All Kinds of Things You Can't See From the Center

It's warm in New York today but not hot. It's hovering around 80 with no humidity. It's my favorite kind of weather. It's weather that makes me yearn for Sonoma County the way winter used to make me yearn for New York. I can see the hills still green from winter rains and smell the damp of the redwoods and feel the way the air changes as you get closer to the coast. I can feel my excitement that it's just about time for the Sonoma-Marin fair which will tide me over to County Fair time. Hot black tops and too expensive fried foods. Sheep shearing and sheep dog trials. Wondering why I was so much better at winning goldfish when I was a child. It's funny how life knows exactly how far to push you before turning around. How just saying something out loud or getting things out of your head and onto a piece of paper can loosen some thing's hold on you.

Dominique suggested I date the lumberjack and just give into the spiral about two months ago, and I thought about it. I thought about giving in because sometimes it's easier to just give in than risk fighting against it and failing. If you are a relentlessly controlled person, there is no better feeling than the high of being out of control. I thought about it. And I rejected it.

I had just gotten Charlotte and I think I had just gone on my second date with the guy I'm dating now and both those things felt like a return to normal for me. My baseline. And it felt good. It felt like somewhere I wanted to be even as a felt my life was spiraling out of control financially and careerwise.

A couple of Sundays ago, I found myself cooking dinner in a vintage dress, making enough for aforementioned guy to be able to pack for lunch and I laughed to myself thinking what a caricature of myself I had so easily become again. I thought about how much more normal my life suddenly seemed to me with a kitten and somebody for whom to cook and, thankfully, a return to a full-time schedule. I have spent most of my adult life with all of those things, the last two years an anomaly. I didn't need to learn how to live without a pet, but I did need to live without a significant other and I'm happy it happened and I'm happy to take a break from it.

I thought I would be terrified to incorporate somebody into my life again. I thought it would be hard to fit somebody into a schedule that has been built solely around my own priorities. I thought I might lose myself. I thought I'd still be bad at open and honest communication about my FEELINGS. Instead, I'm startled by how easily I've adapted, how stupid happy it makes me and how much I still feel centered in myself. I surprised myself Sunday when, with my voice quavering, I said "I'm just sad" instead of continuing to insist that I was fine.

It's strange how we can not change at all and also change immensely and that those things are not mutually exclusive.

Trade Offs

I'm not really an "everything happens for a reason" or "the universe doesn't hand us anything we can't handle" person. When I got laid off at Stellina, I was miserable and it seemed like a relief. When I got laid off at Je & Jo it seemed like it was probably time I get out of my rut and start working on something that actually challenged me anyways. When I got hired at my current job it seemed like a perfect fit but now I am severely underemployed and obviously I want there to be a reason. I want something better to come out of it. I want to know it's because the universe knows I can handle it. I don't believe that's how the world actually works, but I still want it to be true. Probably the best thing that has come out of this is that I've been able to focus on writing.

Probably the worst thing that has come out of this is stress vomiting, panic attacks and missing out on big things I really want to do like my friend Elise's Vegas bachelorette party and then BiSC.

The worst part about missing BiSC is that only ended up working one day of all the days it happened so it seems like I should've gone anyways. And reading everyone's tweets late at night and almost crying while waiting for the G train.

The best part about missing BiSC is texts like the last one I got from Dominique that said "We've just poured a (figurative) stream of melted butter on the ground at bouchon for the chefs that couldn't join us (you)".

The other best part was that I had a weekend that reminded me I really like my life, which is a thing I've definitely needed some reminding of lately.

Wednesday was a 14 hour work day for supper club and then going out for "one drink" with my coworkers and obviously not doing that.

Thursday was a hangover and an afternoon date where I like to think I was being charmingly honest about the state of my head. Dinosaur bones and almost falling asleep in the Hall of Minerals. Gorgeous day in Central Park. Shake Shack fries for my hangover and a walk to Columbus Circle because my hangover also demanded a rainbow sprinkle cone from Mister Softee. People watching. Sunset watching. Beer. Making plans for a fourth date. You might not do dates well often New York, but when you do... Damn.

Friday was errands and then brunch at Egg with Morgen. Cafe Grumpy cold brew. Walking the Highline. Sample sales I had no business being at. Discovering that there's a Vanessa's in South Williamsburg. Realizing how ludicrously cheap Vanessa's is. Then a trip to our new favorite honky tonk for a giant whiskey sweet tea and live music. Bed.

Saturday was my commute somehow taking 1.5 hours instead of thirty minutes. Work. A text suggesting we meet up that evening instead of Sunday for date four. Drinks with my coworkers. Showing up tipsy (choosing to believe this is also charming) to my date. Many plates of fancy bar food. A visit to a bar with a TARDIS. Moving on to a bar with delicious beer. Definitely being the people in a bar other people might hate a little (or find adorable? Let's go with adorable). Late Saturday night snuggles (both a euphemism and not) leading to Sunday morning ones.

Sunday was laziness and brunching and tv and snuggles and naps. Hiding from the rain and being read to. Ridiculous dance party for two (these arms of mine...). Home made pot roast for dinner. Returning to a very excited kitten at 10pm after having been gone for 38 hours.

I wasn't able to go to BiSC and that kind of really sucked but I'm keeping my fingers crossed there was a reason.

Drive all night just to feel like you're ok

Music prompts are my favorite prompts and also the hardest. Californians love driving like they love a brother. We bitch and moan about traffic like it's our job, but in the end, don't even know how to function without an engine and an open road. I'm from the part of California people come to just to drive. Dark, forested, windy back roads that suddenly open up on top of rolling hills and vast expanses of vineyards. Lush and green in the spring and waves of fire in the fall.  Round the right corner and suddenly your car is hugging a cliff and you're blinded by the sun reflecting off the Pacific.

When I'm stressed my urge is to jump behind the wheel of a car, or when I'm angry, when I'm depressed, when the sun is shining and everything seems right with the world. All emotions lead to California One. Sometimes this is the hardest part of New York, this long separation between me and a steering wheel.

You can't really belt it out and feel your FEEEEEELINGS on the subway.

"Excuse me? Could you round this corner just on the verge of too fast and maybe blast some Ryan Adams over the loudspeaker? It's just, I broke my own heart tonight. Don't try tell me everyone else on this train isn't also sick to death of love and sick to death of trying, we all know what dating in New York is like"

What? You don't feel all your feelings through alt country of the 90s?

