Monday, August 4, 2014

Nuts!

Today I was discussing IQ tests with my daughter and her fiance. A friend posted a link to one of those online IQ tests, and as I had forgotten my lunch I spent 30 minutes taking 3 different tests. I managed to get 2 scores of 140 and 1 score of 143. I have come to the conclusion that, although I always have a relatively high score, the thing preventing me from achieving unmeasurable levels of genius is my inability to spot patterns. This has proven to be true in all facets of my life. 

During an earlier conversation we were discussing pistachios. When I mentioned that I don't care for them Zach said, "What about walnuts?"

I stated, "Not really a fan of those either. I really only like peanuts."

He replied, "Those aren't actually nuts. They are legumes. What about almonds?"

"No, I'll only eat them if they are in brownies or covered in chocolate." I said.

He quickly responded, "That's why you're single."

See... he gets patterns. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

You Are The One For You : The Melationship

Have you ever watched a baby when they are playing in front of a mirror? The first few moments are usually filled with bewilderment. They have realized there is someone just like them out there. They haven't realized completely what the mirror is or does, but they have never seen themselves before. To know that the things they are doing and the toys they are playing with are so similar seems to transform them. Suddenly they have a friend who likes all the things that they like! That friend wants to shake the red rattle just like they do! "Oh my God! I have that same shirt! Twinsies!" Add a sloppy, wet, cold mirror kiss and it's kismet!

Image Source
Somewhere along the line we seem to forget that first interaction with the one person who is so completely "us". We begin to worry if other people like the person we see in the mirror. We wonder if maybe we're the only ones who enjoy blocks or the doll with the really yucky hair that's been knotted with saliva and wound around our fingers as we slept. Things get weird. Pretty soon that friend in the mirror is someone we don't want to know anymore.

After reading what feels like a billion articles about finding love and seeing countless "love yourself" suggestions, I've decided to write the top ten reasons I am probably the right one for me. Obviously, I got sidetracked by something and only came up with five. Five is a lot actually, and I'm not trying to make anyone all jealous of my new mefriend and our melationship. So here it is...


1. I always remember my birthday/anniversary.
I don't need a reminder from Facebook. On my birthday (and the anniversary of becoming my own go-to date) I get myself a great dinner, a present, and I spoil the hell out of myself. If I had someone to give that back to I'd give the same. Until then I have my eye on a trip out of the country for every birthday/anniversary Myself and I have.

2. I work on it. 
I'll be honest here; I disagree with myself from time to time. No relationship is perfect, but when it happens I sit down, give consideration to both sides, and try to make a logical and non-emotional decision. In the aftermath I do my best to work on the issue so I don't have the same problem in the future. I don't lord it over my own head. I work it out.

3. I buy myself flowers.
Sure, they are on sale, but flowers are flowers. I don't even need a damned reason! I will pick myself up a $5 bouquet to brighten my surroundings and smile all night. Easily pleased. That should be its own number, but whatever.

4. I find my contradictions interesting rather than annoying.
There are times when I contradict myself with my religious, emotional, or political leanings. I can't be pinned down. I believe in being a good person. Strict adherence doesn't give me the feeling that I'm being the best person I can be. I don't get irritated by the contradiction. I educate myself. I embrace it.

5. I'm always discovering new passions, and that doesn't bother me.
I love that I get absorbed by things. It doesn't last forever, but it gives me a sense of knowledge, fulfillment, and satisfaction that when I am passionate about something I go all in. I might see a documentary (and I see everything Netflix has to offer), and suddenly decide I need to learn more about X or Y. It doesn't bother me that Celtic studies get pushed to the side for a bit. I will come back to it. Passion for learning is on my check list for a partner. I've checked my own box.


The experts might be onto something here. Maybe you need to make that person in the mirror your best friend again; Remember how it felt to accept yourself for who you are. You didn't think the person in the mirror was weird. You didn't think they were ugly. You were enthralled by the things you loved and you didn't care who else loved them because the person in the mirror did too.

