Monday, December 31, 2007

You know what?

I'm going to the hockey game with my sister and three of her friends.

Then I'm going to Lucy's house to ring in the new year with her, Chet and Colleen.

It will be fun.

I will be okay.

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Over and over and over again

I am so pissed with Colin.

And more pissed with myself.

I don’t know the last time I talked to him. It was before I went to Chicago, I’m sure of that. It has been at least nine days. I’ve called him a few times. He hasn’t called back.

He is just soooooo busy.
His great uncle died.
His estranged younger brother who went missing this fall returned to the open and loving arms of his family.
He is having an affair. WITH HIS STUPID FUCKING JOB.

His bullshit excuse for not calling is “I don’t want to wake you up at 3 am.” Please.

That says it all.

It says: “You’re not important enough for three minutes of my day.”

I get it.
I should have gotten it a long time ago.

I should have gotten it on New Year’s Eve 2005, when he ditched me for no reason.
I should have gotten it last Christmas, when he refused to exchange Christmas gifts with me because...I don’t know...he probably just did not want to buy me something.
I should have gotten it at the beginning of December, when I was constantly terrified – with good frickin' reason – that he would bail on me a day before we left for our New York trip.

But I don’t get it.
And he keeps fucking up.

And I let him. And then I feel like shit.

I’m tired of feeling like shit.

I’m so done with this.

Admittedly, it is a little lame that it was hockey tickets that forced me to lose my patience irretrievably. But the story pretty much says it all.

I bought tickets for this game at the beginning of November. November 7th. I bought four tickets. We were to go to the game with Greg and Kellyann. I brought the idea up to Colin a few days before I bought the tickets. He cleared it up with Greg.

We've talked about it since then. Not obsessively. But it has been discussed.

And when I email Colin on Thursday morning about the tickets - I just wanted him to inform Greg of how much he owed me - I get this "oh, shit, I totally forgot about that. I've been really busy, you know, with my great uncle dying and my brother coming back to the family."

Okay.
#1: I refuse to believe that you just forget about something like the New Years Eve plans you made. That is called selective memory. OR LYING BECAUSE YOU LINED UP SOMETHING BETTER TO DO.
#2. You don't tell someone you're dating about the major family events that recently occurred in an email. Or, if you do, it is on the day of these major family events. Not sometime in the next week.
#3. I should also add that, at this point, it has been over a week since Colin has called me. I've called and left him messages twice during this time frame.

There was something in his email that led me to believe that forgetting about the hockey game meant that he wasn't coming. I told him, hastily, that I would get rid of the tickets.

I asked him to find out if Greg and Kellyann wanted their two tickets. Because, unlike Colin, I think about people other than myself. And I didn't want to sell their tickets out from underneath them, if they wanted to go.

He said he would let me know.

The whole day passes. Nothing.

I email him from work (it was too early to call) at 7:30 on Friday morning. Nothing.

I send him a text message (at this point, I am too pissed to call) at 6:00 on Friday night. Nothing.

I finally hear from him on Saturday morning. Greg and Kellyann aren't using their tickets. And I'm so sorry that I didn't get back to you yesterday. I was running around all day. I didn't get your text or your email until this morning.

LIAR. Does he not think I have ever seen him interact with technology? He checks his phones every four minutes. He's on his email on an hourly basis.

I have $500 worth of hockey tickets for a game that is in a handful of days that I can't use because HE IS A FUCK UP and he can't (or won't) find the time to make one phone call for me.

I'm supposed to be his girlfriend.

And yet I am his last priority.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Chicago

Train travel? Not so bad.
In the planning stages of the trip, we decided that we would take the train to Chicago. It would be cheaper than flying and, taking into consideration gas, parking and milage, it was less expensive than driving, too. The train takes about as long as driving would, but we could all sleep, we could all get up and walk down to the snack car, we each stretched out in our own row of seats. Lucy and Colleen each had a (plastic) glass of wine. It worked out pretty darn well. I’d do it again.

The best snack ever
In one of the smartest decisions we have ever made, Lucy, Colleen and I ordered a Chicago-style pizza to be delievered to our room. Sure, it didn’t come until 2:00 am (that’s what happens when you order at 1:30 am) but MY GOD it was the most delicious food I have ever feasted upon. Sure, I was starving – I hadn’t had a decent meal all day – but I am still pretty impressed that I downed three pieces of that greasy pie o’ death just before going to sleep. Yum. Anything would’ve tasted good at that point, but the truly delicious food practically killed me from pure, unadulterated joy.

Ho.
Technically, I'm 25. Mentally, I'm 6. We all picked one thing that we absolutely HAD to do while we were in the Windy City. My choice was getting our picture taken with Santa at Marshall Field's. (Which is now Macy's. Which is dumb.) It was our first stop on Friday morning.

While we had prepared for a lengthy wait, we zoomed through the line (it helps that they have multiple Santas). I sat at Santa's left, Colleen sat at Santa's right and Lucy perched on the arm of Santa's gigantic chair.

Until the photographer moved her to Santa's lap.

"Oh, Santa, Mrs. Claus wouldn't like this picture," the photographer teased.

And do you know what Santa did?

DO YOU KNOW WHAT SANTA DID?!

He looked down at his crotch.

Seriously.

I never win anything
As we were already down by the Oriental Theater seeing Santa, we got the idea that it would be fun to see Wicked. Truth be told, leading up to the trip there was more than one conversation that went something like:

Me: I’d love to take Colleen to see Wicked. But I really don’t want to pay for the tickets.
Lucy: Agreed. Plus, we’ve both already seen it. It is hard to justify that.
Me: Yeah.
Lucy: Yeah. Oh well.

And then we would continue planning our trip.

But, when we were down by the theater, in the midst of a really good trip, going to Wicked was suddenly the best. idea. ever. If we could get lottery tickets. Wicked in Chicago (and most other companies performing the show, from what I understand) does a lottery for each show where people can enter their name to win one of 10 pair of front row tickets they they sell at a phenominal $25 each.

If one of us won, we would just buy one ticket at full price and split the cost amongst us. I promised the girls that I wouldn’t mind sitting by myself.

It ended up not being an issue.

In a rare strike of startingly good luck, Lucy and I both won.

And we saw Wicked from the front row.

Sometime in the afternoon
We managed to squeeze in a visit to the Museum of Contemporary Art.

A healthy way to end the night
We stopped at The Cheesecake Factory on our way home from Wicked. Lucy and I shared the artichoke appetizer; we all had cheesecake. The Cheesecake Factory doesn't fire me up like it does other people (read: Colleen), but it was okay.

Saturday
We skipped the breakfast we had been planning; we just weren't hungry. Instead, we did a bit of damage at Filene's Basement and H&M before going back to our hotel to check out.

The burned the remainder of our day shopping and grabbing lunch. Then we trekked back to the hotel, settled in at the martini bar and managed to get just a wee bit drunk before having to head to the train station.

For the record: navigating a very busy pre-Christmas train station with a buzz is not so fun.

But the rest of the trip was.

Glad that we went. Very much so.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The writing is on the wall

His great uncle died.

His estranged brother came back to the family.

He doesn’t want to go to the Red Wings game on New Years Eve.

I found out via email.

And nearly started crying at work.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A sigh of relief

Christmas with my mom's family went surprisingly well.

It started off awkward and sad. And then it looked like it was going to be really awful. And then the clouds parted and the angels sang and it turned out way better than I could've imagined it to be.

I am very thankful.

It is crazy at work today, so I'll give you all the lowdown later.

Just thought you might like to know that we experienced the Christmas Miracle of 2007.

Monday, December 24, 2007

The mad holiday rush

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Preparations are in full swing. For Aunt Annette's Christmas Eve party, we made mini hamburgers and cake. We made our dishes for Christmas dinner. And we completed as much as we could for tomorrow morning's Christmas brunch. All of the goodies for mom's stocking are together. I've finished with my wrapping. My nails are painted red. I'm feeling somewhat prepared.

I think I'll even shower. Which would be nice, as the last time I showered I was in Chicago. Two and a half long days ago. And I've played hockey and been to the gym since.

I hope ya'll are feeling as ready as I do.

I hope ya'll have a magical and memorable Christmas.

And I really hope (selfishly?) that I don't have any family feud stories for you on Wednesday.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

In case you were curious

I'm not dead.

I haven't killed any family members.

I meant to give ya'll the heads up on Thursday, but I was busy at work and it took longer to get home than I had anticipated and I had to change my clothes and take one very deep breath before I left for Chicago.

It was an awesome trip. I cannot wait to tell ya'll about it. Everything worked out eerily well. We all got along. We snagged some bitchin' deals. Had a bit of good luck. Made memories at every turn.

We got home late last night. I flopped into bed and slept so hard that I did not dream. Dragged myself out of my bed a few hours later. Today was skating, followed by a short shopping trip that felt a lot like torture, a bit of baking and too much wrapping. In a half-hour, I'll leave for hockey. And I need to make an appearance at Heather's Christmas party.

