Saturday, April 28, 2007

Happy Hour, Indeed.

It's rare that I am able to enter a room and be surrounded by so many kindred spirits. I was a little apprehensive about the happy hour . . . I guess I was letting self-doubt (my biggest enemy) get the best of me. But I can't remember when the last time was that so many hours have flown by so quickly.

I know I am going to fail to mention quite a few folks, but I want to tell everyone how nice it was to meet them. Especially Carrie, Mandy, Arjewtino, INPY, Dagny Taggart, LMNtal, Freckled K, Bathroom Reading, and, of course, the "fat on the inside" Average Jane. It was much fun.

As Jo and I were wandering to the car in the pouring rain, I told her that it wasn't really a good night out unless you went home wet. And I was soaked. Thanks, kids . . . can't wait until the next one!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Things That Are Good In Theory

Squeeze-Top Mayonnaise – Yeah, it’s wonderful that you don’t have to get out a knife just to get the mayo out of the bottle. But then you still have to get out the knife to spread the mayo around evenly on your sandwich. So it’s kind of pointless. (Except you don’t get mayo all over your knuckles anymore trying to get to the last few globs in the bottom of the jar.)

Friends with Benefits – I could go on and on about this one, but I think we all know how it ends. One person falls in love with the other person and that love is not reciprocated because the other person just wanted to get laid and the one person was just convenient. Point being this: someone always gets hurt, and the friendship is irreparably damaged.

Cable Competition – Have you ever wondered why you don’t get to pick your cable company? You either have Comcast or Cox or Brand X, but your address makes the choice, not you. Competition would mean that they couldn’t charge you a bazillion dollars every month just to watch the 5 or 6 good shows on TV. Yeah, there’s satellite TV, but not if you live anywhere with trees or a strict homeowners’ association. Cable competition is great in theory because right now that’s all it is . . . a theory.

Top-Split Hot Dog Buns – Pepperidge Farms splits their hot dog buns on the top. This makes perfect sense. Why is it, however, that hot dogs just don’t taste the same when you eat them on one of these buns? It’s like you’re cheating. I think half of the thrill of eating a hot dog is having to worry about how many toppings you are going to drop on yourself before you’re done.

Diet Sodas – Wow! A refreshing carbonated beverage with no calories? Sign me up! The problem? They taste like crap. Another problem? A long-term scientific study (don’t ask me to cite it) found that those who drink diet sodas do not show any significant difference in weight loss/gain over their lifetime as compared to those who drink regular sodas. I can tell you why though . . . how many times have you gone through the drive thru behind a guy who ordered a Super-Sized Big Mac Meal with two apple pies and a diet soda? There’s your answer.

Gun Control – First let me say that I am not a card-carrying NRA member, but I did learn to shoot a gun at a very early age. And I’m not opposed to gun control, but I think our government has gone about it all wrong. The problem isn’t the people who go in to gun shops and buy guns legally. It’s the people who buy them off the street or through gun shows, and it’s the people who sell them. Gun control, as we currently know it, does not work.

Medical Marijuana – Or rather, the legalization thereof. What about the rest of us? Don’t get me wrong, I am all for cancer patients and people with AIDS being able to smoke up to increase their appetites and to help alleviate their pain. But I also think that it should be available to the general population. Control it like alcohol is controlled, with a minimum age to purchase, and then tax the living dickens out of it. Why? There are a couple of reasons: 1) do you have any idea how much tax revenue would be generated? 2) it would cut down on organized crime, much like when they did away with prohibition; and 3) it would cut down on the number of people in jail, thus freeing up the police to focus more attention on violent criminals.

The War on Terror – Sign me up! That sounds great. Who wouldn’t want to do away with terrorists? But this war of ours (whether we are willing to claim it or not) is a prime example of the truth behind an old saying: “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Way Cooler Than A Bulldog . . .

Today, I present to you another adorable picture of Smelly the Beast Dog, just because I can:

Office Politics

I've been working since I was 14, and I've been in an office environment for at least 9 years. So, with all that experience, you would think that I would have learned the rules of engagment as they relate to office politics. No such luck.

