Friday, February 29, 2008

For those of you opposed to the scatological, this will only make you unhappy

So we got this raisin bran cereal at Costco the other day. And actually, now that I think about it, I should back up and talk a little about my upbringing, because that's more the story.

I think I’ve said this before, but with the countries we lived in while I was growing up, plus the fact that my dad worked in public health, poo was a viable dinner table topic. At a very young age I was well versed in all kinds of parasites, their life-cycles, the ways in which they manifest in humans, and what one would do to treat them.

I do find them fascinating. Guinea Worm is my favorite, because I find it the most repulsive. Anything that bursts out of your skin, as a whole long worm, that you have to twist around a stick slowly, over weeks, to extract from your body? Wins the parasite prize, in my book.

And Betty hates talking about this kind of thing. Every once in a while she’d say, “Please. Could we just have no more anal talk at the dinner table?” Alas, it was in vain. It’s an endlessly riveting topic. For some.

Plus, if you have ever backpacked anywhere like Nepal, you know that weird things happen with your bowels, even if you don’t have parasites. Travelers will sit down at breakfast and be all, “Dude, my poo was green. Has this ever happened to you?” Because all these startling things happen, and you want to check in with others to know if it’s normal or if you need to see someone about it.

And if you have ever had parasites, you know how weird and compelling a lot of the details are. On top of this, you know full well that parasites are transmitted through fecal-oral contact. In other words, if you get parasites, it’s probably because someone who served you some food had some teeny-tiny microscopic bit of fecal matter on his hands.

Just knowing this makes you throw up a little in your mouth. But it also makes you think a lot about fecal matter. Or poo, as I prefer to call it.

If you’ve ever had worms, you know it’s just too horrifying not to talk about. And if you’ve ever had or had to share a room with someone who has Giardia, I assure you, it’s hideously unmistakable. And unforgettable.

So in my growing up and in my travels as an adult, there has always been a lot of poo talk.

Before college I didn’t realize that most Americans are not OK with it. I really embarrassed a good friend of mine in college in front of her boyfriend and a few other people by saying something like, “Right – that was the day you had the terrible diarrhea!”

She pulled me aside later to tell me how upset she was. Was I trying to embarrass her?

Seriously, that was my first realization that diarrhea was not something to admit to. Huh.

But you know, you are who you are. And your topics are your topics, although you grow and learn and realize the need to censor. Sometimes. When you really have to.

So back to the cereal. We bought this raisin bran cereal at Costco the other day. It's delicious and really crunchy and has tons of raisins. It's easy to eat a huge bowlful. Or maybe two.

However, I now just refer to it as colon blow. Like, “So, can I pour you a nice bowl of colon blow?”

If you are someone prone to constipation, you might want to get this cereal.

Honestly. My Monday was an emergency poo-fest. I got in the car at the end of the day and said, “So, I don’t know if it was the raisin bran, but…”

And Nick said, “You don’t actually need to complete that sentence. I know you, and I know precisely where you are going to go with it.”

It’s amazing how fast you get to know people.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

noun. 1. the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best [Origin: bef. 900; ME; OE hopa; c. D hoop, G Hoffe]

I have had a number of people tell me that I've given them hope.

Seriously. I was at the allergist the other day, and the nurse said that I'd given her an immense amount of hope that even though she'd dated a ton of horrible men, she would find a good one.

Some people have been quick to explain that they don't mean it badly - it's not that they thought it was hopeless for me. But the fact that I found Nick gave them hope that they would find the person they wanted as well.

And I am not remotely offended. Because, listen, I'd gotten to the point where I was pretty sure I was never going to get married. Unless I decided to settle. This has given me romantic hope for the entire world.

The morning after Nick proposed, I woke up thinking about how completely amazing it was that I was engaged.

I turned to Nick and said, "You know, this is just incredible."

He smiled. "It really is."

"I mean, if I can get married, anyone can."

He gave me this shut-up-WTF look. "I happen to think you're an absolute treasure, and I feel very lucky."

He was about to be a little offended.

I had to explain that the fact is not that I have low self-esteem, or that I don't think that I'm worthwhile, or I that I see myself as so undesirable that nobody would ever want to be with me.

No - it's not anything like that.

It's more like this - a combination of things that had led me to believe that it was just going to be impossible. One, that I'd had this streak of dating such damaged men - men who just weren't remote possibilities for successful long-term relationships. Either because they were mean, or unable to commit, or just so numbed from traumatic upbringings that they didn't really feel much.

And when I sat down to examine all those guys? I had to admit that the only common denominator? Was ME.

So there was the choosing - over and over - of the wrong guys to contend with.

And then, there are a variety of particular things about me that I believe narrow my range of possibilities. I have this odd, goofy, slightly wicked sense of humor. Often, things I think are soo amusing are not what the general population finds hilarious. So I don't meet a lot of men I think are funny. And there are plenty of men who don't think I am.

Add to this the fact that I can bore easily, and if I get bored with you, I will start amusing myself. And if you don't think I'm funny? We really won't be having fun.

