Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Cold Never Bothered Me Anyway

"There are known knowns...., there are known unknowns....., and there are unknown unknowns..."
A. Rumsfeld, US Secretary of Defense

Wow, as a left of center guy I feel rather odd quoting a member of President Bush's cabinet.  However, that is just the type of quote I love.  It seems so ridiculously silly and obvious!  But as one columnist said in response it is "in fact a brilliant distillation of quite a complex matter."

Actually, I was at a conference this weekend and someone used the quote and I just liked it!  But the quote ties into something else I ran across recently that is at the heart of today's post.  Johari's window is a simple and very elegant way of self assessment, understanding your relationships to others, and most importantly how others see you.  To look through Johari's window is to look into the knowns and the unknowns and it can, in fact, be quite scary but quite illuminating.

I rather think this is why blogging, and perhaps Ashley Madison, are so enjoyable to us.  By blogging we get to stay within our Facade and only allow others into our Arena.  On the blogosphere we don't have to worry about our blind spots and those scary unknowns!

But as I thought of Johari's window I began to realize that a marriage is the ultimate Johari's window.  There are things we both know; he watches too much football, she love's to plan vacations.  There are the things we suspect; I know he hates it when I crack my knuckles, I know she hates that I leave the bathroom light on.  But then there are the true unknown unknowns (our "Bling Spots"); he is on a "married dating" website because he needs to be needed and she hasn't needed him in years, she has connection issues formed out of issues she had with her parents that may mean that she will never be able to be emotionally connected to someone and bring down that titanic sized cognitive brick wall that stands between them and being physically and mentally connected.

I tend to be a zealot at self assessment.  Perhaps that is why I started these "Shannon Stories."  Or perhaps it's just story development because I like to know what characters in a story think and feel, even the one's I may not like.  Anyway, as I look back I think these "Shannon Stories" may be my own Johari's Window and maybe through wedging myself through self discovery I've forced myself to look into those unknown, unknowns.

My Shannon story starts here.
My Shannon prequel starts here.

Shannon speaking......
Something about Disney's Frozen has really spoken to me.  I think at first I was simply delighted that a Disney movie was out for the holidays.  But lately it seems every time a new Disney movie comes out I'm anxious to see it with my girls because I think this might be the last one that's magical to them.  I remember taking ******* to Brother Bear so long ago now.  It was her first movie.  Disney has been very special to us, I hope for my girls there will always be something magical in life for them.

But as I watched the movie I began to feel connected to Elsa.

"Don't let them in, don't let them see be the good girl you always have to be.  Conceal, don't feel; don't let them know," Elsa sings.

As a girl I always tried to be a good girl.  But looking back my parents did very little to make me feel validated and they certainly were not very loving.  My mom went through erratic mood swings and when she was mad at me she simply wouldn't talk to me for days.  My dad had the quick temper and would yell as I played the piano on a Sunday afternoon when he was trying to watch the NFL.  I felt emasculated.  However, I do have to say that dad, while hot tempered, always cooled off fast and apologized.  Yet, still, he is not an affectionate man and never has been one to compliment.

Still I tried to please but over the years I became evermore used to being disappointed.  I won prizes as a pianist and was quite a good dancer.  But my dad was more interested in golf or whatever game he had bet on, he was not often at my recitals.  My mom on the other hand was always there but not really in spirit.  I always knew she was living vicariously through my sister and I.  My mom too was not close with her mom and I'm sure felt inadequate.  My grandma often spoke poorly too her in front of us.  I'm not sure if it was because of that treatment but for whatever reason my mom was for all intense purposes a hermit.  Yet living vicariously through me became an immense burden.  My mom was delighted when I was a cheerleader in high school.  However, when I tired of the drama during my senior year she was infuriated when I quit.  She wouldn't talk to me and said she was embarrassed. How do you say that to a child, what damage does it do?

