Friday, June 29, 2007

Summer + me = bliss

Let me make one thing clear: I hate hot weather.

My parents, old-fashioned and crotchety, refused to have air conditioning in our house up until a year ago. Their antiquated reasoning was that, because we live on a lake, we should have the windows open. Even if it’s 101 degrees and there is no wind.

As a child, I spent a lot of sleepless nights wallowing in a pool of sweat.

I hate hot weather.

Other than that, I love summer. Absolute adore it. And I love it just a little more because I live in Michigan, land of the May snowstorms and the December heat waves.

I love summer because my mom doesn’t have to work. She deserves the time off.
I love summer because of Meg’s birthday. It is always a long and elaborate celebration.
I love summer because it is the only time of the year I get to play outdoor soccer.
I love the summertime sunshine that puts freckles on my arms and shoulders.
I love summer because I can go to bed not wearing much and not wake up freezing.
I love summertime trips through the Great Lakes on Grandma and Grandpa’s sailboat.
I love summer because we see our extended family so much, in a beachy, casual, sit around and eat and chat and love being a family environment.
I love summer on the lake.
I love summer because I can wear lots of skirts and soccer shorts, flip-flops and soccer sandals.
I tolerate summer at work. It is slower. Less painful. More time to look for a new job.
I love summertime trips to Dairy Queen, especially when we bring Stevie along.
I love summer because I always seem to get more reading and more knitting done.
I love summertime breakfasts on the deck.
I love summer ‘cause summer loves me!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

The replacement player

Before I went to work today, I spent an hour riding a stationary bike at the gym with Kevin's replacement.

We've gotten to be pretty good friends in the last 8 months (I can't believe it's been that long!), but something about it still feels like I'm cheating on Kevin. He's my buddy. He got fired. Kevin's replacement was interviewed for the job well before my boss even booted Kevin, which still feels creepy and dirty and reeks of bad karma.

Truthfully, though, Kevin's replacement is just like Kevin. They have the same sense of humor. They have the same complaints about the job. Their relationship with me is essentially the same - chummy and teasing and gentle, harmless flirting.

While I would have loved to hold a grudge against Kevin's replacement until the end of time, it's much easier to be friends with him.

And a lot more fun, too. He's getting ready to propose to his girlfriend. We talk about rings. He has stupid friends in stupid relationships. We trade stories. We bitch about work, analyze our own relationships. We're friends, I guess.

I'm starting to think that its easier for me to be friends with guys than it is to be friends with girls.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I leave in one week

Who: The birthday princess, Meg, is the guest of honor. Her royal court includes Mom, Dad, Cousin Liz, Cousin Danielle, Aunt Annette and Uncle Will, Meg's best friend from high school, Mom's friend and Mom's friend's daughter (who is one of Meg's best friends). Aunt Lynn keeps dreaming about an incredibly inexpensive plane ticket that she can't refuse., your heroine and narrator.

What: Meg's Grand and Glorious 21st Birthday Destination Celebration!

Where: The Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Navada.

When: July 4-7, 2007.

Why: My darling sister has a fierce case of strong self-esteem. She is turning 21 and she cannot think of anyone who wouldn't want to celebrate her birth, especially in Sin City.

How: With a bit of gentle nudging and the momentum of the snowball effect, Meg has, once again, got exactly what she wanted.

Maybe I'm a little envious. But I think we'll have fun.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

This must be the calm before the storm

All is quiet on the So Midwestern front.

The most pressing issues of my week are getting further into the book that I am reading (Until I Find You, John Irving), making a dent in season two of Grey’s Anatomy, and making an extensive flowchart detailing outfit possibilities for Vegas.

I have just one soccer game in the next two weeks. The long break – due to the holiday falling in the middle of the week – feels foreign and unwelcome. Truthfully, my body could use the schedule-induced rest that I cannot bear to give it on my own.

Lucy and The Girls (minus April, who none of us have heard from since the scene she caused on Lucy’s birthday) have all been busy with travel and work and freaking out because their ex-boyfriends are engaged. I’m okay with the time apart from the group – there can be too much of a good thing – but I’m missing Lucy.

