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.
 
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