Friday, February 26, 2010

Single is Simple

Single is simple. This is my new motto, and it's something I'm truly coming to appreciate these days. When else in your life are you able to be (almost) completely selfish and do things all on your own terms?

I love meeting new people, of course, but not being in a relationship is truly relaxing. Not having a crush is so easy. I'm free!!!! But in all honesty, I'm still the same boy crazy girl I always have been. I'll never shake that :)

So the results came in from speed dating - one match! Seriously? OK, I know this sounds conceited, but I thought I was fairly charming. I had marked down 4 people - not necessarily as romantic interests, but just as guys I'd be interested in talking to and getting to know. And only 1 picked me! Ay yi yi....a bit of a blow to the ego, I admit. But in all reality, is going speed dating really an ego booster?

My theory with this is that girls (in general) are more lenient when it comes to meeting guys. Don't get me wrong - I know plenty of Picky Penelopes, but I think women are more open to letting little things slide in hopes that overall the guy is a good catch. Men, on the other hand, (and of course, I'm generalizing here) seem like they will write a girl off instantly if there's not an instant connection. Some would say women are the more "desperate" type, but I beg to differ. I just think we're more open to things happening and always hoping for the best.

From what I've learned, men are very visual creatures, so that can be limiting in terms of finding a woman to be attracted to. Women, though, evaluate the personality pretty much from the get-go, although I know some form of physical attraction has to be present. Note: this is not me saying that guys are shallow. This is just in the context of when you first meet someone. Of course guys are into personalities as well - it's just the physical part that usually grabs their attention first.

That aside, I actually heard from my one match, who seemed very cordial via e-mail. He asked to hang out sometime, so we met up yesterday for dinner. I went into this completely with the mindset that I am not looking for romantic intentions with this guy. I know that sounds contradictory, especially because I met him at speed dating and not at speed conversing. But I'm really over that whole stage I was in where I assumed every chance encounter with a guy was going to lead to a relationship. I mean, I'm not opposed to meeting the love of my life, but in keeping things in perspective, was I really going to meet him via speed dating?

Anyway, the dinner went well. He and I had a lot in common - I mean A LOT. To the point where I honestly questioned his sexuality. A guy who likes chick flicks? A guy who can quote "One Tree Hill"? Yeah, I'm all about having similar interests, but I don't like feeling more manly than my date. I really had a fun time - as friends, but I don't see this going anywhere romantically. I'm hoping he feels the same way, so that we don't have to get into anything awkward.

In other news, I'm excited that I get to dress up tonight for a big event for work - the Sac Hispanic Chamber is having its annual gala, and a NASA astronaut is speaking. And I get to go for free! Plus getting dolled up is always a good time - and boy, how I cannot hate free food.

Tomorrow my friend Nicole is coming into town from Palo Alto. I'm not quite sure what we're going to do, but at some point I need to buy a new TV. Yes, yes. I am going to make a big purchase, which isn't really like me since I'm so frugal, but my old one has kicked the bucket. And if I can't watch "The Bachelor" season finale on Monday, I am going to hurt someone. So that's on the agenda, plus some fun girl time of course!

I'm still waiting to hear if I got accepted into the Women's Studies certificate program through Western Kentucky University. I don't think that'll be a problem - I'm hoping I can figure out a student loan before the program starts this summer. I've never had to get one, so I'm clueless at this point. I'm sure I'll figure it out! It should be exciting to start a new endeavor ;)

All right, must be off now, but more is coming soon!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Va-Jay-Jay Monologues

I volunteered for WEAVE this week, and my assignment was to table at an event through the UC Davis School of Medicine - none other than the Vagina Monologues!

I'd heard of the VM, but I'd never seen them. My task was to sit at a WEAVE table outside the event and then speak to the crowd to thank them for their donations (the event benefited WEAVE). Then I got to watch the show!

WOW - it was awesome, I have to say. It starred a bunch of med students who performed various monologues based on real interviews with different women. Some of them were funny (my favorite one was called "My Angry Vagina"), some were....different (one included the entire cast getting the crowd riled up by shouting the C-U-Next-Tuesday word over and over), and then some were serious (they touched on sexual assault and human trafficking).

