9.28.2007

“Waiting to Exhale”

I look forward to a little rest and relaxation this weekend which is weird.  Last winter and spring, I had too much R&R time on my hands and I was looking for a little excitement.  So, I got a part-time job, signed up for new groups, decided to plan a trip to Paris and tried to fill my weekend "dance card" with social events.

Then, when I probably needed R&R the most--frankly, just time to think about how I was actually spending my summer, I chose to fill up my "dance card" even more.  This summer was a whirlwind of my creation and now I want to catch my breath and eventually, exhale.

This weekend will be my first opportunity to catch my breath, reflect and exhale without any distractions.  And I'm a bit worried, as I was this summer, that too much free time will result in me obsessing over my past actions instead of working to make my future brighter.  I do believe that a fair amount of time for reflection is in order (which demands solo time), but I also want to focus on moving forward.  I want 2008 to be a fresh start in terms of my career, personal, and social life.  2007 afforded me new (both good and bad) experiences that gave me a better understanding of myself and the world.  I hope to spend this fall and winter internalizing all that I've learned and preparing to soar in 2008.

And for the record, I think I'll disregard Shimmy-Shimmy's V-Day invitation next year...

9.27.2007

"Summertime, And the livin' easy"

I haven't felt like writing much for my blog lately.   Sure, I've spent hours writing in my journal and for my novel, but I haven't felt ready to resuming writing in this forum--at least not as freely and as focused on my personal life (and I haven't since 09/11-- a day I should have been writing about terrorism...)  I guess I realize now and hate the fact that my blog is an abridged public record of my rollercoaster summer.

There are definitely issues that have arisen lately would be great to share in this forum.  And I know that I've learned a lot in the past few days and weeks that might help others understand me and perhaps, themselves better.  But those topics are just too sensitive and closely tied to the misguided choices that dominated my summer.

So, I'm going to refrain from mentioning my summer experiences and their aftermath in this public forum.  That's what candid journal entries and conversations with friends are for. Yes, it's self-censorship, but I've censored most of my entries.

I'm sure that I'll continue to have entries on dating and single life in the future but they will be a bit more removed like my last entry or just reference my friends' dating situations.

Sorry folks, no more personal news of guys that are/were more than friends.  At least not until spring, when I imagine the self-imposed drought will end.

9.24.2007

Independent Women

All the women who are independent
Throw your hands up at me
All the honeys who makin' money
Throw your hands up at me

I just read an interesting article in the New York Times regarding income disparity and dating. According to recent analysis of Census data, "for the first time, women in their 20s who work full time in several American cities…are earning higher wages than men of the same age."  It is interesting how this increase in young, professionally oriented, so called "independent women" is changing the dynamics of the dating scene.

I guess I am an "independent" woman in the traditional sense as I can pay my own bills and still have money for the occasional splurge.  But as an entry-level nonprofit worker, I don't think that I qualify for the class of "independent" women that are profiled in the article (i.e., those pulling over $100,000/year). And, I don't really know what it's like to date guys that are not at least as well off as me.

But I can understand that problems arise when you are a young independent woman seeking a breadwinner husband.  It puts too much focus on finding a guy that is financially stable, when instead the goal should be overall compatibility.  Not many guys will have it together when you first meet them, especially if you're still in your mid-20s like me.  But they should at least have some potential, i.e., determination, passion, and talents to accomplish their career and financial goals.  They should be someone that you can grow with not only professionally and financially but also emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually.

I guess I'm rather traditional as I don't want to be the breadwinner.  Particularly, if I decide to have children, there would be too much pressure against me being a stay at home mother if my paycheck supported the household.  So, I'm looking to date and marry someone who makes as much, if not more, than me.  Which means that I'll go Dutch on dates but eventually expect my man to occasionally (read: regularly) pick up the tab.

9.22.2007

Off the Market

I guess it is only fitting that a few hours before the official beginning of fall there is change.

Mr. Rebound is no more.
Floyd is no more.
Farewell to them both. It was real.

