Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Kudos to the Americans

I recently took a trip to the States for work (for those of you that don’t know, I live in Toronto, Canada).  So when I told people where I was going, I got the typical reaction (mine was the same initially actually… But now, I have a total different outlook).  Ok, so where did I go?  New Jousyey.  For those of you that don’t speak the way I try to write, that actually said New Jersey.. with a Jersey accent.
So what’s your first thought?  Snookie or Jersey Shore?  Mine was Jersey Shore… then Snook’s.  But after that, the thoughts that went through my head were of everything that people told me of Americans that weren’t from the South.  Basically, that American’s are rude.  Ok, no big deal.  I can deal with rude.  I deal with rude every day in Canada (cashier’s ringing you through without saying a single word, such as “Hi”, or “Your total is…”, or how about when people go through a door and don’t look over their shoulder to hold it in case someone might be behind them, or how about when you let follow driver in front of you and they fail to give the courtesy wave?  I could go on and on…) But I digress, American’s are rude.  Right.  Got it.

So cue to the part where we’re driving through NJ in a 16-foot truck when we see a Burger King which has never looked as good as it did in that moment.  The girl I’m travelling with is driving the truck and I guess in her rush to eat some delicious awful Burger King, she jumps out of the truck and locks the keys inside.  With the engine running.  Oh boy.. What to do?  Ask someone around to help? No way.  Cause they’re rude, right?  That’s when we see that a cop has thankfully pulled someone over to the side of the road, so I run over to him and let him know the situation.  He tells us that it’s no problem at all, and he’ll send the fire crew right over.  What?!  Amazing!  I LOVE firefighters.  So hot. So cue the lovely NJ firefighters that are there to save foreign damsels in distress.  Kudos to you firemen.

Let’s fast forward about 5 hours.  We’re at our venue, have unloaded our truck, and are setting up for our event.  Then we get the call that we’ve picked up the wrong setup.  Great.  So we pack everything back up, load the truck and wait for the guy who has our set to come and drop it off.  He shows up… with a 24foot “transport” truck.  Fact.  See below:

Once we get over the sheer enormity of this new truck we have to drive (fully equipped with the “pull-down” cord for the horn and steering wheel that is designed for a school bus mind you), we start to set up the “new” set.
It’s now 1:30am and we’ve been travelling, working, loading/unloading trucks since 6am.  We could not be happier to get in this monstrosity, drive to the hotel, and get a couple hours of sleep before launching the next morning.  BUT as our luck would have it, the truck won’t start.  What?! How is the battery dead?  WHERE is the battery?!  So as my co-worker and I are staring at this truck in complete bewilderment, a guy that works there comes out to get in his car and drive home after a long day.  “You guys all finished for today” he yells from across the parking lot.  “Well, ya, but our truck won’t start.  You wouldn’t happen to know the number to a heavy tow in NJ would you?” we say back.  At this, the wonderful fellow who I only know as Abraham, comes running over, opens the hood, fiddles around, tries starting it again, but with no luck. (Now, our hopes are crushed.  Because up until this point it really looked like he knew what he was doing).  But he redeems himself instantly by calling his dad (who he said drove trucks all his life), and gets some pointers.  Amazing!   Long story short, he got the truck running!  AND, he even drove in front of us all the way to our hotel to make sure that it didn’t stall while we were idling. 
Let me just say, that this is beyond all hopes I would ever have of a person going completely out of their way at 1:30am.  By the time we’re back at our hotel it’s almost 3am.  Unreal.  Kudos to you Abraham.

Let’s fast forward again a couple days.  The event is over, and we’ve got a full day of travel ahead of us.  We leave our hotel with lots of time to hit the mall on the way to the airport to take full advantage of the American dollar and the stores we don’t have in Canada.  But the truck won’t start.  Again.  After a call to the rental agency, we got the truck up and running an hour and half later.  Which really puts us behind on the whole shopping trip plan.  THEN, we get a call from one of the guys that worked the event.  He tells us not to worry, he’ll come pick us up from the rental agency once we drop everything off, and take us to the mall, then to the airport.  Seriously?!  But the airport is not exactly close.. and the mall may be out of the way, and we may not even have time.  “Not to worry” he said.  “You guys were great this week; let me be your chauffer – you run into the mall, get what you have to get, and I’ll wait right out here.  And forget about a $70 taxi from the airport.  Last time I checked, we were in a recession, right?”  I was able to grab a stellar LBD, and we made it to the airport with 20 minutes to spare before boarding.  Kudos to you Erin. 

