May 3, Houston: The big one -- the Inprint reading -- occurs at the Alley Theatre on Monday, May 3. Do not miss it or you'll be sorry. I'm not kidding -- I'm going to say the craziest, most intellectual yet hilarious stuff I can think of, and I'll be sharing the stage with the ultra sexy Oscar Casares, too.
June 24, Houston: I'm one of the peeps scheduled to read at Poison Pen, at Houston's famous Poison Girl bar. Besides me, everyone there will be ultra, *super* sexy. Come see me and drink!
June 26, Washington, DC: I'll be reading at the American Library Association conference. Come on down.
My other blog: Go read my the Houston Chronicle parenting blog (or my ChronMomBlog, as I like to call it) and make sure my kids won't resent me more than other kids resent their own parents.
Buy my new novel, Lone Star Legend. Already did? Well, buy a few more for your friends, then. :)
Thursday, March 12, 2009getting married
Part of the reason I’m marrying my boyfriend Dat is that we share many of the same values and beliefs. Like “Art is a priority” and “You should never do something just because everyone else does it.” We’re no Simone de Beauvoir and Sartre, but I do enjoy the home life we’ve created for ourselves, in which the dining area can become the crafting area and music practice isn’t considered noise and fake birds can populate any space for no other reason than their cuteness.
Some of our values might make the act of getting married seem like an oxymoron. But, as so many of y’all know, there are jillions of reasons to get married other than “because I want a big day that’s all about me just like everyone else gets to have on TV.” So we’re doing it for those other reasons. Of course, we want the wedding to reflect our values. Meaning, mainly, that we don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on a ceremony that has no personal meaning for either of us.
I went through the old dilemmas that braver women than me have lived through before I was even born. Like: Are we getting married for ourselves, or for others? and then: Even if we’re getting married for ourselves, what do we owe our families and the people who care about us and feel invested in our relationship?
Even though other couples have answered these questions admirably and come up with workable solutions, it’s really a case-by-case kind of thing, isn’t it? No two couple and no two families are alike, so you have to work with what you have and not stick your star-shaped block into the octagon-shaped hole.
Here’s the solution we came up with. Here is what our “wedding” will be:
1. On a Saturday morning this May, we will get married at the courthouse downtown. This was going to be just us and the kids, but one of my cousins really, really wants to be there, so we’re opening it to anyone who wants to show up.
2. Right after that, we’ll have dim sum. Because dim sum has great cultural significance in Dat’s family’s culture, of course. No, just kidding. It’s only because we like dim sum a lot and use any excuse – Thanksgiving, Christmas, Ash Wednesday – to eat it. Again, we planned it to be Dat, me, and the kids, but we’re imagining that some of my family might want to attend. So we’ll invite Dat’s family, too. Anyone else who wants to attend is free, as we live in America, to show up. But we’re only paying for ourselves and the kids and our parents. :)
3. That night, we’ll have a party at our house. At that party, we’ll have wedding cake and champagne. Maybe appetizers, too. Or brisket, if someone wants to bring a brisket. Maybe some potato salad. Or maybe sushi. The food part hasn’t been worked out yet. But we’ll have a cake and champagne, for sure, and a few more people we know will be invited.
4. In June, we’re going to Hawaii. (Not the kids – just me and Dat.) That’s our honeymoon. In Hawaii, we will eat dim sum again, if they have it. If not, we’ll just eat everything else.
And that’s it. That’s what it’s gonna be. Now that that’s settled, we’re actually looking forward to it. You know? I mean, we were always looking forward to our marriage, but now we’re actually excited about the wedding, too. (I don’t want to be a person who looks forward to her wedding and not her marriage. That’s a commonly used recipe for unhappiness, in my opinion.)
Do I sound defensive? Right now, there’s a message in my Inbox from a certain person. I can’t see it until I get home tonight, but I kind of don’t want to look at it, anyway, because it’s undoubtedly in response to my recent Facebook announcement that I’m planning our wedding. Earlier in our engagement, this person was trying to plan our wedding for us. I love her, but she’s one of the people who comes over to our house and says stuff like, “Why the hell do y’all have fake birds on your bookshelf? I don’t get it.” So I don’t really want to get into a discussion about the wedding with her. If I were rich and wanted a big wedding, I’d hire a planner. But first I’d show that planner a bunch of photographs of random things that we think are cool, and I’d watch his/her face. If s/he made a wtf face, I’d know s/he wasn’t right for us. You know?
something else that’s related to the stuff above, but which I’ll discuss in third person
In case anyone’s curious, here’s a list of possible reasons that a married couple might decide to have separate bedrooms:
1. You both want your own space, not just for sleeping but for other things – fashion, hobbies, decorations – that might occur in your bedrooms.
2. You have completely different sleeping preferences. Maybe one of you needs the door open and the other needs it closed. One of you can tolerate the light on the cable box and the other can’t. Both of you like to sleep with your arm under your head, but you face each other and therefore your elbows are at odds. One of you needs cats posted at the foot of the bed throughout the night, and one of you can’t sleep with cat hair in your lungs. And so on, and so forth.
3. You can’t afford separate houses. :)
4. You see that, often, elderly couples sleep in separate bedrooms, and it’s not only because they’re more comfortable that way, but also because they’re so old that they no longer care what anyone thinks of them. And you think, “Why do I have to wait until I’m older, to stop caring what people think?” And you don’t care what people think, and you want to be comfortable.
5. You realize that sleeping in the same bed is neither proof of romantic love nor a guarantee of a satisfying sex life.
6. You enjoy attention, and therefore you enjoy having people come to your house and say, “Oh my god, WHY do you have separate BEDROOMS? What’s WRONG? Are you guys breaking up? Are you guys secretly gay? I thought you guys liked each other. I don’t understand. What do you mean, you like it better this way? What’s WRONG with you two? That’s not what married people DO. What do you mean, you like your cats to sleep on the bed? That’s DISGUSTING.”
Just kidding on that last one. That one goes on the cons list. But, hey, it’s one of a very few things on the cons list, apart from “can’t yet afford a house with separate bedrooms.”
I’m not telling you guys this because I believe you’re the kind of judgmental that needs an explanation. I’m telling you guys this because maybe some of you want to sleep in separate bedrooms and are going over the rationale, compiling lists of pros and cons. In that case, you’re welcome to my reasons.
… feeling like you’ve created your own space in the world -- you and your partner -- that doesn’t need anyone else’s approval. Or maybe that’s what codependence is? I get those two confused...
Just kidding. Ha. Love is... worth sharing, right? I feel protective of the people and things I really, really care about, which is why you don’t see me posting a lot about my relationships with Dat and my kids. But I know some of y’all have been following this journal for a long, long time, and that some of you identify with the main character in it (heh) in certain ways. So, for the sake of the story and its readers, I’m sharing with y’all that, after careful consideration, I’ve found love worth making into a legal entity, and a relationship that I believe will create long-term, overriding happiness for me, for him, and for our family.
And, in sharing this with y’all, I’m sending out good vibes and hopes that y’all have found or will find the same. 6:27 AM # (21) comments
Tuesday, January 08, 2008There was bad news, too.
I went to court to finalize the arrangements for my middle son, Dallas, to go live [elsewhere] for the semester. And then, [magically, in a process I'm not supposed to describe in detail], my child support got reduced to nothing. And that wouldn't have bothered me so much if it weren't for [the emotional ugliness surrounding the process].
And I wrote a long, angry entry about it here. (And some of you responded with very kind, helpful comments. Thanks, y'all.) And then I deleted that post, because there's no use filling up my blog with [that ugliness]. You know?
So, aside from the fact that I miss my middle son and I'm even broker than I was before, life is still very good and there's no use dwelling on the ungood parts. Right? Right.
1/9/07: And now that I'm having to go back and censor this entry, lest it invoke more ugliness, let me say again how happy I am to have removed myself from my previous life. Thank God.
Tad and I got engaged for a few personal reasons, particular and special to him and me and no one else. Namely, this ring symbolizes a promise to each other, and that promise is, "I promise you didn't just spend five years dating me for nothing."
I explained the word engagement to my kids. I told them it usually means the fiances are planning to marry in a year. But that we aren't getting married in a year. "How long?" my youngest asked. "I don't know," I said. "Maybe five years from now. Maybe two years. But probably more than two years. I don't know."
The kids accepted that answer, but no one else will. :)
On Friday evening, while visiting Tad at his place, I fielded my third or fourth phone call from congratulatory friends and family members, all of whom were eager to help us plan the wedding. RIGHT NOW. I was explaining to the caller that we wouldn't make plans until we saved up enough money to have the kind of event we wanted. The caller was trying to persuade me that we should have an inexpensive wedding this spring. Tad was on his second such phone call. We hung up and turned to each other over the turkey spaghetti dinner Tad was cooking.
"Man," said Tad. "I thought getting engaged would make people quit asking us quesitons. But now it's even worse."
I nodded sympathetically.
He said, "I'm telling people, 'She's not pregnant. We don't have to get married right now.'"
"People are excited," I said.
"People need to mind their own damned business," he said.
I told him it was a good thing, that people were so eager to see us married. It meant that they thought we'd be happy together. He grudgingly agreed, then we made up a unified strategy for dealing with other would-be wedding planners. Then we agreed we wouldn't talk about this anymore, for at least a year. Then we ate our spaghetti.
After dinner, we went to a friend's art thingie, where a local string quartet played. While we listened to them, it flickered through my mind that it might be nice to have this string quartet play at our hypothetical wedding, however many years in the future. But I decided to keep that thought to myself. I didn't want Tad to think that I'd been infected with the fever.
After their first piece was done, Tad leaned over to me and whispered, "We should get them to play at our wedding!"
On Saturday, we went to Barnes and Noble so I could spend the last of the gift certificate my dad got me for my birthday. I couldn't help looking through the wedding mags. It's my right! This ring on my finger means I'm allowed! I picked out three of the least obnoxious seeming, then added something called Asian Bride to my stack. In case, you know, I decide to wear an Asian wedding dress instead of a white one. Well... I'm pretty sure I'm not going to wear a white dress. Not a white wedding dress, in any case.
