The more you know

Hello, Internets!

Did you miss me? I've missed you, but apparently not enough to crawl out from under the crocheted afghan I've been hiding under whilst I've planted myself in the leather recliner in my parents' living room. Sorry.

Seriously. I've watched more TV in the past 72 hours than I probably have in all of 2008. And I'm TOTALLY OKAY WITH THAT. I'm home in Denver for the holidays and am realizing that almost none of my friends are around here anymore; either that or they all have their own families and traditions going on. Or, I'm just too lazy to crawl out from under said crocheted afghan to call them and hang out. If you just read this last paragraph, scratched your head, and thought, "Hey, LMNT, I still live in Denver, what gives?" Sorry.

I left behind a foot of snow in Seattle to come to Denver--and the trip was just shy of a nightmare. Were it a true nightmare, we would have skidded 200 feet off the runway and burst into flames, but we didn't, so I can't complain too much.

Spending the first 23 years of my life here made me ignorant to a little issue people who are not from here call "being at altitude." However, it only took me six months of not living here to realize that little issue is actually quite a condition. So I'd like to take this opportunity to share my public service announcement to all people not currently living at altitude about what you can expect if you ever find yourself at altitude:

1. There is no air here. Period. End of story. Don't be fooled thinking you are fit and can run up that flight of stairs. You cannot, at least not without wheezing. You may as well just keep that hiney squarely planted on that recliner, under the afghan.

2. Your lips are going to fall off. Now, I'll be the first to admit that I am addicted to chap stick. If I don't have a tube on my person at all times, it is highly likely that I may have a meltdown and end up fetal in the corner tugging on my ears. And, that's anywhere. If I find myself at altitude without my beloved Burt's Bees, the world better watch out. It's a little bit on the dry side here. I'm pretty sure I shed a layer of lippage daily.

3. Blow all you want, nothing will come out. Well, that's not entirely true. At first, because it's so dry here, everything inside your nasal cavity will shrivel up and come out. But once you've lost your sinuses and half your brain out of your nostrils, you'll swear that there's something still in there. And you'll keep blowing, and blowing, and blowing, but to no avail.

4. You will be perpetually parched. You will wake up thirsty and it will stay with you all day. Drink plenty of water--it may also help with your lip leprosy and imaginary booger syndrome (IBS), but don't count on it. Also, if you think you can substitute alcoholic libations for water, think again. Because there is no air here your blood thins, therefore alcohol and its sometimes glorious--sometimes devastating--effects take hold of your body and mind much quicker than when you are at sea level. Consider yourself warned. You may want to remove any people that would be a tempting "drunk dial" from your cell phone before you get here--not that I've done that, I'm just looking out for you, Internets.

5. People may start calling you Rip Van Winkle. Whenever I come back here, I cannot seem to sleep enough. Usually an early riser, I end up sleeping like crazy and always wake up really groggy. And maybe it's the lack of oxygen, or all of the nose blowing, but naps are not a luxury, they are a survival necessity. And I'm sure that has NOTHING to do with me spending the majority of my time under the crocheted afghan on the recliner, it just so happens naps make the hard work of being awake, the inability to breathe, and dealing with the trauma of losing your lips, that much more comfortable


Apocalypse, now?

I stand corrected.

Note to self: If one thinks they can stick it to Jack Frost (or the meteorologists), make sure one knows at what one is nipping.

At 4:30 this morning, I woke up to ice pellets pelting against my window. Plink, plink, plink, plink. It was fantastic, and I did think it was my just desserts after
last night's rant. I did manage to fall back asleep, thankfully. But then at 5:30 awoke with a fright to a very loud, very deep, very house-shaking rumble of thunder. Thunder? In December? In Seattle? In a snowstorm?

There are two things that rarely happen here: 1) snow, and 2) thunderstorms. As I was lying in bed, trying to make sense of everything I know and repent for all of my sins, the room flashed bright and was followed by an immediate (and sharp) clap of thunder. My poor old house shook so much, I thought it may collapse. When I looked out the window, I half expected to see that the skies had opened up and started raining frogs.

No frogs, yet. But just in case frogs were in the forecast, I was proactive and worked from home.


This trip to Colorado can't come soon enough

Note to self: The meteorologist's word should be taken just about as seriously as the e-mail that claims Bill Gates will pay you thousands of dollars if you forward the message to seven of your friends in seven minutes and if you don't do that bad things will happen to you like they did to my neighbors, cousins, dentist's step-father...

Ever since I moved to Seattle, I've become a wimp. There's something in the air, or the water, or the decaf coffee.

According to the sensationalist news, the entire country is in the bony icy clutches of a terrible cold snap. The thermometers out here have been hovering in the low 30s, which admittedly is cold for here. But having grown up in a climate where it gets colder and where it actually snows, and where neither of those two things cause the city to go into anaphylactic shock, what I'm about to admit makes me feel very, very ashamed.

For a few days, there have been predictions of horrible snow in the city, and when I say horrible snow, we're talking 1-3 inches. In Seattle's defense, it doesn't snow that often, the city is quite hilly, and usually sheets of ice precede the snow, so I have learned to cope with the horror that is a flurry or two. It does shut the city down, mostly because people have no idea what to do and they lose all common sense.

So I get that. But what doesn't make sense is the proactive paralysis we get. And I say we, because I bought into it today. That horrible snow storm was supposed to hit this morning. And because of that, all of the schools up and down the Puget Sound were closed, and my work-sponsored commuter bus completely cancelled all of its routes. And I, usually being of sound mind and judgment thought the forecast to be believeable and decided, like most of Seattle, to work from home. And thank goodness I did, because it did not snow one little flake at my house. Not-a-one. The morning storm quickly became the early afternoon storm, then late afternoon storm, then night storm. It's night time now, still no storm.

I've lost my edge. No longer am I the cool rugged Colorado girl who can brave the elements--okay, I may have never been her. Now I'm no longer the girl who can make fun of all the wimps that put their life on hold because of the mere thought of snow, because today I became one of them.

Knotted knickers and other unfortunate things

Internets, I have a confession to make. Sometimes, when recounting a story for you, in the spirit of making the story accessible and not completely full of mundane details, "and then we did this... and I said this... and I chewed my carrot 14 times before swallowing it..." I may change the story a little bit.

For shame, I know.

I firmly believe this is my privilege as a writer. And I'm telling you this because I believe if any knickers are to be knotted they should be because of this--not because of how much a person in the story emotes (or doesn't emote, because as I've already pointed out, it's my privilege to share as much of that as I want and it will always be colored by my own lens on the experience). Skewer me if you want to, you can be Oprah and I'll be James Frey and we can talk about how disappointing everything is, and how I've just shattered the world into a million little pieces. But trust me, it was much easier to read (okay, or maybe it was much easier to write) what was posted, even if I left out some details.

In my mind, the important detail is not the when or where of the hug or if that hug even existed at that space in time, in fact it has absolutely nothing to do with said hug, it is all about what was said and how much that means to me (in light of what I did or did not get in previous relationships). So if knickers are to be knotted, they should be either over the fact that I changed the time/space continuum to make my story easier to tell, or over the fact that I would have ever been in a relationship where a guy would not think my outstanding friends to be outstanding. For shame, I know.


Fresh like spring!

Note to self: Getting along with your friends is definitely on the "gotta have it" list.

New Friend accompanied me to a dinner party on Saturday night and made me like him that much more.

