once again

I needed another bout of someone telling me who I was again. I keep forgetting. I actually think that this one is pretty right on the money. Finally, someone agrees with me about me. Whew! And I agree, I'm Will Ferrell, in female form although I can be serverly sarcastic as well. So, I guess no one truly knows me. *snif, snif*

the Ham
(34% dark, 56% spontaneous, 22% vulgar)
your humor style:

Your style's mostly goofy, innocent and feel-good. Perfect for parties
and for the dads who chaperone them. You can actually get away with
corny jokes, and I bet your sense of humor is a guilty pleasure for your
friends. People of your type are often the most approachable and popular
people in their circle. Your simple & silly good-naturedness is immediately
recognizable, and it sets you apart in this sarcastic world.

PEOPLE LIKE YOU: Will Ferrell - Will Smith

My test tracked 3 variables How you
compared to other people your age and gender:
cellpadding="0" border="0">
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 6% on dark
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 87% on spontaneous
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 18% on vulgar
Link: The 3 Variable Funny Test written by jason_bateman on OkCupid



out of left field

Sometimes we need to be bowled over. Sometimes we need the wind knocked out of us. It makes us stop and look around. It makes love a little deeper. And sometimes, we need to be the bowlers, the wind knockers.

I crawled up the gravel road with butterflies in my stomach. It must have been the excitement and the anticipation. I decided to gun it and started laying on the horn. My windows were down, the bass turned up and the radio on full blast. I was hoping they could hear me inside.

Before I reached the driveway I realized that P. was no longer behind me. But the cacophony of horn blowing could not be stopped; you can’t unhear a car horn in your front yard. So, I kept going and pulled in, hand still on the horn.

A. came sailing out to through the garage with an open mouthed smiled, an in-between of aw and happiness. Her hair was pulled back and she had no makeup on. We had done it. We had successfully surprised her for her birthday.

I got out of my car and proceeded to scream at her “Yeah, whatever, I’m not running errands, I’m freaking driving to your house!” I was laughing and yelling and she was being in shock and all the while P. was no were to be found. “Someone else is here, but I can’t tell you who?” And then, like she came out of the dust, P. came RUNNING up the driveway. Her car had gotten stuck in the gravel, oh that Lil’ P.

Champagne, a caramel coated cake (thankyouverymuch) and dinner out followed the surprise attack. 3 old college roommates who hadn’t been together in one place in years were together again. Poor H., he had to put up with A LOT of girl yapping. But, that’s why he drives.



for reals yo

He told me that I needed to play the game. I protested. I don’t like games for real life. I don’t want the cat and mouse chase. I’m done with that. He gives me the advice of letting the boy have to work for it. Yeah, no, I say. He says that the boy is probably just using the defense of keeping me at a distance, that he could be scared and protecting himself. I can appreciate that, but there is line between being guarded and not being respectful and appreciative. Why, after I’ve decided to let this go, do I let it come back in?

This is not what I want. I want, “Yo, your important to me and I will make time for you,” not the “I can’t talk long, lunch” over IM. And “sorry I haven’t been online lately,” doesn’t make up for the week and a half of silence. I want phone calls in lieu of emails or instant messages. You have my number, USE IT! Because, when phones are available, then who cares about online? And who here has the self-proclaimed fear of commitment? Uh, ME so what are YOU doing? If I’m not scared then for lord’s sake, snap outta it. And stop telling me that I’m a sweetheart and that we’ll make a great couple. A couple we will make not if you wimp out on this.

We all come to a crossroads at some point in our love life. We get to the point where playing the game of “I’m not going to admit that I like you. Instead, I’m going to sound aloof and busy, busy, busy” is ridiculous and just wastes energy. I leave games for times with my 8-year-old nephew. He loves UNO and UNO is what you’ll be playing if you want me to be the mouse to your cat. I just don’t play that way. You’re interested. I’m intrigued. So lay the cards on the table and show your stuff before I call your bluff. Because here I am, all bruised and battered and open and real. That’s right REAL. I won’t give you a spiced up, wistful version of the girl you think I am. I’m here, with battle scars and a clean slate. And you need to be here too. So just pick up the phone.



happy birthday a.h.

We’d been roommates since first year. We’d gone from dorms to an apartment with roommates to an apartment with our own rooms, lofts, and bathroom sinks. Essentially, we went from common to posh and it only took four years. And then we graduated.

She took a job in insurance. I was in graduate school. She quit that job and moved. I started teaching. She then tried real estate. I kept teaching. Then she started teaching. I said, “Uh, what?” when she told me in a quiet hushed voice over the phone, “Nanna, I think I want to be a teacher.”

See, she’s not the teacher type at first glance. While I was cutting and pasting my way through our #1 public university in the nation school, she was gallivanting with frat boys and studying Anthropology. And no, we still don’t know why she chose that major.

