So This is Christmas...

Arrive at Airport
Wait in Airport
Fly from Nashville to Cincinnati
Wait in Airport
Fly from Cincinnati to Newark
Drive to Garfield
Drive to Erie
Drive to Nana and Papa’s
Drive to Uncle Clark’s
Drive to Jennifer’s
Drive to Kimberly’s
Drive back to Nana and Papa’s
Drive to Aunt Linda’s
Drive back to Garfield
Drive to Newark
Wait in Airport
Fly from Newark to Cincinnati
Wait in Airport
Fly from Cincinnati to Nashville

Okay, so that’s not representative of my ENTIRE Christmas holiday but, man, it sure felt like it! Despite my overwhelming (some might say annoying) enthusiasm for the Christmas season, the actual "day-of" holiday rituals just leave me bone-weary and stressed. For as long as I can remember, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day have been all about traveling and bustling around in an insane effort to see as many familiar (and sometimes not-so-familiar) faces as humanly possible. This ridiculous phenomenon has only become more pronounced the older and farther away I get. I cannot even imagine what it would be like to enjoy a relaxing Christmas holiday on my own schedule; to celebrate how I want, when I want and with the people I want. I know that sounds selfishly Scroogey, but after reading Joanna’s blog, I felt a fierce wave of envy over her simple and lovely Christmas celebration.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my families and my friends AND I like being able to see them and spend time with them…I’m just not sure anymore if Christmas is the time to do that. I mean, in reality, I got to see everyone for about 20 minutes each – and that’s an incredibly generous estimate. So, not only did I NOT get to spend any quality time with anyone (except for Bethany – and thank god for that or else you would currently find me wallowing in the depths of despair instead of in this shallow tide-pool of self-pity), but I completely wore myself out doing it! It’s a lose-lose situation, people! And instead of those warm, fuzzy Christmas feelings of peace on earth and goodwill towards Man, I ended up with soggy feelings of vague guilt and unspoken obligations. NOT a very satisfying culmination to six weeks worth of Christmas-inspired joy and delight. Anti-climactic, one might say. I realize Christmastime is all about tradition, but when those traditions are unhealthy and unfulfilling, something has got to change.

Thus, I have committed to doing things a little differently next year. I haven’t figured out all of the details yet (or any of the details really), I just know that I cannot keep celebrating Christmas in this crazy head-less chicken way. Enough is enough I say!

How awesome would it be to relish the Christmas season; the decorating and the shopping and the baking; the watching of the Christmas specials, and the admiring of the Christmas lights; the holiday parties and general festivities…and then, instead of dreading and commencing upon my normal whirlwind Christmas schedule, boarding a plane to meet Bethany at some relaxing vacation destination? Or how equally awesome would it be to bask in the aforementioned holiday delights and actually decorate my apartment and have a tree for once, and spend Christmas cooking a meal and enjoying it in front of my fireplace with Bethany and my cats? Like I said, details need to be worked out, but I can come up with many alternate scenarios that do not involve the stress and guilt of my historically stressful Christmas traditions.

So, if next year, you receive your Christmas gift in the mail along with my sincere regrets at not being able to personally deliver it, please understand that my decision to utilize the US Postal Service is not a personal attack or a lack of desire to see you over the holidays, but merely my own efforts to preserve some degree of sanity and to treat myself and Christmas with the gentleness I feel we deserve.


ONE Gift

You know how every Christmas there’s that ONE gift? That ONE gift that outshines all other gifts? That ONE gift you weren’t expecting but is so fantastic you can hardly contain yourself? You know the gift I’m talking about. It’s the gift that embodies the spirit of the Red Rider BB Gun.

Even though it’s not quite Christmas yet, I am pretty sure I have already received that ONE gift.

I thought I had received it last week when I was given a framed copy of the cover of the magazine where some of my words had recently been put in print for the first time. I was told it was a little reminder to write more and to write often. (awwwww…) At that moment, I was convinced that incredibly thoughtful and supportive gift was my ONE gift of the season. I mean, really, how could it get any better than that?...

Well, last night we exchanged gifts and tore open carefully selected DVDs and books and picture frames, and it was good and it was fun and the room reeked with fuzzy Christmas spirit! Then Dan handed me a big box tied with green ribbon and my eyes lit up. I ripped it open and found (to my supreme delight) a piece of the Christmas In The City Christmas Village. (The Artist’s Studio and Art Gallery!).

