Day 108: Champagne Sabering: New Year Edition

It is said that during the Napoleonic wars, the men would come home to the townspeople offering copious amounts of champagne. Because they couldn't both ride the horse, unwrap the foil of the champagne bottle and open it, they would use their sabres to whack the corks right out of the bottles. This tradition was passed down to all of us, for far less celebratory reasons, such as simply making it through another year.

Today, in following a tradition started hundreds of years before I sabered champagne.

Champagne for my real friends, real pain for my sham friends. Happy New Years!





Day 107: Metal Yoga

I've been working on a little yoga-related project on the side and attempting some new yoga classes. I'll tell you more about that in a few months, but today, I went to Tough Love Yoga for something totally and completely out of my wheelhouse--Metal Yoga. It's just what you think it is; heavy metal music plays in the background while students bliss themselves away on the current of breath and internal meditation.

No one would question that that's a strange combination.

However, they didn't create this type of yoga with no one in mind.

Let me recount a story.

As I pulled up into the parking lot, I targeted the building in which I would be taking class (the Young Blood Gallery), and saw outside something I had never seen before--a girl smoking and carrying a yoga bag. Now, I'm sure that happens all the time in New York, but I didn't think that would happen so blatantly, outside a yoga studio. It's just a little odd. Why she didn't smoke outside her apartment before leaving, I'll never know, but it was a smidgen weird.

I got inside, and placed my mat down randomly in the middle of the floor. Not too long later, a dog comes up to me, lies down at my feet, and starts peeing. On the floor. Not even in a peeing position. Buh-zar.

The people who attend metal yoga are urban twenty-somethings. They girls have shorter hair than most, the guys have longer hair than most, they all have tattoos or piercings, and an edgy style, but they're nice, genuine people who don't feel the need to put up a front. I love that.

Class started, and as much as I want to comment on the "metal" part of the music, I really barely noticed it at all. There was a particularly screamo-y song that caught my attention, but everything else just faded into the background. Then I was thinking about my "normal" yoga classes. I don't even really notice the music there either. There is one teacher I go to frequently who has absurdly wonderful taste in music, which I notice, but otherwise, if I don't know the words to a song or immediately love it so much I can't take my ears off, I couldn't care less what's going on. That must be an indication that I'm good at letting go of my surroundings.

If playing metal helps you enjoy yoga, by all means, go for it. I can see how tonight's ladies related well to a teacher who shared the same lifestyle and music tastes they did. Who wouldn't?

So did metal yoga improve my practice? Not exactly. But I did learn some things about myself. I can zen-out in my yoga practice no matter what the environment. I can interact with yogis of all lifestyles. And I can get past anything, even a dog almost peeing on me, and enjoy the present.

Day 106: Nair Do Well

Today, I used Nair. And I pregamed it and chased it with wine, anticipating a burning-scarring-generally painful outcome as had been impressed on me in middle school when ladies first started using hair removal products.



Okay, so the whole burning-the-top-layer-of-your-skin-off was pretty scary, especially with instructions that said "rinse from hands immediately after application," but the results are pretty fantastic. Initially itchy, but overall pretty freaking good. Smooth, bumpless and generally appealing. With promised results lasting for two weeks, sign me up for more. And in fact, since I have a whole bottle left to me, I will use it again.

Ha. Early '90s depilatoires are back and better than ever :)

Day 105: New Thing Baking--Mark's Birthday Edition

After my ever-so-pathetic blog post on baking cookies for the holidays, it should come as no surprise that Mark and my family gave me bake ware...and lots of it :) Who needs to have a wedding to get great kitchen items? Just being young and complaining a little gets the job done.

Anyhoo, today presented an opportunity to use my new gifts. It was Mark's birthday and I decided that there was no better time to break in my mixer, measuring items and bake pans. His favorite cake is a carrot cake, so I used another gift--the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook to make him the "Best-Ever Carrot Cake." With a name like that, it's got to be good.

I say this shamefully, but I'm not sure that I've ever baked a cake before--and if I have, certainly not one from scratch. I'm a big cookie and brownie girl, but I can't remember a cake off the top of my head. I've made some with my parents and grandparents all along, but not just for the heck of it.

So yes, today I baked a cake, a birthday cake and a carrot cake--three New Things rolled into one, and a master use of Christmas presents.

Delicious!!

Day 104: Flakiness and What I Really Did

Hey friends. I come to you ever so slightly ashamed, but full of excuses that I hope you'll buy.

Okay, when I said that I would do anything that you asked me to, I didn't realize that "Eat Poop" would be a contender on the list (Kaylee Niemasik). My error for not thinking that people would play so ruthlessly with my health. I also didn't think about how much preparation these might include...such as break dancing in a public place, doing stand-up in a public place, and giving a hobo a makeover.

Now, that's a lot of great stuff right there, but I also have a day job (much to my chagrin) and couldn't achieve all of these things after my 9-5.

So, I'm going to do all of them (except eating poop), PROMISE, but I'm going to wait until I have a day off of work so that I can dedicate myself to learning a couple of breakdancing steps, YouTubing some jokes, and researching where the safe hobos live. I would LOVE accomplices for any and all of these. *hint, hint*

However, I think I have an even better New Thing than all of you could come up with...today, I scraped the ice off of my windshield by cracking the ice with kitchen knives and scraping it off with a stainless steel spatula.


Day 103: Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch

Long ago, when early humans would come across a beehive, it was as if they found a the last and sacred box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts in the world. The calories and sugar in honeycomb are astronomical, and were a once-in-a-decade treat that could enable people to store up fats and sugars rapidly.

Honeycomb was one of the earliest human treats, and just happened to be a component in one of my Christmas presents. It should come as no surprise, that the day following Christmas, I would dig in. And how.


Honeycomb is edible and especially delicious. With a name like "honeycomb" I expected it to be almost crunchy. Comb is a hard-sounding word, and I've found that anything that stays in a sugary substance crystallizes. Of course, honeycomb is made out of none other than beeswax, making it a soft, sweet, pleasantly chewy and decadent treat

And, fun fact, eating local honey, made from the bees and flowers that populate your region triggers an immunity of sorts to seasonal allergies.

It all triggers my early human instincts...and I recommend it for all.

Day 102: WHITE CHRISTMAS!!!

On this very, very monumental day, Atlanta and I experienced a White Christmas. Last recorded WC in Atlanta? 1882.

This may never happen again in my lifetime.

