Monday, August 28

Incredulity

I can't believe it's going to be September before the end of this week.

I can't believe I just brought home a bottle of champagne from my boyfriend's wedding this past weekend. Anyone want to toast to singlehood?

I also can't believe that my boss asked me to make her a mix cd. That seems really supernatural. Is she going to want to go see the She Wants Revenge/I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness show with me next week? [I am so going, who cares if I'm 31 and I have to work the next day?]

Sunday, August 27

What a world, what a life, I'm in love

Today is another one of my sickeningly happy days. Please bear with me while I overdose on contentment.

I went to dinner at Meditrina last night, opened in May by an incestuous combo of Midtown restaurant owners, along with chef Demitri Phillips from Tsunami. Food was good, not inexpensive but not overpriced, and had a nice Greek wine with my lamb meatballs and swordfish (no, I didn't eat 2 entrees; they have 'small plates' available as well, though I still didn't finish it all---a salad & small plate might be a good option if you're going). It was lovely, but the thing that stays with me is the sweetest little white cotton dress I saw in the window of Raiding the Closet across Union. Of course they were closed at 7:30 on a Sat. night, but I plan to go back after work Mon. to try it on. If it's not outrageously priced & looks as cute on me as on the mannequin, I might get to wear it a couple of times before summer ends. So that is my new love---I thought about that dress halfway through dinner.

Things like that make me wonder if I'm obsessive-compulsive. I went to my first Red Hot Lindy Hop dance at the Gallery Ballroom Fri. night, and woke up thinking about how wonderful it was. I'm now obsessed with swing music, dancing, movies, whatever. Obsessed, I tell you. I may have an addictive personality. Either that, or it's the endorphines. At any rate, the RHLH group is teaching a swing workout on Tues. & Thurs. at InBalance on Cooper starting in Sept., which I plan to attend as often as I can (but not 2x a week).

Enough about me for the moment. I've gotta motor if I'm gonna make it to the pedicure party.

Wednesday, August 23

The Anti-Party Story Blog Post

This is a story about my own personal bloody, lawn-mowing, exhausting week in the center of Memphis, with a jaunt or two outside Midtown. It contains no mention of parties, having fun, or live music whatsover (as per the new rules). See how exciting my life is when I'm not partying all the time? Let's see how many people actually make it to the end of this post---leave a comment if you do so I can tally it up.

Somehow I managed to bloody myself up not once, or twice, but (count 'em!) 3 times in the past few days, in small but painful ways. I broke a vase, which I immediately cut myself on as I was picking up shards of glass (go figure). Then I cut my foot, or more probably weged a sliver of glass into my foot, as I managed to not actually pick up all the glass after all that trouble. (I had to wear flip-flops to work, and almost left them on for my 1st meeting with the VP.) Was 2 injuries enough for me in 1 week? Apparently not, as I cut my thumb on some strange tool in my Swiss Army kit, leading to the realization that the digit I can least do without for a day is the thumb of my right hand. But I'm getting ahead of myself chronologically:

Sunday was brunch day, and as I was hoping would eventually happen, someone else actually hosted (hostessed?) this time, freeing me up to, um, not spend all day Saturday cleaning my house. Which is a good thing, because I didn't make it home until 4:30 Sat. AM after Michele's birthday party. But I digress; y'all don't want to hear about debauchery et cetera... oh, yeah, so we had a brunch discussion about Hurricane Katrina: 1 year later, whose fault is it? Or more specifically: Who cares whose fault it is that nothing's getting done? Let's stop assigning blame and assign responsibilities for fixing New Orleans! Somehow it also worked into my friend's new church's sermon on the inscription on Ghandi's tomb.

Monday was lawn-mowing day, and thankfully I hadn't sliced my thumb open with the oh-so-sharp SwissCard by then. Unfortunately, I'd neglected my lawn so long that it took every last ounce of strength to throw myself into the shower after only mowing the back yard. Sorry, neighbors! I'm sure I'm about to get a citation from the city or something. I'll just tell them my bermuda has to go to seed or I'll counter-sue when I have to re-sod my lawn after it dies. I wonder if that's why my grass goes brown every Sept.? Anyway, no heat stroke and no dead animal carcasses unearthed, so it was a good mowing experience.

Tuesday was chore day, so I checked out a new venue for dance lessons (InBalance Fitness, who are now having $5-a-visit classes---very cool, and very much needed, though the schedule looks light). Then I made a quick trip to Ike's, bought some retro personal care products, and walked the best dog in the world. Had just enough time to make it to the lovely Lamplighter for 2 cold beers before tucking myself into bed around 10:30. Bad news of the day? I ate the leftover Milk Duds from the movie trip Sunday. Moral of the Story: Don't go to the Lamp on an empty stomach!

