123Valerie Strikes Again

Unprecedented Self-Indulgence.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Blog? What Blog?

It takes a delicate balance being a blogger, my pretties.

On the one hand, you have to actually go out and do things so you're not just writing, "I had a ham sandwich today. I should have used Swiss instead of cheddar. When will I ever learn? What is sooooo wrong with me that I keep choosing the wrong cheese? Oh, I am so tortured and sad. Please comment and alleviate the void in my heart that wretched dairy products have left."

At the same time, though, you need enough dorky down-time to post about the dern things you're doing.

Is it blogger cliché to write that I've been too busy living life to write about it?

It is? Damnit. Well, I'm not afraid of clichés, though I am paralyzed by centipedes, what with all of their squiggly little legs. Burf.

Here are a few more clichés to explain what's going on:

I'm having the time of my life.
It's all good in the hood.
Life is just a bowl of cherries … (Wait. That one might not actually work. Does anyone know if they mean, "Life is sweet and juicy," or, "Life is the pits?" Halp.)

Point is, my pretties, I am good. GREAT, in fact. Coming off of a weekend filled with friends and food and flopping around in the pool, I couldn't be any more content if I tried.

But, my happiness sure is hell on my creative streak, blog not-with-standing. Those of you who know about my blossoming music thing know I have a lot of songs about bad boys and drinking and drinking with bad boys. It's much easier to write bad heartbreak songs than good love songs.

These days, everything comes out all schmoopy and fluffy, which is how I feel, but I don't know of many words that rhyme with schmoopy, except "poopy," and that just doesn't make any sense at all, does it? I mean, look at us:

A.J. and I don't look poopy. "Loopy" maybe. Yes, definitely loopy.

He's so great, ya'll. I got a small spot in a singer/songwriter showcase this weekend—just a step above an open mic. A.J. came with me to sit through six other acoustic artists over four hours just to hear me fumble through my 30-minute set.

Apropos of nothing, one of the singers with whom I swapped CDs credited her "back door" and "a fly" with "guest appearances" in her songs. That's rich. I'm giving a credit to "Yuengling Black & Tan" on my next effort. I mean, let's keep it real, ya'll.

So, there you have it: no alien abductions, I'm not trapped in a meat locker and I have not joined a cult. But, I've got another busy week ahead. Good busy, not limited to but including:

  • a bridal shower for my dear friend Glynnie
  • a reunion with some of my D.C. sisters
  • a possible trip to the demolition derby
  • a meet-n-greet with a super talented dude who wants to "produce" some of my songs
  • a pap smear

Good stuff all around, kids. I hope things are going well for you, too. You know just 'cause I can't always holla back doesn't mean I'm not around.

In the Comments section, tell me what's making you happy these days. Oh, and maybe some other words that rhyme with "schmoopy" if you have a chance.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Spoiler Alert: Happy Ending Ahead

I recently found myself trying to explain what love feels like to The Mist One, which is kind of like trying to describe an orgasm to a nun. A totally hot nun who likes to drink a lot and torment people, of course.

But given that neither Mist nor I have much experience with the subject, I settled on, "I am deliriously, pee-pants happy." Full, content, comfortable and grounded all come to mind, too, but I've had a few more days to think about it.

Now, I am willing to concede that a significant amount of my giddiness stems from meeting Lee Baby, who is every bit as lovely in person as your fantasies have conjured her to be. So darling. And fun. And spunky. And darling. I already said that, but it bears repeating.

Oh, speaking of—or no, not really—Justino had his sculpture exhibit this weekend, and my heart sang to see him and my lovely Adelka Ann. Megan Jane and Jason celebrated, too, and Matty was also there in full force. And there were dogs. A lot of dogs.

So, yes, time with Lee Baby and my awesomest good friends would have made a Perfect 10 weekend skyrocket to a Perfect 100. But, throw in the love (and lovin') of a good man, and we hit the near 1,000,000 mark.

Some of you (in fact, those of you who can read) know the back story and thus may be surprised to learn that The Boy is Back in Town. Suffice to say that A.J. has a solid heart but needed some time to figure out his path.

Very uncharacteristic of me, I waited. And waited. Did some grocery shopping and waited some more. Then, he came riding in on, well, not so much a white horse but a sensible luxury sedan. Works for me.

Now, I find myself smack dab in the middle of love. It's kind of like walking into a big, ole sponge cake: soft and warm and sweet and airy. And a little bit sticky sometimes.

