Sunday, December 31, 2006

Par-tay!

Hey ya'll! Have a great night, okay? Let's carry the momentum right into '07. XOXOX!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

A regular thing

When I called my dad from work yesterday, I had him on speaker phone from my desk.

"Daddy!" I said. "Hi! What are you doing?"

"Just looking at a girlie calendar."

NICE.

Friday, December 29, 2006

More from The Christmas to Remember

The scene: Christmas afternoon, Grandma and Grandpa’s house. The heroine and her family have just entered the living room, bearing gifts and smiles.

The characters: our heroine and her adorable, Norwegian troll curmudgeon of a grandfather.


Grandfather: Oh, here’s my skater. My skinny, skinny skater.

Heroine: Hi, Grandpa! Merry Christmas!

Grandfather: Merry Christmas, skinny skater. Such a skinny little skater you are. So skinny...

[Grandfather pats our heroine on her backside.]

Grandfather: Except for there. You’ve got a little padding there. Good for cushioning falls.

Heroine: ...

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Two steps behind

My former coworker, Megan, stopped in today.

Megan's last day of work was the day that Kevin was fired.

A lot has happened since then.
Nothing has happened since then.

Megan moved to California with her boyfriend. She found an apartment. She battled through her homesickness. She temped. She found a job. She came home for Christmas.

I stayed here. I stayed here and I continued to tread water. I didn't move forward. I didn't move back.

When I got home from work today, I stoop in my doorway, looked around, tried to figure out how I got here. I used to be the smart girl with incredible promise. I used to be envied.

Now I'm just stuck.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Maybe I'm a little spoiled

It doesn't seem excessive until you itemize it.

Now I feel a bit guilty.

One (1) Keurig Single Cup Coffee Maker
Seven (7) pairs of UnderArmour performance socks
One (1) $10 gift card for Bath and Body Workds
One (1) tin of Jelly Belly jelly beans
One (1) snowman candy dish
One (1) bottle of Bath and Body Works aromatherapy hand soap, in jasmine vanilla, which is apparently the “sensuality” scent. Oookay.
One (1) Softlips wildberry lip balm
One (1) Christmas tree cookie cutter
Two (2) pairs of Adidas socks
Six (6) Kate Spade pencils
One (1) UnderArmour fleece
One (1) bottle of wine
One (1) pair of khakis
One (1) plain navy long sleeved t-shirt
One (1) box of Godiva chocolates
One (1) KitchenAid 10-piece set of pots and pans
One (1) lame Lillian Vernon Santa Clause candy dish
One (1) pink shirt with figure skates on it from the kids department at the Gap
One (1) thermal/sweater that I’m certain cost an arm and a leg
One (1) seatbelt purse
One (1) lame-ass inspirational/self-help book
Eight (8) refrigerator magnet clips
One (1) hand/foot spa kit
One (1) candle
Three (3) Papered Chef pairing knives
One (1) watch that I can’t decide if I like
One (1) green long sleeved shirt with super fun beading/bedazzling at the neckline
One (1) copy of Eloise in Hollywood
One (1) pack of Pez refills
Two (2) bottles of L’Oreal Lasting Curls gel
One (1) spatula
One (1) American Express gift card
One (1) Coach purse
One (1) Eucerin Intensive Repair hand cream, travel sized
One (1) adorable halter-style skating dress
One (1) pair of Gap Long and Lean corduroys
One (1) Footballers Wives DVD
One (1) digital photo viewer/key chain/waste of money (the gift I won in the family exchange which, ironically, was from Evan)
One (1) pair of boxer shorts with dogs skating on them (from Old Navy)
One (1) UM Pez dispenser

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Family Fisticuffs 2006

On paper, my dad’s family is the classless one. Blue collar. Nary a college graduate. My dad’s family consists of car salesmen, boilermakers, guys who work on the line for Ford and gals who work behind the counter at department stores. They’re the simple ones. They live within miles of one another. They read the local newspaper. They prefer television to books.

On paper, my mom’s family is impressive. They’re prominent. In the not-so-small Wisconsin town they’re from, mom’s maiden name (my middle name) name conjures up respect, admiration and a hint of jealousy. Mom’s family is made up of lawyers, geneticists and professors. They’re sophisticated. They’re better than you. And they are so, so fake.

And hateful.

And arrogant.

You’d never know it.

If you’ve been putting on a façade for decades, you’d do it flawlessly, too.

Last night, my cousin attempted to punch my dad and, in the process, ruined Christmas.

To tell the story properly, I need to backtrack.

A handful of years ago, Uncle Alan quit the family. He was done with my mom and our family, Aunt Marie and her family, and Grandma and Grandpa. For no broadcasted reason, Uncle Alan maintained contact with Aunt Louise, Uncle Ed and their two kids.

