Monthly Archives: September 2010

My Birthday

Hello my faithful readers…

I’m guessing right around now you’d like to know how my birthday went.  One word.  Fabulous.

Now you’ll have to forgive me because this is my first blog entry being a tad bit tipsy thanks to one of my best friends in the whole world, Chance, the fabulous staff at Spago and some new friends at a neat little spot called “Rhumbar” recommended to me by my favorite Spago bartender, Peter.

Chance and I spent the day in WoW and playing Starcraft 2, where he’s bound and determined to make me a better and faster player.  After a great lunch, we sat down, played some more then at around 8:30pm, I let him know it was time for tradition to kick in.

For those of you who have joined me at the world famous Spago Las Vegas know that I celebrate my birthday with a signature event. It’s the corner seat at the bar and an order of the fabulous Spago Crème Brûlée and a glass of champagne.  Call me spoiled if you must, but there is a reason behind why I MUST have a Spago Crème Brûlée and a champagne every birthday.

The tradition started on my 27th birthday when I was abandoned at a nightclub called Baby’s at the Hard Rock Hotel by my then-boyfriend.   After I searched for him for a while, I went back to his apartment, only to find him making out with another girl.  Heartbroken and in tears, the next day, I went to Spago where my dear friends David and Carlos were working.  When I told them what happened and that it was my birthday, I couldn’t help it, I broke down into tears.  Carlos and David excused themselves for a moment and while I was trying to compose myself.  Just when I had dried my eyes, I looked up and around the corner, carried by half of Spago’s wait-staff, was a Crème Brûlée with a sparkler on top with David placing a champagne glass next to it and filling it with ’92 Tattinger, my favorite.  When I was at a low point, the people who had seen me every Friday for five years came through.  They visited with me, made me laugh and made me forget that I was in pain.  Ever since, my birthday marks another anniversary of survival and it’s celebrated with Crème Brûlée and Champagne.

For 10 years I was denied my tradition.  Most of you know why, if you don’t, let’s just sum it up in two words: The Ex.  He wasn’t into all of my neat little traditions, he found them frivolous and unnecessary.  To me, they always marked the fact that I was surviving whatever came my way.  Three of those years I was denied because let’s face it, there’s no Spago in Montreal.  The rest were brushed off by someone who had no idea who I was or why I did the things I enjoyed.

Tonight (since I’m writing this right after we’ve come in the door), I took my dear sweet Hunter coach to Spago.  He’s 24, he grew up in Vegas, but he was never of legal drinking age to really enjoy the hedonistic lifestyle I was enjoying while I was in the midst of it.  So, at around 8:30, I told him it was time to head out for my traditional Birthday Dessert, besides, it was also time for another tradition, my Birthday Swatch.

As you all know, I collect Swatches.  Yes, that neat little bit of pop culture from the 80’s, the Swatch Watch. Now, over the years, I have collected 20 of them.  Tonight marked number 21, with a beautiful name to go along with it, the “Leaf Spectacle”.

Isn’t it gorgeous?

Well, much less to say, that was my birthday present, which harkens back to when I used to go every two weeks to pick up a new Swatch then sit down for a wienerschnitzel and a glass of Riesling every Friday night at Spago after working at the aquarium.  I’d always come in with a Swatch bag and holler “fresh kill!” and have everyone take a look at my new watch.  I have amassed 20 swatches over the years and to be honest, they’re a true curiosity.

As anyone who knows me will tell you, I’m temporally challenged.  Time means nothing to me, so to wear a watch is the ultimate contradiction because I view time not as a constant, but as a curiosity.  I love the decoration on my wrist because it marks the passage of time, but at the same time it is a neat piece of jewelry that just happens to tell time and tells me when Spago closes (11pm) and when it’s time for school, etc.  Otherwise than that, it’s purely decoration.

So, after Chance helped me pick out my new ‘curiosity’, we headed up to Spago for corner seats at the bar.  Unfortunately Carlos was off tonight and David has gone on to bigger and better things, my care was left up to the “new David,” a wonderful bartender named Peter who has been taking care of me ever since I started going to Spago again not soon after the ex left.

Peter is handsome and dashing, but severely off-menu because he’s a part of the Spago institution.  The staff at Spago look after you, you don’t hit on them.  It would be like asking a brother on a date…ewwww.  But, what Peter does do is make a shot called a “Chocolate Orange,” a mixture of mulled oranges, orange juice, Kahlua, and Stoli Vanilla mixed in proportions that only Peter knows.  When Peter introduced me to them, I took one whiff of this splendid concoction and proclaimed it “decadent”, hence the name has been changed to “Decadence”.

Chance and I had two “Decadence” apiece.   But rest assured, this was AFTER my Crème Brûlée had arrived and I was well into my glass of champagne.

For those curious folks out there, Spago has changed their Crème Brûlée, it now has a chocolate custard inside of it.  However, knowing of my love of the berry-filled vanilla variety, Peter brought me this:

It originally had two cups of Crème Brûlée on it, but I had already finished one by the time I remembered to take the photo.  The chocolate ice cream in the middle?  It was flavored, very subtly, with mint.

I don’t care who you are, THAT is a birthday dessert.  Who needs cake when you can have a berry-filled Crème Brûlée that is made especially for you by people who know you AND know that you prefer things a certain way?  Am I spoiled?  YES.  Thank you Peter!!!!!

Well, after decimating the dessert, well, as we all know, I’ve not been able to be really social for the last 10 years, so I asked, “Peter, where should we go now?”  He responded very politely, “Have you ever been to Rhumbar over at the Mirage?” To which I said no and he knew why…  So, he gave me the names of a bartender he knows and the name of the bar manager, Jason and Scott respectively.  So, Chance and I made our way over to the Mirage and into Rhumbar.  (The link will take you to their website.)

Ok, well, here we go…new feature…Sheri’s Pick of the Week!

If you come to Vegas, you WANT to go to Rhumbar.  The staff that I met, Scott, Jason and a sweet server named Mallory, were out of this world!  The atmosphere was welcoming, the service was fantastic and everyone was SO nice!  It took the regular pretension we’re so accustomed to in Vegas and tossed it right out the window!  Even me, who feels a tad bit still too thick, felt right at home and unjudged.

After being shown to a nice little table, there Chance and I were, outdoors under the beautiful moon, stars and lights of the strip, listening to fantastic music being spun by two very hip DJ’s.

Here’s the view from our seats:

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, we were treated to a heavenly drink called a “Tatonga”.  I’m a rum girl.  My regular drink is a Malibu Madras.  The Tatonga takes my madras to a whole new level.  STRONG!!!!!!  Wow!  One sip and the champagne, Decadence and the Madras I had already drank earlier bowed in deference to this tropical nectar delighting my tastebuds.  Oy, did I feel it, but not enough to take me any further into intoxication than I was willing to go knowing that I had to drive home.  However, the fun had to end as the Rhumbar had to make last call at 1:30am and with Chance and his dire need to drink a blue concoction known as an “AMF” which is short for Adios, M.F’er…after he drank that on top of the Tatonga it was adios to Chance, he was three sheets to the wind and it was time to come home, but not until after I was invited to the happening after hours that were going to be taking place for the staff who were wanting us to come along.  Poor Chance, he’s never really seen the hedonism that goes along with taking a ride with Mama Rel, so as I type, he’s sleeping it off on my couch while I laugh and write about the happenings of the day.

The day in itself was a blast.  One of the best birthdays I’ve had in a long, long, long, long time.

Thanks to the staff at Swatch for sizing down #21, the new “Leaf Spectacle” so I could wear it out tonight, to Peter at Spago for being so awesome and making my Crème Brûlée just like I love it, and finally to Jason, Scott and Mallory over at Rhumbar for capping of my birthday with such a blast.

