love this life

Day 97 | Indulging in the Drinkeepoo 1 Night a Week | Down 36 Pounds, 30 to Go

Remember when you were 21 and could pound the beers and cruise through a 25-mile bike ride without really feeling like crap the following day? Could lift, shoot hoops, do step aerobics? Wearing a smile?

50 is not 21. Or 30 or 40.

Let’s migrate. Move. Transition.

If you’re interested in learning my identity as a writer, avid cyclist and dog lover, sign up to follow Nurture is My Nature. You can also follow me on Twitter @love4servicedog. I’ve got to get some serious “social” going as I will be in Santa Barbara in October to promote the launch of the anthology—Unmasked, Women Write About Sex & Intimacy After Fifty—in which my work is featured.

What’s my bit?

The Kickass Formula that Restored My Libido.

Is sex what I usually write about?


Along with experiences encountered on the road riding my bike (which can be just as thrilling as sex but twice as dangerous). And my service dog, Sabrina (a case of “who rescued who”). And a gruesome suicide that happened in my family on Thanksgiving morning just as the sun was coming up (can this really be happening?). And dirty martinis (“alcohol is like love. The first kiss is magic, the second is intimate, the third is routine. After that you take the girl’s clothes off”). And other things that have been published by lit journals and media outlets, but I don’t share publicly because my family would inflict cruel and unusual punishment upon my person.

Oh, but I got daring, and posted this little free-writing bit (that saved my life) that recently got picked up by a journal in Orange, CA.

The topic?

Why we write.

What’s it got to do with?

The reason behind getting so hammered you trip over the rabbit’s cage and in the process of breaking your leg, you nearly kill your beloved fur ball.

You might say, months post-discovery, that I’m on a journey of healing (and moderation). It took me 33 years to uncover the pain, in these few sentences—it’s true shape and form—and why it exists.

And now what?

It’s time to move on.

The impact of loss scars the heart and you go on living your life ’cause you’re young and have to conform and can’t fall apart and you don’t realize those wounds are still there, throbbing raw, the fibers of tissue meshing over that open gap of mess. You don’t realize you mask that pain with the alcohol thirty fucking years later, that there’s a reason why you drink until the TV and the stand it rests on becomes unhinged.

You write and write and write. For seven years, straight, you do nothing but write and you’re told your writing has no depth or meaning. You keep writing because you’re still madly and blindly driven to it despite having lost all your assets and pockets are filled with nothing but dust and lint. You’re there writing, looking up the definition of a word online, fact checking, and you read, alcoholism is a well-documented pathological reaction to unresolved grief and glance down at the billionth line you just put in black and white and Jesus, the whole goddamn story comes clear.

The whole goddamn story is clear.

If you’re getting hammered every night, there’s a reason why.

Discover the reason.

Dig, ask, feel, rummage, ruminate.

See you on Nurture is My Nature.

we could go sailing in.

Flunked Sobriety on Wednesday Night | Down 23 Pounds, 43 to Go

Aboard the Northern Lights for a harbor dinner cruise.

It went like this.

I’m standing on the rear deck of the upscale Boston Harbor Hotel.

The equation becomes: Sun. Ocean. Breeze. Vibe.

1 + 1 + 1 +1 = 4 glasses of wine

It was inevitable, no?

Chilled Sav Blanc.

On. The. Sea.

The wine tasted marvelous, smashing.

The next morning?

I had a hangover that could tame a boar and it was definitely a no wake zone.

Perspective a few days later:

I’m fine with the wine intake. I was beginning to wonder if I’d ever allow myself to enjoy a cocktail(s) again. If I’d be able to indulge in the stuff one night and not the next six nights.

And I do want the cocktail every so often.

I’ve just got to keep the intake in moderation, in perspective.

Just back now from a 12.2-mile ride down to EMC in Hopkinton and back. A trial of sorts. 1:24 hours down; 1:10 hours back. My quads are screaming.

The euphoria should be hitting in a hour or two.

I’ll be high in the aftermath of busting my butt.

Perhaps, a good time to take Sabrina for a walk.

She complements my cycling outfit divinely.



falling dove.

