5/17/2019 – One Year Later…

Yeah I’m a day late writing this post, but that’s ok. Yesterday was way too busy to write a blog post, but I can catch up to speed today.

This is a little unfamiliar territory for me, but for the first time in my 33 years and a little change on this planet, I made it one year in a relationship. All of my previous relationships were very short-lived and dysfunctional, none of them lasting more than 6 months. To make it one year has been a little shocking to say the least. I never thought I’d see the day and I always thought there was nobody for me.

So Laina and I started our day with a visit to our favorite coffee shop then hit the road to Fredericksburg for a wine tasting (glad things are finally starting to open up again!). After a leisurely trip there and back, we stopped by my place briefly to unload and prep for the next stop, which was a couple of rounds of mini-golf at a premiere course just north of downtown. A little fun in the sun later, we retired to my place for some light reading and a special dinner cooked by yours truly – steak medallions, potatoes and salad – a recreation of the first meal I ever cooked for her. This paired with a couple of special bottles of wine (Lost Oak Rose Blanca for her and Pedernales Family Reserve 2016 for me), followed by a jam session, a movie (Angus), and a pour of Fredericksburg peach brandy to cap off the night.

I can’t say as though I’m surprised we’ve made it this long, just something I didn’t see coming. What the future holds I have no idea, but I guess we shall see, won’t we!

Here’s to another year ahead, which I’m excited to see what will bring. Never have I loved someone so deeply before. Maybe my curse has been broken after all (and maybe it just took a totally unconventional relationship to do that – conventional might just not work for me).

Valentine’s Day Weekend (and Other) Reflections…

So here I am, another Monday morning at Laina’s place working and doing my laundry, but after a fun weekend prior.

This was the first Valentine’s Day since 2011 that I have not been single. It’s weird in a way. I guess you can count 2014 as partnered, but that was the day my most recent ex and I split so I don’t know if that even counts.

Anyway, it was the first V-Day in that long that hasn’t totally sucked. Though what we have is the farthest thing from a traditional relationship, it was fitting to celebrate what we have on the day, and that we did. I cooked us a dinner of Salmon, Thai peanut buckwheat noodles (buckwheat is not related to wheat and is gluten-free) and French-cut green beans, after which we went for wine and chocolate at San Antonio’s own Stray Grape winery (review coming soon over on Texas Bite & Sip). It was a night of reflection, affection and looking to the future ahead.

It was crowded so we retired early to my place for a Walking Dead marathon, then continued the theme into Saturday by taking a drive up to “winery row” (US 290 between Johnson City and Fredericksburg) to sample some more wine.

As we look into what lies ahead, of course nobody knows, but I still know I’m in a better place now. To love and to be loved feels great.

Other interesting reflections: my weight is holding steady after a drop, but my body composition continues to change in my favor – to the point I can rock swim briefs at the pool with complete confidence.

I feel even lighter mood-wise also, and would you believe I have completely lost my taste for cigars? I’ve tried a few here and there recently (ones I used to love) and I can’t stomach the taste anymore. Maybe as my body detoxes itself it’s being repulsed by the taste to not introduce new toxins? Who knows, but all I know is I’m pretty much completely cigar-free these days. I’m not complaining – they’re expensive and it frees me up to do other things with my time.

I’m trying to read a novel for the first time since 2017 – Microserfs by Douglas Coupland. So far an engaging read for sure, and this coming from someone who doesn’t get much pleasure from reading novels.

Of course, should a business venture come to fruition, the plan will have to be different moving forward as I no longer smoke cigars. That’s ok – I’m thinking maybe an entirely gluten-free tavern featuring a variety of food offerings and some of the very best wines from Texas hill country (as well as maybe some hard ciders, etc.). That’s still a concept in its infancy, but it’s worth it to explore.

Anyway, that’s what my life looks like now.

Holiday Fun, Some Personal Updates & A Look at 2020 Ahead

So I’m chilling in my apartment this morning resting up from a past two fun-filled days. They’ve worn me out for sure but wow has it been fun.

Our holiday fun started on Saturday the 14th when Laina and I caught up with my best friend from high school and one of her close friends for a stroll down the San Antonio Riverwalk to see the lights. They do it up in a huge way, let me tell you what! We walked down and up, stopped in for a quick bite to eat on one of the restaurants on the strip (and a couple of spicy margaritas for me – which were heavenly) and just took it in on a lovely, warm-ish December night.

