31 August 2012

Utterly Adorable – Yet Oddly Terrifying

current state of mind: frightened

Now he's marching towards scaffold
Head erect he shows no fear
And while standing on that scaffold
Ireland cross he holds so dear
~ “Tom Williams” by Flying Column

When I arrived home on Thursday afternoon, all I wanted to do was take a hot bath and relax after a stress-inducing day. Five minutes after lowering myself into my amazing Turkish-style bathtub, my phone rang. It was K-Shrub, and I ALWAYS answer her calls because she could give me a nephew any day. This particular time, however, there was no announcement of labor or hospitals or babies. Instead, she wanted to “chat”. I let her know that I was trying to take a bath, to which she responded, “Oh, that’s cool. I need you to talk to me until after I get gas for my car.” I agreed to her terms because she is pregnant and uncomfortable and she just wanted someone to talk to while she was filling her car with fuel.

When I tried to say “goodbye” after she was back on the road, she explained that she just wanted to talk to me until the air conditioning cooled the car off. Again, I agreed, knowing that her car cools off rather quickly. Twenty minutes into the phone call, I realized that she was not going to let me off the phone until she was in her apartment – a 45 minute drive. I let the water out of the bath and put on some comfy clothes. I opened a beer, grabbed my Nook, and started reading while listening to K-Shrub talk. 

30 seconds into this process, she asked, “What are you doing?” 

I responded, “Listening to you.” 

She paused, then said, “No you aren’t. You’re reading. I can tell.” 

I put the Nook down and replied, “K-Shrub, I am not reading. I am listening to you.” (Note: This was true as at the time I was no longer reading.) I then spent the next half an hour chatting. Any time I attempted to get off the phone, she reminded me that once the baby is born she won’t have time to talk to her big sister like she wants to, so . . . you get the point.

Finally, she arrived in her parking garage and said that after she walked the two blocks to her apartment, she would let me hang up. Seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, I actively engaged in conversation. 

About a block from her house, K-Shrub started whispering, “There are a lot of blind people outside my building again. I wonder why they are always outside the building.” 

I asked why she was whispering and she explained that when you lose one sense, the others get stronger and she didn’t want them to here her talking about them being in front of her building. Fair enough! 

As she passed them to walk into her building, K-Shrub chatted with them about the weather. Before the door closed behind her she shouted, “See ya!” 

At this specific choice of words, I burst out laughing and the beer I was drinking came out of my nose. 

“Why are you laughing?” she asked. 

“K-Shrub, you just said “See ya!” to a group of blind people. 

“Ooops! I didn’t mean anything by it. I was just being nice.” 

I just shook my head and reassured her that it was fine. Sometimes she is so sweet and well-intentioned that even social faux-paux work for her.

After hanging up, I fielded three more unexpected phone calls before I was finally able to sit down and relax. Scrolling through the Guide, I saw that “Paranormal Witness” was on. Turning to it, I found myself caught up in the terror and creepiness of paranormal experiences being described by real people just like you and me. Unfortunately, it was a scary episode and the re-enactments were causing my heart rate to increase. Adding insult to injury, when the episode ended, another one started. I rechecked the Guide and discovered that there was a “Paranormal Witness” marathon going on. I was too frozen in my seat to change the channel. I don’t know how many episodes I watched before sleep finally took over. What I do know, however, is that I am a very big fraidy cat and that my fear of the dark is not tempered by my incessant desire to watch scary shows about scary things. At least I had three dogs and a cat to protect me through the night.

I need a life.

PERSONAL NOTE: Good luck on your Robotics competition over the next couple of weeks. You are so amazing and we love you so much! 

CONFIDENTIAL NOTE: Happy belated birthday to you, handsome! SWU! 

