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Archive for March, 2010

Just dance….

Who's the hottie on the left?

So last week, my Beloved had a gig in Naples and I went with him. He’s playing in a new band that plays some pretty nice clubs — classy atmosphere, sexy people, expensive drinks. Top-40 dance music is the name of the game so the set list includes everything from  Abba to Usher. The 28-year old lead singer/leader is an extremely talented vocalist — blond, gorgeous, hot. She also has a uber-sexy and talented male vocalist to cover the men’s parts and add variety — 6’4″, mocha color skin, dazzling smile, hawt. The band itself is made up of amazing musicians with a distinctly latin flair on bass, drums, and keyboards. And of course, Mike, my Beloved, on lead guitar playing the lead licks from Santana and Guns N Roses like the rock star he is.   

Pulsating rhythms, low lights, liquid libations flowed through the crowd;  ladies’  in low-cut, tight, boob revealing  club clothes gyrate on the floor with look-at-me moves; stylish men smelling of good cologne and hot sweat, with a few moves of their own, obliged the ladies. 

And where was I? In the middle of it all, shakin’ it on the dance floor — wearing my tight “little black dress” that Mike picked out the previous Sunday, “fuck me” high heels, bare legs, bare shoulders. As the bass became louder my legs bent at just the right angle so my thighs (as well as my tattoo) and calves looked their best; in my case “best” looks like I could break a man in half with them. mimicking the singer’s sexy lyrics I undulated my body, ground my hips, raised my arms high over my head so my small but firm breasts were prominently displayed.   

“Absolutely Stasha! You should enjoy your body and your ability. You’re young (at 43) and there’s nothing like the feeling of enjoying yourself to music. Your husband’s on stage and you should totally rock the vibe. It is, after all, just dancing, right?” 

Three wives and two guys -- yours truly took the photo.

 Um, no. You see, I wasn’t out there as “Mike’s wife,” neutered, stripped of my own sexuality and pretending like I wouldn’t know what to do with a penis if I saw one. Oh, no. I was Stasha, the real person, the grown-up person who wanted to feel real sex and lust and desire. I knew exactly what I was doing as I swung my ass towards the fellow I dubbed “the big guy” (I know, real creative, right?) or “the salt & pepper one.” The ladies charms weren’t off-limits either. I loved the feeling when they sauntered up close behind me, put a hand on my hips and we swayed back and forth in unison. This wasn’t chaste. It was sex.  And I loved it. 

Are you shocked? 

If you are, that’s fine with me. I’m well aware that I was breaking pretty much every rule of proper behavior along the clearly established “what women do” lines. You see, here’s the thing: I recently realized that, contrary to the teachings of the church and generally accepted moral “authorities” I didn’t lose my sexual interest in people when I got married. 

Now I made a deal, a deal with one person, my Beloved. But the rest of you — society, church folk, family, friends, clients, co-workers, whatever — can all piss off. 

I’m sorry. Was that harsh?  I don’t mean to be, but I’ve been bottled up for too long. I’ve discovered, on my dogged pursuit, that one of the biggest things that interferes with my happiness is other people’s judgements of my behavior. Let’s take the sexy dancing, shall we? 

Before I got married, I was fairly prudish conservative overall but I certainly enjoyed the boys as much as my conscious would allow. I enjoyed the deep stare, the challenging flirting, the “is that all ya got?” banter with my male cohorts. I didn’t get to enjoy dancing or sex much (for a lot of fucked up reasons that perhaps I’ll post about another time) but I thoroughly enjoyed the part of me that could connect with others via that playful, sensual, and yes, sexual part of my brain. 

But the day I got married, the game was over. Of course, being married to the sexiest, coolest guy in the world is a great help with that, I didn’t really miss it for a while, but eventually, I started to realize that I’d cut out my gonads with a diamond ring. I made this realization, in fact, the day I realized that I HADN’T done that to Mike. I like watching him flirt, I love to see the ladies laugh at his jokes, toss their hair, and give him “neck.” If they communicate to him in any way, at all, that they think he’s sexy, smart, and cute, I’m thrilled. I never expected him to NOT be responsive to beautiful women nor to not enjoy their attention, I just expect him to honor our deal. 

