Monday, October 30, 2006

Life's Important Questions

Why is it that, when I go to the mall with my debit card in hand, ready to be swiped, happily willing to drop a few bucks on a new eggplant-colored purse or a new pair of shoes or perhaps a nice new coat, the entire mall is completely void of anything I'd be willing to carry/wear/purchase?

And then, why is it that, when I can't find anything to spend my hard-earned money on, Billy can find a million things to buy for himself? Well, maybe not a million, but at least two or three things.

Why does my inability to find something I like, added to the fact that Billy bought two things equal me being mad? Does that even make sense?

Why does Billy not understand, when the movie starts at 3:10, and it is now 3:08, and our car is parked roughly eight thousand miles away, that now is not an appropriate time to "run out to the car" to drop his purchases off so that he doesn't have to sit in the theatre with them? Because he is going to miss the previews (and we love the previews). He may also miss the first minute or so of the movie. Oh, that's right! He did! While I sat in the theatre viciously defending the seat I'd saved for him. I can't tell you how many times I had to tell seat-seeking folks that I wasn't just using the seat to my left to hold my coat. It was actually for someone.

And why don't I go to the movies alone more often? My brief brush with solitude in that seat in the darkened theatre reminded me how awesome that is. I have to do it more often.

And why, even though I'm sure I've landed the most awesome seats in the house at the 3:10 showing of The Departed, do they wind up being possibly the worst?

Because why, Mr. Man Sitting Behind Me, did you have to eat those gummy bears with such ferocity? Why did you have to suck and slurp and chew and suckle so loudly that even people three rows ahead of me turned around to see where that god-awful noise was coming from? And why did you have to do that through the whole movie? That's just tacky.

And, what if those people three rows up thought that was me?

And, hey, Ms. Inappropriate Parenting Decision Maker in front of me, why did you bring your eight year old son to a movie about the mob? Because, if you're going to cover his eyes and ears in any part of a movie involving nudity, violence, guns, explicit language, etcetera, you could not have been surprised that all of the above would be taking place, at one point or another, in an R Rated movie about the MOB.

And why even bring that kid if he was only permitted to watch roughly .002% of the movie with eyes and ears uncovered?

And, damn, why was that movie so fucking good? I mean, my god, it has to be the best movie I've seen in a long while. Seriously. And why am I always so damn attracted to Leonardo DiCaprio when he's playing the conflicted-badass?

Why do I love sushi so much? And why is the sushi chef at our favorite restaurant so darn cute and nice? And why is it that I can easily understand his broken English, but Billy can't? But I can only understand him when I'm sober, which leads me to my next question:

Why did three glasses of Pinot Grigiot get me so drunk? Since when is my tolerance so low that I can no longer take the amount of alcohol that normally only gets me good and buzzed? Because, I assure you, there is nothing sexy about leaving the restaurant blissfully buzzed, but then running head-first into d-r-u-n-k the second you get into the car with your boyfriend. Nothing sexy at all, my friends.

So why did I have to drive the half hour home with my mouth and my eyes shut tight, window open, face in the wind? To avoid getting sick, that's why.

Is it because all I ate was what probably amounted to my weight in red clam sashimi?

And why, once I got home, did I have the presence of mind to remove only my pants before getting into bed? Because getting into bed and going to sleep was not an involuntary decision (i.e. "passing out"). No, it was a conscious decision, made to avoid the possibility of me getting sick and relieving myself of all the sushi I ate. And I can't have that, because if get sick and throw up all of that delicious sushi, there's a distinct possibility that that could scare me away from sushi forever. And that would be horrible. But why did I only take off my pants, and not my makeup, jewelry, sweater or socks? Oh, that's right. Because getting into bed and falling asleep before my stomach decided it'd had enough of this wine and sushi business was far more important than take off earrings.

And why, after all of that, did I wake up this morning feeling wonderful and, even more surprising, not just on time, but early? How did an evening of near illness-inducing debauchery make me bright-eyed and bushy-tailed this fine Monday morning? Because that doesn't even make sense.

Oh, but you know what didn't make me feel so wonderful this morning? When Billy told me that, at one point during the evening, I allegedly rolled onto my back and started snoring so loudly that he had to turn up the volume on the TV to hear his program. He says he got up to get his phone to record my nocturnal noises to play back for me as proof, but I stopped as soon as he got up. I know. That's sexy.

Why did he have to tell me that? And how did I get lucky enough to find a boyfriend who loves me in spite of my alleged snoring? And why did I just tell all of you that little piece of info? Is it because I am the master of TMI? Yes, my friends, I believe that is the answer.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Tie One On

I knew, as soon as I saw it, that it was perfect. Long and silky, its pattern was perfect and the color couldn't have been better. I knew he'd love it.

And so I carried that tie around with me as I dug through sales racks and looked over the shoe selection. I left it with the attendant at the dressing room begrudgingly, worried she'd give it away or put it back on the rack. I handed it over to her hesitantly, and asked her to please make sure it didn't get put back. She assured me that it would not.

And it didn't. It was there, waiting for me, when I emerged, my arm draped with the three sweaters I intended to buy. I was excited about the clothes I was buying for myself, but I was more excited about the tie laying on top of my clothes. I couldn't wait to give it to Billy.

But when I got home, the lights were off and Billy was asleep, his body curled into a question mark on his side of the bed. So I hung the tie from his tie rack, front and center, and undressed quietly, slipping out of my clothes in the dark. I slid into bed beside him, kissed the skin on his neck, exposed between the blanket and his curly hair, and went to sleep, anxious for the morning.

This morning, when his alarm went off, Billy slipped out of bed without me noticing. He was out of the shower before I realized he was no longer in bed with me. He kissed my forehead and pulled the blanket up over my head, and went to turn on the light. Disoriented, I dug my way out of the comforter, one eye still closed to the light.

"Good morning, baby," I whispered.

"What are you doing up?" he said, making his way to me. "Go back to sleep," he said sweetly, kissing me again.

"Did you see your tie?" I couldn't sleep, knowing I'd yet to give him his gift.

"My what?"

"I got you something last night," I teased, smiling beneath the blankets. "It's on your tie rack."

He turned and looked at it. I heard his sharp intake of breath. "Baaaabe," he whispered, his voice quiet with appreciation. "It's perrrrfect."

"Look at who made it."

He turned the tie around to see the brand. He gasped.

"It's Ted Baker," I told him, even though it was clear that he'd seen it. Ted Baker is his favorite tie designer. Ted Baker is to me what Manolo Blahnik is to you, he'd told me before.

He came over and kissed me. "I have to wear it today," he said.

