Waiting for My Real Life to Begin

The life and times of a girl named Swishy.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Real ... ish love

So I'm at my coffee shop right now, sitting next to this woman and her priest. They're having a late lunch together. And can I just say, she is TOTALLY in love with him. She is so, SO in love with him. It's written all over her face in that way that it should be if you're in love, except, you know, he's a priest, so she's not really supposed to be in love with him. But you can't help who you love! So she loves him, she does, and it's kind of sweet and also kind of tragic and I can't get enough of it. It's like The Thorn Birds up in my little coffee shop right now, which--full disclosure--I've never actually seen (or read) but I know all about thanks to I Love the '80s.

Man, I love my coffee shop sometimes.

Which kind of, sort of leads me to Entertainment Weekly.com. Don't ask me how I missed this, I don't know, but a couple of months ago they did this "TV Character You'd Date in Real Life" photo gallery as a follow-up to their staff's confession of TV crushes. Fun! So, to brighten up this cold, crappy Monday, we're gonna play. I'll go first. I would totally date ...

Aidan Shaw, Sex and the City. The short-haired, "Carrie sees him again at the opening of Steve's bar and the sexual tension literally makes the TV sweat" version. Oh, man, I love that version. I've watched that version approximately 317 million times. He's totally hot and sweet and funny ... and hello, he makes furniture! With his hands! To recap: HE'S GOOD WITH HIS HANDS!

Jack Bauer, 24. Yes, he saves the world and has the whole edgy thing going for him, but the thing that gets me about Jack Bauer is his mouth. Specifically, what comes OUT of his mouth. His voice is the BEST on the planet. Laugh if you want, I don't care, but sometimes I seriously sit there and close my eyes so the only thing that can seep into my senses is that sessssy voice and ... oh, my hot. Try it sometime. (Plus, as I might have mentioned a time or 20, I completely want to wrap Kiefer Sutherland in a CTU blanket and cuddle all the angst right out of him, so there's that.)

Pacey Witter, Dawson's Creek. He bought Joey a wall. A wall! That was probably what sealed it for me. Or maybe it was when they're dancing and he fingers her bracelet and leans into her hair and is like, "I remember everything" or when he's like "I'm gonna kiss you, and you have 10 seconds to stop me. 10, 9 ..." or when they're fighting and he's like, "Don't you get tired of talking? I get tired of talking" and then kisses her for the first time. Love it, love it aaaaand ... love it. SO much.

Jim Halpert, The Office. I was going to leave him off because he's the trendy choice here and I'm generally not a big fan of trendy choices, but I mean, he's Jim Halpert. He's sort of custom-made for this sort of thing, don't you think? I literally got goosebumps all over my body, even on my pinkie toes, during that Season 2 finale when he was all, "I don't want to do that ... I want to be more than that" and then went and kissed her. Goosebumps! On my pinkie toes!

Eric Taylor/Matt Saracen, Friday Night Lights. Of course Coach Taylor. He puts the "stud" in stud muffin, the "handsome" in tall, dark and handsome, the "him" in "I want him right this second." But every once in a while, the dirty old woman side comes out, even in the best of us. And when it does? Look out, Matty Saracen! LOOK OUT! (OK, yes, he plays a 16-year-old, so yes, it's wrong, but the guy who plays him isn't 16, so it's not THAT wrong, right? Right?)

Mike Seaver, Growing Pains. Oh, like you wouldn't have.

I am seriously going to be on YouTube all night now. Your turn!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Things I'm liking today

You guys are so great. I honestly and truly feel like the luckiest girl in the world to have such smart, kind, nice people reading my blog. Thank you so much!

I still can't breathe half (OK, more than half) of the time ... BUT! It will all be over soon! In the meantime, a few things (other than you all) that made me smile today ...

I am SO one of those people whose mood shifts with the weather. Sunny skies equal a sunny Swishy. Actually, make that sunny AND spring-y, because that also means I get to ...

* Eat outside! I really, really like eating outside. So today I did.

* Wear flip-flops! It seriously makes me incredibly, irrationally happy to wear flip-flops to work. I have a pair of old black ones that I wear all the time that are, like, molded in the shape of my feet.

* Drive around with the window down! The best, best, BEST is when a good song comes on the radio. Tonight I got Mr. Brightside, Bleeding Love and ... crap. I forget the last one. But three good songs! In a row!

Let's see, what else do I like today ...

* My friend Jill's sister's blog. Whenever I look at it, I'm like, awwww! Pretty! It totally makes me want to redecorate ... I mean decorate.

