Monday, June 29, 2009

All dressed up

On Sunday morning I had another good dream!

This time, I was all dressed up in a black and white and gold glittery tea-length gown, with black and gold strappy, sparkly shoes. My hair was in a fancy twist style and I also looked like I had lost a bunch of weight. I was preparing for some kind of dance recital with a man I danced salsa with on Friday night (tall, high-pitched voice, he seemed ok when we danced briefly) and a bunch of people were in the next room (I felt like my grandparents who are still alive were there too, as well a couple my parents know who I like a lot -- they were also in the Gordon Ramsay dream). My sister wasn't there, but it was ok because she had seen me do something like this before. I dunno where my parents were. But I felt comfortable and safe and like all the people who were around cared about me and loved me and supported me. I felt warm and secure.

The locations also seemed familiar -- my first Massachusetts apartment (but muuuch bigger) and a few hallways. I don't know why I was wearing a long dress, since I like the Latin dances, but maybe we were going to rhumba. Anyway, suddenly we were going to leave, when someone (not me) had the urge for chocolate. To be precise, a Cadbury Flake bar. (Have you ever had one? They are flaky fun.)

There was plenty of time before the recital, so I said we should go get it, and there was some debate, but I said cheerfully, "Let's do it! Let's just go!" and we were going to, when... the phone rang and I woke up. It was Vitamin N and she suggested we go shopping. So we did, and we tried unsuccessfully (albeit somewhat lamely) to find a place that sold Cadbury, since now I have the craving for that candy bar! I wonder where I can find one locally...

City living? No thanks

Cities are filthy. Yuck!

Having grown up in Queens, this isn't exactly news to me. But I was reminded of it on Friday night in a bad, bad way. I went dancing with Salsa Man to Havana Club in Cambridge, which was enough fun. (It was nice to be able to be held a little closer. I’m about 17 pounds down, if I count from when I last saw the doc, but I’m 15 pounds down, according to Wii Fit.) Although I got lost on the way in (so what else is new?), I blundered my way through Boston, Brighton, and Allston, and met up with him only about 15 minutes late. We parked in the same (free, yay!) parking lot as last time, and walked a few blocks to the club. I didn’t want to ruin my dancing shoes, so I changed into them when I got there, and wore flip flops in the street. It's relevant to the story.

We warmed up during the first class section, then he went to the beginner class and I decided to stick with intermediate. The instructor assumed we knew what we were doing, and we did, for the most part. Although I did the single steps correctly, I had a little more trouble when we moved to partner work. But I did all right, and was able to pick it up eventually.

Do you remember about a month ago when I became so frustrated with myself when I couldn’t get any of the steps during a Thursday class? This was one of them. I figured out what I was doing wrong: one, I wasn’t turning far enough on the outside turn (you have to turn to face your partner completely with your body, keeping both hands behind your back. For some reason I thought it was a 3/4 turn); and two, I wasn’t waiting long enough (wasn't allowing the leader to count the right beat) before returning to the basic position. I still find that step tricky, but I was able to decently pick up another combination involving crossed arms with your partner and an interesting back step on the left foot. A little over an hour in, Salsa Man announced that he wanted to make it an earlier night than last time. Ok, fine by me. 45 minutes later we were both rather sweaty and we took off. I drove home on I93, where I sat in traffic for far too long (construction). By then, I was tired and had a stuffy nose.

After enjoying a hot shower with my trusty mesh scrubby and Freshwater Cucumber shower gel (yum), my nose was still a little clogged. So I blew it. And out came lots of dirt, or smog, or dust, or city gunk, or whatever the heck it was! Ew. Not for nothing, but I was there for slightly over two hours, maybe 20 minutes of which was outside. The amount of filth I had sucked into my nostrils was revolting. It was just wrong. And my feet! They had been less than an inch away from the street. Eek! Who knows what they could have come into contact with!

Long story short, although nice to visit, I don’t actually miss living in a city-type environment. If, however, I were for some reason forced to choose, I could probably have quite a decent life in Portland, ME...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I dream of shoesies

Last night I had a dream about my shoes. I was talking to someone I didn't recognize (a man, I think) and we were standing closely, and for some reason he looked down at my orchid Docs and said with interest, “Are those new?” And I cheerfully said, “No, I wear them a lot!” (They are from 1996. The smooth, bright orchid-colored leather has tanned to a beautiful deep purple.)

I looked in up in my trusty and beautiful 10,000 Dreams Interpreted. An Illustrated Guide to Unlocking the Secrets of Your Dreamlife, and I quote, "For a young woman to dream that her shoes are admired while on her feet, warns her to be cautious in allowing newly introduced people and men of any kind, to approach her in a familiar way." Just another one of those things that make you go "hmm..."

