Monday, July 27, 2009

Desmond's First Video

Desmond asked me to post his first video-- a little love letter to my cousin Myka. Too many posts, and he'll have to get his own blog!

video

But then Again, Maybe My Luck is Changing

Just got a call from my pops. He said the mechanic told him the fan on the water pump went out, which was not caused by my hitting the log. I feel a lot better. I mean, standing in the hot sun for hours, watching my sweet little brother-in-law and my sister roll around in antifreeze was terrible (I hate being helpless! I need to take a shop class or intern with a mechanic!), but I do feel better knowing it wasn't because I'm super incompetant. No more running over logs, though.

A Run of Bad Luck

No joke, things have been awful lately.
I don't really know when it started, but were I to hazard a guess, I'd say a week ago Sunday. I started to get really stressed out about a lot of things going on in my life-- most important were concerns I had for several of my friends who were going through some really tough things, but I'll admit, there were plenty of my own petty and selfish little problems. Like on Sunday afternoon, when I'd finally made it home and worked my bum off on behalf of some of the above-mentioned peeps. I got home to find a message from a friend telling me how much I'd offended so-and-so. You know how frustrating it is to hear what an awful person you are after you've been busting your hump all day? It put me in a bit of a sour mood.
Anyway, fast forward through the week. Things kept piling on, and I was a little buried. Thursday felt like the zenith-- with everything directly over my head about to fall on me like a million shooting stars burning through the atmosphere (incidentally, at the family reunion my cousin Curtis gave us an astronomy lesson, and he mentioned that the things we identify as shooting stars are usually just particles of broken asteroid entering our atmosphere, but they're generally no larger than a grain of sand-- pretty spectacular, right? Plus also, it adds a little something to my metaphor).
Regardless, I was at the end of my rope and it felt like no matter what I tried to tackle, I couldn't catch a break. I'd tried my best to do some nice things for my sister for her birthday-- she was super appreciative, but I was in deep with my bro-in-law, who was wicked mad when I was late for my sister's surprise party. I couldn't get anyone to call me back for work and church things. I hit every red light. I went to a store to buy something very specific for my mother, and wouldn't you know, not one of the three Albuquerque stores for this specific chain had the item we really needed. I know these all sound like little, insignificant things, but it was not fun. The worst was when my friends tried to comfort me. I had to tell them to back off, and I know it sounded really mean, but I knew if I let down one inch of my guard, I'd just fall to pieces and wouldn't be able to function. No, scratch that. The worst was getting strong-armed into committing to a date with one of the most ridiculous people I know... this young man looks at me like a meal ticket and I would rather get my teeth pulled than go out with him. Actually, I asked one of my acquaintances to pretend to be Tanya Harding and maim me so I don't have to follow through with the charade. Boo. I laughed at myself for thinking it couldn't get worse.
So the good news is, I had a super time at the family reunion. I did manage to forget to pack the fezzes so I could ride with the Shriners in the parade, but I'm happy to say the family got on splendidly, and even the people who sometimes treat us like we're the Cousin Eddie of the group were actually cordial. I saw some of the fam I hadn't been with in years-- Curtis and Penny and their AMAZING kids, and I fell in love with my cousin Kimber's baby. Millie was the sweetest and pudgiest little girl, and provided some good baby therapy. It was impossible to be stressed or unhappy with that little angel around!
Plus also, there was the great fortune of finally buying my hideous baby puppet:
This is Desmond. I'm in love with him. I've wanted him for years, but I just couldn't justify the price tag. Finally, he was marked down, and I even made a lower offer on him, which I was thrilled the dealer was willing to take. I slept with Desmond under my pillow on Saturday night, thinking my cousin Myka was going to share my room at the cabin. She's been terrified of Desmond since I chased her around the store with him three years ago. I didn't get to scare her until Sunday morning, but the scream was worth every penny. So funny! Desmond and I have bonded. Something tells me he's going to be a big part of my life. Or at least my vaudeville act.
Also, I found a few other treasures-- a Boleslawiec dish in a pattern I'd never seen and a shape I didn't have; some old hats (which I really am going to start wearing on Sundays); an old lightbulb (I'm collecting burnt-out lightbulbs now... old ones are better, but I'm hanging on to all I can find for a bit of Anthropologie-inspired installation art); some watches and old photographs, etc. At one place, I saw this incredible old loaf pan. At first I thought I'd use it as a planter, but then I decided to mount it on the wall over the toilet in my bathroom at the cabin, because I need some storage space, and it's just too quirky and awesome.
Love, love, love the patina. It'll be so nice to have a place to put the toothbrushes and other stuff there's not room for on a pedestal sink.
Also, there was nothing on the walls in my bedroom up there, so I set about trying to change that. Unfortunately, the "Cabinet of Natural Curiosities" prints were too big for the frames I'd brought with me, so they'll make their way up on my wall later, but I did make a little steam-punk clockface picture. I'm rather proud of it. I like the depth and I like that it cost me next to nothing to make. Even the frame was fun-- my mom found it in her craft closet and gave it to me. In black it was boring, but a little fast-drying gold leaf gave it new life.

