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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Myspace Migration: Happy Halloween

Current mood:exhausted
Wow, it's been one heck of a busy day! Soooo, the kids had a blast tonight! Lindsey was one scary Vampire Bride and Natalie was a Bat Princess. I think it's important to note, that they chose their own costumes and wanted to be something scary. Were I in charge of their costumes, they'd be historical figures like Queen Elizabeth, Cleopatra, Marie Antoinette, or Marie Curie. Or perhaps something cute like ladybugs, hippies, or pixies... But, they had fun and that's what's important at the end of the day. Or, er, night.

Work was very interesting today. I'm expanding my practice to include Commercial Development for the Eastern half of the United States. Can you say "busy?" Because, if you can, you just described my life from now on (like it wasn't already).
Well, we stopped off at Jackie's to watch "Twitches" and "Dancing with the Stars" while we ate miniature food (hot dogs [beef], chicken sandwiches, grilled cheese rounds, and cheeseburgers.. all in minis!) and Jackie and I drank about a half-a-bottle of my favorite red wine. After walking around the neighborhood collecting candy, I EARNED it! But, I'm ready to go relax now; maybe take a quick shower and wash the mountain of glitter from this morning out of my hair. I got a little crazy with the glitter - it was ALL over me (and is now, consequently, all over my bathroom floor)!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Myspace Migration: Monday, Monday

Current mood:calm
It's been a looooooong day. And, of course, we're not done yet. I didn't end up watching "The Break-Up" last night - I fell asleep composing an email. Then, I got woken up by a phone call and I think I managed to get myself more confused than I was before I talked with the person. Yay, me...
Lindsey stayed home from school sick today. I'm SO ready to be back at the office... I'm also ready to work out. Think I'm going to do that...
I had interesting things to say; but now I can't remember them. I'll try again later.

Oh my Goodness, the season finale of Weeds was AWESOME! Before it came on, I fufilled the pampered princess routine. The kids wanted "Kid Time" to themselves- playing, so I had the time. Ladies, the pampered princess routine rocks. You take a shower (to get squeaky clean) and then you take a bath. Lush Bath bomb, and a Lush gritter bath ball (the pink one) and it smells like heaven and has enough bubbles to be the set of a Jenna Jameson movie... light some candles, throw on a CD and you've got one great backdrop to relax to.

There are lyrics stuck in my head tonight.. From Blue October's "Hate Me:"
"Will you never say you love me just to put it in my face?"
"And will you never try to reach me? It was I who wanted space.."
Why is that stuck in my head?

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Myspace Migration: Thinking Over the Things That You've Said

Current mood:pensive
I love that song. It's actually my new profile song, and it's been playing in my head all day. That, along with a few thoughts...

Backstory: Had an interesting talk with a new friend last night and we were talking about how she's now "Relationship Girl" and is sick of just the random dating. I'm thinking I'm feeling where she's at. Anyway, it reminded me of a conversation I had with this guy I had been seeing. We weren't exclusive and he still kind of had a thing for his ex-girlfriend, as I came to discover. I wasn't happy with that discovery, but I understood it. So, I told him if that's what he wanted, he should go for it. Life's too short to settle. Anyway, he didn't go for it, ultimately.. we discussed the whole thing later on and he said he felt like I didn't care about him because I didn't fight for him. Actually, his words were, "If you cared about me, why didn't you take a stand and say, 'Hey, I think we have something here and I don't want you to see her?'"

Yeah. I was thinking about that today. I don't know what to do with that. It's not that I have a complete issue with what he's saying, it's just ... it seems to me that if he wanted me, then this wouldn't have ever come up. Ok, let's move this on to a more generalized playing field, because it's really not about him, it's about me. I'm used to being the one to fight for the relatioship; I'm the one typically putting in the hard work, doing all the compromising and the relationship overtime. And I'm not complaining - there is a time and a place for that. I'm just not sure it's at the beginning of a relationship.

Seems to me, that when the right person comes along, the other people.. well, they just don't seem to matter. You shouldn't HAVE to "take a stand" too early on. Express interest, sure... but, more than that? I don't know...

Yet, on the other hand; people are rarely exclusive when they start dating. So, I guess unless you say, "I'd like to get to know you without the pressures of us trying to ALSO getting to know other people" - chances are, you both are. I guess I don't know how you transition it - all my serious relationships were with friends where we just realized that we wanted to be in a relationship with each other - we didn't really date and then transition, you know? I guess I'm a little lost on this score. Which isn't a big deal right now, because I'm not trying to transition a relationship at the moment. But still, better to know before you need to, right?

Anyway, I doubt any of that makes sense.. it's just something I'm thinking over.. I'm kind of mellow this evening. I don't know, I think I have a dash of pensiveness in my mood this evening. What I do know is that I've owned "The Breakup" since the 17th and I'm going to watch it this evening.. by myself, thank you very much! :)

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Myspace Migration: Sweetness of Saturday

Current mood:chipper
Let me start with, "I LOOOOOOVE caffine." Seriously. It's awesome. Starbucks in hand and the world is right. Plus I had giftcards from work, so I didn't even have to pay for my caffine fix. The world IS a beautiful place.

The world is a beautiful place. I say that in jest, yet I believe it. That's the filter through which I view my life. So, even when frustrating crap happens (Like showing up to work yesterday and finding all my stuff in boxes, much of it upside down and just chunked, some of it ruined because I have to move offices YET AGAIN) - I spend ten minutes peeved and then I'm over it. Life is wonderful, yet again. It's just the way I am, how I'm made up. More of my job orders went *poof* yesterday - bad market conditions right now... yeah, I was bummed at the loss of 200k in fees, but you know, after a good night in (which was also unplanned; So sorry Chris, we'll get together soon) with music and a chance to unwind, I'm over it. I still have work to do, I'm still employed and I'll get to go on a marketing spree... I'm lucky.

I guess my point to all of this is that I like the way I view the world. And not that "my way" is right ~ (I'm not sure there IS, in truth, a right way or a wrong way) but, I don't understand why everyone doesn't think like this. It just seems like it would be such a complete energy suck to feel like the world is out to get you, or that life is systematically screwing you. Which, while somewhat the counterpoint to my view of life; I know people who view the world this way. Like my ex- for example; he truly believes that life is one giant disappointment - and that's easier for him, so when disappointment does happen, it really doesn't throw him. It's what he expected, you see. I'm not dogging on him, I just don't understand how anyone could live like that. It's terribly depressing and exhausting to me. And it appears to be to him, too. But, when we talk about it; he says that my outlook seems exhausting to him. Different paradigms, I guess... Anyway, just wanted to reflect a little on that; not that it really got me anywhere.. I may come up with more to say on that after my walk.

I'm going walking here in a bit. I'm really enjoying my Saturday walks. They're a lot of fun. And they keep the water weight off, lol. I'm so seriously dehydrated by the end of it that all I can taste is salt. I'm sure that's not healthy, but I get back to my car and suck down a HUGE bottle of Fiji water (call me high-maintainence if you wish, that stuff ROCKS) and then go home and nap while my clothes are in the wash/dryer. Call me domesticated, boring, whatever - I like it.

So my cousin called yesterday and asked for my help finding a job. No problem: he's charasmatic, young, energetic and has a marketing/advertising degree. I'm so happy to help - and would be even if he HAD no degree, was NOT charasmatic, and irritated the hell out of me. It just a bonus that he doesn't. He's family - that's what families do - we help. I told him that and he kind of cracked me up a bit because I really think that caught him by suprise. It shouldn't. I repeated: We're family: that's part of it. We're here to love and help each other. I can help; and help I will.

