Thankful For YOU!

I'm thankful for all of you and your wonderful support!

I’m thankful for all of you and your wonderful support!

Hey all! I know it’s been a little while since I’ve been on. Life has taken some strange twists this year. Last week hubby lost his job. It’s okay, though. Don’t worry about us. We’re feeling optimistic and have some opportunities on the horizon for both of us. In fact, keep your fingers crossed as there are 3 different companies who have expressed an interest in him. I would really love for him to have options.

As for me? Well, keep your eyes peeled. My first book will be launching shortly, and I’ve been approached with an awesome job opportunity that falls in my wheel house of teaching, training, development and sales! I admit it. There’s something that feeds my inner competitor when I get to wheel and deal. 🙂

I just wanted to take a few minutes to jump on here today and say… Family isn’t always the people tied to you through biology and marriage, but also the people with whom you choose to open your lives and hearts. I’m grateful for the family (biology and otherwise) that I know on sight…and the wonderful family I’ve found here. You guys have embraced me and supported me and cheered me on. Thanks for that!

Ya’ll know my passion for music… There’s no way I could leave it out of today.

And for my more playful friends? Here’s a little Thanksgiving fun!

What are you thankful for? What’s your favorite food on Thanksgiving?

That’s Not My Kink

We’ve all heard the saying “different strokes for different folks.” All a person has to do is look around to see the factual reality of that saying. So why does it seem like such a difficult thing to accept and acknowledge when referencing sex? Some of you may be ready to reject the notion out of hand, but hold on for a second while I state my case.

Over the years I’ve come across some pretty interesting sexual kinks/preferences. Many of them are fairly common. Some like to get their hair pulled or their bottoms spanked or both. Some like to be the spanker/hair puller. Some of us have exhibitionist streaks. As the girl who confessed to road head and more, obviously I fall into this category, though there are those who prefer the tamer “accidental” peep shows. Our counterparts are the people who get intensely excited by watching…or voyeurs. Of course there’s also bondage (those who like to tie up, and who like being tied up). I was 18 the first time I restrained someone in a sexual way.

Yes, a lot of the above also incorporates the power exchange that happens when the person’s desire it to yield submission to another person who is into taking control. Sometimes standing alone (no power exchange) or also falling into this world (when power exchanges are incorporated) are the folks who enjoy more than one partner at the same time.

Also surprisingly popular are foot fetishes. For some that means admiring and worshipping pretty toes. For others, it goes deeper. Some love the earthy smells of sweaty feet. Others wish to give foot massages or bathe those dirty feet with their tongues. Others simply want to paint those toenails or have those dainty feet walk all over their bodies (sometimes in high heels).

Some people have more exotic tastes.

I remember talking to one young lady who was fixated on having sex in church sanctuary. Not gonna lie, I’ve done it in the parking lot, but I draw the line at actually entering a “house of God” for copulation purposes. Of course, it would stand to reason that my personal beliefs probably play a part in my discomfort. It may have worked for her, but it definitely wasn’t my cup of tea, but that was okay. That was her thing, not mine.

One woman, a female dominant, I’d become friendly with once shared with me how she had somehow become entranced checking posteriors; putting on surgical gloves and “cleaning them up.” Oddly enough, she was a nurse and thus qualified to go rooting around back there. I admit, the image wasn’t something I cared to keep in my mind. Again, like before, it wasn’t for me, but that was fine.

Many of us have heard of golden showers. Some have even assumed that this couldn’t possibly be a “real” thing. I mean, who would get into the various areas that this sort of play delves into? But it’s real. In fact, it’s as real as cross-dressing or people who enjoy wearing diapers and treated like babies. Heck, even CSI featured a fetish where everyone dressed up like a stuffed animal.

So if there are so many parts of sex that are less than vanilla, why is it that people seem to struggle with acceptance? Is it really so hard to simply say “It’s not my kink” and let it go? No judgment, no disdain. Just a simple acknowledgement that what works for one person may not work for the next and leave it at that.

For that matter, why do people struggle so hard to deny the things that excite them rather than acknowledge the truth and create a fulfilling sex lives for themselves in their relationships? Why do they hide their interests, deny what draws them and pretend it doesn’t exist? Why do their desires become a shameful secret rather than something they communicate with their partner(s)?

My dear friend, Professor Taboo, recently asked me in the comments portion of his Expectations post a question that I’ve been thinking a lot about. “Whether we get or not what we seek from others, is it reasonable to EXPECT the type of open, authentic, proactive communication…and as you pointed out, expecting that level communication whether there were sexual experiences or not? Is the real issue sexual experiences!?”

