Friday, February 27, 2009

the artist way (week 9)

As I have been moving through the Artists Way book, the same thing happened that has happened every other time I attempted this journey: I become stalled between weeks 8 and 9. I kind of...stop doing it. Interestingly enough, at the same time, I kind of became stalled in many other areas: the purging of the clutter, the eating healthy plan, the exercise regime. So while I tried (and failed) to do the exercises in the back of the book, it occurred to me that I need to sit down and figure out exactly what is holding me back.

Here's the deal: I start things, I get going along pretty well, and then when things really start taking off, I lose interest. I abandon the goal altogether. Or I set it aside for a while only to pick it up again last minute and scramble around to finish. What's the deal?

Oh, it would be pretty easy at this point to just pull up the "goals" from February and comment on how I didn't accomplish a few things. And list my excuses. I got a lot of them. Some of them actually legitimate. Like, how I got sick this month. And how I'm exercising more and that takes more time. And I have a lot of work projects. But today I read something in a magazine. It said: People often flee from taking responsibility because its such a big task. After a point, they become afraid because they are running. And here I was, thinking that I was running toward something, not away.

So though I didn't do any of the tasks this week, I decided to face a task that I have apparently been running from. Why have I been avoiding...the dreaded storage area?

I've been moving through the apartment, cleaning and purging without problem. Cleaning and purging with great success. But I keep avoiding the storage area. I actually get a little nauseous thinking of it. And this week, when I decided I was going to DO IT, I blindly grab something on my way in: "I'll get rid of this. I'll get rid of that." No cleaning, organizing or conscious decision making.

Exactly WHAT am I so scared of down there? Fleeces? I got way more fleeces than I need. I should be able to choose which ones I don't want without a problem. Extra boxes? (for some reason, I hang on to boxes irrationally) If I got rid of every last box and suddenly needed more, I could get them at a store. Shoes? I don't have alot, but I could certainly do with less. Camping gear? Camping gear.

I haven't gone camping in the longest time. Not REAL camping, like hiking out into the middle of nowhere carrying everything on your back. I don't really have a lot of friends anymore who like to camp like that. I used to camp a lot. With M. Back when I thought that life was perfect.

But I'm totally over M. I am! This cannot be about M. It's been so long since the breakup. I am so past it! Aren't I?

There's just so much uncertainty now. Part of me is excited about uncertainty. Part of me loves it. But part of me want to hang on to the past. Part of me feels like if I let go of the past, I'll be losing a part of myself. Maybe an important part of myself. And that would be sad.

And maybe I'm hanging onto...the fleece that I wore when we spent that great Sunday in Golden Gate Park even though I don't really wear it anymore and its ripped. Or enough boxes so I could pack up and go at a moment's notice. Even though I'm not planning on going at a moment's notice.

And maybe that's why I've been sabotaging myself in so many areas.

But let's face it: hanging onto boxes or fleeces, failing to exercise or eat right, and abandoning a project isn't going to bring the past back. It's not going to make tiny little feelings for M nonexistent. It's only going to make me less likely to complete the things I wish to accomplish.

So now...I'm off to purge some fleece.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

weekly writing workshop

It's time for mamakat's weekly writing workshop!

The Prompts:

1.) For your birthday a sibling has decided to have the first six months of your blog printed and bound. Write a forward for the book.

2.) Write a 26-line poem using all the letters of the alphabet, where the first line starts with the letter "A," the second "B," the third "C," etc., culminating with the final line starting with "Z."(

3.) Start your story with, "In retrospect, I wouldn't say it was my best idea." And end it with, "And that's how I attempted to make this world a better place.(

4.) What would the truth have done? Write about a time when honesty was NOT the best policy.(

5.) What made your childhood bearable? Write about it.

I decided to get creative and try prompt #3.

In retrospect, I wouldn't say it was my best idea. I just got so carried away. That's the thing about me: I get carried away. And it always comes around to bite me in the ass.

It all started with the shoes. The ugliest, most unflattering, most insanely comfortable shoes I had ever had the pleasure of placing on my feet. They looked like a cross between crocs and moccasins. Ugly throw-back-to-the-sixties-moccasins hand made on a hippie commune by burnouts who hadn't seen the world clearly since the early seventies.

I found them in a little store called Mama Rosalleti's Shoes. They were called "LZT Shooz", as in "ugliest shoes". Jen dared me to try them on. The had her camera phone out, ready to record my fashion-challenged moment and send it to all of our friends. The sales clerk did not seem offended by this. In fact, she had a tight little smile on her face as she handed me the box marked "size 6". I guess she had seen this happen before. The tight little smile had grown into a full blown grin 20 minutes later when we exited the store; I had two pairs while Jen had one pair for herself, one for her husband, and one pair for each of her 4 year old twins.

From there, things started to snowball. I wore my LZT's everywhere. I got stares, snickers, well meaning fashion tips from complete strangers and friends alike. Until I kicked off a Shoo and dared somebody to try it on. Then, their eyes would glaze over and they'd get a far away, dreamy look on their face. Before demanding to know where they could get a pair! I gave LZT Shooz to everyone for their birthdays, graduations, bat-mitzvahs, Christmas. I was obsessed.

My sister in law came up with the phrase, and before long, we were all saying it: "If everyone on earth had a pair of these Shooz, there would be world peace." I guess I started to believe it.

Here's the other thing about me: when I get carried away, I have a knack for getting others swirled up in the excitement, as well. So when the Chamber of Commerce sponsored a contest entitled "How would you make the world a better place?", I was somehow able to convince them that providing everyone in town with a free pair of LZT Shooz would result in peace, prosperity, and overall warm-fuzziness in our fair haven.

At first, things seemed to be heading that way. Entire families would practically skip down the street with a spring in their step! Elderly ladies suddenly didn't need their walkers! Runners sidelined by plantar fasciitis could resume their marathon training!

I didn't count on the teenagers. Teenagers have a way of sullenly judging the world at large and coloring it with their angst-ridden view. So it was with my beloved Shooz. Nobody who attended the high school would deign to put LZTs on their hormone-replete footsies. (They'd fill the space between thir ears with Taylor Swift, but they wouldn't accept a delightful daylong hug for the feet. Go figure!)

Pretty soon, the junior-high students followed suit. Cries of "lame" and "dorky" followed Shooz-wearing nerds down through grade 7. The tweens were the next to cave. Suddenly, the coolest trend for grades 5 and 6 became social suicide.

To this point, I wasn't concerned. Kids are fickle. Comfort is key. Everyone knows that. Everyone, it seems, except the moms of the teenagers, junior high kids, and tweens.

When the moms stopped wearing them, the dads stopped wearing them. The babies stopped wearing them. The toddlers stopped wearing them. The cries of "lame" and "dorky" were not confined to the schoolyard. Senior citizens gathered up their discarded walkers and canes.

Not everybody abandoned the Shooz. There was a clear sector of the population who strode proudly through town, their feet enveloped in ugly. LZT fans would smile and nod knowingly at each other. Somebody even invented a hand signal: a two handed "i love you" sign stacked one on top of the other, finger to thumb: an L, a Z and a T.

I'm not sure who threw the first shoe. Maybe a disgruntled former believer with sore feet. Maybe a "mean girl". Maybe Stacey London or Clinton Kelly. Whoever it was, they changed things forever. In our little town, that thrown shoe is remembered as if it were assasination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand!

When the dust finally settled, a strict dress code was enforced in all of the town's schools. Mama Roselleti decided to sell the store and relocate to Florida, as she had considered doing for years. Flashing the "i love you" sign resulted in a $150 ticket within town lines. And the chamber of commerce suspended its "how would you make the world a better place?" contest indefinitely.

