Wednesday, November 30, 2005

A hollow sort of aching

Based on her most recent operation, it looks as though my aunt Marie is going to lose her leg. The decision will be made next week.

I have a meeting on the west side today, so I spent last night at Mom and Dad's house. I came home to my mom crying on her bed. And that scares me. Even at 23, it's scary to see that my mom is vulnerable.

Mom is a wreck. Grandma is falling apart. Emma, Aunt Marie's youngest daughter, is acting out to the point that there is fear of what she will do to herself and others.

And there's nothing to be done. We to sit and wait and watch the family fall apart. We hope and we pray.

We pretend we're not as scared as we really are.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Blogger misteriosa

When I posted that crap picture of me yesterday, I did it with the belief that I'd previously posted a picture you could actually see me in.

Wrong.

In leiu of writing something, I'll take the easy way out.

Here is me, and one of my more favorite hockey players, Nicklas Lidstrom*.



*I had to go for the almost-bragging, almost a celebrity picture because I'm afraid to get my ass beat by a friend/family member who found their picture posted to a blog that they didn't know about and probably contains some smack-talking about them or someone they're related to.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Wedding bliss

Liz's wedding was breathtakingly gorgeous. It was strange, looking at her reception and knowing that, if I ever marry, my wedding will not have a chance in hell at being as extravagant and elegent as hers was.

But that's okay.

Now, lets get to the pictures. I hardly have any to share; I'm shitty at taking pictures - and really awesome at carrying a camera around all day for no particular reason.

I let Jenna, the flower girl, take a few shots. They were awfully beautiful.




She even mentioned to catch your favorite blogger. Hmmm.


The reception was exceptionally beautiful. The church was, too, but apparently I didn't take any pictures there.


Reception, again.


These pictures aren't great. I suspect it is because they were taken just as we walked into the room, rushed to put away our belongings and check out the room before guests were allowed in. At this time, I was hungry enough to eat my flowers.

Uh oh!

I caught the bouquet last night.

Hahaha.

Cannot wait to tell Colin the good news.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Liz, Louise, limbs and life

Up until Wednesday or Thursday, I had been resisting getting excited about Liz's wedding. Sometime this week, though, I started to let myself realize that I would enjoy the wedding. Pretty dress. Good food. Beautiful location. Lots of family. Sort of silly (now that the showers and all of the other obligations are over) to pretend that it is such a task.

Not only will my dad's entire family be there, but my mom's parents and her sisters and their families were invited. Lots of cousin time. Including my cousins from Chicago. Very fun.

When I got home from work yesterday, I learned that my Aunt Marie was in the hospital. Aunt Marie fell and broke her leg a few weeks ago. It was rough, the first few weeks, but she just recently got her spirits and her strength up enough to realize that she could live with her temporary disability. Things were looking up.

Were.

Her leg is infected. She went into surgery immediately. The goal, now, is basically to attempt to save her leg.

My heart is broken.

Aunt Marie has severe, severe diabetes. It nearly killed her as a child; it's always been a struggle to keep everything in check. She does the best she can, but the disease has a stranglehold on her.

It, of course, is a very large factor in the infection.

The scariest part of this is seeing how scared my mom is. My mom's pretty high up in the medical profession; she doesn't needlessly get scared. And my cousin Anna, a third-year nursing student, was the one to take Aunt Marie to the hospital. She knows a little too much of what is going on, which tears me up. I know that I cannot fathom how afraid she is right now.

The entire situation has been amplified by the fact that my Aunt Louise is in for Liz's wedding. Aunt Louise, as I've mentioned before, is a first-class bitch. She got on the phone with my mom yesterday and she - a lawyer - insisted that this was someone's fault. She obviously needs a new doctor, she told my mom - the college nursing professor, because this is his fault. He should've known.

I'm pretty sure my mom cried as she told Aunt Louise, no, it isn't her doctor. It's her body.

Aunt Louise should know. She's diabetic, too.

But instead she's aggressive and blaming and I am so, so sure that she has my grandma believing that this is her fault, too.

It's going to be very hard, with this weighing on my mind, to be entirely happy at the wedding today.

A 500-person wedding seems awfully small when compared to a life.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

The biggest turkey of them all

Thanksgiving this year will be small; Mom, Meg and I made a mere seven pies.

We're celebrating with Grandma the Troll for the first time since I was in elementary school. She always goes to Chicago to spend the holiday with my cousins; her and Grandpa are staying in town so they can go to Cousin Liz's wedding.

