Monday, October 31, 2005
Now here’s where I admit something. My house is a little over 1200 square feet. It has two bedrooms and two bathrooms. It has a large entry hall closet, and each bedroom has a walk-in closet. The closet in my room is practically the size of the guest bathroom. And yet? I can’t find anywhere to store anything. It ends up that stuff is haphazardly piled everywhere and I can never find anything. This does not work for me.
So I took matters into my own hands and bought this. I thought it would be your typical “you only need a screwdriver” type of assembly, but it turns out that while I did need a screwdriver, I also needed a tape measure, pencil, hammer, level, and drill. Luckily I have all those things, and more importantly? I know how to use them. This little shelving unit requires actual mounting into the wall and so the OCD kicked in and I drew pencil lines all over the closet so that I made sure everything was straight and level. I finally finished it yesterday afternoon and spent last night reorganizing my fantastic new closet.
I can’t wait to show Not Boyfriend, because I think he thinks that just because I’m a girl, I can’t use tools properly. He called while I was installing the shelves, and was quizzing me on wall stud placement and why they call anchors “butterflies.” Dude – my dad can build and/or fix anything on this planet, and I spent every weekend as a kid either watching or helping him do carpentry projects. And, I’ve lived alone for four years – I know from fixing and building stuff. I fully admit that there are some things I can’t do, but I leave those to my dad. And Not Boyfriend is a “professional” fix-it guy, because he works in construction, so I allow him to tell me things that maybe I already know. I might not know the technical name for everything, but I usually know what to do with it. And you know what? If I waited around for those two to do all these things for me, I’d end up sitting in a corner, rocking back and forth and mumbling about how I know those Christmas ornaments are around here somewhere, but because the closets are such a mess, I’ll just never know. As a result, I did it myself and am now unbelievably proud of my accomplishment. I keep opening the closet, just to look at it.
I don’t have any pictures for you today – so we’re going to be celebrating Halloween for a few more days this week, and that’s just how it’s going to be. The reason is that I had my brother’s camera to document my weekend, and that means I am now at his mercy as far as when he gets around to downloading my photos. However, I promise that sometime in the very near future, you will have pictures of me in my costume, the Halloween Cats, and the house in my complex that I have (very appropriately, I think) named “The house where Halloween threw up.” You will love it.
Friday, October 28, 2005
I usually appreciate the surround sound system my downstairs neighbor rocks. I envy his ability to play loud music at all times. I do however have to take issue with the fact that this afternoon, that system is playing Shania Twain, who I hate with a fiery passion. I figure that his girlfriend walked in the door, turned on the stereo (and turned it UP) and now? Pure torture.
Is it wrong that I called one of the youth group boys to see if I could borrow some of his bling to complete my gangsta-themed Halloween costume? Is it more wrong that he has a ton of the stuff to loan me? Is it even more wrong that he’s the pastor’s son? I hope to have pictures of the costume, which I will post and you’ll see what I mean. Wrong.
I went and visited my friends’ brand new baby last night. Can I just tell you that that was six pounds of pure ADORABLE? What? Did you say something? I couldn’t hear you over the TICKING OF MY BIOLOGICAL CLOCK. I kid, I kid. I AM a kid. Therefore, not ready for a kid. Anyway, after I left (at like 7:30 – he went to sleep and apparently parents take the sleep when they can) I went to Dan’s, where I was only planning to stay for a minute. Or five hours, could be either. (I chose five hours, because when I got in my car and looked at the clock, I was horrified that I'd have to get up in entirely too short of a time). We sat on the couch and made surprise playlists for each other on iTunes and laughed our asses off at stuff that I laugh at some more when I think about it but won’t put down here, because it was most definitely a “You had to be there” situation. Oh the Dan is so amusing.
Off I go. Tomorrow I’m going to two Halloween parties and prior to that, going to see my aunt at the airport while she’s here for a layover. My mom called today because she’s making signs for us to hold up – this particular aunt is my mom’s youngest sister, who just graduated with her Ph.D, and she’s funny as hell. Clearly this is a situation that requires signs. My mom asked me what I wanted my sign to say and I told her “Congratumalations on your edumacation” – I hope she spells it right.
Thursday, October 27, 2005
I'm pretty bored. I'm the only one in the office today, yesterday and tomorrow, so I have no one to talk to. So. Bored. We did have a fire drill yesterday, which basically consists of people streaming out of the building and then standing in their designated area in the parking lot until we get the all clear. It gave me the opportunity to actually talk to this guy in our suite whose name I still don't know, but who I refer to as "the guy with the nicest ass ever." Like I'll say to Marlene "Hey look -- it's the guy with the nicest ass ever." And he really does. Can you be sued for sexual harassment if you don't work for the same company? You know, I'm, um, just curious.
You may remember that back in September, I wrote an entry about how there was this skunk that was way past dead on the highway on my drive home. I saw it every day and I was repulsed every day because even if I psych myself up for like a mile before (“don’tlookdon’tlookdon’tlookdon’tlook”) I look. And my reaction? Well, to quote myself, it is “every day, my gag reflex kicks in and I’m like ‘gaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh!’” It’s been over a month and while I have gotten the gag reflex under control, that pile of used-to-be-skunk is STILL THERE. It’s rained. It’s snowed. And yet? STILL THERE. I’ve actually seen kind of an abundance of dead skunks on the road this year, leading me to believe that skunk moms should better educate their babies about the correct way to cross the street. Or even better – don’t cross at all. They could cite the prairie dogs as an example – although I’m thrilled when prairie dogs are killed because those horrible rodents overrun everything. I hate them. Anyway. I’m not looking forward to daylight savings time because that means it’ll be dark when I’m driving home and the probability of me hitting a deer is higher. It’s wildlife-tastic around here, I tell you what. (You say that last part like Hank in "King of the Hill").
