Wednesday, December 31, 2003

No year-end wrap-up... 

I'm sorry, I didn't quite realize that I hadn't updated since Sunday. It's been a little busy.

So, here it is, the last day of 2003. Most people do year-end wrap up, but what's to wrap up? Especially since I've been writing this 'blog for only six months. The wrap-up? Most of the first half of 2003 (along with the last quarter of 2002) sucked humoungous pointy rocks. The last half of 2003 wasn't as bad, though it certainly had its moments of suckitude. And I have absolutely no idea what 2004 is going to hold for me. I'm pretty sure it's going to be a good one. A really good one. But I'm also scared. Every time I think things are starting to look up, the other shoe drops. Right now so many other shoes have dropped that it looks like a shoe warehouse in my apartment.

Ok, maybe it's just time to put my shoes away. And recognize that at least I still have it better than a lot of other people out there.

So today started out beautiful and full of promise. The sun was shining, the birds were singing, it was actually warm outside and I got some unexpected money from Lions Gate. Yea!

Then I went in for a manicure, pedicure and eyebrow waxing. The manicure and pedicure came out lovely. The eyebrows? Not so much. Matter of fact, they're horribly thin - too thin for my face, which, while lovely, is not delicate enough for the eyebrows it is now sporting. I am profoundly unhappy about the appearance of my eyebrow and furious at the woman for 1) not listening to me when I told her that I just wanted the brows to be cleaned up and 2) for trying to convince me that my eyebrows now look "superior". Yep, that was her word. "Superior". When I told her, no, they're not superior, they're too thin, she suggested that I use an eyebrow pencil. I have naturally luxuriant eyebrows that are perfect for my face - minus a little of the bushiness - I should not have to use a fucking eyebrow pencil on them!

Yeah, I'm still pissed off about it. Especially since, until my eyebrows grow back, I'm going to look horribly unkempt. Oh, it's probably not as bad as I think, but I'm still very angry about it.

Then, after weeks of not being able to have a conversation - spoken or IM - with LiterateLawyerGuy, we finally talk for a few minutes on Monday and IM for a few minutes yesterday. I was still waiting to hear if he was going to accompany me to a party I'm attending tonight, thrown by Summer'85Boy and PythonMan (same guys that threw the Halloween party I went to). I got my answer less than an hour ago - no.

While he still likes me and is attracted to me and would like to see me again, with family and son and work obligations he just doesn't have any extra time for me right now and doesn't know when he will. So, for the time being, he suggested that we just not have any expectations of anything even semi-regular. And hopefully circumstances will change in the next month or so.

If you guessed I was more than a little disappointed by that, you'd be absolutely right. I did let him know that, because I'm finally learning that being honest about what I'm thinking and feeling is a good thing. We talked about it a little, with him talking more than me because I didn't know what else to say but, "I appreciate your honesty, I understand your position, but I am disappointed." I mean, what else is there to say?

So I agreed with his plan of action: to try to keep in contact every few days or so, to see each other when possible, but not to expect anything further right now. I just need to decide over the next few weeks or so if that's something that will work for me. It's hard, because in the past I've been used to men more geographically accessible, as well as men who didn't have so many other commitments. Intellectually I knew what I was letting myself in for when we started corresponding, but it's very different in practice. And I certainly didn't expect him to work his way under my skin as quickly has he has.

Maybe that's what I need to change in the new year. In many ways I'm a very picky woman, but when I decide I like someone, I like them. A lot. And I let them into my heart and soul far too easily. I've got to learn hold off a little more. I don't want to turn hard and cynical, because I'll never be happy if I'm like that. But I am very tired of the pain. I am very tired of dashed expectations. It happened with CuteNerdBoy and less than three months later it's happening again with LiterateLawyerGuy.

It's funny. Since the break-up with my ex FG back in '97 I've dated a bit, I've had crushes on a few men and I've had sex with a few others (sometimes even the same men that I dated or had a crush on), but there have only been two men that have managed to wrap themselves around my heart enough to cause me this kind of pain. And both of them entered (or re-entered) my life in the latter half of 2003. I have to wonder what that says about me.

Well, despite the part of me that wants to stay home right now and cry my eyes out (even though I've already cried about my eyebrows and LiterateLawyerGuy), I'm going to the party after all, probably with WestHollywoodGuy (and possibly OlderBro and OBGirlfriend might show up, too). I'll dress up, look as gorgeous as I possibly can, wearing the new open-toed heels that I bought and bright glittery lip gloss, and I'm going to flaunt my cleavage and flirt my eyelashes off. I'll participate in the Burning Of The Effigies Of All That Sucked In 2003, with wooden effigies and bonfire thoughtfully provided by the hosts.

G-ddamn it, I'm ringing in 2004 in high style, with hopes that the pendulum swinging done by WestHollywoodBoy and myself last night will come true in 2004, for the both of us.

(Sorry, the questions the pendulum answered are personal. But damn, it would be great if they came true!)

Y'all, have a kick-ass New Year's Eve and a fabulous (and relatively hung-over free) New Year's Day. And here's to a positive 2004 - may it hold far more positive than negative things for all of us.

Sunday, December 28, 2003

Phones - aarrgghh... 

Since Christmas Eve my phone line has been on the fritz. Either it's been out all together or I've gotten a dial tone, but with lots of static and echos and crossover from other lines. The condition of the phone lines can be blamed on the storm that swept through L.A. on Christmas Eve and Christmas, and the phone company has been working to restore the affected lines in my neighborhood, but it doesn't make it any less frustrating. At least I've had FFDWG(FKaSarah)'s cell phone, and ModelGirl's internet connection, else I would feel completely disconnected from the world at large.

Maybe being so dependent on phones and internet connections isn't such a good thing after all.

In addition to the phone frustrations this morning I had to deal with a little present from one of ModelGirl's cats. See, the one that I have to medicate twice a day has, um, chronic constipation. That can be deadly if not medicated. Hence the twice a day visits.

Well, let's just say that the medicine is working. Far too well. Rather messily in two different places. And I had the good fortune to arrive this morning just in time to clean up the fruits of the medication's labors.

Man, this glamorous life never stops, does it?

At least FFDWG(FKaSarah)'s roommate comes home tonight. Their cat has been a delight to look after (as has ModelGirl's cats, actually - not counting the medication and clean-up), but it'll be nice not to have to drive an additional 10 miles to check on him.

Saturday, December 27, 2003

Schmoopy goodness... 

M. Giant has posted a story full of schmoopy holiday goodness. Check it out.


In keeping with the cat-watching tradition, I'm also spending several nights at ModelGirl and MGHubby's apartment. I usually sleep in their bed, but the bedroom has been particularly cold this year, so I decided to follow their lead and sleep on the futon chair in the living room (which contains the only heat source in the apartment, aside from the stove/oven in the kitchen - the living room, I mean, not the futon). I wondered how the two of them could possibly sleep on the futon, as it is the most uncomfortable futon in all the land.

I then remembered that their bed is also pretty uncomfortable and I am totally the Princess from The Princess and the Pea, so the mystery was less mysterious. Instead I moved to the sofa, as I have many times over the years, and slept the sleep of the rested. Then I awoke, medicated a cat, and moved the rental car so it wouldn't be ticketed. Next after posting this entry? Feeding the cats and cleaning out their litter boxes. All while still in the plaid flannel pj pants and heavy sweatshirt and socks that I drove over in last night so that I wouldn't have to bring a change of clothes. Then I'll go over to FFDWG(FKaSarah)'s and feed and spend time with her cat. Then back to my own home to do the same with my cats.

Don't tell me I don't lead a glamorous life.