Overall, I was very impressed with it and had a great time! Not to mention, I felt pretty empowered and happy to be a woman afterward (although I truly enjoy being a woman most of the time anyway).

Today is Saturday, and I loooove Saturday mornings....I love waking up on my own and not to an alarm, and I love catching up on all my DVR shows. I have absolutely nothing planned this weekend, and I'm going to enjoy every minute of it! Today I'm thinking about taking a long walk at a park somewhere (before the rain comes) and possibly shopping for a dress for a work event next week. Oh, and then there's my dreaded taxes I want to get done.

Something pretty cool happened the other night - apparently when you dream of flying, it means you're really happy. I haven't had flying dreams in years, and what do ya know? Thursday night I was flying in my own personal little parachute-contraption. I find this very symbolic as I haven't felt this good in a very long time :)

The other day a song came on my iPod that reminded me of the ex. At that moment, I thought, "Wow, I haven't thought about him barely at all!" This is such a change for me, because in the past, I've been known to dwell. I dwell on things, listen to sad songs, make myself cry, the works. This time, I just feel this overwhelming sense of calm. I realized I don't miss him at all. I'm so proud of myself that I've finally made it this far!

As for my dating life (or lack thereof), I'm thinking this has been what's keeping me happy. No drama, no anxiety, no worrying, no questioning. Just living! I've talked to other friends who are dating people, and when they talk about little fights they've had or moments where they've questioned the other person, inside I just feel relieved that I'm not going through that for once. I've never had this mental placidity (GRE word!) before - I'm usually just a nervous wreck where I'm either stressing about liking a guy, stressing over talking to one, stressing over whether one likes me, stressing over how to advance things further.

Now, things are just peaceful. And it's not because I'm closed off or rejecting future possibilities. To the contrary - I am more open to love and relationships than I've ever been before. I know I'll be ready to take that leap once the right person comes along. I think that's the only way to be.

Anyway, I'm off to enjoy my Saturday!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Dating on Speed

I have now accomplished something I've always wanted to try but been too scared to - speed dating!

It literally was very random how it happened - the Sacramento Bee had an article on speed dating through the library, so I signed up on a whim, even though it said there was a waiting list. I assumed it would be too full, but then I got a call on Monday that I was in! I was excited, but a part of me was very freaked out - seriously, what the hell was I doing?

My only experience with speed dating has been through movies (the girl exposing her chest accidentally on "40-Year-Old Virgin" comes to mind). I never thought I'd actually do it, let alone by myself! I figured it would make for a good blog, though, so I went for it.

The premise was that you brought your favorite book as a conversation starter. I brought "The Kite Runner." When I got there, I was super nervous. What kind of weirdos speed date? Oh, wait. I do.

I sucked it up and went inside. As I was signing in, of course the expected happens - I see a guy I know! It was a guy who'd been in my creative writing class last fall (too bad it wasn't the guy I thought was cute!). I said hi to him, and it wasn't too terribly awkward, thank God.

There were about 10-15 people of each sex, and we sat around tables set up in a U-shape. We had 5 minutes with each candidate and checked off who we liked on a piece of paper (we all wore name tags with letters on them to keep track of who was whom). If there was a match, the organizers would e-mail us with the person's contact information in a couple days.

I started off talking to the guy from my creative writing class. He is really nice - no romantic connection whatsoever. But it was cool to just chat with someone I kind of knew to ease my nerves. I moved on to the next guy - an older guy in his 50s! Seriously, wasn't there an age limit on this thing? I guess it hadn't been strongly enforced. Oh, well. No matter. I just chatted with him as friends. Since the major topic was books, it made for easy conversation, rather than the typical flirtation you encounter in bars or at parties.

Another guy was from Nigeria and spoke very little English. OK.....he was very nice, but I don't think there was a love connection there. He mentioned wanting to become a pharmacy technician, and I joked, "Ohhh, so you want to be a drug dealer, huh?" I don't think sarcasm carries over well to those who are just learning the language.

