Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Getting Lucky

No, this post is not about that kind of getting lucky. This is about my much-needed mini-vacay to Reno/Tahoe this past week and how I got semi-lucky at Craps and 100% lucky in terms of the family I was born into.

For my sister's birthday - and an excuse to get the hell outta dodge for 4 days - she, my cousin Wendy from San Diego and I all got together for some rowdy good times. We always have a blast when the 3 of us get together, and I needed this trip to revive my monotonous spirits.

Our first day we watched old home movies of the 3 of us circa 1992. The highlights included: our choreographed rollerskate dance to "More Bounce to the Ounce," us pretending to have an auction while bidding - with Monopoly money - on pictures my sister drew on business cards, lip synching to Madonna's "Vogue" in the living room with an unexpected outburst from my dad, who was on the phone in the kitchen, "Awww, shit!", and me trying to explain that my boyfriend was Brandon from 90210. Classics!

We then met up with my parents to go see "Inception." Oh. My. Heavenly. Father. My mind was absolutely blown from that movie - soooo good! I'm actually seeing it again tomorrow night - but at the IMAX! It's going to be legit.

The next day was spent in Tahoe riding bikes by the lake. We ate lunch at this awesome place on the beach, which included many rum runners (these amazing smoothie-type drinks that are made up of about 7% slush and 93% rum). I'm not positive, but the drinks might have had an effect on our hysterical, uncontrollable laughter when my lip gloss oozed everywhere and Wendy attempted to put it on anyway. We got some dirty looks at that point.

Wendy bought us a hotel room for the night, so we decided to live it up big. We dressed up and headed to a comedy show that my mom's co-worker got us in for free. It was so much fun! Two of the comedians were black, and not to stereotype, but black people sure do know how to tell jokes (well, and Chelsea Handler, of course). The show was hysterical.

Next stop was this dancing area of the casino, which was truly just a glorified meat market. We were oogled everywhere we went by drunk douches, and a man probably older than Jesus tried to dance with me.

Thankfully, the night was saved when 3 guys came to chat us up in a very genuine, non-I'm-going-to-roofie-your-cocktail kind of way. Two of the guys were from Australia, and it was their first time in America. The other guy was from Seattle, and Wendy had her eye on him. Being the skeptic I am, I grilled Australian Guy #1 and asked if his accent was real. I think Kangaroo had a hard time understanding me.

We took the guys with us to the Craps table and taught them how to play. Earlier in the day I'd been pretty lucky - increasing my money by five-fold! Later that night, not so much. But it was still fun to watch and get into it with the whole table.

I learned that Australian Guy #1 teaches autistic kids, surfs every morning and can't understand why America offers such large portions of food. Australian Guy #2, a.k.a. George Clooney from Down Under, seemed to have his eye on my cousin, but she was more into Seattle guy. The 3 of them were super nice and friendly, and I like that they weren't trying to spit some game at us (well, if they were, my sis and I were not part of the program).

They ditched us later on though when we went to the bathroom. WTF?! Oh, well. It was time for me to get to bed. It was 2:30 a.m. after all.

Saturday and Sunday were pretty laid back. My sister's boss was out of town, so she let us stay in her house - no wait, more like mansion! It was this gorgeous house in a gated community in Reno, and we felt very high-class. It made it even more like a real vacation!

We ate sushi on Saturday night, which included about 4 sake bombs for me. Those are hands-down my favorite drinks! They always make me so happy :) I don't think I have ever had as much to drink as I did on this trip, but thankfully it was spread out throughout the day so I was never hammered beyond oblivion or hungover.

We played more Craps that night and got to bed around 3 a.m. Daaaaamn, look at little ol' Trace. Staying up late several times in one week. Now that's how a 24-year-old should act! I was beginning to worry that I was pre-menopausal already.

I was sad when the trip came to an end. I love my sister and cousin sooo much - I'm so lucky to have those girls in my life! Being around them makes me feel like I can totally be myself, and everytime we have a vacation together, I leave it feeling confident, happy and like I don't need anyone else in this world but my family.

Monday, July 19, 2010

No Woman's Land

Last night I had the distinct pleasure of penetrating a world so simple, yet so foreign to me - a guys' night in.

Growing up with a sister, numerous female cousins and a gaggle of girlfriends, I've never been around boys much (hence why I'm generally very awkward around them). Sure, I grew up with my dad, had a boy roommate at one point, and visited boyfriends' places plenty of times. But there really is nothing like being a fly on the wall when a group of 20-something guys get together.

A guy friend of mine invited me over to his place last night, and I arrived to find 4 guys sitting around, drinking beer and watching an old episode of "Family Guy." Oh my, was I in for a treat. None of these guys was trying to impress me by any means, so that basically meant they were oblivious to the shy little lady in the corner.

