A Few of My Favorite Things 2015

Another year, another list of favorites. Here are my favorite things of 2015:

Favorite Movie: Mad Max: Fury Road. Come on, this had to seem obvious, right? Yes, yes, because Tom Hardy is in it. But really what made it my favorite of the year wasn’t just getting that warm fuzzy feeling from Tom on the big screen. It was the strong, ass kicking, feminist character, Imperator Furiosa. The movie is truly about Furiosa, and then about Max who, for all intents and purpose, is her sidekick. I could go deeper into this, about how the film itself is a study in how women are treated now, how would women be treated in the apocalypse, but, to put it simply, Mad Max is my favorite movie of the year because damn do I love to watch a woman take the lead in an action movie and not have to use her sexuality, to truly just kick ass using nothing more than physical and mental strength, wit, and resourcefulness.

Some runners up are Trainwreck, Jurassic World, The Martian, and Fifty Shades of Grey (because sometimes train wrecks are just REALLY hard to look away from). It should also be noted, I slacked in the movie department in 2015. There are many that still need to be seen, and will likely be better than any I’ve listed here.

Favorite Album: You know me, I can never have just one! Last year I was lucky enough to see my top two artists live (and will get to see them again this year) and their performances only solidified my love for both of their new albums. At Bonnaroo during both Florence and Mumford’s sets I was brought to tears because both albums brought out so many emotions in me throughout a turbulent Spring. But, despite having both How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful and Wilder Mind on repeat, I once again had 20 albums I just couldn’t get enough of…

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Favorite Book: Why Not Me by Mindy Kaling was by far my favorite new release. Partly because I didn’t read a lot of recent releases in 2015 (I found myself reading a lot of murder mystery series… don’t ask me why. I just can’t seem to get enough of serial killers as of late.) and, mostly, because Kaling has this voice I cannot get enough of. She is easy to relate to, open, and whenever I read her I’m always fairly certain we should probably be best friends.

My non-2015 runners up were Yes Please by Amy Poehler (also on my list of imaginary best friends) and the Archie Sheridan and Gretchen Lowell series by Chelsea Cain (like I said, allll the serial killers, please!).

Favorite TV Show: Laugh if you must, but my favorite TV show last year was the amazing (and awful) The Only Way is Essex. This is a British reality show (slightly akin to Jersey Shore- think lots of plastic surgery, make up, and tanning, but less partying and physical fights) I discovered by chance three years ago. The reason it became my favorite this year is because as I was catching up with the 15th season, yes FIFTEEN SEASONS, Mr. T caught me watching it and instead of being embarrassed by my terrible taste I told him he had to watch it with me from the beginning. It began as a joke, but now it’s something we love to laugh at together, something that, early on in our relationship, truly showed me that he was the type of man who could laugh at the absurd with me. Also? I just truly am an anglophile. Give me more Brits, dammit!

Runner up: Jessica Jones. Yes to all female ass kickers. YES.

Favorite Concert: If I thought the 150 shows in 2014 were hard to choose between, the nearly 250 shows I saw in 2015 are even more impossible. This was the year of amazing music for me. This was a year unlike any other, and a year I will probably never get to repeat again. Tiny ten people shows, arena classic rock tours, Coachella, Bonnaroo, local music fests… all of it made for a year that was, quite literally, music to my ears. But the best shows have to be the nights I got to see women who have influenced my life. From childhood to adulthood there have been a handful of strong, vulnerable, beautiful, romantic women who have shaped me through their music. Heart, Blondie, Florence and the Machine, and Fleetwood Mac have been the soundtrack to my life throughout the years. I have cried and loved and danced my way through happiness and heartbreak to the Wilson sisters, Debbie Harry, Florence Welch, and, more than anyone, Stevie Nicks and each of their shows surpassed everything I hoped they’d be.

Favorite Purchase: Pearl! My 2012 Hyundai Accent. It was a sad day when I finally had to give in and put ol’ Ruby, the first car I had every truly owned, out to pasture. But driving home in a new (to me) car that I knew wouldn’t break down every month (literally. Every. Single. Month. I’m looking at you, Ruby…) gave me such a feeling of comfort and relief. In the 367 days that I’ve owned Pearl I’ve put 10,800 miles on her. Two trips to Denver, one to Mobile, Alabama, and soon, a quick trip to Omaha. Yep, it’s great to find a gal that loves to travel as much as I do.