Overall, I was surprised how much fun I had - most of the time I could have carried on talking for longer than 5 minutes. There were some really cool guys there - it wasn't necessarily romantic, but I just enjoy meeting new people. I was honest with them and admitted I'm not the most intellectual when it comes to reading - I love Harry Potter and Twilight, for crying out loud. There was one guy there who actually admitted that he was reading Twilight. Ha! Most of them were really into sci-fi books. Ewww, not really my thing, but hey, I like anyone who's literate.

Overall, it was a great experience, and I'm glad I did it. Oh, and at one point, a photographer asked if she could take a picture of the back of my head. So my 'fro may be featured somewhere soon. I'll check around to see if the story gets picked up somewhere :)

I should be hearing back in the next couple of days on my "matches." Part of me fears getting zero responses, but another part of me fears getting any! I'm no good at dating - who is, really? I just want to skip this whole nonsense and get to the comfortable part. But hey, I guess discomfort comes with the territory.

Despite this recent experience, I'm not necessarily "looking" for someone - I know that's no way to find a partner. I'm simply keeping myself open to all possibilities. If you're closed off, guarded and always wearing your boxing gloves, good things may pass you by. So here I am - just enjoying my single life, dabbling in new experiences and remaining optimistic that all will fall into place when the time is right.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

My Letter to the Editor

I used to intern at The Record-Courier when I went to high school in Nevada. This was one of the best experiences of my life, and it really introduced me to a lot of great people that live in the Carson Valley.

There are however some bad (or, rather, ignorant) seeds that reside in my old hometown. One of them is this man who apparently lives under a rock. He is notorious for his right-wing, outdated letters to the editor, but God love him, I sure do enjoy when people express their opinions. Even if it showcases how completely out of touch they are.

This man went too far a couple weeks ago when he lashed out at one of my best friends, Christina, who just competed in Miss America. Who better than to put him in his place with a kick-ass letter in return? None other than ME!

Check out his letter and then mine after:

Try a different dress


I realize before I write one word that this message is laced with futility, but at least it allows me a chance to speak my mind.

The photo of Miss Nevada that supported your article sparks this urge to comment, and I suspect that I should preface this with the admission that I am of a pre-war generation.

Born and reared in and around Los Angeles, I was exposed to modern times, a time when such events as pregnant teenagers was virtually unheard of, or at least I never heard of such a condition.

The girls then were best described as feminine and mostly modest, which is now a lost condition, and during those times the message to boys was “hands off.”

The current mode of appearance is one of exposing everything that distinguishes female from male, losing sight of the fact that they were all assembled from the same parts warehouse, and to that extent one is really no different than all of the others.

There is a difference though, it is termed “substance.”

After returning from WWII combat duty, and having challenged the UCLA faculty to educate me, the demons of war had in some measure been put aside as I then undertook gainful employment. I still had not given any thought to marriage, nor was I even considering it.

Well, one day while I was in the office, I saw this new girl who in time agreed to date me.

And during the course of these times, never once did I size her up physically. And to that extent I had no idea. She was obviously female, but the town was loaded with them.

In time, she took me into her home where I met her Hungarian born mother, and Austrian born father.

In that surrounding, I saw the values and substance that led me to consider marriage. We are now completing our 54th year as husband and wife, and she has justified my one condition — substance.

Miss Nevada evidently was not in the market for a dress of her size, and in fact it more nearly resembles the shortness that when seated would virtually expose that big thing that she sits on.

That is the modern female, plus the urge to expose the bosom. Too bad.

The female should be the most respected among us, given that hers is the most important of all tasks — bearing and rearing of the next generation.

Vernon Latshaw


Hands off, Mr. Latshaw


Mr. Latshaw, I was highly offended after reading your short-sighted letter last week regarding Christina Keegan, Miss Nevada (“Try a different dress,” Feb. 3). I was insulted not just on Christina's behalf, but as a woman.

You mentioned the importance of substance in women, and had you observed more than Christina's appearance, you'd find an abundance of substance — an aspiring doctor, a Children's Miracle Network volunteer and a deeply involved advocate who helps survivors of sexual assault. Christina Keegan represented Nevada with poise and maturity. What she wore for Miss America was elegant and classy — a far cry from the tawdry picture you painted in your letter.

