Highwaygirl banner

March 31, 2004

Man's Inhumanity To Man

Today the news was filled with reports of four American civilian contractors who were murdered in Iraq. Their cars were set on fire, and then their dead, charred bodies were dragged through Fallujah, dismembered, and finally hung on display from a bridge.

All of this happened to the cheers of Iraqi men, women and children alike. Children.

Obviously, you cannot judge an entire country by the acts of a handful of people. But I just cannot fathom how a person ... or even a group of people operating with a mob mentality ... could ever believe that such horrific, inhuman acts were reasonable. Even if you believed your country had been invaded, even if you believed that innocent countrymen had been killed by the invaders, even if you had been raised to believe that Americans are "evil" – how, how do you get to the point where you think it's acceptable to commit such vile, reprehensible acts?

But maybe that's just it. Maybe these are people who were raised in such a way, in such an environment, that ripping a dead person's body apart, beating it with poles, and hanging it like so much meat in a butcher shop isn't a deplorable act – it's just Wednesday.

It's that possibility, amidst all of the horror of this day, that truly breaks my heart.

Posted by Highwaygirl on 08:54 PM | Comments (3)

March 29, 2004

My New Assistant

His name is LINKS, and he's available to anyone who uses such fine Microsoft products as Word or Outlook. Here's links doing a variety of little things:


Posted by Highwaygirl on 03:24 PM | Comments (0)

Ooh, Baby I Love Your Way

When Sark is good, he's very, very good. But when he's with Lauren, he's just bad (and not bad as in good, just bad as in bad).

Case in point - David Anders' understated delivery of Sark's reaction to the Evil (But Hot) Black Terrorist Guy's assassination of the technogeek who just helped him decode the crystal-map:

Sark: [pause] [deadpan] That was extravagant.

I also liked when Sark told Lauren that she needed to KILL HER DADDY.

I think I know what is "wrong" with Alias this season - too much emotion, not enough action. And I don't mean "action" as in Sark and Lauren rutting like crazed weasels, ew! Ew! Ew! Ew!

I mean "action" as in kick-assedness. I don't want Sydney to be one-dimensional, but I also can't take her constant schmoopiness over Vaughn any more.

And speaking of Vaughn ... dude, you are the most emasculated man on television. You're such a girl.

Who didn't catch on that Lauren's Mom was evil within 5 seconds of her appearing on screen? Anyone? Hmm? Raise your hands. The only thing that would have been more obvious would have been to have the woman wearing a "Kiss Me, I'm Evil" t-shirt.

I think she's Irina's second sister. Which would be a FUN plot twist (one of the few so far this season), but would sadly make Sydney and Lauren cousins. Until we find out in the season's penultimate episode that Lauren was actually taken in by the Reeds after having been abandoned on the side of the road by a roving band of howler monkeys. You know you're in bad shape when even howler monkeys hate your crazy eyebrows and enormous fivehead.

Also, has any character ever asked the obvious question - why in the hell does Lauren speak with an accent? Did they do this and I just missed it? Because Daddy is 'Merican and Mommy speaks with a vaguely Southern accent, and even if Lauren the Abandoned Howler Monkey spent her formative years in Britain or Australia (or WHEREVER her accent is supposed to be from) I seriously don't think it would be so pronounced at this point.

Agent Weiss needs to get on top of this, stat!

Posted by Highwaygirl on 07:07 AM | Comments (6)

March 28, 2004


Okay, even though I have a longstanding, well-documented dislike for Agent Vaughn on Alias, I just watched the movie Never Been Kissed and I do believe I have to crush on Michael Vartan for a little while.

Posted by Highwaygirl on 07:02 PM | Comments (7)

March 24, 2004

Brave Little Toaster

Quick update – I never heard back from the Greg guy. I think, ultimately, that it was meant to be a one-off experience. A really good experience, definitely, and one that I will remember for a long time ... but an isolated experience nonetheless (at least with this particular person).

True, it would have been easier to realize that had he not given me his number and then, when I called, asked me to call him later and then when I did, never called me back ever. But hey, we all give mixed signals once in a while. Still, it's a shame – I think he would have enjoyed knowing me.

ANYWAY, that whole experience (not the not-calling, but the experience of meeting him in general) and yesterday's entry about truth-telling online has started me thinking about how people interact with each other, and how often (or not) we let ourselves just feel what we're feeling, rather than trying to make our emotions and behavior conform to what we've been told is socially acceptable.

For example, Rappy posited that perhaps he didn't call because, having somehow found this website, he read my journal entries and decided I was a little too happy about meeting him. And who knows, maybe that's exactly what happened! If I go back and read the entries I can, in a way, see how the person who was the subject of those entries might – absent any other context – be a little freaked. Especially if they didn't know that I make my living as a writer, and enjoy using hyperbole to effect a certain tone in my writing.

(Although, really, I don't see how any rational person could ever take most of the things I wrote in those entries literally.)

Maybe it would have been better to say, "I met a mildly okay guy this weekend, he seems like a decent person. Yet I am ambivalent about whether or not I ever speak to him again." Hold those cards close to your chests, kids, and don't ever let them know that you care.