Anyway, I wish I could say the good luck in the junk stores and at the cabin was indicative of a change in the tide, but that may be speaking too soon. On the way home yesterday, I was focused on some nincompoops in front of me on the road who kept passing with no visibility and nearly causing many accidents, when I missed seeing a log on the road (dropped by one of the aforementioned nincompoops who'd not tied his firewood down in the bed of his truck and who nearly caused several accidents as his load kept falling out of the truck) and I hit it with my front passenger-side tire. I was relieved that there wasn't any apparent damage to the minivan, until about 30 miles later just outside of Espanola where the vehicle started making an awful noise. We thought maybe we had a flat. Pulled over, put the car in park, and all the antifreeze gushed out. My poor brother in law got covered in the stuff (as did my sister) as he loosened a hose under the car. No indication of exactly what is wrong, though we're guessing the radiator or perhaps the water pump. Long story short, we baked in the sun for hours, and I had to leave the precious little egg in Espanola. My dad and our mechanic went to get it this morning, and at least it hadn't been vandalized. But still, it's been one of those times where everything you touch turns to crap.
Anyway, I'm still exhausted and nervous and worried and buried, but on the bright side I have Desmond to keep me company. So maybe my luck will change.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Pottery Barn's Secret Spies

So the other day, I got the new PB Catalogue in the mail. I usually glance through it and then send it to my magazine recycling bin, because let's be honest-- their stuff is WAY overpriced. Oh, if only we had Z Gallerie in Albuquerque, my retail-chain needs would be completely met. OK, and maybe Restoration Hardware. And Crate and Barrel. And the Container Store. But I digress. (Ooh, Ikea wouldn't be bad either...)
Anyway, as I perused the Pottery Barn offerings, appalled by the outrageous prices and commenting to my mom all the while that I could get the same thing for a third of the price at a garage sale/flea market/antique store/Target, etc., I found something else to be outraged about-- it's like they snuck into my living room and stole tons of my decorating ideas! Seriously!
Now those who have been to my house and have seen my style are probably thinking, "Um, Rachel, you don't live in Pottery Barn. You live in a kitschy collection of miscellanea." Well, yes, that's true. I'm not saying they didn't de-Rachel-ize it a little bit for the boring nouveau riche and old money on Long Island (let me just mention again my ancestors settled the Hamptons), who prefer the streamlined, clean style of the PB set, but honestly, I couldn't help but see the similarities. A few pages in, I said, "Look Mom. They've got those wrapped bottles like I got Aunt Sylvia for her birthday a few years ago to go with her British-safari stuff." Turn the page. "Ooh, what a nice globe!" I thought, all while being pleased as punch with my own substantial globe collection. Turn the page. Old fashioned typewriters? Not only do I have two of them in my guest room, but also I am proficient using them because I still regularly use one at work (I know, I know, come into the 21st Century, Sego, but there's a definite charm to it). Turn the page. "Hey mom-- those cubbies look like a larger-version of that great drawer you picked up in Monte Vista at Doc's Antiques!" Turn the page. There was a huge metal cog on the wall (not for sale of course) that was the perfect combination of the tin ceiling tile behind my bed, and the new mixed-media self-portrait I'm working on.... I mean, in essence, of course, because I'm not a cog, but there's definitely a steam-punk element to the work. Eerie, right? The framed maps on the wall looked familiar, and wouldn't you know they had all kinds of film canisters on display when I'd just told Sister Pugmire not to throw out the Institute's old projector.
And it's not like I don't hit the Pottery Barn from time to time, but only for their sale items. I bought a wreath there on major clearance back in January, and even though it's supposed to be a Christmas item, I've kept it up all year long because it looks great on my front door, and not Christmas-y at all. But before that? I just don't remember. I already have a nice collection of apothecary jars and cloches. Other than a random clearance pillow sham or two, I just don't get very many things there. As a matter of fact, the last time I was in the Albuquerque store, I said to my aunt, "Oh look! They've hung lanterns made of mason jars on that display-- just like Rowe and I did for Wesley and Jari's wedding." Grrr.
Now I know these catalogues are made well in advance of the consumer seeing them, but honestly-- something's fishy. Get out of my head, Pottery Barn! If you're not careful, you're store will soon look more like Anthropologie. Or World Market. Or, gasp! The flea market.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Secret Girl Code: Did I Ever Tell You...?

