Friday, December 30, 2005

But Hey, It's Not ALL Bad...

First, I Resolve To Do These Things Better!

1. I resolve to, henceforth, not like Unworthy Boys! I resolve to spend more time with Slightly Nerdy and Secretly HOT Boys! So far, dating CAE, I'm doing well at this.

2. I resolve to Finish My Christmas Cards. (Hopefully, this will happen very soon.)

3. I resolve to Clean The House Weekly. Now that I'm on vacation, I cleaned the house on Tuesday, and you know what? It's not that hard and it doesn't take that long. Seriously.

4. I resolve to finish cataloguing and organizing my mp3 collection.

5. I resolve to Do More Laundry. So far, I'm actually doing pretty good at this. (My usual routine is about once a month. And that's just gross.) (Note: I resolved to this last year.)

6. I resolve to wash my face TWICE A DAY. Yes, I have to resolve this.

7. I resolve to take two classes: A language class and Dale Carnegie's How To Win Friends and Influence People.

8. Also, I resolve to take one business-related short class every quarter. Composites, DER Training, SOMETHING.

9. Along with the above, I also resolve to Love My Job More.

10. I also resolve to get involved in the Big Sister Program. Tacompton T, want to buddy up?

11. I resolve to get less involved in church. Yes, really. I feel like a hypocrite while there. Or get more involved and just give into the brainwashing. Could go either way.

12. I resolve to walk Titan more. At least five walks/runs a week. (Okay, I'm a terrible dog owner, okay? And yes, I resolved this last year, too.)

13. I resolve to drink Apple Cider Vinegar, Detox Tea, and eight glasses of water EVERY DAY. (Sigh. You guessed it: I resolved this last year, too.)

14. Is 13 an unlucky number? Not anymore!

And, Things I DID Do in 2005:

1. Resolved to lose weight--and did so! Woo!
2. Resolved to hit the gym more--and I did!
3. Resolved to drink less Starbucks--and I did!

Hope all of you are just as full of new plans!


We Regret These Errors

It's the end of 2005. It's been a long year. I have moved three times, changed roommates four times, and changed boyfriends at least twice. I have done great things, and I have done things I regret. That's right, you heard me! I regret stuff!

Fuck all of you who say you have no regrets. That's idiotically optimistic, completely untrue, and worst of all, it smacks of revisionist history. Terribly illogical. Of COURSE you regret stuff. Everyone does. Yes, you may have learned from it, and yes, that lesson may have value...but does it really combat the overarching shame resulting from doing That Thing You Regret? Couldn't you have learned that lesson in some easier manner?

Yes, you could have. So in the spirit of The Stranger, I present:

We Regret These Errors.

1. I regret dating a man who has so few social skills that, when I see him in a bar, and I go up and politely ask how he's doing, his answer is..."Uh....go away."

2. Yes. In fact, I regret the entire encounter with Hardware Engineer and would like to take this opportunity to mention that he's NOT an engineer, he's a social doofus who never graduated from high school. Thank you.

3. I do not regret in entirety all of the boys I met while living with T-Town Girl. Nor is she to be blamed for any of my actions. In fact, all of the attention I got that year was extremely good. What I regret is my general behavior during daylight hours. Could I have BEEN any more needy or delusional? No, I couldn't have been. I regret that.

4. I regret being so infatuated with CAE that, when he asked me to give up 1) other men, and 2) smoking, I agreed, because frankly I would have said anything to keep the making out going.

5. Not that I regret dating CAE--far from it. I regret not asking him to give up some bad habits of his own while in the conversation.

6. Because every time I turn down a cute boy, I really, really regret it, and then I want a cigarette, which I can't have. UGH.

7. I regret ever trying to live in West Seattle. Really, what was I thinking?

8. I do not regret every minute I spent on the beaches in West Seattle with Titan, even though it was totally illegal.

9. I regret thinking, two years ago, that all mp3 players were pretty much the same and I could get any brand that I wanted. Because although I now have an iPod and don't feel behind the times anymore, I still regret being that stupid about the future of iPod.

10. I regret not owning stock. Even though I have told people that I do.

11. I do NOT regret gaining weight. Because it makes losing it all that much more sweet.

12. At the same time, I do not regret this pint of Ben & Jerry's I am downing right now.

13. I regret being such a huge bitch about T-Town's relationship with Boyfriend. (Hers, not mine.) I was wrong, all year. And I'm sorry.

14. I do NOT regret not breaking up with Ex-TheBoy when the time was right, and instead sticking it out until the bitter end. I learned a lot. That is, in this case, entirely worth the heartache I paid for it.

15. At the same time, I regret not dating CAE earlier. Again, what WAS I thinking?

16. I do NOT regret meeting kt in Real Life. Because she's totally AWESOME! And her brother is too! (Hi, C!)

17. Back to boys: I regret not inviting Houseguest to Seattle earlier. I mean, seriously.

18. Also I regret not living closer to Houseguest. Like, in L.A.

19. Speaking of worthy boys, I completely regret liking unworthy boys, included but not limited to: Messed-Up Wannabe Artist and Pothead.

22. In fact, I regret not spending enough time, attention, or favors on Slightly Nerdy But Totally Worth It Boys. They really deserve it.

23. I reget being such a Tacompton Girl that when I go to a bar with friends, and one of their boyfriends goes from Normal to Whacked Out in 60 seconds, and tries to start shit with 20 Federal Rangers, I'm not surprised.

24. In addition, I regret that Tacoma is such a dirty, lawless, and dangerous city.

25. I regret that certain Tacoma natives are trying to deny this. It is what it is! You can't change the facts!

26. However, I do NOT regret that I'm comfortable here! Yeah, peeps! Reprazent!

27. So, clearly, I do not regret moving back here from college. But if I'm still here in a year, and I don't have a good reason, I WILL regret that.

29. I regret that I have to cut off my hair in a very short time. I hope I will not regret the actual act.

30. I regret ever seeing the Fantastic Four. Or Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

31. I regret not taking Titan on more walks.

32. I regret continually taking my mother's and grandmother's bait.

33. It's hard not to.

34. Occasionally, I regret being such an egotistical, paranoid meglomaniac. But not often.

35. I regret that I don't regret being an egotistical, paranoid meglomaniac MORE often.

36. I regret that I did not love my job more. My job is awesome and deserves to be loved. (Actually, I have a cakewalk of a job that I generally love and pays me a ridiculous amount. I should be worshipping my job.)

37. I regret that I haven't traveled more...

38. ...especially to meet all you IIFs! Have a great New Year's and, in 2006, I hope that you don't regret a thing!

Monday, December 26, 2005

If I post every six days, is that enough?

Things I HAVE done since the last post:

1. Sent out 25 Christmas cards.
2. Gone skiing.
3. Talked to kt on the phone.
And made plans to hang out! She's in Tacoma!
4. Finished re-organizing bookshelf. Woo!
5. Had a great conversation with CAE.
6. Worked 35 hours in three days.

Things I have NOT done:
Called Houseguest.
2. Done laundry.
Clarification: I did a load of dark--sheets, underwear, workout clothes. They never got put away. They are still in a pile on my bed. Yes: the sheets that need to go ON my bed are in a clean (and getting dirtier by the second--thank you, dog hair) pile ON TOP OF my bed. I'm sleeping on my mattress pad with no covers on my pillows.
3. Cleaned the house.
4. Burned any Christmas CDs.
This is, for obvious reasons, now off the list.
5. Done anything, Ebay or otherwise, with any old toys whatsoever.

Woo! Vacation! That is all.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Sorry, readers

I'm still here. I'm just busy as hell. It's the holiday season. Y'all know.

Things I have been doing:

1. Running. Twice, now, in the last week!

2. Arguing with CAE. We had a very heated debate about things (about us, and about Life Issues) during which my phone may have accidentally hung up on him. And then we talked a little more, and then we were better. Isn't it a little early in the relationship to be fighting? Probably. But at least we're passionate. We are just really, really different.

3. Working a lot.

4. Receiving a battery-operated toy.
Yes, from kiwi. When I get time to properly try it out, you may never hear from me again.

Things I Have NOT Done:

1. Sent out a single Christmas card. Or put addresses on more than 12 out of 50. Or picked up the prints of Titan that I want to include with them.

2. Cleaned my house.

3. Done laundry.

4. Finished re-organizing my bookshelf.
I started this project Sunday, put books all over the floor, gave up, and left them there. I'm hoping they might antique and gain value. (Note: this project was initialized by receiving an absolutely lovely birthday present from Houseguest, that I wanted to properly display. So I thought I'd reorganize. And then...right. Note to Houseguest: your present is in a safe place. NOT on the floor.)

5. Burned any Christmas CDs.

6. Called Houseguest on his birthday. Or yet at all.

7. Put old toys up for auction on Ebay.

8. Boxed up the rest of the old toys to give away for Christmas NEXT year.


Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Happy Birthday to ME! or, a New Motto For Life

That's right, folks! The big 2-5! I'm a Quarter-Century old, TODAY!

And did you know that John Lennon was shot twenty-five years and six days ago? Just to make that more clear:

Dec. 8th, 1980: John Lennon is shot
Dec. 14th, 1980: Aarwenn is born.

I was pointing this out to Houseguest in L.A. last night, and he said, over the roar of the laundromat where he was doing his laundry,

"So, you're saying that you're the reincarnation of John Lennon?"