Wednesday, today, Hump Day: Good day at work, made lunch plans with an old professor, had a very productive meeting (in which I was asked to sit in on a meeting, outside my dept., to discuss a new position, so that I may write that job description---good sign of job insurance), and then went to my (no more than) weekly workout. After all that I still had time for a shower and a trip to Costco to purchase $80 in supplies for a spa party I agreed to co-host this weekend. Remind me never, ever to say yes that quickly again---to anything!

Monday, August 21

Little Miss Sunshine

It's always strange for me to go to the movies with no idea what's playing. Usually it's either a matter of a much-anticipated indie/foreign film opening, or a friend who drags me to a movie that I don't end up enjoying all that much. (There area always exceptions, however, like X-Men and DWP, respectively.) Although it wasn't quite what I expected (and in retrospect I'm not sure what I expected), I thoroughly enjoyed the Sundance-winning film. Not really a film that makes you think too much or anything, which is fine for summer, I s'pose. But I love dark comedies, Toni Collette, and movies about misfit kids (like Welcome to the Dollhouse, But I'm a Cheerleader, and Ma Vie en Rose, off the top of my noggin) so there was very little not to like about this little flick. Still, I have to wonder if this is the best movie of the summer, or if I've just lost all desire to go see American-made films anymore. I'm still considering Scoop, though Woody Allen has let me down lately. (Okay, so that last one's 10 years old; it still lives fresh in my memory.) At least Studio on the Square didn't stink like it did last time I was there. Icky. It's like theatres have a shorter life span than shopping malls even do.

In other news, I'm contemplating a new hairstyle, so if anyone has seen any fabulous new 'dos that aren't totally ridiculous to maintain, help me out with some photos, won'tcha?

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PA 6-5000

So lately I have picked up a new hobby, or at least, I'm trying to. A friend of mine has been telling me forever how much fun swing dancing is, and I've always loved the music of that time. Plus, as I've already said, I wish our generation had some cool dances of our own.

I have many helpful hints for you 1st-time swing dancers out there, that is, if any of you have considered taking it up but never had the gumption (not sure of the root word there; is gumption a gerund?). Here’s a short list, based solely on my personal experience at 3(count ‘em!) lessons:

  1. Clothing: Wear slick-soled, non-marking shoes and make sure your clothing is breatheable. Everyone should wear something with sleeves, since ladies put their hand on the guy's shoulder & don’t want to touch sweaty skin---and the lead’s arm sort of goes under the lady's armpit, especially if you’re short like me. So no tank tops for anyone, please!
  2. Men, who must lead, this sucks for you. It’s way harder and you have to pay a lot of attention to the women (which may be new for you) to make sure we’re getting the right signals (which is also probably foreign to you) and know where you want us to go next.
  3. Frame: This is your stance for dancing, the position you put your body in---basically back & arms, including hands and elbows. If your partner is a foot taller or shorter, please accommodate her/him. And if you keep your hands in the right place, everything else is that much easier.
  4. Guys, this is a great place to meet women: not one but 3 men were partner-less, but all of them got to dance with every woman on the room, since we rotated constantly. Use your head & you may take home a few numbers!
  5. Women, I'd say it's a great place to meet hot men, but I'd be lying. It is a great place to meet guys you would ordinarily write off as not strikingly handsome (if you're like me) or probably socially inept. It's cool that you can meet guys & not instantly begin assessing dating potential. I like that I look at someone & think, "I want to dance with him; he looks like a good lead," instead of, "I want to dance with him; he looks hot."
  6. Be prepared to fvck up a lot and laugh about it. Everyone. No one likes a stuck-up dancer.
  7. That having been said, have confidence. If you act like you know, you look like you do. That makes you much easier to lead or follow.
(I've been attending Red Hot Lindy Hop's weekly dance lessons, but there are more groups in this town doing the same, in case their times don't work for you.) Even if you aren't a great dancer---and believe me, I'm not---it still a lot of fun. It's much easier than wind-surfing, at any rate. And everyone needs a hobby, or a change of pace every now and again, or you get stale as old saltines.

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Thursday, August 17

Somehow

I was trying to fix an error and messed things up (quelle surprise!) Somehow I have managed to delete this post, so the comment is just hanging in the ether, while the post is back in its rightful spot [here]. Sorry, kiddo.

Smells Like Teen Spirit

Since I am such a great follower, I'm following The Other Rock Grrrl and give you the pleasure of my list of things I want to do before I am dead or otherwise incapacitated. Gee, lucky you, huh?