Before I go all gushy on you, I wonder, when does New Friend get a new nickname. It's been four months (four months? holy geez), and depending upon how you count, this is the second or third longest grown-up relationship of my life. Only, I'm not sure what we're calling it. I mean, I think it's a relationship. In the literal sense it is a relationship, but any interaction between two people could be called a relationship. And I assume this is a committed thing but the last time I assumed with New Friend we ended up needing some clarification. Granted, I did leave him a voicemail a month into it rambling on and on about how I have a big heart and that I cared about him and actually uttered the phrase, "I throw myself into life 100%!" (oh, yes I did, Internets. On voicemail!). But I think it's safe to assume this is a relationship and that we both like each other. And so maybe when we have that clarification conversation, New Friend will have a new name. But this is not really a post about that.

I was all worked up to invite him to this shin-dig, worried that he'd say no, that he wouldn't want to meet my friends, and that he would dread every second of it. Not because that's who he is, but that's how Old Friend would have responded. I would have had to try my hardest to convince Old Friend that I really only surround myself with the best people I can and that he may actually have fun--and even then I would have been cowtowing to him all night trying to make sure he was having a good time. And I was all prepared to do that when I invited New Friend but he responded right away with a, "Sure. That sounds like fun." And then when the actual night came, I was all nervous that he'd hate it, but he didn't. He was a natural--and deep down I knew that it wouldn't be like Old Friend, but it felt so good to actually see it play out that way.

I didn't really do my part in prepping him before we got there--who was who, or who does what, or what is or isn't off limits for conversation(but New Friend is English, and with that accent, you can get away with anything, hence a 30-minute conversation on acceptable curse words and how it varies between the UK and US). But it turns out I didn't need to worry about a thing. He just made the night so easy, and as usual, so easy to be myself.

As we left, he gave me a little hug thanking me for inviting him and saying that I had some pretty outstanding people for friends. And I just took it all in, because he's right, I do. And the fact that he recognizes makes him pretty outstanding, too.


I get a do-over

So, here's the deal. When the HGTV folks set up my prize consultation, they mentioned to a local True Value (not necessarily MY local True Value) that Steve Watson would be coming to town and that he and I may stop by and purchase some items for my project.

That had me all freaked out at the time, because I thought I may have to spend all of my prize money in one fell swoop--and if I were to use the money on my yard, the plant selection in December is not so great. Fortunately my aunt let me know that her True Value in Wisconsin sells beef jerky. So if push came to shove I could just buy $5000 worth of jerky and never have to go to the supermarket again. Hello, Scurvy!

But when Steve was in town last week, we just sat at my house talking projects. No visit to True Value, no purchasing anything with the prize money, and certainly no jerky. I don't think the people at True Value were particularly pleased with that--apparently they want me to have my jerky, and they believe it to be a photo-op.

So, Steve's coming back to Seattle on Monday. And we're going to meet at the True Value (again, not MY local True Value), where I will have to spend all of the money. Not all at one time, but I sadly can't go to MY local True Value, the one with all of the amazing plants for my yard. I'm trying to temper my disappointment around that with the fact that they are giving me $5000 dollars. I can suck it up and drive down there, although I already know they won't have the great plant selection of MY local True Value. I guess this means either I will have to do that bathroom project and get all of my stuff from there. Or, I'm going to have a heckuvalotta jerky on my hands.


Should have had some Velveeta dip at the ready

Oh, dear, sweet, Internets. I am coming to you, arms open, ready to admit that I may have a problem. I am addicted to RockBand. Where once I had the musical, the kitchen, improv, or even friends, now I have a video game. And that may sound pathetic, and this may be me justifying my behavior, but it's really fun!

But worry not, Internet. I will not dedicate a whole post to the glory that is my fake plastic Fender Stratocaster (one that I'm half tempted to name Lucille), because I owe you more than that. However, honestly, the only notes running through my head are those of guitar solos (in green, red, yellow, blue, and orange).

But seriously, no more talk of RockBand. I do have a little bit of life left outside of my Xbox.

Today, my kitchen and a tiny little blurb about winning the True Value contest were featured on the front page of the Life & Arts section of one of Seattle's primary newspapers. I still can't believe that I won that contest, but I know that I have to believe it because today, I also met Steve Watson from HGTV's "Don't Sweat It," and was casually awarded the cash prize. We visited for a couple hours in which we talked about home improvement projects, extreme home improvement projects (that was mostly him talking), the economy and housing market, the disco couch in my makeshift TV room and how that disco couch goes well with Lucille, and how I'm addicted to a certain-game-that-will-not-be-named, and how Steve is also hooked on that game and how he has built a room with a stage and a pull down screen so that when he and his friends are playing, they can stand on the stage, face the screen, and at the same time be facing the fans, er, friends, watching them from the floor, so it looks like they are actually performing in concert. I'm telling you, people, this game-that-shall-not-be-talked-about will make you do crazy things. Like spend $5000 at True Value to trick out your game room, er, guest room. But I haven't gone that far... yet.

Actually, we talked through what I could do to create a master bathroom and I have to admit, it seems a lot more feasible and you might start hearing me talk about tackling a new project--and the more you hear me talk about a new project, the less you'll hear me talking about a little something that starts with an X and ends with an x and is NOT Xerox.

It wasn't until after my guests left this afternoon that I realized I was not really much of a gracious host. I offered them drinks, but didn't have any food for them. Not that it was expected, but it would have been nice and very DomestiKat-ish of me. And then I thought, if only I had been raised in the South, I probably would have thought of that ahead of time. But a southern belle I am not. My roots are more Midwestern than anything.

Note to self: Next time you have an HGTV host in your house, have snacks. Do right by your family. At a minimum: little smokies.


Making Virginia Woolf proud, but not becuase I'm about to walk into a river with rocks in my pockets. I'm just melancholy.

I'm exhausted. The week took a bite yesterday, gnashed me all up between its teeth and spit me out--and it's only Tuesday. My brain is simultaneously on overdrive and running on idle--and I'm no physiologist, but I think that means its about ready to explode. If it did explode here is the stream of consciousness that would be spattered all over:

Really? I still can't believe it. And now I don't know what to think. I can't believe I got all weepy eyed over a twix bar in a vending machine. But I can believe it. Ugh. I really don't want to get up and go to work tomorrow, I just want to sleep all day and if I do that, then maybe everything will be different, or somehow better, or back to the way it was. Agh. Work. Enough.

Hmmmm. Maybe we're not on the same page. Dang it. I kinda thought we were. But maybe not. Shut up, gremlin, you're fine. Things are fine. Yay, I unlocked "Livin' on a Prayer." Definitely today's highlight. Although it's really fascinating how intense I'm being and actually how much my perfectionism is coming out. That's the gremlin again. Damn, she's an ugly gremlin. And I think I'm a little too hooked by the bright shiny object. But really, greencard and no call? Gremlin, I mean it!

Okay, okay. Every thing's going to be okay, right? Oh, my house is a mess. I really need to get it in shape for the HGTV consultation. What am I going to do with everything? I sure was cranky tonight. Was? Still am. Blarg. I think it's time for bed. Maybe going to sleep will make this headache go away, and maybe I can just sleep all day.

I don't want to be on the verge all day tomorrow. That makes me tired and makes my eyes red and makes me eat two of everything. Oh boy. Hermie the elf, my favorite, is on tomorrow night. In high school, we had a teacher that looked like Hermie. I think I had a crush on him. In fact, I think I may have had a crush on him because he looked like Hermie. Oh my God. Really? Yes. I have always had a thing for nerds. Maybe watching that will make me happy. Maybe. I'm putting my faith in a stop motion animation bunch of misfits to bring me out of my foggy funk. What are "statements you can't believe you just made on the Internets?" That's it, I'm going to sleep.


Either he knows me well, or I'm an easy read

In preparation for my foray into the gaming world, I created a gamertag and avatar for myself so I can enjoy the "live" aspects of singing for points. New Friend was there as I was creating my virtual self, and this is what transpired:

LMNT: Time to pick out my outfit... oooh, tops! You know what would be really funny? If they had a sweater over a button down shirt. I love them and practically wear them every--

NF: Yes. Yes you do.