Most of all I’d like to thank my favorite little brother and best friend a girl could ever have, Chance.  He’s my partner in crime and the best birthday present of all is that he was here to spend my birthday with me.  He’s the main reason of why it was such a blast.

So, that wraps it up for 38 years on the planet.

Hello 39, what will you bring me?


Disclaimer:  I’m writing this piece purely for comical value.  

On Tuesday, I made a conscious decision to make time for some needed personal up-keep.  Now if you think about it, the beauty industry makes some serious dollars off of women everyday, but to me the most valuable beauty upkeep a woman can do on herself is:

1. Maintaining great Haircut/Hair color
2. Getting make-up that’s good for your skin.
3. Keeping yourself manicured/pedicured
4. Waxing and/or shaving all inappropriate body hair.

Now, between those four things, we’re looking at women spending thousands of dollars per year on just maintenance.  After all, who wants to look at us when we’re shaggy or have underarms that look like we’re growing a national forest?  I think the funnest moment is when you look at your underarms and legs and ask yourself, “oh my gods, when did I become European?”

When you’re single, those four things are pretty high on the list of priorities. A guy doesn’t want to kiss you if your mustache is thicker than his, or if you’ve got so much grey hair that your face may look 30, but your hair makes you look 60. (No offense to the 60-year-olds out there, I know plenty who are still rockin’ and hot) But I know they’ll agree with me when I say it all comes down to one word.  Maintenance.

Anyone who’s endured pain for beauty will go with me on this…beauty hurts.  It’s being plucked, tweezed, waxed, filed, buffed, painted, you name it, and in the name of beauty, we’ve probably done it all.  Which brings us back to Tuesday and me on the phone…

I called down to my local favorite waxing boutique, aptly named “Box” and made an appointment to have my lip and brow done with one extra added service that I save for only the most dire of circumstances…a Brazilian.

I just saw 10 women just cross their legs and cringe.  However ladies, tell me this…if you know you’re going to be heading down to the pool and whirlpool with a friend to just hang out, tell me, do you want to have anything else hanging out of your suit?  If you remember like I do the scene out of the first Sex in the City movie where Miranda is by the pool and Samantha looks down and sees, well, a national forest sneaking out from Miranda’s bathing suit and cries out, “Wax much?”  I heartily agreed with Samantha when she tells Miranda that she could be on death row and still not have that “situation”.  Oy, just the thought of not having my business properly handled before donning a bathing suit will keep me out of the suit until I can get my “situation” taken care of.

So, without getting into too much detail and you scream out, “TMI!  TMI!” I laid there and as I like to put it…”I got robbed.” You know, when you’re laying on the table and you’re politely chatting with your waxing technician, you forget what’s coming.  You feel the wax go on, but what you’re not ready for is when the wax comes off.  My usual reply to the ripping sensation is, “Holy Mother Mary!!!” and afterwards panting from the pain which abates quickly.  However, with Brazilians, it’s not a fast process, no matter how quick your technician likes to make it.  Hot wax, rip, hot wax, rip…it goes on for a bit as they take the Serengeti and clear cut the whole damn thing.

Now a lot of people ask me, “Sher, if it hurts so much, why do you do it?” Well, first, I only do it when I know a bathing suit is imminent.  If there isn’t anything there, nothing can rear it’s ugly head to embarrass you. Second part is that it’s very clean, there’s no mistaking that you’ve not been maintaining yourself.  Third part is for the girls who actually have men out there, you don’t want him coming into your bed and having to bring a machete and hunt for it, if you know what I mean.

Now, waxing this particular area of the body is nothing new.  I know plenty of people who do it.  On top of that, I know of a lot and I mean a LOT of men who do it too.  Now there go the guys crossing their legs.  Hey, don’t knock it.  Ok, comedy time!  Guys, if you think waxing isn’t for you, think of your woman for a moment,  you appreciate it when we maintain ourselves, so ask yourself do you want her down there hunting for your business?  I don’t think so…  Come on guys, you want us to go down there, so at least make it an enticing experience so that you don’t have to beg.

It’s sexy, it’s fun (after you’ve had it done) and it’s just good maintenance.  It says you’re proud of your body and when you share it with someone else, it not only gives you more security and enjoyment, it does the same for your partner!

My pal Chance (a purely platonic friend) is coming into town for my birthday weekend.  He and I are going to lounge around the pool, catch some sun, drink our fill and have a great time.  Now that I’ve gone through the pain, I can lounge around the pool without an ounce of stress which will increase my fun.

Waxing.  It’s painful while you get it done, but afterwards the security, cleanliness and stress-free bathing suit wearing is so worth it.  You just have to be willing to suck it up, be daring and lay down on the table.

Hey!  Don’t run away!!!  It didn’t happen to you…at least not yet.  Chickens!

The Middle.

The one thing I’ve noticed that I’ve not been doing is sleeping in the middle of the bed.

This has got to be a part of the process.  It has to.  I have to train myself to sleep in the middle of the bed again.

I mean, it’s not like I’m having to share space with another human being.  I just have to remember to make room for Teddy, my 34-year-old teddy bear.  Sometimes, I wish he’d turn into a man.  He’d know me inside and out, he would know the pain I’ve been through and he would, as he always has, comfort me when I need a good cry or just a hug when I have a moment of bliss.  Alas, Teddy sits on the bed, like a silent guardian, waiting for me to  pull him to me for a night of slumber.

When I was single, sleeping in the middle of the bed was the norm.  I guess it didn’t hurt that I had a full-sized bed, which meant if you had a brain in your head, you slept in the middle because that’s where the most room was.

Now I sleep in a queen-sized bed.  I have been for at least the last 3 years.  Every morning, I look up at my headboard to see where I slept most of the night and I find, regrettably, that I’m still sleeping on the same side of the bed that I did while I was married.  Every night, I look up at the headboard and figure out where the middle is, place my pillows just so and go to sleep.  But, no matter what I do, I wake up, look at the headboard and find I’m on “my” side of the bed again.

It’s frustrating.  I want to kick, yell and scream that I just keep falling back into the same habits when I sleep, that my subconscious is not moving forward as fast as my consciousness.  It’s my bed, I should be taking up all the space in it.  I should be selfish and take up every last bit of available room on that big bed.  I just don’t get it.

It’s one more habit I’m trying to break.

If I had to write this into a book I guess I would say:

“When recovering from abandonment, you have to remember to be selfish.  It’s the ice cream you had to share before but now you can put a spoon in the middle of the pint and eat the whole thing.  It’s the dress that you wanted to wear that your ex didn’t like, so you wear it.  It’s sleeping in the middle of the bed because you don’t have to share or worry about hogging the covers or being told you’re taking up too much space anymore.  It’s a myriad of things that when you look at all the accommodations you made to another person just for their happiness, you realize that you ended up unintentionally neglecting yourself.  This is the moment where you realize that the world hasn’t ended, it’s just decided to change geography.

Earthquakes, for all their scariness, are a healthy part of the way the planet works. Tectonic plates shift on a sea of molten lava. Sometimes the tectonic plates float apart, other times they collide. Like the tectonic plates, we float through life, occasionally bumping into other land masses. Sometimes when they collide, the plates will either lower themselves or rise to accommodate the opposing land mass. However, other times, neither will give and you end up with a collision which forces each land mass, at the impact point, to change their topography.

When you start a relationship, you welcome the collision, the changes, the rumblings here and there. You accept what happens, you’re happy it did and you grow content, allowing grass and flowers to cover the impact point, amazed at the beautiful mountain range you get to traverse with the other person who life collided you with.

