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Road Biking ain’t for Sissies – Neither is Dating

Four and half months ago – I hopped into the sport of road biking.  The obvious reason – to exercise.  My secret reason – to meet fit, single men.  After all, what woman doesn’t feel her sexiest and most fertile sporting spandex and helmet-hair, sweating profusely and reeking of B.O.?  Let’s not forget about the sexy cycling jersey, bug-eye sunglasses, and cone head covering.   Heck — I figure if a guy finds me attractive in that garb…from there…it’s uphill in the attraction department.

For those of you whose last memory of riding a bike involved a pink huffy in second grade – listen up.  As an adult…your cycling shoes snap into the pedals.  So your feet are attached to the bike.  There’s no “releasing your feet” unless you unclip.  And if you don’t unclip before you brake at a stoplight or stop sign – yep, you guess it – you fall over.   Usually in front of a crowd of gawking people.  So far, I’ve fallen four times – shedding a small amount of blood every time.   Not to mention the numerous bruises.

I’ve learned that “wiping out” gets harder as you get older.  Not just with cycling, but with dating.  I’ll be cruising at a snappy pace when unexpectedly I’m forced to stop – and — SPLAT — I tip over — in slow motion — unable to get out of those darn pedals.  The next thing I know red blood is oozing down my knee — and I flashback to when I was 8 years-old stupidly wearing tin-can stilts riding a skateboard.

In the world of dating – bad dates, breakups and “dude disappointments” feel like a series of bike crashes.  And sometimes; you just want to give up and sell that road bike on e-bay.  Some real (as always) examples:

1.  I recently met a sports medicine doctor on match.com who stated on his profile he was 37.  When I arrived for our date, he looked more like 43 (even in the low lighting).  At the end of the evening – I asked him his last name.  When I arrived home – my fingers met Google with gale force.  Turns out the doc was 47 – not 37!  I immediately texted him and called him out on his 10 year bluff.  Hey, I may be blonde, but I’m no dumb bunny.

2.  A few months ago my friend Sarah danced with a guy ALL NIGHT only to have him tell her at midnight – he had a serious girlfriend.  This dude was even trying to buy moi, the “wing woman,” drinks!

3.  My friend Ann met a man on an online dating website who claimed he was a CEO.  He sent her his “real” email address.   After further investigation – she discovered he was indeed a CEO – but of his own auto body shop!  The she also found his personal email address listed on a sugar daddy website.

My worst and thankfully LAST biking “bust” happened a few months ago when I stopped to quench my thirst in the midst of climbing a steep hill.  After stopping, I clipped back into my pedals, but then couldn’t muster enough momentum to climb the hill.  And then I couldn’t unclip fast enough.  Within a millisecond– I fell HARD on my right side – landing on a curb.  I felt my thigh and butt start to swell immediately. But somehow, I powered through my tears, got back on the bike, and finished the ride.  That evening – the most horrific bruise I’ve ever seen – popped up on my ass.   It looked like something from a car crash.

OUCH!! Right? Excuse this photo but a pic is worth a million words.

Later that night I realized, while my ass was bruised, so was my heart.  I still struggled with the emotions left behind from a long-term relationship that ended months ago.  I was still bruised because this person and particularly his mother – had treated me wrong.  I was in a rut – and just when I felt like my dating “road” was clear – I would fall off my bike over and over – keeping that bruise alive — deep and painful.

For my bruise to heal – I was faced with meeting my ex one more time.  I initiated a meeting and finally expressed all those things that had swirled around my heart for months.  The tears fell as I looked him in the eye and discussed the pain his mother had created and perpetuated.  Closure.

Today – I’m back on my bike – riding a few times per week.  In the mirror, I can barely see the outline of my bruise.

My ass has healed – and thankfully, so has my heart.

 

Riding from Denver to Golden — and back. (Sadly we couldn’t drink a beer.)

My SITS Spotlight Day

Wowser – today is better than the first day of kindergarten – and 1,000 times more memorable than high school prom – that’s because it’s my SITS day!  (Insert cheer here.)  The SITS Girls (The Secret is in the Sauce) is an amazing blogging website for women with over 40,000+ members.  I’m honored to be the site’s featured “diva of the day!”

