Tuesday, March 31, 2009
I'm in a waiting room, sitting by myself, with nothing to do other than pay attention to everyone else's business.
To my left, a group of beautiful black women. Like clockwork, the women rotated, each taking a turn pushing the wheelchair of a very heavy, but very vibrant woman in her late forties.
It took only a few moments to discern they were family.
The eldest of the women was in her seventies and while she was immaculately dressed, she could have used some dentures. The lip smacking gave her away.
From across the hall, the woman in the wheelchair spotted a male friend of hers. A big, beefy man in scrubs, his braids waving at the world from underneath his cap.
"Hey, whatchu doing?" She hollered, waving him over.
A flash of recognition flittered across his face as he made his way toward the women.
"That's a fine looking man," gummed the older woman, working her hands in circles as he neared the group.
Big belly laughs erupted from each of the women as Mr. Beefy gave his friend a hug and introduced himself to those in the group he didn't know.
"Hey," the woman in the wheelchair said, playfully, pointing to the elderly, gummy woman. "This here is my mama's sister. How old do you think she is?"
Without missing a beat, Mr. Beefy said: "26! She's beautiful."
"Mmmmmhmmm," wheelchair lady said, rolling her head. "She just said she'd WORK YOU like she was 26."
Mr. Beefy turned firecracker red beneath his black-as-night skin.
Needless to say, I laughed. A lot.
Monday, March 30, 2009
April, on the phone with a friend of hers, trying to express her hope that everything works out the way it should:
"Well, let's just put our fingers together and see what happens..."
I cocked my head.
"I think you mean 'heads together', Apes. FINGERS together?"
She glared at me.
"ACTUALLY, I meant 'cross our fingers' - see, you don't know everything! Put THAT in your blog!"
"Okay, April. Okay...."
Saturday, March 28, 2009
There were three of us.
Me, Kim and Christy.
Thick as thieves, a little rebellious, but careful to stay out of any real trouble.
Honor students who may or may not have enjoyed the occasional weekend gathering.
Kim, Christy, Me
At a school function. Shut up about my bangs. I agree...if Kim and Christy were truly my friends, they'd have told me I looked ridiculous.
Kim and I were on the dance team. It's the only explanation I have for the bright red lipstick. We had to wear it on game days and clearly thought it looked good regardless of the day.
After graduation we attended separate colleges and fell out of touch.
Christy and I found each other about five years ago and have seen each other a handful of times since her move to Alexandria.
Last year, Facebook brought Kim back into the fold and last night, after 16 years, the three of us were together again.
Kim flew in from Tampa and we spent the evening rehashing our favorite memories, bringing our youth to life again.
That was then:
This is now:
TDC fornenity (none of us can remember why we signed all our letters this way...)
Friday, March 27, 2009
It makes April a little crazy.
In my defense, I've grown up a great deal since she and I started dating nearly four years ago.
I use to throw my shit on the floor as soon I walked through the front door.
Just ask my college roommate Laura.
She learned very quickly it was in her best interest to walk behind me and immediately retrieve my keys from wherever I'd thrown them. Often this had her digging through plants, a pile of dirty laundry or even a bowl of cat food.
I wouldn't say she enjoyed it, but it did save us from wasting a half hour searching for my keys every time we headed out the door. A ritual I'd done my whole life, but one Laura tired of very quickly.
So the fact I can now confine my stuff to a CHAIR is commendable. I think.
So what if the chair looks like a volcano with acid reflux.
I know (mostly) what's in it.
Any items I forget are in the chair - I'm pleasantly surprised to find again if I have to go digging for something.
It's like a treasure chest.
I've found buttons, $2.14, a cat collar, a cat, half a box of Milk Duds and a watch.
It's kind of like Christmas.
And who doesn't like Christmas?
My point exactly.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Actually, for TWO very good reasons.
'Member our friends Heidi and Teri?
'Member me telling you they got hitched last year?
I'm certain I mentioned they got pregnant...
I visited Connor and Kaylee right after they were born, but it wasn't enough.
I needed more time with them.
Scratch that. THEY needed more time with ME.
There are a lot of people vying for favorite Auntie status and I'm on my A-game (back off Laura).
