Friday, September 29, 2006

Remind me not to log onto news websites...

It's a gorgeous day and a lovely afternoon at the office. I'm working on a reply brief and needed a break so I logged onto CNN--big mistake. I've been sitting here trying not to cry for the last ten minutes. The top two national stories involve another school shooting (as well as sexual assaults) and a police officer being killed on his wife's birthday. The senselessness and evilness of it is overwhelming to me. This is why I generally don't watch the local news; it's so depressing. I'm not exactly sure how you balance the desire to be informed with the desire to not be upset.

Anyway on a light-hearted note, I enjoyed Grey's Anatomy last night, and it got me to thinking about the topic for another post--why women would settle for anything less than "dating." Personally I am looking forward to seeing how Meredith's decision plays out--it should be entertaining.

I hope you all have a superb weekend. I'm spending mine with my fantastic nieces and baking a white chocolate cake with cream cheese icing.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

So I Finally Responded...

to that weird e-mail from the guy from the beach trip. I wrote "I know what you mean about being upfront and direct, and I try to be both. You laid out several different 'options' in your e-mail, and I'm just interested in a casual, friendly e-mail every now and then."

He responded within an hour and in relevant part, stated "I appreciate & respect your reply to my 'options'...but, I have no interest in communicating with you anymore....I'm kidding :)) maybe I gotcha or you really didn't care :)....just a little humor to get back to having fun. most women would have not replied or shy away from my last email...kudos to you!!"

On other boy news, my friend Kate is quite distressed that the 24 year old hasn't called me yet. She's just ready for us to meet because she "has a good feeling about us." Her excitement is so sweet. So she asked him about it last week at work, and he's evidently very busy with training for some kind of event that requires working out three hours every other day. I find that kind of discipline attractive because I don't have it. So anyway, long story short, he admitted that he's intimidated by me because I'm older than him and an attorney (and he used to dating girls who aren't smarter than him--note: I think that's an unbased assumption since there are plenty of not-smart lawyers). Guess we'll see, but that's not the first time I've heard the "intimidation" bit.

My ex-bf Sampras (called such by some buddies of mine b/c he looks like Pete Sampras) is a super cocky (read: insecure) guy, but on our second date, he confessed that I really intimidated him. When I asked him why, he explained that I seemed really confident, not nervous, and smart. I think the girls he had dated before me were all in college and maybe flattered that he had asked them out. On a side note, I think it would be really cool to think so highly of a guy that I'm flattered he would ask me out.

Anyway, I had heard the intimidation line one other time, and my friend Angie said that several of her girlfriends have had similar experiences lately (she's in law school). Angie theorizes that we're in some social transitional period where more and more women have the same careers as men and/or even more education, so it's common for women to be more progressed in their careers than the guys they are dating.

And on that note, I'm crawling in bed at 10:30 thanks to the apple martini I enjoyed with a friend who just happened to be in town and called me last minute. I love surprises!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Cultural Literacy Wednesday....

Warning: I think most people will find this post very boring (or depending on your perspective, more boring than usual), but I’m writing these every Wednesday to hold myself accountable to reading Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know by Edward Hirsch, Jr. I received the book over ten years ago as a Christmas gift from my mother (yes, I was/am a nerd in case you were wondering; thankfully I also played sports, so it kind of balanced out in school or at least that's what I tell myself), and I am now committed to reading it (yet need the accountability of my blog...hmm..). I am, unfortunately, probably pretty culturally illiterate--or at least by Hirsch’s standards.

I am especially ignorant of our nation’s history in part because of a string of crappy social studies teachers. It began in 5th grade with a teacher who was in her last year of work and thus had nothing to “lose.” She had a bad temper problem and even threw a book at a student once. I was too nervous to learn. In sixth grade my teacher was an alcoholic with a lot of personal problems, so he wasn’t exactly focused on imparting knowledge. My seventh grade teacher was very weird and moved me into a desk right in front of his desk so he could stare at me and chit chat about my parents (my step-father had once been his boss, so he liked to ask me all sorts of personal questions about him). I think he worked at a funeral home part time. My eighth grade social studies teacher at least kept me awake by constantly infuriating me. For example, he once bragged about how in high school he and his friends would terrorize a kid who was kind of “funny” (homosexual) with a baseball bat. On another occasion he began ranting about all of these “minority women who get themselves knocked up." I just about exploded with anger when he said stuff like that and would raise my hand to point out the fact that it takes two people to create a pregnancy, etc. Of course, whenever I would point out the problems with homophobia, blaming only women for social ills, etc., he would tell me to “just calm down because he was kidding” and laugh at how I took him so seriously. Kidding was his way of saying whatever he wanted and encouraging ignorant mindsets in young students (who were growing up in redneck land). I tried to get him fired, but he had tenure. Anyway, my point is that I have very little foundation in history (and other subjects) and haven’t taken it upon myself to fix this problem. So here’s my somewhat superficial attempt.