Is it because, like me, you have a not so secret love for feeling all your feelings through angry female mainstream country? At least, you do when you're back living at home, in the country and that cowboy Casanova has told another one of his lies and suddenly you're identifying with T Swift? (I'm still bitter I was never allowed to drive that damn truck)

But it always comes back to my favorite song. I've listened to it over and over and over, driving everywhere. I made a tape of the album, back before there were iPods, because my sweet '96 Corolla only had a tape deck. I've mentioned before that it was the anthem of my junior and senior years of high school. The years right after my dad died. The years when I was truly truly a mess.

I didn't sleep much. Sometimes, when I couldn't sleep, I'd layer up and leave my house. I didn't really get in trouble and I didn't have a curfew and my grandparents were usually in bed before me, so I honestly don't know if they even noticed. I'd get in Delilah and pull out of our driveway, turning left towards the road that would lead me to the coast.

Put your hands on the wheel, let the golden age begin.

If it was too cold (which it almost always is in coastal Northern California at night), I'd turn the heater as I obeyed the next lines.

The window down, feel the moonlight on your skin

Desert wind cool your aching head

The weight of the world drift away instead

I'd relax into the seat. Tears pricking the corner of my eyes, quickly navigating the turns so familiar I could still follow them blind folded, turning the heater higher and higher as I got closer to the coast. This was a thing my father and I did, driving. And at once I'd feel closer to him and forever far away.

These days I barely get by

By the time I'd get to Hwy 1, I'd have to rewind the tape to listen to this song over again. Finally, pulled over, I'd chokingly sob along, the crash of the waves slowly calming me.

I don't even try

I don't even try

I'm participating in The Scintilla Project, a fortnight of storytelling. Today's prompt was to talk about singing alone in the car.

I was told to go where the wind would blow

I made a decision recently. I pretty big one. A secret one. Well, not really a secret, not an intentional secret, just a decision nobody knows I made. Nobody really knew was being made. It's made me happy and sad. And in a strange way feel like I'm grieving.

I decided not to go home in January.

For as long as I can remember, I came to New York for the holidays. And when I couldn't come for the holidays, I came in January, often around my birthday. New York in the winter is my favorite. New York in the winter makes me so happy I could cry. The warm weather we're having makes me want to cry in the opposite way. Last January I reversed the migration. I went home to California for a little over a week in January. I flew to Vegas for 48 hours 10 days later for my mom's wedding. In May I went to BiSC, went home to California for TWENTY FOUR hours to see my best friend because her father was dieing and then again, ten days later flew to California for 48 hours to see my little brother graduate high school (THANK EFFING GOD, IT WAS A CLOSE CALL THERE FOR A WHILE). So by June I had made 4 round trips across the country. That's kind of a lot.

Most of the practical reasons I'm not going home in January are financial. BiSC registration happens in January. I don't have paid time off, so going home right after the holidays is a little rough. One of my close friends is getting married in Massachusetts in the Summer but the bachelorette party is probably going to be in Vegas or California. I can't afford more than two cross country tickets in one year. And I can't afford more vacations. Either BiSC or the bachelorette party will probably be combined into a longer California home visit but there's no reason for me to go home in January.

I always came to New York in January because I hated missing the holidays here. Because I missed Central Park covered in snow more than anything. Because I love to ice skate and that's hard to explain to people that've only ever done it indoors. I went home to California last January because there was no way I was missing my little brother's 18th birthday. This year he turns 19, I turn 27. Who the fuck cares about that? (ok, I care about the 27 more than I thought I would care about officially entering my late 20s, but whatevs) I don't need to go home for the rain when I can stay here for the snow.

I can go to Sonoma County in the spring. When the weather is perfect and the hills are still green and I can see more stars in the sky than a New Yorker could ever imagine.

But the real reason I'm not going home in January is because I live here now. I don't really know how to explain it. It's just a step. A step in growing up. A step in changing and letting go. I live here now. This is my life. I migrated cross country every winter so I could have a brief moment in the place my soul felt still. My soul is still. I'm settled. Or at least as settled as one can be at this age. I don't need to reverse it.

I'll go home at some point. I'll go home when my heart can't stand to spend another moment away from the roar of the Pacific. When I miss the streak of the Milky Way the way I miss my father. When whiskey at 4am on the lower east side doesn't taste as good as whiskey at 4am in a barn. Or by a fire. I'll go home when I can't stand another moment without being behind the wheel of a car.

I'll go home and my baby cousins will be taller than me. My little brother won't live there. My best friends dad won't ever talk to me about cooking or travel again. The old tiny black Moxie cat I left with Lara held on, snuggling by Lara's father's side and now she's gone with him. The big black dog that was always excited to see me at my aunt and uncle's because he knew I'd take him for a walk won't be there either. I'll have a step dad I don't even really know. There will be a tiny person at the home of my friends whose wedding cake it seems I just made yesterday.

Other things will be the same. The Peet's coffee in my grandparents' house. The charred edges of toasted pain au levain. The milky way and highway 1. The fog rolling into the valley.

I'll go home. And I'll visit. And I'll realize it really isn't home anymore.

And I'm a little bit broken

I've been teetering on the edge for a while. Looking down into the hole and pretending not to notice that I've already started to fall. It's hard, I'm coming off the high of a busy, well spent Summer. A sad Summer but also a good Summer. Life is always tricky like that.

I'm not ready for the Fall. I said I was ready to slow down this month, but I'm not. I'm not ready for indoors and being bundled and real life. It's funny how Summer makes me feel so free even though I don't remember the last true Summer vacation I had.

Today I received my first "Dear John" text, from a guy I let myself like more than I knew I should have. Nothing in it was surprising and at the same time I wanted to vomit and cry and jump on a plane home. I wanted the stars and the dark. I wanted my headlights on a windy country road. I wanted to drink whiskey and shoot at the bottle. I wanted the endessness of the ocean. I wanted to be any and all places other than here.

I'm not sure how much of it even really had to do with that guy as much as just an overflow of frustration with dating (or rather that it's always not actually dating) in this city.

For a moment, everything seemed to be coming together, work, friends, crush, moving into an apartment to call my own. There was a solid twenty hours where I felt like maybe I had backed away from the edge but then the city just went ahead and pushed me all the way over.

So, hello, hole.

Hello, bell jar.

Tomorrow I will put out my two new flavors (Rose sweet cinnamon ice cream with cardamom dough! Honey ice cream with salted rosemary dough!) and work on the third. I will pack up my one room here. Over the weekend I'll move and create a new space and maybe dye my hair and call my mother.

And I'll hope that my bell jar stays behind.

Struggling

It was Sunday afternoon (East Coast time) when Lara called me.

It was about half a second before I thought about just going to the airport and seeing if I could get on a plane and a few hours until I forced myself to admit that I couldn't really do that.

Five minutes until the break in her voice "how do you deal with father's day?"

