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I love coffee. Sometimes people try to switch my coffee to decaf when I’m not looking. I can always tell the difference. I also like Pringles, but only the reduced fat kind because they crunch better when you bite into them and they don’t leave grease on your fingers. I’m…

About Me
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As part of our quest to support women’s issues, Katana Photography is excited to announce our first ever Celebrating Survival contest!
Having any kind of cancer is frightening and confusing. In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Katana Photography is welcoming all survivors from all forms of cancer to participate…

Weekly Photo
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When I was looking to buy my wedding invitations (back in April), I found a lot of designers on Etsy. After narrowing it down to a couple different designs/companies, I contacted both for their pricing list. One was pretty significantly more expensive–almost $2 per invitation more. Which I think all…

Weekly Style
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When talking to people about photography, I hear one phrase over and over again: Kids and dogs are the hardest subjects to photograph.
I, personally, don’t have this problem with my clients…kids and dogs are among my favorite things to photograph. Maybe it’s because I like to have any excuse…

Weekly Puppies
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Last week, Sean and I had our morning coffee on the balcony and watched as the Enterprise shuttle was pulled down the Hudson on a tug boat. It’s on its way to the Intrepid and I can’t wait to see it up close at the museum!

Weekly Coffee

Dating Tips from Yours Truly….for MEN!

HOW TO GET A GIRLFRIEND

I am about to let you all in on a little secret. Throughout my life, I have been good at three things…The board game Clue, making the best mac and cheese you will ever taste, and helping my guy friends find women. Yes, I am an awesome wingman…uh, I mean, wingwoman.

I am about to divulge my secrets I’ve learned both from experience and passed down to me by my mother, who was quite the sausage magnet in her day. She inherited this trait from her mother, who got it from her mother and so on and so forth.

I would like to start with the age-old question… “Why do all the best looking guys tend to like bitches?” This is a question I used to ask myself until a couple years ago. I was walking around Union Square and outside of an NYU building I saw this amazingly attractive man. Attached to his face was the cliché boobylicious slut; you know the type: bleached blonde hair, over-inflated breasts, fake tan, and enormous sunglasses. I watched as he slapped her on the ass and she walked off to shop at Deisel. I was so disgusted by the display that I approached him on the subject. He was, of course, as superficial as I had expected. An enormous ex-fraternity jock who was in actuality way past his prime with wrinkles forming around his eyes and jaw. My intention was not to date him; I simply wanted to know what he saw in a woman like her. He proceeded to lean into me, his gassy breath smelling like beer, and told me that he would be happy to take me to dinner and explain in more detail. I laughed in his face and walked off. A few minutes later, this average looking guy walked up to me in a determined manner. He said, “Hey, I saw you talking to Dave. He and I go way back,” he paused and rolled his eyes, “What do girls see in guys like him?” I immediately replied. “I am trying to figure out the opposite: why great guys are always are going after sluts.” He started to laugh and then said… “I think the real question is why are all the great women going for assholes?” He then asked me out.

We decided to go see a movie. When I walked up to the front of the movie theater, he had morphed out of his sweatshirt and tennis shoes into this amazing black ensemble with fitted pants (but not too fitted), a button down shirt, and a black belt with a simple matte silver buckle. I’m not talking some hand-me-down outfit from his older brother…he looked incredible. And I was the unassuming bitch who didn’t see it.

So the first step to getting a girlfriend…Close your eyes and listen to your brain. Beauty is deceiving. From afar, the jock looked hot, but up close, he was tired and leather-like. Whereas the second man was incredibly attractive and I hadn’t noticed because I gravitated toward what society’s standard of “hot” is. If you feel a connection, go for it. Listen to your heart, brain, loins…pretty much everything except your eyes.

It’s as easy as ‘hi.’ I am told a lot of the time that I am a kiss ass. This is because when I see something good in someone, I say it. It is my personal theory that you should ask out as many girls as you can. If you see a girl walk by whom you are attracted to, say hello. See how she reacts and if she is open and receptive, keep the conversation going with statements and questions that she can’t just answer “yes” and “no” to. The worst thing that could happen… she spits on you and tells you she would rather drink a glass of her own bile than go on a date. If she says this, then she is a heartless bitch who doesn’t deserve you. On the other hand, she could say yes. All because you had the balls to say what most men find to be the scariest word in the English vocabulary: Hi.

Go beyond the bar. A bar may just be the worst place to meet a woman. Girls at bars are skeptical of every man who talks to them. Even the sweetest woman will turn into a raging biyotch if she suspects your intentions are to only get in her pants. Furthermore, she will most likely have a posse of friends surrounding her whose defenses are all up. Get passed this idea and strike up a conversation with a woman at the gym. Or at your local coffee shop. Or at an indie movie house. Most likely she will be more willing to engage in conversation, and you’ll already know that you have something in common.

Date for fun. If it isn’t fun, get the hell out of the relationship. You’re dating; this isn’t life or death, so why make it out to be anything more than what it is. They say that children playing house begin to learn what real life relationships are, and how they work. I agree. Children learn by play. If it works so well why did we, adults, stop playing? So go out and play house. Have fun and learn about the opposite sex.

Shoot from the hip. On a first date do something outlandish and daring. Randomness is an easy way to break habit, and women usually love to be surprised. Take her to play paint ball…it will remind her of a scene from 10 Things I Hate About You. Do you golf? Bring her to the driving range and give her some pointers. Is she new to the city? Go on a walking tour or bring her to a few of your favorite spots. Be memorable. Even if this particular relationship doesn’t work out, you want to be remembered as the guy who set the standards for all other dates.

