Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Random, Random, Random

This meme has been making it rounds on Facebook, 25 Random things about you. Instead of posting it on there, I will post it on here.

1) I’m a private person, which is funny because I have a blog that chronicles my life and feelings, but there are only a handful of people who read my blog that actually know me in real life. BFE doesn’t even have a link to this blog and randomly she’ll ask me for it, and I never send it to her. I’m funny like that.

2) Despite being such a pessimist, I’m a closet romantic. I believe in Prince Charming and Happily Ever After, although I believe I’ll be the one to rescue him. I believe in love at first sight and soul mates. I don’t believe in “You complete me,” but I do believe in building a life with someone.

3) I have a weird thing about numbers. I prefer even numbers or multiples of five. I like things to be in pairs.

4) I like to read aloud to Weasley. Yes, I understand that he’s a cat, but I read somewhere that animals enjoy the sound of our voices and I just like to read aloud. I won’t read aloud to him trashy romance novels because I don’t think that’s appropriate for his ears.

5) I miss having a dog, but do not have the time for one. I need to either move to a house with a yard or have a live-in boyfriend. The live-in boyfriend will walk the dog when its cold, raining or snowing or the dog will walk itself in the back yard during these scenarios.

6) I’m normally bitchy three weeks out of four, but whenever I get my monthly friend, I’m in the best of moods. Life couldn’t be better during that week; everything is all sunshine and butterflies. But once that week is over, lookout because I’m back to being a moody bitch.

7) My new hobby is to drink a glass of wine while taking a bath. Its so relaxing and I get tipsy fast from the heat of the water.

8) When I fall in love, I fall hard and fast. This sometimes causes me to stay with a person longer than I should or overlook some faults. But once I make up my mind that I’m no longer in love with you, you will never be able to get back into my heart. I’ll never be able to look at you in the same way, and while I may still be friends with you, I will never go back to you.

9) My mind is constantly thinking and I over analyze everything. This keeps me up at night as I worry about things I cannot possibly control, so I resort to taking sleeping pills or working out in hopes that my body will be so tired, I just pass out at night. Recently neither has been working.

10) I’m addicted to the Real Housewives Series on Bravo. I started watching re-runs of Atlanta and now watch the others. The Atlanta Housewives are by far my favorite and cannot wait for season 2.

11) I have a strong sense of smell (that sounds funny) and can pick up odors that other people can’t. I hate the smell of burnt toast (it makes me gag) and every week someone burns toast in my office and I have to step away from my desk.

12) Growing up I was the biggest tomboy. I hated wearing dresses and skirts and preferred wearing sweatpants. I loved playing with the big boys and wasn’t afraid of getting dirty or hurt. I’m not sure what age I transitioned into a girly girl, although I still don’t consider myself a girly girl.

13) I love getting massages and if I could I would get one every day.

14) I don’t watch the news and barely read CNN. I have no idea what is going on in the world; I don’t even know what the weather is going to be like tomorrow. Its kinda sad, but at the same time freeing.

15) I love Jeff Smokers.

16) I cannot function in the mornings without coffee. My coworkers know not to talk to me until I have finished my coffee or else I will bite their heads off.

17) I would love to live overseas one day. Maybe London, Paris, or even Bangkok. I’ve never been truly on my own, without my parents being a 20-minute drive away. I think it would be good for me.

18) Adopting Weasley has been one of my best decisions ever. He brings me so much comfort and joy. I smile whenever I think or look at him. I cannot imagine my life without him and wonder what I did before him.

19) Getting DVR is the second best decision in my life. I think it has made my ADD even worse. I hate watching live tv now and hardly ever do it, except for sports.

20) Twenty years from now, when NSYNC goes on their reunion tour, I will be in the front row, getting ready to toss my panties on stage!

21) I think all men should know how to drive stick shift. I find it highly unattractive when a guy doesn’t know how to.

22) When I was 11 I had a spiral perm. God knows why I wanted one. Looking at pictures with my hair like that, I cringe. My hair has never recovered from it. Sometimes Mothers are right. I should have never done it.

23) I’m never happy or satisfied. I’m always wanting more. I’m not sure what its gonna take to make me truly content with my life.

24) I no longer wear a watch. I used to be so consumed about time and the minutes left in the hour and the seconds left in the minute that I could never enjoy the moment. I’m still slightly time obsessed, but it doesn’t drive me crazy like it used to.

