Wednesday, August 31, 2005

She's ALIVE!

Just wanted to let you all know that I'm alive. Vegas is pretty much the same -- we haven't been doing too much real crazy stuff because of M's work schedule and whatnot, but we went down to the Strip last night and had dinner and stuff. Tonight if she gets done in time we're going to go shopping so I can look for a dress to wear to a wedding on Sunday. Aside from all of that, I've just been trying to motivate myself to work on job hunting stuff which is basically not happening at all. I am going home to my parent's house on Monday for a week -- yet another leg of my whirlwind cross-country suitcase-living-out-of trip -- but they're excited to see me and I'm excited to go home and have them buy me things, so I think it'll all work out. Anyway, I just wanted to say I was still breathing and that I'll be back FOR REAL this weekend, hopefully with some good stuff to talk about!

Monday, August 29, 2005

Baby steps.

Who got all the OCI interviews they bid for? That's right...ME!

Of course, I got all the interviews I bid for last year too and then didn't get a damn thing out of it in the end, but I'll take any small bit of validation no matter how miniscule. One place in particular is of interest to me -- I'm already nervous!

I guess this means that I am going back to the TVPNM on Saturday, going to a friend's wedding on Sunday, and then heading home to mom and dad for a couple weeks until I have to return to the TVPNM for my one and only day of interviews...what a whirlwind my life has been lately. I feel like all I do is travel and pack and unpack my suitcase. But still, this is good news.

Hurricane Central West

So, you might be wondering what I've been doing for the past two days in sunny, HOT Las Vegas?? (Let's pretend that you were wondering).

I've been laying on the bed with M. watching The Weather Channel, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News and pretty much anything else with hurricane coverage. M.'s house is thankfully fine as she is not directly in the path (they are in the Florida panhandle), and her dad escaped the path as well. I have heard from nearly everyone else I know who lives in that area, but I still have one very good friend whose family is in Mobile, AL and I am thinking of them and hoping they are OK. Anyway, we basically haven't done anything but watch hurricane stuff on TV -- it's sick but we can't turn it off. We went to dinner last night with a bunch of friends and had a great time, but with her wallet being gone still, it's not like we can do too much -- no ID, no money, not a lot to do in Vegas. Since we have both spent large portions of our lives living on the Gulf Coast, hurricane watching seems like a good second option after getting drunk and wandering around the strip in 108 degree weather. She's at work right now, and getting a new ID today, so maybe we'll actually get out and do some stuff tonight. I went out and took a short jog this morning and I thought the sunlight was going to blind me, I'm turning into some kind of vampire bat or something -- sitting in the dark watching TV and drinking Diet Coke.

In other news, OCI results aren't up yet -- supposedly they'll be up by noon. Also, I haven't actually started working on my other applications for federal Honors programs which was going to be the one thing I was going to do while M. was at work during the days this week. Everything is due to most places in the next two weeks, so I guess I need to get on that. It's hard to get back into the swing of things while I'm on "vacation."

Also, I went to Margaritaville on Saturday night and had dinner -- they wouldn't serve M. without at ID so we didn't really drink, but I think we're going to go back before we leave so we can all really enjoy it. I bought a t-shirt that totally doesn't fit (that's going back for an exchange when we go back), and a pint glass that I'm going to love until I finally break it just like I break everything I love. It was super fun though and the people there were great for watching...it was like one of his concerts, a real cross-section of society. Jimmy Buffett: The Great Uniter.

We're going to hopefully go see The Aristocrats tonight, and we still are planning to see The American Storm male revue later this week. Hooray for hot boys shaking their moneymakers. YAY!

Because my internet connection keeps going out on me, I'm going to quit writing this while I'm ahead, but I'm sure I'll be updating periodically, and hopefully with something interesting. Sorry that I'm so boring these days, but I'm enjoying my vacation and not forcing myself to do much or get out much, so my life is pretty much on an even keel for right now, which I guess doesn't make for great blogging. Plus I'm not really able to read anyone else's blog right now which means I don't know what is going on or what everyone is talking about. I'll try to get my shit together in the upcoming days...I promise!

Saturday, August 27, 2005

What happens in Vegas...is STEALING!

I had to sign up for shitty AOL to use on the shitty dial-up in the room, and it keeps kicking me off Blogger, so I'm going to give up the eighteen posts I've already written and just give you the highlights -- I'm too hungover to deal with this crap.

Worst Flight EVER. We were delayed and then the VERY DRUNK woman and man next to me get hysterical and she starts crying and screaming that the plane is going to crash and we're all going to die...etc. Finally right before take-off they get the hell off the plane to take another flight. Jesus.

M. got her wallet stolen last night at Harrah's, so that's been fun. She has no ID, no money, no credit cards, NOTHING. And of course we were all trashed too, which made it extra dramatic. We're dealing with it though and so far I think it'll be OK, just really inconvenient until she can get a new ID on base on Monday and I'm lending her money which sucks for her because I am POOR. I kissed a boy in a bar last night too. Fun.

OCI results come out Monday. I checked today and one of my bids is missing -- I guess that's either a sign or just Career Services doing their usual stellar job. Sigh.

Anyway, I have to go before I get cut off again. We're going to Margaritaville tonight, wish us luck that M. doesn't get carded or she's going to end up unintentionally being our DD.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

I'm a GIRL. Damnit.

Well, the free wireless internet my friend hooks into in her apartment has been down the last two days, so this morning I hiked up to a coffee shop with wireless in order to check my email and post a little something before I head to Vegas.

In checking my email I got TWO emails from people trying to get me to mention them (or their businesses) on my site, both of which addressed me as Mr. Spatula and/or Sir. Why is this so irritating to me? Is it because if you read this site for more than one second it is very clear that I am a Ms.? I mean, I just wrote a NINE PART SERIES on my ex-HUSBAND! I talk pretty much constantly about my love of pink shiny things and cabana boys (OK, I'll admit both of those don't necessarily make me a girl, but the odds are with me I think). Anyway, I just thought I'd go ahead and say, once and for all, if anyone hasn't figured it out, I'm a GIRL! Jesus.