This seemed like a normal, naturally-held belief. If families don't go above and beyond for each other ~ then what makes them any different than anyone else, save biology? Ok, need to go walk now: I have a busy evening ahead of me and I can't be late. I'm so loving the weather today

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Myspace Migration: Wednesday Weirdness

Current mood:weird
Ok. Different kind of day. The kiddos have dental appointments today, so they're both home from school. In fact, we have to leave in not too long from now.
I set a doctor's appointment to find out what the heck is up with me. All I want to do is sleep and it's been three days since I've gotten home, so recouperation and jet-lag as an excuse is wearing thin. Kind of wanting to have them check my iron level or make sure that my new HRT regimine isn't causing this. Because I NEED to be the energizer bunny. :)

You know what I want? A Snoopy Sno-Cone Machine. Seriously, I had one as a kid and it rocked the house. And I totally forgot about it until I was watching "My Date with Drew" - a sort of funny documentary about this one aspiring director/filmmaker's lifelong dream to go out on a date with Drew Barrymore. He would have done better to do a documentary about his lifelong dream to have sustained employment as he was broke, but *shrug* he didn't ask for my opinion. Anyway, for some reason he got her a Snoopy Sno-Cone machine (I don't know why, because I fell asleep during that part) and it reminded me how cool MY S.S.C. machine was. I want to have another one. The girls would totally dig that - plus, I remember this friend from college used HERS to make alcoholic sno-cones, which could have real potential.

I have decided that my quest for the mojito will end Friday night. Now, I don't know what I'm doing Friday night or who I'm doing it with, but I know it WILL involve a mojito, darn it. Except now I'm thinking that I might have actually had a mojito before, but can't remember it at the moment. There's this fuzzy memory of the word and a really interesting glass with one in it - but, that's all I can get... which means, it could be like a dream fragment or a stray thought or something.

Obviously, I need to stop drinking coffee. My train of thought is very fuzzy today. I feel like I need another nap.

Myspace Migration: Riding Red in the Hood...

Current mood:tired
So, I took my kids to the dentist today. Let me tell you, I was RED HOPPING MAD. For oh-so-many-reasons. First of all, my dentist's office... it kind of sucks. However, DMOs kind of suck, too - so, there's not many dentists to choose from. Basically 2 chains. Both blow. Now that I have the crassness out of the way, I'll continue. Typically, we go to the pretty office in Allen. Makes you feel a little more comfortable while they're screwing up your plan of care and such... it LOOKS like a competent place. Well, the dentist that typically works there just up and left yesterday on vacation or something. We were left with a choice: wait another 3 weeks for him to get back (not an option, my kids were REALLY hurting) or go to the Pleasant Grove location. Not ever having been to Pleasant Grove, I chose to go there to get the kids taken care of.

It is NOT a good sign when your car is the best looking car on the road and you drive an Altima. I take that back, I did see a new Dodge Durango and the new smaller Cadillac SUV. Barring those two cars, though, mine was the stuff. It's also not a good sign when you pull up to the dentist's office and it's in an old, renovated strip center decorated with kitchen tiles instead of normal outside veneers like say, brick, or stone, or even stucco/plaster. It's an even worse sign when there are bars on the windows and doors.

Get inside and the place looks like a government office. There were NO warm, fuzzy stuff anywhere in the office. Cheap plastic chairs, linoleum, and bad lighting. No kids books, no toys, no magazines, no coffee tables - nada. They had plywood bookshelves to hold their files and a TV that didn't work. It smelled of pee, but I'm not sure why. Again, they wouldn't let me go back with the girls - this seriously concerns me after the media had that thing on the news a couple of weeks ago about the kid who died due to negligence at the Dentist's office. I should be able to be with my minor child, given I'm the patient advocate for said child. However, I wasn't; and the girls pleaded with me to let them go back anyway, because they wanted their mouths fixed.

I relented. By the way, did I mention at that point, we had waited for an hour and forty-eight minutes PAST our appointment time to be seen? Yeah. I'm so glad they made a point of telling us how important it was to be on time. That was obviously worth it. When they got done, I went to pay and it was a whopping $240 more than they told me it would be. Work's already done, though, so I pay it.

When I left, there was - I kid you not - this car a couple of slots over from us where I watched this woman get in, pull out a bag of something (I don't know what, for all I know it could have been licorice, I just know it was dark) and then get out of the car and flounce off. That was about the time I locked the doors and got the hell out of there.

We went to the Lush party tonight. Have I mentioned I Looooooove Lush? They have awesome bath stuff. They had some new products for Christmas that I'm going to have to partake in... I was taken by their Champagne Shower Jelly, the snowmen butterball bombs, the peppermint bath bar, and a few other fun items. I noticed they also have a new massage bar for Christmastime that might need to be added to my collection. I got a couple of twinkly bombs today - they smelled like powder with a hint of glitter. It just makes me happy there! Plus, they served champagne and chocolate cake. I'm not a huge chocolate cake person, but it's Chocolate Cake Day, so that was convenient.

Let me explain Chocolate Cake Day. It's not a hallmark holiday; indeed, you'll find it on no calendar... save perhaps a select few who will have scrawled-in-pen reminders. A friend of mine lost her son a little over seven years ago today. Just before his birthday, October 25th. She had been planning to make him a chocolate cake for his birthday, his favorite. That year, it felt right to her to make it anyway, in his honor. She did. And every year since, our little band of girlfriends has "Chocolate Cake Day" on October 25th, where we eat a chocolate dessert in his honor. Typically, the kids and I will do Chili's Molten Lava Cake, but they weren't up to it tonight (don't blame them - Natalie's mouth bled for nearly half an hour AFTER they finished working on her). So, I was tickled when they had teeny chocolate petit-fours there.

I thought quite a bit about Beau today. Not for the reasons you might think; I don't miss him at all. I was talking with someone about how they're not in the space yet where their ex-girlfriend is someone they could think about without getting angry, because they feel used. I understand. Totally. And it made me think about Beau. It took a LONG time to see how toxic that relationship was for me and longer still to get to the point where I could get angry enough to do anything about it. When I finally did cut him out of my life, it took a little while to get to the point where I didn't want to beat the practice dummy at work when I thought of him. It just seemed like such a waste. Then, for awhile, it just seemed sad. Because there were so many points where it could have been different; but, he was selfish and I was stupidly enabling. Now, I can't muster up any feeling for him whatsoever except a twinge of pity for how screwed up his life is. I want him to be happy, I think - but mostly I want him to grow up. Given the fact that he's nearly 40 and still can't take responsiblity for his actions or lifestyle, I just don't see that happening. I feel for him on that score. But, mainly, today I thought about how grateful I am that he's no longer a part of my life, in any way. Typically, I like being friendly with the guys I've gone out with in the past - I don't see reasoning behind being spiteful and bitter. But, I'm so much more peaceful without him around.. there's no drama! I was trying to remember how much time it took me to get where I am now.. I'm wanting to say it was like 4 months? I wonder where my friend will be with his ex-girlfriend 4 months from now...

The kids are already in bed. I'm tempted to join them. The doctor did some tests, but he said it's really probably just jet lag. Jeez. I've never dealt with jet-lag before; not that I recall anyway. This is rediculous. But, I'm going to go work out for awhile, while I still have SOME shred of energy left to do it with.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Myspace Migration: Down & Dirty with the Details

Current mood:happy
Part of the beauty of vacations is that you're escaping the mundane of your life; you know... the responsibilities and day-to-day details that eventually make you want to pull out chunks of hair ~ partly from frustration and partly to see if you have indeed went completely numb from the monotony of life. So just the sheer act of being on vacation makes everything seem better. I know this, and take that into account. But, even with that under advisement, San Fran is amazing. It's so beautiful here and, as a largely pedestrian-driven city, it really appeals to me. I love that they're set up on a grid and have been walking everywhere. I bought a trolley pass for my stay that I have yet to use. Don't want to, there has been too much to see to have any of it zooming past me. No thank you, I'll walk and take it all in.