Asian Bride turned out to be for Indian weddings only. (However, those Indian wedding dresses are pretty freaking awesome. I wish I had the slightest excuse to wear one.) The other magazines seemed to fall into one of two categories:
1. Magazines for brides who only care about looking like princesses on the biggest day of their entire lives.
2. Magazines for couples who care about their wedding guests... and thinking up a million ways to force their "personality" down their guests' throats.
I bought an issue of The Knot (Texas edition) because it had the nicest photos and design ideas worth knocking off for cheap. I also bought five gazillion non-wedding magazines. Thanks, Daddy! At home, I flipped through about a quarter of the Knot before thinking, "This is ridiculous. We don't need all this stuff," and putting it aside.
That night, Tad was visiting me at my house. I came upon him in my bedroom with my wedding magazine in his hands and a look of distaste on his face. "This is ridiculous. I don't think we need all this stuff. Do you?"
No. No, I don't. We don't need escort cards or signature cocktails or monogrammed favors or save-the-date cards. Shoot, we don't even need bridesmaids or groomsmen or big white wedding dresses. We decided it right then, as we flipped through the magazine. No superfluous expense. No symbols without meaning.
My friend Yvonne passed on really good wedding planning advice. She said you're supposed to decide which two elements of the wedding are most important to each of you. Then, you spend your budget on those and forget the rest. For Tad and I, the two most important things are food and music. We've already talked about it and decided that, years ago, even back before we ever admitted we might get married some day. Third most important thing, to me, is flowers. But I think we can just have it in a garden, then, and not worry about buying too many.
We've thrown a lot of parties together, and I've always been pleased by how well they go, and how our party priorities dovetail. So I think our hypothetical, years-from-now wedding should be just fine. The more we agree not to discuss it, the more I realize that we've already, pretty much, telepathically planned the whole thing.
"There's no use getting married until we can afford a bigger house," I said.
"I wish... Don't think this is weird, but I kind of wish we could get married and then not live together," I said. "Just get married and then keep doing the same exact stuff we do now."
"That's what I've been thinking, too!" he said. "Wouldn't that be cool?"
Maybe we'll end up doing that. Just have a tiny, beautiful wedding, with good food and good music, for our family and friends. Then go back to living our lives and being happy. 6:13 AM # (16) comments
Thursday, January 03, 2008Happy 2008
Did you have a good New Year's Eve? We did. My boyfriend Tad and his friends threw a party. At first, no one RSVPed on our Evite, because they all had clubs or hotel parties to attend. So we assumed it'd just be our core group of four couples, minus the couple who just had a baby. I thought we'd just drink and play cards, you know?
But a couple of people showed up. Then, as the night went on, people would call one of the hosts and ask what we were doing. And the host would say, "We're staying home because we don't want to mess with parking and traffic and the weather and all that shit. Come over if you want." And, by midnight, we had a pretty sizeable group of people, many of whom I'd never met before, but all of whom were awesome. Has that ever happened to you -- that you throw a party and it lines up with the planets such that every single person attending is either smart, funny, sexy, or all three? No jerks, no vomiting? That's what happened. Everyone was awesome, even to the point that they helped us clean up. Tad went to bed at 5:30. I went to bed at 7 AM, only because the sun was coming up and the people I was hanging with in the garage had a long drive home.
It was fun. It was a good start to the new year.
Quick List of Recent Annoyances
I have to get this out of my system.
1. People who block the intersection on red lights.
2. People who look at your jacket and scarf and gloves and not only have to let you know that they aren't bothered by the cold, but that you're a wussy/whiner/baby for needing a jacket. Bonus annoyance: Flashing back to that 80 degree day last summer, when you were comfortable but that person was sweating profusely and whining about the heat, but you sympathized with her, because you're not an asshole.
3. People who bring up your good news in conversation, and then call you a show-off because of it. Like, "Have you lost weight? Show off!" or "Is that a new blouse? Show off!" or "Are you a generally happy person? Show off!"
4. People who go out of their way to look cool, and who ignore you at social gatherings because you don't look cool enough, and who pretend not to recognize you in public, even though you've met them more than once. Bonus annoyance: If/when those people later decide you're cool ("You write books? I'm trying to write a book! Who's your agent? We should have lunch!") and suddenly act all friendly, as if their previous rudeness never occurred.
5. Networking events, because they're completely filled with people like the ones described above, and because I don't want to walk around with cheese and cheap wine in my hands, being judged by these people. And I don't like bragging that I'm a writer ("Show off!"), especially not to people like that. I would rather sit home and write, or attend a party where everyone already knows I'm a writer and no longer cares, or stand up on stage and read my books to people who are there because they like my writing, and not because they think I can do something for their careers.
6. People who dislike you and go out of their way to show it in the pettiest way possible (by forwarding jokes and "inspirational" emails to everyone in the department but you, by bringing baked goods and personally informing every person in the department except you)... but then expect you to greet them in the halls and introduce them to your boyfriend and/or fiance. And make a face of disbelief when you ignore them. As if you would want to contaminate your boyfriend and/or fiance with the misery that exudes from their pores.
The planets have plans for you in 2008. Even Planet Pluto. Even Planet Chiron.
All my horoscopes, as well as the moon phase planning guide my dad gave me for Christmas, have been telling me that this is the year I will succeed... if I first examine my habits and attitudes, and get over something I've been reluctant to get over.
I'm thinking it's the networking thing. Planets Pluto, Chiron, and Blitzen, in my Fifth House of Marketing, are asking that I get over my reluctance to brag and start up some serious self-promotion. (Say it: "Show off! SHOW OFF!")
There are things I've wanted -- writerly things -- that I've been afraid to ask for because I don't think I'm good enough yet. Like grants, or writer jobs, or bigger speaking fees. Because, you know, I'm never good enough, in my own mind. (If I were already good enough, I wouldn't have to work so hard, would I? :) )
Meanwhile, though, I see people with far fewer credentials than me, and they're getting the things I want. They're like, "Hi! I'm Mindy! I'm a writer!! My friend published my poem in his zine, and I have a novel outline in a shoebox under my bed!!!" And they're now teaching Creative Writing at Purdue. Or whatever.
And now it's to the point where even I think it's ridiculous. You know? I'm like, "Gwen. Come on. Seriously. What the hell are you doing? Stand up, declare yourself, and get what's rightfully yours."
But... I don't want to. You know? That's a difficult thing for me. You think I'm a narcissist, and you're right, but I'm still insecure, and I still have deep-seated fears of people calling me a show off. What happened to the time when writers could just stay home, drinking and writing, mailing pages to their agents, and get paid? Offered jobs? Showered with appropriate amounts of recognition, no matter how hard they tried to hide?
Maybe those days never really existed. The more experience I get, the more I suspect that those myths were carefully manufactured by people who were really good at networking.
So that's my first resolution for this year, then. Get over the last vestiges of insecurity, and move on with my life. I might regret posting all this, later today. If so, that probably means it really needed to be said.
All those long paragraphs were written in order to weed out the anti-fans
, the haters, the misery spreaders, the train-wreck seekers, the ojo givers, the bad vibe emanators.
All of those people are gone now and their negative energy has dissipated. So I can tell you: I'm engaged. Tad and I are engaged now. It happened on my birthday. I am happy.
And that's all the news on that now. There's no date set. Therefore, I can't answer questions about any weddings, any babies, or any shared funeral plots. (His sister's literal first question, upon hearing the news: "But aren't your tubes tied?" My response, "Uh, no, they aren't. Wait... what? the? what?") (I love his sister, though. Love you, Susan!)
I will say this: Even though I'm a feminist and I believe that marriage is an outdated institution and that society pressures people to conform to ridiculous, meaningless traditions... etc.... I did get this little frisson of excitement when I realized that I now have every right to peruse bridal magazines.
Even though I've seen them before, and I think they're boring, and I know they're all from the perspective of a culture that's neither Tad's nor mine. So I don't really even want to look at them. But I like knowing that I can, now, without worrying about what other people think.
So that's my good news, y'all, and that's all for this entry. Hope y'all's 2008 is good so far. I hope your planets are all lining up. 5:52 AM # (54) comments
Thursday, November 29, 2007Thrift Store Story 1: Mother Daughter Bonding
I was at a Goodwill in another town, eavesdropping on strangers.
Mom: How about this one?
Mom: Well, I know it's kind of boring, but it also looks professional. You have to look professional.
Mom: Okay, so you have your black skirts... How about, instead of a jacket, you try something like this? Because it still looks professional, but
it's not as formal as a jacket. Cute, huh?
Daughter: Kind of, yeah.
At this point, I can't resist peeking at them. Both 30-something mom and teen daughter are tall and thin, in t-shirts and very short shorts, with long, long, very blonde hair. They're talking loud and I can't help but form the impression that the mom wants everyone around to hear what a good parent she's being. I look to see what professional item of clothing the mom is holding. It's a black vest with shiny black lining-fabric back.
Mom: See? That looks real professional. Trust me, I know these things.
Daughter: You know my friend Melissa? The other day, she found a pair of Hollister jeans here.
Daughter: Yeah. And she wore them to school!
Mom: Really? Wow.
Thrift Store Story 2: Little Girl Free to Good (or Any) Home
I'm shuffling through the sweaters at my second-favorite mega segunda. A little girl, maybe 2 or 3 years old, ambles near in a pink dress, with two filthy baby dolls cradled in one arm, and with green snot hovering above her lip.
My heart: [Crack!]
Me: [approaching little girl] Are you lost? Do you know your mom's name?
Me: [in Spanish] Let's find your mom. What is your mom's name?
Girl: [pause, then] Mami.
Me: What color is your mom's hair? What color is your mom's hair?
