Monday, April 20, 2009

Easing back into reality

It's a chilly, cloudy Monday morning. I made the wrong decision when I put on my light denim jacket instead of my warmer three-quarter-length zip-up jacket and I was shivering on the few blocks frome the subway to the office. I hope it gets a little warmer later; if not, I'll use the office gym instead of walking outside today.

On Friday before I left work, I looked at my in-bin and decided that I was in good enough shape deadline-wise to not have to bring any work home. I did no reading or editing on the way home, and this morning I did no reading or editing on the way in. Instead I had a mindless "old-lady" diversion -- looking through "Better Homes & Gardens" for food, exercise or decorating suggestions. (The "garden" part of BH&G remains ignored, since we don't have a yard or even a balcony.) I ripped one or two interesting pages out and, upon arriving at work, left the magazine in the ladies' room lounge. Sharing magazines is the practice at our office. I have a few more to go through in a similar fashion.

My subscription to BH&G is about to expire and I'm not renewing -- part of last year's New Year's resolution to reduce clutter in the apartment. I love flipping through a magazine more than reading it online, so it's VERY tempting when I get an offer in the mail for a great deal on a magazine that I like. Recently I was offered "The New Yorker" for $25/year -- it was SO hard to pass it up, but I did. Also gave up my subscriptions to "The Nation" and "Real Simple."

But I'm rambling here. This blog was supposed to be about my reentry into the work world after a nice weekend. So far it's been reasonably painless. Of course, I'm not working yet, I'm goofing off -- don't tell! My boss is out today, so that's another good side to this particular Monday.

Let me not worry about anything and just handle things one at a time. Let me allow myself an hour for lunch, away from my desk. Let me allow myself to leave at 5 p.m. on the dot. When was the last time I did THAT? CAN I do it?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Uncorking the emotions

The SSNY party was wonderful, but I think I disappointed some people. I feel very emotionally needy and a little vulnerable today. I was able to release some of my pent-up stress through play; but some negativity remains. A spanking party helps me escape from the real world for just a little while; the real world always awaits outside.

Physically, I am aching and sore (AKA "satisfied"). I'd promised Scott I'd play with him first. He and Miranda got stuck in a bad traffic jam so they arrived late -- as a result, I turned down several play requests early in the evening. I wasn't in too much of a topping mood, either. I did top one friend, J., whom I knew would be fun to spank because he's a pain slut.

Rad was busy catching up with others and said he didn't mind that Scott was first on my dance card. Scott's offered to help me stay motivated in one particular area (diet and exercise), and I do appreciate that (much as I hated having to face a punishment for slipping up) and wanted to honor our agreement.

I tend to gravitate toward tops who push me through my fears, those who recognize that I need it hard, who won't back down and won't let me back out. Scott's one of those tops. It was almost laughable, the number of strokes he gave me. There were ten with the Family Strap, then fifteen with a lexan cane, and I think another fifteen with a different strap, one that was almost as nasty as the Family Strap. Doesn't sound like much, right? But the number didn't really seem to matter; they were solid strokes and it was a hard scene to get through.

Before we started, he said to me, "I can tell you've got 100 different things bottled up inside you and I want to help you get some of those out." Then he delivered what he'd promised. I cried. My mascara ran, I was a shaking mess afterward and I had to hold onto his shirt to stand up at first. But he held me up and let me sob a little more.

I did have a lot of things bottled up and this helped. I was raw and didn't feel I could play much with anyone else after that. Therefore, I got the the uneasy feeling that I was letting people down.

This morning some of us met for brunch, and I felt so much more relaxed, more positive and ... happy. I really felt good to be among friends and I was psyched to see everyone else enjoying themselves, too. It completed the weekend.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Another week, done

And tonight, we play! I was exhausted last night. Got out of work late again and Rad and I didn't eat dinner until after 8. Some of the folks coming in from out of town for the SSNY party were hooking up last night. I wanted to go but couldn't do it. No energy. I was in bed before 11 -- unusual for a Friday night.

It will be a great party and I can't wait to see the out-of-town people again, including some folks from Florida Moonshine. And there will be lots of playing and good conversation and good food.

