Party for one

This post could also be titled: Worms, it's what's for dinner.

Note to all of you: I'm feeling sorry for myself this week.

I recently bought some shelving for my dining room, and the other night I decided to hang them. To do this, it required I insert some drywall screws into the wall. The screws that came with the shelves were not the greatest quality and to get them started into the wall I drilled a starter hole. But when I was drilling, I only seemed to get through the drywall. Perplexed I wondered if I had hit a stud--I don't own a stud-finder, maybe why I'm still single, [bah-dum-bump].

It was around this time that the marinara jar dropped by to finally bring me back my house key and other assorted relationship remnants. As he was leaving, I mentioned that I was having issues hanging my shelf and he came back in to give it a try. He had the same issue, couldn't get farther than the drywall with the drill bit. He looked at the drill, gave the trigger a little pull, shook his head and then laughed at me. Then he gave me a look, a look I never wanted to get from him, he gave me a look of pity.

"You've got the drill set in the wrong direction."

I laughed, because of course that would be it. But after he left I just wanted to cry. I so wanted to be all, "see, I don't need anyone, especially you. Look what I can do myself. And I'm totally fine." And I was so not that way. And his look confirmed it.

I admit it. Later I did cry (and I like to blame PMS). I cried because I need to renovate my kitchen, and there's the renaissance girl in me that wants to do it all myself just to prove that I can, but I can't even drill a damn hole. I cried because what am I doing with my life? I cried because I'm lonely. I cried because did I even really want to hang those shelves in the first place. I cried because he looked at me like I was a helpless child. I cried because after I adjusted the drill to go the right way, the screw jacked up my wall. I cried because I have dear friends who are suffering worse pains than me and my silly little drill. I cried because I was tired. I cried just because.

I think I still have a little bit of a hangover from that party today, two days later.


Inconvenient and true

A few posts ago I admitted to seven little known facts about me. Well, I thought of another one today. Truth be told, I have no idea why I feel the need to share this. Maybe it's the Catholic in me hoping that if I give my confession this "sin" will be forgiven.

Note to self: Admitting you have a problem is the first step in solving it...

I like showers. Actually, I love showers. And I hate baths. Baths bore me. But showers, showers are the cat's pajamas. I could honestly stand in the shower, doing nothing, for a very very long time. And sometimes, I do. Cringe. I just like to stand there--after I've done all the duties in the shower like hair washing and conditioning, shaving, body washing--just standing there. And when my body gets used to the temperature, I make it hotter, and just stand there some more. A little voice inside my head says, "water is a precious resource and YOU ARE WASTING IT!" But the thought of getting out of the shower makes me want to cry, so defiantly I keep standing in the shower; take that little voice! And I try to justify it by saying that I typically only shower every other day, but that's not always true.

Some days, it seems as if it will take nothing less than Al Gore and his green cronies standing in my bathroom lecturing me on my wastefulness in his nasally drawl to finally turn the water off. Ooh, now the thought of that really makes me want to cry.

So I'm stuck in my shower and need to figure out why I love it so much and how I can maybe get that gratification somewhere else (like by doing my dishes... yeah, right), so I'm not such an eco-selfish-water-waster (did you just hear Al Gore's voice calling me that because I did).

PS--When I say "very very long time," we're only talking 10 minutes or so, however that's a good 7 minutes of standing around under the water.

The Greatest Hits

For the record, here's what I crooned--more like belted out--to the pre-Thanksgiving revellers at the Sawmill Saloon:

1. Anyway you want it--Journey (classic, gotta get it started with some Journey... that's the way you need it...)
2. Livin' on a prayer--Bon Jovi (as my mom would say, "Bon Jovi is HHHHHHHHOT!)
3. Sweet Caroline--Neil Diamond (did you know that song is about Caroline Kennedy? I read that last week)
4. Total eclipse of the heart--Bonnie Tyler (my voice was nice and raspy for this one)
5. Oh no! I don't even remember. You had to request two songs at a time, and I can't recall what I sang here, I just remember wanting to sing my last song so this one was a filler. But I bet you I killed!
6. Like a prayer--Madonna (my swan song)

When I finally do meet the man of my dreams, I sure do hope he appreciates the finer things in life like karaoke, dive bars, and the 80s!



I'm in a small town. Last year was the first time (since I was a toddler) that I've spent my Thanksgiving here. More on burgeoning traditions later, right now I've got another thing on my mind.