25) I want nothing and everything.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The Beginning is Always the End

Its been awhile since I posted on here. I haven't completely decided if I want to stop posting all together or keep this open so I can randomly post like I am doing now. Gosh, so much has happened in these last few months that I can't even possibly recap the good and the bad.

I did start dating someone, which is part of the reason why I was so absent. I didn't want to jinx the start of the relationship by writing about it and I was also having way too much fun to even sit down and write what I was going through.

The relationship ended as abruptly as it started. And here's what I wrote to myself right after it happened. I kept debating with myself if I wanted this out there in the public and I feel enough time has passed that I'm ok to share it. And maybe it will help me let go of this residual anger and sadness I still feel. Be forewarned, its long.

"The Beginning is Always the End"

I was so scared that this would happen and it did. Maybe if I weren’t so fearful, things would be different. I was always so afraid that he would come to me one day and say this is no longer working for him, that he no longer wanted to see me. I was so scared of losing him because that’s how much I liked him.

From the moment he first kissed me, something inside of me woke up. It felt like spring and I was thawing. The coldness from the winter was ebbing away, and for the first time in a long time I felt the innocence and hope of love blooming inside of me. It felt so strong and I was shocked that I was feeling it. This was only our second date and our first kiss and I was already sucked in.

And instead of pulling away, I gave in to the feeling. I embraced it. I can’t remember the last time I felt so high just from kissing someone. I knew I wanted to keep this one. I knew I didn’t want to let him go. So I held on tightly and continued to kiss him. And when he looked at me with those brown eyes, I was lost, but so was he. He would lean in and kiss me and tell me that my eyes were pulling him in and that he couldn’t stop kissing me, and I felt exactly the same way.

I tried to tread lightly with him and not move too fast. I told him that I needed time and I didn’t want to rush into things. He gave me that space that I needed while still making me feel beautiful and wanted. And once I thought he liked me and much as I liked him, I was ready to take it to the next step.

From there things seemed to progress naturally, but I still had that fear in the back of my head; haunting me, torturing me. I kept telling myself that I was being silly and had no reason to feel insecure. You could just look at him and tell how much he liked me. When we were together, I could see it and feel it, with every touch, kiss, glance, and smile. But that feeling was still there. Anytime he gave me an odd look, I worried that his next words would be, “I’m done. Goodbye.”

So I would pray that everything would be ok with us, and I would pray for him to be the one. At night, in the darkness, I would pray for us. I would pray for him and I. I would pray for myself to be stronger; to not let my insecurities about past relationships rule me. I would close my eyes and pray to any God out there that would listen.

A month or so into my relationship I was dealt a stunning roadblock. Lying in bed, in his arms, he tells me he doesn’t want anything serious and is just looking to have fun. Of course I was not happy with that statement, especially since I thought we were on the same page. I at times could sense his apprehension, but he had never pushed me away until then. I told him that I wouldn’t mind if things progressed further and that along as he wasn’t out dating other girls behind my back, I was fine.

I should’ve stopped seeing him then, but I was in too deep at that point. I figured it was still early in the relationship and too soon to decide if things should be serious. We were both enjoying ourselves, so let’s just take it one day at a time and see what happens. I knew I was going on vacation at the end of October and that would be the true test for me. If he didn’t miss me than clearly we shouldn’t be together, but if he did miss me all would be well in the world.

So I didn’t push him. I let us just be and didn’t demand extra from him for fear of pushing him away. I thought my tactic was working. I thought I could show him that he could be with me and still have fun and that being in a relationship wouldn’t change or ruin his lifestyle.

Slowly I started going out with him and his friends and each time he would tell me how much fun he was having and how glad he was that I was there. And his friends liked me and would tell him, “You better keep this one. Don’t lose her, she’s awesome.” I thought those were all good signs. I thought, slowly but surely we are making progress. Our time spent together became more intimate and I really felt like we were getting to know each other and become more comfortable with one another. My fear slowly began to fade. I no longer questioned any odd look he gave me, and when he was tired and grumpy that’s exactly how I took it.

The night before I left for San Diego, he tried to push me away. He told me that he’s been in four serious relationships and that he cheated on three of them. I told him, “Please don’t cheat on me. That’s the one thing I ask of you. I’d rather have you end things with me before you cheat on me.” He told me the other night when he went out, some girl tried to kiss him, but he didn’t let her. In the back of my head I kept thinking, “God, don’t tell me I picked another one.”

