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January 4, 2011 / thegrrlspot

Traversing Stygian Christmas Nimbus (or the Christmas Raincloud that Follows Me)

Somebody thinks it’s funny to put the Evil Eye on me each December.  I’m not kidding. No, really, this is serious.

Hara, if you are reading this, can’t you do some crazy Greek toof-toof-your-baby-is-beautiful-but-he-has-crooked-tows magic?  Crush some herbs in oil with hair of goat while spouting incantations?

Let me preface this by explaining what happened last year.

The gf and I first got together sometime around the holidays a couple years back (we settled on the anniversary of our first kiss since we can’t remember when exactly I finally stopped having cold feet and agreed to the status of “girlfriend”).    Thus, last year I decided to pull out the romantical stops and plan a big Washington D.C. trip as an anniversary/Christmas surprise.  I had booked us a hotel room in downtown, made a dinner reservation at a swank restaurant, gotten tickets to a play at the Eisenhower Theater, and had plans to visit all the amazing monuments and museums.  Well don’t you know it…the biggest snow storm the East coast has seen in years decides to show up and send D.C. into a whirling dervish of chaos and car accidents.  My glorious planning quickly became all for naught and instead we ended up having dinner at a Mexican restaurant in Norfolk, VA.  It was around this time that Girlfriend’s jet lag finally caught up with her, as she had spent the previous two weeks in Japan for work, flew back and spent one night in Alaska, and then flew to the East coast.  She promptly fell asleep in the guacamole.  Happy Anniversary, Dear.

WELL…December 2010 was not to be outdone!  The whole thing started on a bad note with me setting my alarm wrong and waking up 30 minutes before my plane was supposed to depart from Savannah. doh! The Priceline guy told me that not only would I have to pay a $130 re-booking fee, but I would also have to cover any price difference between the original ticket and the new same-day ticket I wanted to purchase.  Trying to fly out of Savannah would have necessitated selling a kidney on the Black Market.

Luckily!  I remembered one of my co-workers mentioning that flying out of Jacksonville was way cheaper than flying out of Savannah, so I asked Priceline guy to work with me and we managed to agree on a flight.  I looked at my dog, who realizing I was about to depart on a journey as indicated by the packed suitcases, had been attempting to change herself into something that resembled baggage for the past hour.  “Stop worrying, I promise you are coming,” I said, shaking my head.  To which she responded with suspicious eyes and continued with her attempts to turn herself into a small brown suitcase.

Both the dog and I made the flight out of Jacksonville to Philadelphia without any further incident and were picked up by Girlfriend and my Dad.  Maya (my dog) did almost cause a Transportation Security Incident when, overcome by excitement at the sight of Girlfriend, she proceeded to cause her travel bag to start expanding and rolling violently around in the crowd at the baggage area, thereby alarming many travelers who could not fathom what evil possessed this bag causing it to move on its own.  We made it out of the airport before being questioned by any super-sleuth TSA agents. 😉

Arrival at my parents’ home in Jersey started what can only be described as a mega-marathon of binge eating…with two days of running mixed in for good measure.  I’m pretty sure I ate enough to feed a small, third world country.  I consumed the following:

cheesecake, lemon meringue pie, stuffed mushrooms, pasta, snicker-doodles, oreo truffles (the devil!), salted caramels, Andes mint chocolate chip cookies, chips & salsa, sour cream & onion potato chips, regular potato chips, cheese n crackers, cheese n pepperoni, Mexican layer dip, beer, liquore,  and more beer.

yeah, I should also mentioned that was just on Christmas Eve.

Christmas Day came and the glorious fest of gift-giving commenced!  I sure do love Christmas…actually I love the whole Christmas season.  I think I might know 95% of all Christmas music ever written and can be found singing it at the top of my lungs starting the day after Thanksgiving (much to Girlfriend’s chagrin!).  I mean, heck, I even know Silent Night in Spanish.  I was especially excited this year because I had bought two tickets to a show on Broadway and a night’s stay in a hotel in Manhattan for Girlfriend who, despite having grown up in Rhode Island, somehow never made it to New York City.    Not only was I taking her to see ‘Wicked’, a show she’d been dying to see, but I promised her a “dirty water dog” from a NYC street vendor! (girlfriend is a hot dog aficionado)  How’s THAT for romance!

WELL…it was that first blissful evening amid the sensory cacophony of car horns, neon lights, exhaust fumes, and a rushing mass of bodies…when I got the text. Why is my mother texting me? I thought.  oh…just to tell me there’s a BLIZZARD that will be hitting the northeast tomorrow morning and we will need to take the 8am bus back to New Jersey or suffer the resulting stranding in a hotel room in the middle of New York City with no transportation, food, or clean underwear.  you. have got. to be kidding me.  WHO DOES THIS HAPPEN TO TWO YEARS IN A ROW!?!? right, well, … yes. Me, apparently.