And all through the year I thought I couldn't be any busier. Ha.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Ho, ho, horrible

Last year at Christmas, my family got in a really big fight.

It was the culmination of a lot of things – not one incident.

The really big fight continued in May.

Stayed awkward in September.

And, quite honestly, we did not expect to see Aunt Louise and Uncle Ed this Christmas.

But now they’re coming.

Afraid to leave them alone with Grandma and Grandpa on Christmas Eve, my mom invited all of them to the annual Christmas Eve party that my dad’s sister hosts. There are always tons of people there. The rest of the guests can talk to Louise and Ed so that the rest of us don’t have to.

On Christmas, we’re going to Aunt Marie’s house. Last year, Grandma said that it was her last year hosting Christmas and she didn’t lie. Aunt Marie stepped up to the plate.

And Uncle Ed said we had to have that stupid $25 gift exchange again.

And Aunt Marie made my mom promise that we would get to her house as early as humanly possible so that she wouldn’t be alone with them.

(Anyone sensing a pattern?)

Yesterday, Grandma called my mom in a panic. She was told – through a good friend whose daughter is banging Uncle Alan (no joke) – that Ed and Louise were spending Christmas at his house.

Which would absolutely. positively. unquestionably. break my grandmother.

You can’t stay at her house and then elect to spend the holiday with the son who won’t acknowledge her existance. That isn’t okay. It isn’t right.

I’m hoping that what Grandma heard was wrong. I imagine that it is, since Uncle Ed was initiating the $25 gift exchange. Maybe Louise and Ed are going to see Uncle Alan in the morning. They’ve done that since he quit the family.

Or maybe they aren’t. Maybe they will spend their Christmas with Uncle Alan.

And maybe I’ll punch one of them in the face.

Or maybe both of them.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I am not a fan of this month

This entire month has felt dense and scary.

I cannot let myself feel excited about starting my new job. I can only be terrified.

I cannot anxiously await moving into my new flat with my cousin Anna. I can only list the myriad of mishaps that could go drastically wrong.

I couldn’t see New York through Colin’s eyes – which have never had the pleasure of gazing at Manhattan. I can only resent his inexperience.

I cannot feel Christmas but for the looming of a deadline.

I cannot stop worrying. About my grandma. My dad. Colin. Myself.

I cannot buy a new sofa without feeling suffocated by the debt.

I cannot buy the right gifts.
I cannot do the right things.

I cannot feel anything but out of control.

The last part of this month is what scares me the most.

I am afraid of Christmas with my own family.

And I am afraid of what that says about me.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Hurrah

Sweet frickin' relief. I just finished - well, mostly finished, I still need to proofread but at least the writing part is done - my ginormous final project for class. I seriously thought that I would never get done.

But I just did. (Mostly.)
And it feels so good! (Besides knowing that I still need to proofread it.)

My head feels a little bit like it is going to explode. I'm taking it as a good sign. Much brain activity = head explosion = maintaining my 99% in class.

So. Yeah. Wish I could tell ya'll about something else, but my word has orbited around the library and nothing but the library since last Wednesday. There were breaks, of course (Lucy and I baking a shit load of bread, a soccer game, baking cookies with My Grandma the Troll, torturing myself at my holiday party for work, A MASSIVE SNOWSTORM, hockey practice and the like), but never anything intense enough to force me to temporarily forget about all the crap I needed to get done.

Once my brain returns to working order (which should coincide with my handing in my project at approximately 5:30 pm EST tomorrow), I'll tell ya'll stories of magic and joy.

Okay. That's a lie. But I will tell you about:
-My sister totally pimping me out on her Christmas present
-Seeing Colin on Friday
-Getting the keys to my new apartment
-How it feels like to have too much to do in too little time.

What? You already know what that feels like?

It must be the holidays!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Creepy

Colin knows the couple who lives in the flat beneath the one I just leased.

WHEN DOES IT END?!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Makin' and bakin'

Around Thanksgiving, My Grandma the Troll called me. “I have a bee in my bonnet,” she said. “I want all of my granddaughters to come over and we can bake Christmas cookies together.”

Of course I agreed.

Grandma’s idea of family is not the family that we have. And I know it and, at family parties, her hurt is palpable. Her only son quit her family. Her oldest daughter and her husband and their son are spawns of Satan. She has a physically sick daughter with a mentally sick daughter of her own. It is a big burden.

But there is still The Ideal.

Grandma still strives for The Ideal.

And what else would the grandmother of The Ideal Family do but have all of her granddaughters come over to bake Christmas cookies?

She would have her granddaughters come over for two straight days of cookie baking.

That is what I am doing tomorrow and Sunday. Baking cookies. Lots of cookies. And maybe making some truffles. And definitely eating so much crap that I get sick.

It should be okay.

I hate that I have this ENORMOUS final project hanging over my head, though. In a perfect world inhabited by a perfect student, I would be spending my weekend fine-tuning this project. Instead, I still have a fair amount of work to do and hopefully I’ll find enough time to proofread it once or twice before I go with Lucy and Colleen to see Juno on Monday night.

I should’ve done more work on the project today. But Lucy came over when she was done with work. And we had things to do.

Such as baking 15 miniature loaves of pumpkin and banana bread.

Because I wouldn’t get enough baking in this weekend.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Appropriately gloomy

Yesterday was a little sad.

I was bummed out about Colin and me.

And then I had to call my boss and tell her that I was leaving our building to take the mini promotion. Not that I’m heartbroken to leave her (hell no!) but, when she put me on the phone with my two closest coworkers so that I could officially break the news to them? Well, that was hard. They were both supportive. Blandly supportive. Supportive but kind of not.

Like they probably didn’t really want me to go.

I understand that.

But I thought they would fake it a little better so that I wouldn’t feel so bad about essentially abandoning them at the busiest time of the year.

It was a bummer.

And the weather was crappy and rainy and I was premenstrual and I had to drive an hour to go to class and I swear the radio was playing nothing but sad songs. To keep myself from marinating in the blues, I made phone calls. To Meg. To Lucy. To My Grandma the Troll. And nobody answered.

So I wallowed in it until I went to class, and then my sadness was replaced by disinterest.

And the realization that I will spend the rest of this week off of work doing my final project – a 100-question research whopper.

It didn’t exactly brighten my day.

But it got my mind off of the Colin conundrum.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Highlighting what is missing

So. Just got home from New York. I’m sitting on the floor by my bed with Blue, who got spayed today. Poor baby. She keeps looking at me with these tragically sad brown eyes. It is pretty much breaking my heart. Which is why Blue is on the bed and I am on the floor.

As far as New York goes: we had a lot of fun. We had a lot of fun and, somewhere in there, I realized that this thing that we have going on isn’t going to last. I cannot pinpoint what it was that made me come to this conclusion, but it was pretty evident. Colin had an amazing first visit to NYC, I enjoyed myself thoroughly, and we’re not going to make it as a couple.

I don’t know why New York brought out that realization.

New York made the differences in our lives and how we were raised very apparent. Colin has never done the big city thing. When we got in the cab at the airport yesterday morning, it was his second cab ride. In his entire life. And while I should have reveled in the opportunity to show him what New York was all about, I almost resented it.

Maybe I am just crabby and premenstrual.

But I think we would be better as friends.

Over the course of the trip, he hardly touched me. People who observed us together couldn’t have thought we were dating. I doubt they thought we were friends. I am willing to bet that, in the eyes of observers, I was the sister (maybe a cousin) and he was the brother. Who didn’t bring a coat along and insisted that a stupid hooded sweatshirt was sufficient enough.

It was really, really strange.

We did have fun. But it was strange.

We’re obviously trying to hard. We both like each other, but we do not like each other enough. It is forced. It is foolish.

I am wasting his time.

Maybe it will change. Even though I doubt it will.

I have a Christmas present for him. And we have plans for New Year’s Eve.

I’ll reassess at the beginning of the year. But it doesn’t look good.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

With the aid of subheadings

I'm taking the job
It is a little more of a promotion than I assumed that it would be. The hours, the boss, the location and the atmosphere are superior to where I currently work. It will be a good change. And if it isn't? I'll suffer for a year, graduate from library school and get a new job.

I wasn't presented with a set figure, but it appears that I will be getting a modest raise, too.

I'm going to New York
Tomorrow.

I have a feeling that it will either be a really, really good trip or a really, really bad one.

And my parents don't know that Colin is coming, which is absolutely horrible and dishonest of me.

We fly home on Tuesday morning. So if it is a horrible trip at least it will be a short one, too.

I live in Santa's Workshop
Or so it feels. I spent from 9:00 this morning until 7:00 tonight decorating the interior and the exterior of the house for Christmas. Meg came home from school, Dad was on the ladder in front of the house, I was stringing garland and Mom was directing us all. It was a real family effort. And a hell of a lot of work. But somehow I managed to enjoy it. And our tree looks fantastic.