Christmas Eve we went over to Laina’s BFF’s house for some fun and games as well as food and drink. Upon Laina’s BFF’s request, I made what has become my signature dish – a paleo-style Asian stir fry using spaghetti squash instead of lo mein noodles, boneless chicken thighs, sliced carrots, onions, celery, zucchini, red bell pepper, chopped portabella mushroom and diced peanut and garlic bits, with a mix of San-J (all gluten/MSG free sauces) Thai peanut and spicy Szechuan sauces. (Oh, and sliced green onions on the side for those who wanted them). Everyone seemed to love it.

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We ate, I cracked out my new Taylor 12 for awhile, then we played some Bullshit (a hilarious card game where the object is to lie like a dog and get away with it!). After having killed two full bottles of wine and some Peruvian brandy, I was in no condition to drive so we stayed the night.

Laina and I woke up at 6 AM sharp yesterday morning to run back to our places, tend to a few things and then hit the road to Abilene to see my family. We stopped in at my parents’ place first thing for some small gift exchanges and to fill up on my mom’s famous ham/pineapple before heading over to my paternal grandmother’s house for her last Christmas in her place before moving to assisted living.

Needless to say yesterday wasn’t as fun as the day before, but I made it through. I’ve always been the black sheep of my family but I felt obligated to go. After some light conversation with the group, Laina and I got right back on the road to SA (in which I promptly changed out of awful full-length jeans back into my signature Dukes – lord knows my conservative, Bible-thumping extended family would have thrown a fit over me wearing them!) and met up with Mr. Kitty for dinner and hard ciders at Flying Saucer. It was a great way to cap off the night.

As far as other personal updates, I continue to heal as my health continues to improve. I’ve lost a considerable amount of weight without even trying – no calorie counting or anything. Take this photo as a prime example. These “light wash” Dukes are one of my smaller pairs. This time last year I struggled to button them. This year, I need a belt with them!

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Now that’s progress!

Sorcha is doing well. She goes into the vet again tomorrow (Friday) for her third round of vaccines and to schedule spaying/microchipping. She’s become a little Houdini – she’s snuck out on my back deck once and out my front door once, going halfway down the stairs. Methinks she’s wanting to chase some tail (as do most female cats when they hit puberty), but the last thing I need is a litter of kittens so that’s not happening. She has stopped pissing on my bed (after switching her to a full-sized litterbox) and sleeps with me in bed at night – on my pillow behind my head!

Here’s a cute little picture I took of her exploring my wine glass. Like father, like daughter I guess!

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So, what’s on the docket for 2020 for this blog? Well, more of life in San Antonio as I continue through this major transitional step in my life, exploring a newfound love life, and some collaboration work! Laina and I have been visiting several wineries in the hill country lately (mostly on Highway 290 between Johnson City and Fredericksburg), doing like a superficial once-overs and some tastings. We are planning to launch a joint venture in which we review the wineries we’ve visited, from atmosphere, decor, staff, and of course the wine itself. As our wine palates run totally opposite (she’s into light, sweet whites/roses as well as ports whereas I’m more of a big, heavy, dry red type person) we’ll each have a different angle to approach with to give you more variety. Stay tuned, you won’t want to miss this!

A Day For Reflection

So I’m taking today off of work, for a dual purpose. Today is a day of reflection, celebration, and mourning all rolled into one. Two major events happened on this day, 98 years apart.

First things first, my great-grandmother would have been 101 years old today. I think back to my childhood and am so relieved she lived with us growing up. She seemed to be the only person who understood me. Not even my parents understood me nor did they really try to until my high school counselor pleaded with them to have me evaluated for autism spectrum disorder. In that way, my great-grandmother was my rock growing up.

She passed away 9 days shy of 17 years ago, at the age of 84 years and 9 days. Not a day goes by I don’t think about her. It’s the little things, too – the peony scented hand soap I have in my dwelling place (her favorite flower), the tattoo I have on my left calf, her old anniversary clock that I’ve kept even though it quit working years ago, those kinds of things.

