Sunday, August 29, 2010

Week Thirty-Four

Event: Attended a Bachelor Auction

While listening to the radio on my way into work last week, a DJ was talking about an event that was happening later that evening.  I just caught the tail end of what she was saying, but I heard all that I needed to hear.  Two words:  Bachelor.  Auction. 

Eleven hours later, I talked a friend of mine (also single) into going with me.  Going into it, we only knew two things:  It was a bachelor auction and the money raised would benefit the American Cancer Society.  Sounds like a winning combination to me!  As we walked into the bar and went up to the third floor, we passed a couple of other women.  My first thought was, "oh good - see - we won't be the only ones here..." but that quickly changed to, "Oh crap, is this a semi-formal?  I did not wear my prom dress..."  When we entered the room I felt like I was in a cross between a sorority rush party and an episode of the Bachelor.  There were probably 100 women - all of whom were dressed up like they were entering the Miss America Pageant.  The fact that I was wearing jeans (and a low cut top, but still) was not going to help my cause.  When my friend and I walked into the room, I'm pretty sure the record skipped and the room fell silent.  Super.

We paid our $20 donation and were promptly given a booklet featuring the "Man-U" for the evening.  The booklet contained the menu of bachelors - each one had their own page highlighting their age, height, hometown, occupation, and cheesy statement about how they love children, walk old ladies across the street and donate to the homeless.  Awe.  (I think I just threw up in my mouth a little).  They, of course, were all gorgeous, making me wonder 'why in the heck are you single?'  That didn't stop me, however, from reading each page at least three times and folding the corners of the ones I really loved, er, liked a lot.

As we began looking for two empty seats, I noticed the DJ that was on the radio that morning was standing in the corner talking to guests, preparing to be the emcee.  Ironically, she and I worked together years ago (during my stint in radio - I was told I have a face for radio...anywho) so my friend and I went up to say hello.  As the three of us stood there and chatted, a couple of the bachelors came up to say hi.  The first bachelor was all of 20 years old, was about a size 2 and "loved to dance".  As I looked at his tiny frame, I was reminded of something.  My theory is, if my waist is bigger than yours it's never gonna work.  Never.  Buh-Bye.  The next bachelor that came over was much more my type.  He was a little taller than me (5'8ish), was bald and had a little more meat on his bones than tiny dancer.  He had deep brown eyes, a 5 o'clock shadow and was absolutely hilarious.  He's the one, I thought.  I am definitely bidding on him.  He gave us his trading card (seriously, all the guys had trading cards with their profiles on it.  Plus you could buy a magnet with their face on it for just $2! I held myself back but will definitely put it on my Christmas list) and he told us to be sure and bid on him.

It was about that time that my DJ friend began her emcee duties, so my friend and I took our seats.  Thumbing through the booklet one last time, I leaned over to my friend and said, "Who do you think you'll bid on?"  To that she replied, "Well, that one guy was pretty hot."  Hoping she meant tiny dancer, I knew exactly who she was talking about.  Damn!  I could see it now.  The two of us were going to be duking it out, bidding against each other for the cute bald guy, but because neither of us wanted to spend any money the bidding would have to start at a dollar, then a dollar fifty, then two dollars, then two fifty...and suddenly good friends would find themselves fighting over nickels and dimes!  To that I responded, "hey maybe we could pool our money together and all three of us could go on the date!" 

Or not.

The auction was something I've never seen.  One by one the guys got up on the CATWALK and had to walk up and down to their favorite song (cue "I'm too sexy") while the DJ read their profile and the ladies ooooh'ed and ahhhh'ed.  Then a real life fast talking auctioneer took the stage.  It sounded like (say it in your mind really fast) "One hundred dollars I've got one hundred dollars over here, do I hear one fifty I've got one fifty over here do I hear one seventy five, one seventy five for the lady in the blue dress do I hear two hundred, two fifty I've got three hundred do I hear three fifty...?"  And so on and so on.  I couldn't believe how much these guys raised - one lady bid ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS.  Her man was worth it, but my Lord.  Next year I'm going to do some serious fund-raising so I can show up with hundreds of dollars in my pocket.

