30 September 2009


I wrote a long blog post about our trip to the beach and posted it on my family blog. I thought about cross posting it here but the things I didn’t say in my family blog are the things I want to write about here. The family blog post boils down to this: we went to the beach, saw some stuff, ate some stuff, walked the dogs, had fun, went home.

What I didn’t write about is sex.

Sometimes I think the world should be divided into those who like sex and want it and those who don’t and don’t. Unfortunately, T and I are in opposing camps on this one.

I like sex. I would like to have more than I am currently getting. I think once a week would be great, or even once every two weeks. I think that once a month is not nearly enough and anything longer than that is way too long.

My girlfriend seems to be less and less interested. When we got together she was ardent enough and we had lots of good sex. Fake out! Her interest and willingness have been steadily declining. When we talk about it and I ask why she says, it’s too much work, she’s too tired, she’s rarely in the mood, etc.

For awhile it was a big bone of contention. She felt like I was pressuring her, I felt like she was holding out on me. So, I said that I wouldn’t ask or start anything but that didn’t mean that I didn’t want to. After about a month she asked me why I didn’t find her attractive anymore. WTF?!?!?!! Good lord, woman! You didn’t want me to pressure you! I’m not bringing it up because you don’t want it! ARGH!!!

We sorted that out. We are settling into what I can only describe as middle-aged complacency. It’s not enough for me but compared to the many years that I lived alone and wasn’t dating, it’s tolerable.

So, last weekend we were going to the beach. About a month before we went I said something about getting frisky at the beach. Then a week before I mentioned the frisky factor again. A couple of days before we were sitting on the couch and I curled up next to T and said, ‘How about a little sumpin, sumpin at the beach, baby?’ She laughed and said that sounded good. So, here I am, laying the ground work, making the reminder calls, maybe (hopefully) not being overbearing but letting her know that I desire her and find her attractive and sexy.

And, what’s missing from the beach trip? Sex. Ok, Friday night, no worries. It’s been a long week and we’re both tired. Saturday night? Perfect time, right? Well, there we are in bed, I’m rubbing up against her and she’s watching Happy Feet on tv. We kissed for a few minutes and then fell asleep. Sunday morning (morning is not my favorite time but I’ll take what I can get) she reaches over, starts playing around down there and then gets up and takes a shower.

That’s where the petulant part comes in. I could have behaved better. I could have just let it go and figured, eh, next time. But, no, not me. I was sullen. I was silent. I was petulant. I was badly disappointed! I had been looking forward to it for weeks. I tried for civility but it was a quiet and subdued civility.

On the Long Beach, Washington peninsula there is a place called Cape Disappointment. We stopped and looked at the lighthouse there. My camera batteries were dead but I said, oh we need a picture of Cape Disappointment! All I got was a look.

When we got home she said, you’re not getting enough sugar, are you baby? I said, no, you know I’m not.

The good news is that she broke down finally on Sunday night and we had a nice roll in the hay.

I’m not sure if this is something I am blowing out of proportion; if it is simply a matter of different levels of sexual desire. I am not willing to be one of the statistics for Lesbian Bed Death. I like sex. I think it’s normal and healthy to have sex. I start to get worried and my self esteem drops if we don’t have sex. Because, of course, she doesn’t find me attractive anymore… because I’m too short, and chunky, and not girly enough, and not a good enough lover. You know, like that.

At one point, some months ago, T said that if I wasn’t getting enough sex I could go outside the relationship. Ok, she didn’t actually mean it. And, I can’t imagine doing that. The emotional bonds are too strong and I’m just not the play the field type. One woman at a time is enough for me. She withdrew the offer not long after she made it. Occasionally I’ll mention it, just to get a reaction from her.

Another factor is menopause. I’m done (YAY!) and T is in that unsettling totally random phase where you just can’t predict when you will have a period or how heavy/light it will be, or how long it will last, or any of that. And, I know that women’s bodies change a lot during “The Change.” But, shouldn’t the relative increase in testosterone make us more horny? I can guarantee that she isn’t drying up, so that’s not a factor (plus, hello, lube!).

