Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Tara's Page

Tara's Page

Tara just frightens me at times. I love it. But she frightens me.

I get tired just thinking about it

Its been craziness around here again! Its nearly 7 pm and I'm still at job #1. (aka the REAL job) I have learned all over again that "the only thing constant is change." Nothing ever stays the same, unless you really hate it, and then it never goes away. But if you like it, expect it to change.

The thoughts running through my mind---

1. Red Arrow's mother is going through chemo right now. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers. (and Red Arrow too!)
2. Today I am grateful for patience. Not my own patience, but the patience that other's offer me. Amazingly, the conflict that I have been going through with my co-worker (known as "not playing well together" and 'trouble in the sandbox") seems to have finally been resolved today. I truly hate confrontation, but gave in and suffered through it today. I think we have finally FINALLY found some common ground. It may have been fake and forced, but he tried to be polite and nice to me today. And the only part that matters is that he TRIED, and for that I am grateful. But most of all I am grateful for all of those around us suffering in their patience with us.
3. Only 27 days till Brussels. (and lots of fun quality time with Jason and Tara!)
4. When you are in need of a good pick-me-up the band "Me First and the Gimme Gimmes" are great.
5. Its only Wednesday 7 pm, and I have already worked 34 hours this week. Only 30 left to go.
6. I am very excited about the upcoming Voices reunion. "Voices of a New Day" is the choir/performing group I was in during high school. The choir has been around about 20 years, and we are having a reunion this year. In fact, I have created a blog just for the Voices friends- . I am looking forward to hanging out with the friends that I consider to be the kids that I grew up with. We've moved wards and schools when I was in high school. But the Voices kids were always there, even on into college. These are the friends that know what it was really like for us growing up. Rehearsals every Saturday at 8 a.m. Performances every week. Bruises on your ribs because they had to train 4 new guys how to "flip" a girl. And the absolute joy of singing and dancing on stage for hundreds and even thousands. Oh the memories...

7. I can't wait for the weekend so I can just veg out and watch movies and knit. After reading my schedule this week, I just realized why it is I like to veg out so much in my downtime.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

you know your life is exciting when you spend your holiday weekend deep cleaning your ceiling fans.

la vie boheme

for a while now i have had to answer the same question over and over again. "when will your next book come out?" i always want to give the sarcastic answer, "well, it took me 29.5 years to get the first one written and published, and i was unemployed at the time with nothing better to do. so just give it a few weeks and i'm sure i can whip something up."
but in all seriousness, i'm not sure what i want to write about. it was fun writing silly chick lit. but the truth is, i don't even like to read silly chick lit myself. i like substance, depth, and more mature subjects. (not to say i don't have a few guilty pleasures.) i know that i would like to write a book with more mainstream (aka non-mormon) appeal to it. the mormon market is way too confining, and there's a lot more money to be made elsewhere. i'm too liberal and racy for the mormon market and way too conservative for the mass market.
but it is the moral ambiuities in the competition that are killing me though. i can write a great romance, but if i don't make it about sex, the major magazines won't pick it up. but i'm not going to celebrate a lifestyle i don't respect. we need less media celebrating "la vie boheme" and trying to convince us that such lifestyles are normal and acceptable. the real challenge in life lies in writing something where the person makes the moral choice, lives with the consequences, and does the right thing, instead of justifying sin, and makes it a compelling story that the world would want to buy. but if sex sells, what else can you sell if you want to make it about something other than sex? is that the next great american literary challenge? all the great challenges in the past were to write free thinking, honest and true feelings, generally about sex.
we celebrated hemingway for being painfully honest in his descriptions of sanity and cheap sex. but is it possible to write the great american novel about not having sex? about choosing to live by the standards they were raised by? the painfully honest descriptions of living in a world where everyone else chooses to live a more "bohemian" lifestyle than your own? would anyone read that? we celebrate the books and movies about homosexuals who go against the grain, break out of the chains that bind them, and come out of the closet. would anyone celebrate a book or movie about a person who is tempted by others to leave the morals and teachings they were raised with, but chooses to stay? or it is only socially acceptable to celebrate and respect people who choose to do what was previously considered unacceptable? or have we finally reached the point where everything that was unacceptable is now acceptable, and therefore choosing tradition and standards is unacceptable? when will it become fashionable again to have tradition and standards?

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Tidbits (or maybe leftovers, since it is a big food holiday)

1. I saw Pride and Prejudice the Keira Knightly version. Beautiful movie, amazing scenery. Keira Knightley makes a wonderful Lizzie. Other than that, I really did NOT like the movie. How dare they change the ending to Jane Austen!?!?!

2. Maybe it wasn't very apparent by what I say on the blog, but I just haven't been in the mood to date lately. But I got back in the mood today. Bring on the men. Preferably the smart, intelligent, kind, loving, and interesting men.

3. I am even more excited for the trip to BeNeLux. I was just bloghopping and realized that Gwen was in Paris last week, and Joy and Jason are in Italy this week. Somehow having friends abroad, is making me itchy to get abroad myself.

