Detail and Decal Your Downstairs

Valentine’s Day tends to encourage us to get a little closer. Romantic thoughts and seductions fill the mind (well, if you’re anything like me). You plan your date night meticulously. You pick out a sexy/seductive outfit. You select mood music for the car if you’re going out, for the home if you’re dining in. We women either buy some sexy, new lingerie or pull it out of hiding from our underwear drawers. We primp, we prime ourselves… So here’s a gentle reminder not to forget the little things that can cause an evening to come to a screeching halt…or at least damper the mood…

I have a close male friend. Well, I have a few, but this one is a bit different. This particular friend is my partner in crime. If there’s trouble to be gotten into, he’s usually the one at my side, egging me on. I, on the other hand, am his voice of reason. Scary, right? What’s even scarier as that we talk about everything and anything. His boyfriend found it a bit disconcerting the first time he hung out with us. Now he’s used to it.

Anyway, a few years ago we were driving along when I saw a sign advertising the opening of a new spa.

Me: That reminds me. I need to find a decent spa that that does waxing.
Him: Like your eyebrows?
Me: No, I tweeze those.
Him: Then what?
Me: The bikini area! Preferably a place that does Brazilians. I like to be all pretty down there.
Him: When’s the last time you got waxed?
Me: When I was in Chicago. I’ve been shaving since. And that’s just a pain in the ass.
Him: I know. I shave, too. Waxing just sounds painful.
Me: Eh, it’s not that bad. Glad to hear you manscape though…not that I ever want to see it.
Him: Yeah, that would be weird.
Me: (nodding) There is nothing worse than a guy who’s got Bozo the clown going on around his Johnson. And I’m not referring to him being a redhead. Guys don’t want to have women’s pubes between their teeth like dental floss. I don’t know why they wouldn’t think we’d feel the same way! If they want me to smoke their sausage, they need to trim the shrubbery.

We both laughed. A few minutes went by, then….

Friend: So you know how IV has had a thing for you forever? (IV is the nickname we’ll give a guy to protect the sort of innocent)
Me: (laughing) Of course! It’s not every day a hot young thing walks up to you, gives you a hug and says, “You know, it’s only illegal if I tell.”
Friend: You shot him down gently.
Me: Only to have him come back on his 18th birthday to let me know he was legal!
Friend: Yeah, that boy’s not used to hearing no, and he’s only ever dated older girls.
Me: (shaking my head) Ah, but there’s a difference between girls and women.
Friend: True. But that was a couple of years ago. That boy still wants you.
Me: (nods) Yeah. That boy seems to have a Lo-Jack on me. If I walk into the building, he’s like a heat seeking missile. It’s not easy shooting down a hottie like that all the time. He’s got a great ass…
Friend: True. Remember the other night when he and I went out and he got drunk?
Me: Yeah…
Friend: I saw him naked before you….Haha! I let him crash at my place to sleep it off.
Me: And?
Friend: He needs to manscape.

Of course I cracked up! Lack of manscaping can be a complete mood killer. Most of us women know to take care of that area, whether it’s trimming, waxing (bikini or Brazilian), or shaving (some like landing strips, some prefer to go bald). Bathing suits and bikinis require we take care of some of those hairs at an early age. There are very few things more disconcerting than hair sticking out the sides….

1129__520x440_hairy-bikini-shot

Ok, so this is an exaggeration, but you get the idea. No bueno. If you are one of these ladies…surprise your man for Valentine’s day. Beautify that garden! Nothing like a little lovely pruning to spice up the romance. In fact, if you’re a bit nervous about doing it yourself and don’t want to see a stranger or have fear of waxing, some guys are into the erotic shaving experience. What is an erotic shaving? It’s where you put your private parts into your man’s hands and let him shave it off…and decorate. (The up side is that if he is in the same boat as you, it gives YOU a chance to return the favor!)

For those ladies who are in the advanced class? (Already trim or shave or wax) A few months ago I was introduced to the concept of Vajazzling through Natalie Hartford’s Blog. Apparently Jennifer Love-Hewitt kicked off the trend. Anyway, imagine my surprise when I walked into my favorite adult store and found a bunch of them…each with it’s own sexy or kinky message!

