Category Archives: Uncategorized

COVID-19 Chronicles: Days 7-9

Been a little busy here the last few days. Work is going well… I get to start training people again via webinar… something I haven’t gotten to do since I left Tampa back in 2014. I’ve been trying to get back into it ever since and, despite many twists and turns and a series of moves that took me away from Tampa and then brought me right back and sent me down a rabbit hole career-wise (for a bit), it looks like I’m heading back into the direction I wanted to go. I give my first webinar tomorrow… and while I am (understandably nervous), I am also pretty at ease… I know the materials pretty well, and I’m good at improv for the stuff I don’t know.

But enough about that. The virus continues to spread. Most of the Florida beaches are closed… I know that some of the spring breakers have gone home (but not all of them… some of them decided to stay… I’m not sure what they’re really doing since they can’t DO anything around here except go grocery shopping now that the bars, clubs, and restaurants are closed). New Yorkers are also apparently flying into Florida to escape their stay-at-home orders and the governor finally mandated that anyone getting off of a plane that comes from New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut has to self-quarantine for 14 days.

Because the governor doesn’t want to issue a stay-at-home mandate for the entire state, some local governments are taking it upon themselves to issue their own. Honestly I don’t see how that can be effective because it’s not like the virus is going to come up to certain county lines and say, “Oh… I’m banned here… I’ll go somewhere else.” And also, especially in counties that comprise big regions like Tampa Bay, it would be difficult to enforce when you have a community that depends on its ability to commute to other counties for work. Is someone living in Hillsborough county who works in a non-essential job in Manatee county (which is technically outside the “Bay” area) supposed to sacrifice their job to stay home, or are they supposed to illegally leave and risk a fine so that they can keep their job? I get the need for effort, I do, but there has to be some kind of consistency or it simply doesn’t make sense.

But… I digress… the county I live in has proposed instating a stay-at-home order AS WELL AS a curfew. It hasn’t passed yet, but I expect it to tomorrow, which means there is likely more WoW and Fallout time in my immediate future.

Daily Developments:

  • See above information about the curfew… will probably pass tomorrow.
  • Milo likes to play fetch during the day. I cannot always play with him, but he makes a point of throwing his little toy around on his own (then staring up at me pathetically) when I can’t participate.
  • I finished the book I was reading in two days. It’s not because I have a lot of spare time (though I kinda do), but because it was a page turner and I didn’t want to put it down.

Things I’m Happy About:

  • Oddly, this virus is the reason I’m getting to start doing webinars again, because our other trainers are too busy to handle them all. Believe me, I wish that there was another good reason for this, but I told you, I’m trying to see the positives in this.
  • Slept pretty decently the last couple of nights. This is a true achievement for me.
  • Only about 1-1.5 more days until I’ll have unlocked flying in Legion. This is something I wasn’t going to do because honestly it takes forever to do now, and I didn’t have a whole lot of time but that, obviously, has changed.

COVID-19 Chronicles: Days 4-6

On Friday, I drove down to Bradenton to see Lord Ormsby. We practiced social distancing from within his apartment, except for when we used my car to go get him some supplies so that he doesn’t have to take his motorcycle for multiple trips to the grocery store (since it doesn’t haul as much as my bug does).

What’s nice about Ormsby’s place is that it is right next to Bradenton’s Riverwalk so, while the beaches were closed, we could still get outside and take a walk and enjoy some of the sunshine. I had no idea how nice that strip of walkway was… water on one side, landscaping and benches on the other, a marina so that you can look at all of the yachts that you’ll never be able to afford (and think how effective it must be to social distance on one of those things). We also discovered that he lives super close to an ice cream/smoothie place. We didn’t get any that day, but it’d a nice little tidbit of information to have in your back pocket for a later time.

The grocery stores are civil – some are more crowded than others – and depending on what time you go, different things are available (but not toilet paper). I finally found the rice I was looking for today when I went on a whim. Also got some deli ham (they’re putting it in regular ziploc bags now because they are out of their other ones) and some salad mix. The ham and cheese sandwich I had today hit the spot.

Tampa’s mayor was reported to have said that she is considered a lockdown of our county if the governor doesn’t lock down the state first. I expect that will likely be announced sometime tomorrow afternoon at the earliest. I told Ormsby that if there is a state lockdown and if he is not expected to work, then he is welcome to come here for the duration – since it will be a LONG quarantine for him to be stuck in a place with no internet or cable and a handful of dvds. I also told him to bring his own toilet paper.