If the experts are right about learning to love yourself again, perhaps they are right about knowing who you are before you attempt to persuade someone else to love you for who you are too. Before you attempt to sell someone on who you are, maybe you should be clear on the bill of goods you're trying to sell them. If you can't be honest with yourself about who you are and what you really like, want, or need you can't ever complain about what they give you.


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

All in a Day's Conversation

We sat across the ocean from each other, sliding our fingers over nearly identical screens. There we shared the ridiculously random details of our lives as we had done for months. Whether it was a tidbit overheard at work, mind numbing plans for the evening, or what food we'd just shoved in our mouths it was transmitted in real time. Occasionally something would come up that had substance, which in truth was the purpose of the continuous exchange of information. One topic leads to another which reminds us of this, because it had to do with that, and one of us really needed to talk about that anyway.

"You're sweet and all around great, so deal with it." I said as I laughed off a comment he'd made about himself.

"People think that til they get to know me and then they get bored." he said in an attempt to deflect any sort of compliment.

"People who get bored weren't looking for content. They were looking for sparkle. Don't feel bad. It happens to me all the time. I'm witty and engaging when I'm 'on', but that only lasts for two dates. After that guys start to look for a new shiny object." I said, throwing in an lol for good measure.

"Is that when you give them the 'no take-out' warning?" he asked, referring to an earlier statement about it not mattering where a person gets their appetite as long as they eat at home.

"I would never actually give that warning unless I was in a relationship. I assume all men stray." I said, with what sounded far more like resignation than cynicism.

Before long the conversation turned a corner, and we put aside the serious to return to the safety of take out food and light-hearted banter. It lingered though, that serious moment, as it always did. Perhaps that was what we needed, as safe place to say what was on our minds with no threat of repercussion to our real lives. At the end of the day we would each tuck away a perspective we hadn't entertained before, an affirmation of our personal opinion, or a brief glimpse into what made the other person what they were.

He walked away from the conversation understanding that chicks are crazy. I took away a few things. I was resigned to the fact that I may never have enough sparkle. The fact that I had left cynicism and arrived at resignation made me both happy and sad. Lastly, I was really hungry for sweet chili chicken. And french fries, which is ridiculous. Why in the hell do they serve chips with everything? Seriously. It's like an epidemic. I wonder if I have any malt vinegar at home.




Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Dating Site Fails: Bring It On

The moment you realize that having it all isn't all it's cracked up to be if you have it all by yourself, and you open that God forsaken dating profile...

The subsequent days when you click through the messages saying, "Pass. No. WTF? Uh uh. Seriously? Oh HELL NO! I quit."

Once in awhile I open a dating profile. It's like I need some sort of validation that the dating pool is not meant for me. I get my fair share of unexciting. I also seem to attract people who obviously didn't read my profile. It's as if I posted a picture of boobs and they responded while looking straight at them. Obviously they aren't all horrible and unoriginal, but if the best I can do even on a free site is unoriginal but only a 30% match, the least I can do is have some fun. So today I dedicate my page to the people who don't fully understand online dating, how to get a girl to respond, and "Dude... WTF?"

Honestly, half of why I open these accounts is because I like something to look over with my girlfriends. This city might have 160K people, but it's a small town in the dating world. If you haven't dated him one of your friends has or they know someone who did. It's fun to sit around and look through the profiles and have the girls give you the low down on who so and so is and who they dated and what sort of person they are. Twenty-five percent is searching to see if the person I like is using a dating site. The other 25% is just checking to see if the pool has gained any depth in the last 12-18 months.

The last time I tried this experiment I found out one of the guys I'd had a coffee date with was a 'close friend' of one of the skankiest women many of my friends know. This leads to all sorts of personal questioning.
1. Seriously... am I as skanky as she is?
2. I bet he had sex with her. Did he think I would have sex with him. See question one.
3. I don't recall sampling his chai latte... oh God... did I? Okay, I think I'm safe. Is there some sort of antibiotic I can take prophylactically to make sure I don't get skanky?
4. Should I just close this account? I think I'll close this account. Account closed.


