About Me

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I was recently set free by an amazing woman who gave me 3 beautiful children. At the ripe age of 37 years old I am currently learning about dating, in the 2011's. So much has changed and my old ways seems rusty at best, and to be honest, they were never all that good :-)But here I am, making my way.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Blog #5: Are you one of “THEM?.... -

The great part of a writing your OWN blog, is that its made up of random thoughts and stories, so if you feel like bouncing around, you can, so here goes. Recently I received some words of wisdom from  the ‘Professional’, who provided me with his insight on the subject “Rules of Engagement”. I liked his rules, they were simple, straight forward, and easy to follow. I mean after all, I have said many things about me, but I never used the word smart! As I  listened  in silence I started to wonder, what are my “rules”? So I decided I should take some time to understand what works and what doesn’t, because someday I may want to date and I don’t want miss the opportunity to speak to a great woman because I was ill prepared.

As I mentioned at the beginning of my blog “... things in life get complicated on their own” and so the Ice-breaker started his over thinking of this subject. You have to start some where, so I asked myself “Do you have any rules? If I don’t, does that make me a bad guy or a “playa” (HA!) or something else? Am I  comfortable with lying...ummm wait...no, subterfuge? (I know, right, 3 syllables, and sounds way better than the L word.) This evolved into 2 separate issues. The first was the technical issue and the second was the moral issue.

A friend asked me if I was going to become one of “THEM”. Now I’m not completely sure who THEY were, and I’m not sure I am THEM, but I think I should try out for the team and see if I like THEM or not, right? Hey, before you pass judgement, understand I came out of a long term, committed relationship, and I felt like I needed some “me time”. But not wanting to ruin my agenda I decided to put a side the “moral” debate, for now, and concentrate on the technical issues.

So here is what I was lacking, a clear methodology for my initial contact and follow through. I decided to approach this like a college research paper; problem, hypothesis, testing, results. I was hoping that I would get the right results, the first time, but I was looking forward to the testing! So I formulated a strategy, Could there be an effective set of techniques applied to my Ice-breaker routine that could be cataloged and used every time? Not that I had my question that needed answering, I put my people watching skills into action. So each time I went out I would observe and test those observations. Now I wasn’t without my own skill set. See, I have a career that requires me to meet new people on a daily basis and build a relationship that allows that person share secrets with me. I set out to  watch several people, the Dude, the Professional, along with my own  expierences, and some random crash and burns. Here is what I learned:

  • Theory #1 Corney lines; “Excuse me Miss, can I see the tag of your shirt? Oh,  I thought it said made in heaven!” Now this doesn’t work and you don’t get any points for having  the nuts to say one. But using that embarrassing story, while pointing to a random drunk idiot at the bar, saying “That guy just said...Now that does work. I tried both in one night.

  • Theory #2 Hello Hugger; You know, the guy who gives every woman he meets a hug, not the  offensive grope guy, but more of a sassy hello. I think there is fine line between a fashionable hug and becoming the  “Creeper” and you kind of have to know the girl your about to hug. See, and its a bit awkward,  if you try the Hello Hugger routine and a girl you have never met. The disclaimer is you will probably meet the bouncer, Oh wait, he liked being called a “Doorman”, either way you’ll have find a new bar for a while.And this error in judgment occurred prior to an OTB incident, several bad choices due to my friend Jack Daniels!! On a personal note I  couldn’t commit to a full time “hugger”. Its not who I am. I’m not a big emotional sharer, and honestly hugs, they seem to fit into THAT “F” as in “FEELINGS” category. So I learned about what I call  “grounding”, just make physical contact, it goes a long way.

  • Theory #3 Subterfuge; Notice I didn’t say “lying” because we all know lying is bad, but subterfuge, now thats OK!! I found it to be a tricky one though. See if I owned a boat, it worked. If I drove a Camaro, it worked. I neither own a boat, nor drive a Camaro, but I had open access to both (well maybe not actually driving the Camaro, but I could sit in it). Now if I said I was a Cop, I got the handcuff question, a welder for a nuclear power plant even worked, go figure. But if you, say have a frosty adult beverage or two or 12, and say your a cop, who drives a Camaro, while living on your boat, who welds stuff on the side,  you may have to prove something. And once you have to prove all that, well you lost! So, I found that keeping the subterfuge to a minimum and close to who you actually are, well that works just fine.

