Wednesday, November 29, 2000

The Afflecktion Continues

NOTE: If you haven't read the first Afflection installment, you really should read that first.

And all apologies to Chuck, my dear, sweet, loving husband, but this Afflecktion thing can't be helped and Dr. Ruth and Cosmopolitan says fantasizing is good for a marriage. I'm sure you've had many not-so-PG-rated thoughts yourself about Mariah Carey and Toni Braxton and Faith Hill and so on, and so on…

OK, that said, the fantasies continue:

{Scene: Me and Ben, out to see Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay, Friday evening}

Me: "Did you know that sharks never run out of teeth, they always have another set ready to go if one should be lost or pulled out by an overzealous scuba diver anxious to make a necklace?" [Ben chuckles.] "Sorry, can't help but spew useless facts about animals - I had 5 years of conditioning at the zoo."

Ben: "What do you like to do now that you don't spend all your free time at the zoo?"

Me: "Well, I have a great group of friends that I hang out with and my girlfriend Abby and I love to go dancing. Abby would love to meet you, she's a huge fan – she thinks you're a hottie. We should call her! Oooh, she totally won't believe it's you, she'll think it's Tony - the guy you met earlier - being a wise ass."

[We call Abby and Ben and Abby talk for a while... I'll let Abby fill in details for the phone call in her own mind ;) ]

Ben: "So, you like to go dancing? Me too. Have you been to Baby's at the Hard Rock?"

Me: "Oh yeah, we went last night! My posse took me out for my birthday, now that I'm finally old enough to drink." [Big wink to Ben, he realizes I am older than 21 but somehow understands that he shouldn't ask how old.] "We did some serious booty shaking. We headed over to Ra after that, at about 2, but they weren't letting people in – I think because you were in there."

Ben: "Oh yeah, I did some booty shakin of my own."

[I zone out for a minute, picturing Ben's booty shaking in my mind. His words pull me back to reality.]

Ben: "So it was you're birthday? Well you really should let me take you out dancing for your birthday."

Me: "I would love that, but I'm supposed to fly home tonight."

Ben: "Fly home? On a Friday night? Leave Vegas on a Friday night? Before the weekend? You'd have to be insane to do that!"

Me: "Yeah I know, I regretted the decision immediately after my ticket was cast in stone. I guess I just didn't want to have to leave my cat for too long. "

Ben: "You're such a bunny-hugger. I like that in a girl." [Ben winks back at me – I damn near melt.] "Now let's call the airline, get your ticket changed, I'll get you a room at the Hard Rock for tonight and tomorrow, we'll hang out tomorrow – you can take me to Krispy Kreme – and then I'll take you dancing tomorrow night and see just how good you can shake that booty, OK?"

Me: [Enthralled by the take charge attitude] "Well, how's a girl to refuse that offer? It's a damn good thing I'm not married! I'll just have to let my Mom know that I'll be home a few days later."

{Scene: Me and Ben, out dancing, Saturday evening}

Ben: "Wow, this DC4800 you got for me is the bomb. I can't believe you hooked me up. Let's have someone take our picture – but you'll have to come to my room and show me how to download the pictures onto my laptop."

Me: "Sure, no problem, I'll give you some lessons later…" [heart races even faster]

to be continued? Perhaps…

Monday, November 27, 2000


I am obsessed with Ben Affleck. OK, not really obsessed with HIM, but obsessed with the fact that he was standing right there in front of me at the Kodak booth at Comdex. I had the perfect opportunity to have a NORMAL conversation, ONE-on-ONE interaction, potentially gather an email address out of it – and I BLEW IT!!!

What Actually Happened

Some background info: I had 2 hours sleep the night before (out celebrating my birthday). Ben had been at the Luxor the night before, didn’t see him, but he had signed some Bounce posters, so he was definitely in Vegas.

{SCENE SETTING: Kodak booth at Comdex, Friday, November 17th, approx. 1pm.}

[I’m typing away at a terminal, helping a customer – hair thrown up, wearing glasses and the ever present khaki pants and black Kodak shirt – i.e., not looking my best]

[Move scene to Tony, hamming it up with all passers by, standing with a tall, good looking man.]