So I’m wondering when my transformation into my mother will finally be complete. Because after Tuesday, I feel like Dr. Jekyll – he knows that he’s going to turn into Mr. Hyde, he fights it…fights it…and yet? Mr. Hyde always wins. Turning into my mom isn’t a bad thing at all, I just feel like I’m too young for that yet. The reason I say this is because I got this fabulous new bathtub cleaner that seriously is MAGICAL. My bathtub looks brand freakin’ new. I love it. However, I did love it slightly less when I woke up at 2 a.m. choking on the residual fumes. You would think that 8 or 9 hours would be long enough for them to dissipate, but not so much. Once I realized that that was probably the cause, I went out and slept on the couch. And woke up late for work. But possible permanent lung damage is a small price to pay for that magically sparkly tub. I also got this stainless steel cleaner that makes my sink look new and this stovetop cleaner that makes my cooktop stove look new. Clearly, I'm all about the looking new. I’m re-reading this now and boy do I sound pathetic. Pathetic – but with a really clean house. And hence, I’m turning into my mom, because she is a major clean freak. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
I think I found the perfect comforter for my new, non-pink room. I want it. Really bad.
And now, some quotes.
Me: “I decided to wear my camouflage t-shirt – see, it’s the blue one. If we were underwater right now, you totally couldn’t see me.”
Not Boyfriend: “If we were underwater right now, whether or not I could see you would really be the least of our problems.”
Not Boyfriend, after looking at my wall where I have all of the various shades of mocha/beige/taupe/khaki paint color swatches taped: “I’m going to go out on a limb here and say you paint this room brown.” At this point I just rolled my eyes and attributed that remark to the fact that boys have no sense of subtlety. But then…
Mom: “What are all those paint color swatches doing on your wall?”
Me: “Take a wild guess.”
Mom: “Ok, well why are there 600 shades of beige then?”
Geez. Does NO ONE have a sense of subtlety around here? Honestly. (And you say that last part like Austin Powers).
Remember when I talked about James Blunt opening for Jason Mraz the other night? Well I downloaded the song that I loved -- I'd say it's the least "fatalistic" on the cd -- it's called "You're Beautiful." And I can't stop listening to it. I think it's so sweet and his voice is so pretty and full of feeling, but at the same time I feel like I might start crying and never stop. Because the way he sings it and the lyrics? Heart-rending. And yet -- it makes me feel kind of happy. I don't understand it either -- I'm an enigma wrapped in a mystery, apparently. Anyway, you should listen to it.
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
It was around this time last year that I started seeing Not Boyfriend. The first two weeks, we spent pretty much every evening together, and it was great. I fell for him right away – I don’t know exactly why, but I remember the first night that we hung out, we sat in my living room and talked for four hours. Maybe that was it. Maybe it was because whenever he was anywhere near me, he would have his arm around me or hold my hand or pull me close to him and kiss me. Maybe it was because he would remember important things and ask me about them – and he would remember unimportant things and ask me about them. Maybe it was because he made me laugh. Maybe it was because I started to realize that he was everything I wanted.
THAT was surreal. That he could be the one who was everything I wanted, not because of anything but the fact that when we first met, we were 12, and I never in a million years would have thought that 16 years later I would want to be with him more than anything. He was the new kid at our jr. high – big, tall and kind of scary. He was always in trouble and it seemed like everyone was afraid of him, even me. Until one day, we started to be friends. I’m not sure when or how it happened, but I do remember him always hugging me when he saw me. This was a big deal for me – I was a skinny little nerd who would have been perfect pickings for him to torment, but instead, he protected me from everyone. No one dared say mean things to me, because they knew if he found out, well, they’d get their ass kicked. My most vivid memory of him was from the end of our 7th grade year. I was in the nurse’s office (probably from falling down or something) and he was waiting (again) for the principal. He came in and sat down next to me and we talked for a really long time. He asked me what I was doing that summer and I told him I was going to Illinois to visit my family. When school started the next year, he asked me how my trip to Illinois had been. I was amazed that he remembered, and I thought it was so sweet.
I told him that at our 10 year reunion last summer when I saw him for the first time since graduation. I saw him and I hugged him and we chatted, and before I left, I told him thanks for always being so sweet to me – that I’d always had good memories of him. He told me that he had a “monster crush” on me back then and that was why he was nice to me. I did not know that. He asked for my number, I gave it to him, and promptly forgot that I did. So I was surprised when, a month later, he called. We made plans to hang out and when I opened my door, he said “hey good lookin’.” I think I wanted to kick my foot in the (non-existent) dust and say “aw shucks.” File that under “How to Charm Me.”
So two weeks later, he told me we couldn’t date anymore. He was going through the beginnings of a divorce – they’d been separated for a while, but things were going ahead and he was having a hard time with it. They were married for seven years – she was his first serious girlfriend. She cheated on him and he caught her. All things that are hard to deal with one at a time, much less all at once. He told me that he could see us having a really good relationship, and that it wouldn’t be fair to either of us to be together then because he wasn’t in a good place. At all. There was more, but I was working on not crying in front of him, so I don’t really remember. As upset as I was, and as ridiculous as it sounds, I fell even further for him because he had the balls to be honest with me and not just stop calling. He didn’t even tell me over the phone – he told me face to face, and I will always admire him for that. Then he told me that we could still be friends, and I knew that I’d never hear from him again. We all know that’s the kiss of death.
Remarkably, he meant it. We didn’t talk for about a month and then last Halloween he came to my door dressed as Tigger. Yes. A 6’4” man in what amounts to giant footie pajamas and a hood that has Tigger ears on it. He got it at the Disney Store, and when you pressed his hand, Tigger said things. I couldn’t stop laughing. And from then on, we started hanging out again.
It was basically the same as before, only we were NOT dating. He would call me every day, we did things together, we kissed, but no. NOT DATING. That’s when I started calling him Not Boyfriend. And I was totally fine with how things were, because if it made him feel better to tell himself we weren’t dating, then that was ok with me. I don’t want to deal with your baggage, so you work through that and I’m here when you need me. Similar to a girlfriend, but without the scary label.
