List #190: You Could be My Valentine, and I Could Be Your Long-Lost Gal

I'm off on Valentine's Day this year. Well, off in the evening. But I don't have plans. At least not yet. Actually, realistic me is pretty much set in coming home and ordering Chinese food for one and soaking in a long hot bath.

The tiny side of me that is romantic, mixed with the large part of me that is hopeful, still holds on to the idea that it might include a grand gesture, a surprise package, or a dinner, and maybe some cupcakes.

Someone once told me to write down what I want out of a man. And I've never publicly written specifics here, because I don't want to come off too picky or too demanding. But just for today, here's some things I'd be very happy about from a Valentine. Keep in mind, Valentine's Day is suppose to be a fun holiday. So I don't have any deal breakers below. Think of them as more like little quirks and occasional habits. I'm serious about them all, but all to varying degrees.

A Lovely Valentine would be someone:
  • To watch Penguins games with in the middle of the week. He must be willing to shout at the television with me and laugh when I tell him the story of how I once wished Pascal Dupuis Merry Christmas.
  • Who doesn't mind cooking. Fancy dinners, sure. But I'd love to come home to a perfectly grilled cheese stuffed with pickles. And then he'd let me pick up dessert or indulge my yearly craving of root beer floats.
  • Can drop Ron Swanson quotations in times of need. And totally be up for multiple viewings of Parks and Recreation. 
  • Brings a glass of water for me to bed. No ice. And doesn't get mad when it takes a few days (or maybe even a week) for that glass to make its way back to the sink.
  • Isn't afraid to pin a girl against the wall and give her the best kiss of her life. 
  • Wants to meet my friends. And makes them laugh at least twice in one night.
  • Sends me a text before lunch time and wants to hear my voice at night.
  • Lets me put my head on his chest and my arm on his shoulder.
  • Wants to share secrets with me. And knows that I'll keep them locked away for as long as needed.
  • Understands that I will probably cry, a lot. But finds it charming. And knows that I'd let him cry too.
  • Wants to play True American until the wee hours of a Saturday night.
  • Will belt out lyrics to songs in the kitchen. Loudly. With or without me. But probably with me.
So what do you think, dear readers? There is a little more than two weeks left to make it happen. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. And if you know anyone who might be interested, please feel free to give them a referral. And in the meantime, what makes your valentine a lovely thing? 


List #189: A Few Songs That Have Been Getting Me Through January

Bruno Mars ~ Locked Out of Heaven
When I want to dance. Or think about dancing. And just forget for a few minutes that I'm solo and stressed to the max.
Matt Nathanson ~ Romeo and Juliet
Because this cover is the best of this song. And reminds me that no one has to be perfect. And neither does love.

Taylor Swift ~ That song where she keeps repeating trouble
I think I hear this song anytime I listen to Top 40 radio. Which isn't a lot. I would not click play on this video unless you want to see Ms. Swift in a bad wig looking like she's on drugs in some weird video prologue. For the record, I don't really like this song but I find myself singing it often.
Imagine Dragons ~ It's Time
Secretly I listen to this song when I'm the only librarian in the office and need a little motivation to get through the day. It makes me wonder what it's like to be a Mormon rocker and has me curious about missions that take me to middle America. I haven't even given the rest of this album a chance. But I'll happily sing this song loudly. 

I don't even know what these songs say about me. Because I don't really think they say much. Pretty much an accurate description of this January, really. Perhaps I should just stick to the book I'm reading and the strange, lucid dreams I've been dreaming.  Sometimes this month has felt like a weird one, folks. 

What's been on your 


List #188: Things That Feel Like Home

  • Dinner with an old friend on a snowy winter night.
  • Conversations that lapse into the serious with someone who doesn't mind watching you cry.
  • Warm blankets that you've had for years.
  • Every time you talk to your mom on the phone.
  • A funny text from your dad on your way to work.
  • Visiting a new city and feeling like a part of yourself has always been waiting for you there.
  • An old song that you haven't heard in years.
  • The feeling you get when you first put on pajamas.
  • A steamy bath.
  • Running into the person you used to love.
  • Soup.
  • Great big hugs.
  • Windy nights when you have nowhere to be.
  • Cards from relatives sent in the honest-to-goodness mail.
  • A book that tells its tale slowly.
  • Tea in the morning.
  • Quiet in a dark room.