Last year, Uncle Alan randomly called me. We hadn’t interacted in my adult life, and he jumps back into my life with a strange request: skating lessons. And then, as though he’d planned it all along, he dropped a bombshell. He was getting married. Oh, and it’s a secret. Don’t tell your mother or grandmother.

Please. Like I complied with that request.

So, Uncle Alan gets married and remains distant. But Aunt Louise and Uncle Ed, they meet his wife. They talk to him every week. They just don’t understand. Why don’t you just call him? Why don’t you go over to his house and see him?

What part of his abandonment don’t you get, you clueless assholes?

This fall, Uncle Ed decided he wanted to change our Christmas. And, in his overly detailed description of the new family Christmas gift exchange, he always included Uncle Alan and his new wife, maintaining the fantasy that they’d show up to our Christmas.

Well, of course they didn’t.

Dad mentioned that to my cousin, Evan. Dad, Evan and my Aunt Marie’s husband had gone over to our house to check out my dad’s new Mustang.

“It’s too bad Alan and Joy didn’t show up, your dad was really trying to get them to come this year.”

“Uncle Alan stopped by this morning.”

Oh. Okay.

“Have you met Joy? What does she look like?”

Somehow, this struck a chord with Evan. “You two are fucking immature.”

My dad changed the subject.

But Evan said something ignorant or stupid to my dad when they got back to the house. I didn’t hear what Evan said – I was sitting on the other side of the living room – but I heard my dad’s smart ass response: “I hope that one day I can be as smart as you are, Evan.”

And he set Evan off. Two seconds later, Evan pushes him on the chest. “You wanna go old man?” The style of confrontation, the words, it was something out of a move. “Come on, let’s go, bitch.”

He pushes my dad again. And again.

“Evan,” my dad said, strangely calm, “stop.” He grabs Evan’s arms, braces him against a chair. “Stop,” he said again.

My dad let go, Evan charged into the basement.

And that’s the last I saw of him.

Now, dear readers, here’s the quiz.

Who was at fault in Family Fisticuffs 2006?
A. Dad
B. Evan
C. Both


Correct answer: A.

Do you know why? Let’s ask my Uncle Ed. “I’ve never seen Evan act like that before.”

Okay! Free Asshole for a Day pass for Evan!

“And you’re the adult, Rob.”

Have I mentioned that Evan is 24?

24 years old and not yet an adult! Oh, how wickedly jealous I am!

[Side note: in many ways, Evan is not an adult. He does not have a job. He is not trying to get a job. He lives at home. He pays for none of his expenses. His parents picked out his college classes, consulted with his college counselor and generally held his hand throughout his tenure at a sad excuse for higher learning. He is entirely devoid of responsibilities. And he’s a massive prick. But he’s still 24. And any 24 year old, in an interaction with another living human being, is an adult. Sorry.]

So, because Evan is not an adult, his parents doted on him the entire night. While my mom would’ve grabbed me by the back of the neck and forced me to suffer through dinner with my family, Uncle Ed brought him down dinner. And dessert. Where my mom would’ve held me down to keep me in the room with the rest of the family, Evan sulked in the basement the entire night.

No repercussions.
No accountability.

This incident mostly ruined Christmas. We all spent the rest of the night attempting to pretend that nothing happened. I didn’t talk to my Uncle Ed. My cousin Mara and Aunt Louise didn’t talk to my father. My mom looked as sick as I felt. And Grandma’s heart, I think, was broken.

She had said that this was going to be the last Christmas that she’d host. And it ended so incredibly ugly.

Conclusion to this story: Evan is damn lucky that his confrontation with my dad didn’t last a second longer. Meg – remember, Meg cross trains for hockey with boxing – had stood up and was damn near close to repeating a fine moment in a hockey game where she took on the bastard stupid enough to mess with her daddy.

I’m sort of sad that it didn’t happen. Evan needs to get his ass kicked one day.

And wouldn’t it be just a tad bit better if his ass was kicked by a girl?

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry, merry!

Thus far, my Christmas has been absolutely amazing.

My dear readers, I hope that your holiday is ten times better.

Materialistic details tomorrow!

XOXOX!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

The Christmas miracle



On my mom's side of the family, everyone has the same stocking. Mom's grandmother knitted matching stockings for her family way back when and, somehow, managed to keep the tradition all the way through when my youngest cousin, Emma, was born in 1990.

My great grandma died when I was in college. It was later assumed that our tradition that consisted of 16 matching stockings would eventually die. We would celebrate marriages and births but have no matching stocking for the new family members.

Apparently, my cousin Mara - who is gearing up for her wedding next September - has been fretting about this. Her husband would not have a stocking.

Oh, but he would.

I know how to knit. Meg knows how to knit. Emma and Anna know how to knit, too.