  1. Learn to golf
  2. Keep chickens
  3. See San Fran & tour Napa
  4. Teach yoga classes
  5. Learn to meditate
  6. Karaoke alone
  7. Tailgate at a UT game
  8. Throw the opening pitch at a baseball game
  9. Go to Europe again (at least once, hopefully more)
  10. Learn to dance: at least ballroom, belly, and lindy hop
  11. Be the family Thanksgiving headquarters
  12. Learn to sight read sheet music
  13. Play the clarinet (again)
  14. Ride a bike (again)
  15. Drive a convertible
  16. Go snow skiing
  17. Take a cooking course
  18. Re-cover my dining room chairs
  19. Go into business for myself
  20. Be an extra in a film
  21. Volunteer (again, preferably tutoring/mentoring)
  22. Take my nieces on vacation
  23. Learn html & java
  24. Move elsewhere
  25. Sew
  26. Pierce something
  27. Road trip out West
  28. Spend a weekend at a spa
  29. Move into a retirement village
  30. Pour a drink on someone . . . in no special order.

Monday, August 14

Blogger Bash Wrap-up

As promised, I have the attendees from last night's bash. Sorry I didn't do it last night, but it wasn't exactly early when I finally made it back from the Deli. Again, roughly in order of when people showed up:

Thanks again to everyone who attended, and to the Young Ave. Deli for hosting us. I know there were many complaints about their refusal to split the tab, but it worked out in the end [Philip, I owe you $5---we were a little over after paying last night].

Conspicuously absent were Dwayne, David, and a slew of political bloggers (which was probably my fault; oh, well). At some points the convo turned to politics, at others to less high-falutin' topics, which were actually more personally relevant. I was feeling a bit scrappy rather than introspective, but I quite enjoyed the chatting at the north end of the table. Too much gun talk on the south side.

I was so happy to finally meet everyone, especially Lindsey, after a long time of enjoying her musings and seeing her depart & return to the... well, you-know-what-osphere. I was impressed that several people apparently enjoyed the first one so much that they came back for second helpings.

Quote of the night: "I'm down with communicable diseases." ---Lindsey

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Saturday, August 12

I'm not Dead Yet

Whew.

What a week/month/whatever. All I've been saying to myself is: I'll sleep when I'm dead. If anyone is concerned, I made it to work by 6:30 in spite of the night out, and gave my first presentation to around 80 people [applause]. I actually did sleep last night, in bed with Harry Potter by 9:30. My Favorite Dave called & sang a few lines from Rock'n'Roll Lifestyle to my voicemail, which was ironic in light of the fact that I was asleep by 10:30 on a Friday night (and Harlan was even playing!).

**Before I tell you about all the other goings-on, let me begin by [belatedly] sharing the roster from Thurs. night's blogger bash at the Young Avenue Deli, in order of arrival (or whenever I got around to talking to them):

Roy

Justin

Paul

Philip

Rachel

Eric

Kat

Brandon

Rick & Pam

Jon

Rachel

Derek

Phil

If I fogot you, it's not that I forgot you personally, but that you didn't get on our secretary's list. I was glad to meet everyone I didn't know & see everyone I did, and sorry not to talk to several of you more. Hope if you didn't make it to the first of them, your second chance is Sunday night---I'm hoping some of you who were eating cake at dish will show up tomorrow. Next time I advise coming early to get some discussion in before the beer starts flowing.

Personally, besides being pleased to meet everyone, I was very impressed with the turnout. Apparently Justin has an optimal feed of local blogs that has over 100. Sheesh! Of course not all of them are regular, and some may even be effectively defunct, or de-funked up anyway... but it's still impressive. Personally I only know less than half of them. I suppose that is just one of the many things which makes me an unsophisticated blogger, but I never claimed to be anything else. Perhaps we can think of this as the Unsophisticated Bloggers' Welcome Party. I had a great time talking to the more sophisticated ones, but I'm sure several of them thought I was silly (I am). Discussion ranged from typographical errors to Hooters vs. strip joints; from ironic mullets to lite politics; and of course blogging was the touchstone for the night's conversation.

Thanks also to the Deli for hosting us, although I thought it was bad form of the owner (manager?) not to warn me they wouldn't split checks for parties over 6. At least I could have warned people to bring cash. If you owe me, and you know who you are if you do, I'll be back at the same place on Sunday for Blogger Bash: Rise Above v6.2.

UPDATE: **I've just found out from an official source that "party stories are over" so I guess you won't be hearing about my night out downtown tonight!

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Wednesday, August 9

Monday, August 7

Block Party Pooper

Okay, I'm officially not the person who over-plans and regulates everyone else's fun times. The new Queen of Mean is my obnoxious neighbor, who'd undoubtedly give Paul's Most Annoying Woman on the Planet a migrane... .