I smiled with the delight of a child who has just brought home a report card filled with As. It made me so happy to see him satisfied with my gift, happier still that he wore it immediately. His love of what I'd picked for him made my day.

Friday, October 27, 2006


Some things that have kept me from slipping into yesterday's bad mood:

  • We got our new issue of Playboy in the mail yesterday here at work. Yes, you read that right. We have a subscription to Playboy for the whole office to enjoy. So we spent the better part of the morning going through and critiquing the ladies. And that's always fun. No seriously, it is.
  • Before THAT, my boss and a coworker and I spent, oh, about an hour, looking for nudie pictures of celebrities online. It was a little awkward, but that's alright.
  • Cookies.
  • I got a haircut last night. And I almost fell asleep while the young lady was washing my hair. It was incredible.
  • I got a bonus. For no reason. Other than being awesome.
  • I spent ten minutes decorating my calendar. Like, instead of just writing "Closed" on it for Thanksgiving and the Friday and Saturday thereafter, I drew a turkey dancing from Thursday to Sunday. It was pretty awesome.
  • For our week-long closure between Christmas and New Year, I drew a beautiful landscape with rolling hills and trees under a million stars. My boss thought that was "excessive."Oh, and wasteful of "company time." But I thought it was beautiful.
  • I'm going shopping tonight.
  • Billy brought my coffee to me in bed this morning, instead of the other way around. Which was just lovely. It made my morning wonderful.
  • More cookies.
  • It's Friday, and though I have to work tomorrow, at least I know I'm only a few hours away from freedom.

So that's it.

I'm off to shop.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

It Rhymes with "Witchy"

You know the kind of mood that makes you angry for no reason? The kind where the hair on your head annoys you just by being there? The kind where every syllable uttered in your direction is bound to set you off? The kind where the PHONE RINGING may just drive you insane?

That's my mood today.

I don't know why, and I don't know how long it's going to last, but I know that I am horrible right now. I want to RIP my hair out of my head. I want to go home and just lay in bed, stare at the TV and not speak or listen to anyone. I want be naked, too, because my SWEATER IS DRIVING ME CRAZY, with its seams touching my skin all over the place. Ugh.

I ate a Tums last night before bed, and now I have this horrible aftertaste/film in my mouth. So not only is there an awful taste just hanging out on my tongue, but my coffee tastes gross.

I was so ready to go to the gym tonight, but I have an appointment to get my hair cut. Which is fine, but it seems like every time I plan to go to the gym, something comes up and I can't make it. I brought my iPod and everything. And, you know, I really wouldn't mind that I can't go to the gym, but I'm paying $50 a month for a gym that I use an average of once a week. And that's a good week. That's $12.50 per visit just to fuck around on the elliptical for an hour or push myself to near-heart-attack in step class.

And, not that any of you want to know this, but my birth control pills have gone and fucked up my cycle, so now I have my period AND my PMS for TWO WEEKS instead of one. Which not only makes me angry, but it also makes Billy very, very sad. Because he has to deal with THIS mood for not just one week, but, now, for two.

And you know what else? Lost is making me mad. It's all questions. No answers. And, really, I'm getting tired of paying stalker-like attention to that damn show every Wednesday night, looking for clues, trying to remember where I saw that person before and what their significance was. This is TV, people. I'm not a detective. I love my Grey's Anatomy, where I can just watch and be sad or happy and that's it.

And, hey, that's on tonight. That's the light at the end of my tunnel.

So, anyway, that's what's going on with me. And now, if you'll excuse me, I have to sign off and go scratch all the itchy places on my back that my sweater is causing.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


The alarm howls the same way every morning: The thick voice of a DJ blurred by intermittent static. Sometimes he's introducing a song, sometimes he's announcing the weather, sometimes he's talking about nothing. But it's always the same: His voice. That static. The desperate reach for the snooze button. It's been the same way since Christmas of last year, when we got this alarm clock.

The only thing that changes in my morning rousing is the room around me. The position of the sun, the amount of light or lack thereof coming through the white blinds. The room is either flooded with light or terribly dark when we wake, depending on the season. Right now, we're in the transition. The sun is hesitant, barely peeking into our room when we wake. Like he's not sure he wants to see us yet, either. It feels more like dusk than dawn in our bedroom these days. Bright enough to function, but cozy enough in its dim lighting to settle back into the covers and sleep longer.

It's also colder. I open my eyes to the air of our room and know that freeing myself from the cocoon of blankets I'm in will be miserable. I know it's like Antarctica on the other side of those sheets, and I don't want to expose my skin to the freezing temperatures. So I hit snooze one more time and roll into Billy, whose sleepy lips kiss my smooth forehead. He pulls me in closer to him there, in sleep, and we lay like that until the alarm screams again. I look at the blinds, survey the position of the sun, feel the air of the room with my face, then make the decision to hit snooze just this last time.

When the clock tells me I have less than 45 minutes to get ready and go, I begrudgingly heft myself from the supple mattress and high-thread count sheets and The Urchin we're surrounded in. One leg, then the other, flops over the side of the mattress and onto the floor. I search for my morning coat in the semi-darkness. I make sure the alarm is set for Billy's wake up time. I head out into the hallway, on my way downstairs to make the coffee.

I leave Billy's travel mug, full of prepared coffee, on the table on his side of the bed. I kiss his warm face before I leave the room, and I head out to take my shower. When I return, Billy is always sitting, half-propped by pillows, coffee in hand, remote pointed at the television. He smiles when I walk in, hot pink towel wrapped around my head. That smile makes my morning, every morning.

"Good morning, baby," he says sweetly, his eyes soft, his face sweet. All mine.

It always is.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Welcome Back

Some things that I've done in my brief and unfulfilling absence from blogging:

1) I had my nails done on Thursday. And, in a totally asshole move, I let my phenomenal nail lady (or nail technician, or whatever she wishes to be called) go ahead and paint little candy corns all over my nails - at my request - only to decide, when she was three-quarters finished, that I didn't like them after all, and could we take them off and just leave my nails plain? I'm a jerk.

2) After my nail appointment, I blasted my awesome Jojo CD all the way from the nail salon to my parents' house, where my grandmother Zana was waiting. She hasn't been here in over a year, and I was really excited to see her.

So I got to my parents' house, walked in, dropped my purse on the couch, and Zana and I started walking toward each other to embrace hello. My mom exploded in laughter behind Zana. After our hug, we asked my mom what the hell was so funny. "You should've seen you two walking toward each other," she howled. "It was like you were both on a runway or something." She got up then and demonstrated the hip-heavy walk Zana and I both employ. One hip at a time rolling to some imaginary sexy beat that we have playing in our heads. We are a lot alike, Zana and I.

