Wednesday, January 31, 2007

New York, New York

So a week from tomorrow I'm heading to New York. I'll arrive there at 10:20 a.m. on Thursday morning, and Ozzy will join me the next day around dinner time. So basically I have two days to myself and need to figure out a rough itinerary. I'm really excited, but I'm a bit anxious too. I feel like I need a plan of sorts, especially since it's going to be so cold. I've already got some Cuddle Duds out to pack and wish I could wear one of those toboggan things that comes down over your face with holes for your eyes and mouth. From what I know, NYC seems a lot different than the other cities I've visited. It seems so much larger and complicated. I also don't know where I want to go, so right now I'm trying to figure that out and would welcome any input. It's funny how I've always wanted to visit NYC, but I didn't really have any specific places in mind. I just like to wonder around and absorb a place and the people who live there.

On Saturday Ozzy wants to visit Central Park, Ground Zero, and the Museum of Modern Art. On Sunday, I want to attend church at Redeemer Presbyterian and eat brunch somewhere delicious. From talking to Ella, I think I'd enjoy knocking around and shopping in Greenwich Village and the East Village. She's recommended Magnolia Bakery too. I'm definitely taking her up on that suggestion as City Search says the cupcakes "are slathered in an icing that's as pure an expression of sugar, butter, and vanilla as you're going to find." Oh, and our hotel serves warm chocolate chip cookies every night. I wish I could quit eating now to have extra room for all of the yummy food I want to try while in New York.

I've also thought it might be fun to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge and have pizza. Or visit Grand Central Station. And I think I'll wait and buy a discounted ticket on Thursday to a Broadway show for that night since I'm not dead-set on seeing any particular show. I'm very open to ideas and suggestions of places to eat/visit, especially if you have any "must sees."

Is everyone else as glad as I am that it's almost Thursday? I guess the only downside to having such a wonderful weekend is that a work week pales in comparison:)

Monday, January 29, 2007

Gratitude: The Letter R

Running: I have a lot of fond memories that involve running. Track in middle school when I could still hang with the best runners in fairly short distances; cross country in high school and various road/beach races; my nice, flat running route in Atlanta; my loop in my hometown; and now it's mainly the endorphins/good feeling that I look forward to. Oh, and I'm grateful for my running playlist, which is how I sometimes time my intervals. It's so much easier to run with fun music. I can't believe I used to run up to 6 miles a day without any.

Roller-skating (and roller blading): LOVE it! Why doesn't anyone ever want to go with me? And why are most skating rinks so gross? I call the one in my hometown the "skanking rank" as a result of all the old men who hit on my when I was in middle and high school. Funny, a lot of them knew my dad who was a local probation officer.

Redeeming qualities: Most everyone and everything has at least one, and Red Lobster is no exception. Its redeeming quality is its garlic cheese rolls, and fortunately they can be purchased to-go (last time I checked it was 6/$1.50).

Rainbows, RJJ, Red Rover, Ryan Adams (if you don't know his music, check it out), raw fish, rockstars (I mainly just like that word), Rolos, "Rhythm of the Night," Radiohead, "Rain King," "Rearviewmirror," "Roundhere," rubber ducks, "Runaway Train," Revenge of the Nerds, romance, roses, roller coasters, rest, relaxation, roast with potatoes, resorts, rainforests, raisins, romaine lettuce, Ryane, recipes, R.E.M., reason, Running with Scissors

Relationships: We're relational creatures, and I am enormously grateful for my relationships with my friends, family, and God.

Reading: My first real memories of reading are from third grade. I remember reading Nancy Drew booksand making a dio-rama (in a shoebox) on The Moonstone Castle Mystery. I also remember Mrs. Grisham reading The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe to my class. In fourth grade, I read over 300 books during the school year. Insane, I know, but I loved to read. I would hide in my closet after bedtime and read. Now I don't read books so much since I read all day at work, but every now and again, a good book still captures my attention.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Such a Fun Weekend!!

I had such a wonderful weekend! It started with a fantastic dinner at Paul's, a restaurant I'd never tried but heard good things about. Despite our reservations, we had to wait 45 minutes, which was annoying but ended up being worth the wait. Two apple martinis and the best roll I've ever had (fried lobster roll wrapped with a thin slice of filet mignon) later Ozzy, Hawthorne (another law school classmate), and I were off to MJQ to celebrate Ozzy's friend's birthday. I'd never heard of MJQ, and it's in an area of Atlanta that I only visit to swing through Krispy Kreme when the hot light is on.

MJQ was...well the first words out of Ozzy's mouth is "This is so 8 Mile." Although I've not seen 8 Mile (Eminem irritates me too much), I imagine that's sort of an apt description. The place is all cement (a former parking garage); the walls are covered in graffiti and cool art; they don't take credit cards; don't make martinis; and our sweaters, button-ups, and such didn't fit in. And the music is pretty tough to dance to--at least for me; I asked someone what you would call that kind of music (it wasn't exactly rap the entire time), and I was told that it's "the real hip-hop." We got to see some break-dancers, rappers, and bling bling jewelry. Oh, I smelled a lot of weed and something else too, but I guess I'm too much of a novice to know what it was. Needless to say it was a very entertaining night, and while I won't go back to MJQ, I'm glad to have checked it out.

