Monday, December 29, 2008

Letting Love In

Oh dear. I'm sorry I disappeared on y'all. I went home for awhile and have also been completely swept away by this new guy. It's the weirdest thing. I can't find anything wrong with him.

I always find something wrong. I excel at it. On the first date, I usually notice a few things I don't like about the guy or see warning signs of future problems or incompatibility. But with this one, nada. Nothing.

It freaked me out at first because, let's be honest, I excel at that too. But then I talked to a few friends who, between violent outbursts, shocked some sense into me. They said, "Let love in. Don't question it, just go with it." And so I have.

I am beyond smitten. When he kisses me, I feel it all over. In my heart, in my stomach, in my...girlie parts...hee hee. His smile makes me smile. His voice makes me giddy. His undivided attention on me feels like a spotlight and a standing ovation. And he's just so darn sweet. We have soooo much in common it's ridiculous, and I've already noticed ways that our differences compliment each other. This is so big it's totally new. 2009 might just be a good year.

Friday, December 12, 2008


This has been a great week. I made it through and actually finished my papers. May have even kicked their little paper asses. And had two GREAT dates with a GREAT guy!

I actually like him. He's so sweet and cute and fun. The dates were so good, I never wanted them to end aw. And I can't believe I'm saying this, but I think this one really has potential. He seems mature and...just different from the others...I don't know. Maybe I'm different. But I never would have expected this in a million years. A million!

Fingers crossed!!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Come Hither, Crazy Creepazoids.

There is something about me that screams, "Crazy guys! Come here!" I am some kind of homing beacon for emotionally unstable men. It's amusing, yet also disturbing.

So many funny things happened this weekend that I will post about soon. I've been in Nashville with my mom, aunt and cousin. A girls' trip for Mom's 60th birthday. Last night, we went to Tootsie's to celebrate, and I met the sweetest, cutest guy. He looked exactly like Balthazar Getty with the same piercing blue eyes, but younger and without the gray hair. Dream-y! But also craz-y.

I gave him my phone number at 11:12 pm. He called once at 11:44 pm, and again at 12:07 am. Left two crazy messages.

Message #1: "Penny. Hey. I had fun tonight, glad we met. I miss you."

Message #2: "Pen-ny. Your message says you'll call me right back, but you haven't called. Call me."

I am a freak magnet.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

We Make Our Own Choices.

We need help. We need support. Otherwise we're in it by ourselves. Strangers. Cut off from each other. And we forget just how connected we all are. So instead, we choose love. We choose life. And, for a moment, we feel just a little bit less alone.
- Grey's Anatomy

I've been seeing a therapist, and it helps to have someone to talk to about everything. I don't know what it is, but when you lose someone important to you, someone close to you, you feel more alone than you've ever felt. I feel lost. And displaced. And anxious.

She told me yesterday that I'm too closed off. She said I need to open up more and let people in. She said it's a wall preventing me from moving through the grieving process.

I have a lot of love in my little life. I am blessed with incredible, supportive, encouraging friends. And an amazing mother who loves me more than I can imagine. I have people I could talk to. I just don't. I don't want to be a burden. My friends have husbands and jobs and lives to live. My mom has her own grief and her own way of moving through it.

I used to have someone, and now I don't. For three years, I talked to X about everything. He was my person. And I know it's silly, I know it's wrong and doesn't make logical sense, I know that these things just happen, they're not always in our control. But I had that person, my person, and I lost him. It wasn't enough and it wasn't right, but I still blame myself.

I don't want to be vulnerable. But I don't want to shut down forever either. The choice is mine to make. So I'm choosing love, and I'm choosing life, and I'm going to start talking more. I have to choose life. My daddy would want that for me. He was my daddy, you see. And he wasn't a quitter, he wouldn't want me to just give up. I choose love, and I choose life - for him.

* Sorry for another serious post, I'll be more fun again soon. :)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Keep Pushin'

Ugh. I've been so stressed lately and just in an all-around bad mood. I think it started when I was sick, then the holidays were sad because our family lost two important people this fall, and now finals are bumming me out. Thankfully, a break is coming soon, and I plan to use that time to recuperate and rejuvenate.

The past couple of months, I've been creating a kickass playlist. I read a book a few years ago that challenged women to try to only listen to music by female musicians. I'm trying it out, and it's really empowering.

Here are a few good ones from that list. I hope you'll find some of these songs as uplifting as I do.

1. Nikka Costa - "Keep Pushin'"

This is one of my favorite artists lately.

I'm holdin' steady
Goin' bout my business, I'll wait till they're ready
Keeping my truth in whatever I do
Makin' sure the light inside of me
Still shines through

2. Julie Roberts - "Break Down Here"

I miss X. Now more than ever. He'd know what to do.

I'd sure hate to break down here
Nothin up ahead or in the rearview mirror
Out in the middle of nowhere knowin
I'm in trouble if these wheels stop rollin
So God help me keep me movin somehow
Dont let me start wishin I was with him now
I made it this far without cryin a single tear
And I'd sure hate to break down here.

3. Alissa Moreno - "Wildfires"

though i've been crushed, i've been killed
i am scared, but god, i will
keep on trudging up this crazy hill

we survive, we get by
we take those hits
and we learn to fight
we collide, but we don't die
trying to put out wildfires

5. Sia - "Breathe Me"

The music in this song is what makes it so powerful and so beautiful.

Be my friend
Hold me, wrap me up
Unfold me
I am small
and needy
Warm me up
And breathe me

6. Adrianne - "10,000 Stones"

10,000 stones hanging deep in my heart
No, I don`t know how they don`t tear me apart
How could I ever believe
10,000 stones would save the fool in me
10,000 stones would be a strange blessing
10,000 stones would build the best of me

7. Holly Williams - "Sometimes"

I wish I were an old man, a scholar
With the wisdom of a 1,000 men before me
wish I were a funny dream that haunted
The people I love every time they were down

I wish I was a fine wine
I wish I were a good drug
Hey and if I were Jesus , maybe I could heal all of us
Just like a good lover, which one do you prefer?
In a world full of vices, I wish I were a little bird

8. Missy Higgins - "Steer"

So hold this feeling like a newborn
Of freedom surging through your veins
You have opened up a new door
So bring on the wind, fire and rain

It was always simple, not hidden hard
You've been played at a game called remembering your name
And you stuffed it up

But the search ends here
Where the night is totally clear
And your heart is fierce
So now you finally know that you control where you go
You can steer

9. Grace Potter and the Nocturnals - "Treat Me Right"

I love the blues, and I love this band because their sound is bluesy. Do you ever hear a song and almost wish you had a broken heart just so you'd feel the song more? I wish I had this song after a few of my bad break-ups. It'd be a good salve for a broken heart.

C'mon, C'mon, C'mon you've got to treat me right
All the time, squeeze me like a key lime
C'mon, C'mon, C'mon you've got to quit the fight and fall into the night

Treat me right and don't you do me wrong
Play for keeps don't just play along
O will give you all the love I got

10. Charlotte Martin - "Beautiful Life"

I love the piano.

So swim to the end of the river
Until there's no shiver left in your spine
Live like there won't be tomorrow
See through your sorrow
See through your own eyes
Try to remember these days down the road
And try to remember this time

The sun may come up and go down again
I'll still swear it's a beautiful life

11. Idina Menzel - "I Stand"

'Cause I stand for the power to change,
I live for the perfect day.
I love till it hurts like crazy,
I hope for a hero to save me.

I stand for the strange and lonely,
I believe there's a better place.
I don't know if the sky is heaven,
But I pray anyway.

12. Maxwell - "This Woman's Work"

This is one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard. It's lifted my spirits for a long time now.

I know you have a little life in you yet
I know you have a lot of strength left
I know you have a little life in you yet
I know you have a lot of strength left

I should be crying but I just can't let it show
I should be hoping but I can't stop thinking
Of all the things we should've said that we never said
All the things we should have done that we never did

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Boo. School is for Foolz!

I have been sucked into the black hole abyss that is "finals time." I have papers to write, papers to grade, a final exam to write and administer and after that, exams and more papers to grade. Poor little me. Somehow it's already nine o'clock. Ruh roh, Shaggy.

I'm taking a break before my brain implodes and writing a much overdue blog. And as all my creativity is draining out of me minute by minute, I'm copying At Least I'm Skinny. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Pray for me, little angels. Mama needs A's. And her life back.

Mood: Oh geez, stressed to the mizz-ax. If I knew how to use morse code, I'd be sending everyone I know S.O.S. messages right about now.

Mascara: Maybelline Great Lash. Black. Waterproof. FTW.

Last movie I watched: I'm embarrassed to say that I saw Transporter 3 on Thanksgiving with my family. I never even saw 1 or 2, but the plot was simple enough that it wasn't tough to keep up. It's basically an Audi commercial with lots of fighting and stunts so fantasical you laugh out loud and choke on your Diet Coke.

Lipgloss or Lipstick: Depends on where I'm going and what I'm doing. Usually lipstick for the evening, and lipgloss for everyday activities.

Outfit: Not sure it deserves denotation as an actual "outfit," but it's a t-shirt and old running shorts. Hot.