Duh. No wonder I'm a demanding, egotistical person. I was born to be a star!

Other big things in December:

Dec. 7th, 1941: Pearl Harbor is bombed.
Dec. 14th, 1981: My friend Amy is born. (That's right, we share a birthday.)
Dec. 14th, 2004: My friend Aaron gets married. The funny thing is that he and I had a thing, and he also dated Amy. So, smart readers will notice that he managed to make his anniversary The Same Day as TWO of his ex girlfriend's birthdays. That's an overachiever for you.
Dec. 18th, 197X: Houseguest is born! (That's right, our birthdays are that close.)

And many other wonderful people were born in December, like my lead engineer here at B-----, Hardware Engineer's Sister, my friend Kathleen, who just got married, and Patty Duke, just to name a few.

More birthday stuff:

Sagittarius:Your independence may be compromised when a parent or other loved one needs your assistance during an illness or while recovering from an injury. This means putting your own plans on hold, especially when travel is involved. This is a time for you to express unspoken love and gratitude.
Lucky Number: 560
Financial Outlook: excellent
Compatible Sign: Leo


And this one:

TODAY'S BIRTHDAY (December 14). You belong. This year, the stars remind you often that your contributions matter -- you're vital in the lives of others. Next month, you are able to shift your work in a more fulfilling direction. A longstanding family issue is settled next month to the best possible end. Virgo and Cancer share completely with you, bringing you joy and laughter. Your lucky numbers are: 50, 3, 22, 12 and 35.

(Note: this is surprisingly accurate regarding work.)

And another:

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21). Projects seem stale. Relationships need new energy. You can't see the charm in staying put. Long ago you started running, and you're running still.

This is also surprisingly accurate, which is why the news that I'm being moved to a new project here at B----- was so great to hear.

And finally, an new motto for life, and one that eerily echoes my last horoscope:

Keep your walking shoes on.

I went for a pre-birthday run last night, and it was really glorious. Cold and foggy, but not windy. Titan and I trotted and breathed for four miles, and I arrived home feeling euphoric, almost high. I also got to think about a lot of things, with just he and I pounding the pavement, like: CAE, and how different we are, and how his Ex is still so prominent in his life, and what I think about that, and how I second guess myself and try to please others, even when I shouldn't, and how there's still so much I want to do and try before I settle down, and how I want to get more into art, and, and...

And so I came up with the motto:
Keep your walking shoes on.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

My site can be pretty.

Beauty from the bridge.


More Shore.


Much better.

Thank you to everyone!

Thanks to T-Town Girl, who forced Hot Buttered Rum upon me, and T-Town's sister, who is hysterical.

Thanks to kiwi, for my package. (BWA-HA-HA! She said package!) (Although no, I haven't gotten it yet. The post office sucks. And they close at 4:30. Sorry. Tomorrow morning, I can get it.)

Thanks to my mother, who listened to me vent, and cheered me up by telling me that SHE is learning from ME.

Thanks to B-----, believe it or not, who has chosen this week to make me feel like the MVP. My career is moving along well and I have reasons to hope for a big raise, although I also learned today that two of my new hire friends already make 10% more than I do. Which is a lot. No wonder they can afford to live in the heart of Queen Anne. Oh well. Soon, soon!

Also, thanks to B----- for being the sponsor of the largest employee owned and operated community fund in the world. (The Fund gave away 32 million dollars last year. And 19 million of that was in the Puget Sound Region alone.) And thanks to them for also providing a pizza lunch while a really hyper lady talked to us New Hires about it, and thanks to my aforementioned overpaid new-hire friends for giving their money away through it, because all of those events together--and reading thank you letters from people whose lives have been touched by the Fund--have given me a little Christmas spirit today.

And most of all, thanks to all of my sorority sisters, whom I love dearly. I sent out a big mass email to my long-lost friends to get snail mail addresses, and I heard from a bunch of people and I loved all of them. Now I can't wait to send out Christmas (Holiday) cards.

Also, it's beautiful here. Pictures are coming soon.

Also, by a fluke, I weighed 132 pounds this morning. Seriously. Wow.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Mean Reds, or Remember, Poinsettas are Poisonous

So, it's not like I'm unhappy, or anything. Not recognizeably. My birthday's coming up and I'm in a new relationship. Work is going well.

There's some issue, though, that I can't put my finger on. I'm a little depressed, and I know this because I'm continually sleeping though my alarms and getting to work three hours late. (I can't believe that work is going as well as it is, as I'm getting at 9:00 am or later every freakin' day.)

I'm just having one of those periods where I want to say, "Fuck it." I want to stop eating well. I want to eat everything in sight, actually: lots of cheese, peanut butter, and cheesy garlic bread. Pizza. Wine. Beer. I want to drink every night.

I want to wake up late and skip work, I want to cheat on CAE (not that there's anyone in particular to do this with, I just want to ruin the relationship). I don't want to do the things I'm supposed to do. It's a case of the Mean Reds, as Holly Golightly would say.

And yet I'm happy today (or I SHOULD be) because these pants that I'm wearing fit beautifully. And I bought them in early high school. When I was swimming five hours a day. But should my weight be so important to me that a good weight day should overwhelm faint depression? Probably not. So maybe this is a good thing.

The always wise kiwi remarked, "Was something anguishy going on this time last year? I find I get emotional echoes quite a bit. Maybe you're unhappy that you're in a relationship again, even if you're happy in the relationship. As it were."

And that's certainly possible--I mean, Jesus Christ, I had planned on being single for much longer than, say, a month. I might feel a little stifled. But I like CAE. So, here I am, back where I started. Sigh.

Fuck everyone's cheesy posts about how this is their favorite time of year. Bah humbug.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Part Two of an Occasional Series: SIWALTA

I was killing some time at work today, looking at the "gifts for men under fifty dollars" ideas on MSN. (Note: this is from Christmastime two years ago, so don't look for this article now.)

The price range was under fifty, the gifts were simple yet high quality, and I was surprised at how cheap these name brand items were: I mean, a Moschino shirt for 34 dollars? My pair of moschino jeans (bought at a thrift store, she adds hastily) was originally 145 dollars. Ugg slides for 49.95 when the boots are 125? A Clarins facial treatment set for 37.50? The lotion alone is usually 37.50. And finally, the thing that killed me: a Fossil wallet for 35 dollars. I had just seen Fossil purses at Macy's for 115 dollars. What was going on?

It came to me in a flash of light: men's goods are cheaper and of better quality than womenis goods.

Of course, you could rationalize this, if you wanted to. Simpler construction? Okay, I'm prepared to believe that Ugg boots are more expensive to produce than slides. Fair enough. And, okay, maybe IN GENERAL purses are more expensive to make than wallets, but a large man's wallet and a small woman's clutch are roughly the same size—and the woman's clutch is, basically, an envelope with a zipper on top, and a man's wallet tends to have so many folds that it shapes his butt after awhile.

Anyway, to economically account for such differences would take a LOT of added complication. And if amount of material/ease of construction was the only thing that affected price, women's goods should be generally cheaper than men's because they’re smaller. But we all know that this is not the case. No. Women’s goods just cost more. And why?

Because women are more willing to pay money for useless crap.

The saying goes, "Women will pay ten dollars for a twenty-dollar item they don't want, and men will pay twenty dollars for a ten dollar item they do want." You'd think this would imply that men are more willing to pay high prices, but that's not the case at all. The point of the saying is simply this: men have a greater innate understanding of the value of money.

Yes, men get into credit card debt. Yes, men overspend on alcohol, food, and girls; yes, men are more likely to waste money gambling. But men have a clearer understanding of what they want, and they are willing to pay for it. They do mental math: I want this (37 inch flat screen TV) (hooker with 38DD breasts) (round of drinks for the entire bar) and I am willing to pay (this much) for it.

A woman’s thought process: "I want a black skirt for work. Oh, look, they have pink sweaters on sale! This is a great price for angora. Am I really a pink sweater person? Can I be a pink sweater person? What if I got a new shade of lipstick, too? What if I got my hair done? Oh, they have blue sweaters on sale, too. What if I’m a blue sweater person?" If she remembers about the black skirts at all, it’s because she sees a rack of them, dismisses the price as too much money to pay for a skirt—"You can find skirts for half that much!" and goes home with two sweaters (on sale), a new lipstick shade (and she got a free gift with her purchase), and plans to get her hair cut, and no black skirt, which means she wakes up at the crack of dawn for work the next day having spent $83 and still has nothing to wear.

Monday, December 05, 2005

The First in an Occasional Series: Stuff I Wrote A Long Time Ago

...and have just now found. Many thanks to Hardware Engineer, who hates me for breaking up with him and doesn't read this anyway, for fixing my desktop computer.
We are our own Prince Charmings. Our mothers saw Cinderella singing, "Someday, my prince will come" and believed. When we grew up, our divorced mothers told us bitterly that no one's coming, so we set out to make sure we'd never need to be rescued. And now we have the uncertain pleasure of being so far ahead of the guys trying to date us that we need to rescue them. Call me old-fashioned, but I don't want to be in the habit of rescuing my boyfriends; if I wanted to be a mother, I'd get knocked up. And, frankly, I don't want him to rescue me either; frequently depending on someone else makes you ungrateful and bitter.

