Dec 29

What I learned in 2009…..

In 2009, I learned to balance work and life.

I learned that turning 30 is not the worst possible thing that can happen, as long as you have friends that are even older.

I learned that it’s harder to maintain friendships with my oldest and dearest friends as our lives have settled into divergent paths.

I learned that the effort to hold on to these friendships is worth it.

I learned that it’s okay to feel lonely.

I learned that it’s not okay to wallow in loneliness.

I learned that sometimes you give more than you get, and sometimes you get more than you give, and it doesn’t matter because it all balances out in the end anyway.

I learned to fight for what I want, I learned to let go, and I learned to speak my mind even when though the words may not come out right.

I learned that it’s okay to establish boundaries.

I learned it’s okay to expect that my boundaries will be respected.

I learned that it’s okay to not like somebody.

I learned that it’s okay for somebody to not like me.

I learned that I need a map of where I’m going. That’s not a metaphor. Literally, when I go on a road trip, I need a map.

I learned that what God wants and what I want aren’t always the same thing, and that I better realign my plan because He sure isn’t going to change His.

I learned that forgiveness doesn’t heal all wounds, but that I need to forgive anyway.

I learned that different engine fluids go into different parts of the car engine, and that pouring everything into the first compartment I see is never a good idea.

I learned to listen to my instincts.

I learned to make decisions that are my own.

I learned to appreciate people for who they are and not to judge them for who they aren’t. And I learned to treasure those friends who are there for me when I’m at my worst.

I learned that basically nobody reads my blogs. But I learned I enjoy posting them anyway. 🙂

–Troi out

Dec 27

Instead of actually working out, I have been resolving to work out. That’s right, I decided today that I don’t regularly make it to the gym because I haven’t designated this activity as a resolution. Were I to attach such a weighty label to the term, I would most certainly work out faithfully. Therefore, I resolve to work out three times per week beginning on January 1st, 2010. I do, however, need some clarification on the finer points of what this New Year’s Resolution will entail.

1) Does walking to the gym and back count as a workout, or do I have to actually enter the gym and swipe my card?

2) How long does a workout need to be before it can be considered a workout? Am I skimping on my workout if it takes less than 9 minutes to complete?

3) Does posting my facebook status as “Going to the gym” count as a workout, or do I have to follow up by actually going to the gym?

4) Does heavy lifting count as a workout? Because I’m about to do the dishes, and I have to put my ceramic bowls on the second shelf. It feels like a workout.

5) If I’m thinking about something really hard, I consider this a mental workout. Can I count this toward my goal of three workouts a week? Does it actually burn calories to think this hard, or should it not be this hard to think?

–Troi out

Dec 24

There is widely held, by such reputable sources as storybook fairytales and audiences of Dawson’s Creek, that there is one perfect person out there for each of us. That kissing frogs not only leads us to bacterial meningitis, but also to that perfect person who suits us hygeinically and romantically. Who loves us, understands us, and desires us equally as we to them. Who wants to commit past the height of excitement into the comfort of stability. And who doesn’t want to think that such a person lies past the frog pond?

I’m certainly not one to rain on your perfect person parade. But I would like to sprinkle some statistics on the sidewalk alongside your parade. That is, if you live in the United States, and you assume that your perfect person also lives in the United States, then there are approximately 305 million perfect mates. If you are female, and hope that your perfect partner might be male, you now have approximately 150 million perfect mates from which to choose. However, keep in mind that you probably won’t visit every state, and even if you do, it’s unlikely to dip into all of the single possibilities each state has to offer. Your pool will most likely be limited to your state. If you live in Oregon, like I do, your state population is approximately 3 million, rendering a rough estimate of 1.5 million men.

Approximately 2/3 of them are not in your age range.

Of the remaining 500,000, half are married.

Of the remaining 250,000, 2/3 don’t live in your geographical area, which excludes them from the dating pool since you’re a working woman who doesn’t have time to commute five hours a day just for a date.

83,000 remain, 82,500 of which you won’t meet in your typical professional and social circles of primarily married friends.

You’re thinking, great! 500* eligible single men! My perfect person could be swimming in that pool! Sign me up!

And I would, except that according to this website, there are only 91 single men per 100 single women in Multnomah County, in which I reside.

So even if you meet your dream man among the 500* eligible local bachelors, you’re likely going to have to fight off the other local single women with a crowbar, because there’s always going to be a surplus of nine women relegated to permanent singleness.

Therefore, don’t be discouraged if you find that your life doesn’t imitate art a la Dawson’s Creek. The statistics aren’t on our side. And statistics don’t lie.*

Anyway, I’m off to purchase a crowbar. Good luck in the dating world!

*Disclaimer: Troi is gifted with many skills, none of which are of the mathematical type. All calculations found here are to be interpreted with caution, loosely interpreted, misinterpreted, or better yet, not interpreted at all.

–Troi out

Dec 7

Dear Readers,

I tend these days toward not having pets, as it is with unprecedented frequency that they tend to perish while under my care, even supposedly easy pets like fish or those sea monkeys that you buy in a box of freeze-dried sea monkey egg powder that apparently live forever if you just remember to feed them once every six months (I didn’t). So I figured, why not volunteer with the pets, and then send them back to their owners to bother with the troublesome details of feeding, bathing, and—-if you’re Paris Hilton—-clothing them and giving them cell phones.

And so it came to pass that I spent a day photographing people’s pets with Santa Claus. Mind you, this was not the REAL Santa Claus, which I figured out when the pets, disgruntled and frantic in their ridiculous Christmas sweaters and bows, incessantly clawed off the imposter’s stick-on beard. Imposter Claus, like me, was volunteering at the event because half of every photo purchase went directly to help homeless pets. Spending the day at Petsmart (Petsmart: Where the Pets Fart, or however their jingle goes), was not unlike spending the day at any retail store targeted at human consumers, except that it was entirely unlike any retail store targeted at human consumers.

For example, during my down time when I wandered the aisles in search of good reading material, I found not Newsweek or People magazine, but rather checkstands that were fully stocked with old standby’s like Bulldogs USA and Shiatzu weekly. (I can’t imagine having to look at a Shiatzu every week.)

I found a wide variety of fancy foods for the prosperous pets who live with doctors, lawyers, and Paris Hilton, including Canine Cuisine Cookies replete with frosting and sprinkles. The frosting didn’t fool me; I figured the doggie dessert was like a broccoli ball at a fancy restaurant—-however you dress it up it’s still made of broccoli.

Until I looked at the ingredients and found that only the finest organic ingredients went into the making of these delectable treats. So here we measly humans are, eating genetically-modified foods laced with hormones and pesticides out of aluminum cans and plastic bottles contributing to brain-wasting diseases, while dogs are being gradually groomed to rule the world with their Newman’s Own organic doggy delights with brain-boosting antioxidant power!*

*I’ve just been informed by my editor that I have just crossed the line from adorably neurotic into profoundly paranoid and that dogs won’t be ruling the world for at least another 5-7 years or until the culmination of Obama’s first presidential term (marked by universal health care for dogs). But you heard it here first, Readers. This world is going to the dogs.

In between reading the latest installment of Bulldogs, USA, and munching on frosted canine cuisine cookies, I managed to take a few good pictures (I don’t mean to brag, but approximately one good picture for every 500 failed attempts to coerce a 150 lb dog into looking at the camera and posing next to Santa—-that’s a good success rate, yes?).

And you can visit your local Petsmart to purchase a photograph of your pet with Santa, knowing that half of your purchase supports homeless pets. And we need to be nice to our homeless pets, because I’ve heard a rumor—-because I started it—-that they’ll be in Congress soon. And I want them to vote Yes for universal health care for humans.

–Troi out