Wednesday, June 29, 2005

dating limbo

I was a late bloomer. My boobs may have developed when I was twelve, but I didn't even start to like boys until I was fourteen. Boy, then I hit the ground running. I was boy crazy, which was accelerated by the fact I went to an all girls high school. What you can't have, yada yada.

After my first date at sixteen, I was a dating like gangbusters - going out with anyone who looked my way. I remember dating a twenty-eight year old carnie when I was eighteen whose idea of a good date was us hanging in my car (he didn't have one) while he drank a six-pack of Budweiser mini cans. Because they were glamorous.

Going to an engineering college that was 75% male was like heaven. Also one of the reasons why I chose that college. After a year I left for a less expensive school, but staying in engineering maintained the ratio boon.

Soon enough it occurred to me that I did not have to go out with any guy who asked me out. Even more important, dating someone just for kicks was not worth the effort of having to break up. The two-hour breakup talk after dating a guy for two weeks sank that last nail in my casual dating coffin. Too much effort being involved in dating casually, I quit cold turkey.

When I say I stopped, boy did I ever. I didn't date for two years. Didn't really matter, I had starting working at a place that doubled as my social life. Every night we all went out for drinks, either at the bar next door or at a buddy's apartment. They were way fun years, so filled with drinks and laughter I never wanted more.

Then I met the Ex, and he won me over. Just by being him. We fell in love, moved in together. After two years we broke up. It was hard, but was made easier for me by my moving to NYC. Nothing to get your mind off an old love than a new one.

Since being in New York I have been in dating limbo. I have had a couple dates here and there, but for being here almost five years it is pretty scarce. Sure, I have tons of reasons: Too busy with two jobs, too busy making friends, too busy being sick, too busy training to run races.

Blah blah blah. Not actually being in a relationship for five years says something. Chicken? Yeah, a little. Really, the biggest hang-up? I just haven’t seemed to care.

I used to long to be with that special someone, my dream guy, the person who would be "the one." I would concentrate and send mental vibes out to the universe, in an effort to connect telepathically with my imaginary man. I believed - In romance. In love. In a future as half of a whole.

Somehow that idea just is gone. Without that glint in my eye I just can't motivate to meet new men. When I meet a guy instead of thinking maybe, I recognize things that I don't like. I suppose it is easier to just never give anyone a chance.

Why am I thinking about this? My circle of friends is changing again, and I am longing for some stability. Someone who is close to me, and stays close to me. Who I can count on, and who can count on me. Someone who does not move away, get married, or stop hanging out.

Don’t get me wrong - I love change, and totally understand the necessity of it as well. In my own weird way it is me growing hope again of being able to find that someone special. Growing tired of passing fancies.

The million-dollar question: Now what the heck am I going to do about it?

help who?

Live aid is coming again, and I'm not sure why. This time it is called Live 8, though.

Do you remember the first time around? I do. Something about world hunger, starvation in Ethiopia. Lots of bands over a couple of days.

It is happening again, spread all over the world. I have been keeping myself somewhat in the know because Spaghetti has to work the Philly portion. Mod Fab kindly lists all the bands and where they are playing which has kept me in the loop as well.

I even have browsed CNN, which has all kinds of explanations and ruminations, but I still just don't get it.

I was kind of young the first time around, I did not go to any of the concerts and did not donate money. I don't know if I am interested in watching the event this time around, we'll see if they can snag me and any of my moola. I tend to funnel my donations, what few of them I am able to do, toward NPR.

It is rather curious that there is no major network coverage. MTV affiliates and AOL, but no free stuff. I know only a quarter of american homes have computers, I wonder what the percentage of people who have cable could be.

Monday, June 27, 2005

relax

This past Friday I had a first; I went to a spa for a full body massage. I thought it would be a nice idea to treat myself. It had been a stressful first week after my promotion.

I show up to the day spa for my appointment, am led into a small room that just barely fit the table, and am instructed to take off my clothes and get under the towel.

So far this is pretty much what I expected. At least, from what I have seen in movies and TV.

Maria, the message therapist, comes in and introduces herself. Do I want soft, medium or hard? If the room gets too cold, let her know. Got it, good.