Lots of domestic disturbances at my complex today… and I live in a nice area of town. People haven’t been stuck inside for even a week and they’re already starting to lose their shit. I can’t imagine what this is going to be like if things really do lock down, and sincerely hope this does not become some new nationwide rendition of “The Shining.”

At any rate, I got one more (large) bag of cat food today – they aren’t going to need food for another five months at this rate (which is fine with me… better safe than sorry, since I can’t get their food at a normal grocery store), and there’s not much else that I can do to be prepared at this point, so I guess whatever happens, happens.

Back in my good old Kentucky home, my parents’ church suspended its services for the first time in living memory. Their minister apparently delivered his sermon (like so many others have) via Facebook – this was a big deal, though, because their congregation is older and slower to change (though I think by now even the oldest ones have a Facebook account).

Daily Developments:

  • Ohio and Louisiana are the latest two states to enact the stay-at-home orders, joining a handful of other states.
  • Many of the Florida beaches are finally closed.
  • Miami Beach hotels are supposed to close on Monday.
  • The Hard Rock Hotel and Casinos here in Tampa finally made the decision to close – that’s the biggest deal because they probably had the most traffic now that Disney and Universal have been closed for so long.
  • Grocery store shelves are still pretty picked over when you go there, but they are better in the morning.

Things I’m Happy About:

  • I am playing a ton of World of Warcraft – more than I’ve played in years. The servers are getting populated again, now that no one has anything else to do, and I’m getting achievements that I’ve “not had time” to try for in a while… also I’m unlocking all the flying that I said I’d never actually do on principle because it was too difficult (but you know… now I have time… so…)
  • I have rice.
  • The book I’ve been wanting to read since the summer (“The Phantom Prince” by Elizabeth Kendall, about Ted Bundy) finally came off hold for me today… I’ve been on a list for freaking ever to read this one. This could not have come at a better time, since I am now stuck home for the foreseeable future.
Bradenton Riverwalk – Butterfly Garden
Bradenton Riverwalk
Bradenton Riverwalk

COVID-19 Chronicles: Day 3

About three months ago, I moved from the apartment complex that I’d lived in during my entire Florida tenure to a nicer, newer complex that is only about three miles from my office.  It is much safer and quieter here (for the most part), and cheaper than what I was paying (at least for now – since they always get you in at a low rate, then increase prices every year you stay thereafter). 

Last night, due to the virus, they sent four identical emails to the community to let us know that, due to the virus, they are closing the doors to the main office and will only be communicating with residents through email, their portal, or by phone.  They are really bad about answering the phone, and I try to have as little contact as I can with them anyway, aside from getting air filters and picking up packages the delivery people are too lazy to leave at my door. 

It also means that if something breaks around here, I’ll either have to wait until this is over or fix it myself, since the maintenance crews aren’t doing any in-home repairs right now that aren’t absolutely urgent.  I’ve had a house before – I can do a lot of things on my own.  But this makes me (almost) glad that my furnace had a clog about three weeks ago and I asked the maintenance guy to look at my shower issue too while he was here (the hot water didn’t work properly).  This whole self isolation thing would be eminently worse I did not have hot water in the shower.

Not having the benefit of knowing that if something breaks it will be fixed promptly for who knows how long is kind of a pain, but I’ve taken the steps I need (like calling Amazon this morning and telling them to ship things directly to my door instead of delivering them to the leasing office) to get the things I have to have without needing to go in there so I’ll be ok.  Bonus Points: Publix sells the apartment-sized air filters that fit my unit if I have to replace it again before all of this is over.

Speaking of Publix, it wasn’t exactly packed, but the shelves really were bare… like where, just last week, I could go get groceries and had plenty of choices, now it was more difficult to find what I was looking for.  I am really, really, really glad I started doing this stocking up thing a long time ago.  It would be hell to try to find all my groceries right now – at this point, like I wrote a couple of days ago, all I have to worry about is replenishing the stock I already have with a like (or similar) item. 

Trying to avoid food delivery and drive-thru as much as I can… I am sure they are safe, especially since basically every restaurant I patronize has sent me an email over the last several days saying they are going to be shutting down their dining areas, but there is absolutely no reason to buy what I can cook on my own.