But on top of that (and I think I mentioned this earlier), Scott (of Scott and Miranda) will be punishing me with The Family Strap. God, I hate that thing. For someone who loves straps like I do, that is simply one of the nastiest. But he agreed to monitor my diet and exercise plan, and I had one slip-up two weeks ago, so I'm getting it with the strap tonight. Our agreement was 10 strokes for each slip-up, so I'm VERY happy that I only had one over the last three weeks. This week and last were rough. I had several days where I worked through lunch and didn't get out to walk. I had to make up for that when I got home, and it's not as easy at home. But the threat of the strap was real and I did what I needed to do. And as far as dieting goes, Easter week was rough -- I did eat more than I planned at the family dinner -- but I was happy to see that my calories-per-day average for the week was still under my limit.

There is the perennial debate, "Is it REALLY punishment if the bottom is getting what she needs and desires?" My answer is yes, if while you're going through it all you're thinking is that you wish it would stop. Does the fact that I fantasize about it later cancel that out? Hard to say. When I fantasize about it, I am not the yelping, writhing mess I tend to be when I'm going through it. How easily we forget the pain. Or, we THINK we remember the pain -- until we feel it again for real and then it's, "Oh, shit!"

On top of the 10 punishment strokes, Scott says I will be getting more discipline "just because." He's going to use another strap and a cane. Again, I am craving it; I need the stress relieve; I need to let go and have someone else do evil things to me. I should say that I also need a good cry, but that doesn't always happen.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Another holiday, done

Rad and I are back from visiting family in S. Jersey for Easter. Good time with Mom, Dad, brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews. We keep each other amused. I ate a little more than I wanted to, but I just did the math and I'm still within my desired calorie range for the week, so I'm relieved. Also just finished my workout.

I am somewhat stressed over issues I can't go into right now, but we are taking one step at a time and getting through it. The week at work will be busy again, but maybe that'll be a good thing.

Next weekend is the long-anticipated Strictly Spanking NY party. Much to look forward to, and to be nervous about (in a good way... well, sort of). Will write more tomorrow. Bed awaits.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Six cents sense

How should a shopper respond when faced with this dilemma? Exhibit A (top), which was close to eye level on the store shelf, followed by Exhibit B (bottom), which was on the bottom shelf, practically behind a standing display rack. This was at the Bravo Supermarket in Astoria on Friday.
As you can see, these are the exact same items, same flavors, same size packages, same sugar-free variety. But one is 6 cents cheaper. Naturally, I want the one that's 6 cents cheaper. A nearby clerk looks at the shelves when I ask him about it. At first he's confused, thinking they are different items. He finally understands that they're the same, so he takes them up to the front to check for me.

(Right off the bat this store got one point for this. At my neighborhood Keyfood, they would NEVER go up to the front themselves. They would give you a dirty look for interrupting them and snap, "You gotta go ask up front!")

What I hate about these situations is that, when there's a price discrepancy, it ALWAYS seems to go in the store's favor these days? I don't want to fight about 6 cents, but then I start to feel annoyed. I especially want to argue when I think that maybe the placement was deliberate. (Is this a sign that I've been reading The Consumerist too much?) The higher-priced package seems tucked away while the 89-cent box is next to another brand that's 99 cents. People WILL buy more boxes if they think they're saving 10 cents.

The stocker came back down the aisle and told me that the pudding was 95 cents. I KNEW it! They NEVER rule in the customer's favor. "But the label says '89 cents,'" I protested. He couldn't help me; he was a stocking clerk. I walked to the front and calmly stated my case. The lady at the customer service desk went to check out the shelves, came back and ... agreed I should have the puddings at 89 cents.

Wha ... what? What was that I just heard? Uh ... I win this time? Whoa. This was simply unfathomable. After thanking her, I quickly grabbed my few last remaining items and rushed through the checkout before someone called me back and vetoed her decision.

I'm not sure if it's visible in the photo, but upon closer examination later, I found that the lower-priced label bore a 2006 date. I did not see this when in the store. The other one is dated 2009. The price should have been 95 cents ... and the label should have been accurate.

Now, the reality is that I HATE having confrontations and I left the store with a very heightened sense of anxiety. It wasn't much of a confrontation, I'll admit, and there was no one to point fingers at. But I was anxious all the same. Why can't things go the way I want them to go, the way I think they SHOULD go; something like this:

Me: "Excuse me, sir? This pudding has two different prices."
Clerk: "Hm. Oh, you're right. Sorry, Ma'am. Someone must have forgotten to change that tag. But as you know, our store policy is to give the customer the lower price in a case like this. Enjoy!"
Me: Thank you.
Clerk: No problem. Thank you for shopping at Bravo!