Saturday night was an interesting cultural experience as well. A week ago I committed to going to a benefit concert with a bunch of people--without even checking out the group that was playing. So it ended up being a folk band called Eddie from Ohio, and they were pretty good and funny. But the real treat was the opening performance--the Morehouse College Glee Club was great and sang some really cool African spirituals. Oh, the guy who sat beside me at the concert was someone (I'm not sure about attraction; it's a maybe), or at least the kind of guy, I'd like to date. We had great conversations about traveling (he's been to all sorts of places I want to visit), our families, education, and whatnot. Unfortunately he's dating someone (interestingly he met her on Match, and it's long distance).

So Sunday Dale and I firmed up plans and met for an early dinner. I enjoyed our time together, and he seems really nice. But no dice on another date. So I guess that means that on my dating scale, the date gets a 4.9 (as high as you can get with no chance of a future date). Among other things, I left the date knowing entirely too much (unsolicited) about Dale's last relationship and his ex-girlfriend, which ended 8 months ago. Seemed like he had still had some pretty open wounds. He also reminded me a little too much of my ex-fiance; I think it was his particular Southern accent. Anyway, he's a nice guy, and I tried something new and yummy--coconut shrimp rolls (with a side of fries and honey mustard:).

So when I got home I had an e-mail from Dale. It seems like he isn't overly interested and/or picked up on my disinterest. He wrote that he hoped my trip back to Macon went well; it was nice to meet me; that he hopes we can keep in touch and get to know one another better and try to get together occasionally. I'm thinking the best response might be a short e-mail that says "Thanks for dinner. It was nice meeting you, and I hope you have a great week." Ok, that's lame. I just want to be nice & appreciative, but at the same time, make it clear that I'm not interested in keeping in touch or going out again. I feel like not responding isn't very nice, but perhaps that's the best option. I'd particularly appreciate guys' perspective on this one.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Five Things I've Never Blogged About

1. At the beginning of my senior year of college, my then-boyfriend asked me "If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be?" After a few seconds and not much thought, I responsed with "the Canary Islands." He asked me where they were, and I explained that they were near Africa and belonged to Spain. Nothing else was every said about the Canaries. On Christmas, after opening a lot of gifts from him, he told me I had one more. I felt a bit guilty since I hadn't gone overboard like him. I unwrapped a box to find a travel case, which contained my passport....and then I found a ticket to the Canaries for ten days (my spring break). The trip was really cool, and I loved Gran Canaria. He proposed while we were there, and I said "yes." It wasn't that exciting though; I totally knew it was coming because he'd walked around all day with the jewelry box in his pocket (I could see the outline against his pants). Plus he'd been weird about me not looking in his carry on bag, so I had totally known what was up.

2. I once went through a huge domestic phase in which everyone thought I'd been brainwashed (I now know). I read cookbooks all the time, made big meals most days, and went to the grocery store almost daily. Perhaps that's a hazard of being a stay-at-home-girlfriend. Anyway, that passed. Oh well, at least I know where you can find cream of tartar and chutney in the grocery store now.

3. I worked for UPS one Christmas. The driver was a sexist, so I didn't do much because he didn't think I could handle it. Once he realized I had run cross country with his son, his confidence in me increased and he let me carry a few packages.

4. I was a negotiator from a young age. One day my mother caught me saying "damn" repeatedly as I hit a stick along side a fence when I was three or four years old. She told me that I would be getting a spanking for saying a bad word, and I replied with "Can we talk about this?" I then proceeded to negotiate a deal that permitted me to say "damn" once a day in my room so long as no one heard me.

5. I almost always take the stairs, and I feel a bit guilty taking an elevator. Oddly taking an elevator down (several flights--not one) doesn't make me feel as conflicted. I've always been fond of stairs and walking in general, so I've even climbed as many as 38 floors when in a large hotel. But I really noticed the stairs thing in law school when my classmates took an elevator to go two flights. It was particularly noticeable because (1) they'd wait for the elevator and it took longer than taking the stairs and (2) one of our professors was in a wheelchair. And every time I saw him waiting for the elevator he had to take, the more resolved I became about taking the stairs. And internally, I'm a bit judgmental about this towards the elevator users. It just seems really lazy to me (not if they have bad knees, a broken ankle, etc.) to take the elevator to just go a floor or two, although I'm sure I do things every bit as lazy. I was at the courthouse with a criminal client not long ago, and as we were chatting, I veered to take the stairs down one flight. She said "I'll call you later; I came this way [gesturing to the elevator]." She's 22.

Happy Friday!! And is Grey's making everyone else cry too? This is the second time in a row!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Bachelor # 2

So two guys remain from my three day trial on Match two weeks ago, and it looks like I'm going to meet one of them this Sunday. Let's call him Dale. I think I initiated contact on this one. His profile read well and met my basic requirements, and he's very cute; he has lots of photos, so you know he isn't using the "one" good shot from two years ago.