I don't know if everyone is aware of this, but apparently there is a trend toward the cougar. Yay me! Just as I turn 40 the world has decided 40 is the new... um... fuck... are we the new older man to the 20 something male group? I do believe we are. I opened this account on Friday. Since that time, over 50% of the men who messaged me are FAR below my state dating range. So far, here are my favorite two "cub" messages so far:


I really do appreciate the bravery it takes to send the first message, especially at 22. Is that step generally reserved for the guys? Perhaps. But in this case the guy has seen my age, seen that I am almost "empty nesting", and has seen that my preferred range is 38-45. This took serious balls considering I do believe he went to school with my daughter. Not even kidding. Who are these older women he is used to dating? Was it Stacey's mom? I hear she's got it going on.




Have to give this one credit. After being informed that I'd likely seen him at parent-teacher conferences (23 years old) he was completely undeterred. I wonder what he means by "being with" a younger man. Does he want to carry my groceries? Mow the lawn?



Really? The site does state that you must be present in the picture in order to count it, but when I tried to load a picture it ran face recognition it actually looked for my FACE. Did it just mean your head? Seriously? WTF? Of the 10 it displayed for me with recent additions, this was like playing "One of these things is not like the other". It doesn't even show the person's account name. Even the site is somewhat ashamed they let this go on.



At the end of the day, I have to say that while it is flattering that younger guys are totally digging older women for a quick romp, my favorite have to be the guys who know they are outside your dating range on the higher end, and yet they admit that they just want someone to have sex with. I would say it is almost "as if", but the truth is there is no "as-if" to it. They just want some younger woman to have sex with. Perhaps they think that 40 is more accepting of the bullshit than 55+ something. At least it's honest I guess.

I'll be completely honest. It is highly unlikely that I'll ever message anyone who messages me on this site, but there is even less likelihood that I'll ever go on a single date with any of them. Why? Because I'm a snob. Because I'm still not ready to sacrifice any part of me that is wholly 'me' in order to be wholly 'us'. Because I have an ideal in mind... and no amount of them has yet turned into "him".

It's still fun to look, right?

Ladies... Gents... show me your worst dating profiles and profile messages! I like to feel I am not alone.



Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Betty Freaking Crocker of Birthdays

It's been a few days (or more) since I had my big "f*ck this" moment in my life and as usual, I'm back. Sometimes I really just need to vent. This is not at all where I want to be anymore (physically) and it will change soon enough... I just get impatient. :) Sorry I was all angsty. Let's move on.

So one of the things I absolutely love about being near my family and friends is cooking. I'm sure my family would be shocked by that because we grew up in a baking family. Angel food cakes are the business and the specialty. Brownies, cakes, and cookies are regular staples. I've done all of those things, but when it comes to feeding my family I like to get a bit, or a lot, outside our English/Norman-Scandinavian roots.

Before anyone gets all uppity about their roots, remember I am cut from the same cloth. For the love of God we're probably cooking from the same damned church cook books. Was that blasphemous to say damned and church in the same sentence? Oh well, moving on... Many of us grew up with 'black ground pepper' and 'salt' as our seasonings. I've looked through my Methodist and Catholic cook books. I've yet to find basil, oregano, cumin, or any curry powder that has been known to man for centuries.

Regardless, big dinners is what I do. Most of the time it is traditional fare: Roast, grill food, chicken... chicken, chicken (grilled, broiled, baked, grilled, pan friend, etc). Still, I specialize in Italian because my kids will lean toward Italian meals. Perhaps it is the fact that you don't walk away from an Italian dinner without knowing full well that you've had your share. Maybe it's because I offer them wine (which they always turn down)? Hey, if you're being Euro with your food you might as well be Euro with your children! Regardless, I've conquered a few dishes, including a sweet risotto puddling with steamed pears and white chocolate, as well as more pasta dishes than any dieter should ever consider attempting.

So when my daughter's fiance had his birthday I had all sorts of ideas of what to cook. I couldn't settle on one so I took an idea from a friend for one I hadn't done before... Carbonara. Ugh... parmesan sauce. I'd tried to do it before with terrible results. Just a little hint, I've always tried substituting low fat ingredients with horrible results. HORRIBLE. So this recipe is what it is. For the dieters, enjoy your cheat day. For the lactose intolerant, take Lactaid. For the wine drinkers, grab some wine. I've included it in the directions.




