Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Heavenly Day

Oh my. You know those days that are just seemingly perfect? This has been one of those days.

I get to work from home most Wednesdays--a huge treat given my awful commute the other days. I went out for a walk before I started working and couldn't believe how GORGEOUS it was. I got home to learn that my coffee pot went kaput and immediately walked back out the door to visit the nice folks at Starbucks.

(I don't care how energized a brisk walk can make me, I'm not getting through the work day without a good, healthy dose of the caffeine. And how lucky am I that Starbucks lives a mere five minute walk from my front door?!)

Anyway, it was SO spectacular when I was out and about that I decided I couldn't possibly spend the day inside. Welcome to my office:

Simply. Lovely.

(Even if it did make me realize that I'm going to have to go ahead and replace my lawn service. And I really need to stop putting off working in the flowerbeds.)

There's a Patty Griffin song that I love called "Heavenly Day." It is officially the title track to this post, and the soundtrack for May 20, 2009.

While my perfect day would certainly not include working, this is absolutely the perfect way to work!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Aspiring Canadian

No...the title not my way of telling you that I'm packing it in and heading North. Nor it it my way of telling you that I'm trading in my southern drawl for the likes of "aboot" and "eh." It's my way of saying that there was a little extra spring in my step this morning because my favorite guilty pleasure is back for a new season.

That extra spring in my step, by the way, is completely metaphorical. I was pouring caffeine in my eyes to stay awake today because I stayed up so late watching Jillian meet the 30 men who showed up in Hollywood to sweep The Bachelorette off her feet. And did you notice that she corrected Chris Harrison every time he said "husband"? Is it too much to hope that she might actually have realistic expectations for a TV dating show?

So here's the scoop--I love writing about the bachelor(ette) almost as much as I love watching it with Laura and Tracy. But I can't commit to weekly commentary this season as I did for the wretched Jason Mesnick (oh, our girl Melissa is getting such sweet revenge on DWTS, isn't she?!).

I'll be traveling about 75% of the time this summer, so most of my time with Jillian and the boys is going to be courtesy of the DVR. And the weeks that I'm around I'll have a conflict with my Bible Study. And yes, I do sort of feel compelled to pick Jesus over Jillian. And yes, I didn't make that choice last night and watched the kick-off with the girls instead. And yes, I'm going to do that again for the finale. And yes, I'll be watching the show, but I have no idea when it will be each week and it seems kind of silly to post a blog about a show several days after it airs.

Unless, of course, there's something too juicy to pass up and then I'm sure I won't be able to help myself.

But I do have a few thoughts from last night. First, while I think I'm exactly 3 feet taller than her, I really want the girl's clothes. I realize that all those cute coats would be a bit impractical in Austin. And apparently to wear said coats I would need to wander the streets looking all forlorn and melancholy. But still. The girl's got style.

Most of the guys last night on the other hand? Not so much. Seriously--when did they move the show to Miami-Dade county? Was last night about winning over a girl or channeling Crockett and Tubbs? I haven't seen that many pastel shirts parade by in, well, 25 yeas. And I prefer it that way. But I suppose that it was apropos given all the break dancing that went down in the house. Hello there, nice to see you again.

Over all, there were (as always) a few winners and a few crazies right off the top. Tanner is apparently this season's Shannon--gotta love a stalker. Oh, that would be Tanner F. But Tanner P. with the foot fetish is equally crazy. Let's say good-bye to them both. Quickly. And then there's Wes from Austin. UGH...why does this show keep giving my fair city such a bad name? (And yes, we're the live musical capital of the world, but I've never seen someone sitting in a window like that playing the guitar. Come on ABC...we know you hate Brad, but don't bring the rest of us down, too. Thankyousomuch.).

I love that Dave got the first impression rose and imagine that men everywhere who watch this show (because they are forced to by the women in their lives, I'm sure) will start getting "tongue tied" when trying to impress a girl. And go right was pretty darn cute. The Aspiring Canadian guy was good (the shirt was a clever way to stand out without bringing out the crazy). And I immediately liked Juan from LA, but I apparently have a huge crush on SoCal right now, so it might just be that.

All the makings of completely-awful-and-yet-totally-delicious season of entertainment. I've always been a sucker for summer love (even if it is totally make believe).

[Editing to add that Chris Harrison's blog is back. And I didn't read it (or any others) before writing my own. I feel all warm and fuzzy that he welcomed us, his treasured viewers, back exactly the same way I welcomed back our dear friend, 1984. Just sayin'. Oh, and Chris, I'm really trying hard to win Laura back into your fan club. The emotions are still a little raw, but we're working on it.]

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Spring Cleaning

Yesterday was a lovely, rainy Saturday in Austin. Usually I want my Saturdays to be sunny and clear so I can go out and enjoy all that this beautiful city has to serve up for outdoor fun and adventure. Yesterday, though, my agenda included something I completely dread: spring cleaning.

I guess "spring cleaning" implies that it's an annual event. Well...maybe not so much at my house. I like things clean and neat, it's not that, it's just that I have a little bit of a problem with accumulating crap stuff that I don't really need and sticking it in odd places, so I end up with all that random stuff crammed into various nooks and crannies.