I'd like you to know, Mr. Latshaw, that no matter what a woman wears, the message to boys will always be “hands off,” not because of her attire, but because a woman is entitled to be safe and respected at all times. Your crass mention of the “big thing” Christina sits on, coupled with women of today supposedly having the “urge to expose the bosom,” was unnecessary and down right sexist. I'm proud that American women today have more freedom and equality than we've ever had, including our right to wear whatever we choose.

So whether Christina, or any woman for that matter, wears a burka or a bikini — the message to boys is still “hands off.”

Lastly, I could speak volumes on how ignorant and archaic your conclusion was that a woman's “most important” task is to “bear and rear” the next generation. But I'll end with this: As a potential “bearer and rearer” of the next generation myself, I pray I have children with half as much substance as our Miss Nevada, Christina Keegan.

Tracy Tierney
Roseville, Calif.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Crazy Cat Lady Turns 24

I know I fit the whole "Crazy Cat Lady" persona at times since I live alone with my cat and talk to her like she's a real person. It does get me in trouble sometimes - especially when my new neighbor across the way (who is hot, by the way) catches me talking to her as I open my door - TWICE.

Once was a couple weeks ago when I was on my way out the door. I opened my door with my head turned back toward my living room, audibly telling Cammie, "Be good!" like I was leaving my toddler with a babysitter or something. I turned my head back to my front doorway, only to jump and gasp at the sight of a huge black lab.

Attached to the black lab was said hot neighbor, the roommate of another guy I've met that lives there (who is not-so-hot but seems nice). He laughed at my surprise and said, "Oh, sorry to scare you." To be honest, the moment kind of took my breath away because 1) I was not expecting to see a dog right outside my door, and 2) I didn't think I'd be seeing a hottie while I had no makeup on and was wearing my fake Harvard hoodie.

I laughed and said something back shyly, and that was that. It didn't dawn on me until later that the hot neighbor probably heard me tell Cammie to be good. Great - a weird girl who's scared of dogs yet talks to her cat like a person.

Then it happened again this last Monday. I was coming home from work, and as I unlocked my door and opened it, Cammie was right there to greet me. "Hi honey!" I said, only to hear someone behind me say, "Hello again." Hot neighbor.

I turned around (and thanked GOD I was wearing a cute outfit, having a good hair day and wearing makeup) and chatted with him a bit. Apparently his dog is named Bella (I refrained from asking if he was a "Twilight" fan). His name is Robert, and from the Navy sweatshirt he was wearing, I guessed he was ex-military. Hello! He said it was nice to have a "clean, quiet" neighbor such as myself. I didn't have the guts to say how much I hated the noise he and his friends made, not to mention how they leave their trash bags outside their door sometimes.

Then he mentioned that he liked my painting. I didn't realize my door was still open, and he could see my Audrey Hepburn picture on my wall. And being the socially awkward person I am, I responded, "Thanks. I didn't paint it myself unfortunately." WTF.

I don't really have a crush on this neighbor. I think I've seen some bleached blonde girl leaving the place a few times (probably his gf). Not to mention - they sound like partiers over there. But hey, it's nice to have cool neighbors I can say hi to every now and again.

My sister told me that from now on, I need to not talk to Cammie until my door is closed. Good call!

In other news, Tuesday was my 24th birthday! I really felt special all day (well, all week I've been feeling special, actually). My co-worker Sofia decorated my office in Audrey Hepburn pictures, confetti, streamers and balloons. My other co-worker Laura baked chocolate cupcakes. I got so many calls, texts and Facebook shout-outs - it was great! Sooo much more than I was expecting. My Grams invited me over for the evening and made lasagna and fudge - yum! And my birthday is not over - more weekend celebrating with my mom and sister (weather permitting).

I'm truly lucky to have so many great people in my life. I actually don't miss the people that I've cut out of my life in the last few months - a song came on my iTunes last night that I normally would have skipped because of the memories attached to it. Instead, I danced around my kitchen as I did dishes. Yay for progress!