April 2010 Archives

Most of the time, I am tough. I don't need any help. I can do it on my own. I own a power drill and I know how to use it. I like how a Glock 9mm feels in my hand. I make my own choices and relish in my independence. I am fiercely proud. Most of the time.

Most of the time, I am strong. I am poised, polished and oh-so-sure. I am successful. Smart. I know what I want and I'm not afraid to go after it. When I fire that Glock? It's in heels and pearls. I am a badass. Most of the time.

Most of the time, I am sure. I am confident and capable. I am physically strong and know how to defend myself. I am not afraid. I don't want to be rescued. I don't need to be saved. I have my shit together. Most of the time.

But, sometimes, I am not so tough. I need someone to hold my hand and dry my tears. Whisper "it will be ok" while I break down into sobs. Hold me tight when I feel like I might drift away. Sometimes.

Sometimes, I am not so strong. I am lonely and insecure. I want to crawl into bed and sleep for days on end. Demons from a former life whisper sweet nothings in my ear and I do nothing to drown them out. I am weak. Sometimes.

Sometimes, I am not so sure. I am overcome with doubt and fear and I question every. little. thing. I feel so fragile like I might crack. And then? I crack. Sometimes.

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I am obsessed with Trina Turk. Period. But I am especially obsessed with her jewelry, including these: 

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And this:

 

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I covet these (as I covet all things Trina) but they are WELL outside my price range. Sigh.

Rewind to last Tuesday. Tuesday I was in a REALLY Big City. Bigger than the Big City I live closest to. This city was so BIG - that it had an H&M.  And while that may not be a big deal for those of you living in the Northeast, BELOW the Mason-Dixon line (outside of Atlanta), H&M is a Very. Big. Deal. Basically because they don't exist.

There is nothing I don't love about H&M (other than their stupid 7 items only in the dressing room policy because inevitably when I shop there I wind up with 16 things to try on and so then I can only bring in 7 things but I have to leave the other 9 with the salesgirl and so as I try things on and rule them out I have to keep leaving the dressing room and swapping out the "I Don't Wants" with the "I Haven't Tried On Yets" and if the whole point is to limit how much time people spend in the dressing room than it would really be more effective to let us take all of our shit in at once instead of this constant popping in and popping out and wasting time trying to decide what stays, what goes and what stays or goes depending on how everything else works out.). But I am particularly fond of the cheap accessories. Seriously. You can pick up $9 scarves and $4 earrings and a $5 bunch of skinny gold bangles that are 1) currently trendy 2) probably won't be trendy much longer and 3) if 1 or 6 of them break it's no big deal because at $5 a bunch you may have picked up several bunches.

So look what I picked up last week:

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Kind of Trina-ish but way better because 1) much more multi-colored and festive and 2) it was only $12.95.

It was no brainer and I seriously contemplated buying 2 because I figured at $12.95 one or 5 of the stones might eventually fall out and then I'd love to have a spare but then I figured that by the time that happened, I'd be sick of the bracelet anyways and so I skipped the back-up bracelet in favor of some sunglasses because really, you can never have too many sunglasses.

Anyways, I wore my gorgeous new bracelet the next day and got no less than 3 compliments on it. Including guys in the office who probably don't know the first thing about accessorizing well. And if a man takes the time to compliment you on your cheap knock-off jewelry, it means he probably doesn't have the first fucking clue and was just being nice.

So while I love cheap accessories, I have a thing for pricey lip gloss. Actually - that's a lie. I love ALL lip gloss cheap or expensive and I get as much of a shopper's high browsing the Revlon section at CVS as I do wandering around Sephora.

Aahhh Sephora. It's like my own little slice of heaven. Except on Saturdays when gaggles of teenage girls take over the store and ravage the shelves like a bunch of barbaric warriors.

But I wasn't at Sephora on Saturday. I was there on a Tuesday. And it was blissfully quiet.

So a little side tangent to say that despite my coloring (dark hair, dark eyes, fairish skin) I have an unhealthy obsession with pink lipstick. Especially pale. Even better if it's frosted.  I think it started when I was in 6th or 7th grade and I wasn't yet allowed to wear make-up but I went to the drugstore anyways and bought myself a bright blue eye pencil and the palest, frostiest, pinkest lipstick I could find. I am guessing that I was taking my cues from all the Barbies I had growing up because when I tell you that blue eye pencil and frosted pink lipstick is not exactly a good look for someone who looks like me, that would qualify as a serious understatement.

Perhaps a forgivable offense when one is 12 and unschooled in the fine art of maquillage but I am nearly 35. I should know better. And yet...I am perpetually on a quest for the perfect pink pucker. Well last week, I may have found it. 

The base is Tarte's natural lip stain pencil which may or may not be the most genius lip product ever. It looks like a pencil but it goes on so smooth which just the slightest hint of gloss.  I opted for Charmed:

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Sephora describes it on their website as light pink and I have to say, the photo is actually a fairly accurate representation.

The problem was, that earlier in my excursion I had stumbled upon Tarina Tarantino's Gem Gloss in Nouveau:

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Sephora describes this shade on their website as dark cool pink.  And since I couldn't choose between the 2, I wound up with both and as it turns out, the Tarte pencil layered under that Tarina Tarantino gloss gives me the world's most perfect pink pucker in the history of the universe. For the low, low price of $43. Plus tax.

Anyways, while $43 (plus tax) is a little steep, I quickly knew it was truly a wise investment because the following morning while I was ordering coffee at Starbucks I was reapplying some gloss and the male barista told me that the shade I was wearing was perfect on me and quite sexy. My first pass out of the gate and I scored a sexy compliment. I'd say that's worth $43 (plus tax) - wouldn't you?

Tell me mes petits choux: are there things that you can bear to spend a lot of money on no matter what? And on the flip side, what do you indulge in no matter what? 

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I live in the country. In an old farmhouse. In the South. This means that insects - which I despise, loathe, detest and abhor -  are a fact of life that I have learned to deal with. And since I am single, I have learned to deal with them on my own.  I've had days where I've killed upwards of 7 wasps in my house. Luckily for me the wasps are pretty slow, don't seem to be that smart, and are generally in a good mood so they aren't trying to sting me between the eyes when I smash them with my swatter. 

Then there was the Great Fly Infestation in the fall of 2009. It was right around the time that the weather got cool and every fly in the county migrated into my house seeking warmth and shelter.  I spent most of 3 days peeking behind window shades and smooshing countless flies into the window panes with a wad of paper towels. It was gross. But I survived.

My point is...I can handle your basic garden variety insect and I frequently do.

Yesterday morning, I was working from home, when I heard some noise coming from the other end of the living room.  Sometimes it's just the whirr of my ceiling fans. Sometimes it's more.  Frequently I hear the buzzing of the wasp prior to its making an actual appearance.  Anyways, yesterday morning the noise was sporadic, and at one point, I bravely got up and walked to where I thought it was emanating from. I peeked behind the shades. I rustled them. I stomped my foot and clapped real loud (in case it was a rodent). Nothing.

Then I Tweeted: There is something making an AWFUL lot of noise in my house. No idea what it is other than it is probably GINORMOUS. Also? Probably scary.   

I was half-joking. Half not.

And then I turned on my iPod because I was tired of hearing something that I couldn't identify and so I figured I might as well drown it out.

And then I nearly died because OH MY FUCKING GOD AN INSECT BIGGER THAN MY HEAD CAME FLYING OUT OF NOWHERE AND TRIED TO KILL ME.

It didn't just buzz. It sounded like a 747 was taking off in my wee little living room.

It wasn't just big. It was GINORMOUS. It was like something out of a Sci-Fi movie. And Holy Hell if I didn't go panicked and screaming across my living room far away from this creature of death.

I stood there, horrified, trembling and shrieking, watching this monster take over my house for one hot second before I grabbed the phone off my nightstand and called The Kaiser.

Now let me say: I don't do Damsel in Distress very often and I think White Knights are overrated. I am fiercely proud of my ability to take care of myself. However, on occasion, I ask for help. When I am being attacked by AN OVERSIZED FLYING CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON, I am all girl.

It was fortunate that he actually picked up his phone.

Me:{Non-stop, hysterical screaming punctuated with high-pitched squeals}....GIANT MONSTER...{Sob. Squeal. Sob.}...GOING TO KILL ME...{Wail. Scream some more.}...OMG YOU HAVE GOT TO STOP WHAT YOU'RE DOING IMMEDIATELY AND COME OVER HERE AND SAVE ME.

The Kaiser: Who is this?

Actually. That's not what he said at all.  And actually, I don't really remember what he said because I was undergoing SEVERE TRAUMA. But eventually he got me to calm down (somewhat), told me that the flying instrument of torture was probably a Giant Japanese Hornet and that if I left it alone, it would leave me alone. In fact, he added, they aren't very angry bugs. 

As sane and logical as he was, I was completely insane and completely illogical and everything he said went in one ear and out the other.

There may have been some begging and tear-soaked pleading on my part. I may have also ruptured his eardrum from all of the glass-shattering yelps I let out every time Oda Nobunaga flapped his massive wings.

Anyways, The Kaiser told me that he was going to wrap a few things up, pick up breakfast (he knew I was trapped at home waiting for the guys to come install my A/C and that I needed Bojangles like nobody's business), and then come over and take care of the bug.

So there I was. Alone. Hysterical. Terrified beyond all belief. I stood there quaking in the far corner, watching Oda climb all over the lamp on my Parsons table. I went into my bedroom and armed myself with a flip flop and my copy of People magazine with Kate Middleton on the cover.  Then I decided I needed a sturdier shoe and since my steel-toed combat boots were upstairs, I grabbed a sneaker.

I don't know how long I stood there paralyzed with fear, watching Oda. It felt like an eternity. In reality it was probably only a few minutes. 

I tried to give myself a pep talk. "What if The Kaiser hadn't been around? What if the guys weren't coming to install your A/C today? What would you do then Rougie? Would you stand in the corner all day and cry? Or would you muster up the strength and courage to smash Oda into bits?"

I felt some, small dribbles of courage seep into my chest.  I could do this.  I could kill this bug. It might be bigger than my head, but it still wasn't bigger than me. So I took a step closer (which basically narrowed the gap between us from 26 feet to 25.5 feet) and then I completely panicked and ran back into the corner.

