All posts by CorvetteGigi

If Walls Could Talk

Next week I move; leaving the big city apartment of 24 years behind.  Huge change for me.  In a way, it’s like coming home again.

I arrived in the city in 1992, fresh from a lifetime in suburbia and three years on eight acres, complete with laying hens, a draft horse, and a soon-to-be-ex husband who was kind enough to help me move.  He got custody of our black lab, I took the two cats.  They hated going outdoors and didn’t need lots of space (it was just one more piece of our perfect split; he wanted all the stuff I didn’t care for, I wanted all the stuff he loathed.)  Into one single van it went, and a couple of friends helped me lug it up to the third floor, no elevator.

City living was a brand-new experience, one I really wanted to try.  Finding a parking spot was a challenge from Day One.  It hasn’t changed.

There have been some crazy neighbors over the years:  the guy downstairs who insisted on dating howlers; the single cop next door who had angry women spitting fire and trying to kick his door down in the middle of the night (although sometimes they were smoother and smoothed their way in), the mother and teenboy son next door who once shot the windows out of my car because I unknowingly parked in a spot they’d shoveled out.  By far the craziest was a man named Corey.

Corey was a talker, and a hoarder.  If he caught you in the hall, a half hour of nods and uh-huhs and “that’s terrible” ensued.  A chronic victim, he felt the world was against him.  I tried to help once.  He didn’t have a car, so we took mine to a computer store to pick up his first PC.  He needed a hand with some basic word processing software, I was happy to show him.  Then I went out one night with some friends, returning at midnight to 43 answering machine messages.  The first was casual … “hi, can you call me back?  I need a hand with something on the computer” and escalated into my being a betrayer who broke promises (and being called every filthy name in the book).  Obviously not worth a response.

Then there was the time “someone” decided to prank me by filling out several thousand magazine subscription forms, using typed labels with my name, address, and telephone number, checking “bill me later.”  Sixty pounds of mail a day for months.  It even dinged my credit some and took years to straighten out.  A happy benefit of that is that I rarely get mail anymore.

There’s some good neighbors, too, like the friend on the first floor who fed my cats when I went out of town for the weekends, and the sweet couple who live in the basement.  I will miss them.

I’m thrilled to be going back to the suburbs.  OK, further than the suburbs.  The actual country, clean air, no traffic, no sirens, no gangs … and no mockingbirds that sound like car alarms.  It will be me and my man with our dog and cats in our house out in the country, very much like what I left in 1992.

Maybe older, definitely wiser, and home again at last.

Online Dating “Don’ts” for Men

After casually participating in the dance that is online dating for the last few years, it’s become clear that there are several common behaviors that, while they turn women off completely, men persist in doing.  So here’s my across-the-board list of “don’ts” for you guys.

  1. Don’t be mysterious.  Have a recent photo, clothed, no sunglasses or hats, and not taken in a vehicle.   Bathroom selfies are just creepy.  It tells me you don’t have any friends who will take a photo of you, or that you don’t leave the house and DO things with those friends—just sit in the bathroom naked thinking of naked women (not the rest of the person).  Which is creepy.
  2. Don’t give a lame “I can’t put up a photo because of my work” excuse.  I work, too.  My job knows I’m single and lets me date, because I’m free, mostly white and way over 21.  If someone sees your profile on a dating site, what’s going to happen?  You’re going to ask them what they were doing on a dating site, looking at your profile.  Or they’re going to think … “good for so-and-so, they’re getting themselves out there” or “that dog! again?” depending on your history.  Either way, no excuses, please.
  3. Don’t fall in love before you meet the person.  There’s so much wrong with that that I’m not going to bother explaining it.
  4. Don’t be wishy-washy.  There’s a great deal of difference between saying “I’m thinking of going to the movies this weekend” and waiting for the woman to jump in and say “I’d like to go with you” versus having the courage to actually ask, and risk rejection.
  5. Don’t be evasive.  Not everything’s a secret.  I’m a big fan of privacy, but not secrecy.
  6. I can’t even believe this will make the list of don’ts for online dating, but don’t be married, engaged, or otherwise taken.  If a woman has decided to cut you from the herd and you were OK with that, stick to it.  If you’re not OK with it any more, do the right thing and get free before browsing around.  Anything else is weak and doesn’t say anything good about your morals, and therefore any kind of a future relationship.  Another conversation with a pissed-off wife who blames me for her husband’s flirtation might be entertaining, but could be avoided.
  7. Be a real person, not a bot trying to pull at my affections to collect email addresses or phone numbers.  It’s just annoying.
  8. Similarly, be an authentic person.  If your profile is filled with stuff you want to do, but don’t do—ever—and it’s obvious, that is a red flag and you will be passed over for a man who admits that some Sunday afternoons he’d rather do the NASCAR nap than go hiking.
  9. Don’t go from “never heard of you” to “must text you every hour for no reason.”
  10. Don’t send us dick pics.  It’s not funny.  I have yet to meet a woman this turns on.
  11. Don’t sent pre-prepared scripts to hundreds of us.  It’s obvious you’re playing the numbers game, and not at all flattering.  You’re not the only one doing this.
  12. Don’t send a full page of text on your first email.  Or poetry.  Or links to a Youtube video of your favorite love song. Ick.
  13. Don’t live more than 100 miles away.  Even if we hit it off, you’re not staying over here after a first meet. And distance *does* matter if you’re 6,000 miles away.  Don’t try to make me feel stupid and heartless because we disagree on this.  If you have so little going on in your life that you can drop everything to move in with me, that’s a big bright flapping red flag.
  14. Usernames such as “Deepandable,” “CamelToe,” “ThikDik” or contain the number 69 in any form will not net the desired result.  Go play on a sex site, or better yet, stop being lazy and learn the art of seduction.
  15. Don’t ask me to wear tight or revealing clothing for our first meet.  Sadly, this has happened more than once.  Really.
  16. Don’t call me darling, sweetheart, angel, doll, or any other term of endearment in a first contact.  I’m not any of those things … yet.
  17. Don’t be in your 20’s or 30’s.  You’ll be with older women for long enough.
  18. Don’t be a Judgy McJudgerson in your profile.  Not all of us are like your cheating, lying, greedy, grabby ex, so don’t try to correct us out of the gate.   I will return the favor by looking forward in life and not assigning my ex’s less endearing qualities to you.
  19. Don’t assume.  ANYthing.
  20. Don’t be mysterious/evasive bears another mention.  Selecting a potential mate online is sketchy at best.  Meeting with someone who purposely withholds their identity and could potentially kidnap and kill me is downright dangerous.  You’re supposed to make me feel safe, not scared.  This is not “exciting and daring.”
  21. If we ever do get to meet, be gracious and buy the cup of coffee or ice cream without calling attention to it.   If this small investment is going to screw your weekly budget or require some kind of praise, we’re not going to be dating.
  22. Don’t send me a message at 11PM.  I don’t need a lullaby, and I’m pretty sure you’ve “sung” yourself to sleep before.

There’s more, but we’d be getting into the “personal to me” territory.

You’re welcome.

The Phobia List

Expand your vocabulary.

A-

Ablutophobia- Fear of washing or bathing.
Acarophobia- Fear of itching or of the insects that cause itching.
Acerophobia- Fear of sourness.
Achluophobia- Fear of darkness.
Acousticophobia- Fear of noise.
Acrophobia- Fear of heights.
Aerophobia- Fear of drafts, air swallowing, or airborne noxious substances.
Aeroacrophobia- Fear of open high places.
Aeronausiphobia- Fear of vomiting secondary to airsickness.
Agateophobia- Fear of insanity.
Agliophobia- Fear of pain.
Agoraphobia- Fear of open spaces or of being in crowded, public places like markets. Fear of leaving a safe place.
Agraphobia- Fear of sexual abuse.
Agrizoophobia- Fear of wild animals.
Agyrophobia- Fear of streets or crossing the street.
Aichmophobia- Fear of needles or pointed objects.
Ailurophobia- Fear of cats.
Albuminurophobia- Fear of kidney disease.
Alektorophobia- Fear of chickens.
Algophobia- Fear of pain.
Alliumphobia- Fear of garlic.
Allodoxaphobia- Fear of opinions.
Altophobia- Fear of heights.
Amathophobia- Fear of dust.
Amaxophobia- Fear of riding in a car.
Ambulophobia- Fear of walking.
Amnesiphobia- Fear of amnesia.
Amychophobia- Fear of scratches or being scratched.
Anablephobia- Fear of looking up.
Ancraophobia- Fear of wind. (Anemophobia)
Androphobia- Fear of men.
Anemophobia- Fear of air drafts or wind.(Ancraophobia)
Anginophobia- Fear of angina, choking or narrowness.
Anglophobia- Fear of England or English culture, etc.
Angrophobia – Fear of anger or of becoming angry.
Ankylophobia- Fear of immobility of a joint.
Anthrophobia or Anthophobia- Fear of flowers.
Anthropophobia- Fear of people or society.
Antlophobia- Fear of floods.
Anuptaphobia- Fear of staying single.
Apeirophobia- Fear of infinity.
Aphenphosmphobia- Fear of being touched. (Haphephobia)
Apiphobia- Fear of bees.
Apotemnophobia- Fear of persons with amputations.
Arachibutyrophobia- Fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of the mouth.
Arachnephobia or Arachnophobia- Fear of spiders.
Arithmophobia- Fear of numbers.
Arrhenphobia- Fear of men.
Arsonphobia- Fear of fire.
Asthenophobia- Fear of fainting or weakness.
Astraphobia or Astrapophobia- Fear of thunder and lightning. (Ceraunophobia, Keraunophobia)
Astrophobia- Fear of stars or celestial space.
Asymmetriphobia- Fear of asymmetrical things.
Ataxiophobia- Fear of ataxia. (muscular incoordination)
Ataxophobia- Fear of disorder or untidiness.
Atelophobia- Fear of imperfection.
Atephobia- Fear of ruin or ruins.
Athazagoraphobia- Fear of being forgotten or ignored or forgetting.
Atomosophobia- Fear of atomic explosions.
Atychiphobia- Fear of failure.
Aulophobia- Fear of flutes.
Aurophobia- Fear of gold.
Auroraphobia- Fear of Northern lights.
Autodysomophobia- Fear of one that has a vile odor.
Automatonophobia- Fear of ventriloquist’s dummies, animatronic creatures, wax statues – anything that falsely represents a sentient being.
Automysophobia- Fear of being dirty.
Autophobia- Fear of being alone or of oneself.
Aviophobia or Aviatophobia- Fear of flying.

B-

Bacillophobia- Fear of microbes.
Bacteriophobia- Fear of bacteria.
Ballistophobia- Fear of missiles or bullets.
Bolshephobia- Fear of Bolsheviks.
Barophobia- Fear of gravity.
Basophobia or Basiphobia- Inability to stand. Fear of walking or falling.
Bathmophobia- Fear of stairs or steep slopes.
Bathophobia- Fear of depth.
Batophobia- Fear of heights or being close to high buildings.
Batrachophobia- Fear of amphibians, such as frogs, newts, salamanders, etc.
Belonephobia- Fear of pins and needles. (Aichmophobia)
Bibliophobia- Fear of books.
Blennophobia- Fear of slime.
Bogyphobia- Fear of bogeys or the bogeyman.
Botanophobia- Fear of plants.
Bromidrosiphobia or Bromidrophobia- Fear of body smells.
Brontophobia- Fear of thunder and lightning.
Bufonophobia- Fear of toads.

C-

Cacophobia- Fear of ugliness.
Cainophobia or Cainotophobia- Fear of newness, novelty.
Caligynephobia- Fear of beautiful women.
Cancerophobia or Carcinophobia- Fear of cancer.
Cardiophobia- Fear of the heart.
Carnophobia- Fear of meat.
Catagelophobia- Fear of being ridiculed.
Catapedaphobia- Fear of jumping from high and low places.
Cathisophobia- Fear of sitting.
Catoptrophobia- Fear of mirrors.
Cenophobia or Centophobia- Fear of new things or ideas.
Ceraunophobia or Keraunophobia- Fear of thunder and lightning.(Astraphobia, Astrapophobia)
Chaetophobia- Fear of hair.
Cheimaphobia or Cheimatophobia- Fear of cold.(Frigophobia, Psychophobia)
Chemophobia- Fear of chemicals or working with chemicals.
Cherophobia- Fear of gaiety.
Chionophobia- Fear of snow.
Chiraptophobia- Fear of being touched.
Chirophobia- Fear of hands.
Chiroptophobia- Fear of bats.
Cholerophobia- Fear of anger or the fear of cholera.
Chorophobia- Fear of dancing.
Chrometophobia or Chrematophobia- Fear of money.
Chromophobia or Chromatophobia- Fear of colors.
Chronophobia- Fear of time.
Chronomentrophobia- Fear of clocks.
Cibophobia- Fear of food.(Sitophobia, Sitiophobia)
Claustrophobia- Fear of confined spaces.
Cleithrophobia or Cleisiophobia- Fear of being locked in an enclosed place.
Cleptophobia- Fear of stealing.
Climacophobia- Fear of stairs, climbing, or of falling downstairs.
Clinophobia- Fear of going to bed.
Clithrophobia or Cleithrophobia- Fear of being enclosed.
Cnidophobia- Fear of stings.
Cometophobia- Fear of comets.
Coimetrophobia- Fear of cemeteries.
Coitophobia- Fear of coitus.
Contreltophobia- Fear of sexual abuse.
Coprastasophobia- Fear of constipation.
Coprophobia- Fear of feces.
Consecotaleophobia- Fear of chopsticks.
Coulrophobia- Fear of clowns.
Counterphobia- The preference by a phobic for fearful situations.
Cremnophobia- Fear of precipices.
Cryophobia- Fear of extreme cold, ice or frost.
Crystallophobia- Fear of crystals or glass.
Cyberphobia- Fear of computers or working on a computer.
Cyclophobia- Fear of bicycles.
Cymophobia or Kymophobia- Fear of waves or wave like motions.
Cynophobia- Fear of dogs or rabies.
Cypridophobia or Cypriphobia or Cyprianophobia or Cyprinophobia – Fear of prostitutes or venereal disease.

D-

Decidophobia- Fear of making decisions.
Defecaloesiophobia- Fear of painful bowels movements.
Deipnophobia- Fear of dining or dinner conversations.
Dementophobia- Fear of insanity.
Demonophobia or Daemonophobia- Fear of demons.
Demophobia- Fear of crowds. (Agoraphobia)
Dendrophobia- Fear of trees.
Dentophobia- Fear of dentists.
Dermatophobia- Fear of skin lesions.
Dermatosiophobia or Dermatophobia or Dermatopathophobia- Fear of skin disease.
Dextrophobia- Fear of objects at the right side of the body.
Diabetophobia- Fear of diabetes.
Didaskaleinophobia- Fear of going to school.
Dikephobia- Fear of justice.
Dinophobia- Fear of dizziness or whirlpools.
Diplophobia- Fear of double vision.
Dipsophobia- Fear of drinking.
Dishabiliophobia- Fear of undressing in front of someone.
Disposophobia- Fear of throwing stuff out. Hoarding.
Domatophobia- Fear of houses or being in a house.(Eicophobia, Oikophobia)
Doraphobia- Fear of fur or skins of animals.
Doxophobia- Fear of expressing opinions or of receiving praise.
Dromophobia- Fear of crossing streets.
Dutchphobia- Fear of the Dutch.
Dysmorphophobia- Fear of deformity.
Dystychiphobia- Fear of accidents.

E-

Ecclesiophobia- Fear of church.
Ecophobia- Fear of home.
Eicophobia- Fear of home surroundings.(Domatophobia, Oikophobia)
Eisoptrophobia- Fear of mirrors or of seeing oneself in a mirror.
Electrophobia- Fear of electricity.
Eleutherophobia- Fear of freedom.
Elurophobia- Fear of cats. (Ailurophobia)
Emetophobia- Fear of vomiting.
Enetophobia- Fear of pins.
Enochlophobia- Fear of crowds.
Enosiophobia or Enissophobia- Fear of having committed an unpardonable sin or of criticism.
Entomophobia- Fear of insects.
Eosophobia- Fear of dawn or daylight.
Ephebiphobia- Fear of teenagers.
Epistaxiophobia- Fear of nosebleeds.
Epistemophobia- Fear of knowledge.
Equinophobia- Fear of horses.
Eremophobia- Fear of being oneself or of loneliness.
Ereuthrophobia- Fear of blushing.
Ergasiophobia- 1) Fear of work or functioning. 2) Surgeon’s fear of operating.
Ergophobia- Fear of work.
Erotophobia- Fear of sexual love or sexual questions.
Euphobia- Fear of hearing good news.
Eurotophobia- Fear of female genitalia.
Erythrophobia or Erytophobia or Ereuthophobia- 1) Fear of redlights. 2) Blushing. 3) Red.

F-

Febriphobia or Fibriphobia or Fibriophobia- Fear of fever.
Felinophobia- Fear of cats. (Ailurophobia, Elurophobia, Galeophobia, Gatophobia)
Francophobia- Fear of France or French culture. (Gallophobia, Galiophobia)
Frigophobia- Fear of cold or cold things.(Cheimaphobia, Cheimatophobia, Psychrophobia)

G-

Galeophobia or Gatophobia- Fear of cats.
Gallophobia or Galiophobia- Fear France or French culture. (Francophobia)
Gamophobia- Fear of marriage.
Geliophobia- Fear of laughter.
Gelotophobia- Fear of being laughed at.
Geniophobia- Fear of chins.
Genophobia- Fear of sex.
Genuphobia- Fear of knees.
Gephyrophobia or Gephydrophobia or Gephysrophobia- Fear of crossing bridges.
Germanophobia- Fear of Germany or German culture.
Gerascophobia- Fear of growing old.
Gerontophobia- Fear of old people or of growing old.
Geumaphobia or Geumophobia- Fear of taste.
Glossophobia- Fear of speaking in public or of trying to speak.
Gnosiophobia- Fear of knowledge.
Graphophobia- Fear of writing or handwriting.
Gymnophobia- Fear of nudity.
Gynephobia or Gynophobia- Fear of women.