* The Hills. You know how in Happy Gilmore, he's like, find your happy place, Happy! Go to your happy place! My happy place is actually--I swear this is true--wandering down the aisles of an almost-empty grocery store, Walmart or Target at night. It's quiet, the Muzak is a little louder than usual, there are all kinds of things to look at ... just trust me on this one. Anyway, the TV equivalent of my happy place right now is The Hills. I turn it on, and it's like aloe on a sunburn. Just like ... ahhhhhh. There was this "Words of Wisdom from The Hills" montage today on Gawker and it seriously made my entire life. At least for an hour.

* Craig Ferguson. I forget about his show a lot, but he is SO FUNNY.

* The NBA playoffs. I love the NBA playoffs. But something I love even more than the NBA playoffs? The NBA's whole "where amazing happens" campaign. I know! Random! But I LOVE IT. Give me a pretty montage and some soaring instrumentals (like here), and you've got me. I am SUCH a sucker for that stuff. Every single time I hear that music, I drop everything and get all misty-eyed and goosebumpy as I reflect on the power of dreams and hard work and determination. Or something like that.

Anyway, there are new commercials now with the playoffs, and ohhhh, how they've sucked me in. I watch these and I am like putty in the NBA's little hands. I can't decide if I like this one or this one the best.

"Me? I like the fear. It means I'm close. It means I'm ready."

I HATE Kobe Bryant. And yet I just quoted him. I TOLD YOU!

Monday, April 21, 2008

My Life

I realize I owe you stories about my canceled flight and the crazy man on the subway and maybe even a certain someone I hung out with last weekend, but I have developed a severe, severe case of ... I don't know what to call it. Whatever it is when you can't stop obsessing about something. I know I'm usually the type who writes about canceled flights and crazy men on the subway, but I think tonight I am going to write about myself and some of the little thoughts swirling around in my little brain. Because you're all nice people and I know you'll indulge me just this once if I promise to write about the crazy man next time, right?

OK. So my whole job thing. I have 10 days and, oh, let's say seven hours to decide if I am going to stay with my company and move to a different city. It's a good offer, even better when you consider the sorta-sucky economy. But it really is. Most people are going. When I think about it very practically, I think that I should go, too. And I know they want me to go.

But! Another side, a very, very big side, thinks that, wow, I could quit in a couple of months and still get paid by this company until November. I could take a big leap, the kind of leap I always fantasize about taking but am always too scared/responsible to actually take, and go really hard after my dreams. Because when am I ever going to do it if I don't do it now?

Basically, my dreamer side and my practical side are having a fistfight in my brain right now, and they're going at it so hard I'm afraid they're going to kill each other and then kill me. I guess they can't kill me if they're dead. Whatever. The point is, people will die. And it's never good when people die.

I occasionally have a few moments of clarity interspersed between the "I can't breathe" moments, and I really do have to laugh at myself. Because like EVERY aspect of my personality is coming into play right now. The melodramatic side: "Every time I think about going, I feel like my SOUL is going to DIE!" I cried, with big, fat tears streaming down my face, to my dad the other night. (My accountant dad, who naturally pointed out that my soul might like to buy food and a new outfit every once in a while, too.) The "I want to be the kind of person who GOES FOR IT!" side. The "Yeah, but I'm also the biggest worrier ever, ever, EVER and I might give myself a heart attack first!" side. The "I am so in love with my walk-in closet, I don't want to leave it!" side. The "If I move to New York, I'll have to LIVE in a walk-in closet!" side. And the "I don't want anything to ever change and I want all my friends to be my friends forever" side. That's a huge side. My best friends will always be my best friends, no matter where I live--at least I hope they will--but as far as work goes ... the other day, I was back in my favorite place ever, the art department, and I was like, "I LIKE you people! I LIKE working with you!" And of course they just shook their heads and looked at me like, Oh, Swish, you crazy, sentimental girl, but I do! They are SO tolerant of me. Like, for example, I am so cheesy sometimes--I can't believe I'm about to admit this--but I totally make them high-five me when I get excited about how something looks ... and they DO it! They embrace my quirks! Do you know how hard it can be to get people to embrace your quirks? If I did that somewhere else, they'd be like, oh, my gosh, that girl is the biggest dork ever. But not the people at my work! They just get how I am. I would miss that.

Anyway. My parents are very, VERY firmly in the "take the transfer" camp, probably because they don't want to run the risk of me living in their basement in six months. Most of my friends are in the "take the money and run" camp, probably because they're sick of me talking about the life I want instead of living the life I want.