A bit more about me and My Flirty 30s:  

First – I’m a single gal who’s been scouting for Mr. Right since I was a kid.  Hopefully he’s hidden in some Colorado nook and cranny.

Secondly – I’m a Denver-based broadcast producer and writer who adores the juicy discrepancies between men and women.  I could write volumes on Wikipedia about what men do wrong on a constant basis. And ladies, I can definitely dish about what we must quit doing — before Singledom gives us our own zip code.  I started my blog a few years ago to hold myself accountable to writing column-style entries.  And bit by bit, my online diary has grown.

Whether you’re single, married, divorced, or widowed — I know you’ll find humor in my life adventures and dating misadventures.  After all, love is what makes the world go round – or rather – makes our heads spin til they hurt.

Some random fun-filled posts:

How Not to Plan a Pity Party

Why am I Working Out if No one is Seeing My Birthday Suit? 

When Good Men Wear Bad Clothes

My most recent post:  The Last Minute Flaky Manic Man

I hope I make you laugh.  A lot.  That’s the best gift I can give anyone.

Fondly, Leaza

The Last Minute Flaky Manic Man

As a sweet southerner, I love my biscuits and croissants flaky.  My men — not so much.  Talk shop with any woman surviving the dating game and you’ll hear one unanimous complaint…”I’m soooo tired of flaky men!!”

Guys, admit it.  You’re pros as stringing us along.  I’ve listened to many girlfriends boo-hoo because Mr. Idiot canceled a mere hour before a date using the LAMEST excuse.   Yes, if you’re sick, we get it.  Just like elementary school, we don’t want your cooties.  But be a man and show up to a scheduled date.  Come on, if you can make it to the dentist for a root canal…or to your chiropractor for your latest adjustment – then you can show up to guzzle a microbrew.

Case in point – recently I was supposed to go out with Brady, a software engineer.  He texted me for a solid week and then over the phone we agreed to meet Tuesday night.  Tuesday rolled around…midday I texted him and asked, “What time are we meeting tonight?”  He promptly responded, ”I didn’t know we were confirmed.”  Feeling very confused, I gave him the “stupid” benefit of the doubt and we rescheduled for Thursday night.  Thursday afternoon he texts me…stating…”I can’t meet tonight.  I have to go home and marinate my carne asada for my BBQ I’m hosting on Saturday.”

OK, let me get this straight.  He blew me off to stay home and marinate meat?!?  Evidently marinating beef is more important to this man than potentially meeting the woman of his dreams.  Makes sense from a caveman perspective I guess.  Call me crazy, but the last time I checked… it took 43 seconds to throw some raw meat in a Ziploc bag, dump in spices, add vinegar and oil, and shake that bad boy up.  Maybe he had to “watch” it marinate in real time like Kiefer Sutherland on 24?  Heck, I don’t know.  I strongly wanted to text him  – “That carne asada ain’t gonna keep you warm at night, Senor!” – but to save face, I resisted.   The next day after hearing the story, my dad quipped – “He needs to go home and marinate his brain!”

My cute cousin in Austin also got blown off “the day of” by a guy she had plans with one evening.  The dork texted her at 10 AM and told her he was leaving to swim in hot springs outside town but would call her in a few hours.  At 7 PM he texted her again stating, “Still swimming…”  Wow…a nine hour swim!  Watch out Michael Phelps.  I’m impressed.   I bet that guy turned into a poached prune after simmering for hours.  I’m surprised he didn’t drown.

Other Last Minute “Day of the Date” Flaky Excuses (as heard by moi and close friends):

1. I don’t know how to date.  (Well, you were married once before…so I’m sure this isn’t your first rodeo.)

2. I have to mow my lawn (Buddy, it’s 98 degrees outside and we’re in a red ozone alert).

3.  My dad had to change my niece’s tire.  (How are these people even related to your dating life?)

4. I pulled my upper back reaching for an envelope in the closet.   I was mailing a check for a blind person’s charity group.  (So, you’re a liar AND a philanthropist, hmm?)