I've been thinking a lot about home comforts this week, dear readers. So what about you. What feels like home to you? 


List #187: Reasons Why I Love the Obamas

Happy Inauguration Day!

Of course I voted for Barack Obama, I don't hide my political leanings too much.

And today I was happy to have the morning off (even on MLK Day, this public librarian worked) so that I could watch the inaugural ceremonies.

So, I give a few good reasons why I love the Obamas. Without being too political.

  • The way President Obama delivers speeches with measured pauses and sincere words.
  • His snark in press conferences.
  • Michelle Obama's infectious smile.
  • The amount that they value education.
  • Their vocal stance on gay marriage.
  • How empathically they talk about women's rights.
  • All of Michelle Obama's clothes.
  • Obviously, Bo.
  • The way President Obama tries to make it clear that not all of the solutions are easy ones.
  • Hard, tireless, and stressful work. That they keep on keepin' on.
  • Their children just seem like adorable, smart, funny girls.
  • That Michelle's mother lives with them at The White House.
  • The way they keep their daughters in-line and out of the public eye.
  • How when they talk about the people of our country, you can tell that they deeply care.
  • When they hug people.
  • The way they kiss.
I can only hope for 4-years of continued hard work from our First Family. I hope for peace, and parties bridging their gaps. I hope that when President Obama leaves office four years from now, we're all bit better off than we sit here today.

And for myself, a single, liberal democratic woman, that one day a love like theirs walks into my life. And we can serenade each other to Al Green, laugh, and look fantastic in formal wear. 


Letter #52: On Future Sundays

One Sunday night, somewhere in the future, you'll be here. One of us will cook pasta for dinner and the other will wash the dishes when we are finished. Two glasses of wine. And we'll eat properly at the table, instead of in front of the television.

And when it grows dark, we'll take the couch. We'll share the spot and you'll let my feet burrow under your bottom to keep them warm. We'll watch hockey, or football, and we'll both pay attention. But we'll both understand when either one of us grabs a book, or our computer, and starts reading something else to scatter our attention.

The Sunday blues know how to find us. And surely we'll complain about work, talk about stress, and tell each other that it will all be okay. We'll believe each other with wavering degrees of success as we pop popcorn for an evening snack.

You'll laugh at me when I get up to iron Monday's outfit. And hang it from the back out of our bedroom door. Because I like to be prepared for the morning, and you like to push my buttons. But the joke will be on you when, you have to get up earlier than me.

And when it's finally time to shuffle ourselves to bed, you'll close the blinds, shut the door tight, and completely understand when I put a blanket over my eyes.


List #187: Things I Wish I Knew

  • If I'll ever go back to Europe.
  • If you kissed me on the forehead because you knew I wasn't sleeping, or because you thought I was.
  • What my next jump in salary might be. 
  • When I'll actually finish writing something.
  • How to braid a bad-ass braid.
  • How to forgive a little easier.
  • If James Patterson ever feels guilty about not writing his own books. 
  • Where I'll meet the person who will leave me breathless. 
  • Where my next career move will take me.
  • If I'll live in Pittsburgh forever.
  • If Karma really does come back around.
  • Pi to more than 3 digits.
  • All of the people who have ever had a crush on me.
  • If in the very early morning, you didn't want me to leave the bed.
  • Ways to grow patience.
  • Your favorite book. And least favorite book.
  • Why I have such a hard time sleeping.
  • All of the people who think of me in a 24 hour period.
  • Why I never dream about someone I miss so much.
  • Do the men who date Taylor Swift think they won't end up a song? Or do they date her because they aim to be a song?
  • Your phone number.
  • What's your favorite blog post.
  • What's the deal with Mormon Mommy bloggers.
  • If you want to come back.
  • How to sew more than a few hems.
  • If anyone ever used the The Clapper.
  • Who misses me.
  • If the Left and the Right will ever agree.
  • If the Pinterest craze will ever stop. 
  • If Pascal Dupuis still goes to Starbucks in the morning.