When I met Ryan I felt I could escape.  Yet soon I felt alone again.  Ryan was always nice enough but his distance was one of career focus.  I don't think Ryan is a bad person he is just unable to see the reflection of his hubris through the brilliant glow of that ego.  To Ryan life is a succession plan where priority one is career aspirations.  I was just along for the ride.  He treated me conscientiously but more as a pet than wife.  

"A Kingdom of isolation and it looks like I'm the Queen," yeah sing it Elsa; I'm with you!

I don't think Ryan ever really even noticed as I drifted away until I was too far gone.

Work for me has been a love-hate relationship.  It has torn me from my girls too often and that is a fate I will always suffer interminably.  But as I have fought to preserve my sanity and fought to be a good mother I have realized freedom through my own success and from gaining recognition from people I admire and care for and who care for me.

I soon found myself in Elsa's place "the fears that once controlled me can't get to me all.  It's time to see what I can do, to test the limits and break through."  While my travels have often been a burden I've gone places, met people, done things I scarcely could have conceived of back in school.

As I had success I didn't have to count on Ryan or my parents anymore.  I could lead life my way.

And it's true "it's funny how some distance makes everything seem small."  As I fly through the air each week to another destination I find the weekly battles with Ryan so small.  What matters is my girls and the magic of now.  I want to live for now!  "Here I'll stand, let the storm rage on!"

But if inside my love of my girls warms my soul, I fear, like Elsa, on the outside those icy blasts crystallize my soul.

Elsa sings "the cold never bothered me anyway."  And now I identify with that.

The other day I was sitting in a crowd at my daughter's basketball game.  There were a lot of people there, sweaty people who had probably just come from Wal-Mart.  I realized and even exclaimed to Ryan "I don't like being touched."  Obviously in those situations not many people would wish to be touched but later that night I thought about that statement and why it seemed to traverse my whole psyche.  In fact, I don't like to be touched anymore or perhaps never did.  Now that doesn't involve my daughter's who I could cuddle with all day or my little kitten cat who I love as well.  But other's - not so much.

Has a feeling that started out as a child branched out in "frozen fractals" within my soul?  I don't know.  I do know that often, after my travels, all I want is to be alone in my chair and at peace with my New Yorker and a glass of wine.  The peace of that solitude and the tranquility of the slow pace is a spa treatment for my mind.  What I also know is that while on the one side I am warmed by the magic of seeing my girls enchanted I easily turn away from the others in my life because as I've learned

"the cold never bothered me anyway."

"The snow glows white on the mountain tonight,

not a footprint to be seen.

A kingdom of isolation and it looks like I'm the queen.

The wind is howling like this swirling storm inside.
Couldn't keep it in, Heaven knows I tried.
Don't let them in, don't let them see.
Be the good girl you always have to be.
Conceal, don't feel, don't let them know.
Well, now they know!

Let it go, let it go!

Can't hold it back any more.

Let it go, let it go!

Turn away and slam the door.
I don't care what they're going to say.
Let the storm rage on.
The cold never bothered me anyway.

It's funny how some distance,

makes everything seem small.

And the fears that once controlled me, can't get to me at all

It's time to see what I can do,
to test the limits and break through.
No right, no wrong, no rules for me.
I'm free!

Let it go, let it go.

I am one with the wind and sky.

Let it go, let it go.

You'll never see me cry.
Here I'll stand, and here I'll stay.
Let the storm rage on.

My power flurries through the air into the ground.

My soul is spiraling in frozen fractals all around

And one thought crystallizes like an icy blast

I'm never going back; the past is in the past!
Let it go, let it go.

And I'll rise like the break of dawn.

Let it go, let it go

That perfect girl is gone
Here I stand, in the light of day.

Let the storm rage on!

The cold never bothered me anyway..."

Monday, March 17, 2014

Everything that Kills Me Makes Me Feel Alive

Hey you know it's NASCAR season and so I was remembering how one of my favorite commentators always likes to say "yellow flags beget yellow flags."

Geez, Ryan your FFF last Friday was such a nice reminder that this is supposed to be a G*d D*mmed sex blog and now you start talking about NASCAR and cautions?  WTF!