Girl: [Points to her own hair, her own dress, her baby doll's dress.]
I lead the little girl around the store, pointing at each oblivious woman we see and asking in Spanish and English if this is her mother. The little girl shakes her head no at each one. For a while, a pre-teen girl helps us out, but then returns to her own mother's side. I start to worry. The little girl has stopped worrying by now and seems content to follow me around like a stray cat. My boyfriend comes over.
Tad: Did you find a kid?
Me: Yes, and I'm starting to totally freak out. This one can't even talk, and we've looked at, like, every single woman here, and she says none of them are her mom. What if her mom left? What if...
The little girl stands at my side, unconcerned, chewing on her hair. A little boy, about 4 or 5, walks up. His runny nose serves as family resemblance as he grabs the little girl by the arm.
Boy: There you are. Come on.
Me: Are you her brother? Do you know where y'all's mom is?
Boy: Yeah. My mom told me to find her.
He hauls the little girl away. Curious, my boyfriend and I follow at a polite distance. The kids' mother is younger than I expected. She stands over a shopping cart, with a companion, in the middle of an aisle. She and her companion wear tight jeans, sleeveless tops, and tattoos. The mother is talking to her companion and into a cell phone, simultaneously.
Mother: That's what I'm saying. I told that stupid fucking bitch!
Her friend: Hell, yeah!
Mother: Fuck that stupid bitch! I'll beat her ass down! [Looking down, noticing her children. To boy:] Now you watch her. Don't let her run off!
Tad and I exchange looks. The little girl looks over at me and waves happily. I wave back and Tad and I resume minding our own business in another aisle. I look through racks and racks of sweaters, skirts, suits, shoes. Every time the little girl crosses our path with her family, she waves and says, "Hi!" or "Bye!"
Me: Bleh. That makes me sad. I should have just stolen her.
Tad: That's probably why she wasn't looking for her mom too hard. She was probably hoping her mom would leave her and she could go home with you.
Me: Maybe. I would have had to give her a bath first thing, though. And some antibiotics.
Tad: Right. But, you know... you already have the cat.
Thrift Store Story 3: I Am Rich and Famous. Dammit.
I'm at the same thrift store as the one in the story above. As usual, I'm combing through the pink sweaters, looking for one that doesn't have holes or scuff marks or a Faded Glory tag.
Random chick passing by: Excuse me. Do you shop here often?
Me: Uh... I shop here. [Thinking she's doing a survey or something.] Why?
Chick: Oh, um. Because... do they have tank tops here? I mean, this is my first time here, and I'm kind of looking for a tank top. But, like, none of these tops are tank tops. Do they not sell tank tops? Do you know where they are? Do they have them in a special section or something?
Me: They're in the next aisle. See that rack of sleeveless tops, under the sign that says Sleeveless Tops?
Chick: Oh, okay. Cool. Thanks!
She walks away and joins a friend, who is over by the tank tops. I flip through the pink sweaters and try not to feel self-conscious. My boyfriend Tad walks up.
Tad: There's nothing here.
Me: You always say that. You're not looking hard enough.
Tad: I don't feel like looking hard. I'm not in the mood.
Me: Whatever. Okay, listen. This chick just walked up to me and started a random conversation, and I think she knew who I was.
Tad: Someone from your work?
Me: No, I mean someone who reads my blog, or who read about me in the Chronicle or something. You know, because I just talked on my blog about thrift-store shopping, and I mentioned this store? Or because the Chronicle just did that article and they said where I lived?
Tad: Hmm. I guess.
Me: No, seriously. I'm starting to be able to tell now. Because they always start completely random conversations. Like that chick who talked to me in the bra section of Ross? Or that other chick who started talking to me about fountains at Home Depot that day? I mean, I know it sounds conceited as hell, but I really think they're talking to me because they recognize me from the blog.
Tad: How, though? You only have that one picture of yourself on your blog, and it doesn't even look like you.
Me: Because, like, I don't know. I mean, how many Caucasian chicks in Houston have Asian boyfriends and three kids?
Tad: Yeah... I think you're just being paranoid, though. I think they're just being friendly.
Me: I'm not being paranoid. I'm not saying they're stalking me or that it's bad or anything. I'm just saying that I think they recognize me and, if they do, why don't they just say so? You know? Because, otherwise, I'm wondering why I'm such a magnet for chicks starting completely random conversations.
Tad: People do that, though. They start random conversations. People do it to me all the time.
Me: Oh, okay. So you think I'm just being paranoid. Or narcissistic.
Tad: No, no, no. Of course not. Baby, if you say people recognize you, then of course they recognize you.
Me: Okay, don't patronize me.
Tad: No, sure... Why wouldn't they recognize you? You're famous. You're like, a famous writer and blogger and whatnot. You're my famous baby.
Me: [Turning away, sighing.] I am famous, dammit. You just can't handle the truth. You're jealous. You can't hang with being the boy-toy of a celebrity. I always knew it would come down to this -- that my immense blogging fame and writing success would tear us apart. I didn't want to believe that our love was so flimsy, so susceptible to petty envy. But I should have known better. That's why they say it's lonely at the top. It is. I see that now. This thing with my fans seeking me out at thrift stores, it's tearing us apart. That's the price I'm paying for my high-flying lifestyle...
Tad: What's that, bunny? What'd you say?
Me: I said, let's go get some gelato now.
Tad: Okay. 12:03 PM # (7) comments
Thursday, August 02, 2007My boyfriend is way funnier than me.
Witness the gmail exchange.
Me: I just learned a new phrase. "I'd tap that like a woodpecker." Baby, I would tap you like a woodpecker.
Him: Awww...thank you, bunnycup. Woodpecker: "That's the best piece of ash I've ever put my pecker in!"
Labels: my sex life6:06 PM # (2) comments
Monday, July 23, 2007Ominous?
Today my horoscope says, "You hard-working Capricorns are faced with a dilemma this midsummer. The Sun is now moving through your mysterious 8th House, encouraging you to delve into the mysteries of the occult, death and sex. Although these are deliciously juicy issues, it's summer and the beautiful outside beckons. Strike a balance now between the inner and the outer worlds you wish to explore."
At first, that freaked me out. The occult? Death? What in the world was supposed to happen to me today?
Then, I realized what it actually meant. See, this evening, I'll be torn between going outside and enjoying the break from the rain, and staying inside to finish reading Harry Potter.
The balance will be achieved if I take a walk to get the mail, first. Or maybe I can finish the book in the car, in the sun, as my boyfriend drives us around.
"I wish," I told my boyfriend, Tad, "we could have some kind of adventure this weekend."
That was Thursday night. The weekend before, we'd gone into the heart of Houston's New Chinatown (aka Bellaire) and tried a new banh mi place that was straight out of Saigon. And that was exciting. This weekend, since we can't afford to travel outside of Texas, I thought we might again find something new within our own town. "Okay," said Tad. "We'll go somewhere new."
Friday night, Tad's brother-in-law called to invite us to a very impromptu celebration of his birthday. He picked a nightclub out in the satellite town of Katy, Texas, so as to make the party accessible to multiple suburbanite friends.
I'm going to call the club Bikini Bottom, because it did have the word bikini in it, and I can't remember the rest. Why did it have the word bikini in it? Because the female servers wore bikini tops, and there were girls in bikinis dancing atop the bars. The decor was darkness, disco lights, and plastic palm trees. Old (not old school, but just old and stale) hip hop blared from every corner. Upon being ushered in, we joined Tad's sister and b-i-l, their neighbor, and our friends Mike and Claudia in an alcove, where we hurried to catch up to their blood-alchohol levels while surveying the scene.
The first bikini'd girl, just inside the entrance, danced on a table near a giant bucket of beers. Her job was to dance, sell the bottles, and periodically squat down to rubber-band the ones in her register. This girl was rather attractive. At least, she seemed to be under all her makeup, there in the dim light. Every man who walked into the club stopped in front of her station to ogle. Some of them bought beers, and some just gave her dollar bills for nothing. They put them into a cut-open milk jug at her feet, and in return got... a smile. No extra movement, no chance to touch. But the men seemed okay with that, because they were in love with her. It was obvious, from the looks in their eyes and the clumsy way they tried to initiate small talk that she couldn't hear. She danced like a stripper. I wondered if she was trying to work her way back into more legitimate means of tip-garnering. Maybe she'd move up (down?) from go-go dancer to cocktail waitress, then to diner waitress, then to executive assistant, then Avon saleswoman, then animal shelter volunteer, then old lady arranging flowers at the local Baptist church.
The other go-go dancers, deeper inside the bowels of the club, had nothing but their youth to recommend them. Their youth, their lower-back tattoos, and occasional bouts of Sapphic display. While we waited for a bartender to take our order (and then admit that she didn't know what a kamikaze shot was), a tiny, roped-off stage lit up inside the bar. An emcee appeared there and called up two doughy teens in sagging, dully colored bikinis. "Shanna and Allison, are you ready for the showers?!?" he bellowed into the mike. Yes, they were. They were so ready, they shimmied against each other and kissed each other's lips. The emcee pulled the cord that activated the shower head above them. (He himself was wearing a long-sleeve shirt and jeans.) The girls got wet, did more shimmying, then shook their lank hair at the crowd. Water splatted across my face as I took my apple-pucker-flavored kamikaze from the bartender. Somehow, it didn't feel as sexy as they seemed to intend it.
The doorman hadn't hassled us at all on the way in. He wasn't hassling anybody -- an ID and five bucks got you in, and that was that. The crowd at Bikini Bottom looked like a complete cross-section of Katy, Texas, itself. There were twenty-somethings in a range of demographics, from the Ford F250 drivers, to the Camaro drivers, to the pimped-out Scion crews. There were older men in Hawaiian shirts, and older women in lacy black suits. As our friend Mike put it, "This is like Wal-Mart with hip hop." (That was before we knew that one out of every ten songs would be Latin music.)