The snow was deliciously magical in that it lifted me out of a Grinchy why-on-earth-do-we-do-this-every-year kind of mood. It's often hard for me to see past some of the strange Christmas traditions: like placing babies on the laps of strange men at malls who wear red jumpsuits, and illuminating trees that we put into our houses and forcing ourselves to think of gifts for people for which we would otherwise never buy anything.

The snow reignited a tiny light in me--that something as simple as snow can create a sense of warmth inside a home and that nature can decorate our world in white purity when it is so inclined. This tiny light combined with a table full of people who care about each other and a few gifts that bring a genuine smile, I felt a bit of hope that we're not completely lost in a materialistic, complacent and otherwise derelict world.

On the contrary, I felt content.

Merry Christmas to all.

Day 101: Baking like it's the 1800's

When I started dating Mark, my list of people to buy presents more than doubled. See, I am the only child and only grandchild in my family, and when all of my immediate family, grandparents and all, is in one place, we total seven. Mark, on the other hand, is the youngest of three siblings, and the other two are married. Including his parents, that side totals eight.

Now, I am only 23 and make less than a manager at Wal-Mart despite my "professional" title, so this sudden rise in the number of gifts to give during the holiday season forces me to do the cop-out gift--cookies. I love baking cookies, and people generally like eating them, but I'm not unaware that they would rather have a cool new gadget or cute clothes or really, anything other than more food to put away.

This year, in thinking of making cookies, I realized that I didn't have a mixer and couldn't very well beat butter and sugar and eggs without it. I thought at first about going to my mother for making cookies, but after remembering that she established very clearly that she wouldn't allow me to get health insurance under her work policy ("You're a big girl now!") nor co-sign on my rent pending my potential entry to graduate school ("Time for baby bird to leave the nest!"), that I am totally on my own. Don't even think about asking to use a mixer there.

I was about ready to throw in the towel and buy the Break n' Bake cookies, until I saw the most recent episode of Top Chef: All Stars.

The chefs had to make a signature stuffing using zero kitchen equipment. There were images of the chefs mixing eggs together with their fingers, grating cheese on metal shelves and breaking down chickens with their bare hands.

If they can do that, I can make cookies with the stuff in my kitchen. So I bought the ingredients for Snickerdoodle cookies, a personal holiday favorite, and went to town.

Then I found myself, curled up in the fetal position on the couch with my arm in the cushion to stabilize the bowl, smashing and scraping and softening butter--thinking that my arm was about to fall off. Again, I almost threw in the towel, sure that if I did add all of the other ingredients that the cookies would turn out totally wrong. "Beat til light and fluffy?" Not possible. But I had already thrown all of my dry ingredients together and didn't think it prudent to throw out good ingredients and I had gone through all the trouble to turn the sticks of butter into mush, so I threw everything together anyway.


It was just like they did in the 1800's--putting love into the cookies with endless elbow grease.

So I cooked them, and although the cookies didn't turn out exactly how they have in the past, they're much higher, they turned out pretty good. Or at least Mark didn't die, so they're suitable.



Merry Christmas folks!

Day 100: Secrets, Secrets are Tons of Fun

Sooo...I can't tell you what I did on Day 100, but it was awesome. Sorry guys :)

To make up for this, on December 29, you can ask me to do anything barring giving you more money than I have, hurting anything, or an insurmountable task and I'll do it. I'll be your yes man. Now, let me know what to do!

Day 99: Getting Carded and Other Rites of Passage

Ha haa, I took the dates off of my posts so you don't see how late they are :) New Year's ressie? Get back in the habit of writing daily.

Okay, for Day 99, and this may be a cop-out, I received Christmas cards in the mail, addressed to me, from my married friends. I am now on Christmas card mailing lists, and it goes up there with the other holiday rites of passage that this blog tends to cover, like taking a dish to Thanksgiving, and getting my own Christmas tree, as well as splitting the holiday between two families.

The holidays bring out a certain distinction from childhood to adulthood, and I'm moving ever more rapidly into the adult category. I know this is all okay and good, but I'd like this to slow down a little. Most days I still feel 18, and like I'm playing grown up. I still think, "YEAH, I bought my OWN Christmas presents this year...BOOYAH family--I didn't have to use your money."

One day, I'll grow up in my brain to my age now.

Day 98: Maybe I'm not so fit after all

On day 98, I was invited to attend a Tweet and Tone event at Exhale MindBody Spa, which by the way, is unbelievable. It is the definition of an "urban oasis," where it's located in a high rise, but when you walk in, it feels like you could be anywhere. It is the most serene and upscale gym/spa/healing center I've ever seen and I loved it.

The Tweet and Tone event was set up to show bloggers and journalists the amenities, where they could take pictures and Tweet their way through the area, and at the end, we would be treated (slash cruelly subjected) to one of their signature Core Fusion classes. I don't have a smart phone, so their effort was largely lost on my presence, but I made my mark and did some awesome networking so it was a personal success.

Now, the amenities are TO DIE FOR. I could legitimately live in the bathroom. It was all marble-y and modern and smelled amazing and had gorgeous wooden lockers, etc. I thought it would be inappropriate to take a picture of the bathroom while there were people changing in it, so there's nothing to show, but honestly, TO DIE FOR.

The gym area was clean, non-smelly, and decked out with the newest and best equipment, the nail salon was all wooden and felt like a modern Buddhist sanctuary, and there wasn't a sight of those spine-breaking vibrating chairs anywhere. They showed us the hand salts, cooling fragrances that at were a far cry from asphyxiating nail polish smell. With Butter London nail polish, what's not to love?

After being taken away by the serenity and beauty of this place, I was then asked to join the other attendees in the Core Fusion class. Core Fusion is an Exhale signature, that combines yoga, Pilates, ballet, weight training, and bits of the Lott Berk method. It focuses on small movements with typically unused muscles so that in an hour, my legs shaking more than I had ever shook in my life. Watch this video to get a picture of the style. It's hard to describe here.


The beginning of the class was hard, with some intense non-stop arm weights, and core exercises, and while it was definitely a challenge, I have been doing yoga pretty consistently and I wasn't dying. We went to the ballet bar to do some legs and butt stuff, and I was crapping out faster than a slug when you put salt on him. Ho-Lee-Mo-Lee. I don't know if I've ever really, truly, felt a burn  in a muscle group before. Not that I haven't been very sore and been very physically challenged before, but pulsing my leg for to a 45 degree angle behind my butt while tilting my torso in that direction made me think that my ass, in fact, was on fire. Add to that that this exercise was followed up by fast-pumping grand plies and enough calf work to make a ballet dancer cringe. But that, of course is not where our story ends.