Things were weird between us when I left, and I was worried. But he made up for it in the middle of the week by calling me and when we spoke things were fine. The conversation flowed and we both missed each other. That Friday night I called him and he told me that he wished I was there with him and that he’d been showing his friends my picture and they all said to keep me. He said his sisters wanted to meet me and I felt aglow with his words.

When I came back, things were great. I finally felt like we were moving forward and that it would just happen naturally. I guess I was wrong. Two weeks after being back he repeats that he doesn’t want something serious and still wants be single. All because I just want to spend time with him and he makes me feel guilty for asking.

I ask him if he’s no longer having fun, and he says that yes he still is. I ask if he wants to date other people or is just waiting for something better to come along and he replies back with no. He tells me that he likes his single lifestyle and wants to be able to do whatever he wants whenever he wants without having to worry about anyone else. I remind him that I don’t ask to spend every day with him and that I don’t believe that’s healthy and that I like the fact that we give each other space and freedom. I just hate that I feel like I’m asking the world of him when I want to see him. I tell him that I just want to be with him.

He says he doesn’t want to hurt me and that he’s not ready to give more. He says he doesn’t know what he wants and that it’s up to me to decide what I want. I tell him I will think about it. I tell him that a part of me doesn’t want to stop seeing him and the other part thinks its better if we end it now while we can. He tells me to take my time to think about it and I tell him I will.

When I think I’m ok with the way things are, I try and tell him that and he responds that he was going to suggest we take a break. And right there my heart sinks inside of me, and I’m trying desperately to not cry on the phone. He says he’s surprised by my change of attitude and asks if I no longer want a relationship and if I’ll be happy. I respond with I said I would think things over and I have, “I still would like things to progress, but I also like spending time with you and you make me happy. I’m willing to let things be and see what happens.” He counters I still think you want more from me and I reply, “I just want to be with you.”

He then tries to bring the conversation to a casual level and I tell him that I can’t do this; I can’t act like things are normal between us and ok, and he responds, “I was afraid of that.” He says he needs to think things over and I just know that I lost him. And everything hurts so much and I can’t believe its over. I knew there were warning signs, besides the fact that he told me he doesn’t want to be serious, and I choose to ignore them.

I thought whatever I felt for him would be strong enough. I really thought we were moving forward. It seemed like it was heading that way. His words and actions made me think so. Everyone keeps telling me that its not me, its him, he’s the one that is being selfish and its not anything I did, but I can’t help feeling that I wasn’t good enough. That if he really likes me as much as it seems he does, than why is he ending it?

I was really beginning to fall in love with him. I think I already was in love. When we were together, it felt so amazing, such a great high. He was everything I wanted him to be when we were together. He was attentive, adoring, loving, he made me feel so special and beautiful. It was when we were apart that I was worried, when I would question. I just didn’t want this glorious feeling to end. And now I fear its over. I don’t see how it can not be.

I don’t think he’s going to change his mind and I don’t think there is anything I can do to change his mind. I know I deserve better/more and that I shouldn’t settle. But I thought he was my better and that I wasn’t settling. I thought he wanted me as much as I wanted him.

Monday, September 29, 2008

No Choice But Seduction

Wow, I hate to say it, but I think I have finally outgrown trashy romance novels! After reading them for close to twenty years, I have reached my limit with them. Le sigh, so sad. But they just don’t thrill me like the way they used to and I don’t find myself getting lost in the story either. Instead I find myself more irritated with the characters, and its no wonder that women have such misconception about love and romance.

I could barely make it through No Choice But Seduction by Johanna Lindsey. I found myself rolling my eyes during numerous parts and skimming through the majority of the book. I was hoping that the charm of the Malory family could save the story, but it didn’t.

Too be honest, I can’t even summarize what the story was about. The plot was really choppy and I felt like Lindsey couldn’t decide if she wanted the focus to be on the main couple or on past characters within the Malory family specifically James and Tony. While I know the Malory’s are fan favorites (and used to be mine), she cannot keep relying on previous characters to carry the story. If she wants to continue with the Malory’s, than she should write another novel like The Present, which included all past characters and introduced a nice side love story to go along with it.

