Friday, February 29, 2008

Report Card

So they were right when they said that online dating takes a lot of time. I've sort of gotten sucked into it. Sorry the blogging has been light, but I can only be clever for so long during the day. And, well, while I love you guys, none of you are going to promise to subsidize my lifestyle one day. A girl has to have priorities while distributing her charms, you know what I'm saying?

Overall, it's going pretty well. I've met quite a few normalish fellows, and even a few that are down right funny. Of course there are the straight-up crazies, such as ...

The guy who's first message said, "Don't you think we should meet?" And I was like, um, no.

Or the guy who's message was practically incomprehensible. Let me know if this makes any sense to you:

Subject: Hello Charming Princess ... [an auspicious start]

Stop searching is what everyone keeps on telling me ... so, stop searching is what I did. And on that day I sign on on the dating site , I encountered the sweetest smile I have ever seen complimented with such beautiful eyes. My heart skipped a beat,
I couldn't catch my breath and the only thing I could really say is, "Thanks, but I'm just looking around." [uh, you lost me on that one.] I wanted to say so much more than that. I will like to stare into your eyes and talk to your heart [sorry, i opted for the non-talking heart model.] but am not sure the way you will feel yet because I was nervous, so nervous I wanted to that i want to close your profile page . [by all means, please do.] But I stayed; and something tells me i have found love this is not a compliments this is what i felt deep down my heart ..pls give me a chance to get to know so that i can love you [no.] ... or you can add me to your Yahoo bubby[sic] or drop me your Chatting id. [no.]
Impatiently i wait
to hear from you... [hope you're not holding your breath]

[this is where it drifts into Text Message lingo, which in this case makes almost no sense to me.]
Note:I did like you to get back to me! with ur yahoo mail or email address and let me send you a mile with few pic of me i hate to post my pic on phote cuz f plz used ppl pic to [whaa?]

A real keeper, eh! It's rough out here. Fortunately, so far the non-wackos are outnumbering the wackos.

And so I press on.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Water Tasting Festival: Year 2

I promised to go back to the Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting Festival every year, and I'm a girl that keeps her promises. Yup, that's me. A promise keeper.

I brought Camie and Anna along with me this year, mostly to prove to everyone that this really IS a cool event. And I'm happy to say that they agree with me that this festival is super fun! Sure, it's also super weird, but weird in a good way. Like me, they'll be back. Once you go ... you're hooked.

After all of the tasting is done, and the awards have been given, there is the highlight of the evening, The Water Rush. All of the bottles of water are piled in the middle of the room and at the word "Go" there is a mad rush to get your favorites. This year, things were significantly more brutal, and I was pushed over a couple of times. But I'm a scrapper, and a few elbows to the kidney stopped that kind of unsportsmanlike behavior. Together, Camie, Anna, and I came away with 85 bottles of water. We're such lucky, ducks!

I forgot my camera (quel horror!) but here are a few shots of the booty. Which took 5 trips to get out of my car and into my apt. (The little MINI was filled to capacity!)

The Booty:

AquaDeco bottles are always a favorite because they are so unique.

Mini Mantra Bottles: I Am Lucky; I Am Loved. I'm definitely taking these to use at work ... I just want to make sure everyone knows the score.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do with all of them this year. Each bottle is hard to drink because it's unique ... you want to save it, but you also want to drink it. But if I save them, my dining room table will never get cleared off, and that's going to get irritating.

Last year, I solved this problem by taking them all to work and having a Water Tasting there too. I made people bring in tap water from DC and Baltimore to fill out the "municipal" category, and had ballots that they filled out and everything. My co-workers said they thought it was weird and that I was crazy ... but they're already asking when we'll be having this year's Water Tasting. So who's weird and crazy now, I ask you?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Poor Syntax Turns Me Off

OK. So online dating. What do you think about it?

I'll admit that I have been pretty anti. I probably shouldn't be, because I know a ton of people that have found THE ONE using it. But I don't know. I'm hesitant. Every time I dip my toe in the online dating pool I get some freak-o that wants to smell my feet.

Maybe it's just me, but I've never really met any quality people online. Of course, I've never been willing to pay so it's just been all of the other cheap weirdos and me out there. So it's probably no surprise that the quality has been ... er ... low.

