Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Blogger is throwing up again!!

In the 'compose' function, I am not given a cursor. In HTML mode, I am unable to make paragraphs or anything. It's EXTREMELY frustrating that this problem is going on AGAIN for who knows how long. I'll be checking in daily, and will begin posting again as soon as I can. Sorry for the delay folks. This is making me NUTS.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

A post in which we have brunch out

The plans had been made last night to meet the guys for brunch at noon, which was about as early as we could reasonably expect such a lot of slugabeds to meet in public.  That was fine.  I was up at about 7:30am of course.  I tried to go back to sleep, but in the end just got up to do quiet stuff and let Gary sleep in.  I know he didn't sleep well last week, and I wasn't about to wake him up.  There was plenty of time.

I finished up the potato salad (I had put the cubes in the fridge to cool so they didn't fall apart when I stirred it) and turned on the computer.  When I moved the iTunes into the laptop I lost all my playlists, so I'm working on putting them back in and making some new ones.  When Gary woke up we made coffee and I prepared to go to the flea market while he got cleaned up for brunch.  I bought fruit and picked him up some tomatoes from the woman there I know grows them herself, and then headed back and got cleaned up.

Brunch today was planned for Neue Southern.  We had been told to be there when they opened because apparently things get crowded up pretty fast.  Now Neue Southern is a food truck.  I know they are all the rage now, and the guys had gotten food there several times and raved about it, but I was less than leaping with excitement over eating on the street out of a truck rather than in a restaurant with air conditioning and a place to sit down.  Nonetheless, I was curious about the food, and I wanted to try it. 

It didn't rain today. That's notable since it has rained every day for what seems like months.  It's also notable because we stood in line.  And stood.  And stood.  The food was being made to order, which is good, but apparently quite limiting in the understandably small size of the kitchen.  As the sun became brighter, it got hotter.  And hotter.  I took some breaks.  There were little stores around there open, and I went in and looked around, but poor Gary waited in line all that time. 

Eventually, we all got our food.  RBL had brought a table and chairs and set them up in the parking lot (which I thought was a nice touch) but by the time we got our food we were all quite done with the blazing sun.  There was no shade to be had.  So we packed up the stuff and adjourned to Russ's shop, which was thankfully conveniently close.  Now after all this waiting, I was prepared to be dazzled, but the food, though quite acceptable, was not anything to write home about.  The topper for me was that while we had been standing in line, a man had brought his sandwich back because it had aioli on it, and he had ordered it without.  When Brian opened his sandwich, they had given him the returned one.  We knew because THERE WAS A BITE MISSING.  That just pretty much topped it for me.  I ate my food, but I was pretty much squicked from going back, especially after waiting in line in the hot sun all that time. 

I had an order of french toast, which was tasty, and made of fancy thick-cut bread with a nicely flavored cinamon butter, but which had not been soaked long enough and was pretty dry in the middle.  Had the cook been on Chopped, he would have been chopped over that.  I also had what was listed as a grit 'cake'.  It was really more like a grit pudding.  It had a nice flavor, and was topped with a pleasant pepper and corn pickled relish, but the texture just wasn't what I was expecting - I was more thinking about something like a crab cake or fritter.  The best thing I tasted was a fried green tomato sandwich that Logan ordered, but it was topped with a 'pimento' cheese that had suffered from being put next to the hot tomatoes, and had been 'revved up' with hot peppers of some kind.  I am not a huge fan of pimento cheese with hot peppers in it.  So while the flavor was good, it was greasy and just not quite what I thought it should be.  Plus, the price-tag for this was pretty hefty.  RBL paid $60(!!) to eat out of a truck; and that was without drinks.

After brunch, the group just unanimously pulled out their phones to play on them.  I have no idea why this passes for social interaction at this point, but since I have a smart phone now I just followed suit for a while.  When in Rome...  Eventually I picked up a magazine.  It was hot in the shop, and since we weren't going to do anything, Gary and I left for the house.  Russ had mentioned something about going to see The Conjuring, but there was no way I was going to sit through that.