Think outside of the bouquet. What do you think to bring on a date? Flowers? Chocolates? Jewelry? These are all nice—women love to receive gifts (though let me state the obvious here…stay away from jewelry during the early dates. WAY too intense). Does she have a dog? Bring her dog a toy or treat. Did she just finish writing her thesis? Bring her a celebratory cupcake. Does she love to read? Bring a copy of your favorite book for her to borrow. If you two have an inside joke, use it to inspire a small gift. Flowers are classic, so if you go this route, make sure that you find out her favorite kind prior to the date. Do so candidly and she’ll be quite impressed. And make sure if you buy a bouquet of flowers for your date to buy a single flower for each of the girls that she lives with. This makes the statement that you care about the people around her. Dogging her roommates is the easiest way to ruin a relationship. However, this must be executed with caution. Roommates will see right though a con artist.

Never buy flowers to say I’m sorry. Why do men buy women flowers as a general? Here is my theory: In caveman days, hunters would go out looking for food. They would spend all day searching with a group of men for mammoths and saber-tooth tigers, while back at the cave the women would look after the cave babies and launder the loincloths. On the bad days, when the cavemen could find no food, they knew they couldn’t return to their homes empty-handed, so they’d pick wildflowers and bring them back to show their wives. The cavemen would tell them that they were so distracted by the beauty of the flowers that after seeing them, they immediately thought of their wives and could no longer concentrate on hunting. The wives, very grateful that their husbands compared their beauty to the beauty of the flowers, would sigh, consumed with love.

Now, of course all this caveman stuff is bullshit. But my point is still valid: don’t exploit the power of the flower by using it to say I’m sorry. Flowers are a symbol of beauty whereas chocolates are a symbol of “sorry I fucked up.” It says, “Look, I am sorry I messed up. Here, get fat, and I’ll prove how much I love you by sexing up your bloated ass anyway tonight.” But seriously, if you do make a mistake, be sure to include a sincere apology with those chocolates. She will probably be crying… so bring Kleenex to show that you anticipate her needs. Look into her red, swollen eyes and tell her how sorry you are, followed immediately by “tell me what I can do to fix this.” Now it is up to her. She will tell you what you can do… and then do it. I know what your thinking ,”what if she says, ‘go cut off your wank, you pathetic, lying bastard!’?” Have no fear…this won’t happen. She wants your penis intact just as much as you do. And for those of you who really messed up… If she does tell you to cut off your dick, then you are way past the apologetic phase…. Learn from you mistakes and get the hell out of there before she turns Lorena Bobbit on you.

Words can be stronger than Actions. Sometimes. You don’t always have to climb Mount Everest for a girl to make us feel special. Girls like to be complimented. We like it when you tell us we are beautiful. We like it when you respect our brain. We want to feel cherished and it is your job to make us feel so. A pick up line is simply an honest statement that some pig exploited and destroyed. If a girl is attracted to you, she will consider your “line” to be charming. If she’s not into you—regardless of what you say—she can and probably will make it known that you were just using a line. So go ahead and use them. It’s a risk, but at the end of the day, even if we’re not into the guy who hit on us, we’re happy he did so because it is a compliment.

Your girlfriend will look like her mother in twenty years. Assuming you make it to this point in the relationship, be sure to talk to her parents as if you were talking to her. Chances are, she’s already told them a lot about you, so act like yourself. They’ll see through any show you put on. First, you are a young man. Her dad was one once, and her mom dated them at one point in time. They know what you two are up to.

Don’t trash talk them. Even if they could have been the best friends of Mr. and Mrs. Hitler, they are the reason you are getting to go out with this girl. They made her, and for that one reason they deserve your respect.

So there, those are my pearls of wisdom. Take these gems and go get yourself girlfriend. But before you go seeking out strangers, I’d like to add this sidebar: don’t overlook what’s right under your nose. Sometimes the greatest of girls are the ones you talk to everyday. If you didn’t enjoy their company you wouldn’t spend all the time you do hanging out with them. There is the possibility of losing the friendship…but there is always that chance when your heart is involved. That’s the beauty of love; the fact that you can tell that person, “I know my heart could get shattered into a million pieces, but you’re worth the risk.” And believe me—it is worth the risk.

My Honkin’ Big Nose

My Honkin Big Nose
My Honkin Big Nose
My Honkin Big Nose
Is it true that your nose never stops growing? If this is true, it really, really disturbs me. My nose is already my biggest feature (though I wish I could say my breasts were) and I’ve noticed that it looks a lot bigger in pictures now even compared to just a couple years ago. So, in ten years, it’ll take up my entire face!! Like a giant…uh…face eating monster. Yeah. I mean, just look at the picture below in my previous post…look at how bulbous it is! It was NOT that big two years ago.

Here, I’ll do a compare/contrast. I tried to pic photos with similar angles…

Photo #1: Age - 17, Senior Prom. My nose has always been on the bigger side, but it is still a bit dainty here. It is in proportion to the rest of my face…
Photo #2: Age - 22, My friend Michelle’s wedding. It’s definitely longer with a bigger bulb on the end, but still relatively normal. It doesn’t look TOO out of place…yet.
Photo #3: Age - 24, Christmas 2007 Ok, it is DEFINITELY bigger here. Not too out of proportion but it’s getting there. And if this statement regarding the always growing nose is true, than can you imagine what I’ll look like when I’m 50?? I’m going to look like……like……..

MY FATHER!!!!!!!

I <3 Knitting

I <3 Knitting
I realized I hadn’t posted one of my knitting projects for a while. So, here is a hat and scarf combo that I made as a gift. Yes, that is me with my (then) newly dyed brown hair at my rather messy desk and a coffee behind me. Is it odd that I’m probably one of the few natural blondes to dye my hair darker? Hm. Curious.

Oh.My.God.

First Brad Renfro. Now Heath Ledger.

I can’t believe it…and I thought I was depressed when I heard about Brad Renfro…

::sigh::

Just say no, Kids. Just. Say. No.