I know not all guys are like this, but it's funny to see how so many stereotypes we have about men can be true at times. In my few hours over there watching TV, here are some of the gems I witnessed:

- Burps and farts incorporated into jokes

- X-rated cell phone photos of one guy's new 40-year-0ld girlfriend (what happened to the good ol' days of carrying around innocent photo booth pics in your wallet?)

- Celebratory cheers when 2 girls began making out on the clearly-written-by-men show, "Entourage"

- Macho refusals to admitting to having any "man crushes"

- A refigerator consisting solely of beer, water and strawberry jam (expiration date questionable)

- Being told how great I smell (well of course I smelled good - these guys weren't exactly the types to invest in Oust...or cracking a window)

- Injuring my foot as I walked over a myriad of beer bottle caps that sat directly next to the kitchen trash can

Don't get me wrong - I had a blast sitting back and watching all of this take place! It was a nice change of pace from my female-dominated social circle. And P.S. I didn't step foot in the bathroom for obvious reasons. I'd probably have winded up with hepatitus or amoebic dysentary.

Hanging with these guys also got me to see first-hand why most men aren't jumping at the chance to be in relationships. Who wants to be forced to watch "chick flicks," talk about feelings and spend your hard-earned money when you can just chill out at home with friends and be 100% comfortable? I get the whole male camaraderie thing, and I'm sort of envious of it in a way. Guys are able to maintain their friendships without letting insignificant, catty bullshit get in the way. And they're happy as pigs in shit (sometimes this is literally true) doing just this, day in and day out.

But it got me thinking - this whole life of bachelorhood must get mundance at some point, right?.....Right?

Sigh. I think it's time for me to take a page out of the Boys' Club handbook and just enjoy the relationships I have with my family and friends. And who knows? Maybe one day I'll end up with a guy who actually likes things clean and won't mind watching "The Bachelorette" with me. Sure, he'll have already checked his testicles at the door at that point, but I'm optimistic that a real man who isn't afraid to admit he has a "man crush" is out there.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Does No One Follow Through Anymore?

OK, I swear I'll get to the complaining first and then move onto the positivity.

In the last week, I've been stood up/ditched/ignored/flaked on by 3 different people. What the eff? Why is it so hard for people to follow through on their commitments?

The first was last weekend - came from someone who has many strikes against him in the Disappointment category. So should I really be surprised? The thing is, though, that despite me expecting this from him, I still got my hopes way up. I cleaned my apartment, made it smell all flowery. I even made my bed all the way (as in, putting all the stupid pillows on it and using those annoying ass shams). Oh, and I groomed myself from top to bottom and wore a new dress. All for nothin'!

So yes, I became that girl sitting around, pathetically waiting on a perfectly good Saturday night. I counteracted the dejected feeling by drinking.

Then this last weekend I was told by another guy that he'd text me later and let me know his plans so we could hang out. Didn't hear a peep for the rest of the night. What is UP with this world?

He apologized the next day and said he "forgot" to let me know his plans, which apparently consisted of him getting belligerent. Wow. I sure know how to pick the winners.

The last and final brush off this last week (and then I promise to stop bitching) was a friend of mine from college. She was in SF for the last week and had been talking about getting together for weeks now. Nope, never happened. I was supposed to drive into the city today, but she canceled last minute. OK, OK. That circumstance I understand since she has been busy and probably didn't anticipate having to fit in so much stuff in such a short trip. But still - it's just been a lonely week, to say the least.

On the other hand, this weekend turned out all right. I went to a surprise party for the roomie's mom, and it was awesome! I even got teary-eyed - I just LOVE surprises!

The other ray of light in my life is that I have a short week at work - I'm taking 2 days off and heading to Reno for a sister/cousin extravaganza! My cousin from San Diego is flying up, and the 3 of us are going to hit the town. Not quite sure what we're going to do, but I know no matter what it is, we'll have a blast.

I'm really needing to get out of town these days. I'm excited for it to be my mini-vacay already!

And as for all my negativity as of late, I know I'll shake that soon. I'm usually pretty peppy and optimistic. It's just been a rough few weeks I guess :/

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Downside of Being Nice Part 2

Last October I wrote about being too nice and delivering an apple dumpling from Apple Hill to a random waiter that I presumed to be gay. He proceeded to drop sexual innuendos on me like bombs over Baghdad.

I should have learned then just where being nice gets you, but no. I committed the same crime again last night.

I have a guy friend of mine that I've known since high school. We went to prom together, actually, where he generally ignored me the whole night and danced with his ex-girlfriend. We've always been friendly with one another, but I've come to realize that this character is one creepy bastard.

Whenever he's single and drinking, he will sometimes "reveal" that he feels something for me. That's only happened a couple times in the past, but more recently, he keeps trying to hang out with me late at night. I have either flat out said no or just ignored him because I don't want to deal with it. But because I was having a shitty evening yesterday (and out with my roomie drinking away) I gave in to hanging out.

