Saturday, May 28, 2011

Naked with Chanel No 5: Day 36: Pattern Seeking Story Telling Girl

So I've just wrapped up another intense MBA class weekend. Usually by this point I'm so emotionally spent and academically frustrated that I take to my house with my DVR, cats, and a glass (ok let's be honest bottle) of wine. But this week is decidedly different. These past few months as my brain returned to functionality post concussion, it was as if it awoke refreshed and with a bit of a different intellectual scope. Frankly, I'm a little bummed this term is coming to an end.

Now the theme of my Macro Economics class was that we are Pattern-Seeking, Story Telling Animals and there could not perhaps be a better theme for me. I see patterns in my own life and am constantly finding voice to tell stories about them. Understanding the causes of behavior, recognizing the leading indicators of failure or growth opportunities, and most of all correlating experiences to outcomes.

Something that has always plagued me personally and academically is the question

"So what do we do now that we know there's a problem?"

I've been looking for conclusive answers all along, and the truth is - there aren't any. There is no big book of answers on how to fix the economy, change consumption behavior, heal a broken heart, correct the capital account imbalance, or find the perfect partner for happily ever after. The deal is once you've reflected, run the regressions,  made charts of positives and negatives, and come up with your history, you have to take a stab at it. It may not be "right" and it probably won't be "wrong" but with the knowledge you have, take the best shot you can to try to get a different outcome.

So instead of repeating patterns, revisiting old bad behaviors, and trying again what didn't work before - even if it's comfortable - even if it feels natural - even if you are afraid, you have to push yourself just a little further out of your pattern if you ever want to create a new story.

Goodnight all! Save some money tomorrow, believe me - we need to! Naked with Chanel No: 5

Naked with Chanel No 5: Day 35: Caution Curves Ahead!

Alright, I'll admit it. Today I totally failed at my endeavor to not be a flirt. Maybe it was all the hard studying or being cooped up in a classroom and a hotel, but I found myself neck deep in inappropriate text messages during class with a former fling which only fueled the fire of flirty. So when I headed out with classmates after a particularly inspiring lecture from Boeing's CEO, it was all I could do not to flirt with the waiter at the restaurant with a mechanical bull and avoid my progressively inebriated classmates as they began to profess their booze fueled inclinations toward my clearly curvy behind. Thank god I was able to escape, but I can't lie..

I flirted back.

So now, I need to figure out what my next month is going to look like. How do I learn to safely flirt without putting myself and my heart at risk? How do I wait for the hot until I find the happy? How do I learn to flirt without over promising, over exciting, or misdirecting? The last time I walked down this path, I ended up accidentally romantically involved with a dude who was super not available and kinda heart broken because I thought we were just friends.... so how do I learn to interact with guys in a safe, flirtatious, and productive non destructive way?

I am a passionate and fiery kinda woman and that is never going to change. But there must be a middle ground between combustion and hiatus. Somewhere that earth shaking but not heart breaking - instead functional making and body quaking can co-exist.

Fortunately, despite my most carnal instincts I am tucked safely away again and continue on my path to suss out this love labyrinth. Until then.... Naked with Chanel No: 5.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Naked with Chanel No 5: Day 34: So who are you gonna be today?

The other evening over a spicy Malbec and a plate of Humboldt Fog, a sage friend of mine noted "There is nothing more to me than me."

I'm keeping it simple today. You are who you are - not what you've accomplished. You are who you are - how you love, how you feel, how you react, how you give, and what you take from this world. You are not what you do or what you've failed to do.

Whether it's your parents, your bosses or your social circle, there is likely somebody putting pressure on you to achieve more, do more, spend more, be something you aren't sure you want to be. When we meet someone we don't ask what drives them - we ask what it is they do to make their living.  We are forgetting that what truly makes people powerful, impactful, and amazing is not their worldly achievements, but instead those innate characteristics that drive them to do what they do. They are nothing more than simply who they are.

Now I'm not getting all socialist snuggly and saying don't work hard, ever stress and instead just "feel" your way through life. Heck no! Dream big, desire lots, take everything that makes you you and channel it into your championship, hope for all you can possibly imagine, but at the end of the day - if it all doesn't happen - you are still you. You still matter.

