Friday, October 31, 2003

Further Adventures in Mustang... 

And the fun continues.

First of all, FFDWG(FKaSarah) and I went to see The Dark Side of the Rainbow and left soon after Dorothy, the Scarecrow and the Tin Man met up with the Cowardly Lion. Why? Because the people running the show decided that Pink Floyd was lacking a little something and proceeded to "enhance" the album with all sorts of extraneous noises. Yeah, that worked well. I know the music, but I've never sat and listened to The Dark Side of the Moon all the way through (which caused FFDWG(FKaSarah) to doubt the wisdom of remaining my friend - yet another instance of "Look, Carol's growing extra heads!" when I mention a lack in my cultural background). Still, even I could tell something was off. My first clue about what we were in for? The guy at the front of the multi-purpose room with a guitar in his lap. Yikes.

And the two women who decided to hold a conversation during the majority of the movie didn't help the evening. I could hear them over the loud music, across the aisle. I wasn't close at all. Which means they were talking pretty loudly. I mean, I know the dialogue has been muted, but I'd still like to hear the damn music, such as it is. I will never understand people who see movies in public and insist on acting as if it were their own damn living room.

Then there was the guy who ran out about five minutes before we left, screaming, "This is freaking me out!" Both FFDWG(FKaSarah) and I have our doubts that he was really freaking out, especially since she informed me that, as he sat down a few rows behind us he said something along the lines of, "Whoa, how psychedelic!" He just impressed us both as being a total smart-ass, and not in the good, fun way.

(I'm a big fan of smart-assery, but one has to know how to wield it without being obnoxious. It's an art form which FreakingBoy has not yet mastered.)

It's a good thing we didn't pay for the movie. I think I'd love to try it without all the other crap. Maybe it just works best in someone's basement or living room.

Then we decided that maybe we needed to go to an auto supply store before it closed. The Mustang is lacking windshield wiper blades, which isn't normally a problem in Southern California. Today wasn't a normal Southern California day. It's been raining since about 6:30pm. Unfortunately, when I asked for everyone to pray for rain, I meant for the fire-ravaged areas. The Westside? Not so much needing the rain.

So I purchased the refills and we drove back to the Mustang parked in the lot at work. FFDWG(FKaSarah) went inside the building to check her e-mail and see if there was any pizza left from the Halloween pizza party while I struggled with the blade. After far too long I managed to get the thing (mostly) on the driver's side wiper. Then I discovered that the passenger's side wiper was broken. As in it came off in my hand when I picked it up. I'm just really glad it wasn't the driver's side.

By the time I was done I was soaked to the skin, having not brought a coat or umbrella with me today since the skies were so beautiful and blue when I left the apartment this morning. I'm very glad that part of my costume (which I'm still wearing) is a heavy material that covers my chest, because the blouse underneath it is a thin gauzy cotton blouse. Were it not for the heavy top, I'd be giving anyone I came across quite the show. Though I'm sure men wouldn't mind.

So now I'm sitting in the office that FFDWG(FKaSarah) shares with another person and two other desks, using another computer while she answers some e-mail and I warm up and dry off. We've listened to the un-"enhanced" version of The Dark Side of the Moon. As I let the music wash over me, I wondered what sort of drugs the other guys were on to think that the original album wasn't good enough or didn't hold up thirty years later. Idiots.

So, am I jinxing myself I ask what, pray tell, will tomorrow hold? Probably. Cross your fingers for me!


We just had our costume contest. When I stood in front of the group everyone gasped. But did I win $50 in one of the categories (funniest, scariest, most original)? Of course not.

Just like the last two years. Everyone in my department said I was robbed, as they have in the past, which is good, but I'm still holding a grudge. See, I'm used to winning these things. In my previous jobs where costume contests have been held I've always participated. And I've always won.

At this company, not so much. I'm starting to think there's a conspiracy going on here. I mean, most of the people in the costume contest changed into their costumes just before. Personally, I think that if you don't have the cajones to prance around in the costume for the full day, you shouldn't be in the contest.

What a bunch of pussies.

Excuse me while I pout in the corner. Not that I'm having issues or anything. *sob*

I'm in the mood... 

...for some linking.

* Always good things to know. Thanks, Wil.

* This site scares me. But it scares me so goood.

* It's been forever since I've read Al, but I love this entry. I especially love the last few paragraphs. Sing it, Al.

You go, girls... 

A co-worker sent this to me this morning. It warms the cockles of my heart, it does.


The people in my department at work? Boring, boring, boring. Only one other person dressed up and that was FFDWG(FKaSarah). She opted to dress as a Starbucks barrista. She looks pretty authentic, but then again, until recently she was a Starbucks barrista.

I guess too many people are afraid of looking the fool. I'm glad I don't have that problem. I know I'm the fool. *wink*

Still, everyone loves my costume, so that's of the good. I promise I'll let y'all know after tomorrow.

Happy Halloween! 

Today is one of my favorite holidays of the year. Probably because my love of costumes. And maybe all the spooky stuff, too. I love spooky stuff! It's all just so much fun!

Tonight FFDWG(FKaSarah) and I are going to Santa Monica College to see The Dark Side of Oz, which I've heard about for years but never experienced. We won't be getting high to enhance the evening, as I've heard one should do, but with our rather surreal brains we hardly need the narcotic enhancement.

Then tomorrow night is a big blowout Halloween party through LAPC, thrown by someone I went to high school with but hadn't seen until he showed up at the last game night. The party should be a blast.

I also have to work all weekend, because of month-end, but I think I'll be okay.

I won't tell you what my costume is yet, because I have friends that read the 'blog that will probably be seeing me tonight and/or tomorrow night and I haven't told them yet. I rarely divulge my costume befor the big day. But it is a new one for me and I'm looking forward to test-driving it today at work. I'm also putting something together for FFDWG(FKaSarah) that I hope fits her, because even though the clothes are from my younger and smaller days, they still might be a little big for her. Cross your fingers!

Also cross your fingers that I can get some sort of digital picture of us that I can post here soon. I know we'll look incredible!

Have a fabulous Halloween, everyone!

Thursday, October 30, 2003

I know... 

...what it is I want in my life. Right now. And it's much simpler than I thought.

Okay, yes, I'd like a fabulous relationship. Of course I'd love some sock-rocking, mind blowing sex. I'm not made of stone, people.

But you know what I'd like best of all? More than anything?

To sit on my sofa, watch some videos or TV or listen to music, and cuddle. Just curl right up in someone's arms, preferably a male someone, tuck my feet under myself and cuddle.

No strings, no emotions beyond comfortable affection needed. Two people, holding each other, enjoying a little entertainment, maybe some conversation, just keeping one another company. That's what I miss most of all.

I don't think that's too much to ask, do you?

A few links... 

(some links courtesy of Man about Murfreesboro)

* Please pray for rain.

(I hated the KABC headline: "Firefighters Dig In Against California Wildfires." Maybe it's a technical firefighting term that I'm unfamiliar with, but the headline makes it sound like the firefighters have just been slacking off until now. I'm pretty sure that's not the case. Sheesh.)

* The apocolypse is near. Please excuse me as I twitch in the corner.

* In a related story, this is what happens when good comedians become unfunny.

* Ain't it the truth. I guess I ain't never gonna be able to sing the blues.

* Hope is not dead. A former supporter of Bush sees the light.

* The Gender Genie tries to predict a person's gender using a writing sample. I submitted four samples from the 'blog. Twice it determined I was a female and twice it told me I was a male. Talk about your balanced writing! And all this time I thought my writing was too girly.

* Have I ever mentioned how fucking tired I am most Republicans? California may be looking at a puppet-governor soon, but I'm still glad I don't live in Texas.

* Please, please, please let this happen. There's nothing patriotic about the Patriot Act.

Outta practice... 

I've been making lasagna for about four years, but until Sunday I'd always made vegan lasagna (which is actually really good, the recipe being one I threw together as an experiment). Sunday was the first time I'd ever made lasagna with cheese. It turned out really well, as I may have mentioned. In gathering the ingredients I knew I would be obliged to buy cheese. What I didn't know was that cheesy lasagna also required one egg. Because the vegan lasagna? Not so much. Luckily I read a few recipes before I went shopping.

So, for the first time in six years, I bought eggs. A six pack of organic free range eggs, of course. After my foray into cheesy lasagna making (did I happen to mention it turned out well? I did? Oh, okay.) I was left with five eggs. Because that's what the math left me with. See, my thirteen years of schooling, from kindergarten to one year of community college, were useful after all.

So what does one do with five eggs? Make hard boiled eggs, of course. I put some water on to boil, then gently dropped an egg into the rolling water. It hit the bottom of the pan and cracked, the egg white oozing out of the shell before cooking into a curdled looking white.

Granted, it's been quite a few years since I'd boiled eggs, but I didn't remember that ever happening before. So I Googled "hard boiled eggs". That's right, I had to search for a recipe for hard boiled eggs. Something I learned to cook when I was a kid.

For some reason that strikes me as slightly pathetic. But it's kind of funny too. Still, if this egg turns out well (it's cooking as I type) I'll be perfectly okay with my patheticness.

(Is that even a word?)

I'm glad I'm not looking to cook chicken anytime soon. Or ever. Because that could be pretty scary.