But when you get divorced, left, abandoned or if you take the initiative and bail out of your relationship yourself, the whole world shakes, reels and feels like it’s torn asunder. After the earthquake is over, you look around the house and you find that the pictures on the wall have fallen down, the carpets are ruined, the staircase is broken and the foundation is irreparably cracked. At that point, you sit down on the front steps of the house and cry; you mourn the loss of the thing you built with someone else. You’re left with the changes that took place, the ground cracked and looking much as it did before life collided you with that other person. At that point, you salvage what you can, take your belongings and find shelter until you can begin building a new life.

It takes a while.  Repairs don’t happen over night. It’s taking your own two hands and pouring a new foundation for a new house that you build yourself. Soon, you’ll find that the grass will eventually grow over the changed areas, and you accept the new terrain knowing that you, like the earth, are a rich place with rich soil that will eventually sprout flowers again.

The best thing to start with is by sleeping in the middle of the bed, wearing the dress and eating the ice cream and realizing that you’re your own continent that’s ready to support life again.”

For now, I’m just going to keep unpacking boxes and float.

Enough of being bitter…

I am not a cup of coffee.

I am not a spinster.

I am not someone who is angry all the time.

There is no reason for me to be bitter.

Ok yes, life has dealt me some pretty crappy cards, but you know what?  So what!!!!  It’s not like the world has ended or some other catastrophe has befallen me.

For all of you eyerollers out there, and yes this does include me most of the time, I got a little nudge from life that says I need to explore my spirituality.  WAIT.  Before you cry, “She’s found God.”  NO.  That’s not it.  Let’s define the word “spirituality”.  The best definition I could find was:  “an inner path enabling a person to discover the essence of their being; or the ‘deepest values and meanings by which people live.'”

We all know, deep down, that I’m searching for the meaning of life.  For all you fellow geeks out there, it’s not “42”.  It’s not something out of Monty Python or some other tidbit of comedy out there.  It’s just something that we all search for, doesn’t matter if you are religious, atheist or whathaveyou, it’s just some cerebral search for why we’re small specks on the blue-green ball amidst the trillions other specks in the universe.

I’m a big picture gal.  Always have been.  I’ve always known that the world is much larger than myself, my pet peeves and my perceptions of what is directly happening around me.  I figure, it’s time to get acquainted with the even larger picture and go out another “Power of Ten“. (That little link is a power of 10 exercise that goes from the universe into the inside of a carbon atom…to me, that’s big picture thinking.)

Now, here, I’ll regale you with another story of childhood:  I grew up in a haunted house.  No shit.  I really did.  I remember waking up in the middle of the night to hear the footfalls of someone walking down our hallway, but when I would poke my head out, no one would be there, but I could still hear them walking.  It wasn’t paranoia or anything else like that, you just knew someone else was there, you could feel it, but you just couldn’t see them.  The only way I saw them is that I saw ethereal shapes out of the corner of my eye.  Someone, or thing in this case, was always watching. 

Mother told me the story once of her waking up in the middle of the night to find a ghost looking down at her.  She said it wasn’t malevolent, it gave the vibe as if they were there to protect us. 

There has always been something very peculiar about my maternal line.  Prophetic dreams, lots and lots of deja-vu, a connection with living things that goes far beyond “normal”.  It’s just what I grew up with and consider as normal.  I never once wrote it off to a deity or any sort of religion.  Trust me, when it comes to what I’ve seen, religion doesn’t cover it, it can’t because of it’s strict structure.

My favorite spiritual study of all time was Celtic Druidism.  I spent about two years just delving myself into the mystical/spiritual nature of the different symbols of the different parts of nature.  It was fun, but after a while, I just didn’t have the time to study anymore.  When started playing WoW, well, there was no other choice of a character for me to be, I was going to be a Druid, and I still love it to this day because it’s a good refresher of why I should renew my spiritual studies.  I take being a druid in WoW very seriously…ok, look, I’m a gal who drives a Prius, then comes home, turns on her computer and turns into a tree or some kind of animal…I’m just an all-natural girl I guess.  I mean look, I don’t even wear that many synthetics.  Most of my stuff is cotton or a cotton blend.  Besides being easy to wash, it’s just more comfortable to me.

I don’t want to just narrow my spirituality down to one thing though.  There are so many spiritual schools of thought that I want to try them all.  I think a good place to start would be to turn off my Wii and actually GO to a yoga class with other human beings.  I think that would be a good start.  It’s social, I’d be doing something for my body, and most of all, I think yoga clears the mind.  (And to be honest, with all the crap floating around in there, it might be a good time to clear that out too.)

So, NEW QUEST!  I’m very flawed, but I think I’m to the point where the “good person” goal is fairly achieved, we’re not all the way there yet, but I think the addition of enhanced spirituality might be a good thing.  I can’t close myself off forever, besides you can’t go through your life being bitter, it leaves a bad taste in people’s mouths and you lose nutritional value that way.

What is that line from eat, pray, love?  “If you can clear your mind the universe will come rushing in.”

Ok, let’s try it.  Now I have to find a yoga studio and find out how much it costs.

Pet peeves of the week.

Last night, I spent some time on as usual.  I like to stay abreast of the news, see the funny bits, laugh at the politicians lining their own pockets, put my head in my hands as I see the holy rollercoaster right do their thing, which brings me to my latest pair of pet peeves: Individuals thanking God instead of the science that saved them and attention whores.

I must rant for a moment because when I saw the source of my latest pet peeve, it really sent me over the edge.  I sat there in pure shock and was annoyed to kingdom come.

Everyone knows I’m an atheist.  I’m not ashamed of it.  You may believe in a deity, but I don’t.  I’ve seen far too many things in my life that have told me there is no God.  I was raised with the fire and brimstone and the wholesale indoctrination of fear through religion…”If you do X, you’re going to hell, if you do Y, you’re going to be saved.”  Really?  And who says?  A bible written by man?  Good rule book and all, but really…we’re supposed to just go on faith and take it as run? Yeaaaaaah, I’m buying it, especially from ministers who pound the pulpit and preach the ten commandments but then go and politely screw their neighbors wife.  Or, this is one of my favorites, those fake Christians who say they are so Christian but then go and do completely unchristian things, such as pocketing the change when you ask them to pick you up a soda pop, or the supposed “Christian” co-worker who lives to screw everyone over and marry strictly for money.  To put the cherry on the cake, I love the folks who tell me I’m going to hell just because I don’t share their belief system.  You know, you can say you’re holier than thou, but 100 to 1 you’ve stepped on yourself pretty hard enough times so that if there was a God, he’d surely laugh you out of the pearly gates because he can only forgive so much.

This all started for me on Thursday morning.  I got up, checked Facebook, read what was happening with some folks and sure enough what do I see?

Some bonehead all enthralled and shouting from the rooftops that their disease is cured, only to put on the end the statement, three words crediting God for saving them.  This is when I stopped and went WHAT?  My common-sense-o-meter went off the charts.  Let me just get this straight, you were just pulled from a burning building by a fireman, but instead of thanking the fireman, you’re thanking God instead?  REALLY?  You don’t say jack noodle to the guy who rushed into the burning building, battled the flames to get you out and safe, but you’d rather credit an invisible figment of your imagination for it?  REALLY?

Personally, if I had a disease cured, I’d be kissing the butts of all of the researchers, all the folks that donated funds to research, the people who invented the medicines who saved me, the doctors and nurses who cared for me and most of all, I’d yank my head from my ass long enough to realize that God had nothing to do with it.  Medical science is what saves lives, not some imaginary flying spaghetti monster!  Good grief, that’s like thanking the policeman at the scene of the fire you were just saved from instead of the fireman.

