Thursday, March 26, 2009

Actually being on speed may make it more bearable

My awesome friends were totally sympathetic of my “newly single” status on my birthday. They offered to verbally bash my ex or set me up with “the hot guy” at their work (tears…so sweet). They also supplied me with plenty of alcohol. So much so that when Gwendolyn invited me to go speed dating with her, I belted out “oooookAY!” I don’t know how to do the link thing, but I have a post from October 22, 2007, that details my previous awful speed dating experience. I vowed never to subject myself to it again…but delicious beer makes me quite agreeable.

When she called a few days later to remind me of the event, I immediately slapped my forehead. I psyched myself up beforehand thinking “well this is an entirely different group of guys, and they are Chicago boys who are very unlike NYC boys, and other people say they had fun so maybe I just was unlucky”. The group was 23-33 college graduates only which sounded promising enough right. Oh no brown cow, I was soooo wrong.

Different city, same sample of men. Out of the 17 men there, only two were over 5’-5”. Yes, I am totally superficial and shallow…I just don’t want my children to end up like Danny Devito. One of the “tall guys” was actually a nice friend of Gwendolyn’s who I have met a few times before (but he was off limits). The vast majority of the guys were complete social retards or thought they were total players. Gwen and I quickly moved our tables together for moral support…and to share the pitcher of sangria we were downing to get through the event.

They give you a piece of paper to write down the guy’s name and a few key notes that would make you remember him when selecting the matches at the end of the night. Here are my notes (and yes, I am THAT un-PC and mean):

M (guy 2) – short Asian, likes to watch TV
A (guy 3) – short Indian, bad teeth!
J (guy 4) – short blonde, east coast
S (guy 5) – short, skinny, blah blah blah scribble (you can tell I was NOT interested in the first 10 seconds)
F (guy 6) – SWEATER VEST!
C (guy 7) – short Asian math teacher
M (guy 8) – short Indian doctor
E (guy 9) – massive eyebrows!!!!
J (guy 10) – old Czech professor (more on him later)
I (guy 11) – short, Columbian
M (guy 12) – ELF?
T (guy 14) – big guy, sausage fingers
R (guy 15) – NO NO NO NO! (seriously, this is exactly I wrote down in my notes)
J (guy 16) – no personal space…and short
D (guy 17) – short Indian player pimp

A lot of these guys had no personal space boundaries, so they would lean in really close to talk. I would instinctively back away, but the tricky thing was that the girls literally had their backs against a wall. I would then start bobbing and weaving my head around to avoid breaking the 4 inch barrier.

One guy’s idea of conversation was staring gap mouthed at me while saying “what”. At first I would just repeat myself louder, but after a dozen or so annoying what’s later, I asked him if I was speaking too softly or if the room just too loud for him to hear me. He then said “oh, I’m sorry, I just keep getting distracted looking at your beautiful face”. The compliment was nice, but I wanted to deck the sleazeball. The funny thing is that when he moved on to the next girl (sitting no more than 2 feet from me), I heard him say the EXACT SAME LINE to her. Douche!

The brass ring of the night was the 55 year old professor. Yes, fifty freaking five! I wonder how awesome his fake ID must be because the event had an age cap of 33. He introduced himself by telling me he was a physics professor at Loyola and that we should colonize the moon because the earth is overcrowded. Seriously, this is what he said within the first 10 seconds of meeting me. Ah ha ha ha!

When Gwendolyn’s friend Dave came around, we held up our sheets and started to compare notes. He said although all the girls looked cute and were friendly, they were all idiots. He started to play a game of counting how many times a girl would say “like” or talk about celebrity gossip. He also would start cursing (I mean excessive cursing like “can you f-ing believe all this shit, it is f-ing awesome, damn!”) just to make the girl uncomfortable. Before he moved on, he said he would try acting crazy by saying “I LOVE speed dating because it is so much better than taking speed…yaaaaaay!” Gwendolyn and I agreed to start rumors that he is gay.

