Monday, August 28, 2006

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Much ado in the firmament

Pluto has finally been downgraded, and we're left with only eight planets (none of them Xena).

I wonder what this will do to the highly scientific field of astrology? Because check out today's encouraging horoscopes for the Lumberjack and me:

Mine: Look forward to a good day -- finally! It might feel that you've been down for quite a while, but that won't matter at all when the right person smiles at you in the right way and al that stress dissolves.

His: You need a combination of head and heart when it comes to dating. You can't always go on analytical judgments -- you need to soften that with some kindness and understanding. Give a little.

Oh, go fly a kite

Finally, a practical use for all your old band t-shirts!

Friday, August 18, 2006

deep cleansing breaths

Hmm.

Well, one drink would have been fine. But I had two.

Which would have been NOTHING back in my harder partying days in New York. But I have noticed that in the few short months since I've been back in Boston, my tolerance has gone way down. So I got a little tipsy, as my intern/the bar hostess put it. But what was stranger was that I didn't expect it or see it coming at all, as I'd only had two drinks, and with food too. So I made a couple of possibly ill-advised phone calls, got the intern laughing and Von shaking her head, and then went home and crashed immediately.

And today intern told me that their cocktails are notoriously strong, and each one is kind of the equivalent of two, and that they only let her have one when she's working there. So that explains a bit. Still, next time I'm sticking to the virgin drinks.

As for the move, here's what I have to do:
1. have electrician do some rewiring
2. have contractor reverse the hang of the door
3. have cleaning crew clean the place -- they came this morning
4. have the HVAC system flushed -- the HVAC guy says all I need to do is vacuum it out, but the house inspector had made it sound more complicated. So I called the Lumberjack last night to ask his opinion, and he didn't answer, nor did he call back or e-mail. Pout.
5. have the washer/dryer delivered -- scheduled for Sunday
6. have the fridge delivered -- scheduled for Tuesday
7. have the movers drop off my stuff -- scheduled for Tuesday.

I'd like to get the rest of the stuff done this weekend before the movers come, but I haven't been able to reach the electrician, and I'm currently pouting that the cleaners came before I was able to finish all the dust-generating construction work. As for what help I need, I basically need company while they're moving stuff in, because it's good to have more than one person supervising. The real help I'll need is unpacking, which will happen later, of course.

Now, here's what sucks the worst. The contractor that will rehang the door would have also done the cabinets, but for some reason I wanted to have the IKEA guys do that. And apparently he also does electrical work. So I could have had the cabinets, door, and electric all done two weeks ago, if I weren't so committed to making bad choices and making everything more complicated than it needs to be.

In fact, I'm so stressed about the move that I wept in A's arms in the middle of the Square a few nights ago. No, really, it's so bad -- I can't get the electrician to come, I'm worried that the work I've already had done isn't very good (they have to come back next week to fix it). It should have been easier than this, and my parents are in Italy, and things just keep going wrong, and I waited almost two months to move in so that things would be taken care of, and now they're not anyway, so I hyperventilate. I make things more difficult than they have to be; this was supposed to be exciting, not stressful.

Manda agrees that I'm spending too much time trying to make everything perfect, when I should be making it as easy for myself as I can. But she also, sweetheart that she is, assured me that I'm not alienating everyone, and not terrible, just a perfectionist.

Still, I think I lost the Lumberjack over this. He's barely spoken to me since the cabinet incident. Manda thinks that maybe he's giving me space to freak out, and he figures I'll call him if I need him. Except that I did call him last night and I did need him, and he neither answered nor called me back. Maybe he's waiting for the crazy moving stress to pass, or maybe he's sick of me, now that he's seen me at my craziest. Either way, he's not here whenI need him.

I can barely concentrate on work, but I must, because there may be big changes afoot. Work & moving. That's all I should have in my life right now. Once that's all settled, then Manda will give me permission to fuss over the 'Jack.