...About the time I ditched one of my friends? It's amazing how the little things can unravel years of friendship.
This girl was generally pretty fun, but definitely high maintenance. Initially, our friendship was based on some of her claim-staking. She was really interested in a boy she thought I was good friends with. Haha! Truthfully, I didn't know him much better than she did at the time, but momma didn't raise no fool (right Sokphal?) and I could tell from the beginning what this was all about. I remember she kept trying to confide in me about her "secret" crush. Believe me, it wasn't really a secret from anyone. I tried and and tried to keep her from ever saying the guy's name, because the truth was, I had a "secret" crush on him too. But, despite reader perceptions, I do keep a secret or two (intrigued? you should be!) and I think I was doing a pretty good job of keeping it to myself.
Anyway, she liked this guy, and early on, she asked me if I had a crush on him as well. I lied. I said no. Because she'd at least had the guts to say it out loud, which I never did, so I figured she could have him. I moved on. She had a really hard time moving on. Ironically, he and I got very close, and the two of them never did. I don't really think I would have had a shot with the guy, and my little crush quickly bloomed into platonic love on my part, but if I'm being really honest about the situation, I always resented (in a small way) that I had to quietly shoulder that burden.
The years went on, and I did like hanging out with this girl. She was a little nutty, yes, but she was a pretty good person. We had other things in common, which helped, but again and again, she'd get a little obsessed with some hot guy or another, and I'd bow out, and then said fellas would like me best. Oh, they weren't in love with me-- heavens no! But I was the one who got the public shout-outs at concerts. I was the one they brought candy to when I had a bad day (it was amazing what Jr. Mints could fix at the time). I was the one who they came to when they broke up with their girlfriends. I was the one who got the rides on the Vespa and the study dates and the "I love yous." In the mean time, I found the best solution was to go out with the really ugly boys no one else wanted anyway-- especially the ones who were ugly inside and out, so while I wasn't really fulfilled, I knew I wasn't stepping on any toes.
Time marched on, as it does, and I found my way out of the dark dating days, and started spending time with someone really remarkable. I was pretty in awe of him-- a little too much, I'd say. When we finally did have a date, I don't think that girl really paid much attention, but my best friend Sean wrote me a sonnet to calm my nerves. Later, I was going on a more "important" date with the object of my affection, and needed a new outfit. The girl offered to go shopping with me, but disapproved of my store choices. She suggested some places she liked, and I tried to tell her I didn't think they were for me. Rather than realizing our fashion tastes were a bit divergent, I remember her saying, "Can't you even wear a size ___?" So not only did she not like the kind of clothes I wore, she also was calling me a fatty. And that was it. From then on out, I stopped taking her calls.
Now, there are many of you who may think that's a childish thing to get upset about, but it breaks the girl code. In a BIG way. Even if your friend is obviously morbidly obese, you don't talk about it. You talk about something that is truly beautiful about them. Unless you are five years old, it's not that cute to be matchy-matchy all the time (the exception to this rule is Pam-- she and I just happen to love the same clothes and the same stores, and we match all the time! But Pam is a hottie, and I am grateful she is my style sista!). Even when a girl you don't really care that much about is making a tragic fashion mistake, like say, eyeliner that gives her crow's feet, you DON'T say anything. You just praise her like crazy on the days she happens to have good makeup. Because if you say, "Hey, you look like an idiot," she'll always remember you criticizing her and not helping her. One time my theater teacher told me she hated the way I'd done my hair for a dress rehearsal. She was completely right, I realized later, but because I held her opinion in the highest regard, I remember crying through an entire scene. Fortunately, the scene revolved around my daughter who had been committed, so it was appropriate to be emotional. I got praised for my real tears, but I couldn't recreate them for the performance. It was just because I didn't want this woman to think I was ugly.
Anyway, I guess the reason the fatty comment was such a big deal was because for YEARS I'd kept the girl code for her. She staked her claim and I never stabbed her in the back, even when the opportunity was there. When she was being a little ridiculous, I chalked it up to growing pains or whatever. Being well-aware of my own imperfections, it felt wrong to judge her. But the thing is, when you find out someone isn't willing to live by the code, you can't help but cut them off. It's for self-preservation. You don't want to throw away the friendship, but you don't trust yourself to trust them.
There are the obvious infractions, like someone stealing your boyfriend or your favorite sweater or doggin' your other friends. But then there are the subtleties that are even more hurtful if the nuances of the girl rules aren't followed. For example, truth. The rule is, you tell your friends the truth if you know their boyfriend is cheating. You tell your friends the truth when you know the dirt on a situation (assuming there isn't an obligation to keep a confidence elsewhere, because that trumps the "share the gossip" rule). You definitely tell your friends the truth if they have bad breath or something hanging out of their nose or their dress tucked into their nylons right before they're off to flirt with the love of their lives. In general, truth is important for trust. However, you do NOT tell the harsh truth about your friend's weight/acne/dandruff/bad makeup/impossible dreams/career and or life choices you disagree with/political opinions, etc., when you know it would hurt them. She's probably aware of that nasty zit that's gone uber-disgusting in half and hour, and doesn't need you to offer to pop it for her. She knows far better than you how her looks would improve with less tummy and bigger boobs. If she shows you the dress she's already in love with for her big formal event, you don't say, "Wow, was that my grandmother's tablecloth?" but instead you are truly happy they found something on sale they feel beautiful in. Because the other funny and bad thing about the girl code's honesty section is she's not going to tell you that you've been an offensive prat, but you'll feel the effects pretty soon.
I'm happy to say that the girl I write about is happy and healthy and has a good life. I still care about her and what happens with her, but I'm really ok that we're not close anymore. I missed her for a long time, but now life's in the way and there's not much that could be done to restore it.