  • Theory #4 Talk, Talk, Talk vs. Listen, listen, listen; So as I explored my Ice-breaking skills I found that I would start a conversation and then keep talking. That’s my nature, I almost never shut up and I talk fast! So on one particular instance, I started speaking with a blond, because well, I have a thing for blonds. I felt I was doing well, she was head nodding, eye contact, all that stuff, but not escatly a smile on her face. Then  I was rescued from myself by The Dude. He is always helpful (except that 1 day at the rib, when I clearly “called the ball”!) Anyway he sat behind the girl I was talking to and got my attention, subtlety, thenmade the universal “zip it” sign. Then pointed to the girl and gestured that maybe I should ask her about her. So I did. Then she started talking, rather than nodding, and guess what, smiled. I said Shit because I knew that one! This is funny, because I said “shit” out loud, while she was talking, and it threw her off. I apologized for the swear, saying I was accentuating her story and she continued. So there was my reminder about Shut up And Listen!

  • Theory #5 - Mirroring techniques; Now this one is I learned at work. Its actually a way to deal with hostility or closed posture. See sometimes you find people are just not in the right frame of mind to open up to you. If, during your approach, you watch the body language, you can tell who wants to meet someone and who is out for, well, getting drunk! Now as I said, I use this at work all the time, but I gave it a field trial one night while out with friends. A girl in the group was overly quiet, arms crossed, and lost in thought. I was sitting next to her so I mirrored her posture, arms folded looking away. Then as I spoke with her,  I turned to face her. I asked questions to get her talking and then slowly opened my arms and turned my body toward her. She slowly, and without knowing, unfolded her arms, turned toward me, and began talk more freely. Then I grounded myself, further putting her at ease. Her mood changed and we had a nice talk. Then like an idiot, I pointed out what I did to her and she closed up again. Funny thing, I was able do the exact thing again with the same result, once again reminding myself to shut up and listen!

So after s few nights of bar hopping, I came up with the “Ice-breaker’s Laws of Contact” and here they are:

1. Be Confident
2. Shut Up And Listen
3. Ground early
4. Be yourself, or a close approximation
5. Use Mirroring techniques

Am I one of “THEM?” No, I'm not, or rather I haven't been before, but now that I have some idea of what I'm doing, I think it might be time for a tryout! I’ll keep you posted.....

Ice-breaker out!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Rules of Engagement - As noted by the "Professional"

As you know I'm always looking to test or perfect my Icebreaking craft. I had some time and decided to interview the "Professional". He explained that he had specific theories in regards to the Rules of Engagement when talking to woman. I wanted to be enlightened and he instructed me to get a legal size note pad, not one of those dinky steno's, and pen with plenty of ink!  Finally, I thought, some hard and fast rules. I'm sure you've all been there, what are the "Do's" and  "Don't's". So I nestled into a comfy place and prepared myself to be amazed.

The Professional looked at me and after a few minutes of silence said "Any questions?" I was confused at first because surely, there a things that you shouldn't do or say. Then I remembered an important lesson that Po of Kung-fu Panda learned, "Their is no secret ingredient!" I thought of my limited experience and realized I already knew this.

Its just how you deal with life. If you can believe in yourself, other will. Then my friends, the world is your oyster! I thanked the Professional for his insight and hit the District. I had mastered one tool and I was eager to perfect the rest!  

Ice breaker out!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Blog #4 part 2: Call the ball = MEOW! Meaning…Presentation is key!

As we approach The Rib, I remind myself of the term SAUL (Shut Up And Listen). This is an exercise I use regularly to keep my mouth shut, I have a tendency to talk to much!! As we walk up the ramp in the back I scan the area. I see a blonde haired woman wearing a white shirt and tight fitting jeans. She is talking to another woman that I think I know. I turn to the Dude and I say “I’m calling the ball, the blond in the white, over there (I point to ensure clarity) is mine!” As we enter I want to mention that the Dude is wearing camo-shorts and button down shirt. It’s the Camo shorts I want you to remember. I tell you this because a woman who could have been his mother, let’s say in her late 50’s approached him. She was wearing something with leopard prints on it. She grabs his arm, turns to face him and says…wait, wait….before I tell you. This was a great moment for me because I usually get the crazy ones coming up to talk to me while he sits there and laughs. So I absorb as much of this moment as I can, hoping and praying that she says/does something to lift the weight of the golden retriever story from my chest. As they say from your lips to gods ears, she does. She looks him deep into his eyes, and says “Are you hunting Cougars?” His witty response..”Seriously??” I did the proverbial LMFAO! Then like a good friend, I promptly ditched him.