Working from home is still going well.  They’re going to start letting me facilitate webinars next week, and while I’m a little nervous, I kind of can’t wait.  That’s what I used to do every day, three times a day, and it was pretty great.  Also, I love the team I work with.  I mean I wouldn’t cut my arm off for them (but I wouldn’t do that for anyone), but there’s not a lot that I wouldn’t do to help out where I’m needed to, and I’m pleased that I get the opportunity to branch out a little and show them what I can do.

Daily Developments

  • They’ve shut down all the apartment amenities.  So no gym.  No pool (but I didn’t use that anyway).  No leasing office.  I’m going to have to get creative about exercising, but this is a nice area, seems to be safe, maybe it’s time to start walking in the late afternoons again like I used to. 
  • Publix was empty.  Like… the only thing that was really, truly stocked were the pickles and the supplies for baking.  I am eminently glad that I know how to bake.  And to cook.  My mother did me a true solid when she taught me that skill.  What used to just be a selling point… a novelty item for the dating market has now become a survival mechanism.  Breads, desserts, crackers, snacks… there’s so much that you can do with a little bit of those basic things, and I always keep a lot of those things on hand.

Things I’m Happy About:

  • I have a four day weekend.  I requested PTO ages ago, and kept it so I could take care of some things. 
  • I’ll go down to see Lord Ormsby tomorrow (we no longer live together due to our work situations).
  • My patio is set up nicely so that, if I can’t go out and hang out outside too much due to needing to stay away from society in general, I can sit out on the patio read.  It’s really quite homey.
  • Streaming television.  And cable.  It’s been nice to be able to have Seinfeld and Friends on during the day when I’m working – even if I’m not really watching it that closely.

COVID- 19 Chronicles: Day 2

Spent some time today going over my quarantine rations, taking stock of what I’ve eaten (so I know what I need to replace) and what is in the weekly Publix ad.  I’ll probably go grocery shopping tomorrow.

Work was mostly business as usual, but had some fairly moderate computer issues throughout the day.  Nothing I couldn’t resolve, but I definitely got tired of putting in my Multi-Factor authenticator throughout the day.

I think I’ve found my “background noise” routine – Bay News 9 in the morning, followed by the daily Friends marathon on TBS in the afternoon.  I don’t really watch it, per se, because I am actually working, but it was especially helpful today since the only other ambience was the sound of the leaf blowers and lawn mowers outside, cutting the grass in the complex. 

There’s not a lot of news to report today on my front – I mean for the most part, I get up, I work from home, then I log off and think about what I’m going to have for dinner.  I have a lot of chicken that I need to use, but I don’t really want chicken tonight.  I’ve been considering freezing it, actually, so that it’ll keep longer and I can thaw and use it as I need it. 

At any rate, there’ll probably be more to report tomorrow since it’ll be the first time I’ve left my house since Monday night.  I’m curious to see what the stores look like now.

Daily Developments:

  • I am pretty sure my cats have no idea what is going on, but they seem to be over the moon that I no longer get up in the morning only to leave the house for the whole day.  They take turns sitting in my lap and “helping” with my work duties.
  • The government is talking about implementing a stimulus of some sort.  Compared to the amount of money people are losing on a daily basis as jobs are cut and new work in skilled fields (such as the AV/Entertainment industry) is hard to find, whatever they send out will be a drop in the bucket, but it will help a little… probably.

Things I’m happy about:

  • I still have chocolate chip cookies.
  • I actually slept last night (without drugs).
  • I managed to fix some computer issues today and sent a report to our IT department, so they knew how to help people troubleshoot.
  • I may FaceTime with my nieces tonight.  😊

COVID-19 Chronicles: Day 1

I realize that COVID has been a thing for months now… but it’s affected me, personally, very little, except that I decided early on that this could be really bad and that I should probably go out and make sure my stock of cold medicines and tissues was stable.  I bought one package of toilet paper then (but because I was basically out) and a little bit of food, but left it at that because things hadn’t blown up in the US yet and I wanted to see what would happen.

As the news got worse, and it made its way over here, I’ve spent the last four weeks stocking up on non-perishable food items (they’ll also last through hurricane season), stuff I’ll want if I do get sick, and food and litter for the cats.  I was comfortably prepared for this thing before it got ridiculous.  I am proud of that.