Then in the middle of January, he stopped calling. Just stopped. No explanation, nothing. I knew it wasn’t about me. I knew he was having a really hard time dealing with the divorce, plus? He had to give his dog up. But even though I knew all that, it didn’t make me feel any better. I talked to him once in March (bad) and once in June (good), and that was that. My heart was totally broken and it sucked.
So the beginning of September, he came back. He spent all that time not talking to many people and just getting through everything. His divorce was finalized. He felt like he could truly move on because he wasn’t legally tied to her anymore. I’m glad he did all that, and I’m glad he did it without me.
Do I know what’s going to happen with us? No. Not in the least. Of all the millions of things we talk about, that’s not one of them. We don’t awkwardly avoid the conversation, it just never comes up. I do know that even after all of this time, I still want him. And all the dating debacles I’ve endured this year have only served to enforce my feelings for him. He is a good man – and the kind of man I could spend my life with. I know girls say that all the time -- “he’s the one” – and I’ve said it before (in high school no less – ack), but I know now that it’s something I have to give A LOT of thought to. Because there are few people I can spend a week with, much less multiple years. I could spend multiple years with him. He would be a great father – and really, really wants to be. I could seriously go on about all the things I love about him, but I won’t. There are a lot.
So yeah. That's Not Boyfriend. Let's keep our fingers crossed, shall we?
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Anyway, so Mandy, her sister Cass, our friend Steph and I headed out to the Fillmore. We’re all about the same age – Cass is 22, so a little younger. But when we got to the theater, clearly the only thing we were was old. Teenage girls EVERYWHERE. And there were a few guys there, but they were mostly the whipped boyfriends, standing around and trying to look as if they totally chose to be there and fooling no one.
So the opening act was James Blunt, a charming lad with a fantastic English accent and a really tortured soul. I was actually going to say something here about how he’s so young and how there’s no possible way that he could be so tortured when he’s all of like 22, but then I looked up his bio and turns out? He is. He was in the British Army in Kosovo in 1999 at the age of 19 and wrote some songs about that. He describes his album as “fatalistic” and boy, he isn’t kidding. At first I was like “I think I’ll buy this cd and listen to it.” By the end of his set I was like “I think I’ll buy his cd, listen to it, break it in half and slit my wrists with it.” For real. His voice is haunting and his songs are super depressing. But he’s talented, no question about that.
ANYWAY. Jason Mraz. I love him because he is a total word nerd. He’s quick and funny and writes great songs. He can talk so fast and he plays the guitar and did I mention that he’s a word nerd? How do you not love a guy wearing a pink t-shirt that says “GEEK” across it? And yes, he’s hot, but it’s all the rest of the stuff that makes him nigh unto irresistible. The thing, though, that sealed my adoration for him was his VOICE. He does this one song “Mr. Curiosity” where in the middle is this operatic kind of interlude. I always assumed someone else did it – until he broke it out last night and almost made me pass out. His voice is unf*ckingbelievable. The rest of the concert was great – he isn’t one of those artists who does the chit chat in between songs that makes you want them to please shut up and never talk again. His in-between-song talking was hilarious. I can’t really describe it, so I won’t.
What I will describe is how utterly ancient I felt. There were so many young kids there and when we first got there, I was SURE they were looking at us like “How sweet. The old ladies finally got a night out.” This was cemented by when we’re standing there during the James Blunt set and we were talking about getting a drink, and then Steph pointed out that there probably wasn’t alcohol because it was an all-ages show. WHAT? Cass was like “I thought maybe they just ran out of the bracelets and also forgot to card me.” Yeah, not so much. No alcohol.
The Fillmore has no seats on the main floor, so you have to stand. We stood there for nearly 3 hours and towards the end I wanted to die.
“Not to be totally old, but my feet are KILLING me.”
“My back hurts.”
“Man, mine does too, now that you mention it.”
Not only were we standing there for hours, but people kept pushing their way in front of us like they belonged there. Look, if you want to be closer to the front, I recommend that you get there earlier. Don’t make me kick your ass. At one point, Steph turned around to say something to us and when she turned back around, some little chippy had elbowed her way into Steph’s spot. Steph looks at us and says “Apparently if you turn around, you lose your spot. That’s the last time I’m talking to you f*ckers tonight.” The girl got the point and moved out of the way. Another girl tried to edge in front of Cass, and so Cass, Mandy and I all looked at her with the laser eye of death and she kind of cowered and was like “sorry” and moved. That’s what I thought, bitches.
After about 2 hours, we started to want some water. But we were totally trapped. We’re thirsty and smushed in with 85 bajillion people and there’s no way we can get to where there might be water – not that we’d know where that was anyway. By the end of the concert, we swore we could feel our skin drying up and had passed the realm of "thirsty" like an hour before. I think we were at the "Brink of Imagined Death from Dehydration" stage about then, but we possibly could have been hallucinating from lack of water -- maybe our brains had dried up. Anyway. We wanted to go to the 7-11 across the street from the theater but with the crowds of people walking around, we couldn’t get there. We drove around FOREVER (or like 20 minutes -- I really don't know because my eyes were totally dried up rendering me blind so I couldn't see the clock) because apparently Denver shuts down at 10 on weeknights – something to know in case you’re ever here and want to get something at a convenience store after 10. You can’t. We finally found a gas station and I have never been so happy to drink water ever in my life. Add another point for “old” on the “Old vs. Young” scorecard.
Luckily, there’s a curfew in Denver for teenagers – it’s 11 – and so the concert was out at 10:30 or so. I say luckily because damn – we all have to work tomorrow and we need to get to bed. That’s now at least three points for old, in case you’re keeping track.
But the concert? Totally fun. We laughed SO MUCH and had a blast and Jason Mraz was awesome. And once we found water, well, the night was complete. And all that before 11.