My biggest problem is this: I make friends with my co-workers. I work a lot, and, sadly enough, I don't have a lot of outside interests, so I don't meet a lot of people. Most of my friends are people that I have either worked with or met through people that I've worked with. I used to work with Pita, through whom I met Jo, Bergle, and a bunch of other friends. I currently work with my roommate Ship, his girlfriend C-Reg, PL Catlady, and Yogi. But none of those guys work in my operation, so we rarely see each other during the day, and none of our projects overlap.

The real problem is the pseudo-friend co-workers. The ones you have the occassional lunch with or go to happy hour with once in a blue moon. I trust those folks not to be assholes. Unfortunately, I find myself being disappointed by them over and over again.

I had my monthly status update meeting this morning, which is a conference call with about 20 other people. I hate this meeting because there is inevitably something that I get called out for every time. It's usually because someone has been dragging their feet on an effort and then springs it on me 2 hours before the meeting. This means that the blame is no longer on their shoulders, it's on mine. And since I just got the action a few hours earlier, I haven't had time to do anything with it yet, which makes ME look like a slacker. And that ticks me off.

And of course it happened this morning. Keep in mind that I worked until almost 11 last night and then was back here at 7:45 this morning. I was tired, and in no mood for a fight. That's when Rose decides to launch into a tirade about how she had been waiting for two months for this, that, and the other. Quite frankly, it had been so long since I had heard mention of this project that I couldn't even remember what it was for, much less the details of correspondences that had gone back and forth. So, rather than sticking up for myself, I decided it was better to say that I'd look into it than it was to end up looking like a fool because I had misspoken.

Luckily, my boss, Leone, had no such memory lapses. I adore my boss. She is the first female boss I've ever had who I really, really get along with. She is a tall, thick woman with a beautiful accent and a kind heart. And she doesn't take crap off of anyone. She immediately made Rose look incompetent by reminding her that I HAD indeed done what I was supposed to and that she (Rose) had failed to follow up. BAM! Bitch went down! I was vindicated, because no one challenges Leone. Hers is like the voice of God . . . "Leone has spoken."

But I have learned a valuable lesson today: Cover Your Ass. I also learned that women are catty bitches and can't be trusted. That's why I could never be a lesbian. That, and the whole eating p*ssy thing kind of grosses me out.

Lowered Expectations . . .

I have been mulling over the possibility of coming to the blogger happy hour on Friday. Jo has been telling me for ages how much fun they are and how nice everyone is, blah, blah, blah. And I keep making excuses . . . it’s a pain getting into DC on a Friday afternoon from where I live; it’s on a weeknight and I have to work the next day; I won’t know anyone; ew, karaoke?!

But it all kept coming back to one thing that I didn’t want to admit out loud, but that was the REAL reason that I had stayed away: Expectations. Not that I am concerned that my fellow bloggers won’t meet mine, but rather that I won’t meet theirs.

Jo always tells me how she envies how much confidence I have, but it’s all a sham. I’m a mess, just like most of the other people I know. I’m terrified that I’m going to walk in and some bitchy girl will turn to her friend and say, “Who invited Large Marge?”

Yup, there it is folks; out there in the open. I’m not a skinny girl (far from it). I used to be, but I’m not anymore, and I’ve paid dearly for that. Guys who absolutely adore my personality immediately relegate me to the friend zone without a moment’s hesitation, and then complain to me that the tall, leggy model they are dating is stupid, selfish, and emotionally void. Most girls are fine once they get to know me, but there are those few that every once in a while give me that look that only someone overweight knows. It’s a combination of disgust and pity, and it is the single most degrading and offensive look in the world.

So, consider yourselves forewarned: I’m coming, damn it, and I'm bringing my fat ass with me, so watch your drinks. The only thing that will stop me is a sale at Lane Bryant. (I’m kidding. I’m kidding.) But before you judge me (because, lets be honest, we all judge one another), make sure you take a few minutes to get to know me, because I’m an effing nice girl. (Oh, and did I mention I have really big boobs and great legs?)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

This Means War . . .

Alright, Jo, way to use puppies to draw attention to your blog. You do realize that this means war, right? So, in retalliation, I present "Smelly the Beast Dog at 12 weeks." It's hard to believe she was ever that small.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Doing It On Your Own

I had an interesting conversation with my mom a few weeks ago. It started with us talking about my cousin who had a baby a few months ago with his girlfriend. Apparently, their relationship has hit a rough patch, and she left with the baby. (She has since returned, however, and things are getting back on track with their relationship.)

