Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 By the Numbers

Severely Sprained Ankles: 1
Times I Left Michigan: 2
Meals At My Favorite Restaurant Near My House: 3
Professional Athletes Who Asked Me On A Date: 1
Grade Point Average through 2008: 3.95
Number of Times I Picked Up A Very Drunk Darren and Drove Him Home: 2
Tattoos acquired: 1
Boys I Kissed: 0
Boys Who Kissed Me: 0
Days Between My First 5K and My Second 5K: 193
Average Number of Cups of Coffee I Drink Per Day Since “Quitting”: 1
Number of Work Potlucks I Participated In: 3
Number of Pistons, Tigers, Lions and UM Football Games I Attended: 0
Movies I saw with Lucy: 3
Meals at Morton’s: The Steakhouse: 2
Classes I Took: 7
Number of Times I Spoke With Colin On The Phone: 0
Number of Coworkers “Let Go” From Our Place of Employment: 4
Number of Emails In My Sent Items Folder As Of 12/30/08: 12,488
Weddings I Attended: 1
Wakes I Attended: 2
Number of Cakes I Baked For Coworkers: 3
Days I Took Off But My Boss Made Me Work Anyway And I Was Dumb Enough To Do So Even Though You All Told Me Not To: 1
Trips to Ikea: 4
Approximate Number of Bran Muffins I Ruined By Doubling the Baking Power and Soda: 16
Number of Times I Got a New Cell Phone: 2
Matt Nathanson Concerts Attended: 2
Miles Driven from Here to Chicago For NYE: 276.68

Happy New Year, ya'll! Catch ya' on the flip side. XO

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Is sending a letter cowardly?

Dear Cough,

Please go away. I have enjoyed our two weeks together, but I think we’re due for some time apart.

Certainly you have something to do with how I feel. Lethargic and lifeless and disinterested. I’ve certainly felt crappier, but your linger has lost its luster. I want to go to the gym. I want to sleep on my side.

And I want to go to Chicago without dreading it, which is pretty much what I’m doing at this point. Because feeling crappy at home is bad enough. Feeling crappy on the road is infinitely worse. I’m supposed to stay up all night on New Years Eve when all I want to do is sleep? You expect me to sit outside at watch that hockey game, when I don’t want to get out of bed? Please cough, with all of your rotten symptoms, please just go away.

We could try a separation. For the next three days. Come back if you want. If being away from me is too hard. I’ll welcome you back with open arms next weekend. I just need some space. Some time to think. (And to drive to Chicago. Drink in the new year. Watch the Wings and the Blackhawks. Drive back home.)

Do it for me. I am begging you.

Love,
Alyson

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Scandal

I mentioned that my cousin Liz is separated from her husband. (It doesn't look like reconciliation is in their future.)

I mentioned that Liz and her friend were coming with us to Chicago for New Years Eve.

I might have even mentioned that I have no idea why Liz wanted to go to the NHL's Winter Classic at Wrigley Field. Because, as far as I know, Liz has absolutely no interest in hockey whatsoever. And never has.

And, knowing her friend, I am quite certain that going to that game was of no interest to her either. I'm not sure her friend even knows what a sport is.

So this is very unusual, but I don't think much of it. Whatever the reason Liz wants to go to the game is her business. Hopefully she can find tickets. (She did.)

On Christmas Eve, the truth comes out.

Well, not really. On Christmas Eve, Liz tells us that her friend isn't going. "She is going on a cruise with her family," she says. "My friend Dan is coming instead."

AND THEN IT ALL MADE SENSE.

Liz's friend was never going. She was taking this "friend," Dan, all along. That is why she obsessively asked me about getting tickets to that game. She was trying to get tickets for Dan.

Dan is a hockey fanatic. We met him at Liz's wedding - he talked lots and lots of hockey with Meg. And then proceeded to see her play every time she played a college in Ohio. I believe that we've labeled him a creeper. (Which now is a little awkward.)

So I'm telling this story to Ashley yesterday. She agrees, the friend was never going. Only Dan. A "friend," who may or not have been Liz's estranged husband's buddy, who is obsessed with hockey. It makes perfect sense.

Midway through the conversation, a light bulb goes off in my head. "HOLY SHIT!" I exclaim to Ashley. "Liz...hahaha...oh my God."

"Tell me," Ashley laughs.

"Liz forwarded me her hotel reservation. And I spent the longest time trying to figure out why she'd booked a room with one king-sized bed for her and her friend."

And now we know.

Later in the day, I repeat the same story to my mother.

My mom laughs. "She probably didn't know how to tell you she was going to Chicago for a bang up job!"

So there you go. Awkward and scandalous. She's still married!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Holiday Recap

So, Christmas is over already? It is really insane, when you think about all of the preparation that goes into one day. Well, two. One and a half, I suppose, if you work on Christmas Eve. (I did.)

I’m sitting here at my desk, drinking gingerbread coffee. There’s a big ol’ frosted cinnamon roll resting just out of reach. I think I’m the only person in the building. Call it Christmas hangover.

All in all, the Christmas holiday was a good one. The awkward cloud of horrible that has hung over my mom’s family since Christmas of 2006 has all but disappeared (cousin Evan still doesn’t do much more than stare at us in disdain, but the kid comes off like he’s the fucking unibomber so whatever). We had some nice family time. A lot of food. The standard.

A mad game of Pictionary broke out on Christmas Eve. My dad’s sister, Lynn, brings it every year and every year we refuse to play. She succeeded this year. And the youngins (my cousins, my sister and me) spanked the geriatrics. Holla.

Mom and Dad spoiled me, like usual, and Meg bought me a few cute things, too. My mom went absolutely ape shit over the Dyson vacuum we got her. Meg liked her Sing Star game. Blue was wild for her Loofa Dog toy multipack.

With the extended family, we did presents a little differently this year. Instead of each aunt/uncle buying presents for each of the nieces and nephews, the cousins all drew names and had to buy a gift for whomever they drew. That was okay. Even though I walked away with one present from my dad’s side of the family and three from my mom’s side of the family (Grandma and Aunt Marie insisted on buying, even though it was against the rules), it didn’t feel any less like Christmas than other years where I’d have two or three presents from each of my aunts and uncles.

So apparently the holiday really isn’t all about the gifts.

Go figure.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Thrill of the chase

The Shopping Gods were with me last night.

Reasons unknown, I decided yesterday that I needed to get my sister another present. Specifically, I wanted to get her another Sing Star game for her Playstation. More specifically, I wanted to get her the Pop, Volume 2 edition.

Looked online at Best Buy's website. None in stock at any of the local stores. Looked online at Target's website. Same.

Okay. Sing Star: Pop, Volume 2? Probably not going to happen, seeing as how there are no copies in the entire state of Michigan. But I'd pick her up another version of the game, which is basically karaoke that the system grades. The country music edition was so out, but I could make do with one of the others.

Best Buy is right by my work. I drove there straight after I left for the day. In a mild blizzard. No luck. They didn't have any Sing Star games.

From there, I went to Target, which is right down the street. I strike out again. They only have Sing Star: Country. It wasn't an option.

At this point, I'm starting to freak out a little bit. I don't feel like I have enough for Meg and I'm so set on this idea and I have no others.

There's another Target on my way home. At this point, traffic is painfully slow and my feet are soaking. Oh, and they don't have the game.

I have a good sense of direction and a radar for Target stores, so I make a mental map of the other Target stores I can hit on a roundabout drive to my house. The roads are a real mess. I figure I'll be lucky to be home by 9:30. And I formulate a backup plan - there's a sporting goods store a few miles from my house - in case I don't hit the jackpot.

For whatever reason, I decide to take a different road north than I'd normally choose. It is after I turn that I remember this road has a Best Buy and a Toys 'r' Us. It was worth a try.

I go to Best Buy first. And there, behind 10 versions of Sing Star: '80s edition, is the crown jewel. (Sorry person who most definitely hid it there.) What I was looking for in the first place. What the Best Buy website said was completely unavailable anywhere in metro Detroit.

Oh, Sing Star: Pop, Volume 2, how happy I was to see you. The 20 minutes in line? Not so bad when I was clutching you to my bosom. My feet did not seem so wet. The snowfall did not seem so heavy. And the absolute insanity that had gripped me all but disappeared.

Meg better like it.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Playing the pleaser and the planner

This Chicago trip for New Years is becoming mildly exhausting to even think about.

We have 6 girls in our group. My cousin Liz, Liz’s friend, my work BFF Ashley, Meg, Meg’s friend and Meg’s friend’s friend. Oh, and me.

And there’s all of this crap to be organized. And, I swear, nobody is doing anything.

First, we needed to find Liz and her friend tickets to the Winter Classic. We succeeded. (Thankfully.)

Then, there is the whole issue of the hotel. We have four rooms booked at one hotel. One for Liz and her friend. One for Ashley and me. One for Meg, Meg’s friend and Meg’s friend’s friend. And an extra room, because Liz has two more friends who might show up.

Our rooms aren’t obscenely priced. But I’d really like to see if I could get a better deal on Priceline. (Am reasonably certain that I could shave $40 of $50 off each room per night.) But, I can’t get Liz to commit. Because then her phantom friends who might show up wouldn’t have a room.

Finally, there is the whole issue of New Years Eve. There are many criteria that need to be filled. Wherever we go needs to be: fun, close to our hotel, not too expensive (Meg’s friend and Meg’s friend’s friend are budget traveling and it is really cramping my style) and, of course, be okay with everyone in our party. I don’t want to even get involved in this because, hi, wherever I choose will definitely be lame ass and then everyone will be pissed with me.

This is all very stressful.