And then I stood there for a while longer just watching. And panicking. And crying. And wondering how the Hell I was going to let The Kaiser and/or The A/C guys in because Oda was right by the door.

AND THEN ODA STARTED FLYING AND HOLY HELL IF I DIDN'T JUST DROP DEAD ON THE SPOT BECAUSE JESUS THAT THING IS HUGE AND MOBILE AND WHAT IF I LOSE SIGHT OF IT AND WHAT IF IT KILLS ME AND OMG WHY ISN'T THERE ANYONE WITH A PENIS AROUND WHEN YOU REALLY NEED THEM?

At this point there were tears pouring down my face and incessant screaming coming from my lips.  Had someone pulled up they might have thought I was being attacked. Which I kind of was.  In hindsight, I may have overreacted, but what can I say: I don't do oversized insects and this one truly freaked me the fuck out. 

I wondered how long I was going to stand their shaking and crying and basically having a complete and utter nervous breakdown when...the clouds parted, the sun came out, and angels chorused.  And the dulcet tones of the angels singing distracted Oda for just long enough that he flew smack dab into my ceiling fan. And the blow knocked him clean to the floor and in one-split-adrenaline-fueled instant I leapt across my living room in a single, Gazelle-like bound, and hurled my sneaker down on Oda with such force there was no doubt he was dead. Ok - there was some doubt. I mean - things with exoskeletons have amazing resilience. And I have seen enough movies to know that just because you shoot the bad guy, don't turn your back because he's probably not dead and as soon as you turn your back he'll come up behind you and KILL YOU.

Right. So I watched Oda for a full 60 seconds to make sure there wasn't the slightest movement. Not a twitch. Not a wing rustling.  Nothing.  And then I grabbed my Blackberry and stood crying and shaking and Tweeting in my kitchen because Jesus I had just been through Hell. 

The problem was, even though Oda was dead, he was still THERE - in my house and I don't like oversized insects in ANY form (although I prefer them dead) and there was Oda, a few feet from my desk, just making me feel all squeamish - like I wanted to crawl out of my own skin.  And so I tossed my People over his corpse (I bet Kate Middleton didn't realize her princessly duties would include covering up insect carcasses) and tried to get some work done. Of course, it's difficult to write thank you notes when YOUR HANDS WON'T STOP SHAKING. Sigh.

The next problem was that I was so rattled that every.single.little.noise sent me into a fresh round of hysterics. Even my trusty Blackberry vibrating on my desk made me jump out of my skin.

The Kaiser eventually showed up (bearing Bojangles), right around the same time the A/C guys showed up. And I was all: "You'll have to excuse me, but I had a near brush with death this morning and I haven't fully recovered from my mental breakdown." And they looked at me like I was insane and so I pointed to Kate Middleton in  the middle of my living room floor and told them to take a look. And then I turned my back and shielded my eyes because really, I could not bear to look at Oda any more.  And one of the nice A/C install guys disposed of Oda and confirmed what The Kaiser had said over the phone: Giant Japanese Hornet. Like it was no big deal.

The Kaiser stayed long enough to watch me inhale my chicken biscuit, give me a much needed hug, and the obligatory "it's just a bug, you'll be fine" pep talk.

Only I was not all right. Not all right at all. Despite having 3 XYs in my house for the better part of the day (see also: Rougie now has central A/C!), every single thing made me jump. Every click. Every whirr. Every buzz.  I was fairly certain it was Oda's entire family out to seek revenge for his death. It was like I suffered some kind of samurai insect-related Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. 

At one point my poor cat was pawing at something under the wine cellar and I was all: OH FUCKING NO. ODA'S NINJA COUSIN IS HIDING UNDER THE WINE CELLAR TRYING TO KILL ME.  And so I shooed Psycho Kitty away, grabbed a flashlight, got down on my knees and peeked.  So yeah- I almost got attacked by a plastic water bottle cap.  At which point I was like: Get a grip Rougie. Get a grip.

I won't lie. I spent most of yesterday in the constant throes of an anxiety attack and I have never been so afraid of being alone in my house. I am still not fully recovered. 

The Kaiser has assured me that having one Giant Japanese Hornet in my house doesn't mean I'll be doing battle with them every day. I don't quite believe him.  As with all things traumatic, I need a good bit of time and distance to make this seem less awful.  And while my melodramatic reaction may be unwarranted, I can't help it. It's just how I feel.

PS The Kaiser wanted to know why I didn't take a picture to share with y'all and I was like "SERIOUSLY DUDE?" So I started to Google Giant Japanese Hornet images to post a link so you could see that I was am not exaggerating when I say that this bug was ENORMOUS and then the page came up and OMFG I had to close down Internet Explorer immediately because THE NIGHTMARES people.  So yeah - Google that shit on your own. 

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This post was inspired by a Twittersation with and dedicated to the lusciously sparkly and glamorous Amy Blam who knows great comedic genius (and shopping skills) when she sees it!

Let's get one thing straight: I am damn PROUD of my horrid taste in all things entertainment-related. In fact - not too long ago I posted a comment on another blog and I said that my taste in music was akin to a fried peanut butter-bacon-banana sandwich. Those who got it? GOT IT. Those who didn't? Well fuck them because they don't matter anyways. No. Just kidding. But seriously: if you don't get me (or at least take me with a GIGANTIC grain of coarse sea salt - preferably from Maldon) then you probably shouldn't be hanging out in my world.

Well...long story short...I was watching ABC Family a little over a week ago and I got all atwitter about this new made-for-TV movie called Beauty & the Briefcase starring Hilary Duff. And I'll come clean right now and say this: it does not take a lot to get me excited TV wise. I mean - I don't watch a lot of it but what I watch falls into 2 distinct categories:

1) Crime/Law dramas such as Bones (see Also: Agent Seely Booth), NCIS - both the Mark Harmon version and the Chris O'Donnell version (speaking of which - I don't think he's been this hot since he got run over by a train in Fried Green Tomatoes), and any of the Law and Order franchises. For a while I was also watching Raising the Bar (well didn't you grow up to be all self righteous Zach Morris) but given the TLC required to program my DVR and actually have it work, I've pretty much given up on current day TV and stick with reruns.

2) Anything that doesn't require brain power which is basically the occasional Saved By The Bell rerun on TBS and the more often than I'd care to admit Beverly Hills 90210 rerun on SoapNet. 

So right. ABC Family. Hilary Duff. Beauty & the Briefcase. What's not to love? Especially on a Sunday night after you've spent the day drinking margaritas in the sun? (This is where the whole "I occasionally don't watch intellectually stimulating TV" fact comes into play.)

Well let me just cut right to the chase: the movie blew sloth scrotum. Seriously. I get that Hilary Duff isn't going to win an Oscar any time soon, but at least Cinderella Story was mildly entertaining. At least The Perfect Man made me smile. (I also may or may not have masturbated to Chris Noth in that movie but that's a totally different post written by a totally different girl.) My point is, I had to turn Beauty & the Briefcase off after the first 56 minutes because - OMFG BITCHCAKES STABBY - and even then, I wanted to call up ABC Family and Von Zerneck Sertner Films and ask for some kind of refund because Jesus - my time on Earth is limited people and shouldn't you reimburse me for sitting through such sheer and utter drivel?

I'll do my best to spare you (Also? It's been a week since my brain bled I caught a glimpse of Hell I suffered through the torment but in this *film* Hilary Duff gives new meaning to the term shallow, vapid, moronic blonde. It's quite possible that Heidi Montag comes across as a genius compared to the character of Lane, a freelance writer in search of her "Magic Man" (GAG! GAG! GAG! GAG! GAG! GAG!) who takes an *undercover* job on Wall Street to see what dating men in suits is all about. YES THIS IS A MOVIE PEOPLE. A crappy movie. But still.

I don't know what did me in first:

(i) Upon getting hired as a secretary at an undisclosed Wall Street based firm, Lane finds out she'll be earning $42,000 a year. Her to-be boss asks her if she's ok with that. Cue inner monologue where she says something about living like a queen on that salary. Sorry to burst your bubble Lane but $42,000 a year in Manhattan will get you a flea-infested 6th floor walk up in Alphabet City that you have to share with a French drug addict-slash-model named Berdine, a diet of Ramen noodles, some cheap, scratchy toilet paper AND NOT MUCH ELSE.

(ii) Lane getting excited about her "cube" and a chair that spins.

(iii) Lane hanging motherfucking disco beads in her cube to make it stylish.

(iv) Lane going out on enough dates to make a montage with the MEN IN HER OFFICE. Because right - that's totally allowed.

(v) Lane being BFFs with a fashion photographer who gives her lots of free clothes.

(vi) The hot British music producer falling head over heels in love with Lane and calling her perfect and stunning in the matter of ONE GODDAMN DATE. I know I haven't dated in a while but I am pretty sure it takes more than ONE GODDAMN DATE for someone to become smitten and start declaring love.      

AND I HAVE TO STOP RIGHT NOW BECAUSE CRAP ON A CRACKER JUST HAVING TO REMEMBER WHAT I WATCHED AND WRITE ABOUT IT IS MAKING ME WANT TO PUNCH HILARY DUFF IN THE THROAT.

And I realize that I have not done the crap factor of this move true justice and trust me when I say: BE GRATEFUL BECAUSE HOLY HELL IT WAS THE BIGGEST HEAP OF STEAMING SLOTH SHIT I HAVE EVER WITNESSED. 

And I have witnessed alot of sloth shit. And so I finally get to my point.

I love crap. The crappier the better. I think Grease 2 is better than Grease and anyone who wants to challenge me on that point: BRING IT. Michelle Pfeiffer singing Cool Rider shoves a well-heeled motorcycle boot up Sandra Dee's ass.  

Troop Beverly Hills? A CLASSIC. And it had an awesome cast including:

* the Oh-So-Talented-And-Occasionally-Underrated Shelley Long

* Craig T. Nelson (aka The Dad From Poltergeist aka Coach)

* Mary Gross (aka the Go To Supporting Actress for 72% of 1980s comedies)

* MRS. FUCKING ROPER

Do I need to go on? In case I do....Carla Gugino, Kelli Martin & Jennie Nelson were also in it. Among others. The acting in this movie? Awful? The story? So weak it would collapse under the weight of the Olsen twins. Fuck it. It's so weak it would collapse under the weight of just one Olsen twin! And yet? I LOVE THIS MOVIE. I love the vapid. I love the insane 1980s wardrobe. I love the fluff. I love the so-over-the-top-acting-that-it-doesn't-really-count-as-acting acting. I love it all. And if my DVR behaved I'd have it set-up to record Troop Beverly Hills every time it came on TV.