H-

Hadephobia- Fear of hell.
Hagiophobia- Fear of saints or holy things.
Hamartophobia- Fear of sinning.
Haphephobia or Haptephobia- Fear of being touched.
Harpaxophobia- Fear of being robbed.
Hedonophobia- Fear of feeling pleasure.
Heliophobia- Fear of the sun.
Hellenologophobia- Fear of Greek terms or complex scientific terminology.
Helminthophobia- Fear of being infested with worms.
Hemophobia or Hemaphobia or Hematophobia- Fear of blood.
Heresyphobia or Hereiophobia- Fear of challenges to official doctrine or of radical deviation.
Herpetophobia- Fear of reptiles or creepy, crawly things.
Heterophobia- Fear of the opposite sex. (Sexophobia)
Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia- Fear of the number 666.
Hierophobia- Fear of priests or sacred things.
Hippophobia- Fear of horses.
Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia- Fear of long words.
Hobophobia- Fear of bums or beggars.
Hodophobia- Fear of road travel.
Hormephobia- Fear of shock.
Homichlophobia- Fear of fog.
Homilophobia- Fear of sermons.
Hominophobia- Fear of men.
Homophobia- Fear of sameness, monotony or of homosexuality or of becoming homosexual.
Hoplophobia- Fear of firearms.
Hydrargyophobia- Fear of mercurial medicines.
Hydrophobia- Fear of water or of rabies.
Hydrophobophobia- Fear of rabies.
Hyelophobia or Hyalophobia- Fear of glass.
Hygrophobia- Fear of liquids, dampness, or moisture.
Hylephobia- Fear of materialism or the fear of epilepsy.
Hylophobia- Fear of forests.
Hypengyophobia or Hypegiaphobia- Fear of responsibility.
Hypnophobia- Fear of sleep or of being hypnotized.
Hypsiphobia- Fear of height.

I-

Iatrophobia- Fear of going to the doctor or of doctors.
Ichthyophobia- Fear of fish.
Ideophobia- Fear of ideas.
Illyngophobia- Fear of vertigo or feeling dizzy when looking down.
Iophobia- Fear of poison.
Insectophobia – Fear of insects.
Isolophobia- Fear of solitude, being alone.
Isopterophobia- Fear of termites, insects that eat wood.
Ithyphallophobia- Fear of seeing, thinking about or having an erect penis.

J-

Japanophobia- Fear of Japanese.
Judeophobia- Fear of Jews.

K-

Kainolophobia or Kainophobia- Fear of anything new, novelty.
Kakorrhaphiophobia- Fear of failure or defeat.
Katagelophobia- Fear of ridicule.
Kathisophobia- Fear of sitting down.
Katsaridaphobia- Fear of cockroaches.
Kenophobia- Fear of voids or empty spaces.
Keraunophobia or Ceraunophobia- Fear of thunder and lightning.(Astraphobia, Astrapophobia)
Kinetophobia or Kinesophobia- Fear of movement or motion.
Kleptophobia- Fear of stealing.
Koinoniphobia- Fear of rooms.
Kolpophobia- Fear of genitals, particularly female.
Kopophobia- Fear of fatigue.
Koniophobia- Fear of dust. (Amathophobia)
Kosmikophobia- Fear of cosmic phenomenon.
Kymophobia- Fear of waves. (Cymophobia)
Kynophobia- Fear of rabies.
Kyphophobia- Fear of stooping.

L-

Lachanophobia- Fear of vegetables.
Laliophobia or Lalophobia- Fear of speaking.
Leprophobia or Lepraphobia- Fear of leprosy.
Leukophobia- Fear of the color white.
Levophobia- Fear of things to the left side of the body.
Ligyrophobia- Fear of loud noises.
Lilapsophobia- Fear of tornadoes and hurricanes.
Limnophobia- Fear of lakes.
Linonophobia- Fear of string.
Liticaphobia- Fear of lawsuits.
Lockiophobia- Fear of childbirth.
Logizomechanophobia- Fear of computers.
Logophobia- Fear of words.
Luiphobia- Fear of lues, syphillis.
Lutraphobia- Fear of otters.
Lygophobia- Fear of darkness.
Lyssophobia- Fear of rabies or of becoming mad.

M-

Macrophobia- Fear of long waits.
Mageirocophobia- Fear of cooking.
Maieusiophobia- Fear of childbirth.
Malaxophobia- Fear of love play. (Sarmassophobia)
Maniaphobia- Fear of insanity.
Mastigophobia- Fear of punishment.
Mechanophobia- Fear of machines.
Medomalacuphobia- Fear of losing an erection.
Medorthophobia- Fear of an erect penis.
Megalophobia- Fear of large things.
Melissophobia- Fear of bees.
Melanophobia- Fear of the color black.
Melophobia- Fear or hatred of music.
Meningitophobia- Fear of brain disease.
Menophobia- Fear of menstruation.
Merinthophobia- Fear of being bound or tied up.
Metallophobia- Fear of metal.
Metathesiophobia- Fear of changes.
Meteorophobia- Fear of meteors.
Methyphobia- Fear of alcohol.
Metrophobia- Fear or hatred of poetry.
Microbiophobia- Fear of microbes. (Bacillophobia)
Microphobia- Fear of small things.
Misophobia or Mysophobia- Fear of being contaminated with dirt or germs.
Mnemophobia- Fear of memories.
Molysmophobia or Molysomophobia- Fear of dirt or contamination.
Monophobia- Fear of solitude or being alone.
Monopathophobia- Fear of definite disease.
Motorphobia- Fear of automobiles.
Mottephobia- Fear of moths.
Musophobia or Muriphobia- Fear of mice.
Mycophobia- Fear or aversion to mushrooms.
Mycrophobia- Fear of small things.
Myctophobia- Fear of darkness.
Myrmecophobia- Fear of ants.
Mythophobia- Fear of myths or stories or false statements.
Myxophobia- Fear of slime. (Blennophobia)

N-

Nebulaphobia- Fear of fog. (Homichlophobia)
Necrophobia- Fear of death or dead things.
Nelophobia- Fear of glass.
Neopharmaphobia- Fear of new drugs.
Neophobia- Fear of anything new.
Nephophobia- Fear of clouds.
Noctiphobia- Fear of the night.
Nomatophobia- Fear of names.
Nosocomephobia- Fear of hospitals.
Nosophobia or Nosemaphobia- Fear of becoming ill.
Nostophobia- Fear of returning home.
Novercaphobia- Fear of your step-mother.
Nucleomituphobia- Fear of nuclear weapons.
Nudophobia- Fear of nudity.
Numerophobia- Fear of numbers.
Nyctohylophobia- Fear of dark wooded areas or of forests at night
Nyctophobia- Fear of the dark or of night.
O-

Obesophobia- Fear of gaining weight.(Pocrescophobia)
Ochlophobia- Fear of crowds or mobs.
Ochophobia- Fear of vehicles.
Octophobia – Fear of the figure 8.
Odontophobia- Fear of teeth or dental surgery.
Odynophobia or Odynephobia- Fear of pain. (Algophobia)
Oenophobia- Fear of wines.
Oikophobia- Fear of home surroundings, house.(Domatophobia, Eicophobia)
Olfactophobia- Fear of smells.
Ombrophobia- Fear of rain or of being rained on.
Ommetaphobia or Ommatophobia- Fear of eyes.
Omphalophobia- Fear of belly buttons.
Oneirophobia- Fear of dreams.
Oneirogmophobia- Fear of wet dreams.
Onomatophobia- Fear of hearing a certain word or of names.
Ophidiophobia- Fear of snakes. (Snakephobia)
Ophthalmophobia- Fear of being stared at.
Opiophobia- Fear medical doctor’s experience of prescribing needed pain medications for patients.
Optophobia- Fear of opening one’s eyes.
Ornithophobia- Fear of birds.
Orthophobia- Fear of property.
Osmophobia or Osphresiophobia- Fear of smells or odors.
Ostraconophobia- Fear of shellfish.
Ouranophobia or Uranophobia- Fear of heaven.
P-

Pagophobia- Fear of ice or frost.
Panthophobia- Fear of suffering and disease.
Panophobia or Pantophobia- Fear of everything.
Papaphobia- Fear of the Pope.
Papyrophobia- Fear of paper.
Paralipophobia- Fear of neglecting duty or responsibility.
Paraphobia- Fear of sexual perversion.
Parasitophobia- Fear of parasites.
Paraskavedekatriaphobia- Fear of Friday the 13th.
Parthenophobia- Fear of virgins or young girls.
Pathophobia- Fear of disease.
Patroiophobia- Fear of heredity.
Parturiphobia- Fear of childbirth.
Peccatophobia- Fear of sinning or imaginary crimes.
Pediculophobia- Fear of lice.
Pediophobia- Fear of dolls.
Pedophobia- Fear of children.
Peladophobia- Fear of bald people.
Pellagrophobia- Fear of pellagra.
Peniaphobia- Fear of poverty.
Pentheraphobia- Fear of mother-in-law. (Novercaphobia)
Phagophobia- Fear of swallowing or of eating or of being eaten.
Phalacrophobia- Fear of becoming bald.
Phallophobia- Fear of a penis, esp erect.
Pharmacophobia- Fear of taking medicine.
Phasmophobia- Fear of ghosts.
Phengophobia- Fear of daylight or sunshine.
Philemaphobia or Philematophobia- Fear of kissing.
Philophobia- Fear of falling in love or being in love.
Philosophobia- Fear of philosophy.
Phobophobia- Fear of phobias.
Photoaugliaphobia- Fear of glaring lights.
Photophobia- Fear of light.
Phonophobia- Fear of noises or voices or one’s own voice; of telephones.
Phronemophobia- Fear of thinking.
Phthiriophobia- Fear of lice. (Pediculophobia)
Phthisiophobia- Fear of tuberculosis.
Placophobia- Fear of tombstones.
Plutophobia- Fear of wealth.
Pluviophobia- Fear of rain or of being rained on.
Pneumatiphobia- Fear of spirits.
Pnigophobia or Pnigerophobia- Fear of choking of being smothered.
Pocrescophobia- Fear of gaining weight. (Obesophobia)
Pogonophobia- Fear of beards.
Poliosophobia- Fear of contracting poliomyelitis.
Politicophobia- Fear or abnormal dislike of politicians.
Polyphobia- Fear of many things.
Poinephobia- Fear of punishment.
Ponophobia- Fear of overworking or of pain.
Porphyrophobia- Fear of the color purple.
Potamophobia- Fear of rivers or running water.
Potophobia- Fear of alcohol.
Pharmacophobia- Fear of drugs.
Proctophobia- Fear of rectums.
Prosophobia- Fear of progress.
Psellismophobia- Fear of stuttering.
Psychophobia- Fear of mind.
Psychrophobia- Fear of cold.
Pteromerhanophobia- Fear of flying.
Pteronophobia- Fear of being tickled by feathers.
Pupaphobia – Fear of puppets.
Pyrexiophobia- Fear of Fever.
Pyrophobia- Fear of fire.

Q-

R-

Radiophobia- Fear of radiation, x-rays.
Ranidaphobia- Fear of frogs.
Rectophobia- Fear of rectum or rectal diseases.
Rhabdophobia- Fear of being severely punished or beaten by a rod, or of being severely criticized. Also fear of magic.(wand)
Rhypophobia- Fear of defecation.
Rhytiphobia- Fear of getting wrinkles.
Rupophobia- Fear of dirt.
Russophobia- Fear of Russians.

S-

Samhainophobia: Fear of Halloween.
Sarmassophobia- Fear of love play. (Malaxophobia)
Satanophobia- Fear of Satan.
Scabiophobia- Fear of scabies.
Scatophobia- Fear of fecal matter.
Scelerophibia- Fear of bad men, burglars.
Sciophobia Sciaphobia- Fear of shadows.
Scoleciphobia- Fear of worms.
Scolionophobia- Fear of school.
Scopophobia or Scoptophobia- Fear of being seen or stared at.
Scotomaphobia- Fear of blindness in visual field.
Scotophobia- Fear of darkness. (Achluophobia)
Scriptophobia- Fear of writing in public.
Selachophobia- Fear of sharks.
Selaphobia- Fear of light flashes.
Selenophobia- Fear of the moon.
Seplophobia- Fear of decaying matter.
Sesquipedalophobia- Fear of long words.
Sexophobia- Fear of the opposite sex. (Heterophobia)
Siderodromophobia- Fear of trains, railroads or train travel.
Siderophobia- Fear of stars.
Sinistrophobia- Fear of things to the left or left-handed.
Sinophobia- Fear of Chinese, Chinese culture.
Sitophobia or Sitiophobia- Fear of food or eating. (Cibophobia)
Snakephobia- Fear of snakes. (Ophidiophobia)
Soceraphobia- Fear of parents-in-law.
Social Phobia- Fear of being evaluated negatively in social situations.
Sociophobia- Fear of society or people in general.
Somniphobia- Fear of sleep.
Sophophobia- Fear of learning.
Soteriophobia – Fear of dependence on others.
Spacephobia- Fear of outer space.
Spectrophobia- Fear of specters or ghosts.
Spermatophobia or Spermophobia- Fear of germs.
Spheksophobia- Fear of wasps.
Stasibasiphobia or Stasiphobia- Fear of standing or walking.  (Ambulophobia)
Staurophobia- Fear of crosses or the crucifix.
Stenophobia- Fear of narrow things or places.
Stygiophobia or Stigiophobia- Fear of hell.
Suriphobia- Fear of mice.
Symbolophobia- Fear of symbolism.
Symmetrophobia- Fear of symmetry.
Syngenesophobia- Fear of relatives.
Syphilophobia- Fear of syphilis.

T-

Tachophobia- Fear of speed.
Taeniophobia or Teniophobia- Fear of tapeworms.
Taphephobia Taphophobia- Fear of being buried alive or of cemeteries.
Tapinophobia- Fear of being contagious.
Taurophobia- Fear of bulls.
Technophobia- Fear of technology.
Teleophobia- 1) Fear of definite plans. 2) Religious ceremony.
Telephonophobia- Fear of telephones.
Teratophobia- Fear of bearing a deformed child or fear of monsters or deformed people.
Testophobia- Fear of taking tests.
Tetanophobia- Fear of lockjaw, tetanus.
Teutophobia- Fear of German or German things.
Textophobia- Fear of certain fabrics.
Thaasophobia- Fear of sitting.
Thalassophobia- Fear of the sea.
Thanatophobia or Thantophobia- Fear of death or dying.
Theatrophobia- Fear of theatres.
Theologicophobia- Fear of theology.
Theophobia- Fear of gods or religion.
Thermophobia- Fear of heat.
Tocophobia- Fear of pregnancy or childbirth.
Tomophobia- Fear of surgical operations.
Tonitrophobia- Fear of thunder.
Topophobia- Fear of certain places or situations, such as stage fright.
Toxiphobia or Toxophobia or Toxicophobia- Fear of poison or of being accidently poisoned.
Traumatophobia- Fear of injury.
Tremophobia- Fear of trembling.
Trichinophobia- Fear of trichinosis.
Trichopathophobia or Trichophobia- Fear of hair. (Chaetophobia, Hypertrichophobia)
Triskaidekaphobia- Fear of the number 13.
Tropophobia- Fear of moving or making changes.
Trypanophobia- Fear of injections.
Tuberculophobia- Fear of tuberculosis.
Tyrannophobia- Fear of tyrants.

U-

Uranophobia or Ouranophobia- Fear of heaven.
Urophobia- Fear of urine or urinating.

V-

Vaccinophobia- Fear of vaccination.
Venustraphobia- Fear of beautiful women.
Verbophobia- Fear of words.
Verminophobia- Fear of germs.
Vestiphobia- Fear of clothing.
Virginitiphobia- Fear of rape.
Vitricophobia- Fear of step-father.

W-

Walloonphobia- Fear of the Walloons.
Wiccaphobia: Fear of witches and witchcraft.

X-

Xanthophobia- Fear of the color yellow or the word yellow.
Xenoglossophobia- Fear of foreign languages.
Xenophobia- Fear of strangers or foreigners.
Xerophobia- Fear of dryness.
Xylophobia- 1) Fear of wooden objects. 2) Forests.
Xyrophobia-Fear of razors.

Y-

Z-

Zelophobia- Fear of jealousy.
Zeusophobia- Fear of God or gods.
Zemmiphobia- Fear of the great mole rat.
Zoophobia- Fear of animals.

Quote Collection

Random quotes collected over the years, no particular order or importance.

Quotes I love:

  • Fact:  If an addict is happy with you, you’re probably enabling them.  If an addict is mat at you, you’re probably trying to save their life.
  • “My path is lit by the burning bridges behind me.”
  • “I have yet to meet a man I couldn’t live without.”
  • Once you’ve had unconditional love, ‘regular’ love just doesn’t cut it.
  • Cruisin’ for an emotionally co-dependent shitstorm
  • “But why does everyone want a fucking medal and a gold star for doing what they SHOULD do? That earns you NOTHING, that is your OBLIGATION. So spare me the pat on your own back. It’s just a simple as wiping your ass after you shit, I’m not going to congratulate you for having decency and common sense.”
  • Hate is just a different form of love – it requires your energy and participation. Not worth it.
  • He wants to be right – you can give him that.  You want to be happy – and you can give yourself that as well.  Keep telling him he is right – it’s like telling a bratty whining child they are right just to shut them up and get them to go away – and because you don’t really care what they think ANYWAYS. conditional love – right 
    used him – right  agree, agree, agree.  because he isn’t’ listening to a word you say/text/type anyways – he just wants  to be heard,  and it really is taking back your control – when you explain yourself or argue with him you are saying that you need his approval (that’s why people argue) – and you don’t need his approval. You just need his signature.

    he is far more concerned about being right 

    you watch how quick he claps his trap when you tell him he is right.