Favorite Meal: Having a meal made for you is always a treat. Having the best steak you’ve ever eaten (literally. This is not a joke, people. Buttery, medium rare, mouthwatering steak.) made for you is even better. In our relationship, I am more often than not the one cooking for Mr. T, and I very much enjoy it. But one night, for no special reason, he grilled up a steak on his salt block (look it up. Buy it. You’ll thank me.), sauteed me some veggies, and baked me a potato. It was not only a sweet gesture, it was absolutely delicious.

Great. And now I want steak…

Favorite Date: This is by far the hardest for me to determine. For possibly the first time in my life I had SO MANY good dates, I’m having a hard time just choosing one. Mr. T has surprised me with concert tickets (to shows he definitely would not have wanted to go to, but I definitely did), taken me to the drive in, out for my favorite comfort foods when I’m needing it, out to breweries, on road trips, taken me home to meet his friends and family, and even out for sunset walks on the beach in the Gulf Shores, so trust me, it’s really hard to choose just one date. But, if forced, I guess there is one day that always sticks out in my mind.

Our first mini-road trip together was to Omaha, where we will soon celebrating our six month anniversary (yes, because I’m cheesy). The week prior to the trip over Labor Day we both had been battling summer cold/tummy sickness and overall, just not feeling the best. This was still lingering on our second day there and I was worried this would put a damper on our brunch and brewery tour plans. By the time we were halfway through brunch though, I knew we had nothing to worry about. Our food was amazing and we both ended up feeling better than we had in days. We found some of our new favorite beers, we talked and laughed all day, and even when the rain started to roll in and we both had a few too many to really want to hit anymore breweries, the date continued back in the hotel room with pizza and HGTV. (Seriously, if you haven’t made fun of the people on House Hunters, you really haven’t lived. Go, do it now.) In a way, the actual date was nothing special, just a day exploring the city. But in another way, it was and always will be one of the most special to me. At this point I was already crazy about Mr. T, happy and in love, but being in a different city where it really is just the two of us I fully felt the certainty that if it was always just the two of us, no matter where we were or what we were doing, we would always find a way to have fun.

Favorite Guy: I think this one may possibly, just maaaay be a given…

Almost six months ago (5 months, 26 days, and about 8 and a half hours ago if you want to get specific) Mr. T met me at the shitty dive bar I mentioned I’d be at and my life has been infinitely happier ever since. He is this caring, giving, cute, loving, goofy, sincere, loyal, committed, sexy, appreciative, happy, serious, music loving, crazy about me guy I have spent years dreaming of. At times I still find myself questioning us, like after all the years of struggling with bad relationships things can’t go this smoothly and feel this right, can they? But every time that inkling of doubt even creeps it’s way in my mind something comes along to remind me yes, sometimes things can be this easy. That’s not to say it’s always easy and it’s perfect, but that does mean that there is finally a person there fighting for me as much as I am fighting for them when things aren’t easy. There is finally someone who makes believe that maybe all these years I haven’t just been a hopeless romantic believing that someone was out there who would compliment and also challenge me in ways I’ve always wanted and ways I didn’t even know I needed until I felt. It wasn’t me just being a hopeless romantic, it was just me waiting patiently, and more often that not, impatiently, on the two of us being at the right place and the right times in our lives to finally have this love. There is finally someone who makes me fully believe in the phrase ‘when you know, you know.’ And I very much know. He is my favorite guy of 2015, and will be for many more years to come.

 

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Did You Wash Those Pants in Windex?

Y’all, we need to have a serious talk about…pick up lines. They are THE WORST. I mean, they are great for laughs and all, but I’m guessing they are one of those things that are kind of like ‘60% of the time, it works every time’, e.g. not very successful. The cheese factor alone on some of them is cringe worthy. But, all hope is not lost in the pick up line department. In fact, they’d be downright fantastic, if only they were just a bit more creative. So here’s some lines that 100% of the time, will work every time on me.