Here's the thing. In some ways, I feel like I will be fine no matter what. I really do. Like, you know the movie Sliding Doors? (Spoiler alert! If you can spoiler alert something that's like 10 years old.) Anyway, like the movie Sliding Doors, where she takes the different paths and still ends up in the same place at the end? Sometimes I feel like that. Other times, though--and I know how corny this sounds, but I swear to you it's true--I feel very clearly that everything in my life has gotten me to this point, and I'm so close to ... I don't know what, but SOMETHING ... and all I have to do is make sure I don't screw it up.

Maybe it's both things. I don't know.

OK, I am going to change the subject. So, you see the title of my post? Did any of you ever watch that movie? I don't really know anyone who did. But in college, my roommates and I had a massive girl movie night and we rented that movie and OH, MY GOSH. It is not even that good of a movie, it's like completely manipulative and Michael Keaton spends way too much time at the acupuncturist's office, but ohhhhh, did I sob. I cried harder than I have ever cried at a movie in my life. Except maybe Old Yeller when I was little. Maybe. Anyway, I cried big, huge, heaving sobs during the WHOLE MOVIE and for AN HOUR afterward. An hour! My roommates were like, what is WRONG with you?? And all I could do was open my mouth, take a big, shuddering breath and start sobbing some more. I probably had just broken up with my boyfriend or something too, I don't remember, but it wrecked me. I felt like I should mention it since that's the title of the post.

And speaking of movies, Pretty Woman is on. Hey, I have a heart of gold! Maybe I should be a hooker! Richard Gere and I can save each other after I fend off pervy pre-Seinfeld Jason Alexander's nasty advances and then we'll live happily ever after while Roxette plays in the background!

Orrrrrrrrrr ... not. Sigh.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Holy crap

I haven't posted in FOREVER! I went out of town for a few days and it was all craziness before I left. But I worked and played and had a great trip, and I will tell you a little bit about it later ... but for now, a couple quick things:

* I am SO LATE on this, but the winner of the Swishy Bracket Challenge was, uh, Swishy. I'm pretty sure that has never happened before. But the OFFICIAL winner is (drum roll) ... Karen! Yay, Karen! Come down and collect your prize.

* My BBFF Manic's birthday was yesterday, so go tell her happy birthday if you haven't yet!

* I cannot believe Bret picked Ambre! I thought for sure he would pick Daisy 'cause she's crazy (you like that rhyming action? awwww, yeah). I still cannot believe I got sucked into that show.

All right, I am about to drop. Hope everyone's having a good week so far ... more later!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Do you ever wonder ...

... what makes it so fancy?

Monday, April 07, 2008

Things that make me laugh

I am all for self-improvement and evolution and progress, I really am, but when I'm flipping through a magazine and I see something like this, all I can do is laugh.

Never mind the implication that you can't actually have, you know, a normal conversation with the special person in your life about things that annoy you. No, you need a script! A script that basically is--this is the best part--mad libs for relationships.

In case you can't read it, the script goes as follows:

When you (mate's annoying habit), I don't feel connected. I feel (negative emotion). That's when I tend to (your typical response; e.g. get sarcastic). I do this to cope with my feelings and find a way for us to reconnect. I'm also hoping you will (the reaction you wish for; e.g. apologize profusely). As this pattern continues, I feel (negative emotion) and tell myself our relationship is (typical thought about your bond when you fight). Then you inevitably (his reaction during a fight). The more I (your go-to defense; e.g., nag), the more you (his go-to defense; e.g., pull away). Let's warn each other when this difficult cycle starts and try (alternative way of acting).

OK, I do not pretend to be an expert on men. There are many, many things about men that will mystify me until I take my last breath, and probably even long after that. But I can promise you that if I managed to deliver this whole thing to a man with a straight face, it would NOT solve all my problems in life and love. It would probably result in him rolling his eyes and picking up the newspaper, and then me complaining that he never makes an effort, and then him saying, you know, you don't have to overanalyze every little thing, and me saying, fine, I hope you remember that when you're sitting in front of the computer obsessing over your STUPID fantasy football lineup, and then him saying, you want to talk about obsessing over STUPID things, let's talk about how your entire Monday night revolves around The Hills, and ohhhhhh, then the REAL fight would start.

Of course, that didn't stop me from wanting to play the mad libs game anyway.