The silver lining on all of this was that I was able to buy up the rest of the size 6 LZT Shooz for less than cost. And though my dream of peace, happiness, and prosperity for all mankind was dashed, at least I had happy feet.

And that's how I attempted to make this world a better place.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


February is on its way out and it's a good thing. It's time to leave the winter doldrums behind and start thinking...well, I don't know if it's time to start thinking spring yet. That may leave me clinically depressed by St. Patrick's Day. But it's time to start thinking ahead, anyway.

Which means come March, I'm gonna need some new addictions. In February, I was addicted to:

CHOCOLATES: I purposely try to stay away from Valentine's candy. I love it too much. I'll eat an entire bag in one sitting. Unfortunately, my friends and family don't know I'm trying to stay away from it. They only know I love it. And apparently, that's how you show Heather you care about her. By giving her candy.

SUDAFED: I had a cold that I just didn't have time to slow down for at the beginning of the month. Which meant it got worse and worse until I finally was confined to bed for an entire weekend. And it lingered way longer than if I just gave in to it to begin with.

NASONEX: For the same reason.

SOY MILK: Those protein shakes mix up well with soy. And peanut butter. And flax seeds.

MOISTURIZER: The wintry dry skin needs to be slathered into submission. At every opportunity.

I'm hoping in March for no chocolate, no medicine, no excuses. I'm crossing my fingers for an early spring.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

tuesdays bad dates (Dave)

Last year, I spent a lot of time on the Cape Cod Canal. During the months that lead up to the Myrtle Beach Marathon, I ran up and down the jogging path that runs alongside the water. From bridge to bridge, I put in the miles and sweated out my anxiety.

Most running experts recommend changing up your running route while training for a race. It exposes you to different terrain, allows you to get a feel for the mileage by how you feel (not where you are on the route) and breaks up the monotony. I considered this advice carefully before tossing it aside. All my long runs were done in the same place: the canal.

The canal had everything I needed for distance running: the mileage was marked out on the path in half mile increments. There were bathroom facilities and water fountains. There were lights along the path for later runs. Though there weren't any hills along the jogging path itself, there was a dirt path through the woods with one big hill and stairs to a campsite if I wanted to run stairs.

Moreover, there was something oddly comforting about knowing that every week, I would be in the same place, doing the same thing. Every Sunday, I knew where I would be. I would be spending time with my ipod and my canal, emptying my brain of all the worries that swam around and around in my mind. The canal became my friend.

There were others who shared my love of the canal. I had many almost-acquaintances who I saw every Sunday. There was the older couple who walked hand in hand on the Bourne side, from the parking lot to the bridge and back. There was crazy-fast-runner-dude. He usually lapped me twice. His jog was a sprint to me. He looked about 70. There was string-bean-girl-and-her-hyperkinetic-puppy. She was trying to teach him to walk on a leash. He was having none of it. He enjoyed running back and forth in front of her and pulling the leash in his mouth. I watched this golden retriever grow by the week and I watched his owner becoming more and more harried as he got bigger.

Then there were the fisherman. Lots of people had lobster traps set along the edge of the canal. They had to haul the traps in by hand, as the water rushed along, making the pulling that much harder. It hardly seemed worth the effort. There was an old patient of mine, who set up his lawn chair and fished one handed with his new electric reel. There was also a group of guys who I called the "fishing guys."

There were about 8 of them altogether. Sometimes they were all there, sometimes just two or three. They all looked to be in their mid to late 30's. They all dressed always in jeans and hooded sweatshirts with their places of employment on the back: Capeway Landscaping, South Shore Painting, It's Awl Good Handiman Services. We had a routine, the fishing guys and me.

"Hey runner girl!" they'd yell.

"Hey fishing guys!" I'd yell back.

"How far you going today?"

"What'd you catch today?"

We had an understanding. We only asked about running and fishing. There was something oddly comforting about knowing NOTHING about those people I saw every week on the canal.

One Sunday, there was only one fishing guy on the canal. That was the day he stepped over the imaginary boundary. "Hey runner girl!" he said "What are you training for?"

"Marathon" I responded.

"Boston?" he asked.

"No." I said. "I'm not that good. I'm doing Myrtle Beach. It's easier."

On the way back, he broke the understanding again. "Want some fish?"

"Oh, thanks, no. I'm a terrible cook"

Then he asked if I wanted to go out for a bite to eat sometime. I was a little torn on this. I liked having my almost-acquaintances. I didn't want to venture out of my comfort zone.

On the other hand, he seemed like a really nice guy. And unlike my other dates gone wrong, I actually kind of knew him. I figured that maybe this time, things would be different. If I took the leap and went out for a bite to eat with --let's call him Dave-- I might actually have a good time.

Unfortunately, once we moved out of canal acquaintance territory and into date territory, the inevitable happened: it all went downhill from there...

Sunday, February 22, 2009

the purge continues

This week, I continued to move through the bedroom area of the loft. After the hope chest, I moved over to the bedside tables:

Feb 16: I came across a book in the bedside table drawer. I keep inspirational, spiritual, new-agey books in there for before bed winding down. I had a small volume that a friend of mine gave to me many years ago. It was called "Timeshifting". I tried to read this many times and could never get through it. For some reason, I hung onto it, feeling like I HAD to finish this book. No more! This book just did not speak to me so into the donation bag it went.

Feb 17: In the bottom part of the bedside table, I have a cool little memory box. This was next on the list to go through. It was a nice little trip down memory lane with many many things I shall never part with. Also in this box was a picture that a couple friends and I got in Las Vegas. It was a "Charlie's Angel's" type photo where they took your faces and superimposed them on somebody else's body. Funny. Except that the faces were WAY too big for the heads. Scary. And we were all pretty brunette on really blonde heads. Scary eyebrows! Yeah, it was a funny picture. For a while. But why am I saving this photo? It's crazy scary. Throw it away! Done.

Feb 18: I finished one of the financial books I was reading. And gave it away to a friend of mine.

Feb 19: And then I finished another book. And gave that away to another friend.

Feb 20: Since I was on a roll for giving away things, I kept right up at it a popped the Car Seat ID into the mail for Lacey.

Feb 21: Going to the gym: brought 4 magazine to the gym to reuse.

Feb 22: Laundry day! Another towel to the donation pile.

I can't put it off any longer: next week I jump full force into that storage area I have been avoiding since the start of the year. I'm afraid I may never emerge!

reduce, reuse, recycle

BoldTwo of my goals for myself this year are (a) to recycle more and (b) to allow myself to relax more. So in the spirit of these two goals, on the night of the Oscars, I have recycled a post from last year at Oscar time.


Last Sunday night, as I sat watching the Oscars, I remembered a night long ago, when I was 12 or 13, staying up late and watching the "extra TV" in my brothers' room to see who would win at the Oscars. I remember being so tired, as it was getting very late. (the speeches were much longer back then) Still, I braved on to try to make it to the end. I was so very excited, thinking that the Academy Awards were so IMPORTANT! I had some weird idea that many years later, I would be in a conversation somewhere and I would remember that exact moment when I witnessed the naming of the Best Picture of the Year!

Of course, now I realize that the Oscars really aren't all that important. They are, in fact, a bit silly. As much as I LOVE movies, I think that the amount of time, effort, manpower, and money spent on a ceremony to hand out little gold statues in celebration of movies is a big waste. The fact that we broadcast this little ceremony all over the world is a bit ridiculous, too. Especially when all that anybody really remembers is who wore the ugliest dress.