Half way into the auction, our cute, short, bald, funny new friend got on the stage and before the DJ even got a chance to introduce him, I suddenly felt this urge raise my arm, bidding number in tow, waving like a first grader as if to say, "Pick me!  Pick me!".  As I regained consciousness, I quickly realized what I was doing but it was too late.  While my attempt was to get his attention, I also got the DJs attention.  And with that, the DJ stopped reading his profile and said into the microphone, "Ooooh, see that girl?  I know her and she's really cool and funny and you should pick her and you two should get married."  Oh.  My.  God.  The entire room was looking at the stupid girl wearing jeans.

As I'm successfully turning fourteen colors of red, the auctioneer guy came over, a photographer started snapping pics (probably of my jeans) and suddenly I'm in the spotlight that I really don't want to be in.  Trying to laugh it off and wave everyone away, the auctioneer yelled into the microphone, "How about three thousand?  Sold?  How about three hundred, do I hear three hundred?"  I just panicked and said, "How about half that?"  Then he said, "One seventy-five do we have one-seventy five?" As I'm nodding, there appears to be someone else who wants to get some of the action.  Another woman raises her number.  And then on the other side of the room another woman raises her number and so the bidding war begins.  Since my bidding started and stopped at one seventy-five, our cute, short, bald, funny bachelor went to a much higher the tune of six hundred dollars. 

Fifteen minutes later, my friend and I watched our bachelor come out into the crowd to thank the woman that bid on him.  Moments later, I noticed him turn and start walking towards our table.  I grabbed my friend and said, "oh my gosh, he's coming over!"  Excited, I began to stand as he walked up.  His hands were out, as if to say, "You guys stopped bidding?  What's up with that?" So I replied, "I didn't know I had to bring six hundred bucks with me!" and my friend said, "Yeah, and the way that woman was bidding, I figured she was your girlfriend."  He said, "Girlfriend!?? You thought I had a girlfriend?  Well, I don't.  I'm single.  And the ladies that were doing the bidding - that was my sister and her best friend."  At that, I almost did a cartwheel.  And then there was this weird pause and he looked at my friend and said, "Well, this is awkward, but can I have your number?"

There are not enough adjectives in the dictionary to describe what I felt at that moment (cue loser music from The Price is Right) but it only got worse when the both of them looked at me and asked if they could borrow my pen...

An hour later I went home, logged onto Eharmony, and changed all of my profile pictures to pictures of models.  So there.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Week Thirty-Three

Event:  Got peed on, sat in the pilot's seat, kissed a pit-bull on the head and went "Potato Bowling"

"The stars at night, are big and bright (clap, clap, clap, clap) deep in the heart of Texas!"  This weekend I took a trip to the booming metropolis of Midland, Texas.  There you'll find oil fields, President Bush's childhood memories extended family.  Yee Haw! 

Before packing up and heading to the airport, I took my dog on a walk.  He and I found ourselves standing under this enormous tree filled with what appeared to be 1,000 birds.  As I slowly stepped away to avoid cha cha bird bombs, I wasn't paying much attention to where the dog was.  Quite honestly, I was so enthralled with the number of birds in this tree, I wasn't focused on anything but getting out from under it.  My attempt at avoiding one end of the potty spectrum was successful.  Unfortunately, however, while standing in awe of nature, I found myself thinking, "Ahhh, that's nice. What a warm, soothing, wet feeling on my...FOOT!"  My dog had mistaken my leg for a freaking fire hydrant!  It's my own fault because I backed into his territory while watching birds of paradise migrate right before my eyes, but for the love!  I'm so glad these were the only flip flops I packed...