45 minutes until I called my grandma

3 more days until the ball of anxiety that's been living in my chest for weeks now finally went away because it was still 3 days until I finally broke down and sobbed. Oh I wanted to before then. I wanted to in the middle of the kitchen at work. I wanted to on the train. But I knew once I started it would be a while before I stopped. So it took three days.

My mental health has backslid ten years at times this week. I guess that's how these things work.

Life seems easier right now with a little something to take the edge off. Or rather, life seems bearable that way.

And I guess that's how you end up lying on your yoga mat on a Saturday afternoon drinking a sauv blanc that was possibly made from grapes grown on your ex's ranch listening to country music (THE MUSIC OF PAIN) wondering what the fuck is wrong with you that you prefer to live where the grapes aren't grown and highway 1 isn't a 7 minute drive away and you actually can't be there for your friends.

This is probably the point where I should turn this post around and give you the shiny side or the learning and growing side. But there's no shiny side today. Because I'm just so sad.

So very very sad.

Untitled

I've been saying "life is hard" a lot lately. In the moments when life isn't hard. The moments where I have the windows down and am blasting a little Dirt Road Anthem on a perfect West Sonoma County Spring day. The moments where I've been forced to eat artichokes from the garden. Or spend the whole day eating and drinking with two amazing friends. I say it jokingly in the happy moments to mark it as a moment to remember when Life Is Hard.

Because life is pain, Princess. Except when it's not.

Why let them be happy now when they're going to be sad later?

The answer, of course, is because they're going to be sad later.

I remind myself because one moment my life might be joy and sequins and the next my heart might be breaking for my best friend as I struggle to find the words to console when I know I'm dealing with a situation for which there is no consolation.

I remind myself because in the morning I happily skip around New York with my bag of farmers' maket produce that I get paid to turn into delicious pastries and at night I might watch a tv show with a car crash and surprise myself when I need to curl into a ball and make a conscious effort to breath.

I remind myself because I get older and I realize how young I am. How dramatic everything seemed yesterday but how it hardly matters today. That often the little moments are what build or break a relationship or a life.

I remind myself because I want to recognize the sadness and the hardship but I don't want to wallow in it. Life is good and life is hard and life is unjust and sometimes that works in my favor and sometimes it doesn't. These aren't amazing new revelations, they're just truths to acknowledge every now and then.

They're truths to acknowledge when you spend a year and a half pretty fucking closed off and end up deciding to give on dating for a while altogether and then find yourself terrifyingly, unexpectedly opening up. When waking up one morning wondering why suddenly your bed feels so big with only one person in it and you roll over to find a text from the somebody that's missing.

And they're truths to acknowledge when you flinch at the sound of every late night text message or alert terrified of what it could say, what it could mean for someone you love and that there is not a thing you can do about it.

Life is hard.

Exhaustion

Las Vegas and California. Waiting on the plane to get home. Las Vegas was AH-MAZING. I'm still surprised at how little attachment I feel to California. It's familiar and full of things I love but it's not home. Given my constant desire to leave it, I don't know if it ever was. But the people I love are there and there is a very happy thing and a very sad thing happening right now and I could really use a teleporter.

Exhaustion

Exhaustion

There and Back Again

I got back Friday from nine days in California.

Nine days under the stars and redwoods.

Nine days forced to slow down.

Nine days reflecting, examining, turning around past choices in my head. Not having regrets, just playing the "what if" game. I felt so removed from Sonoma County. In eleven months, I changed in some way that made me absolutely certain that that is not my life anymore, that I really was just visiting. It made me think of all the decisions I've made that could've left my life in different places and it made me really examine the life I have now.

What if I hadn't broken up with Jacob? Would he have broken up with me by now? Or would we, nine years into a relationship, actually be planning a wedding instead of just assuming we'd spend our entire life together? (I know, I know, we'd probably both feel miserable and trapped but that's not how the "what if" game works) I once knew with absolute certainty who I was going to marry. That's so foreign a feeling now, yet at the same time I feel like I'm always chasing after it. I don't know what "it" is anymore, but I know I'll know it when I feel it. I think.

What if Che had realized what an ass he was sooner? What if all the apologies he gives me now had happened two years ago? Would I have forgiven him? Would we still be dating? What if I had accepted his wine cellar proposal instead of moving to New York? Would I still be working at a group home, going to school and living perpetually feeling slightly ill at ease? Or would I somehow embrace being a country wife? There was a moment once where I thought I could do that (before the wine cellar proposal, by which point the moment had long since past), settle down where I could raise my own animals and grow my own food and turn it all into a meal each night. While I still love those things, I just can't picture myself in that life anymore.

What if that guy I'd had a crush on since 8th grade, my Harry Burns, had made a move sooner? What if I had been dating him for a year, instead of Matt, when Michelle offered me a room here? Would've I have accepted her offer? Or even, what if he had just asked me to stay in those last two weeks before I moved? He never would have, and that's one of the reasons I love him so. But he's also probably the only person who could've given me pause. I didn't even try to see him while I was in California. I don't know why. I don't know if I was afraid that that relationship never having a chance to happen would turn into a full blown regret if I did see him or if I'm just a pansy and couldn't bear the thought of the disappointment if we no longer connected in the same way.

I think I've been so focused on relationships because they were so often the thing I let hold me back but also because I felt like the reoccuring theme of my visit was "You work how much?! And when?! When do you have time to go on dates?". It's easy to forget here that there are plenty of people in other places only working 40 or 50 hours a week. People that work normal hours, have normal social lives and go on dates that aren't either in the middle of the night or at a normal time but on a Monday. And mostly my answer was "I don't" because that's an easier answer than "Well, there's this one guy I've been sleeping with but he's kind of an ass and I have no desire to date him and he has no desire to date me and it's kind of perfect in an absolutely no emotion sort of way and then there's also this other guy that I've had a crush on since July and I don't really know where we stand at the moment because I'm too afraid to ask because I'm pretty sure I'm not going to get the answer I want but I really really like him and it's fucking up what few dates I go on because I keep comparing".

(Sidenote: I know where we stand now. It definitely wasn't what I wanted. We definitely did have that conversation in a bar at a friend's birthday on my first night back in New York. So. There's that. To steal a phrase from my grandma, my heart could use a bandaid right now. But it doesn't need stitches, because we were never really dating, so it can't really warrant more than rejection hurt and disappointment it didn't become what I wanted. Basically, I'm sad, I'm not sobbing into a pint of ice cream sad but, still, sad)

I've been chanting the "my career will never leave me" mantra for a year now (thank you, Lady Gaga) but I'm starting to realize how much I've let it take over. I used to give up myself in relationships to the point where I no longer could define myself as somebody outside of it and now I don't know who I am outside of my job. When I'm off work for too long I start to get uncomfortable because I don't know what else I do other than work, laundry and sleep and also because I end up spending too much time with myself. My focus has been too much on work and not on building friendships. I'm not entirely sure how to change this yet, but I know I want to. I know I value having relationships more than my career. I also know I focus on my career as a way to hide from putting myself out there and taking the emotional risks making new friends requires.

