NoSalesTax

Two Elon alumni (2002) have pooled their talents to bring excitement and joy to your day. One is a classy woman who combines her Italian and feminine powers to influence men of all shapes and sizes. The other is a tall blond man who relies on wit and boyish good looks to impress women, especially when they're drunk. Join them in their epic pursuit of the phenomenon known as adulthood. NoSalesTax side effects may include addiction and abrupt laughter as colleagues look on in confused jealousy.

Friday, February 18, 2005

NEWS FLASH

Michael Jackson's two favorite things to do: "Climb trees and have water balloon fights."

The roomie and I watched a special on Mikey last night...It was like a car wreck- horrible and gruesome, yet we couldn't look away. The above quote was definetely one of the highlights of the show. After he said that, he raced off to a huge oak tree and, I shit you not, climbed up it with a huge grin on his face. I think he even waved from up there. The roomie said it best:

Roomie: How old is your dad?
T-Rock: I think about 48
Roomie: Ok, thats only a few years older than Michael Jackson. Does your dad have water balloon fights and climb trees? Are those his favorite things?
T-Rock: No.
Roomie: Ok. Does Michael Jackson realize other men his age don't do those things?
T-Rock: No.
Roomie: Ok.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Ew

It’s worth writing that this morning I found a HUGE dead rat right by one of my tires. I saw it on my way out the door. It made me gag. Not so much throw up in my mouth gag, but like that throat-gag, where there’s nothing there. It’s almost worse.
Mice are okay. I saw a mouse in an apartment a few months ago and it was no big deal. But this rat was big and fat and DEAD. Maybe dead is better than alive.
It was all I could do to avoid running it over. The thought of my car tire slowly rolling over it as I pulled out of my parking spot and having to listen to it slightly splatter, feel it under my tire, made me gag again.
So I’m looking for something to make my day a little better.

I know this great guy...

Last night Greggster and I were at Stetson’s for dart night. He plays in a league and I go along for the attention…..meaning I get to watch and talk to his fabulous, sweet, funny friends and let them buy me beer, tell me I’m great and bust Greggster’s balls a lil bit.
When I say these guys are great, I mean it. They are GREAT. These are guys who are a little older than me, who have great senses of humor, great jobs, great listening skills and great smiles. They make me love Greggster even more- knowing he has picked such wonderful friends makes me feel like he may have picked me for some of those same reasons (at least I hope).
Here’s what I don’t get- they are mostly single…
I talk to these men for hours some nights, and when I leave the bar with my Greggster, I think to myself, these guys have a lot to offer. They make me feel good about myself.
Actually, maybe I do get it. Looking in from the outside, it may appear “easy” to meet people in a city. There’s work and bars and deli’s and parks, and the gym. There’s happy hour.
But- if you are shy- how do you take advantage of any of these opportunities?
Case in point- last night I am hanging out with said “nice guys”, and one asks, “Do you have any single friends?”
Nice guy #1 has a brother who also plays on the team. The brother is certainly one of the best listeners I’ve met in DC. He is also funny, sensitive, caring, has an awesome memory and knows a lot about movies, plays, music and construction. He drinks beer and watches baseball. A man’s man, but a lady’s fortune.
Nice guy #1 goes on to explain things I already know- his brother has been through a divorce, went through tough times, but has lost 30 pounds, has opened a new chapter in his life, has a more positive outlook and is ready for some companionship.
But he is shy- he won’t talk to girls based on their looks at bars (which, quite frankly I respect). I gather that he is less inclined to seek some one out. Crowds aren’t his scene at all, and I believe he is best one on one. I look forward to talking with him because the conversation always takes on meaningful tone. Even if it’s about baseball, I walk away feeling like I have learned and I have laughed.
I kind of have to step outside my own box for this one. I will talk to anyone and everyone. I love meeting people, making people laugh, and making people feel comfortable. I met my boyfriend in a bar- I meet my friends at work, and I even manage to strike up conversation with randoms at the gym. It’s just me.
But what must it be like for someone who can’t just open up? Someone who feels like they might have something to lose?
So I suggest match.com. And apparently this seems like a reasonable solution. #1 tells me he is going to suggest this to his brother. I know many people that have found suitable suitors on match. I think it’s a different creature today than it was a few years ago- I think much of the stigma is gone, and that’s exciting.
I will search for him. I will start conversations with single girlfriends with “I know this great guy….” Is that how shy people meet? A friend of a friend sets them up?

Even big cities can make you feel like you are alone, sometimes.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

If you have never said it before...

When is the best time to first say "I love you"?