Upon closer inspection, she’s the best fit for a teacher, of high schoolers that is. She organized like NOBODY’S business. She's always got everything together and straight. And even when she was partying and being rowdy in college, on school nights, she was in bed my 9pm, 10 at that latest. I never did figure that one out. And she doesn’t put up with much. She doesn’t tolerate lip or arguments. She’s strong willed, but it’s a good thing. And she’s got a humor that could make even the most jilted teenager laugh. She even dresses as her school’s mascot for football games. And the football players have taken her under their wing. They even give her jersies to wear. I don’t know if they know she’s married to a man who shoots animals in the woods. I’m sure it’s all innocent anyway.

And, she’s got a heart of gold. What more does a teacher need? She’s the kind that pushes her students and expects a lot out of them, but I’m sure she’s also the one that can be a shoulder to lean on when they need it.

So, it took her 7 years, but this blond-headed, I-go-to-bed-early girl followed right along in my footsteps. How’s the summer treatin’ ya, teach?

And just because she copycatted me, she deserves a fabulous birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY A!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



i love the 80’s

Yesterday it was literally 103º in the SHADE (and I think that’s a play or a book or something). I’m not kidding. And in the sun, it was 107º. I’m not going to even talk about the heat index which makes it FEEL even hotter. You think you’re hot cause it’s all July and stuff. You’re WRONG.

Ah, the 80’s, they’re like the best memories I have of heady days where summer meant endless days by the pool, up all night slumber parties and waiting, just waiting for the ice cream truck to roll down the street. Now, the 80’s mean liveable, breathable air and I can’t explain how excited I am that come tomorrow, the 80’s are back, baby. I might even cut my bangs.



if i was a man, arnold would call me a "girly man," but i'm not so i'll just be a "girly girl"

I've been obsessed with and rockin' out with these guys ALL day. And yeah, "I'm Not That Girl" and I wish that you could make me "Popular" and there are the days I feel a little "Wicked" and yet when I think about my friends and family whom I have ever parted with I would like to tell them that "you'll be with me like a hand-print on my heart/ and now whatever way our stories end/ know you have re-written mine by being my friend... Who can say if I've been changed for the better/ because I knew you I have been changed for good."


sometimes the night

There is something about the night that I love. There is something hidden in it, an essence, that is not present in the daylight. Senses are heightened. The air feels cooler, calmer, quieter. And of course it is, most of the world is asleep. But, there is something ethereal, magical and strange about the night that lifts me a bit above my chair. Even in the midst of stress and deadline and inattention there is something about the night that whispers, “anything is possible” because the day has not yet ended and it has also not yet begun. It’s an in-between time that doesn’t exist for most, because they sleep through it. They are rigid. They are structured. They are missing something. But sometimes, in the night, even amongst the mist and air of blissful, dreamlike logic, I am missing them too.



stop bloggering me

"I think I might be in labor, E.C. said ever so casually. "Oh my god. Do you need me to come over?" there was a little bit of panic in my voice. "No," she said, "I'm going to the doctor at 1:30. I'm fine." And then I couldn't comprehend that I was calmly talking to someone who might be pushing out a baby in 3 hours.

“I don’t like alotta people,” my friend M. said to me over cellphones. I cracked up. It wasn’t AT ALL what she meant. I couldn’t stop laughing.

“I’m in the dining room so you can come and sit in the living on the chofa so I can’t see you and not talk to you,” I told Kristin because I’m busy working on a project for a class that I thought was due Thursday and turns out (Murphy) that it’s due tomorrow. “And if I talk to you then you need to tell me to shut up.” “I can do that,” she said. And then she didn’t come over. Or hasn’t yet at least. Hmmmm (tap…tap…tap….

And then, I’m thinking that working all day will give me nothing to blog about so then I’ll work even more diligently. I guess I get why I don’t have a desk job. Sitting at a computer all day is TUFF STUFF!

And then I finally talked to my friend E.H. whom I've been playing phone tag with for a month so I had to talk to her. Ya know, HAD TO.

And then my cousin in Texas had to email me about THIS and well, ARE YOU KIDDING ME PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!!! I can’t concentrate with all this noise!

and that's not even the half of it. pretend we're in a library.




my life in miniature form

My friend L. calls:

“Hey. Hold on.”

“OK,” I say wondering why you call someone to hold on.

“Come ‘ere Jake. Come ‘ere buddy,” I hear her in the background in her sweetest, motherly voice. Jake is her dog. She gets back on the phone. “Jake is going to throw up and I’m trying to get him to go outside. Oh god! Wait! Oh, the hardwood floors, that’s OK. Oh, no, not on the carpet! I’ll call you back.”

“OK,”I say.

And so, there’s that.

I left my cell phone at home last night and when I woke up this morning I felt like my left leg was missing. Useless info. for you right there.

I learned yesterday that putting a little bit of whole wheat flour and lemon zest into an already deliciouso blueberry muffin recipe, makes them even BETTER! Yummers!

They're mini-mufins and they're fabulous and you're jealous!



will and grace

Last night I went to a concert to support aid in Darfur. If you don't know about Darfur, then you need to get educated.