Vajazzle

For the purpose of this blog, I took a fairly tame picture, but you get my drift. The thing is, they’re pretty cool looking! I’m thinking I may need to pick some up and play…. Check it out.

vaj001-vajazzle-yours-body

Cute, right? A nice, intimate message for your Valentine. And it’s less painful (and permanent) than a tattoo.

What do you do to feel sexy for your significant other? For yourself? If you don’t have a significant other, there’s nothing wrong with some solo sexy time…

My Valentine song for today…a little on the playful side.

Material Girls v. Real Live Women

Women like Madonna and Marilyn Monroe are known at the quintessential “Material Girls”. Heck, Madonna had a hit song with that title….while Marilyn flaunted her love of richness with Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend. For those of you who are nostalgic, or maybe are too young to have seen the movie the song was featured it…Here’s the clip from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.

Oddly enough, they’re not the original. Before these two, the indomitable Eartha Kitt (aka The Original Catwoman) did a song with a similar theme called Just An Old Fashioned Girl. It’s a very charming song, actually, and if you haven’t seen it before, you should watch.

Based on the three above examples, it’s glamourous, a bit fun, even. There’s always a wink and a smile. It’s all tongue in cheek. The sad truth, though, is that there is a reason for this character creeping up. Unfortunately, she’s not just a beautiful myth. There are many women out there who perpetuate that stereotype…and not in the fun, quirky way we see in those songs and it frustrates me.

Women are strong creatures. They’re resilient, intelligent, adaptable. It drives me absolutely crazy when women decide to settle for the strictly material or pretend to be something they’re not… We have all known different versions of these women who show off the lesser versions of themselves…the ones that dumb themselves down, or pretend to be helpless or incapable. It’s so sad.

When we as women portray ourselves as “the weaker sex” for whatever reason, we lessen what we could be. We don’t give ourselves the opportunity to truly love and be loved. We fool good men into thinking that the vision of us we’re choosing to reflect is the true person, someone they can love…only to eventually be disillusioned. The reality is that we can’t keep up that kind of pretense forever. The mask cracks–the true creature beneath shines through…and the person who’s chosen to love they mythical you that you’ve created is left with both shattered heart and damaged trust…more often than not, too late to prevent irreparable harm. Yes, we can also be manipulative like that.

There is a power in showing your true self to the world. You give them the opportunity to love the amazing person you can be. No walls. No gimmicks. No games. The people that choose to love you are there for the right reasons. And yes, there’s always a chance that someone else is hiding who they really are (unfortunately the world is not perfect and women aren’t the only people capable of such machinations), but we’re also resilient. We learn. We grow. We rebuild.

The other benefit? For me, at least…by not hiding my brain, my competitiveness and my drive…I’ve been able to create careers for myself. I have shown myself beyond a shadow of a doubt that I’m perfectly capable of providing for myself…and anyone else who may come along. The men who’ve shared parts of my life have known that I’ve wanted them there strictly for who they are. They’ve never had to wonder if it’s because I’m afraid of being alone or because I can’t live without a man to support me or any of the other wrong reasons people get into relationships. Somehow it’s made the relationships stronger, healthier, less stressful.

I’m not saying that being yourself will make everything perfect…life rarely is. But I think you’ll find it’s worthwhile. Sure, sometimes the phonies do wind up with all the superficial things…but it can’t keep them warm at night. It’s not there to comfort them when they cry, to laugh with them when they succeed. To understand who they are.

Remember, you don’t have to hide who you are at the core… you’re beautiful just the way you are. Don’t allow yourself to be less than the best you that you can be. You deserve to be loved for the person you are. I hope you don’t misunderstand…I don’t presume to judge you if you’ve been one of those people… the ones who’ve hidden who they are for whatever reason. I just hope that you realize how absolutely, beautifully unique you are. I hope that everyone allows their true selves to shine through…because like snow flakes and finger prints, we’re all originals…all precious and unique.

What myths or personas out there drive you crazy or make you sad? Do you think that they make this world better or worse? Why do you think people hide?

And for Valentine’s Day….here’s my message of love….

