#FBF – Black Girl in a Big Dress

#FBF to a year ago when we wrapped production on the first season of Black Girl in a Big Dress. It’s been an amazing ride! Thanks to everyone who’s watched, shared, liked, commented and pointed out that correct, those are in fact, not bourbon cremes. Here’s to getting the right biscuits in Season Two!

If you haven’t seen the show, check out all 8 episodes of Season One below!!


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Who’s the Creamiest of Them All? Oreo Showdown Me vs. Frank

I was incredibly proud of the heights of Oreodom to which I ascended this weekend. I was at a financier’s wedding in Wine Country that was totally hipstered out (bride and groom walked down the aisle to Bon Iver or some such, food trucks sported locally sourced, organic quinoa kale pizzas and for every tux trouser, there was a pair of Tom’s poking out of the bottom).

The attendants basically looked like this

At one moment, I took my glass of Northern California Shiraz in one hand, my Starbucks in the other and went for a stroll through the adjoining vineyard. I looked back at the scene and reveled in a couple’s lovely commitment to love and at my pulling off being the only black person in attendance.

It’s the little things.

Then something caught my eye. A black guy. Surely, I thought, he’s here to hand me the keys to my car or take away this biodegradable wine glass. But no… he was a guest like me. When I figured that out, the competition was on! I was not going to let this handlebar mustachioed, Steampunk suit sporting dude out Oreo me.

Naturally, I couldn’t talk to him directly lest people think we were extras from Real Housewives of Atlanta, so I ran my reconnaissance and found out that he was doing an excellent job at Oreoing.

He was an accomplished equestrian, a fine artist photographer, had clearly trained in ballroom dancing…and did I mention the handlebar mustache. I imagined him twirling it like an old timey villain if and when he found out he had bested me. He spoke French, made a delicious tapenade, had been a vegan since he was 12 and was from Connecticut!

Even I have a hard time matching those stats.

Damn you, home state! Why couldn’t you have been a Dakota?

I was about to tip my french veiled hat in concession when I saw his date… She was White! A black guy dating a white women. That is SUCH an RBP thing to do!! I win.

So instead of stopping, I grabbed another glass for a victory lap around the wine bar safe in the knowledge that I finally made up for the other wedding party that, despite my best bestest efforts, went terribly. An unfortunate loss for him, but it was a game well played, sir. Well played indeed.

And yes, I get the Catch-22 that Oreo guys are in. Date a black girl and people start thinking you’re just escorting her to her next john. Date a white girl and you look like an RBP. Oh well, we all have our crosses to bear. Anyone have any suggestions?

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On Being Short Sighted

For those who were there, this might sound familiar. For those who weren’t, this is a story I shared at The Moth a few weeks back. The theme of the night was “Small World” 

I hate to admit it, but there was a time when I totally let a guy’s height influence whether or not I would date him.

I date online. As you do these days. And the vast majority of the messages that turn up in my inbox consistent entirely of a: “Hey” or a “You’re sexy.” or a “Do you date Mexican guys?”

Is it weird that I get that same question at job interviews?

So when I get an actual email with actual words in it, I get very excited. And this one guy’s email had actual words and actual phrases, so I was very excited.

I clicked on over to his profile for a quick “any signs of crazy” check. And for the most part, things looked good.

I looked at his main picture–a headshot. He was no Ryan Reynolds, but I am also not Ryan Reynolds, so that was okay. He had a job and was pretty articulate and a little funny, so hooray. I wrote him back.

He wrote me back that same night and his email actually made me laugh out loud, so I was extra excited! But before I was going to invest the next 7 minutes writing him an email, I decided I should spend another hour or so over-analyzing his profile and potentially talking myself out of a perfectly nice thing, as you do.

