Chocolate, A Love Story

Chocolate rarely disappoints me.  Sometimes, when I eat certain brands that were alright in the past, I expect satisfaction for my chocolate craving, but end up being turned off because old favorites now taste too sweet.  I used to love Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, but they just don’t taste as good as they used to.  Maybe my taste buds have changed, but give me a piece of Dove dark chocolate, or Cadbury dark chocolate, and I am in confection heaven.

Sadly, chocolate straddles the line between healthy and unhealthy – the sugar content necessary to overcome chocolate’s natural bitterness.  I remember finding a bar of baking chocolate in our pantry when I was little, and thought my mother was hoarding her own private stash.  After chomping a generous bite, my glee quickly turned to disgust as I spit it out, nearly retching.  Adding insult to injury was my mother discovering me in that moment and laughing at my misery while telling me it served me right.

Chocolate produces chemicals in your brain that are also created when you fall in love, so it’s no wonder we can’t get enough of it.  I suppose I’ve become more sophisticated as I’ve grown because not any chocolate will do anymore, which seems to correlate to the men I’m interested in.  Hmmmm  😀

I’ve always hated the generic chocolate I’d get on Easter, or Valentine’s Day.  That chocolate has a somewhat waxy, and almost chemical taste that I no longer find palatable.  Interestingly enough though, I also don’t favor high-end chocolates like Godiva, or some others.  I have never found them superior to some mid-level chocolatiers, but I did enjoy the chocolate I ate in Switzerland. I especially enjoy what a friend and I affectionately term ‘lint-balls’: Lindt, Lindor, chocolates.

I prefer dark chocolate, but there are some milk chocolates I’ve had over the years that are wonderful as well, and I regularly have some form of chocolate in my house.  I have much better control over my chocolate consumption than I do alcohol, so I allow myself to purchase several bars when there’s a good sale.  I don’t get high from chocolate, and I usually get satiated without being excessive.  Maybe there is a kind of ephemeral high associated with chocolate because it nearly always helps ease my crankiness associated with PMS, and was one of the (literally and figuratively) sweet things an old boyfriend would buy me once a month.

Thank you, chocolate, for helping make this life a bit more bearable. ♥

Zürich: Confiserie Sprüngli

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.

May Day

My son came home last night so we could get up early and get on the road with all his belongings (which turned out to be less than anticipated because I’ll be storing some for him).  It started raining sometime in the night, even though the forecast only called for showers.  By 8am, it was raining steadily, with no sign of stopping. 

The pattern of communication between my son and I, when I’m stressed, is that I get louder, and he gets quieter.  That’s fine to diffuse most situations between us.  It did nothing to improve this morning’s issues.  He’s an engineer – an electrical engineer.  I am a person with an excess of lived experience.  He doesn’t like anything that’s inefficient.  I am all about process.  I’m also an expert at packing – even if it appears to be less efficient than an automated process might be.  Even though I’m a fairly articulate person, my son makes me feel like anything I say isn’t understandable, or relevant.

Not only were we trying to tie a box-spring and mattress onto the top of the car, we were standing in the cold rain arguing over the best way to secure them.  We had rope and bungee cords, but I knew how to do it practically, and he knew how to do it theoretically.  The rain drenched us by the time the bed was secured on the car roof, and the car was packed.  We would have been soaked even if we hadn’t argued, and the only upside was that I saw that I was never banshee-esque without reason during my son’s childhood.  I bet even Gandhi had shitty days.

Once we got on the road everything was fine, but it rained the entire drive to Boston, and we couldn’t go over 60 mph or the bed started wobbling around too much. I still think that if I had secured the bed the way I originally had wanted, that might not have happened.

When we got into Boston, I found out that my son and his dorm-mate hadn’t moved the rest of their belongings to their new place so we spent the afternoon moving their dorm stuff as well.  My son told me later that a couple of his friends had offered to help, but he declined. (If that doesn’t make you want to ring his neck, then you should be sainted.)