Friday, December 07, 2007

It is probably a good thing

Yesterday - quite unexpectedly - I was offered a new position within the company.

Technically, it is not a promotion. I suspect that it is being made to reduce payroll at my current branch of the company (though if this is true, my current boss is putting on a great "oh, we will miss you so much" show). It cannot be coincidence that:
1. my branch of the company is not towing its own weight when it comes to payroll
2. my boss and the Biggest of the Big in the company spent all yesterday working on budget for next year
3. I got a phone call at 4:30 from the VP of the company asking me if I'd like to take a position (vacated by a maternity leave turned permanent) working for him.

There are many benefits to making this move.
1. I would be able to work Monday-Friday, 9-5.
2. It is much, much closer to home and to my apartment.
3. Because I wouldn't be working on Saturdays, I could take a Saturday class.

But consenting to such a big change is scary as hell!

I'm going in to meet with the VP sometime this afternoon. We'll see how that goes.

I just hate the idea of them "giving me the option" to have this job when it might not actually be optional. It might be more like "take this job or someone is getting laid off." But they're not saying that. And I think that I would rather they just did.

And I sort of don't like the VP. Actually, I really don't like the VP. I find him to be a condescending asshole. But I do think I could handle working with him.

And I'm concerned that the job will be too easy for me. It is essentially the same job that I do now, just on a phenomenally smaller scale. So I guess that I better find out what else I'll be doing. Because I don't think it is entertaining myself by reading Perez all day.

I slept horribly because of this last night. I shouldn't have. I should do this, even if I don't know the reasoning behind why it is being offered. Is is the best for me.

Change scares me, though.

And I'll be sad to leave my coworkers.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

50/50

I don’t quite understand
How unsure I am Colin and I

I have days when we will be married
In just a matter of time
And days when I am not certain that we will last another day
And not sure that I want us to, either.

I can’t quite distinguish my good judgment – about who would be good for me – from my desire to protect myself from all of the pain that the vulnerability of a relationship opens me up to.

I am equal parts enamored and terrified.

How long does this stage last?

When will I stop glancing over my shoulder?

How do you allow yourself to fall head over heels if you’re always hanging on for dear life?

I don’t get this.
I don’t understand me.

I just want it to work.
And to know that it will continue to.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The professor's daughter

A middle school friend turned high school acquaintance, Melody, didn't take the path that most of us did.

She was pregnant when we graduated from high school. She had two kids by the time she was twenty.

Melody always wanted to be a nurse. Heather and I always wished that somehow she find the money and the time and stop having babies long enough to go back to school.

Well, she did. And she ended up in my mom's program.

My mom gave me a brand-new textbook - their major textbook, which costs a gazillion - to give to Melody.

Mom mentions to me, time to time, how strange she thinks that it is that Melody never stops by her office. We were pretty tight in middle school. She spent a lot of time at my house. I've always agreed that it was strange, but passed it off on Melody being pretty shy.

And then I go on Heather's MySpace page and read this:
how are you? I saw Ally's mom last week. It was really wierd, I got on the elevator that she was on and I really didn't pay attention I was in my own little world, She said well hello miss Melody and I said hi but said oh I didn't realize that was you your hair is shorter. I'm such an idiot, she's like ya that happens through the years. She's lost a lot of weight but I couldn't say that so now she thinks I'm an idiot. She said oh so I see your pregnant again, you couldn't wait til school was over, she always rubbed me the wrong way I never knew how to take things she said!!!! Ally doesn't have Myspace does she?LOL

I'm pretty much really offended and only writing about this to get it out of my system. It doesn't matter. I'm not telling my mother (although she would just be amused). It isn't like I see Melody even once a year.

But that shit just bums me out.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Scandinavian shopping spree

Anna, Mom, My Grandma the Troll and I went to IKEA yesterday to celebrate our Scandinavian heritage and spend the almighty dollar.

We were very successful on both fronts.

We celebrated our Scandinavian heritage with meatballs and apple cake. And later we filled our carts with Swedish garland and bottles upon bottles of glögg – this mulled wine Christmas drink that is perfectly yum-o.

I found a couch for our new apartment – just the standard Ektorp model, because it matched best with Indoor Stella (the small, cream leather couch I already own) – and Grandma bought the slipcover to give to me for Christmas. Once Anna gets the keys to our place (December 15), Dad and I will go back and buy the couch. There’s no sense in moving it twice.

Anna picked out a chair that Grandma is giving her for Christmas. She bought frames, a rug and lamps for her bedroom. We contemplated art for the living room, drooled at the thought of an oversized mirror hanging over the couch, discussed buying a living room table and fawned over potential desks.

In the meantime, Grandma looked at every item in the store. No package went unturned, I swear. It was cute. She hadn’t been to IKEA before. I think she’s in love.

It was a really, really nice afternoon. The weather was sucky and the store was unusually quiet. It is fun, spending time with my family in such a low-key environment. We meandered through the store. Enjoyed our company. Dropped some dough. And had a decent time.

Not sure what else you can ask for on a rainy Sunday afternoon.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Breaking news

I found out last night – in a random outburst at the bar – that Colin’s dad is in the hospital.

It was strange the way that it came out. It was almost an “oh, I forgot to tell you...” and partially an “I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to get this out...”

It was not something I wanted to hear, obviously. Just as much as I am sure that Colin would have rather not told me. And all of my friends.

The words just kind of came out. And I just sat there, mouth agape, trying to comprehend:
a. what he was telling us was going on with his dad
b. how I was learning all of this at the same time my friends were.

I’m not sure how I feel about it all. But I am quite certain that how I feel is rather irrelevant.

It was just strange, I guess, how it occurred.

Other than that, I’m just worried. For Colin and for his dad.

I wish I could fix it.

Friday, November 30, 2007

I hear that it is the last day of the month!

I'll celebrate making it through another year of NaBloPoMo with a little, random picture post.

I took this picture of Blue when she climbed, uninvited, into one of the chairs in the office. It was funny that she chose the chair that she did; neither of our other dogs ever slept in that one.


Stevie was a fan of the plaid one, in fact.



I so miss that damn dog.

Here's a picture of me and Lucy asking like jackasses at the bar on Thanksgiving Eve.



And here's (from the left) my ass, Lucy's ass and Colleen's ass the morning after my epic birthday bash.



And, while I'm posting ass shots, here's one of my family (and Blue!) as we trekked through the wilderness to find The Perfect Christmas Tree.



We found it.



And, to complete this nonsensical collection of photos, an old favorite. Me, Mom and Meg shortly after my parents rocked my world by making me a big sister.



I think I'll take tomorrow off.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Vocab

In participating in other sports, I have been told that I talk like a soccer player. I'm not really sure how true that is, but I certainly have my own sports vocabulary. I say the same things. Over and over and over. And I have been since high school.

If you frequented indoor soccer complexes in the area, I bet that you could eventually pick me out of the crowd just by what comes out of my mouth.


"One on! One on! One on!"
This is how I tell teammates that there is an opposing player approaching. I always give them the number of approaching players. I always say it three times.

"Unlucky!" This is my go-to phrase when a teammate screws up or is beaten by a player who is simply better than he or she is. I also like to shout this phrase to my entire team if we get scored on when I'm not on the field.


"Well in!"
Good job.

"Have it!" How I encourage my teammates to shoot the ball.

"Yeah, ball." Loose translation: "pass the ball to me, please, I think that I am in a good position to make a play."

"Recover!" I use this in an encouraging way. I think that it sounds significantly better than "turn your ass around and redeem yourself!" but isn't too Polly Positive, either.

And that is it.

I've been mindlessly repeating the same six things in every soccer game I've played since middle school. Maybe even before.

Do ya'll have any good sports lingo to add to my repertoire? Do you find yourself using the same phrases over and over, or is it just me?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Being sick is...

...a good excuse to skip going to the gym.
...feeling alienated by coworkers.
...fluids! Fluids! And more fluids!
...having tissue burn on your nose.
...dependency on Sudafed products.
...extremely undesirable.
...good for reducing guilt about work productivity (or lack thereof).
...an excellent reason to go to bed early.
...living on a turkey noodle soup diet.
...shitty.
...finding NaBloPoMo difficult for the first time.
...unpleasant.
...no excuse to not take your new dog for a walk at every chance you get.
...having everyone tell you how awful you sound.
...drinking tea in mass quantities.
...not going to keep me from watching Gossip Girl tonight.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

December is going to be great

The thought of December makes me giddy.

Colin's birthday and our trip to NYC. I booked our hotel room today - great room in an amazing historic hotel (judging by the reviews, anyway) in a fucking fab-u-lous location. And now I have to start planning our New York City Day o' Glory. We're going to go touristy crazy. Colin has never been to New York before; there will be no shame.

