Monday, February 27, 2006

Holy Crap! Tom Westman!

For those of you who have read this blog for a little while or have watched Survivor: Palau, then you’ll know who Tom Westman is. He was my absolute favorite survivor during the Palau season (which, by the way, was the absolute best season of Survivor) and I was thrilled beyond belief when he won. Like, embarrassingly excited. I’m not sure what it was about him, but he was my favorite from the get go and I was just so totally in love with him.

So imagine my complete and total inability to function when I looked up and saw him standing 3 feet from my desk this afternoon. He is in town to speak at a seminar for the company I work with and came in for a tour of the facility. And to schmooze the ladies. Cause the man can schmooze. He was ridiculously kind, charming, and good looking. Like, WOW. I’m sure he’s so good at it because of the large gaggles of drooling ladies coming up to him going, “I watched you on Survivor! Heeeee!!!” And I’m not embarrassed to say I was one of those ladies. Well, I didn’t say that exactly, in fact, I didn’t say anything at all. I just stared like an idiot and smiled. Seriously. He said “Hey!” and waved and all I did was smile. And then immediately began sending e-mails telling my co-workers and friends that Tom Westman just smiled at me and said, “Hi.” Sad, but true.

Thankfully, I know the guy who is serving as his “bodyguard” and “head groupie.” He came over and teased me because, he too is a retired FDNY lieutenant and he too has white hair and yet, he never ever receives the smiles and attention that Tom received. I told him that if he ever goes on TV, he’ll get that kind of attention. He was then kind enough to bring Tom over to “meet the girls” and Tom shook my hand and I had the presence of mind to say my name. Not that he cared, but I was able to speak and was really proud of myself for that feat.

The girl who sits next to me is also a big Survivor fan, so she turned to me and said, “Let’s go get our picture taken!” I was a little hesitant at first, but then decided I should take advantage of the opportunity while it presented. Carpe diem, and all that, you know? So yet another kind co-worker volunteered her camera phone and we were off. We were a little embarrassed at first and the receptionist completely mocked us for our excitement and embarrassment, but he did not. He was kind. Because he’s Tom...and probably because he's getting paid quite a bit to be so nice to us.

Anyway, here’s a picture of me and my co-worker, Valerie, being the Survivor fangirls that we are. See how hot he is? See how kind he looks? See how stupid I look? It’s awesome!

Sunday, February 26, 2006

My Nemesis

This machine is the current bane of my existence. Do you know the rotary twist? Have you met him? He lives to torture me and he is a professional. He is the one thing at the gym that I absolutely dread. If you're not familiar with the rotary twist, allow me to introduce you. You sit on this machine and grab hold of the handles and then twist while pulling a certain amount of weight. And it is evil. I feel like I'm willingly strapping myself into a medeival torture device everytime I sit down on it. Probably because I find it very nearly impossible to both breathe, twist, and suck in my abs at the same time. I'm sure I'm quite a sight because I get this strained look on my face as I try to concentrate on doing all 3 at the same time. Unfortunately, I'm not kidding. I sit down, hold on to the handles, and think, "Okay. Suck in. Twist. Breathe, dammit, breathe!" And I do that 30 times. It wouldn't be so bad if my trainer hadn't made a big deal about SLOWLY twisting back. If I could just twist like I'm doing some kind of sick version of "Twist and Shout," I'd probably be okay. But noooo, I have to concentrate and focus on the muscles. And the 30 layers of fat that are covering those flab-tastic muscles are really opposed to moving, much less being concentrated on.

Friday, February 24, 2006

I wish I knew how to quit you Ennis!

Don't you find it annoying when people you haven't talked to, or felt anything for in years, come back and make you feel weird and strange and squishy and guilty and like you can't breathe, even though they totally don't mean to and it's not significant at all to them?

Me too!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Odyssey of Online Dating, or I’ve been Gimli-winked

Details? You want details about why I am destined to be alone forever (if the internet has anything to say about)? What is wrong with you people?

I’m kidding, I love talking about me. Of course I’m going to share details! I probably would have done so whether or not you had asked.

