Friday, June 30, 2006

On Dating A Comedian

I have tendencies to be very silly, especially in the privacy of my own home. Sometimes, I act as though I'm about three years old.

These tendencies aren't new, but I have to say -- now that I'm dating a comic, I no longer get the last laugh.

For example.

This morning, in my living room, I was sitting on my sofa (vacation day!) and Ish was sitting at my desk.

Rather spontaneously, I lifted up my shirt, grabbed my right breast and yelled, "BOOB!"

But instead of being shocked or even laughing, Ish just sort of grinned at me and, not missing a beat, said, "Calling that a boob would be like calling the Titanic a boat."

"I can just see a miniature Leonardo DiCaprio standing on your nipple," he continued, and outstretched his arms and tilted his head back, "I'M KING OF THE WORLD!"

Then he got a serious look on his face and said, oh-so-earnestly, "Don't let go of the areola, Rose. Whatever you do, don't let go."

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Ages Ago

Kirin asked what I looked like at the time of the Grand Central story (below). The picture featured here was taken the summer I turned 20 (I posted about it when I was just starting to focus on weight loss. HA!).

Here's the only other shot I have on my computer from the same time period.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I don't suspect -- or even aspire -- to be a size 6 again. But somewhere in the ballpark would be nice.

Grand Central Station

Perhaps not surprisingly, I often think back to one of the most erotic experiences in my whole life.

Perhaps surprisingly, this was it:


***Backstory***

In fall of my junior year of college, I was living at home with my parents and commuting to school. And while living at home for college was not ideal, I tried to make the most of it. I was 20, in the best shape of my life, and felt like the world was waiting for me to take it over.

Except I found that gearing up for world domination was a bit of a lonely undertaking.

For one thing, I was busy. I had a full, demanding class load, partook in extra-curricular activities, managed a 30-hour a week internship at a small marketing agency, and had a part-time job. Plus, you know, I was working out like a fiend. (Ah, youth.)

But for another, my school was essentially a "commuter campus" and as such, there was no on-site social life to be had. Those who did "go out" did things that didn't interest me. I didn't have any desire to go club- or bar-hopping with barely legal adolescents*. College crowds simply made me feel lonelier, because I really didn't have much in common with the average college student. I'd grown up kind of fast, and the beer-enriched, newly curfew-free lifestyle that seemed thrilling to so many my age just bored me.

Instead, I preferred the one-on-one nature of dating, and of dating guys who were a little older. I loved the process of getting dressed up to go out with someone who could (at least in theory) talk about more worldly things than their grades or how wasted they got last weekend**. Guys who would have opinions about work and politics and films and books. And also not call me "dude."

God, do you remember that transition in your life? Going from dating men who had to borrow their parents' cars to men who owned their own? Men who had jobs instead of classes? Whose curfews were determined by their office hours? I found it positively liberating. And I knew that for me, for that time in my life, no club or bar or frat party would ever be as exciting as the prospect of finding love.

Or rather, the prospect of finding love and/or sex.

For whatever reasons -- hormones? genetics? blooming early? natural curiosity? -- I was always interested in sex. I found the whole concept utterly fascinating, and spoke at length with male friends of mine about things I've still never discussed with many of my female friends.

Yet despite my keen interest, sex as a teenager always made me feel guilty and shameful. Even under the best circumstances, where it was safe and sweet and with a partner who loved me and took our relationship seriously, I couldn't help but shake the idea that I was doing something wrong.

(I am proof that you don't need to grow up in a religious household to feel guilty all the time.)

So it wasn't until I started losing weight at the age of 19 that I also started to feel...I guess I'd say connected to my body. (For the record, I believe this is why I started losing weight, not the other way around.)

I started to recognize that I did, actually, look sexy on the outside, and that I didn't have to be embarrassed about that.

I finally started accepting that my interest in (and appetite for) sex was not, actually, something to feel ashamed of.

I distinctly remember having an "a-ha" moment wherein I realized that having large breasts was not, actually, a punishment or curse.

