Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Hike, A Pretty Place and Some Hookers

Man hiking
I am celebrating a four-day weekend from work with fun activities with friends and family. First on the agenda was a hike up to Pretty Place at Camp Greenville with Loggins.
Loggins and I love a good hike (as does Jennie!). We go out to Paris Mountain a few times a year, at least. And we were looking forward to a great day trip.
After enjoying the beautiful views at Pretty Place, we traveled south a bit to Caesars Head for a hike, and visited the Ranger's Desk/Information Center to find the best hike for us.
What follows is a transcript (as best as I can remember):
Me: We were looking for a trail map?
Ranger: We have this trail map for $2.50.
Me: Okay, well, we'll just look at it then.
My mind: Yeah, lady, I'm not playing $2.50 for a map I'm going to use for an hour.
Ranger: How far and how difficult of a trail are you looking for?
Me: Not far and not difficult. 
(I think I am hilarious, as you can see.)
Ranger: There is an overlook at the top of the parking lot.
(She thinks she is hilarious, too, apparently.)
Loggins: Farther than an overlook.
Ranger: Okay, we have a trail here that is a half mile, and that's as short as you're going to get. If you want shorter or less difficult, you really shouldn't be at Caesars Head.
Loggins: Mm-hmm. (pointing at another trail that had some awful name, like Despondent Trail or Woebegone Way or something). Look at that name.
Loggins: I, uh, was just... looking at the name. It's funny.
Me: So, on this short trail, is there anything interesting we can look out for?
Ranger: Okay, you know what? It's just a walk in the woods. You need to get in your car and drive to another park.
My mind: Rude. We have clearly stumbled into the middle of someone's bad day. Clearly.
Me: Huh?
Ranger: Four miles up the road is DuPont State Forest. You get in your car and make a left out of the parking lot. You'll see a sign, and you want to pull into the second parking lot, which is called Hooker Lot.
Loggins: mmmmmmm..... (starting to laugh).
Ranger: From Hooker Lot, you'll make your way to Hooker Trail.
Loggins: (openly laughing).
Me: (refusing to laugh or make eye contact with Loggins)
Ranger: You'll see two waterfalls on that trail: Hooker Falls.
Me: Uh-huh. Yeah, bye.
So I promised Loggins I would not talk about how we went to the scenic overlook and were exhausted by the time we strolled along the wooden walkway to the overlook. And how we decided to take the easy trail at Caesars Head and had to turn around because I thought I was going to have a heart attack. So, yeah, maybe the Ranger was right, but she was still kind of rude.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Weirdos I Meet

Man Extending His Hand

Spend some time with me. It'll be an experience you never forget. I meet weirdos all the time. I am like a magnet -- they love me.
Most of my friends will tell you that at some point when we hung out together, we were approached by a weirdo, or something really strange happened.
And you know what? Weirdos like to confide in me, too. It usually happens within seconds of them approaching me.
There was the time I was on a date at a live event at Radio City Music Hall, and the woman sitting next to us started telling us about her favorite WWE Wrestler and proceeded to eat our popcorn.
There was the time Loggins and I were in Barnes and Noble and a woman came over to us, giving us advice on a trip that we weren't taking, and when we asked her if she was going somewhere, she said, "No," and looked at us like we were crazy.
And, of course, anytime I go to Smiley's with Jennie something weird happens. One night, a gross man at the bar purposely backed up into Jennie so that he rubbed his behind all up against her.
I take full responsibility for this stuff, because: I am the weirdo magnet.
All of this is an intro to this weird email I got today.
Subject: Greeting my dear.
Greeting my dear,
Complements of the season to you. I wish to express my sincere gratitude to you. My name is Miss Grace and my contact address is XXXXXX
I am a young beautiful girl with full of love and caring also romantic. well I come in contact with your profile today and I loved it, I think we can click together as one body and soul.
Please I will appreciate if you can use my mail address to contact me directly to my mailbox and at the same time I will show you my picture and you also know more about me. Moreover, I want you to know that distance ,race or religion is never a barrier in the course of love.
Thanks for your love, understanding and co-operation. Please I hope favorably to get your reply, contact me with this email address above. I wish you a blissful and a happy moment over there.
Yours sincerely,

Uhhhh... [sic] a million times over.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The true story of how Anderson Cooper hit on me (sort of...)