So the other night, I was bored and playing on the internet and decided to visit because all commercials own me. And when I realized I could look at the pictures and stuff FOR FREE, I decided it’d be fun to see what singles were in my area. Who wouldn’t? I saw some cute guys, some non-cute guys, some scary guys, and some pretty normal looking guys. One person in particular caught my eye, so I tried to see more about him, but alas, you have to have your own profile in order to view others’ profiles! Damn you, Dr. Phil!

So I hemmed and hawed and thought and laughed and debated the merits of profiling it and finally decided that I’d let curiosity get the best of me and I signed up. (For free, by the way. You can totally have a profile for free.)

So I did the dirty deed and signed up. I browsed and giggled and winked. Yes, I winked. See, on, you can ‘wink’ at people to let you know you’re interested in getting to know them better. It's a cute concept. A little trite, but I like winks. Everything was fine and dandy and I went to bed proud of myself for trying something new.

The next day, all winking hell broke loose. Suddenly, I am the perfect candidate for guys whose profiles looked like convicts. Seriously. Either that or a man who would take you out to the woods TO KILL YOU, thereby making himself a potential convict. But you know he could totally get away with the crime because he is clearly way too at ease in the woods. What with all the camouflage and deer paraphernalia in his pictures.

And a lot of them were OLD. Old, old, old. Too old for me and clearly not in my ‘My Match’ range. And some of them were really bitter and clearly, that is not how you get interest! You don't talk about how you're ugly and if you wanted a cute boy, you just wasted your time reading the profile! NO! That is bad, people. Bad!

I was also winked at by guys with no idea how to use the english language. One guy said he liked to "snugel" and be "touchey fealey." I wish I was kidding. He also goes to the Vineyard which is the one single church in this entire world that I will never ever be okay with, even if Jesus Himself came down and kissed it on the head.

There were good guys too, don't get me wrong. A few of them seem like genuinely nice people and I've e-mailed a few back and forth, so we'll see how that goes. Honestly, I see none of these things going anywhere, but I'm trying to be "cup half full" these days.

But the real winner came out tonight. We'll call him Mr. Brightside, since that's his screenname and I love irony. He and I had e-mailed a couple of times and things were okay. Mr. Brightside was totally in love with pop culture, so it seemed like he and I would have a lot to talk about. Right? Well, tonight he instant messaged me and it was really awkward because he had no idea what to talk about. I wasn't sure how to help out either, but I was trying my best to let him lead and respond appropriately. He asked me to elaborate on this "missionary" thing and if I was "really religious." (He had asked in an e-mail how I wound up in my current state of residence.) I told him about my background with the church and how I wound up doing the missions thing for a bit afterwards and how it was hard, and I didn't enjoy it, but I don't regret it, blah, blah, I've-grown-as-a-person-cakes.

And he said, "Interesting." and SIGNED OFF.

I kid you not! He signed off and hasn't been back since! I managed to terrify him before we had even had a 10 minute conversation! With Jesus! Which I found funny since he touted himself as "open minded" on his profile. Seriously! Now, is that open minded? No. That is fear and judgement. But also funny and a great blog story. Thanks Mr. Brightside!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Wink, Wink

I really was planning a spectacularly awesome post in which I spilled all the juicy details on my online "dating" (and I used that word so loosely, it almost hurt to type it) experiences, but Lindsay Lohan was just so darn cute in "The Parent Trap!" And I LOVE that movie and it always makes me cry and can Dennis Quaid get any hotter? I think not. So I did that instead of posting.

But I will tell you about today's latest excitement. The real life Gimli winked at me. And I'm not being mean. It's his screen name and he looks like Gimli. Seriously.

Monday, February 20, 2006

The face that launched 1000 mouse clicks

This face that you see to your left. This face with the somewhat sweet demeanor and particularly good hair that you can't tell very well since it's kind of dark and I like the mellowness of the "no flash" look. This face that really isn't horribly ugly and I don't think looks repulsive. This face which is sitting there on the internet just asking for you, YOU to talk to me. This face ATTRACTS THE BIGGEST LOSERS KNOWN TO MAN IN THE ONLINE DATING WORLD AND OH MY GOD WHAT IS WRONG ME!?