4. Tomorrow is my SR-86 day. I have devoted the entire day to finishing my security background paperwork. If you are reading this and by any chance were an old roommate of mine in the last ten years, and you remember our address, can you send it to me please? (It is entirely possible that I have lived in too many places, and worked for too many people!)

5. Saturday is knitting and writing day. Its also sit around in sweats and get creative and eat leftovers day. I'm going to make myself a nice warm scarf and matching hat to wear for the big BeNeLux trip. And I'm going to have a little fun working my new writing project. It isn't something many people can relate to, but I love it when I have a fun thing in my head I can't wait to write out. So Saturday will be writing day. And knitting day.

6. I hope lots of people blog or email me and tell me their Thanksgiving stories. I'm under self-assigned house arrest. I need them!!

Apparently Being the Nice One Runs in the Family (or adventures in turkey)

So the day started out as completely as expected. I went to Fredneck last night to hang out with the family and help with the food preparation. (I made a pecan pie- my first, and an apple. Wonderfully good!) As completely expected we got an hour late start on the road to Buena Vista. And also completely expected, we weren't the last ones to arrive. Now, from my point of view, when we got to the church in BV, I was surprised to see that all of the tables already had table clothes and centerpieces on them. That was odd because each family was supposed to bring their own table stuff. But whatever, right? So we go in, everyone got there, and we started eating. About ten minutes later, I noticed a woman I have never seen before standing in the doorway, possibly speaking loud enough for the entire room to hear. One of my aunts got up to go talk to her. A few minutes later my dad went into the hall with my aunt and the lady. And then he announced that someone somehow had double booked the church. There was another family in the hallway who had also booked the church for the dinner. And well, they weren't waiting nicely. They were willing to give us a few minutes to get cleaned up and out of there.
Um... 70 people eating Thanksgiving Dinner, 3 large buffet tables holding the food, 1 huge table for desserts, and they will give us a few minutes to get out of there?
Yes, because apparently being the nice one that gets walked all over runs in the family.
On the bright side a few good things came from this. It turns out the Other Family (as they shall now be known) had set up the tables and decorated them the night before. When my extended family arrived they thought this was strange, worried about it, and called the building scheduler, who was as perplexed as they, and insisted the building was ours. So the theory was that maybe the boy scouts had used the building the night before and decided to leave the tables up because they looked pretty? Who knows.
So the bright side, we didn't have to do any of the set up or clean up. That is actually a great way to do Thanksgiving!
We grabbed up all of the food and headed over to my aunt's house. Most people had had their firsts at dinner, but pretty much nobody got seconds, or go to back for "extras." But we all had plenty of desserts. Sadly, my apple pie somehow got left behind at the church. I almost wish that I didn't know it was wonderful. I almost wish my apple pie had been nasty and crusty and that the Other Family had eaten it like the bunch of church hoggers that they are.
Other than that, Thanksgiving was all the wonderful things it is supposed to be. And I guess in my case, I got what I wanted- dinner in a real house, and not the church!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Brought to You by the Letters EA and J

Our column, "A Single Thought," is running a day early this week thanks to the holiday. I personally think its pretty funny stuff. So if you are in need of a little holiday reading material, I suggest- .

As Seen in B&N

40ish man with shoulder length bleached blonde, permed wavy hair, and curled bangs (clearly curled with a blow dryer), in classic mullet style, wearing a yellow polo shirt with turned up collar, under a white sweatshirt, and acid jeans, with docksider shoes- no socks. Asked me for the tapes and music section. I really hope he was in costume or something.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Hot Lunches

The other night I was talking to my mother and we stumbled upon a conversation about foods that some mothers won't make for their children. One friend of mine (I don't know if she'd like her name shared in this story) won't make spaghetti, and never has in her marriage. In her family, they only ate spaghetti when their dad was out of work. So it has negative connotations to her, so she doesn't make it. My grandmother (Mom's mom) was raised to believe that making sandwiches and cereal wree a sign of a bad mother. A good mother makes her children home-cooked meals. My mother's sister doesn't make her children sandwiches either. My mom, however, has no problem with it. On Sunday night I said I was hungry and she told me there was food for a sandwich in the kitchen. I kindly reminded her that I don't consider sandwiches to be real food. I grew up on hot lunches. Not because Mom didn't believe in not making them for us, but because she never made lunch for us. I had a hot lunch every single day in school. And as a result, I have never been able to eat a sandwich, apple, and chips, and consider myself decently fed. I only like hot foods. Cold sandwiches just don't cut it for me. So my mother rummaged through the cabinet and pulled out a can of Chicken a la King. Now in most households this food item has been out of fashion for a good twenty years. But not in ours. But I couldn't eat it if Mom was the one making it for me. (Not that she was going to, she would have given it to me to make for myself.) Chicken a la King is a Dad food. When we were kids any time Mom wasn't around to make dinner for us (on those very rare occasions), we had the Dad Special, of Chicken a la King over toast. He even somehow convinced us that it was best eaten over heel of the bread (always wheat). But now at the ripe old age of whatever I am, I can't eat Chicken a la King, unless my dad has made it for me, and my mother is not in the same house.
So I'm just curious, does anyone else have food theories?

