Friday, April 30, 2010
This got me thinking. Maybe we're asking a lot, to be unbelievably happy. Maybe gratitude has nothing to do with joy. Maybe being grateful means recognizing what you have for what it is, appreciating small victories. Admiring the struggle it takes simply to be human. Maybe we're thankful for the familiar things we know. And maybe we're thankful for the things we'll hopefully never know. At the end of the day, the fact that we have the courage to still be standing is reason enough to celebrate.
I have to keep this in perspective sometimes. I have been known to throw a hissy fit when something didn’t go my way. But what I need to do is pump the brakes, look at what I have, and be thankful for it. Even if it didn’t come in the package that I envisioned.
This man had the courage to live. He had the courage to wake up every morning, not necessarily thankful that he was alive, but ready to face another day. But not the courage to go after what his heart desired..
One time I decided to go after what I wanted in a big way. I had a guy friend who I was kind of sweet on, so I decided to make a grand, romantic gesture and tell said guy friend that I liked him and wanted to date him. I should have thought better about the timing, I shouldn’t have been in Finn MacCool’s when I said it (although I’ll usually say that anytime is a good time to be in Finn’s), and I should have been prepared for whatever the answer may be. He just looked at me and said “I’m sorry. I don’t feel that way about you, and I’m dating someone new.”
Suddenly, I felt like I was wearing patchouli in a room full of Chanel No. 5.
How did I miss the boat this drastically?
So I did what every respectable girl would do. Ticked off and embarrassed, I grabbed my bag and sulked out (and left the tab for him to pick up). Then I got to the car and I turned my music up real loud and took off for home. And I promptly decided that he was crazy, I’m a catch, and he will be so sorry. Of course, he isn’t crazy and he wasn’t sorry. He was honest. But the part about me being a catch? That part is true. (fyi.)
But I digress. The old man from the book knew what he wanted, but he didn’t have the balls to go after it. He wanted his childhood sweetheart. He wanted a relationship with his son. But he stayed on the outskirts of their lives, hiding behind bushes, hoping to catch glimpses of them walking by. Poor guy.
I may have lost some dignity that night in Finn MacCool’s, but at least I went after what I wanted.
Now I know what it must be like for guys, who traditionally have to make the first move. A word of advice, boys. Do it. Just tell her how you feel. She may say no, you may feel so embarrassed that you barely make it to the door before the tears brim up in your eyelids… or she may say “I thought you’d never ask.”
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Take High School Boyfriend Guy. I dated him when I was a junior and he was a senior, and we ate sno cones every single day. We had a great time, he left for college, and that was the end of it. Except for a lunch many years later, we completely lost touch. He was, however, such a nice guy that when I found out he was marrying what was rumored to be a sweet girl, I was happy for him.
And then you have In The Closet Gay Guy, who left me for a dude. He and the dude were best friends, and I always thought something was strange about the way they chased each other around the house with a twisted up dish towel, trying to pop the other one in the legs or other various body parts. Well where there is smoke… I found out years later that he married a woman and they are doing well! It’s like the mystery of the sphinx, when you think about it.
It can go either way, really. You can be happy for them or you can pity the girl (or guy…) who ends up with your ex.
Tonight I started thinking about rebounds. I am going to be one of these girls one day. I will either be one-half of a couple who everyone is happy for because he is such a great guy, or I’ll be one-half of a couple who is an inside joke to tons of people. I will either get lots of “So great to meet you! You’re such a lucky girl!", or I’ll get sneers at parties and tons of pity. But is it possible that guys aren’t great in everyone’s eyes? Maybe it was a messy breakup and his image will forever be tainted, even if she is the one who screwed it up. We can’t know for sure. Or maybe he really is a douchebag.
Maybe some folks aren't meant to be tamed. Maybe they need to run free until they find someone just as wild to run with. And that would create animosity with the people who aren’t wild enough to run with them.
