Friday, November 20, 2009

Kickboxing Dream

When you are old enough to know cause and effect, you know that “You want to go to kickboxing tonight?” translates to, “You’re gonna eat lightning and crap thunder!” And because that would make a good story to tell Al Roker (he's literal and he'll believe you), you say sign me up for the shitastrophe!

In my “softer” days, I would prefer to maintain a horizontal position on the couch, my tush comfortably nestled in the cushions, head propped up by pillows, remote control resting on my belly. Exercise would be exercising my right to not watch Two and Half Men, Big Bang Theory, or Gary Unmarried or any other ABC shitcom with a laugh track (because people need to be told when to laugh, is the way ABC sees it). I exercise my right not to laugh on cue. At least when there is no reward of a treat manufactured by Haribo. (My tongue is wagging and I answer to Bruiser by the way. Some things will never change.) So this whole get up off the couch and sweat it out brain trust that I’ve been assigned is merely a salve from the depressive (i.e., lazy) funk that has permeated my every fiber of being, comfortable as that couch may be. It answers to Lov-ah.

In preparation for the workout, I drink a glass of raw egg yolks, shadowbox up Constitution, run up the steps of the Capitol, leap in the air, and shake my fist. (Secret Service mentally taking notes of this Cool Factor to add to the boss' routine. Since the Mom jean's didn't work on the baseball field.) Theme track unfortunately drowned out by a diplomatic motorcade, because when in DC…

When I arrive at said kickboxing studio I’m reminded of a set leftover from Rocky. The ring, the Snoop soundtrack, Mike Tyson. I make a mental note to save my ears. I conclude that the gym was bought on Ebay with the advertisement: Apollo Creed v. Italian Stallion. There’s a sign in the water fountain that says, “Don’t spit in the fountain.” Because frogs, snails, and puppy dog tails will do so if you don’t give them a friendly reminder that, hey, your spittle that comes from the bowels of your kind of disgusting. Boys.

Then I hear the laugh track, Al Roker comes out from the wings in all his jollyness, and my ear starts to feel cold and clammy. Al's asking me something about bowels and thunder and he's wearing boxing shorts. And that's no TKO my friends. That's when I wake up to a thunderstorm and my dog licking my ear. Yet, AL ROKER IS STILL PRESENT.

I change the channel and nudge my tush deeper into the cushion and coo, "Oh, Lov-ah." That is, after Al Roker was long gone.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Gluttonous Maximus

"Life is a smorgasbord and most poor suckers are starving to death." — Patrick Dennis (Auntie Mame: An Irreverent Escapade)

“I guess I’m just a glutton for punishment,” she said wryly and jokingly. There was a shrug of the shoulders, a downturned corner of the mouth, and big puppy dog eyes batting Joan Crawford spider-legged eyelashes. She could have just as easily been saying, “Woe is me,” as is often the case.

So she hikes up her skirt and strolls down the information highway, Exit Online Dating (Population: Everyone) where she will be met with disappointment and heartbreak over and over and over. Nothing good EVER comes out of it, yet she has watched one too many Nora Ephron rom-coms and believes that Shopgirl will indeed some day meet her “Joe Fox” complete with a Brinkley (soon to change his name to Tom Ford) to adopt all her own.

She’ll come across “that guy” over and over. "That guy" who doesn’t follow up, "that guy" who wants one thing, "that guy" who is going to trade you in for tomorrow’s latest model, "that guy" who wants his peas, carrots, and french fries. Men and their buffets. They just can’t help themselves when their options on the menu are Everything and All You Can Eat.

On the flipside, for her, while the options are the same - everything - she is only looking for one thing: the real thing. It can't possibly be found on the buffet but the chef (i.e., God) won't let her order off the menu. Just call her Sally.

[Ed.: Our heroine is really, really hungry at this point. I've asked Sally Struthers to step in and plead her case.]

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

You're Leaving Fingers Crossed, Arkansas Now

“I still believe in Hope - mostly because there's no such place as Fingers Crossed, Arkansas.” – Molly Ivins

Despite my uber-pessimism in all things Love and Relationships (The glass is half full? I never got a glass!), I still harbor a modicum of Hope. It’s hidden deep, sure, like in my thighs where everything else seems to congregate (French Fry meet Hope), but I know it exists.

Last week, I went on my billionth first date. At my (Golden) age, a product of wasting 7 years with a Yukkell, letting the “good guy” get away once or twice, living in DC, and low self-esteem. (Although I might argue that the low self-esteem is a product of that guy, that guy, that guy, and all those guys.) To the world, I put on the face of pessimism and say things like, “Here we go again” (eyeroll), or “He has no where to go but up” (used car man smile), and “I’m not expecting to be swept off my feet” (Mother Theresa nod).

But deep down (from the deepest regions of my thighs) I think but never say out loud, “Might this be the one?” I dare to hope.