5. I’ve met someone and want to see where it goes.  (We confirmed our date last night so I’m assuming you met this person in the last hour at the grocery store or gas station?  Love at first sight?)

6.  I need to tile my bathroom.  (Even if you start tonight, you won’t be done til Sunday, trust me.)

7.  My friend wouldn’t let me leave HER house.  (HER house?  Sounds like “more” than a friend.)

8.  My mom is stopping by unexpectedly.  (Really?  I thought she lived in D.C.)

9.  I have to get up at 4 AM for work.  (Don’t you work at a bank?)

10.  I’d rather not go, I have social anxiety.  (Acceptable in my mind. Thanks for saving me in advance.)

To deal with all these flaky dudes, I’m instituting a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.   Don’t ask me out…then tell me you forgot you had an organic co-op meeting that evening.  The simple truth is – if you don’t want to go out with someone – don’t make plans in advance.  And don’t text me incessantly either.  I don’t have time to type out a novella on a screen the size of a bar of soap — and neither do my girlfriends.  If you’re not interested in a job…are you scheduling an interview?  No! That’s because you don’t want to waste your time! So men, apply this principal to dating as well.  One flake – women will cut you some slack.  But two flakes – well — you’re out.  And honestly, if you’re “out” – this thankfully just leaves more room for Mr. Right.

Regarding the carne asada guy… I’m guessing he suffered major heartburn — in more ways that one.  :)

NO MORE FLAKY MEN!

No Longer a Wanna-Be Desperate Housewife

News alert to friends and family — and to anyone else reading this post – my wanna-be desperate, rich housewife days are over!   Kaput.  Dead.  I can no longer shop at Cherry Creek mall in the middle of a weekday – take a 9:30 am exercise class with all the married moms – or walk my dog at 1 pm while strutting the latest trend in bathrobes.  Gone are my days of grocery shopping with cute senior citizens at Albertsons (and learning their names while helping them haul heavy laundry detergent) – and sadly — drinking a glass of wine at 3 pm because I “simply could.”

As some of you know — a few months ago I found myself with a lot of extra time on my ever-employed hands.  I work as a producer/writer for tv shows on HGTV and the DIY channel (and all those other networks heralded by desperate housewives nationwide).   And as we “tv people” say, I was “between shows.”  This means one show ended – and I couldn’t jump ship to another one.  Because another one didn’t really exist.   Some would call this unemployed.  Others would call it “Holy crap, what’s next?!” And for someone who held a job since she was 15 years old – I called it – “weird.”

But I’m happy to report – I now refer to that coveted free time as my “sabbatical.”  I became a certified “lady of leisure” — albeit brief.

In the first few months…I focused all my time on my new condo – which is only new to me since it was clearly built in the 1980s given the hideous popcorn ceilings and the original “2 x 4” foot old-school microwave.  I immediately removed all the popcorn, picked out paint colors with yummy names such as “Sweet Marzipan Cream” and Mid-day Mocha,” replaced the ugly grandma-mauve carpet with a modern, patterned HGTV style, and patched so many “drill holes gone-wrong” I never want to see spackle another day in my life.  I felt like I was starring in my own remodeling reality show — despite the fact I hired other people to do most of the work!

Yep, I picked up some freelance “real” work along the way.  I called everyone in the tv biz I knew.  And I networked myself silly.  Some of which didn’t pay off – some of which did.  Dish Network hired me to produce and write a 30-minute profile piece on top 10 heavyweight MMA fighter, Brendan Schaub, who trains in Denver.  It was a blast producing something with so much energy, spunk, and blood — after spending previous employment hours highlighting bitchy couples arguing over plumbing and grout.

 

But mostly during my single sabbatical I did this…

1.  I ate a lot of these.

2.  I drank a lot of this. 

3.  I refinished an old metal locker – and stained a custom mantel. 

4. I skied without a care in the world.


5.  I bought a new road bike – therefore launching a new hobby.

6.  I dated – a few cute dudes –a few duds. (no pictures…sorry.)

7. I enrolled in a storytelling workshop class – ended up in a showcase – and made everyone in the audience cry at the final performance.