Well, OK; but let me just say that what Darrell Waltrip means is that often these NASCAR dudes will be going along just fine turning left for 100's of miles and then all of a sudden one guy (or gal as it may be now) will make a mistake and take a right turn into the wall.  And then it seems that simple screw up will start making all the other drivers start bumping into one another and then there is a yellow flag caution fest until those good-'ol-boys figure out how to turn left again.

Great 'effin point Ryan, how does it relate here though?

Yes, well I've found in my Ashley Madison Adventures that it is the same way with AM and female interaction.  You see, while it's been quite some time sense I was consistently "active" on AM I will occasionally venture on and perhaps even send a note just to keep my form up to speed so to speak. But I have to admit the old Ryan charm had long been dormant.  Nary a reply had I gotten in many many months.  Not that I really cared though.

But something about that interaction with Alecia just made me want to take a peek.  And low and behold two days later two (count them 2) messages in my mischief yahoo inbox.  Yes, two ladies had selected me as a "favorite."  Now, me being the sage AM expert knew this could be one of those "hosts."  However, those "hosts" usually "wink," not "favorite" and these ladies had looked at my profile, and neither of them had pictures (hint:  big boobs + teeny bikini usually = online host; no picture more often = real woman).

Furthermore these women actually looked quite interesting.  They were Adventurous One and Outdoor Girl.  I clicked on Outdoor Girl - ZAP,  she is/was from my "for real" town.  FYI, Ryan's profile says he lives in town X but he really lives in town Y (about 30 miles away).  Now, perhaps Outdoor Girl uses the same philosophy but I wasn't going to risk it.

Adventurous Girl had all the markings of an e-mail queen:  "looking for one special guy", "not sure what I'm looking for but I'll know it when I see it," "let's chat first and see where chemistry takes us..."
But other parts of her profile (like enjoying zip lining) were really interesting.  She said she was "looking for one kind and funny man" and it was a slow night at work and I like to think of myself as funny so I wrote her.

She wrote back and over the course of about three days we had fairly consistent notes over AM.  She seemed generally entertained by my notes but for some reason I was not motivated to close the deal via a suggested meeting.  I guess I'm like one of my cats now, if they found a mouse they would play with it but something about their domesticity has yanked that killer instinct from them.  I'd like to say she was a little further away than I generally care to travel and the weather was super sucky but truth be told I lacked that "killer" instinct anymore!

Anyway, eventually I gave up and focused on my ladies at hand Alecia and Sandee.

But then about a week later lo and behold Outdoor Girl showed amazing persistence and winked at me.  WOW, I being stalked on Ashley Madison - I've arrived!!!  :)

I couldn't let such admiration go unattended this time.  So I started conceiving a letter to Outdoor Girl.

OMG, she's online now and she just requested my pictures!  So I do what I always do and I print out her profile so I can write a nice note hitting on all her WITY's (what's it to you)!

OMG, she really wants me she just sent me her pics!  OK, so a quick look and then I'll finish the note.

So I open her pics.

O!   M!    'effin G!

I know this lady!  *HIT!

And by know her, it's not like she is the cashier at Wegman's or someone I knew 10 years ago when I used to go bowling on Wednesday nights (FYI, that was an analogy; I don't bowl).  She lives in my dang neighborhood!  My kids know her kids, they play together sometimes.

Ooops, did I mention that I had actually sent my note to her before I looked at her pictures and had (in fact) sent her my pictures (against my better judgement)?!

Well thankfully, my judgement was slightly in tact.  Actually I sent a note to her without my picture pass key and she wrote back asking for my pictures and well I just wanted to be polite.  Thank goodness I only sent the pictures of me with sunglasses.

She then sends a note.  "Can you send a note to my yahoo, I can't see your pictures very well on this site -"  Now, of course, she is not Blake's mom but her e-mail is her son's name and yes I know her son's name (the lady from my neighborhood) and unless this is some crazy coincidence that a lady on AM who looks just like my neighbor and has a son with the same name as my neighbor's son then this is, in fact, who I think it is.