[Suggestions? Anyone?]

Nine days later: the Girls do Chicago. We're taking the train - wheee! - and a great hotel room at a stupid price (I heart Priceline!).

Meg comes home from school.

Colin's birthday is on the 11th.

Danielle is home from Los Angeles.

I finish my class.

And I'm taking seven (7!!!) days off of work.

I am even excited about Christmas. I am never excited about Christmas.

Before I know it, we'll be in 2008. And I'll be on a budget. December is going to be fantastic. And memorable. And expensive.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Hot mess, party of one

Is it bad that I don't want to see Colin tonight?

What about if I told you that I have a killer, sneezing, snotty head cold, a hideous zit of gargantuan proportions, frizzy hair, nails that need to be polished and legs that need to be shaved. Is it bad then?

I have major body image issues.

And, on days like today, I SHOULD.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Meltin' the ice

I am fortunate enough to skate at a figure skating club that is, quite frankly, an elite training center. Many of America’s top young ice dancers train there under an exceptional coaching tandem; I expect that during the 2014 Olympics I will be able to watch the ice dancing competition and point out a team or two that I once trained on the same ice as.

My club draws coaches from all over the world. It is not unusual to have a guest skater or two – usually skaters with skill so advanced that I cannot fathom having such talent – on our club sessions, training with these elite coaches. Skating more perfectly than should be humanly possible.

There is no other skater, in my mind, that will ever top our current guest skater.

He is Russian-born.
A Canadian citizen.
A gorgeous, fluid, musical skater.
AND A MODEL FOR ABERCROMBIE.

Yeah. I said it. An Abercrombie model.

My practices have been exceptionally unproductive these last two weeks.
But my salivary glands have gotten quite the workout.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

April showers

I am so irritated with April.

I didn’t write about it at the time, but earlier in the month when my friends and I made Thanksgiving dinner, April flaked out on us again. Much like Lucy’s birthday, she lost control and then lost her mind. She dropped off her side dishes and then didn’t show up to dinner.

It was, according to the apology email that she sent to us, “a combination of many things and just came down to my mood not being as good as I would have liked to celebrate with you guys.”

Really, she was just pissed because she wanted us to have dinner at 6:00 pm so that her married boyfriend could come and Lucy wanted to have it at 10:00 pm so that her husband could come. And Lucy won. Because she was hosting our Thanksgiving. Because Chet is her husband. Because that is what we decided.

And, just like at Lucy’s birthday, April couldn’t take it. And, just like at Lucy’s birthday, she bailed on us.

It’s bullshit.

It has been three weeks since any of us have spoke to April. Lucy made first contact. They went for coffee yesterday.

At Starbucks, April told Lucy that she likes being a part of our group of friends. She likes going to the bar with us. She has fun.

But our personalities are too strong for her to do anything “big” with us. We are too opinionated and it intimidates her. And then she pulls away.

That is her take on it, anyway.

My take on it is that she always wants to get what she wants. And that she would like to be friends with us when it is convenient for her.

I’m not sure how I am going to handle this. Secondhand via Colleen, Lucy sounds sympathetic and forgiving. Firsthand, I can you that I feel neither of those emotions.

I almost don’t care. I don’t want to fight for our friendship. But I’m also not wounded or angry enough to feel as though it is beyond repair.

April is like a gnat. Obnoxious and largely harmless. And the proud owner of one brain cell.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Daydreams, babies and bloating

Is it just me, or is anyone else plain ol’ plumb tuckered out?

It is always nice to feel like you got your ass kicked after two consecutive days off of work.

The holidays are exhausting!

Whatever. I was busy. Busy shopping. Busy baking pies. Busy going to the bar with Lucy and Colleen. Busy policing Meg and her (underage) friend at the bar. Busy with family time. Busy eating myself sick. Busy watching Ugly Betty and Grey’s. Just busy, you know?

Colin got back from Florida past midnight on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. I haven’t seen him. And it is killing me a bit. It has been over a week since I have seen him. And I am afraid that this absence will stunt our momentum.

I don’t want that to happen.

I don’t want it to ever happen.

I’m enjoying myself. This is fun. This works. And, as far as I’m concerned, this can keep growing. Like a snowball on a hill. Like my passion for Gossip Girl. Like my gut at dinner yesterday.

Sometimes I get all caught up in The Daydream.

But I am excessively superstitious, so I won’t detail The Daydream. Just know that it is grand and long and full of blonde babies. But I will keep it to myself. I don’t want to melt the snowball.

This is the most vague, nonsensical rambling I have posted in...uh. Nevermind. I’m always posting vague and nonsensical bullshit, eh?

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thankful, very

I would like to detail all that I am thankful for this year, but I cannot.

I just got home, after spending a few hours with one of my oldest friends - Aviva - and the house smells like turkey. Six perfect pies are sitting on the kitchen counter. We have a fire roaring in a fireplace. A pretty puppy named Blue met me at the door. Football is on the television. And my extended family is due over at any moment.

So, in the interest of time, I will generalize.

I am thankful for it all.

For the job that I hate. For the family that I love. For friends who are just a little crazy. For crappy weather. For cute shoes. For my unbelievably cruel aunt, uncle and cousin in Chicago. For the bedroom that doesn't hold all of my belongings and the flat I just leased. For Saturday morning's 4:30 am wakeup call. For my health. For my wimpy stomach. For everything I have and everything that I don't. And for the simple, humble ability to feel thankful.

I plan on having a beautiful, bountiful, slightly dysfunctional holiday.

I hope yours is as good as mine will be.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The perfect day is...

Having Meg all to myself.

Sleeping in just late enough.
Oatmeal for breakfast.
A shockingly efficient and successful trip to the mall (operation: dress for Meg to wear to a wedding, moisturizer for me)
Finding the perfect napkins to match Mom’s new Thanksgiving tablecloth.
Hamburgers and French fries for lunch.
Teaching Blue how to shake.
Cranking out perfect pumpkin pies.
Churning out equally perfect pecan pies.
Watching Oprah while lying in bed.
A quick trip to the gym.
Dinner with Mammy and Pappy.
Finally having Colin back in the state.

And capping it off with my best girlfriends, and my darling little sister, at Our Bar.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Official medical speak

Our new dog, who we named Blue, has not been spayed. Yet.

My mom the nursing professor on this situation: "we need to pick a day to get her box taken out."

My sister the neuroscience major on population control: "Blue is getting her box removed before Christmas."

Classy. Holler.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Moving in on January 1

Anna and I found an apartment!

It is a flat, actually, or a duplex or whatever it is that you would like to call it. It is located in a super young neighborhood, in a convenient and central location, on a safe street.

It is adorable and I am excited. The flat is old and containing all of the old house charm that is Anna’s prerequisite. It is not tiny like the other one we were considering, which is great.

[Unfortunately, it also doesn’t have the fireplace. Which is sad. But will probably save us on our renter’s insurance.]

What it does have includes leaded glass windows and hardwood flooring and a den/optional third bedroom and laundry and a huge basement that I can fill to my pack rat heart's content and a really long driveway and the cutest porch and – seriously, I just cannot wait to show ya’ll pictures. The place is absolutely charming and it is within walking location to a downtown area that includes bars (hi. yay.) and restaurants and other fun things and I am so excited to spend a year living there.

Glorious, glorious.

Rent for the flat is a little more than I wanted to spend, but I’ll get over it. Especially if we ever get a third roommate. Because then my rent will be so cheap that I’ll practically become a millionaire overnight.

I am not crazy about the landlord, but that is a story for another day. Bob is a paranoid yuppie who – I am fairly certain – does not pay taxes on the income he makes off of the house. He wears gaudy jewelry. And he is all into judging the character of his potential renters.

I guess we passed whatever strict standards he was holding us to...which was something more than just having a pulse, but less than having any substantial amount of money in the bank.

Whatever.

Regardless of the demented reasoning behind it, we got the flat. Anna moves in on December 15. I'll move in at the beginning of the year.

And then the fun begins.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

I am so awesome

I have started my Christmas shopping.

I never start my Christmas shopping this early.

For Meg, I bought a Mexican national team soccer jersey.



We're planning on going to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, and we want to stock up on our national team jerseys so that we have something appropriate to wear no matter which games we end up at.

...Meg bought me a blinding orange Netherlands jersey for my birthday.

I decided that Colin needs a little help with his interior decorating. His house, to put it very mildly, is a bachelor pad to the (dirty, bland, unappealing) extreme.

I pulled out all the stops, whipped out my advanced web searching skills, and found him some gorgeous World Cup posters that I'll have framed for his living room.

I'm pretty sure he'll love them.

From Germany, 2006:


From France, 1998.


From USA, 1994:


I think I might even branch out and buy gifts that are not soccer related!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

I have a new sister!

My mom couldn't stand not having a dog around the house.