I can't move into my house and I am going to get fired. Sigh. I think I need some tea, and a boyfriend, or else I'm joining a convent. Which would conveniently resolve both the housing and the romance issues.

Blue States Lose: Cobrasnakes on a Plane

God help me, but I really do miss my past life as a downtown clubbing hipster. All the snarkiness in the world cannot make me doubt that these folks, this week's batch in particular, were having a fabulous time.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

It burns, it burns!

Gawker asks: What Has Two Thumbs and a Boatload of New STD's? You got it, it's our favorite lecherous adulterous redheaded pig. Ironically, that pic is probably the best I've seen Batali looking in years.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Still stuck on George

Man, when I get an idea into my head, the whole world conspires to rub my face in it, hmm? Check out this recent article in Slate. Yes, I know the topic's kind of boring, but then this graph leapt out at me:

"High crop prices are good news for the farmers who grow carbohydrates and for the companies that process them. ADM, one of the world's biggest processors of grains and oilseeds, just reported record annual results, with sales, margins, and profits all on the rise. Here's a one-year chart of ADM against the S&P 500."

If you're wondering WTF, George's grandfather is the chairman emeritus of ADM. So, for example, I think of George whenever I order a veggie burger or see that the gas I'm pumping has ethanol in it.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Shake it off

I promise to be less moody and introspective soon. Really!

I mean, I called the movers, and the electrician, and I ordered appliances, and my cousin is coming to visit. So really, I'm moving forward with getting on with my adult life, and things can only get more chipper, right?

My rock

I went up to G. to visit the M's yesterday. Visiting the M's in G is often a bittersweet event, for as much as I love them and they treat me like family, that sometimes only serves to remind me that they aren't actually family, and how small my own family is and how far away most of them are. Then I think how nice it would have been if I could have actually become family, say through marrying a son or cousin. Well yesterday was such an event (admittedly I was already moody and wistful to start with), because I had great company and conversation with the uncles and aunts as well. So much fun, so smart and well-spoken, and so adoring of the Maggie!

It's true, I want a big family. I always hated being an only child, and I'd always hoped to have several kids of my own. Interestingly, all the men I'm even vaguely interested in at the moment come from families of five or more kids, as do two of my closest girlfriends.

Then I went off to find my rock. Some days I can't find it, depending on the tides and the seagulls. Yesterday I found it, but the tide was still too high to sit on it, so I retreated to higher ground. After about half an hour, when the tide had gone out a bit, I went back to find my rock, and it was gone. Mysterious rock, disappearing in the sun-bleached expanse, only visible when your surface is wet. It made me a bit sad to see how easily you can lose something that's right in front of you, but at least I think I know how to find it again next time.

Days like that also make me blue because I think of LC, and I get all self-critical, alternately because I couldn't make the friendship work, or because I didn't cut my losses sooner. THEN I start to feel petty and weak, because I'm the kind of person who can't let go of this list of grievances that still surfaces occasionally from the back of my mind, and I see myself as this victim of her underminer ways. When honestly, whether it be a romance or a friendship, sometimes things just don't work out. One person does not always have to be at fault, and the other person a martyred saint. And she did me the great favor of bringing her magnificent and wonderful family into my life.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

bookish love

Dammit, every time I read a book with any kind of relationship plot, the characters meet cute on campus, and never leave each other's side. In the book I finished this morning, there were two couples who did so, and to add salt, they both met on the campus where I went to grad school.

My ex-fiance and I met cute, but not on campus, and he was not the guy for me. I have the odd but good fortune that he married an acquaintance, so I get to see what he is like as a middle-aged husband and father. And every time I do see him, I am glad we didn't marry. He is a sweet, great guy, and they are fabulous and happy together, and I would have run screaming long ago if that were me.