Not so sanitary supplies, continued

Unfortunately, it seems my company is no longer outsourcing for pickup of used sanitary supplies! The excellent foot-operated container has been removed along with the wall sticker above where it used to sit that explains what to put in the box, and what not to put in.

Users are left with the disgusting narrow cheap white plastic wall-hanging ones that only open by hand. You try placing your used stuff inside while avoiding contact with the box, while also attempting not to upchuck after having been way too close to what someone else left. ew! Ew!! EW!!!

In addition, I just can't stand the idea that our custodians are faced with that task. At least with the containers, they were taken away by some worker, at some time (I don't know who, or when, but certainly not anyone I have to smile at on a daily basis).

In conclusion, I am very disappointed. I imagine it's purely to save money (and I am almost positive a woman did not have a hand -- a hand? get it? heh heh -- in this decision) because why on earth would anyone make the choice for this setup? I am not looking forward to using these old-fashioned, unsanitary, nasty-ass boxes. Guess I'll just have to deal...

An irritation from out of the blue

I plan on borrowing a few movies this weekend from the library and remembered a tiny tidbit that didn’t bother me at the time, but popped into my head since apparently it really bothers me now. (It’s an MB thing. ‘Nuff said? *sigh*)

Here goes. Deep breath... why, oh why did he request my input on movies that would be great to watch in HD, and then never open the one I suggested? Instead, he placed it in one of his stupid bookcases full of thousands of DVDs, and hemmed and hawed when I suggested several times that we watch it! (It was Pan’s Labyrinth.) I was the one who schlepped his stupid HDTV all the way to Waltham from freaking New Hampshire in my eight-miles-to-the-gallon-Blazer because he totally didn’t want to pay tax.) Because he is a Greedy Guts, that’s why! And he doesn’t know how to share.

Why do I tell you this? Because the man I end up with must know how to share. Harrumph! End of post!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Battle of the beats

Great news! Salsa Man would like to dance with me again, aaand he called me attractive (flattery will get him everywhere). So that's nice. Meetup dancing tonight was pretty good, except that the instructor was not teaching on the clave; rather, white-person style (break on beat one), and without even a walk step! Sheesh. I just did my own thing. He came over to me and the cool woman (who by the way owns a café nearby) and acknowledged that although we are probably learning differently in our classes (yes!), he was teaching this way because it's "easier," presumably for all the white people without rhythm! Double sheesh. Now that I know what the music is supposed to sound like, it's really hard to do it on the other beat. Hmm! I just realized that if I dance with Salsa Man he will probably not dance on the clave! Dang. Oh well...

Adventures in seafood

So Saturday I visited my friend where she made seafood dinner (graphic shellfish alert!) and we watched two movies.

She made garlic shrimp and boiled lobstah, and served with corn on the cob. Yum! It was my fourth time eating lobster, and the first time I ever ripped my own. The first time it was at my ex-in-laws’ house, the second was on vacation in Maine, and my hubby at the time did the ripping for me at both. All I had to do was dip in butter and enjoy. My hands hardly got dirty at all. The third time was at some fancy-schmancy holiday party with MB, where the tail and claws were served to me in a creamy sauce on a huge plate by a be-jacketed waiter, along with an amazing filet mignon. (Phew! That was some party!)

But this time… this time, my hands were sliced by the critter’s sharp edges and shell and I had more than a little trouble. When I ripped the claws off, my plate was flooded with lobster water. That was rather a surprise. I couldn’t look at the thing in the face, either. Lobsters are ugly! And this was a big one – 1.75 pounds. It sure wasn’t a chicken lobster!

So first she showed me how to suck out the meat from the legs (I remembered this part). I did one and left the rest on the body. I could have gone back to them, but I was full by the time I finished. (In retrospect, I would eat those first and save the other pieces for later.) Then I learned how to crack the claws, which were yummy. Then she expected me to rip the tail from the body, which I did, but I hated it. I got all stressed out and with the enormous tail in one hand and the disgusting body in the other, I freaked out a little and she allowed me to dump the body right into the garbage bowl. I found my way to the tail meat, which was huge, and jabbed at the body a few times, leaving the disgusting green yeast-infection-reminiscent tomalley inside, where it belonged. I did not endeavor to poke around its head, either. Maybe another time, with the right lobster.

I asked my mom about why I was all scraped up from the thing (since she did not always keep kosher – growing up, vacations and weekends on the boat yielded lobster dinners from Long Island Sound, whenever they felt like it) and she explained that there are special lobster-cracking tools that make it easy to get into these bottom-dwellers. She said the reason I had such trouble was because I used a nutcracker and fork instead of a lobster cracker and specialized scissors. At least we had tiny lobster forks to get the meat out (in my house, these are considered olive forks, haha).

