Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Man Whore Confessions

Following the post from yesterday, Mr. Smith submitted a short response from a man's perspective. (Don't you just love me having him on retainer? LOL!)
Recently, an interesting question was posed to me:  Do you want to know the number of partners your significant other has and do you care?  What a random and tantalizing question.  Maybe my background and career as a man-whore makes my perspective odd or unique.  I would hope not, because there is nothing I could care less about than how many men a woman has been with.  Who am I to judge?  I spent a decent portion of my twenties whoring it up.  I was selective, used protection, and I was as honorable as one can be with a one night stand. But I was still a man-whore. 
On to the main topic my loyal readers of someone else’s blog;  Why should I care how many partners someone has had?  Does this somehow affect our relationship?  I shouldn’t care because the only number that matters to me is the number one.  If I am with someone, then I am number one. The past means nothing.  If you have been with one man or woman, or a thousand, it means nothing to me.  Why ask? Because if I start caring about what they have done in the past, I will miss what we are doing in the present and that is all that matters.  So gents, if you want to know the number, just ask. But don’t be surprised, and don’t let it affect the present and the future.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

What's Your Number?

If you heard that a man in his thirties had slept with 30 women, would that shock and appall you? What if it was 50? 100? When is a number more than just a number, and rather a direct reflection of someone's moral compass? Or is it always a direct correlation to the type of person you are? Does the number of people we have slept with in our past somehow lay the path for our sexual future?
It seems everyone has a differing opinion on the whole "What's Your Number" conversation. Do you need to know or just want to know? Or, on the flip side, do you not care? Or do you pretend to not care because you're afraid of what the answer may be? Puff doesn't know my number. I would gladly tell him, if he asked. But he won't ask. In fact, I believe I've tried to freely give out the information and he won't take it. Meanwhile, I've been racking my brain for the past 3 years trying to do the math and correlate his stories to come up with a number that he knows, but won't tell me. Even though I want to know. Dude... we're married. Just tell me already. It won't change my opinion of you! (Plus, we already know I'm a much bigger slut than he is!)
And are there different reactions to a girl's number versus a guy's? Well, duh. A girl tells you that she's slept with 30 people and you automatically assume she's a walking case of syphilis. A guy tells you that and you're like, "Well, that's less than I expected, so that's good." Or you're high-fiving him because you are proud of his sexcapades. Yet, how do you broach the subject of The Number when you are with someone? And when is the right time? If you're genuinely curious and non-judgemental about it, like me, then I figure it'll come up pretty quickly. Probably right around the time I start telling you my favorite story about that Kiwi bus driver in Austria! ::Insert halo:: But do you need to have The Number talk before you jump into bed with someone? Or is it really just more important to find out if they don't have herpes? (I vote the second option.) I can't imagine a one night stand having a DTN (determine the number) convo before commencing with some raunchy clothes ripping.
Do we put too much stock in knowing the number? What solace does knowing it bring? Do you expect someone with a higher number to be better in bed? Do you hesitate to jump into something sexual with a rookie? (I vote yes on that one.) Do you suddenly change your opinion of someone because the number is higher than you want it to be? Yet, how do you judge someone for their number? OK, so I know how some people could judge others on the number, but I guess, what I'm getting at, is that I don't understand why that happens. So, the man of your dreams has been with 62 other women before you? That freaks you out? Well, then you need to stop and think for a minute. Is he committed to the current relationship or are you just doing it to get laid? If the answer matches up to your own wishes, then screw it. Screw him. Just wear a rubber.
I do think, however, if you are ashamed of your number, then perhaps you should've thought about that in the first place. Put the penis down, ladies, if you don't want a certain stigma. And men, lay off the vagina if you want a good Southern Baptist woman to marry. I hear they're much more particular about that sorta thing than us lapsed Catholics. Or at least they're supposed to be. I'm of the school of thought that you need to be able to live with the decisions you make. No regrets. If you make the bed, you need to be able to lie in it. Just preferably with a sexy, ripped six-pack of accented goodness on top of you.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Man Candy Monday

Yes, I know. I told you I wouldn't make this a habit, but dude... when there are so many cuties out there in the universe, why NOT ogle man candy as much as humanly possible?!?! (But seriously... I do promise to stop for awhile after this one.)
So... if you are unaware, this is my love, Robbie Williams. (He's a singer. Look him up!) Ever since like 1998, I've been trying to get everyone on the bandwagon. The rest of the world is, but not the states. Oh well. That's fine, Yankees. I'll totally keep this man who "put the Brit in celebrity" all to myself thankyouverymuch. If everyone in the states knew how damn sexy he was, they'd not be able to resist him either.
This photo was actually poster-sized in every dorm room I ever had. He was gazing down on me and Kimhead from his perch high above the television sophomore year. What better vision to go to sleep staring at dreamingly? When I finally got a "big girl apartment" I couldn't retire him fully. No, he's carefully rolled up in a tube in Grandma's attic. Tape residue from years of love, well apparent. But that's OK. Maybe someday Puff will let me hang Robbie in our bedroom again.
Although I won't hold my breath.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