And here is where I sigh. The communication problems between LiterateLawyerGuy and I continue. We've not spoken or even IM'd in a few days. Christmas Eve morning I sent him an e-mail telling him how I missed him. While I was out and about wit ModelGirl he called the cell phone I'm currently carrying, but I didn't hear it ring in the store. So he left a brief message on the cell phone, saying he was going to try my home, where he left a longer, lovely message. His voice, which I miss hearing so much, told me that he loved my e-mail, that he was sweet on me, and that he foresaw an engaging dating relationship with me in the new year. And he wished me happy holidays.

Please tell me the two of us will be able to speak to each other soon! Maybe even - dare I hope - see each other before the new year?

At least I was able to talk to CuteNerdBoy on Christmas Eve a little bit. That was very nice. Of course I'm not at all jealous that he'll be spending New Years Eve in New Orleans. Nope, not jealous at all. Oh, that green tint suffusing my cheeks, spreading over my neck and creeping down my chest? That's not envy. It's...uh...it's...hmmm... It's just...a bad omelet from yesterday? Yeah, that's it.

Friday, December 26, 2003

The day after... 

Unbelievable. Simply unbelievable. Yesterday, Christmas Day, it was raining and pouring and old men were snoring in "sunny" Los Angeles. Today it is absolutely gorgeous outside. There's a definite nip in the air, but the sun is shining as if it had never shined before. This is such a day to go walking in the park. Maybe I'll do that a little later.

Right now I'm over at ModelGirl's place, checking on and hanging out with her and her hubby's cats. ModelGirl and hubby are away visiting his family right now, so I've agreed to feed their cats, to hang out a little while to give them human companionship, and to medicate one of them twice a day. It's become something of a holiday tradition for me to watch their cats, since before ModelGirl and her hubby met. Mainly because many years ago she had some one else try it and she did an abysmal job - not coming by for several days, not cleaning the litter box and, when confronted with kitty poop on the kitchen floor due to her neglect, covering it with newspapers instead of cleaning it up.

Yeah, I know.

As a result the cats were more than a little surly when ModelGirl returned from out of town. So the next year she asked me to do it, since her cats knew me and she knew that I loved the little buggers. Being an experienced pet sitter by that time - having sat for many other friends pets (cats, dogs, birds, fish) over the years - I knew what to do. Plus I've always loved animals, so I've always been one to pet them and show them affection. As a result I did what came naturally. And her kitties were not surly whatsoever when she returned. She no longer trusts anyone else to watch her kitties.

So I'm continuing our tradition. I'm also checking in on FFDWG(FKaSarah)'s cats while both she and her roommate are out of town. The nicely surprising part of all this, which I totally didn't expect and am incredibly grateful for? Because I have to stop by ModelGirl's apartment twice a day to medicate one of the kitties, she offered to pay for a rental car for the time she and her hubby are gone, if I would pay for insurance. Wow. For nine days I actually have a car to drive. I'm so happy for that. We got it at Rent-A-Wreck and, if you saw the car, you'd say, "Yep, the company lives up to its name!" I'm driving a red late-80's (I think) Toyota Corolla hatchback with body damage on the passenger's side But it drives beautifully, despite the alignment pulling just a little bit to the right. Due to my parking habits, my past cars have tended to do that, so I'm not too concerned. And I'm sure it's original driver was a heavy smoker, as the vaguely stale aroma of cigarettes clings to the interior. But that's why windows roll down, right?

But I have a car! For just a little while, but that's okay. And while FFDWG(FKaSarah) is in Europe, she's letting me borrow her cell phone, which is proving to be a life-saver. I'm still aghast at the generosity of my friends. I suspect I always will be, as I'm never quite sure what I've done to deserve it. But I thank G-d for it each and every day.


So Christmas was a fun time with family. After picking up the rental car and checking on FFDWG(FKaSarah)'s cat, I ended up at the home of BabySis's soon-to-be-in-laws and had a most yummy dinner with all of them and my mom, then Mom and I stopped by ModelGirl's place, did the stuff I needed to do there, then we headed out to OlderBro and OBGirlfriend's place, where we hung out with them and a bunch of their friends. I was in a kind of quiet mood, but a good one. And I went home.

There wasn't much loot to be had. In past years I might have secretly pouted a little about that, but this year I didn't really care. Because there was just something so terrific about being with these people that made me very happy. That's what this holiday season is about for me. The past two and half years have slammed me and my family and friends so hard that I've realized, I mean deeply realized in my heart and soul, that, nice as material possessions are (and I definitely do like them - I'm a Taurus, after all), the presence of people I care about, people of quality, are far more important, more precious to me.

Funny thing about yesterday. Apparently whatever signal I'm sending out that's making the boys look at me and go, "Hmmm, she looks like she might be a nummy treat," is still swirling about me. I was standing at a bus stop in Santa Monica, waiting for the bus that would take me to Rent-A-Wreck. I was dressed for the cold, rainy weather - heavy bright blue wool coat, scarf, no make-up (though I was having an excellent hair day yesterday), schleppy jeans, sneakers. Totally bundled up with the only skin showing being my hands and face, an open umbrella no doubt somewhat obscuring most of my face as I looked down, reading my book. A late model black BMW parked in a nearby parking lot and a nice-looking fellow that looked like he might be in his early to mid-40s stepped out of the car, cell phone in hand. He walked by me, making a point to make eye contact with me. I smiled politely and continued reading my book and listening to the music on my headphones. He then walked by me again and stopped right in front of me. Polite as ever, I paused the music and took of my headphones, thinking he had a question to ask about directions or something. Instead he asked me about whether the buses were running. Next thing I knew he said I looked like someone he knew back home (in Israel) and proceeded to introduce himself, to ask me my plans for the day, to flirt with me a little, with the coup de grace - he would like to see me again, to take me out for cappucino. I responded with a smile, letting him know that, sorry, but I'm dating someone. He thanked me for my time, wished me a Merry Christmas, then walked back to his car and drove off.

I was amazed. I was so amazed after he left that I started to laugh in disbelief. I mean, I've had men try to pick me up before, in stores or on the street, but not in a long time and never when I was looking positively schleppy. A male friend recently told me that I'm radiating some healthy, happy glow these days that was sure to attract men. I guess he was right.

A little ego boost sure goes a long way.


Happy Boxing Day to those in Canada and England (and every other place in which it might be celebrated)!

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Too cool... 

How much do I love this? An incredible amount. Even in my Grinchiest moments, I have to smile.

Know what else makes me smile? The Christmas Eve Caroling Truck that runs by my home every Christmas Eve. I've lived in my area for just over ten years and nearly every year I've enjoyed the Caroling truck, even if it's just for a few minutes.

To quote the literature, it's a "forty-five foot tractor-trailer, adorned with magnificent Christmas scenes and thousands of sparkling lights, [it] has been spreading Yuletide cheer in the neighboring communities. Over 200 singers and dancers, accompanied by a 6,000 watt sound system, serenade local residents with Christmas carols."

It's unbelievably hokey and corny and I love every minute of it. If I'm home (and I usually am), I'll stand on the sidewalk outside my building, candle in hand if it's not raining (unlike today) and wave at the carollers as they pass by. It has Santa Claus on it! I've even been known to follow it through the streets with other members of my neighborhood, singing along and smiling like a big ol' corny idiot. And that's okay. Because sometimes I am a big ol' corny idiot. I don't care who knows it. (Though I'm sure that doesn't come as much of a shock to any of my regular readers.)

I don't think I'll have time to post tomorrow, so I just want to wish everyone that stops by the happiest of Christmas Eves, the merriest of Christmases and the most fabulous of Hanukkahs. May every holiday celebrated this season (including Kwanzaa and the Winter Solistice and any others I might be omitting) be bright and merry and full of light and love for all of y'all.