 

The Super Heroes In The Mirror And In Your Bed

It’s funny…I’ve always loved this song, but for some reason as much as it made me think of love and romance (yes, this is my song for my Valentine’s Day countdown today), it also makes me think of super heroes.

I’ve got a little secret…I’m a bit of a tomboy. My hubby will tell you that I only pull my girl card out when it’s convenient for me. This means that as a girl, my favorite cartoons were Thundercats, He-Man, and GI Joe. When I got older I got hooked on X-Men & WildC.A.T.S. I’ve always loved stories with lots of action, preferably with enhanced powers…maybe even super powers.

When TV shows like Mutant X, Dark Angel, Birds Of Prey and Lois & Clark came on the screen, they had a guaranteed fan in me. As a little girl, I used to pretend to be Wonder Woman. Once these new shows came on I loved the powers of the women in the first 3 shows. In Mutant X, I loved Shalimar Fox. She was a mutant, enhanced with feline/cat-like instincts. Come to think of it, Max from Dark Angel and Helena Kyle had feral natures, too. Shoot, Helena was Catwoman & Batman’s daughter…it stood to reason. Yes, with all the super powers out there…I feel the need to be a bit on the animal magnetism side…grace and balance and power. I thought other powers were interesting, but if I could have picked…that would be my super power. What about you guys?

Of course no super heroine should be doomed to a life alone…so I fantasized about the type of Superhero a girl like me should have. I’ve had little mini-crushes on all sorts of superheroes over the years, but there are 3 that really speak to me.

Instead of showing off his strength and amazing abs…I’m going to showcase his other side…which I find equally sexy. Apparently, so did Lois! Who could blame her?

Of course I’m a woman, so the next one is not really a surprise. So far he’s been droolworthy in every movie I’ve seen him in…but still, it’s the first role that captured my imagination the best. He’s just dead sexy and a pretty badass superhero!

My all time favorite male superhero has been a favorite since his cartoon days. There was something intensely sexy about his southern charm & playful wit…and when they finally put him in one of the movies I cheered. It was about time! Of course he’s also one of the most loved comic book heroes… Do you know who it is yet?  It’s the Ragin’ Cajun, himself…Mr Remy LeBeau! Yeah, I’d love for him to shuffle my deck…and then some. ;-D

I keep hoping they’ll finally give his character his own movie… So far, no luck. I keep hoping! So now you know about me…what kind of super hero I’d love to be. What about you? And if you could be with any superhero, who are your dream guys/girls? More importantly, why? (By the way, my superhero men were listed in order…3-2-1)

Love Sneaking Up On You

I’ve been busy all day with a little side gig I’ve picked up, but I’ve been thinking about love and Valentine’s day. People fall in love in so many ways. We hear about love at first sight. Sometimes it’s lust that turns into something deeper. Before I married my husband I was a sucker for a pretty face…and not a lot of substance. I knew they were meant to be temporary. Honestly, I hid from serious relationships. I kept most people with depth at arms length. I wasn’t ready to give my heart away.

I knew one day the right person for me would come along. He would be someone who challenged me. Someone intelligent and patient and able to get past all my defenses. It should have come as no surprise to me that the person who would overcome all my obstacles was someone who’d been there all along. All it took for me was falling in love with someone who’d became my best friend.

What type of person are you generally attracted to? If you’re now in a permanent relationship, what differentiated them from your typical “type”? What let you know that they were the one? It’s funny how you can look at someone every day as friends, then one day see someone completely different…like Kenny Loggins says…For The First Time.

Love On Fire

“You know, dimples are a form of birth defect,” a boyfriend once told me.

I had been smiling at the time, the deep dimple on my right cheek obvious. I punched him. Most people find that form of “birth defect” cute.

It was also then that I realized for the first time that there’s a vulnerability that comes with opening your heart to a person. Letting them in means showing your imperfections and hoping that somehow they won’t matter. Often I think we’d settle for the imperfections being overlooked, but there’s this part of us, deep down that hopes that somehow the right person will love us not despite our imperfections, but that those things that mar the surface are actually part of our charm.