To prove how much both Connor and Kaylee enjoyed our visit earlier today....
Clearly the three of us needed to have a talk...
There. That's better...
I CAN say I'm the first to ever take a MySpace-style self portrait with Kaylee. No one can ever take that away from me.
Lookit her. Beautiful, ain't she?
Her brother, Connor, is quite the stud muffin. Here he is, during burp time, with mom Heidi:
It's been a long time since I put a baby in a car seat, but I had no idea how advanced they've become....Introducing Connor, impersonating a burrito...
I gotta get me one of these.
Or two of 'em.
Kids, not burritos.
Although I am hungry....
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Aponex: the language of people who can't speak the language
Moments after telling April I decided to go through with a book of all her mis-quotes, she proved (again) why such a thing is necessary.
Here's how the conversation played out....
We were talking about one of our friends who just landed a new, cushy job. She's been unemployed for some time and this gig can pretty much be credited for saving her from a life of prostitution (her words, not mine).
"So, have you talked to her?" I asked Apes as I put the finishing touches on our Skillet Sensation meal (meaning, I stirred it).
"Yep. She sounds like she's on cloud 9." pause. "HEY! Aren't you proud of me? I got that one right. Put THAT in your book. I didn't say cloud 8. I said cloud 9!"
"Very good, honey. Perhaps there's hope for you after all," I said, petting her head.
"So," I continued, "Do you think she'll have trouble with management again? She doesn't do well with people she thinks are on power trips..."
"Well, I don't know," said Apes, looking very serious and counselor-like. "I mean, that's a problem for her. It's her ax to bear, you know?"
This one took me a second. I knew it was off, but I didn't immediately know what was off.
I scrunched my nose.
"What? That's right....ax to bear. It's right," Apes said.
She actually pantomimed someone carrying an ax, as if her demonstration made her statement correct.
Then it clicked.
"CROSS TO BEAR, AX TO GRIND! Ax to GRIND, April!"
We fell into each other, laughing like school girls.
I might need to publish two volumes....
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
I'm going to take you up on your suggestion...
I'm going to publish, on my own, a small book.
APONEX: the language of people who can't speak the language
It'll be soft-cover and contain all our favorite Apes mis-quotes.
Once it's complete, I'll post the link and let you know where you can buy it if you are so inclined.
I'm still gnawing on the price point. My goal is to have it be affordable, yet cover my cost.
If I had to guess, I'd say it'll probably be somewhere in the $15 range, which, if I've done my homework correctly, covers my cost and earns me roughly $1.50 per book ordered.
Thank you to everyone who has encouraged me to do this!
Here, in no particular order, are the things that piss me off:
Refrigerators without Diet Coke (no sense in this)
Animals chained up, outside all day (you got a dog, why?)
People who pull out in FRONT of me, causing me to slam on my brakes, when there's no one BEHIND me (I will curse at you, a lot)
Intolerance for people who are different from ourselves (I won't tolerate it)
My cell phone (is it too much to expect the fucker to RING?)
Miley Cyrus (make it stop)
Militant neighbors who take unflattering photos of me (manners much?)
Any form of child abuse: verbal, physical or sexual (makes my stomach turn and my eyes water)
Pre-teens in movie theaters (For the love of God, Netflix your movies. I don't care how many times you walk in front of your OWN screen, trying to impress your peers and screaming out cuss words you're not allowed to use at home)
Dollar store items that cost twenty ('splain it to me Lucy)
Commercials louder than the program I'm watching, causing me to have to alter the volume setting every time I turn around (It's exhausting trying to find the remote and the process starts to feel too much like exercise)
The L Word finale (cop out and inexcusable)
The list is endless, but if I continue I'll work myself into a foul mood and be unable to find my happy place.
Not being able to find my happy place pisses me off too...
Sunday, March 22, 2009
"I'm glad that's over with."
"Me too," I agreed. "Everything is good, right? Your boobies in the clear?"
Nodding her head, she replied:
"Yeah. Thankfully...words to my ears, for sure."
"Your clean boobie bill is music to your ears. Not words to your ears. It's music."
"Oh. Well...most music has words. So there."
Words to my ears.
Friday, March 20, 2009
I'm a wanted woman.