It NEVER goes like that. I have to fight, and usually I lose; there's no convincing a manager sometimes. Usually they are underpaid schmucks who could care less. SOMETIMES, rarely, I win. But even then it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I walk away sheepishly, wondering why I was arguing over 6 cents. It's the "principle" of the whole thing, I say to myself. I'm screwing myself if I don't speak up! True? Possibly? Who knows. I COULD let it go. Yeah, I'll think about that, next time...

Thursday, April 9, 2009

You probably think this blog is about you...

The local scene lately seems overrun with drama. Lies, gossip, backbiting, finger pointing. Yes, I sometimes indulge in the gossip. It's hard to resist. But the main thing that I find so hard to take is what seems to be a driving, insatiable need to be part of the "in-crowd." I understand it, a little, but still it gets wearisome to watch. It's no fun to be surrounded by people who are constantly screaming, "Look at me! Look at me!" And as one person is saying, "Look at me," another person is saying, "Look at her, acting as if she's hot shit. Look at ME!"

Some already have people looking at them and paying attention to them (to the point where they have to push certain undesirables away), but it's not enough. They want to be the star, the center. EVERYONE has to like them, or they have failed.

Then there are the hangers on, the ones who think they cannot make it on looks or personality alone, so they cling to someone they think is prettier or more popular in hopes of getting some of the residual attention. Ugh.

I try to sit quietly back and not get involved in this mess, but it's hard when I'm also trying to be friends with people, to get along with everyone. And I like attention, too! LOVE it -- it's one of the reasons I like going to parties and the club. But I know I can't get it from EVERYONE, that there are people who are not going to like me. The ones who do like me are enough. It's the mature thing to do to give a little back -- to acknowledge someone else, to listen to someone else, to pay a compliment, to ask someone how she or he is doing -- and then wait for the reply. (Hint: that's hard to do if you are talking non-stop.)

Monday, April 6, 2009

Getting busy

The weekend was SO nice, including OTK night on Saturday night, Barnes and Noble on Sunday morning, a long walk through the park on a fabulously warm spring day. I even saw a bridal party getting some pictures taken along the way. (Don't you just love coming across a wedding unexpectedly? As I passed I said, "Congratulations," and the bride gave me a beaming smile.)

I am working from home today, which means I have to get focused. Probably should sit at the table temporarily rather than at computer to avoid temptation. I'll have to get back on computer for legitimate reasons later, but for now I just have reading to do. Buster attacked my head earlier and I'm glad he stopped, as there would have been no way to work under those circumstances.

I also tossed in a load of laundry before I started work, and I better go get that out of the dryer before I forget...

I'll talk about OTK night and other scene thoughts in my next blog, I think. Have a good day, everyone.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Why I feel good today

Or maybe that should be "Top 10 reasons why I'm a good girl" to balance off yesterday's blog. THEN I can talk about why I feel good today, which includes getting spanked pretty hard last night AND getting to spank a pretty, young spanking model who was making her first trip to Paddles.

Top 10 reasons why Sandy is a good girl:
1. Averaging just under 1600/day calories for the week so far.
2. Did NOT succumb to the huge chocolate chip sandwich cookies Michael was pushing at Paddles last night.
3. Made all my daily exercise goals.
4. Went to two meetings of my support group yesterday (much needed!)
5. Called the people I needed to call yesterday.
6. Got tons of work done before I left the office on Friday.
7. Wrote in both my blogs yesterday (and again today).
8. Gave a good caning to a friend who needed the stress release.
9. I made the coffee this morning and served some to Rad when he got up.
10. Hmm. I can't think of a number 10 ... um ... okay, here's one: Contrary to what Rad says, there is no record that I farted in bed last night.

If someone can think of a better one to replace number 10, please let me know!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Why I feel guilty today

1. Have not written a blog since March 21.
2. Ate a bagel with butter.
3. Have not done my workout yet, and I'm behind on the week's goal for my weight training.
4. (Not going to mention this one here).
5. Texted someone during my support group meeting.
6. Was late picking up my friend this morning.
7. Have not cleaned bathroom or kitchen.
8. Think I may be overdrawn in my checking account.
9. Did not call a friend I was supposed to call.
10. I'm behind on getting my desk organized.

Okay, that's enough for now -- I'm ready for my beating later. And I'm working on my "Why I feel good today" list for later.