Monday, April 30, 2007

I'm Really Trying not to Giggle so Much.

the green in her eyes dropped out and fell everywhere
but I don't care
I can see
that she's made of something else entirely

Yeah, I'm still giggling. Can't help it. Weak Handshake Dude is so much more than I thought he was. He is so far, anyway.

By the way, we shall no longer refer to him as Weak Handshake Dude but as...well...The Gentleman. Yeah. (Sorry Aaron, kind of taking a cue from you, but it works well.) His many other attributes more than make up for his lack of handshaking ability. Anyway, man can be taught. And he's a fox.

He improves on me every time I see him or talk to him. As you may well recall, I really wasn't sure about him at first, but as we've progressed, more and more layers of that placid veneer are falling off. Saturday during our hiking date, he really loosened up and the result was an interesting, sweet, and remarkably clever and funny man. He understands my Shakespeare references, and even finds them attractive. Same with my word histories. Quite remarkable, really.

It's funny, but The Gentleman is an illustration of the old phrase, "to let one's hair down." When his long hair (ohhhh it's niiiicccee) is down, he's playful and funny and adorable. When it's pulled back, the reserve is there. Interesting. But you know, even his reserve makes more sense to me now. He just doesn't perform to strangers, I reckon. But I'm really glad that he loosened up and opened up to me a bit.

Then there's the ever-growing attraction between us. Downright intense, man. I'm thinking it's a good thing that it's grown as opposed to having been there already. Maybe the former bodes better than the latter. We'll see.

Anyway, I'm sure it's rather clear that I really like this guy. Y'all keep your fingers crossed for me. Again, we'll see.

This one's for me. BB King, Albert King, SRV, and Paul Butterfield. No explanation should be necessary. :^)

Monday, April 23, 2007

"You're a Tom Waits Fan?!" and other Birthday Surprises.

Well, the night does funny things inside a man,
these old tomcat feelings you don't understand

All right. Krishna will tell you in case you don't believe it, but I actually giggled. I giggled.

The message my darling dear Krishna recieved after my date Friday was, "HE LIKES TOM WAITS!!!" And I think I may have repeated it. In any case, needless to say, Dude surprised me - pleasantly. And no, the pleasantness was not only because of his mutual affinity for Tom Waits, but other things as well.

Weak Handshake guy still has a weak handshake, but maybe he can learn. We met for coffee Friday night at Calhoun's first true coffee house. I'm glad for this "no-pressure" first date choice. I'm a little impulsive when it comes to men, and the fact that we just "met" (there was no picking up or dropping off) for coffee helped me to remember the appropriate boundaries that I always set for myself and have rarely kept to.

He had come straight from work, and was dressed nicely, his hair still in that ponytail, and not as Fabio-esque as my fevered imagination remembered. His manners were ever polite and he brought a box of Godiva chocolates. Score! He said that he was generally a flowers kind of guy, but he didn't know what my favorite kind was. Score two. When we got inside, he paid for my coffee. Score three. So Dude was looking favorable (despite another weak handshake) as we sat down for the "get to know you" chat.

He was super interested in my book and paid rapt attention as I spoke, which is amazing since I have no idea of how to stop once I get started. I discovered that he went to college in Atlanta at first, but graduated at Berry. I discovered that he, like myself, majored in a useless subject but is not sorry for it. I also discovered that he is a member of one of the oldest families in Calhoun/Resaca. This is monumental because I have never EVER dated a man who was actually from Calhoun. So maybe the gene pool isn't dried up. He likes to hike and camp (YES!), and he knows enough about Shakespeare to have a favorite (The Tempest).

But as all of my darling friends know, the true way to Jennifer's heart is through music. And he was actually the one who asked the question that I usually ask first: "What kind of music do you listen to?" I couldn't believe that those words were coming out of his, not my mouth. From that moment on, the conversation was all about music. And Darlings, the man actually has good taste! It's incredible to me that there is someone in Calhoun who listens to music that is actually congruent to my tastes. He loves Tom Waits, Morphine, Henry Rollins, etc. GOOD STUFF!!

