Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Update From Nashville

Tonight ends Day 3 in Nashville. Tomorrow we head to Gatlinburg which means a four-hour drive and I haven't yet decided how I feel about that. On the one hand, it's four hours as opposed to 18 hours. Then again, it's four hours in the car. At least it's one time zone and one calendar date. 

So. Nashville. There are a lot of things I like here. A ton, really. There are some weird things here. There are some awesome things here. Below are the highlights and lowlights. 

1. Cracker Barrel is as close to eating at my grandparents' as I will ever get. 

2. Sweet tea just fucking rocks. 

3. Restaurants downtown are a waste of time and money. 

4. Walking where slaves have walked is a completely unreal experience. 

5. There is such a thing as southern  hospitality. 

6. Belmont may just be the perfect fit for D and if she doesn't go there I will. 

7. Cowboy boots are overpriced here. Also, I think only tourists actually wear them. 

8. Seeing famous people and ghosts is an everyday occurrence for the people that live here. 

9. Southern boys know how to lay on the charm. Fucking thickly. In ways that leave me in a puddle. 

10. Apparently there are things called warbles that crawl through the feet of your pets, traveling to their nervous system until they hatch out the back of their necks as full-grown moths. I neither want to see this nor have it confirmed as true. 

11. Southern dogs are just as hospitable as the people. 

12. Finally there is a place in the country that knows how to make chicken and dumplings. Oregon, take note. 

13. I do miss Oregon coffee. 

14. It is impossible to get away from hipsters. Even here. 

Monday, July 29, 2013

Trippin'. Road Trippin'.

The wife and D and I left what feels like months ago on a road trip to Nashville. We finally made it here at 4:30 this morning and were passed out in bed shortly after 5:00. The shower I took was the best in a while. We're starting our day late but it was worth it to get six hours of sleep after about 6 hours of sleep in the last two days total. Below are some observations and lessons learned along the way. Yes, it's a list. You know how I like my lists.

1. There are a lot of cows in this country. And a shit ton of corn. 

2. If someone tells you that it will take two days to get from Oregon to Nashville, they are fucked in the head and you should ignore their uninformed suggestion. Or punch them in face. Or the nuts. Your choice. 

3. It is possible to get pulled over for Failure to Use a Turn Signal at 2:00 in the morning in the middle of Fucking Nowhere. Hopefully you will also get off with just a warning. 

4. There are bison at one single rest area in Wyoming. Blink and you will miss it. 

5. Nebraska is not an ugly state, but it takes 10 weeks to get through the fucker. 

6. The arch in St. Louis is gigantic and beautiful.

7. Bras are completely unnecessary on road trips. 

8. Girlfriends are the best to travel with. 

9. Idaho has a disturbing lack of highway signage. And apparently they need a wall around the city of Boise. 

10. The radio stations east of Utah are really into their oldies. And country. And religious talk.

11. If you stumble through the hotel after waking up and you need to go get your luggage so you can take a shower and you have dragon breath from not brushing your teeth for a day and a half and you look like ass, there will be a cute boy in the elevator. 

Best sites along the way:

1. The random dinosaur statue at the end of a row of corn. 

2. Sun setting in Wyoming. 

3. The giant bull statue somewhere. 

4. Gateway Arch in St. Louis. 

5. Any gas station when driving on fumes. 

6. Abandoned houses and barns. 

7. Puppies at rest stops.

8. Any bed anywhere after 2:00 in the morning. 

9. Texts with pictures of my dogs from petsitters. 

10. State signs. 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Dirty Old Men Are Dirty. And I Like It.

The wife and I were out doing Tour of Homes. Which, for us, means critiquing houses that we can't afford. "That orange floor is obscene." "Why would you want a closet with a window in the front of the house?" "These doors don't even close!"

Whilst out assessing homes in a professional manner, we kept running into the same cute, portly old man. Tottering along ahead of his wife. After a while he asked if we were following him. Why yes, of course. When you find your dream man you follow him.

After finding him at yet another house he commented again on how we were following him. This was the conversation.

Wife: We are! We thought we'd lost you, we said, 'Where did he go?' But here you are!
Him: That's what she said last night.
Us: ........ Um. ......

We told his wife that he is sassy and she said, "You have no idea."

No, I think we do have an idea. We would adopt him if we could find him again.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

WTF Are You Eating Now???

