Saturday, May 31, 2008

I am a very busy girl...

...but it could be worse.

Today, I ran a 5K. Grandma, Emma, Meg and Mom joined me. I finished in 25:19, which is a minor miracle since I trained running 10:00 miles. Infrequently.



I drove two hours to play in that stupid hockey tournament yesterday, but I bailed on my teammates for the rest of the tournament. There are a few little reasons (my ankle, the price of gas and the value of my sanity) and one bigger reason. I'll save that for another time.

My hockey teammates probably hate me. I'm still trying to determine if I even care.

And tomorrow is the first game of our summertime soccer season. It is my favorite soccer of the year; I am excessively excited.

Oh, and I'm skating in the morning.

Does anyone know the definition of enough?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Quitting the haterade

Occasionally, I find school relevant.

In class today, my professor mentioned an interesting theory. People have a view of the world and what they project towards the world affirms that world view.

If I was a blind optimist, I would project rainbows and butterflies and the world, in turn, would seem very bright and shiny.

Apparently there have been extensive studies about this. People are filmed, studied, questioned. The film is brought to prisons, shown to criminals who "choose" victims. The "chosen" tend to project that mindset, that vulnerability.

One day, after I graduate and get a new job and some therapy - I'll eventually type up the When I Graduate list - I will look further into this theory. It's interesting, no?

I spent a lot of time thinking about myself and what I project.

I could spend all night listing each perceived flaw on my list of Why I'm Not Good Enough.

So maybe it isn't surprising that I don't have guys lining up at my door.

And maybe it is time for a change.

I turn 26 in just over 4 months. Enough time to reinvent myself? Doubtful. But could I revamp the way I see myself? I think it is worth a try.

Consider this Operation: I Like Myself, You Should Like Me Too.

Now all I have to do is make a plan.

Which I am TOTALLY capable of. Because I Like Myself, You Should Like Me Too.

Ha.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Family time

Not feeling so motivated at work today. I caught myself I in a hazy stare, mechanically tapping my pen against the desk. I’m lucky that I’m not drooling.

I shouldn’t be such a zombie. I didn’t do all that much this weekend. No crazy/wild/incredibly silly benders or anything!

It was a lot of family time, if nothing else:

With my immediate family: golfing on Friday night after work, followed by dinner at Dad’s country club. I hate to proclaim it just yet, but I just might end up like golfing. There was also a lot of watching of hockey games and a lot of eating. Just how I like it.

With Mom’s family: dinner for my uncle’s birthday. We had an incredible dinner in the ethnically Polish part of town. And made it back home in time for ice cream cake and the Red Wings/Penguins game.

With my cousin, Liz: a quick breakfast on Sunday morning that gave us just enough time to catch up and tease each other and discuss potential road trip destinations.

With friends who are like family: we met up for coffee. Just an hour or so, but a good hour of gossip and giggle and goofy.

With Dad’s family: Cousin Max’s 8th birthday party. He got a skateboard and a soccer ball and shorts with those adjustable pull-tabs that keep your pants if you’re as skinny as a rail and some water guns and a football and a big ol’ chocolate cake. I think it was probably a pretty good birthday.

With both sides of the family: I couldn’t help but post some funny childhood snapshots to my Facebook account. It has resulted in some killer dialogue between cousins.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Drawing parallels

Last night - the first night where I went to sleep and wasn't so exhausted that I didn't dream - I had an amazing dream. I screamed at Colin for what he did. I don't remember the context. I don't remember what I said.

It felt good.

It has felt good all day.

I just watched the Grey's Anatomy finale. I missed it on Thursday night - because of the Kanye West concert.

Did you know that my all-time favorite Grey's couple is Alex and Izzie?

Did you know that Colin is broken like Alex - broken and guarded to depths that I could never see? I saw the cracks. I traced my fingers over them. I could never pry my way in.

I have almost forgotten him.

I am on the cusp of moving on.

I'm scared.

I still miss him.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Grandma

I joined Facebook a few weeks ago after, on the same day, I was chided by my sister, Lucy and Colleen for my absence from The Facebook (as Meg likes to call it).

Yesterday, I added my cousin Emma as a friend.

And then she writes the following on my wall. "You may be my oldest facebook friend."

I recovered quickly from the sting and cleverly responded with "NOT ANYMORE." Then I deleted her.

That little shit.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Now throw your hands up in the sky

Last night, Meg and I went to the Palace to see Kanye West’s Glow in the Dark Tour. I know absolutely nothing about hip hop, so I won’t attempt a review, but I will say that Rihanna is so adorable and Kanye West is clearly an eccentric genius.

