Sunday, December 31, 2006

popping the cork

happy new year, people!

i'm back, relaxed, i even have a slight tan from LA and so frakking relieved that 2007 is here. (wasn't 2006 a little boring yet also stressful?)

i have to get ready for the sharon jones show at the park west tonight; after my freak out with B- last week, G- wanted to come out to chicago and help me ring in the new year but his father burned down his kitchen this morning so now i'm going with E-, an old nerve pal from milwaukee. (i'm a firm believer in recycling. there's no need for past internet dates to die on the vine, you know?)

be safe, be happy and have a great new year!


Sunday, December 24, 2006

merry merry

i'm off early tomorrow to the west coast to see the family.
posting will be sporadic and will most likely be an act of desperate procrastination while i fall farther behind my writing schedule.

but i hope everyone's holiday (whatever it is you celebrate) means you're surrounded by people you love and who love you back.


Saturday, December 23, 2006

last of the year

if i wasn't so gassy right now i'd be laughing.
i think the 'reunion' with B- has come (once again!) to an ignominius end.

i think i know why i always went back to B-, even though nothing materially changed. pride. at every email from him telling me how he missed me or wants a 'doover' my pride and vanity (ok, two reasons why i always went back) were pricked and it was an irresistible challenge to me to see if i could seduce him all over again and try to return to our initial period of intensity. but i should have paid attention to the law of diminishing returns. with each reunion, my mental and lifestyle difference from B- increased - as his from mine and the pleasure i sought soon dwindled to nothing the more we tried.

so last night, prompted by my ONE girly act of insecurity ('is he seeing someone else?'), which was also prompted by pride and vanity, the short-lived ding/B- show ended. we fought, we argued, we insulted one another, laid bare our misgivings, he admitted that he's thinking of someone else, and we came to the mutual conclusion that perhaps this was not a good idea.


let this be the last B- post of the year - and hopefully thereafter.

Friday, December 22, 2006

i'm supposed to be working, but...

instead, here's something from some friends over on myspace:

2006 Awards

roomie and the presbyterians, man. no one gets plowed better than a scottish pastor and his minions.

me. i'm working in non-profit, dude. that deserves something.

hm, the friend group has been closed for a while. must work on that next year.

most of the summer, august when roomie's mom died and a couple of weeks in november when i just went brain dead.

thanksgiving. out of the country and loved it.

6) ANTHEM FOR 2006?
hm. based on my wine intake last night, i think ray lamontagne's 'three days' sort of hits me right in the girly parts.

not a single one. (although this latest go-round with B- might just be it.)

jeebus. H-'s birthday party in november - the tequila, the horrific stories (all of which i told), the pregnant pinata. classic.

last friday, schlepping my tired ass up to rogers park to be with B- and spending as much money on a cab as to go to o'hare. ass!

when's that again?

my friends and roomie. love them.

it's a tie between B- and tequila. but tequila gets me in more trouble than B-, so it wins.

ravinia, tom jones and etta james. watching skinny north shore wives set fire to their picnic table, they were so drunk.

watching the dems take the senate and the house in november. in your FACE GOP!

kicking ass at work. oh, and to go without sex for a year. i think that's why i got my promotion.

well, i certainly hope i'm past that whole celibacy thing.

opening my mouth. sometimes, things are secret for a *reason.*

it's still the president.

roomie. she puts up with more crap...

great new promotion. love it.

thanksgiving in montreal. though the traverse city trip on 4th of july was all sorts of interesting.

my writing gigs.

wearing new shoes and totally biting it in front of my office building, almost crashing my head right into the us bank window.


nothing. it's done. over. kaput.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

i had to write anyway...

that's it.
no word from B- about this weekend so i'm going to old orchard instead of lolling about in a hormonal haze with a boy before i leave.

grumble frakkin' grumble frakkin' grumble.

B- has emerged after i emailed him asking if he'd been overcome by carbon monoxide and eaten by his cats. his response to my invitation: 'i'd rather hang out at my place. give me a call.'

well, FRAK! i'd rather NOT.

update #2:
there's a personal post today on his site. i'm reading it, seeing me in what he's writing (aw, he likes my belchiness!) then the post ends with a reference to this awesome woman, whoever she is, who makes him want to write poetry to her, wearing sweat pants with 'hot metal rocks' emblazoned across the ass.

this is not me.

i'm going about my pre-christmas business right now, in the apartment, and there's a part of me that is also going slowly insane. i don't want to go insane like those other hugely insecure, neurotic women. i don't want this...this doubt (about myself, mainly.) i'm not used to self-doubt. i left that behind in junior high and high school. that's not the Me that i am now.


