Tuesday, March 28, 2006


I've been walking around in a daze since Sunday, afraid to admit to anyone that I'm scared. The bags that haunt my eyes aren't from an unusual lack of sleep but of the worry that stalks me in my dreams. What I have a problem with is mortality. Not my own but that of those I love. I fear being abandoned, orphaned as an adult.

As I talked to my mom on Sunday, I learned my grandmother is sick again, that she is weak. She has been feeling pretty crappy off and on. I think of her age and the reality that she won't always be there. I think of how I won't be able to cope without one of the women who raised me. I worry about my mom who will eventually lose her best friend and near constant companion. I can't stomach the thought of her being alone thousands of miles away but don't think my spirit could handle moving back home. I dream of moving her some place like San Francisco with me and having her nearby.

I think of my mom and think of her mortality. I try to forget the cirrhosis that is slowly signing her death warrant. I think of how we all try to forget this. I feel in my heart that when they abandon me in death I won't be able to go on. I've been afraid to go home this past year because as the years pass I fear that each time might be the last I see them. I miss them and am afraid not to go home because I need to see them.

Right now I'm just scared but have to force myself not to think just to get by.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Embracing wine week

I seriously think I had the best lunch of my life yesterday, and it had very little to do with food. Twice a year Smith & Wollensky host a wine week where, for a mere $10, the glasses in front of you become virtual fountains overflowing, unlimited wine. Smith & Wollensky have employees circulate throughout the restaurant from 12 to 3, each in charge of doling out certain wine selections. Grabbing a group of friends and settling in for the afternoon seemed the perfect way to end a week.

We (Scarlet, Joyce and Marsha) arrived just in time for our 12:30 reservation and had no sooner sat than I had a nice sparkling wine and a merlot in front of me. An alcoholic's wet dream, I never had fewer than two different wines in front of me. It was a leisurely affair meant to be enjoyed by the decadent. Our waitress took our lunch orders roughly 45 minutes and 5 drinks into lunch. By the time Allie joined us, we were well past toasty, and when our food finally arrived, it was the least of our concern. Never before have I been drunk so early in the day (and had so much fun). Because everyone in the restaurant was there for wine week, the atmosphere was laid back and flirty. Scarlet found a new boyfriend in manager David, man of the askew bowtie, and random people were known to stop by our table.

I'd recommend everyone make time for wine week next time it rolls around, but honestly, I don't want to have to fight with you for my reservation. ; )

Non-snob's guide to selections tried: sparkling, merlot, pinot grigio, pinot noir, chardonnay...and so many others, the names of which I will never remember.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


I hate public restrooms, probably not as much as some women, but I still find them distasteful. This afternoon I was making my way back to Washington, D.C. when all the diet coke I consumed decided it was tired of me. I'm not sure why I was so hesitant to use the Amtrak loo, but my instincts proved correct today.

The loo in question was wretched. I knew it was going to be one of times I was going to have to make like a jedi and hover. Unfortunately, unlike most guys and a whole lot of women, I have horrific aim*. Just as I was experiencing that final release (when you've had to pee really bad, you know what I'm talking about) when I noticed something pooling on the ground. I completely missed the toilet and had pissed on the back of my jeans and the floor. The red flush of shame crept to my face at the same time my cat-like reflexes had me yanking my pant legs out of their own danger zone. Thank GOD my jeans were dark and only got hit near the top. It allowed me the opportunity to sneak back to my suitcase and grab a skirt. I slid out of the loo, making sure to afix a look of disgust on my face at the "person" who left the place such a mess. Five minutes later I was outfitted in new skirt and back in my seat. Perspective allows laughter, but pissing yourself as an adult takes a strong constitution.

Lesson learned: If it's so gross you need to hover, find another loo.

*Ask me about my Taiwanese bathroom experience later.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Greetings from New Hampshire

Live free or die...the state motto. Nothing terribly exciting to report. I'm mired in training on historic preservation law and looking forward to my train ride back.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

I sleep around

I used to be one of those girls who had trouble sleeping. I couldn't sleep in a moving vehicle or with too much light or with my overactive imagination. Flashforward several long years, and you're now talking to a girl who can do it anywhere. My answer came in the form of whoring myself out to the joys of travel. My lust for parts unknown, the open road or simply somewhere other than where I currently am have led me to some interesting sleeping quarters. I've bedded down in foreign dorms, the floor of O'Hare, and even the couch of a friends apartment. I slept on raised bamboo in Thailand under a thatched roof and mosquito netting, a hotel shaped like a boat in Puerto Rico, and in a Vegas hotel room where the door wouldn't lock and was held shut by my propping a chair against the door. I do cars at rest stops and even caught a few winks behind the wheel and stopped at a traffic light. Last night I grabbed a couple of hours of sleep on the regional Amtrak as it barreled toward Connecticut and this morning napped a couple more hours on the bottom bunk of a four-year old's Strawberry Shortcake comforter. I guess you could say I sleep around.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

For the love of meme

I am so not a fan of memes, so Barmaid had better realize I'm doing this only because her blog kicks so much ass.

