Friday, November 09, 2012

Yes, really.

Am I really 40 years old and getting my internet service cut off because I have been that behind on my payments and playing chicken with AT&T's willingness to roll me to the next month? Yes, yes I am. Did I just pay them my entire past due amount of $138.35, because I happened to have $202.88 in my checking account, and because I am so desperate for and addicted to internet connectivity that I've probably sacrificed my ability to pay some other essential bill that's direly overdue, leaving only $64.53 in my account to eat on til my next paycheck? Yes, indeed. I guess this is hitting financial bottom. I need to work more. Unfortunately, bookkeeping pays a lot more per hour than psychotherapy internships, so it looks like I need more bean counting gigs. The elusive quest for meaning in employment continues to fade away over the horizon. In other news, I still like my life, so I feel pretty grateful for that. Thank you, friends and family, lovers and playmates, for all the sweetness.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Still Life with Ambivalence

I've had a drink (or two) daily since resigning, again, not to drink on weekdays. A little harm reduction strategy that's vexing me, it seems. As I write this, I'm anticipating the Bulleit rye on the rocks I ordered from the bar. I'm attempting to be gentle, neutral to myself about this, rather than using it as an excuse to lash myself. One or two drinks in an evening is not a grievous offense to my own physical health, after all.

It is definitely something I want to get ahold of, though. It's frustrating, and anxiogenic, to set an intention for myself and feel the compulsion to break it. To feel, and then to gratify, the compulsion. It's the same exact feeling when I stay on Facebook past the time I intend to log off, or put off a task I intend to do. There is a very natural, it seems, feeling of anxiety, shame, and dread in not following my intention, in violating my sense of what's best and most healthful for myself. The gratification of the urge is momentarily pleasurable, sometimes even glorious, but it's eventually replaced by an even greater sense of anxiety and shame, and, then, by whatever consequences follow, like deprivation of sleep, or acidy stomach in the case of alcohol or coffee.

I'm sure this has all been written about before, but it's good to articulate the patterns to myself. I'm successfully feeling neutral and curious while writing this, which is really good.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

And then there was one.

I'm ditching the 30 Days Meme. I completed two out of 30 entries, and I've rapidly found that that particular list of prompts just isn't doing anything for me. Scrapped. Gonna try my hand at going back to writing my own free-form narrative, even if I have to write about shit I don't wanna write about. I've been ambivalating enough for the last year-plus. I need to get back to the Breeness of it all.

Two things you probably know if you know me In Real Life, but don't yet know if you only know me via Toothpick Labeling or Limburger, my previous personal blog:

1. I got bit really badly by a dog in September, and now I've got a killer motherfucking scar on my left hand. By the grace of randomness, luck, and privilege, I've got most functionality back, and a family who can help me cover the medical bills.

<--How it looked two days after the bite.
How it looks now.-->

So, there was that.

2. Astrid and I broke up about a month ago. You, the reader, met Astrid nearly seven years ago, when I wrote about our first date. Since then, those tentative and doubtful and sexy beginnings became the longest relationship for either of us, the longest shack up, the deepest intimacy, and ultimately the most slow-motion, excruciating breakup in my life. The last year and a half have been fucking painful. Now that we've broken up, we both feel a lot of relief, release, and freedom to find ourselves in different ways. It's actually been, on the whole, easier between us since we made the decision to end it.

And here's the interesting part: we still live together. Tune in next time for more!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Day 02 - Your first love, in great detail

We were teenagers. J. and I had developed a deep and deeply romantic friendship and it was completely platonic. [Except for that dream I had about marrying her. And the dream she had about me joining her in the bathtub. (I think Tom Petty was there, as well.) And that time we went camping with her mom and stepdad, and I was giving her a back rub on our sleeping bags in the back of the truck, and it was freezing, and it was the middle of the night, and I straddled her, laying my hands on her warm back, and she said,

“Mold me like clay,”

and I was so sexually aroused and so scared that I jumped off of her and had to wait til my heartbeat regained its normal tempo.]

J. was the first friend I came out to. Our heart-and-mind connection was beautiful and hilarious and mutually doting, and she was one of the first people in my life I had those epic conversations with about the nature of the universe and the nature of tiny, seemingly inconsequential things that were actually totally profound. We had been close friends for several years before I woke to the reality that I was utterly in love with her. I existed til then in that liminal passageway between the conscious and unconscious knowledge of my desire for other girls; our friendship and the erotic energy between us lingered in that blurry borderland between fantasy and reality, mutuality and unrequition.

I finally gathered the nerve to write her The Letter in 1991. We were both 19. She was in a relationship with a significant boyfriend, and had a good deal more sexual experience than I had at the time. In fact, my own exploration with boys to that point had been marked by a couple darkened living room gropes and botched attempts at fellatio. J. actually knew what being in a relationship meant, what love meant. Here I was, a 19 year-old who'd never even gone on a proper date, declaring my intense love and desire for J. in a letter laden with angst and written with such urgency and self-absorption that I almost forgot she had a serious boyfriend (a guy I really dug, by the way, and had no intention of hurting). There was urgency on her part, too, because when she received the letter, she immediately called me and we made plans to rendezvous at Denny's in Fremont (a reasonable half-way point between her house in the East Bay and mine in the South) to discuss these Weighty Issues.

