Good Girls Don't Wear Sequins

BiSCswagOk, now that we've gotten all that talk about FEEEELINGS out of the way, let's have some Real Talk about the awesome shit that comes with being a BiSC attendee. This (maybe not so) flattering picture of me was taken by my roommate/favorite person Dominique in our fancy Flamingo Go Room which had a MOTHEREFFING tv in our bathroom mirror. Guys, I don't have cable (YEAH, I SAID IT. LOOK, I WAS RAISED WITHOUT TV SO YOU CAN GO SIT IN THE CORNER AND JUDGE MY PRETENSION WHILE I JUDGE YOU WATCHING DANCE MOMS AND WE CAN ALL BE HAPPY WITH OUR JUDGE-Y LIFE DECISIONS). I don't even know what to do with a tv in the bathroom mirror, we turned it on once while we were doing our makeup, it was confusing. See also: comfiest beds ever and multi nozel shower.

WARNING: The Go Rooms and the regular hotel rooms at the Flamingo are really not the same. I stayed in one of the regular ones in January and it was actually kind of more like Motel 6 quality. So don't go booking hotel rooms at the Flamingo and come bitching at me because you got the cheap option.

IMG_1234At the bottom of the bed is my giant pile of SWAG. Missing from the giant pile of swag: the free drink by the pool coupon sponsored by GelaSkins. It's missing because that wristband means I just came back from the crazy Flamingo Go Pool. Which is the adult pool. (No, not THAT KIND of adult pool) As in the pool where the booze is. And the fancy VIP day beds. And the waterfall to swim under and then end up in a nifty grotto. Also, where we played never have I ever for toys from Babeland. Are you wondering how things could get more ridiculawesome? So was I at this point. Pool day already seemed like the best day of my life but then IT GOT BETTER.

One word: ZUMANITY. Sexy Cirque du Soleil. Hilarious and amazing and naked. Also incredibly disturbing. Well, only the crazy contortionist that kept popping things out of sockets and shit was disturbing. I actually had to cover my eyes. Then dancing, dancing, dancing. Happiest when dancing in sequins and 4 inch heels. Until I'm tired of the heels and have to switch to sandals. Whatever. Happiest when dancing in sequins.

527798_512844919445_193400044_30188068_163346545_nWait, did I say happiest when dancing in sequins? I might've meant happiest when wearing sequins and eating waffle fry pulled pork nacho... I don't even know how to describe these, but Sara and I managed to start a trend that apparently had like 40 people eating these piles of amazingness the next night. Seriously, what is happening here? Why did we each order our own plate? This is insanity. Also, this is 3am.

HI, now it's time for sleeping.

In case you are unaware, breakfast is my favorite meal. by which I mean, breakfast foods are my favorite because I almost never eat breakfast. So buffet time on Saturday where I got to eat bacon, sausage, french toast, waffles and potatoes was pretty much my idea of heaven. I may've also made it boozy thanks to mini bottles of Skyy. IMG_1242The only thing better than regular brunch is boozy brunch.

The next epic adventure was to the roller coaster on top of New York New York that Alberto insisted did not exist (SPOILER: it exists) but for some reason agreed to join Dominique, Kelly and me in walking to the other end of the strip to go on it. Or to prove us wrong. I 67% think he was hoping to prove us wrong. I really love roller coasters, but also am unable to keep my eyes open on roller coasters which probably defeats the purpose of going on a roller coaster on top of a hotel. BUT WHATEVER, I went on a roller coaster on top of a hotel because that's the kind of shit you do in Vegas right before you play Pac-Man battle royale and the world's biggest version of fruit ninja. Clearly I chose the right group for the afternoon. For those of you playing along at home, at this point I have gone multiple hours without booze in Vegas, a situation I find mildly intolerable because apparently I'm really easily over stimulated which doesn't mix with Vegas without alcohol. BUT DON'T WORRY.

IMG_1243Thankfully Minus 5 ice bar had us covered for the afternoon. Sadly we weren't allowed to take any electronics in or I'd have fifty million pictures and have tweeted so many clever things. Or just talked a lot about how one of the rooms made me feel like I was in Narnia because of the trees etched into the ice. Did I mention that everything was made of ice? And have I ever mentioned my lifelong goal of staying in an ice hotel? This did not lessen my desire to stay in an ice hotel. We had our picture taken in a giant ice throne so that we could yell "King in the North!" but it turns out most people sit in the giant ice throne to get a picture with the Vegas sign because when we came out the woman was all "oh, you have the picture in front of the Vegas sign" and we were like "what are you talking about, lady?" because we thought we took our picture on the ice throne and are possibly too nerdy AWESOME to notice Vegas signs . Oh well.