This then segued into talk of whether or not my older brother (who is 35) will ever have kids with his girlfriend who is 7 or 8 years his senior. I then threw out something that totally knocked my mom off balance, and I am still not 100% sure why.

I simply told her that if I didn't have a husband (or at least a very serious relationship) by the age of 37 or 38*, I was going to start looking into adoption or having a kid on my own through the use of artificial insemination. She was flabbergasted and utterly taken aback by the prospect of me raising a child on my own. This came from the woman who told me that if I was as good with my children as I was with my dog that I would be mother of the year. This is also the same woman who has been bugging my brother and me for grandchildren ever since my ex-sister-in-law’s little brother had a baby about 6 years ago.

Is this a generational thing? A small town thing? What? I don’t know. My parents do tend to be rather closed minded, especially when “appearances” are involved. It’s the whole “what-will-the-neighbors-think” mentality I guess.

But what’s wrong with a woman of a certain age, taking charge of her life, and bringing a child into the world (or helping one who is already here)? It’s not like I’m going to do it today without any thought or planning! And it’s not like I’m going to find a man to knock me up just so that I will have a baby-daddy to rely on for child support payments! If and when I do this, I will be financially secure enough not to need help from anyone.

Quite honestly, I am NOT ready for a child right now. I want to travel and enjoy being (relatively) young before I settle down. I want to be married for at least a couple years before I start having kids. And I want to give the prospect of a “traditional” family a chance to happen because I think (in most cases) kids are better off with two parents.

And another thing . . . we don’t get any guarantees in life. Even if I am lucky enough to find the perfect guy, he could get run over by a bus or struck down with cancer before we ever have a chance to have kids. Or maybe it could be me. You just never know.

So to my mom, I say this: I love you, but if and when the time comes, this is a responsibility that I will be ready to take on by myself. Remember, you’re the one who always told me that I could do anything I wanted if I put my mind to it.

I feel that the greatest gift you can give the world is a loved child. Children who are truly loved are blessed, and they share those blessings with everyone whose life they ever touch.

*obviously, some things are out of my control, and I don’t know what the future holds. This is a plan, not set in stone, and is subject to change based on things that may change in my life over the next several years.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Fairfax Happy Ending Massage

Someone googled "Fairfax Happy Ending Massage" and my blog came up. Very interesting.

I Love Birthdays!!

Wow! What a weekend. Not only was the weather fantastic, it was also a weekend full of fun and excitement.

On Saturday, I got up early and went to PL Catlady's and Capt. Logistica's place for a production meeting in preparation for the 48-hour Film Festival, which is coming up in 2 weeks. We developed a story, worked out props and costumes, set up some pretty ingenious camera angles, and basically made an 8-minute movie in about 6 hours. It was a lot of fun, and I think most of us feel much more confident about our capabilities going into the big showdown.

After all the excitement of my morning, I went home and caught a quick nap before getting ready for a night on the town. Ship made a fantastic dinner which went down nicely with some fine spirits (a couple Red Bull & vodkas, and a glass of Moscato d'Asti). We then headed out to Guarapo* in Arlington to meet up with my friends. And I have to say, I have some really great friends! Unfortunately, not everyone could get in because of the dress code. (Apparently, ripped jeans are fine, as long as you aren't wearing them with flip flops.) That meant that PL Catlady, Capt. Logistica, Skeezy Edward, and the Gods couldn't get in, which was a major downer. Luckily, I was pretty loaded at that point, so I recovered from the disappointment rather quickly. Ship, Yogi, and I had a water battle before we finally called it a night, and we caught a cab home, where I promptly passed out.

Yesterday, I didn't really have any plans when I woke (besides catching up with Jo at some point), so I ended up going out to Pita's dad's place to see her nephew who is 9 months old, and to barbecue. I adore Pita's family, especially her dad and her sister-in-law, so it was a lot of fun and her brother is definitely a Grill Master! After that, I headed home completely stuffed, and met up with Jo who kept me company while I took Smelly to the dog park. Then it was back in the car down to PL’s to view the first completed draft of the movie that Capt. Logistica and Ralph had spent all afternoon editing.

Needless to say, it was a very busy weekend. But it was definitely worth feeling completely worn out today (and still somewhat hung over!).

I Hope everyone else had as much fun as I did!!