Candles burning, soft musak playing, she turns down the towel a bit, starts rubbing my back and..... my ass. Wait - am I being violated? No. But I am rather surprised with the amount of ass rubbing involved in massage. Ironically I am more uptight at first from the intimacy that Maria and I are sharing than when I came into the spa. Okay, breathe, get past the buttocks rubbing.

Relax, inhale, exhale. Okay, I'm cool, stress is going away.

Crap, I have to fart. Don't do it, it's a small room and this woman is bent over my ass. Must. Hold. It. In. Oh, and the clenching promotes more ass rubbing. Moment passes, I can relax.

Suddenly my often inhibited bowels are not feeling so inhibited. Great, as regular function sometimes I don't have to crap for days, and now the grumbling and cramping begins. Seems all the rubbing has stimulated my lazy colon.

Lord god is it almost over? Please please move on to my legs already! Whew, she moves to my legs.

The rest of the massage goes off without a hitch. She does my legs, I turn over, she does my legs more, my arms, my shoulders...and done. I thank Maria, tip her, pay and leave very rubbery and smelling of vanilla.

I don't think I am a spa kinda gal. I may have changed a lot, but I'll still take a Guinness over a massage.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

lobster

I went to the jersey shore over the weekend with my friends, it was restful and pleasant.

We hit the beach yesterday, which is such a pleasure. Being from Michigan I have spent a lot of time by water, but this whole ocean thing is still a novelty to me. As is the concept of spending the day at the beach. I hated the Detroit public beaches, so seldom frequented them. If I got around to tanning, it would be by someone's pool and only for an hour or so. As for property on the lake - water sports and drinking.

My girlfriends are experienced at this beach thing, we went prepared for the whole day. Umbrella, beach chairs, towels, snacks, lunch, lots of water. Oh - and sunscreen. Lots of sunscreen. I am, after all, a pale irish girl. And a nocturnal one at that. I decided to live dangerously and use SPF 4, opting for umbrella shade when the time came.

Five hours into sun time I noticed some pink on my arms. My back was feeling hot. I covered up. Subsequently four hours later, I became a lobster. Remember the coppertone ads with the dog pulling down the baby bikini bottoms? With that burn line? Yeah. I am solid red all over my body with a very very definite set of tan/burn lines. I AM BURNT. And it hurts.

On the bright side I wore a bikini for the first time in years, and my tummy and almost invisible scar looked fabulous. So now I'm burnt, but fabulous. Red is one of my favorites colors, at least.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

my latest crush

Okay, so I currently have mad love for Peter Sarsgaard.

Yes, he is handsome, but not in your Hollywood actor way. He does not have a six-pack, does not get botox, has no over-done tan. I am into Mr Sarsgaard because of the roles he plays, the movies he is in. I mean, here is a small sample - Garden State, Shattered Glass, Kinsey - wow. Not only are these terrific films, but also the roles he plays are complex and beautiful.

I don't know how much control or influence an actor has in finding really good roles to play. You can turn something down, but how do you scout them out? The drive for substance over income always impresses me, and the depth of these roles mixed with the skill he touts when filling them blows me away.

Always the love for the geeks.

What sucks he is dating Maggie Gyllenhaal, talk about steep competition. I have seen her in passing here in NYC, and she is gorgeous. Not to mention she picks some pretty great roles too. I mean, have you seen Secretary? Pretty steep competition.

I wonder if they started dating after having an initial discussion about having two A's in their last names. Yes, in my mind I actually believe that their first ever conversation revolved around funky Slavic spelling rules. Why? Because if I was to meet them I totally can see myself having a half hour discussion with them about it. Really. I can imagine the whole dialogue, of which I will thankfully spare you.

Also in my mind I don't believe I am insane, just quirky. My mind is a vast and fantastical place. :)

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

well

I must be the most suggestible person ever. On Six Feet Under David and Keith are searching for a surrogate mother. I start thinking to myself "ooh, that would be a good way to pay for grad school."

Okay, it took me less than five minutes to decide not to look into it. But I really considered it. Heh.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

camera one, camera two

It is all about perspective.