I've always sort of thought that online dating would be the place I'd land when I had exhausted all of my other options and was too emotionally worn out to do anything other than swap mindless small talk via email. When I was ready to settle for settling I figured I'd see what was up in the Online Dating world.

And while I'm not quite at the end of my dating rope, lately I'm warming to this philosophy:

Doesn't that sound great!?

So the other night I dialed up a singles website and set up a profile to check it out a little more seriously. I've got the watered-down free version at this point and can't use some of the features like getting messages.

So far, so good. I'm getting a fair amount of traffic (they like me, they really like me!) And there are THREE messages in my inbox waiting for me to subscribe before I can read them. I'm a little bit tempted to sign up and see what they say. They will likely be lame messages, like "cool profile." But see, these website people are smart about getting me to subscribe. They, like GI Joe, know that knowing is half the battle. And since I don't know, I'm losing the battle and will probably end up subscribing because I'm just TOO DAMN CURIOUS! (See! I'm already bitter just anticipating the bitterness I'm bound to feel.)

So what do you guys think? Is online dating worth it? Have you had success? What makes it really work out well? Am I going to have to have a more lenient policy regarding basic grammar and spelling errors? Cuz that might be a problem. (I mean most browsers HIGHLIGHT any misspelled words. Is it too much to ask you to right-click and pick the correct spelling?!? If it is, then I certainly can't expect you to put forth the amount of effort required to honor and cherish me as I deserve, can I?)

Basically, it's either online dating or I just continue picking up guys at bars and making out with them. Honestly, either one works for me.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Tips From My Kitchen

There's an important distinction to be made between "apple cider" and "apple cider vinegar." Missing the word "vinegar" makes quite a lot of difference actually.

Trying to reduce apple cider vinegar is a frustrating experience, and ultimately a pointless one since vinegar evaporates.

The lingering scent of evaporated vinegar smells a lot like B.O.

Despite the claims on the cat litter bag that it "captures and holds odors," an open bag placed in the middle of the kitchen does nothing to absorb any lingering B.O. smells that might be assaulting your nose.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Why Exaggerate When Stuff Like This Happens?

I opened my front door this morning and found that someone had left me a Valentine treat on my doorstep! Getting presents, in whatever fashion they arrive, is my favorite. But getting them mysteriously dropped on the doorstep is even MORE my favorite.

Except, perhaps, when that present is a partially used 20lb bag of cat litter.

At first I thought it was a gift from the Ghost of Valentine's Day Future come to give me a wake up call. But the note attached explained that one of my neighbors (the one that stole my iron, incidentally) is moving out and thought that I might be able to make use of the litter.

This is a nice thought, except for that I don't have a cat. And I'm not really keen on pets in general. And it's VALENTINE'S DAY. And presents given on Valentine's Day should be of the chocolate or candy heart or diamond variety. Not of the turd receivership variety.

Take it from me, if you're a single girl in your 30s and let's just say you're a librarian and maybe you have a slight phobia about being destined to become a crazy cat lady, the last thing - and I do mean the VERY LAST THING - you want to see on your front step on Valentine's morning is a 20 lb bag of cat litter. That's just cruel. Ironic and cruel.

Dear Job, Stop Fighting It and Be My Valentine

This year I am asking my Job to be my Valentine. On the surface this sounds really pathetic. But believe me, we used to be seriously in love with each other. But I don't know ... somehow the magic just faded.

I said some things ("Why do you suck so bad?") and it said some things ("You act like you don't even care anymore!") and then I said some more things ("I would care if you gave me anything to care about. But you don't! You're so distant!"). And well, it wasn't too long before we were talking about divorce. It was a dark, dark, boring time.

But no matter how many other suitors I entertained, the fates kept us together. You just can't fight destiny. Believe me, I tried and I failed. Oh how I failed!

But now, I'm happy to say, we are working really hard at being there for one another and really making our time together count. So far, it's been great! Sure, we've still got a long way to go before we get back to that honeymooning stage of our relationship. But I really think we're going to make it. I really do. I, for one, am already feeling loved and I hope it feels loved right back.

You hear that, Job? I said I love you! So, what do you say? Will you be my Valentine?