After the event, everyone was encouraged to mingle and get some extra face time with some participants you connected with. That was Gwen, Dave, and my cue to drink more. The three of us holed up in the corner and shared our collective horror stories of the night. Gwendolyn mentioned the tiny bald guy, and I said “oh, I thought he was an elf”. She then said “maybe he can fix my shoes” and Dave chimed in “…or bake us cookies”. Yes, we will rot in hell.

When Dave got up to use the restroom, sleazy guys zoomed in for the kill. One actually asked me who I picked and I almost blurted out “well not you..phseeh”. Dave came back and we hoped he would try to intimidate the peons and make them move. Instead, he just laughed at our situation and walked away. Gwendolyn then spilt her drink (well it was a fake spill that was obvious that she was trying to do it) and excused herself to go clean up. I jumped up with a ‘me too’ and ran off.

Out of all 17 guys I met that night, I only selected ONE that I was willing to go on a real date with. Yes, yes, it was the other guy who was over 5’-5”…but hey, I am into tall guys. From now on, whenever I am out drinking with my friends, I will repeat this mantra in my head “never agree to go speed dating again…NEVER!”

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

In Nebraska, I'd be a grandma by now

On February 28th, I celebrated my 30th birthday along with a friend (Rick) who was turning 33. I’m a huge theme party fan. For my 29th birthday, I planned a whole Rambo Bar Golf outing with matching t-shirts and everything. Of course, since my 30th is a much bigger deal, I needed an even better party right. I wanted everyone to dress up without having to go out and buy costumes. Hence the White Trash Party! Hell, I had plenty of choices of things to wear. Seriously, I have a sweat shirt with ‘Walmart’ embroidered across it…in four inch letters! I also have a fanny pack and trucker hat from Bargain World which is a remnant from my family’s Florida vacation back in the early 90’s. I finished the outfit with a giant cross necklace, because if I have learned anything from watching COPS on TV, I know that white trash love them some Jesus…praise Jesus!!! My friends took the theme and ran with it showing up in various John Deere, NASCAR, and confederate paraphernalia. Jensen even grew out his facial hair into a Hulk Hogan stache…that is dedication!

The bar was a tiny dive located near Wicker Park. I wanted a dive because A) the beer would be cheap and B) we could totally take it over. This place only served a handful of beers where PBR was considered top shelf. The real sell was the free ping pong in the back. Yes…PING PONG!

In true dive style, the group ordered in pizza, played cards, darts, ping pong and eventually flippy cup. The game was totally impromptu…we have cups…we want to drink…lots. A group of 5 on 5 eventually expanded to 8 on 8. Another group started up across the room and before the night was over, the two groups challenged each other in a massive 14 on 14 game. Well several games. We eventually drank the bar out of Hams (shitty beer) and had to switch to PBR which was a $1 more. Towards midnight, the bar kicked us out for seriously depleting their beer reserves. I frankly think the four regulars were made at us monopolizing the juke box (yes you do need to hear ‘my humps’ eight times in a row) and back room. At least getting thrown out of a dive bar is in line with the white trash theme right.

Pictures say a thousand words. In this case, it would involve a lot of y’all and t-ain’t as well as some hoot’n and hollar’n.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Nothing is final until it is on Facebook.

I’ve put off writing this post for three weeks now. The wounds haven’t healed yet, so this will be a bit painful. Granted, a lot of people already know this bit of news because of facebook. Every time you log on to that website, it gives you the run down on what all your friends have been up to. "The following people have changed their profile pictures…Melissa has commented on Amy’s wall…Brad uploaded new pictures…blah blah blah." I changed by facebook status from “in a relationship” to “single” and the damn program gives you a little broken heart icon. To the programmers out there, thanks guys…you douches!

I know changing my facebook relationship status should be the last thing I worry about after a broken heart, but I’ll call it therapy. Among other things, it was a way for me to force myself into realizing it is time to move on with my life and try to get past the sadness.

Yes, after 16 months, Marathon Man and I are no more. There were I’m sure several reasons and factors that played a part in it, but for the sake of privacy, I’m not going to elaborate more than that. Honestly, I was/am crushed. To make matters worse, it was two days before my birthday. So I was turning thirty and was just dumped. Can you really be “dumped” when you are this old? Maybe they should make a new word for it…something more mature like dissolvement of mutual affection.