I just want everyone to be happy and for everything to run smoothly. I don’t want to end up at some party with a ridiculous cover charge and an open bar that is so busy that we never get any drinks. I don’t want to be trying to get a cab in the blustery winds of Chicago because we’re terribly far from our hotel. I don’t want to talk Liz into using Priceline for our hotel rooms and end up at somewhere craptastic. I don’t want poor Ashley to want to strangle herself because she has to sleep in a room with Meg, Meg’s friend and Meg’s friend’s friend.

And I’d like to have a bit of fun myself. If it is at all possible, with all of this worrying about everyone else that I must subject myself to.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Bitchin' and moanin'

It is 1°F in Detroit right now.

This shit is obscene. It is nearly impossible to function. I went outside to get my hockey equipment out of my car and, I swear, I saw my life flash before my eyes. Not funny, Mother Nature. Not funny at all.

The weather has me crabby.

The weather, among other things, has me crabby.

Other things:
1. This nagging cough I have. Nothing like waking up in the middle of the night and coughing to that point where you're thisclose to puking.
2. My boss. It's bad enough that (I'm embarrassed to admit) I went in to work on Thursday. He all but asked me to go into the office today. Not happening, buddy.
3. I'm going in to work early tomorrow. I'm sure it won't be early enough for my boss and I'm sure that I don't care.
4. Our neighbors. They live below us and they don't do shit. But they've been MIA for weeks now - since the fall - and we haven't missed them a bit. They randomly appear tonight. Park in the driveway. The driveway that had 10 inches of snow on it. That we shoveled. Inconsiderate.
5. I told my mom that I was getting my hair cut tomorrow and she's all "don't end up with a bubble!" Seriously? Now you're worried that I'll cut it too short? Fuck, lady, you should really just come with me.
6. Everything. I'm sick and I'm cold and the world is a miserable place!

Friday, December 19, 2008

It's cold, I'm sick, it's winter

Holy colossal snowstorm!

We got hit with a big one today.

My drive to work was a bit treacherous but, overall, I can't complain. I did not drive into a ditch. I didn't get stuck. I moved at a steady 25 or 30 MPH. And I was only 5 minutes late.

The meteorologists have been hyping this storm for a few days now; it was not unexpected. I set my alarm early, threw on my North Face and my boots and went directly to the sidewalk.

I kind of like shoveling. When it's really quiet, and you can't hear much other than your shovel scraping against the sidewalk and the muted sound of falling snow. It's a really solitary activity. This morning, it felt like I was the only person in the world.

Which was identical to the feeling I had when I started my morning commute.

Which was identical to the feeling I had when I got into the office.

It was more amusing when I was shoveling.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I am the only one who can do my job

We got a nice helping of snow last night – 3 inches or so of light snow that wasn’t too much of a burden to shovel. It’s starting to feel like Christmas!

I’m thrilled to be finished with my classes. That does a damn lot to make it feel like Christmas, too.

While we’re on the merry subject: I have a dilemma for you all.

I took tomorrow off of work. With all of the pilings on that consisted of this last semester, I thought I’d need a day to throw together the Christmas joy. I reminded my boss of this yesterday and he’s all “oh, man, well, uh, so I said you could have Thursday off? Gee, we have so much to do. It isn’t really a...do you have something planned or are you trying to use up your PTO days before the end of the year?”

I told him that I’d try to switch around my schedule and talk to him about it today.

What the hell am I supposed to do?

I mean, yes, we do sort of have a lot to do. Not an oppressive amount, but it is a little busy around here.

But, if I don’t take tomorrow off, I’m set to lose three vacation days at the end of the year. And that would blow. The thought of losing two vacation days is bad enough. Three is like – three whole days! Ugh.

Oh. I should probably add in that my boss isn’t in today. Which sort of burns me.

And also that, on my two days off last week, I came in and worked an hour each day.

I don’t know what to do. Good employee. Good to myself. Or some sort of compromise between the two where I work a half-day on Thursday and a half-day on Friday.

I. Fucking. Hate. Feeling. Like. I’m. Being. Taken. Advantage. Of.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

It’s a hairy subject

My hair is really long right now. Middle of my back. Definitely need a trim. And some highlights.

I like my hair long. Most of the time. I hate how long it takes to dry

Recently, my mom and my sister have taken to telling me, at every chance they get, how long my hair is. And how I need to get it cut.

My work BFF, Ashley, has also taken to tell me that my hair is too long.

Which is really annoying, since I haven’t asked for their advice.

But is also kind of nice - because what if it is grossly long and scraggly and too young for me and I haven’t noticed?

But what about Anna and Colleen and all of the people who like my hair at its current length?

I have spent way too many hours thinking about this.

It’s hair. It grows.

(I wonder if I'll be able to talk myself into making an appointment.)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Being a bridesmaid is fun

Remember that June wedding I'm standing up in?

(You know - the one for the girl who I'm not really friends with.)

The bride picked out our bridesmaid dresses.

(Insert girlie squeal here.)



I don't mind the dress. It could be so much worse. The picture doesn't show the rouching, which is a detail that I really like.

I tried it on in red. Not sure the fuschia is going to do much for me.

Here is what I do mind:
a. the bridal boutique ordered me a size 10. "You're between a 10 and a 12," the salesgirl told me. I tried not to roll my eyes when I insisted that she order the 10 since, when I had tried it on in that size at another boutique 5 days earlier, it was falling off of me. But what can you do? She measured me. They're the professionals. And I'll just pay a shit ton to have it altered to my size. (I've never worn a dress in more than a size 6.)

b. the bride was hinting that she was leaning towards these really awesome dyeable shoes! Yay! $65 on a pair of shoes that I hate! We're wearing silver. You can't tell me that we can't either:
1. all buy our own silver shoes and have them approved by the bride
2. find an off-the-rack silver shoe that the bride likes and each buy a pair.
Dyeable? Really? Ugh.

c. The $170 I shelled out for the dress. Obv.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Grrrr

I've been living with Anna for a year.

It is a good situation. With her working afternoons, we hardly see each other. We can't fight. We can't get sick of each other. It is perfect.

Except when she leaves the house looking much like my coffee table did when I returned home from class this afternoon:


She is such a damn slob.

Her worst habit is leaving out food - open - for hours and days at a time.

Makes me insane.

Makes me glad that we really don't share food.

We're having people over tonight - the first people should be here in an hour - and she said she'd clean the bathroom. She's been sitting on the couch for the last hour, watching The Real Housewives of Orange County.

She got up once.

For leftover pizza.

She left the box out on the counter.

Of course.

I cleaned the bathroom.

She's a slob. I do too much for other people.

We all have our downfalls, I suppose.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Ugh.

Today is not a good day to be living in Detroit.

And that concludes my commentary on the American auto industry bridge loan. (It's not a bailout.)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

2007 to 2008

One year ago today, Colin and I came back from New York.

It was his birthday. I had been so excited to take him.

It was the end of our relationship.

It was the end of our relationship. ...I had no idea at the time. He was a coward. Didn't call me for a month. Gave me no closure. Ran away.

Cowardly.

I thought that today would be harder.

And, while I was aware of the day, I did not acknowledge it. No tears. No nostalgia. Not even the desire to return the favor and send a happy birthday email, like he had sent to me.

I might really be here.

At a place where I don't care.

I never thought I'd make it to the other side.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A new look for a fresh start


I have never had a truly amazing New Years Eve.

Yes, I realize that New Years Eve is like prom in the sense that it is never quite as amazing as you anticipate it to be.

But, not counting the one decent NYE I had with Colin and his friends two years ago, I've never really had one that even counted as mildly interesting. I stayed home and watched Angels in America on DVD one year. I went to the Red Wings game and stopped at Lucy's house last year. I have spent a few with family. Not many with friends.

So this year, to ring in 2009, I'm going to try something new.

Something new in Chicago. With my sister, my cousin Liz, my work BFF Ashley. Anyone. Everyone. A party dress. A hotel room at a smashing price.

And a hockey game. At Wrigley Field.

The Wings and the Blackhawks are playing on New Years Day.

I have four tickets.

(Very difficult to get.)

And I have high hopes for 2009.

Oh, what fun

Silly office gift exchange.

The one where you bring in a generic, wrapped gift. Everyone draws a number. Gets a gift. Steals gifts. You know - the standard.

We're supposed to spend $20-25.

My office is 75% men. Former athletes.

Dig down, kids. Recall fond office parties of past. Give me a few ideas, eh? I don't want to be The One Guy Who Brought The Present Nobody Wanted.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Oh. What's this. Relief?

Just turned in my final assignment for one of my classes.

One down, two to go.

Hallelujah!

I checked out my grade online. It seems that I am not as close on the border between an A and an A- as I had feared that I was. I'm not going to count this egg before it hatches, but maybe I'll be awaiting my grade posting with a little less apprehension than before.

I'm taking tomorrow off of work. Tomorrow and Thursday, as a matter of fact. And next Thursday. It's amazing. Even if I'm going to spend the day balancing my checkbook, going to the grocery store and finishing up some schoolwork. I don't care. I'm almost done with class. And I don't have to work.

Yes, that is the scent of freedom in the air.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Worth hoping

Every once and a while, I'll break out the Google Translate and attempt to see how The Athlete's season is going.

What? It's not my fault that I'm an internet stalker extraordinaire.

I know that I should just give up the idea of him. I so know this, but I can't help myself. And anyway - it is better to daydream about a torrid summer love affair than to dwell on stupid fucking Colin. So gimme a break!

Anyway. So I'm breaking out the Google Translate. Click on the schedule. And notice that, after Thursday, he doesn't have another game until December 28.

Giving him plenty of time to come home for Christmas?