Tony: "Tina, doesn’t this guy look like Ben Affleck?"

[I glance over, think the guy looks somewhat like Ben, but not overwhelmingly so. His hair is very short and he’s clean shaven, not the typical Ben Affleck look shown in the media… I notice that his Comdex pass is turned around and think that I should check the name on his pass]

Me: "Well, it could be him."

[I turn back, stare at potential-Ben, potential-Ben stares back with a look as if to say, "so do you think I’m HIM?", no words are exchanged, only a momentary stare. The next 15-30 seconds are fuzzy, then I look over just in time to see Ben walking away from the booth in a bit of a hurry, too far away now to get him back.]

The Aftermath

At first, I was not convinced it was him. I thought, if I saw Ben Affleck, I would KNOW it was Ben Affleck, how could I not recognize him immediately? But the evidence piled up:

- he was in Vegas on Thursday night
- through a web-board, I found out he was still in Vegas on Saturday night
- he was very tall and very cute
- Tony said his teeth were a bit crooked
- He had his pass turned around so no name was visible
- I find an article on the internet that says he’s a computer geek
- Ted tells me that he & a few acting buddies are trying to break into the online entertainment industry
- I’m cursed. I have the worst Karma when it comes to meeting or even seeing celebrities, so it would make perfect sense that I would blow a dream opportunity to have normal interaction with one of the most famous (and damn fine) guys on the planet.

The Afflecktion Starts

Once convinced that I missed the biggest opportunity of my life, my mind has been racing with nothing but thoughts of what could have been. I’ve been going through it over and over in my mind, with scenarios ranging from close to realistic, to elaborate unrealistic fantasies that don't take into account the fact that I’m happily married and allow me to think that Ben might actually have given me the time of day.

The realistic ones are pretty boring, but still would have been much better than what actually happened. I envision taking his picture, uploading it to the Picture Center, showing him how to put his face on a Panda bear, laughing with him, memorizing the email addresses as he sends a Picture This Postcard to Gwyneth, and saying "it was a pleasure meeting you."

The other fantasies are getting more and more intricate every day. Now mind you, my fantasies so far are mild, totally PG, no raunchy sexual stuff happening (though I’m pretty sure, with all the thinking I’m doing, that I’ll get to that eventually), they just involved detailed thoughts of how the interaction could have gone... they only lead to dinner… then I usually doze off by the time I get that far. I probably shouldn't even call them fantasies, more like day dreams.

What Could Have Happened (under no realistic circumstances)

Anyway, here’s one example of how I think it could have gone if 1) I had paid closer attention, 2) I wasn’t married, and 3) Ben would give me the time of day.

[I’m typing away at a terminal, helping a customer – hair thrown up, wearing glasses and the ever present khaki pants and black Kodak shirt – i.e., not looking my best]

[Move scene to Tony, hamming it up with all passers by, standing with a tall, good looking man.]

Tony: "Tina, doesn’t this guy look like Ben Affleck?"

[I glance over, think the guy looks somewhat like Ben, but not overwhelmingly so. His hair is very short and he’s clean shaven, not the typical Ben Affleck look shown in the media… I notice that his Comdex pass is turned around and think that I should check the name on his pass.]

Me: "Well, it could be him."

[I turn back, stare at potential-Ben, potential-Ben stares back with a look as if to say, "so do you think I’m HIM?", no words are exchanged, only a momentary stare.]

Me: "Hmmm, let me take a closer look. The hair is throwing me off a bit, but the cheekbones are right and the chin is right. Can I look at your badge?"

Ben: "Sure - Bob Fleck, good name, isn’t it?" [Ben quips, not admitting to either identity.]

Me: "One last thing, let me look at your hands."

[I take Ben’s hand in mine, holding it gently. Ben looks at me, he is unmistakably aware of my touch.]

Me: "Yes, these look to be the finely manicured hands of someone who’s appearance is important to their job – so you’re definitely not a computer programmer." [all laugh]

Me: "Well ‘Bob’," [I say sarcastically and give Ben a wink], "why don’t you let us take your picture, then use the Picture Center to turn you into a monkey."