There is nothing more to me than me, Naked with Chanel No: 5

ps - Humboldt Fog is a cheese people

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Naked with Chanel No 5: Day 33: Time for a new mix

So today as I climbed and climbed again the old wooden stairs near my house that lead to the overpass that leads to the parking lot that leads to 100 yards of grainy golden sand that leads to a usually turbulent pacific where I finally find a wee bit of zen, I realized I need a new mix. I've done those stairs a thousand times, and my thighs have been in many iterations of lean strength and rolling thunder on that climb. It's hot, it hurts, and I usually see dolphins.

The music mix of my sweat sessions was composed a couple years back - a few new tunes here and there - but while I've updated my iPad, my iPod, and my Android I still have not updated my shuffle. The songs that play on my shuffle were compiled and gifted by someone who took care of me when the one who should have didn't. They reflect more to me than they ever did to him because I fell in a Florence Nightingale kind of way, and he just gave me a flash drive. I think in some unintentional way I was hanging on to the soundtrack of our friendship because it felt like home, but it too has become retro. I don't need those tunes anymore.

It reminded me of my first mixed tape, from the youngest love of my life. A musician ached in his soul but the creative pyre was far too dangerous to sustain. I was inspired and terrified and today I look back and know we would have meant combustion, but Janis Joplin and Bob Marley were never simple. I still have that tape - It's starts with Free Fallin, but I actually have nothing to play it on. A trip down memory lane, I read the insert on the cassette case.

So I ask you all, my friendly friends - what music inspires you? What songs make you run, sweat, spin that extra mile? When you aren't sure you can climb another step, who's voice do you hear? When your heart feels like it's being squeezed dry, like a sponge, who fills it again? Where do you find your inner powerhouse, or better yet - your inner Lala? Send me song tips, hell - send me songs. I want to know what I should be climbing to!

For now, I'll tuck in to the soundtrack of my memories and curl up listening to Free Fallin, Naked with Chanel No: 5.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Naked with Chanel No 5: Day 32: On Humor, Irony & Jackasses

Wow I don't think I could possibly laugh harder than I did last night! I, along with a  reunioned cast and crew of a short film I produced last year, attended a decidedly awkward awards ceremony for a film festival in Los Angeles. The event itself felt was like a disco lit rave/non-denominational wedding for a woman who really liked to give out statues. At a certain point, I wasn't sure we were even in the right banquet room!

The awards show started out nearly an hour later than expected and perhaps we'd all had a bit too much wine... Our wayward cast and crew sat in the back row and hooted and hollered like hooligans as a film about a Wedding Party and some dude named Charles were nominated for everything. My date was one of my very best friends and dearest of confidants who agreed to take our girl's night in - out! Getting the giggles was the least of our concern, uproarious laughter at wholly inappropriate moments was far more likely! We were nonetheless honored to receive awards for our ensemble cast and superior writer/ director. WE WON!

I was intoxicated with the comedy of the evening and charmed by the irony of the generous bonds created through artistic collaboration. Gone were the wounds of bruised egos of all the frustrated producers and exhausted crew members. Years later (because film production literally takes years) we had moved past disagreements and instead laughed together in celebration of success. A team of extraordinarily talented filmmakers, actors, and creators came together like a titanic crashing wave and made some truly funny shit one summer in the heat of Hollywood.

It was a precious reminder that all things in time get easier and nothing worth doing is simple. The blood, sweat, tears, and energy of today will lead to laughter and triumph down the road. Whether it be a battle with a project, test with a lover, terrifying personal goal, or struggle with a friend - all good things take hard work, some don't run perfectly, and in the end - most things turn out as they should. You may even win a little bobble tailed JackAss statue with your name on it when it's all done.

I of course found myself re-bit by the creating bug and spent the night dreaming of another set, another cast, another tale to tell. Chomping at the bit, I cannot wait to produce again, but for now I have a different mountain to climb. For now, I am bound to books and calculators.

But through the gentle process of clearing my head of the man-confusion I have wasted so much time battling, I am finding my way back to my own clarity of purpose. Yep, my heart still ached a little today when I saw someone who I once thought I could fall for, but and after a night like last night, a girl doesn't need much more than to be home Naked with Chanel No: 5.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Naked with Chanel No 5: Day 31: Matisse, Mountains, and Midnights

I'm perhaps so overly excited right now that it has resulted in a bit of writer's block!

