Monday, January 25, 2010

Just enough cooks in the kitchen

Last weekend I had my first dinner party chez moi. Actually, it was chez moi but really it was hosted by the fab four: Kat, Ashley, Kristy and myself. Kristy brought chocolate-dipped strawberries topped with nuts and coconut AND soaked in rum. Ashley and Kat and I "cooked," aka arranged various Italian ingredients onto serving platters.

Regardless, it was quite a success. Aside from my cat, who spent most of the night hiding under chairs and trying to keep her sleepy eyes open to guard the apt against the invaders, everyone seemed to have a good time.

This is part of my grand plan to become a fabulous chef during my time here. (In addition to a golf pro, a karate black belt... I've got a lot of weekend hours to kill.) Maybe next party we'll actually put something in the oven - besides pre-mixed bruschetta.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Team Glock

A few weeks ago - before the unbearable frost but after the pleasantly mild Southern fall - I went to the driving range with Tom & Ryan. First we had to restock our ammo, so we took a stroll through downtown Rogers to get to the gun store.
I did a little window shopping on the way...

The gun store - no surprise - was about as crazy conservative as you can imagine. Someone tried to sell me a handheld that would "fit into your evening bag." I tried to explain to this there was no need for a handheld in this town - or an evening bag.

We finally got to the freezing cold range in Hobbs State Park (a 15-minute drive away during which we ate fried chicken from the grocery store from a paper bag - bc you might as well act the part) about an hour before sundown. I didn't start shooting until 15 minutes in, when we finally figured out why I couldn't hit anywhere near the target. Apparently you need to close your left eye in order to see through the hole with the lines; but I can only close my right eye or both eyes - no solo left eye action. So I came up with a brilliant plan - use one glove to cover my left eye.
The problem with this plan was that my hand started to ice over in the cold and after about 10 minutes of shooting at a 60s-looking man line-drawn onto a paper target I was too bored and cold to continue. So I went and read in the car until Tom & Ryan managed to hit their quarters a few times and called it quits. Turns out I'm not going to become a champion shooter. More time to devote to my golf career, I guess.

This is why you're fat

So all the stereotypes are true - people are generally fatter in the South than in NYC. I have vetted this claim with my own eyes, and have even come to discover the source of the issue. The two sources, in fact - somewhat interrelated.

1) They get married very young and have more kids on average. Because they get married so young, they have more time to pop out children and more time to get comfortable with each other - so comfortable that the let themselves go by many tens of inches. I feel like this hypothesis is irrefutably proven by the fact that most people under the age of 21 (that's around marriage age) are skinny-minnies while their parents are hippopotami.

2) They eat/drink things and in quantities that are simply unbelievable to a NYer. For example: The Stacker at my company cafeteria - two grilled cheese sandwiches with a burger patty in between; unlimited buffet ANYTHING - seriously any type of food you want is available in unlimited buffet form. And then there's the soda, which is commonly held in containers larger than my face.

The normal response of a NYer to this picture is: "I can't believe they drink that much soda in one day!" The sad reply is: "They don't just drink one a day - that's why they use refillable containers."


I need a vacation. I finally got my pics uploaded to my computer and was flipping through the ones from Emma's b-day in Jamaica. I missed my flight and lost a day, it rained all weekend and
I was somewhat depressed, and yet it was still relaxing and beautiful. I miss the johnny cakes and ackee, falling asleep on beach chairs, and staying up all night on our villa porch drinking pineapple Ting and rum. (Ok, who am I kidding - I never made it all night. But others did.) I even overcame my fear of deep water and snorkeled for a few minutes (it took so long for me to work up the courage that's all I had time for - and really the only reason I finally dove in was because I was being so annoyingly harassed by the teenage boat driver).

These past 2 weeks have been completely out of control. What was already a 10-hour-a-day (minimum) job turned into 14 hours. And I mean a straight 14 hours. 15-min lunch breaks, no time to even think about snacks, no time for cereal the morning I slept through my alarm... craziness. Thurs morning at 6am, as I was driving to work, I actually considered how relieving it would be if I got into a car accident and just missed this whole deadline - and came back to a completed project. The lack of food was clearly starting to get to me. The strange thing is, for the first time, I'm in a job that appreciates it. I don't think I've ever been thanked or complimented as much as this past week. It's almost embarrassing.

But the point is - I need a vacation. So Dena, if you're reading this, you better come through on your promise to have your 30th in Jamaica. Treasure BEACH!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Regrets was a terrible, terrible idea. I have yet to pay any money or view a finalized profile, yet I received two "winks" today. Knowing all the options in my area from last night's browsing (more like rubber-necking), I am terrified. So as soon as I finish checking which trolls winked at me, I'm off.