I don't know if you've ever told a guy he's amusing (or droll, or clever) but not funny? It really doesn't go over well.

And I need a lot of affection - a lot of I love yous. I need someone who will make me feel very loved and very safe. On top of this, I am really, really strong - in good ways and bad. So I need someone strong who won't let me push too far.

Plus there are at least 37 or 73 other quirks or wants that I won't mention here that made me think, you know, if there are 26 Ones for most of the world, I probably have, I dunno, 12 or 13. And how the fuck do you come across one of your 12 or 13 in the entire, wide world? I was thinking, "What if one of them lives in Idaho? I'll never meet him!"

Because I didn't want just someone, right? I wanted someone completely and utterly superamazingfantastichilarious. Who thought the same of me.

I don't know anyone who is like, oh, I just want a warm body. No, we all want someone we think is amazing, who thinks we're extraordinary as well.

So I think about it like this.

If I was able to find this person, all the more normal-ish people, with fewer particulars, or a less bizarre senses of humor, or more whatever and less whatever else - all the more normal people will absolutely, without question, find the right person without an extraordinary amount of difficulty.

And the people who fall more in my category? Will find the person as well. I believe this absolutely and truly.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


This topic is so boring. Thinking about it bores me. This first paragraph will probably put you to sleep. But I'm not quite sure what to do about it.

Lately, I go to bed tired and I wake up tired.

Tired and tired and tired. Everything seems like effort. I drag myself into the office, and I get through the day. But every time I'm in the bathroom I look in the mirror and think, "Holy crap! Why do you look so tired?"

I wonder if I'm drinking too much caffeine, but I mostly just drink it in the morning. And the truth is I love coffee, love the caffeine. Plus, how to wake up tired and not have coffee?

Perish the thought.

On grim, grey days, I expect the tired - weather and sunshine really affect me. But on bright days, I feel like there's just no reason for it. But even so, with the happy sparkly sunshine, I could go back to bed and stay asleep for at least another couple hours.

I'm not unhappy - quite the opposite. And I'm not depressed. This isn't heart or soul tired, it's physical. But what to do about it? It drives me crazy that I'm not the perky (yes, a word I hate, but it's my norm), energetic, jump up and down-y person that I like to be.

Purely because I'm just so effing tired.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Nary a modicum of moderation

I know I lack moderation, and when I am being mindful, I do try to be more moderate. But the problem is that in the moment I’m always like, “Yay! Fun! What a great idea! Yippee!”

Judgement goes out the window.

I recently had such a good reminder of this out with an old friend of mine. He’d been out of the country, so this was our first real catch-up in over a year. We met at Proof, which I love love love.

He was already there when I arrived, so I just ordered a glass of the white he’d chosen. We finished our glasses of wine over intense conversation. And then our server came by and asked if we’d like another. I didn’t love the one he’d chosen, so she recommended an Austrian white that was delicious. Really easy to drink. Yum.

And so, catching up on a zillion things, we finished those, and she asked if we’d like another. We looked at each other and he suggested we get an appetizer and one last glass of wine. Which we did. We got a ginormous platter of absolutely delicious cured meats.

But the fact is this. Cured meat does very little to mitigate three glasses of wine. And why is it that, in the midst of having fun, when someone suggests another, I always think it’s such a fabulous idea?

Even though I joke about it, I’m not sitting home drinking bottles of wine alone. But out, when someone else is like, “Let’s have more!” I’m never, ever the voice of reason.

And why do I even begin to think I can swill as much as men who are practically twice my size?

The answer is, I don’t. Think, I mean. In the moment, I’m not thinking at all. If I were thinking, I’d be like, “Lisa, you are a little person. And two glasses of wine are more than enough. You should sip water and not get ridiculous.”

Right. Which is never what happens. What happens is I say, “Sure! Fun! Bring on the ridiculous!”

These other people, often being people much larger than me, they wind up fine the next day, while I wind up thinking I’m going to die.

Nick picked me up from the metro. I poured myself into the passenger seat all, “Whee!”

He just sighed, less than delighted. And understandably so. Because, poor man, he got up at 5 am to travel for work, turned around and came back to DC, and kept working till he picked me up. And there he was, at 9:30 at night, forcing me to drink water and eat a sandwich.

And sometimes I am not super cooperative. I don’t get belligerent, but that doesn’t mean I won’t keep walking away from the glass.

“C’mon. Drink your water!”

“I am!”

“No, you’re not. You’re standing across the room checking email.”

Eye roll. “Fine.” Sip sip. Get distracted. Walk away again.

Lis! You’ll feel so much better if you eat some sandwich. Eat!”

I eat but I act like I’m doing him a favor. Like, he’s so lucky I’m eating this turkey and cheese sandwich he so nicely made me.

And again, if I were thinking, I’d realize that a sandwich and a huge glass of water are probably the best idea that’s been presented to me all evening. And I'm doing nobody a favor.


Monday, February 25, 2008

Sticking the landing

It turns out you're not supposed to congratulate women on getting married. Did you know this?

I have received, and happily - oh so happily - a number of congratulations.

