Thursday, April 30, 2009

Dating Problems

I like to think I'm continually bettering myself. With school starting in a mere month, I feel I'm well on my way. I try to improve my cooking and baking skills through research and trials. And I do my best each day to be a finer parent than the day before.

Tonight I outdid myself. You might remember a time when I showed up to Hostess Treat Claudia's party...a day late. Though it was a joyous mistake, and everyone had a great time, I promised myself I'd be far more conscientious about dates and times. But really, that was a long time ago...and how am I supposed to remember something so distant?!

Activities Assistant Josh turned 30 today. Last night I got an invite to his party at Missie B's. After 9...sure, I'd tuck the kids in and steal away for a short while. Gotta love being able to celebrate a dear friend, right? Well, I was home later than I'd anticipated. I had to make bread so Audrey could take a sandwich on a field trip tomorrow, then had to respond to a couple of emails, but managed to throw on my Blondes Have More Fun shirt, tucked my hair away and headed out the door. Arrived at the bar...not a place I frequent, but thought I'd see my friends right away. No such luck. Texted Josh, "Are you here?" He responded, "Where?" "Missie B's." "It's tomorrow night, dear."

Will I learn? I can't so much say. Will I try? Perhaps for awhile. I'm actually considering using a tool to help me keep important dates and times straight. A calendar, I believe it's called. I dunno...might be worth a try.


Ending another typical workday, I pulled the van into the garage, looked about to find what needed to go into the house, heard Audrey going on about borrowing money for a book fair and while she spoke, an eerie haze filled the room. Smoke, steam, evil spirits...something was awry. I had just a couple of nights prior been thinking about how important it was for me to keep Hot Red Speed in working order -- for oh, say, three more years -- and this turn of events...not looking good. I popped the hood to find diluted anti-freeze spewing from a crack in my top radiator hose. It was the easiest diagnosis I've ever made on my car, but still dreaded the resolution. I had definitely not carved any extra time into my night to play mechanic.

More flustered than I would have liked, I made my way into the house, where the kids were waiting for me and each had a complaint of some variety. My sense of humor had already been pushed to its limits so I poured a glass of wine and tackled dinner. The weather was a bit on the dreary side and the kids had lamented that we hadn't made tamale pie over the winter, so that was my plan. But first I had to pressure cook the beans. After 30 minutes, I released the steam from the pot, or at least most of it, impatiently opened the lid...and in keeping with my theme for the afternoon, spewed pressurized legumes all over the stove and its surroundings. Deep breath. Quiet giggle. Quick clean-up. Then I put the rest of dinner together. Turned the beans into chili, ground the corn to make the cornbread topping, tossed it in the oven then carefully drove to the parts store for a new hose. As I was leaving, I asked the young man, "Any tricks I should know?" and he said it was very straight-forward and that he could probably do it for me. I opted to head home and avoid burning dinner.

After eating, I took a big swig of wine and grabbed my tools. Got one clamp off...but the other...really well hidden and though reachable with my fingers, I couldn't get a grip with my pliers. After five minutes of fussing, I remembered the kind words of Daniel behind the counter. And I drove back and sheepishly asked for his help.

So glad that I did. It was a hassle. I'd forgotten that nearly every repair on the Dodge was in a difficult to reach place. It took the two of us about 30 minutes and a new set of clamps before we were done. Don't know if I could've done it on my own or midnight...and with more than my fair share of wine. But asking for help. Hmmmm. I might look into that. Occasionally.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Don't Play with Matches

Match stories? Seriously? Wasabi wants Match stories.

I initially dismissed the idea, thinking I'd give them to him in person in exchange for a Ginger-Lime Martini, but while out on my run yesterday, the idea of writing about them made sense...not sure how it will all fall into place, but here goes...

As I told you in the winter, I played for a month on the dating site. I had an absolute blast. Met several charmers and just one dud. Learned a little about myself. Made some friends. Not a bad investment, I'd say. And a couple of weeks ago, I decided that I'd like to play just a bit more before starting school in June so I re-upped my subscription, tweaked my profile and went at it again.

It has been very different this time around the block. Admittedly, my profile is a bit on the cynical side -- I'm not going to come right out and say that I am charming and witty and beautiful -- I have to make a short story long to test the patience of my reader. I'd hate for someone to ask me on a date and not understand that I'm long-winded...

Lessons learned:
-Age matters
-Poetry...takes my breath away. Who knew?
-Chemistry comes in surprising packages
-An English accent, or even the suggestion of one is an attention grabber
-I'm a sucker for a compliment to my writing -- even from 500 miles away
-I'm not playing fair if I wear the coral-colored shirt on a first date...or maybe ever

Questions left unanswered:
-Why do men from New York assume that if they wish to bed me, I will gratefully comply?
-Why does anyone think a "wink" is an acceptable form of flattery?
-What's the quickest way to get from inane conversing to a casual meeting?
-Seriously, the "winks"?

I was fortunate enough to have a certain someone set the bar rather high for those who would follow him, and I now have great expectations for he who seeks to share my time and attention. This has, of course, been a blessing as well as a curse. Most suitors don't make it to the starting gate, and a very few have begun the race. I'm not waiting for Wasabi II by any means. Not so much looking for my next great love, either. But you never know, he might be patiently sitting in my inbox at this very moment...though I'm certain he's not winking.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Half Yearly Report

Not even aware of the grand significance of the date, I invited Concert Katrina to Casa Del Mar for dinner tonight. She had been bumping around Match, as had I, and we thought it time to compare notes.