Now, before you roll your eyes…know that I have ALWAYS been utterly enchanted with Christmas Village displays. Hopelessly enamored with the little lights and the miniature buildings in all their architectural glory…the Christmas trees and the carriages and the lamp posts…the ponds with their ice skaters and the hills with their sledders…I love it all! Brett’s mom has THE GREATEST Christmas Village collection and when I would help her set it up, along with the gleeful excitement inherent in designing and planning out a Christmas Village, there would also be a covetous gleam in my eye. So, naturally, when I tore open my very first Christmas Village building, I thought, “okay, THIS is my ONE gift for the Christmas season!”

But then, Dan said, “there’s one more thing…it’s upstairs”. So, even though I wasn’t ready to relinquish the minute and wondrous inspection of my miniature building, I scrambled up the stairs to discover a long mailing tube propped against the wall in the empty spare bedroom. I tore open the tube with a little kitchen knife assistance and lo & behold, out slides an unfamiliar looking long black tubular thing about 3 feet long. Wha-the-!? I looked to the proudly beaming tubular gift-giver with a giant question mark embedded on my forehead. ??? What is this? I politely inquired.

Wait for it…

Wait for it…

“It’s a blow gun!!”

Fuck. Yeah.

Now, as you may remember from a previous post, I have received some bizarre Christmas gifts in my day. A stun gun. Mosquito netting. Waterproof matches. Snakebite kit. Car window smasher-outter-thing. A knife (and no, NOT a kitchen knife). So you see, I am no stranger to the bizarre Christmas gift. But a BLOW GUN is just awesomely, supremely, outrageously bizarre.

After recovering from my open-mouthed gape of astonishment followed by hysterical laughter, we put together the wicked looking 4” dart thingys and loaded the sucker up! First, let me explain the warnings this thing came with: This weapon can cause death. Do not point this weapon at anything you do not intend to kill. Do not inhale dart. This weapon is illegal in many states (fortunately not in Tennessee). Use leather gloves to assemble dart.

The warnings were extensive and severe but they did not stop us from rigging up a “target” (actually a large comforter doubled over and suspended from the ceiling with a shirt hung on the front – clever, no?) Standing at the farthest end of the hallway, I blew my first blow gun. And it was good.

This is not yo mamma’s blow gun! This blow gun is fast and vicious! Dan was enthusiastically listing off the specs, the maximum velocities and forces and gauges and all that stuff, but I was too enthralled with the satisfying “thunk” sound the dart made as it pierced through the target! Hee. We entertained ourselves with this weaponry for quite some time. I think I’m going to have to get myself a dart board to practice my aim…and make sure my cats are secured in my bedroom before any such target practice occurs in my apartment!

Seriously, how can anything top a BLOW GUN as the ONE Christmas gift?! In the tradition of my obsessively and acutely prepared female family members, this weapon will hold a place of honor right next to my bed…loaded up and ready to go!


The Magical Picture Taking Box

I really need to learn how to work my camera.

I have this digital camera. It’s a Canon Powershot A410. Which means nothing to me. I didn’t buy this camera. In fact, until I got it last year I was still relying on my trusty old Pentax circa 1994. Yeah see, I’m just really not a gadgety type of person. I hate trying to figure out technological gadgetry. I know, you’re probably thinking, “get a grip! it’s just a freakin’ digital camera – my 80 year grandmother has one!” right? It’s not like it’s some really high-tech doo-hickey…like an iPhone…or…a…spectrometer! (yeah that's right, you heard me...a spectrometer)

It’s not even one of those really slick digital cameras with all kinds of bells and whistles (lord knows something like that would send me over the edge!). It appears to be a simple enough gadget. However, this has proven to be untrue. There are many confusing options regarding flashes and zooming and foreground/background and who-knows-what-else. Combine these mysterious settings with my complete lack of knowledge in the area of photography and one ends up with photos like those below.

Dan and I went to Opryland last night to take in the spectacular Christmas light displays. As I was walking out the door of my apartment I saw my camera sitting there on my desk and in a last minute decision, I snatched it up and stuck it in my bag…just in case. Once we got there, the lights were so incredible and the sparkly festive environments so exciting, that I whipped out my camera determined to capture some of it. I would randomly push a few buttons, click the shutter and get some fuzzy, drunk-looking image. So, then I would push a few other buttons, click the shutter and get some dark shadowy-looking thing. I pushed buttons all evening and ended up with…ZERO decent pictures. How? How is that even possible? Is it the camera? Does the camera suck? Or do I suck?

My goal is to read the manual in the next couple of days. Maybe that will provide some enlightenment…
I’ll let you know how it goes.