Do I want to share with you the story of my Friday post studying glass of wine with a dear friend who has found a new nest tucked away in a tree-house and is ready to take flight on the inevitably terrifying process of starting anew as a divorce begins? I have been in her shoes. Many of us have worn those shoes and we share so much. While stories are different and the pain is so very private, it is not ultimately a unique experience. We are a new generation facing love and loss just as many have before.

Should I tell you about the magical inspiration of a Woody Allen film, Midnight's in Paris? The picture captured perfectly the fantasy of meetings one's muse while walking in Paris in the rain. The gentle comedy of a mismatched couple unraveling and the reminder that there will most certainly be a new stranger to meet on a bridge to somewhere - inspired in tandem. Again the evening was shared with a like minded and similarly strong woman who's independence from marriage years ago came as an equal chilling shock. She survived, thrived and so will I.

Or how about the story of a hike in a new direction. Accustomed to the beaten path my adventurous climbing partner and I turned to another mountain and found ourselves lost in a canyon. Without a certain direction we wandered through a gorgeous green woodland to an open horse field and then along Sunset blvd for miles to get home. Inspired as always by her insightful reflection and similar life's experiences, we came up with a plan for the next phase of Naked with Chanel No: 5 because I am most definitely not ready to dive back into dating in nine days!

I am too jumbled with ideas, and laughter to calm myself into a conscious stream of thought. Instead I will turn to a whiteboard wall of ideas phrases and be grateful that as I sit here in the library at UCLA with two more brilliant classmates I am learning a lot about life, love, and finance and perhaps how to be perfectly satisfied by the inspiration of friendship, the power of a community and not at all afraid to be Naked with Chanel No: 5.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Naked with Chanel No 5: Day 28: What inspires you?

I was grumpily walking to an appointment (physical therapy week 8 is wearing on me), when I heard a little girl singing that perfect smile inducing song. Her voice merrily chirped "Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens..." and I suddenly found a spring in my step.

It got me thinking about lists - favorite things, inspiring things - and just how freeing it can be to remind yourself of all the ways you can tap into this great big world to re-find some fire! Because when the dog bites or the bee stings (which in my case is nearly fatal) - simply remembering those things does actually help!

So here's my list:

1) Sunrise, the sun at noon, the sun as it sets. Anything that has to do with that big revolving globe of warmth totally does it for me.

2) Powerful women. Whether it's my darling burlesque troupe, my classmates, my few best friends, or my co-producers - nothing is more exciting than being surrounded by a passionate and powerful group of women who together are working towards a goal.

3) I get super turned on by artists, creators, inventors! People who wake up still dreaming about what they might create today, and actually try and do it. So I guess this means, I love the artistic do-ers. Bring em on!

4) The unexpected - inspiration when it jumps out and shouts - HEY THERE! Like yesterday, driving along Santa Monica boulevard I nearly rear-ended the car in front of me when I saw the  Warhol posters of Chanel No 5 hanging in a gallery. HEY THERE! The world is listening.

5) There is nothing better than singing at top volume in my car - my own private performance of everything I'm feeling. Whether it's my girl P!nk, Gaga, Adele, K'naan or that one song by Carbon Leaf - Life Less Ordinary... positive pick me ups can make a day.

6) Waves, Seaweed, Pelicans, and Sand between my toes, in my shoes, on my towels, and dirtying the entry of my home. The ocean in all its confusing powerful glory is pretty much the most calming and inspiring presence I can find.

7) Favorite Places: Santa Croce in Florence, the secret vineyard and nearby cemetery in Marmont, beneath the Santa Monica Pier, The middle of the Charles Bridge in Prague - in the rain, the top of Victoria Peak hiking trails in Hong Kong also in the rain, the gardens in Potsdam, the Marina in SF at night, and sixty feet under water diving with sea lions.

So what are your favorite things? What inspires you and why? Make a list. Read it when you are grumpy. Be selfish and don't pretend it's "giving" that works for you. It may, but we all have little moments we remember where we felt at ease. Remind yourself of these moments and maybe even sing a little song!

