Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I'm Not Strange- I'm Innovative

I am the first one to admit I can be a bit off the wall. Not in the way of the crazies you pass on the street eating their hair and singing songs about mysterious people and events that probably never happened, but in an ordinary off the wall way where I may say/do/admit to something that would have you thinking I'm slightly quirky. But heck, aren't we all? I'm not special in my quirkiness, I just don't hide it.

For instance, growing up, I refused to let anyone sit on my bed. Not because it was "mine" or I didn't want someone to screw up my very ugly 80's and early 90's comforter (think teals), but because I couldn't handle the thought of a person's smell to be on the bed I slept in. Like an invasion into my safe haven of only me and my germs. Uh. I still can't handle it unless it's someone I'm attracted to. This has also translated into the refusal to use any blanket that I don't know the origins of. Imagine all the germs and smells on those!

Then there is food. Became a vegetarian at age twelve when I started to think literally about food. I mean how can you eat something when it's probably exactly what your thigh would like like baked in an oven? Gross to the millionth degree. I think it's actually a disorder, as I've had to consciously force myself to not think about food literally (like man-made items being essentially sponges injected with chemical flavor on a conveyor belt with depressed people in hairnets) so I don't become a real outcast unable to eat anything. I just don't go there anymore and repress the urge to visualize.

We all have our weird germ issues and phobias. But without getting into it, I know I'm not always conventional in thought. Half the time I have to preface statements with, "I clearly know this is not normal behavior or thought."

Yet a couple weeks ago, when I found myself in that very situation, offering my disclaimer to my uncle, he responded with "I don't think you're weird- you're just innovative."

And I'm taking it and running with it. I'm not strange- I'm innovative!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Wow. Thanks for the Support for my Goals.

Recently I made the decision to run a marathon. A big deal, sorta, but lots of people make the same decision every year. And it really isn't that far-fetched for me, I have been an athlete most of my life. And this is what we do as we get older- think of random ways to challenge ourselves and make us feel better to keep ourselves going amidst dreadful work weeks. Want to spice up your life? Start running 30 miles a week. The pain of morning meetings dulls in comparison to limping your knee across 9 miles on a Saturday afternoon. I've actually quarantined myself on Friday nights, going to bed at 10pm, so I can prepare for my Saturday long runs (I cannot be trusted anywhere near a bar). Usually this decision is met with overwhelming family & friend support. Your nearest & dearest proclaiming, "Way to go! You can do it!" Nope. Not in my family. My family thinks I'm insane. Some quotes from my lovely family gathering yesterday:

"You probably won't even finish." (Father)
"Can I give you beer somewhere?" (Brother)
"I don't know why you're doing that." (Grandpa)
"People die doing marathons." (Grandma)
Silent shaking of the head (Twin Brother)

Wow! Thanks for the support guys! Love that "you can do anything" boost you're giving me to my difficult and challenging goal. Now if I die running my marathon I'm not only going to be dead- but humiliated- my family shaking their heads when I drop at mile 22 in their I-told-you-so sentimentality. Instead of R.I.P my grave will say, "If only you listened you wouldn't be dead."

Whatever. Now I want to kick the marathon's ass even more to prove to my family I can do it. And live through it. Without drinking a beer.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Your Cheating Brain. Gimme a Break.

Breaking news! Study released that certain men have a genetic gene that gives them more trouble in relationships and are more likely to cheat. A study done in Sweden, in which scientists studied the gene types of 552 sets of twins, determined "there is a bonding chemical in some men that makes them less likely to be married and more likely to have bad relationships."

Wow, talk about totally useless information. What, are they going to develop anti-cheating medications now? I can just see the pharmaceutical commercials during Jersey Shore re-runs pushing men to buy pills to stop their unstoppable "genetic" behavior of cheating. It'd be a pretty fantastic money maker, because lots and lots of people cheat. Maybe I should jump on this...

Or better yet, now that this amazing discovery has been made, will women have access to genetic screenings before they walk down the isle? And of course she'll be sympathetic, because just like diabetes and bipolar disorder and baldness...he can't help it. He was programmed that way!

Don't get me wrong- I like science. It comes in handy to explain things we humans just need an answer to. Break all unexplainables down to a system of explainables. But there is something called BEHAVIOR. That we do have control over. To my knowledge I am not a robot being controlled by genes or God or Kevin Costner (although he might think he could develop an invention to do so)...pretty sure I make my day-to-day decisions on behavior. Do I want to scream F-U to people at times? Yes, yes I do. And it very well may be in my genes. But there's a moment between the genetic trigger and my mind/body connection allowing an action to pass through my urges and to the outside world. And I do believe I've got a pretty big part in this.

