Friday, August 30, 2013

quality over quantity?

I've been meeting a lot of men lately. Really, like everywhere I go, I'm meeting men and talking to men and flirting with men and getting asked out by men. It's been great for my confidence level. I even met a man at the community bike shop yesterday when I stopped by to have someone help me fix a wobbly wheel. I ended up staying there through two torrential downpours, multiple cups of coffee, and several repairs. Just talking to him and letting him help me fix my bike. Slash he pretty much fixed it because it turns out I'm not as savvy as I though. Afterward, I invited him to my house for a beer and he, surprisingly enough, took me up on the offer. But then things got weird. Because said man, we'll call him Bike Doctor, overstayed his welcome and then proceeded to barrage me with several phone calls and drunken voice messages for the remainder of the evening. Now I wish he didn't know my phone number, much less where I live. 

Which leads me to wonder. Are we all just scraping ourselves together enough to hide the crazy for a minimal period of time until the other person is reasonably invested? I don't personally think I do this, but maybe I do. Maybe I put out a facade to hook a person and then upon further review I'm a total whack-job.  Shit. What if I'm that person that people wish didn't know where they live? No. I'm reasonably sure I'm not. 

I mean, come the fuck on though. I've had enough witty banter to fill a season of Gilmore Girls this summer. Real life doesn't have NEARLY as much clever banter, and yet here I am getting served puns and returning with perfectly-inflected come-backs. And as nice as it is, I'm no closer to finding a man who is actually quality. Apparently banter doesn't equal quality. As much as I love banter. Part of it, I'm sure, is because I'm not really looking for a man. However, it would be nice to know that if I was, some quality ones would be out there. And yeah, The Professor was quality in many ways, but he was also self-absorbed and aloof. So maybe those just aren't qualities for me. 

I don't really know where this is going. Honestly, school started back up this week, and as excited as I am to get started again, I've got a pretty bad attitude about summer being over. But I guess better it be over before it has a chance to go sour. Happiness makes up in height for what it lacks in length, right? 

I mean, it's still hot as the dickens and the days are still long, but real life has managed to wrap her sticky fingers around my ankles and drag me back into reality's arms. Really, it's good. I knew it was coming. I'm back to blow drying my hair every day and actually taking care with my outfits instead of just doing a sniff check/shrug combo with whatever is closest to me on the floor. Part of me is grateful to rinse off the crusty layer of summer carelessness and put my professional adult layer back on. 

Did I mention that I am the teaching assistant for my department this year?


But really, this post is about quality over quantity. Summer was a time of quantity for meeting men. But now I'm busy and harried and no longer going to be satisfied with quantity. I'm gearing up for a dry spell. Quality, here I come. Maybe?

goodbye summer, goodbye professor. how i hate to see him leave, but love to watch him go.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

from the belly of the draft pile.

Sometimes I think we can't help ourselves. We're not equipped for it. Not all the time. Maybe not ever.

We're in this bag of fluid and solid sloshing together and the only thing that keeps us moving is a piece of flesh behind our eyes. It's not enough. Reason escapes. We strive to be rational. To not hurt those we love. To not love those who hurt us. But we're not set up to be that way all the time.

We fail.

And it's gorgeous when we fail.

It hurts like hell, but it's lovely.

I'm impulsive. This is no surprise to anyone who has ever met me. I do these things I do on a moment to moment basis and I work with the margins and errors when they come up.

But this also means I have to be calculating. There's a certain math that goes into being a free spirit or a leaf in the wind or a person on the edge. I have all these things, these people, this career, this life, that I need to keep and hold onto. Finding a balance between my nature and a way to sustain my life and relationships is nothing short of ridiculous.

That's not what I mean.

I mean. Some nights we can't help ourselves. We don't have the strength to fight the magnetism.

So let's keep doing this because right now. I want to continue to be swept over with confusion. I want it to lap over my fingers and toes and up to the roots in my hair follicles. I'm soaking in it, bathing. Confusion isn't a period at the end of a sentence, it's the dot dot dot. I'm not really into finality right this minute. I'm not really into finality...

I think I see myself as bossy because I'm impatient. I think I see myself as impatient because I have no impulse control.