I have no idea.

But I like the thought.

And...

...does anyone ever get the feeling that their iPod is psychic?

Because mine just started playing City and Colour's Comin Home.


Well I've been down to Georgia
I've seen the streets in the West
I've driven down the 90, hell I've seen America's best
I've been through the Rockies, well I've seen Saskatoon
I've driven down the highway 1 just hopin' that I'd see you soon

Cause I'm comin' home, I'm comin' home

I've never been to Alaska, but I can tell you this,
I've been to Lincoln, Nebraska and hell you know it ain't worth shit
I've been through Nova Scotia, Sydney to Halifax
I'll never take any pictures cause I know I'll just be right back

Cause I'm comin' home, I'm comin' home

I've seen a palace in London, I've seen a castle in Wales
but I'd rather wake up beside you and breathe that ol' familiar smell
I never thought you could leave me, I figured I was the one
but I understand your sadness so I guess I should just hold my tongue

But I'm comin' home, I'm comin' home

I know that we're takin' chances, you told me life was a risk
but I just have one last question...
will it be my heart or will it be his?

I'm comin' home

Friday, December 05, 2008

Whine

You know what sucks about doing your homework on a Friday night almost as much as well, doing your homework on a Friday night

There's totally nothing to do on the internet.

I can't be a Facebook creep: nobody is on.

I can't be a blogoholic: I'm all caught up on my reading.

So I guess I'm going to have to do my homework.

Fuck that.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Yikes

My good work friend, who took over my job when I left last January, got her hours reduced to part-time today.

My former boss - that manipulating bitch - said that it was because all people with her title will no longer be full-time employees.

I have her title.

As does my work BFF, Ashley.

Maybe she was told that just to soften the blow. A little white lie so that she wouldn't take it so hard.

Or maybe my boss will pull me into his office tomorrow and cut my insurance, my vacation time and my hours.

Maybe I'm next.

I guess it wouldn't be the end of the world. I'll be done with school in less than six months; I have some financial aid coming.

I'm still scared.

God help me

Not sure if ya’ll remember, but my high school frenemy and current soccer teammate – Heather – broke up with her boyfriend 3 or 4 times this year.

And, since they live together, breaking up means moving out of their house. 3 or 4 times.

I emailed her earlier this week, telling her that I couldn’t go to her stupidfuck jewelry party because I had an appointment to try on bridesmaid dresses.

She asked me who I was in a wedding for. Which, in itself, was a long story. I gave it to her in abbreviated fashion, finishing it up with “I think it must be because she heard that I’m an awesome bridesmaid!”

Heather emails me back.

If you are such a good bridesmaid... maybe I will have to keep you in mind. Dave and I have actually been discussing getting married... just waiting for the actual proposal. I already started planning... thinking about June 6th...

I am shocked.

But I respond.

Not June 6th! That's the day of the other wedding I'm in!

Also - eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! SO EXCITING!


She writes back:

GRRRRR... This is making me SO mad... another friend who I wanted to be in it is going to be 8 months pregnant. I like the date.. remember I am a math person. 6/6. I originally wanted April 4th... 4/4 but I think it is too soon and then I cant have the ceremony in the park I want to have it at. Well I guess I might have to find another date if already you cant come, and two of my friends will either be 8 or 9 months pregnant.

Seriously?
What the fuck do you want me to do? I committed 6 months ago. AND YOU’RE NOT EVEN ENGAGED YET.

Whatever.
I keep up a nice front and emailed back and forth with her a few more times.

And then we get to the crowing moment.

I got the dress for $43 on ebay. It was a model in a dress store. It is pretty :)

Holy crap.
She bought the dress on ebay.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Storytime

My boss was born in a tiny town in western Canada.

His mom gave birth to him in a very small hospital in town. A boy was born the day after my boss. They went to school together through high school.

His mom has passed away. And when he was last home, he ran into that high school classmate and his mother. The classmate's mother told him about when the boys were born. She shared a room with my boss's mom.

My boss has fair skin, blue eyes, blonde hair. His mother had very dark hair.
The classmate was born with brown hair and eyes to his blonde, blue-eyed mother.

When the nurses would come into the room, they would hand the baby boys to the wrong mothers.

And when the nurses left, the mothers would swap children.

They knew who their babies were.

"And it's a good thing," my boss - who stands at 6'2" or so - said, "because I would have been far larger than anyone in the family."

I sort of love that story.
I love that the mothers knew who their babies were.
I love that he didn't find out until after his mom had passed.
I love the small town and the absentminded nurses.

I don't love my boss.
But I love that story.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

It isn't envy

The Athlete is having a really good season over in Europe. It makes me happy.

My cousin Danielle's good friend, who I met and saw perform when I was in LA, is going to be on American Idol. He's really talented. I'm thrilled for him.

I'm going to Meg's hockey game tonight. She's so good at hockey; I like to watch her.

I'm not overly skilled at much of anything. But I'm damn fine at living vicariously through others.

Everyone has a skill.

Monday, December 01, 2008

DD

My phone rang at 1:30 am Wednesday night/Thursday morning.

It was Darren.

He was walking to my house. Drunk.
I wasn’t there.

I left Mom and Dad’s house drove to pick him up. I’d done it once before.

[Don’t chastise me for it. Maybe he is looking for a mother. Maybe I am falling for it. I don’t care. When one of my friends can’t drive – when they’re calling me for help – I’m going to get out of bed and pick them up. How could I ever forgive myself if he killed himself or someone else?]

I was careful to keep him on the phone. He was wandering around my neighborhood. He had no coat on. No common sense. I asked him where he’d been and whom he’d been out with – he couldn’t really tell me. Or maybe he chose not to. It doesn’t matter.

He recently changed his phone number. I was giving him a hard time about it – trying to figure out what made him do it. I had been teasing him about it all week. And he wouldn’t even give me a straight answer when he was drunk. Punk.

And then he says “I have something to tell you but it is something I need to tell you in person.”

So of course I jump to ALL SORTS of conclusions.
And, of course, he never tells me and I never ask.

I wasn’t sure what I was going to say, anyway, if he was professing feelings for me. (Was I jumping to conclusions? What else could it have been?) I still don't think it would work.

But then I get into work today. And I’m talking to my work BFF Ashley – and she says “Darren asked me if I would help him date That Girl Who He Was Flirting With On Facebook.”

Oh.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Homebody

Went to dinner last night with Meg, my 'rents and some family friends.

Watched a movie with Mom, Meg and a friend of hers.

Somewhere in there, I refused an invitation from Anna to go out.

I didn't think much of it until midnight, when I was crawling into bed. "What must she think of me, spending time at Mom and Dad's, instead of going to the bar?"

She probably thinks that I am odd. Too close to my family. "No wonder she's single," I can imagine her thinking, "she can't cut the cord."

I'm at Mom and Dad's house every weekend. I often spend the night. I am 26.

A psychotherapist love to get their claws in me, right?

I don't know why I even do it.

I'm not sure if it is for myself or if it is for my parents.

Because I feel safe there or because I cannot relax at my own house of if maybe I just have the emotional maturity of a preteen.

Meg does the same thing. We're both home a lot on the weekends. Reuniting the family unit? Getting taken care of? Whatever it is. We both do it. I'm probably worse.

It can't be normal.

I should probably stop.

Then I could, like, magically become normal. And maybe get a boyfriend or something.

I'm sure it is that easy.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Days and days

I hate when I feel like this.

When everything seems like too much effort.

When all I want is for the time to pass. To move on. To be over this.

I don't think its depression or boredom. Just a gloomy anxiety. Feeling stuck. Neither happy nor unhappy. Just there. Wanting to sleep until tomorrow. When I will feel more like me. Where I possess drive. Desire. Ambition. When I look at the clock and marvel at how quickly the day has passed, instead of bemoaning how much more of my day I need to tackle.

I hate it.

I don't want my days to feel like a chore. My life to feel like it drags.

I'll take the bad days as long as I have the good.

It is days like today - the ones that do not even warrant a label - that I dislike.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Cyclical

Three years ago this weekend, I stood up in Cousin Liz's wedding.

Three years ago this weekend, Aunt Marie was hospitalized due to an infection in her broken ankle.

This weekend, Liz's marriage is essentially over.
And Aunt Marie's foot has been amputated.

Things can change so quickly.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

It’s Pie Day!

One of my favorite days of the year.

I like the anticipation. I like the domestic bliss. I like the absurdity that is my mom’s patented pie formula.

My cousin Liz is coming over. There will be a lot of laughing. I will be made fun of – incessantly – for puking in her shoes on my birthday. Meg will make really nice piecrusts and I will feel inferior. We will dance in the kitchen. My dad will make us something “gourmet” for dinner (by his standards, not ours). (So what I’m saying is that he is going to make us some hotdogs.)

I will – hopefully – get to bed at a reasonable time. Meg, Anna and I are running a Turkey Trot. The run starts at 8. We are totally going to freeze our asses off. And then we’ll have a perfectly good excuse to eat anything and everything that crosses our paths.

Cannot believe that it is already Thanksgiving.

I’m almost 26 and two months.
My semester is two weeks from being dunzo.
The Athlete has been gone for four months. And he’ll be back in four more. (Wheee!)
It is so wintertime.
Colin and I have been caput for 11 months.
And today is Pie Day.

Goodie!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tuesday

Thought of the day: there’s nothing like getting bitched out by a customer 10 minutes after getting in.

Quote of the day: "Needing someone is like needing a parachute. If they are not there the first time you need them, chances are you won't be needing them again." Scott Adams

Task for the day: Starting my Christmas list. Grandma is going to strangle me if she has to ask me one more time.

