a letter to my forty-four-year-old self

March 29, 2017

a half hour or so before midnight, i was scrolling through my twitter feed and came across this bit of hideous nasty:

that's eddie lacy, formerly a running back for the green bay packers, which is my favorite football team (there was a period of loathing... the brett favre era, but the moment aaron rodgers began taking snaps i began to love them again). next to marshawn lynch (who played for my second-least favorite team, the seattle sea hogs, as my nephew calls them), lacy is the best running back in the nfl. so i was mad as hell when i learned he'd exchanged a packers jersey for a hogs one. son of a bitch. 

that's not really relevant to this post at all, by the way. i just needed to vent.

this post was inspired by lecy's letter to her forty-five-year-old self. she's one of the gals i met through the peaceful posse facebook group for bloggers. so far i'm enjoying being a part of that. anyway, when i read her post, i loved the idea of it. it's easy to write a letter to our younger selves, which allows us to look back on our lives and see where we've improved, that we've endured and maybe offers others who are younger a bit of insight. it's easy, sure. but it's also good to look at where we are now, how good we're doing now. and for the most, part, i'm doing okay. now. last year, no. i was not good. AT ALL. the year before that was as hideous and nasty as that photo of eddie lacy. one of the three worst years of my life, actually. i survived it. thank god. 

i'm in this bible study in which we're examining john's retelling of the apprehension and crucifixion of jesus, and one of the statements made by the woman leading the thing was something about how often we don't see the times jesus is protecting us. in my life, especially in my adolescence, i've felt as though he were absent. 

and that statement brings to mind a bit from an eposide of a football life, one featuring steve gleason and his efforts to climb machu picchu. gleason's got als, and climbing it meant spending significant time working with with doctors to ensure his lungs could handle the changes of and higher altitudes. climbing it meant having people carry him up. the night before, he said to his wife that he felt jesus was absent. and then at dinner, a woman, one who was terrified of heights and was celebrating with her husband after having climbed the mountain, she was wearing one of gleason's no white flags t-shirts. she saw gleason and spoke to him of how he'd encouraged her to make the climb. that's how jesus works.

there's an older couple who lived outside of the delivery territory of the newspaper for which i once worked, and so i would bring them the paper every week. i'd not seen them in a while. i'd stopped by the office of another friend, seeking job hunting advice, and during our visit, she'd asked me if i'd seen that couple in a while. i had not. so i stopped by their house that evening. the woman learned while i was there that her mother, who is blind and going deaf and having night terrors, isn't eligible for hospice care -- a crushing blow. had my friend not suggested i visit them, i would never known of this. looking back on my life there are so many times where it seems the hand of god has lead to me help others, to be there for them when they're most in need of it. i can see, now, how his hand has lead others to help me. i don't feel as though he is absent, but there is still a wide chasm between us. i'm working on a way to cross that.

i'm working on a way to see the good that's come from carrying my cross, because we all have one. i'm working on spotting the collateral beauty that's born of the damage. i'm working on a lot of things.

sure, there are things i'm lacking in my life -- gainful employment, the ability to love and be loved by a good man, my own place, the family of my own that i'd hoped to have by now, a published novel. okay. that's a lot of lack. and this isn't turning out to be anything like a letter, but then i never do anything normal. not really. and that's okay.

i've made some damned fine friends this past year. some REALLY good ones. one of them's making me chicken spaghetti, and another's making me paula deen's bananas foster bread pudding for our book club meeting tomorrow night, and we're discussing one of my favorite books -- the language of flowers by vanessa diffenbaugh. how fortunate for me that i got to make the suggestion for this month's selection and the group went with it. i finished rereading it sunday, and i loved it SO MUCH MORE the second time around. the past couple of weeks, i've been getting texts from the gals in our group telling me how much they loved it. that made me feel good. that food tomorrow night's gonna make me feel good. i'm gonna be ten pounds heavier afterward, but so be it. most of all, their company's gonna make me feel good.