So I’m working my way through “The List” in this book, and it begins with dates. Let’s see how we do. I’ll post the answers in comments or tomorrow or something.

1066: First sign of Native American life?
1492: Even I know this one—Columbus sailed the ocean blue.
1776: Declaration of Independence/Bill of Rights?
1861-1865: Civil War
1914-1918: WWI
1939-1945: WWII
1984 (title): George Orwell’s book

Abandon hope, all ye who enter here: I think that’s from Dante’s Inferno (but I’ve never read it)
Aberdeen: capital of Scotland?
Absolute Zero: ?
Abstract art: Is it kind of like porn? I can’t define it, but I’ll know it when I see it?
AC/DC: “You shook me all night long.”

Oh there aren’t any answers in this book! Wikipedia, here I come.


Pollyanna: "And do you know, my father said that if God took the trouble to tell us 800 times to be glad and rejoice, He must have wanted us to do it."

Dough: I love homemade cookie dough. I even like bread dough.

Desserts: My favorites include Natalia's white chocolate bread pudding, peanut butter pie, Italian Cream cake, and creme brulee.

Drew: He's my good friend's husband. He's cute, smart, thoughtful, athletic, and a genuinely nice and normal guy—the kind of person most anyone would enjoy hanging out with. And he's a really strong Christian. From my limited experience as a Christian and in Christian singles groups and whatnot, I've found that most Christian guys that I've met have just not seemed normal or the typical kind of guy you'd want to date. I know that's a huge generalization, but it's just been my limited experience. So Drew is a super reminder to me that my expectations (in that respect at least) aren't too high and that really cool and Godly men exist.

Donkeys: Something about donkeys makes me smile, especially words like "ridonkulous" and Bible verses like "Who makes the wild donkey wild?"

Doughnuts: The only doughnuts I really crave are hot Krispy Kremes, although I won't necessarily turn down other doughnuts. I pretty much think it's sacrilegious to drive by a hot light and not stop, although I did it yesterday; a date and I once consumed eight in less than ten minutes. The best is when you talk them into running a chocolate covered crème filled doughnut through the glaze again.

Dropping gas prices, Democrats, diaries (reading old ones is always entertaining), denim (jeans are one of my favorite things to wear), Dashboard Confessionals, dermatologists (I've seen a bunch of them), David Crowder Band, Donatello, Dixieland Delight, Debbie Gibson (I once loved twirling to her songs), Donut Castle (best petit fours ever), Do-si-dos, the Daily Show

DASS: One of the few salons that always does a great job with my highlights.

Dreams: They can be so entertaining, like the weird one I had in which my paraplegic legal writing professor impregnated me and then tried to learn to walk while holding our baby (and he kept dropping the baby on the ground). Side note: I had this dream while both my step-sister and sister were pregnant, so I think it represented my infertility at the time.

Dogs: They make such wonderful pets, and my dog Sancho has brought me a lot of joy. I was dating a guy in 1998 who bought him (I wasn't a small dog person), but then he couldn't take care of him because he was traveling all the time. So Sancho, a Chihuahua, became mine. He was so little that he could go everywhere with me. When I taught fourth and fifth grade Spanish, the kids loved him. He was my incentive for the students' good behavior, and the kindergarteners thought I was extra cool because I owned the Taco Bell dog. Now he keeps my dad company.

Dad: He has certainly kept me entertained over the years.

I'm shocked that I can't think of somewhere I've been besides the Denver airport that starts with a D because I'm certainly grateful for traveling and learning about new places. I hope everyone is having a super week!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Relativism..My Latest Rant

“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul simply has nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall. Speak what you think now in hard words and tomorrow speak what tomorrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said today. ‘Ah, so you shall be sure to be misunderstood.’ Is it so bad then to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus…and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

It’s hard to be misunderstood when you never form an opinion or really assert anything.

