Sunday, May 20, 2007

Internet Dating Update

Haven't done this for a long time...but I'm about to take the plunge once again. Yes folks, I'm about to take a graceful swan dive into the swirling vortex of online dating, and it remains to be seen whether I'll end up making a smacking belly flop. Later this week I'm going to meet a fascinating man I've been corresponding with for the past month through the Onion. Yup, that's right - The Onion has a personals website and it is by far one of the better ones, sort of an eclectic anti-E-Harmony, if you will. At the very least, you know the pool of people there are going to have a sense of humor. Of course, I'm looking for much more than just that. A huge bank account, vacation homes, no heirs, yada yada yada, you know - my soul mate.

सो it turns out the gentleman that I'll be meeting with this week is a writer for Salon (take that, Slate!) and much more. What attracted me to him you may ask? Well, he passed my initial test of requirements with his personal profile ad; namely:

1. No mention of "likes to take long walks" as I prefer being driven places.

2. No mention of "likes to cuddle" - Excuse me, but what a totally faggy thing for a man to say about himself. What am I, your grandmother?

3. Which brings me to some tips for all potential online daters out there. When posting your Reasonably Attractive Picture From This Decade, consider these suggestions:

Let us see an image that shows your face, but not a photograph taken two inches away from your computer webcam:

(Go towards the light, idiot. Keep going.)

And Dear God, please...शव यौर स्तोमच फर्स्ट!

Nor should you be using the computer in the Drug Rehab activity room when Nurse Ratched isn't looking:

Anyhoo...I'll be sure to let all of you out there in blogland know how our first date goes. Or not.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The Grant Miller Interview

Recently, I was honored to be chosen for a mano-on-womano interview, with the esteemed Grant Miller, of Grant Miller Media:

GM: You have two blogs, topazz (with a zz) and another called WikiFray. How verbose are you that you require two blogs?
topazz: CUT! Don't you dare call me verbose, Grant Miller. And quit focusing that camera on you the whole time.

GM: You work in a college admissions office. What's the dumbest thing you've ever seen or heard an applicant say or write?
topazz: "topazz, do you ever date students?" (No, idiot. It's the college that has the "Open Admissions" policy. I have standards.)

GM: Finish this sentence: "Money is the ___of ____."
topazz: "Not Having Money is the root of all evil."

GM: You live in Pennsylvania. Why?
topazz: Grant Miller, please! Put that back in your pants, or I shall faint! Land sakes, I've never seen anything so huge!

GM: Why should people read your blog?
topazz: 10 words, Grant Miller: I cover the issues pertinent to MILFs and Feminists alike, in addition to motherhood musings, life after divorce, recipes and the occasional kinky sexual technique.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Random Googling

A Gorgeous Looking Man.

A Great Black Dress

A Breathtaking View

That's all I got, for now.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

In The Swim

They say when you’re drowning, your life flashes before your eyes. I think “they” got it terribly wrong. For 3 successive evenings this week, I went swimming in a beautiful brand new pool, one of the enticements of a gym I’m considering joining. I was never in any danger of drowning, but I had these same kinds of flashes, little vignettes of my life, from the moment I first slipped beneath the surface of the water.

The smell of chlorine hits me as I walk into the women’s changing room. I'm immediately brought back to my freshman year in high school, when swimming was a gym requirement. That pool was dank, dark and depressing, and the water felt oily. Nothing like this state-of-the-art facility, but the smell in the dressing room is exactly the same. At least I’m free of my 9th grade agonizing about how my hair will look afterwards, but I still modestly choose to change in a stall with a curtain just like I did back then. The time slot is reserved for women only, but unlike my PE class there is a noticeable difference in that all of the women here are older than me. Maybe it’s the early hour I chose, but most of the women look to be in their 60’s and 70’s, their bathing caps are almost a dead giveaway. It seems to be a club of some sort and they congregate in the shallow end to do their aquatic exercises against the 3 sides of the pool, leaving the deep end all to myself. I’m perfectly happy with this arrangement because one of the reasons I'm swimming is for the solitude.

I stretch out to do what I came for and dive in. It feels great, not too cold, just right. I begin to swim laps back and forth across the width of the pool. The water feels smooth and glides off my skin, it's crystal clear and I slide through it effortlessly. There is something so primordial and life affirming about being in water this way, although my favorite form of swimming is in the ocean, not a chlorinated pool. As I swim my mind goes back to being in the ocean as a child, the annual family vacations to the beaches of New Jersey. I think about my mother’s flowered bathing suit with the detachable skirt, and how my father had one bathing suit ("swim trunks") that he wore year after year. I remember when he showed me how to swim past the breakers to get to those gentle rolling waves, the ones you could backfloat on. Another memory from a child's perspective: how the ocean seemed to change at nighttime into something scary. A powerful force of nature from my view up on the Boardwalk. It still does that to me.

