tuesday topics: the next batch - an update

March 21, 2017

okay. so i made one adjustment: changed podcasts to ted talks because those things are generally awesome (and from what i can tell, they are available as podcasts, so... it's not tweaking too terribly much). this series will run each tuesday from march twenty-eighth through may thirtieth. the first tuesday, share your ten favorite oscar-award-winning (from any category) films. the following tuesday, share nine favored baseball flicks and/or books. the next is eight passages from scripture you most appreciate... and so on and so forth... down to the one thing that scares you (but you can't just talk about that one. you have to conquer it and show us how you did it. yeah.) i hope yall will play along.

mismatch monday

March 19, 2017

fifteen guys viewed my profile this past week, ranging in ages from twenty-seven to fifty-seven. a couple of'm are ones who've viewed it in the past, but i'd changed my profile picture, and they probably didn't bother to read the username that went along with it. all but two of'm are from texas. one's from louisiana. one's from japan. profile pics are the usual fare, with the exception of n2nvrmor. his is this:

this is the guy from louisiana. he's forty-two. that is the only photo he's posted. he describes himself as easy-going and is seeking women ages twenty-eight to seventy for short and long-term dating and new friends. he does not think smoking is disgusting and is one of those cursed beings: a morning person.

three of those dudes made an effort, if you could call it that, to contact me. the message with the greatest word count was: hi are you interested in a younger guy?? this from the twenty-seven-year-old. i turn forty-four in about a week. nearly two decades younger is a bit much for me, so i'm gonna have to say no.

in those few instances in which you come across the profile of a guy who seems to be alright, you check the questions he's answered.

which of the following gender descriptions are you most attracted to?

did you join okcupid just so you could find people to have sex with?

do you want your partner to be kinkier than you?

do you have a desire (even if it's secret) to take part in activities involving bondage?
absolutely not.

are you fetish-friendly?
not sure/don't really know what they are.

it's not the answers that bother me. it's that he even acknowledged these and other similar questions. somebody's BORED.

okay. so i was bored and went through answering some (the ones that didn't make me cringe) of the six thousand questions this particular dude's answered. i stopped when i got to this one:

would you consider role-playing a rape fantasy if your partner asked you to?

i answered it because WHAT THE HELL KIND OF QUESTION IS THAT, and how exactly did this dude respond?



you get what you give

March 15, 2017

i started writing this post and had six or seven paragraphs down before i realized i was burying the lede. 

sometimes interviewing people for the articles i was assigned to write while working at the newspaper, sometimes those people intimidated me. the more beautiful they were, the less comfortable i felt in their presence.

one of those people was an artist, a painter from mexico who provided the art for the office building her husband owned. i'm in jeans and my docs and probably a polo, and i'm sure my hair was tied back in a pony tail. i doubt i had put make up on. the usual m.o. for me. this woman, who was at least a head shorter than me, had long, flowing brown hair, gorgeous skin and eyes and smile. she knew how to dress. she knew how to be a woman, in every sense of the word. i was intimidated by her, but i managed to get through the interview alright.

so imagine my surprise, after my having sent her a note a few weeks ago letting her know how much i'd enjoyed meeting her (because i did... i always love talking art with people), how much i admired her talents and skills. imagine how pleased i was to get a note from her. a note that included the following:

i feel so blessed that we met. let me tell you, the day of the interview, my nerves were killing me. hahahah! but you made me feel so comfortable that suddenly i started to talk to you as if i knew you for years. you are such a sweet, kind, smart and wonderful human being.

i'm a little weepy reading that. and i've read it at least a half a dozen times today. 

i am a free woman!

March 13, 2017

so on october sixth, i wrote this post. and for the six months since, i've been dreading that follow up appointment. it was a week ago monday. it was one of the worst well woman exams i've ever had, actually. had the student nurse practitioner not been there, it would've been fine. the woman who'd examined me previously was there again this time, supervising. and yeah, i was anxious. i'm always anxious in clinics, especially in situations like this, but then... what woman isn't? but i was more anxious than normal because... this was the third exam i'd had in eighteen months, and the last two hadn't been so awesome.

i was anxious. i wasn't crazy about having a student practitioner doing the exam. it didn't help that it was a guy. i was managing it, though. until crunch time. and there, when gentleness matter most... he had all the finesse of king kong. and then he had the audacity to say something about how i'd scooted back. i'd scooted back, jackass because you were stabbing then gouging my insides. and of course, i cried. i hate crying in front of others. it rarely happens, but when it does, i'm mortified that i couldn't keep the waterworks from working until i was alone.