(Damn, who's the perky little elf that crawled up my ass? Oh well, I guess I'll let her stay for a little while. She's better than that grumpy, gloomy troll that had taken residence there for a few days. And a hell of a lot smaller too.)

Monday, December 22, 2003

It's about damn time... 

For about two months it's been sitting there, mocking me. "What's wrong, Carol?" it asks me. "Why don't you like me? Why do you leave me half-finished? Why did it take over a month for you to even acknowledge my existence?"

I lounged on my sofa, watching TV. Or I read a book while listening to music. Or I sat at my computer, surfing and writing and researching. I blocked out its taunting tone, heard only by me, but loud and grating nonetheless. Others stopped by, noticed its first unstarted, then half-finished state, but never said a word. There might have been a few quizzical looks. Once, soon after I received it, I excitedly explained its principles to CuteNerdBoy, but after that, all drive to complete it, to use it, dissipated, leaving both it and myself resentful of its presence in my living room.

Tonight, after phone calls and meeting with a recruiter and getting frustrated over the increasingly acknowledged influence of Mercury retrograde on attempted conversations and exchanges between LiterateLawyerGuy (oh, shut up, it could be the reason why we just can't get our schedules synced enough to talk or chat longer than a minute over the last few days), I sat watching a little bit of Angel when my eyes alighted on it. Once again I heard it call to me, as it had yesterday and the day before. I had heeded its call, trying to finish it, but it proved recalcitrant. Today, however, today I gave it one more shot. Again it fought me, even though it was the one that wanted me, but I won. I was victorious. I inflated it as it was meant to be inflated.

It kicked my ass for 25 minutes. But that doesn't matter. I've no doubt I'll go back to it again, for its bright yellow surface beckons to me, seduces me in its particularly firm yet soft, bumpy, rubberized way.

Stupid BodyDome.

Sunday, December 21, 2003

Oh, yeah, gifts... 

It's official. The holiday season is upon us. I've started my Christmas shopping.

I happen to be the queen of last minute holiday shopping. Or birthday gift shopping. Or anniversary gift shopping. Pretty much if there's a gift to be bought, I will buy it at the last possible second. Along with the card and wrapping. Then I'll sign the card and wrap the present in the car before entering the abode where said gift and card will be given. As a result I was the first person in my family to embrace the wonder and ease of gift bags. Oh, the family totally made fun of me at first, until they realized how positively brilliant I am. Now they also love gift bags. Who's laughing now, huh? Though I will admit that for the holidays I will usually take the time to use wrapping paper and tape and ribbons. I'm actually pretty good at wrapping gifts when I give is a shot.

Aside from the holidays, it's been a rare time when I've actually bought gifts more than a day before they were to be presented. It doesn't help that I happen to have a knack for picking out gifts loved by one and all (as far as I know). I don't know how I manage it, but I do. Not that I'm perfect, as there have been a couple of gifts here and there that were almost right, but not quite. Still, my track record is pretty good. And when a person tends to do pretty well in picking out welcome gifts at the last possible second, chances are she's not going to change her procrastinating ways.

Thanks to ModelGirl and her driving, I picked up gifts for four people today. Well, one of the gifts isn't quite complete, but I'm sure I'll get the rest of it tomorrow. Along with the other three or four gifts I've still got to buy. My heart is stopping at the very thought of spending more money, but I'm also pretty good at getting deals, so it won't be as horrendous as it could be.

ModelGirl and I also had a yummy brunch at Swingers in Santa Monica and basically hung out for the better part of the day, which we used to do all the time but hadn't done in far too many months. It was great and I was almost surprised at how much I missed our Sundays of brunch and shopping. Almost.

Then, once I got home, I was pleased to get a message on my machine from LiterateLawyerGuy. I had missed him by a mere twenty minutes, which was a bit of a bummer, but it caused me to further snap out of my funky mood from Saturday. As did the rainy morning turning into a beautiful sunny day after all.

I'm just a silly girl sometimes. But if the result of my mind never shutting up for a second is the occasional blue mood, well, I guess I'll just have to take it. 'Cause I like having an active mind.

Most of the time, anyway.

Saturday, December 20, 2003

Ya know... 

...when you take a stroll during the early evening, whether or not the day's been gloomy just doesn't matter. Why? Because it's dark out. It's certainly darker than it was during the day. And there's something about the crisp coolness of the early Los Angeles winter evening, before it gets too cold to bear, that is exhilarating. Especially when you're walking purposefully down the street, adrenaline starting to wind its way through your body, music dancing into your ears and filling your head, even if the music is a bit on the sad side, the tell-tale tingle of unshed tears present behind your eyes, in your sinuses and throat.

You wonder how you can feel both emotions at the same time, the exhilaration and the sadness. But even that doesn't matter too much. How can it? The exercise feels good, the smell of the winter air fills your lungs and clings to your hair, the aroma of fires burning in fireplaces, the perfume of still-green foliage you walk by, maybe the tiniest bit of exhaust from the passing cars. These fragrances twine and meld and become one, become the signature scent of a Southern California winter, with only pine and hot chocolate missing from the bouquet to make it complete.

Then when you get home, your bag of kitty-odor-busting groceries in hand, you find messages on your answering machine, two messages you'd been expecting for the better part of the day, and you feel a little better. There's still more people that you'd like to hear from, but you start to get a handle on your emotions again, realizing that, despite what you jokingly tell others and what you almost kind of, sort of believe yourself (no matter what your reasoning centers in your too-active mind try to tell you), you, in fact, are not the center of the universe and people are not going to drop everything to make you feel better about yourself. They've already let you know how great they think you are and they've shown their unwavering support.

You realize maybe all you really need is the good cry you've been managing to push aside for the past few days, the cry that will let out all the fear and the anger and the dread that's been building up inside of you since you found out that you no longer have the job that you hated anyway. The cry that nearly came out when you read all the wonderful supportive e-mails and listened to the supportive voices from the people that you care about and that care about you. The cry that started to happen when your baby sister told you not to worry about buying her son a Christmas gift this year, she'd put aside one of the gifts that she bought for him and have it come from his auntie.

Of course you wish someone were there with you to hold you while you cry, to stroke your hair and tell you everything will be okay. There are a couple of someones that you think would fit the bill perfectly. But that's not in the cards right now. And that's okay too. Because it has to be. And you'll deal with it. You always try to.

Maybe afterwards you'll take that stupid Cosmo that you only buy once a year because of the wildly inaccurate Bedside Astrologer and use it to fuel a small bonfire, reveling in such scintillating articles as "Mandy Moore:Like You've Never Seen Her" and "What's Sexy This Second" (apparently it's amazing to Cosmo that women with "chocolate locks" are considered hot) going up in ash and smoke.

Then, then you'll make yourself a nice cup of Earl Grey tea, opting for the world's best Earl Grey tea, or perhaps the world's best green tea as opposed to your former favorite tea, which is still an excellent one and perfect for when you want a tea that's just a bit less smooth.

And finally you'll rest your head on your trusty buckwheat pillow, tired from the emotions, drained from the crying, soothed by the lingering fragrance of the burnt "chick mag" and ready for an early bright, beautiful Sunday.

After all, tomorrow is another day, is it not?

Gloomy weather... 

This is the sort of day that I curse not having a car. I have to get out of the apartment because I'm feeling more than a little stir crazy, but the beautiful weather of the past few days is gone, making it cold and gloomy outside, making me unwilling to leave the coziness of my heated apartment. The fact that I have errands to run makes it a little harder. And e-mails and calls that I've left for others are going unreturned, making me a little antsy and blue (remember, I'm AddictedGal). I need to get out, connect with people, even if it's a bus driver and a cashier. Else the gloominess of the day will infect me, driving me to become hermity again. I've been there before and I have no desire to go back there again.

