Saturday, July 28, 2012


My phone rang while I was eating lunch, checking my email on my iPad and firing up the laptop to get some schoolwork done. The caller said she was sitting alone, by a lake, watching the boats. She said everyone else was tubing the river and she stayed behind for some quiet time. It was when she said she had just finished reading an entire magazine cover to cover that I asked her to hold on for a second, and I looked again at my cell phone. The display clearly stated that my sister was on the line, but my sister never sits still, is never alone and never does one single thing uninterupted, like reading a magazine. She could give classes on how to multi-task your multi-tasking list.

I am not aure who should be more frightened about the switch in lifestyles but I am certain it was short-lived for both of us. I am sure she is already fixing snacks and laying out dry clothes for the tubers and I am plumping the couch cushions getting ready to nap during the baseball game (wait, that's multi-tasking, right?)

I've got to say, though, I am proud of ya, Jules! Enjoy the quiet life!

Friday, July 27, 2012

My Almost Constant Companion

He is by my side all day every day. If I go upstairs, he follows. If I go outside, he's right there with me. If I sit on the couch, he sleeps under the coffee table. When I cook dinner, he lays by the back door. He is never far, not ever. Well, until now.

For the fifth weekend in a row, my neighbors set off fireworks tonight. For some of the previously noisy nights, I have had the a/c on, but it is a gorgeous night and the windows are wide open. And other than the time my sister accidentally shut him in the garage, this was the first time ever that I couldn't find my dog. I called. I looked under my bed, his usual spot. I went downstairs and checked everywhere I could think of. I even opened the back door on the very off chance that I had left him outside. No dog. I finally found him, curled up in a ball in my bathroom back by the shower. Poor pup. He came out briefly then, but could not be convinced the scary noises were over, and he quickly retreated to his new safety spot.

Even as I write this, he is only slowly inching his way out of the bathroom, head down, timid walk, laying down again just outside the door, not daring to come any closer to the bed and the open window.

Is it completely unreasonable to call the police and tell them my neighbors are greatly disturbing my dog's peace?

Poor Eli.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Cost to Breathe

I had no idea the price of air was so expensive that we would need our credit cards! Conserve each breath people!


All week I had been asking friends about Fisher and some potential red flags. "He never asks me questions," I said. "His sister and her family don't just live in the basement, they share his kitchen and bathroom.". While I enjoyed his company, there were little things nagging at me that kept me hesitant. Thursday evening he came over for dinner. We had a good time, but again, he talked and didn't seem too interested in things about my life. By evening's end, it was pretty clear that he had read my invitation to dinner at home as an invitation for far more than that. I knew I was far far FAR from ready for that and politely ended the night.

When my sister asked how it went the next day, I replied, "I think I just miss WG. Maybe I am not ready to do this yet." I found myself thinking about WG a lot, wishing we had been able to find common ground and make each other happy.

Part way through my day on Friday, I received an email from WG, as though he was reading my mind. He said he left something at my door, and if I was willing, he would like to stop back by when I was home to talk. There were flowers at my door when I arrived home, and shortly after, WG sat on my deck sharing his apology with me.

We have been down this road several times. It's like we know it SHOULD work, but we just can't seem to make it work. We are quick to hold affection for fear of it not being returned. We are quick to take each other for granted and not show our appreciation. We are fearful people, trying to figure out how to successfully date in our 40's, and I will freely admit, we seem to prefer to learn it the hard way.

We went for a drive and dinner at the lake yesterday. It was wonderful to be with someone familiar, someone I feel safe with, someone who knows it's all about the crab cakes at Black River Tavern and having the top down on the backroad journey there. Someone who asked about school, about Flash and about my garden. Someone who held my hand as we walked the peer and kissed me sweetly goodnight at evening's end.

Maybe it is just those simple comforts that attracts us both right now. Maybe it is the familiar, the safeness, the known that makes it work for the moment. I just hope, whatever it is, that we can figure out how to make that last. How to get past a week, a month or a year, and still be going strong.