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Charlie and Lola

I'm not saying that I am, but if I were the kind of full grown adult that liked to spend their Saturday morning watching cartoons and eating Cocoa Puffs then I would not be the kind that watches lame-o cartoons like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (because at my house the penalty for saying "Kowabunga Dude" is death). I'd be the kind of full grown adult that watches Charlie and Lola.

Charlie is 7, and he has a little sister, Lola, who is very small and also very funny (as he says at the beginning of every episode). I'm not going to evangelize about how great this show is, or how charming Lola is because I'm a full grown adult. And I don't watch cartoons.

But it is. And she is. And Charlie is the nicest older brother any little cartoon girl ever had. Not that I know any of this, though, because thirty-something single women just don't watch children's cartoons unless there is a child in the vicinity. Right? Right.

But when I have kids ... I'm going to let them watch only this show so they can learn to be nice to their brothers and sisters and more importantly to speak with a British accent. I think I could handle them narrating along to the video constantly (as children do) if they were saying in their little British accents things like, "I feel really, really, terribly, ever-so not well. " and "Don't worry, Charlie, I'm going to be here for every minute of all day until you're completely absolutely better." I'm sure that my children's life expectancy will go through the roof if I can somehow get them to have British accents. With regular American-accented whining, it will be touch and go until they are about 29. So Charlie and Lola won't just be entertaining child care, it will double as life insurance. I love it when things are multipurpose.

To get the flavor of Charlie and Lola, check out this tiny little clip. It sums it up pretty well.

Wee, indeed.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

My New Addiction

Just FYI, I'm not your casual mag-flipper. When I read a magazine, I READ a magazine. Every page, every article. I study the advertisements (applying all of my photo/model knowledge picked up from constant America's Next Top Model marathons). I take my magazines very seriously.

But because it takes me so long to go through a magazine, I only have one subscription (to Lucky - love it!), but I'm seriously considering picking up another one to Shape Magazine. I've never been very interested in health or fitness magazines because, well, I'm not very interested in health or fitness. It's so BORING. I get bored doing it; I don't want to be bored reading about it. I don't want to read about body builders and see the latest fashions for their spangley show bathing suits, or see advertisements for protein shakes, or learn that I should be eating more leafy green vegetables. Boooooring.

But I was at Camie's house a couple of weeks ago, and she had a copy of Shape that she'd "borrowed" from Ruth, and I started flipping through it. And then the weirdest thing happened. We went to go get dinner and I said, "Hey, let's not go to Wendy's, let's go to the grocery store instead and get some fresh veggies and steam some shrimp." Excuse me? LET'S NOT GO TO WENDY'S??? Was I stoned? Those words have NEVER come out of my mouth before. Especially not to be replaced with the words "fresh veggies." I can only shake my head at the recollection. I don't know what came over me.

So anyway, I thought I'd buy a copy of the mag for myself, because I sort of liked it (despite the Wendy's incident) and they have this part where they suggest playlists for your workouts ... and I'm a SUCKER for playlists. So I bought one when I was at the grocery store last week. You know, just to check it out.

On Tuesday night I was laying on my couch feeling really unmotivated, and totally wanting to just veg out and watch some telly or lick the inside of a Ben & Jerry's carton or something. I'd already canceled my plans to go to institute and the gym, and I was set for a night of pure lethargy. But there wasn't anything on TV, so I picked up Shape and started reading. Next thing I know I'm downstairs in the gym working my ass off on the elliptical. And then I was doing all kinds of mad sit ups and push ups. And then I came back upstairs and cleaned my house. And then made my lunch for the next day. It was as if Richard Simmons and June Cleaver had simultaneously taken over my body and instilled in me their love for exercise and homemaking. It was spectacularly awesome.

And you know what? Tonight, the SAME THING HAPPENED!

With this kind of consistent reaction, I think it's clear that this magazine is not just glossy paper and ink. Oh no. This shit is legalized good-behavior inducing CRACK. And I'm addicted, and am gonna get me a regular supplier.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Not Sure What To Write About

I've written four draft posts tonight. I just can't settle on what pointless drivel I want to share with you today. Here are your choices ... what's catching your fancy?

Would you rather hear about the Fire Sale I'm holding in my new work cubicle? (Anyone need Gregorian Chant records to play on their Victrola? But one of the rare finds available.)