Girlfriend tried to comfort me, but it was to no avail.  I had been so very excited to give her the “New York City Experience,” questionable processed street meat and all.  I looked up in anguish at the lights of Times Square, overcome by a sense of existential longing….

ok, so maybe I just cursed a bit and trudged back to the hotel like a child who’s had their toy taken away.  But still. I was upset! My super cool present was getting ruined by snow…again!  On the bright side, this was a slight improvement from last year – girlfriend was awake for the whole thing and we DID get to see ‘Wicked’, which totally rocked.  She also got to experience the Port Authority Bus Terminal, which if you’ve ever been there, you know is an experience in itself.  (I once almost got arrested by the ‘Runaway Police’ there in college…the plight of looking perpetually 16).

I have to say it was a good thing I listened to my mother. (Did I just admit that in writing??)  By the time we reached New Jersey, it was snowing sideways with winds gusts so strong they rocked the bus.  And yes, NYC was pretty much shut down.  And I like clean underwear.  So I’m glad we made it back…to eat more Oreo truffles.

Both girlfriend and I were set to fly out Monday morning, but as Sunday wore on…it became increasingly apparent that this would probably not happen.  At least it did to Expedia…who extended the courtesy to girlfriend of automatically re-booking her flight for the next morning in anticipation of all the chaos caused by the shutdown of every major airport in the tri-state area.  Priceline? not so much.  At midnight, snow topping out around 19 inches, my flight was still showing as “on time” for 10:30am. bullshit.

The next morning, realizing we didn’t have much choice, my Dad, Girlfriend and I took to frantically shoveling the driveway to make the hour drive to Philly.  As luck (or the Evil Eye) would have it, the flight was canceled just as the snow shovel frenzy had ended and we had all piled into the car. Back in the house we went to look for a new flight.  The dog was so distraught at this point by the moving of luggage in and out of house and car that she wasn’t sure if she was trying to be baggage or dog.  I contemplated giving her a valium…

The next flight I could get on would not leave until the following night with a connector in Cincinnati, so the next day I said goodbye to girlfriend who was to be picked up by my friends in Savannah and entertained until my arrival.  The dog and I headed to the Philly airport that evening and settled into the seating area …it was here I was informed that my flight was delayed nearly 40 minutes!  WHAT?! I exclaimed inwardly.  I only have a 47 minute layover in Cincinnati! How am I going to make my connector!?!

There was already another disgruntled passenger waiting to speak to the Delta desk lady, who left to go use the bathroom.  Said disgruntled passenger snarled at her in dismay and sat down on the floor in front of the desk in a huff.  I pondered her for a moment and wondered if I was making any of the same faces…I surely hoped not!  Because of this presentation of what can only be described as “ugliness,” I decided to be patient and accept what was happening (<—total yoga ninja mind trick…try it, it works!)

Finally, after quite a long time (hope everything came out ok?) the lady came back.  After she finished dealing with disgruntled girl, I informed the desk clerk of my plight.

Delta Lady: “Ohhh…um…yeah…you probably won’t make it.”

Me: “Yes. I know.”

Delta Lady: “Well let me see…ooh..that’s not good..hrm…well I could,nope…um…jeez”

Me: (growing anxiety) “That doesn’t sound very good…”

Delta Lady: “Well, there’s no more flights that I can get you on tonight.  The next flight I could get you on would be either 6am out of Cincinnati or 5:45am out of here.  You’re going to have to stay overnight in an airport.”

I opted to be extra booked on the 6am flight and walked back to my seat to break the news to the dog.  Whereas before she was determined to go to any length to stay by my side, she now looked at me as if threatening to call PETA at the prospect of having to stay overnight in a travel bag at the airport.  Seriously. I could see it in her eyes.

Forty minutes later, we were on the flight to Cincinnati and I had resigned myself to finding a nice corner of the next airport to curl up in for the night with nothing but my jacket and wiener dog.  However – a beneficial twist of fate.  I turned my phone on after we landed and received a text message from my Mom.

JAX flight delayed until 9pm!!! run!!!

Well, you don’t have to tell me twice!  Weenie, we are going home! I yelled at Maya…who looked at me like I had totally lost it from her spot under the seat in front of me.  I burst into a sprint at the door of the ramp, frantically scanning for my next gate.  WOOHOOO! We made it in time!! I called my Mom and breathlessly reported the news whilst those around me stared at the panting crazy lady who had just run into the seating area.

FINALLY! We boarded the plane for Jacksonville and I could feel myself relax.  The dog curled up in her bag and I leaned back and closed my eyes. HA! Did you think it would going to be that easy? really?  Cuz then the Captain came on to announce a “hydraulic anomaly.”  Yes, he used the word anomaly. As in “odd”, as in “peculiar”, as in THEY HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG!  ahem.  Sorry…not a fan of flying.  Also not a fan of the horrific visions of fiery death that come to mind when thinking of hydraulic anomalies…you know like hydraulic steering failure…or landing gear hydraulic failures…mhm…no big deal…  It also did not help that the mechanic came on board and busted out the manual – call me crazy, but I don’t really take it as a good sign when the guy has to break out the MANUAL to figure out what is wrong!  Ujjayi breathing attempt, take one.  Epic FAIL.  Ok so I’m not quite a yoga ninja yet.