Practically everyone I've told has congratulated me. Personally, I've always congratulated anyone who has ever gotten engaged, woman or man.

On Friday evening I was at Nick's office, and saw, for the first time since we got engaged, one of his colleagues. I like him. He's very kind. He's also very socially correct, very proper.

We really don't know each other. He has no idea what a Philistine I am.

And so, when he saw us, he kissed me on the cheek and said, "Best wishes! I congratulated Nick but I haven't seen you!"

I said I'd just heard that it was proper to congratulate men, while you're supposed to give women best wishes. And I was just wondering why.

So he said, "Well, you're essentially congratulating the man on having gotten the woman to marry him."


"But you wish a woman well because you don't want to suggest that she's been working to get married. You don't want the implication to be, 'Congratulations! You finally got a husband!'"

Now, anyone who knows me knows that it hasn't been my life goal to get married. And truthfully, I'd almost given up on it, I'd gotten so jaded. But I do feel like I've worked for this. I want all the congratulations anyone is offering.

And I said, "Oh, but that's how I feel! Yay! I am so lucky! I got a good one!"

I put my arms up in the air, like a gymnast at the end of a routine. I mean, like a gymnast wearing high heeled boots and a bright pink winter coat and pink flowery hat and carrying a big orange bag. So maybe like a brightly clad, winterized, graceless gymnast. But still.

As I did this I said, "I do! I feel like I finally stuck the landing!"

He giggled. Because what else can you do when faced with this kind of behavior?

Saturday, February 23, 2008

The randomness of memories

I woke up this morning thinking about my dad and me getting in trouble at the library.

We first moved to the U.S. when I was ten. Immediately, our dad introduced us to the joys of the Fairfax county library. I'd always read voraciously. And there were endless books! Endless! It was one of my favorite places.

But we got in trouble regularly.

The problem was not with keeping books out too long and incurring fines, or trying to check out too many at once.

The problem was not even that we'd talk out loud - because for the most part we were quiet and respectful library patrons.


The trouble was the photocopy machine.

Because, you see, they had photocopy machines for public use. You know - you're doing some research, you want to copy an article. So you'd put coins in and copy your book or periodical.

Or anyway, that's what most people do.

We, on the other hand - we being my dad and me - we were far more interested in the joys of copying things like, oh, our hands. Or our faces. We'd have bad face contests regularly. And now we could record them! Squished on glass! And immortalized in black and white!

We usually each got one good hand and face copy before being chastised and asked to stop.

Improper use of the copy machine. Grease on the glass. Verboten.

So we'd limit the joy to once every few visits.

Friday, February 22, 2008

In other words, the answer is yes

We wake up and it's freezing cold and grey and rainy. The roads and cars are covered in sheets of ice.

I hate being cold. I hate rain and snow and really, any inclement weather. And lack of sunshine truly gets me down.

So I get out of bed and am immediately all stompy-aroundy.

"I hate this crap weather."

"I know, sweetie."

"It's raining and sleeting! Do you think this weather could be any grosser?"

"Well, there could be rain and sleet and hail and diarrhea falling from the sky."


Thursday, February 21, 2008

I'll try to assuage your fears as best I can

A number of people have asked for pictures. And details.

Who is this guy I've agreed to spend the rest of my natural born life with?

So here you go. This is a picture Nick made of our wedding as soon as we got engaged.

Now, I know you might be worried about us for a myriad of reasons, so let me just list any fears I can think of that you might have. And then try to assuage them, to the best of my ability.

If you have any other questions or frets, I'm happy to answer them.

You might start by wondering why I'm marrying someone with a head eight times the size of mine? And, perhaps more worrisome, way too big for his own body?

The answer there is that size doesn't matter, and I love him, no matter how oddly proportioned he might be. Sickness and health, and all that.

You might also be concerned because I've clearly got some weird and jagged chin/neck thing going on. Plus my face doesn't match the rest of my body. What, you might be wondering, is wrong with Lisa's face? Chin? Neck?

All I can say is, yes, that's true. I'm not always so great with the makeup. And in our wedding photo, I'm just plain having a bad chin day. We all have them. But my hair looks pretty good, doesn't it?

And finally, you might be scared that I am marrying someone who looks like he escaped from an insane asylum.

To that, my best explanation is as follows. Yes, he is a little crazy, but not flat-out batshit insane.

He just looks like that because, well, sometimes he likes to.

You see, he's taller than a lot of people, and so, at places like, oh, New Year's Eve parties, he finds great amusement in inserting himself in other people's photos. You'll look at a number of pictures from that night and see a bunch of normal, smiling, festive people. And then an alarming, crazed-looking head floating above the crowd.

Some people might be like, wtf?

And I am all, um, yeah, I know. He so clearly fits right in with my people.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

We are building a religion, a limited edition. We are now accepting callers for the pendant keychains.

Sometimes, or maybe all the time, I will pick a topic and stick to it.

I am currently all about The Cake.

Seriously. Lately, I can turn anything back to cake.

“That’s such a pretty sweater! You know, that color would look really nice as an accent on my cake.”

“It’s so nice to meet you. So if you had to choose between lemon and vanilla…”

It’s ridiculous.

