Thursday, December 6, 2007

holy shit. (a more clever title than one might initially think)

A few months ago a couple of my friends and I were lounging around a friend's apartment, enjoying No Pants Day. No Pants Day is an all-too-rare treat that happens when massive amounts of alcohol are consumed the previous night, causing party participants to collectively pass out in one location (usually in what is called "9-Spoon", where everyone faces the same direction and sleeps in a big spooning formation). The following day, the apartment crashers must abide by the following rules:

1) No pants are allowed. The name is not Pajama Pants Day, it is No Pants Day. If they must, participants are allowed to wrap a blanket, afghan or throw around their nether region.

2) Someone must provide breakfast and Gatorade. If breakfast and Gatorade are not readily available at the friend's apartment, someone must go out to retrieve them. Again, under no circumstances are pants allowed. This is why God invented drive-throughs, both of the fast food and convenience store variety.

3) At least three movies must be watched. Past and often-recurring favorites include Romy and Michele's High School Reunion, Super Troopers, Reality Bites and Sixteen Candles.

4) Appropriate underwear is highly recommended.

On this particular No Pants Day, one of my friends Lynn had an unfortunate stomachache. This is hardly uncommon, given the nature of traditional No Pants Day Eves and their natural association with buckets of hard liquor. Lynn eventually wrapped her lower half in a blanket and excused herself from the movie-watching festivities to spent some alone time in the bathroom.

Ten minutes later we hear - through the bathroom door - Lynn erupt in giggles. She throws open the door and yells "You guys! Get in here and look at this!! OHMYGOD!!!"

Three of us immediately jump up without even the slightest hesitation.

The Boyfriend (who was actually just Best Guy Friend at the time) remained seated on the couch, expressing his disgust for our bathroom interest.

"You guys are jumping up and running to look at her poop! That. is. sick. Sick. and. wrong."

Lynn showed us her twosie treasure and we all had to laugh. She had been in the bathroom for over ten minutes and barely had one goat-poop-sized ball to show for it. How is that not funny? We all had a good giggle and then resumed our positions on the overstuffed couches.

A few months later, the above event somehow crept into our conversation. The Boyfriend (no longer Best Guy Friend) had apparently been haunted for months and now felt it necessary to have a sit-down with me.

The Boyfriend: "I want you to know how much I love you."

Not Lisa: "Are you breaking up with me in a really fucked up fashion?"

The Boyfriend: "No. But I do have something very serious that I need to tell you. It's important that you remember this for always and forever."

Not Lisa: "Hmm... okay."

The Boyfriend: "I love you so much that I can't even begin to describe it. It's an embarrassing amount. I'm ashamed of it sometimes because dudes aren't supposed to feel this way, unless they're in an Oxygen movie. But - no matter how much I love you - I will never, ever, under any circumstances come and look at your poop."

I didn't know what to do with this. My friends and I have always been very open in our poo-communication. I was raised this way. My mom taught me how to count by making me take inventory of my poop in the toddler trainer potty. I paused for a bit before responding.

Not Lisa: "What if my poop came out looking like the Messiah and I needed a second opinion before taking a picture to upload on eBay?"

The Boyfriend: "Only if the Messiah had a holy halo created by pee. That's the ONE exception."

Fair enough.

Monday, December 3, 2007

tequila + bourbon = genius

I went out with The Boyfriend to grab dinner on Saturday night at one of my favorite walking-distance restaurants. We split fajitas and I ordered two grande margaritas because my throat hurt. Don't judge; it totally helps.

After dinner we walked home, congratulating ourselves on not giving into our alcoholic friends who were sending us text messages and asking us to come out and meet them. "We're so responsible! We're so grown-up! We can go to dinner and drink without being tempted to keep drinking! We're so mature!"

We walked right past a bar called Lakewood Tavern and both of us piped down on the self-congratulatory exclamations.

Not Lisa: "Ohhh! So that's where that place is! I've heard about it several times but haven't ever been."

Boyfriend: "Yeah, me neither. I've always wanted to check it out, though."

Not Lisa: "Yeah... me, too."

We kept walking, neither of us saying a word and neither wanting to be the first to break. I won.

Boyfriend: "You wanna get a drink?"

Not Lisa: "Yep."

We about-faced immediately and strode straight into the bar. It was there that we decided to have many a drink (not singular by any means, who were we kidding?) while we waited for the PhotoHunt computer to open up.

It didn't. And, as I am not a terribly patient person, I entertained myself with Jack-and-waters.

The Boyfriend has never considered himself a patient person, either. He entertained himself by employing his own, very special, very tailored form of torture on me (and drinking Coors Lights, the hick that he is).

Boyfriend (with a sly look in his eye): "You know, I know you say all the time that you don't want kids. But really, you know you'll want them someday."

Not Lisa: "Stop it. You're trying to get me all worked up and I'm not giving into it."

Boyfriend: "No, really. Just admit it. You love your little nephew-type-person. You would love to have one to call your own." (nephew-type-person is my best friend's 9-month-old and it's true - I do love him. ONLY HIM.)

Not Lisa: "Shut your face. Quit being crazy."

This cheeky little cat-and-mouse game continued for the next two hours, breaking only to talk about sports and whatever headline happened to be scrolling across the television at the bar.

Finally, the combination of tequila, bourbon and baby talk attacks blended together in my veins and brought my blood to a raging boil. I could take this harassment no longer.

Boyfriend: "Don't you think it would be so much fun to have tiny little versions of the two of us running around the house?"

Not Lisa: "Sure, but the first thing they'd get into is your porn."