I have, however, witnessed many moments on television that I will always remember; moments that really were "history in the making". I have witnessed amazing feats of athleticism that made me wonder at how others can push their bodies to that limit: Mary Lou Retton and all her gold medals; Johnny Mosely and his "big air"; Michael Jordan and his "big air" of a different sort; Rick and Dick Hoyt in their annual running of the Boston Marathon; and of course, that flying tomato guy. I have witnessed moments of happiness and sadness: the bookends of Lady Diana's wedding and Princess Diana's funeral. I have witnessed exciting moments that made me pace and fret and cheer and scream: the Red Sox winning the world series...twice! Then, I have witnessed moments that made me angry or confused or just plain disillusioned: Columbine High School; a low speed police chase with a White Bronco; little broken bodies being carried out of an Oklahoma City building. And I have witnessed moments that made me stare, transfixed at the TV screen with tears running down my face: 9/11 and its aftermath; the destruction of Baghdad broadcast for all of America to see; the devastation of a tsunami or class 5 hurricane.

Those moments, broadcast on that small TV screen were so much bigger than anything I've ever seen on the Big Screen. Moments like that affect you, change you. Moments like that sometimes are so big that they make you numb, or make you wish you had a way to make yourself numb. They often make you long for a time when you were more innocent, when world events were too far over your head to have any effect on you. A time when everything seemed bright and colorful and a movie set.

Ok, so maybe as I sat there watching the Oscars, I wasn't as "above it all" as I would like to think. Maybe I was secretly giddy about who would be honored for their amazing feats of making us believe in a world other than the one we live in. Maybe I've sat in a theater and laughed and cried and screamed and jumped out my seat, scared senseless. Maybe I actually think that movies are an IMPORTANT part of life. And maybe, just maybe, I was crossing my fingers and wishing for the next "J-Lo in the GREEN DRESS" moment to happen last Sunday.

'Cause THAT, I will always remember!!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire

My high school English teacher once told me that the difference between a well told story and a poorly told story is that a well told story makes you willing to suspend your disbelief for the benefit of the plot; a poorly told story doesn't allow you to follow the plot because you are too busy focusing on your disbelief. Though there are many areas where this teacher and I butted heads, this statement is something on which we could both agree. I have observed this not only for novels, but for movies, as well. For instance, I whole heartedly cheered along with everyone else in the theater when the bus jumped a 100 foot break in the on-ramp in Speed. Yet I've turned off Lifetime TV movies because a teenager had bad music on his ipod.

I have some pretty firmly held beliefs that I hold onto quite tightly. These same beliefs get trampled upon during the Valentine's Day frenzy each and every year. They are: (1) Everything does NOT happen for a reason , (2) Sometimes things do NOT work out in the end, and ( 3) Love DOESN'T always find a way. By February 15, I feel like the lone realist, floating in a sea of romantics.

So you can imagine how GREAT a movie would have to be to make me suspend all three of those beliefs on February 15.

Slumdog Millionaire was such a movie.

I was vaguely familiar with the premise: a boy who lives in the slums of India grows up and goes on "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" in order to find a girl he knew as a child and has lost contact with. He thinks that she will surely be watching and they will be reunited as a result of his participation in this game show. Whatever. Seemed kind of farfetched to me, but I had heard it was good.

"Good" does not begin to describe this movie. It was wonderful! The movie jumps back and forth between present day (where he is sitting in the hot seat, answering questions) and his past (where in a progressing series of flashbacks, we see how he learned the answers to to the questions he is asked on Millionaire). The movie is simultaneously heartbreaking and uplifting, and it carries you along in the story.

Last year, I watched a documentary from my Netflix queue: "Born into Brothels". In the documentary, Zana Briski, a photojournalist, befriends several children from the slums of Calcutta. These kids do not go to school. They live in filth, in garbage piles, amongst crime and drugs and prostitution. Most of their mothers are prostitutes (hence the title). Most of their fathers are gone. Those who are left are either drug addicts or drug dealers. That is the future for these children, barring a miracle of some sort.

In "Born Into Brothels", Briski teaches these children how to take pictures and gives them cameras. They document their daily lives; lives of desperation, of cruelty, of violence, and strangely, also lives of innocence and beauty. They are children. Little, sweet, beautiful, innocent children who will grow up too fast and become lost; just another batch of slumdogs scraping out a living by begging, stealing, or selling themselves.

In Slumdog Millionaire, we a child from similar circumstances (Bombay, rather than Calcutta) who grows up and finds that miracle he needs to change his future: appearing on "Who Wants to be a Millionaire." I forgot it was a movie. I found myself hanging on the edge of my seat: "Oh, I hope he gets it right! I'm not sure if the answer is right. I don't know anything about Hindu gods!" I found myself becoming saddened and angry at certain characters. I found myself becoming disillusioned with mankind at allowing such horrible circumstances to exist that turn innocent children into thugs and thieves (and worse).

So... does the hero win the game show? Does the fallen character redeem himself? Do the star crossed lovers reunite at the end? I can't tell you. But I can tell you that on February 15th, this non-romantic was believing that sometimes things happen for a reason, things MIGHT work out in the end, and every once in a while, love might just find a way.

Friday, February 20, 2009

the artist way: week 8

This week in the Artist's Way journey, there's a lot of time dedicated to looking at early patterning: what you were allowed to do and weren't allowed to do as a child, your parents, siblings, teachers attitudes toward your creative endeavors, and where along the way you were either encouraged or discouraged. This was actually a particularly difficult week for me, not because my childhood was unhappy, but because my childhood was great!

I'm very, very lucky that way. I grew up in the suburbs in the 70's, before there were malls on every corner; back when you could jump on your bike in the morning and just go, as long as you were home when the streetlights came on. My dad was always working (except when he was injured at work. But that was better; he was home to see us all day!) My mom didn't work until we were all in school and then she was able to work "mother's hours": she saw us off in the morning and was home when we got off the bus. There was essentially NOTHING in my early childhood that would have interfered with my pursuing any creative endeavor I chose.

Then I started thinking about the term "patterning". I started thinking about how both my brothers and I filled a "role" in the family. I don't really think any of us were pushed into that particular role. It was most likely a case of assigning a role based on the personality traits we already displayed. My older brother was the smart one. My younger brother was the mischievious one. And I was the perfect one.

I was the kid who never got in trouble. I always did what I was told. I never caused trouble in school. I always got good grades. I had nice friends. I excelled at sports. The only thing I didn't do well was...rebel. I don't think it would even have occured to me.

The interesting thing is, now that we are older, our roles in the family have switched. Now, my older brother is the perfect one. He got married, bought a house 5 miles away from my parents, had two adorable children, and now works for the same company as my dad. (really took the pressure off of the rest of us. I thank him for it every so often) My younger brother is the smart one. After goofing off through high school and undergrad, he floated from job to job for a while. Then he took a couple classes at community college to raise his GPA and went to law school. He graduated in the top 5% of the class and now has his own practice. (not bad for the kid who got kicked off the bus 3 years in a row) So I guess that makes me -- the mischievious one? Well, we are adults now, so let's change that to -- the non conformist.

The one who moved cross country. The one who isn't married. The one who doesn't own a house. (The one who blogs) I

I look at my neices and nephew now and I realize that I think of them in terms of roles, too. There's the dramatic one, the dark one (seven year old pre-goth, anyone?), the chatterbox, and the little athlete. (they are all the cute one) It's made me think that maybe I treat them a certain way because of how I think they are going to act, rather than how they have behaved. And I'm trying not to.