In any case, we sat and talked for a good two hours before the kids at the coffee shop all but threw us out, then we stepped outside and he watched me smoke a couple cigarettes as we continued to talk. When it became clear that there was nothing else to do in Calhoun, we said good-night. Yes there were a couple little smooches. It was nice. :^)

We've agreed to go hiking next weekend. SWEET! There I hope to get into the meat and potatoes of his personality. He's very quiet, very soft-spoken, and placid, so it was hard for me to read him. It's definitely going to be up to me to draw him out and figure out what makes him tick. I'm still not quite sure of what to make of him, but I know my opinion is greatly improved, because despite his seemingly very shy nature, we had a good two-sided conversation and he was very personable. I was a little concerned about his basic manliness, but that was put to rest when he said he remembered checking out my ass when I worked at Barnes and Noble. He was a little apologetic about that admission, but I wasn't offended - I'm proud of my ass and I'm glad he noticed it. :^)

So I had a good first date Friday, and I'm looking forward to more. But Saturday (my birthday) could have been a little bit better. I ran around all morning getting my Mom's birthday present wrapped (hers is tomorrow) and getting ready for the fundraiser. I stopped by my folks' house for a little while, where they gave me my birthday money (and the coolest toy ever - an indoor frisbee). Then came the fundraiser. Ugh.

I'll be brief because it's so depressing. Basically, the fundraiser was a disaster. Only 40 people showed up where they had 150 last year. I ended up being stuck behind the concession table for much of the show. I did get to see a good part of it, though, because Bumper (another member of the board) is a remarkably good man and very kindly took over my duties. He and my cousin Joseph were the only ones who seemed to care that it was my birthday. Thanks to those two wonderful boys I did have a decent time. But we're all very miffed at our executive director, because he dropped several balls in several courts and those dropped balls were a large part of why we had such a poor turn-out. So now we're having an emergency meeting tonight to figure out what we're going to do. Bleh.

Okay, so in tribute to Weak Handshake Dude, here's some Tom Waits:

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Organic Greens, Saturday Afternoons at Chick Fil A, and Friday Night Coffee Dates

Ana Ng and I are getting old
And we still haven’t walked in the glow of each other’s majestic presence
Listen Ana hear my words
They’re the ones you would think I would say if there was a me for you

So my dear darling friend Adam came up for a Grandparents visit this past weekend, and he took a few hours to hang out with me. I was very tickled to see him. He has been in awe of Calhoun's super classy Chick Fil-A, which wasn't installed until after he had abandoned us for Macon and all its flatness, so we had a late lunch at Calhoun's social hub. We really didn't do much beyond a nice, long, conversation: unless you count the part of the conversation that took place while we drove around town to allow Adam to see what's become of our little hamlet here. Notwithstanding Adam's great joy in freaking me out when he drives (fishtails everywhere), we had us a good old time, and I was sorry to let him leave.

Really, my weekend was uneventful except for Adam's visit. But I kind of enjoyed it, because I hardly have any real time to myself since I started taking night classes, and it was nice to sit and watch Jane Austen movie adaptations all day.

Yesterday was interesting all the way around. Well, except for work which was really just depressing and made a hundred times moreso when we heard about the Virginia Tech shooting and started watching CNN. (Why?! I mean really, WHY?! What was the point?!)

Despite the black cloud thrown over the day, there were things to look forward to. I had an organic cooking class last night that was really very informative. It was only about greens, but I love greens and it kind of lit a fire under my ass to start eating better and actually COOKING. I've already been cooking a little more than usual, and I find that it's a lot more enjoyable and a thousand times more practical to eat leftovers of home cooking than it is to get fast food every evening after class. And A WHOLE lot healthier and less expensive.

It's not as if this is news to me, but I think my inner Avery (or really Rickett) domestic goddess is beginning to awaken. I'm glad of it because I was fearful I was denied that gene from my mother and my grandmother. I've always liked to cook, but only when I have time or the motivation. But now I want to cook more often and more from scratch - and more organically. The more I learn about how crops are handled by commercial farms, the less I want to eat them. And the more I hear about packaged foods, the less I want to eat those. It's just scary. And I think there's definitely merit to what the natural and organic growers are saying. Just consider how many people wind up with cancer nowadays. My Grandmother will tell you that it was never as prominent until these last two generations. One can't help but wonder if one of the main causes is the chemicals, pesticides, and perservatives that are in commercially processed foods. It's something to think about at the very least.