Boyfriend: "What?!"

Not Lisa: "You watch too much porn for us to have kids."

Boyfriend (whispering): "Could you please use your inside voice when you're talking about porn?"

Not Lisa: "Don't you whisper-yell at me. I am talking quietly. I'm sorry, I just don't feel comfortable having kids around someone who watches and owns as much porn as you do. One day, if we have kids, they're going to stumble across Mega Tits in the closet and have all kinds of questions. Or they'll come to me and say 'Mommy, when I grow up can I be a Hot Tight Teen?' They'll be watching Baby Einstein on the laptop and a pop-up will come across advertising 'Fuck dolls who like it in every hole!' I can't live like that. I don't think you want to live like that, either. Do you?"

He hasn't bothered me about the kid issue in days. Thanks, tequila and bourbon! I couldn't have done it without you guys. You two are the little liquors with the big, big hearts and I love you for it.

"hi, my name is Not and I'm an..."

This weekend I received a late-night text message from a good friend of mine (we'll call her Lynn):

"Mega-Date is tomorrow and G-man still doesn't have anyone to go with him. Can you go? Just say yes."

Lynn and her roommates (both dudes) had come into some free Six Flags tickets and decided to plan The Event of Winter 2007: Mega-Date. Unfortunately, G-man was the only roommate in the house without a significant other and is, apparently, lacking in available-girls-who-are-just-friends. He and I are good friends so this request wasn't anything out of the ordinary.

Except, you know, G-man is one of my ex-boyfriends. That should come as no big surprise, given that I recently calculated that I've had a boyfriend for going on 11 years now.

Anyhoodle, I asked Boyfriend what he thought.

"Hey, do you mind if I go on a date with my ex-boyfriend?"

"Which one?"

Oh-so-funny, that Boyfriend.

When he realized I was talking about the non-threatening G-man that I dated so very long ago in another collegiate universe, permission was immediately granted. That was one motivating factor; the other was that he passionately abhors all things involving great heights (see: Six Flags' roller coasters).

So off we went on the Mega-Date. We rode the Titan three times, the swings, the Runaway Mine Train, the ShockWave. We ate funnel cakes and drank hot chocolate. We laughed at the Looney Toons characters in tights and took pictures while skipping through the park. G-man shot free-throws in the arcade while I yelled "Mama wants a Shrek doll!!" All in all, we had a blast. We acted like small children again and loved every minute of it.

This morning I was re-living the fun day through a conversation with The Boyfriend. And then I noticed a strange realization welling up in the back of my brain.

"Oh, my lord."


"I just realized that I can't even remember the last time I did something with my friends that, in some form or fashion, didn't involve alcohol."

"Wow. You guys have issues."

I dared him to name the last time he was with his friends and they didn't consume at least a little alcohol. He named two times and I reminded him that, on both occasions, his 11-year-old brother was the reason they all got together. That they really would have problems if they involved him in their binge drinking.

I've tried all day long to remember the last time I got together with friends and didn't drink. I can't recall a single instance. Sure, we'll get together to watch TV together or meet up for casual dinners but someone has always had a rough day and comes equipped with wine or vodka.

Surely this isn't what they call addiction... is it?

Good grief, this is difficult. I need a glass of wine to get me through these hard times.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

i am in a really bad halle berry movie.

Arugula is no longer stalking Puppy; she's stalking me. I'm beginning to think she and I might possibly be joined by some cosmic umbilical cord.

Two nights ago, Boyfriend was lounging on my couch while I was off with The Core mocking the final episode of this season's The Bachelor. Jenni was just about to cry her bobble-head off when I got a text message: "Arugula is still here. And she's brought a friend." Yes, the other pizza place cat Olive had come along to visit Puppy through the window. Turns out they're not as good of friends as we previously thought - or maybe Arugula is the jealous type - because Olive was quickly run off. Arugula then spent the night on my porch and was "MAW"ing us in the morning.

Last night, things escalated.

I came home to mash some potatoes for The Core's First and Possibly Last Annual Thanksgiving Potluck Dinner. Arugula was on the porch, as usual. I made my mashed potatoes and drank half of the bottle of wine I bought for dinner (it was a long, long pre-holiday day). I gathered up everything - including the half-bottle of wine because I am classy - and got ready to head out. I checked one more time to see if Arugula was outside and this time, to my surprise, she wasn't. "Hmm..." I thought, "maybe she's finally given up on our little one-bedroom family and has gone back to the pizza place for more anchovies." Well done, Arugula. Well played.

I walked out to the parking garage to pack everything into my car. I walked up to my silver non-descript car and who should be laying on the hood? Arugula. Somehow, she managed to pick my car out of the massive parking garage housing about 100 other vehicles. That darn cat.

I shoo Arugula, pack up my car, start it up and immediately call Boyfriend. He answers.

"What's up, sweetness?"

"Have you ever seen Catwoman? Not the old one but the new one with Halle Berrry? The one that's so terrible it makes your brain bleed a little but you just have to keep watching it?"

"I watched the beginning but, unlike you, I have self-control. And self-respect. What the hell are you talking about?"

"I think I'm a Catwoman."

"You're pretty."

"No, seriously. I just walked outside and found that Arugula had moved from my porch to the hood of my car. She picked my car out of the 100 other cars and decided to take a little nap. It seems as though I have died an ugly death and then was rescued by a cat. Now that cat keeps following me because it wants me to know the truth about who I am. Oh god, I think I'm craving sushi."

"You're pretty. Go to dinner."