I think I'm feeling tired again... 

It's after 1am on Thursday morning. I should be in bed. I should be sleeping a deep, restful sleep, especially since I fell asleep on my sofa Wednesday night as I started to watch the episode of Angel that I had taped off TNT (They Know Drama - ugh), had a very, um, physical dream (three guesses as to the content and participants of said dream) and woke up at 5am, only to go back to sleep in my bed, still in my street clothes because I was that tired, whereupon I finally got out of bed at about 6:30am. About six hours of sleep, five of which were uninterrupted. For me, that's actually pretty good, but I still should be more physically tired than I am.

And yet I stay up, writing an entry that I can't even post for a while because Blogger is down for routine maintenance. Still, I feel compelled to write. Too bad I'm not feeling compelled to write something which I could potentially sell to a magazine.

Oddly enough, though my body is only slightly fatigued, my mind is, once again, rather weary. I had so hoped that October would be a good month, better than September with its weird familial associations, its constant overtime at work and a singular lack of hanging out with CuteNerdBoy.

But it's become just another month, slightly better in some ways, definitely worse in others. All the stuff about my mom's health still weighs heavily on my mind. I worry about her, but short of what my siblings and I are already doing for her, I don't see there's anything else to be done. For her health, her life to improve, she has to take the necessary steps. She says she will, but all of us kids have our doubts.

The work situation with BossGuy gone continues to set me on edge because, though I know I have other resources and I'll probably be okay, I feel as if I've lost my safety net and I worry that I'll rise to the level of my own incompetence. Because I'm no BossGuy and I never will be.

The fires blanketing Southern California concern me. I read others' entries, wonder what's wrong with me that I can't seem to write more about them than, "They suck, yea - my family's not in danger, arsonists suck." I know someone with a sister that lost her home in the fires, luckily they've already been able to bounce back a little. It all frightens me, saddens me, but I'm unable to articulate these thoughts and feelings.

Where do my words go instead? To the matter of CuteNerdBoy. True, it is the most recent development, such as it is, but surely I can find other matters to which I can devote my attention, matters that don't involve just me and one other person. Apparently not. Thing is, it's not like the situation changed. It's not even like my understanding of the situation changed, because I know that everything he said was something I already knew deep down. He just made it concrete. At my prompting, I might add.

Tuesday evening I got a supportive e-mail from Christopher, who is quickly becoming a friend - well, we are friends on Friendster, after all. In response to my fairy tale entry, he wrote (reprinted with Chris' permission):
Carol, you're a lot braver than I. [...] I admire your faith in love...your willingness to open yourself up to possibilities both happy and hurtful.

It was very sweet of him to write me with such supportive words. It made me feel good. But I can't say I've been feeling all that brave today - I mean, yesterday. I think things are starting to sink in. I'm not all that happy about it. I've been kind of down these past twenty-four hours. And I'm wondering what I should do next, how I should handle these feelings. Hell, this time I can't even blame my yo-yo emotions on PMS, because that ain't for another couple of weeks.

Sometimes thoughts run through my head, informing me that maybe I shouldn't open myself to possibilities, that the inevitible outcome hurts too much, that I'd be so much better off if I just said, "To hell with it all," and tried to shut off my feelings. But I know I'm just not wired that way. As I told Chris, that way lies true misery for someone like me and I'm really not such a fan of the misery. So I will, no doubt, put my heart on the line again. I have to. Or else I'll never be really happy.

I stand by my statement that I'm very pleased CuteNerdBoy and I had a chance to talk, to get things out in the open. I think uncertainties would have been far more detrimental to me, to each of us, than the truth. I also stand by my desire to stay in contact with him. He's too cool a person to push away. I know that I'll come to terms with our friendship on whatever level it settles into. Whether it stays where it is, becomes a deeper friendship or turns into a fulfilling relationship, I will be okay with it. I hope he will too, that he won't feel awkward being my friend, knowing what he now knows (and no doubt suspected) about my feelings for him being a little deeper than his for me. Neither of us knows what'll happen in the future, so perhaps it's time for us to enjoy our revived friendship in the present. And to not force it into something that might be ill-fitting for both of us. If it's just seeing movies and having dinner and laughing the night away? So be it.

I'll admit, though, I do hope it'll be more than that. For instance, watching live theatre would be great. Live music would be very cool too. Going to parties is fun. Maybe watching videos and DVDs. I enjoy doing that stuff with friends. I'd love to do all that with him.

With luck and hard work, November will be a better, brighter month for everyone. And my mind will swing off its one track.

I just hope it doesn't swing into the path of a bullet train.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

How depressing... 

Today I started checking out Match.com again. And all I can think is, my G-d, do I have to go through this again?

I'm not a dater. I've rarely dated in my life, lucky enough to fall into relationships with friends. The only man I was ever seriously involved with that wasn't previously a friend or acquaintance was a man I clicked with the first time we met, at a Halloween party eleven years ago this week.

Back in the late fall of 1997 was the first time I really started dating the way most people, the way normal people date. One toad at a time. There were a few guys I went out with for a month at a time, but either they disappeared without a word or I realized that one of my requirements was missing. Two of the guys that disappeared without a word - well, I was okay with that. We had fun, but I wasn't emotionally invested. I was just ticked off that they were cowards about it, even when I flat out told them to be honest.

The third guy that disappeared? My feelings ran deeper, which was interesting because, unlike the first two, he and I hadn't had sex, though we did make out a little. And he wasn't a toad at all. Still, I was hurt, but in the end I just gave it up. After all, it seemed that was just the way men were wired, at least the men that I knew at that time in my life.

During April of '98 I dated two men at the same time, but there was a connection missing for me with each of them. I wasn't physically attracted to either one, though I gave it time to see if the attraction would develop. Unfortunately, no. That was a shame because I think one of them would have otherwise been a good match for me. But in the end I told them, "Thanks, but no thanks."

Between April '98 to June '03, I had exactly one date. Yeah, I know. Depressing, no? Again a nice guy with whom I had a lot in common, speaking for hours, but no physical attraction on my end. Near the beginning of the date I was greeted by a guy with whom I had had an intense flirtation the previous summer, but hadn't seen since. Despite the obvious sparks that still flew between myself and the interloper, who, as he left, threw out a "You look great, Carol" in front of my semi-blind date, the evening with NiceGuy went well. Except for that pesky physical chemistry, which is a must for me. It's not the only thing I look for, or even the main thing. But it does have to exist.

And my dating this year? Has pretty much been dominated by CuteNerdBoy. Now that I know, at this time, that's not going any further than its current position, I know it's time to cast my net wide again. Which I suppose wouldn't be a big deal, except that most of the men who have sent me winks and messages since I joined Match.com in May are, again, men I just don't find attractive - like the Stephen King clone. Or they're unable to type an intelligible sentence without tons of superfluous punctuation marks or misspelled words (a few are okay - we all make mistakes). I know I'm probably coming across as a bit of a snob, but I think if the primary mode of communication is the written word, then the person with whom I'm corresponding should have some idea about how to convey thoughts in an intelligent manner via e-mail.

Or they just want to be my house-boy.

Actually, that offer is starting to look rather attractive.


Musical interlude... 

L'Allemand used to visit me in Paris, in Paris
I remember the men, I remember the houses in Paris
His station nearby, I was his afternoons
We didn't mind, we shared everything, everything, in Paris
And he'd come in looking for comfort
Leave again looking to the left and the right...
Did we see too much, say too little
Stepping over every dark thing, would it all be true tomorrow
But, he loves me

Framing his face with my hands in the doorway,
I try to decipher the friend from the foe in his eyes
A man's skin will be blown back with time and confusion
'Til it gathers by his ears, in the same human shallows
Like sand at the sea...
Did he hear too much, say too little
Could any year recover what we lost in these
With the hum of the war in the run of the day
I walk with my head held high and naked in the sun
Claiming these streets for myself
I walk with my head held high and naked in the sun
Claiming these streets for myself, again

I am the unchanging narrative, I don't resolve neatly
And I am the unchained melody, the current of the need to survive
And I go on looking for comfort
I can no longer see to the left or the right...
But I walk with my head held high and naked in the sun
Claiming these streets for myself
I walk with my head held high and naked in the sun
Claiming these streets for myself
I walk with my head held high and naked in the sun
Claiming these streets for myself
I walk with my head held high and naked in the sun
Claiming these streets for myself

Paris by Jonatha Brooke and the Story (from Plumb)

Plumb is one of the CDs CuteNerdBoy gave to me on Sunday. Without trying to oversell it, he told me that he loved the CD and that he hoped I would too. As usual, when it comes to Jonatha Brooke, he has hit a bull's-eye.

There are a few songs from the CD that invade my heart (Made of Gold and Inconsolable, for instance), but Paris seems to stand out. Maybe it's the music - sad, wistful. Maybe it's the images that the lyrics paint on my mental retinas - dark damp streets, a war-torn city, desperate comfort found where perhaps it was forbidden, a proud soul stripped bare of defenses and pretenses.

I've never lived through such an experience, but so I don't know that I can identify with all of it. But bits of it ring true. And I can certainly empathize.


Tuesday, October 28, 2003

I love the 80s... 

...don't you?