Old. And proud of it!

Okay kids, it's official. There are just certain things in life that no longer hold any interest for me. Such as, crowded bars full of drunk 22 year olds. I know, how could that be, you ask? Maybe it's because I'm old. Maybe it's because I'm really a hateful snob at heart. But before you call me a curmudgeon, let me make it clear that I do enjoy going out and spending time with my friends. But when it's so loud that you have to shout into each others' ears, i.e.

Her: "do you think he's cute?"
Me: "what!?"
Her: "I said, do you think he's cute, that guy over there?"
Me: "do I think your foot looks like leather? huh?"
Her: "leather? I don't think it's leather"
Me: "over where?"
Her: "what? no there."
Me: "oh"

and so crowded that you are constantly getting elbowed by aforementioned drunk 22 year olds, that's when my inner bitch emerges and all I want to do is get out of this HELL people call "going out to the bars on a Saturday night". Yep.

It all started innocently enough. The plan was to have some holiday fun at our local tequila bar. We drank mojitos and margaritas and ate salsa and tapas. Met some fun new people, and enjoyed some interesting conversations. M got more drunk than I have ever seen him...and more drunk than I ever care to witness again! R was drunk too, but I can never quite tell HOW drunk he actually is, because I'm pretty sure I've only ever been around him when he's in some state of intoxication. He was talking to A about how the Swedes are a very pornographic people. Mm hm.

Having arrived at Agave at 7, by 10ish, we were ready to move on. So, Jen, Angela and I decided to meet Ted and Kimberly downtown at McFaddens. However, due to the fact that downtown was annoyingly crowded and we didn't feel like paying $15 for parking when we were only going to be down there for an hour or two (yes, we had genuine intentions of not staying out too late and yes we ARE that cheap), we instead went to Dan McGuiness on Demonbreun where we met up with Dy and ran into Doug and some of his friends. I actually like Dan McGuiness...the interior is well done, the space is set up nicely (god, am I a dork or what!?) and I think that with the right crowd it could be a really cool hang-out. Unfortunately, last night, it was not the right crowd. No, in fact, it was just the opposite of the right crowd (um...I guess that would make it the wrong crowd, huh?)

In addition to being packed in like sardines with the "wrong crowd", they were also playing very loud techno music. Now, I LIKE techno and it's many variations. In fact, I had been trying all evening to cajole everyone to go to Play (a gay dance club) for that very reason. However, Dan McGuiness is an Irish Pub. A cozy, wood-trimmed, pints and fireplaces Irish pub. It is not a dance club and does not boast anything remotely resembling a dance floor. Nevertheless, someone in authority thought, "ya know, I just bet blasting techno music would be a great idea!". To that person, I just shake my head sadly.

Dancing was not an option. Conversation was not an option. So, we drank. And after a couple of drinks, I found I had even less tolerance for the wrong crowd. Huh. Who knew!? It was after I snarled, "could you try not to jam your fucking elbow in my spine, douchebag?" to some unsuspecting member of the wrong crowd, that we decided once again it was time to move on. Personally, I was ready to move on out of there and head home to the warm coziness that is my bed. But Ang desperately wanted to go to Tin Roof. The only time Ang ever desperately wants to do anything, the "thing" involves a guy. Last night was no exception. So we went to Tin Roof and met up with her guy and some of his friends.

The Tin Roof is fine. And under the right circumstances, I can enjoy myself at the Tin Roof. Those circumstances of course being completely obliterated by enough vodka in my system to block out any sort of annoyance at the existence of other people. I was not at that point. The one good thing about Tin Roof is that they always have a live band. Usually just corny cover bands, but at least it's something to focus on. At this point, I wasn't even interested in drinking anymore and switched to water. How sad it that?

Sad or not, I don't think this is just a phase I'm going through. I can honestly say I would much rather go to a concert or a dance club than to a bar. I would rather go to the theater or a coffee house than to a bar. I would rather go to a quiet pub or a friend's house than to a bar. It's not that I don't want to be social, I just want a particular kind of social that doesn't involve loud, crowded, annoying bars. For instance, going out to a favorite restaurant with great company and fun conversation and then going to a movie is far more enticing than hanging out with the wrong crowd. I'd like to think this is due to my maturing tastes; my more sophisticated, cultured, discriminating social needs. If this means I'm old, then by god, so be it! I will revel in my oldness and not apologize for my distinct lack of interest in bars! I will embrace my oldness and define fun on my own terms! So there.


Deck the Halls!

