February 14, 2007

Love is All Around

One of my favorite stories I remember hearing while growing up is how my parents began dating. They were both Freshmen in high school and my mom was a letter girl and my dad played football. I know this story starts out so All American you want to be sick now but fret not, the mob tactics and bribery come later.

At the high school they both attended in Fremont, it was only the seniors who got lockers on the patio. This was the place to be apparently, and both my parents had older sisters who were seniors. My dad was lucky enough to have a sister who was willing to share her locker with him, and it was conveniently located right next to my mom's older sister Yvonne. At this point, according to my father side of the story, he was already a smitten kitten. He had spied my mom painting some football poster in the hallways one day and basically instantly fell in love with her and her "long, luxurious hair". Yes those were his words, and no he was not raised by parents who wrote romance novels or scripts for shampoo commercials. In his infinite quest to get my mom to go out with him, my dad offered to buy his sister Martha a new skirt if she would put in a good word for him with Yvonne. Apparently the fact that my dad told Yvonne daily, "You know your locker doesn't lock" hadn't gotten him very far. Go Figure.

When I ask my mom about it, she's not even sure Martha ever did put in a good word with Yvonne, or if she did, whether Yvonne ever passed on that good word. What she distinctly remembers is all his junior high friends (aw...junior high...they were such babies!) used to come up to her with newspaper clippings about him and his football prowess. Apparently everyone was trying to mack on my mom on my dad's behalf. He was working all angles. Now, whether my dad had orchestrated this or not is still debatable, but for my mom who views humility (and vaccuum lines on carpet) right up there next to Godliness, this was not doing the trick. But something about the whole sitaution did strike my mom. I mean, it must have, right? They dated for the next 8 years -- through high school, when my dad went to college in New Mexico, when he transferred to college in Hawaii. Through everything. When he was drafted to the Detroit Lions in 1976 and another big move was on the horizon, they finally decided to get hitched. To this day, even though my dad passed away in 1999, he is still the love of my mom's life.

"So what the heck was it?" I asked her this afternoon, "What made you finally go out with dad?" And do you know what her answer was? What it was that made my mom love him to begin with, and love him to this day:

"He was relentless."


That's it. I'm sure in the end it helped that it wasn't like creepy-stalker- weirdo relentless, and that he actually called her and was actually nice to her -- but on a day like today, when candied "I Love You's", predictable floral arrangements, and dinner reservations abound - I am reminded of how much better real love is. Love that cannot be expressed by Hallmark. As far as I'm concerned very few relationships hold a candle to the kind of love my parents had. It's funny, because looking back, none of those material love-markers were really around when I was growing up. My dad was never the big romancer guy. I mean he was big, and a guy, but that's really where the similarities end. He rarely brought home flowers, my mother was never dripping in jewels representing birthdays past, and if there was chocolate around it was more likely that my mom had baked something delicious than my dad stopping to pick up some sweets for his sweet. But as a child even, I never had any doubt that my parents loved each other. Because none of those things are what love is about.

I think that when it came to my mom, there was nothing that my dad wouldn't do for her, and I know for a fact that the feeling was mutual on my mom's end. That's just the kind of people they were. To me, to everyone, but especially to each other. When it comes to really loving someone, I think both parties in any relationship would agree there is really only one thing you ever want your significant other to do for you. And its not bring you flowers, or buy you diamonds. It's not buy a stuffed animal, or pay for an expensive dinner. Those things are nice, but they sure don't make you feel comforted. It's about being relentless. It's about knowing that the list of things you would do for that person begins and ends with 'anything'.

February 13, 2007

13 Questions any junior high gal would ask...

I've had a long day at work and I've been saving this little 13 question douchebag myspace style game to play with your iPOD until exactly the right headspace. The instructions say to hit the shuffle and answer the next 13 questions...so I did. Some were HYSTERICAL:

1. What do you think of me, little iPod?
Paranoid Android, Radiohead

yeah, well who asked you???

2. Will I have a happy life?
To Live and Die in LA, 2Pac

Hmm...I did live in LA. Does that mean I will die there, or perhaps in a Vegas shoot out?

3. What do my friends really think of me?
It's Not Up to You, Bjork

How the heck do you know its not up to me?

4. What does my significant other think of me?
Nothing Wrong, Jimmy Eat World

HA! I'm happy to see that one, and its ironic knowing how Garrett feels about Jimmy Eat World...

5. Do people secretly lust after me?
Gone, Jack Johnson

ahem, clearly my iPod doesn't know that I've STILL got IT. Maybe it just didn't get the memo.

6. How can I make myself happy?
Miner's Prayer, Dwight Yoakam

I have Dwight Yoakam on my iPod?