I Smell Like Chlorine

OK, I'll admit it. Sometimes, particularly on Tuesdays, I roll out of bed and say my prayers. I brush my teeth and throw on some clothes. I do a haphazard job with the makeup, gather the trash and roll the dumpster out to the street. The observant among you will notice no mention of a shower in that description, and that's because sometimes, I don't bother. Mostly on Tuesdays.
And you know what? You don't have to judge. I got home hours later last night than I should have. I didn't sleep well and also woke up sad. My brother called me fifteen minutes before I got to work to ask about some paperwork. Working at 6:30 a.m. is a drag. I'd really just gotten up. I told him I'd call him in ten minutes. I made my bed, because I can't leave it undone, but I didn't shower. My hair is craptacular today, and I'm not 100 percent sure where I left my watch last night. I think it's in my purse, but it might be floating around in the Brown's backyard, like my red shoe was after the Independence Day dance. I notice my skin hurts.
A few minutes ago, I looked over today's to-do list, and buried my face in my hands. That's when I noticed the pungent aroma of chlorine, and remembered I didn't take a shower last night or this morning, and I still have "essence of hot tub" lingering around me like an aquamarine aura. This would not be so bad, except I thought it would be funny to text all the party-goers last night to tell them about that recent msn article asserting 20% of all adults admit to urinating in pools. Yuck and yuck.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Not the worst I've had

And now, the latest episode of "Rachel Goes Out with Ridiculous Men."
The setting: New Mexico, USA. Summer. 107 degrees in the middle of the day, so a person stays in to avoid expiration (not to mention perspiration). After a long day of running after a very rowdy 18-month-old, your heroine would have preferred to stay home and watch "Harold and Maude." But no such luck.
Last night I played Cinderella for a while, cleaning the house and trying to get things in order for my friend Jen's visit. There's still plenty to do, of course, but I'll have a few hours after work to finish the floors, sweep the porches, and pull/spray weeds. I guess I should also hit the grocery store so dearest Jen will have something to eat. Anyway, these are all things I could have finished last night, were it not for my "date" with this really ____ little dude. I'm going to probably have to leave adjectives out for a while. I'm still trying to avoid being overly critical, but it comes in baby steps.
Here are some of the highlights from the evening:
* He called me on my way over to the meeting point. We'd just spoken ten minutes before, and I told him it would take fifteen for me to arrive. He said, "Well, I just got here, and I've been on the phone, so I thought maybe you would have tried to call me." But why would I have done that?
* I found him sitting at a very dirty table in a gas station/fast food joint. His glasses were thrown haphazardly on the table, amongst his beverage lid, straw wrapper, and a hard-to-miss encrusted ketchup mound. When he got up to order a couple of milkshakes, he was just going to leave his trash on the table., but took it from me when I picked it up and made for the garbage can.
* We moved to another table near a window. I sat on the bench in front of the window, and he spent the rest of our conversation looking at his reflection behind me. During this portion of the evening, he told me that he hates New Mexico for its dating scene. I think his words were, "There is absolutely no one I'm attracted to." You might think I'd be offended, but I found the statement comforting. He then asked me about what he assumed was my own lackluster dating life, but seemed disappointed to find out not only that I have actually been seeing a fella or two, but also that two other boys had asked me out for that very night. Now, normally I don't go around divulging my other social activities whilst on a date, but if you haven't already gotten the picture, this young man is not my knight-in-shining-armor. While I appreciate his time and money and interest, I do not return his interest, nor do I wish to inconvenience him further. Which is also why...
* I let it slip that one of his personal heroes and I had a chat, and we've already picked out a bride for this young man. Frankly, I'm not too invested in the match... so long as it isn't me, I'm quite content. However, invoking the sacred name of this local superstar was enough to convince my date of his course of action-- that while he'd told me he was no longer interested in the girl I suggested, when I mentioned I merely concurred with his hero's suggestion, he committed to asking the girl out within 24 hours. If only all problems were so easily solved.
All in all, it wasn't a terrible 45 minutes (is that a record or what?), but I guess I'd been hoping the man to fill the #98 slot would have been a touch more... I don't know. Acceptable, perhaps. Oh well. Bring on #99.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Would you rather...?