My nickname: Weenie...a moniker given for a couple of reasons: (1) an unhealthy fear of bugs and (2) Serena...SirWeenie...Weenie.

My hometown: San Angelo, Texas. I've learned not to be embarassed and to embrace my past.

My team: Team sports are so passe. Isn't it all about the individual? ; )

My theme song: Back That Thang Up by Juvenile

My drinks: Rum and coke or a French Martini

My occupation: enviro rabble rouser

My spare time: Damned internet. Spying. Making movies. Exploring.

My hiding spot: the Barn

My books: Geek Love by Katherine Dunn, House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski, In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez.

My [fake] heroes: Diet Coke. It sparkly and refreshing and helps so many people feel so good. It's the new humanitarian.

My [real] heroes: My mom. A divorce and two kids and she never let us down. She instilled in me the belief that the world was mine for the taking and that the sky's the limit.

My tags: Allie, Steven, and Green Canary

Monday, March 13, 2006

Tramps like us

Sometimes I believe I'm just asking for trouble. It's almost like I try to find the most difficult or unavailable men and become interested in them. A few weeks ago there was the crush who had me in knots. There's no new crush, but a series of events is unfolding that's making me question my better judgement (or, honestly, lack thereof).

The thoughts running through my head this morning though are more reminiscent of where I was roughly 10 years ago. Back in the day I had just broken up with the Boyfriend, the one who will always make your knees weak, and had been talking every night on the phone to my friend, Roy. Roy was in the Marines and not happy. He hated 29 Palms and was having trouble with his wife. We would spend hours on the phone late at night talking about our doomed relationships. Well, needless to say, Roy got some leave a few weeks later and decided to come home to visit (he lived up the street from me and had known me for years). Shortly before he arrived I learned he and his wife had separated; despite this, we made plans to hang out. Really, hanging out was dinner and a movie and entirely innocent until we ventured back to my childhood room to chill and talk. Before I knew it, our two damaged souls were making out on the floor of my bedroom. It didn't feel right. I had known Roy way too long, and we were never meant to be that kind of couple. Plus, I had no desire to be that girl that stepped in while they were on a break.*

Flash forward about a decade and here I am thinking naughty thoughts about a recently separated acquaintance, a manager at my part-time job actually. I recently learned that his wife told him she wanted a divorce and moved out. I really was crushed for the man because obviously this broke his spirit. Sadly**, despite the fact that the body's not even cold yet and technically this could just be a break, I felt a little giddy at his being back on the market. I also realized how depraved this was at the same time. I truly feel bad for the man and felt even worse when we noticed his wedding ring had finally come off yesterday. Does feeling bad stop me from considering flirting? No. Did a friend (innocently) invite him out for drinks tonight with us after work? Yes. Am I going to be able to stop considering this an opportunity? Hopefully.

*After Roy left, I actually never heard from him again. I think we crossed a line in our friendship and didn't really know how to go back. I think about him every now and then and hope he got out before we went to war.
**I'm choosing to be pretty honest here, so go easy on me.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Nobody knows you like they do

Sometimes we wander through life wandering if the people around us really know us, and most of the time I come to the conclusion that they don't. It's actually kind of depressing to think that who I really am, who hides deep inside and matters most to me, is seen by nobody but me. I think one of the most sought after things in life is to be known. This is usually when I take comfort in Psalm 139, "O Lord, you have searched me and you know me...". At least someone knows me inside and out and still claims me. Every now and then we do meet a few souls who are willing to go there with you. People who take the time to listen and to begin to know you. I don't hold myself up as this bastion of mystery or anything, but I do think it takes some tenacity to know the different sides of me. Living in a city like DC, I always get the feeling that most people simply tolerate you or are using you for some other purpose. You talk and they don't really listen. They're already planning what they'll respond with. As I was walking to work this morning I realized that there are a finite number of people who care to really know me...or at least try to.

In fact, sometimes it's the little things that let you know people are paying attention. I'm bopping along this morning and wind up on the subject of mix cds. I started thinking of how we each need our own life mix cd. I paused, literally stopping on the sidewalk, as I realized that someone had already taken the time and effort to create one for me. Every word of every song may not apply to me or be about me, but the essence of the music, the song titles, the artists, and yes, the words, speak to the fact that the person who made this cd has taken the time to actually know me. It's the Christmas gift that keeps on giving because I can pull it out and listen to it whenever (like now) I want. It's good to know you're just a little known.

The cd...