I met George, the oft-alluded-to one that got away, on campus when we were undergrads, but the meet-cute wasn't until grad school, on that very same literary campus as this morning's book. Every day I continue to think I made a mistake in letting him go, that I was blind not to see that he loved me and was just what I was looking for. Being back in Boston and seeing our old haunts just gives me constant reminders. And since I haven't seen him in almost ten years, I have no evidence to contradict my memory's belief that he is perfect.

So instead, I wrote the Lumberjack and told him that I missed him and to hurry home. And here I was supposed to be ignoring him. At least I didn't call. E-mail is so unromantic...

Friday, August 11, 2006

This is the dawning....

So Ave gave me a tip on horoscopes that are not completely full of crap. I did an initial reading, and it sounds about right to me.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Slate on "The deluded world of air conditioning"

And this is why I went two years without AC in Brooklyn, and why I'm installing a ceiling fan in the new house. Even though it is equipped with central air, I'm going to try not to use it too often.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Sorry if you're bored

Looking for a link to something funny, I realized that, despite all the tragedy, last summer was way more entertaining and salacious than this summer. Sorry, guys, I'm growing up a tiny bit.

Of course, if anyone wants to help get me some action, my parents leave town in a few days, and I move into my own big-girl house in a few more, and I am more than willing to generate fodder for the blog. I'd hoped that would be with the 'Jack, but I'm open to suggestions....

Eddie Money is a tool

And to think, I used to think he was cool for doing a duet with Ronnie Spector when she got out from under Phil's thumb. But nope, turns out he's actually the Biggest Jerk.

Mind the gap...

Got new panties for you!

Wishing won't make it so

Yes, I babbled on and on yesterday. Some of you might be interested to hear it, some of you may be bored -- if so you can just scroll on to another post, right?

But LJ has this cool feature where you can lock posts so that only certain friends are allowed to see certain posts, as designated. And I'm wishing that Blogger had that as well, because we've all got some non-loving readers, and there's at least one guy who will read what I posted yesterday as proof that I'm totally undatable and pathetic, and will laugh at me. And this blog does not exist to help people mock, but rather so they can share the love.

So unless someone can teach me how to selectively block on Blogger, I might start putting certain posts only on LJ. If you want it all, and you're not already an LJ buddy, talk to me and I'll set you up.

Monday, August 07, 2006

VodkaTonic sorts it all out for you

A few of you have pointed out that I've left some gaping holes in the Lumberjack Saga, as I just jumped in in medias res this week. So today the VodkaTonic hipster got the whole back story, which we now share with you....