On the agenda for today: work, gym, a touch of schoolwork and watching Meg’s hockey game.

Scare of the day: the ten seconds in which I couldn’t get my boots zipped, wondering how I was going to live down spending the workday wearing the pair of Uggs I had schlepped into the office in.

Amusement of the day: the themes clever ol’ Darren has come up with for our Christmas party, sent to me electronically, and the first email I read this morning.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Not quite there

I woke up this morning so, so pissed at Colin.

I keep thinking that I am entirely over him.

And then I wake up one morning and all I want is the opportunity to tell him off. To snap at him. To tell him how much better off I am without him.

I want to know who she is. If he's living with her. What made her so much better than me.

I want to scream at him.

It has been nearly a year. And I want to scream at him.

That wears off eventually. Right?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Risk and reward

I'm sure that hearing about my schoolwork really bores you.
Sorry.
I'm just a little anxious.

I just turned in what was probably the best paper I've written in graduate school. It was that rare paper that just pored out of me. I knew what I wanted to write and I wrote it. And I wrote it well.

The problem is that it doesn't exactly follow the assignment.

I cleared it with the professor. I think I'll get dinged on it anyway.

We had to visit a library and interview a librarian. (Sounds pretty elementary, right?) She gave us a list of questions to ask. We were supposed to ask them all. Transcribe them. And turn it in. Question and answer format. Requiring no thought. Requiring no skill.

My interview/library visit was a little more involved. The librarian let me sit with her and watch her work for a bit. She talked me through it. It was time consuming and, as a result, I didn't ask her all of the questions.

I told my professor that. Asked if I could write it up in paper format. She agreed.

It was the best paper I've written in graduate school.
I bet I don't get an A.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

It is a banner day

I went to Marshall's and found a ton of UM stuff on way super awesome buy-one-of-everything sale. There are perks to having a football of epically pathetic proportions!

On my way to class, I walked through the library. As I was walking by a bank of computer terminals, I saw it: an old man looking at porn. I thought to myself "are those naked people?" He minimized his screen as soon as I got closer. They were naked people.

Tonight, Lucy and I are going to see Matt Nathanson in concert. There are not many things that I love quite as much as a good concert with my best friend.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Attainable

I can do this.

The end of the semester is within my reach. I can see the finish line.

I can do this.

I can stay up late. I can finish these chapters.

I will finish strong.

I will amaze myself.

This semester won't kill me.

My biggest fear will be an A-.

On December 13, I'll be free.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Oh, nevermind

It was almost midnight when I took Emma home last night. I was feeling pretty good about how I had mitigated the situation. It could have been uglier.

And then I find out that Anna went back to her Mom and Dad's house sometime after I dropped off Emma. And they fought. And Emma stood behind Anna's car in the driveway so that she couldn't leave. Crazy insanity all around.

Anna better have had a damn good reason for going over to that house and stirring up what I had tried so hard to settle. Otherwise, I'm just painting her as a glutton for punishment.

I guess Aunt Marie had a seizure in the ER sometime after Emma and I left. She didn't wake up for an hour.

I'm not working today (I have a lot of vacation days that I'm going to lose at the end of the year). Anna has already been up. And back to bed. She might have been crying in her bedroom. I didn't want to bust in. I think she's asleep again.

So here I am - once again - totally at a loss for what to do.

This isn't what I'm good at. I think it is because of how I would handle the situation - by being closed off and focused and unwilling to accept help - that I feel like I can be nothing but a pest and a waste of space.

What I need is for someone (preferably my mom, but Grandma or Anna would do, too) to grab me by the shoulders and tell me what to do. In very detailed, step-by-step directions.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Not totally useless

When it comes to my Aunt Marie's health, I always feel like a failure. Like I cannot, in any way, help her in a way that would, like, actually do some good.

Anna and I were at dinner. We were going to a concert. And then Emma called to say that they had called EMS; Aunt Marie was in severe pain and needed to go to the hospital.

I went with Anna to the ER, even though there was nothing that I could do.

What I knew was that Emma was at the hospital. And that, eventually, she would need to leave.

So, that's what I did tonight. I skipped the concert and hung out in the emergency room until I could convince Emma that it was okay to leave. I drove her back to my house. Let her eat my leftovers. Watched a little bit of E! trastastic reality programming and then, just a few minutes ago, drove her home.

Maybe I don't know the difference between an enema and edema.

But at least I knew that the ER was no place for a high schooler.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Motor City madness

I don't know anything about the economy. I never even took an econ class. (And good thing - because I never would've passed it.)

I don't know anything about money. ...except that I don't have any.

So how can I be a regular consumer of mainstream media and not be anything but scared shitless?

Especially living here.

Michigan. Detroit. It certainly feels like the walls are caving in. Everything - everything - here is tied to the auto industry. I don't know a family without a connection. We're a Ford family, mostly. Though, thankfully, dad doesn't work directly for FoMoCo.

Cars are the backbone. If it breaks, this state is paralyzed.

There is nothing I can do to change it.

But you live it.
And you hear it.
And you can't help to absorb the constant anxiety.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Four

The weather was just like today.

Cold and dark. Raining slush. The crap side of a Michigan fall that is sunny and warm and crisp on the flip side.

I was right out of college. Confused and lost and trying to reestablish myself in a place where I hadn't lived - permanently, anyway - for four years.

I didn't know that I would still be blogging four years later.

I didn't know how much this blog would become part of my life.

I consider myself very lucky for falling into this four years ago. This is my life - detailed here in every glorious, embarrassing, hilarious, minuscule and ugly detail.

I love that it is all written down.

I love the idea of sharing it with someone.

Someday.

Smooth

In one of my patented jackass moves, I seem to have lost my credit card.

At soccer. Tonight.

Which probably means that Colin will be the one to call me and say he found it.

(Hi. I fucking hope not.)

Because that would be fun. Pretending to be gracious to him.

If he does call. (No, really, I really fucking hope not.) I think I'll be all - yo, how fucking stupid do you think I am? I clearly canceled it within 90 minutes of losing it - and then I'll hang up.

And probably not think about him again.

Because he really, honestly does not matter.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

If you didn't see Grey's, don't read this

Dear Grey's Anatomy writers,

Seriously? You fucking blow.

I cannot believe I just sat through an hour of that crap. When did Grey's Anatomy turn into the fucking Ghost Whisperer?

Denny again? Really? Here's the thing: you already killed him. You already killed him and he already came back (it was almost relevant last time) and Izzy Stevens already stood outside of the hospital for - what? - all of season three? Really?

And that Sadie character bores me. She is "woooo! Look at me! I am so wild and so crazy!" in an American accent. And then two seconds later, she says it with an Australian accent. And then I fall asleep.

Hints: Grey's Anatomy does not equal Ghost Whisperer. Grey's Anatomy does not equal Fight Club. Grey's Anatomy is not this lame. And Denny? He's dead.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Joining the club

I left work early today so that I could go to a doctor's appointment.*

Here is what I do at library things: I try to determine whether the librarian is married.

I like librarians. I am going to be a librarian. But, I'm not going to lie, a large segment of them look like...

...they look like librarians. Stereotypical librarians. Unwed, old maid librarians.

So I get sort of excited if they're married.

And really fired up if they're pregnant.

I suppose I could spend more time listening to what they say?

*School thing at a local library.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Median

At lunch yesterday, I read an article in McPaper...er...USA Today...about the ideal age for first marriage.

It was full of all sorts of statistics on the age of people when they are first married – who are more likely to fail, to succeed, to have a cohesive marriage or to end up divorced.

The median age at marriage is now the oldest since the U.S. Census started keeping track in the 1890s: almost 26 for women and almost 28 for men.

Here I am. Past my damn prime.

I remember when kids I went to high school with started getting married. At 21 or 22, we all shook our heads when we heard. “Are they insane?” we’d ask one another. “Is she pregnant?” It was outside of the norm. They were the strange ones.

And then something changed – we started graduating from college and getting jobs and buying houses – and the news was no longer so strange. “Good for her,” I say. “Do I know the guy she married?”

There is this one boy – bulky and awkward and so sweet – that I had gone to school with since elementary school. We were friends in high school but never bothered keeping in touch. It happens.

I heard that he was married. A wife and a kid. When I expressed my shock to my mother, she gently pointed out that I was at That Age. That I shouldn’t be surprised. That it was really quite normal.

And maybe that I’m the odd one.

(In my defense – my shock was really based around this particular husky, awkward, sweet boy, not all of my contemporaries.)

The article quoted a study in which they asked young adults and their parents about the best age to marry. That is something that I haven’t ever bothered to determine. I have never set a timeline for myself. Maybe it’s because I know I’ll marry the first slob who proposes. Maybe it is because I am far too aware that the prospects are so bleak that I would rather not identify an ideal age, as it is far too likely that I’ll surpass that age on my plummet into Old Maidhood. Maybe I’m afraid that, if I set an age, I’ll just jinx myself. (For the record, the young adults who were studied said 25, while their parents said 26).

I sent my work BFF Ashley the article. She’s nine months older than I am. And she is sitting in the same boat (we’ll call it the S.S. Pathetic).

Her response made me smile.

“Who ever said we were average though, really?”

It’s true.

They are numbers. I am not.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

It's always nice to dream

Darren came out on Friday night. At some point in the evening, he told me that I should plan a European vacation. ...that he can join me on. "You're good at that," he said, regarding my planning skills. We decided on Russia and the Czech Republic.

We're all talk.

I think.

The kid loves to travel, I'll give him that. He relishes being out of his environment. He gave me the entire "you're young, this is the only time you'll be able to do this" lecture.

I've always wanted to go to Russia.

