Thursday, April 30, 2009

Puppies, Proms, Dates, & Rainbows


Saturday my friend Chasie’s little sister and her friends are getting read for the prom at my place. Then I’ll go with little sister and her boyfriend to other friends’ homes for photographs. Since I’m playing “mom” I think this means I need to give the prom “sex talk,” right? Fun! I think it’s sweet that little sister wants to hang out with me.

Dating Update:

Two weeks ago I had a 10 1/2 hour (first) date with Match Guy # 5 ("James"). We met at a park in Nashville at 1:30 and with the exception of a walk to my car to retrieve cupcakes (chocolate cake with insanely delicious peanut butter frosting if you must know) we did not move until after dark. Remarkable, really since if nothing else I usually use the restroom every hour or two and am pretty fidgety. I was worried A2, who I was staying with, would think I'd been killed and chopped into pieces, so we finally got up so I could grab my phone and text her. Then we went to dinner and parted ways around midnight.

Needless to say, I really enjoyed talking with James and found him to be as well-read and interesting as expected. It took me several days to process all of our conversation. It only took me one day, however, to very much appreciate the CD he gave me. His profile stated that “It's not at all a stretch to say that I make one of the top 3 mix tapes in Nashville,” and I won’t disagree. I feel richer by knowing him.

This evening I have my first second date with a Match guy--MJ--the guy who brought cupcakes to our first meeting a month ago. We’ve talked once or twice since then and emailed a little so no incredible momentum, but we’ll see. He seems like a nice, active, enthusiastic guy, so if nothing else I’m sure I’ll enjoy our time together.

In other news, I may have a new case that I’m really excited about....lets just say I’ve been doing “research” on Myspace. I love employment law. Plus a co-worker just discovered a bakery a mile away from our office with delicious cupcakes (or at least the two I just ate were).

Happy Thursday!

p.s. I am thankful for strawberries and my mom growing them in her backyard. Yummy!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Things I Say I Hate But Must Not Really*

1. Annoying Facebook status updates....because if I really hated them, (1) I'd quit FB or (2) at least not blog/talk about them. Wait, that's not really true. The opposite of love isn't hate; it's indifference. So perhaps hate is the correct terminology. Hmm.

2. "I Didn't Know I was Pregnant" This show was seriously disturbing but I watched it for at least 30 minutes after I realized how appalling it was. (3) It was even more disturbing than my trips to Walmart.

(4) The Hills (although I haven't really watched in months)

(5) Fast food. I had my annual visit to Krystal a week ago, and I'm sure I'll have McDonald's fries at some point this year too. And I'll occasionally eat a salad from Zaxby's when my secretary offers to pick it up. And I had a dream cone from Chik-fil-a last week.

(6) Chain restaurants like Chilis and Applebees. Ok, Applebees is pretty nasty, but I like the blue drinks, queso, and fajitas at Chilis. But I still wouldn't choose to go there.

(7) The View. This show is so annoying. How do I know it's so annoying, you might ask. Well I know because I sometimes watch it...or at least the first 15 minutes of "hot topics" in which my blood pressure often rises to an unhealthy number. The hosts are simply asinine yet....I watch.

An aside: I'm proud to say I've not watched a Lifetime movie in at least two years (see my indifference). My Lifetime viewing is restricted to Golden Girls.

*Generally inspired by Brandy's post.

p.s. I'm grateful for a relatively new friend "CC" who is really competitive, great at word games, completed the BFF application to my satisfaction, and invited me to do a 4 mile race with her in two weeks.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Obviously Newsworthy....

So it looks like Time read my blog post and realized they had an important news story on their hands. Hence the article "How Not to Be Hated on Facebook: 10 More Rules."

Since the election I've watched less than 2 cumulative hours of news on television (thanks to "journalists" like Campbell Brown who make me want to buy a gun just so I can shoot my television; seriously she should just take a seat on The View because that's the quality of her "work."). Sometimes I read the CNN ticker on the television in front of the gym treadmill, and the most significant recent news stories are evidently (1) a faux pas occurred involving the Queen of England and the Obamas (that was a few weeks ago but it was clearly VERY important), (2) Oprah joined Twitter, and (3) someone used my beloved Craig's List to find murder victims. And now, of course, there's the emergency state of Facebook and annoying status updates. Am I missing anything?