The most anticipated guest of the day is my sister’s darling “friend” Jay who, despite all of my desires, just won’t fucking go away. Meg asked me if I would be offended if he came to Thanksgiving. I told her that I didn’t want him there.

So my mom is pissed at me. According to my mom’s ruin-Alyson’s-Thanksgiving logic, we’re choosing between Meg and Jay being under her watchful eye or Meg running off to Jay’s “house” (he definitely lives in the basement of a friend’s condo. Sweet.).

Fucking shit.

I definitely cannot even act remotely humane when Jay is around. I do not talk to him. I am tense, agitated and clearly annoyed the entire time he is in my presence. I’m a really huge bitch and – sorry – I’m just going to have to be a huge bitch if he invades my Thanksgiving. It’s justified for two reasons:

1. He’s Jay and he’s a huge fucking loser.
2. That motherfucker is huge. He will eat into my leftovers.

Today’s lesson: don’t fuck with my food or my sister. I will hate you and I will do my best to make your Thanksgiving as awkward and uncomfortable as possible.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Stages

I like workdays like today. I started early. I left late. I was too busy for lunch. But there was no misery. I don't think I glanced at the clock once. This may have had something to do with the fact that I was exhausted - Kevin and Colin both called me well after midnight.

Colin and I had a really, really good conversation at approximately 2:00 this morning. It cleared up some issues that I was rather uncertain about, and I think it eased some of his insecurities, too. We'll see where this goes. At this point, we're both tiptoeing around this - like we're so happy that we're (finally) at this point that we're scared to tip the boat and start back where we began. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. Be just friends. Judging by the content of our chat yesterday, though, we may be moving out of the Total Pussy Stage and into the Cautiously Shy stage. I would certainly welcome that.

Mostly, though, I'm freaked out and I'm nervous. It has nothing to do with Colin and everything to do with the fact that I'm so bloody naive when it comes to boy/girl relations. Colin really is a good guy and I most certainly trust him, but the unknown is just really, really scary. I don't think anything but experience is going to change that. I have the tendency of over thinking and overanalyzing everything; this isn't an exception and it's definitely not lending itself to the retention of my sanity. I'm timid by nature.

When it comes right down to it, I need to get on The Pill and let what happens happen.

The end.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Cannot. String. Together. Coherent. Sentences.

Work and The Wedding have made this into an extremely long week. The amount I ache and the frequency with which I whine makes it feels like Thursday. An end-of-month Thursday in which I wasted my entire day in meetings, in fact.

This hectic week, the RENT soundtrack is keeping me afloat. Since Aviva mailed it to me, I've listened to nothing else. I'm back to my RENThead, 16-year-old self, belting lyrics so loudly (and so badly) that my voice should probably be hoarse.

Tomorrow, it's back to Mom and Dad's. Pies will be baked. Family time will be spent. I will try to restrain my appetite enough to ensure that I will still fit in my bridesmaid dress on Saturday. Given the current extended-family climate, I question if curbing my appetite will be as big of a chore as it normally would be. We're spending Thanksgiving with my mom's side of the family and things are...strange. Very much so.

Everything in my life is strange right now. The Colin situation is just - woah. I have yet to find the words to describe all of that to you. Work is mostly off limits. I scored two goals in my soccer game tonight and I lost my fucking MP3 player. I forgot that the John Mayer Trio live CD came out today. And I should be in bed right now.

Why don't you put that in your pipe and smoke it?

Monday, November 21, 2005

Confused, cluttered

There is so much going on right now. The latest in the Colin drama is just the start of it. Work is heating up. There is crisis on Mom's side of the family. Cousin Liz gets married this weekend. Baking 1 gajikillion pies is on the horizon.

I don't know which way is up.

As usual.

I skipped going to the gym tonight for a shopping trip with the hopes that I would:
a. clear my head
b. find a duvet cover.

I lose. Neither accomplished. The clutter in my skull will be emptied only by time. And only an act of God will find me a solid-color duvet cover that matches the rest of my bedroom. As I'm also keeping my regular, striped comforter on my bed (aka sleep sauna), it really needs to be a solid color. A bright solid color, in fact. It also needs to cost $2.