We have a saying, he and I, “I don’t care who pumps the tires as long as I’m the one riding the bicycle.” It works for us. 

Or at least, it was working for him. 

I was still holding back and oddly, at one time he was expecting me to as well. “What would people think?” he’d say. “You have to be careful people don’t get the ‘wrong’ idea” he’d add. “What if these people you dance with think they have a chance with you?” he’d fret. 

1) I don’t care; 2) I won’t be responsible for what other people think; and 3) then they’ll have to learn to live with disappointment. 

Problem solved; moving on. 

That’s the thing, you see. I really don’t care what other people think, they don’t get a say in how I live my life, how Mike lives his, or how we live ours. At the end of the road if “they” chose to spend their time on this earth on the sidelines and they are proud of their restraint then I’ll be happy for them. They lived the life they wanted to live and hopefully experienced it the way they wanted to. But I have to experience mine the way I want. And the only person who has any say at all was on the stage. And even then, he has a say, but he does not get to decide if I get to be myself, only if who I am is worth spending his life with. 

Me and the other wives; some seriously hot gals there.

 I wasn’t just “happy” on that dance floor, I was joyous. I felt integrated, like all of me was present. I felt like I formed a series of short but fun connections with like-minded (or at least close enough for the moment) people — men and women alike. I loved looking up to the stage, and seeing my Beloved doing what he loves best, interacting with the other musicians, feeding off the energy of the crowd. I loved telling everyone I was the lead guitar-player’s wife; waving to him, twirling around so he could see his girl, together for 15 years, in the sexy sheath he picked out. 

When the gentlemen came over and wordlessly offered their hands to usher me on to the floor, I loved it. 

When the ladies formed the “girl circle” and laughed and smiled and tried to outdo each other with athleticism combined with ‘”what if” sex appeal, I loved that too. 

When my thigh or my arm or my breast came in contact with another person’s skin or clothes, knowing that underneath the fabric was a flesh and blood person who for five minutes, maybe ten, thought I was hawt, wow, do I ever love that. 

When I looked into their eyes and could once again see the shared challenge and curiosity of “I wonder what she/he’d be like?” Well, send me to hell if you must, but I fuckin’ love that. 

And when the night was over and I was collapsed on the couch, finishing my last drink (Ginger Ale by now), holding my Mike’s guitars while the same strangers I’d been dancing with smiled and waved thanks at him for filling their night with rhythm and music, well, do I have to tell you how much I love that? 

And when at last my Beloved takes me by the hand, proudly pats me on the ass, and we walk to our minivan to head back to the hotel so I can rest my exhausted body on his and snuggle up next to his heat and he can stroke my hair and murmur “it looked like you were having a great time” I can whisper, “Oh yeah, baby. I just love to dance.”

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I don’t know how many of you can remember the day you “got it,” but I can. Clearly. I don’t remember the actual “date” of course, nor ever really what time of year, but I think it was Spring of 1983.

I was sitting English class with the rest of the pseudo-brainiacs of my rural, country, shit-kickin’ high school. The truth of the matter is that we were quite a diverse bunch because some people’s parents lived in the country because they were quite wealthy and could afford a hundred acres of luscious horse farm; some were so dirt poor they couldn’t afford decent screens on their trailer in Hog Valley. (Yes, there is a Hog Valley, Florida.) We had about a 49/49 black/white ratio with the other two percent being various shades of whatever. But skin color alone would tell you nothing of our diversity; you’d have to factor in, among many other divisions, rednecks vs. potheads, horse farmers vs. dairy farmers, simple country folk vs. those destined for the Ivy Leagues.