From there, we got on the floor and the teacher asked us to sit on our butts with our legs upwards at a 45 degree angle, and our hands holding on to the ballet barre to create a V. I have NEVER had a problem doing this, but after all of this work, my legs were shaking so bad that I couldn't straighten them. Shaking...soo....bad. Upon finishing these brutal exercises, I couldn't walk back to my Core mat without my knees giving out twice in ten steps.

After class, I told the teacher that I think she hates people.

She laughed.

For the past two days, I haven't been able to feel my thighs, although the rest of me is pretty okay.

I didn't think that I had it in me to feel this sore in my legs after dancing for 18 years and actively doing yoga for two. Maybe I'm not so fit after all.

Okay, truth: it was probably good I didn't have a smart phone because I might have been saying very mean things at the time. But I'd definitely go back.

Days 93-97: Vacationing in Murphy, NC, where Eric Robert Rudolph was Found

The reason for my blogging hiatus?? I’ve been on vacation completely off-the-grid. My current work studio is a cabin in Murphy, North Carolina, completely secluded from civilization, a babbling brook running beside us, a TV from the ‘80s and no internet.

In some ways this makes me extremely excited, and in others it makes me antsy. For one, I love being off the grid because it helps me think for myself. I often get caught up in the minutiae, attending to other people’s problems, work, etc. and being away makes me realize what I find important and what really needs to be tended to, which mostly boils down to eating. At the same time, being off the grid also means that my cell phone hasn’t gotten reception in days, there is no one I know in a 100-mile radius and Eric Rudolph, the Olympic park bomber, was captured in these woods. It’s enough to put a city slicker on high alert.

Mark and I were joined by our friends Tasha and Brian on Day 94. Brian was a Marine, so his presence answered the question, “what happens if some crazy person or bear tries to enter our apartment at night?”

And, for the record, all of these people can vouch for the fact that I was continually doing New Things, because while I may take a break from blogging and work, I can’t take a break from my resolution.

So on day 93, I made fire. Well, I should say that Mark and I started a fire without a starter log, matches, lighter fluid, lighters, etc….and we did, in fact, do this on purpose. I had picked up a magnesium fire-starting tool at REI before we left Atlanta. To start a blaze, you shave bits of magnesium from one side and set a spark to it with the other side of the tool. From there, hopefully, you can set some kindling on fire and encourage your dried logs to burn.


It sounds simple enough, but after thirty minutes of shaving and sparking, we finally got a flame big enough to catch kindling. After another thirty minutes of trying to keep our miniscule flame going by ripping out an entire notepad’s worth of paper piece by piece, we were finally charring bits of wood to the point where they were burning just a little. After two hours of blowing, fanning, feeding, adjusting and inhaling smoke, we had a cozy little fire with which to roast a couple marshmallows.

So, I can say that Mark successfully lit that particular flame, but the collective effort of multiple hours of coercing our baby bonfire dictates that we have to share this New Thing.

On Day 94, I carved our initials into a tree. Is it a little corny? Yes, but Mark is the first man I’ve ever loved, and thought it would be sweet to carve it in something that will likely be around longer than the two of us.
I don’t feel like justifying it, and I know I’ll get a lot of rolled eyes for this New Thing, but I’m glad to have done it. They tell you to leave your mark on the world, so there it is, as literal as can be.


On Day 95, the four of us ventured out into the woods, where I used a hatchet. I didn’t know anything about hatchets until this weekend, except that you should bury them. They’re actually just small axes and serve all the same purpose as their larger cousin. I said I wanted to hatchet down a small tree, but realized I was joking when I took the first whack at it (those trees are just as alive as me or you!(God I'm such a hippie))…so I stuck to dead branches. They’re easier to whack anyway. It was fun, and I had surprisingly good aim considering my history of lacking any semblance of hand-eye coordination. I didn’t chop all the way through it, because I tuckered out and was feeling lazy, but it was still fun.


On Day 96, Tasha and Brian left, and Mark and I needed company, so I carved a banana friend. I then turned him into parts for microwave banana smores…which were undeniably delicious.



On Day 97, we had to leave the cabin by noon, and, not wanting to go home yet, we took the opportunity to wander around downtown Murphy, which is apparently known for antiques. So, I went antiquing in Murphy as my new thing, but I have to admit that the “antiques” were really just “cool-looking, semi-ornate tchochkies that your grandmother would think are pretty okay.” I didn't take a picture of the things I bought because they will end up as Christmas gifts for people who read this blog, but I did find this amazing hat in one of the Murphy stores.

Says, "We the people; The right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed"
AND, while running around Murphy, I ran into a woman whose maiden name was Fulford and whose family comes from Geneva, Alabama, which could be dangerously close to family. Small world.

Overall, it was a relaxing and recharging kind of weekend, and I’m all pumped for Christmas and other vacations to come :)

Day 92: I is smart

FAMILY! Stop reading now. I'm serious.

LOOK! Here's something wholesome about how I love Christmas trees! And this is something really sweet about me helping the troops! And me writing poetry!

Now that they important people who care about my brain cells gone, I am doing a little more BUI, because I am on vacation! And because my readership is down and you guys like when I BUI. And I do too, YAY tequila.

For today, I'm taking a mensa test under the influence. I was going to take the mensa test, the test to determine whether you are in the top 1% of intelligence in the world, when I was sober, but I'm scared that I'm not going to score very well, so I can justify everything based on the fact that I'm drinking. And it's just funny, I think. Oh god, I hope you think it's funny too.

Well...here's how it went:

Seriously? I'm pretty sure I'm as illogical as they come
SERIOUSLY??? I got this question wrong, I'm sure I'll never know why. But I still want to jump off a cliff for being defeated by this monstrosity of a put-down to my brainpower
THIS IS AN SAT QUESTION! I have answered things like this before...now is when I wish I hadn't had tequila. I could totally answer this in real life.

Okay, ultimate insult. I know this sequence. This is the demotion to the worst possible scenario of intelligence.

Thats right, I said "Uno." Suck on that Mensa.

*while making sign language motions* CAN...YOU...SAY...YOUR...ALPHABET?????
There's no final scorecard, but there was a review of questions. Ultimately. I fail. I am not a genius. I'm at just over 50%.

Whatever. It's the tequila.

Day 91: Buddha's Hand

A couple of days ago, I was strolling through Fresh Market when I found THIS:

"WTF?" You're asking yourself.


I know, me too.

