Sunday, April 23, 2006

Top Five Men Every Woman Must Date

I'm in this really cool class called "Stiletto Boot Camp". It's a 10-week course designed to make normal chick writers into mainstream women's magazine writers. It's just what the title implies: boot camp for getting published in rags like Redbook, Marie Claire, and Cosmo.

One of my first assignments was to do a service article. Service articles give a reader a list of things to do that will empower them or inform them. For instance, I did an article on "The Top Five Vitamins you Should be Taking Now"...

Fluffy stuff, but it's fun.

I had to keep mine sort of tame as it was my first assignment, but what I really wanted to write was "The Top Five Guys Every Woman Needs to Date Before She Turns 35". So, I'm doing it here.

The Top Five Guys Every Woman Needs to Date Before She Turns 35

1. The financial mogul
This guy is your typical MBA, ivy-league, blond-haired, blue-eyed ex-frat boy who was raised in the south, has impeccable manners, hits it big in the banking industry, and is looking for a well-bred trophy wife. This guy reeks of new money. He's also clearly in the state of a homosexual panic, as backed up by his impeccable taste in window treatments and the act of french-kissing his champion Labrador Retriever, which makes you extremely uneasy and nauseated. You date him for a few months, enjoy the free 5-star restaurant meals, and bat your eyes until he lets you drive both his Range Rover and his Mercedes convertible. Then, you stop taking his calls.

2. The abstract expressionist
This guy is the one with the mop haircut, the pensive eyes, and the brooding disposition. The first time you meet him, he calls you rubinesque and offers (i.e. begs) to paint you naked. He doesn't own a couch, but he has an easel, a carton of Marlboro Lights and a seemingly unending supply of tickets to the Steppenwolf theatre. He's basically living off Mom and Dad's cash flow until he gets his first big gallery exhibit. Which is basically forever. You date him for the poetry, sensitive artist "thing", and the compliments on your bone structure. Then, you promptly dump him.

3. The tattooed Italian guy
This guy is tough on the outside, sweet on the inside. He's like a pair of Manolos. You can't really see yourself wearing the shoes every day, nor will you get them as they're not quite your style, but they're fun to try on for a few minutes, anyway. Nice and polite, but with that machismo undertone. He wears enough leather to embarrass you in public. You wonder how he can have that much skin covered in ink and still hold down a normal job. You enjoy the canoli and martinis and say ciao.

4. The Man Still in the Closet
This is the gay guy who pretends he's not. He's the one who holds his cigarette like your mother, compliments you on your gorgeous chandelier earrings, and asks you what type of moisturizer you use while pointing out some dryness around your delicate eye area. He is fun to hang out with, but when he tries to kiss you goodnight, it's like you just kissed Hillary Duff and you want to run home so you can shower at least four times from the ickiness. You consider being an almost-fag hag, but weigh the pros and cons and decide to bolt. Faster than you can say Bravo.

5. The Boy
This is the pretty boy. The one 8 to 10 years your junior. He's just nice to look at. Period. It works for a while, until one day you're in the car, REM comes on the radio, you proclaim that you saw the Green tour when you were a senior in high school, and he says, "I was 10." Um, yeah.

There are more. Like the ones who rip your heart out and run it over with their trucks. Those are the ones who build character, though, while the five above are the fun ones. And, they say dating is supposed to be fun, after all...

Friday, April 21, 2006

If you must begin then go all the way, because if you begin and quit, the unfinished business you have left behind begins to haunt you all the time.
~Chogyam Trungpa

Monday, April 17, 2006

Tessie and the Resurrection

Fate has stepped in, and as a result, I am now a new pet owner. It all started two weekends ago when my guy and I were playing baseball with his son outside my apartment (I live in the Field of Dreams, for chrissake). We noticed a dog on the second floor balcony of a neighboring apartment. The poor thing was trying to scratch her way out. Porches in my complex are screened in, and she had already destroyed a panel. When she saw us, her efforts became even more focused. I found out later that her owners had left her on the deck for over 13 hours (this is a 6-month old puppy, I must add). She ripped through the screen, then propped herself up like she was going to jump. I immediately freaked out, guy-I-date ran over to her, and before he could get there, she did just that...she jumped. Beautiful, brown little boxer baby just jumped off the deck like a kamikaze pilot. Poor thing just wanted to be away from where she was. She fell on her shoulder and it looked pretty broken when he got to her. He scooped her up, brought her back to my place and we doted on her for an hour while I desperately tried to track down her absent owners.

After we found them through my leasing office, I learned a few things about the owners. Dude owner is not only a deadbeat and hasn’t paid his pet fee, but he also is delinquent on rent, and there have been complaints before about his pet handling skills. Nice. As a side drama, my ex-cop neighbor answered her door sometime last year to a bloodied face of dude’s live-in girlfriend caused by an “argument”. I swear to Christ, I live in Jerry Springer’s backyard.

Now, I know the Ted Bundy-type abusers. These are the guys who are handsome and charming on the outside, dress well, act "normal" to the outside world, but are manipulative beyond belief and sing a different song behind closed doors. I've experienced that type in my life, for sure. They all have that “devil’ thing in their eyes. It’s your classic fratdaddy look with the Ted Bundy interior. This guy is one of those guys, and I seriously want to cause bodily harm to him as a result. You know that if he’s beating his girlfriend, he’s definitely smacking the puppy around without any conscience whatsoever.

After the kamikaze episode, it was the girlfriend who picked the dog up from my apartment, and she really didn’t say much at all. In fact, she barely could look me in the eyes. She’s your textbook abused woman, truth be told. Beautiful face with no trace of makeup (he probably doesn’t let her wear it), disheveled hair, cute figure with abnormally baggy clothing (textbook). She never once looked me in the eyes, instead averting them to the ground pretty much the entire time. I talked to the couple a few times. With the combination of their body language, the fact that the dog cowered every time dude approached her, and then my newfound knowledge about what these people were all about, I was peeved.

Now, I know I can’t do much for the girlfriend except befriend her a bit and hope that she wakes up in time to leave that bastard. I have opened my door to her in case she needs someone to come to, but that’s pretty much the extent of what I can do. Well, that, and I told my ex-cop (yet always connected) friend down the street, but who's keeping score, right? As for the dog, though, she’s now mine. I pushed a bit to take her off their hands, and I got her last Friday night. I’m not looking back. She’s beautiful, well-tempered, and so appreciative of her new digs. She rides in the car like a human, chases after tennis balls like a bunny, and has the best, most loving personality. I can’t wait to see her grow up.

So that is the story of how Tessie Larue came to be. Easter weekend 2006. For Christians, it's a weekend of celebration for resurrection. For Tessie, it was just that. She fell out of the sky, really. Kind of like a fated gift from the heavens. And now she has a shot at a great life. And, I've got a new shot at getting back what I've lost in the past canine-wise. At least I’d like to think so.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Hope is the feeling you have that the feeling you have isn't permanent.
– Jean Kerr

Saturday, April 08, 2006

If you want to know your past, look into your present conditions. If you want to know your future, look into your present actions.
~Buddhist Saying

Friday, April 07, 2006

I searched through rebellion, drugs, diet, mysticism, religion, intellectualism, and much more, only to find that truth is basically simple and feels good, clear and right.
– Armando "Chick" Corea
The past is fascinating, but it's where to learn from, the future is where we want to live.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

"I have learned, as a rule of thumb, never to ask whether you can do something. Say, instead, that you are doing it. Then fasten your seat belt. The most remarkable things follow."
– Julia Cameron