Monday, October 24, 2005
When I bought my condo, it was a new build, and so I got to pick out all of my cupboards and flooring and countertops and carpet. NONE of it is white. Cherry cabinets, various shades of cream and beige and cherry to offset the cabinets and to contrast with the – you guessed it – white walls and white doors. Again, I love the white, but when you have vaulted ceilings and a lot of open space – and a white couch – well, you see where I’m going. Luckily, the white couch went out the door soon after I moved and was replaced by a dark navy sectional, which is a color I never thought I’d pick for a couch, but that I absolutely love. Anyway.
One day last fall, my mom and I were at our condo in Winter Park and we had spent most of the day either watching the Home & Garden channel or the “Trading Spaces” marathon that was on. We got to talking about how I needed to paint the guest bedroom in my house and since it’s not a room that’s used much, I could do something BOLD and DARK. And then we talked bookshelves and curtains and eventually got so into the whole plan that we decided to leave RIGHT THEN to go home (it was 10 at night), so that we could start on the room the next morning. And we did. I painted one wall in the room a lovely Merlot color and got matching curtains. I set up three white bookshelves and added crown molding at the top so that they didn’t look like plain old shelves. And when I got my New! Pretty! Bed! in January, I put my old bed in there and it is all black and white.
My house is predominantly decorated in prints by my all-time favorite photographer, Harold Feinstein. He does fabulous pictures of flowers and so my living room is all roses and my bedroom is mostly tulips with some orchids, iris and magnolia thrown in. And I get no end of shit from my guy friends about it. Dan always teases me about the flowers and the other night, Not Boyfriend is like “I think I’m going to get a new tattoo. Of flowers – so I match this room.” Ok fine, boys. I get it. Too many flowers. That, coupled with the pink bedspread and my penchant for eyelet lace has rendered my house a frilly, girly wasteland.
I’ve gotta man it up. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not suddenly going to go completely neutral with varying shades of brown and olive green and start decorating the house with lovely hunting prints featuring dogs and ducks and whatnot. I’m just going to change it up a tad. And not because the boys think I should – but because I’m getting tired of the flowers and the frilly and the WHITE WALLS. And if I’m doing color? I refuse to paint my bedroom pink, even though I love pink and wear it a lot. NO PINK.
I’m not very good at branching out and changing my style. My OCD tendencies require a lot of symmetry and a lot of matching. And so I called the one person who I think has the greatest sense of house decorating style EVER. Sally. Her house is so awesome. Besides the yard and the cute pets, the inside of the house is beautiful. She does really cool things with color and prints and it all ends up looking like a professional decorator did it. I would happily live in her guest bathroom, if it were only a little bigger. So I called her over for a color consultation. We talked about what I was envisioning and she vetoed it. Which was totally fine with me because the whole reason I wanted her help is because if left to my own devices? The house would remain girly and pastel. Or everything would be a really dark, bold color. Apparently there’s no decorating middle ground for me.
So we went to her house and got out the box of those paint color things that you get at the paint store and we ate thai food and discussed color schemes. And I am now looking at everything thinking “Hmmm – would THAT be a good color for my room/living room/kitchen?” I’m thinking blue for the bedroom, or a nice sagey green – something sort of “Cape Cod.” And a nice warm cocoa color for the living room – but once I go to the paint store and get the samples pieces and tape them to my wall? I might change my mind.
At any rate, I’m happy to be adding some color to my life. Stepping outside the color comfort zone and into something new. It’s sort of like a metaphor for my life right now, if you want to get philosophical about it. I’m trying to do things a little differently than I ALWAYS HAVE – because I’m not a risk taker and I feel like it’s time. But for now? We’ll just start with the paint and see how it goes from there. Baby steps and all that.
Thursday, October 20, 2005
“So, uh, did I offend your parents the other night?”
“Not at all -- they thought you were great.”
“Oh good. Because I was thinking about it, and I was worried – uh, because, um, well, I uh – usually parents like me.”
“They liked you – I promise.”
And four days later, bring it up again. Because seriously, it’s not like you care, and it's certainly not that you've been thinking about it, you’re just curious. Really.
Oh and also? Pretend that it doesn’t please you to no end that I’m “making” you celebrate your 30th birthday on Sunday. Because, no – I can’t see through that at all.
*"How to Charm Me" tm Dooce
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Here’s the thing about me. When I get into a new living environment, I bump into things and knock stuff over a lot until I get accustomed to where that corner is and hey, maybe I shouldn’t cut it so close when I’m walking down the hall and the bathroom door is in a different place so make sure you open your eyes while walking through it. Stuff like that.
So I get to college, and my dorm room, while not horribly tiny, is about 2/3 the size of my bedroom at home with twice the beds, twice the desks and twice the people. You can imagine how this was going to work out for clumsy new environment girl. And also for the girl who never shared a room with anyone. Luckily, my roommate Elaine and I were already friends from high school, and so we were reasonably excited about the fact that we were ROOMMATES!! In COLLEGE!!
Let me explain the layout of our room a bit. When you walk in the door, on your right are two built in closets, side by side, that essentially look like armoires. On the left is my desk and my bed. Elaine’s bed was perpendicular to mine (we put the heads near each other so we could TALK at night. About BOYS.) and then her desk sat on the other side of the closets. Also, our dorm is not air conditioned and it’s the middle of August. Hot. So we have a fan going on the floor. I’m standing on a chair, hanging up a poster over my desk, and Elaine is standing behind me telling me when it’s straight, because god forbid that a poster be off by a fraction of an inch in Obsessive-Compulsive Girl’s room. Anyway, I finally got the poster hung perfectly and I stepped down from the chair. Straight onto the fan, which, in case you didn’t know, is not so much for the stable footing. I stumbled backwards, right into Elaine, and the momentum caused us to land in her closet with me sitting on her lap and, once the initial shock had worn off, both of us in fits of giggles. And so Elaine was the unwitting victim of my new surroundings clumsiness.