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

boy blogging is boring but i still haven't heard if B- has accepted my invitation to spend the weekend with me before i leave town. it's driving me nuts, making me second-guess friday night and wondering if i did something wrong.

aagh. i hate this. i hate. this.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

building trust is like building a bridge on the river kwai

once B- finds out about this little blog, i'll have to stop with the stories about him, but until then, let the B- train roll on.

yesterday i was in a dire quandary; foolishly i had triple booked my evening. drinks with a girlfriend right after work, then the movie premiere at century landmark for A- and S-, then B-. for some reason i thought i could handle all of this in four hours. it became clear to me, however, that something was going to give -- and it couldn't be B-. he was already a little snitty that i had him down for 9 pm. 'i had a feeling it would be late,' he'd said in his best Eyore voice.

you see, i'm trying to build trust. i'm trying to demonstrate that, yes, being his friend is a priority, i am interested in spending time with him and that, yes, i am different from that shallow, callow girl all those years before. (cough) but i'm finding that finding the time to build that trust is frakking hard when my time management skills are lacking, my other friends are very nice people and i like spending time with them, and B-s totally not ready for full Friend Circle Integration (FCI.)

so i'm in my office with some coworkers hoping they can help me figure out who exactly i'm going to blow off (but not B-.) and while they seriously weigh my options, i ask, 'is this what it's going to be like? having a steady boy in my life? a constant process of negotiation between my wants and his needs? this sucks!'

my marketing manager said, 'relationships are all about compromise.'
i said,'i have no idea how to do that. it's either win or cave.'

but a decision is made. i can't handle any of it. so i reschedule my girlfriend for next week (she also happened to overbook so it was fine); i called A- and offered up dinner on saturday night instead of the premiere and drinks with his partner and family (while blaming my flakiness on B- and this whole building trust process.) then i call B-, thinking he'd be glad that i totally rearranged my whole evening to be with him. instead, we have a truly lame O. Henry-like moment.

'ohh,' he said. 'i thought you were coming later, like 9 or 10 or whatever, and so i invited a friend to come over to watch the bulls game.'
'well, you were clearly disappointed i was coming up later, so i shuffled everything around. now i can come up earlier. like now.'
'but i thought you were coming later, so i invited my friend over...'
'does your friend hate girls? i'm coming up.'
'but i thought - '
'ok! ok. i get it - you have mentally prepared yourself for guy time. i have to run some errands anyway and get some things, so how about a couple hours? i'll see you in a couple of hours.'
'fine. i'll see you then.'

painful, isn't it? the two of us are totally retarded. i run my errands (which include buying a totally cute nightie at Old Navy) rush home to freshen up and change (remember i haven't been home in 24 hours) and then catch a cab ALLL the way to rogers park.

i didn't think it was possible, but B- lives even closer to wisconsin than ever before. in the cab, i note all the streets i'm familiar with, then start noticing that i have no idea where i frakking am. and the cab fare? i might as well have gone to o'hare. but that's ok! we're building trust.

up some rickety stairs, i'm in B-'s new place and - hey! it's nice! clean, white walls, built-ins, new couch, new dining set. and look! a friend! an actual, living breathing friend with red hair and a beer; we all introduce ourselves, we watch some basketball over beers, i discover they've been friends since college, the friend is married (i.e., he's NORMAL!) and B- likes kitschy hammond organ music. he's got loads of it and plays some for us.

'no willie nelson?' i said.
'um, now's not the time for that,' he said.

the friend leaves, i play with the kitty, i stretch out on the couch and, of course, a very nice 'hello, how are you, let's make out' thing starts. then, all too soon, he pulls me up and behind him to the bedroom.

i pull back. 'oh, do we have to? so soon? this was so nice.'

apparently, a tactical mistake. because B- went into another snit about how maybe this wasn't a good night after all, i keep saying i'm tired (which i was - tired of transportation), and if i wasn't in the mood maybe i should have kept those plans with all those other friends i have. and he actually flops over to the far end of the couch, crosses his arms and pouts.