8.  I talked to my dad on the phone almost every day.

9.  I volunteered at a temporary orphanage for kids.

10.  I spent three days of my life dealing with Ikea.  Day 1: Bought a set of sweeeet patio furniture.  Day 2: Obsessed over assembly.   Day 3: Somehow loaded all that crap back into my Mini Cooper, only to spend two hours in the “return” line.  (Worse than the DMV, trust me.)  Day 4: Found a better patio set at Target.  Spent $100 less.  Started drinking margaritas sitting on my new love seat in three hours flat without lifting a screwdriver.

Some stuff I learned along the way:

1.  I found out who my friends were.   My real friends called to cheer me up – passed along contacts — took care of my dog – helped me hang my mantel and curtain rods, and stopped by for a glass of wine.

2.  I mastered baking a cake using only ONE pan from start to finish (as in eating).

3.  I learned to relish my free time, instead of obsessing over it.  I visited one of my BFFs – who moved one year ago to the gorgeous Oregon wine country.  Can you say “Pinot?”

 

4.  I learned I was smart to always live below my means.

5.  I found out I could be ok – without a full time job.

6.  I learned I’m much more than a job title — or a position.

7.  I discovered my pets sleep all day, so there’s no need to feel guilty when leaving for eight hours.

8.  I decided that Jimmy Kimmel doesn’t hold a candle to Craig Ferguson.

9.  I mastered my “girlie” drill, my bad-ass level, and discovered how to clean paint brushes with mineral spirits.

10.  Most importantly — I learned to have faith in my future.  And to trust the unknown.

Today – my sabbatical — it’s over.  I’m sad and excited.  Back to the always exciting television grind.  At least for a bit.  I’ll be writing for a renovation show on the DIY network.   Although I’m not sure what’s around the corner after this gig ends.

Maybe I’ll return to my wanna-be desperate housewife days someday – most likely not though.  I feel the universe blessed me with the perfect amount of free time when I needed it most.

I did proudly cross a million things off my giant sabbatical “to-do list.”  Except one.  I’m STILL driving my mini cooper with the snow tires mounted!  Somehow changing back to the regular tires slipped through my desperate housewife mind.  Shoot.  Oh well…October is just around the corner.

Dude, Man Up!

OK – I’m going to rant about single dudes taking “healthy eating” to an extreme. If I hear one more single guy sputter he’s gluten free, dairy free, egg free, and nut free – I may just overdose on Captain Crunch.   What can the poor guy eat then?  Wild venison with chopped cabbage smothered with honey?  Ugh…No thanks.

If you’re allergic to certain foods — I understand.  If you’re a Menverite trying to lose 40 pounds – I get it.  But if you’re just trying to gear up for your next 30 Rock “marathon” and love dropping the term “dairy free” in conversation — Pleazzzzzeeee  get over yourself!  Yes, I know this is Denver, home of the healthiest peeps on the planet, but…Dude…man up!  Once in awhile — indulge in some southern barbeque, fried chicken…heck…go crazy and BUTTER your own WHEAT toast.  New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady says he eats a steak and a giant pile of macaroni and cheese before each game – and yet I don’t see him dying of heart disease between the 3rd and 4th quarter.

5 Signs a Man Needs to “Man Up” his Menu:

1. If he ice-climbs over the weekend, but then refuses to eat a “non-organic” apple…

2. If his body fat percentage is below mine…

3. If he spends more money at Whole Foods than his mortgage…

4. If he actually likes Kale chips more than Pringles…

5. If he tells you he doesn’t drink wine because it has “too much sugar”…

Dating these type of extremists can be tough.  In the good ole days, “cooking romantically together” involved melting cheese for fondue, sautéing veggies in butter, then blow torching mini crème brulees.  But now I’ve got to be happy chopping up raw vegetables and baking kale chips?  Huh?? Somehow they don’t compare.

