Tuesday, October 31, 2006

This Actually Happened

On Monday Morning, the light in my bathroom burnt out. I live in a vintage apartment, and in the bathroom the light fixture is on the ceiling, which is approximately 12 feet high. So, unless I want to go out and buy a ladder, there’s really no way I can change the light bulb myself.

So… after two days of showering in the dark, I called the on-site building supervisor. This is how that conversation went:

Me: Hi, is this Oz?

Oz (presumably): Could be.

Me: Um... hi... well, my name is Lou and I live in the apartment at 2 North. The light in my bathroom is burnt out and I was wondering if you could change it for me.

Oz: Don’t you have a boyfriend to do that for you?

Me: Well no, I don’t have a boyfriend and I would do it myself, but there’s no way I can reach the ceiling. Is this something you would usually do?

Oz: Well, maybe you should find yourself a boyfriend.

Me: Yeah… well, um... I guess I’m working on that. Can you help me?

Oz: [Laughing]. Why don’t you call me when you get home this afternoon?

Me: OK, I won’t be home until between 5:30 and 6:30 though.

Oz: [Pauses]. Eh, I guess that’s fine; just give me a call. And you should find a boyfriend that's tall.

Me: Uh. Sure... thanks.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Don't Let Lou Drink Near a Computer

It’s rare that I attempt the 2 a.m. Friday night/Saturday morning, not-exactly-sober post. But, I’m feeling inspired so let’s give it a try, shall we?

Tonight I celebrated a friend’s 25th birthday. While she seemed to be in good spirits for the majority of the evening, she ended up going home depressed to be turning another year older.

Now, I’m sitting here, finishing off leftover Pad Thai and thinking to myself, “Gosh, 25 is so young. What could possibly be so upsetting at 25?” I really need to stop eating this Pad Thai. Man it’s good.

Anyway, I feel like the message I’m trying to convey in the post is being muddied by my inability to ignore the takeout counter that is directly to my left. Damn it.

Focus… Focus…

Here’s what. At 25, I figured out that this is my life. There’s no more waiting to finish school or adjusting to first jobs or first apartments. This is it; this is the life I have chosen and for better or worse, alone or with a partner, I have to make it the best I can. If there’s something that I want, I have to make it happen. It’s a hard lesson, and especially for those of us who call ourselves “homebodies” or take solace in Saturday evenings spent on the couch, it’s easy to let life live us instead of the other way around.

When I turned 27, I wrote down a list of goals for this year. Some of the goals I wrote down I knew I would accomplish… like finding a new job and completing a half marathon. Others are more of a long shot, but writing them down was a start. The written word is a commitment to, if nothing else, acknowledging what we want.

How did I finish the entire container of Pad Thai?

A lot of this crap revolves around relationships. On Wednesday, I had a conversation with my trainer about how he’s not OK being alone. I think I gave him the requisite strong (newly) single woman line of, “Well, you’ve got to be happy with yourself” or some crap. Is that true? Can we be happy alone? Lately I’ve been thinking about statistics. Chances those of us who are single now will eventually get married (nevermind the divorce rate for this discussion). But if we don’t and we spend our lives alone, then what? Is it possible to still be happy?

The only thing I know is that nothing ever turns out the way you expect it to. I think I’ve actually written that before and I apologize, Lou + 3 vodka tonics + depressing birthday talk + a blog = a public outlet for a little too much life analysis.

Sometimes it’s easy to wish that I could read the story of my life like a book and flip to the back to find out how everything turns out. But, I guess, in a way, that takes away all the fun of figuring out how to get to what’s next. Of course, I never was one for surprises.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Coming Out

I did it. I went out on my first Match.com date. He was nice and smart, a bit on the too skinny side and definitely losing his hair (which, honestly, I am OK with). All in all, I don’t think a "love connection" was made; however, he was a normal guy who didn’t do anything strange or creepy. For me, that made the date a success. I like to keep my expectations low.

I also had a long phone conversation with my other Match.com suitor. I must say, he’s a bit more intriguing and seems to find me to be entertaining. No date is planned yet, but he is supposed to call me later this week to coordinate.