  • He messages to hurt, not to resolve, not to inform
  • Learn to love what’s good for you.
  • I am an ADULT. I have worked my ASS off to be healthy and to learn and grow and handle my own shit.  I do NOT need to take on a partner and baby-step them through what I’ve already done. I just don’t. Not only that, I’m busy with my own life. I don’t have time OR energy to raise a man.  I don’t want to. I don’t want to have to. I feel like I’m bringing a pretty well put-together woman to the table and I want to sit down across from someone who’s also put together. On his own.
  • AndreaD:  Oh, no way in hell I’m going down that road again.  I’ve been all the way down it.  It’s a dead end and it ends in a sewer and a swamp.
  • “He’s not perfect. You aren’t either, and the two of you will never be perfect. But if he can make you laugh at least once, causes you to think twice, and if he admits to being human and making mistakes, hold onto him and give him the most you can. He isn’t going to quote poetry, he’s not thinking about you every moment, but he will give you a part of him that he knows you could break. Don’t hurt him, don’t change him, and don’t expect for more than he can give. Don’t analyze. Smile when he makes you happy, yell when he makes you mad, and miss him when he’s not there. Love hard when there is love to be had. Because perfect guys don’t exist, but there’s always one guy that is perfect for you.” — Bob Marley
  • Posted by a friend “you can never be good enough for a bad man. No matter how much you love his dirty drawers or have his back you will never be good enough to make him want to do right if his character ain’t right to begin with.” And THAT my friends is the farking TRUTH.
  • One definition of codependent is “people whose lives had become unmanageable as a result of living in a committed relationship with an alcoholic.” We now know that “alcoholic” behavior is similar with any additive behavior.  So picture a codependent who is addicted to YOU … with all of the addictive behavior, the controlling, the obsession, worrying, manipulation, shame, trying to please, anger at failure, and resentment … and you have my ex.  The only way I can describe him is that he was in a committed relationship with me, as well as being codependent on me for every sensation and 100% caught up in trying to get me to react.  It was exhausting, unhealthy and unsustainable. 
  • My EX “just wanted to talk to me” for the entire duration of our divorce proceedings.   Unfortunately, he was a great salesman too – and “just talking” meant he just wanted another opportunity to convince me of how wrong I was for wanting a divorce.  He’d tell people, “This doesn’t have to be so ugly, I don’t understand why she won’t just talk to me.” but those other people didn’t understand that the reason he felt things didn’t need to be ugly is because as far as he was concerned, this whole conflict would be solved by us getting back together and all he needed was a little more time and talk to convince me of that.  He didn’t mean negotiating a property settlement “didn’t need to be ugly”. He meant THIS WHOLE UGLY THING WAS UNNECESSARY. I’m not even saying that in a bad way. It just was what it was. The only thing he wanted to talk about was changing my mind.” – stchoubie
  • If someone is a drag on me, I cut them out. If someone lifts me up, I bring them closer. Nobody is sacred here. When the plane is going down, put the oxygen mask on your face first. Family, friends, people I love—I always try to be there for them and help. But I don’t get close to anyone bringing me down. This rule can’t be broken. Energy leaks out of you if someone is draining you. And I never owe anyone an explanation. Explaining is draining.  ― James Altucher
  • It’s not always possible to cut someone out of your life, even if they are a drain on your energy. The better thing to do, I think, is to develop a skill set that empowers you to rise above. That’s growth. – Michael Biesemeyer
  • “Your naked body should only belong to those who fall in love with your naked soul”
  • He didn’t do all that fix-it stuff for his WIFE…. his fucking WIFE, for crying in the night… he did it to save his own ass and to make him feel better about HIMSELF – Diva
  • We gave you every opportunity to clean your soiled underpants, and you just keep shitting in them.
  • Karma’s only a bitch if you are.
  • I don’t watch porn. But for the same reason, I don’t watch:

1. Nancy Grace and the like (consider it “grief porn”);

2. Reality TV shows that are designed to make you feel superior to or have contempt for the people featured (like Honey Boo Boo or Jersey Shore);

3. Crime dramas that focus a lot on gore or shocking crimes (like The Following or Law & Order SVU).

Really, there is no good reason to watch any of that stuff except to titillate ourselves in a kinda cheap way. I think when we fill our minds with garbage, we are “getting off” (literally or figuratively) on the wrong things.

Why not focus on the blessings that surround us and celebrate them? – cmac

  • “I’m old enough to make my own mistakes. Stop it. If you’re having trouble getting over my choices, go see a therapist.” – Lisa
  • It’s important to be able to dislike things our partners do, without disapproving of our partner. -Mattie
  • “If you cannot say it in one sentence DON’T say it. After one sentence it’s all emotion.”
  • Watch out for half-truths.  You may have gotten ahold of the wrong half.
  • I see people who just don’t think that being rude and unpleasant should be held against them afterwards, and therefore say whatever they want, whenever they want. I also blame reality TV. It’s cool to be wretched and nasty, and unapologetic for it. I don’t try to be PC – but I do have manners, and unfortunately, a lot of people don’t recognize the difference anymore. – Shan
  • It’s impossible to move on when you’re still trying to “right a wrong.” Sometimes you just have to let it go.
  • “I can’t spend your love at the grocery store. I need some security.” –Etta James.
  • We that do not have children have a responsibility to live the life that those with children wish they could live. – twoshovels
  • I am sensitive. I have feelings. I just don’t go around bashing people over the head with them because that isn’t sensitivity, that is emotional blackmail. – HRB
  • No stepping on me for a leg up.  EVER!!
  • Fact: it is impossible for a perfectly healthy sane person to be in a relationship with someone who is mentally unhealthy. Oh, you can work with them and suffer through it and empathize with all of it…but eventually? Eventually, you’ve just had ENOUGH and you realize that it’s not your fault, and YES you do deserve to live in peace in a healthy way of your OWN making. – Socal
  • Live without pretending. Love without depending. Listen without defending. Speak without offending. – Drake
  • I’m single.  And someone’s going to have to be fucking amazing to change that.
  • I’m not perfect, and I don’t expect you to be.
  • This wouldn’t be an issue if you didn’t have tits. – Socal
  • I love me some sex. Sex is great. Sex is one of my favorite pastimes. But you wake me up from a sound sleep for sex, it better be because you’ve just been told we have minutes to live. – AndreaD
  • “You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one.”
  • You want to be your own person, he wants to be your person – Mary
  • Why do people say “grow some balls?”  Balls are weak and sensitive, if you wanna get tough, grow a vagina. Those things can take a pounding.—Betty White
  • “Love comes when manipulation stops; when you think more about the other person than about his or her reactions to you.” – Thank you Sumumba Neely !!
  • “Older men now, are just men our age later” – Mary
  • The filter between my mouth and brain is so clogged that everything just seems to pour over the top and around the sides now. – HR
  • I know this one!! It’s the *snap fingers* “You are an adult now, start acting like one!!”….even though no one has laid a drip of groundwork for skid to behave like an adult.  – Wowzy
  • I do my thing, you do your thing

I am not in this world to live up to your expectations

And you are not in the world to live up to mine..

I am I

And you are you

And if by chance we find each other….

It’s beautiful…

  • “If I ever get around to boyfriend number two, he better have a busy life full of his own hobbies and goals, because I will not be someone’s reason to exhale. I have better things to do then entertain a full grown man when I’m not getting paid for it. “— HBI Member, Gabriela
  • Stupidity is a defect; laziness is a choice!!! I can forgive your actions if you are a genuinely stupid person, but if you opt to screw it up because you are just genuinely lazy then I shall make your life hell!!! 😉 – Patty Rice
  • What obligation do I have to anyone who expects something out of me that I’m not willing to give?
  • “Yeah I wouldn’t want to be in your shoes, but you put yourself in those shoes so you have to walk your way out of them” LeighAnn
  • It’s like beating the shit out of your wife then buying her diamonds to make up for it. Great! She has gorgeous jewelry now but she’s still gonna get her ass kicked again if she stays.
  • Stupidity, as in genuinely stupid people, can’t learn any different or do any different whereas lazy people just need to get off their behinds and do something. However if they are stupid AND lazy, just hope they don’t breed. – Toni Corvo Noble
  • How can a woman be expected to be happy with a man who insists on treating her as if she were a perfectly normal human being.
  • – ~~~When we are urged to practice detachment, it never means disinterest. The purpose of emotional detachment is to keep myself free from being drawn into crisis of other peoples making.~~~
  • “That boy’s gonna be 30 before he knows it and all he’ll have to show for it is a neck full of hickeys and a retail staff discount” – Socal
  • Management is not leadership:    We manage things and lead people
  • “If you spit in the face of a crazy person, all you end up with is a wet crazy person” – LD
  • “Sometimes the best thing to say is nothing; Sometimes the best move you make is none at all. Which is why it’s possible to do the right thing without even trying.” – Lou Spagnola
  • I suck so much I could get a second job as a vacuum. – HR
  • “Good bread, good meat, good God, let’s eat!”
  • Thank God I’m shallow or I’d have to evaluate these feelings – Socal
  • You deserve happiness, you deserve a good husband, you deserve someone who will treat you right and step up to the plate, EVERY SINGLE TIME, not just when they want something.
  • The longer you keep what belongs to him, the longer you keep him in your life. – Celt
  • HBI:  After learning things about him… things that turned my stomach…. I remained married to a man for 2 years because he hadn’t hit me or cheated on me… and because I made a commitment. Someone finally said to me… “You are aware that he broke his vows.. right? You know he vowed to love, honor, and cherish you… Not just to be non-violent and keep his dick in his pants… right? Do you FEEL honored, loved, or cherished right now? If all you are committed to is a commitment… why do you need HIM around?”
  • Anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.
  • Temptation usually comes in to doors that are left wide open. – Reader’s Digest
  • Question yourself.  You’ll probably find some interesting answers. – me
  • “Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.”
  • “Always remember others may hate you but those who hate you don’t win unless you hate them. And then you destroy yourself. “Richard M. Nixon (1913 – 1994), in his White House farewell
  • You don’t have to go to every fight you’re invited to.
  • If you can’t laugh at yourself, let me do it for you.
  • I am lucky enough that my biggest temptation has more willpower than I do. 
  • LD, about Ed’s passing:  Goodbye, Ed. If our Gigi loved and admired you, that’s all I need to know to have the measure of your life.
  • Celtsias from HBI:  Either you adopt a policy of respecting yourself or you adapt to a life without one.
  • Megan’s Rope Story:  And again I am reminded of that rope story – the one where the guy throws you a rope and tells you to hold on and then jumps over the edge of a bridge. He refuses to help himself, will not climb up but keeps telling you it’s your responsibility to keep him alive, even though it puts your own life in peril.
  • “Don’t explain. Friends don’t need it and enemies won’t believe you anyways.” – Sister
  • Teach me, and I’ll remember today. Show me, and I’ll remember tomorrow. Allow me to discover, and I’ll remember forever.”  – montessori education website
  • Being a victim really isn’t as much fun as being empowered – Nancy
  • I used to look him dead in the eye and say: “Hey. Are you mad at me or  BB? Because you are not allowed to chew on me just because you’re mad at her.”  Took a couple of years, but he’s much better now about setting aside his anger and not ‘kicking the dog’. Oh, yeah, the psychologists call it ‘displacement’. It’s not safe to be angry with the real object, so you shift your anger to someone/something that’s safe to be angry with. – LD
  • I kinda feel like Pavlov’s dog sometimes … once you get burned a hundred times, you stop reaching for that fire … – Gigi
  • You can kill someone with a safety pin… you just gotta stab them more often… – DivaMom
  • Any ass can fart an opinion.”
  • I didn’t intend to piss you off.  However, I am not going to take shit just because someone serves it to me. Of course it was volatile. She had made a fucking mess and didn’t want to clean it up. You on the other hand had to try and be the class clown, a role we hardly need in this place. You just want to be the centre of attention don’t you? So here’s a fucking blazing spotlight. Oh and by the way, I did laugh. It was at you though, not your “joke”.
  • I cannot STAND it when a man can’t make a decision. I was married to that guy before, I don’t want to be again. STOP ASKING ME what I want to eat or how I feel about things I frankly don’t give a rat’s ass about and just DO IT! I hate debating the minutia of everyday life.
  • “Helping” is doing something for someone that they are incapable of doing for themselves and that “Enabling” is doing things someone should darned well be doing for themselves” http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/troubled_teens/72746
  • “Life is too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so love the people who treat you right, forget the one’s who don’t, and believe that everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance, take it. If it changes your life… let it. Nobody said it would be easy, they just promised it would be worth it.”
  • “I’m not disappointed, not exactly. I am just a little dismayed. I suppose the downfall of my domestic utopia started 5 minutes after I got married. I didn’t marry Ward Cleaver or even Mr. Brady. I married an entirely different man who was just as lost as I was. And we stayed lost together. For awhile it was great, better than great because I really believed that I began where he ended and vice versa. Eventually though, that seam wore away and I saw it was just Lost Me and Lost Him, tied with a gold band and a lot of promises we weren’t able to keep to each other. ” – HR
  • “Expectations… are just premeditated resentments.”
  • The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. 
  • The only person who is with us our entire life, is ourselves.
  • Be ALIVE while you are alive.  — George Carlin
  • Hit the gas or be last
  • Most men will follow their peckers into the meat grinder.
  • “Don’t F*ck with the woman your Daddy is F*cking” – ForeverAmber
  • “Men don’t lie, they just remember big” – Queenie’s ex
  • Ride with it, just don’t ride bitch
  • Yeah, shit happens, but surrounding yourself with assholes like that and whining about it is like wading in the bottom of an outhouse and wondering where the smell is coming from.
  • if you have to hit someone in the face with the sign, they probably aren’t going to bother reading it anyway
  • the brain is connected to the spine. Try to get them working in tandem for a change
  • Now, let’s get back to the heart of the issue, shall we? Since you can only dance your way around it, let me lead.
  • “I’m an independent whole. If I decide to friend, love, or belong to someone else, is my decision and it’s because I want to grow bigger with them, I want to add them to my world and be part of theirs – not to fill some fucking hole in either of us.”
  • Allow me to add my stone to this tower of posts.
  • “I don’t have to have a reason to like you. I don’t have to have a reason to hate you. And even when I do have a reason, I don’t have to let you in on it.”
  • I think that once we realized that it’s usually a misunderstanding and not some unresolvable core issue, we found it was easier to get it out of the way rather than let it fester.  – softail
  • Latingirl –  “there’s a reason why they used to say ‘she’s gone mad’ to mean ‘she’s gone crazy.’ Mad makes you crazy.
  • Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.
  • Some people try to turn back their odometers. Not me, I want people to know why I look this way. I’ve traveled a long way and some of the roads weren’t paved.
  • Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea. -Robert A. Heinlein
  • “If there were to be a universal sound depicting peace, I would surely vote for the purr.” ~ Barbara L. Diamond
  • What EDGE does a razor have if it’s been used so very many times before?
  • – At this point, I would say… “you know what, let me make this easy for you.” And I’d leave.
  • comparable to a cow; if you keep it locked up long enough, when you set it free, it doesn’t know what to do, or where to go. That’s me…the cow.
  • Megan – Don’t get caught up in what’s right, what’s fair, what’s best – instead accept what is and make the best of it.
  • There is nothing that gets under my skin more than someone who is paralyzed by a fear of failure – and then makes it a self-fulfilling prophecy by not doing the minimum work required to succeed. LXH was an excellent surveyor but would never do what it took to get his PE. He preferred to sit around for hours at night and talk about how everyone at work was screwing him.
  • Boundaries:  Just remember that boundaries are for you, what you are willing to accept and not accept. They are not for controlling another person. That is what was the hardest for me. I always need to check my motivation when I make a boundary.  The next hardest thing for me was to enforce it. Being raised in an alcoholic home, we had no boundaries. Looking back, I can see where I never recognized other peoples’ boundaries and I was constantly pushing at them if I didn’t like them.  Once I decided to make boundaries with my family, I decided which was the most important, the one I needed to preserve my sanity, and I made that boundary. Now I find that I don’t make a whole lot of boundaries, but I think long and hard on the ones I do make. Also, if they don’t work for me or I have attempted to control another person, I abandon the boundary.
  • “You’ve been divorced for nine years. I’ll give you a few more minutes to process that.”
  • But you know, sometimes shit just sticks where it gets thrown, and there is no resolution but time and your own personal resolve not to throw more…
  • Stchoub – I think humans have, for the most part, lost their true animal instinct to protect their young. How many bears do you know that would just sit there and say, “Oh, something is threatening my cub… maybe the park ranger will do something about it.”
  • You won’t win some mystical MEDAL of DEVOTION and SACRIFICE by putting up with his sh*t. All you will get is bitterness and lack of joy in your life.
  • “If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself but to your own estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.”  — Marcus Aurelius
  • How easy it is to care about those who don’t extend the same courtesy to themselves-let alone return the favor.

http://www.fiveanddime.net/affirmation.html

On this day I will look at my past mistakes and project them onto the future.

Today I will create a crisis situation so I can feel really alive.

I have a right to be physically unattractive.

I will make spiritual bankruptcy my goal for the day.

I have a right to change people into who I want them to be.

Today I will belittle those around me as I’ve been belittled in the past.

Extreme mood swings are my goal for the day, as they are so invigorating.

I have a right to seek revenge on those who have hurt me, and so today I’ll begin to intricately plot against them.

Today I will surround myself with unhealthy people so that I may feel superior to them.

Today I celebrate the fact that my underdeveloped sense of identity allows me to fit into a wide range of situations.

Today I will only do things for which I receive very clear approval or applause.

My choices are limited; therefore, I must rigidly stick to the plan I have outlined for myself.

Today I will start a project only so I can later abandon it because of my perfectionistic standards.

Today I will lie in bed and wallow in self-pity.

Today I will purposefully fuel someone’s worst fears.