Two weeks ago, at work, the order came for us to start preparing to work from home – there was no word on whether we actually would, but they wanted us to test our connections and apps to make sure we could if we had to.  Yesterday the order came for us to begin remote-working today, so this is it.

Working from home is not so bad.  I made the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever made in my life on Saturday night, with some left over to snack on (and they need to be – their shelf life is only about 5 days).  I get up and log in at my normal time (around 6:45), but I do it in my fuzzy socks and with one of the cats in my lap periodically.  I miss my work friends, but I am also really digging getting to hang out with the cats all day, so I guess it’s the ultimate trade off.

Social isolation is not difficult for a lifelong introvert… I guess you could say that, in a way, I’ve been rehearsing for this my whole life.  Granted, I’ve gotten better about my introversion over the years, but I also have absolutely no qualms about binge watching an entire television series or playing four straight hours of World of Warcraft and getting achievements that I just don’t have time to go for during normal periods of my life.

I am, of course, worried about my family – but, most of them live in a very small town in a rural area.  They are pretty social within the confines of that town, however, people in that town don’t travel much and it’s not a bustling tourist destination.  You could argue that they practice a less extreme form of social isolation all the time.  And I call them pretty much daily now so I know they’re ok.

At any rate, because I find myself with more “downtime” than I am accustomed to and because I am a historian (seriously, I have a degree in this) with a fascination for social history and change – and in a weirdly twisted way, I am flattered to be living in the middle of it – I’ve decided to chronicle this all here.

I’m not doing this because I’m anticipating getting a lot of hits… I would imagine WordPress (among other sites) is FULL of posts like mine right now… (probably from people that are a whole lot worse off and, by proxy, more interesting) but because I really want to be able to come back to this someday and read about it all. If you do decide to join me for this series, please note that I’m not going to be getting engaged in scientific discussions (I am not qualified), nor political ones (not qualified for that either).  I think the best thing we can do for ourselves now, and for each other, is to remain as positive as we can.  And that’s what I’ll be doing.

With any luck, I’ll be able to post daily (or semi-daily).

Daily Developments:

  • Florida’s Primary elections are still taking place.  This is a big deal because other states have changed the date of theirs.
  • Tampa’s bars and clubs are closed. Restaurants are limited to 50% capacity (and are urging takeout).
  • People are still coming down here for Spring Break, which I find odd, but y’all also help ensure we don’t pay state income tax, so thanks.
  • The Clearwater Pier was recently closed (but the beach is still open)… South Beach, I hear, is closed, though.

Things I’m happy about:

  • I have food… enough to last through hurricane season if I’m careful.
  • Milo spent a good half of the day in my lap. He spent part of it watching a webinar.  If this is my new “normal” for work, I’ll take it.
  • Grocery stores here are still pretty much stocked with everything (except toilet paper and hand sanitizer and anti-bacterial soap)… so I can easily replace what I consume. This is what I plan to do until this either ends or I get sick and have to quarantine myself.  If I have to quarantine myself, I have enough supplies to get by on until that quarantine period ends.
  • I still have a job – seriously… I’ve already seen one major recession in my adult life, and I was unemployed and basically homeless during that one. I am thankful, THANKFUL that I have work, and that my employer lets me work from home instead of forcing me on furlough, and also that my rent is reasonable since I moved to another area of town.

— ‘Till tomorrow.

Internet Dating Escapades XXXIV

I know it’s been awhile, but this came across my Instagram account today and I had to share.  Technically this isn’t really Internet Dating at all (and I’m not single, nor dating), but it kind of falls in line with the other 34 of these so I decided it needed to fall into this category.

There’s a lot here, but read through till the end. 🙂

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… And then… they went back and deleted all of these messages, not realizing that they have been screen-captured and are going to be posted online for posterity’s sake.

… Until next time, folks.

Wanna See My Panties?

I don’t think I’ve ever really talked about lingerie on this blog before.  I am pretty sure I posted some photos here that were taken at one point several years ago, but I’ve not really talked about how much I adore my lingerie collection.

