On the road, like, Part Five Thousand

Sixty hours after having returned to Vegas, I’m off again. Except this time, my mother wants to come with (why? I have no. idea.) and the cat, that cat is totally tagging along because it was torture enough to be away from her for a paltry ONE DAY. This cat, I look at her and she starts to purr. You see now how easy it is to overlook her less desirable traits.

But, yeah. The Mom will be in the passenger seat and she probably won’t be sleeping which means I’m going to be super way stressed out for the next five hours, probably closer to six actually because she sort of freaks out if you go faster than the posted speed limit. I have made it no secret that I absolutely loathe driving while she’s in the car– she’s just so jumpy, and plus I don’t get to blast my music or do rails of coke off the steering wheel or fall asleep for five seconds at a time (boo to that, sez I)– but she really wanted to go to San Diego. And I’m kind of at a place in life where I’m really sensitive to the fact that my parents could just randomly up and kick the bucket any day now (freak lightning storm accidents, hey, they happen!), so I reason that a few days of The Mom being happy is totally worth five (six) hours of gritting my teeth– ten (twelve) round-trip.

Here’s to a weekend of unknowns!

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A really long rambling discourse on relationships

[Ed: Typepad doesn’t have an excerpts option, otherwise I would enable it. I ramble when I’m stressed out. But then, it’s my blog, dammit.]

It seems like all of my girlfriends are getting married these days–

Wait. Ah, that’s a lie. What I meant to write was: I know a lot of girls from high school who are either married or are about to be married some time this year. Most of these revelations, of course, have come from Myspace networking– but all the same, there it is. Women my age be gettin’ themselves hitched.

I am neither the girl who feels left out, who feels the need to get married right away because of this– nor the girl who scoffs haughtily and insists, well, *I’ll* never get sucked into that institution. I’m just the girl who happens to know a lot of girls removing themselves from the dating pool and who feels like informing the Internet of this fact.

I’ve been out of a relationship for three months now and single life has agreed whole-heartedly with me. But while a quarter of a year spent introspectively figuring things out from various corners of the country has been most satisfactory, I’d be lying if I said I don’t want a boyfriend. The catch is, it’s going to take a hell of list of good reasons to convince me to get into a relationship with someone. Times were, when I would have let a number of things slide in the hopes of nightly phone calls, a reliable movie partner and secured access to an unlimited supply of hugs and kisses.

Not so much anymore.

Which is why dating exists. I have friends (yes, they’re really friends this time [1]) who say they don’t see the point in dating someone if you don’t eventually hope to develop an exclusive relationship with them, and I can see that, but– I don’t know. Maybe I’m not "dating," then. Maybe I’m just "seeing." I’m picky about what constitutes a "date" anyhow– unless it has been predetermined as a date, isn’t it really just "hanging out"? Maybe I’m just old-fashioned, and that’s why when I think of a "date" I think of dinner and a movie and star-gazing and holding hands. Except it’s near impossible to convince me to go out to dinner and most of the cities I find myself in have too much light pollution to identify stars, though at least here in Vegas you can go plane-gazing.

This, to me, is a date:

Him: My heart yearns to be near thee again! Pray tell, when canst I lovingly lay my eyes upon thy sweet visage once more?
Me: Uh, I’m free tomorrow night.
Him: Awesome. I’ll pick you up at 8? We can head over to that one place, listen to some grooving bands play, chill out, then go cut a rug dancing.
Me: Okay.
Him: Word. Peace out, shorty.

(because my dream date is culture-versatile like that. Or schizophrenic.)

This, to me, is not a date:

Him: I’m bored. What are you up to?
Me: Not much.
Him: Let’s hang out and do something.
Me: What did you want to do?
Him: Dunno.
Me: We can figure it out later?
Him: Okay.

That second example is more or less the bulk of my afternoon conversations with people (not always guys, I hang out with girls, but those encounters are Classified and too scandalous to describe on the Internet anyway).

So I guess the hierarchy is Hanging Out -> Dating -> "Boyfriend/Girlfriend" -> Engaged -> Married -> Dead

Problem is, it’s kind of tricky, figuring out what stage one is in. It’s not like there’s a big formal ceremony to mark the upward climb– "Honey, there’s something I’d like to ask you: will you be my exclusive girlfriend? I want my lips to be the only ones yours touch… for now." I remember a few months into my last relationship when a co-worker asked me out and I didn’t necessarily want to say yes, but the first thing that came to mind also wasn’t, "I’m sorry, I have a boyfriend." Because I didn’t know if I had a boyfriend. I probably just knew a guy who would get really mad if he heard me say that.

