Thursday, January 29, 2004

My Mr. Right

So I was talking to somebody the other day, one of my female friends, and the talk turned, once again, to romance. (Do women talk about anything else?) As I was busy affirming my marital status, making comments like, "I enjoy being single," she was making comments like, "I wish I could find a guy who..."

Do all women walk around with this laundry list of qualities which make a guy "good?" It's like we've got some sort of checklist, like we're going grocery shopping for mates or something. Ok, I need fruit and eggs and...I'll take a tall guy who like kittens and who enjoys long walks on the beach. Geesh. You'd think we were some kind of robots or something. It's not like that in reality. I'd like a guy who would like me back, and that's all I really looking for. I mean, is there really something wrong with being compatible, enjoying each other's company, and finding a companion who doesn't pee on my rug? (Sorry, Charlie, you almost slipped in there. Yes, it's the peeing on the rug part, little buddy.) Must I go through life with this invisible list of things to look out for? And what happens if he has some of them but not others? And what if he's got a list and I don't measure up to it? *Sigh*

I believe this is why I can't deal with Valentines Day. Romance is too complicated. Now it's entirely possible that I'm getting progressively dumber as I get older but, somehow, I just can't take all the complexity of romance. It's too hard knowing what color roses mean what or why I have to "play" hard to get. How do I know if I'm sending the wrong signal? I would much rather deal with the obvious, the real-life in your face kind of reality, not this land of make believe. I guess I'm a simple person at heart and I prefer things I can look at, play with, enjoy, touch, feel, smell, etc. without having to worry about all the underlying cruft that comes along for the ride. Romance has too much baggage.

If I did have to make a laundry list I suppose it would have some of these: He'd have to like photography, or put up with me doing it. He'd have to be smart, at least smarter than I am (hey, don't laugh, that rules some guys right out.) He'd have to be somewhat mentally stable (one of us has to be, right?) He'd have to be funny and somewhat charming. He definately would have to be able to make me laugh and he would have to respect my independent nature. In actuality, HE would have to have read this blog and subsequently not run away screaming. Yeah, that's the main thing I would look for in Mr. Right, I suppose.

As an aside, I happened upon another internet question today. What's your favorite word? I shall post mine in a later topic.

Until next time, this is Carol, the Carol in "Carol's Little World" signing off.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Bring Back Saint Nick, the Patron Saint of Shoppers Everywhere

I was rifling through my desk today, as I almost always do, and happened upon an advertisement for the Hill Country Flyer (which is rather cool). Hidden in the neatly tucked column labeled "Schedule and Fares" was a listing for February 14th. The Sweetheart Special, a special train ride to honor all those poor romantic saps celebrating St. Valentine's Day, departs from Cedar Park at 8 pm. sharp on the fourteenth of February.

So, I started thinking, as I almost always do but never should, about how I don't really have a sweetheart. (Please no jokes about smoke coming out of my ears, you and I both know it would never get past my hair.) I don't have a sweetheart, haven't had one in a while, don't really remember the last true sweetheart that was, etc. etc. I guess you could say that I'm really not a sweetheart kind of girl. I don't know why. It's just not me. Once again, I suppose you could say it's not my nature.

I'm not one of those "lovey dovey" kind of people who feels I have to sit in a man's lap at the movies. I'm content throwing popcorn at him, laughing at the funny parts, and maybe stealing a quick glance or two during the boring parts. I don't now, nor have I ever, felt the need to be attached at the hip. I guess you could say I, like a lot of voters in NH, am an independent of sorts.

Oh don't get me wrong. I think romance is fantastic. I think it's one of life's little pleasures that should be savored, even longer than my morning coffee. I think it's great that some couples feel close and feel the need to snuggle at every given instant. It's just not me. I've always been the sort of girl that would be happy with a wedding registry at Home Depot. In fact, I didn't even know wedding registries existed until rather recently. On the whole, I would much rather elope.

Which gets me back to the topic at hand. As much as I hate the overexposure and commercialization of Christmas (and you know I do) I despise even more Valentine's Day. It's a contrived day made up by greeting card companies, which exists solely for the purpose of making me feel inadequate. Yes, it's true. I have some sort of a complex about this. I imagine all of my X's lining up to execute me or something. I don't know what it is, the entire concept of Valentine's Day makes me feel, at best, lonely and, at worst, rather paranoid and quite wishing it were all over. Yeah, yeah, I know what they say, "if wishes were horses" and all. But still, the entire concept, the mere thought of Valentine's Day...at this point even the sight of the color "red" has me wishing it were Christmas all over again.

Never thought I'd ever say these words but, on the whole, I'd rather go to the mall. Ugh! But, I suppose I don't have to worry. I mean, who in their right mind would send me roses, right? And you know I already eat way too much chocolate, that I don't need any help.

(Yeah, yeah, ok, maybe if the roses were black or if I could somehow use them in a photo spread or something. I know, I know. Don't go there already, please.)

Until next time, this is Carol, the Carol in "Carol's Little World" signing off.

