Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Idol Observation

Tatiana is soooooo obnoxious when she walks, talks, cries and squeals. Yet when she sings, she's awesome. Go figure. She's not only a good singer, she makes good TV, so I'm glad she made it to the next round.

Nathaniel, on the other hand, is an annoying basket case both when he sings and when he talks. I'm sorry that he made it through. Together he and Tatiana are too much. Hopefully one will be eliminated soon.

Gnoshing, watching American Idol and blogging

Completing a meme stolen, as usual, from Kwizgiver:


What is your salad dressing of choice? French
What is your favorite fast food restaurant? McDonald's
What is your favorite sit-down restaurant? Flat Top Grill
On average, what size tip do you leave at a restaurant? 15 to 20%
What food could you eat every day and not get sick of it? Burgers
What are your pizza toppings of choice? Sausage
What do you like to put on your toast? Strawberry jam
What is your favorite type of gum? Cinnamon


Number of contacts in your cell phone? a dozen
Number of contacts in your email address book? about 70
What is your wallpaper on your computer? A nice big Cubs logo
How many televisions are in your house? two
Do you use a laptop or desktop? both


Are you right-handed or left-handed? right
Do you like your smile? No. My upper lip kinda disappears and I show too much gum
What's your best feature? Dimples
Have you ever had anything removed from your body? Yes. Uterine fibroids. Wanna hear more? I thought not.
Which of your five senses do you think is keenest? Smell
When was the last time you had a cavity? Last month
What is the heaviest item you lifted last? My gym bag
Have you ever been knocked unconscious? No


If you could, would you wanna know the day you were going to die? no
Is love for real? yes
If you could change your first name, what would you change it to? Grace
What color do you think looks best on you? teal
Have you ever swallowed a non-food item by mistake? Yes. I was in a meeting. The client brought donuts. I bit into one and, as I swallowing, I was aware that there was a (shudder) HAIR in donut. I am very proud of myself that I didn't start screaming or gaaking like a cat with a hairball.
Have you ever saved someone's life? by donating blood (Kwizgiver's answer)
Has someone ever saved yours? yes (see above)


Would you walk naked down a public street for $100,000? no
Would you kiss a member of the same sex for $100? sure
Would you cut off one of your little fingers for $200,000? no
Would you never blog again for $50,000? sure
Would you pose naked in a magazine for $250,000? no
Would you drink an entire bottle of hot sauce for $1000? Yes
Would you give up watching television for a year for $25,000? NO!!!


What is in your left pocket? Tissue
Do you have hardwood or carpet in your house? Carpet
Do you sit or stand in the shower? Stand
Could you live with roommates? No
How many pairs of flip flops do you own? None
Where were you born? Elgin
Last time you had a run-in with the cops? never
What do you want to be when you grow up? Taller
Who is number 1 on your top 10? Abe Lincoln (his birthday is tomorrow, you know)


Friend you talked to? John
Last person you called? My accountant (I'm getting a refund)
Person you hugged? John


Number? 7
Color? blue
Season? fall


Missing someone? Yes
Mood? Content
Listening to? American Idol
Watching? American Idol
Worrying about? My best friend


First place you went this morning? The el station
What can you not wait to do? Get that tax refund!
What's the last movie you saw? Revolutionary Road
Do you smile often? Yes
Are you a friendly person? Yes
Now that the survey's done what are you going to do? Blog a bit more

If you play along, let me know, so I can check out your answers.

Dear John

I had dinner with my old friend, John, on Monday. I'm just now blogging about it because it's taken me this long to collect my thoughts.

John and I have known one another forever (28 years this June). We have gone through so much together: the death of my dad, the loss of both of his parents and his baby sister, medical problems, new jobs and career setbacks, love affairs that almost worked out, love affairs that never stood a chance.

Aside from "time served" and the accompanying memories, the glue that holds us together as that we accept each other. I'm animated and he's calm, he's black and I'm white, he's gay and I'm straight, he's tall and I'm short. Yet everything is always cool between us. In nearly 30 years, our friendship has never even hit a speed bump because we have the ability to just laugh and relax completely with one another.

