Monday, June 30, 2008

It isn't genetic

I can't interview and land a job to save my soul. (Although I have two job descriptions sitting in my inbox that I need to apply for.)

Apparently, this is not the case for my sister.

Meg has landed one interview. And, subsequently, one job. The perfect job to have in the interim between graduating from school and starting her graduate program.

I'm really excited for her.

Would have like to have an eighth of her luck, yes, but I am still excited for her.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

A quiet weekend



Meg and I went to Grandma and Grandpa's boat this weekend.

I didn't wear any makeup.

I read an entire book.

I did no homework.

I got a mild sunburn.

It was delightful.




Friday, June 27, 2008

Diet

I'm home tonight - at Mom and Dad's, I mean. When do you get to the point where home is where you actually live, not where you grew up?

Anyway. I'm at home. I met Lucy for coffee. And had dinner with the family.

Mom made brown rice.

I was babbling on about how I like rice. Sometimes, I told my family, I cook up...

"You eat rice and edamame for dinner," Meg interjected. "Anna told me."

I wanted to know - right at that very moment - why Anna was telling Meg about my eating habits. I didn't know Anna even paid attention to what I ate. It isn't like we sit down for dinner together, seeing as how it is usually midnight before she gets home from work.

It's just a little creepy, thinking that someone is paying attention to what you're ingesting.

Apparently, Meg and Anna were laying out on the deck. Anna was moaning about how bad her stomach looked and how much more offensive it must've been when she was 40 pounds fatter.

"Not everyone can have 0% body fat like Aly," my sister said.

(Which is so not true, I'll add.)

And then Anna goes into this diatribe about what I do (or don't) eat.

I don't know why it didn't occur to me before. Anna lost 40 pounds a few years ago. Ever since, you can't get her to talk about much more than how much she worked out and how much she ate on that particular day. Unless she's talking about her boyfriend.

Totally strange. Because, really, I think I eat plenty. A lot, even.

Watching what I eat at mealtime doesn't really count. Because you didn't see that I had lunch at 2:30. And an energy bar before I went to the gym at 5:30. And those almonds in the car on my way home.

So, while my rice and edamame may seem like the anorexic's splurge, it really isn't. And, if you fished around in the garbage, I bet you could find a candy wrapper or two.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Ahhhh...

I forgot what it was like to have a crush. Or a like. Or even a mild interest.

It took me a good six months. Six months to let go of the complete failure that was me and Colin.

Do you know what I did last night? Last night, I came home from class and I was exhausted and I had things to do to get ready for the seminar that my boss and I were hosting today.

So I straightened my hair. Because it makes me feel cute. Because I'd be seeing Darren. And also one of Darren's darling coworkers, Seth, who I'd also jump on in a hot flash if I had the opportunity.

For the last six months, I'm not sure I've given a shit. About how I look or how I feel or how I appear to anyone else.

I think I'm finally shaking that off.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I love my coworkers

Conversation over the Xerox machine.

Coworker: You must scare away all of the boys.
Me: Well...

Conversation a few minutes later.

Me: (to the president's assistant in front of Coworker) Coworker says that he figures that I scare away boys.
President's assistant: Coworker!
Coworker: She's never going to get married.

Yesterday, Coworker was standing at my desk looking at a document over my shoulder and I turned in my chair and elbowed him in the balls, so I'm going to let this slide.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Well, shit

I just got an email from Darren - the work boy I developed a mini crush on.

From: Darren
Sent: Tuesday, June 24, 2008 11:42 AM
To: Alyson
Subject: RE: Picnic

I'll do it for free...all you have to do is set me up with you're friend, the one thats a nurse. I like her.

Of course he has a thing for Anna. OF COURSE.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Team building

I had my company picnic on Saturday afternoon. Talk about exciting! I could’ve been home watching the Euro 2008 quarterfinals thriller that was Netherlands – Russia. But, no. I watched my coworkers’ children compete in a three-legged race. Goodie, goodie gumdrops.

Work picnics? They’re a lovely idea. But for someone like me – in her 20s, no kids to show off, no husband to drag along, no boyfriend or fiancé on my arm – they’re mostly torture.

Luckily, my work BFF is in the same boat as me. Ashley is very single and very awesome. To assure synchronized arrivals, we met in a parking lot outside of the picnic site and drove in together.

When we got there, our one-woman HR department exclaimed “the party’s here!”

Clearly.

We put in our required time, hanging with the singles mafia. The singles mafia was three strong: me, Ashley and this boy who works with Ashley at her location, Darren.

It was okay. We survived.

After the picnic, Ashley and I headed to my house...stopping along the way for shredded cheese, tortillas and vodka. We also grabbed a quick dinner at Cosi.

Saturday’s bar night had been planned for a month. Because we’re old and must schedule these things weeks in advance. Lucy and Colleen, Meg and her roommate, Ashley and me. Anna joined us after she got off of work. And, somehow, Darren ended out with us. ...and subsequently drunk at my house, eating copious amounts of the quesadillas that my sister loves to make as a post-bar snack.

The evening was hilarious. Drunken but not too much so. I ended up with a mini crush on Darren. And then I have Lucy and Anna whispering in my ear “he’s cute! He’s nice! Hook up with him!” And then I have Ashley saying, “how long do you think until he’s making out with Meg?” And then Lucy, yesterday, breaking the news that Colleen developed a thing for him, too. Even though she barely spoke to him all night. It’s cool. Nothing will come of it. I work with him. It would be weird.

It was just sort of nice to hang out with a boy. I get along with guys quite well – but now that Colin is gone and I (obviously) am no longer hanging out with his friends, I just don’t have the opportunity to stir it up with the men like I used to.

So I got that.
A lot of vodka.
And a quesadilla.