I'm watching VH1's I Love the 80s Strikes Back - 1982 and loveloveloving it. Like everyone else, I'm falling in adore with Hal Sparks (who does a pretty good Shatner impression), Michael Ian Black and Mo Rocca, but Donal Logue and Steven Lynch are stealing a bit of my heart too. Funny, funny people.

On top of that, they end it with Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan, a movie that I may have mentioned being my first date ever, at the tender age of 16 with a classmate I really liked. We only went out twice. Several years later he was BestFriend's senior prom date.

Good times, good times.

My favorite bumper segment: Nerds of the 80s. Then again, I'm sure that's not a surprise to anyone. Nerds rock!

BTW, why the hell do they have Mariah Carey commenting? That's a huge misstep. Get her off my TV screen!



Ooh, now 1983 is on! Gotta go! And maybe I need to dial back the sugar a little.

Fairy tales are dangerous... 

Unfortunately, no one tells us this when we're kids. They're pushed on us by family, by friends, by teachers, told that they're perfect for young minds to comprehend. So we read them, oblivious, not realizing that, though the words may be simple, easy, the points of the stories rarely are. Our brains absorb the messages, the endings, and refuse to let go of the belief in "happily ever after".

I broke up with my first boyfriend because, as a life-long lover of the tale of Cinderella, I believed in the truth of the fairy tale. I cared for him, of that I had no doubt. But, after many months of being with him, giving us time to develop as a couple, I realized that I didn't love him and would probably never love him in the way I thought I should. He was a good friend and nothing more. So I told him this in a gentle, diplomatic fashion. I was as honest as I could be with him. I told him I wanted the fairy tale. I ended up breaking his heart.

I've had a few boyfriends since that day in 1989 when I said good-bye. And once I came close to having a fairy tale life, though in the end he broke my heart as the others had before him, as I had done to my first boyfriend. As of yet, there's been no "happily ever after".

Am I looking for a rich handsome prince to come along, sweep me off my feet and take me away from my hum-drum life? Not really. I mean, of course I'd love to be in a position where I wouldn't have to spend countless hours working a job I wasn't exactly enamored of. I'm not an idiot. But it's not a requirement. My only financial requirement would be that he be capable of supporting himself. I've seen too many friends and family members support dead-beat boyfriends and husbands to ever think destitution due to extreme slackerism is romantic.

I am looking for "the one". Sometimes my pragmatic side will pop up, doubting the existence of "the one". And I have to say, it's got a point. I know there are a number of men out there that could fill the bill, if I could only find them. Who's to say that only one man would be perfect for me?

As for "happily ever after", I hold no delusions that obstacles cease to exist once the wooing ends and the relationship begins. The world is full of obstacles to overcome, which, while stressful, can make the "happily ever after" that much sweeter.

Right now I'm reading The Princess Bride. I'm loving it. I know the movie so I know how it ends. Though skewed, it's still a fairy tale with the requisite happy ending. The book, and the talk with CuteNerdBoy on Sunday, have got me thinking. Which, admittedly, is always a dangerous thing.

In fairy tales the hero and the heroine work to defeat the machinations of the evil-doers to unite with one another. Sometimes the obstacles are many, sometimes they're few. But there are always obstacles to overcome.

In real life the obstacles are rarely as tangible as Fire Swamps and sadistic Counts and ROUSs. That doesn't make them any less concrete, any less difficult to overcome. In point of fact, they may be more difficult, because you can't swipe a sword at them and make them go poof.

Part of me, the part that cares for CuteNerdBoy, tells me to be patient, that maybe he'll come around to my way of thinking, of feeling. That eventually the things that are currently holding him back from any kind of deeper relationship, with anyone, will fall away and those smiling, slightly sad, dark eyes of his will open up wide, seeing what could be a beautiful romance. I can easily see him as my prince. My sweet, funny, quirky prince.

But another part of me, the protective part that's always watching out for my heart, trying to keep it safe and sound and in one piece, reasons that I have no promises, no guarantees from CuteNerdBoy that, should he decide to pursue a relationship in the future, it'll necessarily be with me. He's been perfectly honest with me from the beginning. I know this. I completely understand why he's on the wary side. But there's nothing to say that, once his wariness fades away, I'll be the one he'll come to in the end. Because neither one of us knows how many weeks or months or maybe even years will pass before that wariness disappears.

And because I care for him and respect him as much as I do, I would never dream of dropping him completely from my life, of forcing him to make a decision he's not ready for. I can't change his mind or his heart. Only he can do that, when he's ready. I may not be his princess of choice when that time comes.

So maybe I should keep my eyes open for someone that possesses similar qualities to the ones I find so attractive in CuteNerdBoy, but that is willing to open his heart to me. Not a CuteNerdBoy clone, because I doubt there's another guy out there like him. He's pretty unique. But someone smart and funny and cute and compassionate, but hopefully less wary. I've already taken steps to do so, renewing my lapsed Match.com membership and revising my Friendster profile. It hurts a little to do so, but what choice do I have?

Wait for a "happily ever after" that may never happen or actively pursue a "happily ever after" that could be a wonderful possibility? There are the choices.

Regardless of the outcome, whether as friend or mate, I'll always be there for CuteNerdBoy. If that's what he wants.

And I'll still believe in the fairy tale.


For lunch today I'm eating some lasagna, salad and chocolate mousse pie left over from Sunday. Because of the whole "family in danger" and "talking seriously with CuteNerdBoy" stuff that was going on, I don't think I really tasted it then. I'm tasting it now.

Hot damn, I'm a good cook.

The time has come... 

I approach it from behind, a behemoth that somehow evokes speed and agility. It's quiet now, peaceful, but I'm very familiar with its loud roar, can hear it reverberate in my mind, feel the molecules of my body vibrate with its raw power. It's beautiful in repose, a sparkling warm burgandy in the bright late October sun.

Such animals don't normally move me so. They exist, as do I, and that's just the way of the world, though sometimes I wish it weren't. There are too damn many of them, especially in my city, and the majority of their owners have no clue about how to control them.

But this species has always spoken to me, called to me in a way no other has. It has long been a dream of mine to command such a creature. I know this one is not mine, may never be mine, but for a short time I claim it as my own, thrilling in my fleeting control, but also afraid of the unpredictability of the beast. This beast, nearly as old as myself, but far more cantankerous. Still, with soft words and patience and gentle stroking, I can usually bring it to bear, have it perform for me. It grumbles, but it does my bidding, its terrifying growl more like a purr to my grateful ears.

We travel down the street together. I imagine looks of fear, of envy, of appreciation following us everywhere. And lust. Of course there must be lust-filled gazes trailing behind us. A sexy woman with a sexy animal? What could be hotter?

After much wrestling on the way to our destination, we arrive. I step down, leading with my black heel-clad foot, to be followed by smooth bare leg and the wine-colored skirt just above the knee. I stand up straight, sure and confident and supremely cool as I leave my again silent companion for the day and walk into my place of business.

One last look.

Damn, that 1967 Mustang is one sexy car.

Monday, October 27, 2003

A few updates... 

* Family threatened by brush fires: they're all okay. The fire moved southeast of their town, so it's burning away from them. I feel very sad for the other folks whose homes are still in danger, and my thoughts and prayers go out to everyone that has been affected by these blazes, but I'm happy that my family is okay.

Unfortunately FFDWG(FKaSarah) has a sister and niece who have been rendered homeless by the fires burning in San Diego. They are both physically fine and the family is rallying around them, but please throw out some prayers/good thoughts for them.

Oh, and if they find the person responsible for the fires that have been or may be determined to be caused by arson? String 'em up by the balls and castrate them. If it was a woman? A little female castration might be good for her too. There is no reason, no logic for such actions, to endanger so many people, so many living creatures.

Yeah, I'm just a little pissed off about it.

* Current work situation now that BossGuy is gone: not too much of a change, though I do feel a bit lost without him. IdiotBoss still annoys me, but luckily he's on vacation this week so I don't have to put up his standing too close to me when asking me questions that he really should have known the answers to over a year ago.

The real test comes at the end of this week and the beginning of next week, when we face our first month end sans BossGuy. I miss him.

* Submitting a picture to 2003 Blogger Boobie Thon: I'm sorry if people clicked over there in hopes of guessing what cleavage was Carol Cleavage, but I never got a chance to get together with WestHollywoodBoy in time submit the pictures. Just as well. He was a bit squeamish about taking them, even though I wouldn't have displayed anything he hadn't seen before, just by virtue of hanging out with me. If I had mentioned I was considering au naturel boobage - for folks willing to donate $50 to the cause - I think he would have gone into convulsions.

Funny thing is, BossGuy offered to take the photos, both clothed and unclothed, if we had the time to do so, and he's as gay as WestHollywoodBoy. Well, maybe not. BossGuy does think Britney Spears is unbelievably hot. (I guess there's no accounting for taste.) I don't think WestHollywoodBoy finds any woman sexually attractive.

Oh well. Perhaps next year.

I know there are probably other things I've mentioned that I haven't followed up on. I just can't think of them now. Maybe next time, when they cross my mind again.

Heidi ho, neighborinos... 

...I'm posting this from my handy dandy, lovely new (to me) computer. Whee!