Oh yeah, and I also definitely love whiskers on kittens!

Have a great weekend kids, Naked with Chanel No: 5

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Naked with Chanel No 5: Day 27: Quick Review on Bad Girl Behavior

A guide to Bad Girl behavior - On a night when you are all heart broken after you've learned that your ex lover has moved onto someone new or ex husband went on a vacation with another chick or the dude you thought you were dating is out an about with someone else.......follow the following:

Step 1) Call another guy, any guy, even if you don't really like him but generally speaking gives you solid attention. Just call him!

Step 2) Figure out if and how you can get him to take you out for drinks because that will feel a hell of a lot better then how it feels right now.

Step 3) Go into your closet and find the hottest dress you have, pair it with boots or stilettos (depending on the dude's particular taste), shower, curl hair, curl eyelashes, gloss lips, and apply creme brule smelling lotion with a dab of perfume.

Step 3) Enjoy his attention, bask in his flirtation, practice your seductive smile, and maybe drink a little too much.

Step 4) Make out with the dude and grow a little closer to falling for him, even though he knows that there is no future, knows he's a rebound, and won't let himself feel anything, but can tell you are looking for something for the night and is happy to play the role.

Step 5) Wake up. Pretend it didn't matter. Act like you can just be friends until you realize that you got closer than you intended, because well girls are girls, and we attach.

Step 6) Attempt to maintain a friendship. Maybe even make out again once or twice, while secretly hoping he'll fall madly in love with you.

Step 7) Get mad, hurt, sad, when he says he won't.

Step 8) Delete him from your phone after reviewing all flirtatious text messages in which he told you you were gorgeous, amazing, hot etc. He clearly liked you enough to want another round, just not so well as to stick around.

Step 9) Find out a few weeks later he's on vacation with another version of you.

Step 10) Wash, Rinse, Repeat

Probably time to stop this crazy cycle!
Thank god for a better choice - Naked with Chanel No: 5

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Naked with Chanel No 5: Day 26.5: All the men

So I look around my home at the mementos of lovers past and see the watercolor painting sent from my British lover, a photograph taken by the magical Australian architect while wandering through Germany, a painting bought by my Italian dreamer after a truly charmed night in the Piazza Michelangelo, sea-shells collected with my adventurous Turk, a Chinese scroll from my honeymoon, the photo of a the Matisse museum that reminds me of another beach wandering and the playful black and white photographs taken at a party with a recent flame.

Knowing that most of these passionate, fiery romances all ended in some sort of painful combustion on one side or another, I can't help but wonder - what got me here? How did the sum total of all these great loves result in me choosing perhaps the most impossibly wrong partner? What is it that each of these men who fell in love with me, if only for a short while, saw in me? And what did I see in them?

I am a chameleon and have always been. I do not apologize for my evolving self, nor wish to become stagnant, but I do want to find out what the accumulation of all these characters might amount to!

This recent curious contemplation is for two reasons.

One: I just learned that a recently past romantic fling, with whom I'd planned to travel away for a weekend adventure - went away with another date. While I had no claim, I cannot help but feel simply replaced, passed upon, and it stings. He warned that he was a scorpion, ready to sting and needing freedom, but I had hoped he'd change or quickly evolve! Especially because I was not sure I was done and am certain he walked away from an amazing woman. A reminder to myself - evolution by definition means to move forward, so no man will ever turn back. 

Two: This weekend at the bachelorette party, I learned that my Italian was far more love sick for me than I ever knew, and I adored him as well. So much so, I went back and saw him before I agreed to marry my former husband, just to be sure. I chose an American life, because surely I could never be an Italian wife. He would expect me to just be his wife and an American marriage would certainly allow me the freedom to achieve. Ummm, yeah that worked out well didn't it?!?!

So now I wonder, what other choices I made, what other men I walked away from, what other experiences I did not accept because they did not fit that current mold. What might have happened if I married the Brit and traveled the world with him, or moved to live with the Australian? Would being an Italian's wife have given me the freedom to write, without the burden to perform in an American world? Could I have climbed Everest with my Turk?

So I ponder, what I might learn if I revisit all the men, if I journey to all the ports of call? Would it change what it means to be Naked with Chanel No: 5?