Ok, brain, the breathing didn’t work…so what will we do now?  How about read everyone’s favorite – Sky Mall magazine! Yes, that will help to keep your mind off melting piles of flesh and metal strewn on the ground.  …So I think everyone has pulled out the Sky Mall mag before, but has anyone actually bought anything from it?  Like, are there people out there who do their Christmas shopping through Sky Mall?  and do people actually want anything you can find in Sky Mall?  For example – a Magic Shower Head!  Because everyone wants a shower head that can turn the water red, orange, blue, or green!  Or maybe you’d like a floor lamp made of cast iron in the shape of a woman’s body – only instead of a head, you have a lamp shade.  Because that’s not creepy at all.  I feel like people who have headless woman lamps probably might have headless women buried in their basements.  But I digress…

After much ado (and failed Ujjayi breathing), the apparent “anomaly” was determined to be a busted signal transmitter in the hydraulic system.  After cannibalizing (yes they used that word too) another plane, we were ready for takeoff.  I tried to sleep on the way home, but never quite reached an adequate level of relaxation to do so.  The dog, however, seemed completely un-phased by the “anomaly” and slept soundly. hrmph.

It was a two hour drive home from Jacksonville, but finally at 2:30am, I walked bleary-eyed into my apartment and into the arms of my waiting love.  Sigh. Thank heavens for small rewards, eh?  She was watching…what else? The Food Network.  Probably preparing for next Thanksgiving 😉

All in all, it was a good Christmas.  Though there was a touch of sadness without Pop there with us… I know that crafty old man was smiling down on us and raising hell in heaven’s Christmas party.  We kept the spirit alive for you, Pop – craziness as usual!  A lot of merriment, laughing, and talking over each other.  Aunt K had a “GREATTTT TIMEEE”…which only increased with each drink of sour cherry liquore 😉

I would do it all over again.  I’d even get stuck in the blizzard or sleep in an airport because Christmas with my loved ones is worth so much more.

…And in case you are looking for Christmas ideas for me next year, the Magic Shower Head was on pg. 23 😉

 

Maya and Willy watch horrified as Jen turns into a giant Oreo truffle

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December 12, 2010 / thegrrlspot

Forsyth Park

In the green I lost her

Thrusting forward, I

Set her free.

Free to grab handfuls of

Wind, pulling apart the natural

Without form she wandered

Dancing between blades of

gli

.  .  .  mmer

. . ing

Sun.

Into nothing; into everything

Just for a moment

She was really here.

And I

Was.

December 11, 2010 / thegrrlspot

Trying Times with Turkey

Ahh, holidays.  Those lovely times of year that bring everyone together in love and disaster.  This year’s Thanksgiving was no exception.

I was blessed (and extremely thankful) to spend the Thanksgiving holiday this year with my lovely girlfriend.  Not only were we together for Turkey Day, but she was with me the weekend before for my sister’s wedding (at which she served heroically by keeping my mother from locking my grandmother in a house in Historic Smithville).  As you can imagine from what I’ve told you about GF, Thanksgiving is obviously one of her favorite holidays.  After all, it involves cooking WAY too much food and eating until a deep calorie coma sets in from which no one can return until three days later.

From the moment we decided to do a “new friends in Savannah” Thanksgiving gathering, she was obsessed with determined to make a perfect meal.  These are the moments that try serve as building blocks for our relationship.  GF likes to plan; I like to ‘make it happen’ whenever I feel necessary.    GF starts planning roughly 243 days in advance of the actual event; I don’t work out details until the night before.  GF likes to remind me of my responsibilities so I don’t forget them; I like to freak out and tell her she’s being suffocating…you know…typical loving, nurturing stuff 😉

The week started out something like this:

Me: (at work) “Where are we at with the Parade of Lights permit? We need to let the LT in Charleston know so he can plan! And have you talked to the bridge branch about the Diamond Causeway construction? no? ok, I’ll call them.  Is that harbor deepening meeting tomorrow?”

*RING* *RING* *RING*  <–my cellphone

“hello?”

GF: “OMG, HONEY!!!!”

Me: “Jesus, what!?! are you ok??”

GF: “I just saw the coolest thing on the Food Network!”

Me: “…really…”  seriously…

GF: “Yeah! So if we don’t stuff the Turkey, it will actually help keep it moister. And if we cook it on 500 degrees for a little while and then turn down the heat, it will be nice and golden on the outside without burning. And…”

Me: “um, babe…that’s really great, but can you tell me about this when I get home?”