Monday, November 21, 2005

The Big Day Is Coming

I have never been a big fan of Thanksgiving. I see and respect the importance of the holiday. But ever since my family passed 30 grandchildren, large family gatherings just haven't been the same. A few years ago I started finding other things to do on the Big Day of Turkey. For instance, one year I went to London. Another year, Prague. Sometimes I just made sure I was "stuck" working at the fire department. But on the bright side, going out of the country for Thanksgiving always makes me grateful to be an American.
Gigantic family holidays (you can't call them "big family gatherings" when there's over 50 people there) lost their appeal for me when we outgrew houses. My family is now so big, and there are so many of us living in Virginia (and apparently none of us ever go visit our other side of the family relatives on holidays), that we can't all fit into one house without causing damage to the foundation. So for the last several holidays we have met at the church.
Now the church does come equipped with plenty of tables, chairs, and a large commercial kitchen. But what it doesn't have is a cozy place to sit, a TV to watch, a football game, a backyard, a fireplace, Christmas tree, family photos, or an escape room. Well, I suppose there is an escape room. But really? Where is the fun in sneaking away from the family to go sit on the floor of a Sunday School classroom? My fun holiday memories include playing in my cousins' bedroom, singing to our newest tape, making up really dumb dance routines, or gossiping on the bed. They by no means included using industrial vaccuum cleaners and orange carpeting. What kind of memories will my youngest cousins have of holidays? Green hymnals and being told not to run in the church?
I tried hard not to be in Virginia for this particular Thanksgiving. But the money fairy didn't make it to me in time, so I'm not only stuck in country, I'm stuck at home. I'll be driving four hours away to eat my turkey in a church. Actually, who are we kidding? I'm be driving four hours (being the person who has the farthest to drive, except maybe Colette. She may have 4 miles farther than me to drive.) to beat the people who had less than an hour to drive, and have to sit around and wait for everyone to finally show up. And of course, since it is Thanksgiving, I can't exactly stop and get something to snack or eat on my way. (I will of course bring my own Diet Dr P to keep me awake and alive.) So after driving four hours and getting there starving, I will sit and wait another two hours till everyone actually arrives and reheats their food and sets the buffet table. (Forget all sitting at one table and passing the food around. We sit at a dozen smaller tables, and go through a buffet line.) Now because I am the second oldest cousin, that means that pretty much everyone else my age is married or moved off. So basically, there are few people to actually talk to. I will have a few very short conversations (I hate to use the word patronizing or condescending, but well...) with each aunt and/or uncle. I'll attempt to have a conversation with a few of the younger cousins who are half my age. And I'll coo and play with the youngest cousins. And that is about it. I won't have anything close to a meaningful conversation. I'll overeat for a solid twenty minutes. And then drive the four hours back to NoVa, only stopping at 7-Eleven for more Diet Dr P (cause heaven knows there will be no caffeine within a mile of a McBride Family function).
On the bright side, the food will be good. McBrides never disappoint when it comes to food.
But is food ever worth an 8 hour drive?

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Lessons Learned Today

1. There are adult women who will bring a bag of Cheetos as her contribution to a large Thanksgiving dinner.
2. French Onion soup works great for flavoring a turkey.
3. Reese Witherspoon can sing.
4. People will rise to the occasion and amaze you with their heartfelt charitable donations.
5. It is possible to collect over 40 large garbages full of clothing donations in less than 1 week.
6. I can operate on an average of four hours of sleep per night, and still work 17 hours a day.
7. I only wish I spent more time getting dressed for work than I do commuting.
8. When you least expect it, your heart will remember something it forgot.
9. Tara is a groupie.
10. Most adults are incapable of RSVPing to an event.


Movies Recently Seen:
Jarhead (WOW)
Harry Potter (as perfect as expected!)
Walk the Line (i want to grow up and be june carter cash)

Movies Left to See:
Pride and Prejudice
King Kong

Thank goodness for 4 day weekends!

Friday, November 18, 2005

Blogging on the run

Yesterday started fairly normal. Got up, went to work. But then things got strange. I parked my car, took the keys, got out. And then noticed that my car was still running. Hmm... Double check that yes, I have the keys in my hand, and the car is still running. Okay, that just can't be good. Ran inside, gave co-worker quick notification, and went to the mechanic. 6 hours and $280 dollars later my car is turning off and on like a normal car again.
Worked all day. Got a turkey. (Some companies give Christmas bonuses, we get gigantic turkeys.) And while I would like to vent about certain things going on here (i.e.- cranky people, egos, gossip, and the icicles hanging from my nose) I have been asked not to now. So I won't. But trust me, there would have been some good stuff there.
Ran to other job. Somehow when I agreed to work 10 hours a week on a set Monday and Thursday schedule, in the receiving department only, I actually thought that was what I would do. But when I punched out last night, I was over 20 hours, and finishing a shift in the music department. And next week I am working on Tuesday and Friday.
I am running on fumes and caffeine, but enjoying it. The weekend promises to be completely insane as well. Service project, singles Thanksgiving dinner, learn to cook a turkey before both of those activities, another singles dinner, church, sleep, eat, etc. And it hit me late last night that the column is due in by Tuesday morning. So somewhere in there I have to come up with a stroke of creative genius and write something to amuse 100,000 people. (But what I really want to do is keep working on my novel.)

