Saturday, July 30, 2011

A new endeavor

I need to sign up and verify my blog with this sentence: Get your dog a sombrero

Exciting, right?

Friday, July 29, 2011

Chloe Klopeke Talks About Things - Episode 1 "Dancing"

So this was a project I started back in February or March, but just got around to editing.

Basically, I ask my son about a topic, he tells me his thoughts and then I improvise based on his input.

He's also my camera man.


Chloe Klopeke Talks About Things!

Episode 1 - Dancing!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Beach Day

There is something to be said about being tossed around in Lake Michigan when the waves are particularly strong.  It's almost cleansing in a way, I guess.  (Is that the verbage I wanted to use?  I don't know.)

Perfect. Beach. Day.
Laughs and I went to Mount Baldy Beach on Tuesday.  It's part of the Indiana Dunes Lakeshore and it's one of my favorite beaches.  Somewhat private, no lifeguards, and on a weekday later in the afternoon you can find your own spot yards away from other beach goers. 

Last summer I spent every Tuesday or Wednesday at Mount Baldy Beach with one of my girls.  I clearly remember the first trip we made: a cooler summer day, breezy, and the waves were strong and powerful.  We'd spent most of our time there lying on our towels, listening to the radio just laughing and talking. 

At some point, however, I remember the water calling to us--the waves in their push and pull motion beckoning us to jump in, much like a close friend waves her hand to summon you over to whisper a secret or to tell you that there's a piece of toilet paper stuck to your shoe.  A miniature piece of salvation from something or other. 

I was afraid the water would be bone-chilling.  I don't do well in cold water.  My body locks up and my lungs momentarily forget how to expand and contract.  Even on unbearably hot days I still would rather be doused in water that's just about lukewarm.

Nonetheless, I couldn't resist the roar of the powerful waves that day.  It was only about 70 degrees out, but the sun was hot and the breeze felt like the soft breath of someone at the back of your neck - sweet and warm but still sending slight chills.   We both walked slowly out to the shore, ready to be met by frigid waters that stung our feet and made us gasp and laugh at our own squeamishness at the same time.

Mother Nature isn't a cruel woman though.  And as our toes hit the surf, it was like stepping into a refreshing bath.  We stayed in the water for an hour or so, the waves beating against us and smacking us playfully in the face.  We laughed and we played, as the water rocked and tossed us until finally the sun started to sink down into the horizon.

I remember that day so vividly because well, if you know me, I live very metaphorically. 

(And if you don't know me...guess what?  I live very metaphorically.) 

I was going through a rough time, being unemployed with seemingly no hope in sight.  I was working to change the way I viewed myself and my world.  I was in a huge period of transformation -- one I had actually asked for because it was so important for me to really figure out just who the fuck I was.

Especially with 30 creeping right around the corner.

That experience -- that day at the beach last July -- felt like one of those moments where the Universe was like, "Tiff, enjoy things.  Be at peace.  You are taken care of.  And for godsakes, have fun."

And for the rest of the summer, and even up through now, that's exactly how I strive to live my life.

Cut to this past Tuesday with Laughs.   As I stepped outside to pick him up before our beach day, I realized the weather was strikingly similar to that July day last year.  It was cooler than it had been in a couple weeks and there was a soft, playful breeze.

We made the drive to Michigan City, laughing (of course) and talking, listening to music, sunroof open, windows down.  After unpacking the car and making the fairly long trek to the beach, I could see that not only was the weather the same as that day a year ago, but the waves...the waves were so big and powerful.  It was as if Mount Baldy Beach was welcoming me back from my long hiatus. 

Laughs and I set up our spot on an empty section of beach, but unlike last year, I did not fear frigid water.  We put on some sun screen and I ran laughing and smiling straight into the drink.

Again, like a refreshing bath Lake Michigan swallowed me up, and tossed us around.  For hours we stayed in that water - waiting for huge waves and being taken by surprise by the ones that snuck up on us and smacked us in the back of our heads.

So now, here I am, sitting at my computer thinking about those two different beach days - one where I was afraid to leap into the water and one where I dove straight in with reckless abandon. 

And both times I was met with joy, and laughter, and fun. 

Only this second time, I didn't waste any moments of being able to enjoy the water because I feared an outcome I couldn't see---that I couldn't even possibly know.

Which is kind of a metaphor for the way I'd like to live my life.  (Even though sometimes?  Sometimes I still fear the sting of the cold water.)

Holy fuck, you guys. 

I'm so deep right now. 

Friday, July 22, 2011

Everything in its own perfect time.

So, I’ve left you all hanging for almost 2 WHOLE WEEKS.  