Back in 8th grade, I started to come out of my REALLY awkward phase a bit. Oh, I still wore tapered-leg jeans all the way up to my natural, short waist (remember Patrick Gee saying, "I'm sorry about your waist" like it was a medical condition?), but with Green Day's major popularity, I at least added a plaid flannel shirt to accent my green Converse, and I felt a little more accepted. One of my new friends that year was darling Melanie. Mel's Chucks were red, and she was also a big fan of corduroy pants and stripey shirts. When I met her, she hated her birthday, because it was the same day Kurt Cobain killed himself. She wasn't emo, though. Just crazy and fun. I was reading a nonsensical book by Rush Limbaugh, and the kids in our corner of Mr. Kahl's sixth-period English class would laugh about Rush's condom commentary. Even though I was a super nerd and a very well-behaved kid, I'd been permanently banned from the library, so that may have also added to my mystique.
I don't actually remember learning anything in Mr. Kahl's class that related to English. Josh Jolly and I had some kind of special, nerd curriculum to challenge us (which later led to the library expulsion), so rather than learn about grammar or whatever else we were supposed to be doing, I'd sit behind Crystal and Sara and watch them write song lyrics on their notebooks and appreciate them passing sweet notes to me. Often, Josh didn't go to the library, but stayed with me in solidarity, and he'd get in on the nonsense. Melanie's favorite game was a variation on that "Would you rather" thing everyone goes through. You know-- the road trip game. You ask the other people in the car whether they'd prefer to eat a slug or drink pig's blood, or whatever else immature 8th graders come up with. But Melanie's brand of gross-out was so much more powerful. Once upon a time she said, "Picture Mr. Kahl in a speedo." That horrible image is forever burned in my mind. He was a very sweet, little-old man, but I still convulse in repulsion and laugh maniacally every time I think of it.
What got me strolling down memory lane? Surprisingly, it's NOT the fact I've got the 10-year high school reunion this weekend. Instead, I was talking to Pam and Uncle Brad last night, and we had an impromptu, "Would you rather" game.
Those who know me well understand my dating life is a bit of a love polyhedron. In some ways, there really ought not be any problems at all, because I'm officially single. But unofficially, there are all these odd points and angles. There's the boy I'm "just friends" with, and we're trying to navigate what that means. So far, so good. There's the boy I'm "just friends" with who I guess I could be in love with, given the chance, but he's such a little freaker-outer that the chance seems remote, so I'd all but forgotten about him. There's a boy I'm "friends" with, but only because I feel a little bad for him as most people find him completely obnoxious, but now I have to go on a date with him, and I'm desperately looking for someone else to go out with immediately after so he isn't the last person I've seen socially. There's another one of the "honestly, we're JUST friends" boys who many girls I know are a bit obsessed with (not my tight-knit circle, just girls in general), and another one who I think is my friend, but sometimes I wonder if he's my more-than-friend. There's a guy who I think is legitimately trying to be my friend, but he's a little exasperating. Still, he's trying to improve.
Anyway, sorry about the confusing tangent. The point is, for a single girl, I end up with a lot of weird social situations.
Aside from the friends/would-be-lovers/enemies/boys beneath my notice, etc., there are a few men who randomly ask me out before I even get a chance to categorize them. Sure enough, they later get a nickname and/or title (ie., guy old enough to be my dad, etc.), but they kind of come out of left field. So last night whilst talking with Pam and Brad, I asked a variation question, "Would you rather I married so-and-so or so-and-so?" When they were legitimate options, Pam carefully considered, and I valued her advice. But as the evening grew later, I asked them if they'd prefer me married to Creepy Old Guy or Boy-Who-Injured-Me-With-His-Horrible-Dance-Moves. Brad was happy to throw in his two cents. He said, "There is a third alternative, Rachel, which is suicide. The way I figure, Life with No. 1 would be hell. Life with No. 2 would be hell. Option No. 3 is to just condemn yourself to hell, and hope they're not there." Or something along those lines. At times like these, my social life starts to resemble a presidential election-- not in the lack of votes and opinions, but in that I find myself choosing the lesser of the evils.

Friday, July 10, 2009

I'll Take the High Road and You'll Take the Low

By way of an update, I got the call this morning. I was actually in my doctor's office, and meant to silence my phone, but picked up. I would have felt worse, but my doctor was on a phone call with his wife at the same time. Anyway, I vented a bit last night, so this morning when I called my friend back, I didn't have to say anything negative. I was 100 percent supportive. Why? Because I love him. And if he is happy, I am happy. I'm over being harsh. That's one good thing about being a woman, and a forgiving one at that. So long as I can find an outlet for my less than charitable feelings, I can express them appropriately where I feel heard and then I can move on without doing damage to the person in question. Just needed the quick panic yesterday. Sorry about that.
Life is strange, for sure. I get to laugh about a lot of things. Yesterday, I saw a girl with a pierced back. Really. Her BACK. Why? When she turned around, I saw her stomach was pierced too. Not her navel. Just folds of skin. She was super skinny, so it just looked like acupuncture gone bad.
Also, as I drove home last night, I was on the phone with one of my friends. We were discussing our weekend plans. At a red light, I found myself rolling up my pant legs. There was no reason for this. I told him how funny it was, but I think he just thought I was weird. But later when I told Lou, she completely understood. Thank goodness for the good women in my life who get where I'm coming from.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

