Thursday, December 28, 2006

A Confession

I hate to say it….I have an addiction, Reality Television. I know, don’t even say it. It is the worst of the worst. However, since the very first episode of The Real World some 10+ years ago, I have been hooked. I know I have some major voyeur issues.

Many years ago, a gay couple that I am very good friends with had recently added to their family. He was a beautiful Dalmatian with blue eyes named Orbit. We would load Orbit into the car and drive down to the high rent district of midtown and walk the dog. Of course, we were exercising dear Orbit, but it was a great excuse to peer into the windows of those much more privileged than ourselves. Sometimes we would circle a block several times if a certain house and its inhabitants peaked our interest. I realize that this was my first foray into the “reality watching” world. I love watching people, we are a fascinating bunch.

Last night, I indulged in an episode of Bridezillas followed by Top Chef. I sat on the couch shocked at the behavior of the bride named Marsha. There aren’t words in the English language to accurately describe this woman. No one would stick around long enough to try. She was awful. I was hooked. At one point, she made the groom cry…cry on national television for everyone to see. And still, he was moving forward with the wedding plans. Apparently, I had caught the second in a three episode arch featuring this particular bride. I didn’t think I could stand a minute more of the tongue lashing that she was inflicting on dear Archie. So, I pressed the selection button on the remote to find upcoming episodes so I could Tivo the next installment. I couldn’t help myself. Needless to say, Top Chef couldn’t hold a candle to what I had just witnessed. So what if someone’s risotto was overcooked and under-seasoned or someone was a bit heavy handed with the balsamic. Poor Archie just had his pair ripped off by Marsha in the Tony Roma’s parking lot. Doesn’t anybody care????!!!!

You see, I had the family that other people watched from their front door. Let’s just put it this way, my mother and father were not very fond of one another and made no attempt to hide this information from me or anyone else. So, there is a reason that I am compelled to watch these meltdowns much in the same way that our neighbors watched ours as they said, “I would never do that, I would never say that, I am so much better than these people….I feel sorry for these people.” I clean my conscience with the knowledge that all of these reality TV participants are volunteering and compensated for their on air humiliation. So, I watch in shock, sometimes in disbelief knowing that basically I am a Peeping Tom on a global scale. Until I see a case of Reality TV addiction on the next episode of Intervention (by the way, a great reality show on A&E) I will manage my habit on my own….maybe in a healthier way….people watching outside the local Java City and reading other people’s blogs. This is my therapy for these economically challenged times.

Happy People Watching!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Christmas 2006

Well, it is officially over….Christmas that is. Once I pulled my car out of the garage headed in the direction of work, the holiday had officially ended. I have included some pictures of the festivities and the loot that I received.

As you can see, we did not get a tree this year. Our dog Jerry Lee was a new addition to the family this year and I let fear get the best of me. After he ate three TV remotes, a car sunshade, a pillowcase and his very own foot, I was rather concerned about his plans for the holiday decor. Why tempt fate after you have to purchase a replacement Tivo remote on ebay??? So, we loving placed our gifts under the "Christmas Ficus". Just as expected, on Christmas Eve, Craig asked if I had any gift bags, etc to "wrap" his gifts. After much wine was consumed, we headed right into our favorite holiday tradition of humiliating our dogs and preserving the moment....

If looks could kill......

This looks more like a lost Mardi Gras weekend than Christmas.....

Smiling through the pain......

Wrestling with the family pet to capture a moment of humiliation.....priceless.

After we completed our "photo session" it was off to bed. Christmas morning was on the horizon and I was dying to see what goodies I had waiting for me. Craig was the first out of bed in the morning after Jerry Lee made it a point to jump on the bed to lick, chew and scratch every available space on his body and my very "subtle nudges" with my foot were not making him stop. Soon I could hear the coffee grinder and that wonderful smell made its way down the hall. I drifted in and out of sleep until Jerry decided to perform an encore of his act.... Fine, I was getting up. However, once I was up with my coffee in hand, Craig went back to bed to catch up on ESPN. WHAT?????!!!!!!!! I bounded down the hall...."Aren't we opening presents?" He tells me he needs to wake up first, blah, blah blah..... Truly, the rest was lost on me. I wanted to open presents and unless he was telling me that, I heard nothing. Finally, after an hour, Craig finds his way back to the living room to open presents. Of course, the dogs opened some of their gifts first.....nice big squeaky noisy balls that they chased around. Yeah! At least that was one way to wake Craig up. We took turns opening our gifts and I can honestly say that both of us did very well for each other... I bought Craig an IPOD Shuffle, a subscription to Guitar Techniques Magazine, a watch, and cycling gear. My bounty is displayed below...

A Reserve bottle of Cab...paired with one of four Riedel Sommlier Grand Cru Burgundy glasses!!!!!