But it didn’t end there. A few weeks later she came to class (we also had pretty much every class together and all the same friends – good thing we got along as well as we did) and she was wearing a gauze bandage on her hand and she was maaaad at me. Turns out, I had left my curling iron on the floor by the t.v. – which I always did – except for this time I had forgotten to turn it off. Somehow, she had put her hand right on it and burned herself. Ooops. Sorry Elaine.
So the semester passes, and we are now going to go home for spring break. We’re getting ready to leave, and Elaine is packing up the car. She had all of her stuff in, and she was being nice and carrying one of my laundry bags down to said vehicle. She comes up a couple of minutes later, laughing, with a skinned hand. Turns out that she had tripped over one of those yellow concrete parking lot dividers while carrying my bag. Not her bags – she got to the car ok with those – but my bag. Hmmm. I'm beginning to sense a pattern here.
But wait! It gets better (or worse). One day my friend Brigette was driving me and some other girl home from class. There’s a four way stop on campus, and while we were at the stop sign, we saw Elaine waiting to cross. I waved at her, she waved back, and we went on our merry way. About two seconds later, the other girl in the car is like “Oh no! That girl you just waved to got hit by a car!!” WHAT??? I guess what happened is that Elaine started to cross the street and a car hadn’t come to a complete stop and sort of bumped into her. She was fine. Seriously. Fine. I’m telling you this part because I wanted you to know that she was NOT HURT before I told you about how Brigette and I could NOT stop laughing about it. I’m sorry, the mental picture was too much. When Elaine got home from class, I tried my very best to be sympathetic. I made sure she was definitely ok before bursting into uncontrollable laughter again. And again. And again later. At first, she did not appreciate the humor in the situation. I probably wouldn’t have right that minute either, if it were me.
But the thing is? It wasn’t me. I came out of freshman year unscathed. Well, except for the time I fell out of my six-foot loft. But that was due to a vodka-related incident, not from plain old clumsiness. Oh, and there was the time Elaine was drunk and bit my arm. But I think after all I put her through, she deserved a little payback, am I right?
I'd also like to say at this juncture that as I've gotten older, I've reverted back to injuring just myself and not others. So we can be friends now without your fearing for your safety, ok?
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
How bummed am I that there were no pictures of the Color Guard on the website. There were pictures of the PLAYERS and the CHEERLEADERS, but none of the Color Guard or even the Band. There were none of the Poms (or “dance team”) but that was because they sucked. Sorry Becki, I don’t think the ladies are going anywhere in competition this year. Frankly, they shouldn’t be going anywhere in those outfits, either. Instead of cute little skirts and whatnot, they now wear black spandex unitards. WHY? STOP THE MADNESS.
And so speaking of madness, let’s talk about the outfits that the Color Guard had on. Because the person that picked those out was either suffering from complete and total madness or was blind. Or both.
So the girls in Color Guard are generally not, um, slim. Some of them are, but let’s face it – the fat girls did Color Guard. At least at our school they did. This year is no exception – and so what in the name of all that is holy possessed them to choose these particular outfits?
Three words: Velour. Patchwork. Unitard. Three more words: What. The. Hell.
So as you may remember from yesterday’s post, our colors are green and gold FIGHT FIGHT! And so I think maybe the original idea of the color guard (and I hesitate to use the word “uniform” as there was really nothing uniform about those things) uniform was to do a kind of gold theme. “Hey!” they thought. “The band’s uniforms are green and black, so maybe we should cover the gold spectrum!” And they did. Cover the whole spectrum. The main color was gold velour – the shade of gold like on a couch at your grandma’s house. In fact, if I didn’t know better, I would say maybe it WAS grandma’s couch fabric. Somebody’s mom saved the couch for JUST SUCH AN OCCASION after they put grandma in the home and since it was practically brand new, it would be a shame to let all that perfectly good fabric go to waste, especially since it happens to be the school colors! What are the chances!
Anyway, where was I. Oh yes. Mainly gold velour. But the other main color was brown. So far, the color combination is not bad, but the problem starts when they piece it all together. Why WHY would you sew a vertical line of brown velour down the inside of the leg of the uniform? Did the crazy blind seamstress WANT these girls to be made fun of more than they already are? Come ON! So the brown pieces are “strategically” placed all down the unitard. Ok. Well, save for the inside leg piece, still not so bad. I mean, as long as you don’t consider gold and brown VELOUR UNITARDS bad. I do, but then I’m a shallow bitch.
Here’s where it all went horribly wrong. Someone thought “You know, we need some more color to really make this POP!” and so they added the sash. The sash was very wide – practically from ribs to hips, and it was BRIGHT YELLOW. It looked like one of those back supporter things that people who carry heavy boxes wear. Only in blinding lemon yellow (and I think there was even some sort of over the shoulder deal too -- I forget, what with the sensory overload and all). Maybe that’s what happened. The seamstress started out with the bright yellow sashes, got blinded, and then proceeded with the rest of the outfit. I’m really trying to work up something logical here as to how these outfits came to be, but I got nothing. I don’t understand.
So let’s recap – brown and gold velour. Unitard. Wide, bright yellow sash. But wait folks, we’re not done yet! What WHAT would be the piece de resistance for this fabulous creation? I’ve got it! There’s nothing SHEER yet. We need something SHEER. How about we attach a piece of sheer gold fabric around the right knee of the outfit so that it flows nearly to the ankle and when the girls move, it will flutter gracefully. But only on the one knee. Perfect.
I don’t know what song the band was playing. I don’t know if the color guard was good, though I don’t remember anyone dropping anything, so maybe they were. All I can remember is the five of us, sitting there laughing our asses off.
The best part was my dad. He hardly ever rips on people’s outfits – he’ll chime in every once in a while, but he mostly leaves it to my mom and I. Anyway, he leans over to my mom and says “Yes, those outfits ARE pretty ugly. I’ve been trying to accept them, but I just can’t.”