Jeez, I was just screwing around on a freakin' Saturday afternoon and now this, could this be the end of Ryan - where's the nobility and intrigue in this?  This is just stupidity at work!  OH wait, we are talking about me - this is just poetic justice, right?!

Well in life I have come to realize that the lazy way is often the best way out.  I like to think of it as Ryan's Razor (stolen conveniently from Occam's Razor) - "among competing hypothesis, the hypothesis that exerts the least effort is likely to produce the best results (or at least if you are truly lazy you won't give a *rap anyway so why expend the most effort).  

It was late in the day so my "out" if you will was this.

"Hey Ms. Outdoor, wrapping up for the day and have to head out.  I'll check in with you on Monday."

Yeah, a bit "dick'ish," not my usual style, but extreme circumstances call for extreme measures and at this point I'm just stalling for time.

Honestly, what I thought about doing was just telling her I thought I knew her and she should be a little more careful about who she sends pictures too before knowing they definitely don't live down the street!  Thankfully I thought better of my good intentions.  You know that William of Ockham dude was a 13th Century Monk and so many of those well intentioned guys back then got drawn and quartered for those good intentions!  I wanted to keep my limbs in tact so I stuck with lazy (for now)!

Fortunately by Monday Outdoorgirl realized the error of her ways and had deleted her account.

Danger averted, lesson learned.

And ladies the moral of this story is:

*     Like a boxer don't lead with your face!
*     If you are a well known person, relocate to a new town on AM (Ms. Outdoor is in a career where you meet A LOT of people and she is certainly well known in our town, I hope she realizes now how much she risked)
*     For the love of God create a new personal "mischief" e-mail that has nothing to do with who's mom you are, where you really live, and what you do for a living.
*     And ladies do try to be truthful!!!!  Ms. Outdoor (on AM) is 35 and apparently about a size 6.  The lady I know who looks exactly like Ms. Outdoor and has a son with the same name is 46 and about a size 10.  Now that lady is a wonderful lady and has no reason to be ashamed of her looks but do realize that if you depict yourself as Jennifer Anniston on your profile at some point you may need to actually look like her.  Here the truth works because most of those guys who don't look Jennifer Anniston-worthy may not write to you out of fear!

Except for me, I really do look like Brad Pitt!  :)

"sing in the river, the lessons I've learned...."

Friday, March 14, 2014

FFF - Clothes Make the Man

or Every Girl's Crazy 'bout a Sharp Dressed Man!

This week's FFF'in is all about you ladies, don't hesitate!
Get over to Three Spelling Mistakes and join in! 

Linda speaking.......
Part of me thinks that feeling what I felt and doing what I did makes me a bad person.  But then again, I like to look at the world differently just like my Aunt Rose so I think of it as paying homage to her.

It was a different type of funeral.  Sure my cousins were sad, they had just lost their mom; I understood that.  But Aunt Rose had led such a full and lustful life.  Dying in the arms of her hot young gardener/lover was so typical of Aunt Rose.  Wow, way to suck the marrow out of life and enjoy it to the very end Rose!  And because of that it was a somewhat festive atmosphere at her wake.

I noticed him early.  He had one of those cheap looking Mortician's black suits.  He was young, probably just an intern or something.  But he was cute and he was looking at me and he had a major hard on!

He brushed up against me at one point and smiled and said "I need someone from the family to stay after the wake.  I don't want to bother the immediate family, could you help?"

I said, "sure."

I think there was some thin veiled reason for me to stay behind. But moments after the others were gone he had lifted me up on the casket and his head was under my skirt.  I fell back on the casket as he pulled my panties down and slipped his tongue into me.  I think I moaned out a slight interjection "is this right, I don't want to get you into trouble."

He momentarily pulled away from the task at hand and said, "everyone is setting up for the Ramsey wake, they left me to finish up here."

I lifted up a little to see the back of his head under my skirt.  I laughed and said, "well maybe we should finish up, I don't want to be missed."

