No touching.

Friday, April 30, 2010
For those of you who have been following along at home (or work, or your phone or wherever else you may read my blog), you should remember I very recently took Pole For the Soul's Striptease and Lapdance Workshop. I have stolen from my recent Yelp review to save a little bit of time, but this post is going to include content that, albeit interesting, did not add any usefulness to my review.

From my Yelp: "So, like, who *doesn't* remember the huge craze over Carmen Electra's "Fit to Strip" DVD series? I paid far too much for every single one of those videos and they basically ended up being soft-core porn...Only one of the DVDs included an actual workout (which was poorly executed and missing balance in the reps) and I'm not quite sure how I was supposed to learn the moves when all the camera was shooting was a closeup of her ass and/or titties, but I digress.

Since I am pretty serious about my "most awesome girlfriend" standing AND in need of creative ways to occupy my time while my boyfriend is out of the country for 3+ months, I decided to look into learning how to lap dance (I repeat - this is not a career move). After browsing through the instructional DVD selections on Amazon and not being very impressed, I decided to google "lap dance class Seattle" and ended up at the page for Pole for the Soul's 'Striptease and Lap Dance Workshop.'

There was one spot left in the class that was scheduled for the following weekend - $40, small class, no nudity, women only and claiming that "you will learn a sexy walk, sensual hip moves, sultry floor work, a tempting striptease and a lap dance you can perform with just a chair and a smile," it seemed like just the thing I was looking for. I left the class this weekend with ALL that, in addition to a renewed sense of sexy self-confidence and a few bruises on my knees."

I was running a few minutes late for the class (which the confirmation email had warned against) so I was slightly stressed out when I arrived at PFtS, but shortly after I entered and was told to find a spot for my yoga mat I was also informed that we would be waiting for another girl who hadn't shown yet. As I got myself seated, the door behind me flew open, but only to reveal a few young boys (that were obviously hoping for a glimpse of undressed women) who promptly turned tail and ran away.

Once the shock had worn off, I had a chance to take in my surroundings: the small room with heavily curtained windows and numerous poles scattered throughout the room (PFtS's main business is actually Pole Dance and Sensual Movement classes), the group of 8 women gathered on yoga mats who ranged from mid 20s to late 40s (in various versions of workout/sexy gear), and our tiny little instructor, Krisha.

The last straggler showed up shortly thereafter and we went around the room introducing ourselves and explaining our interest in the workshop (for one girl, it was a surprise birthday present from another friend that was attending - so awesome) before Krisha got down to business.

Basically, we started out learning how to touch our bodies in a sensual way (not a sexual way, folks - don't let your mind wander too much), which is not as easy as some may think - it's definitely a little awkward to begin with. After warning us to pay special attention to avoid "Porn Foot," she demonstrated a few basic body roll moves,"get-ups," and a little floorwork which we all practiced in unison, though in our own styles. Once we seemed to be catching on she asked if we wanted to practice those more or move onto the actual "striptease" portion, which was received by a few of the girls with a hearty affirmation. We had been told to bring a skirt (preferably short) and a shirt you can easily pull off over your head, so at that point we donned our extra gear (well, some of us did - I'll touch on that fun fact later) and got ready to learn how to take it off.

To be continued....

“Inaction breeds doubt and fear..."

Thursday, April 29, 2010
"...Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.”

Okay, fine, I'll admit it: lately I have been inexplicably insecure about my relationship. After yesterday's confusion and ensuing conversations with Dubs and Cec, I realized that I am doing myself (and Bear) a disservice by being so hermit-ty and overly domestic; in essence I am cutting myself off from most of my friends, whose support and distraction I desperately need. Honestly, I think I've gotten to the point where I am resenting him for my own choices, and that's not fair to him (or me.) That hermit is not the fun-loving, sociable girlfriend that I was when he left, and I am sure as Hell not going to let it be the girlfriend he returns to. Actually, at my previous rate of socialization I would be a needy, grumpy Pigeon mess for the foreseeable future and that idea is terrifying.

So, last night I went to Dubs for a little "ladies night," tonight it's the GBF's for an International potluck dinner party (I finally get to try my hand at a Turkish appetizer!), tomorrow I have an appointment with my tattoo guy to touch up some work I've had done in the past year and next week is booked up with Trivia Night, a massage and then a pizza date to catch up with one of my yelp friends, not to mention I've promised to hang out with the Madre to celebrate Mother's Day. Also, I recently purchased my tickets for SAM Remix at the beginning of June, so I'm steadily filling up my future social calendar.

It feels good to be back.

"Dear Fear,

Suck it, I'm too busy for this sh*t.


For those of you who are watching out for my post about the Striptease class - stay tuned!

It could be worse.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Not very many people give a sh*t about how hurt you are after an argument with a boyfriend when the rest of your relationship has been seemingly ideal...Minus the weeks upon weeks of absence, of course (which I steadfastly insist does not make "the heart grow fonder.")