In Christy's previous blog, you heard mention of an Anderson Cooper encounter at our local hang out, Smiley's.
I will now share the true story of how I was hit on by Anderson Cooper.
Christy and I were minding our own business, listening to great blues music at Smiley's, our favorite hippie bar, when I look to my right and see Anderson Cooper.
Ok, not really Anderson Cooper, but in all seriousness he looked VERY similar to the handsome CNN reporter. As many of my close friends know, I have a deep love/infatuation for Anderson Cooper. After seeing this man, I emphatically tell Christy we are, in fact, sitting next to THE Anderson Cooper. She laughed, looked and agreed that he did look very similar to him. Over the course of the night caught his eye and smiled (several times I am sure). I didn't realize what I had done until he was ACTIVELY trying to listen and comment on the conversation that Christy and I were having. He even leaned over and high fived me at one point. I can't even remember what it was for, but I just knew that he was going to ask for my number by the end of the night. The sad thing is....I probably would have given it to him. I know, I know-- INAPPROPRIATE. I have a thing for older men, what can I say.
Luckily, I started chatting with a much younger handsome man. After the whirlwind conversation with someone more age-appropriate, I realized I had dashed the hopes of one, ANDERSON COOPER. He was gone. So with that I say “Catch you on the flipside, Anderson.“

DISCLAIMER: I am fully aware that Anderson Cooper is in fact gay, but look at those dreamy blue eyes. I will choose to stay in denial about it :)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Smile! It's Smiley's!

Red wine is being poured in
Okay, this is the best. Apparently, I drafted this post last year, and never posted it. So here you go:

Most of the time, Jennie and I spend our 'hang-out night' by sipping wine and watching some preteen romantic comedy on tv. And it's wonderful, seriously. But sometimes, we venture out into the world and head to our favorite hippie bar, Smiley's. A couple of Fridays ago, this is exactly what we did.
Smiley's is one of those places where you just never know what's going to happen or who is going to be there. You could run into an old friend or be surrounded by strangers. You could be the youngest person in the place, or the oldest. It just depends on the night.
The Friday that Jennie and I went, we were definitely in the middle of the age range, which is sometimes a good thing. There was a birthday party in the bar, making things a bit more crowded than usual, but the live music was blaring and the crowd was having a great time.
Before the night ended, Jennie got hit on by Anderson Cooper (well... an older man who closely resembled Anderson Cooper), and a young man who had "red flag" written all over his face. The Anderson Cooper thing is a story in itself, I promise you. I, on the other hand, got hit on by someone's Uncle Paul, who got angry when I wouldn't dance with him and even angrier when I wouldn't hold his hand.
On the way to our cars, I told Jennie my secret.
Me: I have a secret.
Jennie: What?
Me: I really like that Lady Gaga song that goes 'RAH RAH MAMA GAGA ROMA ...."

The end. Meanwhile it's no longer a secret that I love that song, and that I love Lady Gaga, but I was definitely in denial for awhile.
Also, "someone's Uncle Paul", who hit on me (angrily, and pulled my hair because I wouldn't dance with him. You guys, the strangest things happen to me. Really), looked EXACTLY like the actor Bruno Kirby from When Harry Met Sally. EXACTLY like him.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Are you using your time wisely?

Last night at Bible Study, our group was asked: What are things you love and are doing that take away from your time spent building your relationship with God?
I began to think about the things that I do, that I love. I instantly thought, “The things I am doing aren't interfering with my relationship with God. It is the excuses, the “not making time”. The things that I am NOT doing are the barriers that keep my relationship with God from growing.
I am a person with a busy schedule. I feel like the things I invest my time in are important.
My biggest struggle is spending time in the Word. I read a lot of Christian inspiration books, Christian self help books and I listen to a lot of sermons—but actual time in the Word is minimal.
So, How can I increase that?
Get up a little earlier
Go to bed a little later
Keep my Bible with my so that when I have a spare moment I can read
All of those things would give me the “time I don't have” to spend in the Word.