Naked with Chanel No 5: Day 26 - Women are not "Talent"

So when I joined my extremely expensive highly competitive Executive level MBA program, I was oh so excited to be around  top tier classmates who have all achieved high levels of business success, or at least behaved like grownups. Truth of the matter is, for the most part, my classmates are pretty freaking awesome. Except.....

Boys seem to behave like boys no matter what, and I've got one gripe that absolutely pushes my buttons. Some of these boys (who are all in their mid to late 30s, except one young outlier) have taken to calling women "talent." As in - "Hey, let's make sure whatever bar we go to tonight has good talent."

Now I'm not entirely sure what makes me angrier about this. Is it 1) It's disrespectful to the 14 courageous gorgeous smart and extraordinary women in our program. (There are 72 classmates). or 2) It's disrespectful to the women who are at said bars? A classmate of mine (a top level manager at a major financial co) nailed it. "Women aren't talent, we are people."

So here's the deal, I know that the guys are just saying they want pretty girls to flirt with, look at, and be able to have no-strings-attached drinks and possibly more... but why the hell do men not look past the obvious and want to dig a bit deeper? I should couch this with a very clear confirmation, there is not a guy in my class I'd want to date, so it's not jealousy, it's just kinda sad.  There is a lot more to women than just our pretty!

I had this discussion with my therapist, (yes I have a therapist - a dead older brother, adoption, 10 years in the wrong kind of marriage, confusing and critical parents, head trauma, and grad school - I need a damn therapist) and she reminded me that while I've always wanted a guy who was successful, confident, and on his way to great victory, I've dated the inevitably flawed ones - who needed help or fixing, or were on their way out of some destruction or headed to a mental breakdown... Maybe the fact is, that while we women know we are not just "talent" the men around us need to be reminded and we need to affirm it within ourselves.

So girls, here's my thought - Do not halt your pretty, do not stop being extraordinary, and god knows when you are out and about - let the dumb boys buy you drinks... BUT expect more from them, and more from yourself. Be more than talent to the men you meet on a Saturday night, because you know you want to mean more to them on Sunday morning.

Signing off this morning - ready to embrace a new day - empowered by it's start Naked with Chanel No: 5.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Naked with Chanel No 5: Day 25 - Two Captains

So the other night I attended a bachelorette party for one of my oldest friends. A like minded soul, the bride and I have adventured around the world, traveled through Europe for months, created, painted, written, sung, and climbed through our childhood together. There was no limit to the champagne in the back seat of the limousine as we caroused throughout downtown Los Angeles. (I of course wore my seat belt.)

As the bubbles flowed so did the nostalgia for all the loves we remembered from our past. The Italians, the Australians, the Brits, and even the Americans. At every port of call we found someone to inspire and adventure with. The love affairs never lasted long, just enough to guide to the next port. A temporary co-captain on life's journey. Long story short, all this nostalgia led to a game of drunk dial, in which I ended up calling my soon to be ex husband a few times.

He didn't answer. It was after-all three AM, but we connected the next day when I finally woke up... We got to talking about why our marriage was doomed and he said quite frankly, "You can't have two captains in a marriage."

Now I absolutely disagree with that, but I also acknowledge there is no way to stay married to someone who feels that way. A part of me hopes for the hail mary, last minute pre-divorce paper signing, for him to rush back and shout that he was wrong, he wants to love me as an equal, doesn't need someone to be less than him in order to feel secure, and could be a co-captain in life, but I'm smart enough to know that's not going to happen. I'm also willing to accept that even if he did, it wouldn't be how he really feels and we would find ourselves here again.

So where will I meet my co-captain? I don't know, but because I want to be matched in the extraordinary and on an adventure together, I will never again apologize for all that I will give and all that I will expect. A hiatus has helped make it clear that it's going to have to be someone pretty damn special in order for me to anything other than Naked with Chanel No: 5.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Naked with Chanel No 5: Day 21 - Getting off the market

So tonight I stayed late in a big ol classroom with a study group working on a presentation about leadership and figuring out precisely how we can convince a board of directors how a chick might be the future leader of of a super conservative male dominated technology co that should totally be a media co. As it happens in this sort of study collaborative environment, we all got silly, chatty, honest. And somewhere between final cut edit of the media presentation the clock ticked past ten and I shared the history of this blog and my current 40 day adventure.