The hotel is gorgeous and kind of quaint at the same time. I changed to a smaller room to accomodate the couple(s) behind me - the people a few ahead of me went to check in and were told there were no more king-sized beds available. Being one person and only really caring about having enough pillows (not so much the bed size, I'm all about the pillows); I offered to give mine up for a double-bed room instead. I lost my living area by doing that, but the hotel loved me for it (I know this by their reaction to a mishap that happened later that day). I don't know if this is a chick thing or a Crystal thing, but I HAVE to unpack straight-away when I get into my room. I'm not really comfortable until I do. Clothes hung up, folded into drawers, shoes put in the closet, suitcases put up, bathroom items arranged and accounted for. I just don't like living out of a suitcase.

So, after I unpack, I settle in for a quick nap because I thought I had enough time before hang-gliding. Dumb move on my part -completely slept through it. Then, when I went, my worst fears were realized: the hippie-dude that was on the website picture was my glider guide. Yeah, don't think so - no way was this guy taking me up - not going to happen. Trying to reschedule for Sunday when a decent looking instructor shows up and off we go. THAT? Was A-MAZ-ING; but I was a little afraid I was going to die. Just sayin'.

Thursday evening: Culinary tour of Chinatown and Northbay. Fab-u-lous. What is NOT fabulous is that my checkcard has disappeared. Darn it. Thank GOODNESS I've got cash or I'd be totally screwed. Chinatown is cool. Kind of discombobulated and random in the way the stores/shops are set about, but I'm finding this is true for much of S.F. You'll see a rather elegant art gallery next door to a smoke shop next door to an expensive bedroom shop next door to a massage parlor next door to a slutty lingerie store. Ok, maybe there is an order to that: get your motor running on a great piece of art, have a smoke to wind down, buy some Egyptian Cotton sheets, get a massage so you're loose enough to use them and get kinda turned on by the person giving you the massage so you get some lingerie to use with your sweetie. Nevermind, I stand corrected: there is an order.

Anyway, the Culinary tour. My tour guide, Tom, was totally fun, kinda flaming and something of a perv to boot. He seemed to go on forEVER about San Fran's history of prostitutes, brothels, and the like. The history he provided extended to the numerous times the city burned down. In fact, with the exception of the fortune cookie excursion, he gave us NO information about food whatsoever. Even still, I had great dim sum in a cool hole-in-the-wall place (love those), some fan-flippin-tastic coffee where the screenplay for Godfather was written (by the guy who wrote it, whose name I can never seem to recall); and finished up with some pizza and wine at a place called "The Purple Onion" where the Grateful Dead played (and a ton of other people).
The Purple Onion owners were cool. We met the owner upon arrival, so I took a picture of him and gave him a hug before I went downstairs to the stage area. When we came back up, he asked me to take a picture of the other owner, and I was happy to oblige. Only this guy wanted to do European Kisses after - sure, why not. They were fun. There were two older couples with me on this tour - one from Atlanta who had children my age and one from England. They were both QUITE a bit older than I and I'm fairly certain I shocked the Atlanta lady. She remarked it was a pitty I didn't have someone to share this experience with. I laughed a little and told her I didn't; and this was ~ in an odd little way ~ a wildly appropriate way to spend what would have been my wedding anniversary had I still been married. On the way back to the hotel, there were several sax and guitar players. I had to sing/skat with one of the sax players for a bit. I had a grand evening.

Friday morning I woke up at 5, Texas time. There is NOTHING to do at 3am in San Fran that I'd feel safe doing with the number of homeless people sleeping on the sidewalks. So, I made myself go back to sleep for a couple of hours longer. After all, this IS a vacation darn it. When I got up and going again, I still had plenty of time to get to Starbucks for breakfast coffee. Found my checkcard, which was good. Ended up in a limo with Witty/Holly, Heather/Scott, Susan and her friend Steva, Jon, Matt and his friend, Shawn. We went to several winderies and we must have been fairly rambunctious, because we (as a group) got griped out by the french winery guy. Actions have consequences; we bought no wine from him. Out of the 78 people that went on this trip (including me), a couple of the married men got very fresh. Those who know me even remotely know that is something I find extremely distasteful. But, I have learned over the last couple of years that is not something I'm able to be as cutting wth as I'd like to - so, I tried to subtly mock them. When one guy told me he wanted to have "fun with me for fun's sake" - no relationship issues, I remarked that "Yes, that would make things much less complicated, wouldn't it? Especially with your wife." Yeah, he took that as an invitation. It wasn't. I commented later that I wanted to have sushi for dinner and when one of the guys said he did too (over and over again) and started cracking up with another guy that we could do sushi together ~ I came to the realization that we were NOT talking about the same sushi. And I'm sorry, but that's just not cool. I DID do sushi - the kind I meant- just with a different group of people. Let me tell you, Ali makes an AWESOME sake lemon drop. We had a LOT of sake. Jon and I went back to the hotel together where I proved I'm still directionally challenged and got us lost. Ooops! But, we made it back in one piece and were were going to watch one of the movies together (they had theatre-run movies on the TV)... except I crashed after I got off the phone with Eric. I'm pretty sure he thinks I ditched him for something more exciting I didn't, unless you can get really excited about feather pillows.

Again, woke up way early this morning; but this morning, I needed to. Went kayaking. Saw the sun rise over the water and it was so amazingly beautiful. By the way, was completely dressed inappropriately for the occassion. There were these two guys (a couple) who were dressed in flourescent wetsuits and I was totally making fun of them (in a nice way) - told them they were so lame! They totally returned the favor when we got done and I was wet and freezing my ass off in jeans. They were cool and we're going to be pen pals. Went back to the hotel, got cleaned up, and then walked back down to the piers and played in the marketplace for an hour before my morning brunch cruise. If the gorgeous views and city bustle weren't enough to make me fall in love with San Francisco, that marketplace IS. Awesome. Fresh flowers, great breads, fruits, oils, meats AND it's an experience to boot. I'd totally shop there every time I needed something if I lived in S.F.

The brunch cruise was cool and I got a LOT of writing done there. The food was fantastic and I ate WAY too many carbs, but it's the only time on the whole trip I was bad unless you count the millions of calories I consumed in alcohol. The views are so amazing and I've decided two or three things while on that cruise:

1) I will live in San Fran for at least one year before I die. Perhaps not consecutively, but cumulatively.
2) I want a sailboat AND a motorboat.
3) Nope, guess I just decided two things. But, I really do love the water, though.

After the brunch cruise, I went down to Pier 39 and played for awhile. It was SO much fun there. Very busy. Went into the Aquarium on the Bay, which is fun because you get to go under the bay and touch sealife. Lots of fun, funky shops at Pier 39 and Girhadelli (sp?) Square is nearby. Eventually, the driver for the Seaplane picked us up and up I went to view S.F./Sausilito via air. Lovely. Really kind of cool to get that view and I liked the seaplane; it was a very smooth ride. The pilot was totally boring, though. When I went to tip the driver (who was REALLY cool), found out my whole wallet was gone from my backpack - which REALLY sucked (never did find it, btw). Fortunately, I always leave 20 bucks and my driver's license in the hotel room. Had to cancel my checkcard and everything though which was a total bummer.

Saturday night was our KBIC dinner cruise. Again, what a blast. We were all there having a good time: open bar, pretty decent food, dance floor - the shots were flowing and everyone was feeling pretty darn good. We went to Cliff's and Suite 181 to dance after that. I'm sure I made a complete idiot of myself dancing (I typically do, but yet I never seem to care) - but, I had a great time. I really drank to excess that night though - and can't remember much other than we were "VIPs" at this club and had the entire downstairs to ourselves for a few hours with many carafes of vodka and juices.

My head hurt SO badly Sunday morning. But more than that, everything else on my body hurt. First time I tried to get up it didn't work, so I had to lay back down for another oh, I don't know - three hours or so and try again later. Even then, I only made it as far as the tub and soaked in a Lush Marathon Bar bath. OMG, those things rock. Eventually, I was able to get up and go to starbucks for their smoked cheese quiche and coffee. Did another quick swoop through Chinatown and then it was back to the hotel to write until checkout.