When I break down my day, there are definitely times when I could be reading the Bible, but I am doing something else (random, meaningless meandering). Granted they are not huge stretches of time, but they are there AND they add up.
Who said you can't add hours to the day! :)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Timeline of Friendship

Two girl friends smiling at camera
Around the same time that I was actively trying to avoid becoming Jennie's friend, I was also actively trying to avoid becoming Loggins' friend. You see, with three of my closest friends - Anjalog, Jennie and Loggins - I pretty much tried to not be their friend. It's just one of my cute little quirks. But we're friends now!
When people ask Loggins and me how we know each other, we always exchange a weird look and stammer out some noises to fill the awkward silence. It's a long story, and not all facts are agreed upon by both parties. I'll explain, with a timeline.
Actual First Meeting:
Loggins has no memory of this, but we were introduced by a red-headed Clack at a church group. Loggins remembers the girl sitting to my left and the girl sitting to my right. In fact, she remembers everyone sitting in the row with me. Except for me.
Fake First Meeting: 
I threw a game night party at my house. Loggins was invited (because we'd met before... She thinks I somehow just invited a stranger to my house). We played Taboo and were on opposing teams, but were on the same team when it came to following the rules. Those kids played it all sorts of WRONG. They were subsequently never invited over again.
Next meeting:
I invited Loggins (and Jennie! this is when we were deciding we might be friends) to see Civil Twilight play downtown. At lunch that day, I ran into Loggins at Jason's Deli and informed her of their complimentary ice cream. Friendship cemented.
A Hiccup in the Budding Friendship:
I was downtown one day with another friend, driving down Main Street, when Loggins crossed the street in front of our car. "That's my friend, Loggins," I said, pointing to her. "Are you going to say hi?" asked friend. No. And then, of course, we see her minutes later and end up telling her the story. Word of advice: if you avoid a friend, don't tell them about it later, because you'll hear about it for the rest of your life.
The Traumatic Event that Sealed our Friendship:
Speed dating. Dating is hard. Cramming 25 dates into one night is torture! Nothing can make people realize that they need to surround themselves with safe, good people like meeting crazies in 1-minute intervals.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Pity Party of Two

Portrait of a young girl (8-10) sitting at a table eating a cupcake
Yesterday was our favorite day: Coffee Wednesday.
Jennie and I look forward to it all week long. Sadly, Anjalog couldn't meet us for our weekly ritual, so Jennie and I went alone and decided to throw ourselves our very own pity party. We're pretty good about this, considering how often we see each other (every day) and talk (every day), but some days, we just like to sit and ponder our lives and say to each other:
Something will change, right?
And I look at her like she's crazy, and I say, “Jennie! You're so young!” and she looks at me like I'm crazy and says, “Christy! You're so young!”.
But yesterday it was harder for the two of us to cheer each other up.
                    And then..
                            we had an awesome conversation
                         culminating in an awesome

We were talking about dating “bad boys” and being rebellious. Now, Jennie is a middle child, so she wreaked all sorts of havoc as a rebellious kid.
I, on the other hand, am an angel. So I've never dated a bad boy or been rebellious in any way. Perfect child, I tell you! So Jennie said that she thinks that since she's been-there, done-that with the whole dating a bad boy thing, she's over it. And I wondered if maybe it was a cyclical thing. Like... eventually you get desperate enough again that you're like, “well, yeah, my parents will freak and I don't even like him that much, but a date is a date, right?” 
Jennie is firm: she knows how bad the bad boy is and she's not going there again. So I confided in her: I'm feeling rebellious.
My evidence, of course, is that I like Damon, the bad vampire brother, and I've found myself rooting for Andy Murray (of all people!) at the US Open (yeah, I know. He's out. Whatev.)
My dear friend Jennie, took all of this in with the grace of a laughing hyena, and through her giggles and chuckles, said to me:
"I'm glad your rebellious stage doesn't affect your actual life."
Thanks, girl.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Letters from Another Time