Shoes: White puffy slippers with rhinestone crowns. I'm a pretty princess. Thanks, E!

Blush: Bobby Brown. I was so disappointed the day I learned the make-up has no affiliation with the singer. "It's My Prerogative" will forever be a classic. Ha actually, when I think about Bobby, I'll always remember being a guest on the DC morning radio show the same day they argued with him about whether or not they paid his bail to get his deadbeat dad ass outta jail.

Eyeliner: Speaking of Bobby Brown (the make-up, not the deadbeat dad), I am in love with their gel eyeliner. It's a God-send and seriously the best cosmetic I own. It's waterproof and actually stays on without leaving droopy residue or greasy smudges. I highly recommend it.

Breakfast beverage: Life without coffee isn't worth living. (Z, I can't find Pete's anywhere! When I visit, you've gotta tell me where I can pick some up!)

Goals for the week: Finishing all the shit I have to do without losing my everloving mind.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Dreaming with a Broken Heart

My grandfather was in my dream last night. I was eating dinner with my family, and he walked in like he never died. He took a quick look at us and then walked out. As he did, he winked at me, and I burst into tears. No one in my family understood why I was crying because they didn't see him.

This year, the holidays are gonna suck. As soon as he died, I told everyone that I already hated Christmas this year and it was months away. Last year, my mother and I went to Florida and spent a week with him celebrating Thanksgiving. Mom told me it was because it would be his last Thanksgiving, but I didn't believe her (I didn't want to believe her). Looking back, I think he knew it would be too. Every year he called and gobbled at us over the phone.

I miss him so much.

A friend told me that I would start seeing him in my dreams. I'm so thankful he visited me last night. But I was so sad when I woke up. I love you, Pap. Gobble, gobble, gobble!

When you're dreaming with a broken heart,
The waking up is the hardest part.
You roll outta bed and down on your knees,
And for the moment you can hardly breathe.
Wondering was she really here?
Is she standing in my room?
No, she's not.
'Cause she's gone, gone, gone, gone, gone....

I'm The Guy? No, I'm Always The Girl.

I hate it when I hear guys use the p- word or the c- word. I hate it because they're almost always using those words as insults. When I hear a guy use such vulgarity in my presence, the conversation usually goes like this:

Dumb Dude - Blah blah blah p- word

Me - You say that like it's a bad thing.

DD - Huh?

Me - It's not a bad thing to be a pussy. Don't you love pussies?

DD - [chuckles stupidly ala Beavis and Butthead]

Me - I love the pussy. Do you love the pussy?

DD - Huh-huh-huh yeah! Der! Huh-huh!

Me - Then don't insult the pussy. If you love the pussy and want to be near the pussy, you won't insult it like that again.

DD - said p- word...huh-huh!

(Notice I did not give Dumb Dude spelling-out privileges. I will only spell out pussy when it is given the proper respect and adoration it deserves. In fact, that's not all I won't do if those conditions are not appropriately met.)

That scenario is particularly amusing to me when I don't know the guy well and/or we're surrounded by a crowd of people. By trade I am a teacher, after all, and I'm used to having a large group of students to impart my wisdom and knowledge upon.

Think about it, ladies. When you hear a guy call another guy a p- or a c-, it's an insult. Sometimes it will be blatant, and you'll actually hear a guy call another guy "a girl." Let me ask you this - why is that an insult? There's nothing wrong or bad about being a girl. I wouldn't be insulted if you called me a desk or a lamp (yes, Ron Burgundy, I'm just saying it because I see them). Apparently, it's degrading for someone who is not a girl to be called a girl. Hell. It can even be an insult when you are a girl.

"You throw like a girl!"

"You run like a girl!"

"What? Are you gonna be a girl and cry about it?"

Whenever someone calls me a girl, I tell them they're just stating the obvious. "Yeah. I know. So what's your point?" But what does it mean when someone calls you a guy or tells you you're acting like one?

Because something I hear every now and then is that I'm acting like a guy. I don't know what to make of this one. I'll be talking to a friend, or maybe even someone I don't even know very well, about a guy I'm dating or used to date. And they'll say it. "Sounds like you're the guy in the relationship." Then they laugh.

Seriously - what does this really mean? Is it good? Is it bad? Why is it funny? I just don't know. It comes from girls and guys alike, but who says it doesn't seem to change the meaning at all.

Goofer's told me more than a few times throughout our many years of friendship - "That's what you get for dating a guy who thinks like a girl," "He did what?! He's being such a girl about this." or "You're the guy. You know that, right?"

Don't get me wrong - I have put some thought into this. Usually it's when I'm complaining about a guy calling or texting me. Or I tell someone about a fight I just had with the guy that I don't understand. Or I'm talking about feeling awkward when he cried or confused when he got his feelings hurt. I get that, right or wrong, certain behaviors are gendered. But what I don't understand is whether my characterization as "the guy" is a good thing or a bad thing?

I'm turned off by guys who contact me too much or come on too strong. I can be fickle. I don't like things moving quickly and have commitment issues. I'm not going to have three dates with a guy and expect we're exclusive. I'm not going to date a guy for a month and think we're in a relationship. I get hella-annoyed when guys do these things because we're not in college anymore. I don't cry often or in front of anyone unless we're watching a sad movie. I get freaked out when guys cry in front of me. Especially if it's at a movie like Monsters, Inc. True story.

I get freaked out when meeting the family comes too soon. I hate it when guys are jealous of my guy friends or ex's. It weirds me out when guys are more sensitive than me and when they get their feelings hurt and have to talk about it. I don't do that unless it's big. I step back when a guy is more insecure than me. There's a healthy human amount of insecurity, and anything more is a problem. And I think fights are stupid unless major shit hits the fan.

Is there something wrong or bad about all that? Seeing it all listed like that makes me think I sound bitchy, but evidently, it makes me a guy.

I also love chick flicks. Grey's Anatomy is my favorite show because Sex and the City is off the air. I drink cosmopolitans, and pink is my favorite color. I like flowers and chocolate and had posters of cheesy teen heart-throbs like Jonathan Knight and Kirk Cameron on my wall growing up. I saw Titanic the night it opened. I love shoes and purses and own more than I have room for. I get manicures on bad days. I'm a romantic.

I love to cook for my man. I like writing sweet little cards and hiding them for him to find. I talk about my feelings. I like cuddling, laying out on the beach and love to host dinner parties. I talk to my mom every day and giggle with my friends. I have poetry books. There are pictures of friends all over my apartment where we have our grinning faces smooshed together the way only girls do, and I love my small, fluffy dog who sits on my lap and wears bows.

So what if I also love sports and quote Will Ferrell? Whatever people say, I'll always be a girl. And if I'm sure of anything, I'm sure there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.

"Girls can wear jeans
And cut their hair short,
Wear shirts and boots.
'Cause it's okay to be a boy.
But for a boy to look like a girl is degrading.
'Cause you think that being a girl is degrading.
But secretly you'd love to know what it's like,
Wouldn't you?
What it feels like for a girl."
- Madonna, The Ultimate Girl

Monday, November 24, 2008

NaBloPoMo SchmaNaBloPoMo

That was a hard title to type out. But you get the drift. I have failed at 30 posts in 30 days. Blah. I give up. It's November, which means I have final papers to write, final papers to grade and a final exam to write.

And on top of all that work, I just had to get sick. I've spent the past week or so lying on my couch, cuddling my puppy and doping up on cough medicine and antibiotics. I hate getting sick. I've seen way more Law and Order than anyone ever should. Not to mention I rented so many movies, I even watched Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2. And enjoyed it. Though that may have been the medicine.

Thank God for Goofer. He's my sweetheart. He took me to get juice and soup and even spent a couple days with me on the couch. It's nice to be around 3D people. And like the good nurse that he is, he keeps checking up on his patient. Aw.

I just wanted to write a quick message explaining my absence. I'll try to get well soon! I need to so I can enjoy my aunt's cheese potatoes and my mom's carrot cake. Yum. Happy Turkey Day!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My Top Ten Deal Breakers

Ok, now I'm answering questions posed by Date Girl and A Fair Fairy. Both great girlie blogs so take a peek.

My Top Ten Deal Breakers

I want to start by saying that I know how I want to be treated, and how I need to be treated, but none of that is listed here. I'm not high maintenance, I don't need a lot, but I know what is enough. I need enough. And that's all I'm gonna say about that.

1. Tsk! Temper Temper!

I cannot be with a man with a temper. I recently told my aunt that I can't end up with a guy who has a bad temper, and she told me they all have them. I'm taking my chances and betting that isn't true. This is a major deal breaker, the number one deal breaker, but it's a hard one to spot usually. I mean, at first it's all lovey-dovey, honeymooney, "He can do no wrong," so you don't have your first fight or see the temper flare up until you're already in deep. But eee gads, once it does, I can't shake my mind off it.

The most important things I've learned about relationships in my sorted dating history is that I need someone who communicates in similar ways and who resolves conflict in similar ways. The reason I am single is that I have not yet met a man who possesses these two traits. X communicated like me, but didn't resolve conflicts in a compatible way. He's the closest I've gotten so far.