29 August 2012

Hungry Hungry Hippos

 current state of mind: perplexed

And the sun rose over the city
The wind swept through the valley
You don't get over a broken heart
You just learn to carry it gracefully
~ “The World Moves On” by Jens Lekman

I love to eat at restaurants – but I rarely bring home leftovers. The thought of reheating food that has been sitting out on a table (and then in a Styrofoam container) makes me gag a little. I do grant an exception for foods that do not require reheating. I will bring home pizza, fried chicken, bread, and desserts. Recently I visited a local pizza establishment and was asked if I wanted to bring the remaining pizza slices home. I accepted, because the pizza was damn tasty; however, I left the restaurant without the pizza box. The server came running into the parking lot to give me the abandoned pizza. Great Service! When I arrived home I placed the pizza box in my fridge; where it will sit until I remember to consume it or throw it out. Chances are the latter will be the case. Sad times.

As I type this, my tummy is growling rather loudly. Growling tummies are so embarrassing because people around me don’t know whether I am hungry or have serious gastrointestinal issues. I have to wonder if anyone else feels it necessary to state loudly, “Hmmm, my tummy is growling,” every time it happens. I know it is a silly insecurity – yet it is one I cannot seem to shake.

This is a monumental week for me. It was my birthday and it is also the week that includes the 14th and 9th anniversaries of my wedding celebrations. I suppose that I should use this time to reflect on the reasons why both marriages failed. The reality is, however, that I already know why they failed. I made a lot of mistakes. They made a lot of mistakes. Many of those mistakes were severe enough to irreparably damage the relationships. What I learned from both is that sometimes amazing, beautiful things end in ugliness – but after enough time passes, it is possible to look back and fondly remember the amazing, beautiful things once again.

This is why the human experience is so wondrous. Peace out!

PERSONAL NOTE: I am happy that you are back to being yourself again.

CONFIDENTIAL NOTE: I am sorry you are still in pain. I wish I could hug you right now.     


27 August 2012

Yeah, Um, We Don't Cover That

current state of mind: concerned

As you walk away, holding things I won't confess
I hope you'll learn to see it for what it was
Sacrifice your dignity and forfeit your regrets
It's a brand new day; let's wash our hands of this
~ “This is Goodbye” by Honestly

My beautiful, amazing sister, K-Shrub, is going to give me a nephew pretty soon. He is my belated birthday present. I am holding my breath in anticipation. This past weekend, I celebrated my birthday and K-Shrub took me to dinner. We sat in her car at the Sonic and giggled like schoolgirls as we made jokes and ate cheesy tots. K-Shrub and I are very different in so many ways – but our sense of humor is almost spot-on. I am so lucky to have her as the mother-to-be of my future nephew.

We also went to a matinee showing of “The Odd Life of Timothy Green”. I am not going to say much about the film because you really should go see it for yourself. What I am going to tell you is that you need to bring a steady supply of tissue. I started crying 5 minutes into the movie and did not noticeably stop until we left the theater. It is definitely heartwarming and bittersweet. I laughed many times during the film; but the tears kept falling. K-Shrub only mocked me a little. Looking back I am surprised she didn’t say, “Are you soooooooooooooooo saaaaaaaaaddddddddd?” She missed a golden opportunity with that one.

*Changing Topics*

Saturday night I was treated to dinner by Ms. Wine. Then, we went back to the wine lounge and she worked while I sat and drank a couple of Diet Roy Rogers. After closing time, we went to a friend’s place to watch some English Premiere League Football (soccer for those of you who live in America). 
SIDENOTE:  For the record, I have been a soccer fan since 1989, due to a boy who played on a select team. Then in high school, another boy (or 2) kept me interested in soccer. By 1994, I was an actual fan, no longer needing a boy to inspire the love. The 1994 World Cup was held in the U.S. and I watched EVERY game courtesy of three VCRs and a large supply of VHS tapes. I have been a Manchester United fan since 1995. David Beckham, one year older than me, was the squad’s up and coming star. In January 1996, I walked into Dublin’s Man-United Superstore and felt like a pilgrim at Mecca. I spent more money there than anyplace else in Ireland. Upon my return to the states, there were posters and stickers of Ryan Giggs, David Beckham, Roy Keane, and Gary Neville all over my dorm room, my notebooks, etc. Even my phone (landline) was decorated in Man-United swag. :END SIDENOTE 
It is important to note that the Manchester United-Fulham match we were watching was recorded and played live earlier in the day. I knew the score before it began. Still, I seldom get to watch the matches so I sat down on the couch, excited to watch the Red Devils win in a relatively high scoring match.  Granted, I was also on the happier side of some wine and birthday shots – which explains why I was willing to put on a Jersey over my dress when encouraged to do so. It also explains why when the match was over and we were triumphant, I looked at the clock, saw it was almost 4 in the morning and agreed to stay and watch the Chelsea-Newcastle match as well. Woot! I had also switched to water, so by the time that match was over, I was exhausted and able to drive home safely. Before falling into my bed, however, I reached into my closet and took out the Manchester United jersey I bought so many years ago in Dublin. It is still in pristine condition. Goal! Goal! Goal!