(I said no, though. I just forget what my reason was. The point was, there was never that conversation: "Hey, are you my boyfriend?" "Yeah, I guess so.")

With the boyfriend before *that,* I found out by accident. We had stopped at the Roberto’s in Mission Beach to get dinner and while I was waiting inside (he was outside doing… something… somewhere?) for our order, someone came up to me and started aggressively flirting with me. I endured it meekly until the food was done, picked up the bag and started to leave. The dude followed me outside, asking for my number, and finally I said, look, I’m sorry, I have a boyfriend. (Who reappeared right as I said that, thankfully,)

Back at my house:

Me: Hey, um, sorry about that.
Him: About what?
Me: For, you know, making you out to be my boyfriend so that guy would go away.
Him. Oh. [pause] Well, but I kind of am, so…
[longer pause]
Me: You are??
Him: Yeah. I mean, aren’t I?
Me: [trying to play it cool and nonchalant] Okay.

So, yeah.

From Amy:

We’d finally been together for a few weeks, after a month of chasing and repeated heartbreaking. It was a weekend off from camp and he’d taken me home for the first time. I kissed him in the doorway to his bedroom and before I knew what was coming out of my mouth I said "I never want to do this again." No more first kisses or first times going home, no starting over. No one else. (full post here)

Part of me, the part that still peevishly refuses to give up on the idea of "meant to be" and "soul mates" and "The One," wants that experience for myself.

Another part of me is wary of experiencing that because I have a sneaking suspcion that the underlying truth will be: I’m too damn lazy to make the effort to do it again. I don’t particularly enjoy the routine of having to learn new people (emphasis on the *having* to learn, I otherwise love to meet new people), having to dole out my biography and interests and personality quirks and music tastes. Blame it on the Internet– isn’t that why I created these blogs to begin with? This is me. Hi, hello! This is me, the good and the bad, the happy and the pissed-off, the bored and the frantic. And there have actually been instances when people IM me questions about this and that and I send them a link to an entry I’ve written that I feel will provide a sufficient answer.

In the future, this may have to be my plan of action:

  1. Make business cards with this website address on it
  2. Give them to flirting, interested (and interesting) parties
  3. Make a sidebar menu with selected posts for "First Time Visitors" (or maybe I’ll just call it "Essentially Me")
  4. Include an application PDF (Occasional Date, One Night Stand, Boyfriend, Intellectual Whore, Potential/Husband)

I’d, like, never have to make the effort ever again! It would be ridiculously awesome.

[1] According the Myspace Chinese Horoscope bulleting quiz thinger-whatsit, THREE people like me. Isn’t that crazy? I never knew I was SO popular! Those cheerleaders in high school have nothing on me.

Cell phone, 8 p.m.

"Hello?"
"Hi! Did you get a chance to look at the coupon we sent you for $0.99 Angus?"
"… No?"
"Well, it’s a good thing I caught you! Let me tell you about what we do. We offer a home-delivery meat and groceries service…" (he goes on to describe in great detail the varieties of steaks and poultry and pork and seafood they have available) "… and when would be a good time for you folks? Mornings, evenings?"
(Good time for what?)
"Actually, I– I wouldn’t be interested."
"Interested in what?"
"I wouldn’t be interested in your service."
"What part? The quality of service, great savings, excellent products, cutting down your budget?"
"Um, all of it. I don’t eat meat."
"Oh… okay then! ‘Bye."

Books: “The Heart Speaks…”

From the review (could you call it a review? It’s a Kottke-style review) of "The Heart Speaks: A Cardiologist Reveals the Secret Language of Healing," over at Intensify:

  • My mom gave me this book for my birthday, and I can totally see why she would like it, because it’s very optimistic. But I don’t think I could ever be a cardiologist – it’s hard for me to find compassion for people who eat hamburgers all day, chainsmoke, and don’t exercise, then come crying to the doctor when their arteries clog up
  • And now you think I am a cold-hearted wench. Well, I guess I admire people like the author, people who are more compassionate and less judgmental than I

My subconscious is attracted to her subconscious… subconsciously

Part II has this really weird ability to purr nonstop for remarkably long periods of time. Or maybe it’s just remarkable to me because I’ve only encountered cats who hate people or cats who like people but in that condescending way, or cats who purr for three seconds at a time and only when you’re giving them food.