7. What should I do with my life?
Just, Radiohead

Just? Just what, Radiohead?

8. Why must life be so full of pain?
Merry Muthafuckin' Christmas, Easy-E

...uh, and a happy new year?

9. How can I maximize my pleasure during sex?
Sulk, Radiohead

I'm not kidding. I don't think this will work, actually.

10. Can you give me some advice?
Touch the Sky, Kaney West

Thanks, bro.

11. What do you think happiness is?
You Be Illin', Run DMC

Me and ill of any sort does not equal happiness.

12. Do you have any advice to give over the next few hours/days?
Let Me Kiss You, Morrissey

"There's a place in the sun for anyone who has a will..." Aw, I like that song

13. Will I die happy?
It's a Hit, Rilo Kiley

Yes or No, iPod. Yes. Or. No.

I'm really glad there was no #14, since the fourteenth song was Bombs Over Baghdad, by Outkast. Hmm...anyway, I don't feel any more enlightened, although now my penchant for nerdy surveys/tests is on display so everyone can see. Awesome.

February 12, 2007

If you ask me...that's a bargain!

At $2,119,600.00 it looks like selling my soul really will be the quickest and most efficient way to pay off my student loans and buy a home in California.

How much are you worth?

February 09, 2007

If I ran PETA...

I'm really not sure what purpose Paris Hilton serves on this planet besides being a constant emaciated reminder of what entitlement would look like if personified. I'm sure she's a very nice girl and all, but she doesn't do very much and is filthy rich and frankly that bugs me. If I were more zen and stuff I probably wouldn't care, but I'm just not, and besides if I were more zen and stuff I probably wouldn't have much to write about, and what fun would that be? Anyway, confessions aside, when Paris had flour thrown on her by PETA for attending a fashion show where fur was being used, I have to admit I found it somewhat humorous.

Today at work I started thinking a little deeper about it though (I mean I deserved a break from all the deep thinking I've been doing about Anna Nicole right?) and I came to the conclusion that this flour throwing stunt really wasn't that efficient. Actually, I'm ready to say that PETA's haterade tactics are generally not that efficient -- and boy I should know because I am a connosieur of the haterade. You see, I'm an underwriter for an insurance company by trade and I spend the bulk of my day looking at specific qualities of companies who desire insurance in an effort to determine their potential risk factors. It's not really rocket science, I mean its pretty well documented that certain traits tend to yield certain results. For example people with bad credit scores have more of a tendency not to pay things than people with good credit scores, and people who leave expensive things in places where there are no security measures in place tend to get robbed more often than people who keep their bling under lock and key, ya dig? All of this takes extensive training I assure you, but I won't bore you with the details. Basically on a regular basis I decide whether providing property/liability insurance for a certain business is going to be a good investment for my employer. And for the most part it's actually a pretty rad job, but the one uncontrollable side effect is that its turned me into kind of a hater.

See it's a total NERD-ALERT occupational hazard now, that when I'm on the premises of a business I am unconsciously determining exposures to loss in my head. I walk down to my local Safeway, and the cracks in the parking lot make "SLIP AND FALL HAZARD" appear in my head in neon lights. I pass quaint lofts above neighborhood bistros and I think "ALERT ALERT - life safety issues for all tenants. What happens when that kitchen catches on fire??? YOU DIE!" You get the picture - I just have a hard time turning that off. So what does all this have to do with PETA, you wonder? Ah, what a tangential train of thought this brain weaves...allow me to explain.

So on my way back to work from lunch today I passed the Planned Parenthood building off of Biz 80, and thought smugly to myself as I usually do, "ha ha! we would NEVER insure that!" Who wants to insure the building of any location that people like to bomb? Not I said the fly- er...rather, said the company I work for. And for some reason this made me think of the aforementioned surprise attack PETA made on Paris, and how even though this got so much publicity, did it really deter Paris from wearing fur? Um, no more than it detered her from being a vapid, orange waste of space, methinks.

So then I thought, why doesn't PETA ever head on down to their local Black Angus or Ruth's Chris and flour up all of their patrons in their pretty suburban-nite-out outfits? I mean doesn't that make more sense? Haven't you seen those Ruby-Tuesday commercials? They use 3 kinds of steak in their burgers!!!! It's called efficiency, people! If your fighting for the humane treatment of animals, why don't you start with carnivores? I mean sure Paris probably shows up here and there in a fur coat, but I mean all you have to do to remedy that is call up Anna Wintour and tell her the next big trend is Hefty bag dresses...and then the whole world will see Paris in the couture that she was really born to wear. I mean I may never insure another steakhouse again, but c'mon, Paris Hilton in a trash bag? Wouldn't that just make the world an infinitely better place? C'mon PETA, get rid of the flour and get on the bus!