When dinner was over, we watched The Happening and Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street. The Happening was more goofy than scary, but Sweeney Todd was awesome! I just love Johnny Depp. Remember 21 Jump Street? Sigh. Anyway, the movie was dark, funny, musical, took place in a different country, and the acting was superb. I recommend!

Then I went home and crashed. And slept late. I had a weird dream, but it wasn't scary or anything. It involved dancing and turning, but I didn't recognize the person I was dancing with. I also weighed in, and found that I had gained back 2.2 pounds. That's not so good. I really think it has to do with retaining water weight -- Aunt Flo a'comin' -- since even though I overdid it one day and ate food, I certainly did not overeat enough calories or fat last week to have gained anything = back, mathematically speaking at least. So even though I gained, I am looking at this week as a fresh and new time for me. Here goes!

Strawberry oranges

This weekend, I mostly vegged (and partly fruited. You'll see.) And it was about time! I got some (nightmare-free) sleep, played innumerable games of Scrabble, cleaned my bathroom, and had my parents over for Father’s Day.

The last one was a surprise, and so I didn’t have anything sweet to serve my dad (short of chocolate chips, which only belong in cookies. They are not candy and are certainly not edible on their own. That is just wrong.) I had to give him tea and baked chips and I was able to scrounge up a can of mixed nuts from which I had already eaten out the cashews. Sorry, Dad!

But I did drag myself up from the couch on Saturday afternoon to make a yummy strawberry-orange sauce to pour over yogurt or ice cream. For The Clever Cat's Sweet and Sassy Strawberry Sauce, see recipe:
  • 2 lbs. frozen strawberries (cheap and easy. I guess you could use fresh, but why bother?)
  • 1/4 c. Splenda
  • Zest and juice of one Valencia orange (if you get some orange flesh in there while squeezing, that's also good)
  • Pinch salt
Dump it all into a saucepan over medium-low heat. After about three minutes the berries will start to break down and become juicy. Cook another 10 or so minutes on medium heat, and check the sweetness. Add more Splenda if you like (the recipe I adapted had the Splenda at ½ cup). Let cool. Blend into a smooth sauce if you feel fancy (to drizzle directly on plates, nouvelle cuisine style) or leave with full berries. Serve over ice cream, yogurt, or cake, or as the amazing base for a smoothie! The orange is very pronounced and tangy. For a less strong taste, just add one or two tablespoons to brighten up the berries. It will look loose, but it thickens somewhat as it cools. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Geek Love

Ever have one of those days when no one understands you? Yes? Well, imagine having that day, every day.

Years ago, Katherine Dunn wrote a brilliant, beautiful, hilarious heartache of a book about Al and Crystal Lil Binewski and their Carnival Fabulon – that is to say, the “special” offspring they create via drugs and other ingredients few would deliberately ingest. The book chronicles the happenings of the traveling circus and the power struggles within the family, as they grow up and attempt to live lives they enjoy, or can tolerate.

The story winds around itself, dipping into a candy jar here, slogging through the mud there, and coming to rest in a very dark place. It’s incredibly well-written, with amazing character development, and many, many shocks.

I remember I began to read this book when I was in high school, when it was published for the second time, and I only got as far as the middle of Book II. (I probably went off to play Jumpman.) I am so sorry I didn’t finish it then! You like twists? You like excitement? You’ll like this. Look for it at your local library.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Planet with oddly tilted orbit

The Doppler shift? Dimming of the star's light? Off-kilter? Sounds like my last conversation with a guy. (Heh heh.) That's right... I'm back, baby! What's next?

Grating on my last nerve

So today I realized I can hear some pretty annoying sounds at the office. They include:
  • Lawnmowers
  • Motorcycles
  • Hacking coughs
  • Beeps from the copy machine
  • Fire alarms
These always set me on edge. But to put me in a better mood, I imagine... the best sounds ever:
  • Cat purrs
  • Giggling babies and little kids playing
  • Passionate moans
  • The ocean
  • Trees rustling
I can hear some of these at the office too (trees, babies and kids; thankfully, not passionate moans. That would just be gross.) What are some of your favorite, and least favorite sounds? (Hey! I just made up another really great speed dating question! Feel free to use it...)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Shaking it off

Well, I may be down... but I'm not out! A clever cat always lands on her feet.

I might re-subscribe to and mention dancing, since people who like dancing are a little group themselves. I learned this at Monday classes.