I started early.  I was the kid who spent an inordinate amount of time agonizing in the local Wal-Mart about what kind of underwear I wanted to buy.  It usually had to have some sort of cartoon on it (back then it was probably Care Bears or Sesame Street or something), I needed lots of different colors, and nothing pleased me more than getting a new pack of Hanes Her Way (for girls) to wear.  It’s not like I went around showing everyone my underwear back then, mind you.  I think a lot of it was just the novelty of knowing I had something COOL on under my clothes that no one else knew about.

I grew out of my Sesame Street phase, of course, and we’ll bypass the awkward teenage years in this narrative too, because they’re not worth mentioning (except to say that I did not wear Sesame Street underwear to high school)… also I was an awkwardly shaped teenager with long legs, a nicely-shaped ass, but not much by way of a chest.  I may have gotten my period before anyone else, but tits?  Nope.

Then I hit my 20’s.  And my second puberty (of which there have been three… don’t ask me how I pulled that off, I don’t know).  I got boobs.  My ass remained awesome.  And I started modeling.  Photographers I modeled for would attempt to provide me with pieces they had purchased for models to wear, but I soon learned that most of it was pre-worn, still covered in vagina-gunk from the last model who wore the thing (despite the photographer swearing up and down that they were clean), and I wasn’t putting that ANYWHERE near my own vagina because there’s no guarantee what the photographer would DO with that pair of panties after I had finished with them.

So I started shopping for my own lingerie.  It needed to be… well… awesome.  Better than anything anyone else owned because I needed to save the integrity of my nether-regions and at the same time needed to (at least so I thought… then) preserve the fragile ego of the photographers who had spent all this time buying shit for models.  Looking back on it it was probably all the cheap shit, but I hadn’t hit my connoisseur-status yet.

Long story short, I amassed a HUGE lingerie collection.  At last count (and this has been several years ago), I owned over $5000 worth of merchandise in a rotating wardrobe (material wears out after a while).  Bras, panties, babydolls, fetish pieces, corsets, you name it, I probably had it (and if I didn’t, I’d happily purchase it).  I have professional photos of myself in nearly all of it… which was awesome, because I got paid for those shoots and the money from those shoots went to buy more lingerie.  An endless cycle of sexy undergarments that pay for themselves.  Every woman should be so lucky.

Anyway, when the opportunity came up to submit to the casting for the Luxe Lingerie Show in Tampa, I jumped at it.  I didn’t really dream I’d get in (because while I have been doing stuff like this for most of my adult life, I never have really quite grasped the fact that I am, in fact, lucky enough to GET to do this).  But I did.  And I’m very, very psyched about it – because, for a lingerie nut like me, what is better than to get to go get your hair done, your makeup done, and then get the excuse to wear your lingerie on the outside, where everyone (or at least those who purchased tickets) gets to see it?

It benefits a very worthy cause, too, which makes it doubly awesome – Hope Driven, a charity that provides services to help single parent families living in Hillsborough, Pinellas, or Pasco counties with children under the age of 13.  They provide services like short-term housing, job placement, assistance with food, electricity, and tuition… stuff that helps these families get out from underneath some of the burdens that make success sometimes seem like it’s really far away.

I don’t know how many of my readers live in the Tampa Bay area.  Or how many of you are lingerie fanatics like me.  But if you’re looking for something to do this weekend OTHER than watch beefy men in tight pants run around a football field trying to jump on top of each other, come out to American Social Tampa on Saturday night and take a peek.

You won’t be disappointed.

Luxe

All That Debt

Let’s talk a little bit about debt.

Debt sucks.  It feels a whole lot like being in prison, except there are no bars and you are completely (mostly) in control of how much you are in for and how long it takes you to dig yourself out of it.  I mean there are limitations to that statement – emergencies can send you spiraling thousands into the hole with no other choice.  And if you don’t make a lot of money it can take a freaking long-ass time to dig yourself back out of it.  And then there are student loans which no one really wants, but everyone seems to have to have.

Anyway, I have a lot of it.  Debt, that is.  Student loans and revolving debt.

I had it (some) when I lived here before.  Student loans, mostly, though I’d had some credit card debt early on that I’d gotten paid off.