So while my eyes and brain bled while watching Beauty & the Briefcase, I thought about the really bad movies that I actually *loved* i.e. Troop Beverly Hills. I mean Holy Hell if that isn't the biggest piece of cinematic crap out there but it is GOOD CRAP. And here's where the genius of Twitter comes in.

Me (on Twitter): Something about how Beauty & the Briefcase is the biggest piece of cinematic rhinoceros poo I have ever seen and OMG could Hilary Duff single-handedly set the woman's movement back about 16 generations by playing the role of a stupid, ditzy, vapid blonde with the intellectual talents of chi-fucking-wa-wa Lindsay Lohan and OMG for the record even Troop Beverly Hills is better....

Amy Blam (on Twitter): I love Troop Beverly Hills.  Shelley Long is AWESOME. What about Money Pit?

Me: Money Pit is AWESOME. Shelley Long is awesome. Did you not love her death scene in Outrageous Fortune?

The Twittersation between me and Amy Blam about the underrated genius of Shelley Long continued and we both decided that a Shelley Long movie marathon was very much in order including Troop Beverly Hills, The Money Pit, Outrageous Fortune, Hello Again and The Boyfriend School.  If that won't keep you warm on a Saturday night - I don't know what will.

Anyways, my point is that in the movies-so-bad-they-are-actually-pretty-genius Shelley Long totally kicks Hilary's Duff's ass. Actually, Shelley Long kicks Hilary Duff's ass period and I for one would pay good money to see them in a celebrity death match showdown.

Team Shelley. Totally.

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So Wednesday I had lunch at The Oxford, a gastropub in downtown Raleigh, and the first thing I saw as we entered the restaurant was that their feature of the day was an Asian Short Rib Sandwich with braised beef, Asian slaw, teriyaki sauce, and Provolone cheese all slapped together on an onion roll. I may or may not have drooled a little when I saw that.  And while normally I don't eat like that for lunch - especially business lunches where I try to be dainty and feminine and not shove my meat hole full of drippy, Asian yumminess - after scouring the menu I kept coming back to that sandwich over and over and over again. How could I not order it?

Now all sandwiches are served with the diner's choice of side which included fries, hot chips, pasta salad, and fruit. Although I really, really, really wanted to try the hot chips, I figured the sandwich was going to be indulgence enough and the better part of valor was to choose a healthy side.

So as I mentioned, this was a work lunch, which meant I had to be *normal* i.e. not completely high maintenance.  Truth be told, I wanted to ask for a side of the Asian slaw that was being served on my sandwich but I figured that was bordering on BEYOND high maintenance so when the waiter took my order and asked me what side I wanted, I asked if it was possible to get some mixed greens. I mean, they aren't listed on the menu as a side choice but there were 5 other salads on the menu and how hard is it to throw a handful of lettuce on the side of my plate?

Do you know what he said? "We don't do that at lunch." What the fucking fuck Oxford waiter dude?

I figured he would say: "No problem, ma'am. We'd be happy to accommodate your very simple needs because WE ARE IN THE SERVICE INDUSTRY." I also figured that he add that they would have to upcharge me for my request because that's a fairly standard practice and I get it. Kind of. I mean lettuce is more expensive than potatoes. 

No. "We don't do that at lunch." Which lead me to believe that in fact, one can order mixed greens as a side - AT DINNER.  Despite the fact that the restaurant serves salad - AT LUNCH. Despite the fact that the restaurant obviously has the ingredients for salad on hand - AT LUNCH. Despite the fact that the restaurant has someone in the kitchen making salads - AT LUNCH.

My jaw kind of hit the table and I stared at him dumbfounded.  Had I NOT been at a work lunch - had I been alone or with friends - I would have gone all Jack Nicholson in Five Easy Pieces on his ass (please forgive me, I have NO clue how to embed a video in a post but click the link and watch the scene because holy fucking genius!). Seriously. I would have said;

"Fine. I'd like a side of hot chips which you can kindly shove up your ass only leave them in the kitchen because I don't really want them. And then please bring me the Oxford House Salad ON THE SIDE at the SAME TIME that you bring me my sandwich and go ahead and charge me the full $5 because I don't give a crap."

But I didn't because as I said, work lunch and all. Instead I bent over didn't protest and simply ordered a side of fruit. 

And now after watching that clip from Five Easy Pieces I am really pissed because I had a "Hold the chicken" moment and I totally missed it. 

What would you have done?

PS Writing this post has worked me up into a good frothy lather and I am officially righteously indignant over the whole thing so I am totally sending The Oxford an email telling them that their policy sucks chinchilla wang.   

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Back in December, after punishing myself by running 13.1 whole miles INAROW, I treated myself to a pedicure.  I say treat because while my toes are ALWAYS polished, normally, pedis fall in the do-it-yourself camp of primping. I mean, I can't pour scalding hot wax on my hoo-ha and rip the hair out at the roots but I can hunch over and slap some polish on my toes.

So there I was at this fancy, schmancy salon in the Big City. Leggings pushed up above my knees. Feet soaking in a tub of hot, sudsy water. Massage chair kneading up and down my tired spine.  It was basically bliss until the pedicurist tapped my leg to get my attention. She pointed at the second toe on my right foot where she had been in the process of removing the current coat of polish. My toenail was black. Not blue. Not purple. Black.

So after I freaked out (the first time) because OMFG DISGUSTING GROSS BLACK TOENAIL OF DEATH we tried to figure out how this had happened. Had I stubbed my toe? Had an armoire dropped on my foot? Was I run over by a car? The only thing I could figure out was that somewhere, somehow during that 13.1 mile run, my toe had been under some kind of weird pressure and thus the bruise.  Either that, or in fact an armoire did drop on my foot but I was obviously HIGH and didn't feel a thing.

Nonetheless. The toenail was clearly beyond bruised which lead to the pedicurist's next comment: it's probably going to fall off. Which lead to freak-out #2. And let me tell you, when you're paying over $50 for a pedicure, you want to enjoy it. You don't want to freak out. Twice.

Since that day, I have been BEYOND careful with my toe.  My homegrown pedicures are gentle. My polish choices are dark - to cover the bruising. And in the better part of 4 months, I haven't noticed a thing - other than that the bruise was starting to fade and grow out.

And then this afternoon I was giving myself a quickie polish change since my existing pedi was in a state of disrepair. I don't know if I  rubbed too vigorously or if it was just time but in the process of removing the polish from my index toe on my right foot, I removed the nail as well. The entire fucking thing.

Suprisingly, it didn't hurt as much as I thought. And whatever skin was underneath had some kind of protective coating on it because it was barely raw and tender. But um - it's spring. Sandal season. Flips flops.  OPENED TOE-SHOES. Kind of a problem.

Except - not really. Because I have short toenails. And no one is sucking on them these days. And I don't know anyone with a foot fetish. So with a clever application of nail polish....

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...it almost looks like I have all of my toenails. Even though I shall henceforth be known as Rougie Nine Nails. Sigh. 

And my toenail wasn't the only thing I lost today.  It was my monthly head-hair appointment (see beauty rituals that aren't DIY) with The Stylist (remember her?) and we decided to change it up.  I now have Hot To Trot highlights and about 2 less inches of hair:

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I don't exactly have studio worthy lighting in my house so it's hard to see the highlights, although you can kinda sorta maybe see a little bit of a reddish hue on top of my head. You can see just how Hot To Trot I really am when I am standing in natural sunlight. And to give you some perspective on the length, when I sat down in The Stylist's chair my hair was past my shoulders. It's now about chin length. Maybe a smidge shorter. And for the record, it only took me 762 attempts to get a self-portrait that wasn't totally offensive.

So tell me munchkins: what have you lost recently?

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Once upon a time, I used to read magazines. Mainly because I lived in New York City and I had ample time on subways, buses and ferries to catch up on the latest celebrity gossip, make-up trends, shopping tips and yes, occasionally the news.  And then I moved to North Carolina and started spending 91.8% of my life driving my car and when I wasn't driving my car I was busy having a life and so magazines fell by the wayside. 

And then I got sick.  And in addition to develop a huge hankering for Jack Daniels, insanely spicy chicken soup, and Fudgesicles, I started craving celebrity fluff.  The kind I had been without for years. The kind I used to enjoy. The kind that totally distracts me but doesn't really take a whole lot of effort to process.  And since Dr. Diva essentially ORDERED me to stay on my ass and do nothing but veg the fuck out for at least 48 hours, I grabbed a couple of tabloids while I was making my umpteenth run to the supermarket for Diet Green Tea Ginger Ale.

Right. So my first problem was: I didn't know who most of these "celebrities" even were any more. I mean, it's kind of hard to avoid The Kardashians but Jake and Vienna? Ed and Gillian? Some sort of Bachelor-Bachelorette wedding had taken place the week I got sick and I was all scratching my head wondering who the fuck are these people? Anyways, I was so doped up on cold medicine that it didn't really bother me all that much. Nor did the weak reporting bother me. Or seeing the same pictures in every magazine over and over again. I mean, the whole point was fluff. And these magazines certainly delivered.

I figured it would be a fleeting thing, a phase, a form of temporary insanity as it were. Uh-huh. The next week, while out shopping (and NOT under the influence of doxylamine succinate) I grabbed a copy of US because I just HAD to know about Sandra's Heartbreak since she discovered her husband was screwing a harem of tattoed strippers.  This was actually kind of a big step because the last time I read US sober was last summer at Dr. Diva's and the combination of learning that Eva Mendes was designing a line of sheets for K-Mart or Target or something AND that MC Hammer had his own reality show sent me into such an apoplectic rage that I swore right then and there I'd never read US again.

Fine. I bought US. When I was awake and coherent. Right. Ok. One time. Or not...

Lately I seem to be picking up 1 or 2 a week (although I generally avoid anything with Kate Gosselin on the cover because Holy Hell that woman gives new meaning to the term PUBLICITY WHORE) and for the most part, I get what I need from them: mindless distraction.