LMNT: [self-conscious chuckle as I scroll to a box on the screen that seems all too familiar] Well, what do you know, they do have a sweater over a button down. That's funny.

Oooh, accessories! Gloves? You know what would be really cool? If they had arm warmers. Oh my gosh, they do! I'm putting those on. I know you haven't seen me wear them, but for my Halloween costume I got a pair of arm warmers and I just love them--

NF: That does not even surprise me one bit.

LMNT: [chuckling, not knowing if that predictability is a good or bad thing] Oooh, bottoms! Hmmm, what should I wear? [Before I can scroll to anything, the cursor defaults to a pair of legs in a short denim skirt with a pair of black leggings underneath. It's something I've worn before around New Friend, and admittedly, I love them--]

NF: It's almost as if Xbox knew you were coming tonight.


Will probably have it directly inserted into my bloodstream by the end of the four day weekend

Interntets, I have found my gateway drug and it is Xbox.

I first started experimenting with Rock Band, but just as a casual weekend user. New Friend introduced me to it, and then it became a social thing. I'd play on-and-off again throughout the run of the musical; you know, to blow off steam with fellow cast mates.

Maybe it was Metallica, or the fact that I seem to have a lot more time on my hands these days, but my usage is about to increase drastically--I just got my own console.

So now it has the potential to become a daily habit, though I'm far from becoming a chronic gamer. I really only got it for a couple of reasons, yes, Rock Band being one of them and secondly a new game called Lips (essentially a karaoke contest--a game that had to have been created for me). Oh, and it can be used as a DVD player and I can stream Netflix through it, too.

But okay really, I got it to sing for points.



Note to self: Beware those hasty judgments you like to cast.

There have recently been a couple episodes in my life where what I imagined to be eternally distinct worlds have careened right for each other. These collisions have completely taken me off guard and have to be the universe forcing me to learn some important life lessons.

In both situations, I've been called to reconcile my perceptions, judgments, and feelings of the past with reality. And wow, was I wrong. LMNT stands corrected, and the Catholic guilt is in overdrive. I could go on and on for you, but I don't have the time for that--I have a whole lot of crow I need to go eat.


Pavement pounding

Next weekend, after Thanksgiving, I'm registered to run the Seattle Half Marathon.

Note to self: When you register for a physical endurance event, train for said physical endurance event.

After finishing my career as a college athlete, I came to the realization that I needed external stimuli to do any physical activity. Up to that point, I had been through eight really intense years of volleyball where I was constantly told what do do and where to be, and I had become pretty reliant on that. So when my days on a competitive team ended, and I no longer had a coach or a team to which I was accountable, I didn't do jack crap. And it felt good. I'd wake up in the morning thinking, "Oh, I should get up and work out." Then I would just chuckle to myself, think, "Ha. Why?" and roll over and fall back asleep.

It took me a couple years before I grew restless and started working out again. And when I finally did, it took me being accountable to someone else. So I started working out with friends, and that was great. And then I took up running and trained with Team in Training through the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Yes, a team with teammates and a coach. I've subsequently trained with the team three times.

I also know myself well enough that I really need some sort of goal to actually put any energy into working out. So, when I registered for the Seattle Half Marathon, I thought that was goal enough.


The race is nine days away, and I've run four times in the past month. For better or worse, one of those runs was 10 miles, so at least I know that I'll be able to finish the race. And luckily for me, I don't really ever fall too far out of shape. So in that sense, all is well.

However, I also don't really ever fall out of my competitiveness. And while I need a goal toward which I can train, that goal is usually one of iterative improvement. Every race I've run has been faster than the one before--until next weekend. In fact, I already know that next weekend's race will be the slowest I've ever run. There's just no way that I can even try to run the pace I ran last year or that I've ever run.

I haven't quite come to terms with that, yet. I know that is what happens when you don't train for your event and now I'm trying to know what happens when you run a race just for running's sake.


Dance moves I didn't learn from Tiffany

Note to self: When heading to the head banger's ball, learn how to bang your head.

Growing up as an innocent little teeny-bopper, I was never quite able to pull off the metal role convincingly. However, there were multiple times I tried. And although some of those monster jams and ballads have been permanently ingrained in my head, so much so that I can whistle along with the Scorpions at Safeway, I still have difficulty pretending I'm a banger.

At junior high dances, it was a requisite that the DJ would play Metallica's "Enter Sandman," followed by Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit." It's just how it was done and you don't mess with a good thing at the junior high dance--or you may be faced with awkward tweener rage, and let's face it, even the most brave DJ doesn't want to deal with that.

So, if you were like me, loving all things that appeared on "Rick Dees and the Weekly Top 40"--especially slow songs by Bryan Adams or Boyz 2 Men--then you loved that little crazy streak you had when they'd suddenly move into the grunge and metal phase of the dance. It was time to HEAD BANG! Yes, head bang like the cool kids.

And, if you were like me, you would totally pull the scrunchy that was holding the side pony-tail on your head out of your hair, slide it on your wrist, and begin to thrash your whole upper torso up and down, violently whipping your hair back and forth. HEAD BANG!

And, if you were like me, you would think you looked really cool. And also, you would have a stiff neck two days later. Never the day after (why is that?), but two days after, you would have decreased range in motion of the neck and upper back.

And, if you are like me, and you have the opportunity to resurrect your dorky youth, and sing Metallica on Rock Band (which of course means you have to HEAD BANG! through all of the guitar solos), you know that the neck issue you faced 18 years ago is still an issue... two days later. But this time you know for a fact that you do look really cool.


Yes! And...

I'm halfway through two crazy weeks. I'm definitely not firing on all cylinders, but am making do with what I've got.

Last week I had two days of workshops, had a quick trip to LA for a conference at which I was presenting, had my brother and sister-in-law in town for the weekend, had the final show of Into the Woods, and had to strike the stage and had an insane cast party that had me heading to bed on the side of morning that I usually only see when I'm waking up.

Now I'm preparing for four days out of the office for workshops this week, with a glimmer of a normalcy sprinkled in there. I laugh as I type that though, what is normalcy?

At any rate, I'm drawing on the lessons I've learned from Improv these days and am "Yes! And-ing" the hell out of my life. I'm taking what I'm getting as a gift and trying to run it as far as I can--sometimes even farther.

Note to self: When you are frozen and have no idea what to do, pick something bold and commit yourself wholly to it.

In our closing performance I was doing one of my bits, one where I have to sing a small solo, only I completely locked up. My mind went blank when I got my cue (I almost started singing someone else's line from a previous part, that's the curse of having every other person's lines memorized), panic set in. Instinctively, I made a crazy face (that I think fit with the character and the frustration she was feeling in the moment, "why won't this damn shoe fit?"), and made some horrible frustrated, grunty noise that was actually somewhat in-time. I was thinking, "I have absolutely no clue what I'm supposed to be singing right now, but I know what comes next..." and then just jumped back into my song. The cast mates on stage with me were all dying trying to keep from cracking up at my response and when we got back stage we all broke out into hysterics.

I'm not sure if this is progress on my over-perfectionismness, or if it was just a function of me being so ridiculously worn down that I just didn't have the energy to "beat myself up" over it, but I like to think I've grown after going into the woods. There was a time, not too long ago, where this minor blip would have sent me over the edge, replaying the gaffe over and over and over in my head wondering how I could have ever done such a thing. But last night, I committed to the moment and went with it. Then I just laughed my tail off (almost on stage) and moved right along. I do keep replaying it over and over and over in my head, only this time I'm laughing more and more each time. I have to admit, it feels really good.


My dirty little secret

And it has absolutely nothing to do with sweaters.

My dirty little secret is something I love so much--again, not the sweaters. It's this blog.