What does one wear to an office Christmas Party?

A.) an extremely low-cut dress displaying a good 2/3rds of your bra-less ta-ta’s
B.) an extremely high-cut dress displaying a good portion of upper thigh
C.) a santa hat
D.) all of the above

Answer: D

Yes kids, last night was the annual TMP Christmas Party. And while, sadly, there were no shrubbery incidents this year, we were mightily entertained with New Guy’s date. We can pretty safely assume New Guy’s date is/was an employee of Big Jim’s Boobie Bungalow. I’m pretty sure she was blonde, and I suspect she was kinda crossed-eyed, but it’s hard to say because when you’ve got Thelma & Louise staring you down, there is NO WHERE else to look! ‘Nuf said.


OTHER women

So, earlier today I got this email forward from Kevin. You know, the funny ha-ha emails that we all send around to pass along the chuckles. I like getting these things, even the slightly offensive ones aren’t entirely humorless (although the one Donna sent the other day about pouring gasoline on people and setting them on fire kinda set my teeth on edge).

Aaaaaaaanyway, the “Women vs. Men” funnies are common enough and both genders typically get a laugh out of them. They play on stereotypes of course and we all understand that’s what they are – stereotypes that don’t necessarily apply to everyone. There are always exceptions, right? So, while some women may use these nine words and the meanings implied…there are OTHER women (namely, me) who use these nine words and mean completely different things!

Nine words women use...

1.) Fine : This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right and you need to shut up.

2.) Five Minutes : If she is getting dressed, this means a half an hour. Five minutes is only five minutes if you have just been given five more minutes to watch the game before helping around the house.

3.) Nothing : This is the calm before the storm. This means something, and you should be on your toes. Arguments that begin with nothing usually end in fine.

4.) Go Ahead : This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!

5.) Loud Sigh : This is actually a word, but is a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A loud sigh means she thinks you are an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you about nothing. (Refer back to #3 for the meaning of nothing.)

6.) That's Okay : This is one of the most dangerous statements a woman can make to a man. That's okay means she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will pay for your mistake.

7.) Thanks : A woman is thanking you, do not question, or Faint. Just say you're welcome.

8.) Whatever : Is a women's way of saying F*** YOU!

9.) Don't worry about it, I got it: Another dangerous statement, meaning this is something that a woman has told a man to do several times, but is now doing it herself. This will later result in a man asking 'What's wrong?' For the woman's response refer to #3.

Nine words OTHER women use…

1.) Fine: This is the word OTHER women use to describe a really hot guy, as in “Orlando Bloom is one fine male specimen”

2.) Five Minutes: For OTHER women this means 300 seconds regardless of its context.

3.) Nothing: When OTHER women say “nothing”, it means no thing in particular. For instance if asked, “What are you thinking?” or “What’s wrong?”, an answer of “nothing” actually means “nothing” and usually means you are over-analyzing.

4.) Go Ahead: This means “Do it. I’m not you’re mother.” This also means that OTHER women will be “going ahead” and doing things as well.

5.) Loud Sigh: Generally a large sigh coming from an OTHER woman simply means she’s feeling overwhelmed or tired with life in general (a good way to handle this would be to give her a big hug) Or it could be she just needs some extra oxygen.

6.) That’s Okay: When OTHER women say “that’s okay”, what we mean is, “that’s okay”. No big deal.

7.) Thanks: OTHER women are typically appreciative and will express this appreciation with words like, “thanks”, “thank you”, “how thoughtful”…or we’ll just give you a 100-watt smile.

8.) Whatever: Is the OTHER woman’s way of saying “no worries…whatever works for you. I’m not your mother”. Note: If we are going to say “FUCK you”…we’ll just say it.

9.) Don’t worry about it, I got it: OTHER women are very capable, if we got it, we got it. If it’s something you need to do, then we won’t do it. Again, OTHER women are not your mamas.

A Long and Winding Road...

I had a phone conversation last night…one of those rambling phone conversations – the kind where topics just kind of flow into one another and digressions turn into discussions without warning. So, on one of these digressional tangents we somehow started talking about his rigorous high school education at an all-boys Catholic school. Of course we chortled at the obligatory Catholic jokes, but talked somewhat seriously about his experiences with the intense academic demands and the high character expectations. We talked about how the students were taught the difference between arrogance and confidence.

Confidence is knowing you have the ability.
Arrogance is telling everyone around you that you have the ability.
Confidence is believing in yourself.
Arrogance is believing you are superior to others.

