Summertime, and the Living is Easy

There’s something about sand between your toes that makes you a bit giddy, a bit child-like, a bit uninhibited. You suddenly have the longing to build sandcastles and bury your friends up to their heads in the wet, shell-laden sand. Frigid temperatures and shrinkage be damned, it wouldn’t be a beach trip without testing the ice-cube-creating waters or getting on a boat. Nor would it be without dancing, each foot on one of two boats, to Def Leppard, no less, while consuming copious amounts of Bud Light cans and discussing insurance adjusting with a guy that looked you in the breasts instead of the eyes when speaking.

Beach trips are notorious for inside jokes with dear friends, and even if you see the person only once a year, you all remember the “JUUULLLL-IIIEEE” episode or the reason we think John needs to invest in some waxing. They’re the times when it’s perfectly acceptable to dance on a pole, a stop sign or a floor lamp, when kisses and drinks are flowing and when going home by midnight or staying out until six am really doesn’t matter.

Throwing caution to the wind is the pervading attitude. If you want to throw a football on the beach while wearing tie-up high heels, a la Tina Fabulous style, go for it. If you make the bartender create a drink in your honor, more power to ya. (And if it’s so good that the entire table chooses to order it as well, then you, my friend, may be the Queen of the evening.)

It’s about relaxation. It’s about back porches and rocking chairs and trashy books and girlie magazines and paddle ball and sunburns and the near-orgasmic rush that is cold aloe on a burnt back and skimpy bathing suits and vodka-lemonade and grilling out and dance parties and kissing and kissing some more and old friends and new friends and sand in your bed and fighting for a shower and visible thongs and late-night pizza and late-night phone calls pledging undying love to numerous cell phone recipients and gasping at the true words of Lil’ Kim’s “My Neck, My Thighs” and advice from friends and hangovers and creative mixed drinks and the smell of Banana Boat sunscreen.

It’s about Summer, it’s about being young, and it’s about time we do it again. Any takers?

Recovery

As I attempt to recover from what was nothing less than a fantastic weekend (if you have any question, check out the new pics… the one of me as Aubrey Fabulous, high-heeled on the beach playing football is coming), I figured this would be as good a time as any to begin with my guest writer column, which DOES include the “Currently” comments to the right. (There’s still an option to seek fame and not really fortune and write something on my site – let me if you’re interested…) So without further ado, I give you the author formerly and currently known as M.

invokation

Dear Mother Nature,

I’m sorry that I dropped out of that Geography class on Weather & Climate in college. I’m sure it was fascinating. However, I don’t think that I needed to have taken it to know that either your choice in weather patterns lately is either an indication of the coming Armageddon or you’re in a shitty mood. I’ll prefer to touch on the latter.

Can we work through it? I’m happy to recommend to you some board-certified psychologists to help you overcome your aggression issues and get you back on track to creating and regulating the weather as per the typical seasonal variants.

In case you’ve forgotten, the current season is “Spring.” Usually, in this part of the world where people sacrifice daily mastication and alimentary consumption in order to purchase convertibles, the normal climate is warm to stickily-disgustingly-hot, increasing throughout the coming months until we hit “Summer” in late June, at which time the climate changes to unbearably hot/invest in Secret Deodorant stock because, honey, you need it. In addition, it is no longer April so you can’t use the “April Showers bring May Flowers” excuse because said flowers have been FLOODED as of late.

Further, in case a calendar has also been washed away in what we’re now referring to as the “Time to Build an Ark in Atlanta” project, this upcoming weekend is Memorial Day. As per protocol, this weekend of revelry involves sun, fun, boating, sun, drinking, sun, laying out, and did I mention sun? As such, we’re missing one key element from the mix: sun.

We support you, Mother Nature, we really do. Isn’t it our kind hearts that give to the Red Cross every time you see fit to make a natural disaster? And isn’t it us who created Wellies, Umbrellas and the whole “Singing in the Rain” phenomenon to counteract the impending Seasonal Affective Disorder that would surely permeate the city sans these efforts? I believe it is. Symbiosis, Mother Nature, it’s all about give and take. So how ’bout you give us the sun, and we’ll happily take it?

