Tuesday, November 06, 2012

The Me I Want to Be

Today at work I had a meeting with the marketing person from a law firm that we work with. I wasn't sure what to expect, and much to my surprise the woman was so much like me it was kind of scary. We had very similar spirits of travel, adventure, and daring, and wanted many of the same things from our lives. The thing is that she is actually living her life towards her goals and dreams, whereas I'm still in the thinking part about them. That is both cool and depressing. For example, for Christmas she is going to England and housesitting! For New Years, she is going to Italy. It gave me hope that maybe the things I want aren't as crazy and impossible as I might think. Maybe some of my dreams are really achievable. It's like she was a better-than-me version of me. We hit it off so well we went out for a drink, and promised to stay in touch and create our own adventures together at some point.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

One Promise Too Late

I recently went out of town for work, and got to see a "coworker" whom I have an enormous crush on. We met a year ago and clicked instantly. I haven't felt this way about anyone in a long time. He's adorable, funny, considerate, and very Italian/NY/NJ which is something I have always been very attracted to, back to my Italian heritage. Of course, he's married with two teenage kids. I feel like we should have met like 20 years ago, and now it's as Reba McEntire says, One Promise Too Late (as an aside, this is a hilarious YouTube clip, could her hair have been any bigger?). I have no intention of being a homewrecker and complicating my life by getting involved with a married man--not to mention the distance factor--so the whole situation just sucks. My dating theory these days is that the guys I like are either too young, too much trouble (players), or too married. So unfortunately I am proving my theory right yet again, though at least he's age-appropriate and not a player, as I believe he's an upstanding guy and wouldn't step out on his wife, despite any aforementioned clicking.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

9/11 Is My Birthday

So today is my birthday. I had someone ask me on Facebook what it was like, if it was hard to enjoy the day now that it's associated with such tragedy. The truth is, yes, it sucks, the day is forever ruined. To this day, people still react with shock when I tell them my birthday, like it was never a normal day before 2001. I am in a writing group and this is actually an essay that I am working on.

I have already cried twice today watching all the memorial stuff and reading things on Facebook. Although I enjoyed a massage and am going out to dinner at my favorite restaurant with one of my favorite friends tonight, I still can't escape the fact that today is what it is.

In my essay, I liken how I feel about the day to how I feel when a loved one dies: I feel a huge loss and sadness, both on a personal level and for the country and those who suffered and died. It is something that I (and the country) will never get over, but over time the pain lessens and the healing begins. I will always miss the innocence and sense of peace of my pre-2001 birthday, like I will always miss a loved one who died, but I have learned to live with and accept it and do the best I can to get over the sadness and move on with my life.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Trouble with Staycations

So this week I am on a "staycation" necessitated by lack of budget but need for a seriously long break from work. The good thing about staycations is that you can take the time to do whatever you want to do, explore things you have never explored, yadda yadda yadda. The bad thing is that you have no one to do things with cause everyone else is working and doesn't want to take off to entertain you so you don't feel so damn lonely. It's actually kind of all a big fat waste of time. I live alone and have no significant other, so I have plenty of regular "alone time" and trying to come up with things to do by myself actually kind of sucks. So although I've gone to the pool, and to a nice "beach," I can't help but feel that this 5 day depletion of annual leave really wasn't the best use of my time. I even tried to get a massage but scheduled with the wrong person so it wasn't what I hoped it would be. So I guess what I really want to say is STAYCATIONS SUCK! Next time I will just suck if up and spend the money to go somewhere to escape reality and my really horrible, boring, lonely, awful life!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Friend of Last Resort

It's been a really tough week, so I guess I'm feeling extra cynical today, but here goes. I have become pretty good friends with a girl in my neighborhood recently. She calls and texts a lot and we hang out sometimes. However, she often drops out of sight in the middle of a text stream, and I just get the feeling that she's found something better to do with her time. Like I'm her friend of last resort. When she's bored, no one interesting is responding to her, etc. she's up my ass. But when she has other plans, she goes MIA.

Ironically, she complains about a friend of hers who does something similar and only wants to hang out with her on certain terms and with certain people. Yet my friend doesn't always invite me to hang out with certain crowds. Occasionally she'll ask me something that is almost an afterthought, like "oh, a bunch of us are getting together, and I guess you could come if you're not busy." Yeah, thanks but no thanks.

Last night she was apparently bored and was going to have me over for some wine. I had plans and couldn't make it, and suggested tonight as an alternative, but I haven't heard from her since some texts around 4 pm. Oh well, guess she's not bored enought to hang with me tonight.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Dating by Text and Social Media

I got asked out last week by text by a guy I've met only a couple of times. He's a nice enough guy, but he spent last week frequently texting me (which I hate but have grudgingly accepted is the way of the world) without ever calling despite the fact that I had asked him a couple of times to call so we could discuss schedules.

It kills me that this supposedly interested guy texted me day and night, but he would never pick up the phone to actually talk. Call me old fashioned, but I'm not going out with you if you don't even have the balls, courtesy, nerve, decency, desire to talk to me, whatever, to call me.