It turns out that the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is the "biggest party day of the year" here. Seriously, ask anyone on the street and they will utter that phrase word for word. Gotta love Wisconsin.

Last year, along with my parents, brother and sister-in-law, and handful of aunts, uncles, and cousins (we have a HUGE family), we hit up the bars on Main Street--who knew that the first one we visited would be the only one. Why, you ask? One word: karaoke.

I'm what some may call a karaoke fiend. And it's not so much that I can sing all that well. Sure, I can carry a tune, but I can sing loudly and I have absolutely no qualms about making a complete fool of myself in front of the crowd.

In the course of a couple of hours last year, I developed a nice little lounge act, complete with 10 songs, plugs for local businesses, and crowd participation activities. I made a name for myself, certainly my proclamation of "My name is Little Ms. Notetaker and I flew all the way from Seattle to sing for you!" helped. I was caught up in the moment... put a mic in my hand and who knows what you're going to get.

So it's one year later and time for my repeat performance. A few hours to go and I'm stuck thinking about what I'll sing and if I can use some of the same schtick from last year.

Note to self: You can't over-engineer the karaoke experience. You know this. Just let it flow.

Gotta go find me some lemon drops to suck on. These pipes need to be in tip-top shape.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Now boarding

Flying stresses me out. Flying during the busiest week makes me bite taste buds off my tongue.

I left home today for a Thanksgiving trip to the Midwest. Instead of begging a friend for a ride, I decided to be the conscientious little urbanite that I am and I took the bus. Since I moved away from home (the hermetically sealed WASPy suburbs), I've learned that public transportation is actually not that bad. Depending upon the bus you ride you can meet some interesting characters, but work subsidises an annual pass, so I figure why not go for free.

Although I have discussed at length my knack for procrastinating and living a just-in-time lifestyle, when it comes to getting to the airport, that is something I WILL NOT tolerate. I am always there so ridiculously early, but it makes me feel better sitting and waiting at the gate for an hour than staring at my watch counting each and every second in the security line hoping that by the time I make it to the gate, they'll still be boarding.

I left my house for a bus with plenty of time to spare (over 2.5 hours until flight time). I hopped on my local bus into downtown to catch the express to the airport. When the express pulled up 10 minutes late and overflowing with standing room only of holiday travelers, I panicked. Note to self: As trusty as public transportation can be, maybe, for my sanity, it shouldn't be a variable in the equation on the busiest travel days of the year.

The driver wouldn't let another woman and me on because he was over capacity. We contemplated sharing a cab, when another bus bound for the airport pulled up. However, this bus was not the express so it would take up to an hour to get there as opposed to the 20 minutes of the express (or even taxi). But it was free. But I would likely only be at the airport with just about an hour to spare. But it was free. Hmmm. Decisions.

The woman and I decided to try our luck with the bus. Therein began my neurotic commute to the airport. I immediately became "worst-case scenario girl," and called my aunt and my mom to let them know I probably wasn't going to make it back for Thanksgiving. Yes, I did make that call. And yes, it was a smidgen dramatic. But my logic was that if the airport bus was that packed, then the security line would be worse than the line for the Matterhorn during Disney's peak summer season--only there'd be fewer people snapping pictures and likely no french women with unshaven armpits bumping their sweaty bodies up against mine. The likelihood of me getting through that line in time was slim to none, and if I missed my flight (the last one on that airline for the day), there would be no way I could get on a flight tomorrow, I'm sure all of the flights are overbooked. So have a happy Thanksgiving and eat my share of grandma's mashed potatoes, I'm likely just going to cry my way back home. I was in such a frenetic state (calm and composed on the outside... but freaking out inside my head), that by the time we pulled up at the airport I was sweating and my heart was racing.

I full on sprinted into and through the terminal and when I summited the escalators to ticketing and security, there was nobody in the airport. Okay, gross exaggeration, but there was hardly anyone there. Where did all those people on the bus go?

I walked around the corner to security, and to my surprise, there was not a single person in line. Ou sont les dames francais? On one of the busiest travel days of the year, I walked right up to a TSA rep, in fact I had my choice of three. And, get this, I was there in enough time, that I hopped on an earlier flight--because it had several empty seats. And I even got a window seat.

Needless to say, I'll be eating my own share of grandma's mashed potatoes.


I think I just got dumber...