* A word to the wise: if you go to Guarapo and get a hookah, make sure you don’t let the drunkest person at the table pick up the tongs to move around the little charcoal thing, because she may squeeze it a little too hard and end up sending hot ashes raining down on the table and into everyone’s drinks.

Who's the BIG WINNER?

That would be C-Reg, who got her third first-place finish in the Backyard Burn Series yesterday, AND took first place in her class for the overall series!!

And this girl earned her victory. Not only did she train relentlessly, she also left the festivities on Saturday night by 10 (without drinking a drop of alcohol) so that she could get plenty of rest for her race. Now, please keep in mind that C-Reg is 23. What 23 year old do you know who is that dedicated?

Anyway, thought I would share the great news! CONGRATULATIONS C-REG!!

Friday, April 20, 2007


On Sunday, I will turn 32. It seems like every birthday since my 30th has brought about a year of changes. Some good, some bad.

For example, the week of my 30th birthday brought about a series of major events: one of my best friends had her bachelorette party in Myrtle Beach (good), the death of my grandmother (bad, but for the best), the death of Alphie, a Betta fish that was a gift from my brother (bad, because he was murdered), and the end of a 3-year relationship (a blessing).

So now, on the verge of another birthday, I can’t help but wonder what lies around the corner for me. Will it be a new love? A new car? More good times with great friends? Or maybe something bad?

But then I realized something . . . it doesn’t really matter. And I don’t mean that in a fatalistic way. I just mean that I have lived a great life so far. There have been ups and downs, and they have shaped me into the person that I am today: a strong, independent, loving, sarcastic, nurturing (and sometimes combative) woman. I have a great circle of friends. I have a job that (despite the long hours) I really love. I am settled in my home life. I have the world’s most awesome dog. And I am comfortable in my own skin (although, like most people, I occasionally have my moments of self-doubt).

I have also decided to let go of some things from my past that have haunted me for a while, especially as they relate to past relationships. Among other things, I’m deleting some old blogs from back when I first started posting almost a year ago. The circumstances that fueled those blogs are so far removed from my current life, and I don’t want people to read them and think that they represent who I am today. I’ve also decided to let go of some of the anger I’ve felt toward my father about how he treated me during my childhood. Just as I have changed, so has he. And holding on to past hurt will do nothing but hurt me further.

Whatever lies ahead, I am ready for it. I am strong enough to face adversity, and gracious enough to be thankful for my blessings.

Now go enjoy the beautiful weather here in DC this weekend. I like to think of it as God’s little birthday gift to me!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

You'll Need a Translator . . .

Adventures in Dining –

Jo, Ship, and I decided that we were going to try out this little Tex-Mex/ Salvadorean place down the street from us called "Las Delicias" the other night. We had been talking about giving it a go for a while because the parking lot was always packed whenever we drove by.

Tuesday was the big night . . . we decided on hitting up this little "jewel in the rough" before we went to Tequila Tuesday at El Paso Cafe. We met there at 7 and stood outside chatting for a few minutes before we went in. Do you know those scenes in movies when the "outsiders" walk into a local bar and the jukebox screeches to a halt and everyone stops and stares? Well, that's basically what happened to us. There were about 10 guys sitting around drinking beers, and listening to some really bad Spanish-language music. (And trust me, I know the difference between good and bad Latin music!) Everyone turned and looked at us like we were horned invaders from outer space (or maybe la migra!).

Now, I had intentionally asked Jo to join us because, among other languages, she is fluent in Spanish. After all, she's half Uruguayan. I speak Spanish well enough, but I have a hard time holding up my end of the conversation if the other person doesn't speak slowly. And I'm kind of a chicken shit when it comes to situations like that because I'm always afraid I'm going to say something stupid and everyone is going to laugh at me. Anyway, Jo was our "ringer," the person who could save us in case things turned ugly.

And turned ugly they did. We were immediately ushered to the opposite side of the restaurant, away from all the other patrons. The waitress did not speak a word of English. I mean it. Not a word. Thank God for Jo who had to order for us. Sadly, it was still a struggle because apparently the waitress not only didn't speak English, she was mildly retarded as well. (Cute, but retarded.) We were able to successfully place our orders, and then just sat back and waited. It didn't take long before the jukebox started cranking out power ballads from the 80's . . . I started getting paranoid that it was the other customers' (who were obviously regulars) way of making fun of us. But is it paranoid if that's what they were actually doing?