So, I’m officially "out there" and dating again. I’ll keep you updated on suitor #2.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Turns Out I'm Not Crazy (Who Would Have Guessed?)

Deep thoughts today people. I went to the gym at lunch time and even though I’m still in pain from Wednesday’s workout with the trainer, I decided it was in my best interest to do an easy 30 minute jog on the treadmill. Might be time to take it outside again and start training for another half marathon. I’m still deciding…

After I was done with my workout, I took a long shower, which isn’t something I generally do at the gym. But I stood in the shower and thought... about how things never really turn out to be the way you think they will. I thought about Mr. Shankerchop, my crush (though I’m past obsessing, I’m not past analyzing his character). He told me the other day that he was, "done with dating." I think I rolled my eyes at him and said, "OK. Whatever."

When asked what we’re looking for in a boyfriend or girlfriend, we all have a laundry list of things: funny, stable, educated, good job, ambitious, laid back... you get my point. Shankerchop has this list and more. There’s no way I would ever live up to the kind of woman he thinks is right for him. I’m not sure any woman could live up to his "standards" and even if one did and he could check off all of the traits he is hoping for, there’s still a chance that he won’t like that person... you know... as a person.

The moral of the story is, things never turn out the way you expect.

Right.

I mentioned in a recent post, that I was emailing back and forth with to two potential "normal dudes" via Match.com. One of them has finally asked me to actually go on a date. This is after more than a week of emailing, during which time he deemed me to be, among other things, mentally stable, insightful, and curious. Not sure how he came up with all that, but I'll take it. We're discussing sushi on Sunday. We’ll see, but it sounds promising.

I had a thought recently and I'd like to share it with you. About a week ago a friend asked me if I actually liked to run. I thought about it and came up with this: Running is like sushi. When it’s good, it’s really, really good and when it’s bad, it can make you sick.

Ha!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Losing My Edge

Seriously, I am running out of material people. I wrote about my inability to control my alcohol intake yesterday... I’m pretty sure that was not my best post.

Here’s the problem. I lack focus. Training for the half marathon provided me with a topic. Breaking up with boyfriend/moving/starting over provided me with a topic. In life and in blog, I often ask myself, now what?

I need a new focus. I can deviate from the focus, but if I have a focus, I’ll always have a starting point and therefore, it’s less likely that my posts will suck consistently. Sure, I could write about my weekends, but do you really want to know week after week about how I drink too much and from time to time make poor decisions as a result of it?

You don’t, do you? I have a sneaking suspicion that there may be one or two of you out there saying yes...

However, we (the people who read my blog) live in a democracy... And I need to make most of the people happy some of the time (or is it some of the people happy most of the time?). So, I’ve got some ideas.

1) I could sign up to train for another half marathon and write about it.
2) I could relay to you what I eat and exercise and keep you posted on whether or not I ever lose some poundage
3) I could admit that I’ve decided to sign up for Match.com (seriously, everybody does it) and tell you all about the apparent psychos that contact me
4) I could grip about my creative writing class (which I’ll probably do anyway)

Those are my thoughts. Maybe you’ve got others? Let me put it another way... Help!!! Please?

Monday, October 09, 2006

2nd Kick of a Mule

Sometimes you need to learn a lesson twice for it to really stick, right? Case in point:

Saturday, September 30, 9pm-??? (I wasn’t actually lucid enough to know what time it was when I left the bar): A friend and I decided to have a few drinks at some of the local watering holes in my new neighborhood. Three bars and multiple glasses of Pinot Noir and Cabernet later, I realized that I had gone too far. And, as it goes with red wine, I knew regardless of the fact that I immediately switched to water, it was going to get worse before it got better. Not even my magic hangover buster could save me now (FYI… 2 Advil, 1 Excedrin PM, and as much water as you can down before you pass out).

Sunday, October 1: Woke up with a massive hangover. Slept until 2pm in the afternoon. Finally got up and productively spent the day on the couch during which at some point I said, possibly to myself, possibly to someone I hallucinated, possibly into the phone, “I will not be drinking red wine for awhile.”

