List #197: 28 Days

I've been thankful that February is our shortest month since right around 2000. I think it was my early college years that instilled an idea that "nothing ever good happens in February" and 13 years later, I'm only going to change that outlook a little bit. A little good can come out of February, you just have to really search for it. 

This last week of February 2013 has been filled with some of the quietest days of the month. Mostly by choice because I've been running myself ragged lately and well, just not feeling like I'm centered in myself. But the rest of the 28 days, well, I managed to pack them tight with a lot:
  • One plane ride with a preschooler screaming and kicking behind me.
  • Another plane ride that was delayed and deplaned, all because of a security breach. 
  • Two meals at Veselka that included lots of meat.
  • A trip to Rockefeller Center in wind and cold.
  • Migraines that kept me home from work.
  • Dinner with new librarians who are moving and shaking.
  • 5 books read.
  • 2 seasons of Homeland watched, mostly on my couch.
  • One Mardi Gras party missed, thanks to tension headaches.
  • Picture taking in Times Square, no Josh Elliot found.
  • 1 tour of a major library, one man scolded on the tour.
  • Over 20-some soups tasted thanks to a super crossing guard and Pittsburgh. 
  • 1776 seen and enjoyed. With historic whiskey to boot.
  • Yoga classes to bend and twist, going strong since January.
  • Bubbles blown with my nephews, as per the household rule.
  • A trip to my alma mater, complete with ice that prevented us from going home. 
  • Two Penguins games attended and won.
  • Assorted conference calls attended. 
  • Lenten Pierogies eaten. 
  • A few new bloggers met.
  • Assorted evening events.
  • New Pittsburgh restaurants tried.
  • 30th birthdays celebrated.
  • Drinks had among friends.
  • Facetime.
  • Skee-ball in bars.
  • 1 birthday remembered.
  • 1 cousin missed.
And a whole lot more. February was a ride. And though this winter has been full of activity and many nights of fun, I'm ready for spring. Bring on March. And all of its ides and lions and lambs. 

What kept you, dear readers, busy in February? Give yourself a pat on the back, we've made it. 


List #196: I'm Blaming the Full Moon

I've been feeling a little more than off my game this week.

  • Monday started with a migraine that left me nauseated. I took a sick day from work and took 3 naps. I couldn't eat until around 1:30. And then I ended up eating so many things.
  • Tuesday a headache remnant of the migraine hung around all day. And I pumped it full of Coca-cola to get through storytime and work catch-up. 
  • I left my keys on my desk at work. And got caught in the pouring rain.
  • There have been work slip-ups. Patrons yelling at me. And phone tag that won't end.
  • I've been checking the door to see if it's locked 3 times before actually leaving in the morning.
  • Giving up ironing before bed, a standard in my routine.
  • And well, sleepless nights.
I guess you could say that a little anxiety and stress is floating around. We're gearing up for my the start of my busiest time of year and I feel like I'm juggling a lot of balls in the air and well, let's face it, I've always been afraid of dropping all that I choose to pick up and handle. And the things I haven't chose but have to handle anyway? Sometimes I'm even scared to look at them.

Something is missing though. Something is a little off. And I'm hoping that a few yoga sessions and a weekend that has plans, but nothing too major, might put be back on the right track. 


Letter #53: Things I Want You to Know, Part 14

Dear Seth MacFarlane,
This might sound like blasphemy coming from a woman in her 30s who likes funny things, I don't really like you. I think some of the stuff you do is hilarious. And other things, not even close. Sometimes I think you look smarmy and I bet, in a dinner party with a room of equally smart and interesting people, you'd try to dominate conversation. So I don't really care about you hosting the Oscars this year. I'll tune in for some of it, of course. Because I am a woman in her 30s who loves men in tuxes, thinks Jennifer Lawrence is the best person in Hollywood, and wants to fantasize wearing fancy dresses. Honestly though? Don't take it too personally. I don't really like award shows and want Tina and Amy to host all of them.

Dear Boots & Tights,
If I haven't told you yet this winter, you're the best. I bet we're all ready for a respite from cold weather and snow, but when the spring sunshine starts to peak, I'll be sad to see you start hibernating in the back of the closet.

Dear February,
You were a wild ride of activity. Worthy of a blog post all of your own. And though you've got a a few days left, and historically you're a terrible month, you've offered up a lot of enjoyment. For making my Winter 2013 a little more exciting, I thank you.

Dear Hair,
You're longer than you've been since, well I'm not really sure. Maybe since approximately 2004 when I lived in a foreign country and put off cutting my hair because I didn't have the vocabulary to try and figure that one out. We've been short, and nothing longer than the shoulders for years. And it feels lovely. Split ends are creeping in and we need a trim, but the long hair is here to stay. For now.