In conclusion, I feel like I need to state that New Jersey is NOT all about Jersey Shore and Snooki (and by the way, I was told multiple times that the only people that are actually from Jersey is J-Wow and Ronnie), but there are some VERY nice people there.  Very nice Americans.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Yes.. I went there... And I'm not going back...

Ok, so this is probably going to turn out to one of the longest posts I’ve written, but I assure you, it is one of the best.

Last night I went on 14 blind dates.  Yes, you read correctly.. 14.  Where do I find 14 blind dates you ask?  Why, speed dating of course.  So let’s back this train up a bit and give some background.  A couple people had previously mentioned to me that speed dating could be one of my challenges that I could take on, and who knows.. I could maybe even meet someone.  Now to be honest, my thoughts on speed dating can pretty much be summed up by the picture below:

It turns out, the venue was really nice, the lighting was soft, and it wasn’t just a line of people across the table from each other.  There was a lounge and each “couple” had a table or couch with a number on it.  Basically, the women stay seated and the men move from table to table.  How it works is at the beginning of the night the host gives you a card and tells you to write down the people’s names that you meet and then when your 6 minutes is up with each person, you tick ‘yes’ or ‘no’ beside their name.  If two people both say ‘yes’ to each other, then they’re set up to have more face time together. 
So now that we all know how this works, let’s get on with it….  First, our outfits:  Hot right??

Yes, I went with a friend.  Was not gonna attempt this one solo.

For date #1 through #3 I was still kind of getting my bearings and figuring out how to answer the question “so what do you do in your spare time?”… Like really? Nothing!  I’d rather diet than go to the gym, I’d rather be sleeping than playing any sports, and I’d rather have a glass of wine than take up jogging.  Ahh I digress… So for the first 3 dates, I don’t really remember anything specific about them… Starting with #4 is when I decided that I could not continue without writing something down about them to let the whole world know just what I had to sit through…  Take a look below for highlights…

Me: So what do you for a living?
Him: Well, I just got off probation.
Me: Pardon? (get me the eff outta here now!!)
Him: Well….I was on probation for 3 months
Me: (Starting to clue in).. You mean, the first 3 month probationary period at your job??
Him: Yea, that’s what I meant

#5 – Student. Enough said.

#6 – Student.  Again.  Seriously, what students go speed dating?  Answer that question, then put a visual to it.  That’s what he looked like.

#7 – The Russian.  Drinking straight vodka. 

Me: Hi, my name is Kristy, nice to meet you
Him: Hi, good to meet you too.  What are your expectations?
Me:  Excuse me? My expectations for what? Tonight?
Him: Sure. What are your expectations for tonight?
Me: Nothing.  (given that the past 42 minutes have been a complete waste of my life)

#9 – The gamer.  For real.  He designs video games for a living.     …next!

Him: (as he’s writing my name on his sheet) Geez, this pen has been very tempermental all night.
Me: Ahh.. ya, they can sometimes be a bit tricky! (wtf?)  Did ya get that working there?  Great.
Him: So what do you do?
Me: I tell him, then ask him the same question.
Him:  Well, I have a great job!  I just got promoted to a supervisory position and now I have people working under me. 
Me: Congrats.  Sounds good.  So what exactly is it that you do?
Him:  I work as a security guard.  At an apartment building.  I tried to become a police officer and went to college for it, but when I wrote the tests, I failed them.  Twice.  But it’s not so bad, cause I love my job now.