I Should've Been a Yenta

Here's the awkward scenario-- I know I'm not the only one who's been through it, so any advice would be appreciated:
Friend from one part of my life meets and has amorous feelings for acquaintance from other part of life. Friend wants me to celebrate. I want to vomit. No, nothing that harsh, but this has disaster written all over it.
Hmm... vague. Let me try again.
So there's this person I absolutely love and hold in the highest regard. He is one of my great platonic loves. There is an unparalleled goodness in him. Never have I known someone so loving and attentive and sweet and humble and compassionate. He sees only the good in people and makes everyone around him feel like gold. He walks into the room and the world is bright. He makes you want to be better, because he treats you like you are already there.
Now before anyone (ahem, Grant) goes about assuming I'm gone for this young man, let me set the record straight-- I'm not. It's really a strange thing, because he's better than anyone I've ever picked out for myself, but my love for him is sisterly. In the spirit of full disclosure, there was once a kissing episode, and while it was good for my pride to be publicly kissed by someone so handsome, it felt ooky, and immediately after I went and kissed my old boyfriend at the gas station.
Anyway, I got an email from this friend saying he met someone I know. He's supposed to call. All I can do is pray he doesn't ask me for my honest opinion.
What do you do when your friends are going down that path? Oy.
When another friend I know and love called me to tell me she was engaged a while back, I tried to be supportive. I went that route. I thought the fiancee sounded sketchy and the courtship too brief and it felt like it had disaster written all over it. But she was so happy, and had wanted this kind of "love" for so long, I didn't want to rain on her parade. I went with the whole, "All I care about is your happiness" line-- not endorsing the relationship, but not dogging the guy either. Turns out he was a jerk (and creepy, and MARRIED), and it all ended before she could get even more hurt (believe me, she was hurt enough). But I couldn't, nor WOULD I ever, tell her "I told you so." I hated her sorrow and tears, wanted to shank the butt munch, and said a little prayer of thanks as I breathed that proverbial sigh of relief.
One time, when I was going out with someone a little evil, I remember my one of my best friends saying, "I can't say anything, because then if you marry him, you'll always remember it." It took a while for me to fully comprehend how right she was to allude to her dislike. This may be an appropriate track. I only wish I would have thought more about her talent for discernment and heeded that warning before I wasted months and months on the so-called rack of love.
My out-of-this-world friend could do so much better than this Mediocre Mary. I don't want to be a hater, but let's just say she is yucky and I don't really deem her worthy of him. And I know it's not my place to say anything, nor is it my place to arrange a marriage for him. But I wish it were.
As a matter of fact, I sometimes think I missed my life calling. Not that being the Queen of Insulation isn't fulfilling-- it so is, but I would be an excellent matchmaker. If it were up to me, I could help orchestrate lovely relationships for people, and save everyone the headaches and heartaches of love gone bad. Now, I'm not saying it wouldn't be a challenge. I tend to want to marry all my good friends off to people at their level, but there does appear to be a shortage of suitable prospects around. But think of how much trouble it would save! No more twist of the knife in my lower abdomen when I find out my friend's crush already has a gf. No more weird jealousy when this one girl I think is pretty cool consistently texts me asking me for my own love interests' phone numbers. I wish I could shake my really good friend and tell her that the guy who cheated on her a while back is nasty and she can do much better-- and she'd actually believe me. I could shake my other friend who still feels bad about how this jerky hoser treated her, and help her find someone who would treat her well and not mess with her feelings. I'd kick all those little menaces out of the running-- the ones who think none of my girls are up to their level, the ones who sit sulking in the corner, the ones who can't get a job but still think they're the shiz, etc., etc. I'd use a magic mirror to show my lovable (yet clueless) boy friends how truly beautiful some women are, and the awfulness of others. Sometimes outsides and insides go together, but often they do not.
But what can you do? God doesn't take away our agency, and I certainly don't have His level of power to enforce my will and good sense on others. We all have our own taste and preferences and idiosyncrasies and that's what makes the world go round. But if you're a dude and looking to be set up, ask me about my beautiful, wonderful friends. I'm not going to steer you wrong. And if you're a girl, believe me, I'm working on it for you. There are great guys out there. They just get distracted by roadside attractions. The advertising is appealing, but at the end of the day, you're still just looking at the world's largest (potato) flake.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Crying, Waiting, Hoping