Yes folks, that’s my very exasperated “oh shit” moment of the week.  Really?  They’re thanking God when it’s science that saved them.  That’s one for the ages, and from my point of view, it shows me how backwards some people can be.  WOW, I’m still just SO annoyed with that one.  Forget science, God saved ya…oh kay…right on for you.

You could argue that faith heals, sure…if you go in for that mumbo jumbo…those big tent revivals, snakes, chickens and whatall with a minister yelling “BE HEALED” then he slaps you on the forehead real hard and it doesn’t do shit.  I think it’s more that people are so scared of what’s happening to them, they’ll shove their head in the sand called religion so that way they won’t have to muster up the courage to deal with their situations head on.  Maybe prayer is just a way to occupy the mind and/or project good energy.  Both are useful, but to blatantly ignore the facts and arrogantly dismiss the science?  I just can’t go that one with you.

When you’re abused everyday for close to 30 years and you pray to God for him to save you and he never comes, never shows up and you never see an ounce of relief, I’m sorry, but no amount of convincing will ever make me believe there is a God controlling it all.  But, I also don’t garner readers by telling 95% of the planet that their God is a delusion either.  So, I’m a confirmed atheist who absolutely grinds her teeth when she sees anything “religious” in nature, from the right wing nut jobs on down.  I respect folks who want to do their religion thing, I just can’t stand the ones who have religion and hypocrisy walking hand-in-hand down the street together.  I’ll always respect folks and their religious leanings, but please don’t ask me to throw my common sense out the window when it comes to religion and what people do in the name of it.  Don’t sit there and preach God to me if you’re not living a life without sin.  You know, I screw up, I do things that aren’t quite right sometimes, but I don’t depend on a religion to forgive me, I don’t hide behind a religion to belittle others and I sure as hell don’t credit deities with the good things that happen to me.  Then again, I don’t go crying to a deity when things go bad either, I just suck it up, deal with it and move on.

So, outside of my rant about religion, let’s get on to the second pet peeve of the week:

Attention Whores.

I have a real issue with people who feed on attention like it was some sort of food.  I don’t get it, really I don’t.  Everyone loves attention.  I’ll go that, I mean, who doesn’t?  But, when it gets to a point that they intentionally disfigure themselves, go on a dramafest or make a bigger deal out of what’s happening to them than is necessary just to garner our attention, that’s when I get annoyed.

I was a neglected kid.  There were no two ways about it.  But I didn’t sit there crying to everyone who would listen “poor me” when life dealt me crap cards or whathaveyou…I went politely about my business making my life better.  Instead of crying for attention, I dug in and gave myself attention.  I wrote about it, laughed about it and politely moved on.  I don’t dig on emotionally imposing on others just for the sake of validation.  Yes, we all want acceptance, but really, when you go into the ground, who cares?  You’re the one who has to look yourself in the mirror and decide whether or not you like yourself.   You’re the one who has to live with the choices you’ve made or the proper screwings you got from others.  When you dump your issues on others, it’s draining.  It sucks the life right out of the people who get it dumped on and they sit wondering why the hell they’re having to hear about someone else’s problems instead of dealing with their own.

I don’t understand or dig on people who feel the need to make sure to squeal from the rooftops that they’re sick when the illness really isn’t that severe, but they go and do all sorts of unnecessary rah-rah so they can look like a martyr should things go wrong.  But those attention whores love nothing more than to project all of their issues and news about their illness and shove it down your throat without a second of though about how it affects you OR if it even pertains to you.  But heaven forbid if you go and try to help them…they’ll just turn around and make you feel like a moron for even lifting a finger to be supportive instead of giving them the dramatic attention they crave and feed off of.

World’s worst thing to me is a combination of the holy rollercoaster with the attention whore.  Good grief!  That’s like a double dose of repugnance coming to camp out on your front doorstep.  No matter what you do, you just can’t quite seem to escape the sight of a fireman saving a person from a burning building, then seeing that same person thanking a deity for saving them.  THEN on top of that you get them looking at you like you should be praising the deity too, but not before you’ve given them enough attention so that they can feel like a victim, roll around in it for as long as they can tolerate your presence, then when your attention gets old, they move on to others to suck the energy out of them too.  By then, they’ve forgotten completely about the fireman who saved them and they’re posting on Facebook that God pulled them out of a burning building so they can have 100 friends post “All praise be to God” on their page.

Come on, do it with me…it’s like the faith healer, gently place your hand on the side of your face and shake your head.  It’s called a facepalm folks…and you know what, I do it all the time.

The human race never fails to disappoint me, or at least give me comedy.

Major triumphs.

Ok, as we all know, I like to go long.  Yep.  Whether it’s stories about movers or the rollercoaster that is my life, I always involve plenty of detail and it’s rather colorful to read.

For the last three weeks in Journalism 102 (that’s News Reporting and Writing for you non-collegians out there) I’ve been sitting through lectures and discussions on writing leads.  Now as I covered a few posts ago, news leads, whether they are blind or whathaveyou are always 30 words or less and no more than one or two sentences.  ME?  One or two sentences?  The girl who had to take over eight hours to edit down her 10 page paper in Composition 102 from 16 pages to 14 to 12 to finally 10 pages?  Me?  Go short?  Just the facts and no embellishment or color?  Oh gods!  How was I going to do that?

Now enter our newest character to the Sophomore, my adorable 102 professor, Prof H.  You guys know I never reveal true identities, gotta keep those great professors of mine under wraps and of course, I’m also protecting the innocent, I don’t want to get them in trouble.

Well, as we all know, I love, love, LOVE my Comp 102 and English 231 professor Doc T.  Oy, that man is the kittens whiskers when it comes to writing.  *Swooooon*  I shall be first in line to get a copy of the novel he’s writing.  The man has such style.  But he moved to Chicago *pout* to be a lecturer at Chicago University, and heaven knows, he deserves every good thing.  If he could get me, in two semesters, to have meaning, sense and clarity in everything I write, and on top of that, have it be brief, the man deserves more than a cookie because he achieved the near to impossible with me.

Enter Prof H.  First day out of the gate, what does he do?  He channels Doc T with three simple words:  Meaning, Sense and Clarity.  When he recited Doc T’s mantra, I was sold, he had my full and undivided attention.  Come to find out, Mr. Superstar is well versed and has worked hard in the field of advertising…ok, now I like him more.  I’m more than positive he’ll be right up there next to Doc T by the end of the semester.

But, we’ve got to get to the part where the major triumphs come in.  Ok, first out of the gate, which resulted in some dancing in the hallway, some “in the car seat” boogeying and a frantic phone call to my WoW hunter pal Chance squealing with joy…

I WROTE A 30 WORD LEAD.  Yes, that’s right, cheer with me!  I did it!  Not a word more, not a word less, it was 30 words exactly, gave the w/w/w/w/w/h….(by the way, we’ll be seeing that a lot this semester…it’s shorthand for who/what/when/where/why/how) and I flipped out as I read it because for me, Ms. Flourish, Color and Darling-Crazy (a darling is a great phrase that you’re in love with because it’s well worded) can’t put together a well rounded thought unless it’s a million words long.  It’s ok, laugh with me, I know it’s ridiculous.