#11 – Works in the IT department and rarely gets out.  (his words, not mine)

#12 - #13 – These guys weren’t too bad… Just pretty normal.. but nothing to write home blog about

#14Let me preface this by saying that this actually really was my last date.  I couldn’t have planned it better myself.
Me:  So do you do this kinda thing often?
Him: Oh yeah, I do this all the time.
Me: Really?...  So I guess you find it successful then? (There’s no way this guy is successful…he’s about as cute as a old brick wall)
Him: Ya I have success here, but if you really want to get some good results, you need to go online.
Me: Hmm?
Him: Oh ya!  I’ll tell you all the best sites!  Here, write them down… He then proceeded to tell me how amazing internet dating is and had me write down 3 of the top sites (which were all free sites by the way)
Me: Um, wow.  That’s great.  Thanks for the info…

So there it is folks.  I shit you not.  I could not make this stuff up.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

New job - check. New boy - umm.. no.

I know I should be updating my blog a little more.. Like really, it’s been a serious couple of weeks since I’ve put the pen to paper (or finger to keyboard.. same diff). 
I think over the past couple weeks I’ve deluded myself into thinking that this is a blog about dating… And I’m in a little dry spell (but more of that later).  However, when I think back to the purpose if this blog it’s to learn more about myself and things that I may have known or may not have.
That being said, I can now blog about my new job!  For the last year and half I’ve been working as a sales rep for a Fortune 500 Brand through an agency.  It was a great job and everything, but just wasn’t my bag.  Not enough of a challenge and overall just didn’t satisfy me.  So I started looking for a new job and landed one a couple weeks ago! I decided to go back to the marketing industry so I’m in Event Marketing again. This week was my first week and so far so good!  I said I wanted a challenge and to be able to think critically and problem solve and that’s exactly what I got.  I haven’t worn heels in forever and after this first week, my feet are killing me!  Also, I’m pretty exhausted after re-learning how to work 50+ hours a week.

So it was a little nerve racking on the drive there on the first day… Kinda brought me back to the first day of grade 9… Like.., OK, so do I have to sleep with the seniors to fit in and get with the “cool crowd”?  
Clearly the answer to getting ahead in this company wasn’t to sleep with the seniors (a.k.a. management), but to buckle down and work hard.  (Not that the aforementioned didn’t cross my mind.. joking!!..)
But overall, this first week has gone really well and I’m happy with the change of pace.

Now on to the dating scene… I mentioned in a prior post that my girlfriend was supposed to set up me up on a blind date.  She did set me up and it was scheduled to happen actually tonight.  Prior to that I did get a text from him a week before our date:
Him: Hey, its ____, Danielle’s friend.  How are you?
Me: Hey good to hear from you. I’m doing well thanks, u?
Him: I’m doing well, fairly busy.  Next weekend is still over a week away,  I just wanted to touch base
Me: Ya for sure.  I’m going home this w/e so that’s why it’s kind of a no-go.  But I’m in for next Sat. Do you have something spectacular planned? (No pressure or anything)
Him: Ha, no pressure at all! But no, I don’t have anything planned yet… Did you just use the word spectacular?
Me: I did indeed.  Too much? Lol. Ok, I’ll settle for dinner. Can’t blame a girl for trying, right?
Him: I’ll see what I can do J
So it was all good until he texted me earlier this week saying that he has to postpone our date because he has something to take care of.  Was I a little disappointed? Sure.  But my only hope is that he postpones until post-movember.  I just can’t get into a guy with a stache…

Other than that, it’s a complete dry spell.  On the upside though I do have an interesting “date(s)” lined up for next Saturday… more details to follow J

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Slumber Paarty!!

When you think about, when was the last time you and your friends got together and had a slumber party? A real one.  Not the one where your friend came home and crashed on your couch with the catch-of-the-day.  Years ago, right?  In the days of the board game Girl Talk?  Well my friends and I brought it back the other night.

We decided that it would be a good idea because one girl’s boyfriend is overseas for a month, and she’s the lonely lady with the cat right now.  Not good.  We did get together on a schoolnight though, so at least we’d keep it tame right?  No.

Here’s how the basic equation works out: 5 girls + 6 bottles + 1 board game + 0 boyfriends = chaos. Wonderful, real, genuine, screaming, laughing, chaos.

Starting with a litte dinner

The host with the toast

A sleepover isn't complete without someone dying their hair

Cutting said dyed hair though?  Now that's a new one...

But she like's it!! All smiles

Mmmm... time for some goodies

And now time for some ditry jokes about the finger...

Time to do that nails!

You don't know Jacques...

Nothin like a little late night texting...