Last night I was awoken by my dog barking ferociously; apparently, a bee the size of a small plane had flown in an open window and was beating itself against the walls of my apartment. There was no hope for it; I had to wake up, turn the lights on, and stand ready with a Pierce Transit schedule book to smack the living daylights out of it, or both my dog and I would stay sleepless in Tacoma. Eventually the poor bee landed on a wall close enough to my reach that I was able to kill him and bury him in the garbage can. The crisis passed. Dog and girl went back to sleep. Musing sleepless some hours later, I realized that it hadn’t occurred to me to call a nice man. My dog is adept at killing monster-truck-sized spiders, but not so good at catching bees. And I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep comfortably knowing that a 747 of a bee was flitting around my apartment, possibly about to sting me with a stinger the size of a hypodermic syringe. So I, quite calmly under the circumstances, stood ready with a bus schedule. No problem.

This may be partly because at this time I don't have a man to call. Had a nice man already been present, I would have definitely squealed and clutched him, pointing out the bee with a shaking finger and cowering in the corner, leaving him to take care of it—even though I knew I could have handled it quite well myself. Is there a dichotomy between the two actions? No. In this hypothetical situation of a man being present, I probably would have cooked dinner for him earlier in the evening. And possibly cleaned my apartment for his arrival. And these are well-known gender-specific actions. So why shouldn't I depend on him to kill my bugs? He shouldn't get the benefit of my femininity if I can't take advantage of his masculinity.

What does this mean? Being able to revel in typical gender roles has become a luxury. I would have cooked dinner for myself anyway, but it's a luxury, the fulfillment of a fantasy, to cook for someone else. I feel like Sandra Dee. I could have killed the bee myself, but it’s even more of a luxury to let someone else do it.

Update on the above: when I crashed my car (because I'm a terrible driver), I didn't call TheBoy, my boyfriend at the time. And he wasn't happy about that.

And now that I'm dating CAE, he pays for things, even though I make more money than he does, and that's okay--he likes to do it. It's sexy to him, to be able to treat a girl that he really likes to something she wants, even if it's as small as a cup of coffee, even if she can afford it by herself.

It's a luxury to him.

And now that I live with a guy, although he's Roommate and not CAE, it was an absolute pleasure to bat my eyes at him several months ago when I dropped a pearl earring down the sink. He rolled his eyes and said of course he would fix it, and he did, right there, while I oohed and aahed. Last week when I worked from home two days in a row, I made cookies and cleaned the entire house. I enjoyed the thought of him coming home to a clean house.

On the other hand, he cleans the house a lot more, overall, and recently scrubbed out the tub. And I could have retrieved my own earring.

CAE still cleans up frantically before each time I arrive at his house, likes to drive when we go out, and gets my drinks, and I enjoy wearing lingerie for him.

Gender roles are both a necessity, like good manners, and a luxury, like dressing up and eating pate; they make the world go around, and yet when you perform them with someone you really like, they become heavenly game. Because there's nothing sexier than being so comfortable with your power as a gender-inspecific citizen of the world than being able to dress up in girliness, and being able to play-act with a guy who's so comfortable with himself that he can ENJOY picking up the reins because he knows you could drive the relatioship if you wanted to.

Interesting, wordy, and hawt.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

The Human Race: Doomed or Not?

First, a very scary story:

This weekend, I and CAE met some mutual friends at a bar called The Rocker in Mill Creek. Beers were had, pool was played. The friends all left together--four guys, carpooling. My friend M was driving. As they drove down 164th, a car pulled up on their left, passing them, they thought. They heard four loud pops. And then in a shaky voice, their friend J in the back seat said, "Guys...I think I've been shot."

He had been. The driver of the car apparently though that my friend M had cut him off earlier, and so he did what any normal person would do: follow the guys that cut him off for several miles, drive up next to them on their driver's side, get his .45 out of the glove compartment, lean across his girlfriend in the passenger seat, and shoot at them, four times.

One bullet lodged in the driver's side windshield. Two went into the floorboards, and one went through the back door, glanced off J's leg, ricocheted around in the car, and landed in another passengers lap. All were fine--J had a large welt on his leg, but he was fine. Yes, they called it in right away, and the police caught the shooter. (He still had his gun IN his car.) His girlfriend spilled her guts. My friends spent three hours between the police station and the hospital.

And my friend M (the driver) and C (the shotgun rider) STILL went skiing with me and 12 others at Stevens Pass the next day. Yes, that's how we roll.

So, is the human race doomed, if people like this shooter exist?

Maybe not. After all, Great Britain has legalized 'civil unions' for gay couples. Not the real thing, as gay activists here are quick to point out. But it's a step in the right direction.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Quotes Of The Day

From the always clever SheWalks:

"steamy, foamy eggnog mixed with espresso is pretty much hot orgasm in a cup."

(so glad she's back, by the way! after mean comments and ish-ness and god knows what else, she's back, and she's funny as hell.)

And of course from T-Town Girl, whose entire post today is just a beautiful thing:

"I will, as long as I live and breathe, cherish my God given right to order and ship a stranger’s shit to anyone I know."

(side note: try saying, "cherish and ship a stranger's shit" five times fast.)

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Note To All Spammers:

I have given into the devil. I have word verification.


Monday, November 28, 2005

The PHONE. And associated mysteries.

My previous boyfriend (ExTheBoy) did not want to talk on the phone. Hated it. Even when we lived miles apart and only saw each other on weekends, he hated it. He did it for me, but he hated it.

Which I hated, at first, his hating the phone. And then I got used to it. Plus I was told by several Men I Respect (including my dad) that Most Men Don't Like The Phone. So I resigned myself to the fact that I was never going to date a guy who liked to talk on the phone, and I might as well Get Used To It Now. And then I began to look at The Phone objectively. And then I realized, hey, you know what? Most people don't give good phone. I am one of those people. I CAN have good conversations, it's just that talking to someone on the phone night after night for hours at time...well, what the hell am I going to talk about all that time? I began to dislike the phone, and enjoy my dislike. And I thanked the male race for, once again, releasing me from the shackles of femininity.

And now I'm dating CAE, and we live farther apart than ExTheBoy and I did. (Fifty-seven miles.) And of course, what happens? It turns out that CAE LOVES the phone. Calls me every night. Tries to keep me on it.

When I all I want to do is get off the phone, read old archives of SheWalks, wash my face, and go to bed. But he's dying to keep me on, and so I ask intelligent questions, at a time when my attention level is very low, and I'm praying I can remember this conversation in which he poured his heart out to me in the morning.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Also, things I am thankful for.

1. My Teddy Bear, asleep on the couch. (Yes, we allow dogs on the couch in our house.)

2. Sascha, who is Titan's girlfriend, moral support, play buddy, little sister, and lover.

3. Doggie Relationships.

3. Roommate. And one of the best living situations I have EVER had.

4. Friends. Both old and new.

5. Jeep.

Self Portrait in Jeep.

6. Mountains. Especially mountains on which I can ski.

7. Whistler!

8. The person who invented skis.

9. My family. (In spite of everything.)

10. Victoria's Secret.

11. Retail therapy.

12. Shoes!

13. Tacoma!

And finally,

14. Blogger. And all of you!

Happy Thanksgiving!

UPDATE: no, I don't know why my camera pictures do that. Click for bigger. Thanks.

Happy Thanksgiving to EVERYONE!

I'm super cheerful this morning, so bear with me.

First, my boy is adorable. We're in the "make others puke because we're so cutesy" stage. It's a good thing.

Second, I have double date plans with T-Town and T-Town's Man for tonight! Because there is a Chopstix within walking distance of my house! And it's awesome!

Third, I'm going skiing on Friday!

Fourth, I'm going to Whistler for three days in the beginning of January! I'm taking vacation time! I'm going to Canada! I'm skiing for three days straight! With a bunch of B----- engineers! We're going clubbing every night! I might be able to get VIP passes! There's a hot tub! WOO!

Fifth, I get to see my...colorful family tomorrow. Including the uncle with the drug problem who last year found a bottle of really good champagne given to my mother as a gift, drank the whole thing, and stashed the bottle in the effin' laundry room. This year we're locking up the alcohol. Which is too bad, because after we're done I will REALLY need a drink.

And Sixth, CAE and I are going to a party given by a B----- mutual friend as a couple. I get to make salad and rolls. CAE has offered to help, of course, and I'll put him to work, but he's freely admitted he can't cook. (Apparently he barbeques well, though. I'll report on that when I experience it firsthand.) So I get to show off a little.

Funny exchange: He and I were discussing our cooking abilities, and I said,

"Have you ever used your oven?"

And he said: "Oven?...OH! You mean the pizza cooker!"

Sunday, November 20, 2005

In the Tradition of Crazy Aunt Purl...

It's a more serious weekend post.

First of all, I know that Tacoma is a rough town (it's not called Tacompton for nothing) but we seem to be in a scary crime rise. My dad's car was broken into last week, my wallet was stolen this week, and today, there was a shooting at the Tacoma mall. One person is in critical condition, three are in serious condition, and the mall closed down for hours as the gunman held three shoppers hostage. The situation has since been resolved--the hostages were released unharmed, and the cops took the gunman into custody. The really scary part (like this isn't scary enough) is that when this happens, it usually means: gang war. Thefts go up because the gangs need more money, violence goes up because, hey, they're fighting a war. Which means: it could easily get worse. Until the war is over.