Saturday I had to go to the dealer so my car could have its 25,000 mile service appointment (Which FYI, I drove it off the lot at the end of September with 9,889 miles. We're now over 25,000. So yeah. I drive. A shit ton. And that 91.8% has actually been scientifically documented.) and I figured that flipping through OK and US (even though Kate Gosselin was on the cover) would be the perfect way to pass the time.

HAHAHAHA. My celebrity fluff fueled apoplexy is back and you can all thank OK magazine.

It started on PAGE 2 where OK introduced their panel of "Experts." Melissa Rycroft (who?), Tinsley Mortimer (why?), Giuliana Ranorexic Rancic (seriously? Don't even get me started...), Kim Kardashian (she's spread everywhere like a bad venereal disease), and Kathie Lee and Hoda (no comment because if I start I won't be able to stop).  My reaction was a combination of: "Could you pick a group of people I have less respect for" coupled with "What the Hell do these people do that makes them experts on anything?"

There were obligatory updates on The Jonas Brothers (Nick and Selena split! Joe and Demi are still together!) plus a full page devoted to Kendra, Hank and Baby Hank (I swear that family gets almost as much coverage as Kim Kardashian's ass).

I discovered that Brad and Angie rented an island - AN ENTIRE FUCKING ISLAND - for the kids for Easter. How can you compete with that? It made me feel fairly inadequate (not that I have kids or celebrate Easter but whatever) - although not as inadequate as reading about Suri Cruise's wardrobe the other week and discovering that a toddler is better dressed than I am. I mean seriously Tom and Katie: would it kill you to teach your child perspective shop at Baby Gap? Do you have to buy a 3yo a $600 sweater?

There was a picture of Jason Priestly at Tiffani Amber Thiessen's baby shower and I was all: OMG Jason. You used to be so cute. Now look at you. Age did not work in your favor baby.

There was a 2 page spread of Kim Kardashian looking all maternal (and breasty) with her sister's son.

When I read that Jenna Elfman named her newborn son Easton, I wanted to punch her in the knee. Then I read that his older brother was named Story and I just felt pity for them both.  Then I wanted to know is it some sort of Celebrity Law that you have to give your kid a strange name (See also: every celebrity who has given birth since 2002).

Still - while this was making me a little twitchy, I didn't have a vein popping out of my forehead or anything.

But then all of this happened:

* Britney Spears got bored while walking in LA, popped into Bebe, and 20 minutes later had ditched her jeans and boots for a strapless white mini dress although she did not ditch her librarian glasses.

* A picture of one of the Jersey Shore dudes shirtless but with a tie around his neck standing next to a tuxedoed MAYOR FUCKING BLOOMBERG. Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot.

* Bethenny somebody who is on the real housewives of somewhere got married. And apparently there was SO MUCH DAMN INTEREST in the exclusive that OK already ran, they had to run another.

* I am THRILLED to know that AnnaLynne McCord and Kellan Lutz (whoever they are) can not only read, they actually enjoy reading and that "they talk about things that matter like politics and great books!" I may have PIMMALed after that one.

* Who is Ryan Cabrera and why do I care? And does he choose to look like that ON PURPOSE? Do women really find it attractive?

* Apparently Paris Hilton is concerned about turning 30 next year and is worried she's no longer a sex symbol. Right. See cheap hair extensions, slutty clothes, drag queen make-up, and the threat of passing on Herpes in answer to that question.

* If I see one more article about Jessica Simpson NOT GIVING A SHIT WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK i.e. she's not afraid to be photographed without lipgloss, I will go through the mothereffing roof.

* Mariah Carey is planning to turn her life story (she's all of 40) into a Broadway musical. I read that and then I died. And then God breathed life back into my lips and I came to and discovered that that horrifying piece of news was in fact, merely a rumor.

* Miley Cyrus is in love and wants to get married. She's not even 18. I am betting she takes a page from the Bristol Palin/Jamie Lynn Spears playbook and gets knocked up.  

Then we got to the lead story which was all about Jennifer Aniston and how she's 40 and wants a baby and maybe Gerard Butler is the one and notice how she's a little curvier lately and BLAH BLAH BLAH.  Also? OK totally gave Jen credit for hunking up Gerry because apparently he wasn't hot before. Right. You just lost all credibility OK. All credibility,

I'll skip over Kate and Sandy because really...that's old news...and I'll get to what finally sent me over the edge.

The first was a piece entitled: How To Live Like Kristen Bell and it apparently involves a Neil Lane 3-carat emerald cut diamond ring and the ability to afford $590 Brian Atwood Sandals and $630 Smythe blazers. Right. Way to make her life feel remotely accessible OK.

Then came Kim Kardashian's advice on how to pick the perfect nail color. Apparently Kim is an expert in not being color blind.

Next up was a profile of America Ferrara who has lost some weight. And while I am all for people losing weight, being healthy and feeling good about themselves phrases like "slimmer and sexier than ever" make me want to stab something. Usually something smothered in melted cheese and barbecue sauce.

The final nail in the coffin was in the Spotted column e.g. Celebrity X was spotted doing Y and while I don't really give a crap that Jake took Vienna shoe shopping, I REALLY DON'T GIVE A MOTHERLICKING CRAP THAT MICHELLE TRACHTENBERG BOUGHT TRIDENT LAYERS GUM AT A DELI IN NYC. I mean, maybe if someone had seen Obama buying watermelon Bubbalicious at a 7-11 in Kentucky, I could get kind of excited. But Michelle Trachtenberg buying sugarless gum is about as newsworthy and interesting as the fact that I just sneezed.

So this is why I can't read magazines ever again except when I am sick. Or on airplanes. Or lounging poolside. Or when I am standing in line to checkout at the grocery store. Or next Thursday when the latest batch of schadenfreude hits the newstands.

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It's rare that I watch TV in the mornings. Usually I wake up, catch up on Twitter dive into my day and GO! On occasion though, I do turn on the TV. Sometimes The Today Show but usually sometimes Saved By The Bell on TBS because that's all I have the mental capacity for (don't judge lest ye be judged). Anyways, my point is, I am not one of those "Need to Have My Early Morning News Fix" kind of gals. I'm more of a "Is Kelly Gonna Ask Zach To The Dance?" "Where Did My Cat Throw Up While I Was Sleeping" kind of gals.

Anywhooo.....

Yesterday I was going to lunch with a fancy schamntsy pants attorney and I wanted to actually come across as intelligent and knowledgeable on things other than what one Miss Lisa Turtle does to pay off the massive debt she runs up on her Daddy's Visa after making Honor Roll (get a job, sell her clothes), and so I turned on The Today Show, my preferred source of morning news. 

It took about 5 minutes before I wanted to hurl myself into oncoming traffic because apparently there are more sucky things I get to possibly probably maybe face as a single girl.  Gee. Thanks Matt and Meredith. And thanks for delivering the news with a smile. And a pretty purple coat Meredith. Sigh.

So right. There was this giant article in The New York Times about the correlation between health and marriage and the general premise is that married people suffer less health related issues than non-married people. Oh. And they tend to live longer.  As a non-married person let me be the first to say: "Wheeeeeeeee."

The article eventually delved further and said that happiness was also a factor i.e. maybe unmarried people who are actually happy have a better shot at longevity than people who are in sucktastic marriages. In fact, marital stress is a bad thing and pretty much puts one at a greater risk for heart attacks and cardiovascular disease.  But still: unmarried, single, divorced, widowed - the odds are not in our favor. We are more prone to get sick and if we do get sick, we take longer to heal.  Even HAPPILY REMARRYING doesn't necessarily improve your odds.  Whatever pain you suffered when you lost your first spouse is stuck with you. For life.  When I read that I wanted to STAB someone but I didn't. Even though I was at Outback and had a very sharp knife in my hand.

I am not stupid. I get that being happily married isn't some sort of free pass. I know many happily married people who suffer from more than their fair share of health problems. I don't think only single men have heart attacks and breast cancer is strictly for divorced women.  But the overarching premise of the study and the article sort of felt like salt on a wound.  It's hard enough being single. And I am not proud of the fact that my first marriage did not work out.  I don't want to hear that it's going to take a toll on my health and/or bring about an early death too. Especially from a pair of happily married scientists from Ohio. I like studies that say drinking wine daily will make me happy, thin and live to be 100. Publish more of those - will ya?

The thing is, most of the time I can see and feel the upside. Being out of a relationship that wasn't working for me? That's bringing me a lot more joy than staying in an untenable situation. However apparently it's not enough and I'm still at a higher risk for heart disease, cancer, being shot in a freak sporting clay accident, muscle atrophy, dementia, pneumonia, a common cold, being run over by a car, drowning, and being attacked by a tiger at the zoo. Just to name a few.

So I have now decided I will stick with Saved By The Bell in the mornings because I never get depressed watching Zach use subliminal advertising techniques to get Kelly to ask him to the dance except it backfires and half of Bayside develops a crush on him and then Kelly and the teacher and all of the girls scheme and pretend they are Zach-obsessed zombies until he comes clean about what he did and then Kelly goes to the dance with Slater to teach Zach a lesson. You know why that shit doesn't depress me? Because in the end Kelly and Zach wind up happily married. Oh fuck. I just shot myself in the foot didn't I? See. It's because I'm single. And because of that, the foot wound is going to take that much longer to heal. 

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So I have to say it's been a pretty awesome week so far. I mean I haven't won the lottery or anything but as I was driving home yesterday I began to reflect about all of the things that have made me happy recently and you know what? There have been quite a few things that have made me happy. And I'm gonna tell you about them:

1) SUN! Sunshine is making me supremely happy.  And on Sunday (how fitting), I got to my hotel a few hours early so that I could plop myself poolside and work on my tan. As it turned out, the pool was indoors but there was a deck off the indoor pool with some lounge chairs and I spent a good 2+ hours laying out and soaking up some Vitamin D. Or is it Vitamin K? I can never remember. Regardless, now I actually have a healthy glow and you know what else? I have freckles! And you know what else? The freckles are actually kind of cute!

2) This dress:

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I bought this festive dress from Trina Turk over the weekend with plans to wear it when I am in Austin in a few weeks for my annual college girls reunion weekend.  I mean, it's hard to do strapless in Smalltown USA, but a Saturday night dinner in Austin? No problem. You know what I discovered the other morning? With a crisp navy blue blazer from Banana Republic and the world's most perfect navy blue high heeled Mary Janes from Kate Spade this is totally a work dress. I mean - I can't take the blazer off or anything but DAMN! if I didn't feel festive in my new dress and sporting a sun-kissed glow.

