Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I suppose I still have a few hours to make that "Soul Mate in '08" thing happen, but I'm totally not holding my breath.

At the risk of starting a routine wherein I begin every post with a claim that time is slipping by suspiciously quickly, I still need to say, "Was Christmas already a week ago?" Whoopsie. Still want an update on that?

Actually, I thought perhaps we were all taking a little break between the holidays, but the 300+ unread posts I saw in my feed reader last night suggest that's not the case. I don't know how the rest of you found time to post during the past week. Me, I was far too busy with impromptu little experiments, such as "Let's see how many movies in a row I can watch on my parents' couch before I actually have to get up and check for muscle atrophy" and "Let's count how many consecutive days I can go without eating a vegetable." Oh, and of course, there were those couple of days in there where I actually had to go in to WORK, because apparently not everyone is in agreement that regardless of which days of the week the holidays fall upon, the last week of December is for lounging with a cookie in one hand and a wine glass in the other. Rest assured; I plan to write my Congressman about this immediately.

Today, however, I am off, and at 3:17 p.m., I am still sitting in my pajamas, drinking the last glass from a bottle of white I opened earlier this week. What? Is 3:17 in the afternoon too early for wine? Come on; it is NEW YEAR'S! Surely that warrants a pass. Besides that, the cork on this bottle was stamped with the letters "Rx" after the winery's web address. I'm sure that is some sort of registered trademark-related indicator, but I prefer to believe this wine is a prescription! Just yesterday I joined the Facebook group titled, "A glass of wine solves everything." It's a remedy worth trying, I say.

The fact is I've been feeling a bit low lately. I was attributing it to my uncharacteristically irrational disappointment over the vanishing act played by my supposed best date of '08. I realize it was just one date, and for me to feel so defeated and deflated after it is really not in keeping with my usual cynicism and guardedness where dating is concerned. Still, I have spent the past week and a half wallowing about, crying "I don't get it; I don't GET IT!" and "It's not fair. How is this fair??" Is it not my freaking turn already? Have I not paid my damn dues? I sound like a goddamned Lifetime movie. I realize this, of course. And I'm also ashamed to admit that a good portion of this disappointment likely stems from what that stupid psychic told me in 2007. When I met someone I actually liked right at the end of the year, I wanted to believe that she was right, and I actually would find my soul mate in '08. It's silly, I know; you don't have to tell me that or chide my naivety. It's not that I truly believed her, of course, but that I just really wanted to. Sending positive vibes out into the universe is all I thought I was doing. Who knew it would send me into such a bleak place.

It's not only the afore-nicknamed Bachelor #3, however. Rereading my New Year's-adjacent posts from the past two years, I've realized end-of-year melancholy is nothing new for me. We're supposed to think of new beginnings and starting overs, of the things we accomplished and gained in the year past. Instead, I dwell on things lost or never found. I think of things I didn't do, goals I didn't meet because I didn't set. This time of year puts me in a weird place. Surely that's not just me, right? Sadly, I have a feeling that a cheerful New Year's spirit isn't the norm for many of us.

All that said, I do have to acknowledge that 2008 was not all bad. I have good friends who I love dearly. In this scary economy, I still have a job and a home and a meager savings account balance. I even accomplished two and a half of my five resolutions for the year. I could do worse than 50%, don't you think?

The end of the year is a time for wrap-ups and summaries, of course, so to review, here is my list, my year-in-review, my Stefanie Says clip show for 2008.

January: Foolishly proclaimed it the Year of Stef, hoping luck in romance would follow. (Ha.) Discovered a new way to Internet-stalk old friends and love interests. Grew a Chia Elephant. Discovered the pack rat gene is dominant. (Also, learned my grandma didn't like lima beans.)

February: Won my city's first (and only) Drunken Spelling Bee. (The bee lives on, but with the decidedly less fun-sounding "Grown-up Spelling Bee" label.) Coined the term "Venn Diagram of Snobbery." Lost my grandma.