Just to further my Catwoman case, I met Boyfriend and Boyfriend's Mom after dinner for drinks at a place right by my apartment. We were walking back to their car and Boyfriend exclaims "Holy crap, that's Arugula! Running across the street!"

Luckily, it's not bad luck if a calico cat crosses your path. It's actually good luck if you're a Catwoman.

I went home and decided to have one last cigarette before getting ready for bed. I walked out on the back porch and found no Arugula. I didn't think this was strange at all, as she had just run across my path on the street a block away. I sit down, light my cigarette and exhale into the lonely air of my porch. I strangely missed her. I felt like I was visiting the house of a friend but the friend was off having fun with someone else. No less than 30 seconds passed before I heard the familiar and inquisitive "meow?"

Now I'm off to lunch to have a sandwich. Probably tuna fish.

Monday, November 19, 2007

i am in a disney movie.

My dog wants a cat. Really badly, more than anything, "I-swear-I'll-take-care-of-it-and-feed-it-and-bathe-it-everyday, just-please-mama, can-I-have-a-kitty?" wants a cat.

It all started a few months ago when a stray cat started coming around my back porch every so often, just often enough to leave her smell so my dog's nose would go crazy when she was outside with Boyfriend and I. Then, every so often the cat would make an appearance at the window and my dog would go nuts. It was strange, though - she wouldn't bark protectively at the window in accordance with typical dog cat-sighting protocol. She would sit three feet away from the window and whine. She would whine for hours after the cat left the premises, crying for her potential playmate.

This happens once or twice a month and the Boyfriend and I are always entertained. "Puppy," Boyfriend would say, "if you promise Mom and I that you can go for six whole months without pooping on the floor, we'll talk about getting you a kitty." Puppy would always look at me, rolling her eyes, thinking "if I can't get him to give me one, surely I can play her." Unfortunately for Puppy, I like cats only a little more than I like babies... which means, no cats (or babies, for that matter).

A month or two ago, Boyfriend and I were eating dinner on the patio of the pizza place that backs up to my apartment. We noticed that Puppy's kitty was lounging in the corner of the patio, curled up in a warm spot by the fireplace. We asked our waitress about her and she explained that it was just a neighborhood cat and that the staff had named her Arugula. She came around pretty often because they fed her anchovies, even though they weren't allowed to encourage her presence in a restaurant. We were glad to know that someone was feeding her and that she had a cozy spot by a fireplace and went home to assure the puppy that her cat was living the good life at a pizza place and would never want to trade that life of luxury for a one-bedroom apartment. I also let puppy know that kitties like milk and that, although I currently had five cartons of milk in my refrigerator, none of my milk was fresh enough to still be in liquid form. Kitties like their milk pretty runny, I hear.

Yesterday, Arugula showed up again and puppy was thrilled. We heard her outside meowing around 2 p.m. and puppy immediately ran to the window and parted the vertical blinds with her nose. I told Boyfriend "well, this is new. She's never meowed before and Puppy has never gotten that close to the window. Do you think they do this when we're not home? Does Arugula just not realize that it's Sunday and the humans are a-foot?"

Arugula didn't leave. She actually meowed louder and, despite our calling and kissy-noises and scolding, Puppy continued to whine at the window for the next three hours. We finally just admitted defeat and turned up the volume on the TV. However, Puppy and Arugula were relentless. Boyfriend wanted a cigarette and we reasoned that if we were out on the back porch, Arugula would surely be spooked and would run off. Such a good plan, right?

So we opened the sliding door, holding Puppy in our arms, and Arugula scampered into the bushes. Puppy's cries got louder and more frantic, all the while wiggling to get out of my grip. I took her over to the bushes to show her that her kitty was gone and she seemed to be satisfied. Until she heard the very loud and plaintive "MEOW" from the bushes beneath us. I didn't want Puppy to catch ringworm or any other kitty diseases so I put her back in the apartment and shut the door. Puppy. Was. PISSED. She pitched a fit, she barked, then resorted to laying down and pouting until we came back in the house. During this episode, Arugula kept peeking around the corner and sticking her head through the gate asking "Meow?"

We meowed back that she was not allowed on the porch while we were out there. We don't want ringworm, either.

For the rest of the night, Arugula meowed at the window while Puppy whined on the other side. When we finally went to bed around 1 a.m. we had to convince Puppy to come to bed and leave her kitty alone. As soon as we left the living room, Arugula could no longer see movement from behind the vertical blinds and quit meowing. Until...

This morning we woke up and began to move about. Puppy lazed about in the bed until it was time to go outside, which is after I've showered and am presentable for public. She jumped out of bed and ran to the window to check for her kitty. We laughed because we thought there was no way that cat spent the night waiting for Puppy to return. We laughed until we heard a very excited "MEOW!"

Arugula was still there, waiting on Puppy. I took Puppy out to pee in the front and I've never seen a dog so fastidious in doing her business. She ran back to the front door and waited for me to let her back inside. Once the door opened, she ran back over to the sliding glass door and parted the blinds with her nose. "MEOW!"

I looked at Boyfriend and he simply said "Wow."

"I know! She couldn't wait to come back in and see her kitty."

"This is just getting ridiculous. I know how to KEEP a cat - you feed it. How do you get rid of a cat?"

"Who knows. My mom always used BB guns but I can't bring myself to shoot Puppy's kitty."

"Do you think they're planning something?"

I thought about this for a minute. "I do. OR, we're in a Disney animated movie and we don't know it. They should be together to serve some greater purpose and we're the stupid humans that just don't get it. The audience is so pissed at us right now."

