Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year's Eve

A year ago tonight I made one of the biggest mistakes of my life. I am ready to wash my hands of the entire drama that was 2007, and start over. The end of this year marks a huge turning point, almost like a curse has been lifted from my head. A force bigger than me knows what's going on, and it's all good, true and real from this point on. My job is simply to ride it out, whatever 'it' is.

My 2008 anthem, from a 1978 performance on The Midnight Special.

Surrender, but don't give yourself away.

Happy New Year to all my dear friends. I hope you have lots of champagne and someone to kiss at midnight.

Bisous from Julie

Sunday, December 30, 2007



Saturday, December 29, 2007

What This Blog Needs is More Woody Allen

Damn, I'm living a Woody Allen movie.

Here's another, that has nothing to do with my life whatsoever. Except that I am writing fiction, and I love New York:

I never thought about how important the openings to Woody Allen's movies are. These are my two favorites, maybe because of the neat and tidy openings and the equally orderly, tie-it-all-up-in-a-ribbon endings.

If only life would come full circle and have everything make sense.

Samuel Beckett, "Krapp's Last Tape," short clip

Portrait of the character as a young man.

Though I've never seen it, or even read it, I love the idea of this play. A man finds a tape of himself that he made years before as a youth. He listens to his young voice, his earlier ideas and ideals, and wonders about who that person is. His young self is a stranger to him now. Which makes me wonder, where is our identity? Time moves so quickly that as soon as we've grown comfortable with something, it's changed, and often before we've even realized it.

In short, who am I at this moment in time?

Friday, December 28, 2007

Peripheral Paul

I last spoke to Paul on the phone on Tuesday, December 4. That’s three weeks and three days ago. I haven’t called him. I haven’t texted him. I haven’t emailed him. I haven’t seen him. I have no idea what he is doing with his life. Does it feel good? Sometimes. Do I still miss the hell out of him? Of course. Do I still think about him? Um…what do you think? But lately I catch myself spending actual time spans not thinking about him at all. So far I’m up to about 20 minutes of uninterrupted no-Paul time. It is amazing. I am able to enjoy spending time with someone, going to lunch with my kids, shopping with my mom. I am making real strides in myself and how I see and treat others. It’s an uphill battle, full of tears and regret, but I am coming out of the darkness.

My dear friend C. told me today when I gave her this exciting “three weeks and three days” news that popular wisdom says it takes 21 days to form a habit. So what does this mean for me? Though I am not over him, I am now in the habit of not having contact with Paul. I am living my own life and I am healing. Soon I’ll make it to an hour without thinking about him. One day I’ll get to a whole afternoon without thinking about him. Then maybe an entire day. I look forward to that time. But these three weeks mark a turning point for me. Paul is moving to the periphery of my life, of my reality, of my soul. I still love him. Duh. I always will. But I can live life without him, as unnatural and weird as it seems. I don’t want to, but I have to. It is what it is, as someone used to always tell me.

I have a new love interest in my life. He will remain nameless, because I really don’t know where any of this is going, or if I even want it to, but I have a thing for someone. That is huge. I have to be sure it isn’t some kind of rebound, however, so I am not going to say anything more. Except that I refuse to pursue a relationship until I know that I can do it cleanly and honestly. I refuse to put anyone else through the confusion and lack of direct communication that I threw at Paul. This time I am going to do things right. So I am taking my time and not really doing anything with him, except watching. Having never been a “keep calm and don’t push it” kind of gal, this feels very freaky. But it’s the only way to live. I can’t make anything happen; I can’t make anything not happen. I am getting very good at going with the flow, and seeing where it leads. It’s too late for the person I wish I could have done it with, but it’s not too late for me. And maybe for my new man.

But you know what? It's total rebound. I don't even have to think about it. I can't pursue something new when I still miss Paul like a runaway freight train. I was browsing photos looking for one to put on this post and just seeing this one, taken in December 2004 in Athens, fills me with amourousness and warm feelings for him. He's my soul mate and it's gonna take a lot longer than three weeks to start anew with someone else. So the love interest may just have to chill for a while. Oh well, he won't know the difference anyway.

Happy Friday, peeps.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas, Cruel World

I am going to Rome for Christmas in about an hour. My mom doesn't believe in the Internet, so I'll be more or less offline for the next few days. On the bright side, she has cable.

I'll be thinking about all my friends out there over these next few days, and thanking my stars that I have you all. Be safe, eat lots of food, and love the people you're with. Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

"If life were only like this..."

My apologies to Gray Charles, who used this clip on his blog not long ago. It's such a perfect scene, and reflects exactly how I wish the world operated. We should always have an expert on hand, hidden behind a giant posterboard, waiting to prove that we are right, and that the other asshole is wrong. I'm so tired of wanting someone to verify my side of things, to give proof that I didn't imagine the last three years. As that sexy bastard Taylor Hicks said, "I just wanna have my voice heard." Indeed.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

If You Were a Jacket, Wheah Would You Be?

