Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Leaves are (almost!) falling

It's fall. And I'm so excited.

From right now until New Year's Day (yes, I know that's winter also, but fall is the start of the holiday season for me!) is definitely my favorite time of year.

People seem friendlier, the weather is crisp, there are sugary, spicy fragrances coming from everywhere, and coffee becomes exciting with flavors like pumpkin spice, peppermint mocha twist, and egg nog.

Plus, the clothes - I am certainly not a fan of summer clothing. The more layered for me, the better. I love tights and boots, all things wool, jackets, heavy coats, and cute flats. I think I might even get into the scarf trend this year, too.

I'm pretty pumped about hairstyles, too. I've been growing my hair out all year (and for those that know me, you know this is a HUGE feat for me - I usually get really impatient with my hair by the time it reaches my collarbone, and chop! It's gone), and it's now about an inch past my shoulders. This means almost all funky hairstyles are up for grabs for me now - braids, buns, side-ponytails, headbands...

And how cute is this hairclip?

I like that you can clip it on anywhere, too:

Definitely going on my fall wishlist.

And now...I'm going to get some coffee. Pumpkin-flavored coffee. And then I'm going to sit at my desk and pretend that it's actually sort of chilly outside, instead of muggy and rainy.

A girl can dream.

Song I'm digging today: "Locked Up" by Ingrid Michaelson

This CD (along with Imogen Heap's newest, Ellipse) has been in my car CD player since the day it came out. I'm a little obsessed.

It's quirky, it's romantic, it's sad - It's. Just. Wonderful.

Trust me.

I love that this song references The Wizard of Oz with the angry apple trees, and the "bah-da-dah"s at the end are so, so catchy. I have to sing and play the piano on the steering wheel whenever it comes on.

Best line: "Like an angry apple tree/I throw my apples if you get too close to me..."

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Blind Date Hindsight

I went on a blind date last night. My boss set up me up with a guy he knew. He thought we'd be "so great" together.

It wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be - on my end. Because I, for once, was the normal person in the narrative. This never happens to me, so I have to document it.

Mr. Blind Date and I ended up meeting at my church (mainly because it's smack dab in the center of town) and then I rode with him to Olive Garden (his choice).

I was relieved that MBD didn't have a hunchback or some huge mole that I was going to have to pretend to not gawk at, but the car ride to Olive Garden was a tad stressful. He was asking all the routine questions - are you from here orginally? (nope), where did you go to college? (Georgia), do you have a big family? (pretty average-sized), etc.

Unfortunately, I made the mistake of returning the big family question and he immediately got very sober on me and said, "I did...until my sister died two years ago." Cue Debbie Downer music. After that, we didn't talk any more and the only sound was the weird gurgling in his stomach.

(Foreshadowing. Foreshadowing.)

Then we ended up having to wait around 30 minutes for a table at Olive Garden. Unfortunately, all the get-to-know-you questions had pretty much been asked, and then we had to sit next to each other on a teeny iron bench and rack our brains for interesting conversation topics.

It got a little better by the time we got to the table. I found out that he had worked for a summer at the hotel in Colorado that was the inspiration for The Shining by Stephen King (one of my favorite books and movies), so that was pretty interesting. We have a love of animals in common (both of us have a cat).

And that's where we stalled out. He ordered a steak-inspired pasta, but only picked at it. I thought maybe he was nervous, but suddenly he started squirming and got red-faced and said, "Wow. This sitting...pretty heavy."

Then I realized it. He had massive, violent ED. Explosive Diarrhea. On a first date.

He started rocking back and forth and blowing air out between his lips in short bursts. Every once in a while, he'd clench the edge of the table, close his eyes, and shake his head. Then he'd look up at me and give a barking laugh, as if he was saying, "This? This isn't actually happening. I am dreaming. Right? This is a dream?"

I just sat there. It was like being in a horror movie and I'd decided to run upstairs instead of out the front door.

And then came the most awful moment - he went to pay for the meal, and the waitress came back and said in low, guilty tones, "Sir...our computer...isn't accepting your credit card."