Perceived upsides: He seems very excited about God and his relationship with Him. From our e-mails, it seems that there's nothing casual about his faith, and that's a huge plus. He asks a ton of questions (more than me), and we share some interests like traveling (everyone on Match seems to travel all the time though; one guy's profile read as follows:

"{advice to single women} Stop traveling. Having read quite a few profiles, uh portraits or whatever, on this site I've determined that travel causes singleness. I mean, EVERY girl on this site likes to travel...the correlation is undeniable. So, my advice to people that want to meet someone is to stay in one place. I'm kidding of course (I love to travel too) but I do wonder if people that like to travel are worried that they need to see everywhere first before the settle down. Maybe they need to date everyone before they settle down as well. Hmmmmm. Deep thoughts. Jack Handy would be proud.")

Hilarious. So anyway, Dale is 35, well-educated (and we attended the same undergrad), and seems like a genuine guy.

Perceived downside: Nothing important so far (since we've only e-mailed). I kind of hate to write this, even though it's the truth, but it's a slight negative in my mind that he's so into car racing (we're talking about a myspace page with a race car as the background). He races/owns cars himself and loves going to races and all of that. And I guess I have a negative attitude toward that kind of stuff--for no real reason. And what he does sounds better than NASCAR--where they just go in a circle, which seems dumb to me. He does actual routes with variables like turns and whatnot but still. What do I know? I do lots of things that I think are dumb (maybe I shouldn't be so judgmental:). I've never been to a race, and when Dale Ernhardt died, I thought he was a player for the Braves. Oh, by brother-in-law Billy Bob and his dad, however, went into mourning. I digress. I have several good friends who love those races--even more reason to keep an open mind.

So anyway, all of that is non-essential since hobbies are not deal-breakers (cats don't count as a hobby do they?:). Just thought I'd share my limited thoughts on Dale, so that I'm not keeping anyone in the dark or as GLB suggested, wasting valuable blogging material.

p.s. I never heard from Mr. 5.9, so maybe he thought I asked too many questions (as AM suggested). Or looked too exhausted. Anyway, it's almost Friday!! Yeah!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

In my neck of the blogosphere,

Valentine's Day was the hot topic of conversation yesterday. Yes, I know it's weeks away, but regardless I figured I'd go ahead and write about it too. My fondest Valentine's memory is from my childhood; I remember that my mother, who wasn't a big cook, made three heart shaped cakes iced in pink, red, and white (and one would have another heart shape inside of it formed with red hots) for my class several years in a row. It always made me feel special.

And for me, it's still a holiday best celebrated with baked goods and cheesy cards (preferably homemade--a heart cut from red construction paper) shoved in a shoe box (or now a-days in my mail box). If I'm going to receive a store bought card, the sillier the better. My favorites can be found in select grocery stores--they are in the "relationship" section and say the most ridiculous things and ramble on in italics for two pages. Sometimes they detail an apology (some clearly for a cheater) or a remembered encounter ("recalling your enticing scent and your gentle touch. I'll just have to remember the taste of your honey kisses.").

Anyway, I'm stealing from a post (check out those comments; they were on point) I wrote over a year ago that mentioned VD (my mother's nonmenclature for the holiday, which I find hilarious) and an e-mail exchange (on VD 2005) I had with a friend of mine to best sum up my thoughts on VD:

He wrote:

"With no disrespect for your cookies or cupcakes, I personally score Valentines as the nadir on the holiday score card. The crass commercialism generally makes me feel like I ate a Hamdog [a hamburger with chili, cheese, bacon, etc. that is served on a Krispy Kreme doughnut]. Perpetuating the notion of it being a barometer for romance makes it the most ironic of holidays, as I see it as the asylum of the intrinsically unimaginative and unromantic. It only wants a heart shaped tub and a bottle of cheap champagne in the Catskills to reach perfection. Forgive me the cynical venting; I had to keep a stoic stance going all day as the kids still think it's cool and I'm against jading them prematurely."

My response:

"Although I agree with your scathing review of Valentine's Day and have often said that it is a Hallmark created holiday promoted by florists who charge 3x their normal prices (and deliver subpar products), restaurants that are overcrowded and overextended, and the candy industry, I don't think VD is all bad. My take is that (1) any holiday on which you are encouraged to give/receive candy has some value, (2) if that is what it (sadly) takes to get some people to be nice to others, then it is better than nothing, and (3) I look good in pink, so VD provides yet another designated day on which I am to wear that color. Plus being sour grapes doesn't change anything and watching men scramble around the mall/grocery store is entertaining. So I refuse to buy cards or flowers or go to a restaurant on VD, but I still make a card for my niece and eat a few chocolates."

Ok, the few part is a lie. Anyway, does anyone have any fond VD memories? One year I did end up with the all-out date because my friend Sam (remember him--the girl woes after four dates?) had been on a date or two with a girl in December and given her a Christmas present in the form of ONE ticket to The Lion King for Valentine's Day. Needless to say the girl was scared off. So I ended up enjoying the nice dinner and musical with Sam that year. But usually, relationships or not, I prefer low-key and would rather enjoy a nice restaurant on a night when it's not packed and receiving flowers on a day when every other woman in America isn't (or I'd rather receive something a little less cliche--last year I think it was Fiji water, a cashmere sweater, and a cute top from J Crew that was exactly something I would have picked out--all the more fun b/c I didn't).

p.s. If you've ever been to Chile, I'd love to hear about it.