Now I had what you call “tunnel vision” as I approached the table my blonde friend was sitting at. But I was focused on the where I was going to sit and not who was sitting at the table. It was as if my inner shy guy and my “Icebreaker” mentality were fighting each other. But I pulled it all together at the last second. I grabbed a chair, sat down, looked up and began to speak to the blonde….whom I had never met before and was NOT the woman I was thinking I was going to meet.

It would have been easy to “choke” or kindly apologize and move on, but I had spent a lot of time to get here and, honestly, if I backed out I would have had yet another story to be ridiculed about at Happy Hour. So I made a fast decision and jumped in, and introduced myself, and immediately used the “Cougar hunting” story as my introduction and cover. I said that my friend and I had been attempting to politely avoid the lady, who had turned stalker, and thought that if we sat with her, we could avoid a scene. She was ok with it and the Dude, finally breaking away from lioness of the Serengeti, fell in step like we had planned it that way all along. A friend of hers joined the group and we began a lively conversation.

This conversation turned quickly into a make shift competition between the Dude and I, as he was clearly muscling in on my blonde friend. He had mentioned he owned a 38 foot boat and regularly Captain’s his friend’s 80-foot yatch. He talked about his 2010 Camaro SS and then dropped the bomb, about his house in the islands. See I have a house, not on an island and I drive a wagon! Now he wasn’t being egotistical, nor was he bragging, he just has a way to say all of these things without sounding like a dick. He has Game. I decided I needed to hold a “court” and gave the “regroup” sign. We both excused ourselves for the purpose of hydration….

Now for the dilemma… He was clearly cock-blocking me but when court is in session all sides are heard. The Dude felt I had improperly “called the ball”, thereby making our new blonde friend, fair game. He added that I spent more time talking with her friend, rather than her, and thought I had changed targets mid-game. He wasn’t cock-blocking he was simply rolling with the situation. Hmm…he made a sound argument but as judge and jury, I found him guilty. What does that mean…he buys the next 3 drinks. We mingled our way back to our new friends but the “mojo” was gone. Our game play was off. I realized I had made the mistake. The game changed and I refused to roll with it. I had become the wingman, and I failed the team. Although shortly thereafter we instituted “Dude Rules” to even the playing field. No more Camaro, boat, yacht, or island talk without authorization.

Fast forward now to Halloween 2011, we were at Rod’s CafĂ©, a favorite local hang out, and it happened to be the night of their costume party. Lots of people dressed up, which poses a problem. I mean what do they really look like…is the Goth Girl dressed up or is that her everyday appearance?? Who knows!! What I can tell you is that there was a Cat-woman at the party. Her costume was made of skin tight black leather, or something tight…and…black…and yes, she had blonde hair. No need to explain further, right?? Anyway prior to seeing Cat-woman, grab a drink and sit and that’s when I she walked toward me.

Now I don’t really get intimidated by woman anymore, beautiful, tall, blonde or brunette, I can hold my own. She is walking quickly, and I know I have to act fast, or I’ll miss my opportunity, and a missed opportunity is someone else’s chance! But under the pressure all can muster is hello, which actually comes out like Hel—Loo! To my amazement, she stops, whirls around and places her hands, palm down, on our table. Her back is arched seductively, and her legs, wrapped in tight black leather, go all the way to the floor! Now I’m feeling pretty good, reeled this one in with 2 syllables, but before I can pat myself on the back, she looks right at the Dude, as if I’m not at the table and asks for help getting out of her costume. His response we already know, but here it is anyway “I’m qualified for that”, she says “now”, he says “right now?” “Yep”, and they disappear for about 15 minutes. I perform status updates and pout while I wait. Once they return, they both take a moment to introduce themselves to each other….Which at that point, why bother? but to each their own. This is where I begin my philosophical wrap-up of the two stories and what they mean, i.e. put on your boots!

What do these 2 stories have in common? I think they show a transition for me. From a self-conscious, slightly shy guy moving toward the man I once was, confident, witty, and ready to take on the world. The point I want to make with my blog is that I have been on my own for 5 months and I’m just starting to understand how different I was and how much closer I am to the man I want to be! These “exploits” are not about womanizing, which I haven’t done….yet…but about self-discovery.