While in conversation today, I will practice keeping a mental inventory of other people’s stupidity.

Today I will practice playing the victim with my friends and coworkers.

This year I will save money by not buying birthday cards for anyone; I will tell everyone their card must have been lost in the mail.

I have the hardest life.

Today I will hoard something I was denied as a child.


 

 

So everything is a question of training and the power of habit. Devote the mind to confusion and we know only too well, if we’re honest, that it will become a dark master of confusion, adept in its addictions, subtle and perversely supple in its slaveries. Devote it in meditation to the task of freeing itself from illusion, and we will find that with time, patience, discipline, and the right training, the mind will begin to unknot itself and know its essential bliss and clarity.

Etta, the Harley Davidson Sportster

The story of how, exactly, I got her back is not worth telling, but she came back in bad shape after being left outside for a couple of years.

2013-12-22 11.06.32

_BeforePoor Etta

I’d asked around to a few shops if they were interested in restoring my old bike, but the whole time had one friend in mind who would be perfect for the project.  When Mike consented to take her on I literally jumped up and down.  Len and I brought her over to his garage in January of 2014, with the request:  “Get her running and give her a little fluff, please.”

Mike’s a really meticulous guy. If he’s working on something, you can sleep very well at night knowing it will get done right.  We were both super excited about the project.  I had a couple of unexpected bucks and some simple ideas.  Mike had his garage, spare parts and a headful of ideas, and what he did to that bike in the next 5 months was a miracle.

CoyCrop

Of course, every time he tried to do something simple, he’d find something wrong with it.  She ended up naked and bony.

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He painted and powdercoated everything.  EVERYthing.  Sometimes in terrible temperatures, as the winter was super cold.  He got bronchitis, no doubt from all the powder flying around his garage.  He wouldn’t sleep.  I’d tell him to go to bed and he’d say yup, just one more thing …

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Then the mockups started.  Color?  Where?  Wait … those bullets look good.  Let’s do more of those.

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You need new wheels, those spokes are bad.  Craigslist has these, what do you think?  Not sure where to cut the fender …

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This went on for months.  I was indecisive.  Mike wanted me to be happy.  I’d bring over cases of Yuengling Light and he’d send photos and videos.  The only thing I was 100% sure of was no flames, no skulls, no bones, no snakes … nothing stereotypically “badass.”  Not my style.

He even found a PERFECT seat, and got some donated vintage parts from friends.  Lots of people sent bullet shells, too.

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Etta came out FANTASTIC.  100% thrilled with her, and Mike (and his wife, who didn’t hurl him out of the house for forgetting about his other chores).  There’s no way I could pay him what all that work was worth, but he was a gentleman and stuck to the original deal, and the friendship has remained intact.  Which is all I really wanted.

Mike introduced me to Chris, who pinstriped her.  And look how gorgeous.  Running fine, no issues, turn the key.  Happy gal!!

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2014-04-19 13.50.17Helmet matches, too.

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Do I ride now?

Short answer:  No, dammit.

Two days after getting Etta from her builder, I tipped over on a low speed turn in a parking lot and fubar’d my elbow pretty bad.  It took a solid month to be able to straighten it out.

Funny thing, though.  That happened about a month after my Dad passed away.  Dad had a stroke 15 years before he passed; his left side never worked smoothly again, and every day he carried his left arm bent and stiff.  He’d stretch it out with his right arm.

It took three weeks to realize:  Just exactly the way I’d been doing. I think Dad reached down from Heaven and gave me a good swat for being on a bike in sneakers and a tank top.  Thanks, Dad.  You were right again.

After that I lost my nerve and had no business being on a bike.  I tried every week to go again, but every single time I let the clutch out my heart would land in my throat.

I’m not off riding my own bike, not at all.  In fact, part of the problem was the horrible angst all summer long about letting myself, my friends, and most of all my builder down.  A city is no place to learn to ride, and Etta is out in the country now.  I’ll find some time, once I get my arms around this new job.

Oh, and buying a house with my boyfriend.  Priorities. 🙂

This happened

Today’s self-assigned task is to tell my “relationship history.”  Why my brain feels the need to perform it is anyone’s guess, but a few weeks ago a buddy told me his and I wanted to reciprocate. It’s just before Independence Day, 2015 (updated May 2016), so as good a day as any.  Independence is important.

In the 70’s, I was seeking trouble.  Boredom drove that.  So I went out with guys who were older, and broken.  “Nice” boys avoided me.  Don’t blame them, I was an edgy chick.

In the early 80’s, I was seeking a full-time thing so intensely that some basic requirements were overlooked.  Like a phone call after a “date.”  Hindsight being 20/20, now it’s clear that I was that psycho chick who chased her prey.  In my head, it was all in the name of love, but my actions were pathetic.  I wasn’t a stalker but I was 100% distracted by whatever man had crossed my path, effectively pulling the plug on other, more long-term and fruitful activities, such as applying myself at college, fixing my car, really learning to play guitar well, nurturing friendships, and figuring out exactly what I wanted out of life.  Any foundation for a stable life was sabotaged.   If someone liked me, even a little, I loved them wholeheartedly and showed them every way I could, providing 95% of the relationship.  I was a smotherer, and they ran.  It never occurred to me to play hard-to-get, thinking that was just a stupid game the other girls played.

I had met one man in the crazy time, who re-entered my life in 1985.  He loved me.  Of course I loved him.  He proposed.  I was delighted, and we had a lovely wedding in 1986.  It wasn’t a good match.   I left in 1992, moved from the eight country acres we were living on to an 800SF apartment in the most densely-populated city in the USA.  We filed for divorce on our 7th anniversary, and went to lunch together after seeing the judge.  He’s a nice man, and the divorce was amicable.  Now I know what a blessing that was.  We still enjoy a warm friendship to this day, even though it took a few years to get to that point. He’s remarried, and has a few kids.  His nickname is Mr X.

Oh yeah.  Kids.  Never felt the urge.  OK, felt the urge for 40 minutes around 1997 or so, but by then I was with a man with four teenage boys.  Living with four adolescent males will talk you out of kids QUICK.  No regrets.

Met another man in the city.  Shocking, right?  This one was 33, no kids, never been married and lived at home with his mother.  Somehow, I thought this was OK.  You know, just a poor innocent guy who needed a break, right?  That break came with him coming over one night and not leaving for three years.  Even though, 18 months in, he decided he didn’t want a girlfriend anymore.  I remember asking him when he’d be moving, and him saying he couldn’t afford to.   (By this time, his mother had passed away, and he was feuding with his twin brother over the house).  OK then … when will you be moving into the second bedroom?  When he bought a mattress.   He never did buy a mattress, and slept next to me every night without reaching over.  Devastating to my self-esteem, and the perfect set up for the next relationship.

On New Year’s Eve, 1995, a girlfriend and I were sitting around my apartment having a few adult beverages, with no plans for the evening.  No-mattress man was still living there, hanging around the bedroom in his underwear.  No internet back then, but we enjoyed playing a Scrabble-like game on a dial-in BBS board in the living room.  Since we were almost out of booze, she invited one of the players over, as he was going out anyways to pick up Chinese food for his kids.  He ended up being “the next man.”  I fell in headfirst, and he met every single emotional need.  But there were problems.  He was fired from his job of 14 years two months after moving in.  Followed by lots of crappy low-paying dead-end jobs, many injuries, and some meanness I ignored.  His “ex-wife” called up one afternoon and said she’d been evicted, could we take the kids for a couple of weeks?  Four teen boys moved into our living room.  Two weeks turned into 12 years.  More injuries, lawsuits, unemployment … overcrowding, filth, depression, poverty … then eventually filling my emotional needs turned into systematic psychological abuse.  I was under his microscope … his only hobby.  That “ex-wife?”  Not so ex.  He had lied about not getting a divorce from her, and we had married in 2001. In 2006 I began asking him to leave; he refused.  In 2009, my new life began, whether he liked it or not.  He didn’t, and things got as ugly as they possibly could.  I didn’t help the situation, either; it was impossible, nothing was enough for him, and trust had been destroyed on both sides.  He and the two remaining 20-something sons finally moved towards the end of 2011.  At the beginning of 2012, I took out a restraining order after seeing he wouldn’t leave me or my parents alone, and except for my Dad’s funeral, haven’t spoken to him.

Everything is a learning experience, and these last two relationships got it through my thick skull that it was finally time to get comfortable with myself.  Living alone was scary at first.  I hadn’t done that ever.  With the encouragement and guidance of some extraordinary girlfriends, life has at last gained a balance of love, hobbies, friendships and work.  The all-consuming intensity of a high-maintenance dysfunctional relationship is repelling.  I am happy, and free of the distraction of a brain filled with—or trying to figure out—someone else.  Dated some, but they were either not interested or far too interested.  Dates  Call me Goldilocks. *shrug*

During this experiment, I saw a man who kept it casual.  We had a great deal of fun, absolutely not a speck of drama and no strings attached in the pleasantest possible version of an NSA relationship.  Two very nice, very busy, very independent people who found some time to be with each other without forcing it.  No drama,  easy, and exactly what I needed while healing from bad ex.  He kept me out of trouble, something I will always be grateful for.  But my heart wanted more, a future, and I looked for that when I was feeling neglected.

I’m really lucky, too, because it found me.  Through a mutual friend, we met … and it’s ALL good, our kind of normal, wonderful, healthy and positive.  My relationship future is blazing brightly with the perfect man for me.

In any case.  Happy Independence Day.  Cherish it.   Don’t let anyone take it away, not even in the name of love.

“Two Bags”

Here’s a description by Rick Reilly of Sports Illustrated, remembering the lucky day he got to fly in the back seat of an F-14D Tomcat:

Someday you may be invited to fly in the back-seat of one of your country’s most powerful fighter jets. Many of you already have. John Elway, John Stockton, Tiger Woods to name a few. If you get this opportunity, let me urge you, with the greatest sincerity…

Move to Guam.
Change your name.
Fake your own death!
Whatever you do, do Not Go!!!

I know. The U.S. Navy invited me to try it. I was thrilled. I was pumped.

I was toast!

I should’ve known when they told me my pilot would be Chip (Biff) King of Fighter Squadron 213 at Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach.

Whatever you’re thinking a Top Gun named Chip (Biff) King looks like, triple it. He’s about six-foot, tan, ice-blue eyes, wavy surfer hair, finger-crippling handshake — the kind of man who wrestles dyspeptic alligators in his leisure time. If you see this man, run the other way.
Fast.

Biff King was born to fly. His father, Jack King, was for years the voice of NASA missions. (”T-minus 15 seconds and counting …” Remember?) Chip would charge neighborhood kids a quarter each to hear his dad. Jack would wake up from naps surrounded by nine-year-olds waiting for him to say, “We have a liftoff.”

Biff was to fly me in an F-14D Tomcat, a ridiculously powerful $60 million weapon with nearly as much thrust as weight, not unlike Colin Montgomerie. I was worried about getting airsick, so the night before the flight I asked Biff if there was something I should eat the next morning.

“Bananas,” he said.

“For the potassium?” I asked.

“No,” Biff said, “because they taste about the same coming up as they do going down.”

The next morning, out on the tarmac, I had on my flight suit with my name sewn over the left breast. (No call sign — like Crash or Sticky or Leadfoot. But, still, very cool.) I carried my helmet in the crook of my arm, as Biff had instructed. If ever in my life I had a chance to nail Nicole Kidman, this was it.

A fighter pilot named Psycho gave me a safety briefing and then fastened me into my ejection seat, which, when employed, would “egress” me out of the plane at such a velocity that I would be immediately knocked unconscious.

Just as I was thinking about aborting the flight, the canopy closed over me, and Biff gave the ground crew a thumbs-up. In seconds we were firing nose up at 600 mph. We leveled out and then canopy-rolled over another F-14.

Those 20 minutes were the rush of my life. Unfortunately, the ride lasted 80. It was like being on the roller coaster at Six Flags Over Hell. Only without rails. We did barrel rolls, snap rolls, loops, yanks and banks. We dived, rose and dived again, sometimes with a vertical velocity of 30,000 feet per minute. We chased another F-14, and it chased us.

We broke the speed of sound. Sea was sky and sky was sea. Flying at 200 feet we did 90-degree turns at 550 mph, creating a G force of 6.5, which is to say I felt as if 6.5 times my body weight was smashing against me, thereby approximating life as Mrs. Colin Montgomerie.

And I egressed the bananas.

And I egressed the pizza from the night before.

And the lunch before that.

I egressed a box of Milk Duds from the sixth grade.

I made Linda Blair look polite. Because of the G’s, I was egressing stuff that I never thought would be egressed.

I went through not one airsick bag, but two.

Biff said I passed out. Twice. I was coated in sweat. At one point, as we were coming in upside down in a banked curve on a mock bombing target and the G’s were flattening me like a tortilla and I was in and out of consciousness, I realized I was the first person in history to throw down.

I used to know ‘cool’. Cool was Elway throwing a touchdown pass, or Norman making a five-iron bite. But now I really know ‘cool’. Cool is guys like Biff, men with cast-iron stomachs and freon nerves. I wouldn’t go up there again for Derek Jeter’s black book, but I’m glad Biff does every day, and for less a year than a rookie reliever makes in a home stand.

A week later, when the spins finally stopped, Biff called. He said he and the fighters had the perfect call sign for me and said he’d send it on a patch for my flight suit.

What is it? I asked.

“Two Bags.”

50 First Dates

As flattery is the sincerest form of imitation, and since I seem to have a few dates under my belt and quite a few more to go, I have decided to continue an exercise that a wonderful friend started a few years ago. She had some issues because of putting it out on the interweb before she completed her 50 dates, and didn’t finish the project. Oh yeah, and because she met a wonderful guy. Success!

About me
My friends call me Gigi, and have since I was three years old. This presents a special challenge when the inevitable “what’s your name” question arises. My parents weren’t thinking I’d ever be finding dates online when they named me after a fictional child who was being raised to be a professional courtesan in turn-of-the-century Paris (the last century, not this one.. Possibly because at the time, there was no internet, and I bet they thought I’d get married and stay married. Whoopsie. In any case, the name gets some interesting responses, generally about poodles, great grandmothers, and strippers.

Yet I’ve passed the age of 50, remain 5’-5” tall, have grown slightly overweight due to good living  (more on the curvy side than the fat side), and been off the market since 1995. I enjoy work, traveling, loud exhausts, fine dining, friendships with old bikers and folk music, so I know it’s not going to be an easy match. Plus I’m a fairly forthright gal (which is a nice way of saying that while on many levels I am a lady, I swear like a well-educated sailor when I leave my filter off, which is usually).  I take my time getting to know people; no love at first sight, it’s essential to spend enough time with a man so that he will show who he is, whatever that may be.

My profile is very blunt and straightforward, designed to weed out emotionally broken, chronically broke  high-maintenance men. The kind who will text every half hour during work, and make me the center of his world to the point of smothering; who’s struggling financially, hates to work, blames the world for his issues, has made terrible life choices that cannot be sustained—and chronically feels bad about them, and himself—but can’t figure out how to fix it.  In short, the kind that will use me to further an agenda of their choosing, which benefits them exclusively. Any profile photos of men with sunglasses on, taken inside with their shirts off, or taken inside a vehicle are dismissed. I.just.can’t. Evasive, smarmy, sneaky. No.

I also let the man do the courting. That means they must initiate contact, and not just a “hi” or “your hot” on a dating site. (Ew.) If we meet and they like me, it’s up to them ask me out on a date … unlike many women these days, I just don’t think it’s right to chase men and shower them with love and attention right out of the gate.  I’m kinda old-fashioned like that.  What can I say, I prefer to be pursued. *shrug*

The dates
What follows is an account of my first dates, how we met, what happened, if there was a second date … and if I learned anything.

1. 12-Apr-2012: Dan-O. Friend of a friend. He had a party last summer at his ranch, so we’d already met. Has his own company and works a lot. Our mutual friend had been hounding me to date him for a while and I’d declined because he has three small children, but finally let him set it up. We met at my favorite seaside fried clam place. I was nervous; drank a little too much and talked a little too quickly, but he seemed like a nice guy. I left thinking perhaps he was too much of a nice guy. Either he wasn’t into me or he was very very polite. We haven’t had dinner together again, despite a few text message promises. (I learned that I need to relax, dating is not a big deal or the beginning of anything). I still go to his parties, and heard through the grapevine that he didn’t realize it was an actual date. Which is fine, I guess there wasn’t a spark anyways.