the woman took over... did her thing... effortlessly. painlessly. graciously.

and then on friday, she called to say everything's negative.

i was lounging in bed, debating whether i should get up, get moving. it was pretty cozy... and then my mobile, and then those words. that one in particular...


ever since, my brain's subconsciously been replaying that line of bianca piper's (portrayed by mae whitman in the duff). OVER and OVER and OVER again. if you've noticed, i hardly ever put gifs on picky. because really, the repetition of the thing annoys me, but... yall. I. AM. A. FREE. WOMAN.

i've been thinking of that line of scripture used in francine rivers' redeeming love...

you are all fair, my love; there is no flaw in you. song of solomon 4:7 (p. 305).

i haven't felt all fair. i haven't felt flawless. prior to last friday, neither of those words would i use to describe me. but since that phone call, i have been hearing that bit of scripture in my head on a constant basis.

and yall... this experience i have... this drama that's played out for me over the course of two years... it's nothing compared to what others face. N O T H I N G.

i spent a good bit of my day thanking god, praying to him. because i am free to FINALLY close this horrific chapter in my life. i'm done with it. i'm ready to write the next one.

there are way too many in this world that won't have that luxury. there are way too many women in this world who die because of the callousness and carelessness of their partners. i've spent two years reliving all those moments when i ignored the flags, when i ignored my gut, being angry with myself for giving up and giving in, for having gotten myself in this mess. i was out of it in two years. some will never be out of it. countless are dead now because of it.

today i came across this article on facebook. the whole time i read it, i was picturing the events. could see the chaos and the panic and the violence. could hear it. and the men, these attackers, the douchebag i'd been dating... his mental state where women are concerned, it's not so very different from those who'd victimized the author in that article.

i got off easy, all things considered. i've been praying again throughout the day. for that woman, for those in similar situations, and yeah, for myself. 

so pray with me, will you? that more women get to love that word negative. that they can have mae whitman's voice floating around in their subconsciousnesses: i am a free woman. or maybe belinda carlisle singing i feel free...

mismatch monday

according to the cupid, i'm an eighty percent match with one of the dudes in my double take pile, which is kind of like swiping right or left on tinder.

first off... in the top right of his profile, it states he's looking for single men. okee dokee.

second... i give props to the guy for owning himself. i do. and god knows cupid's one of those places to go for the obscure. the thing is... i'm comfortable with the amount of obscurity that is in my life at present. so please understand when i share some of this man's profile text with you, i am not sharing it to ridicule his sexual preferences. i've got a great amount of respect for a guy who can fess this up. i just don't want to play those particular games, thanks...

simple please message me if you like me i am not a member so can't see who has looked at me. (this isn't true.) also if i messaged you just tell me thanks but no thanks instead of leaving me hanging. at least i take the time to message you after reading your profile. thank you.

so lately i will get likes and then i like back (its a match) at least what okc says. so i send message at least saying hello but when i get back not interested. i think wtf either okc is messing up or you like to fast or whatever reason. but i want to thank those who write back but like i said see beginning of profile. i am not. member nd if your truly interested then shoot me a message of you dont might be a long time befor i see if we match by then your frustrated and got off okc. thank you.

take me as a i am or let me be.

thanks for at least looking at my profile, love to chat and make new friends, if my interest are not your interest dont let that stop you for making a new friend.

figure this sums me up. short and sweet.

i am a crossdresser, kinky bisexual, poly and open-minded person. i have a lot of fetishes and i am polyamorous. i also like older women.

ok i am looking for other people who are into the bdsm/bondage lifestyle are you there.

i kind of feel like the first five paragraphs of his text should be deleted, with the exception of the third one.

i used to be the kind of person who would respond to every message i received, even if i weren't interested: thank you for the email. i appreciate and am flattered by the interest. however, i don't feel as though we're a good match. (sometimes i would list the reasons why.) good luck in your search. and i'd get some damned nasty responses. so i stopped being kind and started ignoring people. it's not something i like to do... but when i'm met with messages like these two i got this week: how r u? and what about a fwb? no. i'm not acknowledging either of them. why should i?

i feel like this ninety-nine percent of the time... unless there's heights involved... also, this must be why i'm an eighty percent match with that one.