For the rest of the weekend, I bounced the idea around in my head. What it would be like traveling with Darren. How much it would cost. When I could go. What we would do. Silly things. Daydreams.

The life that I live in my head is so much grander than the one that I live here in reality.

Friday, November 07, 2008

A night without homework

...but with more than enough other things.

I have a hockey game at 6:00.

And soccer at 8:00.

At 10:00, random people will be coming over to my house. So that we can go to the bar. You would think that I invited them over - or maybe Anna, since she lives with me - but you would be wrong. Meg put on her party planning hat. And invited people. To my house.

I don't care.

Except that the bathroom is dirtier than I would prefer (please, cleaning gods, inspire Anna while I am at work).

Except that I absolutely cannot have people to my house - even if they're just stopping in before they go to the bar - if there is not proper food to feed them. Just the thought makes me weak.

So there I was at the damn grocery store, buying brownie mix and chips and whatever else looked good, last night at 9.

Because I am my mom.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

I don't understand my feelings

I’m not into Darren.

He’s fun. He’s cute. He’s funny.
He is moody. Has a short fuse. Can be arrogant.

It would never work out.
I’m done with having a crush on him. Have been done for quite a while.

He joined Facebook this weekend. I was the first person he told. Gave him a few pointers. It was kind of cute.

Now he’s on The Facebook.

And I can see him flirting – hardcore – via The Facebook with this girl who we both know through work.

I’m jealous.

I’m not supposed to be jealous.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

2012

I'm not going to get political.

I have nothing to say that hasn't been said.

Today, Darren make some smart ass political jab. Probably just to get under my skin. (According to Ashley - who works in his office - he was chuckling about it later.)

I countered with: "Have I ever mentioned how classy you are?" He can be such a wanker.

The election cycle can make you insane.
It can make you awfully nostalgic, too.

I remember the first election I voted in. I fell asleep to the election coverage in my dorm room. I was a freshman in college. I was barely a month past my 18th birthday.
I remember the second election I voted in. I fell asleep to the election coverage on the couch at my mom and dad's house. I was barely a month past my 22nd birthday. Finished with college. Interning. Confused.
Yesterday was the third election I voted in. I watched the election coverage, but managed to get to my bed before going to sleep. (Thanks, early call.) I am barely a month past my 26th birthday.

The next time we vote for a president, I will be 30.

My age is the only thing I can be certain of.

Maybe I'll still be single. I hope not. And, if I am, I hope I am content in it.
Maybe I'll still be working at my job. I hope not. This master's degree isn't cheap.
Maybe I'll be voting from a state other than reliably blue Michigan.
Maybe I'll be a mom.

I look back on the eight years since I first cast a ballot in a presidential election and, honestly, I don't know how much I've changed. Older, yes. More educated, sure. A few bad mistakes behind me. But the girl I was in 2000 and the girl I am today? The same. So. Exactly. The. Same.

Yesterday, the country got change.

When do I get mine?

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election Day Gourmet

I started my dinner with two pieces of naan. You can get it frozen from Trader Joe's. Delicious? You betcha.

Moved on to chicken potstickers. (Also from Trader Joe's.)

And then a bowl of Greek yogurt, sweetened with a spoonful of honey.

What?! I ran three miles today! And I need brain food for watching the election return at the edge of the couch.

I think I'll finish up the night with a big glass of water.

And a caramel apple.

Reprieve

My brain is full of a lot of nothing today. I don’t really mind. Schoolwork is on the light side this week, and I’m enjoying a break from repeating a list of what I have to do in my head. Over and over and over.

Online quiz. Groceries. Computer certification. Watch lecture. Do laundry. Gym. Try to get to bed at a decent hour. Call mom. Don’t spend two hours aimlessly clicking around Facebook.

I’ll pay the price for this quiet week next week. And the week after. And then no classes for the week of Thanksgiving. Then, two weeks of hell and I’m through. Hurrah? Oh, yes. Hurrah.

Did I mention that I’m running a 5K with my sister on Thanksgiving morning? It seemed like an amazing idea when we registered at the end of September. Before it was bitterly cold. Now we spend amazing amounts of time, effort and energy attempting to figure out what we will wear to ensure that we’re both warm and mobile on race day.

Knowing Michigan, it will end up being 55 degrees.

Predictably unpredictable. That’s how we roll here in the D.

I voted absentee. I am enjoying laughing at all of my coworkers who are gearing up to get in line at 6:00 tonight. So far, I have managed to skillfully avoid any political chatter. I can be rather passionate in some of my opinions. That can of worms? Better to be left unopened. Discussion of one statewide ballot proposal in particular, Proposal 2, could easily bring me to tears.

My hair may finally be out of The Awkward Length of Horrible that it feels like it has been in for the last few weeks. I’m not doing anything different – it has just decided to start behaving. Or has grown to the proper length to properly weigh down my hair so that I no longer look like the Whirling Dervish of Crazy.

Someone on my soccer team up and joined another team in our league. Claimed she didn’t know we were playing this session. Whatev. Pisses me off.

Monday, November 03, 2008

This time thing? It really flies.

I just registered for my last semester of graduate school.

Are you kidding me? My last semester? I am fairly certain that I just started.

(I am far from upset to be nearly finished. I just cannot believe how quickly it went!)

In other news, we had a miracle this fine weekend. I finished a big project. 12 days early. Unheard of.

Of course, I didn't touch what I have due tomorrow.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Not this November

Have done NaBloPoMo for the last two years.

2008? Not gonna happen.

I'm good at keeping myself disgustingly busy.

For once in my life, I'm going to attempt to have a little restraint.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween




Love,
America's Sweetheart
and
The White Trash with the Triple Axel





(Me, Colleen: Halloween 2007)

TV Timeout

Want to know what makes me giddy with happiness?

Well, you can only know if you’re all caught up – or at least through episode four – of Grey’s Anatomy. Of if you don’t care.

This is what makes me giddy with happiness.

Izzy and Alex!

Squeeeee!

That is pretty much all I have to say on the subject.

[No, actually, that is a lie. I could go on and on and on and ON. But that would be creepy and weird and I swear that I am not living in a fantasy world where I cheer on fictional characters as they embark into a fictional relationship that is, like, totally filled to the brim with cute and smooshy goodness.]

I like damaged boys.

I like thinking that I can fix them.

And so there is Alex, the quintessential damaged boy, and Izzy, the quintessential do-gooder, and they are together and they are cute.

I have wanted them to be together and cute since the beginning of time. So, obviously, I am happy.

Because maybe that means that I can find myself a nice, damaged boy. And I can fix him. And we can be happy.

Or maybe it means that I really am living in a fantasy.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A few things

I wish that my mom didn't have to run the family.
I wish that Aunt Marie's husband would step up.
I with that boy didn't break Ashley's heart last night.
I wish Meg wouldn't ask my mom to sew part of her Halloween costume tonight.
I wish I had gotten to bed earlier last night.
I wish Anna would stop bitching about her job.
I wish I'd done more to prepare for the midterm I have on Saturday.
I wish that the midterm I have on Saturday was actually a final exam.
I wish that my dad knew how to help my mom out more.
I wish Grandma and Mom weren't so responsible for Aunt Marie's day-to-day care.
I wish Emma wasn't so crazy.
I wish Emma wasn't so self-centered.
I wish Emma could shut her mouth.
I wish that I could skip Lucy's Halloween party on Saturday night.
I wish that I'd only taken two classes this semester.
I with that my mom didn't seem so sad.
I with that my mom didn't seem so exhausted.
I with that my mom didn't seem so sick.
I wish I could fix everything.
I wish I could fix something.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Reading is not optional

Accidentally Me posted the link last week.

Matt, Liz and Madeline.

You should read it because there is no excuse not to. Start in April 2008, when Madeline is born and Liz, her mother, dies 27 hours later.

You'll cry a little. Maybe a lot.

It will make you a better person.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Crossing it off of my list

I try to prioritize. And, when you have homework and work-work, writing thank you cards sort of falls by the wayside.

But I am so. not. okay with skipping the process altogether. Sure, I collected the first of my birthday presents nearly a month ago, but I am still very thankful for them.

Thus, the notes.

When we were kids - my mom used to love to nag Meg and I about writing thank you notes. She'd harass us. And remind us. And threaten to send back the gifts. Until we finally sat down and wrote the thank you notes (probably three days after we received the gift).

I can still hear her.

For the last month, I've had these hanging over me.

Knew I needed to write them. Knew I had things that were, technically, more important.

I don't think I have ever been happier to finish up a batch of thank you cards. And Mom wasn't even nagging me.

Technically.

(I totally heard her in the back of my head. Every day. For an entire month. Sorry, Momma, but it was time to shut you up.)

Monday, October 27, 2008

When words don't do enough

I wish that I had an audio blog.

Because I could post the absolute nonsense that is currently spewing from my cousin to her boyfriend - at a decibel level of approximately 85 - and you could want to strangle her, too.

Except you wouldn't be trying to finish homework (homework that is due by midnight, by the way), so you might actually have time to do it. Which I wouldn't really want you to do.

(Feel free to tape her mouth shut.)

This shit is outta control

It's a little strange for me to refrain from blogging for three days. I do realize that none of you come here to read about how fucking exhausted I am (why do you come here?!), so I'll just gloss over that.

Friday: nothing to report. Such a standard day. Boring to the maximum. I worked. I did homework. I went to sleep.

Saturday: I spent the morning at my house. I sat in bed and did homework. I did a little bit of laundry. Absolutely uneventful, but I have grown to appreciate my Saturday mornings. Is good to bum around and get a few things done. I went to class in the afternoon. I WATCHED THE PATHETIC MICHIGAN WOLVERINES MAKE ME SICK. (Seriously - all signs pointed to them losing in pathetic form and still my head exploded with rage!) And then I went to dinner with my family. I also almost managed to stay up until 11. But Blue was in my bed and my eyelids were very heavy.