Our Fists Were Raised

OUR FISTS WERE RAISED
_________________________________________________
Occurred: May 16, 2002
A few days later, it was time to head back to school. Sean and I survived the weekend with his parents. Well, of course he survived…he’s lived with these people for 22 years. I, on the other hand, managed to leave in one piece, with my clothes in tact for the rest of the weekend. We packed the car, fully equipped with our freshly washed laundry, and said our goodbyes.

His mom wrapped her arms tightly around me. “Bye Colleen! Take care of the boy, here. And remember what I told you…he tends to get cranky. It’s not you, it’s him!”

“I will definitely remember that, Mrs. Murphy.” I smiled. I liked his mom. She reminded me a lot of myself, maybe a tad more bubbly.

“Thanks so much again for everything, Mr. Murphy. I had a great time.” I smiled weakly, fearful that it appeared more like a grimace.

He smiled back, his eyes set on the stone pathway leading to their front door. “You’re very welcome. Come back any time.” His gaze shifted to my eyes, flashed a smile, then he quickly leaned in to give me one last sideways hug. Mr. Murphy was a very animated man, his eyes more expressive than any I’d ever seen. And even in this embarrassed state, they seemed to retain that special sparkle that I had seen in Sean many times before.

“I’d love to come back,” I said truly meaning it, “hopefully sooner than later.”

* * *

We’d been driving for a couple hours, still about 11 hours away from Georgia.

“I’m bored.” I looked at Sean who was reading a map while driving. We were obviously lost.

“What do you mean you’re bored? What about that bag you packed? The bag of ‘fun things to do’?” His sarcastic tone annoyed me. Every road trip I’d ever taken, I was always equipped with my ‘fun bag’ which was filled with books, crossword puzzles, and other various things to keep my mind off of peeing and sleeping.

“I already went through it all.”

“What do you mean you went through it all!?” His voice was very loud. “You slept the entire way up here and we’ve only been on the road for a couple of hours!”

I paused and the absence of music made the car echo silence. I don’t handle silence very well. “I’m bored,” I said again, slipping the map away from him. I’ve always had trouble reading maps. All those lines and highway numbers confused me.
“Are we lost?”

“No! Just give me back the map.”

“You shouldn’t read a map while driving. It’s dangerous.”

“Well, if you took your turn driving, I could read the map in peace.”

“Fine. After this toll, pull over and I’ll drive.”

His expression shifted to something I couldn’t read. “Give me the map, Colleen.” His tone was serious, and I knew that now was not the time to play keep away. I reluctantly handed him the map. “Shit,” he mumbled through clenched teeth.

“So we are lost.” I nodded.

“Just shut-up. Please.” His eyelids were heavy.

I opened my mouth to throw an insult his way, but snapped it shut. It really wasn’t the time to argue.

“Shit,” he said again. “Do you have any cash on you?”

“How much do you need?”

“I don’t know, but hurry.” He pointed ahead where we were rapidly approaching twelve archways. Government owned mouths ready to devour us and our money. Cars and vans were whizzing by us, flying past the green eyes telling us to go. Horns honked. Tires screeched. The wind wailed and I still had yet to find any cash.

“Oh! Here’s a dime!”

“I think we’ll need more than a dime, Colleen!”

“Ok, here’s a dollar!” I handed him a crumpled bill. “And a quarter!” It was wedged beneath my compact.

He accelerated as we found more money. “Oh, a nickel! Oh, my lipgloss!”

“That’s not going to help us.”

“No, but I’ve been looking for it all weekend.”

“Colleen!”

“Don’t worry, $2.27 is more than enough. Right?” Sean gave me an uncertain glance and over his shoulder on the side of the road, was a glorious sign that read, Toll: $1.50.

“HOORAY!” We both shrieked together.

“That’s right, tollbooth!” I yelled to the giant archway, “Eat my ass crack!”

“Sweet, an open lane,” he swerved to the right nearly standing my car onto two wheels.

“Watch it! No stunts in my car, mister!”

He rolled his eyes, but laughed regardless. We were triumphant, riding our silver horse toward the sun in a totally open lane. How often does that happen?

Sean sped up, ready to throw the money into the basket without so much as braking. He had a determined look on his face. His eyebrows were furrowed past the bridge of his nose and his head was lowered to the steering wheel. I glanced through the sunroof at the sign above the archway of our open lane.

E-Z-PASS ONLY.

“Haha, yeah fuck-tards! Take that!” Sean looked out the window at the drivers waiting patiently for their turns in the other lanes.

“Uh, honey…”

He ignored me. “Ohh, poow wittle things stuck in twaffic. All because you’re too chicken shit to take a chance on another lane. That’s what you all get!”

“Sean!”

“What?” He rolled his window down with his right hand, holding the last of my cash in his left, while steering with his knees. Suddenly, I had to pee.

“E-Z-PASS!”

“Huh?” His head swiveled to look at me as he tossed the money out the window to where the basket should have been.

“NO!”

The change bounced off of the side of the booth making a surprisingly loud noise and my one dollar bill drifted off into the wind. I heard my change rolling away beneath the car. I opened the door to retrieve it.

“What are you doing!?”

“Getting my change,” I screamed as if he should already know. The empty lane was now filling up with cars behind us, pissed and honking. The yellow and white striped arm was lowering like a guillotine in front of our car.

“Shut the door!”

“Why?”

“Because I’m driving off whether it’s opened or closed!”

As I pulled my foot back into the car, Sean hit the gas, jolting the car and pinning me against the back of my seat. The door slammed shut beside me.

The arm continued lowering as the nose of the car slipped beneath it. Then the windshield. Then the roof. Then the trunk. Then we heard a bang as the arm karate chopped the bumper. At least it was a clean amputation.

We sat in silence, both pissed. I checked behind us, waiting to see flashing lights. Or hear sirens. Somewhere ahead, there was a cop waiting to pull over the reckless kids who flew through the E-Z-PASS lane. I checked behind us, again.