I went on several dates recently with a guy preaching about his “Paleo” diet.   (He only eats meat and vegetables.  Like a caveman!)  He bragged about his daily egg white omelet with organic avocados…minus the cheese.  Hey buddy – sorry to break the news – but you can’t call an omelet “an omelet” if it’s missing the cheese. Those are called “eggs.”  And some of us don’t have the luxury of playing gourmet chef at 6:30 am like you do.  I’m too busy shaving my legs, feeding the dog, and hoping I don’t back my car into the closed garage door.  This ain’t no Sunday brunch…this is “I’ve got 5 minutes to get my late ass to work!”  And speaking of dogs…the Paleo guy also told me he cooks his own dog food!  So now he and his dogs are all following the same diet.  I guess that makes grocery shopping easy.

I’m not the only woman struggling with the “extreme healthy eating man.”  My friend Kristen met a guy out for a first date who told her starch was his enemy!  (Enemy, really?  Shouldn’t that term be saved for now deceased North Korean leader Kim Jong-il and his successor son Kim Jong-un?)  This guy told her he doesn’t eat rice after 5 pm.  He even bragged that if his dad takes him out to eat a burger – he won’t eat one!  What guy won’t eat a burger with his dad?  That breaks every rule about male bonding.  At the end of the date…as a joke…she handed him a snack sized Snickers bar…and he refused!   Who refuses a snack sized Snickers??  That’s un-American.  Come on — kids fight over those things every Halloween!

Truth be told – I watch what I eat too.  I exercise, stay away from trans fat and buy organic milk and eggs.  But I also salivate while thinking about “salt and vinegar” potato chips — and love pulling “u-turns” when I see a Sonic sign.   One day I’m going to tie an “extreme healthy eating man” to a chair and force tator tots down his throat.  Covered in cheese and chili!  And then laugh like a villain.

Bottom line – is an “extreme healthy eating man” going to break up with me if he catches me drooling in the Albertsons doughnut aisle?  If so, then he’d better break up with me now so I can eat my chocolate glazed doughnut in peace.

The best and worst place in Albertsons

 

DenverSpark just Sparked Me!

Wow…I can feel the tingle…maybe the burn…   Thanks to DenverSpark.com for “sparking me” and featuring myflirty30s.com as one of the hottest blogs in Denver.

I’m honored to be recognized in the mile-high city!  DenverSpark.com showcases local bloggers who share creative, unique, and local content on the web.

If you’re finding my blog for the first time through DenverSpark…check out some of my humorous posts…Feel free to comment or drop me a line.

Please Say You Didn’t Say That.  But oh my God…You Did! 

My Birthday Smirk-Day

A Single Gal’s Gusto…to Rent or to Buy?

Why am I working Out…If Currently No One is Seeing My Birthday Suit?

When Good Men Wear Bad Clothes

So I told My Mom About My Blog

To All the Guys I’ve Loved Before (not really) Surprise, You have New Names! 

Exhausted From Pimpin’ Myself Out

Again…a big Thanks to DenverSpark.com!

-Leaza

 

 

How Not to Plan a Pity Party

Chances are…if you’re reading this…you’ve thrown yourself a gi-normous pity party over the last year when life was “less than perfect.”  I mean a BIG one…complete with streamers, multiple glasses of wine, tear-drenched pillowcases, never-ending snot-rags, mushy Netflix movies, and pathetic phone calls.

Sigh.  I get it.  I’ve been guilty on more than one occasion.   And I admit, sometimes I’ve shown up early to the pity party, stayed waaaaaay too long, and was the last guest to leave.

For women….pity parties often coincide with baby showers, wedding showers, birthday parties, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, weddings, Valentine’s Day, and any other damn emotional holiday.  We see what other people have….and sadly…we get jealous…and depressed.

It’s a big cycle.  I’ve seen it with my friends…and within myself.  At times I think no one is happy.   Hear me out.  Single women LONG for that loyal boyfriend who will turn into a loving husband.   Married women with the loyal husband desperately NEED that first coveted baby.  And married women with both the coveted kids and husband WANT a full night of sleep, no stretch marks, and a career outside the home.  We all want…what the other one has.   To top it all off, we drive each other nuts talking about it!  :)

I know men don’t react this way.  Men only get depressed when they are FORCED to attend a baby or wedding shower because it’s interrupting their golf game.  Dudes could care less about Valentine’s Day or New Year’s Eve in the scheme of televised sports, food, sex, beer festivals, snow boarding, a new 9 iron, and nose-picking.   Lucky bastards.