We got to the airport three hours before our flight, so I had a lot of time to read and write. Reread Stupid and Contagious which remains a really fun book and wrote another chapter. I may finish this darn book in November after all! I was SO glad to be home. Like I said, it was seriously sick how excited I was when I finally made it home to my bed.

I'm sure I'm glossing over a million different details, and I know I still want to address the homeless issue. But that will have to be tomorrow as I'm totally exhausted now. :)

Monday, October 23, 2006

Myspace Migration: I'm.So.Glad.To.Be.Home

I just really can't tell you how good it feels to be back in my house. Seriously, it's sick how happy I am to be in my own bed (or about to be). The hotel's business center was not really all that, so I have a long blog entry and some AWESOME photos (and because it's me taking the pictures and not someone who's cool with photography like James, a ton that are not so cool, but I liked). I'm too flippin' tired to put them up right now. Seriously, every muscle in my body aches for bed. But, I am also still getting a ton of phone calls and I need to sleep before I snag Nati for her birthday... so, I figured I'd post this to let you all know (who were interested in knowing such things) that I'm home, I'm happy, had a blast and will give details tomorrow.
From a Very Sleepy Crystal

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Myspace Migration: San Fran Blog

Current mood:excited
Tomorrow I go to San Francisco! Today's prep day; getting the house ready for Mom/Dad to watch the kiddos, making sure I've packed everything I wanted to bring, getting the medication from the Dr. I need to take with me on the trip, you know... fun stuff!

I'm really excited. This will be the first trip I've taken completely by myself where I wasn't either with or meeting a travel companion at some point on the journey. Ok, yes, I will be spending some time with the other people from work who earned this trip, too - but, mostly it will be just ME! :) I think it'll be good for me and a great experience.

I'm looking forward to being able to do what I want to do and I've got some cool stuff planned. Going hang gliding, doing a tour of Chinatown's culinary experience, booked an evening at Shanghai 1930 - mix of Parisian/Asian cuisine with JAZZ music. Going on an architectural tour, seeing Alcatraz, getting to spend some time up close with the Marine Life in the Bay, spending a day in wine country with my co-workers, and a couple of cruises on Saturday. And to top it all off, I get all the hotel pillows to myself. :)

I'll miss my kiddos, though. We've got a plan worked out; I'm going to call them twice a day and send pictures of what's going on around me to their cell phone. They're going to send me pictures of what they're up to. It'll be ok. They'll have fun with my parents and their Dad.

Hopefully, I'll get some writing done, too. That's what I'm banking on, anyway... I'll 4 hours of airport time and 4 hours of flight time round-trip, so that'll give me some good time - plus I planned on using Saturday morning's brunch cruise to write and I'm sure I'll have some down time at the hotel room. We'll see how much I actually get accomplished.

I'll probably use this blog entry for my trip and just update it. Pictures will have to wait for me to get back... have a great weekend all!

So, I'm all packed and will head to the airport in about half an hour. I did NOT pack well for this trip. In fact, I've got 2 good-sized suitcases and it looks like I could stay in San Fran for a week or two and be just fine, instead of the 4 days I'll actually be there.

It just hit me that today would have been my anniversary, should I have still been married. Yes, we got married on "the sweetest day of the year" (stupid Hallmark Holidays). So, it seems somewhat appropriate that I'm leaving for my first trip alone today; but, I will be sure to call Jason at some point and make sure he's doing ok. That probably sounds kind of dumb, seeing as we're not married anymore, and haven't been for some number of years now - but Jason and I have always talked on our "anniversary." The first couple of years it was largely centered around figuring out where we went wrong, and now that we have somewhat of a friendship... I think we just kind of check up with each other and pay respect to the day we forged a lifelong connection. Because, interestingly enough, even though we're divorced, we'll always be connected through our kids. I may make this it's own post later...

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Myspace Migration: Book Excerpt

Remember when we were children and we thought we could do anything, especially if we saw it on television? I distinctly remember an episode when I was around eight or nine that perfectly illustrates this point. As part of my parents never-ending quest to make me a well-rounded individual (1), the had signed me up for piano lessons when I was five. Every couple of years, I'd outgrow my piano teacher (2) and they'd find me a new one. I had just started with a teacher who was, incidentally, a single parent herself. She lived on a horse farm and gave piano lessons to augment her income. Her daughter, Jenny, was slightly older than I; one day, she offered to take me riding after my lessons. Arrangements were made and off we went to the barn.
It should be noted that she put me on a rather young, lively horse that was, in all likelyhood, three times my size. However, one of my self-percieved greatest strengths - and self-ignored biggest weaknesses- was that I thought I knew everything and so had no fear of anything. There was nothing that I couldn't do or conquer.

I think this is fairly common in childhood, but I really don't know for sure. At any rate, as luck would have it, I had recently watched a Disney movie that I believe was called "Horsemasters." It was all about riding horses, jumping horses, being a Champion HorseMaster. So, when Jenny put me on the house and started to tell me how to ride in the Western-riding saddle I was using; I stopped her and proudly proclaimed that I knew everything I needed to know. In fact, I was sure I'd be champion at dressage; an English-riding term, and the only one I could remember. In fact, I could probably even train horses! I had, after all, watched the movie. Jenny, who was understandably irritated with my arrogance and ignorance, decided to teach me a lesson .. she smacked the butt of that horse HARD and it took off galloping with me clinging to it's hair (3) for dear life. I had no clue that it was quite possible that I could die. I can still clearly remember thinking though that if Mom found out, she'd probably never let me ride again and so it was a shame that I didn't even get to do a jump with the horse because I was sure that once I regained my composure, I'd be good at it. I also noted that, man, the movie didn't mention how much you get tossled/bounced around! My teeth were clanking together terribly.
I finally decided that the only way I was going to live through this unscathed was to show the horse that I was the boss here. So, I pulled hard on his hair. Nothing. I pilled again and the horse, who had just about enough of me, reared back and threw me off. Well, I say he threw me off ~ really, I think I kind of slid off to one side while holding his hair. When I let go, I hit the ground and rolled to the right a bit, fortunately out of his way. I am old enough now to realize how incredibly lucky I was to not have been seriously injured or even killed. At the time, though, it wasn't something I had any real understanding of. I just knew I was terribly embarrassed of my failure as a rider and needed to save face. So, when Jenny came running up with tears streaming down her face and asked if I was ok (4), I puffed up and announced with a proud voice how expertly I had avoided being crushed by those huge hooves and did she see that, because maybe she should take notes? I'm pretty sure that's about the time she hit me.

So, I get a few years under my belt and now I'm old enough to realize that I can't do everything, but still not wise enough to admit it. I remember being 15 and my church youth group was going on a rock-climbing trip. Let me just say, that even then when I was arguably in the best shape that I have ever been in, I was not made for rock-climbing. My center of gravity is all wrong (5), and at the time I couldn't even carry a gallon of milk with one arm without complaining that it really did hurt. While my physique may have been all wrong for rock climing and I knew it; those cute boys who were going were all right for me... really, how hard could it be? I could figure out how to do it enough to be cool... right?