Apparently some people are confused as to the decline in membership on the List. Let me explain. First and foremost, I retain the right to get bored and move on at will. Second, the Real Guy #1 went on a little trip around the world. (How I wish that was a joke. But seriously, he's on this round the world hiking trip.) He made no promises to write or call when he left. Haven't heard from him, and don't expect to. I can't remember which one was Guy #2 right now. I must have gotten bored with him. One of the other guys also just fell off radar. The guy that keeps doing all of the wrong things (such as sending me dumb emails with smiley faces in them) tries still on occasion, but has yet to attempt real conversation. That's getting real old. And the guy that was kicked from the list for saying that I am a slow learner actually complimented me for being so versatile and picking up on new tasks so quickly. He's not getting back on the list, but at least now I can mess with his head just for revenge. There's another guy that comes and goes occasionally on the list, but he has self destructive behavior problems. He'll do something great and earn a high berth, and then almost intentionally do something to make sure he gets kicked off of it again. I've been trying to help him out and give him the benefit of the doubt and just keep him on there. But that almost seems to make it worse. So I do the opposite and forbid him from getting there. And in typical, stupid, male fashion, he goes out of his way to get back on again. Which is why I refuse to actually rank him or give him a place on the List.

But let's remember the important things, shall we? Harry Potter opens today.
And if you are in need of further blog entertainment, I highly recommend reading Smash's page, "Another stupid woman on the listserve."

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

No List

Can you believe it? I have no list. None. At all. That almost never happens. I'm so bored with myself.

The other great tourist site is the gigantic atom

Counting down the days to Brussels...

I can't believe one of the main tourist sites is the "Manneken Pis." And I can't believe I actually want to go see this thing.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Dark Belgian Chocolate

Just bought my tickets to go to Brussels for Christmas. Traveling companions Jason and Tara. Destinations: Brussels, Belgium (home of Beautiful Beverli) and Bamberg, Germany (home of Tara's hot cousin Spencer). Can't wait!!

Schedule of Insanity

Sunday- flight at 7 am- land 9ish
Straight to part-time job to get schedule for the week. Discover on schedule for that night. (Um, could have sworn I told them I didn't do Sundays!)
Straight to parents' house. Make lunch for missionaries. Do 3 loads of laundry.
Rush to make 4:15 Singles Council meeting. Traffic was so bad it takes 45 minutes to go 6 miles.
Go straight from meeting to pt job. Work till 11.
(Meet lots of new co-workers, make new friend with Santha. Give her ride home, discover she's also LDS. What were the odds? Really?)
Monday- work at "real job" from 8:30-5. Work at part-time job from 6:30-12.
Tuesday- work at "real job" from 8:30-5. Work at part-time job from 6:30-12.
Wednesday- work at "real job from 8:30-whenever I finish? Call all singles in my ward and invite them to activity on Saturday. Do press release stuff for church. Unpack. Eat. Sleep. Catch up on 2 weeks worth of TV shows on TiVo, and "LOST" night! And gym time. Much much needed gym time.
Thursday- work at "real job" from 8:30-5. Work at part-time job from 6:30-12.
Friday- work at "real job" from 8:30-5. Harry Potter night!! (who's going with me for the midnight show?)
Saturday- Knitting class. Gym time. Singles Service Project 12-3. Stay at church and figure out how to make a turkey. Singles Thanksgiving Dinner 7:30-10 pm.
Sunday- I do believe there is a reason we call this the Day of Rest. Singles dinner.
Monday- work at "real job" from 8:30-5. Work at part-time job from 6:30-12.
Tuesday- work at "real job" from 8:30-5. Work at part-time job from 6:30-12.
Wednesday- Do I really have to say?
Thursday- Drive to Buena Vista for turkey.
Black Friday- work at part-time job for 10 hours.
Saturday- get foot massage. SLEEP.

As you can imagine, there isn't going to be a lot of time for blogging in the near future.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

6 Inches Later

I cut 6 inches off of my hair. That's all.