also of note, the man who said see?!?! my okcupid account is out of storage. in effect useless. i delete useless things. what would have happened if i hadn't informed you of impending doom? (mentioned in this post). he was in my double take pile, too. different username, of course. different mugs. different profile text. same douchebag. i accidentally clicked the wrong button, which made him a match. so then i sent him an email: so you delete useless things...

this week on the cupid... twenty-two dudes, all from texas and ranging in ages from twenty-nine to fifty-seven, viewed my profile. most of them had their faces in their mugshots. the other profile pics are the usual shit.. naked chests and whatnot. one of them has a picture of himself standing on some deck with lots of pretty trees in the background, but in place of his face is a sizable white dot. 

i got four messages, the best one being what is one word that would describe you? from thirty-four-year-old gr8tmn4u a thirty-four-year-old from la porte. he's pretty fond of his abs. he also had the lowest match percentage -- zero. the highest, eighty-three percent, belongs to a forty-year-old in spring whose username is 76imagen. he was the only one in my double take batch that i intentionally clicked that i liked. maybe because in his profile he'd written, how come no one ever says, 'i'm uptight, and have no sense of humor'? this made me laugh. also in the i'm really good at section, he'd written: celebrating obscure, and sometimes fictitious holidays in unusual ways. also he can speak ancient greek... i've never known anyone who could say that. he only viewed my profile, because, i'd clicked like. and my luck, he'd end up being one of those tight-assed metrosexuals with an annoying voice... on the welcome page, the feed shows you who's updated their profiles. some dude named moghulazzam just updated his to read i'm in an open relationship now! oh, goody! i was so hoping to see this...

tuesday topics: the next batch

March 7, 2017

so the singular outfit post was the last for this particular series of tuesday topics. i'd like to continue this series, if i may. lauren has given me the go ahead to do so and has relinquished the title of co-host. i'm a little anxious to be taking this on myself, but hopefully, i'll get a few participants who'll play along from time to time.

i typically spend tuesdays cramming for that night's bible study discussion and lecture. and of course, that cramming commences at my usual spot at pappadeaux's bar. every now and then i'd take a break to toss about ideas for future tuesday topics with my bartending friends. and then i went to bible study and came up with a couple of other ideas. and then i sat down to write this post and came up with a few more. here's the thing... i'm not setting this list in stone just yet. spring break's coming (at least, it is in these here parts), and i'm not looking to start the next round of topics until march twenty-eighth. i'm offering yall the chance to chip in and suggest topics that you'd love to discuss. for the moment, though, the list looks like this:

ten. best oscar-award winning films. i don't mean just best picture, here. there's twenty-some odd categories. if you've read much of picky in the past month or so, yall know i was on a tear. tell me what your favorites are. where did the academy get it right?

nine. sports stories: baseball. what are some of the best books and movies you've seen that revolve around the world of baseball? what makes them so awesome, aside from the fact that they're about america's greatest pasttime?

eight. favorite quotes from scripture. my friends say all the time that when they're reading the bible the words jump out at them. that's never really happened for me, but there are certainly passages i can appreciate. if there are phrases that have jumped out at you, that have moved you, share those. i'd love to know them.

seven. budget tips. because who doesn't need help with that? besides dave ramsey, of course. and god.

six. favorite poems. six of'm! yeah. six. for poetry, month, yall. surely you can find six.

five. favorite cocktails. this one's pretty self-explanatory, i think.

four. favorite film soundtracks. this one, too.

three. ways to deny yourself. during the lenten season, those who celebrate it are called to give something up, to sacrifice. we were in a different room at bible study this week. in it, i saw on a piece cloth hanging from a podium some bit of scripture from matthew, i think, saying something about deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me. all my life i've focused on the word deny in that phrase. i've thought of the thing i should sacrifice, the thing i should refuse. the thing i should give up. but that night, i also thought of the film hitch, and that scene near the end in which will smith's character's talking to eva mendes' and her friend's, saying that he helps people get out of their own way. how can you get out of yours? how can you shift the focus from yourself to others? what are three things you can do to be a more humble servant, if you will. maybe not of god, because i know not all of us believe in him. one of my best friends is an atheist. he's also one of the most selfless guys i know. so... how can you be more selfless? how can you be a better friend to those around you?

two. podcasts. some of yall may be hugely in to these things. i've not listened to a single one. the atlantic composed a list of the fifty best podcasts from last year. i'll be checking those out over the next few days.

