to be that guy

So, this is my life.

And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I'm still trying to figure out how that could be.

Friday, March 13, 2015

McNaught says...

"There will be a few times in your life when all your instincts will tell you to do something, something that defies logic, upsets your plans, and may seem crazy to others. When that happens, you do it. Listen to your instincts and ignore everything else. Ignore logic, ignore the odds, ignore the complications, and just go for it."

Saturday, November 30, 2013

hemingway says...

"I didn't want to kiss you goodbye, that was the trouble; I wanted to kiss you goodnight.  And there's a lot of difference."

i want that every night.  

Sunday, November 3, 2013

that means he likes you, part IV

we all know that Daylight Saving Time is ridiculous and antiquated, but do you hate as i hate, which i do strongly, changing all of the clocks in your house and car?  

so today i'm really thankful because:

If he resets every clock in your house before you wake up, that means he likes you.

i think that it may also mean that he loves you.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

the perks of being a 30-something

tonight i watched "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" for the first time off the big screen.  

i'm a huge fan of this film, just as i have long been a huge fan, and a frequent re-reader, of the novel.  the filmmakers have done an amazing job of whittling the story down to the joy and the pain -- not that there's much else in the novel.  the film brilliantly captures the spirit of the story that i've read repeatedly.  

every time i experience this story, i re-live my troubled high school days.  the characters and their angst are so familiar that i can't help but reconsider my experiences as a teenager.  i don't discuss my experiences with friends, nor do i care to do.  i rarely think about that period in my life, except when i read or watch an account of someone else's comparable experience.   

high school is so far behind me; i recently turned 31.  maybe it's silly for a high school story to still resonate with the adult me, but it does.  i can't help but wonder, as i consider my outlook during past stages of my life, about my outlook toward the future.

it's easy to look back at high school and college and recognize the importance that we placed on what now seem like insignificant accomplishments and standards.  in retrospect, my SAT score and my GPA, while impressive and personally gratifying at the time, have neither come up, nor been effectual in the past decade of my life.  as my romantic life has peaked and collapsed; as i have reimagined and realigned my career path, those priorities of my teens and even my college years have failed to prove important in the long term.  at 18, i never would have guessed that i would be, at 31, where i am.  i never would have imagined my priorities as a 30-somethimg to be what they are.  but could i have imagined a 30-something's priorities at all?  how could i have guessed?

tonight, as i finish a glass of sauvignon blanc and finish "The Perks" before heading to bed, i can't help but wonder if my current priorities and goals might be red herrings on my path to a happy adulthood.  can i possibly guess my priorities and regrets as a true adult?  (by the way, i firmly believe that 30 is the new 20.  and "adult" remains aloof.)  will i look back, as a 51 year-old, and smirk at the priorities of my 31 year-old self?  will the obsessions of thirty-something-hood -- be they losing 20 lbs,  making the best impression at work, winning an argument with a roommate, limiting my vodka consumption to three nights a week, or finding the absolutely perfect engagement ring -- in retrospect seem trivial?  

priorities change.  life is constant evolution.

this, i think, is why we should re-read books.  as our perspective changes, so do the stories.  

also, don't judge me for watching the movie on this one.  i have re-read it.  and you can't really read while drinking a bottle of wine.

* * * 

Even if you didn't know what I was talking about or know someone who's gone through it, you made me not feel alone. Because I know there are people who say all these things don't happen. And there are people who forget what it's like to be 16 when they turn 17. I know these will all be stories someday. And our pictures will become old photographs. We'll all become somebody's mom or dad. But right now these moments are not stories. This is happening.

* * * 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

a lot to do

when i die an old, married man, i hope that people say of me, "He was kind."

i hope that i die wealthy, but not so wealthy that i've stopped voting Democrat.

i hope that someone says of me that he or she never saw me lose my temper, not even at work.

i hope that i am remembered in many funny stories.  

i hope that my body will ultimately have a few tattoos or scars (preferably tattoos, but i still await an image or verse worth permanently markering).  

i hope that i've married the love of my life, and that we don't die too far apart, for fear of one of us grieving for too long.  

between now and far-off then, i have a lot to do.  