And along with my newfound self-esteem, I also began to think that maybe there were men out there who I would or could sleep with simply because I found them desirable. I mean, some of you might find this crazy, but I didn't always find my boyfriends sexually attractive. Instead, I found them sweet and safe and I had strong feelings for them and it was all comfortable and they were nice and sex was really quite fine.

But right. Maybe because I was young, maybe because I lacked confidence, maybe for reasons I'll never get at, I had never been with someone I'd considered a "hot guy." I'd never really been physical with someone I'd felt a "Rrrrowrrr" with. I thought maybe that was something for movies, or maybe I just didn't have the capacity for that kind of chemistry.

Of course, I was totally wrong.

As I started to lose weight and be comfortable in my own skin, I started being sought after by all sorts of guys. And that is when I realized "Hey, I DO find some men really hot. And…you know? I could probably even DATE some of them! How novel!"

Please don't get the wrong idea. It's not like I was (or wanted to be) a complete slut. I was just so happy to have the idea of me and my body and men and chemistry and sex finally "click" for me.


*Not then, anyway. Apparently, I was saving that for ten years later.

**Answer: totally. Totally wasted.


* * * * * *

Because I didn't know where else I would meet them, I spent a lot of time online (yes, a whole decade ago now – things don't always change so much) looking for dating prospects. Mostly I looked for men in the area, but in 1995 online dating was still pretty new. And attractive, age-appropriate, non-nerds living within a reasonable proximity were hard to come by.

TJ was a young medical student and an athlete. He was cute, smart, in great shape, and lived in New Jersey.

For cute, smart, and in great shape, New Jersey = reasonable proximity.

Our first "date," we agreed, should be somewhere between my home and his. We picked New York City. I'd take the train, he'd drive, and we'd meet at Grand Central Station. We'd then go to dinner and enjoy what The City had to offer.

It was probably early October, because I remember picking a warmish outfit so that I wouldn't need a coat. I wore my then-favorite wine-colored wool mini-skirt (minis were in; these were the days of Ally McBeal). I believe I paired it with black tights and a black turtleneck. Probably some sort of ankle boots. Sexy, but with a hint of Connecticut prep.

The train from Connecticut to NYC was a 55 minute ride. The car I sat in was divided in half, where both sides faced each other with a gap in the center. I sat towards the front of my half, which gave me an easy view of those people sitting in the front of the other half.

That was where he was sitting.

I don't know what I spent the train ride doing, but it was my habit to have something with me – a book, a magazine, a journal. I know I had something to focus on, because I know that I was able to look at something other than him. Even though every time I looked up, I couldn't help but notice he was staring at me.

He was probably in his fifties. He was well dressed while still casual. His clothes were clearly expensive – slacks and sweater, loafers – but they were a little "slick" for Fairfield County. He had a look that said he had money, but that he hadn't grown up in Connecticut. He looked Italian. Actually, because I thought it at the time, he looked like I imagined a real-life mobster would look. A thinner, more attractive Tony Soprano on his way into the city from his suburban palace. He carried nothing with him.

I didn't exchange glances or smiles with him. If I met his eyes I would quickly look away. Still, even when I was not looking, even when I was trying to concentrate on something else, I could feel when his eyes were on me.

It wasn't a bad feeling. I mean, it made me slightly uncomfortable, but it also didn't. He wasn't leering or being rude. I knew – could feel – that he was looking at me because he found me attractive. I knew he felt desire. And as a result, I felt desirable.

Now, it's entirely possible that I would have forgotten about him, the stranger, had that been the end of it. Because as soon as the train pulled into the station I was only thinking of TJ. I nervously and excitedly headed toward the information booth where we had determined we'd meet.

But as I approached, I realized TJ wasn't there yet. And in my disappointment, I barely noticed the stranger from the train exiting the station.

I was a little crushed. I assumed TJ was just running late (after all, it was Friday night in the city) but I had just spent an entire train ride in anticipation of our date. I'd had a full hour of "what will this be like" build-up, and then…sigh. He wasn't there yet. I'd have to do more waiting. My mind filled with thoughts of dating and disappointment, and had no room for thoughts about looks from strangers.