It was Spank's birthday, and not that many of the gang had shown up with such short notice, so those of us there did our duty. We drank, and we danced. Well, Susan and Claudia danced, while the rest of us drank. That's how our set rolls sometimes -- the women dance and the men watch.
I don't like to dance when it's only women, so much, because I'm the tallest one by far and it always makes me feel kind of weird, like I'm a substitute boy. You know -- like I'm the one who has to do all the humping once everyone gets drunk enough to do the silly hump dances. Sometimes I don't want to hump, you know? Sometimes I want to be humped, dammit. But, eventually, Susan and Claudia dragged me out onto the floor and made me form a hump sandwich with them. Okay, fine, I thought, putting my hand in the air. Hump, hump, hump.
Like a magnet, a man who was not my type slid up to our threesome. "Hello," he said. Claudia said hi and turned away, Susan ignored him completely, and I did a polite but dismissive not-smile. He hovered around us for a while, air-humping but not infiltrating our boundaries. Then he went away.
I tried to disengage from the dance then, but only got a sip of beer and an ice cube stolen from the stripper's cooler before the other women dragged me back out. "Come ON, Gwen!" Hump, hump, hump. Woo!
Like a migratory bird, the stranger guy came back. "Ladies, my friend over there in the white shirt thinks y'all are fine." He pointed out his friend, who gave us a cool nod and a beer-bottle salute.
"Our boyfriends are right there," said Claudia, pointing to Mike with her drink. Susan said nothing, just shook her hair. I don't think she even saw the guy -- she was in her own little flashdance world.
"And where's yours?" he said to me. "I didn't see you with anybody." Annoyed that I had to prove my eligibility for love, I pointed out Tad, who was sitting at a little table, leaning back and drinking a Corona as if it were a nice day on the beach. He didn't even wave to me. Our interloper looked skeptical, as if I had randomly pointed out this bespectacled Asian man, shorter than me (horrors!), in order to play hard to get. He walked away to confer with his friends. I grimaced at Tad, who only laughed.
Claudia whispered in my ear, "Girl, that man wants you! He wants your healthy booty!"
"I am," I thought, "too old for this."
I was about to leave the floor again, when the guy came back again. He tapped my shoulder. I turned around and said "what" or "huh" or "uh," don't remember what, exactly. Something in my face, though, scared him away. (My natural expression, at rest, is quite bitchy.) "Okay, fine," he said. "Golly." He looked very hurt and backed away. I felt kind of bad, but not bad enough to call him back.
"God," I said to Tad, who'd never once moved from his chair. "What was up with that?"
"That guy's been watching you all night," he told me. "The minute you started dancing, he ran up."
"What?" I said. "Why didn't you do something, then?"
"Because," Tad said, "that shit was hilarious."
Two hours and one "booty-shaking" contest later (Susan and Claudia entered but I refused, as I was still just sober enough to deduce that it was rigged), Spank said he'd had enough festivities and it was time to go. And so, we bid Bikini Bottom farewell.
As Tad and I crossed the muddy embankment and the Whataburger parking lot on the way to our car, the hip hop faded behind us. A block away, in another parking lot, a group of high school kids passed us. One boy noted our clasped hands and called out, "Are y'all gonna have sex tonight?"
"Maybe," I said. Tad nodded. Disarmed by our candor, he moved on, and we whispered shared hopes for his future, and for the future of all Katy youth.
As Ford trucks zoomed around us like fireflies, we finally made it to the tranquility of Tad's car.
"Well, that was an adventure, wasn't it?" I said.
"Yes," said Tad. And then we went home. 6:52 AM # (10) comments
Thursday, June 28, 2007A Nurturing Kind of Love
As I mentioned the other day, I've been losing weight, via the magic process of burning more calories than I take in (TM physics).
My boyfriend Tad hasn't said much about my weight loss, either because he wants to maintain the illusion that he's just as happy when I'm fatter, or else because he's actually a little happier when I'm fatter. Either way, he's been sending me little Yahoo news articles about weight loss lately. The last one was about how reducing stress and anger helps you burn more calories. Reading that finally got on my last nerve, and I wrote to Tad thusly:
I feel like, now that I'm losing weight, you're sending me all this information on how to lose weight. Or telling me to exercise more. Hello - I have been exercising more. That's why I'm losing weight!
Also, I've been trying to reduce my stress/temper a lot in the last couple of years, but you don't seem to notice that, either. I know you're telling me this stuff because you care, but when you give me "advice" or "reminders" on stuff I'm already trying to do, it just makes it seem like you don't notice my accomplishments.
[Omitted: Three paragraphs of analogies and examples illustrating my point.]
Do you want me to nag you to run at the park more? Maybe you feel like I don't care, since I don't tell you stuff like you tell me?
Jesus - diarrhea again...
What can we learn from this?
One: All the stuff I said to Tad -- that is what he's been doing lately.
Two: If you ever become my significant other, this is how you can expect that I will argue with you: via email, with many, many, many words. (But then, there will usually be makeup sex, provided you pass the pop quiz that proves you actually read the email.)
Three: If you ever become my significant other, I can promise that you will be continually updated on the state of my digestive system, as well as the latest theories on what causes me to be ill. (Very latest theory: My job itself turns my bowels to water.)
So... back to Tad and his transgressions.
"Yes," he eventually said, when we revisited this subject post-makeup-sex. "I would like it if you nagged me to run more."
"Why?" I said. "Why do you want to be nagged? I don't want to be nagged!"
"Because..." he said. Then, his cell phone rang. "Hello?" he said. Then, he started speaking the Chinese dialect of his people, which happens to sound almost exactly like when grown-ups talk on Charlie Brown. "Haw bwa, wa bwa," he said. "Bwa haw... Okay, Dad! Okay!" Then he hung up, then turned back to me. "Because if you nag me to run, it lets me know that you care. That's the only reason I sent you that weight-loss article, baby. Because I care about you."
"What did your dad want?"
"Oh, nothing. He just asked if I ate any fruit today."
"He's been nagging me lately about eating fruit. He says I don't eat enough. He bought a melon and wanted to see if I felt like coming over to get some."
And that's when I remembered that my boyfriend and his dad are crazy, and that they really do prove their love by nagging the shit out of people about their health.
(The next day, we were in the car, and Tad's dad called and just said one sentence. "Bwa haw baw wah BWA HAW BAW!" Tad said "okay Dad" and hung up. Translation: "Don't forget to EXERCISE!")
OMFG, my bloggi-freaking-versary!
Tomorrow this web site turns ten years old. Here is your proof.
Incidentally, this is the first time in that ten years that I've remembered to mark my blog's anniversary.
The ten-year gift is paper, btw. Feel free to send your surplus notebooks and cute Japanese stationery my way.
The Daily Quest
Every day at my job, in my department, some time after lunch, someone starts looking for a file.
Do you do this at your job? Do you have old-school paper files? If you do, you know how they go missing, right? And then someone will look for them and, depending on the standing of the person searching (hierarchical and social, both), one or more coworkers will aid in the search.
Usually when people look for files, I just check my desk and then yell, "Nope," across the department.
Sometimes, however, I'm in the mood to be helpful, so I get up and walk around, searching other people's desks and file cabinets, too. Whenever I do this, I like to get into the real spirit of it. I'll say, "Didn't Thomas Johnson come downstairs last week and ask us for that file?" or "I thought I heard Sharon asking Rhonda about that one." And people will say, "Yeah, that's right. I remember that," even if I was just lying and remembered no such thing.
I like to see how far I can take it. "Jim Smith came downstairs yesterday, right after you left, Joanna. He looked really pissed off, and he was sort of sweating, and he twirled his mustache and said, 'Is Joanna here?' I said no and thought nothing of it, and went back to working really hard at my desk. I heard a bunch of scratching noises coming from the file room, and then I smelled smoke. You don't think he..."
Then someone says, "Oh my gosh. Jim's assistant, Brianna, was down here Monday. She looked really sneaky and had blood on her jacket!"
I say, "I've always hated Brianna. I told y'all she slept with my ex-boyfriend, right? Plus, I think she's secretly bald."
Then, right about then, someone will say, "Here it is. Found it. Here's the file."
Most embarrassing? Is when they find it on my desk. 5:42 PM # (13) comments
Friday, March 02, 2007Turning Down the Direct Hit
Someone just asked you out. You know why? Because you're sexy, dammit. Aren't you flattered? Of course you are. And yet, unfortunately, your feelings for the other person are not mutual. You don't want to go out with him/her. So, what next?
You tell him or her the truth.
Ouch, right? Painful for the other person, awkward for you. It's so awkward, I can totally see how you'd want to avoid the whole conversation altogether. I know, because I've been there, and I've given all the wrong answers. And now I know why they're wrong:
Do not lie. Don't say, "Uh, not this weekend, but maybe some other time." You might think that doing that is a nice way to let the other person down, or to hint that you're not interested. But it isn't. It only gives him or her a reason to try again later. Yes, you can reason that, after you've turned the person down three times in a row, he or she will get the hint. But then, you've wasted that person's time, and gotten his or her hopes up for nothing. Why? This person doesn't deserve to be misled just because he or she thought you were sexy. So don't do it.
Don't give him or her the wrong phone number.
I know it's easy to reason that this is a nice method, since it delays the asker's embarrassment until he or she is alone. But it's not nice. It's mean, because it gives the other person even more hope before letting them down. Not only that, but it inconveniences the person whose number you actually gave. (You know--your number with the last two digits transposed. Yeah. The old woman who has that number is tired of getting calls from people who wanted to take you to the movies. She's trying to watch House. Quit bothering her.)
Don't be an asshole.
Don't say, "As if!" Don't say, "Oh, hell no!" Don't say anything rude. Why would you do that? What kind of evil jerk are you? I don't care if the person who asked you out is ugly, smelly, stupid, and has alien genitalia that's incompatible with yours. It still took that person a lot of guts to ask you out, and you need to respect the polite show of interest.