With that he stood up bringing my legs up with him and around his waist.  He put his chin on my shoulder and whispered in my ear, "judging from down there I can tell you are close to being finished and I certainly am as well."

He pulled my hips forward slightly to his.  I looked down as he unbuckled his belt and then felt the sensation of his skin against my thighs followed by the jolt of his erect cock probing between my legs.  He moved up slowly and slid into me gently.

Once in though he moved quickly and firmly.  I grabbed at his shoulders in front of me and bit my lip to avert a scream.  Thankfully, it didn't take long.  We orgasmed within minutes as if two tsunamis crushing into one another.

Unfortunately we had to clean up and leave quickly.  I told him he could leave and that I would like a minute with my Aunt.  I patted her casket one last time and said "that was for you Rose, I hope you are smiling down from Heaven because you were the best!"

As usual this idea is largely stolen from the man I look up to most in life for wisdom - the legend!

"grief is nature's most powerful aphrodisiac...."

Wow, good stuff!  :)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Wash Away My Troubles

OMG I just realized that the last time I wrote about current events in my life Crimea was still in the Ukraine, Ashley Wagner was only getting *ucked over in men's dreams, and I still remembered when my yard was green as opposed to this white stuff that has been hanging around for the past two months.

But near as I can remember back in early February I wrote about getting back in touch with Alecia and how I got a feeling that might lead to something.  Well, maybe I didn't write that but I was thinking it.  Well, sometimes I think that when a women walks past me in a store it will lead to something but you know I am a guy!  :)

Anyway that last post about Alecia began our story here.  And shame on me for waiting so long for part II, I actually had to go back and read the whole thing so I could remember what I said.

So the gist of that post (if you are like me and would really prefer the Cliff's Notes version) was that Alecia was planning a charity evening at work and needed help.  And like all women do who need help she called Ryan!

Alecia gave me all the who, what, where, when, why, and how but we felt like we should meet at the place this event was to be held.  I had been there before but thought it would be helpful to meet because I really didn't want "the day of" to be the first time I had seen her since the last time I had seen her naked whilst having sex.  I'm just professional that way.

So we set a time a few days after that first telephone conversation and a week prior to the event.  Unfortunately on that day Alecia sent me a text early saying she was sick and couldn't come to work but that one of her office-mates could give me a tour of the event venue.  Now here is a new twist on the game.  Do I go because this is (after all) job related or not (thus signifying the only reason for this whole operation was to see her).  Ryan, ever the professional, decided to go anyway.  Besides, I had bought her a treat at the local bakery (as I had done before and as she had throw out as a hint that she wished me to do again) and wanted to leave it at her office rather than go stale.  OK so I'm professional and hate to see things go to waste.

I did make it to her office.  I mentioned to her office-mate I had something for Alecia.  She ushered me back to Alecia's office and I set the "goodie box" on her desk.

And then I stood in shock as I saw the dozen burning candles placed neatly below what I might describe as OMG a "shrine of pictures" to Ryan!!!!

Psyche!  That didn't happen, her office was pretty plain actually.

So we toured the place where the event was to be held.  I had been there before but I got a "lay of the land" and knew what was needed the next week.  I said my good byes and got in my car and headed towards work.  Not two blocks down the road I got a text from Alecia saying "call me."

I did and thankfully I got the closure I had wanted for 2+ years.  You see in life you have to be careful coming to conclusions because there is always a backstory.

Oh wait, you probably were thinking she was asking me about the meeting.  She did and we spoke briefly on it but soon the conversation turned to where we both were in life.

I told her nothing new in my world, still a lot of indecision on unresolved marital conflict.  As for Alecia she was divorced and living in a new home.  She had the kids during the week, the X had them on the weekend.  She liked her new job and things, albeit tough, were OK.

And then I had to ask  THE question "why did you stop communicating? Was it my snarky comment I made about 'getting my money's worth on the hotel room?'"

Her response floored me!