i'm stunned. i'm speechless. i just want to hang out on the couch a little bit, finish my beer, kiss a little bit and i'm getting shade?! (have boys forgotten how nice it is to just sit and kiss?) but then i remember, ok, he's a depressed hermit, and who knows what kind of social cues he's missing? but then i get mad. so we have a very tense, low-voiced fight about his expectations, our lack of communication and my time management lack-wittage and how he needs to understand that if i didn't want to be here, i wouldn't. and, yes, i have friends; yes, i have a job that requires me to work late; yes, i have responsibilities. i'm a freaking grown woman.

then he says, 'well, i have lots of grading to do, too. i'm actually sort of wiped.'
i say, 'no. no, no. you don't get to do that. i'm here, the beer's here and i'm not getting into another cab, bus or fuck all. i'm here and staying until the morning.'

silence. he putters. i play with his cats (i hate cats.) then, it blows over. he comes over and wants to know what i'd like for dinner. he teases me about my salad choice, we talk about work and we watch the bulls feebly kick the bucks' ass. we talk about movies, i still try to discover what it is he likes to do outside his apartment, and then i feel a telltale internal twinge.

when i come back from the bathroom, i look at him and say, 'well. my period just started.'
he just stares at me blankly and then says, 'you're killing me, you know? you're just. killing me.'

later, he says, 'you know if we'd had sex earlier we could have beat it.'
'probably. my uterus - what can i say?'
'you're so contrary. it's such an effort with you.'
'i don't think so. last time, i thought that happened pretty organically and spontaneously. i didn't make you work for it at all.'
'yes, you did.'
'no, i didn't.'
'you did. you always do.'
'well...i don't know what to say to that.'
'that's ok. i've accepted this is the way things are.'
'hm. so, where are the bucks from?'

and on like that until bedtime. he goes in before me but i dither. do i sleep with him or am i on the couch? we never made that clear. and i'm disturbed that i need to have things spelled out for me so precisely. but we're building trust and communication! i'll get better at this. then, from the bedroom, his very dry voice: 'what now? do you want me to sleep on the couch while you take my bed? or are you coming to bed - with me?'

i'm so retarded, you know? so very very retarded. i can research government appropriations but i can't figure out if i'm the girl who kits out on the couch or the bed.

anyway, this is where we are. one step forward and then two stumbling, misunderstood steps backward; building our trust bridge, one brick at a time, all the while conscious that one false move and the whole thing could tumble down.

at this pace, we could officially be in a relationship by the year 2010.

Friday, December 15, 2006

my own carless office party commute

i was held hostage yesterday by my own bad planning.

the plan was to leave work early, pick up a couple of bottles of champagne, catch a bus to the north side where my coworker was hosting this year's office party, and arrive by six-thirty. a snap! so easy!
so didn't happen.

5.00 pm - left the office. (the plan in action!)
5.15 pm - caught the very crowded grand bus.
5.45 pm - at Binny's, buying champagne. (ok, the plan is starting to falter a little bit)
5.50 pm - waiting for the Grand bus to take me to ashland. phone call to hostess. ('hi, i'm waiting for the second bus of the evening, but i should be there by 6.30, no problem. see you later!')
6.05 pm - waiting for second ashland bus because first one was too crowded (plan definitely in danger at this point.)
6.20 pm - while stuck in traffic realization dawns that i'm on the wrong frakking bus.
6.21 pm - while asking directions, inappropriately hit upon by bus driver who wants to 'recruit' me to be his girlfriend. sorry, buddy. i have an office party to attend.
6.25 pm - bus driver polls passengers and all agree that, yes, i am on the wrong bus and i need to be on the clark bus. he drops me off on clark and irving and says it's too bad destiny wasn't on his side. (plan is officially tanked.)
6.27 pm - phone call to hostess. ('hi, um, i'm now waiting for the clark bus. i'm so close! i have no idea when i'll get there but don't eat all the food! i'm on my way!')
6.57 pm - clark bus finally comes and i'm desperate for a cigarette but NO ONE has a light. damn north siders.
7.20 pm - encounter J- and T-, also on their way to the party, one block away from the party. am sweaty, thirsty, and exhausted.
7.25 pm - arrive at party, at last! immediately guzzle two glasses of champagne in quick succession.
7.30 - 11.45 pm - slightly inappropriate, not-safe-for-work story follows inappropriate, not-safe-for-work story; 4-5 gin and tonics consumed; good times.
12.00 am - am too tired and tipsy to take CTA again. after canceling on B-, i crash in the hostess' extra bedroom and immediately dream of evil italian plumbers and christmas elves.