I've still got to tweak a few settings, and the keyboard is taking a little getting used to (it's got a different feel than the old one and for some reason it feels like all the keys have shifted over a little to the left - don't ask me why) but it is ever so much nicer than the old computer. Faster, stronger, smarter. Not quite the Six Million Dollar Man of computers. But still nicer. Maybe it's closer to the Half Million Dollar Man of computers. With the old one being, oh, I don't know, the Five Hundred Dollar Man. And that may be generous.

CuteNerdBoy and I finally got our schedules synced so that he could come over and install the CD-RW drive and a few other things. He showed up on Sunday around 6pm, surprising me with five CDs (Another Disc #8, plus copies of Jonatha Brooke, Aimee Mann and Crowded House). We had some lovely lasagna, salad and garlic bread that I made to thank him for helping me out with the computer - all of which he professed to enjoy immensely, taking several helpings and wishing he had an extra stomach so that he could eat more.

During dinner, we were talking about the brush fires that have sprung up around the Southern California area. I had barely taken two bites of my food when he informed me that one of the fires burning in the same city where Mom and BabySis live. Having not seen or heard the news for nearly two days, this was news to me. I immediately got on the phone and spoke with BabySis and YoungerSis - who was in town to talk with my mom about everything that happened on Wednesday - and they said that so far they were fine, but they were packed to evacuate, just in case. Mom is also fine, since she lives closer to the center of town than BabySis does. I told them all to call me if there was any change. So far no calls, so I take that to be a good thing.

We finished dinner and CuteNerdBoy worked on this lovely computer (have I said yet that it's lovely? Because it is, you know) for a little over a couple of hours (I think - I sat around, keeping him company, chatting a little but not wanting to distract him too much), then we sat in the living room and had some of my chocolate mousse pie, which is very sweet and rich and totally vegan. He said he liked it a lot, but he didn't go for seconds. Well, it is a rich pie.

After the pie, we talked. About what, you ask? Well, aren't you just the nosy folks? But I'll tell you, because I love my readers that much.

We talked about the State of the Nation of Us. I brought it up, because, quite frankly, I was getting a little tired of trying to figure out what was going on in that CuteNerdBrain of his. And I just like to know exactly where I stand.

I won't go into details. That is between us and, as I've mentioned, he never signed on to have his life broadcast across the internet. But suffice it to say that those times where I thought he was showing more than a friendly interest in me? I wasn't wrong. However, right now he's not ready to go any further, with anyone, and he does value my friendship a great deal. Which was actually never a question in my mind, but it is nice to hear.

Another nice thing to hear? I admitted to him that there were a few times I considered seducing him. He said that there were a few times where I would have succeeded. But we both agreed that acting on wants like that isn't always the best thing, and could backfire. Which is the main reason I never seduced him. Though there were a number of moments tonight when I really, really wanted to just grab him and kiss him. Especially a moment when we were standing very near to each other, petting one of my cats. If I had looked up at him then, and he had looked down at me? I'm positive clothes would have been a-flying.

We also talked about a few other things between us that have never really been discussed and it was good to get those things out in the open. And it's nice to know that I'm not going crazy. Well, not about my perceptions regarding his feelings towards me, anyway.

We also talked about some of what was going on with my family (I gave him the Reader's Digest version) and a few other things, talking about more intimate stuff than we had in a long time. It was, again, nice (I need to come up with another word, but my brain is a little tired and overwhelmed right now). I felt really good about our talk.

At the end of the evening we shared a wonderful long hug, with a few cheek and lip and neck kisses (he said I smelled good, which is something I always love to hear - I'm such a friggin' girly-girl sometimes) and I sent him on his way home with leftover lasagna.

Am I a bit disappointed about his answer? Well, yeah. I'm very fond of him and I'm pretty sure that we'd make a great couple.

(Couple of what, Carol?

Shut up, Peanut Gallery.)

But I'm not about to shut him out of my life because he's not ready for something that I am. I do value him a great deal as a friend and a human being and I'd like to keep on knowing him.

Will I hang around for him, hoping he'll change his mind? Yes and no. Of course I hope he'll change his mind. He means a lot to me. But maybe it's time to start casting my eye elsewhere, to see what else, who else is out there.

A girl never knows what's around the corner unless she starts walking.

Saturday, October 25, 2003

As you wish... 

This morning I drove to the Westside for my therapist appointment, for which I was twenty minutes late. Still a good session, talking about the events of this week. Afterwards I was rather hungry, since I hadn't had breakfast yet and I didn't have dinner last night (by the time I was hungry for dinner it was 10pm - I don't like to eat dinner so late, especially since I was in bed and asleep by 11:30pm). A nice big breakfast was called for. Except for one hitch. Unbelievably, I had no book with me. How could I eat breakfast in a restaurant with no book to occupy my attention? Inconceivable.

Since this was not to be borne, I drove to a nearby Barnes and Noble, intending to pick up a Neil Gaiman book. I had just started Neverwhere, having been given it by FFDWG(FKaSarah) - she loves his comic books but wasn't terribly impressed by the novel - but I left it in my carry-bag at home (I'm going to have to come back to Tom Wolfe novel I'm currently 200 pages into). I had recently read an Entertainment Weekly article on the man and was intrigued, especially having heard so much about him over the last few years. And CuteNerdBoy had recently stated that he saw two more heads sprouting from my shoulder when I admitted that I was unfamiliar with his work. (It's a little joke between us.)

So I thought that American Gods would be the book to buy, since the EW article mentioned it would be good for Gaiman virgins to pick up.

I walked into the bookstore, headed straight for the science fiction/fantasy section, and found the desired book. As I pulled it from the shelf my eyes wandered over the other book spines. And I saw it. A book I'd been meaning to read for ages, but had never gotten around to. A book that is on the list of "Books to Read" that I carry around with me everywhere, constantly jotting down more and more titles. A book that is the basis for one of my favorite movies of all time.

The Princess Bride.

In my estimation, and in the estimation of anyone with a modicum of intelligence, humor and good taste, The Princess Bride is simply one of the most perfect movies ever made. Not just in Hollywood or on Earth, but in the entire universe. I've seen it many times, though, unfortunately, not to the point where I can quote it word for word. But that's mainly because the only time I've been good at memorizing dialogue was when I worked on a play. And usually when the run was over, most of the dialogue I'd just memorized leaked out of my head.

(Sometimes I think Sherlock Holmes was right: the brain is more like an attic than an elastic room - when new knowledge is acquired, old knowledge can be pushed out or shoved to the back.)

But I've known enough to play "Quote The Princess Bride" with the owner of a coffee shop I used to frequent when I worked at Disney. And once upon a time I threw a Princess Bride video party for my female friends, incidentally introducing ModelGirl to the movie. She had never wanted to see it, but afterwards she admitted that it was better than she thought it would be. I still don't understand why she's not addicted to it, but we do have very different tastes in movies. For instance, she loves Titanic, which I think is one of the most over-blown pieces of tripe ever created (the main focus of the story is intensely uninteresting, as are the lead characters - which is saying something since I really like Kate Winslet - thank G-d for Victor Garber, David Warner and Bernard Fox) and both she and her husband loathed Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, which I loved enough to see it twice in the theaters, something I very rarely do.

So, the movie. Love it. The screenplay. The directing. The music. The cinematography and production values. The fencing (I'm a big fan of fencing scenes, thanks to Basil Rathbone). And the casting. Unbelievably inspired casting (especially Mandy Patinkin - I've adored him for years) . Sheer perfection, all of it. So it's not surprising that, when seeing the title in front of my eyes, calling to me, pulling at my eyelids and propping them open so that I could see the little paperback even more clearly, I would be compelled to add it to American Gods. For half a second I debated. Should I get one or the other? I ended up buying both, the clerk asking me if I had yet read Neverwhere. We spoke Gaiman for a couple of minutes.

Later, as I sat at a booth in Marie Callendar's, waiting for my veggie omelet (the vegan thing ain't going so well, though I'm still firmly vegetarian), a debate again raged in my head. Which book should I read? I wasn't that familiar with Neil Gaiman, so maybe I should start with something new and exciting. But William Goldman was whispering my name, his soft words a gentle breath caressing the inner lobes of my brain. Insistent and perceptive, recognizing the need for humor in my life right now, he seduced my little gray cells, delicately, deftly stroking my mental pleasure centers. I was powerless to resist.

I'm so glad I didn't. Just the forward (in honor of the 25th anniversary of the book) and the opening chapter are full of wonderful, wondrous words. I'm not that far into the book just yet, but I know I'm not going to regret my choice, or the fortuitous bit of chance that put the book in my line of sight.

It's a shame I have so much to do this weekend. And that I'm driving and not riding the bus for now. I must get back to this book.

Rest assured, I will.

Friday, October 24, 2003

Still hidden... 

Still looking for my funny, but it's proving a bit elusive. I thought I saw a glimmer of it under my pine loveseat this morning, but it turned out to be a horked-up cat hairball (as opposed to a horked-up Carol hairball, I suppose - I tend to keep mine off the floor). Easy mistake to make, really.

Until such a time as my funny comes back to me, I'll link to some funny from other folks. Mainly because I want to inject a little humor into these ages again, at least for the time being. Enjoy!