Hmmm....I wonder which of them will end up living in the garaje mahal in 30 years?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Blogs I Have Loved: My First Giveaway

There are some people out there who have a lot of pull in blog world. They are able to give away things like vacuum cleaners or ipod touches. I'm not one of those people. I'm just some chick who lives above a garage and drives around in a 9 year old jeep, thinking she's cool. When I have a giveaway, its for something a little smaller. Let me tell you the story:

Two weekends ago, I had the pleasure of meeting a bunch of great gals from Mom It Forward. It's a blog whose purpose (in their own words) is to: change the world one mom at a time. Well, I may not be a mom, but I certainly found some kindred souls in the desire to change the world. It's a great blog, with lots of ideas and advice and giveaways and such.

Anyhoo...during this meet and greet event, I came into ownership of a car seat ID tag. The tags were donated by My Precious Kid, another great organization that specializes in products for moms and, well, their precious kids. The car seat ID tag has important info including name age, weight, drug allergies, medical conditions, etc, in the event of an accident that leaves mom or dad unable to relay that info to medical personnel. Let's face it: that's just good thinking!

Here's my problem: I don't have a precious kid. And I don't really have anyone in mind to give this away to. However, I do have a great bloggy friend, Lacey. She has an etsy store with lots of kiddy stuff for precious kiddies.

So here's the skinny: I forwarded this little ditty on down to Lacey. Y'all should visit her blog and her etsy store! I believe the dealio is she's gonna draw a name at random from folks who place an order. And somebody will get a nifty ID tag in addition to an adorable handmade bib! Or something like that. Anyway, check her out!

And there ya have it! Giving stuff away. One ID tag at a time.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

weekly writing assignment

It's Wednesday. The Monday holiday completely threw me and now I'm feeling discombobulated, overworked and under-rested. So why is it that when I read MamaKat's prompts for the weekly writing assignment I chose this one?

"Take a picture of yourself right this minute without primping and explain to us why it is you have not washed your hair today."

As you can clearly see, my unwashed hair is the least of my worries. From the exhausted, half crazy expression on my face (that sadly, is my attempt at a smile) you may surmize that I've HAD IT this week. I have. It always happens on a holiday week: the same number of visits are squeezed in with one less day to accommodate them. Which means less time to complete paperwork and more time spent doing said paperwork after work hours. I hate days where I have breakfast, lunch, and dinner at work.

Plus, the pool closes at noon this week, because of school vacation. So in order to get a swim in, I had to go before work. I am not one of those people who do well exercising before work. I don't feel engergized. I feel exhausted all day.

Now, I find myself simultaneously exhausted and wired, my least favorite combination. And it's snowing again. Oh, I'm exhausted. When is spring?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Last night, I was watching a movie with J. She said that she wished to experience "a movie moment" in real life.

Let me say this: I firmly believe that moments are always better in movies than they are in real life. First of all, every moment in a movie is perfectly scripted by a writer and editors who go through several drafts before reaching the "spontaneous" moment we see. Then, they are acted out by people who are way, way, WAY more attractive than you or I could ever hope to be. Plus, those already attractive people have spent hours on end with a team of hairdressers and make-up artists to make them look like they just rolled out of bed looking like that. Finally, they have as many takes as possible to get it right. In real life, we just don't get that much prep time. It just happens on the fly.

Of course, that being said, J and I started to go through our own lives to figure out if we have had any moments that could, in fact, qualify as a movie moment.

Sadly enough, the only moment I could come up with somehow has me cast as a character quite like Toula from My Big Fat Greek Wedding. That would be Toula BEFORE the complete transformation. (By the way, I think she would be the exception to the aforementioned rule of "WAY more attractive than we could ever hope to be"). Leave it to me to relate not to an action adventure or romantic comedy but to the only movie in the past ten years that could accurately be described as FRUMPY.

Which leads us to the movie moment, er, date with Chad:

I pull up to the parking area along the Cape Cod Canal that night after work. I don't see anyone there, which is ok, since I still need to change out of my work clothes. I go into the restrooms and change into my rollerblading duds, complete with the pink baseball hat I had promised to wear. On my way out, to my right I see a vehicle matching Alice's description of Chad's car; to my left I see a person matching Alice's description of Chad. Excellent.

So I give ol' Chad a saucy little half-nod to acknowledge his presence, and then continue back to the red jeep to put my work clothes in and take my rollerblades out. I turn around with my blades and see that Chad is no longer where he was standing two minutes ago. Oh, ok, there he is. He is going to his car to get his rollerblades. I start walking -- in stocking feet -- over to the bench to put on my skates. From the corner of my eye, I see Chad whip out a cell phone, start talking into it, and then...Drive Away!!!

Seriously. He drove away. CHAD, YOU LOSER!!! Come on, despite all the talk about me being frumpy and dumpy and all the other umpies, lets face it: I'm pretty freaking cute. What the heck could he possibly be thinking?

Now I'm thinking: "Fine. I'll just go rollerblading by myself. Its better this way anyway, because now I won't have to keep slowing down to let Chad catch up to me in an effort to save his ego."

I sit down on the bench and start putting on my blades.

Now it gets even better. Another car pulls into the parking lot. In it is some guy talking on a cell phone. He stops right in front of the bench, leans over, looks me up and down, says something into his cell phone and drives away.

OH COME ON! I think I know why Chad is still single. Because he sends his wingman in for a second opinion, that's why.

Now my rollerblades are on and I'm ready to go. That's good, because I've had just about all I can take of this nonsense. But there is, in fact, more nonsense is store for me. Chad's car pulls BACK into the parking lot. He stops a few feet away from me and looks me up and down, still on his cell phone. Whatever is a girl to do? So I do a little pirouette on my skates and curtsy as he pulls out of the parking lot once again and drives away.

The funny thing is, once I got over the whole YOU LOSER-ishness of it all, what I felt was relief. I really didn't want to meet this guy in the first place. And at least he didn't waste any more of my time than absolutely necessary. (Unlike Adam and Bill) I had a great solo workout and still got home in time to find out "What Not to Wear"

I couldn't have scripted it any better.

Monday, February 16, 2009

looking forward to spring cleaning

Moving along on my goal to get rid on one thing a day for 365 days. Sometimes I feel like quitting the "one thing a day" approach and just pulling everything out on the lawn, like in "Clean Sweep". Of course, there is still snow and ice on the lawn here, so that wouldn't be practical. Moreover, I really need to get to the downstairs closet/storage space. But there is no heat down there. And its too cold to spend too much time there. So I do feel a bit stuck, that way. Once it gets warmer, I'm gonna really attack that area. Until then, I'm moving through the upstairs living space:

Feb 9: Went through the mail that had accummulated in my absence. Put all the envelopes and junk mail into the recycling and brought all the paper recycling into the bin. Now that the front entryway is clear, I'm hoping I can keep it that way.

Feb 10: Laundry day! Another pair of socks into the donation pile.

Feb 11: I repotted a plant and took the old, plastic pot that it came in to the recycle bin. With some plastic water bottles. (I'm trying not to buy the water bottles at all now)

Feb 12: Two magazines from the magazine basket into work.

Feb 13: Another load of laundry, another item to the donation pile: a towel for the local pound.

Feb 14: Today, I started on a hope chest that's at the bottom of the bed. I have summer clothes as well as memories and future presents hanging out in there. I came across a book I had puchased a while back for my neice. It had 3 Judy Blume stories in it. Unfortunately, she HATES Judy Blume. (She loves the Ramona books and Pipi Longstocking, though) So this book went into the book donation bag.

Feb 15: Took a baseball hat from the summer clothes and put it in the clothes donation bag. How many baseball caps does one person need? Well, I got one less now.

Baby steps, baby steps...