one. thing that scares you. eleanor roosevelt said do one thing every day that scares you. if you're even a smidge like me, there's more than one thing that scares you. what's one of them? go do the thing. combat the fear.

if yall're good with these, we'll roll in three weeks. if not, i'm open to suggestions, and we'll start april fourth. thanks.

tuesday topics: one outfit

March 6, 2017

one outfit. these are my comfort clothes: the navy t-shirt mom got me for christmas and the fila leggings purchased at kohl's after christmas. those leggings are pretty damned amazing. if you can find a pair, i highly recommend snagging'm.

what are your comfy clothes? your favorite outfit? share with lauren and me!

mismatch monday

March 5, 2017

i got this in the mail the other day:

you are hot! we just detected that you're among the most attractive people on okcupid.

we learned this from clicks to your profile and reactions to you in doubletake. did you get a new haircut or something? well, it's working!

to celebrate, we've adjusted your okcupid experience:

you'll see more attractive people in your results

this won't affect your match percentages, which are still based purely on your answers and desired match's answers. but we'll recommend more attractive people to you. you'll also appear more often to other attractive people. 

sign in to see your newly-shuffled matches. have fun, and don't let this go to your head.

oh, i won't.

so next to the photos and the usernames is a percentage -- how likely you are to get along with that particular person. those percentages range from zero to ninety-one. the one with the highest ranking is a fan of the film gladiator. curious, i messaged him to ascertain why he loves that movie over ALL THE OTHERS IN THE WORLD because there most assuredly are better ones... and every time i see a guy profess a love for that film in his profile, i am reminded of what my oldest friends once told me with regard to perusing dating profiles... something about how any guy who claimed to love that flick is a loser... it's stuck.

so his reply:

it's the story of a honorable man and his ultimate victory over a dishonorable one.

by that logic, then, could i suggest cinderella man, the client, the count of monte cristo, a few good men (though that one may be a stretch), gangster squad, murder in the first, philadelphia, sleepers, a time to kill, tombstone...? i mentioned a couple of those to him. he didn't reply. loser.

this week on the cupid:

nine guys glanced at my profile. usernames included buggysquashy, cupid007, spiceymekhi and arsen02. all of'm are from texas. one's main photo is a picture of his red striped tie over a pale blue button-down and a gray jacket; another's is an artsy black and white selfie of a guy dressed in a puma t-shirt; there's one of a yellow sports car, and one with two dudes in the picture, and one with a white cat and some text.

aside from the one from the staff telling me how hot i am, i got three messages this week. two of those were single-word missives: hello and nice.

and then there's this gem: hottie, what about a fwb?

i'm not seeing more attractive people in my search results, by the way.

this post is a tad bit early this week because tomorrow's gonna be a super fun day that i can't make more tolerable by consuming adult beverages. clinic... and then i have to continue tearing apart my room in search of tax documents... i figured i should post this while i'm only mildly annoyed...

what's new

March 2, 2017

What's New With You

linking: so i learned of this linkup, hosted by kristen and gretchen, through erin (i pretty much learn about all the linkups through erin). i've never participated, though, because i'm not that great a blogger. but today i felt like playing.

starting: to get ready for my day. i'm meeting a friend, whom i've not seen in some time, for lunch at empire cafe in houston. it's her favorite place. i've only eaten there once, and it was so long ago, i don't remember whether i liked it.

thinking: about the upcoming film alien: covenant. i don't know why. i don't do scary movies. i do like the trailer, though. i won't watch the movie, but of the alien films, this one looks like it might be pretty awesome.

celebrating: it's pretty out. i love texas in the springtime.

mourning: it's march. ten days away from the fourteenth anniversary of my older brother's death. i miss my bubba. i miss his laugh, his crooked grin, his stories. he told the best stories.

recuperating: OH. MY. GOD. YALL. i also loathe texas in the springtime because it makes me fucking sick. and this year... H. E. DOUBLE HELL. i had it so that it was just the cough and maybe a little sinus pressure and pain in my head and neck. no more sneezing. no more sore throat. I THOUGHT I WAS GETTING BETTER. and then last night... a second wave of this shit. IT. NEEDS. TO. END. because i woke up this morning and felt like i did on january thirtieth WHEN THIS SHIT STARTED, which means i MUST BE DYING A SLOW, HIDEOUS DEATH. so... not recuperating, really.