Once again, I'm striving to find the middle way instead of always going to extremes. I'll get there.

Someday.

I love the ocean but I hate the streets

As you can imagine, it's been a weird week. I haven't worn real clothes since last Saturday which means I've basically been alternating between one pair of pj's and one pair of yoga pants because (*spoiler alert* for any men that want to sleep with this hot hive covered body) I don't actually like sleeping in full length pajama pants. They wrap around my feet and annoy me and are stupid. Also, I went to my grandparents' with enough clothes to spend two to three days there and have now spent an entire week in my childhood bed room which became my little brother's room about six years ago but he's off at school in Utah. I've been to the doctor twice and stopped by my "home" once to pick up more clothes.

There are places, roads, beaches in Sonoma County that fill me with this overwhelming feeling of being home, but my childhood bedroom, I have almost no attachment to. I haven't really stayed at my home (as in the place where all my stuff is, where I've been living with Matt) since before I left for New York and, stopping by, I realized I really wouldn't miss it.

I'm in this weird limbo. The point was to just come home, pack everything up, say my good byes and go. For the past week I haven't packed anything. Most of the week my face was so swollen that I didn't actually have peripheral vision and wasn't comfortable driving. Anytime my skin touched anything, new hives would appear, so I couldn't really be packing up boxes and moving things anyway. I haven't seen anyone except my family, doctors and Ms. Mae (who brought me a cake and a Philadelphia Story one day).  I'm alternating between steroids and antihistamines so I feel mildly insane.

I know that there's still a room for me in New York. I know there are even boxes of mine in it, but the reality of me moving to New York feels like it's slipping away. The longer it takes, the easier it is for all my doubts and insecurities to slip in, especially with the amount of time I've basically spent doing nothing. Can I afford this? Will I find a job? Am I going to be able to meet new people? Make new friends? What if I don't love it in New York as much as I think I will? What if it's a disappointment?

See, when the plan is to just say "fuck it" and move, those things don't really enter the picture because you're too busy getting your shit together to think. This situation hasn't actually changed, the dates have just been pushed back a little and as I start to feel and look less like a mutant, I'm getting back to being excited and ready for the tast and adventure at hand. It's probably still going to be a couple of days at my current rate of recovery before I'm actively packing and saying good bye again but in a weird way, even though all those questions are running through my head, my lack of attachment to the places that are supposed to be home also helps me realize that right now, this is not where I belong.

 

Download 08 California (holds nothing for me)

 

This brokenness inside me might start healing

There's this person I'm becoming, this person I want to be. I'm not sure who she is yet. A year and a half ago, I was so excited to be home. Now I'm so excited to be leaving. I love it here, it's beautiful here, I'm just not ready to stop pushing myself, growing into myself.

Which is not to say in the past year or so I haven't grown. I reconnected with old friends whose concepts of me helped me find the pieces of myself I'd left behind but wanted back and at the same time helped me realize which parts of myself I was fine with having changed.

I learned to let go more, to relax.

I continued to learn to identify what I wanted from relationships and what I really didn't.

I think this is the year that I truly learned that there are people that love and support me no matter what my decisions; that I really do have a support network in my family, friends and even friend's families.

And even though I struggled a lot, cried a lot, was anxious a lot, I did the finding myself that I moved home to do and now that I feel a little more centered and confident and loved, it's time to jet off and explore and grow.

Of course I'll miss the stars, swearing at tourists, the California coast and this

P1040659

but I can always come back.

And yeah, I did have to use a cheesy country song for this one.

Truth is Stranger than Fiction

Last night,

I went in to my two horse hometown to meet one friend at a bar and ran into five.

We went searching for whiskey in my barn (and found it).

The douche told me he was incredibly sorry for all he had put me through and would like to marry me (in his wine cellar, on one knee).

And this boy, my Harry Burns, kissed me, about a year too late.

I can't make this shit up.

Maybe I should move across the country more often.

A little more country than that (My Mom's Friend Matt, Part Two)

So when I wrote "My Mom's Friend Matt, Part One" Matt told me I should write about the conversation he had with my mother in which she tried to convince him to date me. But seeing as I didn't have that conversation I told him he would have to write about it. So here it is, the long awaited "Part two". All the conversations between Matt and my mother were written by Matt, all the rest is me filling in the other side.

---

"Dude Matt, you should totally date my daughter."

(Yes, this is really how Alana's mother speaks. To me at least.)

"Oh yeah? Why's that?"

"Well,you're a nice guy. She needs to date a nice guy. She's been dating this total douchebag; it's time for her to date a nice guy. You should date my daughter."

"Ok ... "

"No really. She's smart, and she knows what she wants, and she's really cool, and she's not crazy-"

"Wait, how could your daughter, not be crazy?"

"Look, she's not the kind of crazy you usually date. And anyway, she's HOT. Like I used to be ... believe it or not, I was hot once. So yeah, she's hot, and she cooks and stuff. She's got this blog, it's called 'Butter is Love', and she's got this other one that talks about personal stuff, that one is 'Don't Hate Me 'Cause I'm Indie and You're Punk.' Just google that shit, it's the first hit. Go check it out."

"OK, so not only are you trying to get me to date your daughter, but you're encouraging me to cyberstalk her?"

---

Text message conversation. Notice which of us uses full words and punctuation...

"Matt says he is cyber stalking u on facebook. And 'it would be a priveledge to meet her'. And he know yer boyfriend. And doesn't like him much"

"What? Really? That is weird"

"He did go to El Molino but says he can't find u in his yearbook. And u look cute in an apron"

I start looking through my pictures on facebook and realize that there are no super recent pictures of me with an apron but there are a shit ton. Seriously, I wear aprons a lot. And then I start thinking he must really be in depth facebook stalking me if he got that far into my pictures. Or you know, my mother could've told him about my blogs, without me knowing.

"Well, not being able to find a picture of 14 year old me is probably for the best."

"Perhaps. Anyway. His name is Matt M------- and he says his facebook page has a picture of him sitting on the tailgate of a pickup with a sawed off shotgun, but don't let that fool u. I told u he likes guns..."

"Ok, I'll stalk him back"

"You are right. He's cute. I'm in."