Funny how when you've got something on your mind, every movie and TV show focuses on the same issue. I'm a big fan of Queer as Folk, and good ole' Brian is having a problem coming to terms with how our roles in life change. As much as you feel you stay the same, people change, or as you change people look at you differently. Over the weekend I read The Devil Wears Prada, where a girl discovers that giving up her life in the short term to win a better future in fact puts her future in peril.

I love all the experiences I have had in my life. One of the things I love most is being the kind of person who has had all of those experiences. I had fun on Friday, and then the rest of the weekend I have spent on the couch in hiding, living vicariously through fiction. This much media consumption is not so new to me, I have always been a reader and a movie lover. What is different is I could not stop thinking that I was dreading my current choice in life. My new job.

It only took about forty hours, but suddenly at I looked at my situation in a whole new way. Why, for heaven's sake, would I be dreading becoming a full-fledged manager? I am great with people. I love change, I adore challenge. If anything, I am better at working with people that I am at working with systems.

My whole reluctance boils down to a conversation that came up with my promotion. I have heard it before, but this last time it really stuck in my craw. I was told that I couldn’t be fun anymore, that it is lonely at the top and now I am there. That I have to watch everything I do, everything I say. I have to become a machine. A robot. An automaton.

There is something you have to realize. At work, I hold back a lot now. Yes, I do it to protect my superiors, I suppose in some ways I do it to protect myself. But mainly it is because my words hold more weight now; a casual comment could really hurt someone's feelings. Friendly conversations are kept PC, and I try to be encouraging. Work related conversations are very carefully planned out, even rehearsed in some instances. I have put a lot of thought and effort into who I am at work.

But I cannot become a new person. Even more importantly, I don't want to.

When people meet me, they always guess my age to be within three years of theirs. My boss likes me because she thinks she is like me. Most people see themselves in me, and therefore also like me. I enjoy relating to them. Thus, by nature, my boss thinks that my easiest road to success is to be a clone of her, which she honestly believes is not a leap.

My newest challenge is to prove that I, rockstar, can be a manager. If they felt they could promote me and then change me, it is unreasonable. The beauty is, my boss is flawed, mainly in the social area. It should not be too hard to prove my competence.

I did not move to New York to become someone different, to fit into someone else's mold. No wonder I have been feeling so weird about this promotion. I have not felt this much pressure to conform in four and a half years.

Fortunately I have thirty years of experience in recognizing my individuality as a blessing.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

good stuff

I have spent today recovering from yesterday's twelve hour drinkfest. One outside bar (Rudy's, of course), two garden parties (one involving work schmoozing) and a friendly gathering at a girlfriend's house. That makes for a long day and a lot of beer. Going to three venues in one day that occur outside is rather unheard of in this city. It was refreshing, and fun to do. A different taste of adventure in this burg.

The best part of today? This book:


Honestly book publishing is nowhere near as kooky as magazine publishing, but we do have our moments. I can't stop reading this thing. Which is good, it is getting me ready for the Harry Potter readfest to come in under a month.

Friday, June 17, 2005

full circle

When I started working for my company four and a half years ago, I directly reported to two people. One wanted to be my mother, and the other wanted to be my drill sergeant. It was hard moving to NYC, having two new and different jobs, learning so much so quickly. Challenging, yes, stressful, definitely.

The drill sergeant was hard to work for; she was definitely not a people person. She worked me so hard that after five months in her employ I was a crying hysterical mess. The day I wrote my resignation letter I got offered a better position in the department, completely by chance. I took the job in a heartbeat.

In the throws of reacting to the drill sergeant, I swore that I would prove to her that she was flawed, that I was so good that one day I would be her boss. And then she'd suffer. Oh yeah. Revenge loomed in my mind. I could not wait until the day that I would treat her like she had treated me. To this day she is the only person ever to tell me that I was dumb and had no common sense. People may think as me as being boisterous, inclined to drink, even flighty. But though all of that my intelligence has never been in doubt.

Four years later, I am now her boss. It did not take me as long as one would have thought. But revenge is the last thing on my mind. That is the beautiful irony. In order to do my job well, I need to support her and watch her back. I need to help her, nurture her, and show her how to stop being a drill sergeant to the rest of the world.