I've forgotten how amazing it is to see wonderfully talented muscians on stage. Two acts were locals. One was not. They were all amazing in their own way. The first guy, Scott Crowder, is a Richmonder. He had a voice that was the perfect combination of Bono, Chris Martin, and Bruce Springstein. I was tranfixed when he hit his keyboard. He channeled Coldplay and I was in swoon. His baby was also cooing in the back of the auditorium. Nothing like commitment to make a muscian more lovely.

The second act blew me away with two guys who were a little scruffy with the we're-cool-simply-because-we're-up-here sort of way. Ed played the violin and mandolin and John played the guitar. Ed cracked me up, he almost fell off of his chair, he forgot the beginning of a song, but the whole time he made fun of himself. This endured me to him. He hair was a little long, dark, and curly and his voice reminded me of Crash Test Dummies. But, John, John was the one I drooled over. He was built like a rectangle with squared shoulders. He wore dark blue jeans and grey Princeton shirt. His hair was as dark as mine, brown and almost black, and cut in an early Beatles kind of way. When he opened his mouth, I was in love. Kristin and I had been dicussing the lure of muscians. I claimed it was the voice, the voice that makes a girl say "Oh, so that's what you look like." A boy can look like Bigfoot, but if he sings with confidence and strong voice, he will look like Brad Pitt. It's just the way it is. And then Kristin told me that John was 21! Whoops.

The point is that we were surrounded by great music for a great cause. And Derek Webb spoke about loving your neighbor and he said that your neighbor is anyone who has a need which you have the resources to meet. Did you get that? You neighbor is anyone who has a need which you have the resources to meet. Get educated people. Darfur, the Sudan, humanity needs you. And you don't need to uproot your life and go to the Peace Corp., but just tell others. Because, while America has made some good political importance for the Sudan, it is not near enough. Just learn and pass it on and help your neighbor, because if you are American or European, then you most definitely have the resources. And if we have the WILL to help then we will certainly show our GRACE.



open love letter to my man (because somewhere he roams)

First, let me say that I love you. I don’t know you, but I love you. You are amazing.

You show me what love is in ways I’ve never understood before. You shelter me. You let me care for you because you care for me. You guide and encourage me. You listen to me. You make me laugh and laugh with me everyday. You take my advice. You explore the world with me.

You are with me through the hardest times in my life. You cry with me. You know that I don’t need words then. You just look at me or touch me or hold me and know that I don’t need you to fix it, that words are not important now. You know that all I need is what you carry with you everyday, just you.

You let me hold you when you cannot stand. You cry to me. You tell me things that expose you so openly. You let me love you. And I do, brilliantly.

You ask me to marry you with no fanfare, no trumpets blazing, just us, quietly together in a familiar place. You say you simply want to know what the rest of life is like with me in every picture, at every holiday dinner, on every family vacation, and every morning.

You wear the scarves I knit for you if only to family functions because men don’t really wear handmade scarves. You love my cooking even when it’s terrible. When we argue, you make sure that no one wins, that we sometimes agree to disagree. You let me buy shoes and purses when I don’t need them. Sometimes, you buy them for me.

You are there when our children arrive whether through us or through adoption. You are there in the hospital room or a foreign orphanage and you cradle our children and say “You are mine too.” You love. You love them like you have never known love. You worry and are proud and praise and guide them. You are wise and kind to them. They love you because you let them grow and you let them go. They come back to you.

After 40 years you still call me your bride because you are so happy you married me. You cannot believe the love we started with went even deeper. And you will always be my husband. You are not my everything, you are my only thing. You are what I need in my life when I need it. You are the constant, the unconditional, the strong, the vulnerable, the passionate, the inquisitive, the restless, the hungry, the stable, the receiver and the giver.

You are honest and kind and I cannot believe I found you. You, I love.



don’t touch my london, you coward!

I have two emotions right now. I want to run to London, wrap my arms around it and love the living day lights out of it.

And then, I want to strangle these stupid, cowardly people who are trying, but failing, to increase our worry and hurt my London. My London won’t be rocked. My London will fight back. My London will kick your terrorist a$$, because my London is British and tough. And even though it’s got the softest heart of any city I’ve known, it’s got the toughest skin. So, pa to you, you stupid fools. And sod you!

Oh London, my London, you’re like my heart and I love you.



breakin’ my heart

Summers for teachers can be a myriad of things. For some, it’s the time to get married free of the worry of a work schedule, for others it’s time to take the kids to the pool, or put an addition on the house, or trollop off to Italy. For me, this summer, it’s time to blog a lot, take a class, talk to friends way too much on the phone, and tutor an odd child or two.

This summer, I’m tutoring a 5th grader. This is so not my element. 5th graders have brains. They can talk back. I'm used to the 5 year olds who really want to tell you that have to pee. “Ahhhhh,” was my first reaction. And then I met this girl and had no idea how to talk to her. She seemed shy. I seemed stupid. I was clueless about how to talk to someone at her age.