Last night I was feeling very different. I met with a friend I hadn't seen for many months, due to our absurdly busy, mismatched schedules. He's throwing a little work my way, which is great because I could certainly use it. We ended up spending about half the time catching up on our respective lives and half the time going over his coding needs. And I was happy. I was happy to see him again and I was happy with life in general. He commented on it, saying that, despite the lay-off, I was looking happier and healthier than I had in a number of years, that I had a glow about me. He hypothesized that my new-found glow might be due to the men in my life that I had told him about, the presence of LiterateLawyerGuy and the morphing of CuteNerdBoy from an unattainable desire into a good friend. I answered that he was probably pretty close to the truth.

But today? Not so happy. And it doesn't look like the party is going happen for me tonight, because it's all the way in Lancaster and I can't find my way out there. I've invited friends, not just because I need a ride but because I think the people I invited would really get a kick out of the hosts of the party. They're neat people. Unfortunately it looks like no one can make it tonight, which means I can't make it, because the Antelope Valley is approximately 40-50 miles away. Not a quick bus ride.

And my Sunday is still terribly uncertain. I don't know if I'm getting together with ModelGirl yet, I don't know if I'm going to hear from LiterateLawyerGuy again this weekend and I don't know if I'm going to get any Christmas shopping done. I also don't think I'm going to have the money to go Christmas shopping. At least I was finally able to get through to the EDD yesterday to register for unemployment, but will I start collecting in time to help pay my January rent? Not a clue

Yeah, guess I'm a little jittery today. And scared. And blue. And tired of the mood swings.

Maybe I'll just go for a walk to the nearest Sav-On. It's a 20-25 minute walk one way and the exercise should do my mood good. I hope.

Friday, December 19, 2003

Heavens to Murgatroid... 

...I think I've typed my fingers off! Well, almost, seeing as they're not really bloody stumps just yet. But it certainly feels like they're well on their way there!

After two days of sort of moping around the apartment, staying up late and waking up late, doing nothing more than running a couple of errands and going into Lions Gate yesterday afternoon to clean up a few stacks of paper on my incredibly messy desk (which, surprisingly enough, wasn't looted for suppiles until today, bless my ex-co-workers lil' hearts), I decided that this morning would be the morning that I would start getting a few things done. I was out of bed between 8:30 and 9am and got online almost immediately, taking breaks only for an English muffin and the restroom. And to load up the CD player with music.

Turns out I haven't accomplished much besides e-mailing everyone in the Western world and briefly IMing with LiterateLawyerGuy, but that's accomplishing something too, since I'm responding to all of my friends' e-mails about what I'm looking for in a new job and giving them and OlderBro copies of my resume to forward to others. I've tried signing up for unemployment insurance, but I realized that I didn't possess all the info at my fingertips that I thought I needed, so I e-mailed people for that info, only to realize that I'd actually been working for Lions Gate for 18 months, which means that I didn't need the previous employer info after all. I tried to get back in contact with the EDD, but too many people are trying the same thing so I can't talk to anyone right now. Filling out the application online isn't an option because there are questions I need answered and the online help doesn't answer those questions. Here I thought it would be easy. Silly me!

Despite the flurry of e-mails that I've received and sent, there are still a few more people I have to respond to, but I think I might give my fingers a rest. At least for a little while. And I still need to call a few more employment agencies and update my Monster.com account, as well as the other online job search engines I belong to. And I have to try to actually talk to someone at the EDD. And...

I'm kinda starting to wish I hadn't moped the last two days. But at least I'm caught up on my sleep. I haven't had that for a very long time.

I think I'm looking forward to a fun, busy weekend. If I can get some specifics locked down, that is. A possible party tomorrow night, or maybe spending time with ModelGirl on Sunday, or maybe some time with LiterateLawyerGuy at some point over the weekend, but I don't know when that'll be, or possibly dinner with my friend tonight that is wants some web coding work done, or...

Geez Louise, Uncertainty is the name of this holiday season, isn't it? Oh well, what's a girl to do? I'll deal with it as best as I can. Not much else to be done.

Though ibuprofen is starting to call to me. And, for some reason, so is my bed...

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

I have stories to tell... 

...an entire weekend to recount. I had started writing details of the tale of the weekend spent with friends, those from out of town and those nearby, but I find that retelling stagnating, unable to flow. Setting down events from Saturday's holiday party thrown by FFDWG(FKaSarah), her roommate and myself at their place, with the wonderfully welcome presence of LiterateLawyerGuy, charming my friends, charming me even further with his attention and generosity and intelligence. The expected non-presence of CuteNerdBoy - which saddened me - and the wholly unexpected appearance of Summer'85Boy, having just missed his good friend PythonMan and the lovely PMWife. Having Summer'85Boy there was strange for me at first but ultimately of the good as he and LiterateLawyerGuy geeked out talking about gaming and I looked on, wondering what strange alternate dimension caused such a confluence of two time periods of my life while managing to bring to life old scenarios that had previously played in my head wherein past and present boyfriends and lovers popped up in the same location at the same time.

There was the Graham Norton taping on Sunday, attended by FFDWG(FKaSarah), her roommate, a mutual friend visiting from out of town for the weekend and myself. Originally it was supposed to be FFDWG(FKaSarah), OutOfTownGuy, LiterateLawyerGuy and myself, but as I mentioned in my previous entry LiterateLawyerGuy was unable to join us as he had to spend time with his son. Very understandable, but somewhat disappointing. I still had fun, as did the others, with dinner at Formosa Cafe, but it never stopped feeling as if something were missing from the evening.

At least LiterateLawyerGuy and I had Saturday night together. A fabulous night it was too. Let's just say that I feel sorry for NeighborGuy, as I don't think he got much sleep that night. Then, on Sunday morning, cuddling under a blanket on the sofa, my cats arranged around us as we watched news was so natural, so right I felt as if I had always nested in the crook of his strong arm, my head resting on his broad chest, his cheek brushing my hair. Later the positions were reversed as I settled my chin on the top of his head, stroking his dark wavy hair before he left my home, leaving it cold and lonely and empty again.

And there's the story of Monday, of playing hooky from work. Taking my last available personal day for the year and spending the day in Santa Barbara with CuteNerdBoy. We had planned the hooky day several months ago, originally intending on going to Disneyland until RockerChick invited both of us to her Disneyland birthday party. Instead we brainstormed, him saying that, since it was my hooky day, it was my choice. I turned it over in my mind, undecided until he mentioned Santa Barbara. Something clicked and I decided that would be the hooky day.

It was a terrific hooky day, laughing and talking, getting a tiny bit lost whilst driving, managing to cram in a couple of museums, taking the water taxi to cross the bay on a gorgeously sunny, slightly chilly day, eating first at a waterfront cafe for brunch, then at a favorite Cajun restaurant of his with incredibly yummy food and an enthusiastic waitstaff for dinner, with a little bit of shopping tossed in there somewhere, then walking along State Street as the conversation turned serious and personal. By the end of the evening, despite my feelings for him that still linger - stopping myself from taking his arm or his hand as we walked, refraining from caressing and nuzzling his cheek as we engaged in our usual hello/goodbye hugs and peck-like kisses; despite his still occasional mixed messages - such as the soft smiling look in his eyes and the brushing of hair from my eyes after I tried on a knit cap - the mantle of friendship rested more easily on my shoulders, comfortable and reassuring. And once more I was pleased that this sweet, gentle, snarky, maddening man was a part of my life again.