I just don’t find my trashy romance novels as whimsical anymore. I really believe I have outgrown them. I was getting that feeling when I picked up The Marriage Spell. I was hoping No Choice But Seduction would turn into a pleasant surprise, but instead it was old and tiresome.

Trashy romance novels have a time and a place and when I was in my younger years, they seemed so thrilling, exciting and romantic. And now that I’ve lived a little and have had life experiences, I just can’t relate to them anymore. I almost feel like they are sending a wrong message to women. Granted, I probably shouldn’t have been reading them at such a young age, and if my Mother didn’t have such a huge collection of them, I probably wouldn’t have read as many as I did. I have turned a corner with this genre and am not sure if I can go back.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Third Angel

The Third Angel by Alice Hoffman follows the lives of four women and their connection to the Lion Park Hotel in London. It’s a story about losing yourself completely whether it be through passionate love or your own self-hate.

It’s a story about the Third Angel. As Frieda explains, “You can’t even tell if he’s an angel or not. You think you’re doing him a kindness, you think you’re the one taking care of him, while all the while, he’s the one who’s saving your life.” I like this concept of a Third Angel; someone who is out there and unwittingly through some act or gesture of compassion they have the ability to alter you life and save you from yourself.

Another theme is the ability to lose yourself completely without even realizing it. The most obvious is the ghost that haunts the Lion Park Hotel. This ghost is different; it’s not a ghost of a dead person, but more of an imprint of Teddy Healy (who is still alive) soul and the exact moment that he lost it. In that instant his very essence was ripped out of him and left to relive that scene every night. Teddy was never able to find himself again.

The Third Angel starts in the present and works its way to the past and you see how each woman is connected to one another. The Lion Park Hotel seems to be the central focus and events that happened 47 years ago leave a mark in each story surrounding these women’s lives.

Each woman has their own story to tell that involves love, lost, betrayal and a Third Angel. It’s interesting to see whom that Third Angel is and how their role helps shape these women’s existence. Some become the Third Angel and some are helped by the Third Angel.

I have to admit, I didn’t really like this book until I finally got to the end. Everything made sense at the end, and I even went back to the beginning to see where all the connections were. I do think Hoffman has a nice style of writing, but I wasn’t really sucked into the story until closer to the end.

Monday, September 08, 2008

The Handmaid's Tale

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood is such a compelling and thought-provoking novel. The story surrounds a dystopian society ruled by a totalitarian government where women are stripped of their rights and live in a caste society.

The narrator of this tale is a Handmaid known as Offred who belongs to a Commander and his Wife, Serena Joy. The purpose of the Handmaid’s is to breed children for the Commander. In the society of the Gilead, people have become infertile and women who are of age and have had at least one child are forced to become Handmaid’s. Sex is solely for procreation and only performed once a month in hopes of conception.

Women are no longer allowed to hold property, money, read, write or be educated. Guards watch over the city at all times and Handmaid’s must walk in pairs to be protected. They are given no civil liberties and if they disobey they could be shipped off to the Colonies to die or hanged on the Wall as a warning to others. The Eyes see all and know all.

Offred recalls tales of her former life where she was married to Luke and had a daughter. They tried to cross the border into Canada, but failed and she was taken to the Center to be re-educated by the Aunts as her new role as Handmaid. She has no idea what has become of Luke and learns her daughter has been adopted by another Commander and his Wife. Offred resigns herself to this life in hopes that one day she will escape and be reunited with her husband and daughter.

I could go more into a plot summary of this book, but I think you get the idea. The Handmaid’s Tale starts off slow, but really begins to pick up after the first coupling ceremony. Soon Offred is secretly meeting the Commander in his office after hours and begins an affair with the driver Nick, who ultimately helps her escape (or so I hope).

This book was hugely moving and scary at the same time. The Handmaid’s Tale was first published in 1986 and it’s interesting to note that Gilead became after the President and Congress were gunned down and the blame was put on Islamic fanatics. The Constitution was suspended and a new military took over. It was all supposed to be temporary, but instead opened the door to this new regime; it was the catalyst they were waiting for.

It makes me wonder, if the 9/11 attacks had been more widespread, would our government have responded in return? Would we be under a military government and stripped of our rights of free speech and thoughts? Could a society like this ever form in this modern era of technology and lack of values and beliefs?