Me neither, dad. Me neither.
*Now this is where I put in the disclaimer. Yes, I ripped on the Color Guard. That is what this post is about. I criticized their outfits. I made shallow and rude comments. I don't want to hear "oh so you're so perfect you can judge" or some equally ridiculous things from people up in arms about how I'm shallow and rude. Frankly, I say good for those girls for getting involved in school activities and for having school spirit. Maybe next time they could tone down the spirit of the outfits. I’m just sayin’.
Monday, October 17, 2005
To our colors of green and gold FIGHT FIGHT!
Yes, I know my high school fight song. No that is not the whole thing. No, "gold" does not rhyme with "true." Yes, it bugs me.
So we went to our high school’s homecoming game on Friday night. I think the last time I went to homecoming was the year after I graduated, when it was cool to go because you’re a big FRESHMAN in COLLEGE.
Karen and I thought it would be a great idea to go this year – not sure why, but whatever. We got there fashionably late – and would have gotten there sooner if we hadn’t gotten overzealous about parking and also misjudged the distance from the parking lot where we were to the actual stadium. We knew it would be pointless to try and park near the stadium, and so we saw a car turning into a parking lot and we followed them. Brilliant! We congratulated ourselves on finding a spot with no trouble – after all, we wouldn’t be stuck in traffic after the game since we’re parked right down the street. We soon realized that “right down the street” was actually “8/10ths of a mile” (we clocked it later). So after a brief hike, we made it.
Amber: “You know, I’m looking at this bridge thinking what a great place it would be to hang out and drink if you were in high school, but I’m also thinking how unstable that fence looks and how if someone drunk fell against it, they’d certainly end up in the river. How sad am I?”
Karen: “We’ve lived in Lakewood our entire lives and we still can’t figure out that where we’re parking is nowhere near the stadium? How did that happen?”
We entered the stadium and found some seats in the “old people” section. It was pretty full, and I was like “My parents are here somewhere, but I doubt we’ll ever see them.” The sentence was no sooner out of my mouth than I turned around and saw my parents. They were waving at me from about 10 feet away. We went and sat with them, further cementing our status of “SO not cool,” but they had a fuzzy blanket to sit on and also? I’m 29 – my cool factor with random high school kids went out the window YEARS ago. In fact, I was never cool, so I didn’t care.
A conversation between me and one of my 7th grade youth group girls I ran into):
Kid: “I didn’t know you were a Bear Creek fan”
Amber: “Well, I went there.”
Kid: “Really? I didn’t know that.” (Said in a tone like “wow – they had high school back then?”)
The first thing we noticed was how LITTLE everyone was. The cheerleaders looked about 12. Maybe. Even the football team was tiny, it seemed like. Karen and I kept expressing our amazement at the fact that the players seemed so small, but I think it might just be that we’re imagining her husband John and Not Boyfriend (both who were on our football team in high school) as they are now and they dwarf those tiny babies on the field. We actually kept forgetting to watch the actual game because we were busy people watching and making comments. I’m sorry, not to be all parenty or anything, but my god the girls are skanky these days. It’s like 50 degrees out and they have on tiny little tank tops that basically cover nothing. Hello? Did their parents not see them leave the house like that? Geez. Put on some clothes or something.
Karen: “I’m really hoping that I didn’t just hear that girl down there introduce that baby she’s holding as ‘my baby.’ She cannot possibly have a baby – is she even IN high school?”
Pretty soon, Not Boyfriend got there. Keep in mind, this could have been awkward for a couple of reasons: 1) he’s never met my parents and 2) I didn’t tell him they’d be there. But since he’s self conscious about exactly zero things, it didn’t phase him a bit. He met my parents and sat down as if he hung out with them all the time and fell right into our humorous family banter. Example: My mom was cheering and did this screechy kind of scream thing so I was like “Uh, mom? You’re not quite in the realm where only dogs can hear you, but you’re pretty close and also? My eardrum. Ow.” And Not Boyfriend chimes in “I don’t know, there might be a couple of dogs out there going ‘What? What?’” And he imitates a dog perking up its ears and looking around. Of course my mom just thought that was so funny. She later told me that she could see why I like him, because we’re so quick and funny together. She never says nice things about a boy I like after meeing him once. NE-VER. Even my dad had something to say, which is also weird, because he generally doesn’t say anything at all. I THOUGHT we were sitting with my parents, but now I’m just not sure.
Not Boyfriend: “Uh, we’re totally sitting in the ‘uncool’ section”
Amber: “Where did you want to sit – over there with the kids?”
Not Boyfriend: “Yeah, so they can look at each other and be like ‘uh, somebody’s dad’s here.’ I’m going to go with ‘no.’”
Karen, Not Boyfriend and I left during the 3rd quarter because not only are we uncool, but we are also old and it was getting kind of cold out there. Plus, our team was losing – therefore yes we are, as Karen pointed out “fair weather fans.” My parents stayed the whole time and it ended up that we won in overtime. Which was good since it was homecoming and also we’re 6-0 for the season and that would have been a crappy first game to lose. The game was relatively injury free except for one of the tiny little players who broke something and had to be taken away in an ambulance, thereby dashing the dreams of some girl who was SO EXCITED to be going to homecoming with a FOOTBALL PLAYER.
And lucky for us, Not Boyfriend parked basically right outside the stadium – in the DIRT because he drives a TRUCK – and so he drove us back to our car, thereby saving us the three quarter mile hike of potential danger. Because we weren’t wearing the proper shoes for that.
Anyway, the best part of the whole game was halftime (What? I will freely admit that I watch football either under duress or in anticipation of the halftime entertainment). But that’s a whole story in itself, and plus I’m hoping that the pictures of the game will be up on the school’s website in the next few days because it’s a story that needs pictures. Let’s just say it involves the Color Guard and leave at that for now, shall we?
