Friday, January 28, 2005

First Snow

There's something magical about the first real snowfall of the year. I'm not a big fan of the cold that comes with it, but I love the scenery. The carefree way the snowflakes flit to the ground, the quiet serenity of the blanket of white on the landscape, and the silence of the picturesque landscape bring me peace. There's a sense of innocence in watching the children build snowmen, sledding down the snow packed hills and making snow angels in the yard that always brings back memories of my own childhood. Of course the spell is broken when it's time to put on my coat and shovel my driveway, but that's another story...

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

...When You're Not Expecting...

Most things in life occur when you're not expecting anything to happen...

We met in January of 2004, at a get-together hosted by a mutual friend of ours. Being single at the time, I was open to the possibility of a new and exciting relationship, but wasn't specifically looking.

When I got to the party, I noticed that the majority of the people there were gay. "So much for meeting someone tonight," I thought to myself. Realizing that I wasn't likely to hook up with anyone, I started socializing strictly for the sake of meeting people, chatting and having a good time.

As the evening progressed, I noticed one woman in particular who was busy refilling wine glasses, making sure the cheese trays were properly filled and arranged, and generally playing the part of co-host. I also noticed that, other than the host, she was the only one not wearing shoes. I figured she was dating the hostess of the party.

Somewhere along the line, we ended up chatting, and being the sly guy I am, I quickly discovered that I was completely off base with my assumptions about her. She wasn't dating the hostess of the party, they were work colleagues, and the host asked for help with the party. As the conversation progressed, this intriguing woman put her wine glass down, explaining that she was a klutz and that she'd probably spill if she didn't set the wine glass down.

Being a little bit -- okay, a lot -- clumsy myself, I laughed, explained my own lack of grace and gave a few examples of my own klutziness. Next thing I knew, we had been talking for a half hour or so, and she informed me that she had some co-hostess tasks to finish up.

By this time I was intrigued. During our conversation, I discovered she had a PhD in Psychology, so I knew she was smart, (and probably sane). She cracked some cute jokes and laughed at some of my silly comments, so I knew that our sense of humor was similar, and I found her physically attractive.

A little later in the evening, I saw her sit down on the sofa, and realized it was my chance to strike. I sat down next to her and asked her if she tended to play psychologist in her relationships. "I do that all day at work, why would I want to do that at home, too?" she replied. That was all I needed to hear.

"I've gotta say, I think you're smart, funny and attractive, and I'd like to get to know you a little better. Can I take you out for coffee or something?"

"I'm not looking for anything serious," she replied.

"Well hell, I'm not looking to get married tomorrow or anything, just to get to know you a little better. No preconceived notions. Can I have your phone number?"


Six months later, we moved in together. Like I said, most things in life occur when you're not expecting anything to happen.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Remembering a Practical Joke

For over a decade I've had a tradition of going on a canoe or kayak trip with several of my friends. Over the years the list of people on this trip has changed. Some people learned after one trip that they hated it, never to come again. Some were slow learners and went a few times before realizing that it wasn't their cup of tea. But a core group of four has planned and attended this male bonding ritual for the entire decade.

This "core four," as I like to call us, has known each other for at least ten years, and some of us go back thirty years. As you can imagine, we're more like brothers than friends. We tease each other, we help other out in times of need, and most importantly, we play practical jokes on each other.

On one specific trip several years ago, G-Man and I played such a joke on Boogie. Over the course of the previous day and evening, Boogie had managed to annoy G-Man and me in some stupid way or another, so we decided to do something to get even with him. We didn't come up with anything immediately, but when the opportunity presented itself the next morning, we quickly seized it.

Part of the ritual on our trips was that the last canoe leaving the campsite would carry the trash for the day... a term we affectionately dubbed "garbage scow". G-Man and I were first, so Boogie and Spicoli were stuck with garbage scow duty. That was when the idea hit -- steal Boogie's canoe paddle.

"Man, he'd be sooooooo pissed," we thought. "Yeah, let's do it," G-Man and I decided. Thus the plan began to take form. As we took Boogie's paddle, we realized that he'd just take Spicoli's paddle and then Spicoli would end up screwed. So we took them both.