Monday, April 06, 2015


I began blogging over a decade ago in my mid-thirties after a breakup left me questioning the intimate details of relationships and the absurdity dating. It served as an emotional outlet for me for a long time, but lately it feels like my philosophy of life has moved on from this blog. Over the last five years or so, a shinier outlook has been taking over, and the darker side of me -- represented in much of what had been written here over the years -- has lifted.

I wish any and all of my readers well as you move on in your lives. Should I take up a new home as a creative outlet in the future, and should we still resonate on the same subjects, I hope to rendezvous with you there. And if that doesn't happen, I wish you well on your journeys. Happy trails, friends!

Now... adieu and sweet dreams!
The She-Creature Sleeps

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

How It Could Have Ended


For both of them, it was their year of turning 42 -- y'know, the answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything. They met online via a social site, and although they had dozens of friends in common, they had never met in person. She had inquired with a mutual friend about him once, wondering who the guy was who was always in their pictures.

She: "Does he ever come visit here? Strange that I've never met him."
Friend: "You don't want to meet him right now. He's in a weird place."

But a couple of years later (2.5 to be exact), she received a friend request from him seemingly out of the blue. And, of course, she accepted immediately and discovering that the new friendship was punctuated by some extra fun timing:

Months went by without them interacting very much -- each living their own lives in their own respective corners of the country. Then one day, he inquired which dating site she was using, so he could give it a try. After filling things out fully, lo and behold it turned out they were a match. A very, very high match. The highest match for each other in a 500-mile radius, in fact! 

Although that was quite amusing, and they did learn that had many things in common and enjoyed conversing a bit, nothing sparked up from there because of the distance. That is, until the weekend that he came to visit the aforementioned mutual friend.

There was an electrical "ZING!" when she hugged him, and she was immediately filled with the feeling that he was the "imaginary boyfriend" she'd been building in her mind for so long. She had to keep from looking at him all night for fear that people would know. She was embarrassed, but also excited.

Although they kept in touch via that social network, she didn't see him again for a couple more months, when he arrived at the same mutual friend's house for an evening of quirky yacht rock. This time, everyone around them felt the chemistry, and some even thought they were already a couple.

Because of the distance, it wasn't until a couple weeks later that they got to have their first date. It lasted all day and all night, and left her all spinny and aflutter! She immediately schemed up their next rendezvous: a small town midway between the two of them in the middle of nowheresville. It didn't matter that the town seemed stuck in a Twilight Zone timewarp -- the were exploring together.

And that set the tone for their relationship. She would drive to see him, or he would drive to see her (more often), and they would have adventures together. It was a glorious time for both of them, filled with exploration, excitation, laughter and good vibrations (*wink*).

They planned that he would move to be with her, although he eventually admitted that change freaked him out. She heard him say that and immediately wished away the words -- it was going too well to have that kind of hiccup!

About a year into the glorious relationship, she started to hatch a plan. Sure, he'd been a little squirrelly and secretive lately -- but she hoped that he was just hatching his own plan. There was a crazy good airline ticket special: But one ticket and a companion flies free! And the cost of flights going to Vegas were unbelievably good.

She thought: What if I get us tickets to Vegas for Christmas, where I ask him to marry me! And what if I set it up with one of the kooky wedding chapels to have a ceremony presided over by Elvis or Dracula or Dracula Elvis or Godzilla or whatever fun thing they're offering!

Or this 100% authentic KISS wedding in Vegas.

And without further hesitation, she booked those airline tickets and that chapel. And then she waited until the big day. As the weeks wore on and the holiday grew closer, she began to get nervous. He was still acting secretive and squirrelly, and she couldn't tell how he was feeling anymore. One sleepless night, it just didn't feel right to continue, so she decided to cancel the plans... 

...Then the next morning, she realized that those fears and doubts were just her brain being silly. They'd been so in sync together that maybe they were both planning an amazing surprise for the other. Maybe he was being secretive for a really awesome reason. She kept her wacky Vegas proposal plan and took off to see him for Christmas.

When she arrived at his house, she confided that she almost didn't come, for fear that his recent distance was a bad sign. Not wanting her to feel bad for a second longer, he decided to give his Christmas gift to her early. It was a ring ... nothing fancy, but an antique that he'd been doing extra writing on the side to save up for (hence the secretive distance).

As she said yes (of course she said yes!) through laughter and happy tears, she told him that he now had to open his gift early, too. Inside he found those two tickets to Vegas, with the flight leaving in the morning. She also pulled out the second surprise: the goofy chapel reservation.

The giddy pair had the most uproarious time Vegas could legally offer, and by now you've seen that video of their wedding that everyone was sharing a while back.