happy office parties to you all!
Campaign pushes car-less commute | Chicago Tribune

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

whoda thunk?: b- is back

where to begin?

if my roomie was writing this, she'd say 'and, like clockwork, B- has returned and Ding pretends it's over, but it's not. it never is.' but she's not writing it so i'll fall back on my standard protest: it was like a bolt from the past! i didn't see it coming! it took me completely by surprise!

one day i'm just desultorily pretending to work at my office because i'm muzzy with a head cold, i'm physically exhausted, i'm mentally wasted and i have no energy for anything. i'm all a-fuzz. then, an email from B- signalling that perhaps his Eyore existence isn't all that it's cracked up to be. he misses me. he may even venture outside. because of his email and the ones that follow, i lose a whole week of work.

(my boss says to me monday that she'd like to be kept more informed of what i'm doing. i'm zoning out because of a boy! that's what i'm doing! i can't concentrate of government appropriations because of a boy! actually, that's not true. since i've seen B- again, my powers of concentration are much better. too, this could be a result of no longer overdosing myself with cold medicine.)

so what's different now? i don't know. seeing him in my apartment, on my ground, made a huge difference. he feels different - less closed off, more secure. but am i different? i'm trying to be. Making an Effort.

anyway. that's where we are with that.

Monday, December 11, 2006

an interesting thing just happened in the office; a coworker and i just spent 20 minutes trying to figure out how to address a letter to a pair of women who may/may not be domestic partners. their donation was a tribute to someone else, so we could assume they are sisters. but they could also be domestic partners.

should our formal letter of acknowledgment say Dear Ms. Cathy Stone and Ms. Emily Stone?
or should it be Dear Cathy and Emily?
or should it be Dear Mesdames Stone? (Miss Manners recommends this approach.)
or should we send two separate letters that just say, each, Dear Ms. Stone?

it's a puzzlement and we are both waiting for Emily Post to get back to us.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

robin, can i touch your hair?

ABC News: Confronting Tough Issues of Race

this one made me and my roomie laugh; we saw it advertised on GMA yesterday (roomie watches it religiously) and we recorded it this morning. the clip yesterday of robin getting all sorts of uncomfortable when diane sawyer touched her wrist and said 'what do you say to that?' after a segment about michael richards losing his shit was priceless. we just laughed and laughed and laughed.

but if this segment is supposed to explore race (a woman from my organization is one of the panelists) it seems really sort of Race 101, you know? like, Race for Middle Class Dummies. (see, i was going to write 'Race for Retards' but, though it rings better, that would have been insensitive and boneheaded.)

i mean, really:

Sawyer brought up the first topic: do a lot of white Americans feel they're
being tested by black Americans by having to watch every word lest they be
accused of racism ? She asked, "What if I said something really insensitive and

i like my answer much better than dubois' - then you're insensitive and boneheaded, diane. shouldn't the more interesting question be why shouldn't a lot of white americans feel they're being tested by non-white americans by having to watch every word they say?

otherwise, we'll end up finding a nice way to justify/normalize being insensitive and boneheaded. let's put an end to the benign 'pass' we give for comments that make us inwardly cringe but we never call people out for it because we make the excuse 'well, they just don't know better.' i'm putting my feet down; y'all people should know better by now. it's fracking 2006.

again, shouldn't the bigger goal be for all of us to watch what we say? at the very least? i mean, that just seems basic - the dumbass end of the DiversityBehavior spectrum - Don't call someone a derogatory name.

jesus. do people actually have to be told this?

but if you want an extra gold star, how about making friends with someone who doesn't look like you? at the very least, your Diversity Learning Curve will increase rapidly. i remember when me and roomie first met, the first 6 months of our friendship was spent in bars while she asked me things like, "So what the hell is up with Martin Lawrence?" and explaining why the cocktail hour seems to only happen in white households (though i had white friends growing up, i didn't encounter cocktail hour until i moved to the midwest.) by having at least one friend with different levels of melanin, it puts you one step further away from Diversity Dumbass and several closer to Diversity Expert.

(in all honesty, one brown friend isn't going to get you to that Expert level; you'll need to have more than several, be invited over to share a meal with their family and have to attend at least one funeral without freaking out. roomie's already passed this test.)