Thursday, November 30, 2006

An obsession?

It occured to me this morning that this is the second time this month a certain group of ladies has embarked on a road trip with tater tots being the end goal. Disturbing? A little. I've got a theory though (go figure).

This weekend we decided that Wednesday night would be the night to verify the rumor that a Sonic Drive-In had indeed been built in Fredericksburg. So, piling into Scarlet's rental post-rush hour traffic, we beat a hasty path down I-95. It took us 45 minutes to get there and only about 15-20 minutes to order and eat. Again, the odds sound a little loony. I bet you find yourself wondering if cheesy tater tots and cherry limeade (don't forget the use of rollerblades in order delivery) are worth it.

Well, I contend it's not really about the tater tots. It's about the trip...the journey* and comraderie. It's about playing the right music and the sex** game. It's detouring to avoid a police incident*** and choosing to get back on the main highway right before you actually get to said incident. The tater tots are really just an added bonus at the end.

*Sorry about the fact that I don't ever shut up about the journey.
**Don't go too far into the gutter, people. It's just a word game where you have to choose which of the two choices given you'd sleep with if you had to. It passes the time. What's funny is that we all chose the same two guys for a threesome...again, if we had to.
***Does anybody know what the hell was going on I-95 last night? What were all of those cops looking for? I'm thinking body or fugitive.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Is there such a thing as good grief?

Tomorrow morning I'm going my third funeral. I don't know if three is considered high when it comes to funerals, but I feel lucky to have only experienced three. When looking back at my funeral history, I wonder if it's telling to compare the funerals I chose to attend versus those I didn't go to.

The first funeral I could ever bring myself to attend was for Casey Wheeless my senior year in high school. Casey was the first boy I ever kissed and the only boy that a girl has wanted to kick my ass over. I still remember the sobs, his mother and the closed casket.

Years passed and my next memorial service was for the daughter of a colleague at the PR firm where I worked. She was three and ran out into the street. The service was held in a tent at her favorite playground. It was the first snow of the season that day, and I couldn't stop sobbing.

Number three is tomorrow.

I did not attend my father's funeral when I was 12. It was hard enough for my mom to get me to go to the hospital to say a final goodbye. Stubborn...that's me. I also didn't attend the funeral for my great grandmother. I think with her I was spared because I was so young.

At first glance, I'm sure you could argue that I'm uncomfortable dealing with the death of those I love (as opposed to friends and acquaintances I have cared deeply for). However, I would counter that with the fact that I was not super close to my great grandmother and had been estranged from my father. Or, you could also argue that I have had time to mature and learn to deal with death. All I know is that I hope my dealings with it continue to be limited.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Blessing that wear costumes

I went to bed the night before Thanksgiving feeling less than thankful. I had sat and stared at the computer for a good two hours willing a pleasant thought to make its way through my fingers poised over the keyboard. You know the old adage about if you can't say something nice...well, I went to bed without saying anything at all.

I'm guessing the cats I'm pet sitting for thought I could use a little extra love that night, a reason to be thankful. I awoke to discover one sharing my pillow with me and the other sleeping partially on my legs. Either they sensed I needed a little closeness, some family or thought that if they suffocated me that I'd at least stop that damned moaning in my sleep.

Thankfulness did indeed come on Thanksgiving day as I was surrounded by friends old and new. As much as I am loathe to admit it sometimes, I need people in my life. They make me stronger, push me to new limits. I'm thankful for the love of friends and family and for just not giving up.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Church of Rehoboth

Yesterday morning I stood on Rehoboth Beach listening to the waves crash into shore. I stood, waiting as the sky slowly lightened and a beautiful sunrise played hide and seek among the clouds. I breathed deeply and realized again how thankful I was that I was alive and able to experience mornings like that. Thankful that I could see the various colors a sunrise creates and that I could hear the waves. Snapping photo after photo, I smiled at the few others who eventually made their way down to the sand. I was surprised that melancholy had left me, since it was what drove me to the beach and the sunrise in the first place. Instead, I once again was basking in the simple pleasure of being.

