Here is where the Fat Lady sings.

If I had my way, I’d say let’s all have dinner together tomorrow. At my table, I would like to have all of the above individuals. I would like Mike Pappas to be there, too. For some reason, he laughs at my jokes. And he too gives the best hugs known to man. He’s a great teacher and an amazing farmer. Another meaningful relationship I have attained later on in life. My family needs to be there as well. I think I might be the only person alive who likes being with their family. I must have issues or something.

I want Soung to be there with David. And I want her to feel relaxed. I want them to be far enough away from the past and feel comfortable with their future, even if it’s not spent together.

Before I start to sound drunk using phrases like, “I LOVE YOU, MAN! I LOVE YOU! I DO!” I’m going to shut the hell up until next year and just let this be, even if it’s personal and I feel a little weird about putting it out there. (Sorry this has been so cheesy.)

Happy New Year, Internet people!

Over and out.

TobyJoe

Pretty much every reason I am alive today came together perfectly on the day that I met Toby. He picked me up and let me walk again. He made me understand that it’s o.k. to love and let it be known. Toby is absolutely the most wonderful thing that has ever happen to me next to being given a life. And I imagine it will remain this way until I have his children.

I have spent days and hours of days and minutes of hours trying to write about what he means to me. And I just can’t do it. And sometimes when I hug him, I really do hope and think that one day I might just slip inside.

Toby made me realize that up until I met him, a certain part of me was walking around in the dark, fumbling around, wondering what the goddamn point was to all of this.

Someday, I hope that by putting together everything I have learned through all the people in my life, I will eventually figure out that perfect equation and let everybody know just how this feels.

For now, I’ll just stumble around a bit and hope that he’ll always be there to laugh whenever I trip and pick me up whenever I fall.

(I love you, Beaner. Here’s to 2005 together. And five is a really good number.)

Nico

Nico is my oldest friend. I have known her since I was 15 years old. That’s insane for someone who can’t stop moving. We lost touch for a while. The day I finally got up the nerve to call her, I remember making sure she wasn’t going to be there, believing that she’d be at work, just incase she wanted nothing to do with that time of her life. Much to my relief, she called back. We’ve been friends again ever since. (Thank god.)

Nico made me my wedding cake. And I keep hoping that she will soon become a famous baker and can therefore stay at home and make money doing what not only makes her happy, but that she’s good at, too. Nico is probably (and I mean this) the coolest, most interesting, most artistic person I have ever met. She’s truly fascinating. From Diane Arbus to the M

Missy: aka Schwartz.

Missy went to Penn State as well but I didn’t meet her until I moved to Washington, D.C. It was a good thing I did, too because it made my stay there a lot more enjoyable. Plus, I made a friend for life. Missy, too, was the catalyst for my making this post. Last night, when I was sitting there in Union Pool watching her interact with Gerry and Toby, there wasn’t any place I’d rather be.

Missy has been there for me so many times over the past 7 years, I get embarrassed knowing that I probably could live two lifetimes and still never figure out a way to pay her back for it all. The poor girl could have drowned beneath all my tears. She has helped me through the absolute roughest times of my life thus far. And for that, I am grateful beyond words.

Missy is my polar opposite. She’s kind of like one of those spices you might add to a not so pleasant dish when it’s served alone. But when a particular element is added, a plethora of other flavors suddenly come to life. It’s like that. Without her, my true intentions might go unnoticed.

Missy likes numbers and facts. I grab onto ideas that don’t have answers. Missy likes a plan (Though, she has changed a bit over the years, leaning to more whimsical movements.) I fly the seat of my pants, almost to a fault.

I can sit with Missy for hours on end writing down the top 100 best songs to break-up to. We have spent hours discussing 30 SECOND scenes in movies. We have talked to wee hours of the night and have not realized it until the sun came up again. And in spite of my begging it not to, it arrives and I know that soon I will have to go home again. (I always hated that moment. Damn sun.)

If I could ever come anywhere near Missy’s elegance and grace I might then understand what it feels like to succeed.

Gina

I met Gina through Gerry. So it’s nice they have a names which come close to one another, alphabetically, makes for a nice lead-in. And they are both architects, too. I met her at Enid’s one night. I think it was cold out but I can’t remember. We were both living in New York at the time. We were both Greenpoint dwellers. We both rode the G train to and from work everyday. I liked her instantly.

Gina is the most genuine person I have ever met. Gina looks like Zooey Deschanel. Only she’s better, because she’s Gina. Gina listens better than any other girlfriend I have ever had. Sometimes, I imagine that she might listen too well and people begin to see her as one BIG ear – like, all the time. I know I have been guilty of this.

It will come as no surprise to anyone reading this that Gina has more friends than any other person I have ever met. She knows people from all over the world. You just sort of always want to be around her. I’ve contemplated moving to Detroit numerous times. I’m that serious about it.

When I met Toby, Gina was one of the first people I wanted him to meet. She’s the friend who comes to mind when you’re wondering things like, “Who will make me look better than I probably am?” I was insistent that he meet Gina. And that time couldn’t come soon enough. I mean, who wouldn’t be excited about a girl who can operate a table saw, a jig-saw, a nail-gun, a welding (shit, I don’t even know the names of this crap). Who wouldn’t want to show off a girl who purchased a boat in the middle of Detroit and who found an attraction for an abandoned warehouse whose walls are comprised entirely of hundreds and hundreds of windows. Some, of which, are broken.

