Sunday, May 30, 2004

Damn, this thing is good!
From her, who got it from her


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Thursday, May 27, 2004

The Perfect Holiday for a Jew-loving Pagan

Today is the Jewish holiday of Shavuot. Hebophile that I be, I just learned about this recently. According to my research, this festival is very old, and tied to the land. I love the traditions described - they are very pagan, and as the milennia marched on, changed to fit in with traditional Judaism. Eventually, as most Jewish things did, this morphed into a Christian holiday: Pentecost. The progression from Pagan to Judaic to Christian is so clear to see, with a very strong through line harvesting, first from physical labor, and later from spiritual labor. There are also classic Numerologic facets, as well as the earthy worship of sacrificial death and rebirth.

I just think this kind of thing is so damn cool. Dig my research. I found all of this on the internet in one morning before lunch, G-d bless Google.

First of all, the Torah (Which I learned is not just the Old Testament, it's just the first few (I think 5?) books of the bible) refers to Shavuot by other names:
1) Hag ha-katzir, (Exodus 23:14-19) the feast of the harvest
2) Hag Hashavuot, the festival of weeks, and as Yom ha-bikurim, (Leviticus 23:9-22) the day of first fruits

According to

Shavuot is the holiday Jews universally accept as the day when G-d gave the Jewish people the Torah following Moses' descent from Mount Sinai. However, nowhere in the Torah is the holiday of Shavuot actually linked to Matan Torah, the giving of the Torah.

Instead, the Torah refers to Shavuot as an agricultural festival. It marked the transition between the barley harvest, which was brought to the priest in the Temple in Jerusalem on the sixteenth of Nisan and the start of the wheat-ripening season, which began the first week of Sivan.

Nisan and Sivan are months, but wouldn't they make lovely names for twin girls?

Wait a minute. Harvest? Agriculture? How pagan is that!?

As stated on

Shavuot is known also as Yom Habikkurim, or "the Day of the First Fruits" The farmers of Israel would begin their spring harvests with the barley crop at Passover. The harvest continued for seven weeks (Note the number 7, the importance of which I will discuss later.) as the other crops and fruits began to ripen. As each fruit ripened, the first of each type would not be eaten but instead the farmer would tie a ribbon around the the branch. This ribbon signified that these fruits were Bikkurim, or the first fruits.

Here we have a classic pagan celebration of the sacred land, and reverence of its fruits.


The celebration became a mini-pilgrimage, or chag, where they would stay at their region's shrine, bringing with them grain loaves and young livestock for sacrifices.

Basically, a tribal community ritual. However:

As the Jewish kings started to centralize religious activity into Jerusalem (a process that took several centuries), this pilgrimage and sacrifice was brought there, with all the songs, processions, liturgies and pageantry that Jerusalem did so well. explains this in greater detail:

At Shavuot the farmers would gather the Bikkurim into baskets and bring them to the city of Jerusalem where they would be eaten in the holy city. The farmers living close to Jerusalem would bring fresh fruits, while those who had to travel a long distance carried dried raisins and figs. This joyful occasion was celebrated with the music of fifes, timbres, and drums. As the pilgrims approached the city walls they were greeted by the inhabitants of the city. Sometimes the King himself would join the procession to the Temple Mount.


The Bikkurim ritual is no longer practiced in present day Israel.

Far too pagan for modern times, I'm sure. Also the violence in the area might preclude large numbers of Jewish Farmers from rolling into Central Palestine with fruit. Also after the biblical events of slavery in Egypt and the Exodus into the desert, I'm betting there weren't a whole lot of first fruits being cultivated for awhile.