Before our meal came, another couple of gringos came in and were immediately seated on "our" side of the restaurant. (Segregation is alive and well, folks!) We overheard the guy ask "What would you recommend?" This question was immediately followed by a blank stare from the waitress. Jo and I gave each other a knowing glance . . . this poor unsuspecting fool.

Eventually the food arrived. It was bland at best. Not bad, just not great. Then the check came, and with it a debate about the prices on the menu being different than the prices on the bill. But rather than argue with them, we let it go, paid our tab, and left.

Next stop . . . El Paso Cafe. If you have never been to the El Paso Cafe in Arlington (it's on N. Pershing), you should definitely give it a try. I have two words for you: "TEQUILA TUESDAY." They have a margarita menu to die for, with a different $3 margarita every week. (Mango is the best that I've had so far, but they are all wonderful!) And on weeks that they don't have the margaritas, they have a tequila tasting. And we're not talking Jose Cuervo here . . . we're talking top shelf stuff. The kind of tequila that can be sipped and that doesn't make you mean. The staff and management are friendly (and speak English), and they have live music after the dinner rush. I haven't eaten the food yet, but everything that comes out of the kitchen looks and smells wonderful.

I guess we will have to chalk this up to a learning experience. Las Delicias isn't so delicious. Sometimes it's best to stick with what you know. The next time I'm hungry for some south-of-the border flavor, I will head to El Paso. As should you.

The Soundtrack of My Life - Track 2

"Circle" - Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians

This song takes me back to my high school days. I had this group of friends, and we were absolutely inseparable. It was Steener, Naner, Special K, Little F, and me. I was like the mom of the group. Since I was a little older and had a car, I was always running around picking everyone up for band practice (relax, we were all in the colorguard!) and various other activities. We'd ride around in the car, me driving a million miles an hour because I always felt bulletproof, laughing and doing stupid, obnoxious things that stupid, obnoxious teenage girls always do. We even had our own little language. We decided that we were all going to remain virgins until marriage, but that didn't last long. Little F was the first to go, but, then again, that's why we called her Little F.

I don't really talk to any of them anymore. I continued to see Steener at Christmastime at my aunt's house. She had long been in love with my cousin, but I assume she's over that because she married someone else. Special K, who acted clueless but was utterly brilliant, was living in Boston last I heard and working at Harvard. Little F married her high school sweetheart and they are living somewhere in Central Virginia. And Naner did what all good Mormon girls do . . . she went to BYU and then came back to Virginia and got married.

I miss those guys. I'm sure if you got us all together, we probably wouldn't have anything in common anymore, but I'm tempted to try to get in touch with them from time to time. But some things are best left in the past, I suppose. Everything is temporary anyway.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Soundtrack of My Life - Track 1

"Somewhere Over the Rainbow" by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole

Everyone knows this version* of the classic song, although you may not realize it right away. But I guarantee you've heard it. This is the version that was playing on ER the night the Dr. Green died in Hawaii. It's also the background music for the current Rice Krispies commercials, and was used by eToys before it went under.

This has long been one of my favorite songs. It's simultaneously uplifting and heart-breaking. It expresses hope more powerful than pain, and the possibility of what's to come.

I was going to tell you all about how this song has played a role in my life, about how it fits into my soundtrack. But right now, this song has a special significance. So, instead of talking about me, I want to dedicate this song to all the Hokies out there. God bless you all.

* The linked video from YouTube includes scenes from Iz's funeral celebration.

Monday, April 16, 2007

My heart is with you, Hokies.

I cannot believe what I am reading. Virginia Tech is one of the last places you would ever expect something like this to happen. is reporting 31 dead (including the gunman) and many more wounded.

My thoughts and prayers go out to Hokies everywhere. I hope that spirit which makes VT so special will help bring you all even closer in this difficult time.

God bless you all.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Sorry for the delay . . .

I had promised a post on the "Soundtrack of My Life" last week, but decided that (since I had Friday off) I really didn't want to look at a computer if I could help it! So, forgive me. I will catch up on Monday!

Hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Soundtrack of My Life

I grew up playing violin and piano as a child, and I was a proud member of the marching band in high school (although I was in the colorguard). But it seems like no matter what was going on in my life, music has always been there.