Guess what? It's the night before a trip and I haven't packed yet. And instead of hopping right on that (or on the assorted other things on my "to-do-before-you-leave" list), I have cracked a beer and plopped in front of the TV. But lucky for you I have my laptop in hand and will give you the play-by-play.

I am an infrequent TV watcher. In fact, I really only watch a couple shows regularly. I'd estimate TV viewing is less than 2 hours total each week. On principle, I don't have cable. So when I do watch TV, it's with rabbit ears--yes, Virginia, they do still make those. In this day and age of HD, LCD, and scenes so crystal clear, so crystal clear that I can't even come up with a good simile, I watch fuzzy TV with little squiggly lines that travel around the screen.

Despite the snow, and the lines, and the fact that it jumps from color to grey scale, does not stop me from getting completely sucked in. And if I happen to be somewhere where there is normal TV, or even dare I say it HDTV, boy howdy am I a goner (I'd like to give a shout out to my friends who recently got Direct TV, and the fact that it seems that I'm coming over more often for "dinner" is not at all related to exponential television viewing opportunities that have opened up before me). I will seriously watch anything, mouth agape, brain operating on negative mach speed, completely immersed.

Tonight it was the tail end of Inside Edition (Heather Mills was having a public breakdown), Final Jeopardy (What is smoking gun?), and How I Met Your Mother (okay, that's a guilty pleasure).

And now I'm at the end of my TV viewing/drooling while my brain goes numb time. Time to pack.

Note to self: Seriously, turn the TV off... wipe up the drool and close your mouth while you're at it.


Crud. I have to succumb.

Note to self: When in Rome...

So I know that there's this game of blog tag out there, and I've been officially tagged (secretly, I wanted to be tagged a good year before I started blogging. Oh, I'm such a nerd).

My VBFF from the second grade, the Iris Girl, got me. So here are seven little known facts about me:

1. My favorite smell is an old school hardware store. An Ace or True Value, you know the ones in smaller towns that also sell cards and random items. There's something about the smell in there (I usually am completely in it around the screws and nails section) that I just love.

2. When I was about 10 years old, I went in tears to my aunt and mother letting them know I had said the "c" word. Both of them were amazed that I knew what that word was. Clearly, they were thinking something else, because as I sobbed to them that I had said c-r-a-p to my brother they just laughed (the quote that is often recited back to me is, "I try so hard to be good--deep hyperventilating breath--but he just makes it so hard, mama."). My mom knew then and there that, she was very lucky to have such an innocent child.

3. It is practically impossible for me to leave my house in the morning without my bed made. I usually make it the second I hop out of it... accent pillows and all.

4. Before moving to Seattle, I had only slept in a tent two times in my life... and both times were in the backyard, and neither time did I make it through the night. I've become a little bit tougher and outdoorsy in my more advanced age.

5. When I'm stressed out, I bite taste buds off my tongue. I know this is gross. And I'm not sure why I do this, but have been doing it since I can remember. And I don't know if anyone knows this about me.

6. When I was younger I had imaginary friends. They were brother and sister and their names were C00koo and Baba. They were stick figures and they were fantastic. I could draw you pictures of what they looked like. When I started going to school (it was preschool at a farm, so cool!), and started to make real friends, I realized I didn't need them anymore. As a four-year old one day, I walked to the front door, opened it and closed it. My mom asked what I was doing and I told her that Cookoo and Baba had to go home. She said something to the effect that they would be back tomorrow, and I told her no. They had to go home for good. Their mom needed them there. Isn't the mind of little kids fascinating?

7. I have a secret desire to be on stage. Deep down, my secret career fantasy would be to be famous on Saturday Night Live (I so want to be Tina Fey). And in the spirit of seizing the day and not delaying life... there are some fun future posts that point this way.

So now I'm supposed to tag other people to participate in this share-o-rama. But I don't know that I know that many bloggers. So, if you blog, and you are reading this, and you have not yet been tagged, consider it done. Tell us seven interesting facts about yourself.



Hello. I am the pot and I am black. Oh, and I live in a glass house which is in no way conducive to my nasty habit of juggling rocks.