(Side note: I'm kneeling in a really short skirt in an ice room because I was sitting the same way as Alberto and Kelly and the photographer said "You need to sit in a more flattering position, can you kneel?". And I wanted to say "Whoa dude, just how badly do you think I want this photo?" but I hadn't finished my second margarita so I wasn't feeling quite that sassy yet.

Post side note: the drinks, which were served in ice cups, rocked my socks)

More buffet. More eating all the Le Bon Garçon caramels in my gift bag. Then slowly getting ready for the Mad Men party. IMG_1245Where, you know, NBD, we just skipped a giant line to get into Chateau, the club on the roof of the Paris hotel from which you can see the Bellagio fountains go off. It was only so awesome that we all had to take a minute to tweet/facebook/foursquare/etc about it. That's all.

IMG_1249I mean, how adorable is everyone in their 60s duds, on their phones? It's pretty great. Anachronism win. Cue more dancing. Have I mentioned that I like dancing? No, really, I really like dancing. I need to go dancing more (at all) in New York now that I work normal people hours. Who wants to be my dancing buddy? Let's just go ahead and assume this girl does. IMG_1247
Yes, this is kind of an awful picture because it was dark and we were using the front facing camera, but I don't even care. And now we've reached the point where this post is just going to devolve into pictures. You're welcome.

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In Real Life

IMG_1235When I was thirteen I went to my first Unitarian youth conference. I arrived at the UU church in Aptos with a few close friends and with no idea that I'd be meeting 80 or so people that would change my fucking life. I spent the next eight years devoted to that community- organizing, mentoring, participating and holding. It was cuddle puddles and 4am talks of spirituality, sexuality, social justice and which semi permanent hair dye was the longest lasting (Special Effects still wins, BTW) and days of sleeping as little as possible to soak up the amazingness of the people around me and the feeling of safety that came in that space. When I aged out at twenty one after deaning our week long Summer camp with my two best friends, I was ready. It wasn't my space anymore and it was time to let the youth I tried so hard to mentor as well as I remembered being mentored step up and take my place.

I was a left with a hole in my heart much larger than the one that causes my murmur. Don't get me wrong, those people are still my closest friends and I still very much identify as a Unitarian (even if my current church attendance record is about once a year), but that feeling of community, that feeling of (yes, I'm going there) intention has been missing from my life.

Last weekend I met 59 other bloggers in Las Vegas. 59 other people who also in some way expose themselves for the entire internet to judge. 59 other people who I felt like I already knew without having even met the majority of them before this past weekend IN REAL LIFE.

We use that term a lot, us bloggers, IRL, as if the internet isn't our real life. It's funny, because I think for so many of us it is. The internet is where I'm unabashedly me. Where I am all the things I keep myself from being "too" in real life. Too emotional, too excited, too passionate, too ready to break into dance at the slightest provocation while wearing a sequined dress, too, too, too. The magic of meeting internet people in the real world is that they already know the real version. I don't feel like I have to impress anybody or hide anything because, look, EVERYTHING ABOUT ME IS RIGHT HERE ON THIS BLOG, from my worst decisions to my best decisions, from my struggling with my childhood to my thankfulness for my supportive family, from the bell jar days to the days where I want to shout from the rooftop that life is wonderful, it's all here. All of it. So trying to pretend to be anyone else is just stupid.

So this weekend I got to relax into being me. I got to meet some of the most wonderful, supportive, silly people I know of existing. I spent as much time awake as possible and went to sleep Sunday morning with the sun rising and the birds chirping, only to wake up a few hours later and have to say goodbye. The kind of goodbye that was filled with happy sadness.

And as I left Las Vegas and headed for a mini visit in California, I realized I had found my people again. I realized that this blog and the community I get to be part of because of it has done for me what church conferences did for me as a teenager. It has helped me grow and gain confidence and support others even when exposing the weakest version of myself. It's helped me stay in touch with who I am while nudging me towards the person I want to be. It's given me a whole helluva lot of people to whom I would say my guest room is always open and I'm always available for talking in the midst of a crisis.