How did I get so long winded?  That’s easy.  Dad and the Ex.  Ever heard of a 2-minute dissertation?  Well, my father is the KING of the 30-minute dissertation.  He goes on f-o-r-e-v-e-r.  As a child, I remember Nan promising me certain death when I would ask Dad what a particular word meant.  She’d look at me as if to say, “Get a friggin’ dictionary!  Don’t ask him!”  My favorite was when I asked Dad what my gluteus maximus was…it was like a scene out of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”…where the dad goes on and on?  Yeah.  My father went to explain that it was a part of the “gluteil group.”  No, he couldn’t say, “Well, angel, that would be your butt.”  NO.  Not Daddy.  He went on for 30 minutes…I’m not even kidding.  When he finally finished speaking, I was still thoroughly confused so I went to look it up…30 minutes only to find that my gluteus maximus was my ass.  Brilliant I tell you!  But it did teach me patience which is by far the best lesson anyone can learn.

The ex was far worse!  If Daddy went on for 30-minutes it was nothing compared to the ex going on for an HOUR on one subject.  I mean between my father and the ex, if I wanted to know something, I’d have to sit through a half-hour to an hour of explanation, which in most cases, the information they passed on wasn’t even close on to right.  Yeah, between the two of them, I learned how to do my own research.

But, nonetheless, today I stuck with the facts.  It took 30 words to exactly say the bare bones facts, it took less than 20 minutes.  The fun part of this was that while on the in-classroom computer I was writing it on, Prof H came by to answer a question from a fellow student just as I was clicking on Tools -> Word Count in Microsoft Word.  The box came up and read “Word Count: 30”.  My arms flew up in triumph with a very loud “WOOOO!”  Prof H looked at me like I was on crack.  I pointed and said, “I wrote a 30 word lead…” and smiled apologetically.   How could he know that I go on for hours on end?  How could he know that brevity, in all of it’s forms, is something I’m dying to learn?  Oh to go short.  OH to have nothing to say.  But, you know, that’d make me kinda boring so I’ll stick with being colorful.  I figure brevity is like olives, an aquired taste (or in my case, skill).

But here, let’s keep the “On the other fronts” section nice and brief…

I built my new desk Tuesday afternoon.  $79 at the local Office Depot purchased a beautiful little desk that fits right in the corner of my living room.  I put it together myself.  NO, for all you naysayers and non-believers in my survival and building skills, it hasn’t fallen apart and isn’t going to.  It’s sturdy as a rock, thank you very much.

I heard from the nice girl at Rebelation Media (UNLV’s student-run ad agency) with the opportunity to apply to be a copywriter with them.  (Me?  Write? Never….Oh yes, I’m going to turn down an opportunity to work at an ad agency…)

More boxes have been cleaned out and things are going into drawers and cabinets.  (The kitchen is still a disaster.)  All of the unpacking has to be done by next Thursday (Sept. 23) because my pal Chance will be in town and staying with me for my birthday weekend.

Finally, we’re going into the final 10 days of me being 38.  Saturday the 25th will tell 38 goodbye and welcome me to the final year of my 30’s.  I will officially be 39 and holding.  (Holding what, I have no idea.)

Oh and one last thing…

Since I’ve moved into my new apartment, guess what?  Haven’t been to bed past 2 a.m. since I’ve been here. I actually enjoy sleeping in MY room, besides, I’m too worn out by 11pm to stay up any longer than I absolutely have to.

So, here’s to some triumphs…a 30 word lead, a put-together desk, boxes unpacked and going to bed on time.

That’s what I call making progress!

We need a song of the day…the video is a bit weird, (and you may recognize the tune from the trailer from Eat, Pray, Love) but how about Florence + the Machine…”The Dog Days Are Over”…because let’s face it, it looks like my dog days are winding down.  So many good things are coming my way and I can’t believe it.  It’s moments like these you remember and are grateful for…and you know what?  It may sound selfish or horrible, but,

I deserve it.


Moving and Romance Novel Hangovers

What a hellish seven days.  I wish I would have had internet access the entire time I was going through my move, but alas, no cigar, so I’m sure some great moments are gone forever because, let’s face it, I’ve been through a lot in the last seven days.