It might be because, prior to meeting in person, we shared good rapport with a volley of sarcastic banter complete with a McEnroe helping of “C’mon!!! Are you blind?!?!”. Oh, I did throw my tennis racket and was ready to dismiss him when the line became so blurred between the Sarcasm and the Deadpan. Did he just rename my neighborhood unfavorably? A neighborhood, I would argue, he also lives in. And so I suggested a West Side Story rumble. I kindly offered to bring the choreography.

So I agreed to meet him. You know, if I must.

In the end, I was pleasantly surprised. Not because the date ended up being fun, easy, and definitely memorable. Not because he was generous with his laughter. Not because he wore good shoes. Not because he gave great hugs, affection, and a better kiss. But because he asked me out on a second date and persisted when I had to turn him down due to a prior engagement. So he rung me again and we firmed up a second date. He's cooking and I'm baking!

I can feel the squish of Hope rubbing in my thighs now.

Avoiding the treadmill for now...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Why I Carry A Tape Recorder (and not because I'm old)

You know that 1-800 customer service battle cry, “This message will be recorded for training purposes,” that causes you to pause, clear your throat, and edit the delivery you rehearsed prior to calling? The one that the FCC bleeped? Given that prompt, now you might start the call with, "Jane, is it? Yes, Jane, have you lost weight? Looking good!" The Kill Them With Kindness First approach I learned in a Southern Fried Manners class. Visibility of the Complimented One not necessary.

So if you are anything like me – one who takes several takes on recording my voicemail greeting (see voice, recorded, mistaken for 6 year old) - you think that, yes, this conversation will indeed be recorded and filed away for a rainy day – like maybe your FBI file – and therefore you pat a heaping lump of sugar in your tone…or maybe you sexercise your best Jessica Rabbit voice…and add a Honey Bear where you intended B*%$&?

You see, I don’t want traces of my mania archived for later use which is why I always self-edit at the battle cry prompt because 'where is my recording being saved' and 'will it resurface years later when I’m running for office'?

“Original Me would indeed make a good candidate for President of Put Gummy Bears on the Menu! Let me submit Exhibit A in which Acme Cable Co. recorded her voice for all posterity and what we have here is a genuine Sweet Cheeks Long in the Tooth. A vote for Original Me is a vote for Gummy Bears at our dinner table and a coveted spot on the USDA's Recommended Dietary Allowance! Respect for Gummy Bears! Here here!”

Which brings me to my next point.

When you go to therapy, the customer service battle cry is trumpeted yet again. But not necessarily voiced as a warning, such as, “Hey, do you mind if I write your whine down and can I illustrate it with mocking faces because ethics require me to be stone-faced and all ears and I NEED AN OUTLET TO ROLL MY EYES?” No, permission is not asked, fellow nutters. Also, instead of a voice recording, you might get the pen to paper type of recording, the Luddites “recording.” So, yeah, a paper trail now.

This one is the hardest Recorded Message battle cry to navigate. Not for the simple fact that you are being "recorded" (and not because your sticky sweet 6-year old voice can't be soundbit either). No, it's because, this "recording" is an interpretation of your message. The fierce scribbling that causes me to pause to let the pen keep up and attempt a "looking good, pen" half-ass compliment. It’s a judgy pen, you want to make sure it likes you. So the “fly on the wall” is now my record. My tears and self-loathing left behind on pages and pages of yellow lined legal pads in some office on 20th Street, the crumbs of the shit cookie I’ve been eating from for most of my life (as revealed to me in therapy). Unhappiness, my lot.

So my “recordings” in therapy, the notes about me, I like to think of as my Handbook. It's mysterious to me too. I would love to get my hands on my “handbook.” The bird’s eye view on my "message," self-edited or not. Aside from being littered with white splotches of bird shit (bird on high), there would be everything one would need to know to properly care for your Lara. (I would love to know too.) I might slide in flag stickers so that the student could flag those very important sections like the chapter on when and what to feed your Lara (it does involve a valley of potatoes, I know this much), the chapter on intimacy and your Lara (it does involve a Vincent Price cameo, don't read it alone), and the joy of shopping with your Lara (this is the positive and only self-satisfying arc in the Life and Times of...).

You see where I'm going with this? We should all come with a Handbook. An instruction manual, if you will. That thing you slide across the table to every new date. The "bird's eye view" always a more accurate description than any false advertisement the subject is going to peddle (see Handbook, chapter on why your Lara is cynical - I'll warn you - it's OED-sized). Because folks, there should be a consequence for everything you say and do on a date with your Lara and that lie or false advertisement should be archived somewhere (such as, Payback Land).
You don't have to be another "Can you believe this one?" barstool chat with my friends.

Which is why I now like to bring a tape recorder to dates and start the small talk rolling with, "Hi! I'm Lara and I am a Taurus. I love tomatoes and black-capped chickadees. This coversation will be recorded for all sisterhood!"

"Yes, I would like for you to speak in to the microphone for the remainder of the date."