Thank goodness for my homegirl, W. She's the right level of supportive and realistic, and her daily distractions have kept me from over-thinking how torturous it has been to be separated from Bear for so long. Last night was a bad night for he and I (I think one of the biggest issues in a relationship is how you deal with conflict, and I know neither of us was digging the other's reaction to a miscommunication last night), but after letting me vent for a bit this morning, to cheer me up she reminded me via IM:

W: "dude, Jesse James is the biggest a-hole in the universe
at least you weren't married to HIM"

(Thanks to the beautiful, hilarious bff Cec, from now on W will be lovingly referred to as "Dubs.")

He listens! Perhaps maybe too well.

Monday, April 26, 2010
I like to do nice things for my boyfriend - all the normal girlfriend-y stuff of course, and fun things like picnics in the livingroom on rainy days and occasionally cooking dinner in an apron and heels (and not much else). At this point, male friends of mine are joking that they will be sending their potential future girlfriends to me for "Awesome Girlfriend" training, and though it's amusing it also makes me proud (and not just because a few of my super bitter exes like to claim the opposite).

Last week one of my favorite sources for fun lingerie/costumes (Forplay Catalog, recommended by a fellow "AG") was having a sale and at 20% off, I couldn't resist ordering one of the outfits I have had my eye on for a few months. This one is special though, it definitely won't work under an apron; it is glorious enough to stand on it's own and unquestionably calls for a more dramatic debut.

Moments later I was googling "lapdance class Seattle."

SCORE - Pole for the Soul was offering a Striptease and Lapdance Workshop the following Sunday and had one spot left! I signed up without delay and proceeded to get really excited about stunning Bear with these skills when he got home.

In my excitement, on Skype that night I told Bear that I was planning a really fun surprise for him. Note to self: stop telling boyfriend about surprises in advance. He persisted with inquiries as to what the surprise was until I finally caved in and gave up the hint "I am taking a class." His first response? "Lapdance?!"

So, even if he was stalking my Facebook page and saw that I had become a fan of Pole for the Soul, I was positive he couldn't have just stumbled across the page for the class AND at that point I hadn't told my plans to anyone but my Madre and coworkers, so I insisted he tell me how he knew. It seems that at some point in the past 5 months of us dating I had mentioned an interest in learning how to striptease...And now I can be sure Bear is a very very good listener.

Shameless Plug Sunday: paperleaves on etsy

Sunday, April 25, 2010
There's no question - if you know me at all in "real life" you know I love etsy.

When I took on the personal project to send Bear a card each week that he is gone (a small part of the "awesome girlfriend" repuation), I immediately turned to etsy for my papergoods. Initially I started out purchasing funny cards, then loving and slightly risque cards...After so many weeks of the traditional "picture/sentiment on the outside, sentiment/blank on the inside" cards I knew I had to step up my creativity. Thank goodness I found paperleaves, 'cause this girl was running out of ideas. Her tag line "If I had a shop in real life it would be pedal-powered gypsy caravan. But this will do for now." piqued my interest and her offerings caught my eye.

I first spied Kristen's Friend Ship pop-up card:

Pretty cute, eh? It came with a handmade map envelope. As soon as I spied this one, I added it to my favorites with the intention of a later purchase to send to a dear friend of mine (the manager of the band Bear is in, let's call her MM). She (yes, SHE) has been so sweet since the moment I first met my lovely bf, and I miss her friendship and amazing cooking while she is away in Turkey taking care of business (and inturn missing her wonderful husband who, like me, remains in Seattle patiently awaiting her return).

Shortly after that, while looking for "pigeon" (Bear's nickname for me) themed/related paraphenalia, I came across paperleaves' Wee Free Bird pop up card:

Holy crap - how adorable, right? And it comes with a handmade sheet music card - instantly the word "SCORE" popped into the front of my brain, surrounded by flashing lightbulbs and accompanied by big band music. When I read through to the bottom of the listing and she found "I welcome requests for any kind or color of bird!" I instantly dropped her a line to see if she could accomodate my desire for a pink pigeon. Apparently, she loves doing custom orders "knowing that something I make will be perfect for someone" and after a few days I recieved a follow up to our conversation as well as a preview of my Wee Free pink pigeon.

I practically squealed with glee.

I was even more excited once I recieved both cards and got to see them in person - I have no idea how she learned to make these pop ups, but the craftsmanship is impeccable for such small pieces. A few days later I had them both in the mail and they happened to arrive at the same time "Seattle Care Package" I had prepared for Bear's parents was hand delivered to it's recipients (thanks to MM's husband [at least one of us got to make the trip to Istanbul]). From what I hear, they were a huge hit and my "neat stuff" finding skills were deemed impressive.