I leave in just about five hours to meet M. in Vegas. Needless to say I am SO excited. Not just because we're going to see those StripSearch guys either. But, I'll admit it, that's part of the excitement -- probably because I'm a GIRL!

Last night my friend that I'm staying with and I went downtown and had drinks and dinner with a couple of our other close law school friends, including the one whose wedding I am coming back from Vegas just in the nick of time for. It was great to see everyone, kind of weird because they're all in the middle of applying for clerkships and all the chaos that accompanies that while I, as usual, am not participating and am instead making elaborate toenail painting plans. We did have some good beer and some good conversation though. Sad to say that I've only been back a week and already I am missing the hot man presence in D.C. Not that I had one of my own, but at least there were possibilities...it's so bad out here...a dearth of men and the ones that are available are definitively NOT my style. It's gonna be a long year methinks.

Anyway, I have to get out of here and get packed and paint the aforementioned toenails so I can wear my new Steve Madden sandals with pride. I have absolutely NO idea what my internet situation will be in Vegas. I plan on checking in at least tomorrow and Monday as OCI results are supposed to come out -- so I'll at least be making M. take me to the library or something if there's no access in our room. I'm taking my camera so maybe I'll have some good pictures for you or something.

I hope everyone who has already started school is getting back into the swing of things and I'm thinking good luck thoughts for all the brand new 1L's.

PS: I have strange small bruises on my arms and legs that I cannot identify the origins of. I accused my friend and her boyfriend of drugging me and then forcing me to perform in bondage videos with them that I can't remember but they denied it. Where the hell do weird unidentifiable bruises come from?

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

They like me, they really really like me!

I went and met my new boss today, YAY!!!!!!!!

He is just as cool as the people in D.C. and has lots of awesome and interesting work planned for me. AND he's dedicated to helping me find a cool job, preferably within the agency. He's super laid-back and I think we're going to get along really well, he has a bit of the E. Spat devil-may-care attitude. It was so nice going downtown and doing something different, I'm really hopeful this is going to open up a lot of opportunities for me, not just for work but just getting out of the house and away from school and doing some new stuff...a break in the routine. I can't wait to start next month.

I'm also gearing up for the great Las Vegas extravaganza. I leave on Thursday afternoon and I'm super excited to see M. and do some shopping and spend some money. Who knows, maybe I'll win a big nickel-slots jackpot! Yeah, I play the nickel slots, leave me alone you judgmental bastards.

I spent yesterday at the mall, spending money I don't have to buy things I don't need. But still, they were having a huge sale at Ann Taylor Loft and what kind of girl would I be if I let that pass me by??? A bad girl, that's what kind. Grrrrr.

Anyway, seeing as how it looks like it could start pouring down rain at any minute, I guess I better go retrieve my borrowed car, which is parked five blocks away, and skedaddle on home to write some cover letters. Go Team Spatula! These Honors programs aren't going to know what hit them! I am Girl Intern, hear me ROAR!

Monday, August 22, 2005

Mama Spatula strikes again

I often talk about how totally awesome and funny my mom is, but seldom do I have the opportunity to actually demonstrate how totally awesome she is in her own words. Behold, an email I just received from Mama Spatula:

Hey kiddo, How's it goin?? Molly just got into a fence fight with the dog next door. Thank goodness for fences. It's a miniture schnauzer who is very unfriendly. Molly keeps going up to the fence and trying to say hi and he just slinks off and glares at her. I was sitting on the back porch reading and I hear snarling and barking so here's the two of them going at it thru the fence. DUMB!! Molly said he called her a name and then she said alright come over here and say that. I did lecture her on the uncivilized practice of fence fighting. She was fairly receptive (for a dog). Anyway, that's all for now. Take care, Love Ya, Mom

Sunday, August 21, 2005

You insufferable bitch*

Dear Chimay,

I want you to know that, among the things in my life, you are currently at the top of my list of things that make me happy (after M., the best friend ever, obviously). You are even above my new expensive panties and my fabulous pink shiny lipgloss. You make me very very happy. You are all that is good and holy and wonderful.

I heart you.

E. Spat

*Muttered by my friend tonight in response to something I can't remember but that made me laugh. It could be the beer though. But I think maybe it's just that she's funny.

Let the sun shine in...

So, I went and saw The 40-Year Old Virgin today.

It was funny. I saw that it had gotten good reviews (and a couple bad ones) and for the most part it was what I thought it would be. It was stupid, but funny, and only mildly annoying in a couple of parts, but I laughed a lot and overall it was very entertaining. I heart Steve Carrell (sp?). My friend thought it was like Office Space, only for sex, and I don't know if I'd go that far...but it was funny.

Carbon Leaf.

Can anyone say "Hottest Lead Singer EVER"?

My friend in D.C. won tickets to see them from a radio station, and it was a show for like 50 people so it was small and we got to stand real close. Real real close. And let me tell you, I like the music (I even bbought a TV), but I like that singer even more. The guitarist isn't bad, but the singer is just real real beautiful and I can admit I'm a little in love. Sigh.

I'll get to a post about The Aristocrats soon. I loved it, but I realize it's not for everyone. It's the funniest movie I've seen in YEARS...but if you're easily offended, or capable of being offended at all, perhaps you should just skip it. More later. I have to go get more beer.

Like deja vu all over again.

Well, I'm back in the TVPNM. The weather is GORGEOUS, it's SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO nice to get up and go for a little jog/walk and have it be sunny and 68 degrees. I'm staying with my friends until I leave for Vegas on Thursday because my sublettor is still in my place, and it's great to see some old friends again. This week I have LOTS to do. I want to get all my federal Honors program packages off before I leave for Vegas so I can enjoy my trip, and on Tuesday I have a meeting with a professor who is going to supervise my fall externship and hopefully write me a letter for a clerkship, and then I'm going downtown to meet my new supervisor and see my new work digs. I'm excited and am really happy they're letting me continue on in the TVPNM office. I plan on being able to post quite a bit this week and get the coffee mug thing done (FINALLY), so look for that. I went and saw The Aristocrats back in D.C. and saw a band called Carbonleaf live before I left, and I'd like to talk about both of those, plus today I am hoping to go see The 40-Year Old Virgin, so maybe I'll have something to say about that as well.