PJ party!!

It was about this time that we decided to go to bed...

Thought of the night:  Gone are the days of Mike's Hard Lemonade, pizza delivery, and single available guys.  Welcome to the world of dinner parties, wine, and baggage.

Monday, October 25, 2010

I just LOVE this!

So it's Monday night re-run night on TV, so what to do other than find some good blogs to follow?? As I was skimming through, I found this one... Here's a snippit of "Alice's X's" blogpost... make sure to check her out!!


This is a major bugbear for me. The modern age has unleashed a whole new breed of man. Gone are the days of chest hair and stubble, replaced with manliner and manbags. These so called Metrosexuals are roaming the streets looking oh so chic with their designer haircuts and too tight jeans. Don’t get me wrong i love a man who knows how to dress well, but i’d rather date a slug than date someone who looks hotter than me. Think of all the bathroom time they take up just preening themselves and fake tanning their eyelids or whatever. Get a grip guys, i want a lumberjack not a ballerina. Grow some man hair you wimps.

Read more: http://theboyfrienddrama.blogspot.com/2010/08/whare-have-all-real-men-gone.html#ixzz13QajYrbb

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Progress Report

So it’s been just over a month and a half since the break-up.  I have to admit, at the risk of sounding insensitive, it feels like so much longer.  And I’m doing ok.
I think keeping a positive attitude, creating this blog and the project of finding new things to discover have certainly helped.  I think when we try to take the time to work on ourselves and dig deep, it can sometimes seem a little boring… “Hello?! Digging deep here and can’t find anything… Alright, that’s enough of that”.  I’ve found that there are so many distractions, which compared to doing the hard (some might say boring) work of “self discovery”, it’s almost always easier to give up and do something else.
However, over the past month, I’ve really tried to dedicate myself to being dedicated to me.  I’ve made lists and charts, scribbled down whatever I was thinking, written blog posts, participated in deep conversation, and talked to myself (yes, I just admitted that to the world).  The crazy part is it has actually helped.  Basically, the way I thought of it was this:  Imagine you were out on a blind date, and you could ask that person anything at all.  (ie: what is the most common emotion that you feel, what makes you want to cry, when was the last time you had not a care in the world, what are the really dirty ugly parts of yourself that nobody else knows, what quality to you have that you rarely show, etc.)  Once I started thinking of all the things that I wanted to know about someone, I asked them of myself.  And not just all questions that would make me think, but also questions that are really basic.. What’s my favourite colour, what do I love more the most in life, what’s my favourite genre of music, who are my true friends, etc.

Now, don’t get me wrong.. I’m not looking to achieve the esteemed Self-Actualization on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs or needs or anything.  I realize that discovering who you are is a life long journey and changes depending on what stage you’re currently at.  What I’m really looking to achieve is to know who I am right now.  I think I’ve made good progress.  In terms of being single however, there’ still some things to be figured out:
What I know:
·         how to be a girlfriend
·         I’m probably not ready to be a girlfriend
·         I want companionship
·         I don’t want to be a serial dater

What I don’t know:
·         how to date

This leaves me in a little bit of a pickle.  How to date?  The last time I was actively dating guys, was back in 2005 (prior to that, I was in college and was dating a guy for the first a year and half, and a different guy for the last half year).  So that means I was single from age 21-22.  Since then… you guessed it; in a freakin relationship.
So I did what any girl does when she’s faced with a problem that she can’t see the solution to – I talked to my girlfriends.  I asked each of them to tell me their top 3 tips for dating.  Here’s what came up:

· Never talk about ex’s (x3)

· Go in with an open mind (no assumptions) (x2)

· Be yourself (x2)

· Put out on the first date (x2)

· Have full confidence (even if you have to fake it) (X2)

· Don’t wear underwear

· Don’t speak of marriage or future plans

· Bathe and shave

· When there’s a lull in conversation ask him questions

· Don’t date just to date

· Watch for little signs... opening the door, etc.

· Show a little skin

· Don’t get too serious

· Dress comfortable but stylish

· Never date down

· Don’t waste your time if they’re not looking for the same thing you are

· Don’t kiss on the first date

· If you like him, when the bill comes, attempt to reach into your purse. If he likes you, and if he’s not cheap, he’ll pick it up.