I broke things off with Hardware Engineer last night. Last night it was really hard; today it's not bad at all. CAE is, so far entirely worth it. Entirely.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Up and Down and Down and Up

Up: I learned yesterday that I'll be awarded an award (hehe) because of all the work I've done on this project I ended up running! I get a certificate, it goes in my employee file, and I get a little cash! Woo!

Down: My wallet, the one that was stolen? I was hoping it was accidental, or that I'd just lost it, or something. No such luck. Which I know, because I forgot to cancel my corporate credit card. And that's the one they used. Double damn. The charges can be dropped, but still...complications. And it makes the situation--my wallet being stolen from my best friend's house--that much more messy and unhappy. :(

Down: I'm cowering in fear because apparently my very old-school manager--as in, the one who can barely operate a computer--is frowning on this idea of me working from home. Apparently working from home twice a month is too much. WTF? I thought B----- Corporate was all about it? I guess not.

And Up: This just came in from CAE.

Me: "I know you're busy, but really quick: did I mention that my class is performing tonight for a much more advanced class? That's right. Rowr."

Him: "You're soooo cute! Let me know how it goes."

All together now: AWWWWWWWWWWWWW...

Nothing better than a brand-new relationship. :)

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

A Cavalcade of Poon, and then I dropped my money in the toilet.

Isn't that the best phrase ever? Thanks much to kiwi, for proving his wordsmith ability. Even better, the context doesn't make it any less stunning. Several nights ago, he sent me a drunken text message reading,

"Ill bet ur find ass is stil up." (sic)

Me, much later: "It IS a very fine ass, and it was still up. with company."
Him, right away: "Which of ur many suitors was with u?"
Me, right away: "U don't read my blog?
Him, right away again: "Uh, not in last 2 days? And even if u said, its not like i'm always able 2 connect the dots with ur cavalcade of poon.


In more laugh out loud news, not an hour ago I dropped my passport and cash in the toilet. They were in my back pocket, I sat on the toilet to do my thing, stood up, FLUSHED, and then they dropped in. So it wasn't as bad as it could have been, but...ewwwwwwww. They're wrapped up in toilet paper now and will be sprayed with disinfectant once home. Can't think of anything else to do. Suggestions?

Monday, November 14, 2005

I'm Famous. And a Cheater.

First, Tacompton Tiffany and I went skiing, and although I can't find a link to the live interview on the lift (yet), here's the article! I'm famous! (By the way, Tacompton and I agreed that it was one of the best first-day-of-the-season-days we have EVER had. It helps to not be 16 and poor. Nothing to prove regarding stamina and skill, no need to wring the most possible runs out of that $29 investment. Lovely.) (Also, skiing is the best workout ever. I've been at 135 pounds consistently for days. In spite of hitting the gym once last week, as opposed to three.)


I may soon be even more famous than I anticipate, if the identity in my stolen wallet ever morphs into a fake person. Yes, my wallet was stollen this weekend. Yes, it was a messy experience. On the plus side, I got given a really hot new shirt, for free. Yes, I'm cancelling everything. Yes, I'm upset. Thank you for asking.

And after several days of psuedo-dating, the lonely guy from the previous post (Chicago Aerospace Engineer, or CAE) and I are, officially, dating. After many games of beer pong, we lost ourselves in a romantic haze, he asked me, "Will you go with me?", and I said yes. Exclusively.

T-Town, when I was telling her this story, said, "He does know that that's just something fun you like to say, right?" I laughed hysterically, because she's entirely correct. I haven't, for example, told Hardware Engineer yet. Don't know if I will, don't know if I won't, don't know what I want. I do know that I'm terrified (again, one might use the term "pathological") of putting all my eggs in one basket, of pinning all my hopes on one person.

Below, an excerpt from an old post from my formal livejournal:

"The problem is, I have no middle gears when it comes to relationships. I'm either uncaring or too caring. Usually when I feel myself falling for someone, I'll fritter away some of those cares on other guys, helping to spread the load, which has the added benefit of making me care about the guy I'm with somewhat less.

Because really, there are very few guys who could handle me full time all the time. Now the prospect of being with just him both fills me with dread and makes me want to make every girly mistake under the sun. Now I, and this is ME we're talking about, wants to ask him if he wants us to have kids, and what he thinks our kids would look like, and if he wants to get married or sees himself as more of an outside the rules kind of person. I want to follow him around but since I can't do that, I want to call him and commit verbal suicide by giving him a running commentary on everything I'm doing ("Now I'm peeing. Now I'm retouching some spots on my countertops. Now I'm petting Titan--Oh, what a good boy!") just to keep him on the phone and feel like he's near me. I'm infatuated, big time."

And I am infatuated. I've spent all morning imagining our future life together, in a Seattle loft high-rise with exposed brick and a fantastic kitchen. Having pets. Hosting couples dinners. Having art on the walls. Knowing artists. Competing in our careers and then, when one of us retires rich and famous, starting new lives as philanthropists. And possibly artists. I could write and make t-shirts and promote bands. Traveling. I want to wrap him around me like a blanket. Never mind that he enjoys his apartment in Suburban Town outside Seattle and, since he doesn't like curry or sushi, probably doesn't like traveling, either.

On the other hand, I know I need to do some internal work: break it off with Hardware Engineer, for one, although that won't happen right away. Find a new area for myself in B-----. (I like where I am, but I need to run away and get more experience before I can make it what I want.) And I'll have plenty of time. Because Chicago Aerospace Engineer is awesome, but we both have a lot of growing to do, so although the fantasy life is fun, I'm not holding my breath.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

And Right After I Bark Along to America the Beautiful, I'll Balance this Yellow Ball on my Nose.

Obvious Point of the Day Number #347: I like to please people. I like to please people, a lot. One might use the term "pathological". One might use the term "needs help". No wonder I identify with dogs so much. It's true that perhaps I could get a cat and learn from her, but chances are that I'd go crazy instead from her constant rejection and end up in a loony bin. Assuming that's not my current destination anyway.

There is a guy here in Seattle, a lonely guy from Chicago, went to Purdue, really smart guy, also really moody. And bitchy. Doesn't like Seattle. Been here for a year, doesn't know any locals except me, doesn't like his life, doesn't like anything. I like him, God knows why, and so what have I decided to do? Yes. I have decided to make it my MISSION to have him like Seattle. (Also, I have a side mission to trick him into dating me.) Which means I have now aligned myself with my city, giving him the opportunity to reject both my city and myself all at once. Why allow him to make two separate rejections when one will do? Now I find myself planning nice surprises for him. Nice surprises, for God's sake. For a man that is not my boyfriend. He looks at me, I instantly smile, trying to get him to smile. He has a hard day, I listen to him vent. To get him talking, I prattle on about cool stuff I'm doing at B-----, mixed with Fun Stories from Aarwenn's Past. (And yes, there are a lot of those.) Anything to keep him cheerful. And after I've chugged this entire Irish Car Bomb, I will now tell The Funniest Joke In The World, complete with gestures.

It's not like I haven't had practice: the guy who writes Clublife? Sounds exactly like the guy I dated for almost three years. It was my job to entertain him; I was court jester, magician, and courtesan. I pulled rabbits out of my hat, prattled on about polictics (although never disagreeing with his viewpoint) and, when all else failed, jumped him in bathrooms. I've noticed that Hardware Engineer, although slow to get an email conversation going, responds beautifully to funny, clever emails. If that means I take time out of my workday to compose them, so what?

And after I recite the Prologue to Romeo and Juliet while jumping rope, I'll demonstrate my ability to smoke a cigarette with my toes.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

A Cure for Sundays. And Impotence.

(scroll all the way down for the second cure if you just can't wait.)

(I didn't think you could.)

So, first, the best cure for Sundays ever!

Sunday Night Dinner!

Girls and Wine.

More Girls. Yes, that's me on the far right. And that's Tacompton Tiffany in the middle!

Resident Jailbait.

Resident Mountain Man, and T-Town's Man. (Yes, T-Town is coming out of the closet.)

Resident Blonde.

Resident Hoodlum. Also, The Chef. (If he and Tacompton Tiffany hadn't already built this incredible life together, I would recommend that all girls in the area immediately find this man and throw themselves at him. A man who cooks the way he does cannot be underestimated.)

Cheesy and gorgeous Tacompton Tiffany. (I would kill for her skin.)

T-Town Girl! Out of the closet and onto the Internets!

T-Town and Myself.

Did you catch that? What it says on my shirt? Here it is again:

And FINALLY (and I knew you were waiting for it) it's the Cure For Impotence:

Monday, November 07, 2005

Last Week On The World of Aarwenn, or, why I hate Sundays

(sniffle, sniffle, hacking cough) (wine hangover)

I would like to thank all of my friends, relatives, and Roommates, who allowed me to grab them and chatter wildly at them about my love life this weekend. Let it be known here, on this blog, that I have solved the problem. I Know What I Am Doing Wrong.

(Just, um, 7328 more wrong things to go.)

But the one that I have recently discovered and may actually Do Something About is this:

I live in my life in one-week story arcs.