Its fun being back in Orlando again. There's been some serious reminiscing about what my life was like while living here. Yesterday I went up to my old neighborhood and drove around. I thought I would find some favorite old hanut and go there for lunch. As I drove around I realized I didn't have a favorite restaurant in the area. I was too poor back then to eat out very often. I had a "growing" experience in the time I lived here. It was not the easiest time of my life living here, starting out at rock bottom, and quite frankly, ending it at rock bottom, but a lot more secure. But one good thing that came out of it was while working in the chocolate shop I had the time and chance to write a book.
So now back in Orlando I am recreating all of the necessary elements to write a book again. Chocolate (from Farris and Fosters of course), too much Diet Coke, and enough quiet personal time to get the extraneous details out of my head, and a laptop. My imagination is ready to take over and let loose.
Also have to mention that spending time with partner-in-crime Juli is essential to the recreation of my imagination. She is still a horrible influence on my shopping addiction and a great dinner companion! Its funny, I always get this "any minute now we're going to pull a Thelma and Louise" feeling when we hang out. But we never seem to find a Brad Pitt in the storyline...

Thursday, November 10, 2005

More Things I Love About This Trip

1. Team Sweden
2. The shirt worn by the Neenah, WI PD SWAT Team. It read, "Behold the Power of Cheese," on the back over a very scary looking piece of SWAT cheese. Who knew there was SWAT cheese??
3. How many guys will actually go get me a diet soda in exchange for a free tee shirt. I'm not saying I really did do this. It was just fun to see how many of them would try.
4. I get to go visit my old chocolate shop tomorrow! Farris and Fosters for everyone!
5. Still loving the ragtop Jeep. I may just be a Jeep girl at heart. Heaven knows I am NOT a Pontiac Bonneville girl at heart (my current vehicle for all of you cyber-only friends).

I'm really enjoying all the commentary on the blog these days. A few responses to responses-
Big Brother- I am not wierd. Just quirky, and rather obsessed with making people like me. I can't help it.
Justin- Between pillows and chicken, I am officially grossed out.
Jules- Don't forget to play nice!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Absolute Torture

So as previously mentioned I am off on a business trip in Orlando, FL at the World SWAT Round Up. As business trips go this one is just fine. As single girls at an event with 500 SWAT guys go, this is absolute torture. Do you have any idea how fun and at the same time torturous it is to be surrounded by hundreds of SWAT guys all day??
I'm rather infatuated with Team Sweden, although Pinellas Park PD has a few good men on it too.
Torture I tell you. Absolute torture. Hundreds of them, just swarming around, all focused on their same da*n mission, paying no attention to the few women in their presence. Just so not fair.
I have decided to repeal my personal ban on dating cops, fire fighters, medics, and other related persons. Particularly ones from Sweden. And Pinellas Park. (And can someone PLEASE tell me what state that is in?)
Completely gratuitous pictures of SWAT guys in tight shirts and BDU's to be posted next week.

And thank you Red Arrow for entertaining the masses while I work. If by any chance you happen to know of a guy that fits your descriptions, and is possibly from Sweden, Pinellas Park, or you know, just SWAT/ERT/SRT/IRT/ETC, you know where to find me.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Why Women Give Bad Dating Advice

This is for the guys who read this…or, perhaps for the guys that make the lists so often talked about .

Have you ever noticed that the worst advice you get about winning women over usually comes from women themselves? Women are famous for not knowing what they want. They keep lists that change with their mood. A list on Monday at 3 will not be the same list on Monday at 4.

They say they want a nice guy, but follow jerks like lemmings. They say they want flowers, poems and gifts, but get turned off if the wrong guy sends them one. I want flowers! But not from Yoooouuuu!

Clearly they don't understand their needs, and their triggers. Clearly they are confused.
Guys have to learn to wade through the deluge of useless feminine advice to find the real nuggets of wisdom.

Advice to make more friends
The female friends in your life will often tell you to lay all your feelings out on the table. "Tell her how you feel," "Be a nice guy" and "Don't try to sleep with her right away."
Their advice will get you more girl-friends, but sadly, no bedmates. They mean well, yeah, but truth be told, they're setting you up to look like a real girly chump.

Because when you play Mr. Nice Guy and open all her doors and sleep on the couch, you're not making a lover -- you're making a friend. And a boring one at that! Your female buddies might think they're helping you out, but they're really just sending another hapless calf off to slaughter.

Even mom doesn't get it!
"Just be yourself!" sounds nice when mom says it, doesn't it? And we know she wants the best for us, but we need to a draw a distinction in this piece of advice. Don't just be yourself! Go after the woman you want and be open about your motives, with no apologies! Simply "being" is not enough; you need to be a man of action! Mom can't give good advice until she lets go of her image of you as a "nice little boy." No matter what freaky things you are into, unless mom actually sees the blow up sheep….you will always be the NICE son to her.

Ex-girlfriends suck!
Guys have to be wary of the ex's "tips," as these characters will either tell you what you want to hear to get you to move on, or they'll wreck your chances of replacing them. Do not be one of those guys who say, well it did not work but I have a great friend now…whatever!….Ex-girlfriends will tell you things like, "The harder you look, the less you find," and "Maybe you shouldn't date anyone for a while." This is hardly any consolation to a depressed, horny guy. And I defy you to find me an ex-girlfriend who wants you to start dating a girl much hotter than she is. Your exes can't give good advice because their ego is involved.