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
We’re talking about how I used to be pretty accident prone. If I could trip over it, I would. Bump into it? Done. I have scars that have stories. Not just “I fell off my bike,” but “I fell off my bike after my dad convinced me that it would be a great idea if we BOTH rode it home from the park at the same time because he didn’t want to walk and then we wiped out and I was so mad that I made him carry me up the hill to our house while wheeling my bike.” Not just “I fell on a rock” but “I fell on a rock when I was running at top speed across the playground to catch my friend who secretly sold candy at our elementary school and that’s a fact I’m leaving out of the story I’m telling my mom about how this happened because she frowns on candy.” And not just “I skinned my knee – again,” but “I was doing a perfect approach on the diving board in front of the hottest lifeguard ever and when I came down for the spring off the board, my knees buckled and I fell ever so gracefully into the pool where I wanted to stay underwater forever or at least until his shift was over.” Those are the kinds of scars I have.
Anyway, I have now reached the point of this post, which is a story about the aforementioned summer and my proclivity for injury. I had a parakeet at the time, and when cleaning the cage, I used to blow the empty seed shells out of the cup and into the trash can. On this particular night, I got one in my eye, which had happened before, so I just rubbed it and then I went to bed. When I woke up the next morning, my eye kind of hurt, and I was looking in the mirror trying to see what the problem was. The light hit me just right, and I could see a little birdseed shell embedded in my right eyeball – just on the edge of where the white meets the color. I told my parents, but downplayed it, because I was supposed to be leaving that morning to go to Vail with Beth and her family and I wasn’t about to miss that. So off I went with my painful eye.
The whole point of Beth and I's vacation was to be in the pool. All the time. Hey, I thought, maybe the water will wash the birdseed out of my eye.
Or perhaps the impact of my face hitting the bottom of the pool might jar it out of there. This was the time when I became a proponent of not diving into shallow pools – it’s just not a good idea. So yeah, I dove into the water and I hit my face on the bottom of the pool – one of those pools that had the rough concrete bottom. I came up, and my face is covered with blood. I had a fist sized bruise on my forehead, and I had managed to skin the bridge of my nose, right above my lip and my chin. I looked so pretty. Beth’s mom was loathe to return me to my parents looking like I had been severely beaten with an unusually rough brick, but I assured her that their reaction would probably be to roll their eyes and apologize to her for having to deal with the results of my hyper “leap before you look” life philosophy.
So I get home, and I have to go straight to the doctor because remember? The birdseed was still there. My doctor put this little piece of paper in my eye that apparently numbs it, and then he said “hold on while I go get my really big needle.” Pediatrician humor, apparently. So as I am no fan of needles, I started to get all teary, until I realized that tears might wash away the numbing stuff. So I watched him dig the seed shell out of my eye (a very weird experience) and he says “Well, it’s a good thing it didn’t go a fraction of an inch into the color, otherwise you’d probably be blind.” Wow, his bedside manner is FABULOUS. He then gave me an eye patch and sent me on my way. Arrrrr.
I didn’t have to wear the eye patch for very long, however I did have to go to freshman orientation looking, well, like I looked. Orientation that included getting our school i.d. and yearbook pictures taken. I don’t think I have to tell you who got retakes that year.
Anyway, I think I’m still a little bit accident prone, but thankfully not as much, especially since I live alone. I’m dreading the day my mom finds me lying on the floor, when, because I was too lazy to get out the ladder, I jumped up to grab the curtain rod over the couch, came down, misstepped, and landed in the fireplace. Not that that happened. It’s one of those things that COULD happen though. But it hasn't. Really.
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Hey dudes. I'm Purrman, and I'm totally a boy's boy. I mostly hang out in the basement because that's where the big screen t.v. is and the manly exercise equipment and also my dad's office where I help him tie flies. I'm not exactly sure what that is, but it involves a lot of feathers and fuzzy things that are excellent for batting around, so it's cool. I will purr up a storm and snuggle with you if you are downstairs, because that's what men do. They purr. I will also sit behind you on the couch and lick your head because I love you and I'm not afraid to express my emotions -- I'm very evolved. And when you sleep at night, I will get under the covers with you. If by some chance you're already asleep when I'm ready to get under the covers, I will paw at you or maybe put my face mere inches from yours so that my tickly whiskers wake you up. We men understand the art of sublety when it comes to getting what we want. What? Stop laughing -- men can TOO be subtle.He looks sort of mean here, but he's SO not -- it's probably because he was surprised by the camera flash and is not amused by it. In reality, he's a snugglebug.
Monday, October 10, 2005
So I was housesitting at Sally and Joe's this weekend (I know -- I sometimes wonder why I even have my own house) and Ian was there and so this is basically how we spent Friday night. We had aspirations of taking pictures, but we're also easily distracted, so that didn't happen.
And yes, I realize that most of this stuff is totally "you had to be there." But hey, it's a drawing and it describes the highlights of the weekend. I say highlights, because I didn't do anything remotely interesting the rest of the time. I mean, where's the fun in drawing myself taking multiple naps, watching t.v. and other such fascinating activities? Believe me -- there is no fun there.
I just sat there laughing to myself as I was drawing this because Ian? He makes me laugh. A lot.
View the full-sized drawing here.
Thursday, October 06, 2005
Beth and I were the overachievers of our elementary school. Perfect grades, always at least a grade level ahead in all things English, winners of spelling bees, teachers’ pets, involved in every school-related activity possible. We used to get so bored that we’d do our homework and put the other one’s name on it, knowing the grade would be the same anyway. We were confident and self-assured, because we had never had a reason to doubt that we were what everyone said we were. “Those two,” our teachers would say “are going to go far.” And that assertion followed us throughout our academic careers. We were going to do something REALLY BIG with our lives.