Hours later, while boarding the plane, my sister and I looked down at our seat assignments and discovered we were sitting in 19A and 19B.  I figured that meant we'd be in the middle of the plane, which is ok by me, as long as we had a window seat (and not a fat person eating Milk Duds sitting next to me).  As I passed the flight attendant and turned the corner onto the plane, I quickly realized this plane was what you might call a "puddle jumper" and oh by the way, there are 19 rows.  Total.  So we put our heads down and kept walking.  We were literally sitting in the bathroom.  Almost literally because I was so claustrophobic I figured I might as well have the flight attendant send my mini-pretzels to the Lou cuz that's where I'll be.

Buckled in, barf bag in one hand, Hail Mary's in the other, we were off.  I found if I focused on the clouds that looked like mashed potatoes, I'd be fine.  Sudoku, Solitaire, Entertainment Weekly, a bag of mini-pretzels and two hours later, we landed.  Since my sister and I were literally the last two people off the plane, I decided now was the time to act like a 7-year-old and ask the Pilot if I could look inside the cockpit.  Being a good sport, he said I could look in.  And then I asked if I could take a picture.  And then I asked if I could sit in the pilot's chair.  And then I asked if I could fly it...  Ok, three out of four ain't bad.  Before I knew it, I was literally sitting in the pilot's seat looking out of the front of the plane.  My new co-pilot was sitting next to me and while I was making small talk, I could not believe how many levers, buttons, pulls, knobs and handles there were.  I pushed a few of them for fun, but nothing happened.  Just kidding.  But I think my foot hit something on the way out, so I ran real fast back into the terminal. 

Once we arrived and got settled at my aunt's house, the canine population almost outnumbered the humans.  There was my aunt and uncle's dog, and my cousin's dog, and given I was still a little gun shy from my last canine experience, I was particularly standoffish when my cousin's wife's dog arrived.  He was a full-blooded pit-bull.  And a large one at that.  Having never spent much time with a pit-bull before, I have to say I was a little nervous.  I kept reminding myself that "dogs can smell fear" so I approached it as if to say, "Hey little buddy, I mean big guy, I mean sweet thing, I mean you're not big, you're just big boned, I mean look at the size of your noggin, I mean, those are some sweet chompers you have, I mean, holy S!@&%! you could really do some damage, I mean, everything really is bigger in Texas, I mean, I bet you have a lovely personality, I mean, pit-bulls really get a bad wrap cuz I bet you're just a big snuggler, really, a lover not a fighter, I mean, please don't eat me..."  Facing my fears, I gently crawled up to him, and while distracted with a large, rubber chew toy, I kissed him right on the nose.  Whew!  After that I felt like I deserved an award!  I mean, it's pretty similar to putting your head in a tiger's mouth, I thought.  It was shortly after that my cousin-in-law shared with me that this dog is about the sweetest, most harmless dog in the world.  Yeah, I totally knew that...

While continuing to have a great time with family and some new friends, it wasn't until about 10pm on Saturday night that I learned what true Texans do for fun.  One might think of cow tipping, or drag racing, or even tee-pee'ing.  But no, true Midlanders, on a Saturday night, go "Potato Bowling".  Excited to learn a new game (yes, drinking was involved, but cannot be blamed) I just couldn't imagine what potato bowling would be like.  I know what you're thinking.  What would the pins be made out of?  What would the lane be made out of?  Is the potato the "ball"?  I followed my new friend into the living room to discover this game needs only two props:  A potato and a magazine.  Really?  That's it?  Before I knew it, I found myself cracking up trying to roll a potato 15 feet away and getting it to stop on the magazine.  (You should try it - it's harder than it sounds).