Beauty Goodies from Orgins....he knows me so well


A Columbia microfiber polar fleece....

Now, that the festivities are all over, I have a case of the blues. However, Valentine's Day is just around the corner.....I feel some hint dropping coming on.

Here's to a Happy New Year!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Update: Christmas Gift Standoff of 2006

Day 22 of the Christmas Gift Standoff and no relief or presents in sight. Surprise, surprise. It is hard for me to believe that we are 3 days away from the big event and I have yet to see one shred of Christmas wrap, one beautiful bow. I even brought home all the gifts I have been given by co-workers and placed them very carefully so he can see that other people in the world not only bought me gifts but wrapped them. I would hope that the shame that others had beaten him to the punch would sting so badly that he would have a pile of goodies waiting for me tonight...... My sick little obsession would not leave me alone and when I went to bed, a vision of presents popped into my head...

Okay, so maybe I am expecting too much... And maybe, just maybe, by putting Craig's gifts out so early for him to see, it caused gift anxiety and gift peer pressure. But, doesn't he realize how happy he will make me if I had my own gifts to treasure, touch, shake, hold up to the light, steam open the tape, use and re-wrap????

I wracked my brain trying to remember what hints I had given him over the last few months.... A new chef's knife? Gucci perfume? Wine glasses? The anticipation is killing me! However, my competitive nature has now kicked in and I want my presents to him to kick ass over his presents to me. Deep down I want to show that I know him better than he knows me. Is anybody following this??? Probably not.

I just spoke to him a few minutes ago and before I hung up the phone I wished him "happy gift wrapping" Too obvious??? He gave a nervous chuckle, mumbled something about the weather and ended the call. I don't think he took me seriously. There has apparently been a break down in communication or he has lost his copy of "The Perfect Man Manual". If another day passes without a present, he will need to fall back on the old stand by..."would you like some wine?"...usually said in a tone that one would use when trying to tame a rabid dog. At the rate this is going, I anticipate full inebriation for the next three days......

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Top Story Today: The Resurrection of the Beauty Queen and the Downfall of a Media Whore

Actually, it was the story of the week....There has been a huge controversy over the alleged misconduct of the reigning Miss USA, Tara Conner. Apparently, the 20 year old Kentucky native has been spotted partying and drinking in nightclubs in New York, sharing lesbian kisses with Miss Teen USA and sneaking men into her Trump Tower apartment for late night liaisons. (Obligatory "Oh My!!" goes here) The scandal has divided the country and has been the number one topic of water cooler chatter. It has even ignited a war of the words between Donald Trump and the last person who should represent the voice of the American people: Rosie O'Donnell. It seems that all of Trump's marriage, divorce, and financial woes were open to the assault of Ragin' Rosie. It is unclear what correlation Rosie found between Trump's personal business and the ultimate fate of Miss USA 2006, but needless to say the freedom to express yourself and practice your lifestyle are only available if you are on board Rosie's platform.

Anyway....back to the scandal. The Donald and the pageant committee had many closed door meetings to determine the fate of Ms. Conner's future. Would she be dethroned? Would she be stripped of her sash and crown? Would the reputation of the pageant ever be restored? Do we care???? Of course, there are things we should keep in mind.....Trump is a business man who has rarely used a moral compass to navigate his way through life and everyone loves a comeback story. So, The Donald calls a press conference to announce that he will be giving Ms. Conner another chance to redeem herself and to restore this antiquated contest to its original glory of objectifying women and coining the phrase, "I wish for world peace". Of course, when I heard the details of Tara's alleged misconducted, two things came to mind.

1. This is the most accurate representation of the post adolescent American woman since 1984 when naughty nude pictures of Miss America, Vanessa Williams surfaced in Penthouse.

2. This nationwide "scandal" is the very reason that terrorists continue to target our country.

Mastering the skill to spray hairspray on your ass to keep your bathing suit from visiting the nether region and floating like a butterfly on stage while wearing 70 pounds of sequins does not qualify you to represent the American woman nor does it require you to set the moral standard in this country or in the world. The majority of 20 year old women in this country are not being followed by a swarm of paparazzi nor having their every move monitored by a pageant committee. (Thank god that this was not an issue I ever had to deal with....we would have had to call a press conference every week)

So, we should thank Trump and Tara for reminding us that we spend way too much time obsessing on stories like theirs (including this post). Although our country has been divided by this tragedy, we are united in our ever growing disdain for the real villain in this story.....Rosie O'Donnell. In the last 7 weeks she has managed to set herself on Donald Trump's lawsuit radar, offend the Asian community by her utter lack of sensitivity in using the term "ching-chong" to mock the Chinese language, participated in an on-air battle with Kelly Ripa, kicked Clay Aiken out of the closet and insulted her very own boss, Barbara Walters by insinuating that Ms. Babs is not very down to earth.... The delicious ride of Rosie O'Donnell's that is something that will unite America.