I mean, the movie Swingers proffers that you don't call anyone for six days, or else you look too desperate and cleaving. I can't even begin to comprehend all the game-playing bullshit that is in those godawful Rules books.

So here is what I've been thinking about – Is it better to hold your true thoughts and feelings inside and approach a situation (or its aftermath) with a purposely measured level of reticence? Is it safer to maintain a taciturn detachment from the event?

Is it more acceptable to affect the demeanor of a dead-eyed, soulless robot (like April from America's Next Top Model) rather than a smitten, giddy schoolgirl (like, well, me)?

It's just all so irrational to me. All of these arbitrary edicts, these human interaction maxims for our times, seem designed for just one purpose – to mask how we really feel about a person. To obscure and subjugate our emotions.

Why is that a good thing? Why is that a thing to be commended and encouraged? I think there is something pure and beautiful in the acknowledgement that your world, and the people who float within it, can produce bursts of feeling that are joyous, devastating, and everything in between.

Or is the denial of self – and I think that, at the most basic level, that's exactly what we're talking about here – simply a mechanism for emotional self-preservation? If I pretend not to care ... if I act like something isn't important to me and made no impression upon me ... then I won't be upset or disappointed if nothing comes of it? Tra la la *skips through the daisies*

That's just not me, I guess. I think it's incredibly important that we do recognize the impact a person or experience can have upon our lives. I'm fortunate to be at a place mentally where I can welcome the occasional disappointments, if the tradeoff is occasional periods of unfettered happiness.

I nearly died when I was 26, and if I learned nothing else from having had cancer it was that we're not guaranteed any time, or any thing, beyond right now and our memories. If that's all I have, then I want to live my life without regret. And if doing so means I make a bit of a fool of myself sometimes, so be it. If it means that I have to accept the crushing lows with the giddy highs, that's okay. I've been through the alternative, where you leave things unsaid and undone – his name is Derek Going – and I don't want another experience like that in my life.

When I told Roo that I had sucked it up and called Greg, even though I was unsure about doing so, she said I was brave. "You're my brave little toaster," she said. That made me smile. Because I'd rather live my life being brave, and facing the consequences, than go through life being afraid or embarrassed of who I am and how I feel.

I just think it is vital that, having been affected by a person, even in a small way, you let them know. That you acknowledge the positive difference, however brief, that they made. I feel obligated at this point in my life to do exactly that when given the chance. Because it's the little things, the fleeting moments, that make up the mosaic of our lives.

In my mind, that's what this whole experience has been about – being brave, and letting someone know that they meant something to me, even if that makes me seem like a dork.

It makes me think of this quote from the movie Field of Dreams:

"It was like coming this close to your dreams and watching them brush past you, like a stranger in a crowd. At the time you don't think much of it. We just don't recognize the most significant moments of our lives while they're happening. Back then I thought: Well, there will be other days. I didn't realize ... that was the only day."

So carpe diem and all that stuff.

Last week I said that if I didn't hear back from Greg by today, I'd give him a second call. Then I woke up this morning and realized something - I realized that I no longer care. HA! How's that for fickle? That's the great thing about these giddy schoolgirl crushes – if you're not doing anything to sustain them, they die very quickly.

Which lets me move on to my next giddy schoolgirl crush - Associate Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens. Or maybe I'll go back to Orlando Bloom. *swoon*

Posted by Highwaygirl on 06:37 AM | Comments (7)

March 23, 2004

Would I Lie To You?

You know how everyone used to say that the Internet was this big, bad, scary place, where oddballs and losers and social deviants lurked around every corner, just waiting to sink their claws and teeth into some poor unsuspecting innocent who would believe all of their lies and then meet them in a hotel/buy them expensive stuff/sign over their life savings?

Remember when your friends used to tell you it was "weird" to talk to people online, because there was no way of knowing if the people really were who they said they were? "They could be lying about everything, and how would you know?," your friends would scream. "They could be a serial killer!"

Well, as it turns out, a recent study suggests that those dirty rotten liars might not have been dirty rotten liars after all. At least if they're writing in a blog or other public forum.

Now, granted, this is but one study and the survey sample was small (30 college undergraduates, not exactly paragons of virtue from the get-go). But I found the NYTimes.com story fascinating.

To wit:

(T)he students had mishandled the truth in about one-quarter of all face-to-face conversations, and in a whopping 37 percent of phone calls. But when they went into cyberspace, they turned into Boy Scouts: only 1 in 5 instant-messaging chats contained a lie, and barely 14 percent of e-mail messages were dishonest.

... What it is about online life that makes us more truthful? It's simple: We're worried about being busted.

That is so true. I have thought about that on more than one occasion when I've thought a little embellishment might make for a better story. Fortunately for me I understand the reality of posting things on the Internet - they will be online, in their original form, forever. It doesn't matter if I edit my words, or even delete a page entirely; because of services like Google, the original page is still accessible by viewing a "cached" version.