Ben: "You can do that? Cool."

[I take Ben’s picture and make Tony take one of me with Ben. Wait, this is my fantasy right? Change that to: we take Ben’s picture and Ben insists on having me in a picture with him. Lots of joking and flirting ensues. We talk about animals and I tell him how I love animals and used to volunteer at the zoo… ]

Ben: "Have you seen the Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay? It's pretty awesome."

Me: "No, I’ve been meaning to get over there but I’ve been so busy I haven’t had time."

Ben: "Do you have some time after you finish today? – I’m staying there and I have free passes - I’d love to take you – and we can grab something to eat afterward."

Me [heart racing]: "I’d love that, I just need to change because there’s no way I’m going out in public dressed as Miss Kodak Computer Geek. I need to throw on my jeans."

Ben: "Ok, why don’t I pick you up at 6, is that enough time?"

Me: "Perfect, see you then."

[I go back to my hotel, put my contacts in, take my hair down and put on my jeans and a tshirt, nothing fancy, but a nice improvement over the booth garb. As I go outside, I see Ben hanging out of a limo. He’s looking at me, but I don’t think he totally recognizes me.]

Me: "Hey Ben, see anything else cool at Comdex?"

Ben: "Oh. Yeah, that Memory Stick thing was cool. Wow, I almost didn’t recognize you."

Me: "Yeah, I was incognito at Comdex."

[Here it starts to become blurry, less detailed. I envision laughter and sharing stories… then, maybe because I actually AM happily married, my mind doesn’t let me take it any further, besides, I don’t think it would be appropriate material for a public blog, but let’s just say my imagination is working harder each day.]

Monday, November 20, 2000

I'm Baaaaccckkkk

Ok, I've been away a long time and after the last blog, you probably thought I ran a way and became a showgirl. No such luck. I did get to have a wonderful trip to San Diego and back to Las Vegas. I don't want to bore you with the details, so I'll give highlights.

San Diego

Arrived with Ab (11-4)... we checked out the beach and checked out the bods (I do my looking strictly to be a second pair of eyes for Ab ;) The beach scene was very easy on the eyes, however, the lack of studly specimens at the conference left Abby feeling sick - or more likely it was the start of the flu. I made her take her vitamin C and echinacea - I think Abby drank more tea that week than was spilled into the Boston Harbor way back when - and it helped a little, but she was still low on energy and couldn't really enjoy all that San Diego had to offer. We'll have to go back sometime and finally get those surfing lessons Ab.

Side note: as we watched the election results roll in, I heard more expletives out of Abby's mouth than a New York City cab driver, and I loved every minute of it! You go girl!

Los Angeles

On thursday (11-9), Abby flew out early and I drove up to LA to meet up with my brother, as lack of funds and loneliness would not have allowed me to stay in SD until Sunday. I had one quick day in LA - and of course spotted NO celebrities (the Karma just gets worse and worse), then we hopped in Bro's car for the 3 and a half hour drive to Vegas. For the first hour of the trip, my brother had the radio so loud I thought my eardrums were going to bleed. I wanted to say something, but first of all, I'd have to scream at the top of my lungs to be heard and second, he was doing me a favor so I didn't want to break his groove - after all, he drives from LA to Vegas a couple times a month. I drove along thinking in my head, "is he seriously going to drive for almost four hours with the music so loud that we can't have any kind of conversation and we have to stare off into the darkness with nothing to look at but the hypnotic glow of the tail lights in front of us?", when Christina (his wife of 2 weeks) finally said that she thought she was going to die soon if he didn't turn it down. He was a perfect gentleman and turned the music almost off for the rest of the trip. Then we just had to struggle to find stuff to talk about.


Let's see, Vegas went by pretty quick once the less-than-excitement-filled weekend ended. My Brother (the ex male-slut and now married one) and his wife have changed from party animals to the Cleavers in a short matter of time. I could barely get them out of the house. Other than that, Vegas consisted of working all day amongst mostly male computer geeks and boogying down all night at the clubs. I did see one Elvis, but he was the obese, drug addicted, hit with the ugly stick version of Elvis.

