Saturday, December 31, 2005

Rewind and review

I am happy that this year happened.

I’m very happy that it’s over.

Here is to a bigger, more remarkable, better, happier, more memorable, sillier, healthier, more prosperous and satisfying 2006.

And here’s to a New Year’s Eve that is significantly more interesting than last year’s.

XOXOX, everyone!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

If I absolutely must be sick

I’ve been sickly since I woke up on Monday, the day after Christmas. On a normal December 26, I start where I left off the night before, head in refrigerator and jaws a’ chomping. This year...not the case. I was snotty (my nose, that is, not my attitude) and completely lacking an appetite.

Me! The Girl Who Loves to Eat More Than Anything in the World!

Yeah.

So, I choked down some orange juice. I begrudgingly ordered and drank a Cinnimint tea at Caribou (because it felt awfully rude to have suggested that Lucy and I meet for coffee and knitting and then not bother to drink anything).

I ate a business card-sized piece of turkey at work.

And that was it. For an entire day. For me! The Queen of the Fridge!

Rather bizarre. Definitely put the pudding and pizza I ate after having my wisdom teeth extracted to shame.

Yesterday, it was more of the same. Skipped breakfast. Soup for lunch – more because I felt like I should eat it than because I was actually hungry. Dinner didn’t fire me up much, either.

I don’t feel painfully crappy. Just a congested nose and a stomach that isn’t much interested in being full.

There are definitely are good parts to this illness.

I recognized it this morning when I stepped on the scale.

Holiday weight, what?

I’m so vain.

Monday, December 26, 2005

The Christmas inventory

a.k.a. I'm so fucking spoiled and I'm willing to admit it on this here blog 'cause I'm too lazy to write about anything else.

CuteTools! Hammer
CuteTools! Screwdriver
Ralph Lauren thermal
Target gift card
MAC makeup brushes
Brown Jones New York sweater
Muffin tins
Old Navy gift card
Fuzzy socks
Everyday Food magazine subscription
USB flash drive
Benefit Dandelion blush
iTunes gift card
Vinnie’s Tampon Case (hahahaha. So funny. I love.)
GAP long-sleeved t-shirt
Pinstriped GAP pants
Striped GAP belt
Old Navy long-sleeved t-shirt
Mixer
Banana Republic sweater
Pretty, lacy, yellow tank top
Sports bras
Workout tank tops
The cutest pair of lavender sweats EVER
Framed artwork for the living room of my apartment
Big ol’ shadowbox for my bedroom
Soccer sandals
Coach purse
Uggs (which I never wanted or needed or even slightly desired. But I have them and I have fallen in love with them and I might wear them to sleep tonight.)

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Cards 'n' cookies 'n' crap

Everything has been so crappo lately that I forgot to tell you guys about the Christmas card my Grandpa (not my biological grandpa, actually, but my deceased grandmother’s boyfriend of 957 years) sent us?

“I will be out of town for Christmas. Please omit me from your Christmas lists.”

HA! Who does that? Who writes that in a Christmas card? Clearly, he’s thinking about how he’d rather not buy presents for all of us and all of his current girlfriend’s family but, woah, that’s sort of harsh rejection. And sort of hilarious, too. He’s definitely dumping us for his new girlfriend’s family; sort of shitty, seeing as he was with my grandma for 30some years and is the only grandpa any of us have ever known.

Oh well.

Yesterday was the first day I felt even a spark of the Christmas spirit.

I haven’t been Christmas’s biggest supporter in quite a few years – not since going to college, really, and missing out on all of the pre-Christmas excitement that the house seemed to be filled with when I was a kid. It’s lame, yes, but I’m lame. And old.

But, baking Christmas cookies pulls the anticipation out of me. Baking, along with the quality family time, is my favorite part of the season. I love that Christmas obligates me to spend time with my mom and sister, covered in dough and dusted with flour. It’s so ritualistic and comforting and domestic. And yummy.

I love eating.

The highlight of my Christmas Eve thus far: our company mascot making a very random, very hilarious appearance at work today.

(Yes, I’m working on Christmas Eve. It’s a very abbreviated day, so I won’t even bother to complain.)

I’m excited about the presents my mom and I bought for all of my female cousins.

And that’s it.

Merry, Merry Christmas, everyone.

And if Christmas isn’t your thing, Merry, Merry Whatever Is.

XOXOX

Thursday, December 22, 2005

So this is what it feels like

This is what I am: a pushover. When faced with confrontation, I back down. I avoid eye contact, I mutter "I'm fine" in an absolutely unconvincing tone, I hold it all in and make a poor attempt at pretending that nothing has happened.

Today, I looked The Aggressor in the eye. I said "you will never talk to me like that again. I am not a dog." I turned and walked back to my desk.

So, we'll be adding this moment to the Firsts of 2005 list.

December 22, 2005: Alyson proves she has a spine.

Curtsey.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

+ (really! I am!)

I hate who I have been this last month. I am so boring and unhappy and, my lord, I am such a monotonous boring and unhappy person. It's a good thing that I don't often check my site statistics (you who are still reading are saints); I really don't need another reason to whine.