All these tales flow and wend their ways through my mind, the details struggling to break free past the wall that seems to have been thrust up before them, turning them into simple facts unable to be told in an entertaining manner. So much more to tell about OutOfTownGuy especially, but none of the interesting bits are mine to tell. So I refrain.

It doesn't matter anyway. Because something else looms before me, something that is simultaneously a relief and frightening.

I am unemployed.

Yesterday morning I was called into the CFO's office. I knew him and he knew me, but I've never been called to his office for any reason. I knew it could only be for one reason, as it was known that layoffs would occur sometime in December due to a merger between my company - excuse me, my former company - and another independent entertainment company. But no one was forthcoming about any information. So when the CFO called me and asked me to appear in his office, I knew what was in the offing. I wasn't entirely surprised, as I'd long had the feeling that I wouldn't be moving to the new Santa Monica offices with my co-workers next week. Turns out twenty-eight people were laid off yesterday and Monday.

I sent out a broadcast e-mail to my friends, informing them of my new status and asking them to keep their ears and eyes open for me. My co-workers commiserated with me, with some admitting to a certain amount of envy that I wouldn't have to deal with the move or the coming quarter-end after the holidays. I commiserated with them for having to deal with such an unappealing immediate future. I will be back once more - tomorrow afternoon to sort and label and file paperwork so they'll know what on my incredibly unorganized desk is what, but that'll be the end of my days at Lions Gate Entertainment (hey, I'm not there anymore, what do I care?). Funny thing is, about six months ago I mentioned to FFDWG(FKaSarah) that I would be leaving Lions Gate by the end of the year.

"Promise?" she asked, skeptical.

"Promise!" I answered, filled with the certainty that only alcohol can bring. Little did I know what I was putting forth into the universe.

I know that this is ulimately the best for me. I really do feel a definite sense of relief that I don't have to go there anymore, that I don't have to deal with that 44-mile round-trip commute again or look at those growing piles of paper that have filled me with dread. The thought of starting 2004 with a clean slate fills me with glee.

But now the terror is starting to seep in, the uncertainty of my future and whether I'll even be able to pay my rent for January taking center stage. I do get a severence, but it'll be at least fifteen days before I get it if I submit the paperwork now. And if I wait to submit the paperwork until 2004, as was recommended by Human Resources for tax purposes, it'll be at least another month. So I have to talk to EDD to find out details of collecting unemployment while I'm waiting for the severence to come in. And I have many calls to make to get registered with employment and temp agencies.

Once again, however, my friends have stepped up the plate with their support and fabulousness. One has offered to throw some web coding work my way, something we have spoken about several times in the past but have never fully discussed. LiterateLawyerGuy had expressed a desire to be in the HR meeting with me so that he could negotiate the severence for me (which was impossible for several reasons, including being 200 miles away) and has offered to look over the actual paperwork, both of which I find to be incredibly sweet and generous. Again I thank the universe for blessing me with such terrific people, wondering what incredibly perfect thing I've done in this lifetime or in a former lifetime to deserve them.

Despite all of this outpouring of support, tonight I find myself sitting alone in my apartment again, lonely. LiterateLawyerGuy called briefly, insanely busy with work but wanting to let me know that he was thinking of me and missing me. That he took a couple of minutes to do so pleases me immensely, but also increases my missing him, this craving for him that grows stronger each day. With no one around, I'm finding myself fighting back the fear of my uncertain future that is threatening to wash over me, wanting to feel the presence of others filling the space with life and love and laughter. Maybe I should have taken CuteNerdBoy up on his joking suggestion of sending his brother to stay at my place for the next month while CuteNerdBoy enjoys his apartment to himself again, something he's only had briefly over the last couple of years and something I've had far too much of since 1997.

This whole living alone thing? I am so over it.

2004 is actually looking promising - I'm having the feeling that my current living situation will change for the positive as well. I can't explain it, but it's there.

Let's cross our fingers, shall we?

Sunday, December 14, 2003

It's all so new... 

...dating LiterateLawyerGuy.

I've mentioned that LiterateLawyerGuy is different that most of the men I've dated in the past, with his boldness, his humor, his grand gestures, his mixture of scholar and athlete (he's a rugby player), the directions that his high sex drive takes him and his size. Now I'm discovering that I have to adjust to other aspects of his life that I knew about, but have never had to deal with in a man I dated.

He may have an apartment in Santa Monica, but his primary residence is San Diego. It's not all that far, but it's not all that close either. In the past, if I've wanted to see a guy or he wanted to see me, all we had to do was say so and, usually within half an hour we were together. It was great. It was convenient. It was the way I've always thought things should be.

However, with LiterateLawyerGuy so far away, we have to make do with phone calls and IM messages and, because we're both so busy and our schedules have been kind of whacked, even those have been fewer and briefer than either of us has liked. Even when we made plans to get together yesterday before the party (I'll write more about that tomorrow), those plans were scrapped because of a work emergency and an emergency involving his ex-wife, which meant he had to watch his son as soon as he arrived in L.A. Which wasn't going to be for several hours because he still had to drive up from San Diego. The emergency was nothing medical or dire, thank heaven, but being a good daddy had to come first.

Which brings me to the second aspect I'm finding I have to adjust to: dating a single father. I have many nieces and nephews. I have friends with children. I totally understand his need to be there for his son. I love how his face lights up when his talks about him, how LLGSon is the apple of his eye. And I honestly believe that his son should come before a woman that he's just started dating. Then again, it would be easier to say that if that woman wasn't me.

Saturday night he came to the party after his ex picked up his son, looking dashing in black. We hung out at the party for a number of hours, until such a time as neither one of us could stand not ripping off each other's clothes any more. Then we stopped off at an all night diner near my place since we were both starving. Then back to my place, where we proceeded to do what we'd been wanting to do all night. This morning we watched the news about Saddam Hussein, then he told me that, instead of the long luxurious afternoon of being together that we had planned, he had to go and pick up his son. He was sorry and he felt bad for disappointing me, but he had to go and be a daddy.

He asked how I felt about that, about dating a single father who may not always be available. I admitted that I was disappointed. I didn't hide that at all. But I told him that I also understood. Because I did. And I still do completely understand. But, though I didn’t tell him this part, it was one of those times I almost wished I knew how to be a selfish bitch who insisted on getting her own way at all times. Because, no matter how much I understood, that's what I wanted.

Still, I know that if I’m selfish enough to refuse to date single fathers, that there’s a whole segment of men that I’m just cutting out, men who could be wonderful and nurturing. I think about how I’d like to have children of my own some day. What better way to find out whether a man would be a good father to them than to see how they are with the children they already have?

I’m not saying that that’s the direction things are going to take with LiterateLawyerGuy. It’s all way too soon to know, to seriously think about anything like that. But it is a consideration, nonetheless.

And, if I’d like to continue dating him, which I do, it’s something I have to deal with. Just as I have to deal with his physical distance. And the fact that several weeks may pass before I see him again. Granted, neither one of us wants that, but it’s something that may still happen. We’ll just have to work harder at keeping in touch via phone calls and IM messages.

I have the feeling that my life is about to get a whole lot more interesting with LiterateLawyerGuy in it. There ain’t nothing wrong with that.

And I think it just may be worth a few inconveniences.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Three words... 

...and some punctuation:

Colin Firth - yummy.

Tonight was the Los Angeles premiere of Girl with the Pearl Earring. I've mentioned before that the company where I work was involved in the making of the movie. And through some happy, happy fluke, invites to the L.A. premiere actually filtered down to my department. We are almost never invited to these events. So when presented a reception after the movie, with the possibility of being in the same room with Colin Firth afterwards? You can bet I jumped on that bandwagon.