They All Grow Up

I am an epic stalker.
Sometimes it gets me in trouble (like driving past "Eddie's" house back in high school and totally getting caught) and sometimes it leads to juicy info (like who is getting divorced but doesn't want to blab about it yet). Other times, it gets downright creepy. And on one boring day at the office recently, it took that turn.
A bit of a backstory... when I was in high school, I worked at a summer camp for years. There were kids who melted my heart, kids who drove me insane, and kids I will never remember. However, the last summer I worked there, when I was 17, there was a core group of kids that had a profound impact on me. They kept me grounded and serious that last carefree summer before college. I babysat some outside of work, became friends with some of the parents, and even took adorable twin 10 year old girls to a boy band concert. Those kids were my world that summer and I looked forward to hanging out, playing, and just reverting back to my own childhood. It was the best job in the world.
So in a fit of uber-boredom one day, I randomly remembered one of the kids first and last names. Most of the kids, I just remember their first names... Stephen, Andy, Ryan (a boy and a girl), Mikey, Savannah, Shelby, and a little boy with glasses I called "Squirtle." I kept in touch with one set of brothers, in particular, after the fact. I babysat them a few times, took them to Chuck E. Cheese (as a guise of babysitting, but I really just wanted the pizza), and even exchanged Christmas cards with the family for a few years in college. And this was the boy I remembered his full name. Just randomly, out of the blue.
So I plugged that puppy into the Facebook search bar, and what do you know... up he popped. The first and only option. And we even had a mutual "friend" online. It took me a second to work up the nerve to actually click on his profile. Part of me was curious to figure out how old he was now, what he ended up doing with his life, and if I even recognized him from all those years ago. The bigger part of me felt like a total child molester. The curiosity part won over, since I know full well, I'm not into little kids.
Especially when I realized that he's now... get this... 24 years old.
::Banging head on desk:: I am so frickin' old!
But wait. Is that right? 24 years old? Dude... I'm only 29! Was it even humanly possible that he was only 5 years younger than me? Turns out it is possible. The age gap between 29 and 24 is barely even noticeable. There were pictures of him in a bar, with a drink, and a girlfriend. I could totally run into him someplace while out with friends. And he wouldn't even get carded. (By the way, he looks very similar from what I remember, just older.) However, the age gap between 11 1/2 and 17 is pretty major. Which is why, at the time, I never looked at it that way. He was on the cusp of not even needing a babysitter any more.

I'm 100% certain he wouldn't recognize me if I walked up in front of him at said bar. That was 12 years ago... he's doubled in age. But I remembered him. Just like I would imagine teachers of mine, old babysitters, and friends of my parents would remember me. But I wouldn't necessarily remember them. I feel like I'm in a whole other generational realm now. Now that I know those cute, innocent, kids that I have pictures of tucked away in a box, are now grown-ups. Adults with girlfriends and college degrees and kegstands. It's just hard to put into perspective that as we age, so does everyone else. A shame, really. Innocent kids are so much cuter than twentysomething drunkards.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Flash Bulb Friday

My intense desire to go back to Europe ASAP, combined with an overload of estrogen in the office this week, has lead me to this inevitable entry. Back in 2002, I embarked on a fabulous girl trip with 3 of my closest friends to trek through 9 European countries in 2 weeks. Needless to say, we didn't catch everything in every city, but we did come away with plenty of stories.
And plenty of pictures of boys.
Above? That's Johnny. ::sigh:: He's my favorite Kiwi bus driver EVER! (And if you don't know the good stories surrounding said bus driver, then we're not really very good friends, are we?) The night we cleaned the bugs off the bus windshield was nothing short of magical.
This is Dave. He was our super awesome, also Kiwi, tour guide. One night, Rowdy and I interrupted him having sex with one of our fellow tour-mates. We won the game of "who did Dave sleep with last night!" Oh yeah... and we know who can RISE UP!
When we were stumbling around Munich, this charmer caught our eye. I do believe we splurged for ice cream, even though none of us wanted it, just so Rowdy could ogle this German gem. After making googly eyes (and lewd comments) about him for awhile, one of us finally got up the nerve to ask him for his photo.

When in Rome, do as the Romans. Right? Or have your picture taken at the Vatican with a hot Aussie who is trying to recruit 4 underage girls to join a pub crawl!
Europe is awesome.
::sigh:: Benny! Oh... what a total sweetie! He was on his honeymoon on our tour, but apparently the relationship had already soured... if one night in Austria taught me anything. ::insert halo:: Besides Mr. Smith, he's the only man I've ever met who could literally mesmerize you with just one glance. The intensity behind his eyes was unreal.
My goal was to get a picture with a hot guy in each city we visited. When I spotted this Italian hottie across St. Mark's Square in Venice, I made a bee-line straight toward him. I didn't even care so much when he told me his name was Robert and he was from New Jersey. We just decided his name was Roberto instead.
Ladies, I'll give you a second to drool. Don't worry. It's OK. I know you want to.
Ladies, meet Wolfie. The hottest bartender in all of Austria. So... remember when I said it was my goal to get a pic of a hot guy every day of the trip? Well, that day in Austria, we had struck out. As we boarded our bus, bound for our hole-in-the-wall hotel/bar/barn, I said outloud, "I have high hopes our bartender will be hot tonight!" I'm pretty sure the good Lord was listening to me that day. Before any of us had gotten off the bus, all the ladies were squealing with delight.
I must say, Wolfgang is the reason I drink what I drink. Yes, he is the culprit behind my Malibu rum with orange juice obsession. But really... who would turn this stud-muffin down if he suggested a drink to you? I've never turned that drink down since!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Just Add Water