3) Raw Asian Slaw from EarthFare might be my new obsession. Seriously. I could eat vats and vats and vats of it and never get sick of it.  And since EarthFare is conveniently located across the street from my office - SCORE! Although - a word of warning: consuming a pound of raw cabbage in a less than 24-hour period (SHUT UP) is pretty much the equivalent of this:

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Then again - I've been trying to lose 5 - 7 lbs. before the end of the month so this may be my new diet.

4) Giant sandwiches bigger than my head are bringing me much joy these days. Or rather, yesterday to be specific.  So yesterday the Kaiser and I ventured out to Katz's Delicatessen - not the New York one, the North Carolina one. Anyways, as a NYC Jew who grew up going to Ratner's and The Pastrami King, I have some definite views on delis and my expectations of lunch were not exactly high. Well color me shocked! I almost fainted when we walked in and I saw a giant display of the entire line of Dr. Brown's sodas.  And before we were even given menus, our waiter, Gary, brought us some pickles and little dishes of slaw. Not Southern slaw. Deli slaw.  And as I sipped on my Diet Dr. Brown's Black Cherry and nibbled on an excellent half sour pickle, I actually thought: This joint isn't half bad.  I wound up ordering something called The Sloppy Joe which was 2 meats (my choice) with coleslaw, Russian dressing and Swiss cheese sandwiched between not 2 but 3 pieces of rye bread. I ordered it with Kosher salami (because I can assure you that if there's salami anywhere on the menu, I'll probably order it) and turkey. And I was worried that maybe I'd picked a weird combo or something but Gary told me I'd actually done well and gave me a silver star.  Then The Kaiser ordered a Reuben and Gary gave him a gold star. (Show-off). When my sandwich came it was so big I literally could not take a bite out of it without some disassembling and I am the first to admit, I've got a big mouth. Anyways, long story long? Big salami sandwiches are scratching my itch.  (That was for you Kaiser. Feel free to have fun. As always) 

5) The Quail Hollow Championship is just around the corner.  And while it always conflicts with my annual college girls reunion weekend, for the second year in the row I will be at the Pro-Am courtesy of The Golf Queen.  And not only will I be at the Pro-Am, I will be there with my girls, The Banker and The Realtor, and we will be seated at one of the private dining chalets where cute cater-waiters will keep our chardonnay glasses full all day long. Because really? That's the only way to do golf. Anyways, when I got to my office on Tuesday there was a present from The Golf Queen with our passes and preferred parking and it was just such a delightful thing to receive on an otherwise average Tuesday. And so yeah - happy mail and the prospect of chardonnay & chalets has me all kinds of smiley.

6) My InStylers finally arrived. Which means I can go back to having really good hair days all of the time.

7) Sparkly things make me happy. I love something with a good shine. There is no such thing as too much glitter. Are you sensing a theme? So while 98.4% of the female free world lives and dies by Jergen's Natural Glow, I live and die by Jergen's Soft Shimmer which is a gently sparkly, shimmery, totally tasteful and not remotely slutty lotion that is perfect for summer. Except Jergen's stopped making it. Or they stopped selling it in stores. And that really bummed me out until I had this crazy notion that maybe I could find it on the Internet. One Google and one Amazon later....

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...and I now have 2 bottles to get me through the next 2 - 3 months. 

8) BlogHER. BlogHer is bringing me bliss. Mainly because it means I get to see some of my bedaucherous ballsy blogging babes again. AND because I get to meet some new ones. Also because I am now signed up for a bunch of parties involving glitter, unicorns, cheeseburgers, and The Bloggess. Oh - and apparently there's SWAG.

9)  Getting asked out on a date, while totally awkward, was also kind of awesome. I mean, have to admit...it made me feel good.

So that's my Week of Awesome - SO FAR. I mean there's 3 whole days left and room in my life for much more awesome. My challenge to you Universe? Bring. It. On. Please. Keep showering me with awesome.

So munchkins: what's rocking your world these days?

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So last week, my trainer, Manny, took it upon himself to play Yente.  Actually - he swears he had nothing to do with it and that he simply replied when a man at the gym, who we'll call Joe, inquired as to my status.  Apparently Joe had admired me a la distance and wanted the scoop. And Manny gave it to him i.e. "She's single dude!"

So Manny tells me last week that Joe thinks I'm cute (Oh God - how 6th Grade) and asks me what do I think about him. And I admit that I think Joe is attractive and in very good shape but he's also short - like under 5'6" short and OH YEAH I DON'T WANT TO DATE THANK YOU VERY MUCH. Let alone some guy I see at the gym on a regular basis because Holy Hell - if it doesn't work out, doesn't that make for AWKWARD ALL THE TIME??

Nonetheless, when I went in for my session on Friday Manny tells me that Joe is going to come to the gym special on Saturday to see me and ask me out on a boat ride on the Lake. Hold me.

So Saturday came and the worst feeling in the world is PIMMALing (Puking In My Mouth a Little - thank you AndreAnna for teaching me that acronym!) before you go to work out because nausea and sweat simply do not mix. Also? I was maybe kinda sorta being asked out on a date, which meant that I may have actually given some minor consideration to what I was wearing and I may have actually brushed my hair. TO WORK OUT. That's just WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG on so many levels I can't even begin.

Long story long? Joe did not show and I got in a kick ass work out.

Fast forward to Tuesday. I had a 6pm session with Manny and once again, I pulled into the parking lot and PIMMALed because Christ on a cracker (another shout out to AndreAnna and her offspring for totally influencing my vernacular) I just want to work out and I don't want to be worrying about being asked out on a date by a total stranger while I am, I don't know, dripping with sweat.  He shouldn't see me dripping with sweat until at least the 3rd date - right? Do those rules still apply?

So.....Joe was there. And I have to give the guy credit - as soon as Manny and I headed towards the weight area where he was working out he completely said something to me even though I was totally staring at my sneakers/the ground because Eye Contact! Awkward! Anyways - Joe made a polite comment about something and I made a polite comment back and then Manny and I moved on down the way and continued with my work out.

I got cornered on the incline bench. While I was lying on my back, feet elevated above my head - practically upside down, slightly dizzy from all of the blood rushing to my brain, my feet looped in between those roller thingies. I got cornered.

Once again, I have to give Joe credit. He came up. Started talking. Knew my name. Commented on the fact that I clearly wasn't from around here (lack of a Southern accent y'all). And then asked me if I was interested in going out on a pontoon boat on Lake Norman with him and a group of his friends. Really. He wasted no time.

I politely asked him what day this boat ride was scheduled for and do you know what he said? I don't know. So right. I got asked out on date kinda sorta maybe and yet...there is no actual date for this date. At this point Manny shooed Joe away so we could finish my workout and then Manny got all teary and said his baby was growing up before his eyes. Then I accidentally dropped a 25lb weight on his foot.  

Joe hung around and waited until I finished my workout and then caught up with me on the way out and we started making small talk which OMG y'all - AWK-WARD - because I kid you not - I got his ENTIRE LIFE STORY in 180 very painful seconds. Seriously - I know as much about him - and possibly more - as if we'd become friends on Facebook. And while I am fairly certain that this may have been the first time he's asked a woman out since separating from his wife (Oh yes - got that ENTIRE story including WHY they were getting divorced so pretty much your basic overshare), the main thing I detest about online dating is knowing so much, so fast. Seriously. You start reading what people like or don't like to do/eat/watch etc. and you can start checking off the things that don't work. For example: his idea of a perfect first date is getting messy while eating crabs? Well I don't like crabs so...next.  He likes to ski? Last time I went skiing I got stranded in the Alps somewhere between Switzerland and Italy and that pretty much traumatized me and I will never ski again. True story y'all. Next. You get the point.

OOOOHHHH. And wait. There's more.

We're talking about a date on a boat people. A boat. That is a problem unless it's the QE2 and there are at least 2 bathrooms on board. I can't pee in a lake. No really. It takes to much effort and is too psychologically damaging. I require porcelain under my ass. Plain and simple. Also? I prefer the toilet paper with lotion in it thank you very much. Anyways - if we are talking several hours on a pontoon boat I basically can't drink ANYTHING at all during the date let alone during the 24 hour period preceding it. So yeah. Minor problem. 

I suspect it's not going to work mainly because my life is not my own until some time in late May i.e. every single day is pretty much spoken for and involves me either packing, unpacking, repacking, driving ridiculously far, looking for parking at the airport, paying for parking at the airport, driving home from the airport, driving BACK to the airport less than 12 hours later, throwing a party, attending a wedding, doing laundry, and/or watching Talladega. See? Not a lot of time for pontoon boat rides.

Still. I will say...I have to give Joe credit for being so forthright and it's totally flattering to be asked out after a zillion years. Especially if you think that this man has never actually seen me looking pretty. The version of me he sees is usually red-faced, sweaty, and in a ponytail. Just imagine if he got to see me in a dress. With some lipgloss on.

Also? If it gets overly awkward I am going to be so fucking pissed because I've been working with Manny for going on 8 months and I adore him and I don't want to have to join The Y.

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Dear Mom and Dad: As you can probably tell from the title, this is going to be one of those posts that makes you squirm and makes you wonder where on Earth your gorgeous and brilliant daughter came from because she certainly didn't come from you. Anyways - why don't you go visit Harmzie today. She's usually pretty PG. Then come back tomorrow when I talk about puppies and unicorns. xoxo Rougie

So Saturday night I went to a sex toy slumber party. Remember the days of Tupperware parties and purse parties? Nowadays it's all about dildos and cockrings. No. Really.

Anyways, I didn't have a pressing need to go. I mean, for starters I bought a top of the line vibrator not too long ago. I mean, I spent more on that thing than I did on my vacuum cleaner. And my grill.  THAT'S HOW IMPORTANT IT IS. Anyways, this bad boy pretty much does it all (Except kiss. OMG I miss kissing. If I ever do start dating again I will probably glue my lips to his and stay there for the better part of a week. No really. I mean - I wish it were still socially acceptable to play Spin The Bottle. Also? I may be 12. Or 13. However old I was when Spin The Bottle was THE GAME and then I got Mono. But back to The Bunny.)  

The Bunny pretty much does it all except kiss and buy me dinner and frankly I make enough money that I don't need a man to buy me dinner. Although I suppose it would be nice every once and a while. 