John F. Kennedy once described Crisis this way “When written in Chinese the word "crisis" is composed of two characters - one represents danger and the other represents opportunity” I feel like I have two places I could go. The initial Crisis was me on my own and I’m choosing to use these stories as a map of opportunities that life has in store for me. 2 characters, Me and the Icebreaker, both moving forward!!!

Icebreaker out!

Blog #4 part 1: Call the ball = MEOW! Meaning…Presentation is key!

Actual Morning Picture I took!!
As far as blogging goes this is harder than I thought it would be. I mean I have plenty of material but I’m so far behind reality. I started writing around Halloween 2011 of the stuff that was occurring in June and July. So now I have to actually take notes after a week of Icebreaking fun! If it wasn’t for my god given gift to be hangover free, it would be insane!! That having been said, I want to jump forward to this Halloween and then utterly confuse my readers by combining the lessons learned with an early summer story. Let’s re-iterate a Facebook/Google Plus status update I made on the Halloween evening which was….. “UN-F-ing - REAL!” Dude…UnREAL! I mean folks, I did all the work and all he said, literally was “I’m qualified for that!” Seriously, it’s not even a good line, I mean it had “character” but as far as one-liners go…not his best.

Well to keep this story chronological let’s start back during about mid-summer, say July-ish, but I also want to set the stage for where I was in my life physically and emotionally. Now when my marriage first broke up I was fortunate enough to be able to stay on a rather nice boat, docked at a nice marina. As I may have previously stated, the boat had a never ending supply of beer. Now if you didn’t know, beer is required for any divorce. Now I am partial to various other forms and alcohol as well, but I feel that those should be addressed in future blogs…because they have a whole other set of stories…. Anyway the boat has/had TV, power, hot water, a head, shower, and the marina itself gave me access to a pool and club house. On some mornings I would awaken, emotionally numb to the world, then I would feel the gentle rocking of the boat from the currents, hear the birds chirping, fisherman telling stories, and look outside to see the sun shining bright, and my mood would change. I would climb out of my birth, in the “VIP” suite, and sit at the helm, acting like the mayor of the dock-o-minium. On these days I felt like life might just work out ok…and this is where this story begins.

The best part of this story is that it’s when I really started “coining” terms that we continue to use and expand upon. Now on this particular day I had finished working a midnight shift and headed to the boat for a nap. Now sleeping on a boat during a beautiful summer day is easy, I mean the air by the sea is just amazing! As I was lying in the VIP suite counting sheep, I received a text. The text said that a friend of a friend was going to be a local restaurant/bar, Sunset Ribs, that evening. I recall when I had met this woman that she was attractive, with blonde hair…need I say more? See I have always had a thing for blondes, never really works out for me, but we all have our crosses to bare!! I settled into a fitful nap, suddenly a bit nervous!

I was awoken by the sounds of my never ending supply of beer being drank, people talking and enjoying the start of the weekend. I emerge from the VIP suite and begin my rituals, acting like I own the boat, even though the boat owner is there. But my act is short lived as I begin to get my balls broke for the golden retriever story, yet again…Apparently everyone hadn’t heard it yet! But I take it in stride and get cleaned up. The happy hour crowd dwindles down and the Dude and I decide the boat was a good rally point but we need to move to a different location to hydrate in preparation for the evening’s festivities. We grab a bite and I explain about my need to visit “The Rib”, and see this woman.

The plan is set and we are off to the races! Stay tuned for part 2, where things start to get complicated!

Icebreaker Out!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Blog #3: “This!” And the Circle of Friends

Now prior to this juncture in the story of me, I have avoided most references to my spouse. It’s not that I’m erasing her from my life, which I can’t do for lots of reason, nor am I avoiding talking about the “Ex”. It’s that my story isn’t about her but rather about how I have dealt with the changes in my life. But this wouldn’t be an accurate portrait of my re-entry to dating without her involvement.  My belief is simple, once the marriage was over, I no longer felt the right to question her dating choices and I expected the same from her.