Thank you friends and family of Midland, Texas for showing this Midwest girl a good time, and thank you President Bush for inventing Potato Bowling.  What Strategery!  (prounounced Strat-eee-ger-y)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Week Thirty-Two

Event:  Went to a movie by myself

I remember telling my sister one time that I went to PF Chang's for dinner by myself while traveling for work.  She was horrified!  Mortified at the thought that I would sit there alone, eating by myself.  I always thought that was so funny.  But I get it now.  Every time I see someone eating alone (especially at a sit-down restaurant) I feel bad for them.  I mean, do they not have any friends?  Does no one love them?  Is this what they do every Saturday night?  But then I convince myself that they are traveling just like I was and they have plenty of friends and loved ones back home.  Uh huh.  Sure.  Restaurants, I thought, were no big deal.  But seeing a movie by myself?  Totally out of the question.  Until now...

Friday night I took the plunge.  It was like 872 degrees outside, I had no plans and my favorite actress of all time was debuting her latest movie:  Eat Pray Love.  How appropriate - Julia Roberts plays a woman in search of herself by traveling the world, eating, praying and loving.  Similarly, I look nothing like Julia Roberts, but I too am trying to find myself while eating my way across the city, praying that I will find someone to love.  It's almost the exact same story line!  Anywho...

I walked up to buy my ticket and found myself standing behind a couple wanting to see the same movie.  I hear them say, "You're kidding!" and then they bowed their heads and walked away.  Sold out, I assumed, until I walked up and said, "One ticket for Eat Pray Love" and the teller said, "Go ahead and select your seat on the screen in front of you."  First of all, when did we get so sophisticated at the movies?  We have to pick our seats before we go in?  But how will I sneak into another movie after this one if everyone has assigned seats.  Grrrrr.  This explains why my ticket was $12.  I digress.  As it turns out, luck was not in favor of the couple, but movie-watcher-party-of-one was in luck!  There was ONE SEAT left (aside from the front row of course) and I got it.  Me.  All by myself.  So there.

I located my seat (E3) and found myself sandwiched in between a dad and an overweight loud laugher who I swear was going to dive into the box of Milk duds head first even before the movie started.  She used MY cup holder to hold her extra large diet coke (as if that's gonna help) and while ripping the Milk dud box apart to get the last stubborn-still-stuck-to-the-box dud, I looked at her like a mom looks at a 6-year-old. If my inside voice had come outside to play it would have said something like, "Lady, I'm gonna knock you and your duds into the middle of next week if you don't shut it."  Luckily, she sat back, put the empty Milk dud carton down and folder her arms.  Moments later, having found my happy place, dad on my left starts to have a wheezing attack and the woman in front of me gets the hiccups.  WTF?  Am I in daycare?  Are you people toddlers?  This is why Redbox is so successful. 

The movie finally started and within seconds everything around me faded away and I found myself enjoying the movie's journey.  For the record, I am not an overly emotional person.  I make light of every situation and I'm not a big crier.  Especially in movies.  But there was a part in the movie where I not only had tears streaming down my face but I was pretty sure I did the ugly cry.  I buried myself so far down into my seat I didn't want anyone, including Milk dud Martha, to know that I was not, in fact, made of steel.  Boo Hooing away, it hit me.  What do I care?  I'm alone in a movie theater.  I don't know anyone here!  Who cares!  Bawl away!  And I did.

Now, I won't give anything away, but a third of the movie is centered around eating - in Italy. Lots of pasta, pizza and wine, and for this singleton who hadn't had dinner yet, I knew exactly what my next move was going to be.  The credits rolled, the lights came up, I wiped my eyes and immediately ran home, opened a bottle of wine and put some spaghetti on the stove.  This movie was empowering and if Julia Roberts can eat pasta and drink wine by herself in Italy then why should I feel bad about doing it here in my kitchen.  Two glasses of vino later, I was speaking Italian (mostly made up words but it sounded really awesome), I was tossing pasta in the air (it's usually pizza dough that's thrown in the air, but it's actually really fun with pasta) and that's when I got a little cocky and dropped a plastic lettuce holder on the floor, shattering the base.  Oh la merda!  Ho rotto la ciotola!  (translation: "Oh shit, I broke the bowl."  Thank you Rosetta Stone).