Fast-forward one (yes ONE) week.

Saturday, October 7, 8pm-Sunday, October 8, 1:30am: I’ve got a timeline, so I’ll admit that I wasn’t doing nearly as bad, but... I went out to dinner with a few friends and then decided to have “few” drinks afterwards. I brilliantly chased sake with four glasses of Red Zinfandel. Who does that?

Sunday, October 8: Woke up with a massive hangover. Kicked myself out of bed at 11:30am and productively spent the day on the couch at which point I remembered what I had said the previous week.

So, I’m putting it in writing here so maybe I’ll hold myself to it. NO MORE RED WINE. For awhile, anyway. I cannot lose another day of my life to a massive red wine hangover. Seriously, who goes out and binge drinks wine? I need to switch to liquor (I dumped a full vodka tonic in my lap on Friday evening, but that’s another story).

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Where's my Bullhorn?

Now, it is rare that I get on my soapbox and preach about some political or social topic in my blog. But, as many of you know, much of my work and personal life revolves around reading and writing. I am even employed by an organization that would not exist if not for reading and writing.

Last week, the American Library Association observed Banned Books Week, a time when institutions based on reading and writing celebrate the freedom to read. Call me na├»ve, but I thought our country was past the days of denying access to books because of content that some deemed to be “inappropriate.”

I was apparently wrong. And here are a few recent articles that prove it:

'Banned' books a model of Orwellian 'newspeak'

Ban Harry Potter or face more school shootings"

Display of Banned Books Removed at Harrisonburg High School


Wow.

That’s pretty much all I have to say. Except for this… the American Library Association DOES acknowledge the Bible as a banned book, ALA does support "age appropriate" material, a display that entices kids to read CLASSIC LITERATURE is not a bad thing, and Harry Potter is not turning kids into practitioners of Wicca nor is it the cause of school shootings.

It saddens me greatly that today in American there are still people who will argue points of view (very loudly) that strip away at even the most basic of freedoms. Perhaps I’m simplifying the matter in a black and white, wrong is wrong, right is right kind of way (like they are).

I’ll stop here before I launch full on into a tirade about “what’s wrong with our country.” I hope you’ll read those articles. They’re rather interesting.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

[Boy] Crazy

Once upon a time about six months ago, I had a dream that my mom got a facelift. (My mom is not going to be happy that I’m telling this story to my readers. Sorry Mom, but it’s important to set up the story). The next day she and I were talking on the phone and about halfway through the conversation I remembered the dream.

"Mom, last night I had the weirdest dream about you getting a facelift."

Silence. Finally, she spoke.

"Lou, I wasn’t going to tell you and your sister this because I knew you two would judge me, but I got a facelift on Wednesday." Judgment aside (hey, I just didn’t think she needed one), I swear this story is true and also serves as the most recent example that may or may not lead others to believe that, while unreliable at best, I could have the "gift."

We can debate whether or not I have psychic powers, but it really isn’t about that. If I really thought I did, trust me, I’d quit my job tomorrow and set up a Miss Cleo-style hotline. This also isn’t about theories pertaining to quantum physics or the subconscious... it’s about my dream last night.

I have a "secret" on again/off again crush. Really it’s fleeting at best. But, when I am around this guy, I'm always entertained, as he never ceases to amaze me with his eclectic interests.

Last night, he professed his love for me… granted it was in a dream. Perhaps I have tapped into subconscious feelings that he has? Doubtful. But a girl can dream—literally—right?

Not to totally psychoanalyze myself, but what the heck, it’s Tuesday morning. I believe this dream reveals a bigger issue—I would define it as strong feelings of "boy craziness." Case in point... the previous night’s dream was about a boy I had an on again/off again crush on in high school. And, if you need more proof, just ask me about Saturday night.

I decided that this is likely one way for me to assert my independence as newly single. I’m not really interested in dating, per say, but rather, I’m interested in checking out every guy that happens to cross my path. Why? Because I can and therefore, in my opinion, should. Hellloooo.

All in good fun, my friends!