Thursday, August 31, 2006

Too Soon?

How soon is too soon? After a break up to start dating? After you’ve begun dating to call yourselves serious? To move in together? To get engaged?

TheBoy and I had a friend over for a few beers and a movie last night. Well, a few beers for them, I’m still on the wagon given the cold from hell I’ve had after Vegas. I did give it “the old college try” though since it sounded so damn good after our frenzied cleaning spree earlier in the evening but… I gave up after a few sips. Beer just doesn’t taste good if you can’t, well, TASTE it.

And while I’m on a tangent anyway, where did the saying “the old college try” come from anyway? I don’t recall my college days being filled with too much “trying”. I mean I did my fair share of studying, took my fair share of honors courses. But I wouldn’t say I TRIED terribly hard at anything. Hmm… Well I did try hard to master that whole shot-gunning beer from a can thing. Still can’t do it though. I’m just saying.

Sorry. Where was I? Right. How soon is too soon?

So a friend of this friend, an acquaintance of ours really, is engaged. This in and of itself is not news. We’re of that age, she’s of that age. So, what is it that made me choke back the instant congratulatory words and obligatory smiles and questions? I won’t lie… The first thing I thought was, “wow – so soon?”

Now – please, before the “don’t be so judgmental” and “why wait for true love” comments start coming, please, please know that I am (usually) not one to judge. After all, TheBoy and I moved in together after a short whirlwind relationship of less than seven months.

“Ms. Pot?”

“It’s Ms. Kettle calling.”

“Did you know you’re black?”


It’s just that… A year ago this particular acquaintance was in the midst of untangling herself from the ending of a serious long term relationship. It was complicated. It required the division of assets, of friends. The last time I saw her, granted this was several months ago, she was dating someone else. Now? She’s engaged. To a man she’s been dating for four months.

It seems… fast. That’s all I guess. I don’t know why I can’t stop thinking about it. My friend’s girlfriend I guess had a similar reaction. Followed by the inevitable… “I want to get married!” His response? A big sigh and a plea to wait… Only 9 more months of law school before he can commit himself to her. And to marriage.

A part of me thinks… What is wrong with me?

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Viva Las Vegas!

(I apologize in advance for the extremely long post...)

Sorry for my relative blog silence over the last several days. TheBoy and I left early Saturday morning for a belated FIVE YEAR anniversary celebration in Las Vegas! I was a little weary given I was knocked out for two days prior with a nasty stomach flu type bug… I even missed a Giants game on Thursday y’all – now you KNOW that’s serious! I fell asleep LITERALLY in the middle of packing my suitcase on Friday night. Climbed on top of the bed, in between the piles of clothes, toiletries and discarded outfits, and passed out cold at like 9:15 pm! Fantastic right?

It’s SO exciting to be me sometimes.

Anywho… A Bloody Mary at the airport bar and we were good to go! We landed in Las Vegas to 100+ degree weather on Saturday morning and promptly made our way over to the Luxor where we had a room in the pyramid, complete with slanted wall/window and “inclinator” (ie: sideways moving elevator) ride. We were there three days and I never once rode that thing without stumbling. First order of business upon arrival? A Mexican food lunch complete with margaritas (we are creatures of habit), a quick shopping trip for a shirt for TheBoy to wear out to the clubs that night, and then down to the pool for us. Ahh… heaven!

A few more beverages and a $40 pool bar tab later, I was in desperate need of a nap. Stomach flu remember? So I headed up to the room to lie down and TheBoy went wandering to check out a few of the nightclubs in the neighboring casinos. That night, after a fine dinner of take out Little Caesar’s Pizza*, TheBoy and I got all fancied up… He in his brand new British rocker inspired shirt and me in my appropriate cleavage bearing top and skinny jeans. When in Vegas right? Thank God for stomach flu right before having to don the skinny jeans!

The comments I received on the *ahem* hootchie shirt were a source of hilarity for TheBoy and I all evening and included such favorites as:

Drunk Boy outside Rum Jungle bathroom: “You are the most beautiful woman in the club!”

Me: “Really? Because I’m up here.”

~ and ~

Older leering man at 40 Deuce: “Hi, I’m Steve.”

Me: “Hi Steve.”



Steve: “I really like your blouse.”

Me: “How original.”

Good times y’all.

We started the night at Rum Jungle in Mandalay Bay. Did I forget to mention that there was some huge UFC fight going on at the Luxor on Saturday night? Yes? How terribly GIRLY of me. You can imagine how hard it was for me to contain my excitement. Needless to say the lines were a little out of control all weekend. But I was proud of TheBoy, he didn’t complain… TOO much!