so... from my current self to my future self so when i can look back on this a year from now or ten, i can know where i stood when i was here, and that it was a good enough place to be:

not every day's gonna be good. this week, like every other, is a testament to that. you've got an abundance of compassion and resilience, and yes, tenacity, to help get you through the uglier days, to help others get through theirs. you've got those damned fine friends to lean on and laugh with. revel in that. you cannot fuck your life up, no matter how much it might seem as though you've done or are doing so. you're not that powerful. god's got this. remember that. and your plan for your life? yeah, let go of that. try to see his plan.

your room is clean. kind of. the bed's not made. your desk and closet are a disaster, and you've got stacks of papers spread out in your brother's room, but at the moment, you're attempting to make sense of the chaos, which is something you rarely do, so yay for that. you've kept your car clean for a whole week! YAY. you're about twenty pounds lighter than you were two months ago. FUCK YES. all these things are good. all you are is. ALL OF YOU. even those traits you're not so crazy about... they could never be as ugly as that sea hogs jersey.

tuesday topics: ten oscar flicks

March 28, 2017

today, i have for you ten of my favorite oscar-award-winning films. if by some chance you've not seen these, i highly recommend you watch them. now.

a beautiful mind
winner: best picture (brian grazer and ron howard); director (howard); adapted screenplay (akiva goldsman); supporting actress (jennifer connelly).
nominee: actor (russell crowe); film editing (mike hill and daniel p. hanley); original score (james horner); makeup (greg cannom and colleen callaghan).

good will hunting
winner: best original screenplay (matt damon and ben affleck); supporting actor (robin williams).
nominee: picture (lawrence bender); director (gus van sant); best actor (damon); supporting actress (minnie driver); original music score (danny elfman); film editing (pietro scalia).

the help
winner: best supporting actress (octavia spencer).
nominee: best picture (chris columbus, brunson green, michael barnathan); actress (viola davis); supporting actress (jessica chastain).

the lord of the rings: the return of the king
winner: best picture (barrie osborne, peter jackson and fran walsh); director (jackson); adapted screenplay (walsh, phillipa boyens and jackson); production design/art direction-set decoration (grant major, dan hannah and alen lee); film editing (jamie selkirk); visual effects (jim rygiel, joe letteri, randall william cook and alex funke); makeup (richard taylor and peter king); original score (howard shore); sound mixing (christopher boyes, michael semanick, michael hedges and hammond peek); costume design (ngila dickson and richard taylor); original song (walsh, shore and annie lennox).

memoirs of a geisha
winner: best production design (john myre and gretchen rau); cinematography (dion beebe); costume design (colleen atwood).
nominee: original score (john williams); sound mixing (kevin o'connell, greg p. russell, rick kline and john pritchett); sound editing (wylie stateman).

winner: best actor (tom hanks); original song (bruce springsteen).
nominee: original screenplay (ron nyswaner); makeup (carl fullerton and alan d'angelo); original song (neil young).

saving private ryan
winner: best director (steven spielberg); cinematography (janusz kaminski); film editing (michael kahn); sound editing (gary rydstrom and richard hymns)
nominee: picture (spielberg, ian bryce, mark gordon and gary levinsohn); original screenplay (robert rodat); actor (tom hanks); production design/art direction-set decoration (thomas e. sanders and lisa dean); original score (john williams); makeup (lois burwell, conor o'sullivan and daniel striepeke).

schindler's list
winner: best picture (steven spielberg, gerald r. molen and branko lustig); director (spielberg); adapted screenplay (steven zaillian); production design/art direction-set decoration (allan starski and ewa braun); film editing (michael kahn); cinematography (janusz kaminski); original score (john williams).
nominee: actor (liam neeson); supporting actor (ralph fiennes); sound (andy nelson, steve pederson, scott millan and ron judkins); costume design (anna sheppard); makeup (christina smith, matthew mungle and judith cory).

the silence of the lambs
winner: best picture (edward saxon, kenneth utt and ronald m. bozman); director (jonathan demme); adapted screenplay (ted tally); actor (anthony hopkins); actress (jodi foster).
nominee: film editing (craig mckay); sound (tom fleischman and christoper newman).