I pressed on though, assessing her reading ability, scouring my own home library for middle school age topics and recalling my own middle school years. Her reading level is low, around 2nd or 3rd grade, but I knew that she needed to be read to at a higher level so I picked on of my favorite books from middle school, Middle School Blues by Lou Kassem. It’s about a misfit girl who feels like she was adopted by aliens. It’s my life story, basically.

I designed what I thought would be a good structure for lessons, 1-she reads silently then a little aloud 2- we review 3- word study 4-journal writing 5-listening comprehension. I was pulling from 7 years back when I took a reading course for older grades. I was praying this would not bore her.

Each day I go to see her I worry a little. I worry that she will see through my veil of a grown up teacher and notice that I’m just as scared of the world as she is. That hasn’t happened yet, amazingly enough. And she’s a sweetheart. She’s worried about middle school (as she should be) and has no one at home. I don’t know her whole story, nor would I share it with you, but she is a foster child and this makes me want to take her home and care for her because today she told me she had no books to read at home. “We’ll have to work on that. You need to practice reading everyday,” I said.

And then today, after I was convinced that our sessions were as dull as spoons, she writes this in her journal, “Today is a grate day. I never had time to say this but I love my toder. She help me all the time. She is the best. I can talk to her about every this. When I grow up I want to be like her.” And with that, in her bad grammar and misspellings, she is breaking my heart. Off to Barnes and Nobles to buy her some books because she deserves books more so that I deserve to go to Italy, damn it!



virtual battles of non-boyfriends

Why Andre would make a better virtual non-boyfriend than the new guy would make an actual, real-life boyfriend. In numbered points so that it is clear for you.

1- When talking to Andre and his mother phones on another line, he ignores it.
When current boy’s mom interrupts our phone conversation, he gets off the phone, says he’ll call me back and never does.
2- Andre has long conversations. He spends time talking. Current boy must have ADHD because his phone conversations last like 5 minutes. I like long conversations.
3- I talk to Andre more frequently or have at least in the last 4 days. Current boys says things like “I’m sorry we keep missing each other.” To which, I’d like to reply, “We’re not missing each other, when you said at 6:00pm that you would call me later that night and then didn’t, that’s not missing each other, that’s you not calling.” Argh!
4- Andre talks to me, he asks questions and let’s me interject. Current boy moves from topic to topic while I stare at the wall. Hmmm.
5- I told Andre to shut up and listen to my story. He protested and then he did it. I can’t get a “between breath” moment in current boy’s talking to say “I really have to pee” much less tell him a story.
6- Andre interrupts my stories, but that is OK because then we get on another topic that we both talk about. Current boy interrupts my stories so that he can talk for another 30 minutes without interruptions.
7- Andre makes me laugh. Current boy has yet to do that.
8- Andre’s British. Enough said.



a place to rest my head

At long last, I can make my moves on Harry!

a Gryffindor!

I don't even read these books. I just like filling out online surveys that will tell me finally and definitively what my personality is. Apparently, with this one, I rock.

thanks to My Urban Kvetch for the linky link.



my other place

I don’t usually write about my weekends or outings with friends in detail, but I know that DH will read this. And so, this post is for DH. PK, she is my bestest bestest friend, will not read this. And so, PK you are a b*tch *ss ho and I love you.

My feet hurt, which is a good feeling on a Sunday morning. Just walking around my apartment brings me pain and the memory of having to walk home in heels I haven’t worn in a year because we downed 2 bottles of wine in the fancy French restaurant where they did things like put the white wine in ice to chill beside our table while we ate.

We decided that at some point all female conversations will turn to the topic of breasts. We then decided that all male conversations will do the same. We also decided that these conversations will sound nothing like each other. Conversations might also lead to other regions, but demure girls call this “my other place.” We are too dainty to name it. And then we think of Steve Martin in The Jerk where he finally understands his “special purpose.” And then we laugh, loudly, and expose our non-demureness. We are in fact, not dainty people.

Before my amazing friends, PK and DH, showed up and we ate roasted vegetable with goat cheese sandwiches, I talked to him.
It was lovely. His British accent and his nervousness make me swoon a little. I admit, I have a little crush. And I kept talking about him all weekend. “Andre said that our news is crap.” “Andre said the Brits liked Renee Zellweger in Bridget Jones.” “Andre is an amazing photographer.” And then they watched the video of him with his grandma and developed a slight crush too. They, however, are both taken.

Then we drunk called him. And I laughed. He did not answer, we left a drunken message about tequila, which had followed the two bottles of wine. We drunk called others and I have no idea what we said to them.

We talked a great deal about politics over decadent baklava muffins and sliced peaches in the morning after. We agree that we don’t understand the turn in our nation, how we have become so right winged and conservative. We worry deeply about Bush’s nomination to the Supreme Court. We are scared for our children. We hate FoxNews. We love Jon Stewart.