Dear Ben Wyatt,
Though I've really been crushing on Nick Miller a lot this year, I want you to know that I don't think there is a better television boyfriend than you. Yes, my great tv loves might be Josh Lyman or Coach Eric Taylor but you're my tv romance. For this dorky girl who grew up to be a woman who loves public service, Joe Biden, and candy, "I love you and I like you" is the sweetest thing she can imagine hearing. Even if she is a librarian.

Dear Man at the Starbucks with the face tattoo,
You used to like tea. And you used to be seen weekday mornings before 8 am. But life changes and we're on different schedules now. Much like me and my favorite Penguin player too. I just hope that all is well and that someone is keeping your bed warm.


List #195: The Classic Scent of Curve for Men

I was walking across my library today when I was struck still by a certain scent.

Curve for Men.

Immediately I was cast back to 1998:  An awkward teenager who didn't know how cute she was exactly. A smart girl who was just beginning to really grow out of high school and was just starting to realize how much the future could have in store. A girl who would have a long way to go before she finally felt fully confident in her skin. And a girl who was so head-over-heels with a very tall boy who liked to skateboard.

That high school romance was the classic sort of girl likes boy, girl wants boy to like her back. Boy flirts with girl. Girl and boy kiss. They don't end up together because it's high school and they both have other lives they are suppose to live. But he gives her butterfly earrings the night before she leaves for college even though he'll be dating someone new by Halloween. And she'll be busy kissing college boys even before that. But the scent of his cologne would remain. 

So much so that 13 years later, one whiff sends her back.

But after all of this time travel I got to realizing how many of the men who have shaped me have worn this scent. Or at least had a bottle of it sitting on their dresser, collecting dust until some fancy event requires it.

  • The high school boy kept wearing it, each time he came back into my life, until I said no and meant it. 
  • The empty bottle that must been haphazardly packed by the big ex, even though I don't remember him wearing cologne ever. 
  • How it lingered between myself and a man I couldn't have on Saturday nights in bookstores. 
  • The crush who resurfaced and wore it when he invited me to meet his parents on the third date and then invited me to his cabin in the woods but vanished as quickly as he appeared.
  • And though I think my memory might be failing me, how an old and almost-forgotten bottle sat on the high shelf, jammed with books and lighters and candles, of a man I liked from Middle America. 
Do men I date have to store a bottle of Curve somewhere? No, of course not. To be honest, these days I much prefer to have his body wash mix with mine or the clean scent of just him. 

But one of the biggest (and earliest) compliments a guy can get from me is the whispering of "You smell good" as we fold into each other. If I say that, and once I say it I will keep on saying it...you have me. I really like you. I'm yours.

So dear readers, what scents bring you back in time? What do they remind you of? 


List #194: Things That Are in Fictional Life but Should Happen in Real Life to Make my Life Better

Ron Swanson on his own talk show.
If there was a weekly "You're on With Ron" show where I could call in and seek Ron Swanson's life advice, I feel as if my life would never wander again. 

A scene in this book that I'm reading.
I'm not finished with this book yet and the verdict is still on whether I'll find the novel very good or very pretentious. Mostly likely somewhere in between. But I read a scene today, where the lead character realizes he's just about to screw up something wonderful, and a friend actually stops him and steers him back on the right track.

A 2-day romantic hiatus like Hannah
I still think the cocaine episode is going to be the funniest of the season, but on re-watch the oddball short story we got of Hannah and Joshua just keeps pulling at me. I've could identify with a little too much in this episode. And so much of it had me remembering my own romantic respite when the older man. And so much of it had me wanting to stumble upon a brownstone with warm sweaters and a man who owns them.

A Nick Miller Kiss
If you haven't seen this kiss yet, you need to watch it. I want kissed by my own Nick Miller. With the look and the grab and the passion. I want a Nick Miller with passion. The most.

Not so unreasonable, I think. Anything else that are fiction but you'd love to have in real life? 


