Thursday, June 28, 2007

Kismet - Or Something

So I've been thinking alot about this meeting new people/making new friends thing. And I decide to take decisive action.

For someone who's as loud and out there as I am, it may be surprising that I'm wicked insecure about meeting new peeps. But enough is enough. So, I signed up to go to a "picnic" of sorts at a local coffee shop this Sunday with an online "ladies group." (And, yes, that does mean what you think it means...)

My last stint in Boston, I belonged to a similar group and, although I don't think the emphasis on appearance and drinking and hooking up was necessarily the best focus for me, I did find the members to be welcoming, kind, and uber friendly. Funny how people on the "fringe" tend to be more inclusive than, oh say, the religious right.

I'm sure this won't make Mr. Zips too happy, but I'm not looking for a date or a hookup. I'm looking for similar peeps to myself, with whom I can chat and laugh and not have to worry about talking about their kids.

So, I was feeling all good about this decision. And then, into my Inbox came this reason to feel even better. From Daily Om:

Whether your comfort zone is living with your parents, or perhaps being too shy to socialize, or maybe it’s not realizing your spirit self—whatever it is, start small, and you will discover that venturing beyond the limited comfort zone you now cling to is not as stressful an experience as you imagined it might be. And the joy you feel upon challenging yourself in this way will nearly always outweigh your discomfort. As you continue to expand your comfort zone to include new ideas, activities, goals, and experiences, you will see that you are capable of stimulating change and coping with the fresh challenges that accompany it.

Wow, am I in tune with The Universe or what?

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Waiting for the heat to break

I don't know who authorized this heat wave, but it sure as hell wasn't me. I do not do well in the heat. Not at all. Even if I do spend the majority of my day in an air conditioned office, the heat affects me in big bad ways.

Witness today. I was exhausted most of the day. Shouldn't have been. Mr. Zips and I went to bed early and, with the AC on weren't even awakened by the totally awesome college kids that live (to party and party to live) next door.

I left work early to go to my farm. It was pick-up day and even though it would have been a lot easier to ask one of my neighboring CSA members to pick up my share, there were lots of U Picks today. And, well, I've never picked strawberries before. YUM! MESSY!

But there I was, in the 90 degree heat, in the middle of a farm, wearing the wrong clothes and the wrong shoes, my hair in my face, my glasses fogging over (and don't EVEN get me started on the horror show that is the lack of delivery from VisionDirect contacts!!!!!!!!!!), my fingers stained with red juice and dirt.

Getting home was even worse. My AC is shot in my car and traffic was not moving. So I sat there, windows down to no avail. And I sweated. And sweated. And all the sugar from those strawberries that made it directly from vine to mouth fermented in my tummy. Not yummy.

Suffice to say, I didn't work out today. I came home and made straight for a cold shower. I feel bad about it, but Mr. Zips is teaching me (altho I protest) that it's entirely OK not to be a workout freak every day of my life. I will not (okay, I might not) blow up like a ginormous balloon.

But, the heat is supposed to break with a huge, ferocious thunderstorm. I can't wait. I can smell rain in the air and there was thunder rumbling earlier. But, where, oh where, is the relief?

People wanna know why I'm an Earth nazi? Because if global warming really really happens, I'm gonna be a complete and total bitch.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Home Again Home Again

Had to go back to NJ this weekend for a funeral. It was my dad's sister's husband and I didn't know him very well. So, to be perfectly honest, I wasn't really too sad about it. I mean, I'd only met the guy twice. Still, we used to be very close to my Aunt (until she got really weird and started sporting a fake British accent which, apparently, is par for the course in Morristown, NJ...) and now she's twice widowed.

One comforting thing was that the church was packed. (Yes, I said church. I was in a church for three hours and nothing burned down and no one melted.) By all accounts, this guy was really quiet and although he did a lot of volunteering, he wasn't very social. But the church was literally standing room only. It gave me hope that maybe, just maybe, actions do speak louder than words.

On the up side, I did get to see my best friend and her daughter, who is now gainfully employed at the local Taco Bell. We amused ourselves by calling her "Ma Bell" and making goofy faces at her all night. It was so great to see her - both of them - and catch up. Really makes me realize how lonely I am for a friend who's close by, someone I can ask to coffee or a beer and not have to drive an hour or five to do it.

So basically, the entire weekend confirms for me that I really need to get out and make some friends. And whether that's volunteering, taking a class, or actually speaking to the people I see every week in yoga, well, I've gotta do something.

File it under eye openers and growth experiences.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Dubious Distinction

My hometown got a shoutout on the radio this a.m.

Well, kinda sorta.

When I tell people where I'm from, I usually say "It's an itty bitty town on the Delaware River, just across from Easton, PA. You might have heard of Bethlehem, PA? Or Allentown, in the Billy Joel song? Lafayette College, Lehigh University?"