Thanks for your kind consideration in these very important bronzing, sunning, and funning matters, and seriously – I’ll hook ya up with a good shrink if you need it. Just please, PLEASE, stop the rain….

Your friend,
Aubrey

Brief Interruption

We interrupt your previously scheduled broadcast to bring you these important messages:

  • I don’t feel like doing work today.
  • I really don’t like Fruit Loops.
  • For some reason, every song that I have saved on my computer is of the dirge-like morose-inspiring theme. This, coupled with the omnipresent gray skies, are sending me into Seasonal Affective Disorder-esque moods.
  • On weekdays, I wake up at 7:45 or 8. If you call earlier than that (say, 6am?) I will be an unhappy Aubrey, a mood you should remember and fear from days gone by.
  • We get to order in free lunch today. Bestill my Roly-Poly-loving heart.
  • It’s supposed to rain at the beach all weekend. I need EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU in Internet-land to pray for sunny skies over Wrightsville Beach.
  • There is a vitamin called “horny goat weed.” I’m scared of this.
  • Finding out percentages of x should NOT be part of my job requirement. It makes me want to return to the days of college where I drank Amaretto Sours prior to every math class.
  • “Jericho” by Weekend Players is one of the sexiest songs ever made.
  • I’ve been trying to put together my birthday list, being that the big day is just around the corner and offering you all tangible suggestions is just in my kind & giving nature, but I really have NO idea what I want. (That is, what I want that is actually a legitimate & legal request.)
  • Of the 30 of you who filled out my “What Should I do With My Website” survey, approximately 20.6% of you wished I would take off my shirt.
  • I still want to go to Vegas.
  • I love my car even though I’ve eaten approximately 800% calories less since I have purchased it, a result of my pauper-dom.
  • Finding the percentage of x was NOT used to find the roughly estimated figure above.
  • Will the sun ever shine again?
  • Gap Body is one of the best stores ever created.
  • It is so cold in this room that I’m THIS close to hibernating and growing fur.
  • I also need EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU in Internet Land to streamline your energy on making the out-of-nowhere, pre-beach potentially insanely gigantic zit, conveniently popping up between my un-professionally tweezed eyebrows, disintegrate. You’ve got 24 hours.
  • I need to remember to make a mix CD tonite – suggestions accepted below in Comments.

    That’s all. We will now return you to your regularly scheduled broadcast, already in progress.

A Mystery

I almost missed it.

It was nearly hidden away, encapsulated within the masses of flyers offering me a low-cost mortgage and credit card companies urging me down the road to bankruptcy and pizza joints dousing me with savings on carbohydrate ridden foods and pottery barn tempting me with everything on every one of its pages and my credit card statements reaffirming the fact that I really can’t afford to eat AND drive my car.

It was nondescript, handwritten with a casual, block-letter font in blue pen that wasn’t permanent since it smeared from the rain.

There was no return address.

The envelope itself was of a typical sort – the long, skinny type with the security inside, making me wonder if the sender uses those envelopes to pay his own mounting credit card bills or if he just prefers the anonymity suggested by the type. The paper was of a typical printer stock – not too flimsy, not too nice.

Like I said, I almost missed it…but thankfully, I didn’t.

I had to read it three times before I began to understand the impact of what was before me, rain starting to splatter the ink into little mystic pools of blue swirls, sabotaging the words with a vicious nature. In the surprising coolness of my garage, with rain cascading down the gutter and the cats mewing inside with the knowledge that I was home, I was reading a love letter.

To me.

As in a bad romance movie where boy and girl eventually get together, something of the Meg Ryan-sort, per se, the postmark was smeared as well. As if the postman was in on the plot to warm my heart and make me wonder. Unintelligible.

There is no signature.

The words inside are simple, beautiful, flattering. Intriguing. Alluring. Captivating. Vague enough that it could be about a hundred different people but specific enough that I believe I was its intended recipient. That I AM the intended recipient.