From what I know of her young adult days, she was quite into sex back then. I feel a little cheated, honestly. I thought she had a healthy libido, cuz she sure gave me that impression when we first started going out. It’s been slowing down ever since.

There might not be anything I can do about it. I don’t like being a petulant brat but I also don’t like being left hanging like that. I know I can get myself off, but it’s just not the same. Plus, I really desire this woman. For someone who is about to turn 50 she has the most amazing breasts! Beautiful! And sometimes, when we’re driving I’ll look over at her long legs and just be filled with lust! And she is beautiful and has the most amazing cheekbones! She is physically very attractive to me and I would like to fuck her every day. Maybe not every day, but every other day…

24 September 2009

What's it Worth?

As I may have mentioned a time or twenty, my partner was laid off last year. She has had a couple of crappy jobs since then, but has not found anything good in her field. This has had a negative effect on her state of mind, of course.

But, she has been working for herself pretty steadily over the past couple of months and is now earning more like what she should be earning. What a difference in how she feels about herself! She has taken me out to dinner a couple of times recently and this weekend we are headed to the beach. Yay for the beach! She is insisting on paying for everything and I’ll let her pay for the hotel for sure, and the gas to get there and back, but I’m not letting her pay for everything.

This morning I had to drive to work instead of riding my bike and it costs $10 to park. She very happily whipped ten bucks out of her wallet as I was getting ready to leave. She had a big grin on her face and said, “Daddy’s back!” How cute is that?!

Beach. Beach. Beach. Beach. Beach. Beach. Beach.

18 September 2009

Race for the Cure

This Sunday is Race for the Cure day in Portland. I’ll be there with my girlfriend and, thankfully, my mom. My daughter will be sleeping in for the cure, in Des Moines.

Ten years ago, maybe eleven now, my mom was diagnosed with ductal carcinoma. Her primary care doctor scolded her for not getting a mammogram that year and insisted that she do so in the following week. Thank you, Dr Zelko! They found a tiny white speck on her films that, upon biopsy, was indeed cancerous. She had a bilateral mastectomy within the month.

The doctors had said that they didn’t need to take both of her breasts since the cancer was only on one side. She told them that she had no need for them anymore and to just take them both off. “Besides” she said, “odds are it will come back in ten years and I don’t intend to do this again when I’m in my 70’s.”

As they wheeled her into surgery, she sat up in the gurney, lifted her gown up in front and flashed my dad. She said, “Take your last look at heaven, buster!”

Her recovery went pretty well. After she was up and about she took to walking around the house topless. She told me that she was going to go do some gardening in the front yard without a shirt on. She said, “Hey! Men get to go shirtless all the time, why can’t I? I don’t even have nipples!” I told her not to be ridiculous, with her pale skin just imagine the sunburn she’d get.

Her chest is criss-crossed with scars. She loves how flat it is. She feels liberated without those fleshy appendages. She has encouraged me to get a bilateral mastectomy ~ preventative medicine, she says. I have ambivalent feelings about my breasts and always wish they were smaller. I don’t think the insurance will pay for that, though.

I feel so lucky to still have my mom in my life. She is one of my greatest champions, always fiercely defending her family, always helping us be the best people we can, always encouraging, protecting, enlightening. My dad is right there too. I was blessed to born into a loving family.

When we step out tomorrow and head downtown for the Race, we’ll be doing it at mom’s pace. We usually stroll for the cure. Some years we only go a few blocks and she says, “Let’s go get a cup of coffee and a pastry.” So we do. Of course we do. We’ll amble through the tents and vendor displays, we’ll get our souvenir scarf, we’ll mingle with the throng of women in pink and then we’ll go home and watch football and drink mimosas. I got some pink champagne for the occasion.

11 September 2009

Turning it around

Work has been super busy lately with all sorts of new requests and new requirements. We laid off a team member early this year and everyone is working harder than ever. Since I am in charge, I have the option of delegating new assignments, but I don’t feel like I can dump any more work on any of the rest of the group. I’m going to have to eventually, because I can’t keep doing all of the extra work myself.