Quote of the Day

Yesterday, while picking up three boys and bringing them to our after-school program, one of them looked up at me and said w/ excitement, "You look COOL!" Kids don't lie, my friends. Kids don't lie.

Kidult Swim

I recently read an article in TIME about the twenty-something generation. It focused on the change in our (our generation, that is) yearning for marriage, children, locking into a career, living on our own…basically everything classically defined as “adult”. The author speculated about our reasons for waiting longer, trying a million things and delaying what some call the inevitable. More kids live with their parents after college, many take more than 4 years to graduate, and some wait till after 30 to marry.

Apparently society is to “blame” for our shift in behavior. Apparently all this waiting around is seen as “bad”.

Tell me, what is so “bad” about being totally sure you love someone before marrying them? What is so wrong about experiencing so much before you settle into one career or life, so that when you do settle in, you have no regrets? Why is it wrong to save a lot of money and have a wonderful couple of years with your spouse before you have kids?

Why is indecision always seen as the wrong decision?

I came across the terminology- kidults, in this article. I kinda like the word. I’d sit at the kidults table at Thanksgiving. I’d order off the kidults menu- I’ll bet it’s cheaper. I wonder if pools have kidult swim. All of the twenty-somethings would jump in, beer in one hand, business card in the other. We’d play marco polo and network at the same time…we’d get phone numbers, too. And hangovers.

I think that sometimes when I look into my mom’s eyes, I see a small bit of envy. She married my dad as a senior in college and started having kids at 23. Here she is, 24 years later and still trying to finish up her master’s degree. Maybe she would have liked to play around a bit, test waters, meet more people and learn a little bit about herself before she had to devote her time, heart and mind to her family. I know I certainly do.

Other times, I worry that I see disappointment in her eyes. I am 24, I’m not married, I don’t have kids, I don’t own a house. I have a boyfriend and pay rent and still go to work hung-over sometimes.

Is that failure? Not by my standards. It’s more like adult life in the making…all the while, I am enjoying every minute of this in-between, where I get to be whatever and whoever I want, without the risk of hurting anyone but myself. Well, maybe that’s not true, but at least my income supports me, not my children and my mortgage.

I know soon it will be time to make commitments and take plunges. But I don’t think there is anything immoral or wrong or degenerative about being a million different kinds of me for a while. I like kidult swim.

I see that our culture is shifting, here, and I see that there could be negative impacts on our society, economy, etc. However, I don’t see that the shift itself is bad, or indicative of bad people. We are, in fact, very nice kidults.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Best Day of Work

Today has been fantastic. We had a staff meeting this morning, and I made some solid contributions to the discussion. My boss also told me I added some much-needed enthusiasm and creativity to the "think tank," which is one of the main reasons I was hired. I even volunteered to find some van drivers for an event next month. I read in a certain magazine it's good to volunteer for projects when starting a new job.

I also volunteered to pick up our after-school program kids this afternoon since the usual driver is sick. I'm sure the 15-passegner Econoline will bring back fond memories of AmeriCorps. When I return, I'm gonna squeeze in a workout before teaching basketball to 7- and 8-year-olds (filling in for the usual instructor). I did it last week, too, and had the kids running the three-man weave and believing line drills are fun. It was just like my camp days, only in a gymnasium instead of on a sun-scorched field.

So yea, I'm startin to feel at home here at the Y, and I'm startin to put my stamp on some of its programs. Things are looking up. Oh, and I got my car fixed over the weekend, meaning I no longer drive a four-wheeled motorcycle (thanks to a new front pipe).

Hope everyone had a great Valentine's Day (aka National Single Awareness Day). My highlight was talkin on the phone to one of my (AmeriCorps) sisters for an hour last nite. What was your highlight?

Teen Center Action

I kicked a kid outta the Teen Center yesterday for the first time. I'm a huge proponent for letting teens be teens. I'd much rather have them at the center after school than on the streets gettin into mischief (drugs, vandalism, sexual experimentation, etc.). On the other hand, the Teen Center has gotsa have some rules. Yesterday I decided one of those rules is the banning of crotch shots. I don't like it when any of the kids hit/push each other, but most of 'em are in high school. Boys will be boys.

So I witnessed this kid Brian (a real "punk") punch another kid in the nuts yesterday. I walked over to 'em both and said it needs to stop and I'm not gonna tell 'em again. Sure enough, I caught Brian sneaking up on another kid and hitting him right in the pills. He turned around to see me glaring at him. In a firm voice, I said, "Get out. Get your stuff and get out." He tried being a wise-ass about it, etc., but I didn't move. I'm starting to realize my tall stature can make me pretty intimidating, esp. when I put on my angry face (very few have seen this). As I walked him out the door, he tried gettin in one last sarcastic comment to make his buddies laugh, but I drowned out his voice by saying, "If you wanna touch boys, do it somewhere else." THAT got the kids laughing. Brian left w/out another word. BAM!

