icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
HALP. How does one avoid a very, very nice guy?

See, I usually go for these shy types who don't know how to pursue women.

That puts all the work on me. If I don't feel like pursuing them, I am not pursued.

But I met this great guy up at retreat. He's a friend of a friend, at the same level (approximately) of Buddhist practice I am (not that it matters, but it means he's serious about it).

We clicked. Talked for hours one night (time I couldn't afford out of the retreat and I had to do some serious make-up work).

I'm just ... I don't want a relationship right now. I did a couple of boyfriends post-WG and I'm not into it at the moment. For a lot of reasons, one of them being that I'm just too fucking busy.

But he's Not!ShyTM. He's following up on conversations. Talking to my mom when he has a chance. Coming over to say hello at Buddhist events. Dropping me an email. Doing all the smart things GuysWhoAreInterested who are GoodAtRelationships and know how to SuccessfullyPursueAWoman do.

I'm not used to this. In fact, I've never encountered this before in my life.

What does one do?


ETA: Fandom, I'm still here. Just orbiting at a very great distance.

ETA2: Aack! He knows HowToStartConversations! That are NotAwkward! About ThingsShe'sInterestedIn that SheMentioned so that it's AlmostImpossibleNotToAnswer. Good lord. Social skills! What does one do?
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
Jetsunma always knows the right thing to say. I like to swing by her Twitter when I'm puzzling over something. The advice I need is always right there.

It's not always the advice I want of course.

Q: "Which bed should I get? Should I shop for a bed now or wait? I really do want a new boyfriend and..."

A: "Making wishing prayers to return in a form in which you can benefit beings purifies the mind of desire."

(Huffs a sigh.)

She's never predictable though.

Q: "What do I do about the cute guy whose nun!mom just grilled me?"

A: "You MIGHT be compatible. *Links to Chinese astrological signs, revealing we're exactly 12 years apart.*"

Awk!

I wonder about the appropriateness of using a Buddhist Lama as a kind of Magic 8-Ball, but it does seem to work, lol!
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
About that thing with the cute guy and his mother the nun grilling me....

Well, let's back up a bit.

J.'s a nice guy. I noticed he'd gotten rid of the beard (it had looked good on him, but I hate beards). He said he'd lost some weight. I said I'd never noticed the weight, which made him blush. Honestly, he's an attractive guy all around.

I asked him to help me with a painting project, he said sure thing, and let me know his schedule was wiiiiiide open.

It had been a tough week: his girlfriend had been cheating on him with her ex, she was pregnant and it wasn't clear if the baby was his (I'm wondering about those birth control recalls, because that's two women I know who -- ooops! -- got pregnant this year).

On top of it, he'd just lost his job, was forced to sublet his apartment, and so had temporarily moved in with his mom (who's a nun). He was feeling pretty low. "I'm thirty-three years old and living with my mom. I feel like a total loser."

I explained my own situation with WG in 2009, that I'd found myself in a similar situation. At age 42. These are tough times.

Cue the "no way you're over forty, you look younger than me" conversation, which is waaaay more fun than the previous version "no way you're twenty-five, you don't look old enough to work here."

That out of the way, we talked for a while about cheating boyfriends/girlfriends, the economy, what it's like being a kid at the temple and then coming back as an adult, his rough times down in Florida, his brother, my own surprise of first seeing him in 2009, quote, "Who's that solid-looking guy -- oh, wow, that's J.? I remember him from when he was eight years old." That was the edited version. I didn't say that I had really thought, Wow, not my usual type, but definitely good-looking--oh my god, that's J.?? I feel rather naughty now, hee.

We decided to start the painting project the following week. Well, the supplies I'd ordered didn't arrive in time, so it got postponed a few more days.

Then I bumped into his mom, the nun, outside the grocery store. I apologized for getting ticked off at her about her pressuring me to change the time of my Tibetan class (we had a difference of opinion about the value of Tibetan for new people). She said it was nothing. That settled, I asked the natural, "Oh, hey, how's J. doing?"

Big. Mistake. I wish I'd asked about the weather.

She tells me that things are looking up, he really enjoyed working with me on the project (it hadn't started yet) but he'd found a new job right away.

"Oh, that's great," I said, really happy to hear it, with a snap of my fingers that I'd moved too slow.

Then she tells me, "And J. said, '[Icarus] is soooo pretty!' She looks younger than me." Ah, someone else was doing a little editing I see. That much was fun.

But then it spiraled into weird. )

At the end of the conversation as I stared at her, wide-eyed, she was all satisfied, "Oh good, just friends then."