---

Here's something interesting that happened to me today. When I ran into your mom this evening, she explained to me that she'd spent "a car ride" trying to convince her daughter meet me.

Having very seldom been told that "I need to meet" someone in any capacity other than that I might find them to be quirky or something, I gave absolutely no thought whatsoever to how strange that might actually be.

She's told me (you might be pleased to hear) all sorts of wonderful things about you. What's more, is that she proclaimed she could further prove all of these things by directing me to "blogs and twitter and the El Molino yearbook, and stuff." Not seeing any other way than to be a creepy asshole, I engaged in the time honored pass time of creepy assholes everywhere, and looked up someone I've never met on the internet.

And lo and behold here I am, sending a message to someone I've never met, trying desperately to think of something to say that's appropriate for a situation I've never been in before. :) Kinda strange right?

Anyway, I read a part of your blog. It was really interesting and well written (you probably know this); I started feeling like a total creeper though on account of how honest it was. I suppose it would've been different if it was someone I never intended to meet, or someone I'd already met, but I felt a little off about reading gobs of (what seem to me to be) really open commentary about someone who probably knows little or nothing about me. So, since so much of you is freely available for the reading (I'm wondering how many points I lost for my shotgun) it's only fair for me to at least try to explain a little about who I am.

So I'm 25. I grew up in west Sonoma County, primarily on an apple ranch. Went to Forestville School (GO VIKINGS!) and El Molino (GO LIONS!). I live in Santa Rosa now, out in Rincon Valley, about half a block down from where your mom lives. I go to the JC (GO BEAR CUBS!). Since high school I've worked in construction, logging, and I did a stint as a professional online gambler. I have this one pair a leather flip-flops that all my redneck friends make fun of me for wearing, but I don't care. They also make fun of me because I talk to my cat like it's a person, but I don't care about that either. I drive a super junky old Ford Taurus that's light blue, but everyone says it's periwinkle blue, which they seem to think is really really funny. They call my car the Periwinkler (GO ME!). I have running hot water. I live with one of my best friends and his girlfriend, who is also a close friend of mine. I love music, even if some of my musical choices attract criticism from my more cynical friends (like Simon and Garfunkle). I'm a bit of night owl. I'm impartial to long walks on the beach. One time my grandpa towed my truck home with his tractor ... they were both Fords. I'm constantly fixing my friend's computers. My favorite restaurant use to be Equus before they fucked everything all up.

Believe me, I've got many many more useless pieces of information about myself (which I'm sure you'd be absolutely thrilled to hear about), but I'll spare you. I hope I've at least partially made up for the fact that I had absolutely nothing worthwhile on my Facebook page. Hopefully it's also somewhat made up for the fact your first picture of me you saw was me sitting on my friend's tailgate holding a shotgun (which was about three years ago ... by and by). Trust me, if I had a picture of me running out of a burning house with armloads of puppies, I would've quickly made that my default picture. Sadly no one was there that day.

Hopefully I've made this a little less strange, or at least made a total ass out of myself, which sometimes can have to same effect. My phone number is ***-****, maybe you'd like to grab some coffee sometime?

Matt

I read this message and have a minor heart attack. Seriously? Awesome. My mom is like, here look, read about my daughter being neurotic and drunkenly sleeping with people, that'll totally make you want to date her... I swear, only my mother...

---

"Maybe if you're going to set me up on a date you shouldn't tell the guy about my blog in which I write about being a crazy floozy... Just sayin'"

"He thinks ur adorable. He says the picture in the apron and the dead animal thing are really hot"

"He sent me a pretty amusing message on facebook, so I'm willing to forgive you."

"Matt was impressed that u don't just blog about 'Oh, I like shoes, airhead airhead, etc'. Although I pointed out that you do like shoes..."

"Ur blog is FANTASTIC"

"Oh. And he's sitting right here in my living room..."

"Did you facebook him back?"

"Yes."

---

[Present are Matt, Siobhan, and perhaps two other people.]

"Oh man," *yawn* "I am tired." Understandably so, it was early ... ish.

"Oh yeah? Up all night fucking my daughter?" Followed by the kind of laughter that can only come as a result of embarrassing not only one of the people present, but also one of your children in absentia.

---

[via text]

"So you're luring my daughter to your lair already?"

"Well it was either go out to eat, or eat something here. Plus, I've got hella movies."

"Oh Jesus, I don't wanna know that. I don't want to know about you breaking the bed." etc. etc. etc.

"What?"

"Just use protection."

"Wtf?"

"Too much information Matt."

"You fucking sicko. I said movies. movies. M-O-V-I-E-S. MOV-I-ES. Films."

"O."

---
[also via text]

"Awww, Alana sent me a cute message." -M

"Gag." -S

"Stupid fucking iPhone autocorrect ..." -S

"FAG!" -S

Really, Mother? Really? Really? No, seriously, REALLY?

---

"I feel like since I can read all about your dating history on the internet, I should tell you about mine."

Of course, my mother had already given me a brief synopsis (God knows what my mother has told us about each other that each of us has no idea about...) but I want to hear the story straight from the horses mouth. I get the details on the crazy bitches and the not knowing what they want.

"I know what I want and right now it looks an awful lot exactly like this. I'm not the kind of guy that's going to do a bunch of shit right away so you'll date me and then never do it again. I'm not going to treat you differently in front of my friends. I'm not the kind of person that's going to freak out at six months. I'm a simple kind of guy, what you see is what you get... and it's all yours."

Find me a find, catch me a catch (My Mom's Friend Matt, Part One)

"So I think you should date my friend Matt"

"Oh?" I respond to my mother in that way Jacob and Lara call the "Grandma Susan Oh". It's coupled with a slight raise of one eyebrow and a tone that basically says "I think you're totally insane/wrong/nonsensical but I'm far too polite to say it". Anyways...

"Yeah, he's hella hot and hella funny and hella tall"

(Yes, this really is how my mother speaks)

"Mom, I'm 5'2", it doesn't really matter if he's hella tall"

"Yeah but nobody wants to date small guys. Whether it's their height or their you-know, they all have fucking complexes"

"Ok, valid point. How old is your friend Matt?"

I assume my mother is not setting me up with somebody her age (I mean, I know my mom is young, but 40ish seems a little out of the acceptable age range for me) but it seems better safe than sorry.

"I don't know, I think he might be like a year older than you. You know, my friend Matt, haven't you met him? My friend Matt who works at the Texaco?"

"Oooh, your friend Matt works at the Texaco. You've totally talked about him, I've never met him... wait, you want to set me up with your friend who works at the gas station?!"