Or perhaps you'd rather get the low-down on the mustard festival happening in California. Mustard is dying to go.

It's Lent tomorrow. What am I gonna do about that? Hmmm??

Oh wait, what am I thinking, I'm sure what you REALLY want to know is which 'Britney Spears Are You?' (choices: Mouseketeer, Wild Child, Sexpot, Mommy. Anyone wanna place a bet?)

It's hard to choose, isn't it? Welcome to my world.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Rock That Coogi White Boy

"Ladies, don't startle the Coogi."

This is a Coogi Sweater (pronounced Koo-Gee, yo). The most interesting thing about a Coogi Sweater, and this my stylish coworker can attest to, is that Coogis are only appreciated by African-American people. He has received exactly 3 compliments on this sweater, all from black folks. (Let it be noted that he has received in excess of 3 cries of horror, all from me.) Whitey has no love for the Coogi, it seems.

This is a true phenomenon. Even as this picture was being taken and I was in the middle of giving him crap about how horrible it was, and how it could only be more horrible if he'd coupled it with a mock turtleneck and brown braided belt (aka The Trifecta), when one of our black co-workers happened by and said in all seriousness, "Man, That is a NICE sweater!" (They said some more stuff, like "lord, chile" but it sounds way too racist to actually type out. Even though it's the truth.) I was glad to be there in person when the Coogi was complimented, because frankly I thought he was lying that anyone had taken time out of their day to bestow a kind word about this sweater. I had the distinct feeling that I was witnessing a once in a lifetime experience like Haley's Comet, or a spiral perm that turned out good.

So you know, if you want to look all Fly a Coogi is a good place to start. But since real Coogi Sweaters can be pretty expensive I suggest just making your own. It's easy! First collect the dryer lint from all of the dryers in a high rise ghetto apartment building for a month or so. Once you have a sizeable wad, wrap the dryer lint strategically with fishing line. Then set it below a heat lap until it fuses together into a giant pelt. Then you will have the material from which a Coogi Sweater can be constructed. Once you've cut out the pieces and stitched it together, you'll be ready to roll in style, yo.

Just be prepared for an onslaught of compliments from all the brothas from another motha.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Some Thoughts On My Hotel

I mentioned before that the hotel I stayed in in Las Vegas was AH-Mazing. If I may, let me expound.

This was my bed:

"Hello, MOST COMFORTABLE bed I have ever slept in. Pleased to make your acquaintance."

King-sized, soft, at least 500 count sheets, and perfect pillows. The first night I was there I had a little trouble setting the alarm properly, and when it went off at 4Am, I had to crawl across the vast expanse of the bed to turn it off. Annoying as this could have been, it was really the best thing for me, because up until that point I had not been taking full advantage of The Bed. One thought made it to the surface of my conscious mind: "Oh man, I've gotta DIVE INTO THIS!" and then I did about fifty snow angels and rolled around for a bit, before falling back asleep. The rest of the trip was spent sleeping diagonally with a perma-grin.

Second only to The Bed was The Bath. And more particularly the flat screen TV at the foot of The Bath.
I'm not a huge bath person ... I get bored. After about three minutes of sweeping the bubbles from one side of the tub to the other or arranging them strategically, I'm ready to get out. I can usually entertain myself for another two minutes sticking my big toe into the faucet and trying to turn the knobs with my feet. But really, that's about as far as I can stretch it. It hardly seems worth the effort to fill the tub. But introduce a flat screen TV to the mix, and suddenly problem solved!

(AND! The tub was so deep I wished my butt had some traction strips glued to it so I wouldn't slip down too far and drown. How often is tub drowning even an issue? Like never.)

While we're on the subject of flat screen TVs, well lookee here! It's ANOTHER one!

I don't usually get all Guy about TVs but this one was pretty killer. Plus I could watch it from The Bed, which for me, is the main thing when it comes to TVs.

As far as hotel rooms go this one was tops in my book. It only got better when I returned late one night to see that my neighbor had left his necktie on the door. (One more thing to check off the list of things I've heard about but never actually seen with my own eyeballs. Leave it to Vegas to educate a girl!) That's what this hotel is all about: style, comfort, and respect for your roommate.