So this week he asked me out again Monday by text, and by Tuesday I had decided I wasn't going to go out with him. He claimed he was going to call Tuesday night, but why was I waiting around for him to call? Somehow I felt the decent thing to do was tell him "in person" that I wasn't going to date him, but why did he deserve that courtesy when I didn't? Instead I turned the tables on him and told him "no" on Facebook. Not on his wall, but as a message. He apparently got my point, and put a post on his wall acknowledging that he just learned a hard lesson and apparently had to work on his communication skills and not rely so much on texting.

Incidentally, the main reason I wouldn't go out with him was because he was 10 years younger than me and I learned the hard way from past experience that is too young. Ironically, I think that his inability to deal with me as a person versus a text illustrates my point exactly. Next!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Beach Bust

I have needed a vacation so badly, and finally took a long weekend to go to Ocean City, MD, this weekend. I think I honestly haven't been there in over 20 years. I used to hate Ocean City--it was so crowded and took forever to drive down to the boardwalk. It was a total pickup beach at a time when I just wasn't interested in that. So needless to say I wasn't entirely excited to go but it was close and reasonably cheap. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised at how much Ocean City had improved--virtually no traffic!

My travel companion was a neighbor with whom I have traveled before. She had badly sprained her ankle this week, and probably shouldn't have gone but she insisted she was fine. Of course this meant she couldn't do much, walk far, or move fast, and expected me to wait on her more than I was prepared to do. Kind of infuriating.

I met up with other friends who happened to be in Ocean City that same weekend, and they are always full of drama and BS so that added to the ambience. One guy barely speaks to me cause I wouldn't date him years ago cause he's a total player. Another is completely stuck in his ways, yet to his credit we convinced him to do some different things. And the one girl wound up ripping me off inadvertently during dinner by not adding up her bill correctly, again all kind of infuriating.

Don't get me wrong, there were some fun moments, sunset dinner at BJs on the Water, now a new favorite; dinner at an old favorite Harpoon Hanna's; ice cream at Dumser's; and a really fun DJ and bar crowd at the Carousel, where we stayed. Again, that was a throwback to my youth.

I ate too much, drank too much, all the markings of a good vacation, but unfortunately it was just for a weekend, and it rained most of the time. I am trying to get away again at the end of the month, but having logistical and financial difficulties so I don't know if it's going to happen. Maybe the stars will align this week and I'll figure it all out...

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

A Day in the Life (and Death)

A while back I blogged about a neighbor who was dying, and last week she finally, peacefully, passed. She was suffering and wasting away, so as terrible as it is to say, it was a blessing. The viewing was Monday night, and the services were yesterday. I was unable to attend the funeral itself due to work, but I went to the viewing Monday and the reception yesterday.

Ironically, yesterday was a friend's birthday, a big one with 0's. He had invited some friends to celebrate at a local bar, so after the funeral reception, I headed over to the birthday party. What a weird day, and an odd juxtaposition of life and death. I was glad I could be there yesterday for both of my friends.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Obsessed with Ryan Lochte

Is it wrong to be obsessed with someone young enough to be . . . my nephew? I have to say I love, love, love Ryan Lochte. He so reminds me of this guy I really liked and almost dated recently. He had a really similar look and physique. What a pity it never happened.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Other Side of Friendship

In my last post I blogged about friendship and how something as small as distance can make a big distance in a relationship. However, the flip side of it is, that sometimes distance or time doesn't matter at all. There are some people who matter so much that despite distance, or the amount of time since you've last seen the person, your feelings don't dimish or change. I am fortunate enough to have an equal number of friends in my life that qualify for this as I do people who move two counties over and I never see again. For that, I am truly grateful. My favorite example is my best friend who moved to Memphis 2-1/2 years ago. While I miss having her in the neighborhood, I know that our friendship will remain steadfast, and we talk on almost a weekly basis. So that, my friends, is the other side of friendship. The side that makes it all worthwhile.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Friends by Proximity and Marital Status

As much as I hate to admit it, most of my friends live close by and typically are single like me. As much as we try to stay in touch with people after they get married, leave the job, move out of the neighborhood, or otherwise move on, it's very hard in this day and age when people are so busy. Even though they may live only 15-20 minutes away, it's harder with schedules being so hectic to plan time together. I try to do a good job balancing, but it's not a perfect science.

So tonight we had a going away party for some neighbors who are moving to fricking Leesburg. Might as well be Hawaii, as I know I will never see them again. Not only will they be far away, but they have 2 young kids. Why would they ever call me? Even when they lived here they never called me, I just happened to see them a lot because they were . . . well, neighbors and I ran into them frequently as they walked their dogs. They are super nice people, but even though I offered to babysit after they had their first kid like 2-1/2 years ago, they never took me up on it. So there is no hope that I will see them unless they have some sort of party and invite me. Even then it would be tough to get there and back, and really unless they have a lot of single friends it might not be worth my time as I don't want to hang out with a bunch of "married with kids."

That's sad, but truly way things are today. I only have a certain amount of free time and if they're not close enough distance-wise and can't offer me any possibility of meeting a single guy, I might not go to a party all the way in Leesburg. That all being said, I really will miss them a lot, but I'm just trying to be realistic.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Good Hair Matters--on Men Too!