In any case, I was still thinking about organic foods and considering cooking experiments I might like to try when my phone rang. On the other end was Weak Handshake/Fabio Hair Dude. Well it's about damn time. I was beginning to get annoyed that he hadn't called. Just on principle. But I'm ready to forgive him and give him his shot. On the phone, he seemed a little bit easier than he had been at the dinner. I wonder if he might just be shy of crowds - if that's the case, then I understand all too well. We talked easily and he just seemed to be more laid back than he had been, which improved my opinion a little. The conversation was brief, and we decided on coffee Friday night since the rest of my weekend is full of fundraisers and birthdays. We'll see.

By the way, expect a plug in a couple days. All you Calhounians and those who will be in Calhoun this coming weekend; at least pretend you might come to the NERA 3rd Annual Evening of Bluegrass. PLEASE!

So I leave you with this, one of the coolest songs ever (and one of the most random videos), "Ana Ng" by They Might Be Giants.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

"I Sing the Body Electric"

The love of the body of man or woman balks account, the body itself
balks account,
That of the male is perfect, and that of the female is perfect.
from "I Sing the Body Electric" by Walt Whitman

It's one of my favorite poem titles ever, but now when I read it, it'll bring a whole new meaning.

I actually like my Anatomy and Phisiology class. I knew I would be interested by it, but it's turned out to be absolutely fascinating. And it all makes sense to me. The only class I ever absolutely ACED in college was my biology class, which is weird for an English major, but really, grammar and anatomy/phisiology are very relatable and have similar rules.

I was thinking about it last night, and I decided that the two subjects do translate easily. Cells are like letters. Tissues are like words. Organs are like phrases. Organ systems are like sentences. An organism is like a paragraph. And they make sense. A certain combination produces a certain type of sentence or a certain type of literature. For instance, the heart is really the poetry. The brain is like a novel. It all makes perfect sense to me now.

Wikipeodia has a great entry on Medical Transcription, and I looked over it today. Under the "As a Profession" section, I saw that I'm just about right for this job. I'm really detail-oriented, I am the grammar queen (I just have to work on my spelling), and I'm learning the medical lingo really well. So needless to say, I'm pretty excited about all this.

My sister-in-law said that this might be what I was meant to do, and I'm beginning to believe her. But don't worry - I'll always be a writer and I'll continue to work on my novels. That's what keeps me alive. But this new career prospect will keep me fed and sheltered and happy enough to allow my writing room to grow.

I always did like Operation.

And here's the video for "Sleepsinging" by the Damnwells....well....just because. It's a weird video, but the song is remarkable.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Why Does this Make Me so Nervous?

Don't worry I'm not looking at you
Gorgeous and dressed in blue
Don't worry I'm not looking at you
I know you see me see you
As you see me walk on past
When there's nothing more I'd like to do
Than come in close and hear you laugh
Though we haven't even spoken
Still I sense there's a rapport
So whisper me your number
I'll call you up at home

Well, I might have a date soon. We didn't meet in quite the way Morphine describes it, but we did meet in a very iconic single person way.

At a dinner party. And it wasn't quite as electric as Mark Sandman describes it either, but I'm a strong believer in trying things on.

My friend David invited me to a dinner party at his and his wife's house Saturday night. It was a little bit out of the blue, but not uncommon for this particular friend. There were four other people there: one married couple and two single men. Hmmm....You reckon there was some conniving going on there? The married couple was great fun and I really liked them. The husband was rather quiet, but then everyone is quiet when David is around because he's definitely an entertainer and that's one of the reasons we love him. In any case, one of the single men was rather younger, and painfully quiet. Seemed like a nice guy, though and smart when he did speak.