Yes, it's true. For my entire adult life I have hated Sunday afternoons and evenings, completely and fully. Hated them. With A Passion. I sink into a depression every week and refuse to be roused. And I had no idea why, until I was talking to T-Town (one of the many, many people I forced to listen to me this weekend) and I said something about how, oh well, this week coming up is a new week with no mistakes in it, and it HIT ME. While it is beneficial indeed to one's psyche to think of each day as a brand-new day, I have carried the notion too far. I view Sunday as the end of the hour of sitcom and am completely depressed at having to leave my viewing audience. And, like the Simpsons or The Family Guy, my main character (hi!), although she is taught important lessons each week, does not retain a THING from week to week and is doomed to repeat her story line, over and over again.

No longer. I'm trying to retain. Really and truly. In the same way that a relationship can be dual-personality drunk or sober, I think I also have weekday relationships and weekend relationships. Maybe it's due to me having a weekday personality and a weekend personality? Who knows?

In other news, apparently some of the other B----- New Hires (and some of their friends, mainly from places like Michigan or Wisconsin) think that I'm weird and sort of far-out. Not in a good or bad way, more like an animal at the zoo. Is this somehow connected to my weekday/weekend personality? Should I be worried that I am disassociating, encouraging both personalities at once, and possibly developing into a sociopath?

I don't think so. I think I am who I am--not to misquote Popeye--and that on the workdays I tone myself down a bit because, you know, B----- wouldn't be happy about me coming to work in black vinyl chaps (of which there WILL be pictures) and using the f-word all the time. Not that I enjoy it, this making myself bland--I long for the day when I own my own business and I can possibly wear Really Cute Jeans and a blazer to work--but it has to happen, and for now I'm okay with that.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

I'm a Mutt!

Your Linguistic Profile:

80% General American English

10% Yankee

5% Dixie

5% Upper Midwestern

0% Midwestern

Which should be no surprise to anyone. With a mother from Florida, who also lived in Vermont for a time, and a father from the PNW, who spent his formative years in Hawaii, and both of whom spent a great deal of time in the South, and Midwest, and then they had a daughter who was born in Chicago, moved to the PNW by the time she was two, and then spent four years straight of her early adult life in various East Coast cities...yeah. Mutt, anyone?

I am a little annoyed that there's no West Coast dialect listed, however, although it'd probably be offensive. To get a West Coast dialect, leave off your ing's, have terrible grammar, use the f-word gratuitously (not all swear words, just that one) and also pepper your speech with Random Long Words and Awesome, Dude, Rad, Gnarly, For Real, Word, and the all-time favorite, Sweet.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Dating at Work is Hard.

Yes, it is. And yet, it's a very real possibility, and even probability.

Because B----- is a Very Large Company. Full, at this instant especially, of Young People. Most of whom are from Somewhere Else, and therefore Need To Bond. And who better to bond with than each other? Now, most of us are men (yours truly excluded) so most bonding takes place over work grunts and going out for beers. But some of us are women. (hi!)

And an even smaller percentage of us are single women. (hi again!)

And an even SMALLER percentage of us are single women that Do Something With Our Hair. (hi, still me!)

And an even SMALLER THAN THAT percentage of us are single women that Do Something With Our Hair, wear heels (woo, heels!) and have discernible breasts.

Maybe the best way to say it is that we have discernible femininity.

So, for this very small percentage of Discernibly Feminine Women, there's a lot of guys. That put gel in their hair, wear nice jeans, and know how to pick out a collared shirt. They can have their pick, in other words, except that they're stuck at work for 10 hours a day with this Very Small Percentage. So it's only natural that I might, say, meet a guy at a composites class, (woo! romantic engineers! those sexy composites!) and that I might spark up a conversation with him, and he might latch onto that conversation like a drowning man on a rope, asking me out on Instant Messenger and throwing caution to the wind.

Because really, y'all, I am not that fascinating.

And so, although we have a coffee date on Thursday, he might ask me to meet him in the hallway between our buildings. And I might do so.

And then we might talk for a little bit, trying to flirt without being work inappropriate, trying to size the other person up without being able to touch them, trying to hide our faces as his co-workers keep walking by him and winking. Trying to keep our voices low. We talk about sports. About this and that. About why we became engineers. We even talk like engineers--just the facts, ma'am.

When we're done, he reaches for a hug. He's not overly suave. That's a good thing. I give him one, thinking, Oh my God, I'm at WORK!

I walk back to my desk, beaming. I didn't have to get dressed up again or drive anywhere. I just had to walk to the end of the hallway. Sometimes it's nice to be able to date at work.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Happy Halloween!

So, first a few blog-type things.

This is brilliant. Become Republican! kt, I thought especially of you. :)

And after five Halloween parties--four house parties and a bar party--I FINALLY got some pictures! They are coming! Woo!!! A very nice boy whose date I was at the first house party on Saturday dropped by a drugstore on the way and bought me a disposable camera, because I was running late. He likes me far more than is good for him. Not that anyone who likes me does so in FDA-approved amounts. Kind of like butter--ANY amount is too much.

Aarwenn Ingredients: Spitfire, sweat, tears, blood (mainly someone else's), breasts, cooter, two legs, long hair, blue eyes, trouble.

Nutrition Information
Heartbreak: 68% RDA
Despair: 87%
Sex: 400%
Attitude: 113%
Questioning of Self-Worth: 100%.

Back to the pictures: I took very few--I'm just not a picture-taker, y'all--and we were all trashed, so we can all pray they turn out. Because I owe pictures of me in vinyl chaps to many, many people.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Want to know your type? Ask an honest friend!

Like, for instance, T-town Girl.

Want to know how this question came up?

Because I met a nice boy while taking an 8-hour composites class yesterday, and we got to talking (okay, I chatted him up, but he didn't need much encouragement) and after an extremely inappropriate-for-work conversation today, he asked me out for coffee!

So yes, I have another First Date.

But moving on, he asked me what my type was (over Work-Controlled Instant Messenger) and I don't really have a type, or couldn't think of one, so I emailed T-town Girl really fast, and this is what she said:

"Geeky, low self esteem, assholes who cover up their insecurities by flaunting a particularly rank from of arrogance."

She's totally right. Although she forgot "alcoholic".

In my defense, not ALL guys I've dated have been like that! Just um, two out of four serious boyfriends. Flings are more likely to be more fun. But the two guys I'm into right now (excluding New First Date) certainly fit that mold. Sigh.

What's a girl to do? Change types? I'm working on that, with New First Date. He doesn't use complete sentences over IM--and also uses shortcuts like u, bc, and oic--and I'm trying not to let that bother me. I feel like I'm letting my elitist nerd side down. But maybe that's a good thing.

And, with thanks to T-town for this inspired typo that I took and ran with, allow me to introduce a new entry for Webster's!

sexpress (v.): 1. Expressing a sentiment having to do with sex, often used as shorthand. I sexpressed my preferences on the third date. He liked the mention of handcuffs. 2. Expressing a sentiment during sex, talking dirty. "Want to learn how to sexpress? Use our handy phrasebook!" 3. Expressing a sentiment USING sex. I didn't know what I should say, so I sexpressed. 4. Talking about something sexual, sometimes accidentally; a freudian slip. I totally sexpressed the other day--instead of saying "How are you?" I said, "Take off your shirt." I'm so embarrassed!

See also: sexpressing, sexpressed, sexpressment (n.)

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

I have nothing original to say.

So instead, I'm blatantly using my talented friends. As may be obvious to some of you more perceptive readers, T-town girl and Tacompton Tiffany and myself also carry on a constant email correspondence daily at work, in ADDITION to posting on our blogs, and occasionally working. Disclaimer: Tacompton Tiffany actually works. Which is why she doesn't post very often. Or write us back.

So instead, I present to you: T-town Girl's Rules for:

How to save your diet from your boyfriend.

1. Make dinner at home more often. That way you have control over what goes into it.
2. When you do eat out, go vegetarian. Meat is just concentrated calories.
3. So is alcohol, have water.
4. Avoid dairy. No Alfredo sauce and no 3 cheese anything.
5. Garlic, ginger, marinara, and sushi (of the non tempura variety) are your best friends.
6. Lay off the condiments and add-ons.
7. Eat only 1/2 of what you order and have the other 1/2 for dinner the next day or for lunch for 2 days.
8. Stop eating complementary appetizers (chips, bread, etc.) and don't order an appetizer.
9. You may not have desert.
10. MOST IMPORTANT: if you eat out alot, it is no longer a special occasion. You may not indulge.

I asked her for her wisdom in this matter because now that I'm dating again, a regular date involves food, and...right.

Also, I am going to scream. My manager is an idiot and I hate the entire aerospace industry. Also, I hate old people, and people who go on vacation HUNTING, of all things, while deadlines go flying by. I don't understand people who can't turn on a dime, I don't understand bureaucracy, and I don't understand old people who need things explained to them three times over, and most of all, I don't understand old white men acting like teenagers, in that the more I call them, the less they want to call me back. I wouldn't accept that behavior from the kids I tutor.

Also, I have already eaten 846 calories. By 10:30. It's not even lunch time. I have 153 calories left for my entire lunch. Yes, I know I have better things to do than count calories.

In addition, my manager, who sits behind me, enjoys using his speakerphone, even though we're in cubicles. And we can hear every word of his conversation. And his every mis-dial, too. It's lovely that I have a manager who cannot, consistently, remember how to dial a long distance number from his phone. (Hint: you have to press '8' instead of '9'.) He's only worked at B----- for 40 years.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Yeah, I finally took it.

