watch. But, when you are dealing with someone who is hurting, remember that your boundaries are both necessary for you and helpful for them. If you have been enabling them to be irresponsible, your limit setting may nudge them toward responsibility.” ~ Henry Cloud, Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No
I have a friend, JC, who is constantly in financial trouble.  The thing about financial problems is that they have a domino effect.  For her, it all started when she erred in the amount of exemptions she was claiming on her income taxes.  She was not aware of the repercussions until she was hit one year with an exorbitant tax liability.  It was a liability so heavy that she had to borrow money to get herself out of the financial hole.  From whom did she borrow money?  Me, of course, and our friend, M.

She managed to pay back the monies she owed to us, but then she got herself into another hole.  In her defense, she is the only breadwinner in a family full of deadbeats who somehow manage to get pregnant every year, and so she supports her family members, along with their poor offspring. Feeling sorry for her at the time, I lent her ten thousand dollars by taking out a cash advance on my credit card, as well as fifteen hundred cash from my own personal savings.  Again, she was able topay me back, albeit after two years, but she only paid back the principal amount, and left me with the interest amount, which I have been paying every month, and the fifteen hundred to eat and never see again.

Now, she is once again in another black hole.  The biggest hole yet.  Eviction proceedings have been instituted against her, and she must come up with about ten thousand dollars within thirty days or she will be evicted.  She came crying to me the other day asking me for help.  I feel sick about her situation, but I also feel angry.  I am angry that she gets herself in these situations, and then turns around and expects me and M to fish her out of her drowning waters.  She came to me to ask if I could pitch in and help her.  She was very close to having the full ten thousand, having borrowed another four thousand from M, and she wanted to know if I could come up with the rest.

I told her that I would lend her another two thousand dollars, but it did not come without a tongue lashing.  I feel angry that I felt as though I had to say yes, lest she be evicted.  I feel very put on the spot.  If I say no, she will get evicted, making me a terrible person.  If I say yes, it will be a never-ending cycle of M and I bailing her out from her financial ruin.

14 January 2015

Pura Vida

“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.” ~ John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America


It feels as though this winter is harsher than last year.  It could just be that as I get older, my tolerance level for colder temperatures decreases exponentially as my years in age increase.

I did manage to escape New York for a few days a few months ago by taking a trip to Costa Rica.  It was beautiful there.  I even got up close and personal with a crocodile.



I stayed at this fabulous resort, Los Suenos, near Jaco.


I saw a beautiful sunset from the cliffs of Zephyr Place in Herradura.


Pura Vida.  Pure Life.  It's their main expression there in Costa Rica and is used in many forms, from a greeting to a synonym for "excellent."  It felt good hearing it, and it felt good saying it.  It is their way of life.  See you later, Costa Rica.  I will be back.  Pura Vida!

12 January 2015

Shameless

“It's funny, but have you ever noticed that the more special something is, the more people seem to take it for granted? It's like they think it won't ever change. Just like this house here. All it ever needed was a little attention, and it would never have ended up like this in the first place." ~ Nicholas Sparks, The Wedding
I've been talking to a few men lately.  Nothing serious.  It has all just been a lot of talking and text messaging.  I am definitely in no good mental state to be talking to anyone in any capacity, but I have to admit it has lifted my busted ego to be chased and complimented.  I realized that ever since he cheated on me, I have gone back to my old, insecure ways and have felt very undesirable and unwanted.  I post numerous self-portraits of myself on social media sites, in the hopes of getting compliments.  It has worked, and I have been receiving many messages from men complimenting my looks, and while it momentarily gives me a sense of happiness, the long term effects have not been so positive. I am left feeling cheap and low, having resorted to shameless ways to receive attention.

As of late, young men have been approaching me.  Within the last two weeks, every bloke that has approached me has been under the age of thirty.  One was even under the age of twenty-five.  We both calculated that he was born one year after I started university.  It got me thinking: why when I was twenty-four, no one my age ever appreciated me?  And more importantly, why didn't he appreciate me, when so many others now, some younger and more virile than he, are giving me the attention he stopped giving me, and appreciating me in the way he no longer felt?