It's good to be back.

Friday, August 19, 2005

You.

You. You are an amalgam of every man I have ever had feelings for, every man who has been important in shaping my life, my womanhood. Without my help and assistance you could not exist and thrive in my reality. I know you and I resent you for what you are and what you do to me and what you have done to me.


You said you would call, but we both knew it would only be to say you couldn't be here, not now, not today or tomorrow or anytime soon. You wish I could understand how complicated your life is. You wish I would help you as you fumble for the perfect words to explain the concept of "I didn't bother because I just don't care that much, but it makes me feel guilty to say it out loud to you."

You said you really wanted to see me, but we both knew you didn't want it enough to actually turn empty words and thoughts into action. I wanted to believe. I want to believe. There is nothing that would make me happier than knowing someone, anyone, out there feels a desire, no matter how miniscule, to see me. I felt triumphant when I let myself think about establishing a connection with a human being of a magnitude that could cause a need to arise in that person for my presence. When I had to admit to myself, yet again, in an unexpected and unwanted moment of clarity, that your words were just...well...words, and calculated ones at that, I felt demolished by the utter collapse of my carefully contructed and nurtured self-delusion.

You said you were different, not like the rest, but we both knew that every day made it more painfully obvious you were exactly like every other one who came before you. If it makes you feel better, I think I believed it a little bit longer this time. Of course, I say that every time, so maybe it's not you, maybe it's me.

You said you loved my confidence, my laugh, my infectious enthusiasm...but everything you've done since you said those words has had a net effect of destroying the very qualities you claimed to find most endearing. Oh sure, you didn't do it on purpose. Inattention. Poor planning. Lies you didn't even bother to veil in truth except when you were worried about your own self-preservation. You build me up only to leave me to break myself down with solitude and self-doubt and bitter loathing of my own neediness. I always come back, but with a few more chinks in my armor. You can rest now knowing you've done your part to enlarge the toehold for the next man who won't call and won't act and won't be what he says he is but will be exactly what and who I know he is.

I hate it that it makes me cry when you don't call, even though I knew in my heart that you wouldn't. I hate being disappointed again every single time, just like it's the first. I hate that I still have hope, even after all this time. Like a wound that just won't heal, I open my heart over and over and over again, knowing each time that it's a horrible mistake, and yet thoroughly unable to stop myself. I'm a glutton for punishment. Greedy for attention. I need to feel special and loved and attractive and I'm incapable of the kind of self-manipulation necessary to do it without your help, no matter how ineffective and unsavory it might be.

I hate it that you want my forgiveness. I hate that it's always my responsibility. I have to build you up so you can move on to the girl who I will have prepared you for. I am the vessel for your aggression and thoughtlessness and lies and manipulation. You leave it all with me and move on, carefree and light without your burden. I hate that you want anything from me. I hate that I am always left to pick up my own pieces. I hate that I cooked for you and remembered your birthday.

I want you to know that I'm still not broken, but I wish I was. I want to tell you that I won't believe the next one, the one who says he'll call and that he's different and that he thinks I'm funny and pretty and smart, but I will. I can't help it. I can't stop. I want to be a girl who is able to reflect inward and appreciate the lesson and the journey and her own inner beauty. But I'm not. I'm broken. And you're broken too. You're like a mirror with a fatal crack, but I would rather see myself reflected in you than to not see myself at all and have to wonder if I even exist.

You didn't know you would represent all the ones who came before you, and for that I apologize. You didn't know that I would actually hold it against you. But I do. You barely know me. You don't know the real me at all, and the parts of me you do know probably do not accurately represent who I am because I'm too scared to show myself to you. And that's not your fault, so I'll let you slide on that one. If you rejected my persona I could recover. If you rejected the person who I think I might be when I let myself think, I'm just not sure I could take it. I don't even think, if I'm honest with myself, that I like you all that much. But, there is nothing I want more in life than for you to like me. The validation of your approval allows me peace; ill-gotten, short-lived, and nebulous at best, but, as my mom always says, beggars can't be choosers.

I want to stop needing. I hope that one day I will look inside myself and I will see something there besides a great yawning hole filled with the endless pieces of who I used to be when I thought I knew who I was.

All I wanted was a lie I could believe.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

I live big butts...*

Alright guys, I know I’ve been promising an update FOREVER…but I haven’t had internet access at home, and I’m scared to post anything at work.

So, needless to say, I’ve been a little busy. I have been trying to finish up all my little half-finished projects at work…thankfully a couple of them they’re letting me take back to the TVPNM with me to work on while I intern out there, but I feel bad leaving so many things undone. Is that a common problem with interns/summer associates? It seems like they gave me lots of assignments and then loaded me up with all these other things to do and obligations that left me not as much time as I would have liked for my “real” work. But, the other stuff was WAY FUN so I can’t complain – I just wish I could talk about it, but, I can’t. Well, I could but I’d have to kill you. And since I don’t even know who the vast majority of “you” are, I guess that won’t work.

I am spending my last four days house-sitting for a friend who lives in a swanky apartment building right down the street from my work. I am moving in today after work and I’ll be there until Saturday when I leave. It’s been fun living with LQ, but I think her family will appreciate having some time sans houseguests – they’ve had either me or her Mother-in-Law with them constantly for the past several weeks, and I know it’s got to be irritating to have no family alone-time. Plus, the place I’m moving into has a pool and a gym and all that stuff, so I’ll spend my last four days getting back into my gym routine and trying to make up for all the crap I’ve been eating lately.

Tonight I am going to see The Aristocrats, and I’m also getting together with a friend from the TVPNU who is in town for a conference related to his summer job. So that’ll be fun. Tomorrow I’m having a “hello and goodbye” drink with AmbImb, who I also didn’t see last summer until a day or two before I left. Guess we’re just about the last-minute catching up. Still no plans for Friday night…I had hoped my hot date from the other night would call, but he’s apparently out of town and so it looks like that’s a no-go right now. Bummer. Oh well, there’s plenty more where he came from – one thing I love about D.C. is the whole “fish in the sea” thing…this is a target-rich environment if ever there was one. So, maybe I’ll go boy-watching or something. I heart boy-watching.