Though she’s gone from the realm of the living, I feel her presence still. Her energy is with me. Sometimes at night, when it’s really dark and quiet and I’m lying in bed, I hear her voice calling my name.

It’s been a long 17 years, and I’m still processing. So much of my deeper-seated feelings about the whole ordeal I’ve bottled up all this time as in a lot of ways I’d always felt responsible for her death (contracting a flu-like illness myself, then she contracted it – I assumed from me). Alas, it could have happened anywhere. I’ll never know for sure. All I know is I’m finally to a point I no longer blame myself and can begin to really heal from it.

Anyway, another major event today. Three years ago today I stumbled across a certain blog that seemed to catch my eye. One with a life story similar to mine, yet different in its own way.  I felt inclined so I left a comment. Little did I know what that little comment would blossom into 3 years later.

We started off by having a lovely dialog on WordPress, commenting back and forth, which then found us in the world of Facebook where we messaged each other through the blog “page.” Eventually this led to us exchanging numbers, blowing each other’s phones up by text, friending personal pages, and continuing blog dialog.

We finally met in person for the first time in April 2018 when said blogger adopted two kittens from my family (who have grown up to be quite happy and healthy I should add). We would meet again in person toward the end of March 2019, which set up my move, but something else was happening too – we were falling for each other hard.

Little did I know three years ago today I encountered who I truly believe to be the love of my life. My twin soul. Happy WordPress anniversary, Laina. You mean the world to me and then some.

Here are some pictures from this past Sunday. We went out to the Japanese tea gardens here in San Antonio, very close to the zoo. It was a lovely, sunny afternoon with a high of around 75 degrees so it was something to take advantage of. It was so serene, and though much colder today we might be heading back for a bit today.

All photos credit to Laina Eartharcher. signal-2019-12-08-180020signal-2019-12-08-175955-3signal-2019-12-08-175955-4signal-2019-12-08-175955-2signal-2019-12-08-175955signal-2019-12-08-175955-1

It’s very interesting to note how quickly my body composition has changed in just a few short months, and I haven’t counted a single calorie or struggled/toiled at a gym either. I’ve only changed the way I eat – going gluten/dairy free, more fruits/vegetables, cut processed foods. My Davy Dukes are actually kind of loose now – not loose enough to go down a size, but loose enough to need a belt. Laina swears I’ve aged backwards even.

Anyway, she just dropped in so I better jet – we’ve got some celebration and reflection to do. Have a good day everyone.

Month 1 in the Books (Almost)

So I’m almost all the way through my first month in San Antonio. I’ve settled into my new place (which is very nice, I might add – small and cozy but nice enough for one person) and gotten into somewhat of a routine that feels right; still making some adjustments but almost settled nonetheless. I should be over the moon, right?

Eh, not really. After the “newness” has worn off I’ve returned to what I will call a baseline. Don’t get me wrong, the baseline I’ve returned to is a bit higher than what it was in Abilene. Overall it has been a good change, an “upgrade” as it were – but not as big of one as I had initially anticipated.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some very big improvements in my quality of life. Being closer to the one who means the most to me has been a godsend and no doubt I come to life when we hang out together. Alas, when we have to part for awhile (be it bedtime, work, etc.) it’s like I’m back to square one – we’re talking Abilene levels of misery (cue this timeless classic song)…

Don’t get me wrong, I realize we both have lives outside of each other. I’m under no illusion that has changed nor am I under any delusion that will ever change. I’m not a needy person at all – I’m more than capable of entertaining and taking care of myself. That said, there is a certain loneliness when we’re apart for a considerable amount of time, to the point it’s almost impossible for me to be happy in her absence.

So where does this leave me? Do I have bits of happiness in my life now? Absolutely. Is it an improvement? Yes, because I had absolutely no happiness in Abilene. It was constant misery. That said, I still don’t have true happiness or joy at my core.

This is leaving me wondering when, or if, that will ever happen for me. Was I meant to just be a miserable person for my entire life? Am I atoning for some major transgression in a past life (assuming past lives are a thing – something which we can only take on faith)? Or does it just come down to a true case of major depressive disorder? Do I need to go back on antidepressants? Is there some other root cause I’ve yet to uncover? No doubt I need a good detox – I probably have a very toxic load given the fact that my mother A) smoked while pregnant and B) worked in a dry cleaner while pregnant.