But that's not important right now.

I don't know how this happened, but it did. I'm falling falling falling falling for you. I'll deny it to the death. I'll fight it to the death.

I just like the feeling of being out of control. It's out of my hands. I'm just letting myself go in any direction, every direction. And you're not stopping me. You're not doing anything to help this, to discourage me. And really, I'm in no place. And really, when is there a better place? Show me steadier footing and I'll laugh in your face. Give me your hand and I'll take it.

You know. You know, you might not actually know. It's nothing drastic, not yet. Not like the way I get with others when my mind gets stuck on a one track loop and it's constant. It's not constant. I just want you to touch me with your mouth. I just want a sign.

But we can keep doing this, really. The anticipation is almost as enjoyable to me as the impact.

Let's fall in love, even if it's impractical. Lets not worry about the logistics of it, or the timing. Let's not worry who might care that we're together. Let's just do it. Let's fall in love.

I might already love you, you know that? I might already be arriving at the station, hanging off the train with one hand, waving vigorously with the other. Probably, I already love you a little. But I think I want to love you a lot. And I want you to love me a lot too.

It's summer, you know. It's the perfect time to collide into something exhilarating. It's the best season to scrape your knees and bruise your heart. Winter is for licking your wounds. Summer is for losing your mind.

Let's be reckless. How about if we fall headlong into something vast and never mourn when it's over? I would like it if we spun until we were all so dizzy that we fell down.

Down down down down.

We won't be young forever, so why would we slow down now? I can be so logical when it comes to the tick tock of the clock, the inevitable turning of the pages. I want to us to squeeze every last drop of living out of each instant, and then pluck the next one clear out of the sky. We can stretch so far when we work together.

Let's change so constantly that we look like fluid. Let's be mermaids one moment and mountain lions the next. I can't commit to any one form. I won't. I want to laugh and cry at the same time. To eat and drink like a queen but live like a pauper.

I think we should collide hard and never look back when we part ways. Just because something is fleeting doesn't make it any less powerful. Maybe the short length of its stay helps it pack an extra punch. What if tomorrow comes and I never see you again. Let's let each moment pack a momentous punch. Let us both throw blows and each of them to say love me love me love me love me even if it's only for the length of the impact.

Monday, August 19, 2013

more of this scandinavian nonsense.

I guess I could finish/continue to tell the story about the Scandinavian now.
Where did I leave off? Oh yeah, I show up monstrously hungover and late to the WRONG PLACE with a friend in tow to a first date. Really setting myself up for a second date on this one.
The Scandinavian walks up with his adorable dog and the sun is shining too damn brightly and I am nursing an iced coffee at a picnic table, probably drooling all over myself and one-eyeing it. He is looking SIGNIFICANTLY less worse for the wear. In fact, he had a drum lesson prior to our 10 am coffee date. As in, he was taking the lesson. And he even teaches drums! It boggles the mind, you guys, people pursuing a lifetime of learning.
Anyway, I know I'm gushing over this guy and stuff, but I just want to come out and say that I fully know he will probs have a dipshit side. They all have dipshit sides, which is what makes life interesting. BUT right now I see no dipshit side- so there's that. I'm gonna ride the rose-colored glasses ship all the way to the bottom of the sea.
The rest of this post is basically going to be me praising the man for being witty, interesting, engaging, and just plain involved in life. Which is good.
He grabs himself a cup of coffee and grabs me (and Brigit) to-go containers for our coffee and we decide to take a walk on the trail that runs next to the river. It's kind of a lazy get-to-know-you conversation. Which is strange, because in the bars that I've been talking to men in all summer, that part of the conversation is usually frenzied and shouted over loud music. Or just drunk. It was pretty nice to not have to fit myself into a thirty second drunken sales pitch. After about a half hour of walking, we've looped back kind of to where Brigit and I parked, so she decides to split off and head home. 
I can handle this on my own, I am an adult. I can fully handle this. Honestly, it was pretty nice to have her there for the first thirty minutes, though. Get me settled in and stuff. 
The Scandinavian and I continue walking and it's kind of like a real date. You know, he actually compliments my glasses and jokingly messes with me a bit and asks me semi-important questions, like why I want to become a therapist. With follow-up questions. FOLLOW UP QUESTIONS. You know, when a person cares about what you're saying and pays attention to the answers enough to ask more questions. INSANITY! Plus we're walking side by side which kind of takes the pressure off of weird forced eye contact and stuff. I don't know, when I'm hungover I can barely function, so having a solid activity, like walking, it was good for me.