As soon as we got engaged my dad said that he’d had the best cake ever - not just the best wedding cake, but the Best. Cake. Ever. at the wedding of the daughter of a friend. And my dad is a man who likes his cake.

He emailed the friend, who walked down the hill to find the bakery closed. She then did some investigation and tracked down the baker. Anyway, after a series of emails, we determined we’d speak at 5 pm on Monday.

So all weekend, the cake was my happy place. There was a lot more going on than just animals this weekend, and high emotion around a couple issues. And so, when the tension would mount, I’d retreat to Cakelandia.

We’d be all clenched and tense, and out of the blue I’d say, “Do you think chocolate or vanilla?”


“Or something else entirely?”


“Oh. The cake.”

My retreat to The Cake wasn’t just for when things were tense. We’d be driving along some lovely country road. And to me, all lovely country roads in the rural US look alike. They’re pretty. But not all that different.

But Nick was excited about being where he grew up, and wanted to take me down his favorite back roads, and so, lulled by the motion of the car and the bucolic scenery, I’d go into cake reveries.

Betty and I speak the same language, which means that if we had talked cake anytime in the past couple weeks, then, after just discussing the features of a Victorian house, if I asked, “But would it be weird to have chocolate?”

She’d say, “Of course not. You should have whatever kind of cake you want.”

We could be talking about the upcoming election, and she could say, “But not too sweet.”

And I’d be all, “Oh, no. I hate really sweet icing.”

So I spoke to the Cake Lady on our drive home Monday. And I was all kinds of excited about cake possibilities. Because she makes really, really pretty cake. Like, ohhhh, wow cakes.

The truth is, there are a lot of details I don’t care about. But I want a ginormous, frou-frou, decadent, delicious, garden of flowers exploded all over, so tall it’s a feat of engineering, cake. Nobody would expect this of me, but it’s true.

Traffic between Philly and DC was heavy on Monday evening, perhaps because we chose rush hour to drive. And the weather sucked ass. And you know how stupid people get in the rain.

Nick would get all annoyed at someone who cut us off, and I’d be all, “You know, lilies would be really pretty up the side.”

Like, cake is the answer to all our problems. That driver might be an asshole, but cake will fix it.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

In which I meet family and do not lose my shit, but just barely

We spent the long weekend in New Jersey. Since we've had a sort of whirlwind romance, and he doesn't go home that much, I'd not met either of his sisters.

So we headed up to visit his younger sister and her husband. And their two over-enthusiastic, filthy, never been washed and love to roll around in the dirt Labs. And their yippy Jack Russell. And two cats.

The sister and her husband were nice, but for someone with allergies and asthma, their house is one definition of Hell.

They'd put the cats out and had cleaned the room we were staying in. Had scrubbed and scrubbed and washed the sheets twice, and put two air filters in. But all that hair and dander and whatever all those animals roll in and spread all over the house? Is still all over the house.

And the dogs are the kind that are all pet me! pet me! pet me! And want to rub as close to you as possible. If this entails knocking over the coffee table, so be it. In fact, if they could squeeze inside your clothing to be closer to you, they would.

And in the background is the barking and frenzied leaping of the Jack Russell. Who is eventually grabbed and put on a lap, which is precisely what she wants.

At first I was petting the Labs, partly because they were nice and I do like dogs, even though these were really greasy and stinky. But also partly because the Jack Russell was so incredibly irritating and in your face. And so I was all, ooh, nice puppies! to the Labs, and ignoring the annoying yippy one jumping around, trying to get attention.

But at some point you wash your hands and just don't want them to get all greasy and doggy and gross. And when you tell them that you're done petting them because your hands are clean and they are not, they don't really get it.

The bigger issue in all this chaos is that I just couldn't breathe, and we had to leave. We retreated to his parents' house, which isn't far.

If you've never had an asthma attack, it's very hard to understand how terrifying it is not to be able to breathe. I once read an article that said if you want to explain asthma to people, tell them to do jumping jacks or run fast for two minutes. And then have them pinch their nose and breathe through a drinking straw. It's like that.

The fact that I was nervous about meeting them, paired with animal hysteria and all the not breathing, plus the realization that this family? With all these issues that I can currently walk away from? Is soon going to be my family. And issues I'll have to contend with.

I, of all people, don't expect families to be issue-free. But you know, we all have our own, and you get how your own family works and how to deal. Plus it's your own family, so you can voice your thoughts and opinions. Taking on a whole new family? Is terrifying.

All of this together made the bulk of the weekend a little stressful. Or maybe somewhere between fairly and completely fucking stressful. Probably falling more towards the completely fucking end of the spectrum.

We stopped and saw Jane in Philly on the way home, and that was like coming in from a hail storm. And her house? Has a two year old. One can hardly call it calm.

I'm glad we went up, I'm glad I got to meet them, and it underlined for me that I adore the everloving crap out of Nick and am never voluntarily letting him go.

That said, I can't even tell you how happy I was to be home last night.