Toward the end of my Florida Tenure Part I, I started racking up more… life-saving missions, moving expenses, etc.  I did a lot of things the wrong way.  What I SHOULD have done, in hindsight (which is always 20/20) is waited until I had a job offer in Kentucky before I packed up my entire life and moved back up  north.  That probably would have been good in two ways: First, I’d imagine I’d have come to my senses once winter came and they were sitting in the snow and I was down here in the warmth. Second, if I did decide I was really that insane, I’d have had sustainable income to have gotten a place of my own, and not have racked up so much debt by paying basic living expenses on high-interest credit cards.

Buuut… sometimes I am not smart.  It’s rare, but it happens.  And I went anyway.  I ended up freezing that winter and it took eight months to get a job.  I did not have to pay rent for much of that, but I did still have expenses to pay (cell phone, car insurance, food, winter clothes, etc.).  Further, I did not think that it would take eight months to find something.  I did not take into consideration that Louisville doesn’t have the market that Tampa has for someone who does what I used to do.  And Louisville is cliquish… you have to know the right people to get hired to do meaningful work for the most part… I had the skills and the resume, but I did not have the connections.  Or the family background.

So I was screwed… in many ways.

But I digress… coulda, woulda, shoulda doesn’t get you anywhere.  Moving on…

At this point, it is what it is.

When I decided to move back to Florida, I did so for a couple of reasons: I hate cold weather. The job market is better for me.  I simply make more.

Both of those benefits have largely panned out.  I make more.  Way more.  And it’s been warmer here than it’s been in Kentucky, though lately it’s been very frigid (for Florida), and it snowed in the northern part, so some might argue that I didn’t go far enough south.

That said, there’s still all this debt.  And it’s frustrating.  Because while I bring in massively more than I used to when I lived here before, I see less of it because it all (at least for now) goes into paying off the banks.  And I get kind of anxious… not because I think I’m going to lose my job, but knowing that if I did, I’m really on the precipice of being completely and totally screwed because the monthly payments I’m bound to make are way more than I’d afford on an “average” salary.  Things are tenuous.

Now, on the up-side, I have a roommate.  A fiancé (he gets pissed if I call him a roommate, but when it comes to rent-sharing, that’s what he is).  He pays half the rent.  I take what he gives me and I roll it into my debt.

I’ve started doing promos again – because they pay well, I can take them when I have time to take them, and I can roll that money into the debt too.  Tax refund money will also be put there.  I mean, in reality, paying this off shouldn’t take longer than a couple of years to accomplish, if I work steadily at it.

It’s a great plan… it really is… and it works (when he’s able to afford it – moving to Florida did not do for him (financially) what it did for me).  But it’s still going to take a very long time.

I’m trying to be patient with myself, and to not beat myself up too much over the past.  The choices were what they were.  I’m sure I would have done things differently if I’d known how things would end up, but the point is, I didn’t.

And we can’t know, can we?  Not really… we take a path, we walk down the path, sometimes it’s the wrong path, but at that point (unless we’re really lucky) there’s no turning around and choosing a different path.  And even if we do, we still have the baggage from the wrong path that we started on.

I believe in the Law of Attraction.  It works for me.  It has for many, many years, and it’s how I’ve gotten much of what I have.  I have to believe that, like everything else, this will all work out as well.  Somehow.  I’ll pay this off, I’ll have the things I want (a house, a new car… nothing extravagant… just something to get me out of apartment living, and my Beetle), and I’ll be able to stop working so damn hard.

A New Beginning to an Old Story

A little over five years ago I started this blog with the intention of documenting what it was like to be in my thirties, single, dating, and shooting for what I felt, at the time, was not all that unreasonable: a decent job with decent pay (check), a relationship that had the potential to go somewhere with a partner that was both present and supportive (check – only to uncheck and re-check several times once I figured out that said partner wasn’t what he advertised himself to be… or he became a maniac… in some cases both… anyway), and the means to start a family (that box never got checked off… not even a little bit).

I wanted to chronicle all of that in the most up front, unapologetic, and unadulterated way possible.  And for a really long time, that’s exactly what I did.  Successes and failures became, at least for a time, nothing but ridiculousness to laugh at.  It’s like when you fall on your face so many times that you eventually have to decide whether to admit defeat or just laugh at it and keep going.  Defeat wasn’t (and still isn’t) an option for me, so I chose the latter.