You know those people who manage to ruin everything they touch for everyone else? Well, she's one. I've been fighting her every attempt to sabatoge a simple neighborhood cookout for weeks now. First it was calling me every 5 seconds (HER: Well, so & so can't come, so should we change the date? But then this other couple might be out of town... and if we have it on a weekend, these people will be at their farm. ME: Yeah, well someone's not going to make it whenever we have it, lady.)---next it was over-thinking every detail (HER: We have to change the party invite to say it ends at 8:30 instead of 9:00, because someone said they'd leave when it started getting dark!! ME: No, dumb@ss, because anyone who wants to leave is free to do so.)---then it was not calling me when she said she would (Drama in her online life, andI am beginning to get that she doesn't have a real one, and why!). Now she's calling me to tell me what someone (who got her phone number from me, as I'm sure he told her) is bringing. Guess what? A bananna pudding. Like I give a flying fvck what anyone is bringing at this late hour. I've told her 20 times what I'm bringing, and it's not another bananna pudding. She just has to have someone to talk to, and I'm beginning to understand why---her husband just can't listen anymore. Poor guy. He is a runner-up for World's Biggest Eunuch.

This woman went from taking over my cookout (excuse me, I must have stolen her idea: as soon as I mentioned doing a block-long party, she said she'd been planning to do the same thing for some time [not that anything had stopped her] and of course, no one has ever thought of such an idea before, right?) to micro-managing what should have been a simple concept: We bring the soda & bbq grills, you bring the meat of your choice. Everyone has fun, meets people they see every day, builds a sense of community, end of story. I am totally dreading it. I really just wanted to meet my neighbors, not be driven to kill them.

Sunday, August 6

It's 2 R's, one B, 2 E's, y'all

If real life weren't getting in my way, I'd have a lot to tell you about everything that's been going on. Lately my calendar has started to look like a doily or something, with little holes all around it letting in the light. I like to be busy, but I have to have time to stop & think, as well. About what? you ask---life, the universe, and everything else, I guess. What to put on my schedule next, maybe, or who I need to fish out of my address book. I have always been That Person: the one who keeps up with everyone when no one else does. I have never been regular about it, or very good at it; it's just that my friends are worse at it, for the most part. But if there's someone in the crowd that you haven't talked to in 3 years, chances are I have (it might have been 18 months ago, though). I hate to let go of people I've known forever. It's worse than giving anything else up. Ironically, however, I hold a grudge worse than anyone I know. Go figure.

So, this week for me is yet another crazy one. I have plans for Mon. (dinner w/family)---Tues. (cookout; more on that later)---Weds. (a new dance lesson; we'll see how that goes)---and Thurs., of course, is the 1st of 2 Memphis Blogger Bashes. Maybe people will start to spell my name right afterward. I'm the blog nazi, after all, and I insist on proper grammar, capitalization, and punctuation (or else [what, I'm not sure]).

Thursday, August 3

sticed out

If there were a word describing the feeling of exhaustion that comes over you when you're not so much tired already as dreading how tired you're going to be soon---that would be the title of this post. I am too tired to look it up, so there just may be the perfect word somewhere.

Growing up, we had an unadbridged copy of Webster's open at all times in our house. Don't know what a word means? Look it up. Can't remember how to spell something? Go look it up. That's what I love about the internet---I mean, aside from the pajama-blogging and email replacing a constantly ringing phone---alla that stuff is there if you just want to look for it. It's like being at the largest store in the world where a lot of stuff just happens to be free once you've paid to get into the door.

* * * * * * * *

I am dreading cleaning up for my visitors this weekend. Not dreading the visits, of course, because I love having company and the people coming are all great guests whom I've known forever. I went to vote after work tonight with all the other poor bastards in my district who couldn't make up our minds in time for early voting. I had planned to go over lunch but ran over something which ended up puncturing both tires on one side, just outside the pluggable area, of course. Luckily, I work close by a service station, so that wasn't a problem. (The $250 bill for 2 new tires was. My car has to have special tires; who knew?) So I am running late and what do I do? Yes, sit down in front of this large store we call the internetz and look up things like toe reduction surgery and exploding maple trees. Maybe I'll keep the lights low while people are here, so they can't see all the dust & dog hair that always manages to form itself into little tiny tumbleweeds.

UPDATE: Think I found the word.

Wednesday, August 2

Rise Above It All

Okay, y'all, it's finally time.

Mark your calendars, set your alarms, do whatever you have to do to make it to a blogger bash (or both!) next week.

We're meeting at the Young Avenue Deli around 7pm next Thurs., then again that Sun. as an added convenience. Those of you who wish & can make it happen are encouraged to attend both events.

The idea here, of course, is to make connections with as many of your fellow bloggers as possible---so in that spirit, please spread the word to others not in my blogroll or livejournalers you may know, etc. I'd love to see a full house this time, and we'd all love to meet you!

Remember, we can rise above our differences, spreading peace, love, & happiness around the city. Or at least drink a beer together (and yes, Lindsay, they do have liquor).

Muchos gracias to Mike Hollihan of Half-Bakered for the graphic, encouragement, and beneficience! Also to Mr Roboto for his words of advice.

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