The halcyon waters of my life don't give me much to blog about. I feel like all I can do is spew the random all over my keyboard. Sorry about that. Hang in there. The disjointed nature of my writing cannot last forever.

Meg is home from school. If I’m not at work, I am likely with her. The girls in Meg’s core group of friends don’t come home from school these days. Unlike in the days when she was hanging out with toxic Jay the boxing coach, she has lots of time to spend with her big sister. We do a lot of nothing – relaxing on the deck, shopping, watching movies, taking Stevie out for ice cream – and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Meg is such a character: she is sweet and wonderful and hilarious and confident. This is her last summer before she finishes her undergraduate degree. I have a silly fear that, after her graduation, Meg will instantly turn into a grownup who doesn’t have time for her big sister; I’m squeezing in all of the sister bonding time that I can.

My work schedule is changing for the remainder of the summertime. I am working a normal schedule, Monday through Friday, just like the regular folk! While having a weekday off is luxurious in terms of running errands and scheduling appointments and the like, it is lousy in terms of most everything else. Having two consecutive days off is, to me, akin to a vacation. I drive between work and my hometown less. I can stay out late. I work when everyone else works; I play when everyone else plays.

Speaking of playing: Meg's big 21st birthday bash kicks off in less than a week. Lots of people. Lots of plans. To call it a relaxing vacation would be a stretch. Just thinking about Vegas makes me appreciate the quiet of this week. It will balance the boisterous screaming of next week.

A little bit, anyway.

Monday, June 25, 2007

It definitely felt like a Monday

Today was annoying. Not bad. Just annoying.

Having to go in to work an hour early isn't bad. It's just annoying. The early, unwanted wakeup call set the tone for the rest of my day.

I was quiet at work. Not feeling particularly unfriendly, just generally disinterested in starting conversation. I was mildly irritated by what I'd chosen to pack for lunch. It wasn't enough. It wasn't what I was in the mood for. I ate it anyway.

A woman living in the area was just murdered by a contractor who was in her house to give her an estimate on some work she was having done. He killed her for her jewelry, I guess. She went to my gym. I would notice that jewelry - the large, flashy pieces that would spark her murder - in kickboxing class. It is unsettling.

In a rare attempt to be a good patient, I was conscious to ice my (possibly) broken toe at regular intervals throughout the day. I would slip off my shoe, peel off my sock and, invariably, a customer would need my help. Despite the strong desire to scowl, I refrained.

I left my TV on while I was at work. Very unusual for me. Because this oversight happened today, it irritated me.

Today's job search was not fruitful. Nothing even remotely close to a match.

We couldn't get a poolside cabana rental for our first day in Vegas. I get these ideas and I make these plans and, unfortunately, the cabana was a part of that plan. While I know that the cabana is not crucial to a successful pool day, I'm a little bummed out. I don't like wrinkles in my plans.

My gym held a blood drive today. It was the perfect time for me to donate: my evening was wide open, I'm feeling great (other than my bum toe) and I don't have any major soccer games this weekend to worry about feeling drained for. And the American F'ing Red Cross rejected me. My iron is at 32%; the lowest they accept is 38%. I shouldn't be shocked - I'm hardly eating any meat these days - but I've never been rejected before! I am a model blood donor, too. I don't get queasy or lightheaded. I'm not weird about the needles. And I fill the bag in a hot flash.

Of course, you don't find out that you're a reject until after you've sat for a good 25 minutes. Precious time that I will never get back! Time that I would've spent bettering the world in other ways. Or reading Cosmo.

And I forgot to watch my favorite TV train wreck, Engaged and Underage on MTV!

So, as you all can tell, my world is like totally crashing down around me.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Don't bother looking for a common thread

Colin, darling. Don't do that. Don't call me 10 hours after I (politely) ripped you apart. The coincidence makes me think you've discovered my blog. And then I freak out a little.

It wasn't a notable weekend. While Colin did finally acknowledge my existence, I didn't see him. We were supposed take his boat out on the water today. It didn't happen. It wasn't his fault. I shrugged it off.