I think Atwood’s writing is stunning. There were so many passages that I earmarked that I thought were poetic, thoughtful, serene, sad and hopeful. Here is one of my favorite passages,
Night falls. Or has fallen. Why is it that night falls,
instead of rising, like the dawn? Yet if you look east, at sunset, you can
see night rising, not falling; darkness lifting into the sky, up from the
horizon, like a black sun behind cloud cover. Like smoke from an unseen
fire, a line of fire just below the horizon, brushfire or a burning city.
Maybe night falls because its heavy, a thick curtain pulled up over the eyes …
Night has fallen, then. I feel it pressing down on me like a stone

I love books like this that really make you think and question your life or society. I think it’s interesting to read how cultures evolve, form new shapes/roles and the long-term affects of these outcomes. How was Offred to predict that events leading up to Gilead would force her to become a Handmaid, thereby losing her very identity, her place in the world, her very self? Could these acts have been prevented? How did humanity recover from this time frame (we learn that in the far future, the world is no longer like this)?

I wonder what history books will write about my generation and how we contributed to the world. I wonder how we will change the world.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Quarterly Survey: Food Edition

I am entering End of Quarter time, so things will of course be hectic, and also means I'll continue to be MIA. Luckily Kiah has posted this fun food survey. Enjoy.

Here’s what you to do:
1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating or Italicize since it never shows up when I try to cross things out on here.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment at www.verygoodtaste.co.uk linking to your results.

The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred:

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak Tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black Pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich

14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam Chowder in a sourdoug bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float (I hate root beer and putting vanilla ice cream in it does not sound appealing at all!)
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O (A good jello shot should not taste too vodkay and should go down smooth)

39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail

41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala (One of my favorite Indian dishes!)
48. Eel (Eaten it in sushi)
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut Hot!
50. Sea urchin (Went out for sushi once, where BFE had a small portion of sea urchin on her plate. It looked like runny poop. Gross!)
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini (I hate olives, so would never drink something that consisted of olive juice. Eww.)
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores (I heart me some S’mores. Nothing better than sitting in front of a fire and eating some delicious gooey s’mores)
62. Sweetbreads (I have actually eaten them in pate)
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian (OMG, I hate this shit! Its this really awful smelly fruit in Thailand. It seriously smells like ass the riper it gets. My Dad loves it and always asks for some when we’re in Thailand)
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini

73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill (eww, why would someone want to eat this?)
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail (OMG, love escargot)
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky (This was my favorite snack growing up)
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee (I used to work in a coffee store and would steal pounds of this all the time)
100. Snake

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted: And Other Small Acts of Liberation

The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted: And Other Small Acts of Liberation by Elizabeth Berg is a collection of short stories about women and their life experiences. Some of the stories I really enjoyed, and there were others where I felt there was no act of liberation as the title describes. Perhaps I missed it.

One of my favorite stories is entitled, “Mrs. Ethel Menafee and Mrs. Birdie Stoltz,” which is about two old ladies who are best friends. Birdie is diagnosed with chronic lymphatic leukemia and is back in the hospital once again to see if treatment will work. Ethel visits her everyday. Both are widowed.

Birdie’s prognosis is not good and Ethel asks Birdie to move in with her so they can spend Birdie’s last months together. At first Birdie declines because she does not want to be a burden, but eventually she come around. They have a solid and sweet friendship based on longevity and trust.

I think I enjoyed this story the most because my Best Friend and I have known each other since we were five years old. We grew up together and have been each other biggest supporters. We have celebrated great achievements, cried over dumb boys and have laughed many laughs together.

Growing up we used to always say that in our ripe old age after our husbands have either passed away or divorced us, we would get a home and grow old together. We would still fly out to Vegas and see Chippendales and complain about the young whippersnappers in the club. We would reminisce about the past as we looked through old photo albums, cringing at our awful hairstyles and clothes we wore. Our children and grandkids would come visit us and good times would be had by all.

Overall I enjoyed this collection of short stories. It was a nice, fun quick read and some of the stories are very touching.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

School's Out for Summer: Oh Wait, Summer's Ovah!

I know I have been a bit MIA lately with the blog and only posting about the books I have read, and its because I’ve been having such an amazing summer! This has by far been one of the best summers in my current adult life. Every weekend has brought a new adventure and I have been able to enjoy all the moments completely.