Back on his profile, there were some flags. He was a smoker. Not a deal breaker per se, but not ideal for me. He had a job, but he didn’t seem to have many big aspirations. I’m a very ambitious person, so I kinda want to date someone who gets that part of me. He was a little cynical, which is fine, but I’m prone to feeling needlessly upset about things, so I’m kinda looking for someone a little naturally more positive.

The epitome of positivity.

But then one sentence caught my eye.

“The box is correct. I am that short.”

The “box” is a list of personal bullet points–sign, religion, pets, kids, height. For his height, it said “4 feet.”

I clicked on the picture tab to see all of his shots. He was correct. Dude was a dwarf. He wasn’t just a “smaller guy” or “someone with a slight frame.” He probably had paperwork somewhere about his height. And as I looked at his pictures, one thought kept running through my head. I realized…I don’t know any dwarves. Ohmygod, I DON’T KNOW ANY DWARVES!!!

(remember the part about me feeling needlessly bad about things)

And I started to panic about why I didn’t know any dwarves. Was I accidentally racist…or whatever…about dwarves? All of my friends are totally regular-bodied. I don’t have any friends in wheelchairs or who are deaf. I’ve got a couple of Crohn’s sufferers, but only one of them is missing any of her intestines, and I think she’s only missing like an inch or so. I had no idea I was so close-minded!

I also started so see this guy’s profile in a whole new light.

Of COURSE he’s a smoker, OreoExperience. It’s probably been very stressful being a dwarf, I’d probably be a smoker, too! And so he’s a little unambitious. So what? You know what’s probably insanely difficult, OreoExperience? Getting the leverage necessary to do brain surgery on a rocket ship when you’re only 48 inches tall! Oh, and he’s a little cynical. Give the guy a break, OreoExperience, how do you think you’d feel about the world if every day someone probably asked you if you knew Peter g-damn Dinklage! As much as you hate to admit it, you’re a minority, too! You know what it’s like to be judged on how you look. Why don’t you give the guy a break and go out with him?!?!?

For the record, I loved the Dinklage long before Winter ever came.

So I happily wrote him back and I started to fantasize about the beautiful, progressive relationship we’d have. How we’d become UN Ambassadors for love and change the world through our tiny, cafe au lait colored children.

But then I got his response. And it was a little much. Like three pages a little much. And rambly. And spent maybe too many words describing how often he gets distracted at work because he’s too busy constructing fantasy lives for all his clients instead of just listening to them.

So I didn’t write him back.

But not because he was short. But because he was crazy.

Which might make me a jerk. But at least I’m not racist…or whatever.

Saying Goodbye…and Hello Again

Remember when we used to write numbers down...and remember them?? I barely know my own number anymore!

Okay, I promise that the following post was motivated by the arrival of Spring, the effect of doing my taxes and by this post at about clearing out useless cellphone contacts and not at all by the fact that I got dumped this week.

Here’s how everything led to the post below.

Spring – As soon as it’s time to switch out the winter wardrobe for fun dresses and shirts that require an architectural model to figure how to make a bra work with them, I also feel like I should clean out things besides my closet. I toss months of useless paperwork because it’s just taking up space and even though it only pings my brain in tiny, tiny ways, it might be best to not have that distraction at all.

Taxes – Going through old receipts is like creating a horrible timeline of the stupid decisions I made in the past year. Here’s the few hundred I spent flying across the country to see someone I *just* met. Here’s the ridiculous number of drinks I consumed at that work event. Here’s the extra tank of gas I spent trying to find a Downtown LA address because I refuse to just buy a GPS. Seeing them all enumerated and put into my accountant’s spreadsheet makes me think I should also see about adiosing the people who I let drive me to such decisions.

The post at – The writer did exactly what I’ve been thinking of and purged cell phone contacts that were no longer serving their purpose.

Getting dumped – Why would we even bring this up? Sure, I’ll delete that contact, but whatever! I was gonna delete a bunch of others anyway. So…yeah. No big deal. At all. Just coincidental timing.

So here we go!