He roped me in by guilting me, explaining that he just needed some advice on something. I figured with my roommate there I'd be safe. Oh boy, not the case.

He came over and we all 3 chatted a bit, but then my roomie went to bed. So this guy proceeds to lay on my bed and pretend to sleep. Seriously?!? I was not amused. And nowhere in our conversation did he ever bring up what he so urgently needed advice on. HELLO! This means one thing - I am clueless.

After a slew of inappropriate sexual questions (what is it with these clingy, creepy weirdos and their over-the-top inquiries??), I had to tell him a good 15 times to leave. All while he pretended to sleep. It was the most irritating, rude thing ever. I would never overstay my welcome at someone's place, especially after they have to ask me repeatedly to leave. I almost went into my roommate's room to ask her to help me drag him out.

Finally, the asshole left, telling me that we definitely need to hang out. Umm, no. Never again. I've already deleted his number and taken him off my Facebook.

I am now cursing myself for being so naive as to believe any guy would just want to "talk." I mean, it's not like he tried anything, but he made me really uncomfortable. I don't ever want to be nice again. Time to bring out Bitch Tracy!

All of this aside, I've had quite the crappy weekend, but it was truly redeemed today when I went to dinner with my Grams and aunt. There's nothing like being with the people you love and who love you back. Too bad there are people out there who don't give a damn if I live or die - to those people, all I can think is that it's not worth my energy trying to keep people in my life who don't deserve to be in it.

And with that, tomorrow is the beginning of a new week. Time to get up, move on and start anew. It's like that Kelly Clarkson lyric - I need to pick my weeds but keep the flowers!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Suspicious Minds

There's this weird paradox about me - I'm fairly gullible and like to believe that everyone is inherently good, yet I question people's intentions and motives all the time.

I think the gullible/optimistic side of me usually kicks in when it shouldn't - i.e. I put up with more shit than I should. This is why I've always stayed friends with people I dislike longer than is necessary and why I date for too long/cry over/dwell on guys who genuinely don't appreciate me. I'm always trying to give people the benefit of the doubt, continuing to hope that one day they'll see the light and realize how great I am.

But then there's my questioning side. The side where when someone does something nice, I immediately wonder, "OK, what's the catch?" This usually just pertains to guys and is likely a result of boys constantly disappointing me.

Recently, a guy friend of mine asked me out. I thought it was just a friendly thing at first, but then I got some date vibes - he picked me up, he let me pick the dinner place, he insisted on paying.

Sure, it's nice to hang out with fun people, but I can't help but wonder what this all means. So far, my theories range from he's bored, he's lonely, he's looking for action, he only hangs out with all guys and I'm the closest female in range.

I definitely have gotten a major hint that he's interested in more than just friendship - he talks a lot about all these things he wants us to do together, and then he asked me out again - and insisted on paying again! OK, seriously. What is the deal with timing? The guy I want doesn't know I'm alive, and a guy that I'm just friends with is putting on all the right moves. UGH!!!!!

I quickly realized that I need to break my old patterns. No more of this pining over someone who's unavailable while someone else is making an effort to spend time with me. I've done this before, and look where it got me - taking that making-an-effort guy for granted and then crying over missing him a year later! Cupid is one messed up individual the way he operates.

I'm not sure where this whole thing will go. And frankly, I don't want to think about the future. I just want to live in the present, enjoy what's right in front me and appreciate the people in my life who actually make the effort to stay in it.

And the main thing I want is to stop caring. I'm so sick of giving people free rent in my head and dwelling on things that I have no control over. It's exhausting. I know that I'm a good person and have a lot to offer, so if someone thinks I'm expendable, then AMF.

In other news, it's a 3-day weekend! Today was great - I woke up bright and early, did a new conditioning class at the gym, laid out by my pool and swam, and tonight I'm headed over to my best friend Marilyn's house to watch a movie. And tomorrow is 4th of July!!! Basically the bulk of my dad's side of the family is gathering at my grandma's, just like old times. I am more than pumped! I've got my patriotic outfit all picked out - my Obama "I Stand By The President" shirt! It is legit.

The weekend will then be completed with my sister and I turning into 'tweens and seeing "Eclipse." I saw it the day it came out, and I have to say, it disappointed me. The action scenes were great, but the drama was a bit over-the-top (I know, I know. It's Twilight, for Christ's sake). Maybe I had an epiphany and realized I'm too old and cynical for that shit right now. Watching a plain, boring girl win the heart of a sexy vamp is just irritating. And I hate to be a traitor because I really liked the books, but maybe this most recent film didn't do it for me because it was my least favorite book from the series.

Either way, my sis hasn't seen it, and maybe seeing it again will change my mind. Plus, I wouldn't mind seeing the shirtless werewolf and sparkly Edward again :)

Anyway, I'm excited for this time to relax. There's nothing better than being with my family. Happy Independence Day!