I’ve also had too much stuff scheduled on the weekends lately and the lack of down time really drains me. Plus, I look out at the garden and know that I should be starting the fall clean up chores; I look at the building projects and know that I should be putting more time in on them; I look at the house and know that it shouldn’t be this messy… you get the picture.

Last night a self defense class that I teach to student nurses started. Actually, it started last week and one of my teammates covered for me because it was the same night as the Bonnie Raitt concert. So, last night was my first night with the class. I got home from work feeling tired, a little out of sorts, and not in any mood to put on my uniform, schlep my gear across town, turn on the energy, and teach. But of course I did. Of course I did. And I am so glad!

The class was great! The women are all very enthusiastic and willing to try all sorts of stuff that is out of their comfort zone. They were excited to be hitting the pads and were hitting HARD! They were using their voice, they were using their stance and body language, they were dropping their breath. Everything I asked of them, they participated fully. What a wonderful group! I left there feeling so much better than when I arrived. It’s amazing how transformative physical activity can be. Especially when it is directed in a positive and empowering way.

The neighborhood where these women go to school is in a part of downtown Portland that has its share of trouble. It’s not a “bad” neighborhood, by any stretch. But, lately there has been a predator on the loose, and he has attacked several women late at night. We talked about that in class, of course, and all of the students are aware of it and are taking the class because of it. I’m so glad they are there! The skills that we teach are simple to learn and highly effective and go a long way in building confidence and increasing awareness. I wish we could teach the entire student body because really, everyone needs to know how to protect themselves.

I’ve got another busy weekend coming up, and the one after that as well. But, I’m doing my damnedest to keep the last week of the month free and my goal is for me and T to get to the beach that weekend. Fingers crossed!

Happy Friday!

10 September 2009

Today is...

I'm tired. I'm busy. I'm overly committed.

08 September 2009

Weekend Round-up

I took Friday off so that I had a four day weekend instead of just three. Greedy? No. Just needed a break. But it wasn’t all spent lying on the couch ignoring the world. Here’s what went down:

Friday ~ errands and a little shopping. My friend Peg came over and did some errands with me. Mostly just so that we could chat. T’s friend Chris came over and installed a printer. I went out to Lewis and Clark with Katherine, Abi and Annie. We were teaching a self defense course there on Sunday and wanted to see the room and figure stuff out ahead of time.

Saturday ~ No classes! The school was closed for the weekend. So instead I did a bunch of laundry and various household chores. Didn’t feel obligated to get anything done, which is a rarity. Watched a couple of movies. Mall Cop, which was silly and innocent and Fight Night, which was poorly written and woodenly acted. Bought a new seat for the bike and T put it on for me. Super comfy!

Sunday ~ Futzed around during the morning. Went back to Lewis and Clark to teach from 2 to 5. We were supposed to have 100 incoming freshmen women but only got 35 signed up. Of those, about half showed up for the course. Our goal is that next year it will be a requirement for all incoming fresh(wo)men.

Monday ~ went to Home Depot for supplies and then came home and insulated the floor of the sun porch – where the hot tub lives. Yeah, that’s a lot of fun, crawling around under a building with fiberglass insulation. OK, I’m not complaining because T did most of the crawling and I did most of the cutting. It felt good to get it done before the temperatures drop. We also got some Tyvek up on the outside of the porch. We hope to have the siding completed within a couple of weeks. I want it to blend into the rest of the house and not stick out like a sore thumb… as it is currently doing.

Now I’m back at work. Almost done for the day and I haven’t even caught up on my blog reading! My daughter has started a new blog about buying a house, and my good friend RR has started yet another “pop culture” blog. I’ve got to add those to my list.

Tonight I am teaching a class about Intimate Partner Violence. Also known as domestic violence, spouse abuse, etc. It’s pretty grim, but if people have information about it maybe, just maybe it will help them recognize it and strategize ways of escaping. The class I’m teaching tonight is at my martial art school so we have a captive audience there. This is part of my apprenticeship. We reach more people when we teach in the community. It’s good practice, though. I feel like I need more time to prepare, but it'll be fine.