Also, I have decided to take myself dancing this Friday at Swing City in Somerville, and I just might email Salsa Man to see if he wants to see my new moves at some point in the next month or so (and this time I will specify that it's not a date; rather, two friends dancing. I could request an open hold - that is, if he feels like meeting me.) At the very least, I will have burned some calories, right?

Monday, June 15, 2009

"Nice talking to you."

For those of you who are interested in the conversation I had yesterday with SK that signified the death knell of our short-lived dating-ship, I will tell. The majority of me prefers not to perseverate, but part of me does – so I’ll get it out of my system now.

I was really off my game yesterday for some reason (lack of sleep, perhaps?) and I was boring and I should have called him at night and I didn’t. And then at the end of our (very short) discussion, he totally said, “Nice talking to you.” And like a clueless 12-year-old waving goodbye to her classmates, I said, “‘Kay, bye!” My coworkers thought it was hilarious; I can see this joke living a long, fruitful life.

Anyway, I had a lot of trouble sleeping last night, too (but no dreams, thankfully.) Hopefully tonight’s dancing will tire me out so I can get some proper rest and turn back into my normal, fun self. Right now, I think I will just stick my head in the sand and hope it all goes away…

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Oooh, my stomach

Another 1.3 down this week, which I probably negated due to calorie bombs yesterday. And I mean it. I totally binged... and it has been a looong time! (Three months.) I blame my accidental breakfast-skipping on my disorientation from poor sleep the night before.

After having been denuded of body hair Saturday morning (and forgetting to grab a yogurt on the way to the spa at 11:00 -- this is shameful because according to my thyroid condition I should have eaten at 9:30 at the latest. I have skipped breakfast maybe once since I was prescribed those stupid little lavender tabs a few years ago) I needed to stop at Target to try to find a decent Father's Day card (I couldn't.) It was about 1:00 PM. 1:00 PM!!! And no food had passed my lips. What was I thinking?

Of course I found myself walking to the sweets aisle where I gazed at each cookie type before reaching out and touching Pepperidge Farm Sausalito Milk Chocolate Macadamia Crispy Cookies. Then I went home and had one, and it was ok. (I like the pecan ones better, but they didn't have them.) Actually, I really didn't enjoy it very much. After two of them I was stuffed and slow, but apparently that doesn't matter, because I then systematically ate each and every cookie in the bag.

Eight cookies. Yuck. But hey hey! It turns out I don't like binging as much as I used to. And that's a very good thing.

Later, a friend and I patronized Fuddrucker's in North Andover where we mowed on juicy cheeseburgers with chipotle barbeque sauce and pickles (it was almost healthy since I said no to the bacon, har de har har) with friench fries smothered in jalapeño cheese sauce. And a diet peach green iced tea. Also, two slices of tomato and a piece of lettuce. That was the funniest part.

After shopping a while at Burlington Coat Factory (a cute Hello Kitty watch with a square face and a braided silver pleather band for $10 -- no colors at all) and Trader Joe's (fruit pleather of various colors) we went to Richardson's where we had small ice creams (not baby size. Oy.) I had Mississippi Mud and Death by Chocolate. Then we went to her house where we enjoyed Scrabble and tea. Needless to say, I didn't eat much today since I was really not very hungry from yesterday's gustatory debauchery.

And now, another week. Swing dance class tomorrow and paper crafts on Wednesday; salsa dance class on Thursday, and a seafood party at a friend's on Saturday. Friday, nuttin'. I have the sneaking suspicion that the SK will not ask me out again since our conversation today was so very boring and I also caught him on the way out the door. He is very polite, with excellent manners so he suffered my blithering. But I will not, not, not be the girl who scratches for a pity date. Oh, no, not me.

But, I am definitely bummed since I decided last week I really do like him and now he doesn't seem interested, or as interested as before. Ah well, así es la vida!

Scary dream!

I had such a scary dream on Friday night!

In this nightmare I was horizontal, holding on to some iron bars for dear life because I was about to get blown away in some dark and deafening storm or tornado behind me. My feet were up in the air and my hair was obscuring my vision and I was surrounded by wind and utterly alone. And cold. I was too scared to look behind me, but when I looked down there was only swirling dirt and dust. And I was holding on so tight! I thought I might make it through the storm, but it was doubly scary because for a second in the dream my heart stopped.

Also, things were flying toward me (like bikes and heavy stuff, like furniture, and roofs were getting blown off houses too) because of the wind. I ducked those, but part of a cinder block wall was about to tilt over toward me. I know it would not have crushed me because it was too short, but it would have come very close.

Unfortunately, this was not one of those tornadoes in the funny pages with people loofahing themselves in their bathtubs, or cows mooing as they spin through the air.

I forced myself to wake up and I coughed to make sure I was breathing and realized I was on my stomach, alone in the bed (no kitties, even!) I could not go back to sleep and I was nervous to try to sleep last night too.