Vegasmania is starting to settle in 'round these parts; Meg and I killed off a good part of the weekend at the mall looking for the perfect wardrobe for her extravagant birthday weekend. I didn't get much (a killer Kenneth Cole skirt and a dress from H&M that I think I'm going to return) but Meg did quite well finding pieces to supplement what she already owned.

I scored a goal in my soccer game on Saturday.

I think that I broke my toe. I am not pleased.

I made the mistake, er, the mature decision of looking at my credit card balances today. Ugh. What an absolutely disheartening journey of enlightenment that was. I need to get a new job - a job in which I will be paid reasonable wages - or this could get ugly. Sigh. I know better.

Speaking of new jobs: I still haven't heard from the one I interviewed for a few weeks back. Am I so unqualified and devoid of personality that I am not even remembered, let alone given the common courtesy of a rejection letter?

Song I am currently listening to on repeat: "Bubbly" by Colbie Caillat.

I'm getting up at 5:45 tomorrow morning. But I'll stay up to watch Sunset Tan anyway. Because in addition to chocolate, Colin, buying things because they're really good deals, reading blogs at work, movies starring Zach Braff, Ford Mustangs, over committing myself, David Beckham, Trader Joe's, sports, hair products made just for the curly, Grey's Anatomy and hockey players ...reality television is totally my weakness.

Friday, June 22, 2007

I get it, but I don't


We have been doing this long enough that your behavior is no longer a mystery. I know how this works. Your interest in me is erratic, inconsistent and something akin to a roller coaster. We have long stretches where you want to see me, you want to be with me, you call and you make plans and it is lovely. I am happy when I am with you. I am happy when you call. I am happy while we idle in this stage.

And then we hit this bump. You hit the bump, actually. You hit the bump and I don't hear from you much and I don't see you much and I get frustrated and sad and, eventually, really pissed off. Because I don't know why it happens. Do I say something? Do I do something? Is there another girl? For every five phone calls I put into you, I get three "sorry, it was late when I got your message" emails.

I'm not that needy, clingy girl. I don't need to see you every day. I don't want to see you every day. And we don't have to have long, meaningful conversations every night before I go to sleep. I'd just like to know that you're alive and - I don't know - maybe thinking about me. Didn't forget that I exist. Haven't proposed to someone else.

When you hit The Bump, I always worry. It always feels like the very last time. Like I won't see you again. Like I am a undetermined number of unreturned calls away from deleting you from my phone and my life and my memory.

And then you come back. You come back strong. And I am happy. When I am happy, my memory is short.

I want you to come back, Colin. I always want you to come back.

But I don't understand why you go in the first place. Are you busy? Tell me. I understand busy, I do. Is it your family? I know its dysfunction rivals my family's. You don't have to tell me the details. Do you want to hang out with your friends? Don't fall off of the face of the earth for time with your friends. Spend every single night and every single day with your buddies; I trust your judgment. Is it other girls? That is what I fear, that you put me on the back burner when something you perceive as better comes along.

You forget what a cool girl I am, Colin. I don't pressure you. I don't stalk you. I rarely cannot make time for you. I play a mean game of soccer. I willingly put up with your bullshit. I'll agree to just about anything. I have killer abs. I'm not picky. I'm funnier than you are. I get along with your friends. I'm cute and I'm smart and I'm driven. And my expectations are incredibly low.

You have it made, buddy.

Yet you're still hitting The Bumps.

Consider yourself very lucky that I am on the other side of The Bumps.

And please realize that I won't always be.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Today is a list day

Things I will do tonight:

1. Yoga class
2. Laundry
3. Soak ankle in Epsom salt
4. Call my parents
5. Dishes
6. Watch a few episodes of Grey's Anatomy on DVD

Places on my body where I have bruises:
1. Right knee
2. Left knee
3. Left foot
4. Right shin
5. Right quad
6. Left big toenail
7. Left ankle
8. Left second toenail

I'm looking forward to:
1. Las Vegas, July 4-7
2. Payday
3. Sleeping in tomorrow morning
4. Getting a new job

Two cute things Colin has done this week:
1. Panicked on my behalf, because he (mistakenly) thought my soccer game didn’t have referees scheduled.
2. Called me at work just because, pretending it was to invite me out on his boat even though I obviously couldn’t spend the day on his boat because I was working and he knew I was working because he called me at work.