I am sick and tired of relativism. Sure, self-righteous, know it alls (especially the religious ones) can be annoying, but I’m even more annoyed by people who refuse to stand for anything or condemn anything (to clarify: not condeming people but acts), constantly saying “well that might be right for him” or “so long as it feels like a good decision.” That’s crap. There are some things that are never OK. Sure it makes it easier to understand why someone felt tempted to cheat on her spouse when you know that he’s a bad husband, but it’s still wrong. And yes knowing your spouse cheated on you would certainly make you mad, but it doesn’t make it permissible to kill your wife (don’t even get me started on “manslaughter” which often results in very reduced jail sentence for men who kill their adultery committing spouse).

I read a book in college called Closing of the American Mind by Alan Bloom, and the book began “There is one thing a professor can be absolutely certain of: almost every student entering the university believes, or says he believes, that truth is relative.” Bloom explains that “Openness—and the relativism that makes it the only plausible stance in the face of various claims to truth and various ways of life and kinds of human beings—is the great insight of our times. The true believer is the real danger….The point is not to correct the mistakes [of the past, i.e. slavery, sexism, etc.] and really be right; rather it is not to think you are right at all.”

The reason I’ve been thinking about all of this is because lately I’ve been engaging in e-mail debates with a couple of my law school classmates, and one of the guys reminds me of Clinton and his responses to queries about having “sex” with Monica or any other politician attempting to give an answer that means nothing. Our discussions often become a series of pointed questions directed to him in order to try and ascertain what he really believes. But it seems he often lacks any opinion; he can see both perspectives and doesn’t believe that we should judge others’ belief systems, thus he often fails to assert any real belief. I fail to see how having an opinion is sitting in judgment of others but whatever. I hate this apathetic openness that results in members of my generation being unable to really even engage in a debate because they are so “open.” Despite my frustration, I’m very grateful that at least we’re having these discussion even if they’re thwarted by his extreme relativism (he won’t even concede that killing with the exception of self defense is always wrong). He often challenges me to examine issues that I wouldn't otherwise, and I believe too many people are so apathetic that they never think about and discuss current events, philosophy, religion, and whatnot. Sometimes I wonder if there was such a thing, if our collective American brain would be rotting as a result of misuse and lack of use.

Anyway, can you tell that I went to college with no career path or major in mind and thus came pretty close to experiencing a true liberal arts education? Just disregard this rant if it makes no sense.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Candy: Inside-Out Reeses (they are out on the shelves now for Halloween), Snickers (I used to eat one or two every afternoon until I gained five pounds), Red Hots (I could easily eat two or three boxes a day), Nerds (I like the little boxes the best; I recommend biting the top off and pouring them down your throat), Wacky Wafers (I can’t ever find them anymore), Tootsie Pops (the chocolate ones are the best), Lion bars, and Goobers (my dad would dump them in the movie popcorn and they would melt, so you never knew if you handful would be chocolate-y or not)…I could go on and on, but you get the idea.

Coloring/Crayons: I love sharp crayons and new coloring books. I think coloring is a medium of art that is totally overlooked.

California: I went there for 12 days after I took the Bar exam and loved it. Every day I would wonder around while my friend worked (in her convertible) and visit places like the Getty, Santa Monica, and Diddy Rieses (hot cookies for only 35 cents). The weather was perfect too. It was especially interesting because it was an election year, and the political mood there was so different than it is here.

Camille: I made friends with her at the gym when I lived in Buckhead. We rarely talk now that she lives in Buffalo, is married, and has a baby. But the story of her courtship with her husband is a source of encouragement and a reminder to me that God blesses our obedience.

CNN: It’s not perfect, but it’s the best we’ve got (on television).

Cheese, Carrabas (I love the bread and herbs), Cracker Barrel (the nicest restaurant in my hometown)

The Cabin: My mother’s extended family has get-togethers at the cabin at least once a year, and it’s in the most perfect setting: two ponds, lots of fields, trees, and large rocks to climb on. It’s absolutely peaceful, and it definitely feels like home.

College: Even when I was four I knew I was going, explaining to my mom that I didn’t necessarily have to move far away from her to attend. I am grateful to have been born into a family that values education and had high expectations of me. I cannot imagine not having had the experience of a liberal arts education.