I’m lucky to have found a man who finds my flaws to be beautiful. He knows I cry at stupid sappy stuff on TV. When it happens he turns his head, looks down at me like he’s the one who lucked out, kisses the top of my head and says “I love you.” When a song I hate comes on the radio he counts in his head to see how long it will take me to change the station, then laughs. He’ll even mispronounce words on purpose just so I’ll correct him…LOL!

The one and only time I set off the fire alarms to our house happened this year. I had been baking a cake for my family and misread the tin instructions, filling it with double the amount of batter it was able to handle. The cake overflowed in the oven causing smoke to billow out everywhere. Our fire alarms are connected to our home security system. In my panic, I accidentally sent the security service to voice mail instead of answering and letting them know it was a fire alarm, prompting a visit by the fire department. My normally unflappable self had disappeared amidst the stress.

At first he tried to tease me into a better mood, but quickly realized it wasn’t going to work this time. Knowing the fire department was on their way, he sent me out to the driveway to handle them. He started airing out the house, calming the dogs while I stood outside and told the fire department that it was an accident and everything was under control. Once the smoke cleared (literally) he tried again to calm me down. Knowing I was frustrated and angry at my mistake, and that I had church early in the morning he sent me off to bed. He re-did the cake for me while I slept.

When someone can love you like that, allowing yourself to be vulnerable to them is easy. I’m lucky. I know it. But I also know I’m not the only lucky one. I’d love to hear some stories centered around flaws…maybe things you’ve found sweet or things that have been done for you to help you feel better… What can I say? Everyone loves a lover…

I think this song best illustrates how sweet that kind of love can be…

 

Remembering 20 Little Angels

As many of you know, early in January my account got suspended because I was mistaken for spam. After about 4 days Word press finally realized the error and returned my account back to me. At that time I’d posted a blog about someone I consider One Of The Good Guys. Unfortunately it happened right before I posted this particular blog.

In society today, people have been gaining more notoriety from poor behaviors, falls from grace, etc. I, like many of you, have become conditioned to be cynical. So when I hear about a celebrity so moved by a tragedy that he’s compelled to do something to help, I perk up. I take notice.

The cynics are always ready when they hear someone made a song about it…”Sure, real classy… Make money off people’s grief.” There may have been a time or two where I’ve thought similar thoughts about certain books or movies. But again, this one was different. Andy Griggs sat horrified as the events at Sandy Hook Elementary unfolded before our stricken nation. Like all of us he cried. He sent out messages on Facebook and Twitter wondering if anyone knew people in New Town and what he could do to help. Obviously he and a songwriter friend wrote a song, then cut it. Then he made sure that all the proceeds went to United Way in New Town and that he would be completely unable to touch any of those funds. The other day while surfing YouTube he found that someone had taken his song and made a video for it. He loved it and encouraged us all to check it out…

As Valentine’s Day is coming I felt the need to send some love to New Town and the families of those lost… So I’m sharing the video and keeping New Town, Connecticut in my prayers. It was good to see the children of Sandy Hook Chorus singing in the Superbowl…and a great reminder that it’s important to continue to move forward with love and remembrance in our hearts.

This I Gotta See…

Susie Lindau had an awesome blog post early last month that is inspiring this one. She called it her “Use Me and Abuse Me Day“. Well, in honor of Valentine’s day I wanted to give you all a chance to either get some love for your blogs or show some love for some awesome blogs you’ve discovered.

You guys have made me laugh, inspired me, made me cry…shared joys and pain… So what I’d like for you all to do is take a second and post the link to one of your favorite blog posts…either of your own or a friend and let us know a little bit of why you love it!

Dangerous Beauty

FloridaPanther_01-Cougar

Tendrils of fear
Prick my spine,
A tingle rippling
Outward.
I sense you,
My every move
Cautious,
Scared.
Trapped,
A human statue,
Frozen by fear
Unsure–
Like prey
Caught in
The crosshairs,
Feel the danger,
Not the direction.
Your tawny paw
Steps out
Revealing yourself,
From browns and greens,
Nature’s camouflage.
Amber eyes on me,
Unblinking,
Assessing,
Wild grace
In your gait.
I hold my breath,
Awed,
By your beauty,
My fear.
As you circle,
Deciding.
Muscles ripple,
You stretch out,
Swish your rope like tail,
Turn,
Disappearing into the wood
Like a ghost.
Hand to heart,
Feel thumping beat,
Reassurance.
I live to see
Another day.