Folks In My Phone I’m Deleting

I can do this...I can do this...

  • This whisky bar I sometimes go to. I never call it ever. No idea why I put this number in.
  • This graphic designer I never worked with.
  • This actor I directed in a play and haven’t spoken to since 2008.
  • This guy I used to work with and I’m not even sure if he still lives in LA. Either way, neither of us work at the place where we met and haven’t spoken since 2009.
  • This guy I used to improvise with and haven’t talked to since 2010. I think he has kids now.
  • This girl I used to improvise with and haven’t talked to since 2009 when she stopped dating my friend.
  • A director who let me play Cecily in The Importance of Being Earnest, but who I haven’t talked to since and I can’t even remember the name of the theater.
  • This actress who’s got way too many TV credits for me to justify calling. Also, I’m pretty sure she has no idea who I am.
  • This guy I used to work for in 2008 who invited me to a fancy party in Laguna Beach that was maybe the 2nd most intimidating party I’ve ever been to. We didn’t actually speak at that party and we haven’t spoken since.
  • This girl who’s really good friends with the XH. Nothing against her, but not someone I wanna call on accident. Also she’s a kickass attorney, so I don’t wanna piss her off….though if you need a recommendation…
  • This older guy at a church I used to go to… He got married at like 80 years old, which I thought was awesome. Honestly have no idea if he’s still with us.
  • This guy who runs a bootcamp I used to take until I realized that I don’t do well at bootcamps.
  • Some guy whose name I don’t recognize and doesn’t turn up in my Facebook friends. The name does match that of a famous athlete. But I don’t know any famous athletes.
  • This woman who used to do my hair. Until she turned into a bitch and would make fun of my greys and secretly do things in the sink that she’d charge me for.
  • My friend’s kid who I used to tutor, but is now in college. I don’t need to have an 18-year-old dude’s name in my phone.
  • This older guy who used to hit on me, then issued the worst apology I’ve ever heard. This is how it went:

Him: Hey, I just wanted to apologize if I made you uncomfortable the other night.
Me: Thanks. I appreciate that.
Him: I mean, I know I’m too old for you, but you can’t blame me for trying, right?
Me: (uncomfortable) Hahaha, well….
Him: I mean, I get it and you’re totally right. We wouldn’t work as a couple.
Me: Right
Him: Not that I haven’t thought about how beautiful you are.
Me: What time is the last film starting?
Him: Not sure. I mean, you’re gorgeous. So it’s not like I’ve never imagined what it would be like, you know.
Me: I’m gonna go to the bathroom.
Him: I mean, if I had the chance, I would definitely show you a good time. A really good time…

  • This kid who interned at a place I worked like three years ago.
  • This place I worked like three years ago. The only job I’ve ever quit without another gig to go to.
  • This couple who was friends of the XH and who I never really clicked with anyway.
  • This girl I used to box with. I do have a few Philip K. Dick books of hers that I should return. But she lent them to me back in ’06 and I haven’t seen her since.
  • Someone who appears to be an actor with whom I have a handful of mutual friends, but I don’t recognize.
  • This guy who took me on a date to Denny’s then tried to get me to take him to my apartment.

Sorry Moon Over My Hammy. I'm just not that into you.

  • This actor who wouldn’t look me in the eye when we worked together.
  • This actor who always smelled like cloves and leather and who was terribly toxic.
  • This gymnast I used to date.
  • This guy who I was in a play with and later he texted me a picture of his penis.
  • This mechanic I loved but who I haven’t been to in years.
  • This guy I knew from that job I quit.
  • Some other guy who has the same name of an athlete and I don’t recognize either.
  • Some girl from some play I was in.
  • This church I don’t go to anymore.
  • Some guy with one of the most generic names imaginable that it does no good to Google.
  • Some guy who sounds like he’s a character in a play about the clash of cultures in 1912 New York tenement housing. No idea who he is.
  • No idea who this girl is, though her name sounds like a character that might show up as one of the Sharks in West Side Story 2
  • Same for this girl
  • The XMIL. I did accidentally call her once and she got pissed.
  • No idea who this woman is.