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Monday, October 15, 2012

Thursday, August 16, 2012

in summary

yep, i think that just about sums up my blog during its first 6 years.  

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

what do they expect?

when a recipe requires 1/4 cup of white wine...

there's only one thing to do with the rest of the (largest) bottle (i could find at the wine shop).

this morning i have a headache, but the baked pasta with zucchini and corn was fantastic.  BIG UPS to Cassifrass for bringing me delicious, farm-fresh sweet corn from our motherland.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

"subconscious." by Calvin Klein

i try not to give away too many of my dating secrets, but last night i shared one of my tricks with some friends, and they liked the idea.  i figured i should share it with all y'all and ask if you think it's crazy or creepy.  you're always so great about commenting and e-mailing me with honest reactions to my confessions.

i don't think that what i'm about to tell you is creepy -- if i did, i wouldn't be sharing it with the blogosphere -- but i admit that it's somewhat manipulative.  

we all know that our memories are closely linked to our senses of smell.  for years, i've tried to harness that link to subtly manipulate the guys i like.  when i'm getting to know someone new, someone i really like, i make sure to always wear the same cologne around him.  this might seem like a no-brainer to you if you have one cologne or perfume and wear nothing else; however, if you're like me and have a collection of scents, you can try this tactic.  i think that people will subconsciously associate a familiar scent with good times, such as when a romance is blossoming.  to be able to remind someone of your first kiss or your first night together, even a year later, could be very powerful.

an aside about scents:  i have about 7 or 8 colognes in rotation. while that may be excessive (shopping for fragrances is something that i really enjoy), everyone should have at least two, because a scent that's great in the winter isn't necessarily great in the summer.  for example, i wear a heavy, strong Versace cologne in cold months but would never wear it on a hot summer day, when perspiration can make a strong fragrance overpowering and unpleasant.  for summer months, Clinique and Nautica are my go-to's.  this is important stuff, people.

by way of illustration, i'll tell you about my courtship of my ex, A, several years ago.  our relationship began as a friendship, mostly because i didn't know he liked boys, but the first night that we kissed i was wearing Dolce & Gabbana.  it was a great night.  fun and memorable.  after that, i made sure to wear the same scent every time we went on a date.  despite finding other great colognes and wearing them around him socially, i never failed to wear D&G when we had one-on-one dates.  

does this seem crazy?  it makes so much sense to me, i'm almost religious about it. recently, the effectiveness of this tactic was confirmed.  the first night that i knew i'd be sleeping over at the Doctor's house, i wore a great TokyoMilk scent that i've loved for years but rarely wear in public because it's a fairly feminine scent.  the first time that he slept at my apartment, i spritzed myself with the fragrance before bed.  last week when the now long-distance Doctor visited me at home, he told me he always loved my smell.  little does he know, i orchestrated that.  

another ex once told that me i always smelled like fabric softener.  i did, but only around him.

it's not my goal to have a distinct scent for every partner in my life.  in fact, it's not my goal to have more than one boyf.  my goal is to meet my future husband and, some day down the line -- five or ten years from now -- still be wearing a scent that will remind him of when we first met, when we were young and new in one another's life.  i just hope YSL never stops making my favorite cologne.  that's a potential risk with this trick.

so what do you think?  am i insane? manipulative?  do i just have too much time on my hands, making me mindful of these things?

oh, by the way, don't tell anyone.  i don't want the men of Maryland catching on to my wiles.  our little secret.

post(ing) secret(s)

it was the cool thing to do among my high school friends.  i hope some of them have gotten over it by now.  wherever they may be.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

the next ironic chef

i haven't been posting often on here, as i haven't had many new adventures as of late.  my dating life isn't very exciting, and aside from bidding adieu to a certain person who i'm sure you're all sick of hearing about, my social life is equally uneventful.  work is enjoyable but keeps me busy and running all over the place.  the Jetta is my third home now.  the second is this filthy little dive bar where my girl Faye and i can sit for hours, drinking pitchers of cheap beer and listening to random tunes on the jukebox.  

today i'm writing because i actually have a new adventure to tell you about.