One of my witty male classmates astutely asked why I would have to go on a man hiatus. Why instead could I not just start dating the nice guys. "Well with a decade of bad man decisions," I replied, "it was time to take myself off the market."

"So you were involved with guys who made you feel like meat?"

Yep, right about then - the record skipped in my soundtrack. Holy crap, I have most definitely absolutely been involved with some butchers and I have been a total piece of grade A.

Now onto the next issue about simply dating the nice guys. Any gal who's strutted about this town in her lou'Boutins knows that while you can't go a block without tripping over a jerk, you can walk miles and need to re-sole those shiny red bottoms, before you find a nice guy (that you'd actually want to date.)

The truth is, we all get very used to being treated poorly, and make ongoing excuses for those who do it. It's familiar, it's comfortable, and even though it hurts, it's the devil we know.

So yep, I definitely am learning a little bit about what a hiatus, a fast, can do for a soul. Before these last 21 days, I might have instantly denied that my actions, my choices, were putting me in a butcher's shop. Now, I'm open to hearing it, and hopefully changing because of it!

But while I am looking for something more tender and not just a heart tenderizer, I'll safely wait for the nice guy, Naked with Chanel, No 5.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Naked with Chanel No 5: Day 18 - Girls at Heart

No matter how grown up we decide to be, we are all the same innocent hopeful teenage girls at heart when it comes to the process of falling in love. Somewhere along the way, men learn to disassociate those heart palpitations from passing notes in class and kissing for the first time with a feeling of connection, yet we ladies grow up trained quite differently.

Perhaps it's biologic, but this whole friends with benefits, no strings attached mantra is an absolute sham! When you are a girl, the call for a date to a dance was the best call of the week, and when you are a woman, you can't forget that girl inside. Yet sometimes she isn't safe in the grownup world.

So I can't help but wonder if new romance as cautious adults might be inevitably destined to fail. Have we, as a society. strayed so far from those innocent sweaty palmed roots that we can no longer fall for each other once we've been hurt by a past? Is a bruised soul, so interminably black and blued, that it cannot find it's way to gentle flirtation? How does one find their way safely back to falling in love - when nothing really feels safe anymore?

My guy friends who have been destroyed by failed marriages, broken hearts, and disrupted families all sing the same chorus that sounds something like "I don't see a point in getting serious again. It's only going to end miserably."

My girl friends, broken by sudden solitude or tragically flawed unions, seek promptly to begin building new nests where another companion might find rest. Immediately wanting to bond, love, give again - sometimes at all costs, caring when they should not while hopeful for something new.

However can these two mismatched genders meet? A generation of souls, both afraid to move forward repeating mistakes and determined to try the same pattern again.  Resolving this disconnect, is far above my pay grade, but I think if we could all just get back to the basics, we'd be a bit better off.

For now, I'm happily opting out of the confusion and safely staying alone, Naked with Chanel No. 5.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Naked with Chanel No 5: Day 17 - Gravity

Shaking thigh sinews pull
as each foot hole is reached.
Dirty fingernails and salted brow,
she squints through the sun rays
and claws the face of a rock.

Because this mountain is a metaphor
and pain is her pleasure
and even in leisure
she needs to reach higher.

Man seeks anchors
to safely tether his
freedom to dance about lofty goals.
She will always cut strings
and fly alongside.

Because there is no fear on a mountain.
There is no danger in the clouds.
It's only the ominous anchor of gravity
which halts ascent.

And she is willful enough to fight gravity.

Here's a little hiking inspired poetry. This blog is after all called, There's a Poem for That, so I reserve the right to occasionally dabble in the lyrical throughout my more pensive themed series.  Have a great Monday kids! I've got about 9 hours left in the day so it shall be a while before I am again Naked with Chanel No: 5.  

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Naked with Chanel No 5: Day 16 - When a burger is better than a date!

It's Sunday, so that means I started my day with a cup of coffee and a mountain climb with solid girl friends and inspiration. We ascended, higher than usual today, seven miles, a rock that was a wee bit perilous, and I am exhausted from touching the earth and sky in one climb.