Chores I have been neglecting:

1. Getting my car, Stella, washed
2. Filing the nasty stack of bills that is growing on the floor next to my bed
3. Taking a trip to the dry cleaners
4. Putting away the stack of clean clothes on top of my dishwasher
5. Bringing my figure skates to be sharpened
6. Getting my hair trimmed
7. Calling in my prescription to be refilled
8. Vacuuming

Books I need to buy:

1. Love is a Mix Tape, Rob Sheffield
2. MVP: a novel, James Boice
3. Evening, Susan Minot
4. You Shall Know Our Velocity, Dave Eggers

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

For the record

All I plan on doing this summer - besides playing a lot of soccer and going to Vegas - is laying/reading/sleeping/eating/knitting/chatting in the sunshine at Mom and Dad's house.

Expect a lot of weekend roundups that sound something like this: "Hi. I played soccer. And then I put on my swimsuit and sat in the sun. It was nice."

For visualization purposes, let me set the scene:

This is approximately half of the deck. The other half is more often in the shade, so this tends to be where I park myself in the sun. The patio furniture is great for lazy weekend mornings, eating breakfast and reading the newspaper, as well as for doing homework (back when I actually had homework to do).

Complete with UM flag, this is the view from the other half of the deck.

View of the lake from the beach.

Another view of the lake from the beach.

The rickety old dock (we got Dad a new one for Father's Day!), the rafts and the paddle boat.

Fancy it is not, but as far as I'm concerned, we're pretty lucky.

Monday, June 18, 2007


The dad of a kid I had in skating lessons died on the UM Survival Flight crash in Lake Michigan. I just found out.

I'd read a good deal of coverage on the crash, but I didn't read the names of the victims very closely. I didn't know them or their family members.

Or so I thought.


Parenting for the dehydrated

I am not sure that I can have children.

Paige and Max were at Mom and Dad’s house all weekend; I was at Mom and Dad’s house all weekend.

I also had three soccer games. (Two of which were outside in the 80+ degree heat, where I played the entire 90 minute game because neither of my teams had enough players to substitute me out for a rest.) I swam in the lake. I went to two different Target stores in one day. I celebrated Father’s Day at Grandma’s house. I finished a book. I made Father’s Day brunch. I went to the park (twice). I watched The Devil Wears Prada.

I wore myself right out.

Here’s what I’m not ready for: having a 10-year-old and a 7-year-old. Don’t get me wrong, my cousins are mostly cute and mostly sweet and mostly enjoyable but woah. I couldn’t do that full time. Not now. And definitely not while I’m playing this much soccer.

I'm sure that the fact that I was severely dehydrated on Saturday had nothing to do with how difficult caring for Max and Paige seemed to be. I was only so exhausted and woozy that the task of wrapping my dad's Father's Day presents on Saturday night brought me to tears.

And, anyway, my mom assures me that it is different if they are your own children.

She implied that different meant easier.


Someone is formulating a propaganda campaign for grandchildren. And that someone is not me.

Saturday, June 16, 2007


I ran into one of my old soccer coaches yesterday. Three days after my soccer reunion. I can't believe the timing.

Johnny was the coach of the junior varsity team and the assistant coach of the varsity squad for the first three years of my high school career. Previously, he'd coached me at a half-dozen soccer camps.

He moved - to Delaware, I think - after my junior year. And in that span of time he got married, had a few kids, decided he didn't want to be a teacher anymore and moved back to Michigan.

Three weeks ago. Which is why he wasn't invited to the soccer reunion; nobody knew he was back.

It was somewhat amazing to catch up with him. Like the others, he hasn't changed a bit.

There has to be a reason all of these people are coming back into my life all at once.