Every now and then I get these fantastical ideas in my head and can't be stopped. Part of the problem lies in the fact that I spent a decent chunk of time on both Friday and Saturday driving back and forth between Virginia, BWI and West Virginia and had only my thoughts to keep me company...a dangerous thing for a girl with fantastical ideas. My mood became melancholy and increasingly contemplative the more I drove. I finally determined that truly the only thing that would make me happy at that moment would be to be on the beach watching the sun rise. I needed the journey enough that it made perfect sense for me to get back in the car at midnight (after an 8-hour bookstore shift after the West Virginia travel) and drive four hours to the beach only to watch the sunrise and contemplate life.

As you can see above, the additional 8-hour drive and full 40 hours without sleep was absolutely worth it. I was right. Standing on a beach and watching the sunrise was exactly what I needed. Being alone with myself in the car with nothing but a mix cd* for inspiration was exactly what I needed.

*Allie proved again how well she knows what's going on in my head by making the perfect cd for my roadtrip.

Love and Mathematics by Broken Social Scene
Out of Love by Aberfeldy
Paperweight by Josh Radi & Schulyer Fisk
El Salvador by Athlete
If You Find Yourself Caught in Love by Belle & Sebastian
I See Spiders When I Close My Eyes by Boy Least Likely To
I'll Never Fall in Love Again by Elvis Costello & Burt Bacharach
Paper Bag by Fiona Apple
Want to Know What Love Is by Foreigner
Impossible by David Figurine
The Last Time by Gnarls Barkley
Fly Me Away by Goldfrapp
Golddigger by Kanye West/Jamie Foxx
Steam Machine by Daft Punk
Across the Universe by Rufus Wainwright
SuperSexyWoman by Sufjan Stevens
Dance Me In by Sons & Daughters

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Lunchtime shenanigans

Lunch time is always such a chore for me because it usually means I'm left (on my own) to decide where to eat lunch. Honestly, I usually decide it's not worth the effort and choose not to consume anything other than Diet Coke. Hunger and the desire for fresh air drove me out of the office this afternoon and into the door of a Greek restaurant. God must have decided I needed a little pick-me-up because I swear the clouds parted and harps were playing as my breath left me. You know those guys, right? The ones that take your breath away simply by being in their presence? Roughly 6'5" with dark hair...dark eyes...dark everything. He was beefy, manly, and even a little hairy*. As he handed me back my change, my lips refused to even form the words thank you. Yes, I was struck dumb. I think my eyes had even glossed over.

As I stumbled back out into the sunlight and started breathing again, I was able to make one decision. I'm definitely going Greek more often at lunch.

*Not typically my style.

Monday, November 13, 2006

A man who knew how to take his whiskey

A kind and brilliant man died this weekend, and all I can do is stare in shock at my computer, continually amazed at the stealth at which death can be known to operate. We weren't related; I wouldn't even really call us friends. He was the chair of our Board of Directors and by far my favorite. He was the first board member I ever met and spent a good 30 minutes talking to this naive 25 year old who then knew little about rivers. Over the years, he always made this shy girl feel like her opinion mattered and was always quick with a smile and a joke. He also refused to shy away from asking the tough questions and demanded we give them their due. I feel lucky to have just seen his warm, friendly face last week.

I hear you left this world on a river...just know you left it a better place. We'll miss you, Tony.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

The episode where they drove all the way to Richmond

Who drives an hour and a half for sushi? Evidently we do. The girls piled into two cars last night sans boys* and hit I-95 hard, like Bobby hit Whitney. Despite potential roadblocks***, we had a table and buckets of tots in front of us by 9:30. Yes, I said the sushi restaurant. You may laugh, scoff even, but tater tots with tot sauce do make for the perfect appetizer on a sushi-filled evening. The sushi menu always presents a problem because there are just so many things to try. You find yourself wondering if you should even bother with the California roll or tuna roll even though you really like them. Last night my sushi partner and I went for the hot hippy, goochland, garden of eden, and unagi. It was my first go at unagi, and I'll admit to being afraid. It was much bigger than I anticipated, and I sat there worrying if I'd have to choke it down. I got a kick out of Allie telling herself she was practicing for the Amazing Race. Obviously, she missed what they had to eat in last week's episode, or she would have known there was no comparison. Luckily, no choking occurred as I discovered that I actually liked unagi. *whew*