star wars: episode v - the empire strikes back
winner: visual effects, special achievement award (brian johnson, richard edlund, dennis muren and bruce nicholson); best sound (bill varney, steve maslow, gregg landaker and peter sutton).
nominee: production design/art direction-set decoration (norman reynolds, leslie dilley, alan tomkins and michael ford); original score (john williams).

what are your favorites? share them with me!

mismatch monday

March 26, 2017

this week on the cupid... twenty-four guys, ages twenty-one to fifty-seven, viewed my profile this week. with the exception of luv17tru who hails from massachusetts, they're from texas. pictures are typical, so i'm not gonna comment on that except to say that one guy's got a shot of him tackling a calf in some rodeo. yeehaw. i got four messages, but one of them came from a dude who's now emailed me three times.

february nineteenth. half-past noon.
good afternoon how are you today

march thirteenth. quarter 'til noon.
good morning how are you today

march twenty-first. half past five p.m.
good afternoon

i'd responded to the first and not gotten a reply. i responded to the last, too:
so you've written me one-line emails three times now. i'm curious to know whether you're capable of writing other words?

i didn't get a response to that one, either. but then i don't want one, which is why i wrote what i did. i sincerely hope never to receive a thing from that dude again.

i'm bored. but then, also... i forget how much dating messes with my head, and i don't like it when it does that, so the boredom's actually preferable. how sad is that?

also... george lucas had to make a character like han solo. who could possibly be as badassed as that guy?

my appreciation for him was born right around the time i became addicted to coca-cola, so for four decades, i've been trying to find a dude that cool. yeah. i know. it's never gonna happen.

the end of an abbey

March 24, 2017

the monastery's closing in september. there are maybe four monks left living there. when the visiting abbot returns to his monastery in the fall, the surviving members of the abbey of our lady of the holy trinity in huntsville, utah must leave the land that's been their home for decades. my great-uncle celebrated his ninetieth birthday last month. he wanted to die at that abbey. he wanted to be buried there.

i have spent every summer of my life, save for two, visiting him and other members of my family i rarely get to see. that place is a haven. it is heaven.

we are not going there this summer. the last trip was the last one. i am beside myself.

it's like another part of my childhood is dying... a slow, slow death. i had my first communion there. sometimes i entertained the thought of getting married there, just so my munkle could be with me. my mother's father died before i started kindergarten, so that man in that chambray hat, he's been like a grandfather for me. his faith in me, his love for me... they are miraculous things. i grew up thinking we'd always spend summer in utah, like we'd always spend christmas in colorado. the latter of those delusions died a decade ago. i've watched the life of this particular dream diminish over another decade, just like i've seen the joy diminish in my uncle's eyes.

i want to get in a car and drive until i've reached that holy land. i want to stay there until they kick me out. i want my room in that shabby guest house, that one at the front on the second story with its giant window and its rickety twin bed. that blessed quiet. that brilliant sunset. i want to sit under the shade of that giant box elder tree and look out onto the fields... the fields that fed the cattle my uncle once tended. i want to feel the breeze and bask in the glorious light of the day.

i want the peace. there's no better sound of silence than in that valley.

but instead i have the single tear sliding down my cheek and settling on the tip of my nose. i have helpless rage. the whir of electricity and air conditioning. the sound of my family's voices downstairs, chatting and laughing with each other like it's just another day.

what's up, weekend?

so erin called my attention to the formation of a facebook group for bloggers called the peaceful posse. i'd been in a couple of blogging facebook groups before but hadn't enjoyed them. so far, this one seems to be alright. they've devised a friday linkup in which we're to talk about the things during the week for which we have been grateful, so...

sunday. i'd spent last week housesitting for a friend while she and her family went to california for spring break. she radiates so much light and kindness, and i'm grateful that a) i got to spend a week in a quiet house in the country; and b) she thinks so well of me. she came home that evening and gave me me a shirt from monterey, a place i've always wanted to go. maybe someday...