Let it be known the above rant is not to be construed as suicidal ideation. I have no intentions of taking my own life at this point in the game. Maybe once a few years have passed and I’m in a position to launch Leaf & Barrel things will really start looking up for me (of course, this is all a big “if” depending on what the FDA decides to do in regards to premium cigars and pipe tobacco).

In the meantime, I just have to fight through what appears to be an uphill battle. I mean, if I do bail out early, let’s consider the possible outcomes:

  1. Nothing. Oblivion. Man that would be nice, but am I really willing to gamble on a 33% chance? Right now I’m not inclined to.
  2. Reincarnation. Talk about even more misery next time around (shit, maybe I did commit suicide in my past life, assuming such a thing exists).
  3. Heaven/Hell. As I’m not an adherent to any of the 3 Abrahamic faiths (in fact I thoroughly despise all 3), and given the fact that all three pretty much teach that suicide is an automatic ticket to hell, well, that doesn’t bode well for me either does it?

Whatever the case, here I am questioning my place in this universe and what, if any, greater cause my pain and suffering could be going toward. I guess that will be revealed to me in the coming days, weeks, months or maybe years. I guess I’ll just ride the wave and see, but goddamn I just want a baseline of happiness.

Then again, I wonder how many people truly attain this. On a poll on debate.org about whether or not life was really worth living, 82% of respondents voted no!

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Now, I imagine the voters in this poll likely do not meet the statistical definition of a representative sample, but holy shit there sure seem to be a hell of a lot more miserable people than happy people in this world. One has to scratch one’s head at why this could be. I wouldn’t even venture a guess.

Well I guess I should shut up now. What should have been a brief status update turned into an almost 800 word diatribe. I guess I have a tendency to do that huh? Oh well. Until next time, folks!

On Open Relationships, Ace Relationships, and Dating a Fellow Aspie/Autist

I said in my previous post I had a big announcement to make. Well, I’m sure the title of this post kind of gives it away and for those of you who have been paying attention over the past few months I’m sure it comes as absolutely no surprise.

Alas, yes, it’s official – Laina and I are an item. It just kind of sprouted on its own over the past few months. As our bond continued to grow, so did a deeper-seated love for each other, to the point that well, we really couldn’t deny it anymore. Our dynamic had evolved from close friends/neuro-siblings to more of that of a couple.

For those of you who follow both of us, I’m sure this leaves you scratching your head as I’m sure you’ve heard her refer to a partner, or maybe more specifically, a “Mr. Kitty.” No, he and I are not one and the same. She is indeed married to someone else. I’m sure to many of you it sounds like I’m a total homewrecker, and I don’t know as though I’d fault anyone who actually thought that way, but I hope some of you will hear me out on this.

Laina and Mr. Kitty are polar opposites in the physical affection department. Laina is very cuddly but ace. Mr. Kitty is hands-off yet almost hypersexual. To say there’s a mismatch there would be an understatement. Poor Laina was starving for physical affection, so she turned to someplace she could get it – from me. Laina and I are identical in that way, we need physical affection but are totally asexual. We still have not, and will not ever have sexual intercourse with each other. Neither of us is fulfilled by such action.

Of course this has been going on for some time, and out of fear of losing the business Laina and Mr. Kitty operate together, as well as possessions, furkids, etc. – we have had to keep it on the hush-hush, until now. Luckily Mr. Kitty is understanding of the situation, but as I had suspected he knew long before Laina disclosed it to him. For now, it seems as though we are out of any immediate danger, which is a relief. It had been weighing heavily on me. Even as much as I love her, I didn’t want to see her lose everything, and from the time this started developing I kept telling her not to do anything stupid or rash.

None of this is a slam on Mr. Kitty, by the way. I like him well enough and get along great with him. We cut up with each other just as I would any other friend. He’s funny and witty and he has some interesting stories to tell about his past life as a police/fire dispatcher. Does it feel weird being in a relationship with Laina that’s extramarital for her? Maybe a bit, and to be fair I had to quash some slight guilty feelings inside me, but I’ve come to terms with it, and especially since they’ve given each other a yellow/green light to have an open marriage, which I should say I have never had anything against, nor have I had anything against polyamory ever so long as all parties are consenting adults.