tomorrow i'm teaching a cooking class.

i know, right?  how ridic.  aside from a few adventures like this one and this one in my Philadelphia kitchen while on "sabbatical" in the past, i don't cook.  all my friends know that i don't cook.  that's why i gravitate toward people who do -- so that they can cook for me.  i know my way around a bar and can create magic with a cocktail shaker, but kitchen appliances are foreign territory to me.  so why am i now sitting at my kitchen island, surrounded by bags and bags of produce, psyching myself up to learn some cooking techniques to share with strangers in the morning?

if this story were to impart a moral, it would likely be this: beware your own over-confidence.  when my boss came to me to complain that the two chefs who teach weekly cooking classes for my company are both unavailable for an upcoming event, i shouldn't have said a word.  instead, my arrogance spoke up: "It can't be that hard.  You should teach it."  

"I can't teach the class," he responded.  "Could you teach a class about growing and cooking tomatoes?" he asked incredulously.

"I could teach anything if I had the information."

and with that, i unwittingly volunteered to teach a class about growing a food that i have never grown, making sauce that i have never made, and creating culinary masterpieces that i have no desire to create, using techniques that are foreign to me.  all of which is happening tomorrow morning.

sure, i tried to find someone else to teach the class.  i asked everyone i knew who has ever eaten a tomato if they'd like to teach the class. i tried to get out of it without appearing insecure or as though i'm not a team player.  my efforts failed, so ultimately i embraced the upcoming adventure.  i view it as a role and myself as an actor.  i will be lie-telling all morning about my gardening experience (i have a phone date with my mom scheduled for this evening so that she can tell me all about gardening and growing tomatoes), and i will -- as they say -- fake it 'til i make it. 

i have just returned from a trip to Whole Foods, where i spent $50 on tomatoes and walked around like a lost puppy, looking for chives and leeks.  in fact, i was just about to ask a hipster employee, "What does a leek look like?" when i remembered the blue yarn leek soup scene in Bridget Jones' Diary and thankfully recalled the look of her raw leeks before i had to embarrass myself with that alliteration.

the oven is pre-heating for some serious veggie roasting that's about to go down, and i'm mentally embracing my upcoming starring role as Chef Matthew.  at this point, i'm even a bit excited for the challenge.

as i see it, i have a few things that will work in my favor tomorrow:

1. my aforementioned over-confidence and arrogance.  

2. teaching isn't difficult.  some of the dumbest people i knew in high school and college are now teachers. i've been on dates with teachers who can barely speak or type English.  no offense to any of you dummies who teach dumb children, but it doesn't take a genius to process information and regurgitate it to other, less informed people.

3. the class attendees are mostly middle-aged women, and for whatever reason, middle-aged women tend to find me very charming.  once a woman hits her 50's, i'm suddenly her type.  just a few weeks ago, i had a 70-year old woman basically hit on me, saying, "I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but I love you in those glasses.  My husband wore horn rimmed glasses, and it still gives me a little tingle to see a man in them."  true story.  i felt uncomfortable thinking about her tingle.  i often wish that 30-year old men would react to me the way that old women do.

4. my experience with ambiguity.  i've been in this position before.  as a teenage camp counselor, i was expected to teach children to drive canoes on top of water.  i had never been in a canoe, and i don't particularly like water.  i'm an awful swimmer, and stagnant lake water makes my skin crawl and itch.  even the ocean seems filthy, and i don't like to be in it.  anyway, i taught canoeing for several summers, and i still maintain that no child died due to any fault or negligence of mine.  

5. i now have a working oven.  this final point may seem random, but as of late my oven has not been functional.  you see, late one night in the near past, someone came home from a bar where someone had too many wodka drinks and tried to re-heat some very cheesy pizza in my oven.  here's the abridged version of the story: cheese all over oven floor, oven not cleaned, roommate of said person tried to use oven a few days afterward, actual fire started in oven, fire extinguisher grabbed but instructions were so complicated it was not used, flames and smoke, yada yada yada, oven had to be cleaned well by me this morning to prepare for roasting i'll be doing this evening.  roommate is still displeased with me for what i did to the oven. 

so here goes.  i just made myself a cocktail, and i'm pulling out my borrowed mandoline and other mysterious kitchen tools to begin prepping for tomorrow's class.  

i have a fun night of roasting ahead of me.  wish me luck! 

i'll let you know how well the class goes.  i have no doubt that it will be a great success because, well, see bullet point no. 1, above.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

always on the road

Once you realize that the road is the goal and that you are always on the road, not to reach a goal, but to enjoy its beauty and its wisdom, life ceases to be a task and becomes natural and simple, in itself an ecstasy.

- Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj


Thursday, June 14, 2012

what you missed

this has never been my favorite thing to do, posting an informative catch-up post after not blogging for a considerable amount of time.  unfortunately, it's the best way to get back in the saddle after time away from you.

the reason that this isn't my favorite thing is because not much has been happening anyway.  i don't really have much to share.  there, that's my disclaimer.  you can stop reading now, because there will be nothing interesting below.  regardless...

the short version is, i've been staying very busy with work and the gym and shopping and dating, and i love Girls, and life is generally very good.

the long version is, work is sometimes frustrating and stressful, but i never dread going there.  i try to have fun and try to ensure that my co-workers have fun, every single day.  not to sound arrogant or anything, but if i were to leave my job, about 80% of the people there would either quit or kill themselves or both, in that order.  i'm confident about the percentage because they've all told me so.  wherever you stand, be the soul of the place.

i still think one or two visits to the gym per week is sufficient, though i've been visiting mine more often as of late because that's where the tanning booth that i pay to use is located.  i know that tanning is bad, but it's important for pasty pale people like me this time of year, even if it means going to that awful place called the gym.  oftentimes i cannot fathom even getting out of my car to walk into the gym after a long day at work; however, i convince myself to stop in and even work out for about 20 minutes just so that i can tan.  only once could i not bring myself to work out, or even put on workout clothes, so i scanned in at the gym, tanned, and left.  my entire drive home, i was certain that every single man in the gym stopped what he was doing, set down the weights, and watched me walk out without doing any sort of workout.  

i would like to add that, in a continuing effort to look 25 forever, i make sure to apply SPF 30 to my face and neck before tanning.  this has not yet resulted in any awful clavicle tan lines.

shopping -- well, in the past year or so (read: ever since quitting the law firm job that paid for my addiction) i've developed a great deal of self-restraint while in malls.  my few remaining weaknesses are J. Crew, Banana and Yankee Candle Company.  i am powerless against sales on seasonally appropriate chinos and candle scents that might make my house smell as though it's clean.

finally, an update on my dating life... i sometimes feel that i write about dating too often on this blog.  as if that's all i care about, or as if it's the only thing going on in my life.  well, it's not.  sometimes i rent movies and watch them alone.  also, until i recently began a month-long alcohol detox at which i am currently failing, i liked to drink with friends often.  having said all that, most of my time spent socializing with other humans outside of work involves dating.

to catch you up, i've been hanging out with Brad for just over a month now.  i haven't previously told you anything about him, because it's not exciting in any way.  occasionally Brad provides me with a funny story to tell friends and coworkers (such as when he was upset with me for using "drugs," but only until he Googled Ambien to find out what horrible illegal high i was enjoying) or a fun time together at a bar or, in the case of this past Sunday Funday, at a casino.  Brad is a great guy, and i'm trying diligently not to lead him on.  is there any harm in casually dating someone while keeping an eye out for Mr. Right?  i tell myself that there is not.

that's pretty much it for my dating life.  oh,alsoiguessishouldmentionthati'veseenthedoctortwicethisweekinorderto"saygoodbye"beforehemovesfar,faraway.

finally, i love Girls.  since Cassifrass gave me her HBO GO log-in, i've been watching a ton of my old fave, Curb Your Enthusiasm, catching up on the nudity of True Blood before it came back, and thoroughly enjoying the new series Girls.  it's often laugh-out-loud funny but, within the same episode, can be so raw and self-reflection-inducing that a weaker man might be tempted to cry.  if you haven't yet seen it, i highly recommend it.

and that's what you missed on -- ME!