And by wanted, I don't mean hubba hubba. I mean, WANTED like WANTED poster.
Here's what happened this morning:
I dragged my butt out of bed and began getting ready to take all three dogs for a walk.
Not because I wanted to, but because I promised April I would. She's convinced the dogs will suffer low self-esteem and question our loyalty to them if they miss their morning walk.
I disagree and routinely argue God made sure we had a fenced in yard for a reason. However, this morning my argument fell on deaf ears and unrelenting eyes.
The mere act of putting on my tennis shoes caused Stewart, our big dog, to lose his ever loving mind. He began racing around me and barking something that sounded a lot like "What the HELL! Hurry up, B-iotch!"
After opening every drawer we own, I found our spare key and hooked it to one of the leashes. Just as I was corralling the pups, a thought occurred to me:
"You should get a plastic bag. Even though you try to get them to do their business in the park before walking the neighborhood, it doesn't always happen that way. You should get a bag."
Honoring my gut instinct, I walked away from the three dogs who were impatiently waiting at the door, into the kitchen and got a bag.
When I returned, only two dogs were waiting at the door. Jean Paul, the poodle Pope, was hiding. I put the bag on the table (you see where this is going) and retrieved my smallest dog from behind the chair.
I don't know if you've ever tried to leash and walk three dogs, but I'm certain winning 8 Olympic Gold Medals, Phelps style, is way easier.
Needless to say, I forgot the plastic bag. I was too busy trying to stay on my feet while I held all three leashes in one hand while locking the door with the other.
I realized my oversight as soon as I jumped off my front steps (read: had my arm pulled out of the socket).
"Shit," I muttered. I wasn't going to drag all three dogs back inside the house. I decided to spend EXTRA time in the park behind our house to make sure no piles of poo would be left elsewhere.
Mission accomplished. All three dogs did their business and I felt safe to walk our 'hood.
Our route is roughly 2 miles. We walked most of it without issue. Unless you count the numerous rope burns on my thighs, a result of tangled leashes attached to dogs hunting cat poop.
200 FEET from our house, Rosie the one eyed wonder, decided to hunch over on the corner of someone's yard.
"NO NO NO NO NO!" I muttered, yanking the leash, accomplishing nothing other than stretching her neck gumby-style. She wasn't budging.
I did the obvious "look around," figuring someone would see us. We were on one of the most traveled streets in the city. I cursed under my breath, picturing the plastic bag resting on my coffee table, right where I left it.
"Rosie! You've already gone! You ARE KILLING ME!"
Without even glancing my way, Rosie finished her business and I sheepishly began to walk away.
About 100 feet from my house, I heard garbldy-gook coming from somewhere behind me. I had my earphones in, making it difficult to hear anything other than Lady Gaga.
I plucked my left earphone out, turned and saw this older, ANGRY guy, standing behind me, holding up his cell phone.
Totally confused, I turned back around and literally thought to myself:
"He must have mistaken me for someone else. What the Hell is he doing with his phone? Why is he holding it like that?"
THEN, he yelled, at my back:
"I have your picture now! I'm going to let the ENTIRE city know you don't pick up your dog shit!"
I just stood there, a little stunned. I realized saying "I normally bring a bag and was going to this time, but I forgot it" would sound defensive and untrue - even thought it WAS true.
Mostly I couldn't believe he took my picture and was going to circulate it. I hadn't even brushed my hair!
I turned around to say something to him (no idea what I would have said), but he'd already turned his back and muttered something like, "blah blah blah DISGUSTING!"
Standing there, my front door in sight, I just laughed. I mean, I totally get it - people should pick up their dog shit. Normally, we always do.
I just had no idea we had such angry, militant neighbors, running around with their cell phones, ready to catch evil in progress.
A simple, "Hey, my name is ______ and your dog just crapped in my yard, would you mind picking it up?" would go a long way. It would have given me a chance to explain myself and assure him I'd be happy to come back with a bag and pick it up.
WHICH I tried to do. I put the dogs inside, grabbed the bag off my table and headed back to find the offensive poop. I considered that I'd run into Mr. Angry, but I kind of welcomed it. I mean, I'll do anything for a good blog story.