Things shifted, though, like they do, and plans changed, and while I managed to stay pretty regular with Project TMI, I eventually met someone that I was willing to sacrifice all of that unadulterated-ness and honesty for.  I did the one thing that I said I would never, ever do and I gave so much of myself away that now, five years later, I’m reading back through these posts and realizing that I’m definitely not the person I used to be back then, and I sure as hell don’t know this person that I’ve become, and I kind of think that maybe I need to get re-acquainted with that girl I used to be because she was a pretty kickass chick who had her shit together.

I’m not saying that I didn’t get what I asked for… I did… I mean I got that relationship I wanted (the one that has potential to go somewhere – I’m still engaged, after all), but I think I’ve paid a heavy price for it.  And while I am still fortunate enough to look like I’m in my twenties (Botboy used to say I was “pickled”), I have seen and done and been through so much that I feel like I’ve lived a thousand years only to come back to the place I started (home… Florida), with a better job, but at the same time $30k more in debt than I was when I got on that crazy train to begin with so I’m not really able to save any of it.

They say that life is a trade-off.  I’d wager that that’s true.  They also say that you always want what you can’t have.  That’s definitely true, but “can’t” isn’t a word that is a part of my vocabulary all that often.  I always get what I want… until I don’t want it anymore… then I identify something else, pursue that, get sick of it, lather, rinse, repeat.

So I’m doing two things here – I’m revamping the blog.  I’d like to give it a total makeover, and I plan to do that, but right now I’m too busy to write the code and too broke to pay someone else to do it better than I ever could, so it’s going to have to stay the way it is.  But it’s getting a Facebook page and I’m going to put an index on that so I can at least surf through the entries I want to read when I want to read them (I’m going to post the link here, too, once I get that page a little more founded).

But I’m also writing books… books that start WAAAAY back in the good ole’ days of 1997, where all of this began.  There’ll be three of those, plus two “companions” that’ll travel alongside the online content that is up here.  And it’s not really because I’m arrogant enough to think anyone is really all that interested in my little story, but it’s more or less because I really just need to get it “out there.” Out of me.  Somewhere else.  Maybe if I can ever sit down and read it I can look at it more objectively than I can when it’s boiling around inside me.

I’m doing all of this while I work a full time job (with lots of overtime) and do side-gigs (runway, promos, fashion shoots).  So the process is slow.  I’ll probably be forty by the time I publish the first one (though I doubt it).  But the posts are going to get more frequent here, at least.  I have to get some of it out, somewhere… and because I’m kind of an exhibitionist and can definitely be somewhat of a narcissist (most models and actors are, and don’t let anyone tell you differently), I’m putting it up for the world to see because…well…why the hell not.

These days, we can always use a little more honesty in the world.