O_____________O

Aside from her being an over-protective mom, she's a nun, and that comes with a particular world view. )

So that should be as weird as it will get, right?

Nope. To ice the cake-of-weird, J.'s ex-girlfriend friended me on Facebook the following week. She and I had met, I think, once. J. introduced her, "Hi, this is my gf." I said hi, nice to meet you. And that's it. She's friended seventeen people at the temple, mostly monks and nuns, and she friends me why?

WTF is going on in J.'s world?
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
And -- rescued a cat tonight.

I was about to leave work. As I shut my door, I heard a meow.

Meow?

I looked back to see if was just the car door squeaking, and there was the source on the edge of the parking lot. He had hoarse voice, like he'd over-meowed.

A few minutes later, my ex-boyfriend (the local Chinese one, S.) stopped by to see if I cared to have a bite, and found me petting the cute kitten -- well, teenage cat, maybe about four or five months old. A fine-lined tabby with white paws and long, thin legs, a tail in extra-long.

"Why am I not surprised?" S. said, which is rich, because he's just as much of a cat person as I am, and that's saying something.

We were about to head out: "The tapas place? You know, I was thinking of stopping by but figured you'd be at a dance class or something--" (I got S. into ballroom dancing) -- when kitty very deliberately blocked the car from leaving.

Kitty meowed urgently. Something was wrong.

"Maybe he's lost?" He looked very young. We speculated, and then S. thought maybe if we brought him over to where the townhouses were, we'd see if he made his way towards one. It was probably a mistake to take him around the block by car, but S. had left the engine running, it had rained, and it was rather wet.

I didn't think it would work. But I humored S. because I knew who was going to be housing this cat if we didn't find his home.

Kitty started going up one sidewalk to a door. Then he looked confused. He trotted down that sidewalk and went up to the next door, but no, not it. He did the next one. He walked on the sidewalk, not the grass. This was an indoor kitty.

"He doesn't know where he lives," I told S.

We took kitty to S's house, naturally, because one, he doesn't have four other cats, and two, he lived next door (which is why he'll stop by after I get off work). He loves cats. His grandmother doesn't (it's his house, willed to him by his mother, but his grandmother's lived there for twenty years; it's Chinese thing).

Tucked in the downstairs bathroom at S's place, we discovered that kitty was a she, and she, though young, was a nursing mother. Gosh, we hoped that whoever lost their cat knew that kittens could be weaned onto wet food as early as three or four weeks. S. went out to get cat food and supplies for a litter box, while I discovered what a sweet, gentle cat this was as she melted in my hands.

S. arrived with the food, and that's when we discovered how lost this cat had been. She tried to eat the kitty litter, she was so hungry. In slow spoonfuls (I didn't want her to get sick) she voraciously devoured six mini cans of cat food. A week, at least, without food? I worried about her kittens. I didn't want to say anything, but it looked like she'd nursed kittens more recently than a week. The telling moment came when, sated at last, rested, comforted and warm, she tried the door.

I know that meow. It's the same one cats use when there's a bird just out of reach. It's also the same one they use when their kittens are in danger. Those kittens are still out there. My mind formed a picture of some reckless asshole dumping a cat and her kittens in the woods because he (or she) didn't want to deal with a litter.

I knew it was hopeless, but I got a flashlight and tried to hunt through the area where we found her. Too dark, too steep, and my slippery work shoes were no help. A neighbor (walking his dog at midnight) offered a harness and leash, suggesting that we put her on one and have her lead us to them. The harness was too big, but he was a nice guy, wants to know what happens.

In the morning, I'm bringing over a cat carrier to take her to the vet, check for a microchip. (S. works from home tomorrow, waiting for the plumber.) We'll see if we can get a harness. Can only pray the kittens make it through the night, and that we can find them in the daylight.

Or pray that I'm wrong, and she just doesn't like being kept in a room. S., for his own peace of mind I think, has decided on that interpretation.


ETA: Breaking news. All the kittens are safe and sound -- because she's not a nursing mother. She's pregnant.
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
The jobs market is definitely picking up. The ex-boyfriend landed a new job just last week.

And here's the jobs report from last Friday:

Economy gains 243,000 jobs in January, twice what was expected.

This is the jobs growth as of last July, 2011:



Last Friday we learned that 243,000 new jobs were created in January, about twice what we'd expected. About 150,000 jobs were created in November, and 203,000 in December.