Hair really makes a look. Everyone talks about women's hair, whether it's colored, cut, upswept, whatever. Especially in Hollywood. But how often do people talk about men's hair? I just watched an episode of House tonight for the first time in a long time, and Jesse Spencer, who plays Dr. Robert Chase, has cut his beautiful, awesome, super-cool hair since I last saw him. For me, the spark is gone. Now he looks like any boring generic actor, whereas he used to look sexy, his green eyes sparkling and his Australian accent adding to his appeal. Now, he's just blah.

The same thing happened to me with George Clooney back in the day. When he was on ER and had that floppy, untamed, gorgeous head of hair, he was something--in his prime. Then he got that Caeser cut that I think looks hideous on every man, and immediately looked boring, older, and generic. I am used to it now, and with all the gray he couldn't have it long again, but it was definitely a terrible move 10 years ago.

Lately I have seen Nordic God Chris Hemsworth with shorn (yes, shorn) hair that makes him look boring as hell. What are these guys thinking?

And last but not least, I acknowledge a positive hair change. Dierks Bentley, who used to have longer, curly, goofy hair, recently got it chopped off and now looks sexy and dangerous. Congratulations, Dierks, now I think you are totally hot. I'm sure that my opinion on some random blog matters to this country superstar.

Friday, July 13, 2012


If there was a degree in Procrastination, I think I would have been a shoo-in for that major. I am the hugest procrastinator when I don't want to do something, for example, packing. I hate packing. I am leaving tomorrow for a trip and haven't packed a damn thing. Or cleaned the bathroom, or changed the sheets for the dog walker, or done any of the million things I will be panicking about tomorrow that will lead to yelling and cursing and misery. My poor dogs will just cower and wonder what the hell they did wrong. But tonight I have wanted to do everything but pack. At nearly 10 pm, I am starting to think about what I will pack, but I am far from even starting. And Fashion Police starts now, so I will have to watch that. While I pack, of course.

In my last writing group meeting, we talked about what we would do if we really hit the lottery big. Of course, travel came up, and housekeeping, but I think I would also hire someone to pack for my travels as I can't stand to do it myself.

And if you haven't picked up on this, this blog post is yet another feeble attempt to . . . wait for it . . . procrastinate. So with that I will sign off and say that I'm not sure I can post while I'm away, but that depends on whether I take this laptop or not. And of course, I am procrastinating until tomorrow to make that decision.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Things I Love: Toxic Complainers

Here is another installment of "Things I Love," an occasional rant where I talk about, well, fabulous things I love.

Tonight I was verbally attacked by my neighbor as we coincidentally walked in the building together after work. (First thing I love: Being yelled at after a hard day of work at my front door, for no reason.) He's been mad for a few days about some restaurant leaving flyers at our doors--we live in a locked building so he is justified in being upset. I am very involved in neighbood committees and for that reason some people think they can bring me every complaint and I'll have a solution or somehow take responsibility for it. Well, I'm getting tired of playing that role. Just because you're mad at something doesn't mean that I care or want to help you with your crusade. I have plenty of my own, thank you.

Anyway the other day he took his concerns to the board. Very good. However, something set him off again about it tonight, and he started going off about why the neighborhood citizens' association newsletter (which I contribute to) was allowed to be left at doors when other things weren't, and I tried to point out it's a neighborhood publication that benefits all residents. But he wasn't listening. Since I'm involved with the newsletter, I guess he figured it was convenient to make it all my fault. He was yelling to the point where I said "I'm tired of dealing with everyone else's fucking anger" and went inside, slamming the door.

I really love when people have nothing better to do than bitch and moan and complain, but they never get involved in doing anything to make a difference or a change. If he's that concerned about this ridiculous issue he should get off his very fat ass and get involved in the community instead of just bitching about it to people who are involved and don't deserve to be bitched at for no reason. Man, I was pissed and it took quite a while to calm down. Next time I see him and he opens his mouth, I intend to just hold up my "talk to the hand" and tell him I don't want to hear anymore. Asshole. And I'm going to stop being the nice neighbor and finally complain to the property management office next time his smoking smells up the entire building, and I have to suffer through secondhand smoke so thick you can cut it, just to walk to my door. Ok, that feels better. Thanks for listening. (And for those of you who know who I'm talking about, please keep this rant between us!)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

When To Pass Up a Free Vacation

I recently found out that a group of friends of a good friend of mine is going to the Outer Banks in early September, and they invited me to go. My friend can't go, and I desperately need a vacation and want to go. However, while I really like these people, I just don't know if I would feel comfortable going without her. I think deep down she would be somewhat jealous if I went with "her" friends, plus one of the guys in the group is totally cute and if something were to happen with us (which is not out of the realm of possibility) I think she would be really pissed. So while this trip would be awesome--practically free, fun, and one of my favorite beaches--I think I better just say no.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Oh, Those Summer Ni-ghts!

