Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Not bitter, just bruised.

The Dallas Diva recently wrote about how much it sucks to be dating. She wrote:

Why is dating so difficult? And it doesn't do anything but get harder as we get older. As time goes by, we are more set in our ways, and it is harder to be willing to tolerate other people's idiosyncrasies especially when I can barely tolerate my own. (I'm saying 'we' hoping it really is 'we' and not just me.)

Uh, yeah, it's totally "we."

I am doing online dating, and on one hand, it's really exciting. And I met a nice man this weekend at a party. After a little liquid courage, I said, "I have really enjoyed talking to you. I know this is really forward, but can I give you my card?"

And he smiled and said yes and I gave him my card. No, he hasn't called yet. That's not the point. The point is that I did it. I put myself out there. Yay, Cha Cha!

On the other hand, he hasn't called. And online dating is a ton of work. You have to keep track of all the different conversations you're having with different people. And tonight? Tonight, I'm in my bathrobe and super tired and I just can't face logging on and writing another chipper "So, what kind of music do you like?" e-mail. I. Just. Can't.

I thought dating in college was scary. Oh, little did I know! At least everybody's single and if they're gay, they don't know it yet. You know someone who knows someone else, so your chances of ending up with a total creep and not knowing it are slim. And everyone's your age and no one has kids or a psycho ex. And you're thin and don't have to have conversations like, "Oh, that giant disfiguring scar? Funny story ..." Because you are young and if you're really weathered, you once knew someone who died.

And then there's dating in your 30s. It's deliberate. And you have to do it after working a full day and doing grown-up things, as if pretending to be a grown-up isn't work enough. And it seems like you're the only person in the whole entire universe (ok, maybe just your social circle) who is experiencing this particular level of Dante's inferno.

But sometimes? It's also really funny. Like when you admit to your friend that you were disappointed that your blind date showed up in an old, beat-down Corolla, and your friend shoots beer through his nose. And likes you anyway. And later, that friend tells you that being single isn't so bad, because at least you don't have a mother-in-law who steals filets out of your freezer.

So, I'm thinking we need a Dating In Your 30s Blog Consortium. Just a little blogroll of partners in dating crime. A list of sites to turn to when you need to laugh or just know that you aren't Miss Havisham. I'm in - anybody else? Suggestions?

Monday, March 30, 2009

I can see clearly now.

Two years ago, I remodeled my kitchen. It was like Laura Ingalls Wilder's The Long Winter. It took forever. I ate only cereal for two months. And no, I still haven't touched up the trim paint. I'm just now beginning to accept that it still needs to be done.

As part of this magical remodel, I got a new microwave - a fancy one that goes above the stove and has a fan in it for the stove. From day one, this microwave has sounded like a jet. And not in a good way. In a this-might-set-the-house-on-fire way.

But, much like the trim paint, I just couldn't face it. For two years. Yeah, I know.

I finally called Sears and had them come out to look at it while it was still under warranty. The repair guy was very nice, but he was wearing these John List glasses that just really threw me.

You remember John List, right? He was the accountant who killed his entire family in the early 70s and then vanished. And the forensic sculptor made a bust of what List probably looked like 20 years later - and made a point to put these dark, heavy eyeglasses on the bust. The sculptor figured that with List's psychological profile, he'd want to look important.

They found List, and he was totally wearing the same glasses. The same glasses being worn by my Sears repairman!

So, the repairman was all, "Oh, you need a new wavemasher and a new transponder" or some such thing. And all I could think of was, "Oh, please don't kill me and turn the furnace down to 50 and leave classical music on the radio and tell all the neighbors that I'm out of town while you make your getaway and become a model citizen in Colorado. And no, I don't watch too much TV. What are you talking about? Please don't kill me."

But he just ordered the parts and promised to come back in a week.

So, a week passes, and the repairman comes back. But pulling a microwave out of the wall is a heavy, two-person job, so he brought another repairman.

And that repairman was also wearing John List glasses!

I shit you not.

So, they fixed the microwave and chatted with me about Foxie Doxie and Lil' Frankfurter, all the while planning on how they'd lay out our bodies and hopefully not splatter blood on their glasses.

And then they left.

And my microwave no longer sounds like 27 freight trains. And the doxies and I are fine. But we probably need to stop watching those true crime shows.
Creepy image courtesy of Google Images.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Things that are awesome.

Best way to ruin my entire Sunday
Make Rock of Love Bus a rerun. vh1, how could you?

Best way to make a potential beau run screaming
I was at a party last night with Alice and Jake. There was a guy there who was handsome ... and who looked really familiar. I couldn't figure out how I knew him, but I was pretty sure that I did.

Alice was talking to his friend, so I asked I Know You Guy how I know him. His response? "I get that a lot. Who's your favorite member of the A-Team? Maybe we know each other through the fan club."

So, I Know You Guy and I chatted it up for several minutes. He was very funny. And then he made a comment about his sister. And I'm all, "Wait a minute. What's your sister's name? And what's her fiance's name?"

And then, I was all, "I know how we know each other. I used to date The Ex-Boyfriend Formerly Known as Mr. Wonderful."

I Know You Guy took a giant step away from me. His sister is marrying Ex-Wonderful's good buddy. He avoided me the rest of the evening.

What's that bewitching scent I'm wearing? It's Eau de Ex-Wonderful. Driving men away since 2008.