I was able to get a ride there and home, so that was of the good. No one I invited was able to make it, unfortunately. LiterateLawyerGuy has to stay in San Diego for the rest of the week, ModelGirl had business she had to take care of, CuteNerdBoy had 1) already seen the movie with me and 2) was coming down with a cold (we had seen each other at the BookCrossing meeting the night before anyway, along with his brother) and WestHollywoodBoy tried to make it but ended up having to work late.

Still, it was all too much fun. I first spied Colin Firth when I went back outside to leave my extra ticket at Will Call, on the off-chance WestHollywoodBoy could make it. Mr. Firth was standing on the red carpet, posing for photos and fielding press questions when I walked behind him. Of course I was not on the red carpet and had several canopy posts and a few people between us. But I was in his presence, nonetheless.

Later, as I was waiting for both WestHollywoodBoy and FFDWG(FKaSarah) to arrive - I was holding seats for both of them - Mr. Firth entered the theater. He wasn't close at all, but he was definitely there, looking very handsome.

More festivities resulted, the movie was watched (very good, I've liked it both times I've seen it and the score is simply wonderful), then FFDWG(FKaSarah) and I left the theater. Right in front of us in the upper lobby - none other than Colin Firth. People were milling about him, shaking his hand and smiling and asking him questions. He appeared to be very gracious, but I don't like to be just one of a crowd usually, so FFDWG(FKaSarah) and I just left him alone. Though I did dart a couple of looks his way on my journey downstairs.

Fairly soon FFDWG(FKaSarah) and I decided to leave the reception, as it was too crowded and the food was not vegetarian friendly. I spied Mr. Firth one last time, on the other side of the downstairs lobby, briefly glanced longingly at him like practically every other woman in the room, then made my way out.

So, in conclusion, Colin Firth in person - very yummy indeed.

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Oh dear... 

My overwhelming need to answer online quizzes rears its ugly head. So to speak:

Your Secret Fetish Is Exhibitionism!
Sex for you is an adventure ... one which you want the whole world to see.
Closed curtains and dark rooms don't do it for you.
You rather be getting it on in a public bathroom, park, or club.
What's *Your* Secret Fetish? Click Here to Find Out!
More Great Quizzes from Quiz Diva

(Warning: Clicking on the quiz link may offend sensitive types. Which begs the question, why the hell are you reading my 'blog?)

I have no comments on the results. None whatsoever. A-hem.

Thanks again, Beth and Chuck. I think.

Happy, happy for her... 

Because I'm just a tiny bit crazy about her (and I'm reading her book for the third time - I got it back from CuteNerdBoy on Saturday, he liked it too), I have to just say, "WooHoo, Pamie!".

That is just so beyond fabulous! *little jig of joy*

Vegas Weekend, Part Deux... 

Vegas Weekend, Part Deux? Looks like the basics were already covered in Part 1, but, of course, there is so much more to relate. Not details, because this girl doesn't kiss and tell. Well, not too much, except to say that LiterateLawyerGuy hugs well, kisses well, and, um, does other things very well. While we showed some restraint, we did, shall we say, enjoy ourselves. Several times.

I am, of course, referring to my feelings. Because I? Am FeelingGirl. And those feelings that I tend to not express verbally, due to a certain amount of shyness that overcomes me when face to face with people - even people with whom I’ve been intimate, either physically or emotionally - I seem to have no problem writing about them, even in a public forum.

It really was a wonderful weekend. Not just because I was flown to Vegas for a first date and treated like a princess, though that certainly figures into it. Although I'm usually pretty confident about myself and my worthiness as a potential girlfriend, I've never thought I was the type of woman that men fly to new and fun places on a whim, just because they wanted to spend time with me. I'm just lil' ol' me - fun, sexy and intelligent, to be sure, but a simple girl with simple wants and needs.

So to be treated as if glamour ought to be a natural part of my life, to be on a first date in another state just because, why not? It's all very new to me. It's exciting. And maybe a little on the scary side. Because while I've had men talk big about all the things they want to do for me, very few have ever come through on those talks.

Until LiterateLawyerGuy.

But it's not just because of the flying to Vegas. While I was with him he was with me. He wanted to hear what I had to say. He wanted to know everything about me. He was bold about a lot of things, but he knew when to pull back, when not to press me. He respects me. And he made sure that I knew it wasn't just my body that he found attractive, it was my intelligence and humor. And while I've certainly attracted men before with all three of those attributes, it's been a long time since anyone has truly acted on that attraction. It's a nice feeling. And he definitely has geek cred - he loves Star Wars, likes Star Trek, used to know some programming languages many, many moons ago and has played role-playing games in the past. Including Dungeons and Dragons. (But shhh - don't tell him I told you.) I've always had a thing for geeks.

So it's been over a week since I've seen him. We've spoken on the phone a few times, but never as long as we've wanted. The same with IMing. Our schedules have been crazy. And I find I've been missing him. I've been missing his devilish smile, his laughter, his voice, his humor, his boldness, his warmth and, oddly enough, his constant quoting of books and plays and poetry. It was starting to get on my nerves a little, because while I like to quote literature, I rarely do so at length. But I even miss that from him. We've already seen each other's cranky sides (him with a room reservation mix-up and me with the obnoxious kids at the movie) and it's okay.

And I miss the way he held me, the way he touched me in Vegas, in our little weekend hideaway at the Aladdin.

He's told me that he misses me, too, and has been thinking about me. A lot.

He's just a very new, very lovely experience for me in so many ways. He's bolder than most of the men I've dated before. He's physically different, in that, though he's 5'10" (a good height for me - the same as the Ex and CuteNerdBoy), he's a big guy. I mean, I've been with big guys before, but there was always a previous emotional attachment that started before they gained weight or they were 6'4" and built like a linebacker. I tend to be attracted to tall, lanky guys who either have a somewhat nerdy, goofy or artistic look to them (on occasion, all three). And though my past boyfriends have run the gamut from 4'10" and in a wheelchair to the previously mentioned 6'4" linebacker type, and I've loved them all, that tall, dark-haired lanky, wire-rimmed glasses look grabs my attention almost every time.

LiterateLawyerGuy is different in that regard (though he does have wire-rimmed glasses - yea!) and it doesn't matter to me. For some reason that surprises me. And pleases me at the same time.

We've also been very honest with each other. We've thrown out our foibles, some of our pasts for the world to see and realized, hey, it's not so bad. He still likes me and I still like him. He knows all about CuteNerdBoy because he's read parts of this 'blog (he actually e-mailed me first through the 'blog, though he saw me on Match.com - he's a resourceful boy). He totally understands that I still have feelings for CuteNerdBoy and doesn't expect me to switch them off just because he and I have started dating. And he isn't presumptuous enough to expect exclusivity at this point. I told him the same thing, that of course I didn't expect him to be exclusive. His response? He tends to concentrate on one woman at a time. And I'm that woman.

So here I sit, thinking I'm probably crazy. Why? Because I miss LiterateLawyerBoy, feeling bereft if a day goes by without hearing from him in some fashion. But still hovering in the background are my feelings for CuteNerdBoy. There's a part of me that is reluctant to let go of those emotions, to completely shut the CuteNerdBoy Relationship Door, though I know that nothing will come of it. I suspect it's tough because he was the person that I wanted for a number of months, and I still do to a certain extent. I've finally admitted to myself that maybe, just maybe, I had fallen in love with the guy. Just a little, but enough for me to have difficulty shaking my feelings.