3) After dinner with my parents' and my grandmother, I went home. It was only nine, and time for my favorite show, Grey's Anatomy. BUT. I have made a promise to Billy that I won't watch it without him, so I turned on the TV, but wanted to change the channel. In order to do so, though, the DVR told me I had to stop one of my recording programs - either Grey's or CSI. So, naturally, I stopped CSI, checked to make sure Grey's was still recording, changed the channel to some background music and went about messing with my computer.

Billy got home somewhere around 11 from work, and we nestled into bed, preparing to watch one of our favorite shows. And, much to my horror, my DVR recorded Grey's "From 9:00pm - 9:00pm." I sat bolt-upright in bed, furious with my DVR. The DVR's little lights twinkled with evil as it doubled over in maniacal laughter. The DVR thought it would be funny to not record my favorite show. I didn't see the humor. So I spent the rest of the night being mad at the DVR, and the DVR spent the rest of the night pretending it didn't know why I was upset and asking me what was wrong. I gave it the cold shoulder. But, anyway, it knew I would forgive it if it recorded my Wedding Story episode scheduled for the next day. That DVR really treats me like crap, but I can't help it: I love it. I just can't leave.

4) Friday night, I purchased my first song from iTunes. It was truly a gratifying experience.

5) Why did I buy music when I could just pirate it, you ask? Because I am a law-abiding citizen, thankyouverymuch.

Actually, it's because I'm afraid to download limewire onto my laptop. And we have limewire on our desktop computer anyway, so if I NEED a free song or two, I'll just get it there. But, also, iTunes gives me the album artwork and whatnot, so that's good.

6) I kicked up my OCD a notch on Friday, too, when I went ahead and categorized all of my music into genres.

See, half of the songs I have on my iPod are songs from my many burned CDs. And when I import those songs, they just come up as "Track __," with no artist name. So I've spent many a night titling songs and artists and albums in order to make my iPod library as beautiful and user-friendly as possible. Friday, I went a step further and added their Genres. There's no telling what I'll do next.

7) I'm already up to over 400 songs, and rapidly running out of space (I only have space for 500), and I haven't even put a dent in my CD collection.

8) I had an awesome Friday night. Some girls and I went to my friend's house for some dinner and many drinks, and from there we went to the Sussex County Fair Grounds for their haunted house/haunted hayride.

There's something wildly exciting about that sort of attraction when you've had a few cosmos. You're scared more easily, you laugh more freely, you just have an all-round good time. I don't remember the last time I laughed that much.

Dressed in our winter weather gear, we rode a rickety cart of hay for fifteen minutes through open fields and empty stables, where various scary creatures jumped out at us. We were chased by a chainsaw-wielding maniac, a graveyard owner tripped over a bail of hay while trying to grab us, and some unidentified creepy guys were ON the ride with us, staring and screaming at and trying to startle us.

It was divine in its simplicity. At one point, we drove through a "graveyard" at lighting speed. And a character jumped out of the woods, TRYING to scare us, only the driver of the tractor was going too fast. So he just sort of stood there, in the middle of the road, disappointed that he didn't get to scare anyone.

"We totally just passed that guy!" My friend said from beside me.

I looked back and laughed at him there. "Oh, he's all sad. Hey guys? What about me? Hey? Guys?"

My friend laughed, added, "'Guys? It's me. Freddy? Freddy Kreuger? Hello? Guys?'"

Good times.

9) We put on a good show, but we were genuinely scared at points. Two of my friends and I went through the haunted house with arms locked, walking at lighting speed, desperate to just get out of there. We laughed our way through the hayride, but we all suffered one injury or another from jumping and scampering from one bail of hay to another in accordance with our Fight or Flight Response. Apparently, we are all Flyers.

10) Saturday, I did not have to work. So instead, I slept until 11, and played on my computer immediately upon waking.

11) I didn't even put PANTS on until 2 in the afternoon.

12) I cleaned my house, because my mom said Zana wanted to come over and see Billy's paintings live and in person. I knew that if I didn't vacuum my room and straighten up everywhere, she would either disown me, or her head would just explode, right there, in my house. And we can't have that. Either one.

13) Billy met Zana for the first time on Saturday.

Zana is not your typical grandmother. She does not wear mumus or puffy-painted sweatshirts. She doesn't smell like mothballs, and her hair is not white. In fact, she's very fashionable, always dressed well, always wearing makeup, always in heels. She loves to dance and loves to laugh, and she loves to drink. We are, as I said, a lot alike. She's also quite liberal in many ways, and when you get her drinking, she says some things that catch you quite by surprise.

A conversation over dinner about art led to a conversation about nudes, which led to a conversation about Zana's career as a photographer taking nude photographs, which led to Billy painting nudes, which, somehow, inexplicably, led to a conversation about sex. With my dad there.

After dinner, Billy and I stepped outside to smoke. He relaxed his shoulders and let out a long exhale, checking the imaginary watch on his wrist. "Let's see," he said. "Yup. Not even here a half hour and your grandmother asked me about my sex life. Yeah. That's awesome."

I laughed. "I told you."

I thought it was uncomfortable watching a nude scene with his mom. Poor Billy, being asked about his experiences. With my dad there. He, mercifully, declined to answer (a move made easier by my leaping in to change the subject). That trumped my experience.

14) I told Billy, somewhere around 11, that he was forbidden from falling asleep. "I know you're tired," I said to him while we stood on the porch, "but you cannot fall asleep. We'll leave in, like, ten minutes, okay?" He nodded as we went inside.

We sat on the couch, and my mom, dad, Zana and Billy got involved in some conversation.

15) I fell asleep. Ha!

16) Sunday, Billy and I did nothing. We watched Grey's Anatomy online, and lounged around together in our newly-cleaned bedroom.

17) We left the house at five, where we met my family for dinner at a restaurant.

18) Zana and I split a bottle of wine.

19) I realized that I'm more like her than I ever thought I was. In more ways than heels and makeup and wine.

20) I missed blogging.

More to come later.
I've had my downtime, and now I'm back.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Excuses are Lame, but I'm Making One

I just want something more. I don't know what it is, why a part of me is empty somehow. It's a feeling that makes me want to run away and be by myself. Because the only way I can fantasize about what I wish I had is when I'm alone. And I'll walk through a mall or a restaurant or drive down a highway, and pretend I'm rich, pretend I'm married, pretend I'm someone else. Because it's so freeing to be walking around where no one knows you. No one in the Rockaway mall knows I date Billy. They don't know who he is. They don't know where I work. They don't know my family. They don't know me. And it feels so good, so unburdened.