I am happy, my pretties. I found me a good one, and everyone else can see it, too. Everyone adores him—not just me. The only thing better than finding someone you love is finding someone whom everyone else loves, too.

I'm not scared. I'm not freaking out. I'm not trying to sabotage this. I am celebrating and inspired and comfortable and hopeful.

My gah, I'm making myself vomit.

In the Comments section, tell me who or what you love.


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Hay Strangers

My sister married a country boy. He grows 700-pound pumpkins for the county fair, wears camouflage to church and can slaughter a pig. We love him.

We grew up in a part of the country where people showed their love and respect for each other by "tagging" things: overpasses, water towers, sheep, etc. Yes, I am from Ohio.

My brother-in-law's surname is Baker. Most of his friends call him Bake, though, because there is less chance that their dip will fall out of their mouth if they omit the last syllable, the "er." Fact. (Try it with your tongue where the tabaccer might go. I ain't lying.)

In any case, Bake is a highly regarded individual, so in several Southern Ohio locales, you can drive by and see "Hay Bake" on various structures, not limited to, but including, a natural gas pump, a corn silo and a Jeep Wrangler circa 1984 that's been parked in the same spot for nigh two decades. His friends, though very dear and quite skilled on four-wheelers, aren't so hot at grammar.

I'm sorry I've been absent, but as a show of my love for all of you, lookit what I did:

That's how we roll. You can take the girl out of Ohio, but you can't take the Ohio out of the girl. Nothing but the best for you.

I've been busy, kids. Good, but busy. In the past week I may or may not have:

1. Started a new job that is the secret to my eternal happiness
2. Played an open mic night without freaking out too much, thanks to my loverly friends
3. Ruptured my spleen from those crazy lol cats at I Can Has Cheezburger?
4. Cried liked a big, old baby and moped around because my darling Megan Jane is moving away so she can become Dr. Megan Jane
5. Peed my pants a little bit because Adele and Justin are coming into town for Justin's big art show
6. Had my heart broken and pieced together more than a few times
7. Eaten an entire salami by myself

Please forgive me if I'm not around a whole lot in the next few weeks, okay (largely due to that whole salami thing, I think)? Just know there is a water tower in suburban Maryland that's a shining beacon of my love and esteem for you.

In the Comments section, tell me how you roll.


Thursday, May 10, 2007

Nice Rack

Nothing ruins the mood like being locked out of your own bedroom.

The Boy, A.J., was over the other day. We might have been making out. I might have led him upstairs all sultry like. But one thing is certain: My bedroom door, mysteriously closed, did not yield when I pushed on it. Still trying to remain the sexy hot pants I am, I threw my weight against the door with a subtle, carnal grunt.

It budged enough for me to squeeze in, my face pressed against the door jam, the epitome of sensuality.

The culprit:

My over-the-door shoe rack broke, sending every stiletto, every flip flop, every ballerina flat plummeting to a fortified position strategically in front of the threshold.

The very next day, I went searching high and low for a replacement shoe rack at K-Mart, Big Lots, Sears, J.C. Penney and the Montgomery County Liquor Store, all to no avail. Not a shoe rack to be had.

Then, Home Depot beckoned me. The rustic concrete floors, the orange glow of the signage and the raw hormones from the 19-year-old sales boys always draw me in. I thought surely Home Depot would be my salvation.

In the Home Organization aisle, like a beacon, I saw my name:

Surely! The Wall Cabinet Armoire Murale Gabinete de Pared was what I needed. Why else would my name be mysteriously scotch taped to the shelf?

Wait! Here it is:

It's the Estante De Acero Pra Almacenamiento Con 4 Repisas that I need!

No, no. Nevermind. Home Depot was clearly trying to steer me toward this thing:

This "thing" is the answer to my shoe problem. Look--my name is right next to it.

No, false alarm. No shoe racks at Home Depot, just my name oddly taped to every available surface for no discernible reason. In the end, I left the Depot, disappointed and smelling of sawdust. A modern day Shoe Rackless Joe Jackson.

On the way home, I stopped by Target. I needed some cute summer basics at affordable prices. As I was strolling through the store, dodging snot-nosed kids, I walked past the Home Fashions section. Could it be? Yes! Yes, it was! A shoe rack!

All was right with the world. Until I got in line. The cashier and I exchanged pleasantries, and she began to ring up my items, her "I'm in Training!" tag shining in the fluorescent light. She was pleasant and expedient enough.