March: Celebrated National Grammar Day. Realized I shouldn't be trusted alone in my own house. Cleared 50 years of clutter from my basement. Celebrated my 34th birthday and my third blogiversary. Tested my domesticity by taking a quilting class.

April: Finally met Lara! And NPW! And Red! And got to hang out with Noelle again, too! (Spring vacation in Boston and Philly was a definite highlight of the year.) Played along in the first Choose Your Own Blogventure story game. Discovered I can find things to eat in the Produce section (and ate those things for eleven-plus days in a row). Learned to knit socks.

May: Brought our friend Darren back to the Internet. Injured myself while cleaning my shower. Gave my newly refinished basement a coming out party. Got yelled at by a fellow motorist.

June: Played with that nifty Flickr mosaic tool (and promptly forgot about it until now). Had my very first fifteen-cent meal of Ramen noodles. Ran into a past meMarmony match in a crowd of 8,000 people. Was reminded that I really should wear a helmet and knee pads in daily life.

July: Started reading those crazy teenage vampire books. Summed up my life in Someecard format. Considered the possible merits of attending my first National Night Out block party.

August: Fixed my car's air conditioner, all by myself (well, by myself with help from the Internet and a fellow blogger). Got massaged by a giant middle-aged black man. Ever-so-unoriginally was brought to tears by traffic. Wrote my first [part of a] science fiction story, for CYOB 2.0.

September: Watched St. Paul turn into a police state. Infiltrated the Republican National Convention (or something like that). Realized I have no idea how to effectively tell a guy "Thanks, but no thanks." Finally caved to peer pressure and joined Facebook. Learned how to make a coffee cup of cake in the microwave.

October: Enjoyed a lovely fall weekend in the woods. Brought our pal Nabbalicious back to the Internet. Played the field a little bit. Photographed giant gourds and scary antique store finds with good friends.

November: For the third year in a row, posted every day for a damn month. Realized that writing about dating isn't nearly as fun when I force myself to do it daily. And hmm... I swear something else happened that month... What was it?... Oh yeah! Obama! Sigh.

December: Had fun with poll tools (and profile pictures). Fed my coworkers liberal cheese. Unintentionally insulted a man who had just bought me dinner. Spent another Christmas evening at the emergency room. (This time, to have my dad's frostbitten fingers reexamined. He is fine, but I fear a trend is starting. We could use some family traditions, I suppose, but can't the movie and Chinese buffet be our new tradition instead?)

Also, I saw 75 movies, went to 20 concerts and shows, and read a measly 12 books.

All in all, I suppose it was a fine year, soul mate or no. Scouring my archives to summarize all of that has taken considerably longer than I intended, however, and now it's high time to ditch the teacup-printed flannel pants and gray hoodie and get myself ready for tonight's New Year's Eve festivities. I hope everyone has a safe and happy evening. To reuse a joke that certainly never gets old, see you next year!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Clearly this post was just one more excuse to use that "Hobos" label.

Is it really Sunday night already? How did that happen? More important, is it really only four days until Christmas? Tell me, is my house the only one subject to time warps, or do you guys have that problem as well?

First, let's review what I did do this weekend. I did manage to...

  • Clean and ready my house for a Christmas party last night.
  • Shovel six inches of snow.
  • Host a holiday party for several of my friends.
  • Get pictures from said party online within 24 hours of the event.
  • Write my Christmas cards.
  • Eat my weight in guacamole and layer bars.
What I didn't do, however, was everything else on my list, including wrap my family's Christmas gifts, pack for my trip home this week, and answer the several neglected emails waiting in my Inbox. Oh. Also, I did not hear from the aforementioned Bachelor #3, despite that aforementioned last-date-of-the-year being, from my perspective, one of my best dates of the year.

That's right, folks; you heard me. I had a GOOD DATE. Or, I thought I did, anyway. Apparently either the two of us were on entirely different dates or my instincts are way, way off. It is frustrating and more than a bit disheartening and frankly I have little more I want to say about it than that. I actually liked this one, people. Really. I don't even know what to do with myself over that.