Last month, Puff was tired of me griping about not having any motivation to work out. So, he bought me this from Victoria's Secret...
I suppose trying to get sexy enough to strut around in that bikini will work. But where do I wear said bikini? We don't have a pool. Clearly, that meant booking a weekend away to a swanky golf resort to lay by their pool. (Who likes golf?!?) I found The Ballantyne Resort, in Charlotte, NC, which was a reasonable drive away, to a town we don't often visit.
We had a big ol' king sized bed, garden tub, rain shower, and this view...
And Saturday morning, we had room service...
Never mind that breakfast was $42 worth of food. (That's what you get when you stay at a high end place, right?!?! At least the valet parking was free!) The real purpose of the trip was not the art gallery walk, dinner at Cabo Fish Taco, the comedy club, or even the $5 Oreos in the mini-bar. Nope, the purpose was this...
Yes, I know that picture is ridiculously stupid, but I don't care. I was at a pool where a waitress would bring me pina coladas on demand, so I don't care if you think my picture is stupid. Nothing is stupid about that scenario, thankyouverymuch. I was a very, very happy woman.
And even though I wasn't as skinny as that Victoria's Secret model, I totally rocked that zebra bikini. And the guys didn't seem to mind.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

All That Matters

In going back through some archives while Puff was out of town, I found this entry and liked it. This was from back in late 2008...

I was over at Kimhead's earlier tonight and she pulled out a pile of her old diaries that she had brought back from her dad's house. She mentioned that she had made an entry back sophomore year of college about where she saw all her friends 10 years from that point. (Come to think of it... we got them out so she could tell me mine, but we never got around to it!) Anyway, her saying that made me think of when I had done "life predictions" for all of my friends way back when in high school. It was funny too because another friend had just made a comment in recent days asking if I ever went back to read my old entries.
I guess the whole point of writing is to go back down the road to read them. Or maybe that's just part of the point. The other point may be to document for the sake of documentation. Or to vent. Or to be creative. Or to try to creatively pose questions to make people think without blatantly coming out and giving someone the answer to their problem. Regardless, looking back at old entries is a fabulous trip down memory lane. As Kimhead was flipping through some diaries, showing me hilarious emails between the two of us, and some seriously embarrassing web posts I had made about me and Mr. Smith and our future children's names (Troy Kenneth, Roland Patrick and Kennedy Jaylin... for those interested) she made a comment that really stuck out. She said that the students she works with freak out sometimes about the smallest things that are just so stupid, yet they care so much. And then she patted the journal that was in her hand, that was bursting at the seams from so many entries, and said "This is just stuff that doesn't matter anymore."
I guess that just got me thinking. Are all those pages and pages of entries about old flames and mentions of current events and mindless ramblings about baby names (OK, so only I would have mindless baby name ramblings, but you get my point...) really meaningless?
Because quite frankly, I think it holds a lot of meaning. Perhaps the stuff in those pages isn't necessarily relevant but it definitely shaped us as people. And Kimhead made that same comment; the whole shaping us thing. And I am a firm believer in that. To quote my own previous entry; "If it wasn't for living our past, we wouldn't have our present and the hope for our future." And I'm sticking with that theory. If it wasn't for crying ourselves to sleep over relationships that ended or notating our feelings on September 11th or trying to go on a Knowledge Quest... we wouldn't be the people we are today. No matter how piddly and stupid and mundane those things might seem to us NOW, they meant something THEN. And what a wonderful way to relive those moments than to be able to pick up a journal and flip to a random page and immediately be transported back to a certain place in time to a certain memory. And whether good or bad, it's sometimes good to relive those moments. To understand where we were coming from... that younger version of ourselves.
On nights like this, instead of watching TV, I'd pull out Volume 27 and read about how life was back then. What boy I was drooling over and what friends I was fighting with and what the Cowboys record was. Ya know, all those really important things. I've been trying the past few years to find a little more insight to my ramblings. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes it's far more insightful to myself than to any of my other readers. And sometimes it doesn't make any sense at all. I guess since I don't write creatively anymore, my moments of "brilliance" have to come in blog form. I think the fall of 2005 and the spring of 2006 were the best entries I've had. But there was a lot of life turmoil and a lot of searching going on in my life back then. Searching and life turmoil that should have lead to life decisions that I didn't have the guts to make. But again, if I hadn't made the decision I did, I would never have ended up where I am now.
And therefore, even if I sit down and read those old entries and think "What was I doing?" I can't fault myself. Because those mistakes and those memories and all those paths I went down and looped around and went down again, those are what brought me here today. To celebrating 3 months of dating Puff. To having an awesome new promotion. To having great friends. To having tons of stuff coming up to go out and experience.
And you know what? I'll document those experiences too. And any chaos or turmoil that has happened recently or will happen in the near future... 5 years from now (or heck, even 5 days from now) it might be stuff that we can lump into that "It doesn't even matter" pile. But it always WILL matter... it's just how we handle it that will determine the extent to which it affects our lives.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Insert Cock Joke