2. I don't do bald.

I'm 5' 6", and I've dated guys as short as 5' 4" and as tall as 6' 5". I've dated skinny, lanky, meaty, musclely, with a hairy chest, with a hairless chest, brown haired, blond haired, black haired, red haired, men with facial hair, men who couldn't even grow facial hair if their life depended on get the picture. But bald is where I draw the line. Bald just doesn't do it for me.

3. I'd rather take a guy with a sketchy past than one with no past at all.

I've dated guys who were wild, dated crazy girls, had weird hangups about their ex's, whatever it is - I'm sure I've dated it. But when I meet a guy who hasn't had a girlfriend in a few years or yikes ever, I see flashing red lights and hear loud ass sirens. I see it as a warning of potential problems. I've got a complicated past, and I've had a lot of complicated experiences. I'm not looking for a fixer-upper or someone who's not into commitment.

4. Just Say No - to Sloppy Seconds.

I've never dated a guy who's dated one of my friends. The only exception to this in my 16 years of dating is that I dated a guy that Lass had one date with two years before I even met the guy. And I didn't know about that until I told her we were dating. I'm a big believer in girl code.

5. Get back, loud breathers and close talkers! You creep me out.

I don't even like to be around people who do either of these things. Gross gross gross!

6. I would never date a non-Christian seriously.

I've had a few serious relationships, and one thing I've learned is that it's important to date people who want the type of life that you want. When I meet their families, I'm thinking about what it would be like to share a life with this family and be a part of it. I don't want to marry someone who wants to move somewhere new every year or so. I don't want to marry a guy who wants to live way out in the country, far from a big city. And I don't want to marry someone who doesn't share my faith because I want us to share that faith with our children. And I want someone to pray with when things get rough. That's all part of the life I want, and I know I can't settle for less. Not to mention it's a part of who I am.

7. A Republican...sort of

The more I think about this one, the less it matters. What it boils down to is values. If someone shares my values, but votes in a different direction, I think that's ok. I just need someone who sees eye to eye with me on my core values, and as long as we share that foundation, I think we'll be alright. I think. ;)

8. Non-meat-eaters need not apply.

I love to cook, and I love to eat. Cooking is my therapy, and I love having someone to cook for. But if my guy is a vegetarian or even worse - vegan! - I have no freaking clue what I'd cook for him, and whatever it was, it wouldn't be as yummy as something with lots of meat and cheese.

9. Mama knows best.

I could never get serious about someone that my family or my closest friends didn't approve of or didn't get along with. Never. Period.

10. Please observe the No Smoking!! sign.

I could never date a smoker. Never. I watched my sweet everloving grandfather die slowly and painfully of lung cancer, and every time I smell cigarettes, that's what I think of. I think smoking is careless, weak and selfish.

* I had to add two more!

11. I wanna hold your hand.

Some guys are not into PDA, but I am big time. I'm all about some affection. I don't like slimey hand holding so if your hands are sweating, wait til they aren't covered with goo. Also, I don't like it when a guy puts his hand in the back pocket of my jeans. I was just trying to explain this to someone last weekend, and he thought I was weird. Maybe I am. But it makes me feel like a possession, like a dog being held by the collar, and I'm a wild, independent woman that you can't tame.

12. No love for football, no love from me.

I just think it's weird when a guy doesn't like football. And, like, what would we do on Saturdays in the fall if we were a couple? Do I have to explain the difference between offsides and false start to you? Do you have a real opinion about the BCS? I just don't get it, dude.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Tagged Again! 15 Questions and 15 Answers.

Yay I got tagged by The Alleged Ringleader at The Mean Girls' Guide to Glory. Such a fun blog. It makes me wish I lived in sunny, fabulous LA. And though they may be mean, they're more sassy and glorious. Check it out.

1. Were you named after someone?

Nope. My mom had a tough time coming up with my name, though. She wanted to name me Daphene (ugh), but worried kids would tease me and call me Daffy Duck. Then she thought about Danielle, but decided kids would call me Danny, and I'd end up a tomboy. Heaven forbid. She's a funny one, that mama of mine. She did manage to spell my name in such a way that I've never met anyone who spelled it right the first time. Not sure what that was about, but even I had a hard time learning how to spell my name as a child because no one spelled it the same way. It was very confusing.

2. Do you still have your tonsils?

Nope again. Got em taken out when I was 8. All I remember was getting to stay home from school and eat popsicles.

3. Would you bunjee jump?

Hells no. I'm too chicken. In fact, I'm too scared to even ride rollercoasters. I was the scared little girl that climbed the ladder to jump off the high dive, and then chickened out and climbed back down. Pitiful.

4. What is your favorite cereal?

Kashi Krunch! It's healthy and yummy. And I like it with Silk Vanilla Soy Milk. Yum.

5. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off?

This implies I wear shoes with laces. I almost never do, but when I do wear sneakers, I just throw them off and toss them. I'm a mess, but love my chaos. Ha X's favorite shoes that I wore are a pair of heels that look like tennis shoes. Hard to explain, but they're darn cute. He always joked that they summed up my personality. Not sure what that means, but it's a fun memory.

6. What is your favorite ice cream?

I love ice cream! My favorite would be either New York Super Fudge Chunk or Peanut Butter Cup. Both of which have a week's worth of fat intake. Ooo I also like the one with the chocolate covered pretzels filled with peanut butter. That was a good idea.

7. What is the first thing you notice about people?

Hmm. Hair, I think. I notice whether a guy's bald or going bald, and I always check out girls' hair because I like everyone's hair better than my own.

8. What is your least favorite thing about yourself?

I don't like my boobs. Poor little girls never got enough love from me.

9. What was the last thing you ate?

I had Key Lime Pie for breakfast.

10. What are you listening to right now?

Well, actually Steel Magnolias is on TV, but Shelby's about to die so I'll probably turn it off before that happens. I've seen this movie so many times I have it memorized. Probably the question was about music, but I posted about that already.

11. Last movie you watched?

I stayed in last night because tonight's gonna get rowdy and watched P.S. I Love You. I saw it in the movie theater last New Year's Eve day, but wanted to see it again. I'm still drawn to movies about how we heal from loss.

12. What did you dream about last night?

Shoe shopping. True story. I love me some shoes.

13. What book are you reading?

Hooked: Buddhist Writings on Greed, Desire and the Urge to Consume. It's for my Cultural Studies class. Can't wait til this semester ends, and I can read for fun again! Until the next semester begins, that is. Boo school.

14. Summer or Winter?

That's an easy one. Summer. I'm a summer girl. I love warm sunshine, the beach, summer dresses, flipflops, I love how happy and relaxed everyone is. I do love the snow, though. And knee boots. So winter has a few charms.

15. Do you have any special talents?

I can stick my whole fist in my mouth. And I have big hands so it's quite special, my talent.

I tag my new internet friend, Date Girl. You're it, girlfriend!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Soul Meets Soul on Lovers' Lips

Ok. First. I love Grey's Anatomy. Bear with me for a moment, I promise the whole post's not about that.

I think it's the greatest show ever in the history of the world. It makes me feel and it makes me think, and it teaches me and makes me feel human. Alex has always been my favorite guy on the show. There's something compelling about someone so broken and yet so strong and honest who takes all of that and puts it into the love he shows for other people.

Izzy has always been my favorite girl, and the one that I identify with the most. I identify a lot with Meredith too because I get her commitment issues and how she reacts to it all. But Izzy I identify with because I see a lot of the qualities I like about myself in her. She's compassionate and understanding and idealistic and always tells the truth, even when it's hard. Plus, an astounding number of people have told me Katherine Heigl and I share mannerisms. Strange.

So I love seeing Alex and Izzy finally together. They're my favorite characters and now my favorite couple. I loved seeing their first real kiss a few episodes ago. But this post didn't start because of them. It started because of the kiss Christina and the hot army surgeon shared. Alex and Izzy shared a, "Wow we love each other," kiss and it was sweet and full of feeling while Christina and her guy had a steamy, intense lustful kiss. It all made me think about kissing.

I love kissing. It's so fun and yummy. JP asked me last weekend how many guys I've kissed in my lifetime, and I couldn't come up with a number if I tried. I did go through a silly phase in New York where I kissed practically every guy I met. Hence "The Kissing Bandit" nickname. Well-earned. It's funny how kissing is so different with each new person. And it's funnier how different kisses can be with the same person. Kisses change from moment to moment just as dramatically as from person to person.

There are the hungry kisses. Wild, white hot heat. You're clutching at everything, gasping for air, knees weak and stomach wobbly. That could all just come from an insane physical attraction or chemistry. It could also come after a fight or a breakup.

The "I love you" kisses are so sweet and warm. Your heart feels fuller every time. Your smile gets wider, and your step a bit lighter. These kisses make you lean and linger cuz when you love, you love with your whole body and soul, not just your lips.

Someone told me once that there are two types of kisses. The Neptune Kiss and the Ariel Kiss. The Neptune is mouth and tongue - deep tongue penetration. The Ariel is more mouth, mostly lip, starts off gentle and stays more on the surface with a few tongue flitters. Ok, I know this sounds ridiculous, but you also know exactly what I'm talking about. Supposedly you're more one type than the other. I know which I am, and I definitely notice when I'm dating a guy which of the two he prefers. I've also noticed that while it's possible to get a guy to kiss how you like to kiss, it still isn't his preference or his style. And I can totally tell when that's happening. It's not as good as it is when you find someone who kisses exactly the way you kiss.