2. 6-Jun-2012: Joe is a motorcycle cop in my town. I saw him leading our Memorial Day parade and texted my police officer neighbor/friend “who’s the cutie on the bike?” It took us a few weeks to actually get together for coffee (or, in this case, yerba mate, as Joe is a vegan). He picked me up after work in a cruiser. He’s quite a man with quite a story. When I saw him on the bike, I thought … cop, biker, tattooed … no problem. I know this animal. Yeah, no … TWO master’s degrees. Just out of a 25-year marriage and hooked up with his first love from junior high. You could see the stars in his eyes, and I was happy for him. We had a nice chat sitting at a picnic table and heard out each other’s stories. We decided we’d be friends and he drove me home. And we have stayed friends. (I learned to never, ever judge a book by its cover)

3. 9-Jun-2012: I met “Cajun” (not his real name) on bikerornot.com … he’d sent me a friend request, and we got to chatting up a blue storm for a few days before meeting. He was originally from Louisiana, had lived in England for about 20 years while pursuing his career and marriage #2, was back now and had never been to bike week in Laconia. I told him he wasn’t missing much, but he really wanted to go, so we took a day trip. He picked me up at noon on his Harley, it was a really nice day for riding, and we made one stop at a Burger King on the way up, where we chatted some about traveling, exes, and being child-free. The date was good, we walked around Laconia looking at the bikes and the vendor stuff, had a couple of drinks, something to eat, and lots more talk. He seemed like he wanted an immediate serious relationship, and I told him that wasn’t what I was looking for, then we rode on home. There were many annoying sexual innuendos dropped, but when I ignored them he didn’t seem to mind, so all was well. He gave me a sweet kiss and said he wanted to see me again. Fine by me, but we both had plenty of stuff going on so it wasn’t until June 28th that we had a second date. He’d flown back from Chicago early (work) so we could go to dinner. On his 49th birthday, it turns out. He ordered a bottle of nice red, I had the risotto, he had the steak. Towards the end of the second glass of wine, I noticed that both wine glasses had landed near my plate. I was certain that I was drinking from the glass on the right, and continued to do that. Although I’m pretty sure the wine on the left was fizzing … we left shortly after (he took his birthday cake to go), and when we were kissing goodbye in the parking lot he began to get very aggressive, drunkenly groping me. I shut him down; drunk, groping men are not my thing (although it is kinda cute when you’ve been married to them for a while). A few days went by and he texted me, asking if I got home OK and if I wanted to get together over the 4th of July holiday. We chatted a bit, and, in the interest of keeping the conversation light, I told him I’d given myself a patriotic manicure. He texted back that he’d like to see that manicure wrapped around my nipple. WHAT? An hour later I took a picture of my manicure: middle finger extended, my angry face in the background, with the note “there’s the manicure, got it?” 2012-07-02_08-59-05_55He said he had, and I haven’t heard a word from him since. Good riddance. I was telling one of my galpals about this after it happened, and she clued me in on something I hadn’t thought of before: the fizzing wine. Looks like ‘ol Cajun roofied himself. On his birthday. What a dumbass… (I learned to watch my drink!!!) I peeked at Cajun’s BON profile in 2015, looks like he’s found himself another wife. Glad it’s not me.

4. 13-Aug-2012: Generous Dave came from misstravel.com, a website that’s advertised to put together “generous members” with “attractive members” for the purposes of free travel for companionship. The companionship portion is not spelled out, and I figured, what the hell, it’s my rules. Generous Dave lives on the other side of the country, and was in town for a few nights for work. We’d planned to just get a drink but were having such a good time that it turned into dinner and a stroll around Faneuil Hall. Delightful guy. Asian, kinda short, hadn’t ever been out with anyone like that before. Child-free, divorced a year. We hugged and parted around 10:15. Exchanged a couple of emails, which stopped when he wanted to see nude pictures of me. I was unwilling to provide them, so … that was the end of that. (I learned that dating outside my usual parameters—and having clear boundaries—was just fine)

5. 22-Aug-2012: Motorcycle Mark. This is kind of a weird one, as Motorcycle Mark is also Married Mark. Mark’s not a bad guy, but he suffers from the trying-not-to-be-jealous crazies due to the fact that he lets his wife date. They’ve been together 14 years, and, well … sometimes people get bored, I get that, and since by this time I really didn’t have any desire to be in a relationship, dating Mark sounded like a reasonable idea. He wanted someone to go out with while his wife was with her boyfriend. OK. We had dinner and rode for hours along the shore, talking incessantly about his wife and my ex. Kind of cathartic, actually. Mark and I remain distant friends, I hear from him once in a while, usually when he’s about to file for divorce again. (I learned that I am not entertaining crazy anymore, and that I can watch drama as theater without getting involved).

6. 15-Sep-2012: Don. Don’s one of those guys who leaves his number with gals with the standard “call me if you ever get single” line. He sounds smarmy, but he’s really not. I figured I’d look him up, and we met at the Outback. We had a nice conversation and a lovely meal, but Don’s not really heartthrob material. He lives with his Mom and can’t afford to get his bike fixed. He’s kind of a complainer. Solidly built and with a nice smile, but far too old for me. Another kiss good night and home alone. (I learned not to rescue and fix people).

7. 25-Nov-2012: Joe II. Joe II had a profile up on Plenty of Fish with a photograph of a sweet motorcycle, but no face. He’s 41. In his profile he mentions wanting to be with someone who can hand him a wrench, which appealed to my tomboy side, so I wrote him. It turns out that he lives around the corner. We had lunch at an Irish pub in my neighborhood that lasted five hours until I had to go to my folks’ house for dinner. Not a lot of talk about our exes, lots of shared experiences, lots of laughs, not drool material but with nice arms and steely grey hair (which I like). Joe II has two boys aged 17 and 14, and one girl aged 3. He had a busy and lucrative job with an environmental cleanup company that went out of business, is now working for the DPW, and doesn’t want to have a busy and lucrative job anymore. He lives with his brother and hasn’t gotten his poop in a group yet, so too many strikes against him.  (I learned the slow fade away)

8. 20-Jan-2013: Meat Mike, (because he owns a meat and fish provisioning company). We corresponded a bit on match.com and he had a sense of humor and didn’t seem to be hitting “refresh” waiting for my responses (not a good thing to do, ever, as even if I’m not busy I wait a few hours to respond. Or days). I agreed to call him and we had a casual date … in that I was buying a tire at Sears in his town and he kept me company while it was installed. Not a bad guy, pretty normal, actually. Divorced three years, gets along with his ex (“as long as the checks clear”), has two girls, 15 and 18, and lives in a garage converted into an apartment on the same cul-de-sac as his ex. And pays heavily, with college for the girls in the offing. Now, I’m not a gold digger, but I was hoping that a 56-year-old guy would be a little bit more “divorced” … while I admire Mike for being so involved with his girls and their well-being, this guy is far too enmeshed, emotionally and financially, in the past to make good dating material. Plus, he tried to French kiss me when we parted. Ew. Oh, AND, he asked me if he could “use” my number, and I smiled and said “keep in touch” … so he left me two voicemails within an hour of when we went our separate ways for the afternoon. Um … no. (I learned while Meat Mike might have been considered a normal guy for me in the past, he’s not. He’s got issues, and I don’t need that).

9. 11-February-2013: Tim, 48, a high school history teacher at a Catholic private school. Divorced six years with a 15-year-old daughter who’s busy with her own life. Owns a condo, drives a Ford Focus, lives in the same town he grew up in. We’d corresponded and he could string a few words together without talking about his naughty bits, so in a fit of loneliness (during the Blizzard of 2013), I talked him into coming into the city to take me out for a burger. Attractive, nice blue eyes and slender, all good things. But he couldn’t keep his eyes off the TV the entire date, didn’t seem at all interested in me, and wasn’t talking about himself either, so we had a couple of good burgers at yet another Irish pub in my neighborhood, listened to two songs from a live band that had set up, and he took me home around 10:30. We just couldn’t find any common ground. I tried to pay for my share, but he wouldn’t let me. Guess that was a poor investment on his part, but it looked like one of many, so I don’t feel too bad about it. Nice guy, zero attraction. (I learned that sometimes, it’s just not going to happen, and that’s OK).

10. 16-February-2013: Bert, 54, a lineman. I saw a pic of him on match.com laying on a gorgeous FLH, wearing a cowboy hat and boots, cute smile, blue eyes, “smoker but trying to quit” with a down-to-earth profile, so left a message on his pic. He wrote me back a couple of days later and I suggested coffee. We went back and forth a few times, nice light flirting, so when he wrote me on Saturday while I was out getting my hair done with plans to buy myself a steak after, I wrote back and told him my plans. Said it was probably too soon, but maybe he wanted to keep me company? He did. Disaster! By the time he’d showered and shown up there was an hour wait for dinner, and as far as I could tell, he’d gotten the complete wrong impression of me by then. My determination he saw as stubbornness. Honesty was abrasive. He didn’t like that I’d been married twice, no matter what the circumstances.  Thought I was “brave” to eat in a restaurant alone. Had a hard time wrapping his head around my tomboy nature. Unhappily surprised when I lit up a smoke after dinner (Why? I didn’t lie on my profile. I smoke. Looking at his profile later he’d changed his smoking status to “cigar aficionado).” Flirted with the waitress, to the point where I started to wonder if he was looking forward to her coming over to “save” him (she was in her 60’s and married). The conversation didn’t seem that painfully uncomfortable, but looking back … I wasn’t that impressed with him, either. He didn’t look or act like his profile and talked about his awful childhood at the hands of his abusive ex-Marine father … which isn’t the worst thing in the world, he’d gotten therapy, but that’s hardly first-date fodder. I dunno. By the time the meal came I was starting to pick out flaws, too. I paid my half and left at 9:15, no harm done. (Not sure what I learned here, but I hid my profiles for a few months and took a break).

11. 27-June-2013: Mark, 49, software engineer. Not sure where he’s from, as his profile said a town where he stays—in a hotel, for work. EN-OH. NO. Nice online, witty and clever, and absolutely no attraction in person. Thin high voice, talked too much and too fast, lied on his profile about all his kids being over 18, plus very touchy-feely. All we talked about was our exes, big turn-off. Not even sure why I went, but we’d been chatting a little for weeks and he was in the area. On foot. For at least 10 miles. At least I went for a walk. (I learned people can be “so much cooler online.”)

12. 2-August-2013: Jim, 51, lineman for years, now works for his town heading up the lighting department. He must’ve seen me checking out his picture on POF (which was posted sideways), and wrote me. His profile, two words “work motorcycles” so not a lot to go on. Turns out he’s a computer and typing dunce, didn’t even have a phone that can text. This accelerated the “in-person” process, and we met for an ice cream. Short and shy with a nice Harley and gorgeous blue eyes (when he actually looked at me), he’s clearly spent a lot of time outside over the years and dealt with some psychos, but didn’t seem to have any real baggage. A truthful guy, not evasive at all, but rough around the edges. Didn’t laugh. Works a LOT. I didn’t get the feeling he was that into me, but he asked me out to dinner/riding. I was going to put him off, but had a bad day and really wanted to ride, so the next Wednesday I took him up on his offer. We had a blast. Very refreshing, nice guy, gentleman, low-key and fun. We actually had seven dates. Sadly, even though he was fairly attractive and met many of the “stable, secure life” items on my list (job, home, bike, adult independent children, great friends, generous), he drank far too much—daily—and got clingy FAST. I stopped responding after he got pissy and pouty because I didn’t call him the second I woke up one Saturday when we had plans, and thankfully he went away quietly. (I learned that maybe I don’t want to be in a relationship just yet, at least not a clingy one)

13. 21-December-2013: Jay, 54. Redheaded, loves cats, owns his own business. Jay contacted me on POF and it was obvious that he’d actually read my profile. We emailed back and forth for a week, long fun emails. I wanted to meet for a lunch, he insisted on dinner. So our first meeting was a veal dinner, followed by a couple of hours chatting. Not a bad guy, but he didn’t seem to relax and be himself. I suspect he suffers from “being myself doesn’t get me a second date” syndrome; sounds like his past dates were pretty ruthless about ditching him (if they showed up at all). Very talkative. Brought my cats gifts and a card. Sadly, he seemed to feel a spark but I did not. (I learned my feminine skills are still intact, but they work on the wrong men. Nothing has changed since high school).

14. 9-January-2014: James, 56. He didn’t want to email back and forth at all, so I took a chance and met him for a drink (one for me, two for him) a block from work one weeknight. James is retired, and travels to war zones doing volunteer work for kicks. Bald but cute, James seems broken by his divorce and missing the good life he had in his house with his gardens and trees. While it wasn’t the main topic of conversation, it did keep coming up. Very bitter. He’s only been divorced five months, and lacked the personal magnetism I like in men. Plus, his hands shook until he’d had a drink. Not sure if it was nerves or not, and not willing to find out. (I learned some people just need to be single longer, despite what their profile says).

15. 1-March-2014: Rich, 62 (I think). Rich is a friend of a friend. We had a ton in common, in that we’re both building bobbers out of Sportsters this winter, we both are connected with re-enacting Revolutionary War events (he’s a Brit, my brother is a Colonial Colonel), and we both wanted to grow up to be rock stars. He’s a drummer, and his closest friend from childhood is the drummer for The Cars. Rich is fun to talk to, we enjoyed telling war stories. Our first date was nearly a disaster; he took me to some hipster place that was loud and crowded, and drank a ton of margaritas to my two. But he called me up the next week and apologized for drinking so much, so we went out again, this time to a loud (but good) club where we agreed not to try to carry on a conversation. We had a few drinks, and he stopped drinking 90 minutes before it was time to go so he’d be sober to drive (I am a stickler for this). Nice guy, never married, no kids, owns his family home in the suburbs. He’s an industrial engineer working on contract for a very recognizable company, but has never had a direct job. He also desperately needs a hip and walks with a pronounced limp. Bad, bad teeth. Nice blue eyes, long-ish grey hair and balding. He never make it out of the friendzone but at least he wasn’t pushy (which was nice) and we enjoyed each other’s company for a few months. Eventually, I invited him to an audition to play drums, and he was arrogant and rude to my friends, so … let it drop. (I learned that if I’m not serious about a man, “breaking up” is just a case of not contacting him. What a relief.)

16. 26-May-2014: Chris, 43. Another friend of a friend. Not really a “date” date. Chris pinstriped my motorcycle and did a great job, including the photography. He also had some great photos and illustrations of cars, and gorgeous flames/pinstripes in his FB photo album. A real artist. He spent 17 hours wet sanding, compounding, polishing and waxing my car, then took some photos. After it was done we took a ride up the coast to antique and bomb around. However, listening to him overshare about his sexual deviance, adult photo shoots, trouble he’d been in, stuff his psycho exes pulled … plus his financial, legal, cable, electricity, family, and truck woes … not at all a turn-on. He texted me after I got home to bitch that I didn’t tag him in my FaceBook checkins (but added a “LOL” so that made it all right?). This man is a self-proclaimed asshole and proud of it. (I learned it’s totally OK to not go along with this nonsense on the platform of “cool girl” or “this man needs help/rescuing.”) Chris has become the friend who I can call if I need anything moved, detailed or repaired. He comes over for dinner sometimes, and we binge-watch TV series and go to car shows.  I am delighted that Chris has found a full-time girlfriend.

17. 15-October-2014: Ted, 49. Ted contacted me on POF, he also has an old Corvette and is building a 60’s-era Firebird to drag race next year. He’s recently gotten a degree and was valedictorian in his class. We met at my favorite Chinese restaurant for a meal and a drink. Nice smile, blue eyes and white hair (my kryptonite), but there was just something not right about him. Not creepy or ill, but maybe he’s had too many head injuries in life, not sure, he did talk about the many crashes he’s been in. No spark. We had a pleasant dinner. (Didn’t have to learn anything with this one)

18. 14-November-2014: Marco, 47. Another POF contact. He’d read my profile through, and told me he qualified. An engineer, pleasantly sarcastic, nice smile, and we both enjoy non-hit music. Doesn’t drink. Wanted to go for a ride in the Corvette, so we did just that, then had a pizza at Santarpio’s. Very casual. Not the most attractive man in the world, but there was enough interest there to want to explore his personality further. No kids, never wanted them. He’s got the same job, for the same company, as a very good friend of mine. Different division, but the same workaholic from home deal, and I’m lucky to understand that dynamic. So there’s that. Stability doesn’t always come in a dreamboat package! (two days later, I texted him hello, and we had a fun text conversation including photos of what we were cooking that Sunday. Two days after that, I saw him back on POF. Guess I wasn’t what he was looking for … and yet he texts me every few months for absolutely no reason) Nothing to learn here either, except maybe that we’re all a little weird.

19. 13-December-2014: Tom, 53. OKCupid. Not my “type” but I was exploring. Accomplished and successful at his business, four grown sons living in CA, two years out of a 30-year marriage, no drama with the ex, and had had a couple of girlfriends since the marriage ended. Sadly, he’s rattling around his empty 5-bedroom house with his dogs and very needy and vulnerable. We went for a mai tai to get to know each other, and I got to hear all about how he wants to find a wonderful girl to cuddle on the couch with. Blech. I asked him several times to change the subject, and kept having to pull my hands out of his. Said he was a total gentleman, and on the phone and in text he was … then told me I had a nice ass when we met. Double blech. (I learned that being the only good thing in a man’s life is draining and exhausting. The whole experience made me wonder why I want to be in a relationship at all, ever). RUN.

20. 5-January-2015: Jon, 49. POF. Tattoo artist. More of a meet than a date. His profile photo looked quiet and introspective, perhaps passionate as an artist? He was working in his shop the next town over and invited me over. We chatted a bit, but no spark at all. Nice guy, just not my type. He didn’t contact me again either, so the feeling was mutual. (Thankfully didn’t have to learn anything with this guy, either, and it started 2015 off nicely).

21. 16-January-2015: Stephen, 49. POF. Stephen’s profile indicates he’s not interested in a relationship, just wants someone to go to dinner with, so after passing a few sentences back and forth we agreed to meet for dinner at a Greek place local to me. Nice enough guy, no spark to speak of, we had three dinner dates and just stopped contacting each other. Although one snowy afternoon when we were out, a married male friend texted me to say if the roads got bad and I needed a ride to let him know; I explained who he was, and Stephen asked me if I’d slept with him. Um, what? Ol’ Stephen couldn’t wrap his poor little head around the idea that I was fortunate to have platonic friends that care about my well-being. Kinda said enough about him, and his mindset. (I learned that I do not need to explain to anyone why I’m not seeing them anymore … )

22. 22-February-2015: Mike, 49. POF. Mike met all of my checklist requirements. Stable job, house, car, toys. Good sense of humor. Caring. Listens. We had a few fun, quirky messages back and forth, and a super long telephone conversation. He’d thrown a few stupid sexual innuendos into the messages, and when I called him on this BS, he stopped. All good things, and I was so looking forward to meeting him. However, his personality stopped in person, and I didn’t feel a spark. Apparently he did, so I went out with him a second time just to make sure, and discovered he needs a lot of validation, plus has some boundary issues (invited himself to stay over after the date!). Pouty, desperate and pathetic does not work for me. Then tried to blame “my trust issues” for his sneakiness. And he’s cheap. Sorry, Mike. You are nexted. (I learned that if someone tries to guilt me into doing anything I’m not 100% comfortable doing, there’s something wrong with THEM, not me).