Lunch was a delicious double double protein animal style shared over laughter and giddy remarks right before a five hour finance study session. I paid for a man to spend two hours with me. He taught me things I never thought I'd know - like what the Net Present Value of a random fake thermal energy project might be.

We book-ended the day with a sunset cocktail and more therapeutic comedy with the smartest chicks I know. Stories, sharing, caring, and protecting - a sisterhood of like minded hearts.

And at the end of a day like today, sunned, inspired, learned and tired - I realize it's perfectly ok to not need anything else. Today was enough and I am so ready to be quietly alone, Naked with Chanel No: 5.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Naked with Chanel No 5: Day 15 - It's not you its me

Breaking up is hard to do,
but the sun will come out tomorrow.

Day after day, I'm so confused, yet I look for the light in the pouring rain.
Precisely what's love got to do with it?
I don't believe it is a flower and you, it's only seed.

But when I get older, I will be stronger
and like a bridge over troubled water,
I'll believe that better days are coming 
by and by. 
Together at last
We'll fly like kites
but until then 
I'll sleep Naked with Chanel No: 5

Friday, May 6, 2011

Naked with Chanel No 5: Day 14 - On hold

The writing only - I'm worn out. Still sticking to the man hiatus plan.

Best decision I've made in years was to put on hold the actions that were most confusing. Clarity is approaching, understanding that disappointment was not from who the men I fell for were, but instead the gap between who they were and who I imagined they could be. I've filled in the mad-lib stories with men - who were just not well matched with me, ready for me, or right for me - and their realities and limitations are becoming more clear. Nothing anyone could have done.

Just yesterday I found myself in a heated negotiation on an already resolved divorce with an eight week ticking clock of closure - for absolutely no reason, except his own fear that someone might be screwing him.  I don't screw people. (Figuratively or literally these days)

I am finding peace with the past but admittedly the process is trying, I am exhausted and ready to sleep. Fighting a cold, determined to accomplish, but for now - tucked in Naked with Chanel No: 5.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Naked with Chanel No 5: Day 13 - Desnuda con Chanel numero cinco

Too tired tonight to make an appropriate or ironic baker's dozen comment about post 13 or enlightened cinco dey mayo type note about Coco's fifth fragrance. Instead, I'll just post an old favorite haiku and wish you all a very feliz noche, desnuda con Chanel numero cinco
A Tequila Haiku

Toxic truth serum
Shares secrets best kept quiet
Many should not drink

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Naked with Chanel No 5: Day 12 - I love to play, but I don't play games!

This one is pretty simple tonight. Not feeling all that melliflous as I have a presentation to write and battled some highly productive insomnia last night. (You can totally garden at 5:30 AM in May BTW)

So here's today's conclusion - I am a straight forward, you see what you get, you'll know where you stand with me - kind of woman. I have heard tales about women who "played the game" to land the man of their dreams even contemplating the duration of time they might wait before responding to a simple text "keep him interested," and maybe I should consider a better game playing strategy - but that just isn't me. I've been out of this dating shenanigan for a fairly long time, and have had a few curious mentors this past year, but at the end of all of it - I am just pretty straight up.

I also think that one should give to the world what they hope to receive. And that may be Pollyanna of me, but I'm not about to start being conniving or learn to manipulate those around me. That's my deal in business, family, life and love. I don't want to be manipulated, and am not going to do it to someone else.

When I embarked on this little adventure of man hiatus, a particularly analytical friend of mine asked me what my goal was. What did I plan to accomplish? I said I didn't know where it would lead me, but I was interested in finding out what - when all the various streams of confusing information that were sent my way were quieted, I really felt about life, love, and the possibility of a happily ever after.

Truth of it is, the more I experiment on who I should be, how I should react, what I can allow myself to feel, the clearer it becomes that my very basic instincts are the perfect fit. It's just a matter of listening to them! Now tonight, I'm hoping I can rest this ever churning brain for a solid eight and plan to tuck in no later than 10:00 PM - Naked with Chanel No: 5.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Naked with Chanel No 5: Day 11 - Have you slept with a hooker?