This is a letter I wrote to my brother when he went away to college at the University of Michigan (or Michagan, as I wrote it). I totally remember this stationary. I totally remember that when I used this stationary, my handwriting got crazy lopsided. I was nine when I wrote this letter, but by that age, I was already quite a letter-writer. My brother spent one summer while he was in high school at Carnegie Mellon, studying theater (I think). I wrote to him there. A few years ago, he read me some of those letters. They're even better than this one.
When I read this letter, my primary thought was not, "I can't believe I became an grammar nut, based on the atrocities in this letter," or "Wow, I was such a nosy busybody! No wonder my sister kept so many secrets!" (those were secondary thoughts), but was "aw! Letters! Remember them?"
It's a little sad to me that letters have been replaced by emails and texts. Even our communication is rushed! Kids today won't necessarily have a note from the past come back to them one day. And old emails just aren't quite the same.
Anyway, in case you can't read it, here's the transcript of the letter:
Dear Greg,
Hi! How many is 100 / 10000? You don't really have to tell me. But can you divide 100 / 10000? Todays the big day! Michagan against Notre Dame! Do you think Michagan will win? I miss you but I like getting letters from you. It's almost like you in a different world. The train just past. Laura slept over Loryn's house last night right from the football game! Laura didn't have her stuff with her because they decided it right at the football game.
(continued on another page, lost forever).
For the record, My favorite lines (aside from the brilliant opening) are: "I miss you but I like getting letters from you. It's almost like you in a different world. The train just past." I totally know what I was doing there, and I still do it. I was sad and missing my brother, but didn't want him to feel bad, so I was letting him off the hook. Then I was dramatic, as usual. Then I was trying to make him feel like he was there with me: The train just past.

Friday, September 3, 2010


Young Man Juggling
A few things.

First, I was reading old posts yesterday, and as I mournfully told Jennie, I used to be funnier. Well, I'll try to be funny again, but probably not today, which leads me to my second point...

Secondly, yeesh! What in the world?! I feel like I am one of those crazy awesome people who spins plates and I've got like 10 up in the air and I'm supposed to add 2 more. Right now.
I am captain of my tennis league this season, which basically means that I need to piece together puzzles of people who are able to play on a certain day, have a preference between doubles and singles and get decently equal time playing as others. This is hard.
Plus, I have this pesky full-time gig that keeps getting in my way (not complaining! I like having a job!) and we're going to start new processes for the "opportunities" we've been having. "Opportunities" is business-speak for "problems". It's really annoying. Plus, I like to get out and do fun stuff outside of work and tennis once in awhile. PLUS, I also like volunteering.
So, I'm getting it together, right before your very eyes. I like to think I'm an organized person but this is really going to challenge me.

Thirdly! this Bible verse has been stuck in my head. It's a pretty scary verse from Ezekiel where God speaks to Ezekiel. A few months ago, I was all, "Ezekiel, huh? Don't know much about that. I'll read it!" and -- I won't lie (uh, definitely not in a post where I'm quoting the Bible) -- but I didn't finish it. Because it's NUTS. I mean, nuts in a good way, but still: NUTS. Go ahead, read it. We'll chat. IT'S NUTS.
Here you go:
Ezekiel 20:33
"As I live," declares the Lord GOD, "surely with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm and with wrath poured out, I shall be king over you. (NASB)
Here's The Message translation:
As sure as I am the living God, says God, the Master, think again! With a mighty show of strength and a terrifying rush of anger, I will be King over you! I'll bring you back from the nations, collect you out of the countries to which you've been scattered, with a mighty show of strength and a terrifying rush of anger. I'll bring you to the desert of nations and haul you into court, where you'll be face-to-face with judgment.
Basically, don't mess with God. The words are terrifying, but I also love it at the same time.

And finally! The juggling picture from above reminds me of a hypnotically cool activity that I just recently heard of. Check it out: hooping.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

But Really, How Did You Get this Address?

Adult using walker to get around. Senior Citizens keep their minds and bodies active by being independent.
 I just received an email from Loggins, who is visiting Mickey Mouse, and it begins with this sentence:
so let's talk about a few things:
I'm too old for this.
She then goes on to describe how a water park made her consider getting an artificial hip and that her favorite pool was the "quiet" pool. Loggins is in touch with her inner senior citizen, which is kind of appropriate, considering she's in Florida right now (yes, stereotypes. Sue me).
The reason I bring this up (other than "so let's talk about a few things: I'm too old for this," is an awesome quote) is because I have no idea what is going on but I am getting crazy amounts of spam mail for old people.
Here's a list of some of the spam I've acquired over the past week. These are the return addresses of the phishers, not even the subject lines:
• SinglesOver50 (not I, friend. Not I.)
• DateSinglesOver50 (no thank you?)
• BestPlasticSurgeonMatcher (Oh, I see. It ties in with my dating.)
• HearingAid.Deals (in case I want my over-50-date to hear me...)
•UnitedHealthcare (This may or may not be for old people. If not, wrong place, wrong time, spammer.)

I'm kind of wondering how in the world they got my email address and how they would think I'm over 50, single, hard of hearing, in need of a good plastic surgeon, and possibly in bad health. It's quite a combination.