It's good to be a bit of a gypsy. Living a relatively normal life with just a touch of counter-culture allows one to bask in the illusion of artistic mystique, and when I'm moody, people think I'm brooding or channeling some emo tendencies, rather than just having some unfortunate hormonal fluctuation. Or at least, that's what I tell myself. Chances are, people may just figure I'm unhinged.
I have been a little extra emotional over the last few days, and there's not really a good explanation for it beyond it being the white-pill week for the b.c. (the placebo week). Normal my best friend B.C. keeps my body happy-- especially my skin. But occasionally, my body decides to revolt, I guess. My normally smooth, pretty skin has a few lurking lurkers. In the past several months, I'd forgotten just how annoying pimples can be. At least they've had the decency to crop up in less-noticeable places and on a day when I'm not obligated to see anyone.
But worse than the late skin woes has been the weird crying. I don't really understand it at all, and mostly, I just laugh at myself for being such a nerd. Allow me to explain further:
It all kinda started a little more than a week ago, on a Sunday. For whatever reason, I was seriously bummed. I needed some human interaction-- or so I thought. I probably needed a nap, but I was sad because I missed my friends. Yes, I'd just seen them a few hours before at church, but I wanted to be around PEOPLE. I crashed Pam and Kirsten's "Valkyrie" viewing party, brought some frozen Trader Joe's pizzas, and invited several boys with every intention of starting up some spin-the-bottle action. In discussing my frustration with Lou earlier that day, I think I said something like, "I think we'd all do much better if we got some lip action." The plan was a bust, mostly because all the boys who came were nice ones I'd never dream of kissing (or kissing again), and I was pleased to see I felt better for logging time with my friends.
So nothing too weird there, but as the week progressed, I'd find myself getting inexplicably weepy. I generally don't cry when I'm happy or feeling the Spirit or any of the nice reasons for crying. Instead, I cry at really inopportune times, including but not limited to:
* When I'm nervous-- like when I was trying to be cool about inviting Ru-Ru to the baseball game. Why? Who knows! I should be allowed to ask my friend to hang out with me, but I started rambling, and then I nearly choked up. Bless him for going and not acting like I'm a nut-job.
* When I'm feeling guilty about something, even when I know it's not a huge deal-- Case in point: Dad yelling at me for being five minutes late on Friday. I'm nearly always on time and/or early for work, but hearing him say, "You're always late" just made me burst into tears. I knew it wasn't true, but I felt like I'd just run over someone's dog. I certainly didn't mind taking responsibility for being late that morning, but hearing what a disappointment I was (even though that wasn't even what he was saying) turned me into Old Faithful.
* When I don't get my way-- I know, I know. I'm not two-years old. But the other night, I wanted something. What it was really doesn't matter. I didn't get it. And so I quietly cried for a couple minutes on my way home. And then I felt better, and I woke up the next morning without a care in the world.
* When I'm afraid I've disappointed someone-- This is the big one lately, and it manifests itself all the time. I cried last night when I lost my car keys. It wasn't because I really thought I'd have to live under the dumpster at the Institute. It was because I knew if I had to call my family for help, they'd think I was irresponsible, and that a 28-year-old should know better. I cried harder after Pam prayed for me and Kirsten found said keys out on the lawn, because I felt like a big baby. I cried on Sunday afternoon because I'd blurted out something that I thought could have sounded critical about one of my friends. I called him to apologize. Of course, he didn't care and hadn't taken it personally. But when he said, "Thanks for apologizing," I was suddenly Llorona. I'm sure he's afraid of me now.
Of course, this is not all. These days, I also find myself laughing so hard I cry. Like when the boys in my life go all "Night at the Roxbury" on me at the dances, or when I think about Louise yelling "Butt-munch" rather frequently. I cry when my friends are sad, and even when people I don't know are sad. I cried about Michael Jackson. Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if I went out to check the mail and shed a tear or two.
But the best part of it all: I'm really not sad. In many ways, I'm happier than ever. I have some really beautiful things on the horizon and wonderful people to share my life with. My life is grand. It just seems nearly all my anxious emotions are manifest through crying a bit. Like Trevor's salivary glands, my tear-ducts are just a bit overactive.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

No real time to write this morning-- I'm off to the flea market and perhaps a few antique stores. I'm determined to not be late meeting the girls!
Just a couple highlights from last night's Isotopes Victory Game:
1) Here is a picture of my new best friend. Actually, we weren't formally introduced, and I'm not sure you can tell, but under her jersey-tank is a MESH top. That's hot. See that man she's leaning against? He had ostrich boots on. They were spooning at one point. She also had long, sparkly blue fingernails and crimped hair. I LOVED her. 2) This isn't even that funny if you weren't there. I have this really cool mat from Cost Plus, and I like using it any chance I get. The problem was, we were on a major slope, and kept sliding down. We also tried to get people to slip on my mat, but the worst that ever happened was some tripping. Well, Rudy's drunken friend also fell a little bit (on me, but no bruises), but he brought me additional joy by positioning himself right in front of me so I couldn't see the fireworks, just his butt. I told R that if people ask how our outing was, I'll tell them while most people see fireworks when they're with him, I just see butts. But it wasn't all that bad.