I thought maybe I had managed to turn in my sleep to somehow face the window, but I was facing the headboard. My dreams are very realistic and often quite terrifying, and occur much too often. Sheesh! What a scary one!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

CC and SK, sitting in a tree...

K-I-S-S-I-N-G...? Maybe, perhaps, at some point, eventually.

So it's official. I like the SK. And not in some lame, "comparatively-speaking in regard to other guys I have dated" way. I like who he is. Or at least, who he is so far. Though not "let's talk on the phone for five hours straight" conversations, they are nevertheless satisfying and I feel good during them, after them, and whenever he pops into my head. Anyway, I'm still not sure if he feels the same (although he has seemed to really relax -- in a good way, not a creepy way) but I'm gonna go for it. Good luck to me!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


So tonight was dinner with the Speed-date Kid. And my rate seems to have increased without me even trying. The hourly has been upped to almost $30. From $8 per, I've done well. And in this economy! If only this would happen at work, too. Haha!

Dinner was sooo yummy, at a hip restaurant in downtown Andover named Glory. I had the "roasted organic free-range half chicken with potato gnocchi, crisp pea tendrils, and green peppercorn crema," and he had... the same! (Minus the crema.) We had different desserts, though -- he had "medium rare chocolate cake, with toasted almond encrusted ice cream and coconut crema," and I had peach panacotta, which arrived sitting in a pool of decadent blackberry sauce.

The chicken was tender and velvety; the gnocchi were almost light, with an amazing texture and taste; the sauce was rich but not heavy; and the crispy pea tendrils were not crispy at all. I couldn't finish the chicken, but I don't care for dark meat anyway. Dessert was cool and creamy and just as good as the entrée, and I managed to eat nearly 3/4 of it, until my teeth began to hurt from the sweetness and I put down the spoon.

We talked and talked, and it turns out he reads a lot (but not fiction.) Then we went for a nice medium-long walk (maybe 45 minutes? If felt like 20 but was longer according to the clock) in the misty night. I would have walked more, but my heels wouldn't allow me to. (I explained that I just had to wear cute shoes to complete my outfit or I would have been able to walk more, and it probably sounded like I was fishing, because he said, "They are cute!") No real compliments from him about me though, although he did compliment the back support in my car.

Also, no kissy-face. Not even hand-holding. At all. But he did go in for a (quick) hug of his own accord when we met (I was prepared to do a continental-style kiss, but he swooped in and out before I could even pucker) and then when I dropped him back at his car at the end, we had a funny awkward moment when he leaned in to hug me, except I was still strapped in, and then I unstrapped, and we did that back-and-forth "I'm going to hug you now" thing that you see in coming-of-age movies. The parting hug was stiff -- I didn't know where to put my hands (above his? below?) and my car isn't exactly palatial, so there was not a lot of room to maneuver. When he left the car he said, "So, talk to you." Hmm.

During our date, I flirted both on a general and specific basis, but he didn't take the bait. Examples:
  • When I told him I really liked his voice and that I could probably listen to it all day, he said no one had ever said that to his before. Instead of flirting back, he started talking about the radio.
  • When he mentioned a movie he owned, I said "I'd love to see it" (pause for eyelash bat) and he said, "Ok!" but not, "Ok, what about Saturday?"
  • While walking, we talked about general stuff and I asked some leading questions and he answered them completely straight.
And others, too. Maybe he's not a flirter in person? Because he's a very good flirter on the phone. Perhaps I should have taken his arm? Sheesh. What has happened to my "A" game? The old me would have taken every opportunity for a snuggle.

Upshot -- he's a really good talker, and totally interesting, but... does he think I am attractive? I looked very nice (dare I say "classy"?) tonight in a cream-colored v-neck sweater, black pants, the shoe-boots, diamond earrings, and an amazing make-up job (if I do say so myself) so it's not as if I was a schlub. He was dressed appropriately too, in jeans, somewhat clunky Hush Puppy style shoes, and a button-down (blue? gray? Some murky guy-ish color.) So reader, stay tuned for the next installment of... (cue dramatic male voice) A Clever Cat's Love Life...! Coming soon to a blog site near you...

Partner work

So where exactly does one look while dancing with a partner? Are you supposed to look around the room to see what’s doing elsewhere? Stare fixedly over your partner’s shoulder into the distance? Gaze passionately into their eyes? Or what?