We paid too much for our tickets. But our seats were great and the show was greater. Worth the time, effort, energy and the unfortunate fact that I cannot keep my eyes open.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Plight of the goalie

My sister plays hockey on a high-level tournament team in the summers.

They signed up to play in a tournament on the west side of the state next weekend. Meg wanted to go, but was registered to run in a 5K. She told the coach she’d go, but he would have to talk the tournament director into pushing back their first game of Saturday morning.

My team wanted to go to the same tournament. I wasn’t so keen on playing, but I liked the idea of going to the same tournament as my sister, running in the 5K with her, staying in the hotel with her, going on a good ol’ fashioned road trip. It would be fun.

I told my team that I would play.

And then Meg’s team dropped out.

And then my soccer team was scheduled a game for Sunday.

And I begged my team to find another goalie. It is ridiculous to drive 2 hours for a game on Friday. Drive two hours home. Run in a 5K. Drive two hours back to the tournament. Play in two games. Spend the night if we happen to make the finals. Play in the final game. Drive home. Play in a soccer game.

I asked my team over a month ago, before they sent in our deposit, to find me an alternate.

And they didn’t.

And now I have to spend next weekend driving back and forth across the state for a stupid tournament that I don’t want to play in.

Gas is $4/gallon. My time is at an even higher premium. I just don’t want to go. But I’m going to – because skipping the tournament and leaving my team without a goalie is going to cost me more than a few friendships.

I’m just going to suck it up.

And probably hate every second.

This is the problem with being a goalie. Your obligations are so much higher. Your replacements are sparse or nonexistent.

And, if you’re spineless like I am, you get suckered into a lot of shit you don’t want to do.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A week for winners

First, my Detroit Red Wings clinched a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Then, I break out my mad Ticketmaster skillz and score my dad tickets to Game 2, Game 5 and Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. If the prediction that my boss made is correct - that the winner will be determined in overtime of the final (7th) game - I will clinch Perfect Daughter status.

Finally, my girl Kristi Yamaguchi pulls in the Dancing with the Stars championship.

It's a good week.

Well, actually, I'm not all that impressed by it for a multitude of reasons. But that's for another entry.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Too much weekend

The weekend: eventful.
I: fell asleep at 10:05 pm and did not wake, or move, or anything else, until my alarm went off at 6:45 this morning. I could have slept for five more hours.

Friday night: was my soccer game, where I successfully avoided both Colin and The Crazy (which threatens to rear its ugly head whenever I am in his vicinity). After the game, we took a little team-bonding trip to the bar. As always is the case with that team, it was a chill affair. As I had errands to run on their side of town on Saturday morning, I spent the night at Mom and Dad’s house.

Saturday day: Grandma came over to Mom and Dad’s house. We drank coffee and I scanned/emailed pictures for her. I sat on the couch with my daddy and watched the Red Wings lose (again! Tragic!) to the Dallas Stars. I went to the gym and cranked out 3 or so miles on the treadmill. Meg came home and we had family dinner before Meggie and I headed off for my house.

Saturday night: I had been planning this night out for a few weeks. I knew that Anna had the weekend off of work, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to stage a get-together. I just kept inviting people – Meg and Lucy and Colleen and my best work friend and my best soccer pal and people from my soccer team and basically anyone who I thought could be the slightest bit of fun. It ended up being seven girls. And lots of fun.

Meg and Anna and Lucy are instigators. They are wild and assertive while managing not to be too over-the-top. The other four of us are all a bit more reserved. We tried to be, anyhow. It is hard with those bold personalities egging you on.

We started off at the hipster bar around the corner. It is a bit overpriced, but the atmosphere is great and the food is amazing. We ordered drinks, chips and salsa, shots. We stayed there for a few rounds of drinks. And then we walked – walked! Walking from bar to bar is not a common option here in the Motor City, so I am endlessly pleased by this – to a trashtastic bar a few blocks away.

At the trashtastic bar we drank more, took advantage of the dance floor and the DJ spinning top 40, and generally caused a ruckus. Anna found someone she went to grade school with, told him that she knew his name and watched him flounder. Amusing. Colleen asked this turd wearing track pants and a polo shirt (?) to dance with her. Doubly amusing.

The evening ended rather abruptly. Just after 1, an alarm was sounded, the lights came on, the music was cut and then we realized that there was a bar fight in the corner. We were a little uneasy – especially Lucy – until the police came and came and came and came (at least eight officers). Which, thankfully, happened just a minute or two later. The bar must have some sort of a magic button that calls the police, like, stat.