That realization is running through my subconscious whenever I post on this site, post on a newsgroup, talk to people in an IM or chat, etc. Because while everyone has their own interpretation of an event – stick 10 people in a room and make them interact with each other for an hour and you'll get 10 slightly differing recollections of the same basic facts – if there was any second-party witness to what I'm writing about, if I'm not completely truthful I run the risk of getting called on it, publically.

And that just gets messy.

And it's not only e-mail that records our deeds for future scrutiny. Before going on a first date, people Google their partners to see what they can learn.

No way!! Now that's just crazy talk.

Still, it's not only the fear of electronic exposure that drives us to tell the truth. There's something about the Internet that encourages us to spill our guts, often in rather outrageous ways. Psychologists have noticed for years that going online seems to have a catalytic effect on people's personalities. The most quiet and reserved people may become deranged loudmouths when they sit behind the keyboard, staying up until dawn and conducting angry debates on discussion boards with total strangers.

Yup yup. I've always thought that most people wouldn't say HALF the crap they do online if they were speaking directly to someone. You can be meaner online. It's like it's okay in some ways to be a total bastard, especially when you can always fall back on the "it's hard to convey tone when you're just using words."

I hate that excuse. Because NO, it's NOT hard to convey tone online. It just takes a little craft and skill and thought.

Another researcher, an Open University U.K. psychologist named Adam Joinson, conducted an experiment in which his subjects chatted online and off. He found that when people communicated online, they were more likely to offer up personal details about themselves without any prompting.

I believe this, although I'm completely the opposite when it comes to most personal things (my experience having had cancer is the one exception). Other than that, I don't post a lot of personal details or thoughts for complete public consumption, and the details I do share online in IMs or emails are with people who - even if I met them online - have become my good friends.

Although there have been a few times in HT chats where we've all related personally embarrassing stores (like drubnk stories, or ex-boyfriend/girlfriend stories, etc.).

Bush himself can't put old statements about W.M.D. behind him partly because so many people are forwarding his old speeches around on e-mail or posting them on Web sites. With its unforgiving machine memory, the Internet might turn out to be the unlikely conscience of the world.

*hugs the Internet*

And I really want one of them there terabyte-sized hard drives.

Posted by Highwaygirl on 09:10 AM | Comments (1)

March 22, 2004

Wag the Duck

Warning: Disgust ahead.

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is a smug, self-referential BASTARD. I know I said that the Israeli government's tactic of firing missiles at wheelchair-bound quadriplegics is unsporting, at best, but Scalia is – to the best of my knowledge – fully ambulatory. So please, Sharon – feel free.

Posted by Highwaygirl on 06:51 PM | Comments (4)

To Heaven, You Martyr

Hamas Founder Killed In Israeli Airstrike

I'm afraid that something really, really bad is going to come from this.

Posted by Highwaygirl on 06:53 AM | Comments (6)

March 21, 2004

Oink Oink

Since it's been my birthday week, I haven't been paying much attention to what I've been eating. I've had cupcakes, pizza, cheeseburgers, french fries, deviled eggs, and a Baskin Robbins Peanut Butter and Chocolate shake (SOOOOO good).

And you know what? I feel like hell. It's very ironic to me that I'm going to be happy to get back to the way I've been eating for six months (healthy), rather than eating the way I used to eat all the time (junk).

Tonight I'm going down to my mom's for my birthday dinner, and once I get past that I can get back on track. But we're having many of my favorites tonight - my grandmother's fried chicken strips, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry log, steamed broccoli and salad. And for dessert, my childhood birthday favorite - angel food cake with buttercream frosting.

*wiggles in anticipation*

I didn't bother weighing in on Friday due to the mass amounts of crap I've been eating, but on a whim I did it this morning. And - heh - I've somehow managed to lose 2.5 pounds in the last 10 days. I guess there's some truth to the idea that if you eat more, your body burns more of it off. And when you limit your intake of food, your body goes into a pseudo-starvation mode and holds on to every calorie.

Whatever! I think I'll go to McDonald's now and get a McGriddle.

I bought these denim capris at Old Navy on Friday and have totally fallen in love with them. I don't usually like capris because I have really muscular calves and capri-length pants just accentuate that, but these are adorably cute. I think because they're tighter than regular cargo-style capris. I did have to go up a size since they are "ultra low rise" and as such they're way too big in the waist to wear without a belt, but they're so stinkin' cute that I just don't really care.

Posted by Highwaygirl on 08:42 AM | Comments (0)

March 18, 2004

Tempus Fugit

I didn't realize until just now that it was eight years ago today that I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease.

Posted by Highwaygirl on 10:21 PM | Comments (8)

Go Team!

Incidentally, when I say that someone plays on the same team that I do, I'm saying that I think we both like the same things. Geddit?

Posted by Highwaygirl on 06:40 AM | Comments (1)

March 17, 2004


You know how, sometimes, you anticipate every version of a potential event and then the thing happens and it's nothing at all like you ever expected it to be? And usually that's a bad thing, but sometimes it's really, really good?

Well, that happened to me tonight.