I stop swimming after a while, and float on my back to rest, just like I used to on those softly lapping waves in the ocean. A more recent memory comes to mind this time; being in the Caribbean with 3 of my children several years ago. It was their first trip ever to a tropical island, and their first exposure to the breathtaking beauty of an undersea dive. This is one of the best memories of my life. We had just gone down into the ocean from the boat, and all three were floating in a sort of semi-circle around me as we descended. I could clearly see their expressions through their scuba masks, their looks of astonishment and pure joy as we took in the unbelievable colors of the tropical fish swirling all around us, the brilliant coral below, the shimmering turquoise of the water.


Unfortunately, the membership to this particular gym is not priceless, it's much more than I can afford. I continue floating there for a while longer, enjoying how the water blocks out the voices and sounds of everything else.

I think to myself, I should do this. Just join and damn the expense of it. But summer is coming up fast, there'll be lots of opportunities of my having access to other pools.

And hopefully, other oceans.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

3 Day Pass

I'm not a gym person. Oh I've tried them, even joined several times - and I always get intimidated by all the equipment, especially that obscene open-your-thighs-wide contraption which inevitably has me facing some sweaty guy on a treadmill. I get annoyed by all the people hanging out and perspiring to be workout professionals, flexing whilst guzzling their fancy-schmancy bottled water. Makes me want to just stre-e-etch out on a yoga mat, eat my doritos and make fun of them. To me, there are untold number of reasons why just plain walking is so much preferable over exercising at an indoor gym.

1. Being able to look in people's windows.
I'm amazed at the number of people (usually men) who think no one can see them in their bathrooms.

2. If the windows are open, hearing other mothers yelling at their kids.
This is always kind of vaguely comforting to me. God only knows what other walkers have heard when they've walked past my house.

3. Being outside, breathing in the fresh air, the wonder of nature, the changing of the seasons, etc.
Besides giving great calves, it really is good for your soul.

4. Being able to stop and smoke a cigarette if I want to, or make a phone call out of the earshot of my kids.
I stopped smoking years ago. I wouldn't dare smoke in front of my kids, they'd crucify me. But I started smoking "socially" several years back when I was out with someone and he lit up a Gauloise and it just looked so damn appealing. Ditto if I'm out and the other person is smoking, I'll usually have one too. Or two or three, I'm pretty easily led that way. I used to keep a pack of Dunhills in the freezer for special occasions, but there just wasn't enough of those and they went stale.

5. If I don't feel like walking anymore, I can stop at my sister's house and she'll give me a ride home.
This has happened more than a few times. She only lives about a mile away and her house is a convenient restroom stop, or to scarf down one of those Entemmen chocolate donuts. They're a family addiction.

But just this week, I received a 3 day pass to an upscale and rather luxurious new gym that opened up close to where I live. They have a heated pool, which is the main reason I'm thinking of trying one out again. Swimming is envigorating, it tones the muscles and being underwater is so very soothing, you can shut everything else out. Even if swimming is all I use it for, it'll be worth the membership cost.

I'll be sure to let you all know how it goes. Glug.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Mimes Protesting The War

God, but I love this picture. I guess because you can use it over and over for any number of causes. For example: "Mimes Protesting Geoff Not Returning My Star After a More-Than-Reasonable/Actually Harsher Than Needed 90 Day Disciplinary Period" and so on.

Off-topic stuff: Grey Goose La Poire Vodka. It is to die for. As I discovered when I went out just this past Saturday night. I'd seen a big advertising spread in the New Yorker about it, so when the bartender asked what was my pleasure I asked for a pear martini.

Of course, as is typical way out here in Pennsylvania Dutchland, he looked at me crosseyed when I asked for La Poire because he'd never heard of it. No problem, I just ordered something else. Five minutes later, I'm deep in conversation with my sister and bartender reappears, having discovered they did indeed have a whole case of the stuff, brand new. "Let's break it out" he says and offers up free pear martinis to me, my sister and everyone around us.

Cue to a few hours later, I'm back home walking my dog, almost fall on the ice twice. Hmmmm. Could've been a very dangerous night.