Side note: there's only one thing I disagree with on Time's list:

"Cryptic status updates about your mental state — "Rachel is trying so hard," "Rachel wishes things were different," "Rachel is starting her life over" — don't make you sound intriguing, just lonely and pathetic."

Maybe this does sound pathetic, but I tend to think not. Pathetic is a strong word. Plus these updates are much better than the minute by minute details of someone's evening, right? And it's sort of fun to ponder what Rachel might mean....

HT: Pete

p.s. I'm grateful that a family member is taking my great Aunt Rene on a week long trip to the mountains. She's been looking forward to this for months, and it'll break up some of the loneliness.

p.p.s. Instead of taking another quiz, read these articles from Time. Hilarious. I especially like this random 25 things "When I was little, I pretended my bike was a horse named Satan."

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Glorious Weather, Lemons, and Facebook Status Updates

Today is the sort of day that pretty much mandates rejoicing and reminds me of one of my favorite quotes:

"...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

Today I avoided office drama/stress and slept until 9:00, did some planks and work, took a nap, worked some more, ran errands with windows down & music blaring, bought strawberries for $1.50, and have knocked out a solid third of my "accomplishment list." Any minute now, I am going to resume working....

Evidence that "trivial" is still on my mind: The residents of my hometown seem to have learned recently about Facebook, so I'm "hiding" people from my news feed more often than ever. The status updates and quizzes (because who doesn't want to know which Lord of the Rings character she is most like?) are killing me. I've learned that "Candy" gets her upper lip waxed, and in the most inappropriate waxing revelation yet, I learned that another acquaintance's husband gives her Brazilian waxes, saving their family $75/month. Way to go with the budget cuts dear Facebook friend, but that image almost made me throw up (since you guys don't know her I'm assuming you'll be ok). And then the ones that just generally annoy me include this one: "Buffy Beebop is coloring my hair, tanning, then to the shower, head to the dreaded Wal-Mart, going to dinner at my mother in-law's, and this evening heading to work!!!"

One of my favorite status updates of late: Brian "I was really wondering what are everyone's top 5 brands of pastrami. Oh, you've already taken a quiz letting me know? Thanks..."

Given my annoyance, you might think my Facebook status updates are clever and witty. Au contraire, they are not, but I do manage to avoid detailing every single thing I've done on a given day (that's what blogs are for, duh. See the third paragraph of this post.) or matters of really personal hygiene. I am so glad I have standards. Gah. Maybe I should tell my hometown about blogspot....

p.s. I'm grateful that I was able to attend church at Cross Point on Sunday. Pete reminded me that God is far less concerned about where I'm going than who I'm becoming. And he pointed out that we're often seeking God--not so that we can know Him--but because of what we think He will give us. I'm totally guilty and needed that gut check.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Two weeks ago I was looking at an ingredients list which noted that the product included "trivial amounts" of somesuperlongwordthatprobablymeanstheingredientissuperfakeandcausescancer. Since then I've been thinking about the word trivial and the lies we tell ourselves and each other because what fun would it be to just read the product label and not allow it to provoke deep thought? That would be way too easy, right?

Typically trivial is defined as "of very little importance or value; insignificant."

Over the years there are a lot of things I've trivialized in an attempt to make them less painful.

"It didn't really matter anyway." "I don't really care." "Oh, it's ok. Really, it's no big deal. I shouldn't have said anything."

I especially like to act like something doesn't matter from the get-go...that way, I figure, it won't hurt if it doesn't work out. It's like the Gin Blossoms said--if you don't expect too much, you might not be let down. That verse sort of became my modus operandi for years. I was so tired of feeling hurt and let down, so it seemed easier to not have expectations or hopes at all.