I had thought that Gary would leave when we got home - he had dinner at his aunt's house tonight - but he instead wanted to hang out for a while.  I wanted a nap.  I turned on the TV, but we ended up having a 'relationship discussion'.  Sigh.  I know it needed to happen, but I really wasn't up for it today, and thought it was a bad time because his last week had been so stressful.  As I thought, he's much further along than I am emotionally about this relationship.  I'm not sure what I should do.  He's a great guy, and I really like him, but I feel kind of like I'm wasting his time.  My strategy has been to just date him, enjoy his company (which I do), and not worry about where it's going, but he obviously is thinking about where this is going.  That kind of makes me feel like I'm not being fair to him. 

I gave him some potato salad and cookies to take home, and burned him a CD because there was a song I had that he wanted.  I sent him on his way.  But my contributions to his happiness feel woefully inadequate. 

I got pretty down about that.  Gary is almost exactly the guy I say that I've been wanting.  He's the guy I've been bitching about not being able to meet.  And now that I meet him - crickets.  I know that he feels this.  Eric and Tyler were both at brunch today, and the sexual tension was just crackling all around me in regards to Tyler in particular, but nothing for poor Gary, who is just good to me and likes me.  Dammit.  So I just felt bad over the whole thing.

I stayed in and took a nap.  I ate left-over pizza and cookies, watched TV, and messed around on the computer way too much and way too late before I finally went on to bed.  I feel pretty much like a dirtydawgslug.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

A post in which it is a really nice Saturday*

I woke up with stuff to do. That was fine.  Eventually I got up and decided to go do some of it.  I had a lovely breakfast of left-over garlic knots from Della Ventura, deliciously crisped in the toaster oven and devoured with scrambled eggs with cheese - YUMMY!  I had to go get eggs, having eaten the last two this morning.  I try to schedule to buy eggs on Saturdays because then I can go over to Swamp Rabbit to get locally produced eggs which are hopefully from places where they treat the chickens a little better.  Now their prices are pretty high, and they're located next to a popular biking trail, so the place is usually eaten up with high-strung yuppie women with their organically-fed spoiled children and bike riders who all but snort derisively at you for your sedentary lifestyle, equipped as they are with $500 (or more) bicycles, designer riding togs, and high-maintenance abdomens.  I usually recruit Rhonda to go with me so at least I have a real person ally, but she refused to go this morning.  At my most charming I failed to change her mind.  So I went on alone.  I had thought that since I left the house in a driving rain that the place wouldn't be as crowded, but I was wrong.  They were just all inside today. 

I finally emerged triumphant, having spent a little over $11 for a dozen eggs and a gorgeous-looking, organic-floured, baked-that-morning spinach and feta pastie (apparently called a pogacha if you pay $6 for one - what I had bore no resemblance at all to any pogaca I found online).  On the way out the rain had stopped, and I had an itch.  I had planned to go to the flea market this morning, but the continuing monsoon had put the kibosh on that little plan.  But there is a big thrift store over near Swamp Rabbit, so I decided to stop in and nose around.  I hadn't really gotten in the door well when I found two Ruby Red tumblers.  They matched the set of five that I have at the house (I would have sworn that I had six of them, but when I washed them out of the window there were only five).  So I picked them up.  I stopped into the grocery store on the way in to the house. 

I had picked up some potatoes last weekend, and was toying with making some buffalo potatoes (my own recipe), but after having that potato salad at work last week I was craving Mama's potato salad.  I picked up three more pounds of poatoes to go with the ones I had, along with some stuff to make bars.

RBL were having a game night tonight, and since Gary had told me he was coming in the morning rather than tonight, I had made plans to go over there. I've been really craving those Hello Dolly bars.  Apparently everyone can make them but me, but I had a new strategy and was keen to try again.  Because Logan hates coconut, I also made some chocolate chip cookie bars, to which I added some Butterfingers. I had intended to chunk them in the little food processor, but they went right to dust, so I just mixed in the Butterfinger dust. 