* The Genesis of a Literary Feud for the Ages.

* Review of Clay Aiken's Measure of a Man

* Toy Crazy

* Gallery of Regrettable Food - a web institution since the Beginning of Internet Time (or at least since 1997, which is nearly the same thing). I've been a fan for about that long.

(While you're there, check out the rest of the Institute of Official Cheer. Just clear a few hours from your schedule. You'll need it.)

Thursday, October 23, 2003

Searching high and low... 

*picks up keyboard*

Not under there.

*pads over to bookcase, steps on tiptoe*

Nope, not on top of there.

*opens cupboards, singing into emptiness*

Helloooo? Are you in there?

*lifts up cats, narrowly avoids getting tails in mouth*

Doesn't seem to be there either.

*furrows brow worriedly*

Huh. Now where on earth did I hide my funny?


Since my funny seems to have gone on a (hopefully) brief hiatus, I invite you to enjoy someone else's funny. Warning though: the trailer he mentions is just as disturbing as he says.

Live action Seuss, without the wonderful rhyming? Bad, bad idea.

Will the fun never end? 

Yesterday was a new installment in the "What Scary Excitement Will Today Hold?" show.

Right before I left for work I noticed my answering machine light flashing. Turned out to be from BabySis, left while I was in the shower, asking, nay, demanding that I call her ASAP - it was an emergency. Nothing about the nature of the emergency. Knowing she was probably en route to work, I called her cell phone and got her voicemail. I left her a message and tried her at home, thinking that if it were an emergency she might not be going to work. She wasn't at home either.

So I drove to work and called her about an hour later, still not getting hold of her. A little while later, while I was away from my desk, OlderBro left a message on my voicemail. He wasn't so much into the details either, except he said the words, "How Mom's doing..."

My hands started shaking as I immediately called him back. He was on the other line with BabySis and promised to call me right back. Twenty minutes later I called him and got the info. Mom had been rushed to the emergency room that morning with seizures. Since my mom has medication for seizures, in addition to a number of other medical problems, I was understandably concerned.

Actually, concerned probably isn't the right word. Perhaps the phrase, "Worried and scared out of my fucking mind," would come closest to describing my mental state at that moment.

I told a few people that I was leaving for the day, managed to not break down crying in the elevator at work and hightailed it out to Ventura County, a good forty miles from my work. When I got to the hospital I found out that Mom had been discharged about fifteen minutes before. I called around, trying BabySis, since I knew she was with Mom, and got her voicemail again. I finally reached OlderBro, who was on his way and told me that the battery on BabySis' cell phone was dying, so she wasn't answering, but she would call back. And she did.

After finally finding out that everyone was either at Mom's doctor or was on their way there, I hopped in the Mustang, only to have it refuse to start. It turned over twice, almost caught once, then refused to do anything. Yeah, just perfect.

I called OlderBro and he came to pick me up. And off we went to the doctor. We stayed there awhile while Mom was checked out and her doctor determined the cause of the seizures and a few other medical problems that popped up. By the end of the day us three kids got things straightened out, got Mom home. And the Mustang decided to run again. Must have been driving sixty miles in the high heat of the day that caused it to go ka-blooey.

I don't really want to go over the details of what went on with Mom, since I don't think it would be cool to put her business out for the world to see. But I will say that everything will be okay, as long as she takes care of herself. Because everything that happened yesterday? Didn't have to happen.

I am beyond happy that she was stabilized and able to go home. I'm thrilled that everything is fixable. I love my mommy and I want her to be around for a very long time. I want her to be at the wedding that I someday hope to have, to be a grandmother to the children that I look forward to raising in the future. And I want her to be happy and healthy and independent.

She says she wants that for herself. I really hope she does.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

It's not just a car... 

...it's an adventure.

And praise be to G-d, Allah, Buddha, Krishna, Yaweh, Jehovah or, for the atheists, no damn body that I made it home.

Monday night, after getting home from Tucson, I spoke with NeighborGuy for a few minutes. After shocking me with offers to help with the car hunt, including the offer of money (that's shocking part - no, I didn't take him up on that offer - maybe the marriage proposal, though drunken, was more sincere than I thought), he told me he had forgotten to tell me about checking the oil. He promised he would do so before he went to sleep on Monday night.

Tuesday morning I hopped in the car, through the passenger side since I locked the driver's side door on Friday when I went to the FlyAway and left the Mustang parked in the lot until Monday. I knew there were problems unlocking that door, but I thought I could unlock it from the inside. I was wrong.

Anyway, I started off for work. Halfway there I looked at the oil pressure gauge. It was close to low. Uh-oh. I thought that was probably a bad thing, but I couldn't quite remember because the gauge reads "Oil Pressure", not "Oil Level", and the word Pressure threw me off. I prayed, "Please let me get to work," and that prayer was answered.

I had intended to check it out during lunch, but it slipped my mind as I worked, trying to catch up after my days off, then went to lunch with FFDWG(FKaSarah). At the end of the day, after climbing into the car and driving to the writing group meeting, I noticed the gauge. The meeting wasn't far away, at FFDWG(FKaSarah)'s place, so I knew I could make it. After the meeting I would go to RiteAid to get the needed oil.

The meeting lasted longer than usual, but I still had time to go to RiteAid. Except they didn't have the recommended weight (20W/50W). So off to a gas station I went. Which didn't have that grade either. But the gas station guy recommended another weight and gave me a couple of those little paper funnels. Those proved to be utterly useless. Turns out the only place I could find to pour in the oil was a tiny little opening where the dipstick resided. I knew that wasn't the place, but I the only other place that looked likely was also possibly a place in which to pour that transmission fluid. I just didn't know. And the oil levels were dangerously low.

I managed to add a little bit of oil, then drove to a 7/11 in hopes of finding a funnel that would work. No such luck. They did have the proper weight, though. So I decided to get all MacGyver, buying a quart of the 20w/50w, some paper plates and little scissors. I fashioned a funnel with a tiny opening, which helped a little, but still didn't quite work. A possibly homeless woman did offer to help by standing next to the open hood and staring at the engine as I struggled with the oil, offering a few words of encouragement and asking if she could have my scissors. I declined, saying that I needed them, which I did. Besides which, I'm not big on giving sharp objects to strangers, especially when I'm not entirely sure about their mental stability. I mean, she seemed nice enough, but one never knows.

Due to spilling a fair amount, I think a grand total of 1/4 quart was added, just enough to get me home, with lots of prayer thrown into the mix. I left the meeting at nearly 9pm. I walked through my front door just after midnight.

Somewhere in the night's adventure I managed to turn on the hazard lights, which blinked off as suddenly as they flashed on with no warning, and I ripped my favorite jeans when they caught on the torn up front seats - seat covers previously prevented clothes from shredding to pieces, but the covers have a tendency to slip off. Then there's all the motor oil all over my hands, with some migrating to my clothes and, no doubt, my hair. And, despite scrubbing, I still have engine dirt and oil under my fingernails, lending my hands that chic auto mechanic look that's all the rage with the cool kids.

I gotta get me some coveralls. And maybe take an auto repair class, so that I feel a little more self-sufficient.

That would be nice.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

So, so much... 

There's so much that I want to write about, but I have no idea where to start. It's not even because I'm living on a roller-coaster, but I have all these ideas of things I think would make great entries or stories, but they percolate around my head when I'm not in a position to jot them down and the details escape me once I have pen or keyboard in hand. Maybe I need to start carrying a mini-tape recorder. Again.

However, on the plane home yesterday I did have a pretty good idea and I was in a position to make notes. Yea!

See, while waiting for my flight and while sitting in my seat (over the wing, next to the window, just the way I like it) I finished an erotic short story I had started at the beginning of the month.

(Don't look at me that way. When you've got a high libido, ya ain't getting any and you're not so much into the one-night stands, ya gotta do something about it. Me, I read and write. This is actually my first completed erotic story, though. I think it turned out well. Word of advice, though. Writing such things when you're in public, like a bus stop or airport or actually on a mode of public transportation? Highly frustrating. And that's how the whole story was written.)

Anyway, I was planning on submitting it to a couple of web sites when I realized it would make for a great series of stories. And I realized that my recently completed story would have to be third in the series. Which is fine, I've already started the first one. But I can't submit the finished erotica until the first two stories are done. Hopefully by next week!

Musical interlude... 

If I gave you the sky
if I laid down my life
would you believe me then?

If I promised to change
if I carried the blame
would you believe me then?

could you see it like me
and believe what I see
could you listen, and remember that I love you
because I told you, because I told you so.

If you told me you lied
but I stayed true and tried
would you believe me then?

And if your beauty was gone
but my love lingered on
would you believe me then?

Could you see it like me
and believe what I see
could you listen and remember that I love you
because I told you, because I told you so.

You take the wheel for now
I'm too tired to drive this one home anyhow,
for now

And when you mention my name
let this one thing remain,
my love,
believe me now.

Because I Told You So by Jonatha Brooke (from 10 Cent Wings)

I've completely fallen in love with Jonatha Brooke's music. And this song is one of my favorites. Granted, it's hard to decide, what with New Dress , How Deep is Your Love? and Crumbs sitting so close to my heart, filling it with joy and sadness and wonderful rhythms.