"He just happens to work at the gas station. I met him at meetings and then I realized he worked at the Texaco by my old house. Then when I moved to Rincon Valley he turned out to live right around the corner. Anyway, he's hella hot and hella intelligent and he dates crazy hot girls."

"As in crazy hot like super hot or as in crazy and hot?"

"Yes"

"Umm, I don't think I really embody those things"

"Well I don't think he wants to keep dating crazy girls, which is why you should date him and you're hot"

"You have to say that you're my mother. I'm a cute nerdy girl, not a crazy hot girl"

"I think you're a hot girl AND a nerdy girl"

Is that not like the most mom response ever?

"Hot girls pretty much equal crazy. It's like a personality type as well as a physical description... Aren't you supposed to be setting me up with a rich Jewish doctor or something if you're suddenly going to be the type of mother that finds me a nice boy?"

"What?! Then you'd have to sleep with some hairy, big nosed guy."

I think I just stared at my mother and don't point out the obvious My mother is a shiksa, I am not. You do the math.

"Besides, he's in school to be a paramedic"

"So he's hella funny, hot, tall and intelligent and he's in school to be a paramedic?" with another eyebrow raise.

"Yes"

"So what's wrong with him?"

"Well he's in recovery"

"We already established that"

"And he dates crazy bitches"

"Those are not really problems"

"Does he use correct grammar?"

Yeah, whatever, judge me if you will for asking this question but I had just read SOOOO many OkCupid profiles and I'm fairly certain that would make you ask this also. And thus begins a series of questions where I try to find out what is actually wrong with him and be convinced that I'm willing to let my mother set me up on a date. You know, the important things like "Does he read books?" and "What are his interests?". We establish that she thinks he reads nonfiction books, has only recently acquired a car, he likes guns a lot and he may or may not be a Republican or a Libertarian but might not actually vote. Obviously, the political bit was where the biggest hang up happened and resulted in me ranting about how I just don't understand the logistics of Ron Paul's plan to go back to the gold standard (I mean, obviously there's lots of things about Ron Paul that make me want to stab a bitch [though it's mostly the people who solely voted for him just because he's ok with the legalization of marijuana because seriously, if you're going to be an issue voter, marijuana? really? that's what you think is the pressing issue of our time?], but this part of his platform I just straight up don't think could work in the real world.) and about how much I hate Meg Whitman's radio ads. Yet despite the guns (whatevs, I've gotten used to guns lying everywhere in the last year) and the possibly not voting, somehow my mother convinces me and I find myself saying, "So, what happens next?".

"I don't know, you guys go to dinner and a movie or whatever it is kids do these days"

"No, I mean logistically, how does this whole setting up thing go?"

"Oh, I don't know, I guess I talk to him and give him your number or something?"

"Ok, this is really weird. What if he just thinks it's really weird? I guess it won't matter then"

"Why is this really weird?"

"Because I'm being set up by my mother. It seems a little desperate. And weird. I mean, I didn't think that happened in real life"

"Well maybe he'll think it's really weird and it won't matter, but I think you should date my friend Matt"

"Ok"

Driving home I see those flooded fields

I just barely hit the back of a deer the other night.

It made the same terrible thumping noise as when you hit a small animal.

I turned the corner and there it was. I could tell it was about to run out onto the wet, slick asphalt. I weighed my options; brake quickly and risk skidding, continue at the same pace and risk a deer through the windshield; slow down and hope it maintained speed. I braked slowly. My car about a foot away from it, the deer slowed down. I knew what was going to happen. I hoped it wouldn't. I hoped it wouldn't slow down more, that both my car and the deer would be ok.

I pulled over. Tears streaming, I look back out my window but the deer is gone. However much I had hurt it, at least it was able to get off the road. Maybe I should've found this comforting, but I didn't. I've seen what happens when a deer injured by a car wanders off onto somebody's property. They don't usually last too long.

The idea of a mountain lion killing a deer doesn't bother me; it doesn't bother me when I see vultures circling and eventually landing on a corpse; I've eaten deer that's been locally hunted and it doesn't phase me in the slightest, but this unintentional clash of technology and nature broke my heart.

A woman wants her cowboy like he wants his rodeo

You're probably thinking, "Really, we're done with the boy, aren't we done with country music?" but alas, no, because there's still so much "what the fuck were you thinking?" followed by "oh, wait, I see why you were suckered in" followed by me still living in the country which means that I drive around in my car yell-singing "I hate that stupid old pickup truck you never let me drive". (Yes, I just admitted to listening to a Taylor Swift song all the way through, please judge me, I would, the alien that sometimes controls my actions even does) Because I do hate that stupid old pickup truck he never let me drive, seriously, I hated the issue of whether or not I was allowed to drive it. This is never something I thought would come up in my dating life. I really wouldn't care except that he offered me his BMW to drive home one night when I wanted to head in before him (who lets someone drive their bimmer before their truck?) AND he had seen me drive the same exact truck (albeit older and belonging to my grandpa) on many occasions and would comment on how sexy he thought it was. Stupid country boy machismo. Lame sauce.

Back on track, I don't know if I actually ever stated this a year ago in my blog, but my plan after breaking up with Jacob was to remain single for a while. I hear this is the reasonable thing to do if, a) you're ending a really long term relationship and b) you've spent more of your life in relationships than out of them and you're only 24 (or, at the time, 23).

There was no plan when I broke up with the boy, because we hadn't really been dating. I started the whole online dating plan in the period when we were still occasionally sleeping with each other and he was sleeping with other people because I had conversations with five people in two days in which they recommended online dating and Ms. Mae told me she thought the only reason I kept sleeping with the boy was because I was afraid that nothing better was ever going to come around. So I figured I might as well give it a go. Oddly, I'm really happy that I didn't go on any dates before telling the boy I had no interest in being friends or even talking to him anytime in the near future. I proved to myself that I could take that risk of not having anyone other than my incredibly loving and supportive friends and family and that I respected myself enough to not let the boy treat me like shit anymore.

(You might be asking why a woman of twenty four who has spent more time in relationships than out would ever be afraid of not finding someone and it would probably be a reasonable question. I don't know.  I guess I'm just insecure and human like that.)

This time 'round I feel the exact same way in a not at all sort of way. I realized as I was looking through OkC profiles and finding dealbreakers I didn't even know existed (Did you know there are still people that think Dan Brown is a legitimately good author?) like using commas instead of periods for ellipses (I think, why else would you put three commas at the end of every sentence?) that maybe I don't actually want to be in a relationship. I mean, I do. I want someone to bring me that giant bowl of mashed potatoes. But I only want it if it's amazing. I'd rather take the time to take a deep breath and figure out what the hell it is I want before I accidentally go on a date with somebody I've thought was a douchebag since about 8th grade and have the emotional rollercoaster ride of my life for the next ten months because it turns out, he is still a douchebag.