Because he is so open and accepting, he often finds himself in complicated situations. Like the one he's in now. I want to just slap him, a la Cher in Moonstruck, and yell, "Snap out of it!" I hate the path he's on, and I told him so Monday night. But I have to remind myself that he's John. A 50+ year old man with gray in his hair and his beard. A friend who always accepts me no matter how ill-advised my actions have been over the years. He needs an understanding confidant, not a judgmental mommy.

About 6 years ago, he found himself assigned to mentor a new hire. A big kid from St. Louis that I'll call Robbie. Young Robbie acted as though he still had straw in his hair, all "aw shucks" about the big city. (Frankly, this annoyed me; yes, St. Louis is smaller than Chicago, but it's certainly not as rural as Dogpatch!) John found himself flattered by the way this much-younger man looked up to him -- professionally and personally. Eventually Robbie began getting flirtatious.

At this point, John was a middle-aged gay man who had endured quite a few broken hearts. He told Robbie straight up that he wasn't willing to be "an experiment." If Robbie wasn't committed to a gay lifestyle, he should do his erotic exploration elsewhere.

But John and Robbie still worked together, still had lunch together, went to movies together more than once, and the line started getting blurred again. The sexual tension between them intensified. John found himself daydreaming that this kid was finally The One.

Then Robbie dropped a bomb. He had met a girl at one of Chicago's outdoor summer festivals. They had only dated a few times, but now she was pregnant. Robbie barely knew the woman, but he wanted to "do right" by her. Soon a wedding was in the works. John was heartbroken.

Robbie insisted that he needed an older man's friendship now more than ever. Robbie was scared of marriage and fatherhood. He was confused about his sexual orientation. He didn't have many friends in Chicago, and his nearest family was a pair of grandparents in St. Louis. He pleaded with John not to abandon him.

One thing led to another and John and Robbie finally indulged in some sexual play. I don't know how far they went actually, but it doesn't matter. Robbie also persuaded John to lend him money and buy him some coke.

After he got the coke and the cash, this poor, confused country boy turned into a thug. (Like you didn't KNOW that was coming.) He said some very threatening, very ugly things to and about my friend. Now working together was unbearable. Happily Robbie left his position shortly after his baby was born. Whether or not he ever married the baby mama is up for debate -- I ran into Robbie months later and he talked about his wife; he told John they never made to the altar. Whatever.

For the last 4 years, John has heard NOTHING from Robbie. Until last week.

Robbie left John a message saying they had to speak. John asked me what he should do. I said erase it and move on.

John met him.

Robbie has no friends, not a one. He's also unemployed. He's living in a motel, but soon his money will run out. He can't leave Chicago, though, because he can't bear to be away from his son.

They are back to having dinner and going to the movies again. (Guess who pays.) Robbie has apologized for how he treated John and is back to implying that they can be more than friends. "You were the best friend I ever had … Why didn't I appreciate how wonderful you really are? … I wish I'd stayed with you … A day hasn't gone by that I haven't thought about you …" Barf.

I told John how incredibly awful idea this is. I said that the ice is thin and the sun is warm, and they're going to end up in bed together and then Robbie will suddenly remember he likes women, and John will find himself with less money but more heartache for having let Robbie back into his life.

"But, Gal! He's all alone! Completely alone! He's just a few steps away from sleeping on the streets."

Good, say I. Robbie just discovered where his seat is on the karma train. Besides, he can go back to his grandparents in St. Louis. I don't think people like Robbie ever actually hit rock bottom, anyway.

That was Monday. Yesterday and today our conversations have been limited to the play John is going to and the Caylee Anthony case. He hasn't brought up the subject of Robbie, and neither have I.

Which is not to say it's not KILLING me! You have no idea how much I hate this. But John and I are equals, two adults who respect one another … and one another's opinions. He knows how I feel because I was pretty blunt about it. He hasn't asked me again, which means he doesn't need a refresher course.

I'll just wait here. Waiting for the emotional explosion that's about to happen in his life again.

Poor, dear John.