One of the biggest reasons this has been such an enjoyable summer is that for once all my closest girlfriends are single, which means no boyfriend drama! And with no boyfriends we were able to bask in our friendships and remind ourselves that we can have a hella lot more fun without pesky boys.

There were bits of boy drama here and there, but not enough to put a damper on things. Instead we just shrugged it off and continued on our merry way. Nothing or nobody was going to ruin our fun. We were on a mission to enjoy one of our last summers together to the fullest! (A lot of my friends are in medical school and this really is their last summer of freedom before residency starts.)

The summer kickoff began on July 4th at Lakeapoolza. My friend’s parent owns a lake house up in Pennsylvania right near the Poconos and he invited a shitload of us to celebrate American’s Independence. Literally all I did that weekend was drink, eat and shoot off fireworks. I also witnessed boys shot gunning beers by first pounding a can on their forehead. High-liarious! I have never LOLed so much in my life. There is a video but BFE still can’t figure out how to load it up on her computer.

It was a great weekend to get away from work and enjoy being out on a beautiful lake in the middle of nowhere. Nothing better than games of flip cup, Jenga, Never Have I Ever, sitting on the dock of the bay with beers, tubing and spending time with great friends.

I also went to Dhrit-Apoolza, the Anti-Wedding Party. My friend was supposed to be having his wedding this summer, but thankfully they called it off. They weren’t right for each other and he would’ve been miserable in the marriage if he had gone through with it. So to celebrate dodging the bullet, he had a Marriage to Freedom Party, which was a hella good time. He was dressed up head to toe in his wedding outfit and you could come dressed in your worst bridal outfits. I opted to curl my hair.

Shenanigans were had, which included more flip cup, flying on a magic carpet, dancing to some slamming tunes, and witnessing Dhritty is all his magnificent glory.

We had a reunion of Lakeapoolza and it became BBQ-Poolza (notice a trend here). Somehow I ended up with a beer in one hand and a mojito in the other. The night became a drunken blur after that. I do remember rounds of flip cup (another trend) and racing my friend Vicki to the bathroom, with my other friend Martin following closely behind. The best part is that Vicki has no recollection of chasing me to the bathroom or much of that night.

Oh, how could I forget The Wife’s B-day (BFE)! That was the real start of summer in June. A group of us went to The Park, a club in DC, where we danced until we couldn’t feel the numbing pain from wearing high-heeled shoes. We staked ourselves a nice little area near the bar where we could boogie uninterrupted and still have easy access to the alcohol. The Wife enjoyed her birthday greatly.

Wrapping up the close of summer, I got a lovely visit from Miss KJ and Stacy. They made the trek back to Maryland for Virgin Festival. Unfortunately we couldn’t get any free tickets from our old radio contacts, but we were able to find a pair of tixs at a discounted price. The weather was perfect, not too hot, and not too humid. We saw some amazing acts play such as Lupe Fiasco, The Offspring and Foo Fighters. We hung out in the ravers tent for a bit, where I danced to trance/house music (it all sounds the same to me) and definitely got a contact high from all the weed around us. I saw a man piss on himself while he was passed out standing straight up. He was hammer-timed! This was my first Vfest and I’m glad I got to experience it.

And of course it was awesome to see Kiah and Stacy again. Last time we all saw each other was our trip to Vegas, which was a show. Although we didn’t party like rock stars that weekend, it was still great to see my girls again. I wish they could’ve stayed longer and NYE plans may already be in the works.

This has been one hell of a summer and I’m so upset that it’s ending. I feel like it just started, but already the days are getting shorter and traffic is picking up on the beltway. Soon the kiddies will be back in school, it won’t be sweltering hot, and the leaves will turn to gold and amber. I truly feel that I have embraced living in the moment this summer and just enjoying whatever comes my way without too much stress and worry. This so far has ranked as one of my best summers ever! I'm so glad I got to share it with all my friends.

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Wednesday Letters

I just finished reading another love story that involved letters. What can I say; I’m a romantic at heart. The Wednesday Letters by Jason F. Wright is a tale about love, faith and family.

Every Wednesday from the moment they were married, Jack has written Laurel a love letter. Sometimes it’s a quick one or two liner, other letters are pouring of his heart. When Jack and Laurel pass away together, their children discover their father’s letters and some family secrets.