My mom mentioned last week that, "For a recession, I'm seeing an awful lot of people in restaurants." My theory is that people reduced their expenses ... driving less expensive cars, sharing a house rather than renting an apartment ... and now they're spending in restaurants. In fact, restaurants are one of the growth industries, alongside unexpectedly good construction figures (warm winter), and a flourishing tech industry.

Apologies

Jan. 12th, 2012 03:17 am
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
Sometimes I have a lot of respect for my ex, [profile] wildernessguru.

One of the things I learned from watching him was that ... you don't have to be 100% in the wrong to apologize. You just have to recognize that the other person is upset and care how they feel. The rest sorts itself out afterward.
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
S., the ex-boyfriend, had his bumper rammed.

This was a lucky break: his bumper was all scratched up in the first place. I used to give it sad
looks. Now someone else had to pay to replace the whole thing. Yay!

(That's how I saw it. He was not amused.)

The insurance company paid for a car and a shuttle from the dealership to the car rental place. He waited 20 minutes. It didn't arrive. Waited another ten. Finally he called them. Oh, they were running late.

After forty minutes at the dealership, they finally arrived, picked him up...

... and drove him down the block and across the street.

(I thought it was hilarious. He was not amused.)
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
Is it weird that I go out with my ex?

To a burlesque?

He thought so.
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
Woke up to go to the Renn Fair on Labor Day...

... and had to coin a word to describe the weather: scungy.

With your help it'll be in the dictionary by next year.

Snuggled under my fuzzy-warm blanket with my sleeping cats curled next to me, a yen to write, eps of BSG cued up, and [personal profile] mad_maudlin's up-and-coming Atlantis Big Bang Epic of Excellence to beta (The Stars My Destination, you are all going to read it, it's good) ... I so didn't want to go out.

Called up S. (who's now an ex-boyfriend but we still go on friend-dates) to take a (literal) rain check. The wind and rain kicked up obligingly.

Yes! A Labor Day at home (with cats).

Thank you, rain.

I'm sorry I called you scungy.
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
Hit the end of Memorial Day weekend and found, jeeze, I ran my tail off but only accomplished one project (and that only because b-boy insisted).

Okay, I did try a new recipe in my curry book. (For him. One really has to do it with lamb.) And did some grocery shopping. (Partially to have food for him this weekend.) But.

Writing project: 0 done.
Spiritual practice: 0 done.
Meeting with writing group: couldn't go, was with b-boy and late getting back from DC.
Yoga class: didn't go, up too late with b-boy.
Tibetan study: hahahahahhaha.

We talked. He doesn't have other plans. Which is why he's soaking up all my free time. *eyeroll*

I just ... I remember that with my ex, he took care of himself. And me. (I realize though that my ex was in his late 40s, while b-boy is only 29. And 29? Really pays off in the bedroom.)

He just mentioned he had a button come off one of his shirts. "I can show you how to sew that," I said sweetly, knowing full well he wanted me to do it for him.

*sigh*

Cougar.

Mar. 2nd, 2011 04:11 am
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
It's official. I'm a cougar.

Rawr!
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
Let there be shoes....

I went on a Etsy.com spree tonight. It's hard enough to find US size 4 1/2. Finding knee high boots and ankle boots in my size-? Rare.

*SPENDS!*

But it's worth it.

I may have hats and scarves queued up for my next spree.



ETA: Dinner tonight with S. was an excellent Greek Mezze place. Snuggle time after, with chocolate. (In the basement? Oksy, he's put up with my tiny bed and grumpy grandma was upstairs.) Valentine's just came a little late.
icarus: (Ave Maria Lights)
When your boyfriend has an early meeting, and you have to work late on Valentine's Day, who's your valentine?

Why, fluffy little Rothy kitty, that's who.

Herrrrrre, kitty, kitty, kitty, kitty.

I have a lapful of kitty, chocolates in hand, mint ice cream on the end table, and peach fizzy water right here. Castle's on, and I'm pigging out.

Purrrrrrrrr....

Meanwhile, my boyfriend and I did Valentine's Day by phone.
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
Calling all home repair people, full alert.

Remember that wallpaper job?

Yes, it's still going on.

Since S.'s grandmother came home unexpectedly, I couldn't spend the night there anymore. We were reduced to working on it when our schedules overlapped: he works 10-6ish, I work 3-9:30ish, so project work time shrank to 10pm-midnight.

My fall-bounce-bomp down the stairs delayed it further. Then I got a cold.

The ugly wallpaper came down over Christmas, revealing those horrifying Pepto-Bismol pink walls. It took two coats of primer (high quality Zinsser) to cover that pink. The walls had both coats of primer and were painted January 10th, done ...