Friday, February 15, 2008

The kind of friends you feel lucky to have

My friend Marta came along with me to look at a venue, but mostly to meet Nick. She and I have been friends for a long time through two jobs, but as she has two kids, our social lives are just so different.

So there hadn’t been an opportunity to introduce them before we got engaged. She has really been wanting to meet him.

I introduced them, and she gave him a hug and said, “Congratulations! I’m so happy for you! I feel like you just won the lottery!”

I love her.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

I have heard the mermaids sing, each to each

This Valentine's day, I'm writing a love letter to my blog world. It is long, and maybe sappy. But what do you expect on a day full of pink and candy and hearts and flowers?

Truthfully, this isn't the most cohesive post, and I'm afraid of meandering, but at some point I just gave in to it and so I ask your indulgence. Also, I'm afraid of having overlooked some people. This post got a little unwieldy.

So I'd like to say up front that this isn't an exhaustive list of everyone I read and like, but I think this is a pretty good walk through of those who I knew as real whole people before blogging, and those who I've gotten to know in person or virtually because of it, and with whom I exchange emails, hopes, wishes, dreams.

Also, I haven't been the greatest blog visitor lately, but not because I don't adore you all. I fell in love and fell off the planet a little.

To begin with the beginning, I started this journey in October 2006, with the encouragement of my friend Dave. He blogs about the law and not the minutiae of the day to day, but he was still my staunchest blogging supporter at the outset. Shortly thereafter I learned my friend Steve was a blogger. He's the one who told me the very basics of using Blogger. And I have to give him credit for virtually introducing me to Rich, who I also uh-dore.

I recently introduced Nick (AKA the feeeYONsayy) to my blog world. This caused me to spend some time talking about various bloggers, and what I like about the whole thing. It's funny, you know, telling someone you put your most personal thoughts and feelings up for anyone to see. And then explaining that actually, it's been so good for you in so many ways, and has been almost nothing but positive.

I've been thinking about what I wanted to write about my experiences with other bloggers ever since I met Megan last fall. She'd emailed to say she'd be in town, and suggested we meet. And she was 85 times lovelier, funnier, more delightful than I'd expected. And I'd expected a lot. I knew I'd like her - absolutely no question.

The reason I was confident I'd like in-person Megan was this. The very first "I like your blog" email I ever received was from DCup. We struck up an email friendship, and met up last spring when she came to DC for work. Although we were strangers, she didn't feel like a stranger, and we said hello with a big hug. We sat down, and we didn't start from the beginning - because with what you already know about each other, you start from the middle. And she was just as bright and funny and kind as I expected. (Random facts: Betty giggles every time she reads a comment with DCup attached. "Hee hee hee! DCup!" And I regularly beg her to send her youngest child to live with me if she ever gets sick of her.)

And then, because the world is a random and excellent place, people pop up in the blog world who were actual people in your life, just in a previous time.

Unexpectedly, I've reconnected with a childhood friend - Texpatriate - who I've literally known since I was born. Because of our blogs, we've gotten to know each other as adults. Our parents were in the Peace Corps together in Afghanistan. He is family. We go way, way back.

Another delight is getting reacquainted with high school friends, two of whom, Mark and Wendy, had blogs before we got back in touch. So I've happily been able to get to know them a bit as adults - in more detail than you would just exchanging emails.

Recently a third high school friend, my dear friend Lauren, started blogging. She's always had hilarious stories, and now they're out in cyberspace. Last year she introduced me to Almost Free, who I've only spent a couple crazy fun nights out with, but have gotten to know much better through the blog world and email, and really and truly consider a friend.

My friend Jane from grad school chronicles her son Avery's life. I love love love being able to drop in on him at any time, see what new word he's learned, his new favorite food (we both agree on the wonders of peanut butter), and just generally keep up on their lives. I'm going to see them this weekend, and I absolutely can't wait!

Though we are are far apart, the blogs provide much of the intimacy you lose with lack of proximity.

My friend Celtic Not, who I used to work with, turns out to have a blog as well. We didn't actually work together for that long, but you know how you meet someone, and you just connect in that way that means you will always, always like them and hope the world is kind to them? It's like that.

And then the random world of blogging has introduced me to some of the best people. Nearby, LMNt, who has since left the blog world, became an actual friend of mine, as has Dagny, who regularly says so many things that absolutely resonate with me. VVK and I have the India connection as a starting point, but it extends far beyond that. WiB will often send me notes that make me laugh out loud. Or think. Or both. And I've only met Justin once, and most of the time he is so very far away. But I always hope for the best for him. Same goes for FreckledK, who I recently wished goodbye in the blog world.

Near and far, there are people I feel like I know. Locally, Moosie is someone I want to hug, and not just to wish her strengh in her future work with tax lawyers. I've dated some of those people she'll be working with, and I do feel for her in advance. I also want to hug kate.d., who is on hiatus from blogging.

Far away, I feel like I know HKW, who lives in Texas, and is just incredibly kind, loving, and sweet. I want such good things for her And East Coast Teacher? She's a stronger woman than I. You couldn't drag me kicking and screaming into a classroom at this point. A.S. always has charming thoughts and facts on her blog. And who else do you know who has a monthly palindrome? Massive hugs for that alone.