Chicken Bacon Carbonara
side note: Let it rest a few minutes before serving and taking pics or it will settle (as above)

 Before you begin, get a wine glass and pour wine in it (drink some wine), a medium size mixing bowl, a skillet, and a large stock pot for boiling pasta. Ready? Here's what you need: 

■ 1 pkg penne pasta

■1 lb chicken breast (boneless and skinless) sliced

■1/2 lb bacon cut

■2? bottles of white wine (1/2 cup set aside) (I don't know how you do.. if you followed directions you've already emptied a glass plus half a cup) 

■2 1/2 cups heavy cream

■1 1/2 cups shaved parmesan cheese

■1 heaped teaspoon diced garlic

■1/4 cup chopped basil

■1/8 cup chopped Italian parsley

■2 eggs

■2 diced and de-seeded Roma tomatoes (really, who likes the slimy seedy part)
Chop your parsley and basil and set aside.
(drink some wine)

Cut up bacon and set aside
Cut up chicken and set aside
(drink some wine)

Put a large kettle of water on to boil. Brown the bacon. When the bacon is nearly done turn off the heat and drain the fat. Save about 1 tbsp to pour back into the pan. Add 1/2 cup of whatever white you’re drinking to deglaze. Toss chicken breast, garlic, and reserved bacon drippings into the pan. Cook on medium until done.
After you toss the chicken in to cook, pour the Penne into the boiling water.
(drink some wine)

While the pasta and chicken cook, grab a medium mixing bowl. Add eggs, parmesan, basil, parsley, and tomatoes. Whisk until blended. Set aside.
Obviously, you’re going to want to check that chicken. Don’t over cook it. When it’s done go ahead and turn it off and drain the juices and fats.
(drink some wine)

When the pasta is done drain it and rinse vigorously with hot water to destarch and stop it from over cooking (keeps it from getting sticky on its own).

Toss pasta back in the big pan and add the meat/garlic mix on top. Pour cream/cheese/tomato/herb mix on top. Turn to a med-low heat and mix. Continue to mix until the pasta is sticky coated with the entire mixture (about 5 minutes). Remember, this contains raw egg so not stirring regularly can result in a more “curdled” appearance. Stir stir stir off the calories of wine you consumed while cooking.

Serve with a nice warm Italian bread and maybe dipping oils or one of Hy-Vee’s (or your local store's) already prepared Asiago Focaccia breads and a white wine.
(drink some wine)

Also, have some wine. When you’re done eating and cleaning up the kitchen I recommend having some wine. It helps prevent you from ruminating on the fact that you’ve made this kick ass awesome meal and you’re also cleaning up.

Go to the bathroom and run a really hot bubble bath. Take some wine. Maybe take the rest of the bottle or the second bottle. No one said you had to share the wine, but there is way too much food in the recipe to keep for yourself. Get into bath and ignore the family while you enjoy the bubbles in the bath and the wine in your glass.


I won't lie. The whole experience made me feel like the Betty Freaking Crocker of birthday dinners. To be honest, they might have also been impressed with Velveeta melting out from their pasta onto the plate, but I'd like to believe it was something more. When I had a chance to taste it for myself all I could say, in my most Norman-Scandinavian voice, was, "Awesome, maybe a little black pepper?"

Regardless, the birthday boy's response was that it was, "That was great! Thank you!" Another response was that we should have that more often. Unfortunately, they don't buy the groceries and we will only have it again when I can substitute the bacon for pancetta... because the snobby part of me wants to know what I'm getting charged for the next time I go to a nice Italian restaurant.

So I'm going to go look at the leftovers in the pan and imagine what it will taste like tomorrow for lunch. We all need something to carry us through the next day, right?

Alright. Go. Create. Cook. Eat. Gluttonize. Regret. Repeat.


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Like a Mic Drop Only Quieter

For twenty minutes I have been typing the same sentence, in one fashion or another, and deleting it. It has become almost comical, in a Divine Comedy - Inferno sort of way.  It’s there, whatever ‘it’ is, just waiting to spill onto the page. I can feel it spinning around in my head causing utter chaos. The words have come out eloquently, but they felt fake so I erased them. The vision in my head looks a lot like dropping the mic and stepping off stage.