So, not only is Kristen super nice to deal with, she makes fantastic (sometimes custom) stuff that I would be proud to give to any of my friends or loved ones. As a matter of fact, I've got another purchase in the works as we speak - my first ever "reserved listing" on etsy, and one that is sure to bring a smile to many faces.

She's crafty...

Monday, April 19, 2010
Bear's band, maskott, is filming a music video today.

Me? On a high from the results of my crafting nights with W (the pill box hat was a big hit at the tea party), I am browsing etsy for terrarium kits, a neat glass bottle (for a little surprise gift) and the typical paper goods. Later I will work out, do my dishes, color my hair and hopefully practice my Turkish. Yesterday, I bought a kit to learn how to knit and a book about intarsia (let's just say that someone is getting a scarf for Christmas) and tomorrow I am having the Gay BoyFriend and the Madre over for dinner at Casa De O'Holic...Such a wild and crazy gal I am.

Though Bear voluntarily assures me of my "totally awesome girlfriend" status on a regular basis, some days the disparity between his life and mine is abundantly clear. Today is definitely one that finds me longing for the quiet weekends together spent on my couch with Gizmo and Wilson.

That being said, I've also got some super-secret-squirrel rockstar girlfriend plans in the works as of this weekend, of which I will offer only one tantalizing hint: PASTIES.

Florence loves me, this I know, for her set list told me so.

Saturday, April 17, 2010
I have decided my favorite bar is the Blarney Stone Pub.

I don't recall ever having a favorite bar before, at least not since I've been of legal drinking age and able to get into all of them...In the past 3 months or so, I have been there at least 3 different times with 3 different people and it seems to be a pretty clear indicator that I have finally discovered a bar I like. And it's a pub. Whatever.

This is a Blarney Stone that is not a bar or a pub.

The gorgeous Cec and I met up at BSP for some munchies (I have confirmed with James that the Irish Nachos do indeed contain crack cocaine*, hence their highly addictive quality) and drinks before we headed over to the Showbox for last night's show; I arrived at 8 PM as the last of the happy hour crowd was trickling out and we left shortly before 10 PM to make sure to get there in time for the headliners: Florence + The Machine.

I love her. Florence is so cute and fiery and powerful, I just want to put her in my pocket. She opened with "Howl" and wound down with "Dog Days Are Over," pretty much making my month. When we started the trek back to my car shortly before midnight so I could give my homegirl a ride home, I was high and happy didn't care at all that I had to be up around 6:30 AM. Around 7 AM, I was slightly less thrilled.

When I stopped by my coworkers desk this morning to fill him on last night's shenanigans, he told me I was looking fresh (in my hastily thrown on hat, cat hair-ridden sweatshirt and last night's jeans) and asked me what the trick was - I pantomimed wiping the leftover mascara from under my eyes and headed back to my office.

*for those of you with no sense of humor: this is a joke

Our song...

Thursday, April 15, 2010
I'm not sure how exactly the tradition of a couple picking a song that signifies their relationship (or an aspect of it) and designating it as "our song" was started, but I find it incredibly endearing.

Admittedly, most love songs are universal. Still, I think it's terribly nice to feel the sweetness of sharing a song that you know will always cause your loved one to think about you wherever they may be lucky enough to hear it. Bear and I haven't really picked one song, but there are a few that always make me think of him...

Like Florence + The Machine's "Howl"

Even more fitting today, methinks, and for the couples out there - what is your song?

Full of excuses

Goodness gracious, I have been slacking (at least in the blogosphere - definitely not in real life, folks).

I have been holed up inside my apartment for nearly 4 weeks with only the occasional visit to friends, citing general lack of interest in going out (and funds) - which is true to an extent...I realized at the heart of it, my reluctance stems from the fact that I quit smoking three weeks, three days, 23 hours, 26 minutes and 22 seconds ago. In that time there were approximately 300 cigarettes not smoked and I saved over $100, not to mention 1 day and 40 minutes of my life.

I'm using the patch, but that doesn't mean it's easy by any stretch of the imagination. This isn't the first time I've quit, either. Bear and I even made a half-hearted attempt at the beginning of the year. After he left for Turkey I knew I had to try again while he's gone - that way I would only be responsible for my own success. During this time I have been hermitting myself away from all my friends who smoke and cutting back on the booze that always tricks me into thinking "hey, I can be a social smoker" which seems to lead to me buying a pack of cigarettes, which then (of course) can't be wasted...Unfortunately, I have had to stay away from any avoidable "triggers" and writing is actually one of them. Let's just say my apartment is very clean at this point.

Now, almost a month later, I am confident enough to return to life as I knew it (albeit missing the fabulous part that Bear's presence contributes) - as evidenced by this blog post and tonight's plans for the Florence + The Machine show with one of the besties. Wish me luck.