A friend forwarded her an email from the shelter.
Female
Very sweet and friendly
Housebroke
Good natured
Approx 1-2 yrs old
Needs out ASAP


The email had pictures attached. My mom was instantly sold. And my dad cannot tell her no.

They picked her up this afternoon. I have yet to meet her, but she sounds very sweet. And she, judging by this photo taken at the shelter, she looks very cute.



Welcome to the family, Yet To Be Named Dog!

(Don't chew up any of my belongings, please.)

Friday, November 16, 2007

Resolution Review 10

Hey! Did you notice that it is past the middle of the month and I still haven't reviewed my resolutions from October? Yeah. Exactly. Would that have anything to do with the fact that I DIDN'T DO CRAP.

1. Read 12 novels.
Not a thing. Suck.

2. Find a new job or go back to school. Or, ideally, find a new job AND go back to school.
Kicking ass in my class. Not suck.

3. Go to the gym with increased frequency.
Gym: Maybe I went seven times in October. Better than September. Still sucky.
Skating: Eight skates in October. Which I fear will be dropping, dramatically, in the near future.
Soccer: I played 5 games in October. It was fun.
Hockey: Between games and practices, I had five skates last month. I'm not loving hockey like I have in the past. I wonder if I'll keep it up.

4. Not make a weight-related resolution.
I felt awfully good about my body in October. Now November is another story, but in October I was pretty darn good.

5. Knit more.
I didn't even look at my knitting needles. Suck.

6. Stop the incessant purchasing.
One little shopping trip to Macy's. And a very expensive skating dress. Could have been worse. Could've been like November is turning out to be.

7. Visit with my grandparents more.
I saw Grandma and Grandpa a few times. For my birthday, my birthday party and Emma's birthday party. But no nice, special little visits. And that is rude.

8. Cut back on the coffee/hazelnut cappuccino mix that I feast on allfrickingdaylong at work. It’s as bad as sipping on a soda all day.
I had a few cups, maybe. And every time I did, I was doubled over in pain. Nice.

9. Become a sweet-ass juggler.
No. Of course, no. Obviously, no. Barf. And also puke.

(CAN YOU SEE WHY I DIDN'T WANT TO DOCUMENT THIS PATHETICFEST?!)

10. Allow myself to trust Colin.
October was - by far - our best month ever. He's letting himself become a part of my life. And I'm letting him. He's not just a boyfriend. He is a part of my circle of friends. I'm opening myself up. He's putting his job on the back burner when it is appropriate.

And I fee like can trust him like I never have before. So I am.

On 2007's resolutions:
The Original
Resolution Review 1
Resolution Review 2
Resolution Review 3
Resolution Review 4
Resolution Review 5
Resolution Review 6
Resolution Review 7
Resolution Review 8
Resolution Review 9

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Nothing, and everything, is the same

I remember starting this blog.

I remember wanting to remember starting this blog.

I think that I knew – had some inkling, anyhow – that this blog would be big in my evolution from unhappy college student to...to...whatever and whoever I was supposed to become.

I wasn’t sure what the end product was supposed to be. I still don’t. But, every day, I’m getting a clearer vision of who I am and who I want to become.

And I have a record of it.

That is why I’ve kept up this blog for the last three years.

It was a miserably cold, rainy November afternoon. I got home from my internship and fell into the plaid armchair in the corner of our library. I might not have even bothered taking my coat off when I sat down and propped my laptop atop my knees. The chill of November had seeped deep into me. And I started a blog.

I needed to. I was scared and unhappy. In a lot of ways, college wasn’t good for me. I came home insecure, self-loathing and uncertain. I had my degree, but not much else. Failure was never far from my thoughts.

I am not a completely different person. I am not deliriously happy. I have reached no career goals. I have no money in the bank. I am nobody special. I haven’t reached my pinnacle.

But I can live with myself. And that is an improvement.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Meme Mania

The resident Bad Girl 'round these parts tagged me - oh, weeks and weeks ago - and I'm just getting around to this meme.

But first, the rules:
A) Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog
B) Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself
C) Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs
D) Let each person know that they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

'cept I'm not going to follow all of the rules. I'm not big into picking and choosing and tagging. So. If you want to do this, you should consider yourself very tagged. Wheeee!

1. I miss being a complete social reject. Before I was friends with the rest of The Girls and Lucy was in Thailand or not spending every minute of her free time with me, before Colin came around and shook up my entire existence, I had a lot of Friday and Saturday nights at home. I'd watch television and wear sweats and go to bed really early. I miss that time by myself and I miss that time alone with my family. And I really, really miss not being so damn tired.

2. One of the best parts about moving in with my parents is waking my dad up when I get home at night. He is always confused and disoriented and says the most random and illogical things. Then, in the morning, he doesn't remember the conversation we had but Mom and I do so we laugh at him (and the stupid shit he said) for hours on end. And it is fun.

3. I am a sucker for a compliment. At my soccer game yesterday, for example, we were playing this girl who was ridiculously skilled. We knew this because we've played with (and against) this girl a million times over. Standing at the sidelines, bitching about our fate, one of my teammates said "oh well, you're way prettier than she is anyway." At that moment, I considered asking her to be my best friend.

4. I am terrified that I will get my master's degree and still not be able to find a decent job in my field. It happened with my undergraduate degree from a very good school, so I can't see what it couldn't happen again.

5. I'm okay with losing. Someone who plays as many sports with the frequency that I do should probably be ubercompetitive, but even playing on a team that loses nearly every game really doesn't bother me all that much. I guess I am one of those rare gems who play due to a true love of the game. Huh.

6. I bake better than I cook. Way, way better. It is just because I have far more experience baking. Putting an entire meal together is hard! It takes timing and planning AND effort. I'm just starting to get good at it.

7. I just got coffee for the coach of an Olympic gold medallist. If that gives you any idea of what kind of job I have. And how important I am at that job.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Strangely well-rested

One of the things that I most like about my job, and one of the things that I like least about my job, is its flexibility.

I like the flexibility when I can manipulate the schedule for maximum time off in exchange for a minimum hit to my allotment of paid time off. I like it on my own terms. And I despise it every Saturday morning, every late Thursday night, every time my schedule deviates from M-F, 9-5.

This week has started out very promising.

While walking out the door on Saturday, I glanced at the calendar. Oh. I'm not scheduled for work on Monday because I'm working on Friday. Huh. I totally forgot about it.

Score.

And I have a training session to suffer through today (10-1 odds that I'll find a way to get bitched out, again) from 10 am - 2 pm. Which means I slept in. Again.

It is really strange, getting out of bed without that heavy drag of sleep deprivation.

I could get used to it.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Six days to perfection

On Thursday morning, Colin leaves for a six-day business trip to Florida.

I am a little jealous that he gets to go to Florida, while I have to stay in this impossibly gray and gloomy Michigan November.

And, at the same time, I am looking forward to his trip. Six days apart will give me the time and the space to see what we’re becoming with the clarity that I need.

We revved this up so quickly. From eternally sorta-kinda to full-on boyfriend/girlfriend before I could process it. I had been telling myself, for more than two years, that when we were in our almost relationship (as opposed to when he fell off the face of planet earth), it was what I wanted, what I needed and what I deserved. And now that I have what I deserve...it is overwhelming.

In a really, really good way.

Colin is being the ideal boyfriend. He is transitioning better than I am. I guess it makes sense. The reason that we’re more now than we were before is because he is finally ready and willing. He grew up. He opened his eyes. He initiated. He made the suggestion that we give up the games and try a real relationship. And then he followed through and made it happen.

I am, in many ways, floundering. I don’t know how to be a girlfriend. I barely knew how to be a sometimes, kinda-sorta, when it is convenient for you girlfriend. I’m going from administrative assistant to CEO. It makes my head spin.

I’m learning. How to balance everything. When I should skip going to the gym to be with him and when I shouldn’t. How often we should go out with my friends versus his friends versus the amount of time we spend alone. How to be present and fearless and open. How to strike a compromise between confidence and vulnerability.

It is exhausting, all of this learning.

I am doing the best that I can. But I want to do better.

And that is why I am thankful for Colin’s business trip. Not because he’ll be gone (I suspect that I will miss him quite fiercely), but because it will give me time to analyze. To get better. To be my neurotic, perfectionist self.

To have Colin come home to a better person than the one he left.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The housing situation

My cousin and soon-to-be roommate Anna and I went looking at apartments last weekend. Did I mention that?

Anna is a funny girl. Her mom – my aunt Marie – is an artist and, as a result, Anna has very strong ideas about what is beautiful and what is not. She would be the first to admit that she likes old things. Things that she deems as having character.

Because of Anna’s personal preferences, we didn’t look at traditional apartment buildings. Instead, we looked at houses converted into duplexes in an area where such accommodations are pretty common.

Duplex 1 was nasty. Incredibly dirty considering that it was being opened for showing to multiple groups of potential renters, not just us. The bedrooms were painfully small. I’d be able to fit my bed, but I wasn’t sure that I could even fit one of my dressers in addition to the bed. And that would suck.

