30 October 2008

My First Ever Book Review

A good friend lent me a book about a week ago. "OMG!" she gushed. "I laughed so hard right from the beginning. It's kind of like Buffy. It was in the romance section, but it's not really romance." Sweet, I thought, I could use a new book and I have enjoyed the odd "Paranormal Romance". I have read snappy and entertaining otherworldly stories before. I mostly treat them as a quicky Saturday read and then pass them off to the used bookstore for credit. I figured this book would be a nice bit of fluff, good for reading right before bed. The book is The Accidental Demon Slayer by Angie Fox. This book, at least what I have read so far, is, well, it's not good.

The protagianist of the book is a girl whose name I forget. Seriously, unless someone refers to her by name (OK, it's Lizzie), I have no idea what her name is. She is a preschool teacher who finds out on her 30th birthday that she the inheritor of mad demon-slayin' skillz. Her maternal grandmother, who she has never laid eyes on before (oh yeah, Lizzie is adopted), barges into Lizzie's cream-colored condo and proceeds to fling about jelly jars filled with rancid raccoon liver and manky bog water. Did I not mention that Gramma Gertie is a witch? Who drives a pink Harley and is a member of a motorcycle club called the Red Skulls?

Anyway, Gramma locks Lizzie in the bathroom as the moment of her (Lizzie's) birth approaches. For, you see, Lizzie is about to come into her demon-slayingness. Unfortunately for Lizzie, a little troll-looking demon appears on the toilet and shoots purple darts at her. Gramma'a all "Let's jump on my pink hog and skeedaddle!" Lizze is "No, I'm rational! My adoptive parents were caring-yet-distant and it made me sooooo normal. I wear khakis and oxfords! I don't curse so I say things like 'Mother fudrucker!'" Eventually Gramma manages to bully Lizzie and her talking dog, Pirate (who could always talk, it was just that Lizze was finally listening!), on to the pink Harley and they lay tracks.

The romance part of the book happens in the form of mysterious Dimitri. Dimitri spends part of his time as a griffin. Lizzie has no trouble identifying him as such. I guess the certification requirements for pre-school teachers has a section on mythology? Lizzie, who has been unfortunate in her previous romantic encounters, is instantly attracted to Mr. Tall-Dark-and-Rippling. Gramma insists he is not to be trusted.

Blahblahblah, they end up at the Red Skulls' bar/clubhouse and Lizzie fucks up a protection spell the wrinkly witches brew up for her. Dimitri shanghais Lizzie and berates her for wanting to find her doggie. There's an encounter in the woods where Lizzie feels Dimitri's kiss on her forehead straight down to her toes. At some point she is chained to a tree, struggles until she "feels like she ran a marathon" yet only a trickle of sweat runs down her back. Dimitri's hands are "callous." According to the dictionary search I did, that's an acceptable use of the word, but it did not jive with me.

Lizzie is an odd combination of disbelieving and instantly accepting. She's totally down with her biker-mama witch-bitch Gramma, but hesitates to drink the potion that would provide protection. She's wildly attracted to Dimitri, even as he magically chains her to a tree. I don't have the book in front of me, but I believe that heat pools low in her body.

I stopped reading at chapter 10 (short chapters). Lizzie is bland and annoying. Gramma is the quirky and fiesty elder relative who may have murdered someone. Dimitri is the fairly typical mysterious and slightly shady reluctant mentor/fuck-buddy. In fact, I don't even know if they got to the fuckin'. There was one kiss-with-tongue and some smoldering looks, but I wasn't really feeling the heat. Even the talking dog, Pirate, is a letdown. Ms. Fox has him speaking like a 6 year-old hopped up on pixie stix. I get that he's a Jack Russell and they are energetic and jumpy little creatures, but if you're going to have a talking dog try to give him a little depth. Yes, I just said to flesh out a talking dog character.

29 October 2008


I really should wait 5 minutes before posting. He asked to reschedule. Now this is supposed to happen Sunday.

Blergh Part Two

Did he cancel on me?


Was a reason given?


Am I pissed?

-A little.