Now: The Numerological aspects. Shavuot is part of a trilogy of ritual pilgrimages:

Shavuot is the second of the shalosh regalim, the three annual pilgrimage holidays of Pesach, Shavuot, and Sukkot, when Jews from all over Israel and beyond converged onto Jerusalem to celebrate and bring temple offerings.(

Here we see the emergence of the number three - sacred in many religion traditions. Father, Son, and Holy Ghost being the most obvious. The Number 3 has always been huge in my personal life as well. I see the number 3 most strongly in the 3 faces of the Goddess as Maiden, Mother and Crone, and reminds me of the 3 great laments sung by bereaved women in the celtic mythological histories, one of whom I am named for. I also connect strongly with the geometrical 3 - the triangle or pyramid, nature's intrinsically strongest form. I grew up in households of threes: I am the only child of my parents, and so was my mother. I myself will feel completely fulfilled if I only have one daughter. I even had three cats growing up, and thanks to my roomate, have three cats in my apartment now!

Ok, tangent there. Anyway.

I found an especially fun little tidbit on that implied that there was more going on in the early Yom Bikkurim celebrations than just bringing fruits and grains to temple and being thankful. We've already seen that there was music and celebrating accompanying this festival... there's only one thing missing from this Springtime rite.

The Celtic Spring festival of Beltane is well known for its sexual connotations, but most importantly, it was a fertility celebration, having to do with the birth of the land and its ability to bear the fruit which sustained human life (crops, livestock, etc). It was also a time of gathering of the community. People ate early-harvested fruits and grains. Instead of tying ribbons around their crops, women and men tied them in their hair, along with flowers There was music and dancing. There was a centralized spot in the tribal location for the festivities where everyone would gather with their goodies. (potluck!) The fertility part comes in when the Great Holy Union of God and Goddess was celebrated, bringing forth new life in the land after the winter. This was acted out ritualistically by druids in the British Isles, and centuries later by couples getting married in Celtic Free Gaul. Even today, the vast majority of couples choose to marry in the late spring. Just cruise by David's Bridal in May and you'll see what I mean.

Now, Beltane's timing is a little off from Shavuot - Beltane is the Spring Equinox, usually around April 21st. However, according to, Yom Bikkurim was celebrated very similarly:

In very ancient Palestine, this first-fruit sacrifice was tightly tied into the religions of the gods of power and fertility (both in farming and in sex).

Hey - they said Sacrifice! Not just offering! Very powerful from a Pagan point of view. We have not only a thanksgiving for prosperity, but the recognition of death leading to new life. The principle of re-birth is recognized. Winter to Spring. Old God impregnates the Goddess and dies. New God is born. Old ways of living give way to new. Etc, etc, etc.

By the way, there is another number strongly associated with this particular festival: The number 7.

The Torah commands that Shavuot be celebrated exactly seven weeks after the second day of Pesach, the day of the first Omer, the early barley harvest offering. (

Ah yes - Omer! From

According to the Torah (Lev. 23:15), we are obligated to count the days from the second night of Passover to the day before Shavu'ot, seven full weeks. This period is known as the Counting of the Omer.

Another tie to the earth!

An omer is a unit of measure. On the second day of Passover, in the days of the Temple, an omer of barley was cut down and brought to the Temple as an offering.

Every night, from the second night of Passover to the night before Shavu'ot, we recite a blessing and state the count of the omer in both weeks and days. So on the 16th day, you would say "Today is sixteen days, which is two weeks and two days of the Omer."

The counting is intended to remind us of the link between Passover, which commemorates the Exodus, and Shavu'ot, which commemorates the giving of the Torah. It reminds us that the redemption from slavery was not complete until we received the Torah.

Here we see how the holiday changed over the years. As referenced at the beginning of this article, the harvest festival of Yom Bikkurim was replaced with the religious holiday of Shavuot. To me this seems like a natural evolution of thought, as virtually all civilizations moved from the earth-bound faiths to the more esoteric deistic religions. As states, "As the Jews grew to understand themselves as followers of the one and only true God, they created ways to be thankful to God for the first harvest, without the pagan trappings." Exodus happend. Exile. So much for harvesting. Then, God appeared, and Moses brought the tablets down from the mountain. A Harvest of God's love, after the people's long laborious exodus from Egypt. Proof that they had not been abandoned. That even though their old way of life may have died out, there was a new life and new future awaiting them.