I didn't buy the thing because it was $5.99, and I was kind of scared of it crawling up on me in the middle of the night and stealing my soul or something. It looks like a fruit Medusa, or like a tentacled sea creature that wanted to learn how to survive on land. It had the rind and color of a lemon, but the shape of a lemon that had endured the Three Mile Island incident.

It's called Buddha's Hand. Call me crazy, but none of the pictures I've ever seen of Buddha show his hand looking like THAT. Nor would I think that Buddha would take anything that emerged from a hand with that kind of mangled expression.


Whatever it looked like, I needed to know what it was used for, even if I could never eat it, so today I researched the Buddha's Hand fruit.

Apparently we Westerners only use it for its zest because it's less bitter than lemon zest. Eastern peoples use it to make a candy called succade. The way the Buddha connection got there was that, according to Wikipedia, "The fruit may be given as a religious offering in Buddhist temples. According to tradition, Buddha prefers the "fingers" of the fruit to be in a position where they resemble a closed rather than open hand, as closed hands symbolize to Buddha the act of prayer."

Right. I still think Buddha himself would cringe.

...and now you know!

Day 90: I'm Not Clever with Titles, So I'm Going to Call this "Wordpress"

The instruction guide was like, "You click once, and we read your mind and create the best, balling-est website you've ever seen!" I was sucked in pretty instantly, believing that it really would be one click and I'd have an amazing website on which to start my entrepreneurial adventure.

However, hundreds of thousands of clicks later between a website host that promised no support and a non-working Wordpress document, I was crying and pretty close to dropping my computer over my balcony. Seriously.

One click, my ass.

After realizing that I had irrevocably destroyed everything I sought to create, I scrapped it all, ate more of the cost of the host than I should have considering it said "Free two week trial!" and started all over on a different website. On Day 90, and only a couple clicks later, I figured our how to host and use Wordpress all by myself! I haven't started adding content yet, but I'm really, really super stoked about winning the war.

Day 89: Blaisin'

For a variety of reasons, that aren't really reasons at all, I was depressed on Day 89. My tried-and-true solution to these depressed moments is chocolate. In any form.

Mark, in his infinite wisdom, said that we should go to Flip Burger Boutique and get one of their awesome Nutella and burnt marshmallow milkshakes. We had been there before on Day 11, when I first sampled one of their nitrogen-blasted ice creamy concoctions.

We went in and right after we ordered, who walked in the door but the restaurant owner, Top Chef contestant, current stand out in Top Chef All-Stars, and generally amazing culinary artist--Mr. Richard Blais himself!


I summoned him over and asked to shake his hand. I told him we were fans of the show and repeat patrons to his molecular gastronomical burger bar. He was, despite looking busy, very willing to chat.

This represents the second Top Chef contestant I've met, the other being Kevin Gillespie; and second Bravo star I've met this week, the other being Korto Momulo from Project Runway. I must be a reality TV star magnet. A very small claim to fame, but I'm still excited by it.

Fortunately, I didn't have any time to prepare for our meeting, like I did when meeting Korto. Thus, I didn't have time to psych myself up with things I should and shouldn't say. This made my conversation with Blais extremely easy, but it also made me really scared to ask for a picture. He passed by me a couple of times, but I didn't pull the trigger. Major regret now. There's no use in being 'too cool' for a picture with a minor celebrity.

Believe it though. I met him, and he was awsome, but my Nutella milkshake was better. :)

Day 88: Oh, Christmas Tree!

My mother is the poster child of practical. From her choice of car (the fuel-efficient Toyota Camry) to her career selection (Medical Technology, a well-paying, intellectually stimulating job available in most every town in America), to her logical and objective outlook on life, she practices practical. And thank goodness for people like her! Being the dreamiest of the dreamers, I appreciate her grounded approach.

One of the things that she is particularly practical about is a fake Christmas tree. It is a one-time investment that keeps it's form through the years, you don't have to clean up pine needles from it, and you don't have to worry about what to do with it after the holiday season. In all actuality, it's the best option if you're thinking logically about your Christmas festivities. Only the most practical for my mother.

I can't blame her for the way she thinks about life, but as I said, I'm the dreamiest of dreamers--and completely impractical.

So, in starting to decorate my apartment for the holidays, I had to shun my mother's voice from my head, when Mark and I selected a REAL CHRISTMAS TREE!!!!

It's a truly wonderful treat for me to have my first real Christmas tree. The apartment smells like piney goodness and is totally and completely festive. The branches are full and there is depth inside and out for hiding ornaments and goodies. And something about it feels genuine and grown-up in a way I can't describe.  I liked it so much I gave it a hug:

Now it makes me wonder, why on earth is Christmas symbolized by cutting down these poor trees and planting them in our living rooms for a month?
 Is that the voice of my mother?

Day 87: Hard Rock Holidays/Finding my Religion

Hey readers! Question: Have I really done this for 87 days now? Dang. And you people keep reading? I'm a lucky duck :)

Anyhoo...

On Day 87, I had the pleasure of attending a Trans Siberian Orchestra concert. This heavy metal group specializes in power chord Christmas music and rock operas, and has been touring for almost two decades now. They're most famous for their rock version of Carol of the Bells.

This video will give you an idea of the concert and probably the most amped-up Christmas song ever.



These titans of Christmas belt out classic and original jams, swinging their long hair, inserting 80's metal power chords at every possible turn, backed up by scantily-clad singing ladies. It's truly something to behold. You can't appreciate Christmas music until you hear the words "baby Jesus" sung throughout a drum solo with the passion of Bon Jovi in "Wanted, Dead or Alive." Believe it.

It's delightfully, blissfully cheesy, and I can't get enough. Honestly. A tip of the hat and a standing ovation to the men and women who incorporate a legitimate orchestra with a V-shaped guitar, the guys who can still get away with shaking long hair to a non-traditional Christmas narrative, and the only people I ever want to see say "Merry, Merry Christmas" complete with pyrotechnics and lasers.

While venturing through this production, I found myself thinking increasingly of the Christmas story and all, thinking that maybe, in this arena, I found my Christians. The kind of people who enjoy the slight buzz of a Yuengling with their Christams jams. Those unafraid to bring their kids to this "family friendly" but indubitably entertaining show. Those who enjoy an, um, artistic interpretation of the holidays.

I'll keep thinking on that. But as for TSO, rock on my friends, rock on.

Day 86: Free Mail ***UPDATE***

At the wonderful suggestion of my girlfriend Laura in response to my how to remove a postage stamp post, today I tried to send free mail by putting the address I want to send things to to in the return address location and putting my address in the send-to location--and not putting a stamp on it.