Tonight, I am invited to dinner at WG's, a treat I will not pass up. I will take it a day at a time, but I will keep an eye on the past, that I don't repeat it, and take glances at the future to try to keep us on track to get there.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

His Johnson

I have been single off on and for a dozen years or so. I have learned to be cautious and careful. Even when I lived in PA, I always told my sister (back in helpless MI) where I was going and as much about the guy as I knew. She always waited for my "safe and sound" phone call to know she didn't need to call the National Guard. I don't let men pick me up for a date until I have gotten to know them pretty well, and I don't go to a guy's house until the same conditions have been met. Even so, I recognize axe murderers can be patient folk, and so I want to be sure about my next move.

After four dates, New Guy has asked me to come to his house to help him with his Johnson. He said something about it being eighteen inches, or was it feet?!? He said it wasn't pumping right or something and he could use an extra hand getting it to work. I am just not sure....should I go?

All kidding aside, I accepted the opportunity to go help him put a new water pump in his eighteen foot bass boat with a Johnson motor. It is the first time in my dating history that the guy has invited me to his house before being at mine. I am looking forward to it! Jules, keep that cell phone close by, just in case, though. You know how angry men can get when their Johnsons don't work properly, especially in the presence of a woman!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

It is killing me not to be at the Pittsburgh airport right now. Flash will land shortly, back in the states from his amazing trip to Burma with his grandfather. I wish I could touch him, hug him, hear him in person. I just want to verify with my own eyes that he is well and safe. It will be another month before he is home, but at least I can rest easier knowing where he is. Welcome back, Flash. You have been missed.

Monday, July 09, 2012

File Under: It Could Only Happen To Eliza

Two dates with this guy (I will call him Fisher) and my elbows are killing me! It turns out that talking for hours over dinner can lead to painfully bruised elbows! Two dates, tne and a half hours of conversation...I think my elbows can make the sacrifice!

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Burma Update #6


Muwahaha, you all thought I was done with these, didn't you?

Anyway. Tomorrow we fly out to Singapore, at about 10:10. It's a two
hour flight, nothing too insane, and I'll have a macbook air to amuse
me. Wooo. (The perks of being the area tech person--you get to take
stuff with you to fix it. Though, it doesn't leave Singapore. So sad.
Anywho.) I'll be working on articley stuff on the plane, so you can
expect the first few ones to be up probably late Wednesday or stupidly
early on Thursday. So woo, stuff to look forward to. (Or run from,
depending on your expectations.)

As it is, I've become renowned as the tech person for the church here,
and I'll have some fun stories to tell once I get back.

In other news, I've officially been to a true street market, and I
have the images to prove it. I was nearly inside a synagogue, and I've
been swarmed by very insistent people peddling knicnacks in what is
essentially a gigantic flea market that's just a real market.

Fun times. And an article all on its own. Woo.

But, most importantly: IN THREE DAYS I'LL BE BACK WOOOO. Don't get me
wrong, I've enjoyed my time here immensely, and I'm sure Singapore
will be awesome, but I seriously miss being able to get a decent
omelet, or coffee, or news, or clean air. (It's the little things,
really.) 'course, I'll be jetlagged to, literally, the other side of
the world. Your midnight will be my noon. Woooo.

Until then, cheers!


The Answers

1. Eliza's date was actually there early. he sent a text to tell me he was going to wait for me outside, but since it was 100 degrees, he went in and got seats. His text also asked if I wanted him to order a drink for me. Sweet, huh?

2. C. Eliza's date will finish his bachelor's degree next April, in business management and operations.

3. D. A Marine. Active six years, including time in Iraq, on reserves for ten.

4. C. He takes parenting seriously. He is involved, committed and wishes he had full custody.

5. B. he has brothers and sisters and halfs of each and steps and I am not sure I even remember just how it all goes, but he loves his mother and she loves him.

6. None of the above. A hug and an agreement that this was a really nice evening and talks about when we might do this again.