We talked about how the school instilled a sense of humility; teaching the young men to assume abilities were to be found in others as well. Have I mentioned how I think humility is one of the most attractive qualities a person can have?

A lack of false pride. A humble opinion of one’s own importance.

I was actually kind of surprised to hear that a private school with a religious foundation (and a Catholic one at that! hee) would hammer home those kinds of lessons in character development in this day and age. Honestly, I think humility is a character trait of a bygone era, sadly. And when I say humility, I don’t mean meekness, or weakness, or a lack of self-confidence – which is sometimes the bad rap humility gets. It’s a quality of being unpretentious; of being aware of the potential in others. Humility is accepting that one does not always know best, is not always in the right, and is willing to make adjustments and re-adjustments throughout one’s life. Humility is having an open mind.

Which is why I was surprised that this idea of humility and the differences between arrogance and confidence were extolled at a religious institution. In my experience, the vast majority of people who are really into the religion thing, behave in just the opposite way. That sense of arrogance, of knowing without a doubt that they are right and believing fervently that their way of thinking/living/behaving is superior seems to permeate religious communities. Calm down. Before you get all huffy: this is NOT true of all religious people I have met…especially when you get to interact with them on more of an individual basis.

And here’s the thing – I don’t begrudge anyone their beliefs. It’s that whole open mind thing. However, religion, in my opinion (and my opinion only), is a very personal thing. And I actually genuinely admire those with strong faiths. It’s when those same people put those beliefs on display for the benefit of their audience to let everyone know just how fervent their beliefs really are. And instead of coming across as humility, that attention-seeking display glows with an arrogant smugness, which just drives me crazy.

So last night, I had this dream. Well, a nightmare really, but it didn’t involve being lost as most of my nightmares do. Instead, this nightmare involved my sister, and no she wasn’t stabbing anyone. Even worse than stabbing, she had somehow converted into a self-righteous bible thumper! If you know my sister, you are probably laughing hysterically right now at this absurd idea, but trust me, the dream was NOT funny at all! I was nearly in tears trying to talk to her about it and so depressed that she was suddenly judging others and being arrogant in her new-found beliefs (I never did find out how her transformation happened in the first place). It was disjointed, as dreams so often are, and when I woke up I had this strong urge to call her to make sure she hadn’t really lost her humility. Yeah, it was a scary-ass dream!


How Bizarre

I had to pick up my car this morning from being tuned-up. CarMax wasn't real busy when I got there...just me plus a couple of other customers at the service counter. As my car was being brought around, I moved over to the side and nearly bumped into this guy coming in from the customer waiting room. We looked at each other and exclaimed in the most incredulous voices you can imagine, almost simultaneously, "Cathryn!" and "Firas!". Yes, Firas was also at CarMax this morning...getting his oil changed.

This is bizarre because I NEVER run into people I know. Well, that's not entirely true. Occasionally, I run into people I know. But usually they are people I don't want to run into, and inevitably, I run into them at the most inopportune times. Firas is not one of those people and it was not one of those times...which is why it was bizarre.


Fun with Toilets

At work, we have these lunch & learn things fairly regularly where various vendors will come to our office, provide lunch and enjoy our undivided attention for an hour while they present us with the wonders of their products in the hopes that we will spec them on our projects. It’s a good system. Symbiotic. They get to use us as great marketing tools. We get to learn about new products and technologies out on the market with very little effort (plus we get free lunch!).

So, we had one of these symbiotic luncheons today. About toilets. Yes. Toilets. TOTO Toilets to be exact (see? I’m marketing for them already!?)

Our firm consists of a relatively young crowd. We have people ranging in age from like 24 to 60ish. But the overwhelming majority of us fall into the late-twenties/early thirties category. So when the TOTO toilet presenter started talking about the engineering of the toilet and suddenly mentioned “capacitors” in reference to the valve design, several people piped up, “one point twenty-one gigawatts!”. And when she anecdotally mentioned the drunk fans falling down on wall mounted toilets at stadiums, in reference to load-bearing capacity, there was hearty recognition of this phenomenon. And when she began to discuss the bidet features some of the toilet models have, the room descended into grade-school snickers and jabs.

Professionals? Yes. Stuffy? Never!


Funny Santa Ho Ho

"Damn contemporary bullshit architecture!"


Experiments in Cake

Have I mentioned my affinity for chocolate cake? I have? oh, excellent.