Out of no where, a God-awful tarantula woman clamored up and heaved her goods on the conveyor. After 10 seconds, she boomed, "Gah, could you move any slower?" to poor Bieng May, whose training videos clearly never covered this topic, as evidenced by her quivering lip and spastic nodding.

I whipped my head around so quickly some of my hair got stuck in my teeth. My pretties, I am polite to the Nth degree, but I don't deal well with other people who are not. You know the saying, "Red sky at night, sailors' delight. Red head overhears a rude bitch in Target and she's going to regulate."

"There's really no need for that, " I said. "You can see she's still in training. Perhaps you'd be happier in another line."

"Oh, I know I would, " our behemoth huffed, her buck teeth punctuating her displeasure.

"You know, your rudeness isn't going to make her go faster," I logically offered.

"No, nothing probably will," she snorted and shot me a look.

We only have a precious few moments in our lives when we have precisely the right words for the situation. Suffice to say, I have one less coming to me:

I pursed my lips and delivered, "It's amazing what you can do on the Internet now. People like you don't even have to leave their homes."

I bid Bieng May a good evening, picked up my shoe rack and glided off, while the Human Ham Sandwich glared at me with her mouth agape.

It's all in a day's work.

In the Comments section, tell me about your best comeback.


Mail Role Model

I hate hot weather. Seriously. I'm more of a Winter person. I got my postcard today! And my probation requirements, but that is neither here nor there.

"We are not what we seem." Indeed, Winter. Indeed. I am not a "Nappy Headed Ho." I am a Frizzy Headed Ho.

"Val, Glad you are not here because that would be creepy. Winter" She knows me so well.

Now, JennyJenny8675309 and I have been accosted on more than one occasion by our mail carrier.

"G-D magazines. You girls need to empty your box more often," he chastises.

Actually, sir, my box needs filled more often, know what I'm sayin'?
But, we are kind of lax about checking the mail, so our box is often jam packed with outdated material. I once found my 1990 census form in there. We frequently receive notice that our mail is being held hostage at the local postal office.
But that creates a whole new drama. What kind of professional person can get to the post office between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.? Seriously. That's the reason I still have my friend Theresa's birthday present from early March. (Ya'll, aren't those flower pendants the best? I love them! I'm picking out several.)
Some might mistake this as my entry for Mist's call for posts for Carnival of the Mundane. They would be wrong. I've got tons of this stuff.
In the Comments section, tell me how awesome Winter is for sending perfect strangers post cards. Quantify it, if you could. Like, "Winter is so awesome, it kills cats."


Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Shining, Not Whining

Man, my heart's been done broke twice this week. Jon Jon the Bawl'mer Son is gone. (This is why I'm a writer, kids.)

Let's have a moment of silence for Jonny Boy. Let us also silence the whining. And by "us" I mean "me." It's not attractive. Broken heart schmoken heart. It ain't the first, and sad to say it probably won't be the last. For now I am employing a subtle but constant plan of attack by sending The Boy all of the not-very-good schmoopy love songs I'm writing about him, coupled with my random thoughts in which he is the star.

Pride? What's that? I think he gets it though, if it's at all possible to "get" the jumble of thoughts that tumble out of me.

On the real tip, things are going well on the whole, kids. I got a congratulatory plant today for the new jobby job, I'm down to the weight that my driver's license says that I am, and good things are swirling about like confetti.

Consider my 'tude adjusted, along with my bra strap. The blogroll will be updated soon with all ya'll who've been popping in.

In fact, I know I've been really bad about reciprocating the blog love, but I'll tell you someone who's captured my interest these days: Krazee Eyez Killa. First of all, he's Pimpin' for Jesus, he loves his wife and kid, and he manages to seamlessly meld that with his straight-up gangsta lean. Brilliant.

Remind me to tell you about the one summer I became a hardcore Christian. That was after the summer I was a lesbian, but before the one where I was in beauty school.

In the Comments section, tell me whose blog you're in lurve with these days.


Saturday, May 05, 2007

Foiled Again

So, I am suffering from what I believe doctors call a broken heart.

I must have committed some major transgressions against the universe because she is not happy with me.

A.J. called, said he was a bit of a mess. Seems he met a girl just days before me. He went out with me never expecting he'd find us both so alluring.

"Alluring? Well, thank you very much. I like compliments. You're not so bad yourse ... Wait a minute. Another girl?"