What am I burdened by, you ask? I have no idea. Everything in my life is really good right now. There are a few things I'd change if I could, but nothing is horrible. Nothing is weighing me down, noting is making me miserable. Yet I still feel heavy, tired of fighting, tired of feeling like I'm never doing enough. Like I'm not enough.

I don't know why. I just know that I watch other people get what I want and it kills me. And I don't just mean book deals and oodles of money. I mean less tangible, more obtuse things.

Billy told me last night that my last post sounded like I was "complaining." And I tried to explain that I wasn't complaining, I was just writing. It was supposed to be funny. But we couldn't agree. And, at the end of the conversation, what irritated me wasn't that we couldn't agree on the tone of what I'd written, but that I was defending it again. MY writing. MY blog. Something that I'M proud of. Why am I constantly defending it? Why am I constantly ashamed to bring it up? Ashamed to admit I'm proud of it? Ashamed that it's even there?

I'm not writing very well anymore. I moved a really good post because I was afraid my ex would see it and get mad. I worry constantly that I'm going to offend someone. This site isn't even my own anymore. It belongs to everybody else. It belongs to the people whose opinions I value. It belongs to an ex that I'm still, apparently, afraid of. They're my words, but I don't own them.

You know when I was good? Back in the early days, when no one I knew knew that I had a blog. When I had three readers. When I was unafraid and still hiding behind a veil of pseudo-anonymity. And now, everything but my last name is out here. And I love it. I love that I've met incredible people through this blog. I love that I'm part of a little sub-culture that understands me. The hard part is the people I know in real life tuning in. Not because I want to bitch about them, but because it's hard to read something from any other point of view than how I intended it to be read. And the last thing - the last thing - I want to do is hurt anyone's feelings. And, as far as I know, I haven't. I'm just hyper-aware that it's always a possibility.

I'm not saying I'm quitting, I'm just saying it's going to take me a bit to get back in the swing of things. To remember that I started this for me, and I should continue it for me. To realize that if I want to write, I have to understand that not everyone is going to love it. I'll snap out of this soon. It'll just take me a few days.

In the meantime, thanks for sticking around.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

I Don't Want to Talk About Anything But Laptops.

**I wrote this at 11:30 last night in bed. I thought I hit publish before I closed down. Ha! I didn't! I hit save instead! Apparently, I need more sleep and less wine. Shocker.**

1) Billy came home on tonight, and we went through our nightly ritual where I sit on the bed fucking around with my laptop, finding something - anything - that will keep me on the internet as long as possible, and he changes from work clothes into pajamas.

His disrobing routine is always the same, too. Tie first (of course), then he unbottons his shirt, revealing the white t-shirt underneath. He then takes the button down shirt off, examines it (I don't know why he does that, exactly), then takes it over to the laundry hamper.

Tonight, he took said shirt to said hamper, went to throw the shirt in and stopped. The blue button-down hovered in mid-air, and he looked at me. "Uh, babe? What are we doing with all of these clothes here?"

"They're dirty," I said, refusing to look up from my hotmail inbox, which I was refreshing for the eighteenth time. "I have to wash them."

He didn't move. "What?" I said, finally looking up. "You have, like, a million more shirts right there in the closet. You have plenty of things to wear." I know how many shirts he has, because all of those shirts are taking up closet space that could be mine. So I am acutely aware of just how many shirts he has, and even MORE aware of how many of those shirts he doesn't wear.

The look he gave me suggested he was disgusted that I've waited this long (a week) to do some laundry. Not disgusted enough to do any laundry himself, but disgusted nonetheless.

2) For no less than two weeks, I have had a leaf stuck to the antenna of my car. It's a little baby leaf, who died before its prime, just wrapped around my antenna like they're in love or something. I keep expecting it to blow off, but it just never does. And every time I see it there while I'm driving, I make a mental note to pluck it from my antenna as soon as I park. But I never remember. And even though I've obviously remembered right now, I'm in bed, face washed and clothes off, so you can pretty much bet on the fact that my ass is not going anywhere.

3) My ass should, however, probably be downstairs right now. Because Billy is down there with some family and some friends. And what am I doing? That's right: Laying in bed with the lights off, a glass of wine on the nightstand, cigarettes next to me, laptop on my, uh, lap, fucking around on the computer. And I'd better not hear any shit about it. Because I TOLD him that getting me a laptop pretty much sealed the deal when it came to me never leaving the bedroom.

4) Is it wrong that I don't want to talk to anyone right now? Even Billy? I don't know why...But I DO know that speaking to anyone in a way that does not involve a keyboard is out of the question. Because speaking, actually having a conversation with someone right now, could be dangerous.

5) I don't know why, but I'm extremely bitchy right now. It could be the fact that I haven't gone to bed before one in the morning for the past three nights, yet still had to get up before seven every morning. Which, I know, to some of you young whipper-snappers out there seems like a good night's sleep, but for ME? Not so much. It's like torture. So I'm cranky and tired and dying to go to sleep, yet I'm still fucking around on my laptop. Go figure.

6) I have to go to bed.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Because I don't really have anything else to say...

Does anyone else find it extremely odd that, in this whole scuttlebutt about how Madonna may or may not be adopting an African kid, the orphan's father is saying that, yes, Madonna is adopting his one year old son?

Isn't "orphan's father" a bit contradictory? I mean, doesn't the fact that the kid is an orphan mean that he doesn't have a father?

And, if the kid has a father who obiously knows him, why is he up for adoption? And no one finds this troublesome? That the kid's father is saying, yeah, I just gave up my son to an American pop singer? The whole thing is just weird, don't you think?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Motrin, a Miracle Worker

I was going to take a picture of my toe and put it up here...But it was just too gross. Even for me. And it's my toe. Also, I'm not a huge fan of my feet, so having a photo shoot and posting them on the internet didn't seem all that exciting.

But, as it is, my toe is killing me. It throbs, making me aware of my jagged little toenail. I wrapped it in some surgical tape and gauze this morning, and decided that I'd go ahead and wear heels anyway...Until Billy forbade me from leaving the house with open-toed shoes on, lest I smack my big and clumsy toe into something else, which would be sure to put me in more pain than I already am.

So I smushed my wrapped toe into the flat, pink shoes I bought for Belize and headed to work. Once there, I realized that my bandage was too thick, and re-wrapped my toe no less than four times.

But, between the constant wrapping and the squishing of said toe into said shoe, my foot began to throb. I tried elevating it, I tried ice, and nothing alleviated the pain. Until, finally, it occurred to me: Motrin! The drug that relieves me of my monthly period pain! Why hadn't I thought of this sooner!