I didn't see him OR find Rosie's poop. Either he'd already picked it up OR she pulled one of her "I think I have to go but I don't really" poops.
I'm totally scouring the 'net to see if there's some city email distribution list or neighborhood website. If I come across my mug shot, I'll post the link.
I'm sure the photo he took looks a lot like this:
I take responsibility for what came out of my dog's ass, but I doubt Mr. Angry will cop to BEING an ass.
Of course I called Apes and told her the story.
I just got a voice mail from her:
"Hey, it's me. Calling to tell you I love you and I hope your afternoon isn't as shitty as your morning. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA." Hangup.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Totally adorable, but if you flipped her over, you'd see her legs were matted to her belly. April seemed to think it might be uncomfortable...
Here's what our FLOOR looked like after the two-hour shaving session:
And now, for the big reveal.
Here's nekkid Rosie....
So cute you wanna kiss her teeth, huh?
Today's issue has nothing to do with the fact my phone is the size of a Tyrannosaurus and requires lubricant before being inserted into any of my pant pockets.
I mean, to be fair, I bought the phone and it didn't suddenly triple in size over night. I knew what I was getting. I learned my lesson, bigger ain't better.
MY PHONE WON'T RING. It's not set to silent or vibrate.
I've missed several calls, while the phone rests RIGHT BESIDE me, because it refuses to sound an alarm.
Only after someone leaves a message do I hear the tell-tale "beep beep," alerting me to cellular activity.
My contract on this phone is up this year. I'm going sleeker. And requiring it do all kinds of fancy things...like RING.
In other news, my broken pinky toe is healing nicely. It only hurts when I ram it into things. I gotta find some grace.
I'm going to surprise Apes and shave our dog Rosie this afternoon. She's only been asking me to do it for a month. April, not Rosie. Rosie would prefer to grow her dreadlocks in peace. However, because Apes proved to be such a trooper while I was in Destin last week, I'm willing to give back.
Expect before and after photos.
I hope I don't shave off my broken pinky toe.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
As we were loading onto the plane, I heard the teenage kid behind me start messing with his mom, using a nearly perfect sarcastic tone.
"You totally owe me twenty dollars! I told you some gates make you keep your IDs out! But nooooo, you had to argue with me!"
His mom laughed and his dad, in a very southern drawl, offered some advice:
"Now, don't be making bets with our son that you cahn't keep, you heer?"
The mom giggled and her son quipped: "That's okay, she lost her dignity and that's something..."
Before I could hee haw and give the kid a high five, his dad muttered, in a playful tone:
"Her dignity ain't worth twenty bucks! Shoot, she gives away her dignity every night fo free!"
"DAD!" I thought the kid, pale faced, was going to puke.
His mom slapped his dad and I laughed heartily as I boarded the plane.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
The first time, Apes and I were on our recent cruise, perusing the ship's library, our fingertips dancing over worn bindings and well read titles. She picked The Shack off the shelf and read the back cover to me:
"Mackenzie Allen Philips's youngest daughter, Missy, has been abducted during a family vacation and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Four years later, in the midst of his Great Sadness, Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to the shack for a weekend.
Against his better judgment he arrives at the shack on a wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare. What he finds there will change Mack's world forever.
In a world where religion seems to grow increasingly irrelevant THE SHACK wrestles with the timeless question: Where is God in a world so filled with unspeakable pain? The answers Mack gets will astound you and perhaps transform you as much as it did him."
I was quick to dismiss the book. I was on vacation and wanted a light read. The murder of a young child and God's role or non-role in it was not what I was looking for. Instead, I settled for a book about a crazy woman who doesn't realize until it's too late that her thoughts inflict real pain on those around her. You know, your average "light read."
We cruised, returned home and I headed out the door again, this time bound for Destin, Florida, to spend a weekend with family.
Noticing I was at the end of my current book, Malinda pushed a nearly-new paperback book across the table.
"Have you read The Shack? Everyone I know is talking about it. Joan read it and gave it to me. She loved it. You're such a fast reader, I figured you'd finish it before you leave."
The Shack. The Shack. I tried to place the title. I knew I'd heard it recently.