List #186: Reasons Why My Heart Has Been Hurting Lately

I feel a little guilty complaining about being in a funk this time of year. I've seen Januaries far bleaker than 2013's. Ones that brought a father so sick he almost didn't make it, nights that left me shattered, grandfathers passing. Stuff that actual sadness and worry is made up of. And when I really weigh the world around me, it's really does come in as being pleasant.

But I'm admitting it, I'm in a funk. I can't get out of it right now. I feel lonely and dejected and stuck. I feel well, a little bit broken. It's a bunch of little things all piling up at the moment.

  • Feeling under-appreciated. In life, in a professional sense, in ways that I can't even really articulate. It's just there.
  • A constant stream of Taylor Swift singing in my head. Just a few seconds of Top 40 radio can make this happen instantly.
  • Dates that are duds. Polite, nice, smart, together. Just duds.
  • Significant increases in my student loan payments. So much money.
  • Continued frustration in another area of finances that never seems to go away.
  • Small bouts of insomnia. This happens from time to time, and when it does, it's never pretty.
  • Men who think it's totally appropriate to send out-of-the-blue emails and/or messages, without thinking of the consequences. Just think before you hit send, okay?
  • Those who can't respond to follow-up emails and/or messages. Because you can't just put something out there and not expect a nice person to respond.
  • The constant struggle of warm versus cold. Being hot or freezing at both home and at work isn't helping my wardrobe decisions nor my own comfort.
  • General disappoint in people. From Lance Armstrong to the people who can't push in their chairs after leaving a table.
  • Making my own tea. I think the reason I go to Starbucks so much is that someone else can make it for me. Also, it is right across the street from the library.
  • General discussion of baby/child overshare. I wish there was a parent-only Facebook. If it meant having a non-parent Facebook too, fine. I'll segregate if we can all agree to only post general/non-crazy stuff in the common threads. 
  • Laundry. Generally having to do it just makes me testy. 
  • How hard it is to let go of the daily little things that can make a day hard. I'm trying, really trying, to let the small stuff go. But right now? I'm really really struggling.
  • Hugging. I wanted to do more of it in 2013 and I just don't think I'm living up to my goal so far.
I want things I can't have, I'm upset about feeling like I don't have a voice, I'm worried that I'm stuck and this might be all there is. Not that anything is terrible, but I'm not exactly feeling excited and energized. 

I am sure that I'll break through this. I'm trying every day. I'm taking yoga regularly and yes, as a matter of fact, I do feel better after the hour kicks my ass. I'm taking deep breathes, I'm trying to stay positive and concentrate on the good. I'm doing all the things I should be doing.

I hope it gets easier soon. 


List #185: Why I Admire Lena Dunham

I watched the Golden Globes tonight mostly because I have a strong desire to be friends with both Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. And also because I like to gawk at beautiful dresses I'll probably never have an excuse to wear in my own life. I have a strong desire to see a lot of the films nominated, but my attention span doesn't allow me to sit for movies very often. I like to be doing multiple things at once and television is a better medium for perpetual multi-tasking.

So really, it should come as no surprise that I get most excited about the TV portion of the night. And when Lena Dunham won all of her awards for Girls, I eagerly shouted my praise (even though I think Amy Poehler always gets robbed).

Obviously Girls is a polarizing show. In fact, I HATED it until I was past episode three. So many of the characters are whiny, too spoiled, too lazy, and occasionally too vapid to find anything redeeming right away. But I got hooked, and found myself relating to Girls characters more than I ever thought possible considering my parents could only afford to support me floating around in my 20s in their wildest dreams. I believe in hard work, and putting forth effort, and not being a total jackass. But I also believe that sometimes it has hard to get ahead. And because Lena Dunham can write about this oh so well, and so much more, I am a fan.