GF: “oh. well…fine…I just wanted to tell you about it…”

Me: “I’m sorry, it’s just I’m kinda busy right now.”

GF: “Sure. I understand… *sniff*”

*Head smack*

The fun only increased as the week went on!  GF drove to Florida the day before Thanksgiving and brought her mother up to join us.  Where could there be a problem in that? You might be asking. Family should be together for the holidays!  Let me respond by saying – Have you ever put two 100% Italian women in a kitchen together to prepare a large meal?  WWF ain’t got nothin’ on two Italian ladies trying to control plan the direction of a holiday cuisine.

GF: “We aren’t going to stuff the turkey.”

Mom: “What do you mean? We always stuff the turkey!”

GF: “I saw it on the Food Network.  I want to cook it without the stuffing.”

Mom: “But I cooked all this damn stuffing!  WE ALWAYS STUFF THE TURKEY!”

GF: “I DON’T WANT TO STUFF THE TURKEY THIS YEAR, MOM!”

Mom: “WHY!?!”

GF: “BECAUSE!”

Well, you get the idea.  It was at this point that the dog and I went and hid under the bed.

I thought my dog was on my side during this whole debauchery, but apparently the stress got to her.  Later that evening, we took GF’s mom downtown to a Mediterranean restaurant, as I figured they both had had enough time in the kitchen at home that day.  While we were out, my weenie dog succumbed to the stress of the holidays and started binge eating.  It is not an easy task to binge eat out of the trash can when your legs are roughly the size of a Jimmy Dean sausage link.  Not to be discouraged by size issues, however, she scaled her cage up to the height of the trashcan and somehow (I still haven’t figured out how) managed to get fairly far down into the trash without falling or knocking it over.

When we returned home later in the evening, I noticed that the dog’s stomach was mildly distended.  I found Subway wrappers on the floor and figured she had eaten only some leftover sub portion that GF or her mom had thrown in the trash after the Florida to Georgia road trip.  I scolded her properly and we went to bed.  In the middle of the night, however, the dog started making horrible gagging noises that made both GF and I sit straight up in bed with alarm…thereby, scaring the shit out of the dog and causing her to stop gagging.  Ineffective.  She then meekly crawled up in between us -it was then we could hear the screaming demons trying to claw their way out of her stomach.  Maybe she needs to go outside, I thought.  But after much trying, she couldn’t seem to pass anything.  She came back inside and proceeded to drink her entire bowl of water. Hmm…

The next morning (Thanksgiving Day), I noticed my little weenie dog was now roughly the size of a water buffalo and looking quite uncomfortable.

Me: “Honey, I’m really worried about the dog.  Her stomach is HUGE and she hasn’t gone to the bathroom.”

GF: (busy pre-prepping dishes) “Oh, I’m sure she’s fine.  She just needs to poop.”

Me: “Um, I don’t know.  What did you say was left in the Subway wrappers?”

GF: “Not much.  Can you start skinning potatos?”

Me: “You know, I think there was what was  left of a small roasted chicken deeper in that trash.  I hope she didn’t eat it.”

GF: “I”m sure she didn’t, how would she get to it?”

Finally, I couldn’t take the worry anymore.  I went out to the garbage cans and pulled out the bag from the night before.  Digging through garbage I found the container from the chicken. Empty. holy. crap.

I began frantically calling the vet who, duh, wasn’t open on a HOLIDAY.  I finally got ahold of an Emergency Vet in the area and told them what I believed to have happened.  I was told to bring her in IMMEDIATELY. oh great.  Happy Holidays and p.s. it’s $78 just to walk in the door.  I swooped up my water buffalo and headed for the car.

When we arrived, the vet tech confirmed my observations. “yep, she looks like a water buffalo.”  Immediate x-rays were necessary.  After about 15 mins in the tiny exam room, the tech took me back to talk to the doctor and look at the x-rays.  Apparently, the dog had not only consumed trash, but a small Indian burial ground judging by the amount of bone matter in her stomach (she ate the whole rib cage of the chicken).  I was “lucky” though because it didn’t appear as if anything had passed into her colon yet.  They would, however, need to stick some stuff in her eye that would immediately transfer to the nervous system and induce vomiting.  Lovely.  After much vomiting and more x-rays later, my dog had finally returned to the size of a miniature dachshund and was allowed to return home.  So if you’re looking for something to drop $400 on to celebrate Thanksgiving Day, now you know how!

All in all, the rest of the day went pretty well after that.  I only caused GF’s head to spin around on her shoulders and spew green bile once (which she apologized for) and all the food turned out delicious.  As it turns out, the Food Network was right – the turkey was moist and beautiful when it came out 🙂  And everyone had plenty of leftover stuffing to take home with them to eat the rest of the week.  There was wine and friendship, laughter and banter.  At our table there were people from New Jersey, Rhode Island, Puerto Rico, Guam, Florida, Tennessee, and California…who have all somehow ended up here.  Together we made it through the day and together we gave thanks for our family away from home that we were blessed enough to celebrate the day with.  So here’s to the holidays…never complete without a little love and a little disaster.