Thursday, June 14, 2007


Writing about my soccer reunion is proving to be difficult.

I don’t have the vocabulary to convey how my teammates, Coach and my high school soccer program molded me. I cannot craft that ideal anecdote – a clever snippet – that would encapsulate what those four years on that team did to make me – cynical, loyal, shy, foul-mouthed, sensitive, driven – me.

I wanted to hate the soccer reunion. I expected to feel nervous, for conversations to feel forced, to fake both smiles and my interest.

It wasn’t like that.

It wasn’t like that at all.

Five girls from my class attended the reunion. The Class of 2000 fell gently and effortlessly back into our camaraderie. Nobody has changed.

I loved it.

I loved that, seven years after our senior year, it wasn’t painful and it wasn’t awkward. We were the same unlikely mix of girls who, on the surface, have no commonalities.

It was so nice to see them.

Coach was so pleased. He cried; we all knew he would. And, like a bride in a receiving line, he hugged each of us as we walked into the banquet room to surprise him. He glowed. Called me by the nickname I hadn’t been addressed by in seven years. Stayed until the restaurant kicked us out, eager to catch up on each of our lives.

My heart has always known how important soccer was to my development into an adult.

On Tuesday night, my mind finally got the memo.

I feel foolish for obsessing over the superficial.

I am glad that I went.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Lucy wins the round

I thought everything would be okay for Lucy’s party.

Due to our other commitments, April and I weren’t going to dinner with Lucy and the other girls. April called me (I was somewhat shocked) and we decided we would meet at Our Favorite Bar around 9:45 pm, shortly before we assumed that the rest of the crowd would appear.

As it happens when you’re a girl and you’ve just played soccer and you have to shower and pick out clothes and make up your pretty little face, 9:45 turned to 10:00 pm. And then 10:15 pm. April and I were both running late, calling one another with updates on lateness. I had to stop at the bank; April needed to pick up a card. We got to Our Favorite Bar within minutes of each other – and within minutes of Lucy, Alexa, Colleen and a slew of others.

We were friendly and fine. To me, it did not feel awkward.

Apparently that was not mutual.

We sat at a long table. Lucy was at one end. Chet and April were closer to the middle. Alexa, Colleen and I were crowded at the other end (not, I should point out, to be cliquish, but because they were the only chairs left when we finished hauling in cake and presents).

It was a good turnout. Lots of Lucy’s friends. Her brother and his fiancée. The Girls. And even April.

We drank a bit and laughed a bit and acted silly, silly, silly. April and I picked out songs on the jukebox. And, finally, Lucy opened her presents.

First, a present from me. A knitting book I bought a long time ago because I just knew she’d get a kick out of.

Second, a gift from Alexa, Colleen and me. The present that April was to be a part of prior to her temper tantrum. Riding lessons. Lucy was a big equestrian in her younger years; college and traveling and life got in the way. She sold her horse and grew up. And now? Lucy rides again.

She was totally geeked.

At our urging, April gave Lucy her present next. The collage frame that was supposed to be from all of us. Filled with pictures of The Girls acting like, well, girls. I hate to admit, but it turned out really cute. Lucy liked it.

When we were through with presents, we continued with our goofing around.

It was not long before Lucy was putting on one of her “look at me, look at me! I am so funny!” acts and we were all fawning over her. Lucy looked over at April, who was engrossed in sending a text message to her creepy, asshole, “married” boyfriend (I’ll tell you that story later). And Lucy couldn’t help but blurt out something along the lines of “you’re not text messaging at my birthday, are you? Are we not good enough for you?”

Shortly thereafter, I glance over at Colleen. She is wearing a horrified expression.

April, she sputtered out, just left. She put $20 on the table, she picked up her purse and she left.

We stared at April’s empty seat in disbelief.

Alexa broke her stare long enough to sprint to the bathrooms and then to the parking lot. April was gone.

We didn’t tell Lucy immediately.

Not that it took her long to find out.

When she did, it didn’t take long for her to spin into a rage. Lucy knew about the drama – I’d confessed to her on Thursday. She was already teetering at being pissed at April and her attitude towards me (and her birthday) pissed Lucy right off.