So, I called The Greg. Although wait - a side note. CLEARLY he can never be allowed to see this site. At least until he knows very well that I'm not some crazy stalker girl.

ANYWAY, back to the story. I called The Greg. Now, I was absolutely positive that I had not told him my name on Saturday. So I was a bit chagrined that I was going to have to do one of those "I don't know if you remember me BUT..." things. Which I hate, because they're dumb. But I was going to have to do it, so I tried to suck it up and just run with it.

So I get him on the phone and I start out with the "hi Greg, it's Julie Goodrich. I met you ..." and then he cuts me off with "Julie! I know who you are!" So I was perplexed, and told him that I hadn't introduced myself, and he assured me that I had. I said I was the last person that he worked on before he left the store, and he says, "I know exactly who you are.

"I was wondering if you were ever going to call."

From there the memory clouds a little, because I think I said something about not wanting to be a pest, and not even really realizing that he had given me his cell phone number until I got home, and then not really knowing what to do with it. In other words, I babbled like an idiot. Ah yes. I had a feeling that would happen at some point.

So I told him that I just wanted to call and thank him again for his time, and for showing me the products, because I was very happy with the results, blahblahblah, and "I really enjoyed meeting and talking to you, too. You seem like a really great guy." There she is! There's the geeky fangirl! I knew she'd make an appearance.

Then I said "you made a definite impression on me." Then he said, "as you did on me." Then the planets aligned and angels starting singing.

So I yammer on with him for about 10 minutes, talking about business-type stuff, and then he tells me that he's in his car looking for his hotel (he's down in Miami) and that since he's not quite sure where it is, he needs to get off the phone so he can concentrate on finding it.

"But call me later?"

So ... yeah. It took me three days to get the nerve to call the first time, I'm not sure I can do twice in a few hours. But I said I would, so we'll see.

Such a great guy. Just a really terrific person.

Oh, one other thing - I'm pretty sure at this point that he and I are playing on the same team, if you know what I mean (and I think you do). Which is fine! Because either way, it's all EEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

Posted by Highwaygirl on 07:27 PM | Comments (8)

I Owe You Pain

There's a special place in hell for this woman. That story makes me want to cry.

Posted by Highwaygirl on 07:07 PM | Comments (1)

My CD Collection (5)

CDs for March 17, 2004 – Toad the Wet Sprocket, Soul Asylum, Radiohead, Toad again, Idlewild

Toad the Wet Sprocket, In Light Syrup – This is a compilation CD of B-sides and rarities. A lot of the time releases like this are throwaways, but this CD has some excellent songs included. The first four tracks – "Brother" (which I would play at my wedding reception, should I ever deign to get married), "Little Heaven" (from the soundtrack to the movie version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer) "Good Intentions" (from the Friends soundtrack), and "Hobbit On the Rocks" – are all great, but my favorite is "All In All":

Life lies burning
I am only just as much as I
Can make myself
And I lie burning
Life is only just a part of it
Can't help myself...

The interweaving vocals by Glen (lead singer) and Todd (guitarist) on this song are just fantastic. You know, every time I listen to Toad, I'm reminded of how good they were and how much I love their music.

Soul Asylum, Hang Time – I bought this Soul Asylum CD after I had purchased Grave Dancers Union and was going back through the band's earlier releases. It's a harder, rougher sound than GDU, but not bad. I don't think it's nearly as strong from beginning to end as GDU, but tracks such as "Sometime To Return" (Hours and hours of turning and tossing and looking and listening to you and all the fucked up things you do), "Cartoon," and "Ode" are very strong. Actually, I've got "Sometime To Return" on right now, and it's truly excellent.

This CD is also noteworthly because I loved the song "Marionette" so much that I co-opted it for use as my early online name, with a slight change (to "Marianette" as the correct spelling was already taken on AOL). And again I must state, as I do every time I listen to a Soul Asylum CD, that I HATE WINONA RYDER for leading Dave Pirner down the Path of Suck.

Radiohead, OK Computer – I miss how Radiohead used to actually play, you know, SONGS. This CD and The Bends are both favorites. I think this release, although still comprised of songs, marked the beginning of the band's more "experimental" phase. *stabs Kid A*

I used to think Thom Yorke was attractive, too. Not sure why, because he's got that one eye that's all jacked up, but there's just something interesting and magnetic about his face. I almost wrote "visage" there, but jesus, how pretentious would that be? So anyway, I pretty much always skip the first track, "Airbag," because it bores me. Plus I like to get right into the brilliance of "Paranoid Android." What are "unborn chicken noises," anyway?

I used to use "When I am king, you will be first against the wall" as my newsgroup sig when I was posting on alt.music.tragically-hip a lifetime ago.

I could listen to this song over and over, and you should too! I love the lyrics.

I also love "Let Down":

One day I am gonna grow wings
A chemical reaction
Hysterical and useless
Hysterical and ...
Let down and hanging around
Crushed like a bug in the ground

And from "Let Down" we go right into "Karma Police." I know this song was played to death, but it's still one of my favorites. Also another song where I cribbed lyrics for my newsgroup sig ("This is what you get when you mess with us").

