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.