Which brings us to the Christian holiday of Pentecost. SpiritHome continues:

The word 'Pentecost' comes from the Greek; it simply means 'fiftieth'. Pentecost Sunday ends the season of Easter; it is the sabbath day after a week's worth of weeks (7 x 7 = 49).

Here we have the Numerological analysis of the holiday. According to

The energy of Number 7 is that of the mystic, the recluse, the solitary thinker, the spiritual seeker, and the scientist. It carries the energy of philosophy, contemplation, privacy, reflection, isolation, seclusion, research, profound thought, and eccentricity. This number virtually craves solitude and silence ... with plenty of time to think, meditate, and dream.

How perfect - to count the time between the Exodus and the giving of the ten commandments for 7x7 weeks. To contemplate that journey, its meaning, and our place in the universe as children of God. And after that: Shavuot. Giving thanks, pilgrimage, and in the pagan times, party!

I'd be remiss not to discuss Pentecost just a bit. From

As Luke reports it, the believers had gathered together after Jesus returned to the Father. (That would be Easter.) Not just the 12 disciples, but about 120 of them. They were talking, remembering, praying, wondering what was next. (They had just been through several of the strangest months there ever were.) On the morning of Pentecost, they... started telling the people they met about Jesus. The streets were full of people from many places, mostly there for the holy day, some still hanging around from Passover. When each of them heard the witnesses speak, they heard it in their own language! (That is, if they were allowing themselves to listen; otherwise, they heard babbling, as shown by the remarks about drunkenness.) (Hm. Some leftover Pagan partying?) What was being told, for the first time in full form, was the good news of Jesus and what it means for all people. But more than words : the words were being carried with power and authority by the Holy Spirit into the ears and the hearts of those who are listening. About 3000 new people join their ranks. This is the first fruits of a new kind of harvest, and the giving of a new covenant of grace that fulfils the covenant of the Torah.

Wow. That's one hell of a story. Basically God spoke through about 120 people to about 3000, telling them that everything was going to be different from here on out. Sacrifice. Re-birth. Change. The wheel turns again, and we're in a whole new place theologically.

That was 2000 years ago. I wonder how many thousands of years passed between the first Yom Bikkurim and the Ten Commandments. How many thousands between Moses and the death of Jesus. And how many thousands will pass before this wheel turns again?

And will my granddaughters be there?

If so, I hope they write the new gospels.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Seeing my ex-husband on Saturday was a lot of fun for awhile, and very upsetting afterwards. Throughout our marriage I kept trying to straighten him out, and then I just was waiting and hoping he would straighten himself out, and of course he never did. He still really hasn’t. But he is also still cute, funny, smart, and able to make my knees weak when he sings. He still makes me feel soft and fuzzy in the chest and he still gives fantastic big hugs. There’s a sense in which I will always love him… but my disappointment in him as a husband was so profound that I can’t bring myself to ever trust him again. So I just keep walking away. I keep letting him go. It’s not always hard. Going back to EH again would be just short of suicidal. But Saturday was hard.

EH and I are both singing as part of a quartet in our galpal’s wedding ceremony, which is in a few weeks. Gal is not only close friends with both of us, but she sang in our wedding 5 years ago. How could we not do this? We certainly have no reason not to. EH and I are having the most amicable seperation and divorce I have ever heard of. We get along great and, occasionally, not often, enjoy spending some time together. We are friends. I have moved on, and I'm sure he has too.

I have been SO excited, thinking about doing this wedding. Gal is a professional musical theatre actress. It’s an honor to be asked to sing in her wedding when she could have had anyone she wanted. Add in the fact that the wedding is on Block Island in early June. I’ll be spending two nights there in a B&B singing with awesome vocalists for one of my best friends, eating well and dancing with my boyfriend, who will be accompanying me. Yep, I got a date and all. I’m SO looking forward to this.

So, last Saturday I rehearsed with EH and 2 others at his Wall Street apartment. We’re singing two beautiful madrigals. We sound so great together, the four of us. We had fun learning the music and working on it. It’s going to be a blast. We must have worked on it for 2 hours.