9.20.2007

Thursday's a Breeze

It’s been a pretty good week. I actually got some work done and spent quality time writing. One of the highlights of the week was the season premieres of ANTM and Gossip Girl (btw, Zac Hanson's Go was played during one of the scenes of GG. Yes, that's how much I like that song. I heard it once and now I can recognize it in a few notes. Ahh, "Name that Tune." I loved that show, but I digress...). I don’t have cable, so I rely on the major networks plus the CW and PBS to supply me with television entertainment. This season should be hot.

I can’t wait until the weekend. It is unfortunate that I won’t be singing along to the musical Hair in NYC, but I think that I’ve rather nicely filled up my weekend “dance card” in DC. I’m really looking forward to the weekend food outings: Matchbox on Friday, Oohs & Aahs on Saturday, and a picnic on the Mall on Sunday. I also look forward to returning to the gym for yoga and swimming.

Here’s to another solid weekend that doesn’t leave much time for relaxation but is heavy on satisfaction and fun.

9.18.2007

Girl, you’ll be a writer soon

I attended my first writer's support group meeting last night. The group is comprised of about 6 people, 2 males and 4 females between the ages of 26 and 50+. We spent the majority of the meeting getting to know each other and sharing our writing experiences and ambitions.

I left the meeting really fired up about writing (and I finally purchased a thumb drive so that I can more easily store and transfer my work). Lately, I've shunned the once-nightly task of writing in order to hangout with friends, go to fitness classes, or veg-out in front of the couch. But that will all change now because I'm scheduled to present a piece of my work in about a month. I don't feel as if my writing is ready to be revealed to the world, but I feel oddly comfortable with the group. Everyone seems really nice and open about what they're trying to accomplish, and I feel as if we will all experience writer's highs and lows together (particularly folks like me who are attempting creative writing for the first time).

So, here's to a night of getting a few more paragraphs and pages done. And here's to taking steps towards accomplishing my dreams.

9.17.2007

MmmBop, Not

Last night, I went with Organica and her friend to a Hanson Concert.

video

First of all, let me say that I am not a Hanson fan. In fact, I recall making fun of the band with my friends back in high school. To me, that group was a part of the manufactured, annoying, teen pop movement also populated by O-town, Jessica Simpson, the Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears.

Organica had an extra ticket to the show, and being a good friend, I offered to come along. I’m glad I did. Here are my observations:

Positives

  • Zac - He has a great voice, while Taylor’s voice is annoying and Issac’s is just too uneventful. Zac’s acoustic version of "Go" was definitely the highlight of my night. Plus, I think he is the cutest, though youngest, of the bunch.
  • Good rhythms - Thanks to the mixed cd Organica gave me, I was prepared for the concert. And I must say that, though catchy, some of their newer songs are solid.
  • 9:30 Club - I enjoyed checking out this venue for the first time.

So-so

  • Locksley - The opening band was okay. Some of their songs were amusing though their performance wasn't all that great. In fact, their performance made me appreciate the polished, seasoned vocals and instrumentals of Hanson—which, I guess, is the point of an opening act.
  • Hair Band - Even though they no longer look like little girls, Hanson gives new meaning to the hair band.

Negatives

  • Screaming girls are annoying - Period.
  • Bad gin and tonic sucks - I’m trying to branch out into other alcoholic drinks. With the encouragement of Floyd and A-M, I have started to order gin and tonics instead of my normal rum on the rocks or a girly drink. But last night, I forgot to request top-shelf liquor and was stuck with a horrible tasting concoction of bad gin and even worse soda water. Even the lime, I eagerly squeezed into my drink didn’t help.
  • Loud live music sucks - I love live music, but I hate unnecessarily loud live music. I guess I’m getting old, but by the end of the night, my left eardrum wanted to bleed. I think I’m gonna start wearing earplugs to concerts because I really don’t want to ruin my hearing. Good music sounds good even if the volume is turned down.
  • Incessant harmonies suck - Especially when coupled with an uncomfortable volume. I wanted to crawl into a ball and die.

Hopefully, this entry won’t upset Organica because I'm really glad that I went to the concert. It was a new (read: once-in-a-lifetime) experience. I was introduced to Zac’s pure vocals, and I got to spend time in Organica's music world.

9.13.2007

Hummers are Bummers

As a part of my job, I regularly search of newspapers and auto blogs for information on the vehicle market. One of my favorite things to uncover is quotes and comments from the Detroit automakers about the progress they're making to build more "clean" and advanced technology vehicles.