“Stop looking! No one is following us!” Sean barked.

“I don’t see what you have to be mad about. It’s my car that just had its bumper knocked off. It’s my car that’s going to be ticketed. If you had just slowed down a little, we would have had time to switch lanes. But, no…you had to go all Days of Thunder on me.”

He didn’t say anything, but stared ahead at the road.

“Are we going to get a ticket?” I looked at him, my eyes welling up with tears.

“Not if we don’t get pulled over.”

“Are you sure?”

He glanced at me without moving his head. The creases in his face deepened and he attempted to crack a reassuring smile. He’s a terrible liar.

“Yes,” he looked back at the road, “maybe.” As I said, he’s a terrible liar.

“Maybe?? What do you mean, ‘maybe’? Is my dad going to find out we used my car this weekend?”

“Not possible. The worst case is that they might have taken a photo of us.”

“Ok, and then what happens?”

”Well, if there is a ticket, they mail it out with the photo.”

I scowled. “And where does that photo go, Sean?”

* * *

It was a warm, sunny North Carolina morning. The dew glistened on the freshly cut grass. Bob Katana had just put on his
favorite moccasins, poured himself a steaming cup of coffee and settled into his recliner with the morning paper and yesterday’s mail. The house sure is quiet, he thought, now that all those noisy kids are gone. He smiled, thinking about what great kids they all were. He looked down at the first envelope. Hm, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. What could that be? He took the first sip of his coffee, smooth and glorious, while calmly opening the envelope. Pulling out a state certified letter, he noticed two pieces of paper flutter into his lap. The first, a $165 citation. And the second, a grainy photograph with his sweet Doodlebug next to that hooligan, Sean. It looks like he’s driving her car, he thought, becoming concerned. It appeared as though she was yelling at Sean. His arm was high in the air, with what appeared to be a blurry dollar bill flying out the window. Confusion contorted his face as Colleen’s was frozen in a state of anger. Why is one of her feet out the door? His eyes narrowed as the realization hit. He took another sip of coffee. It was bitter and cold. Snatching the citation, he marched into the kitchen, grabbed the phone, and dialed his soon-to-be least favorite daughter.

30 Things About Colleen

1. Once as a kid, she captured two fireflies and killed them so to spread their “lighted” butts over her fingernails so that they would glow. Immediately she began crying and ran to her mother where she cried for the remainder of the night.
2. She still can’t look at a firefly without feeling guilty.
3. Her left foot is a size 6.5 and her right foot is a size 6. She usually either has to cram her left foot into a shoe, or buy inserts for her right.
4. She has the same birthday as Lindsay Lohan.
5. She hates the fact that she knows that #4 is a fact.
6. If she could own any other pet in the world (other than her doggies) she would want two sugargliders because THEYARETHECUTESTTHINGSEVER!
7. She is completely clumsy and falls down on average, twice a day.
8. She is extremely dyslexic
9. She loves to sing.
10. She loves to sing songs from the 80s.
11. She loves buying cooking equipment, including new food and spices, even though she is a TERRIBLE cook
12. Autumn is her favorite season
13. One of her favorite things in the whole wide world is taking a bubble bath with a glass of wine and a good book.
14. She knows how cliche the above is, and she is not at all ashamed
15. She loves trashy romance novels. THERE, SHE SAID IT!
16. She hates being cold, but somehow always is, regardless of what season it is.
17. She is fascinated by serial killers, but whenever she reads their biographies and stories becomes so terrified that she can’t sleep.
18. She despises laundry. And dishes. But loves to sweep and mop.
19. She thinks Patrick Dempsey just may be the hottest man ever
20. She loves the smell of melted butter
21. Her favorite place to be is in bed, under her covers with Luna sleeping beside her.
22. She loves shopping at antique stores
23. She loves snow, but as mentioned before, hates the cold.
24. Stingrays used to be her favorite sea creature. Until one killed Steve Irwin. Now she’s afraid of them
25. She fell in love with stingrays at Orlando’s Discovery Cove where she fed them with her friend who worked there. They suck raw fish out of your hand and are suprisingly affectionate and love to be pet.
26. She likes to take macro pictures of things
27. Her favorite outfit as a girl was a white lace dress with a pink ribbon that tied around the waist. Her mom made it.
28. She just doesn’t get all the fuss over Star Wars, Star Trek, and Xmen.
29. She loves coffee. She takes it with her oxygen.
30. She is secretly in love with Gene Kelly.

Torture

Torture
I arrived at my office today, not excited to be here, but also not in a bad mood. I sat down at my desk with a bitter cup of coffee (the coffee here is pretty terrible) loaded with so much cream and sugar, most people assume I’m drinking milk, and opened my email. One of the first things on my long list of unopened emails is a note from the boyfriend! titled ‘Miss You’. Curious, I clicked to see what he had to say. And there, staring at me, was a picture of Luna (my dog who he watches some days while I’m at work) and Red (his dog), cuter than any time I’d ever seen them before! The boyfriend! added the caption at the bottom…and if I had to take a guess, I would say this was exactly what they were thinking.

**For those who can’t read the small print at the bottom, it says: Come home and read us a story, mom. AWWWWWWWWWWW!

Peeping Tom

PEEPING TOM
_______________________________________________
Occurred: May 12, 2002

I stood watching the pot of coffee brew. It 5pm on Thursday and my color theory final was due in one hour. We still had weeks left in school, but my professor, a quirky older woman with fiery red hair, insisted that we would all thank her later. As soon as we turned our projects in, classes were optional work periods, which essentially meant that class was over for the year. Sean and I decided to use this to our advantage and drive through the night Thursday, visit his parents over the weekend and drive back Monday night for classes on Tuesday. His parents lived in New Hampshire and I had yet to meet them.