Credit card declined. Poor guy. I started thinking, "How long do I wait before I offer to pay??" while he fished around in his wallet (held together with a rubber band...) for some cash. Luckily, he counted out enough crumpled bills to cover the tab, and I tried not to notice the waitress giving us the stink eye.

We walked to the parking lot and I kept trying to signal with my eyes that hey, the bathroom is back that way. But he seemed determined to hold it in until he had reached the safety of his own bathroom.

He drove me back to my car and we made a desperate, last-minute/last-ditch effort at conversation for a minute or two longer and I lied and said, "Well, this was fun!" and he lied and said, "Yeah, it was. Let me walk you to your car." And I started praying inside my head, "Pleasepleasepleaseplease don't try to kiss me...pleasepleaseplease..."

He went in for a frontal hug, but I stepped sideways and we ended up doing the friend-sideways-pat-pat-on-the-back hug. Whew. Relief. Then he trotted off to his car in a clenched shuffle and left in a pretty big hurry - most likely to find the nearest toilet.

Neither of us mentioned doing it again.

Because, you know. Diarrhea.

On the plus side, he didn't try to murder me.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Guess who's coming to dinner?

I have a blind date on Sunday night.

I'm not a big fan of blind dates - I had one a few years ago that turned out to be a disaster (let's just say that scary devil tattoos and crawfish were involved), so I'm a little cynical.

I have a feeling it's not going to go well, for a couple of reasons:

1. He's 12 years older than me. Granted, I'm pretty open-minded about age gaps. Some of the happiest married couples I know have a good many years between them. But 20's (me) and 40's (him) could be awkward.

2. He's a pretty radically different religious denomination than I am - as in, his church doesn't believe that women should wear jewelry. Or that anyone should go to the movies. Or eat meat. Or listen to non-Christian music. So I'm pretty sure this guy will think my real name is Jezebel. Ashleigh and Holly told me to show up wearing big flashy earrings, order a steak, and suggest a movie after dinner to see if that scares him off. Hmmm...


3. I still like New Piano Guy. A lot. I'm trying to reign myself in on that one - I'm so awful about falling way too hard, way too fast. I've always been that way, and I know I set myself up for heartbreak after heartbreak, but I can't seem to help it. I know I'll compare Mr. Blind Date to NPG, and I have a feeling he's going to come up short.

So. Any advice, dear blogging friends? Should I actually go on this date or call and cancel? I'm sort of on the fence about the whole thing.

Song I'm digging today: "Make Someone Happy" by Jimmy Durante

Ah. Classic good mood song.

I feel like I should be living in New York City, eating in little cafes with a cute Tom Hanks-type guy, and wearing a yellow dress with a flower in my hair every time this song pops up on my mp3 player.

Best line: "Make just one heart the heart you sing to/One smile that cheers you/One face that lights when it nears you..."

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Humbug. In September.

I'm not happy today.

I'm not "my glass is half-full" optimistic. I need a refill.

I have the blahs.

Nothing particularly bad or upsetting has occurred in the past couple of days - do you ever have days where you just feel like the world is just a little bit duller than it was yesterday? Like maybe THIS is as good as things will ever get, and that's not a good thing?

That's how I'm feeling today.

So I'm just going to listen to depressing music (oddly enough, that makes me feel better - I can't bear happy-go-lucky tunes when I just don't feel that way myself), maybe go to the vending machine and get a calorie-filled Coke, eat my peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and sit in my office and grunt. Just like Harry in "When Harry Met Sally...".

Song I'm digging today: "Caught a Lite Sneeze" by Tori Amos

I've been listening to Tori Amos for years, ever since my friend Danielle brought her first CD, Little Earthquakes, to my house and said "You have GOT to hear this!"

This is a weird song, but it's so catchy, especially the piano hook. Amos always throws in some "...what?" sort of lyrics to her songs - sort of like "ok, that rhymes, so it's going in," but this song does convey the frustration of being surrounded by people and not being with the one you really want to be surrounded by.

Humph. Welcome to my life.

Best line: "Boys on my left side/Boys on my right side/Boys in the middle/And you're not here..."