I'm afraid that alcohol gave Colin the courage to talk to me on Friday night and we're never going to work this out because he can't communicate with me. I'm anxious about the wedding. I am counting down the seconds until the RENT movie comes out. I'm bitter because I have to grow my nails out for the pre-wedding manicure and I hate having even moderately longish nails. I'm busy. My shoulder kind of hurts. I started my period today. Lucy called me from Thailand yesterday, which brought me a lot of happiness but little clarity. I'm worried about my mom because of how much she worries about her sister. I'm annoyed because I don't have answers.

FedEx delivered my tickets to the December 3 DMB show today.

I'm scared.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Old Tom and the difference

Oh, goodness.

I should be more distraught about the Michigan/Ohio State game. But, I’m at work and it’s busy as hell and I have my mind on other things.

Colin, actually.

Yep. We’re back to him.

I went out with him last night. It was just the two of us, we drank and played air hockey (I won, for the record, 2 of 3 games) and teased and gossiped and talked.

It was getting near the end of the night when he brought up the topic of a funny story he’d been meaning to tell me. I’ve known about this funny story since last Wednesday, but he refused to tell me it until we were face-to-face.

I was at Colin’s work on Tuesday. After I left, Tom, an older man who works for Colin, approached him to point out the fact that, whenever this girl in red was around, he seemed to be nearby.

The girl in red is me.

Colin told Tom that we were good friends. Tom asked Colin if we had ever dated. After Colin said no, he told Colin that he hoped that we could try dating one day.

He left the story at that. We moved onto stories of his parents and siblings, the dichotomy between my bridesmaid dress and Thanksgiving dinner, work, roommates and responsibilities.

We didn’t return to the story of old Tom until we were in his driveway, sitting in Stella, and it all came tumbling out of his mouth between kisses.

I’m reaching a point
Where I need to be with
Someone
Who understands me
And my relationship with my job
And the long, shitty hours I have to work
You’re one of my best friends
How long have we known each other?
I tell you things that I don’t tell anyone else.
I know we keep different schedules.
And I don’t even know where your new place is
(I promised to draw him a map)
We’ve screwed around a little before
But this would be different
Even tomorrow, when we’re both sober
I want to date you
Seriously
Exclusively
What do you think?
What do you say?

I’m game, I said.

...if this really is different.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Today = good

Today was one of the more perfect days I’ve had in a while. I didn’t work; that alone tips the day towards perfect.

I started the day with an eyebrow wax. It was not among the most newsworthy portions of my day, but it also did not include excruciating pain or the letting of any blood. I cannot complain.

Mom and I have been planning today for a few weeks now. Then she was scheduled for a meeting and I got begged to work. We both managed to weasel out of our obligations for a little Christmas shopping spree.

And when I say little, I actually mean big.

Mom has six nieces, all relatively close in age/style/look/taste/interests, etc. Generally, Christmas presents for the nieces follow a common trend – everybody gets a watch, fleeces for one and for all, pajamas, jewelry, whatever.

I would tell you all what the present theme is this year, but I’m afraid of being secretly read (hi, cousins!) and ruining the Christmas surprise. So, we’ll just say that it’s an awfully nice gift that we had to go to the outlet mall for.

(So nice that my sister and I nabbed presents in accordance to the theme, too! Score.)

There was much more shopping to be done. A return visit to the Pottery Barn outlet (insert mental images of makes-me-weak-in-the-knees lamp and homey new kitchen rugs here, because I could describe neither in less than 400 words), Banana Republic, Nike, Gap, BCBG, Adidas and some random store that had a lot of salt and pepper shakers. I’m definitely forgetting some stores; I remain in shopping coma and expect to be in this state for a handful of days.

Here’s what makes the Birch Run outlet mall the best outlet mall: Zehnder’s. About 10 minutes from the outlets, Zehnder’s is this huge-ass family-owned restaurant that specializes in two things:
1. Wait staff in corny-ass uniforms.
2. Ungodly delicious (and ungodly unhealthy) family-style chicken dinners.

So, when you’re done shopping your ass off, you drive to Zehnder’s (which is in the middle of the cutest old Bavarian town) and you eat your ass back on.

This is what they feed you:
-Chicken
-Garlic toast and cheesy spread
-Chicken noodle soup
-Cottage cheese
-Coleslaw
-Bread
-Cranberries
-Green beans
-Stuffing
-Mashed potatoes
-Buttered noodles
-Ice cream

This is the result:
-Extreme fullness.

It was wonderful.

And then, Mammy and I drove home. I spent some quality time with my dad. And now I’m going out with Colin.

Is the excitement of my life killing all of you?

I thought so.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

It's a four-credit course

Is anyone interested in a lesson in stupidity?