Monday, January 22, 2007

The Letter "Q"

Quirks: They are what make people even more interesting. What's one of your quirks? I take Aquaphor (for my lips), Bath & Body Works White Tea & Ginger Body Cream, and light blue Extra gum everywhere. Oh, and I take socks with me most places I go too. After all, my feet get cold when I am curled up Indian-style at my desk or in a restaurant booth.

QT: The best gas station chain that I'm aware of. They have multiple kinds of ice, Coke and Pepsi, paper and plastic cups, cherry and vanilla syrup, Krispy Kreme doughnuts, bagels, lots of snacks, and clean restrooms. I haven't checked, but if QT also carries Fiji water, I may have to get a job there.

Quaker Oats: I love oatmeal--not just any oatmeal. I hate it if it's made with water; milk is essential. And so is maple syrup and brown sugar flavoring. During my senior year of college, I often ate four or five bowls a day--breakfast and lunch. Yummy.

Quotes: Love them! Here are two of my favorites: "There is no chance thing through which God cannot live without listening at all is to live deaf to the fullness of the music."

"...if you ever took truly to heart the ultimate goodness and joy of things, even at their bleakest, the need to praise someone or something for it would be so great that you might even have to go out & speak of it to the birds of the air."
-Frederick Buechner

Quilts, Q-tips, quiche (especially the one I occasionally make when in a domestic mood), queso dip, quaint places, queen-sized (or larger) beds, the word "quintessential," quadriceps (they make it possible for me to run & Q is just a tough letter), Q & A (so much easier when websites have the most common ones already listed), questions (I love questions, asking them and receiving them. Works out well with my line of work.), quitting time

Quiet: It's rarely ever quiet, but I cherish (relatively) quiet days.

Quality: Especially top quality people and sheets.

Quizzes: Yes, those silly ones for your myspace page that I just do for afternoon entertainment (and to determine my personality type, which Sex & the City character I am, etc.)

Friday, January 19, 2007


My new date scoring system for ease of reference:

8-10: I hope he calls; another date would be fun.

5-7: I don't care if he calls, but if he does I'll go out again. After all, some people are nervous/not-themselves on first dates.

0-4: No way, no how, nowhere. If it was a 0, I wouldn't even return your phone calls and be nice about it because you must have been incredibly horrible. The rating of 0 has only been awarded once.

So the other weekend, I had to stick around Macon because I was coaching a local high school's mock trial team on Saturday from 10-1 (our team has since fallen through because they couldn't get enough students). It was a Friday night, and Aaron and I were chatting about his e-harmony adventures. I had gotten a free three day trial offer for, so I decided to put a profile up. Gosh, writing those things is time consuming. Aaron helped me fine-tune it, and voila, I was on Match.

And three days was enough. It's at least a part time job with the amount of time and effort that it requires. Plus I just don't think I'm going to meet the right person through online dating (that could be self-fulfilling prophecy though).

Of course, the men make it fairly easy to sort through their e-mails and profiles. 40 or older, shirtless pic, no photo, not a Christian/Protestant or Christian/other, 5'8 or shorter (especially since so many guys seem to add an inch or two), no college degree, or ultra-conservative = automatically cut

And after reading some e-mails, I didn't even need to look at the guy's profile. For example:

"You stopped by and didn't say hello.
That is not good.
You kind of hut my feelings."

Note: On Match, people can see when you view their profile. Hence his "hut" feelings. Did he really think this e-mail would get a response?

"Happy new year sweetie!!
I just wanted to say hi! (well ,that's not all, you are beautifull and interesting and i would love to read some words from you...)
Did you know that you already have a friend and a place to stay in Barcelona if you decide to come here for a visit?? ;)"

Note: Yes, he lives in Spain. I guess he missed my dating radius that certainly didn't exceed thousands of miles.

"I see you are looking for a gentleman who is honest and faithful, not afraid to hold hands or show affection. I will not boast abut being honest as you will find that out in time, as for the rest, I am. Let me know if you would like to chat more."

Note: I didn't say a word about wanting a gentleman or someone who is affectionate and wants to hold hands.

So after the three days of e-mails and winks and the end of the trial period, I only ended up responding to three guys. The one I was most interested in actually lives here, which is surprising since there are very few guys meeting my criteria in Macon on Match. I've already mentioned some of "Ken's" attractive traits that I could ascertain from Match and e-mails. One potential red flag was that he only had one photo, but I realize not everyone is the photo whore that I am. So we exchanged e-mails for a few days, and it was clear that Ken is very intelligent and educated. Oh, bonus points for no typos, misspellings, excellent grammar/commas usage, and some interesting book recommendations.

So he e-mailed me his number, and I called him the next day and we talked for three hours. Yes, three hours. We had some really interesting conversations. He told me he'd like to meet me, etc. and that he'd call me after my busy weekend to plan something. So he called last Monday night, and we talked for a long time again. This time I noticed something I'd picked up a little bit on the first time we talked; Ken is a talker like me, but he doesn't ask many questions. And he has a LOT to say. But no big deal since talking on the phone that long isn't most people's forte anyway. So he asked me to dinner for Thursday night, and we agreed to meet at a bar/restaurant at 8:00.