I probably wore my disappointment on my face. I was standing next to the information kiosk, wondering what to do (other than just wait), but thought of nothing. We didn't have cell phones then, nor portable email. So I stood. And tried not to look at the clock every 30 seconds.

Maybe 20 minutes later, maybe even 30, I was still scanning the enormous station for signs of the young med student when I recognized the man from the train. He seemed to have also recognized me, and was walking towards me. He was carrying a plastic bag.

At first I wasn't sure if he was walking in my general direction or actually approaching me, but it became evident that I was his target. In fact, he walked right up to me and didn't stop until he was close enough to be able to speak in low tones.

I was a little surprised, but not scared. He did not seem threatening or unfriendly, though he was not smiling. There was just something in his look – even on the train. He was unapologetic about it, which made it feel somehow okay. And not a little sexy.

"Hello," he said.

"Hello," I returned.

"I...am sure you noticed me staring at you on the train." I am not sure it was a question. I am sure I smiled, as politely as possible.

He continued to look at me intently. I did my best to look back the same way. I did not know what to make of the situation, there in the middle of Grand Central Station, but I knew better than to seem afraid. Which, anyway, I wasn't.

"I am sorry if I made you feel uncomfortable," he continued, "but I couldn't help myself. You are–" and he shifted his gaze only slightly, but slowly and purposefully "—a very attractive woman."

His pointed approach was not something I'd ever experienced. He was confident, comfortable and commanding.

I don't know that I had a reply for him. I wanted to be shocked, but instead I was intrigued.

He looked at me some more, still serious. If it weren't so trite, I would say his gaze was piercing and unyielding, in a compelling way.

He gave a vague gesture toward his bag. "I used to live in New York. I moved a couple years ago. It's okay, but there's just no good Chinese places anywhere. So if I want good Chinese, I gotta come to The City."

I thought that was one of the classiest things I'd ever heard. It spoke volumes about him, and his lifestyle, and about his quick jaunt in New York while I was standing like an idiot at the information booth at Grand Central.

He leaned forward ever so slightly. "You should come and have dinner with me. At my house. I have a very nice house. And this is the best Chinese you'll ever have," he said.

Or at least he said something very close to that. Truth is, I can't remember exactly what he said, but I remember knowing it was a fascinating offer. He didn't know anything about me. He had no idea why I'd come to the city. And he didn't care. He thought I was attractive, and he wanted to take me home. He seemed to be the kind of man who thought that was enough.

I wondered if he usually got what he wanted. I thought he must.

"I..." I'm sure I somewhat stammered. I didn't know what to say. Obviously, I couldn't go with him. That would be crazy. But...but I didn't want to turn him down. I had to, but I didn't want to. Or maybe I didn't have to? Maybe...

"...well, it's just...I'm waiting for someone..."

He knew I was declining, but he barely hesitated and never took his eyes off me.

"I would never make you wait," he said.

Whoosh. It was almost as if he'd knocked the wind out of me. It was a gentlemanly comment, romantic and almost old-fashioned, except the suggestion of urgency was plainly sexual. When I think of it now, I'm reminded of old movies, where no one ever spoke directly of sex except in heavy innuendo.

I think I smiled and I probably blushed.

I didn't know what to say, but I didn't have an opportunity to think of anything, because as the man's comment was hanging in the air, I spotted TJ entering the station.

TJ looked red-faced and harried, as though he'd just braved a couple hours of Friday night city traffic and wasn't sure his blind internet date would have had the patience to wait for him. He, too, saw me almost immediately, and he sort of smiled and rushed over to me.

"That's him," was all I said in response to the man. I think I sounded apologetic. I know I felt a pang of disappointment. But...what? What would I have done?

It didn't matter. I didn't even have time to consider the possibility as so much as a drink with the man, because TJ practically swooped in. He grabbed my hand and whisked me off and I only barely had time to say good-bye to the man.

As I was escorted off to a perfectly nice, perfectly forgettable date, I remember the expression on the man's face. I think I expected him to look disappointed -- me, running off with a boy maybe 30 years his junior -- but he didn't. Instead, his look was that of...knowing better? He seemed almost bemused, as if to say, "It's your choice, but I think you're making a mistake."