But this is the one currently playing in an endless loop in my head and soul. Musically and lyrically simple, it's also enormously powerful. It swims around my hopelessly romantic mind, through my too-tender heart, reminding me of the times I've felt just like this.

G-d, how I love music.


Monday, October 20, 2003

Small(ish) town life... 

I love L.A. I really do. Though there are certain things about the city that I would love to see changed (traffic for one), I'm pretty happy there. If I wanted to leave L.A. for any reason, I'd want to move someplace like San Francisco or Chicago or maybe near New York City. I'm just a big city, coastal kind of girl. (Maybe it has something to do with growing up in the Navy.)

Still, there are things about Tucson that are sorta superior to L.A:

* The breathtaking sunset over Saguaro National Park

* The Biosphere

* Looking at the vast starfield at night without the interference of city lights

* Going to "pick-'em-yourself" farms

A few years ago this really-big-city girl was taken to such a farm by BestFriend and BFHubby (this was before BFDaughter was born). Aside from a small garden I once had where I did pick my own tomatoes and herbs, I'd never really picked my own veggies or fruit for eating. Even though it was hot and dusty and hard work, it was also a lot of fun. And, for the first time ever, I was very close to a cow that was running free. It actually scared me a little. That big an animal, just an orchard row away? Holy criminy! Still, I had a great time.

As I did today. BFHubby asked me today when was the last time I'd been pumpkin picking. I replied that, growing up, pumpkin picking entailed driving to the supermarket and picking out a pumpkin.

"The supermarket or a roadside stand or...?" he asked.

"Nope," I replied, "just the supemarket." His eyes practically bugged out in disbelief. He assured me that I would have fun today. He was right.

We took the scenic route to the pumpkin patch, through the Saguaro National Park, about a forty minute drive. The four of us were joined by one of their friends and her two sons, the oldest of which is a good friend of BFDaughter (he's also three). We hopped on a horse drawn cart, were taken to a part of the huge pumpkin patch, and let loose to find our pumpkins. We found some wonderful ones and, as everyone gathered to wait for the cart, I stopped to stare at a huge grasshopper that had hopped in my path. Or maybe it was a cricket. All I knew was that it was a dull green with interesting black markings on its legs. It was absolutely fascinating to me. And these crickets/grasshoppers were everywhere. No matter which way I turned my head I saw one of those things hopping here and there. BestFriend and BFHubby hypothesized that it was probably due to the heat. I think it was about ninety degrees here today.

(In mid-October. Yes, I know. But it's the desert, what do you expect?)

After riding the horse-drawn cart back and paying for the pumpkins, the kids rode tractors and ponies. It's always so much fun seeing the world through a child's eyes. I try to keep a certain amount of wonder about the world, but it's so easy to lose it with living in the high-speed world of day-to-day life. Watching BFDaughter so excited about the horses and the ponies and the pumpkins was such a delight.

After all that their friends went home and we went back to BFHouse, had a little lunch and, as BFHubby went off to work, BestFriend and I talked a little, tried to get BFDaughter down for her nap - no dice - played TV Trivial Pursuit (I won - came close to trouncing BestFriend with my supremely trivial mind but she came from behind to make it close) and carved the pumpkin that I picked with the help of BFDaughter. We've got a lovely cat pumpkin.

Now everyone else is in bed again, fast asleep and getting ready for the work and school day ahead and by 7pm today I'll be back in my apartment, wondering where the weekend went.

I'll be glad to be back home, giving my kitties scratches behind the ears and apologizing profusely for being away (my dear friend ModelGirl is checking on them everyday while I'm away, so they're not devoid of human companionship).

Still, much as I love my hometown, it would have been nice to be away for a few more days.

I think I'll be back sooner than another ten months. I miss these wonderful people already.

Sunday, October 19, 2003

Tucson living... 

It's after midnight on Saturday night and the house is quiet. About forty minutes ago BestFriend and BFHubby went to bed to after BFDaughter, finally, fell asleep. And I sit up, tired but, much like BFDaughter, not willing to go to sleep just yet. So I putz around on their WebTV, checking e-mail and some of my favorite sites, all the while thinking that maybe, just maybe, I should go to sleep on this very comfy couch - so much more comfortable than their air mattress (I can be such a "Princess and the Pea" when it comes to falling asleep) - so that we can be up early to go pumpkin picking. And I wonder why there are no damn "end", "home" or real "delete" keys on this damn WebTV keyboard. I apologize for any misspellings or any other weird visuals - this keyboard isn't the easiest to use.

It's been a fun, but exhausting two days so far. After running around yesterday morning, getting lost on my way to the FlyAway and barely making the bus that took me to LAX, I made it to the gate with forty minutes to spare. The passengers started boarding at the time we should have been leaving.

It was a full flight on Southwest, which meant that, as a letter C, I ended up sitting near the galley in the back, in a row that faced backwards, with another row facing me. The people I sat with were all perfectly nice people and I was perfectly pleasant to them when I was spoken to, but I was in rather an odd mood yesterday, kind of weepy (stupid period) and a bit on the loner side. I just didn't feel much like talking. Luckily my fellow passengers weren't the type to insist on talking. So I listened to Jonatha Brooke (sorry, no links - WebTV is a bit limiting) and closed my eyes for most of the hour-long flight.

I was also rather displeased with my lack of tray and magazine, so I've decided I'm never sitting in that sort of seat again. I think, after living alone for so long, I've kind of gotten used to having things my way. Maybe I need to learn to share.

I arrived in Tucson about twenty minutes late to find BestFriend waiting for me at baggage claim. I didn't expect her, since I knew she was working and that because my flight was late BFHubby would be unable to pick me up, as originally planned, since he had to be at work soon after my flight was scheduled to land. I fully expected to take a bus to BestFriend's place of business. She told me she just took a very late lunch.

Anyway, to make a long story short - too late, I know - I spent yesterday evening having dinner and hanging out and today was spent eating and playing with BFDaughter (a very spirited and precocious three year old who is as tall as a five year old), playing a three hour game of Disney Monopoly with BestFriend and losing spectacularly - I'm still smarting over that one - and having dinner at a new and rather good Italian restaurant.

There are, of course, lots more to tell, such as catching up with BestFriend and battles of wills with BFDaughter (to be expected with a three year old), not to mention lots of laughter and baking cookies and eating too much dairy (the Italian restaurant had an amaretto mousse pie to die for) and playing with their two cats and reading night-night books and patting BFDaughter to sleep for her late afternoon nap and, well, lots more.

And I know that Sunday and Monday will be filled with even more fun.

Friday, October 17, 2003


Sometimes, when go back and read over what I've written here - the next day, for example - I think to myself, "Maybe I shouldn't post entries when I'm so tired/emotional/crazy." Then I remember that I'm always crazy, so if I waited for that condition to pass, I'd never write.

I also remember that this 'blog is a record of my thoughts and feelings at this time in my life. Sure, it's a public record, where anyone in the world can stop by and read what insanity I'm thinking. I'm just egotistical enough to think that my words are of interest to someone. Otherwise I'd just jot it all down in a paper or computer diary, never to see the light of day.

And I do that with some of my thoughts and feelings, things I want to keep strictly private. Mainly because they tend to involve other people, where I'd have to write more about their lives and what parts of those lives are affecting me. Since they never asked to have their life stories flung about in a public forum, I keep those aspects personal.

Still, it's hard to balance what to write and what not to write when other people are thrown into the mix. Since people are pretty much a planetary epidemic, there's no getting away from that. So I try to write enough about them so that readers, whoever they may be, get a flavor of the person I'm writing about without being able to track down their address and phone number.

I talk about CuteNerdBoy a lot in this 'blog because, for good or ill (I prefer to think good), he's become an big part of my life. That stems from my tendency to care about people a bit more rapidly then I perhaps should. I've been hurt, been burned enough that I can be wary about letting people inside the walls I've built around myself. But once I do decide to let them in, I don't just fling open the door and issue an invite. I lay open my heart almost instantly. Maybe it's not the best thing to do, but I just don't know of any other way to be.

So CuteNerdBoy sits in a little spot in my heart and I can't help but to write about him. And there's so much more I would like to write, his history and my history and our history that might explain some of my jumpiness. But it wouldn't be fair to him. Or me. Or whatever it is that is going on between us, whether it stays a friendship or becomes something else.

Much as it pains me to say, some things will have to remain private.

Well, that was... 

... an experience.

Thursday was a long day for me. I was out of bed before 6am, checked my e-mail, showered, dressed, then took NeighborGuy's 1967 Mustang for a spin around the block.

(This is the neighbor that proposed to me while he was drunk so I wouldn't leave his party in the wee hours of the morning, because then he had to turn down the music - I can't find the entry I mentioned him in.)

Last night NeighborGuy was supremely cool in offering me the use of his extra car for a few days while I get the "car buying thing" straightened out. Considering that the classic Mustang is my dream car, I was pretty excited over his offer. And I took him up on it, since I had to return the rental car this morning.

So, after picking up my dry cleaning and going back home to change into the outfit I really wanted to wear today, I took the rental car back, waited way too long while they made sure everything was okay, and as one of the guys at the rental place and I left the building I tripped down some stairs, scraped up my knee and dirtied up the pants I had just picked up from the cleaner.