Wrong. First of all, I had packed no gloves, which would prove to be my saving grace on this trip. I strapped on to the rope with the relay clip attached to the harness our leaders made us wear and positioned myself next to the really cute boy I was trying to get to know better. I grabbed my first rock and that would be when I realized that I should have not made fun of my partner for wearing "hobo gloves" - because then maybe she would have lent them to me! Those rocks were sharp and kind of hurt... but, I told myself, it would be ok. It's not that far to the top and I'd mostly be pushing myself up with my legs (6). Yeah, not so much... did you know rock-climbing takes what seems to me to be an enormous amount of upper-body strength? I managed to get three rocks up somehow before I couldn't find footing, could no longer hold myself up and my "center of gravity" got the best of me. Completely humiliated, I blamed it on how much the rocks hurt and announced that I couldn't possibly try it again wtihout the gloves. I'd just stick to rappelling. I really can't recall the events leading up to this, but my first foray into rappelling did not go much better. In fact, I ended up hanging upside-down by the rope with my hair caught in a tree-branch. I lived to tell the tale; even used it to get an "A" in our emotional story-telling exercise in drama class.
I became a single parent while my children were still fairly young. My eldest was barely in school and the youngest one wasn't yet. Besides an episode where Madeline, my eldest, cut her hair when she was three; I had been fairly lucky... my kiddos really hadn't done anything that dangerous or insane ~ yet. In fact, I had come to believe that perhaps the insane stunts in my childhood were limited to just me. Wow, was I in for a rude awakening.

(1) And find SOME activity that did not require the sewing of my pants pockets to keep me involved and not day-dreaming.. seriously, though, I never did understand why they thought I would find chasing a soccer ball back and forth fun... even at six, you could see that wasn't me. Bully for those of you who like it, but it just doesn't float my boat personally.
(2) or wear him/her out, but that's a different story
(3) not the reigns, which had dropped when he took off and I had completely forgotten about
(4) to this day, I'm still not sure if she was crying out of worry for my well-being or the safety of her own butt if I got hurt and our Moms found out that she started the whole escapade by slapping that horse's butt
(5) which is a nice way of saying I have a bubble-butt.
(6) Which in my mind, was perfect, since I could not even do ONE push-up

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Myspace Migration: Oh What a Beautiful Morning!

Oh, What a Beautiful Morning!
Current mood:giggly

LOL, I'm such a goober! So, I went to bed pretty early last night - I think I was asleep around 10:15 and was dozing far before that. Definately early for me, anyway. Well, I sleep with the television on because the noise helps (something I picked up post-divorce, never had a tv on when I was married, I think my ex- provided the white noise). Anyway, I have done this long enough that I'm familiar with the characters on the show that is playing when I wake up in the morning.

So, this morning I wake up, see those characters and start getting ready for my day. Get up, work out, take a shower, send a reply text from someone's text last night, get dressed... and then go out and get my coffee. The only clock in my house is in my kitchen and as I'm making my cup of expresso, I see the time: it's 1:39 in the morning. Evidently, this program runs more than once a night! LOL Of course, at that point, it was SO hard to go back to sleep because the workout had woken me up.
But still, it IS beautifully cold today...

Monday, October 9, 2006

Myspace Migration: Man, I Just Need A Hug...

Current mood:stressed
In every relationship, there is a giver and a taker. It is what it is. Believe it or not, I'm a giver by nature (despite the cold, analytical facade I put out - LOL). So, I'm typically the one holding people when they hurt, telling them it'll be ok, rubbing the tension out of shoulders and problem-solving my arse off to make it all better for everyone. I'm not complaining, I'm comfortable in that role. It suits me.

What I'm not comfortable with is telling people when I need all that stuff. Typically, I might say I'm having a bad day or that I'm grumpy, MAYBE I'll talk about in a generalized, airbrushed manner... but I really am not too good at letting people give back to me. Honestly, it's probably because I'm afraid if I ask for it, I won't get it. Who knows... What I do know is that no matter how big the boulder, or how strong the oak... strike at it enough times and eventually, the thing's going to break.

I think, tonight, I broke a bit. Contrary to appearances, I'm on overload. I'm sure I'll be fine, I can still walk, talk, smile, help others and even have a good time... but, what I need more than anything in the world right now is a hug. Maybe even be the one to get held instead of doing the holding. Here's the airbrushed version of the stuff I'm willing to share:

We JUST got done dealing with Lindsey's tooth and now Nati's tooth has broken (my kids and their teeth, geesh). I make good money, but this will bring the total up to over a grand in medical expenses between Lindsey's tooth, Nati's dislocation of her elbow, and my medical issues. I'm plum wore out on medical catastrophes. And it's not just the financial end of it, because I can afford it, it's just money & that always sorts itself out in the end - it's really rather harrowing to look at your child and see them in pain. She hurts, and that hurts me. I've got her doped up, so she's sleepy now... but wow. The look on her face just made me want to cry (and, in fact, did a bit).

But with that means another day that I'm not in the office. I had to take part of today off because the kiddos were out of school. So, that means another 3.5 day work-week. Not that I'm worried about losing my job (I'm not), but right now is not a good time for this. The market is soft and this is the time for 150% effort - 8 day work-weeks - not 3.5. *Sigh* And, to top it off, I can't get Steph to call me back so today left me with more questions than answers and that always irritates the heck out of me! Ok, done venting... This, too, shall pass... This, too, shall pass...
This is where being in a relationship would be rather helpful. Seriously. It's nice to have someone to lean on. I don't want to trouble my friends with this because they have their own crap to deal with (I know, I hear about it daily). But, when you're in a relationship, I'm told you lean on each other and between the two of you... it keeps you standing up. If I leaned over right now, I'd fall over.. 'cause it's just meeeeee! :) Plus, it's really not the same when you hold yourself, hahahahahaha..... In truth though, it would actually be rather nice to have someone look me in the eyes and tell me it is going to be better than 'ok' (even if I'm sure I already know that, validation's nice).

At the end of the day, I get that my issues really aren't that big of a deal and I'm being something of a baby. In all seriousness, I'm gainfully employed and there's even been some interesting twists in relationship to my career lately, it's not like my kid has a debilitating illness/disease... it's a tooth issue that we'll get fixed AFTER my client meeting tomorrow (that may qualify me for "Bad Parent of the Year" but that's one meeting that's not movable). In the meantime, she's got pain medication to keep it numb, so life will go on. I think I've given myself enough of a pep talk where I can give myself a hug and go soak in the tub (with my candles, of course)...
Thanks for letting me vent

Saturday, October 7, 2006

Myspace Migration: Sashaying through My Saturday

Current mood:ditzy
Wow. It's been a really hectic last couple of days... last night, I totally crashed. It was supposed to be a two hour nap before Nick's... but, it ended up ending my night. Whoops! Guess I really needed to shut down; my brain literally hurt when I went to lay down last night. However, I ended up standing up a couple of friends and I am sorry for that.

I need to sashay today - just take it casually, relax somewhat while proceeding through the weekend. There's a lot going on right now in all sectors of my life - work's been hectic and there's been a couple of developments that need some rumination (yes, that IS a word). I think no matter what I choose to do about them, things will be just fine - so it's not really a dire crossroads, but it's important on the good/better/best scale of things. One direction's good, another's better, and one is best. And I need to determine which is which - but, they all look pretty appealing in their own rights.

There's been a couple of rather interesting developments in my personal life, as well. None that I'm really ready to discuss at this point, but there are options that I'm looking at that weren't there two weeks ago. I just need to make up my mind on what I want; that's difficult. Part of me doesn't want to disrupt the flow of my life: I like, -no, I love- my life. It's hectic, sometimes even crazy, but it's oh-so-enjoyable and fufilling. I don't go to bed each night thinking that something's missing - I don't think anything is. I know, there are those of you who are reading this thinking, "What about a relationship? You don't have that?" You're right - I don't. But, to me, that's not what makes your life complete. It's an augmentation to an otherwise fufilled life. Maybe when you get to the point that you feel you're whole on your own is when you're healthy enough to be in a relationship? I'm not sure. But still, I don't define myself as part of a whole ... I am whole and complete. Anyway, I feel like my life is pretty drama-free and so I don't want to add something in that has the likelyhood of raising the drama quotient.

Scheduling has become a big issue for me of late. I have seriously gotten away from using my outlook calendar and it's screwing me over. My daily excel spreadsheet I'm on top of - but, it doesn't go past what to do this week, and truly, focus more on the daily grind. So, I've been double-booking my time (note to self: must cancel with Holly Monday), committing the wrong dates to memory (3 day walk is NOT the 25-27; it's the 27-29th - which creates a huge problem as they're having dental work done on the 27th and my child's birthday party is on the 28th) and just floundering. I think I'm going to start using the one on my phone because it's ALWAYS with me.