The damn mugs. AmbImb was kind enough to get me the updated graphic files and I am (hopefully) going to load them into CafePress today or tomorrow. I know this is taking forever and I apologize. Between the general busyness of my life, my lack of internet access, and the fact that I’m trying to squeeze in a lot of “real life” stuff into my last few days here, I just haven’t been on top of it. When I get back to the TVPNM on Saturday, I have a few days until I leave for Vegas where I basically have nothing to do but run errands, go see my new office and play on the internet. I would expect posting to go back up to normal levels at that time, and possibly for the CafePress thing to come to fruition at that time as well.

Anyway, suffice it to say, all is well…just busy and slightly frantic. I will say that I have been thinking about a lot of sort of “heavier” topics, mainly relating to dating and love and self-image and stuff like that, but I just haven’t really gotten to the point of articulating all that I’ve been thinking about. It’s been an interesting summer and I think in a lot of ways I’m still really feeling an extension of how I felt last year – like I’m changing internally in this really big way. When I was little I would complain to my mom that my joints hurt, or I had a headache, and she would say I had “growing pains.” And that’s how I’ve felt lately – like I’m having growing pains of an emotional variety. I have been going through periods of being really, really happy with my emotional, physical, and intellectual progress mixed with periods of feeling really down and frustrated and unhappy and lonely. Obviously that sentence describes “life” in general – but I think I’m just paying more attention these days to the highs and lows and trying to mentally catalogue them…perhaps I’ll write more about it soon if I can come up with something coherent.

Last but not least…I bought an Ipod Shuffle – it was my present to myself for being such a good little exerciser this summer. I love love love it. So much. YAY! Also, I bought pink glitter flip-flops at Target. DOUBLE-YAY! And (sorry, I didn’t mean to imply “last but not least” meant only one thing), I leave for Vegas a week from tomorrow. SO EXCITED! I can’t wait to see M.!

*The song title as it comes up on my old MP3 because I am dumb and typed it wrong. I never changed it because it makes me laugh. I don't just like big butts, I LIVE big butts.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Crazy guys who get eaten by bears...fun!

I'm going to see the documentary Grizzly Man today. It looks super interesting and I think it will be cool. Then I guess my friend and I are going to do some other stuff, not sure what yet. It'll be nice to hang out though one last time before I have to leave next Saturday.

The A/C was fixed yesterday and it's like heaven now. Cool and breezy and...uh...cool. I heart A/C.

AmbImb made me the coolest effing graphic ever for coffee mugs and I will post that tomorrow and probably have an update on some stuff I've been thinking about posting but haven't had time to. We'll see...it's Sunday so I should have time.

I can't believe I only have one week left. I feel sad.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Checking in and checking out.

I haven't actually noticed that anyone seems to wonder or care where I've been, but because in my mind I think I'm very important and integral to all your lives, I'm going to fill you in anyway.

I have been busy working and moving in with LQ for the next week or so. As she said on her site, her A/C has been broken all week, so it's been a little...uh...warm. Supposed to get fixed tomorrow and I have to say it's not a minute too soon! But, aside from that glitch, all is well and I'm enjoying having some new temporary digs. Next week on Wednesday I'm moving into a friend's house to cat-sit for a few days until I leave...she has a pool and a gym and all that good stuff. It's not that I don't love LQ, it's just that...well...a POOL and a GYM! And it's walking distance to work which will be nice after these few days of an hour commute each way.

Work is good, but busy. Trying to finish up all my projects and stuff and they keep handing me new stuff that distracts me -- I feel bad because I think I'll be leaving quite a bit of stuff undone. But, I'll be back working for them in the Fall for an externship in TVPNM so I guess I can always finish it there.

My other project has become stalking this nice man with good taste in suits who eats breakfast in the cafe on my building's ground floor all the time. We've made Significant Eye Contact several times and this morning he said "Hi." I have one week left to at least get his name and maybe a drink out of him. It's a project. Girls need projects.

Anyway, I'm sweltering here in the computer room so I'm going to go back to the open part of the house and sit under the ceiling fan and pray for snow. I'll try to post again this weekend. Also, I'm still working on the mugs/t-shirts, and once I have more regular internet access (I feel bad taking up LQ's phone line, but they're installing DSL shortly), I will probably post a couple more pics and then open the store for "business", whatever that may end up being.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Samples and Examples

I just sort of took a couple of the images and put them on mugs so we could all see what they would look like...they look kinda crooked to me, but I think it's because the mug is round or something because the images aren't crooked and they should be on there straight (they're straight on the t-shirt). I guess the right thing to do would be to put these up and then order one for myself so that I can see the quality...should I bother? Has anyone gotten stuff off CafePress? Is it OK or do I need to check my work? Also, now that I see them like this they look kind of plain to me. Damnit...I just don't know if creatively speaking I have it in me to make them any fancier than this. Sheesh, this is harder than one would have thought (if one had been thinking, which, as usual, one was not).


Wah.

Today is the day when everything I touch just goes wrong.

When I went to go for a walk this morning my MP3 had mysteriously dumped its entire lineup, and I had to reformat it to put more songs on it and they're probably not even the ones I really want because I didn't have time to properly consider my options.

My computer is doing strange things and I'm scared it's not going to make it until school starts, let alone through another year.

The candy machine downstairs wouldn't take my money and I need a Milky Way bar REAL BAD.

I had to clean up my apartment and pack tonight, two things I really hate doing (plus I have WAY more stuff than I came here with so that's gonna be a problem).

Aside from all of this, it wasn't really a bad day...I'm super tired and practically ready for bed even though it's barely 7. Tomorrow I'm skipping work because I have to move all my stuff to LQ's, which might take awhile. I guess I'll go to work if I'm done before lunch, but we'll see. It involves an entire Metro trip and I'm just not sure I'm up to it.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas...

So, M. (seriously, the BESTEST best friend ever), bought me a plane ticket to join her in Vegas for 10 days at the end of the month while she's there for work. My days will be spent lounging by the pool and watching cable TV while she works (and maybe painting my toenails or something equally rigorous), and my nights will be spent gambling drinking attending Bible study.