monday. one of my mom's brothers (the older of the two) and his wife drove down from colorado to spend the week with us. they're bunking in my room, which mean's i'm bunking in my younger brother's room (on a twin bed... yay). still, i'm grateful that they're here. i'm grateful my mom helped me finish getting my room ready that day. that night, i got to watch another friend's boys while she and her husband went to the houston livestock show and rodeo to see florida georgia line. they've cute kids. i enjoyed spending time with them.

tuesday. a woman i'd met through the blogging world and become facebook friends, but whom i'd never met in person, invited me to see zz top at the rodeo with her and her boyfriend. it was a glorious day: clear and cool. i got my car washed (a thing i've needed to do for months... it was pretty bad, yall... i'd washed the outside but not the inside, but even that was weeks ago), so it was nice and pretty. i was grateful for the clean car, and more so for navigating houston's shitty traffic without incident. and most of all for getting to see zz top for free because she's a volunteer working the event upon occasion.

wednesday. went with my mom, uncle and aunt to see beauty and the beast (a friend had taken me to see it on st. patrick's day, but i like looking at luke evans. i also like listening to him speak. and his singing's not bad, so... sure i'll go again). side note: i'm grateful for videos like this, too:

i'm grateful to be able to hear ANYBODY speak welsh. have you seen the way they spell shit? i'm part welsh, so i shouldn't be knocking the country of my ancestors but DAMN, yall.

i might've missed a letter. i'm sure yall'll understand and forgive should that be the case, right? right.

i swear to god when they say it, it sounds like there's a HELL of a lot more syllables in there than those letters could possibly represent. and those letters, how in GOD'S NAME could they possibly spell that?

also, to the woman in that video, it's GERMANIC not ARABIC. WENCH.

anyway. movie. we ran into a woman i love whom i'd not seen in some time, so it was really nice to see her sweet, smiling face. and then after the movie, i taught my mom and aunt to play splendor, a pretty badass game. get it.

thursday. i wore a dress for the whole day. i managed to not bust my ass in the heels. also, i had a job interview. that makes five in six months. god, please, PLEASE let me find work soon. (i got a voicemail this morning, informing me they were considering other candidates. i'm grateful for the interview. i'm grateful for the phone call. sure, i imagine telling someone they suck sucks, but at least they had the balls to do so. i give'm props for that.)

i met with my writing friends for critique group to read the last three chapters (thirteen pages) of my manuscript. one of those friends and i had a disagreement over what should be critiqued in group. i'm better at line edits, at strengthening the writing itself. that's not what she wants from me, that's not what she thinks is the purpose of critique groups. i got upset -- the kind of upset where i'm quiet and on the verge of tears. the kind of upset where i toss people's words back in their faces, but i do it with a quiet voice so it has more of an effect. people like to say i'm too nice. i'm really not. i'm really, really not. i can be. i certainly strive to be. but if you push the right button, you get a glimpse of the meanness i do my best to mask. so after the next person had read her work, and two of the others had offered their commentary, that writer turned her attention to me and said, okay, jenn. kill it. because that's what she expects of me. that's what line editing does. but i said i didn't have anything to add. she didn't believe me and prompted me to contribute. so i said i just had line edits. and that's what editors are for. that last bit, those are the words i tossed back. the friend with whom i'd had the disagreement, she left. what i'm grateful for is how the other two writers came to my defense afterward, how they'd bolstered my spirits, how they'd insisted that my critiques were valuable, necessary tools. i let them gush for a few minutes. i let them love me, and i'm immensely grateful that they do.

and then i read my thirteen pages, and they gushed over those. and then we screwed around with snapchat for a few.

also, i'm grateful for clonazepam.

by the way, the friend with whom i'd had the disagreement, i know of that game splendor because of her. i'm playing it this week because she lent me hers.

i'm grateful i could order the thing on amazon so i can return hers. i'm grateful there was money in the bank so i could.

friday. toasted english muffins topped with jam from my great uncle's monastery (once upon a time the monks made their own... i miss that. the stuff i've got now's pretty good. the stuff they made then was so much better). coca-cola.

this blog (yeah, i'm grateful for my own shit) and others in the blogosphere. thank you for raising your voices.

check out lindsay's, chrissy's and charlotte's posts.

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 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... 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.