Reminder: EH was friends with Zenchick’s friend Amy, which is how Zenchick and I met. So. Since Zenchick was in town for the blogfest, I hung around EH’s place for a few minutes after rehearsal, eating pistachio nuts and waiting for Zenchick to stop by. The plan was she and EH get to visit a bit, and then she and I head up to the Village to meet the bloggers for lunch.

So Zenny arrives. Hug hug, how’s it going, catching up, blah blah blah. At some point during the conversation, EH’s phone rang. ZC and I babbled while he dealt with it. I heard him say “No, now’s a great time. Some people are here, come on over.” I thought nothing of it. Until he hung up the phone and said “That was LM.”

LM is a gal who did a show with EH back when he and I were newly engaged. She was very young at the time (under 20) and EH was about 31. She had a crush on him and flirted baaaad. In the show, there was choreography that had her straddling him in a chair and placing his hands all over her, which she clearly relished. We thought it was amusing at the time. She was cute. That was 6 years ago.

Now, EH and I are of course separated, I’m dating, he’s available. She’s still around. They have kept in touch all this time.

What was I supposed to think?

I was still sitting at his table eating those damn yummy pistachio nuts. I made a crack to Zenchick that LM was after David for awhile, and how cute she was. EH said, “No, I was after her for awhile.” Oh really? I kept munching and talking. “The last time I saw her, Zenny, they were doing a show together, and he had his hands on her ass.” (Flip and funny, right?) “Tits,” EH corrected me. “Oh yeah,” I said, scratching my head. “Maybe it was both.”

Somehow we left. Somehow I lost the feeling in my gut. Like my stomach was hollow. I remember wondering how many pistachios I had eaten. I shook. “Are you alright?” Zenchick asked on the elevator down. “No,” I said. EH lives on Wall street and it’s a nice elevator. Still, I found myself sobbing. But I was fine. Elevator was lovely. Zenchick gave me a hug. I sobbed.

We got on the 2 train to head to the Village and Rafaella’s. I started babbling. “All of our wedding stuff and things we bought during the marriage is in his apartment. All that stuff - that was our household. It’s everywhere. He’s using it all. Did you notice?”

The dishes, the towels, the knick-knacks. The candlesticks Zenchick had given us as a wedding present. The furniture. The Disney figurines that he started buying because I liked them, and then never gave them to me, deciding instead to start a collection of his own. This Disney thing is a huge gaping wound between us. I won’t go into the details here. But seeing the Fantasia Sprite on his shelf prominently displayed was a knife in my gut.

And then LM. “I’ll bet they’re having sex right now,” I chattered. “If he was after her he could get her. She’s been ready to lift her skirt for him for years. All these years! I’ll bet they’re fucking right now.”

Why the hell did I give a damn? I enjoy fantastic sex with my boyfriend all the time. David and I were never all that hot together anyway. What was I really jealous of? Or was this even really jealousy at all? It felt more like… mourning.

Then I said “I hope they are having sex. That would be so great for him. I think he needs that.”

The thing is, I really meant it.

Zenchick just stood there on the train, listening patiently. “We’re wrong for each other,” I said. “But it’s hard for me to stop seeing the man I fell in love with.”

“Maybe he feels the same way about you,” She said.

At that point, we realized we had mistakenly boarded the south-bound train and were now speeding into Brooklyn. We got off at Clark street and switched to the uptown. “I think you’d better take responsibility for getting us to Rafaella’s, Zenny,” I laughed. “I’m in a bit of a place here I think.”

“That’s ok,” Said Zenchick, in her quintessentially Zen way.

Later, at Rafaella’s, I was laughing at Mark and Zenny scrapping, eating an eggplant panini and discovering that Crash and I may have been separated at birth, as evidenced by our mutual blonde fetishes and penchants for foreign film. We all marveled that the Accidental New Yorker had been the first to post a funny story about the previous evenings GB:NY party. MAK nursed a hangover and everyone watched pretty boys walking past the windows. Zenchick camcordered the whole thing. Life was back to normal.