I almost cancelled because the preparation for next week's trial has required really long hours resulting in a lack of sleep and causing my already purple-ringed eyes to be even darker and bloodshot, but I decided to rally (and use extra concealer) and stick with the plan. So we actually arrived at the same time, and Ken was just as cute as his photo and dressed the way I like boys to dress. Conversation flowed easily, but he (again) just seemed to lack a genuine interest in me. For example, Ken asked me if I've ever been to NYC. I told him I was going in two weeks. Well, I quickly realized he wasn't asking because he was curious about my trip (he didn't really ask any questions about it)--but instead so he could tell me about his trip to NYC.

Granted, I ask a lot of questions, and I've been preparing witnesses the last two weeks and am in total question-asking mode. But I'll bet for every ten questions I asked, he asked one. And while I was talking, I kind of felt like he was just waiting for his next opportunity to talk. I guess I'm just used to guys wanting to get to know me on initial dates and seeming more genuine than Ken. Anyway, after two hours of talking we parted ways with a side hug and "we'll talk soon." My general feeling afterwards was kind of blah until I got home and watched Grey's:)

So...if he calls, I feel like I should give it one more date and try to keep an open mind. Would you? Maybe he was nervous and talking is how it manifests. Or maybe he's just really self-absorbed.

p.s. If you want to watch an incredibly mediocre movie, check out The Last Kiss.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

In Ten Minutes...

I have a date. I am about 13% anxious.

Upside: He's 30. I think that's a good age. He's a Christian. He was an English major and reads more than me. He's tall. Of course, that's not the requirement for me that it once was. And we're eating somewhere that I won't see a thousand people I know--a requirement for a first date.

Downside: I worked almost 12 hours today and 14 hours yesterday, and I look like it. I'll have a delayed viewing of Grey's:)

Happy (almost) Friday!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The Sweetest Day....

I was baptized on Sunday. Exciting! Thinking about it makes me feel full; I can't think of a better way to descibe it. Anyway, my baptism was long overdue as I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord & savior almost six years ago. I know the word "baptism" means little to some of you (based on the e-mails/chats I've had), so I figured this is a good opportunity to explain it a little more fully. Click on this link for a MUCH better and thorough explanation of baptism.

Baptism occurs when someone is immersed in water as a profession of her religious belief. I was raised Presbyterian, and in that church, they "sprinkle" you with water rather than full immersion (note: I don't know why they sprinkle as opposed to immersing believers). My church called that "confirmation." While I think I may have logically believed at 13 when I was confirmed, I don't think I really believed in my heart. And there's a big difference between thinking something is likely true and believing something in your heart. Based on my readings in the Bible, a proper baptism is belief followed by baptism; thus my "sprinkling" at 13 wasn't a true baptism since I didn't really believe and place my faith in Christ.

That true believing came about ten years later, and it required a leap of faith, which I found very difficult to make. But I wanted to believe, and I finally did. For a more thorough post on how I came to believe what I do, check out this post.

And now, like many before me (which is really cool when I think about Jesus being baptized, etc.), I've been baptized. I chose to be baptized because I believe God wants us to be baptized and that doing so is an act of obedience and a public profession of faith. In order to be baptized at this church, you're asked two questions in front of the congregation (while standing in this huge baptismal pool full of warm water). This isn't verbatim, but here's basically what I was asked:

Has there been a time in your life when you submitted your life to Christ and accepted Him as your Lord and Savior? [I answered yes.]

What is your profession of faith? [I said something to the effect of "After many years of being quite lost [although I certainly didn't think I was lost], I am so glad to profess that Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior."]

The day was even sweeter because some of my family was there to share it with me. My sister, mother, great-aunt, and nieces all came down, and we had a big slumber party in my one bedroom apartment. A lot of my friends were there, and it was incredibly touching to stand in the baptismal and look out to see so many friendly faces who have encouraged me in my walk with God and been such sources of encouragement and love. And it was fun for my family to meet all of my awesome friends here. I've never had so many wonderful and kind friends, and Sunday was a sweet reminder of how blessed I am.

When the pastor spoke to the congregation about the meaning of baptism, my nieces' eyes were huge. I could tell they were quite overwhelmed by the hugeness of this church and the whole experience. Friends and family have the option of standing alongside the baptismal area, so a few people including my nieces came up. I wish I had a photograph of Lauren leaning against the glass wall of the pool, soaking it all in.

Anyway, it was such a sweet day and experience, and I'm so glad I finally took the plunge. Oh, that was horrible, but I couldn't resist. If you have any questions about baptism, I'll try to answer them. And if you want to share your baptism details, I'd love to read them. And thank you so much for all of your well wishes.

p.s. When I told Oz about wanting to be baptized, he asked me if that meant I would get a bunch of gifts (like a bar mitzvah I guess) in case you were wondering, it's not like that:)

Friday, January 12, 2007

Speaking of Music....

Am I just clueless, or has no one else heard of Mat Kearney? I don't really listen to the radio, so is this guy well known? Looks like he has opened some for John Mayer. I found him when I was clicking around on myspace (it is good for something:). I'm hooked, although his music is a bit depressing to me. Of course, anything slower and more reflective than Beyonce is a bit of a downer to me. Anyway, check out the link; in the top right corner, you can click forward/backward to hear thirteen different songs. I especially like the first song "Nothing Left to Lose" and the fourth song, "All I Need."

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Musical Thing.....

I started doing this the other day (yes, I know, my life is terribly exciting:), and it was kind of funny.