video

Friday, July 3, 2009

Come on Down and Get Arrested

I'm back in the habit of having odd dreams again. I really don't know where my brain gets some of this stuff, but I'm grateful for the free entertainment (well, nearly free-- I'd accidentally turned off my alarm in the middle of the night and woke up about ten minutes before I needed to be at work... was only five minutes late, but that's late enough to anger my grumpy old boss, aka father).
Two nights ago, I had a dream that I was on this road trip with a weird collection of guys. Driving our little red car was Oliver Newkirk, this very sweet and very hairy boy I'm acquainted with. I only see O about every six months, unfortunately, but there he was, our chauffeur. In the front passenger seat was Jared de Leon, controlling the music (this is not a surprise, as Jared packs his stereo with him everywhere in real life-- kind of 1980s boom-box, pre-Walkman style). I sat in the back with Daniel Armstrong on my right and Rudy Parsons on my left. Daniel's a big ex-football player, and even in my dream, I couldn't figure out how I got squished in the middle back, especially when I get as carsick as I do, except maybe the boys in the back were all a little homophobic and didn't want to be that close to another dude? Who knows. Anyway, I don't know where we were going, and Oliver sometimes morphed into this kid from church named Tyler, who I mostly only know as "Hugh Jackman" (because that was his name in a recent game we played at FHE) or "Riley's cousin." But whoever he was at the time started speeding like a demon. Everyone in the car thought this was pretty fun. Jared had the music pumpin', and I guess after complaining about how squished I was, I stretched one leg out between the front seats, and the other one out on Daniel. Don't ask me why I thought this would be comfortable. But while Oliver/Tyler was speeding down the road, Jared and Daniel each grabbed a foot and started tickling me like crazy, and I was convulsing and screeching. I really am not into being tickled. I don't remember Rudy doing much but grinning his Rudy grin and staying quiet. Anyway, my hollering must have propelled O/T to go even faster down a stretch of road (which I think was south on 4th St. in Albuquerque's North Valley), and suddenly we were being pulled over. The police officer was an aged, but not dead, Farrah Fawcett. She didn't ask for just O/T's license, but for ALL of our licenses. When she came back a few minutes later, she gave ME a ticket for causing a disruption by laughing while the boys tickled me and O/T was trying to concentrate on driving. She'd run our licenses through a scanner in her patrol car which gave her all kinds of information. She gave Jared a ticket for playing lame music and started to arrest Rudy. He said, "You've got the wrong man!" And she said, "No, I don't. You're the Rudy with the secret crush on Rachel, aren't you?" And he sputtered, "How did you know that?" Farrah shrugged her shoulders and said, "Facebook." And then I woke up.
This morning's dream was much more disturbing. It started out at a card game with a bunch of ladies. I didn't know most of them, but I assume we were playing Pokeno-- the game I used to play with a bunch of gals. Rather than gambling, my real-life Pokeno group used to bring some kind of themed gift to exchange. In my dream, we all brought some used item to exchange, presumably in the name of being earth-friendly and frugal. But I guess everyone I was playing with had children, so all the gifts were these worn-out children's toys. We were having our Pokeno game at Gardunos' and I had won a round, and selected this broken Magna-Doodle type of thing. I don't know what you call the ones with the hot-pink plastic, but you know what I mean, right? Anyway, I didn't want anyone to take it away so I started to say that I really had to go-- had another obligation. But then the ladies decided to give up on their game and everyone went to select a prize. We actually had to go into another room to check on the other prizes, and boy, did I get the short-end of the stick for being greedy, because the other moms were getting rid of some mighty-fine used children's toys. There was a ski-ball machine, and a ball pit, and an inflatable jump house. But the best was something like that game from The Price is Right where you punch holes in a wall and pull out prizes. The wicked-cool thing was, it came with Bob Barker! He seriously made an appearance with his little tiny microphone and everything. Now to be honest, I've never been a fan of Bob's, mostly because I think he's mean. And boy, was he awful in my dream! All those mothers had brought their children to our game, who were mostly playing in the ball pit. One kid was being kind of a stinker, so right into the tiny microphone, Bob totally chewed him out. He said, "Listen, you fat little B~$%@#!, you're going to learn to behave, or you'll never make anything out of your life!" I don't remember all of the lecture, but I did think it was excessive, and even though the kid was a punk, it was awful. The culmination was Bob taking off his tie, and I thought he was going to use it as a whip on the little chubby boy. But instead, he smiled and handed it to him like a souvenir, implying that in later years, the boy would think back to how Bob Barker put him back on the straight and narrow.
Anyway, they say you can tell a lot about a person's character by what they think about when they don't have to think about anything. I don't really know what Farrah and Bob say about me, but I don't think I really want to know.