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Response to A Valentine's Day Thought

Once a week, I send a bulk email to my family and friends called "Thought For the Week". Yesterday, I sent out "A Valentine's Day Thought". The response was not what I expected.

Here is my reply:

Based upon the sheer number of concerned emails and phone calls I received in the past 24 hours, it has become abundantly clear that nobody finds the Valentine's Day Thought nearly as funny as Jen and I did. We were rolling on the floor. We even brainstormed a Scrubs storyline with Manuel Uribe and the new "chubby chasing" med student. However, we already knew that nobody gets as big a kick out of us as-- well-- us.

Thanks for your concern, everyone. I'm fine. I'm not really jealous of Manuel and I certainly don't begrudge him any happiness. (I do wonder how you meet a future spouse when you are bed bound.)

Instead, I'll leave everyone with another topic that we not only found funny, but made us scratch our heads. Apparently the latest products that are all the rage in Beverly Hills are: baby wigs! (You know, in case you want your baby's hair-do to match your own.)

WHY does a BABY need a WIG? It's a baby! They're supposed to be bald!!

Have a good week everyone

I guess a career in stand up is out of the question.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


Last October, Manuael Uribe, the world's fattest man, got married. How wonderful! It just goes to show that no matter how insurmountable the obstacles may seem, love will find a way to win in the end.

. . . is what I would LIKE to be thinking.
But I'm not.
Instead, I'm thinking . . .

You've GOT to be freaking kidding me!?!? The man has not been out of bed in SIX YEARS!! In order to get to the church for said nuptials, it took a crew of 12 people, a forklift, and a flatbed truck. During the ceremony, he was wearing a parachute! (And this is AFTER he lost 550 pounds)

Meanwhile, there's me. I get out of bed of my own volition every day. I go out into the world --in a jeep -- without the aid of ONE personal care attendant, never mind twelve. Yet, I am still single and living over my best friend's garage.

There is something SERIOUSLY messed up with the universe.

Happy stupid Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Artist Way Week 7 (part 2)

This morning I posted about a breakthrough I experienced this week doing The Artists Way program. It had to do with looking at areas in your life that you were experiencing jealousy. (or in my case, sarcasm and anger) As a result of the exercise, I found that this sarcasm was really a disguise for feeling under appreciated. And the friend with whom I had been feeling distant now I felt like a kindred soul; somebody who was in the same boat as me.

All day today, though, I had a little tickle in the back of my brain. In this blog, I try to protect my friend and family's anonymity. Sometimes, I share stories or specific details about others, as long as its in a funny, lighthearted, or irreverent way. Heavy stuff, I tend to shy away from unless its MY heavy stuff.

My post this morning felt to me like I crossed my self-imposed line. I felt like I shared a story that was not mine to share. And though I think that if this particular friend did stumble across my blog, she wouldn't mind, I cannot be 100% sure. That's a risk I just can't take.

It's funny, isn't it? How the line between real life and blog life can get blurry. Has anyone else ever experienced a similar conundrum? I'd love to hear about it.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Blogs I Have Loved

After getting back from Blissdom, I had tons of blogger's cards and even more ambition to visit tons of new blogs. Unfortunately, between my killer cold that had me unconscious for most of Tuesday and all the work I had to make up on Wednesday and Thursday, I haven't gotten around to much blog searching.

So today, I wanted to share with y'all some of the folks I met last weekend and their musings.

SHANNON over at MyHeart4Him: I had dinner with her on Saturday. She's not only funny and sweet, but she's really creative as well. Folks like her make me wish I was more crafty. She was wearing the coolest shirt with a little flower on the shoulder. It looked super comfy (which is always important in my book) and a bit hippy-chic (also important). She has some cute purses on her site if ya wanna look.

AMY over at Outdoordogs: Amy and I may have been the only two clueless twits at this conference without business cards of our blog info. (I guess I could have gone onto the Blissfully Domestic website and read up on what to expect. But I prefer to be clueless.) So Amy and I had a bonding experience over our cardlessness. Her blog is very funny and also had lots of appearances by out of control pets. I always love a crazy dog story.

HEATHER over at RunningFromtheLittlePeople: I tried to engage her in a conversation about running or maybe triathlon training. She gently explained to me that she was running from her kids. Oh. Ok. I guess when you attend a conference geared toward blogging moms, you need to think outside your own limited box. Anyway, her blog makes me smile. It's sweet and funny and introspective and self depreciating. Really, a slice-of-life blog's honest. She also has a blog of going green tips at FromGreytoGreen. I'm always looking for green tips. And people, like myself, who prefer the British spelling of grey.

DANILLE over at Extraordinary Mommy: We hung out during the MamaMia pajama party. Nobody can rock a pair of bunny slippers like this girl. She seemed like a real party girl. If only I wasn't so stuffy and sniffily last weekend I'm sure we could have had some rocking times. Check out her blog for observations on life, product reviews, and giveaways.

Happy visiting!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

My First Metal Album

For this week's writing assignment, MamaKat has us talking about the first record or CD we bought for ourselves.

They did not have CDs when I bought my first recording. I'm that old. I bought it in cassette form and played it over and over and over, much to my mother's chagrin, I'm sure. For this cassette was none other than Ozzy Osbourne's Diary of a Madman. I was 12 years old.

I remember immediately falling in love with the guitar riffs. It's a love I have never outgrown. The guitar is still SO good, 26 years later! I loved the lyrics, too.

This whole record seemed so dangerous, so rebellious. Ozzy Osbourne was at the height of controversy then, with talk of bat's heads and the Alamo circulating on the twitter of the day: FM radio. I remember being slightly afraid when I looked at the cover art. It depicted a room in a castle with an inverted cross on the wall. Ozzy himself was all decked out like Linda Blair in The Exorcist with ripped clothing, spattered blood, and a pale white face with a ghoulish grin. Oddly, what was most frightening to me was a small child in the background, perched on a table by a bookshelf and snickering into his hands. He seemed the most evil thing in the picture. A little Damien, controlling the entire affair from a seemingly innocent facade.

At age 12, I was far too young to have any remotely lusty thoughts. But I do believe, in a small way, this record marked the beginning of my "bad boy" phase that all adolescent girls go through. There was something so forbidden about the music: the screaming guitars, the throbbing beat, the lyrics indicative of insanity --or worse. I think it was the beginning of my obsession with horror movies, as well.

I used to hang out with my friends, listening to the tape with the volume turned up all the way on the boom box. Most of the time, we were quickly banished to the garage. My friend, Laura, had a 17 year old brother who thought that it was FANTASTIC that his little sister and her friends were into Ozzy Osbourne. He offered to take us to see Ozzy in concert when the show came to town. Our mothers quickly nixed that idea: "Absolutely not." (We couldn't understand why our moms were so LAME. )

Alas, I remember hanging out in Laura's bedroom, eating Cadbury Creme Eggs from her father's store when we heard on the radio that the guitarist, Randy Rhodes, had died in a helicopter crash. They had been playing chicken with a car and a helicopter. (Drugs may have been involved in this decision). It was right around the time the next Ozzy Osbourne record, Bark at the Moon, came out that I realized that I actually was not an Ozzy fan. I was a Randy Rhodes fan. And he was dead.

As I look back on my life, I am faced with plenty of cringe worthy moments. This is not one of them. I'm pretty impressed with my musical tastes at age 12. (that, and the fact that my favorite song when I was 8 was "Ice Cream Man" by Van Halen) I still have Diary of a Madman, only now it's in CD form. And in my CD case, it's filed under "R".