This should be a fairly fun day. James has his UT/OU thing, which I'm planning on going to.. then it's off to the melting pot to meet up with Amy and Jackie! We're planning to have so much fun to the point that it's obnoxious, lol. There may even be tipsy text messaging involved (but not to you, E.. you've totally graduated from being Jackie's tipsy text messaging receipient)... I'm going to walk this morning, get some writing done this weekend, and clean the house. I've got 80 candles ready and itching to be burned... so, I'll probably have some of that going on since I'm kiddo-less tomorrow night. :)

Should have another book excerpt ready to put up by the end of the weekend... off to write! ~ETA: typos are completely obnoxious. Sorry for the repost.

Myspace Migration: Chemistry & Intimacy in Relationships.. & a Little Yodel

Current mood:productive
Ever been with someone who made you want to belt out "Blue?" Or who could make your heart beat so fast that you could burst into a spontaneous round of yodeling? Ok, maybe the yodeling is more for that geeky Steve guy (you know, the "Did I do that?" dude from TV) - but, you get my point, right? We've all been with that person that just elicited a physical reaction from merely being around them (1). Or can you remember a point in one of your relationships where you had that lightbulb moment of "I really know this person as well, or better, than they know themselves?" Where you felt confident you no longer had to share your every thought because chances are, they already know what you're thinking?

Chemistry and Intimacy - perhaps the two biggest buzz-words in any relationship conversation. Perhaps the two biggest ingredients that people are searching for as they seek out that 'perfect-for-them-relationship.' But, do we really, truly understand the roles that each play in forming and sustaining a relationship ~ and why that's even important? I'd like to subscribe to the theory that there are more of us who misunderstand how chemistry and intimacy play into a relationship, than those who get it. If you want proof, look to the average lifespan of a dating relationship (less than 2.5 years) or the divorce rate (1:2 to 1:3, depending on which survey you look at).

I guess there were a few factors that made this an article that I wanted to write; so, when Cynthia asked, I jumped on it. In my last failed relationship, intimacy was a huge issue. He wanted it; heck, I wanted it... but he wanted it much faster than it was earned. It felt more like a sorts of 'playing house' than a real relationship. A good guy friend of mine is currently trying to figure out why his latest and greatest girlfriend lost her luster. Truly, he says, "she's done nothing wrong.. but, the spark's gone and we're just left with friendship." Hmm. Interesting. Yet another good friend of mine is getting married and the reasons they keep citing sound much more temporal than long-term (it's great that you have great sex, but really, you're not going to spend your whole life in bed). And then there's my own ponderings as I try to navigate the roadmap of relationships. Which potentials should come with 'hazard signs,' which are good 'rest stops,' and how will I know who's the 'final destination?' To really know, I think we first have to better understand chemistry, earned intimacy and their proper place in a relationship.
Chemistry is, if you believe scientists/psychologists, nothing more than the pleasure centers of your brain engaging. It's the same pleasure that you derive from the perfect martini, going down that double diamond slope (assuming you live through it), or eating that scrumptious truffle. From a chemical standpoint, there's no differentation. It's in the psychological that we attach meaning to the dopamine that comes .. and we call it infatuation. In relationships, we use chemistry as the catalyst to build upon.

But what happens when chemistry starts to fade? For many of us, it's enough to say "Well, this person isn't the right person, or I'd still be over the moon and weak at the knees." I suppose, depending on when it fades, you might be right. I read somewhere that initial chemistry (as we know it) lasts about 4 months and then either metasasizes (2) into a deeper relationship/state of being "in-love" or fades out. Should the "in-love" state of being arise, that tends to last about 2 years. Intimacy begins to take shape around the fourth month of most relationships. So, chemistry is intended to be temporal ~ it's supposed to get us through to a point where we can forge a deeper, long-lasting intimacy. Yet, so many of us chase it around by the tail like it's the end-goal. Why? Probably because it feels so good. We feel alive; truly, I think this phase is the stuff that most poetry is made of... my favorite example of this is a saying "Love is friendship set on fire." Ok, I'll buy that - but, how many of us look at the couple who's been married 30 years and see a red-hot romance still aflame? They may very well still love each other, but chances are the fire has smoldered into a more intimate friendship/partnership.

A friend of mine, Chris, and I were discussing this just today as I told him I was a bit stumped on how to connect chemistry and intimacy in this article. We went off on a fantastic bunny-trail that while very interesting, isn't really related to this article. But, he did bring up something that I'm going to paraphrase to drive my point home: Amazing chemistry is something akin to nitroglycerin. It ignites you, but it's very unstable. Therefore, you wouldn't want it to last forever, because you'd live in a perpetual state of flux or impending explosion. There are moments, though, in that chemical state that you'll share with your partner that will live and resonate within you forever. And maybe those are the very moments that will sustain you when chemistry fades and intimacy has long since been established.. during the natural valleys of the intimate relationship, you can look back on those 'peaks of chemistry' and rekindle a spark.

For me, intimacy is the best part of a relationship. I always relate it to the massively oversized, grey terry-cloth sweatshirt I snagged from a boyfriend years ago. It's just comfortable, and it envelops you - making you feel warm and secure. I.love.that.feeling of comfortable. But, it's an earned status. It doesn't start at the beginning of a relationship; the way so many of us wish it would. It takes time to develop; and then over time it develops further still. There are different levels of intimacy and no real rhyme or reason as to when the doorways to each of those levels are opened. There is physical intimacy; which, being somewhat conservative, I tend to think we jump through too quickly. There is an exploration to sex and the psyche that I believe is much more interesting and natural when there's an emotional connection to the person you're having sex with (however, that's another article).

There is historical intimacy where there is the baring of souls and our past, present, and future... and I think really, we do that in stages. As we get to know one another better, we share the experiences that makes us tick and comprises who we are. During this stage, I think, is when we truly become partners and best friends, allowing for the next stage of intimacy to occur. Finally, there is a mental and emotional intimacy that I believe takes quite some time to properly develop. At this stage, we not only know what the other person is thinking (at least a good deal of the time) - we know the 'why' behind it. There is a comfort in that, and a big part of what makes partnerships successful ... we understand each other in a way that transcends most of the other relationships in our lives. That's the stage I think we all want to achieve; and I think in some romantic relationships we never do; which can be hugely frustrating, so I think we tend to want to blame it on something. So, I think quite often, we blame it on a lack of chemistry or points of commonality.
Which brings us back to the circular point of chemistry. We look back to the way we felt in the beginning of the relationship and say, "It's not like that anymore - something must be wrong." And perhaps there is - but, chances are, it's not a "chemical" issue. After all, to quote John Cusak in what has become one of my favorite "Chick-Flicks" of late: "If the magic [chemistry] was there, it means it could be there again..." And it can, just in the different outfit of intimacy. So, unless you come to realize that there is an incompatibility issue (which is entirely plausible), then intimacy, my friends, is most likely the problem. Somewhere between chemical infatuation and the maturation of an intimate relationship, it's likely that the process was short-circuited.

So how do you properly develop an intimate relationship with your partner; how do you give your relationship the best possible chance at success? There are as many theories on how to do that as there probably are clouds in the sky, but there are some general guidelines that seem to be widely accepted among "dating experts," psychologists, relationship therapists, and society-at-large:

1) Take your time. At every stage of building a relationship, timing is important. Take your time when it comes to picking a potential partner. Really get to know the person you're courting; take the time to become friends before you become lovers. One of the fortunate by-products of infatuation is that you want to spend what can be exhorbitant amounts of time together. Take advantage of that! By spending a good deal of time talking together, doing things together, and being around each other a couple of things will occur: you'll really get the opportunity to know the person you're with and you'll allow that very important foundation of friendship to form. I think that so many of us want so much to have a partner, to be in a relationship, to experience intimacy, that we short-circuit this step and try to rush things... which probably kills relationships that could have otherwised survived. There is never a point in a relationship where time together is not important, if not critical. Again, most experts believe that it takes around 15 hours of time spent together interacting (sex and sleep apparently do NOT count) to maintain a healthy relationship. This is harder to achieve than it sounds in today's busy world and many relationships become unsatisfactory/affairs occur largely because the we aren't spending enough time with the person we committed to.