"Good point. On some night, we're going to see Puppy and Arugula in the back alley under a full moon, sharing a meatball and eating the same strand of spaghetti."

The most embarrassing part of the story is that I double-checked the lock on the sliding glass door before I left for work this morning. I didn't want Puppy and Arugula going all Pinky and the Brain on our asses and me just handing them an unlocked door.

a modern-day scylla and charybdis... kind of

Saturday I found myself at the Boyfriend's friend's house watching a college football game. It should be noted that I use the term "watching" very loosely as I was really just drinking beer among people who were actually watching the game. Either way, I got credit just for attendance.

I was seated on the couch next to the friend's little sister, who happened to be a junior at the very same college that I attended. We instantly bonded, playing the "do you know...?" game (we mostly only had the MUCH younger siblings of my classmates in common) and laughing over the idiosyncrasies that are as true today as they were six years ago. She was so young, so excited about drinking beer (she doesn't turn 21 until March, y'all!), so eager to hang out with the older folks while trying to be subtle about her college student status. She fooled no one, but there was really no reason for her to pull wool over anyone's eyes. She was cute, fun and fit in immediately. Shows how mature this group of friends is, right?

And speaking of mature... across the room sat Boyfriend's Most Responsible Friends, the ones with the baby. P is 10 months old and is absolutely adorable, if you like babies. I don't, particularly, but didn't really have much to complain about with this one. He was fairly quiet, not terribly fussy, and the worst thing that he did was stick his hand in the bowl of queso. Despite the unusual harmless nature of Baby P, though - I couldn't help but notice how exhausted his parents were. They wanted to stand for 30 minutes when they arrived because they had just driven the 45-minute commute from the suburbs. They were constantly searching for Cheerios, heating up formula, or chasing after Baby P to make sure that he didn't push any buttons on the TV or put his hand in any more queso. He would seem as though he was getting worked up to cry and they would immediately throw him up on their shoulders to cheer him up. All the while I was seated on the big over-sized couch, happily sitting still and sipping my beer.

Out of nowhere it occurred to me... I was smack in the middle of my past and my inevitable future. I know that this is no big revelation because we are constantly in the middle of our own present, but it has never been so well illustrated. Seated to my immediate left was my past self: a size 0 20-year-old who was excited about homecoming floats and sorority competitions, thrilled with the rebellious under-age drinking and whose only worry was how to get a summer internship with no work experience ("Isn't that why you have internships? To get experience??"). Across from me and to my right were two stressed parents, happy to have a family but constantly pushing and working to keep the baby from crying in public, worried about their relationship and how the stress of the baby has affected it, then digging for more Cheerios.

On the left, college life sounded like so much fun and I was a little jealous of her jean size. However, the more thought I put into it made me think about all the late-nights I spent studying only to pull a 60 on an accounting test. I thought about never having enough money and having to work a job at the library to pay for any extras at the end of the month, then skipping Spring Break trips with friends to wait tables for extra cash. I remembered living with roommates and the constant struggle to make 5 very different girls agree on one lifestyle and one apartment decor. I couldn't help but wince at the memory of wondering constantly if I was meeting the standards of my oh-so-conservative college friends and having the painful knowledge that I was living in the skin of someone else. The confines of someone else's rules of behavior. Under the heavy thumb of my parents' approval.

Once I thought about this, my jealousy waned.

Then I glanced across the room and saw the way Baby P's parents were working together for the overall good of their son. I was impressed with their efforts but also exhausted by them. "I know I'm not ready for that," I thought. "And I don't know that I ever will be." And I was comforted by my present, even though the past continues to haunt me and my future continues to frighten me.

Pretty deep for a college football game...

Thursday, October 25, 2007


I recently found myself in a marketing brainstorm with about 69 (hee) other people. I have no idea whose great idea it was to invite 70 people to brainstorm together on new marketing techniques but, never-you-mind, we were all in attendance and ready to come up with groundbreaking and innovative ideas despite the inevitable groupthink mentality.

I was sitting toward the back, enjoying my catered breakfast of bacon and coffee while listening to the mediator set up the problem we were about to solve (or, attempt to solve). It was then that I heard the most inappropriate phrase I've ever heard articulated. Well, at least in the company of such a large group of professionals.

"We've been targeting 22-year-olds and getting the 18-year-olds. We've been targeting the 18-year-olds and getting the 15-year-olds. When we try and bullseye target the 15-year-olds we end up getting the tweens. What we really need to do is get out there in the marketplace and target the people we want as buyers. We need to GET OUT THERE and NAIL 15-YEAR-OLDS!!!"

I immediately clapped my hand over my mouth to catch the coffee that was about to spew forth. Who would say such a thing?! I looked around the crowd gathered and no one cracked a smile or said a word. I'm assuming these people were:

a) still asleep
b) not paying attention because they were too busy trying to figure out why Kim Kardashian and Tila Tequila have their own shows or
c) not as pervy as I am.

Or maybe I just haven't been in the business as long as these other people and "nail 15-year-olds" is a common battle cry. That's something they just didn't teach me in business school... but maybe it's just because I went to a conservative Southern Baptist college.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

we are family

My parents made the hour-and-a-half trek from deep East Texas to Dallas last night just to take me out to dinner. This was a very sweet gesture, though they both had ulterior motives that went beyond "well, we just miss you!"

My mom really wanted to shop at Z Gallerie and Crate & Barrel. What better places to visit in "the big city" than massive retail chains?!

My dad was visiting under the guise of "research for the restaurant" (he owns a restaurant in East Texas) but, truth be told, the man just likes to eat. Thus, the restaurant-owning.