In English class that day were one or two smart jock types, several cheerleaders (I wasn’t one), a number of nerdy but wickedly funny guys, and lots of band members (yes!) in the “advanced” classes. We had a mix of the popular and the not-so-much but this group of kids, for the most part, always seemed to have the same classes.

Now, we were smart, but pretty typical kids, and today we were studying poetry. Squished into our 1940s style slide-in wooden desks, books tucked under the seat, with the appropriate amount of slouch for the guys and side-ways curl for the girls, we read aloud, stanza after stanza of 19th century British poetry. Yep, poetry. Mrs. Unold (real name, folks, and it’s pronounced “mizzez you-nold”) was sitting in her own 1940s desk, the top scattered with decades of carved initials and sanding where the more, ahem, inappropriate remarks had been removed by the custodial staff or the offenders in detention. And here it is, the poem:

TO THE VIRGINS, TO MAKE MUCH OF TIME.
by Robert Herrick, 1891


GATHER ye rosebuds while ye may,
    Old time is still a-flying:
And this same flower that smiles to-day
    To-morrow will be dying.

That age is best which is the first,
    When youth and blood are warmer;
But being spent, the worse, and worst
    Times still succeed the former.

Then be not coy, but use your time,
    And while ye may go marry:
For having lost but once your prime
    You may for ever tarry.

The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,
    The higher he’s a-getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
    And nearer he’s to setting.

 

Imagine, if you will, a class of unsophisticated, heavily Christian, hormone-hyped, basically bumpkins reading aloud Mr. Herrick’s words. After the last line was uttered in the halting monotone of a 16 year-old voice, Mrs. Unold stared at the class. We stared back.

“Well?”

Silence.

“What does it mean?”

Glances exchanged, looks of confusion, and still, the silence. Ten seconds pass, twenty, thirty.

“What point, children, is Mr. Herrick trying to make?”

Ms. Unold holds our collective and slightly stupid gazes till she’s had enough of our dumb-asses.

“It’s about sex!” Her hand slams down on the top of the desk, “It’s about getting it on!!” Slam. “It’s about ‘what are you saving it for?’!” One slam for each syllable.

And the light bulb went on, the darkness disappeared, and I got it.

Not the sex part. No, Mrs. Unold and Mr. Herrick could not overcome 16 years of Reverends’ Chapman, Henry, Walker, et al reigning down hellfire and brimstone in regards to normal, healthy biologic functions. And I was still way too young to realize I was, in fact, living under Damacles’ sword – time.

I got the words. Language. Meaning. Rhythm. Meter. Beauty. Emotion. Love. Fear. Joy. In an instant, it all made sense. Words on paper transferred one person’s intention to another person across time. Mr. Herrick was talking to me. His message had meaning — relevant, real meaning — to me, personally, and I felt it like a lightning bolt.

Moreover, like a giant puzzle that magically formed a perfect picture, I saw that words were the pieces. I think I must have read that poem a hundred times. The sense of “getting it” was so strong. Soon, I was reading Shakespeare’s sonnets and understanding the meaning behind them:


LX

Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore,

So do our minutes hasten to their end,

Each changing place with that which goes before

In sequent toil all forwards do contend.

Nativity, once in the main of light,

Crawls to maturity, wherewith, being crowned,

Crooked eclipses ‘gainst his glory fight

And Time that gave, doth now his gift confound.

Time doth transfix the flourish set on youth,

And delves the parallels in beauty’s brow,

Feeds on the rarities of natures truth,

And nothing stands but for his scythe to mow;

    And yet, to times, in hope, my verse shall stand,

    Praising thy worth, despite his cruel hand.

 

And when I went to college to study theater and acting, my mastery of language grew so that when Roger Rees (of Royal Shakespeare fame) conducted a master’s class he whistled in appreciation at my ability, at the age of 20, to nail in performance this particular piece of the master’s work.

I got it.