feeling: HORRIBLE. also, how ironic is it that i can be whining about death in one paragraph and joking in the next? what kind of person does that make me?

watching: i need to watch the memphis episode of this is us, but i'm scared really bad things are going to happen at the end, and i'm not ready for it yet. i started watching it the other day, and managed to get through five minutes or so, but then i had to turn it off. this is turning morbid... must find something good.

sharing: i can't remember if i've put this in a post before, but... i'm always needing the reminder, so...

encouraging: one of the tasks for this month's scavenger hunt is to offer some sort of support to a single parent. i went to facebook last night and messaged a few of my single friends with kids:

me: hey lady. just checking in. wanted to make sure everything's going okay with you. everybody doing alright?

her: that's incredible you'd ask. as a matter of fact, i'm going through some stuff. how did you know?

me: i didn't. so what's up?

it's amazing what happens when you ask... so ask. be there for your people. it's really not that hard.

twelve things to celebrate in march: a scavenger hunt

March 1, 2017

one. march second. national old stuff day. show me two of the oldest and most favored things in your house, and tell me why you love them. from what i understand, you're also supposed to try something new or go about accomplishing a thing you normally do in a different way, even if it's as simple as taking a different route to a destination instead of going the way you normally go. make sure you take a picture of the new thing... i need to see that, too.

two. also march second. national read across america day, also called dr. seuss day. there's a film, a nicholas sparks' story called the lucky one, and in it, zac efron's logan is talking with taylor schilling's beth and blythe danner's ellie about philosophy. beth asks logan, dares him, really, to give them his favorite quote by a philosopher. he does. she assumes it's something of voltaire's when in actuality, it's from dr. seuss. so what's your favorite dr. seuss book? what bit of his philosophy do you most admire?

(it's also texas independence day. freedom from mexico... and the beginning of nine years of being a nation.)

three. march sixth. national dress day. wear a dress. the whole day. you don't have to do heels if you don't want to, but you do have to do the dress. for some of you, this might not be a big thing. for me, i've probably put on a dress maybe five times in the past year. i hate the things. i hate having to iron them. i hate having to wear them because you can't just put on the dress. you have to put on the make up, too. BAH.

if you're a guy reading this, and you do the thing and provide documented proof of having done so, i'll send you a present.

four. march seventh. national cereal day. share a bowl or two of your favorite cereal with a friend.

five. march twelfth. national plant a flower day. pick a spot in your yard and plant your favorite flower there. (also this is the anniversary of my older brother's death so have a beer for him today, will you? but just one.)

six. march thirteenth. national good samaritan day. do something nice for someone you detest. do something kind for someone who's known more badness in his or her life than good. be an army of one.

seven. also march thirteenth. national napping day. give yourself a bit of rest one afternoon. lay down, and let your mind wander... dream a little.

eight. march twenty-first. national single parent day. surely you know someone who's raising a child all by his or herself. that's a LOT or responsibility for one person. send them a note of encouragement. if that person lives near you, offer to watch his or her child (or children) for an hour or two. give that single parent a bit of respite.

nine. march twenty-fifth. national tolkien reading day. what's your favorite of tolkien's tales? what's the third word on the twenty-fifth line of the three hundred twenty-fifth page of that book?

ten. march twenty-ninth. my birthday. send me happy thoughts, preferably via the post because i like getting mail (address is in the sidebar). please and thank you. i know. i'm being selfish. it's my day. i get a freebie on this one.

eleven. march thirtieth. national take a walk in the park day. show me your favorite spot in your favorite park.

twelve. national crayon day. grab a box of crayolas. color a pretty picture, and then send it to a friend.

add it to my list

February 28, 2017

oh, good lord. she's posting again. yes. yes, i am. do you know why? because tomorrow begins my least favorite month of the year, so i'm probably not going to blog much. we'll see. if i don't, yall'll have plenty to keep you busy, lots of picky posts to peruse until i'm over the worst of the fucking winter humps. that's the thing with depression; it either makes you immerse yourself in something or be void of it entirely... and the something can be anything. i should be immersing myself in my story or in job hunting, but this is where i'm happiest, tinkering with this here page, barraging -- god, that's a funny word -- yall with a seemingly endless stream of rants and raves.

speaking of raves... let's get to this thing, shall we?

five things i love that i know you will love and are very much in need of having in your life. two of the most important things in my life are pens and paper, and not just any pen or paper.