I'm so excited! I leave here on the 20th, go back to the TVPNM for four days, then Vegas from the 25th to Sept. 3rd, a wedding back in TVPNM on Sept. 4th, and then maybe home for a couple of weeks before OCI starts. I'll probably need a vacation to rest after my vacation.

Movin' on up...

So, this is my last weekend in my fabulous (by which I mean "not fabulous at all") apartment...on Tuesday afternoon I have to be out, so I'm moving in with LQ and her family for my last two weeks here. I am so excited to see LQ, who has been busy with moving in and unpacking and so even though we're in the same city we still haven't seen each other, but I feel kind of guilty for setting up camp in their house while they're still trying to move in. However, I really had nowhere else to turn since I don't know anyone else in D.C. well enough to live with them, and one of the interns offered to let me move into her apartment for my last two weeks for a total cost of $300, which isn't actually that bad for around here, but why do it when I can stay somewhere else for free, right? Plus hopefully LQ and I will get to hang out and stuff, which will be cool since she was definitely my closest friend at school last year and now this year I'm going to be all on my own. Sad!

Anyway, the point on all of that is that I'm spending some time this morning trying to clean up my room, and clean out the common areas of the apartment my roommate didn't get to when she moved out yesterday. I tend to come from work, or from being out, and dump everything out of my pockets and/or purse and/or backpack right into a big pile on my desk. So I just spent about an hour going through all that stuff, making sure I'm not throwing away receipts with credit card numbers, etc. And let me tell you. I drink A LOT of beer. Holy shit, if I hadn't been drinking so much beer this summer I would have made like a million dollars!!! The chance of me drinking less beer is pretty slim, but still, it's something to think about...maybe I'll ponder it over a beer.

I don't want to go back to school. I love my job, I am really enjoying D.C. this summer as compared to last summer (good roommate and good job make all the difference, and I think the gym membership helped too...kept me sane), and I REALLY love feeling like an adult again. I don't want to go back and face the whole "find a job/pass the bar" thing...it feels so overwhelming and complicated to go through three years of law school and then have to do a whole bunch of other stuff to be able to work. I'm not organized or motivated enough to deal with all that. Sigh. Guess I'm gonna have to get there. Eventually.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Oooh Oooh Oooh

I can't believe I forgot to tell you guys...

I found out on Friday that I got a scholarship and a grant that, in total, equal over $10,000 towards next year!

HOOOOOOORAY!

I'm alive.

I know I've been kind of slack about posting anything of substance since the whole Ex-Husband story got finished this week, but I won't lie, it burned me out a little bit. Each Part took probably three to four hours to write and rewrite, and I have close to 50 pages of material in the Word doc I was saving it in. And then there's the emotional toll of dragging all that shit to the surface again.

With work and everything else going on in my life (job hunt, etc), I just haven't had much time to blog, plus I haven't been doing much that would be interesting to talk about. Actually I've done some really cool stuff for work, but since I can't talk about that, I'm sort of stuck.

I did go on a date last night. I told him (sorta) about the blog and that I don't normally write about people without their permission (although he doesn't have the address...yet), so I can't even really go into any specifics about the whole thing.

Except I will say that I had a really great fun time with someone who I think is really a gentleman. I almost didn't know how to act around a man who was pulling my chair out, serving me first at the restaurant, buying my drinks, opening the car door and making sure I'm in and settled before he walks over to his side.... In the most general sense, without (I hope) violating this person's trust in me not to talk about him specifically, I have to tell you...it was a great date and I felt really pampered and attractive and attended to. We talked a lot about relationships and dating and stuff at dinner, and I don't know, maybe some guys just "get it" and some don't.

Or, and this is probably more likely, I am so suspicious of almost all men that I choose ones (let's say subconsciously for the sake of my pride) that won't let me down, because they just aren't very good to begin with. I had to step out of my comfort zone a little to give this guy a chance, for a variety of reasons, and I think it was really good for me. If nothing else it restores my hope a little bit that there are people (men type people) out there who will put forth some effort (for ME! Weird!) and spend an entire evening telling me how fab I am -- not once did he say "Oh you're very 'straightforward'" or "Gosh, you have a LOT of opinions!" or even "I bet a lot of men think you're intimidating."

It was nice. That's what I'm saying.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Choices are fun.

OK people. I'm not ignoring you, I'm just super busy. But, I've been working on the "logo issue" and I think these three sets are the choices I like so far. I will probably start out with a t-shirt and a coffee mug, one in pink and one in green. It just wouldn't be me if there wasn't something in pink. Anyway, leave a comment about which set you like...then I'll make a little mock-up of a t-shirt and mug and show you the real thing. Anyway, if you don't vote you can't complain later -- kinda like real life.

Set One

Set Two
Set Three

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Part Nine.

Part One.
Part Two.
Part Three.
Part Four.
Part Five.
Part Six.
Part Seven.
Part Eight.

*** Disclaimer***

Some of you will be tempted to read the end first. Don't feel bad, I do that all the time, just don't blame me when you lose all the dramatic tension you big old instant gratification junkies! Some of you will be tempted to Google the shit out of this and figure out who the Ex is or whatever. Most of you are regular readers who I would be happy to provide the information to via email if you so desire. Most of you know me through my writing and know this blog as a stop on your regular visits around the blogosphere. I do not want the specific name of the Ex to be associated with me or this blog. I know putting it out here, even without some of the major details, leaves me open to that kind of thing, and I'm taking that chance. But, I hope that most or all of you will respect my wish not to have his name and crimes be permanently linked to this blog which I love writing and which is normally a fun and happy place for me to be creative. I would hate for that spirit to be destroyed.

***End Disclaimer***

Years went by. Five to be exact, not that I was counting anymore. I became a military officer, traveled the world, got married and divorced again, and even saw M. join the Air Force and become an officer too. I had ups and downs like everyone I guess, I went through a couple of really tumultuous relationships, but I think I stuck with my “learn something from it” theme. I learned that sometimes men who don’t mention that they’re married might actually be married, and that the default is not necessarily “single.” I learned that sometimes someone will tell you they love you just because it’s what you want to hear and because they love the idea of being in love, and when you’re not with them every single day they will find someone else to help them find that oh-so-addictive feeling. I learned that I have an amazing capacity to lose my temper when broken up with via cell phone, and that I have an amazing capacity for self-restraint when I don’t call that person back ever again despite the fact that I feel the urge almost constantly for upwards of six months – the clean break rule, it really works. All in all, I’m not sure I got any more savvy at choosing the right people, but I got a lot better at being alright with being alone in lieu of being with the wrong person.