· If you like him, talk about your past – but not too much!

· Have fun!

· Don’t over analyze anything post date

· Do something active on a first date

· Smile and be friendly without acting too eager

· Be ok with silences
So where does this leave me?  A new challenge perhaps?  Possibly a blind date?
I like it.  I’ll keep you posted.


Monday, October 18, 2010

Thought of the day...

To avoid feelings like that of the post below, here's an idea of how to avoid missing someone:

Don't stay home alone
.... on Friday night
.... with a bottle of wine
.... while watching 'Say Yes to the Dress'

Friday, October 15, 2010

Cloudy Days

Let’s be honest here.  I’m doing great since my breakup.  I’ve reconnected with old friends; I’ve intentionally subjected myself to uncomfortable situations in the hopes of learning something; I’ve taken the route of looking at the positive side of things.  Overall, I’ve actually been pretty good.  But you know what? It’s not all sunshine and roses.  Sometimes I miss him.  Sometimes I have an awful day and there’s nothing more that I want then a hug from someone who cares about me.  Girl hugs are good, but guy hugs are great.  They envelop you.  They make you feel safe.  They make you feel like everything is going to be okay.
Do I call him? No.  Do I text him? No.  Is it hard? Yes. 
Do I feel like this every day? No.  But I’m human.  And I miss him.  Sometimes. 
Then I ask myself, “Do I miss him? Or so I just miss someone? “I don’t know… I guess that’s the purpose of this journey.  Only time will tell…

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Company's Coming...

As mentioned in my last post, I needed to get my chairs finished for my next challenge.  Well, my challenge was to host a dinner party!  If you may not know, I am not exactly a culinary enthusiast.  In fact, most of what I eat now comes in a can, box, or a bag.  Luckily, I really like KD, and Beefaroni, and frozen pizza.  So to say this was a challenge was somewhat of an understatement (or so I thought). Now, of the four girls that I had over, 3 of them work in event marketing and the other one has her own business.  That being said, I was anticipating finding a date that worked for everyone to be somewhat of tricky endeavor, but fortunately enough, Thursday night at 8pm seemed to work for everyone!

Now comes the menu planning…  One of the girls just finished reading Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin and has since decided to try out the life of a vegetarian. (Which by the way, if you’re interested in becoming a veggie but just need an extra push to really convince you, I suggest you reading this book.  Another girl actually became a vegan after reading it!)  So meat on my menu was out (relief for the girl who knows how to cook no meat except chicken).  I’m pretty sure that leaves only pasta and vegetables.  Perfect.  Here’s what the menu consisted of:
Starter: Grape tomato bruschetta
Salad: Arugula with fresh shaved parmesan cheese and a homemade dressing
Main: Pasta shells stuffed with spinach, ricotta, and parmesan cheese
Dessert: Pumpkin pie, and chocolate cake

I think the reason that I am so hesitant to come to enjoy the art of cooking, is that it just seems so stressful!  You only have one oven and one stovetop but somehow, you need to get the timing just right so that everything is served piping hot! Well, upon starting this challenge, I decided to just prep everything I could in the afternoon so that when the company came, I was actually spending time with them and not in the kitchen getting tomato sauce in my hair.  So I was able to cook the bruschetta, slice the bread, make a dressing, and put together the stuffing all before the first knock on my door.  (You may have noticed that I didn’t mention that pie or cake… Those came out of boxes…)

But I have to tell you, I thought this challenge would help me get out of my comfort zone and try to cook something I normally wouldn’t cook, and that would be the end of it.  Turns out, knowing that I could cook a meal and entertain was not the lesson that I took away.  Spending that time with good friends, laughing, sharing stories, telling jokes, and being around good people that you really care about was the biggest thing that I took away from this dinner.  How could I ever have thought that my friends were just my friends?? Your friends are you support system, your advice givers, and your place where you find solace. 

