Archive for September, 2007

Someone has a new job…

Ain’t life grand?

Cubs

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Matchmaker, Matchmaker…

I’m addicted to “Confessions of a Matchmaker” on BRAVO. It’s about Patty Novak, a matchmaker in Buffalo, who acts more like a hardass therapist than a matchmaker. Every week she parades through two nutty victims, each looking for love and having trouble finding it for very apparent reasons. It’s addictive. (Set your Tivo.)

Over the years I’ve dabbled a little in matchmaking. Well, once, I guess. And they got married, so there you go.

While I was at the farm over Labor Day, it dawned on me that a super cute 4-H agent and a guy I grew up with would be a delightful pair. (Of course I made the mistake of completely forgetting to introduce them to each other until tonight — subjecting them to a whole three weeks of suspense after sending word to the two of them through the church and 4-H grapevines.)

Always a bridesmaid, and always in style. 🙂

Which leads me to one of the more interesting aspects of my week. Mid-summer, Jenn told me that a friend of a friend had met a guy through a high-profile matchmaking service here in the city. And they’d really hit it off. She said she was going to submit her profile online, so I thought, “Why not?”

This is not your typical dating service. This is serious business for dudes who are “making an investment” in love — to the tune of thousands of dollars. The firm only represents 230 guys across the U.S.

At any rate, I submitted my info. A couple weeks later I got a call saying I might be a potential match for one of their clients. And it’s taken a month to find a time slot on my calendar. That was Thursday afternoon. We had a nice chat for about an hour. I’m certain they think I’m insane.

I have a sneaking suspicion that the guy they have in mind is in his early 40s, which just sounds elderly. (Sorry, I still think I’m 12. And don’t tell me you senior citizens think you’re any older than 35!) But I told them if they thought it was a good match, then I’m open to anything.

Stay tuned.

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Back to the beefy gossip…

So, I left you hanging with the story of how His Meatiness ended up taking me to the opera.

My media director used to work at one of the radio stations in town, and she’d given me the tickets to the Pavarotti concert earlier in the week. So by the time I’d conceived my crafty plan and built up enough nerve to actually execute it, we were at T minus 6 hours from the event. It was a good thing it was a cool mid-April Saturday afternoon when I placed the call from the Midas waiting room — otherwise I would’ve been sweating.

Long story short, he said he’d be delighted to go.  He’d said he’d walk across the 15-foot driveway and knock on my patio door at 7.

I was so excited. I had a killer ensemble…a black velvet sleeveless top (with only an asymmetrical spaghetti strap over one shoulder), paired with a floor-length slightly-A-line skirt. And a cool mink stole that I’d bought for $38 at the VFW thrift shop. (Foxy.)

He showed up in a black suite and silver tie, and I about fainted. This dude was hot.

So we headed for the Coliseum, and in the end it was quite funny to be so dressed up. The venue is cement. With folding chairs. Smelled of rodeo. But there were quite a few people in sequins, so I didn’t feel completely overdressed.

Overall the concert was fair, but I didn’t care. I didn’t really even notice the music.

When we got back to the car, he asked me if I’d had dinner (of course not), and then told me he’d made reservations at Larkspur. (What man does this in real life?) And I continued to walk on air…but I had to playfully punch him every other minute to make sure he knew that I thought this wasn’t a date.

Dinner was grand. Until I knocked over my water mid-gesture and it went flying into his lap.

Oops.

The “good night” was a bit awkward — by that time it seemed like a date. And it didn’t seem like the right time to convince him that he shouldn’t have a fiance. So we gave each other a high-five and he walked back across the driveway. 

Sigh. My one chance to lay a big one on him flitted off into the night. It’s really too bad I have a rule against kissing guys with girlfriends.

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Stage Fright

Nothing — I mean NOTHING — causes me to have an adverse and uncontrollable physical reaction than playing piano in public without having sheet music in front of me. My leg shakes uncontrollably. I mean a good three inches of vertical motion.

I honestly don’t understand. I could speak on national television or in front of an enormous live audience and actually enjoy it.

There’s just something about piano.

So it’s odd that I’d choose to perform my very first song tonight in class while playing piano rather than guitar. With only the chords written on the page — not the notes.

I wrote the song on Saturday, and first put it together on guitar. But it became apparent that it was much more of a piano song. So tonight I had to perform it. In front of 10 people.

I thought my leg was going to shake off. I wasn’t sure I was actually going to be able to sing. I’m not even exaggerating. And I went last, which made the whole thing even more anxiety-ridden.

Two people in class really brought down the house. I think I did OK.  Here’s the ditty, which everyone thought sounded a bit “Broadway.” (Surprise.)