Best "Yes, this is my life" moment
That would be courtesy of Lil' Frankfurter. Lil' Frank, who is still not housetrained. Lil' Frank, who I caught making a poo this morning on the kitchen floor. I reprimanded him while he was still, uh, you know, doing the doo, and he ran off. He ran off with a piece of poop swinging from his butt. As I held his little seven-pound body over the toilet and wiped his rear, I had a very distinct "So, this is what it means to be an adult" moment. Rock on.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

In which I am completely self absorbed, part 72.

I've been thinking that my hair, in all its growing-out-ness, has reached new levels of yuck.

Yesterday, I realized that I look like our pal Hillary. I know it's a good look for Hil, but for Cha Cha? Not so much.

Then, I realized that with just a little more teasing, I could achieve 80s hair nirvana: The Markie Post.

But I'm really pretty low maintenance. So, I just go around with hair that looks like that guy from Bride and Prejudice (which is actually a really great movie, by the way).

The odd thing, though, is that friends have started complimenting my 'do. Umm? Ok. Thanks.

And I guess my online dating profile photo must not be too hideous. My tag line is "'75 Chevy Impala. Low miles. Runs great."

Because I am so hot like that.

And last night, at like midnight? Some drunken, not-even-divorced-yet fool sent me a one-line e-mail: "Had your oil changed lately?"

After dowsing myself in Purell, I determined that yeah, I must have it going on - at least at some level.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

It runs in the family.

As I have mentioned before, I'm a lateral organizer. My office organization system is The Carpet Credenza. To the uneducated, this might look like piles of stuff on the floor. But really, people, it's a system.

I inherited The Carpet Credenza from my dad. His office often has neat piles of folders lined along the wall. I have taken The Carpet Credenza to new heights ... new heights of sloppiness. However, I'm coming to realize that along with putting my own spin on The Carpet Credenza, I have also passed down this lateral organizing system to my kids.

Lil' Frankfurter is really pushing the limits of The Carpet Credenza. He's so dedicated to lateral organization that he freaks out if his toys are actually inside the toy box. He watches me put all the toys away, then spends about five minutes distributing the toys around the floor - as they should be.
Dad? Do you see what we've created? It's a proud, proud moment - kind of like watching your kid accept a Nobel Prize ... but with a lot more fiberfill strew all over the floor.

Also, I'm not sure if many Nobel Prize winners don fiberfill in such an adorable, decidedly Colonel Sanders sort of way.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I don't ask for much.

Lil' Frankfurter currently is asleep with his head resting on my wrist. As I type. And as he makes what I call The Snorgle.

You know The Snorgle - that sickeningly adorable snort that dogs make when they are sleepy and happy. Both Frankfurter and Foxie Doxie have their own versions of The Snorgle and it pleases me very much. It's so cute that it almost makes up for the fact that Frankfurter is still not housetrained.

Oh, sweet eight-pound, five-ounce baby Jesus in your golden fleece diaper, help me. Help me to get Lil' Frankfurter to understand that when he goes potty outside and I stand there and say all those sweet, affirming things to him that it's a sign. It's a sign from You that he should go potty outside. All the time. Please help me to teach him that while the house is mercifully all hardwoods, grass is so much better for doing certain business. Please help Foxie Doxie continue to set a positive example for his brother, and please guide Lil' Frankfurter to follow that example. Please bless our home with fresh air so that it doesn't stink like dog pee. Thank you for making Lil' Frankfurter so cute so that I don't sell him to gypsies, even though it would make for a really funny "Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves" doxie-esque photo essay based on the Cher song. Please grant us patience, grace and all the paper towels we need. In the name of the kibble and the Nylabone and the Greenies, Amen.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The things I do for you people.

This is a story about what may or may not have been a good idea.

So, Ex-Ex contacted me again and asked to meet for a drink. I am bored. I need blog fodder. I agreed.

And then Foxie Doxie got an eye infection and we had a vet appointment ... at the vet in my old hood. At the same time Ex-Ex and I were going to meet for drinks.

Foxie and I ended up just going over to the home that Ex-Ex and I purchased together, the house he still lives in. I hadn't been there for more than four years.

Let me just tell you about this house. I fucking loved this house. 1927 bungalow. Arts and crafts tile fireplace. Incredible architectural detailing. I painted. I landscaped. I cleaned. I held down the fort when Ex-Ex traveled for work all the time. And when we broke up, I left the house. My house. With the exception of my parents' house, it's still the place I have lived the longest.

I have thought of the house probably more than I have thought about Ex-Ex.

Ex-Ex said that his super-sexy job didn't allow a lot of time for home maintenance and that he really hadn't changed anything since I moved out. Well, he was right. But it also looked like he hadn't cleaned in a while. I'm pretty sure that super-sexy job means he can afford a cleaning lady. He might check into it. It was just odd to see the floors scratched all to hell by his big dog and noticeable layers of dust on everything. I used to clean and clean and clean, and he'd walk in and be all, "This place is a dump. I'm going to have to take a day off work to clean." And now I'd be afraid to go barefoot in the house.

So, there was that. And the new living room furniture. And the new artwork. And the yard that had gone all to hell. So glad I busted my ass on your dumpy-ass house, you home-maintenance moron.