Have you ever really watched a movie that was good, but was made great by the soundtrack? For example, Garden State was a really good movie, but the soundtrack made watching the movie an experience. The same is true of Elizabethtown, where the music almost becomes another character in the movie. And if you're into more of the classic movies, look at Apocalypse Now.

I believe that we all have a soundtrack that plays along with the movie of our lives. Think about it. Through every period of your life, there is probably at least one song that reminds you of that time.

I've decided to share some of my songs with you, my reader, to give you some insight into who Helen Skor really is. However, because there is a story that goes along with every song, I'm not going to bore you with a ridiculously long post. Instead, I am going to do a series on my soundtrack. Starting today. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Play Nice

I believe that every event in our lives and every person with whom we come in contact affects who we are as human beings. We take a little something from every person we ever meet, regardless of how tenuous our connection to that person may be. From something as concrete as the hugs our parents gave us when we were children; to the guy who blesses you when you sneeze in the middle of a crowded coffee shop; to the nice lady with the full basket at the grocery store who lets you jump ahead because you're just getting one thing. These acts of kindness make us more willing to do kind things for others. Those contacts, however seemingly insignificant, change us ever so slightly for the better.

DC (and most other major metropolitan areas) is full of people who are so wrapped up in themselves and their lives that they have forgotten how easy it is to be kind to one another. Yes, there are a lot of people around here who are just assholes, but I refuse to believe that they are the majority. I believe that most people, when offered a choice between a kind word or an obscene gesture, would prefer the kind word.

So the next time someone puts on their turn signal to merge in front of you in traffic, ease off the gas and let him in. The next time the lady with the screaming baby is struggling to get settled on the Metro, offer her your seat. You may not get a courtesy wave or a thank you for either of these things, but at least you’ll know that you did the right thing, whether the other person acknowledges it or not.

From the Kitchen of Helen Skor?

I've recently been putting some thought into the prospect of starting a separate blog with just recipes. I'm not sure if that's a good idea or a colossal waste of time (or if anyone would even bother to read it and actually use the recipes).

What say you? Would you be interested in some of my recipes? I have a bunch of relatively easy recipes that are pretty much fool proof. Let me know what you think.

She's On a Roll . . .

It wasn't because I forgot (well, okay, maybe it was), but I failed to give you an update on C-Reg's performance in the Backyard Burn series. She had another race last weekend, and again came in FIRST with a commanding lead over all the other chicks! Her main competition in the series wasn't even at this race, so as long as she finishes the next race, she is pretty much guaranteed to win the overall series! Congrats C-Reg!

I Don't Need a Nicotine Patch, Penny.

"I don't need a Nicotine patch, Penny. I smoke cigarettes."

I'm not sure why that line from Stranger than Fiction makes me laugh out loud, but I guess maybe it has more to do with my offbeat sense of humor than anything else. After all, I am one of those people who is endlessly amused by quirky movies such as The Royal Tenenbaums, I Heart Huckabees, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Maybe "amused" isn't the right word. I'm not even quite sure what it is about those movies that draws me in, but there is something. Something different. Something special. If you haven't seen them already, you definitely should.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

I'm Looking For A Few Good Men

Well, not even a few. Just one.

I’d love to say that I’m not all that hard to please and would just be grateful to meet a nice guy who digs on me. But that would be a lie. It’s like that line from Clueless: “You know how picky I am about my shoes, and they only go on my feet!”

