Monday, February 27, 2006

We knew this day would come

I will be the first to admit that I have been rather remiss in posting of late. My apologies. Now I will make up for it by posting some stuff that is guaranteed to make Gloria puke.

Yes, I have been spending lots of time with the boy. I have stopped hyperventilating over the toothbrush. I gave it up when I discovered the razors and shaving cream. I had thought about more hyperventilation but then remembered how he is so good about washing dishes and taking out the trash without being told. Besides, he worships the ground upon which I walk.

Last week we went out to dinner at T-Rex, a place I had been dying to try out. I meant to take photos for you of the food but I forgot. Next time. We started with the mussels and then each had the half rack of baby backs. I had the greens and potato salad as my sides. He had the black eyed peas with spinach and the cheese grits as his. Oh, and the drinks. The best was learning that the place is open until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. Emerald was excited when I shared this tidbit with her. I foresee future girls' nights out in this place.

After dinner we went out for drinks at Fonda (same ownership as T Rex). While we were enjoying our drinks, his bandmates called. They were having an impromptu jam session and wanted him to join. It was late so I told him that he was welcome to go but that I would not be joining him. He decided that he would rather hang out with me. The next day he told me that he has never passed on a jam session but he did this time because he is crazy about me. (Gloria, you may start puking now.) He then went onto say that he has noticed that since he has been hanging out with me, his music has improved. I have always wanted to be a muse.

So last Saturday hit and I had spent most of the day trying to recover from a pulled muscle. Don't ask. By late afternoon I gave in and found the Flexeril in the medicine cabinet. The boy showed up as I was sleeping off the effects of the Flexeril, nearly insisting that we go out. I settled on the place closest to me. (It is wonderful having a bar literally within crawling distance.) The Flexeril was OK but it needed the help of some red wine. (By Sunday, I decided it was best to switch to the Tylenol-3 which has been working wonders.) When we got to the bar, he then sat there playing air guitar. Ummmm. Are we 17? Then I remembered that he had been at band practice and kind of smelled like a distillery. I asked how much he had had to drink while at practice. Once I received the answer, I realized that I had a lot of catching up to do.

Tonight I have been subjected to a great deal of whining over the phone. All because he did not plan well. Do I have to say, "Leave me and take care of your business." I think not. Yet another irritating thing. I hope this is not a pattern.

I also plan to delve more into why he has not seen his mother in FOUR years. That just doesn't seem right.

For now, he is here to stay. We'll see how that goes.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Is this a poker game?

I know I have been kind of missing in action lately but thanks to Gloria I now have something to post that hopefully will not make Gloria puke.

Four jobs I have had in my lifetime:

I've done a number of things for a check over my many years. (Get your minds out of the gutter please.) I thought I'd try to pick ones that sound a bit interesting.

1. Legal intern for a women's shelter
2. Bartender at an amusement park ("Let's go swill back beers while the kids are off enjoying the rides.")
3. Construction project coordinator
4. Teacher

Four movies I could watch over and over:

1. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Anything with Clint Eastwood is required viewing in my family. This is my fave, or is it The Beguiled? Gotta love that woman scorned thing in that one.)
2. Rebecca
3. Monsters, Inc. (Maybe I spend too much time around kids.)

Four places I have lived:

1. Berkeley
2. Williamsburg, Virginia
3. San Diego
4. Bend, Oregon

Four places I have been on vacay:

1. Mazatlan
2. Puerto Vallarta
3. London
4. Barbados

Four TV shows I like to watch:

I like Gloria watch a lot of TV so I thought I'd narrow it down to the shows for which I would be highly upset if I were to miss an episode.

1. Amazing Race
2. Gilmore Girls
3. Veronica Marrs
4. Desperate Housewives

Four websites I visit daily:

1. Numerous blogs. You know who you are.
2. IMBb. I always seem to have some question about some actor or some movie for which I absolutely must have an answer.
3. Netflix. The queue is in perpetual need of tweaking.
4. Any site that has job postings for teachers. I am still looking for a job after all.

Four of my favourite foods:

1. Cheese
2. Duck, especially the duck tacos at Fonda
3. The crab at Crustacean
4. Dim sum. Hmmm. Just found a place a few blocks from me that prepares dim sum items all day long. I think I might have to head there after finishing this post.

Four places I'd rather be right now:

1. Barbados
2. London
3. Rio -- haven't been there but really want to go
4. Savannah -- another place I have been wanting to visit

Four others I'm tagging:

1. Flare
2. BellaKarma
3. and 4. Anyone else who happens to be reading this who has not been previously tagged

I promise that the next post is one that will probably make Gloria want to puke all over again.