I rushed to Montgomery Hall, walking quickly to Professor Loretta’s office. I saw three of my classmates behind me. At least I won’t be the last getting it in. I peeked into her room, and Loretta sat at her desk with purple cat eye reading glasses resting on her nose. One of those beaded chains was attached to the earpieces and it was positioned tightly across the back of her neck.

“Hi Loretta,” I put my project into the folder, marked with Thursday’s 6:00pm class.

“Oh, hello, Colleen!” She spoke in a lovely accent. It sounded Austrian.

“I hope I’m not too late,” I said knowing I wasn’t.

“Well, technically the semester’s not over for another four weeks.”

“True.” I paused, not knowing what else to say. “Well, have a good weekend. My boyfriend’s waiting for me in my car.” I cracked my knuckles, another nervous tick I have. My parents didn’t like me using my car for long trips, but Sean was convinced that his car wouldn’t make it to NH and back. It made more sense to take mine, but I was still a little nervous, even though he promised my parents would never find out.

“Oh, a date night?”

I cleared my throat. “Actually we’re going to visit his parents in New England. Neither of us have classes tomorrow or Monday, so…we figured, why not.”

“Wow,” with an index finger she pushed her glasses higher onto her nose, “that’s important. First meeting?”

I nodded.

“Are you nervous?”

“A little. But mostly I’m just exhausted from having worked on your project all night.” I tapped the folder that now held two weeks of my hard work.

Raising her eyebrows, a high-pitched ‘huh’ escaped her lips. “Well, good luck. I’ll see you next week, dear.”

“Bye, Loretta.” I backed out of her office and headed toward my silver Toyota Corolla which waited for me in the parking lot.

* * *

I fell asleep almost immediately in the passenger seat. I awoke to the sun rising Friday morning, my cheek pressed against the window, sticky with sweat and drool. “Mmmm.”

“Morning,” Sean looked at me out of the corner of his eye.

“Mmmm.” I said again.

“I’m surprised you managed to sleep through all those wheelies and doughnuts I was doing blindfolded with your car.”

“Mmmhhhmmm.”

“I also gave a ride to some strippers. They sat on my lap. They didn’t disturb you did they?”

“No,” I said. I don’t have much of a sense of humor in the mornings. “What’d you say about doughnuts?”

“There’s one truth in life, Colleen—Girls are only good for two things on road trips: sleeping and peeing.”

I swiped my hand across my eyes and chin, wiping away residual drool. “Haha. I was gonna ask if you needed me to drive for a bit, but I guess I’ll just pee on the seats.” I scrunched my nose into my “potty” face.

“Go ahead,” Sean smirked, “they’re your seats. I was thinking about peeing myself. Besides, we’re only 10 minutes away.”

“What!?” I sat upright, looking around at road signs to verify that he wasn’t screwing with me.

“Yep. I called my parents already, so they know we’re almost here.”

“Oh my God!” I scrambled to get make up out of my purse. “I need to be a little presentable! Why didn’t you wake me?” I scowled at Sean and decided I was going to blame my grogginess on him.

“I did try to wake you. Twice. Once at a gas station and once when I was bored. Both times you snorted then kicked me away.” My face grew hot as he added, “You drool, by the way. In your sleep. Did you know that?”

I looked down at my knees. “Only when I’m really tired.”

He turned the car left into a long dirt driveway. Trees surrounded us as we drove up to their lake house cottage. It was beautiful. Picturesque. But like nothing I had ever experienced before. I’m a suburban girl. The girl who grew up riding her bike in the streets and sidewalks, not on trails in the woods. I’m used to mini-marts and neighborhoods, not houses in the middle of desolate wooded areas. Regardless, it was beautiful.

Just as I finished powdering my nose, a woman with wiry, reddish brown hair came running out of the front door. Her hair was long, past her shoulders and curly. She had a soft-looking robe wrapped around her and I immediately knew that Sean received his eyes from her. Everything else looked like his dad’s, but those eyes of his, they had Debbie Murphy written all over them.

She ran up to us, hugging me first before going over to greet her son. His dad was only a few steps behind
and introduced himself to me as Tom before giving me a sideways hug. You know the hug I’m talking about. The kind where you put one arm around the person’s shoulders and stick your hip between your bodies so that neither of you can get too close. It’s a bit awkward, but inappropriate touching upon the first meeting is worse. I much preferred the sideways hug.

“Come in! Come in!” Debbie’s voice was high pitched and excited and she continued talking to us the entire way into their house. It was exactly how I had imagined a lake cottage to look. Dark greens and blues, plaids, a sign on the front door with a moose smiling, welcoming me inside. It was very Country Crock and wouldn’t have surprised me in the least if she had had a Sara Lee cake in the fridge along with a pitcher of strawberry lemonade.

“Are you kids tired? That’s a long drive, you must be tired.”

We both nodded. And Sean wrapped his arm around my waist. “Actually, we could probably each use a shower, if that’s ok.”

“Sure, but not at the same time,” His dad said with a crooked smile and winked at Sean.

“Absolutely!” His mom said with the same enthusiasm as when we arrived. “There’s only one bathroom in the entire house, though, so Sean, you should be a gentleman and let your lady go first.” He nodded and they both showed me the way.

The bathroom was long like a train car and had two entrances. One connected to the kitchen and the other, to the master bedroom. I set my bags down on top of the toilet and pulled out my different toiletries. Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, loofah, toothbrush…yep, I think that’s it, I thought. Turning the water on, I gave it a chance to warm up while I brushed my teeth. I ran the bristles over my teeth, allowing the toothbrush to wipe the film away and I opened the medicine cabinet. I knew this was in bad taste, but curiosity always got the best of me in these situations. You can tell a lot about a person by their medicine chest. What medication they’re on—whether they have trouble sleeping or if they have allergies. You see what products they use. Are they specific brand people or do they buy coupon items in the Sunday paper? The Murphy’s were definitely coupon from the Sunday paper people. I noted the anti-frizz products and remembered how curly Sean’s hair becomes when it grows out. Must be another trait inherited from his mother. Condensation from the running hot water surrounded my face, fogging the mirrors in front of me. I like these mirrors, I thought while peeling off the sweat-dried clothes from my body. I liked any mirrors that were full length. I never had one, but I liked the idea of being able to see my entire outfit in one glance. I slid the shower curtains to the left, the metal hooks scraping across the shower bar loudly. I stepped inside, the steaming water pounding like hot rain against my back.