Tonight, yes while watching Grey's Anatomy, I was thinking about all the different types of kisses there are. The Neptune and the Ariel, but also the hungry kisses, the love kisses, the new kisses, the goodbye kisses, the everyday kisses...My point is that kisses say so much. They are their own unique form of communication.

As I watched Christina and Army Guy in their hot kiss, I thought about the hottest kisses I've ever had. I wondered if the kiss felt hot to me because I was hot for the guy or really liked him. Or if it was that I felt hot because he felt so hot for me, and I was reading his feelings. But then I realized that, of course, I don't always feel what he feels when we kiss, and vice versa, because I'm sure there have been times when I was bored to tears but the guy thought it was the hottest kiss ever. It's not about what I'm communicating or what he's communicating. The best kisses are the ones when we're aligned, when we're so connected that we're feeling, communicating and understanding the same message.

I was talking to Lass the other day about how hard it is for people to understand each other. I said that it's frustrating when I say "Red" and my friend hears "Blue" or hears "Red" but thinks even though I said "Red," I really meant "Blue." I'm a good communicator, and I use my words carefully and precisely. But kisses transcend words. A good kiss is not just when I say "Red" and he hears and gets "Red." It's when I communicate a very specific, very detailed shade of red, and that's exactly what he's understanding and feeling too.

Good kisses are perfect, wordless moments of communication clarity. It's breathtaking and amazing when someone understands and knows your soul, and the best kisses do just that.

My Worst and Best Dates Ever

Yay! Thanks for your questions. I'll be answering them all in due time. I'm starting with the question from The Dumbest Smart Girl You Know. My best and worst dates ev-eh.

I'm going to start with the worst because I always like hearing bad news first, good news last. Eee gads have I had some bad dates. Captain Awkward, of course, and a really terrible one from college I've already blogged about. Just about every date I went on in DC was rotten. I don't know why I had such bad luck in that town, but I kept meeting duds. Aside from the nice guy from this past summer and X, of course.

One guy I met at a bar (because I can't even take my own advice) told me a charming story about what he did after meeting me. We were at a bar on a Thursday so we both had work the next morning. I said goodnight around 11, but he apparently stayed at the bar til it closed all by himself. He lived three short blocks from the bar, but upon stumbling home drunk at 3 a.m. and discovering he left his keys at the bar, he decided to totter onto a hotel.

He didn't have enough money for a room so he staggered back out onto the street. And stole a plastic tarp that was covering a motorcycle and took it up to his roof where he used it as a blanket and slept all night. In a thunderstorm. Not just any thunderstorm, it was such a bad storm the Metro was closed the next day for flooding. And when I asked him why he didn't just go back to the bar, he said he was too drunk to think of that. Classy. This fine young suitor ended up getting a bit obsessed with me and called and texted several times after no communication from me. I finally texted him a plea to leave me alone. He didn't take that well, but after sending a few irate messages with no response, he gave up on having a text fight with himself. And headed back to the bottle, probably.

So that was a bad one. The really bad dates, though, were ones that ended in fights or tears. I've had too many of those to count. I don't know what always sent me back into the arms of those guys except maybe love. And a blind hope that things would change. I believe I learned my lesson, though, that any boy who acts like a jerk doesn't deserve more than a second chance. Three strikes, you're out. Now that I've been treated perfectly, I won't settle for less ever again. Thank you, X.

Best dates...I've had a few of those, thankfully. If I had to pick I'd say the best date was with The Firestarter in New York. I just got my first job, and we went out to celebrate. We went to dinner at our neighborhood Italian restaurant and then headed to my favorite spot in the city (it's a secret!). We ended the night with a bottle of champagne on the rooftop of my old building looking out at the most beautiful skyline on earth. I was so happy that night. Do you ever have moments where you are purely, perfectly happy and peaceful? I was happy with him, but I was happiest at myself for getting a good job in New York City. I was so proud of myself for making it on my own, finding my way. That was probably also the happiest day of my life. I really loved me in that moment.

I'd say that my second best date was this summer. I had a brief, but sweet little summer fling. It was good, though we didn't even make it a month. Oh but what a fun month! The date I'm talking about started at a Pearl Jam concert. It was his favorite band and the first time he'd ever seen them live. He was soooo excited, giddy like a little boy, and cute as can be. He sang all the songs into my ear the whole concert! I love seeing people truly happy, like watching someone talk about something they care a lot about or are passionate about, it's a special, rare side of them. I was glad he shared that special moment with me.

After the concert, it was impossible to catch a cab and the Metro was going to close any moment. I made a suggestion I thought for sure he wouldn't take me up on, but surprisingly, he did. I said, "I wish we could just walk," and after a couple of blocks, I realized we were. We walked all through the city that night, past the Monuments and up to the Capitol building. And I love the Capitol. I made him dance with me in front of it. I know, I know, I'm a cornball, but sometimes you've got to make your magic. He seemed like such a serious person, very responsible and I'm so all over the place, Miss Wacky Free Spirit - it was a funny match from the start. Our talk that night wasn't particularly deep or meaningful, but like our brief time together, it was light and fun. I love walking through cities at night. It's one of my all-time favorite things to do. It was a lovely evening.

I was trying to think of my best date with X, but I couldn't come up with just one. We always had such great talks and so much fun together, it didn't matter what we did. We didn't need the backdrop of a fabulous city like DC or New York. The few I did think of as some of my favorites were either a night in on the couch, or we both love to drink outside in warm sunshine and had a few great afternoon dates. One in particular was when I still lived in DC, and he was up for a visit. We spent Sunday morning reading the paper at Starbucks, walked the dog through the Eastern Market and then ended with an afternoon of margaritas at good ol' Banana Cafe. That was a perfect day.

The truth is, though, that my best dates are in my future, not my past. I haven't had a best date ever because I haven't met the best guy ever (for me, that is). You know what they say, the best is yet to come!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Suggestions, Dear Readers and Friends?

Yikes this "30 Posts in 30 Days" thing is rough. I'm already bored with myself. So I'm taking a cue from Malfeasance, and I'm asking for your help.

Any questions you ask of me, dear readers and friends, I will answer. Now's your chance to learn anything you've (never) wanted to know about me. Comment away!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Oh For Fuck's Sake.

Sorry for the swear. It seems to be my favorite word lately. So versatile, I love it. But don't tell my mom - she says ladies don't curse.

For fuck's sake! Are there no good guys left? I said a few months ago I don't want a boyfriend, and that's still true, but I was hoping to find someone nice and fun to entertain me for a spell. I stopped talking to Rocky a couple weeks ago because, well, it turned out he had the personality of a rock. The other guys I've met or dated since I got back from DC this summer, sadly, nothing fun there either. We all remember Captain Awkward. And there were a few lackluster one date wonders along the way. Some guy who got obsessed with texting me until I had to text that he was creeping me out.

And this really sweet lawyer, but he just wasn't right for me. Too bad cuz he was such a nice guy. I didn't realize it because we met in DC, but he actually lives in Richmond. We had a date when I visited DC a few months ago, and he drove all the way up to DC to have dinner with me! But...he isn't right for me. Doesn't it suck when a guy you're not into does something amazing?

And now Mountain Man. No - say it isn't so! He's hot, he's scruffy, he climbs giant boulders with his bare freaking hands. And sure, I noticed a few things that told me this wasn't going anywhere long term. Like all his annoying self-deprecating comments whenever he'd say something about me getting a PhD. I'm so over that. Why do guys have to make such a big deal about it? Maybe next time I'll just lie and say I teach kindergarten.

And he has a giant dragon tattoo across his back. Ha. Though that could be hot if I pretended he was a rock star. He also confessed on the phone last week that he never wants children. Well, he never wants his own children, he only wants to adopt. Which is nice and sweet, but definitely a deal breaker for this gal. I can't deny mankind - my genes would do a lot for this world.

I thought this was the perfect situation for me. I'm not looking for anything serious, nothing serious could come from us dating. Win, win. For me anyway. Plus, did I mention he's hot? Yum. But no, I can't even have a perfect meaningless fling.

We were on the phone the other day, and it comes out that the marketing company he owns is a start-up...which means it doesn't exactly exist. And now it really doesn't exist because they lost their investors. He mentioned he might commute to Alabama for a couple months because he could get work there renovating houses. Ok, not gonna impress Mom, but nothing intolerable.

Tonight we somehow get on the subject of religion. He mentioned a cross necklace I always wear. I've worn it for seven years, and it has a lot of meaning for me. He asked if I'm "churchy." Uh, ok. Then asks if I noticed the nuns in his house. "Nope, missed them." Apparently, he has two nun figurines praying to a dildo, which you know he finds totally cool and hilarious. Where do I find these clowns? And a dildo? What kind of guy has a dildo? The guy is 33. Act your age, dude. That didn't go over well with me, and I'm pretty sure he caught that.