If you’re on a date, I imagine you would want to make some fun or romantic eye contact, at least once in a while. But when you are dancing with someone you don’t know, then what? Half the time they are counting to make sure they get the beat. Last week when I danced with that kid, we sort of chitchatted a little, but not much, and he totally knew what he was doing. He ended up singing along with the music, which I thought was very cool. The old guys I danced with last week didn’t say much. When I originally went dancing with Salsa Man, we did talk, but it was a date after all. Dancing in my weekly class with a partner seems to necessitate apologies from them for not “getting” the steps the first time.

Cha-cha class last night didn’t seem as bad, because now most people know who I am and that I’m basically pretty goofy, not intimidating or trying to steal their husbands as they first thought. (Despite my oft-heavy lipstick.) I’ll dance with anyone! Can I help it if I have fun, and want other people to have fun, too?

The kid and I had a song-long convo, as did one of the men who came with their wife. Sweat was pouring off him in buckets, but he led pretty decently. Generally, the men seem to need some encouragement, so I find myself saying, "You're doing great! Yeah! Try to relax! Feel the music!" even though they are not always so very good. It's a white lie, but probably better than glaring at them and snapping, "Fer chrissakes! Stop stomping on my foot!" That rarely happens, though. They are good sports, and are there for fun, anyway -- I mean, it's not dance class in elementary school where the girls and boys don't want to touch each other because they have cooties or something. And I danced with the cool woman again, too. Also with an older woman, who kept trying to turn me incorrectly. But no biggie.

Anyway, this is one of the quandaries I am currently faced with. I feel pretty awkward when I’m dancing with these strangers (even just learning) so I thought if anyone knew how to feel less so, they could share how they do it. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Food discovery!

Yoplait Light Fat Free Strawberry Shortcake yogurt is freakin' delicious! It almost tastes like strawberry shortcake! (Much better than ordinary strawberry yogurt.) 110 calories, studded with chunks of real strawberries, thick and sweet, and pretty satisfying! Yummy!

Other good flavors: Orange Creme, Lemon Cream Pie, Boston Cream Pie, Apricot Mango.

I don't like the Light Thick 'n' Creamy ones, though. They just seem really fake.

But definitely try the ordinary Light ones. The commercials (you know, the ones with the woman who is talking to her friend on the phone about all kinds of baked goods, and her husband is madly pawing through the fridge trying to find these “treats”) actually tell the truth. Enjoy!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Timing is everything.

Well, maybe not everything, but it sure counts for a lot, especially when it comes to feelings and attraction. When I returned from cha-cha class tonight, there was a cute message from him, which I listened to twice (schoolgirl-style.) I was expecting him back tomorrow so I was pleasantly surprised to hear from him today.

I called him back, he wasn't there, and then he called me back and we talked for about 36 minutes. I jabbered a little, unfortunately. And then he asked me out. This is the exchange:

Him: We should do something this week. My week is completely open.
Me: Ok. (I guess I sounded funny because then there was a pause.)
Him: Are you sure?
Me: Yeah, why, did I sound weird or something? (jokingly)
Him: (Cracking joke) You I must have sounded like that because you are overjoyed just talking to me.
Me: (Laughs) That is one of the reasons I like you... (meaning his sense of humor)
Him: (Laughs) Wednesday?
Me: Well, I have tentative plans with someone. But I have to confirm them.
Him: Thursday?
Me: Salsa.
Him: Aw, I knew that. Salsa night. (pause) Friday?
Me: (takes breath) I also have something planned that day too, but I could try to reschedule that. (Another weird pause. I think he thought I didn't want to go out.) But... (quickly finishes sentence) I really do want to go out with you since I think we'll have a good time!
Him: Yeah! (ANOTHER weird pause!)
Me: (hesitantly) Well, what about Saturday?
Him: Ok. (sounds weird)
Me: Are you sure?
Him: Yeah, why?
Me: Well, it didn't sounded like an option before.
Him: No, Saturday's good.
Me: Uh, ok.
Him: So, let's talk this week.
Me: Ok...
Him: Bye.
Me: Bye. (aaand we both hang up, and I am dissatisfied and also stressed like someone who has never made a date with someone before.)

For some reason I didn't suggest tomorrow, which is the only day available this week. And I did tell him I had to confirm my other appointments and why oh why were there all these weird pauses? And why oh why do I continue to second-guess myself? Argh! Should I email him and see if he's available tomorrow? But I don't know what to wear if we were to do it tomorrow, and I feel much more dateable with a wax job (which is scheduled for Saturday morning) and he doesn't have a plan anyway yet, and oh my gosh. I hope I didn't screw it up...!

Attenzione! Attenzione!

So today I was thinking, and now I feel semi-callous about how yesterday I posted that I am cooling off about the guy. I’m not losing interest since I still think he is really interesting. But I do think I might need more attention than I thought I needed! Gasp!

