You know how when you sleep too late during the day you get really weird dreams? You don't? Well, that happens to me. Except mine are always nightmares.

Horrible awful nightmares that leave me feeling a bit quiet and withdrawn for a good chunk of time after I wake up.

So the nightmare that has left me feeling a bit shaky this afternoon?

I was living with a man. No romance involved, but jealousy enough on his part to imply interest, I think. I felt a great deal of gratitude toward him. He expected me to eat only certain things and certain amounts at certain times. I was required to do this and that and had to ask permission for just about everything. I tiptoed around the house hoping to avoid him.

At some point a tall wonderful man came in and took me out, showed me it didn't have to be like that, told me the guy was an ass...when I got home, I packed my bags and left.

I sit here now, feeling as shaky as I would had I dreamt of an evil monster eating me from the toes up.

Rather telling, don't ya think?

Book Review

Thought I'd briefly review some books from this past year's reading:

Confessions of a Sociopathic Social Climber
bitchy chick lit. funny, and unique b/c it takes the perspective of the bitch, rather than the nice girl dealing with the bitch.

How to be Good...Nick Hornby
fiction. funny social commentary by high fidelity author

Leota's Garden...Francine Rivers
fiction. touching novel about love in rare forms

Contact...Carl Sagan
sci fi. Incredible book. So much better than the movie. MUST READ!

Straight Talking...Jane Green
chick lit. One of my favs from one of my fav authors. brit lit at its best

While I was Gone...Sue Miller
oprah type women's lit. lifetime made for tv movie style...forgettable

Boy Meets Girl...Meg Cabot
chick lit. v. funny. told through emails.

Fishbowl...Sarah Mlynowski
chick lit. funny, but forgettable

Corner of His Eye...Dean Koontz
thriller. typical Koontz with some pilosophy thrown in

Nanny Diaries
chick lit. v. hilar. must read for anyone who nannies or babysits.

Redeeming Love...Francine Rivers
romance. V. amazing book. retelling of the book of Hosea. MUST READ!!

One Door Away From Heaven...Dean Koontz
thriller. Koontz's page turning philosophical suspense

Homing...John Saul
horror. I got scared, but it's a bit cheesy and simple

Midwives...Chris Bojahlin
oprah type women's lit. not altogether amazing, but an important piece of literature involving the rights of women

High Maintenance...Jennifer Belle
chick lit. V. funny. V. true. forgettable read, though.

Cold Fires...Dean Koontz
thriller...typical Dean Koontz. always a page turner

Dark Rivers of the Heart...
Dean Koontz

Babyville...Jane Green
chick lit...not my fave Jane Green book, but still funny and touching

Journey...Danielle Steele
romance. ok, only read this b/c it was a book on tape and I was on a long road trip and got it cheap. Blech. She's not a good writer. Why does she get a mansion in San Fran and I don't? Dammit.

Gap Creek
oprah women's lit. love story I think. forgetable.

Trans-sister Radio...Chris Bojahlin
oprah women's lit. love story involving a transsexual. interesting, but depressing.

God is an Iron...Spider Robinson
sci fi stories. Good concepts, but he's no Bradbury.

Bookends...Jane Green
chick lit. fab funny touching chick lit from a fab funny insightful brit with great oneliners.

Hotel of Saints...Ursula Hegi
fiction. fab story of immigrants making and continuing a life in America. Beautiful novel.

Bad Heir Day...Wendy Holden
chick lit. forgettable

Lamb...Christopher Moore
fiction. the story of Christ's first 33 years as told by Bif, his childhood best friend. FABULOUS funny satire (without sacrilege, I think). MUST READ, but only for those who are not easily offended.

PS I Love You...Cecelia Ahern
chick lit. touching, funny, emotional novel about love, death, and moving on from 22 yr old irish lass

American Girls Series
kids books. fabulous historical fiction. great for little girls.

Slow Dancing on Dinosaur Bones
fiction. dark humor in a southern novel

To Have and to Hold...Jane Green
chick lit. sweet story, but my brit seems to be running out of wit

An Invisible Sign of My Own...aimee bender
fiction. FABULOUS story about numbers and love and self by an amazing and eccentric author

Obsessions...John Douglas
true crime. A look into the mind of serial killers. A barely healthy dose of spine-chilling reality.

Avoiding Prison and Other Noble Vacation Goals...Wendy Dell
travel narrative. V. hilar. lots of action and fabulous observations on a journey of self-discovery.

When in Germany...Hyde Flippo
travel...v. cool book detailing german culture so as to prevent shock

travel narratives...stories from women who moved to foreign countries. funny, emotional, and educational

Best American Travel Writing
travel stories...fab, funny...read it if you travel

Truman...David McCullough
bio. Fabulous bio of Harry S. Long, but so worth it.