some might say the best pen is one of those that cost a shit ton of money and has the gold trim and is heavy as fuck. no. no. NO. the best pen is made by officemax (which merged with officedepot, you know... the two biggest office supply stores in the country joining forces to outlast rival staples? capitalism in action... anyway... i don't give a shit about that. i give a shit about these pens). the brand is called tul. the ones you want are the seven millimeter, medium point gel retractables in blue. they come in packs of twelve. you do NOT want the ball points. you do NOT want the seven millimeter needle points. they suck. trust me on this. black is boring. the blue is beautiful. and fluid. and just the right amount of ink on the page. they are lightweight and easy to grip, so if you're writing for hours, like i should be doing, your fingers don't hurt when you're done, which of course should be the most important thing, but really, i'm in love with the ink. it makes my words look so pretty.

i don't give my pens away often, but when i do, you can bet your ass the recipients are in love with the things in a matter of seconds. it's like johnny depp as hunter s. thompson in fear and loathing in las vegasboy, this is really a nice pen, man. yes. YES, it is.

which brings us to the paper. i got tired of white. it, too, is boring. i do not like thin paper. i do not like legal pads with shitty perforation so that when you tear the things, you get fucked up, frayed edges or worse, huge tears. if i'm going to ruin the pages with lame words, as beautiful as they may appear because of that lovely ink, then by god, i'm going to do it on paper that can withstand the abuse. you want tops docket gold letter-sized, regular-ruled legal pads. they are amazing. 


they make me like writing when i am stuck. they make me like writing when i'm in a funk. they make me like writing, yall. because sometimes i don't, but even then, a fresh pad and a fresh pen... they are beautiful things.

erin's giving away books. i recommend you go have a look. that would be the third thing.

the fourth thing would be participating in march's scavenger hunt. i have been out of work for seven months. i am having a hell of time even knocking on a door loud enough so that someone could respond to my query for consideration. that, paired with the time of year -- because fall and winter, starting in october, they are generally shitty things and can't go by quickly enough -- i am immensely grateful to my friends for they have been the only light i can see lately. these scavenger hunts are helping me to appreciate life when doing so has proven to be a hell of a challenge. plus, they help me put some good in the world. yall should try your hand at them. i want gobs of people doing these things. i'm greedy. it's not one of my better qualities.

lastly... fiction and film. i read nina lacour's we are okay the other day and enjoyed it. it's weird in places. but it's a good story, it's beautifully written, and best of all, it reads fast. i am convinced ruth negga got robbed in the oscars the other day. ain't no way emma stone gave a better performance than she. so if you've not seen her in loving, go watch that. it's an amazing story. and her character, she's an amazing woman. (apparently i'm fond of the word amazing. i blame one of my friends. it's practically the only word she uses; i've been spending a lot of time with her.) also watch life as a house. it stars kevin kline, kristin scott thomas, hayden christiansen, jena malone, mary steenburgen, ian somerhalder and scott bakula. it's the kind of story that'll make you like life again.

lauren's list and bre's list

seven things celebrated in february: a scavenger hunt

one. andrew and brandon
one. february fourth. thank a mailman day. take some treats to the folks at your local post office or shipping store. andrew and brandon have been helping me with picky packs and christmas rushes and putting letters in my box when people write to me (yay!) for YEARS. they are pretty fun and pretty awesome for putting up with me and all the packing i make them do.

two. february eighth. kite flying day. go fly a kite. sounds simple enough... but the WIND... after grabbing lunch at gino's east (number three) with one of my favorite folks at pappadeaux's, she and i headed for the lake for a pleasant afternoon of kite-flying. meet crush (left... hers) and zelda (mine). zelda now rides around in the trunk of my car for those moments which require some stress relief. when there's a good wind, like there was that day, watching a bit of cloth float around in the air attached to naught but a thin bit of string is actually pretty calming.

three. a small meaty legend
three. february ninth. national pizza day. treat a friend to some pizza. and not the cheap shit. if there's a gino's east, say, in your neck of the woods... it's national pizza day, for crying out loud. PIZZA, a gift from the gods, yall. YUMMY YUMMY GOODNESS. there IS a gino's east in my neck of the woods. in fact, it takes less than ten minutes to get to it. and we went at just the right time, yall. lunch time, before anyone else had arrived. i've never seen the place empty. most of the times i go, there's hordes of people waiting for tables. it was SO nice to visit with her without having to raise our voices. that's a small meaty legend, by the way. four pieces. i ate one. she ate one. she took the rest home.