So they shopped while I was at work and then met me at one of my favorite restaurants, which happens to be in one of the trendier areas of the city (see: bars, great shopping and gays - three of my favorite things). The food was excellent, as always, and the service was great. However, these were the true highlights of the evening:

- Troy Aikman showed up with his wife and two kids, causing my father to rubberneck for the next five minutes. "Does he actually have to wait for a table? I wonder if he valeted!"

- A very attractive gay couple walked through the door and my East Texas mother immediately got squirmy. After me asking if she was okay or if there was something wrong, she replied with "Oh, no. NOTHING is wrong. NOTHING AT ALL is wrong. I just... I just... I just really liked his purse."

- Upon ordering seeing the bill for two cocktails, an appetizer, three full entrees, a shared side item (mmm... mac & cheese) and a dessert my father exclaimed "$100 for three people!! I sure wish we could get away with these prices!!!"

I swear - we're not country, y'all.

lucy in the sky with... potato chips?

Yesterday I almost hit my limit with this industry. My creative director put it perfectly, as he so often does: "If this were a sitcom, this is the moment when I would stand up, take the phone off mute, say 'That's it. I'm done.' and then walk out the door. Then the voice-over would say, 'And that was the exact moment I knew that advertising was no longer for me.' Too bad I actually have a wife and kids to support."

We were on a conference call with our client and another agency. The other agency began to compare our product (potato chips) with the Beatles. "They're so similar that they're almost the same," they began. This statement was followed up with a list of said similarities, one being that both are "brands that have their fingers on the pulse of America, therefore gaining widespread popularity by giving the people what they want."

Not okay.

the shoe game

When it comes to Number Twos at Work, I am a huge hypocrite. I find myself feeling the urge - the down-town-push-down, if you will - and every time I find myself going through the motions of a pooping pep talk. "Everyone does it! It's a natural thing and it's no big deal! No one even notices. You don't have a one-person handicapped bathroom for personal retreat anymore, so you're going to have to suck it up like everyone else and pick a stall! Really, it's UNnatural for you to hold it. Now get in there and drop some business! People could care less!!"

And so I go, relishing in the fact that it's natural. Everyone does it. No need to feel embarrassed that a co-worker walks in mid-push. She poops, too!

Fast-forward three hours...

My relentless green tea addiction prompts me, once again, to visit the Ladies. I have a different agenda this time, though. No longer do I need the pep talk to push me over the hump of the pooping stigma. I have to pee! There's no shame in that! I can do that with the door open if I want, while two lesbians make out in the corner*!

So in I go, with all the confidence of... well... someone who has a lot of confidence. I pick the third stall (it's my favorite, as it's a taller toilet and I'm a bit of a leggy bitch) and take my time. Then I remember that the stall door next to me was closed and its occupant has been extremely quiet the whole time. There's the awkward silence that occurs when no toilet paper is being shuffled, no fluids are being released, no pants are being zipped. She's waiting it out; holding out for me to leave so she can finish up undetected. I know her game. She's lying in wait, knowing that if she were to be identified she wouldn't be able to look me in the eyes later as she passes me in the hall.

My hypocrite soul will not stand for this. She must be outed! Cue The Shoe Game.

I quietly finish my business and sneak a quick peek at her shoes from under the stall door. She's been ID'd! The rest of my day is chock full of hide-and-seek fun, looking at every woman's shoes as I pass them in the hallways. No chance that I'll be caught sitting at my desk reading blogs today. No way. I'm a woman on a mission.

Once I find those shoes, it's all I can do to restrain myself from pointing, giggling and saying "You dirty work pooper! I know it was you!! You dropped bombs like Hiroshima!"

Bless my heart.

*story for another time, my friend. Story for another time.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

the sweetest thing

No, this isn't a post about a narcissistic blonde, her ample-bosomed stalker-friend and their unfortunate brunette buddy with an extra-large uvula. Although, as much fun as I make of that movie, I secretly love it (and secretly own it).

However, this is a super-sappy post about Boyfriend who is currently working on what might actually be the sweetest thing anyone has ever done for me. Here is a quick list of sweet things beaus have done in the past to win over my heart and affections (see: get in my pants):

- had a friend play acoustic guitar while he serenaded me under a bridge with a Beatles song (gay*)
- written poetry (gay)
- written postcards that featured hearts and pictures of tall buildings (creepy)
- brought me a small, furry, vibrating monkey with a pull-string from a NY trip (funny)
- had an entire (college) baseball stadium sing to me on my birthday (awkward)
- taken me to a "really nice, special occasion dinner"... at Outback Steakhouse (lie)
- procured tickets to a sold-out Radiohead show (awesome)

But none, I repeat NONE, have come close to what Boyfriend is doing for me this weekend. And, the tricky part is, it's not even technically for me. My dad's birthday is today and Boyfriend has spent the last two days creating a mix CD for him. Daddy-o's a bit of a car aficionado and is more than obsessed with his Mustang ride, so Boyfriend decided that the perfect present would be a CD he could leave in his car so he'd constantly feel like a bad ass. The title of the mix is "Bossman's Badass Car Mix" and the subtitle is "Put Some Stank on that 'Stang". Pops is going to lose his shit, especially when he sees the cover art with a huge, glistening Cobra emblem on the front.

A guy who cares about my family so much that he takes 5 hours out of his week to create a personalized gift for my dad? I'm sold. Not that I wasn't already...

Speaking of considerate... all songs were carefully selected by Boyfriend himself and some, despite being bad ass and quite stanky, just didn't make the cut. "I just don't think your dad would like to hear a song that would make him think 'that boy wants to put it in my daughter.'"