My freshman year of college my boyfriend and I were at different schools and two hours apart. I proposed an "open" relationship and wonder how much of that proposal was motivated by his previous unfaithfulness and my desire to protect myself; after all, if it's open, he's not doing anything wrong, right? And if I'm kissing other boys, how he treats me won't hurt so much.

So I'm trying to be intentional about being hopeful, admitting that things matter, and being cool with the fact that I'm going to be hurt by people--and then letting myself hurt. A friend pointed out to me that whenever I get close to something painful I quickly toss in a rejoinder or other qualifier to exit the moment. Sometimes I think I do that because my problems and hurts feel trivial in light of how wonderful my life is overall--as if a great life makes complaining or hurting unacceptable. Or maybe I'm trying to make something less painful by quickly jumping to the good.

And then sometimes I wonder if I qualify the hurtful matter (lets say feeling rejected or forgotten) with something positive (how someone else values me) because I fail to realize my value and still trying to prove that I am, in fact, important.

And, this, friends is why I'm not reading any more product labels.

In dating news, tomorrow I'm meeting Match Guy #5 who I've easily enjoyed corresponding with the most and also the one who reads my blog. We've agreed to meet up in the early afternoon, see what we think, and if we're both a "go," go out on a "proper" date that night. Something about this arrangement makes me think of a dating show. Maybe we should each bring a rose and let it sit in plain sight the entire time (like on the one-on-one dates on The Bachelor) to remind us of the upcoming decision.

p.s. I'm grateful that the cashier at Sonic gave me three lemon slices this morning to go with my Diet Coke.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Who Has the Most Wrong with Him?

I was so tired on my date on Friday night that I briefly wondered if my neighbor had slipped Ruffies into my drink. Then I reasoned that if he had I would probably have been taking my clothes off or something. Plus I was drinking water with dinner, and I think you're supposed to mix it with alcohol. I read way too much true crime in middle school.

It was fun to go on a proper date with a non-internet person. Conversation was easy, albeit riddled with red flags, and after dinner (checked another restaurant off my list) we went to the neighborhood bar for drinks. By that point I was almost deliriously tired but having enough fun to want to keep going, so I just had one martini and proceeded to engage my neighbor in my made-up game "who has the most wrong with him?" It's a stupid game but fun to see what people 'fess up to and how creative they become. My neighbor did surprisingly well and has written to say he's come up with a few more. There's a lot wrong with me, so we may need to go for round two.

The dating scale won't work for this date because I had a really good time but wouldn't go out with him again. With that being said, I'd definitely hang out with him again as a group or something since I sort of have a rule* against being friends with guys that I find subjectively attractive. Maybe a few of us could have a neighborly outing and include him.

p.s. I'm grateful for my upcoming three day weekend in Nashville and face time with two of my favorite people.

* I'm sort of fond of rules and find that wide margins work best for me in this arena.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

I Am Defiantly Splitting Infinitives

One of my bosses is an English/Blue Book sort of nerd, and I must admit that I am at times too. I've been reading some of his interrogatory responses in hopes of avoiding the recreation of the wheel so to speak and ran across several oddly written sentences. I realized he was trying to avoid splitting infinitives and wondered what you guys thought about that (or if you ever think about such trivial* things).

Here's two examples:

"Defendant Bank failed appropriately to monitor the development of the collateral."

"Defendant failed timely to notify this Plaintiff."

Awkward. I'm rewriting. This reminds me of the painful way people sometime rewrite questions so that they won't end with a preposition, e.g. "On what did you step?" This reminds me of a joke I heard 15 years ago:

A midwestern farmer is crossing Harvard square searching for the library. He approaches a stately looking gentleman, who happens to be a Harvard English professor, and he asks, "Excuse me sir. Can you tell me where the library is at?"**

The professor looks somewhat disdainfully and replies, "At Harvard," he sniffs "we do not end sentences with prepositions."