“They accidentally gave me an extra side of bacon, would you like it?”

“Thalia was the muse of comedy…I bet the name fits you perfectly.”

“I’d love to meet you for coffee, but only if we go somewhere we can put five flavored creamers in it.”

“You look like the celebrities in US Weekly caught running out for groceries, effortlessly gorgeous.”

“I think every meal is made better with cheese, don’t you agree?”

“Have you ever seen Mystery Science Theater 3000?”

“Who is your celebrity crush? Mine is Tina Fey.”

“If you be my Tami, I’ll be your Coach Taylor.”

And finally, if your pick up line involves a Jake Ryan quote, well, consider the deal sealed.

I want a serious girlfriend. Somebody I can love, that’s gonna love me back. Is that psycho?”tumblr_m5fsjexTEZ1rqtw44o1_500

In Defense of the Nice Guy

Nice guys finish last. Right?  This is widely known. Us girls, we say we want a nice guy, but honestly, nice guys just finish last. ‘I’ve dated SO MANY jerks‘ I think to myself, ‘I just want someone NICE.’ But then…I meet someone nice. So nice. So sweet, so honest, no games, no bullshit, nothing. Just honest to goodness niceness. And do I end up liking him? Am I attracted to him? Do I want him to push me up against the wall and rip my cami apart (could he even push me up against a wall and rip a cotton shirt open?!?)? No. Nope. Not at all. And I know I am not the only girl thinking this. Us women, we want it all. We say we want a nice guy, and we meet a guy who seems sooooooo nice…and maybe he is. Kind of. Or maybe he’s just so attractive that we look over all the jerk-y shit and say “omigod, he’s SO nice!” But, all that attractiveness tends to make us blind to the not-so-nice-guy shit that creeps up on you.

Case in point? Jake Ryan. Y’all, I LOVE me some Jake Ryan. I grew up loving Jake Ryan. What a delicious, sweet, nice guy he is! Ask any woman within five years of me and she LOVES Jake Ryan. Ultimate “nice guy”, right? But…Is he? Sure, Jake Ryan shows up for Sam at the church and gives her a birthday cake and maybe they have a wonderful night…but you know what? Jake Ryan flat out pimps his girlfriend out to a kid he doesn’t even know in order to go pursue greener (younger) pastures. Sure, his girlfriend was a damn greedy, social climbing bitch, but does that make it okay to pass her on to a random boy while she’s passed out? NO. If a guy who wasn’t as sexy as Jake Ryan did that he would just be a damn jerk! Meanwhile, the guy that Jake’s girlfriend is drunkenly passed off to, sweet little Farmer Ted, is a true nice guy. Yes, maybe he drives over to his friend’s house to take a picture to commemorate this wild night, but he never does anything untoward to her. Damn you, Farmer Ted, you are a true nice guy. But how many girls watch 16 Candles and swoon and dream about Farmer Ted? He is truly the nice guy in this movie and sure enough, he is finishing last in the viewer’s hearts. He comes up second behind Jake Ryan, but why?

Is this the female version of lady on the street, freak on the streets? Are we just as bad as men? YES. We are.

And you know what? When guys screw us over and throw us off to some random guy to go running after their Sam leaving us to wonder ‘Why?!? Why am I getting screwed over by a jerk again?’ well it is because we keep choosing jerks, damnit! I for one am so guilty of this. I say I’m sick of bullshit and jerks and douchebags, etc etc…but so far, if I meet a nice guy and a not so nice guy at the same time, guess who I end up seeing a few more times? Yep. You know who.

So here I am. I am owning up to this. I pick the bad boys, the jerks, the guys that are smooth enough to gloss over all their douchey ways. But no more! I am ready for the Farmer Ted. I’m ready to let a nice guy finish first (or at least finish second. A nice guy would never finish before me, right?!).

The (Un)Wonderful World of Dating: Take Two

You can guess that if there are some pretty decent size gaps in between posts it is either because I’m putting in a lot of time at the gym or I’m focusing on making my romantic life seem a little less like this…

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Well, as a lot of my pants have been on the tight side lately, I can guarantee you that my lack of posts have not been from excessive gym visits. So yes, dear readers, I have once again thrown myself back into the (un)wonderful world of dating.