And then PK and DH left and while I’m thrilled for a lazy Sunday afternoon, I am missing them already. My barometer, my litmus tests, they want me to stick it out with the new boy. They want me to see where it goes. I want to run. I have to listen to them, they are wise, they are kind, and they would not send me into a fire without the right protection. And they will be there to clean up the mess.

I am holding my 1789 Tarsan white wine glass up and saying “to girls weekends.” I love you guys.



running shoes on and tightly tied

“It’s so not happening,” I told PK.

“OK, well, at least you gave it a chance and didn’t run screaming for the hills,” she supported my decision, a contrast to her previous advice of sticking it out.

“Yeah, I’m just bummed, bummed that it wasn’t me being weird and squirmy, bummed that it’s him. I tried and it turns out it’s not going to work.” I then went into detail about the last conversation and how it left me uneasy, left me feeling like I wasn’t heard because I wasn’t. And then I began outlining the nuisances that were getting on me nerves. Eventually I said, “Why am I talking about this like we have been together for 2 years and I’m not putting up with his shit any longer? I barely know him. It’s just not happening.”

KC agrees with me that he is strange.

LS tells me that me running away is OK even though she too was originally telling me to stick it out.

Friends, what would I do without them? They are my barometers, my litmus test. Because in the beginning and during rough patches, friends have your back. The boy is the culprit, the evil one, when things go bad. And when things are good, or if you patch things up, then the boy is a good guy. Because in the end, your friends’ don’t really care about the boy, they care about who you are with him. They monitor your behavior, your words, your phrases, and your running shoe use. Girlfriends are possibly the best thing God made. And I ain’t kiddin’ about that. I just wish girlfriends also played the role of relationship secretary, cause I could sure use an assistant to do the official “calling off.” I hate confrontation. I hate letting people down. And this is part of the running shoes saga. It’s so much easier for me to run away immediately then risk the boy getting close and hurt when I know early on that it ain’t happening. I need to purchase some walking shoes and learn how to curtsey so that I can bow out of things gracefully.



it’s not personal, it’s dating

Typically, when a boy says “hello,” I put my running shoes on. Then when he says, “How are you?” I turn to face the door. And when he says, “What’s your name?” I’ve already left, the wind from my sprint kissing his face, the only kiss he’ll get from me.

I’ve made a decision. I’m facing my dating demons. I’m putting the running shoes in a locked closet. I am, however, still very much carrying the key.

The latest boy says things like, “I’m glad you want 3 kids. I want 3 kids too. I think we might make a nice couple.” He calls me “cutie.” The whole time I am cringing, reaching for and fingering that key in my pocket. And it has nothing to do with him. It’s not personal, it’s dating.

I tell friends that I need practice. I get all kinds of questions and looks and oo's and ahs with this comment. “I’m not talking about that,” I say. Sheesh people. Get a grip. On further explanation it goes like this, “I need practice in how I present myself, what I reveal, what I hide, how I let someone know me. And I need to figure out how you get to know someone of the opposite sex.” The thing is is that with women and with safe (typically married to my friends) men, I am an expert at this. Conversation is easy and the back and forth of “this is me/ what about you” is peppered with sarcasms and funny stories. And these are the conversations where I breathe easily and life feels so good.

When dating, life is horrible and I’m suffocating. My walls are so thick, so high and my radar for “this guy is such a freak” is supersensitive. I pick apart every word, every non-word. I am his worst critic. And all the while I’m looking for escape routes. But now, with my running shoes tucked away, I see that I am becoming a bitch. I’m putting up the wall that says, “Why the hell are you interested in me?” It’s not a fair wall and I’m sure it does wonders for the guys’ ego, but it’s not personal, it’s dating.

I hardly know this new guy, actually I don’t know him at all and all of my preconceptions are unfair and leave me uneasy. Can I do this? Can I enter into this world and leave my cynicism behind? Will I always be looking for exits? I have no idea and if he turns the tide and rejects me then I just have to remember that it’s not personal, it’s dating.



pretty is as pretty does

Yesterday someone told me I looked like someone they knew.

“I get that a lot,” I replied, un-phased, knowing that my dark hair, brown eyes, and olive skin could be morphed into at least 5 varied ethnicities and just about any brown headed white girl you've seen.

“But, you’re like the gorgeous version of her,” she said, semi-smiling.

“Yeah, people say I look like someone they know all the time. I guess I just have a generic face,” I sidestepped the compliment.

And then I felt like maybe this older, single woman was hitting on me. And then I shut my mouth.




“What are you doing?” she asked.
“I’m waiting for this damn boy to call.” I said with irritation in my voice.
“Well, if we’ve come down to the damn of it then I think you should stop waiting,” she advised.