BUT, even though I was always so smart and so this and so that and encouraged to get a big education and be something fabulous and memorable, in the back of my mind, I never really wanted that. I have always wanted to be a mom. I want to stay home with my kids and do stuff with them like my mom did with me. I want to be involved in their lives and encourage THEM to do great things. Journalism was not for me -- I cannot intrude on people's grief like I would be expected to for the sake of a story. I just can't. And while I am enjoying getting my masters degree (because, let's face it, I like school), I can't see myself as an Executive Director of an NPO -- even though my teachers insist I'd be great. Don't get me wrong -- I would love to be fabulous in the eyes of everyone -- I love the attention. But in reality, I'd like to be fabulous like Beth is -- with a good life full of love and doing the things she wants to do.
Beth says that basically, she’s short on career ambition. I too am short on career ambition. Way short. I think part of it may be that we never had to HAVE any ambition, because everything came so easily. The only competition we had was each other, and since we were best friends we never really cared about beating the other one -- we were satisfied with smugly achieving much higher in everything than every other kid in our class. College was a huge blow to me because for the first time ever, I had to actually exert some effort in order to do well, and I realized that I just didn't feel like it. I only like school if it includes only things I am interested in. I have yet to find a degree in “Stick drawings, song lyric knowledge, lettering and general arts and crafts.” But if there WAS one? I’d have a Ph.D.
Since I've been job hunting this time around, I've had an experience that I've never had before. I am looking at things first for if I would be happy doing it, and second, for the money. Granted, there's a limit, what with the mortgage and all, but I'm actually surprised at my willingness to take a substantial pay cut to be happy in my job. I never thought that that would be me, since I have an almost devastating love for shopping of all sorts. Not Boyfriend and I were talking about it the other night and he's like "what would your perfect job be?" And I named a couple of things that I think I'd love to do, and he said "do it then -- all you need is a start and people will see that you're good at what you do." He's right, but that's way scary for me to think about.
I don't aspire to be corporate. I don't aspire to be someone's boss. I aspire to have a work schedule that allows me to continue going on youth group trips and having the time of my life with those kids. I aspire to work to live, not to live to work. I do indeed dread work every day, and I hate that I hate such a huge part of how I spend my time. I know there is a plan for what I'll be doing. But no -- career for me is not corporate. Career is something I'm not interested in. Job is something to carry me over until I find my life's calling. But that's scary to think about as well -- what if I never find a different job that will allow me to survive, and most importantly -- what if I never find the right person like Beth has so awesomely found. That's the most disconcerting and frightening feeling of all.
As for finding the right person? I feel like I'm ready to. Sure, I have my issues, but those are things that if I waited until I worked them all out before trying to find someone, I'd go to the grave alone. On the other side of that, I know that even boyfriend-less I do have a fantastic life -- I never feel like I'm lacking in the love department. I have great friends and a great family and really, except for work, I love my life.
So you know what? It turns out that Beth and I are going far. Maybe it’s not in the way that our teachers predicted, but in our world? We are doing something REALLY BIG. And I am proud of us.
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
Remember Joan Cusack in Sixteen Candles? That's basically how I feel, minus the actual neck brace. I'm just going to blame the juice I spilled on my shirt on the fact that the ice shifted in my glass, not because I'm doing the stiff neck drinking thing. Because it did. Stupid ice.
Seriously, just thinking about these scenes is making me laugh really hard, but it hurts when I do. Remember the drinking fountain and how she got water up her nose and then wiped her face off with the skirt of the lady on her shirt? They just do NOT make movies like this anymore.
Monday, October 03, 2005
“It’s wishful thinking. I have no idea where the coffee stuff even IS.”
“Where did you just go?”
“I took the dog out – it’s frickin’ cold.”
“WHAT JUST TOUCHED ME???”
“My hand – I told you it was cold out!”
Ah. The conversations you have when you're still half asleep early on a Sunday morning. It was weird – as if we lived in the same house and had forever. Saturday night, we sat in the hot tub for a little too long and then dragged our too-relaxed selves the 20 feet from hot tub to bed and watched part of SNL before going to sleep. We had a “discussion” about who had custody of the remote – I won, only because he hadn’t figured out how to work the TiVo yet. His concession to the fact that I don’t like to be smothered while I sleep was that he would intertwine his ankle with mine and occasionally, he’d briefly put his arm around me or kiss my forehead while I slept. Sunday morning, I took a shower, he made coffee (after searching every cupboard in the house on a single-minded coffee-finding mission). I got ready for church, he watched ESPN, and since I couldn’t see the t.v., kept me entertained with his running commentary.
It was a nice way to end the weekend. Which was good, because the start to my weekend involved me (in a Toyota Corolla) getting rear ended by a guy in a Ford Expedition on my way home from work Friday. I watched him hit me – it was super, especially the whole “bouncing my head against the back of the seat” thing. Fun times. My mom came over to my house that night and brought me my favorite juice and some muscle relaxers, and she made me soup. Then she took me to get x-rays the next morning while I tried not to cry every time we hit a bump.
Later, in case you hadn’t figured it out, I was staying at the hot tub house again Saturday night and so I moseyed up to Sally and Joe’s, where they fed me steak and corn on the cob and Advil until I couldn’t do much more than go back to the hot tub house and lay down again. That's when Not Boyfriend showed up and assured me that my car doesn’t look that bad and it probably won’t have to be totaled. Which is good for me, since I bought it new in ’03, but he was kind of bummed because that means we aren’t going car shopping. If there’s car shopping to be done, he can go by himself, thanks.
Which brings us back to this morning. I came home from church and took a four hour nap. I’m about to go to bed again, seeing as it’s been almost four hours since I got up. I gotta keep to my schedule, you know. Plus, tomorrow promises to be a day filled with hijinks involving the auto body shop, insurance companies, the chiropractor and who knows what else – so yeah, a girl needs her beauty sleep.
So with that, me and my flexeril bid you adieu…
*This is the place where I put my disclaimer: I wrote this before bed last night, and so, if this post is unbelievably boring and rambly, well, I blame my prescription. That is all.