Guess it just goes to show you… one woman's Titanic is another woman's Love Boat.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen X
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien X
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte X
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling X
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee X
6 The Bible X
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte X
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell X
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens X
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott X
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller X
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare X
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien X
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger X
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger X
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell X
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald X
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck X
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll X
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame X
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis X
34 Emma-Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis X
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini X
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres X
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden X
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne X
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell X
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown X
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez X
44 A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery X
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding X
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan X
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel X
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen X
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens X
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley X
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez X
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck X
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold X
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas X
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac X
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding X
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville X
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens X
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker X
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett X
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Inferno – Dante X
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens X
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker X
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White X
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom X
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle X
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery X
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare X
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl X
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo X
Final Total: 56. Not too shabby. I will be adding an "x" to Shadow of the Wind since it is this month's book club book.
Yeah, so I've read the classics. My favorites though? Romance novels full of debauchery. Or teenage vampire books. I'll take either, really. Then you have the Bible, which I'm learning to enjoy reading. It's got some pretty good stuff in there. No teenage vampires, but plenty of other things that might pique your interest.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Today’s mail brought me an invitation to participate in a local study of alcoholics at the Public Health “Institue”. So many things jumped out at me the second I opened the envelope.
First of all, are you calling me an alcoholic? Because I have a thing or two to say to you, letter in the mail. Yes I love my vodka tonic more than I love any other beverage and most foods. But I have complete control over my alcohol intake. And I know I have a propensity toward alcoholism (yes, Mom, I do know this), so I’m extra careful. Don’t tell me I have an alcohol problem, letter in the mail! Oh no, they di-n’t.
Secondly, who in their right mind would participate in a study conducted by a group who cannot spell “Institute” correctly? The sheer thought of it gives me a Whoopi Goldberg big-eyed, wrinkled forehead look.
After shredding the letter, I got to thinking about alcohol and dating. Since we (you and me) are so fabulous, we definitely don’t need to drink a lot so we’re more fun to be around. But sometimes we do need to drink a lot to make the other person more fun to be around.
I have a rule where I don’t drink too much during the week. But sometimes I find myself on one of those weeknight outings where one drink isn’t cutting it. So we all make sacrifices. And if that means 3 vodka tonics to get through the conversation, so be it.
Then there was Tight Jeans Guy who wasn’t a drinker but said that he was fine with me drinking. So of course I did. I can’t resist a good drink when the bartender is staring me in the face, tempting me with Grey Goose. I had one drink on our first date. And then one drink on our second date. And he didn’t go out with me again because I “drank too much.” Okay. Let’s be honest here. What he really needed was a girl who doesn’t drink either.
My brother says he doesn’t trust anyone who doesn’t drink. I agree with that sentiment, to a degree. Although I will take it one step further and add that I don’t trust people who don't believe in God or men who wear pink pants. And yes, I know someone who wears pink pants. He calls them “salmon” but believe me, they are pink. Therefore I don’t trust him completely.
I have no desire to dictate whether someone should or should not drink. However, since Tight Jeans Guy, I have never dated a non-drinker, because I feel like I will always be judged. I don’t plan on putting down the bottle anytime soon, and I would hate for it to be a dealbreaker. The older I get, the more I am interested in a minimal number of drinks and calling it a night. Seriously, if I get dumped again for drinking too much, I am looking up the Public Health “Institue” and giving them a call. There might be money and blog material involved, and you know those are two things I can’t pass up.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
<>I just paid 30 bucks to talk to you! <> lol Seriously, my account with this site cancellled the other day but Ive been able to just look at profiles since. Your profile caught my eye and thought that I might give it one more try. <> <> <> <>I think you and I may have alot in common and I was hoping I could have an opportunity to get to know you. I know, I know your wondering what we might have in common.....well slow down give me time to type. Lets seeee....hmmm... well were both Christians, I have a job and so do you, we both live in Fort Worth, were both ok with our money, ummm... you write funny blogs, I like to read funny blogs. I have a magnolia tree in my front yard but to be honest I cant stand it becuase it didnt bloom and all it does is shed its leaves. I love my job (I work as a purchasing agent for steel) but it stressfull at times and enjoy the peeps I work with as well.<> <> <> <>If you havent noticed yet Im a bit of a goofball, I like to have fun in whatever I do. I have some great friends and we hang out often having bbqs or road trips to the river or where ever suites our fancy. I think I spelled suites wrong, oh well hope you're not a grammer nut if so I apologize for that last statment as well. ha! Anywho if you think I might fit the bill of someone youd like to get to know then I'd like to hear back from ya. Have a great day Dana!! Im out!! <> <> <> <>Dueces!!<><>
Yes, this is a real message from a real Yahoo Personals guy. Let’s break it down.