GM Chairman Bob Lutz undoubtedly ranks at the top of my list of quotable automaker figures. Here's what he had to say at this year's Frankfurt Auto Show:

"General Motors...is the anti-Christ that's trying to plunge us into the abyss,'' Lutz said in a Frankfurt Motor Show interview today.

When you consider the thousands of gaz-guzzlers they've marketed and sold over the past decades and their continued resistance to regulation whether in the form of seat belt or CAFE mandates, it's hard not to believe that General Motors is evil.

Yet, I don't see General Motors or any other automaker as evil. Aside from the fact that I'm really not a fan of cars, trucks or SUVs—I actually wrote my Master's thesis on SUVs—I don't feel any strong negative feelings toward the company, just toward its misguided leaders (read: selfish, capitalist, shortsighted, etc) and America's misguided consumers (read: selfish, capitalist, shortsighted, lazy, ignorant, etc).

By the way, the above quote is from a recent Bloomberg article. Here's the full text:

``People have a very simplistic way of organizing things: Toyota, because of the Prius, are saving the planet from certain destruction, whereas General Motors, which produces the (Hummer) H2, is the anti-Christ that's trying to plunge us into the abyss,'' Lutz said in a Frankfurt Motor Show interview today.

``It's totally ridiculous,'' he said. ``The only way we can get out of that is by being more environmental and leading with more environmental technology than Toyota,'' Lutz said.

I am hopeful that GM will turn things around and become the "environmental leader" (that Toyota supposedly is). I am hopeful that the Chevy Volt PHEV becomes a major breakthrough, supplanting its PHEV competitors in design and electric-only distance.

But, I'm doubtful that we'll be able to do that much to resolve the environmental and social problems created by our car culture if the automakers, policymakers, and consumer-voters continue their short-term, self/money-driven, fuck-the-little people (and-everyone-else) stance.

9.12.2007

All My Ex's Live In Texas

Floyd and I still aren't on the best of terms, yet we are both toying with the idea of me visiting him. Initially, I had planned to visit this summer for the Harry Potter book and movie releases, but I decided to book a trip to Paris instead. And then, came along all the Mr. Rebound drama…

But, I would still like to see him and I know he wants to see me too. So, perhaps, this fall, this winter or even next spring, I'll finally make my way down to San Antonio. I haven't been to San Antonio since I visited him in college, and I already have a few things in mind for the trip:

  • Luby's
    Fine, I'll admit it. Luby's is better than the Morrison's Cafeteria I remember from my childhood and the Piccadilly Cafeteria I can visit in ATL now.
  • Pico de Gallo & Mariachi
    Shrimp nachos, crispy tacos, and beautifully seasoned burgers--oh my! I always enjoyed this Tex-Mex restaurant during my visits because of the amazing food, family/local atmosphere and live mariachi music.
  • Cowboy boot shopping
    Ever since I saw a female UT football fan wearing a cute pair of brown cowboy boots, I decided that I must add a pair to my own shoe collection. It would also be nice to have a pair of really nice, "special occasion" red, blue, or black cowboy boots.
  • River Walk, the Alamo, etc
    No trip to San Antonio can be without these historic and touristy destinations.

Hopefully, this entry will convince Floyd (and myself) that I should visit. I know it is probably the worse idea given all that has passed, but I am sincerely excited for the opportunity to experience his hometown again.

9.11.2007

"I must have that man" (Billie Holiday)

I thought I swore off Mr. Rebound. In August, a month after our last meeting, I held out hope of his return and of us resuming a relationship that could be more that a rebound-hookup. But, in September, after his second disappearance, I decided to face the facts. He never gave any indication that he was interested in anything serious and he had a penchant for falling off the face of the earth. I mean, do I really want to hang around someone like that? So, last weekend, I decided to forget Mr. Rebound, a guy I barely knew and who'd only made me promises in my head.

But when he called last night, I answered and I accepted his proposal to meet this weekend. I don't know what got into me. Just a few days ago, I'd promised to avoid his calls, and there I was eagerly answering the phone. Yes, I was clearly perturbed during the entire conversation and tried to end it at least twice. I want to punish him, yet I still want to date him. Silly, huh? Not to Floyd. He already warned me of the unhealthy emotional attachment I'd formed.