“Shit,” I muttered to myself. My face wash was still in my bag sitting on the toilet. I stepped out of the bathtub, water dripping down my legs. I was bent over my bag, searching deep inside like Mary Poppins in her carpetbag, for the small tube.
“Ah, found it,” I said to no one. Standing upright, looked at the door to the master bedroom. I should lock that, entered my mind just as the knob turned and Tom, Sean’s father, walked in.

We were frozen, staring at each other. He—fully clothed in plaid, like a scared lumberjack, and me—ass naked, wondering how long it will take Sean to find his next girlfriend.

His cheeks flushed, and he stumbled, searching for words. They came out incoherently, “Uh, bu…you…uh…” and yet his eyes stayed firmly in place. On my breasts.

I realized he was in too much shock to close the door, so I whipped my body around. Apparently, I thought my boobs were not impressive enough. So, I decided to show him my crack. However, when I turned around, I saw the same shocked expression still staring at me in the mirror.

I screamed. It was the only other thing I could think of to do to snap him out of his trance. My shrill voice startled him and he shut the door quickly. I imagined that face of his, with his chin hanging down past his sternum, still in tact on the other side of the door.

“Um, Colleen?”

“Yes?” My voice was meek. A little raspy from the scream.

“There’s a lock on this door.”

“Ok.” I said quietly. As if I didn’t know that already. Well, believe me, I learned my lesson.

“Also, be sure not to use up all of the hot water.”

“Yes, Mr. Murphy.” I sighed, closed my eyes and stepped back into the shower. I had four more days to spend with this family. Well, at least I had worked out the day before.

**This post has been exaggerated a tiny bit for emphasis. For instance, Tom was not staring at my breasts. He was looking at my face the entire time. But the majority of it is true.

Thank you

Thank you random woman on the subway who wouldn’t stop coughing. Thank you for not covering your mouth yesterday or turning your head to the side. Thank you for breathing deeply so that I could almost SEE the germs leaving your mouth and entering my nose. Thank you for following me when I tried to move into the train more so to get away from you. Thank you for wiping your nose with your hand and then placing that hand on the metal bar that tons of other people, including myself, had to also hold on to.

Thank you for giving me your cold. May you choke on your own mucus enough to scare you but not to kill you! (because if you did die from your own mucus I would feel really bad!)

Horoscopes

So, because I’m tired today and I thought this was cute, I decided to follow in Merry’s footsteps from Mom and More and play the horoscope game.

The rules are simple. Below is a list of each of the twelve months. Copy paste your birth month into the beginning of the entry and then tell your readers which of the descriptions are accurate – the blogger can simply highlight the affirmative or give an overall explanation. I will more than likely give long explanations.

Me, I’m a July baby…so here we go:

JULY:

FUN TO BE WITH.
Pshhh, likes this EVEN needs to be answered. Of course I’m fun to be with. I can do 5 shots of tequila then chug half a bottle of wine before passing out. ‘Nuff said.

SECRETIVE.
Surprisingly, yes. Not about major things, I guess…but in the way of, I love surprises. Sometimes, there’s just no reason for certain people to know certain things. It’s none of their business. And yet, I write about my most personal experiences online. Hmmm. Curious.

DIFFICULT TO FATHOM AND TO BE UNDERSTOOD.
I think this sentence is difficult to fathom and to be understood.

QUIET UNLESS EXCITED OR TENSED.
Hm, I wouldn’t describe me as quiet necessarily. I tend to be a little more shy or reserved if I’m in large groups or with people I don’t know well. Other than that, I’m pretty outspoken. ESPECIALLY when excited. However, if I’m tense, I think I’m also quiet. There’s a reason why I’m tense or stressed and so I’m probably focusing on whatever that is.

TAKES PRIDE IN ONESELF.
I am a very proud person. And I have a lot to be proud of regarding all aspects and all people in my life. I’m proud of my brother, my sister, my mom, my dad, the Boyfriend!…I’m even proud of my dog. And myself. I’ve come a long and worked my way up from an intern to a producer in just two years. However, I think I am level-headed and I try very hard not to allow my pride to dictate my actions. That’s simply arrogance.

HAS REPUTATION.
Huh?!?! What have you heard???

EASILY CONSOLED.
Oh god, no. If something upsets me, I tend to stay upset for a while. I mean, people can hold me and make me laugh, but I am terrible at holding grudges and I am very vengeful!

HONEST.
Yes. I’m an awful liar. I always tug on my earlobe when I’m lying.

CONCERNED ABOUT PEOPLE’S FEELINGS.
Too much. I worry way too much about other people. To the point where I sometimes put other people’s needs before my own.

TACTFUL.
Usually. There’s the occasional angry slip-up.

FRIENDLY.
Yes. Unless you look creepy/scary. Then I stare at the sidewalk and clutch my purse closer to my ribs as I pass you.

APPROACHABLE.
The Boyfriend! and I had a conversation about this last night actually. We were talking about how I hardly ever get hit on at bars. I seriously have NO IDEA why I’m considered unapproachable sometimes. I’m usually very animated and talkative at bars. I strike up conversations with everyone, girls and guys, but for some reason I am always the girl who goes home sans any phone numbers. Not that it matters NOW, but it’s annoying since Sean gets hit on even with me standing there holding his hand!

