Sunday, December 21, 2008


There must be something about the holidays that makes everyone want to do stuff. Yesterday I received three invitations to do three very different things and of all the invitations, I thought I'd be honorable for once and fulfill my promise to go to my friend's birthday party. Not because we're close, but because she came to my birthday party, and that was the least I could do after punking out of the three or four happy hours we'd planned. Not to mention I punk out of almost every invitation I get, which seems to be happening a lot lately, seeing as people are increasingly hyper these days.

The flakiness is not entirely my fault. Yes, I can be flaky. But I also like to socialize. When I cancel on someone, it's generally due to laziness or last-minute social anxiety, or something good is on TV. Before age 18, I accepted and fulfilled about 80% of the invitations to social events I received. Now at age 27, I accept and fulfill about 25%. What has happened?

Matt happened. At first, it was the whole "we're too in love to care about anyone else" thing. But once things got back to normal, once I was able to see the world again through my own eyes and not through the rosey filter of lovelovelove, Matt had a say in all social engagements in deconstructionist-land.

It's embarrassing how often we've cancelled on people. I can think of three times off the top of my head. We're lucky to still have friends, I tell you. But I guess they know how we are.

Cancellations as of late:
- About a month ago, I RSVP-ed via e-vite to Monica's birthday party. She came to mine, and I thought it was only fair. I didn't really feel like going, but it seemed like the right thing to do. Plus, she's a cool chick, so I didn't want to let her down. Not only did we not show up, but we didn't call to let her know, either. Dickery level: 6.5 out of 10

- You know how there's a "top five" (per a certain cell phone company's famous campaign)? One couple in our "top five" friends were throwing a themed-out Halloween party last year. We never committed to going, but that invitation came after three or four invitations to dinner, drinks, come over to watch movies, whatever, so they were pretty sure that we weren't going, but extended the invitation anyway. Why? They like our company? They're polite? I don't know. But we didn't go, and after hearing that only seven or eight people showed up to their party, I felt awful about not going. Dickery level: 5 out of 10, given their prior knowledge of our pattern.

- A college friend invited us to her wedding in Austin a couple of years ago. For weeks, we gave her the runaround: we don't know our work schedule, but dammit, we want to go, I don't know, just put us down for an RSVP, I guess. The week before the wedding, she called us, desperate to know if we're planning on going to the wedding, that she HAS to know (but not in the bridezilla way, I promise). Oh, I don't know, sure. I mean, maybe. As is our custom, we didn't go, not that we'd ever planned to, and imagine the pang of guilt I felt when I found a "thank you" postcard from her a few weeks later. Because we were on the RSVP list and that shit goes out to people who RSVP-ed and actually went to the wedding. Dickery level: 10 out of 10. Mostly because I now know that when you RSVP, that means they pay for you, and sometimes that's like $100 a head!

If there was a time for New Year's resolutions, this is as good a time as any.

Resolution #1: Learn to say "no." If you know you're not going to do something, don't pretend you're going to do it just to save face. The consequences (guilt, resentment) are worse than the truth.
Resolution #2: Accept more invitations. This could end up being a contradiction to Resolution #1, but I'm serious. We've developed quite the reputation for being homebodies over the years, and while that might make my partner happy, it does not make me happy all the time. I need to see my friends once in a while. And plus, it's not normal to be so anti-social! At least not for me.

I'm happy to have fulfilled my friendly duties last night. I don't know if it made my friend's birthday more special, but I'd like to think it did. And you know what? We actually had fun last night.

I'd regale you with stories from last night, but you just had to be there, I guess.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

My Year in Lists

Best trip: New York City, January
I was there a couple of days after Heath Ledger died, which didn't make the trip better or anything. It did, however, create a strange, atmosphere of dark lore. Or something like that. Anyway, it was my first time in NY and the reason I was there made it remarkable. Matt was singing with the Dallas Symphony Chorus at Carnegie Hall, so I was especially stoked. We were also there with good friends, two of whom came from San Antonio just to see him, which made my heart warm and fuzzy despite the 20-degree weather.

Second-best trip: Brownsville, Texas, July
I went on a fancy, fancy boat trip with nice people, made my guitar debut, and got an excellent tan.

Best decision: The decision to take guitar lessons, March.
These lessons have not only re-ignited my passion for guitar, but most importantly my passion for music. Since then, I have refined my musical tastes (thanks to Spin Magazine and Limewire) and decided what I would love to dedicate my life to, provided that money and full-time work were not an option: music.

Second-best decision: To take my job more seriously.
Thank you very much, unstable economy (and CNN and FoxNews!) for making me afraid to leave my job capriciously whenever I have a bad day. I have a five-year history of hating my job situation and I'm just done with that. You know how you're supposed to love the one you're with? Love the job you're in. Cause you're kind of lucky to have one. Fuck what the news tells us. All I have to do is look around me and see people I know who are jobless, been laid off, etc. This is not the time to be picky and I realize that. Plus, shit, I have a decent job. It doesn't pay much and my boss is a bitch sometimes, but it's fulfilling (when I'm not moving boxes) and I am ENCOURAGED to be creative and think for myself. Not everyone can say that.

Best $500 earned: Jewelry commercial, January
My agency handles a certain jewelry account, and for the Valentine's Day campaign, I received a staff e-mail for "cute couples" to audition and answer some personal questions candidly. Matt and I made it to the final cut and thus earned ourselves $500 and a cute ad that documents our relationship in its eighth year. I'm too shy to post it here, but if you'd like to see it, post a comment with your e-mail addie and I'll send it to you.

Best moment for the USA: When Obama won the presidential election, November
No matter who your candidate of choice was, I think that it was truly a beautiful moment when the American people elected a young(ish) energetic "mutt" to be our next president. I'm not concerned with the fact that he's our first black president (we're all part something if we dig deep enough), I'm talking about someone who is smart, and decidedly NOT George Bush. People seem to not like him. People like Obama. A happy country that believes in its leader might just be the remedy to our woeful collective morale.*

Worst month of 2008: November
Matt was in the hospital. That sucked. He's still sick. That still sucks. Between waiting to find out if surgery is necessary and the stress of work, life, money, etc., well, I'd say that the last month has sucked enough for the whole year. Here's hoping that January will bring less suck.

Best drink: Whiskey and Coke
My favorite drink of the year. It's no new thing: I'm not the first to discover this drink. But I'm just saying: it's my drink of choice these days.

That's it for the list. K bye.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Pens, pens, pens!

I searched my apartment and car for a pencil for 45 minutes and found 18 pens, three highlighters, one Sharpie, and (finally) two pencils. I am very pleased to find that one is fully sharpened and the other is self-advancing.