Addition to today's post......
I struggle just like everyone trying to determine who and when one should throw out the social life vest when someone has so very gracefully inserted their foot into their mouth. Case in point.....(by the way, co-worker small talk is the most painful thing I have yet to experience) So, here we are...a gaggle of office workers waiting for our opportunity to pounce on the potluck goodies laid out in an effort to celebrate the holiday spirit, desperately making the most excruciating small talk in an attempt to shave some time off the clock. During the small talk, one office worker notices that another office worker has had a change in appearance and inquires if they have cut or colored their hair..."something looks different about you but I can't put my finger on it". The majority of the gaggle has stopped mid small talk to internally gasp as they look on at the impending car crash..... But, "oblivious office worker" continues to swallow said foot down said throat. Does this person not realize that the other has had a major health crisis and that the change in their appearance is a result of their medical treatment and not a day at the spa???? This brings me to my original question....who rescues the oblivious offender? Should I? Or must they serve some sort of social penance for their faux paux comparable to being placed in social purgatory where you are largely ignored and avoided for the remainder of the day??? I choose the later.... I admit it, I am a coward. Perhaps I was comforted in the knowledge that this person is known for their generally lack of tact and the offensive word vomit would largely be ignored and categorized as "consider the source". Either way you look at it, there is not one socially gracious way to remove anyone from such an uncomfortable situation. It's moments like these that make me an advocate for serving cocktails at work....

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Where are my presents??????????

Okay, so I made a point to wrap and put my boyfriend's Christmas presents out for him to addition, I also left out ALL of the wrap and accessories needed to wrap my presents. Thoughtful, huh? Well, today is December 20th and I still do not have a present of mine in sight. Although I am confident that he has purchased said gifts, he apparently has not wrapped them. If my memory serves, he rarely wraps my Christmas gifts; rather, he places them in the store bag and wraps the excess of the bag around the gift and hands them to me. I would really enjoy actually opening a wrapped gift. All of this wouldn't be so bad if it were not for the fact that he is home alone for large parts of the day giving him ample time and space to wrap my goodies.... Does one have to be deprived of the traditional gift shake??? He has made some grandiose comments about the perfection of one of my gifts. The Mac Daddy of all gifts...... Now, I don't even have anything to look at to try to help me guess what I may be getting on the 25th. How is this possible??? I am not that far removed from that little 8 year old girl I once was that loved to walk around the Christmas tree taking stock of my future loot. I even reminded him that I purchased EXTRA tape to aid in the wrapping of my presents..... As I see it now, he only has tomorrow and Friday to wrap without me being home. So, we will have to see how long the Christmas Gift Standoff of 2006 will last, how many people will be affected and whether or not conflict resolution is possible. Even the dogs have Christmas stockings full of goodies..... Once again, another tearjerker Christmas tale of lost hope and dreams crushed.

My First Blog

Okay, so it seems that everyone I know has a blog or a myspace page completely devoted to their own personal whims and interests. The narcissist in me could not resist.....

I just got an email today from my friend Carol who has spent the better part of the last 4 years(on again, off again) wasting her amazing self on her commitment reluctant boyfriend. Let's call him....Todd. Her New Year's resolution is to cut Todd out of her life completely so she can finally get over him and move on..... However, the plot continues to thicken as Todd's ex-girlfriend (let's call her Pocket) has decided to come back to town and attempt to rekindle the once luke warm flame of their love affair. So, we now go back to Todd making random excuses to Pocket while he tries to choreograph Carol's comings and goings from his house (complete with hiding any of Carol's personal items that may have been left lying about). Add to this mess the fact that they all work out in the same gym and you can just imagine the whole scene in one of those awful Spanish Telenovelas complete with raised eyebrows, pursed lips and heaving chests. So what does any of this have to do with me??? Nothing. But, it does make me appreciate the drama free relationship I am currently in. I have never believed in soul mates because it is ridiculous to think that you can go your entire life without falling in love with this person. Who says that your romantic partner needs to be your soulmate? I have always believed that my friends made much better soulmates than any boyfriends I have ever had. And for that matter, I don't believe that these soulmates are constant players in your life. I think they come in and out of your life changing you for the better and sometimes for the worst, but a lesson is almost always learned. So, I believe romantic relationships work better when those involved have more in common and irritate each other the least of all previous relationships. Not very romantic, but very practical. The only explanation I can come up with to understand why an amazing woman would spend this much time and energy on one person, is the actual addiction to how that person makes them feel when the relationship is going well and the challenge of trying to win them back when that love slips away time and time again. Since I consider Carol to be one of my soul mates, I will support and love her through this challange. Here's to all you ladies out there continuing to place bets on a fella that never pays out. Maybe a New Year's resolution has your name on it.....