Midway through dinner, I gleefully remembered that exactly six months ago, she and I labored from dawn 'til dinner moving my worldly possessions from Horton to Here. Just the two of us, a mini-van and the perfect dose of arrogance convincing us that we could do it on our own. And we did.

So here I sit. In my house. Halfway through what seemed like an eternal lease. And I couldn't love my life more. From the sad little girl who began pouring out her heart here a January ago to the woman who now recharges her soul from her Chair of Fabulosity daily, I embrace the changes that I've created as well as endured.

Cheers, Casa Del Mar! I can't wait to see what the next six months hold.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Oh, Mr. Postman!

I knew it would be a long day when the alarm sounded at 5:15 and I dressed for spinning. Immediately following class, I hurried home to shower and ready myself for the day then quickly headed to see my favorite dentist in all of Kansas City so I could gratefully accept her nitrous oxide in exchange for my cash. I dashed straight to work, though my smile was quite crooked. A long, achy-mouthed workday was to be followed by a Girl Scout meeting, but first I stopped by home, grabbed the mail and that is where this is all going...

My new favorite something in the mail came to my house today. It's been more than 20 years since I've seen one of these and to be honest, this was far more beautiful than any that I'd ever received. It was (drum roll please) a letter indicating I'd been awarded a scholarship for the 2009-2010 school year. I'm a little bit embarrassed to be writing this to you before I compose my thank you letter to the donor, but I promise that will be done before the sun sets tomorrow.

For now, though, I will toast myself and my new academic adventure (which starts in a mere six weeks) and how amazing it will be. Challenging beyond my imagination's reach, but a textbook example of how perfectly charmed my life is.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Plain Crash

I'm not even going to bother trying to play catch-up. I think mostly life has been mostly the same. Mostly.

I did, however, have a small glitch, bump, snafu, hiccup in my life this weekend. (Oh, let me backtrack...pleeeeease) The kids computer -- you know, the ancient one that lives in the chilly basement -- yes, that apparently died a few weeks ago. No one told me. I only realized it when the young'uns began using my fragile laptop several days ago. I ambitiously ventured downstairs, hoping it was a simple loose component or such luck. Call in Martin for aid? Perhaps a burial... Anyway, again, the kids had been knocking around on my computer and though I wasn't excited, I didn't think much of it. Audrey needs to feed her Littlest Pet Shop animals, after all. And I continued to use it for all of the various reasons that I do.

Until Sunday morning. I had actually taken the computer to bed with me (talk about a sad, single existence) because I felt a touch of insomnia coming on...or maybe I was awaiting a response to an email I'd sent earlier...or you could fill in the blank any way you at, let's say 3 a.m. or so, I open said laptop and it looked kinda puney. The happy lights that typically greeted me were dimmed. I let it know I required its services and it didn't respond. A quick blink of the lights was all it would say. No power. No internet. No love.

As I tried to return to sleep, lamenting the loss of my connection to the world, I made a new connection...the kids computer one week. Mine the next. An ugly virus swirling around the internet. Blech. The websites kids frequent are often wrought with bugs and worms and whatnot. I'd been attacked. Twice.

How much effort was I going to put into salvaging nine and six year old PCs? Um.....none. I bought a new laptop this morning. Set it up all by my lonesome. Sure, they're designed to work right out of the box, but I need to pat myself on the back about something.

Oh, delete that last back-pat. Here's a better one: I ice-skated today and only fell on my arse once. Or maybe that's a pat for another part...

Saturday, April 4, 2009

The Fools of April

A week ago at spinning class, one gal commented she couldn't believe that a new month was around the corner. Another responded saying that she needed to come up with a good April Fool's Day joke or two. Never a big fan (I'm pretty sure there's a neon GULLIBLE target above my head), I suddenly thought of a way to mark the day with a great big exclamation point. But first, I needed to reel in the help of several others.

The first call was to Martin. Without his seal of approval, I would have never pursued such a stunt. He gleefully agreed that we should go for it and I was on to the next call. It took a day to contact the third party, who then was aided by several others in an attempt to pull of my silly idea.

What on earth was I up to? Knowing all requirements had been fulfilled, I thought if we could get our lawyers working quickly, we could have our divorce finalized on April Fool's Day. It seemed a fitting ending for a far-from-traditional marriage as well as the beginning of what we hope will continue to be a non-conformist divorce.

My attorney -- who'd just a week prior been transferred my case and had never met me -- giggled at the idea and then labored dutifully for a day and a half. On April 1 at 3:00, I left work to sign the final papers. She took said papers to Martin's attorney's office and he did his part at about 4:00. She then raced 15 miles hoping to have a judge declare the decree valid, which he did. But the end of the workday came and went before it was recorded at the courthouse.

So on April 2nd, 2009, our divorce was officially filed and recorded. I'm sure many take offense to the lighthearted approach we've taken to this process, but we have both been far happier since the separation. We communicate better and enjoy each others' company more. I might be delusional, but I'd even venture to guess that the kids have benefited by the genuine friendship that we now share. I don't know if it's because we should have just remained friends all those years ago or if we're both too lazy to play vindictive ex-spouse, but as long as we continue to support one another, I don't suppose it much matters.