No it wasn't that she called me an SOB for that a-hole comment.  Fact is she didn't even remember it.  She said that at that time she was at a crossroads in her life and scared.  She said that she had met other men on the site and they made her feel like a whore.  She didn't understand them, they were there but for some reason in their eyes she was a slut for being there.  She said "you were so different..."

And there was my closure.  Sure it took 2+ years to hear that and there were no guarantees I was going to get laid from this new connection but I could not have ever heard anything more rewarding than what Alecia had just said.

Wow, do I want to write anything more today or do I want to wait until Putin annexes New Jersey?  I say he and Christie deserve each other!  :)

But here on blog time the event is just a week away and surely now Alecia and I will meet face to face finally (again)?!

How about we wait until April to see where this thing goes?

And you know what, I still see Sandee as well.  And was there another adventure somewhere amid all those snows?  I think there was!

Stay tuned!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Son of a Gun We'll Have Big Fun on the Bayou

Tomorrow is Fat Tuesday
So Today It's Time for
Mardi Gras Food!
Laissez les Bonne Temps Roulade!

I am a child of the mountains, growing up and spending most of my life in and around Appalachia.  Even in my times in the Midwest I enjoyed being near the foothills of the Ozarks.

But I've always loved New Orleans, just thinking about it makes me smile.  I love the Southern gothic architecture against the backdrop of joyful food, music, and a general festive nature of the population.  The mysticism of the city just makes you feel as if you are on an adventure whenever you are there.  As you know from reading this blog food is a part of my life and New Orleans food, or more specifically Creole, is near and dear to my heart.  There is just something about the fusion of flavors; spicy sausages, seafood, the crisp vegetables of the Holy Trinity sizzling in garlic and then all added to a roux and savory sauce over fluffy white rice.  Throw in a King Cake and you've got a great party!

Chicks dig guys who can make a roux!
I've written about New Orleans and my love of Cajun'/Creole cuisine many times:

And finally for Kat's Chain about a year ago I wrote about New Orleans and the holidays.  Nothing is hotter than being with your sweetie in the Big Easy!

But today I want to bring to you a bit of myself and my heritage.  I have also written that my family is from the deep South and I have spent much time down there.  My family is not from Louisiana but my Grandmother could have seen it across that great river from where she grew up.  She loved to cook and given her heritage, Creole was a natural cuisine for her.  I can still visualize seeing her in her kitchen over a stew pot and singing and talking to herself with a smile on her face throughout the day.

So with that in mind, here's to you Grandma' and here's

the Beaumont Family Shrimp Creole Recipe:


1 Tbs         Shortening (I love this scene from "the Help."  It doesn't really fit here but I like it)
1 Tbs         Flour
1                Onion, chopped
1                Garlic Clove, chopped
2 Stalks      Celery
1 Lg Can    Tomatoes
2                 Bay Leaves
1/2 tsp        Thyme
1/2 tsp        Salt      
2 Dashes    Tobasco (more if you are hot blooded)
2 tsp           Worchestershire Sauce
1                Green Pepper, chopped
2 lbs           Shrimp
1 Cup        White Rice

The secret to good shrimp!
*   In large stockpot heat and liquefy shortening.  Slowly stir flour into shortening and whisk until completely combined into a pasty roux and brown.  Add chopped onions, garlic, green pepper, and celery to roux and brown on medium heat.  Be careful not to scorch the roux!  Add tomatoes and spices and stir.  Cover and simmer for 1.5 hours, stirring occasionally.
*    Bring about 1 gallon of water to a boil (should be enough to cover shrimp).  Add 1 tsp of salt, 1 tsp of black pepper, and 1 tsp of white pepper and stir into boiling water.  Add 1 bag of Zatarain's Crab Boil seasoning into water and let steep for about 5 minutes.  Drop Shrimp into boiling water for 5-8 minutes or until skin begins to turn pink. (do not overcook).
*   Add shrimp to Creole and let simmer for another 1/2 hour.
*   Serve over White Rice with Garlic Bread.
*   And for dessert?   Bread pudding with a nice Bourbon Sauce!

Ahhhhh!  Thibodeaux Fountaineaux the place is buzzin'!