When Lara picked me up in San Francisco and asked me if I was sad the weekend was over, I said "Remember that end of con feeling? When you were sad that you had to leave everyone but ready to not be sleeping on a church floor anymore? It was like that. Except Vegas was the church floor".

To my fellow BiSC-uits, I can't wait to see you in real real life because I'm sure as hell not waiting an entire year for the church floor that is Vegas, let's plan a get together soon.

Like, maybe tomorrow.

Bits & Pieces (the third)

I mean, THIS WEEK, y'all, this week. Or two weeks? I don't even know. I don't even know where to start. This is going to be a little brain dump-y. Ok, a lot brain dump-y. (read: hilarious/ridiculous/rambling)

I didn't finish Scintilla because I had a carpal tunnel flare up, probably from Scintilla. What I learned from Scintilla: I actually, physically cannot write every day. So there's that. That's pretty shitty. I mean, I probably could if I didn't get paid to squeeze piping bags and shape tiny pasta but I do, so writing every day is out. And no, I couldn't really hold a pen by the end of the day either. With a break from writing and "sleeping" with a wrist brace for a few days, I seem to be doing ok. This makes me really happy because a) I can stop sleeping with the motherfucking wrist brace because sleeping with a wrist brace is more like "wake up every three hours and groggily wonder why the fuck you have this uncomfortable torture device on your wrist" b) I was freaking out because I don't have health insurance and I'm ok with paying the $100 for an urgent care appointment if it's for getting antibiotics or some shit, but carpal tunnel isn't really a "here take this things and it's fixed" sort of problem and I have no money for tests or physical therapy or, god forbid, surgery and the freaking out probably didn't help with the wrist brace induced insomnia and c) now I can write again.

And I need to write again so that I can tell you about how I haven't slept longer than three hours in one stretch EVEN WHEN I DRUGGED MYSELF for like two weeks and I am really really glad I finally have two days off IN A ROW tomorrow and Monday.

Also, I need to talk about how boys are confusing.

I suffer from chronic bitch face, my mouth naturally turns down when my face is relaxed, while this doesn't seem to really bother other women, it means I get a lot of those annoying commands from men to smile. It also seems to mean that men either think I'm a bitch, or if they've gotten me to smile, that I'm flirting with them. I either apparently have "bitchface" or "flirtface" on because apparently I unintentionally flirt A LOT when I think I'm just making conversation. (Sidenote: Yes, I am also a flirt, but when I'm intentionally flirting it's usually pretty obvious, there's a lot of smirking and eyebrow raises and taking advantage of my shortness) And then I'm too nice and I give people my number EVEN THOUGH I DIDN'T THINK WE WERE FLIRTING and then I feel awful but most of the time this isn't too much of a problem because I can just be that awful girl that ignores your calls. However, it is a problem when my drunken coworker kisses me and I didn't even see it coming a little bit.

Drunken coworker.

Kissed me.

Not the one I slept with forever ago when I wasn't working there. A new one. Like, not just new to kissing me, but new to working there. Oh, and did I mention he has a girlfriend? And I've barely every spoken to him? Except for making polite getting to know you conversation at the other sous chef's going away party, I'd pretty much never said anything other than "Hey, how are you? Which breads are you low on?".

But we left the party at the same time and we were waiting for the train and he kissed me and WHAT? So I told him it was a bad idea and then he said it was a good idea and then he looked me straight in the eyes and told me I was beautiful and I was so caught off guard (see also: drunk) that I didn't dodge a second kiss. And then he fell over, taking me with him. And then he vomited.

So here I am, in the train station, with a guy I've known two weeks and have had maybe a total of thirty minutes worth of conversation with who is falling over, vomiting, black out drunk. Sober me realizes he might've hit his head when we fell and that maybe I should've taken him to a hospital. Drunk me went into crisis mode and decided to get him in a cab and get him home.