So it seems I will be ending 2008 just as I began it, which I suppose is fine, really. The single life usually agrees with me anyway. I have my own space and make my own schedule, and I celebrated my singlehood today by sending not at all husband-friendly pretty pink and brown glittery Christmas cards. I am now covered in glitter, as is my kitchen table, but all that sparkling should only serve to get me in the holiday spirit, don't you think?

But back to my party. It was a warm and festive evening in my cold but charming basement, and I think I can confidently say that a lovely time was had by most. Menu props go to The Pioneer Woman, who (unlike Bachelor #3) has yet to let me down thus far. I made her goat cheese with fresh dill and paprika rolls (which were fine but actually taste much better when the goat cheese you pay $10 for actually tastes like goat cheese and not like strangely tough Brie) and also her spicy molasses cookies, which happily were a much greater success than the unintentionally rock-hard molasses cookies I tried to make last year. Also, if you read Mighty Girl's post a few weeks ago and wondered, "Should I really put pears and pomegranate in my guacamole?" the answer is YES. Yes you should. I love avocado in nearly any form, but never has guacamole been so delicious.

Also, I received several excellent presents from my fabulous friends, including a knitting book with at least twelve patterns I want to make immediately, a lovely blue glass necklace, and a pair of knit wrist warmers that are much more awesome than the pair I was never going to get around to knitting myself. I am currently typing away in toasty-knuckled comfort just like a modern, techno-savvy urban hobo. Yay!

And with that, I'd best shut down and get some sleep, as the few hours I got after the last of my guests left in the partying-like-a-rock-star wee hours of the morning simply did not suffice. I'm looking forward to two short weeks in a row before the drudgery of January, with its gray bleak days and its cruelly long five-day work weeks, begins. If you are already on vacation until 2009, kindly suck it. I kid, I kid. That wasn't particularly warm-hearted and holiday-minded of me. Happy Christmas week, all.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Clearing the queue

This just in: It is cold. And snowing. I realize I live in Minnesota, but I've always sort of thought it was fair to get only one of those at a time. Also, the next time someone who claims to know how weather works says, on a sub-zero day, "It's too cold to snow," I will have to direct them, all Cliff Clavin-like, to this week, because this week, it has been sub-zero for three days in a row and I'm pretty sure it snowed at least a little bit on all three days. Take that, weather know-it-alls.

I promise I will stop talking about the weather now. How about I talk about something even more original? That's right: I had a date last night. Shocking, I know.

This particular date was with a man I'll call the Tiny Lawyer, for the probably obvious reason that he was both tiny and a lawyer. (I know, I know; I'm impossibly clever.) I suspected from his photos that he was the sort of 5'11" that actually means 5'9", but I chose not to worry about that, as he seemed smart and possibly endearing in a charmingly awkward way. Also, for the record, I am not implying that 5'9" automatically equates to "tiny." I am implying that 5'9" and small-framed enough to possibly be wearing a boy's sized suit equates to tiny. Is that fair? I am 5'9" myself, and my frame is decidedly not boy's sized, and while I would like to think I can be modern and open minded and not discriminate against date candidates based on body size, the fact is that if my jeans would be too big for you, there's a pretty good chance I'm just not going to feel comfortable dating you. Not that I want my boyfriend to wear my jeans. Or even try them on, for that matter. I'm really just digging myself farther and farther into this hole, aren't I? Did I mention I am tired? I am TIRED. So tired that I am suddenly trying to decide whether to rework this last paragraph to incorporate some reference implying that the the tiny, squeaky voiced lawyer may have come straight from a dress rehearsal of Oliver. Look at that. I did it anyway. Seriously, sooo tired. Really must get myself to bed here very soon.

Anyway, boy-sized or not, tinyness is not the reason our date was lackluster. He was perfectly nice; I was perfectly nice (mostly... more on that later); but it felt like we were both firing blanks. Nothing was really sticking for either of us. Conversation just never took off. It happens; it's nothing new, and I think we both went through the motions thinking we'd just complete the dinner transaction, say our goodbyes, and be off. Considering I had nothing particularly invested in the evening at that point, you might even think I could get through the whole date without saying anything particularly inappropriate or unintentionally offensive. Keyword: might think. But surely you know me better than that by now.