And as I started making a minor living as an entertainer I was able to read scripts and instantly go to the meaning of the words. Like one of those pictures that make no sense until you stare at them just right and a 3-D image “magically” appears, I could look at the words and in seconds see the meaning in stunning reality. I was, and I think still am, a rockin’ good sight-reader.

I got it.

And as I grew in the craft of acting, using words to create new life, I started to see how both the writing and the intent could be shifted and manipulated to vary meaning and outcome. Change this word for that you could completely change the imprint left on the reader’s soul. Move a word from here to there, and what was benign could become sinister and vice versa.

I got it.

And as I aged off the stage and started writing words as opposed to performing them I realized that I — little ol’ me — could have the same effect across time as Mr. Herrick and Mr. Shakespeare. Now I’m not so vain as to think my efforts are quite to their standards, but I’m also not so modest as to think it isn’t pretty damn good. I write for this blog, which is mostly for myself and I’m lucky that some of you folks seem to enjoy it, and find it entertaining and maybe even enlightening on occasion. And I write for clients, who are trying to impart something worthwhile to their visitors, customers, and other strangers.

Words are not only my joy but my living. I write for pleasure and for profit and because I’m reasonably good at it I enjoy the fruits of this labor. With my Beloved, our company also spreads a little wealth around; I hire other writers and performers, buy goods and services, and certainly give a good percentage to Uncle Sam.

It was you, Mizzez Unold, who made it all possible. One day in maybe the Spring of ’83, you connected two dots for one little Redneck kid in a nothin’ little town in jerk-water Florida… and the world unfolded. And my life changed forever and for the better. I hope over the past 27 years I’ve applied this moment of clarity in positive ways and used my humble powers of prose for good and not for evil.

And so, to you Mrs. Unold, I want to leave you with this – Thank you. Your beauty, your skill as a teacher, your willingness to get to the meat of a matter, your daily commitment to the often ungrateful, unwilling, and oh-so-unknowing teenagers, and certainly to this one, has transcended time and place. One day I may be able to do better, but for now, I have to steal from my main man, Mr. Willie Shakespeare:

And yet, to times, in hope, my verse shall stand,

    Praising thy worth, despite his cruel hand.

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As promised, this week is going to be truncated. Quick captions only my friends. So without further ado:  

Sunday, Feb. 21, 2010 — Where’d the water go?  

Water is the next war in Florida. Mike and I took the motorcycle out and found a great little restaurant on a lake a couple of towns over. Obviously, the lake is wayyyyyy down. Strange thing though, we’ve had record rain, plenty of moisture this year. No drought. The thing is though (shhhhhh) our local water management service struck several deals with local municipalities and the state to, in essence, rob our water and sell it to private bottling companies. And you know what they said when they struck the deal? Suckers.  

52-365_The Lake is down_Sun 022110

 

Monday, Feb. 22, 2010 — All small towns ‘ve got ’em.  

The local hairdresser. On any given night, on your way to you local watering hole, you’re gonna see some lady getting her hair fixed. I love this time of year though; you can see the front door’s open and the distinctive aroma of hairspray, coloring agents, perms, shampoos, conditioners, and the ever-present potpourri waft out the front door — along with the laughter.  

53_365_Small town hairdresser

 

Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2010 — A friend in need….  

I met a friend for drinks and to lend an ear tonight. Sometimes, a cluster-fuck shit storm reigns down on your head. And all you can do is trying to be a friend in deed.  

54-365 A friend in need

 

Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2010 — I like my bike  

I’ve always been a pretty frugal gal. I’m a Scot. So when I decided to take up biking to work about 15 years ago I went to my parents and dug out my brother’s old green Schwinn. The I wanted to start mountain biking and riding more single track so I found this old 21-speed Diamond Back at a yard sale for $100. It’s definitely showing its age, but damn this thing just rides good! Great gears!  