She still treats people as badly as she used to treat me, so I have my work cut out for me. Every ounce of angst and anger I felt to her has to be now turned into compassion and understanding. Life is funny that way, or at least mine is. No matter what I do, I come back to having to forgive those who have wronged me and help them in turn. Maybe my recognition of that fact is why I have been so successful. At the very least it is how I am able to be a happy person, always in good spirits. My conscience is clear.

Next week, Monday, my promotion is announced. For now I am proud and excited, and will spend the whole weekend celebrating. Yay for publishing half day Fridays!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

you win some, you lose some

Sadly I lost the lottery. No NYC marathon for me this year. This means I am definitely not signing up for the half marathon in central park in August. Who needs to run that long in that kind of heat?

While I still will run my nine races this year to qualify for the marathon next year, my training will not be anywhere as intesive in the upcoming months. Thus, get my booty in gear and study to get into grad school! Thanks to the promotion I'll be fiscally able to take a few classes, buy some books, get some serious coffee house study time in.

Oh, and maybe get a little travelling in there too. Rockstar will finally get her passport!!!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

something corporate

I'm in shock. I got promoted three months ahead of schedule. Yes, I'm excited. Yes, I'm flattered. Yes, I'm totally stressed about the challenges to come.

It is funny, I want the money, but do I really want the job? The money will lead me to financial freedom so I can pursue my goal of higher education. I always say anything worth having is worth working for. I suppose my dreams qualify as worth having.

Tomorrow I find out if I make the lottery for this year's marathon. If I'm training for the marathon I don't know if I'll have the time or energy to study for graduate school.

Maybe I'll pay off my debt, then totally regress to bartending to give myself time to take the classes I'll need for medical school. That sounds like a pretty good plan. It could be the panic talking, but I have plenty of time to work that out.

Well, if the stress gets to be too much at least I can drink the expensive stuff now.

Monday, June 13, 2005

brush with celebrity

The world was all aquiver for the past week, in anticipation of the verdict to the Michael Jackson trial. Yes, I was curious to see what would happen. This curiosity abated with the word "acquittal". What more do I need to know? How much money was spent on this trial that could have been used to catch other criminals? Or teach a kid to read? Or find a cure for AIDS?

There is probably a slew of reasons as to why this whole charade is so exceptionally newsworthy, not a small part due to the fact that jacko is probably one of the most famous people alive, if not the most famous. A kid in Thailand may not know who George Bush is, but by god they can hum the tune to “Thriller.”

I got to meet Michael Jackson once. I spent two hours with him, as a matter of fact. As his waitress.

Fresh off the metaphorical boat to NYC, I was working two jobs, publishing assistant by day and server at a swanky restaurant by night. The wait staff had a mix of experience, newbies like me who had been on the island for five months, and a score of actors who had been slinging drinks in between gigs for years. Imagine my surprise when I go into work and found out that I was to be the lucky person to wait on MJ and his production crew. They were in town to record his last album.

They were late; they had to lose the paparazzi on the way to the restaurant. He came in, his foot in a cast and wearing the facemask. Once in the banquet room the mask came off and the party of six relaxed a bit.

Michael Jackson was very pleasant, polite, and subdued. He ordered vegetable broth and orange soda. The rest of his party ate and drank like kings - on his dime. They whole meal they pandered for his attention, trying to engage him in conversation. I have to admit, he did his best to comply.

There was definitely something off about him. It was like there was a heavy fog surrounding him, emitting this weird "please, just let me be" vibe. You could sense that he was so tired of always having to give something to everyone. Really, every single person who met him wanted to be acknowledged, noticed, touched. I realized the greatest service I could give to him was to let him alone as much as possible.

I felt profoundly sorry for him. You could just tell that fame had scarred him so deeply there was probably no recourse. He would have to be completely un-famous for at least twenty years to even regain a semblance of normality. This man did not just give the world music, dance, and culture. He gave the world his life and his sanity. Was it worth it? Especially when the world turns on him, so cold, so predatory waiting to see him go to jail?

I really hope the jury was right. All reason argues they are not, but why should I start believing the media now?