Canyoning: I’ve only done it once—when I was in Switzerland. It was exhilarating and scary (the first bad sign was when the guide looked at my feet and threw me some rubber galoshes ala kindergarten style to put on my feet), and probably one of the least safe things I’ve ever done (besides driving a car of course). I’m glad I didn’t die (some Americans died the next year doing it) and only ended up with a broken toe.

Cell phones: I am able to stay in touch with people without sitting at home the whole time we talk. I love that!

Since every blog post is better with a photo, here's the only relevant pic I have at work--the driveway to my family's cabin.

p.s. The season premiere of Grey’s Anatomy is tonight! I’m ready for some more McDreamy.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


As I was leaving the beach the other weekend, one of the guys told me the he would like to keep in touch and asked for my contact information. Since I wasn't interested in keeping in touch or anything else (not to be mean, but he just totally isn't my type even for friendship), I told him that he could get my e-mail address off of the group e-mail that our friend had sent (Hint #1--if a girl is interested, she'll give a guy her number). I thought that made my lack of interest clear. But he e-mails anyway. It was a nice short e-mail inquiring about one of my (indigent)criminal cases I had mentioned. I responded with a casual e-mail several days later (Hint #2--if a girl likes you, she'll respond within 24 hours especially if she has a desk job like mine). He then writes a really long e-mail, ending with a request for my phone number or for me to call him. Well again, I wait six days to respond (Hint #3) and completely ignore his request (Hint # 4), only briefly responding to his queries and not asking any questions(Hint #5). Here is part of the one page reply that I received:

"Call me or tell me to call you.... if you are interested in chating over the phone or meeting up sometime when you come to Atlanta. That is if you are not in a committed "dating" someone state..Seth or other guy from the office? Can't keep up :)) I'm interested & would enjoy getting to know you & email is not the best way to do that in my opinion. Phone or in person is more efficient.

I am a direct, honest, & up front communicator & I believe in efficiency..... especially regarding dating &/or my relationships with women & men. I prefer not to dance around with a lot of surface talk, etc....& get to the point. That doesn't mean that we don't get to know each other in a casual while having fun manner. I just prefer to expedite the initial stages to one on one dinner, lunch, phone, walk, hike, l..etc.

This is who I am and how I am built....Try me, ask me anything. :)

If you are not comfortable communicating this way, then that is cool, some can't deal with it.
A casual email every now & then when we have time is cool too, however I will digress my interests from the above to that unless you let me know different.

I don't subscribe to the 3 day waiting periods, the do's & don'ts...., "The Game" BS...whatever those books are called :)) & I'm not a mind reader or feelings barometer. Going with the flow is awesome, I just prefer a general direction of which direction the flow is going......" needless to say it's a really long e-mail!

Despite him missing all of what I thought were hints, I do appreciate his forthrightness. It all reminds me of how glad I am that I'm a woman and not a man because I would never put myself out there like this guys does (and with virtually no encouragement), and thus I'd never date or get married. Not sure exactly how I'm going to respond, but I think it'll be something along the line of only being interested in the "casual e-mail every now & then" option.

p.s. It feels completely amazing outside. This weather is perfect.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Heaven is a Place on Earth

This last weekend was one of my most fun weekends this year, and that’s saying a lot because I think pretty much every weekend is a lot of fun. Friday night started off with appletinis at my friend Ozzy’s (the name he chose to be referred to for blog purposes, whatever) in Atlanta; he makes the best martinis, probably because he puts some green sugar that I love on the rim. We went to dinner at Taurus in Midtown, and it was excellent plus I just love trying new restaurants. We saw a band after that, and there were a lot of people there I knew, which was fun.

Saturday I slept until I woke up and then walked to Spa Sydell for a massage. The Chinese masseuse was funny and spoke pretty good English, but in response to his queries, I found myself dropping words, incorrectly conjugating verbs, and just generally mimicking his speech pattern. “Don’t know why left side hurt more.”

Ozzy and I had brunch at Treehouse, which was also new to me, and very good. I love brunch, and unfortunately there is nowhere to get brunch in Macon. In fact, you can’t even get a good bagel and homemade cream cheese in Macon, but I digress. After brunch, we shopped and took naps before heading to a Braves game where we sat on the second row at first base. After the game we went back to his place and walked to Mellow Mushroom, which I love—and I LOVE walking to places. From my apartment, I can’t walk anywhere worth going.