Remember how I went on and on about not getting a second date (even though I didn't really care about getting a second date with any of those guys)? Or remember how I had a second date this past weekend. Yeah, I thought so. Here's the deal. Date number two happened on Sunday and I'm not that into him. The hypocrisy comes into play because I'm using a few things as "excuses" for why I'm not that into him. Because I know you're itching for one of my longish posts, we'll dissect a couple of them:

1. He lives in a studio apartment--Okay, and yes, my last place was a pseudo studio apartment. However, it was a great space (and I had definitely created that feeling of separate rooms, and I made my bed and washed my sheets, and I LOVED that place), and you didn't open the front door and fall into the unmade boy bed. Nor did you have to crawl over said unmade boy bed to get between the living room couch where you will eat your meals and the kitchen. I know I'm being a complete snot when I say this, but I just feel like if you were trying to impress a girl on a second date maybe you would have at least made the bed which is the central focal point of your entire apartment. Or at least maybe done something to make it not look, feel, smell like a college dorm room. It's not so much the fact that he is living in a studio apartment (again, I LOVED my place), but the fact that it really didn't seem like he had much pride in his place or even in trying to impress me. Yes, I am shallow.

2. He made me lunch--Oh, and you all are going to have a heyday with this one. Is it abundantly clear that I do know that I'm a hypocritical brat for thinking this? Lunch consisted of boiling some Trader Joe's tortellini and opening up a can of marinara sauce and dumping it on top. Now, this is actually a common meal for me to make--for myself. And my friends reminded me later on Sunday, that I had actually toyed with the idea of having a dinner party on Sunday (to which this guy would have been invited) where I had also toyed with the idea of serving tortellini in a creamy tomato sauce. Once you stop laughing, you'll see that the difference is in the creamy tomato sauce. I have to saute garlic, boil the tomato sauce, gently stir in the cream, and add red pepper flakes. While it's not much more than opening a jar and dumping the contents on the pasta... it's a little something special.

3. He's too into me--I cringe at the fact that I just typed that. Yes, I did complain that none of those other guys were into me. Yes, I know.

What is wrong with me?!

Oh wait, I know what it is. Note to self: I don't think I'm ready for this yet. My last relationship (with the-jar-who-must-not-be-named) ended because he didn't feel a spark. And now, I'm looking for a spark, but am questioning everything I feel. "Was that a spark or just desperation?" "Was that a spark or have the two drinks finally kicked in?" "Was that a spark or am I just hungry?" See, if I had a spark with this guy, his apartment could probably smell like anything, and he could have made me PB and J, and I know I would have overlooked it. But because it's not there, and because I want it to be somewhere so badly, I've become the overly critical hypocrite.

Despite the fact that I don't think I'm ready for this, I continue to be completely obsessive compulsive on the online dating thing (because what if someone will be online and have e-mailed me now, or maybe now, or maybe now, or maybe now...). Despite the fact that I'm not that into him, I returned his call. And now I may have plans on Saturday. Hang on, friends, I have to go run and call the kettle...


A hand for my finger

I have a few posts brewing in my mind, but I have a little problem. I think I broke my finger, either that or I sprained it badly. So it's taking me a little longer to type this week.

It was at a flag football game, and sadly not even during the game, but in warm-up. I'll spare you most of the details except to say that I was at a party on Saturday where little smokies were served (uh huh, little smokies), and my finger looked frighteningly like one. A swollen sausage in the middle of my hand.

Oh, and it's my middle finger. Yes, I broke the bird. And I keep raising my hand to make the throbbing stop. Because the finger is in a giant silver splint, it's a little bit on the conspicuous side. When I raise my hand, sometimes my other fingers get tired, so I end up accidentally flipping everyone off. Oops.

Note to self: Don't underestimate the power you hold in your middle finger.

Did you know how involved your middle finger is in everything you do? Things like eating with chopsticks, the contact insertion and removal routine, tying your shoes, washing your hair. But the good thing is, my other fingers are really stepping it up (I'd like to thank ring finger for typing in the letters e, d, and c, otherwise all my sntns woul look lik this...).

Here's hoping the swelling subsides soon. Because, yes, I do have a second date about which to tell you.


What a girl really wants...

Who knew that my ramblings on my chronic first dating syndrome would get me thinking so much?

Note to self: Realationships are about interdependence, not independence times two.