Sunday, June 12, 2005

ha cha cha

Wow, running in humidity sucks. Yesterday morning it was seventy degrees, but very very humid. It made the race a lot harder to run, but overall it went well. I was slower than the last one, but every race I learn more about my capabilities, and I love every bit of it.

I find out this week if I'm in the marathon this year. Oh, the anticipation.

The beer garden yesterday was phenomenal. I got there with RFW at two, and did not get home until one thirty am. We got to meet Bacon's parents, and they were delightful. They are from the Detroit area, so I ended up drunk dialing my dad so they could ask him if he remembers the name of some club that was popular in the sixties.

Am I the only person in the world that drunk dials their parents? They are the only people I call after tipping back a couple. Last time I did it, I called to find out if the Edmund Fitzgerald sank in Lake Superior. It did, in case you didn't know.

Of the long day of drinking and hijinks, my favorite had to be at the very end. As the last of us were leaving, I stopped to say something to this kinda hot Irish guy that I had done a jig with earlier. I stopped and asked him to tell my friends about the jig, but all he could say was: "You - I would sleep with you for....for....nothing!!"

The sentiment I think was nice, however flawed the delivery. Reminds me of the time I went to the Hesitation Lounge in Michigan, and one of the patrons thought I was so attractive and classy that he told me "You could be a high class hooker. No, really! Like two or three hundred bucks a pop!"

I may mock, but a compliment is a compliment, after all. :)

Friday, June 10, 2005

so much potential

Tomorrow should be a good day.

First I run the Circle of Friends 10K with Spaghetti and CT. I am amazed that I get so much pleasure from an activity that requires me to wake up earlier on a day off than on a regular workday.

Then potential plans to brunch with CT at The Eatery (mmmmmm chocolate and banana stuffed french toast) post race.

Topped off with a spectacular sunny afternoon into evening at the Astoria Beer Garden. Chock full of friends, and I think a "surprise" fix up. Someone dropped a mention of a friend being invited whom I would like. Because he likes bands like.....Weezer.

Yes, that does mean he has potential.

So now I am off to bed in an attempt to get to sleep early. Always an issue.

aha!!

Some people (namely my sister) got very frustrated when I got obsessively analytical about the rules of dating>.

Just to save face, I am not the only one out there. The length of http://nondatinglife.blogspot.com/2005/06/part-nineteen-pay-up.html">this post vindicates me, as obviously someone else out there puts as much thought and reasoning into this kind of thing as I do.

Of course, the fact that he has to explain in this detail means that there are people out there who follow no protocols.

Ah, dating. Always an adventure.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

weezer has competition

I just caught the Foo Fighters performance on the MTV movie awards. Boy did they rock. I forgot how much they rule. Right after this blog I will have to buy their new album.

Even better, my friend Spaghetti will be interviewing them this Saturday after we run our 10K and before we head out to the beer garden. It is prep for their "24 hours of Foo" show that will air on MTV2 this weekend. Maybe she can get them to come out to the beer garden with us?

It would not be that hard to rock the drummer, Taylor Hawkins' world. He is quite the hottie. I love Dave Grohl, but he's married. I don't do the marrieds.

ARGH! I left the TV on after the show and saw part of the Britney and Kevin show. My brain hurts, must go purge with literature.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

more on fairy tales

There is not so much on the telly, so I decided to scroll through my free on demand channels. The only movie I haven't seen? The Prince and Me.

See, now your esteem of me went down a notch. Great.

I have to tell you though; the movie had a couple of interesting points. (At this juncture I have to warn you if you have not seen and want to maintain any element of surprise, stop reading here.)

First of all, the Julia Stiles character is the last of her girlfriends in college to remain unattached and unengaged. She has big plans to go to med school and join doctors without borders. And no man no how is going to sway her goals. She even feels profoundly disappointed that her friends have abandoned their dreams to go and get hitched.

The last sentiment I don't necessarily agree with, but having such noble goals for herself, I forgive her.

So she falls in love with some guy who she later finds out is a prince. She at some point chases him home to Denmark, is proposed to, wins over the royal family and general public, gets ready to become queen.

Best part of the movie? When she realizes that as much as she wants to change to be with this man she loves, she is who she is and needs to follow her own path to medical school. Sad? Yes. Awesome in that she realizes that she cannot give up her identity and meld into another person in hopes to get used to it someday.