But there were some surprising things that were the same. The rug in the bathroom was the same. I slept on that rug one night after a bad run-in with cheap vodka. And perched on the kitchen windowsill was the tiny glass perfume bottle that I found buried in the backyard.

I sat as a guest on a chair that I had helped purchase. We drank beer and watched the dogs play. Foxie marked a rug where he had marked a hundred times before. As I half-heartedly pretended to clean it up, I noticed a framed fortune from a Chinese fortune cookie. Displayed on the coffee table, it read, "You and your mate will be happy in your life together."

Oh. Ok.

Ex-Ex actually asked about me, unlike our last meeting. He wanted to know how I was handling "the whole Geriatric Poodle / break-up thing." It felt a little ... patronizing.

We talked about books and trips and dogs and his grandma's Alzheimer's. The beer hit me and I had a sudden urge to just go lay down on the bed that had been mine for seven years. But instead, I gathered up Foxie, threw on my cashmere Pashmina (because I! Am! Fabulous!), and left.

The thing that struck me as I drove off was that he walked me outside, but didn't watch to see if I drove off safely. A man who cares about a woman watches. Ex-Ex did not.

Monday, March 23, 2009

I'm bringing sexy back.

I stayed home sick today. I woke up at 3 a.m., so congested that my teeth ached. I finally got up at 6, e-mailed that I wasn't coming in, and tucked myself and the doxies back in bed. We watched a few minutes of The Golden Girls. Then, because I truly must be sick, I turned off The Golden Girls. Then, I slept until 12:15.


So, after an afternoon on the couch, I am sick of being sick. But I still feel crappy. And let me tell you, I look the part. And smell it, too. You know that point of being sick where you realize that your pajamas are a little ripe? Yeah.

I'm trying to decide if my hair most closely resembles a yeti, a wookie, the abominable snowman, or Phil Spector.

It's a tough call. So, I'm going to go eat some pudding, take some NyQuil, and hope for better days.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Fever! In the morning, fever all through the night.

I have the plague.

Or, it's a) a really bad cold; b) really bad allergies; or c) strep. I thought it was b, but I've never had allergies that caused me to get so fevered while eating soup that I had to take my shirt off. Yeah, I got your strip tease right here.

So, today has been spent on the couch. I have sad news to report: with all the catty blondes gone, the nice brunette girls on Rock of Love Bus have turned against each other. I'm not angry. I'm just ... disappointed.

And yesterday was a lovely day. On our morning walk, Foxie Doxie, Lil' Frankfurter and I met Earl. Earl was walking his daughter's dog for the second time that morning because he was bored. Earl is a retired chemist who just moved in with his daughter because his wife died December 17 and the kids don't want him to live alone.

Sweet Earl told me, "My wife? She was a singer. Oh, could she sing - she was the soloist at her college, and they were on Ed Sullivan. Do you believe it? On our first date, she sang to me, and I had to pinch myself. An old cowboy like me, being serenaded like that? I couldn't believe it. All of our kids can sing - they all have beautiful voices. But not me. I can't sing a lick."

I basically wanted to put Earl in my pocket and take him home.

Last night, I went with a friend to a very awesome birthday party. It was 200 gay men and me. I ate two of the greatest cupcakes I have ever had (yes, I ate two, because no one was flirting with me and several men told me that they would never eat in public so I could have their cupcake. I didn't ask twice.). And, there was a drag queen who performed "Mamma Mia" and Cher's "Dark Lady." It was divine!

In a room off the main party area, they had old home movies of the birthday boy. He is an identical twin, and the movies showed him and his brother in all their 70s glory - the Christmas they received hot cycles, the family trip to Disneyland. Lovely.

The birthday boy stopped in the movie area briefly. He said, "I can't watch these - they make me cry. I don't know which one is me and which one is my brother."

Watching two little boys jump into their dad's arms in a small swimming pool over and over again made me nostalgic for my own childhood. And it struck me that the dad in those movies had really accomplished something. What could possibly be more worthwhile?

Friday, March 20, 2009

What passes for a post.

I'm in a bit of a basketball coma. March Madness? I *heart* you.

Lil' Frankfurter is also enjoying March Madness. Except instead of basketball, he is really insane over the yellow squeaky ball, which, mercifully, doesn't squeak anymore. This sweet, shy little dude has learned the art of growling and then barking until I throw the ball.

We played this for about seven hours today. I'm not kidding. I worked from home today, and he didn't sleep all day. I should be more, you know, alpha about the whole thing, but his little growl sounds almost like a sigh and is just so damn cute.

Now, finally, the doxies are exhausted from supervising me all day and are konked out on the couch. And I? Am answering messages sent to my profile on an online dating site.

Evidently, I write a funny profile.

Today, a friend and I talked about the difference between not being over a guy and not being over a situation. We agreed that I'm over The Ex-Boyfriend Formerly Known as Mr. Wonderful, but perhaps not over The Relationship With The Ex-Boyfriend Formerly Known as Mr. Wonderful. And that's ok. And an important distinction. And doesn't mean that I should sit in seclusion until I'm again a blank slate.

I talked about this with my folks a few days ago. And my sweet daddy told me that yes, yes I totally should do online dating again. So, for the first time pretty much, oh, ever, I did something because my dad told me to.

And so far, it's pretty fun. And not terribly scary because I can e-mail, you know? It's not anywhere near as frightening as interacting with a real, live, three-dimensional person. After all, I don't have to leave the comfort of my natural habitat: the couch.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Nick Cage, this is how it is done.