... except for the crack down the wall we'd discovered behind the wall paper and the closet doors. That corner I mudded (I'm no expert at mudding), sanded, and primed.

Annnnd the primer cracked like lizard skin along the vertical part of the crack.

Huh.

I assumed I must not have let the mud dry (but 24 hours should have been enough...), talked to the guys at Home Depot, who'd never seen anything like it but thought my explanation was plausible. They told me I'd have to scrape it out and re-mud. I said, "Oh, god, I hope not."

I scraped and sanded the cracked primer and mud. With a sanding block it was total gorilla work.

Sanding hard, I leaned on the wall -- and broke the mud. After all that sanding, I was going to have to redo it.

Got sick, got injured, painted the closet doors to keep the project moving while I couldn't sand. Got snowed in.

Finally bought a palm sander and set to work on it this weekend. I stopped trying to have the work be perfect and asked S. (home renovator-in-training) to do the mudding of the part that broke. He put on waaaay too much, but hell, he sanded it.

Then he did the same thing. He leaned too hard on the wall on the upper portion, breaking the mud there. So that had to be remudded as well.

Sunday it was done. Sanded smooth. Ready to paint.

I primed it.

And the damned primer cracked like lizard skin again. The seam underneath it is smooth. It's just the primer cracked on top of it.

Pissed, I laid on coat after coat of primer (yes, I waited an hour between coats, no, I didn't sand between coats, not with that lizard skin problem). It cracked less. But it still cracked.

Home owners and painters ... any ideas? We're stumped. S.'s forums are stumped. The Home Depot guys are stumped.
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
Even though the room isn't totally done (there's that corner that's a problem, and then the closet doors to paint...) I told S. that I made sure, now that mom's coming back -- a day earlier than I thought, ack! -- he can move back into his room. The bed can be moved back, as can the dresser, and we can finish up the remaining details on the weekend.

He looked dismayed.

Wait, wait. He complained about being stretched in three places, having his stuff at his place, being up at my mom's, and then work. But he doesn't want to move back?

Ooooh. He's enjoyed staying with me. Previously we didn't see each other every day like this, and when his life goes back to normal, he gets to deal with his grandma again.

I added, of course, we can just finish up the last details and in the meantime you can still stay at my place. But it's nowhere near as nice as having mom's entire house to ourselves.

He looked relieved. "It's just a few days."

Man this guy's hard to read.



ETA: Turns out he didn't want to stay in a room with a half-finished project? I don't quite get that, but okay.
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
The next chapter in the ongoing saga of stripping the wallpaper off S.'s walls.

It's amazing what some ugly vinyl wallpaper will cover. Bright pink paint. And now ... a long crack along the corner of one wall.

Wonderful. Our wallpaper and painting project just became a drywall project as well.

On a positive note, mom's cats all love S. Even the very feral Callie. They all curled up with him last night, happy as can be.

(I may have been a little jealous.)


ETA: Primer problem.
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
Moving a dresser to strip more wallpaper in S.'s room, he grabbed my arm and stopped me.

Then pulled a handgun off the bottom shelf. He gave me a chiding tilt of his head. "Not something you want to drop."

"Yes, but it isn't loaded," I said. That's a basic, right?

He ejected the clip onto the bed. "Now it isn't."

I stared at him, agog. Impressed and amused. "That breaks all the rules I learned in hunting safety."

He smiled. "That's because it isn't used for hunting."
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
Kaplah! The room is painted.

Well. Half painted.

One half is white, one half is ... the brown remainder of the wallpaper looks like a cardboard box. But the painted half looks great.

Have been at S.'s house this last week while his Chinese grandmother's been out of town. I've mentioned his horrible wallpaper.

S.'s grandmother is coming home DAYS early, so we scrambled to at least finish the half of the room that had been stripped.

The wallpaper's more than just ugly. It's a little boy's wallpaper. And S. is a grown man stuffed in this box of a little boy's room. It doesn't help [insert complicated explanation of family, inheritance, the fact he owns the townhouse but his grandmother lived there years before he moved in last year fresh from college] that he's living with his elderly grandmother who sees him as a little boy -- and drives him batty.

Little boy room + grandma = talk about sending the wrooooooong signal.

So this is about more than just removing ugly wallpaper.

The pink underneath was even worse. Great. Not only is it a little boy's room, deep down underneath, it's an emasculating little girl's room. Which describes his relationship with his grandma to a T.

Now it's at least halfway to being a man's room.

It looks pretty damned good if I don't say so myself.