Last, but so far from least, are Nicole and Slightly Disorganized. I've put them together because they're currently running around southern California with each other having unreasonable amounts of fun. If I were in my early 20s, they are exactly who I'd want to be causing chaos with. I just plain like them.

To everyone I wish love and sparkles and happiness and kindness. And enough chocolate that you actually feel a little ill, but not so ill you resist having just one more.

Big hugs and happy Valentine's day!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Always happy to speculate

He got sick before I did, and he got better first as well. I'm still blowing my nose like crazy, but he's still coughing up shocking amounts of phlegm.

Yes, we are both still really gross. And constantly in danger of snotting on ourselves and each other. Ick. But anyway.

"Why do you think I'm still coughing up so much phlegm and you're not?"

I pause. "Hmm. Well, maybe it's because you're a significantly more evil person than I am?"

"Why did I think you'd actually give me a helpful answer?"

Beats me.

Monday, February 11, 2008

I don't even think that this falls under hubris

A couple years ago a friend of mine asked me the following.

Would you be willing to give George W a blow job every day for a year if it meant getting him out of office immediately?

That was the deal. W leaves office tomorrow. And you give him a blow job every day for one year.

I paused. I felt like I ought to be willing to. It would be the right thing to do. But after some thought I said no. I just couldn't do it.

And honestly, I've regretted it ever since.

Every time you read about something atrocious, horrible, or just plain stupid that he's done, which, let's face it, is at least once a day, I've thought, "God, I totally should have said yes."

I've felt guilty. Why don't I think beyond myself? I should think on a more global scale. How big a deal would it be in the scheme of things?

And so on and so forth.

This has been the case for ages.

And, then, just this past weekend, I realized that I've been carrying this regret around for no reason whatsoever. Because it's not like my answer actually mattered. It would have changed, um, absolutely nothing.

Like, if I'd said, "Sure. I'll do it for my country! For the world!" history would have been altered?

Honestly. Who am I?

Friday, February 08, 2008


I opened my email Tuesday morning and saw a very familiar name. Someone I'd deleted a while ago, but still, very familiar.

The message was simple. "Hi, just checking in. How are you, beautiful?"

I wrote back to say great to hear from you, and actually, I'm engaged. I got a very nice, congratulatory response back. With the admission that he is more than a little jealous.

I haven't yet replied.

What do say to him, really? That back then I really liked him, but lately I've thanked god 87 times over that he didn't actually want to be in a relationship with me?

I met him late in 2006. This guy was one of very few that I have liked so much, so fast. He got me intensely, he sparkled me, and soon after we started dating, I was well on my way to being completely crazy about him.

I would've been all the way crazy about him, but for one conversation. The one in which I wanted to know if he was dating other people. The very same one in which he said, in fact, he was, and actually, that's just how it is, until he is absolutely, completely sure.

In other words, I like you, but not enough not to leave open the option to fuck whoever I want.

To which I said, in a nutshell, "I really, really like you, and this makes me so sad. I don't regret getting to know you for a moment. And I wish you well in the world."

I'd like to say that was the end of that.

Physically, it was. But emotionally? Not so much.

He texted a month or so later to say he missed me terribly. I ignored it. He called. I ignored it. He called again.

I thought that maybe he'd had an epiphany. He liked me! He wanted to be with just me! Not so much. We went out, and he was coy, and I offered nothing.

I knew him, through his lens anyway. The women who told him he was inferior were the ones he worked so hard for. His ex-wife? Told him she was settling for him. And he married her anyway.

I get why he did this this. I mean, I get it now. Hindsight is so fucking fantastic.

You're raised in an abusive enough household, you don't think so much of yourself. No matter how attractive or smart you are, no matter how much you've accomplished. And so the people who make you feel worthless, they're the ones you have to prove yourself to. The ones who think you're great? Are clearly losers. Because otherwise they wouldn't like you so much.

I can't work like that. I realized that the harder I was for him, the more elusive, the more intrigued he was. But if I think you're amazing, and gorgeous, and smart and funny, I'm going to tell you so. I'm not going to make you work so you think I'm worthwhile. I'm just not.

We spent the next four months in an odd little dance, of me offering nothing, not to get him to like me, but rather because I just didn't want to put anything in, and him offering just enough to keep me interested.

The problem was, I'd really have a good time when we went out. We'd laugh and talk about anything and everything, and our chemistry was so fun. Except for the fact that I really had to work not to let things get physical again. Because I was not going to be back where I was when it ended.

And shockingly, even though my assumption was he just wanted to sleep with me, and I kept not sleeping with him, he kept asking me out. I liked him, and I liked how he made me feel in the moment. It was all the other moments when I had no idea if I'd hear from him again that didn't feel so great.

The last time I saw him he took me to a baseball game. And then I stopped hearing from him entirely. I have occasionally wondered if my lack of baseball understanding was the reason, but if someone's going to love you, they'll love you no matter what.

And he? Is not the Dementor. Or the across the street ex-boyfriend. See how much romantic ass much of last year sucked?