Malcolm, the troubled son, is the most affected by the secret since it concerns him. One of the letters reveals that Jack is not Malcolm’s biological father. This sends Malcolm in a tailspin and he wonders how his Mother could cheat and how his Father could forgive her. His world is shaken and he questions who he really is.

Through more letter reading, Malcolm finds out that his mother was raped, but decided to keep the baby. She has forgiven her rapist and teaches Jack to forgive as well. Now Malcolm must learn to forgive and face his troubled past.

Each of the other siblings has their own issues as well, but Malcolm’s story makes up the most of this book. His sister Samantha is a single mother and cop who always had dreams of pursuing an acting career. The eldest son Matthew has a strained marriage and wants to adopt a child with his wife. All children are deeply moved by their parent’s love story.

I really enjoyed reading this novel. I love that Jack wrote Laurel a letter every Wednesday regardless of what was going on in their lives. Even when Jack found out the devastating truth about Malcolm, he still wrote her a letter explaining how mad and hurt he was with her for not telling him sooner.

The art of letter writing is dying art form in this technology era. The only time I ever write letters now is when I send out my Christmas cards. I always try and make each card personally instead of just signing my name. I would love to receive a love letter; I think it’s so romantic. I feel like romance is dead and a man would not even think about writing his wife or girlfriend a letter expressing how he feels about her.

Here are two excerpts from my favorite letters by Jack, “Now I’ll make one more promise. Laurel, I will always stand by you. No matter what. We’re in everything together. No secrets. No surprises. And I will always be true. In every way.

And the other one, “Somehow we will make it. We will. Do you trust me? So, yes, I am sorry. I’m sorry for not yet being the man I promised to be. Please don’t give up on me.”

A great tale that again left me feeling uplifted and hopeful. I am definitely in a place where I am more open and looking forward to what may come.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Sam's Letters to Jennifer

Sam’s Letters to Jennifer by James Patterson is a thoughtful romantic novel. It was an endearing and hopeful love story and made a cynic like me believe in true love.

The book is about a woman named Jennifer whose Grandmother Sam falls into a coma. Jennifer rushes to Lake Geneva to be by her Sam’s hospital bedside. While at her Sam’s house, she discovers a stack of letters addressed to her in which Sam narrates her loveless marriage and how she found true love.

Jennifer’s husband died about a year ago and she is clearly still mourning his passing. Now with her best friend in the hospital, she feels her world is crumbling around her. And then she finds the letters and discovers her Grandmother’s secret. Her Grandfather married Sam under false pretenses and Sam had resolved herself to a life without real love. Until she meets Doc and she is so full of love, but must always keep it secret.

While reading Sam’s letters, Jennifer finds herself slowly falling in love with Brendan, her childhood playmate at the lake. The impossible has happened; Jennifer has opened herself up to love again only to find out that Brendan is dying of a brain cancer. She has learned to love once more and it could be taken away from her in one heartbeat.

This story pulls at my heartstrings and yet it is so simple and full of hope. My favorite part is when Sam wakes up from the coma and meets Brendan and says to him, “So why have you given up hope? How can you leave someone as special as Jennifer without a fight?” Finally someone is voicing what I have been thinking for years! I believe a lot of relationships fail because people aren’t willing to fight for the relationship. It’s a lot easier to walk away from someone than it is to stay together and work at the relationship. Even with all the love that Brendan feels for Jennifer, he was going to have this one summer and then die. But Sam’s words made him want to fight for something more than just a summer regardless of what it might cost him.

I did wonder why Sam never left her husband even after he showed his true colors, but I guess there wouldn’t be much of a story to tell. I love the idea that Sam wrote these letters to Jennifer to give her an insight into her life and also into Jennifer’s. As Sam writes,
“Right now, I’m thinking about love: the hot, crazy kind that turns your chest into a bell and your heart into a clapper. But also the more enduring kind
that comes from knowing someone else deeply and letting yourself be known … I
guess I believe in both kinds of love, both kinds at the same time and with the
same person.”
That’s what Sam had with Doc and what Jennifer finds with Brendan.

While I found some similarities between Patterson and Nicholas Sparks, I absolutely was not depressed or saddened by Sam’s Letters to Jennifer. In fact, I felt more inspired and hopeful that a deep, blazing, caring genuine love does exist out there. You just have to be open to it and know when to fight for it. As Sam says, “Love never dies.