List #193: Bits of Love

Because it's that time of year.
A moments when you've felt loved:
  • When a card arrives in the honest-to-goodness mail from a friend you haven't talked to in a long time. Occasion doesn't matter: birthday, anniversary, heartbreak, sorrow, just because.
  • When you're heading on a road trip, your hand tucked beneath his thigh, the road out ahead of you. A classic album blasting, the sunroof open, the sun shining.
  • The first time their head meets your shoulder.
  • When your Dad leaves you a voicemail in the middle of the day. To tell you to read something in the paper. An article, an op-ed, the crime blotter, a comic strip.
  • When they cook for you. And don't even let you wash the dishes.
  • When the animal you love snuggles right up to your side.
  • With arms wrapped around you on a cold night, wind rattling the windows, and a blanket kicked off and barely covering the both of you.
  • During the morning when you're best friend emails you about the state of their day and asks silly questions or tells you funny stories about their last 24 hours.
  • When you overhear someone talking proudly about you. 
  • Right after a late night conversation on the phone. Completely in the dark, under blankets, half-asleep and half-drunk on love.
  • When a grandparent refuses to let you leave their house without taking food or five dollars.
  • When the snow is inches deep outside and you're inside, feet tucked under their butt, and both of you with books in hand.
  • During a really good make-out session, hands going everywhere, with the person you can't wait to see after a long day.
  • When they wait to watch that favorite television show, or movie, with you.
  • On those rare days when you come home to a happy surprise  a cupcake, a card, a drawing, just something special for you.
  • That exact moment a song is playing, and they pause, take a deep breath and tell you that the song reminds them of you. 
  • When a friend drops everything to come over and listen to you cry.
  • When your mom frets about all of the things you do that aren't part of your normal routine.
  • When they squeeze your hand under a table during dinner.
  • After hearing the simplest and most sincere comments: about your eyes, your smile, your feet, whatever it is they like.
  • Forever after when shout compliments about things other than your body.
  • When someone takes the time to tell you that they miss you.
  • When people care about not just about you, but your family too.
  • After an argument that may have lead to tears, but definitely led to kisses. And maybe a little bit more.
  • Sometime between the first kiss and what you hope is never your last kiss.
  • As your inbox is flooded with links and discussions concerning your favorite shows, actors, life crushes, or any and all inside jokes.
  • When they make you tea in the morning.
  • When they get up from bed to get you a glass of water.
  • When your siblings actually want to hang out with you without your parents around.
  • When they actually say, "I Love You."
  • When not all hope is lost. 
So dear readers, when have you felt love? Share a little of it in the comments. And Happy Valentine's Day to you. <3


List #192: Romance for Your Ears

I'm not the first person you should go to for romantic advice. When I love (or really like) someone, I do romantic gestures on a small scale not a big one. There will be no jet-painted letters in the sky if you date me, but instead, you might your favorite candy waiting for you by the computer in the morning. Or little hand-made cards with inside jokes. Or a note in your messenger bag. Or something small I haven't even thought of yet because I don't know it until I get to know who I love (or really like).

But I wanted a little romance sprinkled here this week. So I went ahead and asked Twitter for their favorites. This is what they answered.

Quite honestly, Twitter did a better job at naming numerous romance songs than I could have. I tend to lean towards the songs that make you cry. Not that there aren't a few on this list, some of the suggestions are definitely ones that might remind you of a heartbreak or two. 

And if you really want to hear some of my own romantic favorites you can listen here, or here or even here

So dear readers, what did the Internet miss? Leave your comments about Twitter's picks, my picks, and your own picks. Let's spread a little love this week. 


List #191: What Happens on Lesser Nights

After a weekend getaway with friends and a tight budget, a girl might find herself with more evenings at home. February doesn't make too many nights that aren't cold and blanketed with snow. So a girl might discover that she puts on pajamas before seven o'clock and orders pizza by the slice. All of those things are good things. (As long as they are dished out in small portions, of course.)

And when those events due give a girl a night home alone, here are some things she might do:

  • Attempt to clean all of the things, but end up only washing dishes and a few of the things.
  • Dream up her dream bedroom, but comes back down to reality after a look at her bank account balance.
  • Offer advice to young women whose shoes she was once in, wonder deeply if the advice will even matter.
  • Read.
  • Get sucked into Homeland from episode one, and immediately sink into her couch and waste many hours on a marathon.
  • Send emails.
  • Make her bed with clean sheets, and then proceed to rumple them all up.
  • Practice yoga on her living room floor, in hopes of easing the aches in her back. 
  • Wish that instead of yoga, someone was there to give her a massage.
  • Iron clothes.
  • Find her cat equally cute and equally annoying, with the balance just about to tip over to either side at any given moment.
  • Check Facebook.
  • Send friends play-by-plays of her Homeland watching experience. No spoilers, of course. Only those who've seen it before.
  • Tweet to gather inspiration for a future blog post that's been brewing.
  • Contemplate filing her taxes, but then realize she left important paperwork on her desk.
  • Text.
There's a slight chance I may have done all of that tonight. What do you do on the lesser nights, dear readers?