Thursday, May 27, 2010

From Where I Stand, There's Nothing Quite Like a Nerd

My dear friend is twirling in a dating spin cycle right now. She's had dates galore, and feels like she needs to start narrowing down her prospects, partly just to give herself a breather from all the action. The two leading candidates are a suave, passionate, activist-type, and a sweet, nerdy, shy lawyer.

I have made it very clear that I am rooting for the nerdy lawyer. In my book, nerds are always the way to go.

I think my adoration began freshman year of college when I took an Ancient Art History class. My teacher, Mr. F was a mousy little guy with glasses and pants that were probably a smidge too short. But oh when he would talk about art. He knew everything. He was smart and funny (nerd humor is one of my favorites, btw). I quickly developed a schoolgirl crush on him.

Then there was my American Studies teacher who was less outwardly nerdy, but still walked out on stage (class was in a theater) with toilet paper stuck to his shoe one day. I treasured that gem of a man.

Even when I went out with Dr. Hozienoggin, and he spoke of pheromones and ear wax on our first date, something about his nerdiness drew me in enough to go out a second time.

After insisting that my girlfriend make nerdy lawyer the front runner in her dating race, I felt compelled to get to the bottom of my nerd love. And I think I figured it out.

First off, dating someone nerdy can take the emphasis off one's own nerdiness. I'm more of a dork than a nerd (think Elaine from Seinfeld dancing) but I still love Jeopardy, compost, random facts and word puns. By pairing up with someone who is just one degree nerdier than I am, I suddenly become "the cool girl" and all my quirks are downplayed. [Note: When explaining this theory to Mr. W* he told me he was truly worried before our first date that I was going to be a huge nerd and he'd never be able to go out with me again.]

Second, nerds are smart—and that keeps life interesting. Why would you want to be with someone who was A) kinda stupid B) one-dimensional C) only interested in sports, when you could be with someone who read stuff online about how people are working on developing diesel fuel from algae? Now that's interesting sh*t!

Third, nerds seem to cherish their chicks. Remember the line in Revenge of the Nerds, "All jocks think about is sports, all nerds think about is sex"? Well, I think it goes beyond even the physical attentiveness and manifests as a general sweetness and appreciation of the female life form. Nerdy boys want to do right by you because they're so happy to have real, live you instead of their Princess Leia posters.

As far as I'm concerned, there's no disputing that nerds are a hot commodity. Forget the bad boys. Forget the Casanovas. I'll take a witty boy with glasses and asthma any day over the rest of 'em. And I'd recommend that my single girlfriends do the same!

*In Mr. Wonderful's defense, I should say that he's not a huge nerd. Does he own a weather radio for flying? Yes he does. Does he have a collection of remote-controlled helicopters? Totally. Can he build databases? Uh-huh. But he's not a nerd. Or, at least that's what he'd like people to think.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Because There Are Rules, That's Why.

Yesterday I told Mr. W about my last blog post. He laughed again when I used the word "greenlight," and he had a strong reaction to the recurring suggestion that showed up in my comments.

"Several of my readers told me I should just propose to you, since we seem to be on the same page and all," I said.

"I would say no," he replied.

"What! Come on that's just mean!"

"That's NOT the way it's supposed to go, though! I am supposed to propose to YOU—not the other way around."

And there you have it. Mr. Etiquette insists on doing things the old fashioned way. So I guess we're all stuck here together waiting for the light to change. Sigh...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Attempting to Speak His Language

As I've mentioned in a couple of other posts, Mr. Wonderful and I have been verbally dancing around the marriage subject quite a bit lately. It seems like every time we're together, one of us makes a comment about something related to matrimony.

When we were in Santa Ynez for my race a week and a half ago, he turned to me out of the blue and said, "Where are we going to go on our honeymoon?" The hospital because I'll be in there for either cardiac arrest or severe burns from spontaneously combusting with excitement when I come down the aisle toward you.

I suggested Capri and warmer regions of Italy. We discussed Spain. We even thought about Japan—which is where we're bent on going for our next big vacation.

Is anyone scratching their head right now wondering why we're talking about honeymoon destinations before we're even engaged? Uh yeah...

So of course amidst all of these discussions, I've started doing research like a maniac. Picture Miss Havisham living in the age of the Internet, bats and rodents crawling in and out of her hair, smeared mascara on her face, her tattered wedding dress rumpled about her. That's exactly who I feel like. The crazy wedding-obsessed lady. I keep rationalizing. it. It's just research. I'm just trying to save time on the backend.