I just got in from puttering in the yard . . . watering, weeding, etc. I have things I need to clean up and replant but that was too much effort for tonight. I have to say, there is not much that makes me happier than a warm summer night. I just love being outside, reading or hanging out and waiting for the bats to come out at dusk. It reminds me of the best times of my adolescence and early adulthood . . . sitting outside in the driveway with my best friend J., my sisters, and whatever boys we were dating at the time. We would sit outside for hours, talking, laughing, playing music ("Pour Some Sugar on Me" by Def Leppard and anything by Guns N Roses), and sneaking our beverage of choice, wine coolers. We thought we were so cool and so grown up. And so sneaky--we always thought our parents didn't know, but I'm sure they did. Those are some of my fondest memories, back when things were much simpler and somehow, surprisingly, seemingly happier.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Am I Busted . . . or Is He?

These days, it seems the only men that I am interested in are completely and utterly inappropriate. The most innocent of which is my 24-year-old neighbor, who hangs out mostly with older relatives and friends who are about my age. This neighbor is adorable, friendly, built, and hot, with piercing green eyes, my favorite eye color. He recently got a dog, so we have been talking "dog shop" a lot. To get over my jailbait crush, I invited him and his roomate over recently to grill, as they had invited me to a bunch of parties. I also wanted a chance to cement a friendship, so I would get over the fact that he is totally awesome but totally age-inappropriate.

In any case, my condo is located right next to a very busy sidewalk that is right at eye level and entirely too close to my windows. People I know walk by and actually wave cause they can see right in when I am hanging out in my living room. Very annoying. Sometimes I hate my lack of privacy, and needless to say I never open my bedroom blinds.

But I digress. A couple days ago Mr. Jailbait walked by and looked right in my window and I think I waved. Tonight I caught him looking in again. He has a similar unit to mine close to the sidewalk, and I actively try NOT to look in his window when I walk by. But this is twice he's walked by, looked in, and I've been there looking back. So my question is, who is busted??

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Setting Better Boundaries

Last weekend was insane in the DC area. A huge storm hit Friday night, rather unexpectedly, immediately knocking power out to millions--yes millions--of residents in MD, VA, and DC. I live on a great power grid with some local businesses, but even I lost power for nearly 24 hours. My family was out for a full 4 days in the middle of a heatwave with temps feeling like over 100 degrees.

On Saturday, after sitting in my hot condo all day, I decided to go out to dinner with a neighbor to get some A/C and food. Right before I left for dinner, my power came back on and I literally screamed for joy. My friend, however, didn't get her power and asked if she could spend the night. Of course I said yes.

On the way to the restaurant another friend called asking to spend the night and I just don't have a big enough place (or enough beds) to have more than one person/couple so I said no. She nearly cried, and I felt bad, but I just couldn't do it. This friend in particular likes to push boundaries and is very demanding. Basically she is not an easy friend and had kind of screwed me recently so I didn't feel that bad saying no.

But I told her she could come over the next day as I figured my other friend would have power by then. The next day she called and I expected her to say she wanted to spend the night but instead she wanted to bring over meat from her freezer that was going to go bad. A reasonable request. Then she said some of the meat wasn't frozen and would need to be cooked so she would cook me dinner. Under most circumstances again reasonable and nice. However, I was going for a much-needed massage and really just wanted to chill when I got home, instead of dealing with cooking and then cleaning it up. She pushed and pushed so I said yes, which was a mistake.

She came over with a huge cloth bag leaking blood everywhere from the already-defrosted meat. I had just mopped the floors that week and I couldn't believe the audacity of bringing a filthy dripping bag into someone's home to mess the carpets and floors. Plus I have two dogs, who were more than eager to help clean the mess. She set the bag on my clean kitchen floor to bleed everywhere. Disgusting. I about blew a gasket but held it together, though I did say something about it. She offered to clean it, but she is the worst housekeeper ever so I took care of it myself with some bleach.

We stuffed my freezer full of meat, and started cooking. I even brought out the grill to avoid heating the kitchen too much. She kept making all these complicated things, and there were pounds and pounds of meat to cook. WTF? It was 8:30 and we still hadn't finished cooking everything or eaten, and all the stress relief from my massage was gone. I was furious--I just wanted to eat and have her get the hell out of there, and I finally lost it. This was NOT how I wanted to spend my Sunday night before I had to go to work the next day. This was NOT how I wanted to spend the evening after the first real relaxation I'd felt in months. I let her have it. She somewhat apologized for being an imposition, but I'm sure given the chance she would do it all over again cause that's how she is. It doesn't matter how she puts someone out as long as she gets what she wants. On the flip side, however, she can be a very generous and thoughtful person, but often she has no common sense when dealing with other people.

I know this is my issue. I should have told her she could bring the items but not cook them as I really needed some time to myself that night. I would have had to cook the meat during the week, which I didn't want to do, or throw it out, but I guess that's the risk I should have taken. I still should have set more boundaries than I did. I should have said no and not ruined my night in order to help a friend. That's my biggest problem. I always want to help people out, but it often comes at my own expense and I wind up feeling resentful. So this is something I really need to work on. Next time, I will just say no, or set limits to what I am willing to deal with so I don't wind up getting upset in the end.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Family Time

So this week my cousin emailed me on FB saying that she was going to be in town this weekend, and she would love to see me. She was staying close to my sisters, who live about 30 minutes from me, so I figured we would all get together sometime. However, my family is terrible at planning anything in advance so I knew a plan would come together very late. It did, but I wasn't told anything about it. No one called me all day today and I finally called over to one sister to see what was going on, and the cousins were already there, dinner was planned, mom was invited, and I hadn't been informed at all. Nice, really nice.