And I can only wait to see what Christmas brings…

November 14, 2010 / thegrrlspot

The Divine in Me Recognizes the Divine in You

Being in a long distance relationship has afforded me an exorbitant amount of “alone time” where I’m forced to find comfort of the soul and heart simply by being satisfied with myself.  NOT an easy thing for me to do.  I moved to Savannah and left behind all the friends I had worked so hard to make in Alaska; I faced the daunting task of starting over again.  New home, no friends, and no girlfriend to provide intimate comfort.  Nakedly alone.  But I have learned from this experience in the past – I once had let the courage this takes overwhelm me.  I ended up an overweight smoker who cried every day when she got home from work because she was so unsatisfied with her life.  I don’t ever want to be in that place again.

But the task of starting over is still never an easy one even when you’ve learned how to pick yourself up by your American boot straps and kick your own ass into gear.  It’s still tiring; I still get lonely.  Here in Savannah there are no mountains to be conquered, no ice to climb, no salmon running through the streams.  So what now? What could I do here to push my limits and keep teaching myself about myself?  If there’s one thing I’ve discovered from being with my girlfriend, it’s that you should never turn down an opportunity for new things even if you think other people will think you are silly or because it’s different and therefor daunting…you’ll miss out on A LOT.  Experiencing life is seriously tied to state of mind, so when a co-worker mentioned that she and her husband were going to try a yoga class and why don’t I come along…well I paused… yoga?  Isn’t that some sort of hippie love past time?  Wasn’t I too cynical and sarcastic, cooly jaded to take up a pastime so foreign to my upbringing?  Didn’t the practice spring from philosophies and gods I knew nothing about?  yes.  But I went anyway.

Bikram, despite the 110 degree mouth-of-hell environment, blew me away.  I couldn’t remember the last time I felt so exhausted…or so free.  And I certainly couldn’t have been anymore drenched if I had dove into a swimming pool with my clothes on.  Holy sweat, Batman.  And holy is right – but that part wouldn’t dawn on me until I branched out to try more yoga at the Savannah Yoga Center.  This time I tried a Hot flow yoga (which would more accurately be described as moderately warm compared to the Bikram).  The flow class had a very different feel; I was told to set an “intention.”  An intention? Yes, I intend to get through this class without dying.  I intend to blend into the wall.  Strangely enough, the instructor mentioned these as acceptable intentions.  Along with world peace or healing.  I had to “Om” in this class – I felt silly and awkward letting a mono-syllabic word come humming out of my mouth in unison with others. (Did I mentioned I was also sitting cross-legged with hands in a prayer position in front of my heart?)  Yep, here we go.  hippie love.  Childish giggling lingered at the corners of my mouth.  This sound was apparently about bringing ourselves into harmony with others, ourselves, and with the universe.

As if I wasn’t already rocked out of my normal axis of rotation with “om”-ing and placing my hands in a position of worship, the instructor started touching us.  Now before you start yelling in outrage, get your minds out of the gutter-ish or violent area which it has probably automatically gone.  This was not a touch of violence or violation; in fact, it was hardly there at all.  It was light and guiding.  I was floored by the trust.  The trust that this instructor must have for us – that we will allow this entrance into our personal comfort zones without the reviling or stiffening one would normally show to a stranger.  And the trust that immediately forms for the instructor; the hands of a stranger can have growing, good intentions.  Intention…hrm….there’s that word again.

Speaking of words – both the Bikram and the flow yoga instructor ended by saying “Namaste!”  Um, god bless you?  What did that mean?  So like any word nerd would do, I went home and googled it.  Here’s what I got:

“I honor the place in you in which the entire Universe dwells, I honor the place in you which is of Love, of Integrity, of Wisdom and of Peace. When you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, we are One.”

or

“That which is of God in me greets that which is of God in you.”

Um, whoa.  Did you just tell me the Universe and God are inside me?…I’ve always been amazed by human beings, both honored and enraged by them.  But I’ve been told over the years in direct and not so direct ways that being in awe of life’s spiritual beauty was a liberal and lofty ideal that lacked practicality and produced nothing useful.  An unfortunate byproduct of Capitalist thinking.  But I say, why can I not combine these philosophies?  As with science and spirituality, I do not accept that they must be mutually exclusive.  In fact, tonight my teacher mentioned something about yoga being about balancing the light and dark.  I think I missed what she was talking about because I was probably busy trying to get myself out of the pretzel-like pose I managed to tangle myself into…but I’m sure it was probably relevant to what I’m talking about now.