Anywhoo, Mr. W and I were trying a new wine bar this past weekend when the topic came up once again. We were talking about venues and dates and I said, "You know, it could be hard to get a venue in time if we're in a hurry to plan things. Places book up pretty quickly."

He said, "Why don't you start contacting the places you like to find out if they're available?"

Surely Miss Havisham would get quotes and check dates before she had a ring on her finger. It's the only sane thing to do...

"I'm not going to contact places when we're not even engaged yet," I told him. How could I get through to him that this was not acceptable behavior for an unmarried girl? I decided to put it in terms he might understand: "I need you to greenlight the project before I can start production on it."

Take that, Mister Movies!

He just laughed and shook his head...

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Love's Labor

This weekend, I got to see all of Mr. Wonderful's hard work from the last year pay off, on the big screen. Six months of work in London and the surrounding area... Seven months of post-production... Many tears on my part, as I missed him from thousands of miles away...

But to watch this amazing creation in the darkness of a Hollywood theater with his mark on it made the grief seem almost trivial.

I wanted to tap the shoulder of the person next to me and say, "My boyfriend played a huge role in this film." I wished I'd had my camera to snap a picture as his name scrolled by in the credits. I felt compelled to kiss him halfway through because I was so darn impressed with his talent and eye for detail.

One of the best parts of the whole thing, though, was being able to bombard him with a million questions after the movie. How'd they do that? Were there really that many boats in the water or did you create them? Was that horse totally okay after he fell? Is Cate's skin really that flawless? He answered every single one, and added his own insider commentary. I could tell that he was proud of his work—which made me even more proud of my boy.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Ain't That America

It was unusually breezy yesterday morning as I drove to work. Cruising down Burbank's Hollywood Way, I tracked the tremors of palm trees, shaking and flapping in the wind. Though the weather was distinct for this time of year, the scenery was the same as every other day. Airport lots. Industrial spread. Morning commuters.

But I noticed something I'd never seen before as my eye followed the sights to my right. Billowing in the spring gusts, high above the airport's nearby strip mall, were 3 flags: an American flag, a California state flag, and a McDonald's flag.

The holy trifecta.

It pains me to think of that place as a great American institution. And it bothers me even more to see the golden arches when I'm traveling abroad. Instead of a comforting symbol, I find it a sad infiltration of bad American culture. Come, eat like an American and enjoy a case of type two Diabetes tomorrow. Oh but how the great MickeyDee's continues to triumph...

On another note, I thoroughly enjoyed watching Kurt sing a sad rendition of John Cougar Mellencamp's song last night on Glee. People have long been telling me I need to watch that show, but I just saw my first full episode last week. And now, I am totally hooked. It's like candy. I watched 2 episodes on Hulu yesterday and one on TV. It's just too good. I'm ashamed it took me so long to come to my senses.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Getting My Worst Time Was One of the Best Times

This weekend, I ran the Santa Barbara Wine Country half marathon with my cousins K and L. Although our finishing time was the slowest I've done so far, we had such a great time out on the course! We decided when we signed up that we would take the Mother's Day weekend race date as an opportunity to celebrate our collective grandmas who have passed away. Grandma P and Grandma Doris shared genes, laughs, wisdom and many hours with all 3 of us girls, so they were at the top of our lists.

We weren't even 2 miles into the course (which was gorgeous—I loved it just as much as when I did the race last year) when we came upon an intersection with a cheering turkey. Yup, one of the local folks brought out her pet bird to rally the runners. Rather than causing us to charge forth with enthusiastic energy bursts, however, the turkey made a lot of people (myself included) stop for a photo op.

I also couldn't help but stop to capture this precious baby horse running in tandem with her mom. There were all sorts of sweet baby animals around town...

Including these adorable baby miniature donkeys. After a couple stops for wine tasting, my family (I forgot to mention that significant portion of them came up to Solvang to cheer us on during the race) decided that we just had to see the miniature donkey farm. Between oohs and ahhs, we all laughed as we watched one of the mommy donkeys nudge her baby so far, she lifted him off the ground. As payback, he pushed that gate below closed on her head. I guess children of all species are naughty now and then...