Day 53 | Two-Wheelin’ on DRY Pavement | Down 21 Big Ones | A Shout-Out to Marilyn Monroe

Sisters are doing it for themselves. Despite him. 

I’m determined to cut that 16.5-mile bike ride.

And it’s going along swell.

Until I hit the halfway mark [Wayland].

[queue Vincent Price laughter]

Here’s where ya bonked, fatty.

I talk at him out loud: Go’way, downer.

The cars rush by.

Three miles later [Sudbury].

Here’s where you sat your ass in the shade. Fatty. DPW, classy choice.

Over my shoulder: Yup, and tell it goodbye.

Birds tweet.

Four miles later [Saxonville].

Ho-shit! [His pitchfork is lodged between my eyelid and brow and he’s laughing on his ass, holding his fat belly like some prize] Here’s the sidewalk where you rode in retard-gear.

Retard-gear. Thank God for it. No matter what it’s called. I bite down hard on the valve to my CamelBak. You’re an effin’ asshole.

His feet are straight up, air-pedaling. He farts long and hard. Teases, re-tard, re-tard, re-tard.

I spit out the valve. You know, why be the raw deal all the time?

He’s snapped to his feet and sticking the damn fork in the place that makes him crazy-happy. The aqueous humor of my right eye.

Boink! Boink! Boink!

We’re a half-mile from home, nothing’s gonna stop me now, and I slip into one of my big gears for more resistance. What the fuck’s wrong with you.

The deed is done. No bonking.

He’s glib, still boinking my eye and sticking his forefinger of the other hand into his belly button. The asshole can multi-task. I want you to destroy you.

For God sakes, why?

He withdraws the fork, screws his head 360-degrees then does a backflip, says, it’s my nature. [fart]

Your lousy nature has had me drinkin’, eating and stinkin’ thinkin’ for the greater part of 5 years.

His lips recede; his teeth are putrid with stink. And I’m lovin’ it.

Yeah? Well, just watch me. I’m climbing out this mess. 

[August 5, 1962: Rest in peace, Norma Jean. You’re life-size images hang in our bedroom and hallway, and my favorite portrait of you from The Misfits is near my bedside.]

November 1961 with The Misfit’s co-star Clark Gable.

hold the course.

Day 51 | Drier Than a Popcorn Fart | I’ll Have My Garden Salad Dressed Naked

Beautiful. Great. Nice.

A lady in a Prius (really, I want to avoid stereotyping here, but I’m wagering she learned how to drive in some other country), takes a right when I’m about to cross the intersection. It’s blatant.

Bonked on the 16-mile ride.

Who can miss a 52-year-old porker on a bike wearing a neon yellow top that can be seen from outer space?

As she makes the turn, I yell, Beautiful. Great. Nice. Pleasantville isn’t the place for me to whip out my handy arsenal of Rosie Perez expletives. Especially in this case. A soccer mom is pulling up to the intersection in a minivan. She sees the whole thing and toggles her window down. You alright?

Humiliation is galaxies away from describing how I would have felt if I had yelled motherf*****r at her ladyship driving the Prius.

[Mohammed, a fat white girl called me a motherf*****r today]

I tell the soccer mom, I’m okay, part of the territory.

I’m saying it now: thanks, lady.

It doesn’t occur to me a mile later, like, maybe, I could have thanked her.

Or waved.

Or something.

Three O’s in a row: Offenses taken to cyclists’ rights are gratuitous.

Whenever a driver like the Prius pulls a fast one, I say, this is where I live, this where I ride. They can’t hear me, it’s for my own self-entertainment, or the old lady walking on the sidewalk who later tells Old Albert an odd tidbit of the passing day.

A fat lady on a bike said ‘there is where I live, this is where I ride’ near the Pleasantville Mall.

Today’s endeavor.

Last Sunday: Triumph Day at Larz Anderson in Brookline, MA with sweet, “lame” Sabrina. “Girls love to drive Tr6’s too.”

The dog’s been lame so I end up leaving around 11:00 for the 16.5-mile ride. It’s a ride I haven’t done before and at the halfway mark I encounter a steep incline with little shoulder. Cars zoom past at 60 M.P.H.

Who knew?