You are a

Social Liberal
(75% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal
(25% permissive)

You are best described as a:

Strong Democrat

Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid
Also: The OkCupid Dating Persona Test

Friday, October 21, 2005

...And Bumpy

As is somewhat well known on this blog, two months ago I crashed my beautiful jeep. And now I'm driving a rented 1995 silver Toyota Tercel while they fix it. (Very. Slowly.) Or at least, I WAS driving the Tercel...

Yes, the Tercel has been broken for five days, almost six. Tonight I'm supposed to either get my Jeep back, if it's ready, (cue the Hallelujah Chorus!) or the Tercel, if it's not, which would still be better than driving nothing. Or my mother's car, which she has been nice enough to loan me, part time.

Because when I drive my mother's car, you see, I have two sets of keys. And since I can barely keep track of one set of keys, having two sets is a Very Bad Idea.

Because I might run home from work, walk Titan, and then be in a hurry to leave for the Y, so I might just grab the car keys and the water bottle and my Y card. I never take my phone to the gym unless I'm expecting an important call (only once in four months, so far) and I often bring no money or driver's license or anything else, because I don't have pockets in my gym clothes and I don't want to lose anything. (License? I don't need no stinkin' license!)

With me so far? I work my ass off at the Y, get back in my mother's car, and drive, tired and sweaty, to my house. When I realize: I have no house keys.

It's cold. It's misting. I'm cold and getting colder as my sweat dries on me, Titan is confused because I keep yanking at the door handle like it might open magically, and I have no phone to call my roommate. Or money. Or wallet. Now, I've broken into my house many a time, but it's the rainy season now and we're keeping our windows closed, worse luck. I walk around, climbing on fences, recycling bins, and porch chair, trying every single window, even the one I KNEW was loose, but it turns out (as I learn much later) that Roommate has fixed them. Damn him.

Titan is very confused by now and there's nothing I can do except go to my mom's house, where I shower, borrow her clothes (I can fit into them easily! YAY!!!) and call Roommate, whose number I certainly don't have memorized but which is fortunately still in my email correspondence from when he and I were emailing about possibly being roommates, two months ago. After he gets done laughing at me, he informs me that he's spending the next several nights in Gig Harbor because he's working long hours and his mom's house is much closer to work, so I have to SKIP Gilmore Girls with T-town Girl and drive OUT to Gig Harbor, where I meet him, get his key, and finally enter my house hours later. Sigh.

Thursday, October 20, 2005


I may have mentioned in a previous post that Houseguest and I got really fantastic Sonics tickets, and then said I was going to talk about that in some future blog post, and then...I didn't.

Never fear, blogstalkers!

So, Friday night, I pick Houseguest up from the airport. I'm wearing the boots:

Are they not hawt?

Close up. (As CAP said, it's surprisingly hard to take a picture of your own feet.)

Anyway. So I'm wearing the boots, which turn out to be surprisingly practical, although that's not foreknown because it's a nice, warm, DRY, gray cloudy night in Seattle on Friday as I arrive at Sea-Tac Airport. Houseguest and I drive directly to Key Arena, as I have already bought nosebleed seats and we're planning to get beer and wander around the stadium, watching the game from wherever we can. We pull into the parking lot, get out of the car, and find the parking vendor. The minute we find him, he says, "So, you're having problems with the parking machine, too?"

What? I mean, yes, yes, we are. Damn thing won't take our money. He says, "Hundreds of people have had that problem. Here's a sign to hang in your window. I'll vouch for you guys."

Sweet, free parking!

Then he says, "You guys going to the game? Do you need tickets?"


"Because I have this ticket here, I think it's a pretty good seat, and I know it won't be full, so you can probably find an extra seat somewhere close."

Houseguest looks at him. "You are my new best friend," he says seriously, and the parking attendant laughs and waves us on. Into the squall.

While we've been talking, the skies have opened up, and torrential rain has begun to pour down from the sky. Houseguest lends me his coat, and we run, cursing, all the way across Seattle Center, me thanking my rubber-soled hawt boots the whole way.

We get to the arena. The security guard checks my purse. The ticket taker asks to see my tickets. I look at Houseguest. He comes up with the fancy ticket the parking attentdant gave us...and nothing else.

Houseguest is thinking: If this is anything like the Lakers' Stadium, different ticket classes have to enter through different gates. I can go in this one with the fancy ticket, but Aarwenn will have to go through a different gate and we won't be able to reconnect. I'll pretend I only have one and see if I can sweet talk the guard into letting us both in.

Meanwhile, Aarwenn is thinking: Shit, he forgot the real tickets in the car! Maybe he's just pretending? Does he know that all I need is a ticket to get in the door and then I can wander anywhere? Shit! And the harder I try to convince Houseguest that I really am serious and really do need the tickets, the more he thinks I'm play-acting frantic so that the ticket attendant will take pity on us!

Several moments of this improv go on before the ticket attendant waves us on with an exasperated smile. "I know it's not full," she says. "But you'll need your tickets if challenged." We escape inside, where Houseguest and I compare notes and laugh hysterically about the unneeded improvisational routine we just went through, and then we go off to find our seats, me hoping against hope there will be empty, unsold seats next to our scrounged ticket.

And we walk down, and down, and down, until we find our seats. On the FLOOR OF KEY ARENA. We have some of the best seats I've ever seen. Everytime the Phoneix Suns go up for a shot, there we are on TV. We are DIRECTLY BEHIND THE NET. There's only one seat, but the girl who owned the block of four seats--the one who brought her boyfriend and her son to the game, and gave away her fourth ticket to a nice parking attendant, who then gave it away to some drowned rats scamming free parking--PULLS HER SON INTO HER LAP SO WE CAN BOTH SIT DOWN.

Was she an angel, or what?

And yes, I totally forgot my camera phone. No pictures of Ray Allen's sweat or anything. And it wasn't broadcast on TV; it was pre-season. But I swear. It happened.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Best Caffeine Prayer ever

Everyone has seen this. But it's still so good, and so applicable. (Note: the following is my personal version. I think it's the best.)(Further note: I got no sleep. Not for anything exciting, either.)

The Caffeine Addict's Prayer.

Caffeine is my shepherd; I shall not doze.
It maketh me wake in green pastures,
It leadeth me beyond the sleeping masses,
It restoreth my buzz.
It guides me in the paths of consciousness for its name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of addiction, I will fear no decaf, for thou black coffee art always with me;
Thou 7-11 and thou am/pm, they comfort me.
Thou preparest a carafe before me in the presence of tea drinkers:
Thou anointest my day with pep; my mug runneth over.
Surely richness and taste shall follow me all the days of my life:
and I will dwell in the House of Maxwell forever.

And a good comic strip:

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The Playa is BACK.

I swore, if I talked to Chicago Aerospace Engineer (the guy who produced The Crazy in me yesterday) again, I'd make him pay.

And I did. Through the nose. After some bright and girly chattering on my part about flowers and boys and such (hey, he ASKED about them), he told me he felt cheap and used, and hoped for more between us but knew it wouldn't happen because he could never date me because, verbatim, "I'm selfish and hate the fact that you date like three guys at once."

Therefore, I told him that ExTheBoy had asked me out even after watching me tear through Tacoma like a succubus on speed, but that he (TheExBoy) was "special". And no hard feelings, and incidentally, there's this party coming up, you should come! Bright smile. He said, all melancholy, "Oh, yes, I'll be there. You know I will be. Sigh."


My Hawt Boots Are HAWT

And awfully practical in the rainy weather that deluged Houseguest and I over the weekend. Pictures of me modeling them are coming soon.

In other news, assuming you want to buy a condo, and assuming you know where Kirkland, Washington, is, and assuming you want to buy a condo there, and assuming you checked out a rental site, and found this condo, and then you checked the bathroom shot...

Would you be more or less likely to buy the condo? :)

And in spite of The Crazy taking me over yesterday with Chicago Aerospace Engineer (I swear, it was like The Exorcist), it's not like I don't have other boys. That send me gorgeous flowers. That are waiting on my doorstep when I come home after a long day, so that I practically burst into tears.

Which is just another reason why it's important for us girls to have Options.

Monday, October 17, 2005

I just did a very dumb thing, or, The Crazy

In which I said all the wrong things to Chicago Aerospace Engineer, simultaneously chasing after him and being snotty because he wasn't chasing after me, and have completely ruined it. Sigh.

I'm usually better than that. The Crazy just took over. I was simpering and high school and bitchy, all at once. It's over. Well, it's over for the time being. Maybe I'll wait a month and try again.

I HATE it when I do that! ARGH!

Of Cars and Men

First, I'd like to point out that I had a houseguest this weekend, which was great yet stressful, but very good for my domestic cleanliness. My bedroom (yes, he was THAT kind of houseguest) went from being a disaster zone of clothes, papers, and books everywhere, with occasional spiders, and a futon stuck in the middle, to being an actual Bedroom With a Theme. I spent $120 at IKEA several weeks ago getting Boudoir Themed Things, but it worked. Woo!

Not that he wouldn't have *ahem ahem* if we had slept on dirty sheets covered with dog hair in the middle of a paper forest, but it's a Pride thing, you know? Besides, although he IS a code monkey, he lives in La-La Land and is the kind of guy who Noticed When I Changed My Shoes. From one pair of black boots to another. That is the kind of guy who cannot be overestimated.

And yes, besides being in The Boudoir, we also went to a bunch of museums and a Sonics Game in which we got awesome tickets in the most outrageous circumstances, but more on that later.