So, another one bites the dust. And, after my post yesterday, I've been doing some thinking. Maybe I should stop playing around, stop trying to distract myself and actually spend some time alone processing everything that's happened in my life in the past several months. I was worried that after X, I wouldn't meet anyone that great again, but the way I've been acting lately, it's like I've given up. I haven't. I just need my Mojo back. I am officially breaking up with dating. It's gonna be a tough habit to kick, but I think I can do it.

Well, ok, except for kissing a random stranger on New Year's because that's what New Year's is all about. And I like kissing. I'm good at it. Oh, and of course if I meet any of my top 5 celebrities cuz that's always allowed...or you know, just some really good looking, seriously, I mean more dating...oh for fuck's sake! This is gonna be hard!

Monday, November 10, 2008


“There’s such a concept of loss. I connected to the idea in this movie of loss and how we react to loss. We think of things in a straight line. Birth → life → death. And then, you know, ok, you died, it’s over. And it’s like that’s not really how it works. If you take those ends and you bend it into a circle, it’s birth → life → death → rebirth. So you have to be prepared when you lose something. When you go through a divorce, when your mother dies, when you lose your house you have to understand that nature has it no other way. There is a rebirth. The death is painful, it doesn’t change the pain of the death. But you gotta stay awake and stay focused for the rebirth that God is about to offer you.”

Will Smith said that about his new movie Seven Pounds. Thank God for DVR. I kept rewinding it over and over again to hear him say those words. I couldn’t hear it enough. Death brings a rebirth?

Every Saturday, I think about my Papaw. I think about the fact that he died on a Saturday morning. Thursday was November 6. He died on September 6. Two months ago. Two months. Has it really been that long? I’ve entirely lost my concept of time. It’s hard to keep track of when anything else happened in the past few months, but not hard to remember that Saturday in September.

At first, I shut down and shut out. Clinging, clutching, I buried myself in my family and in being at home, and time felt like it was standing still. Time still feels as though it’s standing still. But it’s not.

I distracted myself. I stayed in constant movement, worried of spending too much quiet time alone. Too much time to think about what happened, what it meant, how I felt, how it changed me and my family. Every time I had time to think, I cried. And I got so sick of crying. I always cry alone, and after days and weeks of crying alone, it was just too much to take. It felt like I was crying too much. Can you cry too much when you lose someone? Then one day I realized how long it had been since I cried, and that felt wrong too.

I couldn’t do anything right. I didn’t know how I was supposed to act. Who I was supposed to talk to or what I was supposed to say. When was too much? When was not enough? When would I feel better? Would I ever?

I’ve been going through the motions. I’m clutching and clinging on, grasping at something I can never really hold onto - like fingernails digging into the edge of a cliff was all I had to keep me from falling off into an abyss. I’ve been surviving.

So the idea that there’s something else is dizzying. I don’t know what to make of it. I know that other people’s lives have been moving on. Life is happening around me, but I am not in it. I am not a part of it. I have just been distracting myself. Even the guys I’ve chosen to date in the past few months were distractions. Like a little candy or a shiny toy. Something to keep my mind off of how earth-shattering his death is for me.

“The Buddha said we need to look at our own suffering to understand it, otherwise it is like putting a band-aid on a sore: it may cover the sore for a while but eventually the band-aid will fall off and the sore will still be there.”

What if I let myself feel all of it? What am I so afraid of? I have to face this. I am strong enough. I know I am. I have to stop hiding and feel every day.

Rebirth. What is that rebirth? It sounds hard, it sounds challenging. Will it hurt too? I cannot take any more hurt. What would it ask of me? I’m not sure I’m capable of more than surviving right now. I can barely do the things I have to do. I’m barely hanging on. I’m not sure I can handle anything more.

And then, after the fifth or sixth time of rewinding and hearing those words, it hit me. Maybe I don’t have to do anything. Maybe the rebirth is just coming, maybe it’s just part of life. Maybe it’s just part of God’s plan. And knowing and trusting that this isn’t the end of my life or of me is all I have to do. Maybe the rebirth is just coming.

Shortly after my grandfather died, I read an article a woman wrote about taking care of her sister before she died died of cancer. She wrote about caring for her sister, watching her sister decline slowing and watching her die. She said through the experience, she “learned to live in the present and to decide in favor of things that would bring more life.”

That made sense to me. That made sense as the lesson that death brings, and I tried to hold that thought in my mind. To hold it in front of me every time I felt like I was losing this fight. And maybe keeping that thought captive – that life is a choice and that life can be more just as it can be less – will help me recognize the rebirth when it happens. And will help me say yes to it. It is important to always be open to hope and believe in possibility, and it’s important now more than ever.

“Although we have this precious human rebirth, it is only precious if we use it in a beneficial way.” - Ani Thubten Chodron

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Dream Town?

Ok. I was watching TV yesterday afternoon and saw the most disturbing commercial. It was for the "Rose Petal Cottage." Some cute pink and purple house for little girls to play in. It's "part of the Dream Town collection," whatever that means. I get that little girls play house, but what was so icky was the slogan. "Where her dreams can grow." Her dreams can grow about two feet before her tiny head slams into the plastic ceiling.

Let me tell you about this pastel synthetic house. It had a washer and a dryer. It had a stove. It also had a crib for a baby. That's it. This little girl's dreams can only grow so far. She can do laundry! Ooo ah. She can cook! Ohh. She can take care of a baby! Eee.

When I was little, I had Professional Barbie. I had Doctor Barbie. I had the Barbie Dream House too, but there was a lot more room in that plastic mansion than just cooking, cleaning and parenting. Barbie taught me how to accessorize and that women wore high heels and have big boobs. This distorted me in a whole different way. But at least Barbie had options.

I don't have especially high professional ambitions. I want to always be intellectually stimulated, and I want to feel like my job fulfills a purpose. I want to teach because I care about helping people and I love the exchange of ideas and continuing education. And I want to be a good wife and mother too. I am not choosing a side in the supposed "Mommy Wars." I believe every woman has the right to decide her own path to happiness.

But eee gads, can't we teach girls ways to play make-believe that stretch their dreams instead of limit them?

Friday, November 7, 2008

I Wish I Could Go Back to College

I wish I could go back to college.
Life was so simple back then.
I wish I could go back to college.
In college you know who you are.
You sit in the quad, and think, "Oh my God!
I am totally gonna go far!"

I know I'm in grad school, but it's really not the same thing. One of my best friends, Lass (she's half-Irish - even has duel citizenship so how 'bout them apples), and I were reminiscing about the fun we had when we lived together. We were roommates for two years in college and had a total blast.

Our diet consisted of Bagel Bites, cheese balls (yes, the gross ones that come in a can), Cream of Wheat, hot tea and sex. Sex was a desert we almost always had in our freezer. It was this rich concoction of everything chocolate and sugary. I have no idea how we weren't 500 pounds.

We had a Magna-Doodle on the back of our front door, an idea we stole from Friends. Every day or so, we'd post a new quote. One of our favs came from an episode of That 70s Show - "Where zen ends, ass kicking begins."

Our apartment had great decorations. We had a penis puzzle above our toilet. It was the penis from the Statue of David that I brought back from Florence. Any guy that peed there had to stare at it. Our bathroom was full of yellow ducks - even the shower curtain and bath mat. Lass had a giant Maryland state flag on her wall a friend stole for her, and I had a giant cardboard poster of Madonna a friend stole for me.

Our favorite past-times included playing Mario Cart with our guy friends, watching every episode of Temptation Island with the men's lacrosse team and road trips to either the beach or the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville. We once went on a road trip to Maryland, and I let my boyfriend at the time go with us. I foolishly broke up with him on the trip so we had an 8 hour ride home with him sniffling in the backseat. Amazingly, Lass forgave me for creating the most awkward car ride ever.

Our favorite bands were the Counting Crows, Dave Matthews, Blink 182, Matchbox 20, Joni Mitchell, Janis Joplin hem...'N Sync. We knew every word to their album "No Strings Attached." We chose a side in the Christina v. Britney battle (Britney...we chose wrong). Our favorite movies were 10 Things I Hate About You, A Knight's Tale, Drive Me Crazy, The Adventures of Sebastian Cole, Outside Providence, Fight Club, Swingers and Shakespeare in Love.

We never missed an episode of Dawson's Creek because we thought Pacey and Joey were the greatest love story of all time. We boycotted the show when they broke-up, and when it ended, we taped the last episode and agreed only to watch it if Pacey and Joey had a happy ending. If they didn't end up together, we would pretend that the last ep never happened. Because they really were meant to be.

We lived near a duck pond and named our feathered friends - Buzz, Buster, Millie, Freddie and Ugly. Don't feel sorry for Ugly. He both looked and acted ugly. We briefly had a crazy cat named Pooka, who saw a ghost in one of our walls. Lass rescued a runt kitten named Squeaky Kitty, who was the most annoying creature on the planet so we gave her to the delivery guy from a Japanese restaurant. He said he knew someone with a daughter whose cat just died, and we chose to believe him.

I lived with a couple other friends my last semester, and I credit one of them with teaching me how to drink and date. I learned valuable lessons in college that I still use to this day. How to date casually, how not to get attached, how to date more than one person at the same time and how to let someone down gently (i.e. stop returning their phone calls). My friend was a bartender so I also learned that dancing on a bar could be super fun.