"When you leave the toilet seat up, I don't feel connected. I feel like I am living in a frat house. That's when I tend to scream through the bathroom door, 'This is not a frat house!' I do this to cope with my feelings and find a way for us to reconnect. I'm also hoping you will, oh, I don't know, start acting like a grown, civilized adult. As this pattern continues, I feel afraid I am going to fall in the toilet in the middle of the night and tell myself our relationship will be the first that ends entirely due to a plastic seat and a few gallons of toilet water. Then you inevitably tell me you don't complain when I leave it down, so why should I complain about you leaving it up? The more I throw my hands wildly in the air and say things like, 'When did my 4-year-old brother start living here?', the more you do it because you think it's funny to see me gesture wildly and say things like 'When did my 4-year-brother start living here?' because, for one thing, I don't even have a 4-year-old brother. Let's warn each other when this difficult cycle starts and try doing it my way, because let's be honest, that's the only way we'll both be happy. Also, it makes the bathroom look cleaner when the lid's down, and ... don't give me that look, it does too. It DOES!"

Oh, yes. Mad libs, the foundation of communication in any good relationship.

Friday, April 04, 2008

The day I took my very life into my hands

So I'm at work yesterday, walking back to my desk, when one of the guys I work with comes up to me.

Him: You can't drive home today.
Me: What are you talking about?
Him: I came up from the parking lot to tell you. You can't drive home.
Me: What are you TALKING about? (The wheels start turning.) Wait a second ... did they TOW me??? (I parked in a lot I'm technically not supposed to park in. Technically.)
Him: What? No. But you're leaking gas. At first I thought it was antifreeze, but I got down and looked under your car and it totally smells like gas.
Me: You got down on the ground to look under my car?
Him: Yeah.
Me: Awww! That was nice of you.
Him: OK, but seriously, you really shouldn't drive it. Do you want a ride home?
Me: Wait. Just wait a second. I REALLY can't drive home?
Him: Do you want your car to blow up?
Me: Very funny.
Him: I'm not kidding.
Me: My car is not gonna BLOW UP. (Pause.) Is it?
Him: If some gas catches on the tailpipe, it could start a fire or explode.
Me: Nuh-uh!
Him: Uh-huh.
Me: So what am I supposed to DO?
Him: Get it towed.
Me: You've got to be kidding me. I have to TOW it?
Him: If you don't want to die.

Goody! I thank my car-loving friend for saving my life, send him on his merry way and go downstairs to inspect the situation myself. Yes, there is gas. And it reeks. I get in my car and turn on the engine to see how much gas is left, since I'd just barely filled it up. It's still on full ... so it can't be THAT bad, right? I call my dad to ask him if I really can't drive it just a couple little miles to the shop.

Him: Good question. (Pause.) So when are you going to get a new car?
Me: OK, can we focus here for a second?
Him: I've been telling you for months to get a new car.
Me: Really? I hadn't noticed.
Him: You're just going to have to keep getting stuff fixed if you don't ...
Me: OK, FOCUS! Can I drive or not?
Him: I'd get it towed if I were you.
Me: Fine. I'll call you back.

I call the insurance company and tell them the deal. The guy's like, OK, I'll send out a tow truck ... but you have to do something first. I'm like, do WHAT? And he goes, "You have to call the fire department and have them come out and make sure it's safe to move your car and THEN we'll call the tow truck."

At this point I'm seriously like, you have got to be kidding me. There are people that need to be saved from burning buildings and cats that need to be saved from trees and you want the fire department to come out to my little office parking lot to say, yeah, all right, move your car? And THEN, after they leave, I have to wait an hour or 10 for the tow truck to get there?

At this point I make an executive decision: Go inside, finish up my work and then drive oh-so-slowly down the back roads to the first shop I see. Inside, I tell someone else what's going on.

Him: The fire department? That's ridiculous. You'll be fine driving it. (Pause.) You're not recording this conversation, right?
Me: You mean so you don't get sued if my car goes up in flames on the way home?
Him: Exactly.
Me: Uh, no.
Him: Good. (Pause.) Hope you don't die.
Me: Yeah, thanks. Really.

I drive up the road, shooting paranoid glances in my rearview mirror every 10 feet, and pull up to the shop that's pretty close to work. The guy is a total jerk and won't look at it. I'm like, FINE, BE THAT WAY, and drive a few miles more to my usual shop, all while thinking that jerkboy will feel SO BAD if my car turns into a fireball on the way.

Thankfully, I arrive unscathed. I love the boys at my shop. They're so nice to me and never take advantage of me for being a dumb girl and they always look at my car right that second. So they jack up the car and ... yeah. Apparently your friend Swish might have put a little too much gas in the tank when she filled it up. I'm supposed to go back tomorrow so they can look at it again just to make sure, but that was their prognosis.

At least I'm alive. And not still waiting for a tow truck.