You can't lick our cocks! But can I lick yours?
When I was 18 years old and was trying to pick the perfect college, I decided on the University of South Carolina. After a few weeks of people asking me why I chose it, I was getting tired of saying that I liked their program, or I liked the people, or I liked the fact that it didn't snow there. Finally, I decided my answer would be: I chose USC because I wanted to wear a hat that said "Cocks" on it, and not have people look at me funny.
It worked. No one bats an eye.
Anyway, I've been out of college now for a few years longer than I care to admit. I'm not super excited about sending them more money after all the tuition I dumped for my education. I'm a fair-weather alumni with regards to the associations and the cash I'm willing to donate. Typically, I get a few offers a year, typically accompanied by a promise of a free t-shirt or water bottle or something equally as useless.
However, they hit the jackpot with this most recent offer:

Really, USC? Duct tape? You're asking an almost thirtysomething year old woman to donate a minimum of $50 and get a roll of FUCKING DUCT TAPE?!?! And on top of that, you give me a list of how to injure and/or impede my opponents? Good luck getting PETA off your case if they see this letter you sent to all of us!
That being said, I literally cannot stop laughing.
This shit is brilliant.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Man Candy Monday

Disclaimer: Puff, I super promise I won't make this a weekly habit!
There's a lot of estrogen flowing around the office this week. (Just wait til this week's Flash Bulb!) So in an ill-advised attempt to separate myself from the pack of wolves, I thought I'd just get all gushy about my latest celebrity crush... Jake Gyllenhaal.
I will definitely admit that I am late to get on this bandwagon. I believe, prior to watching "Love and Other Drugs" while Puff was in Mexico on business recently, the only movie I had seen him in was "Brokeback Mountain." And while I do love that movie, it wasn't exactly a role where I could envision myself gyrating on him.
Now I'm plotting a Gyllenhaal-a-thon movie day for whenever Puff is otherwise engaged. Any suggestions from the peanut gallery on ones not to miss? Preferably ones where he takes his shirt off, please.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sound Bite Sunday

Instead of listing song lyrics, I'm just going to try to turn you on to a new band. A boy band. Actually, they're not "new" since they were around and huge back in the early 90s. Back then, I knew one of their songs, but would've never known who sang it. It wasn't until the late 1990s when Robbie Williams caught my attention that I even knew of the band Take That. And all I knew was that he had left them and there was a lot of bad blood.

Cue 2010... Take That regrouped and released their new album, "Progress." Initially, I was torn. I love Robbie more than any singer out there, but was hesitant to jump back into vintage 1999 boy-band-loving-Gail. It wasn't until one boring Sunday afternoon in July, I hopped over on to YouTube and found this...

I was instantly sucked in. Immediately, I was madly in love with this song.

The song is a single off the expanded album, "Progressed" and I immediately emailed Puff to tell him I wanted the album for Christmas. (Although, I was so obsessed with that song, I broke down and bought it for myself a few weeks ago!) So, this is my public admission that I do enjoy some boy band pop music on occasion. But when you have a "man band" that looks THIS smokin' hot, who can blame me?

Oh yeah... plus their voices aren't bad either. ::Insert school girl giggle::

Friday, August 19, 2011

Flash Bulb Friday

I'm having a bit of angst about the fact that we have no international trips currently on the books. Not even in the works. What is happening to us?
Anyway... since I'm feeling a bit nostalgic (for our trip from 3 months ago) I thought I'd share another photo from our first few days in Copenhagen. We had taken a canal cruise (which I mentioned HERE) and slipped through the Christianhavn area. It was sensory overload and I came away with lots of pictures of cute houses with cute boats in front.
Just a bit of a toast to Europe today. Where I figure the temperature is a lot more tolerable than it is in South Carolina...

Thursday, August 18, 2011

It's About the Hope

In response to my rant from yesterday, Mr. Smith felt compelled to guest post his take on the cynical romance topic.
This is not meant to be a point, counter-point. Perception is reality and if someone is a cynic, then that is his or her nature, and I would no more change that than try to make the sun rise in the west and set in the east. Life lessons are the forge upon which we are molded. No one is strictly a cynic or a hopeless romantic. If I meet someone who says they are, I will call them out and pick apart their reasoning. When someone says they are either, you have to get to the root cause. Often an early life experience sets the bar too high or creates an unrealistic expectation. Once the foundation is laid, it is an up-hill battle just to get to middle ground. 
In life, I am a cynic by nature. Maybe a combination of intelligence, cautious nature, and being royally fucked on numerous occasions gives me great reason for my cynicism. I have had employers fire me because I was owed outrageous bonuses for reaching what were supposed to be unobtainable goals. Girlfriends cheat on me, and I, in a moment of weakness, on one of them. Hell, just reading the daily paper can make you cynical. It is hard not to be a cynic when old flame after old flame has been married off.
Now having said everything I did in the last paragraph, I'm going to tell you why I am a hopeless romantic. Romance is not about the romantic comedy finale. When we try that in life, it feels cheap, cold and calculated. Being a hopeless romantic is taking the smallest thing in life with someone you love and cherishing them. It is about the hope, not the romance. A hopeless romantic still gets butterflies when speaking with an old love.  A hopeless romantic goes into each moment believing this is the time when the stars align and the world seems to right, despite everything wrong and all past experiences. To give up a chance at even the smallest chance is not a roll of the dice I'm willing to make.
P.S. Are you as madly in love with the line, "It is about the hope, not the romance" as I am? Genius!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Define Romance