Holy shit, how am I only on the G’s!!!

  • Some restaurant I like, but certainly never need to call.
  • The XH’s old work number.
  • This girl who invited me to hang with her on New Year’s Eve once and then was a total fucking bitch to me and literally pushed me out of the way any time a guy was talking to me and not to her.
  • The number marked “home” that isn’t anymore.
  • This couple I used to babysit for but haven’t talked to since 2007.
  • Another actor from that play I was in back in the day.
  • This guy who was friend with the XH. He introduced me to Nick Swardson and Nick Swardson kissed my hand that night. I probably owe him my first-born or something, but he can get in touch with me if he wants to cash in that debt.
  • Janelle?? Janet??
  • The guy who trained me at the worst job I’ve ever had.
  • This woman who helped convince me to quit that job back in the day. She was my manager for a while. Then she disappeared. I think she’s in Africa somewhere.
  • The pastor at this church I used to go to. He did my pre-marital counseling.

It's complicated

  • This guy who after hiring me to write for him, tried to convince me to have an affair.
  • This girl from this stupid play I was in.
  • This woman I used to work for.
  • This guy I didn’t hire to DP one of my shorts.
  • This writer who pretended he was interested in helping me get published in a big time magazine that I would stab myself to get published in. He loved, praised and talked about my work until I turned down his 2 a.m. text to hang out. The next time I saw him, he told me my writing was crap and that I didn’t know what I was doing.
  • This kid I used to tutor.
  • The dude whose emails, texts and calls I haven’t responded to since an ill-fated trip we took together
  • The director of this theater I’ve never performed at.
  • This guy I had a huge crush on when I worked at that job I quit. He barely spoke to me then. Pretty sure he’s got no interest in speaking to me now. Also he likes rap, so that would have been a problem anyway.
  • This guy who took me on the most amazing day of date I’ve ever been on…then didn’t speak to me for like a year. Then he turned up at a reading I was in, looked dreamily into my eyes and told me I was beautiful… Then never spoke to me again. He’s married now.
  • My old boss at the worst job I’ve ever had.
  • Jose??
  • Juan?? Oh crap! Juan from work… Well, I just deleted your # bc I didn’t remember ever getting it from you. If you’re reading…if you could text me, that’d be dope.
  • My old manager’s cell phone #
  • My old boss from that job I quit.
  • This woman I used to work with who now apparently lives in China
  • Keshaun? I’m shocked that someone named Keshaun ended up in my phone in the first place.
  • This restaurant I used to order from when I lived in the Valley.
  • Someone else from that job I quit (nothing against these folks, btw, I just can’t imagine needing to call them)
  • The crazy rich lady I used to work for who told me that “Final Draft writes the script for you!”
  • Some actress
  • My old nutritionist
  • This guy I met outside of a club (when do I ever go to clubs??) who said “Let’s trade numbers. You can never have too many numbers!”
  • Some comedian’s reps
  • An old therapist
  • This guy I dated who after a week and a half of knowing each other, every time we made out, would say “should I get a condom?” Then once he said it before we were even back in his apartment,  he said the same thing. So the next day I said, “hey, just wanted to touch base about the sex thing. I don’t really want to go there unless I’m in a thing that’s a THING, you know. If that doesn’t work for you, that’s totally cool, no hard feelings, just let me know.” He said that was cool. Then immediately started flaking on all our plans. I called it off the next week. Not 24 hours after I did, he texted me and said: “Hey, is it cool if we do a booty call every once in a while?”
  • This other woman who used to do my hair…and show up 2+ hours late to every appointment.
  • A number marked “No.”
  • A number marked “nope”
  • This football player turned sound editor who was friends with the XH.
  • A stalker
  • The program coordinator for a Christian College in Texas
  • Another therapist.
  • A former student – again…don’t need teenagers’ #s in my cellie
  • Another DP I didn’t hire to shoot my short
  • The first woman who did my hair when I moved to LA.
  • Some writer I went on two dates with and who has a big movie coming out next year

I can’t believe this is about to have taken two hours.