This video shows the winding down of our Christmas party through the eyes of Rosie. Look for a cameo by yours truly.

All in all, the party was a huge success. Everyone I invited came, except for three families, and as I expected, it was tres crowded, but in a good way. The first guests arrived at about 7:15, the last group left after 11:00, and as Rebecca says, anytime people stay longer than the invitation says, it's the sign of a good party.

The food was fabulous, as usual. But today I realize I didn't take any pictures of it! You will just have to use your imagination. The top three hors d'oeuvres were, in order of platters emptied: 1. Kim's Party Potatoes...the name says it all, 2. Deb's Chinese dumplings...fried, not steamed, 3. Nancy's marinated antipasto and mozarella...served with country French bread. So delicious. The top drinks were the Sam Adams something or other, and the spiked Evan Williams egg nog. It comes pre-mixed! Such a deal and actually, really good. I drank too much and ate too much. It was great.

Here are the few shots I was able to get with my camera, which has decided to randomly stop taking pictures at the most inopportune times.

My tree, pre party. Note the one present underneath. Someone needs to get on the ball:
My table, pre party. :

Rebecca, Angela, Tony, and the back of a girl Reb brought whose name I forgot:
The youngest guest, Sophia, who is already an old hat at parties, not to mention ADORABLE:
Crowd shot - Jeep and Emma in the foreground, Molly by the tree, Juan and Mike in front of the entertainment center, Tammy, someone and Deb on sofa...Today I'm tired and a little headachy. But it's all good. We ended up with lots of leftover food, lots of ownerless platters and dishes, and one kids' coat. How anyone went home last night without a coat is beyond's freezing here.

So, that's my party. We'll do it again next year!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Throwing a Party

What are y'all doing for the holidays? How's the weather where you are? I'm getting ready for a HUGE Christmas party I throw every year (it's tomorrow night,) and it's getting really cold here. I wish I had one of those outside stove things so guests could gather on the patio...a chiminea (I looked it up). This one is nice:

No, I like this one better:

Do these start to look oddly sexual the more you look at them, or is it just me?

Anyway, big party tomorrow night. I've overinvited, considering my small house, but the truth is I did it on purpose. I think it will be fun to have a really huge crowd all crammed in here kind of makes it more festive. As always, I'm providing Honeybaked ham and turkey and heating up some delicious Sister Schubert rolls. They make mini-sandwiches to die for. I've got cheese straws, cashews, wine, beer, sweet tea, I forgetting anything? My guests bring their own favorite dishes so we have a regular smorgasbord by the time it gets going. They also bring their kids. It's a big, noisy, fun evening.

This year is a little bittersweet, though, just like everything else in my life. I remember preparing for this event the last few years and how different my heart felt as I pulled all the details together. Tonight, even though I'm really having a good time getting everything ready, I keep thinking of the one person I wish I had here with me, to help me with the last-minute, pull-it-all-together panic, like he did two years ago. I remember that year, how rich and complete I felt, and how incredible my party was. I also remember last Christmas, thinking "this time next year, I'll be single, and doing all this with him." But that time never came.

I will brave tomorrow night alone, and enjoy the hell out of it, too. I have to do it sometime, right? I mean, life does go on, not the same, but good in its newness.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

My Phone Call with Taylor

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Wow. I just realized it was a year ago tonight that I spoke to Mr. Taylor F. Hicks on the telephone. It was probably the highlight of my year. Here's how it happened.

I was on good old Gray Charles chat the night of Taylor's CD release, December 12, 2006. We had talked to him earlier and he told a few of us his secret plans for the night: he was going to dinner with Taylor in NYC (see photo above). This was not news that he wanted spread around, for some reason, so we were being good and not talking about it except to those already in the know. So I told a couple of people in chat "Damn, Gray is with Taylor right now. How jealous am I?" and someone (tif?) said "Hey, why don't you call Gray on his cell and see if he'll answer?" I thought that might seem too pushy, and God knows I'm NOT PUSHY, but I said "Well, I guess a friendly text message couldn't hurt!" so I texted him "Gray, we are cheersin' you and Taylor in chat. I am jellis. Drink one for me." I told the chat gals what I had just done, and as we were talking my cell phone rang. I looked down. It was Gray. I kind of freaked, cause I knew where he was and who he was with. I told the girls "Brb. Gray is calling me back." When I answered he said "Hey! I got your text! We're drinking wine!" and I said "Yes, I can tell!" He said that Taylor was concerned, cause they had just left an audio blog on, and afterwards they were second guessing themselves, thinking they might have come off sounding drunk and somehow disrespectful on the blog. I said "Oh no, y'all sounded great. It was a big hit as far as I can tell." Then Gray goes "Hang on a sec...there's someone here who wants to say hello." Well, damn, I knew who "someone" was. So my hands got all sweaty - don't laugh...I am a teenybopper in grown up's clothes - and I waited.