He's a foot taller than me and does not have a small build. I have a bruise over half my right ring finger from the pressure of the claddaugh I wear from trying to pull him up by his hands. I succeed in getting him up and out of the train station. With much effort I get his address out of him and get us into a cab. Not thinking about the fact that his address could be construed as Brooklyn or Manhattan and assuming that the cabbie would stay IN THE BOROUGH WE WERE IN if I didn't specify, I focused on making sure new coworker was alive and ok and not on the fact that OH HEY WE'RE IN MANHATTAN NOW, also please pull over because new coworker needs to throw up more. So then I had to go back to Brooklyn. Most expensive cab ride ever. Fuck my life. But, I mean, what the fuck else am I supposed to do?

We finally get back to his house and the effing effity eff keys keep sticking in the lock and it's freezing and it's 3am and it takes like twenty minutes of us passing the keys back and forth to each other to get in the god damn house where we proceed to go upstairs to his bedroom and then I go to the bathroom only to find he's disappeared while I was peeing. Fuck. I find him downstairs in the other bathroom sitting on the toilet with his head in the sink. I mean, hey, I usually prefer to use the toilet for vomiting and the floor for sitting on, but at least this way he can't choke on his own vomit in his sleep. He vaguely wakes up, throws up some more. I try to force some water into him, he doesn't keep it down. I consider sleeping in the bathtub because I am a crazy person that thinks that somehow by sleeping next to a black out drunk person I'll keep them from injuring themselves. I try to pull him up and get him upstairs. No luck. Finally, I give up and let him fall asleep, head in the sink. I go up to his room, curl up on the bed, completely clothed, jacket still on because it's freezing and set an alarm for twenty minutes to go check on him. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Eventually he makes it into bed.

And that, was how this week started. I left before he woke up. I know he knows I got him home because I overheard him telling my other coworkers that he blacked out and I got him home but I have no idea what else he remembers.

So I'm pretty much just pretending none of it ever happened and he hasn't said anything about any of it to me (either the kissing or the me getting him home) but he has been really friendly and look, HOW THE FUCK DO YOU DEAL WITH THIS SITUATION? Because I'm at work, I have a professional relationship with him. I barely know him. I don't want to kiss him. But I spent multiple hours wiping vomit off his face and I've slept in his bed so it's weird. It's really fucking weird. I don't know what to do, so I'll probably just keep pretending nothing ever happened except it makes me kind of feel like a bitch to be like "hey, I've seen you crazy vulnerable and in need of help but now I'm acting like I barely know you". But I barely know him.

So anyways, apparently I have no idea how to read men because I really didn't think we were flirting but he really was determined to kiss me. Also, he was really drunk so I'm assuming it has no bearing on how sober him feels about kissing me. At least I'm hoping that's true.

Boys Are Confusing Part Two:

This past Saturday I think I almost got into my first fight with Trouble. (Pro Tip: You're not supposed to get in fights with somebody with whom you're just sleeping and have no emotional involvement, because I think that's a sign of emotional involvement. Oops.) We were in a cab and he mentioned how his new subletter was a really great guy and HE SAID "not like my other roommate" so I said "who hates me?". He again clarified that his roommate hates everyone and I again stated that I didn't really care if his roommate hates me because he was kind of a jerk.

"Really? Because he's one of my really good friends, y'know we grew up together, so his opinion really matters to me"

And then I changed the subject because a) never try to reason with drunk people especially if you are also drunk and b) why does it matter what his best friend thinks of me if we're not dating?! What?

We are talking about a guy here who once pointed to the ring on my finger and said "Are you engaged? I mean, not that it would matter if you were, I don't believe in the whole marriage thing". I thought we were firmly in this is not a relationship land, not ambiguous relationship land. Ambiguous relationship land is my actual least favorite.

Why am I meeting his best friend?

Why does his best friend's opinion matter?

Why are we seeing each other (slightly) more often?

And why is he doing cute things like pushing my hair out of my eyes and telling me it's a good to see me?

And I AM A GIRL AND I NEED TO ANALYZE ALL THESE THINGS TO DEATH BECAUSE I HAVE ALL THESE FEEEEEEEEELINGS.

Unrelated to all these things, I worked 13 hours today even though it's the day my pastry cook came back from being on vacation. I don't know either. Also I had potato chips for dinner even though I'm starting a juice cleanse on Monday. The world has been muffled all week. If you understand that statement, I am glad for the company, though also sorry. If you don't, I can't explain it. My room is a mess. I misread my DIGITAL scale all week and thought I had gained back five pounds instead of losing five pounds. I will clean my room tomorrow and I will pay to have somebody else do my laundry and I will have dinner with my family and I will start drinking all the juice on Monday and life will come back in focus again. I think. I think that's how it works.

