Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Rockets Red Glare

Happy Independence Day, one and all! It's been a wonderfully busy week here at the Lane's. (drip) As the holiday has approached, thoughts have been bubbling around my brain, floating in and out, but essentially all rounding out to the same thing -- how has our life improved since Ivey launched her overhaul idea two years ago? (drip)

To radically simplify and sum up, two years ago I was fat, out of shape, lonely, helping to care for my dying grandparents, just starting to rejuvenate an absent sex drive, realizing I'd spent the better part of my life ashamed of my body, constantly trying to please people (drip) who could never be pleased, and feeling like I was missing out on what life had to offer due to fear and shame. I was "not me."
Well let's just take a gander at the last week and see how life has changed!

Monday night Vince and I took the photos we used for HNT as well as for Osbasso's Mystery Guest photos. Two years ago, that would not have been possible on MANY levels. Body image, for starters. Yes, I've worked hard dieting and exercising but the truth is I've only lost about 15 pounds overall, but I've certainly changed. I've gone from being ashamed and disgusted to proud and eager!

But there's also the process of taking the pictures. No one, and I mean NO ONE, (drip) would want to be around while Vince and I work through our "creative process." First, he's technical, I'm artistic. That's not to say that Vince isn't artistic, the concept for "Night Owl" was his, but when we work together, even in our company, he and I each sweat very different things. He's looking at the lighting effects, I'm checking out the angles on the skin; he's adjusting for light bounce, I'm trying to figure just the right distance between my mouth and the microphone. I'm a perfectionist in that if it isn't good enough it just fucking isn't good enough; take another shot. Vince is a perfectionist in that if something isn't working, quit what you're doing and try something else.

Needless to say, we have to bicker for a while to get the right picture that makes both of us happy. Of course there's laughter but there's also a bit of you're-driving-me-fucking-nuts-honey-would-you-stop-it sighs of exasperation But we talk. We laugh. We argue. Occasionally we accuse the other of obstructionism or obtuseness. We (drip) work. And in the end, we have something that we're both pleased with. If you haven't seen 'em. Check out the shots here.

Tuesday night was hang out and read night. I'm deep into a book titled "Shop Class as Soulcraft" by Mathew B Crawford. "A beautiful little book about human excellence And the way it is undervalued in contemporary America" -- The New York Times.

This book is an excellent philosophical treatise on the value of actually doing something. One of the reasons we are self-employed is my absolutely inability and unwillingness (drip) to endure the oddness and imposed impotence of the corporate environment. I don't just like to get things done, I HAVE to and things that thwart progress, problem solving, and productivity drive me batshit insane. And that is true of damn near everything I do -- swinging, home improvement, cooking, family, clients, HNT photos, local/state/national politics. I am never more miserable than when I am holding myself back, accomplishing nothing, in order to avoid upsetting someone else's apple cart.

I want to live and work in an environment where the people I associate with want to "get it done" rather than just have meetings, compile data, discuss options (but rarely act on anything), endlessly evaluate pros and cons, and spend years, YEARS, wondering why the hell they're stuck in a dead-end job or a personal rut. (drip)

Wednesday night Vince and I had a date with a new couple, B&V. We met at a sort of upscale pool hall one town over and had a fun night. They were a VERY attractive couple; both good looking, fitness instructors with bodies to prove it, funny, smart, etc. We parted ways at the end of the night without the feeling that we'd ever play with this couple (not enough physical chemistry?)but that we'd definitely see them again. They enthusiastically said the same to us and even mentioned a few upcoming parties. The next day I sent an "enjoyed the evening" note.

Four days later I've yet to get a response. WTF is up with that? They didn't seem like rude people, they didn't seem like they couldn't (drip) wait to get away from us, in fact, the opposite. What the hell happened to common courtesy?

But again, referring to the change from a couple of years ago, A -- we went on a "date" with another couple and had a great time, B -- we went on a date with very physically attractive couple and didn't feel 'out of our league', C -- neither Vince nor I felt any sense of apprehension or tension before hand, D -- Vince set everything up with this couple (drip) without any pushing or prompting from me, E -- not getting a response to common courtesy is a WTF but not an 'oh my god they hate us/me' feeling.

Big, big personal progress on sooooo many levels.

Thursday night we went out with a group of vanilla friends, two couples and us. Dinner at a Mexican restaurant then off to see "Breakfast at Tiffany's". Our little town has an old 1920s theater that was recently restored to it's former glory as a playhouse and movie house. During the summer, it shows Classic movies on Thursdays, Family films on Fridays, and Cult Classics on Saturday nights. We had a fuckin' ball!