  • This woman I used to work with. We gave it a good ol’ college try at being friends, but there were no sparks.
  • My friend’s ex-boyfriend. We were all friends. They broke up. Had to pick a side.
  • A third guy I didn’t hire to DP my short.
  • Some vet I used to go to
  • Some guy I met at a networking event and know nothing about

Folks In My Phone I Likely Should be Deleting But Just Can’t Yet

  • The XFIL, XBIL and XSIL. Just in case something ever happens to the XH and one of them calls to let me know. I want to recognize the number.
  • This agent I used to know. He was the first big-time Hollywood type to give me his phone number. Then he proceeded to break my heart.
  • This kid I was totally into in college. He called me out of the blue in like 2004 and it was just like old times. He told me then that he hated that he didn’t kiss me that one time when we were back in school. I told him I agreed. That was the last we spoke.
  • This guy I dated with whom I had pretty uninteresting sex. He’s hot though.
  • The guy who just dumped me… What? It’s not like his number wasn’t in my phone. I was gonna have to come across it, so yeah, it was gonna come up. But this isn’t about that.
  • This actress who’s currently on a TV show who unfriended me on facebook even though SHE was the one who asked me for my # and found me on fb in the first place.
  • This director I didn’t like working with, but he’s famous now.
  • The British guy I went on one date with. At the end of it he said “I’ll call you… I know it sounds like I’m not going to, but I mean it. I will.” Then we never spoke again. He does know people in London, though, so I might hit him up for a referral for my trip.*

At least, I think that's what he said. It was hard to hear over the charming accent...except when he said "uRInal" instead of "URinal." I'll give you "lift" and "loll" and even "c*nt," but "uRInal" is just gross.

  • An executive who I’d love to work for again, but who stopped working with me after confessing that he thought about going on a date with me.
  • The girl I’m pretty sure the XH was in love with. And if he was, I truly hope they work it out.

Folks In My Phone I’m Gonna Stop Being a Pussy About and Just Call Already Send a Non-Invasive Facebook Message To

  • This awesome woman I made friends with right before she and her perfect husband took their perfect relationship and their perfect baby to a perfect new job in a different state weeks before me and the X-H split up. Never had the guts to talk to her since my split since she clearly had everything worked out so well and I had only managed to work out making a pretty colossal mistake.
  • The folks who run a preservation society dedicated to protecting what I think is one of the coolest pieces of Los Angeles architecture, The Dunbar Hotel. I want to write a film about this place. Not sure why I won’t start on it.
  • This guy I went on two dates with and he was truly a nice guy, but I just wasn’t feeling it. But if anyone’s looking for a recommendation…
  • The guy I was in love with all of high school. He had a rough few years. Not sure how he’s doing now.

Whose numbers are you hanging on to? Whycome? Let us know in the comments!

For Mor-eo! Follow The Oreo Experience on Twitter (@oreoexperience)
Leave a comment here or at any of the above and let us know what you think!

*Shameless Oreo Plug. 1) SmartyPig is a totally cool $-savings tool! I highly recommend it. b) So I have the opportunity to meet with an actor who I love love love in the UK this summer. Trying to make it a successful working holiday and take some other Brit talent out for a pint with the hope of writing for them one day. Should anyone feel inclined to help an Oreo purchase one of those pints, it would be totes appreciated. You can learn more about my trip, and SmartyPig at this link.

Conversations with WhitePal – March Madness

All transcriptions of WhitePal conversations accurately reflect actual conversations between me and people who do their best to tolerate having to explain things to me.