Sunday, February 19, 2006

McDreamy is my honey even though Burke is like, so totally a better guy. Also, I'm so hotter than Meredith

Anne got me Grey's Anatomy Season 1 on DVD for Valentine's Day! A little late you ask? Yes! But she gave it to me Friday, while I didn't give her her gift until Saturday, so we're totally even, sort of. BGF got his gift from us on Friday as well, so really, February 14th should have been on a Friday this year. Shame on St. Valentine for not picking a constant day of the week like the pilgrims did for Thanksgiving!

(Side note: Anne and I have a weird tendency to give gifts late. I almost always get my birthday presents late every year. And this year, I was getting Christmas presents from her in late January. It's awesome! It's like celebrating ME year round. Now you know the real reason we're friends.)

In other random news, Anne and I went to a Third Day concert last night. Truth be told, the real reason we went was because Anne wanted to see David Crowder and preferred to have someone accompany her. The real reason I went is because I haven't been to a concert since 1972 and I have had a crush on Third Day's lead singer, Mac, since I was in high school. And that's where my biggest reservation came in attending. I haven't seen Third Day since I was in high school, and I certainly haven't bought one of their albums since then. So I figured they'd be playing stuff from, oh, this century, and I wouldn't know any of it. And I like to know at least ONE song that the band is playing, you know? For some reason, it's very important to me that I get to sing along at top of my lungs at least once at a live show. We were both a little annoyed by the time intermission rolled around (we attract the freak shows, Anne and I) and I think we were both considering leaving before Third Day even took the stage. Fortunately for us, we stuck around and enjoyed a surprisingly good show. And most importantly of all, Mac rekindled my love for him by playing "Thief" my very favorite song on their very first album that I bought when I saw them in concert at an outdoor venue in Metarie before they even got big and were the opening act for the opening act. They could have just sat around and twiddled their thumbs for the next hour and a half and I would have been fine, because they played that one song.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Happy Birthday Sand Palace!

One year ago today, I started blogging here at the Sand Palace. I was a little unsure about blogging again after the disaster that was iceegirl. I had been a little TOO personal and had let some uncaring, judgmental pricks see my bare soul. It was a pretty painful lesson to learn. It was a new experience for me. To face such outright hatred from people who were supposed to “love” me. But, oh, the controversy! That was new too and it was a heady experience; a power trip that I delighted in for a while, but later regretted. So one day I suddenly decided it was all too much and quit.

But I loved blogging. I had stories I wanted to share and I still had a desire to be KNOWN. I decided to start a new blog, but was hesitant since there was NO WAY I was going back to blogging under my real name. The last thing I wanted to be was google-able. Especially since my boyfriend’s MOM had googled me. (Which, by the way, CREEPY!) So I decided to start over again under a new name and see how it went. I was really hesitant because I had a pretty good readership over in iceegirl-land and there was no way I could ever build that back up without letting all of my old acquaintances know. So I was torn about who to let in and who to shut out. I finally decided that I’d rather have a smaller audience and not be a hot topic at Christian leadership meetings. (Yes, true! And again, creepy!)

And here we are one year later! I wasn’t sure the Sand Palace could stand up to the test of time and it seems to be holding up pretty well. And I have to thank you, dear readers. Thank you for seeing my pathos and not go skittering about shocked at what I say. Thank you for laughing at my lame jokes and leaving goofy comments. Thank you for your encouragement in difficult times and congratulations in the good times. It makes it worth it.

Here’s to another year of Sand Palace blogging goodness!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Won't you be my Valentine?

Today is Valentine's Day. And yes, I am single. I was resolved to write a really positive and happy post and not be, "Woe is me for not having someone send me expensive chocolates and flowers and stuffed animals holding hearts with sayings like, 'I Love You' and 'I go ape for you!'" But really, it's VALENTINE'S DAY, y'all. I love Valentine's Day more than life itself and I am ALONE. I was doing pretty well until I started seeing the flowers appearing in the office and then the lack of flowers on my desk became glaringly obvious and what if I'm going to be like that PostSecret this week that goes 20 years without a valentine? So in the spirit of love, please allow me two seconds to wallow in my self-pity.



Wallow managed.