Moving on: those in the know know that I have been driving a silver 1995 Toyota Tercel lately (for the last TWO MONTHS) while I wait for my beautiful, gorgeous Jeep Unlimited to be fixed. Granted, The Autobody Place is letting me rent it for a very low price, which is awesome of them and certainly not something I plan to complain about. And the time it has taken to fix my Jeep is mainly ship time for parts, as I of course got the Special Jeep, for which apparently no parts can be found. And The Autobody Place has been very communicative about everything.

HOWEVER. There comes a limit. Sunday morning I get in the car and turn the key in the ignition. The car starts up and immediately begins shaking like it's a stick shift and I'm trying to start the car without the clutch in, but of course it's not a stick shift. I depress the accelerator. The car smoothes out just fine. I take my foot off the gas. Earthquake in a tin can.

Humph. I turn off the car and walk into the house, shocked, thinking, how am I going to get to church and drive Houseguest to the plane? I find Roommate (already up, of course) and give him a brief description of what's happening. He guesses it's probably the transmission, which I had already assumed from the way it shook, and, here's the key, offers me his really hot truck to drive to church. Yes, AFTER I've had Houseguest wrapped around me like a tarpaulin all weekend. Roommate really is a fantastic guy.

I draw a crowd by climbing in his really hot truck (note to self: next time you drive a car four feet off the ground, don't wear a tight, form-fitting, knee-length skirt and boots) and motor off to church in high style, while Houseguest stays home in his PJs and fixes my computer. Mom and I have a heart-to-heart in the parking lot about guys and cars. We agree that if my car doesn't respond to the addition of automatic transmission fluid, we'll reconnoiter and think about moving cars around. She also reminds me that although Houseguest and I seem to be physically incompatible (hey, the weekend was the First Time), he's also smart and funny and cute and at ease around hard-to-impress adults and to try again. She turns out to be entirely right.

I stop by Shucks auto supply and buy transmission fluid. I have no idea what kind I need, so I ask the nice guy with gauged ears (and absolutely NO interest in me) what kind I need. He recommends a kind. I get it home. Houseguest and I peer under the hood of the Tercel. He goes back inside to work on the computer, leaving The Gearhead (me) alone to work her magic. After some poking around, I find the automatic transmission fluid dipstick, which seems to be well coated in fluid, but also has a few black chunks on it. Not a good sign. Also, the place to pour in the fluid is way down in the car and about .25 inches in diameter, and the dipstick calls for a different kind of fluid than I bought. Also I'm low on oil. Yeah.

Houseguest and I walk to Shakabrah for food, which I desperately need, and then back to Shucks. We buy a different kind of ATF, and some oil, and a funnel. We walk back to my house. I pour in the ATF and the oil, say a prayer, and start up the car again. Earthquake in a tin can. I let the car run for five minutes, occasionally laying on the gas and easing it up again. I put it in drive and pull a few feet forward with the intention of driving around the block. Houseguest and I look at each other, as much as we can actually make eye contact with the entire car shaking. We agree that the car shouldn't even be taken around the block. I pull back to my original spot and turn it off. So much for that.

The autobody place said this morning that they'd tow it to their place, turn it around in a day, and get it back to me. Uh-huh. Sure. Sounds great, gentlemen. Where's my Jeep?

Tacoma is taking over the world.

First there was me. (Hi!)

Then there was t-town girl.

And now, caving to peer pressure, "your friend t", seen occasionally in the comments section, has started her own blog chock full of lies and half-truths, and we are all very excited. Tacompton Tiffany is here!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Breezy Elegance

Hardware Geek doesn't have a phone. (I know. But he is very good about emailing constantly.) So when my plans change on the spur of the moment, which happens quite often, it wreaks havoc on the date, because it can't be changed and I can't call him. So, if a girl like me, with a very flexible sense of time, and a girl like LongtimeFriend, also with a flexible sense of time--did I mention I acted like LongtimeFriend's lesbian lover this weekend to make a guy jealous? and that it worked?--anyway, if we maybe go to Tacoma's Greek Festival with my parents, and then maybe we drink some wine, and eat lots of fried feta cheese wrapped in puff pastry, and then when we're leaving I'm trying to coordinate with an Ex whose bag I have in my car after a racuous house party, and I ask him, in making plans, "Well, what time is it now?" And he says, "9:07."

As in, seven minutes AFTER I was supposed to meet Hardware Geek. And I still have to drive LongtimeFriend home. I panic. Then I come up with a bright idea: Hey, I'm supposed to meet him at a coffeehouse, and that's on the way to LF's house, so I'll just swing by there, tell him I'll be late, drive LF home, and come right back! LF agrees that this would be a good idea. We drive to the coffeehouse. I turn off the car, leap out (in spike-heeled boots), run like crazy across the street, and into the coffeehouse. Or at least, that's the plan.

About the time a chain hits my leg is when my slow brain registers the fact that there is a BEER GARDEN OUTLINED BY A KNEE-HIGH CHAIN AND ANCHORED BY MASSIVE FLOWERPOTS between me and the door. By then, of course, it's too late. I go down. The chain comes crashing down on top of me. Along with the chain go several cafe tables, folding chairs, and patrons.

And, of course, the flowerpots.

After all the crashing stops, I venture to stand up. LF is in the car, practically dying because she's laughing so hard, and everyone standing outside smoking is staring at me, mouths agape. Another patron is on the ground. Tables and chairs askew. Gigantic flowerpots are sideways, dirt and cigarette butts pouring out of them. It looks like a meteor hit. I dust myself off (not even a hole in my jeans, by the way), refuse all offers of help, leave the coffeeboy to clean up the mess, and run inside, although by the time Hardware Geek has, of course, seen me. I was hard to ignore. He raises his eyebrows. "That was quite an entrance! Are you okay?" I show him that I am fine, and he agrees to wait a little longer as I drive my friend home.

After that, I figure I could spit on him and get away with it.

Forking and Dating

So, I'm eating lunch at my desk while I write this post, and I just did a very, very ungraceful thing involving baked tofu and a plastic fork, in which the tofu almost fell OFF the fork (some people eat it with their hands, but it's juicy and I don't like tofu juice on my fingers if I can't wash them right away and the bathroom is ALL THE WAY ACROSS THE HALL...and by the way, is it just me, or does "tofu juice" sound totally dirty?) and I was forced to catch it with my lower jaw, which just trapped the tofu AGAINST the fork and I was trying to scoop it up with my lip, looking (I'm sure) very much like I was trying to sexually molest the fork in some way. If anyone tells you they saw me trying to molest flatware, it's all a big misunderstanding, okay?

Fortunately I don't think anyone saw it.

Which leads me to the most ungraceful (but TOTALLY Aarwenn) thing that I have done recently. And of course that totally ungraceful thing that I did, this time involving spike-heeled boots, me running, a chain, and an audience, happened on a Second Date. Which deserves capitals, because I am just slowly (um, at 60 mph) re-entering the world of dating.

Because, me? Single. SINGLE SINGLE SINGLE!!!!! WOOOOOOO!!!!!!

It's awesome.

However. This doesn't mean that I don't want boys in my life. (Not that I don't have that already with Roommate, who is totally awesome and a Must In Every Girl's Life, but we'll get to that in a second.)

So, because I'm re-entering the dating world at 60 mph, I'm sort of dating two guys at once. Mainly I'm dating one that I met on Craigslist (where else?) named Hardware Engineer, and the other is a work friend, Chicago Aerospace Engineer, or CAE, that took me out for a drink, which turned into a date, and we haven't yet gone on a SECOND date. But there are plans. So we'll see. Because he still has wine left. And the whole point of me going over to his house on the "date" was to finish his wine, which I opened the first time I was there. And we wouldn't want that wine to turn to vinegar, would we? (Note: see in that post where I say, "[I] stay[ed] there platonically but next time it won't be? I was right. I should get a job in the stock market!)

Moving on. Both guys are engineers, which is exciting, and by "exciting" I mean "not exciting". Engineers are great and I love them, but dating them is really quite challenging and could leave a girl exhausted, if she wasn't all hot and bothered about those sexy engineer and the sexy machines they work on. (Think I'm joking? The "out for drinks" turned into a date because we began talking about how sexy the planes were, and once we got started...well...yes. Planes make us hot. Because we are that nerdy.)

Because engineers, even more than most men, are DENSE. And SHY. But really quality guys, usually, as proved by Hardware Engineer's reaction to my entrance to our second date. Which I will now tell. In the next post.

And a quick note about why Every Girl Needs My Roommate: Because your own, personalized, 24-7 guy advice can really make a girl a master player. I haven't made a single big mistake yet. Except get as cocky as I am now. Whoops.

UPDATE: I have gotten many emails asking, basically, "Okay, yeah, this is funny and all, but did you DO IT?" And the answer is no to both. When I do, you'll know.

Are you in debt? Have you ever had a bad relationship?

Then skip all other blogs today and just read this post.

Monday, October 10, 2005

A B----- story

Good Morning, Blogstalkers!

Posted below is a piece I wrote in order to win a contest. B-----, in trying to promote the practice of vanpooling, is having a story contest, and top stories will be awarded $100 (it didn't say how MANY top stories there would be) so, in the true spirit of blogging, I posted it for comment and feedback. Say anything!

I started riding the Vanpool in May, introduced to it by a man 30 years my senior.