"Why be a cynic when you can be a hopeless romantic?"
I'm not sure if this question was meant to be just a thought-provoker or if they really were wanting me to answer. It's not like I go around making a point to be one way or the other. Although, I suppose those who know me well, know I lean a bit more away from the rom-com happy endings. It's just not reality. Or at least not MY reality.
OK, so the more I write this stream of consciousness, I'm convincing myself that I am crazy, uber-cynical when it comes to love. I think all those years of being shot down in high school really did more harm than I realized. Is that why I'm an attention whore? Perhaps that's a good topic for my next visit with the shrink. I digress...
Is there a time in ones life when you should just wrap your arms around the mere thought of Prince Charming and accept that he may exist? Granted, he may not always look like Ryan Reynolds, but that's beside the point. Most women probably start out being a hopeless romantic. They delve into "When Harry Met Sally" and "The Notebook" and pine away for their soulmate. They only become cynics later in life, after they're divorced and have scorned all men.
I think I started in reverse. I started my adult life the biggest of cynics. I avoided romance like a curse. Wine and dine me? Screw that. Just screw me. Isn't that what all men want to do anyway? That train of thought probably tells you a lot about the type of guys I was dating early in my man-career. Even as I met the good ones, I have still been reluctant to give in to the idea of romance. Heck, even my wedding didn't feel romantic to me. Perhaps I've skewed my own vision of what romance really even means. Does it have to be hand-written love letters and flower-strewn beds?
I've been pondering this blog topic for days and was really keen on coming up with my own definition of "romance" to end on. However, I'm still drawing a blank. Maybe it's just a sweet, unexpected gesture, of no particular size, that makes you smile. Maybe it's the everyday love and affection that you seemingly take for granted. Or maybe it's the butterflies. Yeah, it's probably the butterflies.
*Stay tuned tomorrow for a guest post to get a guy's perspective on this whole subject!*

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

New Tunes Tuesday

To steal from Dooce (HERE) I'm going to totally rock a "New Tunes Tuesday" for you.
Back in 2000 or 2001, my best friend and I hit up a Nickelback concert. Yes, Nickelback. Despite all the haters out there, they are a guilty pleasure. Plus, Chad Kroger is totally sexy in his "I'm still kinda ugly, but have a nice package" way. Right... so this post isn't about Nickelback, it's about their opening band... Default.
At the time, they had one hit song, "Wasting My Time" which got a ton of airplay. I liked the song, so I was intrigued to see them perform live. I'm pretty sure the moment Dallas (their adorable lead singer) hit the stage, I was totally hooked. It's only happened once... seeing a new band and falling instantly in love with them. And it happened with Default.

The minute we left the concert that night, we drove straight to the store and bought their first CD, "The Fallout". I played it non-stop for days on end, learning all the words to the songs and debating my favorites. As the years passed, subsequent CDs came out and I rushed to buy them. Unlike most bands, their albums were cohesive and interesting and just flat out, good! There's not one song on any of their first 3 albums I disliked. (I'm pretty sure there's only one other band I can say that for... but maybe I'll feature them another day!)
So, after their 2005 album, they kinda dropped off the face of the planet. It wasn't until the fall of last year 2010 (yes, so I know this music isn't exaclty BRAND NEW, but I'm sure it is to most of you, so there!) their 4th album, "Comes and Goes" came out. (I'd say it "dropped" but that term makes Puff violent!) And wouldn't you know? It picked up brilliantly where their last album ended.
I think my favorite song from the new album is "Caught In The Moment." All time fave? Probably "Faded" from the first album. But make up your own mind and visit their website (HERE) to learn a little bit more about them.
As my dad always said, "Expand your musical horizons!"

Monday, August 15, 2011

Man Candy Monday

It's been awhile since I did a Man Candy post. And yes, I realize that I only have ever featured Jason Statham pictures.
How can you complain when he is THAT gorgeous?!?!? ::sigh::
I kinda want to lick him from head to toe. (Maybe I should've given Puff forewarning to not read this entry? ::shrug::)
I had been searching through old photos recently and came across one of my kitchen in my old apartment. For years, through 3 different apartments, this photo hung on my refrigerator. I bought that issue of "Men's Health" just for his article. Namely, for that photo. I'm pretty sure I did insist on keeping it when I moved in with Puff 2 years ago.
Alas, he wouldn't let me hang it on our fridge. Like his family photos are more important. The nerve! Perhaps while he's gone for work next time, he'll come home to a new surprise. Hey... we are redoing the kitchen. It's time for a fridge-photo upgrade! :)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Flash Bulb Friday

Last summer, around this time, Puff and I spent a long weekend in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Growing up in Atlanta, Puff had visited there several times over his childhood. Meanwhile, I spent my youth pondering the necessity and meaning behind the red barn birdhouses that read "See Rock City."
In all honesty, I thought they were some kind of campy hoax, where no such place existed.
Happily, I was incorrect. Rock City is actually a hilariously fun and nostalgic tourist attraction in Chattanooga. Puff and I got up early to beat the crowd (and the heat) and had a fabulous time wandering the paths, enjoying scenic overlooks, and giggling at the black-lit gnomes.
It's amazing how a quick weekend getaway can transport you into such a foreign feeling. That fabulous feeling like you are doing something with your life. You're learning about other things and other places and other people. And you feel good about branching out and seeing the wonders of this world.
No matter how corny they are.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Get it Together

At what age is it time to retire the futon? When is it time to start handing down the hand-me-downs? When should your home start to look, I don't know, cohesive?