Am I the only person who thinks that Nicolas Cage must have changed his given surname - Coppola - to Cage to save the family the embarrassment of his "career?"

It sounds vicious, I know. But the world is inundated with the trailer for his new movie. Believe it or not, there's a weird code. And good ol' Nick has to - I know this is a shock - he has to save the world. And his kid is all, "Are we going to die?" And Nick is all, "I won't let that happen."


Foxie Doxie and Lil' Frankfurter think they could produce and star in a blockbuster that's way more original and engaging.

See, there are these two doxies who are just chillin'. Their names are Ralphie and Harry. They like to sit in the sun.

But one day, the sun brings not just warmth to the Earth. It also brings atomic death doxies.

Because Ralphie and Harry spend their days looking out the window, they see when the atomic death doxies beam down to Earth. But because Ralphie and Harry don't speak Human, they have trouble communicating the direness of the situation to the people around.

Because humans are dumb.

So, it's up to the doxies to save the world from the atomic death doxies.

Ralphie and Harry go undercover as nerds to gain access to the high-security nuclear reactor where the atomic death doxies are planning Earth's destruction.
No one recognizes them in their clever disguises.
And Harry uses his finely honed deconstructive skills to rip apart the atomic death doxies' death ray. Harry has been practicing for this moment. Many toys have given their lives to help improve his skill.

Meanwhile, Ralphie does what many a hot chick has had to do in many an action movie: he strips down and diverts attention with what his mama gave him.
This gives Harry the opportunity to not only rip apart the death ray, but also to don protective clothing and disengage the nuclear reactor. With his tongue.
Because the atomic death doxies don't have apposable thumbs, they are totally screwed. They can't reengage the nuclear reactor, nor can they rebuild the death ray. So, they go away.

Ralphie and Harry are heroes! They are given many delicious treats and are allowed to roll in nasty stuff in the yard. Then, they sleep. Because they have to rest up for the sequel.
And also for the promo tour, modeling for all the marketing tie-ins and Happy Meal toys, and having groupies throw themselves at the doxies. Because being an action star? Is a lot of work, people.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Doctor? Doctor. Doctah? Doctoooor.

Today I got a call from the doctor.
No, not that doctor. He doesn't have opposable thumbs and isn't sure how to operate a phone.
Sorry, it's the truth.

No, the call was from the office of my lady doctor. I have high cholesterol. Again. Two years ago, it was 232. I got it down to 196. And now? Up to 236.

My blood is evidently not blood at all, but melted butter. Mmm ... butter. So a few days ago when I was all, "I believe in real butter?" Well, perhaps it would have been more fitting for me to be all, "I believe in clogging my arteries as quickly as possible."

What the hell?

Thankfully, the prescription was more fish oil and more exercise, not some random pharmaceutical. But I exercise every day. I am thin-ish. I eat very little red meat. I am a nice person. What the hell am I doing with crazy high cholesterol?

I'll tell you what I'm doing. I went to book club tonight and enjoyed brownies, wine, dips, fruit pizza, and crackers. Oh, and some carrots. But they were merely vessels for the dip. Screw you, HDL, LDL, whatever your name is.

What is it about turning 30 that suddenly means the warranty is up and your body begins to slowly but surely fall apart? I could sort of handle the weird things my skin is doing? But the "I eat Big Macs every day" cholesterol? Are you kidding me?

Perhaps I do subscribe to Lil' Frankfurter's point of view. Everything is better with more toys. His current personal best for his office / my bathroom? Seven toys, two big globs of stuffing, and one pair of my pajamas.

He is thorough.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Irish eyes are smiling.

Happy St. Patty's Day, all!

Around these parts, March 17 is a day to get drunk in the morning, watch a parade, and try to avoid getting urinated on by inebriated strangers. Luck of the Irish, indeed.

I know that everyone and their dog claims to be Irish. But I really am. My sweet grandpa was very proud of his Irish heritage and I always think of him this time of year.

A few years ago, my brother lived in Galway, and my folks and I visited him. So, I thought I'd share some of our trip. It's like being subjected to a slide show about your friends' vacation ... but you're probably drunk right now, so it's fine, right?

The Cliffs of Moher. We happened to be in western Ireland during the hottest weather on record. From what I understand, the weather isn't typically so Malibu-esque. And this photo? Hardly does the view justice. Breathtaking!

This is also at the Cliffs of Moher and is my favorite photo of me and Poochie, well, ever. He had just told me about an unfortunate incident in which he had dropped an Eggo waffle on the kitchen floor. He yelled, "FUCK!," not stopping to think that our dad was on the phone with ... our dear, sweet grandma. I could not stop laughing.

The very, very best street sign in the universe. This made us all laugh and laugh and laugh. When folks say driving in foreign countries is dangerous? They ain't lyin'.

This is Poochie competing in the Irish National Rowing Championships. I am in awe of my brother. Yes, Ireland really is that green. No, I don't know how I am related to a jock, either.

The view off of Valencia Island, off the Ring of Kerry. And yes, the sky really was that blue. Everything in Ireland seemed to be in Technicolor. The colors used in Lucky Charms? Really not representative of their Irish heritage.