Within a few months of their wedding trip, he had packed up his belongings and moved north to settle in with her. Due to budget cutbacks, his beloved job that he left behind was being filled by someone with lesser education than himself, so he felt he was making a good decision to come up to the big(ger) city for better job prospects.

And, of course, the two of them continue to have adventures together to this day.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

How It Should Have Ended

She saw Her and realized a few things.

First, she realized the obvious as stated by "Samantha," the OS in the movie: "The past is just a story we tell ourselves." She already knew this, but because of this movie, she became acutely aware of how she's keeping her old stories alive by telling them -- including telling them to herself. To stop telling the stories would probably be hard -- it's identity, it's meandering thought, it's reminders. What if she took those old stories and gave them happier endings? How they actually ended doesn't much matter anymore ... how they could have ended ... how they should have ended ... that can be told anew. And in so doing, she would never weigh herself down again with those old, forlorn tales. Yes, they would theoretically and metaphorically still be on-going relationships, but that's really beside the point.

Second, she was left with a sense of disappointment and sadness over the turn of events in her recent relationship. Without highlighting any of what transpired there, it's enough to say that those events were foundation rattling. She had been drifting in and out of sadness with it ... coming back to hope for a reboot, but then losing hope again just as soon as she thought of those events. Maybe it would be easier to just let go ... if we're not in the same place as each other (physically and emotionally), maybe just release and allow for a more resonant union.

Then it hit her...

What if she retold the ending of her current relationship? I mean, her brain seemed to be so willing to traipse into the domain of endings anyway, trying to plan and wonder why and what-for ... what if she changed that story, too? What if she changed the ending to a happy one right now, and then her current relationship -- just like those old ones -- would remain an on-going relationship, too. Only in this instance, it wouldn't just be theoretical or metaphorical. It would be tangible and manifestational. It would be real.

How does one tell a different story, when one's brain has been telling the same kind for so long? That's a tough one.

Maybe it's easier to get some practice with some softer tales first. Some stories that still have all the fondness in tact, but that are lightly tinged with a melancholy what-ifness. If she could unstick those tales, she could tackle stickier wickets, for sure.

She spotted her prey sitting alone in a dark little corner of her mind, and leapt upon it!


She was 10 and he was 10. It was summer camp before starting 6th grade. He was a quiet boy with dark hair and the deepest blue eyes. When he looked at her, she felt her knees melt a little, and she was certain that he could see that happening to her, too. They never really spoke to one another, but she always made sure that, whenever she could, she would be lined up next to him for activities like diving or canoeing or catching minnows ... she wanted another glimpse of those eyes of his. One day, he was being teased relentlessly by some bullies, and she could see that he was getting pushed to the brink of breaking. She wanted to jump in and pull him away from there ... to show him that they were the "dumb asses," not him ... never him. She wanted to show him how special she thought he was ... but as she saw him withering under their name-calling, she felt afraid that they'd turn on her, too ... and that maybe he would turn on her, as well, to get the attention off of him. Her fear stopped her...

...Then she realized that there was no better way to show someone you care than when they needed it most. She ran over to where he was cowering against a tree, grabbed him up by the arm and said, "C'mon, I need help catching minnows!" And just like that, the two ran off together to catch buckets of them. They were still shy with each other, but he looked at her more ... and there were a lot of smiles.


She was 13 and he was 14. They met at Disney World during one of those Florida flash rainstorms as they huddled under a facade entryway across from the Haunted Mansion. They started talking, and then they started holding hands ... and she'd never held hands with anyone before. He looked at her like she was the prettiest thing he'd ever seen, and she had butterflies like she'd never felt before. He lived by the beach, and she was land-locked, but they agreed to meet a week later at dance club by her called Electric Avenue. He showed up; so did she. She saw him first and stuck to the shadows, too shy to approach...

...Then she got up her nerve, approached and took his hand. She had her first kiss that night, and they're still friends to this day.


She was 14 and he was 15. They went to the same high school and had all the same friends. They spent time together after school just hanging out after everyone went home, enjoying each other's company. He was the kindest, sweetest, handsomest boy she'd ever met and she adored him. He was of mixed race (black and white) and her white parents didn't approve, telling her that she was embarrassing them. Black girls in their school didn't approve either. They cornered her, slammed her up against her locker after school and threatened to hurt her if she considered dating him. They shoved her as she passed them in the crowded hallways, and restated their threats as they passed her each day. He wanted to date her, but she was too afraid of everyone else...

...Then she decided to follow her heart and become his girl. Their time together became some of the most precious memories she had from that time, and set the standard for the most amazing relationships she would have in her life. They're still sweet, sweet friends today.