The rental car guy drove me home, I cleaned up and managed to get out all the dirt on my pants, then drove the Mustang to work. It took me a very long time, since I was unused to a car that old and heavy and I didn't want to take the freeway. I finally got to work almost 1 1/2 hours after leaving my house. I was an hour late. *sigh*

A day of tiring work ensued. But I was still in a pretty good mood until about noon, when I stumbled across something on the internet that got me a little down. And, try as hard as I could, I couldn't bring myself entirely up again. This colored the rest of my day. And, unfortunately, my evening.

Around 7pm CuteNerdBoy met me at work for movie and dinner. I drove us over, but my brain was having trouble thinking of something intelligent to say, not to mention the loud car engine wasn't condusive to easy conversation. We watched and enjoyed the movie, with FFDWG(FKaSarah) joining us, what with her also being my co-worker and all. Afterwards we walked to cars, FFDWG(FKaSarah) mentioning she hadn't eaten, so I invited her along with us. Which was fine. She was hungry, we were hungry, I like hanging out with her, it seemed only natural.


Again, for the life of me, intelligent conversation starters completely eluded me. I wasn't my usual lively self and I couldn't force myself to get there. Oh, there was still laughter to be had, some of it instigated by me, but sometimes coming up with something to say felt forced. FFDWG(FKaSarah) was lively and upbeat, talking easily, and I felt like a big ol' lump. And some of those awful little twingesdecided to make an appearance.

Factored into this was there were a number of times when I would open my mouth to say something, and, as happens all too frequently with me when around others, FFDWG(FKaSarah) would pipe in with something faster before I had a chance to get a word out. Which always causes me to shut down, especially when I'm not at my best.

After an hour CuteNerdBoy and I walked her to her car, then we went back to the Mustang and I drove him back to his van, with a little more conversation, this time about gaming. I walked him to the driver-side door, received the usual nice hug and peck on the lips, and off we both went to our respective homes, with me stopping off for gas and to use the restroom before finally getting home just before midnight.

Don't get me wrong It was a pleasant evening. I always enjoy spending time with CuteNerdBoy. But I'm just tired. I'm exhausted and confused and tired of not knowing what's up and what's down and sick of living inside my brain as much as I do. I'm tired of being so close to tears as often as I am these days, with just the littlest thing able to set me off. I'm exhausted thinking about what I have to do tomorrow before catching my 2pm flight for Tucson.

And I'm beginning to think I should never, ever schedule anything remotely date-like to coincide with the three days a month I'm on my period. 'Cause I'm sure the hormones ain't helping a whit.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Green-eyed demon... 

Last Friday, during an impromptu dinner, I was talking with BossGuy about this and that. All sorts of subjects. And one of the subjects we talked about made me realize something.

I don't understand jealousy.

That's not entirely true. I do understand the little twinges one sometimes gets, when the person one holds in affectionate regard is speaking with someone else who may be considered to be smarter, funnier, more attractive than one's occasionally shaky self-esteem will allow him or her to see oneself as.

(Wait, did that make any sense? Um, maybe not. Translation: in the past I've felt the intermittent jealous twinge when either my SO or the person I've been attracted to has interacted with women that my occasionally shaky self-esteem will tell me are smarter, funnier, prettier or in better shape (my biggest bugaboo) than me. I will probably feel it again. I know this about myself, I understand it and I guard against it so that it doesn't explode into unreasonable jealousy. Mainly because I know that I have nothing to worry about and, if I do, then it's best I not be involved with that person after all. This is, of course, at odds with my inflated ego. The ego that is constantly surprised when it discovers that every man I come across isn't wildly attracted to me. Yeah, I have issues. Who doesn't?)

I also understand reasonable jealousy, where there is an actual history behind wondering if one's mate is chatting up the girl or boy in the corner because the mate is looking for a little extra action or someone new and exciting.

(I can safely say that this, to my knowledge, has never happened to me. Thank heavens. Because if there's one thing I don't need is a reason to mistrust men. I find trusting people ever so much more fun.)

What I don't understand is the unreasonable jealousy that seeps into every pore, every cell of a person's being, to the point where that jealousy makes life unbearable, not only for the suspicious person, but also for his/her friends and family.

In the late 80s I was sitting in restaurant, reading and having a little dinner by myself, when I looked up and saw an old high school friend standing over my table. I smiled a big hi, we exchanged a bit of, "What have you been up to?" and chatted for maybe five minutes, at the most. Finally he said, "I've got to go, my girlfriend is waiting at the register." I looked in the direction he pointed and saw a woman, attractive enough (though, to be honest, not as pretty as I think I am, especially back in the 80s when I had a very nice figure). And the woman's eyes were shooting heat seeking missles at me. It's fortunate that looks do not have the power to actually kill, else I'd be one burnt cookie right now.

It's a good thing she didn't know that her honey was the first guy I ever went on a date with. (The movie? Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan. That's such a surprise? Y'all should know what a geek I am by now.)

Once upon a time I had a boss. He was a very cool boss, into the blues and reggae. He was cute (though, at my height, a little short for my tastes), he was sweet, he was funny and he was intelligent. And devoted to his wife and kids. Sure, he liked to look at pretty women, enjoyed his yearly Sports Illustrated: Swimsuit Issue, and, for some incomprehensible reason, thought Jennifer Love Hewitt was hot. (I never said he was perfect. And yes, I gave him shit for that. I felt it was my duty.)

But there was never any doubt, in the minds of the people that knew him, that he loved his wife and children more than anyone in the world. He would never do anything to jeopardize those relationships.

Apparently his wife was not aware of this. Because she was insanely jealous of any woman that she considered pretty enough or shapely enough to be a threat to her place in her husband's life. (I was always a little insulted that, the one time she met me, she was not bothered by my presence. Harumph.)

This suspicion extended to the printed page. The aforementioned Sports Illustrated: Swimsuit Issue. Not allowed. Anything else that could possibly construed as the tiniest bit pornographic? Verboten.

As a result I've been afraid to call his place to leave a message, see how they're doing, what they're up to. Because if she heard my voice asking for her husband, she would probably go batshit. Not just because I have a feminine voice. But because my voice is a bit on the low side, sometimes a little husky. Numerous friends have told me that I have the perfect phone sex voice. How sad is it that I can't even call a friend for fear of repercussions? I don't get that.

My thoughts? Though I may feel that awful jade-eyed monster peep over my shoulder now and then, trying to stir up trouble as it likes to do, I'm not about to act as if the world was ending because my SO, or a guy I might be interested in, was in the midst of interacting with another human being who happened to be of the opposite sex. Because I know it's my own issues I'm dealing with, not the other person's.

As far as porn or erotica go, I can't say it bothers me all that much. You want to look at naked people, go for it. Have fun. As long as it doesn't interfere with the real sex life, knock yourself out. So to speak. Granted, I'd prefer that my guy not be into Hustler or anything super hard core, but that's mainly because I find that sort of thing rather icky. I'm all about an illusion of art and class.

So those people afraid that a picture or an image on a screen can usurp their own importance in their mates lives, or allow the proverbial imp with the emerald orbs to take them over when observing random friendly interactions with people, of which there are many on this earth - those people puzzle my simple little mind.

I sincerely hope that's a puzzle I never unravel.

Another fun evening... 

Last night was another fun evening with CuteNerdBoy, with little of the frustration of the last date. Perhaps it was because I was generally feeling more at ease. Perhaps it was because it was a BookCrossing meeting and there were a total of eight people for about half the night, all very lively, intelligent folks. Perhaps it was because we were joined by his aunt, whom I've met several times before, and his brother, whom I met for the first time last night.

Or maybe it was because the mixed messages were less. His behavior towards me was, well, I won't say proprietary, because that's not the right word, but... When he did things like pat the booth seat next to him at dinner with his brother and aunt after the meeting, walk up from behind his brother to stand next to me while I was talking to CNBBrother, or, while pulling chairs for the rest of the BookCrossing members, making sure he sat next to me - it all made me feel good, still makes me smile.

Plus hanging out with CNBAunt is always fun and CNBBrother is pretty cool (though he can't hold a candle to CuteNerdBoy), so there was much talking and laughing, with hugs from each of them at the end of the evening (which was earlier than I would have liked, but CNBAunt had work to finish up - having played hooky by coming out with us for the night).

Tomorrow night CuteNerdBoy and I are getting together for the screening of a movie that my company was involved with. Hopefully there will be dinner afterwards. I'm really looking forward to it.

I hope he is too.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Busy, busy... 

10/15/03 - 6:55am: I wrote this up yesterday afternoon, but was having server problems at work and Blogger problems at home. It ain't much, but it's something. I guess. Enjoy!

Sorry I've barely been around the last few days, but I've been rather busy trying to keep my head above water, what with BossGuy gone (which is an entire entry in itself), and my ass to work. We have a little transit strike going on in L.A., starting today, so I was forced to rent a car for a couple of days while I figure out what my next step is. I have to say, after nearly five months of not driving, it is nice to be behind the wheel again. Considering I hate to drive, that's saying something.

Anyway, hopefully tomorrow or Thursday I'll have time for a more interesting entry, then I'll be incommunicado until next Tuesday because I'll be in Tucson for the weekend, visiting BestFriend and her family.