I picked up the book, flipped it over, read the synopsis and it clicked.
This time I gave it a closer look.
I read a few of the reviews:
"Reading The Shack during a very difficult transition in my life, this story has blown the door wide open to my soul." - Wynonna Judd, recording artist.
"This story reads like a prayer - like the best kind of prayer, filled with sweat and wonder and transparency and surprise. If you read one work of fiction this year, let this be it." - Mike Morrell, Zoecarnate.com
I tapped the table, read a few more reviews and decided to read the book. I believe in signs and if this book was going to track me down twice in less than a month, I'd pay attention.
Especially if there was a chance the Almighty was involved. I'm no dummy.
Before I cracked the front cover, I wondered if the God in the book would jive with the God in my heart.
I don't believe God is vengeful, judgmental or approving of the way many organized religions use His name in order to commit atrocious acts or alienate certain groups of people.
I believe God, with purpose, created each being on this earth, with the intent that we love and respect each other, regardless of race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, political views, financial status, etc.
It's my belief our job here on earth is to learn how to live in love together and leave any and all judgment to God. As a gay woman, I do not fear standing in front of God and telling him I loved with the heart He made for me. I do fear for those who must stand in front of Him and explain their arrogance and attempts to judge their peers, in the name of God, instead of love and embrace them.
As I read each paragraph, flipped each page, I realized the God in this book is the God I know, introduced to me in a new, yet very familiar way.
Once Mackenzie, the main character, arrives at The Shack, he meets The Father (Papa, in the book), The Son (Jesus) and The Holy Spirit (Sarayu). Each appear human, approachable and in their own way, help Mack navigate his dark questions and anger surrounding his daughter's violent death.
He learns, straight from the horse's mouth, exactly what God does or doesn't expect from us. How decisions to intervene are made or not made. What our purpose is. How the majority of us have it all wrong.
Several times, I'd read a passage and feel my gut twinge. The words hit home, touched a sore spot or gave me the validation I've been seeking.
The first time this happened...page 106.
Mack, in the middle of telling God, Jesus and Sarayu (the Holy Spirit) about the pain he suffered as a result of Missy's death, suddenly became self conscious and felt foolish because he realized they'd already know his thoughts and feelings.
When he questioned why they let him continue on and on, Sarayu gently said:
"...choosing to stay on the ground is a choice to facilitate a relationship; to honor it...You don't play a game or color a picture with a child to show your superiority. Rather, you choose to limit yourself so as to facilitate and honor that relationship. You will even lose a competition to accomplish love. It's not about winning and losing, but about love and respect."
I thought long and hard about this passage and the need I see around me for people to feel superior, unable to relinquish their need for control and "ground" themselves. I'm guilty of this too, despite the fact it's much easier to see it in other people.
Grounding ourselves is scary. If we aren't superior then it means what? That we are inferior? Society tells us we have to be the best. The brightest. We have to win. Second place is last place. Given those parameters, it's no wonder that few people can put their egos aside and limit themselves to honor the relationships in their lives.
God, Jesus and Sarayu explained to Mack how they were able to ground themselves in this situation by limiting and containing their knowledge, choosing instead to take delight in his version and point of view, as if they were hearing it for the first time.
Exactly 100 pages later, another passage seemed to grow bold and leap off the paper it was printed on.
Mack was very confused, grappling with the notion that God does not have expectations of us.
In response, God replied:
"I've never placed expectation on you or anyone else. The idea behind expectations requires that someone does not know the future or outcome and is trying to control behavior to get the desired result. Humans try to control behavior largely through expectations. I know you and everything about you. Why would I have an expectation other than what I already know? That would be foolish. And beyond that, because I have no expectations, you never disappoint me."
I read this and felt validated. This is the God I believe in.
This is the passage I needed to read.
Too often I've allowed other people's perceptions and their need to control my actions dictate various areas of my life and how I live it. This has lessened with age, but if I'm honest, I still catch myself allowing others to pin their expectations on me and instead of reminding myself that who I am is exactly who I'm supposed to be, I feel like a disappointment.
Reading that I'm never a disappointment in God's eyes is healing.
I'm gay. Not a disappointment.
I'm not a girly girl. Not a disappointment.