In the end, I ate really good pasta, I prayed about my foul language and loved the fact that I once again did something I've never done before...Ciao!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Week Thirty-One

Event:  Bikini Wax

Oh Mother F!#&$#%#$ Holy S*%&#$*& Como Se llama! %*@$!@&% Kelly Clarkson!  $!%&@ Mother of Pearl! &%@&!$ You're gonna put the wax WHERE?  For the love !%&!$@%&! of all things holy @&%$! THAT HURT!

And to think, I paid for this.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Week Thirty

Event:  Bought a refrigerator, bought a second refrigerator and swam a lap in an Olympic sized pool

Last Sunday while grocery shopping (not in a handicapped motorized cart this time) I decided to buy a miniature fridge for my office at work.  I convinced myself a mini-fridge would help me eat healthier - you know, fill it with fruits and veggies and lean pockets.  (I don't eat those things now but a mini-fridge in my office would definitely change my eating habits).  I had this idea as I was stocking up on frozen dinners, pizza and ice cream.  I digress.

Thursday night I came home, made a turkey sandwich for dinner and went along my merry way.  It wasn't until I opened up the freezer at 9:45 to get some ice that I reached in and my fingers splashed into a bucket of water.  That's when I noticed the items in my freezer were swimming in a pool of vanilla ice cream.  As I hung my head in disappointment I looked down and saw my dog licking his way into neverland as juice from the bag of no-longer-frozen chicken breasts dripped onto the floor.  Neat.

At that moment, my stomach started to make a funny noise.  I slowly opened up the fridge part of the refrigerator and discovered it too was not working.  There was condensation on the bottles.  The lettuce was wilted.  Not sure how I missed luke-warm turkey and mayo but I ate dinner like a biggest loser contestant on a snack break and never noticed a thing.  I had to lie down. 

After I regained consciousness and convinced myself I did not just eat meat that had been sitting in a warm fridge all day, I went to the store and bought a bag of ice.  When I got home, I moved everything salvageable into a cooler and threw away 3 bags of brand new groceries.  It wasn't until I made a second trip to get ice on Friday night that it dawned on me.  I HAVE A BRAND NEW FRIDGE IN MY DAMN CAR.  But living out of a cooler is fun.  What an idiot. 

Saturday I went to Sears and bought a brand new Bisque colored Frigidaire.  Did you know that the color Bisque is about as popular as black and white with pink polka dots?  After spending 4 hours trying to find the perfect Bisque match, I walked away with my second refrigerator purchase in one week.  This one unfortunately won't be delivered for 8 days!  Looks like the fruit, veggie and lean pocket lifestyle is closer than I think...

Being a grown up sucks, so yesterday I went to the pool and managed to do everything my dermatologist told me not to.  I didn't wear long sleeves, I didn't wear a hat and I didn't wear spf 50 sunscreen.  I did, however, manage to get a killer sunburn, convince myself that I need to be on a strict veggie and fruit diet because of how I look in my tankini, and while attempting to swim a lap in the Olympic sized swimming pool I managed to pull a muscle, almost drown, and successfully take in 4 gallons of water in one ear drum.  (That side breathing thing is harder than it looks!)  Giving up, I decided it would be more fun to do hand stands and dive for pennies, but it was about that time I realized everyone around me was wearing swim caps and goggles.  They were serious.  Kicking off the wall, heading back to the other end of the pool I saw a friend of mine walking towards me.  Attempting to look like I knew what I was doing, I tried to swim fast and hard but the reality was I was waterlogged, winded and nursing an injury.  I'm afraid my freestyle swimming stroke ended up being more like a freestyle-walk-backfloat-stop-for-a-breather-tadpole-frog-leg-kick-walk-some-more-doggie-paddle-oh-who-am-I-kidding-let's-find-the-ladder-and-get-outta-here-stroke. 

I think I'll stick to golf.