WHITEPAL, 20s, giggles as she finishes a conversation with TOE.

TOE: Awww, he sounds fun!

WP: Yeah, he’s a cool guy.

TOE: And he’s a real basketball player? Like he’s famous?

WP: Yeah, people know who he is.

TOE: Cool! When are you seeing him again?

WP: He asked if he could see me after the game tonight. I told him I would, but only if he got a Triple Double.

TOE: …. Is that something on In N Out’s secret menu?

Everything's a little better animal style.


Still not totally sure what a triple double is, so if someone could enlighten me, that’d be baller! (That use of a basketball-derived slang word’s gotta count for something, right?)


And the above is so not the only time I’ve had to reach for an urban dictionary….

There was the time me and a WP disagreed over what a toaster was.

And the time we talked politics.

The night we dished about going to karaoke.

That embarrassing experience at an engagement party.

And something about hair products.


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How I’m Making Sure I Never Date Again #598

The dating site that I torture myself with on the regular use has a fun feature that’s perfect for wasting otherwise perfectly productive hours of your day figuring out if you and your potential match agree on any number of things.

What? You're kidding? You ALSO like David Sedaris and Love, Actually? Shut up! AND you're just as comfortable at home as your are at a bar, let's do it!

They have what appears to be billions of multiple choice questions that ask everything from the relationship-related “Do you want kids,” to the weird “Would you be uncomfortable if a pet saw your masturbating” to the patriotic “Do you believe that people have a civic duty to vote,” to the under-nuanced “What do you think is the best way for the government to handle the budget,” to the playful “would you rather make out in a tent or in Paris.”

And then there was this question. And I knew I shouldn’t have answered it because it was only going to make me sad. But it was 11 p.m. and I had half a glass of wine in me, so I answered it anyway.

He told me it was going to be a bad date. I should have listened.

“Do you think that women have an obligation to keep their legs shaved.”

I said no.

Guess who said yes. Every. Single. Guy.

Now, here’s the thing that I wonde–an OBLIGATION? An OBLIGATION is what happens when someone pays your or blackmails you. An OBLIGATION comes when you give birth to someone or accidentally kill their pet. An OBLIGATION comes after you swear a blood or Hippocratic oath.

An OBLIGATION does not allow for one to take into effect things like skin sensitivity or time constraints or the desire not to waste water or ‘oh whatever I’m wearing pants to work anyway, I’ll get to this later’ or yes, i’ll just spend extra $$$ on tools to alter my body so that I look as much like a preteen as possible.

All that being said, I totes shave. But still. An OBLIGATION?


Also, placenta-eating is on the rise. Just an FYI.

What do you think? Do women have an obligation to behave thusly? What else are women obligated to do? And who wrote that contract? What about the guys–what must they do to their bodies to be dateable? Let us know in the comments!

Can’t believe that the delightful wit who wrote this is single? See moar reasons why here! But also see why she won’t lower the bar here.


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Cooking. Lessons.

Went to Trader Joe’s Friday night to pick up the usual weekend fare. Was running low on some basics, so had to make an emergency run for some leeks, fennel and cumin.

You do not want to see me without my cumin.

I had an unusual amount of free time Saturday morning, and I was determined to do something healthy with it. So I decided to cook.

And as I looked at all my fresh food stuffs, I remembered: I am really terrible at cooking.

Like very terrible.

Like the scenes in movies where everyone smiles, then gives the food to the dog terrible.

Or like this coffee ad.

Bad coffee? Yup. Totally grounds for divorce. (had to)

You would think it would be relatively easy to at least be passable at cooking. I mean, there are these nifty things called recipes that are made of detailed instructions on how to make yummy food in a yummy way.

But I am not terrible at cooking because I cannot read and/or follow these directions. I am terrible at cooking because I would rather not read and/or follow these directions.

When the recipe says something like “Cook at 350 degrees for 45 minutes,” I can’t help but think: “Why not cook at 500 degrees for like 25 minutes?”

