Friday, August 15, 2014

Stubbornness, Thy Name Is Lily!

Happy Friday, LilyOnTheLam.Com Readers!

So I was having dinner with Kiki Von Vellum, the personal assistant of a one Mr. Cardamom Monroe.  The aforementioned Mr. Cardamom Monroe may have been feeling a tinge guilty (or grateful) that I have now traveled three times from Tampa to northern Orlando to help him house hunt.  (I say "Northern Orlando" to emphasize just how far I drove for Mr. CM.)  I believe Mr. CM was feeling guilty/grateful because he dispatched Kiki Von Vellum to hop on his motorized scooter and high-tail it to Tampa after a long day of work to take me out to dinner.

I enjoy spending time with Kiki Von Vellum, as there are so many great Tampa hot spots that he has not had a chance to see/enjoy.

However Kiki Von Vellum and I also have a long-standing blood feud.  Because Kiki is all man, he has that annoying male trait of trying to tell independent, free-thinking fabulous divas like myself what they should or should not do!  "Kiki, get yourself back on your scooter and putt putt yourself back to NO - Northern Orlando!"

For what seems like 17 years, Kiki Von Vellum has been criticizing the monkey picture on LilyOnTheLam.  These are two adorable monkeys in front of the Red Fort in Agra, India. Kiki Von Vellum refers to them as fornicating monkeys.  I think Kiki Von Vellum needs a hobby!  My thoughts are: "I write this blog for me and my own personal enjoyment, so if my blog or its pictures offends you - DON'T READ IT!"  Why should I change something in my personal extra-curricular activity to satisfy someone else?  This is not all about you, Kiki Von Vellum!"  

So after the 900th time, Kiki Von Vellum told me I need to switch the header picture on LilyOnTheLam; I looked him in the eye and said "You do know that every time you complain about the picture, I resolve to keep the monkey picture up an extra year!"

Evidently that did not phase Kiki Von Vellum, because he's "advised" me about 20 times since then that the "Fornicating Monkey picture needs to go!"

So this past week over the roast pork stack, tater tots and grilled shrimp lettuce wraps at Anise Global Gastrobar, Kiki Von Vellum once again climbed his soap box and began his on-going boring crusade to get me to change the header picture on LilyOnTheLam - which by the way pretty much guarantees that I will keep the picture up until 2099 - BECAUSE I AM STUBBORN!

While my love for Kiki Von Vellum is endless, my patience for his annoying anti-monkey picture crusade is not!  Had he never brought it up, I would have changed pictures by now - as I get bored with the same old picture -- as anyone who has seen how many times I change avatars on Google + or Twitter can attest to.  But noooooo, Kiki Von Vellum had to turn this into his own personal crusade as if he was being morally wounded by the Indian monkeys; thus guaranteeing their permanent spot on my blog.

So if my picture of two monkeys offends you, you only have Kiki Von Vellum to blame from now until 2099.

The problem with using my blog to complain about people in my life is that many of these same people also read my blog! Ack!  Kiki Von Vellum is going to have a hissy fit!  But even worse, now that I have thrown myself head first in the dating pool - men who are interested in my writing (and I am interested in them) ask to read my blog.  But my blog is filled with stories about dating other men!  Awkward!

For example, there is a tall, insightful, intuitive, very caring man who I have code-named "The Commissioner."  He wanted to read my blog and I want to flirt up a storm with him.  It's hard to flirt and be the innocent coquette when the blog has all the tales of my dating disasters and reactions to men in general!  I may need to create a second blog that has been edited!  "Lily On The Lam - Sanitized Version."  Sure I could stop writing about my dating disasters, but I think they are HYSTERICAL!  And so do most of my readers, so I don't want to stop.  Just like I don't want to take down my monkey photo because one person complains.

Stubborness, thy name is Lily!

Happy Friday!  

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Gather Ye Rosebuds ...

Hello LilyOnTheLam.Com Readers: 

My Monday was long and chaotic, which is pretty much my usual work mode in the new job.  I had some levity mid-day texting with a charming man I will refer to as "Mr. Gehegten," which brought a smile and a must needed respite from trying to calm down people lost in a sea of business process transformation.  

When finally my work day came to an end, I went to my personal laptop and pulled up CNN.com.  I saw news reports that alleged that actor/comedian Robin Williams had killed himself earlier in the day.  I sat staring at the screen.  Surely this was a mistake, right?