55-365_Bike_Wed 022410

 

Thursday, Feb. 25, 2010 — Some things just ain’t right  

On Thursday Mike and I had to travel for business. Now we often end up in places like Utah or Texas or Kansas or Massachusetts. This time we ended up in St. Augustine. So, ya know, Florida right. Where I’ve lived all my life. And I have never, ever seen this. Look at the sales pitch on the back, then the license plate. How many customers could this possibly garner?  

56-365_Free Snow Removal

 

Friday, Feb. 26, 2010 — Yes, a beach in Florida  

I’m a real Floridian but I grew up in the interior of the state so I’m not really a “beach” girl. But if I was, this is my kind of beach. So many folks think of Florida’s beaches as Miami or Daytona (“The World’s Most Famous Beach!” Really?) But this is also a beach in Florida, one of many, and yes you can come here in high season and not see a freakin’ soul in either direction. This particular shot was taken just north of St. Augustine and just south of Ponte Verde (you know, where Tiger Woods gave his non-mea culpa).  

Pretty, ain’t it.  

57-365_Empty beach -- ahhhhh

 

Oh, and the beach is that color due to the fact that it is primarily made up of a particular type of crushed shell. Give a few weeks and I’ll be able to tell you why.  

57-365 -- shell sand

 

Saturday, Feb. 28, 2010 — Another view of Florida  

And just a few short miles away, is this — one of Florida’s hardwood hammocks. In this case, you can see a great example of a Scrub Oak. It’s actually a real oak tree but it get’s it’s stunted height and twisted shape from the abundance of salt in the air as well as the pretty much steady ocean breezes. Take an acorn from one of these, plant it farther inland, and you’ll end up with a pretty majestic looking oak. Here, it almost looks like the land of Dr. Seuss!  

58-365_Scrub Oaks

 

Well, that’s the week folks! I started getting sick the next day, pouted around the house, took a photo of my used kleenex, my computer, and the general disarray that I’d sunk in to. Pathetic. Bye-bye, Week 9! I’ll pick up next week!  

And maybe, just maybe, I’ll write something down worth reading. So for now, all my deep thoughts and revelation will have to remain sequestered in my stuffy brain.

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Whew! Am I ever behind. This has to stop. Changes must be made.
 
Step 1: Identify the problem: Over-complicating
Step 2: Identify the undesirable result: Not getting anything posted! Backlog of photos!! Too much to write about!!! Out of fucking time all the fucking time!!!!
Step 3: Breathe
Step 4: Make a change
 
I’m about 2 weeks behind now so I’m going to finish week seven with a few notes for each photo, then I’m going upload week 8 but only the photos, no captions.
 
I’ve been sick this week (9) and missed a couple of days and the pictures I took suck. Just… well… suck. So I’m writing off the week. I hate that. But it’s how it’s going to be. It’s either let go of this problem or continue to let it eat me up so sorry kids, Week 9 is a goner.
 
But now, the abbreviated conclusion to Week 7. Enjoy! 
 
Friday, Feb. 19, 2010 – Simple Things
 
We left off with lots of heavy thinking about family, loss, legacy. Quite frankly, I couldn’t take it anymore. That week a new eatery had a soft opening in our little town and since Mike and I know these owners as well, decided to check ’em out for lunch. The place is lovely, but the ladies had made the prettiest, and simplest centerpieces. An easy choice for a photo.
 

50-365_Simple Things_Fri-021910

Just so you can see, Mike also took a shot of me taking a shot. Kinda cool.

50-365_Stasha taking photo of flower_Fri-021910

Saturday, Feb. 20, 2010 — Really, it’s a lake.

Actually it’s the same lake I always take a photo of — Lake Apopka. And it really looked like this on this day. The temperature was mild but cool and the lake had a very slight fog hanging over it. Splitting the image, you can barely see the North shore.

Very, very peaceful. I needed that.

51-365_Lake Apopka- far shore on horizen_Sat 022010

 Next — Week 9 — A little work, a little play.

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