While I can appreciate the argument that guys want to feel that they are providing for, or able to take care of, their partner--yes, I understand that is a primordial need--I find it really hard to let go of my independent ways. And in an effort to try and shed my "I can do it all" attitude, I came up with a list, albeit short, of the things where I'd LOVE to have someone to take care of me. So here it is. In case you wanted to know how I could be taken care of:

  • Edging--Gardening I enjoy. Weeding, I can even handle. But edging, oh how I loathe it. And my yard looks fantastic when it is edged (even when I edge it so short, the grass is burned... oops). But just think of the amazing yard I could have with someone who knows what they are doing.
  • Grill master--Love me a good BBQ, but this girl is anything but competent when it comes to charcoal and lighter fluid. I really hate to play the "stereotypical girl card," but when it comes to grilling, it's the only card in my hand.
  • Removing the squirrel tail from my yard--if I ignore it, will it go away? Or if I asked the next guy in my life to get rid of it, would he make it go away? Or worse, would that make him go away?

So, as I think about who I am in a relationship, I am giving the comments you made thought. I know I need to look for ways we (and when I say "we," I mean me and hypothetical future guy) can take care of each other... beyond my yard, my grill, and my poor poor Nutty.


Gang violence

This may come as a surprise to some of you, but I witnessed gang violence in my neighborhood. And no, I'm not talking about gang violence of the people variety. No. What I witnessed was mother nature's gangs, if you will.

A few weeks ago, I was working on my computer (read: coming up with a undoubtedly fabulous post) and I heard a commotion in my backyard. Granted, my neighborhood is not insulated from incident, and as a single woman living alone, my awareness of noises or things out of the ordinary is heightened.

So I'm sitting at my desk, frozen. It's hard to describe the noises I heard. It didn't sound like people, but there was definitely a scuffle and some squeals--deeper toned than typical animals. Okay, yes, I'm a tad bit scaredy cat. As I sat there, I thought about my next steps. Too scared to just go to the window, I crept, and when I say crept I really mean crawled, into my kitchen. As I slowly rose to peek out the window, I saw three hefty raccoons precariously balanced on my fence.

The squealing had stopped. But the three masked bandits were certainly interested in something in my yard. It wasn't until I went upstairs and looked out of a different window where I saw a fourth raccoon happily devouring something under my holly tree. I just assumed it was something he pulled out of the garbage. It wasn't until this weekend when I finally did the yard work I've been neglecting for a month that I found out just what it was.

Note to self: Raccoons are not the cute harmless animal you may have thought. Oh, and they aren't vegetarians.

Let's just say I may have found the remains of Nutty, or maybe one of Nutty's friends. He or she was sadly, no match for the gangs in my hood.


30 going on 13

In an effort to try and get some sleep tonight (and realizing that every one of my posts is an absolute tome), I'll keep this one brief.

Date number one went well tonight. So much so that there will be a date number two (and there was much rejoicing).

Oh, and we made out, like seventh-graders. But the advanced seventh-graders who know what they are doing, with less slobber and no braces. Ooh, maybe we should watch "High School Musical" for date number two.

Note to self: Just see where it goes, let things happen, and enjoy the moment... and let little junior high you have some fun.


Election results and the transition team

With enough of the precincts reporting to call this one, I actually sent an e-mail last night here's what it said (names were changed to protect the innocent, and well, keep this still somewhat anonymous, ha!)

"Hey there!

Thanks for the e-mail. Glad you liked the
profile. And I think we work together at Contoso? Honestly, I hemmed
and hawed about writing this e-mail. Ultimately I didn't want to make it
weird at work, so I thought I should send something tonight.

I'm not
especially big on dating people from work (as it has the potential for
disaster). I want to be up front and don't want to give you the wrong
impression. I'd be game for grabbing lunch at the cafeteria if you're interested
in being friends.

And, can I just say that you shouldn't be shy about
posting your picture on your profile. You're a good looking guy--don't sell
yourself short. The girls are really missing out. :)

Little Ms.

I went to bed with a clear conscience feeling I had done the right thing. And, yes, it was a little awkward today when we eventually ran into each other in the hall (I mean how could anyone NOT see that one coming). But to his credit he did come by my office and agree that it was weird. He was shocked that I recognized him, because apparently, he did not realize it was me (what-ev-er). And we're having lunch on Thursday... and since we're friends, I'm sure he won't mind that I'm amassing a few more friends to join us then either.

PS--I apologize for Blogger's craptacular text formatting. I tried to make this post consistent but it just kept messing everything up. Something is off in the code. The fact that I know that makes me feel really nerdy.

Help me rock the vote

Little Ms. Notetaker needs your vote. No, not in Tuesday's elections, but in my official "Oh lordy, what do I do now?" Decision '07.

This message is brought to you by Concerned Citizen's for Little Ms. Notetaker's Tomorrow.