I don't remember the finer details of our conversation that night, or if we ordered chicken strips or “Moons Over My Hammy,” but the gist of it was this: she had a boyfriend, and being with girls wasn't what she could do. But oh-my-god-if-she-didn't-have-a-boyfriend...could she maybe, possibly, fall in love with me too?

J. turned out not to be my first girl kiss, to my displeasure, though I was so looking forward to holding her and pressing her lips to mine in the vinyl booth of that most romantic of generic American diner settings. We shortly drifted apart into the adventures of our own early-20s lives and touched base now and again. I'm so happy to say that we reconnected over the years, and that we still totally adore and admire each other. Things turned out exactly the way they should have for us both.

But damn, that would've been something good.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Day 01 - Introduce Yourself

Hi. I'm Bree. Only, I'm not actually Bree; Bree is a pseudonym I've been using since I started blogging about eight years ago. Actually, it's a pseudonym I created around 2000ish when I had a brief and fairly dull foray into cyber chatting in those lonely little virtual chat rooms when people were still on IRC channels or some such shit that I didn't understand then and don't understand now. So I've gone by Bree in some circles for 'bout a decade, plus/minus.

I grew up in San Jose and Los Gatos, California, suburban sprawl about fifty miles south of San Francisco. Most of you reading this blog probably already know that. Maybe I should introduce myself in a more enticing way. Let's see now...well, I'm pushing 40, I'm a big ol' dyke (who makes infrequent exceptions for an occasional boy as long as he's fey, geeky, and submissive enough), I took the Meyers-Briggs personality type test when I was 17 at Jewish youth group camp, and was revealed to be an ENFP, and I think it's still pretty accurate.

What else? I wear two career hats, well, really one job hat and one career hat: my money-earning work is bookkeeping, basically paying other peoples' bills and balancing their checkbooks (something I've pretty much never managed to do for myself) and my career path work, which hasn't quite made me money yet, is as a psychotherapist. I'm an intern working in private practice in Berkeley, and I mainly work with queer and trans folks, and individuals and relationship partners who are in polyamorous relationships or who are identified with alternative sexualities in some form.

I think a lot about death and grief and loss.

I really enjoy the minutia of consciousness and perception and exploring the endless mental and emotional crevices of experience and memory and fantasy and nostalgia and here-and-nowness.

I enjoy documenting things. One day a year, I try to document every single thing I do from waking until slumber on my Facebook page. Hundreds of Facebook friends seem to be fascinated by this myopic, indulgent navel-gazing exercise, or at least are polite enough to make comments every now and then. For seven years running, I blogged about every movie I viewed, every book I read, and every noteworthy experience I had in a series of annual year-end wraps. You can read the last one right here.

I have several friends in the world who I cherish and who I feel deeply emotionally tied to. I really adore my family. My nieces and nephews are some of the smartest, kindest people I know. I live with my girlfriend Astrid and our dog Dorrie, a pit bull-border collie mutt, who I'm totally in love with. Astrid and I have had a really tough year together, and I've scarcely blogged about it. Maybe I'll share more of this process later. Maybe I won't.

My mom died about a year ago, of lung cancer. She was 73. My dad died 37 years ago of a heart attack, when he was just 43. I'm an orphan, I guess. I miss my mom, and I also feel just a shred of a bit more freedom to move about the world as myself since she's been gone. I feel lighter, but also somewhat guilty about this. I can't imagine my life without my sisters.

I'm slutty. Usually more in my imagination than in actuality, but I do get around some. I really enjoy riding my bicycle. I eat a lot of meat. I listen to quirky emotional indie rock. I like excruciatingly cheesy pop culture. I can talk a blue streak, and I often get bored of the stories I tell over and over, but also I often remain freshly amused by myself.

That's some of me.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

30 Days Meme

I need some writing prompts to get back into this personal blogging thing. My friend Dax is working on this very involved meme at the moment, and I'm thinking I'll follow suit. I've tried to figure out where the meme came from, but can't quite trace it. Anyone know where it started?

So, in 30 blog entries (doubt they'll be written on consecutive days) I will submit to you these mini chapters about, you guessed it, me.

Day 01 - Introduce yourself
Day 02 - Your first love, in great detail
Day 03 - Your parents, in great detail
Day 04 - What you ate today, in great detail
Day 05 - Your definition of love, in great detail
Day 06 - Your day, in great detail
Day 07 - Your best friend, in great detail
Day 08 - A moment, in great detail
Day 09 - Your beliefs, in great detail
Day 10 - What you wore today, in great detail
Day 11 - Your siblings, in great detail
Day 12 - What's in your bag, in great detail
Day 13 - This week, in great detail
Day 14 - What you wore today, in great detail
Day 15 - Your dreams, in great detail
Day 16 - Your first kiss, in great detail
Day 17 - Your favorite memory, in great detail
Day 18 - Your favorite birthday, in great detail
Day 19 - Something you regret, in great detail
Day 20 - This month, in great detail
Day 21 - Another moment, in great detail
Day 22 - Something that upsets you, in great detail
Day 23 - Something that makes you feel better, in great detail
Day 24 - Something that makes you cry, in great detail
Day 25 - A first, in great detail
Day 26 – Your fears, in great detail
Day 27 – Your favorite place, in great detail
Day 28 – Something that you miss, in great detail
Day 29 – Your aspirations, in great detail
Day 30 – One last moment, in great detail

Monday, April 25, 2011