My son did help me narrowly avoid a deluge when we took the bed off the car roof, so I forgave him the refusal of extra help.  The mattress was thoroughly soaked – even though we did our best to shield it with a tarp. It will probably take an entire week (if not more) for it to dry out, but at least he has egg-crate foam, a mat, and all his bedding to sleep on until then.

I’m glad I got to see where my son and his roommates are living, and to feel out the neighborhood.  It’s not as bad as I feared, and I think they’ll be fine there.  They just have to be savvy – as do we all.  I tend to think that the worst things happen between people who know each other.  Strangers often give us more leeway because we all know how difficult it is just to live.

Another humorous aspect of today is remembering an old saying that if you go out in a May Day rain, you’ll be protected from headaches for the year.  My pounding head begs to differ.

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.

Christmas Eves

1989: I spent the evening with Joe; I moved in with him here in Vernon, Vermont, a few weeks ago.  I’m happy that there’s snow on the ground so it will be a white Christmas.  My brother, Scott, died in October, and I’m sad for my mom this holiday season.  I still feel nothing.  I don’t know why death doesn’t affect me directly, I guess that’s a coping mechanism.

1990: Our son’s first Christmas.  He’s only two months old, so it’s not really a big deal for him, but Joe’s daughter is spending Christmas morning with us, and she’ll be happy to get the Super Nintendo game system with, The Mario Brothers/Duck Hunt, and, Donkey Kong, games, and spend time with her brother.  Things have not been good between Joe and I, but we’re trying to work it out.

1991: My father and step-mother are visiting from Florida.  I’m happy that my father is getting to spend some time with his grandson, although it’s been kind of awkward when they’re here because my mom is spending Christmas here in my new apartment.

1992: I’m in my new apartment in South Portland, Maine.  My mom is here with me, and there is a lot of snow this winter, which Austen loves to play in.  My car broke down a few weeks after moving in here, and I can’t afford another one, but there’s a bus stop down at the end of the street, and a few of the Bahá’í‘s here in South Portland bring me to run errands once a week.  Joe is visiting over the holidays, and it’s been horrible and stressful – as usual.

1994: San Diego Christmas is quite different from what I’m used to.  It’s not really warm, about the mid-50°F’s, and rainy, but the air feels different, and I’m not sure I like it.  I’m at a 10-day program because I don’t want to live anymore but Tammy convinced me to see if this will help me.  I’ll get a counselor, and start an antidepressant, and I know it’s what I need to do, but I feel horrible being away for Christmas.

1996: Back in Massachusetts.  My mother is spending Christmas with me and Austen in our tiny apartment.  Things have been awful.  I’m still not getting child support, so that just makes everything tougher.

1999: It’s been a strange year.  I’m wondering if the Y2K thing is really going to screw up computers worldwide – I doubt it.  I told Austen that Santa was a real person a long time ago, and his spirit still lives on through all of us.  The other kids at school were picking on him for still believing in Santa.  He refused to believe me when I told him Santa isn’t still alive.  I don’t know if I did the right thing.

2001: I consider this the millennium year, even though I know many people considered 2000 to be the turn of the century.  I guess it’s both: 2000 because it’s no longer 19-something, but 2001 because CE started with year 1, so 2001 makes two-thousand years.  We’re still here, although a bunch of freaks were trying to convince whomever they could that the world was going to end.

2011: I think my favorite aspect of Christmas Eve is filling my son’s stocking.  When he was little, it was so gratifying to see his delight, and share in how fun Christmas was for him.  He used to love Christmas carols and we’d sing them together, and now he can barely stand them.  He’s feeling so much better tonight, but still coughing a lot.  I might watch, It’s A Wonderful Life, but I’m feeling tired, so maybe I’ll just go to sleep.  My throat is feeling a bit scratchy, and I hope I don’t get sick too.

This year has been so strange.  As I looked back through old diaries and read so much of where I’ve been, and what my life is like now, I appreciate now so much.  I don’t care if someone reads my old journals someday, but I sincerely doubt they’d read for very long.  I’m just grateful that I’m not as affected by the vicissitudes of life anymore.  I also did a great deal of healing work to get where I am now, and will most likely finish that work with my last breath.  I’m thankful to be alive, and hope I won’t die until I accomplish most, if not all, of my goals.