Sunday, January 25, 2004

So I was Wrong

I thought that my rather sex-less blog about sex would generate a hundred or so different emails scorning me and complaining. I was half expecting somebody to email me telling me something along the lines of, "300 years ago, they'd have burned you at the stake!" But I was wrong.

I'm sort of happy I was wrong. I'm a bit surprised but sort of happy that the complaining didn't reach all time record highs. I'm rather stumped that, when I forget to blog, I get more complaints then I when I "tease" you about my sex life and don't follow through. I suppose I should expect it though. I mean, those who know me, and most of you do in a way, seeing as you read this blog, know that I'm more of a romantic at heart than a sex-crazed maniac (even though I suppose the blog doesn't always reflect that.)

And speaking of romance, I was chatting with some women friends this weekend. Casually chatting away with my fellow womenfolk when the subject turned to, ah, you guessed it, sex.

One of the women started veering us into this direction by talking up her new love interest. It seems she happened upon a friend of a friend at a coffee shop (or some such place) downtown and she thought they "hit it off." But, alas, there was no hardcore "date" set up, even though the appropriate telephone numbers, mobile phone information, IM accounts, blogger, and possibly bodily fluids were exchanged.

"You should just call him up and GO FOR IT," remarked one girl in the group. "I mean, why not?"

To which I replied, "no way. I don't think you should call him. I would *never* call a guy. Let him make the first move."

"That's all the more reason to call him," somebody else said, "I mean, just look at HER. She even admits she's a professional spinster. You don't want to end up like HER, do you?"

I was expecting the poor lady to suddenly scramble for the nearest mobile device in an attempt to "reach out and touch somebody" quickly before her biological clockface exploded or something. What was really interesting to me though was the ensuing conversation. The talk turned to being "old fashioned."

I guess it's true and it's something I have to admit. I'm old fashioned. I think it's rather odd, seeing as most folks who meet me would probably not describe me as being "old fashioned." I've even been called things like, "too open" and "too modern" which I can live with. But, in my black heart of hearts, in my deep dark center, in my most intimate core, I am indeed somebody I would call "old fashioned." Not that I'm happy with that but that's how I am. If the shoe fits and all.

I like it when guys hold doors open for me. I like men who behave themselves (or at least pretend to.) I don't go out to lunch with my closest circle of friends, drink martinis and talk about sex, like the chicks on Sex in the City. I never call a guy for a date, I let him do the talking. I'm perfectly happy letting the male of the species make the first move. Sorry if I've shattered your myths of me being some secret sexual agressor, who chews men up, spits them out, sips martinis and contemplates my next of prey. That just isn't me. Boring I know, but that's just my nature.

So I suppose I'm really not all that surprised I didn't get seven tons of hate mail about my sexless blog. Maybe next week, when I forget to blog, you'll start harrassing me.

Until next time, this is Carol, the Carol in "Carol's Little World" signing off.

Friday, January 23, 2004

Not in My Element

OK, so I've blogged about a lot of different topics over the years. I've talked about grilled cheese sandwiches, celebrities, HIM, yule logs, coffee pots, long summer nights, photography, art, and all the kind of fun stuff that falls out of life when you least expect it. But, the one topic, the very essence of what I'm sure anybody who happens upon this blog really wants to know, the one single most consuming topic I've yet to conquer but have never approached remains untouched. And that is...sex. Yes, it's true, I don't believe I've ever blogged about sex.

So, I was watching this interview the other day, as I happened upon a female author telling her tale on one of those late night talk show interview type programs that I usually just flip on by. The author, Jane Juska, was discussing her book, A Round-Heeled Woman. What was sort of interesting to me was not so much the fact that this 67 year old woman cavorted around having anonymous sex with random men at the tender age of 67. No, that wasn't the really interesting part of the story although, admittedly, I did find this rather fascinating. The really interesting part of the story was that, at one point in the interview, she talked about her writing style, about her reasons for wanting to write a book, about her technique for, um, cajoling men, earning their trust, and later kissing and telling in sorts by publishing a tell-all tome at the tender age of 67. At one point in the interview, she faced the camera directly, almost confrontationally, and admitted, "writing about sex is hard." To paraphrase, she said, "it's difficult to write about sex. It's hard to actually physically sit down and write about the act of having sex."

If I wanted to write a story about a southern belle, with lots of appropriate dialog, I could read To Kill a Mockingbird and sort of wing it (excuse the bad pun there.) If I wanted to write a well-crafted finely tuned murder mystery, I'd read Agatha Christie. I've read JD Salinger's work, romance novels, cutting edge fiction, horrible poetry, and all sorts of comic books, at least enough to mimic what I read. But, what's a good book on Sex? Should I try to read a romance novel? How about graphic pornography? It's even difficult to talk about sex without getting into the writing aspect of it at all. If you read romance novels, they talk of male body parts like foreign objects, referring to things like "members" and "elements." I'm a computer programmer and I think of an "element" as something you put into an array not something to slip into a hot tub. It's just all confusion to me. I don't even know where to begin.