On Sunday I took full advantage of my favorite church’s later service time, sleeping in, reading, working out, and joining Ozzy at Starbucks all before church. The sermon was about heaven to which I’ve really not given that much conscious thought. I’ve thought about how you get there and have generally imagined it, and upon reflection, I realize my imagined heaven is not very appealing. It’s boring. There’s no excitement or fun stuff going on—just visiting with people who’ve died (all wearing white) on clouds and whatnot. I’ve thought that it will be more peaceful, but in the same kind of way visiting your grandparents in the country is more peaceful than a weekend in the city—nice on occasion but definitely not better than the alternative. Think about some of the best times of your life; do you really think Heaven is going to be better than that? The pastor predicted my view of heaven as being a common myth, noting that our somewhat dismal view of heaven is part of the reason we filled so compelled to get so much done in this lifetime. He cited scripture, and I think the following was one of the verses. “Look! I am creating new heavens and a new earth—so wonderful that no one will even think about the old one anymore.” Isaiah 65:17.

So think about it. Imagine Earth without sin and problems—for example, would my Saturday night have been like it was except there would have been no traffic, no ugly look from the guys in the Mercedes next to us as we sang loudly to Gwen Stefani, no excess grease on the pizza, and no check to pay? The pastor thought it would be like those moments when you’re looking at the sun set or rise when the world seems so perfect and calm. Regardless of what Heaven is like, I’m (logically) sure it is much better than life here on Earth—now if I could just start really internalizing that and believing it in my heart, realizing how much I have to look forward to….

Thursday, September 14, 2006


I'm already starting to get kind of bored with this post idea (A-Z gratitude), but I think it's a good way to keep me thinking about the many blessings I've received.

Books: I currently seem to collect them instead of reading them, but nevertheless they have brought me great joy over the years. When I was younger I would stay up all night reading a book, and even now a good book (like Redeeming Love) can tempt me to stay up until 3 a.m. on a work night.

Barnes & Noble: When I was growing up, we didn't have anything remotely like this store. I like the comfy chairs and of course, perusing a book thoroughly (and occasionally actually reading it) before making the decision to buy. Plus the fake Starbucks within B&N was the closest thing we had to a decent cofeehouse up until recently.

Baking/Bakeries: I love to bake, and I love to eat baked goods. It works out well. One of my favorite things about Spain (and the reason I gained 15 pounds in one summer) was the bakeries. They were on every street corner, and unlike the typical non-metropolitan bakeries in the U.S., these bakeries offered a lot more than cupcakes and cookies. My favorite bakery items are petit fours and the cupcake icing at Party Favors in Brookline, Massachusetts (see the pic of a container of the icing I received for my birthday below...yummy!). My favorite things that I bake are peanut butter brownies and chocolate chip cookies with Hershey Kisses with peanut butter in them on top.

Babies: Although I'm not a huge baby person (I like them better once they have a personality), babies always seem perfect and such a wonderful reminder that miracles happen every second.

Berts: I eat there as often as five days a week, and I'm grateful to have a restaurant I enjoy so much only three blocks from my office.

Boston: My family didn't travel, but we did take a trip to Boston for a workshop for my step-father at Harvard. This was my first real experience in a city (other than Atlanta), and it opened my eyes to travel. In short, I loved the T, seeing different kinds of people (my first tranvestite), and exploring unknown places.

Blogs: Although I spend too much time reading them, I really enjoy reading other people's thoughts and about their experiences. And I'm grateful for making friends with "Spam Price" through the blogosphere. His testimony and relationship with his wife are a source of inspiration for me, and he gives very Godly advice.

The Bible: Reading the Bible on a regular basis has really changed my life. Late last fall I was talking to Donatello's mother, lamenting that I just never seemed to find the time to read the Bible every day (like she does). She remarked that she always made time for the reading first and that God always blessed her with enough time to do everything else she needed to do. I realized I was being ridiculous in pretending that I didn't have ten minutes to devote to reading the Bible every day, so I started reading a chapter of the Bible every day the next week. I have learned so much and felt so much more peace since then. I am in the process of reading a One Year Bible right now, and I love knowing that I'll read the whole Bible this year.