Whoever you are, you’ve got my attention.

trading spaces

I was talking with a friend last night and he said that my site is ‘losing it’s first place status’ (in his eyes) and that my posts are, well, too self-centered, that they’re all about me. True. I’ve been thinking about this for a while, and am stuck between the conundrum that is a true blog (the daily updating, the shorter entry length, and the often one-person (me) centered nature of it) vs. what I started this site for, a place to put up longer, editorial-style articles so some famous editor out there in the great blue yonder would discover me and think I’m the next best thing. (Or something along those lines.) And they both appeal to me. I’ve considered combining the two and adding a sidebar where I could post my daily ramblings (like the fact that my work picnic was in a parking garage with the electric slide playing in the background or the fact that I listened to “Far Behind” by Candlebox on the way to work today and that song still rocks in it’s 11th grade glory) and then do longer, less frequent article-like entries for the main part. I’m doing a site redesign anyway, so am weighing both options.

In the meantime, however, I turn to you, my semi-loyal audience, and seek your feedback. Though I write for me, I also write for you. (awww, isn’t that sweet….) I’d hate to think that you go to my site half-heartedly, as my friend last night said he now does, and that one day you finally just leave and don’t return. So, I’ve got a two-fold plan.

1. Being the internet whiz that I am, I created a 3-question online survey for your Friday amusement. Click HERE to take it. I beseech you.

2. Katie swapped with Jay, Anne swapped with Mia, Matt swapped with some unknown cabbie and Al swapped with Daniel.

Now it’s my turn.

While I’m figuring out just what I’m going to do here, I figured it’s time for a Blogswap. (Or Blogshare.) Yes, I’ve babbled on for almost 2 years now, me talking about me, without interruption. So I’m taking a little break and having an open call for guest writers. It’s a chance of a lifetime, people! I’m giving you free reign to talk about anything you want – politics, relationships, bad poetry, how much you hate Tucker Max, or even go crazy and criticise me. I don’t care – just want a bit of variety on here.

If you’ve got your own site and want to ‘swap’ for a day, I’m game to that, but if you’re just wanting to exercise your writing, that’s fine too. Email me at aubrey@aubreysabala.com or leave me a comment and we’ll get it all worked out. I’m thinking the first week in June for my time-frame.

So, vote away, send me a comment, and, above all, have a great weekend.

liar, liar, pants on fire

“Don’t believe everything you see.”

Or hear.
Or read.

We’re, as a whole, a trusting society, with virtual naivete spewing out of our ears. Easily brainwashed, our culture (at least the culture that I know) is all too eager to accept what we hear on the news or television as fact. After all, they wouldn’t be able to say it if it wasn’t true, you know.

And along came the bloggers. Yes, I’d probably say that I fall into this group, with my frequently-updated little site of whatnot, providing frequent TMI and every little detail that you could possibly think of that you likely didn’t necessarily want nor need to know about me. There’s a community of sorts — the ‘regulars’ read each others’ blogs daily, checking back to see if heather or helenjane or sarah or sarah or jason or kerry have put forth yet another entry of pure genius, a perfect distraction in our imperfect world of 9-to-5-ish (closer to 7ish, for me, these days) drudgery that provides us with the means (cash) to forget our imperfect 9-to-5ish existances in the 6-3am-ish hours.

We trust these people — we read about their lives and their jobs and their husbands and their new computers and their cross-country trips and their new, fabulous houses in places far more temperate than the lately-weather-unsavory Atlanta. We know that they’re trying for babies. We know that they are single again. We know that they’re excited to go to grad school, to move to Atlanta, to get married. When they’re sad, we send them stupid little comments to cheer them up. When they’re (I’m) discussing assholes and Tucker Max, we (y’all) send them (me) dissuading comments to help clear my head and lead me down the ‘proper’ road to wedded bliss and savory relationships.

Above all, we trust them.

But — and I’m saying this hypothetically — it was all a big farce? What if these people that we think we know are truly making up their own alter egos and they’re NOT getting married and they don’t REALLY live in California and that dog? Their cute little adorable dog? What if it wasn’t ever really THEIR dog at all?