While those were baking and cooling, I peeled my potatoes and put them in to bake.  The hardest part of making good potato salad is getting the potatoes right.  Cooked too much, you have mashed potatoes, and cooked too little you have "crunchy" potatoes.  Yergh.  I had a technique I use for another recipe that I decided to try today.  You wash and eye the potatoes and put them in a big ceramic baker along with about an inch or so of water.  Then you cover them tightly, bake for an hour or so, and just turn off the oven and let them cool.  The get cooked through without getting boiled apart.  I have done it with red potaotes with the skins on, but it seemed to work just fine today with peeled potatoes also - they were delightfully tender. 

While all this was going on, I had a text from Gary.  He had changed his mind because he didn't want to miss game night, so I just sent the boys a text and got cleaned up.  About the time I showered up and all, he got to the house.  I talked to him and caught up on all of his stuff about his dad (that's where he was all last week) while I cubed up potatoes. 

We went on to game night.  The guys just orderd pizza for everyone.  The cookie bars (that I was sure wouldn't work) actually turned out great, but the Hello Dollies again didn't turn out right.  They were edible, but not the way they are supposed to be.  I can't believe that I can make freakin' pastry cream and souffle, but can't make these stupid bars, which are supposed to be super easy.  Grrrr.

The game tonight was called Quelf.  Meh.  It wasn't the most fun ever, but at least it didn't take three hours to understand how to play.  I just must not be a game player any longer.  I don't have much patience for them.  But Logan REALLY likes games of all kinds, and everyone else wanted to play, so I went along.  Afterwards we adjourned to the comfy chairs in the living room, where they found a movie called Sharknado already in progess on ScyFy.  Now I never watch Scyfy channel, and was quite surprised to find that even they have apparently stopped taking themselves seriously, and produce a lot of openly satirical fare at this point.  Sharknado was such a spoof.  It was pretty stupid, but once I suspended my disbelief (an effort even for me in this case) it was pretty funny. 

When the movie was over and a second stinker came on though, I was pretty much done.  Gary and I went home to go to bed.  It had been a good day, and it wasn't quite over just yet...

Friday, July 26, 2013

A post in which it is Friday

For some reason, I just can't shake off this worthlessness.  I got what had to be done today done, but I had a hard time getting anything else done.  I was just kind of waiting for the weekend.

After work I was trying to decide what to do.  I didn't need to spend any money.  I didn't feel like going to see Miss Kat and Dana.  I just had a case of the mousy blahs.  But I didn't want to eat a tomato sandwich for supper - I'd had one for lunch.  I made the decision to go to Fresh Market and spend my Christmas gift cards on something scrummy for dinner.  As I pulled into the parking lot I got a text message, and checked it before going in.  It was from Billy, inviting me to dinner with him and Russ.  Logan is working late again.  I was very glad to accept, and ran home to change clothes.

I got to the house and it was so good to see them.  I was chattering away as we got ready to leave.  We went to Della Ventura for supper.  My meal was delicious (as usual) but not cheap.  I decided to have something other than my usual order tonight, and ordered shrimp in a garlic butter sauce (called 'Shrimp Stacey') that was quite good.  We had dessert too, and I had forgotten how great their Tiramisu is (that is one of my very favorite desserts ever).

So after dessert we went back to their house, quite satisifed, and settled in to visit for a while.  I'm thinking about ditching DirecTV (I really, really want all the cable poeple out of my house), so Billy ran through some of the alternatives available on their TV.  There's a lot more out there.  They are thinking about having their cable taken out too, so I'll see how they do, and then maybe get Billy to help me with it.  The prices for TV have just gotten ridiculous.  I pay more for drivel to be pumped into the house than I do for power, water, or gas for heaven's sake - $83 per month for BASIC.  The very smallest package they offer!  That is cuh-razy. 

So we watched some stand-up comedy and hung out for a while, and then I went home to bed.  It was a nice start to the weekend.