So I do avoid the urge to throw myself a pity party?   I’ve learned some tricks…A)  Call one of my closest friends immediately!  B) Write out my blessings…then read them out loud.  C) Call my dad.  D) Play crazy, fun music…Bon Jovi is so so undeniably cheesy but yet so so so uplifting!  E) Curl my hair, throw on my favorite jeans, and hit the town with a few friends.  F) Exercise….even if it means sulking in the back of the work out room with all the other lazy people.

The old cliché is that “women can have it all”….but honestly…I’m not sure.   I think we can have it all…but NOT at once.   More in doses.  A chapter at a time.  Over a 20 year period.  And maybe that’s ok.  So I’m trying to LOVE what I do have (health, a career, a home called Colorado, loving friends and family, creativity)…and not dwell on “what I don’t” (a baby daddy…a baby).  And I’m finding every excuse to party – but not in the way of a pity party.

So…how do you decline the pity party invitation?

 

Please Say You Didn’t Say That. But oh my God…You Did!

Can we all share a moment of silence for the dreaded first date?  And for the “deal-breaker” second date?   And while we’re at it…say an omen that men and women around the globe choose their words carefully during those “oh-so important” first few hours of meeting someone.

As part of the painful, rip-roaring singles scene, I’ve heard some pretty odd sentences spewing out of my date’s mouth.  I mean, I know we’re both nervous, but I’m a potential girlfriend…not some dude’s therapist!  What happened to manners, “safe conversation,” and at least “pretending to be normal?”  Geez guys, at least wait til the third date to drop the bomb that you had webbed-feet as an infant or that your family was in a cult.   Because at the rate some of you spew out weird facts and opinions…the first time becomes the last time I lay eyes on you.

Sadly, Things My Ears Have Heard on Dates:

1.  “I talk to my ex-wife on a daily basis.”   (Maybe you should talk to your therapist then…)

2.  “I can’t believe it took me 45 minutes to get to your house!  Ugh…”  (That’s ok…you don’t have to drive here EVER again.  By the way, you’re the one who lives in the burbs …NOT me.)

3.  “Ron Paul is my hero.   And here’s why…..blah blah blah.”  (Sorry, this isn’t a tea party or an occupy movement…this is martini bar you idiot.)

4.  “See these scabs on my face?  A few weeks ago, I put my dog to sleep.  Then I got so drunk, I face-planted into a brick wall.”  (Truth:  Very, very sad.  Reality: Stay home until the scabs heal and never admit this to a woman.  EVER.)

5.  “I’m strictly on the Paleo diet.  I rarely cheat.”   (For you “non-Neanderthals”…this means you only eat meat and vegetables.  Sorry Fred…go back to Wilma.  I can’t give up butter in this lifetime.)

6.  “I still follow Phish.”  (The only phish I want to see are the ones swimming in the Ben and Jerry’s ice cream flavor.)

7.  I never drink wine because there’s too much sugar in it.”  (Check, please.)

8.  “The more I make…the more I spend.”  (Please tell me you’ll pass on this honorable quote to your children….or better yet…place it on your headstone.)

9.  “I’m basically a workaholic.  I go to work every morning at 4:30.”  (I’m basically lazy.  I try to sneak out of work early every afternoon at 4:30.)

10.  “I make my own dog food exclusively.  Those bagged brands are so full of chemicals.”  (Wow, I can barely cook for me…And who knew “Purina” was a 4-letter word?)

11.  “I love Vibram shoes…you know the ones with the frog toes.  I have four pairs.”  (Do you live in Boulder?  If not, can you please move there immediately?  And by the way, I don’t date amphibians.)

12.  “Even though my mom asks me to go to church with her every Christmas Eve, I never go.”   (Completely. Pathetic.  And I won’t go on a date with you ever again.)

13.  “How can you not love the Green Bay Packers!!”  (Sorry, last time I checked…I was not a dude.  Or a person who would wear a block of cheese on her head.)