If you're so inclined or super-bored at work and have your ipod, here's what you do:

1. Open your music library (iTunes, Winamp, etc.)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every question, type the song that's playing
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button
6. Lather, rinse, repeat ...

Opening Credits: "Better Be Good to Me" -- Tina Turner

Birth: "25 Minutes to Go" -- Pearl Jam

School: "Ace in the Hole" --George Strait (I did not put this in my itunes! Must be compliments of Donatello)

Driving Theme: "Black" -- Pete Yorn

Prom: "Deeper & Deeper (David's Klub Mix)" --Madonna

Graduation: "When We Recovered" -- Toad the Wet Sproket

Falling In Love: "No Scrubs" -- TLC

Fight Scene: "River Kwai March" (It's the whistling like song that kids march to at camp; I remember it from Parent Trap.)

Breaking Up: "Desperado" -- Clint Black

Life: "On the Way Down" -- Ryan Cabrera

Mental Breakdown: "Somebody Told Me" -- The Killers

Wedding: "Who Wouldn't Want to Be Me?" -- Keith Urban

Divorce: "40 oz. to Freedom" -- Sublime (Isn't it sad that this is just naturally in here?)

Flashback: "In Between Days" -- The Cure

Birth of Child: "Highway to Hell" -- AC/DC I didn't like this, so I pushed shuffle again and came up with a track from Bach's Brandenburg Concerto--much better.

Final Battle: "99%" --Soul Ayslum

Moment of Triumph: "A Better Man" -- Clint Black

Work: "Spaceship" --Angie Aparo

Death: "Hands Up" -- Black Eyed Peas

End Credits: "Joyride" -- Oleander

On an unrelated note and for those of you who remember the discussion about whether age is just a number when it comes to dating, I met the 24 year old at a party recently. He seemed nice and was cute, and I can see why my friend Kate wanted us to meet. He's evidently been dating someone though (although I've heard that has recently ended). He definitely appeared younger. We only talked for a few minutes, and no sparks flew. However, he does fall into the "if his personality clicks with mine, I could find him very attractive" category. Most of the guys I've dated have been in that category.

So who gets a three day weekend? Unfortunately I do not. Oh, Billy Bob told me that if he got MLK day off (he doesn't), he would refuse to take it because he basically doesn't think it's something that should be celebrated (he actually said something a lot worse but you get the idea). Ridiculous. But as I mentioned, I'm going to be baptized this weekend AND my mom, great-aunt, sister, and nieces are coming. FUN! I am excited.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

28 and Single (in case you were wondering)

Yesterday one of my clients pled guilty to a rule violation (it's when a probationer pleads guilty to just violating his probation rather than the new offense of breaking another law) and received a super good deal I'd worked out with the district attorney and probation officer. We've met a number of times, and I've talked with him and his girlfriend a lot. So after the hearing yesterday, his girlfriend says "Can I ask you a question now that it's all over?" I figured it was going to be some sticky legal question in whicy they essentially admitted guilt to another crime. Fortunately the question was much more innocous. "How old are you?" I always like to turn that question back around on people and make them guess. She guessed 22 or 23, making me wonder how nervous they must have felt with me being his court appointed attorney.

Speaking of age, I attended a different church this Sunday night and was informed of their singles group. Unfortunately it's for people 18-25; the pastor assured me I could pass for 25:) The church I've attended the most for the last year and a half or so also has a similarly aged singles group--18 to 20-something. And while I'm twenty-something (28 to be exact), I have very little in common with 18 year olds. Or 22 year olds for that matter.

And my single status isn't going otherwise unnoticed. My best friend left me an excited voicemail two weeks ago, asking me to call her. Turns out, she has the great idea of submitting me as a candidate for the next Bachelorette and needs some photos. And last week she called me about a guy she'd like to set me up with. He sounds like a Godly man and all of that good stuff, but get this: His ex-wife (who cheated on him) is married to my ex-brother-in-law (who isn't a very nice person either). And they have joint custody of children who are around my step-niece when she's at her father's house. Confused yet?

Work has been surprisingly silent as of late about my single status with the exception of the group discussion about it at the associates' dinner late this fall. We're enjoying our desserts when an attorney's wife asks me if I'm dating anyone. She then proceeds to ask me (as the others around us get quiet to listen) about the difficult of dating here, what qualities are important to me, and if I know this single attorney in town who might be a good match for me. Gosh, I'm glad that I'm not shy. Or sensitive about being unmarried. And in a way I appreciate the fact that people seem to care about me, and I guess that's the most obvious topic of discussion to some of my co-workers' spouses who only see me four or so times a year.

On NYE, Oz and I were questioned about our relationship, and we explained that we were just friends. So one of the girls asked me if I was dating anyone, and upon reflection, I realized that I've not been on a date since August or September. That is kind of a long time, although it's not unusual for me to take a break after a break-up and fully process things. The girl seemed shocked and basically asked me what was wrong with me; her drunk date (the former soldier) offered a suggestion or two. He then proceeded to tell us that he sent her to the emergency room on their third date (when they consummated their relationship). And for once, I knew to keep my mouth shut and didn't ask a single question.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Gratitude: The Letter "P"

Passion (imagine life without it), pogo sticks, peppermint patties, Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes," the Pixies, prayers, Paul, photographs, Phil Collins, Positive K ("I Gotta a Man"), parties, pepperoni, pastries, pink, pineapple, Pez candy, pizza, peppermints (especially the cinnamon ones), popsicles, pumpkin, presents (especially when they are a surprise and for no reason), pretzels (hot ones from the mall with cheese), pinatas, Pride & Prejudice, and pimiento cheese (especially from the Masters)

Peanut butter: I like it on top of ice cream sundaes and in brownies, cookies, candy, Oreo bark, cakes, buckeyes, icing, and between two slices of white bread.