My friend was right. I’ve been waiting since 5 pm for the bugger to call and nothing, not one peep from my phone. And I’m not the type to sit and wait, watching the phone, willing it to ring, but he stated on several occasions that he would call tonight after work and even confirmed it online last night. I’ve been keeping myself busy with cleaning and knitting (I know, could I act more like a spinster?), but I could be out, with people. And I know that that is the whole point in cell phones, but when you want to have a real conversation over phone then you want to control your surroundings. I envisioned myself tonight sitting in my butterfly wing chair with my legs criss-crossed like a pretzel and the phone from the kitchen to my ear, the cord stretching through two rooms, my head and shoulder keeping the phone to my ear and my hands busy with knitting. And the damn boy has not called and so I went ahead and put a movie on. Sod him! And if he calls, he’s not getting pleasant and polite Anna, he’s getting you didn’t keep your word and I don’t like that Anna. Asses the window!

*update- and then i totally whimped out and was all nice and listening.

**up-update- and then it all went south. i need a new obsession. and hurry.

***up-up-update- the thing is is that he is just not him and well, i've decided that if i can't have him then i'm not settling for less than him. he is the gold standard. at least that's what my heart tells me.

****up-up, ah hell, up yours- i need wine.



resisting the urge to order room service

“Sometimes it’s just good to stay in a hotel,” I tell my mom with my feet propped up on the window that goes from floor to ceiling. “The sad thing is that I have a 10th floor view of Nieman Marcas and Saks and Macy’s and I have no money to go shopping.”

My dad, my dear old dad has come through for me and given me his travel voucher points for this posh room in DC. When I checked in, the clerk said, “Welcome Miss Anna, I see that you are a Marriott Rewards member and you have one of our elite rooms. I would also like to tell you that you have a GAZILLION points left on your rewards account and there will be a rewards gift for you in your room” “Great,” I fake smiled my way through it as this nice man obviously thought I was a posh customer that I so am not, but he not need know I’m using Daddy’s card. Shhh, don’t tell. And ohmigod, I am so not an “it’s on Daddy” kind of girl.

I love hotels, love them. Sometimes I fantasize about going to the The Jefferson in Richmond for a night, just to get away and pretend that I don’t even belong to the city I live in. The escape, even a few blocks away, can do wonders for helping you love your city.

An Elite room, I have come to find out, means that I got what I requested, a non-smoking room, a king size bed, and my gift was some Milano cookies and a bottle of water, a welcome treat after 2 hours in the car. I entered the room, which was cool, and clean and classical music wafted through the air. Elite means they leave the music on for you. I’ve left it on all day. I think I like classical music in the background.

Walking around, unpacking and making this room feel like home, I find that it smells familiar. My olfactory sense is hard at work placing the smell, connecting it to memory and then all of a sudden, when I pull back the shower curtain to turn the water on for a shower it hits me, London. They must have bottled the smell and shipped it here. This room smells exactly like my twin bed room in Hyde Park Towers on Inverness Terrace near Queensway Road in London. And I know immediately why I love this room. And I never want to leave because I am bombarded with scenes (the green sprawling grass of Kensington Park) and sites (the London Eye) and accents (the hotel clerks who tell me I have messages waiting). Oh London, my London. It only takes a smell and I am back in your arms again.



"leave the gun, take the cannoli"

Guys respond to girls who quote The Godfather. Eyes light up, voices that have been mute start talking. It’s like you popped a boob out. And true to form, such was tonight. Little did they know that that quote came from You've Got Mail where Tom Hanks quotes The Godfather. I'm smoothe like that. And then some.

The things I loved about today:

I illegally parked to run in and get my dry cleaning and didn’t get caught.
I learned that a friend is pregos.
I’m 3 days away from talking to a boy possibility.
I totally only had $3 for my $4 parking fee after the rehearsal dinner and after some very AWKWARD reaching around to the back seat to the purse I could not reach and then backing up and getting out and to get the purse and searching frantically for another dollar, the parking attendant let me go.
My dad and his reward points.
Internet in my hotel room, thank the dear LORD!


wedding bell blues

I was gonna ask if it was a book or a song or a diagnosis. Well, I’m a novel and song short because apparently it is.

It seems I’ve missed the boat on all counts and yet the ships keep passing me by. I’m off to my one and only wedding this weekend. It’s an amazing feat, that there is only one wedding this summer AND I’m not in it. Whoa!

You see, I do the wedding circuit. You know the new movie, Wedding Crashers, yeah, that’s like my life except I’m the perpetual bridesmaid or actual guest. Somehow though I feel like a wedding crasher, well, at least like it’s all crashing down on me, the notion that this is SO NOT happening for me. Yes, yes, the world’s smallest violin. I see you in the corner rubbing your thumb and middle finger together. Well, tra la to you because I do want it. And yet I don’t. Hell, I can’t even commit to moving in to an apartment with a friend and when a boy gives me his number I refuse to call because I can’t, I physically can’t. It’s not within my power. It’s like the sixth sense that God forgot to give me, that sixth sense of commitment.

Anyway, cheers to J., she’s a sweetheart and I love her and couldn’t be happier or prouder of her. She’s so “rockin’ an’ rollin’ an’ whatnot!”



oh london my london

I LOVE you. My heart hurts for you right now, an aching pain.



why i blog

I’ve been thinking about this for sometime, the whole notion of a semi-public forum for some of my inner most thoughts. As some friends and other bloggers hang up their hats, I’ve taken it to heart what this whole thing means to me anyway.