Hmmm...why am I admitting this to y'all?

Anyway, I apparently have a hard time getting rid of things and the evidence eventually overwhelms me and I have to just tear the place apart, purge, clean and then put it all back together again.

Tackling my bathroom cabinets was my agenda for the day and I so wish I'd thought to take a picture of my bathroom floor when I was midway through. ( it weird that I wish I had a picture of my messy bathroom? Maybe it's a good sign that I didn't take one.)

The mess I made and the collection of products I dragged out? Impressive. Well, impressive in crazy bag lady kind of way. Am I the only one who can't throw out any sort of product unless it's completely used up?? I'm talking about the gagillion hair/skin products that I buy, don't like or retire and yet hold on to for, apparently, decades. I mean, how many loofahs does a gal need? Second only to the slew of facial "toners" and scented lotions that I've managed to accumulate. Please...comment and tell me if you do this, too. We can form a support group.

It took much longer than I expected, but I finally got through it. I'm embarrassed to admit that I ended up with two trash bags full of crap trash! Whew.

The process has me thinking about other things--those that aren't tangible--that I might be holding on to. Expectations, fears, dreams, relationships, and ideas that I've crammed into the nooks and crannies of my heart and mind that are just cluttering things up. Things that I hold on to just because I think that someday I might actually have the perfect occasion to drag out and "wear". Things that, like all those eye creams I never used, need to be tossed to the curb.

When I finished up my bathroom I was so pooped (uh, no pun intended!) that I rushed through my weekly cleaning by vacuuming around the edges of the other piles that I haven't dealt with yet.

And I'm OK with that. I'll save that for another rainy day. My "internal" spring cleaning? That will just have to be a work in progress.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Economics of Dating?

I'm a night owl. I'm usually getting my second (third? fourth?) wind around 10:00PM and there are way too many nights that I end up staying up much later than I need to. And I subsequently pay for it the following morning when I drag myself jump cheerfully out of bed at an hour that most people find acceptable and I find down right painful.

Watching "Nightline" is usually part of my attempt to slow down and get ready for bed and I was blown away by a story Monday night about dating in a down economy. Am I the only one who was unaware that dating was highly sensitive to the economic climate? I must have missed that in B-School.

Now, I can completely appreciate that people might not spend as much on expensive restaurants or other activities, but according to these folks we are in the midst of serious dating reform. Apparently the dating behaviors of flush times are no longer acceptable.

(Um...I'm trying hard to follow along at home, but I'm just not getting it.)

You can click the link above to read the full story, but here are are few gems that I need to share to bring you into the twilight zone with me. The love guru quoted through the piece is Rachel Greenwald, dating coach, matchmaker and author. She cheerfully explained that "there doesn't have to be a monetary value associated with the perfect date; it's all about the company. People are doing different things, and now they value partners who can bring more depth to the relationship instead of just a hot babe."

(Well, hello Captain Obvious. Glad you could join us.)

She went on to explain that it used to be OK for your online dating profile to say you wanted someone who makes more than $150K, but in this dating economy it's better to say that you want someone who has a kind heart.

I suppose that's it's OK to say whatever you want on your profile--and I'll admit that I don't have one so I might not be an expert on this point--but I feel pretty confident that if the crux of your profile is resting on the financial status of your potential prince charming, well, let's just say you might expect to get what you pay for.

According to Nightline, "People are not looking for style and flash and hookups as much as they were," Greenwald said. "Now they're looking for substance and someone who can be with them in good times and, more often, bad times."

So if I'm catching on and making sense of all this, it sounds like one of the effects of the economic recession is a renewed search for substance, character and integrity in a mate.

(Sounds to me like things are looking up.)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Street Walker

How can another weekend possibly be over? Hmmm...what do you suppose we need to do to make 3-day weekends the standard? Mr. Obama? Ms. Pelosi? All of you slaving away in Texas during the legislative session? Surely someone can introduce and lobby for something along these lines. Call me. I'm more than happy to testify.

I spent Saturday afternoon at a crawfish boil put on by the Young Men's Business League. I'm not going to lie. It was depressing to realize how much younger than me the young businessmen in Austin apparently are.

It was one of the first times I felt down right geriatric at such a function.

Luckily I was hanging with Lindsay G. and we didn't let the age issue slow us down. We found our way over the game area and rocked it. We played washers (I won!) and a game that none of us had ever seen and we just made up rules as we went along. That made it pretty easy for us to dominate there as well.

Not that I'm, um, competitive or anything. Certainly not.

My real accomplishment of the weekend, though came today. See these?

I've been staring wistfully at these for many weeks now. (Even more than my beautiful stilettos.)

And today?

Yep...I was able to not only wear them, but even take them for a spin around the block. It was just a little walk (30 minutes!)...but they were, literally, the first steps towards being completely "back on my feet."

And that's better than winning any party game (and didn't require me to channel my inner cougar).