So to celebrate this momentous day of no pink and red balloons, Anne and I went to Applebee's. We figured it wasn't too date friendly, so we'd be able to get in no problem. Which we were right about, by the way. The parking lot had plenty of empty spaces. Once we entered, it became really obvious that Applebee's is the family Valentine restaurant because most of the couples there had chidlren with them. And we were lucky enough to sit by this little boy who was FASCINATED by anything but his family. He kept turning around and just staring at me and breathing near my neck. It was slightly gross. I was also very grateful he chose to hack up his dinner on his parents' table and not mine.

The problem with tonight's Applebee's visit was that we didn't get food. For forty minutes. Yes, we sat at our table for 40 minutes with zero food. Our waitress came by a couple of times and gave us refills and kept assuring us the food was coming. Little did she know that she could have probably cut off of one of Anne's limbs and we wouldn't have said anything, because neither one of us would have wanted to bother anyone. So even though I started getting grumpy around minute 34, I kept my complaints confined to our table...and to the little boy hovered over the table, since at the point he was a permanent fixture. The food finally came and the manager right behind it apologizing for the crappiness of service. Apparently the kitchen lost our ticket and so our orders were just completely missed. He was very kind and apologetic and then said the most magical words ever, "So tonight's dinner is on me."

Anne and I could barely contain our glee when he left. Poor guy, he had no idea that we never ever would have complained, nor would it deter us from eating at Applebee's. So he kind of wasted his "Please let this pacify you" card, but I'm okay with that. Because that's the best valentine's gift he could have given me. Free steak and shrimp with a blue ribbon brownie. Mmmm-mmm good. Now that, my friends, is true love.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Working Out with Fear and Trembling

I recently took notice of my expanding waistline and protuding belly, and seeing as how I am not with child, I decided that maybe, just maybe, this was a bad thing. (Notice the world record usage of commas in such a short sentence!) I figured this meant I should join a gym, but unfortunately, wanting to join a gym and actually joining are very different things.

BUT...there is a "fortunate" to this situation. See, unbeknownst to me, I have recently undergone a lobotomy and am now being positive about any situation thrown at me. It's really quite strange, this "glass half full" outlook. And this desire to do...good. I can't explain it, but it's there. And I've decided to run with it as long as it'll last.

So last night, I stepped into a wonderland of ellipitcal runners and weight machines. A heavenly place where girls can run their flabby thighs to their heart's content without leering males hanging about. But! But! It was also a place where the girls with once flabby thighs could then take their newly toned thighs and jog with the boys! Seriously! What a concept!

I was a little unsure about the whole process, but it must have been my lucky day because I got the ULTIMATE SALESMAN of fitness to escort me around the club and offer such wise compliments as, "Are you really single?" and "I think you're beautiful!" and "On a scale of 1 to 10, you think you're only a 4? You're being too hard on yourself!" Yes, he flirted. Yes, he's 10 years older than me and married with kids, but it worked, okay? It worked! I never leave home without my "Excuse mister, please take financial advantage of me" sign and last night was no exception. Before I really knew what I had done, I had signed away a good 3 years of my life with only a small hole in my bank account.

So tonight, I headed to the gym with a bounce in my step and a song in my heart. I was going to get skinny! Yahoo! I had my bottled water, my cute blue shorts, and my ever ready ponytail holder. What more could I need?

Part of the draw of this gym was that I got a personal trainer and I was really really looking forward to having someone help me pick out a weight routine. Not since the Great Chris Cooper of '03 have I had someone to guide my actions in the gym. Unfortunately, my girl last night was less Chris Cooper and more....Barbie Cooper. But I figured it'd be okay because she had worked there for a while and seemed nice enough. So she put me on the elliptical and left me to my own devices for 20+ minutes.

And it was awesome! I was running and moving and rocking and rolling and really, I just couldn't be stopped. It was quite possibly one of the best cardio experiences of my life.

So after I finished "running," Barbie told me it was time to do weights. What? No stretching? No cooling down from the heart attack rate of my heart? Who?

Nope. None of that cooling down business! She had customers to take care of and it was off to the weights for me. I did pretty good at first, I mean she made the weights heavier than I really like them, but I figured I'd be okay. Until...