There are many times when we (especially women), get into a new relationship, and focus all of our energies and attentions on that new guy.  I think when this happens, your friends get it; we’ve all been there before.  But I think when it eventually becomes habitual to just see your friends when you and your man have nothing going on, is when you start cheating yourself out of experiencing something wonderful.  A boyfriend can bring you companionship, love, familiarity, support, and comfort, but I’ve come to realize that he just can’t give you what your friends can.  A friend can give you all the things I’ve just mentioned, but so much more.  I can’t describe it, but I know it’s true.  And I wasn't the only one who felt/thought this.  When the dinner party was wrapping up, we call kind of looked and each other, and were like “This is AWESOME”.  We decided to make it a regular occurrence.  Every second Thursday, we’re going to get together and eat, drink, and be merry.

I’ll end this blog post with a toast:

To friends and
rediscovered truths;
To laughter and encouragement.
To love lost and love found.
To inspiration,
and advice

Monday, October 4, 2010


So this past weekend I decided to do something I’ve never done before.  I real DIY project from start to finish!
In preparation for a new challenge that I’m tackling this coming week, I needed some chairs.  A little background:  When I first moved out on my own 7 years ago, I was in the process of acquiring all the furniture needed to make a house feel cozy.  I went onto Sears’ website and picked out a bedroom set, made my way down to the local furniture store and picked up a coffee table and two end tables, and luckily got a FANTASTIC deal on a couch and love seat.  (If you’re in the market for some new furniture, I highly suggest you check out Leon’s at 20 McLevin Ave in Scarborough… They have a HUGE as-is section at the back of the store with tons of furniture from couches, headboards, tables, etc.  Anyways, I got my couch and love seat from there for $150 total!  Just because it was delivered to a house but didn’t fit in the space; nothing wrong with it at all!)  Ahh.. I digress.  So the only thing missing that I needed was a dining room table.  At the time, my step-brother worked for The Brick and called me to tell me that they got a solid wood dining room table shipped to them, and it had 4 chairs, but only 2 seat cushions.  Did I want it? For free? YES! 
So for the past 7 years, I’ve been lucky (?) enough to have dining rooms that weren’t big enough to need 4 chairs around the table.  As I mentioned though, this coming Thursday I will need all four chairs.  So I got to work… I took one chair apart in order to get the seat off (for measurements) and made my way to Fabricland and Home Depot.

I wasn’t able to find the exact same shade of fabric that my other seats were in, so I picked something out that was in the same colour and fabric family.  I then picked up some high density foam for the seats (which by the way, is NOT cheap), and off I was to Home Depot for the plywood bottom and all the nuts and screws and bolts that I needed.  I was shocked when I got to Home Depot and gave them the current seat and told them that I needed this shape (kind of a trapezoid), and they told me I needed a jigsaw.  A what??  I don’t have one of those…  Good thing for family!  One of my cousins wants to go to school for carpentry, so I shot him a quick bbm and he assured me that he could totally do that – Score!!  Not to mention, that my other cousin, his sister, is a huge DIY’er and she knows how to do pretty much everything.  So I got to work.  Cutting foam, wrapping fabric, stapling batting, until it was complete!

Ahhh… I  wish this story ended on one of those positive notes that I did it and it was amazing, and that my dining room table set is now complete. Not the case.  I got home full of positive energy and determination and the will to DO IT!  The first disappointment came when I realized I didn’t have all the pieces that I needed.  Somehow, over the past 7 years, I lost ONE piece of wood necessary to hold the whole chair together.  Bummer.  But I didn’t let it get me down.. I still had another shot… For the last chair, I still had all the pieces and the seat that I just made and all new screws and stuff.  3 out of 4 ain’t bad right?  Ughh.. Well, it started at Home Depot when I showed the man the type of screw I needed and he said that I had a metric not imperial (or the other way around)… Anyways, because of this whole thing, I got a screw that needed a wrench instead of a screwdriver.. Which led to this email to my dad below:

Hey Dad,
So the screw things that I bought for the chairs aren’t the kind that you need a screwdriver for… You have to turn them with the adjustable wrench thing… But they’re in a small space, so I can turn it like ½ a turn every time… You know that tool that you have (I think it’s called a ratchet), that you turn it then it makes a click-y noise when we bring it back around?  Can you bring that over like Tuesday or Wednesday? I need to put these chairs together by Thursday but going at this pace, I’ll be here till next year!!!