And you know what? It worked. My toe felt positively delightful. I mean, sure, my foot is still swollen and achy, and it's sort of hard to bend my toes, but at least it felt better.

I'm fairly certain it's not broken, as it's only bruised around the garish toenail, and it's possible to bend my toe with the aid of my hand. It doesn't hurt when I do it, it's just that the puffy skin won't allow me to bend it by sheer force. So I think that's a good sign.

My Motrin started to wear off about an hour ago, but I've started drinking wine, so I feel much better. I think I'll survive this after all.

Monday, October 09, 2006

The Weekend and Today in Review, List Style

1. I finally cleaned out my car this weekend. One full trash bag later, and you can actually see the floorboard in my passenger side.

2. It's crazy, though, the things I'm unwilling to remove from the confines of my car, just in case. I have a bag with three notebooks in it, all empty for the most part, just in case I'm driving down the road and the urge to write strikes. I have a broken tire jack, and old lug nuts also in my car. And, for some reason, I think it's wisest to save them there in my backseat. In case I need them? That doesn't even make sense, yet I refuse to throw them out or even take them inside.

3. BUT. I did take out all of my CDs and pile them on my bed for organization purposes. It's amazing how much space there is in my four-door 4Runner with just those CDs gone.

4. Damn, I have a lot of music.

5. I downloaded iTunes and set to the task of putting some of my music onto my computer. But, um, apparently, computers are a little more overwhelming and scary when it's your computer (that you love and cherish) than they are when they're your boss's computers. Because I was terrified to do anything. Instead, I went ahead and very carefully fiddled around with the music Billy had put on there when he gave it to me. For at least an hour, I played with the stupid thing, trying to figure out how to import music into iTunes and load said music into my Nano. How many songs are on my iPod now, you ask? Three. I know, it's impressive. Don't be jealous of my computer prowess.

6. Yesterday, I went into New York City with Billy and some of his family and saw this exhibit. It was incredible. (Please, click the link.)

7. What was not incredible is that it seemed, no matter where I went in the exhibit, I was confronted by some know-it-all. One guy was either a doctor, or had just been to the exhibit about a thousand times. Because, at every turn, he was explaining to his lady friend each and every display. "This is the only pair of real eyes here," "That's the kidney," "That's the spleen. Most people don't even know what a spleen is, or that they have one, but it's such an important organ..." He never stopped. The thing was, all of that information was contained on the little placards by every item. And his announcing everything made it hard for me to read. He clearly thought he was the awesomest.

I have this thing, at any museum or exhibit, or even with plain ol' TV: I don't want to talk. And I don't want to be talked to. I hate it. I just like to look, or watch, or admire, in silence. I don't want to hear your commentary, or your insight, or even your opinion. I just want to look. I even broke away from Billy somewhere in the first twenty minutes, because I didn't want to hear anything. I just wanted to take it in. But I couldn't get away from this guy. He was everywhere.

8. Other than that, it was pretty fucking awesome. There was all of this information to take in, and all of these neat little facts to learn. (Did you know that a woman is born with all of the eggs she will ever have in her life?) The bodies were mostly male, except toward the end, where they showed a dissected fat woman (Of course, the first woman we see in the exhibit is an example of obesity. Thanks.), and then in the reproductive room. I was especially infatuated with that part of the exhibit, with the ovaries and the cervix and the uterus, in light of my recent drama with all of those parts. I couldn't believe how small the ovaries were, and I couldn't believe how big my cyst had to have been in comparison to the uterus (They actually had a huge ovarian cyst on display. It totally trumped mine.). It was really amazing. Wonderful.

9. And what not wonderful was my decision to wear my highest pair of stilettos. I was fine through the exhibit, but the balls of my feet started to ache a little just as we exited, a full three hours after we got there. That's three hours of standing, people. That's torture. So, after the exhibit, we went to lunch. And to help soothe my savage feet, I indulged in a little Sangria. Okay, a lot. "Feet? What feet?"

10. I knew we'd be walking through the museum, but since that was already behind me, I was sure I was in the clear. I did not know that we'd be walking the, oh, million blocks to Canal Street to shop for fake purses. All was well until the buzz wore off, and suddenly, my feet burned with the force of a thousand angry bees. And then I realized we'd have to walk back. I wanted to cry, but didn't.

11. Walking through Chinatown, down Mott Street toward Canal (where all the good fakes are), a tall, slim Asian man approached us. He wasn't a vendor, just a man on the street. And, in a hushed voice, he leaned into me and said, "You want bags? Gucci, Fendi, Prada? We have all of them." Relying on my savvy street smarts, I ignored him and looked worriedly at Billy, hoping that he would protect me, lest the street peddler try to snatch my (actually real) purse. Of course I wanted a fake bag, but I figured I'd just bargain with a vendor on the street.

Billy heard the man's whispered announcement and asked where these fakes were. The man got an excited look on his face, tucked the photo of purses he was extending into his pocket, and told us to follow him. And we did. Down two blocks, and into a building. Billy stopped at the door, and shook his head. "I don't know about this," he said. "C'mon," urged one of his kin. There were seven of us. Strength in numbers.

So we climbed three flights of stairs behind the guy, who led us to a door that announced another kind of business entirely. He buzzed, and when the door opened, it was like heaven.

Bags and bags and bags. Of every designer. Every color. Every design. Oh, it was marvelous. Coach, and Gucci, Prada and Fendi...They hung from the wall, begging to be bought. And then, I saw it. Chanel.

Oh, the love I have for the house of Chanel. So classic. So beautiful. So very elite. I fingered the leather of the purses, bypassing the gaudy bright blue bags, their signature interlocking Cs visible for miles. I like something a little less obnoxious, a little more subtle.

And there it was, hanging on the wall, behind a garish baby pink number with a fat CHANEL embroidered on it. It was a black, a soft leather with thick braided straps. Its insides were suede, a quiet "chanel" logo on the inside pocket. The front of the bag was demure, the signature quilting was soft, quiet, in gray stitching. The large interlocking Cs weren't loud or obnoxious. They were soft, too. It was perfect. The zipper was smooth. It smelled good. It fit over my shoulder perfectly, with enough space to fit comfortably even when wearing a coat. It was perfect.

One hundred and forty five dollars.

For a fake bag? Are they kidding? I couldn't believe it. And everywhere we went: Same thing.

"Your gilfrind," they said to Billy, "she have good taste. That new Chanel. From Japan. Good quality. One hundred forty five dolla."

Billy asked for a better deal.

"For you? One thirty."