We walked around this old monastery on a damp, serene Sunday morning. We didn't talk much while exploring - the place felt sacred. And all of our photos from the monastery have these lovely glowing orbs in them. I am a believer.

And finally, the fog rolling in across Connemara. The air is so sweet and the land is so lush. We were blessed to visit this place.
All photos courtesy of my parents, who basically rock.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Random Monday.

Like I like Monday, but waaaaaaay more random.

Blogging angers Foxie Doxie. He thinks it's a sin that I busy myself with anything other than rubbing his sweet, sweet belly.

Lil' Frankfurter? Doesn't give a shit. Because he is TIRED, people. All of this spring weather? Means longer-than-usual walks? And even when your mama carries you part of the way because your legs are approximately two centimeters long? And everybody who drives by laughs? You still get exhausted.

So, we're all cuddled up on the couch. And although my new Life Partner DVR has arrived, it's still in the box. Because I am just not up to installing new electronics.

Instead, I read an entire library book tonight. I know! Literacy? It's cool.

I read Freakin' Fabulous by Clinton Kelly, host of my Friday night steady date, What Not To Wear. It's generally a fluffy "how to be great" book, sort of along the lines of Cynthia Rowley's Swell. You know, have a good tailor; have a signature drink; throw a good party.


Turns out my BFF Clinton has a master's in journalism from Northwestern. Of the six chapters in his book, one is dedicated to ... grammar.


Now, I read a few online reviews that were all, "Grammar? Hell to the no!" But I must tell you all ... I loved it. His explanation of lay and lie is worthy of a little Xerox action before this tome goes back to the library. And that versus which? While I'm hardly a grammarian, I feel enriched.

And speaking of the library? I am currently running through every audio book by Jimmy Carter. Because he's so interesting, is a great storyteller, and reads all of his own works. I could listen to that Georgia drawl read the phone book. But I just finished A Remarkable Mother, all about his amazing mama. She went to India with the Peace Corps when she was 70! Fantastic. Highly recommended.

Is it bad that I consider my library fines to be good karma? Like, by holding on to materials too long and promptly paying for the fees, I'm actually helping the library, since funding is so scarce? Or would that just be my rich fantasy life?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Of Lancome and love.

Today is Cha Cha Appreciation Day. Strangely, I don't think Hallmark makes a card for it. Yet.

I celebrated Cha Cha Appreciation Day by spending a gazillion and seven dollars on the entire Lancome skincare line. My lovely mama and lovely auntie swear by it, and, as they point out, I am worth it. So, here's to looking 40 when I'm 70. Because really? My life is all about being the hottest cougar at the retirement village.

It's good to have a goal.

Another important component of Cha Cha Appreciation Day was giving myself permission to skip church and instead camp out on the couch to watch the early airing of Rock of Love Bus. I know, I know - I have a serious problem if I'm choosing reality tee vee over eternal salvation. But I was cuddled up under a blankie with Lil' Frankfurter's head on my shoulder and Foxie Doxie all curled up in the bend of my legs. What was a girl to do?

A girl was to stay put on the couch, that's what.

And today's episode of Rock of Love Bus made me guffaw. Oh, this is truly the greatest show ever in the history of all entertainment, televised or otherwise. This week, the ladies had to be interrogated by contestants from past years - and the exes of the ladies were there, too. One woman got so mad that she took a swing at one of the former contestants and spit at the other one.

And this girl, who is so mean and hateful about everybody?
Turns out she still lives with her baby daddy! Who announced that he showed up not to help Bret, but to take the mean girl home! Because they had just done the nasty the day before she left for the show, and he still considered her his woman!

Ah, sweet, sweet Rock of Love Bus. Nobody loves me like you do.

So, the spitting girl and the still-living-with-her-baby-daddy girl both went home. So the four finalists? All brunettes!

Snarly, nasty baby-daddy girl? After she was eliminated, she said, "I can't believe I'm going home. Good luck with Gopher and the 1986 prom queen."

Fred Grandy proudly represented my home state in Congress. Do not badmouth Gopher, you nasty girl.

And 1986 prom queen? Uh, in 1986, I could think of nothing grander than being prom queen, with the possible exception of being Miss America. So, just get your luggage and get off the bus you ... mean, mean girl!

So, obviously, it's been a very full, very fulfilling day.

Images courtesy of vh1.com and Google Images.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Uptown Saturday night.

It's Saturday night. You know what that means!

Yes. I watched We: Television for Women. And I cleaned.

On We, I watched a bit of Under the Tuscan Sun. And by "watched a bit," I mean "watched the entire movie but it's ok because I've never seen it and I've never been to Tuscany so really it was educational."

And by "cleaning," I mean that I took a shovel to the disaster that is my office. I can now see the surfaces of both of my desks (computer and crafty). I also found approximately 17 books that were hiding beneath dust bunnies.

Of those incognito books, I found not one but two copies of The Secret Garden. You'd think with two copies of this classic, I must have adored it as a kid. But really? I have a very generous aunt who owned a toy store.

I've never read The Secret Garden. Auntie C, I'm so sorry! I've also never read Little Women or any of those late elementary school / junior high classics. I sort of jumped right from Beverly Cleary and Judy Blume to Jeffrey Archer and Phyllis Whitney.

What? It was the 80s.

So, I think I need to read The Secret Garden. Just, you know, because. And I opened one of my very nice, hardback copies to find a bookmark, so maybe I started reading it at some point. That bookmark? My third grade dental card.