Today, walking my dogs, I encountered what I’m now pretty sure was a young Florida panther sunning itself next to a neighbor’s house. Fortunately the pups didn’t see it and the wild beast seemed to have been well fed, or that could’ve been a very scary situation. Not wearing my glasses, something compelled me to look over at their house. For about 2 seconds I thought I was looking at a tree stump (hey, no glasses, remember?). After I blinked a second I realized that I was looking at a big effing cat…bigger than my 26 lb dog. Bobcats aren’t uncommon, so I thought maybe that’s what I saw…I mean, the thing was definitely big, had nice fangs…but one thing kept bothering me. Bobcats usually have spots/markings…this one was all tawny. I kept my dogs moving and got them past where the beast was sunning itself before they even noticed.

When I got home, I googled Florida wildlife…looked up bobcats…then clicked Florida panthers. Yup! It was a young panther. They are beautiful and wild, but I was so glad it wasn’t hungry. That could’ve really been scary. Well, ya’ll know me…never turn down a chance to create a poem out of a slightly scary & life threatening experience. What about you? Have you had any scary moments with nature? (And not the kind where you were on a long hike, needed to use the restroom and didn’t have one nearby…unless it involves using poison ivy as TP…LOL! Just kidding.)

And…in honor of love…and the unusual…I’m throwing down some old school jazz…complete with scatting (musical…not the creepy stuff) and improv. Yes, ladies and gents, that mean’s Ella’s in the house! She, like a fine wine, only got better with age…

He’s A Slice Of Something Amazing!

Since losing my retail job back in July I’ve been writing. As many of you know, there is no such thing as instant financial gratification in writing. (I chuckled to myself even as I wrote that sentence.) Writing-doing it right, takes time. Even once you’re finished with your story, it needs editing, polishing…yadda, yadda, yadda. I am okay with that. Hubby and I talked. We’ve decided to use this time to allow me to pursue my dreams! He believes in me…believes I’m talented enough to make a go of this.

It’s a bit of a scary move for someone who’s been working in traditional jobs since she was 16 and has had two careers that lasted nearly 10 years each. I never considered it a viable dream before. Had it not been for the prodding of some very good friends, I might have gone back to find some other job that took over my life and stifled my passions. Fortunately, my support system is pretty amazing…so I’m following my dream.

Then came today…February 1st. Why is this such a big deal? Because that means Valentine’s Day is in 13 days. Many of you have known me for a while now and know 2 things:  I like to celebrate holidays/milestones and last year was rough. Last year around Valentine’s Day I was doing at least 4 double shifts a week and 6 day work weeks. Somehow I managed to get Valentine’s Day off, so I made him his favorite Filipino foods. By late that night he was headed to the emergency room…and the following day found him having an emergency appendectomy.

This year will be different. As I racked my brain wondering what sort of awesome (not overly expensive…hey, I’ve been unemployed for a while now) gift I could get him, one of my awesome Twitter buddies, @Lisas_alter_ego posted something amazing! It was this picture!

Giordanos Pizza Heart

Hubby and I are from Chicago. This means that we can be a bit on the pizza snob side. It also means that there haven’t been any pizza places that have measured up to what we had back home. His absolute favorite thing is Giordano’s Stuffed Pizza. For Valentine’s Day they’re doing the pies shaped like hearts! And they FedEx them on dry ice! How cool is that? Sooo, guess what I’m gonna do for him? Absolutely! I’m gonna order one to be delivered for him.

I have an awesome man who loves and supports me. He believes in me and is willing to do whatever it takes so that I can pursue my dreams. To me that makes him pretty much the coolest person on earth. The pizza may not be much, but it’s a slice of home…and it’s one of the things he loves. Once I’m more steady on my feet again, I’ll be able to give him something more to show him how valued he is in my life…but for now, I’ll have to settle for a slice of cheesy goodness.

So what about you guys? Any plans for Valentine’s Day yet? Do you have a Valentine? Are you one of those people that feels this is just another Hallmark travesty? Let me know… while you enjoy my musical dedication to the day for lovers…