Friday, March 23, 2012

Admire me and my fantastic accomplishment.

It's been rainy the last few days. So, you know, this means I carried my umbrella to lunch the other day.

This is already the most scintillating blog post ever.

Anyway, back in the elevator at Corporate Behemoth, my coworker S and I were both complimented for our colorful umbrellas.

"Oh - I just got it Marshalls," S said about her bumpershoot.

"Oh - I just got mine from high school graduation," I said.

Heads turned.

"And how long ago was that?"

"Nineteen years ago."

"You've had the same umbrella for 19 years?"

"Yes. It's one of the greatest accomplishments of my life."

Everyone was impressed. I lived a dream and was plied with kudos for my superior umbrella-keeping skillz.

Or, at least I'm pretending that the looks of pity and judgments on my freakishness were actually jealousy and wonder.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Dating advice for all the single ladies.

One of my sweet, recently-single-as-a-grown-up friends recently asked me to write a book about dating as, you know, an adult. Oh, and would I please write that right now? Thanks.

It make me laugh, and it got me to thinking, too. Since I didn't marry until a month shy of my 36th birthday, I guess I am uniquely qualified to talk about what it's like to maneuver about the dating pool after you've realized that you're no longer 23 and would really prefer a padded suit with some boobage support over that little crocheted string thing.

You get my drift?

So, since I don't have time to write a book, like, right this second? I'll condense my Older Lady Dating Advice.

1. You know what you want and what works for you. This means you can be more focused in your dating pursuits. Don't feel like you have to spend time with Mr. Probably Not. Listen to your gut.

Case in point: Remember my stalker? My gut reaction was no. I should have stuck to that and not given him false hope by giving him another chance. He was nice enough on the first date, but I think my gut reaction was based on a subconscious feeling that he was capable of creepiness. And boy howdy, I was right. Which leads us to ...

2. Don't be afraid to be a bitch. Or a whore, or an unmarriageable spinster, or whatever nasty thing anybody might call you. You've made it this far and have earned the right to do what is right for you.

Chances are that if you're single any time after age 30, you've survived some serious heartache. So when some dude tells you, "Good luck ever getting married?" Feel free to laugh. Because, really? We all know that marriage isn't the finish line. It's the beginning of the real work. So ...

3. Have fun.

And yes, at multiple points in my dating life, if you'd told me to have fun, I would have beaten you to death with the chicken drumstick I was eating while sitting on my couch, in sweatpants, watching some vh1 countdown show. Lest you think marriage has changed me, I now sit on the couch, in sweatpants, eating chicken and watching vh1 next to my husband. He knows to stay on his side of the couch.

Anyway. Dating is absurd. And when you're over 30, you feel dumb, like being single is paying some sort of hideous karmic debt. And you bounce between feeling like you're the only single grown-up in the universe who isn't living in mom's basement, or you're the only single grown-up who doesn't know what the fuck they're doing.

Neither of these things are true. Which leads us to ...

4. Fake it 'til you make it. At this point in the game, nobody knows what they're doing. If they think they do, they are morons. The people you really want to associate with will admit that they have no idea what they're supposed to be doing in Adultdatingland. You don't either! Look - you already have something in common!

Be honest. Be really you. Be nervous, but don't let your nerves keep you on the couch, eating chicken. Be brave. If nothing else, you'll have some great stories to tell. Like the time I saw Engelbert Humperdink.

So, in closing: Trust yourself. Stick up for yourself. Be authentic. See Engelbert Humperdink.

Any questions?

Monday, March 19, 2012

I am a horrible person. And I work with idiots.

I've been privy to some really dumb comments at Corporate Behemoth as of late.

From an IT director, talking about a big new project
"We're not there until we're there."
Uh ... thanks for that valuable insight.

From a skinny, pale IT guy who has too much gel in his hair and has never been to Hawaii
"It was a rough weekend - Keanu was sick."
Yes. Yes, he has a toddler. Named Keanu.

From your favorite coworker and mine, Creepy Rajeev
Him: "So, Cha Cha. How's the baby?"
Me: "Huh?"
Him: "Didn't you have a baby?"
Me, dumbstruck: "Uh, no."
Him: "Are you sure?