I had totally forgotten about dental cards! You were supposed to go for a check up and then the dentist would sign and date this yellow dental card for you to give your teacher. The teacher would then take the easy route on bulletin board design and post the class' dental cards. For the entire year.

Now, this particular dental card reports that I saw the dentist on August 18, 1983. My mom's neat handwriting filled out my name, the date and my teacher's name. And the dentist signed the bottom of the card. But on the back? On the back, there's an "Oral Health Guide."

Because I am nasty, my gut reaction was, "Oh, I got your oral health right here."

But then I read the fine print, most of which is about nutrition. The design, which is dated 1979, is a fiesta of passive-voice copy (way to send this editor into cardiac arrest). And it says that you should include a quart of vitamin D milk and six teaspoons of butter "or fortified margarine" in your diet every day.

Isn't a quart of milk, like, really a lot? Not being a big milk drinker, that one sort of heebs me out. But the butter? Well, if my dentist insists that I eat butter every day, who am I to disagree?

I'm a believer in real butter. A few years ago, I stopped shopping for the lowest trans fat margarine and just started buying sticks of butter. I keep a stick of butter in a covered glass butter dish next to my toaster.

Yes. I eat butter every day. Because sometimes, it's just about quality of life. Which really, is the theme for my Saturday night.

Friday, March 13, 2009

And ... breathe out.

Another Friday night, another airing of Waiting to Exhale.

Mr. Friend That I Now Have a Crush On and I had a date scheduled for tonight. And then he sort of informed me via e-mail this afternoon that he doesn't think I'm over The Ex-Boyfriend Formerly Known as Mr. Wonderful.

I received this e-mail about 15 minutes before an appointment with my psychiatrist. You know, that every-three-months appointment where I'm supposed to show that I'm a) not insane and b) worthy of a Zoloft refill. Oh, and when I c) check out the ditsy receptionist for your reading pleasure.

I sort of had to wash the mascara off my face before I left for my appointment. I don't know if Mr. Friend I Now Have a Crush On is right; I just know that I'm hurt and angry that it's even an issue.

Once I got to the appointment, the psychiatrist proceeded to give me woman-to-woman advice about how it was all about him and not about me. Or, rather, she gave me sassy-Hispanic-to-inept-white-girl advice. Whatever.

The important take-aways? A Zoloft refill. And an appointment card for my next visit: Friday, June 10. Except that June 10 is a Wednesday. I *heart* you, Ditsy Receptionist!

So, anyway. I don't have a date anymore tonight. I was really looking forward to seeing my friend / crush.

But Bernadine just burned all of her ex-husband's stuff, a scene that always makes me laugh. And I'm going over to Alice and Jake's for pizza and adult beverages. Because I have seen this movie a few times before.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The doctor is in.

I'm starting to think of the bathroom as Lil' Frankfurter's office.

If I'm in the bathroom, so is Frankfurter.
When I get out of the shower, I open the curtain to a minimum of three dog toys and a miniature doxie who is patiently awaiting my arrival.

When I wash my face at night, Frankfurter watches attentively. He is also interested in, uh, my other bathroom habits.
When Frankfurter grows up, he wants to be a beautician or a gynecologist. Or maybe both.

He's very diligent about chewing up his toys.
And he's very diligent about shedding as much as possible.
Because spending time in the office? Is all about work. And dedication.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Yet another example of why I love my family.

My dad had cataract surgery today. Thankfully, it went well. I talked to my folks tonight, and the call went sort of like this:

Cha Cha: So, you feeling ok?

Dad: Yeah. But the sunglasses they gave me to wear are pretty hideous. And I can't even really see them.

Mom: Yeah, he's got sort of a Darth Vader thing going on.

Dad: Yeah. I mean, you could wear these for Halloween and you'd be really scary. And you wouldn't even need any other costume!

So, obviously, if the sense of style is intact, we are well on the road to recovery.

Later, I told them about Mr. Friend That I Now Have a Crush On.

Mom: Now, who is this again?

Cha Cha: Well, we used to work together ...

Dad: So you know him pretty well?

Cha Cha: Yeah. And Alice looked up his police record, and he has no outstanding warrants.

[mad laughter]

Mom: I love Alice!

Dad: No outstanding warrants, huh? That's great. That's just really good news. And so when are you seeing each other again?

Cha Cha: Tomorrow or Friday.

Dad: Have fun. Really. This is just great. Just go have fun.

Mom: Yes. You can have fun because he doesn't have any outstanding warrants. That's such good news.

Cha Cha: It's weird, though ... we know each other really well. And I'm just a little amazed that he knows me really well and appears to be attracted to me anyway.

[giant eruption of laughter]


Dad: Well, of course! You're pretty great.

Mom: Have you talked to Poochie since Monday?

[discussion of Poochie's recent heartbreak]

Cha Cha: I'm so glad you guys were able to spend some time with Poochie. Because I don't think that me saying that I want to hurt that girl was really helping him.

Mom: Yeah, he said this weekend, just out of the blue, 'Yeah, Cha Cha wants to kill her.' And I said, 'Really? Because last time Cha Cha and I talked, she just said she wanted to hurt her.'

Cha Cha: Well, you know me and my violent tendencies.

Mom: Well, yes.