Duplex 2 was adorable. Unlike the other two, this was on the first floor of the original house. The house has a big front porch and a modest backyard – with a vegetable garden that we could plant whatever we wanted to in, if we so desired. The duplex had all hardwood floors, a fireplace in the front room, lots of natural light. The bedrooms were small – not as small as Duplex 1, but still smaller than I would like. The kitchen is not big and neither is the bathroom, but the dining room and living room are both big and open and fantastic. Perfect for socializing.

Duplex 3 was probably my favorite. It was the biggest, by far. The bedrooms were comparable to that in my old apartment, the bathroom was enormous. The kitchen was painted an unattractive mauve color, but the rest of the place had a cute, unique paintjob of pleasing neutrals. So much better than the standard white. This was the priciest of the duplexes that we looked at, but also the biggest.

Anna didn’t love Duplex 3. She claimed that she was concerned with the neighborhood – that the area (all of five or six blocks from Duplex 2) was just a little sketchy. Really, though, she hated that it was so standard. I understand. I would happily trade the carpet in for hardwood floors and a fireplace, but I wanted the space of Duplex 3.

We’ve been taking this week. The more we talk about it, the further we lean to Duplex 2. I would be very, very okay with living there. Our landlord’s house is on the same street. And the fireplace is so damn cute. A small bathroom won’t kill me. And it is less expensive than Duplex 3, anyhow.

We’re going back this week to look at Duplex 2 again. I've just finally started to feel settled here and I could be moving before the beginning of the year. Crazy.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Two girls meet at a coffee shop

Lucy and I met at Caribou for coffee last night. We were supposed to be doing homework. I did a bit. She did a bit.

And still we managed to fit in a good deal of chatting. Here, my dear readers, is just a sampling of our eccentric and random topics of conversation.

Labor unions
The meaning of dreams, particularly dreams about babies
My ill-fated paper
Colleen’s adventures in online dating (including 20 minutes of attempting to locate her on match.com and Yahoo! Personals)
Lucy and Chet’s potential trip to Israel
Caribou’s Pumpkin Pie Latte versus Starbucks’ Pumpkin Pie Latte
The felted bag of a girl sitting at the table across from ours
Alexa’s financial downturn
Lucy’s take on her homework: “I think what I’m writing I’m making up, but I really like it. It sounds really professional”
Roth IRAs
April acting like a spoiled, rotten, nasty little bitch and ditching us for our Thanksgiving last weekend because we wouldn’t have dinner at the time she wanted
Proprietors of small stores in vacation towns
The appropriateness of dancing to The Girls’ theme song without The Girls present
Fried tomatoes served at a local restaurant that closed at least five years ago
Sprite
MLA versus APA style
Alexa “bumping uglies” with someone new
Dr. Susan Wicklund’s book This Common Secret: My Journey as an Abortion Doctor
Panera Bread
Lucy’s (very minor) pregnancy scare
Our impending trip to Chicago
Kickboxing class
Boots
April’s dad and how important he is or is not within the Chrysler corporation
The song The Girls should sing the next time we’re faced with the opportunity to sing karaoke
My sister
Walgreen’s
The art of determining that what you’re writing makes no sense
Thanksgiving dinner of last week
Whether lambs are cute, not cute or neutral

Disclaimer: no, we really are two intelligent, educated women. I haven’t been putting up a front all this time. Seriously.

Friday, November 09, 2007

How to burn a day

I completely wasted today.

I completely waste most Fridays, as a matter of fact. It is very easy, when Friday is your day off of work, to spend it unwisely – doing not much of anything because you have absolutely nobody to be held accountable to.

Ironically, I get up early on Friday mornings. I am at the rink and on the ice by 7:45 am. I skate for two hours, I bumble around and talk to the other skaters and take my leisurely time pulling off my skates. I leave home for home around 10 am.

Back at home between 10:20 and 10:30 am, I find myself cold and hungry. I make a bit of breakfast – usually something as unimpressive as peanut butter on toast or cereal – and settle in front of my laptop to read a few blogs. Only for a few minutes. Just because I’m still a little too cold to even consider taking off my clothes so that I can take a shower.

And, before I know it, it is noon. And I have done nothing.

So I take my shower, deferring clothes for my robe. Unlike a workday, I don’t have to get dressed with wet hair hanging down my back. I like that I can wait. So I do.

While waiting for my hair to dry, I’ll watch an episode of Grey’s Anatomy or Gossip Girl. Maybe I’ll check my email. On a particularly productive day, I might even go so far as to check the balance of my checking account.

My hair is dry around 4:00 pm. If I’m in charge of dinner that night, I’ll run to the grocery store. If not, perhaps I’ll run a few errands. Pick up a prescription. Spend money that I don’t have. Whatever.

It isn’t long before it is time for me to start on dinner.

Then Mom and Dad come home and I smile and nod and act very jolly. And serve them dinner.

The rest of my evening is spent digesting my food and waiting for my soccer game to start.

Tonight is a long wait. My game isn’t until 11:10 pm. Annoying.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

I...

...feel like I just got my ass kicked.
...slept in until 8:15 this morning!
...am all giddy and starry-eyed as I daydream about what Colin and I can do in NYC.
...want to go with my sister and my cousin to Los Angeles in February.
...have obviously been bit by the traveling bug.
...am less than thrilled about the current state of my skin.
...already know what I’m getting Colin for Christmas.
...have exchanged at least 30 emails with Colin over the course of my workday.
...cannot wait for Grey’s Anatomy even though it sucked last week.
...have dealt with far too many stupid people today.
...am anxiously awaiting Thanksgiving.
...will leave work in a half-hour.
...am officially in MySpace.
...think I am crazy for being on MySpace.
...didn’t catch Gossip Girl last night.
...want a new winter coat.
...have yet to fall in love with my new car.
...am always a little neurotic.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

A pricy day

I don't know what got into me today.

A few days ago, I got the bright idea of taking Colin to the Red Wings game on New Year's Eve. It is Detroit tradition - the Wings play on NYE every year - and I thought it would be good, low key fun. And after the game, we could meet up with friends for the traditional hullabaloo.

I suggested to Colin that he invite Greg and Kellyann to the game. Kellyann supposedly loves hockey (I imagine that it is in a really superficial way); it felt like a gesture of good will. ...things always feel awkward between us. (I have no idea why. HA.)

Colin wanted to go. Greg said he and Kellyann were in. And I was on StubHub, looking for 4 tickets in the lower bowl for one of the most popular games of the year.

I found them - complete with a parking pass for the riverfront executive lot - not too terribly over face value.

Problem? Face value on a lower bowl Red Wings ticket isn't exactly cheap.

Adding in shipping and commission and whatever surcharge they sock you with, I was down a cool $500.

It didn't stop there.

Then I started looking for mid-December flights to New York City. I still have a few vacation days left to burn and I'm itching to take Colin somewhere for his birthday. The catch, of course, is finding a time when we can both be off of work.

I email him 200 times (but I refuse him details, including location). I search every airline 50 times over. And then, a beacon of hope that goes by the name of Spirit Airlines.

$60some each. Please. I'm in.

Send Colin urgent email.

He says he can go after noon on Sunday and has to be back by 4:00 pm on Thursday.

Later Sunday flights are more than twice the price.

And I'm feeling impulsive.

Booked: painfully early flight to NYC on Monday, morning flight back to Detroit on Tuesday. 27 hours in the Big Apple. It seems foolishly short, yes, but I am confident that we can make it work.

Restricting our first trip together to just over 24 hours seems smart, in fact.

And even if it isn't, I beg you to pretend otherwise. The tickets are nonrefundable.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

If you want to be bored, read this

I just registered for the winter semester.

Actually, I just logged in to my school email account, read the email that indicated that registration started yesterday at 7:00 am, freaked the fuck out, and calmed down just long enough to register for classes.

And now I’m back to full on freaking the fuck out.

I hate uncertainty!

I’m signed up for four. I’ll only take two. I’m only absolutely certain of one.

The one class that I’m absolutely taking is on the satellite campus right by my work. Perfect. It is one of the two classes that come highly recommended that you take in your first semester.

(Which, you’ll note, I obviously did not do.)

The other class that I want to take is on Wednesdays at 1:00 pm. It is the other one of the two classes that come highly recommended that you take in your first semester.

(Which, you’ll note, I also obviously did not do.)

I also signed up for an online section of the Wednesday at 1:00 pm course, even though my gut tells me that I would suck at an online class.

Lastly, I signed up for a higher-level class that is on Wednesday evenings. This is the class I’ll take if I cannot somehow get out of work and accept my fate as an online student loser. I mean, really, it obviously wouldn’t be the end of the world if I skipped the one recommended class for another semester.

But what I would really like to do, in a perfect world, is take Wednesdays off of work. And just work four 10-hour days.