Duh. Just duh. I mean, I initially had the mental diarrhea of, "OMG! Have I looked pregnant? I'm a horrible frump, aren't I? And then I moved on to, "What the hell is Creepy Rajeev doing, trying to get all up in my reproductive ladyparts?" And finally, I settled on, "What sort of moron argues with a woman over whether or not she has a baby? Oh, I know: the Creepy Rajeev sort of moron."

Friday, March 16, 2012

I got your terror right here.

I hardly ever reread books. Even if it's a super favorite, I will pass over rereading a book because holy library, Batman!, there are so many books to read.

I made an exception and am rereading Stephen King's On Writing. Or, rather, relistening to it. King reads the book, which is part autobiography, part plain talk about the bidness of putting pen to paper. Not all the economics of it, but the work of story, plot, and the glorious words.

I will admit that this is the only King book I've ever read. I think his others would scare me too much. But I so appreciate his straightforward approach, and think he'd be a good neighbor, or a good friend of your dad's. You know.

One of the things King talks about is avoiding bullshit - bullshit characters, bullshit dialogue, bullshit in general. Avoid tired metaphors. Be authentic.

So, it's especially painful that I've had Bon Jovi's "Bed of roses" stuck in my head for most of the week.

Now, I love, love, love me some Bon Jovi. But can we all agree that "With an iron-clad fist, I wake up to French kiss the morning" is the single worst, most bullshit-laden line ever written anywhere, for any medium, at any time ever?

I know Stephen King doesn't approve.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Realizations and untapped talents.

Two weeks ago, I went to New York City for a conference. This meant that I left My Guy to work on the house by himself and I got to hang out with My Gay Eighth Grade Boyfriend. Super yay!

So, I learned some stuff at the conference - if you need to talk web content strategy, I am your woman. But I also learned 2 far more interesting items of note:
  1. I could have lived my whole life without seeing Cynthia Nixon nekkid.
  2. I should program music for restaurants ... restaurants that struggle with branding and need a helping hand.
First up ... number 1? MGEGB's husband got us tickets to some random show. OK, cool. MGEGB couldn't remember the name, and I was pretty much like, "An NYC activity that I don't have to plan and to which I will be squired with minimal effort on my part? Yes, please."

Well, that show was Wit, starring Miranda from Sex and the City. MGEGB and I were both like, "Umkay, sure." And then, as we were running to the theatre, late, I saw the signs ... the signs with Cynthia Nixon's bald head.

Oh, fuck. It was a play about cancer.

We both stopped in the street. MGEGB's 10-year-old nephew recently died after a long, horrible illness. And what with the cancer funness that my mom has been through, I'm not too jazzed about, you know, cancer.

We made a deal that we'd leave at intermission if it was too terrible. But there was no intermission! And Cynthia Nixon dies. And you know she's going to die. And it's horrible.

Finally, I couldn't take it any more, and the tears came. And since we didn't know the play was sad, I had no tissues! No hanky! So, I pulled myself together by questioning whether it would be considered in bad taste to blow my nose on my scarf. I decided that active blowing would be bad, but a secretive little wipe? Well, no one would be the wiser, especially if I rearranged the scarf afterward.

Anyway, finally, at the end of the play, she dies. And she strips off her hospital gown and is nekkid, and then does this ascension thing.

Neh. Kid. If I wasn't prepared for a cancer show, I really wasn't prepared for Miranda Hobbs sans clothes. Nixon did a great job, and it's a powerful show. But ... I just wasn't prepared. And I guess I can cross "see Cynthia Nixon nekkid" off my bucket list, but it would be one of those things where you write an item on your to-do list just so you can have the satisfaction of crossing it off.

Which brings us to my community outreach as a music programmer for struggling restaurants.

One night, I was on my own for dinner. I walked along 46th Street, looking at menus and peering into restaurant windows. I had a hankering for gnocchi, so I stepped into a little Italian joint. As soon as I did, I sort of wished I hadn't. The place was empty except for two tables of tourists. The chairs were the black metal type that they have in every Chinese restaurant. And every single person working at the restaurant was Mexican.