I feel like I should be drawing less attention to how hungover I was, because it makes me look like a fucking loser, but seriously, it was bad. Just not enough sleep and too many G&T's. I had no business being in public.  Every now and then, ya gotta cut loose. I just choose Tuesday nights. Whatever.
Did I mention that this man is also tall? I'm a sucker for height, you guys. I'm a tall gal, if you count 5' 9'' as tall, which I do. I'm sick of these short straws impeding on my shoe choices and RUINING my dreams of having to look UP into the face I'm smooching- like in the movies. I DESERVE THAT AT LEAST, IT'S WHAT I WAS PROMISED BY DISNEY. IT IS MY AMERICAN RIGHT.
Anyway, we end up walking so long that lunch and music in the park is happening (I know, Missoula is the coolest city ever, we have music and food trucks at the park every Wednesday lunch time in the summer.) So we go sit and listen to the music for a while and we also go sit by the river and wade and let his dog swim and just generally end up hanging out for like three hours. It's amazing you guys, I didn't even feel awkward. Plus, he found a way to compliment my hips without sounding like a creep. Not an easy task. I think our sense of humors just kind of clicked because it was very easy to be around him.
Basically, the Scandinavian is a really interesting person and he actually LIVES HERE and he's actually in my age and maturity bracket, which if you know me, you know I've struggled with in the past. I'm just saying, it's really hard not to get excited about this one.
Potential red flags? This guy runs marathons. I leisurely stroll up mountainsides. This guy mountain bikes. I am barely coordinated enough to ride my bike around town. So the fact that he probably DEFINITELY has a better body than I do also makes me a tad bit nervous. But whatever. I'm awesome and I'd totally make up for it in charm. Except he also owns his own business and home while I'm over here spending my last four dollars on PBR.... so our priorities may not be the same. I'm just gonna go with it. I mean, I'm in grad school, I kind of have my shit together, right?
At the end of our walk, we hugged goodbye and he reminded me that he'd be out of town for two weeks, but that I'd definitely be hearing from him when he got back. And that's all of the deets I'm going to share from this date. Just know, the conversation was good and I'm glad I didn't blow him off.
And then I did something I NEVER do, which is that I texted him that night, thanking him for a great time and that I was looking forward to hearing from him when he got back. I don't usually do the follow-up (EVER) but I guess I actually like this guy, so I did. Plus the sobriety factor of our date pretty much secured that he was definitely going to remember who I was, so I figured that was safe.  And I felt like an idiot when I hit send, but he was all "I had a great time too! I look forward to doing it again when I get back!" skdjfl;aksjdf;laksudf;ksjdfklajsdfklajsdlkfjasd;flkjal;ksjdf zomg you guys.
I mean, it is real life, but I've been out of the dating pool so long that I don't even know the rules anymore. 
Anyway, I heard from him intermittently while he was gone, mostly sending funny pictures and wittisisms. I think this coming Wednesday would be two weeks, but he texted me last night to see what I was doing this week.
Sooooooooooooooo. I guess he's back in town and he didn't forget about me? That's cool. He wants me to come over and swim in the pool at the house he's watching for friends and play kickball with he and his friends in their league. Isn't that preposterous? ACTIVITIES. FRIENDS. BAZINGA! He's mostly likely a robot. Or bad in bed. Or both. Right?
SO I'm just going to lay back and wait for the other shoe to drop. But I mean, really.
Did I mention that he's a musician?

Fuck. I am in trouble.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

things fall right into my lap sometimes.

An update on the hobo spider situation: There is no situation to note as of now. We haven't seen anymore, thankfully. I'll be fog bombing again this weekend just to make sure any demon seeds weren't hanging out in their pods waiting to hatch when we last bombed.

Now for the real story.