And besides, no way would I bother calling a guy I had only one date with, when I am on vacation in another state. Although me being me, I would be unable to stay away from my email and I would totally send him one if I liked him. Hmm. Or maybe not. Although I blogged, I didn’t actually email my friends much (it was, maybe two friends, one email apiece. Wow) during the week I visited my sister in February. And our relationships are established!

So he is doing things the exact way I would do them. Therefore, I should not second-guess. I’m taking a step back. All righty then. I still look forward to chitchatting and vacationing vicariously through someone I barely know. Ha!

My Little Blue Dress

A masterpiece! A triumph! An all-around ideal book! Bravo!

The beginning of this book by Bruno Maddox reveals a stunningly beautiful five-year-old girl about to be crowned Queen of the May, somewhere in the English countryside. What happens in the coming years is anyone’s guess as this lip-lickingly interesting story unfolds.

Don’t let the written dialect in the first few pages throw you off – it ends soon enough, and you’ll see why.

I love, love, love everything about this book! (Even the cover.) You must read it. And I will have to read some of Maddox’s older book reviews and everything else he’s written. It makes me so happy to find a writer like this…

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Food Taster

A book I read this weekend, by Peter Elbling.

Setting: Italy, during the Renaissance.
Plot: A man who has endured much childhood heartache is ordered to be a food taster for a repugnant duke, who is constantly being plotted against. Ugo, the protagonist, must protect his daughter (who has grown into a hottie) while she becomes attracted to the cook, who wants to do away with the duke.

But it's not one of those "serious" historical novels. This is more lighthearted, but still has plenty of icky, Renaissance-esque moments. I thought the story itself was excellent, but the protagonist referred to his culo (ass) and fallo (penis) a lot, which got old pretty fast, and distracted me. But there was plenty of food and sex, two of my very favorite things. It's a decent vacation book. Have fun!

Maxims, morsels, movies, and minimizing

I dislike saying this, but "out of sight, out of mind" makes a lot of sense. Or these days, "out of emails, out of mind." The guy and I are corresponding sporadically (last yesterday, but they are one-liners), and we still have a date planned, but I believe in striking when the iron is hot, and it's totally cooling down, at least for me. Oh well.

Friday night was great -- I visited a friend and we shared a delicious gourmet meal of Caprese salad over baby greens, tapenade, (which I used on my salad), spanakopita, freshly baked bread with butter, and a bottle of Merlot. Yummy! We talked for over four hours. It was so much fun.

Yesterday I slept late, watched a juvenile movie (Harold and Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay -- for some reason I like Harold and Kumar, but the first movie had a lot more laughs), took a nap, baked a pizza, and watched another movie, this time about relationships (Sex and the City.) Neither was very good, but at least I was finally able to see Gilles in all his glory.

My parents loved the hangers and they said I should make more and sell them. But they are time-consuming and the materials are not cheap, so I would have to price them high enough to make a decent profit. So it might be a no.

Weight-wise, I just can't believe I lost another 2.4! That's about 12 pounds so far! (Gawd, I am such a loser. Heh heh.) I'm actually not really thinking about the number on the scale right now; rather, I'm focusing on the weekly amounts that I am dropping. More dancing, please!

Today, cleaning and relaxing. All in all, this has been a very pleasant weekend.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Salsa courses through my veins

But not literally. That would be awfully chunky. Heh heh.

Tonight's salsa class was AMAZING! Although this time there were not enough guys, there was an alternate instructor who was so good I really feel like I can dance now! (Even though I'm only in Salsa II.) You could take me to a club and although I won't be able to do any special arm stuff, I will be able to basic, back basic, side basic, cross basic, cross-body lead, Susie Q, turn left, turn right, do the turns single-handed or double-handed, and a few other steps. My hips are no longer wooden and my arms are not robotic. The instructor kept using me for examples. Yay!

I really, really want to go to a salsa club again! Who will come with me?

Happy 41st!

Guess what! It’s my parents’ anniversary again! 41 years. 41 YEARS!!! Sheesh.

And between the mortgage and other bills, I have no money with which to buy them a present. So I created the mulberry hangers I spoke of in an earlier post. They can stick them in the coat closet and hopefully smile when they use them because they are so pretty.

