Monday, June 25, 2007

Post Script.

The Chris fellow that I referred to in my previous post... He's the aforementioned "Someone New."

I need an ottoman.

As my faithful readers are aware, I moved into my house last week. My living room is a mess. Awful wallpaper. Brown, pile sculptured carpet. I started stripping the wallpaper on my own back in May when I purchased the home. After about five full days of work, I gave up. I just don't have the time or know-how to get it done. And so I hired someone to strip the wallpaper, skim coat the walls, and paint it my wonderful shade of Bordello Red. He's coming on July 11 and it should be done by the end of that week.

The furniture for the Bordello Living Room is all good to go. I have the caramel colored couch and chairs. I have the two dark end tables. I have the large and ornate coffee table. The '40s era nude pin-ups framed in gold leaf. The gold framed mirror. I thought I had it all. But then it occurred to me: I'm missing something. And then I realized.

I need an ottoman.

And so, Chris and I have decided to go to Turkey. My frequent flyer mileage will finally be put to good use. We'll go for two weeks some time in December or January, depending on what I can work out with black out dates and my work schedule. I'll handle the flights and I'll let Chris research and decide what to do once we get there. I suppose I should take more of an active interest, but he's just so excited about planning this; and I know very little about the country, so he's far more equipped to handle the quasi-planning.

We're goin' to Turkey. I'm excited and anxious, but not super-duper-uber-excited. Not yet. But I will be when the time approaches. I mean, hot damn, we're going to Turkey. Woo-hoo!

Disclaimer: No, I'm not really planning on buying an ottoman. I was using it as a clever segue. Cool, huh?

Saturday, June 23, 2007

It's been ten years and all I get is this lousy pizza?

I was a senior in high school in 1997. The prom theme that year was "Sail Away." But I did not know this until I arrived at the dance. Because I never received an invitation.

Ten years later and not much has changed. My reunion is on July 7. But I never received an invitation. My friends from high school? Oh, they all got one. And so I emailed the reunion coordinator for the details.

The Bier Garten on High Street. Casual attire. Twenty-five bucks gets you salad, subs, pizza, water, soda and beer. Cash bar. Wow. There are few things I can think of less horrid than this arrangement. And for those of us who don't drink beer, this ten-year-pizza-pary-and-kegger is even more depressing.

Ten years. It's been ten years and they're gonna have us wearing jeans and OSU t-shirts guzzling bear at some crappy beer bar. I expected better. I should have known better. After all, it is Ohio.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Part II: Making love?

Words of wisdom from Jon the Intern on the question of the difference between having sex and making love:

"Making love is what you do with your girlfriend. Having sex is what you do when you cheat on your girlfriend."

I love my job.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Making love?

I have a candy bowl on my desk at work. This means that people often use the candy as an excuse to drop in and say hello. Or perhaps that's what I'd like to think. Perhaps the candy really is the reason they come in and chat with me.

However, there is one particular colleague for whom I do believe the candy is an excuse; he'll come in for candy and stay to shoot the shit. Sometimes I subject him to YouTube videos involving short people. Other times we'll discuss the precise definition of "corrugated cardboard." In short, he's pretty awesome.

Yesterday, I asked him a serious question: "What's the difference between having sex and making love?"

He shrugged and said: "A guy uses whichever term is gonna get him laid."

Monday, June 18, 2007

Someone New.

My friends have been asking me about the fact that I'm seeing Someone New. "Someone New, huh?" a friend asks. "What's he like?"

"Oh," I say. "He's all sorts of wrong for me," I tell my friend.


"Well, you know... He's into intimacy and stuff."

"Oh no!" she exclaims. "How horrid." I note the sarcasm. "So what've you done to fuck it up this time?" she asks me.

"The usual," I say. I don't need to explain anything more. My friends -- the close ones -- know that "the usual" entails a virtual regurgitation of everything horrible I've ever done in my life. An effort to scare away potential suitors. "The usual" also entails picking fights about really stupid things in an effort to make my potential suitors run screaming in the opposite direction. "The usual" is a cornucopia of delight designed to sabotage relationships before they even begin.