So maybe LiterateLawyerGuy is just the fellow to help me past those feelings. But then I realize that I don't want him to become ReboundGuy. He doesn't deserve that from me. He's too good for that. Then again, the last time such fears entered my mind, the prospective ReboundGuy became my longest, deepest relationship thus far. That might not be such a concern with me, after all.

On top of the LiterateLawyerGuy/CuteNerdBoy saga is my shameless flirtation with others. At the RockerChick's surprise birthday party on Sunday, what do I do? I hone in on the one single guy there, who happens to be cute and nice to boot, and flirt shamelessly with him, trying to distract him while we were playing pinball against each other (and when he was playing with others, too) by draping my cleavage across the top of the machine. Most of the time it worked.

(He wasn't the only one I did that with - the girlfriends and wives that were also playing were egging me on to distract their better halves - but SingleUPSBoy was my primary target. And he enjoyed being that target very much.)

But I've never been so uniformly shameless before. Maybe I'm just acting out after CuteNerdBoy's romantic rejection of me. Maybe I'm trying to prove that I'm desirable after all. Or maybe CuteNerdBoy's semi-joking naming of me "Harlot" (so named when I e-mailed him that I had gotten back from Vegas on a first date) wasn't so far off.

At any rate, I'm looking forward to seeing LiterateLawyerGuy again this weekend. FFDWG(FKaSarah) and I are throwing a joint holiday party on Saturday and LiterateLawyerGuy has said that he's going to make it, come hell or high water. He's going to be meeting a bunch of my friends for the first time. And he has promised me little sleep Saturday and a fun Sunday.

I can't wait.

Sunday, December 07, 2003

Musical interlude... 

It's hard to listen to a hard hard heart
Beating close to mine
Pounding up against the stone and steel
Walls that I won't climb

Sometimes a hurt is so deep deep deep
You think that you're gonna drown
Sometimes all I can do is weep weep weep
With all this rain falling down

Strange how hard it rains now
Rows and rows of big dark clouds
When I'm holding on underneath this shroud

It's hard to know when to give up the fight
Some things you want will just never be right
It's never rained like it has tonight before

Now I don't wanna beg you baby
For something maybe you could never give
I'm not looking for the rest of your life
I just want another chance to live

Strange how hard it rains now
Rows and rows of big dark clouds
When I'm still alive underneath this shroud

Strange how hard it rains now
Rows and rows of big dark clouds
When I'm still alive underneath this shroud

Strange how hard it rains now
Rows and rows of big dark clouds
When I'm still alive underneath this shroud
Rain Rain Rain

Rain by Patty Griffin (from 1000 Kisses)

A beautiful song. One I first heard this morning while waiting for FFDWG(FKaSarah) to pick me up for a driving lesson (she's teaching me how to drive a manual transmission).

A light rain tapped on the windowpanes as I sat on my sofa. I turned the list of songs over in my hand, listening to the words, the music, feeling that familiar sensation of exultation when listening to a song that I know will fast become a favorite. Combined with exultation was sadness, overwhelming sadness.

Yesterday I spent at Disneyland with RockerChick (it was a birthday outing for her and she milked it for all it was worth - smart, smart girl), her hubby UPSGuy and a few of her friends, all of whom I'm well-acquainted with. And CuteNerdBoy. RockerChick invited him since they've recently become reacquainted and, since I'm carless, he agreed to give me a ride. We were there pretty much all day, with RockerChick, UPSGuy, CuteNerdBoy and myself closing down the park. We had a fabulous time: eating a great lunch at the Blue Bayou Restaurant, going on the Nightmare Before Christmas Haunted Mansion twice, riding a couple of other irdes, joking around with the Disney Cast Members, gaining primo VIP seating for Fantasmic. Way. Too much fun for one day.

The entire time I tried on my new "Friends Only" jacket with CuteNerdBoy. Most of the time the fit was a good one. I tried my best to appear to be nothing more than a close friend, attempting to make sure I didn't look like ClingyGirl. It was harder to do that when RockerChick grabbed me from the back of the group in the Teacups line and plopped me next to him so that we would be sure to share a teacup.

(I got so dizzy on that ride - CuteNerdBoy spun us like crazy and all I could do was cling to the side for dear life and shriek laughter like a particularly demented banshee.

I swear it must have also been "Throw Carol Around" day. I was either grabbed and tossed into some of the others to have my picture taken or I was unknowingly in someone's way of another picture and thrown out of the picture. It seemed like everyone, including CuteNerdBoy, got in on the act. [Actually CuteNerdBoy may have been the one to start the trend, now that I think about it.] I let them know that a few words would be sufficient to get me to move where they wanted me.)

But every once in a while I found the jacket binding, my arms tight at my side, the fabric heavier than I thought I could comfortably wear. Towards the end of the evening the five of us that were left watched the fireworks in delight. PainterGal and I stood with our arms around each other (her hubby couldn't make it) and I looped my free arm in CuteNerdBoy's. After a while his arm wound around my shoulder and the three of us stood like that until the end of the fireworks and through part of the falling "snow". His arm dropped and I looped mine around it again.

Later, as we walked to get some hot chocolate before Fantasmic started, PainterGal and I held hands. She proclaimed, "I don't need my husband! I have my girlfriend Carol to hold hands with!" At that point CuteNerdBoy's arm, around which my arm was still lightly looped, slid down and his hand took mine. And yet, despite my own jumbled emotions, I wouldn't trade those touches for anything.

I may have been wearing my "Friends Only" jacket, but I'll admit there were times it was hard to remember that. Especially when today, while at a surprise birthday party today that UPSGuy threw for RockerChick, those who were at both events were asking about CuteNerdBoy, wondering if we were dating, all saying what a great guy he was. I just nodded and smiled and agreed, keeping my pain to myself. And then RockerChick asked me, in front of everyone, details about my Vegas trip. Later I proceeded to flirt shamelessly with a co-worker of UPSGuy, to which he responded positively.

That jacket fit a little better. For a while at least.

So this morning I listened to Rain, remembered the thrill of yesterday, the sheer "having a blast" of it all, and felt the pain of my too keen longing. I wondered how it was possible that the same weekend contained such a range of extreme emotion.

I look forward to the inevitable day that my "Friends Only" jacket fits as if it were tailor-made for CuteNerdBoy and myself. It certainly won't be overnight, but I know it'll happen. Each time I see him I'm sure will be easier than the time before.

P.S.I wrote and posted this on Sunday night, but had trouble publishing it until Monday.


Thursday, December 04, 2003

Holidailies, schmolidailies... 

So, no post yesterday. Why? Because I stayed at work until just before 9pm and took the bus home, which, at that time of night, takes longer than, well, something that takes a really, really long time.

(My brain is toast right now. Insert your own clever phrase there. Hell, any time you read something here that sounds like it was written by a not particularly bright three year old, or George W. Bush, just come up with something funnier or smarter. Share it with the class, if you like. Y'all are clever. I trust you.)

I'm just so happy to be home right now. It was one of those days that made want to curl up under my desk at work and tell everyone else to figure things out for themselves. I had a doctor's appointment in the morning, got to work really late, then busted my ass - and the asses of those around me - trying to finish up our month-end close. I didn't take lunch (which is fine, since I got into work late) and the two women that work for me didn't get to take lunch until after 3pm. Yeah, I'm such a slave driver. But we didn't have any choice because the other areas of my department couldn't start their close until we finished ours. It's not even like it was all that hellish, volume-wise. We just had three days off right before close and we trying to catch up from that.

(Aren't y'all enthralled? No? Well, stay awake anyway and finish reading the post. It would make me feel so much better. Thanks much.)

But I'm home, and I'll be going to bed soon, and all will be joy and light and laughter. And I may even be able to finish up the Vegas story tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

Vegas Weekend, Part 1... 