Let me set the scene, I received an e-mail from someone on one of my online dating sites stating that he liked my profile and pictures, that I sound fun, that I should check out his profile, and to contact him if I'm interested. And here's a twist, he didn't have pictures posted on his profile, but included a link to his flickr album in the e-mail.

Last night, I read his profile and he seemed like a nice enough guy, however, red flag number one shot straight up the pole when I read, "I'm too shy to post my pictures on the site..." Is it wrong that whatever he said after didn't matter to me? I'm sorry but this is an overt online dating site, you can't be too shy to post your picture or you're never going to get anywhere in this raccoon eat squirrel world (oh, friends, that's another post soon to be written... just wait for it). And if you're too shy to post your pictures to any potential Mrs. Yous, then how are you ever going to be able to appreciate my costume clad karaoke extravaganzas?

But since I had the golden ticket to go see the pictures he does have out there on that world wide web, I went and discovered red flag number two--this guy works right next to me. And when I say right next to me, I mean we share a paper-thin wall at work (and his office is directly across from my manager). Immediately I went through every single solitary phone conversation I've ever had in that office wondering just what he's overheard.

Note to self: Start whispering on the phone.


The funny thing is, I know that this guy has had a crush on me since the day I first switched teams and started working in my new building. On one of my first days, I was coming up the stairs and he was coming down, he made a really cute, but painfully awkward attempt at making an introduction. It was very endearing, but I think I was carrying a bunch of stuff on top of which I was balancing a salad and was really only thinking about making it up the stairs with out losing the precariously balanced hard boiled egg on the edge of the plate. Then a few weeks ago, he made an attempt to be chivalrous and help me with a dolly I had full of boxes for a workshop. Again, very cute, but very awkward effort. I told him I could manage it all as the elevator door closed (it could have easily been a scene from a standard chick flick--I would of course be played by a clumsy Geena Davis).

And before any of you click on the comment button to tell me that I should appreciate this effort, or reward his chivalry, just let me say, that I know I could have done that and that if I were interested in him, I would have done that (pain me as it may to play helpless little girl... if it would give him the ego boost he needs, I just may have been able to feign it, apparently it could get me a second date). But I'm not interested in seeing him, and I'm also not interested in being mean, so I keep playing ignorant.

Game off. There is NO way he does not know that it is me. He's seen my pictures online and he walks by my office, oh I don't know, a zillion times every day. And now I know that he knows. And he probably knows that I know that he knows. Agh! What's a girl to do?!

The way I see it (thanks to some help from friends earlier this evening), I have a few options and I need you, the voting public, to let me know what you think. So what should I do?

Should I...

  1. Pretend it never happened. If I ignore it, maybe it will all just go away? (Oh how I wish this were the answer you all would pick).
  2. Have a very loud conversation on the phone either talking about a make believe new boyfriend I have, or about how I could never date anyone who didn't have their pictures on their profile, I mean the nerve (okay, strike this one from the record, I could never be that cruel).
  3. Respond to his e-mail and say, "Hey, I think we work together?" And then throw in a line about how it would be awkward dating someone from work, or that I have a new make believe boyfriend, or heaven forbid I be honest and just say that I'm not that interested but give him some pointers that he should post his picture and try to build up his confidence in some way.
  4. Say anything at work... in person... gulp... please, please, please don't vote for this option.

I'm tempted to say I have a no-dating-work-people policy, but the thing is, I don't (beyond what I ethically and morally believe in). And if I said that and he said, "Well, that's good because I just quit," then I end up screwed because I don't have a policy on no-dating-work-people-who-just-quit-being-work-people policy.

Additional note to self: Maybe I need to come up with some policies and maybe they should factor in employment grace periods... kind of like COBRA. Only different.

I know the answer is probably to send an e-mail, and be genuine, and let him down as easily as possible. And I know that I should do that tonight. And sadly, tomorrow, I'll have to play a new game, called keep-my-office-door-closed-and-take-new-routes-to-the-printer-cafeteria-and-everywhere-oh-and-never-go-to-my-manager's-office-again. I'm not looking forward to that.

The real note to self: How would you want to be treated in this situation? Do that.

I'm Little Ms. Notetaker, and I approve this message.


A single gal's Saturday night

I've been running around for the past month. I'm completely over-programmed, and while I appear to be an outgoing person, it really takes a lot of energy to get dialed into that and I'm just tired (three cheers for the fact that it's daylight savings tonight and we get an extra hour to sleep. I remember when daylight savings meant we got an extra hour to drink at the bar... oh, how quickly times change).