The female self-help gurus
A quick read through Internet sites and self-help books reveals an unsettling trend. Following the advice of self-dubbed gurus actually weakens your power in the dating game. Many of these self-help coaches dish out tips like "Be more sensitive to her needs" and "Be romantic." Their advice seems to focus on men changing themselves to suit women's need, all the while ignoring their own. Yeah, I don't think so.

They'll tell you communication is more important than wealth or looks. But if you open up and give away all your desires, dreams and fears, don't expect your woman to hang around for too long. If you're not mysterious, you're no longer a challenge and they will move on. Chicks will try and figure you out, and might even place you on some kind of “ Guys I want to date, MAYBE List” Do not show all your cards.

One popular female dating coach tells men to fill in any awkward silences by delivering a compliment. Now come on, any male that is not filled with estrogen knows to give compliments sparingly, if at all. You can't inflate their heads with insincere compliments, just because you ran out of things to say.

Some pundit ‘s also advise men be to be decisive because indecisive men won't be able to handle a wife and family . Is it possible to raise the stakes any higher? Jeez, talk about pressure.

Experts say to always have plans on a date, forgetting that predictable men turn women off faster than The Clapper . The secret is to prepare for a date (such as making a reservation at a restaurant), but make it appear spontaneous and fun.

Truth is, the "experts" can't get down and dirty because their loyalties are not to you, but to the women you are trying to chase. By sabotaging guys, they make life easier for the ladies.

Women's utter confusion
Sometimes you even muster up the courage to ask a girl what she wants, what attracts her and what turns her on. However, this straight-up approach usually gets you a less-than-straight answer. When you ask this, you will only get a list of qualities, like nice, romantic, generous, polite, listens more than he talks, financially secure, remembers birthdays, and appreciates the finer things -- qualities that have been glaringly absent in her last five boyfriends.

When women discuss what they want in a man, remember that they might not be fully aware of what really turns them on. They might not know yet.

Toss out bad female advice
Precious few females encourage men to snag women with a combination of cockiness and a biting sense of humor. Some of the better advice includes to develop and exude authentic confidence. The best dating advice you can get is to be honest, assertive and respectful, but not to roll over and act like a wimp. Always hold a little something back.

If you heed bad female dating wisdom, you'll be a very confused and uncertain man. Don't be that guy. Women want challenging, confident, mystery-engulfed men. Unfortunately, they are often unwilling or unable to tell you. Or maybe they're unwilling to face it.

Red Arrow

Coming next..How to Date Bad Girls.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Best Conversation I've Had All Day

A real conversation held today with a male friend who shall remain nameless until everyone has guessed who he is so I can mock him even more. (we were discussing a possible international vacation)

Friend: sounds good. but i hear my pillow calling.. and she sounds sad

Mee: um, i really really love these pictures of bamberg. i want to go there!

Friend: sounds good, i'm down for whatever

Me: go keep your pillow company. (and i'll try not to mock that your pillow has a gender.)

Friend: if my pillow was a guy.. that would be bad

I didn't know pillows had genders. I'm so amused!

Top Ten Things I Love About This Trip So Far

I've been in Florida less than 48 hours and I already have a list of things to love about being here.

1. My rental car is a ragtop Jeep.
2. Tomorrow morning (and all subsequent mornings hereafter) I'll be able to say, "I stayed in a Holiday Inn Express last night." (Business travelers will understand the joy of staying in a Holiday Inn Express. Free internet, free breakfast, big rooms, nice bathrooms, etc.)
3. Hanging with Jules and co.
4. Andi (Jules' progeny) asking to go shoe shopping at Target.
5. Hearing Cali read from a book.
6. Andi attempting to show up her big sister by "reading" from a book. It was more of a song and dance she performed for several minutes.
7. Visiting my old Orlando church and seeing the old friends.
8. Steak n Shake
9. The weather.
10. Thinking only vendors would be at the show today (and no attendees) during setup and wearing my new "I heart what's his name" t-shirt, and getting more than my fair share of attention from the 300 SWAT guys there to register. There's something a little unnerving about hearing a VERY hot man say to his buddy in Hungarian "blah blah blah "i love whats his name blah blah blah" (the blahs being in hungarian), pointing at me, and all the nearby men laughing out loud. I'm SURE they were saying "check out the hot single blonde chick. she must be single, her shirt says "i love what's his name."