I'm pretty much non-discriminatory when it comes to chocolate cake...Betty Crocker, Pillsbury...frosting from a tub...or everything from scratch. It's all good. However, there is one chocolate cake which holds a special place in my heart. That chocolate cake is made by Zoe's Kitchen. Zoe's Kitchen, for those of you who are unfortunate enough not to have one nearby, is a sorta pseudo-Greek fast-foodish place that specializes in chicken. And it's not bad...not bad at all. BUT, the chocolate cake that they make is a little bit o' heaven.

So, after getting outside to enjoy the nice weather this morning and taking a long walk all around Edwin Warner Park, I came home, cleaned my kitchen, talked to Donna, tried to talk to Bethany, tried to talk to Jennifer and then decided to try to replicate the deliciousness that is Zoe's chocolate cake. Yep. I decided to conduct an experiment in cake. I hunted around online for a bit searching for a recipe that seemed to reflect the qualities of Zoe's cake. I found one that I was comfortable with and after making a few adjustments to the recipe based on a conversation I had with Daniel, I went to work.

It turned out pretty good. Not exactly like Zoe's, which is kinda disappointing...but really quite similar. The cake part didn't turn out as dense as I would've liked. And though the frosting consistency seems about right, the flavor wasn't quite right. Ah well...

Here's the recipe in case anyone wants to amend it or make alternate suggestions:

Chocolate Cake:

2 sticks butter
1/2 C. buttermilk
1 C. hot coffee
2 eggs, beaten
4 Tbsp. cocoa powder
1 tsp. vanilla
2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 C. white sugar
1 C. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt

Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat. While it's melting, make the coffee. When butter is melted and foamy, add the cocoa powder and stir thoroughly. With the heat still on, pour in the hot coffee and stir. Allow mixture to bubble for about 30 seconds. Turn off the heat. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugars, and salt. Stir together. Pour hot butter/cocoa mixture over top and stir together slightly just to cool the chocolate.

Put buttermilk in a small bowl and add the beaten eggs, vanilla and baking soda. Add this mixture to the butter/flour mixture. Stir together well. Pour into buttered and floured 9x13 baking pan (I actually used one a tad smaller...like 9 x 11 maybe). Bake at 325 degrees for about 25-30 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

Chocolate Frosting:

1 stick of butter
4 Tbsp. cocoa powder
1 tsp. vanilla
4 Tbsp. buttermilk
3 Tbsp. light corn syrup
3 C. powdered sugar

Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat. When butter is melted and foamy, add the cocoa powder. Stir together and allow to bubble for 30 seconds. Add in the milk, vanilla and corn syrup and stir constantly over low heat for a couple of minutes. Remove from heat. With electric beater, beat in the powdered sugar gradually until everything is smooth. Pour the frosting over the warm cake and spread evenly.

Live Porn!

Last night after a fun evening spent with friends at Kalamata's, I went home thankful that it was Friday and really looking forward to slipping beneath the clean sheets on my bed and sleeping til I woke up without an alarm. I know, I'm finding out the things we look forward to alter drastically as we get older. Little did I know that my plan of waking up without an alarm would come much, much sooner than anticipated...

So, I snuggled down under my covers and fell asleep quite quickly, in fact so quickly I don't even remember my head hitting the pillow. All I remember is being awoken about an hour later to the unmistakable sounds of...er...uh...a rather raucous "roll in the hay" occurring on the other side of my bedroom wall. Seriously. I woke up completely startled, all groggy and "wha- the...", blindly looking around my bedroom in the dark without my glasses. As I slowly came to consciousness and realized what had woken me up, I was supremely embarrassed. I could feel myself blushing in the dark! But then I was like, "yee haw! my neighbors are having crazy monkey sex...this could be entertaining!"

It was like live porn (well without the visual...but I have a very good imagination!) and I felt like a creepy voyeur - an unwilling voyeur, mind you, but a voyeur nonetheless. And I don't think I was the only one who thought it was live porn. The participants were going at it like they were ACTUAL porn stars. Cheesy dialogue and everything! ("oh yeah baby...that's it...oh gaaaawd give it to me!" "you like that? you want me to fuck you real good?") I am SO not making that shit up! Embarrassed as I was, it was all I could do to keep from laughing out loud. Not that they would've heard me. No, clearly they weren't much concerned about anything going on around them or who they were keeping from sleep.

Amusingly enough, it was all over rather quickly and even though it sounded like she reached her happy place, I wondered if maybe she faked it. And that was my last thought before succumbing to sleep once again where I did not wake up until morning...without an alarm - ANY kind of alarm!

I'm thinking of moving my bed to the opposite wall of my bedroom...