Friday, February 17, 2006

The evolution of dating

Spring must be approaching because I am seeing a lot more discussion about dating than I have in some time. I decided that I wanted to put in my two cents about a week ago.

I spent my early 20s making up for lost time. I was the girl who didn't get dates in high school. Then I got to college and everything changed. It continued this way through my early 20s and I thought that it would never end.

As I neared 30, I suddenly panicked. Wasn't I supposed to be getting married and having kids? Looking back, it seems the more I worried about it the less likely this was going to happen. I had become very bitter as I entered my 30s. Men were all jerks. This was evidenced by the few guys who asked me out. (OK. They were also jerks because suddenly the guys who used to ask me out were looking for someone five to ten years younger.) Finally my great friend, Shrew, pulled me aside and pointed something out. These guys did indeed have one thing in common -- me.

I lost faith in my ability to make sound decisions when it came to dating. So I just stopped. For about two to three years. I would still go out. I just didn't date. I had read through the self-help books in my early 20s and had decided these just weren't enough. Don't get me wrong. These books are a great starting place but they don't always force you to really examine yourself. That's why I would occasionally make an appointment with a therapist. When left to my own devices, I am not truly willing to fully explore certain areas of my life. I have found that a good therapist forces you to go to those places because without going there you will never have a full picture.

I reached my late 30s and was the happiest I have ever been in my life. I was happy before. I just wasn't happy with being alone. During the dating hiatus, I reveled in doing things alone -- going to clubs, going to movies, going to dinner. It was great learning that I could do these things and survive. Shrew and I often have conversations about this. We like doing things alone but also think that it is nice to have someone else around to share these experiences. We also agree that sometimes it is better to do these things alone than to have the wrong person along for the ride. We talk about that turning point when you stop caring so much what other people think.

A strange thing happened along the way. Suddenly the men were crawling out of the woodwork. I read years ago that Walter Matthau once said that women were sexiest when they dress for themselves. I have used this as part of the formula. When I head out, I put on what I feel the most comfortable in that day. Sometimes that means putting on a skirt, heels, and makeup. Other times it means throwing on a pair of jeans, a t-shirt, and no makeup. The results always seem to be the same. I guess because it's all about the person inside. It's that attitude of "You can talk to me if you want to but if you don't I'm still perfectly happy because my reason for being here is not about finding 'the guy.' Instead it's all about getting out and just experiencing life."

As the fortieth birthday keeps drawing closer, I am looking forward to the continuation of this whole dating thing.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

VD isn't that bad

I have always sworn against VD. (That's Valentine's Day, not the various diseases.) There have been other years during which I had a boy around but I don't think they hold a candle to this one. (Sorry for making you puke some more, Gloria.)

First of all, many thanks to Gloria. She provided inspiration and tutelage in the preparation of my gift.

Don't they look cute?

The finished package.

In fact I did such a good job, he thought that I had bought them.

Then there was dinner. Our new thing is that I select a recipe and then we go shopping together. This time he paid for the purchases. Then I let him assist me in the kitchen.

This was dinner. (Sorry. I realize the picture could be better.)

Tonight I finished exchanging one of my presents. (I had thought of providing a link to the exact set but then decided it is sometimes best to leave a little mystery.) Will men ever understand women's clothing sizes? I think not. My other present was a pair of earrings.

So I'm trying to stop hyperventilating. In fact, I am going to let him watch the cats this weekend while I head south.

I hope that if you're VD wasn't as good as mine that next year will be better. Actually I really deserved all of this because there have been way too many years in which I didn't even have a boy on VD.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Pass a paper bag

I am trying hard not to hyperventilate these days. As I have said previously, I can be a bit of a commitmentphobe. So how best to freak me out? Start leaving stuff at my home. The sunglasses I can deal with; that was merely oversight. But the toothbrush? Paper bag -- quickly.

There is usually a pattern in relationships. Mine is that I meet some guy and suddenly he has virtually moved in. I am waiting for the clothes to start showing up.

On Friday night I finally went to see Good Night, and Good Luck with the boy. As we were walking from dinner to the theater, we passed a store window with a colorful display.

Him: "Why do they still have Christmas directions up?"

Me: "Um. Everything in the window is red and white. I think it's a Valentine's Day display."

Him: "Oh yeah. That's why I was asking you if you liked chocolate earlier."

(I am not a huge fan of chocolate by the way. I can only stand it in small amounts -- unless I am feeling particularly hormonal.)