You know, I read his first little "check in and keep options open" email - because let's be honest, that's what it was, and I felt this amazing sense of oh thank goodness. What if he'd been willing to commit back then? Would I still be involved with someone who thought less of me for thinking he was great? Would I have missed the chance to have rainbows and puppy breath and unicorns and Stargazer lilies and chocolate cupcakes and pixie dust all rolled into one amazing guy?

It's scary to think about.

Thank goodness, thank the universe, for closing that door in time to open the best one ever.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

As long as you have the cookies under control, the terrorists cannot win.

So I bathed last night and scalded my sheets clean in the washer. Getting into bed clean with sparkly clean sheets is one of the best feelings.

And then I dreamt I was at my parents' house, baking cookies in their kitchen the dark. And I turned off the mixer, but it still kept mixing. I unplugged it, and it still kept whirring. It was dark, and there was this persistent whirrr, whirrrrrr, whirrrrrrr coming closer and closer.

I tried to scream for my mom - because this had me in a blind panic - but no sound would come out.

Seriously, I woke up with that choking hysteria, the kind you get when you dream you're being attacked and cannot make a sound. But realizing it was because of a possessed mixer? WTF? One more WTF dream, although I am glad this one isn't sexual.

Now? Working working. Happy to be out of the house - because boy, do I go kind of batshit when stuck at home for too long. I know this is hard for you to picture.

But? Having all kinds of stress on the verge of being imposed on me. Except that I am not willing to accept it. I'm building a little emotional fortress of keep your self-created stress to yourself.

Because, as one of my closest friends said, "What's with all the stress? It's a non-profit. It's not the fucking hunt for Osama bin Laden."

And that is my current mantra. "It's not the fucking hunt for Osama bin Laden."

One of these moments, I'm going to say that out loud.

The crazy mixers, though? Are a different story entirely.


Wednesday, February 06, 2008

A sort of gross yourself out contest

I haven't bathed since Monday.

On Monday at noon I came home from work and put on fleece pants and a fleece jacket. I was so completely freezing cold I just kept piling more stuff on, and couldn't bear the thought of taking anything off long enough to take a shower.

The only reason I took them off at 3 this morning was because I'd sweated clean through them. And was simultaneously freezing and boiling.

I spent all last night with a fever and chills. I took them off and soaked through another set of clothes. And now, though I have on a clean t-shirt I'm back in the fleece jacket that I picked up off the floor next to my bed, figuring, I'm not any cleaner than I was, and my sheets are already dried sweaty and gross, so why the hell not?

If this is making you throw up a little in your mouth, well, I can't blame you.

I figure I'll bathe before work tomorrow. Or tonight as celebration for feeling better. Because while I'm exhausted, I do feel 93 times better. I'm pretty sure this one isn't going to kill me.

You could say, why not just get up and take a shower now, if you feel better? And wash your damn sheets? And you would be making a valid point.

But I have to say, the mudpuppy side of me has me wondering how long I could keep this up. Like, if I weren't leaving the house till Saturday, could I hold out till then? Could I wallow in unbathed filth till next Monday?

And because, like raindrops on kittens, words are a few of my favorite things, I looked up "filth" on And look at all these delightful synonyms! I'm going to have to figure out how to work "feculence" and "putrefaction" into speaking/writing very soon!

Main Entry: filth
Part of Speech: noun
Definition: dirt
Synonyms: carrion, contamination, corruption, crud, defilement, dregs, dung, excrement, feces, feculence, filthiness, foul matter, foulness, garbage, grime, impurity, mire, muck, mud, nastiness, ordure, pollution, putrefaction, putrescence, putridity, refuse, rottenness, scuzz, sediment, sewage, silt, sleaze, slime, slop, sludge, slush, smut, trash, uncleanness

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Hack hack cough cough bitter bitter. Plus a little Gollum.

I'm home with the flu. I thought it was the plague, but it turns out there's a mutated strain of the flu that the vaccine didn't cover.

I feel like shredded ass on toast.

My everything hurts. Everything. My bones ache. My hair hurts, my teeth are tingly, my skin is sensitive. Name a body part, and it hurts. Plus, I am an enormous phlegm factory. I cannot stop coughing, which makes my brain hurt. Sometimes big gobs of stuff come up, which I find kind of interesting. I of course examine them, because if they are brown or green, well, it's headed to a bronchial infection.

In other words, I am incredibly disgusting. And kind of hateful.

It turns out that when I feel terrible, I either want to be left alone to die or be well taken care of. And that varies moment to moment.

I got sent home from work by a horrified boss yesterday - what was I doing infecting everyone? I sat down on my couch and was pretty sure I was going to curl up in a little ball and expire in a shivering lump of fleece-clad, comforter-covered misery.

When the boyfriend (or rather, the fiancé - a word I for some reason cannot take seriously or say in relation to myself without pronouncing it feeeYONsaayyy) called yesterday, I whimpered into the phone, "I'm just going to stay home to die by myself. You can of course have the ring back when I die but please don't give it to anyone else."

He said "Nonsense!" and came to get me.