Fuck it. I’m done.


There. I've said it. I just wish I knew what it meant. 

someecards.com

Monday, March 24, 2014

The Thrill is Gone: Marriage Advice From a Divorcee

Image Source

Let's not beat around the bush here. I am the last person you should come to when you want to know how to land a man and establish a relationship. I've tried a few times and each time it ended in a flaming pile of rubble with my heart at the bottom of the heap. While I've never successfully accomplished this, and who really has until the end, I have gained a few insights along the way that bear repeating. 

Most relationships begin as "in love" or "in lust". Unless you are particularly superficial, you don't marry a person who is not suited to you in one of these fashions. Either way, lust can lead to love and love can entail lust, but both can be fleeting if not properly tended. You can plant basil all day long, but if you don't tend the garden other stuff will grow up around it and you will lose sight of it and pretty soon you're sprinkling some weed into your sauce and can't figure out why it tastes funky and someone will start to question your cooking skills when lasagna used to be your signature dish! (play with that one Hemingway) 

Where was I? Oh, yeah... marriage advice. No matter how you started, things will likely diminish. It happens. Whether it is love or lust, eventually certain things grow comfortable or passe. Once you've seen how a person cleans, attends to personal matters (this includes any shared bathroom time), snores, or does a variety of other real life things... everything will change. 

Things change even more once you throw kids into the mix. Whether they are his, hers, or theirs, kids change every dynamic of a relationship. Sadly, what seems to get tossed by the wayside in a lot of relationships is the couple itself. Been there. Done that. Own the house. Hahaha just kidding. I'm paying a mortgage. 

A wise woman once told me that your kids are your kids, and they always will be. They will always need you for something. Whether it is help with school work, relationships, or money they will always be there. Those kids will leave you, though. They will get lives of their own, and pretty soon you will be left with the one person who was supposed to be there with you until the end. If you forget to nurture that relationship you will find yourself alone. 

As parents we do the best we can. We give when we can. We discipline when needed. We advise, hug, encourage, and try to make them the best adults they can be. During that time, while you're both working at creating fine, upstanding, responsible adults... are you giving the same attention to your partner? The same can be said if you exchange the kids with a career. 

The type of attention might be different, but our needs as human beings is not. We crave attention. We want to feel important, loved, vital, and desired. Sure, the kids have interests you want to help them develop, projects they need help with, sporting events they want you to attend, and problems they want help working through. So does your partner. 

Here's the long and short of it... Your kids will not remember a single missed regular season game. If from time to time you get a sitter and go out and get to re-know your partner the kids won't be scarred for life. If you take a break from cooking the healthy meal and get take out then send the kids to bed 30 minutes before you are so exhausted you can't talk to your partner... guess what, the kids will survive. They are not as fragile as you might think, and it is important for them to see that you have an interest in each other. Just because they are the center of your universe doesn't mean they can't see you change orbits from time to time. It's good for them. 

Aside from the typical date night (where you're so exhausted from the stuff you're focused on all week long) what are your best re-kindling moments? What do you do to remind your partner that they are important to you? Do you have a go-to restaurant, event, or method? How do you make your partner feel like they are still important for something other than a paycheck, to-do lists, cleaning, or child rearing? 




Friday, March 14, 2014

Common Core: Where Do You Stand?

I'm not exactly sure where I stand with our current educational structure in the US. With the exception of parents with children with special needs, IEPs, etc., I am struggling to decide how to be offended with the Common Core.

We (the United States) used to be a thing. In the realm of well-rounded educated students, the US has been losing ground for decades. It's almost like watching an aging prom queen or high school football star try to validate their importance with a 20+ year old crown or trophy. It doesn't, in any way shape or form, make sense when compared to today's standards.

Whether it's 'Common Core' or another standard, isn't it time we actually prepared our children to compete in a global economy? Again, I will state IEPs and special needs excepted, our students are lagging when compared to other similar countries. As parents we've done a great job of telling our kids, "You're the best. You're awesome. You can be ANYTHING you want to be." Is this actually a disservice? Confidence is one thing, but setting people up for failure when the competition is miles ahead is another.