And by some miracle of the Christmas season, the pattern to our stockings was located on the internet. A Christmas stocking pattern 61 years old. What's the likelihood?

We're all tickled pink.

Meg sent me out in the Christmas Eve shopping mess to pick her up yarn.

I gladly obliged. I will NOT be the one who interferes with the Christmas miracle.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

You know what's really irritating?

Trying to get ready to go out (to Colin's company Christmas party, of all things) when nothing - absolutely f'ing nothing - looks even the slightest bit decent.

Bad hair.
Gross skin.
Boring makeup.

Snore.

People are going to think that I'm 12.

At least I have a cute purse and I'm not fat. Nor the slightest big vain.

Friday, December 22, 2006

The sullen daughter

How to piss me off: read over my shoulder while I'm checking my email, catching up on blogs or attempting to update my own.

I'm 24. I don't live here. I'm going to utilize the internet how I please. Monitoring my internet usage while I'm at home is painfully unnecessary. If I want you to know I have a blog, I'd tell you. If I'm reading something I'd like to discuss with you, I'll bring it up. If I want you to know how much money is in my checking account, I'll announce it.

It's probably a crappy thing for me to say, Mom, but it's the truth: I don't have to tell you about everything. And I don't.

[This entry is brought to you by a tired girl fueled by minimal sleep. Annual holiday rant coming soon. xo.]

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Robot

I’m living a fantasy.

In that fantasy, I am unbreakable. I don’t feel; I can’t hurt. I am devoid of weakness, feelings. Humanity.

This morning, Mom asked me if I bought Colin a Christmas present.

I told her no.

Not because I didn’t want her to know what I bought him, more because I didn’t want her to know how much he means to me. If I don’t buy him a present, he’s a casual fling. And if he disappears tomorrow, I can feign disinterest. I can pretend that my heart isn’t broken.

I can, essentially, lie.

I can protect myself from the truth.

I wish that I knew the source of my desire to remain so disconnected. I’ve never been hurt in such a colossal way that I’ve had the conscious desire to be distant. I’ve never been the girl with the heart so broken that people look at me, sighing and murmuring about how I deserved so much better.

I don’t know what that feels like. And yet I spend so much energy protecting myself from it.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Gearing up for the big day

There are two or three things I do actually like about my job. Here's one. My schedule can be flexible. I'm not working tomorrow or Friday and I'm not being penalized any paid time off.

There are two or three hundred things I don't like about my job. Here's one. I have to work on Saturday.

When I got to Mom and Dad's house tonight, Mom looked like she was going to cry. These days, it's rare when her entire family is safely tucked underneath one roof.

My legs burn. I question the judgement that led me to run three miles last night.

My eyelids are drooping. I question the judgement that put me to bed after 11 pm last night, as well.

Tomorrow is Christmas cookie day. Trust me when I say it is every bit as over-the-top as our Thanksgiving pie baking.

This Holidailies "fun" challenge is infinitely more difficult than NaBloPoMo. So, uh, sorry that I'm lame. On a very regular basis.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Boys and iPods and gifting, oh my!

Okay. Deep breath.

Just got back from Best Buy. Purchased Colin's Christmas gift. An iPod Nano. Silver. 4 gig. Very nice. Practical. Visually appealing.

The kid loves gadgets. His brother bought him a GPS navigation system for his birthday and I swear I saw tears in his eyes when he used it for the first time. He treats his Blackberry like his first child. And I suspect that he kisses his high definition TV every morning.

Follow my logic here, folks. He loves gadgets = he'll love the Nano.

Or he will be afraid of the Nano. The Nano will holler "COMMITMENT!" from the tops of the mountains and the depths of the ocean. The Nano will conjure up images of weddings and babies and saggy boobs and college funds and other very scary grown-up types of things. And he will run away. And I will look stupid. And I will feel very sad.

Yeah, okay. So maybe I'm slightly terrified to give it to him.

Because, in my mind, the Nano says more than "I like you and I wanted to get you a Christmas present." It says "I reallyreallyreallyreally like you want I wanted to get you a Christmas present that would catch you pleasantly by surprise."

And that opens me up. It screams what I quietly feel. It exposes me to being hurt.

I'm afraid of being so vulnerable.

I'm afraid that, this time around, I've completely fallen for him.

I'm afraid that this - us - won't work out after two long years in the making.

I'm afraid that I'm going to lose him.

With that being said, I think I'll go and wrap this gift.

Risks reap rewards.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Insert anxiety here

I thought I was done with my Christmas shopping. At Lucy's house yesterday, I spied a present with my name on it.

Fuck. I didn't get a present for Lucy and Chet.

I was done! I swear, I was finished. And I was oh so proud of myself.

Oh. And then there's Meg. I was going to get Meg another present, too.