Anyway, although it hurt a lot, I’m not angry. I’m just exhausted by the thought that I have to go through the whole familiarity dating process AGAIN! Maybe it is time I get a cat?

Good-bye Marathon Man. I wish you well.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Bad Luck

After a series of events I started to wonder if I had broken a mirror, passed under a ladder, or had an African-American cat cross my path. During the Friday morning rush hour commute, a woman fell down the metal stairs leading down from the ‘L’ platform. She was carrying a coffee in one hand and balancing a bunch of oversized bags in the other. I guess she missed a step and in slow motion slid down the stairs. Granted she didn’t tumble head over heels (more like an inverted slide), but it looked unpleasant. She was about three people in front of me, so I couldn’t do anything besides stare and think “put your hand on the railing now…no matter how fifthly it is”. The people immediately around her tried to catch her to no avail.

On Saturday, I was crossing Clark St. The light had been red for a while, so I was about at the mid-way point across the street after casual walking. Well a cabbie zoomed right through the red light, missed hitting me by a foot or two (I felt the whiff of air right behind my legs), and swerved around cross traffic which thankfully screeched to a halt.

I was on the bus on Sunday travelling north on Broadway Ave. (which is 4 lanes in my hood). The traffic light turned green, and the bus took off into the intersection along with all the other NB-SB traffic. I look out the window and see a blind man being lead by a seeing eye dog towards the intersection. At the curb, the dog DIDN’T STOP and took his unknowing owner across 4 lands of moving traffic. Cars were screeching to a stop in front of the guy and we all rapped on our seats and shouted to the bus driver “stop stop there is a blind man on the road”. The man got safely across the street, and I hope the first thing he said was “BAD DOG!!!!” Seriously, aren’t they trained NOT to walk into traffic? Maybe the blind guy had a really bad HMO and they were like “look, you are not covered for a top notch guide dog…so here take Rover who is more like a ‘C’ student.”

On Monday, I was standing over at a co-worker’s desk recounting all of the bad luck stories from the last few days. Ironically once I was done, I crossed my legs to turn around and the slender heel of my shoe got caught in a bow loop on the other foot. With the forward momentum and twisted up feet, I couldn’t help falling straight over like a chopped tree. I tried to catch myself by grabbing the cubical, but I missed and proceeded to sweep all the desk contents off with a loud clank and bonk. The office was silent for a moment until a friend ran over and said “I am SO GLAD I saw that, ah ha ha ha”, then everyone burst out laughing (including me).

Monday, March 09, 2009

Asia Adventures - Post 9 (Koh Phangan Island, Thailand)

We arrived Friday mid-day on the island of Koh Phangan located off the eastern Gulf coast of Thailand. It is known as the land of coconut trees, but I’d like to think of it as the land of garlic bread. Seriously, every meal was served/offered with a side of garlic bread. It was like all the Thais got together and realized “hey, white people like garlic bread”. We would be at a meal and the waiter would be, “okay one order of pad see euw…would you like garlic breeeaaad”. I practically had garlic bread at EVERY MEAL while on the island.

Although the island had absolutely gorgeous views, the hotel was a pile of shit. Again it was another 3-person yet only 2-bed room with a mat on the floor. Our room was invested with ants, had no running water, and apparently no working lock. Olga was in the room catching up on her postcards when a Thai guy just walked in. The door was locked, so either this guy had a key (scary) or the lock didn’t really have a latch or anything (even scarier). Dana brought her own pillowcase, and when she went to change out the pillow, we discovered it was all moldy. In the end going a day without running water (ie toilet & shower), we bailed out of the hotel. The staff was tried to deny us of our deposits and due reimbursement even though we had written receipts. They even tried to threaten us by calling the police to which we replied, “go ahead, we will make sure to show them our receipt of deposit that you OWE US!” Seeing that we weren’t scared, they eventually coughed up the money. Talk about shady. We literally walked around the corner and found a hotel 1,000 times better for the same price!
Here is the “before” hotel with ants and mold:

Here is the “after” hotel with clean sheets and actual beds:

The longer we spent in Thailand, the more we were able to see scams coming. For example, while sitting on the beach enjoying music at a beach bar, we watched a band of Thai boys approach tourists (aka white people) and peddle trinkets. If the tourist said no, a boy would put a seashell necklace around the tourist’s neck and then demand money while refusing to take back the necklace. One time the boys actually climbed on the tourist’s back and clamped on the guy’s leg until he paid the kids to get off. Well one kid marched over to us and tried to sit down on a nearby cushion. Before he had time to settle himself, Gabby yanked the cushion out from under him while Evan pushed him back off the pillow. Okay, you had to see it, but it was hilarious to see this bratty kid tumble backward with his feet flipping over his head. I guess we sent a good enough message because he got up all red faced and stomped off without trying to sell us anything. Ah ha ha ha!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

I just don't get it

I have practically seen everything in NYC. Seriously EVERYTHING! One museum left on the list was the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA). I took my open Friday afternoon and visited the museum (conveniently admission was free that same time....I'm crafty). Anyway, I leisurely strolled through the various exhibits and soaked in all the modern art. I learned that I don’t get modern art. Seriously, I'm sure it is all deep and meaningful to have a giant photo of your nipple on the wall...but I sure don't understand. One girl rolled up stray pieces of hair she had collected over the years into a molded wad of matted hair. Hell, I could find that in my shower drain! One guy had naked models on drugs covered in paint roll around on the canvas. Another mounted a bicycle tire to a stool. Whooooah, impressive. Call me uncouth, but it is just my typical Midwestern opinion. Here are some pictures of pieces that I found interesting or iconic. I’m kicking myself for not taking pictures of the really strange ones and then mocking them on the blog.

A particularly captivating Jackson Pollock painting. Somehow it is interesting far away and up close.

The famous Andy Warhol soup cans.

Pablo Picasso. I’m not fan of his, but the colors and shapes of this one had me staring for many minutes. Something about the round circles interacting with the sharp angular diamonds.

Must be cold up there...

I warn you, this post is R-rated for nudity…not mine of course because I’m such a prudie. My college friend Justin (aka Danger Kitty) was in town over Valentine’s Day weekend. We met up with other K-State friends that Saturday to watch the annual KSU-KU basketball showdown. While there we decided to hang out on Valentine’s Day since the couple he was staying with had “romantic” plans that night and he needed to avoid the apartment. Since we didn’t have any plans set, he wore dressy-casual attire. Funny how he interpreted it. He unzipped his jacket to reveal a t-shirt with a naked full frontal Sarah Palin drawing. Yeah, not kidding. She stands there in the nude with her trademark glasses and poof hair style posing with a rifle (with a moose in the background, ha!). I try to remain neutral by avoiding mixing politics into the blog, but come on…this is hilarious (like her or not)! I guess some bar owner in Chicago is an armature artist (and stanch Democrat), and he decided to sell his creation on the internet in the form of t-shirts, posters, pillowcases, etc. Needless to say, Justin is (and always has been) a riot.

Okay, pictures of the shirt are below. Make sure to herd children AWAY FROM THE SCREEN. DO NOT OPEN THIS UP AT WORK because you will look like a liberal pervert!

Keep scrolling…..

Sunday, March 01, 2009

White country

I must apologize for my two week blogging absence. I was literally away from the technical world for a while. I flew off to NY to meet up with Marathon Man and join the rest of the teachers on a ski trip in upstate New York. Everyone was in the mood to save a dime, so we stayed at a cabin that one of the other teacher’s parents had. It was only 20 minutes from the ski mountain, so it seemed like the perfect deal right. Well we show up and realize it is a SUMMER cabin, meaning it was totally not warm! Well more like down right freezing. The cabin had zero insulation and was in the middle of a dozen construction projects. Yeah, there was a sheet of plastic separating us from the outside. We could see our breath while sitting around the fireplace. The only means of heating the place was the lone fireplace which was as finicky as a 13 year old girl. We scored two space heater radiators, but had to turn them off because they kept tripping the breakers. So we would spend the day skiing and then return to the cabin without taking off anything! Seriously, I slept in my hat, gloves, and ski pants! The fire went out each night at 2am, so I was surprised not to see frost in the morning. One night, the host tried to beef up the fire to make it last longer, and it only resulted in setting the carbon monoxide detector off. I then spent the rest of the night petrified and going over the symptoms of carbon monoxide poising in my head (do I have a headache…maybe…am I feeling excessively drowsy…yes…am I going to die in a frozen hick cabin in the middle of the mountains…oh God). One time we even turned the oven on to 500 degrees and left the door open in an attempt to heat up the place. Yeah, we were stupid, but brain cells freeze up when the temperature is consistently below freezing. My favorite moment was when one person spotted the thermometer and said “look it is 17 degrees outside” only for the host to say “well actually that measures the indoor temperature”.