Dogs are gross. As adorable as my Ruby Tuesday is, she might just be equally as gross. As in totally, completely, unbelievably disgusting.

She eats poop. We've talked about this. She eats the poop that she subsequently throws up. This also isn't news. You know what's new? This gross thing she did this morning.

Here comes Rembrandt into the bathroom while I'm getting ready for work. Now, I'm already not super happy with him because he has developed this carpet-licking fetish. Any time I find him alone in a room, he's licking the carpet. And when I yell at him he just looks at me blankly. "What, it's just carpet. Chill out already."

So he ambled into the bathroom and then started coughing and hacking. Probably coughing up carpet lint. I bet he'll start hacking up carpet balls if he keeps it up. And at first Ruby looks at him like she wants to know if he's alright. No. No, that's not what she cared about. She wanted to know if he was hacking up anything she could eat. She stuck her head in his mouth so she could catch it on its way up. "Oooh, whatcha got there? Dusty, phlegm-covered gook? Sounds tasty!"

Seriously. Dog. Wtf? You really want to eat what other dogs barf up now? Your own isn't fulfilling enough for you anymore? Does his spit make it taste better? Really, I want to know.

Guess what I did before leaving for work this morning? Yep. I kissed that little fuzzy mouth. I guess I'm not that deeply traumatized.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

How to Thrive

I recently ended a year-and-a-half relationship. It's okay; it was necessary and a positive step. Even so, it's cause to reflect on my past relationships and what I've learned about why each happened and/or ended. There is one glaring variable in each and that is how much I have changed.

When I was first divorced, with a three-year-old daughter, I was afraid to be around other people. Specifically married people who had supposedly "gotten it right." I felt as if I just stood out, like there was a neon sign designating me as the failure in the room. I wanted so badly to have that again, to fit in with the "normal" parents. Now I find myself looking at these people and wondering if they're really happy, assuming most of the time they aren't. Marriage is hard.

I then went through a very difficult relationship that never gave me what I wanted. In trying to get what I wanted I bent, I twisted, I did everything I could think of to contort myself into what would make it work. Because I was Relationship Girl and I was damned if I wasn't going to make it work. I never got what I wanted and, instead, I lost myself in the process.

In the years after that relationship ended, I worked at finding myself again. Discovering what I liked. What I wanted from my life and who I wanted to be. I chose my friends carefully, surrounding myself with people who offered me the missing pieces of me. My security. My passions. My confidence. My humor. Self-sufficiency. Self-acceptance.

While discussing this most recent relationship with my hairdresser, I suddenly realized that I don't thrive in relationships. I thrive when I'm on my own. I've gained more out of my life in the times I've been "alone" than in any relationship I've ever been in. I thrive.

I shared this thought with a friend who expounded on it, saying that as women we focus on our partners, building them up until we, ourselves, are crushed. We fall behind in the shadows and expend all of our energy making sure the man in our life has what he needs to be secure. We lose track of what we need.

In each relationship of mine there has been an imbalance. Whether that imbalance was rooted in intelligence, a lack of mutual feelings, family backgrounds, or life stages, I feel like that is the core of why they didn't last. What I need is equality. Maybe equality will allow me the ability to thrive.

And, maybe, there is the possibility that I'm just not meant to be in a relationship. At this point in my life I value my independence over the many compromises that are required to be a successful partner. I've worked hard to be me and I'm not willing to just trade that away for the "security" offered in a relationship.

Maybe. I don't have the answers yet. I'm getting closer. What I know right now is that I have love in my life. I have a beautiful daughter who still needs me, even if for just a little while longer. I have love from friends who offer support, encouragement, and plenty of laughter. I have dogs who love me no matter what I'm going through and are happiest snuggling next to me. I have passions and interests and new adventures yet to be discovered.

These are the things that help me to thrive. I prefer thriving over wilting.


Friday, July 12, 2013

Bacon Is In Danger

I came across this little gem of a story today. You know what's super sexy in a man? When he looks like Ryan Gosling and he cares about animals. Oh, wait! The real Ryan Gosling cares about animals. Seriously? He is so hot right now I think he might spontaneously combust. Hot, hot, hot.

He loves his dog. He takes his dog everywhere. And he also likes pigs. He's a Wilbur-lover!! Uh-oh. Hold the fucking phone!! Pigs = bacon. By trying to protect pigs, he is bacon-blocking the rest of us!! If one tiny little spider can save one pig, just think of the thousands of slabs of bacon His Royal Sexiness can save!!