I have many faults. Not a disappointment.
I don't have a fortune in the bank. Not a disappointment.
I'm not always sure what I want out of life. Not a disappointment.
I'm me. Not a disappointment.
God created me to be EXACTLY who I am.
Such an important message. For all of us.
The sentence that spoke most to me was:
"The idea behind expectations requires that someone does not know the future or outcome and is trying to control behavior to get the desired result."
Control behavior to get the desired result.
Rather than let people be WHO they are, we try to control who we WANT them to be.
It takes so much energy.
There's fear associated with deciding not to control outcomes or other people.
But what if we decided to love people. All people.
What if we decided to approach the boy who believes he should have been born a girl. Instead of fearing her or judging her, what if we actually learned from her?
What if we talked to the guy on the street, holding the cardboard sign instead of assuming he's a low life who just needs a beer. Maybe he does, but what if he's got a story to share? A skill to impart?
What if we approached the goth kid instead of turning our heads and saying, "Ugh. Will you look at him? I'm so glad that's not MY kid." Maybe he makes straight A's and could tutor your kid in math.
Too often we let appearances and differences keep us from learning from each other. We let our need to feel superior win.
And too often we use religion to justify judging, and we do it in the name of God.
That's not God. Not my God.
I'm glad The Shack resurfaced, giving me a second chance to inhale it's captivating story while merging it's message about God with what I already believed to be true.
The Shack is a Love Shack.
Cue the B-52s.
Monday, March 16, 2009
I just got your text and did as you suggested.
You are the sweetest person on the planet.
I promise I won't tell anyone how amazing you are.
But you should know.
Your act of generosity is between you and me.
I heart you and appreciate you.
In a big way.
Little did I know then that she'd become a second mother to me, wiping my tears, sharing in my joys, attending my graduations and loving me as if I were her own - something she still does, to this day.
Her son Cory became one of my best friends. He still is.
He married the fabulous Jenny and their two children, Gage and Cassie, are my family, dictated by our hearts, not bloodlines.
It's Malinda's birthday week and Cory wanted to surprise his mom.
She knew he, Jenny and the kids were coming to visit, but never expected I might be able to make the trip.
With the help of some lovable "flight fairies" (thank you Johnny and Terri), I traveled to Birmingham, Alabama where I hooked up with Cory's family. We piled into a large van and trekked to Destin, Florida.
Here's what Malinda saw when she opened the door to her condo:
She quickly and enthusiastically embraced all us kids (and grand kids) and we've spent the week laughing, retelling our favorite family memories, hugging, lounging and wishing we could do it all more often.
On our way to MiMi's birthday dinner (MiMi = Malinda):
MiMi and Cassie:
Me n' Malinda, twenty-some years after first meeting. Wow....
Playing with our table decorations....
Never has someone eating an ice cream looked THIS adorable:
Lookit Gage's face. Trying to get the kid to smile isn't worth it. Besides, he'll see this photo again. At his wedding.
You don't want to know how this ended....
Cory wasn't quite expecting me. He looks angry, no?
MiMi musta been afraid the shark was gonna throw 'em off. She couldn't even open her eyes...
Working on the beach can be exhausting...
But suggest nap time and THIS is what you get...
Gage, on the other hand, dug himself a hole to China...
While MIMI got all kinds of in-e-propriate while playing in the sand:
It's really been a fun couple of days and I feel so fortunate to be considered part of this amazing family.
Happy Birthday, Malinda!!
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Yep. Destin, Florida.
I flew down here with Cory, Jenny and the kids to surprise Malinda for her birthday.
Malinda has been a second mother to me and seeing her smile as we pulled up last night still makes me smile.
Johnny and Terri, thank you for helping me get down here. Cory and Jenny, thank you for inviting me. Apes, thank you for being amazing and taking care of the house and dogs while I'm gone.
For those of you under the impression that apes and I are millionares who travel the world at will...we aint. I'm on a serious budget. And by budget I mean the only thing I can afford to eat while I'm in Florida is sand.
Malinda, I love you. Thank you for loving me. Happy birthday!
Friday, March 13, 2009
Knowing it and changing it are two entirely different things.