Shit.

I don't even have any ideas.

Ugh. And I know what I'm getting Colin, but I haven't managed to get to the mall to pick it up.

And I was kind of thinking that we should get one more present for my mom: a pair of shoes.

Isn't Christmas in, like, a week?

Haven't I wrapped, like, nothing?

Don't I have cookies to bake?

I suddenly feel very crabby.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Pet Peeves

Of the month: people who pronounce ornament as though it contains a d. Newsflash! It doesn't.

Of the year: my obsession with getting married and having babies. It cannot be healthy.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

The Cookie Captain

Colin and I went to dinner last night. I loved it. I loved it despite the fact that I was forced, against my will, to choose the restaurant. In the best conditions, I am crappy at picking out a restaurant. And Colin is one of those annoyingly picky eaters. Thai food was not an option.

So we ended up on the swanky side of town at what is largely considered the best burger joint around. Despite the hour wait (very typical), the restaurant was a very excellent choice.

I was proud of myself.

It was past 10:00 pm when we got over to Josh and Katie’s condo for their annual cookie baking party.

And when I say cookie baking, I actually mean dipping random shit in chocolate and topping it with sprinkles.

Not exactly what I call baking but, lets be honest, I’m a fucking snob.

I was fairly amused that they were hosting a cookie baking [chocolate dipping] party because I’d just gotten an invitation’s to Lucy’s cookie baking party, a party for which I have been anointed Cookie Captain (which I was named, no doubt, based on my excellent performance baking for the wedding).

Now, I’m at Josh and Katie’s and I’m trying sosososoSO hard not to be a baking snob. So, when they can’t even figure out how to melt their chocolate and they’re making sugar cookies out of that dough in a tube, I’m horrified, but I’m inwardly horrified.

But they probably heard me sigh with relief when Josh, sick of trying to get the chocolate to melt nicely, called for a substitution.

Colin volunteered me for his position.

And then it started.

Okay. Here’s your melted chocolate, kids. You have to melt it in a double boiler, or it will burn into a massive clump of yuck.

And the sugar cookies? They need to be rolled out thinner. That’s why they’re expanding into unrecognizable blobs.

Speaking of those sugar cookies: do you have any powdered sugar? I’ll make frosting.

Before I even knew it, I was Josh and Katie’s Cookie Captain, too.

Funny.

I’m not entirely comfortable around those people. I’m not myself. Words don’t come easily. I don’t know the jokes. I haven’t lived the history. I’m self-conscious. I just don’t know them well enough yet.

I’ve never admitted to that, but Colin knows it. And that is why he watched me bake with the faintest sparkle in his eyes. While mixing up frosting, I was mixing with the girls. And showing them how things were done.

He was wordlessly proud.
And wordlessly pleased.

I was, too.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Gah!

An empty tube of KY Jelly in my grandma's wastebasket: what I could've gone without seeing.

Cannot. Shake. Horrific. Mental. Image.

Shudder.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Ahhh, family

We put the Christmas tree up at Mom and Dad's house tonight.

Dad was putting the lights up on the tree when I got home.

He dismissed the standard greeting and acknowledged me with an observation.

"This tree has a crooked shaft."

Charming.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

I need your help, part I

My supervisor review is due a week from today.

As an exercise in stress relief and general bitterness, I decided to fill out the majority of mine today.

I can't decide if I'm coming across as honest or harsh. What do you think?

The review is on a numerical scale, with four being the highest (agree), three is second-best (somewhat agree) and so on. Following, there's a two line comment section. Hardly room for me to write my name, let alone an explanation. I imagine this was intentional.

Anyway. Here we go.

1. Treats employees with fairness and respect.
Ranking: 3.5
Comment: I often take issue with how she speaks down to part-time employees.
Reality: She's a bitch to everyone.

2. Inspires future success.
Ranking: 3.5
Comment: Enthusiasm towards new projects, programs and challenges is contagious.
Reality: She gets excited about stupid shit that rarely pans out.

3. Holds employees accountable for the work that they do.
Ranking: 3
Comment: Amount of accountability varies greatly among different employees, but is improving.
Reality: Her Boy doesn't do shit and she couldn't care less.

4. Supports my professional development.
Ranking: 3.5
Comment: Certainly wants me to get better and be smarter.
Reality: Wants me to get better and smarter...but not better or smarter than she is.

5. Communicates effectively.
Ranking: 2.5
Comment: Hit or miss. Either very adequately informs about a situation or we're left in the dark. There is rarely a middle ground.
Reality: IT TOOK A WEEK TO OFFICIALLY TELL US THAT SHE FIRED KEVIN. HOW IS THAT EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION?