We paid our tab and we walked home. In the midst of our jaunt, Meg stopped dead in her tracks. “Sex sex sex sex sex sex. SEX IN THAT CAR.” She pointed at a car, curiously parked right under a streetlight, inside which there were definitely some shenanigans taking place. We giggled and hooted and hollered and otherwise ruined their moment.

It was a good night. An eventful one, certainly. The sort of night that made Anna and I want to move to the city that we live in now. We couldn’t do that, drink and walk around, in the suburb where I grew up. I like having the option.

Sunday: The majority of my day fell prey to pure exhaustion. Meg and I (along with Anna and Colleen) sluggishly went out for a greasy breakfast, sluggishly accompanied my mom to Lowe’s to shop for paint, sat around looking like zombies and…took a golfing lesson from Dad. He bought us golf shoes. He is all about teaching us to golf. And so we are all about learning.

We finished the day with a practice for our summer soccer team. The turnout sucked but the practice was productive. (Normally we spend more time talking about practicing than actually doing something.) I’m really excited for the season to start.

I’m surprised that I made it home without falling asleep on the road. The weekend sucked the life out of me – and my week promises to be plenty demanding, too.

I am feeling awfully thankful for the upcoming three-day weekend.

There will be no bar hopping.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

It's a good thing weekends are short

Exhausted.

Should be sleeping, not blogging.

It was an eventful weekend. A fun weekend. The type of weekend that normal people - people who don't balance the schedule that I do, people who aren't as awkward and antisocial as I am - have.

The gem of the weekend was definitely Saturday night. I can't wait to write about it. I've started the narrative three or four times now. It just isn't working.

I'm sure it has nothing to do with my heavy eyelids.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Yay for me

Colin was working tonight.

I saw his car. I called my dear Work Friend, who told me in no uncertain terms "you won't act like a freak. You won't be a bitch. You will walk in there, and say 'hi, how are you doing.' And it will be fine."

It was the talk I needed. Even if I didn't do as she suggested.

I didn't have to say anything to him. I didn't have to walk up to him. I kept my eyes from the office, my head held high and I avoided him...and it wasn't even hard. I didn't have the desire to talk to him. To look at him. To be anywhere near him. But for the queasy feeling that settled into my stomach when I first realized that he was there, it was a normal night of soccer. I did my thing. I wasn't looking over my shoulder. I wasn't doubled over with anxiety. He was there and, quite frankly, I didn't give a shit.

Since my low point late last month, I've only checked his MySpace page once.

Today I realized that, because my team is done until the fall, I won't likely see him until the end of the summer. There was no pain, no regret, nothing with that realization.

Is this what healing feels like?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Observant

Mom and Meg bonded over a shopping trip today. (It is a sore subject with me. I wasn't invited. And couldn't go anyway.)

At IKEA, Meg looked at beds and bedding - she wants to upgrade to a full-sized bed when she leaves her college apartment.

One of her housing options, apart from Mom and Dad's house, is to move in with Anna and me. We have an extra (tiny) bedroom. Her rent would be obscenely cheap.

"I don't know if I should move in with Aly," she admitted when my mom broached the subject. "She is going to try to be my mother."

Which I totally would.

"Like when we go shopping in the winter," she said. "She carries my coat for me."

Which I totally do.

"And I let her. Because I don't want to carry it."

Which is totally true.

If she does move in with us (it is still very possible), we will both have a little work to do. Some boundaries to set and the like.

Because - while I am not exactly sure at what point in our childhood I felt like I needed to mother my baby sister (I think it might have been when Mom was in graduate school), I mothered her. And she let me.

I still mother her. She still lets me.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Seriously?

I'm the first one in the office today. I have to come in a little bit early on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, since I leave early to go to class.

I am never the very first one here.

Except for today, of course. Which is also my first day back to the office.

And I have to turn off the alarm. I put in my passcode. Nothing happens. It keeps beeping. I put it in again. More beeping. And a third time. And a fourth time.

And then the squealing occurs.

And I freak out.

I eventually get my shit together long enough to call the company maintanance guy. He gives me his passcode, some instruction and I turn it off. Thank God.

In the meantime, the company president has been called. Twice.

He shows up. I put my tail between my legs.

I am such a tool.

What a way to start my week.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Plain

I learned something this weekend.

I don’t like myself.

Not when I am out of my element, anyway.

Danielle has roommates – actresses, like her – and they are talented and funny and beautiful. I hoped that they would not talk to me. I wanted them to not notice me. I did not want to be friendly. I didn’t want to talk about my simple life. I didn’t want to hear about their not-so-ordinary lives, either.