ANYWAYS.... 

So as far as taking care of myself, I've got that covered - although truthfully I wish I'd bought a better grill because the $99 piece of shit in my back yard doesn't fucking work but that's another story. As for the whole "things to enjoy with your partner" thing - we won't discuss how long it's been (EPICALLY LONG) since there's been a non-battery operated partner with me in bed. And let's just say I don't think The Bunny would appreciate nipple balm.

Anyways - why (besides irony) go to a sex toy slumber party if I'm not having sex and I already have the ultimate in battery operated boyfriends? The booze - of course. And the blog fodder. And mainly because Lilsaej invited me and she's my friend and I love her. Also? I don't have much of a social life these days. What the hell else am I going to do on a Saturday night? It was either attend a sex toy slumber party or go out and watch MMA with Sumo and The Kaiser and hurl obscenities at the TV and further prove to myself and everyone around me that no man will ever have me because I am, in fact, truly a nightmare who uses the expression "motherfuck me" way too often.

So yeah. After a lovely afternoon of shopping for pretty dresses solo (no man to say "Hurry the fuck up" and "are you really going to try ALL of those on?") and buying 2 and then having a glass of wine in the sun and reading Food and Wine, I headed to the sex toy slumber party which was held at Red's house.

Our certified IBA (Independent Business Associate) who I'll call Betsy was totally late which was actually fine by me because it meant I got to imbibe a few oversized cocktails and shove my Chick Fil A hole full of Chick Fil A nuggets but she eventually showed up and unloaded a crapload of stuff onto a giant table and then greeted us with this:

"Pick your color penis."

I have to say - that's the first time I've heard that line. Anyways, I picked blue because: Who doesn't love Papa Smurf? No. Seriously.

Then we were given binders that were like - Top Secret Government Spy Shit. I mean - we couldn't keep them. We had to give everything back to Betsy at the end of the evening because - GOD FORBID IT GOT INTO THE WRONG HANDS. There may have actually been a map to the G Spot in there. I'm not sure.

It didn't really matter because I got completely distracted by a page that had the Top 10 Facts You Didn't Know About Sex or something like that and I learned that having sex means you don't have to go the dentist as often. No really. I can't remember why (see either vodka and/or tequila) and I didn't keep the page or snap a photo (damn camera-less Blackberry) but yes - there was something in there about having sex and not going to the dentist. I have no idea what the possible correlation is. UNLESS YOU'RE HAVING SEX WITH YOUR DENTIST.

What did catch my eye was a little known fact that sex is in fact, a tranquilizer. The SAFEST TRANQUILIZER IN THE WORLD. And....it's more effective than Valium.

Also? If you're having sex - you're less likely to be depressed.

So apparently all I need is a prescription for Penis.

Also? There was something in there about if you're having sex you exude pheromones and therefore you're more attractive and then more men will want to have their way with you and it's a vicious cycle that totally works in your favor. If you're getting laid. For those of us not having sex? It's just depressing. And since Penis is more powerful than Prozac - WHY DON'T YOU DIG THE KNIFE IN A LITTLE DEEPER SEX TOY LADY? Oh wait. You don't have a knife. You'd probably stab me with your GLASS DILDO. Yes. It's glass. It was the one thing all evening we weren't allowed to touch (or taste) and all I could think was: good God what if that thing broke during an orgasm? OOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWWEEEEEEEEEE.

So the evening started pretty tame with a lot of powders and gels and balms and things that are supposed to stimulate you and/or him and they all taste like something. And I wasn't really into this part of the evening because if I want to taste something that's choclatey and minty I'll go to Steak and Shake and get a goddamn milkshake - ok? I don't need nipple balm or pleasure powder or anything else. Also? Chemicals. Ew. Gross. Unless they totally work in which case I'll reconsider my stance.

Then we moved onto toys and I will say...we were not a shy crowd. Things were passed around, played with and there may or may not have been some innuendo. Or some direct in-your-face "Me and my man are gonna GET IT ON TOMORROW" talk. Also? Betsy wasn't shy. I mean - girl laid it all out there. My favorite was when she said: "If there's not a wet spot, you're not doing it right." She also used the word squirt. More than once. And "ringing the doorbell" is my new favorite euphemism. Which for the record - most men can't do. FYI boys you're not digging for spare change. You're trying to make her come.

A few hours and numerous bigger-than-my-head cocktails later we were done and then came time to flip through the catalog and order. So yeah. In flipping through the 80+ page catalog I discovered that there is nothing they don't make. No really. There is a spray - in fact multiple sprays - that you can spray onto your partner to relax the butt for anal sex. There was also some kind of step or something for sex in the shower to make positioning easier. I think my favorite though was the remote control panties. Guys - if you want to get the gift that keeps on giving? Remote control panties. I am telling you.

I briefly considered Crazy Girl Sexy Pheromone Body Mist which promised to Attract! Tantalize! Transform! all for the low low price of $14. But then I thought: "I don't really want a $14 man. I don't even want a $39.99 (+ tax) man" (see JDate catastrophe) and so I passed.

Long story long? I went to a sex toy slumber party, drank a crapload, bought nothing, and now I get to live with the painful reminder of the fact that I'M NOT HAVING SEX. Well motherfuck me Tuesday. Motherfuck me.  

PS I am going to cut The Kaiser off at the knees RIGHT NOW because I know what he's going to say since we exchanged messages on Saturday during this whole AA-fueled extravaganza and he actually had the following comment:

"Tell the ladies in attendance that, while the devices being shown this evening may provide some degree of cold, clinical stimulation, they will never provide the comfort and security that can only be derived from the warm embrace of a human male with ample chest hair."

FYI - he had to throw in the ample chest hair reference because he is, on occasion, mistaken for Smokey the Bear.

Anyways, I promptly replied to The Kaiser that "said cold, clinical devices are always available no matter what and never, ever disappoint," and I stand by that. Also? I should have added that they always manage to "ring the bell." 

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So I've been walking around with like, 15,000 random thoughts in my head, and some of them are blog posts and some of them are fractions of blog posts, and some are probably 2-part Tweets and if I had the time and energy and wherewithal and time and focus and time I would sit down and spend 2 days writing non-stop and I'd have a month's worth of blog posts which would be good because starting really soon my life is not my own anymore and who knows when I'll have time to write and so instead of doing the right thing and fleshing all of these thoughts out and being creative I am going to take a giant mental poo on the page so I can clear my head.  And yes - I know that was the world's longest run on sentence ever but it should give you some indication of all of the CRAP AND CLUTTER currently taking up brain space.

For starters, Hollywood can suck my ass. I've put up with a lot of uncreative bullshit over the years (remakes of every 1960s TV show ever made, a live action version of Scooby Doo so that we could all see what Freddie Prinze Jr. looked like blonde. Answer - not pretty.) and I get that sometimes it is easier to take the easy way out and that remaking Mod Squad requires a fraction of the creativity of oh, say, ANYTHING, but recently I heard about the latest stunt Hollywood is about to pull: They are remaking Overboard.  That classic 1980s comedy starring Goldie Hawn at the peak of her 1980s awesomeness. A movie which is still TODAY - over 20 years later - shown frequently on TV because it is a timeless classic and just THAT GOOD. And Hollywood wants to remake it. Why? I don't know. That's like saying let's rebuild The Eiffel Tower because MAYBE JUST MAYBE we can make it better.  

Oh wait lambs. It gets WORSE.  Do you know who is going to star in this alleged catastrophe remake? JENNIFER "I'M MARRIED TO A VAMPIRE" LOPEZ. J. Lo. Stepping into Goldie's oversized dress ("Was I fat AND short?"). OMFG THE HORROR. Hold me people. And to add insult to injury, Will Smith is producing. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Who is one of the few people who up until recently I actually had respect for. He is responsible for this slice of Hell they are thrusting onto us.  There are no words to describe the level of apoplexy. Ok. Maybe one. Apo-Fucking-Plectic.

Speaking of apoplexy, as it turns out, I am not meant to drive with the masses. And by masses I mean every asshatty moron with a driver's license. Holy hell. Commuting might be the death of me.  Apparently, the notion of "left lane is for passing" hasn't quite sunk in yet. We're still learning that one. Also? If you're doing anything other than actually driving - like talking on the phone, shoving a Whopper into your pie hole, coming up with a plan for World Peace - please do it in the right lane.  When you're not 100% focused on driving, you slow down. When you slow down in the left lane, YOU PISS ME OFF.

I don't understand Chinese buffets. I mean - I don't really understand buffets in general but Chinese buffets flat out scare me.

I also don't understand people who wear make-up to the gym. Seriously. Full on maquillage. Eyeliner. Blush. Blood red lips. I don't know about you, but I go to the gym to work out. To sweat. And I usually do.  On the off chance I am coming from work and forget to remove my mascara, I wind up looking like a raccoon. It's not pretty. So people who go to the gym in full on make-up (not to mention having doused themselves with perfume that smells like cake batter which makes me want to HURL when I am running on the next treadmill over) confuse the fuck out of me.

I don't understand the popularity of J. Lo which really makes the whole Overboard thing sting even more.

And speaking of both things which leave me scratching my head AND apoplexy: KATE GOSSELIN WTF? I don't even know if I can go there because OMFG THAT WOMAN MAKES ME STABBY. The fact that she has fame - the fact that she continues to garner magazine covers AND NEW TV SHOWS (Holy Hell TLC execs - are you HIGH?) - there are simply no words. I mean. GAH. That woman makes me batty. I mean reality TV confuses me in general and I can't even discuss that there is an entire show - meaning more than 1 episode - devoted to people who don't even know they are pregnant until they give birth. I didn't even know that was possible except every once in a blue moon. But Kate Gosselin? MAKE IT STOP ALREADY.

See Also: Dancing with the Stars which turns out to be Dancing with the D-List Celebrities and wanna-bes.  The rules used to be you were on 1 reality TV show and then you were DONE. Now reality shows beget reality shows and it's not enough to be a reject on the Bachelor - now you get to be the Bachelorette while the Bachelor moves onto Dancing With the Stars - WITH KATE GOSSELIN NO LESS - and it's like some kind of cancer has crept into our entertainment system and is KILLING IT.