VodkaTonic: Any update on the lumberjack? Does the lumberjack predate buying the house?
Me: All happened around the same time. I met the lumberjack when I moved to Boston.
VodkaTonic: Oh yeah, good choice not letting him work on your house. Not that he might not do a great job, but if he did a bad job, then you would be fucked.
Me: Exactly.
VodkaTonic: And you have, or have not, gone on a date?
Me: Depends on what you call a date. We had this one night that definitely felt like a date, except that he didn't kiss me at the end of it.
VodkaTonic: Where did you meet?
Me: Through friends. First there was a drinking outing. He was kind of obnoxious, and we didn't talk much, and later I didn't even remember him. Then like a week later, there was a group dinner outing, like a dozen of us, and he and I sat together, and talked the whole time, and it was amazing. After dinner, a few of the dozen went for a drink, and he picked the perfect bar. Then after drinks a few of us went for a walk to sober up, and we found a playground and played on it, and it continued to be fabulous.
Me: The next week, we talked on the phone for a while, and he said he'd help me refinish some furniture. Then after that we were talking like every day.
Me: We saw fireworks together on the 4th, just him and me, but he didn't kiss me. But then he got pissy at a party when another guy was talking to me.
VodkaTonic: The playground is really cute. And he is sooo interested.
Me: Then he went on a business trip for two weeks and I didn't see him.
VodkaTonic: You just aren't being aggressive.
Me: And when he came back, we went out on Friday with the group, and we bickered all night, but Saturday he promised he’d be nice if I came out. So we went to a show, and he was so sweet, and then we went back to his house, and stood in his kitchen and ate ice cream out of the container together. Then he showed me all the work he’d done on his house, and then we went to the attic.
VodkaTonic: oh god that is so cute
Me: And he'd strung lights from the rafters, and it started to rain, and we could hear it right over our heads on the roof. And we were standing close.
Me: And HE DIDN"T KISS ME!
VodkaTonic: I think that you need to kiss him.
Me: Fuck that.
VodkaTonic: The girl needs to start these things.
Me: I hate always having to be the aggressor.
VodkaTonic: Guys are pussies.
Me: no shit
VodkaTonic: But guys think it’s hot.
Me: Whatever. So then he went away again for another week of business trip, and then when he came back, he had this whole plan that he was going to pack a bag and come over my house and do the work on the kitchen. Then shower at my place, and we were going to go out. The whole thing sounded like a pretense to have to stay over.
VodkaTonic: Yeah kinda
Me: He even wanted me to come pick him up, so then he wouldn't have a car. So you know he'd end up staying over. And I was all for the plan, but then he cancelled, and came over Saturday morning instead -- in his own car.
VodkaTonic: what was the reason?
Me: None given. He is stingy with details of his life.
VodkaTonic: hmmmm, I don't think I like that.
Me: Me neither. But he spent the whole Saturday with me, and my kitchen, and my friend who was visiting. And it was a great day, and he was so nice to my friend. And we went swimming, and he did not kiss me, but at least this time we were with other people, so there was a reason.
Me: Then suddenly last week, he was always busy and we didn't see each other. Then last night he said that sweet thing about why he wanted to help me with my house, but I wanted to see him before he leaves on the next trip and he said no.
Me: So I told him, “I'm going to stop now, because I can't do anymore and still be socially acceptable, without embarrassing myself. The ball is now in your court.”
VodkaTonic: You actually spoke all this?
Me: Yup!
VodkaTonic: oh my god talk about confusing! This man sounds like he could be great and could also never make a move and completely lose his chance.
Me: Exactly! I mean, how many perfect moments can he waste by not kissing me? Fireworks, rain on the attic roof, swimming at sunset?
VodkaTonic: Sounds like you need to definitely put it on ice for a week.
Me: Yeah. Last night I was as clear as I could stomach. Now I need a vacation. Good thing he’s leaving town tomorrow.

and another thing

The sweetest thing he said to me yesterday, was that he wasn't mad that I didn't let him do the work on the kitchen, he wasn't insulted or pride-wounded or emasculated or any of that bullshit. It's just that he hated to see me so upset about the house and going through all these ups and downs, and he just wanted to help me get through it.

I hate this.

Serves me right

me: did I mention that I was playing matchmaker yesterday?
him: many times
him: 20-something girls don't need help getting dates, they are the group that should have the least trouble with that. 30-something guys need the help
him: just tell her to show up at any bar in the greater boston area, and she'll be fine
him: as long as she has a pulse, and is not vomiting profusely
me: okay, I'll remember that for next time
me: (and sometimes even if she is vomiting; never hurt me any when I was that age. kidding...I think.)
him: its true
[pause]
me: so now you need help getting set up?
me: I'll have to think about it. you already know all the age-appropriate women I know
[pause]
him: no, i'm all set
me: okay, good

Yesterday, I got as close as ever I do to laying my cards on the table, but with my tendency to dance around matters of the heart, we know that's only an aproximation of straightforward. Today, he makes a comment about guys his age needing my matchmaking skills, and I had to push it, and so I got the answer I deserved.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Another lobby in the language wars

I love any linguistic analysis that uses James Joyce as an example. Also, intransitive verbs!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Welcome to my hometown

Yeah, we're a little bit preppy up here. Also, my hometown is so snobby, we don't have a yacht club. That would be gauche to brag like that. We have a "boat club."