I thought it was a great question, and the only thing I could come up with for both the way we react to people whose desires deviate from ours as well as from the passions we refuse to acknowledge within ourselves is that we allow fear in.

When faced with others whose desires/kinks vary from our own, it’s easy to point a finger and criticize. “That’s disgusting” “That’s unnatural” or “That’s so wrong” are judgment phrases that often escape the lips of those who can’t or don’t share the same interests. Why? Unless it’s illegal or partners are unwilling, WHY should we care or judge? Why is simply acknowledging that it’s not your thing and moving on so difficult to do?

And if something does intrigue us? I suspect it’s fear that causes us to deny our true natures/desires. What if someone finds out? What if they judge me (often the way I’m judging everyone else)? What if I truly am weird or sick for wanting something besides missionary sex?

It occurred to me as I considered this issue… This is a lot like our tastes in partners. Everyone has different “types”. In fact, half-Asian me has never been attracted to Asian men…and am very picky when it comes to black men that I find sexy. Heck, I laugh all the time at how specific my parents’ types are. My mom likes her men blond with blue eyes. My dad? He likes them Filipina. How do I know that? Because those traits are traits that followed them both into their second marriages.

My mom would tell you that she always knew I’d marry a “latin based” type. Why? Because she said I’d always been attracted to Hispanics, Italians and Greeks; not that I didn’t date my fair share of WASPs, but the majority of the guys who caught my eye were either dark hair and eyes or dark hair and blue eyes. Heck, some would call the attraction to people in uniforms or dangerous jobs or with tattoos a type, too.

Variety is the spice of life. There are a ton of different flavors out there… in ice cream, drinks, cultures, appearances, sexual preferences. No one type is better than the other. There is no right or wrong (well, unless we’re talking illegal). There’s simply what works for you.

Am I making sense? Am I crazy? What’s the most unusual kink you’ve heard of or seen? Do you have a “type” of person you’re attracted to? I’d love to know what you’re thinking…

I’ll close this with a bit of humor….and share what happens when a fantasy goes a bit “off”.

A Soldier’s Sacrifice

Little me in Germany, wearing the hat to my dad's uniform

Little me in Germany, wearing the hat to my dad’s uniform

“Why do you have to go?” she asked
as tears rolled down her cheeks.
It didn’t matter if he left
for years or months or weeks.
The question asked was innocent,
a plea to comprehend
why daddy wasn’t always home
to hold his daughter’s hand.

He wondered how he could explain
as he answered her demand;
he stumbled over every word
and prayed she’d understand.

“Daddy’s got a job to do
that takes him far away,
protecting weak and innocent
even though he’d rather stay.
He made a solemn promise
to answer freedom’s call
and defend our rights with honor
when our back’s against the wall.”

He wrapped an arm around his wife,
his child tucked to his heart,
his bags lay waiting by the door,
he hated to depart.

“Babe, you know I love you both,”
he squeezed both angels tight.
“God keep you safe while I’m away.
Pray for me every night.
Your sacrifice, as great as mine,
is rarely seen or heard;
head held high with dignity,
you never say a word.”

With one last kiss he turned away
and headed out the door,
just another soldier,
Headed off to war.

This is probably not my best piece or poetry, but it’s how my appreciation for those who’ve served (along with their families) manifested itself today. As some of you have probably deduced from my post from last Veteran’s Day entitled I Bled For You I have a strong affinity to those who’ve served or are serving in the armed forces. I have so much respect for those who decide day in and day out to lay their lives on the line to serve and protect so that their fellow countrymen don’t have to. It’s not an easy cross to bear by any stretch of the imagination.

The above pic was taken of me as a girl when my family was stationed in Germany. It was the dead of winter and I felt so cool being allowed to wear my father’s winter hat, especially since it was part of his uniform. As a child of the military, we were afforded the opportunity to travel with my dad. Germany was one of a few countries we had the chance to see thanks to his career.

One of the other places I hold near and dear to my heart is the Philippines. It’s made more special by the fact that my mother is Filipina, so I’m sure you can imagine how much it breaks my heart to read or see all the damage done to a place I once called home. If you haven’t heard about the devastation that hit my former birthplace, check this out. Death toll is in the 10,000’s. By the way, the island of Leyte, where the worst of the damage seems to be? That’s my mom’s birthplace. If you’d like to find a way to help, here are some great links. This is a third world country and the devastation is unreal. I know the indomitable spirit of my fellow Filipinos, but they could use all the prayers, good vibes, great thoughts…and yes, monetary support if you can.