Those of you reading it are probably thinking it's not so secret, I mean you know about it, right? And the truth is, I don't know how many people do know about it. Out of my close friends and my family, I know who reads it regularly (or semi-regularly), but I don't know who randomly stumbles upon it--and there's something simultaneously exciting and paralyzing about that.

I do my best to maintain relative anonymity speaking in generalities and code names both to protect friends and family, and to keep this a place where I can divulge information without it being too discoverable or identifiable to those random stumblers. That being said there are certain people that I assume have absolutely no idea about this blog and it makes me wonder, should they?

Primarily, it has me thinking about New Friend. Ah-ha! I can hear some of your wheels turning. New Friend? New Friend is still in the picture? We haven't heard about New Friend since we celebrated the blog's b-day. Well, yes, New Friend is still in the picture.

And the thing is I really like New Friend a lot, still. And I feel like there's going to come a time when I have to tell New Friend about my note taking. And that makes me nervous. And vulnerable. Partly because letting him know about my notes, is letting him know about all of my crazy (how about we say endearing idiosyncrasies?). And I know that is something that is really important and that he should know about and that I actually do want him to know about, but outside of the blogosphere I can control the amount of crazy I dole out in each sitting. Here, he has a veritable library of my neurosis at his disposal. We seriously could catalogue them with the Dewey decimal system. Granted, I think a lot of it is highly entertaining and is a genuine glimpse into my brain, but overdosing on that without the context of my whole being to balance it out, would it be too much?

Then there's the thought of what I have said about him and about us. I believe I live my life with integrity, and think that any mention of New Friend has only been what I've been feeling in my heart. Some things that he already knows, and other things that I would want to share with him in person before I give him his LMNT library card. And I wonder if the longer it takes, the harder it will be? But I won't know for awhile, I'm not quite ready yet. So the secret stays, mine and yours.


The uniform assigned to scary hoarding monsters

Here are the sweaters that started my downward spiral into complete and total crazy...

And the others.
If I ever am committed for my mild obsessive compulsive hoarding tendencies, I can only hope that they let me layer my cute little v-necks over the straight jacket--especially the chartreuse one.


Someone, quick, call Oprah!

Oh. My. Gosh. I might be a hoarder. Here's what the Obsessive Compulsive Foundation, has to say about hoarding:

What is compulsive hoarding?
Compulsive hoarding has been defined as the acquisition of and failure to discard items that appear to be useless or of little value. It is manifested in excessive possessions in the home interfering with the normal use of living space and furniture, and is accompanied by significant interference or distress.

Okay, that's not me. In fact, I saw that driving around the city streets the other day. Station wagon filled to the brim (passenger seat, back seat, and even the way back) with junk mail and newspapers. I know that my office has been a disaster of late, but at least it has not made me a threat to myself or others. However, I'm not in the clear, yet. The site continues:

What kinds of things do people hoard?
Most often, people with compulsive hoarding hoard common possessions, such as paper (e.g., mail, newspapers), books [LMNT: books?! But I love books. I can't ever bear to get rid of my books. No self-respecting nerd/English major can. Who's with me?], clothing [LMNT: Ack! Does that mean sweaters? Or worse yet, does that mean the full wardrobe worth of clothes I've had upstairs as my "to be donated" pile for six months now. It just hasn't been donated yet... it's laziness not compulsive hoarding! I swear!], and containers [LMNT: Containers? That's absurd. Who would ever hoard containers? Total nut jobs, that's who...] (e.g., boxes, paper and plastic bags [LMNT: Noooooooooooo! No. No. No. No. No!] ). Some individuals hoard garbage or rotten food. More rarely, people hoard animals, such as cats, and human waste [LMNT: Okay, that's just gross].

Note to self: This weekend is committed to ridding yourself of all useless mail, clothing, and containers.

Hmm, I was cleaning out my office today and actually considered keeping a small little box that an individual tea bag came out of, because it was pretty and fancy. The thought of me being a scary hoarding monster made me jettison that piece of trash, albeit pretty, out of my hand and into the recycling bin. I'm thinking I need to keep an image of that hoarding monster burned into the front of my mind.


Sweater Weather

Since I raved about my Target sweater collection, I realized what my dear friend Angie commented... I may very well be a hoarder.

I pulled out the four sweaters from Target to photograph them for you, and realized that although those are the only four from Target, those are not the only four sweaters I have in that style (read: light weight cotton or merino wool with a crew or v-neck). I have at least four more (okay five... I have two in black). Which makes nine. Nine sweaters that are all similar.

And here is where I will begin my defense of the sweater. Five reasons why it makes perfect sense to have nine of (essentially) the same sweater:
1. All but the black ones are different colors.
2. They are part of my favorite outfit, my fool-proof-when-all-else-fails-turn-to-your-closet-and-throw-this-on outfit. My uniform if you will: layered over a button down blouse with jeans, khakis, or cords.
3. With nine of them, I can wear my favorite outfit every workday for two weeks without repeating sweaters.
4. In my mind they are a classic staple and will never ever go out of style--not that I have or do, but I could.
5. I'm the boss of me and I can buy as many sweaters in the same style as I want. And I can even buy more black ones if I want, too. So there.

But seriously, this thought of hoarding (or rather this hypochondriac's self-diagnosis of chronic hoarding) has me a little worried. Are there warning signs I'm missing? The bags? The straws that lived in my office for a year because I may need them someday. The coffee can filled with my life savings in cash buried in my backyard--put your shovel down, the only thing buried back there are fresh peanuts from Nutty's progeny. Although, with the economy the way it is, that depression-era "bank account" might not be such a bad idea.

No. Get a hold of yourself. You are not a hoarder.

I know a few personally. No. I don't keep things because I can't part with them, I keep them because I'm too lazy to do anything at all with them.


Probable Cause

Note to self: Replace the burned out headlight in your car. I-m-m-e-d-i-a-t-e-l-y.

Okay, I have to come clean. I've been driving around as a padiddle, or popeye, or whatever you may call a car with one headlight, for a while. Okay, for a few months. And here's the thing, I've had the replacement bulb sitting in my passenger seat for at least two and a half of those months. I know, I know.

I've been a sitting duck. Quack.

On my way to a cast party on Saturday night, I got pulled over. And I knew it was going to happen as soon as the cop changed lanes and got behind me. Only, I didn't know why he was pulling me over, I was only going two miles over the speed limit, had used my signal for everything, and wasn't on the phone or writing checques.

Not only did he pull me over, but he shined that really big spotlight on me. I freaked. And my first instinct was to take my seat belt off? What? Why would I do that? I don't know, but I did. And then I freaked out that he was going to walk up to my car and then slap me with a ticket for not clicking it. I had a fleeting thought of sneakily refastening the belt. But with that tractor beam illuminating my every tic, I kept my fingers crossed that he wouldn't notice.

He approached my window and asked me if I knew why he had pulled me over. Play it cool, I thought.

LMNT: Maybe I was speeding? Even though I knew that wasn't true.

Officer: Because you have a headlight out.

LMNT: Oh yeah, that little thing.

Officer: Oh, you knew about that.

LMNT: Um, yes. I actually have the replacement bulb here.

Officer: Let me see it.

LMNT: Ta-da.

Officer: And how long have you known the headlight has been out?

LMNT: I'd say, about a week. It's not a lie if I have my fingers crossed really tightly, right? They were crossed, remember?

Officer: And where are you coming from, ma'am?