23. 6-May-2015: Al, 53. Friend of a friend. A good galpal of mine invited him to go with us to a baseball game to round out a quartet of four free tickets one Sunday night, and since she did it by a group text, he figured out my number and contacted me. So we’d already met and I’d already heard the highlights of his divorce horror story, therefore the “first date” stuff was out of the way. He’s is an insurance guy, and has a 14 year old son, and a dog named S_. As he says, “S_” The Dog, check the initials. STD? Ew. Yeah, whatever. But his dog invited me for a drink and it was a gorgeous afternoon … so … we had a blast laughing and talking. So much so, that we went on to dinner across the street. And drinks a couple of days later. And a date the night after. And dinner at his place the following week. Lots of laughs, but it was about here that I started thinking HEY THIS IS TOO MUCH TOO DAMN FAST. Well that, plus he’d emailed me “Hey” for no reason (which drives me nuts; do people really email each other with nothing to say?), and let me know he’d been solo on a Saturday night while I had dinner plans with our mutual friend (and?). I noticed how into drinking and gambling he was, and how often he talked about how much things cost, how much he won gambling, and $$ in general. Not impressive. (I learned that just because a man can afford bad habits, doesn’t make them acceptable, and that insecurity is my #1 turnoff. FYI, dear readers … just because your ex did something awful doesn’t mean the next woman will do the same thing, given the chance. Stop acting like it).

24. 6-June-2015: Phil, says he’s 49, looks mid-60’s. POF. I truly don’t know why I turned my POF profile back on. This guy wrote “coffee or a drink, be nice and write back” so I did. His profile complained that no one met anymore so me, being me, decided to take up the slack for the non-meeting females on the East Coast. Real old school tattooed pony-tailed biker. Showed up in a 1966 Mustang he’s restoring. Lives in South Boston. We chatted pleasantly for a couple of hours in the sunshine. He said “we should do something” and I said “we should” and that was the last of Phil. (My mother would have a stroke if she met him anyways.)

8-July-2015 Pause for reflection. I’ve been “officially” single for 3½ years at this point, and have nearly hit the halfway mark to “50 First Dates.” That’s roughly a date and three quarters a month, and so far … nothing. Not even close. If there was a tiny spark, it was extinguished quickly and completely. Is every man broken? Is a stable, chivalrous, emotionally secure and strong man too much to ask for? Seeing a trend here, also. If a man likes me, he moves too fast—to the point of smothering—which shows why his last relationships failed. Some guys just HAVE to be hooked up, that’s their comfort zone, which is fine. It’s when they fall into the high-contact must-know-everything-this-instant, heart-right-out-on-their-sleeve sucking-vortex-of-need you-must-respond-or-I’ll-pout manipulative behavior that probably got them single in the first place that I feel drained, not flattered, and certainly not in a safe enough place to allow love to grow.  There’s a fine line between a man being interested and being obsessed.  Not sure where that line is, but very sure of what makes me uncomfortable.

I may just be single for the remainder of my days, and this thought is not unpleasant any more. It beats fending off someone else’s internal chaos, constantly feeding their insecurities, or chronically feeling pity for them.  Sorry, victims, you are not attractive.

This has been exhausting instead of the fun adventure it was supposed to be …

25. 30-August-2015  Paul, early 50’s.  Again, not really a “date” date. Some friends had invited a bunch of people to go riding on Sunday and I took a chance and asked if there was an open back seat.  A friend of theirs found me one, so Paul is a friend of a friend of a friend. Seems like a nice guy with a nice bike who lives around the corner from me.  Didn’t really have any “game” or seem into me at all.  I didn’t feel an instant attraction, but then again I really never do, people either grow on me or they don’t.  We’ll see, he never asked for my number.  Hopefully we can at least go riding again, we had a blast that day.  (Nope, didn’t happen).

26. 5-Nov-2015  Danny, 58.  Chatted a bit on POF and decided to meet.  Turns out, on his 36th anniversary of working for the railroad.  We went for a pizza on an unseasonably warm evening, near where he was working, because he’d gotten called in.  He looked like his profile picture from a distance; up close, not so much … but that wasn’t the issue.  No attraction.  Awkward silences. Super smug.  I learned I don’t have to carry a conversation, that it makes more sense to shut up and let the guy show me who he is.  This one was all about the Benjamins; how his potential mate wouldn’t cut into his retirement account.  Next!!

27. 22-Nov-2015 Frank, 53.  OKQ.  An engineer from CT, but his mom and adult children live in my city.  He came up for a visit and took me to breakfast.  Kind of cute in a Frank Zappa sort of way, I thought we’d hit it off enough to explore a longer date, but he never contacted me again.  I know that goes both ways, but I’m looking for someone who is REALLY interested and takes the lead.  I guess ol’ Frank’s not that person.  I learned there’s a great breakfast place nearby, and that when there’s free wifi every table will be taken up by single people with laptops.

28. 17-Jan-16 Shawn, 50.  Friend of a friend.  Originally from way up in Maine, truck driver.  His Facebook photos didn’t do him justice at all.  He’s a year out of a marriage and seems like a nice man.  It’s going to be a struggle to overlook the instant spark long enough see if he IS a nice man.  I hope so.  So far, it’s all good.  Finally!

Final edit:  Shawn has turned out to be everything I was looking for.  His nickname is now “28.”

A gaggle, a murder, a flock …

Stolen from someone else’s site.  Thanks to “thealmightyguru.”

Animal Group Name
Albatross Rookery
Alligators Congregation
Apes Shrewdness, Troop
Antelope Herd
Ants Colony, Army, Swarm, Nest
Asses Pace, Herd, Drove
Auks Colony, Flock, Raft
Baboons Troop, Flange
Bacteria Culture
Badgers Cete, Colony, Set, Company
Barracudas Battery
Bats Colony, Cloud
Bass Shoal
Bears (General) Sloth, Sleuth
Bears (Cubs) Litter
Beavers Colony, Family
Bees Grist, Hive, Swarm, Nest
Birds (Chicks) Brood, Clutch
Birds (Flight) Flight
Birds (Game) Volary, Brace, Plump, Knob
Birds (Ground) Flock, Dissimulation
Birds (Sea) Wreck
Bison Herd
Bitterns Sedge, Seige
Bloodhounds Sute
Bobolinks Chain
Buffalo Herd, Troop, Gang, Obstinancy
Bullfinches Bellowing
Bullocks Drove
Butterflies Flight, Flutter, (Many more)
Buzzards Wake
Camels Caravan, Train, Flock
Capons Mews
Caribou Herd
Caterpillars Army
Cats (General) Clowder, Clutter, Pounce, Dout, Nuisance, Glorying, Glare
Cats (Kittens) Kindle, Litter, Intrigue
Cats (Wild) Destruction
Cattle Drove, Herd, Team
Cheetahs Coalition
Chickens (General) Brood, Peep
Chickens (Chicks) Clutch, Chattering
Chinchilla Colony
Choughs Clattering
Clams Bed
Cobras Quiver
Cockroaches Intrusion
Cod Lap
Coots Cover, Raft
Cormorants Gulp
Cows Kine
Coyotes Band
Crabs Cast
Cranes Sedge, Seige
Crocodiles Bask, Float
Crows Murder, Horde, Parcel, Storytelling
Curlews Herd
Deer (General) Herd, Leash, Gang
Deer (Buck) Brace, Clash
Deer (Roe) Bevy
Dogs (General) Kennel
Dogs (Curs) Cowardice
Dogs (Hounds) Cry, Mute, Pack
Dogs (Puppies) Litter
Dogs (Wild) Pack
Dolphins Pod
Donkeys Drove, Pace, Herd
Dotterel Trip
Doves (General) Dule, Bevy, Cote, Dole, Paddling
Doves (Turtle) Pitying, Piteousness
Ducks (Flight) Flock
Ducks (Ground) Brace, badling
Ducks (Water) Raft, Team, Paddling
Dunlins Fling
Eagles Convocation, Aerie
Eels Swarm, Bed, Fry
Elephants Herd, Memory
Elk Gang, Herd
Emus Mob
Falcons Cast
Ferrets Business, Cast, Fesnying
Finches Charm
Fish (General) Draft, Nest, Shoal, School (“school” is possibly a corruption of shoal)
Fish (Caught) Catch, Drought, Haul
Flamingoes Stand, Flamboyance
Flies Business, Swarm, Cloud
Frogs Army, Colony, Knot
Fox Leash, Skulk, Earth, Lead, Troop
Geese (General) Flock
Geese (Flight) Skein
Geese (Ground) Gaggle, Herd, Corps
Giraffes Tower
Gnats Cloud, Horde, Swarm
Gnus Implausibility
Goats Tribe, Trip, Drove, Herd, Flock
Goldfinches Charm
Goldfish Glint, Troubling
Gorillas Band, Troop
Goshawks Flight
Grasshoppers Cloud
Greyhounds Leash
Grouse Pack, Covey
Guillemots Bazaar
Gulls Colony, Screech
Guinea Fowl Confusion
Hawks (General) Cast
Hawks (Flight) Kettle
Hawks (Spiraling) Boil
Hedgehogs Array
Herons Sedge, Siege, Hedge
Herring Army, Shoal
Hippopotamuses Bloat
Hornets Nest, Bike
Horses (General) Team, Harras, Stable, Troop, Stud (a group belonging to one owner)
Horses (Colts) Rag, Rake
Horses (Ponies) String
Horses (Wild) Herd
Hummingbirds Charm
Hyenas Cackle, Clan
Impalas Herd
Insects Horde, Nest, Swarm, Rabble, Plague
Jays Party, Scold, Band
Jellyfish Smack, Brood
Kangaroos Troop, Mob, Herd
Lapwings Deceit
Larks Exaltation, Ascension
Leopards Leap
Lice Flock
Lions Pride, Sault, Troop
Lizards Lounge
Locusts Plague
Magpies Tiding, Gulp, Murder, Charm
Mallards (General) Brace
Mallards (Flight) Sord
Martens Richness
Mice Mischief
Midges Bite
Minnows Shoal, Steam, Swarm
Moles Labor, Company, Movement
Monkeys Troop, Barrel, Carload, Cartload, Tribe
Moose Herd
Mosquitoes Scourge
Mudhens Fleet
Mules Pack, Span, Barren, Rake
Nightingales Watch
Otters Romp, Bevy, Family, Raft
Owls Parliament, Stare
Oxen Team, Yoke, Drove
Oysters Bed
Parrots Company, Pandemonium
Partridge Covey, Bew
Peacocks Muster, Ostentation, Pride
Pekingese Pomp
Pelicans Pod
Penguins (General) Colony, Rookery, Huddle
Penguins (Nursery) Crèche
Pheasants (General) Nest, Nye
Pheasants (Brood) Nide
Pheasants (Take-Off) Bouquet
Pigeons Flight, Flock, Kit
Pigs (General) Drift, Drove
Pigs (Boars) Singular, Sounder
Pigs (Hogs) Team, Passel, Drift, Parcel
Pigs (Piglets) Litter, Farrow
Pigs (Swine) Sounder
Pilchards Shoal
Plovers (General) Congregation
Plovers (Flight) Wing
Polecats Chine
Porcupines Prickle
Porpoises Herd, Pod, School, Crowd, Shoal
Prairie Dogs Coterie
Ptarmigans Covey
Quail Bevy, Covey
Rabbits (General) Colony, Warren, Bury, Trace, Trip
Rabbits (Domestic) Herd
Rabbits (Hares) Down, Husk
Rabbits (Jackrabbit) Husk
Rabbits (Young) Litter, Nest
Raccoons Gaze
Rats Colony, Pack, Plague, Swarm
Rattlesnakes Rhumba
Ravens Unkindness, Storytelling
Reindeer Herd
Rhinoceroses Crash, Stubbornness
Roebucks Bevy
Rooks Building, Clamor, Parliament
Ruffs Hill
Salamandars Congress
Salmon Run
Sandpipers Fling
Sardines Family
Scorpions Bed, Nest
Seabirds Wreck
Seals Pod, Bob, Harem, Herd, Rookery
Sharks Shiver, School, Shoal
Sheep Drove, Flock, Down, Hurtle, Fold, Pack, Trip
Sheldrakes Doading
Skylarks Exultation
Squirrels Dray, Scurry
Snails Escargatoire, Rout, Walk
Snakes Den, Nest, Pit, Bed, Knot
Snipe Walk, Wisp
Sparrows Host
Spiders Cluster, Clutter
Springbok Herd
Squirrels Dray, Scurry
Starlings Murmuration, Chattering
Stingrays Fever
Stoats Pack, Trip
Storks Mustering, Muster
Swallows Flight, Gulp
Swans (General) Bevy, Bank, Herd
Swans (Flight) Wedge, Flight
Swifts Flock
Teal Spring
Termites Colony, Nest, Swarm, Brood
Thrush Mutation
Tigers Streak, Ambush
Toads Knot, Knab, Nest
Trout Hover
Turkeys Rafter, Gang, Posse
Turtles Bale, Nest, Turn, Dole
Turtle Doves Pitying, Dule
Vipers Generation, Nest
Vultures Venue
Vultures (Circling) Kettle
Walruses Herd, Pod
Wasps Nest, Swarm
Waterfowl Knob, Plump
Weasles Gang, Colony, Pack
Whales Pod, Gam, Herd, School, Mod
Widgeons Company
Wildfowl Plump
Wolves (General) Pack
Wolves (Moving) Route, Rout
Wombats Wisdom
Woodcocks Fall
Woodpeckers Descent
Worms Bed, Clew, Bunch, Clat
Wrens Herd
Zebras Zeal, Crossing, Dazzle, Cohorts, Herd

*Another animal group that you may consider is a nag of wives and a jerk of husbands.

 

And now, we race

OK, first, I apologize … I have been spending far too much time eating, working, playing on FaceBook and just in general neglecting this site.

HOWEVER …

Tina NED

The beginning of July I got bitten by the racing bug.  BADLY.  One Wednesday night I was bored and a buddy was headed up to New England Dragway in Epping, NH to race his Dart.  If you grew up in New England, you’ve heard the radio announcer:  Sundaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!!!!!  Wednesday and Friday nights are “Street Night,” which basically means … run what ya brung.  Everything from old Volvo station wagons painted with a brush, to new Jags and Mercedii, diesel work trucks, snowmobiles on in-line skates, motorcycles, lots of muscle cars and tuners and one quad.  It’s a riot, just even to go watch, and you don’t often get that kind of quality entertainment for only $10.

There was no way I wasn’t going back there without racing … so the next week I brought the winter car.  Let’s face it, it’s easier to drive up with air conditioning and a good alignment with heated seats.  She didn’t do too badly either, for a stock 2001 Acura 3.2 CL Type S with 94,000 miles on it:  15.559 seconds at 92.09 MPH in the quarter mile.  Almost a month later, and that’s still my fastest time.

If a 3.2 Acura is fast, the ‘vette MUST be faster, right?  Uh … no.  A *lot* has changed since the 80’s.  My poor car got beat by a Ford Focus driven by a teenage girl.  She ran 17.499 seconds at 76.44 MPH.  Whisky.Tango.Foxtrot.  Yeah, I knew I had alignment problems;

I knew they’d just spent an hour cleaning anti-freeze off the track and it was like racing on ice; I knew there’s big leaks in the exhaust; I knew she’d never been tuned or timed … but for some stupid reason I didn’t expect to go that SLOW.  So I parked it, hung my head in shame, and watched the rest of the night.  Someone asked me if that was my car and I said “no.”

After an angry ride home, I finally got on the internet and bought the front-end parts.  Talked to boyfriend, talked to buddies.  Made a plan, bought parts … and over to Al’s garage we went to install a shift kit for a 350 Turbo transmission, the most common transmission Chevrolet made.  The taking-apart went very well.  The putting-back-together, not so much, because as it turns out, my transmission is a 350 Turbo “C” transmission:  it has two wires and a solenoid in the middle, and the plate and gaskets are a slightly different shape.

Al picked up the right kit at Indy; my oldest stepson was grateful for the new/old shift kit.  Eventually all went well, I can’t even believe the difference it makes.  Chirps second.  Better highway pickup.  And, as I found out last night, faster track times:  her best run was 16.599 seconds @ 86.17 MPH.  I got some coaching from a fellow racer, too, although I was a little surprised when I was getting ready to stage and he ran up and said “take me for a ride!”  He taught me to get the revs up around 2500 RPM and hold for the green light, then manually shift at around 5000 RPM instead of the 4000 RPM the tranny was doing.  The strategy worked, that last run of the night was the fastest.  AND I won my first race, too, against a newer ‘vette.

So now I’m very happy, not planning on winning, just having fun and practicing.  There is something in the blood, though:  my fastest reaction time off the line has been .033 … and so far, after 18 runs, it’s not beginner’s luck.

Do I Ride?

Gigi on Raven

Pretty simple question, and my answer is usually “Of course.”

The bald-faced truth is more complicated, as are most first-glance simple things.  Here’s the long version.

  1. So, do I ride?  Well … I’ve been on one type of motorcycle or another since I was probably 10. One of my older brothers raced motocross for years and there was always a bike or two (and some hot rods) around the house.  However, the clearest memory I have of actually “riding” was one afternoon down the pits where my brother would practice … I got on one kid’s minibike and gave it some throttle … next thing I knew I was absolutely flying; jumping, going through the whoops, shooting the berms.  I wasn’t petrified, more amazed.  When I stopped to give the kid back his bike, he was aglow … “Wow!  We’ve never seen a girl go that fast!”  I passed off as nonchalant … well, I’m Jimbo’s sister … oh, boy that was even better news, the kid was a big fan.

When I was 14, I had my first ride on a Harley-Davidson.  120 MPH, roaring down a country back road, with my tank top literally whipping off my skin. The driver was at least 10 years older than me, neighbors across the lake of my brother’s girlfriend. I’m positive my folks had no idea where I was or what I was doing, but I was completely hooked.  From then on, all I wanted to do was ride.  At that time, it didn’t occur to me that driving a bike would be to my taste, just being on the back and around older guys was all I wanted.  What my folks found out about must have aged them 20 years when I was a teen, and it was a good thing the kind of trouble I was looking for back then just wasn’t available in my town.  What they didn’t find out about … they never will. Boy-crazy and bike crazy … not the wisest combination, looking back.