The other single man was...well...intriguing I guess is the word. He was kind of quiet too, but he spoke a good bit and popped a few witty remarks. The thing that was interesting was his manner. He was inordinately polite. He shook hands when he was introduced, and kind of had this bearing of one of Jane Austen's gentlemen. The thing that bugged me about this was his handshake - it was very weak, and I always look upon someone with a weak handshake with incredulity until they prove themselves. Maybe it was part of his politeness though. I wondered if he just felt like women should receive less firm handshakes because we're...well...women. Incidentally, I would like it if the males who read my blog would comment on this, because I'm just not sure. All I know is if he shook my Daddy's hand like that, Daddy would immediately be distrustful.

I digress. I also noticed a few other eccentricities. When I mentioned a bad experience I had (bad, not embarrassing), he wore this odd look of concern or...confusion...or something. It was weird. He had interesting facial expressions - and Fabio hair. Fortuneately his hair was the only thing Fabio-esque and only because it was long and blond. A major bonus point in his favor was that he had seen and liked my favorite local bluegrass band, The Groundhawgs (more plugging). And he has a decent job. Imagine that.

In any case, I sensed all night that this odd fellow was kind of...well...what's a distinguished way to put, nevermind...he was kind of macking on me. And my suspicions were confirmed when David called me last night to tell me that Dude was asking about me and wanted to know if I was single. I told David he could give Dude my phone number and we'll see what happens.

I'm not sure about this guy. I'm sure he's not psychotic or evil or even abusive, but I still don't quite know if I like him. Of course, that's what first dates are for. He hasn't called me yet, but I suspect I'll hear from him sometime this week. Anyway, to use one of my favorite phrases again, we'll see.

I'm posting this video here because I feel like I need to give Kevn Kinney his propers. Here's "Sun Tangled Angel Revival." I love this song.

Monday, April 2, 2007

At the Precipice

Don't be caught with your drawers down
You can step right up, step right up...

Well, maybe not so much a precipice, because I don't think there's any danger involved...well, there could be. I just hope I can follow Tom Waits' advice and not get caught with my drawers down.

This is my first week of classes at Coosa Valley Tech. I finally know what business course I'm taking, so I now know my schedule. And that schedule is Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 5:30-10:00 - in the evening. Ouch. But I keep telling myself it's the means to the end. Financial independence and a job I'm not ashamed of - yep, I believe that's worth it.

But it's really not so much the job I'm ashamed of as myself. I know I can do better, and this is my opportunity to prove to myself that I can kick as much ass as I want (figuratively speaking of course). I'm excited, but I'm worried too. I'm just terrified that I'm not as smart as I think I am, and I'm afraid that these classes are going to be more difficult than I think they are. And then there's also that residual effect of the havoc my year of teaching wreaked on me: that fear that I'm going to fail miserably once again.

Yet I must straighten my shoulders and raise up my chin and do my best. Really all those fears are just a trick my mind is playing on me. At least I'm aware of it. I've got my books (that HOPE Grant is really a wonderful thing - I paid $18.77 for $118.77 worth of books), I've got my supplies (I've MISSED buying school supplies), and I'm ready to go.

But first, I have to endure this Grant Committee meeting thing for NERA. I'm not at all familiar with the process of all this political environmental, just plain mental hoopla, but I've talked to our knowledgeable and wise (wait...maybe not wise, but certainly knowledgeable) Executive Director, Professor Jones (as I like to call him) and now that I know a little more about the whole Grant process and all the things that need to be done before the May 31st deadline, I'm a little annoyed.

We have done exactly jack squat to get the ball rolling on this grant thing. The rest of the committee is talking about public meetings and trying to get certain members of the community to help out and whatnot. I do understand the need to gain support and raise the money. But we only have so much time. If these folks had half the passion people like Professor Jones have about this topic, they'd already be out there annoying people into helping. We haven't even had the grant writer at a meeting yet! All I know is that action speaks louder than words, and I ain't seeing a whole lot of action. It's time to buckle down.

Same goes for me. I will have exactly one night to myself this week, and that is Friday. I'm not used to this full of a schedule, but I'm sure I can do it - if I buckle down. And at this point in my life, failure is not an option.

Okay, so here's "Hysteria" by Muse - this song never fails to help me summon the power that lies dormant within my languid little body. Epileptics beware.

What would you most like to see on my new website for unpublished writers?