What happens next?

-Damned if I know.

28 October 2008


I did the grown-up thing in a moderately grown-up way.

Sent a text asking why he didn't call.

He fell asleep.

Did he call tonight?


Will I tell him to call me?


Will I still have dinner with him?

Leaning towards yes. After all, I do need to put forth some effort.

Does this make me a lame-o?

Eh. Jury's still out on that one.

What The Fuck?

I'm confused and here is why. K was supposed to call me last night. He had sent me a text message during the day asking if he could call. I said sure, anytime after 8. He seemed pretty psyched about an actual non-text conversation. We did our usual (so far as something that's been going on for less than a week is usual) texting thing and met outside at 5:30 when he was done work. I specifically said "I'll talk to you later" as I went back inside.

Moving the story along; I get home, feed the cats, make a sandwich and prepare to watch Chuck. I'm figuring that I can expect a call anywhere from 8:15 on. That's what "after 8" means to me. Perhaps you can guess what comes next. Chuck ends and Heroes starts and no phone call. Yes, I could have called him, but he asked to call me.

I was flipping to the Phils game during commercials and notice that the Phils were winning 2-1. K was told by his boss not to watch the game because when he does, the Phils lose. Superstitious nonsense, but it gave me something to say. I sent him a text saying something along the lines of "You must not be watching the game because the Phils are winning." I get nothing.

Being the moderately crazy person I am, I start wondering if maybe there was some sort of family emergency he had to deal with, or if he had gotten into a car accident on the way home from work. I'd feel pretty shitty if I found out he didn't call because he was lying in Frankford-Torresdale, doped up on morphine. At that point, I decided to let it go and find out what was what the next day.

I get to work and I don't see his car. This lends credence to my accident theory, right? And in my defense, the weather was pretty crappy last night. In the interest of honesty, I thought it more likely that he was just at home sick. Apparently not, as he texted me mid-morning about the crazy wet, snowy weather we were having. I noticed later that his car was simply parked in a different spot. One point for my powers of observation. Again, in my defense, it wasn't just one or two spots away. It was a different row entirely. Yeah, OK, I'm a loser.
K seemed much less eager today. There were definitely fewer text messages. Also, when I was getting ready to come in from my evening break, I saw him walking to his car and he didn't even look at me. In his defense, I was facing away from the building and my hood was up. I don't know what to think. Part of me is wondering why any of this bothers me at all. I barely know the guy, I haven't had a conversation with him longer than about 10 minutes, aaaaand I just realized that I'm skipping over a whole bunch of shit.

*Abridged version: K asked for my number, we started text messaging. He asked me to dinner - that's supposed to happen Thursday. He straight-up said (texted) that he was interested in me. Positive signs, no? Back to the current rant.*

I was just starting to think that I could be interested in this dude. He seems sufficiently nerdy, we are GC, approximately the same age (less important), and, superficially at least, had some stuff in common. I don't know what to do. The sensible thing would be to ask him straight-out if there was some reason he seemed stand-offish. Everyone has bad days and I shouldn't think so highly of myself to assume that I had anything to do with it, if that were the case. Then I get to thinking; if I ask him if he's going off of me that may give him the idea that I'm more invested in this than I am. Though, looking back on the ranting, it would appear that I'm at least a little invested. The trouble is that I don't know if I'm interested in him or if I'm just pleased that someone is interested in me.

22 October 2008


I sent my buddy J a text today, asking him what the deal was with my admirer, K. I figured that it would be nice to know if K had given up on me. J reminded me that K was awkward but J'd see what the deal was. A few minutes later I get back "Come out for your break at 5." Except in txtspk. I shot back "Why? You gonna shove him at me?" J said no(lol), but he told K I was interested, K did a little happy dance (kinda cute, I guess) and passed his number to J to pass to me.

Still with me?