As we know from last Friday, all the hot guys hang out at Lowe’s.  I’m still wigging out about that one.  Much less to say, I’m never setting foot inside a hardware store again without doing my damndest to make sure I’m as close to supermodel as possible.  Oy, hot guys hang out at hardware stores…need to remember that.  It does make sense, I mean, that’s where the stuff that’s interesting to them is.  Give a place tools and/or a sporting event and the feral man-beasts are there en masse.  
Speaking of feral man-beasts, yeah…the movers I had scheduled for September 4th at 10am failed to show.  Noon rolled by, still no movers.  By the time 11am hit, I was on the phone to the moving company.  It seems as the three-man crew that was supposed to be moving me were stuck in Pahrump, NV on a big office move.  According to the dispatcher at the moving company, they wouldn’t arrive at my house until close to 3pm.  Ok, let’s set the record straight, they were supposed to be there at 10am, but I’m supposed to be okay with the fact that they weren’t going to be there until at least 3pm?  Um, no.  So at hearing the agitation in my voice, the dispatcher (in his crack smoking world) decided it would be okay to send a two-man crew to my apartment at 2:30 in the afternoon. 
What showed up at my door still boggles my mind.  A little man that was shorter than my statuesque (lol) 5’5″ build shows up at my door along with another young man who was a lanky, non-muscular criminal with bad teeth who looked like he was so strung out on meth it hurt.  I was fortunate enough to have with me at the apartment my apartment complex’s assistant manager and his girlfriend Mary.  The first words out of Mary’s mouth was “how in hell is that lanky kid supposed to move all that furniture?”  I was with Mary, there was no way that kid and his short sidekick were going to get my seven foot long leather sofa and masses of furniture out the door, down the stairs, up another set of stairs and into my new apartment.  It looked shady and oh were we both right.  
At seeing how agitated I was, the lanky criminal looks at me and says, “I see you’re pretty frustrated at my company already, so why don’t you cancel the contract and I’ll come back later and move everything myself.”  My jaw dropped.  I couldn’t believe that criminal was exactly what I had pegged him as from the get-go.  Here it is that the company he works for doesn’t get the time right for the movers to show up, but then they send a criminal who has no compunction about screwing his company over by trying to unethically deal under the table?  The words out of my mouth said it all.  “I don’t think so.”  So, we move on to getting the contract set up to give over my payment for the job and so forth.  I had negotiated the movers with a man named Kelly on the phone, who when I asked if they accepted American Express for the move said, “Yes, we take American Express.”  I confirmed it with him four or five times over, making sure he KNEW that my Amex was the only way I could pay for the move.  Four and five times over he reassured me, “yes, we take American Express,” so reassured and happy, I went about packing and preparing.  Well, wouldn’t you know it, the minute I hand over my gold Amex to the criminal, he said, “Oh, we don’t take American Express.”  My face flamed, my patience went from all-time-high to zero in a heartbeat.  I looked at him and said, “Get your boss on the phone NOW.  I was assured many times that you do take American Express.”  The criminal gets on the phone and sure enough, what do I hear, the dispatcher telling me, “No, we can’t process it until Wednesday.”  I raged.  Between them not showing up then the meth criminal trying to line his pockets with my money, then lying through their teeth about the payment form I could use, I had had enough.  When they refused my Amex, I looked at them and said, “Bye,” and threw them out.  Mary looked at me and nodded her approval while my apartment complex assistant manager said, “If I wouldn’t have seen that with my own eyes, I wouldn’t have believed it.”  
Ok, well, let’s just say over the course of this blog we’ve seen people screw me over to high heaven, and well, with my new space and my belongings, no one is screwing me over ever again.  I put my foot down.  So with the criminal moving company walking away without a single one of my dimes in their pocket, I sat down in my demolished office and called another moving company who could get movers out the following day, Sunday.  Going over the fact that my American Express was my only form of payment several times with the new movers and telling the story of what had happened that afternoon, the man at the new moving company was much more honest about what their policies were for payment and so forth.  With a hopeful sigh, I booked the new movers for 8am the following morning then let my complex’s assistant manager know what was going on.  He went home as I decided to make a few more trips over to my new apartment with several armloads of goods, then it was to the showers, the bookstore and a nice meal so that I could recuperate for a bit before the real movers showed up.
I’ve been waiting anxiously for Sherrilyn Kenyon’s new book “No Mercy” for a while now.  Every day I’ve been checking her site to see what the countdown read.  Ah, nothing like a new Dark Hunter book to set the mood for the new place.  As I saw the release date was drawing near, I took a shot and headed down to my local candy, um I mean bookstore to pick up the latest release.  But, alas, no cigar.  Saturday just wasn’t a great day for me as I found out that the release date for “No Mercy” was on Tuesday, September 7th.  “Tuesday?” I wailed at the salesgirl in Barnes and Noble.  “Yep,” she said, “you’re going to have to wait until Tuesday.”  Well, that was no good!  I had no cable, no internet, no technology whatsoever!  What was I supposed to read?  All of my other Kenyon’s were already boxed, sealed and sitting in a box at my parents!  I had zero when it came to any sort of entertainment, so I wandered over to the romance aisle to see if there was anything by Ms. Kenyon I hadn’t read yet, and I did find something.  Sherrilyn Kenyon writes several series…the Dark Hunters I love so much, there’s one series called “The League” where it’s something like a cross between Blade Runner, Star Wars and a bodice ripper, then I happened upon the “BAD” Series…yes, “Bureau of American Defense”, ok yeah, I know what you’re thinking, horrible name, but it’s Sherrilyn, it’d be better than reading Jude Deveraux, so what the hell, I picked up one called, don’t laugh, “Bad Attitude”.  Ok, now, I’ll be the first to tell you, I’ve got a couple of Tom Clancy’s on the shelf…but I’m not that big into army rah-rah.  Mother is still trying to get me to enlist in the army and I finally had to tell her, “Mom, I’m over 35, they’re not going to take me.”  I know she’s got fantasies of life in uniform, but I sure as hell don’t.  I want to be an advertising executive, not some chick squat-peeing in some third world country.  No offense to the men and women in uniform, I truly appreciate what you guys do to keep me and the country safe, but really, me?  In uniform?  Um, NO.  But, there I was with a Tom Clancyish bodice ripper in my hands.  
Do you know it only takes me four and a half hours to go through 321 pages?  Yep.  “Bad Attitude” had 321 pages, I started it at dinner at 6:45pm and I finished it by 11pm.  At that point, I was wiped out from the day’s depressing events, so I turned out the light and fell fast asleep.
8am the following morning came far too early for me.  I was already wiped out, my arms and legs were sore, the tendinitis in my right elbow was singing and I couldn’t believe the fact that I promptly killed the alarm that was supposed to wake me up at 7am only to be woken up again another phone call.  It was the movers.  They arrived at 8am sharp.  It was a good sign as I struggled to wake up and let them in my gated community.  By the time I drove up to the front of the complex, someone else had already driven through the gate and let them in.  I drove quickly around the corner to find the truck lost in the sea of apartment buildings that make up my complex.  I beeped my horn and waved frantically as I pull up alongside of the truck to see a handsome man who could have easily jumped out of one of Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter novels.  My jaw dropped.
I motioned the Dark Hunter-looking driver to follow me and as I pulled my car into my parking spot, the Dark Hunteresque driver hops down out of the truck.  I mean even Sherrilyn couldn’t have written this guy better.  There he was, easily 6’3, covered in tattoos, muscles bulging, the whole nine yards, complete with long hair and a goatee.  He looked dangerous as all hell and you could tell there was a Harley-Davidson in his garage.  I pinched myself to find out I wasn’t dreaming when he strode confidently into my front door.  At this point I was still struggling to wake up.  I couldn’t have gotten coherent if my life had depended on it, but there was my own “Dark Hunter” kneeling in front of my shoe rack putting together paperwork.  I handed over my American Express to find out, YES!  They took American Express!  I was excited about that, even though my grogginess couldn’t have displayed it.  Truth told, I was wondering how in hell I could end up with a Dark Hunter as one of my movers…it was then I decided…
I was having a Romance Novel Hangover.
You know, you can drink champagne get a good buzz and sleep it off, ending up with a headache.  You can drink any sort of alcoholic beverage and you’ll either be hungover, sick to your stomach and all other sorts of whathaveyou.  No, when you have a romance novel hangover, you end up with a gorgeous guy at your front door that you keep rubbing your eyes and wondering if you’re dreaming or still reading.  Yeah.  I stood on my balcony watching this gorgeous guy, all sinew and muscle, move my things.  I was convinced I was still in the book.  Anyhow, my apartment complex’s assistant manager showed up again to help supervise and move things around and he kept seeing me staring off at this gorgeous mover.  He kept waving his hand in front of my face telling me to wake up for me only to reply I was having a romance novel hangover.
Well, with all hangovers, you know there’s a headache just around the corner for you.  My friend the assistant manager decides to tell the guy that I’m digging on him!  OMG!  FACEPALM!  Oy, that was one thing I didn’t need.  Yeah, instead of Mr. Tall, Dark and Handsome asking me out on a date, we find out the guy has a girlfriend and two kids.  Yeah, my hangover kicked in right then and I had one hell of a headache.  So much for happy endings, right?  LOL.   
Seven hours later, everything in the apartment got moved.  It’s all now sitting in boxes around the living room as I’m at my new temporary workspace, my kitchen table.  It’s not so bad really.  The space, it’s mine alright and it looks like a tornado hit it with boxes galore, a kitchen which needs to be organized and work in just eight short hours.
Best news of all is that I joined a student organization at school today…the ASC, Association of Students in Communication.  I got to meet the director of the on-campus student-run advertising agency, and to boot, remember that invitation-only campaigns class I wanted to get into?  Well, I met it’s professor today and I’ll probably get to take that class next semester!  DROOL!  OMG!  Me actually getting in the trenches and getting to work with fellow students to create a campaign?  I’m ready to faint!  
Anyhow, I’m behind right now in Journalism 101, I’ve not watched my two lectures and I’m behind by two chapters and I’ve got a test on Friday on the material, so I’ve got to go.  Reading to do!  Things to accomplish!  
OMG!  What a week!  Well, gals, just remember, no romance novels before the movers show up.  Romance novel hangovers are a bitch!

…and the hot guys hang out at Lowe’s…

So, the day started a little later than I would have liked.  After writing, I picked up a favorite book and read for a bit before I finally turned off the light before the sun could shine on the ground.  Yes, up late again.  At least it wasn’t because I was in front of the computer…

When the alarm clock went off at 7:30am, I looked at it like it was on crack and promptly shut it off.  Yeah, not a good idea on a huge packing day, but how can you get focused and pack on no sleep?  So, at 10:30am, my eyes finally opened and I started my day.

I immediately went to work on the one thing I realized I had forgotten all week, moving the utilities.  Note for all of you who have to move…everything is pretty much automated now, you can get on a computer or a phone and set up service moves a month in advance.  The post office, not so much, you have to arrange for them two weeks before.  Learn a lesson now, versus me just finding this out…move your services as early as possible so you don’t have to put up with a power company automated system saying it will call you back, but doesn’t.

All in all, it wasn’t bad.  After battling it out with automated systems and being on eternal hold, I got it all done and headed for the shower, makeup and a very bad hair day.  The bad hair day doesn’t bother me, I’m moving, I have an excuse to have my hair up in a ponytail…but here’s something I just learned about Murphy’s Law…the minute you have a bad hair day, you get confronted with a smörgåsbord of good looking guys.