Prayer of Jabez for women...Diane Wilkinson
Christianity. Don't see why the huge deal was made. Decent book. Typical of most Christian books.

Under the Banner of Heaven...Jon Krakauer
Mormonism. An in depth view of fundamentalist mormons through the eyes of extreme sports writer krakauer. AMAZING BOOK. a def. MUST READ!!!!

Into the Wild...Jon Krakauer
outdoor sports. a philosophical and detailed look at a guy who walked off into the wild and died there. again, fabulous book. Krakauer please write more!

Boy Who Loved Windows...Stacey
autism. fab book about a mom who knew her son needed help and did all she could to get it. Triumphant story.

I Kissed Dating Goodbye...Joshua Harris
Christianity. pompous book by a 20 yr old kid that thinks he has the answers. Has some pretty good insight, though.

Boy Meets Girl...Joshua Harris
Christianity...the sequel...now he's 25 or something.

Short History of Nearly Everything...Bill Bryson
science...FABULOUS brief but humorous detail of science greats. MUST READ!


I stepped on a piece of glass and cut my foot. :(

Coincidentally, I also broke one of my new wine glasses.



My day is soooo made. :) I've only been dieting three weeks and I got my first, "how much weight have you lost? you look great!" today!

Woo hoo! All the encouragement I needed to avoid that pumpkin cheesecake at breaktime. B&N cafe discounts are from the devil.


Just finished a fabulous book by one of my fav authors, Aimee Bender. It's called An Invisible Sign of My Own.

An idea from it I love:

"I make a move to leave but his hand clamps over my wrist and I say: I want to go NOW, but his hand is a brace and I slam against it. His fingers chafe my wrist. Pull harder. Pull. His hand is strong. I pull as hard as I can, throw the weight of my whole body against his hand, more, and I never get to do this, I never pull as hard as I can, I always pull less hardthan I can just in case, but here I am straining, feet braced against the bed for leverage, and his hand is strong and wiry and I say: Let Me Go! and he is laughing at me and he says: You keep trying if you want but I will not let you go. I will not let you go."

Sometimes a woman needs a man to fight her for her. Sometimes she pulls to test, but is always afraid to do it for real, so it turns into manipulation and games rather than having real trust. All within the context of you really wanting to stick around but pulling away from fear, of course. When you know he won't let you go no matter how hard you pull, you can finally learn to trust.
So I've definitely made the decision to not move to Germany in April. I will still be going over there and staying for a few months, but the trip will have a set return date. Also, I'm waiting until fall to go so I can save up some more cash and get all the grad school apps and such taken care of before I leave. It's a delay, but it feels right. Long-term decisions aren't exactly my thing, so I'm pretty happy with myself right now. :) And I get to hang out with some of the great people I've met here a little longer. Yay for me.


Romantic or Creepy?

My MOTHER handed me this note that an acquaintance gave her yesterday:

I am looking for a woman to love. Simply to love. No questions asked of the past in her life. Let's do today, today. Do you know of any woman interested?

Seriously. My mom can't get love notes. That's just weird. Then again, it's really friggin cute. Ack.


I got the best compliment I think I've ever received yesterday:

"there is something fierce and mystical in you...
the man who tames you will be a true master, and you will reward him beyond his dreams in loyalty and firey love"

Although I'm not sure there's a man who can tame me :) but I guess we'll find out.


Some tips for men on a first date:*

On Fashion:

Don't wear a snowflake sweater like the ones Grandmas give you when you're a child.
Do watch Queer Eye and dress accordingly.

On Conversation:

Don't interrupt her every time she talks. This is a dialogue, not a monologue.
Do follow the 20 comments/question rule: Never say more than 20 things about yourself before asking your date a question about her.

Don't talk about the same movie for twenty minutes and refer back to it constantly unless your date is also commenting frequently and in great depth.
Do allow your conversation to cover a large range of subjects. If your date is not responding well, ask questions in order to change the subject.

Don't talk about your hair more than she does hers.
Do compliment hers if you feel a need to touch it during the date.

Don't do creepy things like touch your date's in an out-of-context moment just to see how long it is.
Do save that for the non-creepy moments like right before a kiss, or during the goodnight (IF she's leaning into you).

Don't tell your date at the beginning of every song that this is yet another one you sang at karaoke.
Do sing along if appropriate, but never louder than every other person at the bar, and not if you don't know the words (unless you're trashed, then it's perfectly acceptable).

Don't interrupt a song or other happy, lively moment to tell your date that someone in your family is dying/sick/getting divorced/anything negative and then stare waiting for a response. This is awkward and out of context.
Do share important things about yourself rather than doing a monologue about your favorite movie, but only at an appropriate time.