So, I guess I'll see him this weekend—that is, if he doesn't disappear again. I know that I deserve better but I can't shake my attraction and the feeling that I still have unfinished business with him. I'll just see how things go, making sure to resist his charm and his lines. And I'll refuse to allow anymore silly girl fantasies about us. He hasn't proven that he's worth my time and anyway, given my aversion to flings, I'm not worth his investment either. My eyes are finally open, even if my heart is confused.

The biggest risk with seeing him again is that it'll probably setback the progress Floyd and I have made in rebuilding our friendship during the months that Mr. Rebound wasn't around. Things aren't perfect, but he's still a good friend and we have a meaningful and caring, though perverse, relationship that I'm not ready to throw away over a guy who doesn't call, won't admit his age and likes to fall off the face of the earth.

9.10.2007

"Don't stop believing!"

Life would be so much easier if I were shallow.

If I only cared about myself, how I looked, how much money I had, and whether I had enough cool friends. If I didn't care about genocide, famine, civil unrest, poverty, assault, deforestation, pollution, and neglect. If I didn't want to make a difference, save the earth, save the children, contribute to the paradigm shift, and be a better person.

Lately, I've become quite gloomy about the central purpose of my career and personal pursuits: contributing to the paradigm shift that helps heal the planet. The external and internal forces against me are building and I feel close to resignation. I'm weary of the rampant individualism and market forces babble that threatens the wellbeing (however you define it) of existing and future generations of humans and other species. I'm just tired.

Perhaps, I need to be on the front lines of the debate and the movement. I need to resign from my relatively plush lifestyle and get my hands and feet dirty enacting some sort of change and truly helping to make things better. Right now, I sit at my desk in an air conditioned high-rise in the middle of the city attempting to protect the environment through newsletters, emails and action alerts. It doesn't feel right. There has to be a better, more fulfilling way for me to contribute to the cause.

But am I strong enough to take that step? Deny myself the simple luxuries of running water, a private apartment and ease of transport? Enter into an unknown world with people who are just as resistant?

Once again, I'm not making any sense. I just don't feel fulfilled anymore in my career. And I don't think I will feel fulfilled with a desk job. I need to get my hands dirty. Whether than means working on an organic farm in rural Georgia, teaching inner city students in the slums of Detroit, digging a well in Africa, or teaching Latin American students the importance of safe sex, there has to be something else. Yes, I still want to become a professor and from my ivory tower, write papers and books about the paradigm shift as it relates to the environmental movement. But there is so much more I must achieve, experience and contribute before I can sit back and sit still.

9.07.2007

Friday!!

Ah, this week has been painful.  I've had the hardest time waking up each morning and have been feeling sluggish and lazy at work.  I blame my pillows.  For some reason, I can't get comfortable in bed and I usually wake up with the pillows thrown on the floor.  Plus, I've been having a lot of distressing dreams about work or a male figure (usually, Floyd or my dad).  But, I'm hopeful that I'll soon be able to kick out the bad energy and turn my bedroom back into the warm, comforting sanctuary it was just a few weeks ago.

Given Mr. Rebound's return to the abyss that silly, scared boys seem to vanish to, I'm going stag this weekend.  I'm heading out salsa dancing tonight with Shimmy-Shimmy and looking forward to a Cheese Fest (Mac & Cheese + Lasagna) at a GRU movie night on Saturday.

It should be a good weekend, and I hope that it will help keep my mind off of Mr. Rebound, Floyd, and my uncomfortable pillows.

9.05.2007

Lies, Silence, and Half-truths

Today, I had lunch with a friend who related some information about the guy she was seeing.  It turns out that he'd been silent about something in his past that directly affected their relationship.  Now, my friend is worried about the other skeletons in his closet and if he'll remain open and trusting enough to reveal them to her.  I told her to be careful but remain open to a relationship with him.  If he treats you well and you see a loving future with him, then it is surely worth a (cautious) try.