I also greatly enjoy "Electioneering" and "No Surprises."

Toad the Wet Sprocket, Fear – This was a Roo choice:

HWG: okay, pick a number between 1-25
HWG: then a number between 1-4
Roo: ok. 16
Roo: number 3
HWG: how do you always pick Toad?
Roo: because 17 is my favorite number
Roo: and last time I picked that and it was Toad
Roo: so this time I picked 16

This is right behind Coil as my favorite Toad release. It was the second Toad CD I bought, the first being Pale, but the singles for this CD were the first I had ever heard on mainstream radio. In fact I distinctly remember being in Tower Records in Atlanta and hearing "All I Want" (my favorite song on the CD) come over the loudspeaker, and thinking, "That's it. Now everyone will know."

"All I Want" was also the first Toad video I ever saw. I was shocked that Glen had cut off his beautiful long hair.

Fear is solid all the way through, but I will admit to occasionally skipping "Butterflies," "Pray Your Gods," and "Stories I Tell." And I LOVE the song "In My Ear" just because the bridge always makes me chair dance.

Idlewild, 100 Broken Windows – I don't even remember how I got into Idlewild. Hmm. HMM. Maybe I just read about them in a magazine or something? I don't know. But I like! Oh yeah, I think I had read about them in a magazine and then when I was at Circuit City picking up something else I saw that this CD was only $9 or so, and took the plunge. So glad I did.

I have a schoolgirl crush on the lead singer, Roddy Woomble. Yes, "Woomble." Stop laughing! He's Scottish, it's normal there. I like Roddy because he's unwashed and likes to lay on the floor.

But I digress. It's all about the music, man. The band's guitarist and drummer are quite talented. I'd tell you their names except I've always been so fixated on Roddy Woooooooooooomble that I've never bothered to learn who anyone else in the band is! I'm sure they love that.

My favorite tracks are (the links are to audio RAM files):

Posted by Highwaygirl on 07:03 PM | Comments (1)

March 16, 2004

More Flies With Sugar

Okay, so, yesterday afternoon I sent an email to Philosophy customer service in order to tell them about the lovely experience I had with Greg, their regional sales manager, on Saturday. I was professional, with just a hint of gush. I'd say the split was 90-10.

This morning I received a brief "thanks for telling us what a great job Greg is doing, I'm forwarding your email to upper management" response. And then right before lunch I got this email from the Director of Sales:

Dear Julie,

Thank you so much for the terrific compliment about Greg. Greg has been with philosophy for 3 years and has shown a passion for both his job and the philosophy products. I agree that he is friendly and personable - truly an asset to this company.

I am thrilled that you had a good experience with philosophy and that you enjoyed the Nordstrom Trend Show. It can be somewhat overwhelming at these events when there are so many choices to make and it certainly helps to have someone walk you through the options. The great awakening peel is a great way to get immediate results without irritation and requires a minimal time investment. I know you'll enjoy using it at home.

I greatly appreciate that you took the time to share your experience with us. I have sent your letter on to Cristina Carlino, the creator and CEO of philosophy so Greg can get the recognition he deserves.


Robin White
Director of Sales

That's a turnaround time of less than a day! I wish all companies were that responsive to their customers.

Posted by Highwaygirl on 02:23 PM | Comments (1)

Everything That Rises Must Converge

I had a very weird dream last night. I remember snippets of it - I was wearing my raspberry-colored tank top, jird and the jirdlet were there, at one point I was hiding on a bus with that Malena (?) person from Average Joe, then running with some guy through a hotel restaurant that turned into a maze, and at the end I was running through a mall to catch an elevator that sort of turned into an escalator because me and a handful of other people were basically climbing/clawing through all of this padding and insulation to get to the top. But when we did, we found that the top was blocked and there was no way out. One man found a pull cord and I screamed at him not to touch it, but he went ahead and pulled it and all of sudden we all started free falling down the elevator shaft to our deaths. It was in the middle of the free fall that I woke up.

Here's an analysis of what elevators and escalators symbolize in dreams.

Posted by Highwaygirl on 11:21 AM | Comments (1)

March 15, 2004


In reading back over the last entry on my site, I feel compelled to state that - in no way, shape, or form - do I have any knowledge of whether or not anyone I met this weekend is or is not gay. I just don't know (and it's driving me krazy)! But I would hate for someone to run across my entry and think that just because I personally wonder if a certain person might be gay, that it means that the person is, in fact, homosexual. Because it doesn't. I could very well be absolutely wrong about everything.

I really don't know anything.

I know nothing.


But anyway, Phase One of Operation Get Mo' has been completed - I have sent an email to Philosophy customer service singing the praises of their Greg. I wonder what the likelihood is that whomever reads it will forward it to him?

Posted by Highwaygirl on 04:49 PM | Comments (1)

March 13, 2004

The Best Day Ever II

Ah, Greg. Greg, the East Coast regional sales manager for Philosophy. My new crush. *swoon*

So it's noon and I'm wandering around. I cruise by the Philosophy counter and start looking at what's going on. The Philosophy presenter during the show was talking about an at-home peel kit, which seemed interesting.