I expected to spend $40, total.

Needless to say, I left emptyhanded.

12. This morning, not only did I get to work on time, but I managed to remember my gym bag! Which, to some, may not be so awesome, but I made a promise to myself this weekend to get to work on time and to start going to the gym regularly again.

13. HOWEVER, my gym bag is useless now, because I just ripped the toenail off of my big toe.

You know how you should be careful on stairs? Especially when you're wearing your little flip-flop type shoes, with the three-and-a-half inch heel? Especially when there's a little lip on the shoe that extends beyond your toes? A lip that is prone to get caught on things like, oh, say, stairs? Yeah, I forgot about that. So I ran up the stairs here at work to answer the phone, the lip on my shoe caught the step, and down I went. Only, I thought I'd broken a fingernail. I inspected my hand as I reached for the phone, and saw it was fine.

It was only after I'd answered that I noticed the throbbing coming from my toe.

Shock is a wonderful thing. Because I didn't feel the toenail being ripped from its bed, and I didn't even really notice the pain until I saw the blood. It was at that point that I started shaking involuntarily, my face contorting because of a pain so great that I thought I may pass out. But I held through the conversation I was having with a customer, waiting until I hung up to scream "FUUUUUUCK," rip off my shoe, and hobble over to the bathroom. My coworker got me ice as we wondered what the hell I would do to my toe. We decided that the best course of action would be to glue the nail (that ripped and uprooted down the middle, but is still inexplicably attached on both sides. I don't fuck around when I'm going to hurt myself. I do it right.) back together and just let it grow out. Which I will do later. But for now, I'm just sitting at my desk with a bag of ice on my toe, letting it go numb. As I have been doing for the last hour.

14. Thirty minutes later, my coworker caught her fingernail on a box and broke it about halfway down the bed. Awesome.

15. It's a bad day for nails of any variety here at the office.

16. My ankle hurts.

17. I think I'm going to go home, curl up with my laptop and a bottle of wine and call it a day.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Before the Fall

"This is my life," she says as we drive down her driveway. She points at the trees and the fallen leaves that surround the house. "I'm in the autumn of my life."

Her hair matches the color of the rusty leaves around us as she shakes her head and giggles.

"Mom, what do you mean, autumn?" I crinkle my eyebrows and cock my head, confused.

"I mean," she says, turning on her blinker and coming to a stop, "that I'm in my fifties. It's my fall. Still pretty, but we're on our way to winter."

I shake my head, rid myself of the thoughts of mortality she's inspiring. "But fifty is young, you're not on your way to winter."

"Yes I am, Laurie," she shifts into first and pulls forward, the tires sliding over the leaves that litter our road. "But I'm okay with that."

"This conversation is a bit morbid, I think," I say, reaching for the bottle of Dr. Pepper I brought along. "I don't want to talk know...dying."

"I'm not saying I'm dying. I'm not saying it's coming any time soon. But, you know, when you reach a certain age, you realize that you're not getting any younger. And you realize that you pretty much know what's left. And now, I'm ready. Because I can look back at my life and say it was good. It was satisfying. I have a wonderful husband, I have two beautiful kids. I have a house, I drive my dream car. I've traveled, I've seen some amazing things. If my winter is coming, I'm ready. Because I've done all I wanted to do."

Fall takes its sweet time fading into winter. It starts long before we notice it, the slight shift in the air that makes the leaves turn rusty, the dry soil that makes them go gold. We don't notice it until we're driving down the road and see an explosion of canary, a blur of crimson. And we make promises, to drive north and appreciate it, to see the trees of Vermont, the painted hillsides that line the interstate. We marvel at the colors as they spin from green to yellow, to amber, to red.

It's the most beautiful season of the four, but we take the colors for granted, and before we know it, the veined and brittle leaves line our streets and parking lots, no longer hanging onto the trees for our viewing pleasure. Trees are naked and twisted, their skeletons exposed, bared for winter. Very rarely do we appreciate the fall. We let the autumn pass us by and realize, too late, that it's winter.

It's extraordinary that she sees it, that my mom slows down enough to look around, take in the changes and appreciate them. I hope I appreciate the beauty of my fall, too, rather than just anticipating winter.

Friday, October 06, 2006


They dubbed this "The Year of Technology" for me after I opened my dad's gift. I cradled my cute little ipod Nano in my hands and laughed while I agreed with them. First the laptop, then an ipod? How would I keep up with all these fancy new things?

I gave Billy an ipod for Christmas. I perused the Apple store for the right model for him, and while I caressed the slender electronics, I wondered whether or not I should invest in one for myself.

I set the sleek black ipod back into its holder on the store's counter. Nah, I reasoned, I have satellite radio, I don't need an ipod. I mean, sure it would be nice to have all my music in one place, rather than having to dig through all of my CD cases to find my music, but I pay Sirius money every year for convenient music. And, yeah, it would be nice to have an ipod at the gym, since my old-school walkman skips with my every step on the treadmill...But, hey, the way I'm doing it now works just fine. I don't mind making my workout CDs. I kind of enjoy it, in fact.

But, after Christmas, while Billy learned about his new toy, while we downloaded every song we could ever remember enjoying to fill up his 7,000 song capacity, I'll admit: I was jealous. I loved it on car rides, and could only imagine the ease with which I could create work-out, driving and love song mixes. I envied all of it, the way it was organized, its convenience. I wanted one.

So when I opened the tiny box from my father, which I had suspected was jewelry, I was thrilled. I immediately thought of the songs I could listen to at the gym, while I was sweating my way through an hour of cardio. And I couldn't believe my dad had knew would enjoy it.

The little OCD girl that lives inside of me is having a field day with this, the thought of organizing all of my music onto my new computer, and downloading that onto my new ipod. I'm even more elated to organize those songs into little lists with names like, "Work it, Bitch" for the gym and "Breaking up is hard to do" for my much-loved breakup songs.

I may be bad at blogging for the next few days while I tinker with my new toys.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Blogging from the Bedroom

"Can I open it now?" I said, cradling the box beneath my arm.

Billy stirred, looked first at the clock, and then at me. "Of course you can. It's your birthday present," he squinted again at the clock: 7:14, my standard wake-up time on workdays. "And it's your birthday. So, of course."

I positioned myself on my side of the bed, giving Billy enough room to sit up from his slumbering position. I carefully plucked at the tape on the wrapping paper, freeing the edges of the blue paper.

"Just rip it," Billy said, his voice still quiet from sleep. I obliged, happily tearing the paper from the heavy box.

What it revealed was only brown cardboard, and I looked at it, confused. "Keep going," Billy urged.