So, in order to help weed out the unqualified applicants, I have come up with a list of the things that I am looking for in my partner:
  1. Sense of humor: I don’t want to date a clown, but I want a guy who is smart enough to see the humor in everyday things and who can make me laugh about them. Key to this is his ability to not only recognize my sarcasm (which can be tricky) but also not be totally offended by it.
  2. Self-Reliance: If you don’t have a job, don’t bother. You don’t have to be an investment banker or a corporate lawyer, but you have to earn enough money to pay your own bills. (I don’t need you to take care of me . . . I can do that just fine on my own.)
  3. Hygiene: If you don’t shower daily, then I’m probably not the girl for you. The dirty hippie thing was sort of hot when I was in college, but not so much anymore. I want a guy who is clean, but not overly obsessed with his appearance. If you spend more time on your hair than I do on mine, we are going to have issues.
  4. Cleanliness: This is not about your body, it’s about your environment. Will I be able to tell what you’ve eaten for the last two weeks by looking at the dirty dishes in your sink? When was the last time you changed your sheets or cleaned your bathroom? But don’t think I’m a prude. I can deal with messy . . . although it’s not my favorite thing, it is WAY better than dirty.
  5. Respect: If you respect me, then just about everything else will work itself out. I learned this in my last relationship. If you respect me, then you won’t expect me to do everything for you like cook, clean, do your laundry, etc., and I’ll have no reason to resent you. We won’t get in fights about differing opinions on politics or finances, even when we don’t agree. Respect is the backbone to any healthy relationship. I firmly believe this.
  6. Passing Score on the “Brother Test”: If my big brother doesn’t like you, it sends up a giant red flag. But don’t panic . . . my brother is remarkably easy to get along with. So, if you can’t get along with him, there is obviously something wrong with you.

You will probably notice that “looks” aren’t on this list. I don’t care if you’re fat, skinny, balding, bow-legged, or buck-toothed. As long as you are confident with yourself, looks don’t matter. (I’m tall though, so if you have a Napoleon complex, move along!)

Now, please don’t let this list of “demands” scare you. In return for meeting these requirements, there are an abundance of perks that go along with being my significant other. A short list of some of those perks* include:

  1. Massages: I love to give massages . . . your back, your arms and hands, your legs, even your face. I have been told by many of my friends and former boyfriends that I give excellent massages because I have really strong hands. As for any thoughts that may be floating about in your head about “happy endings,” remember this: sometimes a massage is just a nice way to wind down from your day, and sometimes it’s a nice way to get wound up for your night. Make of that what you will.
  2. Home-Cooked Meals: Whether it’s in the kitchen or on the grill, I love to cook, and I’m pretty darned good at it. But if you love to cook as well, we can take turns spoiling one another. Unfortunately, because most of the guys I’ve dated consider microwaving a frozen dinner as cooking, I haven’t learned the fine art of sharing the kitchen. But I’m willing to give it a try.
  3. Intelligence: I don’t claim to be Mensa smart, but I can hold my own with most people. That means that you won’t have to be worried about me saying something utterly embarrassing at your company Christmas party. Holy Juan says that he (and presumably other men as well) doesn’t like women who are smarter than him because they can see through his B.S. That goes back to the respect item listed above. If you respect me, you won’t try to B.S. me.
  4. Wit: I have an excellent sense of humor. I love to laugh, and I love to make the people around me laugh. My mom used to tell me that men don’t like funny women. I disagree. The good ones do.
  5. Fortitude: I’m tough. I don’t need you to kill bugs, trap mice, build fires, or hang pictures. I can do all these things myself. This means that you aren’t going to hear me whining from another room while you are watching the game to come kill a spider the size of a grain of rice.
  6. Sex: I like to f*ck. (Sorry Juan, I just can’t say that with a straight face!) But seriously, who doesn’t enjoy a good roll in the hay? Most guys will tell you they want a girl who’s a lady in the streets and a whore in the sheets. In polite company, women will say they want to be treated like ladies all the time. Just so you know . . . that’s bullsh*t. We like doing it as much as you guys but we’re not supposed to talk about it.
  7. Loyalty: I don't cheat. If we get to the point in our relationship that I feel like I need to be with somebody else, I'm going to end things with you first, because there are obviously larger issues in our relationship. I’m not going to try to fundamentally change who you are to make you into the perfect boyfriend. I’m smart enough to know that there is no such thing. Not to mention the fact that one of the worst things you can do to another person is violate their trust. I'm fiercely loyal to my lovers, my friends, and my family.
  8. The Boys: I can hang out with your friends and drink and have a good time doing whatever it is that you guys like to do together and be perfectly happy. But I also understand the importance of guy time. And you are welcome to hang out with the boys whenever you’d like, as long as you show me the same courtesy with my friends.
  9. Hablo Espanol: I am not fluent by any stretch of the imagination, but if you want to take me to meet your family in Spain or Latin America, I can hold my own. And if you don't speak Spanish, I will make you want to, because it is a very sexy language.
  10. Smelly: I have the world’s sweetest dog. She loves everyone, and if she knows I like you and trust you, she will like and trust you too. And Smelly is just a nickname for the sake of this blog. She is actually named after a character that Salma Hayek played in one of her movies. You like her better already, don’t you?