The problem is not as much the money (since I am a good shopper), it’s really the “rules” I have to follow when buying presents, only a few of which are self-imposed. If the giftie can’t follow all the rules, it must at least follow some of them:
  1. Not a gift card/gift certificate. My parents hate, hate, hate these because they believe gift certs represent something thoughtless. They also dislike giving them. What they forget is that many people prefer these, because they can be spent at any time. I like Amazon ones the best.
  2. It must be a beautiful addition to the room, or home, or body. Ugly presents, or presents bought in poor taste = bad presents. Objets d’art are nice, if they aren’t too weird.
  3. It must be useful, but in a good way. What I mean by this is that when it is used, it must remind you of that person because it is really cool, or pretty, or charming, or interesting. It should not make you say, “yuck” every time you look at it. The worst present I ever got from a boyfriend was a five-pack of lint rollers. Every time I used them, I had to think of him and say “Oh my freaking god. Who gives their girlfriend lint rollers?” Why he bought this for me, I will never know. I mean, I like lint rollers, but why is that even acceptable? This from the same guy who bought me a gorgeous pair of twinkly diamond studs. Which I guess I should probably wear once in a while, actually.
  4. Organic/natural is always nice.
  5. Funny works, too.
  6. The present may not stink, unless my mom asks for something special, like soap in a certain scent (I used to make a lot of melt-and-pour soaps and lotions.) This rule also applies to flowers, except for roses.
  7. Meaningfulness. When something is meaningful, it must really exude it. Like when my parents asked what I wanted this year for my birthday, and I wanted an iPod shuffle in green, so they got that, and it was perfect, and they also got it engraved on the back – “You are our music. Love, Mom and Dad.” How perfect is that!!?? I have cool parents.
  8. The worst rule yet… don’t even think of asking what someone wants. Now this is just plain silly. They ask me what I want, so why can’t I ask them?
Examples of these rules include: sandstone coasters, geode bookends, carved elephant with trunk up (this signifies good luck), tissue box in the shape of a tiki, figure-flattering sweater, leather backpack, beautiful pillows to match a new bedroom set, sterling silver dragonfly pendant, pima cotton shirt, a good book.

Anyway, this year they are getting the hangers. I'll let you know if they like them.

We soy craaazy!

Next home project – refinish four dining chairs and paint them red. I picked up the chairs yesterday. They are going to be great!

Tuesday night I visited a friend and did another decoupage project – plastic hangers wrapped in colorful specialty paper. They look really cool. Last night I podged them again and sprayed with gloss sealer.

Too bad about no weekend dates with the guy, but it's probably just as well. I could use some sleep!

Last night another friend visited me and I made cheeseburgers and shakes for us! Actually, they are soy/veggie burgers on high-fiber wraps with Laughing Cow lite triangle cheese, and fruit smoothies without fat. Completely guilt-free enjoyment. This time I used pineapple and lite vanilla soy milk plus a teensy weensy bit of fat-free creamer instead of cow’s milk and they came out wonderfully! Then we are played an hour of Guitar Hero World Tour! It was really fun. (Bitch Wanked Unit still rocks.)

This morning I bunked my head on the garage door as it was opening. I was bending down to take out the trash while the door was opening, and sort of lost my balance and pitched forward and really banged the top quadrant of my head. I have never done that before, and it really hurt. To add insult to injury, I walked into the office with a leaf in my hair. Sigh. So now I sit in the office with a plastic bag filled with ice balanced on my head, so I can still work. My head feels a little better, but I still feel pretty stupid…

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Swing, daddy!

Last night I went to a swing dance lesson, and it was awesome – almost as much fun as salsa. There must have been 20 people there! I still have Zoot Suit Riot running through my head. The instructor brought his (adult) kids along to be helpers so there would be enough men and women to dance together. The most fun I had was with his son who was probably 16 years old, and who of course has probably been dancing since he was a little kid. Excellent leader, cool kid too. Most of the place was couples, but there were a few random singles. I think I was the only person in their thirties, but that’s ok. I heard from someone that people of all ages attend the swing dancing events – from twenties to seventies. The best dancer there was in his seventies, actually. Well, maybe not "best", but he sure was the most comfortable, I guess because he learned when he was young.

Also, I think a woman may have flirted with me. Maybe she didn’t. She was learning to lead (and was an excellent leader! I would dance with her again, with pleasure) and spun me out at the end of a song and everything. It was actually really cool! It turns out she also takes salsa lessons at the same place I do, but she is in an advanced class. Maybe I’ll run into her at the club.

Things are also moving along with the guy. He called when I was dancing and I called back, and we had a 36-minute fun chat. Apparently my laugh just bubbles up and out, and he likes to hear it. I think it must have been the endorphins moving around in my system, because I don’t normally think my laugh is all that adorable… but hey, whatever floats his boat. We have a date planned for "something fun" (it cracks me up that he said we should do something fun, because why would I want to do something un-fun?) but not this weekend because he will be out of town. But he’s on vacation the following week, so we’ll get together at that point. Then he said we should talk again tomorrow! I’m hanging with a friend tonight, but I’ll call him briefly. Aaand she casts her line... here, fishie, fishie, fishie…