EMOTIONAL TEMPERMENTAL AND UNPREDICTABLE.
Er–no, um, of course not. Ok, fine, FINE! I’m emotional. I admit it. And yes to tempermental. Unpredictable….mmm, I think I’m pretty predictable actually, so I’ll say no to that one.

MOODY AND EASILY HURT.
Moody, depends on the time of month. Easily hurt, yes. But I try not to show it too often. Then all my anger and tears come out because of something stupid.

WITTY AND SPARKLY.
Hm, this is hard to answer without tooting any of my own horns. I’ll try to manuever around them carefully. I think I can be witty. Especially with writing. Sometimes in conversation not so much though. I’m much more clever when I can thoroughly think something through and use spell check and thesaurus before publishing. And Sparkly….ohhhh, I LIKE sparkly things so I would love to think of myself as being SPARKLY. Yes, I think I shine like sequins!

NOT REVENGEFUL.
False. I am so all about revenge. Turn the other cheek? Sure…I’ll let you get all the slaps you want in. But the second you’re finished, watch out.

FORGIVING BUT NEVER FORGETS.
Indeed. I forgive. I forgive pretty easily actually. If you apologize after wronging me and you seem sincere, I’ll accept your apology. However, I will never put my guard down again with you. All trust is lost.

DISLIKES NONSENSICAL AND UNNECESSARY THINGS.
Er, not so sure about this one. Dislikes nonsensical things? Um, I dunno…I get a laugh about nonsensical things. And I tend to buy a LOT of items that are unnecessary.

GUIDES OTHERS PHYSICALLY AND MENTALLY.
Physically? No. Sean guides ME physically. I would not be going to the gym AT ALL if it wasn’t for him. Mentally, maybe. I tend to be a shoulder to cry on a lot, but it always seems to be mutual.

SENSITIVE AND FORMS IMPRESSIONS CAREFULLY.
I am very sensitive. And I try not to judge anyone too quickly.

CARING AND LOVING.
Extremely.

TREATS OTHERS EQUALLY.
Absolutely. Except for my servants.

STRONG SENSE OF SYMPATHY.
God yes. I feel sympathy and empathy for fictional characters too.

WARY AND SHARP.
I think so. I am usually very wary of people and situations if I sense something is off. If it seems suspicious, usually it’s for a reason. And I like to think that my gut instinct is usually right on. And yes, my fingernails are very sharp. Watch out! I could stab you!

JUDGES PEOPLE THROUGH OBSERVATIONS.
Uh, I guess so. Doesn’t everyone? I mean, you observe people’s actions, reactions, decisions, and personalities and based on that you make a judgment or decision. It can be good or bad. But I think one way or another, you form an opinion about those around you. And those opinions change daily. For instance, I met a new intern today at my office. He’s quiet and tends to look at people while somehow keeping his chin against his neck. Through this observation, I am assuming he is a little shy and nervous.

HARDWORKING.
Absolutely.

NO DIFFICULTIES IN STUDYING.
False. I have a short attention span so studying has always been a struggle for me.

ALWAYS BROODS ABOUT THE PAST AND THE OLD FRIENDS.
Um, I wouldn’t say I BROOD about old friends and the past. But I definitely love to reminisce about the good ole days.

LIKES TO BE QUIET.
To BE quiet? Eh, not really. I like things around me to be quiet though. I’ve never been into loud, noise clubs or anything. I much prefer a lounge where I can sit and talk with friends.

HOMELY PERSON.
Homely?? WHO YOU CALLING HOMELY??

WAITS FOR FRIENDS.
Um, sure. I’ll wait for my friends. Especially if they’re running late and call me. I may play a prank though and drive off, leaving them in the parking lot confused. No wait, that’s my boyfriend who does that.

NEVER LOOKS FOR FRIENDS.
Only if I am expecting one to show up. Then I keep an eye out. Otherwise, no. But no, I do not SEEK OUT new friends. I am always open to meeting new people though.

NOT AGGRESSIVE UNLESS PROVOKED.
True. I will definitely stand up for myself and for my friends if the situation calls for it, but overall I am a huge coward. Confrontation scares the bejeezus out of me.

PRONE TO HAVING STOMACH AND DIETING PROBLEMS.
No. I don’t think so. Although I can be a little gassy after certain meals. Does that count?

LOVES TO BE LOVED.
No. I hate being loved. Everytime my boyfriend utters the words “I love you” in that whiny lovesick voice of his, I slap him across the face and scream at him. “You KNOW how much I hate that! Why do you insist on loving me?!?! WHY???”

EASILY HURT BUT TAKES LONG TO RECOVER.
This is true. I am emotional. And I take EVERYTHING to heart. And I remember almost every negative thing said about me ever. Somehow, though, I never manage to remember the compliments and the sweet things. Hm. Perhaps I should switch my focus.

Ok….your turn. Here are the rest…

JANUARY: Stubborn and hard-hearted. Ambitious and serious. Loves to teach and be taught. Always looking at people’s flaws and weaknesses. Likes to criticize. Hardworking and productive. Smart, neat and organized. Sensitive and has deep thoughts. Knows how to make others happy. Quiet unless excited or tensed. Rather reserved. Highly attentive. Resistant to illnesses but prone to colds. Romantic but has difficulties expressing love. Loves children. Loyal. Has great social abilities yet easily jealous. Very stubborn and money cautious.

FEBRUARY: Abstract thoughts. Loves reality and abstract. Intelligent and clever. Changing personality. Attractive. Sexy. Temperamental. Quiet, shy and humble. Honest and loyal. Determined to reach goals. Loves freedom. Rebellious when restricted. Loves aggressiveness. Too sensitive and easily hurt. Gets angry really easily but does not show it. Dislikes unnecessary things. Loves making friends but rarely shows it. Daring and stubborn. Ambitious. Realizes dreams and hopes. Sharp. Loves entertainment and leisure. Romantic on the inside not outside. Superstitious and ludicrous. Spendthrift. Tries to learn to show emotions.