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

tuesday's bad dates (CHAD)


Well, after my experiences with Adam and Bill, I had pretty much concluded that going out with somebody from the gym was a bad idea. I added it to my list of things that made guys undatable:

1) Guys with drug or alcohol problems
2) Guys who have no sense of humor
3) Guys who weigh less than I do
4) Guys who play Everquest, Ultima Online, or World of Warcraft
and now:
5) Guys who work out at the same gym as me

I have friends who have somehow concluded that the best way to meet somebody is through your friends. Since I had already had some previous experience with that (the one who inspired rule #2, incidentally) I have a different take on it: that's the best way to meet somebody who knows some of the same people as you do. Not necessarily somebody you are compatible with.

But then again, what do I know?

So when somebody from work wanted to set me up with one of her friends, I said "Why not?"

My friend at work (let's call her Alice) had been hinting about a guy who she wanted to introduce me to. I'd been hinting right back, that I was not interested.

Seriously. I was very happy hibernating and I really was interested in knowing who Brett Michaels would pick to be his Rock of Love. Besides, if this guy really was all she said (nice, funny, smart, good personality, doesn't look like a frog, isn't gay) then (A) why didn't she go out with him or (B) why not somebody else?

There were 4 of us at work between 4'10" and 5'2", all with dark hair, all joggers, all wearing our teal uniform shirts, and all sporting the daily ponytail. Really, we were pretty much interchangeable. But apparently not when it comes to Alice and her friend (let's call him Chad).

Finally, she said something to which I had not retort. She pointed out that a guy who was the same age, not married, and who also had friends who are all married, would be a good person to know. Just in case you want to go see a band or a movie without needing to plan your life around somebody else's babysitter. It didn't have to be a high pressure situation. It didn't need to be a romantic situation. Casual was fine. By saying no without giving it a chance, I'd be closing off the chance of at least a friendship, if not something more. I couldn't argue with her. So I gave her my email address.

Chad and I emailed a few times, and he actually seemed normal. We decided to meet and go roller-blading on the Cape Cod Canal after work one night. We picked a time. We picked a place. I told him what to look for: short girl, red jeep, pink baseball hat. 'Nuff said. He said "Ok, I'll be there."

He did NOT tell me what to look for. He needed to find me.

That day at work, Alice was very happy. She wanted to know what our plans were.Then she told me what Chad looked like and what kind of car he drove.

Let me reiterate: he knows what I look like, and I know what he looks like. But he doesn't know that I know what he looks like. (I think there was a "Friends" episode like this)

And, as you can guess, things went downhill from here...

Monday, February 9, 2009

the purge continues


Things are going well as I continue in the quest to pare down by getting rid on one thing every day in 2009. This week, I returned to the front entryway. The front entry way has become the giant junk drawer in my apartment. You know how anything you're not sure of ends up in the junk drawer? Anything I know I'm going to recycle or get rid of ends up in the front entryway. Which is fine. Except that I have to walk by the pile every day. So I gotta attend to it on a regular basis or else I'll trip and kill myself on the way out.

Also: I'm in a February mood, so I changed from simplicity blue to February soft pink for a while. Hope you like it.

February 3: Recycled all the cardboard from the front entry way

February 4: Did the same with the aluminium.

February 5: Recycled the plastic. Now I can walk in and out without putting my life in danger.

Next, things get a bit tricky. I went away for the weekend. Making getting rid of stuff a little harder. But I think I pulled it off without cheating.

February 6: I took a couple magazines with me on the plane. Finished em. And left them on a chair at the airport in Nashville for somebody else to take.

February 7: I cleaned off my desk top on the laptop so it's not such a mess. I went through "my pictures" and deleted or filed everything so that's not such a mess anymore, either.

February 8: Cleaned out the mailbox on my phone from texts I no longer need. Plus, I returned two library books and threw out the trash from the car when I got back from my trip.

Unfortunately, (or fortunately) I accumulated a lot of SWAG at the Blissdom conference. I also accumulated some knowledge and a few good ideas about how to pass it all on in a fun way! More on that later.

Happy purging everyone!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Back from Nashville

I'm home, safe and sound from my excursion to Nashville for BlissDom. Unfortunately, since I was fighting a cold the entire time, taking a trip out to see live music never quite happened. I totally need to go back to Nashville when I have more time and health at my disposal.

So, as a followup to yesterday's post, I'm Jeepgirl17 on twitter (though I have yet to tweet anyone yet)

Here are the rest of the "Elevator 13"

Jennifer at Playgroups are no Place for Children (great name, eh?)
Victoria at vdogblog
Heather at The Spohrs are Multiplying (another great name. Both hers and the blog)
Emily at DesignHER Momma
Amy at Amy in OHio
Shannan at
Ali at Blessed Tree House
Sandy at Organize with Sandy (who in addition to being organized, is very calm, cool, and collected in an elevator)
Jenny at Mommin It Up
Dawn at Kaiser Alex
Courtney at Once a Month Mom
and yet another Heather at Queen of Shake Shake (she wrote a really funny post about the elevator saga)

Check em out!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Twittering in an elevator

Well, the big recurring theme of my weekend at BlissDom 09 is Twitter. Apparently, I am ridiculously behind in the blogging world because I don't have a twitter account. And I have to sign up for one right away. It's a great way to build relationships with other bloggers and gain exposure. Or something like that.

I'll be honest, I just didn't get it. asks the question "What are you doing now?" and you post mini entries. Should anyone care what I'm doing at any given moment? Does anyone really want to read:
I'm going to work
I'm going to the gym
I'm balancing a bowl of soup on my lap while checking my email and watching "Two and a Half Men"
Now I'm packing my lunch and gym bag for tomorrow
I'm going to bed
That certainly doesn't seem to hold any appeal. Or how about my days off:
I'm doing laundry
I'm cleaning the bathroom
I'm doing dishes
I'm going grocery shopping
I'm going to the bank
I'm going to the gym for an extra long workout
I'm pretty sure I'd lose readers from that.

But I figured, "Hey, I'll give it a try. I'll sign up for an account. I'll twitter for a while and see what comes." I haven't done it yet.

And tonight, something happened and I TOTALLY got it.

Tonight, I got stuck in an elevator with a gaggle of twittering bloggers. (I believe that gaggle IS the correct word) We pushed the emergency button to call the front desk, but there was no answer. So, the Blackberries and iphones came out. Within moments, the front desk was calling us. There were updates. And jokes. We got tips from The Worst Case Scenerio website. We were named "the elevator 13". (ok, the elevator DID have a sign that said "Limit 7 people." But we didn't see that until after the elevator violently stopped. And we were under the weight limit. We went around and added up our weights to be sure) By the time we emerged from the elevator (around 40 minutes later) a crowd of well-wishers had gathered to cheer for the elevator 13.

So now I'm off to set up a twitter account.

Friday, February 6, 2009


One of the tools of The Artist's Way is something called and "artist date". The idea being that just as you need to carve out time in your life to nurture a new relationship (a date) you also need to carve out time in your life to nurture creativity (an artist date). Just like more conventional dates, they can take many forms from staying in and renting a movie, going for a walk, trying a different restaurant, or more extravagant measures, like going to a museum or on a trip.

This weekend, I am on THE extravagant artist date: Blissdom 09. At first, the idea of a blogging conference seemed a bit strange to me, I'll admit. Isn't blogging something we all do at 11:30 at night before bed, writing about something and then checking up on all our blog buddies? I mean, there aren't tooth-brushing conferences or packing-tomorrow's-lunch conferences, why that other nightly ritual that happens to involve a computer. But then, I figured, I've never been to Nashville, and I wanted to hear Jen Lancaster speak. So my giant artist's date came to be.