Monday, May 24, 2004

Mondays SUCK

Just for the record, I an DYING to read everyone's blogs and I am ITCHING to write my own review of last weekend's festivities, but unfortunately I have to actually work at my job, not sit here and blog like many of you seem to be able to do. Please don't take that wrong... I'm not dissing you, I'm jealous and pissed. Wah.

It will likely be Wednesday night by the time I get to post. By then this will all be so passe. Like Kyle Broslovski and the Chimpokomons.


My job is prison. I don't know who I have to blow to get out of here. Worse, I have no confidence that said blow recipient could (or would bother to) actually deliver on the release papers. People lie a lot.

Have a nice day.

Friday, May 21, 2004

It never seems like a New Year until Spring. When it starts warming up - THEN I can start thinking about things I'd like to change for the upcoming year. Thankfully, I anticipated this, and have already begun.

I wanted to lose some weight. I started Weight Watchers when I got back from my New Year's vacation. I have been walking about an hour a day, 2-3 days a week, and I bought a workout video which I make an idiot of myself with almost every night before the roomate gets home. It's working. My fat pants are loose. Bitchin.

I wanted to cook more so I could save money. Well, let's face it, with a 4-hour commute, I don't have time to cook... so I compromised by buying frozen dinners and other such no-cook options. Some of that stuff ain't half bad. It's cheaper than restaurants and I'm not going hungry.

I wanted to write more. Ok. In addition to this delightful little creative juicer, a friend asked me to write an essay for her e-newsletter, which I really enjoyed working on. (I'll post a link one of these days.) I've also begun tinkering with some old projects I abandoned years ago, which in some ways is harder than starting something new.

I wanted to not shop. Thankfully the current spring collections are boring, blase, bleeecchhh. Not shopping not a problem. Yet. Give it another month.

I wanted to sing more. So: Zerlina. Yeah, still giddy about that.

I wanted to make my paycheck go farther and refill my savings account. Hm. Working on that. A $1300+ tax debt slammed me back a few months. I know what you're all thinking. Well, it was either eat or have more withheld last year. I chose to eat every day. Now I'm paying for it. Oh, yeah, and there there were hopsital bills and my divorce lawyer to pay. 2003 sucked.

2004 MUST be better.

A new president would help. To that end, I am considering - I am either crazy, desperate, or high on chocolate right now (probably all three) - joining the Elect Kerry efforts going on here in NYC. One of my best gal pals from my church is involved and loves it. Lord know the last thing I need is more time commitments, and I can just HEAR my quasi-republican boyfriend's eyes rolling in his head, but I am really concerned. Every time I think about what this country might be like after 4 more years of freedom revoking, I get upset and depressed, sometimes even scared. For all I know the war on women will get me and my Goddess-loving friends burned at a stake. I swear to God I wouldn't put it past them. Anything that upsets me that much, I feel I should somehow act on.

Other wishes/goals for 2004:
1. Peace among the cats in my apartment.
2. Clarity in the love department (oh come on, I'm wishing here!)
3. Get a musical instrument into this house. If Grandpa's piano is too much effort, buy a cheap guitar. I don't need to be fucking Janis Joplin, I just need to feed my song-writing impulses.
4. Banish the conviction that my job is karmic punishment for past fuck-ups
6. Bake more healthy desserts
7. Fearlessly throw out half my wardrobe. Nobody needs this much shit.
8. Stay monogamous.
9. Write more, even if it’s crap.

I should come up with a 10th, just for the sake of having a nice round number.


Thursday, May 20, 2004

In other news, I stayed up until 1AM scubbing my bathroom last night in anticipation of her arrival for the Great Blogger Convergance of 2004.

I am so thrilled to finally meet these guys! I could gush on and on about what I know of each of them, but I'll wait until Monday for that. Who knows what disillusionment the weekend has in store. (That was for you....)