But now, it's time to go the fuck to sleep.

Viva Las Vegas

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The first time I went to Las Vegas, I was 21. It was me, six friends and one hotel room. We spent most of the time mildly (or more than mildly) inebriated, I won a bucket of quarters (at the Tropicana, probably the last casino to give you buckets of change, I don't know whether or not they've finally upgraded to those boring paper slips) and we saw Love. We spent a three day weekend there, it was fun and at the end I was ready to go home and maybe not go back to Vegas for a few years.

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The second time I went to Vegas was two years later, for a bachelorette party. There were six girls in two rooms. We flew. Moving on up in the world. We were older and less poor, so we spent less time drinking forties on the strip and more time collecting all the novelty cups. We went to the top of the Eiffel tower, walked up and down the entire strip and took advantage of every offer of free booze and wristbands for clubs. Per usual, I took advantage of every opportunity to wear clothing you will never see me wear outside of Vegas. (See: sequins and everything from Forever 21) My biggest regret was not buying a sparkly flask. I'm pretty sure if that's your biggest regret when leaving Sin City, you're doin' alright. Once again, I was there for a three day weekend, and at the end I was ready to leave.

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Fast forward another two years and we get to Vegas trip three. I can't find any of the items needed to get pictures off my own camera, so here's a picture my aunt took of my little brother and me right before my mom's wedding. Yes, I'm using the term little in reference to his age obviously. I'm wearing 4" heels in this picture. True story. (Also, no, neither of us are adopted. Yes, he is my half brother. In case you just thought he was really tan which is something one of my friends actually said once. Anyways....) Vegas trip three confirmed what I already suspected, the Las Vegas strip is really overwhelming and kind of awful if you're not at least mildly inebriated and wearing sequins. But I got to spend a lot of time with my little brother, eat some good food with my family and my mom got married by Elvis looking the happiest I've ever seen her. This time I was really only there for two full days and I was ready to leave. (Oh, and I bought a sparkly flask)

You may have noticed that I like to wait two years between Vegas trips. That seems to be about the time I'm ready for the ridiculousness again. But not this year. This year, I'm going back for Bloggers in Sin City. Four days of fun and turning internet friends into real life friends.

I don't know if I've ever mentioned how thankful I am for this blog sometimes. I might not have the shiniest fonts or the largest group of followers and most of my posts don't even get comments, but I know it's made me some amazing friendships and afforded me some crazy wonderful opportunities. (Hello, being able to move to New York. Hello, all the friends I've made since moving across country)

And one of my favorite internet people turned in real life people is Nicole (ok, who am I fooling, basically all my internet people are my favorite people, but Nicole understood when I moved across country so fast I has to MAIL her her copy of the first season of Grey's Anatomy even though we only lived an hour apart in California, so you know, I don't know where I'm going with this anymore, except Nicole is great) who is the BiSC founder and organizer so I mean, obviously I've been wanting to go to this for a few years now. What makes it even better, is that Paper'd, the pretty awesome looking wallpaper app coming from Nicole and her lovely Shatterboxx partner, is refunding one person's registrationg fee! Seriously, registration fee, completely refunded and I want it. Because my tax return is probably going to be pretty great, but I'd rather spend it on sequined dressed to wear in Vegas.

So fine, yes, I just made you read an entire blog post so that I could maybe win a free spot to BiSC. But also BECAUSE OH MY GOD CAN WE TALK ABOUT HOW EXCITED I AM ABOUT GOING TO BiSC?!?!?!?!

Yep.

5 Minutes

December 15 – 5 Minutes. Imagine you will completely lose your memory of 2010 in five minutes. Set an alarm for five minutes and capture the things you most want to remember about 2010. (Author: Patti Digh)

When Matt brough me a mixer in the middle of the night because the one at work was broken. The anticipation of waiting for him to kiss me.

Deciding to meet people I know from the internet in real life in order to push myself beyond my comfort level. Whiskey and wine bar, pantless train rides and champagne and cupcake dinner.

Leaving the restaurant world.

Changing jobs again. The girls on my last day giving me hugs, thanking me and actually tearing up. Asking me if I was sure I was ready to become even more attached to kids and telling me I inspired them.