Sunday: Joint birthday party for me, Emma and my dad. Will cover that in a separate post. Why? Because it sucked. I spent the rest of my day doing homework. And then, just as I was leaving to go to hockey, we lost power. It still wasn't on when I got back from hockey (two hours later) - so I packed up and went to Mammy and Pappy's house for the night.

A weekend in the life.

I know you're jealous.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The over/under

After we visited Aunt Marie in the hospital, Meg and I went to dinner. It was nearly 9:00, on a somewhat miserable, bitter and rainy Tuesday night. The restaurant was nearly empty.

We were seated at a table next to a couple that was definitely on their first date. Meg was not particularly talkative. I found a sick amount of joy in listening to their awkward, forced small talk.

I was exhausted – par for the course these days – and I couldn’t help but feel relieved that it wasn’t me at that table. The amount of energy required to sustain that conversation? Didn’t have it. That isn’t even taking into consideration the effort the poor girl went into making herself presentable. Couldn’t handle it.

But I eavesdropped on their conversation with a considerable amount of glee. Sports, Colorado, drinking, family, cooking. They hit it all. Even drunk driving.

I concocted a story in my head. They met on match.com. Her biological clock is ticking wildly. He’s been married before. Early thirties, I guessed. He had a bit of gray in his hair. She had a rough voice and leathery skin.

“What year did you graduate high school?” I don’t remember how the question was posed, but it wasn’t an overt request for her age. It fit into the conversation.

“2000,” she answered.

“Oh, right.” They must’ve already covered this. Maybe in an email. “Me, too.”

2000.

Gray hair.
Leathery skin.
Furiously ticking biological clocks.

They were the same age as me.

I could’ve died.

(She later said that she had just turned 27. Which is one whole year older than me. But still.)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The right thing

Politics was mentioned in passing last night. Aunt Marie was just getting settled in her latest room (the fourth since she was admitted three weeks ago). “I probably won’t get to vote,” she sighed.

“I don’t think it is too late to get an absentee ballot,” I mentioned.

“She’ll look into it,” my mom promised.

And here I am, looking up her precinct number and writing out an envelope to the clerk. I printed the necessary form; she’ll just need to sign.

Aunt Marie’s political views are the polar opposite of mine.

Who am I to deny her the right to vote?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Ew.

I am having an ugly week.

My hair is not cute.
My face is not cute.
Something about my clothes just isn’t right.
A coworker commented on how exhausted I look.

At least I don’t feel fat. I’ve been feeling fat lately.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Update

I could write about Aunt Marie and her surgery and the past week for hours. I haven’t. But I could. It’s just that it is emotional and exhausting and, sometimes, when you’re the thick of something it is hard to pull yourself out far enough to get any perspective.

But, since I was asked. ...and since it’s probably good for me... Here is a little update.

The Nurse
It is interesting to see my mom in this situation. The way she goes in and takes charge. She will get Aunt Marie out of bed. Change her clothes. Tidy her room. She is very much the nurse. She does what needs to be done.

Though I doubt she realized it at the time, my mom became a nurse because she had this sick little sister. She was seasoned at the care-giving role. In a way, she is coming full circle. Being a nurse and a sister. Mom is very good at it. Aunt Marie is very lucky.


Visitor
Yesterday, when Mom and Meg visited, they brought Aunt Marie outside. Emma drove up to the hospital with their dog in the car. It was a happy reunion.


The Bitch
The more I hear about the day of Aunt Marie’s surgery, the more I learn. To put it quite bluntly? My mom was a bitch. She (rightfully) ripped the surgeon up. What he was doing – pushing the surgery back by five hours without a reasonable explanation – was unacceptable and she let him hear about it. Repeatedly.

Eventually, he was all “you know, you shouldn’t be yelling at me before I go in to work on your sister.” And she was snapping back, “you’re the professional here. It is up to you to determine if you can focus to do your work.” He tried to shake her hand. She wouldn’t. And when, a few days later, he was seeing Aunt Marie when my mom happened to walk into the room, they did not speak.

Mom is still pissed about it. Aunt Marie is a patient in a health system that breeds arrogant doctors. My mom is completely intolerant of it. (We have never seen a doctor within that system.)

When you’re in the hospital, Mom is the person you want on your side.


The Attitude
Aunt Marie is taking this remarkably well. Preoperatively, she seemed at peace with the decision. Postoperatively, she seems much the same. (The only time when she really panicked was during those five hours when she was waiting to go under the knife. Which was precisely the reason my mom went ape shit.)

I would not classify Aunt Marie as an overly positive person, so it is really good that she’s maintaining a good outlook. She isn’t moping. I’m really proud of her.


Labels
Sometime in the near future, Aunt Marie will be moved to a rehabilitation unit. She doesn’t like the idea of “going into rehab.” Sounds too much like a place for addicts.


The Parents
One of the saddest things about this whole situation is watching my Grandma and Grandpa. Grandpa, according to Grandma, has been “very weepy.” He cried when he first saw Aunt Marie after her surgery. He has visited her every day.

I can tell that Grandma is sad, too. She does her best. She brings Aunt Marie food – soup and apple dumplings – and she sits with her every day. She listens to her complain. She is there. She does what she can.


The Other Bitch
Aunt Marie can be difficult. When I was visiting on Thursday – just before I was told how pathetic I am – I listened to her complain and complain and complain. About her freezer at home. (And a little bit about her nurse. About some person who “came in and just stared at me.” About how people keep asking her when she is going to get moved to another room. About the food. Etc.)

On Saturday, she was in a foul mood because they wouldn’t let her shower. “I am 49 years old,” she ranted. “I don’t need my doctor’s permission to shower. You just wait. My sister will come here. She’ll help me into the shower.”

When they finally put her in the shower, she cried.

I don’t think it was about the shower.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Stretched thin

I consider myself a fairly together person. I don't forget things. I'm not flaky.

Which is why I am fairly certain that I've hit my limit.

Today - at 4:55 - I got a phone call from a hockey teammate. "Where are you? Are you playing in the game?"

The game started at 5:00.

I thought it started at 8:00.

For those of you who don't know hockey: it's pretty bad when your goalie doesn't show.

I threw my stuff in my car, raced to the arena (thankfully, it is very close to my house) and was on the ice just a few minutes into the game.

But I don't do things like that.

I don't forget things.

I'm not this girl.

I can't wait for the semester to be over.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

No periodic table necessary

Today, my boss told me that he didn't feel like we had any chemistry.

I am prone to some very telling facial expressions, so I was not surprised when he started backtracking.

"Like teammates. The three of us - we don't have good team chemistry."

I knew that's what he meant. He is forever talking in sports analogies.

But he's my boss. And he said that we didn't have good chemistry.

Unintentionally hilarious and awkward.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Truth

I was in Aunt Marie's room. Grandma was there, too. Aunt Marie was all doped up on pain medicine. I mentioned to Grandma that I have a soccer game tomorrow night.

"Stop playing on those old woman soccer teams," Aunt Marie piped in. "You're never going to meet a man. You have to do something different."

I feel like I got punched in the stomach.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

In my world

I realized something about myself today, as I walked into the hospital to see my aunt.

I watched the people around me carefully.

A girl my age. Probably going to see a friend who just had a baby.
A middle-aged couple. Probably going to see their daughter, who just had a baby.
A mom and a child. Probably going to see the child's aunt, who just had a baby.
A man, by himself. Going home. His wife had a baby.

Every person there. I searched their faces. I glanced at what they carried. I made note of what they wore.

At the hospital for a joyous occasion.

As though my aunt was the only patient in the hospital who wasn't there to give birth.

I'm not sure if that is optimistic or just painfully naive.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Amputee

My aunt is in surgery right now.

It started an hour ago. It was supposed to start 5 hours ago. Can you imagine that? Sitting around and waiting for your foot to be amputated? I don't know details. By the stress level in my mom's voice - I'm guessing that the waiting created nothing but anxiety.

Overall, Aunt Marie has been very at peace with this decision. I think, in some ways, she has had three years (since she first broke her ankle) to get used to this decision. She is, by nature, a negative person. But, perhaps until that four-hour wait, she did not mourn the loss of her ankle.

I hope that she sees what she is losing. Not the toes. The foot. The bones and the tissue. But the pain. The infection. The wound that could not heal.

I hope that she can remain positive. That she can rehabilitate. That she can look back on this and say "I cannot believe I didn't have it amputated earlier."

I cannot begin to understand how scary it is, the prospect of having a limb removed.

Death, I suppose, is scarier.

I cannot begin to feel what her daughters feel. Feel what my grandparents feel. Feel what my mom feels.

I can only feel how her niece can feel.
I can only pray with all my might.
I can only ask those I know to do the same.

Zero

Colleen brought a boy to my birthday party. A boy she met the weekend before. And he went all hog-crazy and brought her to dinner before my party. Took her to brunch after. All sorts of mush.

And then there's Ashley, who will be going out with her South Carolina boy tonight.

Lucy has her cute little marriage.

Heather is pushing her boyfriend for a proposal.

And I'm sitting on the bench.

If love were a sport I would, unquestionably, be riding the pine. Never breaking a sweat. Cheering on my teammates loudly. Softly wondering if I'd ever get playing time.

I don't even have any prospects.