Not to be racist, but an Italian restaurant with Chinese decor and an entirely Mexican staff does not immediately instill a lot of culinary confidence. Plus? The music playing was Babyface.

But I wanted gnocchi, so I ate gnocchi while listening to Spanish chatter and the sweet, sweet, baby-makin' sounds of late 90s soul.

Except! Then the music shifted ... to Dave Mathews Band. I figured they must just be playing some Sirius channel called Cha Cha's College Sounds. Except ... then the next song was The Pina Colada Song.

I started truly nursing my food and my wine. I started texting my husband, because ohmyOprah, I had to share this experience.

The next few songs:
  • That Rusted Root song that's now used in a car rental commercial
  • Benny and the Jets
  • More Babyface
  • Why do fools fall in love (seriously? that represents a 40-year span)
  • You can call me Al
Finally, I realized that if I didn't force myself to leave, I'd sit there all night. I was so enthralled that I had to make a conscious effort to leave. But as I did, I realized that this little restaurant just needed my help. The gnocchi was good, and the people were kind. The ambiance just left a little something to be desired. And what creates ambiance better than music?

Sure, they could have just gone for the stereotypical Sinatra station on Sirius. Or, they could enjoy the musical stylings of yours truly. I'd mix up a little Sinatra to keep it classic, a little Diana Krall to keep a mellow vibe, and a little Amy Winehouse to maintain a touch of street cred. They could pay me in gnocchi.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

A good book to start a new week.

Thanks for all of the book recommendations. I love them! In the spirit of reciprocity, I must say ... I have a book that you must run out and read right this second.

For real.

Pick up Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. It is ... amazing. Or, as my crazy hair stylist would say, "amazeballs." But I don't think I can quite pull that off.

Anyway, let me just say that I'm not particularly interested in military history or World War II. However ... I could not stop thinking about this story. I became a little bit obsessed. I would like to buy a copy of this book for everyone I know, just so we could have some sort of galactic book club. But since I'm not Oprah, I'll just write about it here.

Former juvenile delinquent Louis Zamperini became was an Olympic runner. Then, he ended up in the Army Air Force during WWII. His plane was shot down over the Pacific, leaving him and two others in a raft, in the middle of the ocean.

And then?

Well, you should just read the book. It's an incredibly well-written account of an incredible true story and an amazing human being.

So. Inspiring.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Don't call the ASPCA.

I have the goal of posting 10 times a month in 2012. Since I haven't written in something like 23 days, you can see how this is going.

So, this is me, getting back on the horse. Even though I hate horseback riding. So I need a new metaphor, one that better reflects who I am as a human being. So, this is me ... uh ... going back to bed, because I love to sleep and I'm really good at it.

I don't think that qualifies as a metaphor. Sigh.

Well, I can tell you this: The other night, I

Mothereffer! Foxie Doxie just lifted his leg in my kitchen. I should rename my blog "The Inconsistent Blog About Consistent Dog Pee."

What I was about to say ... is that I went to the grocery store the other night after work. It was hell on Earth, per usual. And I left without buying ice cream.

Horrible, I know.

But my marriage survived, and the next night, My Guy arrived home with ice cream - and that yummy hot fudge that you have to soften in the microwave. Mmm. Mix those together with a touch of peanut butter and a cascade of Rice Krispies, and you have yourself a feast!

The day after that, Lil' Frankfurter displayed some ear funk. When I first adopted him, he had no hair on his ears.

See? Bald ears.

The first few rounds of hair that did grow in on the edges of his ears fell out. Sort of like ear dandruff that took the hair with it. I thought this was the same thing.

But no!

It was only on one side, and it was dark. Dried blood?

Uh, no. Dried hot fudge. Someone had licked an ice cream bowl and gotten his ear all up in it.

As I was turning to my cure-all, the warm washcloth, I overheard my sweet husband patiently conversing with Lil' Frank.

You are a bad dog. I know, I know - it's true. Now, you have hot fudge ear. And so we're just going to have to put you in the microwave. Maybe it's a good thing you're so small.