Obviously, if you are that kind of evil jerk, you aren't reading a blog post about how to be polite. So I won't go on and on about how being rude exposes you as someone with low self esteem. I'll just end this paragraph by reminding everyone to treat others as you'd like to be treated.
Here are suggestions for things you can say.
Memorize them if you need to, because I know that you're very sexy and therefore someone is bound to ask you out any moment now.
"No, thank you. I'm flattered, but I never really thought of you in that way."
"Oh, that's so sweet... but no, thanks. I couldn't."
"I'm gonna have to say no. But I would like to stay friends, if that's okay."
"Thank you for asking, but I'm seeing someone else right now."
(If the asker is in your social circle, you shouldn't say this unless it's true. Otherwise, it jacks up future opportunities for you to hook up with mutual friends.)
Here's one my friend Letty told me, for when the asker is being a little ambiguous, as if he/she might actually want your number for networking or to sell you Pampered Chef products or something:
"Why don't you give me your number instead, and I'll call you when I have time."
Then, you don't call. Or, hey--call when you want a Pampered Chef baking stone, and pretend you never realized the interest was romantic. Who could turn down the opportunity to make a sale, platonic or not?
"Dude, I would totally have sex with you right now, on this table, but my husband/wife/cult leader would kill me."
"Thank you, but I'm not looking to date anyone right now. Hey, have you met my friend Samantha?"
How to Respond When Someone Turns Down Your Direct Hit
You just hit on a sexy person, and he or she turned you down. They did it politely, but ouch, that shit hurt. So embarrassing. So disappointing. No one likes to get rejected. It sucks.
I know, because the last time I told someone that I liked him and he told me the feelings weren't mutual, it burned like the heat of a thousand sucks. But at least he told me politely, and for that I'll always be glad.
So. What do you do? You stand there, go "Gulp!" real loud in your throat, and accept the rejection as graciously as you can. Here is what you can say:
"Okay. Well, just thought I'd check and see. Let me know if you change your mind," or
"Okay. Well, you can't blame a guy for trying, can you? [wink]" or
"All right. Well, if you change your mind, you know where to find me," or
"Okay, well, I hope we can still be friends," or
"Aw, man. That was embarrrassing. I appreciate your honesty, though. Later."
Do NOT say:
"What? Why not??" or
"But... but... I thought..." or
"I think you're making a big mistake, because..." or
"Well, then you've been leading me on all this time," or
anything with bad words in it.
Do not argue with the person. He or she knows better than you whether or not he/she wants to date you.
Do not ask for explanations. You can't expect someone to answer that truthfully, anyway. "Because you're creepy. Because you're whiny. Because I'm too materialistic to date someone who makes as little money as you do. Because I'm holding out for someone I'm too scared to ask out."
See how horrible that sounds? You don't want to hear that, do you?"
Do not get angry.
It's okay to feel angry (or hurt, or disappointed), deep inside your mind, alone in your room at night, but you can't act on that feeling, because it's inappropriate. Because--face it--no one owes you a freaking date.
See, the reason so many people don't turn down dates honestly and politely is because either a) they never learned how, or b) the last time they did, someone freaked out and responded with anger, accusations, or incessant demands for a satisfactory reason. Or stalking. Or crying. You know--general awkwardness.
Be as gracious as you can. That way, you leave a good impression. And that leads to the possibility of your target changing his or her mind, or at least hooking you up with his/her friends. 4:43 PM # (4) comments
Tuesday, February 27, 2007Passive Hits
One of the things I've been working on, as far as self-improvement goes, is passive aggressiveness. I'm trying to eradicate all traces of it from my life.
When I was younger, I used to think that the best (safest) way to hit on someone was to do it ambiguously. That way, if they liked you back, they would say so (hopefully). And, if they didn't like you back and said so, you could always deny your interest in the first place.
Now that I'm older and have lived through more things, I've done a complete 180 emotional reversal on this issue. I hate it when people hit on me ambiguously, or express their romantic interest passively. And I see now how inconsiderate that sort of behavior is. Here are all my reasons why:
1. The other person knows that you like her/him, and yet you are giving her/him no opportunity to turn you down.
For example, you think you're clever when you say things like, "So, Cillian Murphy, would you ever date a single mom of three who likes to write? Hee, hee."
Meanwhile, Cillian Murphy is thinking, "I don't want to date you, Gwen." And yet he can't say it, because you didn't ask that question, and he is too well mannered to answer the question you didn't ask.
2. It's creepy.
Like I said, the other person already senses that you like him/her, and yet you never say anything outright, so he/she never says anything outright, and the situation drags on and on and on. And you're content to let it drag, because, that way, you can still fool yourself into believing that your unrequited feelings are secretly mutual. But, meanwhile, the other person is wondering more and more what the hell is wrong with you, and why you can't take a freaking hint.
3. It's the technique that perverts use.
You know how perverts on the subway sneak up next to you, slowly ooze into a fondle or squeeze, and then, if you face them, they say, "Excuse me," as if their touching your ass was an accident?
Don't do that to people. Not physically, and not emotionally. Don't ask for a phone number on false pretenses, then call that person late at night, when you're drunk enough to have the guts. Don't pull the "Oops, I kissed you because I was drunk" maneuver. Don't try the old "I rubbed up against you because I'm half asleep" routine. It fills your victim with complete, utter disgust.
4. It's insulting.
If you're pretending to be someone's friend for months or years on end, solely because you're secretly living for the possibility that that person will "wake up" one day and decide to sleep with you... Then you aren't a very good friend. You aren't a friend at all. You're dishonest and manipulative, and when the other person realizes that, you will totally blow any chance you might have had to score.
5. Most important reason: Confidence is sexy.
It's way, way sexier. So is honesty, even when it's difficult to display. Hasn't it ever happened to you that someone walks up and flat-out asks you on a date, or says, "I find you really attractive"? And, even if you never gave that person a second look before, don't you feel flattered? And, as long as the person is candid-but-not-creepy, aren't you impressed by his/her confidence? If you're a normal person, you are, right? (I'm talking to normal people and not jerks, who aren't worth asking out, anyway.)
Just be honest. Just come out and ask. I could have a million reasons for turning you down. It might be what you're afraid of hearing. I.e., "No. You disgust me. How dare you suggest such a thing."
But, since I'm not a jerk, it would sound more like, "I'm flattered, but no, thank you." And then you'd know for sure, and you could move on with your life.
Or, who knows? The answer could be "Yes. Hell yes!" Or, it could be, "You know, I never thought about you in that way. But now that you've flattered and impressed me, I might." Or, it could be, "I'm not dating right now, but I'll certainly keep you in mind for when I am." Or, it could be, "No thanks, because I have a boyfriend, but how about I introduce you to my friend Samantha?"
But you will never know until you ask. And, if you creep me out instead of just asking, the answer will never be yes. 7:15 PM # (14) comments
Thursday, December 14, 2006Housewifely Pursuits
A while back, I wrote a long post about my post-marriage trauma over the housewifely arts. And then Blogger ate that post. But, in a nutshell, it was about how I was trying to get back into cooking, because I used to enjoy cooking long ago, when I was a housewife, before I came to associate cooking with marital discord.
So, six years post-marriage, I recently tried cooking again. And I realized that I sincerely no longer like it. Not because of any trauma/drama, but because I just don't, anymore. I come home after a long day of corporate activities, and the last thing I want to do is cook.
My boyfriend, on the other hand, really likes to cook, and he's very good at it. So I let him cook, and he makes enough for leftovers on the nights when he's not with us. Or else we microwave things. Or else I order us pizza, or else, worst case scenario, cook something really, really fast. And it's okay. We're all still alive and growing at a normal rate.
I didn't tell y'all this, but a few months back, I also revisited my old sewing hobby - partially inspired by Project Runway, I admit. And then I remembered why I stopped sewing. Poor fabric selection in our town, and I'm too lazy to make buttonholes. Okay. Sewing checked off the list, then.
I started beading again, and I do still like that. I wish I had time to see if I still like to crochet, but I don't. That's just too much. Plus, I don't ever decorate with doilies anymore.
However. This year, I really, really, really want to garden again, for the first time since I got divorced six years ago. Now that I have my own house, I mean.
I ventured on a mini foray last spring, with my first apartment balcony garden. I kept in gardening-shape throughout the year by growing and/or killing several houseplants. I haven't yet had time to re-landscape my new front yard, and yet I think I want a vegetable garden in the spring.
I can't help it. It's calling to me. I look at You Grow Girl and it makes me miss my old gardens. Yes, gardens. If there's one thing I miss about my old life, it's the gardens I used to have.
My plan is to get through Christmas and into January. Then I'll have some guys come over and trim the trees in my front yard, and replace some of the old, overgrown boxwoods with sexy dwarf nandinas. At the same time, I think I'll ask them to dig up the bur-filled grass on the unseen leg of the L that is my back yard. Then, that'll give me the rest of the winter to put a pebble path between what will eventually be my flower beds. At night, I'll salivate over seed catalogs and place my orders. Then, hopefully, in March, I'll be ready to roll.
The best part of vegetable gardening, this year, will be that my boyfriend likes to cook. We've already previewed the seed catalogs a bit, and it's gratifying to point out pretty vegetables and hear him get excited about what he could cook with them.
He likes to cook, and I like to grow things, and that should be a winning combination. If he gets tired of cooking, I can always share the harvest with my friends and coworkers.
I'm getting excited thinking about it but, at the same time, I'm not going to pressure myself. It might turn out that I don't like gardening anymore, after all. And if I don't, then that's okay.
I've been really obnoxious lately, constantly telling friends and coworkers how happy I am not to be married anymore. It's not that I think marriage hinders hobbies as a general rule. It's just nice for me, personally, to be able to try new things, or give up old things, or do whatever the hell I want, without having to check with someone else. Or listen to someone else's critiques of my actions. And, yes, I know that it most likely wasn't marriage that created those issues - it was just my marriage.