Did some sappy movie just say you gotta define the Cinderella story for yourself? Some marketed pulp romance?? My my my.

Thing is, the movie should have ended there. Stupid movie moguls said, "wait! The American public needs a happy ending! Let's tack on a two minute segment at the end."

If it is two minutes that could even be stretching it.

Julia graduates, is happy and ready to go to med school. But hold on, the prince/king is there! Basically tells her that he loves her and only her, and will wait to be with her. Wait through her med school, her career, whatever it takes. They embrace, movie over. Good guys win, the masses can go home happy.

Jerks. Sellouts. The romantics could have imagined the last part on their own.

I guess it comes down to how you define an ending as being happy, doesn't it?

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

back from hiatus

I didn't really go anywhere, just didn't blog for a bit. Not that I didn't think of a million things to blog about. And then promptly forgot them all. I like to keep my brain free and clear of clutter, you know.

It seems I have been given a summer intern. Sadly I am no longer in a position to corrupt him. There are bummers to responsibility. Instead I have to do my best to give him all the boring work without actually boring him. Who says my job doesn't have challenges?

This past weekend I attended my first Long Island wedding. My girlfriends had to rent a car and a hotel room, since there is not enough public transit out there. Turns out there is quite a bit of food involved in weddings on LI. The cocktail hour does not have just cheese and veggies; it had a whole hot buffet. Fortunately my proclivity towards free alcohol kept me from eating too much. Nothing much of interest happened. The promised single policemen/firemen at the wedding (the groom is a NY policeman) all brought dates. No one puked, no one fell over, so it was a fun wedding and uneventful.

My friend who got married, the bride, is 27, as are most of the friends who I was accompanied by at the wedding. This is the beginning of the long line of weddings for most of them, and therefore being one of the first was perceived as SO MUCH FUN. Now, I have been to quite a few weddings, and their excitement got me thinking about all of them. Do I have a favorite?

How can you have a favorite anything? As with everything in life, the sum of so many small parts makes up the whole.

Some of my favorite wedding moments (the order is completely random as I recall them):

- Making Paul's brother do shots at Paul and Julie's wedding.

- Kimmy, fully decked out in wedding dress dancing to Front 242.

- The ENTIRE party of over 300(?) guests getting up to dance at Dev and Vim's wedding. Never seen that happen before or since.

- Me driving like speedracer to get to Kirk and Alit's wedding "on time", which I had been mislead about.

- Getting hit by the bridal bouquet at Sue and Jim's wedding, watching it hit the floor, making eye contact with the woman next to me, looking at the bouquet, looking back at each other, and her agreeing to pick it up since she's divorced. Whew!

- Discovering the Copa Cabana at Karen and Dave's wedding, while seeing Paul being the most drunk that I have ever seen him. What did he keep saying that day? He had some catch phrase...

- Taking pictures of the men’s room urinals using the table camera at Dev and Vim's wedding.

- Breaking into Paul's house after Paul and Julie's wedding and making good use of the pool table.

- The fact that at cousin Steve and Mo's wedding not just Steve's dad made a toast, but the two Cooney uncles (including my dad) had to as well. And Irish men do not do short toasts.

- Watching all the men stockpile drinks at Dev and Vim's wedding because the bar was not open the entire time, and then get totally trashed due to said stockpiling.

- Making the all time biggest foot in mouth of my life saying to one groom at the wedding end, "I don't care what anyone says; I believe you two will be happy together."

Friday, June 03, 2005

take me back

The latest fashion trend to catch my eye?

Oh yeah, the polo shirt with the upturned collar. It's baaaaaaack.

I am alternately horrified/entertained whenever I see it, depending on my mood. I have seen at least four guys in the last 24 hours sporting the recycled look. I'd say they were all fresh out of college, too.

Thinking back, I do not think I really ever was a preppy. I think I had one polo shirt once, yellow. Never did I turn up the collar, however. If I recall correctly, it was because turning up your collar made you a preppie which made you a snob, and where I may have many faults that has never been one of them. It is interesting to see the collar now just being a collar.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

just face it

No matter how hard I try, I just don't like brussels sprouts.