My friend nods somberly. "So it's not going so well, is it?" Without even waiting for a response, she says, "So how long d'you think this one'll last? Think he'll get boyfriend status?" she asks dubiously. All my friends are also aware that suitors to not achieve boyfriend status until the ninety day point. It's an arbitrary number, really, with no meaning. As arbitrary and capricious, in fact, as my old rule of refusing to have sex with anyone who has had greater than thirty partners.

"Actually," I say. "It's going okay."

And I smile to myself while my friend is left to wonder what I mean by "okay." Because in Saucy Vixen Land, things are never "okay." This early on in a relationship I either want to kill my suitor, or I'm on my way to an illusory Happily Ever After.

With Someone New, it's neither. With this boy, I'm eagerly waiting to see what happens next. I did "the usual" with him. I told him all the horrible things I've done and what an awful person I am. He told me I'm wonderful. So then I attempted to pick silly fights. He refused to engage. Now, the ex-boyfriend, the psychologist, he refused to engage as well. But he trivialized me at the same time and marginalized my feelings. But Someone New doesn't do that. He only refuses to fight with me, and then explains why. And he does it without even being pedantic of condescending. It's mildly infuriating; infuriating only because it disallows me from getting inebriated on trivial anger (or rather, anger precipitated by trivial things).

When I first met him, I worried that I only liked him because he was so good to me. Afraid that I was falling into the trap I've fallen into before. Afraid that my self-esteem was still so lacking that I fawned over anyone who treated me with anything other than abject disgust.

I've fallen into other traps in the past. I've stayed with people not because I liked them, but because I liked who I was when I was with them. I've stayed with people because they stuck around even when I tried to push them away. I've stayed with people for all the wrong reasons.

Yet it seems that none of these things is true with Someone New. I don't like him because of the way he makes me feel (though he does make me feel wonderful). I don't like him because he's an idiot willing to stick around. It's him. He's smart and an intellectual elitist who nonetheless treats everyone with respect. He doesn't judge people based on sexual history or addictions or class. His humor is nerdy and stupid and complements my own. He is also flawed and crazy, but like his humor, his flaws and insanity seem to go well with my own.

He stayed over at my house on Saturday after I moved in. I woke up (I always wake up first), he got up shortly thereafter and left to get vittles. He came back and cooked lunch. (Did I mention he cooks? Superficial and all, but I totally love it. A man who cooks is sexy. A man who cooks for me is even sexier.) And then we went out to spend too much money on sundry items I needed for the house. Since he promises to keep on cookin', I told him I'd buy a nice twelve inch frying pan. His choice.

About a half hour and nearly four hundred dollars later, we left with frying pan he picked out. He seemed rather excited about it, though it was hard to tell. (When someone is as dry and snarky as Someone New, it's often hard to tell when he's genuinely excited about something.) On the way home, I explained to him that not much has changed since I was fourteen. Back then all relationships led to one of two conclusions: Sex or Breakup. Now that we're arguably adult and all, relationships still lead to one of two conclusions: Lifetime of Happiness or Breakup. I explained this to him, and told him that if the latter occurs, I get to keep the frying pan.

His response?

"I always aim for Lifetime of Happiness."

Which is alien to me, as I always assume (and in the process, end up aiming for) Breakup.

Which makes me wonder... Perhaps it's time I change my approach.

Sunday, June 17, 2007


I am seeing Someone New.

Last night, Someone New and I were hanging out at the house; I just moved in yesterday. I have my two kitties back and my allergies are just started to get used to cats again. So I took a Benadryl and then we settled in to watch Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey. But before the bogus journey commenced, we happened to catch the end of a diamond commercial. Which clearly meant that it was time for me to launch into my anti-engagement ring rant once again.