Soooo… I’ll let you know how it goes.. If no chairs, Thursday’s activity may have to be done on the floor.  Which, since I have a dog, may not be...interesting.  Stay tuned J

Thursday, September 30, 2010

I'll probably eat the WHOLE cake... It's my birthday!

Well, it’s my birthday!!  I wasn’t going to blog today because I really got nothing going on, but I’ll take this opportunity to blog about stuff.  Nothing really noteworthy comes after this paragraph… No insight, no inspiration… Just me.. talking… Haha
So my day started off as well as could be expected…I woke up to the incessant buzzing of my alarm clock.  I booted up my computer, flung through some junk mail, ate my Honey Nut Cheerios, took the dog for a walk, and got on my way to work.  (Pretty typical, right?  Nothing “birthdayish” here…)
So I had to change that.  Given that today is my special day, I figured that I would change my daily mantra of “Strength, Patience, Courage”.  For today only, I gave myself permission to repeat the following: “Screw budgeting.  It’s my birthday.  Splurge”.  Turns out that that is really a great motivator to pick up all those key pieces that you’ve wanted for a while, but guilted yourself into not getting.
I’m telling ya… Guys, if you don’t go shopping on a regular basis, you don’t know what you’re missing.  Girls, I know you totally get it.  Such a great high.  I drove home in disgusting 401 traffic, and it didn’t have a thing on me!!  I just sang along to the radio, and mentally starting packing my bags for this weekend.

So I know you’re all wondering what I’m going to do now that I’m single on my birthday!! (ok, maybe a little presumptuous J)  Well, sorry to disappoint, but today is kind of like any other day… the only difference is what I do the night of my birthday!! Oh yaa.. (don’t get too excited here).. If I was writing this blog on my 21st birthday it would probably have something to do with dressing scandalously, going out, doing shots, and picking up boys… On my 26th however, I will be going to the Pickle Barrel with my Grandma.  And I’m really excited to do this; I love the Pickle Barrel!
If I’m being honest, the real reason I’m excited to do this is the fact that it just seems like so much work to get ready and go out on a worknight.  And then there’s the inevitable hangover the next day that follows you around like an annoying little sibling that won’t stop poking you.
So, that being said, I’ll likely go out this weekend and have a drink too many... The next day, I’ll just dose the kid with Advil till he shuts up and goes to sleep.

Thank you all for reading my blog and making me feel so good on my birthday!! J  xoxo

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Path to Self Discovery...

So with all these “challenges” so far under my belt, I thought it would be a good time to do some self reflection.  Knowing that I’ve got through some embarrassing/awkward/feel-good experiences has given me an increased sense of determination to get to where I want to go; figuring out who I am and what I want. 

Now, before I go and follow the Dr.Phil plan or anything like that, I thought I would first do things my way and try to figure out whatever I could on my own before starting any sort of workbook.

I thought I’d start off with something that may seem pretty simple to a lot of people.  I started with a “Like/Dislike” list.  I literally wrote down everything that I could think of that I liked (from food, to looks, to feelings, and seasons).   I then wrote down all the things that I don’t like, using the same random format. I was actually surprised to see how my list came out.  A lot of people tell me that I play the devil’s advocate which is true, but I thought that made a little more of a negative person…  Turns out my “like’s” outweigh by “dislikes” times 3! After putting these things down on paper, I literally thought to myself, why do you stress over the small stuff so much??  There are so many more things that you like and enjoy in this world, than things that you don’t.  I have to say, that actually putting into words, and seeing before me what is in this world that makes me happy and makes me sad, gives me a feel-good feeling.

My second attempt at an exercise to try to get to know myself came about by accident.  I was out at lunch with a friend and we got to talking about relationships and the good, bad, and ugly.  We started talking about what we each other thought were “deal breakers” and “deal makers”.  A lot of people can tell you what they don’t want in a person… smoker, drug user, short person, a drinker, etc. etc.  But do you know what you do want in a person?  It’s not as easy to just take the opposite of what you don’t want…  It’s the little things that you want, right? The things that aren’t as easy to put into words?  I challenge you to put them into words.  It was more difficult for me than I thought it would be… is it for you?