Notice I don't say anything about the town itself. One, because no one's really heard of it. Two, because we're really only famous for one thing.

The BoxCar.

The BoxCar no longer exists. But back in the day, it was a strip club, conveniently located adjacent to a bridge, with all the law enforcement avoidance that suggests. It was not a nice place. They did not serve alcohol, you had to BYOB. They didn't have many famous dancers, most came from the ranks of my high school. But it was famous.

About ten years ago, the BoxCar showed up in the Darwin Awards. Apparently, a patron was enjoying the, um, nectar of the gods, and choked on a pastie. Brilliantly done.

Today, "'Lil Jimmie Norton" referenced the BoxCar as the worst ever venue for a comic, ever. At least no one died in that version.

In case you're wondering, I've never been there. But it's where my ex-husband had his bachelor party.

Is it any wonder I don't go home very often?

Friday, June 15, 2007

Marriage is Safe

Yesterday, Massachussets did the right thing.

It's a good day when sanity and compassion trumps fear. There's all sorts of reasons I have problems with people who are against gay marriage - political, historical, personal reasons.

But the soft and squishy reason that I support the right for gays to marry is this -- the world is in desperate DESPERATE need of more love. However, whoever, whenever, wherever people try to express that love.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Compassionate. Christian. Conservative. REALLY?

The other night, I was listening to (gulp) Bill O'Reilly's radio program. (I'd already heard that day's OnPoint and Mitt Romney managed to get AirAmerica off the air in Boston....)

The topic was the immigration bill and whether or not it can hold onto its rapidly faltering support. A caller from southern Texas weighed in:

"I was in my truck, parked in a rest stop, and some illegal came up to my window looking for some water. Well, I didn't give him any water, but I sure as heck called immigration services on him."


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

U Pick Peas

Today was my first pick-up from my CSA. It officially started last week, but I was in transit from Minneapolis.

Today's distribution included a "U Pick Peas" share. I got to walk through the farm, walk along the rows of planted vegetables, with all all their bugs, mud, flowers, and vines.

The clouds were heavy and low. The wind (not a breeze) was blowing. The ground was muddy and my feet were still hurting.

Still, I was happy.

I honestly believe that the Earth could heal herself of all her ills if only we'd go away. But, since we're here, I think we should use every chance we've got to revel in the infinite beauty that is snap peas hanging on the vine, waiting to be plucked.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Handing In My Feminist ID Card

Sunday night, to celebrate the Tony Awards, I painted my toenails green. If you don't understand the reference, well, you just haven't seen enough Cabaret.

My toenails made me happy. Big smiles ensued.

And yesterday, anticipating a rough day, I wore cute little strappy shoes which showed off my happy feet to full advantage.

The only problem is, cute little strappy shoes are not so good for the walking.

I forgot I had a lunch date about 15 blocks away. When I realized that I did, I basically attempted to run the entire distance. In cute little strappy shoes.

I have blisters on both sides of both feet - big toes, and little toes. I have cuts around the back side of my ankles. I even have a blood blister on the bottom of one big toe.

It took me almost 30 minutes to hobble back to the office. I was one building away when I ran into my friend, Braba. Braba is the antithesis of the girly girl. Not that she doesn't appreciate a fine woman in a fine dress. But catch her in one? Never!

She took one look at me and asked, "What the **** is wrong with you?" I'm sure I looked like QuasiMoto. I explained the cute little strappy shoe issue.

"Then why the **** did you wear them, if you can't walk in them?"

"But... look how good my toenails look."

Do I even need to tell you the look I got?

Monday, June 11, 2007


I had a lot of head clearing to do this weekend. Not only was there the fun and games with Mr. Zips which, after a two-hour, very late night phone call still needs to be worked through but at least we've determined that we want to work it through. But Thursday night the wonderful Peeps decided to play catch with my mobile phone, knocking it into a useless oblivion. And then, Friday, Napolean (shocking!) pulled a passive-aggressive move on me and in my fabulous state of mind, I flew off the handle and wound up swearing and slamming doors. (I'm sure that will come back to haunt me in my annual review...)

So, yeah, it was a rough week. To rejuvinate from it, I went on a lot of long walks this weekend. It was definitely nice to see my neighborhoods leisurely, all of the kids out playing basketball in their driveways, moms & dads weeding or washing cars, older folks hanging out on their porches drinking coffee and tea. Sometimes, it's really nice to live in a quiet, bedroom community.

On one of my rambles, I noticed a bunch of white spraypaint graffiti on mailboxes and walls. One word, repeated over and over. "Dostoevsky."


Why would someone tag "Dostoevsky" in the middle of Watertown, MA? What is the state of mind of the late-night, drunken teenager that s/he wants to invoke the name of the Russian existentialist novelist? Why "Dostoevsky" and not, say, "Green Day?"