Ok. I have to stop now because I just looked in the mirror and realized I am an unholy shade of red and there's a vein throbbing above my right eye that's giving me a twitch. But I do feel better for having cleansed my brain of all of this trash. Phew.

Tell me lambs - what's on your mind these days?   

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Dude. It's spring. Do you want to know how I know? Because a fucking GIANT ASS cloud of pollen erupted over the entire state of North Carolina and took a giant yellow, powdery shit over EVERYTHING. Seriously. It's like the Universe had a massive case of pollen-induced GI issues and shat yellow EVERYWHERE.

And while most everyone I know is suffering due to sinus headaches, puffy eyes, runny noses, sneezing, wheezing, and general ALLERGY-RELATED-BULLSHIT, I am suffering from a massive case of OC-Fucking-Dear-Lord-Please-Pass-The-Meds-D.

Yeah. It's that bad.

My car. My car makes me want to CLAW MY OWN EYES OUT WITH A SPORK IT IS SO FUCKING DIRTY. Seriously. Every time I see it/get in it/think about it I want to peel my skin off and bathe in a vat of Clorox because OMFG the Dirt! The Pollen! The Yellowy Powdery GUNK THAT IS FUCKING EVERYWHERE. AAAACCCHHHHH.

There is no point in getting it washed. Do you want to know how I know this? Because I washed my windshield the other day while I was filling up and within a nano-second it was re-encrusted with the crystallized pollen from HELL. Seriously!? Is there anything that will kill this shit?

And what's worse - it's not just my car. It's ALL cars. Driving down the Freeway it's like Coldplay took over and gave new meaning to the song "And It Was All Yellow." It's like the Universe hocked up a giant YELLOW POLLEN HAIR BALL all over EVERYONE and is laughing at us HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. GAH. 

Seriously? I'd rather be clawing my sinuses out in pain than wanting to take an industrial-strength Brillo pad and one of those giant hoses the circus uses to clean off elephants and FUCKING SCRUB THE LIVING HELL OUT OF THE UNIVERSE BECAUSE OMFG THE YELLOW IS KILLING ME.KILLING. ME.

So yeah. I don't have allergies. But I am severly OCD. Just a little.

PS It's raining as I write this. Hoping the storms clean everything off. Otherwise I am definitely going to have to adjust my meds.

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One day some time well over a year ago I was either up really late or really early and I was watching TV and I saw the infomercial for the Instyler. Seventeen times in a row. And after you see you something seventeen times in a row it's essentially the equivalent of being hypnotized and the next thing you know I had actually ordered one.

And it eventually arrived and I tried it and I was all "Meh" about the whole thing. For about 4 months. And then one day: BAM. I discovered that the Instyler was indeed life changing.  Seriously. This thing straightens. Curls. Flips. Lifts. It basically does everything you could want a hair tool to do except give you an orgasm and frankly, that's why God invented vibrators.

Anyways, I became insanely addicted to my Instyler. More so than my blow dryer. More so than my flat iron. You see I have naturally curly hair and finding the perfect combination of product and tool to style it is the equivalent of a quest for the Holy Grail. Seriously.  Ladies with curly hair please feel free to chime in on this.  It's EPIC. Only Harrison Ford and Sean Connery didn't lead me to my Grail. Insomnia did.

Long story long, several weeks ago my beloved Instyler broke. The little round flat thingy that's on the end of the barrel came loose and then fell off and then little bits and pieces started falling out and OMG THE HORROR.  I immediately raced to my computer and looked up how to repair the one thing in the universe that makes my hair look halfway decent. I had 3 choices:

1) If it was less than a year old, it was covered under warranty and I could send it back to be fixed.

2) If I had been a sucker smart enough to buy the extended 3-year warranty, I could also send it back to be fixed.

3) If it was no longer under warranty (which it wasn't), I should under no circumstance try to fix the Instyler myself because there are VERY IMPORTANT computer chips and shit and if I try to fix it myself I might cause a Globalthermonuclear Meltdown of grand proportions and so basically option number 3 was to curl up in a little heap and weep endlessly for about 10 minutes which is exactly what I did.

Sigh.

I waited several weeks before ordering a new one. Mainly because I wanted to see if I could function with a blowdryer and flat iron (and a vibrator) like a normal person and also because really, I didn't want to spend $150 on anything that didn't involve the word "pretty dress," "pedicure," "wine," and/or "trip to the Bahamas." So yeah. Apparently I can't function. I mean, I can function. I'm just functioning with really bad hair.

So last week I bit the bullet and ordered a new one. Actually - I ordered 2 because apparently it's buy one get one free which is awesome because then I didn't need to get the extended warranty for $10 because if one breaks I have another. And given that the shelf life of one of these puppies is about 18 months, 2 Instylers should last me for 3 years just perfectly. I did however pony up the extra $7 for "rush processing" because apparently there is a MASSIVE demand for Instylers and if I didn't "rush" my order it was going to take 10 - 12 weeks to get my new Instyler and OMG it's summer and the heat and the humidity and I NEED MY INSTYLER NOW DAMMIT.

I wish this story had a happy ending. I really did. I wish it ended with me telling you that my Instyler arrived in my PO Box and that I brought it home and we made sweet, sweet love the end. Alas, no. This story has a HORRIFYING twist before we get to what I assume will be a happy ending.

So yesterday I'm in my office and my phone rings. Caller ID indicated the call was coming from Clearwater, FL which right then and there should have been a sign because Hello - Scientology headquarters are located in Clearwater! Anyways, I picked it up and said "Hello" and then that really annoying thing happened where the line went silent and I instantly knew it was a telemarketer and instead of hanging up like someone with common sense I kept saying "Hello" really loudly and really huffily (huffily is so too a word) until I heard that click and the crackle and the static of the telemarketer's line was audible. And then she said "Hello" and immediately identified herself (her? herself? Editor/grammar fiend friends please don't judge me - ok?) as someone from Instyler and she just wanted to verify all of my information before they shipped my order.

And then immediately I was relieved I hadn't hung up because OMG - my precious baby. Moments away from being shipped into my loving arms.  So she asked me a few questions and rattled off my name and address and blah blah blah and she had it all correct and I told her as much and I thought I was done BUT OH NO.  Before I could say "Yep that's all correct thank you very much now please send me my Instyler so I can go back to having non-freak like hair" she pushed right into something about $50 in gas vouchers as a thank you for....and at this point I may have tuned her out because I was, you know, working and shit. And I was trying to type an email or do something mildly important to earn my paycheck and then she said something else about "Budget Savers" and "savings" and "my credit card being charged $1" and then something else about "$24.99 a month" and "can always cancel after 14 days" and I was all: Huh? What the fuck lady? And then I tuned back in and kindly told her I wasn't interested and UNDER NO FUCKING CIRCUMSTANCE was she to charge my credit card for ANYTHING. But she made it sound like I had no choice. Like I HAD to accept the gas vouchers and the trial run of Budget Savers. And I was like: But then I have to remember to cancel. Otherwise you're going to charge my Amex which you have on file. And what if I forget to cancel after 14 days? And she tells me that I can cancel at any time and I was like: Well can I cancel NOW? Because I am not interested. And we played out this "Who's on First" routine for a solid 60 seconds before I caved and said "Whatever" because really, I don't get paid to sit around and argue with telemarketers. Or Scientologists.

And then thinking we were done I tuned out again and started focusing on work only she said something about "hold on - it will sound like I am hanging up but I am not and please hold the line" and once again I was all "What the fuck?" but I held the line because dudes: IT'S THE INSTYLER.

So remember when I said that the whole purpose of the call was to rope me into a pact with Satan verify my information and how the lady had totally verified my information? HAHAHAHA.  That was just a joke. A test. A trial run. Or didn't count because holy fucking hell the man who I was connected with told me that HE was there to verify my information and I nearly died because OMG - who lives like this?  So after taking a deep breath and repeating the mantra "beautiful hair" 6 times to myself to remind me why this was all WORTH IT, I started to RE-VERIFY the EXACT SAME information I had verified to the previous Devil's handmaiden until I got so annoyed and was like: DIDN'T I JUST DO THIS and CAN'T WE HANG UP NOW? And the guy was basically all: No. I am reading from a script. This call can not end until I finish reading my script. And I was like. REALLY? BECAUSE AAAARRRRGGGHHH.  And then I smashed my head so hard on my desk I gave myself a mild concussion.

So after re-verifying my information he launches into a spiel about SOMETHING OTHER THAN BUDGET SAVERS THAT THEY WILL ALSO CHARGE MY CREDIT CARD FOR and I was all: Don't you people have a SOUL? And I told him I was NOT interested. And he said: Ok. Just to verify. You're not interested in whatever Offer #2 is (because I wasn't really paying attention). And I was like I AM NOT INTERESTED IN ANY OF IT. And he was all: Oh. Not even Budget Savers? Not even the free gas vouchers which are yours to keep no matter what because that's our way of saying thank you for signing a deal with the Devil? And I was all: NO!!! NOT ANY OF IT. FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS DECENT AND HOLY IN THE UNIVERSE JUST SEND ME MY FUCKING INSTYLER AND OTHERWISE LEAVE ME ALONE. Please.

He was quiet for a minute but then he picked up his script and rambled on about them sending a shit load of stuff to my PO Box anyways regarding both offers that I wasn't interested in and I was all: Whatever dude. Can we just please end this conversation because I need to go cleanse myself in a vat of holy water because you people are PURE EVIL.  And then the call was finally over.  

And now I will have to check my PO Box religiously every day because 1) my Instyler is due to arrive at any moment and 2) apparently if I don't my credit card is going to get charged for a bunch of shit I don't want and I already blew $39.99 (+ tax) on 1 month of JDate. I'm not in the mood for any more bullshit charges on my credit card.

So yeah. Telemarketers are totally the Devil. Or Scientologists.

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A few years ago, Loeffler Randall designed a line of shoes for Target.  Now I love Loeffler Randall, however I can't afford them in real life so when they brought their gorgeous shoes to the masses at actually affordable prices, I was thrilled.  And I was even more thrilled that I found a pair I truly loved:

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These are the world's most amazing gold flats and I basically wear them all the time.  The problem with wearing something all the time though is that it gets worn down.   Like this:

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And this:

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And this:

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And then one day you look at your beloved gold flats and you sigh because they are beginning to look really fucking ratty. And you feel sad and a little weepy because you adore these shoes and you really, really wish you could replace them. Only it's been years since you bought them and really, you're not the kind of girl to buy shoes on eBay.