So. This Weekend. Yeah.

Outrageously early on Friday morning (as in, I hadn't gone to sleep yet Thursday night), I was having a little (4 hour) online chat with LiterateLawyerGuy. Somewhere with the first hour or so he says he wants to ask me a semi-serious question and wonders if it's ok. Sure, I type.

He was probably going to Las Vegas over the weekend for business - would I care to join him?

I think I stared at the screen for a moment, blood rushing to my face. My response - aside from the whole "we'd never even met in person and I have incredible personal safety issues" side of it, if it weren't for certain circumstances (most of which I can't even remember now) I'd semi-seriously consider his offer. I'm not going to share all the details of that conversation, as it would become a super long post, but after some typing back and forth, I told him I'd have to think about it, but that it was an attractive offer. And we moved on to other subjects.

After I finally woke up around 3pm on Friday, I spoke with FFDWG(FKaSarah) and ModelGirl about his proposal. Their advice was, if I felt safe, then I should go for it. My instinct said yes, my issues said no. Later in the evening I spoke with LiterateLawyerGuy. I agreed to meet him in Vegas. He was, to put it mildly, shocked. Incredibly surprised. Perhaps even utterly taken aback. I was just as astounded that I said yes.

The rest of the evening we called back and forth, working out logistics, finally agreeing that I would fly out of Burbank Saturday afternoon and meet him at McCarran International Airport when my plane landed, as he planned to fly out from San Diego earlier to take care of business. The plan was to stay up all night Saturday and fly back to Burbank early Sunday morning, whereupon he’d crash on my sofa and either we’d hang out in L.A. or he’d head back to his main home in La Jolla (he splits his time about 60/40 between his house in La Jolla and his apartment in Santa Monica).

Saturday I woke up early, did a little laundry and picked up my disaster of an apartment so that it would at least be presentable the next morning. FFDWG(FKaSarah) stopped by to drop off my steam cleaner and her cell phone, which she was loaning to me for the weekend so that I would feel a bit safer about meeting a previously unmet man hundreds of miles from home. She was also sweet enough to drop me off at the airport, especially since I kept her waiting a good 45-60 minutes while finishing getting ready and packing.

I caught my flight just fine and was in Vegas by 5pm. I knew LiterateLawyerGuy was going to be a little late because he was having problems with the report that he had to deliver, but once I got to Vegas I called him and found out he was going to be even later. No big deal. I just got some coffee at the airport Coffee Bean, lost about $4 in slots, then waited in a booth seat at one of those combo fast food restaurants endemic to airports. As I waited he called again – his flight was delayed another hour. He ended up not leaving San Diego until nearly 8pm. It truly was a comedy of errors. Except it was lacking the funny of comedies.

Finally, finally, finally, his plane landed and, since I hadn’t left the terminal I was waiting for him at the gate. Out he walked, looking tired and scanning the surroundings. I saw him first (having seen several photos I knew what he looked like) and called his name. A smile lit his face as he walked up to me. He gave me a big bear hug, which I returned, and we got out of that airport as fast as we could. It was after 9:30pm by the time we entered the rental car.

I felt my natural shyness coming to fore (which he actually found charming), but within a few hours that shyness was gone. He was immediately comfortable with me and I was soon comfortable with him.

There’s so much more to just that evening, the mix-ups with checking in – we decided to extend our stay to early Monday morning and the room that was originally booked just for changing clothes became our “home” for the weekend; dressing up for dinner; the driving around trying to find an open restaurant after midnight, which was harder than one might think on a Saturday evening in Vegas; the excellent food and drinks, then back to the hotel for some serious making out. We didn’t fall asleep until after sunrise. It was all terrific.

We finally woke up after 1pm, lolled about the room for a while, reading favorite selections (I read to him the “House of Smut Revisted” from Pamie’s book, which he loved) and talking and making out, finally leaving the room at 4pm for a very late brunch at Hard Rock. Then he gambled at blackjack a little, we shopped for music (he gifted me with a Strokes CD – see sidebar), went for a drink, drove around Vegas trying to find a movie theater, watched Love Actually with some very obnoxious teens sitting behind us (he had to calm me down to keep me from ripping off some heads), then back to the hotel for some blessed sleep before waking up way too early to get me to the airport so that I could get to work on time Monday morning. Still not sure how we managed that one.

All in all, a really fun, enjoyable, thoroughly unexpected weekend. And we really were very comfortable together, which was nice. I’m still slightly gun-shy, which he knew. He was by turns solicitous and bold, saying all the right things but obviously sincere about his words. And both still pleased and surprised that I had agreed to such a weekend.

Quiz whore... 

Two new quiz answers (thanks Beth and Chuck):

What color are you?:

you are plum

Your dominant hues are red and blue. You're confident and like showing people new ideas. You play well with others and can be very influential if you want to be.

Your saturation level is low - You stay out of stressful situations and advise others to do the same. You may not be the go-to person when something really needs done, but you know never to blow things out of proportion.

Your outlook on life is bright. You see good things in situations where others may not be able to, and it frustrates you to see them get down on everything.
the spacefem.com html color quiz

Pretty darned close, I'd say.

Which John Cusack are you?:

Which John Cusack Are You?

Maybe I should watch the movie sometime. I do have it on tape. I've never worn a tuxedo, but I'm sure I would look really hot in one.

Monday, December 01, 2003

I hereby pledge... 

...to post an entry every day in December. Not one or two sentences, but a full-fledged, 50 word minimum entry. Why? Because I've registered with Holidailies 2003 and thems the rules.

Not that it's all that difficult, mind you. This is me we're talking about. For the most part I've been consistently verbose on a daily basis. Still, after posting only one entry while I was on my looong weekend, and that on Thanksgiving, I thought this would be a good way to start up again.

Things is, I'm so damned tired that I don't have the energy to write what I want to write about because, frankly, it would take a long time and I need to spend time with my kitties and get some quality sleep. But I will give a brief holiday weekend update:

Wednesday: I did nothing except sleep and watch TV and talk on the phone. Boy, did I need that sleep!

Thursday: Thanksgiving! Updated here, then went to BabySis' soon-to-be-in-laws' place to hang with family and WestHollywoodBoy, eating too much and laughing and talking and playing with BSSon and watching DVDs (Bruce Almighty - eh; X2 - yea!). Fun, fun time. Then got home at 2:30am on Friday, stayed up until 7am IMing with LiterateLawyerGuy (my oh my, such a delightfully dirty mind that fella has).

Friday: Again I did nothing except sleep and talk on the phone, a number of times with LiterateLawyerGuy (it got pretty, um, steamy once or twice).

Saturday: Woke up early and ran around trying to get things ready for an unexpected trip to Las Vegas. Where I ended up meeting LiterateLawyerGuy for the first time in person and embarked with him on a 30+ hour first date that included dinner, breakfast (which wasn't eaten until after 4pm), drinks, talking, movies, gambling, laughing, reading selections from our favorite writings, shopping for music, checking e-mails and trying to get some sleep, but not doing too well on that last front. Oh, and a little (okay, maybe more than a little) harmless "heavy petting". But we were still virtuous people. Mostly.

Oh, you want to read more? Considering that’s the thing that’s going to take a long time to write, you’ll have to wait. I’ll work on it tomorrow, after I’ve had some sleep - one rarely sleeps in Vegas, it would seem, and I took a taxi directly from LAX to work at 8:30 this morning, so yeah, I’m a bit tuckered out.

I know, I’m such a meanie.

And now for some quality kitty time, then blessed sleep.

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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.
This is my blogchalk:
United States, California, Los Angeles, San Fernando Valley, English, Carol, Female, 36-40.

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