14.  “I just resigned from my job today.”  (Then who’s paying for our dinner and drinks tonight?!)

And last, but not least…

15.  “After swimming in the pool last night, my kid crapped in his pants.”  (And you’re looking for a stepmom for this so-called little angel??)

OK, I admit, I’m not perfect either….I’m sure I’ve spouted out some doozies on occasion.  But heck, I would certainly never tell a guy I drink my milk straight out of the carton, or that I’ve used my earring to scrape food out of my teeth…or that my family is crazy and dysfunctional and should be on a reality show.

Or maybe I did?  ….  :)

 

My Christmas Makeover

OK, it’s official.  I’m FINALLY in the holiday spirit.  Woo-hoo.  Last night I went to sleep as Auntie Scroogie and woke up as Lady Claus.   I’m diggin’ my nighttime makeover.

Not sure what took me so long…I mean just because Safeway started playing Christmas carols two months ago does NOT mean I should be spreading holiday cheer to all.   That’s not my job…that’s the Salvation Army bell ringer’s job, right?

So why my sudden transformation?

  • Maybe it’s my new condo…
  • Maybe it’s the thought of 2012…and all the future blessings yet to be discovered…
  • Maybe it’s because I get to see my crazy relatives in just one more day…
  • Maybe it’s because I only have one more gift to buy…hence, one more annoying line to stand in…
  • Maybe it’s because I went to church last Sunday…
  • Maybe it’s the guy who’s 5 years younger who asked me out…
  • Maybe it’s my new neighbor who dropped off homemade cookies…
  • Maybe it’s knowing my broken heart is on the mend…
  • Maybe it’s the impromptu snowstorm that hit Denver this afternoon…
  • Maybe it’s the xanax…or the gi-normous bottle of Crown Royal I scored at my friend’s gift exchange party…

Whatever it is…I’m welcoming it with open arms.

On Friday, I head to Texas to visit family, loaded down with my big suitcase and jam-packed schedule.   I only have about 1.2 million people to catch up with over 120 hours.  Five days of non-stop hugs, conversations, adult libations, laughs, and hopefully…no tears.   Yes, it will be a whirlwind…but I’d rather be stuck in that storm than sitting home alone staring at my dog and cat.  It’s kinda nice being pulled in a multitude of directions.  I’ll take that as a compliment.

My newfound holiday joy was INDEED tested earlier today.  A few days ago, I mailed a cute, dainty necklace to my BFF…Brendy…courtesy of the U.S Postal service.   I wrapped it in tissue paper, tucked it discreetly inside a card…and sent it on its merry way to Kansas City.   This afternoon, when Brendy received the card, she noticed a small hole in the envelope…and low and behold…gasp…someone had STOLEN the necklace.  Argh!

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Dear Disgruntled Postal Employee…

I hope you or someone you know needed that necklace more than my friend.   Someone like a homeless person…a person with a terminal illness…a person who just lost his job.  If not though…that stolen necklace will bring you nothing but bad karma.  And I hope your neck turns green…because…sorry to inform you…it’s not REAL gold.

Sincerely,

Your Secret Santa

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Sorry…thief…despite your unruly ways, you did NOT ruin my holiday cheer.  I’m better than that.  Yes, material items matter to an extent.  But the bigger joy of the holiday season is simply spending time with loved ones, giving thanks for the ups AND downs of the past year, and accepting that life is unscripted.   It’s also about embracing the new year…and all the potential experiences that come in that shiny package.  For me, that could be…a new television show to produce or write, a new love interest, a new travel adventure…and tons of time to remodel my home.  2012 I’m ready!

Speaking of home…did I mention it’s snowing outside?  And that my new neighborhood rocks?  Earlier tonight, while happily walking back to my pad after visiting a local bar, I realized it finally felt like the holidays.  Under the spell of falling snowflakes, my little neighborhood looks like a scene from a snow globe.

I almost hear Christmas carols.

Birthday Smirk-Day

Yep, it’s my birthday this week – or as most women in their 30s call this glorious day…”Holy heck…one year closer to 40.”