A good writer, I suppose, should engage the reader. Good writing should make you think and should connect at an almost carnal level. Reading something well-crafted should pull you in, absorb you, and almost consume you. Much like (I suppose) good sex. If that's the case, why is it so difficult to write about sex? Maybe sex is just something you have to experience? Maybe it's the one topic where words really don't do justice? I don't know. I do know, however, I'm not the only one who has a difficult time of it. And, hey, at least I'm not alone. Although my only current company is some half-crazed women running around sexing it up with men half her age and writing tell all books about it. Come to think of it, maybe I'm the crazy one. Sorry to disappoint you, but, on the whole, I'd rather stick to grilled cheese sandwiches, long summer nights, photography and, for now anyway, I've leave the "elements" in the arrays.

Until next time, this is Carol, the Carol in "Carol's Little World" signing off.

Friday, January 16, 2004

It's been oh so Long/Hollywood Here I Go

It's been so long since I've blogged last, I almost forgot my password. Just to let you know, I've received the remains of THE CAMERA and should now be ready to run a test roll of film through the bad little boy. I think I will refer to it only as THE CAMERA (all in caps) simply because it's so badass (and expensive.) Kind of like the film-eating version of HIM if you will. No matter the cost for, at this point anyway, it's mine and I'm going to enjoy it. I even found some cheap photo mailers, which is a good thing from, of all places, Hollywood (no, I'm NOT making this up. If you're a regular reader of this blog you should know by now that I could not write fiction this well and my life is more than crazy enough to make for good blogging)

Hollywood is one of the few places on earth with which I have a love-hate relationship. I love the architecture in LA and the surrounding areas. I love Venice Beach. I love the almost yearly sunshine and some of the whackos that stretch out along Hollywood Boulevard. I'm not crazy about actors and most film types. Don't get me wrong, I'm a photographer and, as a still photog, it's an easy extension into the world of motion pictures. So, basically, in Hollywood, we have a somewhat exaggerated extension of what I love to do. You would think I would love it right? You would think I would treat this as a mecca of sorts and flock there if, for nothing else, the presence of the robin's egg blue sky and the white sandy beaches (think Velvia light.) You would think that I would love it just for the fact that you can walk around with a camera and not be bothered there, for you truely fit in with the norm in Hollywood if you got a lens stuck to your face. But you'd be wrong.

It's not that I have anything against the physical location. It's not that I hate or even dislike most of the people there. It's the pretentious actor types coupled with the "mogel" types. It's like they've taken the art form that I know and enjoy, bastardized it into some sort of corporate conglomerate and make it into some giant fake implant-wearing world capitol that attracts poor unsuspecting saps from Kansas to come and try their luck at the big wheel of fame. You just know the city's going to eat them up, spit them out, and you won't get to see the not-so-happy ending. That's the essence of what I hate. It's like the entire city has become one big set, part of one big movie, to which you don't have the script. You walk around wondering for how long some folks can physically remain disconected with reality before they turn into statues, stars on the walk of fame, or some kind of wax likeness of themselves at Madam Truedoes. It's like the entire city has turned into a characticture of itself, nobody gets the big joke but you, and you're too afraid to point it all out for fear of being swallowed by the beast.

Yeah, that's it in a nutshell. Tee hee hee. Welcome to Hollywood. Don't mind the big beast sitting there in the corner. His fangs are only five feet thick. And he won't chew you up and spit you out if you don't let him. Just pat him on the head and quietly walk away. Go back to Kansas, where they have many cold drinks, the sun doesn't always shine, and normal people rule.

Until next time, this is Carol, the Carol in "Carol's Little World" signing off.

Monday, January 12, 2004

No News is Good News

I know I haven't been posting too much lately. (There is not, in fact "dust on my submit button" as some have suggested in recently received nasty grams/bulk emails.) I've just been busy. And sick. And sick of being busy. And too busy to be sick, really.

I have finally given up, succumbed to the pressure, and purchased a Hasselblad camera. If you do not know what this is, count your blessings as it's actually some sort of glorified money pit, to which I am now infinately contributing. All that and it takes pictures too, ok?

Since, in my infinite wisdom, I discerned that I am infinately broke, I have hobbled together this Hasselblad from various used sources (yes, I know about ebay, geesh, do you think I was rasied by emacs hackers or something?) This entire process has left me tired and rather busy, trying to assemble the likes of an expensive camera from parts including duct tape. Yes, I know, I should just blow the money but, hey, I don't want to eat PBandJ for the rest of my life, ok? Please don't give me anymore crap, as my crap quotient has recently reached new unexpected heights and I can no longer pile it in the back yard without getting complaints from the neighbors.

I promise I will post more in the next few weeks. Please don't send additional spam my way. No I don't want to enlarge my penis and I can't lose 10 pounds before this holiday season. I'm not bitter, just busy, and itching to get out and use the new camera gear. If you must, send next week's winning lottery numbers my way, as I sure could use them.

Until next time, this is Carol, the Carol in "Carol's Little World" signing off.