The hype on this is amazing. The event has been immortalized graphically, and soon will be even more so once the Camcorder and Digicams do their work. A collection may be taken to get him to exhibit some professional irresponsibility and fly out here at the last minute. Everyone is giving pep talks to their livers. And I hear the streets are being cleaned in the East Village and Chelsea right now. Just for us.

Thank God for the Internet.
Something happened at work that is like the answer to a prayer. I thought it was impossible.

I sit here, quietly appreciating the abundance that flows into my life when I least expect it. I sit here in gratitude and hopeful anticipation of a more positive 2004.

Monday, May 17, 2004

Governor puts basement junk up for sale

I swear, I thought at first that this was a joke. It could have been in The Onion.
Them's Good Eatin!

Cicada Recipes

Although I pride myself on getting my recipes from exotic places, rest assured that I will NOT be trying any of these.

Just look at the PDF. So quaint.

"You're going to grab one and put it in your mouth alive," he says with a twinkle in his eye. "You have to."
- Renowned Chef Jaques Tiziou, looking forward to feasting.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Quote of the day, from the Washington Post:

Asked if he minded that his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, is outspoken, Kerry said: "Not in the least. Are you kidding? I'm proud of her for that. And I think that people respect that."

Kerry predicted Americans will like his wife once they get to know her.

"You know, it's funny," he said. "She says sometimes, 'Why is it when men express their view, they have opinions, and when women express their view, they're opinionated?'"
In honor of my reaching 1,166 hits on this blog:

* The Lord's day

reference #1166:
"By a tradition handed down from the apostles which took its origin from the very day of Christ's Resurrection, the Church celebrates the Paschal mystery every seventh day, which day is appropriately called the Lord's Day or Sunday." The day of Christ's Resurrection is both the first day of the week, the memorial of the first day of creation, and the "eighth day," on which Christ after his "rest" on the great sabbath inaugurates the "day that the Lord has made," the "day that knows no evening." The Lord's Supper is its center, for there the whole community of the faithful encounters the risen Lord who invites them to his banquet.

The Lord's day, the day of Resurrection, the day of Christians, is our day. It is called the Lord's day because on it the Lord rose victorious to the Father. If pagans call it the "day of the sun," we willingly agree, for today the light of the world is raised, today is revealed the sun of justice with healing in his rays.
I think I have Carpel Tunnel

For the last few weeks I have been rubbing a sore right forearm and wrist every afternoon. Mousing hurts like hell.

Last night my right arm and wrist ached and throbbed so mightily that I jumped out of bed at 3AM and swalled 2 Advil. 2 wasn't enough, but I did manage to get some sleep.


This morning I am learning how to mouse left-handed. This afternoon I am considering stalking over to IT and demanding an ergonomic keyboard and more confortably shaped mouse. I am sure that after they climb back onto their chairs and stop laughing, they'll thank me for the momentary diversion and send me on my way. I like to support office morale.

Monday, May 10, 2004

The Subway Bimbo’s Story, continued from last week:

"I hear everyone who goes on the walk gets two 'U's.'"
"Two 'U's?'" *Confused look*
"Yeah, you know. It's a science thing. Like Tungsten."
(Note: Tungsten has one U. Its symbol on the periodic table of elements is W.)
"I'm not a science person. My boyfriend is. He's into A- A- Astrolllllogy. *Brief pause* Astronomy."

At this point my ears shut down in protest. I heard nothing from then on but my own blood rushing through my head.

Story #2: Crowds

When I reached Times Square, I started to walk north on Broadway. I exited the train at 42nd street between Broadway and 8th, and I was supposed to look for my group on 45th Street between 6th and 7th. I noticed there were barricades. At about 43rd street some people were crossing the barricades, so I joined them. Of course I'm the one the cop stopped.

"You can't cut through here, ma'am, there's an event here."
"What if I'm supposed to be IN the event?"
"You have to walk back down to 42nd street, cross over to the other side of Broadway, then walk up."

I thought it would be imprudent to ask why the 10 people before me were allowed to cross the barricades.