Day one is down, and I'm soo happy I came! For some, like me, blogging is that thing we do before we go to bed. But for others, it's a business, a networking opportunity, a way to reach out and make friends. And while I've tasted a bit of that in my own blogging journey, I certainly haven't utilized blogging to the degree as most of the people here. So I'm learning a lot. Lots of ideas to improve on my little nightly ritual. And I've met lots of really great people whose pages I'm planning to check up on in the days to come.

In much the same way that the Artist's Way is a journey to creativity and self discovery, blogging is a journey to the same destinations. I started the whole blog, really, to find myself again and to rediscover the distinct voice that I once had but had somehow lost. The creativity came later. More interesting was that the assignments this week (theme: abundance) mimicked almost exactly the monthly goal setting I have been doing on the blog. (throw out clothing you no longer wear, change your living space, track your expenses, look for little gifts in nature, reach out to friends). That got me thinking of the creative journey not only in blogging, but in every aspect of life.

So, this weekend, as I attend this conference, meet new friends, gather new ideas, and try new Little Debbie snack cakes (they're everywhere! and they're delicious!) I'm hoping to come away with some new ideas not only for the blog, but for the rest of the journey, as well.

Sweet dreams, all

Thursday, February 5, 2009


One of MamaKat's writing prompts this week was to write a list of 10 things that are on your mind. Since I am compulsive list maker, this prompt was right up my alley!


10) I think I am coming down with a cold I started getting snuffily yesterday. But I thought I had nabbed it with a cup of hot-and-sour soup, a yoga class that ended with a "healing meditation", and a mug of peppermint tea. But no, today I woke up even more snuffily and it got progressively worse all day. So now, I'm hoping to kill it with ZiCam, Tang, and more peppermint tea. It is imperative that I feel better by tomorrow.

9) Because tomorrow I will be on a plane A plane to Nashville to the Blissdom conference to see Jen Lancaster. Who is awesome. Even though she may be my polar opposite in every sense. She is funny. And I am going to see her speak at...a blogging conference? I never knew such a thing existed. But I am getting way off track. The point is, I am going to the airport

8) And the Logan Express leaves at 6:05 am Which means I will get absolutely no sleep tonite, since I haven't even packed and I am blogging instead of packing right now. I hope I can sleep on the plane. Because I have really skimped on my sleep lately. Which may be why I am coming down with a cold in the first place.

7) I have a million other things I want to get accomplished on the plane, too. I feel like I may be over committing myself just a bit. I need to re-evaluate things.

6) For instance, I have committed to several work projects. I may not have time to do them. I don't actually get time DURING work to do them, they must be completed on my own time. Like re-doing a certain eval form. or writing up a case study for submission to a national conference. (Not a blogging conference, either) I feel like I was striving for mediocrity in my career and I'm getting sucked into the excellence realm. Damn overachieving!

5) And I didn't work out today. Which was really the right choice, since I am coming down with said cold. But that throws off my training schedule. Which may be further thrown off by the upcoming trip. I don't even know if the hotel has a workout room. I may have to run up and down the stairs for an hour. Which should make me super-popular with everyone.

4) And I somehow think I'm going to finish - like - 6 books on the plane ride there and back I'm still waiting for SOMETHING to happen in Twilight. Call me cynical. But I can't understand why a hundreds-year-old vampire would be spending his time in high school. That's why I have to finish this book on the plane. I'm still not getting it. And I really want to get it!

3) I'm really sick of winter I'm remembering with startling clarity why I left New England in the first place. But I go away for the weekend to Nashville? It was like 19 degrees in Nashville today. Granted, that's 5 degrees warmer than here, but it ain't the Caribbean, either.

2) I'm also a still squirming from my post-martini behavior last weekend I remember saying "Oh, my God! Did I actually say that? I can't believe that came out of my mouth! Just erase that from your mind. Pretend that didn't just happen." at least 5 times. The problem is, I can't for the life of me remember what preceded that outburst. Any of the 5 times. I do remember Nerd looking at his friend and saying "Are there any single girls where you work?" after such an outburst. I laughed at the time. But since this was kind of the "meet the friends" night, I have a suspicion that I (and my martinis) blew it.


1) Is the following email:

"Hey! You really biotinylate my enzymes."

a good thing or a bad thing?

I googled biotinylate but that was absolutely no help whatsoever. Except that now I may start referring to myself as "Vitamin H".
Just saying.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


FOUR, I'M UNDER THE HOST ---Dorothy Parker

Recap of what I learned this weekend:

1) If you are considering going to an Omni theater show, consider having a couple drinks before hand. It makes the experience that much more intense.

2) Martinis are wolves in sheep's clothing. They have lovely names like: Flirtini or Bella-tini, reminiscent of a fairy princess with wings and a tutu. They come in pretty colors like soft pink or sherbety orange. They taste like liquid candy in a glass. And sometimes they are slightly fizzy. But rest you assured: they are out to get you! Have a couple of these babies and you are apt to turn into a blithering idiot, unable to shut up and hammering unsuspecting people with TMI. They keep appearing in front of you, magically. And no matter what anyone at the table says, you did NOT keep ordering more. Those martinis were on the attack. Out to get you.

3) If you do order martinis, make sure you have a friend with you who will take them away and tell the waitress "No more." Only through a team effort can you come out of the martini battle in one piece.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

tuesdays bad dates (BILL PART 2)

When we last left Heather at Tuesday's Bad Dates Land, she had accepted a date from Bill because she couldn't think of any reason why not to...
(Just because I wanted to feel like a radio announcer for a cliff hanger show!)

Anyway, as I said, I can think of several reasons now.

The first of which is, the date appeared to start exactly the same way as the one with Adam. We had just sat down at a restaurant for lunch. We hadn't even gotten the menus yet. And Bill says:

"So...have you ever dated a man of color before?"

I repeat: A MAN OF COLOR. Who the hell says that?

So many responses were flying through my head: "Well, there was the orange-and-green guy from Seattle," or the opposite extreme: "Until now, I was exclusive to albinos." But we hadn't even gotten the menus yet! I felt it was a bit to early to break out the sarcasm. So I simply said:


He replies, "Why not?"

I'm like, "I don't know." What is this? Some kind of Spike Lee inquisition?

Then he throws out, "Well, what do you think of it?"

"What do I think of WHAT?"

"Dating a man of color?"

"Um, I wouldn't exactly say we're DATING. We haven't even gotten the menus yet."

"Oh, I guess you're right. Ha Ha Ha."

And really, that should have been the end of it. But it wasn't. Which brings us to reason number two why I'll never date Bill again: he just couldn't get past skin color. To me, it is a non-issue. To him, it was the ONLY issue.

Later, after both the menus and food had arrived, we were talking about places we had lived. I mentioned that for a year, I lived in Southie.

"Southie is very dangerous" he said.

"Well, dangerous is a relative term," I said. "Southie wasn't dangerous for ME. I'm a blue-eyed Irish girl. And my dad is a union man. I was as safe as Fort Knox. Now, the guy I was dating at the time, he could have had some issues. You know, at 2 am when drunk, belligerent locals emerged from the bar? But we never had any problems. People were really nice."

"Why would your boyfriend have problems?" he asked.

"His mother was from Syria and his dad was from Lebanon. He didn't BLEND, like me."

"Oh." Bill said. "I thought you had never dated a man of color."

"Well, I guess I never thought of him as a man of color. I just thought of him as Sam."

"I'm sure he thought of himself that way."

"No, he really didn't. It was never an issue for him."

"You don't know that. I'm sure he was always aware that he was dark and you weren't."