I'm going to bet he regretted it. He gave me this hideous affliction, and I was all kinds of bitter.

And so, after a huge coughing fit, when I'd gotten my wheezing breath back, I was like, "You know even though I really love you? Right now I also hate you just a little."

He was all, "Yes, sweetie, I know. Now drink this."

I know I was a huge brat. I didn't want soup. I didn't want pasta. I didn't want anything. I just wanted to be left alo-o-one in my misery. Except, was he really leaving me alone? Don't gooo! Whimper whimper.

He got all bossy about eating something, since I said no to everything, and so finally I said OK, a little pasta. And then retched when he said he was putting pesto on it. In the end, I had plain pasta with salt.

Then he foisted some of his medication on me. He'd gone to the doctor that morning and she'd given him a myriad of medicaments.

I was all whiney and pouty and not wanting to swallow one more thing. I was lying in bed moaning, "It huuuuuurrrrts."

"What hurts, sweetie?"


The thing is, he knows. He went through the same thing. With none of the drama or whining or assertions of impending death. Or begging to be put out of one's misery.

And now he's gone for work for the rest of the week and I've been deserted. To perish alone. Except that he calls every couple hours to check on my progress.

He was telling me that on his day two of the illness, by this point, he was much better than I seem to be. What can you say but "Fine. You win." and mutter epithets under your breath?

I'm sure it's for the best he's gone. Because see what an enormous ass pain I am and how you never, ever want to be around me when I'm really sick?

Interestingly, I've realized in my misery that the only part of my body that doesn't hurt is my ring. The ring? Feels really fucking awesome.

Monday, February 04, 2008

On the one hand it's fast, but on the other, I've been waiting my entire life

Now, many of you know that I have been dating for longer than many readers of LG have been alive. Or some, anyway. That means a very long time.

Depending on how you look at it, at some point I got really good at it. Alternately, one could say, "Wow, she's needed remedial dating lessons for years!"

So you date along and you date along. There are guys you really like and guys who really like you. Sometimes these things coincide, at least for a period of time. Much of the time they don't, or the amount of time that you both feel the same is ephemeral and eventually painful and disappointing.

What's my point?

It's this. And please bear with me, because the end of this little tale is insanely good.

Eventually you meet a guy you think is really cute, and smart, and ridiculously, goofily, funny. He's not only good to you, he's kind to everyone. He's incredibly polite to cab drivers and wait staff - two of things you look for. He holds doors for people, and he tucks you in the car and closes your door before walking around to his side.

You spend astounding amounts of time together, and it's just so nice. Very quickly, he feels like home. Every Sunday you do the NY Times crossword together, drinking tea and mostly sharing really well - although not every minute. You run together down on the parkway, and it's the first time you've really liked exercising with a guy you are dating.

He introduces you to the Family Guy, which you hate, because dude, there's a woman who sleeps with a dog on the show! I don't care if the dog talks and is really cool, or that it's a cartoon. It's still cartoon bestiality. He's not remotely interested in team sports, and for this you thank your lucky stars. You introduce him to Project Runway, and despite himself, he's really impressed.

And one day, you are making tea in the kitchen, and he catches your eye from the living room. Why? So that you can see him performing his exaggeratedly awkward krump moves for you. Or displaying his breakdancing skills. I don't know about you, but there are few things I find funnier than an enormous white guy pretending to krump. Or breakdance.

And the fact is? He will do these moves, accompanied by humming, in the car as well. Which delights you immensely. It occasionally delights the people stopped at the light next to you.

Things like this make you think, how on earth did I find this person? Who keeps me endlessly entertained? And thinks I'm the best thing since peanut butter ever ever ever?

And, is it possible that all these people who have had so much more faith than I have, and who have said over and over that if it's right, it'll just work, without drama trauma, games, or needless struggles - is it possible they are actually right?

It turns out they are.

On Saturday night, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.

And I said, "Yes! Absolutely! Yes!"

Friday, February 01, 2008

Neither blue-footed nor endangered. Nor portable. Alas.

Once a month I develop a serious loathing for these two little bastards I carry around on the front of my body.

I've lamented them, talked to them sternly, argued with them, all to no avail.

I get all, "I hate you!"

While my boyfriend is more like, "Christmas!"

I've been wanting to just leave them in the dresser drawer - like, yes, just sit in the dark and think about how you've been behaving! And then my boyfriend said that if he could, he'd happily take them off my hands.

"It would be so fantastic! I could just take them to work with me!"

"I wish you could."

"Well, except I wouldn't really get anything done. Because they'd be sitting on my desk and every time I turned around, I'd be like, oooh, boobies!"

"God. One can only imagine."

"Yeah. And then a male colleague would come in my office with a work matter, and then suddenly he'd be like, 'ooh, boobies!' and none of us would get anything done."

I declined to mention that on top of the lack of productivity and bizarre workplace bavior that would engender, it would also mean sharing my breasts with his colleagues. Which, if he thought about it, would horrify him.

I'd might be almost OK with it if that meant I could get rid of them for a bit, though. But you know they'd have a hard time looking me in the eye next time we saw each other.