So I'm walking through what I would describe as a typical Times Square Crowd. I get to 42nd and the far side of Broadway and start trudging north. Instantly I am surrounded by people. A LOT of people. It's like fucking New Year's Eve. And they are walking in small groups, slowly. Many of them are very wide.

Now, most New Yorkers have been in the position where they are trying to get somewhere quickly, and in front of them on the sidewalk is a doublewide person walking very slowly. Imagine there are 100 of them, all wearing outfits similar to the bimbos, all wearing numbers.

I had about 15 minutes to find my group, register, pay my $25 and get my number pinned to my shirt. I was blocks away and surrounded by thousands of close-pressed strangers. A vein in my neck started pulsing. I took deep breaths and slid forward through the crowd.

Somehow I made it to 45th between 6th and 7th. By this point I was sweating. It was about the time registration was ending, and I couldn't see my group anywhere. I had been told to look for a sign. Well, on this block of street there must have been 200 groups with signs! And the signs were SMALL, people. One foot by two feet, lettering about 6 inches high. A sea of them. I couldn't for the life of me find my group. I scanned signs like crazy. People were starting to chant things - protest march type of things. Thousands. Strangers. Pressing. Chanting.

I snapped.

I bolted for 6th avenue, practically shoving people out of my way. My heart was pounding in my throat and I had to get OUT of there. Go, GO GO NOW RUN RUN RUN!!!

Somehow I found myself in front of a Starbucks. I jittered through the door and leaned on the counter. "grandenonfatdecaflatteplease" I rattled. The guy looked at me funny, but he got me the pseudo-drink. I gave him my entire life savings for the damn thing, and lowered myself into a seat at an empty table. There was an empty table. Just when I needed it. Reserved for me by the Goddess herself I'm sure. I held my latte and smelled it and slowed my breathing. I sipped. I breathed. At some point I realized I had legs and they were melting underneath me. I looked down, and everything looked fine, so I didn't worry about it. I eventually relaxed.

A handsome young couple came in with numbers on their chests. They used the loo and left. My heart ached.

I guess the Walk wasn't such a good idea. I'll send them some money.

Rumination: Anxiety

The thing is, I've always known I didn't like crowds, but I had no idea I'd react this strongly. I lived in New York City for about 2 years before I developed this intense dislike of masses of humanity. I lived in my hometown for 24 years and never had a problem. It's only been recently that I avoid Times Square and most tourist attractions like the plague. I don't go to city beaches. I don't shop in malls. I avoid crowds. Maybe this is more than just unfocused misanthropy.

I was once trapped in an elevator for around an hour. Since then I'm slightly claustrophobic. I was mildly assaulted on the street in 1996 and have been distrustful of strange men ever since, but I try not to let it stop me from living life and generally being a nice person. I've had some other close calls over the last 9 years, but nothing that a single girl alone in the city shouldn't expect to happen to her. Nothing life-threatening. My therapists told me that since I was leading a normal life I was probably over it. But don't things like fear of crowds manifest as a type of self-protection? Maybe I'm not as "over" those experiences as I thought.

Anyone know of a good self-defense class on the upper West Side? That might help. Anybody know of a magic pill that makes pointless anxieties go away? I'll write your marketing brochures for it. Oh, and while we're at it, anybody figured out what the meaning of life is?

Well, the Bimbos were funny.

Sunday, May 09, 2004

Well, I promise, it's not that I don't have anything to blog about. I have not had 5 minutes to sit still and blog. I can't blog at work anymore because I have NO privacy in my cubicle. I haven't been home in the evenings long enough to do anything but eat, wash dishes, do my workout video and go to sleep. The weekends have been BUSY.

The good news is that I have lost 11 pounds and am feeling much more confident about donning a swimsuit in a month or so. the other good news is that my love life seems to be reasonably on track.

Right now, I'd like to write more...but I have to eat. Then I have to sleep. Eating and sleeping are such a damn pain in the ass.

I miss this. I must carve out more time in my life.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Monday, May 03, 2004

By the way, I can't believe I only posted half a post yesterday.

