Monday, August 29, 2005

Unusual outlook

The Pensacola News Journal: "Several roads in Escambia County are closed. They include:
-- All roads that normally flood in the downtown area"

Doesn't this indicate a problem to anyone else?



It seems incongrous to emerge from my building, head full of storm progress and water levels, into a perfect Colorado afternoon--bright blue sky punctuated by a few white puffy clouds, mid-80s with bright sunshine and a seasonable breeze.

It seems even stranger to picture my former partner-in-crime R under near-house arrest in Pensacola.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

5 things I had forgotten about St. Louis

1. The heat and humidity. Specifically:

  • It feels like a blast furnace when you leave the comfort of the airport (or any air-conditioned building)
  • But sometimes the humidity feels good for a moment after you emerge from that air-conditioned building
  • How unhappy my skin gets every time I make that dry/humid climate transition
  • Sometimes you might as well have martinis outside because you can't get any hotter

2. That the university, city and my friends continue to change while I'm not there.

3. Wow--the Arch is tall!!

4. That I can't help my attraction to T. But also that I know it will never work between us, Kathy or no-Kathy.

5. The best memories aren't from planned moments--they just happen.

Friday, August 19, 2005

5 things I miss about St. Louis

1. My friends who still live there
2. Ted Drewes frozen custard
3. Steakin' 'n' Shakin'
4. Convenient one-stop shopping at Schnucks
5. Ol' Man River

Thursday, August 18, 2005


Is there an expiration date on the possibility of a first kiss?

I'm sure you've already guessed I went out with G last night. We had a blast looking at show homes and grabbing dinner after. We spent nearly 20 minutes chatting at my car before I left. Still no kiss.

Am I misreading this situation? I flirt with him in every way I know how. One day last week he actually grabbed me and wrestled me to the ground at the office. Crazy, huh? That isn't something you do to everyone, so shouldn't that mean that there is something else going on between us?

I am so tired of this ambiguity. I had told myself that I would force the issue last night. Maybe I'm too out of practice, but I couldn't bring it around. I know I didn't do everything I could--when it comes down to it I'm an old-fashioned girl and I want him to make the move. But as long I wait for him to make the move, I'll be waiting in the gray area.


Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Virtual Book Club: Sophie Kinsella

Every time I start a Sophie Kinsella book, I wonder why I'm bothering to read it. Having read four of her "shopaholic" books, I had sworn off any more of her books, even if the preview of her latest book had caught my eye as I gratefully finished the last one. But somehow at the library last week I found myself picking up "Can You Keep a Secret?"

The premise of this book had promise. Our protagonist, Emma, hates to fly and gets a little tipsy before boarding her flight home from a disastrous business trip. When she gets freaked out during the flight, she spills all of her secrets to the handsome stranger next to her. Of course she discovers the next day at the office that her handsome stranger is the CEO of her company.

Imagine what you would do if your CEO knew your code with your coworker for heading to Starbucks for coffee and knew that you resented that the girl next to you got the new desk. The book looked even funnier with the CEO obviously deciding to pursue Emma--how would you feel if your new prospect knew you lied to your last boyfriend about your underwear preferences and that you liked to have a glass of sweet sherry before dates? Funny, right?

Unfortunately, not really. You know those movies where you watch the screen through your fingers as you cower from the embarrassing situation the protagonist has gotten herself into? Every single one of Kinsella's books is cringeworthy just like that. In the "shopaholic" books the protagonist Becky told huge lies to avoid creditors that were pursuing her. In this book Emma keeps her lies small but her insecurities huge. I will say that I was glad she spoke up for herself, a lesson that Becky could've learned.

The romantic angle in both books is also severely flawed. Kinsella's intention to make the romantic heroes seem perfect instead creates two-dimensional characters whose infatuation with the protagonists seem inexplicable. I found it very difficult to understand why successful and handsome business men would be interested in women who were so insecure and neurotic.

In short, don't bother with any of Sophie Kinsella's books. I swear this was the last one I'll be reading!


Thanks to Anne from Tiny Kingdom for the Virtual Book Club idea. If you have thoughts on this author, her books, or other books, feel free to leave a comment or continue this discussion on your own blog!

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Tuesday, August 16, 2005

More candles

How many people does it take to blow out the candles on Aunt K's birthday cake?