Actually, Rum Jungle’s line wasn’t horrible when we got there at just before 11:00 pm. We did some dancing. We did some drinking. We saw the girls spinning from the trapeze thing. And then? Then it started to get crowded. And let me just say, to those of you people reading who are of average height or taller, that it is no pleasant experience to be in a crowded, hot room when you are petite** and all you can see are people’s chests. It’s a little bit claustrophobic really.

Also, I’ve come to the conclusion that there is a conspiracy in Las Vegas regarding seating in clubs. Have you ever noticed that if you are at a club in Vegas and you want to rest your feet because you have been drinking and dancing and are wearing cute shoes and maybe cute shoes don’t = comfortable shoes so you start looking around for a bench or a bar stool or an effing bean bag chair and it suddenly dawns on you that all of those things are available (and practically empty I might add) BEHIND the VIP area??? Yes, that’s right – in order to sit down at a club in Vegas you must purchase a $270 bottle of Absolut.

True Story.

After Rum Jungle we decided to check out this burlesque club we had gotten free passes to as part of our “package deal” weekend called Forty Deuce. This was, by far, my favorite venue of the night. Smaller bar, smaller dance floor, friendlier people… Definitely fun! But again, no friggin’ place to sit! It’s a conspiracy I tell you! We found out that Jenna Jameson was going to be hosting a party there the following night and were offered free passes*** to return so we decided to call it a night.

The next morning (noon) we decided to get up and head over to the Hard Rock Hotel for their infamous beach party Rehab. After another Mexican food lunch and margaritas, of course. Seriously y’all this was worth the wait. I highly recommend it. I also recommend getting there earlier than we did and planning to bribe the doormen. I’m just saying.

I have never seen so many rock hard bodies and teeny weenie bikinis in my life! The music was awesome, the drinks were flowing and it was hot, Hot, HOT! There were two slides, a lazy river, and a big main pool area where all the dancing was going on. I couldn’t believe all the security! We shared a limo**** over from our hotel and met the nicest girls from Manhattan who were so sweet and funny and a guy who said his friend is dating Jenna Jameson. We aren’t sure if we believe him necessarily but the stories were fun. Then in line we met these super sweet guys who were on a THREE AND A HALF MONTH vacation from Australia. Yeah go ahead and read that again. They went to Singapore and Europe for the Word Cup and Greece and all over creation basically ending up in Vegas before heading over to California and then to Hawaii for 8 days and home. THREE AND A HALF MONTHS! Y’all.

Highlights from Rehab include:

~ The girl wearing a teeny tiny leopard print string ONE PIECE (try to picture it if you can) who explained to TheBoy and I how she had to shave her entire… *ahem* female parts to wear it. And when we mistakenly didn’t look like we believed her? She showed us.

~ The guy who was just standing there in the water while some poor girl was dancing all over him. We could not figure out why he was not in to her AT ALL – I mean she was cute enough – albeit a tad drunk… Until a different girl started flashing and a fight broke out and the “just standing there” guy took off into the fray. Ah ha! Incognito security. Tricky.

~ The woman who was so drunk she didn’t realize she was flashing everyone until after a security guard had practically tackled her.

~ Water slides! Yay!

~ Shots. In syringes. Enough said.

~ Being hit on by Air Force boys. In plain view of TheBoy. And the sheepish looks they got on their faces when they realized he was watching.

~ TheBoy being called “sir” by aforementioned cute Air Force boys.

All that swimming***** really tires a girl out so we decided to head back to our hotel for a shower and dinner at the buffet. We still hadn’t made a decision as to what exactly we wanted to do that evening but there were a few options on the table. Over dinner TheBoy was getting more and more sleepy… Too much sun! So we decided to head up to the room so he could take a quick nap. I watched some TV and read my book while I waited for him to wake up. Finally I resorted to passive aggressive measures to see if he’d wake up. I slammed a few drawers. I ran some water in the bathroom. I tried rubbing his arms and tummy. NOTHING! TheBoy was out cold. So I laid down myself for a bit but I couldn’t get to sleep! Those of you who know us understand how funny this is! He finally woke up at about 1:45 but it was way too late (early?) for either of us to think about going out that night.