A post about "Dom Drop" or "sub drop"

So in reviewing the stats on this blog, it's a little embarrassing for me to admit that the most hits in any given day are on a post I did back in 2008 about a 'Dom Drop' day I was having.  So I guess I'll give the people what they want.  I DO appreciate you folks. 

For regular readers, you know that I have a kinky side (which, sadly, has not been indulged of late).  Part of expressing your kinkiness is that transition back to the 'real' world after a great scene or event you have experieinced.  The name for that transition is called Dom Drop.  I understand from a much more experienced person that this is also sometimes called 'sub drop'.

Dom Drop is more complex than just the usual little blue period you have after any vacation, trip, great sex, or whatever.  Emotionally I have compared it to feeling like dryer lint.  I just seem to attract/trap every kind of negative feeling - angry, sad, confused, helpless - and they seem to be amplified.  Everything seems like a bigger deal than it really is.  Everything seems kind of like the end of the world.  I find myself on the brink of despair or on the verge of tears over things that on a normal day would be relatively minor.

When I have described this feeling to women friends of mine, they look at each other and say "P.M.S."  (or if you're in the UK, P.M.T.)  Having never had PMS, I can't say, but it seems to jibe from what I read about it. 

If you think about it, it makes sense.  You've been coasting on an endorphin high for hours (or days).  It's kind of like emotionally stepping off the escalator - it takes you a step or two to get your bearings.  I do BDSM more for spiritual reasons than many people I have talked to, but there is a definite mental element to BDSM play for everyone - acknowledeged or not.  (I have often said that if good sex is at least 60% mental, then good BDSM has to be about 80% mental.)  One of the big attractions for me is that BDSM strips away all the bullshit of the everyday world, and I can step out to be my best, my truest self.  I love to be a Good Boy.  However demanding or confusing your Dom or Domme might be, generally the demands placed on you in a scene or at an event are more simple, more clear cut, more direct (and more logical) than those of the outside world.  Leaving that place of clarity - that place where you and those around you know your place, what you should be doing, and actually approve of (or at the very least allow) that can be jarring.  I hate to keep comparing it to intoxication, but that's the best metaphor I can think of - and like intoxication, it can come with a wicked hang-over.  Having cast off the bullshit for a while, I feel kind of like a crab that has shed it's shell (and you could argue that you do this too in order to grow, if I may be allowed to extend the metaphor) - hyper-sensitive and kind of 'soft' for a while.

The first time I experienced this feeling I had no idea what was going on.  I had heard the term 'Dom Drop', but until you have experienced it (as with many things), it's hard to understand.  I felt like I had stuffed myself on a too-rich dessert.  In the aftermath, it all seemed like too much, and it actually turned me off of the life temporarily. 

Fortunately, I came back.  I'm going to share some things that helped me and some ideas for what might help you.  Like most things BDSM, Drop is of course extremely personal and maddeningly subjective.  I hope this helps.

1. Know what you're in for.  If you're reading this it may be too late for that, but after future scenes, you'll know this is coming.  That brings me to:

2. Be aware of what's happening.  I have found that it helps me immeasurably to actually realize "Hey, wait a minute.  I know what's going on here..."  That helps me take that crucial step back, and once I do, many times I find things much easier to deal with.  Really.   

3. Have a good partner.  Although I am somewhat of a libertine (I think that sounds classier than ho) in my sexual life, I am generally pretty selective about with whom I do BDSM play.  This goes back to the trust issue.  You are playing (and allowing someone access to) deep in the toybox.  The more intense the play, the more you need a partner you can trust to do the after-work with you, talk to you, do what you need to help get you through it.  A lot of times a top will schedule a check-back with you to be sure you're OK.  I've had tops assign me 'homework' - an email about the whole scene.  First to lay out for them where I was, and make them more a part of that; and second to help me process all that happened.  Even if there isn't one scheduled, you may find that your partner will call you to check in.  It could be disguised as a 'Hihowyadoin' call.  The first time a BDSM partner called to do a check-back on me, I had no idea what he was even doing!  It was years later before I finally put the pieces together.  I am using partner here on purpose.  There is nothing that says that you have to be a top to make a check-in call.  Just sayin'. 