But, like I said, I don't have to worry about that any more, ever again. I just wanted to say that I love having my own house, just like y'all told me I would. I might have a garden this spring. Life is good, and I'm thankful. 1:53 PM # (4) comments
Wednesday, November 15, 2006Recent Dream Themes
1. (Instead of being sad that I have to live in my dad's house, or deciding to clean up my dad's house,) A bunch of irresponsible people have moved into my dad's house, and I have to decide whether I want to kick them out, or clean up their mess, or just party with them and then leave.
2. There's a big vegetable garden at/near my dad's house, and I'm about to harvest the monstrously huge mutant vegetables, with or without the help of my family, but constantly get waylaid.
3. I'm walking near my dad's house, noticing all the insane gentrification going on all around it, alongside abject decay. (That part's straight out of real life.) And then I arrive at a series of antiques stores run by liberal gentrifying white people. And they let me in to browse, because I look like them. But then, I can not resist plotting to steal from their stores.
4. I'm driving to or in a small Texas town near the coast. It's quaint, and yet contains an establishment filled with hipsters my age, including one or another of the hipster white boys I've loved in my real-life past. Nothing happens between me and these boys, but I don't care because I have money now, and I often have my kids with me, too. So I spend money, and being in those towns becomes a mini adventure.
5. Either I find a cool little house I want to rent, or else I discover that the small house I'm renting is secretly way bigger and cooler than I first realized. But then, in either case, I realize that I can only rent this place with my ex-husband, because he's the co-signer on the lease. I feel torn between staying in the house, ignoring my ex, and leaving him for a smaller, less-nice house where I won't have to put up with him anymore. Usually I'm about to leave when I wake up.
6. I have to do a show with the poor-kids musical theater troupe I used to perform in as a kid. Whereas the dreams used to involve me being unable to find a costume in my size, or not knowing the choreography or the words to the songs, now I just improvise a costume from my own clothes and plan to get on stage and improvise the song and dance, as well. And I can't wait to do it, but I always wake up, first.
All my dreams are about money or success, it seems. Very few dreams about love or whatever else.
Every night my boyfriend dreams someone's trying to kill him, or that he's trying to protect people he loves. We think it's because he has sleep apnea, and his mind must manufacture a reason for him to be struggling to breathe.
Sometimes my boyfriend dreams that I'm cheating on him, and it makes him sad. Sometimes I dream that he doesn't love me anymore, and it makes me very sad and angry at the same time. Once I woke up and kicked him, I was so upset. He said he was sorry and we went back to sleep - him so he could protect me from killers, and me so I could make enough money to make our best dreams come true. 9:21 PM # (6) comments
Sunday, October 15, 2006Bangs
I want to cut my hair so that it has bangs, ending at my eyebrows.
I don't need my boyfriend's permission to do this, and I don't want his approval, but I do value his opinion. I asked his honest opinion: Did he think bangs would look good on me, with my hair its current length?
I can't get a straight answer out of him. Like most men in America, he's been conditioned to answer nothing negative to that sort of thing. He doesn't know. He'd have to think about it. He's not sure what kind of bangs I mean. We were at the costume shop. I tried on a wig. "Bangs like this. Just like this. What do you think? Should I do it?" He doesn't know.
So, of course, I'm worried. Is it that he thinks the bangs would be a horrible mistake, but he's scared he'll piss me off by telling me?
Is it that, even though they'd look okay, he wouldn't like them, personally, himself?
Is it that he doesn't care?
Maybe he really doesn't know.
Why do I care? Because I value his opinion, like I value my best friend's.
Why is it so hard for a man to give his opinion?
I'm going to survey all my girlfriends, instead. I value my boyfriend's opinion, but it isn't available in this case. So... onward.
There. That's too much time spent worrying about my hair. Onward.
(Thank you, Nyarlathotep, for taking the picture of me in the wig. :) ) 9:22 PM # (11) comments
Friday, August 25, 2006Welcome, Bitter Asian Men
A while back, my boyfriend and I met an Asian author and bought the book he was selling, which dealt with his issues with ethnicity. Afterwards, the author and I emailed a few times, and he asked me questions about how I came to be dating an Asian man, and if I found Asian men in general attractive, and other stuff along those lines. So I wrote him a pretty long response, via email. And then he posted it on his blog.
I wasn't sharing state secrets or anything. But, at the same time, if I had known my words were going to be public, I would have organized them more coherently, and written a little less informally, probably. But, oh well. No harm, no foul.
Now, however, I see that my words are being reproduced on other sites. Specifically, sites dedicated to Asian men seeking sex with Caucasian women.
So, because of that, and for all new visitors who may come to this site seeking hot, slutty Caucasian blondes to sleep with, I now present:
Gwen's Advice for Asian Men Who Want to Date Caucasian Women
Woo hoo! Interracial dating! Ow!!!
Disclaimer: I have no business speaking for anyone but myself. I can't tell you what people of other races, or even other people of my own race, are thinking. However, I have a tiny bit of experience, and keenly honed observational powers, not to mention opinions I have no problem expressing in a very loud voice. So take everything I say with a grain of salt. Take it, bitch! Just kidding. Okay.
If we're being honest with ourselves, we Americans know that there are certain inter-ethnic dating combinations that are less common than others here in our US of A. First, Asian men with Caucasian women. You don't see that often, do you? Yes, you do see Asian women with white men all the time, but not the other way around. Hmm. Another atypical combo, for example, is African-American women with white men, even though you often see the opposite. Hmm. And, if you really think about it, I'm sure you can come up with other combos that you hardly ever see.
I'm not going to attempt to discuss why these combinations are atypical. because I'm a lover, not a sociologist. However, from people I've talked to and things I've read, I've realized that there are many Caucasian women who would really like to date Asian men, and vice versa. And yet, somehow, they aren't hooking up as much as it seems like they could be. So my purpose in this blog entry is to facilitate romance between these groups. If you can apply my advice to other inter-ethnic dating dilemmas, even better.
1. Keep your blue-eyed, big-breasted blonde fetish to yourself.
If you came to me and said, "Gwen, I find Caucasian women attractive, and I've met some I'd like to date, but I'm afraid deeply ingrained American social biases are against me," then I would be willing to help you.
But if you came to me and said, "Gwen, I want to date a blonde, blue-eyed woman with big tits, because I drive a Mercedes and therefore I deserve it," then I would tell you to get the hell out of my face. I would tell you to keep your shallow, objectifying thoughts inside your own head, preferably while it's out of my sight. No one wants to hear anyone objectifying people and then whining about it.
"Why can't I date a blonde with big boobs?"
"Why can't I meet a handsome man who makes a hundred thousand dollars a year?"
"Why can't I attract thin, pasty vampires with green eyes?"
Because you're a shallow dumb ass who doesn't see other people as human beings. That's why.
2. Remember that you can't read other people's minds.
(Unless you can, in which case you don't need my advice.)
Do you try to read other people's minds? Do you tell yourself their side of the conversation before you even have a conversation? Example: There's a nice-looking person of another ethnicity standing at a bar. You think, "I want to talk to that person, but I already know that pop culture has convinced her that a person of my ethnicity isn't worth dating. So I'm not even going to try."
Even sadder example: You're standing at a bar and a nice-looking person of another ethnicity walks up and starts a conversation with you. You think, "If this person were of my ethnicity, I'd think she was hitting on me. But I know, through years of conditioning by pop culture, that people of her ethnicity never hit on people of my ethnicity. Therefore, I will stand here looking uncomfortable until Ashton Kutcher pops out and yells 'Punked!'"
How do you know what other people are thinking, before you even meet them? You don't. If you won't even try to hit on people, and you won't even give them a chance to try to hit on you, then you are missing opportunities and you have no one to blame for it but yourself.
3. Some people are traumatized by interracial experiences. (Or shy.)
Let's say you've been hanging out with a person of another ethnicity for a while, and you want to date him/her. Let's say he/she doesn't seem to be attracted to you, but is friendly. So you suspect (hope?) that he/she wants you but is reluctant to say so because of interracial trauma and trepidation.
That's when you have to be brave and say something. Not hint something, not allude to something - but say what you want.
"So... would you like to go out some time?"
"I like you. In that way. Do you like me, too? Circle one." [Hand him/her the paper that says YES and NO.]
"Can we have sex? Because I would really like to."
"Can we get involved in a long-term relationship that ends up in me emotionally blackmailing you into buying me an engagement ring you can't afford? Because I think that would be fun."
Be honest. Come right out with it. If they say yes, awesome! If they say no - ouch. Man, that's going to hurt your feelings. It's going to be humiliating. But you know what? That's how it is with your own ethnicity too, right? No one likes getting rejected, but don't let race stop you from even trying.
4. Some people are racist.
Some people, unfortunately, won't want to date you, even if you're smart, funny, sexy, and awesome, because of the color of your skin. And you know what? Fuck them.
Not literally, though. I mean, forget them. They're losers. Or, you know, they're just not into people with your skin color. Just like other people aren't into people who make as much money as you, or who wear the clothing size that you do, or whatever. And, hey, that's their loss, isn't it? Move on. Find someone better. Some day we'll all be mixed except for the racist people, and our genes will be stronger than theirs, and they will die off and be forgotten. Or not. But, either way, don't waste your time with people who aren't into you, and don't let those experiences make you feel bad about yourself.
5. Hang out with cool people who hang out with cool people.
You say you want to date outside your own ethnicity, but do you socialize with people outside your own ethnicity? If I'm purple and you're green, and you only hang out with green people, why would I think you'd want to date me? (I'd think it's because you have a weird purple sex fetish, actually.)
People who are already of mixed ethnicity are more likely to date outside their own ethnicity, I'd imagine. Ethnically mixed groups of friends are more likely to introduce you to lots of different kinds of people. And then, best of all, when you do hook up with someone outside your own ethnicity, your multicultural friends will be less likely to bat an eye at it.