I proceeded to tell him that I am in a musical and had just come from a performance. He then asked me what musical, so I asked quite excitedly, "Into the Woods, do you know it?" Well, he didn't but then he asked me where the performance was, and I told him in the cafeteria where I work, he half chuckled, but it opened a door. I got to joke about how where I work is sometimes like college and there's a club for everything, and here I am in a musical. I think he was using the headlight to see if there was anything else he could get me on, crazy maybe, I was serving him that on a platter. That and it's suburbia, he was bored. I mean for at least three months I've been passing the cops in my neighborhood without a second glance--burned out headlights are small potatoes on my block.

But there wasn't anything else, so he gave me a warning. And I gave him more information about the show and our troupe than he ever wanted to know. Everything short of an invite to this week's performances.


Boo Humbug

Halloween is pure insanity at work. Not because people are all costumed out, but because the entire company (and it's a REALLY big company) opens its doors up for the children of the world to come and trick-or-treat down the hallways.

Don't take this the wrong way, I'm not anti-kid. And some day I want some of my own; I do, I really do. But Halloween at work is painful. I used to think it was because it made traffic insanely horrible (essentially increasing the number of cars on campus and then on the roads and highway by a few thousand). But that's not the piece of straw that broke my back this year. Sure, the kids were cute, generally. And it breaks up the work day having them sprint down the hall from office to office (and it's even funnier when they trip over their costumes, and that doesn't make me anti-kid, that just makes me the person that thinks people tripping is funny--and Cheerleader, I know that is upsetting to you on many levels, but it's true). However not every office has candy. Busted.

Note to self: Stock up on candy now so you can fill a bowl for next year's craziness.

It was the stink eyes I was getting from parents; that's what made the day so painful. Even though I had my office door closed, which in my mind is equivalent to a house not having its porch light on, an obvious sign to not go a knocking, that didn't stop people from walking by, and looking into my office with crusty glances that spoke volumes. "You should be ashamed of yourself. No candy? Think of my poor child. And you call yourself a team player..."

At one point a girl about 10 or 11, plastered herself up against my office window. Just staring at me. I tried to give her the typical office brushoff: avoid eye contact at all cost and focus on your computer with laser precision. But she wouldn't budge. So I had to look at her and mouth, "Sorry, Phantom of the Opera (someone had clearly been to the theatre lately), I don't have any candy." I shrugged, gave her a forced frowny face and carried on with my work. Moments later when her mom walked by, I swear to you I heard an audible "tsk, tsk" through my closed door.

Oh, yeah? Well, lady, you'll love the fact that earlier in the day, I walked up and down the hall and "tested" the candy from most of the bowls. Yeah. That just happened. And in some eyes that means I was stealing candy from children, and may relegate me to the lowest position on the socially acceptable people totem pole (the position just below people that think people tripping is funny), but someone had to check and make sure those Kit-Kats didn't contain needles. I was doing your little one a favor. So please take your scornful glance down some other hallway, I have a VERY important Facebook emergency that I'm working on.


When left to my own devices

Note to self: When listless, don't head to Target list-less.

Day three without rehearsal. What did I ever do before the musical? Oh, yeah. Kitchen renovation. But what did I do before that? Oh, yeah. Serial first dating.

Not quite sure what to do with myself after work tonight, I decided to head up to the Valhalla of Halloween crap and costumes and pull together something for Friday. Mostly, it was to kill time. I am a project girl without a project and slowly but surely I'm trying to get comfortable with that. In the meantime, I took myself wig shopping.

And, since I was out of the house and in the neighborhood, I ran to Target. I was only looking for a pair of tights to go with the kicky little wig I got at the costume shop, but ended up with a few more random items. Here's what I left with:
  • Fingerless knit arm warmers (think leg warmers for your arms)
  • Knee socks
  • A new sweater
  • A new black shirt
  • Fruit bars
  • A new candle
  • The tights I had originally gone in there for

Did I need any of these things? No. And, did I want any of them before I went into the store? Except for the tights, no. But I did walk away with them. And here I am sitting in my cold house with my fingerless arm warmers keeping my wrists warm, eating a fruit bar, with the fragrance from my new candle wafting through the room, thinking about how I can wear the knee socks over the tights for my costume. Black shirt? Wardrobe staple. And the sweater. Well, I have to admit I bought 3 of the same type of sweater last year all in different colors--and I love them. In fact, I was wearing one of them today whilst I shopped. So I will definitely wear the new one. Okay, cool. I just needed to justify myself to myself.



Good news, Internets.

I survived opening weekend of the musical--more thoughts and musings on that to come--and that's not even the good news. No, the good news is now that we are in our run, we don't have mid-week rehearsals which means I can have my life back. And when we get right down to it, that means I will resume regular blogging. Yes, peanut gallery, that one's for you!

There are several posts floating around my head, but it's been a long (and full and exhilarating and memorable) weekend, so I'm going to head to bed. I did have a fleeting thought of getting myself grounded and prepared to head back to work tomorrow, maybe take a couple of things off of the plate, but my body is telling me no.

But, before I listened to my body, I made a preemptive strike on myself to try to stay awake, at least a little bit; I had a decaf coffee after dinner with my parents tonight. I drink coffee maybe once every other week, yet, I am on the receiving end of many a jab for drinking decaf. Essentially, I have a caffeine-free diet. Those who know me would confirm that I'm quite energetic without it. I like to say that I'm "naturally caffeinated," and that even a cup of decaf has just enough juice in it to fire up the jets, but not make my brain bounce around in my head. However, before I left the restaurant, I did a quick scan of the table and realized that in my one cup of decaf, I used six--yes, a half-dozen--packets of sugar. Note to self: Your "natural caffeination" may not have anything to do with nature or caffeine. Apparently my jets are fired up by sugar. Lots and lots of sugar.


Did it freeze over?

Note to self: Humility is driving your parents around the city in a pearlescent PT Cruiser.

Never did I think the day would arrive when I was seated in the driver's seat of a PT Cruiser. But my friends, that day has arrived and it was today.

My parents are in town for the opening weekend of Into the Woods, and the vehicle they got from Thrifty rentals is a PT Cruiser. I know I may offend some PT Cruiser lovers out there--I shudder at the thought that they actually exist--but that is one embarrassing car. I have severe physical reactions to them, and swore that it would be a cold day in hell before I ever drove one. Apparently my convictions aren't as strong as they once were, or all of these late night rehearsals have worn down my defenses to drive, or be seen in, ridiculous automobiles.

Maybe it's the former, because when I was in Denver for my dad's surprise party, I was forced into an HHR. Almost as bad as a PT Cruiser, but not quite. There's something about the cruiser that is just off. Maybe it's the fact that whenever I see one, I think it should have a yellow Z with flames painted on the side, and then I look for ZZ Top to appear on the side of the road and do that shwoopy snap thing when it drives by--let this site load and watch the opening flash for 10 seconds, you'll see what I mean and you'll never be the same again.


Feeding my inner-child

It's completely pointless to go to the store these days. Rare is the moment I have to eat at home especially with a week full of dress rehearsals.

I was scrounging through my kitchen today, looking for lunch. Finding nothing truly substantial, I fixed myself the 30-somethings' answer to a preschooler classic: peanut butter and jelly. Only the grown-up version uses organic all-natural peanut butter, on multi-grain organic artisan bread, and to wash it down, lactose-free milk.


Will be using them to get what I want

Number one thing on my to do list today: go to Victoria's Secret and buy boobs.

Dress rehearsals start tomorrow and I am in desperate need for some cleavage. The dresses for the evil stepmother are, shall we say, liberal in the "chestal region," and my everyday bras were not doing the costume (or my girls) justice.

So earlier this afternoon, I walked myself into VS, went right up to an associate and before she could ask if I needed assistance, I told her I needed the "most pushiest-up of the push-up bras." Twenty minutes later (ten of which were spent rigging the girls into the new contraption) I walked out of there at least two cup-sizes bigger than when I entered.

Note to self: For the right price--and with the right materials, like patented gel inserts--a new rack can be all yours.