Despite my attempts not to be pissed and offended, I am. It's just rude. My sister who was hosting has an iPhone for God's sake, she could have easily sent me a quick email or text to let me know that dinner was on. But no, nothing. So my other sister, who wanted to invite me, felt really bad, but she had believed my flaky sister when she said she would invite me. It's not that they intended to keep me out, it's that the flaky sister just didn't get around to inviting me.

Long story short, I got a text finally from my flaky sister, who even screwed up the text and had intended to apologize but didn't, and that was the end of story. Instead, I went and got a pedicure and went out for drinks with friends. My family is so aggravating and now I have to deal with the same flaky unplanned bullshit tomorrow. I left the whole day open, so we'll see if they even have the courtesy to let me know what is going on.

My theory is this is why you grow up and move away from family. It's just too much bullshit and drama to deal with on a daily basis.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


I live in an urban area, complete with buses running all day. Occasionally we see wildlife--I have seen a fox, opossum, raccoon, and rabbit. Today I saw the oddest thing I have ever seen--it had to be a jackrabbit. It was literally running down the sidewalk straight towards me and my dogs. At first I thought it was some small dog that had gotten away from its owner. Did it think it could take on a person and two 40-pound dogs?? It looked like it was charging us, with its big ears sticking straight up. Hilarious! I actually screamed a bit out of shock. Luckily at the last minute it decided to veer off and run away, but of course it sent my dogs into a tailspin and they wanted to give chase. My younger dog wouldn't stop looking for it, even after it ran across the street, where it stood looking at us as if to dare us to come over. How bizarre, I wish I'd been quick enough to grab my cell phone to take a picture!

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Problem with Being Right

My hairdresser and I have had the same two arguments over the past several years. These are the kind of arguments where no one is going to win, but you argue for the sake of arguing because it's fun. Lately, however, the arguments have turned too serious, and so I have decided to avoid the topics, outlined below.

1. Coloring my hair - This topic is fairly innocuous, or at least it started that way. My hairdresser loves to do color. Well, quite frankly, what hairdresser doesn't when they can charge twice as much (no offense to my hairdresser friend BibaGirrl who reads this). I don't want to color my hair for many reasons, cost being just one of them. I don't like sitting in a salon for hours. I don't have time to sit in a salon for hours. I like my haircolor and don't want to change it. I thought my hairdresser was wrong and magically I would never need color. I want to cling to the last vestiges of my youth while I still can, etc.

So this used to be a joke until I started getting noticeably greyer. I know I'm fighting a losing battle and I'm pissed because it's starting to affect how my hair behaves and how dry it gets. I'm pissed because my hairdresser is right, and I know my hair could look better if I invested more money and time, but I just don't have it in me to do it yet. Things got to a breaking point a few months ago, with my hairdresser really getting on my case to the point where I told him "I'm sorry if I'm your worst client with the worst hair ever." My feelings were honestly hurt, and I stopped talking to him in the chair and stopped being so friendly. Point taken, argument dropped for a few visits, although last time he kind of cautiously put his foot back in the water to see if I would react.

2. Children - I have never, ever in my life wanted children. Thankfully I am approaching an age where it's no longer a strong biologic possibility, and people who want to date someone my age are not likely to be looking for kids. Before he got married, my hairdresser would argue with me that of course I wanted children, I just had to meet the right person, they were so wonderful, it would make my life happy, yadda yadda yadda. He just couldn't get it through his thick skull that a woman could possibly be serious about this.

Fast forward to him being married with a terrible two year old. Every time I see him I ask about his kid, and at first it was all sunshine and light. She was an angel, she could do no wrong. Over time, he couldn't believe how difficult she was, how stubborn, how much his life had changed. I started joking with him saying "I told you so--this is why I don't want kids. They ruin your life." At first it was funny, but as time has gone by he seems more and more depressed about his life, so I stopped teasing him about it. He just told me his wife and kid are going back to their native Turkey for the summer. I said I was sorry that he was going to be a bachelor for the summer. He said that he wasn't, he needed a break. Yikes! For once in my life, I wish I wasn't right.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Power of Music

I have had a hell of a week, just about the only thing getting me through these days is really excellent and loud music. Each morning, I blast a favorite CD as I enter the garage at work to get me pumped up and ready for the day. For some reason I always have a song running through my head, and often wake up to that internal radio. That typically inspires the music of the day, which usually turns into the music of the week as I play the CD over and over again. Recently it was Journey's Greatest Hits, and as I blared "Separate Ways" in the garage, then got out of the car to head into work, a co-worker told me "rock on." Music has the power to bring together new friends.

Yes I still buy CDs. and maybe that shows my age, but I don't care. If I really like an artist, I want to hear all that they have to offer. I want to become a fan and know everything that they have recorded. Every now and then, I will hear an obscure song in a movie or store, and I love the feeling of being able to identify it and sing to it when no one else can.