So let's figure it out by breaking it down; every other boy mentioned in this blog vs. the boy:

-Jacob: This would be my high school sweetheart. He's still one of my best friends; we watch project runway, look at cardigans and talk about video games. If I has to suddenly face some sort of major life crisis/event he's most likely the person I'm going to call. He is probably the reason music is such a big part of my life. His college major has changed from structural engineering (wait, or was it civil first?) to electrical engineering to architecture to, finally , math. I would not describe him as manly, but he can wire houses and use power tools, so that's something. An all around very nice, nerdy, well dressed (though it's taken some effort to find clothes to fit his 6'6" frame) guy. This is not at all relevant, but he has a Great Dane puppy named Charles that is the cutest thing ever and can probably already fit my whole head in his mouth.

-Just My Type Boy/The Boy's Best Friend: One of my best male friends growing up. He had a crush on me from sometime in middle school until possibly sometime in the past year, or now, I don't know. I've had crushes on him off and on that whole time. We talk about girls being stupid, video games, traveling and watch really bad movies (Like Conan the Barbarian). We've jokingly propositioned each other so many times that I'm fairly certain we've finally ended up in each other's friend zones. He was a biology major with a math minor. Despite being a seemingly oblivious sort of guy, he always know what to say to cheer me up; whether it be telling me I'm amazing or joining in on the self deprecation. I hear he can be a bit of an ass to date. He climbs a lot of rocks, so he looks pretty muscular and manly until he opens his mouth and you realize he's mostly a pretty nice, somewhat awkward, nerdy guy. He also has an adorable puppy, her name is Claudia.

-Charlie Trouble: In case you've somehow missed the me making out pantless in a bar posts, this would be the boy who I may have crushed on, impulsively slept with and broken the bed of while in New York. He might've announced to a bar that I was his future girlfriend and just didn't know it yet and suggested proposal as a method to keep me in New York. We were both inebriated for one of those statements and neither of us were for the other; I'll let you guess which. I feel like it would be a bit silly to write out a whole bit when I've just written about him. Let's just say one of his jackets has a WoW patch, he has a LotR tattoo, I told him I would marry him if he built me the Enterprise... I think you can see where this is going...

But if you want me to spell it out for you: I am a sucker for nerdy boys.

For serious.

(If I ever start a dating only blog I'm pretty sure it's going to have to be titled "Let's talk math baby, and could you be a little awkward about it?".)

-Ché/The Boy: Apparently had a crush on me from third grade until I broke his heart when he asked me to go to a dance in 6th or 7th grade. I don't remember this at all. We had all the same friends but were never particularly good friend with each other. Sometime in 8th grade this changed, probably around the time I called him a chauvinist ass and he called me a bitch. I have no recollection of why this happened, just that it did. I'm sure I had a good reason though. We mostly avoided each other freshman year of high school and then I transferred out of that god damn hick school to the fine/performing arts magnet and forgot he existed until he popped up in my people you might now thingy on facebook. I remember at one point in time thinking he was a nice enough intelligent sort of guy so maybe I was wrong about the whole chauvinist ass thing. We started writing each other daily. He bought me nice dinners, he has a nice car, he knows how to say all the right things he has the responsibility of taking care of things around his and his mother's ranch, he reads a lot, he once asked me if he looked homeless in all brown when he was wearing a very green shirt and he knows how to use a chainsaw. He was a history major, but mostly only likes the old white guy war stuff as far as I can tell. When he'd come home to find his roomie or best friend and me playing MarioKart he would make funof us. Our common interests include talking about our dead fathers, booze and sex. With a heavy emphasis on the booze and sex.

My friends, his friends and he have all stated that he must have been an incredibly long rebound/I was just going for the opposite end of the spectrum, but I think that's only 75% true.

Both of us have an odd, idealized love for country life. I'm not going to lie, it really does give me great joy to drive around in a giant truck blasting country music because it's just straight up fun, so is drinking by candlelight in the barn and being in a house full of people drunkenly shouting along to "Friends in Low Places". However, I do not want to do those things all the time. I like the environment so I like my fuel efficient car. I like going to indie rock shows. Also the ballet and museums. I'm a contradictory sort of girl.

But I think there's a part of me that's a sucker for the ideal of the educated, sensitive country boy. You know, he knows how to have a good time but he also can take care of his responsibilities. He appreciates food cooked from the plants and animals he's grown. He spends days with the woodsplitter so his mother can have firewood for the winter. He'll probably mostly make sure you're happy and you get what you want, but he's not a pushover. He can fix things And, obviously, he knows how to handle a gun when the zombie invasion comes 'round. (And yes, the boy is part of the constantly talking about the zombie invasion club.) This was the impression the boy gave me when we first started seeing each other. I am not actually a sucker for the country boy who wants to get drunk every single night, tells me I can be a god damn feminist as long as I still shave my legs and would like to be able to use his guns to shoot pretty much anyone that pissed him off.

The country boy image still appeals to me, but I'm pretty sure that if I have to choose my type, I'm going back to nerdy but preferably with some of those other qualities thrown in.

I would like a boy that is something like 75% nerdy, 15% country (I may settle for not a pushover and can fix things without actually being "country") and 10% hipster (alternatively, not actually hipster, but likes music a lot).

So basically, right now, I'm going to be ludicrously picky because I'm not in a hurry and I don't ever want to pretend it could possibly work with someone not even remotely my type again. I'm sure I'll relax my standards once I've been single long enough. Maybe I'll even stop judging people by their taste in authors and ability to write out full words (when hell freezes over) but I don't really know.

And the part where I feel exactly the same as last year...

Once again, how does this whole single thing work?

The kind of kid who goes down chutes too narrow

I'm not gonna lie, this semester is starting out a little rough for me. Right now I have a burning desire to drop all my classes and become a crazy workaholic and reclusive writer.

(Also to really thoroughly clean my house, which is weird, because cleaning really is my downfall as a potential housewife. I'm going to go ahead and blame this on growing  up with a housekeeper and my grandmother's belief that it's more worth it to pay people than do things you don't have a strong preference for doing. Not very long ago she showed my a pile of leaves she was really proud of herself for raking. I think I just looked at her strangely and walked away... anyways... I'm a compulsively organized person, but I'm not a compulsive cleaner, except apparently now I am and it's strange.)

( I'm not saying I want to be a housewife, just that I have the skill set required except I would hire a housecleaner because in the world where I'm married to somebody rich enough that I can stay at home, they're also rich enough to hire a housecleaner. I feel like I'm just digging myself into deeper and deeper holes here...)