Apparently in some strict, truth-in-advertising-seeking space in my ever logical brain, I decided this height discrepency needed to be addressed. As we were both getting up to leave, I looked at him and I blurted out, "You are totally not 5'11", by the way."

The dude looked at me like I had just told him I had run over his cat or erased everything on his Tivo. "What? That's what my doctor says I am!" he cried defensively. At that point, of course, I should have apologized and let it go. I shouldn't have said something so unnecessary and foolish in the first place, so at this point, I should have said, "OK; you're right. You probably are 5'11". Sorry." Did I do that? Of course not. Instead, I directed his attention to the window above our table, a window that naturally becomes sort of a mirror in the darkness of night. I pointed to the window, where I could see both of us standing, our heads at such an equal height that I'm convinced you could have placed a carpenter's level from the crown of my head to the crown of his and the bubble would have floated squarely to the center spot between the two black lines. I looked at us in the window, and I pointed and said, "Look! I'm 5'9". There's no way you are two inches taller than me!"

I know, right? What was that I said just yesterday about me not needing a dating advice book? Wait. Scratch that. I still don't need a dating advice book. I just need to keep that mental goalie from falling asleep on the ice. This is nothing new.

So let's review. Tiny Lawyer asks me on a date. I accept; we meet for a casual dinner. He pays without any hesitation whatsoever, whipping his credit card out and handing it over before I can even reach for my wallet. I thank him by calling him short and a liar. To top things off, we walk into the sub-zero, snowy evening to find that he's received a $35 parking ticket while we were inside. This evening was obviously a win-win-win all around for Tiny Lawyer.

On the up side, at least *I* took some useful tidbits from the evening. For example, I learned how to remove a too-small ring from someone's finger using dental floss, and I learned the [Tiny Lawyer's name]'s Patent Pending Formula for DUI Charge Avoidance. Did I mention Tiny Lawyer is a criminal defense attorney? It's almost a shame this one isn't going anywhere, because I bet he has lots of interesting stories.

So. A week ago, I had three potential matches in "the funnel" (See? I did pick up something from that book. I've got some new terminology to use!) Last night was strike two. I have no interest in looking for any additional prospects during the next two rather busy holiday weeks, so Bachelor #3 is officially my last chance to declare that psychic Not a Crackpot and make good on this Year of Stef, "Finding my soul mate in '08" nonsense. Do I have high hopes? Not so much, particularly since Bachelor #3 has yet to send me the requisite message confirming and finalizing our plans, meaning I may actually strike out on the third try without ever even meeting the man. Naturally, of the three, this is the one I've felt most optimistic about, which makes it all the more maddening. Wish me luck.

And with that, it is officially entirely past my bed time. It is also entirely past the time when my programmable thermostat decides it's time to go into money-saving night mode, and as cold as it is this evening, I'll need to cut the fingertips off of a pair of gloves if I want to keep typing much longer. I hear my down comforter calling. I do hate to keep it waiting. I'm out.

Monday, December 15, 2008

You Lost Him at Hello

It really wasn't intentional, but obviously somewhere along the line, Stefanie Says must have become a dating blog. I suppose it's good to have a niche, a theme, but still, I can't help but wonder what I'll write about when I finally do start dating someone for any length of time again. (I am going to start dating someone again at some point, right? Maybe? Hmm.)

Anyway, given the number of dating-related phrases I see in my search engine hits, I suppose it should be no surprise that I was contacted a while ago to be part of the virtual book tour for Jess McCann's You Lost Him at Hello. Today is the day the tour stops here, so it's my turn to tell you what I thought of the book.

While I was compiling my thoughts, I decided to swing by the previous stops on the tour to see what other bloggers thought of this book. A lot of them started with a similar sentiment: "When I was asked to review this book, I was hesitant." It seems we're all a little leery of the self help genre, at least where dating is concerned. I'm glad I wasn't alone in my leeriness and skepticism.