03 September 2009

Bike Update, etc

Ok, I rode home again yesterday. Two things:

1) My butt hurts! I need a new seat, for sure. One of those wide, padded, “lady” seats. Oh yes I do. I got off the tram yesterday, tucked my pant leg into my sock and swung my leg over the bike. OUCH! When I sat down, I stood right back up. I had to ride a couple blocks putting most of my weight on the pedals until my butt bones stopped complaining. I’m taking Friday off and I’ll be shopping for a comfy seat that day.

2) My timing is off. I said that it took me 40 minutes the first day, well, it took 50 minutes the second day and that just can’t be right. I didn’t wander around in RiverPlace, AND I rode up that short steep hill – which has to be faster than walking, right? I’m not sure how my timing got all wonky, but I’m still hoping to shave ten (or twenty) minutes off my time. I hope to get home in half an hour. I think I’ll be able to eventually.

So, part of my ride along the waterfront goes by a hangout zone for the homeless. It’s just a pleasant part of the park a little distance away from the businessy part of downtown (close to the Steel Bridge, by the cherry trees, if you know where I mean). Yesterday there were several people sprawled around in the grass and sitting on the benches. I noticed that there were also lots of pigeons taking a little rest there as well. I wondered, do the homeless ever catch and eat pigeons? They are certainly plentiful (I mean the birds), and surely, surely, they taste somewhat like chicken. But, then, I’ve wondered the same thing about squirrels. Why aren’t hungry people eating them? I’ve never had squirrel before but in my imagination it is a lean, dark meat. I asked T what she thought about that and she said, “Why go to all that trouble when you can panhandle a dollar and go to Wendy’s for a crispy chicken sandwich?” She does have a point there.

In other news, the concert tickets that we won are for tonight. Bonnie Raitt and Taj Mahal at the Edgefield! Very much looking forward to it! Gates open at 5, general admission seating on the grass, so we’ll be there on time. Really, really hoping that the rain holds off until tomorrow!

02 September 2009

Bike Commute Challenge

Yay for me! I rode my bike home from work yesterday for the first time!

So, we’ve got this thing called the Bike Commute Challenge. Maybe it’s going on in your town? Maybe it’s just an Oregon thing… Different businesses compete to have the greatest percentage of employees riding their bikes to work during the month of September. I don’t think you win anything but bragging rights, and all of the actual benefits like better health, less pollution, etc.
For the past year and a half I have been carpooling with T. Since her last layoff, however, she has just been driving me to work and picking me up. I know, I know, how very wasteful that is! I have been talking about riding my bike to work but hadn’t gotten up the courage or motivation to do it. The bike challenge was the impetus I needed.

I had T drop me and my bike off yesterday and today. I feel ok about that. It cut the car commute in half. Next week I aim to ride both directions.

It’s only 5 miles from my house to my work, but it’s through the city, across the river and up a steep hill. Truth be told, I’m not doing the steep hill – not up or down it. Instead, I’m taking the tram up and down. It just feels safer and more doable for me. I made it home in 40 minutes yesterday, which is about 20 minutes faster than the bus. I know I’ll be able to shave a good 10 minutes off that time; I wasted a few minutes riding around one neighborhood looking for the bike path. Also, there’s one short but steep hill that my legs weren’t up to yesterday. It’s only 2 or 3 blocks long but I walked my bike up it yesterday. By next week I hope to ride the whole thing.

It really felt great to be getting home via my own power. Empowering! I’ve walked home before and that felt pretty good, too, but zipping along on my bike was great. And, the whole time I was pedaling I was thinking about how much better my pants would fit in a few weeks. I haven’t been working out for quite a while now and I have gained an unacceptable amount of weight and I just don’t feel good. This will definitely improve my physical and mental well-being.

The unknown so far is how the weather will affect my commute. Portland is known for the rainy weather, and it’s coming. I’m going to check out some rain pants and see if I can stick it out in the upcoming wet weather.

Wish me luck!