Is he trying to make me feel obligated to talk to him because he just paid 30 bucks? All this did for me was make me feel obligated to read the message. Nothing more than that so far.
So he’s telling me to slow down so he can have time to type. Okay, no problem, considering I’m not standing over him like Mrs. Vaughn in Stephenville High School typing class, watching his every move. How about he stops pretending I am responding to him in real time? That’s a little creepy.
Christian. Okay, check.
Has a job. Okay, check.
Lives in Fort Worth. Okay, check.
Okay on money. Okay, that’s nice. But where did he get that I am okay on my money? I don’t have a thing about money in my profile… assuming things. And you know that only makes an ass out of him and him.
Likes to read funny blogs. Okay, check. (as if I would just hand my blog address out to any Tom, Dick and Harry… again, assuming here)
Has a magnolia tree but hates it. Okay, that’s… interesting. I guess.
He enjoys the “peeps” he works with. Okay, so he knows ebonics…
He’s a goofball who likes hanging out with his friends. Okay, goofball is okay. But I have a feeling that we are creeping into Jon Gosselin immaturity territory.
He hopes I’m not a grammar nut. Well. The fact that his note to me contains 7 misspelled words and he doesn’t know how to use an apostrophe is enough to make this self-proclaimed grammar nazi very unhappy.
Did he really just say "Anywho" ?
He ends notes with “Deuces”. I can already tell that Bama wouldn't like this guy.
And what’s with all the <> stuff? I guess he’s artistic? Who knows.
So I know I’m ripping this guy apart, but seriously. If this is all you have for a first impression because it’s online and not face to face, then you need to send something a little more intelligent than this.
Sorry, buddy, you wasted your 30 bucks. Hopefully this note worked on somebody else.
Enough, this is not dating. I want moonlight and flowers and candy and people trying to kiss me. Nobody is trying to kiss me! Nobody is even looking my direction. Do you have any idea how much effort it takes to do all this? I’m shaved and plucked and I iron my clothes! No more of this until one of you men figures how to put on a date! I want heat, I want romance, damn it! I want to feel like a lady!
And I don’t want to be told I’m too hot or too sexy to be a serious girlfriend. That’s a load of crap. (Yes, I was told that recently)
Thank God that 7-day Yahoo Personals trial is over. Now I can resume my normal dating life that consists of tons of first dates, a tiny bit of second dates and sometimes, every once in a blue moon, a meaningful relationship.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Every time I am with this couple, I can see very clearly that they are soul mates. You can see it when they look at each other. Same with my mom and stepdad (who is more of a dad than my dad, so we’ll call him my “dad”). Obviously they are meant to be together.
So that evening, after I got home, I sat on my patio and got to thinking about soul mates. Two small words, one huge concept.
So is there always such a thing? Or are some people just lucky enough to find this elusive soul mate? Is there really just one person out there who holds the key to your heart, your dream house, your dream life? No man defines who you are. This I cannot emphasize enough. But can that one man define everything else about your life, including your happiness?
I don’t know the answer. I guess I just have to have faith. At the end of the day faith is a funny thing. It turns up when you don't really expect it. It's like one day you realize that the fairy tale may be slightly different than you dreamed. The castle, well, it may not be a castle. It may be my 1,090 square foot “cottage” that needs to be repainted. The two perfect children and a perfect white picket fence… well, I do have two perfect pets and a wooden picket fence that is not painted white but it’s perfect just the way it is.
I looked around and realized that I am right where I need to be. I have everything I could possibly need. Of course it’s easy to want more. But when it comes down to it, if that soul mate ever shows up (if such a thing even exists), it would just be icing on the cake that is my life.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
After nearly falling asleep approximately four times on the way down early Saturday morning (I had a jazz gig on Friday night), Bama and I arrived at the lake in all our sleep-deprived, somebody-pour-us-a-mimosa glory. We ate some food and then jumped into our swimsuits. Sidenote: April is a bit early for busting out the swim suit and the flippy floppies (in my case, due to the softness of my abs), but everyone seemed to be in good spirits about the whole situation.