Every time I feel like I'm standing on the ledge of sanity, have had a rough week and I'm ready to pull my hair out, I see something that reminds me I'm probably not as bad off as I thought.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Five Stages

How quickly can one go through the five stages of grief? Because I'm pretty sure I'm hitting a new record.

I think Mr. Zips and I have broken up. I'm not sure. I might be sure, except he left tonight in order to avoid confrontation and then had to hang up before we resolved things because his phone was dying in a technological mirror of passive aggressiveness. (See - this is anger.)

He said we had to talk. Work some things out/through. This is something I've known for awhile. But why on Earth he would bring this up the day I flew back from a really long trip away is beyond me.

I've spent the evening sobbing hysterically, getting sick, making bargains with myself and The Universe, obsessively calling him, and basically falling apart. Oh yeah, and drinking bourbon. Tomorrow's gonna be fun at work.

I'm not sure whether the ignition for this particular discussion was the talk he had w/ his friend Dentist Boy the other night (funny how every time they see each other, Mr. Zips and I have to have a "discussion"...) or the fact that I texted him from the airport. I was killing time and thought it might be nice to send him a postcard. Unfortunately, his address was written down in my planner, which was in my suitcase, which was somewhere between NWA check-in and cargo hold. So, I texted. "19 Street Name, Holyoke?" I was off by 7 digits. This makes me a bad girlfriend. Never mind that I am still sending birthday gifts to my BESTEST friend in the world somewhere around Halloween b/c I can't remember her exact birthday and I'm too ashamed to ask or the fact that I can't for the life of me remember the last name of my Aunt Susan and Uncle Bob w/ whom I had a fabulous dinner on Saturday. But not knowing the exact street number of my boyfriend - that's breakup fodder.

OK - so maybe I haven't progressed through the stages yet. Maybe I'm stuck on anger.

All this said - all night long all I've been able to think about is how funny Mr. Zips is, and how caring. And how he'll bend over backwards to be nice to you. And how much I really, truly, and honestly, love him. And how much it sucks that, in the grand scheme of things, that might not always amount to much.

I have no idea what I'm going to do or how I'm going to sleep tonight in the same bed that he's slept in the last four nights.

For fuck's sake - being in love really REALLy fucking sucks.

Monday, June 04, 2007


For the past three days, I have been bitching about the "hospitality" service here at the Hyatt Regency. Now, usually, I love the staff at Hyatt hotels - they've always gone above and beyond. But not so much at the Twin Cities variation. There's no concierge, the bellstand has been constantly vacant, and my room has been less than cleaned. Used glasses are left on tables, no fresh soaps, yesterday the bolster pillows weren't even put back on the bed.

But today, I am very glad the cleaning crew sucks.

Background: I have been wearing the same pair of earrings for about three years without change. They're Celtic trefoils my brother bought me for Christmas and I adore them. I know it's boring to wear the same pair of earrings day in and out, but we all know about my fashion sensabilities.... Besides, they make me happy.

Two days ago - somewhere between waking up, schlepping two big FedEx boxes to the convention center, putting up our booth, working out, showering, and taxi'ing to St. Paul, I lost the right earring. I pretty much gave it up for dead.

Today, while I was doing crunches in front of the TV, I noticed something shiny over in the corner near the bed. No way, right? Housekeeping vaccuums, right? Wrong.

This kind of luck never happens to me. I'm going to bask in it.

Twin Cities

Well, here I am in Minneapolis - I've walked so much in the past three days that I swear I've worn my sneakers out. And all that walking - I've been so hungry! So I'll either get back to Beantown 20 pounds lighter or 20 pounds heavier.

If I were a good blogger, I'd have brought my camera and could share pictures of all the sights I've seen. But, alas, I am not. So you'll just have to imagine it for yourself.

I'm traveling w/ two sales guys, both of whom are nice and both of whom are wierd. We went out for dinner last night and it was a pretty decent time. But, I've got to tell you, when we left the exhibit hall at 3:30 this afternoon, I didn't leap right out and suggest meeting up again tonight. Of course, they didn't either. Which makes me wonder - do they talk bad about me behind my back? Then again, if they do, do I care?

Spending so much time w/ people I wouldn't necessarily call "friend" can be a bit taxing. Because you want them to like you because, well, it's human nature. But logically you know it shouldn't really make a difference either way.

Aren't people funny?

The one thing I have to say for Minnesotans, though, is that they are really - really - friendly. A woman stopped me on the street to help me find the Walker Museum (fabulous place!), my cabbie pointed out his high school alma mater as we passed it, and the yoga instructor at the gym offered to meet up with me for lunch if I was lonely. (To bad I had to work during lunch hour - it could have been fun!) If it didn't get to be 26 degrees BELOW zero for WEEKS at a time in the winter, I'd think about moving here.

Then again, I'm not sure if I have it in me to be as nice as a Minnesotan....