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Punkins at 900 mph

Do you know what a pumpkin looks like flying by at 900 miles per hour? Me neither. Joy, Jason, (the J2), and I drove out to the middle of nowhere Delaware today to see the great 2005 Punkin Chunkin. Somehow I was envisioning pumpkin carnage, explosions, kabooms, and flying orange bombs. But it turns out the punkins chunk at 900 mph out of all sorts of interesting cannons and "sling shots." You can't really see a pumpkin as it flies by that fast. So we gave up before too long and decided to see what there is too see in the tax-free state. The ocean, J.Crew, LL Bean, the Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Aeropostale, and a few other economy supporting activities filled the remaining 12 hours of our day. All I have can say is 1 pair of pants and 4 shirts for less than $30 thanks to clearance sales and no sales tax.
Next stop- Chez Caldwell! Jules and EA reunited. :-)
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Friday, November 04, 2005

At Least I'm Honest With Myself

It has been a rough week again. Most of it was my own fault, which I freely admit. I worked 45 hours at Beretta, 13 at the other place (which forbids me from using their name on a personal website), visited my mother, and paid a little visit to the volunteer fire department. Which basically means I worked 830-530 at one place, 7-mid at the other place, commuted the hour each way, and got precious little sleep. But that isn't necessarily why I had a rough week.

It was rough because I had to have my eyes opened on a few different fronts. I wanted really really bad to keep my eyes closed. Sometimes denial is your only friend! It turns out I am far more naive than I thought. And I hate to say this part (but since you are all hear for the entertainment and drama, i'll give you your little fix), it was because of a misunderstanding over Guy #1. Some people thought they had it figured out who he is. Which was a surprise to me, and as a result I had to think about why they thought that. Reading what I have said about him, I can see where they got that idea.

Mostly it was a rough week because I had to learn what other people think about me. It is interesting to find out what other people are thinking about you, whether good or bad, or completely bizarre. I learned quite a few things about myself this week from the eyes of other people.

#1- My mother, as usual, continues to think that no matter what hte situation is, I am always the bad guy. And we wonder why I have a guilt complex?
#2- Morgain le Fey and Big Brother (commenters, friends, and co-workers)- think I am blind to my own heart and am much more naive than even I think I am.
#3- Guy #5 thinks I am a slow learner. He's off the list. Forever.
#4- My travel agent thinks I am a little crazy at times. I really can't blame him.
#5 - this one isn't going to be funny. I just can't believe I am going to even say it. But as usual, its my blog, my therapy, my venting. Right?
I've been having a rough time with a co-worker (also known as the Guy Mistaken as Guy #1) on several fronts. What used to be a good working relationship, has suddenly gone very south, and I don't really know why. Things finally got bad enough that I had to go in and confront him on why he's been so awful to me lately. (keep in mind we used to get along great, and we work very closely together. so when he dumps on me it really affects my day.) I thought I'd appeal to his male ego first and "open the lines of communication." (All those classes in interpersonal communication in college almost paid off.) I first told him that I think we're having a problem, and I know some of it is because I do things that bother him. And then I outlined a few things, such as, I'm chaotic, a whirlwind, and sometimes intense. He agreed to those things, (while he is the most intense person i have ever met, chaotic and whirlwind he is not. anal, organized, uptight, and nearly incapable of relaxing, he is.) he then proceeded to state some of the other things I do which bother him. That was good- that was the whole point in talking to him. But then he kept going! And going! And going! WOw! Well no wonder we haven't been getting along lately! Apparently there isn't one thing I have ever done right in his opinion, and naything I even get close to is probably going to get ruined just by my presence. And then he started giving me credit for some problems that I have nothing to do with. I tried very hard to deflect those without getting too adamant on the point. But then again, if you are drowning, what is another gallon or two tossed on your head, right? Anyway, much to my surprise, a person I used to consider a friend in the office really went the other way on me. I tried to get things resolved, offer some compromises, work out some solutions, etc., which I think will help. But that doesn't mean he didn't completely crush me in the process.

I told one of my co-workers about this experience (she knowing more than any other person about the situation). She asked me why I care so much- I've not gotten along with plenty of other people in the past. I had to think aobut it a little bit, and had to come to accept the answer before I could really answer her. Its because I have to be liked. Plain and simple. I don't like not being liked. I have to win everyone over. I can't live thinking that someone isn't "won over." And I used to have this person won over- I really did! I can prove it! But somehow I have done something to lose that, and its killing me.

Why am I so stubborn on this issue though? Why do I have to win him over? Why can't I just be happy anyway? Part of me is very annoyed because this is the first time I can ever recall not having won someone over. I've been trying to tell myself for the last couple of days that I can handle not having won someone over. its okay, not everyone has to call me princess, right? Not everyone has to think I am perfect and adorable, right? I don't know. I don't know if I can handle the pressure!

So all in all my rough week is all because I found out someone doesn't like me. Or, better put, someone doesn't think much of my abilities. And since I am of the personality type that can't separate "me" from my abilities, that is killing me. I really wish I could say that this could all just roll off my back and that it doesn't bother me. But instead, I'm pretty hurt and just wishing I hadn't even said anything. Going back to him just being rude to me and me not knowing why would be far better. Now I just feel paranoid that no matter what I do its not good enough around him.