Yes, I feel like the world is crashing in around everyone I love. No, I'm not taking it particularly well. But it just might be time to suck it up. Chin up, kiddo, the world is sick of listening to you bitch.

And I'm getting sick of bitching.

...almost as sick as I am of being perpetually unhappy.

It is time for me to look at the whole. December has sucked a hairy beanbag, that is undisputable, but the rest of my 2005 has seen positive change so prolific that recapping it would make you barf.

So, instead, here is the Cliff's Notes version, which will only make you gag: I finally got my first kiss, I had a boy like me for the first time, like, in the history of the world, I thought I was about to enter a long and painful unemployment and I snagged a job before my internship officially ended, I got Stella, my best friend went to Thailand but came back and I got my very own apartment.

Who has tears in her eyes? Anyone? Mom?

This leads me to my resolution for the final nine (9) days of 2005 (and, if you believe this irony, also of stupid fucking December): stop seeing the world for what I don't have. Stop feeling what hurts. See my blessings. Feel the love.

You can cue the chorus now.

Monday, December 19, 2005

My redheaded comfort blanket

Lucy came home from Thailand yesterday. She is my saving grace. Now that she's home, I'm fostering a little bit of hope that we're going to make it through.

She's spent time with my extended family; she puts faces with names when I talk about Aunt Marie and cousins Anna and Emma.

She's worked for my dad. She calls The Man a son of a bitch and it isn't just for my comfort. It's because he is a son of a bitch and she has the firsthand experience to call it like it is.

It is a relief to have her home.

Today, my boss pulled me into his office and asked me if everything was okay. I was in no mood to extrapolate. I mostly stared at him. Explaining was out of the question.

Because, despite the fact that all I write about anymore is how miserable I am, I'm not much into talking about it.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Good/less than good

My Aunt Marie (and her leg!) were discharged from the hospital today; when she was waiting for the car, she was so happy that she cried.

This good news is long overdue. I went home yesterday. Dad was upbeat, but the house whispers the mourning that we’re each silently consumed by.

I’m not coping very well. The weight is so heavy. I’m so sad.

This is going to be some Christmas.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Confession

For breakfast this morning I ate a bowl of refried beans and 4 oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.

Impressive, no?

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

I'm

The dread and sadness didn’t hang so heavy on me this morning. It didn’t take so much to drag myself out of bed. The air didn’t feel so cold. The world didn’t feel so mean.

The first thing I thought of, still, was Dad’s job. The thought was accompanied by a sense of peace, not the fear that had been shackling me. It was a good way to start the day.

I told Colin last night just before I went to bed. I attribute our conversation to the state I awoke in.

Today went...better…than yesterday and Monday night. Monday night was disbelief and tears at work (very impressive for a supervisor). Yesterday was anger and disbelief and suppression that burst the minute I got in the car after my soccer game. I cried the entire hour home. Pretending that everything is okay was exhausting. I cracked.

Colin, by saying essentially nothing and absolutely everything, put me back together. Thank goodness.

I couldn’t have started another day drenched in gloom. I wouldn’t have made it past the pisser of an email I had waiting in my work inbox at 8:00 this morning. I never would’ve found my misplaced keys. The sight of the company president would’ve ruined me. Yoga class wouldn’t have been an option.

In short, I believe that this will all turn out okay.

In long, I am so incredibly pissed off at how my father’s employer disregarded his ethic, dedication and the respect he garnered from his coworkers. As a former employee, I feel betrayed. I’m touched when I hear how many people have called to offer my dad their condolences, their best wishes and their prayers. I’m heartbroken. I’m scared because I am fortunate enough to have never before experienced the unemployment of a parent. I am pissed because Meg has to digest this all while attempting to study for her final exams. I hurt because I know that the stress I feel is a fraction of that which must be crushing my mom. I’m overwhelmed. I’m under prepared. I’m surviving.

I am still so very, very fortunate.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Tear

I am just so sad.

It just pulls on me. Everything feels so hard. Everything hurts so bad.

I spent my day doubled over. From the Aleve OD or sympathy pains for Aunt Marie (still in the hospital, but still holding onto her leg) and Daddy (shockingly upbeat; I'm not buying it), I'm not exactly sure.

I haven't had a month this bad in a long, long time.

Cannot wait for 2006.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Um

So, my dad lost his job today?

And I'm not really sure what to do.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

This may be my last post ever

I keep telling you all how flaky I've been, but I really should save ya'll the unnecessary reading and just illustrate the point.

Point illustrated: I'm nursing a headache. I drag myself into bathroom. I down three Aleve. You're supposed to take one. Except the first dose, where you can take two.

Doh.

I called my mom to see if I was going to die; she told me that I'd be fine.

But if I never update this sucker again, you will all know why.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Retraction

Know all of that shit I wrote earlier? Please disregard. I went to the hospital to visit my aunt straight from work; I got home 10 minutes ago. Tomorrow morning, I'll be getting up to watch my sister's hockey game.

Spread. Too. Thin.

The things I carry

I’ve fallen into a horrible pattern lately. My life is a constant rushing, rushing, rushing, and I’m not sure how to convince myself that it’s necessary to slow down.