February 08, 2007

Where I've Been, What I've Been Up To

As there has been somewhat of a hiatus in my posting, I feel it only fair to update you, my fair readers (all 3 of you), with all of the wacky and wonderful things that have been going on in my life over the past few weeks. I have been very very busy doing the following:

1. Breathing - it's exhausting really, and I've been required lately to do it all day, everyday!

2. Still hating Crocs - Now I do love me some Mario Batali (and the fact that he wears a fluorescent orange pair every week on Iron Chef America doesn't make me hate him, but instead gives me hope that he too realizes that they really are just a big joke and is just being ironic, which would officially make him the coolest guy ever) but I just cannot for the life of me understand the appeal of this horrific, horrific footwear. Why do normal members of the shoebuying population buy these? Don't you remember Tevas???? It is a slippery slope people! They're just hideous, and lately plotting how to fight that evil has been consuming me.

3. Spilling coffee on myself - This morning I got up totally late. Not for any rational reason either, solely because Garrett has a comfy new bed and he is most definitely cuter and warmer than my cubicle (empirical data to follow). I decided to just keep hitting snooze, knowing full well that I had to go home and iron - a task that I dread always, but especially in the morning. When I got home I tore through my closet trying to find something acceptable to wear to work, hating everything I own, feeling like I have no clothes, and pondering where in the hell in Genesis it says that if you eat fruit from the tree of knowledge you will get cellulite, assuming of course Taco Bell is that fruit. You see, I am very busy Now after all that thinking (pre-caffeine by the way) I finally picked out an outfit, ironed it, and got on the road to Peet's to grab my daily cup o' joe. I just realized I hate that expression. Note to self: delete 'cup o' joe' from vocabulary. Anyway, in and out in a second, I was back on the road and on my way to work at about 7:45. Miraculous, I know -- I'm just good like that. But after all that crazy efficiency, I take my first sip of much needed coffee, and the lid immediately comes off and it proceeds to POUR all down my white shirt, as well as dripping all over the pants I just ironed. Totally unsalvagable. So yeah, I had to go back home and start that whole process over again. It totally rocked.

4. Feeling Fat - see above.

5. Being annoyed at Banana Republic - Since when did Banana Republic start thinking they were Coach? I did a little online shopping this morning, and being the rule follower I am, I looked only for shoes and/or accessories. Now repeat after me - "No shopping for pants when I feel fat." Great, glad we got that cleared up. So I was looking at the purse page, and of course there were some cute selections, but every single one was like $248 OR MORE! Um...I don't see little 'C' logos decorating the outside, I don't see the D&Bs, or the LVs. The green and red Gucci stripe was noticeably absent...so what's with the inflated prices? I'm sure it's probably lovely leather treated by the hands of small children from other countries and all, just as we have grown accustomed with those pricier brands, but I'm pretty sure the label inside still says Banana Republic, which is still affiliated with Gap, which is still affiliated with Old Navy, which means YOU CAN'T CHARGE $300 FOR PURSES!!!!! You just can't. I'm sorry, those are the rules.

6. Watching Bad Movies - So against my better judgment I rented the dvd The Guardian with Kevin Costner and Ashton Kutcher this past week. It goes something like this. Young cocky dude tries to join Coast Guard because he swims real well and owns a pair of gold rimmed aviator sunglasses. Old cocky teacher dude who just experienced tragedy in the field, only to come home and have his wife leave him, gives young cocky dude crap because he sees a little bit of his inner child in young cocky dude and it touches him inside his shell of armed services seriousness. Deep inside. Deep inside that place men don't like to talk about. There is lots of yelling. There is tender man-emotion. There are swimming drills, beer drinking, bar fights, arguable homosexual undertones. Then young Cocky dude meets a girl. More tender man-emotion. Yada Yada. Ashton's secret comes out. There's some tattoos. And the Bering Sea. It's very all very crafty. And then comes the ending-- which by the way I'm not going to talk about it in case the riveting teaser above has convinced you to make tonight a Blockbuster night-- but I will tell you that I could see it from a mile away, but when it happened, I still bawled like a baby. Just like that. Manipulated by Hollywood. I hate when that happens.

So you see dear reader(s), I have been very overwhelmed with this schedule of demanding tasks and gala events, and thus have given very little time to writing over the past month. I've just checked my calendar, however, and although in the coming weeks my schedule is full of blinking, sleeping, working, watching bad reality television, and probably still breathing, I'm thinking I will be able to get some writing in. So we'll see what happens.


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