6. Encourages creative and innovative solutions.
Ranking: 2.5
Comment: Usually listens to suggestions but typically chooses hers over other possible solutions. Loves to shoot holes in the suggestions of others, aggressively, which generates hesitation prior to posing possible solutions.
Reality: Never lets you finish a sentence. Frequently uses absurd phrases while interrupting such as my personal favorite: "I'm just talking out loud..."

7. Fosters loyalty in employees.
Ranking: 2.5
Comment: She isn't in the building when the majority of the employees are; I believe there is a degree of distrust of her as a result of that.
Reality: Approximately two people are genuinely loyal to her. Everyone else is loyal to the company and would throw a party if she were transferred to Idaho.

8. Is a good listener.
Ranking: 3.25
Comment: Prone to point out all she disagrees with immediately, which leads to frequent interruptions. She dominates conversations. This is improving.
Reality: Not improving at all. Please don't fire me.

9. Considers input before acting.
Ranking: 3
Comment: Makes snap judgments sometimes, asks for input other times. It depends on the issue and who it would require the input of.
Reality: Flies by the seat of her pants. Does whatever pops into her pea brain first. Never thinks things through.

10. Demonstrates that employees are important to the success of the company.
Ranking: 2.75
Comment: Understands the value of a great employee, but isn't present enough to assist in the molding of a mediocre part-time employee into a great one.
Reality: Don't like her? Don't get along with her? There's people begging for a job in sports! Next!

11. Can be trusted to make sensible decisions.
Ranking: 3
Comment: Her snap decisions can sometimes get the best of her. Emotion fuels many of her decisions, which can lead her astray. Generally sound, however.
Reality: A beanbag has more common sense.

12. Is committed to organizational goals.
Ranking: 4
Comment: A strong proponent of company goals, beliefs and practices on a consistent basis to customers, employees, vendors, etc.
Reality: If the company were a person, her lips would be plastered to its ass.

13. Fosters an environment that encourages superior job performance.
Ranking: 2.5
Comment: None yet. I'm stumped.
Reality: She doesn't. When you hate your boss, you're not in an environment that nourishes your best work.

14. Practices what he/she preaches.
Ranking:
3.75
Comment: True, with occasional exceptions.
Reality: Doesn't follow dress code. Doesn't stick to her posted work schedule. Babbles on and on about how the job requires nights and weekends and doesn't show up to either.

15. Deals with problems immediately. Doesn't let things fester.
Ranking:
2
Comment: Small problems are addressed promptly, large issues are oftentimes ignored completely, which breeds significant contempt and/or ignorance.
Reality: See above comment about ignoring the fact that she fired Kevin. See also: telling Kevin she thought we were sleeping together, blaming it on me, and never bringing the perceived problem up to me.

We'll stop there. I'll post the second half of the review, and my little "futher information can go in this tiny square" essay, later. Or maybe I'll do you all a favor and I won't.

Thanks for helping, kiddies. I will have to repay your kindness by posting a picture of my ass or mailing you cash or something.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Oh, you truly are a retard

Colin,

When your birthday was more Boys Night Out and less Date Night, I wanted to be mad at you.

When you called and woke me up at 4:51 this morning, I wanted to be mad at you.

When you told me that, as a result of your drunken debauchery, you just spent a few hours in the E.R. getting 14 stitches, I wanted to be mad at you.

When you called me at work this morning, sounding like complete and utter shit due to last night's drunken debauchery, stitches and general testosterone-induced stupidity, I wanted to be mad at you.

Mostly, though, I want to see you. I want to make sure that you're okay.

And then I'll be mad at you. Really fucking pissed.

This is why I should've sucked it up and gone out last night. Because you're 25 and you need a babysitter.

Ass.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Two five

Dear Colin,

You just saved your ass, did you know that?

When you called, I was dressed and ready. Your present was wrapped and sitting on the table next to the door. I made cupcakes. My hair looks good.

I didn't want to go out. Not at 10:00 pm on a Monday. Not when, taking my commute from the East Side into account, I won't even get to the bar until 11:00 pm. But you'll only turn 25 once. And I am willing - as I'm always willing - to sacrifice sleep for you.

When you first called, you mentioned what time Jeff was picking you up. You told me where you were going. You gave me no indication that I was invited. Or welcomed. I was confused. And pretty pissed. But I didn't say anything. I never do. Not until after I have a chance to stew in my irritation. I'll yell, but first I must reach my boiling point. You know that.

It didn't take long for the disappointment to settle in. Tears sprung to my eyes as I snapped my phone shut.

I'd just dropped it onto the table, in disgust, when you called back.

"You're invited, you know that, right? I'm not trying to be a rude and inconsiderate bastard."

Nice save.

And to follow it up with genuine and sweet concern for me, for the time that I have to be at work tomorrow and for the hour it will take me to get to you - that was smooth. I bought it. Every word.

I didn't want to go out tonight, anyway.