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.

Getting In The Spirit

I bought a Christmas tree today.

I didn’t have one last year, and the holidays are usually depressing and far too filled with expectation and anxiety for me to enjoy them.  I’d rather keep to myself this time of year.  I don’t like holiday gatherings or Christmas parties much, and I suppose I dissociate for the month of December, and often into January.  Trying to keep away from alcohol is harder this time of year too.  Most of my friends drink, and none of them abuse it, so they don’t really know what it’s like for me.  I’m at that place with drinking alcohol that I can either control it or enjoy it, but I can’t do both.

I am not as anxious this year as I have been previously, but I’ve been careful to not make many plans so I don’t have to pretend to enjoy myself or others.  My family gets together for a holiday dinner and then we exchange gifts, and that’s pretty much all I can handle.  Well, that, and having my son with me for his winter break.  Christmas isn’t as fun as it used to be when he was little, but I really like having a pretty tree all lit up, and getting cozy on the couch with a cup of hot cocoa and watching, It’s A Wonderful Life, or A Christmas Carol, on Christmas Eve, and of course, how could I let Christmas go by without watching, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, and, A Charlie Brown Christmas?

When I was in college, one of the girls in my dorm phoned her father the night, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, was playing, and he stayed on the phone for the whole show.  She told us that she had gone on vacation over Christmas during High School one year, and her father had phoned her so they could still watch the show together.  That made such a big impression on me, and made me wish I had a father like that, and probably made all the girls in our dorm who were there with us that night wish that too.

Even though there are aspects of the season that I can enjoy, I’m happiest when it’s all over.  My true celebration is the Winter Solstice; there is no one who appreciates the return of the light more than I do.

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.

Possible Hit And Run

One of my brothers was hit by a car last night.  He remembers hearing screeching tires and the next thing he knew he was looking at first responders.  I can’t remember if he said he was walking or riding his bike.

His collar-bone is broken, and he’s badly bruised, but alive.  I called the police and they said they could release the accident report to a family member in person, but that requires driving back down to Cape Cod, and I can’t do that now.  We don’t yet know if it was a hit and run, but there had to have been witnesses.  It happened on the main drag, but it was after dark.

My brother sounded cheerful when I talked to him, but he’s also drugged up, so it’s hard to know how he’s really doing.

I feel this intense guilt, like I am responsible for my brother because that’s how it was when we were kids.  There were six of us children, and the older two boys were pals, and my older two sisters were united against me much of the time, and my default family person was my younger brother.  I wanted to be with my sisters, not my stupid younger brother.

That’s probably where the guilt I feel came from.  He was the only family member who accepted me and wanted me around, but I didn’t want the same thing.  We did laugh a lot together as we got older and he wasn’t such an idiot anymore, but I’ve never felt as endeared to him as he seems to feel toward me.  I suppose I should feel closer to him because we are the nearest in age, and were the last kids in a violent, destructive family, but my brother also has A.D.D., maybe even Asperger’s Syndrome, and that has been difficult to deal with as well.

I suppose it’s telling that I believe I wasn’t present enough for my brother, or I somehow caused his deficits by not being a good sister, when where the hell were my parents?

I am so tired of trying to explain my weirdness to people so that they can understand me.  I feel like I am a category of human being unto myself, belonging to a small group of freaks in a dark circus, only I never joined up.  My membership is by default, and if I had joined, I’d either want to be the beautiful lady who rides the elephant, or one of the acrobats.

I get it that these are the ‘cards I was dealt’ – a fucking insipid metaphor if I ever heard one – and I am doing my best to learn how to cheat – believe me – because life always plays with a loaded deck.

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.

Morning Beginnings

Each day I awaken to a fresh start, for each night’s sleep is a practice death.

I realized today that summer is my favorite season because I can have the windows open without freezing. I love breathing in flowery and earthy scents on the soft breezes that bring back the feeling of pleasant times past, and enjoy the present sensation of the air curling around my arms, and playing about my face as I type.  I revel in the coolness of the morning, and the slower pace of life as I drink coffee and prepare to jump into the day’s bustle.

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.