The highlight of the week was the Martina McBride concert at Wolftrap on Wednesday night. David Nail was the opening act, and I have liked his singles, but now I think I'm gonna go for the CD. He has a unique voice, writes his own songs, and is totally hot. What's not to love? Music has the power to expand us and open us to new experiences.

Martina was exceptional; this was probably the best I have ever heard her, and I have been to a lot of her concerts over the years. She really got emotionally involved in each song and the sound seemed to rip from deep inside her. She is a very tiny person, with this enormous voice, and it was almost a religious experience watching her and hearing the great acoustics at Wolftrap. She got her first standing ovation unexpectedly after the song "Love's the Only House (Big Enough for All the Pain)." Up until that point the audience was sitting there like a bunch of boring old farts, but this song really spoke to everyone. What do we do with all the pain in life? How can we cope with it? These are questions I have frequently been trying to answer in my own life, particularly this week. These days, especially in this stressful area, everyone seems to be going through so much crap and everyone is in pain. By the end of the song, the audience was on its feet, expressing appreciation for the beautiful performance, the powerful words, and the much-needed empathy and wisdom. Music has the power to make us feel, to unite, and to soothe.

About 3/4 the way through the concert I was dancing in the aisle so I wouldn't block anyone's view, and a woman was leaving early and walked past me. She stopped, handed me her ticket, and said, "front row." I looked at her in shock. She said again, "front row" so I thanked her, just about fell over, and asked the usher if I could move. I was escorted up front, where I watched the rest of the show in awe, and yelled and waved to Carolyn Dawn Johnson at the end. CDJ is a solo artist in her own right, very popular in Canada, and I was thrilled to see her singing for Martina again, as she had done in years past. She waved, and my magical night was complete, thanks to the power of music.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?

So as a follow up to my last blog where I alluded to a less-than-perfect weekend, here is the story. I hadn't heard from my pilot friend all week until Friday afternoon when he texted me at work about the weekend. At first I was excited--it seemed he was fishing to get together, so I finally took the bait and suggested getting together after a happy hour I had that night as he lived nearby. I also said I was free on Sunday. His response: We'll see. We'll see? Really? Not really the response I'd hoped for. Not really sounding like a guy who is interested. Then the texts stopped abruptly.

But giving him the benefit of the doubt I thought I would text after the HH and see what was going on. However, before my HH, I saw him out and about and on the phone making other plans (he didn't see me) . . . after my HH, I saw him at a bar courting a table of girls (again he didn't see me). At the HH was a guy I used to like who I didn't really want to see again after he blew me off a while back. Not a fun night. I just can't deal with all the game playing and BS, so I basically texted fly boy not to contact me again as I really got the impression he was just out looking for the best opportunity, and clearly it wasn't me. My sister says I'm too dismissive. He texted back that I didn't have a clue what I was talking about. Me, I trust my gut and I know what I saw. I have a clue and only dismiss men who aren't worth my time, which is just about all of them. Are there really any decent ones left who aren't married or gay? The older I get, the less I believe, based on much anecdotal evidence. Just how many frogs do I need to kiss?

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sun Baked

This weekend was really busy--went to a happy hour Friday night, which was a disaster I will write about later--then had a baby shower and graduation/birthday party Saturday. The shower was in MD, down a bunch of winding country roads, which made me really wish I had a convertible. Two nieces had birthdays this week, one of which just turned 18 and then graduated Friday night. What a big week for her, and a great time to celebrate her life and success.

Today I spent most of the day outside, and boy am I wiped out. My dogs and I were out for like 3 hours early this morning, then I spent 4 hours at the pool. I am just beat, so I will save my happy hour disaster story for another time, when I can write it in a more coherent way.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Perfect Timing

Tonight I went out to dinner right after work, which I don't usually do because of the ridiculous guilt and responsibility I feel towards my dogs. But I was dining with a friend who has cats and also feels too much guilt and responsibility, so we usually meet right after work, keep it short and catch up for an hour, then head home. Tonight was rainy all throughout dinner, which would have been the time I would have been walking the dogs. By the time I got home the rain had stopped and we got to take our usual 2+ mile walk between the rain drops. The moral of the story: Sometimes bucking the routine and doing something for myself benefits everyone.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Letting Your Garden Grow

As a follow up to my June 1 post, my neighbor who is dying of cancer emailed me today, much to my surprise. As a little background, she and I both have dogs and would run into each other frequently in the neighborhood. In recent years I have been doing more and more gardening, and I always admired her garden out back and eventually we got to talking about it. She even gave me some of her plants. So today she emailed to say she was recycling some gardening magazines this week and thought of me. She planned to have her husband leave them on the front patio if I wanted them, and recycle them tomorrow if not.

I was flabbergasted. This woman, who has actually had a setback and is not able to have visitors this week as she had hoped, thought of me while she was "cleaning house" and took the time to contact me to offer me something she knew I would enjoy amidst everything that she is going through. In her email, she told me about her worsened condition, even making a joke about looking like a sick cancer patient. I did go pick up the magazines, and left a little gift basket filled with things that might help keep her and her husband entertained, as she is apparently no longer able to walk.