Geez, two times trying to "cheat" the postal service. It's cheap fun, please don't hate me!

I sent the mail to a couple strategic people...let me know if you get this letter :)
Sorry if it's hard to read. It says "Once you receive this note, you must comment on my blog ASAP" Because...
I LOVE COMMENTS!
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
On Day 90, I received a mail from Laura Morena to me. It was the little note above. If it weren't for the fact that the envelope has particularly private information on it, I would have put a picture up for you to see that it was, in fact, mailed for free...only not to the person I wanted it to be mailed to!

I put this particular letter in the mailbox outside of my Roswell office, so there's no way that the mailman just picked the mail out of my apartment complex's mailbox and returned it to me. That and it had a barcode on the bottom.

Now to see if I can send Laura mail without putting a stamp on it, and putting the correct To's and From's!

Day 85: A Project Runway Meet-Up

While scrolling through my Twitter timeline this morning, I saw that Korto Momulo was going to be at a gift store presenting a stationery collection a couple miles from my apartment. Yes, Korto Momulo, Project Runway Season 5 runner-up (and in my humble opinion, should-have-been winner). And, by the way, I've seen every episode of Project Runway from season one, and despite how I dress, I am obsessed.

After an extremely busy day, I stopped by the store on the way home to say hello and meet the lady herself. I hadn't had time to prepare something to say, but I did come up with everything I shouldn't say:

Don't mention any competitors from her season. Make this about meeting her. 

Don't ask too much about the show, it was a long time ago and doesn't define her now.

Tell her how you watched every episode and wish she had won? No, that reminds her that she didn't win. 

Tell her that she was your favorite contestant ever. Even if that is true, it sounds fake. Don't be fake.

Say she's fabulous. No, you'll look like a creeper and you're not cool enough to say "fabulous" to a famous, inspirational, and, well, fabulous black woman.

I talked myself out of every single conversation I could start with. Not only that, I was seeing a fashion designer clothed in my Kohl's argyle sweater, pink glassees, and Kate Spade satchel. I am such a suburbanite, and I hate it. I am the opposite of fabulous. I reminded myself of that scene in The Devil Wears Prada, where Miranda Pristely lectures Andy about how she doesn't appreciate fine clothing represented in Runway (the magazine). Miranda says,


...And then cerulean quickly showed up in the collections of eight different designers. And then it, uh, filtered down through the department stores and then trickled on down into some tragic Casual Corner where you, no doubt, fished it out of some clearance bin. However, that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs and it's sort of comical how you think that you've made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact, you're wearing the sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room from a pile of stuff.


I was going to walk in front of a burgeoning fashion designer in my trickled-down, once-was-fabulous,-now-is-a-shameful-version-of-it's-former-self outfit. 
 
Insecurities and all,  I walked into the gift store, tickled pink by the whole affair--meeting someone whose talent I admire is something I was looking forward to, despite myself. I saw Korto in the middle of the store signing stationery and being just as lovely as could be. I walked up to her and said, "I know I'm looking all working girl here..." to which she replied, "Everyone acts like they need to dress well when they see me, but they haven't seen me headed out to Wal-Mart."

So sweet, so genuine, so disarming.

She got up from the table and hugged me, and the rest of the conversation (which didn't include any of the things I prohibited myself against) happened just the same, where she was nothing but laid-back and inviting--even when I was fumbling for conversation starters and words.

I got a picture with her and learned that she keeps up with lots of people from the show and that they are actually friends afterward. She has a friend in other Project Runway favorites like Anthony and Jerrell and is planning to get her line into retail stores in the upcoming year.

I may not be able to find an occasion for her decadent dresses, but I would definitely try some on in the dressing room to pretend, for a minute, that I am fabulous after all.

Day 84: Free Rice

If I haven't made this perfectly clear before, I'll do so now. I LOVE WORD GAMES. I love them so much so, that I almost enjoyed studying for the SAT and GRE and learning new words. Seriously. I'm a freak.

So when I learned that there is a word game on line that is a word game to fight hunger, it was as if the heavens opened up and told me that I have a purpose in life...to play word games and give Free Rice to the World Food Programme.

And, truthfully, this is something I had on my "list of things to do" this year, saving up for a day in which I otherwise may not have a New Thing. I've been pretty bogged down recently, so today, I burned this freebie.

The game goes like this--for every word to which I correctly guess the definition, Free Rice give 10 grains of rice to the WFP. The words get progressively harder so that you don't totally steal a whole bag of rice from them without paying your dues. I donated 830 grains of rice before I got to a question I didn't know the answer to:


Bummer.

At the end of my word game stint, I topped out at level 42, having donated 1430 grains of rice. That should be a good meal for someone in need.

But seriously, I'm going for 1000 grains of rice every time I play, and I'm creating a username so that I can log into this thing and fight hunger, one word at a time.

Day 83: Creed in Concert

Remember that band Creed? That guy that sounded just like Eddie Vedder, sang that song, "Cehn yerw tauke me-uh Hai-yur?" "Wiuth aurms why-d orpen" "Muh Shacrifice..."

Yeah, those guys.

And please, I BEG YOU, go to their website and leave me feedback. Not kidding. Do it now. You must go through the keyhole before I can allow you to continue reading. 

Well, they were on Palladia this evening, performing a concert.

Now, I don't hate against singers who get a little sweaty on stage, but it was as if Scott Stapp just got out of a vat of canola oil. I'm pretty sure that kind of sweat only happens to people who are in saunas for ungodly amounts of time and/or people who use illegal substances.

Schweaty Stapp
Oh, and the best part of the whole concert was "Arms Wide Orpen," where Schweaty Stapp invited the crowd to sing the refrain, and this is how it went:

"Wiuth aurms why-d orpen" *Signal Crowd*

(Silence)

"Wiuth aurms why-d orpen" *Motion mic towards the crowd*

(Silence)

"Wiuth aurms why-d orpen, Come on sing it!" *Motion secretly says, SING IT ASSHOLES*

(Silence)

"Wiuth aurms why-d orpen, Let me hear you!"
"Wiuth aurms why-d orpen"
"Wiuth aurms why-d orpen"
"Wiuth aurms why-d orpen"

Crowd: With arms wide open...

Well that's what you get for being the band Creed. Loved making fun of your concert!!

Day 82: John Lennon was THAT Kind of Artist?