Ten years later, I'm old enough to understand.

He was right.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Even MORE About My Birthday!

It's official! (And this is the last post about it, I swear.)

Monday, July 3.

8 p.m. PRIVATE comedy show at the San Francisco Comedy Club
(aka 50 Mason).
If you would like to come and haven't otherwise RSVP'd, please email me to let me know to put you on the list!


10 p.m. Drinks & Dancing at the Hilton
(practically across the street).

Bad dancers encouraged. (Jeremy, I'm looking at you.)



Gifts are wholly unnecessary. Tiaras, boas, and the like are strongly encouraged. Friends -- especially those who enjoy spectacles of breezy elegance -- are welcome.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Quick Update

Hi Everyone!

Just wanted to let you know that I will be offsite today and away all weekend, and am not sure how often I'll be able to publish your comments, but thanks for sending them anyway!!!

* * * * *

As for birthday plans:

How does a (possibly) private comedy show in the city at 8 p.m. followed by drinks and dancing atop the Hilton at 10 p.m. on July 3rd sound for everyone?


Thursday, June 22, 2006

Old Grandad

I love my new site design. It's real and it's me and it's nice and I feel like I'm a writer now, even if nothing changed but a template.

Yes, a writer.

And even though I'm at the office today, I will soon leave and feel like me again -- the unstifled, writer me -- and I will meet up with Ish at the bar.

And there, with the sports games on all around me, I will play trivia and I will drink Old Grandad and if I am lucky I will WIN a LOT and everyone in the bar will wonder where the hell that bourbon-drinking blond came from and how she knows all those answers and I will know that it's because I am, among many other things, my father's daughter.

And I will be just a little obnoxious (but a lot of fun) and I will toast.

To my dad. Who would've been 64 today.

And then I will cry.

Surprise! (The Eleanor Approach)

Does this new design make my butt look big?

* * * * * *

When my best friends discovered they were pregnant, they decided two things*.

One: they would not find out the gender of the baby.

Two: they would select a girl's name and a boy's name, and they would not tell anyone what those names were until after the baby was born.

Basically, they believed that telling people their name selections before the child's birth sort of opened the door for unsolicited feedback.

Them: Oh, we're thinking of calling him/her _____.

Random Person: Really? ____? Because I had an uncle/aunt named _____ and they were awful and every time I hear that name I will be reminded of them and their _______.

Them: Thanks for that information. Very helpful.

Anyway, they named their daughter Eleanor (Ella) Elizabeth. And she's incredibly photogenic and even though I've already featured her here before and even though she's well over a year old now, this remains one of my favorite pictures of her:



And so...well, right. Even though, sure, Emily might never speak to me again for comparing refacing my blog (without asking for feedback) to the naming of her beautiful child, there it is.

* * * * *

Big, BIG, BIIIIG thanks to all those who helped me get this new design.

There was Jenny at BlogStudios, who's still working out the tweaks. (If you're looking to have your own blog updated, I recommend them highly!)

There was also the fab-u illustrator whom I've never met, who created the "breezy" blond up top based solely on a sputtering email I sent her.

But especially there's Merideth (beautiful designer, see?), who both hooked me up with said illustrator and who -- ohthatsright -- designed this whole layout. She is owed many, many drinks. And dinner. And possibly my first born.

YAY!


*Probably they decided more than two things, but whatever. Artistic license.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Points And Goals? No, It's Not The World Cup

So the insanity that has been my life for the seven weeks seems to be -- dare I say? -- ebbing.

I am starting to feel normal again, and it's possible that the next few months might be somewhat routine.

And you know what this means.

It means that, following seven weeks of my life feeling flipped upside down, I finally started to feel like myself again, which also means I made the terrible mistake of LOOKING IN THE MIRROR. And no, I don't mean this metaphorically, in a touchy-feely, we-should-all-take-time-to-look-at-ourselves-in-"The Mirror" way. I mean, I actually bothered to really LOOK in the mirror. And know what I saw?

New chub.

Oof.

I have gained weight, folks.