Something strange happened the other night and I'm about to tell you all about it. I am at the bar, watching an awesome funk band, grooving my booty off, and having a killer time. I notice my drink is empty, so I step up to the bar to order another gin and tonic. The guy to my right has been sitting there since before I walked up, so when the bartender gives me the 'I'm listening' nod, I motion to the dude and say 'He actually got here first.' So dude orders his drink and thanks me, looking at me like I'm a crazy person for letting him go first. And I'm basically like, "Whatever, it's the right thing to do, he probably just didn't see you." Then I order my drink, which quickly arrives, and I dance away into the crowd and think nothing of it.

A few minutes later, I decide to step outside for some air (to pollute my lungs with smoke, obvi). Strangely enough, I step into the alley and no one else is out there, which is kind of a nice change of pace from the sweatfest inside. Actually, there is one other person outside and it just happens to be dude from the bar. So we look at each other and smile and are both kind of like, "Oh, look who it is." Nods of recognition are exchanged.

And of course, I'm a freak, so I ask him if he has a lighter in a British accent.


This is how I know I've found a keeper, people. When a man answers me in a strange fake accent from the get-go and accepts that I speak in fake accents the majority of the time. So I look at him and kind of widen my eyes a little bit and say, "Oh, so now we should probably have a conversation, huh?"

To which he replies in the affirmative and we proceed to have a very entertaining and banter-laden chat. We'll now refer to him as the Scandinavian.

A few minutes into the talk, he is like "Can you just hold on for seriously like thirty seconds? Just, I really, REALLY have to pee. Very, very badly.  Can you please just wait here for a minute and just be here when I get back? I will be really fast. Like, super fast."

Now normally, I'd be like, yeahhhhhhhhhhh, no. It was nice to meet you, but I've got friends inside and the band is on and maybe I'll see you around. And then I'd be on my merry way. BUT THE BRITISH ACCENT HAD ME HOOKED. Obviously. So INSTEAD, I  tell him that I'll hang out for a second. And so there I am, standing in an alley by myself outside of a concert, waiting for the Scandinavian. Who, to his credit, is an incredibly fast pisser.

Anyway he gets back thirty seconds later and sees I'm still milling around outside, waiting for him, and he's like "WHEW. You're still here."

So we dive back into our conversation and I'm thinking to myself, "Why is this dude talking to me? I'm dressed like a boy, I haven't washed my hair in days, and I am sweaty." Not attractive. Meanwhile, he's like 6'3", handsome, and really interesting. The math does not add up here. But I'm going with it. Plus I'm already a little buzzed, so my social anxiety is at a minimum for any and all handsome strangers.
Suddenly, this guy looks at me and says, I SHIT YOU NOT, "I'm enjoying this. I really like talking to you. I think I want to keep talking to you. Do you want to get coffee in the morning?"

HOLD UP, because things like this do not happen to me. 

I'm a bit befuddled at this point because it seems that generally the guys I meet just try to go ahead and take me home when I'm good and drunk and not really bother with my superior intellect the next morning. Not that I go home with them, just that seems to be where most conversations lead by the end of the evening.

So I say yes, because this is novel and intriguing. I just met a man at a bar and he's not trying to sleep with me immediately. Yowza. He gives me his phone number and we make plans regarding where to meet and I text him my number and then we keep talking until my friend Courtney wanders out to see where the hell I've been for the past half an hour. At that point I bid this new fella adieu and head back in to the concert. Where I proceed to get stupendously drunk.

I then wisely ride my bicycle home, to my new house, and get pretty famously lost. I'm talking OUT LOUD to myself pep-talk style, peddling around the darkened streets of Missoula at 2 am, trying to find the place I've lived for approximately 36 hours without the luxury of night vision. Luckily, I did have my head lamp. I must have looked like a straight up loon. Or just awesome. Possible a cross between the two. By the time I finally manage to locate the alley that will take me to my back door, I am wound up tighter than a drum and it is nearly three in the morning. And I'm supposed to meet this dude at ten. So I really need to get some shut eye.

But the moment I crawl into bed, I hear my roommate Brigit, park her bike on the deck. So I go out and we get to chatting about our evenings and start drinking more beers.... until 430 rolls around and I'm like "Shit, I'm going to look strung out as fuck tomorrow, I should have been in bed four hours ago." And I stumble to bed and sleep like the dead.