KBliss and I did the customary ritual of lathering on as much sunscreen as possible and then laying out (see, Dr. Stacy? I was listening when you talked about sun damage!). It was a balmy 75-80 degrees (perfect for sitting on the deck, not so perfect for getting on a boat with T-Pain… so we sat and soaked up sun). We drank homemade pina coladas and talked and drank bellinis and laughed and drank beer. A few of us went down to the water and floated on multi-person rafts. The water felt amazing when you dipped your foot into it.
LiWi and I decided to try our luck at the jet ski. We were enjoying a leisurely stroll around the lake (and managed to stay within the one rule, which was don’t go past the lighthouse… got it). I had a thought come to me and blurted out, “What would we do if this thing died out here?” To which LiWi replied, “Umm… Dana we aren’t going to die out here.” After clarifying that I meant the jet ski dying, we decided that we have no idea what we would do. In fact LiWi took it one step further and said “I’m not swimming.” Word. Me neither. Right around that time, the thing starts beeping at us and the warning light is flashing. Seriously, Poseidon?? You’re gonna do this to us right now? What did we do to piss you and your water off? Needless to say, my novice skills managed to speed us back to the house and we were simply running low on gas. KGarza informed me that it was much like the light that comes on when you are running low on gas. Okay, not so scary. But I may have peed my pants a little bit when that light flashed and we were really far away from the house.
I came in and Bama and I fell asleep on the couch for a little bit. That jet ski excitement pretty much took it out of me. KBliss went upstairs to take a shower and came down in a towel a few minutes later, asking for some help turning off the shower… then KGarza tried to turn it off and the faucet exploded. Luckily the plumber showed up and fixed it. But not without our resident engineer peering over his shoulder the entire time (thanks for keeping him honest KBliss).
Minutes without water: 45
Plumber named “Tanker” $201.00
Having running water in a house where 12 girls are staying: Priceless.
I feel that I need to clarify a previous statement that I made about Tanker. He was a “6” on a scale of plumbers in Horseshoe Bay, Texas. He was a “3” compared to the rest of the male population. The “6” rating was on a curve.
Crisis averted. Time for fajitas. Being a semi-vegetarian, my fajita consisted of refried beans and guacamole, but it was delicious. Then we ate a homemade red velvet cake that was beautiful and oh-so scrumptious. Thank you Tiff!
After cutting the cake, we heard fireworks outside and were in a prime spot to watch one of the most amazing fireworks shows any of us had ever seen! What are the chances? We claimed it as our own show specifically for Keelsapalooza and no one has disputed that yet. Absolutely amazing.
My tired butt called it a night after 3 rounds of Scatergories (good job, KGarza, the reigning champion) and I was out by 11:30.
Early morning, good breakfast by KBliss and 3 and half hours home.
Saturday, April 3, 2010
I know several people who still think about the “one that got away” and it makes me hope I’m not in that position years from now. I don’t have a “one that got away” in the technical sense. It’s more the “one that could have been so amazing.”
We met in an airport terminal during a ridiculously long layover. We clicked, and then we went out for drinks after returning home from our respective trips. We were having one of those great first dates that you can only have when it’s not an actual date. And then I flaked out and decided to give my wayward boyfriend another shot. I promptly deleted Airport Guy’s phone number and gave my relationship 100%. I didn't think I would ever see him again, and that made me a little sad. He sure was cute. And he made me laugh.
A year later, I had been single for a while (wayward boyfriend didn’t last after all) and I couldn’t get Airport Guy out of my head. There was just something about him that was so comfortable. I remembered his phone number in my head (I’m weird like that) and dialed him. He met me that day and so began a really great summer. We never endured the DTR (Define the Relationship discussion) but I was okay with that. I just enjoyed being with him. We were good together. We watched a lot of Jeopardy and hit Mellow Mushroom on Tuesday nights to dominate their trivia game. But the summer ended and he disappeared without a word. I am not a person who gets mad, but I was disappointed. I really liked him and I think he liked me too. I held out hope for a while that he would come back but realized that he must have needed to be alone. I still think about him often and wonder how he’s doing. And sometimes I’ll text a “hello” to him. I don’t think he knows how much of an impression he made on me.