But this one, she just sits and purrs like she thinks she’s going to win a prize, even when I’m not paying her any attention. Usually, she only stops purring once she’s fallen asleep, and then like a kid who’s momentarily dozed off in class, she jerks awake, acts like nothing’s amiss, and resumes purring.

The thought crossed my mind last night when she climbed into my lap, then onto my shoulder, where she promptly fell asleep (while purring, of course): I’d forgotten that I’d forgotten what it felt like to love something so much. I hadn’t realized that I’d closed off my heart to everything until she wiggled her way inside.

I’ve always struggled with identifying love in terms of human relationships– how to distinguish love from infatuation, love from lust, love from unhealthy obsession? Everyone always says, "Oh, you’ll know." But how?

Maybe this is how. Maybe this is the first step toward identification. Living with this beast is not smooth sailing– she bites when she plays, her claws pierce even after they’ve been clipped, she takes things like pens and hair ties from my desk when I’m not there and deposits them someplace I’ve yet to find– as noted on multiple occasions before, she walks all over my face well before I’m ready to wake up, sometimes right after she’s leaped out of her litter box. And it’s going to cost extra rent to have her when I move. But– I’ve never once considered the option of leaving her here in Vegas. "You become reponsible, forever, for what you have tamed." [1]

Certainly it’s different for everyone, but as of today, that’s how I’ll know. If my heart can swell with unspeakable joy at the sight of him [2] the way it does at the sight of her– if I can endure his more irritable qualities without subconsciously stockpiling their existence so as to use them against him one day should the relationship ever get to that point– if I can *adore* his more irritable qualities (as much as I complain about having my face stomped on by dusty paws, part of me is charmed by it)… then, well… I’d say he’s worth holding onto. You know?

[1] "The Little Prince," Antoine de Saint-Exupery
[2] Before my girlfriends get all frenzied, there is no "him," I’m talking hypotheticals here.

Dear Mike, here is a better answer

Mike asked me yesterday why I had posted that excerpt from Charming But Single. I told him no reason other than I read it and liked it, and my Outbound posts were my original bookmarking system, way before I ever started to use del.icio.us. I always find quotes or websites or multimedia content on the Web and by re-posting them, not only do I get to share them with the 12.7 people who visit my site, but it makes it easier for me to keep track of them, irregardless of what computer I’m using.

But, now that I think about it– obviously there was a specific reason why I chose to copy and paste *that* excerpt from *that* post. Site-wide, from the little I’ve read so far, I like the author’s narration. I like her voice. I like her lack of typos.

That specific post, however– that specific paragraph– well. Call it timing, I guess; that post happens to resemble my current state of mind. I am waiting, right now, for many things. I have been waiting my whole life, for nothing in particular and everything under the sun– but now, I am waiting for, yes: that job offer I didn’t even think I wanted until I had to wait for it; that perfect kiss with someone special; that great bag to go on sale (Clinique Bonus Time, not so much, though I’m sure my sister is); for his hand to move down my hip, his hug to turn into an embrace, my heart to stop beating so hard I think it will come through my chest. Also, I’m waiting for CompUSA to call me and say that the new drive is in and it’ll only take them an hour to put it all back together (as opposed to another three months), but that’s another post altogether.

There’s a Death Cab song I’m particularly into right now, "Your Heart is an Empty Room": "And all you see / Is where else you could be / When you’re at home."

The only thing that made the idea of moving away bearable for me on Sunday night, was this: I can always come back. And that’s how it is for me– I can’t make a decision unless I know that I have alternative options (are there any other kind of options? is that a redundant phrase?). Call it preventative measures, if you will, or maybe it’s just a result of constantly being warned by my mother as a child to "always expect the unexpected." Life has a nasty little habit of blind-siding you without warning. Are you prepared? If worse comes to worse, do you have a plan of action? Or will you just be caught with your pants down, a deer in headlights about to be run over?

It’s how I talked myself into getting bangs cut: "If I don’t like it, I can just grow it out." Etc.