I hate that I don't have any prospects. It was okay 6 months ago, when I was still wallowing in the aftermath of Colin. It isn't okay now. Because my head keeps going back to The Athlete. And seriously? If I keep pining over him, I'll be institutionalized before he returns home. ...in April. And I'll be recommitted when he brings his gorgeous European girlfriend home with him.

And things with Darren just aren't going to work out. I don't want to force it.

What I want is for a damn boy to show a little bit of interest. A very little. Barely enough to make me notice. That would be fine.

This is not a good time for me to start dating anyone.

But the slightest possibility wouldn't hurt.

Monday, October 13, 2008

For those keeping track

Annoying:
-Washing a very fuzzy black sweater with a bunch of normal clothes that now look like normal clothes that have been washed with a very fuzzy black sweater. (How stupid can I be?)
-My skin. For real? PMS was two weeks ago. Get your shit together.
-It is after 11. I should be in bed so that I can go to yoga tomorrow morning. Not happening.

Not:
-Finishing homework with a minimal amount of pain and suffering.
-My lunch for tomorrow is mostly packed. (Packing my lunch in the morning irritates me.)
-Downloading the music from last week's Grey's Anatomy.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

This 'n' that

I just got a lovely phone call from Emma. Crying and unreasonable. She made dinner for her and her father. And then slathered it in expired mayonnaise. And because she is the way she is - she can't reason. She can't laugh at her mistakes. She flies off the handle. And then she calls my mom. I just happened to pick up the phone.

I haven't mentioned it. But her mom, my aunt Marie, is having her leg amputated below the knee on Tuesday.

My dad spilled gas all over the back of Meg's car. Where her gym bag, now soaked in gasoline, was sitting. I've spent the last few hours trying to rescue what I can. It was a Googlefest of remedies. Baking soda. Vinegar. Vanilla extract. Fabreeze. Coke. Prayer. Patience. We'll see.

Finished a project for school this afternoon. Feels good to get that off of my shoulders. Now on to the next project. An assignment due on Monday at midnight. A computer certification exam on Thursday. Another project due by Friday at midnight.

The weather today is absolutely amazing.

My Michigan football team is absolutely embarrassing.

I have been thinking about The Athlete a lot in the past few days.

Ashley left for her epic road trip this morning. I'm crossing my finger. I just want her to have a good time. Anything beyond that is a bonus, right?

Seriously considering the idea of going to Chicago for New Years Eve.

Have hockey tonight.

And last night, I had a dream that Anna and I lived in a house on a lake. With America Ferrera.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

I don't have much time to wallow in self pity

I am crabby and I am tired.

I just got home from a fun evening with Lucy and Colleen. We had dinner. Saw Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist. Had a drink. Planned our Halloween costumes. Ate cake.

And when I got home - to my mom and dad's house - I let my sister set me off with the first comment she made.

They wanted me to go to the outlet mall and to dinner. I had already committed to Lucy and Colleen. I can't be in two places at once. We had plans. They were taking me out for my birthday. I can't do everything. I need some sleep. A reduction in stress. My sanity back.

And why is it that when you're doing something that you really like you're most aware of the fact that you're alone? It felt like that tonight, with my friends. Maybe it is just Lucy and her happy marriage. Maybe it is just that I am crabby and I am tired.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Far away

My dearest, darlingist coworker and friend, Ashley, has this boy in her life. She met this boy at a wedding in June. And then they made out at the hotel.

Fate is cruel, so he obviously lives in Atlanta. They've kept in touch - phone, text messages - since then.

There have been a few...at least three...stretches in which she won't hear from him for a few days. Once, it was a week. And during those days, I listen to her talk about him in a quiet and sad voice. "I wish he would just tell me he doesn't want to talk to me anymore."

Her sister is moving down south. Ashley is driving down with her on Sunday. There will be time spent in Atlanta. With that boy. With that boy who was in the midst of one of his no-talk sprees until he learned that Ashley would be in his town.

And now it is "I called because I wanted to hear your voice" and "I miss your face."

I haven't told her that she shouldn't do this. It is what I feel but it is not what I say. She is full of hope. And I have never met this boy.

I am a horrible friend because I do not trust him. Because I see Colin in the way that he disappears and I see me in the way that she closes herself off to other opportunities because she is so full of hope for a boy who is unavailable.

And I'm a horrible friend because, beyond my cynicism, I am a tad bit jealous, too.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Cheezy prom picture...



...with the Stanley Cup.

Hahahaha.

(Me - left. Meggie - Right.)

Trying to see beyond the end of my nose

Taking three classes? It sucks.

It sucks but I’m really trying not to let it take over my life. In the long run, this probably means that I won’t finish the semester with a 4.0. In the short run, I won’t be a miserable bitch who feels chained to my textbooks.

I should have spent last night on my laptop, watching endless lectures from the professor of one of my online classes. I didn’t finish all of last week’s lectures (bad, bad girl!) and this week’s lectures were posted online yesterday.

Instead, Meg came over to my house and we took cousin Emma to a special, private viewing (and photo shoot) with the Stanley Cup.

Then we went to dinner at a restaurant that is, collectively, one of our favorites. And, unfortunately, the favorite of way too many other people. We waited 45 minutes for a table after being told it would be 20. Whatever. The burger? It was worth it.

And pushing back my schoolwork was worth it. It was worth it for a totally last minute evening with my sister and my cousin. For doing something that not everyone has the chance to. For spending time with Emma, whose mom had surgery again last night.

It is good to keep your nose to the grindstone. But it doesn’t hurt to have a little perspective.

And a fun picture with the Stanley Cup.

(I’ll post it sometime today.)

Monday, October 06, 2008

For shame

Saturday night was a gong show.

I puked.

That is really all I can focus on: the fact that I puked after we got home. Oh, and also that I don’t remember the last quarter of the evening.

I hate that. I hate that I got that drunk. It has never happened before. It won’t happen again. (I know people say that all the time. But I really mean it. For really real.)

So I am all, like, embarrassed that I puked and so I really can’t appreciate the fun that we had or all of the people who came to celebrate my birthday.

Darren was acting like a jerk. He had to work – didn’t get out until after midnight – and he acted like a wanker. He can be moody. I don’t think I really have a crush on him anymore.

Here are the circumstances surrounding my vomiting. I was in my bed. And then I leaned over and puked onto the floor. And into my cousin Liz’s shoes. For real. Meg had to pour the bile out of them.

I can’t believe I did that.

I hate that I was so out of control. At least I didn’t do or say anything stupid. But I’m really mad at myself anyway. I don’t do things like that. I am better than that. I have more control.

Anna told me, Ashley told me – everyone told me – that it happens to everyone. But that’s not good enough for me.

Seriously. I am such a shamed, pathetic mess that everyone feels the need to council me on my indiscretions.

Being this anal is really exhausting.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Being the bigger person

I emailed Colin back. A combination of two good suggestions from two lovely ladies and an a-okay from Ashley. Squeezed my eyes shut as I pressed send.

He responded back in, oh, 18 seconds. No joke.

sorry just an hour and 3 minutes late, why the best birthday so far?

I emailed him back some vague crap since it, um, wasn't really my best birthday yet even though it was quite lovely. And I did not hear from him again.

[I'll confess now that, after going home for the day, I checked my work email account more than a few times to see if he replied. Nothing. And nothing today, either.]

I did see him at soccer last night. We didn't talk. He walked right by where I was sitting with a teammate. I kept my eyes down. Civil email exchange or not, I still can't look at him. We cannot be friends.

Friday, October 03, 2008

What. The. Fuck.

From: Colin
To: Alyson
Sent: Friday, October 3, 2008 1:06 AM
Subject: Hey


Hey stranger, I know that I am a bit late and a dollar short all the time, but I wanted to say happy belated birthday. I hope that all is well with you and things are going good. You can email me back if you would like but understand if you don't.

Seriously?

(I have yet to respond.)

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Yay birthdays

I am nice and pleasant and whatever, but I’d be the first to say that not many people care for me all that much. I’m a good acquaintance, but it ends there.

It isn’t true.

There are people in this world – a good many of them – who think that I am awesome.

It is 10:30 in the morning on October 2, 2008. My birthday.

-Anna left me a birthday present outside of my bedroom door.
-My dad sent me a text message wishing me happy birthday.
-My coworker/nemesis (it’s a long story – he is a pain in my ass but I love him anyway) bumbled into my office telling me what a wonderful day it was.
-My darling coworker brought me a Tim Horton’s gift card and a few funny, inside-joke magnets. AND she made me a cake.
-PLUS she and another coworker are taking me to lunch.
-Colleen called with birthday wishes.
-My mom called me to tell me happy birthday.
-Meg emailed me from work.
-Ashley sent me silly birthday text messages.
-I got two happy birthday emails from coworkers.
-Lucy called to tell me happy birthday. (And to say that Chet sends his birthday wishes, too.)
-My mom called me back to tell me that today is also Kelly Ripa’s birthday.
-Our marketing department gifted me with one (1) Los Angeles Kings baseball hat.

The day – so far – has been lovely. A nice reminder that I am loved. That’s the best part about birthdays.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Unfair, unjust

I am trying not to be overwhelmed by all of this.

I have no right to be. I am not visiting my daughter in the ICU. I am not fielding panicked phone calls from my terrified niece, who knows too much about medicine to sit by her mother’s bedside and convince herself that things will, without a doubt, end up okay. I am not that girl – and really, she’s just a kid – who has to balance being a daughter and a nurse. I am not The Other Daughter, terrified of the ICU and getting up every morning and going to swim practice and to high school.

I am not my grandma, my mom. I am not either of my cousins.

I have not visited my aunt in the hospital. I don’t entirely feel that I have the right to.