Peace: The peace that I've experienced as I've submitted my life to God is greater than any description I could provide.

Pancakes: Lately I've liked the blueberry ones at Cracker Barrel, but my favorite pancakes ever were served at a cafe in some hippy surfer village in Costa Rica. They were banana pancakes with chocolate syrup. Yummy.

Pearl Jam: I would name my favorite songs, but I have too many. Can anyone name just one? The first time I saw them in concert, we traveled to Charlotte with general admission tickets to a stadium. Somehow we lucked out and ended up in the mosh pit directly in front of the stage, mere feet from Eddie Vedder. It was awesome. I think a mutual love for this band kept my high school boyfriend and me together for four and a half years since it was our one shared interest:)

"Pride:" This is my favorite sermon so far by Tim Keller. It's one of those that's excellent and on point whether you're a Christian or not; it definitely helped me see how so much of my motivation is (unfortunately) pride.

Pete Yorn: I'm always surprised by how many people aren't familiar with his music; let me know if I need to send you a CD.

Neighbor update: I knocked on my neighbors door one evening after work, but they didn't answer. They might not have heard me though; I'm not very good about knocking loudly since I hate bothering people. So the next day I left a big post-it note on their door, thanking them for the offer and giving them my phone number in case they ever need anything like directions or flour.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

NYE....a few days late

The last bit of my NYE weekend put me in a weird mood, so I've kind of been processing it all. Hence the delay in my recap. So Happy 2007! This is going to be a wonderful year; life seems to just get better and better.

Anyway, I liked Charleston a lot. It has a very small town feel to me and was still lit with Christmas lights. As usual, eating was one of the highlights of my trip. Oz picked me up Saturday morning at 7:00 a.m. and was kind enough to drive the entire way. When we arrived at his friend Max's house (and my former law school classmate who I didn't really know) he announced that his ONE toilet didn't really work and that he had to manually flush the toilet for us each time we used it. Hmm. On the upside, he has an adorable dog who I called Holden because he reminded me of the character from Catcher in the Rye; that actually makes little sense since I recall almost nothing about that book, but whatever.

We ventured into Charleston, and I noticed a yummy looking place called Cupcake. We went there after lunch, shopping, and drinks (for them, not me—I've never thought drinking when it's daylight is a good idea). Oz & I go in Cupcake, and the lady tells us that they are completely out of cupcakes. What? I gave my best dejected face, and Oz explains that we've come all the way from Atlanta to try her cupcakes. So the lady offers us a box of cupcakes that someone ordered and never picked up. Oh, and they were for free. I had to skip the cake part so that I'd have more room for icing, and it was absolutely divine.

The afternoon was marked by a little tension though because Max's ex-girlfriend was hanging out with us, and although they are supposedly just "friends," he was lying to her about our evening plans and NYE plans. All of that made me uncomfortable. As you can imagine, I have a hard time keeping my thoughts to myself especially when watching someone lie to someone else's face. Lying is just super uncool and almost always unnecessary unless the lie is about someone being overweight ("Do I look bad in these jeans?") or having a bad haircut ("Do you like my new bangs/perm?"). That evening Holden and I ran a few miles. Then we had dinner at Magnolia, and it was fantastic. I had a filet and crab cake but still managed to find room for some more icing when we got home.

Sunday was a nice, lazy day with a viewing of The Pursuit of Happyness and a nice long walk with Max, Oz, and Holden. We had some really good conversations, and I learned a lot about Max and Oz too. I love hearing people's stories, and they are both good at sharing. We met up with another law school classmate and his fiancé for drinks at a rooftop bar, and then we headed to High Cotton for dinner. Another couple that had been invited last minute (since another couple had bailed) met up with us for a total of eight. It was an interesting mix of people ranging in age from 23 (two of the guys' dates) to 29.

My meal was one of the best, if not the best, I've ever had (thanks Ozzy:). I nixed the mushroom jus that was supposed to come with the filet and ordered peppercorn garlic butter instead, and it was perfection. The lobster and crème brulee were yummy too. So things were going relatively well (Max had called his date by my name at least three times and she's starting to get irritated) until Roger (half of the unknown couple; he's a grad student who recently served our country in Iraq and is evidently required to mention that every four to six minutes) began to reveal that clearly could not handle his alcohol. He's 28, so in my mind, there is absolutely no excuse. The things he said about his date were so disrespectful and just made me sad. And his 23 year old date didn't seem to mind at all. Perhaps things like that shouldn't bother me so much, but it just put me in a bad/sad mood. It did, however, make me feel incredibly grateful for my friends and my life and the general lack of drama I encounter.