One night, probably a year after my second divorce, maybe two or three months before I was supposed to leave the Air Force, the phone rang at my apartment. When I picked up, expecting someone from work calling to ask me if I wanted to get a beer, or, worst-case scenario, someone from work telling me I needed to come in, the voice on the other end said, “Hello, is this E. Spatula?”

“Yes, who is this?”

“This is Ex#1”

“What?”

“Ex#1”

“Oh my god. Oh my god. Holy shit.”

“Yeah, I found your name and address and phone number on the internet.”

“Oh. Wow. Oh my god.”

After about five minutes of me being totally freaked out, he explained that he was doing security clearance paperwork for a new job he had gotten with the FBI and that he needed to put my name and address on it under the “Ex-Spouse” block. Because I was intimately familiar with security clearance paperwork, I knew that there was in fact such a block; so I was somewhat relieved...perhaps this was just a heads-up. Of course, when I filled out my security clearance paperwork I just put his name and “Unknown” for his address and stuff, but, hey, maybe he had finally grown up and become responsible.

We chitchatted a little bit. He had gotten married to the woman he’d been cheating on me with, the girl from the bank with the ugly jeans. They had a daughter who was 2. He told me he was really happy and asked about my life. I told him I had gotten married and divorced again but that I was happy too, and I was an Air Force officer although I would soon be getting out to attend law school in the Pacific Northwest. He told me that he was sorry we hadn’t been able to stay friends, and that he always thought of me as his first love, still thought of me as his soul mate, wondered often what had become of me, had been searching for me on the internet for a while. For the clearance paperwork of course. He explained that he had gotten his Bachelor’s Degree in Criminology and had become a city policeman, protecting and serving the people of the same town we had lived in while married. I asked him if he could finally admit he had cheated on me with The Girl, now The Wife, and he still claimed they didn’t get together until long after the divorce. A lie, and we both knew it.

Since he already had my information there wasn’t much I could do to stop him from using it on his clearance paperwork, and I didn’t think much of it again except to wonder offhand why anyone who knew that I had witnessed him engaging in some pretty bad behavior would make it easier for the clearance people to find me. I was wrapped up in my own life. Leaving the Air Force, shipping my stuff back to the West Coast, and then moving in with M. for a couple of months between the Air Force and law school, just to have fun and relax before the real work started. I heard from him again just before I left Texas, he was going to be coming through “the area” and did I want to get together? Honestly, I wasn’t sure. I very much wanted to show him how I had grown and changed. I was a professional, educated, world-traveled, articulate...not afraid of him anymore. So, I gave him my cell phone number and told him to call me if he came to town. I never thought I’d hear from him again.

But I did. While I was living with M. he called...he would be coming through Oklahoma City on his way back to his city from somewhere else and wanted to have lunch, just lunch. We could catch up. It would be fun. M. and I discussed it at length. Should I go? Would it help or hurt? I was all the way over him and had been for years, and I thought at the very least it wouldn’t set me back or cause me any kind of trauma. I very much wanted to see if he measured up to the idolizing I had done of him during my teenage years and during our marriage. To me he had always been, in the words of Bridget Jones, a bonafide sex god. Truthfully I needed to know if I had made the right decision, if I would regret it when I saw him, if I would feel remorse for quitting my marriage five years earlier. I had believed for a large portion of my adult years that he was my soulmate, if there actually is such a thing. I carried that with me for a long time, the idea that there was only one man who would ever love me and he had been it. After the second divorce, and even now, I pondered (and ponder) whether I meet someone again who will take my breath away like he did when I was 17.

On the appointed day he called me and we arranged to meet at a local steakhouse in OKC. I agonized over what to wear. I didn’t want to look fat, or old, or anything less than fantastically happy with my life and choices. When I got to the parking lot I sat there for a minute and tried to catch my breath. A huge part of my past was about to come back to life. I called M. on my cell and got a word or two of reassurance. She was just a mile away and if he did one single thing wrong she would be down in a second to kick his ass. As always, she had my back. I think she said something like “Tell him I said he’s a cheating motherfucker and the stupidest thing he ever did in his life was divorce you.” Isn't she the total best?

He showed up in a huge white truck. We both got out of our vehicles and walked towards each other in the parking lot, sort of like a duel only in reverse. An awkward hug. He was skinnier than I remembered. And shorter. A sex god no longer, just an ordinary guy with bad tattoos and a cheap haircut.

We had lunch and he begged and pleaded and cajoled for us to go do something together; he had to leave in a couple hours and who knew when or if we would ever see each other again. So we went down to the Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial and walked around and talked. It was really hot, but we stayed outside and he told me about his wife and job and baby daughter. I felt relieved that I didn’t really feel anything. He was more articulate than I remembered, and so I thought maybe he had finished college, but he was still the same old Ex. Always with a harebrained scheme for making a million dollars fast, or an idea that someone had stolen that WOULD have made him a million dollars but now he was going to sue that bastard and get what was rightfully his. He was going to quit the police force and move back to South Florida to race his car, the same one he had shown me the week I left for Officer Training. The FBI had hired him and they were going to make him a specialist in anti-terrorism tactics, hence the security clearance. There was no recognition on his part of the contradictory nature of the statements about his life and what he was doing with it.

And then, little tidbits of truth started to trickle out. He was still a liar at heart, and was trying his best to snow me, but he seemed desperate to talk, to have me understand that, ok, maybe some things weren’t going according to plan, but he was still successful and fine and doing well for himself.

He and his wife were separated. But it was because he wanted to go back to Florida where he has gaining fame as a racecar driver and she didn’t want to leave her family in their current city and state.

He was having some problems at work. But he would be going to the FBI soon, and probably racing on the side, or alternatively becoming a famous racecar driver, the dream of every boy from South Florida, so it didn’t matter.