I have since learned that this was really not the case. That once you were with a particular woman she has “previous ownership” rights over you for an unreasonable time frame. I learned of this after I began dating a nice, attractive, woman with a great personality. We hit it off and never seemed to have a bad time together. It was clear though, that I wasn’t her usual type, although I was active, I don’t have six pack abs. But what I don’t have in appearance I make up for in personality. I know what you’re thinking; if he is saying personality he must be 4 foot 1, with leprosy and 6 toes, but you’d be wrong. I’m your average Joe with better than average sense of humor. I like to tell people that I don’t have a six pack of abs so that woman know I’m straight! The reason I came to know I’m her usual is the funny part. See I kissed her and I could tell she enjoyed it, hell we both did. Then she said “I can’t figure out why I’m so turned on by”…(motions with her hands, from her shoulders downward to my legs as she says)…”this!” LMFAO! That’s a confidence booster! I think it was more her tone and inflection, the subtle, surprised, verbal nuance used on the word “this”, that really made me step back. But let’s not dwell on that part of the story; let’s move onto the other side of this story.

Now after that story you may ask, what does ‘This’ have to do with your “circle of friends” or the term “previous ownership” , well lots and almost nothing to do with my Ex, I just thought I should mention her now and do some follow up’s in future blogs. Anyway as “This” and I moved forward I received a heated telephone call from a ghost of GF past, like way past, like 15 years ago. The content of the conversation was clear. ‘This” was friends and GF Past and I could not be in her…here we go….Circle of Friends...I was to stop the relationship with ‘This’ immediately. Now it was mildly annoyed, until….The Dude went on a date with a woman from about 50 miles away from our area. While on this date he ran into someone who was friends of a Ghost of GF past as well. Within 2 days he received a heated telephone call and guess what….Circle of Friends was the gist of his conversation as well.

So let’s recap and try to learn something important from these events as the unfolded around me and my friend. First off, previous ownership is an annoying catalyst for drama brought on my ghosts of GF’s past. But because ghost’s don’t exist we don’t care. So basically I told a story that was funny and useless all at the same time. Secondly, and most important, we found that Icebreaking isn’t about skill, or looks, it’s about capitalizing on most woman’s innate politeness. To modify the saying from the movie “Field of Dreams” - If you talk to them, they will listen…for a minute anyway. If you use that time wisely it could turn into something like “THIS!”

Icebreaker out!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Ice-breaker - The art of first contact for the 35+: Sometimes you have run before your can walk –

Ice-breaker - The art of first contact for the 35+: Sometimes you have run before your can walk –: I’m beginning to realize most of the things i n going on revolve around my confidence or the lack there of and my journey to find it. See a...

Sometimes you have to run before your can walk –

I’m beginning to realize most of the things in going on revolve around my confidence or the lack there of and my journey to find it. See at one point in the not to far past I had this idea that I was 6 foot 2, built of twisted steel and sex appeal. Now as I move through this ordeal I feel like I’m 5 foot 7 and little overweight! Also I’m a glass half full kind of person but lately life seems to half empty.

Have you ever had a weekend where so much happened, that you did so many things, that by the time Sunday comes around, you feel like you partied like a rock star, and you’re not sure you were supposed to? This is where I’m starting this portion of the blog 2 in my on-going saga of single life. If anyone wants to know where it ends, just read about the “gay couple” in my first blog post. Out of order but I’m not sure anyone would have believed me if I had started chronologically.

 Let’s start with the “woe-is-me” attitude I had. It’s Thursday night and I’m thinking of the upcoming weekend. My kids are away with their mom. It’s the first vacation they have taken without me. My 14 year old Labrador is having so many medical problems that the vet and I have found the only solution is to have her euthanized, and the upcoming Saturday is the anniversary of day I wish I could forget! So just before bed on Thursday I recap the weekend ahead of me, 1st thing Friday, kill my dog, Hate Saturday, Sunday…who cares!! Sounds fun doesn’t it? Well for a weekend like that I decided to call in reinforcement, it was time to hang with my friend, who can clearly see I’m close to a funk. I needed a break from reality and something to kick start my emotional rebuild! Enter “The Dude”.