Here's a pic from a more recent trip to Boston on which I had the pleasure of attending a Red Sox game. The game ended up getting rained out after a few innings, but the nice long run in the rain to the T station was so much fun I didn't mind.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Lunch at the "Soup Kitchen"

Today was crazy busy like most of the last two weeks at work, so I opted for a quick lunch at Jenoely's, dubbed the "Soup Kitchen" by my friend Ozzy. Evidently when he used to dine there, a lot of homeless people were also eating there. And who could blame them? Part of what I love about this restaurant is that lunch there is such a good deal—two slices of pizza and a drink for $3.52. And you can’t beat that deal with a stick (what does that mean?).

As I was waiting in line I ran into an older attorney who works at one of my classmate’s firm. I’ve always liked the guy in part because he is really candid and a Democrat (rare in this town), so I joined him and his coworker for lunch.

The older attorney is 47, and his coworker (also a partner) is probably 35. The older attorney immediately told the younger partner that she should be my mentor, explaining that I could learn a lot from her. She said she had accidentally made partner at her firm and expressed less than excitement about her job.

They then proceeded to discuss how they play the lottery, dreaming of working less or not at all. The older attorney had this down to a science. He plays every Tuesday and Friday, purchasing one ticket on each of those days. When I expressed my surprise that they were both funding the lottery, he explained that it’s only two dollars a week and it’s cheaper than a movie ticket. “So what does the price of a movie ticket have to do with the price of tea in China?” (Where does that expression come from?)

“Well a lottery ticket is a lot more entertaining than a movie.” I looked at him questioningly, and he continued, saying “If I don’t buy the lottery ticket, I can’t realistically think about winning the lottery. Since I buy at ticket I can enjoy thinking about what I’d do with the money all week long.”

So I asked him what he would do with the money. He asked “How much?”

“20 million,” I responded.

“Gross or net?” He shot back.

“13 million net.” I replied.

He then proceeded to explain to me what percentage of your winnings you could live on and only use the accruing interest. He detailed different investment and spending approaches to maximize winnings. He told me about where he would travel and spend the money. It was really something. You could tell he was spending a lot of his time thinking about this and had it all planned out. In the alternative, he had an early retirement plan mapped out.

As we walked toward my office, I told him that I’ve thought my next career step would be an obvious choice. For example, I’d meet someone at a meeting or on an airplane, and an opportunity would arise that I’d pursue. If it was the right option, it’d work out. So far nothing has. My friend explained that he and his friend had been waiting for the "obvious choice" for years. And here they are in their late 30s and 40s and fantasizing about winning the lottery. Hmm….that’s something to think about. Maybe I should just go buy a lottery ticket. Ha.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Guilty as Named: I'm a "Serious Talker"

I used to hang out with some people who referred to me as a “Serious Talker.” They are content to just tell jokes, shoot the breeze, and just talk about day to day stuff like the last time they got drunk. I, on the other hand, like to occasionally bring up current events, politics, religion, and the like. More than that though--I like to really know someone, and I ask a lot of questions—not just surface-y ones--in order to feel like I have a good idea of who someone is.

The last two times I’ve seen Jake (the most recent set-up), something has been off, and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. On our second date, he cooked, and it was a bit of a production, so I didn’t feel like we had any real conversations. I don’t think cooking is a good second date activity especially when it means not eating until 10:00 on a work night, but I also realize that I’m a bit picky when it comes to dating. I think he wanted me to see his house, which was very nice. So anyway, the food was great, and we got along fine. But something just wasn’t right. I thought perhaps there was just too much going on and that was why I left his house feeling like I didn’t know anything more about him (other than he had a nice house and could boil a lobster) or vice versa.

Well I saw him briefly this weekend and realized what I couldn’t quite put my finger on. Our conversations were just about what we’ve been doing and a lot more about him than me (at best 75/25). I was doing a lot of question asking, which is par for the course for me, but he wasn’t asking much of anything besides “What did you do last night?”

Sure it’s nice to know what someone has been up to in his day to day life, but in order to really get to know someone, there has to be a lot more than that. I don’t know if Jake just isn’t a “serious conversation” kind of person or if he’s just not interested enough in me to ask those kinds of questions (in which case he shouldn’t ask me out again), but regardless I’ve lost total interest. It’s funny how someone can seem like such a great conversationalist on a first date (perhaps the margarita I consumed altered my perception), and then it goes totally flat. I think it didn't help that I suspect that we have religious differences, and I was also really turned off by him calling me on a Wednesday night at 9:45 to ask me out for Thursday night (note: this was for a third date). Why even bother? No thanks but regardless I already had plans. Anyway he’s a nice guy, but we’re obviously not a match.