Now, I don't know how much I've gained recently versus how much weight may have crept onto my body slowly over the last several months, but no matter: it is there, and it is NOT PRETTY.

I was doing SO WELL, too. I maybe wasn't having the weight just fly off of me or anything, but I was holding steady and/or losing a little pretty consistently.

I mean, "No Joy in '06" (remember that plan?) was coming along quite well. I have organized my apartment and cleaned it from top to bottom and have kept it that way week after week. I rearranged my furniture, actually bought a bed (no more mattress and boxspring on the floor), and painted my hallway. I identified all of my spending "issues" and am paying off credit cards. And I was doing well at going to the gym and eating better. I have even started COOKING regularly. WITH ACTUAL GROCERIES and everything! (For those of you who may be new-ish 'round these parts, I once devoted an entire entry to the contents of my fridge, which were more than a little scary...)

But then somehow the gym stopped happening as regularly and all of a sudden WHAM! I'm 10 pounds heavier.

This is not good news.

I KNOW I can lose weight. I WAS losing weight. And also I've DONE IT BEFORE!

But whatever. It wasn't happening, and so now it must. And it's come down to this:
My workplace has begun a Weight Watchers program, and I am joining. Joined. Today.


And there it is.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Saaaaturday...in the paaaark...I think it was the Fourth of Juleyeeyeeye...

Alright. Every year I make a big deal about my birthday, in part to make up for the number of lousy ones I've had, and in part because hi. Me me me me me me me.

So, because this year is no different, I am struggling to figure out what to do and when to do it.

My actual birthday is on the 4th of July. (Oh yes, I AM a Yankee Doodle Dandy, and I will remind you of this by SINGING SO. Possibly many, many times throughout the birthday celebration. Also possibly while inebriated. You know.)

I DO want to combine it with a blog party, and just have one big ole' get-together that involves silliness. (Duh.) However, my schedule and your schedule and my non-II Fs' schedules are impossible. So what do I do? Should I pick:

* Saturday, July 1

* Monday, July 3

* Saturday, July 15

I would LIKE to do it closer to my birthday, (like the 3rd), but will everyone be away or traveling or busy? The 15th might be clear for all, but is that too late?

Help! Please send feedback!


******

Every so often, El_G would go on something of a rant about how, evolutionarily speaking, human beings got awfully short-shrifted. He would declare (and I'm paraphrasing) that it's a REALLY GOOD thing that we grew big brains and an affinity for technology, because otherwise we would have been wiped out pretty much right after we managed to stand upright.

Take, for example, the fact that the male reproductive organ is basically just hanging out down there, completely exposed and ready to be bitten off by some wild animal. I mean, thankfully we were big-brained enough to invent pants. But still. (I wonder how many years it took man to invent athletic cups. I'm guessing longer than it took man to figure out that he really likes throwing things at other members of the species.)

Anyway, my stupid point for the day is this: I have a VERY HARD TIME believing that Mother Nature has any sort of acceptable explanation for why humans have an evolutionary need, while under stress, to break out in zits.


Thursday, June 15, 2006

Dooce's Wild

so right.

as i've mentioned before, i could totally get fired for blogging about work because that's just the sort of company i work for.

uh, sort of.

see, i maybe work for a "branch" of a muuuuuuuuuch larger organization. and while our branch is totally cool, our main organization? not so much. so hi. i hope i don't get dooced for writing this.

but man, it's been a hell of a day. week. month.

ONE OF THE THINGS i do for work is produce our company meetings. once a month, we have informal meetings. these take place in three different sessions in our on-site auditorium that seats 125 people. those are stressful, but kind of fun and everyone takes them just seriously enough.

but because there are over 500 employees in our "branch" office, the informal meetings aren't enough. once a quarter, i produce a more formal, offsite meeting for the whole of us, so that we can all be together under one roof. and so that we can all feel inspired and tuned-in and part of this great entity.

it's kind of cool.

and in many ways, this is an AWESOME thing for me to do as my job. i LOVE planning events. i LOVE juggling many things at once, with lots of moving pieces. i LOVE the human side of it, too -- trying to make a business meeting be fun and enjoyable while informative and (sorry) on-brand.