I had hopes that a change in location would bring a change in dating prospects. No. Incorrect. Same shit, different city. If anything, it’s almost a little worse here. There seems to be this strange phenomenon in KC. I’ve discussed it with quite a few of the single girlfriends I’ve been making here, so I know it’s not just me, but it goes a little something like this… You meet a guy. You two don’t find each other totally repulsive, so you exchange numbers to meet again and find out if you can continue to find each other non-repulsive. A few days later he texts you, no, doesn’t call, texts. And he keeps texting. Just about his day, about your day, about what he should grab for lunch, about all the rain, about his neighbor’s dog, about ANYTHING. Anything other than setting up an actual date. What the fuuuuuck? What is this weirdness? I mean, us KC girls aren’t crazy, this is weird, right? First, what ever happened to picking up the phone and actually calling to ask someone out for a date. Is that too old fashioned to hope for? And second, listen guys, I really don’t want a play by play of your day. Hearing about what you had on your pizza is the kind of shit you have to be interested in after you go on said dates and fall into relationship mode. Meeting a few of these guys really hasn’t given me the greatest confidence in the KC dating scene. But, unless I want to continue living a life of spinsterdom with my loving Mr. Squiggles, I must wade my way through these  murky dating waters.

Now, as much as there are the typical guys looking for less than romantic type connections, and guys fall under the “not quite divorced” category, and of course those guys who just seem to want to text endlessly about any and every thing, there probably are some decent ones out there…I just happen to have not stumbled across those decent ones yet. And okay, even that’s not 100% true. There are a few that, even though they aren’t perfect for me, have made this whole dating thing not so terrible. After being through so many heartbreaks and doing first dates with a few too many toads, I’ve probably just gotten a little too picky.  Not every guy I’ve met has been like this…tumblr_mc4409tZtB1qmnvbmo1_500

But then again, it’s a little hard not to be picky when you’ve been waiting to see this on a first date for 30 years… tumblr_m8zu5oqRcP1qhc9d1o1_500

A little unrealistic? Probably. But come on men of the world, just be a little more Jake Ryan-y already!

Tomorrow is yet another day in dating paradise. So far it seems okay. Nothing like Jake Ryan waiting for me outside a church, but spending a few hours at the museum, high on my list of favorite places in KC, with a guy who seems to not be looking for unromantic type connections, isn’t currently married, and actually used my number to set said museum date instead of abusing it with hundreds of banal texts, so who knows, maybe this could be the one that ends up being even better than Jake Ryan.

Or maybe not. I guess a gal can never know unless you keep putting yourself through that (un)wonderful world of dating.

Totally My Type

Last weekend I was being chatted up by a boy (and yes, boy is appropriate here – so young!). Said boy seems to have a bit of a thing for me (but again, so young!) and he really is quite a sweet boy, so I figured, why not? Well, in his attempts to chat me up he asked me what my type was. Say whaaaa? Youngin’, how do you expect me to answer this? By now dear readers it should be no surprise that my mind immediately jumps to:tumblr_m9hm1jrSaX1qhbk9ho1_r6_500

but how can I really provide this visual as answer? And furthermore, how is a gal supposed to answer this question when it’s being asked by someone who really isn’t her type? Honestly, I give the youngin’ credit, it’s a pretty ballsy topic to broach with someone you fancy, but don’t know well, because there’s always that chance you will in no way be anything remotely close to that person’s “type”. (Personally, I stopped asking this question when The Ex told me on our first official date that he liked redheads. After that, I learned my lesson. Never ask questions you aren’t ready to hear the answer to.) But, unlike The Ex, I decided to spare the youngin’s feelings and simply reply with a vague, “I guess I don’t really have one.”

FALSE.

I totally have a type.