In my current job, it would be totally feasible. This building is open ridiculous hours.

But my boss is also a ridiculous tool.

And, in order for me to ask her if I can have Wednesdays off, I need to tell her that I’m in graduate school. Which I haven’t done. Because it really isn’t her business.

I’m trying to weigh this all out. What is the likelihood that she’ll let me have Wednesdays off? Is it worth telling her that I’m in graduate school for the slim chance that I could get the preferred schedule – or would I be better off keeping my mouth shut and my schooling a secret so that I don’t have my boss thinking that I may quit at any second?

If I tell her the truth about what I’m in school for, she is going to lose her mind. In her peanut brain, my boss assumes that I will work in this job that offers me no advancement for the rest of my life. Obvious even to her would be the fact that a master’s degree in library science isn’t going to keep me here.

I’m considering telling her that I’m getting my MBA.

Sure, I would have absolutely no business getting an MBA. But an MBA wouldn’t scare her so much; it could be applicable to a position at the highest levels of the company – even though none of those jocks have anything more than a bachelor’s degree.

So here I am, spinning lies. Considering spinning lies, anyway. I’m not quite sure that I can do it. Maybe it is just getting ahead. Playing the game to preserve myself.

I have no idea. I just want Wednesdays off.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Warm fuzzies

Random lady at the gym: Are you a Kensington?

Me: A what?

Random lady at the gym: A Kensington. Is that your last name?

Me: Um, no, I'm not related to anyone with...what was the name again?

Random lady at the gym: Kensington.

Me: I know no Kensingtons.

Random lady at the gym: No? Well, take it as a compliment. They are all very beautiful.

Me: Oh! Thank you.

The moment I've been waiting for

From: Cousin Liz
To: Aly
Sent: Sun 11/4/2007 12:59 PM
Subject: Myspace

You have 48 hours to get on myspace or I am going to create one for you and it won't be pretty. Love you....

I've been teetering on the edge of joining MySpace for far too long. I was holding out for a bully to twist my arm and force me into join. And hopefully make my page for me. Score.

All along, I assumed that it would be Colleen, who loves and adores MySpace with every beat of her heart. But I am sure that my darling Cousin Liz will do a dynamite job of molding my MySpace persona into that of the next Tila Tequila.

I'll just wait for her to send me the link.

And stress out about if I should put my relationship status as single or in a relationship.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Pretty in fleece

I am a high fashion model. I am sitting here, not having showered today, wearing Uggs, Vaseline smeared on my chapped lips, clad in a darling combination of black fleece pants and a gray fleece hoodie. It is quite the look.

I am absolutely exhausted. I think I may go to bed at 9.

It was a busy, wonderful, memorable weekend. I was supposed to go with my hockey team to a tournament in Ontario - I am so glad that I skipped it.

The wedding was standard, but a big stepping stone in my relationship with Colin. After almost three years of on-again and off-again, we were finally just like every couple. Real. Committed. Without the drama and the uncertainty. In some ways, it was like our coming out party. We're not just dating anymore, folks; we're a couple. A real couple. With staying power and everything.

Thanksgiving dinner with my friends was a stepping stone in itself. Lucy and I (with a little bit of help from others) made an entire Thanksgiving feast. Had it done on time. Everything was edible. Isn't that something that only real grownups can do? Are we real grownups? It appears that we're heading towards that status.

My cousin Anna and I went looking for apartments today. We checked out a few darling duplexes in a very young, hip suburb. I can see myself living there. Anna and I will make a decent roommate pairing. I'd be paying a small fraction of what I was paying in rent at my old apartment. I'll be closer to work than I am living at home. The size of my bedroom and the size of my closets will be a challenge, but a challenge that I will gladly take on for the opportunity to live in a house with hardwood floors and a fireplace and a front porch and spades of character.

Lastly, I received notification that I was granted a scholarship for next semester. Not big money, but money that will take a substantial bite out of what I'll need to pony up for two classes in the winter term.

Maybe its just because I'm blissfully wrapped in fleece, but it feels like everything - school, housing, friendship and a romance - is finally coming together.

I hope there isn't a catch.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Friends, food, football, family

As we left the wedding, we were handed a little Krispy Kreme donut. I’m not a huge fan of Krispy Kremes – or any other donuts, for that matter – but I thought it was cute.

My mom made an ass-kicking strata for breakfast this morning. I recently had a second piece for lunch.

My friends and I are having our own little Thanksgiving dinner tonight. We often get these ideas in our head, ideas that usually involve us cooking massive amounts of food.

Since getting up at 9:00 this morning, I have made four pies (2 pecan, 1 pumpkin, 1 apple), stuffing, applesauce and cranberry sauce. I still have to make pumpkin bread pudding. And maybe help my cousin Anna, who is joining us for our little friendly Thanksgiving, make her vegetable.

Before we take on our bread pudding and veggies, Anna and I are heading out to the bar where the UM Alumni Association gathers to watch football games and watch our Wolverines (hopefully) spank those Michigan State University Spartans.

I’ve never gone to an Alumni Association event before. I have no idea what to expect. Hot MBAs? Crusty, old goats who cannot quite tear themselves away from those four years spent playing Frisbee on the diag and cramming at the UGLi? I’m just hoping that the event is light on creeps. And heavy on the fun, preferably.

While we’re cheering on the boys in maize and blue, I think we’ll have some nachos. I am certain that they are a specialty of the house, seeing as how it is an Irish pub and everything.

We’ll come home after the Wolverines have clinched the victory. We will complete all necessary preparations for our feast, and head on over to Lucy’s. Dinner is at 10:30 pm, just as Chet is getting home from work.

I expect it to be enjoyable. In addition to really, really delicious.

I cannot believe that we’re making a Thanksgiving dinner. We’re so, like, old.

Because I have no shame

And because I thought you might be curious.
And because I'm mildly narcissistic.

This is what my hair looks like straight. When I am just home from a wedding and making a silly face.



And this is what the back of my hair looks like when it is straight. It is also what my eyeball looks like when it has just gotten home from a wedding, after its been up since 6 am, when it is incapable of figuring how to synch a camera and a mirror.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Being a girl is hard work

I’ve spent my entire day getting ready for this wedding. I took a shower (!!) and I braided my leg hair (oh, wait, no. I shaved my legs) and then I went for a manicure and pedicure.

Lets talk about how I smeared my manicure. UGH. Hate.

Then I ran a few errands, picked up a card and went to have my hair highlighted, blown out and straight ironed. Which took. Two. And. A. Half. Hours.

I better be the hottest girl at this damn wedding.

Except for the bride. I guess she can look better than me.

But only a little.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Commence the diarrhea of the mouth

Oh my goodness. It is already November!

(I forgot “rabbit, rabbit” this morning. Per usual. Another month of bad luck.)

Here is what November means:
1. Cooking my very first Thanksgiving dinner, with my friends, this Saturday night.
2. My three-year blogiversary.
3. NABLOPOMO!

As you may recall, last year I plowed through NaBloPoMo and then Holidailies, posting every single day in both November and December. While I’m not sure I have two straight months in me this time around, I definitely have one. I like a good challenge. Especially when it involves recounting minute details of my dull existence. Wheeee! Three cheers to self-absorption!

Here is the public service announcement portion of today’s entry: if you haven’t tried NaBloPoMo, I highly suggest that you do. It is a challenge, but not too much of a challenge. You feel successful when you’re done, but not exhausted. It is a really good way to get your blog out there to new readers and an equally good way to find a few new blogs to read, too.

And – just admit it – you want to be just like me.

NaBloPoMo is a great place to start.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Wedding Date

Lucky, lucky Colin. I’m his date to a wedding on Friday!

Here’s a little snippet of how sheltered my life is: I’ve never been a wedding date before. Well, maybe I was something of a faux lesbian date when I went to Aviva’s brother’s wedding to keep her company. But I knew her brother long before he was getting hitched, so it was a little different.

What I’m getting at, really, is that I’ve never gone to a wedding of someone I don’t know. Where I’m going in with no idea of what the wedding will be like or how dressy the reception will be and whatnot. I also have no idea where the bride and groom are registered at, because Colin is a guy and doesn’t even know what a damn registry is let alone why I need to know the specific store where theirs is located.

Colin is all “I’ll write a check for the wedding present, don’t worry about it” and I’m all “can’t you at least tell me where they’re registered so that I can pick up something to go with the oh-so-personal check?” Because I think that it would be nice to at least participate in the gift giving process and decent to get them something that they asked for and not just be the girl who was there for...hmm...I’m not sure why random, unknown dates are invited to weddings. Moral support?

So far, all I’ve gotten was thumbs up to buy the card.

He’ll never get that registry information to me. Which leaves me on my own if I decide to buy a little something to enhance the boringness of a check. I want to do it. It would make me feel better about being the random guest, about having Colin giving the gift, all of that. But I really have no idea what to buy.