Then we celebrated my birthday for almost two days straight, it was fabulous. When we (mostly Ted) asked people how old they thought I was, I got everything from 18 up to 24 - but with 24 as a maximum, I'm as happy as a pig in, err, mud. So when I take on my new identity, I will easily get away with shaving 8 years off my actual age. I can only say hallelujah for good genes, moisturizer and sunscreen (you younguns take note - it's NEVER too early for sunscreen!)

Other highlights include:
- FOOD to die for... belgian fries with dipping sauce, yummy soup at Voodoo Cafe, Krispy Kremes, Filet Mignon, Pumpkin Cheesecake - heck, even the Kosher Hot Dogs at Comdex were good... aaahhhh, my second chin says thanks
- DANCING - shook my thang a number of times, most notably at RA and Baby's - two very happnin' places in Vegas
- ENERGY - thank Heaven for Red Bull energy drink - allowed me to do the, "there's no sleeping in Las Vegas" thing pretty successfully
- FRIENDS... though there were some special people missing from the mix, we had a great group of people and had a really good time

Back Home

Though I had a great time, I was very happy to get back home. Chuckie baked me a cake - and made frosting from scratch!! And it was yummy!!! Also while I was away he became a neat freak. He used to be a wanna-be neat freak - he'd talk about how clean he wanted the house but wouldn't take any action necessary for it to happen. Now he's actually putting things away, cleaning sinks, fun stuff like that. I must admit he's nagging me to do the same and I'm not sure the messy-slob-don't-tell-me-what-to-do-Scorpio in me can handle it, but I'm doing ok so far.

I'm glad to be home.

Friday, November 03, 2000

Cowboys and Pimps and Ho's, OH MY!

Well, I'm back from Vegas, it was a good trip, not the most fun I've ever had, but good. I've realized, after spending a week with my family, why I've needed therapy in the past and will need it again. Travelling with my Mom, Stepdad and Sister - who all haven't flown in many years - was like "The Clampets go to Vegas". My Stepdad is like, "oh, just get me checked in while I go have a smoke". Ahh, Dickie, if it were that easy, we'd be having a few more planes blow up on us, now wouldn't we? No, you have to show them your ID and answer those every so telling and critical security questions, "had anyone unknown to you asked you to carry anything on the plane?". Who would answer Yes to this? Even the stupid people would think, "no, I feel like Bob Smith, who gave me this beautiful little package, is my best friend after we talked for almost an hour over airport food".

So we get there and the Clampets turn into poster children for Gambler's Anonymous (the BEFORE pictures). My sister plopped her butt down at video keno and stayed there for almost 5 days straight - she literally slept only about 14 hours the ENTIRE trip. It's amazing how this sweet little bubbly redhead transformed into a psycho zombie bitch from hell when you tried to get her to stop gambling and do something productive, like eat. "I'm NOT leaving this machine" she hissed. And proceeded to lose enough money to feed an entire 3rd world family for two years.

So we stayed at the hotel that just happened to be the headquarters for the Rodeo Championships that were in town. I hadn't seen so many 10 gallon hats and oversized belt buckles since Bonanza was on tv. The cowboys weren't all that interesting though. The fun really started when we went to Mandalay Bay where the 10th Annual Pimp 'N Ho Ball was being held, hosted by Dennis Rodman. The place was a Skanketeria. Anyone who ever wanted a good excuse to wear as little as possible and get away with it, was there if full force. Thongs abounded. Yes, they did a damn good job looking like Hos.

Before all the debauchery started though, we went to Red Rock Canyon and fulfilled my Dad's dying wish. He wanted his ashes sprinkled in the mountains. He lived in Las Vegas for many years and loved to go up to the mountains and Red Rock. To be honest, it would have made more sense to sprinkle him on a video poker machine - since he was the one who started the obsessive-compulsive lineage I'm part of today - but it was beautiful to finally let him have a final resting place 9 and a half years after his death. R.I.P. Dad, I hope you hit the Royal Flush up there!