Would you like to learn how to make poor decisions?

Put your foot in your mouth more often! Smack yourself in the head with increased frequency. Amaze family and friends with your inadequacies. Fuck it up, and fuck it up often. It's easier than you think!

Contact me, Professor Alyson. My class is always in session.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

November is sweeps month

On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the bestest and 1 the worstest.

.Working in general – 3
.Working my job, in particular – 2
.Hershey’s special dark chocolate with almonds Nuggets – 10
.Having a bag of Hershey’s special dark chocolate with almonds Nuggets in my apartment 10 days before I’m in a wedding – 2
.Having no self-restraint to avoid a bag of Hershey’s special dark chocolate with almond Nuggets 10 days before I’m in a wedding - 1
.My Sunday soccer team – 1
.My Tuesday soccer team – 7
.Having a good friend who works for a major record label and likes to send you free CDs - 9
.My Lutz jump – 6
.Stella – 10
.The weather this week – 1
.Current state of my feet - 1
.Putting the warm ‘n’ snuggly down comforter on my bed – 10
.Yoga class – 6
.Charming little family seamstress telling me how nice the cut of my bridesmaid dress looks on me – 10
.Charming little family seamstress charging me exorbitant amounts of money to hem my bridesmaid dress – 1
.Jergen’s Natural Glow moisturizer – 8
.Not having to go to the tanning salon to avoid looking pasty and ghost-like at Cousin Liz’s wedding – 10
.Size of cable bill – 2
.Size of cable bill in relation to amount I utilize cable – 1
.Life overall – 9
.Amount I can complain – 1
.Blogging day number 366 - 10

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Today marks it!

I’ve been blogging for a year!

I’ve had a good time. I’ve made good friends. I’ve wasted a countless number of countless numbers. I’ve learned a thing or two. Grown a bit. Wrote about a lot of insignificant crap. Got a job. Bitched. Smooched a boy. Swooned. Detailed my love of eating. Poured out a little of me on this here World Wide Web.

Be certain of this: I could’ve been doing worse.

Thanks for sharing with me, boys and girls. Ya’ll are what make it fun. And who keep me sane.

Monday, November 14, 2005

For the record:

The Laguna Beach season finale/sneak preview to season 3 and The Hills has made my life.

And that is why I am a big fat, awkward, socially inept loser.

[That's not even counting the Tupperware-esque jewlery party I went to tonight. Let's be kind not even get started with that one.]

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Nobody's home

I had an incredibly hard time getting out of bed this morning. I was surprised at how groggy my head was and how heavy my legs felt; I went to bed at 10:30 and slept until 6:30 - which is a very average, very decent amount of sleep today.

I was sluggish getting ready, despite a cup of tea. I stopped for a mocha on my way into work, hoping to kick myself out of my slump. No luck. I felt shaky, ever-so-slighly dizzy and generally not myself all morning.

I forced myself to eat lunch. It didn't help. I forced down more food a bit later, too. Still felt...yucky. Not sick, really. But definitely not like myself. There was no pep in my step.

It took me until 2:30 to realize why I felt so blah. 2:30! 2:30 to remember that I gave blood yesterday.

Uh. Hello?

When I say I'm out of it, ya'll should believe me.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Dad - 1, Me - 0

I went to Mom and Dad's house this morning because I was in the area, stopping by the family seamstress, and because napping on Mommy and Daddy's couch with darling little Stevie sounded delightful.

Dad came home for lunch shortly after I had gone to see the seamstress:

Dad: What have you been doing?
Me: I just brought my bridesmaid's dress in to be hemmed.
Dad: Hmmm.
Me: Which I wouldn't have had to do, if you would've made me just a little taller, jerkoff.
Dad: If I'd jerked off, you wouldn't be here to get that damn dress hemmed.

Game, set, match.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Peppermint Patty

Dear Man on the Bike Next to Me at the Gym,

I'm sorry. You were an innocent bystander, minding your own business, huffing, puffing and flinging sweat everywhere (I've never seen anyone do that so well!) and then I had to come in and your nose had to start twitching and...I apologize! I was hoping you wouldn't notice.

From a distance, I look innocent enough. What harm can a short, quiet 16-year-old (I'm actually 23, but we're just going by looks here, pal) do to your workout? Plenty, if she's wearing 3 ounces of IcyHot between her shoulder blades.

Did you actually think that I didn't see those sideways glances?

Yes, I stunk like an Altoid.