A state of mind…  Did I dare to believe in my own divinity?  When I said “Namaste” in return to my instructors, was I recognizing the divine in them as well?  Was I speaking from the place of love, integrity, and peace?

It turns out, this idea of the divine within isn’t only found in the philosophies of yoga.  Call it coincidence if you must, but I randomly pulled a book off my shelf tonight called “The Heart of Emerson’s Journals” and flipped open to this passage:

But when he who worships there [church], speaks the truth, follows the truth, is the truth’s; when he awakes by actual communion to the faith that God is in him, will he need any temple, any prayer? The very fact of worship declares that God is not at one with himself, that there are two gods.

What I cannot deny is the good feelings I have about myself and about others after yoga.  I cannot express how much I want to see the divine then, to connect, to be in harmony with others.  I don’t want to be afraid to be friendly to strangers, to be open, to touch lightly for growth and connection.  And how much I wish it didn’t end when I step outside the studios and return to the world of apprehension, suspicion, and distrust.  What if we bring all of that intention out into the world on a regular basis?  This is one of the goals of yoga that I haven’t achieved.  To live consistently in a place of love – I think that takes a tremendous amount of strength knowing that most of the people you encounter won’t be moving from the same place, from divine recognition.  But I have found a tiny sense of peace.  It doesn’t last; I haven’t mastered that yet.  But I do keep reviving it in myself with each class.

Maybe you should try it too 🙂  Namaste.

October 11, 2010 / thegrrlspot

And Who Said Romance Was Dead…

I think I fell in love because of romance gone awry.  huh? you may be asking.  Well, it’s true.  My life doesn’t have a soundtrack like the Romeo & Juliet movie and Girlfriend’s verbal skills are a far cry from those necessary to profess the sweet nothings to make me melt.  I’m not easily meltable.  So how, you might be asking, did she make me swoon?  What did she do to woo me?  To firmly plant Cupid’s arrow in my beating  myogenic muscular organ?!?! …she screwed it up. That’s how.

One of my fondest memories of  Girlfriend’s attempts at romance involved a near death experience.  For her, not me.  And maybe my dog who I believe was also in the apartment at the time.  Let me start by saying, that my lady is the practical/logical type.  She likes math and order, construction and engineering.  Her favorite toy as a kid was legos – squares for building.  The creative aspects to her personality reside mostly in cooking (at which she is FANTASTIC) and being an XMEN fan.  Needless to say…creative, romantic ideas are not overwhelmingly plentiful.  So I appreciate the effort.  ANYWAY…

One night, after a long day of work, I came stumbling up the stairs in the dark to our apartment (it’s Alaska in winter…lots of darkness).  As I open the door, I see what I believe to be some-sort of small creature run by at the speed of light, breathing smoke.  Startled, I fall back against the wall breathing heavily and pondering how to proceed.  As I’m planning an attack (or my escape route back down the stairs)  I notice the strong smell of smoke, the haze that seems to be hanging in the air t, and the insistent cacophony of smoke detectors.  It is also unbelievably COLD.  In fact, I feel very much like I am still outside.  There is a commotion in the living room and a voice comes shouting from the balcony.

“I”m so sorry honey!!”

“Girlfriend?”

“Yes, I was trying to be romantic. I don’t know what happened, the house started filling with smoke! It was everywhere, I didn’t know what to do. I’m so sorry!”

I low crawl my way through the living room to avoid the obvious smoke inhalation hazard to find Girlfriend on the balcony standing next to a steaming object covered in snow.  It was not, in fact, a creature breathing smoke I had seen upon my entry.  Rather, it was my girlfriend running through the house with a burning log.  You see, reader, this was an attempt at romance.  There was to be a blazing fire, some wine,  cuddling – you know, woooooing.  Well she got the blazing part right.  But my finicky damper put a…well…damper on the romance section.  While building the fire, the damper had unfortunately gotten stuck causing the apartment to flood with smoke.  In her panic, Girlfriend had bravely reached in and grabbed the flaming log BARE-HANDED and run out onto the balcony to douse the flames with snow.  Hands covered in soot, eyes filled with sadness…there stood my love in heart-breaking disappointment over her failed attempt to make me feel special.  It was at this point that I started laughing hysterically.   It was then I knew I loved her.