PERSONAL NOTE: I am so excited to meet you when you arrive into the world, little man.

CONFIDENTIAL NOTE: I am going to move forward with the BYOG concept. Brilliant idea!  

24 August 2012

I’m Not With the Event

current state of mind: intellectually simulated

It's undeniable how brilliant you are
In an unreliable world you shine like a star
It's unforgettable now that we've come this far
It's unmistakable that you're undeniable
~ “Undeniable” by Mat Kearney

Having a good friend who owns a wine bar is pretty cool. Having a good friend who owns a wine bar where match.com holds events is AWESOME! It means on those nights, I can sit at the bar, listen to some live music, talk to the staff, and people-watch until my heart is content. This past Wednesday, I did just that. Unlike the last event which was “all ages”, this one was aimed at the 35 – 50 crowd. I saw 4 people who used to work for my employer there. I spoke to one of them. He told me background stories about some of the women who were there, as he had gone on dates with several of them.

I saw a guy from a dating site I am on that I was supposed to have drinks with a few weeks ago; but didn’t. That was “Awkward” (with a capital A”). He recognized me, though we have never met, because I display recent pictures of me on my profile – unlike many people. He was nice. I was appropriately apologetic about not following up on the previously cancelled plans. He asked if I was on match.com. I said, “Oh. I’m not with the event.” That line was repeated several times throughout the night. In fact, one guy heard it 3 times. We’ll call him Dr. Chatty, as he was a doctor, I think. I practiced the behaviors of “active listening”; but didn’t actually listen. I stopped focusing once he started telling me about his afternoon trip to Menards. I mean, I love Menards; but I don’t need a play-by-play account of your visit. He was really nice – unfortunately, I wasn’t with the event. (*lol*)

This week, I also attended the Project Pink’d Calendar Event. MiMadre went with me. We had a wonderful time in honor of a wonderful organization!!! Overall, it’s been a wonderful birthday month!

PERSONAL NOTE: Thank you for giving birth to me 36 years ago today!!!!!

CONFIDENTIAL NOTE: I am sorry you got shafted. I wish there were something I could do to right the wrong. Your brilliance should not go unappreciated.

21 August 2012

In the Event of a Water Landing . . .

current state of mind: under the weather

We'll fast forward to a few years later
And no one knows except the both of us
And I have honored your request for silence
And you've washed your hands clean of this
~ “Hands Clean” by Alanis Morissette

I flew home from Phoenix last night. The flight was delayed because some school group’s plane was arriving late and we were flying to their destination. Considering the fact that I was once in the very same predicament and the plane waited for me, I had no issue with the 25 minute delay. While boarding the plane, we were informed that there would be plenty of empty seats so we could feel free to spread out. Yay! 

I went to my preferred row over the wing and sat down in the middle seat. I then lifted both arm rests and laid my blanket on one seat and my pillow on the other. Then I made eye contact with boarding passengers, just daring them to sit in my row. They didn’t. In fact, only one even slowed down, but he then thought better of it and took an aisle seat three rows back. Once we began taxiing to the runway, I laid across the three seats, fastened the seat belt over my blanket, and promptly fell asleep. I was awakened a couple of times due to turbulence; but I just chanted “I am on a bus” in my head until I fell back asleep. I sat up as we touched down in Omaha. My ears were clogged terribly and I am 95% sure I had been drooling on my pillow. Still, I want to give props to my Southwest Flight Crew who knew better than to wake me up for our final descent.   