After a pause the farmer turns back to the professor and asks, "Well then, can you tell me where the library is at, asshole?"

p.s. I'm grateful that my mom and step-dad joined me for church and lunch today. And while no words or p.s. comment can express my gratitude for my Savior and Father's sacrifice, I am deeply grateful for the hope, love, and strength of my risen King.

* Just thought I'd let you know that this word has been on my mind a lot lately.
** I actually hate the way this question sounds. The use of "at" is redundant but pointing out that a question ends with a preposition is even more annoying.

Friday, April 10, 2009

And they burned all the books and the Chevrolets

Match Date #3 was a 7.9 which means I would go out with him again, but if he doesn't ask me out that's fine too. Will seems to meet the typical parameters of the guys I've dated in the past (not sure if that's good or bad) except he's a Democrat; with the exception of the last election we have the exact same voting/support record since 1988...and both were glad (at the tender age of ten) that Bush Sr. beat Dukasis. Although I'm definitely not angling for political debates, Will visibly holds some strong opinions and that's attractive.

Which sort of leads into what I feel like is missing in the three guys I've met--they've just not been particularly engaging, charismatic, and/or animated. There hasn't been that sort of initial connection that results in a three hour conversation, I guess. I just realized the other day that because I tend to get wound up about things, sometimes I think more staid individuals make me feel a bit like a clown. Sometimes they just don't know what to do with me (or perhaps are annoyed). It was sort of that way with Carter, which I didn't realize for several months. Last spring my boss asked if Carter appreciated how different I was from most girls and my quirkiness. I realized I didn't know, so I asked Carter and his response was that he wasn't sure yet and that it bothered him that he couldn't "read" me more easily.

Oh, I almost forgot. I have a real life date tonight. Or I'd rather call it a neighborly outing. My cute neighbor (who I've never seen in our actual building) asked me out for drinks weeks ago, and we're just now coordinating for tonight....dinner and a party at his friend's house, which feels a bit risky given the amount of time it could eat up... but I figure it'd be good to meet some different people in Chatty.

Check out what I've deemed my Easter tee shirt...who needs an Easter dress? (Just for you Ella:)

I just saw this lovely bumper sticker:

And now I'm off to a Good Friday service with friends. Hope your Friday is good too.

p.s. I'm thankful for Zyrtec's helping a little.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Match Date #3

What: First date with another Match guy
Who: "Will"
When: Today after work
Where: Starbucks
Why: Well here's what I know about him....

Christian/Protestant (attends a non-denominational church)
30 years old, 6'3, "athletic and toned," blond/blue-eyed, lives in Atlanta but frequently travels in North Georgia (where I work)
Self-employed real estate attorney
Really into Crossfit, which should make Jennifer happy, and does triathlons, etc. Very active. Loves Dead Poets' Society.
He's in a Facebook group called "People who are from Tennessee and hate UT." That makes me smile. Orange is an awful color on almost everyone.
And the "Match O Meter" shows us matching up in every category except exercise (and that doesn't match b/c I checked the wrong box).

We've been e-mailing for two weeks and trying to get together for over a week now...finally our schedules have synced up. And you know, I'm not dreading this at all. Yeah positive attitude and totally "normal" seeming boy.

In other Match news, MJ, the Chicago guy who brought me a half dozen delicious cupcakes, has emailed and called. While I like him and enjoy talking to him, my gut is that we might be a good fit but not an awesome fit (but what do I know?). He's asked me twice when I was going to be in Atlanta again, and both times I've said that I didn't have any plans to be. I finally threw out that my hometown (where I occasionally stay during the work week) isn't that far from where he lives--about 40 minutes, so maybe we could work something out next time I'm there. He liked that idea and asked me to let him know the next time I'd be there, but honestly I think he should ask me out on a proper date and just come to Chatty. Plus it'll be at least another week and a half or more before I can be in Calhoun and available for dinner (b/c usually when I'm there I'm spending time with my family).