The giddiness when Matt and I decided to move in together.

 

This was just kind of depressing to think about

December 7 – Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011? (Author: Cali Harris)

This year was a bit of a bust communitywise. 2009 I was all about blogging and tweeting and interacting with other internetcentric folk and partying with friends almost every weekend. 2010 I've been almost a hermit.

For the last few years I've been really wanting to get back into my church community. I started off this year with a conference for Unitarian Universalist young adults which reconnected me with some people I hadn't seen in ages with whom I used to be really close but because I work weekends I didn't really have another opportunity to meet up with those people or to even go to church.

My trip to New York this January I met up with Erica of You Should Only Know and Mia of Little Miss Sarcasm as well as some of their friends which was a pretty nifty adventure of meeting a part of my internet community IRL (as they say). Even though I only hung out with them for a couple of days I've kept in some form of contact with them with the magic that is facebook and twitter and if I magically get a week off between jobs and make it to NYC, I'd definitely want to make time to engage in more shenanigans with them.

Also in the internet realm, I'm going to have cupcakes and champagne with Nicole of More is Better this weekend which will hopefully lead to me even further expanding my community of awesome people that could have actually been murderers/not at all interesting in real life but weren't.

Some of my friend live in other towns, some in other states and one literally lives two houses down from me but they all have a completely different schedule than my crazy graveyards on the weekend. It's been really hard to see most of them and for lack of a more elegant phrase, it really sucks. I'm hoping that winter break, my new work schedule and a semester of mostly online classes will let me remedy that situation. Otherwise I'll be the saddest pony.

Wear clean draws

Easter turned out to be a highly quotable day. SO quotable,that in fact, Matt declared something I said as the quote of the day before we even got out of bed. I have no idea what it was, but I’m sure it was both hilarious and memorable.

I think my mother’s favorite quote of the day was when I loudly declared, “there’s no fucking cherries in Hawaiian Punch”. (Which is totally true, but there’s a fucking picture of cherries right on the front of the bottle. Half the things they picture on the bottle are not listed in the ingredients. They should replace them all with corn. Corn shaped like a syrup bottle.) She told me I should tweet that. I told her that she should get her own twitter account and then she could tweet whatever she wanted. Maybe she could rival “shit my dad says” and then she said “That’s enough to almost make me get my own fucking twitter account”. And then she and Matt yelled “Des NUTS” and grabbed their crotches. Ok, that’s not quite what happened. But all those things did happen and it was all during Easter family time.

You know how there’s at least that one David Sedaris story in which his sister says “You’re not going to write about this, are you?” and he replies “Of course not”? I feel like that is the point my life has reached constantly, except at least 50% of the time it’s people telling me I should blog about things. Which is kind of hilarious, because basically they’re telling me I should write a story about them for them to read.  Which means everyone I know is either at least as narcissistic as I am or thinks that somehow their recollection of a situation will become more hilarious through my retelling it to the whole internet OR I’ve somehow managed to surround myself with people that realize life really just is that ridiculous. There’s also option four, which is just that I’m that ridiculous and everyone I know is constantly but slyly acknowledging it, but I’m choosing to ignore that option.

The point being, my boyfriend doesn’t wear underwear because of linen pants and guns.

Backing up…

“Your boyfriend doesn’t sag and have half his ass hanging out”

“Well he’s older”

“Yeah, but I feel like he wouldn’t anyways, he’s just not a sagging kind of guy”

“Also he’s so skinny I’m pretty sure that without a belt his pants would just fall off. Oh, and if he were sagging his ass would literally be hanging out”

“He’s not wearing underwear?”

“No he doesn’t wear underwear”

“TMI!”

My mom says “TMI” a lot but it’s always followed up by questions like “Is it true, what they say about tall skinny guys?” which is obviously a cry for too much information without being blunt about it and since I’m the most wonderful loving daughter, I like to fuck with her and respond with things like “What do they say?” and try to get her to out and out say that she’s asking about the size of my boyfriend’s penis because if she just wanted to know about tall skinny guys I could’ve answered that question years ago. Now she’s totally thinking “TMI” in her head.

I guess it was also possible she was waiting until I had a more reasonable sample size. Good thinking Mother, this question needs to be scientifically answered, I’m pretty sure we still need a larger test group so you’re going to have to set up everyone you know with tall skinny guys ‘cause I’m planning on sticking with this one. (Because this is the only one that will tolerate me writing about speculation on the size of his penis and lack of underwear on the internet.)