Can't wait till we can finish the rest. He's left out all the painting supplies to send the signal that she's interrupting the project, in hopes that she'll change her mind and decide she wants to go to the resort this weekend after all.
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
S. is a gamer. Which means that:

a) his computer system here is powerful enough to run NASA,
b) I hate his twitchy gamer mouse (I mean, it looks slick, but...) and
c) he knows just enough about fandom to be wary of us.

And he has a few misconceptions. This is cool because most people don't know anything at all. He and I have already had the "no, fanfiction is not by definition bad writing" conversation, along with the "yes, there's lots of bad writing but that's because anything can be published online, and trust me, I've seen publishers' slush pile, so that's why there are rec lists" conversation. Apparently in the manga end of his community, fanfiction is for people who can't draw.

This weekend he showed me some of the more cinematic scenes of World of Warcraft (amazing) and I hovered while he played around on DeathSpank, Plants Vs. Zombies, and a few rather funny games. I dug WoW and Plants Vs. Zombies (what? Who wouldn't root for plants?).

The cultural exchange continued this evening after he commented that slash was a "tiny subset" of fanfiction.

"Er, well, slash is a pretty big segment of fandom, not a tiny subset," I said.

"Well, it used to be very small. Slash is bigger now. That's why most people wonder 'Why is fanfiction all porn?'" S. said.

I finally caught on that his gamer community has the slash-equals-porn belief. Riiiiight, I've heard of this in fandom posts.

Cue soapbox:

"Well, I've written five novels and about a hundred and twenty-five stories, mostly slash. While about a third of my stories have explicit content, only two of my stories are porn. By which I mean you can pull the character names out and it wouldn't matter, because the story would be the same, it's all sex," I explained.

"Partially that's because I don't get many reviews for porn. I get hits. But I don't write for hit counts, I write for comments. I want to hear what people think. So I don't write much porn because I don't get what I want.

"I finally got a comment on this one porn story that has a huge hit count--it was someone I knew, so I asked her why. She explained that there's not much you can say about a PWP; 'that was hot' is about it. It's too bad, because I'm good at porn. But we'll all get a lot of responses from a humor story (if it's actually funny) or a romance with a lot of build up that focuses on the relationship, so that's what we tend to write. There might be a pay-off, there might be a really explicit scene, or not, but the majority of slash is about the relationship."

After I'd taken the time to appreciate his world, he really listened this time.

Hmm. The key to cultural exchange is not assume that just because cultures are related they are the same, and tonight I learned that first you have to be willing to appreciate the other culture before there's room to appreciate yours.
icarus: (Happy Rodney by Monanotlisa)
Merry Christmas!

Happily ensconced at S.'s place. Stayed up waaaaay too late working on a latchhook rug when I realized how long it was going to take. You see, my logic circuits decided that this meant I should work on the rug AsFastAsPossible and try to FinishItAllTonight. Absurd, but no one said my logic circuits were logical.

S. has utterly spoiled me over the last few months. I've told you guys about the resort stay on my birthday, the dinners out every week, and the two of us hanging out every Wednesday and Saturday, right?

No?

There's been a resort stay, dinners out, shopping, and hanging out every week. Plus lots of other great stuff. I mean, really, really great. (I'll you NC-17 fic writers fill in the blanks.) Mostly at my place for a variety of reasons involving his townhouse and family, though the decor at his pad would be a good reason if we needed one:


Approximation of S.'s bedroom walls. Someone thought this eye-popping graph pattern, in bold navy blue vertical and red horizontal stripes, would make great wallpaper.

Now that S.'s Chinese grandmother is out of the way (that sounds like we offed her -- no, no, she's just away for Christmas, I swear) his ugly wallpaper is coming down, ha-ha-ha!

Er. Except... it turns out that underneath that ugly wallpaper is horrifying Pepto-Bismol pink paint. It's neutron pink. Can't look at it without getting double vision pink. It's the kind of color a taste-free six-year-old would pick out for her bedroom because "It looks like candy!"

I think I heard a "meep" sound from S. when he saw it. Not an actual sound, perhaps, but a silence that quietly wished that wallpaper back on the wall.

Anyway, I wish you and yours a Merry, merry Christmas. I'm lurking in fandom, reading fic here and there during this busy, busy time. Wrote my [community profile] sga_santa fic shortly after the deadline. I'm filling out my grad school apps which are all due around January 1st, working till 10pm most nights, and all day Saturdays (more about my boss who thinks lunch breaks are optional in an 8-hour day), decorating S.'s place and mine ... and spending time with long-lost family. Which we all should do if given half a chance.

Merry Christmas, all.


ETA: Cracked wall update.
Primer problem.

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