Maybe one day I’ll meet someone who makes me not want to call Airport Guy during weak moments. Or maybe this is going to be like the 'Bridges of Tarrant County', a very brief affair I'll write about in sappy letters to my grandchildren. Either way, it sure was a great summer and I smile when I think about it.
Friday, April 2, 2010
Say my boss is not in the best mood. Take it personally?
Nope. I have those days too.
Maybe friends or family have to rush off the phone because they are in the middle of something and can’t chat. Take it personally?
Nah. I do that too sometimes.
Relationships. Take those situations personally?
Well, that’s a little more difficult.
I have been on the giving and the receiving end of ending relationships (and not just romantic ones), many times over the last 13 years. None of them are the ideal position. When you are the one giving, it’s awkward and painful and you feel like you are really hurting someone, when that truly isn’t your intention. And the receiving end is awful as well. You feel like you aren’t good enough for that person (which is crazy, because let’s face it – we’re amazing, right??), or maybe that they are just not giving it a fair chance.
Then again, sometimes it is a relief. Sometimes it works out for the better. Some folks just aren’t meant to be. And that’s easy to live with when you are sure that you have the right answer. So much of that just goes back to trusting God.
But how do you not take it personally when you are on the receiving end? Isn’t it a highly personal idea that someone does not want to be with you? But taking it personally doesn’t do anyone any good. Sometimes I feel so clueless. Do you think it could really be as simple as “my father walked out, therefore I'll always be messed up about men”? Some girls’ fathers came home every night at seven on the dot and they have no clue about men either.
That’s the thing about getting your feelings hurt. You just have to ride it out, hope it goes away on its own, hope the wound that caused it heals. There are no solutions, no easy answers, you just breathe deep and wait for it to subside. Most of the time it can be managed but sometimes it gets you where you least expect it. Hits way below the belt and doesn't let up. You just have to fight through, because the truth is you can't outrun it and life always makes more.
Sorry, just don’t have the funny in me today. Feeling reflective instead.
Have a wonderful Easter. Remember the reason for this weekend and say a prayer of thanks for Jesus Christ and his sacrifice for us. Sure makes my problems seems small, when I think about what he went through for us.
Thursday, April 1, 2010
2. Jon Gosselin. Jon topped my list until Jesse James came out with his antics last week. This Ed Hardy-wearing, super-reproductive guy just needs to go away. And by away, I mean into space. Or maybe the middle of the Sahara desert. I know Kate was a lot to deal with, but you would be too if you popped out 18 children and had to constantly pull your husband away from his Ed Hardy Ebay Habit. And really, stealing $175,000 from the woman raising your children is worse than skipping out on a few months of child support. You know things are bad when the designer of the douchiest clothing line in America drops you and hires Lindsay Lohan instead. True story, look it up.
3. Tiger Woods. No one in their right mind would cheat on their wife. Tiger took it one step further, however, and cheated on his beautiful Swedish swimsuit model (and mother of his two children) with over 10 girls, none of which are of Elin's caliber. I have said so much about this over the last few months, I simply don't have anything more in me. Suffice to say, I would very much like to slap him upside the head. At least Elin is wearing a "chastity belt made of iron" (her words), because let's face it. He just might have something she doesn't want for Christmas. And I'm not talking about a gaudy piece of jewelry.
4. Spencer Pratt. He's going off the deep end. Now that he is public with his love for crystals, he wants to learn how to meditate. I'm on board with this. Maybe he will focus on his career post-Hills. Or maybe he will focus on how to deal with his wife's new weird body. Or maybe he'll finally make the important decision he was struggling with last season - to vasectomy or not to vasectomy? Can we petition this? Take it to Congress? Please don't let these two procreate.
5. Chris Brown. Let's face it. Anyone who beats up on a girl deserves more than a slap upside the head. But he took it one step further recently, by attending Jean Paul Gaultier's show, which featured models covered in fake blood and bruises. He was cheesing it up in a picture next to the designer, who was also sporting this look. If I were a celebrity rapper who beat up my girlfriend and was trying to clean up my image, I would not be all smiles next to a designer covered in fake blood and bruises. He needs to consult with Charlie Sheen on this one. He's an expert on beating up the ladies in his life and coming out smelling like roses on the other side.