And that... is the sweetest thing.

*and not in a good gay way, which involves dancing with hot shirtless men and downing countless Jell-o shots

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

a stitch in time... is just plain good parenting

I just left the Director's office and am even more baffled by her parenting skills than ever before. I didn't mention this previously because, well, it's ridiculous. However, I feel the need to share the craziness with you, dear Internet void.

On Monday, Director called my cell in a panic to tell me that she would be unable to attend the day's photo shoot because her son ripped his knee open and she had to take him in to get stitches. No biggie, right? Minor emergency, kids get stitches all the time, I can handle it - go take care of your bleeding son.

The plot thickens when she mentions later in the morning (while she's explaining to me the reasoning behind her oversight to send our client directions to the shoot - "Oops! I was busy with my son's birthday party and didn't think it was important!") that her oldest son has an appointment at 10:30 a.m. to get stitches.

I immediately smell 3-day-old sushi. Aren't stitches usually unplanned? Aren't stitches usually a last-minute decision? I don't really hear of anyone booking stitches days (or even hours) in advance. "Should I book a massage, a mani/pedi, or should I just get some stitches?" No one does this. Not normal.

The truth unfolds throughout the day. Turns out, homeboy cut up his knee on SATURDAY. Director, being a "mid-Western mom" (her words, not mine), thought it would "be okay" (again, her words) and put a giant Band-Aid (not Penny Lane) on it. So the poor child sleeps two nights with his gaping wound, bleeding through the bandages, before Mom of the Year finally decides that he may need stitches. So she books the appointment for Monday morning, shirks her work responsibilities, and takes the kid to the doctor. Turns out, he did need stitches. He actually needed many a stitch within six hours of cutting himself. Oops!

Doctor Man grafted (yes, it's true) the skin back to where it began, sealed it off with some sort of magic potion, then placed some medical stick-um over the wound (it's all very technical). He told them not to remove the bandage for 10 days, otherwise the graft wouldn't take and he would be badly scarred.

How do I know all of this? Because Director just told me that before he broke his cell phone in her face and ran out the door, he ripped off the medical stick-um bandage and threw it in her face. Her response, after causing the kid's anger by neglecting the wound for three days? "He can scar for all I care."

I'm considering putting CPS on speed-dial.

The following IM conversation just took place between myself and Boyfriend:

Boyfriend: "This kid is going to be president someday."
NL: "Or write one hell of a book."
Boyfriend: "From prison."

the prodigal brat

So, Director's son has been found. He rode his bike five miles on Monday afternoon to his old house that the family lived in a year ago, broke into the empty house and spent the night playing video games with his friends and then sleeping on the floor of his old room. He then rode his bike to school the next day, only for first period, and then decided to spend the rest of the day doing as he damn well pleased. Meaning: playing video games.

First of all, let's all take a moment of silence to thank God that we're not parenting this child. Just the cost of all the electronic equipment would be devastating to my cocktail allowance.

Second of all, let's all take an hour of silence to thank God that Director is not our mother. Enough said.

Director decides that the best way to deal with the returned child is to take him out to dinner. He's not being punished for what he did. Instead, she's seeking professional help to determine how to better implement structure in his life.

Speaking of structure, the son woke up this morning and didn't want to get out of bed and go to school. Director let him stay at home today because she knew that his friends would ask him a lot of questions in between classes and she didn't want him to deal with the embarrassment.

I am not a parent and am therefore not allowed to make parenting judgment calls. However, I will say this: I am so glad I don't have kids. I'm going to spend two hours thanking God for that.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

the devil wears talbots

My director is insane. Certifiably. I'm sure there will be many posts to come about her crazy antics, but none can compare to today's incident. Let's list the crazy in order, shall we? It'll make things a bit easier to follow because, trust me, you'll need all the help you can get.

9:07 a.m. - I receive an email from Director, saying that she's going to be in late today because she's waiting for a phone call. I think nothing of it, as her constant tardiness is nothing new.

10:14 a.m. - I receive a frantic phone call on my cell. Director is trying to communicate through bawling and sobbing and after three tries I decipher the following: "My oldest son (he's 13) broke his cell phone in front of me last night and stormed out of the house. I couldn't find him and his friend said he wasn't over there. I woke up at 3 a.m. and couldn't go back to sleep. I called the school this morning and he went to first period but he's skipping his other classes. The school wants to know if I want to involve the police, because he can't skip school. I have to make these decisions by myself and I... just... don't... know!!!" More sobbing ensues.

Because my job title is Account Supervisor and Family Counselor, I ask if she had contacted her son's father (her ex-husband) yet. Maybe he knows where he is? She bawls, "He doesn't get involved in things like this."

Let's pause for a minute in the story to sum up: her 13-year-old son runs away, she calls one friend who doesn't know where he is, and she goes to sleep. His father "doesn't get involved in things like this." Things like what, his missing children? Is this such a common occurrence that a precedent has been set? Geez Lewis.

1:07 p.m. - I return an alarmingly chipper voice mail from Director that was left during lunch. I call her back and she has to immediately drop because the police are arriving at her house.

1:47 p.m. - Director gives me a call back and tells me that the police just went through her entire house, looking for a hidden 13-year-old boy. They didn't find him. Turns out they have more information, though. They found out that his screenname for some online pirates game was used last night and apparently he was playing at the same time as another kid from school. They're contacting the game company to obtain the IP address that the screenname was on, then they're tracking down the physical house location of the IP address so they can run on over and bust his running-away-from-home ass. Two words: boo and yah. I was impressed with the high-tech sleuthing. Boyfriend's comment was "Wow. CSI: Crazytown."