She was 16 and he was 18. They met one night at a dance club in a city where she was brand new and did not know a soul. He was new, too -- an exchange student from Belgium, who'd already finished high school there, but was taking an extra year of high school in the States to get more fluent with his English and explore the world before starting at a very rigorous college back home. There they were -- two fishes out of water having found each other that night. He was so interesting and genuine that when he asked her for her phone number, she didn't hesitate to give it to him. He called weekly, and they talked for hours. His stories about all of the languages he knows and about his discoveries in America made her see her own life with new eyes. She always looked forward to their phone calls. But one day, when he asked her if she would like to meet him in person again for a date, she froze. She wasn't sure that she wanted to get attached to the intriguing boy who would be returning to his home across the ocean in just a couple months. She made excuses, but he continued to ask with each phone call...

...Then one day, she laughed and knew she was being silly. He was too good not to see again, and she knew it. They had a sweetly romantic few months of meeting up with each other when they could, followed by years of penpal letters. They met again in his country after she finished high school, and he showed her castles and art and things she'd only seen in books. They're still dear friends today.


She was 21 and he was 29. They met when they both transferred into the same art college and had a drawing class together a year earlier. He was from Norway and had already lived in the US for a few years at that point. When he asked her out after she'd recently gone through a breakup, she jumped at the chance, because of his easy, good-natured way and because she'd always found him very handsome. She was delighted that wanted to spend time with her, when she felt he was so much more worldly than her. After a brief time of getting to know each other outside of the school hallways, she started to feel that old fear again. He talked of so many interesting things from his life to that point, and she'd never dated anyone more than a few years older, so she felt very young and inexperienced in comparison. When he began talking about needing to stay in the country, joking about how he'd considered marrying for a green card, she froze completely with a fear that caused her to start looking for reason to cancel their next date...

...Then she realized, once again, that she was just being silly. She could learn so much from him. Why would she not leap at that chance. He was the warmest person she'd ever met, and she'd already met some truly great ones. They had that next date ... and a next and a next. And thank goodness for that! She learned that she had as much to give and show him as he had to show her. Her confidence grew right along with their relationship. Their time together became the foundation for her adulthood, and her fondness for him has never dwindled. And they are, of course, still very dear friend today.


She was 30 and he was 23. They met in grad school in screenwriting class. He was from the UK and was positively one of the funniest people she'd ever met. He tried repeatedly to ask her out, but she kept thinking their age difference would be their undoing -- she was a mother now, and he was still a fresh-faced lad who needed to sow his oats. He told her they would have fun, and she knew he was right, but that old fear stopped her...

...Then one day she realized she was being silly, that time was too short to worry about such differences, and she enjoyed the frolicking to be had with him. She also threw away her silly fears for good and never let another one stop her, not even for a minute.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Epic Battles on Ugly Sweaters!!!

Have you heard of this Coke Zero: Sweater Generator thingy? Well, I've created an ugly Xmas sweater that I'm calling "Epic Battles" -- it pits dolphin against robots, unicorn against ninjas, Sasquatch against snakes, and of course T-rex against narwhal. Who will win? ME! If you go vote! I think I win the sweater itself, and you know you want to see me in that! And in that case, we all win!


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Engine Engine #9

Over on that Facebook thingy, a friend of mine played one of those old numbers games -- "tell X number of things about yourself, and pass it along -- so I played along. I was given the number 9, so I'm going ahead and passing it along here, too. Without further ado, here's 9 facts you might not know about me:

1. I don't talk much. People who only know me either online or one-on-one are always surprised to find this out. But I'm actually very, very quiet.

2. The quiet doesn't mean nothing's going on inside. On the contrary, I'm usually having elaborate tales and conversations inside my head, which helps to drown out all the excessive talking others do around me. If I don't hear what you say the first time, it's usually because I was listening to something else inside my head.

3. I really do like bacon, unicorns, and Star Wars as much as it seems. I just don't have as much bacon and unicorns in my daily life. Star Wars is ever-present, however.

4. I don't have any tattoos, but I came very close to getting a giant Mothra tattooed across my back about a decade ago -- had the money saved and everything. Then I realized I could go on a really neat vacation instead of getting some skin art, so I did that.

5. I've had a lifelong crush on Jack Lemmon that has never abated. The crush may have even kept me from being in serious, long-term relationships throughout my 30s. (No, I do not make Scott compensate by reciting lines from Some Like It Hot or dressing in drag. Speaking of drag...)

6. My "thing" for beards is really just an overgrown (pardon the pun) fascination with something I can't do/have myself. I don't actually want one -- especially not after wearing one for half the day this past Halloween. Itchy and sweaty! How do you beardy gents do it?