I don’t know what to say to Anna – who called off work each of the last two nights. She feels like it is her responsibility to sit by her mom’s bedside. Acting as her health advocate. Being her own personal nurse, not her daughter. I think she is a little resentful of that.

“When my dad came in last night, she said to him ‘I am sorry that I am sick,’” Anna told me last night. “When Emma was there? ‘I’m sorry I am so sick.’ Do you know what she said to me? ‘Thank you for helping.’”

She became a nurse so that she could help her mom. It wasn’t a conscious choice. My mom became a nurse so that she could help her sister. She did not realize it, either.

If you have been reading this blog for years and years now (we’re almost at the four-year mark, kids), or if you read the archives all the way back to late fall 2005, you might remember when Aunt Marie broke her ankle.

If you’re a newer reader, here is the recap:
October, 2005: Aunt Marie breaks her ankle falling down the stairs
November, 2005: Aunt Marie develops an infection in the ankle. She is hospitalized for a month, while they try to get the infection under control so that they will not have to amputate.
Early 2006: Aunt Marie re-breaks the ankle. Back to the hospital.
At various points between then and now: she is hospitalized. Not always because of her ankle. All related to her diabetes.
Because of the disease, because of how frail she is and the infection and all of the damage to her ankle, it never completely healed. It remained swollen, disfigured, painful. She walks with a cane.

And now, she is septic. There is infection in her blood.

They traced the infection to her ankle.

It is likely that they will amputate.

Losing a limb is sad. My aunt has fought, for nearly three years, to keep that foot. When she is lucid enough to realize what is happening, she will be devastated.

But really? Get rid of that fucking foot. Get rid of it so she can live.

Because her living through this is not a guarantee.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Good thing I majored in English

Aunt Marie is in the ICU. I spoke to Anna today, who was just home from the hospital and sounded upset. I think it is especially hard for her, because of how responsible she feels for her mom’s health. She was the one who took her to the hospital. She is the one who tells the doctors and nurses what medicines she is on. And that person crying out in pain? It is her mom. Anna has seen her in the hospital so many times. I doubt it ever gets easier.

Emma is mean, of course. Lashing out at everyone else because she is scared and can’t express it.

Grandma is sad.

My mom has her own health to worry about. Don’t think that she’s not worrying about her sister’s, too.

And I – as usual – feel helpless and worthless. I know nothing. I can do nothing. I watch and I listen. I don’t understand what is going on. I wish that I could help. And I call in favors from whatever higher beings will listen.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Hate everything

Today fucking sucks.

I am exhausted. Thus unable to cope well.

And I committed to going to the funeral home after work.

Anna just called, looking for my mom's office number. She was all panicked. She's in the ER with her mom - my Aunt Marie.

It is absolutely the last thing my mom needs. Mom seemed so sick and so frail this weekend. She could barely walk. This heart thing has yet to be figured out. May be be her thyroid. Whatever the cause, it is absolutely slaughtering her quality of life. It is really scary.

I hate when life is like this. When the sky opens and dumps everything it has directly upon your head.

I want to cry.

Counting

I didn’t meet my future husband at the wedding. I didn’t meet anyone, as a matter of fact. I danced with my old coworkers and giggled and gossiped. I snuck in a few seconds to see the wedding for what it really was: the happiness beaming off of Kevin’s Replacement and his new wife. And then I found a few seconds to feel terribly envious of what they have.

And I am. Terribly jealous. But maybe I’ll have my turn. My mom keeps talking about how nice the new clubhouse is at Dad’s country club. “We need to take you girls there,” she told us yesterday, “so you can see where you’re going to get married.”

I hope so. I always thought that biological clock talk was bullshit, but I drive to work every morning picking out what houses in my neighborhood I would like to buy and I spend more time in the grocery store cooing at babies than I do purchasing food.

Last weekend, when Colleen and I were at Lucy’s house, Lucy said to us “one of you has to have a kid before me.”

I told her that the only way that was going to happen was if I was her surrogate.

I would love to beat her to motherhood. Just can’t see how that is going to happen.

And this is the part of this entry where I tell you all that I turn 26 on Thursday. 26 seems a lot older than 25. Which seemed a lot older than 24. I am pretty much not young anymore. Hence the anxiety.

For a brief moment, however, let us push my old age aside to pause and appreciate Saturday’s insane comeback by my Wolverines. Seriously, guys, I didn’t think you could do it. I was listening to the first half of the game while getting ready for the wedding and I was so irritated that I had to turn the game off. Imagine my surprise when I found out, on Sunday morning, that you pulled off the biggest turnaround in Big House history. Kudos. And Hail to the Victors.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

I annoy myself

Why is it that I cannot manage to start my homework before 9 pm on Sunday night? Why must I torture myself so?

Procrastination can kiss my ass.

Someone, teach me some coping skills. Quickly. Please.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Beginnings and ends

A woman who worked part-time for my company committed suicide yesterday.

She worked at my old building. I used to schedule her.

I never knew her well. We didn’t work together often. But we were pleasant acquaintances. She was always drinking a Gatorade. She always had her iPod with her.

Her son has red hair. He is about 10. He talks a lot.

And his mom shot herself yesterday.

My old boss called to tell me. She was all shaken up. Understandably.

A coworker brought it up to me. “It is so sad, especially for her son,” she said, “it isn’t something that you could ever come to terms with. It isn’t like she was sick with an illness or...”

That’s not something that I could let go. She was sick, of course. She was mentally ill. You don’t kill yourself unless you are sick. Mental illness is a sickness. I hate the stigma attached to mental illness.

And I hate to think of that redheaded boy who no longer has a mom.

***

I’m going to a wedding tomorrow.

It’s a work affair – Kevin’s Replacement is getting married. I’m really excited for him. He is so in love with the girl that he’s marrying. Just the purest, sweetest smitten that I have ever seen. He tries to act like a tough guy about it – pretending like life as he knows it is over – but all you have to do is look at him when he talks about her to know that he is completely full of shit.

Maybe it will be fun.

I feel like a failure, going without a date. Sitting with all of my coworkers and their husbands. I’m not looking forward to that part.

Kevin’s Replacement and I have joked about how he’s going to hook me up with one of his friends. Am not counting on it. Am not even looking forward to it. I kind of hate those awkward introductory moments. And small talk. And I really don’t want to dance with all of my coworkers around.

Am planning on wearing my absolutely favorite dress (it is the Laundry dress you can see at this post).

At least I’m guaranteed to look hot.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Complicating the crush

I could pretend like the coworkers aspect of my friendship with Darren is not relevant. But it is.

When he has to go late to our joint birthday party because he couldn’t get off of work, it is just a little more personal. And when you have a bit of pull with some people who can change that for him, it is hard not to interfere.

But I won’t. It isn’t appropriate.

It is weird because my work BFF Ashley works in the same office as him. It adds a dynamic that wouldn’t be there if he didn’t work so closely with someone who is one of my very best friends. If he says or does something that’s really funny, I’ll probably hear about it. When he gives her advice and insight into the mind of boys, she tells me.

And when he is an asshole? I hear about that, too.

Ashley has said, a few times, that she worries about him. His moods can be unpredictable. When he is in a foul mood, he doesn’t hide it. And it seems that when he drinks (at least when he is with us) it is to get drunk. Very drunk. “I don’t know what is going on with him,” she’ll say.

I certainly don’t know.

He’s private. Guarded, like me. I don’t even know if he has siblings. I can’t get in.

Ashley called me last night. Told me about how he totally lost his shit on someone at work. I get the impression that it was ugly. She reiterated that he had no idea of what was going on in his head.

So now I’m worried about him. Wondering why he’s being self-destructive. I want to say something, but I’m afraid that he’ll go off on me. Or go off on Ashley for telling me what happened.

In the grand scheme of things, I don’t know him that well. I like the kid. I think he’s a good person. It probably isn’t my place. He would probably tell me that.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Biggest loser ever

I got an email from my professor wondering what I hadn't posted the assignment that was due.

Oh, that would be because I didn't do it.

She does this thing where she marks everything with the week that its due. So all of the materials for this week (which, according to my calendar, started on 9/22/08) are marked 9/30/08. And the work is due 9/29/08.

It really makes no sense. But, still, it is entirely my fault and now I will spend tonight scrambling to finish that homework instead of working on this week's assignments.

Do you know how many times I have not turned in an assignment on time? Zero.

I am surprisingly calm about this.

Can't fix it now.

(Even though my natural reaction to this mistake would be to cry. See how much I've grown?!)

Monday, September 22, 2008

What I get for being nosey

It was a moment of weakness. Weakness and curiosity. I guessed his season had started by now; I wanted to see how his team was doing. And maybe his headshot on the team webpage.

And then, in front of me, was his biography.

They always include marital status. As though it has anything to do with how they play the game.

A girlfriend. Samantha.

And then the article. All about his arrival in his new European country, playing in a new European league for a team that is oh so happy to have him on their roster.

There was a casual mention of the girlfriend he has in the last country he played.

He expects to receive visits from his girlfriend Samantha quite often. The British girl student of his and is about to complete his education in England. If she is there, and he is here he believes he will not be a problem.
-- No, she would like to visit me as often as she can, and will, among other things, to live with me a few weeks time soon.


Thanks a lot, Google translator.

The wit is off the charts

Please don't be too jealous. But I spend the majority of my workday writing the invitation to Darren and Aly's Birthday Bash.

Yes, I am one of those people who writes an excessively wordy and overly clever evite. I can't help myself. The medium fits perfectly with my sense of humor.

Additionally: yes, you read that correctly: Darren and I are having a joint birthday party. His birthday is four days before mine. (Are Libras compatable with other Libras?)

No, as a matter of fact. I simply cannot wait.
 
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