Lucy took her cell phone and went out to the Our Favorite Bar's deck. She was gone for 20 minutes.

When she came back, she dropped her phone onto the table, fell into her chair. Sheepishly, she admitted, “we might not be friends anymore.”

Maybe I should take this as a hint

Last night, I had a dream in which I was reading my email. I believe that officially makes me a nerd.

In this dream, I received an email from my cousin Mara.

In the email, she wrote something along the lines of: "Your blog is featured at [some random website that doesn't exist] and I understand that it has excerpts from what you wrote about the fight our moms got in. Just so you know, I didn't read it. I did notice that your syntax is very similar, almost identical, to Jason Mraz's."

Does this mean that I need to stop writing smack about my family?

Or does it mean that I should look into a career as a mildly goofy singer-songwriter?

Monday, June 11, 2007

9 Reasons I'm Not Blogging Today

I've played four soccer games in four days.
I have a burrito from Chipotle calling my name.
I need to drink one more glass of water to meet my quota.
There is a bruise the size of my forehead on my right thigh.
I spent eight hours of my day at a training session that didn't teach me anything.
I absolutely have to polish my toenails before I go to sleep.
I'm a little pissed at Colin.
I need to iron the dress I'm wearing to my soccer reunion.
I didn't get much sleep last night.

We'll catch up tomorrow, kiddies. I can't wait to tell you about the first Weekend o' Soccer of the summer and Lucy's Birthday Bash 2007.


Saturday, June 09, 2007

This is a strange world we live in

Weird: Hearing a teacher from your high school has just been charged with having sex with a student.

Weirder: Calling your sister to tell her that you just heard that a teacher from your high school has been arrested, encouraging her to guess who it is, and have her guess correctly after ONE MILISECOND.

Friday, June 08, 2007

I am a babbling brook

Today it begins. My summer of soccer.

I have a game at 7:30 tonight. Another at 6:00 pm tomorrow. 7:00 pm on Saturday. And, as a favor to Colin, I am substituting in a 7:00 pm game on Monday evening.

To kick off this marathon event, I did what any sane person would do: I figure skated for two hours and took a yoga class.

I don't understand it, either.

* * *

All week long, I've been nursing a wicked cold. It started out as a sore throat, soon developing into a mess of drippy sinuses, a hoarse voice and a nose rubbed raw by tissues. This cold has been more of an annoyance than anything; I don't feel particularly bad. Yesterday was certainly the worst of it.

* * *

It has suddenly just occurred to me that I need to make Lucy's birthday cake tonight, as I will be working/playing soccer right up to her party (which, by the way, April might come to despite the fact that she feels as though she "can't contribute anything positive," whatever the hell that means). Damn. Where is my head?

* * *

Colin told me that he wanted to know everything about me. It is among the sweetest things that anyone has ever said to me.

* * *

My cousin Anna just passed her NCLEX exam. She's a real RN now.

You know how the European soccer announcers yell "goooooooooooooooooooooooooooal!" after a team scores? That's exactly how my mom yelled "yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!" when I told her that Anna passed.

My mom is, essentially, Anna's mentor so it meant nearly as much to her. They studied so much together (Anna is awfully lucky to have her nursing professor aunt at her beck and call for private tutoring). My mom was very invested in it. So I am happy for both of them.

* * *

I had Chinese food for lunch today.

Orange chicken, in case you were wondering.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


I think I just ruined Lucy's birthday.

Alexa, Colleen, April and I have been emailing back and forth, planning for Lucy's birthday, for a week or so. We're going out on Saturday night, but we couldn't come to a decision on what we wanted to do.

I called Alexa on her way to work this morning and we firmed up our plans: she and Colleen would take Lucy (and Chet) to dinner. Colleen and I (who can't go out until later) would meet them at Our Favoritest Bar. I would bring a cake. We would spend a generous portion of our evening at Our Favoritest Bar. And then we'd go to a Chinese restaurant that has excellent late night dim sum.