I am in awe of her strength, spirit, and sense of humor when facing her own mortality. She is truly an inspiration and I only pray that she does not suffer needlessly. I know I could never face that situation with as much grace as she is, and I only hope she is well enough to visit before it is too late.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

The Love and Fear of Flying

This weekend I had the craziest and most fun experience I've had in a long time. It was my neighborhood's annual margarita party, which is generally a fun time. Last year, after the party, a bunch of us went out and had a great time and I wound up hanging out with this really cute guy.

So this year we all decided to go out again, and we were supposed to meet my friend L's friend Jim in a nearby bar. As we walked down the street to the bar, L stops a guy and says "where are you going?" so we all assume it's Jim. It turns out she's just messing around and didn't know the guy, and he played right along, which was hilarious. This guy winds up coming out with us and is acting like a jerk, which I kept calling him on. He said that I hated him, and I agreed and said I did. We argued about him being a Republican and me being a Democrat. At the end of the night after all the bickering, we discovered that we were attracted to each other and he took my number and asked if I wanted to go flying the next day. Flying? Turns out he's an ex-Navy pilot and flies for recreation now.

I have always had a love/hate relationship with flying. I love the beauty of seeing the country by air, the sense of freedom. I hate that I'm thousands of feet off the ground with nowhere to go but down if something goes wrong. I told him I would call in the morning with my decision, as I already had plans with someone else. When my friend heard about the opportunity, she said I should definitely go flying and that we would get together another time.

So today, I had the BEST FIRST DATE EVER. I took a leap of faith, put aside my fear of flying and typical "rules" about dating, and put my trust in J, who definitely knew what he was doing as a pilot. We had a great time--a totally unexpected, fun and sun-filled day, laughing and enjoying time together. It was so easy to be with him, I definitely feel like I am still flying.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Speeding Ticket

Unbeknownst to me, I apparently got a photo speeding ticket a couple of weeks ago going to a work-related press check that was like 30 miles away. I would never have even been on that road if it wasn't for work. Apparently on this highway the speed was 45, and I was going 57. Really? The ticket is $125. So unfair. I'm going to drive it again to see if the speed limit was posted where I got on, and if not try to fight it. But this really sucks, I haven't had a ticket (other than parking) in like 10 years.

Friday, June 01, 2012

Living for Today, Letting Others Know We Care

I found out this week that a neighbor who has struggled with cancer for the last few years has opted to stop treatment and is getting hospice care at home. While the news is (unfortunately) not a complete shock, it is very sad and she will leave behind a very devoted husband and pup. Part of the reason she decided to come home was so that she could visit with neighbors that she cares about, and I feel so honored that she wants our company. Starting next week, a bunch of us are going to take shifts visiting and getting a chance to say goodbye. So this got me to thinking about life and how suddenly it can change, and how rarely we tell each other we care. For example, I saw that an old boyfriend recently looked me up on LinkedIn. He didn't contact me, but I decided to contact him anyway just to let him know that I hope he is well and happy. He was one of the rare good ones out there. So we'll see if he writes back. No expectations, but it just seemed like the right thing to do at the end of this difficult week.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Corroborating Witness

Today I was a court witness, or as they called it "corroborating witness" for the first time in my life for a friend going through a divorce. She is a great friend and I had promised her I would do it, and what a weird experience. The "judge" grilled me more than I thought she would. Her husband was also there, and while it was great to see him, as we were always friends and the divorce is an amicable one, it was also bittersweet and signified the true ending of an era. A bunch of us used to always do things together and those are truly some of my favorite recent memories. I really miss those times and sit here tonight reflecting on life and how much things change, whether or not you really want them to. You have to just keep moving on and persevere, but sometimes it's hard to know what to do with all the sadness and loss.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Weekend of Relaxation and Fun

Lately my life hasn't consisted of either relaxation or fun, to the extent that I forgot I could even have some. A girlfriend and I took the weekend to tour VA wine country in her cute VW bug convertible. With a base in Harrisonburg, VA, we visited the Valley Fest Beer & Wine Festival where we fell in love with musician Mike Davis and raced down the highway blaring Bon Jovi alongside some JMU students. The next day we visited Afton Mountain Vineyards, which was so beautiful (pictured) that I didn't want to leave. We enjoyed lunch on the patio and glasses of dry riesling, very rare. Our other favorite vineyard was Keswick, which was really pet-friendly and boasted a beautiful chocolate sauce infused with wine. The roads were beautiful country roads through the mountains, and riding around with the top down it was easy to forget your cares. Monday I went to a cookout for Memorial Day, and had a fun time with friends who are quick-witted and entertaining. There was tons of food and drink, and even a couple of cute guys to flirt with. All in all, a great way to end a great weekend.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Sad for a Life I Never Met

My neighbor and fellow dog person, who has become a very dear friend, told me today that her favorite cousin committed suicide. This is someone she had been wanting to fix me up with. Apparently he was more depressed than people ever knew. He left behind a teenage son--how very tragic for the family. I really feel terrible for my friend, and wish I'd had the chance to meet this cousin she so admired, though I guess I would be even sadder tonight. You just never know how much a day can change everything.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Weekend with Nothing to Do