So, if you think we’d make a good match, or if you have a brother or good friend you think would like me, send him the link to my page. If he likes what I have to say on here, then he’ll probably like me. Tell him to send a picture of himself standing in front of his car. (I'm kidding.)

[*After receiving some feedback from Holy Juan, I have decided to make a few edits to my “perks” list.]

Fairfax County (Government) Sucks

I’m sorry if you live anywhere in Fairfax County and have to deal with the rocket scientists who staff the Fairfax County Government Center.

First of all, let me fill you in on my debacle. I, in my constant state of disorganization, forgot to pay my Fairfax County personal property taxes for the part of 2006 prior to me moving to Arlington County. That was my mistake, and I had to pay a hefty late fee AND an additional charge to release a hold they had on my account with the DMV because of it. That was in late January. In early February, I sent my registration renewal form to the DMV with a check and they sent it back because Fairfax County hadn’t released the hold yet.

I figured that since it took forever for the payment to Fairfax to clear my bank account that maybe the hold hadn’t been released by the time the DMV check was sent. No big deal.

So, on Monday, after a written reminder (read as: two tickets) from our friends at the Arlington County Police Department on Friday, I decided to go get my registration taken care of. I went to the DMV and sat and sat and sat. At 4:45, they finally called my number. I explained what I needed and the lady at the DMV told me that she couldn’t help me. “Why?!” I asked. Because Fairfax still hadn’t released the hold. DMV Lady, in a non-typical act of kindness, told me that I could call Fairfax County and have them correct it and then jump back in line and she would get me set up.

But no. That was too easy. The Fairfax County Department of Tax Administration closes at 4:30. I called them the next morning and had them fix the hold, which took WAY longer than it should have. But it’s finally fixed.

I went to the DMV again this morning and emerged relatively unscathed (although slightly poorer). Man, I sure can’t wait to do this all over again next year. Luckily, next year I will be dealing strictly with Arlington County.

Ode to Papa Dallas

If you were one of the fortunate ones, you probably had that one “best friend” in high school that you practically lived with. Either you were at her house or she was at yours. That friend, for me, was Woolly.

Woolly had it made. Her parents were not rich by any stretch of the imagination, but they lived in a big old house with a swimming pool and she had no real curfew, so it was always the place to be. During the summers, I spent more nights at her house than at my own. Woolly was also the youngest of 5 kids, and her siblings were much older (one of Woolly’s nieces is only a year younger than she is), so her parents were also much older than most of our friends’ parents (my own included). Her mom was (and presumably still is) the most amazing cook, and there was always homemade bread and fresh vegetables from the garden. Her dad was a big bear of a guy. He had gray hair that never quite stayed where he wanted it to, and he always had a few days of beard growth. He was one of those guys that came across as gruff and grumpy to those who didn’t know him, but to those who knew him well, he was Papa Dallas . . . a loyal father, good provider, and a big teddy bear.

I remember him always sitting in his chair in the den after a long day’s work, with the TV blaring and Granny Rufus tending to his needs. He’d fuss at us for leaving all the lights on or a door open, but he mostly just let us be. Once in a while, however, you’d get one of his hugs just when you needed it the most. Those hugs were legendary. They always reminded me of how it felt to be wrapped in a warm blanket fresh out of the dryer by my mom when I was a little kid. And years later, when I’d see him on breaks from college, I still craved those hugs.

Papa Dallas passed away about two weeks ago after a battle with cancer. I don’t even know what to say to his family. All I really want to do is find Woolly and give her a hug that reminds her of her dad’s . . . because those hugs always seemed to make everything better.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Now THAT Was A Storm!!

Everyone has been talking about it this morning at work. I am assuming that most people who live inside the beltway were awoken this morning around 4AM by that HUGE thunderstorm. That thing was amazing. Of course, I guess it helps that I live less than a mile from the world's largest lightning rod* (also known as the Air Force Memorial).

It's been a really long time since I've seen a storm like that. Except for the getting woken up in the middle of the night part, it was really cool! Ship's cat (Commander Salamander) freaked out a bit, but Smelly seemed totally unfazed by it.

*This is has not been verified by the Guinness Book of World Records. It's actually just an excuse for me to make fun of a national monument.