Drink with the boys.

We'll celebrate properly on Friday. When I don't have to share you with 20 of your best friends. When you don't have to share me with a rapidly approaching workday.

I'm not mad.

We've got all the time in the world.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Getting over it

Did you know?

Whenever I leave Colin a voicemail. And he doesn't call back within a few hours. I convince myself that he never will. That we will fall and, before we can recover, we will slide downhill. Not able to stop.

Did you know?

These days, he doesn't neglect to return my calls.

Healing and forgetting are amazingly long processes.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

A touch of luck

This year I've been having major anxiety about Christmas.

There's no reason for it. I never start my shopping until December. I always do all of my dad's shopping. And I always have no good ideas. It's just how it works.

Maybe it's because I'm getting older, because just accepting Christmas preparations for what they are for me (stressful) is making me want to cry. And that's before I get to the mall, get overwhelmed by the selections, convince myself that none of the 459 stores have even one product for whomever I'm shopping for, pout and drag my defeated self-worth back to my car.

Mostly, I shop for my mom. I buy Dad's gifts for her as well as the presents Meg and I buy for her. My mom is not easy to shop for. At all. And, because she's my mom and all anyone ever wants is for their mom to be proud of them, I want to buy my mom the perfect gift. Even though she wants the same thing every year: nothing.

I've been shopping three times this week looking for presents for Mom.

I went out on Wednesday after yoga class. Bought nothing.

I went out yesterday after meeting Lucy for coffee. Bought nothing.

But today, I went out after work and I shopped. Really shopped! And even bought things!

Okay. I didn't really buy any gifts of significance - mostly just stocking stuffers - but I'm hoping that this will get the ball rolling.


Mom doesn't scrapbook, but she's always tickled pink by good nursing memorabilia. I was at the craft store and I found these stickers, by Jolee's, in the scrapbooking section.


I got her both packages.


Chocolate + coffee = good for the stocking.


The more chocolate the better, no?


She's a junky for candy corn.


I bought mom this, in green, from Talbot's. I thought it could be fairly versatile, worn with jeans or with slacks. She's been liking green lately.


She's also been liking puzzles. She has a bum knee, so she hasn't been going out and about all that often. Puzzles keep her busy. And Lost is her favorite show!

I bought her a new purse (too lazy too look up the photo) because she only carries around her briefcase. Very strange, Meg and I agree, so we're trying to get her to try a purse like a normal person. We'll see.

I picked her up a pair of jeans and a few other stocking stuffers, too.

Speaking of purses...

This Dooney and Bourke was a fantastic deal. And look how cute it is. I don't normally like Dooney and Bourke, but this doesn't scream "I'm a teenager and I'm spoiled!" like a lot of their handbags seem to. I'm very tempted to keep this for myself, but I think I'll give it to my mom to wrap up for Meg. Or for me.

I'd totally act surprised.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Sacrificing to the skating gods

I skated this morning, as I do every Friday, from 7:50-9:30 am. Some Friday morning sessions are rough. I work late on Thursdays and, after I watch Grey's and pack up all of my things (I almost always go to Mom and Dad's house after I skate), it's late and I'm exhausted and my alarm clock is screaming at me well before I'm ready for it to be.

Because I'm usually so tired, and because skating is such a fickle sport, I can skate exceptionally shitty on a Friday.

Some Fridays I can't spin.

Some Fridays my moves in the field are sluggish.

Some Fridays my jumps are lethargic.

And some Fridays I can't do any of it.

This is far from uncommon in skating. Some days are good. Some days are very, very bad.

Personally, I rarely have a bad jumping day. And I'm pleased with my moves 75% of the time. And my spinning usually sucks. It's not even that I spin poorly, it's that it does not come naturally to me. While I can learn and complete a new jump combination within 15 minutes, it can take five or six months for a new spin combination to begin looking halfway decent.

It's extremely frustrating. It is also a big part of what makes skating appeal to me. I like being so incredibly irritated that I am tempted to throw myself onto the ice, kicking my feet and throwing a loud tantrum.

Because I like that next skate, where whatever it was that I couldn't master comes effortlessly and flawlessly.

Secretly, I like the struggle.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

I don't want to write about work, it just happens

Today, something glorious happened.

I got the year-end supervisor review I get to do of my boss. The single reason that I am glad that I'm still stuck in that job.

I've been keeping a list of complaints for months.

No, not this blog. Although, I suppose I could simply write down the URL for So Midwestern and get it over faster. While simultaneously exposing all of my intimacies to my employer. Tempting!

Also tempting: urge to rip boss to absolute shreds.

How honest can you be, though, without putting your own job in jeopardy?

[Since I can obviously not get another job, losing this one would be rather unfortunate.]