I emailed April with our plans. And she emails me back with the following:

From: April
To: Aly
Sent: Wednesday, June 6, 2007 10:37 AM

I think the plan is semi disappointing. There is a lot of eating involved. Dinner, cake, dim sum. How is she going to get any booze in her? Since I won't be participating in the dinner I guess I can't say no to that, but why go to dinner if we are doing dim sum? I think Our Favoritest Bar is a little disappointing for her bday, but I guess I'll just go with it. I thought I would share my opinion. Now I'll just leave it up to you ladies.

First: What the hell is wrong with eating? Lucy likes to eat.
Second: What is wrong with Our Favoritest Bar? We like it. IT IS WHY WE GO ALL THE TIME.
Third: You've done nothing to participate in the birthday planning except to ask how much this is going to cost you. Why wait until we make plans to give us your opinion?

I was immediately very annoyed.

It took all I had in me to wait an hour and cool off a bit before replying to the email.

Maybe I was a little too harsh.

From: Aly
To: April
Sent: Wednesday, June 6, 2007 11:35 AM

If the Our Favoritest Bar (which is, essentially, our PLACE) will be so disappointing, please feel free to suggest an alternate bar for us to go to.

If my memory serves me correctly, we tend to have more fun at Our Favoritest Bar than we do at other places. Perhaps I'm just being idealistic. But if we're going to end up at Our Favoritest Bar anyway (and we usually do), I thought it would be easier to cut out that first bar that we never really have all that much fun at. It would also make it easier for the larger group. More people = more cars = more confusion.

In choosing the Our Favoritest Bar, I was also taking into account the fact that both you and I are coming from other locations. I'll get to a bar that is five minutes from my parents house much faster than I'll get to a bar that is 40 minutes away.

But I will go where I need to go. Just name the place. Whatever and wherever the ideal birthday bar is, rest assured that we can get plenty of booze in Lucy between 9 or 10 and 1 am, when we would leave for dim sum. And, just for the record: the Chinese restaurant serves alcohol.

I'll let Alexa know to forgo the dinner she and Colleen wanted to take Lucy to. We wouldn't want to be too indulgent.

I am definitely not one who enjoys having arguments via email, but April really pissed me off. I'm sorry, but you need to contribute in order to have the right to bitch. And you really could have worded your concerns a bit more tastefully.

From: April
To: Aly
Sent: Wednesday, June 6, 2007 11:37 AM

Just count me out

Mature! Just pull the plug. Stay home and pout. Don't suck it up and smile. It's only your best friend's birthday.

She followed it up with a group email.

From: April
To: Aly, Colleen, Alexa
Sent: Wednesday, June 6, 2007 12:18 PM

I won't be attending Saturday night and I will be doing my own gift for Lucy. Sorry. You ladies have fun. I'll still be dropping the picture frame off from all of us.

Yeah. She can pretty much go fuck herself.

I do feel bad, though. For Lucy. I shouldn't have screwed this up for her.

But, honestly? I need to stand up for myself every once and a while. And this happened to be one of those times.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Resolution Review 5

1. Read 12 novels.
It was sort of a crazy month, being a wreck about my messy family life and preparing for a job interview and whatnot. I started a book, but I’m not quite through it. I’m still at six – nearly seven – for the year, so I’m not entirely concerned.

2. Find a new job or go back to school. Or, ideally, find a new job AND go back to school.
Still looking. Landed that interview, of course, but it doesn’t feel promising. All I can do is keep my hopes up and my nose to the grindstone. There has to be something better out there.

3. Go to the gym with increased frequency.
Gym: Breaking my previous record of 14, I made 16 trips to the gym 14 times in May! I’ve hit the gym 63 times in 2007 and my goal is 175. I’m pretty much screwed, as far as making this resolution goes, but trying won’t kill me.
Skating: A mere 5 times in May. Holiday weekends and traveling killed me.
Soccer: I played six times in May. And it’s all going uphill from here.

4. Not make a weight-related resolution.
I weigh myself. And I do wonder why, with all that I do, I don’t ever see loss. Being a consistent weight isn’t a bad thing, however.