 

The second fondest memory I have is also a tale of misbegotten romantic setups.  Again, long day at work.  Again, darkness in Alaska.  Again, stumbling in the door.  This time, however, there was no smoke.  BUT all the lights in the apartment were off.  Strange.  Normally, Girlfriend is home and comes to greet me.  Hello?  No answer.  Babe? No answer.  It is then that I see a dark clump of something in the hallway.  GOD DAMNIT, DOG! DID YOU SHIT IN THE HOUSE AGAIN?!? Yes, I was actually yelling this. Quite loudly, might I add.  And  then also promptly dropped my bags down at the door with an angry thud.  Muttering swear words, I leaned down to get a closer look at the clump.  What the hell…that’s when I notice these dark clumps are ALL  THE WAY down the hall into the bedroom.  I flip on the hall light only to realize…you guessed it…rose petals. Not, in fact, dog shit.  Doh. *head smack*  I walk briskly down the hall, now anticipating what lavishly romantic scene must await me.  In the bedroom, I find Girlfriend.  What was she doing?? You ask excitedly.  Was she naked? in sexy lingerie? were there candles? jazz playing softly in the background?  Um, not exactly.  Only a lesbian would wait for her love, posing sexily on the bed in….boxers.    Again, it was at this point that I started cracking up hysterically.  *Note* This is probably not the best thing to do after you’ve already successfully ruined the mood by yelling about dog shit in the hallway.

Boxers and poop…doesn’t get much more romantic than this, people.

 

Remember how I mentioned that Girlfriend’s creativity lies in her love of XMEN?  Yeah, well I think her envisioning herself as a superhero in addition to a little bit of liquid courage (aka vodka +Red Bull) led to the event that really sealed the deal for me in the romance arena.

My lovely lady is a bit… lacking… in the stature department.  She wouldn’t be allowed in the military in some countries and  is only 2 or so inches short of being qualified for Dwarf status.  Needless to say, this has resulted in her being used to having to prove her authority.  She is no stranger to being in charge or knowing how to assert herself.  People do what she says both in work and elsewhere (All those years of being picked up against her will and called “cute” led to this I’m sure).  It would be very natural to assume she has no problem being authoritative or assertive in the bedroom. WRONG.  For some reason, I make her shy 🙂  BUT, when you get a few drinks in her…that inner Napoleon will occasionally come out.  Early on in our dating, I found this very exciting.  We’d be out at the club dancing and having a good time…after a few drinks, Girlfriend would start talking some game (that’s ‘sexy talk’ for those of you not down with the lingo).  The promise of an exciting “after party” would leave me grinning from ear to ear and anxious to get home!  I was quick to learn, however, that the drive from the club to my apartment was obviously too long to sustain this liquor-induced bravado.  Instead of the sounds of sweet-nothings, I was usually being wooed by the sounds of her snoring as we pulled into the driveway.

On one such night of vodka valor, I was determined to cash in on the promises made.  I floored it on the way home, chattering vivaciously to keep my sweet amour conscious.  Pulling into the driveway, I was thrilled to see that she was still very much alert.  Rushing her up the stairs, I drug her into the bedroom as fast as possible.  Fumbling in the dark,  the awkwardly drunken foreplay began.  This provocative scene was short-lived, however, as instead of ‘jumping my bones’, Girlfriend jumped off the freaking bed!  No, wait.  Jumped would be in inaccurate description.  SUPERWOMAN LEAPED would be more appropriate in describing the cow-jumping-over-the-moon flight that she took head-first over me, off the bed, and onto the floor landing in a heap with a loud thud.

Me: (craning my neck to see) “WHAT THE HELL!…Um, are you ok?”

GF: (some indiscernible mumbling and moaning)

Me: (trying to stifle the hysterical laughter) “Babe…are you alright?”

GF: “ouch.”

Me: “oh yeah, that was a good one.  Get your butt back up here. We’re going to sleep.”

Ah, yes.  So smooth, she is.  I’m dating a regular Don Juan 🙂

 

When I say I fell in love because of romance gone awry – obviously, you understand I am not joking.  It is the lack of success and the resilient tries that have melted my heart.  My days are filled with incredible amounts of laughter because my girlfriend isn’t the smoothest talker, or a Victoria Secret model, or even fire safety conscious.  But she tries.  With all her might.  Every time.  As it turns out, I fall madly for botched romance.  And I truly believe that’s what everybody falls for in the end 🙂  Aww…sappy…and who said romance was dead?

September 10, 2010 / thegrrlspot

Kill all the Lawyers? NO. Kill All the Reporters.

I hope you choke on your microphones

I am SO FED UP with the freakin’ media in this country!  I feel my blood start to boil every time I happen to be sitting somewhere like an airport, bar, etc. and some yahoo is on the screen sensationalizing some half-wit and causing more unrest and disgusting misplaced anger amongst the people of this aspired-to-be great nation.  UGH!

To what am I referring? You might ask.  Well first let’s talk about the building of the mosque two blocks from Ground Zero.  The first time I heard this story on the news, the VERY FIRST thing out of the reporter’s mouth was “Our latest news story is the controversy of a man attempting to build a mosque at Ground Zero!”  (Please note the bolding of the word “at.”) Completely MISLEADING! It wasn’t until 5 minutes into the report that she slipped in the whole part of it not being AT Ground Zero at all! It’s two NEW YORK CITY FREAKIN’ BLOCKS AWAY!  Excuse me, but anyone who has frequented NYC knows that those “blocks” make you feel like you’ve just run a marathon after three!  They are not SHORT blocks here, people!   Get a grip, build a bridge and get over it!