On Goodnights:

Don't stare at your date not saying anything after she says she had a nice time.
Do ask her out again (or don't) and say goodnight and turn away (unless she leans into you, in which case you need to assess whether it's for a kiss or just a peck on the cheek).

Don't reach out and grab her cheek unless she's looking dreamily into your eyes and leaning forward.
Do let go when she jerks her head back.

Don't overstay your welcome.
Do leave her wanting more.

Don't IM or call her AFTER goodnight.
Do wait until AT LEAST the next day.

Don't IM her the second she signs on.
Do give her a chance to let everything load and check her email or news or whatever. If she is eager to talk to you, she will IM you when she's ready.

On Unhappy Endings:

Don't assume that you will hit it off and become romantic right away.
Do keep it low-pressure, let things happen without forcing them, and go with the flow.

Don't throw an overly-dramatic emotional hissy fit if she tells you she'd rather just be friends.
Do be happy for getting to spend time with someone new, for gaining a possible friend, or just for the fact that she told you instead of ignoring you.

Don't contact her the next day pretending to apologize only to attack her for telling you she wasn't interested.
Do apologize if it's sincere, then, if you thought she did something shitty, let it go and be thankful you were only one night into it.

Don't imply that she owes you money for her part of the bill.
Do calculate the correct amount if you must be an ass.

Don't be an ass.

*Normally I wouldn't be so mean as to outline all of the things that have gone wrong on a date, but sometimes a girl is completely justified.


I just finished a fabulous new book by Cecelia Ahern, the 22 year old daughter of Ireland's Prime Minister. It's chick lit with depth about a young woman who loses her husband to a brain tumor and how she gets along afterward. Sounds kinda sappy...I expected to be crying throughout the book, but it's actually very well written, and just when you think a tear might spurt out your eye, the author makes you laugh. Definitely worth looking for when it comes out in February.

A quote from it:

She thought about what she had learned, who she once was and who she had now become. ...

She was a woman who made mistakes, who sometimes cried on a Monday morning or at night alone in bed. She was a woman who often became bored with her life and found it hard to get up for work in the morning. She was a woman who more often than not had a bad hair day, who looked in the mirror and wondered why she couldn't just drag herself to the gym more often, she was a woman who had sometimes hated her job and questioned what reason she had to live on this planet. She was a woman who sometimes just got things wrong.

On the other hand, she was a woman with a million happy memories, who knew what it was like to experience true love and who was ready to experience more life, more love and make new memories. Whatever lay ahead, she knew she would open her heart and follow where it led her.

In the meantime, she would just live.


Another quote from Slow Dancing on Dinosaur Bones:

"Well forget that shit then. I don't need to be lucky in love. I'm still here, though, I didn't die, and I didn't go insane, and I must be here for a reason, and, if I'm not here for a reason, I'm going to make a goddamned reason."


Fun quotes from my current read, Slow Dancing on Dinosaur Bones, by Lana Witt:

"Silence takes your clothes off, stands you naked in front of a mirror, and points out your flaws."

"...the next best thing to avoiding human contact altogether is to speak, sleep, and carouse with everyone all the time. ...There's not much difference between the two ways of living, it's when you try to get intimate with one person that you get into trouble."

I was enjoying my usual Tuesday night routine (drooling over Kiefer for an hour before watching Judging Amy with Mom) when I was struck with an image so powerful it sent me into immediate tears. The issue is not something I can change, as a great deal has already been done to ensure it does not happen in the future, but I feel that I should share anything that hits me that strongly.

On the show, the social worker character (Tyne Daly) interrupts a church healing service at which the purpose was to drive the demons from an autistic boy. The scene shows the character walking into a room where adults sit on the floor surrounding a shirtless young boy restrained with rope at wrists and ankles. The minister is attempting to cast out demons by whipping the boy's already very bloody back. Mom and I both let out some kind of noise of horror and I started crying uncontrollably.

So I'm a sap, right? It's just a television show. It's just dramatic effect. That doesn't really happen. Right?

I am a sap, but my horror at this scene was justified by real life. In my daily work with autistic children I have learned of many atrocious acts that have been committed against these individuals in a search for a cure. Most of those things are past tense and have been abated by government relief and new types of therapies (namely, ABA). This one, though? this is real.

Pentacostal churches are known for practicing faith healings. A branch of the Pentacostal denomination, the Apostolic church, was charged with homicide last year after a crime much like the one described on Judging Amy.

The Milwauke Journal Sentinel Reports:

"[The mother] helped hold her 8-year-old son motionless while church elder Ray Hemphill, who admits to having no formal theological training, lay on the child to drive out the evil spirit that wasn't there in the first place. For two sweaty hours, Hemphill ordered demons to leave Terrance. When he was finished, the poor boy had suffocated and was soaked with his own urine from the ordeal, a criminal complaint says."