Whenever I hear of someone killing themselves - whether a local resident or celebrity, I always have the same reaction in the first few seconds.  The feeling that "we" as in some "universal we" fell asleep on the job.  

I picture all the world's human inhabitants as forming a safety net - to hold, to cradle and to protect each other.  When I hear that someone has killed themselves, I feel like somewhere there was a break in the net.  That we lost someone we were charged to protect.  That they fell through.  

On one hand, I can understand someone wanting to decide when to go - when to leave this world on their own terms.  But I can't help but think how many people regretted the decision too late.  I watched the horrifically mind-blowing documentary "The Bridge" which shows people jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge.  I remember watching one man talking on his cell phone, seemingly laughing - and then in the next instance he hurled himself off the bridge.  There are only a few survivors from a jump from that great height and many regretted jumping after they took the leap.

I know that during particular bad bouts of PMS when my body chemistry and hormones are raging that I cannot see anything past the current moment.  Everything seems bleak and annoying and awful.  But if I make it past that moment, it's like coming out of a fog.  Everything seems so much better.  So with suicide is it a calculated, well-informed decision or is it a hasty maneuver made at the lowest point?  Regardless of the root cause, it is very sad to me.

I grew up watching Robin Williams in a variety of roles.  I know many comedians have a tortured soul, so I was not surprised to hear of his addictions.  I still was in awe of many of his performances.

Monday night after hearing the news about Robin Williams, I went on iTunes and rented "Dead Poets Society."  I haven't watched it in years namely because it makes me very sad.  Even the ending, bittersweet, does not take away the sting.  Watching it while thinking of Robin Williams' last day on Earth, made it even more bittersweet.



I was graduating high school the first time I saw "Dead Poets Society."  The character played by Robert Sean Leonard feels he is trapped by his father's expectations of who he should be, career-wise.  He feels he has no out - either do what his father wants or else.  

Whereas I, personally, on the other hand was 2 months away from leaving for college in another state.  Suddenly I would have no parental supervision and could, within reason, really do anything I wanted.  For better or for worse, I was technically "an adult."  And I remember that this scared the crap out of me.  I was overwhelmed by it all.  It was hard to "seize the day" when the only thing I felt seizing was my heart in my chest, with panic.  

I know many people wish they were younger or could go back in time and redo moments of their lives.  Whereas for me, I am quite content to not be in that moment.  When I think back to this particular time in my life, I remember so much fear of the unknown.  I desperately wanted some sort of reassurance that all would work out OK and that my actions in the present wouldn't screw me completely over in the future.  

But there are no guarantees in life and sometimes even the worst situations brought weird rewards down the road.  As Mr. Gehegten told me, you cannot plan certain things - you just have to see what happens.

The one thing that made me smile when "Dead Poets Society" came out, despite it's bittersweet, sad ending is the heroic love of poetry.  I used to write poem after poem.  That stopped when I finished high school.  It wasn't a deliberate choice.  I just stopped.  I continued to write, but it was as if my poetry "phase" was over.  I might have had to write one for a college English class but my heart was no longer in it.

But every now and again, I still read poetry - some classics, some modern day.  I have William Carlos Williams' "This Is Just To Say" memorized (it's very short) from when I recited it in 11th grade English class.  My own personal life motto comes from Rainer Maria Rilke's  "There are no classes in life for beginners; right away you are always asked to deal with what is most difficult."  

And my first love, the French poet Arthur Rimbaud:

It is found again
What? Eternity.
It is the sea
Gone with the sun.     

Even through the melancholy sadness both old and present day, I enjoyed watching "Dead Poets Society" again.  It was like a trip to the past - which has both joy and sorrow. 

The film had its 25th anniversary in June.  I hate that this occasion of a great film is now marked by a sad end to a great life.  Forever a footnote in the history of the film.  But I suspect Robin Williams' life will far outshine the manner in which he chose to exit the stage.

I am glad for the life I have led, even though it may not be the one that I set out for myself or dreamed of all those many years ago.  I am glad to not be so scared of the future or making a mistake.  Whether time has created confidence or apathy, I am not exactly sure but I do know I am not the paralyzed scared soul.

I end this post with some more Rainer Maria Rilke ... I could read his words a million times and still feel the meaning pulsing through each syllable.

Let everything happen to you
Beauty and terror
Just keep going
No feeling is final