No, looking at me every six seconds would not fix the problem.

Yes, it was completely necessary. I overdosed on Celebrex and Ibuprofen. I could barely lift my arms over my head. Relief was nowhere in sight. I needed icy to dull the pain and hot to relax it away and I got it, damnit. So stop staring at me; mind your own business, plug into your circa-1984 Walkman and watch one of the 90 gajillion TVs.

Consider yourself lucky, buddy. Air pollution in the gym can be a lot more offensive than a little minty-fresh on the bikes in the morning.

Which reminds me. I'm not positive I put on deodorant before working out today.

You dodged a bullet, sir. And you have me to thank.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Cramped places, open spaces

I'm sleepy.

I'm not expected to show up at work until tomorrow afternoon; I would like to stay up late knitting and reading, and I would like to get up early to squeeze in a trip to the gym (cardio goes by fastest during Good Morning America) and a load of laundry and a little lazy time on the couch. What I need to do, however, is sleep. I doubt I'll do it. It is rare I afford myself the luxury of a day that I'm not exhausted.

I haven't always been such a busybody. But, in the last year, I've found that I prefer running myself into the ground over leisurely enjoying the finer points of life. I've realized that I'd rather run than walk. Packed schedules are reassuring - wide open days are the daunting ones.

There must be a reason for it.

There has to be something that I'm hiding from. Some reality that I'm avoiding. A truth I don't want to face.

I don't know what it is. I'm not sure how to find it.

I'm afraid that it's me.

Monday, November 07, 2005

I better snap out of this

Q. What the fuck is going on with me lately?

A. I have no bloody clue, but it's pissing me off.

The last two weeks, my work schedule has been excessively wacky (instead of the moderately wacky it normally is) and I'm paying the price. I cannot get my shit together for the life of me. Which is pretty much not cool.

Last Wednesday, I set my alarm clock for a half-hour too late.

On Saturday, I didn't set it at all.

Today, I set my alarm clock for the right time but left the house a half-hour late because I FORGOT WHAT TIME I LEAVE FOR WORK.

I am normally so on top of this shit. Punctual. Organized as hell. Kicking ass and taking names. Actually, I'm pretty much the best.

My lovely little streak has me slightly concerned.

I need to get my head into the game. This is like some horrible joke.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Return of Jock Girl

My Sunday:
3:00 am - bedtime
Noon - figure skating
6:00 - soccer game
7:45 - ice hockey.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Someone's laughing at me!

I work up last for work this morning; I rushed around like a bloody fool to get here on time.

And when I turned on Stella, Marc Broussard was playing.

"There ain't nothing like sleepin late on a Saturday!"

Charming.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Spawkward

I am the lamest 23-year-old this world has ever seen. Tomorrow is my cousin Liz's bachelorette party and my excitement-to-dread ratio is 1-to-99.

Blah.

I don't even like being this antisocial. I would prefer to be all fired up for an afternoon at the spa, and evening of drinking and the inevitable appearance of some nasty-ass male stripper. But I'm so not.

Fuck! Why am I wound so tight? How can I be this neurotic? Why would anyone even want to be around me? I can't even let myself have fun!

And it's only going to get worse.

I hope that I'm lucky enough to find a husband and pop out a few kids so that, when I'm 45, I can spend my weekends making casseroles and doing laundry.

Better than the alternative: 45, alone, singing showtunes in my Winnie the Pooh pajamas while clipping coupons for my favorite recipies out of my favorite cookbook - Delightful Dinners for One.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

It's my Saturday

Today is my day off; my work (and, thus, my sleep) schedule is so f'ed up right now. I'm impressed that I know what day it is.

I spent my morning in my pajamas. I watched Dawson's Creek and two episodes of Laguna Beach. The pleasure this brought me makes me wonder if I'm finally going through my teenage phase. In high school, I never watched stupid TV. I didn't try so damn hard to impress boys. I didn't buy so much makeup. I wasn't this shallow. I swear.

I finished the purse I started knitting over Memorial Day. I must post a picture of it. Ya'll will be so proud!

There are many exciting things on my plate for the remainder of my day off. I will buy a bulletin board for my kitchen, paint my toenails pink, go to Best Buy to spend the $100 gift card that's burning a hole in my wallet and eat massive amounts of pumpkin seeds. I should hit the gym, but I'm not going.

I haven't posted anything about Colin in a long, long time. We had a bad summer, but he's creeping back into the picture.

Yikes.
 
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