An incredibly good looking man in a suit asks me if he can help me. Heh. I say that I'm interested in the peel, but it frightens me. He smiles (killer) and asks why, and I attribute it to my having sensitive skin that is prone to freakouts. He pats the empty chair and tells me "sit down, I'll take very good care of you."


So he starts asking me about my skin, why I think it freaks out, what do I already use, etc. And honestly, this guy is just so beautiful. I wouldn't say he was HOT in an OH MY GOD THAT GUY IS SO HOT purely physical way. This guy was beautiful - attractive, charming, sincere, friendly, warm. Everything. The whole freaking package.

Which means he's GAY! GAY! GAY!

He tells me all about the product, and then starts putting it on me. He started by taking two cotton squares moistened with water, one in each hand, and rubbing them over my skin to remove my makeup. And it was like being caressed. But not in a sexual way, obviously, but it was ... it was just really nice and relaxing. So he does this for about a minute, and while he's doing that looks down and says, "you have really cute shoes!"

So yeah. Gay.

Then he puts on the first part of the peel, and he's talking to me the whole time and I can't stop looking at him because his level of eye contact is just intense. Plus, his skin is gorgeous, and I want it. But I don't want his five-day growth. But his skin is divine! And I tell him so, causing him to blush.


Then he tells me he uses this product once a week, and if I decide I want it (hahahaha, I typed "HIM" there first. How Freudian is THAT?) he'll share all his secrets with me.


Then he puts on the second part of the peel, which is a foamy lotion thing, so I'm sure I looked ridiculous and yet we are having this intense conversation wherein he tells me all about how he got into the business (I asked). He was pre-med, then worked for Chanel, then worked selling medical devices and finally went back into working in skin care.

He's still talking to me for the five minutes the foamy stuff has to sit on my skin. Did I go to the show this morning? How did I like it? Have I been having fun? Would I like to be a surrogate for his children? (okay, not that last one. That's just my wishful thinking.)

Then the national Philosophy manager came by to tell him that they needed to leave very soon to get over to Orlando. My guy tells this guy that he's got about 15 more minutes with me and then he'll be done. And I was ecstatic because - 15 MORE MINUTES WITH GREG!!!


While we're talking, he keeps touching and grabbing and squeezing my hands and knees. Caressing. It was like ... it was driving me insane. Don't make me want you, Gay Skin Care Man!

We talk about alpha hydroxy acids and lactic acid and silicones that are good for the skin. We talk about our mutual, seasonal allergies, and how bad the pollen count is in Florida right now. He tells me he lives in New York, so he doesn't usually have to deal with the pollen allergy, but his eyes are itching and driving him crazy. So I tell him I never would have guessed, because he looks wonderful. He blushes again, and I want to tie him up and put him in my trunk and take him home with me.

And I would not return him, not for all the free stuff in the world!

Then he takes the peel stuff off, and he needs to use the whole two-wet-cotton-squares-and-rhythmic-rubbing thing to get all the residue off. So he does that for another minute, and I am in heaven. And swooning over a man I could never have. He takes off all the stuff and hands me a mirror - I could have been looking at the most horrible face in the world, and said, "I love it. You did a wonderful job."

He asks if he can put moisturizer on me. I want to ask him WHERE he wants to put it, but instead just answer (a little too enthusiastically), "YES!" He talks to me while he's putting it on, and he's rubbing my face and patting it into my skin andIjustwanttogivemywholelifetothisman.

He tells me he has one more final product he'd like to put on me, and asks my permission. I say of course, I am up for anything. He says, "Yay! I like you!" And I say, "Will you marry me?" At least in my head. So he puts this third product on and he's massaging my face and he tells me that, even though I don't have any lines or wrinkles, if I DID that this would help with them. I say I'm lucky that way, and mention that it's my birthday next week. He asks me how old I will be, and I tell him to guess. He says, "25 ... 26?" And I smile and say, "34."

And then HE swooned. Then he says, "Your mother must be beautiful, too."

I think I babbled something incoherent in response. Seriously, I'm pretty sure I said something incomprehensibly dumb, but I was just in this heady, emotional state due to this really strange, immediate and intense connection to this guy. It was amazing and wonderful.

And then he's done, and I don't want to leave. He tells me that they are going to be on the local news tonight. I make a mental note to have the VCR ready. I ask if he likes doing that sort of thing, and he says no, that it makes him uncomfortable for the most part. I ask him if he ever watches himself on TV, and he says no, but he sometimes sees himself on QVC during his appearances.

So yeah, gonna be watching the Philosophy segments on QVC from now on.

Then I ask him if he has a card, because I am the administrator for an online fashion & beauty website, and I fully intended on talking about my time at the trend show and would like to mention him by name. He smiles and says of course, and whips out a Louis Vuitton business card holder. But he is out of cards, so he tells me that he'll get a Nordstrom card and just write on that. Then he asks me if I want to know whose cards he DOES have, and I chirp "YES!" and he reads the names on the three cards.