Amazingly, I am not concerned about what to wear. It is helpful to have 7,931 dresses to choose from. I’m going to wear the dress I wore in Lucy’s wedding because it is cute, because I’ve been looking for an excuse to wear it again, because brown seems okay for an early November wedding and because I paid an ungodly amount to have it cleaned and pressed so really I have no choice but to wear it again.

(It isn’t too summery, is it? I wondered if it was too summery. My mom says no.)

I am also not fretting about my hair. I’m getting it highlighted on Friday afternoon. My hairdresser will blow it straight. I will put on my pearl earrings and look like a movie star. Fabulous.

Colin’s coworker is the bride, so we’ll be sitting with a bunch of people he works with. You would think that would be a recipe for disaster, but Colin’s job is more like a fraternity than like a stuffy workplace. I know most of his coworkers to some extent. They’re fun. They’re young. They’re nothing like the tools I work with.

So it will probably be okay.

As long as he doesn’t suggest that we stay at the hotel after the reception.

I have no idea how I’d break that news to my parents.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Ethical quandary

Let’s say that you do This Thing for, like, 40 hours a week.

And at That Thing (which isn’t that fun, but they give you money every two weeks so you keep showing up) you have this person and they are like your Thing Mom except that they care more about yourself than they do about you.

Also at This Thing is this neat little stash of money. We’ll call it the Rainy Day Fund. At everyone’s Thing the Rainy Day Fund has different amounts of money in it (mine has $1,000), but it has the same general concept: to buy the little incidentals that come up.

I’m in charge of reconciling the Rainy Day Fund once per week.

There has been a half-dozen times recently that, when reconciling, I come up $100 or so short. And then Thing Mom comes along a short while later and is like, “oh, I had $100 from the Rainy Day Fund. I’m putting it back right now.” And then she puts it back.

I always reconcile on Mondays.

We seem to be short whenever Thing Mom goes away with her daughter for sports on the weekend. (Which they do a lot.)

On Friday, Thing Mom had the builder who put the addition on her house come in to collect the check she owed him. He comes in once a month and collects from her.

And a coworker watched Thing Mom take money from the Rainy Day Fund and give it to him. The builder. Who put an addition on her house. Not on the building owned by our Thing.

When I try to reconcile, we are short again. Thing Mom said that she has some of the money (a greater amount than usual). No explanation given (she usually says it is to buy a this or a that – purchases that never come to fruition).

I’m a little sick about this. Because, from what I understand, the Rainy Day Fund is for Thing use. I’m pretty sure that it isn’t to be treated as a personal slush fund. Because if it wasn’t, I think I would’ve used it to take out a personal loan to pay for my tuition.

This Rainy Day Fund has me in a little bit of a nervous, ethical dilemma. I could certainly speak with someone higher up at my Thing. But I’m afraid that it would just get me thrown under the bus.

Thoughts?

What would you do?

Monday, October 29, 2007

Saddest day ever

In four hours I am handing Stella over to the dealership.

It will be nice to have a new car, I suppose. Despite the fact that I'll be paying $100+ more per month for my Milan and it won't have all of the bells and whistles and it won't be my best friend or my first ever brand new car. Or have cooled seats.

This sucks.

To make myself feel better while cleaning out my Stella for the very last time, I am so putting my initials in some inconspicuous place. And maybe some sort of honing device. So I can visit her with her new family. Make sure they're treating her nicely.

That's normal, right?

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Yes, I realize none of this is interesting

I am a bad present buyer
I ran to the mall yesterday to buy Emma a birthday present; she turns 17 tomorrow! I went thinking it would take me a half-hour. I would fly into American Eagle, pick her up a sweater and cruise out of there with blazing speed.

Not so much. American Eagle had no sweater that I’d consider for Emma. I couldn’t bring myself to buy her anything from the Victoria’s Secret PINK store (mostly because I bought her a pair of sweats last year). Everything at GAP seemed too old. Didn’t have a clue of what she’d like from somewhere like Charlotte Russe or Forever 21. So I headed over to Macy’s. I was hoping there would be some adorable handbag – maybe LeSportsac – that I’d deem as perfect.

No luck there, either.

I ended up with a pair of Crocs. She loves the pair she already has and these are a bit different, Mary Jane style an in an obnoxious pink.

Finding a suitable gift was quite liberating. I don’t know why I get so stressed out about shopping, but it happens every time.

Ouch
My lips are so dry from being inside rinks and out in the elements. I’ve developed a nice crack at the corner of my mouth. I am very displeased.

Feeling like a dutiful housewife
I spent my entire Friday afternoon in the kitchen. Lucy came over and we whipped up a few batches of caramel corn to bring to her parents’ Halloween party tomorrow night. Then I held up my end of the bargain – as my mom likes to say – and made the one dinner per week that I’m required to do now that I’m living at home.

I made a beef and orange stir-fry featured in Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food cookbook. It was fantastic. My mother lavished praise upon me. And it was easy. [Translation: I’ll definitely be making it again.]

A severe case of Cannot Say No Syndrome
A girl I play summer soccer with invited me to play on an indoor team on Tuesday nights. I agreed. Before I got into grad school. When I got into grad school, I emailed her and said that I probably couldn’t play because we’d have some 8:30 pm games and I’m in class until 8:15 pm.

Somehow, she didn’t quite get that I was saying that I couldn’t play. She asked for later games. Our team’s schedule is now split between 8:30 pm games (which I can’t make) and 10:30 pm games (which I don’t want to make). I’m mostly screwed, since I was the idiot who committed to this team.

Here’s what next Tuesday will be like for me. 6:15 am – get up. 7:15 am – leave for work. 8:30 am – get to work. 5:00 pm – leave work. 5:30 pm – start class. 8:15 pm – finish class. 8:15-10:15 pm – Waste precious time, spend precious money doing so. 10:30 pm – start soccer game. 11:30 pm – finish soccer game. 12:15 am – get home.

I do not understand why I do this. I cannot figure out why I am so unaware that I cannot do everything. That I have limitations. That I am human.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Desperately seeking advice

I have settled on a vehicle but I have no idea what color to get. Mostly because I don't want it, I suspect.

If you'd just check out my options and cast a vote, my ulcer would appreciate it.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Loving

(Stealing this idea from the delightful Girl From Florida!)

Cover-Your-Butt Sweaters

I think it has something to do with the fact that my office is kept at a pleasant 25 degrees, but I’m really digging longer sweaters. If my butt is covered, I am much more toasty and, thus, quite happy. I have a few of these longer sweaters, including this GAP sweater that I, um, knit for myself. Not sure that covering the butt with a big swatch of wool is the best thing to do (“hi, this is my butt. It is covered up, drawing even more attention to the area I’d like you to ignore.”) but I’ll take that chance if its going to rid me of a goosebump or two.

Gossip Girl

Clearly, I am too old and too intelligent to watch this show. And then my sister told me how addicted she was to it. I was bored one afternoon; you can watch episodes on CW. It all went downhill from there. I got caught up. And caught the disease, too.

Mangos
Fresh, frozen, dried. I do not discriminate. For the longest time, I proclaimed that I did not like mango because I thought it tasted like mold. Am fairly certain that I was confusing it with papaya.

My Palm Pilot

Oh, little square of endless information. I heart you so. I heart that you are separate from my phone, so that I don’t have to take you to the bar or to the gym with me. I heart that you hold addresses, so that I can write my birthday thank you cards at work. I heart your calculator, your cute little stylus, your color screen. One day I will put pictures on you and love you even more.

Internet TV
I cannot get over the novelty. I can watch TV shows on the internet, at whatever sweet time tickles my fancy. (Which is usually when I’m lying in bed.) After a particularly riveting episode of Grey’s Anatomy, I like to watch it again sometime during the week leading up to the next episode. I can watch Gossip Girl at a time when nobody is around so I do not have to explain my teenybopper tendencies. And, one day, I might even catch up on Private Practice (I haven’t seen the last three episodes – someone tell me if I’m wasting my time) and give Pushing Daisies a try.


Fancy New Lunch Bag


A coworker found these adorable lunch bags that Lean Cuisine is selling on its website to benefit the Susan G. Komen foundation. At just $10, I couldn’t say no. It is insulated, which is nice because I don’t particularly enjoy rancid food. Even more importantly, it comes with a zipper. A zipper means that when I hit my breaks really hard, my lunch doesn’t fly out of its bag when it tumbles over.

Cheap Shoes

A few weekends ago, I was looking for a pair of brown heels to wear with an outfit. I wanted something plain. I spent hours bouncing in and out of department and shoe stores looking for a pair that I liked. No luck. I stopped at Target on the way home to pick up various other sundries and (insert chorus of angels here) I found my shoes. Plain in a not-too-boring way. Comfortable. And, best of all, inexpensive. If I don’t like these in two months, I will throw them in the back of the closet and not even feel guilty about it.
 
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