  • Lena Dunham is a liberal arts-educated woman. In fact, she went to Oberlin College. A small school in Ohio that is comparable to my own Alma mater. In fact, they are even in the NCAC together. This alone make me tweet her with the hashtags that reflect liberal arts love. And make me convinced if we were ever to meet, we'd have a lot to talk about and a lot in common.
  • She may be a fan of Taylor Swift but she doesn't think she'd be able to date a Republican. 
  • She writes about relationships as a young, educated woman in a very realistic way. Girls is nothing like Sex and the City and thank goodness. Life (for most of us) isn't about bouncing from guy to guy and buying ourselves shoes that cost a few hundred dollars when we get depressed. For most of us, it's being hung up on guys who are bad for us, it's about learning how to walk away from damaging relationships, and trying to forget about the person who has a grip on our minds and hearts. It's about nights on the couch with Cheez-Its and bad TV when we're feeling down because going out costs money. It's about trying to find the one who is good for us, by way of a few that aren't.
  • And though I do think the characters in Girls would stop their whining and try a little harder to get jobs, stop living off trust funds and parents, the idea that it's hard to find your way in the world is also pretty true here. I myself milled around for 5 years before finally realizing the profession I was in wasn't right for me. I wasn't ever happy about my career choices during these years (well except for that year in Greece) but I just didn't know what I should be doing. Mix it with a bad economy, and I can understand how frustrating and crushing it must feel to try and be accomplished and do what you love at the same time. Lena is able to write and show it is to feel two steps behind and lost a good chunk of the time.
  • When Bill Clinton took the stage at the Golden Globes not only was she on her feet, but she had the biggest Squee face one could imagine. I would have that face if Bill Clinton ever walked into any room I happened to be sitting in too.
  • She is not afraid to embrace the body she has. She's often nude in Girls, she has spoken up about her body, she gets trashed for her red-carpet choices. She's just herself. And believe me, when i was in my mid-20s I would have found this very hard to do. It took a lot of grief and sadness in my life to full turn around and embrace my curves. 
  • Also, she thinks Jennifer Lawrence is hot.

So you may not like the show, and I get it, it's not for everyone. But in the very least, admire the strong, independent, intelligent woman who is making it. 


Letter #51: Things I Want You to Know, Part 13

Dear Mike Birbiglia,
You are my favorite funniest guy. With a big heart. I knew that I wanted to watch Sleepwalk with Me so very much. But saved it because I don't get your doses of funny too often.Your theory on love is pretty close to my theory on love. And once upon a time I dated a man who had feelings about love that you did. And your ability to settle down and recognize the good when it comes in your life, makes me think that maybe more men are out there like you. Perhaps I have a crush. But also, thank you for being friends with Ira Glass too. Maybe one day we can meet, and you can introduce me to Ira, and then we'll all just be pals together.

Dear Bed with New Sheets,
I think you know there is nothing better than going to sleep on a bed with clean sheets and shaved legs.

Dear Men Who Like Women,
Please be forward with your feelings. Be kind. Don't play games. We'll do the same to you. Remember that what she tells you is the truth. If she likes you, you're going to know that she likes you. Don't play with her heart if you don't like her back. And if you do like her back, don't screw it up. Ask her on a date. Treat her to dinner. And she'll try to do the same for you.

Dear Yoga,
We're doing this. It'll be fun. Just don't kick my ass too hard.

Dear Person I Find Hard to Quit,
I don't really even have very many words.  I try very hard to put you in a back corner of my mind. Because you've made it clear that you don't want what I want. Even though I think some part of you wants me. But I've learned that I can't change people's minds. And I was open and honest about what I wanted. And you always seem to jump through hoops. I don't really know what you wanted from an email sent from home. If it was to let me know that sometimes you miss me, I miss you too. If you were lonely at 4 am and wishing you could talk to me, I get that. I've been there too. If it was because you miss some of the things we'd to together, yep. Me too. But when you can't reply back, I'm reminded once again that I don't know what to make of you. And that's just not fair. Because I'm pretty sure I'm a whole lot easier to figure out.