Oh no. Here it comes. Watch out--it's the other shoe dropping. And it stepped right on my poor heart.

He's such an amazing man that he can't juggle two girls--doesn't even want to try. He's a one-woman kind of guy. Says it's not fair to anyone, so he came clean, because he wants to give his attention and affections to one girl. That means somebody's got to get to steppin'. She got there first. I'll give you two guesses as to who is getting the boot.

My heart hurts, honestly and sincerely. It aches when I breathe. I've been disappointed before, of course, but I always knew it was coming. This is far, far worse. I had settled into the idea of finally-you're-27-years-old-for-crying-out-loud-it's-time-to-fall-in-love-Val. But, seems the universe has other ideas.

I know what you're thinking. I'm thinking it, too. "But, you just met him. Surely you can't be all that upset."

I can't explain it, my pretties. I'm chalking this up to the same mystery reason why I'm scared of Don Knotts. It makes no sense. Yet, it's there.

Well, let's lift our glasses to the happy couple, shall we? They deserve a solid start and maybe karma will quit kicking my ass if I can muster up some good wishes for them. I hope this other girl realizes just how blessed she is.

For now, the broken heart/lonely/you're making a dire mistake because I'm the best there is songs are pouring from me. And, the girls and I are heading out for Cinco de Mayo. I've already told them to expect little from me. I don't even want to drink. Now you know I'm in sad shape.

Well, hey, on the upside, we got some great photos last night.

In the Comments section, give me your best cure for a broken heart.


Friday, May 04, 2007

Smitten Kitten

Ya'll, seriously. I am the cotton candy, sunshine and puppies kind of smitten.

I made The Boy, who we shall call A.J., dinner last night. Fajitas. It seemed right. Dinner was delicious, followed by slow dancing in the kitchen, then we walked Wonder Dog Bean, and even her poops seemed romantic.

Now, I have sworn not to give it up to ensure he hangs around. Funny, the amount of time a woman waits for sex is indicative of how significant she expects the relationship to be. Or, you know, maybe it just means she's frigid. It's a toss up. But, after some serious teenagers-in-the-basement kind of making out, we made the disclosures about ourselves that could be potential deal breakers.

A.J.: "You should know that I can't take a good picture. Ever. If I know I'm being photographed, I will make a face to screw it up."

Me: "Fair enough. Please don't ever make me eat anything that's got sweet and savory flavors mixed. I mean it. No honey-roasted peanuts. No sweet and sour chicken. No pineapple-glazed ham."

A.J.: "Alright, deal. I will hold you for approximately 10 minutes before we go to sleep, but I can't fall asleep holding someone or being held, so we're going to have to separate at some point. It's not personal."

Me: "Thank God. Me either. Oh, and I wear a sleep mask. It's pink satin."

A.J.: "... That might hurt your chances."

Kids, he is all sorts of great. In other news, I am giddy with lurve. That's not really other news, but it's all I can think of right now.

In the Comments section, tell me one of your relationship deal-breakers.


Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks Would Be So Proud

My pretties, ya'll are awesome. Thanks so very much for your sweet words of encouragement. I promise not to ask to crash on your couch when I start the cross-country tour of dive bars. I'll probably just ask to take your beds outright.

Know what else is awesome? Having the best blind date ever!

The Boy: Half Jewish (yes!). Funny. Smart. Handsome. Ex-professional poker player. Currently a creative writing/film student.

The Car Door: Opened for me!

The Restaurant: Chinese with plenty of kitsch.

Number of Times We Said the Exact Same Thing at the Same Time: Twice.

The Fortunes From the Cookies: (Mine) "You bring a lot of happiness to people."
(His) (Um, okay. His had some typos, so we're not really sure what it said. Something about wise men knowing everyone or something. Whatever--mine was right on.)

The Apartment: Lots of black leather furniture and a random weight bench, but clean. Bachelorfied, but clean.

The Kiss: Ya'll, he held my face in his hands. HE HELD MY FACE IN HIS HANDS!!! Like in every romantic comedy ever made! So good. So very, very good. We kissed enough to know that I want more, but not too much that I wouldn't be mortified IF my parents had been watching.

And he smelled good. Pheromones, I think.

Kids, I might be in trouble here. I might be in honest-to-God trouble.

In the Comments section, tell me about the first time you fell in love. I'm not saying this is it, but astrologically speaking, we're looking real good here, folks.