"Hello?" his big ole tenor rang out in my ear.

"Hey, Taylor. This is Julie."

"Well hey, hon. How you doin'?"

"Great. It sounds like y'all are doing better than great!"

"Well, we just had a good dinner and now we're sittin' here talking. I've just switched to water. We had red wine but now I'm drinking water."

"You are wise, Taylor."

"I have to go on Martha Stewart tomorrow and I thought it was a good idea to stop while I was ahead."

"Good thinking." Damn. How am I speaking to him so calmly? In the meantime I remember my chat pals and look down at my computer. "What the hell is going on Julie??? Are you talking to Gray?" I type back in "Hang on. Taylor on phone." HA! I knew that would flip them out, but I couldn't say any more. I had to pay attention to the phone conversation.

"Hey, I wanna ask you something," Taylor said.

"Okay, shoot."

"Did you hear the audio blog we just did?"

"Yes, I did."

"Was it okay? We didn't sound like we were being sarcastic or anything, did we? Cause we didn't mean to sound sarcastic, or like we were drinking or something."

"No, it was wonderful. Everyone loves it. All the comments are very positive. You made it sound like you were very excited to meet the president and to be on Martha Stewart...very sincere."

"Good! That's what I thought it sounded like, too!"

"Well, Taylor, you're the one who recorded it, so I guess you would!"

"Good. Thanks."

"This is a big night for you, and I know you're having a great time in New York. I am really looking forward to getting a copy of the CD."

"Thanks! Have you heard the songs that are already out there? What do you think?"

Yes, I was now in a tricky position. Truth is, I HATED that album, and still do. Taylor is so much better than that record. His earlier stuff proves that. I wanted to tell him all this, and the direction I'd rather see his career go in. But I'm talking to the man himself, on the night of the album release. What can I say but "I really like what I've heard so far. I can't wait to listen to the whole thing." Sorry, but you can only be truthful to a certain point.

"Great. I hope you like what you hear."

"I know I will." I sensed the conversation was winding down, so I said to him, "Well, it's been nice talking to you. I hope you have a good Christmas."

"Thanks, hon. Same to you."

"Thanks, Taylor. I guess put Gray back on the line."

"Nice talkin' to you. Bye."

At this point, I start to shake. I made it through the whole conversation being cool as a cucumber, but now that it's over, I'm literally shaking and having to take deep breaths. I talked to Taylor for a good three minutes, on the night of his first major CD release! Holy shit! So I continue the conversation with Gray for quite a while, then return to my chat buddies, who are all flabbergasted. But not as much as I am. It was a fabulous, unexpected, wonderful conversation.

This era is over, and I never talk to most of those people anymore. Gray and I had a falling out, and though we've kind of talked since, it's never been the same. I want to take this opportunity to say again, thanks, Gray Charles, for letting me talk to Taylor. It was the highlight of the very tough year I've been through. I owe you one.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Pylon, 40 Watt Club, Tonight

Photo by ME!

Should I go? Can I go? Is this a totally bad idea?

I REALLY want to see this show, but I fear the emotional fallout.

Wiser minds and hearts, please advise me on this. The show starts at around 10:00 pm, so I ain't got much time to decide.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

I need it bad

Guess where I'm going?

Okay, it's still a maybe, but it's gonna happen one way or another.

Sometimes I just want to get in my car and drive. Like today. I feel like I've been in Atlanta for years with no real vacation, probably because I have. Damn wanderlust. When I was younger (cough cough) I never stayed in one place for long. Somehow I always had the funds and the time to buy a plane ticket and just take off. But it's hard with school and kids and money...I'm truly stuck. I'd been thinking it was time to reschedule that trip to San Francisco.

But then yesterday my dear friend Jean-Sebastien invited me to stay a while with him in Paris. He's got an apartment in the 11th arondissement, he's fun, and I miss him. We knew each other when I was in grad school there, and I always had a mad crush on him. It's been...damn...14 years???? How is that possible? He and I used to hang out for hours and talk about music. He's the one French person I ever met who I totally connected with, not to mention that he's a doll. So I am tempted to take the last of the student loan money and just go. I need it bad.

In other news, I have a new career possibility. Yes, again. I've been writing erotic fiction on a website centered on a certain singer-who-shall-remain-nameless, and damn! Not only is it fun, I'm beginning to think I'm actually good at it. I may try to publish this singer stuff if I can get enough of it together. Or maybe I'll write that epistolary novel I was thinking about. Or maybe I'll write a combination of the two, and tell The Story, complete with incredible sex and passion. Who knows? But this erotica stuff is cool. My pen name shall remain a secret for now. One person out there knows what it is. Look for books by me soon, okay?