This weekend is the first weekend I've had any time at home for longer than I can remember. I intentionally did not make plans with anyone tonight just so I could hang out with myself.

Note to self: I didn't say hang out by myself. But with myself.

Ah, yes. Tonight I'm on a date with myself. And guess what that means? I don't have to split the bill and I can easily project a second date--yahoo!

Here's what a date with myself entails:
  • Candles--not to set the mood, but to kill the smell of the garbage I forgot to take out before I left town earlier this week. Oops.
  • A fancy tarte (who are they kidding, it's a pizza) from Trader Joe's--serves four people. Hmmm. It certainly served the one of us on this date just fine.
  • Moose Drool--nothing says this relationship is going somewhere like slobber from a woodsy beast. In actuality, it's one of my favorite dark beers. I'm limiting myself to two--I need to keep my wits about me, lest I get myself drunk and try to take advantage of myself.
  • A two-alarm fire--okay, it wasn't a real fire. But, two alarms were blaring. Anytime I cook anything in my monstrosity of a kitchen, it sets off my smoke detector in the extra room just outside the kitchen. It would set off the smoke detector in the kitchen, but I got tired of that one blaring every time I boiled water for pasta, so I took it off the wall and put it in my baking tools drawer. Safety first. Well, my pizza, er tarte, not only set off the alarm in the space, but also the one in the dining room. I spent the better part of five minutes frantically opening windows and doors, and whipping dishtowels around my head in an effort to diffuse the steam, or smoke, or hot air, or whatever was setting off the alarms. Needless to say, I was making quite the first impression on myself.
  • Porn--that got your attention, didn't it. Okay, it's my porn equivalent. Domino magazine. I poured over the newest issue to get creative decorating ideas for my place (oh, my eyes just rolled back into my head in overwhelming delight).

Who wouldn't want to date this? Maybe for my second date, I'll take myself to a kitchen supply store to begin pricing oven hoods and fans. Did I really just type that? Let me reiterate: oh how quickly times change.

Just who I am

Yesterday, I was sitting in a conference with one of the country's preeminent scholars on leadership--oh, talk about feeding my 0h-so-nerdy side--and he posited this thought: "What will be your legacy?"

This actually brought some things I've been thinking about for the past couple weeks (and a post that's been bouncing around my brain) to the surface. He concluded his presentation by saying the legacy we leave is the life we lead. Simple, yet strong.

Note to self: The legacy I leave will be the life I lead--so keep leading it!

Two weekends ago, I took an impromptu trip down to San Francisco. Over the summer, I mentored for Team in Training (a non-profit endurance training program that raises funds to cure Leukemia, Lymphoma and other blood-related cancers--on so many levels this is a fantastic organization).

Going into the weekend, I had an idea of what I would do (run, run, run). While I was not officially entered into the race, I was going to run with the people I had mentored and befriended, to give them support and encouragement. Having completed three marathons, I cannot put into words the elation you feel when you see someone you know, even if just for a minute, on the side of the road. No matter what anyone says, marathons are grueling; they are a true physical and mental test, but the feeling of accomplishment when you reach that finish line is (compared to anything in my life thus far) unparalleled.

I ran out with a few of my coach friends to a point on the course and we began "ferrying" people up a nice sized hill. We eventually made our way over to catch runners hitting mile 25 to take them that last little distance in (it's amazing just how LONG that last 1.2 miles of the race can seem).

Our first teammate to reach the 25 mile spot was hurting, but she was on a mission to qualify for Boston. When we found her she had just under 12 minutes to make it. Her feet were killing her and she just wanted to be done--if we would have let her slow down or stop, she would have, but she would have regretted missing her goal for years to come.

So my friend and I just started running and telling her stories to distract her. And when she got to the point where she didn't want to hear us talk anymore (which reminds me of a time in college when my friend told me the sound of my voice wanted to make her throw-up, granted we had just done her 21-run and she was nearly asleep with her cheek on the rim of a garbage can... I think the sound of anything would have tossed her cookies), we just ran. I knew the pace we needed to keep to get her qualified, so I just kept running at that speed. She started to pull back and I just turned my head and said, "Come on with me, we're going to do this right now!" She asked if there was still a chance to qualify and I told her as long as she stayed with us, she'd be there in time.