That SHOULD be the end of the story. SHOULD.  EXCEPT. I am apparently a genius. Or I was a genius. Once upon a time. Because I didn't buy just 1 pair of gold Loeffler Randall ballet flats.  I bought TWO. Which is actually not a huge deal when the shoes cost $29.99/pair. (And in fact - if memory serves me correctly, I got one pair on sale for 50% off which makes me wonder why I didn't buy 3 pairs. Or 4.) And the second pair have been tucked away, out of sight, waiting until just the right time to make their debut. 

So instead of lamenting the impending demise of one of my most cherished pairs of shoes, I get to celebrate this:

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I know. The genius is staggering. But please, hold your applause. 

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This post is dedicated to one of my favorite readers - a lurker in the heart of Ohio whom I affectionately call Sweet Trav (and half a dozen cookies to anyone who can tell me where that reference comes from).  Sweet Trav's hatred of Duke nearly rivals his hatred of the Yankees which means we get along GREAT when it comes to sports. I am hoping that this post coaxes him out of his shell i.e. he has the manly balls to comment on this shit in public instead of sending me texts via a third party. And dude - if you wanna talk, at least email me directly. MWAH sugar!

Now...

I love college basketball. And last night's championship game - Duke vs. Butler - was nothing short of spec-fucking-tacular. It was a total nail-biter which saw no one lead by more than 6 points, which saw countless lead changes, and which saw both teams play with a lot of heart, a lot of grace, a lot of talent, and a lot of sheer awesome.  Had it been anyone other than Duke - I would have pulled for Butler. I LOVE me an underdog.  But as an actual Duke alum - I was pulling for my Devils. Still - it was hard not to root for Butler and when it looked like they might win in the last 60 seconds - it was difficult for me to be bitter. How could you hate these kids? How could you not hope against hope that David would beat Goliath? How could you not want to see Hoosiers come to life right there on national TV?

In the end, Duke won. Fair and square. It was an incredible game. Hard fought until the very last play. But we won. And I'm sure we'll be hated and vilified for centuries to come because...well...1) because we're Duke and 2) because we beat up on Cinderella. But we are the 2010 NCAA National Champions and I couldn't be prouder.

I'm still trying to figure out why the entire universe hates Duke save for its alums and a handful of folks born in NC who weren't baptized in Carolina Blue waters. In the meantime, here are some stats worth noting:

* Coach K has been coaching for 35 years. Five years at Army and the last 30 at Duke.

* Overall, he has won 867 games.  He is the sixth men's basketball coach in NCAA history to reach the 800-win plateau.

* He has the 4th most wins of any coach behind Bob Kinght (902), Dean Smith (879), and Adolph Rupp (876) and he is the current active coach with the most wins (Syracuse's Jiim Boenheim is 2nd with 829). 

* Since arriving at Duke as the head coach, he has won 794 games.

* He has lead Duke to 12 regular season championships and 12 ACC championships.

* Under his leadership, we have beaten UNC 34 times,

* Coach K has lead Duke to 12 Elite 8s, 11 Final 4s. and 8 Championship Games.

* He has won 4 of those championship games, which makes him tied with Adolph Rupp for the 2nd most winningest championship coach. I doubt anyone ever tops John Wooden and his 10 wins (in 12 years!) at UCLA.

* Coach K also lead Team USA to an Olympic Gold Medal in 2008.

* He's had 21 players chosen in the first round draft of the NBA and he currently has 14 players in the NBA - the most of any university. 

* He also has a 98% graduation rate (excluding players who leave early for the NBA), and 3 former players are currently head coaches at other college programs. 

Say what you will - but that shit is pretty damn impressive.  Hate Duke all you want - but at the very least, show some respect for Coach K.  The numbers just don't lie.

Now I could be really obnoxious and insert a video of Queen singing We Are the Champions but it's WAY past my bedtime and besides, I am not that girl. 

I will say this though: I really am proud of last night. Of an amazing game. Of both teams. Of two teams that are in essence actual teams and not dominated by One and Done players who dip their toes into college and then dive into the NBA.  Of kids who played their hearts out and who wouldn't take no for an answer. 

Last night was the perfect example of why college basketball can be truly, truly great.

Congrats to the Bulldogs on an amazing seaon, an even more incredible tourney, and a hard-fought fight. And a tremendous shout-out to my Devils! You guys RAWK!

Now Sweet Trav...anything you want to say darlin'? Or do you want to wait until we're further along into baseball season?

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Yesterday I felt the sting of being single. 

During the week, I rarely notice. I am busy with work. And travel. And the gym. I usually manage to make it out for drinks or dinner a few nights a week.  By the time I get home I am so exhausted I just pour myself into bed. On the nights I am at home, I am grateful for the peace and quiet. The chance to catch up on Google Reader. To veg out to a Bones marathon. To bond with Psycho Kitty.

Weekends are harder.  Most of my friends are not single. They are in relationships. They are married. They have kids.  Weekends are about family. About making up for the time lost during the week when everyone is just. so. busy.  I don't have work to distract me. And while I am usually grateful for some downtime (so I can be really glamorous and do laundry and clean my bathroom), it is often weekends that I feel most lonely.

Holiday weekends are the hardest. Yesterday was hard. 

It was one of those glorious, sunny spring days. A day when you want to be outside reveling in the fact that winter is indeed behind us. A day to be at the beach. Or the pool. Or in the park.  A day to be active.  A day to  be outside doing something.  I made it outside for the world's most pitiful 15-minute, 1.6 mile run before returning home and wondering why there wasn't anything better on TV.  I thought about driving to Target and soothing my soul with some retail therapy. I thought about going to the movies.  But none of that seemed right. I thought about doing something useful. Like working on my pile for Blogger's Spring Giving.  Or baking muffins for a friend who is heading to the hospital later this week for a procedure. But I was depressed unmotivated. What I really wanted to do was drive to the mountains and go for a hike.  Or drive to the lake and have a picnic.  But I had no one to do it with. And it didn't seem like the sort of thing one should do alone.

As I said - the sting of being single.

Here's the other thing. I don't want to date. I thought I did but I don't.  I keep getting emails from strangers on JDate trying to engage me in conversation, suggesting we get together and meet, and I just can't bring myself to reply.  I like the ease of being with my friends and being able to be me.  A little raucous.  A little obnoxious (ok REALLY obnoxious during the Duke-WV game on Saturday).  A little crass. Exceptionally neurotic. Over the top. In your face. Totally Sassypants.   

I don't want to have to pretend to be perfect because I am far from it. I am not ready to reveal my baggage to a stranger and while I know having coffee with someone doesn't mean sharing my most intimate secrets and moving in together, I think on some fundamental level I am terrified of eventually getting to that place with anyone. Because what if they say No? What if my baggage is too much?

It's ironic. Hating being alone and yet being afraid of taking the steps I need to in order not to be alone.

Yesterday was hard. Yesterday I really felt the sting of being single.

PS You're welcome for the Monday morning overshare.

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It was almost a year ago that Dr. Diva randomly Tweeted about going for an 8-mile run and listening to awesome tunes on her iPod and I randomly got inspired to go for a run. Which lead to another run. Which lead to another run. Which lead to knee pain. Which lead to X-Rays. And an MRI. And new sneakers. And eventually more running. And then 1 day I was clearly high and signed up for the Kiawah half marathon. 

In December, I ran 13.1 miles in just under 2 hours. It was awesome. Saturday, I ran 2 miles in just under 20 minutes and I nearly died.  Seriously. I was huffing. Puffing. Coughing. My face was beet red. And I was pissed.

How could I let this happen? How could I let all of my training and hard work and all of that time and effort I put into running last year just completely disappear? What's even more troubling is that I am in GREAT shape. I work out with a trainer 3 days a week focusing on weight lifting and strength training. When he says give me 10, I give him 12.  When he asks if it's too heavy, I tell him to add another 5 pounds.  I am a beast who can do 125-lb. box squats. And yet...

I rarely do cardio any more. I jump rope for 5 - 10 minutes before I workout but when my session is over and I should hop on the elliptical for 20 minutes, I race for the door because I want to get home. And now I can barely run 2 miles. What the fuck me?

The thing is - I know what happened. After Kiawah I got completely burned out. On running. On training. All of it. And then it was winter and it was cold and gray and wet and I didn't want to run in crappy weather. And I didn't want to get on a treadmill for the sake of getting on a treadmill. And so I put off running until...well I guess until it was too late and then one day I tried to run and I nearly died.

I am signed up for a 5K in June. I signed up back in December when an average run for me was 5 - 6 miles. When I could sustain an under 8-minute pace for such a short distance.  When I thought that a 5K would be nothing. And now? Well now I need to start training again.

I have roughly 8 weeks to get it together and get my cardio endurance back to some basic level of sustainability. This means in between my regularly scheduled sessions with my trainer, commuting to the office, work, my insane travel schedule, year-end planning and budgeting, and oh yeah maybe wanting to have a social life - I have to start running ~ 2 days a week.  My goal is twofold:  1) Get back to being able to run 5 miles without having a coronary and 2) run the 5K in June in under 23 minutes. 

I'm pretty sure I can do both. Now excuse me - I need to go for a run.

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Fourteen years ago today I quit smoking. I woke up and I just quit. Actually - that's not quite true.   After several weeks of leg cramps and calf pain and extreme Jewish hypochondriac neuroses about deep vein thrombosis and blood clots, I quit. True story. Woke up on April 1, 1996 with an exaggerated fear of an early death due to nicotine. Gave my last half pack of Marlboro Lights to my roomates. And quit smoking. And then I decided to tell everyone I knew - on April Fool's Day no less - so that if I reneged on my commitment, I'd be shamed. 

And then I decided that quitting smoking gave me free rein to shove my smoke hole full of anything and everything so I walked around for the next 2 months with a pound of Cheeze-Its and at least 6 Blow Pops in my purse at all times. Also? I gained 20 pounds.

Truth be told, I don't think about smoking all that often nor do I really miss it. Every once and a while I have one of those dreams - you know - the one where you dream about the forbidden fruit - but they come few and far betwmeen and for the most part, my once 2-pack a day is a distant memory.  

Still every year I proudly acknowledge the day I quit smoking, Fourteen years. Holy crap. Who knew I was so disciplined?

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