December in Rome
Intro: |Dsus2 D| G |Asus4 A| D

|Dsus2 D| G
We ran for the plane, late leaving home
A |Dsus2 D|
“Now boarding all classes for Rome”
|D D/F#| G
With magazines in hand
Em |Asus4 A|
We started our girls’ trip with a map and a plan.
G A D (2)
Flying to the Steps of Spain, in December in Rome.

|Dsus2 D| G
We awed at Apollo and Daphne’s detail
A |Dsus2 D|
And scoured to find antique maps for sale.
|D D/F#| G
Looking to leave with the perfect prize
Em |Asus4 A|
I spotted a blue Fendi bag with big eyes.
G A D (2)
In a store on the Steps of Spain, in December in Rome.

|Dsus2 D| G
Crowds swarmed the streets on the Day of Conception
A |Dsus2 D|
We Lutheran girls made a Catholic connection
|D D/F#| G
West to the river, staked our place
Em |Asus4 A|
We were told we would come face to face
G A D (2) A/C#
With the Pope on the Steps of Spain in December in Rome.

Bm F#
Later on, cross with our words
Bm F#
We yelled about where to go for hour d’ourves.
Em Bm
Umbrella flapping as the sheet of rain blew,
Em F#dim
My heel slipped from under me too.
Em A D
Falling down the Steps of Spain, in December in Rome.

|Dsus2 D| G
Sitting down to a glass of wine
A |Dsus2 D|
Sausage and brie, our last meal we dined.
|D D/F#| G
Of dashing men and shopping we wrote
Em |Asus2 A| (2)
Highlights and lowlights, all the stories we’d spoke.
G A D |D A/C#|
Arrividerci to the Steps of Spain, in December in Rome.
Em A D
We’ll be back to the Steps of Spain, in December in Rome.

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We interrupt this carnivorous program…

…to bring you breaking news from the Chicago lakefront.

Friday morning — a glorious, sunny morning — I joined my clients for a morning of teambuilding on the water.

The 16 of us were divided into teams of four, and we each got a boat and a skipper. (Scary, I know.) We got a little instruction on land, then our skipper, Will, showed us the ins and outs of sailing. 

sailing

Skipper Will was a hardass. He yelled at us to “come about,” “tack,” “fall off,” “wait to pull until the jib starts to luff.” I think I would’ve understood more clearly if he’d been barking Japanese after swallowing helium.

But we had an excellent time. And my team even won one of the four races in the regatta. (And we got screwed on another.)

Then the whole group went for a Mexican lunch, where margaritas were mandatory.

I was in bed by 4. (Yes, that’s p.m.)

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The Saga of Mr. Meat

I tuned into the Emmys tonight just as they were flashing photos of all the important TV people who died this year. I’d forgotten that Pavarotti was among this group. And it reminded me of the time I saw him at the Kansas Coliseum, on the most perfect date ever. (Well, it was really a non-date — with someone engaged to someone else.)

How we ended up going to this event together is simple indeed. I was sitting in the Midas waiting area, waiting for the oil to be changed on my ’95 maroon Honda, when I got up the nerve to ask him if he “wanted to go along” because I had “free tickets to an opera event” and “it’s tonight and I can’t find anyone to go…it would be such a waste to go by myself.”

So, who was this romance-noveleque dashing man that had me so worked up for a year and half?

It was Mr. Meat.

On the recommendation of my dear coworker Ed, I rented half of a duplex in Riverside in Wichita, from a active geriatric couple who owned the whole block. (Not to be confused with the people associated with 819 S Star.) It was darling. On my first walkthrough, my little-man landlord told me that an FBI agent lived next door, and in my head I pictured a balding, 50-something divorced man with a beer gut. It was Wichita, after all.

My friend Jen (yes, yet another Jen) went with me a few days later to get another look at the place so I could create a comprehensive furniture diagram, and as we were standing by the sliding doors to the back porch, we spotted the neighbor taking out the trash.

Our jaws hit the floor like a lead weight. He was the hottest man on earth.  It took Jen and I a good 15 minutes to stop sweating. Turns out he wasn’t 57 as I’d pictured in my mind — but rather 32. I couldn’t believe my luck.

Over the course of the next months…OK, years…I dreamed up pretty much any scheme imaginable to talk to him. Of course he had a girlfriend, who lived in Ohio, who was 22. He’d met her at the gym. Duh. But despite all my schemes, I was fairly careful to not be too overt or try to bump into him very often — since everyone knows that relationships have to be the guy’s idea in order to work. And there was that tiny problem of tricking him into getting rid of the girl.

Running into him really wasn’t that hard. I think he even tried to bump into me. (On some days he’d even scrape the ice off my car. Seriously, Prince Charming.)

I’d talk about my schemes at work. One day Ed said, “I’m just going to call him ‘Meat’.”

“Why’s that?” I asked.

“Because you’re looking at him as if you’re a hungry dog.”

OK, maybe he didn’t put it quite that way. But you get the idea. I had a dear boyfriend at the time, which I suppose made this comment event worse.

From there on out, he became known to my co-workers as Mr. Meat. Which made it incredibly funny when I did him a favor and let his girlfriend shadow me at work.

 To be continued…

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Meandering while waiting for song inspiration to strike

Fourth of July on the Farm

Running with fire in hand through the yard
Lit by a punk for a dazzling reward
Cutting a blanket of muggy delight
Brillant colors for the family in sight

Brother DIY

Waiting at playday
For the race time to start
Nibbling on crumbs
From the refreshment cart 

Oh brother, where art thou
With curls of gold down
How could a mother
Upon a cookie frown?

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