Here's my problem with that: If I call K, that is effectively taking the burden off of him. The whole point of me not offering up my number, through J, was to force K to put up or shut up. I expressed all this to J when I met him outside and he agreed with me. J offered to text K, but I don't know if that's the way to go. Really, I should have given my bloody email to J and worked it that way. If K's as awkward as I fear, I certainly don't want to have a painful conversation filled with silences and nervous laughter. And before you think I'm being unkind(er), I wasn't just referring to K. At least with email you have a chance to think about what you're going to say. Sure, nuances can be missed, but how subtle is our "getting to know you" conversation going to be?

Another item to add to the list: K asked J if I have any tattoos. Yes, yes I do. Six, to be precise, and I wouldn't mind another. J only knew of my one easily visible tattoo and said so. K seemed a little put off by the idea but still wanted me to have his number. I understand not liking tattoos, but shouldn't that be pretty far down on your list? After all, my ex-husband wasn't thrilled about them, but had some of his own by the time we split. And funny how that would be less appealing than the smoking. Unless K smokes; then it wouldn't be much of an issue.

As to J telling K I was interested; I don't know that I am. I am interested in finding out if I'm interested, if you know what I mean. It's not my intention to string him along, so I kind of wish J had found another way to find out what was going on.

I dunno. Do I text him? Do I let J continue as facilitator and tell K to text me? Should I drop the email idea and accept that this guy isn't going to be able to step up? Should I just cut and run? The fatalistic part of me is saying "why bother?"

20 October 2008

Oh, Come On!

I'm thinking that this thing with my admirer isn't going to happen. I've made some effort to be in place when he could conceivably encounter me by taking my breaks when he usually goes to lunch or is leaving for the day. Didn't work out so good for me today. I saw neither hide nor hair.

Am I disappointed? A little, I guess. While I have admitted that I had never given this guy a second look, part of me was hoping that something would come of this. I'm wondering if I should be making more of an effort. If I should ask the buddy who told me about all this to pass along my number or something. Then I go "nah". I mean, if this guy wants me he should try harder, right? It isn't my bounden duty to make thing easier for him just because I know he likes me...or is it?

This is where things get murky. Should I actively encourage this guy even though I have no idea if I am going to like him? Am I supposed to take pity on his inability to manufacture small talk? Is it my responsibility to take the next step because he managed to say hello in passing? Is the fact that I'm even asking these questions a sign that this whole thing is doomed?

Now I know there are people out there who are screaming "This is 2008! What kind of woman can't ask a guy out?" Back off, bitches. I can, and have, asked guys out. There is generally an attraction on my part when that happens. I don't ask out random guys just to keep in practice. I know it's hard to strike up a conversation, especially if there are other people around, but for the fuck of shit, I am usually alone when I see him. And, AND we are out in the parking lot. The chances of being overheard are pretty slim. Kinda easy to recognize eavesdroppers in a parking lot.

Bottom line is this: I need some face time. You, Mr. Admirer, may love me from afar, but I need a little more to go on.

Seeing Clearly

About a year ago, I went to the eye doctor for the first time in 3 years or so. My vision hadn't really gotten worse, but I decided I wanted new glasses. Also, I had a coupon for 15% off. I decided on a pair of brown plastic frames very similar to what you see to the right. You know, the sexy librarian look. I was coming off a pair of serviceable, if unexciting, pair of wire frames.

When my new glasses were finally ready, I had a bitch of a time getting them adjusted correctly. The receptionist/glasses adjuster heated and bent (wo)manfully and I finally had them contorted into a shape that was an acceptable fit for my apparently warped head. Within one week, they were sliding down my nose and twisted up enough to give me fits. I went back for readjustment and started the whole process over again. I thought I was good.

Flash forward 10 months: I hate those fucking sexy librarian glasses. Sure, they looked good but goddamn, did they hurt my poor head something fierce. I spent some time each day bending the stupid right-side ear piece in the vain hope of getting it into a position that wouldn't be painful to the point of distraction. As I was twisting and cursing, I noticed that the hinge on that side was all cockeyed. I thought I could fix it with my ever-handy mini-Leatherman, but was spectacularly unsuccessful. Finally I decided I couldn't take it anymore and broke out my old wire-frames. This happened Friday night and I've been wearing them since.