Maybe some people prefer to have more superficial conversations at first and then delve into serious topics on later dates, but I find that when I’m really interested in someone, I want to know everything about them. And if all I know about them on dates one and two are what they did that day and the night before, then I’m not going to care to go on date number three. I love the dates and phone calls where you want to talk for hours.

While on the subject of dating: I had dinner with my friend Kate Friday night and gave her the green light on giving my phone number to the 24 year old. The 24 year old and I have a mutual friend, and the mutual friend informed me that the guy is a big Tim Keller fan. That information made me much more interested in meeting the guy. It’s funny—a few years ago if someone told me a guy was tall, that was a major selling point. Now it’s that the guy listens to Tim Keller’s sermons. I figure if someone can appreciate Tim Keller, then he’s worth meeting.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

A is for Appreciation

I recently ran across a post on another blog in which the blogger writes once a week about things for which she's grateful. It's like the ABCs of gratitude, which is a fantastic idea because anything that reminds of us of how blessed we are is a good idea in my book. So I'll begin with one of my favorite letters of the alphabet (and also the first letter): A

Alaina: My niece is awesome and has been a continual source of joy since she was born. She's such a kind soul and already has such a heart for the Lord and others.

Answered prayers: Even when the answer isn't what I want, there is such comfort in knowing God's will and seeking it---not to mention the comfort of just knowing that God does have a plan for me.

Airplanes: I love to travel, and I'm sure that without the invention of the plane I wouldn't have visited Spain, Costa Rica, or even California.

Anna Begins: one of my favorite songs.

Andy Stanley: I became a Christian while attending the church at which he is a pastor, and his sermons sermons were always incredibly relevant and would keep me thinking long after I left church. His books are good too.

Angie Aparo, Alanis Morissette ("You Oughta Know" couldn't have been more timely in my life), Alabama

Aunt Rene: My great aunt was like a second mom to my sister and me when I was little, and she's the best example I have ever seen of a human's ability to love unconditionally. Even now she writes me each week and prays for me constantly. I don't think she has ever let me down, and she has a rock in my life.

Air conditioning: I live in Macon and cannot imagine life without it.

Appletinis: One of the few alcoholic beverages that tastes good to me.

Aunt Jean: She's dead, but her life is such a source of inspiration to me. She was the most selfless person I have ever met and the wisest, and I'm so grateful for the afternoons I spent curled up on her sofa in college after our lunches at S&S Cafeteria or Shoney's. Our conversations were often so thought-provoking that I would leave exhausted and with a headache, but I love the way she challenged me. She always told me that "If you can understand the conditions, you can understand the behavior," and that quote often challenges me to think on a little deeper level to really understand others. Her impact on literally thousands of lives reminds me that we all have the ability to affect tremendous positive change.

American Express: It's the best credit card I have ever had, even if the fee is annoying (if you call and threaten to cancel, they'll give you about half off). The Skymiles make me feel better about spending money (even if they're a pain to redeem), and I like the pie charts at the end of the year that summarize how much I've spent on travel, merchandise, etc.

Artichoke Dip: This is one of my favorite recipes that I make. I combined several recipes to find just the perfect mix of artichoke, cream cheese, and parmesan. My friend Trisha and I once enjoyed an evening of the dip and peanut butter brownies, and I thought that was the perfect meal.

Please feel free to share some of your "As" too. We're so blessed, and just taking the time to write this helps me remember that I have much more to be grateful for than to complain about.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Snap Her Up in a Butterfly Net, Pin Her Down on a Photograph Album

My mom told me that when I was around three years old the doctor told her not to let me watch Little House on the Prairie. I don't really remember that show, but evidently whenever Laura would cry, I would too. I'm sure I didn't understand why Laura or the other characters were crying, but nevertheless my mother would find me sobbing and saying "Poor Laura" over and over. Not much has changed in that regard as I find myself crying when others do even when I don't have a dog in the fight so to speak (i.e. I am not close to the bride or groom, but if their mother cries, I will too). That's manageable though as I'm not often around people crying.