MARCH: Attractive personality. Sexy. Affectionate. Shy and reserved. Secretive. Naturally honest, generous and sympathetic. Loves peace and serenity. Sensitive to others. Loves to serve others. Easily angered. Trustworthy. Appreciative and returns kindness. Observant and assesses others. Revengeful. Loves to dream and fantasize. Loves traveling. Loves attention. Hasty decisions in choosing partners. Loves home decors. Musically talented. Loves special things. Moody.

APRIL: Active and dynamic. Decisive and hasty but tends to regret. Attractive and affectionate to oneself. Strong mentality. Loves attention. Diplomatic. Consoling, friendly and solves people’s problems. Brave and fearless. Adventurous. Loving and caring. Suave and generous. Emotional. Aggressive. Hasty. Good memory. Moving. Motivates oneself and others. Sickness usually of the head and chest. Sexy in a way that only their lover can see.

MAY: Stubborn and hard-hearted. Strong-willed and highly motivated. Sharp thoughts. Easily angered. Attracts others and loves attention. Deep feelings. Beautiful physically and mentally. Firm Standpoint. Needs no motivation. Easily consoled. Systematic (left brain). Loves to dream. Strong clairvoyance. Understanding. Sickness usually in the ear and neck. Good imagination. Good physical. Weak breathing. Loves literature and the arts. Loves traveling. Dislike being at home. Restless. Not having many children. Hardworking. High spirited. Spendthrift.

JUNE: Thinks far with vision. Easily influenced by kindness. Polite and soft-spoken. Having ideas. Sensitive. Active mind. Hesitating, tends to delay. Choosy and always wants the best. Temperamental. Funny and humorous. Loves to joke. Good debating skills. Talkative. Daydreamer. Friendly. Knows how to make friends. Able to show character. Easily hurt. Prone to getting colds. Loves to dress up. Easily bored. Fussy. Seldom shows emotions. Takes time to recover when hurt. Brand conscious. Executive. Stubborn.

JULY: Fun to be with. Secretive. Difficult to fathom and to be understood. Quiet unless excited or tensed. Takes pride in oneself. Has reputation. Easily consoled. Honest. Concerned about people’s feelings. Tactful. Friendly. Approachable. Emotional temperamental and unpredictable. Moody and easily hurt. Witty and sparkly. Not revengeful. Forgiving but never forgets. Dislikes nonsensical and unnecessary things. Guides others physically and mentally. Sensitive and forms impressions carefully. Caring and loving. Treats others equally. Strong sense of sympathy. Wary and sharp. Judges people through observations. Hardworking. No difficulties in studying. Loves to be alone. Always broods about the past and the old friends. Likes to be quiet. Homely person. Waits for friends. Never looks for friends. Not aggressive unless provoked. Prone to having stomach and dieting problems. Loves to be loved. Easily hurt but takes long to recover.

AUGUST: Loves to joke. Attractive. Suave and caring. Brave and fearless. Firm and has leadership qualities. Knows how to console others. Too generous and egoistic. Takes high pride in oneself. Thirsty for praises. Extraordinary spirit. Easily angered. Angry when provoked. Easily jealous. Observant. Careful and cautious. Thinks quickly. Independent thoughts. Loves to lead and to be led. Loves to dream. Talented in the arts, music and defense. Sensitive but not petty. Poor resistance against illnesses. Learns to relax. Hasty and trusty. Romantic. Loving and caring. Loves to make friends.

SEPTEMBER: Suave and compromising. Careful, cautious and organized. Likes to point out people’s mistakes. Likes to criticize. Stubborn. Quiet but able to talk well. Calm and cool. Kind and sympathetic. Concerned and detailed. Loyal but not always honest. Does work well. Very confident. Sensitive. Good memory. Clever and knowledgeable. Loves to look for information. Must control oneself when criticizing. Able to motivate oneself. Understanding. Fun to be around. Secretive. Loves leisure and traveling. Hardly shows emotions. Tends to bottle up feelings. Very choosy, especially in relationships. Systematic.

OCTOBER: Loves to chat. Loves those who loves them. Loves to take things at the center. Inner and physical beauty. Lies but doesn’t pretend. Gets angry often. Treats friends importantly. Always making friends. Easily hurt but recovers easily. Daydreamer. Opinionated. Does not care of what others think. Emotional. Decisive. Strong clairvoyance. Loves to travel, the arts and literature. Touchy and easily jealous. Concerned. Loves outdoors. Just and fair. Spendthrift. Easily influenced. Easily loses confidence. Loves children.

NOVEMBER: Has a lot of ideas. Difficult to fathom. Thinks forward. Unique and brilliant. Extraordinary ideas. Sharp thinking. Fine and strong clairvoyance. Can become good doctors. Dynamic in personality. Secretive. Inquisitive. Knows how to dig secrets. Always thinking. Less talkative but amiable. Brave and generous. Patient. Stubborn and hard-hearted. If there is a will, there is a way. Determined. Never give up. Hardly becomes angry unless provoked. Loves to be alone. Thinks differently from others. Sharp-minded. Motivates oneself. Does not appreciate praises. High-spirited. Well-built and tough. Deep love and emotions. Romantic. Uncertain in relationships. Homely. Hardworking. High abilities. Trustworthy. Honest and keeps secrets. Not able to control emotions. Unpredictable.

DECEMBER: Loyal and generous. Sexy. Patriotic. Active in games and interactions. Impatient and hasty. Ambitious. Influential in organizations. Fun to be with. Loves to socialize. Loves praises. Loves attention. Loves to be loved. Honest and trustworthy. Not pretending. Short tempered. Changing personality. Not egotistic. Take high pride in oneself. Hates restrictions. Loves to joke. Good sense of humor. Logical.