It’s completely possible. Me included.

I had a conversation last night with a friend who I hadn’t talked to in a while, and as I was telling him things that had happened in the 6-ish months that we were out of touch, he kept saying “I know. I know.” Apparently, in the absence, he was able to keep up with me through my website.

This provoked mixed feelings. Yes, my life is basically an open book. Yes, I love that y’all read about my happenings and goings-ons and relationship foibles and that you know I’m a helpless romantic and you know that I sometimes over-glorify the past and you know that I’m doing nothing with my genetics degree and you know that I just bought a fantastic new car and you know that I love Australia and would move there in a heartbeat. But what if this wasn’t really me, but the me that I wish I was, the me that I’m simply portraying to you all? What would happen then?

Again, it’s possible. I could possibly not really live in Atlanta. I could possibly have never even gone to grad school. I could possibly really never have fallen in love when I was 15 to a boy who is getting married in less than 2 months. I could be lying when I say I bought a great new car, could be simply leading you to believe that I have this infatuation with Matthew McConaughey and eat random food when I’m drunk, and you know that trip I took to Chicago to visit Tucker Max? Yeah. With a little help from Photoshop, that could be a lie, too.

It could even be more than just the little things — the lies could extend to widespread, underlying assumptions that you all use when reading this site. For instance, I could be a man. A 40-year-old man who has all the time to update this site because I’m in jail for tax evasion. Or I could be a sixteen-year-old West Virginian who spends study hall learning HTML and passing notes about Homecoming. I mean, do you ever really know?

Aaah, the anonymity of the internet, both a blessing and a disguise. Through this often faceless medium, we’re able to craft our experiences into readable entries, based on the sole assumption that you believe what we write. And though, at times, I’d love to have a more exciting existence, one with glitz, glamour, and glasses of champagne (Cristal, of course) poppin’ in our Stretch Navigators, in the meantime, you’re gonna just have to settle for the me that I am now, which is, for better or worse, the truth.

A Fable: To Be Continued…

She had every reason not to do it.

Self-preservation, for one. Paralysis by fear was a common occurrence in her life, and, as such, she would prefer to live her life not knowing one way or the other instead of perhaps unequivocally knowing the painful truth. It rarely occurred to her that, by finally doing it, she could possibly receive good news, the actual fruition of her ‘dreams come true.’ No, it was easier this way. Ignorance is bliss, and all that.

And yet it picked at her. It festered away. It would even, now and again and when her total stress level was at a high state, keep her up at night (a true sign of distress for a girl who relished her naptime and could fall straight to sleep before she even got around to turning off the television). The nagging issue of ‘what if…’ was always there, in the back — or sometimes front — of her mind.

She was a helpless romantic, this girl, despite knowing better. Despite learning otherwise. Despite seeing otherwise. She blamed it on Disney and television and movies and the “Happily Ever After” that is so pervasive in society. She doubted “Happily Ever After” just as much as she desperately longed for it.

And yet this was a confounding paradigm, as the girl was nothing if not a risk-taker. She was impetuous, she acted on a whim, and she chalked up her bad decisions to “living and learning.” Despite it all, though, doing this was too much. She thought.

Her friends started pressuring her to do it, asking her “wouldn’t you just rather know?” They could do this, often, because it wasn’t their pride on the line, weren’t their feelings to be hurt. Easier said than done when you’re not the one who has to live with the results.

But every now and again, it would make sense. When that song would come on the radio, the one that would remind her of him, when she’d come across a photograph, when she’d see an apparently happy couple across the way, she’d get the pang of jealousy and the pang of remembrance. She was jaded, these days, a little harder, a little more sarcastic, a little wiser. The wall that she never wanted to put up was being built, little by little, by her flippant manner and outward appearance of nonchalance and distance.

Logical by nature, there were just too many reasons why it wouldn’t work. Timing, maturity, distance, not to mention fear. And she just didn’t think she could go through it all over again if it didn’t work out this time. That thought alone made her shiver in trepidation.