four. marissa
four. february eleventh. make a friend day. this sounds simple enough, too, right? for geeks like me, it's really, really not. this is marissa, whom i met at my chiropractor's office. she is such fun, yall, and i'm so glad we connected. she's certainly a bright spot. sadly, she's transferred to a practice in kemah, but we text and facebook. the last time i saw her she had a SEVERE case of senioritis. hopefully she's recovered.
a downtown view of houston from the entrance to the aquarium
cynthia took time out of a CRAZY day to help tackle my fear of heights
the same downtown view but from higher up
five. february fourteenth. ferris wheel day. go ride a ferris wheel. this, too, sounds simple enough. except if you're scared of heights, then maybe not so much. show of hands... you can't see but both mine were raised pretty high just then. my friend cynthia met me at the downtown aquarium, where we road its ferris wheel, which wasn't bad at all, actually. i'm a little ashamed to say i needed the help riding the thing.

six. letters for my single friends
six. february fifteenth. singles awareness day. all the single ladies... and laddies. so this day started as sort of a joke, but... maybe you've got a single friend who's having a rough go of it lately. take time out of your day to do something to let that person know how much he or she is loved and needed. i messaged a couple of friends through facebook, who are hard to reach via post, and then put a few cards in the mail.

seven. february sixteenth. do a grouch a favor day. one could argue that this task could be tied to the previous one... NO. i don't care what you do or how you do it... but find the grouchiest soul you know and put a little light in that person's world.

seven. sprout fine floral concepts in the woodlands

for this task i wanted something a little better than a batch of posies from the grocery store (not that those aren't lovely, but this was for a special very friend, one i've known for decades who's been battling leukemia and a plethora of other conditions for FAR TOO long). so i went to yelp and searched for florists, and the first one i found had a five-star ranking, twenty-four reviews and seemed to be pretty cost friendly. i got a lovely bouquet for a reasonable price in an exceptionally timely manner. but more i was met with gracious service from the moment i walked in the door to the moment i got in my car with my arrangement.

the grumpy old man (whom i've always thought of as jolly, actually, but apparently he's not that way with everyone so i must be pretty special) didn't want to be in the photo, but he found this grumpy old mug, which suits me just fine. 

tuesday topics: two letters

so one of my new year's resolutions was to send out handwritten notes instead of emailing or leaving compliments on friends' facebook walls and such. lauren used this post to write two letters to her younger self. i'd like to share with you two messages i got from folks who received notes i'd sent... because i want to remember them. because i was touched to receive them. because i need to have the reminders that what i do is good when it's hard for me to see that.

the first is from a gal i knew in my youth, one of my artistic friends whom i'd written for one of the tasks from last month's scavenger hunt:

i just checked my mail and got your beautiful letter. i couldn't hold back the tears that welled up from the multitude of emotions i felt while reading. it's so wonderful to connect with someone through shared experiences, even if they aren't exactly the same. i've been wanting to paint recently, but just haven't felt the motivation to kick myself into gear. i think you may have given me the nudge i needed to get back to my creative outlet. i'm sorry i'm not taking the time to hand write a reply. i just had to message you immediately. i love having a stronger connection with you now. this is where i begin to love facebook again. thank you so much for you sweet letter. i will keep it always to remind myself that i share my life publicly for a reason.

the second is a message i'd sent to my cousin, via facebook because he travels FREQUENTLY, and mailing him a letter is NOT a good idea. he probably would never see it. so i made an exception in his case. this was a task for this month's scavenger hunt. i sent a card to another friend, but it was imperative to me that he know of this conversation:

me: hey there. i wanted to take a second to remind you how awesome you are. the other day, when i was talking with bambam (my nephew) about his cousins, and i started naming them off... when i mentioned your name, he said i like him. he didn't say that about the others. just you. i thought you might like that.

him: nice. that's awesome.

it takes maybe ten minutes to write a letter yall, one into which you've put thought and care. it takes one to pop a line through facebook's messenger. and those ten minutes... hell, that one minute, could make a huge difference in someone's day.