On Day 82, I was preparing myself for a meeting with someone interested in my entrepreneurial journey, aka, he wanted to jump on my awesome, awesome idea and potentially rob it from my by "working together." Okay, a little overdramatized, he really just wanted to talk about some ideas I had thrown out into the ether for judging.

He was helping to host the "So This is Christmas" John Lennon art exhibit at the Westin to benefit the Atlanta Children's Shelter, to which I gladly agreed to attend. Plus he said he'd comp me in, which, for all of these expensive new things like flying helicopters and betting my money on a failing penny stock, was a sweet offer.

I showed up to the exhibit on time, but my future working partner wasn't there. The guy at the door let me into the exhibit anyway to walk around and wait for the guy I was waiting for.

Okay, now, don't kill me or say nasty things about me behind my back for not knowing this, but John Lennon was an artist artist? Like a painter/drawer/sketcher kind of artist. Please tell me I'm not the only one who didn't know that his money-making talents weren't limited to singing for the Beatles and solo. Make me feel better, please?

I knew these kinds of pictures were signatures, but not that they were done by Lennon himself!

The exhibit was a wonderful little one-room gallery of whimsical, inspired pieces and came from a totally unique place in time and spirit. It was very much a peace-love-and-happiness atmosphere, complete with John Lennon-sung Christmas ditties, showing off artistic (read: nude) portraits of Yoko Ono, as well as two-word illustrated stories about living in the moment, recognizing the beauty of life and love and following the things that make you genuinely happy (NOT money, fame and material goods, that is).

There were also lyrics of his music, hand-written and signed by John Lennon himself. Okay, that's pretty cool.


I got halfway through the exhibit before realizing that my compadre was not going to show up after all. I checked my phone, for the first time in days, and saw that he had left me a voicemail about not being able to attend.

Le sigh.

Stood up.

I looked around the rest of the exhibit, truly enjoying a little art in my life, and walked out feeling significantly more peaceful, despite my failed date. I felt bad for being comped in, but I didn't have any money. So I left two Thomas Jefferson "gold" dollars (gold plated) that I had won from a VW dealership months prior. Leaving them in the donation bin, I hoped that people would automatically assume they were Sacajawea dollars, and turn them into real money.

A sort of failure for the day, except for the fact that I learned John Lennon was an artist artist. Welcome to 60's pop culture...welcome.

Day 81: Failures at Comic Con

Sometime earlier this week, Mark sent me a text message that read: "Saturday, Comic Con 2010?" Upon further investigation, tickets were only $5 on the website and I was rip-roaring and ready to go try this New Thing.

I hate to say that I only wanted to go to see how adults dress up and act, but it's kinda true. Please remember from previous entries that I oftentimes learn something, even just a little something, when I try New Things. So, while I wanted to go to this event, possibly, just to have really great pictures of people willing to show up wearing (to me) goofy attire and relishing in an adult forum for escapism, I was also genuinely looking for astute observations to convey to you readers about the human condition, life and art, etc.

Mark and I arrived at Comic Con, fully prepared to buy our tickets, when we were told in the most hopes-dashing kind of way that the computers weren't accepting credit cards and the tickets were a rousing $30 for a one-day pass. Bummer. Should have bought online--except for the $30 part.

Now, if your website is going to lie to me, please oh please, don't make it an 83% mark-up. It makes me angry and puts me in a bad mood for the rest of the day. Yes, it has that impact on me.

It ended up that we weren't willing to shell over the money to make this New Thing happen completely, when all we really wanted to do is some good old fashioned people-watching, so we hung out a few more minutes, saw some costumes of characters I couldn't identify, decided that I was too afraid to ask people to take pictures with me (the layperson in jeans, a long-sleeve tee and bright pink glasses), and walked our way out of Comic Con.

You can't win 'em all.


But I did catch a blurry picture of this ghostbuster in the hallway:

Day 80: Boxing with Champions

So do you remember how I went boxing at Mark's boxing studio and got my butt kicked by Paul Delgado? Well, I feel pretty good about it now, because on Day 80, I watched Paul Delgado win the Southeast Regional Welterweight professional boxing championship. This was the first professional boxing match I've gone to, and it was quite a learning experience.

At first glance, from the eyes of a 23-year-old woman unacquainted with the sport, it looks like this:
Two men who don't know each other are introduced to beat each other up, with hopes of winning a very large belt with a very shiny belt buckle
They look at each other with menacing glares and move around each other in a circle
They try to hit each other in the head really hard to knock them out
When the fight gets tough, they hug it out
At the end of multiple rounds of not being knocked out, someone wins, determined by the judge.

To the untrained eye, this is a strange ritual. But what I learned through watching this and the previous matches was that all of the appearances are wrong--the sport is actually extremely disciplined and almost, dare I say, constructive.

The fact that these men don't know each other very well when they get into the ring is a good thing. For one, most boxers that I saw after their fights are extremely personable, genuinely gentle people. They see this as a sport to be won with defensive moves and strategically placed punches, and not as a means to kicking the crap out of each other. When they get into the ring to fight an opponent, these guys don't have any problems with each other. They may have fought each other before, but it's no reason to hate them and knock their brains out, and simultaneously no reason to go easy on each other either. It's balanced emotion, leading to a fight of the quickest, best-placed punches, the ability to exhaust the opponent, and defend yourself against incoming jabs.

I was, admittedly, bored a little in the beginning, wondering why they didn't just start hitting each other in the way that children wail on each other playing Rock 'em Sock 'em robots. In a far more strategic method, the men wait for the opponents arms to move away from the face, they keep setting their bodies at new angles that make their jabs more powerful, they fake their opponents out--it's highly technical. Like I said when I went to the boxing class, it's like dance. On an elevated, well-lit stage even!

The opponents, while they would like to knock each other out a little bit, it's not their main goal. To prove your success in each round, you just have to maintain focus, strike when the opportunity presents itself, and get out of the way of the punches headed your way, and keep it classy. Knocking each other out is a bonus of a well-timed, well-executed punch. It may not be the best use of your head in any given day, but it is the result of a highly trained individual executing his craft to perfection.

While watching this event, I could feel the energy of the crowd in full support of Paul and it was electrifying. Paul held his own and truly demonstrated great form and passion against an equal opponent.

And, to the largely Paul-supporting crowd, it was a universal victory when the judges declared him the winner of the match, rendering him one of the top 20 boxers in the world.


Congrats Paul, and thanks so much for showing me what boxing really is!

Day 79: Social Media Pro

On Day 79 I went to a PRSA Meeting on social media, in place of one of my colleagues, which was totally cool because I got Maggiano's food and lots of ideas. To those uninitiated, PRSA is the Public Relations Society of America and they're the professional organization for some of the work I do at my current job. You're bored already, I'll keep it short.