Third date? Aren't we moving a bit fast?

My off-the-top-of-my-head list is in the comments towards the bottom. True fact -- there was a time when I felt that a guy had to see Chasing Amy before dating me, just to prepare himself for the experience. I can't date someone who'll feel inferior or insecure or judgemental about my past. Now, I just think that Amy is a bit too wordy.

These days, I just want a guy who'll actually take me on a real third date, instead of waiting for me to make a move. I'm still very sad about the breakdown of progress with the Lumberjack.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Caution - Whitecaps: Raging stream of consciousness ahead

You know what sucks about my new job?

I am no longer anywhere near the youngest in the office anymore, so I can no longer get away with being cute and charming to engender the goodwill that makes my job so easy to do. In addition, I am now far too old to be the kid in the office with the crazy social life who needs patience, compassion, and and some good boy advice.

I'm still not sure if it's a cause, or just a coincidence, that I fell for the Lumberjack while I was doing work on the new house. I've always liked a man who's handy around the house, and there were so few of them in New York. (Stef was taken, and the Cokehead Alcoholic was tolerated for as long as he was in large part because of his household skills.) Honestly, I was first interested after the dinner where we talked all night, and he was funny and we were right in synch. But it was after Ave told me about his woodworking tendencies that I had a reason to call him, and we had something to share.

And I know for a fact that after I saw his house, and all the beautiful work he'd done on it, that my heart skipped a beat and I gave up younger men for real. Younger men have crappy messy apartments, not lovely homes with bead board and fine detailing.

So here's where I went stupid. I asked him to do the cabinet work on my kitchen. As soon as I said it I regretted it. I've been very hesitant with this house. It took me forever to actually make an offer, and I considered pulling out a couple of times. Now it's over a month after I closed, and I'm still nowhere near moving in. Mum reminds me that when I was little, I wouldn't even wear new shoes until they'd been sitting around in the closet for a long while. I am very hesitant and cautious with new ventures, and I get skittish when someone steamrolls ahead of me.

So when the Lumberjack came over with all his tools, ready to rip cabinets out of my walls then and there, I freaked. What if he did a bad job? He seemed too confident, so I worried that he hadn't considered all the possible complications. What if he hurt himself? And would he let me pay him? Was he more likely to be insulted if I did offer, or if I didn't?

Really, I was a mess. Part of me loved that he wanted to do it for me; part of me just wanted him to refer me to a good person he trusted. And I felt like he was taking over, and he hasn't even kissed me yet.

So I told him I'd decided not to do the work at all.

Then I got a few more estimates from contractors. And 'Jack didn't talk to me for days.

Now I have one contractor coming Saturday morning to do the cabinets, a second contractor coming on Saturday afternoon to rehang the bathroom door -- and really, how am I going to explain to those two why neither of them are doing both jobs? But that's a separate issue.

And 'Jack was pouting today, and wouldn't let me come over to use his saw and pick up some wood and give him his thanks-you gift, and just kept saying "you should have let me do it the other day." And he sounded so angry that instead of being honest and telling him I got scared of mixing my personal life with my contracting job (as SereneRandomness so eloquently put it), I told him that I was afraid he might get hurt.

I am afraid of doing something wrong with this house. And I am afraid of doing something wrong with this guy, who I really do like. And somehow, I have combined these two disasters, and now he is leaving and I lied to him.

But at least there's a chance that the house will come out good....

"The Apes of Wraths"

You must see Hell Monkey! OMG!

My sweet solace is that Kaiju Big Battel is "Boston-based," so I can catchthem up here even though I'm missing them in NYC. In fact, I believe we promoted them when they were up here in May...

Militant Grammarians of Massachusetts

If you never read Infinite Jest, the above is a reference to a group I've always wished actually existed.


Who knew Abe of all "people" would be starting up a New York chapter...