So that's the last that I've heard. Guess I'll find out the conclusion tomorrow morning when I read the milk carton while I'm eating my Cheerios.

Oh, quit your judging. I'm not serious, I kid, I kid. I don't ever eat Cheerios.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

"you can pee WHILE you drink!"

Yes, that's a quote from one of my dear friends in reference to our upcoming weekend plans. The very highly-anticipated river floating trip is this weekend and The Core is getting excited. We're even bringing along a few dudes for a little added entertainment. In case you're unfamiliar with a Texas river float, the details are pretty simple: You buy a lot of beer, rent two tubes (one for yourself and one for your cooler), and then you float down a river for two hours. Genius, I know.

I will definitely be drinking my party-bikini off. As a nod to the superlatively white trash trip that this is becoming, it will be decorated with stars and bars. I love embracing cliches. Here is a list of reasons why this trip is more WT than a normal float-the-river trip:

1) We’re renting a van for the 3-hour drive because

2) too many people have DWIs and can’t drive that far. Because of that,

3) 3 people had to call their probation officers to get permission to leave the county. We also have

4) 12 people going and the cabin only has beds for 11 so

5) one person has volunteered to sleep in the walk-in pantry because

6) that’s the room with the most privacy, should he get some random Gruene, Texas ass.

I heart my friends, I really do.

Monday, September 17, 2007

reunited and it feels so... blah.

If you should ever find yourself at a reunion that is not yours (or that is yours, and you're looking for an excuse to drink heavily), here's a very highly recommended game you should play:

Take a drink every time someone says the word "remember".

You. Are. Welcome.

Friday, September 7, 2007

i faked it.

Every week, someone from my group of girlfriends (aka "The Core") cooks dinner and everyone else shows up at her house armed with many a bottle of wine. Last night, it was my turn. I cleaned, I cooked, I entertained, I taught piano lessons... and then I was exhausted.

Boyfriend has had an especially rough week and really needed some couch time with his lady, so I had promised earlier in the day to come over to his house after dinner to comfortingly coddle and pet him on the head. When the ladies left me, I could see this was no longer an option. There were wine glasses all over the place, Butterfinger wrappers strewn about, and pans with coagulating cheese sitting in my kitchen. It was also 11:15 p.m.

I'm normally a late-night person, so the time wasn't really an issue. However, I am inherently selfish and really needed to clean my apartment and lay on my couch while I finished off the leftover wine.

So, like any good single gal desperate to make her man happy, I faked it.

I don't normally condone faking it. Unless, you know, you're really sleepy. But last night, I reached back into my bag of tricks and that's all I could come up with. The phone call to Boyfriend went something like this:

B: "Well, hello!"
NL: (very sadly and possibly in pain) "Hi."
B: "How was dinner with your ladies? You don't sound too good."
NL: "It was fun, but something is going on downstairs."
B: "I warned you about your cooking."
NL: "It really better not be my cooking. I think it was that Mexican food that I had for lunch."
B: "What was for dinner?"
NL: "Chicken enchilada casserole."
B: "With extra cheese?"
NL: (sheepishly and defeated) "Yes."
B: "What else?"
NL: "Salad."
B: "With cheese and ranch?"
NL: "You know there's no other way to eat a salad."
B: "Mmm hmm. How was your day?"
NL: "It was good. Work was a little crazy and... wait. Sorry, this sucks. I have to call you back."

I hung up, watched TV for exactly 6 minutes, then called him back.

B: "Are you okay?"
NL: "Yeah, sorry. This whole experience is really gross to narrate."
B: "It's okay. You stay home and feel better. Better yet, I'll come over and pet your head on the couch instead."

I immediately felt incredibly guilty, but relieved (no pun intended) at the same time. Men accuse women of being manipulative all the time, and I've probably fallen into this category once or twice, but never have I used Big Potty Problems as a means to an end.

Although I did fart at a bar one time to get a guy to stop hitting on me. That's entirely different, though. And normal... right?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

not lisa on: holiday engagements

"If you propose to me during the Christmas holidays, you realize that the ring does not double as an engagement ring and a Christmas present, right? Those two occasions call for two separate gifts. This is not a two-birds-with-one-diamond type of situation."

And sometimes I wonder why Boyfriend always says "It's true what they say... you really can't choose the one you love."

boyfriend on: the hills

"If I ever passed Spencer on the street, I'd kick his ass. No, really. I would. He deserves a good ass-kicking. I'd go all country on him, too. I'd put on a pair of boots first."*


*Boyfriend does not actually own a pair of boots

to know is to be

Dinner at Craft was amazing. Better than can ever be expected for less than $98 per steak (an actual price on the menu). I'm devoting my upcoming free Saturday to attempting to re-create their braised beef short ribs. Blah blah blah, nothing of interest here. Good food, cheap Restaurant Week prices, enough said.

But Restaurant Week events can't ever go off without a catch somewhere along the way. After dinner Boyfriend, my two friends and I decided that it would be an ironic hoot to make our way up to Ghostbar. Sorry, ghostbar. No initial caps here... we're way too pretentious. Anywho, we make our way to Dallas' latest attempt at becoming LA and are undaunted by the abnormally short line outside the entrance. My friend G and I are nominated as Group Representatives, probably because we're both tall. Tall = intimidating. We approach the bouncer standing ominously clutching his clipboard, occasionally putting his hand to his ear to listen intently to the Secret Service men on the other end. He could not have been a day older than myself, and seemed to be a former normal person. However, now he is Bouncer... here him roar.