My trip to Phoenix was amazing! I adore Ms. Arizona and all her girlfriends (whom I also claim as my girlfriends). And her two daughters are so dang precious. Ms. A’s 2 year old refers to me as “mommy’s friend”.
  • “Mommy’s friend, you came on an airplane.”
  • “Mommy’s friend, you sleep with me.”
  • “Where Mommy’s friend?”
  • “Mommy’s friend, come swimming pool.”
  • “Mommy’s friend no go on airplane.” 

On Saturday night, Ms. A and her girlfriends took me out on the town. Beforehand, however, they played “Clueless” and gave me a style makeover. I must admit that I generally would not have worn the dress they squeezed me into. The results were pleasantly surprising. So, a huge thank you to my style team for making me feel like a movie star for an evening.

Looking back, I wish I would have packed the dress in my suitcase and asked for forgiveness after the fact. LOL There’s always next time.

PUBLIC NOTE: Friday is my birthday. Yay for being born!

PERSONAL NOTE: I love and miss you and the girls!

CONFIDENTIAL NOTE: I am patiently waiting.

15 August 2012

Too Close in the Pouring Rain

current state of mind: peaceful

And there are no strings attached,
You owe me nothing for giving the love that I give.
You owe me nothing for caring the way that I have.
I give you thanks for receiving, it's my privilege,
~ “You Owe Me Nothing in Return” by Alanis Morissette

Yesterday, I flew to the beautiful desert oasis of Phoenix, AZ. Sky Harbor welcomed me with a very turbulent descent, courtesy of the mountains. The girl behind me was “cray-cray”. She was snapping pictures non-stop with her SRL and singing her thoughts in a very high pitched tone. “Look at the mountains. They are so pretty. I am taking pictures of the mountains. We are landing soon.” All I could do was wonder why in the world I had obeyed the rules and turned off my electronic devices. The plane’s sporadic movement was making me nauseated and Miss Photographer’s singing was creeping me out. I had been sound asleep until the descent so I suppose I should have felt lucky that the first 2+ hours of the flight took place while I was dreaming.

It was a Southwest flight. The plane was sold at 85% capacity, which meant that there would be plenty of open middle seats. My strategy upon boarding the plane had been to make sure the middle seat in my row remained empty. I was the 10th person on the plane. I selected a window seat, directly above the wing, two rows ahead of the emergency exits. As I watched other people board the plane, I made sure to avoid eye contact and scowl if anyone slowed down by my row. Eventually, a 20 something Asian kid stopped and asked if the aisle seat was taken. He was on his mobile phone and standing there waiting for a response. I said the seat was empty and he claimed it. I realized at that point that I needed to include him in my strategy if we wanted to keep that middle seat as a buffer between us.

I turned to him while he was still chatting on his phone and said, “Listen to me. If we want this seat to remain empty, we have to work together. The key is, we lean in just a little and look very unfriendly. In addition, throw your sweatshirt on the seat to make it look occupied. Plus, if anyone slows down, glare at them.” He looked at me incredulously, and then asked, “Does that really work?” I nodded and he complied. Sure enough, all three people who stopped and looked at our row kept walking after seeing the two of us hovering over that middle seat with evil looks in our eyes. Once the doors were closed on the plane, the kid looked at me and thanked me for teaching him a remarkable method of comfortable flying on Southwest. I laughed and drifted off to sleep with the help of Dramamine, a double-vodka with tomato juice, and an intense disdain for remaining awake on airplanes.

Ms. Arizona picked me up from the airport and it was as if we were teenage girls due to how fast we started talking and giggling. Being here with her and her daughters is such a blessing. I was surprised that my first night in Phoenix consisted of a huge thunderstorm, Chick-fil-A, and a bunch of animated British kids on some children’s show. Well, now I am off to play Clue: Master Detective with my Arizona family.