I don't know who the hell these people are (they were all from Macys, I think), nor do I really care, but as long as it keeps me in this man's company, I don't care if he reads nursery rhymes to me, I AM SO THERE.

He hands me the Peel Kit to look at while he jots down his information on the business card. I ask if he might have samples of the other two products, because I was hesitant to buy the full sizes, and he tells me that he's not sure, but he can look. I say, "no no, it's not important," and he says "No, I want you to be happy, so let me see what I can do for you."


He comes back with the gift with purchase bag of samples and hands it to me. I tell him that I don't think I get that, because you have to spend $50 to get it and the Peel Kit is only $45. He smiles and says, "But you're sitting with me, and I'll give you whatever I want to give you."

I am just beaming as I write this. THAT is how awesome this guy was.

He gives me the card, and I look at it and can make out that his name is Greg. But I can't read the last name, so I ask. He takes the card back and prints his last name underneath the scrawl. He's also written his title (Regional Sales Manager). He says, "I've given you my cell phone number. I live in New York, but the corporate office is in Arizona, so that's why the area code is different."


I almost said, "Don't worry, I won't call you," but I was internally jumping up and down - and more than a little perplexed - that he gave me his cell phone number. What does that even mean?

So then he has to go, and I thank him profusely and tell him he was wonderful and I so appreciated his time and he tells me it was his pleasure and he hopes I like the kit ... but if not, I'm to return it with his apologies.

And then he's off, and I'm sad. Then I realize that I never even told him my name.

Then I had the makeover at Bobbi Brown, which was fine - actually, really good - but it paled in comparison to my whole time with Greg. I did get the global makeup artist that was there - Kari Presley - and she was terrific. I loved what she did, and bought a few things (a creme blush stick in Desert Rose, Iced Peach creme eye shadow, the new mascara, and a split pan eyeshadow in Champagne and Espresso). I also got a free mini tube tint in one of the new summer colors (Punch).

Damn, after typing all of this up, I think ... yeah, I do - I miss Greg.


Posted by Highwaygirl on 06:12 PM | Comments (10)

The Best Day Ever

I had a fantastic day! And I fell in love with another (I think) gay man! But more on him later.

I left the apartment early-early this morning to go to the Cosmetics Trend Show at Nordstrom. I bought the ticket ($5) about a month ago, and although I was excited about it at the time I was feeling pretty ho-hum about it this morning. But I knew there would be a goody bag given to everyone, so I figured it was worth going just for that.

So I get there about 7:50 a.m. and there's already a line queueing up. They open the doors at 8 and it's like cattle heading off to slaughter, with the pushing and jostling for position. We walked through a gauntlet of Nordstrom employees handing out the free stuff, then went up the escalator to the "runway" that had been set up on the second floor. I found a seat near the front, on the end, to make a quick getaway. Each chair had an adorable pink hatbox on it, filled with items for breakfast - Tropicana Smoothie, a pear, blueberry muffin and a Nutrigrain bar. I packed the hatbox and my goody bag into the empty Nordstrom shopping bag that was underneath my chair, then settled in for the show.

The show itself was fun - lots of new Spring looks, lots of national makeup artists and cosmetic company people were there talking about their lines, etc. I think the show broke up around 9:30 and then it was MASS HYSTERIA as people fought to get back down to the first floor and the cosmetics department.

My first stop was Stila, because I wanted to get a sample of the tinted moisturizer. But there was a meelion women there, so I wandered over to Smashbox. The national makeup artist for that line, Danial Chavez, was hysterically funny during his presentation and had a crowd of people around him already.

And then I heard him say, "We're almost sold out of the Runway Kit." I don't know what happened to me then, but I think my lizard brain took over and the economics of supply and demand came hurtling forth and all I knew was that if there were only a few of these "Runway Kits" left, I HAD TO HAVE ONE. Danial had a stack of the last ones in his arms, and I could see my hand reaching out in slow-motion to take one.

So take one I did. Bought one, too, for $59. And got a free palette with two eyeshadows and a lip gloss as a bonus.

This is one of the things that, honestly, I don't know if I'll keep. But it's actually a really good price for everything you get, so ... I'll have to see how the stuff looks on.

From there I milled around a little bit more, but decided this would be a good time to leave Nordstrom and go to the post office and mail the packages I needed to send out. I had a makeover scheduled at Bobbi Brown at 1, and wanted to get some more shopping in before that so I could go home right after they were done with me.

So I went to the post office, then went back to Nordstrom. I went up to the second floor to try on Wacoal bras. They were okay, but not okay enough to ever justify the incredible cost ($60). I kept looking around - I need some Spring-ish, short sleeved shirts, since everything I had last year has already been donated due to not fitting - and found something really nice in Nordstrom's house brand. Wrinkle resistant, nice cut, only $34. So I bought it in white, black, and french blue. Aaaaaaaand opened up a Nordstrom credit account to do so, because with a $100 opening purchase I got a $20 gift certificate.

Always willing to work the angle, I am!