Gina called me yesterday and we FINALLY were able catch up using this invention known as a phone – an invention I have grown afraid of for some reason. And instantly, (just like it’s always been) I wanted to be sitting across from her. Gina is that person you want to see happy all the time. I think, in part, because she makes me happy all the time. Knowing she’s out there and I am a part of her circle of friends is most rewarding.

Detroit is the luckiest city on earth.

Gerry

Gerry was the catalyst for the birth of this post. Last night, I called Gerry to see if he wanted to meet up for a drink. He had other plans beginning at 7:30 so he declined. A few minutes later, while Missy and I were discussing the cure for the common cold, Gerry walked in with a plastic bag full of CDs I have never heard.

These are for you.

I met gerry when I was 17. He was a recent transfer at Penn State. We were sitting on The Wall at the time. I was irritated with a group of TOTAL hipsters. Being 17 and impressionable, I said something totally inappropriate to shut everyone up. (He’ll remember what that was.) From that moment on, we were friends.

Gerry and I have known each other through so many life changes, it’s a miracle we’re still whole. He’s gotten drunk with me. He’s thrown up with me. And if he had hair, I would have held it back for him as he hurled his dinner into the toilet.

Through the years, he has consistently shared his abysmal knowledge of music, thought, people, dinners, ears, eyes, clothing, trips, ideas, movies, arguments and memories. I have counted on him so many times before. I have even taken him for granted.

I might compare Gerry to my comfort food. He’s the mashed potato dish I crave when I am sad. He’s the grilled cheese and tomato soup I crave when I am cold. He’s the mac and cheese I crave when I am feeling extravagant. He’s a coffee cup on my Sunday morning.

My life would totally and absolutely suck if I hadn’t said something totally inappropriate one day on The Wall at Penn State University. I would have heard less music and travelled to lesser lands. It’d surely be less colorful.

DonaldEugene

I met Donald in Downward Facing Dog. Sort of. I first noticed Donald practicing at the best yoga studio on the Eastern seaboard: 18th and Yoga. But I was too afraid to go up to him then. Instead, I waited until we were all out playing pool one night and I noticed him from across the bar. I normally don’t do this sort of thing. But there was something very approachable about Donnie.

Do you frequent 18th and Yoga?

And almost instantly we became friends.

(Here he is with Missy.)

Donald makes me laugh almost every time I am near him. He has made me laugh reading an email. And if Donald enjoyed the company of ladies, and I wasn’t happily married, I would have begged him for a date.

Let’s see. He plays a mean game of pool. He likes yoga. He has great knack for choosing careers AND hobbies. He drinks good booze and eats good foods. He dresses well, looks fashionable, and can make a sad person smile at any moment. And, oh yeah, his hugs are amazing. One time, he gave me a scarf. Later, Toby called it my “Tim Burton” scarf. And who doesn’t love Tim Burton? And who doesn’t like to get something which ensues warmth?

Donald is the best person I have met in my most recent years.

A Day of Thanks

There have been moments where I doubt myself. (Actually, it happens quite a bit.) I might spend an entire day believing I’m a bad person; that I’m rude and thoughtless, uncaring, and totally selfish. At times like this all the moments, where I could (and should) have been a better person, rush to the front row and cheer on whatever insecure thought I am holding.

But then there are days like yesterday. I start to think about the friends I keep and I realize how caring and thoughtful they are. Last night, as I looked around at the people who were at my table, it occurred to me that I must not be that bad person I convince myself of sometimes. How else would someone have such great fiends?

Today, I would like to introduce some of the people who make me like myself – the ones who keep me happy about who I am.

(Now, how’s that for proving selfish?)

Internal Confessions of a Dieting Mind

I’ve been on a pretty strict diet for about a month now. It’s known as the very popular, widely practiced MIHOW diet. You may have heard of it. After reading the Southbeach Diet book about six months ago, giving it a try and failing miserably after being confronted by a plate of french fries, I decided to follow my own this time. That way, there really is no where (or no one, rather) to fall from.

When I tried this the first time, I was setting myself up for failure. In San Francisco, I ate to feel happy. For lunch, I would eat an ENTIRE burrito from the Mexican place up the street. (If you knew the size of these bitches, you’d be shocked.) At the end of the day, when Toby came home from work, after sitting around doing nothing and feeling sorry for myself, the first thing I wanted to do was consume the biggest plate of cheesy pasta and wash it down with a loaf of garlic bread and some wine.

Nutshell: Gained weight. Felt like shit. Did nothing.

This time, I’m happy. And I didn’t even realize it was so until last night as we were walking to Daddy’s to meet Gerry and Anna. I’m happy. So I might as well look happy, too.

Basically, I calculate everything I consume using Web sites and books. I even carry around a little orange notepad around my neck and diligently add everything up. That way, at the end of the day, I can find out how much I’ve taken in. It’s fascinating if you start paying attention to the science behind eating. Truly.

Perhaps, this is just something to do because I have some time during the day and I have a constant need to amuse myself. Or maybe I’m determined this time and joining a gym (right now) is not an option. I hope it lasts, I do. As long as no one introduces me to a plate of fries or a bowl of macaroni and cheese, I should be fine.