We lucked out with gorgeous weather, delicious food, and plenty of family entertainment. My sister and I were particularly delighted when my dad said, "You know what I've always wanted? A six foot tall glass chicken." We're still not sure where he came up with this or why he always wanted one. But we decided this particular item was going to be too expensive to purchase for him for Father's Day. Sorry dad, maybe we'll get you a ceramic duck instead.

On our way out of town, Mr. Wonderful and I stopped for a taste at the Melville winery and ooohh how pleased we were that we did. The wine was delicious (we bought 4 bottles) and we fell in love with the house. Mr. W said we need to file away a picture of it so we can refer back to it when we're building our own winery estate. Someday... We counted up our purchases when we got home. Eight bottles this weekend. That makes 26 in the last two months. Are we officially wine hoarders?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Why Wed?

Recently, someone said to me, "If you're not sure whether you want kids, why get married?"

It seemed to me a peculiar question. Why not get married? I've never really thought of marriage and kids as being inextricably linked. People have kids without getting married, and plenty of people tie the knot without ever having kids.

If one action (marriage) was created to facilitate the other (children) why would the ceremony be what it is? Why would it be about joining two people? It seems like it would be some sort of fertility blessing or a commitment to raising a family a certain way if it were really all about the kids.

And what about people on their second marriages? If they already had kids in their first relationship, should they not tie the knot again? Or people who know they are sterile? Should they scrap the whole idea of matrimony because it's not going to lead to progeny?

I guess some would say, "Why bother when you can live together and have just about the same exact experience without the red tape if you want to end things?"

But if you're going into a commitment thinking you might end things, I'm pretty sure you shouldn't be entering into it at all.

I want to get married because I want a public declaration of my love and dedication to the man in my life. Sure, I could just go stand on a mountain or rooftop and yell it out to the heavens. But I want friends and family there to witness it. I want to make promises to him. I want each of us to wear a ring—signaling to the world that we are off the market. That we're in it to win it with each other.

In my last relationship, I remember having moments where I thought, "Maybe if we get married and have kids, things will change. Maybe then he'll grow up and be responsible." That is so wrong, I can't even begin to go into all the reasons. I would much rather be where I'm standing now—knowing I will take the man in my life whether things never change a millimeter or change a lot; knowing that I don't need kids to rescue us; knowing that he fits me just right.

Maybe we will end up having kids some day. Maybe we won't. But either way, I guarantee we'll have taken vows to be faithful to one another because...well, why not?

Monday, May 3, 2010

It May Be Tiny, But It’s a Good Thinker

Yesterday was my favorite kind of day. The kind where I caught myself walking hand-in-hand with Mr. Wonderful, thinking, “THIS is how I want it to be. Always.”

We started out with a 5.5-mile run in Griffith Park. Actually, we started out with frozen waffles that Mr. W cooked a little too long so they sounded like rice cakes crunching between my teeth. Then we ran. I love so much that he will run with me. It’s been so helpful training for this race, and is generally just a really cool activity to be able to share.

After the run, we were starving so we went to this very cute restaurant for an early lunch. Trying to be good, I ordered a chicken salad sandwich with a side of fruit. Mr. W got a wrap and criss-cut fries. Mmmmm. They tasted so good, I couldn’t help but reach over to his plate half a dozen times.

“Sorry I’m eating all your fries,” I finally said.

“It’s okay,” he assured me. “I’d share anything with you.”

I thought for a second. “Even a kidney?”

He nodded his head. “Liver, too.”

I wanted to stump him. “Even half your brain?”

“I think my brain is too big to fit inside your little head.”

Surely he only said that because I have a pea head and have to wear a kids’ size bike helmet. Not because he’s so much smarter.

I laughed about this statement about 10 more times throughout the day.

We followed up lunch with a few errands (Including recycling wine corks. Learn how you can do it, too!) Then we hit the Fairfax farmer’s market and Whole Foods for some dinner fixin’s. I love the farmer’s market. I love shopping together and cooking on Sundays.

After a quick afternoon nap, we made very tasty turkey burgers with mushrooms, green peppers and balsamic. And Mr. W made a variety of baked sweet potato slices (cinnamon, sage, chili pepper, rosemary). The were so good. Oh man. I might almost give up a real sweet just to eat sweet potatoes for the rest of my life.

We opened a bottle of pinot noir and watched An Education on DVD. Good movie, I highly recommend. Before turning in, we laid side-by-side in bed reading magazines. Touching feet. Even this tiny brain knows that you can’t construct a day much better than that.