Last night, Danielle had a party. It was the birthday of one of the girls in her show – she invited the cast over to celebrate. I spent the day preparing for the party.

Danielle and her roommates dressed for the party. Beautiful dresses. Outrageous hair and makeup. Things that I would never have the sass or the confidence to wear.

“Did you maybe want to…if you want, you could…” One of Danielle’s roommates spoke to me like I was a child. “We’re getting all dressed up so I didn’t…” As though an outfit would make me feel less left out.

I know that she was offering to be nice. To include me in an activity that that they were taking great enjoyment in. But it felt a lot like a rousing game of Dress Up The Plain Girl.

I politely refused. I had to leave for the airport midway through the party.

My anxiety arrived with the guests. I looked at myself through their eyes. Danielle’s quaint little cousin. That wild hair. Her eyebrows are all wrong. Her skin is a mess. Plain makeup. Not an ounce of glitz or glamour about her. Maybe I got a few points for my body. I probably lost a few dozen for my face.

My time at the party was spent helping around the kitchen. Putting out food. Throwing away plates. Silently praying that no one asked who I was, where I was from, what I do, what I like; hoping, mostly, that nobody noticed that I was there.

Sadly, it was not at all unlike how I felt in college. Especially during those first few weeks of class when I was living in the dorms – when girls were busy establishing their cliques. And I was busy trying to stay out of sight.

(Nobody notices that you don’t have any friends if they haven’t first noticed if you exist.)

I love Danielle. I am intensely proud of her accomplishments. She is talented and she is brave and she can hang with all of these beautiful, intimidating people. She is one of the beautiful, intimidating people.

With her, I can overlook it. She knows me.

The others never will.

Because I don’t think enough of myself to allow it.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Please

Colin,

Please stop haunting me. Please.

I flew the same airline. I walked past the gate, past the chairs where we sat and waited. I was so excited.

I wore the black dress. From my birthday. Where you surprised me, quietly coordinating with my friends, acting more like a boyfriend than you ever had and ever would again.

Leave me alone. Let my memories of that terminal be of when I flew to Vegas. Let me associate that dress with my soccer reunion.

If I can't hate you. Leave me alone. Let me forget you.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Giving myself away

I was walking through the concourse at LAX. It felt good to be on solid ground; our flight had been delayed. The trip felt long.

A man walking in the other direction looked at me. He smiled. "From Detroit?" he said.

I responded affirmatively.

As I walked, I assessed myself. Not a Tigers hat or a Michigan t-shirt. My laptop bag is generic. My yoga pants were not emblazoned with my hometown.

Maybe he smelled the Motor City on me.

Maybe my eyes scream it.

So Midwestern? So, so Midwestern.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Sometimes, you just know

I had a feeling.

When a friend from college - who I knew from skating - started calling me. And calling and calling. I knew what she wanted.

She got engaged in the fall.

We were never, by my standards, good friends. We skated together. She came to my graduation party. We saw 13 Going on 30 at the theater. But we were never good friends.

Until I saw her at the competition I did back at in early March, it had been nearly a year and a half since I had seen her.

It was nice seeing her, sure. And we exchanged an email or two after, yes.

But we're not good friends.

And I shouldn't have been invited to stand up in her wedding.

But I was.

I don't really see how I can say no. It would be a horrible rejection, having someone refuse to be in your wedding. And it would be a horrible thing, if you didn't have enough good friends or family members to fill your wedding party.

I am choosing to be flattered.

I am choosing to say yes.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Give it to me, travel agents

I will be in Los Angeles for three full days.

What should I do?

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Life of a part-timer

When my boss said that it was okay for me to leave work 20 minutes early on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, I was relieved and pleasantly surprised.

When I had to make a doctor's appointment for 8:30 this Tuesday morning, I did not have much of a choice. My sports medicine doctor is booked out two weeks in advance - I took the first appointment I could get.

And so, yesterday, I came in an hour late and left 20 minutes early.

Today, I left 20 minutes early.

Tomorrow, I have my first physical therapy appointment. (The doctor and I decided on PT in an effort to clean up my lingering ankle injury.) It is at 8:15 am. I'll be going into work late. Again.

I won't be in at all on Monday and Tuesday - the last two days of my trip to Los Angeles.

And I leave early next Wednesday. For class.

I can't help but feel terribly guilty.
And wonder if my boss thinks that I am interviewing elsewhere.
And laugh.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Finish lines

My thoughts upon leaving class tonight?