But…(and she rarely even allowed herself to think this way)…what if? If she’d learned anything in her life, it was to never say never and that anything was possible. So, she supposed that in some alternate universe, it really could work. And, God, how she wanted to believe that it would.

What is it they say about destiny? That it only takes you so far, and then it’s up to you? Well, was it up to her? Was this a little nudge from the heavens that it was her time to act, or was she dangerously allowing herself to take the ultimate risk and put it all on the line? She didn’t know.

She just knew that she wasn’t ready, yet. But one day — it could be tomorrow, it could be next week, it could be twenty years down the line — she would. She knew that much at least.

But in the meantime, she waited. Her secret was safe, at least for the time being.

dreaming my dreams

I’ve always been a vivid dreamer. When I was younger (and I’m talking like 3), I would come into my parents’ bedroom and recant these long, involved, and often nonsensical dreams for minutes on end. They would be detailed, they would be elaborate, and they would be weird. At first my parents thought that I was making it up, but I would go on and on and on and on and they realized that I really just DID have that strange-ass dream and I really DID just remember it all.

Things haven’t changed much over the years. In college, I would wake up my roommate first thing in the morning with the phrase “I just had the craziest dream!” and then, much to her non-morning-person dismay, proceed to tell her all about it, with startling detail. (We finally made a pact that I would give her until she was done with her shower before I went to town on my somnabulist creativity.)

I’ve been known to write full books in my sleep, or at least come up with a few kick-ass ideas that, when trying to write them down in the morning, seemed far less kick-ass and far more strange. I’ve told people off, I’ve awoken crying (especially after September 11 and at other somewhat tumultuous times in my life.) When I was younger, I’d even have these half-awake dreams, when I was CERTAIN that someone was in my room watching me and, being the self-conscious teenager that I’ve of course grown out of by now, would take out my retainer to save myself some unnecessary embarrassment.

I’ve got friends that talk in their sleep, a practice I’ve not yet picked up but am sure at some point I will. (I mean, I talk enough during the day as it is — who said sleeping has to stop that!?) I know a few sleepwalkers as well. And anyone who’s drunk dialed me only to have me wake up and attempt to have a semi-logical conversation can attest to the fact that at times I’m anything but coherent and that ‘semi-logical’ is really pushing it. And, for my piece de resistance, I’ve been known to get legitimately angry at people (including guys I’ve dated) for things they’ve done in a dream. I’m not talking “Oh honey, I was so mad at you in my dream because you hooked up with Susie” but more like “DO NOT SPEAK TO ME, you asshole, I CANNOT believe you have the audacity to talk to me after all that you did.” Though my sweet befuddled darlings have repeatedly reminded me that it was just a dream, my brain somehow can’t separate the feeling of anger and being hurt that early in the morning.

As such,

If you were just in my dream, I don’t mean to be mad at you.
If you were just in my dream, I promise I don’t REALLY think that you embarrassed me in public, nor do I really think that idea about the scrapbook of me being ‘ballsy’ was a good idea.
If you were just in my dream, I really AM looking forward to seeing you soon as opposed to you ‘being lucky just to have me in the room, you cheating asshole.’
If you were just in my dream, I know you didn’t intentionally make out with that trollop in front of me, and further know that if you had, you wouldn’t have told me to ‘chill the hell out, it’s not a big deal.’ (Because I know you would KNOW that it would be.)
If you were just in my dream, I’m sorry for mid-dream throwing all of your CD’s out the car window.
If you were just in my dream, just give me a few hours — I’ll get over it and my brain will finally understand that it didn’t really happen.
If you were just in my dream, I’m both happy and scared that you were.

Clarification

Remember my “Last Will & Testament”? (You should, it was yesterday).

Anyway, if you remember correctly, I left my beloved B. Kigs my stuffed dog that he hung from the balcony with a suicide note. I now must alter this:

I, Aubrey Sabala, hereby bequeath not ONLY the stuffed dog, but also the picture of said event that the dearheart B. Kigs sent to me which, by the time of my demise, will be framed accordingly.

And we wonder why I adore him…

hitting rock bottom.jpg