This wasn't any different than anything I had done, so far, at B-----. Welcome to B-----! Meet your coworkers! See the pictures of your coworkers' kids! Realize that you're working with people who have kids older than you are! At first, it was a surprise, and then it became, like waking up early and commuting, just a part of the job. I revamped my wardrobe so that I wouldn't stand out, tired of people dropping what they were doing to gape at a Young Person walking by their desk. I wore smaller earrings, I stopped wearing makeup. I refrained from making pop-culture references and shooting my mouth off. I resigned myself to aging before my time. I thought about changing jobs.

And then, in May, four months after I started B-----, I started riding a vanpool. Filled, as my life had been so far, with people older than my parents, and (also not unusual for B-----) all male. Except for me. At first, I was shy, quiet. I dreaded getting on the vanpool in the morning—what would I say? Where would I sit? Was it customary to talk to the driver, or the guy sitting next to you? What if they thought I was weird?

A month went by. I learned the name of my van driver, and then I learned the name of his customary shotgun rider. I started to tutor the son of one of my co-riders, and I learned that not everyone around me was an engineer, like I was. I met HR people who explained snarly parts of B----- Policy to me, I met other women engineers—I even met other Young People!

Now the only thing that gets me up at 4:30 in the morning is looking forward to seeing that van every morning. I've changed vans since I started and now I ride with mainly women, which is often the only female contact I have all day, and it's surprising how necessary it is to my mental well-being. Now that I look back, I can see that sitting at my desk all day and staring at my computer was a fast track to depression and isolation; people need to be bounced around by the Brownian Motion of society. I've started putting on make up again, even at 4:30 in the morning!

I knew I had truly become a part of the B----- community when I was part of a conversation among the ladies in my vanpool a few mornings ago: "Every time I go into the cafeteria now, I’m shocked my all the kids at the tables!" One said. Said another, "I know! I always think, 'Is B----- having High School Visitation Day?'"

At first, I was profoundly insulted—I like to think I've finally moved beyond high school—and then I was honored. The ladies had forgotten my age! I pointed out that I was the same age as the "kids" they were maligning, and they rushed to my defense. "But you’re not like that," said a chorus of voices. "You’re not a typical new hire." While I appreciate the sentiment, that's not true—I know quite a few of the New Hires at the Developmental Center, and we're all pretty much the same—engineering school backgrounds, long hours, a habit of going out in Seattle on the weekends. But the ladies on the vanpool saw me as different because they had gotten to know me on a personal level, and I hope that their good impression of me, and the two other new hires in our vanpool program, might carry over to other new hires, promoting better relationships over the generation gap. I know they've certainly done that for me.

And the best example: a few nights ago, I was out for a quick beer on a Wednesday night, and as I walked through the door of my local tavern, a voice on my right hailed me. "Hey, [Aarwenn]!"

It was the man who, back in May, introduced me to the vanpool, and I hadn't seen him since. We talked for a few moments, and even though he mentioned meeting his daughter, who was indeed older than I was, I didn't feel any younger than the man in front of me. For all intents and purposes, we were identical—we worked for the same company, rode the same vanpool, and were even drinking the same beer. It was great, and I mentioned off-handedly that I was looking to seeing "my friends" on the vanpool tomorrow, possibly the first time I had ever used the term in that context.

How did I ever think I would never feel comfortable at B-----?

Friday, October 07, 2005

Taking Liberties

Listening to butt rock can really make a girl ANGRY.

What, exactly, is the optimum balance that any girl in my position must strive for?

On the one hand, I want to be one of the guys. Very much. I enjoy it when a guy says, to the room, "Fellas", and includes me. I don't expect chairs to be pulled out or doors to be held. I keep my baggage light, I don't wear heels I can't walk in. I work hard at shopping (gee, so difficult) so that I can look like a woman and act like a man--walk fast, hold my own doors, be ready to go at a moment's notice, and (most importantly for my job) be factory-appropriate at all times. AND look great. It's harder than it looks.

On the OTHER hand, it annoys me greatly when a man says, "Fellas", and I know he's NOT including me because he doesn't see me. Believe me, there's a difference, and it has nothing to do with age or status of the man.

It's cool when men vent to me about women. I enjoy it, because it means they're not seeing me as a woman--they're seeing me as a business partner, as any other guy they might vent to about their wife. I enjoy being talked to like a man. I DON'T enjoy being used as a face (or avatar, if you will) for the purpose of listing, loudly, everything that's wrong with my entire gender. That motivation is harder to call--it's a judgement call, like everything else. Is the guy bitching about women at B----- the way he would to any guy he worked with, the way the ladies on my vanpool bitched to me about the presence of young people at B-----, not realizing that I was a part of that group because they just saw me as their friend? Because that, believe it or not, is a good thing.

But is that guy bitching to me about women at B----- on purpose to intimidate me or insult me? In summary: was it accidental, or was it purposeful?

And if it's accidental, and I react badly, should I attempt to fix it? Or if it's purposeful, what the hell do I do in the face of such obvious malice? What if I've thrown the first punch, per se? Am I allowed to get mad if the seriousness of the banter has been seriously stepped up? If I've thrown stones at him personally and he's maligned my entire gender?

Once I talk to Mentor about something like work-appropriate clothing, is it appropriate for him to continually pick at little details like: don't talk so much, don't try to make yourself part of the conversation, don't fidget so much in meetings? MF, did I ask you to be my mother?

Sigh. La la la. Hot Boots I Just Bought.

And a side note to a man (NOT a coworker) who makes jokes to me about women who are endowed or not:

MOTHERFUCKER. The first thing I do, when I take up my leadership role in the New World Order, will be to enforce that men wear specially designed pants [Smartpants]. There will be a computer sensor in the crotch that measures the size of the penis and transmits that to the back of the pants, where the back pockets will be sized accordingly.

You girls know what I'm talking about. Why the hell must we advertise the size of our sexual organs when the guys don't have to? It's outrageous. I long for this day:

[guy approaches me in a bar]
Guy: "Hi, can I buy you a drink?"
[I raise an eyebrow.]
Me: "Maybe. Turn around."
[guy turns around slowly.]

And for all the guys: all is not lost! You'll be able to artificially enhance the size, and that artificial size will be read as "real" by the Smartpants, so you too can run with the big boys. However, when you get her home, the real size will become apparent. It's not like millions of guys the world over don't hate the Wonderbra for this reason. Time to even the playing field.

Smartpants and every other idea in this post, and indeed on this entire blog, is COPYRIGHTED, BITCHES!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Halloween, Being Invisible and Not Looking Back Yet.

Dude! Happy Six-Month Blogging Anniversary to Me!

Actually, I've been blogging much longer than that, but this is my six-month Blogger anniversary.

I've read some of my first posts (I actually read my own blog obsessively) and I have a ton of things to say about past and present, things I've accomplished and things that no longer matter.

But not right now. It has been a very long week. And I'm exhausted.

Instead, the Saga of My Halloween Costume:

At first, I was going to wear vinyl pants, a red ruffled velvet top, and fangs. To be a vampire. This is what I wore senior year, I think, the last time I really dressed up for Halloween. Of course, at the time, the red ruffled velvet top, for $6 at a clearance rack, and drugstore teeth that would NOT stay on, was all I could afford.

This time, I thought I'd wear my blue corset instead--y'all haven't seen it, but it's strapless, and greyish blue brocade, and laces up the front, so there's a lot of cleavage exposed, and lots of "shelf" at the top. I thought maybe with the vinyl pants I could get some sort of Post-Post-Post-Neo Victorian thing going. (Anyone seen The Fifth Element lately? That's what I was going for.)

Then I discovered that the crotch stitching had come out of my vinyl pants, and it's noticeable, so I thought I'd just cut out the entire crotch area and make them chaps. And then I had so many elements--the corset is Victorian, which could also be construed as Western Bordello, the vinyl is fetishist, the chaps are both fetishist AND western, and then with the fangs--what would I be? A visitor from the future: a vampire who became a vampire in the 1880s in a Wild West bordello, and now pilots a fetishist spaceship and so only has access to vinyl, and hails from a world like the Fifth Element? The whole thing seemed sort of Firefly/Serenity, sort of. And it would take too long to explain. So I called myself Gratuitous Skin With Fangs. Seemed to cover everything.

Now: it turns out that the blue brocade corset does not look right with the vinyl, although with big enough hair and eye makeup, not to mention enough boobs, one might be able to get away with anything. AND I've gotten the number of a professional tailor, who might be able to fix the stitching of my vinyl pants, and even create a little more room for me in the sides. (very small waist on vinyl). So now I'm wearing the more traditional red-and-black corset, with straps, and I won't have chaps on, so I'm back to Traditional Vampire. With Fangs.

Any questions?

In fact, I might take to wearing this costume to work, which would avoid the "Ignore Aarwenn" problem. Yes, work sucks balls, and no one listens to the young girl at the table with the quick mind, the quicker mouth, and the shiny long hair. Maybe if I became a ponderous, slow-walking frumpy math nerd, I'd get more respect? The whole thing makes me want to run out, start my own business, and SHOW them. Of course, the only thing I have going for me is a quick mind, a quicker mouth, a huge ego, arrogance, and a good knowledge of business, engineering, and pop culture. It's hard to start a business on that. Not much to quantify. What the hell would my business cards say..."Hire me to fix your image problems. Because I'm cooler than you."?