Yesterday I did something with the boy that I don't think I have ever done with a boy -- cooked dinner. (Yes, this too has me hyperventilating.) It all started when we were sitting around watching TV and getting ready to walk to the library. (Yes, he likes to read as much as I do.) I was flipping through the latest issue of Bon Appetit. He liked the pictures. Next thing I know, he's saying, "You know what would be cool? We should pick a recipe for dinner and then make it." I asked what he had in mind -- lamb. Not much going in the latest issue so I hit the computer to look on Epicurious. We ended up making this. Well, mostly I made it but he did a fine job with the Swiss chard -- with a bit of supervision. I completed the meal with couscous with pinenuts and golden raisins and this lovely Pinot Noir we picked up on our shopping trip. (One of the reasons I love Andronico's so much is that they have a wine steward. How many grocery stores have a wine steward? I must go back and thank her for her recommendation.) The meal was lovely. Also just a bit too strange for me.

Thanks to Gloria, it now looks like I will be making madeleines. I agreed yesterday that it would be nice to do something for VD. I cannot believe I said that. I normally wear all black and boycott the day. OK. So maybe most days I'm wearing all black but it seems more of a statement on VD. I am sure he is going to get me something after the chocolate conversation. I just couldn't figure out what to get him that wouldn't seem like too much. So thank you Gloria for inspiring me.

Of course I will let you all know how it all goes. That is if I haven't passed out by then.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Standing on the edge of the world

I know that folks are starting to wonder if I have fallen off the face of the Earth. I have not I assure you.

Last week I decided to knit a hat. Right as I finished it and was ready to sew the seam, the weather changed. It has been a lovely 70-75 all this week. Sit in front of a computer? Nah. Definitely time to head out.

Speaking of heading out. The Musician (aka the boy who wouldn't leave) called on Monday night. We stayed on the phone until 5 a.m. or so. The conversation ended with an agreement of dinner on Tuesday night. Indian food and then to Cesar for wine because the wine selection at the Indian restaurant was basically non-existent.

He showed up again yesterday because we were supposed to go to a movie. Ended up eating the leftover Indian. Perhaps a movie today.

I finished reading The Mermaid Chair. I loved The Secret Life of Bees. So much so that I am worried about the movie. Dakota Fanning as Lily? We'll see.

Took Boris for a pedicure yesterday. He was highly miffed. He can no longer climb the curtains and has been crying about it all day. Cried himself to sleep. Natasha's turn tomorrow.

Ran around collecting things for my mother. I get these emails periodically. "A friend of mine is traveling to Mexico soon and theses are the things that I desperately need. Please go out and get them and deliver them to my friend before his/her departure." I've gotten the items. Now I just have to head over to Mill Valley. Of course the weather has been so great, I think I just might be overdue for a trip to Marin County.

Got a lead on another teaching position. Thing is that they would probably want me to start next week. *sigh* So much for the sabbatical.

Monday, February 6, 2006

Tequila is evil

I awoke Saturday morning feeling a bit disoriented. Let me tell you I was quite relieved after a couple of minutes to realize that I was safely in my own bed. Then again perhaps it means that I have been falling asleep in front of the TV too much that I did not even recognize my own room.

I love my bar. I met some interesting boys of course. The best was the guy who was in town for this. We met because this married woman thought that we would be perfect together. We would be but he lives in Portland. He sat at the bar and crafted a napkin into a rose. Then he said that I was so pretty that I deserved a dozen roses. So he made eleven more. Somehow the cats have not managed to claw them to pieces. Oh, and the cats loved him as well.

I just have to thank Biker Chick once more for giving me cute hair. And thank you fruit juice for a speedy recovery. Because I had places to go.

Saturday was Gertrude's 40th birthday party. It was lots of fun seeing people I hadn't seen in years. After several glasses of wine and some tequila, the party was over and it was time to leave. (OK. So Gertrude's husband told me that I had to leave because he thinks I'm a sellout for dreaming of being a lady who lunches.) It was early so of course it meant returning to my bar.

Rose Guy stopped in after his performance but quickly left. He realized after one drink that he was rather tired and should be getting sleep because they were leaving early in the morning. After that was mostly a blur. Apparently I befriended this musician because I found him asleep in my living room Sunday morning. And why do people bother telling me their names after I have been drinking? Like I will remember. I kept waiting for him to say that he was leaving. In fact I was sure that when I turned on the TV and switched to AMC for Say Anything that he would leave. He had never seen the movie and so decided to stick around. He finally left around 8:30 this morning. Obviously I am no longer the person to ask about getting rid of people. Besides the cats seemed to like him. No paper roses though. Just a promise of dinner.