Well now, this is certainly a dilemma. Continuing to eat bacon might reduce any chance I ever have with Mr. Gosling. But bacon is delicious. But Ryan is hot. But bacon. But sexiness. Bacon. Beautiful man. Crap!

Okay, here's my solution. If Ryan Gosling sleeps with me I will give up bacon. People exchange sex for much less all the time, so I think it's a pretty fair trade. Sex for bacon. I mean, sex for the absence of bacon. (I think I can, I think I can!)

I will simply have my people get in touch with Ryan's people and he and I will save a few pieces of bacon. I mean pigs. We'll save pigs. Lots of Wilburs!

Take that, Charlotte.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Why Do I Bother?

Spend an hour straightening my hair. Get this response:
"Did you straighten your hair?"

Spend 30 minutes curling my hair. Get this response:
"Your hair looks good. It's not frizzy."

Pull wet-just-out-of-the-shower hair back into a big clip because I'm either too lazy, running late, or too hot to spend 20 minutes under a hair dryer. Get this response:


Sunday, July 07, 2013

Uncle Lynn and Looming Mortality

This weekend I found out that my Uncle Lynn passed away. He had a stroke a couple of weeks ago and apparently the second one this weekend took him from us. Too soon, as they say.

My mom has/had three brothers and two sisters. She is the oldest of the six. My Aunt Renea will always be my favorite aunt, but I noticed my cousins commenting that Uncle Lynn was their favorite uncle. Each uncle has been my favorite at some point. What I remember most about Uncle Lynn was his zest for life and his big laugh. Of course he ate too much and drank too much and smoked too much, but that was him. He had big appetites.

Because I grew up in California and the rest of the family was in Mississippi, I haven't ever been especially close to any of them or known any one any better than the others. I just know that I love them all. And any time I was there to visit, Uncle Lynn gave me the biggest bear hugs of anyone. It is instantly home to me, even though I didn't grow up there. He will be missed. Going back now won't be the same. There will always be a large hole that only Uncle Lynn could fill.

His death, while sorrowful in its own right, has a deeper meaning to me. My grandparents are gone. All of them. They have been for a few years now. When that happened, I felt the shift. I think as long as grandparents are around, a part of us can still be kids. And now another shift has occurred, rearranging my world further. The first of my parents' generation is gone. Those details I take for granted are starting to slip by. My own mortality is suddenly looming closer. The time I have with everyone is swiftly diminishing. I feel the losses to come.

Uncle Lynn is gone too soon. In his honor, please find the nearest person that you love and give them the bestest, biggest bear hug from the bottom of your heart.

Monday, July 01, 2013

I Didn't Even Break a Nail

The Wifey finally got her patio furniture this weekend. I say finally because one recent weekend we spent  two hours in Lowe's trying to decide on a set. The sales guys looked like they wanted to kick us out of the store after question #33. Do they deliver? Do they assemble? How much is this? How much is that? They kept encouraging her to go online for her purchase, probably just to get us out of what hair they had remaining.

This little event also happened after she purchased a set for an astronomical price that sent her into massive hysterics. It was so outrageous I couldn't even support it or justify it in any way so the order was canceled.

So, finally. The chosen set (at a reasonable price) was delivered Saturday. Being the magnanimous friend that I am, I offered to help her put it together. She told me it would be hard, I told her it would take 20 minutes. Both of us were right and both of us were wrong.

Three hours and two gallons of sweat later, we were relaxing comfortably in the assembled chairs, our feet propped on the assembled ottomans, my cocktail on the assembled fire pit/table. D even helped, assembling an ottoman all by her lonesome.

Of course we took the opportunity to teach her an important life lesson: to know the difference between needing a man and wanting a man. Would we have preferred to have a dude around to do the dirty work for us? Hell, yeah. I would rather have been inside enjoying the refreshing air conditioning instead of lying on the ground getting feasted on by ants and cutting myself either with scissors or screws. The point was that we got it done. We didn't need a handy dude. We are handy enough.

The BBQ that she got? It took three dudes just to load it into her car. Two of us girls to unload it and reassemble it after they messed it up.

After all that work, we decided we did need a delivery guy. Sometimes it's just necessary to have someone bring you food.
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