The next day was our last day in Vegas. We had to wake up relatively early… Check out was at 11:00. We left our bags with the bell desk and found a place to have a big champagne breakfast! Mmm… champagne! Breakfast of champions. From there we decided to play tourist for the remainder of our stay. First stop? The lions over at the MGM. After that we took the elevator ride to the top of the Eiffel Tower at the Paris Hotel and checked out the view of the strip. It was 100 degrees up there! But not to worry – they told us there was no humidity! Like that makes it better??

From there we walked over and saw the Forum Shops at Caesar’s Palace and just missed the moving statues. But we did manage to make it back over to the Bellagio in time to see the dancing fountains. I’ve probably seen that half a dozen times but it still takes my breath away. All that water! From there it was just about time to head back to our hotel and get ready to head to the airport. But not without one last stop at our hotel lounge for a final shared bottle of champagne and some laughs over our favorite memories from the trip.

Pictures soon!

*2 for $20! Those things are like $5 each at home!! Effing Vegas!!


***It was the shirt y’all I swear!

****YAY! I got to ride in a limo! Somewhere other than to the airport with co-workers!

*****standing around and quasi-dancing in the water

Thursday, August 24, 2006


I'm not sure how I feel about this actually...

You Are 60% Boyish and 40% Girlish

You are pretty evenly split down the middle - a total eunuch.
Okay, kidding about the eunuch part. But you do get along with both sexes.
You reject traditional gender roles. However, you don't actively fight them.
You're just you. You don't try to be what people expect you to be.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Mr. and Mrs.

Look at me being all timely and stuff with the pictures from Angie and Erik's wedding this past weekend! The bride and groom are off on their honeymoon to Cabo - I'm sure they're having a wonderful time! The bride's mom and I joked several times about joining them out there. I mean, we worked hard too right? We deserve a vacation!

Shockingly Angie and Erik weren't so amused by the the thought of sharing their honeymoon with us. :)

Here is the beautiful bride and I at the pre-wedding photo shoot.

I turned around at one point during the rehersal and saw Angie and her dad standing behind me and had to quickly turn away and blink back tears. I think that was the moment when it became real to me - she's really getting married!

Also, I had to laugh at her mom who spent considerable time at the after the wedding brunch saying, "He just GAVE HER AWAY!" and "He didn't even ask me how I felt about it, he just GAVE HER AWAY!" It was cute.

Saying their "I Do"s. I was blinking back tears the whole time y'all. I think I'm maybe not as jaded as I try to portray. Shh... Don't tell anyone!

Introducing Mr. and Mrs. Howley!

Confidential to Ang and Erik: I love you both and was so honored to be a part of your wedding!

There are more pictures of mine here, though that's only 250 of them (it's Shutterfly's limit on how much you can share). I'm hoping to get the rest up, and organized into some sort of order that makes sense, soon.

If that's not enough photos for you, Michele's photos are here and Christine's are here.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

A Whole New World

I love Disney movies. Yes, I realize that it’s a little silly that, at almost 30, some of my favorite movies are animated. But I don’t care. I love the humor, I love the whimsy, and I LOVE the love stories. It is funny how many memories I have that contain Disney movies; either the movies themselves, a song from the soundtrack, or just a quote that struck my fancy and worked its way into my every day vocabulary.

The movie Aladdin came out sometime while I was in Junior High. I saw it in the theater and then bought the VHS tape when it was released. I’m pretty sure I knew all the words at one point. I still may. It’s not surprising then that by the time High School came around I would have chosen to watch it on a lazy winter afternoon with my boyfriend. It would have been the perfect background movie while we talked and laughed and caught up after the Christmas holiday.

I can show you the world
Shining, shimmering, splendid
Tell me, princess, now when did
You last let your heart decide?

“Do you love him Tiff?” A mutual friend stood looking down at me, with all the seriousness that a 15 year old can possess when speaking about things like love. “Of course” I replied (rather flippantly), he was my boyfriend after all and we had been saying “I love you” to each other for awhile.

I can open your eyes
Take you wonder by wonder
Over, sideways and under
On a magic carpet ride

“No. I mean, do you REALLY love him? Because he told me that he’s IN LOVE with you and I think you could really hurt him.” Gee thanks buddy. Even then I had a reputation for holding a part of me back. I never let someone get too close to me, and I NEVER let myself get too attached to anyone.

A whole new world
A new fantastic point of view
No one to tell us no
Or where to go
Or say we're only dreaming

We were sitting on his mother’s couch. We were home alone. That was a big deal because… Well… We were innocent youth. I had never been kissed at it didn’t occur to me to mind. Hand holding was fun. No need to rush things! I remember we had been talking and laughing but all of a sudden he got very quiet. And then he left the room for awhile.