I found out about the kink in Mr. Murphy’s rulebook when I was out running errands.  It started out by dropping off checks at my apartment complex’s office.  I dealt with mainly women, but I became very aware of the haphazard piece of hair coming out of my ponytail like it had been struck by lightning.  Not good, but hey, I’m moving, right?  *rolleyes*

It gets better though.  The next stop?  Box Brothers to pick up even more boxes for the move.  The guy who runs the store is a real cutie, older than me by at least 15 years, but even if he is in his 50’s, he still gets cute points, but of course, his eye goes to the haphazard piece of hair…ok, after that, the ponytail said so long, I couldn’t take it anymore.  I looked in the mirror, I was highly presentable without the ponytail, so we were all good, but Vegas at this time of the year is like being trapped in a blast furnace, so after grabbing a bit of lunch, the heat forced me to put my ponytail back in, and you guessed it, that stray piece that’s a part of my bangs just had to stick out like a sore thumb.

Next up was a stop at the Lowe’s just up the road from my apartment complex.  I had to get more garbage bags (like this is surprising…) and a few other odds and ends.

I was standing in the cleaning supplies row (looking at the different sizes of garbage bags available; yes, I’ve become a connoisseur of garbage bags), and lo and behold, a hot guy and his little 11-year-old son walk down the aisle and park themselves in close proximity.  Yes, I looked…he was single, but no, he was too focused on a bottle of cleaning agent to look over at me until his son decided he was going to sandwich himself between the stacks of enormous garbage cans.  Just when the kid was about to take out a whole row of cans trying to get out, I step in, catch the one garbage can, that if tipped, would have caused certain disaster, and saved the kid from an embarrassing situation.  The kid beamed at me and thanked me, the dad looked up, smiled, and promptly went back to his cleaning agent.  *Sigh*  I just can’t quite seem to catch a break, so I took my items to the checkout, paid for my goods and finally got home at around 3pm.

My mother arrived at 4.  She was all hip and rip-roaring to go as she promptly grabbed everything out of every single last cupboard that I hadn’t gotten to yet and placed them into boxes.  I have to give Mom kudos. Any other person looking in my fridge and seeing bottles of Stoli, Malibu Rum, Lemoncello, Miller Chill, Pacifico, Bartles & James’ Mojito and Berry wine coolers, several flavors of Mike’s Hard Lemonade and two large bottles of Canadian Microbrew, not to mention the Heineken in another cabinet, probably would have looked at me like I was an alcoholic.

I’ve got a lot of liquor in my house…ok, I left out the bottles of Bailey’s, Grand Mariner and Bacardi Gold that were on the buffet, along with an unopened bottle of California Riesling hanging out on my kitchen counter.  Yes, I have a lot of liquor, but most of it is unopened or untouched.  The Bailey’s and Grand Mariner were here because the ex loved those, I have the rum for the rum cakes I make, the Malibu is unopened (I bought it a few years back) and is for my own personal consumption, much less to say, I’ve not consumed it yet.  The vodka was from when the ex was making his own lox.  So, really, yes, I have a lot of booze…but no one will come over and help me drink it!!!!  *looks around nervously*  Yeah, that’s it.

Mom was such a sport, she went through my cupboards and organized the boxes that would be carrying my dry goods over to the new apartment.  Along the way, we got to throw out even more stuff.  Ah yes, La Purga continues.  (If you don’t get the La Purga reference, go watch “Angels and Demons” again.  It’s Ewan.  You WANT to watch it, even if he is playing a psycho priest.  La Purga is Italian for “The Purge”.)

Then more garbage bags filled up.  By the time I had made 5 more trips (10 bags) down to the dumpster and had moved around more boxes than I can count, Mom and I decided to take a look at the oven in my kitchen.  Mom freaked.  I never really noticed what was happening in my oven, (remember me, the enabled one?)  Well, I’ve never really opened the oven all the way up, there’s no light inside, and it’s usually just wide enough to get stuff in and out. Remember, when I cook, everything goes in and out of the oven really fast. Let’s not overlook the fact that I’ve not used my oven very often since the ex decided to put the E-X in E-X-I-T.  So with all that, I never really noticed what was happening in there.  When she told me that the oven wasn’t painted that color on the interior, I realized what was going on and cringed so hard it hurt.  To be honest, I nearly barfed.  Oy!  Forgot about that one…seems as my ex never bothered to clean the oven after he used it to cook steaks…feeling me yet?  Ok, so at seeing what was happening there, Mom sent me over to Lowe’s for their strongest and fastest acting oven cleaner.

So back at Lowe’s for the second time in a day, I realize that I didn’t want to leave the catches under the stove burners in their very damaged state (thanks again to the ex for that, I’ve been taking an SOS pad to them every week for the last year and they still haven’t come clean, so I decided to replace them along with picking up the oven cleaner.  Note to self:  Every single hot guy in the world descends on the local Lowe’s at around 6pm.

It’s too bad I discovered that hot guys frequent Lowe’s on a day that I’m covered in dirt and sweat, dressed in an old pair of cargo shorts and a very large t-shirt.  To put it mildly, it wasn’t very flattering.  At that point, my hair was not only in a ponytail, but it was double pulled through the rubber band holding my hair up making a quasi bun.  So, out of sheer necessity and the desperate need to keep cool, I ended up with stray pieces of hair sticking out at every possible angle, creating a look I’ll call “completely disheveled”. It’s the exact moment I’m going up every single aisle in Lowe’s and can’t find the catches for the burners, but instead find a hot guy on every row.  So, I go to find an employee that can point me in the direction of the stove supplies and what do I find?  Only one of the hottest guys my age I’ve seen in over 10 years with a Lowe’s vest on.  At that point, I wanted to crawl under the cap of the oven cleaner and die.  I’m convinced that when you look your crappiest, the hottest guys come out of the woodwork.  It seemed as everywhere I turned there was a guy that was some variation of hot.  Ever had one of those moments where you want the movie crew to come in and give you the appearance of a supermodel so you could get out of the store with the least amount of embarrassment?  Yeah, I was there.

But, the funniest part of the whole thing…as I put my purchases in my car to try to escape the embarrassment of looking like hell in hot guy heaven, a truck parked right next to me.  Yeah, it was the kind of truck that’s jacked up at least six inches off of its axles with the loud rumbling engine and super knobby tires.  As I looked over at the driver, expecting to see another hot guy, I sat shocked as I looked upon a woman who was easily in her 80’s.

I laughed all the way home.

So, yeah, all the hot guys hang out at Lowe’s.  Make a note of that one girls.


I’m up to my elbows in boxes, the apartment has officially been declared a disaster area, so as you can guess, the bulk of the packing is underway. 