This conversation inevitably led to the question… Well, since you made a list of things that you want and don’t want in a partner, what are the things, both good and bad, that you bring to the table?  Well, well, well…. At that point in the conversation, I could rhyme off a number of negative things that I bring to the table, but the first thoughts that came to my mind when asked about the good things I brought, consisted of things that two people create together (ie: love, companionship, family, etc.).  What exactly was it that I brought to the table, on my own, that would lend itself to a happy, healthy, relationship?  Unfortunately, at that moment, I couldn’t think of a thing! (** Which only proves why I should be on a path to self discoveryJ)  Fortunately, the food came, and that particular topic of conversation fell to the wayside. 
It did not however, fall out of my thoughts.  I will admit, that I am still working on that list, and it’s not being completed in one day. But my hope is that the more I learn about who I am, through being in new situations, experiences different things, and focusing on myself, I’ll be able to put together a list, not of who I’m expected to be, or who I think I am, but a list of who I truly am and what qualities I possess.

Then I'll bring them to the table.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Table for One

The Challenge: Dine solo at a fine dining restaurant.  The rules: No book, no phone.

Now, before I go into how this challenge turned out, I feel I should first tell you what the point of it was.  When I told people this is what I was doing, I got a couple of mixed reactions.. Some people thought that this was a great idea and totally be something that I would never do, had I had a boyfriend.  Others didn’t really understand it – ‘shouldn’t this be a time where you hang out and go for dinner with your friends? Not alone?’
The point of this challenge was to put myself in an uncomfortable and awkward situation, without any sort of crutch (ie: novel or phone), get through it on my own, and hopefully feel good about it afterwards.

So. The restaurant that I picked was called Dimmi’s in Yorkville.  I had never been there before but a friend recommended it, and it was definitely a good choice.  Before I go into what happened when I got there, I’ll just say that getting ready to go on a date with yourself is so weird… As I’m in full concentration mode, looking in the mirror and doing my mascara, I just break out laughing! What am I doing?? Hahaha
Once I arrive, it’s pretty much just as you’d expect; the host is looking at me and then kind of behind me, realizes that nobody’s following me, and says “Hi..”  That’s my cue.  Table for one, please.
This next part is seriously not a joke.  He says to me “Where would you like to sit?  I can sit you here with my nephew if you’d like, or you can sit a little further back in the dining room”  Are you kidding me?! This nephew is about 8 years old, has a million little trinket toys in front of him and is absorbed in his Nintendo DS.. You think I want to sit with him??  I kindly point to the inside of the restaurant, for fear of little Johnny may get his feelings hurt.
Turns out it wasn’t the nephew’s feelings I’d be hurting.. Apparently is was the host, because he sat me right in the corner!  Agh, my plan is squashed!  Do you know how hard it is to eavesdrop from a corner?? (This was going to be how I entertained myself and passed the time)

Somehow throughout the night, I ended up having 3 waiters.. Not too sure how this happened.. but I think they were overcompensating a little.. Maybe they thought I was a critic?  I did have my notepad beside me to jot down some emotions/feelings/things that I experienced so that I wouldn’t forget for my blog..  And I also asked them to take a picture of me (not embarrassing at all)  Hmm.. don’t know.

Fortunately, I didn’t get a lot of awkward stares.. Like, people wondering if I was waiting for a date or something – so surprising! 

Best Parts of taking yourself out on a date:
·         I can eat all the bread I want
·         There’s never a silence that needs to be filled
·         Instead of them just bringing your main course to you, they ask you if you’re “ready” for it (Common? Not sure.. Don’t do the fine dining thing too often)
·         The meal – OMG, if you like Italian food, you’re going to want to check this place out (**I have to admit, I often crave KD, so heed my advice at your own discretion!)
Worst Parts of taking yourself out on a date:
·         There’s nobody to tell you if you have food in your teeth
·         You don’t have the option of going Dutch
·         You end up eating more than normal (There’s not really much to do, so to keep busy, you just keep eating)

Overall, this was a really good experience.  As the bill came, I almost couldn’t keep from smiling (at the risk of looking like a crazy person smiling at nothing).  I’ve just done something that I would never have done (on purpose) had I had a boyfriend.
It was a weird, awkward, new experience and it was pretty cool.  I don’t know how often I’ll do it, but I suggest you try it; just once.