As my kids are effectively "out of hand", I just have to ask, what are your pros and cons with regard to common core standard being implemented? What would you change?


Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Prolonged Resolution and the Naked Selfie

I stood on my tiptoes in the bathroom and snapped a picture in the mirror. It took all of 2 seconds to determine that the people on The Biggest Loser and the folks who offer ‘before and after’ photos to diet pill companies are braver than I will ever be. How bad could it possibly be? This bad...
I was so pissed off I wouldn't even look at myself.
I wear censor bars everywhere... even on the beach.
As much as I would like to blame myself for how I looked, the cold hard truth is that Samsung phones obviously have software that tells the camera to magnify every single imperfection. I can’t prove it, but I’m sure it is true. Don’t believe me? Take a naked selfie with one.

Go on. I’ll wait. Okay then.

What is it that would cause any self-respecting, pasty, Midwest woman do that? Well, I can tell you what it isn't. It is not a diet. No, this is CONTEST. At the beginning of January some of the office peeps and I decided this would be a terrific way to keep that pesky ‘look-better-feel-better-live-healthier’ bullshit resolution on track. So each week we pay to weigh, and the highest percentage of weight loss will win the pot (money… not a dime bag...do those still exist?) on April 7. Feeling better and looking better are all fine and dandy. Being healthier is cool and shit. Contests come with a prize and bragging rights. Everyone knows that's better than health any day.
Image Source
Yeah... it will end up being a stack of ones. It's not like we're receiving financial backing. 


The contest started with 9 people. We split the group into two teams; Male and female. Realistically, we could have just been one team, but I recall from past contests that men don’t care as much about sharing their weight publicly as women tend to. Instead, I volunteered to share my weight each week with my whole team. Each could share their weight with me privately. The only thing shown publicly would be a percentage. The guys have decided to just weigh themselves in the office. I weigh myself naked so I opt out of that. I just take a time-stamped photo and send it on to the girls.

It's game on. We're currently eight weeks in, and it's going quite well. We lost 3 people a few weeks in, but for the most part everyone is trying. You know what I mean; Trying not to cry after super strenuous workouts, sore obliques, pulled hamstrings, tough days when everyone else is eating something fried or gravy covered, and the random week where no weight came off at all. On an even better note, every single person in the game is on the board with an overall loss.

The real challenge will not be winning the contest. The real work starts when the game is over and no one is paying to stay in the game and making wiser choices to maintain or improve on their previous efforts. According to the Health Status website, my recommended weight range is between 135 and 168 pounds. I will never hit the 135 mark. I'm more than okay with it. At 5'9" and 135 pounds I wouldn't have enough fat to fill out my face, and at my age I need that!

For anyone interested in some "diet" insights, here you go:

1. Spinach has no flavor in an omelet. If you need to add greens and hate veggies... there you go.

2. Lean Cuisine has some great "inspired" meals. The Chicken in Peanut Sauce and Beef Chow Fun are pretty damned tasty. The breakfast collection is pretty terrific as well.

3. Evening cocktails can be nice, but make sure you get a workout in first. You'll be less likely to over consume or delude yourself into thinking you should eat that bag of Fritos.

4. Avocados are fruit. Onions (root) and peppers are vegetables. That makes guacamole a Frugtable. I made that up, but cut down the mayo and it's pretty damned healthy and it makes a great condiment.

5. Stop looking at the BMI (body mass index) calculators unless you absolutely do not workout. People who maintain active fitness levels have more lean muscle mass than those who do not. BMI does NOT take into consideration what your muscle mass is. This also explains how someone at my height can have an acceptable variance of 33 pounds.

6. Sometimes you will cheat. Whether you choose to treat yourself daily, weekly, or whatever... accept that it will happen. Get over yourself. I did. See...
I performed a cake removal surgery on this doughnut.
I wanted a little cake and a lot of the chocolate icing.
Still saved some calories. I call it a win. 





Sunday, February 23, 2014

Screw You, Weekend.