Now that I'm looking back over this advice, I'm seeing that a lot of it could also apply to non-interracial dating. So, there you go. Just treat everyone like a human being, and you should be okay.
Go find love. Or sex. Good luck. You're welcome. 9:29 PM # (20) comments
Friday, July 07, 2006Things I Have Eaten for the Love of Asians
Meaning, things I have eaten at the urging of my Asian boyfriend's family and friends.
1. Fish heads.
2. Fish fins. Fish toes, fish brains, fish beaks. Fish cartilage.
3. Fried blood.
4. Chicken feet.
5. Green soy milk.
6. Stuff that looked like delicious custard but turned out to be weird eggy stuff.
7. Crawfish that I had seen alive, trying to escape the sink.
No, I'm really just kidding, because I am a half-Mexican who grew up with Mexicans and therefore I'll eat just about anything, anyway. Except eyes. But intestines, pig heads, and cow tongues are all fair game.
On Father's Day, we had pizza and Shiner Bock with my dad for lunch. Then, for dinner, we went with my boyfriend's parents and had duck, whole fish, and an awesome $200 Alaskan King crab. The crab had been alive in a tank when we ordered it. It was about two or two-and-a-half feet across. They cooked half of it with black pepper flavor and half was ginger scallion. My favorite was the black pepper. But the best part of all was when my boyfriend's parents found out it cost $200. Their dentist son (not my boyfriend, but his brother) told them. The dad said, "I don't know why you spent $200 on this when it tastes the same as a $35 dungeoness crab would have." The mom said, "$200? Oh, no. See if they will take it back!"
(Asians reading this are nodding or rolling their eyes, but I'm always delighted by my boyfriend's parents and their crazy ways. I love other people's parents when they do things that annoy their kids.)
Speaking of Food
My boyfriend and I divide our friends in two categories: those who will eat at Chili's, and those who will not. We will not. We won't eat at Chili's, TGI Friday's, Applebee's, Ruby Tuesday's, or that other one. Unless we're starving, and even then we'll still snottily critique the entire meal.
We are not food snobs, who only eat the best food. We're worse - we're food bitches. (That means we like the best food but also eat Jack in the Box tacos.)
I'm back in my trashy/slutty phase, which seems to happen every summer. That means I wear full makeup and big earrings, and my hair turns blonder. I explained this to a natural blonde friend who was visiting from small-town Louisiana. She sort of wrinkled her nose as I said, "And then more highlights, and then blonde roots, and blonder, and blonder and blonder! Until I look completely trashy and awesome like Kirstie Alley, or like that waitress over there."
Also, I cut my hair shorter again. But not because the long hair was too trashy. On the contrary - the long hair got heavy and wouldn't stay big. I like big, Texas hair, as my British coworker enjoys pointing out. Hell, yeah, I do. What's the use of being born in Texas if you're not going to have big, bleached hair? Dude. 8:33 AM # (21) comments
Thursday, February 23, 2006Expressions of Love, Part One: When a Man Loves a Woman (and Her Scarf)
The other day
No... First I have to tell you something, so you understand this anecdote.
I get really freaked out when people stare at me. Probably because I'm a little insecure. Partially, I'm sure, because I grew up in a subculture where staring is considered not just rude, but an invitation to a fist fight. Maybe, partially, because I inherited part of my mom's extreme tendency in this regard. As I've mentioned before, she's paranoid schizophrenic. So, who knows, maybe hearing her say stuff like, "That man keeps staring at us. I think he wants to kill us!" affected my young psyche just a little, before she went to live somewhere else. Who knows?
The point is, I dislike it when strangers stare. A lot. But I've been trying to get over it. My boyfriend helps, with his good example, logical guidance, and willingness to be my boyfriend despite my flaws.
The other day he and I were at Bed Bath & Bourgeousie. I didn't want to be there in the first place, but there we were, and it was very cold for Houston that day (39 F), and I had on my warmest coat (black suede trench) and a scarf made of balls of brown rabbit fur that match my hair. (It was a gift. (A very warm gift.))
So we walk in and, right off the bat, these three baseball-cap-wearing-type men in their forties start with the looking. One of them in particular let his looking become a full-blown stare.
I said nothing, but I had to think up all the possible reasons he might be staring. Because I must do that. That is my nature. Here are the possible reasons I came up with:
1. Interracial relationship. People gotta stare. Some people have never seen or even imagined a Caucasian woman with an Asian man before.
2. He thought I was ugly.
3. He thought I was pretty.
4. He thought I looked like somebody he knew.
5. He thought I was overdressed for the weather. Some people can take the cold. Some people can't. He obviously could, but maybe he'd never before seen a person who couldn't.
I couldn't take it anymore. "That guy stared at me," I said to Tad.
"Probably because he thinks you're hot," said Tad.
"No. It wasn't like that."
"Probably the interracial thing."
We didn't find what we were looking for, so we turned to leave. The baseball cap men were still there.
"They're gonna stare at me again," I whispered. For some reason, it bugged me a lot. I'm okay now with old ladies and little kids staring, but something about getting stared at by three tall, smile-less men in baseball caps who have nothing better to do than stare at strangers at Bed Bath & Beyond? Unnerving. I glanced at them with my peripheral vision, ready to spin and yell, "What the hell you lookin' at, ese?" while pulling out my imaginary knife, if need be.
As we neared the gauntlet, Tad put his arm around me. The men were arranged so that we had to walk right through them.
As we walked through, Tad held up his left hand, like a bodyguard, and said loudly, "Nobody look at her. Nobody look at her, please!" And then of course they must have looked. Because I must've been a celebrity, in town for the All Star Game, right?
By the time we got to the parking lot, I was laughing my ass off. In the car, I laughed until I coughed, then realized: "I think he was staring at my scarf, actually. Trying to figure out if it was real fur."
Tad, who is a very good mimic, launched into an exact imitation of a Texas redneck. "Yeah. He was like, 'God DAMN. If that was my woman, I'd hunt enough to put a different dead animal around her neck every day.'"
I giggled. I wish you could have seen him, with that voice coming out of his mouth.
Tad went on. "Shit. I'd make that girl a deerskin bikini."
And from now on, when people stare, I'll imagine that's what they're thinking. Some people just want to show you love with dead animals.
And some people show you love by being silly in order to make you feel better. And if that, in turn, shows you how silly you've been, then it's okay, because it's done with love. 2:59 PM # (13) comments
Monday, February 13, 2006Road-Related
A good game to play when you're caught in traffic or just driving somewhere you always drive: First think of a number, like fifteen. Then find fifteen (or whatever number) things that you would like to photograph, if you had nothing better to do than go around town taking pictures. Today, on the way to pick up my kids from school, I mentally photographed palm trees, a fabulously old trailer than had been painted yellow then blue then red, the swanky font on an old liquor store sign, and a red reflector light embedded in a tree. It's a fun game because it reminds you that there's pretty and interesting stuff all around you.
A bad game to play when you're on the freeway at night and have been driving for seven hours straight is: throwing the finger at whoever just cut you off in his SUV. The bad thing about that game is that sometimes state troopers drive SUVS, and, at night, you can't tell it's a state trooper until after you've thrown the finger at him, and he turns on his flashers and pulls you over. Even if he only gives you a speeding ticket and informs you in a forlorn good-old-boy accent that he could have you incarcerated for disorderly conduct, as opposed to actually arresting you, it's not a fun game. It adds twenty minutes to your seven hour drive. So don't play this game. Or, if you must, start practicing your sincerest, good-old-girl, eye-batting apologies in advance.
I don't mind telling you...
...that I've been feeling mildly depressed for the past week, and I haven't yet figured out why. Maybe there is no reason. But I like things to happen for a reason, so I thought up a few possibilities:
1. I'm not working on a book right now, but I should be working on a book, even if I'm scared to start one because it seems like such an overwhelming thing.
2. Eating carbs and then suddenly, for the millionth time, not eating any carbs, jacks up my blood sugar and makes me feel bad.
3. I've come across several rude or just plain assholish people lately, and the more that happens, the more it makes me wonder if the world is getting ruder and more assholish every year, and the thought of that depresses the living heck out of me (until I come across three kind people in a row or something).
4. Something, or several somethings, recently reminded me of the crappier moments in my history, and I haven't yet processed those thoughts and dismissed them.
5. I've been reading too much young adult fiction in which Good battles Evil, and it makes me feel that my own life has no meaning.
6. I'm just crazy.
Or maybe it's all of those things. Or maybe I'm just tired. Today (shh - don't tell anybody), I drove my kids to school, then drove myself to work, just like every single week day. I made it all the way to the parking garage, turned off my CD player and my engine, and opened the door. Then, after a few seconds imagining myself getting out of my car and going to work all day, I closed my door and drove home, instead. I told myself that when I got home, I'd write. Or do dishes or something, so that my sick day would be worth it. Instead, I slept most of the day.
That hardly ever happens, but it's happened before. When I figure out why, I'll make it stop. Either that, or other people will say in the comments that it happens to them, too, sometimes, and then I'll quit worrying about it and move on. I'm going to work tomorrow, though. Seriously. I promise.
Voices From the Past
A few weeks ago some guy called me and, after telling me a million stories about myself in the ninth grade, managed to convince/remind me that we'd attended high school together and had briefly been friends. (I taught him to play chess. I used to carry this funky little velour bag I'd found at Salvation Army, and we learned about carpetbaggers that semester in History, so he called me Carpetbagger. He asked me to a dance and I said I couldn't go. Like all teenage girls, I dated some jerk, and this guy never thought the jerk was good enough for me.)
So we were shooting the bull for a while (Don't ask me why I talked to him. I'll talk to anybody, at least for a while.), and then he says something about how he used to have a picture of me and him. And he kept it until his ex-wife made him throw it away.
So, finally, I wondered what you would've wondered right from the beginning: Why the hell is this guy calling me? And then I knew the answer, so I said: "I don't look like I did in high school anymore. I'm fat and I have three kids. And a boyfriend."