I was probably predisposed to dislike this book, but I tried to go into it with an open mind. As with probably most self-help books, I knew not all of it was going to resonate or apply. But it never hurts to put yourself in a place where you're forced to think about what you're doing or not doing, to examine your own behavior and reflexes and try to look at your history in a different light.

The central premise behind You Lost Him at Hello is that the same tactics that work in sales will work in dating as well. From prospecting, to pitching and promoting your product, to ultimately closing the deal, what you do as a single woman trying to land a boyfriend or husband shouldn't be all that different from what you'd do to land a lucrative new account. It's an idea that actually makes some amount of sense. To sell something, you need to be confident and assured. You need to believe in your product (or at least successfully convince people that you do). You need to know when to apply pressure and when to back off. You need to frame your pitch in such a way that the customer doesn't feel "pitched to" at all.

In dating, of course, the product is you, and the most successful daters naturally are the ones who've mastered the art of presenting themselves in a way that keeps prospective boyfriends continually wanting more. The question is how to harness that sort of self-assuredness to use when you need it most.

Throughout You Lost Him at Hello, McCann offers numerous tips culled from her sales experience for finding prospects and keeping them interested. As with many self help books, a lot of it is common sense, but I recognize that for many of us, common sense goes straight out the window when we meet someone we're interested in, so seemingly obvious whacks on the head like, "Don't drink and dial" and "Don't give up the goods too soon" can be helpful and valuable reminders at times. She does offer some useful tips, such as casual icebreakers to use as opening lines so that a guy who's receptive to you can consider it an opener while one who isn't will simply take it as an innocent, innocuous question. And I did mark a few passages I found myself nodding in agreement with solidly. Passages like these:

"What makes a person like you has less to do with what you say and more to do with how you make them feel."
"The constitution of marriage is like a mixing bowl. People make the mistake of thinking that if they can just get the bowl, they will automatically get a cake. They don't realize that what you put into it is what you are going to get out of it. If you have the right ingredients, you will come out with a cake. But if you have the wrong ones, all you will get is a bucket of mess. The bowl itself doesn't matter."

Ultimately, though, I'm not convinced I'm the target audience for this book. In addition to the insightful passages I marked while reading, I also littered the margins of my copy with terribly thoughtful and intelligent comments like, "Duh" and "Who DOES this??" McCann talks a lot about women who get invested in a relationship too soon--who go on one date and decide they've found the love of their life, and immediately thereafter smother him or scare him away. Maybe there really are many women who do this, but I don't know any of them, and I certainly can't think of any recent time I've been one myself. My problem the past few years hasn't been finding a man who wants to keep dating me. Much more often it's finding one who *I* want to spend more time with. I suppose this only confirms what I've said numerous times in certain circles: when it comes to dating, I'm the guy. Perhaps I should read a self-help book on dating aimed at men. Maybe that would be the key for me. Wait. Do they even publish those? If so, where do I get on that tour?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Never underestimate the appeal of a good bandwagon

Am I the last one Courtney tagged for the seven things meme to actually comply and post my seven things? Wait. Lemme check if Aaron's on that yet... Nope. Whew. I do hate to be last. (Hey, maybe that could be one of my seven things...)

Anyway, you're probably familiar with this game. I mention and link to the person who tagged me (Courtney, remember?), then I post a bunch of annoyingly demanding rules, type seven random things about myself, and tag seven people to do the same. I won't force any of you to do this, but if you haven't yet and want to, consider yourself tagged!

It is actually harder than it should be to come up with seven random things about myself that I haven't already told you. I have searched for and located the seven things I posted the last time I did this meme to ensure I'm not repeating any of those, but if you notice that any of the following are nestled away someplace else within my three and three-quarter years worth of posting, just give yourself a gold star for reading retention and cut me a break, OK?

All right. Here we go. Seven more random things about yours truly.

  1. Sometimes, at stores where the fitting room is manned (e.g., Target, New York & Co.), if I take a whole bunch of stuff into the fitting room and determine that I don't want any of it, I feel guilty for making the fitting room girl restock everything, so I give back all but only one or two items, pretending I'm going to buy those. Then I return them to the appropriate spot on the sales floor myself before I leave.