Now, this is the first time I’ve dated someone A) older than me, and B) a fellow aspie/autist. I think both of these elements work in my favor. It does take someone older and more mature to handle me and there are markers in my natal chart that suggest I am attracted to older people. My last relationship was with someone 8.25 years younger than me and it was an absolute disaster. This time I’m with someone 9.5 years older and it’s so much smoother. Concerning the latter factor, I think it helps us to understand each other better, how we click, what makes us tick, and helps with communication and understanding.

Am I going to say the above are universal elements? No, but if you are on the autism spectrum and looking to date as it were, perhaps staying inside the community is the better bet. There are exceptions to every rule of course, and take my own experience with a grain of salt, but that’s how I personally see it.

So that’s that. Again, I’m sure it’s no surprise to most of you. Hell, it came as a surprise to me even. I was not expecting this to come out of all this, but what happens does. The heart wants what the heart wants, after all.

On Being a Total Fireball

If it is one thing that’s so true of me, I’m a fireball. I have the temper of Satan incarnate. It takes me awhile to get to that point, but when I blow, run for fucking cover. That’s how I’ve always been, and as I now know, how I always will be.

For those curious, here is my True Sidereal Astrology (TSA) birth chart. Pay close attention to my 12th house (about the 9:30 position) to see what’s in there, and also follow the red dotted line to the other symbol it’s paired with:

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See that? The red male symbol is Mars, follow that along the red dotted line with the square (indicating a “square” aspect – a pi/2 [that’s 90 degrees for you non-mathy types] angle +/- a few) to the green female symbol, representing Venus.

Yep, that’s a total double whammy there. My fireball tendencies? There you have it. Mars in 12th by itself is a dangerous placement, and totally explains why I have the tendency toward intense, and often violent, anger. It can often happen abrputly and without warning, and depending on what else has been going on at that point in time, it can take very little to set me off. When I learned about that placement, everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, made sense. How I have never been arrested in my life I have no fucking clue. Truth be told I probably should have been a time or two in my life.

It made even more sense when paired not only with the constellation placement (Aries) but also when squared with Venus. When I do blow up? It’s usually at those who mean the most to me. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve blown up at close friends, parents, siblings. It also explains why what few of my romantic relationships I’ve had have been highly volatile and never lasted more than a few months.

If it *IS* one thing I can honestly say it’s I’ve never hit anyone or used a weapon against anyone in a fit of rage, even as violent as it gets. I sure have a lot of destroyed personal possessions and property in my wake though! I’ve punched holes through walls, broken various objects, even ones one wouldn’t think would be breakable. I will also say I’ve used pictures of exes for target practice, but who hasn’t?

Anyway, when you combine the astrological aspects with being on the autism spectrum, you can only imagine it’s led to some pretty epic meltdowns over the years. Yeah, I was dealt a bad hand for sure.

Luckily, all is not lost. It’s not like I’m predestined to become a serial killer or some shit like that. It’s one thing I’ll have to learn how to channel and harness, and one thing I knew for sure before I learned about this is that boredom is not my friend. I had always known that, but all this just confirms it. I need to be entertained and active, even as introverted as I am.

This is another thing that solidifies my decision to move. Abilene only has limited opportunities for me to “get out of my head” and do shit. A bigger city such as San Antonio is much more conducive to that, and though Dallas was a bigger city I still felt isolated and idle. That place was not a good fit for me. San Antonio is a better fit, especially when I’ve got my spiritual guide beside me to keep me on the straight and narrow and help me avoid these pitfalls.

So there’s that. If you’re just a casual acquaintance I woudln’t blame you if you ran for cover. If you’re a closer personal friend I only hope I’ve not left some of your shrapnel in my wake. If I have, I’m sorry. Really. I know I’ve not always been a very pleasant person to deal with. Please know if I ever do rip into you, it’s nothing personal. That doesn’t make it right but damn it’s hard sometimes.

Trust me, I wish I didn’t have this placement. If I could choose any other placement I would. My life would be so much easier, as well as the lives of those around me. Alas, we don’t get to choose our placements so I’m stuck. I guess I’ll just deal as best I can.

Foxtrot Mike Lima.