(**While I"m here, I'm just going to reiterate something.  I'm writing from a bottom's perspective because for the most part that is what my experience has been.  BUT there is no way you can over-estimate the power of reassurance.  I think that goes for a lot of tops too - I've done both.  I really never get tired of hearing that I've been a Good Boy (!!) just typing it gives me a little frisson (and I'm smiling too - just typing it).  My leather sister tells me that being able to replay that reassurance later can be a precious and helpful thing for her.  I know as a top it's gratifying to hear my partner has had a good time.  I think there is a respectful way to do that, and I don't know of any top who wouldn't appreciate it.)

4. You know you.  Hopefully you have a good partner, but whether you do or not, you know the things that you need when you're upset.  Maybe you have certain music that you listen to, or maybe you curl up with a snuggly quilt, comfy t-shirt, etc.  Maybe you watch a favorite movie, or have some special cookies that you don't buy yourself that often.  Call a good friend who understands and will listen.  A leather sister of mine says that it helps her to connect with someone who was actually at the scene, to talk about what happened, and kind of resurrect some of the magic; kind of like spiritual methadone.  Sometimes you have to suck your thumb a little (metaphorically or not).  Give yourself permission, and make the time to do it.

I've had limited success with 'scheduling' my drop.  I used to take a day off work after an event to allow myself time to come down, but emotions are not usually that convenient and accommodating.  I found that I started 'coasting' through the extra day off, and just dropped afterwards - usually at the most inconvenient time.  So I quit taking that extra time off. 

The good news is that I found that as I became more experienced, the drop wasn't as severe.  I've been on hiatus for a while now (I had a serious illness in 2011 and spent about a year in diagnosis, treatment, and dealing with complications.  I haven't tried my wings again since then.), so I'm not sure if I'll have to start over or not - maybe that will be the next post? 

The hits show me that there is interest in this - and an apparent dearth of information available.  I hope that something I've written here will help someone.  If you're in the midst right now, remember that this is temporaryIt will pass.  I hope that for you it will become less severe in the future, as it has for me.  In the meantime, congratulations on having a scene that moved you enough to have a bit of withdrawal.  Good for you(!!), and I hope you feel better soon. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

A post in which I shop my way home

So I started the day today with no coffee.  "No big deal." I thought. "One day without it won't kill me."  Oh how wrong I was.  Apparently to rise and function at 6am, my body now requires coffee.  I kept thinking I would wake up, and it kept not happening.  I drove to work like a zombie. 

I hadn't gotten ready for work in time to go by Starbucks, so I just had to go on in and drink the awful coffee in the office.  Bleah.  But necessity is a mutha.  When I got to the coffee area, some asshat had started two pots of coffee without emptying the pots, and then walked off to leave them both to overflow down the cabinets and all over the floor.  So I spent twenty minutes or so cleaning that up, moving the coffee machine for the first time in, I would guess, about three months.  There were Jurassic raisins under there.  Gross.  And not a great way to start the day.

So then I got my coffee, and went in search of creamer.  There's always someone in the office that has a secret stash of the good stuff.  I hate that powdered white crap.  Eventually, I found a stash and begged some.  What was on offer was International Delight Butter Pecan Creamer, which was of course full of God-knows-what-all Dow Chemical nastiness; but not being one to look a gift horse in the mouth, I availed myself to the last of Christie's stash with much gratitude.  The new coffee they're using at the office was surprisingly palatable - who knew?  Of course that could have just been the paroxyms of a system on the brink of collapse.  I got through the morning.