I opened the box, exposing yet another one. I looked at him, unsure. Half asleep, he nodded at me to continue. And as I pulled the smaller box from the tight clutches of the larger one, I saw it.
"You didn't," I whispered, my voice stifled with disbelief. And I tore the box open, eager to see its contents.

There it was: A laptop.

I slid the silver and black computer from its styrofoam protection and looked at Billy again. Tears came to my eyes immediately. "I can't believe it," I said. "Oh my God. Thank you so much."

I turned my head to look at him, buried in blankets, a cocoon of beige surrounding him. He smiled. "Do you like it?"

"I love it." My voice was far away and dreamy, still shocked at what I held in my hands. "Can I...Can I turn it on?"

"Yeah," he said, sitting up and reaching for his coffee. He sounded excited. Not as excited as me, but excited. "It should be charged."

And so I hit the power button, letting my new machine come to life. It sang as it woke, the all too familiar Widows anthem blaring from tiny speakers hidden somewhere within the notebook. I looked at Billy again, covering my mouth with my robe. I didn't want him to see my mouth contorting into tears, the way my lips were fighting the tears with a full smile. It couldn't have been pretty. "Thank you so much," came my muffled voice.

"Let it sit for a minute," he said, taking a sip of his coffee.

I removed my hands from the smooth keys and did as he said. "Baby, thank you so much. I can't believe it."

"You're welcome." I leaned in to kiss his sleepy mouth, sorry for waking him on his day off, but at the same time glad I had. He returned my kiss, his full lips meeting my own, accepting my gratitude.

The screen went black for the screen saver. Happy Birthday, Larry scrolled across the screen. I laughed out loud and looked into his face, my eyes brimming, my heart full.

"It's all set up for you." He nodded toward the computer. "It's got Word and everything...It even has music."

I shook my head, as though trying to wake myself from a dream. "I have to go get a router, like, today," I said, digging in the start menu for the music he'd mentioned.

He leaned over the side of his bed and produced a second wrapped box.

"Is that a router?" I asked, though I knew the answer already.

He laughed. "Open it."

And it was.

"I must be a huge geek," I laughed, revealing the router's box beneath the paper, "to get this excited over a computer."

"You are," he assured me.

But it wasn't the computer itself that had me excited, full of tears and thank yous. It was the fact that I'd never asked for a laptop. I'd wanted one, but I'd never asked him for it. I asked for shoes and purses for my birthday, for jewels and DVDs; not a laptop. But he'd been watching, all those times I flipped through electronics flyers, searching for a laptop I could afford. He'd listened when I talked about how nice it would be to write from the comfort of my bed, whenever the mood strikes. He'd paid attention to all of it.

I couldn't keep the smile from consuming my face as I rushed to him and covered his face in kisses, my arm wrapped around his warm body. "Thank you," I whispered into his neck, his chest. "Thank you so much."

And when I withdrew, looked at him to make sure he understood how grateful I was, I saw on his face a gift better than the newly unwrapped present on the bed: He was happy. He was genuinely happy, it seemed, having done something that gave me such bliss.

And I wondered, how did I get so lucky? How did I find a man that I thought only existed on TV, in the movies, in romance novels. A man who will do something for me simply because he knows I'll love it, who delights in making me happy. A man who takes the time to think of something I'll really love, really use, really appreciate.

"I may never leave the bedroom now," I said, touching the wide screen lightly.

"I thought you'd rather write here than downstairs."

That comment sank through my skin, made me stop and marvel and what I have. We may disagree, and we may see things differently sometimes, but he knows me, and what's important to me...And it's important to him to make me happy. And I couldn't ask for a better gift.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Hands Down, This is Best Day of the Year

Not to take anything away from Christmas, or New Year, or Thanksgiving or anything...but


I've said it before, I'll say it again: I love my birthday. I love it more than a normal person should. Like the six year old I was twenty years ago, I get excited for this day weeks in advance. I announce it to everyone, I look forward to it with the giddy anticipation of a child. On my birthday, I'm all smiles and love and cheer. I don't know what it is, I just love my birthday.

Maybe it's because, growing up, my family made a huge deal out of everyone's birthday. My mom got excited for me before I knew enough to be excited. My parents always made me my favorite foods, gave me gifts and cards and made the whole day about me. They did it for my brother, and they do it for each other. Birthdays have always been an event with my family.

I'm getting older, sure. And I've heard people say things like "Every birthday after 21 sucked." I've heard people dreading any birthday that pushes them closer to thirty. But, here I am, now a 26 year old, only four years to go till thirty, and it just feels awesome. I hope that I never lose my love of my birthday, or get to a point where I don't want to celebrate it because it's "just another day." It's not. It's my BIRTHDAY. It's a reason to celebrate. And it's a reason to celebrate just being yourself. What's better than that?

In addition to the fact that it's my birthday, which makes this day awesome enough, Billy got me a laptop. And wireless capability. Which means I may now never leave my bedroom. It also means I can blog from home, I can upload my pictures more often, I can write. This may be the perfect gift.

Add that to the fact that my boss gave me vodka, and this may be the best day ever. And it's only 9:30 in the morning.

I'll write more later, about how happy Billy makes me, about how awesome my family and friends are, about my Birthday Eve celebration last night, and probably more. But right now, I'm just so happy, I can't bring myself to write anything besides this inane post about how it's my birthday, and I'm excited.

Happy Birthday to me!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Round is a Shape

For the first time in well over two months, I claimed my usual spot in the front of my Step/Sculpt class at the gym. I set up my step and chose my weights and grabbed a mat. I had my water, my towel, and even a paper towel, too. I was ready.

I stood on my step with two risers beneath the long, skid-proof surface, my heels positioned so that they hung over the edge and let my weight fall back. I stretched out my calves, my hamstrings, in preparation for the beating they were about to endure. I chatted with the ladies in my class, filling them in on my recent adventures to Mexico, to the hospital. I giggled and laughed and quipped my way through the ten minutes it took our instructor to walk into the room. Once she did, she greeted us with a cheerful hello and strode right over to the music and hit play.

Already? I thought, jumping in rhythm with the rest of the class. Where was the warm up, the stretching, the easing into this? It had been so long since I'd been there, I'd forgotten that we start, then stop to stretch, then we really go at it. No big deal, I thought, I can keep up. I've taken breaks longer than two months and had no problem getting right back into the swing of things.