I think they're a lot of factors contributing to this non-excitement about school.

1. Money.

Let's face it, you can only be broke for so long before you get tired of being broke. Since I didn't live the poor college student lifestyle in my early post high school years, it's a little rough trying to handle it now. You mean I can't put chevre in every meal or buy every pair of shoes that is both on sale and I want? Champagne is a sometimes beverage? Ludicrous. It's not like I was rolling in the dough before by any stretch of the imagination (except I was, literally rolling the dough... haha... oh god, somebody should shoot me for that) but I did make about 3 times as much as my current income of jackshit. If I become a crazy workaholic and reclusive writer I can make slightly more than jackshit (I really can't actually 'cause there's no way to make up for the pay cut without working about 60 hours a week) and I won't have time or desire to spend it. Because in my spare time I'll be wandering around my house, following one of my aunt's suggestions, in a bathrobe with a glass of whiskey. I'll probably have to take up smoking and buy a typewriter for this plan. This seems reasonable. Except I don't really want to write a book because I can't write fiction. But I guess neither can John Irving to a certain extent and I love him, so maybe I'll be the next John Irving. But in my books everyone will grow up to be pastry chefs after spending time in India or Turkey instead of Berlin/Vienna and have attended a public fine arts school instead of Exeter. There will still be bears though. Don't worry. Oh, and then I'll take that jackshit and my novel and move to New York. Where I will find a bakery that wants to pay me real money or an entrepreneur that thinks a whiskey and fancy caramel shop is the best idea ever and wants to give me lots of money. I don't really know what the deal with the novel is. Maybe I'll give up on the typewriter and keep writing rambling blog entries.

2. Work!

When I took this job I decided I wasn't going to put much effort into it because I didn't (don't) get paid enough to care. But it turns out I'm incapable of keeping myself from going above and beyond the call of duty in a struggling business. Part of this is that I just can't work in an inefficient environment in any circumstance, but especially in a kitchen. Kitchens should be models of efficiency, that's how you make a profit. So I started trying to organize, I made daily production lists, I got my boss to sit down and tell me what the orders coming in are on an almost daily basis (still working on just getting a god damn order book so I can see for myself) and since he's a reasonable man, that fully acknowledges I have far more professional kitchen training and experience than him he pretty much will implement any change/suggestion that I make. Which is pretty awesome.  Since I started caring about my job I've been pretty much able to turn it into exactly the job I want; my hours are fairly flexible, I have control over my production schedule and at the moment, the majority of my job is recipe development. Recipe development is really all I want to spend every day doing. I kind of turned my job into my dream job. But in my dream world I would also be able to take over ordering and inventory so I always had all my ingredients and I would get paid at least twice as much. And that's in a totally reasonable dream world. Really. Since I took over the baker's job and will now be doing recipe development for that as well, I've become the chef. Even the final versions of the chocolates my boss develops don't go out without me having a say. I'm part of his long term business plan. All this is great. But did I mention I get paid jackshit? Also this means I'm working full time. The whole point in moving home was to be able to afford working part time and going to school. Working five days a week and going to school two is already feeling brutal.

It's also somewhat of a de-motivator for the whole school thing. I went back to school at least in part, because I thought I wanted to change careers, but right now I'm actually doing what I want in the culinary world and don't really have a strong desire to do so. I still want to go to school for education's sake but I'm feeling more of the slow leisurely I'll get my bachelor's degree eventually pace right now.

I also do not want to get stuck in Sonoma County that long. Powering through two years at the JC so I could transfer and get the hell out seemed like a stretch. It's gorgeous here, there's no denying that. I just want to get a little farther (ok, a lot farther) from home before I settle. In that sense, I have no desire to be part of my boss's longterm business plan, because I don't want to feel obligated to be here longterm. I just want to work like crazy to give him a good solid base to expand on and then get the hell out of dodge.

3. School itself.

I swear to god, if my anthropology teacher emphasizes the importance of studying cultures within their own context one more time, I'm going to just get up and walk out of that class. I really think I would find cultural anthropology fascinating if it were not oversimplified to the point that I thought I was taking a "general intro to the overall concept of anthropology for third graders" class. I have no problem with lecture classes, my favorite class last semester was Race, Ethnicity and Gender in U.S. history and was basically just hours and hours of lecturing, but it was also expected that you had the basic intelligence and vocabulary of a college student. My anthro teacher asks if we recognize words all the time. You know, like "plethora". And then, even if nobody is confused, stops the lecture to spend ten minutes defining and giving examples of said word. It drives me insane.

And calculus, oh calculus. I stopped taking math in high school because I've always hated doing math homework and consequently, despite being fairly advanced, I got terrible grades. Mostly I understand things, I just hate showing work. It turns out most math teachers like you to break down your problems into the most ridiculous step by steps. It's like micromanaging a math problem. It's stupid. I still hate doing math homework. This is not going to go well. Also, I forgot what any of the buttons on my graphing calculator do. And my math teacher is crazy intense. Blech.

Having said all that, I think for the most part this year has started off in a much awesomer way/better place than last one. Even though I'm struggling with the whole going to school thing, I have goals and desires to work towards and I don't feel like I'm living my life getting through one week at a time. Goals make me happy. Plans make me happy. Stepping back and seeing where things went wrong and where I can make them right in the future makes my world.

Right now, I'm here, in California, in the boonies, monetarily challenged and maybe thinking a little too much about a boy across the country, but I'm more than willing to work my ass off, make changes and not settle for less than the things I want. 

I swear I will make twenty four my year if it kills me. 

We sit side by side in every class

Let's face it, I'm sick of writing about the boy and your sick of reading about it. Right now I just want you to know that I haven't seen him for two weeks and other than some random texts and facebook messages, haven't talked to him. I'm not going to lie, it's taking some willpower, but right now I'm feeling pretty great about the fact that thinking about sleeping with him makes me shudder.

And on a more awesome note,

Last night just my type boy and I met at one of the local bars (there are two bars and a pub in our two block town and everybody lives on property that requires driving to, I'm amazed at how rarely you see a sheriff's car go through) to grab a beer (the pub was closed) and sat for three hours (while insanely drunken rednecks outfitted entirely in Carhartts with obvious wads of dip shouted at each other over the blaring country music) and discussed why π should really be 2π and how awesome it is to remember addresses, phone numbers, pins, etc as mathematical equations.

God I love being a smart girl and god I love nerdy boys.

Who knew Thursday night could be so fantastic for such small reasons?

Also, fuck charm and nice cars and fancy dinners. Let's talk math, baby. And could you be a little awkward about it?