"YOU don't know that. I dated him for two years. You never met him. It really was never an issue. Except that sometimes he said that he had superior pigmentation if I got a sunburn. Sam and I never had this ridiculous conversation."

"Oh, I've had this conversation quite a few times" Bill said.

You don't say? Wow. That's a shocker!

"I only date white women" he says. "Usually blondes."

I was about to ask him why he's never dated a woman of color when he clinched it with reason number three why I never want to see Bill again: Bill got really inappropriate. (As if everything up until this point wasn't inappropriate enough.)

"The last woman I went out with at dinner, asked me if it was true that black men had big....." (I'll let you fill in the last word)

I was flabbergasted. WHO THE HELL SAYS THAT????

"Um, that's a little inappropriate!" I said.

"Yeah, I thought so, too" he said.

"I don't mean HER, I mean YOU. It was inappropriate of you to say that to me."

"I was just making conversation."

"You know what?" I said, "This conversation is over." And I left.

I saw Reggie at the gym later on that week.

"Sorry, Reggie. I do NOT like your friend Bill, at all."

"You went OUT with him?" Reggie said. "That guy is an asshole!"


Monday, February 2, 2009



HOO baby! I just keep paring down and paring down. This is great. It's funny how excess stuff weighs on your mind and well as taking up space. I'm feeling lighter and thinking more clearly.

I was still working on the bathroom area this week:

Jan 27: Under the sink, I had a bunch of lotions and bath salts in a cardboard box. The box never really worked well. It was kind of balancing on top of a bunch of other stuff. But since I got rid of a few towels in January, I could re-configure the towels from 2 shelves to one. (they are all rolled up in a cute little pyramid shape. They make me smile every time I go in the bathroom) So I arranged the lotions and bath salt on the empty shelf. Much nicer! The box went in the recycling.

Jan 28: I had a bunch of samples I had collected from various places also under the sink. Why am I getting free samples of products to try and then keeping them where I don't use em? I moved all the free samples up to the sink and will use them in February. If I like em, I just may buy em!

Jan 29: I had 2 bottles of cough syrup that had expired. I looked high and low on the internet about how to dispose of expired medicine. Most sources say to keep it in its original container and throw away.

Jan 30: The expired vitamins were another story. The internet had everything from flush them, throw them away in the bottle like medication, or crush them up and make plant food. (I asked Nerd his opinion, since he's a scientist. But he was no help. He said that after vitamins expired, they turned to a life of crime and usually ran away to Mexico) I was about to take the entire bottle and see how psychadelic and flourescent I could make my urine when I saw that vitamins are compostable.

Jan 31: Final item from under the sink: purfume that smelled rancid. Threw away the same way as the medicine. And pulled out the rest of the fragrance to the shelf where I can access it more easily.

February 1: Laundry day! 1 pair of socks to donation bag.

Feb 2: I'm back to the front entry way, where the recycling is piling up again. Brought the paper in to recycle today.

Over the next week, I'm gonna go back to the front entryway and clear that space out.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

February Goals

Well, January was a wild, wintry, cold, busy month. But overall, a great start to what I'm positive is going to be a great year. This is the first February 1st I ever remember feeling like I'm doing well with goals and making progress, rather than feeling exhausted, frustrated, and beating myself up for NOT making progress. I am watching Bruce Springsteen as I write this, feeling hopeful and energized for February.


1) Get Rid of One Thing Every Day: Going well. I'm strategically going through my apartment one section at a time, cleaning, organizing, and sorting. It's been pretty easy thus far. But I know the tough part with some real decision making is coming down the road. I have been avoiding the front storage area. Partly because the heat doesn't get down there and its been a cold January. partly because I'm overwhelmed when I think of it. I'll get there eventually.

2) Drink 8 Glasses of Water a Day: This was a bit hard for me at first, as I found drinking a lot of water meant many trips to the bathroom at work, and sometimes I don't have time to pee at work! (seriously) But over the month, I found a way to make it work. First thing in the morning, when I am doing my morning pages, I drink a huge glass of water to get the creative juices flowing. I keep a water bottle in my car. I drink before and after workouts. And I drink at home before bed. Still trying to kick the diet coke, but getting a handle and feeling a bit healthier.

3) Stick to a Triathlon Training Program: Aside from one week when I was sick, this was a huge success this month. I'm feeling good. And though I usually GAIN weight when I train hard (I put on muscle really quickly) I actually lost 2 pounds this month. Which doesn't sound like a lot, given the amount of exercise I've been doing, but I didn't gain weight. Which is huge.

4) Read Three Books from the Bookshelf: I didn't quite finish this one, since I had a week of reading deprivation thrown in there! I finished and gave away "CLUTTER CONTROL" for a few ideas in sticking to goal one, I'm about half way through "THE PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE" which a friend gave me for Xmas, and I'm 5 chapters into "TWILIGHT" which I'm hoping turns out to be as good as the hype.

5) Went to Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum: It was fantastic!

6) Post a Blog Entry Every Day: Done and done. Much easier now that I have daily themes!

7) Consistency with The Artist's Way Program: Looking good. Getting much more out of it this time around. I'm convinced its because I have to blog about it and have committed to others to actually do it. So, thanks, everyone!

8) Stick to an Eating Plan: This is another one that took a bit of work. First, I tried on an eating plan from a fitness magazine. But it only had 1200 calories a day. Which doesn't work if you are working 11 hour days or if you have a 2 1/2 hour workout planned. Plus, with getting home at 9 pm, bigger dinners did not work. So I think I have it down with smaller breakfasts, protein shakes for dinner, BIG lunches, and snacking all day. I'm going to continue to fine tune, but it seems to be working for me.

9) Taking more Pictures: Haven't taken ALOT of pictures, but took a few. So, baby steps, again.

10) Make an Effort to let People I Love Know It More Often: I do feel like I've done a bit more with my family and friends. I've written one letter a week (hand written, not email) to friends who live far a way. I've been to karate tests and dance practices. I've gone out to eat with my parents. And there's a good chance that I'll be spending a couple nites a week at my Granddad's house when he gets out of the hospital. SO I'm going to call that a success, too.

On to February!

I'm not feeling as cranky and cynical as I usually do about Valentine's Day. I certainly am not excited about it (I never am. Even when I was 3 or 4 years into a serious relationship) But I am excited about February.

1) Get My Finances in Order: I tried, unsuccessfully to organize everything last year. But I'm giving it a more focused try now.

2) Read Three Books from the Bookshelf: I have a trip coming up, so I got some reading time on the plane. I need to finish my 2 outstanding books, and I'm going to focus on Financial Books to tie in to goal one.

3) Continue with Getting Rid of Things: I have so far to go on this.

4) Post an Entry Every Day in February: Again for NaBloPoMo. Its funny how February is the shortest month but seems like the longest in this respect.

5)Lose 2 Pounds this Month: Oh jeez. I've posted it. I gotta do it.

6) Go to Bliss-Dom Conference: Yep, I'm gonna see Jen Lancaster speak! Hoping to bring the blog to the next level! Plus, I've never been to Nashville!

7) Tune up and Play My Guitar At Least 1 Time per Week: I know, 1 time a week is nothing when it comes to musical instruments. Baby steps. I think I can actually start playing the thing again without thinking too much of M and crying. I'm past that, I think.

8) Have a Pajama Party: Yep, we're hosting our annual PJ party. Should be Fun.

9) Keep Going with The Artist's Way: Starting on week 6 today.

10) Keep Going with the Triathlon Training: Keep feeling better and stronger every day.

I'm hoping that on March 1, I feel twice as good as I feel today.