Good thing I'm going to Florida for 7 days. All blogging will be from a hotel room in Orlando for the next week. A few days with Jules and the girls, a little FL sun, a peak at the beach, and 3 days on the range with 750 SWAT guys should cure the problem, right? (and oh yeah, 7 days away from the person who hurt my feelings!) Ooh, and a day with Joy and Jason (whom I haven't spent any time with in AGES) at the Punkin Chunkin Festival. And if punkin chunkin doesn't spell happiness, I don't know what does!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

List Update- If you can achieve puberty, you can achieve a past.

I have revised the "List," mostly out of necessity. Guy #1 remains in the same position he's always been in. I should mention here that he's only #1 because he's been on the list for so long now, not because he's so great that he's #1 with me. If anything he deserves last place for managing to take so freaking long. The previous guy #2 is surprisingly playing the dark horse card now. My guess is someone is feeding him insider's information, but he's doing better than originally expected. He's not sending me smiley faces anymore, which is a huge improvement. Guy #3 is off the list for inactivity purposes. But rather than confuse anyone by replacing him, or maybe because I'm hoping he comes back into play, his player number is not getting reassigned. The application for #4 has finally been accepted. I was in denial over allowing him on to the list for a while there, but since the worst thing I have to say about him is "he has a past" I've decided to let him on. (In the immortal words of Dolly Parton, "If you can achieve puberty, you can achieve a past.") And I'm doing the unprecedented thing here, and also allowing a Guy #5 onto the list. Its been years since I allowed that many guys onto the list. But since all 5 guys are the slowest movers ever, its really not that significant. (except for #5- he was surprisingly fast, which may work against him in the end. we'll see.) So 5 guys on the list who all 5 have the annoying habit of talking to me only once a week. And for those of you keeping track of the statistics, that would be 2 mormon boys, 3 non-mormon boys. And with that many guys on the List, I just may have an enjoyable holiday season.

Oh, and to those of you suggesting that I ask out any one of these guys. No. I just don't do that. Why would I waste my time asking out a guy when there are 4 other guys to entertain me?

And for all of youasking how my anger management worked out over the weekend. I'm feeling better now. There's more than a few contributors on here who can tell you that I have vented and vented well recently. I'm getting things out. And I decided its time to take things back into my own hands. I picked up a second job at the mall (to pay for that little Christmas trip to Europe), and decided to start volunteering at the fire department again. The one thing I always learned at the fire department was that there is always someone who has it worse off than I do. If you ever need a few minutes of humbling, spend a few hours on the fire truck. There is always someone out there having a bad enough day to make you grateful for what you have. Serving others and getting an adrenaline rush on the side is always a good thing.

I Don't Smell a Thing

The Washington Post ran the most interesting article on Tuesday, "I Don't Smell a Thing." To me this was a life-changing article, but to the rest of you it may just seem odd. The narrator of this article explains his life without a sense of smell, and how he has discovered a clinic that is working with him to see if he can ever get a sense of smell [and taste]. I have NEVER met another person in my entire life who has this same problem as me! I was literally jumping up and down in my chair as I read the article. Someone else out there has actually said, "At least I can't smell farts." This may seem strange to you, but to me, I have found a kindred spirit.
I don't remember much about smells before I was 13. But I do clearly remember babysitting my baby brother around that age, when my mother came home one day and said "why doesn't someone change that stinky baby?" I remember being a little surprised because I couldn't smell anything. So I put my brother down and changed his diaper. Upon the removal of the diaper I found toxic contents that should have knocked me out. My brother covered his nose and starting fanning himself for fresh air. (My brother had this funny habit of covering his own nose when he had a really bad diaper. Used to crack me up to watch the little bald headed baby cover his nose and go "ewww...") I kept it a secret for years from my family that I couldn't smell the dirty diapers. I knew if anyone caught on that I couldn't smell how stinky the babies were (there was a baby in diapers in our house from my 7th grade year till I graduated from high school) they would make me always change them. Or worse yet, take out the diaper pail out. But by the time I left for college there was no denying I couldn't smell anything.
And like the author of the article, I live with this odd fear that I will die from a gas leak or in a fire. Actually, unlike anything the author describes, I can "feel" some smells, such as smoke. I have a reaction to smoke like most people- coughing, burning eyes, etc. But I can't actually SMELL it. (For those of you who know I am a fire fighter, I used all of the other clues to find smoke and fire. I could "feel" the smoke, such as the warmer air, or just see the dirty air. But I was pretty useless on the "smoke in the area" calls.) So this article has given me a lot of new hope I never knew I could have before. There is a clinic in DC that can help me regain a sense of smell. But like the article mentions, there is a strange fear that comes with it. What if I don't like the smells? I don't necessarily know what I am missing right now. I know that right now that when I do occasionally smell something it makes me sick. It can absolutely nauseate me when there's a strong smell around. So it kind of scares me to start smelling things. Granted, I don't know if the clinic can cure me. But just to know that there are other people out there who have my same problems! WOW! YEAH!
To those of you with all 5 of your senses, well, I guess you'll never know what it feels like to think I just may get to have one of them back again. (And that my taste senses can be improved too!)


You can find the article here-

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