That's enough updating for now. There are three more guys, I think, but short of making a chart it's just too much for one post. And yes, it feels weird to be "talking" to so many different guys, but other than telling a few to take a rain check what do I do? Oh, I think one may be reading my blog (thanks Sitemeter); if so, hi there :) I found his blog, but then felt guilty about reading it so I stopped. I am impressed with my restraint.

p.s. I'm grateful for my evening home alone with no plans and only one phone call.

I Wish I Were the Verb to Trust and Never Let You Down

Last weekend I forced myself to have one of those uncomfortable conversations with a friend. I e-mailed him on Thursday about talking so that (1) I'd obligate myself to do what I needed to do and (2) to give him a heads up. I began by apologizing for not coming to him sooner with my concerns. I had been praying about talking to him since January but never felt a peace about talking to him (or not talking to him). Two weeks ago I was working on my Bible study when I realized this prayer request fell into the arena of "you don't need to pray about this because the Bible has already told you what God would have you do."* Even when I believe someone has wronged me, it's always my move to reconcile or repair our relationship. I'm not sure how that's escaped me for two months.

The conversation went well, and I said what I needed to say....and immediately felt a weight lifted. It helped that I went into the conversation with no expectations of my friend, realizing that I can only control what I do and say. And you know, these "awkward" conversations are becoming a little bit easier for me. And an upside of having them is that I spend a lot more time in the Word and in prayer in the days leading up to them out of my desire for the Lord's leading and wisdom.

One of the Match boys shared this last week, and I've made it my prayer several times since then. My favorite part is in italics.

"My Lord God,

I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope that I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone."

~Thomas Merton~

** It's sort of like praying about whether you should be unfaithful to your spouse, for example. The Bible has made the answer to this clear, so there's no need to go ask God about it. He's already spoken.

p.s. I'm grateful that large drinks are $1 before 10 a.m. at Sonic.

Friday, April 03, 2009

I want to be more concerned about what might be than about being right about what might not be

I've been thinking about what it means to love our neighbors (not the literal or typical definition but the one given by Jesus and in the OT--anyone I come into contact with who lacks resources, the poor, the immigrant, etc.). And as I thought through what I already do and what I could do to be more loving, my mind wondered down the path of trying to figure out what to do about this one person in my life who I've been trying to love well for the last 8 months despite how infuriating and exhausting he can be. Unlike many, he has access to resources and opportunities that he doesn't avail himself of, making poor choices and not using what he has wisely. Am I wasting time on him that could be better spent helping someone who wants to help himself more?

As I thought, I realized that I was sort of like the lawyer (imagine that) in Luke 10:25-37 in the Parable of the Good Samaritan. I'm more interested in defining and limiting the definition of "neighbor" than just loving and taking action. Over the years, I've seen this a lot in my middle class circles--both Christian and otherwise. We'll talk about helping a group/person and somehow get lost in reasons not to ("well they aren't really helping themselves" or "maybe this isn't the best way to do it" or "I probably shouldn't take anything else on right now"). No doubt, a lack of love is often easy to justify.

And it's easy for me to think I get it all so wrong (living in my loft, driving my SUV, typing on my laptop and listening to my ipod and basically living a life of incredible physical comfort and luxury) that I just give up and push all of the poverty and injustice of this world out of my mind. Or I conclude that I just need to move to a third world country (as if my neighbors here don't need love too). In reality I just need to do. I need to write a letter to Pedro in Peru instead of running that last mile. I need to love my infuriating friend well even if he is making destructive decisions. I need to write that check instead of constantly counting the cost (which I don't do so much when it's something I want). I need to have that uncomfortable conversation. I need to talk to the homeless person rather than look away. And I need to humbly rely on God because I know I may be getting it all wrong, but surely it pleases Him that I'm trying no matter how feeble my attempts are. Here are some of the questions I'm asking myself:

"Am I more aware of what I don't have (or want) or of what others need?"

"Am I offering things that don't cost me anything?"

Do I want to give myself away? Do I really believe that I have to lose my life to find it?

p.s. I'm grateful for this video. I didn't like it until 4:30 (thought it was sort of gay; I'm not the interpretative dance kind), but then it totally affected me. Now I'm a fan :)