I should add, the restaurant wasn't air conditioned, and we sat in what we came to realize was the hottest room they had. Regardless, we sat there for more than six hours talking about anything and everything. He is funny, articulate, intelligent and can I add, YUMMY! :)

Technically, I am not sure who the official winner of the date quiz is...but I think I am a winner tonight!

Friday, July 06, 2012

Burma Update #5

So! I'm back in Yangon, though tomorrow (Saturday) will be my last
full day here; we fly out to Singapore on Sunday.

We didn't do too much in Mandalay--mostly sightseeing, though we did
do some connection-making with the youth there. (I think I handed out
my email to about seven different people, though Facebook still has
its reign here. They find it hard to believe that, as an American, I
don't have one.)

Here in Yangon I'm doing some work with the communication department
here, working on getting media for a website that we'll set up back in
the States. They were quite happy to have me transfer all 1455 photos
to their system, along with ten gigs of video, all of which I'm sure
will be put to good use.

When I get back to the States, I'll edit and upload a chunk of the
images I've taken, and the full library will be availible to download
after a couple weeks (hopefully). Similarly, I plan to upload some of
the more interesting videos to Youtube, for those of you that want to
watch them.

Also, for those of you not aware, I plan to write up several
articles/journaly thingies upon my return, so you'll have a more
detailed account of all that's gone on here. I'll provide links in
further emails.

Until then, cheers


The Measure of Success

Normally, I would judge a date's success by whether or not I wanted and received an offer for a second date. Tonight, I will call the date a success if I have enough fun to make blow-drying and hot-rolling my hair in 100 degree heat worth it. Nevermind the fact that I am missing the Red Sox vs. Yankees. Poor guy. Doesn't even know the pressure he is under!

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Taking Guesses Now

I have a date on Friday. To add a little fun to the otherwise painful first-date experience, here is the pre-date quiz for all my readers. Prizes will be awarded on Saturday to those with the closest guesses. (Note: all questions and options are based on actual dates I have been on.) Answers must be submitted before 6pm Friday.

1. On Friday, will Eliza's date will:
A. Bring props
B. Smoke
C. Not show up
D. Be dressed like a slob
E. Be on time

2. During dinner, Eliza's date will reveal:
A. He was expelled from more than one school
B. He is working on finishing his degree
C. he owes child support money
D. He has been divorced more than twice
E. He has private body parts pierced

3. When discussing their lives to this point, he will reveal:
A. He hasn't spoken to his family in years
B. he has been responsible for a drinking and driving accident
C. He has been arrested for assault
D. He has served several years in the military
E. He is still teying to figure out what he wants to do with his life

4. Talking about his kids, Eliza's date will:
A. Say he thinks smacking them around is the best way to get them in line
B. say he hasn't seen them in quite awhile
C. Describe his parenting style as strict, cool and permissive.
D. Not have anything to say
E. Say he thinks kids are okay, but he doesn't want any.

5. If asked about his mother, Eliza's date will say:
A. She lives with him
B. She would say he is her favorite child
C. They aren't speaking
D. He talks with her every day
E. he puts flowers on her stone several times a year

6. At the end of the date he will:
A. Expect to come home with Eliza
B. be shocked when Eliza turns down his offer for a second date
C. Kiss her goodnight
D. Ask Eliza to drive him home
E. Apologize for the evening

Burma Update #4

nothing interesting has happened. At least, not here at least. There
was much village-touring and grand-welcoming and
me-wishing-I-had-my-audio-recorder. Some of the singing here is the
most beautiful you'll ever hear--I think half of it is the language
itself. It's incredible.

We're currently hiding out in an awesome hotel with awesome interblags
and such, so with some luck I should be able to report shtuff more
often than I have been.

I've got some truly awesome photos to show you when I get back. I'll
try not to do the whole "Here's a slideshow of every three seconds of
my vacation. Whee!"

So yeah. That's life.

I'll write again when stuff of interest occurs.