Today was 'Employee Appreciation Day' at work.  Were I of a more cynical nature, I would be suspicious of it's proximity to the timing of the 'Best in the Upstate' employee surveys.  We were listed as one of the ten best places to work in the state last year, which the company has ballyhooed with wild and reckless abandon.  While I personally would have been more impressed if they had appreciated us by not raising our health insurance premiums again, I guess it was harmless enough.  There were a number of stupid contests (flying paper airplanes, guessing the number of M&Ms in a jar, etc) that straight people seem to find endlessly delightful, and which did not cost the company a sou to offer.  There were a number of emails that most people deleted without reading, and a series of 'prizes' awarded by lottery in the afternoon, which were largely plastic cups and other dreck that the vendors send constantly, and which you usually only have to wait for the premiums closet to be cleaned out to obtain.  I suppose the foregoing comments have just revealed a cynical nature I cannot deny.  They did offer us a free lunch in the cafeteria.  Unusually, they still had veggie burgers when I went downstairs, and they were actually quite good.  The potato salad on offer was really good too - made there out of red potatoes.  So I enjoyed the lunch anyway. 

I heard from Gary today, and he's planning on coming up this weekend, either Saturday night or Sunday morning.  Still (maddeningly) no details as to his dad's health, or how he was greeted by his family.  I guess I'll find out soon enough.  I am hopeful of good news since he sounded in good spirits.  I'm trying to decide what I'll make for breakfast on Sunday. 

Since I hadn't been to the store, and started the day yesterday by breaking my french press, there was plenty to do before I could go home today.  I went to Target because I figured I could get everything I wanted there, and happily that proved to be the case.  I needed french fried onions (for California Club sandwiches), and they didn't have Durkee, only French's.  That's really potAYto/potAHto to me, but French's has a new plastic package that is not recyclable.  Sigh.  Since when did that become necessary?  I bought them anyway, because I didn't feel like making another stop.

I was able to find a french press.  You really can't find one cheaper than $21 anywhere (my last one came from Wal-Mart, I am embarrassed to admit) except the flea market unless you get a mini, which I didn't want.  The latest one is a Bodum, which is the best brand.  I bought it becuse it was on clearance (marked down from $30 to, you guessed it, $21) because it's apparently a size they don't carry any longer.  This one is about 48oz.  So I guess I'll find out if that is great or is awkwardly large.

While I was at the store, I strolled through the kitchenware section, more out of habit than anything else. Of course now that I no longer need one, they have the GreenPans in the size I wanted.  They do cost about twice what I paid for mine.  I'm trying to decide if I'll pick one up anyway or not.  The one I bought in Savannah seems to work fine. There was not one Paula Deen pan on offer (after that had been about a quarter of the department six months ago).  Wow.  So much for 'phasing out' the line.  I guess in light of the new scandal that erupted about her today, they are glad to have it out of the store.  But still. 

On the way home, I had to stop off because I had forgotten to get lettuce (I can no longer shop without a list), and picked up some tater wedges to go with my sandwich.

I got home before it started raining (yay) and got everything in the house and put away.  By that time I was hungry, so I made my sandwich and ate taters.  Yum.  About the time I got finished, the satellite went out courtesy of the storm du jour.  I turned the TV off, put a DVD in the computer, and started washing glass.  I had raided the window ove the sink to fill the new cabinet, and it was in need of re-arranging and washing.

I also treated (again) the slow drain in the bathroom.  With limited success.

I made coffee for tomorrow and put it in the fridge to chill, having switched over to iced coffee for the summer as I am wont to do.

By the time I did all of that (the window is mysteriously full again, despite having about half of the glass in it) it was time for bed, and I was tired. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A post in which I am kind of off

I just woke up feeling kinda bleah today.  I started the day by breaking my french press.  Sigh.  More money I have to spend.  But I had coffee made for today already. 

I should have done a lot of stuff today - there was a lot that needed doing.  But in the end I didn't do any of it.

I renewed my book on CD at the library, and requested a new Savannah Reid mystery, but I did that online.

I got caught up on a re-run marathon of RuPaul's Drag Race, and watched that until bedtime.