Because men, you can be different. When you hear that battle cry, you can be the guy who pauses, clears his throat, and carefully chooses his words. I might suggest, "Darlin, where've you been my whole life? I've missed you." Or you can start smaller and work your way up if you're shy. But, now, because you are recorded, you will mean it.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Stop Me if You Think That You've Heard This One Before

A girl walks into a bar. Sits down next to a decent looking gentlemen. Her standards are low: pretty much two eyes, two ears, teeth, and the ability to say, "Let me get you a drink." is all it takes. Six hours later he leans in for the kiss. It was a decent kiss. But, again, her standards are low on account of not even remembering what it is like to kiss. There may have been practising on the back of the hand beforehand. Goodbye was said. Sweet dreams were had, when visions of sugar plums and fairies and unicorns told a story of a second date.

...Then came reality...

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Letter to Myself a Year Ago

Dear Year Younger Me,

I'm sure you have realized by now that you always have high hopes for a "New Year" and it never lives up to those (Great) Expectations. You bet your "Dickens" this year is no different. But you will be happy to hear, the year is not going to be a total bust after all. That is, if we are looking on the bright side.

First, you are going to get a chance to relive high school. I know what you are thinking: Like I need to relive THAT phase again. But one day you are going to log into Facebook to look at who you might know (some might use stronger language like "stalk") with no intention of actually being ON Facebook. But by the next morning you will be “friended” five times by people you haven’t given a rat's ass about since high school, or even, elementary school. This will force you to post your picture, get Mav to join in on the fun, and start snarking status updates. In one month you will be knee deep in high school insecurities again. You will stress about why this person hasn’t friended you and so on and you still don't get asked to prom.

But your colossal insecurites are worth it because there is an upside to the re-connecting. You will re-connect with people that you actually end up liking a lot. Like the guy from elementary school that you will trade writing samples with. You will meet up with two high school girlfriends in NYC in October, all who happen to be single, and you will commiserate on this lonely fact and paint the town 99 shades of red. You will dance all night long literally in the Meatpacking district with some guy, who turns out to be married. You only learn this the next day while recounting the events of the nights before over hungover burgers and looking through the photoroll and seeing the blaring gold band on the man's finger. The symbol you don't notice the night before as you soak up the attention to get you through your "man" dry spell.

Speaking of men, you will spend 4th of July weekend at the beach with Hollywood, Shamrock, Disco and his wife and some extremely hot guy. You will have to share a bed with him and the first night will find you making sweet punch-drunk love but you will spurn his advances the next two nights not to mention totally shut down and turn into they shyest person this way come because of the morning after awkwardness that you can't shake. This will sink you into a depression for a whole month later stewing over why you couldn't muster the cute and the witty.

I'm sorry to say, the guy situation will be more of the same of prior years. You won't have a serious boyfriend for three years running. See making sweet punch drunk love above. You'll take it where you can get it. You're just kind of over it already. You'll get the memo, "He's just not that into you" for the millionth time over the course of the year.

But you want to know what is going to be great about this year (and I'm giddy thinking about how you don't even know it yet)? You are going to travel! Of course there is the trip to Chicago to catch up with your oldest Bestie, Martini. You will go to Lollapalooza as it has become something of a tradition for you two. You will rock out to Love and Rockets who will re-assert themselves to your personal Favorite Band lineup.

You will go to Aruba with Mav, mini-Mav, and Pierre. Mini-Mav will threaten to shove her binkie up all your asses all the time. Lots of laughing will take place. You will scuba dive for the first time and love it. And Younger Self? I am currently looking into getting you - us - certified.

You will go Ireland all by yourself. I know you are probably shocked by that. You have always hated the pseudo-Irish Americans who hijack drunk for all themselves. You have always hated Irish jigs, Celtic music, American Irish bars. But this trip kind of falls into your lap and you think it is a good time to get outside your comfort zone. So you go. And you fall in love with the country, the people, the music, the Guinness. But you know who you don't fall in love with? The tour guide. He will sexually harrass you until the cows come home, even begging you shack up in his hotel room with him.

So hold tight and take this year for what is worth, my dear.


Year Older Me

Friday, January 16, 2009

Girl Power

Going through some old Drafts. This was written last May, right around Derby time, before and after the death of Eight Belles.

May 2008 -- I put on a sundress. I drank mint juleps, I bet on a horse and I bought a horse in an auction. I won actually. A few hundred. But I don't know if I can support horse racing anymore.

I've wrote about my love for the Derby here and here and here. I've always said I watch it with one eye open and one eye closed. I am opposed to greyhound racing, why shouldn't I be opposed to horse racing? Especially when the Derby is known as a grueling race to begin. Especially for a 3-year old.

I even wrote this diddy before last Friday:

This post brought to you by tampons.

If a female can bust through the sunroof ceiling and win an Indy car race,
then a little girl by the name of Eight Belles can run with the big boys in the

A filly surround by 19 boys. Well nuzzle me jealous.

And like the little girl who gets the head start on the race track, this
filly will get a five pound weight allowance. A girl's got to maintain her figure after all. To run with the boys, you don't have to be one of the boys.

So stuff your bra, wiggle your butt to and fro, giggle coyly, and use your
sexuality. That's your advantage.

Besides, a black cat crossed Smooth Air's path so I know I am not picking him.

I went in with the feminist vote, I am going out with the animal rights vote.