PERSONAL NOTE: Life is good! Hope your drive back to school was a good one.

CONFIDENTIAL NOTE: What’s it like not being the most brilliant person in the room?

08 August 2012

Who Needs 2TB of Storage?

current state of mind: ‘hella’ positive

What's your twenty? (Do you copy?)
Where's your brain? (Do you copy?)
Checking in to check you out
Concerned about your whereabouts
~ “Settle Down” by No Doubt

I carry 2 key rings with me everywhere. On those two key rings hang 5 flash drives, some keys, and some flair fobs. They are ridiculously heavy and bulky. I do not know why I have so many flash drives. I have a Dropbox account. It is full. I have a Google Drive account. It is also full. Somewhere in my storage shed is a portable hard drive. It may or may not be full. I don’t remember.  Why do I have so much data that needs to be stored? Will I even look at that stuff again?

This week, I was called the “C”-word on one of the online dating sites. I did nothing (well, not really).

Here is the conversation . . . 
His message and first contact:  Wow...no wonder why you are 35 and single.
My response:  What does that even mean? LOL
His second message:  Wow...sad
My response:  You don't know what it means either?
His third and final message (including typos, because they are funny):  How do you not? Your not bright, huh? I meant you long list of demands...I hate women like you. F—k off, c---.
He did formally spell out the expletives; but I have not because I don’t want the e-mail subscriptions getting flagged. I find it difficult to take insults directed at my intelligence seriously when someone doesn’t know the difference between “you’re” and “your”. HOWEVER, I like to provide a fair and balanced viewpoint, so I feel that I should share my “long list of demands” from my profile.  Here they are verbatim: 
“My ideal match would be an in-shape ginger with ink who plays soccer, can fly a plane/helicopter, saves babies for a living, is in a band, and has an accent.  Royal titles, Olympic gold medals, or a private island are a plus. I am willing to compromise for someone who can make me think or laugh; preferably both.”
I did not respond to his final message. He has his Masters in Engineering and I was afraid that pointing out his complete lack of logical analysis would make his brain explode. I refuse to be responsible for such atrocities. One of my brothers is an engineer. He recognized the guy from the UNL Engineering program when I showed his picture. My engineering brother definitely has non-engineering social skills. In fact, he is also on the same site I am. He lives in the DC area. Women should be flocking to him in droves. Plus, I don’t think he has ever called anyone a “C”. Just sayin’!

In less than a week, I am heading to the Grand Canyon state to visit one of my BFFs (Ms. Arizona). While I am there, she and her friends are throwing a Girls Night Out for my birthday. This is a recent text she sent me after I had mentioned I am turning 36 this month. “36? I still know you as the happily married, perfect family, girl scout troop-leading 30 year old!”  

Clearly, her comment was a little tongue in cheek. But, I do remember one hilarious evening back in Texas during my Summer of Self-Destruction, when “Ms. Arizona” and I consumed a LOT of wine, then rang up anyone we knew would still be awake ‘just to chat’. That is the night I learned about ‘ringback tones’ courtesy of Verizon. It is also the night she poked herself in the eye and all I could do to assist her was lie on the cold bathroom tile and comment on how bloody hot Texas was at night. The next day, she was severely hung over and one of her friends called and asked with what kind of bad influences she was associating. Her response? “I was with D’s Girl Scout leader. You’d think she would be the best influence I could find.” HaHaHaHa

I suppose the same could be said about being the Opera Guild President – even if I have more ink than the rest of the Guild combined. :) Life is good!

PERSONAL NOTE: Hope the lake is a ton of fun this week!

CONFIDENTIAL NOTE: Congratulations on your recent nuptials. 


Eidetic Vision

Main Entry: ei·det·ic Pronunciation: I-'det-ik Function: adjective : marked by or involving extraordinarily accurate and vivid recall especially of visual images - an eidetic memory Merriam-Webster's Dictionary, © 2002 Merriam-Webster, Inc.