  2. I buy probably a disproportionate amount of my clothing at Target. I am not ashamed, however, particularly since the only people who know they are Target clothes are people who also buy their clothes at Target. I love being out at a bar or a theater and spotting some other girl in something I own and secretly saying to myself, "Target dress! I have that."

  3. I did not have a library fine for at least 16 years. In the past year, I have incurred three of them. I really want to believe that hording library books isn't the most reckless and irresponsible thing I've done all year, but I'll have to think on that to be sure.

  4. Somewhere in my much-outdated 100 Things list, I mention that my standby drinks are a hard cider or a Captain & Coke. I do not remember the last time I ordered either of those. For a period of at least a year, I tried to decide upon a new standby drink. I never did consciously and resolutely pick one, but in the mean time, I think red wine and gin & tonic became my two new standbys.

  5. My standby bring-along dish for parties is a pan of seven-layer bars. I didn't realize they were my signature until I heard a friend at a party once (who hadn't yet seen me come into the party) spy the seven-layer bars on the food table and say, "Oh! Stefanie must be here!" (Seven-layer bars, by the way, are delicious. They are also ridiculously easy to make. No matter the mild mocking; I don't think I'll be choosing a new standby bring-along any time soon.)

  6. For my entire life (save the five months during college when I lived in Scotland), I have lived in the upper Midwest. You may have heard that it's prone to snow in the upper Midwest. A lot, sometimes. Despite this fact, I have not owned a proper pair of snow boots perhaps since high school. (This will be remedied with my Christmas gifts this year, by the way. It's about damn time.)

  7. I saw a TV show once where a lawyer asked a woman in court what her earliest memory of her father was. "I'm on a bike and he's teaching me to ride," she answered immediately. I thought it was absurdly improbable that anyone would be able to identify their earliest memory so quickly and confidently, without a moment of, "Gee; that's a good question. Let me think on that..." first. Thereafter, I tried to determine what my absolute earliest memory is. For some reason, the one that sticks out is me, at three years old, walking around the play room at my nursery school, looking through a toy magnifier. I have no idea what my earliest memory involving my father is, however. Guess I'd better continue to think on that in case it ever comes up in court.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

As we all know, Obama won on the much-debated mozzarella platform.

Well then. I received more comments on that last post than I did on any post through all of NaBlo. This is not a news flash: people love to participate! God bless the geniuses who created polling tools for our blogs. Today I thought of at least three topics on which to poll you again. And then I realized that perhaps I should make some of my own decisions, instead of letting the Internet make them for me. Whatever. Who can I trust, if not the Internet? Clearly mob mentality is always the wisest, sagest choice.

That said, I was happy to see that the bulk of you agreed with me that it was, in fact, a shirt wiener that the boring man who will NOT be my next boyfriend was sporting. Most of you did not agree with my suspicion that it was intentional, but at least thus far zero percent of you have thought it was intentional and hilarious. Whew.

On to other topics, brought to you in bullet-point style, just the way the lazy and attention-deficit among us like them. Am I wrong?

  • I saw Australia last night, and because I still have not succumbed to the allure of Twitter, I instead thereafter changed my Facebook status to "Stefanie thinks that maybe Baz Luhrmann needs an editor." It's not so much that I didn't like it; it's just that it was absurd that there was so much of it. Within those three hours were at least three separate movies, but rather than pick one, Baz (can I call you "Baz"?) decided to cram together all three. I think the following quote from the reviews compiled at Rotten Tomatoes summed it up best:

    "You don't find many three-hour fairy tale love story war films about race relations featuring the ultra-competitive beef market in northern Australia. For good reason."

    I saw this one with my new friend (former boyfriend candidate) AW, who added that, "Nicole Kidman as the tough-but-dainty woman sophisticate in the cowboy frontier is a bit tired. Didn't she play that role in, like, five other movies?" I agreed with him, even though by "five other movies" I think he meant "Cold Mountain." I suppose when you find a type-casting that works for you, you go with it. Isn't that right, Jodie Foster? (Note: For that last link, special thanks go to my ridiculously astute memory for seemingly useless details, as well as the beauty of blog search boxes.)