I tell you I’m going on my first date in over a year and a half and then I disappear off the face of the blogosphere.  I am the worst.

But look, I offer you my penance in the form of a blog post NOW.  Right now.  When I feel like writing – rather than writing for the sake of not being late to post.  

So, I bet you’re all wondering, “Hey, Tiff.  How’d the Big Date go?” you nosy sons of bitches—THAT I ADORE. 

The short of it: Wonderballs.

The long of it: My Date, we shall call him…hmmm…I need something descriptive, yet incognito.  Something fun, but not too corny.  Something…that I’ll remember if once again I fail to update my blog in an appropriate amount of time.  (Which is, as you all know, highly likely.  Hey, at least I admit my faults, right?)

Hmmm…Ah, I know…

Laughs.  I’ll give him the pseudonym “Laughs” because he’s provided a lot of ‘em over the past couple weeks.  And laughing is also one of my most favorite things in history.  Right up there with the thunderstorms, improv, the smell of roofing asphalt (no seriously...I LOVE that smell), favorite food...which is the perfect segue into the rest of the story...

Okay then, so Saturday the 9th, Laughs took me out on a date.  To a polish buffet…that had STUFFED CABBAGE.

OMFG.  My mouth just had an orgasm.

If you know me, then you already know how far on the “You Are Awesome and I Want to Keep Getting to Know You” scale Laughs progressed with that one simple gesture.

If you don’t know me, I’ll just say, he skyrocketed straight to the top.  If there’s one thing in this world that makes Tiff a happy girl, it’s freaking stuffed cabbage.  And being that it was a buffet, the words “All-You-Can-Eat Stuffed Cabbage” are translated by my brain the same way it would translate “You have just won 800 billion dollars.”

We hung out pretty late into the night.  Dinner was followed by a really great conversation and then a show.  As far as first dates go, this was pretty much in the top 5 of all time.  Which spot it landed in, well, I know the answer…but I’m pretty sure Laughs reads this blog and I like to keep him on his toes.   (Sorry, Laughs…maybe someday I’ll tell you the answer. Maybe.  Just....maybe.

Without going into the details (look, I love sharing my insights and experiences with you all, but a girl’s gotta have SOME secrets, doesn’t she?), we've been out a few more times.  And I am having a blast. 

Laughs is a great guy, and I’m having an awesome time.   

Speaking of time, that’s what I really wanted to talk about, but since I’ve used so much of this post talking about the actual date, and I don’t want to bore the shit out of you all, I will just say this:

I’ve recently learned, and am now currently putting into practice, that everything that happens does so in its own perfect time.  What’s that mean?  It means things happen when they happen because that’s exactly when they’re supposed to happen.

Before this date, I feared I was becoming an aloof, unavailable, ice queen.  

No seriously. 
I was more than content to just be me, not let anyone in, and dating was one of the furthest things from my mind (especially with my online dating site horrors).

And then, like a fart in a library---BAM---it just came out of nowhere.  And honestly?  I think that’s just great.  

So, yes, I thoroughly enjoyed my first date in a long time.  And I’m having a great time getting to know Laughs.  

So I’m just letting Time do its thing.  It knows what’s up.   No rush, no pressure.  None.  Of.  It.

Meanwhile, I’m just gonna sit back, relax, and enjoy the shit out of every moment – both the ones with Laughs, and all the rest that make up this incredible, abundant, crazy-beautiful thing that is my life. 

Saturday, July 9, 2011


It's Date Day. 

Which is really just another typical day, only in my anticipation I woke up at 8:15am...

...on a GD Saturday. 

Okay, okay, really I just had to piss like a racehorse due to the fact that I drank endless quantities of water last night to prevent any unflattering bloating today.  Seems to have worked, although one can never be too sure. 

I also went on a killing spree. 

For some reason, my patio has been attacked by these flying ant-like creatures.  They're not termites (you can be sure as shit I Googled that), they're big, and meaty, and winged.  And annoying as fuck.

So, I busted out my trusty RaidMAX Bug Barrier (This stuff truly works.  I highly recommend it.), and slayed the shit out of these swarming beasts. 

But, you know, I'm a peaceful soul.  I don't typically kill bugs.  Not even the gargantuan, capable-of-devouring-a-human-face spiders that are so bountiful at my home.  So, I feel kinda bad, I guess.

It was to the point that when I happened to see a small, harmless, although I'd no way in hell touch it, spider scrambling across the stairs, I shouted, "Run! Run!  I just sprayed!  Get out of there!"

I'm pretty sure he's now dead.  This stuff is no joke. 

I keep seeing one or two of those fucking flying ant-demons, much less than before I sprayed.  And then, a few minutes later---gone.  So it's working. 