Now let me get back to some real news- the hot guys in the World Cup taking their shirts off.

If you'd like to know more about this study, check it.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

And Why is it People Like to Watch Real People Bicker?

Listening to television as I lay here in pain with a incredibly stiff back (apparently we fall apart as we get older) I'm in even more pain listening to these stupid bitches from The Real Housewives of New York bicker with each other. Guess I've caught the tail end of some reunion special, which by the looks of it I'm shocked anyone watched any episodes at all. I've watched the show a couple times in the last few years, in even more superficial hopes that it'd be about fashion. Show me some hot outfits and I can mute out the rest. Instead it's like being around a bunch of whiny girls in ugly outfits with ugly gay husbands and too much makeup on super shiny skin. And most of the time they're just throwing insults back and forth. Rather screeching insults back and forth. Why is this fun to watch? I don't like to be around mean petty girls in real life, so why on earth would I want to listen to perfect strangers be despicable? I don't get it. And not to mention, aren't they humiliated? I've been in fights before, and I certainly wouldn't ever want someone to see me behave irrationally on TV! I am totally missing why why why these people are entertaining. Because I'm just annoyed and embarrassed. These people make The Hills chicks seem classy.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Along With Stereotypes, I Also Enjoy A Fine Gentleman

That sounds way worse than I meant. Not that way. Well...

But don't you just love a fine gentleman? It seems that us Gen Xers, Gen Y's and Millenials have been thrown into a gender bender world where lines blur between an old fashioned lady and chivalrous man into an everything goes homogeneous gender where acts of sophisticated niceties between men and women are, well, lacking. Now a guy will try and download an app to open doors and a woman will help a man apply bronzer to his abs. That's modern day chivalry.

Lucky for me I've been experiencing an onset of gentlemen-like behavior, and I actually feel like I'm in a romantic comedy or something. It feels so strange. So overwhelmingly pleasantly strange. First off is the manfriend, who literally opens every door for me. When he's dropping me off, he stops the car. Gets out. Walks me to my door. Kisses me goodbye. When I'm carrying something? It could be a pebble and he'd take it from my hand and carry it. Don't even get me started on the flowers, as I still blush just thinking about it. Let me tell you, it's something to get used to. Guys-men-people...they just aren't like this! But as a stubborn and extremely self-sufficient relatively young lady- it's really fabulous in an uncomfortably unknown way. Probably similar to when you first tasted beer. It tastes really weird, you can't understand it and aren't sure how you'll get used to it, but it makes you feel really good. Then the more you have the more you like it and suddenly you're drunk. I'm drunk on gentlemen.

And then the southern gents. Last few days being down south reminded me of how the older generation of southern boys still have that immediate reaction of impeccable manners to females. Men offering up seats for me, taking my luggage down for me from the overhead bin without even asking if I needed help, asking me for my I.D when I order a Bloody Mary (ok, that isn't really gentlemen behavior but at my age it makes me feel good). All this nice attention I'm waiting for the director to yell, "Cut!" and the lights to go out and my shoes stripped from my feet. In other words, back to normal.

But, for now I'm going to lather in the deliciousness of having nice men be nice to me. Soon enough one jackass will ruin it for everyone.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Man I Love a Good Stereotype

Finding myself this evening in a hotel bar in Oklahoma City, well, I had no expectations. Kinda hoped my Chef Salad wouldn't be exclusively ham, iceberg lettuce and croutons- but oh well. Iceberg lettuce is refreshing and goes well with Pinot Noir (anything in my world goes well with Pinot Noir).

Wrapping up a short work trip I sat at the bar, reading my New York Times, and was so very delighted to be seated next two three great real stereotypes. Imagine if you will: Three men. Pot bellies. Golf shirts. Mid-fifties. Mustaches, oh glorious, mustaches. Not the trendy-retro-phase deal people are doing to be throwback...but authentic real-life handlebars with a touch of salt and pepper. Texans & Oklahomans, with sons at UT-Austin (where strangely being a northern gal I went to school) and jobs in commercial construction. And my God they were perfect real-life stereotypes. I am a total sucker for real-life stereotypes! I couldn't get enough. Harping on their wives, bickering about football, talking about golf, eating chicken wings. I actually diverted calls from the homeland to get high on stereotype stories. Which all brings me to this: Sometimes, life sucks. People suck. Work is stressful. Hearts are broken. People betray. But oh the joys of strangers who bring every cliche, every poor TV sitcom portrayal to life...GEMS. This. Is what makes life grand.