Cha Cha: And during my recent break-up, the one thing that stayed with me and made me laugh was Dad saying that if Mr. Wonderful showed up on your porch, he'd clock him in the mouth.

Dad: Actually, I prefer to say that I'd have one of my associates pay him a visit.

Mom: Mmm. That is much more effective. And cleaner.

Dad: Well, I have people, you know?

And ... scene!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

No, seriously. Where have you been?

I'm kind of sad that I have only blogged one of the last four days. I have missed it!

It's time to come clean.

So, Friday? I didn't blog because I left the house at 6:25 and returned at 2:30 Saturday morning. I attended the aforementioned moustache party. The evening also included taking photos of a friend who fell asleep in his girlfriend's car and learning how to play Guitar Hero.

Saturday? Saturday, I helped my friend Amelia paint her living room. Because you know that weekend when she was at her parents' house, and her estranged husband had until 6 p.m. on Sunday night to vacate their house? He sort of stripped all the wallpaper instead of, you know, moving.

So, Saturday we painted the living room a gorgeous shade of icy blue. Lots of folks are all, "Oh, Cha Cha, you're such a good friend - I can't believe you helped paint!" While I am a saint, here's the real deal: we had such a good time. We listened to the "cool" radio station, did our best Beyonce impersonations, and counted the minutes between multiple airings of this horrid song that's all "Kiss me on the phone."

Also? Accept any home improvement invitation from Amelia. She will cook for you and start the drinks at about 3 p.m.

So, yeah. That's why I didn't blog on Saturday.

Sunday? I blogged about the pain of losing my DVR. Sniffle.

Monday? I made oatmeal cookies and watched part of Bring It On 2: Electric Boogaloo.

Ok, maybe that's not the name of the movie. But it was the second of those horribly fantastic cheerleading movies. And I watched it with Mr. Friend That I Now Have a Crush On. Who is a good kisser. And who reads this blog. And who knows alllll about me and appears to like me anyway.

And that? Is why I have been a crappy blogger as of late.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Cha Cha, where have you been?

So, Friday night, I succumbed to peer pressure and joined some friends at a bar. For a fake moustache party. As you do.
I could not keep my hands off the 'stache. I now totally understand why guys who have facial hair often stroke it thoughtfully. I spent the entire night wanting to put my hands to my 'stache and say things like, "Well, that was very Machiavellian of you." Or maybe just "Git 'r done."

Instead, I ended up almost getting in a fight.

You see, with the fake 'stache, one of the guys looked just like Steve Perry of Journey. And I told him so. Because that's a compliment, and I am nothing if not kind and complimentary.

And Steve Perry Look-a-Like? Informed me that he hated Journey.

Excuse me?

So, obviously, he is dead inside. But it got me to thinking about all of the great Time-Life infomercials and vh1 shows saved on my DVR. I have a nice collection of programming featuring the likes of Journey, Kenny Loggins, Boston, REO Speedwagon and Air Supply. I watch / listen to it over and over again because it makes me happy. Because I am simple like that.

Or, rather, I had a nice collection of that programming.

It's a dark day. My DVR died. Like, really really died. Like, the Dish Network people are sending me a new one.

Now, the new DVR is free, and the guy waived shipping because after it was clear that there was no fixing My Life Partner DVR, I started laughing hysterically, saying that first I got dumped, then my dog died, then my DVR died.

I think I scared the guy a bit.

So, I'm currently camped out on my front porch, waiting for UPS to arrive with my new DVR. And the real tragedy? All of my programming is gooooonnnnnnnnnnne. No more Dog the Bounty Hunter. No more of a year's worth of Grey's Anatomy. No more 40 Most Softsational Soft Rock Songs. No more WKRP in Cincinnati. Not even one episode of Millionaire Matchmaker.

And don't even get me started on how I have to watch this week's episode of Rock of Love Bus on live TV, at a set time, commercials and all.

My life? She is difficult.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

You never even call me by my name.

As I've mentioned before, all of the Indian guys I work with sometimes mispronounce my name or call me by a name that's close but not quite. With them, I'm either Char Char or Zsa Zsa. Since I'm only fluent in my native tongue, I throw no stones.


As of late, other folks - native English speakers, mind you - have been calling me Zsa Zsa. Including my own boss. My own boss - a man I've worked with for more than two years - called me Zsa Zsa in a meeting today. A meeting that I had set up. A meeting that one of the participants wanted to reschedule, so he e-mailed my coworker instead of me. Because I am evidently fucking invisible.

I feel like I'm literally disappearing.

I've been trying to figure out what has changed. The only thing I can come up with?

It's the hair.

My follicular journey started out with a pixie, then hit some rough times with a remember-I-said-I-was-growing-it-out haircut. But I had a goal.

The hair was looking pretty good. Not like the end goal, but presentable. Not homely. It wasn't emergency hair that would cause you to grab your friend and perform an immediate intervention.


I realized that my hair currently looks like a cross between Rod Blagojevich and Dorothy Hamill.

And folks, it ain't pretty. No wonder I'm disappearing. I look like shit. I look like the bedraggled new mom who is still wearing maternity pants and discovers baby vomit in her hair. Except that I'm supposed to be the glam singleton.

But it's hard to feel glam when you're staring to resemble Shaun Cassidy. And not in a good way.

I'm trying to keep the faith.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Passive in a hospital gown.