Me: (confused that more trend-seekers are not forcing their way inside) "Is this the line to get in?"
Bouncer: "For the people on The List. Are you on The List?"
Me: "I sincerely doubt that." (Come on, it's Dallas. Not LA. And I am no LiLo, not by any means.)
Bouncer: "Then you'll need to go to the street entrance."

The street entrance? Like the commoners? Immediately I feel myself flushed with the feeling of rejection, upset that I had even bothered to take the time before I approached him to adjust my (minimal and sad) cleavage. This is by no means my scene and I typically have nothing but contempt for those whose scene it is, but that does not mean that I feel like any more of a person. That is, until I ask him a question about The List.

Me: "So, this List. If I were to get on it, how would I go about doing so?"
Bouncer: "To know is to be."

My friend G loses it at this point. He incredulously phrases a question that sounds more like a statement: "What did you just say."

Bouncer sighs, with a significant decrease in confidence: "To know is to be."

I erupt in giggles. This guy is losing faith in his own religion.

Me: "You're serious. You seriously just said that. You know that's ridiculous, right? Absolutely ridiculous?"

Bouncer's face falls as he hangs his head in sheepish expression and refuses to make eye contact with any of us. He is obviously embarrassed of his own words.

Just like my friends and I... when coolness quotients are in question, what better way to build yourself up than to tear an authority figure down? To quote an email pal of mine: "You verbally kicked that dude in the berries." Yes, I did. And I did it to make myself feel better. Guess what? It worked.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

the infamous restaurant week

Restaurant Week and I have a sordid past. The first year I participated was a drunken disaster, as my back-up husband proposed to his girlfriend (whom I thought was toast) that very same day. I decided that I had a fever and the only cure was more vodka.

I drank two martinis at home while I got ready for the evening, then made it to the (extremely nice and expensive) restaurant 20 minutes before my friends. I entertained myself by drinking two more martinis served up by a very cute waiter, then made my way to the table with my friends. A couple of glasses of wine later, my best friend's sister was having to reprimand me and tell me to "use my inside voice". I wrapped up the dinner by offering to put the entire tab (over $600) on my credit card and "you guyss can jus pay me back later." I was 22 and therefore my drunken behavior could be pardoned. However, lesser versions of this same experience continued to occur year after year. I suppose that I rationalize as thus: I'm not paying full price for this gourmet meal, therefore I should spend the amount saved on alcohol.

Last night kicked off my 4th year of Restaurant Week. We all politely ate our beef tenderloin medallions and laughed about my past drunken behavior. I had two glasses of wine, perfectly timing the consumption with that of my meal. I had my last sip of pinot noir right as I took my last bite of my chocolate torte and colored myself impressed. I was polite. I was cultured. I was a goddess. I was sober. I had kicked Restaurant Week's ass.

So, what else was there to do but celebrate and revel in my triumph? I got my car out of valet and called Boyfriend.

"Want to go have a glass of wine with me?"

It was tough to tear him away from his wrestling program ("it's not just sports... it's sports entertainment!!") but he obliged. We went to a quiet little wine bar over by my house and went to the bartender to order by the glass.

"Wouldn't it be more economical if we just bought a whole bottle?"

The rationalization began.

We bought a great bottle of Seghesio zinfandel, found a seat in the back of the bar, and talked our way through the whole thing. Boyfriend confessed that he wasn't quite ready to quit drinking just yet, and I was happy to go along with this. We had another couple of glasses of wine.

We then realized that, although we were still not ready to quit drinking, we were ready to quit paying for it. We went back to my apartment and cracked open a bottle of South African white.

The last thing I remember is the two of us getting into an argument about whether I should (Boyfriend's opinion) or should not (my opinion) take down every last picture of myself and my ex-boyfriend. We bet Tuesday night's dinner that there were less than 5 pictures on my fridge alone and that if that was the case, then they could remain in place because my ex and I are still friends. We counted and there were, in fact, more than 5 pictures on the fridge. I somehow refused to believe that I had lost the bet, though. The wine was louder than I was and apparently also a better arithmetician.

Today I am unshowered, have my hair in a ponytail, and am wearing flip flops and jeans with an untucked button-down. I'm going to have to change this shit before dinner at Craft tonight. Damn you, Restaurant Week!

baby talk

All people seem to talk about these days are children. Are they going to have children, what age they'll begin having them, what they're going to name them. "I have to leave early to pick up my kids from summer camp." or "I have to go home - my oldest has locked my youngest in his room." Leave him there, I say.

Yesterday I was in a brainstorm where the team was supposed to develop new products for "Lisa". Lisa has one hour to herself during her day and she usually spends it catching up on laundry. 10% of Lisas feel guilty when they spend money on themselves rather than their families. Lisa spends 40 hours a week at work and rarely spends time alone with her husband "Michael." Lisa's life is not her own.

I spent the remaining four hours of the brainstorm in prayer. "God, please don't ever let me be a Lisa."

Lisa is admirable and impressive, but I do not ever want her lifestyle. I told Boyfriend later in the day that "I would be happy to have kids, as long as I don't have to make any sacrifices. I want to still be able to go out with my friends, lay on my couch whenever I want, finish off an entire bottle of wine while reading the last Harry Potter on a Tuesday, get my nails done, spend a quarter of my paycheck on expensive food that I will never see again. If a child can fit itself comfortably into that lifestyle, I'm all for it."

You can think I'm selfish all you want. I prefer to think I'm smart. And having a lot more fun than our gal Lisa.