For my kababayan friends- Ikaw ay nasa aking mga saloobin at panalangin. Aking puso pinaghihiwa para sa mga ganap na pagkasira na dulot ng Haiyan.

Angels and Accidents

Those of you who’ve followed me for a while know I lost my brother a long time ago in a motor vehicle accident. On his birthday I shared a bit about my him here.

guardian angel

Maybe it’s a bit whimsical of me, but there’s part of me in the last few years that feels like maybe he’s become my guardian angel…or sent someone to watch over me, particularly when I’m on the road. A little while back I told you guys that I’d taken on a new job. It was a temporary gig, but it was one that had me on the road quite a bit.

Toward the end of my first week, I was driving southward on I-75. We’d just passed a bunch of construction and had gotten back to driving at our usual speeds of 70-80 MPH. As I sat, tooling along, singing to the radio, I saw a silver ladder flying through the air. The burgundy Toyota two cars ahead of me tried to swerve and miss it, to no avail. It smacked the rear quarter of his car, sending it careening into the lane next to me, spinning out into a 360 back across traffic to bounce off the guardrail and back into our lane. Thankfully, the black Audi in front of him managed to hit his breaks and skid to a stop mere inches from the car on the side of the road with me close behind.

“Please let me stop in time. Please let me stop in time. Please let me stop in time.” I chanted over and over again in my head as my foot slammed on my brakes.

I missed that Audi by less than a foot. Turning my head to the right, I saw all three lanes of traffic had come to a dead halt and waited to make sure everyone was okay before moving on. My hands were shaking and my stomach was doing cartwheels as I sucked in a deep, calming breath and pulled back onto the road and drove away.

“Thank You.” Those words were said with heartfelt conviction, though there was no one physically there to hear them. There’s no doubt in my mind that there were higher powers at work that day, watching over us.

But there’s more…

My biggest fear is hitting a pedestrian, whether by foot or on bicycle, because I never want anyone to have to go through what my family did. So it stands to reason that the last thing I’d want to see is that kind of incident playing out before my eyes.

Last week, waiting for a red light to change, I noticed a bicyclist heading toward his workplace. He’d crossed the street to our left, and had charged his bike out directly in front of us without watching the lights to see if they’d change. The light had turned green. The older gentleman in the Volvo to my left had been fixated on the light and started to accelerate.

“Oh, God. Please stop!” silently ran through my head, praying I wouldn’t witness what I was afraid I’d see.

As if he’d heard me, he hit his brakes and his horn simultaneously. The old man looked a little shaken up, but okay and began to accelerate. Me? I said another prayer of thanks. The guy on the bike… well, he seemed completely oblivious to the chaos he nearly created.

That was just in the last two weeks. Don’t get me wrong, I know what people say about Florida drivers…and sometimes it’s even true. But this hasn’t only happened to me in Florida!

Our first night at Authors After Dark in Savannah, we decided to go out to dinner. We took my sister’s rental car and went to the Bohemian Hotel and ate at their amazing restaurant called Rocks on the River. We had a great time! In fact, we tried their appetizer variation on Chicken and Waffles and found it to be utterly fabulous! I’d never eaten anything like it before.

Fancy Chicken and Waffles

Fancy Chicken and Waffles

Anyway, it had been raining pretty heavily that evening, so the streets were slick. Fortunately it had stopped. On our way back to the hotel I looked out my window from the back passenger seat to see a guy on a motorcycle driving beside us. Hot, right? Well, not when we were taking a tight turn and we saw him wipe out, spinning within inches of our wheels. Fortunately, there was a short turn lane toward the hotel, so my sister pulled into it. We wanted to make sure the guy was alright! He wasn’t wearing any of the usual protective gear. No heavy jacket. No helmet. A t-shirt and jeans. My sister reminded us that she was a qualified medical professional and that we should stay in the vehicle and dial 911. As she started to get out of the car, the guy stood up, brushed the gravel off himself (I’m sure he had a ton of road rash he’d have to take care of later), got back on his bike and drove away!

We hope he was okay. I said a little prayer of thanks that he didn’t find himself under our wheels…. But it all still makes me wonder sometimes. Was it a coincidence that my brother died in a car accident, but every time one that could potentially be dangerous or traumatic has come my way, something has protected me? Call me whimsical. Call me naĂŻve. Call me silly or a hopeless romantic….but I believe he’s keeping an eye out for his big sister.

Yes, today I’m thankful for Guardian Angels and the power of belief.

What about you guys? Any near misses? Anything that’s made you believe in ghosts or guardian angels? I’d love if you’d share your thoughts and stories.