When his mom came to pick him up, I contemplated walking outside to tell her why her son had been kicked outta the Teen Center, but I figured he'd endured enough embarrassment for one afternoon.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Returning Home

Much like T-Rock (scroll down for her entry), I had a good weekend, as well. I drove home (as in Keene, NH, where I grew up) Friday nite after gettin outta work at 10pm. It's not as bad as it sounds since I don't come into work on Fridays till 1pm. Anyway, I got my haircut Saturday by the same guy who's been cuttin my hair since I was in middle school. I also walked around downtown for a bit to check out the ice sculpture festival. Just one of the perks of New England. The guys using chainsaws made me reminisce about firefighting. "Across the hill!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

I went to my friend Steve's apt. Sat. nite to help him celebrate his 25th bday. It seems like only four years ago he turned 21. Where does the time go?

After playing one of the greatest drinking games ever, Baseball (comin to a store near you), w/ his friends from work, we headed to the bars in high spirits (partly due to drunkenness, partly due to the balmy 30-degree nite). Here's where the nite gets hazy.

I remember arriving at the bar, buying a round and discussing how atrocious the band was. Then I remember leaving. The three hours in-between are lost forever. After closing down the bar, we walked to Cumby's (Cumberland Farms) for some Gatorade and snacks. It was then I realized I miss DC, where late-nite pizza is more accessible than a drunk bridesmaid. On our way to Cumby's, some college kids were staring at us. We decided we'd fight them. Unfortunately, they declined and walked away. Maybe next time.

After shoving random candy bars in my mouth, I began shouting, "Pizza MAAAAAAAAAAAAAART" as we stumbled around downtown. If you got a voice message that nite containing those two words, it was probably me. I finished my Gatorade on the walk home and passed out in bed. Fortunately, I did not pee all over my parents' bedroom door this time. Unfortunately, I woke up the next morning wishing I were dead. Now isn't that what being home is all about?

Finding Home

Sometimes it gets a bad rap. But let me tell you about a great weekend in DC.
The Greggster and I made reservations at Lavandou on Connecticut Ave.
http://lavandourestaurant.net/
It’s a French restaurant, which made us both a little nervous, but we had a gift certificate.
We took a cab from Greggster’s place and the driver was lovely. He showed us a shortcut from the condo to the restaurant, which was rad because we only knew the long way.
We arrived pretty early, and stopped into the bar next door, Nanny O’Brien’s for a drink or two, to pass time and start our weekend….
Greggster sat down at the bar and I went to the bathroom…and when I returned he had a shit-eating grin on his face. There was a man standing next to him who looked vaguely familiar. “I was just talking to (insert name of national news broadcaster here).”
I’ll be damned. It was him.
We finished our drinks and so did Mr. News, when he left he wished us luck and told us the weekend’s big stories. It was a very cool DC moment.
We skipped over to Lavandou were we feasted on French wine, escargot, lobster, steak and Grand Marnier Mousse. It was an incredible meal and an incredible high. One of those meals where you drink just enough to make you smile, make your cheeks red, make everything in the room seem a little bit more warm and wonderful. We left smiling and laughing, eyes glittering in city lights.
If it was warmer (and the Greggster wasn’t injured…see previous entry) we might have walked. Instead we hopped in another cab and headed home, with great stories about French food, French wine and hanging out at our local bar with celebrities.
Saturday night we took friends to our favorite sushi restaurant. It was the kind of meal where you eat a lot, talk loud, laugh louder and wish you never had to leave. From there we headed over to Greggsters to show off the condo, and then to a club where friends of ours were having a birthday party in the VIP room. We partied till late, saw a NFL player or two and were ready to pass out when we got home.
Sunday we shopped at a local market, worked on Greggsters condo and put together a new aquarium.
Maybe it’s pretentious and maybe we just like to spend a lot of money (although I don’t think that’s really it. On weekends when we walk around and eat cheap Chinese food I feel equally as impressed and satisfied). I think it’s the charm of this city makes me feel at home often. I guess it’s like any other city with restaurants, bars and taxi cabs. But it has it’s own pace.
I lived in 3 houses growing up. When I went to college, I was an RA, and lived in 4 different dorms with many different people. After school I moved back home, then to an apartment in Virginia, and now I live in DC. I am very adaptable. I can pick up and leave and change and not feel like a part of me is lost or sad.

But this place is beginning to feel a lot like home.