Traits of a Narcissist

  1. Narcissists are (usually) male.   Over half of the narcissists in the world own a penis.  Which kinda explains a lot, no? (sorry boys)
  2. Narcissists are charming. At least at first.  When you meet them, they really seem like they have it all together.  And they’ll make you feel important.    Like you’re the only person in the room.  They always have the best stories.  They’ll make you laugh.
  3. But they also are (usually) looking out for themselves. If they want to be with you, it’s because they want something from you (most of the time).  Money, status, a connection, sex, sympathy… something that they can get from you that makes them feel good… that reinforces their self image and ego (usually) or something that they think you’ll give them that others simply won’t (as-in… they’ve run out of friends to have a pity party with, and you haven’t been to one of those yet, so you’re the new pity-party-person… yay).
  4. Speaking of that, their external self image (at least the one you can see) is huge. Their ego is even larger.  They live with the mentality of entitlement, of invincibility, and of the belief that everyone looks up to them.
  5. Image. Is. Everything. It doesn’t matter what’s going on on the inside (we’ll talk about what lies underneath soon).  What matters, to the Narcissist, is what everyone else sees.  What everyone else thinks.  Photos are important.  Looks are important.  Using said looks to get attention (whether physical attractiveness or other physical features) is super important.  Basically, anything that can bring in more attention, more compliments, is GOOD.  Therefore:
    1. You’ll never see a bad picture of them.   Those are relegated to the depths of the realm of “Under The Bed”.  If they survive the digital deletion on the camera phone.  And the good photos you see have undergone some form of editing or filter.  Every. Single. Time.
    2. Social Media is integral. Think about it… it’s the “Platform of Me”.  Narcissists usually have a large number of “friends” (aka Followers).  If there is a max number of Friends that can be had on their list, they’ve maxed it out and there is a goddamn waiting list.  They use it as a platform to get their ideas out there (the way that most of us do, I guess), but they will spend more time socializing on Social Media than they do socializing in real life.  Even in one-on-one situations, Social Media must know where they are, that they are having a good time, and even if they’re not having a good time, it had better fucking look as if they are having a good time because everyone out there needs to be flipping jealous of the good time they are not having.  It’s the name of the game.
    3. They buy shit. A lot of shit.  They need to look good.  They need to smell good.  They need to keep up with the Joneses.  Money is no object… even when they run out of money, it is no object.  Bankruptcy is totally a thing.  But it’s ok.  Because they’ll look good while being bankrupt.  Well… until the bank comes to take their shit, but that’s totally the bank’s fault.
  6. Name Dropping is totally a thing. The first time you meet them, they’ll start that shit.  It’s supposed to impress you.  What might have been a two second interaction suddenly turns into a thirty-minute life-changing experience that really HAS to be shared.  This goes back to that image thing.  Really it all goes back to that image thing.  But I wanted to make it it’s own thing, because it’s such an important part of who they are.
  7. They’re entitled.   In their world, shit should be given to them, no questions asked.  If shit is not given to them, then they will drop you like a bad habit, complain to their Facebook minions about what a bitch you are, and find a way to get it from someone else.  Getting “it” – whatever “it” is – does not involve doing any of the work themselves.  Nope.  Mooching is the order of the day whenever possible.  Dates will consist of inviting you to dinner, then telling you that you have to pay for it (after it’s already been ordered).  They expect you to wait, too, until they’re ready for you.  Your own timeframe doesn’t matter.  What you need doesn’t matter.  It’s not about you.  It’s about them.  It’s always been about them.
  8. They break all the rules. I mean it makes sense when you think about it… because to a narcissist, who doesn’t really care about anyone else, who doesn’t think that anyone else is important, rules are something that were invented for everyone else to follow.  To a narcissist, rules don’t apply.
  9. Boundaries don’t exist. Your money is their money.  Your food in the fridge is their food in the fridge (and they’ll fucking take it without asking). Aretha Franklin would be PISSED because there is no R-E-S-P-E-C-T here.  They’ll keep pushing… and pushing… and if you keep giving?  Then it’s working.  Because they’re training you for the next time they want something.  Or the next time you’re kept waiting (it’ll be longer).  It’s a cruel fucking kind of conditioning and abuse.  And the worst part is that you won’t know you’re in it until you’re there, you have an oh shit moment, and you’re in too deep to easily dig yourself out.
  10. It’s NEVER THEIR FAULT.   They will have sob stories the likes of which you have never heard.  They’ll tell you about all of the people they’ve gone out with and how horrible all their breakups are.  They’ll be particularly distressed about a couple.  Likewise, their worklife will be just as screwed up – they’ll have lost a lot of jobs for reasons that had nothing to do with them.  People won’t get along with them, but it will (in their opinion) be because of something the other person did.  If arguments are started, it is NEVER because the Narcissist said something out of line.  He or she was merely reacting to something someone else said in a “hyperbolic fashion.”
  11. For that reason, they prefer to be in leadership positions. This isn’t because they necessarily make good leaders (they think they do).  But because:
    1. It provides more job security.  Because they get fired a lot.
    2. They can’t stand for someone to tell them what to do.
    3. In reality, due to the virtues that accompany the narcissism, their employees are often very disgruntled and unhappy.  There’s a high turnover rate (which, of course, is never the Narcissist’s fault because “Underling Number One” was a bad employee anyway and screwed up too many things on the job.).
  1. If they let you see who they really are (which doesn’t happen often), they’re pretty messed up inside. Self esteem is really low (narcissists compensate for low self esteem).  They pretty much hate themselves.  They need thousands of people to tell them how wonderful they are because they don’t “actually” believe in their own self worth.  Pointing out their faults (on the rare occasion that they are actually lucid enough to see them) serves no purpose except to cause them to “Double Down” on the originating Narcissistic behavior.  It is rare that a narcissist seeks help because doing that forces the narcissist to realize that he or she, in fact, DOES have a problem – something that, by nature, the narcissist isn’t able to do.