When leaving for work this morning, I panicked. I was forgetting something, I told myself, but I hadn’t a clue what it was. Lunch. Check. Purse. Check. Cell phone. Check.

What I was forgetting, stupidly enough, was all of my others.

There have been very, very few days in the last month where I’ve just gone to work. I’ve been living an “and then...” sort of life. I work and then I go straight to the gym. I work and then I go to the hospital to see Aunt Marie. I go to the hospital to see Aunt Marie and then I go to work. I go to work and then I go to Mom and Dad’s house. I go to skating and I go to soccer and I go to hockey.

It’s rare that I don’t leave the house weighed down by all of the necessities of the day.

So working, even if it’s on a Saturday, followed by an immediate return home feels and awful lot like a treat.

And awfully light on my arms, to boot.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Kettle crap

You know what sucks?

Coming home from soccer, nursing the largest popcorn craving that the modern era has seen, popping a bag into the microwave

anxiously waiting

preparing to dust the delightful treat with massive amounts of salt

pulling the bag out of the microwave

and realizing that, when your moved in, your mom stocked your pantry with microwave kettle corn.

Which you don't even like.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Only

I remember that, after my Uncle Rich died, my mom was somewhat peeved with friends and colleagues because she felt like they were dismissing his death as "only her brother-in-law's." Not as big of a deal as if it had been her own brother, essentially.

I imagine that it is much the same feeling that I have now. I walked into work today, 100% bummed, everyone fully aware of the fact that I had been at the hospital visiting Aunt Marie, and I didn't get even the slightest sense of compassion from the majority of my coworkers.

That sucks.

I'm not blaming them. I understand that the subjects of illness and death and uncertainty are uncomfortable for a lot of people. And I really don't expect them to be falling all over me.

But I guess I just expect to feel a little more support in the air and a little less where's-this-what's-that-why-are-you-ing the second I walk in the door.

I won't let it bother me.

Aunt Marie was in good spirits today. It helps that she didn't have surgery today (she has it every-other day in an attempt to close up and clean her wound); she wasn't groggy like she was on Friday. All she wants, really, is to go home. I can't blame her. Except to go to the OR, she hasn't left her room since she was admitted the Friday after Thanksgiving.

I hate that I wasn't born with the type of brain with a gift for science. All I want to do is help her. With an English degree. Because a stupid fucking sonnet would do wonders for her right now.

Blah.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Visiting Hours

So much is going on right now. I’m a little surprised that I haven’t completely forgotten to pay a bill or take a shower or show up to work. I’m just trying to keep my head above water.

It was a busy weekend; there wasn’t time to catch up on the sleep I lost over wedding weekend. Friday – my day off – was an early-morning skating session, followed by trip to visit Aunt Marie in the hospital.

The hospital trip was surreal. It wasn’t as intimidating as I thought that it would be, Aunt Marie was in better spirits than I had expected, but I was still uncomfortable. I’ve been blessed to have spent little time in hospitals in my 23 years.

Watching my mom navigate herself around Aunt Marie’s hospital room was awe-inspiring. That probably seems like an overblown way of describing it – as my mom should be comfortable in hospital rooms (she’s an advance practice nurse/college nursing professor) – but she exerted such confidence and so much love for her sister that it left me somewhat breathless. Mom wasn’t afraid to tell the nurses what Marie needed, what they were doing wrong, what they could be doing better. As a generally unconfident person, I suppose that even the simple act of asserting yourself to assure that your sister gets the best possible care seems awfully courageous.

I’m going to see Aunt Marie tomorrow. Mom won’t be there. I’m a little nervous. But it’s something I feel that I have to do.

Part of growing up, I suppose.

Since returning to school from Thanksgiving break, Aunt Marie’s college-aged daughter, Anna, hasn’t fit the hour-long trip home into her schedule. That makes me sad for Aunt Marie.

But, honestly, just about everything is making me sad these days.

I blame it on the gray skies. But I’m melancholy by nature.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Shotgun

It is not coincidence that today, exactly one week after I caught the bouquet at Cousin Liz’s wedding, I am going to see the Dave Matthews Band.

Obviously Dave will see me in the crowd, spontaneously decide to dump his wife and mother of his twins and propose that we marry in front of 20,000+ fans.

Duh. Of course I’ll say yes!

It is likely that this blog will take on a different tone, seeing as I will not be a married woman (Dave and I are flying to Vegas and getting’ hitched tonight).

Thank you for all of your support during this life transition, dear readers.

And, yes, I do expect a plethora of gifts in addition to your hearty congratulations.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

This post will bore most boys

Since I spent 90 gazillion hours acting the part of The Perfect Bridesmaid, and since some random 9th cousin of my father emailed us pictures, and since I work late tonight and do not know if I can come up with something clever or interesting to write, I present you all with Wedding Pictures, Part II. Sorry, PT!


Cake!


Entrance. The head table is on the right. The reception hall was actually two rooms connected by French doors; in the smaller room off of the larger atrium sat immediate family and the wedding party.


Head table.


More of the atrium, the main part of the reception hall.


Decorated for Christmas! Cousin Liz loves Christmastime, so it was only appropriate.
 
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