I swore that I wouldn't write too much, or really anything, about work stuff, but alas, it was a busy day where I couldn't find time for another New Thing, and dammit, I am actually really excited about this. I'm going to be using social media in all the right ways now to dominate the world with my new entrepreneurial venture (once it's fully formed and all). This meeting gave me the tools and the ideas and the strategy to engage people and have them fall in love with my business.

Oh, and I met a whole bunch of cool people and networked and yadda yadda, but really, I was excited about learning some new tips and tricks on social media.  

But seriously, watch out Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and others. I'm coming for you--with a vengance.

Day 78: Buy Low, Sell...Low?

Mark subscribes to an email newsletter called "Awesome Penny Stocks," and I thought that, for the blog, I should roll the dice on making a fortune. According to the newsletter, their last stock pick went up 3000%, and this current pick, Gryphon Resources, a lithium mining company, was set to mimic the trend. I was content putting in $100 with hopes that it would rocket up to $3000+.

Now, Mark has never actually put money in one of these "investments," but has observed a pretty clear trend--that the stock price goes up exponentially the morning after they select it and then dives to despairingly low levels by market closing and for the rest of it's little penny stock existence. Basically, get in and reap the immediate benefits and get out ASAP. Yes, it is a little like gambling, but it was for the blog! (I'm starting to rely on this excuse a little too much.)



I bought $100 worth of GRYO a couple of days back when they first mentioned the pick, but my order couldn't clear until Day 78.

With two huge market rallies in the last couple of days and consistent reminders from the email newsletter that it is still a brilliant pick, as of yesterday, my stock was...down...25%...*tear*

I was pretty sure I could make at least a couple of dollars to cover my buying and selling commission (about $20), and call it "a job well done, but not worth the time and effort." However, now I'm kind of thinking this was a bad New Thing idea. I knew it was risky, probably the riskiest New Thing I've done, but it firmly puts me int the I'm-never-again-allowed-to-complain-about-money-for-the-not-too-distant-future category.

I'm not to be deterred though, I still believe that my little penny stock will make it big someday, and by God I'm keeping my $100 in there until I recoup my losses and cover my commission. It might just take a little longer than my quick-money approach, but it will be worth it.

Day 77: Entrepreneurial Excitement

(I feel pretty vulnerable writing this, so please be nice with your comments.)

I'm not as thrilled about life as I used to be. I've discovered that this whole American way of living isn't going to bring me the kind of enjoyment that I want out of life--especially now, while I'm young.

A story:
One of my co-workers recently came into work with this idea that she would stand up every hour and do something. When I asked her why she was doing this, she said it was because people who have desk jobs (like myself) have an 80% higher chance of diabetes and other life-threatening illnesses, even if they work out for an hour a day afterwards. Her approach was to stand up once an hour to combat this. My natural reaction was to think of any non-sedentary job in that I could do to get out from behind a desk.

It also made me think of all the other things I could do if I wasn't working at a desk. Some days, I come into work and my only task is to check my e-mail. After that, I have to stay at work for 8 hours and I just waste the day on the internet. I have literally wasted weeks of my life behind a desk.

What also frustrates me is that according to everything I've been taught about life and money, I need to save every stinking penny that I can so that when I'm 75, I can finally retire (or older, depending on how our economy pans out). Then, and only then, am I allowed to fully explore my passions, launch myself into my favorite hobby, travel how I want to, etc.

And until then, I work. I'll get two weeks a year of vacation, not nearly enough to travel in a way that makes my heart sing. I'll work hard for someone else's bottom-line profit in order to get more money in an attempt to whittle away years from that retirement date. I'll sit behind a desk, fully aware that it's detrimental to my health.

Maybe this is part of my quarter-life crisis and I'm just a rebellious youth looking for an alternative, that soon I'll accept this as just how life is, but right now this picture seams so bleak to me. This is not the way I want to live if I can help it.

To inspire me to break out of this, I've recently been reading blogs about lifestyle design and entrepreneurship. There are people who travel the world and make money off of website advertising, people who work at night when they are most productive and read their favorite books during the day, business consultants who work over Skype, and more. These blogs have allowed me to dream about things I could do to allow me to live a life I find meaningful.

On Day 77, I finally took action towards this goal and bought a whole slew of e-books about how to make money from entrepreneurial, freelance and online ventures. You can check it out here if you're interested.

Now, I'm not quitting my job just yet, nor am I throwing caution to the wind and investing thousands of dollars into products to sell or a website to maintain. I'm simply taking the first step on a path I find more attractive than the one I'm on. I may fail, in fact, I'll likely fail a couple of times before I get it right. But, at the end of the day, I'd rather fail a couple of times at something that will give me the opportunity to live the life I want, than be successful at keeping a job that enslaves me to a path that I don't want to be on.

Day 76: I'm All Shook Up

After picking my dad up from getting his car tuned up, I ended up at my parents house for the first time in months. For today's New Thing, I had intended to go riding on my dad's motorcycle, but it was dark, rainy and cold--not the best conditions for motorcycling. However, to my delight, upon entering the living room, I found a Shake Weight.

Bingo!

My mom said that the equipment came with an instructional video, to which I had to oblige, making Day 76's New Thing that I worked out with the Shake Weight instructional video.



I was making fun of this pretty bad when mom showed me how to use it for real. She had to use a similar product in physical therapy for a shoulder injury, so she knew how each exercise was supposed to be performed. In reality, if you really put your mind to the proper form, it can be a pretty solid workout to shake that thing for the whole six minutes of the instructional video.

But I still can't help laughing...

Day 75: The Goriest Amputation Scene in Film History

According to reports from the Toronto film festival, when viewers watched the movie 127 Hours, there were three people who fainted and one who had a seizure. Why such a strong reaction? Well, the main character, Aron, is a mountain climber who gets stuck in a canyon when a boulder crushes his arm. He is unable to free himself or receive help for five days, and in a last-ditch effort to save his life, HE AMPUTATES HIS OWN ARM.

As The Guardian said, "the scenes of mountain climber Ralston taking off his own arm to free himself after a fall are among the most realistic of graphic gore ever put on film"

I was half hoping that I too would faint or vomit or something so that I could add that to my list of New Things, but for Day 75, I can say that I saw the movie 127 Hours and it was amazing.