He was being framed.

Some people had accused him of things he didn’t do.

When I pressed for more as we drove back to the steakhouse so that he could let me off at my car, he declined to elaborate.

In the parking lot of the restaurant he grabbed me up in a big hug. He looked manic, the whites of his eyes visible all the way around. He had to get back to his city right away but he didn't want to leave. It was almost like he was desperate to stay and talk about old times and pretend like the last five years hadn't happened. He told me he regretted leaving me and wished he hadn't and in his heart he knew I would always be The One. I felt deeply uncomfortable, like watching television with my parents and having a Viagra commercial come on. My guts felt kind of squirmy, for lack of a more precise scientific measurement.

His wife didn’t know where he was. But he had been driving through OKC, the city I happened to be in, for a supposed errand that his wife didn’t know about. Because it was to pick up parts for his racecar and he didn’t want her to be mad. I didn’t see anything in the truck that looked like car parts.

The last thing he said to me before he left was “Someday you might hear some things about me. But don’t believe them. People are making shit up about me because they’re jealous that I got this FBI job and they didn’t, but I didn’t do anything.” Then he just got in his truck and drove away. Into the sunset as it were.

I went back to the house and relived the entire afternoon for M. and we both tried to think about what his cryptic message might mean. Because she had someone in town that weekend we didn’t really get to talk much more about it, but my stomach would hurt off and on when I would think about what had driven my ex-husband to search for me on the internet, find me in Texas, track me down in yet another state, and then drive all the way to Oklahoma to impart upon me his strange and desperate message of innocence and stories about his life, that, in person, seemed vividly detached from reality...like he had seen them on television and appropriated them for himself, changing the lead character's name to his own and then just trundling off with a well-scripted life firmly in place. Racecar driver - check! FBI agent - check! Graduated from college, loving wife who wants him home so much she only separated from him to protest his proposed absence, small tiny perfect baby - check, check and check!

On Monday M. and I both had to go to work. I was temping at an insurance office to make beer money, but M. and I would talk on email throughout the day. After I got to work I decided to Google his name and see what I could find...I think at the time we didn’t have internet at home so this was my first chance to really try to figure out my mysterious weekend.

Google search: “Ex #1”

I literally stopped breathing for a minute. The search results reached out from the computer monitor and grabbed my stomach, and then my heart, and finally my lungs, leaving me stunned and speechless, hands shaking, heart racing.

Local Cop Indicted for Rape.

Local Cop Accused of Raping Female Motorists.

Local Cop Alleged to Have Beaten and Raped Citizens During Vehicle Stops.

My ex-husband, the man I had just seen, the man I had pledged to love until eternity only 8 years earlier, was accused of being a serial rapist.

And not just an ordinary, run-of-the-mill serial rapist, a serial rapist with a badge, a police car, and a sadistic streak a mile wide.

I stepped outside, away from my desk, and called M., almost in tears. I called my parents. I emailed a couple of close friends and sent them the link. Every person that I love circled his or her wagon, protecting me and insulating me and saying, “Oh my God, I can’t believe it, thank God you got out when you did!”

His wife, the woman he had cheated on me, was by his side during his court appearances...presumably standing by her hard-won man. He had been indicted two days after he visited me in OKC. He was accused of many counts of rape, of assault, of various other related crimes. Many counts. No specifics here, but many victims, many complaints, a long investigation and finally an indictment that was very specific in nature and heartbreaking to read, on many levels.

The criminal trial will be next year. It has been postponed and extended and delayed for over two years now.

Sometimes you see these people on TV who were married to a murderer, or lived next door to a serial killer, and none of them knew.

I didn’t know. I mean, I knew he was capable of violence. I knew he didn’t respect women. I knew he had little to no conscience when it came to lying or manipulating people, and that often he lied and manipulated even when he didn’t have to. I knew he didn’t have normal emotional responses to things, instead feeling extreme anger or extreme apathy or extreme avoidance, but rarely seeming to care very much about the health and welfare of those living around him. I knew he stole things from his work sometimes, but that was something I discovered when I moved out of the house and found hundreds and hundreds of CD’s which I assume were pilfered from Best Buy, but which he claimed to have bought...I was just too tired at that point to have a full-blown confrontation about it. I knew he was always one phone call away from being a full-fledged stalker after the divorce. I knew he used his badge as a military policeman to intimidate me and always bragged about how much power having a badge and gun gave him and how everyone had to respect him because he was a cop and could ruin their lives. I knew the only way I could get away from him was to move and leave no forwarding address.

So, could I say I didn’t know?

I have wracked my brain these past two years, trying to decide if there was something I could have done, someone I could have warned. Should I have reported the abuse as it was happening? By the time I knew, or even thought, it was abuse, it had been several years. I didn’t even know where he was by then, and frankly wasn't inclined to seek him out. During the time we were together I was like one of those dogs in the depression studies about learned helplessness, all I could do was move like a zombie in and out of my days and nights, trying to hold my life together by the edges while not letting too much of it unravel at once. I honestly never thought someone I once loved could do something like what the Ex is accused of. He hasn’t had a trial, he has not been found guilty, but in my gut I just feel like he is – why seek me out and try to exonerate himself before I had even heard anything? I would NEVER EVER have found out about the charges if he hadn’t set the ball in motion with the phone calls and visits, I hadn’t thought about him in years and his indictment didn’t make national news...although it’s a pretty big item in his state of residence, as I’m sure you can imagine.

It’s been two years since I found out about the charges. I’ve had time to get used to it, and, while it’s not a joke since people have obviously been hurt and lives have been tragically altered, some parts of it seem to be evidence of the karmic cycle at work. Clearly just cheating with my husband when were are all still almost kids doesn't mean The Wife or the kid deserve to be subjected to what they are probably going through -- but I would be lying if I didn't say that I feel a little less sorry for her knowing that she knew me, she looked at me when I came to visit him at work, and she still had no apparent issues with staking her territory on a married man.

I’m not sure what will happen. There are certain details I have left out that indicate to me that there is a very great chance he will be found guilty and end up in a very bad place, which, if he is guilty, is right where he belongs.