In further commentary from The Religion News Blog:

"Terrance's father said in a telephone interview that when he saw his son's body in the ambulance Friday night, there were bruises on his arms and he was told there was skin under the boy's fingernails, which he took as signs that Terrance had struggled.

"It's like he was fighting for his life," said Terrance Cottrell Sr."

So here's the deal: this is only one event. This kind of thing doesn't happen all the time, right? Well, probably not. But consider for a second that we only know about this one because the boy died. How many children have faced "healings" without facing death? Perhaps this incident's brief stint in the national news has served to decrease the number of like events, but we are human, we forget, and history always repeats itself.


I've come to the conclusion that people get hurt more easily than they should because they expect too damn much from other humans. Dude, give us a break, we're all fucked up in some way. If he doesn't call the next day, it doesn't mean he doesn't like you or didn't really want your number. It means that he's a man and can only think of what's in front of him and your number is in his pocket while his job/the football game/his buddies/his dinner is right in front of him. If he doesn't give you a call in a week, then perhaps you should be focusing a bit more on your job/friends/life anyway. If you IM her and she can't talk, or is brief, or doesn't even answer...give her a break. Maybe she's tired, maybe she's talking to friends she's known and loved all of her life who definitely come before you at the moment, maybe she's looking up her dream home on the trading spaces website...whatever it is, let her enjoy it. DON'T force a woman into the idea of being ready at your beck and call so that when you don't call (or im as the case may be) she sits there waiting...and waiting...and...well, you get the idea. Let her have her fun, enjoy her down time, and don't flip out. If she ignores you EVERY time, perhaps you should send a quick email saying, hey, do you want me to stop talking to you? That's the nice guy thing to do.

In other words, really, just chill the frick out. Obsessing hurts you wayyyyy worse than it hurts them, b/c if you're obsessing, they probably don't care. Just let them be who they are, don't force it...throw in a couple of good hooks and then sit back, be mysterious, and let them catch on when they want. Don't be so damned impatient. Argh.

Okay rant of the day over.


The other day, a psych major friend and I were discussing the reasons for the promiscuity and casual attitude towards sex many rape victims display. Actually, we were trying to find those reasons.

Today an image typical to film, television, and literature struck me quite strongly. A woman is crying; she needs comfort; she is hurt; she is scared. A man touches her tear-stained lips with his finger and tenderly kisses her forehead, then her lips. He then looks into her eyes and strokes her cheek, showing her his love, protectiveness, and trustworthiness.

Okay, back to real life. How many times does this actually happen? Sincerely? One, if you're lucky. More if you live the life of a romance character, I suppose.

Isn't it easier to pretend that you don't give a shit? Really, I mean, if it's just sex, who cares if he wants to take care of you? Isn't that one of the reasons for a casual attitude toward sex? Possibly one of the reasons for promiscuity? I suppose it might be the same for rape victims.

If you can't trust, control...right?

*double sigh*
God I hate fucking romance novels.

But every once in awhile, a girl just needs to cry. and watch a love face some predictable obstacle only to come out happy in the end. And all in two hours of reading.

A spoof of Eagle Eye Cherry's "Save Tonight" from Bugsy Malone's:

Gay Tonight

"I've got my wine and Manilow
yes I know he's hetero
Lord I wish it wasn't so"
Taking a break from cleaning my room to catch up a bit. I realized recently that I could change the date and time to make it look like I'm writing this as it happens, but ya know, that would just be dishonest. :)

Spent New Year's Eve out on my first trip to a gay bar with some boys from BN. It was fun, but definitely not the most condusive environment to me finding someone to kiss at midnight. Saw some people from high school...that's always interesting... "so, hi, long time no see...how are you? gay now? huh...good for you." Definitely an awkward situation. Not nearly as awkward as the situation my friend faced upon walking in when he saw his rabbi in the bar. I suppose the gay bar was worth the flowing fountains of champagne, though. And hey, now I can say I've been to one, and I've seen a drag show. Marked a couple more experiences off my list.

Last night I came home all excited to get packed to head for my trip to Memphis, but when I got home I found out my trip would be delayed because of an inescapable work meeting. I was pissed and upset and all emotional and stuff, so went out with plans to get sloshed with Jan. Went to Sir Greg's and actually paced myself enough that I wasn't drunk til the very end of the night, and not sloppily so. Tres proud of self. Scored a couple numbers and a plethora of free drinks. Got a call this morning asking if I wanna go out. How to explain that I don't date to someone I showed interest in when drunk? May go out for coffee, I suppose. Depends on the conversation we have when I call back. More to follow, then, I suppose.

Mandys site is coming soon!!!


ok, back to cleaning the room...
(car is clean, it's a miracle...would be a triple if room and house also get clean before I leave)