I am about to be incredibly unpopular for this next post. In fact, I may very well offend every man I know, have dated, have thought about dating, and possibly ever will date.... but here's the deal - there is nothing OK with sleeping with hookers, call girls, pros, escorts, etc in my book. From this point on, I am literally going to ask any dude I am planning on getting naughty with whether or not he's slept with a hooker.

Believe me kids, this may be an LA thing - but you would be shocked how many men actually have!! What girl would have ever thought she had to ask?!?

Let me be clear. Any man who has paid for sex associates a totally different value to the act than I. Yes, I get that men and women are different and have different needs/wants/desires but at the end of the day - sex with required payment is gross. It's become a weird common place thing and although I adore the show - Secret Diary of a Call Girl, I abhor the actual behavior. Any person who's been to the red light district in Bangkok has seen the terrifying koi pond of the country's young beautiful desperate girls, barely fed by the paltry sums paid for their abuse.

Real men don't buy girls!

So now one might ask, how does a woman who adores burlesque, considers her body a temple - to be well maintained and absolutely worshiped, and is writing a blog about being naked with Chanel No: 5 take such an adamant stand against this topic? Simply put - I've met a few men who have, and boy did their emotional shit screw me up!!

You see any man, who has regularly(or possibly occasionally) paid for sex cannot comprehend the emotional attachment a woman is going to feel for him. We let you into our bodies, and while your experience is external, ours is very very internal. There is no transaction involved in this dual reaction!!!

The strange thing is that afterward, a man who's paid for sex is determined to convince all future lovers that there is no reason for unnecessary emotional attachment and renders his latest conquest confused, angry, and invalidated.....

Here's the deal - sex is a valid, emotional, expressive act between two people. Carnal - absolutely, awesome fun - totally, meaningful - positively. Any man who doesn't get that is simply never going to see me Naked with Chanel No: 5.

*** A rare footnote....
(Granted there were those tentative first timers/ late bloomers whose fraternity decided it was the best way to get something going, and that I might forgive if the guy turns out not to be a total douche. ) 

Monday, May 2, 2011

Naked with Chanel No 5: Day 10 - When they don't call

I've read, I've sweat, I've sunned, and I've worked hard today and used my brain exhaustively. Yet for whatever reason, I am on a rotating schedule of thinking about the ones who didn't call. Seriously why the hell am I still thinking about men?!?!? They occupy far too much of the average woman's brain.

I don't know what else to write. We women are always left confused by the men who don't respond the way we want and annoyed by the overly attentive ones we don't actually like.

So that's all. Confused by conflicting emotions associated with my former lover, who turned out to be bat shit crazy, and hopeful for the future with someone stable, wild and new - but for tonight, i am straight up confused and stuck thinking about the ones who didn't call.

Thank god I can just tuck in safely and alone, Naked with Chanel No. 5. 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Naked with Chanel No 5: Day 9 - Bookends of Inspiration Help

This evening, I planned just a few minutes ago to write something curt and uninspired about how there is no Naked no Chanel no No 5 after the weekend I've had. Then, as I fast forwarded my way through an Army Wives commercial break, there she was - My perfume inspiration on the tellie.

It reminded me, that somewhere before the sunset, I talked about book-ending with my best friend. You take a day, that shouldn't be perfect and you surround it with those thing that offer peace, relaxation, calm. I started this morning with a seven mile climb and a friend who wasn't sure she'd make it and another who sprinted ahead. I bridged the distance between the two, establish a new connection, and inspired a few girls to Rise & Shine.

Then I studied finance. A lot.

But after a five hour study session of something I really am not all that inclined to, but seemingly can pick up - I hit the beach, watched a sunset, and breathed again the sandy freedom of a pretty effin cool life.

Now, I know that book-ending most days with this sort of awesomeness is pretty rare. I am blessed to be able to be sun-kissed, brain beaten, and mountain inspired. But I will say that for sanity's sake, taking the time to have ritual, to frame a day, with something you love at the beginning and the end, will make almost any day tolerable. Ladies, find a way to do this. Make your ritual.

So I curl up tonight with moderately crispy skin on soft sheets, gentle,calmed and ready to embrace a Monday, but only after a quiet night alone, Naked with Chanel No: 5.