Not that I’m afraid of 40.  I mean 40 is like the new 21….or so say all those celebrities, fashion designers, and Real Hoochey-mama Housewives.  Right?  Except the fact you have wrinkles, a mortgage payment, a ticking clock (even the GYNO agrees), a year’s supply glucosamine in your medicine cabinet, and every time you look at a photo of yourself you think…”I look like my mother!”  Chances are — if you haven’t splurged on Botox, you’ve at least spent HOURS looking at “before and after” photos online until your eyes glaze over.  And suddenly exercise is not something you do JUST for the endorphins… it’s something you do to “keep up with all those trashy 20 year-olds who are stealing your men!”

I admit I’m not in my mid-flirty30s anymore….I’m in my late-flirty30s…I turn 38…GULP… tomorrow.  But I guess the important thing is – I don’t feel late 30s.  (And I don’t think I look it.)  I feel….maybe ….Hmmm….27.

Still – despite my youthful feeling…You know you’re a few years away from 40 when:

  1. You’re overdosing on sunscreen, even during a tsunami.
  2. You’re obsessed with eating healthy and only buy foods that are dark green or bright purple (Although this does not apply to late-night Taco Bell or gas station doughnuts).
  3. You’ve accepted the fact you can’t wear high heels every day and have been caught sneaking into the Crocs store at Cherry Creek mall.
  4. You’ve already investigated fertility acupuncture even though you have:  A. No husband   B.  No boyfriend  C.  No upcoming dates
  5. You’ve fibbed about your age at least once…or at least…you’ve been “very vague” and kept some guy guessing who was probably younger than your younger brother!

But there is comfort in all of this.  My grandmother told me years ago…”You know Lisa, your mind doesn’t age…only your body does.”  I wasn’t sure what she met by this until five years ago.    What she means is that our emotions don’t disappear along with the progression of the calendar.  We still experience the “ah-hah” moment of newfound love, the angst of a job change, the sadness when we are betrayed, and the “jumping up and down” joy when we reach a goal. (Ask my co-workers – I jumped up and down between cubicles when I found out the seller accepted my offer on my new condo.)

It’s AS IF we are still 17 or 27…somewhere in our psyche.  And I find this extremely comforting as I age gracefully.

Since my birthday always falls around Thanksgiving…I’d like to reflect on my blessings – or in reality — what I survived this last year… because honestly…it was a doozey.

  1. Finding “one of the loves” of my life…throwing my heart into it…then realizing it was time to let go…(wretched heartache)
  2. Politely demanding a raise, not receiving the raise initially, playing tough (so very awkward for Lisa), then coming to an agreement in my favor (Who knew Lisa had balls?!)
  3. Managing three family weddings – and thankfully no funerals (My own personal episode of “Relatives Gone Wild”)
  4. Surviving a Denver winter with only a mini-cooper to my name (those miniature snow tires rock!)
  5. Tackling the beautiful Colorado ski slopes for 13 sporadic ski days – without injuring myself, innocent children, old people, or punk snowboarders
  6. Traveling to Europe – and encountering delayed flights, bus schedules I never undersood, a bitchy, jealous ex-boyfriend’s mother (so so painful), yet thankfully — stunning scenery, amazing food, and loving company
  7. Camping with four other girls outside Aspen for a long weekend and somehow not killing each other…because after all…hot coals, bears, and two gallons of red wine don’t mix.
  8. Buying a condo…if I ever have to hunt down that many paycheck stubs, W-2 forms, or tax forms again…I may move to Canada and live in a tent.
  9. Surviving the holidays…
  10. Oh wait…they’re not over yet??  Damn.

This big list makes me wonder…. What will I survive next year?  Who will I meet?  Where will my job take me?  What blessings are just around the corner?

I only know one thing….my emotional and wish-list bags are packed…ready to hop onboard this thing called life.

No, I’m not wearing “mom jeans” (maybe one day) ….but I’m comfortable in my designer jeans…marketed to women not a day over 40.

One of my achievements - becoming a homeowner.... Home Depot here I come!

 

Pre-Birthday Celebration with the Girls

 

 

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