Thanks for sticking with me. Here's my point: Not one of the people I saw this weekend noticed that I wasn't wearing my old glasses. Not my gay-bff, not my parents, not my 2 closest girlfriends, and none of my coworkers. Here's a pic of wire-frames so you have a frame (heh) of reference:

The shape of my glasses isn't exactly the same as those at the left, but you can easily see that there is a significant difference in style and shape from the brown frames above.
Just so we are clear, this isn't a judgement on my friends. I'm not implying that my friends, family, and coworkers don't pay enough attention to me. I swear I'm not that kind of self-involved. It does give me an idea of how generally unobservant the average person is. I'm guessing that I'd have to show up not wearing glasses at all for people to notice. Since I've been wearing glasses for most of my life, people expect to see them on my face and don't pay any special attention to what the glasses look like.

15 October 2008

Somebody Likes Me Update

I got a drive-by "hello" while at lunch today, and some sort of mumbled comment about either a badger or a manager while on my afternoon break. It's probably taking a lot out of him to manage that much, so I should be kind, right?

14 October 2008

Somebody Likes Me

Apparently I have an admirer. From what my buddy tells me, the guy is nice but a little socially awkward. I'll admit that he isn't my ideal physical type, but I'm no super model. I shall not cast stones. Anyway, updates as things progress.

Where I Use The Hyphenate "Double-standard" Too Many Times

For most of my adult life I have firmly believed that men and women could get along if only they communicated better. I thought that the whole Mars/Venus dichotomy was complete bullshit, and that half the reason there were problems between the sexes was because there was far too much focus on the differences. Men and women are made up of the same things. Sure, those building blocks are present in different quantities, but it's the same junk, right? I'm starting to think that I am living in the worst kind of fantasy land.

It is becoming clear to me that the differences, while not more numerous than I thought, are weighted far more heavily than the similarities. Certain stereotypes are so far ingrained into the fabric of society that I don't believe that they will ever go away. And yes, I understand that stereotypes can come from truth, but they are often born from rumors. Studies have shown (no, I don't have a citation right now) that black men do not automatically have giant dicks, but I know many black men who are perfectly willing to embrace that bit of folklore. Blondes are not dumber than brunettes or redheads, men WILL ask for directions, women get pissed off or upset about things that have NOTHING to do with their menstrual cycle, black people DO know how to swim, gay men aren't all femmes, lesbians aren't all about flannel...you've heard them all.

The problem is that people go first to the stereotypes because it's the easiest solution. Is your girlfriend crying for no obvious reason? It is possible that she just had a lousy day and needs to release that pressure somehow. I have friends that cry about everything. It's simply their way of letting it out. Yes, I have a male friend who likes dick. I can assure you that he isn't a make-up wearing member of the lavender mafia and there is nothing limp about his wrist.

Look, I know that I'm not saying anything you haven't heard countless times before. But I have always hoped that this stuff would matter less and less over time. And as I'm looking back over this post, I realize that I have gotten completely side-tracked. I did want to talk about communication between the sexes, but I wanted to touch on the double-standard.

We all know what a double-standard is so I'm not going to give examples. Double-standards chap my ass like latex underpants. I try (focus on the try) to avoid them myself, but I know there have been times I've thought "Well, that's OK for me, but not for you." Large-scale double-standards lead to the -isms: racism, sexism, ageism, etc. Again, you already know all this. My point is that double-standards are a rather large block to this easy communication between the sexes that I believe is possible.

10 October 2008

Messin' With the Google

This post has no purpose except to provide a Google Alert for Mike Birbiglia and Marisa from the Preston and Steve show on MMR.

You're welcome!

08 October 2008

Site Changes

Oh hey, you probably noticed the new color scheme. Let me know what you think.

Nerd, Nerd, Nerd

This here post is about wanting nerds and what people really mean when they say they do.

I was watching Chuck the other night and it got me thinking. Chucky-boy over there is supposed to be a nerd. Smart, into videogames, awkward around the ladies, working at the Buy More fixing phones and computers with the greatest of ease. You're supposed to think that if it weren't for his fake relationship with Secret Agent Sarah he wouldn't even have a girlfriend.