It’s fine and good, it’s the challenge of the road that busts the cellulite and makes me recite this is where I live, this where I ride, but I find not even a quarter of the way up the hill, I’ve got nothing left.

Like, one moment I’m burning premium-unleaded and the next, the bits of sediment at the bottom of my tank are clogging my fuel line.

Breakfast didn’t cut it. I ate up a bunch of time feeling guilty about the dog, not getting her 3-4 mile walk in, and by the time I headed out on the road the two hard-cooked eggs were a faint memory.

And who rides 16 miles without carbs in their digestive track, treading as close to the sun as that lady’s Prius had crossed my path?

Not a very smart person/cyclist.

Fat person/cyclist.

On the HMR Diet Program thing.

Well-hydrated, rubber-legged and possessing a funky heartbeat (thump, delay-thump, thump), I walk the bike home a good part of 8 miles, sitting my big butt down in the shade at times, coasting down the hills. This is someone, my person, who I don’t typically allow to stop on rides, no matter the duration, except at red lights.

I was dying.

But there’s an upside to dying.

It’s three hours since I arrived home and the euphoria in recovery [consuming a match-size entree of beans and potatoes and abundant swallow from the front yard’s hydrant] feels like I just drank the 6-ounce painkiller.

I like it.

felt the burden lifting from my back.

Day 38 | Clean as a Flemish Interior | Down 15 Pounds; 51 to Go

Hey! Look out for the fat chick on the bike weaving through traffic!

That chick be me.

The 7-mile ride in the noontime 95-degree heat served as a kick-up-my-heels kind of release following four consecutive interviews with marketing managers at EMC.

I had given myself plenty of time to get there, but came to a grinding halt due to construction and then hit a detour and a patch of country road that sprawled on and on in the wrong direction.

This got me into a state well beyond, calm, cool and collected—the requisite demeanor for interviewing forgone—being hungover and mired in brain fog, fortunately, more than 30 days behind me.

Breathless, frantic—muttering the type of words you keep from techy white-collar employers.

That’s how I am when I zip into a parking space on the EMC campus. In a Tourette’s fit. Anyone watching the surveillance camera or gazing out the window amid a ho-hum meeting, can witness the car [ironically, a Honda Fit] bumping up against the curb, my upper body lunging into the steering wheel and the clip in my hair making a beeline for the windshield.

Out of the Fit.

Kick flip-flops aside for loafers, slip on a wool-lined jacket, flatten hair to ears, mush lipstick on my lower lip. Make way to reception looking as if I have a pee-emergency and about to dump the entire contents of my bladder.

[It’s happened]

Trapper John M.D. is there behind the desk, greets me.

It’s obvious I’m flustered, bustered and late for something important, like a meeting that yields potential income and stability. My vibe casts ringlets of angst in the cool, quiet interior.

“Aw, hell, traffic in Framingham was a mess!”

He smiles and assures me everything will be fine; has a pleasing way about him.

You know, like Trapper.

I tell him the name of the hiring manager, say, “is it too early for a martini?”

A martini?

My last stint at EMC ended a year ago, a tedious project, but good experience and brand name for the resume. The tedium, though?

I came home thirsty.

And quenched that thirst.

Trapper winks and says, cupping his hand over his mouth so no one would hear, well, the weekend’s not that far off.

Voice inside my head:

You’re putting the wrong foot forward. Quick, take it back.

I’m grimacing. “Just kidding about the martini.”

He tells me Liz-beth is running five to ten minutes late. She’s in a meeting.

Maybe overlooking the parking lot.

I collect myself.

Use the restroom; look in the mirror. The new mascara is not dark brown but black and I appear to be a avid enthusiast for Marilyn Manson. Too bad I didn’t switch on the bathroom light this morning.

Despite my get-up—goth and disheveled—I will tell you that at the end of the interviews, one of out of the four peeps, said “I feel very positive about your qualifications” [he was a cute 30-something, sexy] and another said [a chatty Director-woman on the phone], “I am super-impressed with you.”

[It’s because you can’t see me, honey]

Will an offer manifest on Monday?

If I do get the job, it’ll be different this time.

I have the momentum of going-without behind me to keep from getting thirsty.