but. but, but.

while it's pretty cool, event planning is one of THE MOST STRESSFUL things i can think of to do. seriously. being responsible for making an event go smoothly is utterly nerve-wracking.

and once a quarter, it really takes it out of me.

for weeks leading up to the event, i have growing worry. and then the night before i never sleep. my mind is on overdrive, coming up with every possible way in which something might go wrong (and then trying to pre-correct for it) because god knows something will.

like when, for example, i'm sitting at the controls while 500 people are staring at the screen, and all of a sudden the presentation JUST STOPS WORKING for reasons such as IT JUST STOPPED WORKING? that's a whole lot of stress.

anyway, our 2nd quarter meeting was this morning and it went just fine.

and only now, on my second beer, do i realize, hmmmm...

the extent to which mental energy going to being sad +
mental energy going to the meeting =
no mental energy for anything else

it explains a lot.

and i think it'll be a good weekend.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Burrito Head

I'm sad.

I have good days now, and am starting to be productive again, but I'm still sad. I'm sad because of my dad and I'm sad because of my mom (the anniversary of her passing is almost here) and I'm sad because of Ish and how sometimes it just feels like everything is hard right now.

And the big problem with being sad is that it takes a lot of my time and energy. I want to have the energy to write. To create. To get back into stand-up. To jump back into the healthy routine of diet and exercise I started. Instead, I just feel like I'm in lock-down mode. Auto pilot. Energy-saver.

I know it'll get better. I'm just waiting for a second (or what is it now? fifth? sixth?) wind.

IN THE MEANTIME, I was wondering yesterday, as I was eating half a burrito for lunch, just what kind of aluminum foil the Mexican restaurants use to wrap burritos in. It's clearly not heavy-duty Reynold's wrap. It's like, thinner and more maleable (and also impossible to pull off a burrito in any sort of easy way).

And after a few seconds of dwelling on the physical characteristics of my burrito foil, I started to wonder if burrito foil is the same kind that hair salons use for highlights.

Which then made me wonder if there's maybe some sort of store that exists specifically for that cross-over demographic. You know, like Rick's Burrito and Beauty Supply Store or something.

I would totally shop there.


Sunday, June 11, 2006

Second Annual 30th Birthday!

apparently, when i was busy looking the other way, it became mid-june. hmmm.

which, among other things, means that it's less than a month until my birthday, wherein i'll be celebrating the first anniversary of turning 30 and i have NO PLANS. yet.

of course, i bring this up because i'm thinking a birthday party extravaganza might be a perfect opportunity to have another blog party. what do you think?

i'm picturing drinks, dinner, silliness of all sorts. ooh! maybe we could all go to the top of the sf hilton and dance to cheesy hits of the early 90s? (or maybe that only sounds fun to me?)

what about having a big ole' picnic at ghirardelli square and watching the fireworks?

hmmm. again.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

I'll Be Seeing You

It's never intentional, but every time something major has happened with Ish, I have gotten blogger's block. I don't know what to write.

I am not comfortable writing about his life or his issues, because, well, it's his life and his issues.

But if that's the major thing going on in my life, then what do I blog about? The weather? Mayonnaise? Sometimes, I just don't have the heart. Or energy. Or emotional fortitude to tell a story about something that -- for the time being -- just doesn't matter.

May was a pretty ridiculous month. By the last week, I started to feel some sense of normalcy, even though I was thinking about bigger-picture stuff and travel and life changes and all that. And then WHAM! Just when I thought maybe I was getting a handle on things...

For a whole lot of VERY sudden-but-probably-good reasons, it looks like Ish will be moving. To LA. And if so, sooner than later (like maybe in the next few weeks).

And I have to figure out what to do next.

Again, it's not really for me to discuss, but basically Ish is going there for a cool but indefinite work opportunity. If it works out, he may be there for a long while. If it doesn't -- well, who knows.

In the meantime, I will stay in San Francisco. And we will continue to see each other. And I guess we'll figure something out, one way or another.

It's actually not all bad, it's just a lot to try and process.

More to come. Stay tuned.