In other news, I can't wait to start getting ready.  That's one of my favorite parts of anything I'm looking forward to.  I even bought actual shave gel.  I know.

Oh, and deodorant that smells like a freaking pomegranate had babies with Heaven itself. 

Of course, I had a run-in with some sensitive skin issues this past week, and now it looks like I have a giant hickey...on my chest. And I can't cover it up, so I'm just gonna rock it out.  "Hey, Date, I hope you don't mind, but I brought my fake sex nibble along.  Don't worry, he's pretty chill and doesn't really say much.  Plus, you could always use it as an excuse to catch glimpses of my rack.  So the way I see it, it's kind of a win, right?"

Ah.  Well, it's almost time to hop in the shower, wash mah' hairs, and prune the stalks.  Cannot.  Wait. 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

What 2.5 Years of Chosen Singledom Has Done for My (future) Dating Life

No, this is not my ovulation calendar.  Gross.

That's right, 2.5 years as a singleton.

By choice, no less!

(Coincidentally, 1.5 years since my last proper date, as well.)

A little backstory:  I chose to end my last relationship after nearly 3 years.  Without getting into nitty gritty details (because living in the past isn't really living at all, now is it?), I just felt a strong urge to experience life on my own. Whatever that meant.

Admittedly, I suppose, in my early to mid twenties I was a serial dater.  I think the longest I went between dates or boyfriends was maybe 2 months.  (Wow, that's a stark realization right there.)  But in my defense, I've lived my entire adult life pretty ass backwards.  Pregnant, Baby, Married, Divorced, and then Dating. 

In short, I didn't really know that, hey...that whole dating thing is a lot better when you know who the fuck you are as a person.  (Or, that's my assumption...which I can almost back up with facts...almost.)

So I ended that relationship 2.5 years ago because I wanted to experience my life on my own.  And I did just that.  I made new friends, dove into improv, bought a house, had great moments.

I had hard ones too.  Like losing my job, dealing with being unemployed for a year, struggling to make ends meet (I still toil with that one, but I manage.  And I realize it's temporary.  Plus, the experience has made me an ideal bargain shopper and deal hunter, and a great budget-maker.  So there's that.)

And in all honesty, for a while there I thought, "Dating?  Why even bother?  THIS is great!  I do what I want, when I want (minus the boundaries set being a parent and all), I don't have stories to tell about being unhappy in a relationship, I'm not overthinking stupid thoughts, I'm not questioning my belief in myself.  I LOVE this!"  In short, although I'm always open, I wasn't too concerned with any romantic endeavors.

And yes, even on Valentine's Day.

Combine all this luscious personal growth with a shift in my outlook on life, and BAM...everything changed.

So then, guess what happens?

Go ahead.  Guess.


Not only do I get asked out on a date---an actual date---via an actual phone call---with an actual guy...

...but I'm looking forward to it.  

For a few reasons:

1.) I bought a new outfit.  'Nuff said there.

2.) It's been 1.5 years.

3.) Meeting newish (I know the guy somewhat already) people and doing fun things is always a win.

4.) I am enjoying the FUCK out of just staying in each and every tiny moment.  I mean, at any given time, all we have is the moment we're currently in.  So, for the first time ever, my approach is not, "How is this going to play out?"  or  "Remember the last time?"  or whatever bullshit my girl brain likes to try and concoct.  (Fact: girl brains have the potential to concoct a lot of bullshit.  Ladies, realize, this isn't YOU, it's a part of your brain that just wants to protect you...and so it tells you a lot of stupid shit.  Ignore it.  Love it, because it's a part of you, but take it with a grain of salt.  I can't speak for the mens...but I assume boy brains can concoct a lot of bullshit too.  So if this resonates, heed it dudes.  Heed.  It.)

4.5) So what I'm saying is, instead of thinking outside of the moment, whether it be future or past, every little moment I have, I enjoy.  And if in the moment, something regarding this upcoming date/person with whom I'm going on said date comes up, I just freaking enjoy THAT.  No past, no future...just whatever it happens to be at that moment.

Which has, for me, redefined this whole wacky dating thing entirely.

Because there's just no way for me to NOT be full of joy.  Sure, there's always potential for this to blow up in my face like a balloon filled with piss, snakes, and dead bees (or whatever else is nasty and isn't something you'd want in your face)...but I know now how to just be me.  

So whatever happens, I can go back to that happily.  Because in either situation, I'm a whole person regardless.  So, you all seems fun and interesting...and even somewhat expansive now. 

And based on what I currently know, Saturday (that's date night) will at the very least be full of laughter. 

And that, to me, is wonderballs.