Naturally, I wake up at 9:45 the next morning, looking frighteningly akin to a crackhead who just stuck their finger into an electrical socket. And I smell homeless. Killer.

Isn't it just like me to blow it with the first guy in a while who actually wants to see me in the light of day before he ever actually sees me in the light of day? Yes. It's just like me.
Anyway. I decide there is no way that in 15 minutes I can make myself presentable and get to where I'm going because my car is still parked downtown and I need to go retrieve it before I get more parking tickets. So I decide I'm going to try to reschedule coffee for a time when I am less hung-over, more well-rested, and appropriately groomed. When I look at my phone, I see that the Scandinavian texted me to say "Good Morning!" at 9:15.

HE TEXTED AT 9:15 to make sure I knew he was serious about this whole coffee ordeal. At this point, I'm feeling so awful that I almost wish I WOULD have just gone home with the guy. Not really. Okay, almost. Anyway, this happens:


This person held me accountable for plans that I made?! Who does that? No one tells me no! No one EVER tells me no when I cancel with them! And this person, just, just, just straight up said NO, we are not rescheduling, you're going to show up because I want to see you and I'll accept you in any state that you come in today. At least that's how I read that.

Which, guys, I really, really like. Sometimes I need someone to call me on my bullshit. So I throw on a dress and brush my teeth and get Brigit to drive me downtown to retrieve my wayward vessel. Note that I do not put in my contacts, apply makeup, or bother to brush my hair. There is simply no time.

And then I show up at the wrong place, with Brigit in tow for support, because apparently I haven't done enough to sabotage this date. Yes. I bring a friend for moral support/protection/because I'm a child. Right. So,  I'm sitting outside of the coffee shop that I think I blurrily remember us agreeing upon the night before and I text that I'm outside after sitting there for like ten minutes. Because I was only eight minutes late, which was a major feat and I don't want to look later than I already was. He replies "No, you're not." And then asks me if I went to the wrong place, which I quickly realize I have done. He tells me to stay put and moments later he and his adorable dog come walking toward me.

And oh my god, does he look good.

Beyond mortified, you guys. Beyond. To infinity and beyond. I want to die. But instead I stick around and talk to him and we decide to go for a walk by the river...

I'll finish this little dandy later.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

holy hobo! aaaaand a new home!

We've moved. It's done. All but the unpacking, which is going to be a major process and basically means it's not done. But our stuff, that's actually in and around the new house. And I slept in my own bed in my own room last night, so that's progress.

Yesterday morning before we signed the lease, we somehow already had a set of keys so we went into the house to check things out. Aubrey and I creep into the basement and are greeted by several HUGE hobo spiders. Now, I am not what you would call a squeamish person, but I busted my ass right out of there. Lickety motherfucking split. Fast, screaming and waving my hands. I burst up the stairs and out of the backdoor and I'm dramatically heavy breathing, laughing hysterically, and screaming in HORROR at the same time. This combination is not me in what most would recognize as my best state. In that moment am in utter shock that we are literally ABOUT to move into this poisonous-spider infested house.

Anyway, I swing the door open and run out or the building like a lunatic and nearly collide with a very wealthy-looking little man. Okay, he wasn't really that little, and he was wearing a baseball cap, but he was staring at me with an air about him, looking very quizzical and a little alarmed. An introduction just seemed kind of moot in that moment, so I instead exclaimed to him at the top of my lungs, still wringing my hands "We just saw a REALLY large hobo spider!!!!!!" Like, as an explanation for how fucking ridiculous I was acting. I'm not even scared by spiders, but these creatures are not spiders, they're like rodent-scorpions who attack.

Whatever.  By the way, I'm putting a picture of one of these monsters at the end of this, so let's just move past my feeble attempts at explaining them, because you'll see for yourself and you'll be equally or perhaps exponentially more horrified than if I just describe it to you.