To add icing to the cake, the cabin did not have any running water! Sure, it had indoor plumbing, but the water was turned off to prevent the pipes from freezing and bursting. The sinks and toilets were full of antifreeze. If nature called, we visited nature. Seriously, we peed outside in the snow which frankly didn’t bother me since the temperature was about the same. For our more robust bathroom needs, we had to wait to do our business at the ski resort. Also, no running water meant NO SHOWERING! I would spend the day skiing (in the same warm clothes I slept in mind you) and then spend some quality time with the warm water sink faucet at the ski resort.

Frankly, we were just a step above homeless, and that is only because we could afford to eat AND drink booze. Oh and our meal choices predominately came from the selection at the gas station. Yeah, I wonder what the nutritional value is of my many meals consisting of Pringles, jolly ranchers, and Oreo cookies. At least my palate was better than the host who seriously ate 6 bags of beef jerky! How can you humanly consume that much dried meat in 36 hours? I’d believe it if he told me he was a caveman. The first night, we got sub sandwiches from a Hells Angels looking deli worker who almost had to sit on the sandwiches in order to close them. We kept watching him pile on heaps of lettuce, meat, and mayo and no one thought to stop him and say “wait, you are making a sandwich for me right….not you”. The sandwiches got their revenge too the next day when we all had mad gas. Yes, I know that is gross, but I was audibly farting so loud and funny that I still bust up laughing out loud just thinking about it. It was kind of musical and almost cartoonish. Ha! One fart got broken up by my laughing so it sounded more like automatic fire coming out of my ass.

The only other food option in the tiny mountain town was the Black Bear Inn. The sign showed two black bears ogling a blonde white woman who was on the bar (think trucker mud flap type of girl). Classy with a capital K! Our waitress, Flo, was surly and barked at some people passing through that “no, we don’t got no ICE-CREAAAAMMM”.

The teacher host made the bone head move of the week by driving his car down to the cabin. Too bad the drive had 4ft of snow and ice, and we ended up spending an hour digging out the car and pushing it UPHILL for about 50 yards. Yeah we tried everything from shoveling out snow behind the car, wedging wood under the tires, and even laying down some area carpets to create some traction.

Although I am making this out to be some horrid trip, I must admit the skiing was AWESOME! The area got 4ft of snow right before we arrived. Of course that meant we had to dig out the front door of the cabin. I had so much fun on the slopes. This is going to sound cheesy, but I love to enjoy myself while skiing. I like to get challenging runs with lots of turns, bumps, bends, and sudden drop offs. Yeah that sounds like a death wish, but I am a rather cautious skier. Some people will just zoom down a difficult run and pray that they don’t spill or hit someone. I take my time and will even do the run again to see if I could do it better. Needless to say, the second day I decided to go off on my own so that I wouldn’t hold up all the fast fast fast skiers. I ended up hitting every slope (well except the double blacks and bunny hill of course) and some even twice or three times! That rounded out to around 35 runs and 22 trips up the ski lift. Not bad for a days work huh. I only spilled once and that was on a particularly long black diamond where they were making snow (as if they needed more). It was a really fun challenging run, and I spilled on some natural moguls that I am obviously not good enough to handle. I didn’t end up losing any equipment and only had a small insignificant bruise on the knee. God I love skiing.

Some pictures from the classy black bear inn restaurant.