We Only Come Out at Night, Smashing Pumpkins
Up All Night, Razorlight
Tonight Let's Dance, Elefant
This Place is a Prison, The Postal Service
The Saloon Song, Prom
Southern Girl, Incubus
Something to Look Forward To, Spoon
Our Weekend Starts on Wednesday, Hey Mercedes
Nightswimming, R.E.M.
Hope You're Happy Now, The Sounds
Hitchin' A Ride, Green Day
Go to Sleep (Little Man Being Erased), Radiohead
Four in the Morning, Ivy
Exhausted, Foo Fighters
Dancecraze, Millencolin
Caught by the River, Doves
Around the World, Red Hot Chili Peppers
All Over the World, Pixies
Across the Night, Silverchair

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Dumping people

Do you ever feel bad for dumping people in your life? I'm not really talking significant others or friends...that's a whole other post. I'm talking about other, more random people in our lives. People that provide a service. I think I essentially dumped my hairdresser yesterday. While she really does fabulous color, the last time I had her cut my hair I walked away feeling wretched. I had been looking for a cute, modern bob and instead looked more like a little dutch boy. So, when I decided I needed a haircut yesterday, I phoned the salon looking for another stylist recommendation. Psychic receptionist determined my hair swami would be the pregnant Sara. To my horror, pregnant Sara* sat right across from Krissie (the dumped). It had been months since I had seen Krissie, and even though I always thought she was little resentful of how long my hair took to color, I still felt like a cheating whore. As she walked by, I continued averting my gaze even though I knew I had made the right decision. The problem with what I did would be a problem in any relationship. I never gave Krissie the benefit of the doubt and expressed my feelings about the haircut. I simply took the coward's way out and cut and ran. I've done this before. I had a regular manicurist back home in Texas that I would see every week. Something went wrong one week, and I never went back. Who does that? Am I destined to handle all of my relationships this way? I don't think I've ever just bailed on a friendship or a boyfriend in that manner, but I certainly know the feeling has been there.

*In other news, new hairstylist Sara seems to think I need to see a doctor about the amount of hair I have falling out. I have really thick hair, and this loss doesn't seem to change that. She seems to think it's indicative of another health problem.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Peeling myself off the carpet

Deliver me from my weekend. Don't get me wrong...I had a smashing time. However, three solid days of burning the candle at both ends has me fried. I should have sensed this coming in some way after the train wreck my work afternoon became. I would like to blame stress for the fact that I somehow wound up drinking until 5 am at Ravena's birthday party. Stress also caused me to tell Tice how warm he was, continually tell Brendan his guitar playing was hot, and decide it was a good idea to roll down the grassy slope in Allie's yard, cackling like a banshee. I decided to stockpile stress for next weekend by getting up (was I ever really down?) at 7:30 am to drag my still-tipsy behind to my part-time job at the bookstore.

Never one to back down from a challenge, I spent six hours sobering up at the Barn (work). Then, feeling that I hadn't truly been punished enough, I thought a good way to spend my evening (Saturday) was to have dinner with friends and see a local (3-hour) production of the Sound of Music. They did a fine job, but I still fell asleep no less than 3 time throughout the course of the night.

I finally drug my rear home around midnight, only to get up a few short hours later to pull a Sunday shift at the Barn. I know you're sighing with relief at the fact that at least I got home early on Sunday evening to rest up for the work week. Oh but if it were true. I had tickets to the New Pornographers and Belle & Sebastian last night, so instead of seeking the comfort of my bed and Oscars I traipsed to DC. The concert was worth the lack of sleep. Just don't expect more than this feeble weekend recap so early on a Monday morning. I'm still trying to figure out when I'm supposed to rest.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Where are thee fair flare?

It is becoming ever more apparent to me that I have lost my flare. As I was walking down the street today I realized that I couldn't blame my utterly drab appearance on this viscious cold I've been fighting. The cold didn't make the black mid-calf skirt and crocs the most comfortable and easy thing to put on. I only acquired the cold last week and certainly can't blame it for the brown Golden Girls-esque coat that has seen me through winter for the past couple of years. My flare (style) slowly started creeping away from me around my junior year of high school. Before then I was a regular mini trendsetter, before my time even. At 13, I was such a brand whore* that my mom took to telling me that I must be adopted. By junior high and high school, I was reading 6-8 fashion magazines a month and could tell you that short hemlines were in and that grey was the new black. I had no clue that just a few years later I would be that angsty teen who sprouted hips overnight. Suddenly boys saying that my crisp white button-down with colorful, transparent rings looked like condoms bothered me. I developed an interest in flying under the radar screen instead making a statement. As the years slipped through my fingers, it wasn't that I had forgotten about fashion or began to think feather boas should be all the rage. I think I just had a hard time reconciling my evolving personality with my evolving body. My latest fashion excuses have included me (1) finding better things to spend my money on and (2) giving myself a guilt trip for even caring about things like fashion (the inner feminist feels we shouldn't care what people think of our appearance). The problem is that, now that I'm ready to find my flare once again and be fierce, I seem to have lost the ability to find my personal style. I'm lucky in that I have the perfect job and career aspirations to allow me to really be as funky as I want to be. How does a girl go about getting her flare back?

*A special thanks to the fashion plates (La Coquette, DCCeline, SVR, Aimee, Says the Asian Leprechan, Fashionologie) posting out there. You guys fanned the flames of my excitement and inspired a flare rebirth.