  1. Do I have my motorcycle license? Yes, I’ve had it for a few years.  I took some good advice and looked up http://www.ironstoneventures.com/ … took their weekend class.  Had a serious blast.  Two intensive days of hitting the books, watching video, listening to the instructors, and spending the afternoon on small motorcycles they provided, learning basics and technique.  Not only did I go first, I passed the test, which made me pretty proud.
  2. Do I own a bike? I’m not sure.  My man inherited a sweet Sportster in 1996 … someone owed him money blah blah blah.  We had an argument about money one year and he signed it over to me, but I can’t find the title. Doesn’t matter; who owns it doesn’t determine who rides it, in our house.  He’s all about me riding, too.  And I’m all about him riding.  But when we ride it together, we look like Shriners … it’s far too small for the two of us, even though we had fun.  He’s a big guy.  I have very high hopes that he’ll be able to get a bigger bike, and I can ride with him on the Sportie.
  3. When’s the last time I actually drove the Sportster?  Um. The first day I took it out, I dropped it while going around the block.  Stopped.  At a stop sign.  With no one around.  I hadn’t learned how to pick up a bike (but I knew how to jump!), and pulled muscles from my ankle to my earlobe trying.  A kind man with a car full of kids came to my rescue; I got it the rest of the block home and parked it.
  4. So, what’s stopping me?  I have the bike and the license, what’s the problem?  Well, a) see my webpage “The Motor Project.”  Even though the bike came first, I still think of it as his toy, and the ‘vette has been an enjoyable diversion of time and funds because b) I have serious back problems that had gotten much worse since ’99 or so. We were out on the bike once and I couldn’t go on … I was in so much pain he had to dump me off 5 miles from home and go get a car.  Heartbreaking.  he’s been out of work for some time, too … there just hasn’t been the do-re-mi to keep the bike *and* the car going.  So it’s been in the shed for probably 5 years.
  5. How about being a passenger?  None of this has stopped me from climbing on the back, but opportunities are rare.  The buddy who passed away in September had a ga-ga-gargeous FLH that we’d go out on once in a while.  D and I go to Harley Rendezvous annually, which is the highlight of the year, but we go for the party and the friends.  Truth is, I just don’t know any bikers that live around here, or that aren’t hooked up with a jealous woman.  D was thoughtful enough to bring along my leathers and helmet to BigK’s funeral, and he found a brother willing to let me saddle up behind him to ride behind BigK’s bike, carried on a flatbed. But we didn’t make any contacts there, the crowd, and we, were far too grief-stricken.  I go by HoneyDew once in a while, but … BigK won’t ever be there again.

D tried to get me back up on the horse, but I’d lost my nerve.  Ol’ K was always on my ass to get my back taken care of and ride, and I always had valid reasons not to.   My good friend Abby, the one and only Celebrity Biker Chick and publisher of Biker Chick Magazine, the woman who’s ridden her entire life, who teaches motorcycle safety, and in 2007 rode her Softail coast-to-coast—alone and unarmed—keeps tempting me. I’ve had some wonderful back care from Spaulding … I think this summer is the summer.  A couple of tires, change of fluids …

I NEED TO RIDE.

Not only for myself, but for Kevin, for Abby, for every one whose soul has cried out for loud pipes and freedom … for every man or woman who has seen a Harley roar by and gotten an “I wish …” look in their eyes, a tug at their hearts … I need to be part of that family that isn’t related by blood, but is carefully chosen by strength of character.

Wish me luck.

 

(The story continues in 2015 … http://corvettegigi.com/news/do-i-ride-now/)

That didn’t take long

I got pulled over for the first time since the rebuild last night.  The first time is always the sweetest, right?

We finished the Corvette on November 4ish. Got one small ride in. The following Sunday, little longer ride, that’s it. The weather hasn’t been cooperating, and we’re so far behind on errands and laundry and cleaning that I just haven’t had the chance to take it out, never mind wring it out a little. Until last night.

My buddy Mary and I had been planning on meeting up for  since last week and since the weather was cooperating and she was up for it, I thought it might be fun to take Tina and give her an old fashioned beat run.  No problems running around the restaurant parking lots and a couple of straight strips … car ran fine, we had fun.

Met up with D and S … S wants a ride. He hasn’t had one yet (well, not since it started shifting again). Happy to oblige.  D falls in behind us. It’s pretty late; there’s no one around. The light changes … I boot it in the ass … wind it out uphill to yellow line … sounds GREAT … let off just before hitting second gear, crest the hill and drop back down to the speed limit.

Truly, I can’t even guess how fast we was going … for one thing, I was watching the tach, for another, we took off the useless cruise control equipment during The Project, and we’re still waiting for the non-cruise-control-length speedometer cable to come in.

Go maybe a mile … look in the rearview … uh oh.  Not one, but TWO cruisers are mooooo-vin’ my way at hyperspeed. Pretty sure who they want, too. I pull over.  A third cruiser joins us.  (I believe this represents the sum total of this particular small community’s law enforcement staff for the evening).

#1::License and registration.
Me::I’m so sorry, officer, we *just* got this car done. It was stupid. I’m sorry.

*gives over paperwork*
*hangs head*

I’m mentally calculating how much all this shit is going to cost, and if it was worth it. About five minutes, maybe seven pass.

#2::  We were parked at Jiffy Lube, we HEARD you.
#1::   WHAT have you got in this thing?
Me::  It’s a modified small block 350  bored 30 over, we decked the head and the block .018″ … Want to see it?
#2::  He has no idea what you just said.
#1::  [smiling] I do so!  *turns to me* I have an El Camino Super Sport I’m just about to drop a load of money into …
Me:: You DO??? Well, I know a great machine shop …

We chat a bit, they wish me well, I do the same for them, we’re all laughing and shaking our heads and we take off.  I think I may have levitated with my relief.  We go back to the garage. Shut her down and close the door.  We’re counting our blessings and pile into the Honda to take S home.

D’s telling me about his conversation with Officer #2 … the “don’t I know you?” conversation, which can go either way considering the way we were in our 20’s.  As it turns out, this went well, too.  D’s oldest son drives tow truck for a big local company, this man knows him.  Then D says, “Look at your cell phone.” So I looked at the phone and there’s two text messages … one says “Dont admit to anything” the other “They said they heard u not saw u” 

“One of the officers walked back to me to see why I had pulled over behind you guys.  I told him you were my wife (this is pretty funny because the officer who was talking to me asked if he was my DAD), that we’d *just* finished the car; he asked me if you had a cell phone … and if I knew how to text you … that they hadn’t SEEN you speed, only heard you.

“So?” says I.

“Remember the time I got pulled over in Littleton? They couldn’t give me a ticket because they hadn’t SEEN me speed, only the distance I’d covered since they first saw me, before they turned around over that hill.  There was no visual confirmation.”

“OMG … That’s right! So … that’s why I didn’t get a massive ticket?”

“Well, that, and you’re cute.”

My appearance completely aside, if those officers had decided to be … shall we say … less impressed with the situation at hand … and trust me, they could have … my night and S’s could have gotten a lot worse.  But it didn’t, and I will be forever grateful to them for making Tina’s “first time” as pleasant as it could have gone.

It gets better … the next morning morning I saw my Mr X online; he and his family live on the same road we got pulled over on. Asked if he heard me go by last night … he said, “What time?” Little before 11ish.  “No, but two cruisers in maximum overdrive went by … you should have heard them winding up past my house! I was going to turn on the scanner, but didn’t feel like getting up. Was that for you?”

That car is soooo sweet, even cops are impressed.  With the *stock* exhaust.

Wait’ll I tell Mike.

The Motor Project

Greasy

The engine is out, rebuilt, and back in.  Hold me back!   I got to get greasy, hang out in the garage with friends and family, eat junk food and play.  We really should do this every year.  Let’s break it again!

8.10.07  Just before vacation, my now-ex “D” and I were driving — together — (this is a big deal because he’d lost enough weight to actually fit into the ‘vette), down to a local club to see an old buddy of mine do an acoustic set.  It was a great reunion, she’s incredibly talented, and we enjoyed our walk down memory lane not just at seeing her, but at being at a club that looked and felt the same, 20 years later.

But when we started the car, it made a horrible internal oh-shit sound.  Shut it down, popped the hood, looked around for a flashlight (no, of course we didn’t bring one), turned the key again.

*click*

*click*

*click*

Pissah.  Call the hook, drag it to my parent’s garage 3 miles away, push it in, shut the door and worry about it when we get back from vacation.

We get back and he pulled the starter for me … took it down to the local parts store, of course, it’s fine … which means there’s something preventing the engine from turning, something bad enough to stop a starter in it’s tracks.  Well, ya know.  Rebuilding the engine stock/getting a new, hot engine/upgrading for some more performance was in the 5-year plan anyway … dipping the wheels can wait another year, right?  We went engine shopping, and what we found, no one seemed to know exactly what was IN.  Engine purchases are kind of like mattress purchases, you have to have faith.

We had none.

So, a buddy recommended a machine shop who would rebuild the old girl and add enough horsepower to keep me delighted for many years to come for a pretty reasonable price.

Our plan was to remove the engine Labor Day weekend, and get it over to the machine shop.  We came close.  We got everything off it except for the power steering pump, transmission and motor mounts — sounds like nothing got done, but if you’d seen this thing, it’s like separating a soul from the Borg — the Corvette Collective is pretty invasive.  It didn’t even want to give up the emissions crap, but I’m happy to report that *whispering* it did.  I had one breakdown on Monday … we made a stupid amateur error in jacking the rear that shook our confidence , and were starting to spend more time looking at it than working on it … but with the quick crying jag over, I got all empowered and cranked the rusted exhaust bolts from underneath off by myself, with no cheater pipe.  Yeah, do NOT screw with a woman suffering from PMS with a ratchet in her hand.

For the most part, we had a BALL.  We discovered that we’re pretty evenly matched as far as technical ability, and I’m impressed that he’s not one of those “cut it, break it off, rip it out, shove all the bolts in one can and figure it out later” kind of mechanics — and that he didn’t treat me like a “girl” in the garage.  We both very carefully labeled plastic baggies and stored the components in a way that we can’t screw up putting them back on.  It’s so much fun.  He’d gotten off some bolts that would have had me running for a torch, and so far, not a skinned knuckle on either one of us. Well, not from the car.  He got a chunk taken out of his knuckle on our front door.

We have a lovely 2-ton engine hoist ready to go (thanks for loaning it, Al!), and we were 10 bolts away from having the engine hanging from it by September 6th.

… on the 7th, we were a sliver of a bolt away.

That Thursday night a couple of buddies came over to help.  (Actually, I thought one was only coming by late to drive the engine over to the machine shop, but he came early and got right into it, fabulous!)  It was a great team, and I was so, so lucky to have such fun, talented friends.  We had a blast, discovered the car has quite an appetite for wrenches … and got everything EXCEPT (there’s always one, right?) that one bitch of a bolt, this time on the transmission, up top, behind the distributor cap.  Would NOT budge, and by the way, who the heck uses 14 mm on a Chevrolet???  *taps foot*  Scoured Dad’s garage, found lots of useful stuff, decided on the custom hacksaw, and away Al went, drawing blood in the process.  And STILL … after removing every other possible item including the motor mounts, it was stuck.  So, we called it quits in the wee hours.

Friday night I started to file off the bolt flush to see if it’d break loose.  Tedious and time-consuming, and I could totally see why Al’s hands got all bloody.  Whipped out Dad’s Dremel and it just about fit … a half-hour of grinding, and it was off, and the transmission pulled away from the engine, just what we wanted.  We started to lift it, but the eyebolt holding the engine to the hoist started looking more like a “C” bolt, so D threw some more chain on it and we went on home before doing too much damage.

On Saturday, we got it out.  We had to slowly, side-by-side, drop the nose to make enough room for it to get over the fenders, and swing the lift around so the loft wasn’t in the way, but out it came.  D and my buddy Kevin took off the rest of the stuff that the machine shop didn’t need, I popped the freeze plugs, and into Kev’s pickup it went.  Many hands made for light work.  We covered it in plastic, which was a good thing because 5 minutes after he left it began to pour down rain.

Kind of an odd aside here, but Thursday night and Saturday afternoon, the local police had followed both D and Kevin … Thursday night they were pacing Kevin, then caught up to us and paced us to the town line … then Saturday D ran out for a sec, and they followed him back to the house … then when Kevin left, he was “escorted” through THREE towns on his way home.  They must have called ahead.  I don’t get it.  These communities we’re talking about used to be … well, normal.  Big, tattooed men weren’t an unusual sight.  Particularly not at 2 AM, or any Saturday afternoon.  Just one more change that’s happened in the last 20 years …

I talked to Mike Sullivan at Malden Machine on September 13th … he doesn’t yet know where it came from, but when he took the motor apart a piece of brass dropped out.   (actual size) It looks like it somehow got sucked in through the old Rochester 400 carburetor (beats me how, it’s always had an air filter on it), and beat up the top of one of the pistons.  The piece is smashed, but it was big enough to stop the piston from getting to the top of the stroke, which explains why it would turn, but not a full revolution.  Very VERY odd.  He said the rest of the engine was just fine … we went and visited him at his shop and I have every confidence in this guy.  Anyone who’s teaching his daughters to hand him tools can’t be bad.  He thinks he can get between 325 and 375 HP out of it … which will be SWEET, considering that spec on a new L48 is 185 HP.  The cylinders look beautiful … I was very lucky, the brass bit only beat up the top of the piston.  Mike even offered to take photos while he’s doing his thing, nice feature, and I’ll put them up soon.  I wish we’d had more time to chew the fat about his equipment, it’s a neat place.

So the weekend of September 15-16 (which was supposed to be spent in Old Orchard Beach, ME for their car show, but with no Corvette, an ailing transmission on the “reliable” car and stuff to do in the garage, we cancelled) … we  cleaned and sanded and painted, getting the big hole ready for the fresh engine.

Mom’s fascinated.  She’s also sweet.  And a fantastic watercolor artist AND cook.  She’s also gotten over being tense at parts baking merrily away in her oven … and drives a stick.  You really have to mash the pedal to keep up with her, so you can see I get it from both sides.

Mom

I do wish Dad could have make it out to the garage, but he was well into his 80’s, had had a stroke and didn’t move around too much.  He’d apologized to me for not being able to help … huh?  The man taught me almost everything I know … the tools are all his, the garage … everything was clean and sharpened and ready to go.  He even looked at a photo and guessed at how to remedy the problem.  How could the man be more helpful? (Dad has since passed. I miss him terribly),

Dad

9.25.07   Mike called, and the pistons just came in last Thursday, so the motor will probably be ready today or tomorrow.  Of course, I booked plane tickets to a big party in NJ weeks ago for this coming up weekend, so if the motor makes it to my parent’s house before this weekend, I can’t be there to help put it in.  Shit.  I had to suck it up and let D know that it was OK for him to go ahead, as long as he didn’t start it without me.  I was sad, but also wanted to get it done.  A buddy we haven’t seen in years (S) wanted to help clean out the engine compartment, which is great.  I enjoy it, but have back problems; standing anywhere I couldn’t lean or sit for extended periods of time was not a smart move for me … so I appreciated the help.  He’s chronically out of work, also, and owed me money, so that situation was win-win.

9.26.07 The motor is done.  Mike and his crew did a LOT of work.  We’re now at 10.5:1 compression … just enough to be bad nasty, but not too fussy to make her high-maintenance.  Kinda sounds like me, actually.  Beyond thrilled now … whatever is going to happen when we start her up????

10.1.07  The headers came.  We went over to my folks’ house to say hello to some cousins in town from Texas, and there’s a huge box that says “HOOKERS” with a big red heart on it in the driveway, in front of the garage, facing the street … very funny.  (Note:  They didn’t fit, and back they went). We still have lots of cleaning to do, and have yet to look at/clean the carburetor … fluids and belts to buy, some gaskets.  The weather is looking perfect for this weekend.

10.3.07  D and S are out there today.  S figured out how to get the radiator out … that’s got to make things a lot easier.  I have no idea how much work those two are up to, but they sure looked like they’re having a good time!

The final re-installation and putting all the components back where they came from was supposed to be Columbus Day weekend … I had that Monday off … that was my plan in my perfect world.

10.6.07  I got to see what D and S have been up to last week today, and MAN have they been busy.  The entire engine compartment is immaculate … primed and sprayed, vacuum hoses cleaned, body work done on the radiator support and repainted, fiberglas repair on a hole that’s been there forever.  Even the master cylinder got a coat.  We got there late in the afternoon, after what we thought were final parts-gathering trips, and worked long into the night, but in the end, the engine was in place, but not hooked up.  D got me an early Christmas present that ROCKS … a brandie-new Edlebrock Performer Series 600 carb with all the trimmings.  And a fuel pump.  And pretty much anything else we threw into the basket at Indy.  Merry Christmas to me!

10.7.07  Today we took two 7/16″ hot dip galvy spikes from Home Depot and shoved them through the motor mounts.  That’s it.  They worked, things are where they’re supposed to be, but we’re burned out and didn’t do any more.

10.8.07  Between chasing down dealer-only parts, such as heat-treated exhaust manifold bolts—because we don’t have time to install the headers that I’d been told I *HAD* to buy *before* the engine went in, it was the *only* way to do them … but it’s not … for the old manifolds on a day that dealers are CLOSED on … and non-dealer parts … like 3/8″ x 16 x 1¼” transmission bolts to replace the wrong ones and the one we had to saw the top off of, and new exhaust nuts … we killed hours.  Plus it just didn’t go well, the motor is not at all happy to slide back into where the tranny has been waiting for it to be easily.  It’s grueling, micron-by-micron work, and I’m pretty sure all three of us (D, S and myself) are pretty thoroughly discouraged.  Last night we left the garage hoping that time would somehow de-stress the bolts and make closing that last 1/16″ easier.