I've been looking forward to this review since last January 25, when my boss - in all of her ignorant glory - took over her position. And now I'm afraid to fill it out.

Here's why. She's about to have surgery, right? (I'll tell you all that story later.) She's going to be out of the office for a long, glorious month in which I will be absolutely swamped with work but won't have to look at her waddling past my desk on a daily basis.

Surgery. She's having it. Herniated disc in her neck. Nothing even slightly work related.

But the company, in its infinite wisdom, this company in which finances are so tight that we've been on a "salary freeze" for over a year, is hiring her a maid. AND A FRIGGING COOK. To hover over her sickbed.

Yes. This company has a crush on her like I had a crush on Joey from New Kids on the Block.

And so I'm afraid that I'm going to write some not-so-complimentary things about her (mixed with some complimentary things so that I don't come across as bitter as I truly am) and the high and mighty are going to lose their shit because they have a dumb, jealous, slutty employee who doesn't love her and then - ta da! - I'm gone.

Maybe I'll just post the supervisor review here for all of you to read. You'd tell me if it was out of line, right?

Okay, but what if I asked really, really nicely?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

I kind of want to go to law school

Although, I doubt my ability to perform exceptionally on the LSATs (my scores have never been horrific on any test, but I wouldn't consider myself a wiz at standardized testing) as well as if my college grades are law school worthy, law school has been bouncing around in my head.

I kind of miss going to school.

And I most definitely need a career that involves certain things. Like the use of my brain.

Plus. I'm a bitch! I'll make a great lawyer! Don't you need to be a bitch to be a lawyer? Maybe that's just on TV.

Honestly, though? This needs to change. I can't work here forever. I can't keep living this life. I need some goals. I need some direction. I need some asses to kiss. I need a boss I'm not vastly smarter than. I need a corporate ladder to climb, damnit.

So law it is. ...maybe.

I don't know what else I'd go to grad school for, to be honest.

Maybe that's not a good reason to go.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

How the Grinch Changed Christmas

My Uncle Ed (who happens to be Jewish, but I absolutely believe that his religion is an amusing sidenote, not an actual cause of his actions) has been very anti-Christmas for the past three or four years. He mostly likes to bitch about it. Too much work. Too much money. The kids are too old. I'm too old. Bitch, bitch, bitch.

Last year, his began his complaining just a few weeks before Christmas. Traditionally, my aunts and uncles (and my parents) buy presents for all of their neices and nephews and exchange one "couple" gift between the family. Uncle Ed wanted to hack it all. In a rare moment of compromise, my mom told him, essentially, that she would buy gifts for his kids (ages 26 and 22) and that she would be fine with not exchanging the "couple" gift.

So, on Christmas, my mom and dad, as well as Aunt Marie and her husband, show up without a "couple" gift.

UNCLE ED AND AUNT LOUISE BRING COUPLE GIFTS.

Mostly, everyone was annoyed.

More so when Uncle Ed complained, loudly, throughout the actual Christmas festivities about the excesses of the holiday.

This year, he started early. In September. He wore us down.

A few months ago, we were sent the following email:

Subject: Christmas Presents

I have an idea we would like you to consider for gift exchange this year.

Everyone buys one present that would be of universal appeal for under $25. Everyone. What would be of universal appeal? That's where your creativity and cleverness come into play.

Everyone wraps their present.

Christmas eve they all go under the tree.

Christmas morning, everyone shows up at the house at an appointed time. We each pick a number out of a hat, 1-16. That number is the order in which we pick our gift from under the tree. One at a time, everyone watching.

#1 picks a present.

#2 picks a present.

Here's where the fun begins --

If #2 prefers #1's present, #2 takes it.

When #3 picks she has the option of keeping the present she selected or taking the presents currently held by #1 or #2. All the way through #16.

At the end of the picking, let the trading begin.

In addition, anyone is free to give others a small gift, ie home made fudge, or something small and personal. Nothing big by any means.

We think this would be a fun family activity.

The other benefits speak for themselves.

If anyone disagrees, we can go back to the habitual way of gift giving.

Please let me know what you think and I will share your views with everyone else.

Much love.

Ed


The adults all agreed because - honestly? - the fight wasn't worth it.

It didn't seem to be, anyway. Now, a mere 20 days before Christmas and in a mad scramble to find a gift that appeals to a 15-year-old girl and a 70-year-old man, Uncle Ed is Family Enemy #1.

I am so bitter.

This mostly sucks.

I am going to be the one who gives the shitty present and that mostly sucks, too.

I hate breaking tradition.

I hate change.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Is it or is it not 2006?

Oh, sweet boss of mine. How racist and ignorant you are. I am counting the days until I am handed my year-end supervisor review.