“Is it because that would require doing more laundry?”

See? Not actually TMI.

“I don’t know. Probably. It’s not like it’s something we’ve had discussions about. You can ask him and find out”

Except, somehow I ended up asking him many hours later and I have no recollection of why it came up again.

“I just haven’t really worn underwear since I was like sixteen. It’s not that I don’t ever wear underwear, I just generally don’t wear underwear”

“You said you didn’t even know where a pair was”

“Well that was an exaggeration, I know where maybe two pairs are. I mean there are certain situations in which I wear underwear”

“Really? Like what?”

“I don’t know. I don’t like wearing underwear with linen pants… also packing is a bitch with linen pants because it’s not like you can just put a holster on your linen pants, you have to wear a belt and the whole point of linen pants is they’re supposed to be light and breezy”

And at that point I basically go into hysterics, which is totally unreasonable because seriously, I feel like the problem of gun vs. linen pants is probably a really pressing issue.

 If you’re a mobster.

In Miami.

But I feel like there’s not actually a lot of overlap between the militia email and NRA car insurance offers getting community and the linen pants wearing community. Yet somehow I’ve found the person in which they meet. And somehow, this person is somebody that crazy liberal pacifist me is pretty damn into dating and I am now standing in a gourmet grocery store discussing the issues of packing heat while wearing linen pants because I asked my boyfriend why he doesn’t wear underwear.

Of course, through this whole chain of thought and fit of hysterical laughter Matt is just looking at me like I’m crazy because in his mind he just made a totally pragmatic reasonable statement.

And that’s when I said “I should tweet that”.

“You should just blog about it”

Meta.

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."

I Just Don't Know

So, if you follow me on twitter, or just read my twitter feed without actively following me 'cause then you'd have to set up your own account (you know who you are, lurkers), you may have noticed that I recently discovered that my mother reads my blog.

Yes, that is correct. My mother reads my blog.

Which is weird. Have you read my blog? Not exactly mom friendly material.

Unless your mother is my mother, in which case she will think it's awesome. (Because, you know, every mother's dream is for her daughter to grow up and tell the whole internet about her amazing ability to constantly find new ways to put herself in ridiculous situations while blindly stumbling her way through her early twenties.)

The more people I know read my blog, the tougher it gets to put it all out there, to risk the crazy amounts of honesty I've poured into it over the last year. When I started writing personal posts I challenged myself to write truthfully, but it's easy to lay out your soul when you think nobody's looking. I'm not saying I'm planning on changing anything. The picture of my blog written without painful honesty is not one I'm interested in. I'm just saying that I've reached new, uncharted territories with, as Lara called it, this online diary.

I'm working on taking on this new challenge, on having an easily stalkable internet persona and embracing the craziness that is my mother reading my blog.

I think this means I'm going to convince her to guest post 'cause my mother is hilarious, so I might as well meet this situation head on. She could write about whatever she wants (except Lost, fuck that shit) and then you might understand that the swearing and the sarcasm are just a product of my raising and I can prove to you that I wasn't joking in the FAQ section where it says my mother has been more punk rock than I could ever hope to be. Unless she chooses to write about "Say Yes to the Dress" in which case, I suspect nobody will believe a word I write ever again because watching that show is even less punk rock than the fact that the first time you heard my name was on a frakkin soap opera, Mom.

A Perfect Paragraph is Worth a Thousand Pictures

I love reading. I love writing. Not necessarily the act of writing, but writing itself. The beautifully balanced sentence, the carefully placed comma, the subtly perceived symbolism. Of course my creative writing class encourages me towards comparative lit, tempts me to throw my hands up and just give in to being an English major. I want to read it all. I want to find every single sentence that rings so true I can't help but read it again, turning it over and over again in my mind, wondering how it drives itself straight into my soul.

I love it.

I love it.

Some people read for the story; I read for the words. I read literature for the same reason I watch ballet. I read for the pure beauty, for the art, for the skill so many can train for, but so few will ever achieve.

There are days where I wonder if I've ever written one perfect sentence, if I've written anything so profoundly true it stops a reader in their tracks. I doubt I have. I don't know if I ever will. I've never wanted to be a writer. I'm compelled to type these words out but I've never wanted it. Not in the same I've wanted to be an actress or an activist or a chef. They just happen. My thoughts spill over.