"Engagement rings are stupid," I said. Yeah. Not a good beginning for a rant. Be kind; I was all woozy from the Benadryl and not as sharp as I usually am. I continued, "If I ever get married, I don't want a diamond ring."

Someone New has not yet learned to ignore me when I start in on meaningless tangents. And so he took the bait. "Why not?"

"Small children get their hands cut off for diamonds," I answered.

"That's what I thought you'd say," he said.

I let a few seconds go by. He likely thought I was done. But I wasn't. "Plus there's the whole symbolic thing."

"Which is?"

"Oh, you know. 'I own you. Now I shall tag you with this shiny ring to display my ownership.' I used to tell people that if I ever got engaged, I wanted a red velvet engagement sofa. Nothing says commitment like expensive furniture." He didn't laugh at the punchline. He just gave me a skeptical sidelong glance. So I refrained from the next part of the now-nearly-scripted monologue, in which I state that men don't give women diamond rings because they want to; men give women diamond rings because they have to.

I've always assumed that if I ever got married, I'd be the one proposing. I don't have the patience to sit around and wait for someone else to do the asking. And who needs romance anyway? But after viewing that diamond commercial with Someone New, I got to thinking.

Just once, I wanna be all girly. If I'm going to eventually succumb to marriage, I want someone to plan something stupid-romantic. I don't want a diamond ring, I don't want to fling my left hand under my girlfriends' noses so they can survey and assess it. I'll take an engagement sofa. Hell, I'll take an engagement very-high-thread-count set of crimson colored sheets. But I'm tired of being the anti-romantic. I want the fairy tale, dammit. Sans diamond.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Trial strategy: beef jerky.

December 2004 was a horribly cold month. We received a huge amount of snow. It displeased me.

Perhaps more displeasing was the fact that two nights prior to my Criminal Procedure exam, I decided not to study. Instead, I stayed up all night (quite literally all night; I never went to sleep) playing interactive euchre games on Yahoo! This would have been fine and dandy if I'd actually studied prior to the 48 hours preceding the exam. But I hadn't. And so without sleep, I put forth a gallant effort at studying. Really, I did. But my efforts were not particularly fruitful.

Working on little sleep, my productivity was retarded. I drank too much coffee, smoked too many cigarettes, and continued to spend too much time dicking around on the Internet instead of studying. I ended up going to sleep at about 3:30 a.m., after deciding not to outline the last three weeks of the course.

I woke up at 7:30 for the 9 a.m. exam only to find close to a foot of snow on the ground. I stuffed my laptop, case book, and outline binder into my backpack, threw on my big, black coat, and ventured out. Instead of even attempting to dig my car out of the snow, I decided to walk to school. The seven-minute walk took close to twenty. The cold triggered an asthma attack. I had no inhaler. But I trekked on.

On my way, I stopped at the gas station. I need protein, I figured, or else I'll keel over in the middle of the exam. I ate two Slim Jims for breakfast. As I was nearly finished with the exam, I saw a friend of mine leave. Instead of checking over my work, I handed in my exam and raced to catch up with her, knowing she'd give me a ride home, and knowing that the exam had not gone well.

I got the highest grade in the class (based 100% on the exam).

The only explanation I had: Slim Jims. Meat in jerky form is brain food. It made me either very smart or very lucky. I didn't care which it was; either one worked for me.

I didn't think about this incident again until just this past Wednesday.

I had a jury trial that I didn't think was particularly winnable. I hadn't slept enough and didn't really expect it to go forward. In the car on my way to work, I had beef jerky for breakfast.

But the trial did go forward. I was excited, but not extremely confident in any sort of favorable disposition. My defense was based on the testimony of my client's mother and brother. In short, they were not unbiased parties. But they never had to testify. And why not? The judge granted my motion for a required finding (judgment of acquittal, as it's called in some states; the criminal version of a directed verdict).

I was flabbergasted. I was happy, don't get me wrong. But how could this have happened? I pondered this question and then it came to me.

Beef jerky.