Meanwhile, my co-worker/friend has taken to endlessly teasing me about dipping a toe into the on-line dating swamp. Then while he's driving me home he lets drop that he is going to Fayetteville this weekend to meet someone... THAT HE MET IN A CHAT ROOM. It gets worse: it's an FJ Cruiser chat room (that's the car he just bought - it's like a Japanese Hummer). So apparently there are chat groups for car interest groups, and now he is going to meet someone who has suspension that is apparently fascinating. This is after he spent last weekend changing his tires from normal ones to all-black ones that look like he just drove through the ghetto and got his rims robbed.

Something must be going wrong in my life if he is making fun of me.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

"For papa, make him a scholar..."

So I returned to to make sure my profile was not mistakenly there and I was not somehow going to be billed while not actually being on it. Of course I ended up getting sucked into checking out the options in my neck of the woods - and the results were so incredible I had to share.

First of all, the vast majority of them have profile names that immediately disqualify them. As in: gohogsgohogs, pigsoooooey, singledad158 (I like that this one can't even be more original than 157 other dads).

Second, the cute ones seem to be horribly corny. As in this headline: "an honest, thoughtful, great guy looking for a wonderful girl to snatch me up." He didn't even think to hide that cry of desperation in his profile text!

Third, pretty much everyone has at least one absolutely eggregious deal-breaking characteristic. Like the 30-something who is "trying to make a living writing." Or the guy who is 32 but looking for a woman 21-30. Or the ignoramus whose favorite author is Dan Brown.

And finally, there is the grammar. You would think people would re-read their profiles before publishing them, which leads me to the firm conclusion that some man thought this was correct English: "I have never married and I do not have children in which someday I will hopefully get to have when I meet my special someone." And yes, I checked - this one was American-born, from the South. My favorite incorrect quote was from a foreigner, so I guess we can chalk some of his mistakes to ESL, but even so...: "I lookign for a right Woman who I can give my Hard" (this winning candidate also has THREE kids).


At this point I think I've told everyone I know about my trip to Tulsa, but as I've found this picture of our night I figured I needed to post a recap.
First stop on Valerie's Tour of the South was Tulsa, OK - 1.5hrs from Bentonville. We decided to drive up Sat afternoon, do some shopping, go out "big city style," sleep over, watch our friend run her half marathon Sun morning, have a delicious foodie brunch, do some walking around the town, then return Sun afternoon/evening.
We started strong - leaving B'ville late but still managing to hit a boutique and Saks before the stores closed at SIX PM. Saks was only a few square feet larger than the boutique, which was disappointing and yet still a breath of fresh fashion for us AR girls - I ended up with fabulous booties.
Afterwards we met up with our marathon-running friend and her husband for pasta dinner. We were enjoying ourselves there until we found out liquor stores closed at NINE PM, at which point we had to throw back our drinks and run out to purchase pre-bar bottles. Since we're amazing we managed to find a liquor store in 10 minutes and then spent some quality girl time getting ready in our hotel and shooting vodka. All afternoon we had been asking around for the best clubs in the city, and everyone seemed to agree that Pink would be a good place for the four of us to go - which ended up meaning everyone thought we were lesbians. Because Pink was definitely a lesbian bar - or at least overtly lesbian-friendly. I was the perceptive one who realized this when, shortly after our arrival, one girl got down on her knees on the dance floor and mimicked giving head to her female dance partner. (Her dance partner trumped that by whipping her breast out of her tank top and letting the first girl lick her nipple.)
It turns out that lesbian clubs are full of guys and FUN. So fun that we slept through our friend's marathon the next morning and only just dragged ourselves to the restaurant for our brunch reservations with her. While the rest of my friends regaled her with photos and videos of our fun night, I went back and forth between the table and the bathroom vomiting up everything I put into my mouth - including water. Needless to say, our Sunday plans were shot and we got directly into the car and drove back to AR - I slept the whole way.
Not that I'm coming from a place of extensive knowledge, but the city seemed kind of lame. There was never anybody around no matter where we were driving or at what hour. The streets were empty and there didn't seem to be much of a downtown area anywhere. The club was really the only place we saw any kind of crowd the entire weekend. The search for southern cool thus continues...

Moving on and going out

This week I've realized that the only trend I haven't jumped on is on-line dating. And I've been horribly remiss with my blogging. So in an attempt to fix both these problems in one fell swoop, I am going to start meeting people on-line and hopefully accumulating some entertaining stories for my audience (all 3...4...5? of you). Although this could really get in the way of watching Miss Congeniality for the 50th, 51st and 52nd times, I feel like it's something I need to do as a single person in 2010.

The only problem is that I just went on and it is almost $20 a month - WTF? I kind of felt like I was going to be paying for escorts. So I closed out of the site... except I just got an email saying my profile had been accepted, so now I'm confused and a little concerned as to what truncated description of myself is visible to other singles in my area. The good news is that I think there are no singles in my area. But still I need to go back and check. And I need to find a cheaper site. Not that my love life and eternal happiness isn't priceless... but I'd need to be guaranteed results in exchange for that amount of money, and I just don't think rural AR can deliver.