Dear Clothes on my Bedroom Floor,
I'm sorry I don't pick you up. It's been a long week. One of those weeks where picking up clothes from my floor seems like too big of a chore to do. I washed a lot of you, so some of you are in a hamper. The others, I promise, I'll get to this upcoming week. Because this week has got to be a little lighter.



List #183: How You Got Here

When I take the time to check the statistics on this blog my favorite thing to read are search terms you used to land yourself here. 

A short list of my favorites:
  • Tim Riggins Clothes 
  • West Wing Birthday
  • Scott Pelley's Water Eyes (#1 in the Google search for this, BTW. Which is another most hilarious thing.)
  • Adam Levine Penis
  • Librarian Tights Blog
  • Hipster Hair
  • How to draw Seneca Crane's Beard
  • Patriotic Girls
  • Pencil skirt with pantyhose
  • 2 brothers guitars beards
And sometime over the summer someone got here by doing a search that had something to do with naked librarians and rafts and pools. I forget the details, but the person didn't find what they were looking here.

Keep on with those awesome search terms, readers. And I hope you find the information your seeking. 


List #182: Second Anniversaries

It's my Second Blog Anniversary! Yay! 

On January 4, 2010 I started writing in this space because I was confused and cold. Then I lived a life, grew, lost, had fun, made mistakes, laughed a lot and then I wrote a few letters to celebrate a one year anniversary on January 4, 2011.

Another year passed. I traveled, I kissed, I moved on, I cried, I laughed, I ran, I moved, I fell, I made more mistakes, and bought new dresses. And then suddenly I arrived at two years.

Since I first started this blog, I finally figured out:

  • How Reddit works.
  • That sometimes the one you want isn't what is best.
  • My favorite types of wine.
  • How to keep amazing friends close, and cut the ones who weren't there.
  • What I like to sleep in.
  • How to tweet.
  • Dancing in the living room is always a blast. 
  • How to flirt a little better.
  • What missing really means.
  • That an old city still holds new people and places to discover.
  • That it's okay to say no.
  • That saying yes isn't a contract.
  • There is nothing wrong with quiet.
  • How to up it where it counts. 
  • Sleeping together always beats sleeping alone.
  • How to hide secrets.
  • To let go.
  • Happiness.
But I'm still trying to figure out:
  • How to speak up for myself.
  • The art of forgiving.
  • How to not be confused.
  • Just what you want from me.
  • How to say no.
  • Why tights snag.
  • Filters.
  • Love.
  • How to cook scrambled eggs.
  • Why I am a sucker.
  • How to quit someone.
  • Just why I should go to bed early. 
  • What the future holds.
  • How to stop biting my nails.
  • Me, you, and everyone in between.
I still can't believe I've been blogging for two years. Two years of lists and letters and everything in-between  I am sort of in shock that I've stuck with it. But here we are.

I've met so many wonderful people through this blog and just have to thank you for reading. I don't know where I am going in 2013, but I look forward to sharing it with you.

And I hope you, like me, find yourself smiling a little more and find life a little happier than when you first found your way here. 



List #181: At the Beginning, 2013

I'm a sentimental person. I love making toasts, celebrating birthdays and milestones, and honoring traditions. So I made good on my promise to toast a lot of New Years Eve and relax a lot of New Year's Day.

But for the first time in...well, I don't know how long, I got a bubbly feeling when the clock struck midnight last night. I've got good vibes coming off of 2013. It's a dash of hope, a whole lot of my optimism, and just a gut feeling that some good things are in the works. 

So this year, I'm going to:
  • Work on being a better friend. 
  • Devote more time to writing. 
  • Say what I think (without hurting feelings). 
  • Go after what I want. 
  • Stand up for myself a little more. 
  • Take a few chances. 
  • Not be scared. 
  • Give renewed spirit to hope.
  • Love with my whole heart.
  • Save a little more.
  • Believe in second chances.
  • Give many more hugs.
  • Answer phone calls.
  • Forgive.
What about you, dear readers? Even if you're not the resolution type...surely there are some things you might want to do this year.