No, no, that's not why he was calling, he said. He had a girlfriend. And, really, I'd gotten fat? We talked for a while longer and I made him tell me his innermost secrets, as payment for my time, and now I'm sure he'll never call again. So... fine.
On the other hand, there's this other person. There's this woman who's married to a peripheral character of my teen years - let's call this woman Vicky. Let me tell you that I've only met Vicky about five times in my life. I heard about Vicky's marital troubles from my friend, Raquel, a few months ago. Through every ounce of (unsolicited) gossip, I tried to remain objective and empathetic to Vicky's plight. Hadn't people thought the worst of me when I left my husband? Maybe Vicky was just like me. From afar, I gave her my compassion and the constant benefit of the doubt.
Recently, my friend Racquel shared several second-hand conversations with me. It turns out that, over the past few years, Vicky's had quite a bit to say about me.
One: she thinks I have designs on her husband. (I don't.)
Two: she suspects I had sex or "hanky panky" with her husband when he and I were twelve years old and I attended his sister's sleepovers. (We didn't.) And she regularly accuses him of this in times of marital discord.
Three: She thinks my writing sucks (because I don't "even use complete sentences") and that I only got published through nefarious and/or prostitutional means, and that if I were "pure white," I never would have been published at all. And she regularly says this to her husband, then screams, "Why are you defending her?!?" if he says anything in reply.
If you know me in real life, you know that it doesn't take much to make me talk loudly and pepper my conversation with cursewords. Like, for instance, if you had a purse that I really liked, I might, right in the middle of a cafe, start bellowing, "Oh my fucking god, that purse is SO FUCKING AWESOME! Jesus!" So, when Raquel told me the extent to which Vicky had been saying all this stuff about me, since meeting me six or seven years ago, I of course said something like, "Oh my god, what a fucking psycho. I'm so fucking sure. What a psycho, insecure FREAK. Oh, and I'm so sure I care what her took-eight-years-to-get-an-Associates'-in-English ass has to say about my writing - as fucking IF. Fuck that bitch. Jesus. I can't believe I was trying to stand up for that bitch. Well, screw her."
I mean, who wouldn't say that, right? I said it, and then felt better and moved on.
So, later, my friend Raquel calls me back to apologize, saying she should have remembered how "sensitive" I could be.
And that, I have to say, kind of annoyed me. I had to ask her how she would feel if I called her up and told her someone she barely knew had been saying all that crap about her. She had to admit that she might be a little annoyed, too.
Lesson: If you don't want to hear me yell a bunch of cursewords, don't tell me what psycho, insecure freaks who barely know me have been saying about me behind my back for years, okay? Because it creeps me the hell out.
Why We're Not Celebrating Valentine's Day
Tad has to work tomorrow night. Every sushi chef has to work on Valentine's Day. And that's okay. You know why? Because he seriously, truly commits acts of love against me on a regular basis. I'm just telling you in case you've been asking about it and thinking that he's cheap, or that our relationship must be on the rocks, or that we're finally showing evidence that we are each others' beards.
Tad and I are the kind of people who hate fake crap and hate doing things just because people expect us to, and that is part of why we're in love.
Tad and I are both crass and blunt, and that may be part of why you think we couldn't possibly be in love. But, if you've ever seen us drunk, (and who in Houston hasn't?) then you know that, deep down inside, Tad and I are also horribly, disgustingly mushy and romantic. To the giggling-and-handholding level. To the icky-sweet nickname-calling level. To the level that we often secretly have romantic dinners for the lamest of reasons.
We've had a very nice secret romantic dinner already this month, and Tad even brought me a very nice surprise lunch during his break today, because he knew I was home doing nothing. So I don't care if we never celebrate Valentine's Day. You know? I mean, I hope everyone out there has a very sweet Valentine's Day with someone they love or at least want to boink. But don't worry about our lack of celebration anymore, all right? There's no need.
All that being said, I couldn't resist picking out a sickly sweet/cute card last week and mailing it to Tad at his house. I messed up the timing, so he got it way before tomorrow, so it still doesn't count as Valentine's Day. But, like I said, that's okay. I'm probably going to buy my kids some cupcakes and rent us a movie to watch while they sort their messy little school valentines on the coffee table. Because that's really what the day's about, as far as I'm concerned. Sugar, and pink and red construction paper drama. 6:29 PM # (10) comments
Friday, January 20, 2006random
1. My boyfriend and I have been fantasizing about the Mexican beach resort vacation we may or may not take this summer. Planning a vacation is so nebulous. Especially when you don't know if you're going to have money, or be completely, utterly broke when it's time to buy your tickets. We're thinking Puerto Vallarta. Maybe Los Cabos, though, if we win the lottery before May.
2. It's Friday and my kids just took off to their dad's for the weekend. I'm torn, already, between plans to shop, plans to have a few beers with my cousin, and plans to lie on my bed and do NOT A DAMN THING (except maybe a little World of Warcraft). On Friday afternoons when my kids are away, I never know what I'm going to do after work until I'm in my car, on the way to it.
3. My ex-spouse and I had about 7 or 8 phone conversations today, most of which contained shouted argument. I was angry this morning, but now I'm over it. I think he goes through these phases, two or three times a year, where he misses me. Misses arguing with me, I mean. I kind of feel sorry for him when it's all said and done. Can I disguise something completely prejudiced here in this paragraph? Don't hate me for saying this, but I think so many Latino men like to get yelled at by women. They accomplish the quenching of this thirst by trying to tell women what to do. And that is why I'll probably never date Latino men again. Unless I change my mind and do so, after all. But that point is moot, isn't it, because I love my boyfriend and, romance-wise, I've opted to live only in the present. I'm sorry if you have Latino husbands or boyfriends who are not like I said. I have a Latino dad and Latino sons who aren't that way, either. If I weren't too lazy to go back and edit this, I'd change it to say "Latino men who are attracted to me have a tendency to..." blah, blah, blah.
4. I only worry about the parts of the future that I can control. That means, now that I've finished a few books and sold most of them, it's time to make a list. What will I do next? I don't know. You can drive yourself crazy trying to figure out which path to take. I know this because I'm 90% crazy right now.
5. I kind of want to go somewhere romantic late tonight when my boyfriend gets off work. (He's a sushi chef. They make him work late.) But it's very hard to plan romantic ambience, especially late at night. My most romantic Friday-night-with-Tad memories are things that happened by accident. Like the time we drove around, waiting for Mike and Cy to call us back, and we ended up at Barnes and Noble, drinking tea and laughing in the aisles, then marvelling at the impromptu hotrod show in the midnight parking lot. Or the time we went to the 24-hour Wal-Mart... Oh, wait. Just kidding. Wal-Mart is horrid.
6. I'm finally reading The Time-Traveler's Wife, like everyone else in America already has, and I have to say that (very mild spoiler) I wasn't that excited until they brought in the kid. Not the safe, rich 6-yr-old kid... the unsafe, scared 5-yr-old one. I swear to God, if you want to emotionally manipulate me, all you have to do is bring in some scared kids. I cried my ass off before the Narnia movie even got underway, what with the kids and the bombings. Shoot, I cry at the Hallmark commercial where the kid thanks his teacher for teaching his dumb ass to read. Dude... I cry for Watership Down when the bunnies are getting on the raft. Oh, wait. Kids aren't bunnies. Well, same thing, though. Same basic thing. 3:42 PM # (9) comments
Wednesday, January 04, 2006Finally: The Answers to the Eleven Questions that I, as an Author, Am Most Frequently Asked
1. So, are you and your boyfriend going to get married?
Not at the moment, no. We don't have any plans to do so.
2. Why not?
Well... Because he's not ready to get married, and I've already been married and I don't feel the need to do it again.
3. Don't you want to try for a girl?
Not really. I'm happy with my three boys. They're plenty.
4. Why not? Come on. Don't you want to marry Tad and have a cute little Chinese baby girl with him? Wouldn't that be the cutest thing? Come on! It'd be so cute! How long have you two been together, anyway?
I can't afford to have a baby right now, and we're not getting married. We've been together two and a half years, and we're happy the way we are. Did you know that there are lots of Chinese baby girls up for adoption? Why don't you get your own?
5. So what's up with your writing?
Well, right now I'm revising my chick-lit novel for Warner, and I just sold my first children's book, and I'm about to start working on...
6. Oh, you sold a book? So I guess you'll be quitting your job now, huh?
No. I haven't made enough money to quit my job. Hardly any authors do, really. You only hear about the ones who sell movie rights and get rich, but usually...
7. So, are you gonna buy me a car when you get rich?
No. (Unless you're my kids, my boyfriend, or my dad.)
8. Hey, you're not writing about me, are you?
No. Or, if I am, you won't recognize yourself, because you aren't very introspective. All I'll do is change your name and haircolor, and you'll never realize that the most annoying person in the book is you.
9. Cool. Hey, I have a really awesome idea for a book you could write. Wanna hear it?
No. You should keep it and write it for yourself.
10. I do a little writing, myself. Will you look at my stuff and tell me what you think?
Sure, you can give me a short piece. But only once. I don't have time to go over multiple revisions with you (unless you're my friend in real life and you're buying me lunch). Also, please don't show me work in which you have exposed yourself as a psycho. Those ones keep me up at night. Also, please don't show me very good work and then, when I tell you it's very good, put it away in a drawer and give up on yourself. That always makes me sad. There are too many good artists who are afraid, and too many persistent untalented people who get what good artists should have. So stop beating yourself up, and put your work out there. I did it, and look what happened for me.
11. You do realize, don't you, that when you got that extra Costco card for Tad, you and he became common law husband and wife? And, if you get rich, he can file for divorce and take half your stuff? So you may as well go ahead and have another baby, right?
That's what you think. When Costco misspelled his name on his card, I let them. So I remain a free woman. And I have to go back to writing my revisions now. 5:25 PM # (10) comments