Y'all have fun 'til I get back!

Sunday, October 12, 2003

Look at all the pretty dresses... 

Yesterday I faced danger. I walked amongst the danger, completely cognizant of my position, knowing that, under different circumstances, it could take me down at any time. These were not normal circumstances. I felt no weakness in the face of danger. Well, that's not entirely true. There was weakness beating in my breast, but it was a different sort than that which I feared might lay me low. Still, I held my head proudly, my posture straight, and I bravely laughed at the danger until it slunk away, looking for another poor, unfortunate soul on which to pounce.

Yesterday I spent several hours in a bridal store.

All of BabySis' local bridesmaids gathered in Northridge to try on bridesmaid dresses. YoungerSis and her family traveled from Fresno to join us (she's a bridesmaid and both of her daughters are in the wedding party, as is her hubby, but he was out with a friend). Also in attendence were my mom, OlderBro - because OBGirlfriend is also a bridesmaid - BSFiancé and BSNephew. There were two bridesmaids who couldn't make it because they live in New Jersey, but I'm sure they were there in spirit.

Did I mention BabySis has eight bridesmaids (including YSOlderGirl), plus the Maid of Honor? Yeah. It was a full house yesterday.

Still, it was so much fun hanging out with everyone, playing with the kids, trying on a pretty dress (click on the wine swatch to see how it looks in the color BabySis has chosen) and then looking at all the other dresses, ooh-ng and aahhing over the pretty ones and making fun of the ugly ones (of which there were, surprisingly, few). I'm glad BabySis chose wine, because it's a color that looks very good on me and I'm just that selfish. If she had chosen Misty Haze or Celadon (actual color names, apparently), I, well, I would have worn it regardless, but I would be masking a pout behind my "so happy for the couple" smile. As would many other bridesmaids, I'm sure.

The usual danger of growing wistful at my own "no prospects" never made itself known. Indeed, the only danger I faced was wanting to try on all the dresses that I thought were pretty and then wanting to buy them then and there. The nice thing about many of the bridesmaids dresses were that they could also be worn to other formal occasions. I love dresses like that!

And the shoes. And the purses. And the jewelry...


Sorry, drifted off there for a second.

So it was fun. Almost can't wait for BabySis' wedding day, so I can do it again.

Thursday, October 09, 2003

...light the corner of my mind... 

The sense of smell is a powerful memory trigger. It's been said over and over again. The warm, round aroma of freshly baked bread wafting through the air, the sharp scent of pine needles, the darkly sweet incense of hot chocolate can all bring to mind the bluff wintery morning of a snow day for those whose childhood was spent in less moderate climes then sunny Southern California.

I wonder about the memories brought forth by smells, sometimes think that such an adage doesn't apply to me. Then I jog down the stairs of a Metro Rail station whilst a MTA worker is trimming back bushes. An acrid fragrance of rosemary follows me underneath the earth, clinging to my clothes and my mind, reminding me of the plants I once tended when I lived with my ex, FG, so many years ago. My thoughts slide over to the cilantro plant we brought back from Laguna Beach on a holiday weekend outing. I recall going home during my lunch hour, back when I had a car and worked close enough to home that such things were possible. I'd stop by my cilantro plant every day, pluck off a leaf and crush it between my thumb and index finger, then brought it to my nose, inhaling its delicious, slightly soapy perfume. I could feel that perfume enter my body, prickling my entire nervous system as it refreshed me, girded me against the rest of the work day.

Near my current work place there lies a park. It's not officially a dog park, but everyday people bring their pooches to frolic and play. I stroll by it every morning and every evening, enjoying the sight of the people and their pets. Some days I see upon the lawn recent marks of mowing and grooming and I draw into myself the bouquet of freshly shorn grass, enjoying the wonderful natural, greeny scent of it. The little box of memories is opened and I see myself as a child, lying in the grass and staring at an insect or looking up at the bright spring sky, pulling at the blades that rest beside me. I try to remember where I was living at the time, but whether it was Rhode Island or Virginia eludes me. I can easily put it down to frequent moving when I was a child. Living in a new town practically every year is enough for all the years to melt together. Yet I start to wonder about the accuracy of my memories.

Many of my childhood memories are locked up. I take a crowbar to the lock, strike at it repeatedly, sparks flying up at me, but the lock never gives way. I consider the possibility that some trauma may have happened which would put such an indestructible lock on my box of memories. Or maybe it's just the passing of years that blankets most reflections with haziness and puts others in a secure padlocked safe, to be protected from prodding and poking.

Then I begin to think, maybe some of the reminiscences of my youth might be fabricated, spun out of whole cloth to replace the protected memories. I'm not sure. I know that repressed memories exist, having experienced such a phenomenon myself. I have every confidence those recollections are real. But others...

Recently it was brought to my attention that some of my memories may not be as accurate as I would like to think. For several years I was under the impression that a male friend was part of my senior prom party. I now know how that belief was generated, how it came from the off-hand comment of another friend of mine. She never specifically mentioned that my male friend was there, amongst us with the events of that night, but her reference to him in regards to someone else caused my mind to insert him into my memories of that evening, into a place he never occupied.

I throw my thoughts back to that night, filled with fun and strange adventures, and realize that I don't recall his face from that evening, don't remember his skinny teen-age figure adorned in a tuxedo, no doubt looking handsome, as all men in tuxedos are wont to do, especially the cute ones. I can bring forth the laughter of my dinner companions at my bouncing eclair, the metallic scent of the overheating radiator of my date's 1966 Cadillac Coupe de Ville, the masculine perfumes of the classmates with whom I danced, but not a true remembrance of my male friend. For some reason this saddens me a little. Not just because I recognize my memory is more faulty than I thought. I'm a little saddened because I realize, in retrospect, that having him as a participant in such an important teen-age right of passage, however fleeting, would have been pleasing to me.

And I wonder, how many other memories have been altered by a random word, a incidental sound, a desultory scent?

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Oh, fuck... 

Guess I better face reality.

*clears throat, drinks water*


I pray that I'm wrong, that Schwarzenegger will take the advice of those who truly have California's best interests in mind, that he will be a re-energizing force for the state that is the closest thing I've ever had to a home state, one that I truly love.

Somehow, though, I doubt it.

(ED. - Apparently I've been so emotional over this whole recall/special election thing that I've been leaving an "e" out of Schwarzenegger's name. Oops. I've gone back and corrected those entries. Though, it wouldn't hurt him to lose a letter or two.)

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

I refuse to sing... 

Unbe-fucking-lievable. I'm speechless. I have difficulty believing that my "fellow" Californians are so gullible as to elect Mr. Steroid-Brain. I don't think he's a stupid man, but surely nobody can believe he's the one calling the shots here. Then again, it's not the first time voters in California have shown a singular lack of insight.

I need to stop being so surprised. I'd hate to embrace cynicism, because, though I have a fairly wide streak running through me, it's really not my basic nature, but it's times like this when it seems like a viable alternative.

Still, a (perhaps incredibly foolish) part of me remains hopeful. There are still the better part of 3.2 million absentee ballots to be counted. (ED. - Make that 2.2 million absentee ballots - I picked up the wrong number last night. Sorry about that.) And you know what they say about fat ladies and it being over.

I ain't singing yet.

A site for sore eyes... 

Though the numbers are changing, and will continue to change, the fact is that the majority of people currently on the internet are straight geek boys.

And what excites straight geek boys more than anything else? (Besides, perhaps, a Apple 15-inch PowerBook G4 or an iPod?)

That's right.


Really, who can blame them? I've owned a pair for over 25 years and, though they've changed a little over the years, I'm pleased as punch with them. (Some might say too pleased, as they yell, "Damn, Carol, ya wanna point that cleavage somewhere else? If I wanted to see the Grand Canyon I'd go to Arizona." Um, okay.)

Well, now straight geek boys (and Sapphic geek girls and non-geek types of either persuasion) can stare at boobies and help a worthy cause. 2003 Blogger Boobie Thon is currently underway, benefiting the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. You can observe breasts for free, but the nipplage is covered. In some cases there is only deep decolletagé. For breastages of all shapes and sizes in their au naturel state, you must donate $50 or more. If you can't afford $50 or more, donate anyway. It's a great cause. I mean, I've donated a small amount and not only do I not have $50, I don't have a lot of interest in bare ta-tas.

"But Carol," you may cry, "I'm a straight geek girl and/or a gay geek boy! What about me?" First of all, quit yer whinin' - it ain't attractive. Second of all, don't worry, they have a little sumpin' sumpin' for you too. Pictures of man racks (as the site calls them) are also available for your perusal. (There is no third of all.)

At this time I have not contributed photos of my own cleavage, but that's because I have none digitally available. I don't think I want to bare all for the internet, not even for a good cause, but if I can get a friend with a digital camera to help out, a low-cut neckline might be posted on the site in the next week. But I won't tell you which one is mine. You'll have to figure that out yourself.

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Carol/Female/36-40. Lives in United States/California/Los Angeles/San Fernando Valley, speaks English. Spends 40% of daytime online. Uses a Normal (56k) connection.
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United States, California, Los Angeles, San Fernando Valley, English, Carol, Female, 36-40.

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