2) Observe, Observe, Observe. Observation is, by and large, not practiced enough in every stage of a relationship. There is a reason we often hear "love is blind." We oft only see what we want to see; quite often that's very different from reality. In the early stages of courtship, give your relationship the best possible start by doing many different kinds of things, in many different settings. See how your potential suitor treats the waitress, how they interact with your beloved pet, what they do at the end of a very hectic/harrowing day of errands, and so on. Early in the relationship, we're good about covering "the big rocks" of religion, general lifestyle philosophies, and the things that are important to us... but, in the end, it's often what we perceive as the minutia that kills us: e.g., "he always left the toilet seat up" or "she gets upset after every football game I watch." Seems silly, but those little things can be symptoms of bigger issues. Take the toilet seat thing: I live in a household of girls. No men live here; so we never have to worry about the status of the toilet seat. I remember seeing this guy who never paid attention to putting the toilet seat back down when he came over. Now, for me, it wasn't a big deal.. but, my daughters were regularly falling in after he'd visit! I remember discussing that with him after the first couple of months of this regularly occuring, and a few hints being dropped. He really didn't get it and never saw the fact that it bothered me as a good enough reason to make a concerted effort to put the toilet seat back down when he was in my home. Little thing, right? But, I saw it as an indicator that respect issues could be an problem. While obviously noone's perfect, and we're all going to have shortcomings and ticks; it made me more aware to really look at the rest of the relationship and pay better attention to the interactions we had in the following weeks. Ultimately, I saw that there were a lot of similar incidents and uncovered a pattern that might have taken months to blow into something big enough to where it could no longer be avoided. Conversely, through observation you can uncover many little postive attributes in your courter that can make you appreciate them all the more, strengthening your newly created connection and moving you along the relationship path.

3) Play it Straight. It is possible that Nike's most popular advertising campaign was "Just Do It." No games, no hidden agendas - just you and the game. The same holds true for relationships - BE YOURSELF. Hopefully through observation you can see that your potential partner is being "themselves," too; however, it is impossible to build a solid, intimate relationship in the face of game playing. First of all, you need to know that you like each other for who you really are - not the mask you're wearing. It's one thing to curb the little bad habits you want to break anyway: in general, not biting your toenails, not picking your nose in front of him, or keeping your car clean so she doesn't see that you normally have a covered back seat. Those are probably all things you should be doing anyway. However, to hide the fact that you smoke is a pretty big deal; denying your active faith (if you are), or pretending that you're not fiscally irresponsible when that's a huge issue you're working through are all examples of game-playing no-nos. While those may not be things you want to place on a huge posterboard pinned to your chest ~ they're material to who you are and will eventually surface, anyway. It's really just easier to be up front in the beginning so that you can build something real. Sounds like common sense; however, you might be suprised by how many people don't know how to play it straight. I remember there was a guy I saw rather regularly for nearly a year before I found out that he had a nicotine addiction. He was a smoker, but for 48 hours before he saw me, he'd dip instead and then scope his mouth out right before he saw me. Why? He knew I didn't like to date smokers and didn't want that to be why we couldn't see each other. He rationalized it as he wanted to quit, anyway, so it was ok that he hid it. Except, eventually, I found a can of that dip stuff in the car we had just purchased for him and thought it was the mechanics, so tossed it. He needed a nicotine fix after we had dinner and couldn't find the can - went bezerk. The jig was up and even though it was probably small on the richter scale of secrets to come out, it really threw me for a loop. How can you have intimacy with someone who keeps secrets? Because, if there's one, surely there's more... right? Maybe not so suprisingly, it was something I was never really able to completely get past; once I knew he had deliberately kept secret something he knew I would have objected to, I always wondered about everything that he said. I never really knew whether I could believe him or not; even long after I forgave that infraction, there was still the residual doubt. Net result? Never achieved those higher levels of intimacy and ultimately the relationship failed.

Of course, even doing these little things won't guarantee that you'll have the intimacy you seek - because in reality, you both have to be on-board and continually working towards building/maintaining a healthy relationship. There are times where you could be doing everything that you know to be right and it still doesn't work out because they have issues. But, even really following those three simple steps will give you a huge advantage on the dating playing field when it comes to developing intimacy, pushing past chemistry while retaining just a little of that yodel-eh-he-hoo.

1. I swear to God, in Heaven, if you send me a message about how you get a physical reaction to my picture or some such nonsense; I will post that email with the link to your page on my next blog so that you can be rediculed for your stupidity.
2. Yes, that word was used deliberately as for many of us, relationships feel like dangerous things!

Monday, October 2, 2006

Myspace Migration: Monday Randomness, Relationship Musings, and My Personal Misconceptions...

Current mood:tired
Oh yeah, it's Monday. The Monday that most people have, my normal Tuesday. Only did 9 miles today -and it's all I'm going to do because quite frankly, I'm feeling worn out. Not achey or sore, just tired. So, I'm listening to my body and chilling out. I have literally talked to practically every land acq. manager in Tampa today... my head is swimming with Tampa tidbits and info. Was supposed to be "Girls Game Night" - but, they're grounded ... so it's just me and my computer watching the game in the background. Eagles vs. Packers - have to root for the Packers... how can you not like a team who's fans wear giant blocks of cheese and refer to themselves as "cheeseheads?" hee-hee, that makes me giggle. So, until someone gives me a reason not to, I like them. I like McNabb, too, though - and the Eagles.. now that T.O.'s gone. I just can.not.stand.T.O. He makes me want to throw popcorn at the television every time I see him.

I'm frustrated that the girls had to be grounded today. I even had cool eats for them, too! Little pumpkin-, bat-, and broom-shaped sugar cookies with buttercream icing, little gingerbread men, pumpkin loaf, rasberry thumbprint cookies, chocolate rum balls, and strawberry baby bundts. Not that they would have eaten all of it tonight (good grief, the thought of that sugar rush scares me). Moreover, I'm a little frustrated with the moral superiorty of one of Lindsey's friend's Mom. She invited Lindsey out and I told her that no, she had to come home. The Mom queried as to why (which, because I'm a little grumpy today anyway, irritated me, but I was nice) and so I told her she was actually now grounded for going out to play after wrecking the upstairs with her sister and then leaving it. I figured that this woman, as a fellow parent, would get that. Nah, she proceeded to tell me that I was being too hard on them. First of all, excuse me?? I don't know this woman, and I didn't invite her to give me her opinion. Secondly, no, no I'm not. It's not fun, so it's not popular... but, my kids know the rules. You make a mess, you clean it up befor eyou go outside to play. In fact, we have a routine: snacks, homework, dishes/pick up their loft, room. Then play. Normally, my kids are outside playing by 4. Today, they chose to make a bigger mess instead of cleaning it up. Then, they told me they wanted to go out and play - asked if they had done their stuff, they said "Uh-huh" and out they went.

Soooo... now they're grounded. No game night, no television (not that they're going to miss watching the football game, anyway), no sweets and they have to clean that mess up. It's part of being a member of this household - they sure as heck don't clean up after me! And that's where I split from the more popular segment of the parenting population.. at least around here. I think kids SHOULD have chores to do. Don't get me wrong, I don't think the kids should clean the house for me, but it doesn't hurt for them to have responsibilities. And if they don't follow through with those responsibilites, they're grounded... they lose privileges. Seems black and white to me. But the popular version is to have rules, but bend them. Be the "cool parent" and let it slide. Yeah.. I could do that... heck, I have. But, what ensues is this gradual pushing of the rules to the point where I get frustrated and then want to raise my voice. And I Do.Not.Want.to.be.the.Parent.That.Has.to.Raise.Their.Voice.to.be.Heard. I'm not ok with that. So, I've learned not to bend the rules after the fact. Occassionally, as a reward, I'll let the responsibilities slide.. but not often.