Yes, college was full of fun adventures and important lessons. But mostly, a lot of goofing off. I want to goof off. I want to go back to college. Whaa.

But if I were to go back to college,
Think what a loser I'd be-
I'd walk through the quad,
And think "Oh my God...
These kids are so much younger than me."

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Breaking Up is Hard to Do

I try hard not to censor myself on this blog. It’s important for me to have a space where I can tell silly stories, but especially to work out whatever’s on my mind at a given moment. It is important to have this outlet. Since my last break-up, I’ve been hesitant to write anything about it. It felt like I was censoring myself, but the boundaries were in my mind’s difficulty to make sense of it. I’ve spent the past six months trying to understand what happened and take it in.

I have worried and still worry that I won’t find anyone I connect with the way we connected or who will love me as well as he loved me. I’m worried he spoiled me, and I won’t have something that good again.

Sometimes I mention The X, and when I do, it’s usually a hint about “what went wrong.” I haven’t gotten too specific about that because it is complicated and also so close to my heart. The truth is I miss him. And I have missed him. I’ve thought about him every day since we broke up. He is a good man, and one I will always love and hopefully also one I will always know.

We were involved for three years. I wrote a post about it a year or so ago. Check it out – I was such a sap!

In August 2005, I got laid off from a job I hated. I wanted out of Atlanta, and I seized the opportunity to start fresh. Two weeks before I moved, I temped for a week as a receptionist. X worked there. I still remember the first time we talked.

I was trying to find a file on a computer, and someone was helping me. He stood close by and started humming, “Passenger Seat” by Death Cab for Cutie. I said, “Hey! I know that song. I love that band.” Months later, he confessed he was testing to see if I recognized a song by his favorite band. I am so clueless.

The last day I was there, he said he heard I was moving to DC. He loved it there and would be visiting soon. He asked for my number so he could call when he was in town. Again, oblivious me, I thought nothing of it. Until he called a couple days later, drunk after a long day of tailgating, and left the best voice message I’ve ever received.

“Hey. This is X. I just called to tell you I think you’re super cute. Super cute. I like you. And I know you’re moving next week, but before you go, we should get together and share some cold, domestic, light beers.”

It made me laugh a lot, and you know I called him back. How great is that message? It makes me grin just thinking about it. He’s such a straightforward communicator, and I was so attracted to that because I’m the same way.

I didn’t have any intention of seeing him before I left, but the guy I was dating at the time…well, that’s another story, but let’s just say things went south…so I thought, “You know what? I’m gonna call that guy who thinks I’m super cute and invite him to my going away party.” And I did just that.

We had fun, and at the end of the night, we stopped at a gas station and talked by his car. A homeless man asked me for money earlier when I was pumping gas, and I gave him a couple bucks. While X and I were talking, the same man came up and asked for money. I reminded him I’d already given him some, and X later told me it made him think I was the sweetest, cutest girl he’d ever seen. Aw. He said it made him want to kiss me, but he chickened out. What he did was give me Death Cab’s new cd and tell me it was a gift to remember him by. He was so cheesy, but you know me – I lapped it up.

We kept in contact with emails and phone calls, but nothing too serious. I just thought of him as a friend. Until one night, about two months after I moved, he called, and we ended up having one of those great, long conversations where you share everything about who you are. We talked for three or four hours that night. So long, my face was hot from my cell phone.

A few more super long conversations later, and we both bought plane tickets to visit each other. My weekend in Atlanta came two weeks before his weekend in DC. Riding up the escalator to baggage claim, my stomach was full of butterflies and nerves, and I saw him standing, waiting for me, holding a single red rose. Our first kiss was in the airport parking garage. In November 2005 – almost exactly three years ago.

It was a sweet beginning, but we later dubbed that “The Awkward Weekend.” He teased that I was a cold fish, and I joked that he had moon eyes. The truth was that I wasn’t ready for anything big or serious. I wasn’t over my last boyfriend. He really broke my heart, and it took me a year and a half to fully get over that and heal.

In that time, X waited, and we became close. He had a girlfriend at some point, I had a couple one-monthers, and every few months, we’d find ourselves pulled back together. There was something very real there that neither of us could let go of.

We had our problems. We didn’t work out. We weren’t meant to be. But I don’t want to talk about any of that. I don’t need another post-mortem. When I see him now, I don’t have the desire to kiss him. I don’t miss him that way. But I do want to hug him. I want to be near him. I want to have real conversations – something we were always able to do. I think we worked because we communicated. And we communicate in similar ways, which is near impossible to find.

We connect in a way I haven’t experienced before or, of course, since. We made sense to each other. He got me instantly. I never had to explain myself to him - he just knew me. In most of my relationships, that never happened. I've never been with anyone I could talk to the way we talked, never been able to open up in those ways or be totally intimate and vulnerable. One of my best friends told me yesterday that I seem like the most open person, but people who know me see that I’m not at all. With him, I was.

He's incredible - a writer and a firefighter with a master's in international affairs, such a Renaissance Man. We always have the best political discussions, and I miss sharing the Sunday paper over coffee. He always makes me laugh. We always have fun – it doesn't matter what we’re doing. We’re always comfortable. Everything's easy – no drama, no mess. I never felt nervous or that I had to watch what I said or did. He was my very best friend for three years. I miss that so much.

This summer was hard for me because I had to let go. Everything in DC makes me think of him. We only talked a few times a week. Text messages, emails. We talked on the phone just twice while I was in DC. It was too hard. When you share so much with someone, when there is so much love, it hurts because you know it can’t ever be like it was. Before, we told each other everything. We talked a couple times every day, which would normally annoy me, but never with him.

One night in June, a great date with a new guy was ending. As we walked past X’s old firehouse, the new guy asked if I wanted to spend the night. A million thoughts went through my head in that brief moment, but a big one was X. There was his firehouse. I even paused to glance at it. It felt like he was watching me. It’s a totally different thing when you’re used to looking into the eyes of someone you love who loves you than getting into bed with someone you hardly know. It ended up being a wonderful night, and one I don’t regret, but it was a tough first step. As moving on always is.

When my grandfather got worse this summer, there was only one person I wanted to talk to. And I couldn’t. A Friday night in August, I drove from DC to my grandfather’s house. His doctor visited that evening, and I sat on a bed in his house knowing that he was getting bad news just a few feet away. I cried. All I wanted was to talk to X. For a few moments, I wished we were still together because he would have been right there with me. And if not, he would have been calling and texting and checking in on his booger. Ha. He called me Booger, and I called him Goober.

When I saw him for the first time after my grandfather died, he asked lots of questions (he always asked questions, and I liked that because it made me feel like he cared). I answered them all honestly. But it felt different. It felt weird, I was guarded. I knew that as much as I wanted him to be the one I talked to about all that happened, he couldn’t be.

We’re seeing each other tonight, and I know it’ll be great. I always feel comfortable and safe with him. We still care about each other so much. As hard as it is to forge a friendship after a long, intense relationship, it is a necessity to both of us. I cannot imagine my life without him in it. I cannot imagine never knowing him. He helped me grow and change so much. He is a special man, and being a part of his circle is a special place to be. I am lucky to have known such love in my little life. I am lucky to call such a great man a close friend.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

America! Fuck Yeah!!

This is an incredibly important day. I am so happy and hopeful, words fail me. I hope you will forgive me, but I am going to write about politics tonight. I normally try to keep that out of my blog because although I am a very political person, I like to keep this space separate from that. I support your right to speak your mind and have your own individual opinions. Please respect mine. I believe President-Elect Barack Obama - there are no red states, no blue states, there are only the United States of America.

I spent the evening with friends at a gay sports bar in Atlanta. There was an Election Watch Party sponsored by a group of Obama supporters. I started out with a good friend, Sweet M, and then a large group of friends met up with us an hour later. It was a blast, but I do really miss DC.

I just had to watch the results in public, surrounded by people who share my views and would cheer when I cheered. It's like watching a UT game at a UT bar or a Colts game at a Colts bar. I once watched a Colts game at a Steelers bar and actually cried (Football is important after all - it was a big game and Sweet Tony Dungy's son had just died).

Georgia, our home state, was one of the first states called by CNN. It was red. Of course. And everyone in the bar booed loudly, which I found especially amusing. Booing our own state? I love this bar. Just like booing our own team at a UT or Yankees game - we demand perfection.

CNN was on almost every TV. Atlanta is, after all, CNN's home. I did ask our cutie waiter (gay as the day is long) to turn one of the channels to NBC because I love the little ice map. How do they color the ice rink? It's so exciting watching all the states change color ooo ahh. And I have to admit I have a bit of a crush on Brian Williams.

The best part of the evening (well, duh, aside from the result) was CNN's special graphics. Oh, they outdo themselves every year. I just can't wait to see John Stewart make fun of this one. They had...a hologram. Yes, Anderson Cooper, the Silver Fox, and Wolf Blitzer spent parts of the evening talking to a hologram. My favorite was when Will.I.Am. of the Black Eyed Peas appeared as a hologram. I'm not sure what his qualification was to appear on CNN, but I'm pretty sure it involved being a three-dimensional laser image.