two years ago, when i'd dumped the douchebag, i'd told a not-so-close friend, a woman with whom i wanted to have a stronger relationship, what that man had said to me, the words that cut the ties between me and him. this was the day after i'd cut them. so the words he'd said were too much in my head. interestingly enough, AMAZINGLY enough, having told her of this... she's become one of my favorite people. she sent me a card the day after i'd told her. i can't find it right now. but it always shows up when i need to reminded of the goodness she'd sent my way. i see her at least once a month now, when i'd seen her maybe once a year before. she invited me to join her book club, and i've met some truly incredible women because of it.

one of them's riding the ferris wheel with me today so i can polish off the last of this month's scavenger hunt tasks.

it's amazing what can happen when we open ourselves up to each other.

share some letters, any kind you'd like, with lauren and me!

mismatch monday

February 27, 2017

this week on the cupid... maybe the site should change its name to okcrazy. i mean, i'm alright with admitting that i've got my moments. i'm not so sure the other folks on this thing do, though.

twenty-four folks viewed my profile. that decline from seventy-one last week is typical. if you don't change a photo or update some line of text, your mug is lower in the list. ages ranged from nineteen to fifty-seven. four of them are out of state; one of those is from morocco. they've usernames like helloforfun, fairlyuseful, thismanisblack, jonnyhammer75 and conroe77301. one's profile pic is like a mug shot, zoomed in on his right cheek, so all you can see is the bottom half of his eye and half of his mouth; one looks like a school id photo (this is the nineteen-year-old); one's adjusting his tie and collar before a night out on the town; one's got his shirt off and is posing by a rail at the water's edge (he's got a baseball cap on his head so you can't see his face for the shadows, but he's damned proud of his pecs and abs, so much so he's giving you the thumbs up); one's posing in front of his white mustang convertible (this is a fifty-six-year-old, by the way); one's pic is a giant black dot; another's is him on a stage, singing and playing guitar (this is the fifty-seven-year-old; the photo's taken from so far back that all you can see is a man holding the mic and a guitar, and i think he's got a cap on, but i can't tell); one's got a bit from a comic book; one took his profile pic in front of the bathroom mirror, and amazingly enough his shirt's on.

there was one who'd piqued my interest a bit, not because of his profile but because he'd shown in his one-line message to me that he'd actually read mine. so for the profile, you're given prompts. the last one is you should message me if: i wrote: you're a green bay packers fan.

he wrote: i was a fan of aaron rodgers and green bay beating the cowboys butts in dallas.

we chatted for a bit. he seemed alright. and then i got this: it appears i'm reaching the lifetime limit of storage. are you comfortable texting me?

okay. so here's the thing. i've used cupid before. there's really not a lifetime limit of storage, so i thought, that's bullshit, but... i wrote: i would be more comfortable texting you had you prefaced the request with something other than my mailbox is reaching maximum capacity... maybe try that again.

he did. he did better, so we exchanged digits. and we texted for a day. and then i get this: see?!?! my okcupid account is out of storage. in effect useless. i delete useless things. what would have happened if i hadn't informed you of impending doom? 

so i log onto the site, and his profile is no longer... i still have access to the messages he'd sent. there's his username. there's no photo. and that is just too weird to me, so... that's done.

speaking of messages... i got eight this week. one is from a dude with the username mike_deen:

hi,i'm keith ,i must confess you really have a cute face and a lovely smile, i'm sure you hear that everday, i like your profile and would love to have you as my sugar baby if you don't mind. all i want is trust and attention and i promise to spend on you and take good care of you. (i'm reminded of the last dude i dated... i CRINGE.) i'm a busy man, new on the site and seldom come online here..can i have your number if you are interested.

no. no, you may not.

but the winner this week most assuredly goes to spoiledboy, who messaged me twice:

hello ! i am joe. i have been on here for about a month and all i come across are scammers. i am hoping that you might be for real and would hopefully be interested in going out for a nice dinner and some good conversation sometime? i grew up in spring i live in kingwood. i had a son who lived in humble however he is autistic and his mother basically a control freak , made him not like me so i no longer have a son so me living in kingwood is pretty useless however my life is built around my location and all my friends live nearby . i am rambling i know so if you might like to talk and hopefully go out sometime i would love to hear from you. best of luck. joe

a week later, i get this:

i am a pro am bull fighter on days that end in y and a professional ballet dancer in the bathroom as well as a gourmet chef in the kitchen. i have also won over seventeen all you can eat hot wing contest. i went to collage to be a philosopher but ended up being a master machiner. i hope we may be able to talk about going out for dinner sometime. ps i will see you at the mall. just joe.

i'm a little scared to go to the mall now.