Not even red bull can give me wings

Note to self: The two weeks before a performance will leave you exhausted, postless, and drooling on yourself.

I know I keep making big promises about posts forthcoming. But, I just have. No. Energy. No. Words. No. Nothing.

I think I've already mentioned that Into the Woods has TAKEN OVER MY ENTIRE LIFE. Don't get me wrong, I love it. But it's throwing my sense of normalcy completely off. And taking all my energy. Energy that I normally put toward writing.

So my blog muse has had to put her energy into my acting and singing. She's tapped out. And that's an okay thing, I'm just letting you know that I want to give you my all, but my all is stuck in late night rehearsals in a cafeteria turned theater.


Bag lady reprise

I am heavy with guilt today.

Even though I like to take really long, really hot showers, I try to make up for my wastefulness by conserving in other areas. I compost and recycle my stuff; I compost and recycle other people's stuff. I'll travel with stuff just so I can compost and recycle it. This is part environmentalist and part guilty Catholic. Whilst sometimes it's easier to throw something away, a little voice always seems to call out to me, "wait, is that non-dairy, non-meat product something that can be put in the yard waste bin?" Or, "is the number on that plastic less than seven?" Or, "if I scrub this foil hard enough can it live to see another slice of pizza?"

Once in awhile I ignore that voice. I don't do that very often, because she tends to screech and holler, and nag and nag and nag, and I like to avoid that at all cost. Today, however, I ignored that voice. And, voice, I'm going on the record to say that others convinced me to avoid you, so lay off, would ya?

You may recall in my haste to prepare for the demolition of my kitchen, I came across multiple stashes of Ziploc baggies. Baggies that I could not bring myself to throw away because a) yes, I do have an 80 year-old grandmother living inside of me, b) you can save money and the planet by washing them out and reusing them, and c) that incessant voice would have screamed like a banshee were I to ever approach the garbage can with one of those perfectly good bags in hand. So the bags accumulated, and then I would hide the piles in my last minute efforts to clean my kitchen before company arrived, and then when I found them all during the remodel, I didn't have a sink and I was certainly NOT going to wash them all in the bathtub, so I told the voice to politely go make herself busy and I threw them out.

A little bit of guilt, but I could justify it.

Today was a little more challenging.

About a year ago, we ran a program at work that required 5000 straws. Stop and let that soak in for a second--5000 straws. End-to-end that's well over a half a mile of straws. In fact that's so many straws, that on one day, we bought all of the straws that every straw-selling stores stock in our city. If you were frantically looking for straws on that day and you couldn't find any anywhere? That was because of me.

It turns out the person that requested the straws (and ping pong balls and boxes of stick pins) over estimated on the number of straws we really needed. You mean 5000 was too many? Who would have ever guessed that? And where did those 2000 extra straws live for the past year? In my office. And wouldn't you know, today was the last straw, literally and figuratively.

In a fit to clean my space I started clearing out drawers and realized the first thing that had to go were these straws (and other random accessories). But I felt dread at the thought of throwing the straws away. What if someone, somewhere could use them? Maybe I could donate them. Or maybe I should keep them, they may come in useful some other day. Yes, the day you need 2000 straws, and ping pong balls, and stick pins. But we all know that day will never come, so I did the unthinkable--and threw the straws away.

I cringe just thinking about it. But as the people (names are being withheld to protect the guilty, er, innocent?) who made me do it said, "you do so many other good things, it's okay to be bad just this once." Alright, I may have just paraphrased that, but I swear, they made me do it!

Note to self: Say 10 Hail Marys, an Our Father, and the Act of Contrition, and maybe then I'll have absolved my soul of the atrocity committed upon the straws.

On my own behalf, I would like to add the fact that I didn't just throw all of the materials out. No. I recycled the page of instructions accompanying each set of straws, and I gathered up all of the ping pong balls and took them down to one of the ping pong tables in the building (LMNT moonlighted as the "Ping Pong Ball Fairy"). As for the stick pins, I kept nearly all of the boxes and offered them up to the seamstresses in my life--mostly those who do costumes for the theater troupe. And, best of all, all of these things were stored in, get this, plastic Ziploc bags. So I painstakingly opened and emptied around 40 bags and, yes, I brought all of those bags home with me. I may not have made up for throwing all of those other bags away, but I most definitely replenished my cache. And if you were a crazy bag lady like me (or like your grandmother) you would have done the same.


Happy birthday, dear blog...

One year ago today, this little blog was born. It was actually conceived about one year prior to that, with a classic note to self that I have yet to post, and think I will probably finally get that one out to the Internet next week for the one-year birthday of my blog going public. Confused yet?

At the time, I really thought this was a fleeting whim, something akin to journaling--which I always have a habit of letting fall by the wayside. But, surprisingly, I've stayed rather consistent (as FCA groans, okay, so I may have had one or two weeks, one being last week, where I have gone radio silent, but two out of 52 ain't so bad).

There are lots of angles I could take here, I could reflect on the year I've had--talk about cool if not completely random things happening, like this, this, this, and this. Or I could do a best of... oooh, maybe I will, but I'll save that for a time when I'm really hurting for content.

The angle I want to take on this one relates directly back to that first post. Interestingly enough, I still have my Camry-flattened Cladaugh in my jewelry dish in the bathroom and just the other day I was looking at it, thinking about where my head was one year ago and where it is today. And I think all of you are ready for an update on New Friend.

To recap, last year Cladaugh, or my love life, was mutilated in a freak hit-and run-accident in the office parking garage. Me equals distraught. Last month, I started hanging out with New Friend--was there life after the incident with the Camry in the garage. I was beginning to think, "Yes!" and then New Friend gave me a wonderful birthday present, the news that he was dating other people. Just what I asked for! How did he know that's what I wanted?

While I had suspected early on that maybe he had been out on a date or two with other people, it was really only the psycho gremlin inside my brain that was working on convincing me this was the case. Determined not to believe her crazy talk, I tried to remain confident that he was only dating me, let's just say I made some assumptions based upon where we were and previous relationship history. In my mind we had reached a point where we were exclusive, so this definitely caught me off guard.

I spent the better part of the week trying my best to silence my overactive and over imaginative gremlin. Some days were better than others. Mostly, I spent the week feeling like a victim, and becoming the bitter, single, woman who was devastated that her Cladaugh--and along with it any hopes of love, eternal wedded bliss, because it's all sunshine and roses, right--had just been symbolically annihilated. Much time was wasted on wondering about what was going on in New Friend's brain, and just who is this girl he's apparently dating. All this torturous daydreaming finally wore me down and made me realize that I had yielded my half of the power in this relationship to him and this "other" girl.

New Friend and I continued to hang out, because I really do like him--like him differently than any other Friends that have stood in his shoes previously--we just hung out in a different way. With gremlins like mine in the head, it was impossible to ignore that elephant in the room. But once I gave it a little more thought, I came to a great and powerful realization. One that is actually quite simple, I asked for what I needed (okay, and then in turn I made sure he knew what he was missing out on, that he really knew). As it turns out, that simple act can make you feel confident and amazing, and can make your New Friend like you even more (and an innocent little ninth-grade make out session helps a little bit there too). Just by defining my parameters (this is definitely material for an upcoming post), I completely turned the situation around and all but evicted my gremlins, or at least sent them off to a time-share in Greenland.

And, as more time has elapsed, things are becoming more clear. New Friend is only dating me (although, don't tell him I said that, he's free to think he's "dating other people" or at least has that option). This is the result of a self-defense mechanism for commitment reluctance, hey, I've got it too so I can relate. And I'm pretty certain New Friend is really into me--more than his phobia will allow him to admit. So he gets to work on that and I get to work on my patience. Apparently, it's a virtue--who knew?!