Sweet M really enjoyed the hilarity of this special effect. Laughing, she pointed out, "I mean, a hologram? Are we in the 1980s? They do know the 80s are over, right? And that JEM and the Holograms already did this?"

Seriously. A hologram. Oh and the greatest was the tagline at the bottom said: Will.I.Am. Via Hologram. The big questions of the night were, "What is Anderson looking at when he talks to the hologram?" and "Are the holograms live? Or were they taped?"

Sweet M also pointed out that CNN was probably pretty pleased with their hologram graphic. "My question is, how long has CNN had this hologram technology just waiting in the wings? Were they saying, 'Ooo! Election Night's the night to unveil this to the world!'? Is it really that hard to do? Is it a big deal that CNN had the technology first?"

I suggested that perhaps MSNBC used cartoons (I love you, Keith Olbermann, but Ben Affleck did a good job of showing how cartoonish you can be) and Fox News had actual aliens (i.e. Bill O'Reilly and Karl Rove).

Sweet M and I must have looked troubled because a man came by our table and said, "Don't worry. I'm not worried. It's going to be ok. He's going to win. I woke up this morning, and I just knew it. I felt at peace."

We laughed and thanked him.

"When I woke up today, all I was thinking about was, 'What am I going to wear?' I am not a gay man that dresses. I don't dress well. But I wasn't worried about the election at all, just what outfit to put on."

He was our best friend of the night. Periodically, he came over and encouraged our group. At one point, he asked my name. I told him and he kissed my hand saying, "Yes, The Beautiful One." He went around the table complimenting the rest of my friends. The Sexy One. The Irresistible One. When Sweet M asked our friend for his name, he answered, "The One You Wish You Could Sleep With."

As the results were pouring in, I was sending and getting text messages from all my favorite people. None of us could believe it was really happening. I honestly bet my mother (my hardcore Republican mother) a bottle of wine that McCain would win. I was betting on America being easily scared, racist and ignorant. That's not to say that everyone who voted for McCain is any of those things (duh, of course not). Just that I thought there were enough terrible people in this great country to push McCain over the edge. I underestimated our nation. I was wrong. How dare I dismiss our progress so easily, how dare I deny myself hope.

America is taking a chance on something different. Right now, it's 1:06 am. I've been home for 20 minutes, and the horns have not stopped honking outside my Midtown apartment, the people are still cheering.

A couple of my friends saw that Oprah was crying and shouted that they were sure she was so happy, she was giving things away to everyone she met tonight. "You! You can have a house! A car for you! A European vacation for you! No! Houses for everyone!"

I have never been more proud to be an American. After 9/11, I reacted more like and felt more like a New Yorker than an American. Today, I finally see America for the first time. That's not to say I'm not patriotic, that I don't love my country or that I'm not grateful for all the freedoms I am blessed with. I am. But today, I see everything in America that I always believed in but had never seen or experienced so fully. I love America because I believe in equality. I believe in opportunity. I believe in taking care of our fellow man. I believe in grace and dignity for everyone. I believe in tolerance for difference. I believe in justice for all. And I actually, finally, believe that hope can be realized. It's as though everything I've ever believed about our country and about humanity became true in that moment. I am full of hope. God Bless the United States of America.

"It was we, the people; not we, the white male citizens; nor yet we, the male citizens; but we, the whole people, who formed the Union." - Susan B. Anthony

"I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis." - Abraham Lincoln

"I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past." - Thomas Jefferson

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

"If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer...And to all those who have wondered if America's beacon still burns as bright – tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity, and unyielding hope." - President-Elect Barack Obama

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Forget The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, Where's the Party?

Halloweeeeeen! My all-time favorite holiday. Every year seems to top the last. We had a huge group of crazy characters out – 15 in total. And there were some funny costumes. My friend JP was a Rorshach blot test. That was creative, but not many people got it. One girl asked if he was Captain Underpants. The funniest was my friend Gov dressed as a Douchebag. Did I mention he has a super serious job?

Oh my gosh, and I love the subway on Halloween. Everyone sitting around like everything's normal while wearing crazy costumes. I saw a hotdog, a taco and a puffy sponge. Last year, we saw three girls dressed as the Fanta Girls, and Gov actually worked with one of them.

I, of course, was Catwoman, and it was super fun. I had a whip and felt all tough and badass. I kept all of Adams Morgan safe from jewel thieves and muggers all night. You're welcome. When we were walking to the first bar, a guy dressed as a cat started talking to me. He thought I was with JP, and I did not correct him.

“You look hot.”

“Um, thank you.”

Then looking at JP, he said, “Sorry, dude. No offense.”

“None taken. She looks hot.”

“Meow!” He started laughing hysterically and pawing in the air like a crazy person. “Hey, if things with you two don’t work out, you and I can always go to an alley and drink some milk!”

“Yeah, that’s true…”

Then some random drunk guy dressed as a rasta guy (possibly not a costume?) said, “Hey, Catwoman. Hey, Cat Man.” I love drunk people.

We showed up at the first bar and started handing our IDs to the door guy. One colossal problem - I couldn’t find mine. I told the door guy, who seemed genuinely disappointed and told me I could come inside to look for it. I didn’t have it with me. I had my Metro card and my credit card, but no stinking driver’s license. Oh no – was Halloween ruined?

One friend offered to go back to the house with me. But the house is all the way in Fucking, Virginia, and even with taking a cab, I’d lose an hour and a half. Not to mention how expensive it’d be.

Aw, but my friend Britney Spears saved the night (she was dressed as Britney from the “Toxic” video). We’re both the same height, both have blue eyes and blond hair, and she suggested giving her ID to me. I could take a few friends, find another bar and test it out. If it worked, one of the friends would wait half an hour before getting Britney and everyone to meet me. Not to mention I was wearing a Catwoman mask so it'd be a slamdunk.

I thanked her and headed off to another bar. We walked up to the bouncer, and I was nervous! I’m such a bad liar. I tried talking to the guy in hopes of distracting him, but he looked suspicious and said, “Lift it up.”

I knew he was talking about my mask, but I was scared! I was such a little goodie-goodie I'd never even used a fake ID before. I did what Mama said, “Use what the good Lord gave ya.” I opened my coat and flashed my sexy Catwoman costume. The bouncers cracked up. The guy said, “The mask! The mask! I meant for you to lift up your mask!” So, between giggles, I did, and he told me to go in saying, “The next time you think someone’s saying that to you, the answer is no!”


We danced our little asses off all night long. I’m not sure that I love anything else more in the world than dancing. I always make friends with the deejay and spend half my night requesting songs. My one Halloween wish was to dance with a stranger, and that wish was granted. I danced with some guy who looked just like Usher. Hot.

I have decided that pirates have a thing for me so next year, I may be a pirate wench. Last year, a pirate told me, “Surrender the booty!” I laughed and asked if that worked on anyone. He sighed and said, “Not yet.”

This year, I got more pirate love. Dude was a scrawny, little thing, and after telling me he liked my costume, he asked what I was dressed as. Ha.

“I’m Catwoman. You’re a pirate, right?”


“Where’s your sword?”

“I don’t have one.”

“Where’s your parrot?”

“I don’t have one of those either. I do have an eyepatch though,” as he said this, he pulled his eyepatch down off his forehead and onto his eyes. But he got the string caught in one eye and panicked saying, “Oh! I can’t see! I can’t see!”

I couldn’t help but laugh. “Be careful with that eyepatch - they're tricky. Good costume, though.”

“Thanks. I’ve had it since I was seven. I was a fat child, but I’m a small adult.”

So that was a lot of self-disclosure. Again, I love drunk people.

I didn’t see as many Sarah Palin’s or Joe the Plumber’s as I thought. We counted only two of each. I talked to one Sarah Palin, though. I said I had some really tough questions for her. She responded that she didn’t have any answers and then flashed an Obama shirt from under her suit jacket. I also saw Batman and challenged him to a fight. He responded with a pervy wink.

A friend I saw Saturday night showed me a photo of him from Halloween. He dressed as himself in a bubble bath. It was hilarious. He cut out the bottom of a white laundry basket and wore it around his waist. It was full of white balloons, and he wore a shower cap and goggles. He also carried a rubber ducky. So cute.

Boy woke up early Saturday morning and stepped outside to get something out of his car. It was around 8:30, and he spotted a dude doing the Walk of Shame from the Metro still wearing his costume from the night before. He said the guy was dressed as Super Mario and had a metal cart around his waist, complete with a steering wheel. He was Mario Cart. The funniest is the guy made the most of his absurdity by steering himself as he walked.

Seriously, there is no better holiday.

Quiet Heroes.

Barack Obama's grandmother died last night. He spoke about her, and it made me think about my Papaw. I miss him so much. He really was such an encouragement to me and taught me to be strong and take chances. Our family will not be the same. I will not be the same.

Here is what Obama said:

"I'm not going to talk about it long because it's hard to talk about."

"She was one of those quiet heroes we have across America, who aren't famous. Their names aren't in newspapers. But each and every day they work hard. They look after their families. They look after their children and their grandchildren. They aren't seeking the limelight. All they try to do is just do the right thing."

In a statement released Monday afternoon, Obama and his sister said that Dunham was "the cornerstone of our family, and a woman of extraordinary accomplishment, strength, and humility."