Then it was back downstairs, and with the Stila counter sufficiently cleared out, I sat down to get matched to a color of the tinted moisturizer. And I ended up buying the full size because I liked the way it looked so much. I also, uh, bought the Illuminating Powder Foundation compact and refill, because I liked the way that looked on too.

I have a feeling one of these will go back. Oh, with my Stila purchase, I got a free compact with two lip glazes. Can you tell that the concept of "free stuff" is really big with me?

And THEN ... I met Greg. Greg needs his own entry.

Posted by Highwaygirl on 05:15 PM | Comments (1)

March 10, 2004

The Way We Were

I found the coolest thing today! It's called The Internet Wayback Machine, and it basically lets you see all of the archived versions of a webpage. I walked down memory lane and took a look at the first few versions of this site. Ah yes, the cross country trip I wanted to do ... that was a lovely dream.

I've got lots of little things to share today. Take a look at the 100 Most Mispronounced Words. It's cardSHARP, dammit, not cardSHARK! Although I think that's really more of an issue with people not knowing the correct term, rather than mispronouncing it.

In political news, I'm not sure why President Bush is being so coy about sitting down with the full 9/11 investigation panel. It makes me wonder what he has to hide.

The opening paragraph of this op-ed piece from the New York Times got my attention, quickly:

A 10-kiloton nuclear bomb (a pipsqueak in weapons terms) is smuggled into Manhattan and explodes at Grand Central. Some 500,000 people are killed, and the U.S. suffers $1 trillion in direct economic damage.

And finally, I am so sick of hearing about low-carb this and low-carb that. There's no way in hell I'll ever believe that eating a stick of butter is better for me than a handful of baby carrots. Please.

The increase in low-carb items is clearly a result of consumer demand, but most scientists question how healthful some of them are. A double cheeseburger wrapped in lettuce still has as much fat and saturated fat as it would inside a bun. But low-carb dieters care little about calories and fat.

It is good to know, however, that fast food companies and other food manufactures are at least attempting to offer healthier eating options for those of us who care to do so. I can't wait to go to Ruby Tuesdays in April. Knowledge is power, yo.

Posted by Highwaygirl on 05:43 PM | Comments (4)

March 09, 2004

I Sing the Body Exhausted

Good God! Jen and I went to the fitness center at my apartment complex today at lunch, to work out. They've got a great setup in there - two treadmills, a recumbent bike, a stair stepper, and six different weight machines. It was overwhelming, but in a good way.

I did 20 minutes on the bike (five miles!) and then two sets of 10 reps on each of the weight machines. And now my body is pissed off beyond belief. Heh. BUT, I can envision making this a habit, since all of the exercise stuff I could want is in there, in one place.

Next I want to try the preprogrammed things on the bike. Apparently there are 12 different programs with varying intensity levels. Could be fun. Or, it could be very, very painful.

There is a very interesting opinion piece on NYTimes.com today that compares Mel Gibson's vitriolic brand of religiosity with the touchy-feely "God Lite" that other people espouse. Very thought-provoking stuff, I thought.

And here is Paul Krugman telling us how the Bush Administration's job creation targets are bogus. Yeah, knew that already.

Oh hell, I need to vote today! Not as if it really matters, I suppose, but I'm going to cast my vote for John Kerry anyway.

Two other things - the Merona linen jackets at Target are SO NICE, and I am in love with my TiVo already. I breezed through Alias in 38 minutes flat. Too bad the episode su-diddly-ucked.

Posted by Highwaygirl on 02:55 PM | Comments (1)

March 07, 2004


I now have TiVo. I can record a program on the TiVo, record a second program at the same time on my VCR, and watch a THIRD program on my TV.

*hugs TiVo*

I may never leave my living room again.

Posted by Highwaygirl on 08:18 PM | Comments (1)

March 06, 2004

Star Light, Star Bright


This image released by NASA, captured by the Hubble Space Telescope, shows spirals of dust swirling across trillions of kilometres of interstellar space. This image is Hubble's latest view of a distant star, named V838 Monocerotis (V838 Mon)(AFP/NASA/HHT)

Posted by Highwaygirl on 09:41 PM | Comments (3)

March 05, 2004

The Inquisition - What a Show!

I am inordinantly excited that Mel Brooks' History of the World - Part I is on AMC tonight at 8 p.m. I adore this movie (RIP Madeline Kahn and Gregory Hines).

Posted by Highwaygirl on 01:12 PM | Comments (2)

March 03, 2004

Well, Here We Go

John Kerry has effectively won the Democratic nomination for President of the United States. And according to President Bush's advisors, the gloves are now coming off and there will be "no more Mr. Nice Guy."


Sayeth Kerry – "He proposed to amend the Constitution of the United States for political purposes, and we say that he has no right to misuse the most precious document in our history in an effort to divide this nation and distract us from our goals. We resoundingly reject the politics of fear and distortion."

Amen, brother Kerry. Preach on!

And this just in - blow jobs can kill.

Posted by Highwaygirl on 06:44 PM | Comments (0)