This strange feeling overcame me. I felt a little light headed and a little nauseated. I tried to keep going, but at one point, I realized I had to get out there NOW. I excused myself to the bathroom and RAN to the closest open stall. Where promptly threw up all over the place.

Yep, I puked. That is so completely and mind-bendingly embarrassing. But it's true. I was really surprised because I have never ever pushed myself so hard that I puked before, but there it was. And the snotty little girls who were giggling about their 13 year old boyfriends didn't even act like I was wretching in the stall right next to them. And really, how could I not puke when you're giggling about, like, the HOTTEST guy ever! Totally! Like, oh my god!

So I cleaned myself up and shakily went outside. I tried to continue and lied that I was fine...but I wasn't. Which is, again, embarassing. To Barbie's credit, she seemed genuinely concerned and not ready to laugh in my face, so she sent me home, admonishing me to drink lots of water and eat more before I came back again.

Working out is awesome!

Friday, February 03, 2006


I went to Wal-Mart tonight and was greeted with the unfortunate sight of many, many hermit crabs that had been subjected to torture. Their shells were painted red and pink and they were meant to be sold as Valentine gifts. Yes, I'm serious. Valetine's Day. Can you believe this? Nobody wants a crab from their sweetie! NOBODY. Is that some sick way of telling your special someone that you have a veneral disease? The test came back positive, so you thought you'd be "cute" with it? NO! NO! NO!

The marketing technique was just amazing as well. The top shelf was billed as "Crab in a Cup" for a mere $3.50, while the deluxe edition, "Crabitat," was $8.50. I found a little guy I liked...or pitied, one or the other. He was a member of the crab ghetto and only had a cup to call his home. The cups really sucked because they only had some water and a few red pebbles. (The crabitat guys got sand! Sand!) I stood around for SEVERAL minutes trying to decide if I wanted to buy the guy, but ultimately decided my cat would eventually get the best of him and then I'd feel guilty. But before I left (Crabless! Ha!), I expressed a desire to to move him into a crabitat. Because I knew he'd love me for it. He wanted OUT of that cup. And then I'd be his hero! Because then he could run around in the sand with his weirdly shaped...? What were those things called, I wondered aloud? Anne suggested lobes, which, I don't know where that came from, but I knew it was wrong. I was thinking claws or pinchers, but since we couldn't decide, we decided to go with the general term "things." Which led to me saying, "So he could feel the sand beneath his things!" Which immediately led into a musical version of "Wing Beneath my Wings" that no Wal-Mart associate had ever seen or heard before. I'm pretty sure the greeter thought we were drunk because I left the store singing "Crawl! CRAAWWL! CCCRRAAAAWWWWLLLLL! Crawl so far! So far you almost touched!"

So now I feel so guilty for not hooking my little Hermie up with a crabitat. Because then he could thank me. Thank me. Thank god for me...the sand beneath his things.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

The Claw

My mom is having her gall bladder removed. I'm not sure why, other than she is in pain and I guess her gall bladder is causing it. Honestly, I have no idea why we even have gall bladders, much less how they could possibly malfunction.

What I do know is that my mom called me. Again. Today. To talk. Some more. This time, to let me know how HAPPY she is about getting sick and put on anti-biotics. Cause that means no surgery tomorrow! She's like a kid rejoicing cause her test got cancelled. So there's another week of fun surgery nerves! Yahoo!

And really, I completely understand her anxiety. I've never had surgery and don't really want to know what it's like. I've watched enough Grey's Anatomy to know that patients die on the table. Often. Specifically when pensive and/or mournful music is wafting in the background.

But my mom is lucky, because they're apparently doing some fancy schmancy "new-fangled" surgery where they don't have to cut you open, but rather make some holes and suck your organ right on out. This makes it a non-major surgery and reduces the recovery time. So that's awesome. But again, how does this work? Will one of the surgeons be sucking it through with a straw? Is it like those toy machines where they operate the claw with a joystick and hope they grab the right thing? If so, will there be little aliens, like in Toy Story, worshipping the claw as it picks up a not-so-vital organ? And most importantly, what kind of music will waft through the OR?

No idea. But if she's lucky, her surgeon will look like Patrick Dempsey. And frankly, don't you feel safer knowing that a guy nicknamed McDreamy is taking your organ out?