A whole new world
A dazzling place I never knew
But when I'm way up here
It's crystal clear
That now I'm in a whole new world with you
Now I'm in a whole new world with you

I started thinking back to my friend’s comments. I DID love him, as much as I could given my age. I always was a practical girl. But, I reasoned, lots of people meet really early in life. Heck, if we lived a century earlier I might even be married at that age. The way I felt when we were together was something I’ve never duplicated, even to this day. I felt safe. Like nothing mattered, not school, not fighting with my mom, not therapists or cheerleading or calories… All that mattered was that this boy said he loved me.

Unbelievable sights
Indescribable feeling
Soaring, tumbling, freewheeling
Through an endless diamond sky

He came back in to the room, oddly quiet. I teased him – something mature I’m sure. He didn’t laugh. He came over to the couch and tugged on my hands to make me stand. And then he hugged me. We hugged for a long time. I could feel his heart racing and it made my heart beat faster in response. I decided I would let myself feel whatever it was I was feeling. I decided to not hold back. To give 100% of me to this. Just this once.*

A whole new world
Don't you dare close your eyes
A hundred thousand things to see
Hold your breath - it gets better
I'm like a shooting star
I've come so far
I can't go back to where I used to be

He leaned back and softly said my name. For years I would have dreams where all I would hear would be his voice saying my name the way he said it in that moment. When I looked up he leaned in towards me and softly touched his lips to mine. Hesitantly. I was shocked, and thrilled, and unbelievably nervous. The kiss deepened and I couldn’t think, I could barely remember to breathe! Finally we pulled apart. He smiled at me.

A whole new world
Every turn a surprise
With new horizons to pursue
Every moment red-letter
I'll chase them anywhere
There's time to spare
Let me share this whole new world with you

We shared many, many kisses after that first one but that’s the one I remember. Insert what you will about first kisses here. To me, it was perfect. No wonder our elders had cautioned us about kising and being alone together – suddenly it was all we wanted to do. I was definitley enjoying riding the roller coaster of emotions that I was on. We were young and in love.**

A whole new world
That's where we'll be
A thrilling chase
A wondrous place
For you and me

Of course it couldn’t last. These things rarely do.

*I still don’t give 100% of myself to anything or anyone. It’s a character flaw I suppose.

**I hesitated to use the term “in love” but then I realized that I am skeptical about love now. But then? Then I was in love and sure we were going to last forever. It seems false to deny it now.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

When Worlds Collide

I used to be a different person, with a different life, a different set of friends… I think this isn’t uncommon actually. People grow, they change, they move on. What IS uncommon is finding yourself in the company of both lives at the same time. So it was with me this weekend. After spending 10 years desperately trying to keep my past separate from my present – there they were, making polite conversation over a beer.

The bride and I met as part of my previous life and she is still very much involved in it. I felt like I had entered the twilight zone this weekend. Here were my old friends, my old school, my old church, most unchanged from what I remember. Sure children were older, people were married, and there were a few grey hairs… But mainly it was as if I had walked back in to see what my life could have been.

I won’t lie – I found myself trying it on for size. Thinking what if? Not necessarily what if I hadn’t ever left? I don’t regret it. But what if I came back? What if I chose this life again? Would there be a place for me here? Would I find what I am looking for? Would I be happy?

I miss the sense of community, the willingness of others to go above and beyond for people who need it. As cheesy as it sounds, I miss family values. I miss church on Sunday mornings. I miss being involved.

My past.

At the same time, my new life, my current life, was also represented this weekend. Definitely more comfortable, decidedly more “me”, this is a life I chose. I made this life for myself, I built it, I struggled in it, and it’s mine. I didn’t fall into it because my parents directed me, I didn’t accept something that wasn’t quite me, I didn’t settle.

I love my friends, my family. I love our group – the events, the parties, the one on one time I spend with everyone. I like all the busy weekends, the trips to the lake, to Vegas. I like having a job which affords me the opportunity to be able to do all of these things. I love my boss. I love not waking up every morning and wondering whether or not today will be a good day.

My present.

And yet this life? It’s not a perfect fit either. As I look around me I realize that there are things I wish were different now and yet… I seem to have been content waiting for change to just come along and happen. I realize I can’t do that any more, that it’s up to me to make the changes in my life that I want. I know some changes will be hard to make and Lord knows I am not the best with conflict, but the idea of sitting still doesn’t appeal to me either.

I’m pondering change. Big change.

My future?