When I started to blog it was merely to get me writing again. And it worked. Some days are better than others. Some days my dribble is coherent, some days I start looking to enroll in writing classes. But, the purpose was never to perfect, but merely to begin.

Shortly after I began blogging I also began to be obsessed with my statistics. There were actually days were I would stare at my computer screen for hours and refresh the page, willing someone, anyone, to hit my sight and read my head. Then, after the stats barely and steadily never really grew, I gave up the pipe dream of being the next undiscovered would-you-like-to-write-a-book-because-we-love-your-blog writer. I started just to write whatever came into my head. There are a few areas I don’t delve into, but for the most part, anything is fair game.

Friends who read the site say that it is so me, that it’s just like talking to me. I don’t see that. I feel that I write a great deal differently than I talk, but then again, I don’t listen to myself. Only a handful of friends are brave enough to click their mouse this way. I think to a lot of people this whole thing is really weird. I’m not one of those people. Sometimes I wonder about what my friends will think when I do write really personal stuff, but I’m an open book with my friends, I put my heart my sleeve, why not also on an internet site? It sounded like a good idea to me.

Over the year plus that I’ve blogged, I’ve collected a good deal of insights and tidbits and just stuff from my head that I realized needed to be written down. Everything has a personal slant. I have not written much fiction hear even though the sidebar on the right says, “not everything here is true, though based on events in my life, I take fictional liberties.” That has happened only a handful of times and I’m not telling you which. I doubt now that I could even remember the truth from non-truth.

The blog has become my snapshots. Remember in college when you seemed to always have a camera around? I never take pictures anymore; my 35mm is stashed away in its camera bag for protection. My photo albums and the rotation of pictures in frames have become stagnant. But, in my mind I am constantly freezing a moment in order to write it down later. And once it’s written, I let it go.

There have been a few dares that I’ve made with myself, a few big questions I’ve asked and a few propositions. I’ve rarely followed through with them simply because after I write them I let them sail away like a boat on the ocean that forgets it’s home port. It’s OK, that’s part of the point. I need to let things out sometimes. Sometimes they reflect the true me and I think these are the times where my friends says, “that’s so Anna,” but there are times when I just have to write it down and let it go.

I’ve been thinking lately that this thing I’ve done, this blog, is a huge freaking window into my head. Why this never dawned on me before, I don’t know. The need to write somehow superceded and overwhelmed the logic part of my brain. And so, I’ve realized that anyone with internet access could read page after page and get a pretty good feel for me, my likes and dislikes, how to woo me, how to be my friend, what to cook for me, what movies to watch, probably even what flowers to buy me (tulips), and after a year and change this is beginning to worry me. Why have I done this? Why do I blog? And I can honestly say it is because of these two things:

1) I have to and
2) I have absolutely no idea.



what we inherit

His words can hurt me to the core. He can knock me down, splayed out on the floor, cut me straight down the bone, butterfly me, rub salt in my wounds for seasoning and grill me alongside his marinated angus burgers and rare tuna steaks. After his kill, I hide. I seclude myself from everyone. I go inside my head. I shell up. And for hours afterward, for days sometimes, I cannot smile, I cannot laugh. I can only smirk. I build a wall that no one, not even the bystanders to his kill, can get behind.

And I’ve learned from this that this is what I have done with my heart, with my life. I’ve been wounded to the quick so early and often that I’ve built up so many walls, so many layers of pain that I don’t think anyone will ever knock them down. I can’t trust that someone won’t do it again. Because for all the wonderfulness that love may be, nothing can be worth this pain. Nothing.

And so I build the walls. I retreat and hide away. And in the end, I have to accept this because as much as I have been wronged, I am also the one that builds the walls. And I’ve worked hard on them. Brick by brick, with red clay and mortar on my hands, I have made a fortress around this heart of mine.



the lice factor

My first year college roommate was a bit of a freak show. She was a Deadhead hippy who claimed to love all things yet she was one of the most judgmental and non-loving people I knew. And I tried to love her, to befriend her, but when she came back to school after winter break with fresh dreadlocks and a mean case of head lice and replied to my worry by saying “well, at least I gave them a home for awhile,” I knew we were through. I never got lice from her even though we lived 2 feet away from each other. And I had never had lice before. It took one snotty nosed kid in a rural school in Virginia when I was 21 years old to give me head lice.

It was Saturday and I had a full day planned. I drove from Charlottesville to Richmond to baby-sit my sweet nephew. He was 2 years new and I was in love. We played inside, we played outside, we napped, and we watched TV. He was like the best Saturday date. Then I drove back to C-ville for a 21st birthday party of a friend. I wasn’t excited about going. 21st birthdays were old hat by then and another night on “The Corner” downing shots just wasn’t what I wanted that night. What I really wanted was a night in with friends.