  • Shockingly, I actually have two candidates in the Catch dot Mom queue at the moment that I'm feeling ever so slightly optimistic about. One of them answered my request that my match know the difference between "your" and "you're" by noting that he "not only knows the difference between 'your' and 'you're,' but 'YORE' as well." Be still my nerdy heart. The other one said, in response to my first email to him, that he could tell I was a writer before even looking at my profile, such was the fine craftwork of my message. Flattery will get you everywhere, sir. Or, it might, if you would actually write me back again. I fear that dating karma may in fact be biting me in the rear. I neglect to write back to a slightly "off"-looking guy I've entered preliminary communication with, and my payback is a similar slighting from someone I actually do want to meet. Sigh. Eventually interest will line up simultaneously, right? Let's cross our fingers on that, OK?

  • Meanwhile, I received another message from The Traffic Engineer today, asking if I'd like to see one of the Oscar-worthy movies out right now (Australia, perhaps? Thanks, but I already sat through that.) or check out a new restaurant some night. "I'd be up for it as a date or just friends," he says, but then added "My treat!" Oh, Nice Guy Who Does Nothing For Me... What am I to say to you? Incidentally, this was one of the topics I considered polling you folks on. I should probably just deal with it myself, though, right?

  • As you may or may not know (depending on whether you read any of the posts I submitted in the last days of NaBloPoMo, while the rest of you were off neglecting the Internet), my parents were here last weekend, and my father brought with him an absurd amount of cheese for my sister and me. I know he means well; I know that bringing things we do not need and cannot possibly use is just his way of saying he loves us and he's thinking about us and wants to provide for us in some strange, small way. But really. Family-sized bags of cheese curds, string cheese, and mozzarella whips for each of us? What would happen to my already squashy midsection (much less my digestive system) if I ate all of that? Not wanting it to go to waste, however, I portioned off a small share for myself to keep at home and I brought the rest in to work. Most of my coworkers were appreciative. Who doesn't like free cheese as a mid-day snack? Who except the adversarial young conservative who, when hearing from whence the mystery cheese in the kitchen came, spouted some wisecrack about it being LIBERAL cheese, and hoping that eating it wouldn't turn him Democrat. I assured him that the free cheese was actually purchased and provided by a Bush-supporting, Clinton-and-Obama-hating Republican, but I'm not sure it set his fears at ease. CHEESE, people. CHEESE is now political! Oh, when will the madness end?

    * Link provided for those of you not raised in Wisconsin. Sadly, I couldn't find a similar explanation for mozzarella whips (which are really just skinny string cheese; surely you can imagine that).

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

A teensy bit more whining about NaBlo, but then, a POLL! (You like polls, right? Of course you do.)

Hey strangers. Remember me? It feels like ages since I last posted, when in fact it was all of two days ago. NaBloPoMo will mess with your head that way. NaBlo will mess with your head and STILL give you no prizes. Third time's a charm? Not for this lady. I demand a recount on this "Year of Stef" business. I'm pretty sure this was actually someone else's year instead. Can I have another go in '09? No? I have to wait my turn again? Bollocks.

So. Given how quickly I lost steam and grew tired of my theme, you would think I would be DONE writing about dating for quite some time. Alas, you would be wrong, because waiting in my Inbox this morning was a wink from this fine gentleman!

Focus for a minute on the small strip of gray below his belt buckle and tell me what you see.

So? What say you? Has this grown man's mother sewed his name upon his pants, but overzealously placed the tag outside of his waistband rather than in? Is he wearing the Z. Cavariccis that he bought in 11th grade and the label is just a bit askew? Or did this man actually post on his Internet dating profile a picture in which his shirt is sticking out the fly of his pants?

I think you know my vote. I think you also know I love any excuse for a poll. Let's play!

It really is a wonder I'm still single; is it not?