I will say that it seems the majority of people I’ve talked to about this issue are not NEARLY as concerned as the media would like us to believe.  I work for a fairly conservative sector of the government, for god’s sake, and the majority of my co-workers think the whole thing is ridiculous.  They are more upset by the religious arguments and belief that so many Americans are up in arms (thanks to the media attention whores) than about the actual mosque itself.  Most of them, if they are against the building of the mosque, are only that way because they wish to avoid any ensuing ugliness.  Personally, I think that’s a cowardly reason to be against it.  Accept idiocy so you don’t have to look at more ugly, empty-headed bigots on the TV? WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?!  Again I say – UGH!

And don’t get me started on this whole Reverend (I vomited a little as I wrote that word) Jones of the Dove Outreach World Church (quite a lofty name for a church of 50 people there, Rev.).  What a media attention monger!!  SERIOUSLY, people?  Are we really letting him make demands on our Secretary of Defense and our President?? Are we really negotiating with this looney-tune?? I’m pretty sure we normally call that extortion or blackmail.  I’m sorry, but this man should not be getting away with a quid pro quo.  Any self-respecting media channel should refuse to even broadcast him, as he is LOVING the attention he is getting!  Thanks to Fox, CNN, ABC etc…we now have the Westboro Baptist Church joining in the glee and fun of the book burning!  You know Westboro Baptist, right? The ones who protest SOLDIER FUNERALS with signs that say “Thank God for Dead Soldiers!”   Good company for the lovely Rev Jones.  Boy, both these guys are really helping the Jihadist cause!  If a guy had any doubt before whether he wanted to join up, I’m sure all the images of burning Qurans and the Colonel Sanders-wannabe Rev. Jones will help make the decision that much easier.  Oh, and Rev?  The boys in green overseas are thanking you too.  I’m sure the 2o something year-old soldiers and marines will be smiling down benevolently on you from heaven as your acts of lunacy bring more violence raining down on their heads.

So let’s all give a big thanks to the TV and newspapers for making sure that all this important “news” gets around the world as fast as possible…four…five times a day!  It’s helping so much to keep us all “educated” and “informed” on what’s going on in our lovely country.  Zoom in camera 1 on my middle finger.  jerks.

August 23, 2010 / thegrrlspot

No Wine on Sundays???

I’d like to start this post with a little bit of interesting trivia which may be news to all regions of the United States except that area we affectionately refer to (or not) as “The Bible Belt.”  Ladies and Gentlemen…you cannot buy wine on Sundays in the State of Georgia.  YES. I am as shocked as you are.

There I was.  Minding my own business.  Doing a little grocery shopping for the week.  Noticing that my neighborhood Kroger’s offered a seemingly large selection of vino for a grocery store, I meandered on over to peruse the bottles  for the coolest label (yes, this is how I choose my wines).  I selected a nice Syrah and placed it in my basket, sure that it would compliment a nice meal after a long day of work later in the week.  Oh! contraire.  (that means ‘on the contrary’ for you non-French types)

I’m a pretty self-reliant person and have little patience for long lines when I have like ten items to purchase, so I opted for the self-checkout machines.  You know – the ones with the annoying automated female voice that is always telling you things like “please place the item in the bagging area!” even after you already have, which then by the end of your checkout has you shaking the machine and screaming at her maniacally?  Yeah. that one.

Well this time, not only did snotty automaton lady in the machine yell at me to place the items in the bagging area, she also ratted me out!  “The customer service representative has been notified that you are attempting to purchase a restricted item.”  WHAT??  Flashing emergency lights started going off and suddenly barred gates were slamming down over every exit!  Ok, maybe not that bad.  But I felt like a criminal as the customer service representative came over to my bags, reached inside and grabbed my wine bottle!  Staring me down with her shrewd gaze, she not-so-kindly informed me that “We don’t sell alcohol on Sundays.”  I stared at my beautiful bottle with longing and repeated what she told me in confusion.  We don’t…sell alcohol…on Sundays?  I was completely perplexed!  I felt tricked! Duped! Who leaves wine out if you can’t even buy it?? WHAT KIND OF STORE IS THIS?!?! This…this…this is *gasp*  UN-AMERICAN!

I tried to reason with her.  Told her I was Jewish, told her I wouldn’t drink it today, told her I was having the Mayor over for cheese and who can eat that without wine?? All to no avail. The customer service representative stood fast, still as stone, and holding my bottle hostage.  Armed with years of Georgian Baptist-loving laws, she knew she had me beat.  Who was I but a heathen…and raised Catholic at that (heck, we drink wine in church on Sundays).  Hanging my head in shame, I went to join the other Catholics, Jews, and agnostics in hell the parking lot.  Ain’t no wine for the wicked, my friends.  Ain’t no wine for the wicked.

The women of Georgia take a stand!