7. I have a mild, but visible phobia of escalators. I'll take the stairs or an elevator every chance I can instead of getting on one of those. When there are no other options, you may see me do a little hesitant two-step as I get on, and freeze before getting off in a way that makes me stumble as my feet hit the end.

8. I have a mild fear of elevators, too, but only when they're crowded. It's actually the people that give me the discomfort, not the small, falling box. This has made riding the bus and train very difficult for me, but I'm using it as a challenge to stay focused.

9. According to my mother, I was likely conceived at the drive-in. Pretty remarkable, considering that it was early March in Chicago ... a little too briskies for friskies, you'd think!

This entry has been brought to you by Wilson Pickett, the number nine, and random image searches for combinations of the words: unicorn, bacon, star wars, jack lemmon, beard, mothra.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Thursday, September 12, 2013

On the Run

I just realized something... I run like Robin trying desperately to keep up with Batman.

Since I last wrote -- *GASP!* -- six weeks ago, I've amazingly continued running.

Yes, it's still more like "not dying" than running, per se, but the point is that I've persisted with it. And the good news is I've actually succeeded at something! Sure, I'm so slow that even a guy wearing flip-flops was able to pass me. Take that in a moment: a guy was running in flip-flops. And he passed me. Twice.

Maybe he needs a pair of these?

But despite those kinds of crippling emotional setbacks, I've somehow managed to officially make it all the way around the park. Three times! Without dying!

No, it wasn't three consecutive times around the park -- just once on three separate occasions. And once around is only slightly over two miles ... but there's sun and hills and bugs and shit. That's a lot to ask of a person who only ever ran ("didn't die") indoors on a flat treadmill before this.

Rule #1: Run hungry.

Here's what I've learned so far:
  • No matter how good of an idea it seems to eat ice cream before running to give yourself a little sugar burst of energy when you're lagging after work, it never is. You will end up making embarrassing noises during your run and feeling miserable. This goes for pretty much any eating, frankly. You're no marathoner ... run hungry. 
  • No matter how good of an idea it seems to run with an excitable, untrained dog, it never is ... especially when your dog doesn't know how walk on a leash. You will end up doing a bellyflop onto the pavement when you're running full speed downhill and he decides to cross in front of you. 
  • No matter how good of an idea it seems to run at midday, it never is ... especially when your wardrobe consists almost entirely of black clothing. You will come close to heatstroke and think you're dying for really real. 
  • Bugs will always aim for your eyes, nostrils or, most often, gaping mouth. But hey, remember how hungry you were before your run? Bonus protein! 
  • Water is your friend. Invite your friend into your daily life as often as possible and your run will benefit. 
  • Morning runs are the easiest: less bugs, less people, less heat. Pre-dusk runs are a good second choice: still less heat, but way more people and bugs.  
  • A supportive running bra and well-fitting athletic shoes are your best investment. So why are you still putting those off? Go invest already, jeez! 
  • While you're at it, get some compression socks, will ya? You're not getting any youner! 
  • I still hate running. 

I Heart Not Running

Mostly, I've learned that I'm not a runner. Not yet, at least. I'm not ready to start putting numbers on my car. 

Damn, now I can't have this sticker anymore either.

And old injuries plus a mild, underlying heart condition might keep me from ever being the kind of "athlete" that wants to sign up for races ... or at least I'd use those as my excuses. Remember my mention of the flip-flops runner? I wasn't kidding. This is more likely what would really stop me: 

Most humiliating part would be that it's not even me in the orange.
Look in the far left background. That'd me in the blue. Walking. 

Here's a little test to see if you're really a runner. If you answer yes to any of these, you can get yourself the appropriate numbers oval: 


Double nope.

Also nope. Still not really a runner.

Hmm ... now you're talking!

Lastly, and maybe most importantly, the thing I've learned is I might need to invest in one of those fancy iPods and fill it full of rhythmically and lyrically inspiring music to keep me going. Every time I see a truly fit, determined runner, he or she is wearing some sort of MP3 player. There might be something to that, because most days I feel like my brain DJ isn't doing me any favors. 

You see, the first time I made it all the way around the park, I had one song stuck on repeat in my head. Was it the theme from ROCKY? No. It was this ... 

The second time I made it all the way around the park, THIS was stuck on repeat in my head, and for half the day afterwards ... 

But wait, it gets worse. The third time I made it all the way around the park, this was stuck on repeat in my head -- and STILL IS ... 

You know what this means, right? I mean besides the fact that I desperately need an MP3 player. It means that my brain DJ strangely believes that songs that involve afro-headed white dudes are the most inspiring and motivational songs ever, that's what. 

I'm afraid that also means this is the next song to take me around the park, and possibly follow me into a week-long extended-remix mania ... 

Don't judge me until you've run a mile in my brain.

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