I started out my Saturday with the intent of swiping on some mascara and lip gloss and heading to Wal-Mart. Nothing makes a person feel prettier and more confident than a trip to Wal-Mart, unless you count the dollar store of your choosing. My jeans we're fitting loose, and my hair was artfully tied up and pretty but not too pretty. I felt svelte and stylish. Wal-Mart success. My weekends are probably not what you'd call stellar. I take my victories where I can.

I went, I saw, I shopped, and I paid the bill. Still, as you leave there will always be the text from home that reminds you that there is something you forgot. That reminder will cause you to check the list and see various other things you forgot. Fortunately, we have stores closer to home. There is nothing more agonizing than having to go back for something when in the 3+ deep Wal-Mart line.

The local Hy-Vee is not far from home, and I swung by to make my forgotten purchases. I'm a speed shopper. I move around people like we're in some sort of speed skating event. Look for an opening and go! Ice melt? Check. Floor cleaner? Check. Urban Riot Energy 4 pack? Check!  Everything was good. I made my purchase and headed for the door. I was an Olympian of grocery store slalom.

Those of you who live by your Hulu and Netflix accounts for new shows to watch will understand the drought I've felt during the Olympics. Don't get me wrong, there are a few sports I really enjoy, but for the most part I cannot understand why all the other stations have stopped airing episodes for fear of losing viewership. Alas, that is the world I live in, and thus I decided to hit Redbox on my way out of the store to find something to watch on the treadmill while I sweat out the sins of my day. Gluttony is a bitch, and I like to be prepared, ya know?

My humiliation started as I stood at the unit with my purchases seeking movies I'd bother to pay $1.25+ to see. I hit the "next" button multiple times before I found anything. At that moment an older gentleman, perhaps aged 60-65, brushed behind me and looked back. He glanced at me and my purchases at my feet then said, "It looks like someone has an exciting weekend planned." Then he winked at me.

I don't know if I was more offended that he judged me by the fact that I was renting movies, that he based his opinion of my lifestyle on my purchases, or that he somehow determined I was single based on either factor, but I was making the "fuck you" face regardless. I bet Silver Fox had a date for tonight or he wouldn't have been so quick to judge!  Either way, I rented Last Vegas in his honor. Well, eventually.

The elderly couple behind me seemed content as I browsed through the selections in my 'screw you it's Saturday before noon' sort of way. When I'd made my final choices I felt sure that I'd taken the cream of the crop. I hit 'Check Out' and proceeded to slide my card not once, but twice, and stared at the screen waiting for some sort of indication that I'd fulfilled my end of the process. Nothing. I swiped again. Nothing. "Maybe my magnetic strip isn't working." I thought and I swiped a fourth time.

"I wish she would just hit the button." the woman whispered to her mate behind me. It was then that I realized I don't know how to use a god damned Redbox system, and I noticed the button that would allow me to proceed with my purchase. So I did. Immediately after, I turned to my slightly impatient and disgruntled Redbox compatriots and said, "Now that you've successfully witnessed the Redbox tutorial I will trust you to complete your rentals in a timely fashion." I smiled, but it wasn't a real smile. I hope they're happy.

So I'll just say I will spend the weekend scraping old tape off of woodwork, walking quickly in place on a treadmill, and eating egg white concoctions from my microwave while older people are all confident in their weekend plans and ability to use modern movie rental devices.

Screw you, weekend. Screw YOU!


Saturday, February 22, 2014

Equilibrium

I hugged a friend on Friday and said, "You're so good to me. Thank you!" The response was, "We're good to each other." I laughed and replied, "We have to be. No one else wants to. Trust me. I've let other people try and no one wants to!" Right now that seems true, even if it isn't.

When we start out in life we're unstoppable. Everything is a challenge we can win. We stomp in mud puddles without caring if anyone thinks we're dirty. We raise our hands in class and don't care if anyone thinks we're nerdy. We wear what we want because it makes us feel cool regardless of whether or not other people think the color is wrong. We just do. We're bad ass. The world is ahead of us, and it is our oyster (shooter with cocktail sauce and extra horseradish).
Me in 91 with my chin up and dangling earrings all defiant and proud next to my super cute younger sister.