Just once, I have had nothing planned this weekend except for the Pet Happy Hour I organized last night. It was awesome, very fun time. I organize this every year for my condo association. It was a long, tiring day, so I didn't plan anything else this weekend. I am trying to finish my garden planting, and my house is a wreck so I am trying to get things back into some semblance of order. I have gotten a lot done, but all on my own schedule. Which is nice and much needed. If only the dogs would just be a little more low key things would be almost perfect. Tonight I wanted to grill and sit out for a while, but my neighbors have people over and they are outside, so it's kind of awkward, so I am inside watching a movie instead.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mad at Blogger

Ok, so I had created this special blog template with all these things in the sidebar, and for no apparent reason and with no warning Blogger changed it yesterday right after I made an adjustment to the template. Now my sidebar has nothing interesting anymore and I have to figure out how to recreate it. Fuckers.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Sunday Night

Is there anything more depressing than Sunday night? Sunday night without wine, maybe. Luckily my friend J came over and helped me to make sure I had plenty tonight. We laughed and cracked up about crap that happened this weekend, and she got to see some plants that I just bought for my garden. I did a little planting today, so that was nice. Still have a lot to go. How is May here already? Anyway, it's after 11 and I need to get my beauty rest. The dogs are restless so I guess it's time to finally get to bed. Night all.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Things I Love

Things I Love is an occasional rant about things that really bug me. Usually it's about work, but today's rant is about my friend K, who calls me repeatedly but doesn't ever leave a message. This really pisses me off, and I have told her in the past that it bothers me when she doesn't leave a message cause I don't know how urgent her call is. She has had a lot of stress in her life recently and I've been there for her. So when she has called in the past I would typically call her back if I saw her number on caller ID. But you know, my life has gotten really stressful and is she there for me? No. When I ask her why she doesn't leave a message, she makes up some dumb excuse why she didn't leave a message, like she didn't think I'd be home but thought she would check. Well, if you don't think I'll be home, don't call me. She also called last night, Friday, at like 8:30 pm. After working a full week, I don't want to deal with her shit for an hour on the phone, and her calls are never less than an hour. She doesn't work so she has no idea how hard Friday nights are--I am either too tired and don't want to spend an hour on the phone, or I'm trying to go out and have a social life. I also have told her not to call on Friday nights but again she apparently doesn't care. Matter of fact I think the previous "no message" call was last Friday too. Will she ever get a clue? Apparently not. I would tell her these things again, but past experience has shown that she doesn't listen and will do whatever she wants anyway. So I will do what I want and ignore her. There, I feel better now.

Thursday, May 03, 2012


I have been at my new job almost a year and it has gone by so fast. It's been very stressful--first the company got bought out and I lost out on stock options and profit sharing. That has been sort of taken care of with a new bonus plan, plus a free parking space. So I am finally sort of over it. However, I've been dealing with a crazy employee for the year too. He has been out of work more than at work, and had sort of a mental breakdown around the holidays. He's brought union grievances against me and my boss. Now he's being evaluated for being "fit to work" which at first he was, but now he is not. It's a long story. The worst part is I am having to do his work, and now this is dragging out indefinitely again. He's been out more than a month. I can't take much more of this. I desperately need a vacation. I am taking tomorrow off, and hopefully having a long weekend will help to get me through this month until I can get a break . . .

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Happy Birthdays

My father and grandfather (his dad) both had April birthdays, only 2 days (of course many years) apart. That made it easy to remember as a kid. They are both gone now, my grandfather just this past July, so these past few days have made me a bit sad. My father has been gone a long tme, but my grandfather died in July, just after his 96th birthday. Thinking of them both this weekend.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Ridiculous Story of the Week

Ok, there is a girl in my neighborhood who jogs incessantly, hours on end. Everyone thinks she's crazy--she runs in the middle of the street and doesn't pay attention to cars. She's not even training for a marathon or anything, she is just jogging off emotional problems. In any case, one morning this week I saw her behind a tree. She was not very well hidden, and she definitely saw me walking right towards her with my dogs. She proceeds to pull down her pants and do whatever business she was doing behind this tree on a major street in my neighborhood. She was down for quite a while, so I am thinking she was doing some serious business. The thing that makes this so crazy is that she lives like 1 block from this spot, so why didn't she just jog her little bare ass home and take a crap there??? Insane. This just confirms it.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Where Do the Weekends Go?

Here I sit on Sunday night, wondering where my weekend went. A very common occurrence. The weekend virtually flew by, while I have very little to show for it, yet the work days just drag. I have so much to do over the weekend that I hardly have time for fun. And the fun sometimes doesn't even feel like fun because it means I have less time to get the things done that I need to. Fun becomes just another obligation.

I guess this likely means I'm in (yet again) the WRONG JOB. And now, I have some work to do for this wrong job. So I will end my weekend working, but at least sipping very nice sangiovese at the same time.

How do you all cope with the workday blues? The job you hate? The Sunday night blues?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

It's 2012?

I can't believe I haven't posted since November! I hope everyone had a great holiday. I am just glad that they are over and hoping that 2012 will be better than 2011 . . .