Friday night as I drove five hours to the beach, I was reminded of the not-fun part of being such a cry baby and so easily absorbing others' emotions. The not fun part is that I cannot listen to a lot of the music that I love as much as I'd like because I'll get really down. For example, I love Counting Crows' music. I think August and Everything is one of the best albums ever, and it still amazes me that it was the bands' freshman album. But if I listen to some of the songs on that CD for more than about ten minutes, I seriously feel depressed--obviously not clinically depressed but definitely not my usual happy self.

My propensity for being easily affected by music is one reason (of several) that I do not listen to much country music. One country artist I do enjoy is Pat Green. The first time I heard Wave on Wave was at the beginning of a four hour drive home last year. I put the song on repeat and proceeded to cry for the next two hours. I LOVE the song, but I usually avoid listening to it because crying just isn't fun (unless it's caused by intense laughter in which case I love it).

And some songs that aren't that sad make me feel down because they bring back such strong feelings of nostalgia. Jewel's "Standing Still" takes me exactly back to a very merry Christmas I spent with a boyfriend, and although it should be a happy memory, it isn't. All of my memories with boyfriends, no matter how fun the experience was, are bittersweet. I wish it wasn't that way, but it is.

But just like songs can conjure sad memories, they can take me right back to fun times--like the baton routines we had to "We Built this City" and "Electric Youth." Or the time my best friend and I saw Matchbox Twenty for $5 in an audience of less than 100 people. Or just flipping to a radio station and hearing a catchy song that I can't help but smile when I hear.

It must be awesome to be so artistically talented to move people to tears or joy. The ability to string words together to emotionally affect people in such a strong way is such a tremendous gift, and I'm grateful for the people who are blessed with that gift and all of the fantastic ways we can access music now. I can't imagine making a five hour drive without it.

Here's the house I stayed in with 16 strangers this weekend and the view from the porches--absolutely fantastic. Despite work seriously interfering with my time, it was a relaxing weekend--the beach makes it easy to forget everything and wearing a bikini beats out a suit every day.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Is Age Really Just a Number?

Specifically in the context of dating, is it really true that “age is just a number?” I must admit that I tend to make rash generalizations when it comes to boys simply in an effort to formulate foolproof theories to avoid repeating mistakes. I know, it’s stupid. And it doesn’t work. AND I’ve been trying to keep a good attitude and be open minded this go ‘round.

The other day my friend Kate left me the most excited voicemail message I’ve ever received from her. She sounded so happy that I couldn’t wait to hear the good news. So I called her back, and she and her husband had not won the lottery or anything like that—she was in a meeting with a guy from her company that she had forgotten about—he’s a Christian, athletic, nice, etc, and of course, she thinks we should meet each other. First off, I am constantly reminded of how much my friends think for me, and I feel incredibly blessed to have a friend who would get so excited about a guy that I might like. That’s just really sweet. So as she is telling me about this guy, I’m thinking he sounds great, but I feel like something is missing. Then I realize she hasn’t mentioned his age, which is usually one of the first things people seem to mention when wanting to set you up (as you’ve gathered, I’m getting a lot of experience at this stuff this month). So he’s 24. That seems so young to me. Sure, I’m just 28, and the last two guys I’ve dated have been a year to a year and a half younger than me but 24?

Anyway, as for all of this age stuff, I’ve been (inadvertently, of course) generalizing some in my head about guys, age, and dating. The last two guys I’ve been out with have been over 30, and they just don’t try as hard—they aren’t as mannerly, sweet, etc. And this is consistent with the other older guys I’ve dated in the past. It’s like they’ve already been there and done that, and they aren’t going to try to impress you like younger guys do (who haven’t been dating for well over a decade). And they aren’t intimidated either and seem more relaxed and self-aware, which are positive things in my mind. I will say, however, that I’ve recently realized how much I prefer super chivalrous behavior and have taken it for granted.

So what do you think? If you were me, would you go along with the set-up with the 24 year old? To be honest, I feel weird about it, but then again, what’s the harm--especially when the guy is recommended by a friend of whom I think highly? I tend to think it would be ignorantly close minded not to go even if my gut instinct is to feel weird about it.

On an unrelated note, I had a first last night--I killed a lobster. Fun!

p.s. If age is "just a number," would you contend I should go out with any guy who is of "legal" age?