I could have highlighted so much more from that post, but I try to limit my excerpts to the bare minimum– for one thing, it usually encourages the reader to click on the link and visit the author’s site in order to read the whole thing.

But this is a new post. So I’ll excerpt the other bit that struck so close to home for me:

I am in a holding pattern of constantly waiting for the next big thing: the job that would be a career booster, the man that will be a core shaker, the perfection that is supposed to make me feel whole, as if I don’t sort of feel whole now. (Waiting for the day that I don’t approach the feeling of wholeness on my own without trepidation and worry that I am missing out on something. Like I shouldn’t accept the flawed me as complete, even when the flawed me is more content and fulfilled than ever. Or as if I admit that I really feel okay in my own skin now, I am somehow closing myself off to new learning and new people and new rounds of the Waiting Game. Will I live to wait another day?)

Like the indie rock subculture, except with blogs

From Charming, But Single:

It seems my whole life has been spent waiting – (…)

Waiting for another job offer that you didn’t even think you wanted until you had to wait for it. Waiting for that perfect first kiss with someone special at the end of a perfect date like you’ve been waiting for all of your life. For that great bag to go on sale and for Clinique Bonus Time. Waiting to take a vacation and for flip-flop season. Waiting for his hand to move down your hip. For his hug to turn into an embrace. For your heart to stop beating so hard that you think it will come through your chest. (full post here)

*****

Uhh.

Oh. Right. So after a few hours of not-really-sleeping, I’ve decided to do what any sane sleep-deprived person would do– drive back! It’s not yet 1 p.m. so traffic shouldn’t be too terrible, right? Except, goddammit, I’m 99% positive the I-15 is still closed down to one lane.

Screw it, though. I’m not hanging around here until nightfall. If that windshield explodes and decapitates me, it damn well better be in full daylight so my headless car-wrecked self isn’t left on the side of the highway in darkness and obscurity.

So, yeah. If G can drive from Burbank to Vegas and back every three days with no hopes of the dual-residency chaos ending anytime soon, surely I can put up with this for one more week. Home, Jeeves! Thank god for The Postal Service.

I take mine on the rocks

"You okay to drive?"
"Yeah." [My heel catches on something; I stumble.] "You okay to walk?"
"Shut up." [beat] "Though I did have all that water back inside."
"You did."
"That stuff, man, it’s intense! I might get a little craa-aazy tonight, watch out."
"All hopped up on the Q."
"Seriously! Hopped up on that H-2-O."
"You’d get pulled over for being too hydrated."
"Hy-drating and driving, it’s a killer."

Rant rant rant rant rant rant

My windshield has been cracked by another stray missive-like rock. I suppose one could argue, at 80 (or whatever it was) MPH, what did I expect? All the same, it hasn’t even been two years since the damn thing was last replaced, and I regard the extending crack across the glass with dismay and irritation.

And, stupid me, I didn’t think I would be here for more than six hours so I didn’t bother bringing a change of clothing. And I love that pup to death, but I’m not overly stoked about having to wear stuff with leftover Marzen saliva all over it.

*****

Sushi with the Pablo Honey led to a lovely discovery of vegetable tempura rolls. Yum!

Those who understand me will not question why this qualifies as a "rant."

*****

I’m cold. It’s raining, which is cool, I love the rain, but not when I’m cold. I’m cold and tired and cranky as hell because, hey! It’s 3 a.m. and I’m still awake because the only thing keeping me sane right now is writing and also I can’t sleep. Again. Cold. Tired. Cranky! Incoherent. This crazy broad is all kinds of cranky. And if you were here, I would hug you wildly and chatter on and on about nothing in particular and you would think two things: 1) Hello, does she not remember what an indoor voice is?, and 2) Take it down about three octaves, what the hell is the chick so cheerful about?

The crankier I get, the nicer I become. I don’t get it, either.

*****

For those unfortunate enough to have access to my Xanga runoff feed (and foolhardy enough to read it), sorry about that. And about "that." But, you know, it is my Xanga runoff feed for a reason.

*****

I miss my boo-bah.

*****

And he over-enunciates his "t’s." After a three-hour conversation (filled mostly with debating opines regarding my goddamn Korean eyes), the Hazmat understands why THIS qualifies as a "rant."