Anyway, I greet mystery guy with the fact that we just saw an enormous spider, and basically forget the fact that we're not even really supposed to be in the house AT ALL since we haven't signed a lease yet, and my Aubrey may or may not have (totally did) sort of kind of squatted there the night before. Aubrey suddenly emerges from the belly of the house and the guy just looks back and and forth between us and says "Um. Hi, I am the owner of the house. And every house in MIssoula has hobos, so that's just to be expected." And then he looks at my expectantly, like it's my turn to introduce myself and then APOLOGIZE for being freaked out by pest infestations.

To which I'm like, oh shit, we shouldn't even be here and Aubrey's boyfriend totally clogged the toilet yesterday. Because we have boundary issues and were homeless and basically squatted in this man's HOME illegally.

So I play it off real cool. And I'm like "Yeah, we're moving in today. We're just about to go sign the lease actually. They just let us throw some of our things in the garage early and we had the key so we thought we'd take a teeny little looksee."

In the meantime, there is an air mattress set up in the living room and someone has CLEARLY been staying there.
And the guy is like, "Well, I didn't realize they have already rented the place. I really shouldn't even be here if you guys are moved in. I am not supposed to be here when there are tennants here, I am just going to call the property management company."

PANIC SWEAT. On my part.

Because shit. If he tells them we're just gallivanting around inside, squatting ove rnight, and clogging toilets, they're totally not going to lease us this place. AND WE NEED TO RENT THIS PLACE. WE ARE DESPERATE AND HOMELESS AT THIS POINT OK.

So I'm quickly like, "NO NO NO,  head on in there, guy. We're not moved in yet, except our stuff in the garage, go on in and check things out. We totally fell in the love with the house from the first time we saw it by the way, you did a great job on the remodel. Go ahead and check things out inside, I think we're copacetic. We were just headed on our way over there anyway to sign the lease, so no big deal, just COME ON IN."

At this point he opens the door to the garage and see that we haven't "Moved a couple of our things into the garage." In fact, ALL of all three of our shit is in the garage. The garage is loaded to the gills. So that's interesting. Then we all just stand there awkwardly for the moment.

Did I mention that I didn't sleep the night before? I didn't sleep the night before. Not one wink. I tossed and turned for about four hours and then I gave up. So I've been awake for 36 hours and I'm the kind of delirious that's a teeter-totter between laughing hysterically and weeping uncontrollably and my best-laid plans are about to crumble under me. I'm shaking out of exhaustion and look a goddamn wreck and I'm barely holding it together and finally, blessedly, this dude just decides he's going to go check things out and not call the property company. We really played our way super cool out of that one.

So Aubrey and I go and sit in her car in the alley and wait for him to come out of the house. And she's freaking out and I'm thinking we averted disaster, when suddenly she reminds me about the air mattress et al in the living room, which I had COMPLETELY forgotten about. So we're both freaking out kind of, but kind of playing it cool too, because we don't want to be visibally guilty/panicking when bro-dude comes out of HIS house, which we are trying to make OUR house. So we sit there for fucking ever (like four minutes, maybe less) and he comes out and approaches our car and he's like. "SOMEONE POOPED IN THE BASEMENT BATHROOM AND IT'S CLOGGED AND IT'S NASTY."

And this is the moment when the teeter-totter headed straight to hysterical laughter for me. THANKFULLY, Aubrey, bless her angelic and cool-minded soul,  just nods all nonchalantly and is like "Oh, okay. Yeah, that IS gross. We'll be sure to let the property management company know when we get over there. We're on our way there now." Never once betraying the fact that HER OWN boyfriend was the one who clogged the toilet. While squatting. Illegally. In the house this man owns.

But then we all went over the lease and pretty much signed away our souls. First, though, Aubrey and I drove our happy asses right on over to the hardware store and basically bought every form of extermination product known to man. There are so many chemicals pulsing through the basement of our house, anything living down there has likely grown extra limbs, IF it isn't yet dead. We bombed, trapped, and sprinkled a multitude of different spider-killing items. Needless to say, sighting have grown sparse since we took matters into our own hands. VICTORY IS OURS.

Then we  moved all our shit into the house and ate pizza and drank beer and just generally began to feel a whole lot better about life. It was the dark before the dawn. DAWN IS COME.

All hail the new house. Come on over if you find yourself in Missoula.