So, I'm an editor. I think like an editor. This means that I often look around the sea of bad copy and horrible user experience and think, "The world needs me!"

At Corporate Behemoth, we've been talking about tone lately. What does our product sound like? What emotions do we want to convey?

It was this project that was fresh in my mind as I left today to, uh, go to a doctor's appointment. My lady doctor appointment.

Yes, it's the best day of the year!

So, I got weighed and had my blood pressure taken. I was trying to make small talk with the nurse, but she was wearing a student badge and appeared to be concentrating really, really hard. Which was sort of in direct contrast to my "Let me flash my goods and get the hell out of here" attitude.

After she very deliberately wrote down my stats, she then pulled out the gown and the sheet. Ladies, you know what I'm talking about here. And this dear, sweet, very young nurse-in-training said, "Here's a gown and a sheet. The gown will open in the front. The sheet will be over your lap."

I about choked on my Silence of the Lambs flashback. "It rubs the lotion on its skin ..."

Tweaking a few tenses and rearranging just a few words would have made that whole interaction a lot more comfortable for me, the end user. When it comes to editorial tone, the end user generally doesn't want to be reminded of a scary-ass movie about a serial killer who skinned women's corpses in order to make his own flesh bodysuit.

And really? That's not a cool flashback to have at your lady doctor appointment.

Like I said, I'm an editor. It's my job to be critical.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Somewhat unavailable.

Two weeks ago, Alice left me a breathless voicemail.

"Cha Cha! It's Alice. Listen. I went out with some girls from the Chamber last night, and it turns out that a guy in our program has gotten divorced. I had no idea he was getting divorced, but now he's looking to meet some nice young ladies and I can't wait for you guys to meet!"

Turns out that Divorced Guy was married for ... 18 years. And has two teenagers. But Alice adores him, and if he was married for 18 years, he should be housebroken. Which is more than I can say about some folks who shall remain nameless.


I have found myself actually excited about meeting this guy. The idea of trying new folks on for size is appealing. Like a movie, I'm curious to know how it's all going to work out.

So, Alice has been meaning to introduce me to Divorced Guy. She called me at work this morning with an update.

She had called Divorced Guy and there was small talk. Then? Sweet Alice said, "So, I understand you're divorced."

And strangely, Divorced Guy was completely silent.

She continued, "Well, I have this really great friend ..."

She talked about me and said some nice stuff. And finally, Divorced Guy cut her off. Turns out, he's not Divorced Guy at all. He's Separated And Not Sure What's Going to Happen But Definitely Not Dating Guy.

Now, to his credit, he apologized for the misinformation and told Alice that he was ultimately responsible for any information about his personal life that was floating about. I found that to be incredibly classy.

But Alice's description of what happened next provided my ab workout for the day.

She told me, "You know how sometimes you can hear yourself talk? And you know you need to stop talking? But you can't? It was totally like that! He told me that if he's ever single, he'd definitely want to meet you, but then I just couldn't stop talking and I told him that you'd had a run of bad dating luck - although I didn't tell him that you dated that ass Ex-Ex for seven years - and that I hoped that you'd find someone to have fun with before he gets his act together, I mean, if he gets divorced, which I don't necessarily hope for him, you guys would have a lot of fun, but you need someone to have fun with now, and so he isn't a lot of help, and I feel terrible and I just couldn't stop talking!"

Alice is poised. Alice wears pantyhose every single day. And Alice makes me laugh like it's going out of style.

And really? We should all be so lucky to have a friend who is willing to go out on a limb - and even end up making a minor fool of themselves - for us. Thanks, Alice.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

It's not you - it's me.

Ah, Sunday. You know what that means: another episode of Rock of Love Bus with Bret Michaels.

Yeah, Green Girl, I can't believe I watch this crap, either. And yet I await it eagerly each week.

So, the highlight of this week's episode was one girl getting so wasted that she cuddled up with a parking lot speed bump for the better part of an hour.

I am not making this up.

And ... then she got kicked off the show. In her parting interview, she said, "Well, I guess Bret just can't take a girl who falls asleep on a speed bump!"

Mmm. We all have dating deal breakers. Maybe speed bumps are Bret's.

My dating deal breakers include calling me all the damn time. Mr. Blind Date Guy From Three Weeks Ago? I'm looking at you.

He called me Friday night and left a message for me to "call if you want." He called Saturday afternoon and didn't leave a message. He then called Sunday afternoon - during my alma mater's biggest basketball matchup of the year - and left a message telling me "you're a hard person to get ahold of."

Umm? If I wanted to talk to you, don't you think I would have called you back by now?

It's terrible. I should call him back and tell him he's awesome but we aren't a good match. But now? Now, I'm just really annoyed. And besides - Alice says I've paid my dating dues and therefore not returning his calls won't damage my dating karma.

And then? Then, Mr. Date Guy called tonight. Yeah, I let that one go to voicemail, too. His message? Of the "just calling to catch up" variety, with a dash of "let's get together next weekend," topped off with "I don't know what night you're free, but if it's Saturday, my friends are having a barbecue, so we'll do that."

Oh. Nice that you've got things all planned out. I'll just check my brain and free will at the door.

I'm so annoyed. And I hate confrontation, so the idea of saying "you're great, but go away" just kills me. Would changing my phone number be too extreme?