Now, as I work on my virtuosity, it is with the air and confidence that my love life may have suffered some injuries in last year's accident, it's healed and is in a better place now. One where I may even learn patience.


Marco... Marco...

Note to self: When you go MIA on your blog, be sure you let someone know so panic is averted.

I got an early morning instant message from FCA with a touch of urgency in the tone. Like a good friend, she was checking in to make sure everything was okay. Moreover, that I was actually alive. I guess that's what happens when you commit to your friend that you'll post three times a week and then you go silent.

Life has been crazy and full, and I'm exhausted. And truth be told, I just wasn't compelled to write anything last week, so consider yourself lucky that I didn't subject you to random dribble, words that I would have typed just for typing's sake.

This week is a huge one in terms of work, but I'm going to try resuming regular posting. We have a couple of major events--and things are going smoothly. Normally, there would be something for me to panic about, but I haven't found that yet. So that, in and of itself has me panicked. And all is right with the world.

And you know what else is right with the world? This fantastically awesome sketch from SNL. If your mother made you watch episodes of Lawrence Welk as a child, because it was good wholesome family entertainment, then you will certainly enjoy the next four minutes as much as I (and, yes, Angie O, I mean you).


Stick that one on the personal resume

Kids, take a lesson from Little Ms. Notetaker, when the universe is conspiring to shower good things upon you, careful not to deflect them with fake walls you've built.

Note to self: Don't waste energy on making up stories on why things have or haven't happened. And have patience.

Remember that contest? The one that I entered, and then became a top-20 contender (and then begged and pleaded for your votes), and then became one of the four finalists? Well, when I found out that I was a finalist the e-mail notification I got stated that the grand prize winner would be notified on or around September 22nd. And in my brain that read, "The winner will be notified ON September 22nd," and then I went ahead and filled in the blanks with, "our messages to you have been timely, so if you don't hear from us on the 22nd then you're not the winner. Thanks for playing. We've selected the flute-wielding dude, but good try, Little Ms. Notetaker."

Self-defense mechanism, much?

And I knew I was doing this when I was doing it, but old habits die hard--and it actually feels good and safe to do that. I had fortified my walls with the resolution that to be in the top four was still an amazing accomplishment, that amazing friends and family had bolstered my self-esteem, that I was the real winner because I ended up with a dream kitchen that I love.

But you know what feels better than making those walls, finding out you actually won. Holy buckets, geez, and hot potatoes! Not but an hour after I told someone that had I won, I would have certainly heard by now, I got a pleasant surprise.

I'm humbled, and honored, and looking forward to two hours with Steve Watson, and money for my next project. I'm still really shocked and needing to keep pinching myself. Thanks to everyone (friends, families, complete strangers who succumb to my badgering or the badgering of my friends and families) for your support. I love what Coach A had to say, "You've got fabulous down. Check that box." So yeah, don't let yourself get in the way of your fabulousness.


In honor of Den Pants

Although we surprised my dad for his 60th birthday last weekend, today was his big day. The initial plans for last week's event was just a small gathering, but when we added up all the family and friends that have been a part of his life, the invite list continued to grow.

All told, we had over 50 people there to celebrate. Most of the people I've known if not my whole life, at least a good two-thirds of it. And throughout the night I caught up with everyone telling them what I'm doing, hearing them say they can't believe how fast time has flown, or that they still remember as the little red-headed girl running around in diapers. It was great reminiscing and reconnecting.

But the best conversation I had was with a person from my dad's office that I was meeting for the first time. As we were getting acquainted, he said that he already felt like he knew me and my brother because of how much he hears about us from our dad. He continued to say that it's obvious that dad is very proud of his kids.

I've never really stopped to think about that, but later in the evening, I was talking with another couple when my dad came up and started rattling off all of the things I'm doing (work, the kitchen, Improv, the musical, even my blog--which up to that point I had no idea he really knew about), and he was genuinely beaming as he talked about it all.

So dad, in the event you have gotten around to reading this (or if at this point mom has said you need to read this and dragged you over to her computer), thanks for everything. Every day I count my blessings and I know that I wouldn't be doing any of the things I have done, am doing, and are yet to do without your love and support. And even though I don't say that a lot, it's one of my life's truths. I love you and happy birthday.

I promise to keep making you proud.


And so it goes

I've tasted my own medicine, and it isn't so great. All those guys I eschewed for liking me too much, I'm feeling their pain, at least I think I am.

NF and I are in the weird zone, and I'm thinking we've passed the point of no return. All week I've been trying to restrain myself from self-abuse about how everything has transpired, and that's left me exhausted. I'm not going to go into the weeds on this, but suffice it to say: trust your intuition. When you think someone is out on a date with another girl, or that reciting half of a volume of the Encyclopedia Britannica on a voicemail message (especially when it includes the words, "I throw myself into life 100%." WTF?!) may be a little over the top, you're probably right.

But I need to stand up for myself (for myself, against myself) and say that my longwindedness all made perfect caring-in-a-friendly-way-sense in the context of the situation, but it was grossly misconstrued. And because of that the truth came out about him dating other people, and I have to admit that was a punch in the gut. True, we had never had any sort of status talk, but we were at a point where I had made an assumption. Silly me.

But I think the real root of all of this was the fact that I liked him too much, or at least showed it too much, too early. I killed the chase, and in doing so dampened the spark. I knew it when I was doing it and I just couldn't help myself; someone else was running the show. I hate it when I'm on the receiving end of that, but I was like a girl possessed and just. Couldn't. Stop.

I thought this was different. I thought I was different. I thought this would end differently. But everything that felt different is actually the same. And that's just plain old disappointing.


Throwing myself a bone

Is it really all about the chase?

Let's compare "it" to the dog park. You've got all types and temperaments of dogs. There are the big dogs, the small dogs, the alpha dogs, the meek dogs, the outgoing playful dogs, the shy and timid dogs; it's a melting pot of canine personalities. And when a new dog crosses the threshold into the pen most of the other dogs come over to greet it--a literal sniff test. Some dogs respond with aggression, some retreat, and some sniff right back.

And then there's the dog that immediately flops his body onto his back, belly exposed, completely submissive. That dog, right there? Yeah, that one? That's me.

Whenever I see that dog I think, "Come on, buddy. Don't give in so easily, you just made an alpha out of a honest-to-goodness zeta." But you know what? That's just how that dog is wired. And try as he might to change that, his nature is to throw himself down, as if to say, "hey, here's everything I got, check it out, no need to hide anything, I think it's all good but you be the judge."

I know that well. I trust almost everyone from the very beginning. But that makes me vulnerable. It leaves me open for attack, and for disappointment, but also for possibility; you just don't know what you're going to get. And when you come across one of those skittish dogs, the one that needs a lot of time to build trust, the one that's leery of your every move because he's experiencing those moves with his own filter building his own story around why you're moving the way you're moving. You really don't know what you're going to get.

But the thing is, you're a dog. And at this point, you're reflexive response is not going to change. So you just have to keep doing your thing and maybe the skittish one will eventually come around. Or maybe one of the other types will come by and will be the one you play fetch with for the remainder of your time in the dog park.

You just don't know. Note to self: the only thing you do know is your nature, and you have to be true to that. No matter how vulnerable it leaves you. And no matter if that takes you out of the chase, new tricks are not really an option here, but knowing your old ones and knowing what that means and what you need is. If every dog was in a chase, how would order ever be served? No, you need all types at the dog park--even if it means you are lying supine, exposing yourself and your heart to the world. Not all dogs will know what to do with that, but some will. And when one of those ones come along, he will make every day in the dog park the greatest day.


My life is better because of you

And then there were four.

I got the news yesterday that I'm one of the four finalists in the home improvement contest, and I should know in the next couple of days if I ended up winning the whole shebang.