In procrastination of showering and getting ready to go out I walked down to J.’s room on the West Range. D. was already there and they were talking. I told them about my day and about the party I was expected to attend. Really, I was hoping I wouldn’t be missed. Then, after a good scratching of my scalp I begged and pleaded J. and D. to look in my hair because I was sure I had lice. “No,” they said. I was being sill. I convinced them that my head had been itching for 2 weeks and that I had to know. I begged and finally they let me flip my head over under J.’s desk lamp. D. inspected while I assume J. was cowering in the corner. And that’s when D. said, “Anna, I don’t think that’s dandruff.” “Great! Awesome!” went through my head. So did “Shit!”

J. and D. then piled into my car and we drove to a drugstore for lice killing shampoo. This is what amazing friends they were; they got into the car of a person WHO HAD LICE! Did you get that? Write that down. Then, with shampoo in hand, D. and I headed for the showers. J. was freaked out and she went to her room to start cleaning. I washed my hair fully clothed leaning my head into the shower stall while D. stood behind me to help. She even read the directions and waited the allotted amount of time was the shampoo was wreaking havoc in the lice’s hometown. Then D. took the tiny-toothed lice comb and with my hair flipped over began combing through the immense population. She never complained, but I could tell it wasn’t pleasant and as she grew weary she finally said, “Anna, I don’t want to freak you out, but there are so many I don’t think I can get them all out. I think we have to go to the emergency room.” “Ok,” I said. I wrapped my head in a towel, went back to my room and frantically tried to call every single person in my family for advice. NO ONE was home. It was late Saturday night at this point and I had missed my party.

J. and D. then piled back into my car and we went to the emergency room. I think they went partly to comfort me and partly to get a check over as well. We sat in the waiting room forEVER and all the while we itched, out heads itched, our arms itched, and our you-know-whats itched. We were convinced that I had infected the entire world. Luckily I had not.

When the nurse on duty finally called us back, she was pissed. She was burly and gruff and not happy to see three college girls in her ER with head lice on a Saturday night. After awhile though, she became our friend. We had her laughing. We retold the story of the night and my tale of woe as a student teacher to hellish children (I was a bit dramatic here). She ended up loving us so much that she wrote me a prescription of mandatory vacation of a week off of teaching due to public safety. While I did have a BAD ASS case of lice, I don’t believe I was a health risk, but still I took my vacation from those hellish children and ran with it.

The next day my parents came to my rescue, we packed my room and sprayed lice killing spray everywhere. I put a trash bag over my car seat and drove home for a week, an unusually long Thanksgiving Break. My mother and her teacher friend would then spend every morning and evening “nit picking,” literally. It was not fun. I don’t wish it on my worst enemy. And yet it is a fond memory I have of one crazy night with two great friends who held my hand (and my hair) while lice teamed around them.



nitty gritty

Life can be a lot to handle at times. The lucky ones can count on friends putting the humor back into life. Chances are you don’t even realize how negative things have gotten till you are doubled over in laughter. Anna has done this for me several times over the years, but there was this one particular event in grad school that will ALWAYS make my shoulders feel a little lighter, bring a smile to my face, and a slight itch to my...

The place is the West Range and the time is late fall semester. Papers are due, labs have piled up, and stress levels are elevated. Anna and our friend D have popped into my room to say hello and chat for a bit. I was feverishly trying to work on a never-ending stack of labs when Anna out of the blue announced, "I think I have lice will you check?" Gross and disgusting I thought to myself as I replied, “You don’t have lice”.

“Just check for me, please” Anna pleaded. D checked while I waited at my desk on the other side of the room. The silence while D inspected Anna's hair was deafening. D finally said “Well....I do think I see something that doesn’t look like dandruff. They have claws.” GROSS I jumped up and checked and sure enough there were living things in Anna’s hair.

“What do I do? How do I get them out?” Anna cried.

D and I tried to calm her all the while I was trying to get everyone out of my room. We didn't need to make the decision in my room that was for sure. D and I started experiencing phantom itching. We hadn’t seen Anna all week and couldn’t have possible gotten the little critters ourselves, but no matter we were scratching right along with her.

We ended up at either the emergency room or the student clinic with Anna. The nurse was not too happy that a bunch of students came in with an emergency case of lice. By the end of our visit though we were well educated in the differences between head and body lice. We had the nurse doubled over in laughter and I think I saw her scratch a couple of times at some phantom itching herself.

Ends up that Anna had a pretty severe case of lice thanks to the little people she was student teaching that semester. She got to take a lot of time off of school while the rest of us after laughing had to spend a lot of time at the laundry mat. Everything that could be washed had to be washed. My room was never cleaner the entire semester. All my clothes were washed and put away, bedding freshly laundered, and my entire room vacuumed and disinfected.

Boy did we have fun with Anna for the rest of the semester and still do with comments such as 'don’t be so nit-picky' and 'don’t let the bed bugs bite'. Those sayings remind me of that event every time I hear them. The break from schoolwork was unexpected, but the dose of laughter was well overdue. Thanks Anna!!

guest posted by JL

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