Can you believe I once let a 5 year old boy decorate my apartment?

In recent months, I've been into several people's homes and also seen numerous photos on Facebook of new houses, new furniture, etc. It got me thinking... as rising thirtysomethings, shouldn't we all live in places that don't resemble college dorms?

I'm not judging here. I realize some people don't have the financial resources, or the means, or the time, or the house, or the husband, or the part of them that CARES. I'm only making observations here. It was jumpstarted by looking at a photo of our living room. (You're not surprised that in my spare time, I'm researching ways to improve the decor of the house!) We have a nice couch. We have a big, fancy leather chair, We have nice, repurposed antiques. We have a flat screen TV. We have an oriental rug. We have a direction.

By the time my mom was 30, she was living in a nice house, surrounded by professional interior designer assisted color schemes and items. She had a nice dining room table. She had a matching bedroom set. She had a stylish-for-the-time silver sectional couch. There was artwork on the walls. The colors in one room worked and flowed into the colors in the other. She had her own style, her own taste. She cared how the house looked and was presented.

Just a few short years ago, I was living in my own apartment, with an array of mismatched items. And I hated it. I desperately wanted to have the money to buy new items that were more "grown up." Thankfully, the timing worked out, Puff had a house, and I was able to move in and refocus my funds toward making our styles mesh together. Over the past 2 years of living here, I think I've done a fairly decent job. In looking around, I feel like our house is much more "grown up" than some I have seen recently. We have an Ethan Allen dining room table. We have a substantial, big bed with a matching dresser. We have real artwork on the walls. And, as soon as our kitchen & dining room get a few updates this year, the entire house will work together in terms of color scheme and theme and it will flow. One room into the next. Just as I've always dreamed.

Even if my dream never included mustard colored walls. Hey, sometimes we've got to work with what we're dealt. Don't worry... there's already a plan in place to change that!

P.S. Like to hear what I have to say? I'm guest blogging over at "Converted Southerner" today, so be sure to check it out!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Want a Rubber Ducky Too?

When I take a shower, I need a lot of things to make sure I am adequately clean. I need shampoo, conditioner, shaving gel, a razor, a bar of soap, body scrub, a pouf, and face wash.
What does Puff need? A bottle of Pantene 2-in-1. That's it.
We've been together over 3 years now and I'm still trying to figure out how in the heck anything but his hair ever gets clean. And what he's doing in there for 10 to 15 minutes each morning. Trust me, the OCD I have with noises kicks into overdrive almost every morning. The sound of the shower hitting any water pooled in the tub is enough to send shivers down my spine and want me to curl up in the fetal position and cry. It makes it worse knowing he's probably not cleaning himself in there, but rather standing there singing into the showerhead.
Puff and I have never showered together in all the time we've been together. I always tell him I'd like to once, just so I can see what exactly he's doing. It intrigues me... a bit like how hurricanes intrigue me. I want to experience it just once, so I know what it's all about. The Ex and I would shower together on a regular basis. It saved time and water. We had a little dance of who got the water when. It worked out for years.
The one and only time Puff got into the shower with me, he got out about a minute later. Apparently my invite, which was meant as a time saver, was mistakenly taken as an invite to get frisky. Here I was just trying to wash my hair and he's groping me. Um.... no, sir. No sex in water. I learned my lesson with that in college. He retreated, feeling deflated. We've never attempted it since.
I'm secretly hoping Puff is sneaking my raspberry scented body scrub and washing himself. At least from time to time. Maybe I need to start sniffing him when he gets out. Sometimes, I'm convinced that men never grow up. Sometimes, it's like being married to an 8 year old.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Throne Room

Pre-written a few months back, but just now found it! Woops!

I’m in the midst of a torrid love affair. Just please don’t tell my husband. He thinks I’m spending my time doing girly things, like shaving my legs and playing with makeup. Little does he know I’m spending time with my new crush… our recently updated bathroom.

Even before I fell in love with my now husband, my heart was sent aflutter by his 1940s era house. I’ve since sweetly dubbed it “The Bungalow” and have made it my mission to turn the once passable bachelor pad into a more modern and socially acceptable home. His wallet may not share my ultimate vision, but he’ll certainly thank me when it comes time to sell.

An important factor I must not fail to mention is that The Bungalow came ready-equipped with a whopping one bathroom. I will give you a second to catch your breath. In today’s society, the mere mention sends shockwaves through horrified ears. But then it all seems to make sense when I break into hives at the mere suggestion of an overnight houseguest.