But this is TV and we all know that there is never going to be an unattractive nerd as the lead in a primetime show. Unattractive nerds (or geeks) are relegated to side-kick status or are the constantly picked on loser who, 10 years later, goes bonkers and kills the people who tormented him. TV nerds are 6'2", in reasonably good shape and have a wardrobe full of ironic t-shirts and Converse sneakers.

And that, dear reader, is what people mean when they say they want a nerd. They really mean a TV/movie nerd. A sanitized, socially acceptable nerd. I'll admit, since I try not to be a hypocrite, that's pretty much what I want, too.

Update: A friend suggested that I go to Best Buy and find myself a Chuck. The whole point of this, which I apparently forgot to make, is that Chuck doesn't exist. Chances are that if I go down to my local Best Buy it will be populated with 17 year old kids that I probably wouldn't have liked when I was 17.

07 October 2008

Skin Hunger

I love the autumn months. As I believe I have mentioned before, I am happiest when wearing jeans or sweatpants and hoodies. I like having my window open when I sleep and piling on the blankets. I love the way the air smells and how the leaves change and how the sky is once again clear blue.

I hate that as soon as October hits my allergies go into overdrive. And despite the fact that I love autumn, I get depressed. I also hate that. Maybe it's SAD. Maybe it is because I feel my single status more sharply in the colder months. I'm not quite sure why. It's not because the marjority of my relationships were during the fall/winter season - because they weren't. Maybe it's like the magical beach thing, only instead of crashing waves and tousled hair, it's fuzzy hats and swirling leaves. Which brings me to cuddle parties. Bear with me.

What are cuddle parties? If you're too lazy to click the link, keep reading - I'll give you a mini-synposis. If you already know about the phenomenon, feel free to skip past. Cuddle parties are events where people get dressed in their jammies and lay in piles with other like-minded people. It's a way to touch and be touched in a non-sexual way. Studies have shown that touch is very important in the development of newborns. I know that touching stimulates the production of oxytocin and serotonin, both feel-good chemicals. I know that I'm getting to the point where I am almost starved for touch.

Anyway, some of the girls I work with went gaga over the idea of a cuddle party and started a fake sign-up sheet for a cuddle party of their own. Someone decided it would be great fun to sign my name on the first line. When I found out, I crossed it out. For some reason, I was completely unable to joke about the idea of paying someone to cuddle with me. Anytime someone commented on the fact that I crossed out my name, I'd reply, rather testily, "I didn't sign up in the first place." Most of the girls involved in the little joke are coupled, or have children. I don't think they understand how hard it can be to be alone. Bear in mind that I'm not crying "Woe is me" because I don't have a man or a kid. I don't feel incomplete being single and childless, but there are things that I miss.

It's funny. I'm almost desperate for casual touching, but I flinch at the idea of relative strangers touching me. I think that is because I'm afraid of what my reaction would be. I don't want to throw myself at someone. That would be awkward.

This is really hard for me to write about so if things get incoherent, I apologize.

Crap. I know you, dear follower, can't tell, but I have written and deleted several attempts to explain exactly how I feel about this whole thing. I guess it comes down to this: I feel like paying to cuddle is an admission that no one (not talking about family and friends, here) will ever touch me voluntarily ever again. It's like I'm giving up on the idea of having a cuddle partner of my own. It's also hard to explain because touch and sex are so intertwined. Yes, I desire sex, but I also want touching without sex.

I feel like I'm not getting my point across. I'm willing to bet you're thinking: Jeez, why doesn't she just hug her mom more? Or her friends? Would you want to tell your mom or your friends that you need to be touched more? Shit, just thinking about having a conversation like that is ooky. Also, some of my friends are touch adverse. And honestly, my friends don't need it from me, so I don't feel right asking them for it. My poor nephew has (unknowingly) shouldered the burden of my touch-craving. He's getting too big and squirmy now to lay quietly on my belly so I can rub my chin on his soft little head, but I do get kisses and the occasional head-butt.