Most of my friends will promptly tell you my type is “a Man”. Well duh, you might say. As a heterosexual woman, I would guess that your type is a man. No, not just a man. A capital M Man. I like the manly men. A little brutish, a tad domineering, a smidge rough around the edges. Maybe that is a little unfeminist to admit, but hey, who cares? I know it’s not everyone’s type, just mine! And I’m not saying I seek out cavemen who club and drag their women back to their caves. No, nothing that extreme. It’s just one of those things that’s hard to describe, but you know it when you see it (think a cross between Jax Teller on Sons of Anarchy and Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice {or even Mark Darcy from Bridget Jones, for that matter}). Of course there’s also physical characteristics I would file under “Totally My Type” – tall, heavier build (seriously, please don’t be skinnier than me…), more rugged/manly; less metrosexual/groomed, slightly longer than average hair, BEARD (ultimate sign of said rugged, sexiness), etc., and there are of course non-physical items as well – intelligent, smart with money but not cheap, decisive, hard-working, handy, attentive but not obsessive, etc. After years of getting to know different types of people and dating we all tend to make these lists of what is our ideal type. I most definitely have mine. The funny thing is, I’ve just never dated my “type.” All my past relationships have been with completely different types of people; some well over a foot taller than me, one only two inches. Some well read and book smart, one only really street smart. Some with dark hair, one with blonde. Some with my love of music, one who’d never been to a concert. The only thing they all have in common is, when I really sit down and think about them, none of them really have that Man quality I can’t quite seem to put my finger on. Some much closer than others, but none of them really gave me the Man o’mans (my version of Carrie Bradshaw’s zsa zsa zsu’s).

In short, I guess what I told the youngin’ really is mostly true. I don’t really have a type. Sure, I’ve technically got an ideal man imagined that makes my heart go a’pitter-patter, but when it really gets down to it, those things on the “Totally My Type” list and my ideal man become less important as a real man and all his perfect and not-so-perfect traits become more important.

World Wide Web of Dating

So far my online dating life is a lot like I expected it to be, spending way too much time sifting through poorly written emails and mentally giving the authors of them one of these:

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And it’s not even just the poor spelling. It’s the men who are in their mid-40’s winking and messaging and liking my photos. Sorry buddy, I may have a mild amount of daddy issues, but, as my age range clearly states, I cut off the potential mates at 34. It’s also the guys sending me one line emails, usually something along the lines of, ‘Hey, how’s your day?’ or ‘You seem nice.’ Well, thanks for the note, buddy, but is that one line really supposed to reel the ladies in? If you’re going to make your message brief, at least make it a one line zinger that will make me laugh, not bore me to tears even if heard in person. Then there are the guys who don’t make any contact at all, just view my profile a couple times a day and as me as a favorite (a favorite what??) and give me the general creeper vibe. Oh, and let’s not get me started on the guy who at first sent a normal sounding email, then proceeded to send one five hours later asking for a chance to show how nice he was…and then again eight hours saying he’d be so upset if I wouldn’t just meet him for one coffee. Or the guy who actually really piqued my interest in the first email, the responded to my reply completely drunk (I could just smell the booze coming out of the email – it was that bad). Again, the creeper vibe comin’ on strongly.

I know what you must be thinking, ‘Whoa there, Judge Judy!’ But you know what? Judging is exactly what I need to be doing. I paid 60 damn dollars to be on this website specifically so I could weed out the weirdos and possibly find a decent date or two.

If I can’t find a mate in the online world, you better be damn sure I’m going to amuse myself by getting my judge on.

Don’t let the judginess fool you though. I may be scrutinizing these potential suitors with a harsh eye, but that doesn’t mean I’ve already completely given up hope on the whole process. Despite the older gents and the boring fellows and the lurker lads I am cautiously optimistic. Maybe not that I will find Mr. Right, but that I will at least find a fun person to grab dinner with and cajole into partaking in my random movie selections.

So far, I’ve gone on one date and have three more lined up for the next week or so. The first date? Not so hot. The setting was good, trivia at a bar downtown so that at least if we had nothing to talk about he could be wowed by my plethora of random knowledge. The company was good-ish, he was nice and laughed when I made jokes and purchased my glasses of wine at the end of the evening. But the spark? The spark was not good. It was non-existent. (Also, side bar: he most definitely lied about his height on his profile. While I do like a taller man, I have nothing against shorter ones. What I do have something against is fibbing about something as trivial as height. If that’s lie-worthy, what other facts are you stretching?)