Our one little bathroom served its purpose well through our courtship and first blissful year of marriage. But at some point, a woman just can’t take any more. There wasn’t much I could do about having to store my feminine products in the hall closet or having to blow dry my hair in the office. But those red walls! Those, I could remedy. And that popcorn ceiling; It would be the death of me yet.

Did you realize a small, damp, not very well ventilated bathroom with a popcorn ceiling will eventually start to… shed? When we were gifted a handheld vacuum as a wedding gift, you would’ve thought I was gifted a golden giraffe. Those little pellets of drywall got everywhere and now I had a fighting weapon. Almost every day, I would savor in the sweet victory of sucking up the pieces that had fallen to the floor. Only to then get out of the shower and realize there was some in my wet hair. Did you know water plus plaster makes a paste? You can only rock pasty hair to work so many times before the trend gets old and your boss schedules you an appointment with human resources to go over the personal hygiene guidelines.

A gallon of grey-green paint, a new light fixture, and some elbow grease by a burly, hairy contractor later, and I was happy to sit alone on the toilet and gaze at our work. For the first few days, I would rush home after work and run giddy and giggly straight for the bathroom light switch to illuminate my best project to date. I am a proud mother, er, homeowner, and I’m anxious to share it with anyone who will listen.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sound Bite Sunday

Just a little test of my posting abilities...

This is a Robbie song from his latest album (In & Out of Consciousness) that I've had stuck in my head for a few days.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Flash Bulb Friday

This is what rural Michigan looks like.
::banging head against desk::
When Puff and I went to visit his family last month, we saw this view, a thousand times over. I'm pretty sure the glazed over, befuddled look on my face was well apparent. How? What? Why?
Nevertheless, it is a pretty sight to see. It's made especially hilarious when your father-in-law takes you off-roading to stalk Amish people. That was a classic memory to hang onto.
However, I will not, never, ever move to someplace that looks like this. It was pretty for a 2 day visit. If I was forced to live there, they'd have to pay Puff and I well over a million dollars each per year. AND allow us to spend November through April in the Caribbean.
I really see no other logical reason to force this upon yourself...

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Kiss My Apology

It appears as if it's come that time again. The time I give a half-assed apology to the readers of my blog for anything I may (or may not) have said or alluded to that pissed someone off. It's nothing new to me, obviously, to have people take me out of context. Some people dig way too deep into something just looking for a way to be offended.
Lighten up, people!
Pretty much, unless I call you out specifically, you have no way of knowing if something I write was directed at you. All I can say is that I am sorry if I upset you. (You know who you are!) However, this blog is my forum for my thoughts and opinions. If you've known me for more than two frickin' seconds, you know I'm very strong-willed and hard-headed. (Oh yeah, and opinionated!) Yes, I fully admit that most of the time, it's my way or the highway. Blame it on being an only child. Blame my mother for being the same way.
Those of you who are my true friends accept this little blip on my life resume and choose to see all the other good things about me. I appreciate your trust, loyalty, patience, and understanding.
So, the overall gist of this post is that if you're taking the time to read what I have to say, you need to be interested in what I have to say. Understand that we will not always agree. If we did, we'd be the same person. And let's face it, I'm totally cooler than you are anyway. (You know who you are!) A little controversy and pot-stirring is totally my schtick. Or, at least that's what some of you obviously think.
I've never been one to hide what I am feeling or thinking. I will not censor myself in my own, personal, blog for your convenience. Get your head out of the clouds and realize this blog is not about YOU. It's totally, 100%, about ME.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Travelogue: Part 8

We've finally hit the end! (Can you tell my enthusiasm has waned significantly from the first travel recap post?) Our last "real" day of vacation (not counting the day of deathly stomach virus and the day of 24 hours of flying) was spent in the adorable town of Stockholm, Sweden. I wasn't sure I would be so enchanted by the place, but it's the one city where I really felt like we MISSED something. It just was not enough time.
In everything I read pre-trip, The Vasa Museum just jumped out on everyone's list of recommendations. And it didn't disappoint. After a tender ride, a bus, and then a tram, we ended up at this magnificient museum to see one of the world's oldest, in tact, vessels. This grainy photo doesn't even do it justice. (No flash and no tripod = very mediocre photos!) It was about 5 stories tall and the wood was intricately carved on every surface.
The basic gist of the backstory was that it sailed in the early 1600s, but sank just past the harbor on its maiden voyage. It stayed buried under the sea until around the 1960s. Due to the cold water off the coast of Sweden, where no wood-eating bugs live under water, it was almost perfectly in tact. Some painstaking renovations later, the Swedes have one of the most badass boats I've ever seen.
For lack of a better comparison, Skansen is a site similar to Colonial Williamsburg. I have cuter pictures of buildings (and pastries) and windmills, but thought this photo gave you the general idea better. It was a seemingly sprawling amusement park of a place. There were some rides, some zoo animals, some historic buildings (obviously) and even a ferret adoption. It's also where I may, or may not, have eaten a reindeer hot dog. I was way too afraid to question it. Puff was very proud.
The Gamla Stan area of town is the "Old Town" where the adorable buildings line cobble stoned streets. Unfortunately, we never found charming photos or saw any charming video before we left. That's why we opted to do Skansen instead of meander the streets. Granted, we needed to see more cobble stones like a hole in the head. But when we got a quick glimpse, while snapping a few quick photos of a cathedral and the Royal Palace, before our bus back to the ship, we were DEFINITELY irked that we didn't have more time. It would be a great city to stay in overnight, when the daytrippers are gone. It was so user-friendly and the people were fantastic. And that food festival they were setting up looked divine!
When we were pulling out of town and caught only a mere glimpse of the steeple from their fabled Town Hall, Puff mentioned that maybe when we go to Norway, we can have an extended layover in Stockholm to catch all the things we missed. Never mind that Sweden is farther east. I was just thrilled that he was throwing out a new travel destination.
Do you think it's too early to start researching that train from Oslo to Bergen and then the boat ride through the fjords? Hmmm... I think I just gave it away that I'm already ahead of the game on that trip. Now to pick a year to take it...