Two years ago, Vince and I rarely saw friends and I'd have to say we were becoming quite reclusive, a middle-aged couple that sat home most nights of the week. When Vince had gigs, I'd stay home. I didn't go to the theater; we almost never went to the movies and if we did, it was just us. We made the conscious decision to start building friendships -- new ones as well as re-evaluating old ones -- and it's finally paying off. We have a group we play cards with, we socialize with our neighbors, we host regular dinner parties, we invite people to come out and hear Vince play (both vanilla and lifestyle-folk). We actually find ourselves having to turn down an invitation or two because of other commitments now.

We didn't stay out late with our friends though because Vince had to get up for flying lessons on Friday morning. Last month he took sailing classes (which I was going to take to but then had to miss because of doing the play) and we'll probably take a boat out next Saturday to start getting me back up to speed. But Vince has wanted to fly since he was a boy. He's taken lessons (drip) on and off since he was in his twenties but there's a new found resolution in him this time. I think our foray into swinging, combined with the renewed energy and just plain lust for life has brought this about. Or maybe it's my influence? Who knows? Who cares?

(Oh, and the photo is from Vincent's birthday. I gave him a surprise flight with someone we know who happens to own a lot of vintage aircraft. That's Vince getting into an AT6 Texan for those of you who are interested in such things.)
Either way, (drip) it's yet another change from two years ago when his flying lessons remained a back burner, some-day, one-day topic. Sometime in the fall, Vince is going to take me up in an airplane and show me our little slice of heaven from the sky. I can't fucking wait. Not only because it is one more adventure for us, but rather because it is one more realized dream for my beloved Vincent.

Friday evening was a quite dinner at home, a little snuggling, a little laying on the couch watching America's Funniest Videos, and ya know...

Saturday night was our little town's Independence Day Celebration. We live one block from where the city holds many of the community events including the 4th of July fireworks display. It is truly a joy! We chatted with neighbors, friend's asked if they could park in our driveway since street parking isn't allowed during the event. Even in a down economy our city administration works hard at keeping the civic events full and funded. I sipped my chardonnay while Vince enjoyed his beer then we walked down to the lake to oooh and ahhhh over the rockets' red glare.
I love Independence Day. It's always a favorite of mine. But this year it felt even richer since it felt more like a celebration of personal independence. I was chatting with a friend who mentioned Roosevelt's Four Freedoms -- of speech, of religion, from fear, and from want -- and I felt like over the past 24 months I've made more progress than in the previous 42 years.

I am speaking my truth, through this blog and more importantly, sharing it with Vincent, with the love of my life;

I am slowly shedding the shackles that "religion" imposed on my life and discovering the true nature of moral and spiritual oneness with myself;

I am less afraid now than I have ever been in my life -- less afraid of disapproval, of loss, of risk, of growth, of love, of joy, of success;

and I am discovering, along with Vince, that I truly want for nothing -- I have not only his love and faith but they will not be taken from me, I have the life and the lifestyle that I always dreamed of and was willing to work hard to get.

Am I satisfied with what I have now? Yes and no. I'm satisfied for today, but if it doesn't continue to grow, to expand, to evolve then it will become stagnant, the status quo. Do I want more love, more friendships, more excellent memories of adventure and experience? Of course. I also want more independence, but only from constraint, mediocrity, and limitation, never from commitment. (drip)

That constant dripping, by the way, is a leak Vince discovered in our dinette ceiling this morning which ended up thwarting our standard Sunday morning rogering. Our beautiful, one of a kind, pecky-Cyprus, bead-board, hand selected by yours truly, cost a mother fuckin' shit load of time, effort, and money to design and install ceiling is suffering from a leak in either the roof or the wall. It's a problem and has to be fixed. But it's the price you pay for living in a historic, 85 year old house -- constant care and maintenance.

Happy Independence Day, y'all!!


  1. Congratulations on all you've accomplished over the past two years! Self-improvement is a journey that never ends, but at least you are enjoying the ride!

    And I'm with you on the HNT photo shoots... hubby and I are exactly the same way, so this made me laugh out loud!

    Happy 4th and good luck with the leak!

  2. Isn't it amazing to reflect on how far you've come and realized just exactly how far you've come?! Love it! And I'm glad you are finding your own independence!

    And, I know exactly about the constant maintenance of an old house. Ours turned 93 this year. Gotta love it. :)

  3. Could NOT figure out what the hell the (drip)s were all about!

    It's good that you're feeling so much better about yourself since 2 years ago. Ever an ongoing project!

  4. Awesome progress. :)
    You should do something to celebrate.