I've taken up a lot of air time and have created a considerable amount of noise with this project and contest--and those of you that have put up with my trifecta of harassment for your vote (pleading e-mails, begging blog posts, and Facebook status updates) are truly deserving of sainthood. Were I the Pope, I'd make it happen. What's stopping me from ordaining you? Poof. You are now St. Internets.

Friends, colleagues, even complete strangers voted for me throughout this little contest, and I could understand doing it to stop the incessant nagging from me to "PUHLEASE GO VOTE FOR THE DO-IT-HERSELF KITCHEN!" but in all honesty, I realize now that so many of those votes were genuine displays of love and support. And I am still a little beside myself.

A side note, I had a very emotional, heartfelt post that expanded upon this point that I wrote on my plane ride home from Colorado, and right as I finished it and was saving it, my computer crapped out and none of it was there when I rebooted. So rather than recreate that post--I'm going to save that bit for another day and just leave you all with my gratitude.

Thank you. Thanks for voting. Thanks for reading. Thanks for simply being, and in doing so being a part of my life, no matter how big or small. It means a lot to me.


Things you never think

Greetings from my parents house in Colorful Colorado. I flew out for a quick weekend trip; my mom, brother, sister-in-law, and I threw a surprise birthday party for my dad last night. Preparing for that, and play rehearsals, and craziness at work, and just life in general has taken up the time I usually spend writing. My brain is overflowing with notes.

Whenever I have a lapse in posting, I find myself scribbling down one or two words on scraps of paper, to remind myself at a later time of the posts I have brewing in my head. Sometimes, I even create draft posts with bullets of what I want to cover. But then I don't get to them and it almost feels as if the moment has passed and those little posts will never get to realize their blog potential. Oh, sad for those posts.

But just like the pack-rattiness I have inherited from my father (although, I have it to a much less degree), I keep those posts in my folder, thinking, "Someday, someday that story is going to come in useful."

Take for instance, the post I started two months ago after a trip to the supermarket. I was in the "ethnic foods" aisle when the musack that was piped in began playing the Scorpions, "Wind of Change." Yes. The 1980s heavy metal band's rock ballad.

So there I was, looking for soy sauce, when I was immediately transported back to my junior high school bus. The bus driver was a rocker, as were a good number of the other kids. And then there was me. I liked Tiffany and Debbie Gibson. And at that time, I know I definitely loved Roxette. But I tolerated the metal--I was trying to play it cool, even though the braces, glasses, and spiral perm with mile-high bangs kinda made me not so. And on all of those rides home, rocking out to Metallica and Damn Yankees, there were a few things I never thought. One, I never thought those songs were getting ingrained in my memories. Two, I never thought there would come a day when I'd actually use those songs to get me "pumped" to run long distances (cue Whitesnake). And three, I never ever thought I'd be whistling along with the Scorpions in a Safeway in Seattle.

Of course, I never thought I was going to be in my thirties either. And come to think of it, I never thought I was going to make use of that post, but would you look at me. I did. Note to self: Sometimes the things you never think of, will become the things you do. That's not to say that story was particularly useful--or even that note for that matter, although that's some pretty deep stuff, Internets. But I did help release that post to the world and now it's reaching it's blog potential. And I can sleep peacefully now. Thank goodness.


Last ditch effort

Please vote for me, Internets.

Thank you. I love you.


Enter stage right

Note to self: The next time you try out for a play, if there is a next time, know that your life becomes one giant rehearsal.

Posting is thin. In fact everything in my life that does not revolve around some warped version of a classic fairy tale, is thin. Don't get me wrong, I'm loving being in Into the Woods, but holy geez, it owns me! It takes me in its giant mouth chews one or two bites, swallows me mostly whole, spits me out, and then does the same thing right over again the next night.

For the next five weeks, I have four hour rehearsals Monday through Thursday. Leaving me the weekends to do any life maintenance like going to the store, cleaning, trying not to fall off the face of the earth. I completely feel like I am in high school. Only I have more money. And boobs.


Status Reports

Do you hear that? That giant sucking sound? It's Facebook, and it's here to suck a huge portion of my day away. You know you've been spending too much time on the book when every single thought in your head is formed as if it were a status update. I am obsessed. Here is my day (I did a lot today, so my status-report-brain was on overdrive):

Little Miss Notetaker...

... doesn't want to get out of bed, because she and the girls were cutting some rug to classic 80s covers last night.

... has sore feet from wearing 3 inch heels. Fashion has a price, people.

... was startled by the tattoo on her chest when she finally did get out of bed. Oh yeah. Thank you, Mr. Miyagi.

... says, "don't worry, Mom. It's temporary."

... is wondering like crazy.

... thinks she rambled on for too long.

... is riding the bus.

... is wearing what she deems "socially acceptable" crocs to the concert hall, but they are paired with a cute skirt.

... can't shut the wonder off.

... loves Faure's Requiem. Wow.

... is frustrated that it took her three trips to the car wash to get it washed. Stupid quarter machine.

... is still wondering, so she's going to go for a run to hopefully clear her mind.

... made herself a new chair today. A little bit of spray paint and presto-change-o.

... bought too much chard at Pike's Place Market. It was just too damn tempting.

... made the most random dinner, but it incorporated all the food groups.

... needs to memorize her music for Into the Woods.

... loved that Monster stopped by for a quick visit (and that she is able to make use of the extra chard).

... is determined to hit that F.

... is still wondering. And she knows it isn't her, and has nothing to do with her, but she can't help but wonder if it is or does... just a little bit.

... thinks her random dinner did not agree with her.

... is getting the wonder out of her head so she can get a good night's sleep on her latex bed.

... must be an aggressive spray painter because she has no feeling in her pointer finger. Did she spray the skin right off of it?

... is serious now. It's time for bed.

... is going to be better about blogging this week.

... says good night to the Internets.


I feel a skin graft coming on

A few weeks ago, I went out and bought myself a new mattress. The weekend I started demolition on the kitchen, I had a new bed frame delivered to me, which means for four months I had an empty bed frame in my bedroom. And I was still sleeping on my old bed (that only had a Hollywood frame). So there was my room, one bed no frame, one frame no bed. Oh and two dressers, but that's a completely different story.

The time had come for me to bite the bullet and replace the bed I've been sleeping on since I left college. I knew this day was coming, and have done some pre-mattress shopping. Part of me really wanted a Tempurpedic, but thought I might sweat to death because I hear they can trap body heat, and when I sleep I'm a giant kiln. So there I was, thinking "To Tempurpedic, or not to Tempurpedic..." when lo-and-behold, Mr. Mattress salesman showed me this "hot" new item, that's really not hot, it sleeps much cooler than a Tempurpedic, he said. It's a mattress made out of latex.

After much hemming and hawing, and tossing and turning, I decided on latex--and I know that I'm not the only person that thinks that's just a funny thing to make a bed out of.

Because my old bed was a full (so tiny), and my new bed is a queen, it was time to go shopping for all new bedding. So I spent the better part of a morning wandering around a big box store comparing sheets. When I thought I had finished my search, I ran across a set that was the most luxurious I've ever felt. They had to have been 10,000 count of only the finest hand spun and woven Egyptian cotton. And, Ms. Sheet saleswoman told me, they wick away moisture.

I'll take them.

I went home immediately and threw my sheets in the wash, anxious to make my new grown-up bed. As I pulled the sheets out of the wash, I noticed on the tag that these were not cotton sheets. No. In fact, they were polyester.

Immediately my brain flashed to the worst-case scenario: me in bed, house on fire. Sleeping on latex covered in polyester. The good news: I won't be sweating. The bad news: I think the whole of my bed will melt onto my body.

Note to self: Cigarettes are banned from the bed. Wait, I don't smoke.