Posted Tennyson's Politics this morning on bulletin. Really felt that poem today for some reason. Was really into John Donne's "Death Be Not Proud" - but that seemed a little too macabre to put into a bulletin on Monday morning. It's actually a rather cool poem, though. Through Donne's personification of death, he's made it relatable. As though we've misconstrued it - and it's really this frail thing, seperating the strength of life from the strength of the heavens. In death is the fraility, Death is but the doorway to the eternal grace and the peace we've missed through life. Just a breath, a slight seperation between here and everafter. He mocks it slightly, though you can tell he still retains a respect for it.. almost a childlike fear... you know, when you were slightly afraid of something, largely because you didn't understand it? Like beets. I think we all had a healthy fear of beets .. or maybe that was just me. I never understood how a vegetable could be so... evil.

So, I have come to the realization today that I have been operating under a misconception when it comes to myself. I am far more of a girly-girl that I'd like to admit. I realized it this morning as I was walking into work, enjoying the swish of my skirt. I like my swishy skirts. I realized that I was pretty happy walking into work in my favorite pair of heels (I SO love shoes). Why did that make me happy? Because they're peek-a-boos. I love peek-a-boo shoes because you can see my pedicure. I like pedicures and even getting my nails done (though that pushes the borders of my patience level). I like the facials I do every Wed. evening and I doubt highly that many tomboys have "what-to-wear/what-not-to-wear" parties where half their closet is laid out in outfit combinations to try to figure out what to wear to meet a friend of a friend or go to dinner in. I'm pretty sure that for tomboys and guys, getting dressed is a solo sport unless they're in a relationship. I've broken out bottles of wine for my gal pals and I while we're figuring out my wardrobe. I LOVE the fact that I have a rather good sized master closet that is packed with my clothes. I like having lots of clothes. I'm soo a chick, aren't I? That, and I'm pretty sure my obsession with candles is a girl thing...

... OH! I added another 30 tealights to my room today - these 2 panels now grace either side of the Eiffel Tower, complete with the clear lights. I'm excited about getting the kids to bed soon and lighting them up for the first time!

So Shelly posted a blog - Point/Counterpoint - wow, that got me going today. It got me thinking...there are a lot of gender biases and misconceptions about what makes a "good relationship" and what's right/wrong. Of course, there is no real "Right" or "Wrong." Only what we each believe within ourselves. Sometimes, to some of us, those beliefs feel wrong or chauvenistic or too idealistic.. but, I guarantee you there's at least half-a-dozen people out there who are just like you in your belief systems. You just have to know what they are. I had more to say, but I'm flat worn out. I kind of feel bad for rambling so long on reply in Shelly's blog... it really was a novella. And it rambled. Oh wait, I already said that... definately a redundant day.

Sunday, October 1, 2006

Myspace Migration: And I Feel Fine

And I Feel Fine...
Current mood:energetic

*Updated: Scroll to the ~~~ to pick up where I left off...*
The Song "It's the End of the World as We Know it" is running through my head.. but you know what?? I feel fine. Actually, I feel great. Between what I did this morning in the neighborhood and then the 12 miles I did at the park...
I.did.20.miles.today!!!!!!!!!!!!! And really, I'm not exhausted. The last twelve took just under 2 hours at the Park in Plano. Should there be any doubts, I'll be doing repeat performances at the park tomorrow and next weekend! I feel great. And I genuinely think I'll be able to finish this year.

But it did get me wondering... why this year and not last year? Well, I had an extra 25 pounds on me (and 40 total the year before that), so I'm sure that had something to do with it. Also, I tried to socialize last year.. that was stupid. This year, I've been jamming out to upbeat music on my mp3 player, ignoring the world and that's actually helped me keep up the pace. Also, this year I just WANT IT.. I care more, I think. And I'm taking pictures this year (or having someone else do it... going to need someone to document this for posterity, lol) because I KNOW I'm going to finish it. I just feel it.

The park rocked. I love that little park - it's between Parker and Park off Communication Dr (?). Just a nice little walking trail, partly shaded... there were butterflies today (I love butterflies) and little spurts of falling leaves. It's totally an Indian Summer though - it's October and it was 80 degrees this morning!! But, that's ok - between the breeze and my 'glistening' (women don't sweat, we glisten, Ha!) - I kept cool. I DO need to bring my KBIC water bottle tomorrow, though - around mile 7 I had to stop and grab a sip from the water fountain every mile. LOL But, I love going to the park - there was this teenybopper there practicing soccer with her boxer, who was running around with his own soccer ball in his mouth (SO cute and between him and Toby, it totally made me want to get a big dog again.. but as I have no real backyard [it's a postage stamp], that feels unfair to the dog) and lots of families with young children playing at the playground.

Elliott introduced me to this park on my birthday and I think perhaps that the park and Jaspers were quite possibly the best things to come out of that relationship. Outside of our friendship, obviously. I wanted to do another 8 at the park - do 20 there, but then Dad called and griped at me a bit for overexerting when I've been sick.. Said I should take it easy the rest of the day (even from Mexico he still bosses me around, lol). He's right, of course... So, I'm going to watch the game (7-3 right now) and just tool around - got a bulletin from the Tipp Inn that they've got wings and beer for 10 bucks and James and his friends are probably there, too - but, by the time I'd get there, not sure it'd be worth doing... besides, I'm thinking of doing some deep cleaning while I'm hanging out at the casa. And I need to do a little bit of research on e-commerce marketing (and more specifically, who's in that role around DFW)... if you know of anyone in that function (Director of E-Commerce Marketing/Web Marketing or ready for that role), please let me know and I will totally kick you a referral fee upon hire, if you'd like.

Ok, as non-romantic/non-peaceful as this is going to be, I think I'm going to see if I can't get Todd, Alex, and Jay to move my treadmill into my bedroom today or tomorrow.. at least until after the 3-Day... I'm sure I could make it work .. even if it's just for the next month. I'd love to be able to keep it there, but I think it'd make it too cramped (doesn't fold up the right way). But, if I can pull it off, I'm going to walk through any TV watching I do until November... should help.
Darn sound card STILL doesn't work... and I need song suggestions.. I've already done 'Single' and although I like it... it's not what I want playing on my frontpage.. need a song that's upbeat tempo and exudes 'me-ness.' LOL

Ok, I'm.just.cool. I managed to get the treadmill in from the garage all by myself, thank you very much! And yes, it does look somewhat industrial in my peaceful expresso/reds/black asian/indian fusion bedroom. Thinking about putting twinkly lights on it... why not? I'm going to put some on the Eiffel Tower thingy, why not the treadmill.. could be cool? *shrug* My other thought was to spray paint it expresso, too - but then I've got to drag it outside to spray it, clear coat it and drag it back in. Not sure I want to go to all that trouble. I absolutely have to get a couple of good black and white pictures for my bedroom. The wall behind the treadmill (where my small sofa was until this afternoon) needs something - 2 somethings.. that are big. And I'm thinking that the mirror needs to go - or maybe I just need a different one.. it's a little too whimsical for my room? So, I photobucketed a bunch of different shots of my room (forgive me, photography is NOT my strong suit - love it, but not great at it) - maybe it'll give you a better idea of what I'm talking about. I'm pretty protective of my bedroom; it's my sanctuary... it really is me. My friend Ryan has nicknamed my room the "den of the succubis." I'm totally positive it has more to do with the candles than I, but it's a fun name anyway.

(above is a link to my favorite black and white photos...)
love all my candles!