When the finish line was finally visible, I turned to her and saw the pain and the exhaustion written all over her face. I just said to her, "Look, that's the finish line, right there, you're going to do this!" The pain melted away, the exhaustion faded, her eyes softened and she realized, she had done it. She started to run a little faster. She crossed that finish line with 2 minutes to spare.

When all was said and done, I spent 3 hours running people between miles 25 and 26, and would say I helped at least 20 of my teammates reach their goal. Afterward, I was thanked by many--but really, I was the one that was thankful. Running hand in hand with some of them, seeing their relief when they reached that last big milestone, letting me be there by their side for those impactful moments, I am forever grateful for that experience. It was exactly how I pictured my weekend to be--only I didn't know I'd feel so fulfilled after it. People were so surprised that I was out there running and helping like that, but that's just who I am.

On my college athletics team, we had the dreaded "100s," a miserable team sprint test that kicked-off our preseason. As a team, we had to run the length of the football field multiple times, under a certain time limit, with minimal rest. It was definitely a physical test, but the team aspect came into play because if any person did not make any of the sprints in time, we all would have to go back the next day and do it all over again.

I trained my butt off for that test, and each year, I could have just all-out sprinted each leg in my sleep. But for me, that wasn't the point. It was a matter of getting the whole team across on the first try. So each leg I would set my pace so that I finished a few seconds ahead of the cutoff and would rally the rest of the team to stick with me to the finish. And every year, we would do it.

That's just who I am. And I like to think that's the core of the legacy I will leave.


Serial first dater

I've been called out. Oh, the blogger's shame.

So the other night (when I had JIT on the brain), I had gone on a date. One of my loyal readers--and honest friends--chastised me the next morning when my post made no mention of said date. Perhaps the fact that I did not come home and blog on that is indication of just how that date went? I think her exact words were, "Great, so you have clean underwear, now pack already."

I find myself in a bit of a pattern. In the past two to three months, I've been talking with several guys and have been on many dates. The only thing is, I've only gone on first dates. I am a serial first dater.

That's not to say I've been going on bad dates, because honestly they have all been good dates. They just haven't been great dates. The conversation has been good and we've usually shared some common interests. There are not too many lulls in the conversation--unlike some of my dating escapades of the past, I think I'm a better screener this time around and am finding people that have connection potential... but for some reason, a connection hasn't been made there.

It gets me wondering about two things: 1.) how am I being perceived? and 2.) are they waiting for some sort of sign from me?

The first dates I've been on are all inanely formulaic. Meet for drinks or coffee... I rattle off my story, he rattles off his, witty clever banter, blah, blah, blah, bill comes, we pay (usually split it... I always offer to pay or split), we leave, we hug, and here's the most important part, we always say, "that was fun. It was nice meeting you."

If they are waiting for a sign from me, I know that I'm not giving one. Partly because I haven't felt any initial chemistry that makes me want to devote more energy to this burgeoning relationship, and partly because I'm waiting for a sign from him. If he'd add on and say, "that was fun, let's do it again sometime," I'm sure we would. But seriously, every date is ending with the it-was-nice-meeting-you-and-I'm-not-leaving-anything-out-there-that-I-may-be-interested-in-you-and-that-we-should-meet-up-again. So we don't. In fact, I haven't even so much as had e-mail correspondence (let's not forget that each of these dates has had at least 2 or 3 e-mails prior to us meeting up) with anyone of these potential suitors.

It seems weird to me that out of all of these guys--we'll say it's 5 right now--not one has been even remotely interested in a second date. Okay, now when I reread that sentence I sound really egotistical. And a little bit I am. I think I'm a catch, and it's a hard pill for my ego to swallow to think that none of these guys think the same? Which leads me to think my first thought: how am I being perceived? What am I doing that is getting in my own way? Or maybe what am I not doing that I could or should be doing? True, I haven't really been interested in any of these guys--but come on, even if I'm not interested can't at least one of you be interested in me? Oh my poor poor ego.

But before I give in to the bitterness of singledom, there is a ray of hope. I have a date with a non-match.com person and I have a good feeling about it. And no matter how I've been perceived on my most recent dates, and whether or not he's waiting for a sign--he's going to get authentic me. I'm tired of the formulas and I'm bored of the first date routine. The real me is going to shine through--and if he perceives that as something he likes, great, if not, then onto the next one--and if I'm feeling something he'll be getting a sign.

Note to self: Be yourself and good things will follow.

Maybe even a second date?