You can see it was a rough weekend.

I'll finish that story, maybe tonight. It's a hoot.
Bad Morning

Spent the weekend doing things that I used to find great fulfillment in. Now I they make me at best bored and at worst annoyed and offended. I did have a good long heart to heart talk with a friend, whch for the most part was all good. Unfortunately there was one thing she said to me that, although at the time I was completely in agreement and accepting of it, hours later, knifed my heart with its reality. I have been feeling that pain ever since. About 20 hours and counting.

The thing she said was "He's not available to you."

I want to bang my head against the wall until I bleed. I want to fall in traffic or get really sick or... I don't have a deathwish; I just need a vacation, and I can't afford to take one. Every day I have to come into this job is another day wasted of my life. I don't know in which of my past lives I committed those horrible, awful crimes, or even what they were, but after all this atonement, my next life ha GOT to have some level of fulfillment, somehow.

No, that's crap. A vacation won't fix this.

Saturday was the day I had planned 3 really positive, exciting things, and through stupid bullshit and its resulting angst getting in the way, got to do none of them.

Sunday was the day I realized I am in spiritual withdrawal from the year-long spirituality program I participated in last year.

Last night I had nightmares about loss and fear that woke me at 3 or 4 AM shaking, heart pounding, wishing the blankets would swallow me up, looking around my room for the monster who was surely there to kill me, awaiting oblivion.

This morning my heart broke all over again over this dumb guy I broke up with ages ago who I am obsessed with. The one who is not available to me.

Right now I am considering going back on Paxil.

Thank God I don't get like this very often.

Sunday, May 02, 2004

It's days like this...

Yesterday I got up at 7AM (reminder: yesterday was Saturday) to put on comfy clothes and head to Times Square for the Revlon Run/Walk for Women's Cancer.

I was proud of myself just for getting up and out of the house by 8.

Now, I have never done anything like this before. The one "March" I went to in Washington had no actual Marching involved, we sat on some big square near the White House while people talked. But this was to involve actual Walking, from Times Square to somewhere in the Park.

I felt compelled to do this. Last winter my favorite Aunt had a mastectomy. She was diagnosed and treated very quickly, but it was scary. She is fine now, and I've seen her since twice in fancy outfits - you would never know she has a prosthesis. She is still the fine-ass lady she always was, making her husband glow with pride. But I know what she and her kids went through, and what I felt being aware of it. Of all the people on my Mom's side of my Family, next to my Grandma, I'm closest to her and her daughters. The thought of losing her... I am just so thankful they caught it wen they did.

So. I was motivated. So I get on the train. Nobody I know is also doing this. I found out about it from my church's 20's and 30's group. None of them were doing it. So here I am by myself, going to try something new, something important, something I can feel good about.

Story1) Subway Bimbos

I saw them climbing the stairs to the subway platform. Bouncing nimbly up the stairs. They were both wearing black knee-length stretchy pants, little socks and very fashionable tennis shoes with stretchy, v-neck, 3/4 sleeve tops in bright colors. One had a low ponytail, one had chin-legth curls. Perfect little manicured hands, minimal makeup, and perfect 22-year old bodies. They chatted and giggled, bopping about the platform. Commenting on all the other women (many of whom already had numbers pinned to ther shirts) on the train headed to Times Square. "Look at us all, united." "Sisters," one said. It was cute. But not. The smugness in their voices grated on me. Like they were validating the coolness of this activity by how many others were also doing it. Of course they sat next to me. I was wearing black Yoga pants, little socks, and reasonably hip tennis shoes (yay!), but I had a plain t-shirt on with a demin jacket (it was chilly) and a tiny purse slung over my shoulder (WRONG). How do I do anything without a small bag? I don't own a fanny pack. I'm not a runner. But I was told by the woman who pitched this to the 20's and 30's group that that didn't matter. So here I am, on a train full of runners, none of whom have jackets or bags. (Where do they keep their keys? metrocards? ID?)

Anyway, back to the bimbos.