Monday, August 1, 2011

To The Class Of

My AP English teacher, senior year of high school, was a total rock star. After we had taken the AP placement exams (which got me out of one semester of college English... woo hoo) we were deemed with the task of writing a commencement speech. All my 18 year old angst came flooding to the surface, in the most creative way I could think of. Yes, this is written entirely from bits and pieces of song lyrics. Three cheers for unintentional plagerism...
I've got to be honest. I think you know. We're covered in lies and that's OK. There's somewhere beyond this, I know. But I hope I can find the words to say. I'm trying to grow, so before I'm old, I confess. You think I'm strong, but you're wrong. You're wrong. So, how do you like me now? Now that I'm on my way. Do you still think I'm crazy? Standing here today. You can call me a joker. You can call me a fool, but right at this moment, I'm totally cool.
This race is for rats. It can turn you upside down. It's a dream that strings the road with broken glass for us to hold. This destruction leads to a very rough road, but it also breeds creation. I believe it's time for me to fly.
I've been landlocked here for so long, it's high time that I set sail. I was born in this small town, where you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave. Yet, somehow, I know there's more to life than this. But I can't afford the airfare, so put umbrellas in my drink and I'll waste away in Margaritaville and pray this boat don't sink.
I'm going into the great wide open, under those skies of blue. Out into the great wide open, a rebel without a clue. I'll be running down a dream, that never would come to me. Working on a mystery, going wherever it leads. Living in the real world, whre everything's written in black and white. Living in the real world, where you don't get anything unless you fight.
Now, I understand about indecision, but I don't care if I get behind. People are living in competition and all I want is to have my peace of mind. I'm running out of self-control, getting close to an overload. I'm up against a no win situation. But some will win and some will lose. Some were born to sing the blues. This movie never ends. It goes on and on and on and on.
If you're tired of the same old story, turn some pages. We'll be here when you are ready to roll with the changes. But even if you don't go all the way, I know that you'll go far. Just don't be too forceful, or you'll ruin your chances. And keep in mind that patience and elated wisdom don't share a common phrase, and hanging on won't justify the wait. Don't hang on. Nothing last forever but the earth and sky. It slips away and all your money won't another minute buy. But for what it's worth, it was worth all the while.
Do you remember, then, how it was when it all began? I tried all night not to break down and cry as the tears rolled down my face. Where does the time go? Spinning my wheels, standing still. It's like running on ice. Remember the photographs, the ones where we all laugh. We were having the time of our life. Well, thank you, it was a real blast. They call it paradise, I don't know why. You call someplace paradise, kiss it good-bye. Have no regrets. They don't work. No regrets, they only hurt. The road you leave behind is another road you're going to have to come back down. It's just the way this big old world turns round. You'll find out somehow, somewhere, someplace, sometime, you gotta go back down the road you leave behind.
I know that things are going to change. The only thing for certain is that nothing stays the same. But will we think about tomorrow like we think about now? Can we survive out there? Can we make it somehow? Tell me a story where we all change. We'll live our lives together and not estranged. You're going to find out who your true friends are. They'll call you a hero, or a traitor, but you'll find out, that sooner or later, nobody in this world is gonna do it for you. So do what you gotta do. And you'll find that you get what you put in and people get what they deserve. If you want the truth to admit it, you've got to find out for yourself.
There are too many mountains and not enough stairs to climb. Too many churches and not enough truth. Too many people with not enough eyes to see. Too many lives to lead and not enough time. You will come to a place where the only thing you feel are loaded guns in your face and you'll have to deal with pressure. But take it from me, you'll learn more from your accidents than anything that you could ever learn in school. Life's a dance you learn as you go.
What doesn't kill us makes us strong. And nobody ever said that life was going to be fair. You're never going to get anywhere by running scared. And if that's what you have in mind, then that's what you're all about. Good luck moving up, cause I'm moving out.
Your life is now in this undiscovered moment. Lift your head up above the crowd. Because who knows how long this will last. Now that we've come so far, so fast. But somewhere, back there in the dust, that same small town is in each of us. But I still don't know how and I don't know where we are. Yet, someday I'll try again and not pretend. This time forever. Someday, I'll get it straight, but not today.
Just give it your best and don't worry about what some may say. Follow your dreams, it's really all that you can do. So give it your best, and remember that life is what you choose. Follow your dreams and do what you love to do.
But in retrospect, my only words of wisdom are RADIO EDIT.