Oh, come on. You know me better than that. Then again...I have been around the block.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Toe-tal Appreciation

Today is Cinco de Mayo. A day when Mexico celebrates victory over France. Well...I think that's the story. I never really got into history. For me, Cinco de Mayo is all about the opportunity to enjoy a margarita or two and gorge myself with queso.

Today is also a different sort of "Independence Day" for me. The pins are OUT!

I'm not going to lie. The removal of the pins was not exactly pleasant. hurt like hell. I had an equal number of people suggest that it would either be completely painless or hurt a lot. I went into it prepared for a lot of pain while really hoping that I wouldn't feel a thing. I'll spare you all the gory details and just say that it really hurt and I just might have let out a bit of a scream on the first one. Or maybe even a loud scream. And I'd like to think that's saying something because I've been forced to develop a pretty high tolerance for pain.'s done! To mark this momentous occasion in my little life, I'd like to declare today to be NATIONAL TOE APPRECIATION DAY.

(I'm sure that Mexico doesn't mind sharing the day. It's probably a nice distraction from all that "we're the home of the swine flu" PR nightmare they're grappling with right now.)

To celebrate NTAD I'd like you to just stop and think about all the things your little piggies do for you that you daily take for granted. Here are my top 6 reasons that I love my toes:

1. They're pretty fundamental in the ability to walk, run and jump. Not to mention all that P90x and Jillian Michaels Shred mania that so many of you are suffering through enjoying lately.

2. They so willingly squeeze into all those beautiful shoes that line the shelves of my closet. Oh, pointy-toed stilettos, how I've missed you!

3. There would be no lovely walks on the beach and digging your toes blissfully in the sand if you didn't, you know, have toes to dig in.

4. Dipping your toes in the pool. Enough said.

5. Pedicures just wouldn't be the same. Those toenails are a canvas upon which I can enjoy my "Chick Flick Cherry" nail polish on a daily basis.

6. Two-stepping. I don't boot scoot a lot these days, bit I love knowing that, thanks to my toes, I can.

I know there are more reasons that I can't think of now, but six is a nice random number. Comment and tell me why YOU love your toes!

Oh...and there was a lot of discussion in my world about how exactly I would be "declawed." I was betting on an instrument that was in the family of fancy pliers. Turns out that it was actually a pair of fancy scissors instead. I took a photo for those of you who were morbidly curious (you know who you are).

I turned away as soon as I took this and didn't watch the actual removal.

Feeling it was, well, more than enough.

A Brand New Day


Wow. I had so many great intentions for blogging my little heart out over the weekend. The weekend that was--in a word--DERAILED. Isn't life funny that way? You think you have a grip on things and then poof! What you had planned flies right out the window.

I'm not going to go into the details of said derailment except to say that the past came to visit. It wasn't a particularly bad visit. Parts of it were completely enjoyable.

But the thing about the past? It's the past.

And I've looked backwards for too long and am so happy that when the past drove away and left it actually, well, LEFT. I really needed that. And so now that the past is gone? I'm looking forward to the future. And for the first time in such a long, long time, I know I'll be OK.

(Um...yes. I acknowledge that was beyond cryptic. Sorry about that. Sometimes that's just how it has to be when you're talking to the blogosphere.)

So speaking of the future...tomorrow is a big day! Not just because it's Cinco de Mayo and a great opportunity to enjoy your favorite Mexican food delights with your favorite margarita (on the rocks with salt, por favor). It's also the day that I get "declawed"!! Yep...these blasted pins in my toes are making their exit tomorrow. I'm not going to pretend that it's going to be a pleasant experience when they get removed, but I'll deal with that. It's time to say farewell to my piercings and get back to real, normal, toe-bling-free life!

I'm sure I'll have more to say about that tomorrow. In the mean time, I'll leave you with a link to one of my favorite artists on "music" and you can play the third song down to better understand the title of this post. And if you listen on to the fourth song...well, that's the kind of future that I'll fall asleep dreaming about tonight.


Friday, May 1, 2009

Coming Out of the Cave...

SOON! I'm working on several posts (all in my head at this point) and look forward to writing a lot over the weekend. I'll resist the urge to actually write a "real" post now as I'm supposed to be, you know, doing the work thing. But I had to check in and say that I'm excited to have FREE TIME this weekend.

Not to mention how thrilled I am to be rested enough to actually form a coherent thought.

That always helps.

Between now and then, if you want your world turned upside down a bit check out these spectacular posts from Angie and Melissa. They are fabulous (and famous) bloggers on an amazing trip to India right now with Compassion. Our world is so much bigger than we can comprehend and there's so much out there beyond our comfy and down right opulent lives. So much we don't want to have to think about, and yet it's unconscionable for us to just ignore what the vast majority of the world endures every single day. I've been following their trip as much as time has allowed this week and am moved, wrecked and just in awe of what they are experiencing and they way they are sharing it.

Right here and now I'd just take back each and every complaint I've had over the past few weeks about how "hard" things have been lately. Seriously. I'm going to complain about too much work? Or PC problems? Or even a couple of silly toes?

Geeze. What a brat.

More soon...