It showed me that I never, ever want to go to the Utah desert, that I'm not cut out for climbing into canyons and that I L-O-V-E my arm. It also showed me that Aron Ralston is a total badass for being able to do all of these things that I couldn't. He survived the worst of the worst. He is a testament to how much humans will sacrifice to stay alive and the power of the mind to overcome horrendous obstacles. Even after five days of not eating and having minimal water, he had the energy and resolve to amputate his own arm with a 2-inch pocketknife in order not to die in that cave.

I don't think I could have been so bold. I would've been way too skittish to even cut through the top layer of skin. I don't know how many times I would vomit or pass out from the mere sight of my own arm performing such a gory feat on the other. Although, perhaps, after 5 days of no food and the delusions and insanity that overcome a person in this situation, maybe I could have.

Let's all hope that none of us ever has to find out.

You have to see this movie. It is hugely entertaining and really makes a person think about the lengths you would go to save your own life and the power we have to get ourselves out of horrendous situations.

Day 74: How Lululemon Pants Changed My Whole Outlook on Life

Today, my girlfriend Kaylee asked me to demonstrate yoga at the retail clothing store she works at, Lululemon. There were a variety of yoga demos throughout the day that were part of a new store opening as well as a treat for the Black Friday rush. I agreed to be a part of it because I'd likely be doing yoga anyway, so why not demo it at a store? I could get discovered, after all.

One of the stipulations, naturally, was that I needed to wear some of the store's gear. While their stuff is some of the cutest I've seen, it's also the priciest, making cheap ol' me nervous. I've never even tried on a single piece of their clothing, despite the fact that I know it has the best reputation, because I didn't want to get hooked. Further, I've talked about lulu's clothes in this blog before, saying something to the effect of "It won't help me get into a handstand any more gracefully than my Target clothes."

Today was the day of reckoning--to see if these clothes, as cute as they are, would really affect my practice.

I came in at the appropriate time and was sent to the pants section with one of the sales associates, who helped me select a pair of athletic leggings. I went to the dressing room to put them on, and I can say without a doubt,

They.

Changed.

My.

Life.

The pants were fitted to perfection, every inch from my hips down to my ankles, but were so soft that they didn't feel like they were on my legs at all. The fabric was sturdy but not bulky and the seaming made me made my legs look fabulous while I was performing my demo. While they may not help me get into a handstand any better than my Target pants, they are unbeatable for comfort, quality and style. I'll never get the feel of them out of my head.

Did they affect my practice? Yes, in a huge way.

While performing my demo, I had this whole revelation that if these pants made me feel so much better about myself and my yoga practice, that maybe I need to invest in better quality things throughout my whole life. What a difference a little quality might make!

The demo was a lot of fun and I got a lot of great feedback from people about my practice, making me a little more sure that I want to learn how to teach yoga one day in the future. So yes, now I want to invest in more quality and change my career path, thanks to Lululemon pants.

If you are a runner, dancer, yogi, or fitness junkie, you should definitely try them out. ASAP. Oh, and read their mantras, too. They're totally inspiring.

Who am I? And why do I like this new girl so much??

Day 73: Ice Skating and Wing Womaning

My friend Albert may be the most ideal friend I've ever had. We met a couple years ago while working as counselors at a summer camp in West Virginia and ended up fast friends with an unmatchable chemistry in our senses of humor and fun. I would argue we had a better time than the kids did all summer.

Despite the fact that he goes to UF, his parents live Atlanta, meaning during his college breaks, he comes back up to my neck of the woods. When he's in town, we get together and end up in some unplanned, ridiculous adventure. What's best, it's always natural and genuine, even though it only happens a couple of times a year.

This time, while Albert was in town for Thanksgiving, we decided to go ice skating at The Rink at Park Tavern. I was so, so excited when I learned that Atlanta got this public, seasonal skating rink and Albert had never been ice skating before, so it was a perfect New Thing adventure for the both of us.

I remember skating when I was in middle school and being pretty good at moving in a generally forward and circular pattern, so I was feeling pretty confident that I would get my "ice legs" back. I secretly hoped Albert wasn't very good so that my forward, circular motion looked impressive.

He was pretty nervous about this skating thing so before we donned our skates, we had a couple drinks at the bar to loosen up. This obviously did the opposite calming our nerves, and made us both more nervous and hyped up the experience.

With much fanfare and anticipation, we laced up our skates and hit the ice, and, of course, Albert was a natural and I was dreadful. I was parked up close to the side wall, clutching for dear life, pulling myself forward while shuffling my feet, and Albert was out practically speed skating past me with the greatest of ease.

Mid-Turn

Sweet turn of events.

Back-skating

I eventually got my rhythm back as the booze wore off, and thoroughly enjoyed playing and posing and being silly and all that comes with ice skating comedy.

She's UP!

And now she's down...

We took a break to enjoy a Drunken Girl Scout, hot chocolate concoction and hit the ice for a last hoorah. We got so good that we were out-skating all the other 8 people on the rink.

Drunken Girl Scouts, pinkies out

Practically Pros
The rink closed around midnight, so we started heading back to my car. Halfway back, Albert said, "I know where we are, this is close to a gay bar that I like, do you mind if we stop in?"

PERFECT.

I think I may have gone to a gay bar once before, but I don't remember the experience very well, so I'm counting this as a New Thing too.

We walked up the road a couple of blocks to a bar called Blake's. Albert gave me a warning, saying, "This is where all the pretty gays are."

I was simultaneously excited and anxious. I was looking pretty ratty in a gray sweater and jeans, however, none of the men in this bar care. They're not looking at me to get with me, not even there to look at me. I am, at most, a dance partner to wiggle past through the crowd.

Somehow, and I can't identify when it happened, Albert got the impression that I was cool. Cool enough to score him a cute guy. Cool enough to be a wing woman. Now, the only cute guy I've ever scored is the one I'm currently dating, so this seemed like a stretch for me. But I was dancing my butt off and having a really good time and the gays were all about me, so I thought I'd give it a shot.

Albert said, "Guy in the glasses at your 7:00, GO."

And go, I did. I danced my way into his little heart, pulled in Albert to the scene, started the conversation (Guy in the glasses has a blog!! It's way better than mine, check it out, What Now Atlanta?), and dipped out of their blossoming interest just in time to dance with another guy. As a first-time wing-woman to a gay guy, I think I did better than I could have ever, ever, ever expected.

At the end of the night, they traded numbers, hugged, and my little heart was a-flutter. Albert was glowing, and I had a night not to be forgotten.

And that was my super-awesomely-gay-ice-skating-gay-bar-wing-womaning adventure.