Exhibit 1: 10 minutes ago. Boss is complaining about a part-time employee who has been such a hard worker but, as of recently, has been a bit of a bitch. This part-time employee happens to be black. "She's showing her heritage. I hate to say that, but..."

Exhibit 2: Approximately two months ago. Boss shows a coworker a proposal given to us by a photographer. Coworker says "it's a little busy." Boss agrees. "You know black people, they like gaudy things."

Is it just me, or can you not say that?

Exhibit 3: Approximately three months ago. Boss is telling me about how her father, a florist, has a lot of Mexican employees ("Because," she said, "they're just such hard workers.". She's laughing a she tells me how he yelled at them, "STOP SPEAKING MEXICAN!"

I didn't laugh, but I did point out that Mexican isn't a language.

Seriously. Can you be more offensive? I mean, I'm as white as white can be, but just because I have blue eyes and blonde hair doesn't mean that I don't have a soul.

It just means that I'm Norwegian.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Sundays are perfect for babbling

On the whole BCS ordeal: whatever. I am so over it. I didn’t want Michigan to play for the National Championship, anyway. I don’t know what all the fuss is about. It’s not like it’s the Natio...er...like I said. I’m over it.

On sweet, sweet redemption: my hockey team played the team that kicked my ass on Tuesday. We won. I played well. Now I can sleep at night.

On the Chocolate-Coconut Bars I’m currently baking: if they don’t taste good, I’m going to be really pissed. And totally embarrassed to bring them into work tomorrow.

On the weather: brrrr!

On my three day weekend: kind of a disappointment, actually. I didn’t sleep in. I didn’t lounge around. I shopped and shopped and shopped and socialized and baked and ate. Not relaxing in the slightest. I need relaxing. I suppose I’ll just have to hold out for New Year’s Day.

On Christmas shopping for my mother: complete and utter torture. I’m not a good shopper in the best conditions and Mom is virtually impossible to shop for. What I really like is how I’m expected to buy Dad’s gifts to Mom, too.

On Colin’s birthday: it is December 11, a week from tomorrow. He’ll be 25. I bought him a watch. Is a watch too much? He doesn’t wear a watch. Why would I buy a watch for someone who doesn’t wear one? I might not give it to him.

On working tomorrow: don’t want to go. Am currently completely devoid of any motivation.

On when I should go to bed tonight: approximately an hour ago. But I was waiting on those Chocolate-Coconut Bars.

On the Chocolate-Coconut Bars that are now cooling on my counter: fucking heavenly. No need to be pissed. No need to be embarrassed. Significant need to be afraid that I’ll eat them all for breakfast.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

What does it all mean?

UCLA just beat No. 2 USC 13-9.

So who plays Ohio State in the National Championship game?

Is it my Michigan Wolverines?

Or will it be Florida?

I cannot believe I have to wait until tomorrow to find out.

This shit kills me.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Maybe I can write something of substance today

The first time Colin and I attempted dating (and, in hindsight, all it was was an attempt), it was all on his terms. He called when he wanted to. He saw me when he wanted a girl on his arm. There was nothing even slightly real about it.

We never broke up. Well, we were never really dating. It was almost dating and it stopped when I stopped calling him because he couldn't return my calls. Mostly, I got the hint. And he admitted wrong when he suggested, for the second time, that we should give Us a try.

Our second attempt was exactly the same. Except it didn't last long. And I'd convinced myself that this time would be different and perfect, so my heart hurt a little more.

Things ended the same way. I'd call four times to his one. I sucked up my pride and stopped dialing his number. Silence. It was last winter. His calculated distance made it feel colder.

When he admitted wrong this fall he suggested, again, that we should give Us a try.

I should've blown him off.

But it felt genuine.

And it has been.

Colin has been a dream. Every bit the gentleman he should've been the first two times around. In this third try, we've gotten something right. We're both mature enough. The stars are aligned. The prostitute he was in love with moved to Toronto. I'm on the right cocktail of drugs. Something. Something's different. And good.

But please excuse me if I'm still nervous.

I'm home - at Mom and Dad's - for a three-day weekend. Colin called me today, but he didn't suggest that we do anything tonight.

Of course, I didn't suggest that we do anything either. But I have a vagina, so that's obviously not my responsibility. Feminism? What?

It's the most insignificant thing. We can spend tomorrow together.

But it brings it out of me. I'm still nervous. I'm afraid that the old Colin - the boy who likes me, yes, but could care less about hurting me - is still somewhere in there.

I'm scared to get hurt again.

I think I have the right to still be afraid.

Strike that

Nevermind that gloating crap I wrote about blogging every day being soooooo easy.

I didn't do shit today. I skated (really well), watched an episode of Grey's Anatomy (the one that aired three weeks ago where Alex kisses Izzy), went shopping (bought nothing), ate dinner (salad) and attempted to blog (failed).

Par-tay.
 
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