I'm a reader, but I'm not a writer. Don't look to me for the next great American novel. I'm just creating writing's sloppy fan art.

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. 

I hope that I don't fall in love with you

Or "I'm trying to say what I want to say without having to say 'I love you'"

I recently started reading Jamie Varon's blog Intersected. It tends toward the extreme honesty, "should I really be writing this on the internet?" sort of posts that I seem to be writing recently. It addresses the confusion of being young, and, well, confused eloquently, in a way I absolutely relate to. The most recent post is titled "I'm Not Brave Enough for Love and You Probably Are" and it got me thinking about love and risk and bravery.

I tend to fall in love easily. When I broke up with Jacob in January it was the first time I'd truly been single since... I don't know, sophomore year of high school? And that was not for very long. Basically I've been doing the serial monogamy thing since middle school. It has absolutely nothing and everything to do with risk.

I find falling in love absolutely fucking terrifying. But when it comes down to it, to the falling itself, that's the easy part, it happens suddenly, unintentionally, illogically, there's no question about bravery or risk or whether or not I want to, there's no choice, it just is. One minute you think you're going out to dinner to catch up with an old friend from your home town and the next thing you know you're wondering if he'll kiss you when he walks you home (the answer is not on the first unintentional date if you, like me, tend to intimidate men, and rant at them) and then waiting to see if he calls you again. I generally don't actually want it to happen, it's not a brave decision I make. I've in fact often wished that I could make, what to me, seems like the braver choice of staying single, of learning to be with myself, of not constantly having somebody to fall back on. Falling in love makes me feel completely out of control of myself, of my emotions. It's not easy or safe.

And because of that, there's not really anything natural or comfortable about being in a relationship for me. I like the idea of relationships, I like having somebody to cook for, to wake up next to, to call for no reason, or to call for every little reason, I love the giddiness of being in love and dread the terror of the other person not feeling the same. I love the idea of domesticity, of finding somebody to stay with always, of figuring out life, of working through all of it together with someone else. In reality, I hate feeling tied down, I hate not having complete control over my choices, of compromising my time, my goals, my values. But I'm no good on my own. It's a constant inner struggle, experience the joy of waking up next to somebody that makes you smile vs the do whatever you want whenever you want.

I suspect the new boy is the same. We're dancing back and forth between freedom and commitment or between vulnerability and always appearing strong. One minute I'm making the "some day, years from now, we'll..." statements and he's making the "when we've been married 15 years..." and the next we're both making our own separate plans and chafing at the thought of changing them for the other person. We're both used to being the person in control in a relationship, of always getting our way, using our flirtations and wit and charm to bend the will of the opposite sex. He's as stubborn and prideful as I am. The people we are with each other tends to be different than the peoplewe present ourselves as when out with friends. Calmer, more honestly ourselves, a little less on the ball, sometimes even cranky and tired. We both just want to take care of each other and make each other happy. We both just want to do what we want. We're still working out how to be on the same page. He skips ahead when I skip back and vice versa. We both make assumptions about what the other person is willing to commit to. The only comfort I have in this whole scary, falling in love, starting a new relationship, mess is that I can tell, despite his apparent confidence, he also is entirely unsure of what it is he wants. Or also entirely sure that he wants to be settled and free. It's a little weird that my only comfort is to know that the person I'm with is as confused as I am.

I'm hoping our similar confidence levels and control issues will mean that the balance of power and responsibility will be shared evenly or passed back and forth. The fact that we both value strong will and independence will mean we will always respect (and not resent) each other. It'll be hard to learn to give up some control, but I think I'm willing to risk myself. I guess the willingness to do something even though it terrifies me is bravery, but I don't feel brave.

I'm just trying to make it all be worth it.

Testing, Testing, 1 2 3...

I am writing this from my iPhone- how ridiculous is that?! iPhones are fucking crazy/cool.

Also, the fact that I only have 8G of music makes shuffle infinately better.

Unrelated:
I seem to be incapable of making it to my normal noon thirty lunch time on Mondays. I think it might have something to do with not getting out of bed in time to make both lattes and toast. It's Monday, something's gotta give and it's obviously not caffeine.