10.15.07  What ended up happening was D and S took the whole thing out and apart again, and re-did it.  Motor, torque convertor, flywheel.  Amazing … it took them 4 hours, but it all went back in perfect.  The headers have gone back, actually, so have a LOT of parts that had to do with the carburetor … stuff that didn’t fit or wasn’t needed.  It’s been a flurry of buying parts, returning parts, finding parts, ordering parts, returning parts …. and during all of this, some parts actually found their way onto the car.  New ones, that of course needed tweaking, sometimes a little, sometimes a lot … old ones, re-painted … and some old ones that well, we’re just not using anymore.  Apparently I have inherited my Dad’s need to have a box of parts left over, and D and S (with Al’s blessing) agree.  There’s a pile of useless shit in the corner.    Without going in to too many details, the fuel pump, power steering pump, and water pump is on.  The adapter plate and carburetor is on … which was a pretty interesting install all by itself.  Fuel lines are run, fuel filter in place.  There’s rubber and clamps and RTV and gaskets and SO MUCH STUFF around … but the major pieces are OFF the floor, shelf, table, workbench, Mom’s car, windowsills, back pockets, my purse, and the boxes it was all in, and back where they came from.  Mostly.  It’s looking good, and it’s fun again … even though we froze SO bad Saturday night, I ended up looking like nanook of the north.

Frozen

10.23.07 update:   Well, a good weekend is usually followed by a bad weekend, and not to be a pessimist, but that’s exactly what happened.  Friday D and S headed out there and jumped right in; that night I got out of work and took the commuter rail out to join them.  Friday night went pretty well; we got the left-side exhaust manifold on and bolted to the exhaust … half the new, yellow spark plug wires (to match the headlight vacuum hoses, of course), some more things …we were all in a good mood and the project was moving right along.  Saturday we got a late start, despite the fact that we had gotten up reasonably early, and we were chasing down hard-to-find parts didn’t get out to the garage until late afternoon.  (Actually, this trend has plagued us pretty badly the last few weeks)  A couple of hours in, a major snag:  the right-side exhaust manifold won’t bolt to the exhaust, there just isn’t enough stud left.  27 years of being exposed to the elements had rusted the end of it off to a taper; there was not enough thread to get a nut started.  Plus, the heat riser was just … well, it didn’t seem right, but we had to go with it because we needed the space … losing it would cause more problems, like a cracked Y pipe.  And of course, the right-side manifold is attached to the a/c compressor bracket … which is attached to the … *starts singing Dem Bones*

The bottom line was … we were done, dead in the water, nothing else could be accomplished until, somehow, at some point, the old rusty studs could be removed from the manifold and replaced with new ones.  The good news … this is not difficult, all you need is some heat, an Auto Zone, and some Loc-Tite.  BUT it was Saturday night at 6:30 PM, no one is open, and we have no oxygen.  So we took the day off from the car, D took apart Al’s engine hoist, and on the way home we stopped over there to drop it off.  Al was in the garage … he showed us the cool go-cart project he and his son are working on, and we told him how nice the manifold looked after we used this dressing from Eckler’s site.  Pulled it out to show him, told him what was stopping our project.  Well, he could help, and he did … a half-hour later the old rusty studs were gone and the holes were re-tapped.  Off we went, ready to go.

By the way, I highly recommend OPI nail polish in the new color “Russian Navy.”  It hides any tell-tale grease and dirt.  I asked my boss what he thought of it; he didn’t like it.  I said, “but it doesn’t show grease,” and his reply was “or taste.”  Funny guy, and quick.  My nail technician is having kittens about now, too.

Russian Navy Blue

I took Monday off work as a personal day … let’s face it, when you live in New England, an 80° day in October is damn rare, and should be celebrated.  Again, we got going early, picked up S, and headed off to Auto Zone in search of longer studs.  Found the same size, but that was OK, because they weren’t rusted to a taper on the business end.  That was the good news … the bad news was that we had the wrong size doughnut packing to go between the manifold and the heat riser.  It’s a smaller one … and one that GM themselves doesn’t show on their parts lists.  Auto Zone shows it.  Eckler’s did not.  The local Chevy dealership redeemed itself only with a recommendation to drive on over to New England Muffler and Brake and see Richie.  By this time, the three of us were pretty depressed.  Not a lot was said during the drive.  We’d been at this since noon, now it was approaching 3PM with no prospects or new ideas … so when Richie not only had the smaller doughnuts (which he GAVE us, go Richie!), but some ideas about our heat riser issue, we were thrilled.  His very friendly German Shepard cheered me up, too.  Steve promised to take photos of how it all went together, and off we went again, headed for the garage.

It worked like a charm.  OK, so maybe the taps weren’t perfectly straight, but a little persuasion and it was back together.  At this point, I had bowed out of that particular aspect of the project in frustration.  My patience was wearing very thin; OK, it was gone.

After that was done, we started back in at a good clip; the brackets and associated a/c compressor and alternator went on without too much trouble.  Two of the three new fanbelts are the wrong size … this is just how our luck goes, right?  So what’s left (after yet another trip to Auto Zone), is replacing the radiator frame and contents, hooking up the alternator, final adjustment on the new linkages for the carburetor, topping off the fluids, and the air cleaner.

10.25.07  D and S were out there again today; I saw the photos.  D went AT the aluminum tubing that feeds the a/c compressor with steel wool and it shines like a new penny.  S painted the compressor.  Which means that EVERY SINGLE THING within the hallowed walls of the engine compartment is either new, refinished, or repainted.  There’s nothing cruddy left.  Nothing.  She gleams.

Photo to come: Shiny engine compartment

10.26.07  We tried to get her started, but alas … not tonight.  Called it quits and got some sleep.

10.27.07  At 4:20 PM, the car ran.  Mom came out and told us the time.  Did you ever hear the song “Rusty Old American Dream?”  There’s a line in there … “hear me whirr, sputter, backfire through the carburetor and roar into life once again….” and that’s exactly what happened.  Flame was involved.  The videos are up on YouTube:

Take 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OAc2RMXEuCA

Take 2 http://www.youtube.com/v/DJPU4KLBnfI

Take 3 http://www.youtube.com/v/-ahv4Q43F6Y

Take 4 http://www.youtube.com/v/1SVsoGXY_sA

It did run, and very well.  It sounds great.

11.3.07  Went to drive it today.  Put it in reverse … nope.  Drive?  Nope… no gears at’all.  Small panic … D and S consult, and decide to add transmission fluid.  Doh, yep, that was the problem, it took 3 quarts.  Fine!  We have reverse, back out of the garage … no problems, no leaks … put it in drive (no laughing, I hate the fact that it has an automatic transmission but a) for the price and b) I live in a very urban area with too much traffic, and that whole first-second, first-second, first-second mess in creep-and-beep traffic is a drag … so I’ve made my peace with it), and take off.  Sounds great.  Fantastic.  It’s exhilirating.  And it won’t shift into second.  Again, depression falls … much discusssion ensues … talk of towing, professionals … we call my brother, who is a professional auto mechanic in CT.  To this point we haven’t bothered him, but now it’s his turn (Mom said).  He says look on the transmission for a vacuum hose … I look, nothing … S looks, hmm … here’s a shiny silver thing just the right size for a hose, way back, surrounded by very dirty things that obviously haven’t been touched in a while.  It’s getting late, so we decide to look at it tomorrow.

11.4.07  Got under, slid the dirty hose onto the clean piece … take it out and cross my fingers.  IF it shifts, I’m headed off to Al’s for my maiden voyage … it never hurts to have a buddy on the other end, right?  Just in case.  Tell D I’ll call him if it shifts, and he’ll see me in a few minutes if it doesn’t.  It shifted!  That was the problem!  Quick run up to Al’s and back in time to make dinner for the folks.

11.11.07  The weather has NOT been cooperating, and I’m nearly out of vacation time … so today was the first afternoon I could really enjoy the car.  Took it over to Mindy’s, the nail technician.  She was very nice about humoring me.  Also beat out a Firebird getting into a rotary, which made me very satisfied.  Drove over to Indy to show off Frankenvette, they liked it.  And back to the garage just after dark, triumphant!

I don’t think there will be any more problems … the temperature seems fine, just some tweaks and adjustments … a break-in period that will probably kill me … and we can call this project done.

First tame whomp:  http://www.youtube.com/v/jrVp2xrp4xk

Friends that will work on your car for beer or Pepsi—or nothing at all—are damn rare, and yet somehow, I ended up with four.*  You guys rock out loud; I am VERY happy.  Never forget it.  I sure won’t!

Signing off for now,

Gigi aka “Small Fingers”

P.S.  11.14.07  I got pulled over: http://corvettegigi.com/the-cars/that-didnt-take-long/

*2015 note: What a shame to only have one friend out of this crew left. Kevin passed away in 2009 after a very short bout with cancer. D and I were done mid-2011, and S went with him. I see Al once in a while. Oh well. Nothing stays the same, and some of those friendships couldn’t be sustained. Like with the dead guy.

Girlie’s Obit

She was a great cat

In the Summer of 1986, now-ex husband and I desperately needed a distraction from each other (and having a child was out of the question, neither one of us was ready). We both loved cats, and his sister worked at the local Animal Rescue League … so one extremely boring Sunday afternoon we went to visit her at work. Walking through the adoption area, cages and cages of wonderful animals waited for homes … and we couldn’t resist playing with them. One cat in particular stood out. She talked … a LOT. Looked right straight at you and meowed. You’d say something, she’d answer. No surprise, she came home with us. We had no idea how old she was, she was full-grown then, but we gave her a birthday of May 1st.

Ex-husband named her Cotsheene (Gaelic for “endeared kitten” he said), and she spent her first three weeks with us angry and hiding. I suspect she was nearly feral, and had spent the first few months of her life on urban streets. Maybe Chinatown or the North End … she always did go crazy for Chinese and Italian food. A lap cat, she was not. No soft purrs or face-rubs from this fierce feline, she was all about having the upper hand. We clearly knew where we stood at all times. But she’d sit next to you while you were getting ready to go out, greet you at the door, meow her good mornings when she woke, and stand in your way when you were trying to get anywhere. A presence, if not an overly affectionate one.

We lived in the country then, and Cotsheene, who I called “Girlie,” enjoyed the outdoor life. She’d play in the grass, mouse, climb trees, and occasionally carry home a trophy of her hunting endeavors. Sometime around 1988 Guinness found us … and Girlie had a ball with him. He was a sweet dumb loving hungry affectionate male … Girlie would lick his forehead to lull him into a false sense of security then baff him off the head with her paw a second later. That’s the way it went with them until Guinness went to rainbow bridge in 2001.

Eventually we moved to a large farm … I expected Girlie to continue her outside pursuits, but she had other ideas. She met the draft horse … the chickens … the barn cats … the goats … and, horror of horrors, some DOGS … and decided that indoors was more to her liking these days. She did not go out willingly again.

When ex-husband and I divorced in 1992, I got “custody” of Girlie, and we moved to an apartment in the city. She’d calmed down quite a bit by then … she’d look at me and meow her hello’s and I-want’s, or occasionally sit on my lap or paw at my knee while I cried through the divorce and the subsequent crappy rebound relationship, and then eventually carried on. Ten years ago, she completely captured my now-ex boyfriend’s heart. Never have I seen a man so completely wrapped around her little dew-claw. She had treats whenever she asked (she “talked” to the ex, too), a wide variety of her favorite foods … she hasn’t gone through a single meal without being offered — or outright stealing — something from our plates. Or glasses … ex used to love to let Girlie help him drink his milk from the same glass, and she always finished his bowl of cereal milk. She’d walk all over him, and he’d wince from surprise (well, also because for some reason she used her claw tips on him), but let her. Every night he moved my top pillow down so Girlie could sleep on the bottom pillow, at my head. I like to think we understood what she was saying.

And she had her quirks, too. She was territorial, what was ours was hers and she guarded it … one time she saved my convertible from ruin when I’d left the top down overnight and it started to rain … she yelled and licked my nose until I woke up; twice she did the same when a thief was trying to steal the vanity plate; she also enjoyed playing “NASA Test-Kitty” … she’d look at us and meow until we consented to spin the office chair … she’d jump up on it, dig her claws in and enjoy her spin … I swear she smiled. When the chair stopped, her head wouldn’t.  Sounds like a cruel form of cat torture, but she really loved this.

She’d been ill, but comfortable. In October 2005 her kidneys had failed … she’d been doing well on a modified diet. But over the last week or so she’d been letting us know … it was time. She’d been boldly meowing her goodbyes during her every waking hour. With head up, eyes clear, tail high, and now-thin body spending more and more time purring on my lap, Girlie knew it was time to rest … and she gave me the silent meow … the most pathetic and heartbreaking of her large vocabulary. Like everything else about her, we just had to accept that that’s how it was going to be.

So if you can, please help me celebrate the life of Girlie-Girl … an awesome gift … who was the best for what she was … a great cat. … who’s left me with a million great memories …

A former career choice

Singing is something I like to do, it’s what I’ve always done, so I guess that’s what I am.  A singer.

My family have good singing voices.  My Dad has a sweet tenor, even now, at 84, that is a pleasure to listen to.  So I guess it followed that I would join chorus in first grade, continue through senior year in high school, then get rebellious and rehearse and perform with rock groups.  It was also the early 80’s, great time for music!  The bands I was in were singularly unremarkable; I ran across a tape that was made in 1982 of “Band of Angels” and it was truly pathetic.  The drummer was off, the keyboards overpowering, the guitar player was good, but needed experience.  (She’s gone on to get that experience and she’s gotten unbelievably talented … Google up Starr Faithfull, you’ll be in for a treat).  The bass players were revolving.  It’s actually a pretty funny example of me trying to figure out where to insert my vocals and when and in what key.  I’m not listening to it much, it just sucks that bad.

I got the ROCK•ON plate around this time, totally by surprise.  I’d forgotten what request I’d sent in to the RMV.

I quit making live music on Easter Sunday in 1985.  The band had gotten up early and packed up all our stuff to head to a gig in Maine, four sets.  We had just about enough time to drive up, set up, do a sound check, eat a bite and change before we went on at 9.  No surprise to overtired me, I lost my voice during the third set.  Not a thing I could do about it, just croak out the rest of the night as best I could, pack it all up and drive it on home.  I drove the truck; one of our roadies kept punching my leg to keep me awake, and the song “Radar Love” got us home safely.  We got back at 6AM, and I was at my day job at 8:30AM, exhausted and broken and broke.

Then there was that first marriage yuppie thing for a few years, and I put the singing away.

Karaoke started to catch on in a big way in the early 90’s.  In late ’88, my buddy Dionne started running karaoke shows at a local restaurant with cassette tapes he’d stripped the vocal track out of.  A bunch of former bandmates used to go one night a week, very casual, a nice laid-back mental space to have some fun with vocals with a “good band” behind you.  By the time it hit big, I was already well on the road to karaoke-slut-dom.  This was also about the same time that marriage number one was declining … so it was a natural choice for me to get out of the unhappy house and do something enjoyable.  Oh, did I ever.  I made some new friends, travelled up and down the East Coast every night, dropping into karaoke bars, singing a few songs, then leaving for the next stop on the line.  I even published a newsletter identifying what shows were what night and where, passing it out wherever I went.  I hit all the “money shows” and supplemented my unemployment insurance quite nicely.  Eventually I just ended up running a few shows, regularly up at the Bahama Beach Club in Nashua, NH, with pick-up shows at Hanscom AFB, the Officer’s Club in Saugus, a few other places.  The money was OK, but it did get tiring hearing drunk frat boys sing “Stand By Your Man” over and over nightly.  I swear, I can’t listen to The Rose or Unchained Melody to this day from having to hear them butchered so badly for so long.  By early 1995 I was pretty much done, but here’s a clip of me in 1992.  These two performances earned first prize.

Shadows of the Night:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FR9z7mGoOtQ
Oh Darlin’:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Remc5P3XhEI

They’re dark, but the audio’s not bad.

In ’96 an old band buddy asked me to help him out on the female vocals for a tribute band to “The Commitments.”  (If you haven’t seen this movie, I highly recommend it.  Put on the subtitles if you can’t work out the Dublin Irish accents).  That didn’t last too long, too many politics.

So now I’m down to singing in the car and occasionally at a karaoke show.  Michelle is helping me re-develop my “inner rock star,” as she says, and I’m getting a lot of support from friends.  It’ll be interesting to see if I can get my nerve back. I still have a MAJOR case of stage fright, but it’s not the end of the line.  There’s a few people who want to see me back on stage, and while I’m nervous, I’m no longer terrified.

“The Gigi”

My Mom and I share the same first name.  (Which is not Gigi).  We look alike.  And some people can’t tell the difference between us on the phone.  So, at an early age, I earned a neat nickname that stuck.

Now, if we work together or I owe you money, it’s my Mom’s name.  Which also comes in handy with telemarketers.  Anyone who calls my house and asks for “XX” is told I’m not home.  If they ask for Gigi, well, that’s a different story.

“The Gigi” happened just before marriage #1 … you could call it the ‘preppie period,’ where I went by the name I had been born with and not the nickname.  After a wild-child youth, I cleaned up nicely and was all set to have a perfect life as the perfect wife to a perfect man with a perfect job in our perfect home.

My plan was deeply flawed.

Anyway, my maid of honor and I were doing a little pre-wedding drinking, and soon-to-be-ex’s best man heard us reminicing about the old days.  He stopped in mid-sentence and asked … “YOU’RE THE GIGI?”

Imagine my surprise to hear that a full six years earlier an angry girl, who had recently discovered that her boyfriend was seeing three other girls at the same time as her, crashed the boyfriend’s party that best man was at.  And remembered her tirade in minute detail.

How embarrassing.

That’s where “The Gigi” came from.