*Despite our better efforts, they** flaked.
**Well, one flaked. The other had to work.
***Does parallel parking count as a roadblock?

Friday, November 10, 2006

Happiness is bullshit

I was perusing the weekend section of the Guardian and came across this gem. Fairly poignant.

"Happiness is bullshit. The whole concept is. Asking what happiness is is a question of the order of asking what is the secret of the universe. It implies someone is either happy or unhappy, denying the reality that almost all of us live with a mixture of the two. Happiness means different things to different people: floating your boat if you can, avoidance of pain, replacing fear and desire with indifference, paying the mortgage or rent. For me it is the feeling that I am winning the battle to remain as alive as possible."


Thursday, November 09, 2006

I'm no Robin

Unlike most of the modern world, I can't be bothered to blog about the recent election results or what it's going to mean in the coming years. Honestly, I'm afraid I'm battling a bad case of cynicism and loss of hope that any true change will occur inside government.

So, what's on my mind? Sidekicks. Do you ever notice that a lot of the relationships we build do indeed break down into the leader/superhero role and the sidekick role? Political candidates have their running mates, usually a lesser known that few people really care about. What about housewifes/househusbands? Couldn't they be viewed as the sidekick of the more dominant partner? Even friendships form around this dynamic. Really what sparked this whole thought process was watching the interaction among two friends. Tall, blonde girl walks purposefully and is clearly directing the course of the shopping trip, as well as that of the friendship. The shorter girl is left trailing after her. I very much got the impression I was watching a live action version of the cartoon in which the sidekick bounds around the lead muttering, "which way did they go, George? Which way did they go?"

I suppose I'm blathering on about all of this because it made me realize that I don't want to be a sidekick. At the same time, I don't want someone to play my sidekick either. I want equality...or maybe duality. The perfect situation is all parties in a relationship/friendship/whatever constantly switching between lead/sidekick roles depending on the situation. That said, I always want someone to make the decision on where to eat.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Is this the sound of settling?

I have some of the best friends ever. They made this girl's birthday more than special on Saturday evening by truly spoiling me with attention and a gift that I don't deserve.

I'm still trying to wrap my mind around the weekend as a whole and step back from any super analytical mode I'm prone to fall into. I spent quite a bit of time with a certain blogger out there and think a friendship started online is now cemented in a sort of reality. Sunday was one of the better days I've had in a while. Napping and talking on a couch...just the physical act of being. As someone who is always on the go, I don't get that very much, and I'm going to cherish that closeness for quite some time. What did I learn this weekend? I learned about sweetness and silence and that a certain depth lurks under it. I learned sharing and communication are probably for the best. I learned that I know nothing and that even though I think I know some people better than they think I do...maybe I really don't.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Don't knock my confessional

I have to admit this somewhere, so it might as well be here. I'm nervous. Tomorrow night I'm going to pick a fellow blogger up from the airport that I've never met and proceed to spend the weekend with him. We have talked for months, but I still can't help but wonder if it's different in person. Does the sheer cloak of anonymity provide us with a certain level of comfort, of ease? He'll meet my friends, the people closest to me here and judging will happen. It's a fact of life. It's not even like this nervousness is unique to him. I was wreck before Scarlet and I met the lovely Barmaid. Just a friendly get together of bloggers who seem to have something in common, and I was fretting about what to wear and what that first impression would be like. I keep putting off hanging with Velvet for the same reasons. So, really, is it any shock that I'm more than a little nervous about tomorrow? Not really.