"She was the person who encouraged and allowed us to take chances. She was proud of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren and left this world with the knowledge that her impact on all of us was meaningful and enduring. Our debt to her is beyond measure."


Monday, November 3, 2008

Thank You, Coach Fulmer.

Ok, I've been hating on Fulmer this season just like a lot of Vol fans who love their team and hate to see us losing so badly. Before the season started, I was upset because I love David Cutcliffe, and I was sad to see him leave us. I think he'd be a great head coach at UT, whether or not it ever happens. I love Fulmer, but like many, I do believe his career at Tennessee has run its course.

Today, after Saturday's loss to one of our greatest rivals, Steve Spurier, it was announced that our beloved coach will be leaving. Here's some information from my friends at the Knoxville News Sentinel about this decision:

"The announcement signifies the end of 16-plus seasons for Fulmer, which brought 150 victories, two SEC championships, five division titles and a national championship in 1998.

Since then, however, the Vols have failed to win an SEC championship despite winning the SEC East in 2001, 2004 and 2007.

The Vols are 3-6 and 1-5 in the SEC, which marks just the ninth time since 1896 that Tennessee has lost six games in a season. The Vols have only lost seven games in a season once, in 1977."

Regardless of anything, Fulmer is a true Tennessee Vol. He's been an outstanding coach, the players love him, everyone respects him, and he's done a lot for our little community. He will be missed and will always be loved.

Go Vols.

Here are some good stories about the coaching change -

Phil Fulmer Agrees to Step Down as Vols Coach

Fans Offer Plenty of Suggested Coaches

ESPN - Fulmer Agrees to Step Down

SI - Fulmer Will Not Return for UT

Seeing the Fulmer Situation from All Sides - This one is actually from last Friday about the mounting demands for Fulmer's ousting.

* I watched the coach's press conference. He cried, and I cried with him. He's been a Vol for forty years and loves Tennessee as much as we do. I don't believe we'll be able to find a coach with the kind of passion and love Coach Fulmer has for the Tennessee Volunteers. God bless you, Coach, and thanks for always giving your all to Tennessee.

Yosemite Sam! Put Those Guns Away! Can't We Talk This Through?

I'm at an airport. Ick. And just made some random lady angry.

We were standing in line to check-in, and I noticed that a kiosk opened up. Politely, I said, "Ma'am, I think there's a machine open if you want to step up." She didn't say anything, but walked up to the machine. A man who had been talking to a customer service representative stepped back to the machine and started using it. He talked to the rep for a few minutes without touching the machine so I assumed he was not going to use it. Random Lady got mad and glared at me.

"Uh, I don't think so."

"Oh, I'm sorry, it looked like he wasn't using it."

"I may look old to you, but I'm not that old. I know what's going on."

"I'm sorry, I was just trying to help."

She looked 45. At the most. I shook my head in confusion and tried not to let her negativity make me all crabby too.

I don't get anger. I just don’t get it. I am a simple person, often times too simple and so I can miss complexities of a situation that may seem obvious to other people. I don't like to overcomplicate anything or overanalyze, which can sometimes mean that I’m naive. I'm just a simple girl. I rarely get mad and often find myself confused when other people are.

It's a silly emotion to me. Sometimes when someone is mad about a small thing, I think to myself, "Oh, I wish you could see how ridiculous you seem right now because then you wouldn't be mad, you'd be laughing." I laugh at myself sometimes when I get mad and realize how silly I'm acting. I think it's healthy and necessary to be able to recognize the absurd in yourself.

To me, the most frustrating thing in the universe is a misunderstanding. I know a lot of people hated that movie Babel, my good friend E is one, and there are good reasons why. But I liked it because it did a great job at showing how even the smallest misunderstanding could have serious and severe consequences.

Most conflicts, if not all, begin with some form of misunderstanding. And I do understand how frustrating that is, I get frustrated too when it happens, especially when it involves someone we care about because we expect and want those people to understand us. But I almost never get mad. Getting mad doesn't solve the conflict or bring about a quick, peaceful resolution - it just perpetuates the situation and makes it worse.

I talk it out. I explain where I was coming from, I try to understand where the other person was coming from, and my goal is always to get to a place of mutual understanding. I don’t think everyone does that. I don’t think everyone thinks critically about how they contributed to a situation or what they could have done wrong.

Someone told me once that 80% of the time, anger comes out of fear, but people rarely recognize that. When someone gets mad at me, I wonder what fear could be contributing to that. And when I get mad, I ask myself, “What am I afraid of?” That always helps me see the bigger picture of what’s going on.

My friend, Boy, was out with us for Halloween. His sister was in town so she met up with us too, and while she was dancing, some guy shoved her. He was trying to get through the crowd, she was drunk and probably dancing erratically and blocking his way. She shoved him back, and that started a fight. She wasn't mad, but he was furious. She just kept saying, "It's cool. You pushed me, I pushed back. We're even. Let's dance!"

Which just made him madder. Mad people hate it when you don't get mad too. I think it makes them feel like you don't understand what's going on or that you don't care.

When the guy saw he couldn't get through to her, he turned to Boy and, thinking they were dating, said, "You gotta keep an eye on your woman. You gotta keep the bitch in check." Any brother would get defensive and mad if anyone called his sister a bitch, but Boy just thought the whole situation was ridiculous and laughed it off. "She's my sister. Whatever." The mad guy stormed off.

The Bible says not to let the sun go down on your anger. In a romantic relationship, I take that very literally. With friends and family, I take it to mean that we have to resolve any misunderstanding or conflict quickly and with respect for one another. With strangers, I try to restrain myself from talking to them further and just drop it. Another key to resolving conflicts is recognizing which battles are worth fighting and which are worth dropping.

I had to stop myself from saying anything more to Random Lady. I just sighed to myself and moved on. Thinking about how confusing it is for someone's first reaction to be anger and praying she has a better day.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Leavin' On a Jet Plane...Don't Know When I'll Be Back Again...

I love to travel, but hate flying. But if I wanna hang out with my awesome friends who live far away, I gotta deal with all the crap that goes along with it. I bit the bullet and flew up to DC yesterday for a fabulous Halloween weekend with my favorite people.

While standing in what seemed like the longest security line ever, I spotted a guy trying to cut the line. I hate cutters. Line cutters, that is. You might be more important than me, and you might have a more important place to be, but the fact is you’re still flying coach with the plebes. So chill out and wait like the rest of us suckers.

I kept looking at him, trying to place him because he looked so familiar. He reminded me of someone I’d seen in a movie or TV show, but I just couldn’t figure out who. Then it hit me. Peter Griffin from Family Guy. That's right - the guy with an ass for a chin. He looked exactly like him! A real life Peter. When I realized it, I had to turn my face because I couldn’t contain my grin.

He was supposed to be three people behind me. But he was trying to cut two people in front of me. Ooo ahh, Peter, being in front of five whole people is really gonna make all the difference in your day. I saw others in line noticed he was cutting too and decided to wait and see what happened. The guy he tried to cut in front of eventually moved up quickly so Peter couldn’t cut. The guy in front of me did the same thing, and I followed suit as did the guy behind me. The fifth person was nice or maybe just timid and let Peter cut. I’m sure that was a sweet victory for the lazy bastard.

Before I knew it, I was standing in another line. The line to get on the freaking plane already. I hate the zones. Why do they have zones? As if relegating us to “coach” isn’t enough, they have to place us in another hierarchical order of importance.

And where did “coach” come from anyway? I don’t get it. I’m not a coach. Maybe there was once a Joe the Coach like Joe the Plumber, and he was some kind of everyman all us schmoes were supposed to identify with. Or maybe it just sounded better than "Last Class" or "The Po' Folks Section."

Regardless, I always manage to be in the last possible zone. Zone 7. Which means I’m one of the last to board the plane, which means I’m one of the last to put my stuff in the overhead bins, which means I usually have to move shit around or store my stuff five rows back. Really, though, I’m not bitter.

So I’m standing in line contemplating my inferior place in the world and who I’d have to flash to score a Zone 5 pass. I mean, I’d settle for Zone 5, geez. And I hear an argument behind me. There’s a young married couple with a toddler in a stroller. I hear the woman exclaim, “We’re not sitting together?"

"Uh...I guess."

"You didn’t click sit together? Why didn’t you click sit together?”

“I dunna know, you didn’t tell me to.”

“It’s called common sense!”

At this point, I start to silently chuckle and pray they don’t notice my shoulders bouncing up and down in hysterics. Because sorry, bro, but it is common sense.

“It’s no big deal.”

“It is a big deal. We’re not sitting together. It’s common sense. You should’ve known to click sit together.”

“So we’ll just get someone to switch with us.”

You. You’ll get someone to switch with you. I can’t believe this.”

I can’t believe this either, lady, I’ve already been amused by some pretty entertaining characters, and I’m not even on the airplane yet. Who needs to pay ten bucks for a tiny bottle of cheap wine when you've got clowns like this around you?

I tried to keep an eye on them once we were on the plane to see if they did switch seats. I couldn’t tell, but I did hear the woman say, “I can’t believe we’re not sitting together.” And sigh loudly. Not sure if that helped their case or not. I do know that was one bumpy ride…

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