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.)