I'm starting to think that perhaps it is time for me to return to working fulltime before I get into too much trouble.

Friday, February 3, 2006

Lifestyles of the ghetto fabulous

I was originally going to title this post "I'm feeling like Rupaul" but figured that would just confuse folks. See, all day long I've been having Rupaul's song Back to My Roots going through my head.

I had a hair appointment this morning. I had wanted one earlier in the week but this was the best that Biker Chick could do. It also meant that I could not go out last night because, hello, I did not have cute hair. Now after four hours in Biker Chick's hair, I once more have cute hair. Look out boys! But more about that later.

I know you are wondering, "Why 'ghetto fabulous'?" Why indeed. I have found over the years that my fave hairdressers are usually in shops that are not in the best of neighborhoods. My appointment was at 9. Biker Chick didn't really get started on my hair until about 9:30. (She doesn't have a bike yet but wants a Harley. She spends her time hanging at biker parties. Think Biker Boyz.) She combed it out but then she had to step outside to smoke a little something. I know this for a fact because when she returned she tried to spray a little perfume or something on herself. Then she opened her mouth and there was no mistaking the distinctive aroma. We then proceeded to watch Maury and The View. There were many comments on why a woman would continue to go on Maury to try to find out who her baby's daddy is and on how much weight Star Jones has lost.

We then talked about the social club that she and her fellow hairdresser had started. Now these are women who go to Atlanta at least once a month to party. Well there club does more than party. Apparently at the beginning of this school year, they raised funds to provide backpacks and school supplies to 100 children. They had wanted to do more but could only afford that much. They are now planning an Easter weekend picnic with an egg hunt and a raffle for baskets. There will be one for children, one for teens, and one for adults. I heard mention that the adult one would contain thongs and handcuffs amongst other things. Currently they are having a raffle for Valentine's Day as a fundraiser. After hearing all this, I simply had to buy five tickets. I've gotta support my ladies who are giving back to the community.

Oh, and the other hairdresser brought in the new addition to the family.

His name is 50. (That is pronounced "fi-tee.") A guy who was getting his hair cut asked where the rest of the G-Unit was.

My friend, La Nicoya, always marvels at the variety of people with whom I feel comfortable hanging with. She primarily hangs with the ghetto fab. I have been known to leave a fancy event only to hang with her deep in the Mission. (Norteño territory, not Sureño because "Sureños are nothing but a bunch of punk ass bitches." Her words.) My dad has learned to make similar transitions but usually tries to avoid the Hood. It freaks him out that I will venture into these neighborhoods.

On my drive home, I suddenly realized something. In every East Bay city through which I have had the pleasure of driving, all of the numbered streets are in the flatlands. If you are not familiar with the Bay Area, this is a big thing. If you must live in the East Bay, then it is essential to not live in the flatlands. The flatlands are the Hood. Oh, and when traveling through Oakland, you will start to notice how as the street number gets higher so does the area's scary factor. I might have to investigate this further. Perhaps the hill dwelling folks proclaimed, "But we want names for our streets."

So now I've gone back to see my peeps and I have cute hair. There is only one thing left to do -- party!

Wednesday, February 1, 2006

Retirement is good

OK. So I'm not retired. My college roommate reminded me of that when she called earlier today. No, I am merely taking a sabbatical.

I spoke with the principal from the school yesterday. She is sure that she can get everything straightened out with HR and still wants to hire -- if not for this position, then for whatever is open at the time. The thing is she thinks the whole process will take time.

That's OK by me. Yesterday when I was in the tutoring center, I asked if someone else could cover my hour today. One of the other teachers stepped up. My buddy asked, "Why do you want off? Are we starting to interfere with your partying?"
Frankly, yes, this whole work thing is starting to interfere with my partygirl lifestyle. (I guess I should take "former partygirl" out of my profile.) I'm not in my 20s so I can no longer hang with going out every night of the week. Instead I'm thinking every other night.

Last night I told Gertrude how much I was enjoying not working. She said, "Yeah, it's nice as long as you have money." I do have money. Just got the check from my 401(k) today. If I had had the phone turned on yesterday, I could have had it then. (By the way, have you ever tried typing with a cat sitting on your arm?) As a surprise, I opened my mailbox yesterday and discovered yet another check. I had forgotten that I had earned my year-end bonus at the center -- slightly over $2,000. I figure as long as I start working again sometime in March, I'll be OK. Heck. I might even be able to hold out until April.

Now there's only one thing left to do -- set up the party schedule.