Unless the objective is to summon five fire engines and 10 men, that 500 degrees business rarely works.

If it says: “simmer for 10 minutes,” I say “why not boil for 2?” And when the water’s taking too long to come to said boil, I think: “Hmmm, salt makes water boil faster, so what if this doesn’t call for a brine?”

If I were to bring this up with a professional, I imagine that they would tell me it had something to do with a rarely confessed reticence to follow very strict rules. As discussed earlier, my home was riddled with very strict rules and though I followed them to the letter, the bruises that would show up on my arms let me know that I had not followed them closely enough.

So now, instead of say working through these issues, I set up rules for myself, then break them in small and worthless ways ostensibly so I can forgive myself to the degree I was unforgiven before. I promise myself I’ll manage the TMJ pain that shoots up half of my face most days by wearing this mouth guard that I’ve put on my nightstand. Then I put my nightstand just too far away from the bed for it to be convenient to reach over to before I fall asleep. I mean, I’m just soooo comfortable where I am,  and the cats are all settled, I’d hate to disturb them by rolling over.

I want to stress out less, so I tell myself that I will leave at a time that will allow me to reach my destination a few minutes early. Then I procrastinate and putter around so that I leave 15 minutes late for everything. But it’s LA, and there’s the 405 to blame…even if I never go over the hill.

I’d love an awesome relationship, so I make my list of healthy non-negotiables when it comes to dating and then I throw them right out the window. I mean, he was super funny and complimented my vocabulary! Who needs a guy with a job…or self esteem?

I wanted to say something about how Romeo Montague didn't have a job. So I googled "Romeo" and mostly pictures of this dude came up.

Cooking is much the same way. I want the pretty, yummy food thing—this morning in particular, I want sweet potato ginger spoon bread. But there must be another way of getting it than following these little rules, right? I mean, I’ve already got out the cup measure, do I really need the half-cup measure, too. It’s all the way on the other side of the room.

To be fair, straying from my own rules has brought me huge benefits. I never would have discovered how amazingly relaxing the four-jet shower at the spa after the deep tissue massage could be were I not looking for alternate TMJ cures. That massage was expensive, but in terms of restorative power, it was priceless.

I have discovered the joys of taco trucks because  leaving 15 minutes late made me 45 minutes late to the birthday party and  I missed out on the food.

And because my romantic choices are messy at best, I have learned how awesome front row seats at big musicals can be, had a million amazing conversations on balconies, tasted tequila that was better than I thought tequila could be, been proud and inspired because of a few jokes, slept in the most comfortable bed I’ve ever known, more deeply appreciated Bukowski, discovered I have dimples, found boundaries, felt that amazing white fire and ice all needles feeling, learned to like wine, figured out how to wear dresses, heard beautiful music and spent a storybook Christmas in Austria.

Of course, there’s the other side. The side that makes me wonder if the rules aren’t better. Christmas in Austria was stunning; but once we got home, all the problems that I suspected at the beginning were still there, and now there’s a great deal of paperwork where love once was.

I hope that there is something between the rules and personal anarchy. And perhaps that’s what my tiny rebellions are about. Finding that place where there’s give and take to make mistakes. But still a standard to strive for and a soft place to land when you miss.

Right this moment, however, I’m hoping that my spoon bread turns out okay even though I used too many potatoes and got cornbread mix instead of plain cornmeal. There’s probably too much water in it (since the recipe didn’t call for water in the first place), I cooked it in a muffin tin instead of a loaf pan and I forgot the ginger all together. Pretty par for the course for a day in the kitchen with TOE.

I especially hope this thing turns out okay because my roommates are all in the kitchen and I can only be so delightfully self-deprecating at 8:30 a.m. on a Saturday.

Moment of truth arrives. I pull it out and my spoon bread muffins and see my creation. They are delicious, fluffy and beautifully golden.


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