5. Knit more.
Sucked. Didn’t even move my knitting bag from the table.

6. Stop the incessant purchasing.
Victoria’s Secret Semi-Annual Sale is a highly addictive substance.

7. Visit with my grandparents more.
Quality time with Grandma during The Chicago Trip From Hell. Quality time with Grandma and Grandpa on Mother’s Day and again on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. I enjoy spending time with them. But every time I saw them in May was marked by a quiet sadness. It’s hard to see.

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 quit coffee. Pretty much solves that problem.

9. Become a sweet-ass juggler.
I’m bad at carving away time from my day to dedicate to practicing my juggling. There was only one time this month that I got my ball out just to work on the juggling. I imagine that it will only get worse, now that I’ll be playing soccer 3+ times/week.

10. Allow myself to trust Colin.
Distance made the heart grow fonder in May. Colin and I barely saw each other this month and I appreciate him more for it.

We sustained our relationship with phone calls, thoughtful text messages and blabbering emails exchanged during our workdays. I saw him only a few times, each being refreshingly tranquil and pleasant. Right now, we’re comfortable. I’m looking forward to the summer.

May’s resolution of the month: Wear sunscreen every day
Yeah. This was easy.

A pinch to grow an inch: June’s resolution of the month
Drink water like woah

Here’s the thing: if I’m going to play in three soccer games per weekend – in the sweltering Midwestern summertime – I need to do it when I’m hydrated. I’m tracking the number of glasses of water I’m drinking per day on a handy calendar, which I hope will keep me honest. I’m shooting for an 8 cup/day average for the month.

On 2007's resolutions:
The Original
Resolution Review 1
Resolution Review 2
Resolution Review 3
Resolution Review 4

Monday, June 04, 2007


My high school soccer coach's surprise reunion is in eight days.

I'm sort of obsessing about it.

I think I would feel better about it if I knew what I was going to wear. And if I had a new job. (Although we all know I’m not holding my breath for that one.) I need a dress. A pretty sundress that isn’t too formal. A really flattering, not-too-formal sundress that immediately transforms me into a confident, beautiful, charming, smart, worldly, funny, poised young woman. Who has a job she loves.

So, basically, I’m in the market for a magic dress.

I’m not sure if Macy’s has any magic dresses in stock, but I’m going to look. I need to get a dress – and a pair of shoes – ASAP. Because I need to stop thinking about which of my classmates will be there: who is married, who still lives at home, who is a mom, who works in a bar, who got fat and who is still a bitch. And I really, really need to stop thinking about how they will see me.

I was the golden girl of that team.

Admittedly, I have lost some of my shine.

If I've noticed, surely everyone else will.

Unless I have the perfect dress. A magic dress.

Infused with radiant confidence.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Upon further reflection

I don't think I got the job.

If I didn't, it is because I didn't deserve it. I didn't prove that I deserved it.

I get tied up. I am not as eloquent as I can be. I'm nervous. I stutter. I forget to maintain eye contact. I start and stop awkwardly. And, sometimes, I just plain don't know the answer to the damn question.

It has been like this in every interview.

Maybe I'm just shooting too high.

I choked on the fucking writing test. THE WRITING TEST. I can write. This here, this blog you're reading? I wrote it. All by myself. And I could say I edited it, but I generally don't. Not the blog. But - trust me - when I do bother to edit, I'm really good at it.

But do I show that on the writing test? No. Do I prove that I have two brain cells to rub together in the contest of an interview? No. I come off as a blonde, babbling fool who couldn't write her way out of a paper bag. They must wonder how I got through college.

I didn't impress anyone today. It isn't possible. It didn't happen.


I'm not really sure how that interview went, exactly.

It was painfully long. Four hours. Four hours! And I met with some really important people. The COO? Me? What?

I didn't do as well on the writing test as I know I am capable of. I panicked. I rushed. (Well, I had to rush. I only had an hour.)

In my favor: they're only interviewing one other candidate. I hope he/she totally sucks.

More later. I'm off to see Knocked Up with my sister.
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