Monday, August 15, 2005

For MS

This might just be what it takes to endure a phone call with MS. /grin/

The coolest birthday candles ever!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Hear ye, hear ye

The best way to announce your birthday to your coworkers? With flowers. Hopefully sometime soon there will be a boyfriend to send them, but for now, thanks to Mom and Dad for making my day more special!


Monday, August 08, 2005

Not that there's anything wrong with that

Walking back from the printer, I saw the new guy's shiny white shaved head glinting under the fluorescent lights as he bowed his head over his computer keyboard. I backed up and walked past his aisle again. Yup, still bent over his keyboard in front of his blank-screened computer. What is he doing? Praying before lunch? Napping? Sending good wishes forth for the new AutoCAD drawing he is about to create?


Manic Monday

It is Monday and I'm glad that blueberry yogurt doesn't show up on black pants. Hopefully the whole day won't go this way.

And a joke from my life--how many engineers does it take to fit a sorority composite in my car? Answer: 3!

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Sunday, August 07, 2005

Wishing dust

I finally watched 13 Going On 30 tonight for the first time. In this movie, Jen's newly 30 character has to redesign a teen magazine and in her presentation she recreates the high school dream that the media sells every teenage girl. Having undergone a Big-like transition, she doesn't remember her teenage years and to some extent I think that is why it seems so attractive. Even those of us who have primarily positive memories of that time also remember the turmoil and uncertainty of trying to find our way as our world changed around us--or maybe as we changed in a static world.

When I was a senior in high school I wrote an essay for a college application which illustrated the concept of parallelism. In the first paragraph I described those expectations that John Hughes had led me to desire: a cute boyfriend on a sports team, a car in the driveway with a bow on my 16th birthday and easy achievement of my dreams. Then I contrasted those expections with the realities of high school life including Saturday nights studying at home and the lack of transportation. But I ended the essay with my characteristic optimism, describing my expectations for college--all the things I thought I would have in high school but didn't.

As I approach a personal landmark birthday this week, I find I'm in a similar place. I look at my life around me and think that sometime soon, maybe once my age ticks forward, I'll start to live the twenty-something life I thought I would, the life that Jen wished for in the movie tonight: flirty and thriving.

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Wednesday, August 03, 2005

The ultimate Russian theme party

I love theme parties so I had to share an excerpt from Smitten.
For Laura:

Alex was forced into a fire engine red hammer and sickle t-shirt and an authentic Russian fur-edged leather hat, despite the broiling heat; he was yelled at every time he tried to remove it. They headed to the Russian bath houses on East 9th Street for public scrub downs, then to the KGB bar, only to find it was closed. Never to be kept from their mid-day schnapps, they went to Odessa [sense a theme here? Hey, did I ever mention Alex is Russian?], then a Russian restaurant on Second Avenue, before going up to the Russian Vodka Room – where Alex was to do a shot with each reveler and write down a quote from them – and coincidentally the last part he remembers with any clarity.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Keeping the faith

As a senior in college, two of my roommates and I went out one night to see the latest romantic comedy - Keeping the Faith. From the previews it looked like our standard "feel good" fare. But when Jake, a rabbi, breaks off his clandestine relationship with his childhood friend Anna because she isn't Jewish, I started to sob so hard I couldn't breathe. I stared straight ahead, barely seeing the screen through my tears, afraid that I was going to have to run out of the theater because I couldn't handle the film's parallels to the end of my relationship with PJ.

Sharing dinner on Saturday night with my parents, grandmother and uncle, I chose to remain completely silent as my uncle proudly told my parents how my cousin, who is pursuing entering the seminary, refused to date a guy from college she was obviously interested in because he was not of the appropriate faith. Now that he has started attending the "right" church, they have started dating.

The aspect of these conversations that I hate the most is that I feel like a hypocrite criticizing my ex-boyfriend or my cousin for judging potential mates based on faith. After my breakup with PJ I questioned whether I would have been able to convert to Judaism if he had given me that choice. I ultimately determined that while I rarely demonstrate my faith, it was important to me to raise my future children with the same quasi-religious traditions I grew up with. The fact that now I use religion as a criterion for dates hurts me when it reminds me of how PJ and my cousin have pushed me and others away.

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