Only 12 more to go.

And then only two semesters left.

Then I will graduate. Then I will get a job.

And then what? What milestone do I race towards? What new demands will I place upon myself?

I am so very goal driven.

I often wonder if I am too driven by the end result. Is it intimidating to guys - is that why I never get asked out? Am I sheltering myself from the world as it occurs around me? Am I just denying my reality as I chase fantasies?

If my nose is always to the grindstone, can I see anything but the ground?

Monday, May 05, 2008

Just give me money

I am not a fan of financing my education.

I don't know how to do this shit. The financial aid and the scholarships and the student loans. I am chasing my tail. Fill out this form, they say. I fill it out. Make us copies of this tax form, they insist. I make a copy.

And then it get bounced back to me. For reasons very much unknown.

There must be a better way to do this.

I came home tonight to a letter that stated that my previously approved student loan wasn't really approved. Not because of my credit report. Internal information, I guess. Which is totally sketch - because I swear that I have no lines of credit, bank accounts or history with this company or its subsidiaries.

My parents sure are going to be excited to have the opportunity to cosign on a loan with me.

And then I made the mistake of logging onto our student network, only to see that some of my financial aid paperwork is incomplete and being returned to me.

It probably isn't good to go into my spring/summer semester thinking that it this master's degree is financial suicide.

But it totally is.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Moving on to more important things

I am sick of writing about Colin.

I ran into one of his friends last night. He asked about Colin and me. "Do you talk to him or see him at all?" And then, a few seconds later, "I never got the impression that he was trying very hard."

"That's because he wasn't."

* * *

Soccer wasn't all bad last night. I absolutely love and adore my team; I am so sad that we're taking the summer off. There is one teammate in particular who I've really clicked with. I've written about him before...but I still haven't gotten over how flat-out awesome he is.

I love that he is affectionate. He's a big hugger. When he is happy to see you, it shows. He asks you questions not to be polite, not to fill space, but because he cares.

He is also a huge flirt. I love that about him. I like a guy who will unabashedly flirt, like a horny damn fool, just because it amuses him.

Yesterday, on the sidelines, he wrapped his arm around me and grabbed a handful of skin at my ribcage.

"Dude," I said, pushing him away, "don't grab my fat."

"Fat? Please. That's skin, girl. You're like a gallon of milk."

"A what?"

"A gallon of milk. You know. 2%. ...body fat."

2% body fat?! How can I not love him?

Last week, he said I was "little t and big A." Translation: small chest, hot ass.

Don't get any ideas, kids. He is totally married.

* * *

Lucy came over this morning. Her, Blue and I went on a run. Noticably absent were any run-ins with wildlife. I certainly didn't mind, but I think Blue was a little bummed.

* * *

I think I'll get a pedicure today. After all, I am going to Los Angeles next weekend.

* * *

Lucy, Colleen and I are going to the local track to watch the Kentucky Derby this afternoon. This is Lucy's plan; she's the horse person of the group. I anticipate that it will be a rather interesting and unique experience.

We like a good freak show.

Damn

Colin wasn't there tonight.

I just wanted to ask him The Question. Give myself a bit of closure. Or at least a good laugh.

If he isn't at our last game - two weeks from tonight - I suppose that a phone call is an option.

But I want to see his face.

And I looked so damn cute tonight.

Friday, May 02, 2008

One of those rare days

I sort of loved my job today.

It had everything to do with the fact that I was an absolute rockstar.

If I touched it, it turned to gold.

I am always good at my job. Today, I was unstoppable. ...I won't have another day like this for six months.

They probably should've thrown confetti on me as I left.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Blue meets Bambi

Blue and I went for a run this morning.

I feel bad about leaving her at home all day. The run we went on last night was heavenly. I set my alarm clock a half-hour early so that I could pull on my sports bra and my running shoes and take the little girl out for some fresh air.

Blue and I headed to the woods to run. One of the best things about the lake that my parents live on is that it is surrounded, on one side, by state land. It is a mid-sized wooded area, filled with walking paths and a breathtaking view of the lake.

We weren’t twenty feet onto the path. I was jamming to Mat Kearney. Blue was jamming to the morning song of the birds high above us.

And then this big ass deer steps onto the path just a few feet in front of us.

Blue jumps straight into the air. A friend! She lunches forward, full of excitement.
I couldn’t quite manage to replicate her excitement. I also couldn’t replicate the rhythm of a healthy heart.

I blinked. Pulled back on Blue’s leash. And it was gone.

Crazy shit should not be permitted prior to 7 am.
 
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