Cut to thirty minutes later, where I was the one off of my step, panting and trying to catch my breath, while the rest of the class happily V-Stepped, A-Stepped and Over-and-Overed their way through class. Once I thought I had recovered sufficiently, I tried to jump back into it. No dice. My arms cried out under the four pound weights I was instructed to push up over my head. My thighs burned from the stepping up, from the squeezing, from the squatting. My lungs struggled to keep up through the jumping and the moving and hopping and rapid pace. I stepped off, and removed a set of risers from beneath my step, leaving me at Level One.

Oh, Step With Two Risers: Why do you mock me?

I've been going to the gym for three years, maybe four. I've quit classes and gone back many, many times in my entire career there. I've taken breaks that have lasted much longer than two months. I've given up altogether for periods of time so significant that the gym has deleted me from their system. But each time I went back, I pushed all the way through that same first step class, with two risers. TWO. I've never given up, I've never been the girl pacing the floor, trying to let her heart slow down. Last night, I was.

It's not so bad, I told myself. This break was the first time I ceased to do anything for the entire amount of time I was out. I had surgery, I convinced myself. I've been weakened. It's okay to have to develop stamina. I'm sure it has nothing to do with the cigarettes, the vodka, the wine, the ample amounts of chocolate I've been eating. It certainly doesn't have anything to do with the cold I still have. I couldn't have anything to do with the fact that I spent the entire class sniffling and wiping my nose to prevent any mucus-related embarrassment. I couldn't have anything to do with the cough that all that heavy breathing produced. No, that's not it. Clearly, I'm just weak now.

But I finished the class. I didn't do as many crunches as I'm used to, I didn't do the hardest modifications for every exercise like I usually do, but I finished. And I was proud of myself. The first step back to being in shape is always the hardest.

I was still congratulating myself on my success as I took my post-step-class shower. And that's when I felt it. The throbbing in my frontal lobe. The dull whomp-whomp-whomp sound that filled my ears when I bent over to shave my legs. The pinching right in between my eyes.

Ten minutes later, I was in bed, with the lights off, moving my body around to whatever position allowed me to be free of my headache for at least a minute. I popped a couple of Motrin. I buried my face in the many pillows on my bed. I wouldn't let myself cry over the pain because I knew that would only make it worse.

"Goddamn oxygen deprivation," I muttered as I flopped myself onto my stomach. "Why'd you have to try to be so tough? You could've started out easy, and moved onto the more difficult moves if you needed more, but noooo, you had to start off with the hardest and then go down to easy. Had to try to be a badass, didn't you?"

I fell asleep chastising myself.

Today, my headache is, blissfully, gone. But my calves, thighs, abs and arms are staging a protest against ever trying to be tough again.

Monday, October 02, 2006

"I Heart Flickr" and Other Declarations

This is my grandmother in a photo taken, ahem, a few years ago. My mom sent this and two other pictures to me a while ago, but I couldn't post them because blogger wouldn't let me. But now? Now, with Flickr, I can. (That sounds sort of like a line from an infomercial, doesn't it?)

I spent all day Friday on Flickr, uploading photos, writing little captions, organizing them into sets, you name it. I love this. I do. Flickr is my newest obsession. I think it could be unhealthy, the amount of time I've spent on that website, tagging and describing and looking around.

I guess this means I can actually start taking pictures again. And posting them. But I'm not about to make any promises that I can't keep.

In keeping with the general aimlessness of this post, can I just say that it's high time I cleaned out my car? I offered a friend a ride this weekend, and spent the better part of the drive apologizing for the stench of stale cigarettes and the mess of cigarette packs/fast food wrappers/magazines under her feet. I had to clean off the seat just to let her sit down. And, in doing that, threw roughly ten CD cases and three CaseLogic books into the back seat. The delicate jewel cases burst open on impact when they collided with the shit already in the back seat, and scattered thirty CDs around the rear of my 4Runner. And, in case you're wondering how 10 CD cases could possibly produce 30 loose CDs, I'll spell it out for you: I'm lazy, and hate digging for CDs in their appropriate cases (because, uh, why would James Morrison's CD actually be in the case with his name on it? That doesn't even make sense.), so I just pile each case high with as many CDs as it will hold at one time. This is really sort of a self-defeating process, as it requires I mentally back-track my CD playlist every time I want to hear something. "Where is that Ray LaMontagne CD? Hmmm. Well, I know I listened to the Fray last, which was right after Christina Aguilera, which was right after Jann Arden, which I put in after Ray LaMontagne. Which means the Ray CD should be in the Mary J. Blige case! Of course!" It's rough, I tell you. Really rough.

So I go through and clean out my car every so often. And, when I do, there is the ceremonial Putting of the CDs Back into Their Proper Jewel Cases, a process that takes me roughly four hours to complete, as things get so convoluted and messy in my car that I must empty all the cases and start from scratch. Because of this very faulty filing system of mine, I've lost a number of CDs to the abyss of my car. Jonny Lang's Wander This World is nowhere to be found, as is that one Ben Folds Five CD I bought about three years go. I keep hoping that one day, I'll glance under the floorboard carpeting that's lifting up and find all of my lost CDs sitting there, waiting anxiously to be played again.

And, let me say this: Walking into a bar and being immediately greeted by the yelps of joy and excited faces emanating from ten or so friends of yours is an experience we just don't have often enough in life. Saturday night, I went to a bar by myself. I was meeting people there, and I knew I'd be seeing people I knew there, but I wasn't prepared for the gleeful reception I encountered when I walked in. It was so nice, to walk into the hugs and kisses of people who love me for exactly who I am. That, hands down, was the best part of my weekend.

Unless I count yesterday, where Billy and I went out for our weekly sushi dinner at a restaurant about a half an hour from our house. Each week, we rotate drivers, and this week was my week to be the passenger. I got quickly and properly drunk on three glasses of Pinot, at which point I turned into a giggly, lovesick girl. It was luscious to be with him, not fighting or nit-picking; just talking and laughing, making the slow shift back into the couple we usually are: The happy couple.

Also, my birthday is on Wednesday! The countdown began about a month ago, when I started casually reminding Billy (EVERY DAY) that my birthday was thirty, twenty-seven, eighteen days away. Now, it's so close I can almost touch it. I'm so excited.

I love my birthday. Love. It. I thought that, once I passed 21, my birthday would lose some of it's appeal, but...Nope. Nope, it hasn't. It's the big 2-6 on Wednesday, and I'm just as excited as I was two days before I turned the big 1-6; and, then, I was going through the rite of passage that is The Driver's License Test. Somehow, I just never lost affection for the one day in the year dedicated to me and me alone. (And some other awesome fucking people.)

Be prepared for a lack of ability to focus on my part. Because all I'm thinking about right now is a cake with my name on it, and how I'll say "Today is my birthday!" about a million times on the 4th.