There is so much stuff in this apartment that I didn’t immediately see.  Believe it or not, much to my chagrin, I’m finding more of the ex’s stuff.  I dread it every time I find something of his.  I feel like I’m in the middle of a Godfather movie, “Just when I think I’m out, they drag me back in.”  Much less to say, just when I think I’ve gotten rid of the last remnants of the ex, I find more of his stuff, and yes, it’s mostly trash.  At this point I think the term garbage bag is synonymous with the ex.  Every time the ex comes up, it’s always something about garbage.  Wow.  He might need a new nickname besides “the ex.”
I wrapped all of my dishes today and started on the bulk of the kitchen.  I have to find boxes for my mixer, food processors (I have a small and a large one), the rice cooker, the toaster and a few other large items.  The rest of it is all semantics as I have all of my bakeware and other things that are ready for boxing.  However, I did notice one thing that left me in peals of laughter, my unopened box of Wolfgang Puck pots and pans.  Ok, here’s why I laughed so hard:
My pots and pans, for the last ten years, have been an amalgamation of mix and match very cheap cookware.  The handles on the pots and pans are worn and wobbly, food sticks to the bottom of them even when you’re hyper-vigilantly careful with what you’re cooking.  So as you can guess, there’s not a single piece of quality cookware amongst the lot. 
This afternoon, I was going through and packing and I finally look at the side of the box with the new cookware in it.  19 pieces, from small saucepans to huge pans are all in this one unopened box just waiting to be opened and used in the new apartment.  I got that box last Christmas, but was always afraid to open it because I was afraid the moment I opened it, I’d have to pack it all back up and move.  Lo and behold, what happened, I had to move, so I’m thrilled that I’ll have brand new cookware in the apartment.  I’ve already stacked and made ready for the old cookware to say goodbye and I’m waiting in great anticipation to welcome my box gorgeous quality cookware that no one else has touched (or in my ex’s case, ruined).  So I’m looking forward to my new kitchen, knowing that brand new cookware is just waiting to be unpacked.    
The bedroom isn’t going to be too bad.  I’ve already cleaned out most of the drawers in the ladies dresser, the top still needs to be cleaned off, and the rest of my clothes need to be put in suitcases, but mostly I’m down to the last room on the list, my office.
Ugh, when it comes to hoarding, the ex comes at the top of the list of world class hoarders.  I’m finding things all through the apartment that were hoarded by the ex and the only thing that can describe the discoveries I’m making is a very loud WTF.  Yeah, and the office closet tomorrow promises to be one of those things where you KNOW it’s going to be a whole hell of a lot of WTF’ing going on.  I’ve got my huge box of garbage bags at the ready and I’m prepared to take that sucker down, piece by piece.
But, the linens are boxed, the guest bathroom is all cleaned out, and now it’s down to the little stuff outside of my kitchen appliances.  Tomorrow should see the last of the packing as I go into Friday which is cleaning day and getting ready for the movers on Saturday.  
It’s late, I’ve got to get rest.  Mom will be here tomorrow to help further along the packing process and make it effortless to get up on Saturday morning and direct the movers.  
Only two full nights left in this apartment, then I can say, “Come friends, let us away,” and move into my new space.

Movies and big comfy chairs.

I love my desk chair.  It’s big, it’s made of brown leather and stuffed, almost to overflowing.

I won’t lie.  I spend a lot of time in my desk chair, slowly and happily rocking back and forth.  When I have my rare moments of writers block, it allows me to calm my mind with the gentle rocking as if I’m somewhere out on a far away ocean.  Sometimes, I even sit and imagine myself sitting on the sand somewhere next to the sea and I can almost smell the salt air and feel the breeze coming off the water.

Another thing I love about my chair is that it reclines.  It’s the perfect chair to curl up and watch a movie in.  It’s so huge, and since I’ve lost so much weight, I can cross my legs comfortably or just tuck them in under me, leaning far back and nestling in to sit for a while.  Sometimes I even bring one of my throws into my office to cover me up while I watch a movie.

Often, I find myself in my big overstuffed office chair watching movies rented on iTunes.  Well, tonight, the film of choice was “Under the Tuscan Sun” with Diane Lane.

I guess I like stories about starting over again.  I’m looking forward to seeing “Eat Pray Love”, but either way you go, it’s the same type of story, of a woman going through a divorce or break up, starting over again and rebuilding their life.

I guess I like the soundtracks the best of all in films like that, they’re usually very soft and go great with a bowl of sweet, ripe, black cherries or a big fat bowl of fluffy, buttery popcorn, all while sitting in this huge over-sized chair.

I guess it’s my guilty pleasure at the moment, being able to just sit for a moment and feel the beginning of autumn  as the cool air wafts gently through my office window while I’m watching a film.

Pretty soon, nights like this will be a distant memory.  Not because I want them to, but because my new apartment will become a very interesting mix of spaces.  My big fluffy chair won’t enjoy it’s usual amount of space next to a big desk, it’ll be at the end of my kitchen table, but it doesn’t mean that I still won’t enjoy it.

I am going to miss my desk.  I won’t miss the endless amount of stuff that gets piled onto it, but I will miss having this space that’s so far away from the rest of the world.  I think I will miss what it is like to have just an office space, but at the same time, I’m feeling like there are changes just around the bend that aren’t just about a new apartment, but about me.

For some reason (and I do know the reason, but I just don’t feel the need to elaborate on it), let’s just say that I’m tired of selfish people who care more about themselves than they do for others and have no idea what the word “leadership” truly means.  I’m tired of my video games, I’m tired of the same bodiless voices in my ears every night spouting drivel because they really don’t have lives at all.

At first, my chair came into my life because my old desk chair was horrible and it made the time I wanted to spend on the computer miserable.  Now, it’s the opposite.

My computer is making me miserable, and not for hardware or software issues, no nothing as mundane as that.  No, I’m tired of raiding, I’m tired of men who like to pretend that they’re team players but really aren’t.  I guess I’m just sick and tired of giving all my special gifts and talents to people who don’t appreciate them and treat me and all of the really good people around me like dirt.  So, since I’m moving, I decided to take the week off from my online worlds.

Sure, I could raid in WoW on Thursday night, but why?  I get the keys to my new apartment on Friday night and I have so many exciting things happening, it would be ludicrous and an absolute sin to waste my last remaining nights in this beautiful place pent up in my office, even though I do love my chair.  I have reading to do, I have papers to write, I have lots of other more interesting things to do than spend three hours a night feeling like I’m wasting my time.  I made the gentle excuses, that I have to pack, I have school, that I’m moving, but the truth is, I don’t want to raid or play in my online worlds anymore.  It’s become passé, like an out of style piece of clothing in my closet that needs to be donated to Goodwill.

When I walked into my office tonight to raid, I went in unwillingly.  When I knew I didn’t want to go, when I was having to say out loud, “Leadership is about support”, “Leadership is caring more about your team than you do yourself” to convince myself to log in, I knew it was a sign, one that said all of my online worlds have served their purpose.  It was the social outlet I needed for when I was shoved away like a worn out pair of running shoes, but eventually, you clean out the closet and find those well worn, familiar pair of shoes that have carried you so many miles and finally realize that they’re beat up and rather raunchy, so you know it’s time to finally throw them out and get a new pair.

Now, things are becoming quite different.  Like the women in the films I like so much, I’m hitting the point in the story where the heartbreak is over, the self worth is beginning to return in a huge way and you get the feeling that the heroine in the film is about to catch a big break.  It’s the moment in the film where you cheer when you know she’s going to be okay again.  Except I’m no movie star.  I’m the center of the universe in my own little blog that only nine people read.

Truth told, everyone loves a great story.  One that makes you feel the heartbreak and you cry for the characters, but then it turns around and you cheer when everything begins to fall into place just right, the music swells and you sit beaming, smiling from ear to ear that the ending is going to be happy.  I love happy endings, I’m a sucker for them, they tell me I’m going to be okay too.

I always say, “Life is like a movie.  Sometimes you don’t like the way the story goes, but either way, everything turns out in the end.  You may not like the way the movie starts, how the conflict is resolved or the ending, but at least you can sit and enjoy the good moments when you see them.”

So even though I do love my movies and my big comfy chair, there’s a world out there that begs to have me become a part of it; instead of just transporting myself from world to world with a mouse, I am feeling a real need to go somewhere and enjoy new scenery.

Maybe I’ll find a new leading man…that’d be nice.

Here’s some music to listen to from the film, enjoy: