Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Project Research

5 Years From Now ...

As we merge into our final writing assignment - the dreaded Research Paper (cue scary background music), we must first consider where we've been this semester:

Narrative Exploration of first Ambitions

Applications & Cover Letter for our Dream Jobs

Argument Analysis within our Passion Fields

And now ...

For this last assignment, it's time we took all these passions of ours and looked deep within our chosen fields to identify our own place.  In every field, (I promise) there will always be problems that demand solutions.  At this very moment while you're sitting in the classroom completing your college education, the people currently in play in whatever field you hope to enter are identifying and solving problems to make the future brighter. 

Your job?  Join that conversation!

Take a look at the field you hope to one day enter.  Where do you see a potential problem?  Or where do you see an area within that isn't being addressed?  For this paper, show us that passion of yours in action.  Identify a problem in  your field and propose a solution. 

For next week's class, I want you to start thinking about possible problems.  Start a blog post that lists these.  As you get further, start noting the specifics of these problems and the potential solutions that you may or may not propose in your actual paper. 

Once you are finished with this post, share it with your classmates and respond to their posts.  Choosing a topic is hard work - help each other out!


Friday, June 24, 2011

Small Town Girl Attempts Matchmaking, Round 2

My mother has the highest dating expectations for me …

Mom- “Jordan, JORDAN look at him!”
Jordan- “Mom, that’s the guy on Vampire Diaries.”
Mom- “Oh, I love that show!”
Jordan- “Right”
Mom- “Walk by him, get his attention!”
Jordan- “Kindly direct your attention to the mob of girls following him; he probably has a different girl for each day of the week”
Mom- “So?”
Jordan- “It’s not happening, mom”
Mom- “I bet none of them are as pretty as you”

Oh, my mother- such a confidence booster. She once told me that she didn’t see me with either A.C. Slater or Zack Morris from Saved by the Bell.

Thanks mom, I’ll let them know that it’ll never work between us.

But to be fair, the dating world has come a long way since my mom and dad were “courting” in the high school hallways. These days, guys like my father are far and few between. My mom is one lucky lady, but that’s a blog for another day.

The dating road is one I’m fairly familiar with. So much in fact, that it doesn’t really matter where I meet the fork in the road – I’ll find my way home again. I’ve regrettably broken the hearts of the good guys, been broken by the bad ones, and I’ve heard the romantic stories mixed alongside the horror stories. And while some roads are lined with sunshine and unicorns, others are utterly drenched post blood bath.

Yet, I’ve learned lessons that I’ll never take back. So at the end of the day, my dating resume doesn’t make either nostalgic or bitter.

What does make me frustrated, however, is when boys (or girls) hurt my friends. I just don’t understand it, my friends are pretty awesome, if I do say so myself. Especially my girlfriends, sometimes it seems like all they meet are douche bags. But hey, don’t we all?

Then the other day it occurred to me - I know so many great guys; so why are my girlfriends continuing to date losers? And the more I thought about this, the more adamant I became about supporting my “good guy” friends. Sure sometimes we want to date the “bad boy,” it’s thrilling and fun. Or if you’re like me, you date people because subconsciously you want to “fix” them. But ladies, I’ve done the leg work. Billy Badass isn’t going to change, and Trust Fund Baby Boyfriend is never going to get a job.

But the good guys, that’s where it’s at. They’re supportive, they’re fun, you can count on them and chances are they’ve got things going on in their lives that you can support, too! Maybe it’s time I gave my lady friends a wake-up call, that white horse/white knight fairytale is still out there. You’ve just been looking in the villain’s lair.

So in the spirit of mine and Brittney Cason’s more recent matchmaking plotting, and to prove that a good guy really does exist, I thought I’d introduce you all to one:

Meet Bobby DeMuro

DeMuro, a personal trainer, is currently working on two master’s degrees at both UNC Chapel Hill and the University of Memphis. Re-read that last line - the word ambitious could be spelled       D-e-M-u-r-o.

Aside from his extensive educational background, DeMuro is an avid volunteer at the Ada Jenkins Center. And in 2009, frustrated with costly fitness programs, he let his mind spiral into a business plan that became FusionSouth, LLC. FusionSouth is a model for improved fitness sans the costly expenses. Not to mention, DeMuro is the founder and Executive Director of the non-profit organization NoFizz Charlotte, Inc. The association dedicated to improved nutrition habits and the physical activity of today’s youth. Let’s just say, the guy stays busy … in a good way.

I then, being the matchmaker/great friend that I am, devised my own little dating questionnaire for DeMuro to fill out, and sent it straight to his inbox. Naturally, it took a little coaxing to get him on board, but here it is ladies, The Small Town Girl Matchmaking Escapades, Take 2:

About you:

Name: Bobby DeMuro (25 years old)
Occupation: Public Health professional - I own a fitness and sports conditioning business, I run a non-profit health organization, I host a health podcast/radio show, and I'm a guest contributor for a major TV station in Charlotte.

Current Endeavors: Work. Volunteering with some awesome young people. Training for a marathon. I'm getting two different Master's degrees (Go Memphis Tigers!). And just like Brian Griffin, in my spare time I'm working on a couple of books (if you get that joke, we were probably meant for each other).

Have children? No

Want children? Yeah - two girls - Bianca and Libby. Seriously!

What song is the soundtrack of your life? Can I pick three songs? Scarface's "My Block," Barenaked Ladies "The Old Apartment," and Lupe Fiasco "The Show Goes On"

If you were a wild animal, what would you be? My dog, Dakota. She lives the life - eats food off my plate, sleeps 23 hours a day, goes on runs with me, and we snuggle at night together under the covers. (Is that why I'm single?)

Favorite beverage? Water, girls. and you'll understand why...

If you were stuck on a desert island, who is the one person you’d want with you? My brother, or my dad, and an almanac. We quiz each other about anything and everything (ex., "What's the GDP of Mongolia?"), and if we had an almanac we'd be good for decades.

Do you live to work, or work to live? Live to work. When you work with amazing young folks and do something rewarding and unique, you want to go in to work each day. When you're insane like me and you get up at before 3:00 am every day, well, that problem just compounds itself.

Your guilty pleasure? King of the Hill. I make it a point not to watch TV (unless my Denver Nuggets are playing), but I could - and have - watch King of the Hill all day, every day. Wingo!!

Who is Edward Cullen? A little bitch.

And yes, that was a trick question.

If I googled you right now, what would I find? My bios and websites of the biz/non-profit I own, pages of stats from my collegiate and professional baseball career, and I think probably my Twitter and LinkedIn accounts. But it's cool, I'm addicted to Twitter.

What would be your chosen super power? Finding the perfect woman so I wouldn't have to resort to being Jordan's social engineering experiment!! (Kidding JCB, you're the best).

So, which is it? …

Milk Chocolate or Dark Chocolate: Water
Ice cubes or crushed ice: None
In grade school, were you the bully or the bullied: I was the only white kid in an all black school, the stereotypical quarterback and pitcher, so, neither?
Team Jennifer or Team Angelina: ... the fuck?
Is the glass half full or half empty: The glass is all the way full!!
Coke or Pepsi: Water. Again,
Peanut Butter chunky or smooth: Good question...

Your Best:

Vacation: Day trips to Columbia, SC. No, seriously - I love that city.
Halloween Costume: I don't celebrate fake holidays!
Attribute: Authenticity.

And the actual dating questions:

What is your idea of a perfect date? 4-5 mile jog through Davidson or Freedom Park area.

Turns Ons? Intelligence. Girls who are brimming with positivity. Girls with TONS of energy. Girls who are ridiculously ambitious. Girls who don't need to party or drink to have fun! (Live your life on purpose!)

Deal Breakers? Lack of exercise. SMOKERS. Drug users. Big time party/drinkers. (We've gotta be livin' for something more important than today!)

When you arrive on a date, which of these things are most definitely – without a doubt – on you?

A. Candy and/or cookies
B. Flowers
C. A bottle of wine/champagne
D. A friend
E. An antacid anti-gas remedy.
F. A condom
G. Or just you, because come on … you’re Bobby DeMuro. You’re enough.

Just 'G', baby. No, depending on the date, maybe A, B and F.

Do you have any cartoon characters, rainbows, names, hearts, four-leafed clovers, barbed wire and/or vines tattooed anywhere on your body? Nope!

Which of these is your idea of a nice little surprise for the lucky girl who dates you, Mr. DeMuro?

A. The good morning/ good night text
B. E-mail and/or text of your private areas she may or may not have seen yet …
C. Jumping out of a cake, any cake will do.
D. Tickets to a concert/sporting event she’s been dying to see
E. A handwritten note
F. Abdominal gas

A, D, and definitely E!

On a date with someone you’re romantically interested in, your first physical move is usually:

A. A kiss on the cheek
B. Holding hands
C. Sticking a finger in this girl’s ear
D. A big sloppy wet kiss on the mouth! Show them you mean business!
E. A playful tap on the ass
F. A long, meaningful stare into her pretty eyes

B. I move pretty slowly... C sounds pretty hot though, you down to try that JCB?

After a first date that does really well, what is your closing line?

A. I love you
B. Are you free next week? Awesome, my mom is in town.
C. You like the name DeMuro, huh? Would you like it?
D. So, has anyone ever told you that you’re freaking HOT?
E. My place or yours?
F. Or other, fill in the blank: ___________________________

Haha "C" is great. And my Mom IS in town next week. But I'd have to go with F: "So, when can I see you again?"

Things you would or wouldn’t say …

Yes or No: I like dogs, too. And what do you know …I have a bone for you!
No... unless she wanted it!

Yes or No: And you’re sure you want to eat that?
Haha, no.

Yes or No: After my run, I’m going to stop by the tanning salon on my way to the laundry mat.

Yes or No: Jesus, when was the last time you shaved your legs??
Why would I ask Jesus when he last shaved his legs? Guy's been through a lot already.

Yes or No: Is it that time of the month already?

Yes or No: Oh, you don’t do that? Oh, ok it’s just that my ex used to … no biggie.

Yes or No: Did we have plans?

So ladies, there you go. A good guy in the flesh, no your eyes are not deceiving you – one does exist and I’ve given you a good place to start. I’m currently pimping out my friends [insert evil laugh here], so please send all DeMuro inquires and letters of interest to this Small Town Girl at

Because after all, all ladies deserve a good man … and you can’t have mine ;)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Jordan learns a REDiculous lesson

Recently I was punked by my boss.

When Brittney gave me a questionnaire to fill out regarding my ideal candidate for boyfriend, I chalked it up as an unusual work assignment. Nothing would surprise me anymore. Little did I know, Brittney was plotting when she took my rather unorthodox dating list and ran with it … straight to her blog at Creative Loafing.

Guess she finally got me back for setting her up a profile on

One of these little inquires asked the question of what my deal-breakers are in a relationship. I turned this subject over and over in my head. Later I posed this question to my own friends and their answers were as expected: “If he doesn’t want children” or “if he chews his food with his mouth open.” The list continues …

What I really had the urge to do, though, was draw a big line right through the word deal-breaker and add a new word, let my dating profile read: “List Prerequisites.” And the sad thing about this, my one and only … must have a job.

I’m twenty-four years old, why is it that “must have a job” is something I have to say out loud? If I’m dating guys my own age … wouldn’t this just sort of come with the package. And in the midst of all this dating reflection it occurred to me the very reason this, what I thought unspoken and implied, employee status is a requirement is because I’ve lowered my standards once before.

Take a former relationship, for example. While I was working multiple jobs I chose for my partner a guy who’s idea of a hard day’s work was walking eighteen holes instead renting a golf-cart. I tried to justify my relationship to everyone. “He’s sweet,” and “he makes me laugh.” Sure I cringed when I read his tweet: “About to hit the driving range with an ice cold six-pack, ahhh … unemployment” from my work desk, but he was the funny guy. So I let it go.

After all, I was the girlfriend. I’m not supposed to expose negativity. But in the midst of protecting his feelings, I was straddling the fence into new territory: settling.

The theory goes that we’re drawn to our opposites. The “opposites attract” card is one we play when seeking validation, and just like a card game if you lay this card on the table face down - I’ve done the leg work, and I’m calling your bluff.

By trying to justify my relationship to my friends, I was only trying to justify it to myself. And when I looked around at my boyfriend’s place that could have easily doubled as a frat house, it all became clear: my comedian of a friend turned boyfriend … wasn’t so funny anymore.

But still it took a swift kick in the ass before I made moves, and that kick came over dinner one night while we were discussing my upcoming LSAT exam. I had met a friend of said ex two weeks prior to this dinner who is now happily married.

This married friend elaborated on how wonderful his wife was, proclaiming that he knew she and I would love each other. When I asked him how they had met he told me that she met him when he was “going nowhere fast.” His exact words; he said in her he found a source of inspiration. He wanted to be everything and more that she deserved. So he jumpstarted himself, and now … happily married, life couldn’t be better for this guy.

Fast forward to two weeks later at Paco’s Tacos and Tequila over margaritas and a large bowl of guacamole, my boyfriend informed me that, for him, this wasn’t the case.

No, this trust fund baby boyfriend of mine wasn’t motivated in the slightest by my work ethic. And why should he be when mom was still footing the bill of his life? He asked me if I’d like to go to law school in Charleston because, and I’m quoting here, he “had a job lined up there already.”

Sadly, this is the most exciting news I had heard from this guy in months. So I pushed for more detail, although in retrospect, I really really wish I hadn’t.

Trust Fund- “Painting fences, don’t pay much but it’s easy”
Jordan- “You want to paint fences? Like white-washing?”
Trust Fund- “Yeah, would you be ok with it if your husband wtf did he just call himself? just painted fences for the rest of your life.”

This I had to think about, I remember that I leaned back in the booth and looked at him for a solid few minutes. I stared up at him while he waited for my answer, but I really wasn’t sure how I felt about it. After some time had passed, I finally smiled across the table at my now nervous partner and said “sure, as long as you’re happy.”

But I was lying. What I was really thinking was something more like: “look here, Tom Sawyer, I’ve seen my future and your white-washing dreams weren’t there.”

Bear with me; it was never about the job. It was the thought process behind the job. This guy didn’t want to paint fences his whole life because of his utter love and appreciation of all things freshly painted. No, for Trust Fund this job was one thing and one thing only: easy.

This guy had no intention of ever getting a job, or at least one that required him to think or perform any manual labor. He had money coming his way one day, and he was more than content coasting before and after the day it all dropped into his lap. Now did he have enough coming his way to live comfortably for the rest of his life while he white-washed fences? No, but it’s not like he was thinking that far ahead, or realistically I should say. And each time he said things like “all these things coming my way are going to be yours too, someday …”

… I died a little inside.

I’m not that kinda girl. I work for everything; I could have all the money in the world and still work. In fact, even at millionaire status I’d probably still work multiple jobs, and I would definitely still go to school. So what was I doing? If school is important to me, why be with someone who doesn’t feel that way? If work is crucial to me, why would I be with someone who has no work ethic whatsoever?

I’ve had to learn the hard way, I guess.

And in the aftermath my friends have done what they do best, give me a lot of shit. But I wanted to know, is the opposites attract theory still a thing for most people? So naturally I asked Facebook and the responses were unanimous.

While opposites may be fun and exciting, it’s the similarities that bond two people. Instead of seeking out the person who possesses the qualities you don’t, why not look for someone who enjoys the things you enjoy. You’ll find things you can do together, like go for a run in Freedom Park, venture to the White Water Center, or catch an Intimidators game. Charlotte is the ideal scene for dating at any stage, so why not explore together?

So that relationship came to an end, and yes I’ve met with the bitterness of said ex. When it was all said and done, he wanted to assure me that he would be just fine because he makes more money than I do.

But I didn’t realize we were counting the weekly allowance from his mother ...

Friday, May 27, 2011

This Small Town Girl is going to bed for a little while ...

In the midst of a dating hiatus, I’m taking another hiatus … one from blogging.

Stephen King once said: “If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time or the tools to write.” In other words, the best writers are typically those whom are well-read. This is a statement I agree with. As in all things, there are always exceptions to this rule. Although, I can’t say, even knowing a few of these writers, that my mind is changing. Just like an athlete who studies tapes to improve, or the student who follows a mentor to learn – if the goal is to be a better writer, the only way to get there is to read the work of great writers.

Luckily, reading is a favorite past time of mine. Every year I accumulate book after book for my summer reading list. Reading for pleasure is always reserved for the summer, and since school is in the cards for me for at least another four years … this is just the way it has to be. Why only the summer? Have you ever been an English major? Try being an English grad student. Reading is what you do. This past semester was one of the easiest reading semesters to date, and still I read 21 books and over 25 scholarly articles.

As this summer marks my twenty-fourth year of life, this 2011 edition of my summer reading list has a minimum requirement of twenty-four books. This is quite do-able since I’ve acquired approximately thirty books from January to May from Book Buyers, my favorite used bookstore in Plaza-Midwood. If you get some time check it out, beware of the cat.

And inside all that summer reading I’m working on my own passion project, hence the momentary break-up with blogging. If I feel compelled to blog, it’ll happen. But for now, it’s time I worked on a project that’s been spiraling in my mind for years.

My question for you is this: what is your passion project? To steal one remarkable tweet from my friend, Bobby DeMuro - what is the one thing you want to accomplish in the next 365 days?

It’s a fascinating concept; a goal like any other, a passion project is the rupture of the self. So I challenge you to embark upon your own passion project whether it’s writing a business plan, running a marathon, originating a charitable foundation, volunteering, writing a screenplay or a book, tackling photography, constructing the menu for a future restaurant endeavor, or merely creating something meaningful – what are you waiting for?

In e-mail conversation today with a friend, and classmate, he asserted that for too long his life had been lived in the form of a question, instead a statement. Like I do with all e-mails from my friends, I printed it out and read it in it’s tangible form. When I read this sentence I paused, re-read it, and with my pencil I drew a gray line beneath his words. I’ve been contemplating my own life ever since. It is so easy to live your life in question structure. Will you profit from a particular venture? Will you make ends meet? Will you get a call back? When will you know something? Will you be ok?

Questions are an inevitable part of life; they are the reoccurring, resurfacing influences surrounding our lives. However, do we allow ourselves to be dependent upon the answer - or do we answer our own questions? This is an observation my friend is ready to transform. And he will; I’m sure of it.

That idea that is pulsating through your body - engage it. No matter how simple, if you’re passionate about something it’s no longer mundane, it’s profound. You have the ability to change someone’s life, and then there’s the chance you’ll change your own along the way.

To everyone who reads anything I write, thank you. I can’t express how much it means to me. When the appropriate time, or blog, presents itself - I’ll write it. Until then, you can read me at Creative Loafing with Night Reviews or the occasional guest blogging appearance at Brittney Cason’s “Love, Brittney” blog. Happy creating everyone!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Creeping, the New Flirting?

Guys, you have a lot of explaining to do.

Ok … that’s not totally fair, I’ll give you that; but for the record, pick up methods have hit an all-time low. Now, I’m not referring to myself as the attempted pick-up; I apparently give off the “walk away from me” vibe. My friends do, too; even if they won’t admit it. But if you catch one of my girlfriends when she’s not in the right state of mind … well, she may be more open to participate in your conversation.

And last night on our girl’s night (plus Jeff and Daniel), in the midst of strobe lights, fog machines, and Whisky River’s Bartender Competition hosted by F’ … things got a little out of control. Well, for one of us anyway. As it happens, the 6:30 a.m. wake up call labels me as the designated driver. Which is fine by me, I’m pretty protective of my friends and staying the sober one means I get to keep a watchful eye on them all.

That is until I lose one of them … Hey, it happens.

Nick Swardson said it already, as females we just tend to lose each other when alcohol is involved. It is as detrimental as it is inevitable. And last night when one group of my girlfriends were called into the VIP area by some unknown gentlemen I tagged along. From the upper level I peered down like a hawk watching our other friends still fighting off the 18 year old procession surrounding them. Ah, College Night – I don’t think I loved you even when I was you.

I can see my other friends clearly, but one … we’ll call her Ole Miss, started weaving her way through the crowd in a direction I couldn’t quite see. In the swarm of people, I lost sight of her bright turquoise dress. By the way, bright colors on Ole Miss are the equivalent of a runner wearing a neon vest at night; subconscious move on her part? I’m going to go with … yes.

In panic mode I gathered my Very Important Friends and made moves to follow. Ole Miss called repeatedly, but when you’re in the warzone of teenage mating i.e. grinding to techno music, it’s rather difficult to communicate. Eventually, though, we did manage to gather up all our friends sans Ole Miss. We texted her “meet us at the Bull” … something I never thought I’d say to someone.

Only she couldn’t find it, so we texted her “meet us at the bar,” positive that she would know that location well, even intoxicated. However, at this point Ole Miss had given up on texting all together. Phone calls only, despite our tricky environment. When finally contact had been made, we learned Ole Miss had made her way outside the bar. Thank God. The others still had tabs they needed to close at the bar I headed out to find our lost friend solo.

Outside in a sea of smoke I felt my phone vibrating, it was Ole Miss …

“baby, I’m on my way to you”
“hello?” … guy’s voice

My heart sank. Now I’m frantically maneuvering my way through this crowd of smokers looking everywhere for that turquoise dress. And then as if Moses himself parted the sea of smoke, everything cleared and there she was … with two cops.


Once I get up to her I realize there is a third party to these investigating guys. This guy donning flip-flops, gym shorts, and a really tight t-shirt is holding my girlfriend’s arm. I start asking both cops what’s going on, and they ignore me. Standard. Worse yet, while I’m trying to pull any information out of them, this Jersey Shore cat is now holding the hand of my friend and leading her away. Thank you, Law Enforcement. You guys rock, really.

I chase after this pair and take her other hand. I thank him for helping her and inform him she’s fine with me.

Jersey Shore- “She needs to get down the stairs.”
Jordan- “We’re waiting on our friends, and then I’m taking her home”
Jersey Shore- “She needs to come with me; I’m going to help her down the stairs”
Jordan- “I can take it from here”

But this Guido wouldn’t let up if his life depended upon it. Of course, Ole Miss wasn’t helping the matter as she was now leaning on this guy for support while simultaneously calling out “all the cops here love me!”

Something tells me you’re wrong about that, Ole Miss. Just a hunch …

And yes, this guy follows us all the way down the stairs making inappropriate comments to me regarding the intoxication level of my friend, only to then make underhanded ones to himself about my stand-offish behavior. I believe the term he used was “prudish,” I’ve been called worse.

On the ground level I finally see our friends walking down the stairs, or well I see my best friend trip down the stairs (right now she’s more than likely cursing me from her bed, where she has also just popped approximately five ibuprofen). When they reach us I kindly inform Jersey Shore that we’re all here now, he’s free to go. Only he doesn’t budge. In fact, now he’s pulling up the sleeves of his tiny t-shirt so we can see his large tattooed arms. Like I have time for this guy and his antics.

Jersey Shore- “I’ll walk you to your car”
Jordan- “No, no … no need for that we are fine.”

Jersey Shore keeps walking.

Best Friend- “Who is this guy?”
Ole Miss- “Where are the cops? All the cops love me! Are you a cop?”
Jersey Shore- “I am”

Is this guy for real?

Jordan- “You’re not a cop”
Jersey Shore- “Yes I am. I’m undercover.”
Jordan- “Oh yeah, gym shorts and flip flops … you’re an undercover cop. Yeah, me too”
Best Friend- “You’re douche enough to be a cop” Reason 2483938498483829939238 why she’s my best.

But he’s still coming. Only add the sob story of how he found Ole Miss and rescued her from his “co-workers.” Do cops call each other co-workers? You learn something new every day.

Too bad my drunken friend is totally buying this “white horse” bullshit. Does this sort of thing usually work for you, Jersey? Desperately trying, but to no avail, we can’t shake this shady character.

Well, to be fair …

Best Friend: “Hey Marine Corp, got a lighter?”
Jordan- “Not helping”

Meanwhile, Ole Miss is swaying back and forth proclaiming that if this guy hadn’t come along she’d be in jail, only to quickly correct herself since “all the cops love” her. Since the rest of us saw this situation as it was, we got Ole Miss into the car before her white knight could request any further contact.

This entire episode left me wondering, what is wrong with you guys? Is this sort of behavior commendable in male circles? You pick out the drunkest girl in a group and try to pull her away from her friends, making you the creepiest guy on earth. Is creeping the new flirting?

Then I thought of my own guy friends, who seriously rule. You guys are amazing. I don’t have one guy friend who would ever behave this way, so to them I say spread the word. Educate these creepsters on how to interact with a member of the opposite sex. Now I understand why my parents are so anxious when it comes to me. If this sleazy behavior is the future, well consider me the future cat lady.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Dating Hiatus

Summer love just wasn’t in the cards.

And when in the midst of the break up war zone yesterday, the white flag was raised.

In life, that’s just the name of the game sometimes. Not everything is meant to stay, not everything is meant to be. When things hit a brick wall, you shake it off and you let it go.

On the recommendation of my friends, I’m taking a dating hiatus so to speak. Oscar Wilde once said “When a love comes to an end, weaklings cry, efficient ones instantly find another love, and the wise already have one in reserve.” According to my best friend, I’ve heeded Wilde’s words too precisely.

To be fair, Oscar Wilde is my favorite.

But she is right; I’m always leaving the crosshairs of one relationship in sprint to another. I never stay single for long, and I seldom let a failed attempt at love stand in my way for very long. And this last relationship is evidence to support the very thing I’ve feared all along.

I tried to add a relationship to my life of multiple jobs, graduate school, writing, and dreaming. This move, in all its selfishness, cost both me and former boyfriend precious time. Yet, the end of something is often not so bad, how could it be when you have friends who text you: “That sucks … Phillies game tonight?”

My friends ask if I’m heartbroken. The answer to this is no, I’m not. Although, I do know heartbreak - who doesn’t? Heartbreak has been the unwanted guest at the end of my dinner table. It’s just part of life, a brutal and ugly part … sure, but it’s also inevitable.

Some time ago I loved a boy in the most indescribable way. It was terrifying. I used to write it on notebook paper in class, or on post-it notes at work, only to promptly erase any trace of it away. I questioned it, fought it, detested it, and I treasured it.

Once he asked me if I had ever listened to Death Cab for Cutie. At the time I had the band pegged as “emo;” and that wasn’t for me. But he was into them, and because I was into him I jotted them down in mental note. Later, when logged into my iTunes I updated my library, which now includes a rather extensive collection of Death Cab’s work.

And no, I never mentioned to him that I had explored his preference in music because I didn’t do it for points or bragging rights, I did it because I was so utterly fixated on this boy, and was exceptionally interested in things he loved. We moved quickly; two young and upbeat individuals with only pure affection in our unexplored hearts. These were among the happiest days of my life.

Unfortunately, this love interest of mine and I were very similar in a number of ways; and the most detrimental: our reoccurring surrender to a sabotage mode. A night of battle stirred a blur of damaging remarks hurling from one to the other. It would be days before we would talk again.

Our destructive exchange left wounds, and in the days that separated us I aimed to piece together my thoughts. When I knew nothing had changed for me, I hoped with every thread of my body that he felt the same. But still I didn’t call. Nearly a week later he phoned suggesting we meet the following day to discuss the recent turn of events in our budding relationship. I agreed.

The day of, I woke in pure dread. In my mind I had already seen the worst, he was meeting me to end it, and I was braced for it. I dressed in silence, no one else home in our tiny apartment. And when I emerged, the sun was hidden behind a sea of clouds.

They say love is blind, but that’s absurd, love isn’t blind at all. Love sees every facet, and I did that day. It was overwhelming. Even now, I can describe in detail the bustling scene around us when he took the seat across from me. He said that this particular morning he had risen with the sole purpose of seeking me out and proclaiming the necessity to restore and mend our relationship.

In my mind, all that’s there: past tense, past tense, he’s talking in past tense …

He expressed the unease in which he dwelled all morning as he prepared to meet me, how he had roamed every corner of his place practicing what he would say when he saw me. In his background, as there often was when he felt anxious, the sounds of music twisting their way through doorways and walls. It was this point when he heard Death Cab’s familiar echo.

The song “Tiny Vessels” filled the room and it was there that he understood that all those things he was feeling were painted perfectly by this song. He replayed it, just to be sure, but he was. And he knew right then and there that when he met me that day it would be with one intention: to end it.

In my mind, all that’s there: Tiny Vessels, Tiny Vessels, Tiny Vessels …

I was braced for this, so I let it go. I drove home in silence; climbed the stairs to my apartment where nobody was home. The room was painted dark from a dull sky when I pulled my laptop onto our living room recording desk, hooked it up to the loud speakers, and navigated iTunes until I found it. I played “Tiny Vessels” on repeat, and sat sobbing in our living room. In the aftermath, all I could do was sit there; and so I did … and I wrote.

I wrote every agonizing and unsightly thing I was thinking. It was riveting. And to this day, if Death Cab’s “Tiny Vessels” isn’t playing in the background, I can’t write.

“Tiny Vessels” has become my muse. It is the most fascinating thing. I’m not referring to writing blogs either, as the majority of these are born at my work desk. I’m talking about creative writing, the things I generate, the things I’m the most passionate about. With every CD I’ve made since my ill-fated relationship, I slip the song somewhere in the midst of the other tracks. Just so when I’m sitting at my desk, or I’m driving in my car, I’ll hear the soft music begin to play and my mind spirals.

The song no longer has the negative connotation it did all that time ago, I no longer associate it with the way I felt that day. The feeling I have when I hear it is inexpressible, but whether it’s a sense of painful memory or merely appreciation for the musical flair I was born without – when it hits, I create.

Life moves on, so move with it. I’m not saying that if I hadn’t found this song I would never write, but I am saying it has given me the extraordinary ability to lose myself in something in order to create.

This guy in all his Death Cab glory is someone I still regard as a good friend. I’m in awe of his talent, and we are fortunate enough to have each other to bounce ideas off of; but I’m under no illusion that our newfound friendship is the sole purpose he entered my life.

No, this guy’s function was to provide me with my muse. In the after effects, I’ve produced more work than ever before. Proving there is a reason every single person who penetrates the walls of your life, even for the briefest moments. And it’s hard to be angry when you’ve discovered that.

To all the people who are giving me so much hell, don’t worry. I’m taking some time to be a friend, to be myself, and even some time to be a wingman. At least until October, that is, when the Phillies are World Series bound, and yes … that was a hit at you Bobby DeMuro.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

"No Rest for the Weary"

I caught a glimpse of myself in the future ...         
And it wasn’t pretty.

The saying goes “there’s no rest for the weary.” The wise soul who proclaimed this avowal must have seen something similar to what I saw today. Work and school keep a girl busy, but in this life that’s just the name of the game.

So a short hiatus from school for a couple of months is a relief, but it’s not like the rest of life is taking a backseat. Work doesn’t let it, it just returns to the 8-5 form – only I’m not quite back in the swing of things. Four out of five of my mornings usually include: sleeping through alarm, waking up minutes before I need to leave, running around cursing myself for not buying a louder alarm even though it’s been on my to-do list for months, and sprinting out the door.

Worse yet, my co-workers do not seem to know these issues of mine. By the time I meet these girls they’ve already had their morning coffee and met with their personal trainers for some daybreak water aerobics. So each morning while I’m drowning out the sound of alarm clock church bells, these girls are burning off more calories than I’ll eat that day. These are the girls with carefully applied makeup and hair fixed perfectly straight or bouncing with flawless curls. It goes without saying that their desks are lined with touch-up foundation and lipstick, while mine is packed full of food. How about another expression … I stick out like a sore thumb.

Bear with me, the last six months have been tough and I’ve got the battle scars to prove it. Regrettably, these aren’t the “cool” scars you get from dangerous feats. Nope, my scars are the unavoidable dark circles permanently painted under my eyes. But since those aren’t going away anytime soon and no amount of concealer hides them for long, I’ve decided I might as well embrace them like my own beauty mark. Unfortunately, the beauty mark concept only works for Cindy Crawford and a selected few others.

But I’ll get with it … eventually. For the moment I’m still living in the unattractive aftermath of the semester. And if I needed reassurance of this, it came today in the midst of eating lunch alone. I really enjoy our weekly colleague lunch dates as a department, but sometimes I just want to indulge myself with a bowl of soup and whatever book I’m reading in peace and quiet. For those of you out there who don’t mind stepping out solo on your lunch break, heed my warning.

On a side note to myself, on days when peace and quiet are the goal, avoid any table in proximity to the one of women with pink binders stretched in front of them, praising each other on how stunning they look.

I had literally opened my laptop and turned it on when one intrusive female was hovering over me asking if I minded if she interrupted my lunch because, and I’m quoting here, she’s “been trained to pick out professional women.” Well-played lady, well-played

She introduced herself as Vickie, and went on to tell me that she owns her own beauty consultation company. Vickie “would love to offer me a free microdermabrasion.” A micro-what? Vickie says she’s certain that I have “a few glamorous friends who would love to join me at her home studio for a makeover.” “Beautiful people run with beautiful crowds,” Vickie says to me with a wink. Oh Vickie, you’re good.

And “as a professional woman,” she’s “sure that I know the importance of a professional appearance.” Clearly Vickie is not so sure of this. But not to worry, my new friend here is more than happy to help me “by simply accentuating my natural features.”

In my mind I say to this woman: “Look Vickie, I’ve been living in a world of hell for the last few months working seven days a week and going to school full time. Yes, I know I look tired, that’s because I am tired. 8 am is brutal, I used to sleep ‘til noon and now they want me to be at work, looking professional and functioning like a professional before the sun rises. While I’m buried under a mountain of paperwork, my friends are poolside or day drinking, enjoying their summer vacations. And all I want right now, at this exact moment, is for you to return to the Pink Ladies over there and let me write in peace. This is the only break I get until 5. Ok? Thanks.

But instead, I smile and say “That sounds wonderful”

And make a mental note … tonight set more than one alarm, and at least an extra hour early.

Friday, May 13, 2011

"Being a girl ain't easy"

May 13, the day I submitted my final Literary Theory paper I’ve been agonizing over for months. How did I celebrate this triumphant day?

With my annual visit to the OB-GYN


(What? I’m really in a cartoon mood these days …)

I mean, who wouldn’t want to celebrate the end of the hardest semester of life to date by lying back on a table, legs spread with someone feeling around down there? Wait, don’t answer that.

I truly wish guys could experience anything remotely close to these infamous “girl-doctor” visits, but hey “being a girl ain’t easy.” Since I’ve read Tucker Max’s I hope they Serve Beer in Hell, I’m familiar with how the guy STD testing works. Insert large rod into penis hole; sounds horrible. But guys, if you’re careful, you only have to experience this gut-wrenching experience a few times in life. As for girls, we’re not that lucky.

We get to live this exhilarating episode on a yearly basis. So in my book the score:
Guys- 1 Girls- 0

And because my mother is still more active with the scheduling of doctor visits; she’s been hard at work for over a month making appointments for both my sister and I. This is no easy feat for two reasons: 1. Jen and I both lead hectic lives, and 2. we both live in Charlotte … and our OB GYN is back in Winston-Salem. This is unfortunate, since I’ve lived in Charlotte for over four years now, but stick with what you know; and my gynecologist, Dr. R, is great.

Oh, and by the way, Dr. R … is playing for the guy’s team.

Some may think the fact that I’ve chosen a guy gynecologist is slightly unorthodox. I beg to differ. What is unorthodox; however, is that this is the same man who delivered me to my mom and dad (almost) twenty-four years ago.

Being sisters, Jen and I do things as a pair. Even when we don’t mean to, we like to do things together. Like the time we were roommates, or the time we bought our first pairs of TOMS at the same time. Or like this week when we each picked up nasty speeding tickets within forty-eight hours of each other. Add girl-doctor visits to this list, and since she had the more fortunate - or unfortunate - exam schedule, she made her way up I-85 two days earlier than me.

So this morning I geared up for this awkward experience. After changing into the distorted sheet disguised as a gown, they ask you to sit your bare ass onto a freezing table. There is a sheet there, but who are they kidding? There is no escaping this brutal coldness.

This charming affair is then followed up with a series of questions:

Nurse- “Do you smoke?”

Jordan- “Nope”

Nurse- (Eyebrows raised, accusatory voice) … “You don’t smoke, at all?”

Awesome, pegged me for a smoker. I’m in my freaking work clothes lady, do I smell like smoke?

Jordan- “Nope”

Nurse- “Ok then, what about drinking? Do you drink?”

Jordan- “Yes”

Nurse- “How often do you drink?”

What an awful question, can I pass?

Jordan- “Ummmm”

Nurse- (Slightly annoyed) “How many times a week?”

Jordan- “Maybe a few times”

Nurse- “So, three times a week?”

Jordan- “Yeah, let’s go with three”

Nurse- “How many drinks each time?”

Jordan- “umm … maybe 2 or 3?”

Nurse- “So around 10 drinks a week?”

Jordan- my math says 6 to 9, but what do I know –English major … “Sure”

Nurse- “And are you sexually active?”

This question, not my favorite; she was looking for the one word answer. Instead she got my quick and blurted out response of …

Jordan- “I have a boyfriend!”

Nurse- (Slightly more annoyed …) “So, is that a yes?”

Really this should be a questionnaire I fill out and hand back so we can avoid this lovely conversation in the future. Not that I don’t love conversing with the nurse and all that, since we all know in the case of the guy gynecologist the nurse’s real role: the buffer. There’s no fooling this girl. It would be nice though if next to the “Are you sexually active?” question there was room for comments. This way I could write things like: “I have been dating him for X amount of time” or “… And I’ve known him forever.” Can I motion for this? Anybody second it?

So basically I thought my experience was less than enjoyable, but as I was bitching about this to my sister on my drive back to Charlotte she revealed her experiences two days prior, and as it happens, I got off easy.

My mom had asked if I wanted her to meet me today, but I declined. This morning I almost called and asked her to meet me anyway because it would be really nice to see her, I miss my mom every day. But last minute decided I’d already let her off the hook, why mess up her morning. If I had considered exactly what this visit would entail, the idea never would have crossed my mind.

My sister, not as lucky; while the nurse quizzed my sister on her various habits … my mother was posted up one seat over hanging on her every word.

You can imagine how embarrassing this must be for my (almost) twenty year old sister. Did I also mention that our birthdays are five days apart? See, everything together.

And when the nurse turned to my sister and posed the sexually active question it was my mother who beat her to the chase.

Nurse- “Are you sexually active?”

(Jennah opens mouth to answer, Mother interjects …)

Mom- “Yes, yes she is”

(Jennah looks mortified, turns to our mother …)

Mom- “What? Your father and me, we’re not stupid, you know”

(Jennah still looks mortified)

Mom- (to nurse) “She’s been dating her boyfriend for four years”

Looks like we’re not the only ones who need justification …

Mom- (to Jennah) “If you’re anything like your dad and me …”

This is the point my sister stopped the conversation in its tracks. This makes sense, no wonder the nurse didn’t seem overly joyful this morning. More than likely she was disappointed that I showed up solo today. No one entertains like my mother.

In synopsis, or to reiterate, being a girl ain’t easy. The yearly OB GYN visit equates to filing and paying taxes – both equally dreaded and unpleasant; but at least you can pack twelve months of breathing room in between.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

"No, I don't need to watch Obama on CSPAN ... I follow him on Twitter."

I have to pick on my friend for a minute … or well, for a blog

The identity of this ambitious friend of mine, of course, can’t be revealed. Henceforth we’ll call him Smart Guy, which is self-explanatory, right? I will, however, expose the meeting place of said friend and myself, our initial encounter: Twitter.

No need to re-read that last sentence, Smart Guy and I really did first become acquainted via Social Media. You see, we’re both Charlotte residents, both follow and are followed by the same people. We even throw up hashtags and trend similar topics; seems inevitable that we would become tweeting cohorts, right?

Somewhere people (mom) are reading this and they’re pondering, “What exactly is a hashtag?” … and to them I say, google it – which is precisely what I did, by the way. Anyway, back to my smart friend and our more recent conversation which naturally landed him here. My smart friend keeps me in the loop with his dating endeavors, which is fascinating. I love to listen to guys discuss the girls they’re into. Girls, guys are absolutely just as nervous, excited, petrified, and sappy as we are – they just conceal it a hell of a lot better.

Just the other day, Smart Guy messages me (yes, via Twitter) to update me on his more recent love affair. He and this new girl of his have already gone down the path of the drunken make-out session, and like any budding romance, flirtatious texts/tweets have been exchanged.

However, soon after, love interest must have lost interest. Twice plans were made, and twice plans were broken. And since the pilot of the last-minute cancellations was a text message and since this is my smart friend we’re talking about – he shrugged his shoulders, and he let it go.

Post this short-lived romance Smart Guy’s love interest threw him what we’ll call a curve ball. And by the time this friend of mine communicated his recent bungled romance, he was already terribly concerned. His pressing concern: the second night she cancelled she “Liked” his Facebook status, and Smart Guy wants to know, “How do I respond to that?”

When I read this, I laughed out loud. Smart Guy – if you’re reading this, I absolutely couldn’t help myself. He followed this up: “Do I unfollow her?” and also, “She’s my Facebook friend” … “Do we stay Facebook friends?”

Being a terrible friend, I honestly didn’t know how to answer this. My first response: extreme laughter. My second response: what a ridiculous question. Who cares about Social Media?

I am so wrong.

And the more I pondered my guy friend’s dilemma, the more I realized this. I thought back to the day my facebook status changed … and with it the world as I knew it. Then I thought about how I religiously check my Facebook/Twitter at work, or in class. Just to see, I conducted my own experiment. Having drinks with a few of my friends the other night I made mental notes (and napkin notes) on our references to Social Media. Below are just a few of the statements that made it into our two hour session:

“Yeah, they’re dating. I saw it on Facebook today”

“She’s disgusting, do you read her tweets?”

“He tweeted they were hanging out tonight”

“Please put that on Facebook!”

“Please don’t put that on Facebook!”

“Oh my God, I’m tweeting what you just said”

“He follows me; I wonder why he doesn’t follow you?”

“Oh, his tweets are the best!”

“I had to stop following her, she tweets non-stop”

“I can’t believe you untagged me”

And finally … this one was directed at me:

“Jordan, why did you take down your relationship status with Ben, his is still up … I checked.”

I don’t know that in our two hour conversation we discussed anything else even remotely close to how often we covered Social Media. We literally stumbled into a Facebook or Twitter comment with every topic. It is no secret these social mediums have revolutionized everything. Social Media is our new book, our new magazine, our new paper. It’s our new CNN and our new ESPN, our new chat room, our new scrapbook; Social Media is our new reality.

When we’re not communicating through it, we’re communicating about it. So of course Smart Guy is confused about what he’s supposed to do now. If you have a fight with someone or you break up, or if your friendship ends - is it only appropriate to de-friend on Facebook?

Sadly I admit I have been both the de-friender, and the de-friended. And when it occurs, is it because we’re trying to prove a point or are we just desperately attempting to avoid any information we’d rather not know? Do we feel as if our de-friending action is appropriate, or is it just spiteful?

And more importantly, how did we get here? To this place where in order to be in a legit relationship I have to confirm the Facebook relationship status request, or to let someone know they’ve hurt my feelings in some way I have to click the “Unfriend” icon? Is this modern advancement the culprit behind the demise of face to face problem solving.

In this Social Media world are we marketing ourselves, or are we just marketing our social circles?

And because this idea is stuck in my mind, I did research i.e. I googled Social Media cartoons. What? They’re a good time …