Today's lunchtime topic reminded me of my summer fling with Mr. Rebound.  I'd always been very open to Mr. Rebound, volunteering details of my breakup, my childhood and everything else that he'd question.  I've never been one to lie (because I'm horrible at it) and I'm not really one to remain silent (again, because I'm horrible at it).  That is why it was so vexing that Mr. Rebound never told me his age.  At first, I thought he was being playful (as Floyd often withheld information from me just to see me squirm…).  But now, I'm suspicious.  What else is he withholding from me?  Is he married?  Does he have kids?  I don't think I ever asked any of these questions.  But given his age, it is quite possible that the answer is yes.  I couldn't imagine dating a guy that was married, divorced or had kids.

If I ever see Mr. Rebound again and we decided to pursue a relationship (which isn't likely given my continued association with Floyd and the age gap...), I must find out the truth from him.  I must know his age and I must be assured that he's not married, divorced or a father.  And if he's not willing to reveal himself to me, as I was always so eager to reveal myself to him, it's goodbye.  I can't be in relationship—romantic, sexual or platonic—that is full of lies, deceit and silence.  I thrive on honesty and sincerity and I can't live (or love) any other way.

9.04.2007

What I learned during a night out

I had a good Labor Day weekend.  I exercised, relaxed, watch movies (e.g., "El Juego de la Verdad" was good!), wrote and hung out with friends.  I could probably write a few paragraphs about the family barbeque I crashed Monday or the fact that Mr. Rebound has reemerged (and I now know his age…).  But instead, I want to relate a few important life lessons that I learned Saturday night.

1) Best laid plans of mice and men –or- Stick to the standards

1.5 oz White Rum
12 fresh mint leaves
1/2 lime
7 oz club soda
2 tbsp. simple syrup
(or 4 tsp. sugar)

I invited a few people over on Saturday to pre-game before going out to Adam's Morgan.  A-M and I decided to make mojitos and I spent Friday night cleaning my apartment and burning a great mix of song, including a few by Celia Cruz.  It was my first themed event and let's just say that it sort of flopped.  A-M forgot the mint and I didn't have any ice cubes, so the gang had to head to Whole foods while I awaited the tardy pizza and the last guest.

I'm not sure what we did wrong, but the mojitos were awful.  Perhaps, it was the (coolly packaged but awful tasting) rum or not enough lime or sugar.

I am really disappointed with the 10 Cane Rum I bought.  I saw it advertised in a glossy fashion magazine and loved the way the bottle looked and was intrigued by rum made from pure cane and not molasses.  But a mere few hours after drinking it, as A-M pointed out, the rum took out its knives and started stabbing our poor stomachs.

Lessoned learned: K.I.S.S.  And supply a full range of simple mixers.

2) Boys get malicious, men remain respectful

While walking to the Dupont Metro, this guy appeared, seemingly out of the bushes, and started talking to us.  He was the epitome of a spoiled generic Georgetown jerk.  After a less than successful attempt to befriend and steer one of us home with him, he got mean.  He left with a simple, "you look like men."

Um, okay.  That's it, the surest way to a girls heart or, in his case, into our pants is through nonsensical insults.  Once before, my coworker and I were verbally abused by a guy who we flatly rejected.  Hey, if I'm not interested, I'll let you know and if you blindly and annoyingly persist, you'll get harshly shot down.  But don't get hurt and mean, just respectfully move away, reexamine your game, and try it on some other unsuspecting female.

Lesson learned: Avoid boys.

3) Make the first move
A coworker noted that when she's out, she makes a purpose of smiling at guys and being nice to them.  For me, the bar is a war zone and guys are the drunken, horny enemy in a predator-prey scenario.  Perhaps, that's why I haven't been approached by a guy at a bar in years.  I'm just so hardened and put too many barriers up—expecting the worse out of the guys around me.

She also noted the importance of making the first move.  Case in point, this large chick (tall and big-boned) approached one of the cute guys in our group (sitting down, of course, while us girls danced uninhibitedly).  Needless to say, after a few bump-and-grind songs, they left together. 

I don't think that I have the guts to approach a guy at the bar.  I would worry how it would make me look (read: like a skank) because surely, you don't meet Mr. Right in a bar, just Mr. Right Now.  But, I'll try to soften my temperament when out and stop reacting so defensively to the advances of males.  Maybe.

Lessons learned: If you want it, swallow your pride and go and get it. Also, relax--not all guys are players or date-rapists.