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


What is it about cops that makes people automatically assume they’ve done something wrong? I’m driving along on the freeway the other morning, in traffic, at about 50 MPH. The speed limit on this particular freeway is 65 – just for reference. When all of a sudden everyone on the freeway starts hitting the brakes and slowing down! To 35 MPH! On the FREEWAY!

The cause of this apparent need to slow down? A police cruiser driving along in the slow lane. Come on now people. If you aren’t even going the speed limit there is NO NEED to slow down further just because a cop is on the road. For crying out loud! There should be tickets for going too slow on the freeway.



I am not stealthy. I am also NOT graceful. Case in point:

Last week as I was walking to my car after getting off work, my mind on about a dozen other things, when I notice this guy pedal by me on a bicycle who looks vaguely familiar. He then proceeds to pedal very slowly and turn around and watch me. At this point I’ve figured out that I MUST know him from some where… But where?

As he gets off the bike and goes to lock it up a light bulb goes on over my head and I think, “maybe he’s someone BF Liz dated!” So I decide to stealthily (ha!) get out my cell phone and take a picture of him using my new fangled camera technology thingamajig. Only right as I’m holding up my cell phone trying to focus on his face*, the guy turns around and looks straight at me!

So what do I do? I quickly whip around, pulling the phone into my chest and take a step forward. Only that “step forward” part got a little tangled up and left me sitting, oh so gracefully, on my ass, IN A DRESS, in the middle of the road, in downtown Palo Alto.

Oh yes. Yes I did.

*Because THAT’S not obvious or anything.


My childhood friend Angie is now a married woman.

She looked beautiful.

I am still at a loss for words. I cried – but not as much as people thought I would. I cried at the rehearsal when I turned around and saw Angie and Dad standing behind me and realized that he was giving her away the next day. I cried during the ceremony when I saw the look in Erik’s eyes as he said his vows. I totally lost it during the father / daughter dance. I didn’t cry at all during my toast. Odd.

I’m working on getting the pictures uploaded and when I do I’ll post the link.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Miss me?

I’m back! And it turns out that there really is such a thing as too much relaxing! I can’t seem to get my thoughts from my vacation into a coherent post so y’all are getting a list format. Sorry! I’ll try to put together something more logical and intelligent tomorrow once I’ve had some time to sort through all the work I have piled up from last week!

- I need to learn to play tennis. I’m thinking about taking lessons at the community college here. Except last time I thought about doing that I had a serious panic attack! Hmmm… I’m also having a strange overwhelming desire to go to the driving range. TheBoy and I went and played mini golf yesterday after we got home and I have to say that my putting game is improving nicely! I mention all of this because tennis and golf are basically the only things TheBoy’s family does in Sun River every year and since I don’t do either I was BORED!!

- I want one of those tattoos in white ink on my wrist that says “strength” or maybe “will power”. Something to remind me that I can do this. Of course that would up my total of tattoos wanted to four and I think my mother would absolutely die of mortification.

- Speaking of tattoos, I need to make the appointment for the one on my foot here pretty quick now that the lake season is winding down. Not that I’ve been to the lake at all this summer. Labor Day weekend will be my third trip to Shasta and including the trip up to Donner next weekend I will have only been out on our boat four times all summer! How sad is that?

- We should spend a little more time teaching our young women that they can make it on their own and a little less time encouraging them to find a man. I think we (as older women) should lead by example. It’s sad when younger women look at us and say “she can’t be alone”. That they recognize that quality in us is frightening. And more than a little sad. Also, we shouldn’t encourage young women to follow men to college because “they are going places”, we should encourage women to go to college so that they can “go places” on their own.

- Running at 4500 feet is hard! Running at 4500 feet after drinking Jack Daniels until 4:00 am is harder.

- My oldest and very dear friend Angie is getting married in FIVE DAYS!! I can’t believe it! I feel like I’ve been waiting for this day forever and we’ve been planning and waiting and talking about this and now… FIVE DAYS!! I’m putting the final touches on my maid of honor toast (because I am determined not to cry in front of a bazillion people y’all) and we’re finalizing all the last minute wedding details but basically it’s all just counting down to the big party this weekend.

- As much as I am looking forward to the wedding… I’m also looking forward to having my life settle back down in to a normal routine afterwards. Not that it’s going to really. I still have something planned for practically every weekend between now and Thanksgiving. You think that’s an exaggeration?? It’s not – I have two free weekends between now and TheBoy’s brother’s wedding on November 4th. No kidding. And the weekend after that is a friend’s birthday… I’m just saying…