The good part about the first date finally happening is that I now at least know I’m not as bad at this as I thought I was. Yes, I still dislike dating, but at least I’m not horrible at it. I make fantastic witty banter and have learned to carry conversations when they aren’t flowing easily. And, I’ve become MUCH more comfortable with myself, this seems to be key in my new found (mediocre) dating skills.

At least only one of these statements is true now.
At least only one of these statements is true now.

Potential suitors 2, 3, and 4 haven’t exactly given me the zsa-zsa-zsu’s yet, but I reckon that’s hard to get from any person online. All three have interested me in different ways, so I’m at least willing to see how it all plays out. Even if no matches come from all of this, at the very least I can now consider myself an anthropologist of sorts. A judge-y anthropologist scrutinizing the world wide web of dating masses one profile at a time.

Secret Sunday

This Secret Sunday is dedicated to my foray into internet dating. Yes, after many, MANY people have attempting to talk me into this, I have finally given in. I finally put on my big girl pants and figured nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? So, why not. Why not put my personal business out there and see what happens. The worst case scenario is I end up kidnapped and turned into a skin suit (yes, my mind has the capacity to go to some scary places when I am trying to talk myself out of doing something) and the best case is I meet a halfway normal, upstanding gentleman and I enter back into the world of the dating. Given, it’s not exactly how I wanted to meet said upstanding gentleman. I had more romantic notions of meeting someone in a bookstore or grocery store and bonding over going for the last copy of Gillian Flynn’s latest book or a box of Chebe gluten free pizza crusts and then being wooed and courted in a rather romantic fashion, and yes, so maybe I have been picturing Mark Darcy or Matthew Crawley while imaging this, but still… I had a vision in my head of how I wanted my dating life to go, and maybe it was a rather BBC influenced version, but weeding through emails and winks just wasn’t how I ever imagined it. But, growing up is all about learning that things don’t always go as you plan them to and unless I want to be a cat lady who only has date nights with the men of BBC, then maybe weeding through emails from potential beaus (or weirdos) isn’t the worst thing in the world…

In any case here are my initial inner thoughts (and I do mean initial, less than 24 hours type initial) on the world of online dating.

1. Winking is for wankers.

I’m sorry, but the whole winking thing is about as cool as being poked by someone on Facebook, and that’s not cool at all. I’ve been on the site for about 7 hours and there’s already 31random guys virtually closing one eyelid at me (which is what I think of people winking at me  in real life. It just isn’t a sexy act to me).

2. Some people clearly do not know that less is more.

Do I need your whole life story in your About Me statement? No. Leave a little something to the imagination, folks!

3. Posting pictures with old girlfriends.

Just don’t.

4. Grammar/spelling snobs make for the worst online daters.

I very nearly wanted to make my headline, “If you can’t spell and form a sentence, please do not make contact with me!” but then I realized that was a little over the top. But, 12 messages in and over a third of them even look like they are comprised of something other than English. You could be Tom Hardy and it’s likely I wouldn’t reply to a message like that. (Okay, well that’s a blatant lie. If it was Tom Hardy and if in some ridiculous, crazy alternate universe he were seeking me out on a dating website, of course I would reply.)

5. I am a little, just slightly scared.

Online dating always kind of felt like that last resort to me. It wasn’t something I ever wanted to do just for fun, it was more like if I am really ready to see what’s out there and meet someone, maybe I’ll finally do it. So now I’ve done it. And now I am more than a little scared it will result in the same way the rest of my dating attempts have: me still single with my imaginary cat, Mr. Squiggles, watching BBC shows wondering when my Matthew Crawley will come along. Kind of a less than desirable thought, no? But, at the end of the day, it all goes back to that cliche, nothing ventured, nothing gained. If I don’t just suck it up and try something new, than nothing new will ever happen, good or bad. I’m sure, if anything, this will give me plenty of good material for posts here, so stayed tuned, dear readers. More to come in the exciting world of online dating!