A friend recently heard my plea for help in finding a job and emailed to ask what kind of position I'm looking for.
I want a laid back office environment, staffed by really cool, creative and hip minds.
A job that sends me to a bunch of exotic places would be preferred.
I love non profit work but want to make decent money. By decent money I mean I want to earn a larger salary than I ever have before.
I don't want to commute far as I fully believe in work/life balance. Even Oprah thinks it's important and who am I to argue with Oprah.
Travel is important to me so I'd need to find a job offering liberal vacation and sick days. Back to the whole work/life balance.
I pretty much require people I work with to find me funny, so if the current employees lack a sense of humor, it won't be a good fit.
While I do work in the field of marketing, I don't want to work in sales. I can't even sell my own skills right now. How am I gonna sell something else?
Also, it's not like I wave a rainbow flag or make coworkers join P-FLAG, but I am honest about my relationship with April and can't be all office-matey with someone who believes I'm going to Hell or having sex with my three dogs.
Other than that, I'm not picky."
Thursday, March 12, 2009
We had bad weather. Nearly the entire time.
The ship threatened to go the way of the Titanic, thrashing around on the waves, nearly throwing us from one end of the boat to the other.
Why didn't it matter?
Because we were on our second vacation in one month.
We were on a cruise ship full of AMAZING women.
It was free. April won the Olivia sweepstakes - a cruise for two.
So, no. No complaints.
Just loads of pictures!
Here we are at the mandatory Life Boat drill. April was quite possible the only person TESTING everything on her vest to make sure it worked. God love her. Moments after this picture was taken, we met Chris and Jen, our new best buds from LA. We pretty much forced them to hang out with us the entire cruise and prohibited them from making any new friends. We're the jealous type.
Our boat sailed away at 10pm - from Fort Lauderdale, FL. When I say it was freezing and I could have used a sweater and ear muffs, I'm serious as the frost bite that nearly set in. The wind was wicked and nearly ripped the Diet Coke right outta my hand.
Our new pals, Chris and Jen (in the hat). Apes attempted to take a shot of the four of us. Clearly she has midget arms. She did get all our noses, though.
Chris, being the long-armed, fast-pitch softball player, managed the photo just fine. Thank goodness for softball pitchers.
Formal night and tan lines. Grrr.
Chris n' Jen, all gussied up:
So, Chris didn't take into consideration the WIND TUNNEL effect created by the wacky weather and ship design. I laugh every time I see this photo. Watch out Marilyn, there's a new sexpot in town.
Moment of confession. This cake was presented to Judy, the founder of Olivia. It was wheeled outside of the club and the waiters were waiting for the green light to cut and serve it. April, after just two sips of my pina colada, decided she had the authority to give the green light. I took the picture and ran. Drinking makes her crazy...
Just another day on the island. Football and men with long legs.
Apes with our bar waiter, Aaron. I said he was so cute I wanted to put him in my pocket. From that moment on, April called him "Our Pocket Gay."
Apes and I thuggin' it up at the Mardi Gras Party.
Apes and I posing with Judy, the founder of Olivia. Obviously, we didn't mention April's involvement with her birthday cake...
San Jaun = the FREE Bacardi factory tour. Two free drink tickets and life was good.
Back lit. By Bacardi.
My favorite part of this photo is the woman BEHIND us. Classic.
This is the look you get when you distract me from my pina colada.
Our bar. On the beach. Cinnamon Bay, St. John's.
Sailing away from the most gorgeous place on earth.
My friend Alana was also on the cruise. I saw her all of three times. When I did find her, I sat on her.
Chris convinced me to play water volleyball - despite the fact I had to tread water even IN THE SHALLOW END. I only look like I'm about to bump the ball and score. I'm not.
Despite my height challenge, my team was the first to fifteen points and we were VICTORIOUS.
Everyone on my team won a hat and a free bar drink. Wurd.
Sigh. Our last day. Half Moon Cay, a private island with all kinds of toys and water sports.
I was totally selfless. I rushed out and saved Chris from this alligator. I'm a giver, even when it could cost me my life. She only sort of appreciated it.
Apes being Apes. Sweet. Lovable. Adorable.
What's not to love?
Another perfect vacation with the perfect girl.