The Dude says simply “remember sometimes you have to run before you can walk.” I give him a “Your Stupid” look, you know the one, one eyebrow up, one corner of the mouth turned down, screaming sarcasm…. and I try to remember the movie he must be referencing. He doesn’t explain, but after all he is the Dude and the Dude abides! (“The Big Lebowski”, 1998). So my weekend actually begins Thursday night. We hit a hit a few local pubs and suddenly Dude decides to contact The Professional, the Chaz Reinhold of the area. I’m still confused and I get the speech. “Hey man, we’re going to meet the professional tonight, its all good, just relax and go with it, he can be over the top, but it will be a blast.” Hmmm….famous last words I’m thinking. We pick up the professional and O.T.B. (Over The Bridge) we go, apparently there was “Black Light Party” at a local Lumber Yard (code word for strip club, shhh!). I have no idea what kind of party I’m headed to but the professional says its fun. Now the professional had some pull (no pun intended) at the Lumber Yard and I felt better having helped several nice 20 something girls earn extra cash for college. People helping people, always a pick me up J From there the professional and I decided Taco Bell was in order. So The Dude abided, but had a rule about NOT eating it in his $40k Camaro. Although apparently he didn’t like us using the trunk of his car as a coffee table either. I mean really, the scratches buffed out!! I was left in my front yard at 4 AM.

Not much to say about Friday morning other than it started way to early and was a big downer, so lets fast forward to about 11AM. I crack my first BLL (Bud Light Lime), don’t judge, I had to put down my 14 year old dog! The Dude and I head to the boat to see if we can empty the never ending supply of beer. As the evening approaches we decide to go Collar Poppin’. Oddly enough I feel tired and fall asleep at the rally point. I was promptly made fun of by my ODP’s wife. Not cool to have a 100 pound chick call you a light weight that stayed out past your bedtime. I didn’t recover; Dude dropped me off at home, and continued to the festivities. I made up for it on Saturday.
We started once again on the boat, and yes we tried to empty that fridge but to no avail! Now if you remember I hated this particular Saturday. Although it was filled with parades, fireworks, a car show, carnival, and street vendors serving food that tastes like heaven going and feel like hell going out! We take the boat to a local boat friendly pub. Once here I realize that I do not have 6 pack abs, nor a dragon tattoo, which set me apart. I found a bachelorette  party, I have a knack for those! I begin to Ice-break and low and behold contact is made. The Dude assists me,  and by that I mean, I tell these lovely woman that the 38 foot boat , moored up by the beach, is mine and he doesn’t correct me. Numbers are exchanged, The Dude, now the guy that Captains my boat, and I leave as we have evening plans to prepare for.

Once back at the dock we scrub and clean the boat, as we have to attractive ladies we are going to woo by watching the fireworks under the stars, on the boat. As the clock ticks on I start to think that we don’t have anything to offer the ladies that are joining us soon. Dude agrees but we don’t have time to recover, we decide beer and wine is plenty. As we decide this I look up the dock and see that the gods have had mercy on us. Approaching us are 6 woman, in their late 40’s to early 50’s, with a large try of freshly cooked fish, grilled vegetables, and a mango chutney sauce. As I’m the Ice-breaker, I break the ice. “I begin to tell them how lovely they are and ask why that many beautiful woman aren’t being chased by young men. They stop, curiosity and compliments have them temporarily stunned. The Dude swoops in with his own version of charm and we begin to ask about the meal they have. They offer us a large portion and they walk on to their boat, hoping we will let them know how the meal was once all the flavors melted together. No sooner do they walk away, our friends show up. We show them our wine, beer and the wonderful fresh grilled fish, vegetables, with the homemade mango chutney sauce. We never say we made it, but we might have implied we did. As we cast off and begin our journey to the bay we pass the woman on their boat. The marine radio jumps to life, “Hey how did you like my snapper?” one of them says. The Dude, sharp as ever replies “we’re not sure yet, but we can’t wait to eat yours!” We then retell the story to our friends. By nights end, I had overcome my hatred of that particular day, gone was the angry thought, replaced by memories of a bachelorette party, free snapper, 2 lovely ladies, and night time swim.

As the weekend wound down and Sunday finally came around I was tired. My liver hated me, my head hated me, but my emotional state…it was doing better. I felt like the roller coaster  that had been the previous 3 months was finally starting to climb up a hill instead of through another valley. The Dude and I sat on the boat, enjoying the “hair of the dog that bit us” in the hopes of recovering quicker. In the haze of the previous 3 days I saw a woman with a golden retriever….

And like I said once I was grounded I was open to listen to the simple wisdom of my Russian friend “You were not dumped, thrown out, nor replaced. You were set free.” On Thursday, Friday and Saturday I ran before I walked. On Sunday I realized, not that I needed to walk, but that in spite of everything that was going on, that I could walk, and could do it alone! The Dude abides and so does the Ice-breaker!

Ice-Breaker out!