When I mentioned us getting a cab, Roger announces that he's going to drive home. In my mind, it's one thing if he wants to treat his date horribly, but driving drunk is another. I expressed my concern and told him I had some cash if he needed it for a cab. He, of course, would have none of it, maintaining that he was fine to drive. Note: Roger was blowing the horn the restaurant staff handed out twenty minutes before midnight; at this point, I'm feeling embarrassed as some people are still enjoying their meals. So I went to the bar to escape him, and another girl joined me. Well guess who comes into the bar and blows the horn right into my ear? Yep, Roger. And yes, he drove him and his date home after drinking from 8:30 until after midnight with several glasses of champagne right less than half an hour before he got behind the wheel. He called to let us know he'd gotten home ok, and then he called again the next morning to convey the same information because he had no recollection of calling the night before and talking for five minutes.

So in short, I had a good trip to Charleston and as always, enjoyed Oz's company, but the experience was certianly tainted by the drama of NYE (a lot of which I haven't mentioned that bothered me even more than what I've described) and Max's dishonesty throught the weekend. I thought that this NYE would be different than the last two as I was spending it with professionals who were all in their late 20s at a nice restaurant (and not at a huge party or bar), but perhaps the bottom line is that whenever alcohol is involved, you should expect the unexpected if you're not with people you know well. I'm thinking a calm evening at a friend's house next year:)

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

A Neighborly Gesture...

Over the past few months I've given some thought to the fact that I don't really know my neighbors. I think about it when I see them in the parking lot, and we don't really speak. I also think about it when I'm in the middle of baking something and realize I need a half cup of flour and am out and have to drive to the grocery store instead of calling someone/knocking on his door.

I made friends with one guy who is a mechanic/rapper, and of course, when he found out I was a lawyer, I got to try my hand at reviewing a recording contract. I've also made friends with a little boy (Antonio) who lives in the complex and often bounces a ball in the parking lot out of sheer boredom. I've played tennis with him a few times and lent him my rackets, and I jumped his mother's car off one morning. But sadly that has been the extent of my neighborly relations until recently.

So last week Antonio knocked on my door at around 7:00. I answered, and he asked about my Christmas. We chatted in the doorway for a minute; he was obviously bored as he'd been home all day alone while his mom was at work. Antonio was acting a bit funny and kept glancing out in the parking lot. It was a bit strange, and it was cold.

He came back and knocked again a few minutes later. He wanted to know if I'd watch a movie with him. I explained that I had work to do but offered to lend him a DVD. The closest thing to a children's movie I have is Big Fish, so he passed. I offered him food to take back to his apartment, but he passed. To be honest, I didn't like him being in my apartment. He's not as big as me, but I'm just a little wary. And he was still acting weird and not making eye contact. I asked him why he wouldn't look at me, wondering if maybe something was really wrong and he needed to confide in someone (my mom is, by the way, a school counselor). He maintained that everything was fine. I told him that maybe I could take him to the movies sometime if that was alright with his mother. It's obvious he is left alone a lot, so I thought that might be a welcomed change of pace. We made plans for this week. Oh, after I had invited him, I learned that he was 12, which was surprising to me as I had thought he was around 9 or 10.

Well a few minutes later, he knocked at the door again. This time he leaned in my doorway and asks for a kiss on his cheek. I was shocked. I told him "No. But you can have a hug" and gave him one of those side hugs.

Yuck. What I thought was would a fun nice outing is now ruined. So I've got to call his mom/him tonight to cancel since he obviously has the wrong idea, and our plans now seem inappropriate.

So tonight when I approach my door, I see a note. It reads:

"Hey neighbor,
Do you need some help getting your Christmas tree downstairs? Just a thought:)
Your neighbors in 101 (Fred & Ethel)"

I thought this was pretty funny. Is this a nice way of telling me that it's too late to still have a Christmas tree up? Greenlineboy, this may be my answer to your query. And/or it's a way for us to finally meet. Cindy has never seemed friendly and looks to a little younger than me, and I've only noticed Zach once. I figure we must have different schedules, but it still bothers me that I haven't been a good neighbor and introduced myself or brought cookies by or something. As much as I'm gone, I don't even know when they moved in though.

As for why my tree is still up: as you may know, I finally gave in a few years ago and began using a fake tree. It's pretty big, and since I live in a one bedroom apartment, I have no place to put it if I take it down. It's so big that even if I put it behind my huge living room chair (the only free space), you can see it. So I've left it up a little longer than normal (but never past January) the past year or two until I head home--where I can leave it at my dad's house (i.e. my storage facility; he could write a few blogs about that). I've asked my ex (Sampras) to let me keep it in his large out building, but he's will have none of it. So for now, the tree is still up and likely will be until the weekend of the 14th. Hopefully that weekend some of my family will come down for my baptism, and perhaps I can send at least part of the tree back with them:)

So...should I write them back a quick note explaining the above (more condensed version, of course)? Or wait until tomorrow after work and knock and introduce myself? Or try to make some cookies or something and put them in a tin with a note in front of their door? I feel like this might be my opportunity to be a better neighbor (especially if they are new to Macon and don't know anyone), so any suggestions are welcome.

p.s. I'm not totally ignoring NYE; just haven't wrapped my head all the way around it and what I want to write; yet another time I've wished this was anonymous.