They say there is someone out there for everyone. They say that no man is an island. They say that when you meet "the one" you will know. What they don't say is who "they" are, how long it will take, how long before you're under water, or whether or not the other person will know as well.

Such is life, right? It's a balance of knowns and unknowns. Life is what makes you wish you'd paid a little more attention in algebra class so you could solve for x without tearing your hair out. Getting older adds more unknown variables making life a giant, advanced, cumbersome, algebraic equation.

I've talked before about relationship math. When I wrote the original piece I was not long into my 30's, still using a MySpace account, and willing to throw myself into a loving relationship with absolutely no concern for my own well-being. The only thing I wouldn't have sold at that point was my children's happiness. Oh those were the days. You can't tell by the picture, but I was open, sweet, kind, and loving.

Maybe I was bitchy because I didn't drink and shared my 1 brrm apt with 2 kids?

That's me at 30. Aww wasn't I unimpressed and completely angsty? There were probably signs of aging in my skin, but you can't see them because I was fat. Ah, life. If only I'd known what was in store. Denver was so expensive as a single mom/college student that I couldn't imagine the shit storm that was coming.

Ten years later I cannot seem to bring myself to look at things the same way. My hair isn't as bleached and my eyes have a few more lines around them, but I still make that unimpressed face. I'm still sweet, kind, and loving and... I want to say open. I just don't know. I'm not 100% that woman anymore. My eyebrows, without any specific training I might add, have grown into the questioning sort. I look at life differently. What is important will always be important, but my other priorities have changed. It has caused me to question what I expected from life and the future.

Perhaps this is where I was meant to be. It has made me a stronger woman; the sort that can take care of her children and herself without begging a man or kowtowing (kau tau... learn your origins, people) to a man to meet her needs.
Blurry, yes. But I sweat my ass off for a solid hour to earn the calories for this wine, dammit. I deserve to be blurry!

This is me on Valentine's Day 2014. After severing some connections, and falling back into my emotionally self-sufficient mode, I had resigned myself to a standard single person's Valentine's Day. There would be no chocolates or wines I didn't buy for myself, and the fact that I wasn't getting flowers at work was completely alright. I made it through the day as a single without shedding a tear or feeling a single pang of envy towards anyone who was going home to a partner or going out with someone special.

There have been changes in lifestyle, skin care, and I feel like I've finally settled into my face. Oh... I also have a glass of wine on occasion when I've exercised enough to earn it. Life isn't completely sad. Everything in my life is being maintained at an acceptable level. Nothing is at shit-storm level like it was 6 years ago. I have finally reached equilibrium. Now I'm just waiting for someone to come along and throw me off balance.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Baby, please. Let's start over.


Hi. How have you been? It's been awhile. I thought I might check in and see if you still think of me. I've been thinking of you. Some nights you're all I think about. I know I've been away awhile, and I don't want you to think it's your fault. I'm just terrible at this commitment thing. Sure, I kept up the appearance of it for awhile, but it waned... as things are wont to do.

This isn't a blogging booty call. I promise to really pay more attention from now on. It's not like I've been seeing other blogs or anything. I just needed some time to myself to figure out what I really wanted. This is the point where I beg you to take me back, you remember that you used to sort of like the way my fingers traveled over the keys, and we go back to having a real relationship. There's so much I want to tell you.

What if I promised more nudity? I'm usually at least half naked when I'm writing... except at work, ya know, because some people aren't comfortable with me sitting around the office naked and unashamed (me included). I could promise unabashed honesty, which will surely scare my family and friends who see these brief interactions. That's okay, I suppose. If they don't know me by now... (wait a second I'm launching into a bit of 80's nostalgia and singing pretty loud). Okay I'm over it. No I'm not... "You will never ever ever know me... oooooh oooooh." Okay now I'm done.

Regardless, I'm going to be back. I'll be haunting you regularly until you remember how much we used to love each other. I'm going to love you so much that you'll need an order of protection! Well, okay not that much because it's scary and realistically reading this is all on you. Don't blame me for your decisions. But I'll be naked (emotionally, you pervert) when I do it.


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