I worried for myself along the way too. Did he get my address and phone number to give to his lawyers? Would someone hunt me down and force me to come to court and relive my years with this man who turned out to be a monster? Certainly not his lawyers, God knows I have nothing positive to add to their case. In true American fashion, I don’t want to get involved.

I also wondered if people would think his actions reflect upon me. My taste in men? It’s already a running joke. Sometimes I feel like Julia Roberts in Runaway Bride when Richard Gere stands up at her rehearsal dinner and points out to basically the entire town that she is actually a person, with feelings, and perhaps she doesn’t enjoy her personal choices in relationships being the fodder for every amateur stand-up comedian in town. I guess I can take being labeled a “Bad Chooser of Men,” and I'm usually the first one to make a joke about my horrible taste, but deep inside I worry that it's me. That the person that I am is only attractive to men who are "bad" in some way, and that eventually I will be worn down from my "I would rather be alone than in another bad relationship" place and end up exactly there because it seems like a dead-end road that I just can't get off of.

But, is it deeper than that? I married someone who, as it turns out, is more likely than not a serial rapist. Someone who preyed upon the vulnerable. I don’t think I could have known. The sweet boy I met when I was 17, the boy who was such a good boyfriend and wasn’t afraid to cry in front of me and would always let me lay on his arm even if it fell asleep, the boy who asked me to marry him and cried and told me that he couldn't imagine his life without me in it, how could that boy be this man? He changed along the way, that was apparent even before we got married, but I always thought he still had that sweet soul inside him, I always thought I could and would be the one to coax it out of hiding, bring him back into the light.

What I think about sometimes is a book I read about some serial killer, Ted Bundy maybe, who would stand in front of the mirror and practice smiling and frowning and looking worried and perplexed and intrigued, because he knew that “normal” people felt things inside themselves that they telegraphed to the rest of the world via facial expressions. Was our marriage, and all those years, the Ex’s practice in front of the mirror of society? Was he learning how to pretend to be human? Did he stand at the altar and marry me as an experiment in normalcy?

I haven’t spoken to him since the day in Oklahoma City. I keep up with the news; it seems to come in waves as different parts of the case become public. I will keep up with the trial when it happens. Apparently his city has a “No Settling” policy when it comes to crimes committed by police officers, so it will go to trial eventually, but there’s no guarantee on when. Every day I process it a little bit more. I wonder if it would have happened if we’d stayed married. I wonder where I would be if I had stayed. I’m so grateful to my friends and family for making it possible for me to never have to find out the answers to those questions.

If this is what fat looks like, we're all in trouble.

Milbarge points out this article in Slate regarding the new Dove ad campaign featuring real women with real curves.

I have to go to work early today so here are some quick thoughts.

The author gives the campaign a short-term grade of "A" but a long-term grade of "D" because, HE points out, people will start to think of Dove as the brand for "fat girls." Milbarge points out that the author actually really likes the campaign...but I'm not entirely sure that's true -- I sense a lot of judgment.

1. These ads are on every bus stop on my way to work, so I pass by no less than five or six of them every morning and evening.

2. The girls are lovely and smiling -- for once a model that doesn't look like she's hiding in a closet after being gang-raped...gosh, we wouldn't want to encourage that!

3. The girls in the ads are sizes 4-12. The average American woman wears a size 16. Pretty much every real woman I know over the age of about 20 is not a size 0 and is not 12 feet tall weighing in at 13.2 pounds, so, I'm not sure how these women are representing "fat" women -- size when is a size 4 fat? A size 8? Even a size 12?

4. The author of the article says that "These Dove ads say it's cool to be round and hefty … so long as your skin is taut and firm and perfect" and points out that if the ads are aiming for true body acceptance they wouldn't still be trying to sell firming creme. OK, I guess there's a point there. But none of the girls in the ad are hefty really! I mean, by the standards of some men who unrealistically expect to only date, or see naked, women who are tiny -- which is, by the way, a small portion of the female population overrepresented in fashion magazines and ad campaigns -- these women might be larger than what those men are used to seeing or thinking about. But none of them are fat. None of them are obese and they all look healthy and pretty and happy.

I'm not going to buy Dove's skin creme because, frankly, I just don't buy shit like that. BUT, I like the ad and I appreciate that they aren't emaciated and that they probably eat with their friends, and laugh over dessert, and have a glass of wine or a beer when they go out. Some of them might even eat CARBS! And maybe they don't have to smoke and do cocaine to keep their weight down -- thereby making them somewhat chubbier than what some men might appreciate in a date, but also less likely to fly off into a rage when someone accidentally puts a lemon in their water and then ingest an entire 3 calories in ONE DAY! I don't know, some women are naturally thin and their bodies are meant to be that way and I think that's great -- but some women aren't and I like that there is an ad campaign, even though it's trying to sell me firming creme, that focuses on the rest of us -- the dreaded other 90% of the world...the NON-MODELS...women who dare to have breasts and hips and thighs -- NOOOOOOO.

Anyway, I like the ads, I think the author is kind of snide, and I especially think his little comment that when you see the ads, OH YOU'LL KNOW who the size 12 is, deserves a smack-down.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Ummmm....


OK, so I am not done with Part Nine yet, but I'm thinking about it. It's a difficult one because I'm not sure how much detail I want to go into -- I will do my best to have it up tomorrow night(ish).

In the meantime, it seems like there are at least a few people who think a t-shirt (or a coffee mug maybe) would be cool, so, I need some input. Leave a comment or email and tell me what you'd like (t-shirt, coffee mug, mouse pad, whatever...you can visit CafePress to see the stuff they have), and how you'd like it to be. Right now, if I can make it happen at all, it's going to have to probably be simple. Like just the words "Will Work For Favorable Dicta" on the product...think about t-shirts, words on front or back? Big or small? Just over the pocket? A logo on the pocket area and the words on the back? I'm all ears...let me know what you think might be cool and if I can come up with something I'll post a pic here first. I'm so uncreative...WAH!

UPDATE: I like just words, and I like green. This is probably something along the lines of what I would come up with left to my own devices. I emailed LQ and asked her to help me as she's good at these things and I'll be staying at her place the next two weeks...but, just look at the pathetic attempt above and know I need all the help I can get.