The Tough Mudder Motto

Badasses and Bullies

Getting up at 5:30 am on a Saturday morning would be considered criminal in some circles. Ah, well, sometimes, when you’ve got something important to do, it’s a necessary evil. Cheering on your peeps counts as one of those good causes. Besides, I have to give respect to anyone who takes on this motto…even if it’s just for a day.

The Tough Mudder Motto

The Tough Mudder Motto

Yup! Once again, hubby and a few friends put their bodies on the line and participated in Tough Mudder. This time I had the opportunity to cheer him on live. It was awesome to see the indomitable human spirit in action. I watched people try obstacles, fail (or fall down), get themselves back together and try again until they overcame their challenges. There was a woman in her late 40’s to early 50’s that tried to run up the ramp they called “Everest” numerous times, only to slide back down. Did she get discouraged? Nope! Instead, she got her mean on and said, “I’m not moving on until I get over this fucking thing!” And she didn’t. On her 5th or 6th try, she finally managed to grab one of the helpers waiting at the top and get pulled over. I couldn’t help but think…”She’s kinda badass!”

Tough Mudder also raises funds for the Wounded Warrior Project; a very admirable cause. As a military brat, I find this to be such an important cause. I’m sure you can imagine how choked up I got when I saw what looked to be a college ROTC group of men and women running the course together, carrying a flag pole with the US flag and the Wounded Warrior flag. Even more awesome was how they picked whomever was best at each obstacle to take the flag through the obstacles. This was especially challenging when watching them run up Everest, but they never faltered and that flag never touched the ground. Tears filled my eyes.

So to kick off this Thanksgiving season, I’m thankful that we arrived to the event safely and that everyone got through the event unharmed.

Before and After (Note the weather change and mud)

Before and After (Note the weather change and mud)

Normally, I’d probably end this post right about now, but not today. I want to share something I heard on Sunday morning that really bothered me and would love you guys to weigh in.

I was watching the NFL Network’s pre-game show when I heard Marshall Faulk say something that really bothered me. Don’t get me wrong, Marshall is such a Cowboy hater that he often bothers me, but this was different. He was talking with the rest of the cast about Jonathan Martin. For those of you who don’t know who he is…he’s the guy from the Miami Dolphins who was being bullied. At that time, the teammate who had been harassing him was not yet known, so it was basic bully talk.

Marshall said something to the effect of having always associated bullying as a child thing. He never thought an adult could be bullied. Don’t get me wrong…I completely understand the misconception…especially amongst professional athletes. Michael Irvin and Warren Sapp pointed out that there’s usually a brotherhood and camaraderie amongst professional athletes who battle in the trenches with you. With those kinds of relationships it can be shocking that someone could betray that trust by bullying.

But you know what? As I’ve been sitting here thinking, I’ve realized… Marshall’s misconception is not that uncommon. Somehow we think adulthood comes with a magic pill that makes the problems of youth disappear. Not true. Think about it….

How many people willingly talk politics these days? Not me. Why? Because you never know when you’ll be subjected to bullying simply for not sharing the same point of view as the person with whom you’re speaking. A close friend of mine was once told “I hope you get AIDS and die” simply because he was a gay man and a republican. So that’s a bit extreme, but how many of you have seen memes that basically say you’re stupid or dumb simply because your political views don’t align with someone else’s political agenda?

What about Westboro Baptist Church? Isn’t what they do bullying? They don’t tack an age limit to their actions or behaviors.

These are just a couple of obvious examples… and I’m sure they’re not the only ones. We need to really sit up and pay attention to what’s going on around us as well as our words and actions. No one deserves to be treated like less than human simply for not sharing your beliefs or point of view.

Have you experienced bullying? Have you seen adult bullying? Were you the victim? Have you had to step in to defend someone else? What was the circumstance?

The only way to overcome this epidemic is to open the lines of communication, get talking, and let folks know that this kind of behavior is unacceptable.

As more of the NFL story breaks, I’ve been glad to hear guys like Ron Jaworski say that there had to be more than the general hazing that comes with rookie-hood. It was great hearing Keyshawn Johnson talking about how racial slander and slurs, regardless of what race they’re pointed at, have no place in this world. I even shocked myself by nearly giving Cris Carter (who I can’t stand) a standing ovation when he pointed out that any death threats made by an NFL player is scary and should be taken seriously….and cited the player who’s currently on trial for murder (possibly more than one).

Yes, there were one or two who said that this player should have confronted his bully head on rather than going to leadership, but overall, he’s been receiving a ton of support. I’ve got a feeling that Jaws is right and there’s a lot more to this story than we’ve found out so far.