It was a good night.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Just your standard Saturday night

I have been trying to get homework done since I got home from my soccer game at 8:00 pm.

I have good intentions, but my follow through sucks.

The truth of the matter is that I should probably just give up and go to sleep. I'm still a bit wired from my game but I could use the extra zzzzzs.

My Saturday night was marked by too much alcohol and not enough sleep. Why is it that, on the nights after I drink, I absolutely cannot sleep in?

Full update - maybe even with some pictures - at a later date. I need to go and work on my homework.

And by that I mean that it is time for bed.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Please bear with me while I freak out a little bit

My dad calls me at 7:30 this morning to tell me that my mom was hospitalized last night.

Elevated heart rate.

Apparently her heart rate was way up on Saturday night. They almost went to the hospital then, but decided against it. When it came back at 8:30 last night, she decided that she needed to go in.

They went to the ER at the hospital by the house. Not the hospital closest – my mom won’t step inside the hospital that is so fondly referred to as Death Valley – but the suburban extension of one of the big downtown hospitals that is just a few more miles away.

The doctors decided that they needed to admit her. She didn’t want to be admitted there. If she were to be admitted, Mom would prefer it be at the hospital that she takes her students for clinical.

(And the hospital where cousin/roommate Anna is an RN.)

Which didn’t have any open female beds. So that wasn’t an option.

And then my mom called her good friend Tracy, who is also a nursing professor. Tracy came up with her daughter, Kate. Kate is also one of Meg’s friends – and also a nurse. Collectively, they decided that my mom should stay overnight.

Dad picked her up at 4 am. She’s at home. Meg is staying at her.

I am concerned. Worried. Playing every worse-case senario my (very creative) mind can engineer. And pissed that, even though this all started when I was awake, I didn’t find out for 12 hours.

I’m 25. Do I really need to be protected?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Warm fuzzies

I was on the phone with Meg the other day. We were talking about Facebook. I had sent her a particularly amusing bumper sticker and she was telling that it made her laugh.

“I send you way too many bumper stickers,” I told her. “But I find so many that are really you!”

“That’s how you know you’re really close with someone,” Meggie answered. “When every bumper sticker seems to be about them.”

Technology. Technology, rainbows, confetti and unicorns.

I love that kid.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Marching towards the masters

In terms of school, last week was a stinker.

So many tasks to complete – almost all of which was group work. Group work is not my style. I completely understand that it is a necessary evil of schooling – but I will not go so far as to say that I can even tolerate it. Group work is like pulling teeth. Pulling teeth while simultaneously and obsessively checking your email and praying that someone, anyone has done their portion of the project.

All is well that ends well, however. I earned an A on both of the group projects. The group project in my management class was coupled with an individual paper about project. I got an A on the individual paper as well, with a comment from the professor that he sees a bit of management genius in me. Can’t help but feel good about that.

These days, I can’t help but feel good about school in general.

Maybe this is really what I’m supposed to be doing. I’m interested. I’m engaged. I’m motivated. I’m doing well. I still have my moments of paranoia – sheer fear that I am paying all of this money and won’t be able to find a job. But if I’m generalizing, I would say that I feel like I’m doing the right thing.

But lets be honest here – it’s a damn roller coaster. Next week, I’ll be reading The Annoyed Librarian and crying about how I am on the verge of dropping out.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Rookie mistake

My day wasn't that good. My day wasn't that bad. There was no reason - one way or another - for it.

I was sitting on my bed, laptop across my legs. I was doing homework. Well, I was doing equal parts homework and Facebook.

My problem, I think, was that I was wearing a t-shirt from Colin's work.

It cursed me.

One minute I was typing away for my management class and the next minute I'm on Colin's MySpace page. I haven't been there in a month...six weeks. Maybe closer to eight.

I have been really good. I don't particularly miss him. I generally lack any desire to see/call/stalk/text/email/physically assault him. I don't drag the weight of my disappointment behind me everywhere I go.

It's been good for my back. Good for my heart.

I have been looking forward to completely healing.

I think, often, about how this summer is the best thing that could have happened to me. I will not, barring a strange twist of fate, see him at all between now and September.

The optimism was high. I thought I was totally through with him.

And then I get stupid, I blink and I am at his MySpace page.

Just for a second.

I didn't learn anything. I didn't feel much of anything.

Except overwhelming annoyance with myself.

Operation: Colin-Free Through The Summer 2008 (MySpace included).

Starts today.

Stay tuned for updates.

Monday, June 16, 2008

I am feeling a bit guilty

Colleen and I took Lucy out to dinner on Saturday night. Her 26th birthday was on Wednesday. We wanted to celebrate.

We took her out to dinner in A2. We met my sister at the tattoo parlor and had me inked. We went back to Meg's apartment, where we did shots of tequila and ate the chocolate cheesecake that I baked that afternoon. We went to Meg's favorite bar which - surprising for a college bar, but perhaps not surprising because it is the middle of the summer - was not filled entirely with young college students.

Meg likes it because she knows the bartender and gets free drinks.

I had four people on my tab. We drank for approximately 2 hours. My bill was $6.

But it was strangely loud. And Lucy never really got into it. I don't know if she didn't like where we were, was annoyed that I made her sit through my tattoo (this is merely speculation), was upset that Chet couldn't come out with us or was just having an off night.

We left at midnight. She just wasn't feeling it.

We always have fun on birthdays. Even when we just eat Mexican food and have a dance party in someone's living room.

I'm feeling kind of bad.

Like maybe I let Lucy down.

But what do you do? Send a "I'm sorry your birthday wasn't up to par" card?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

I'm a tattooed lady

I went through with the tattoo. Pictures? Eventually.

I was having all sorts of anxiety about it on Friday night. Pacing around, trying to figure out if I was just being the over analyzing, over cautious, frightful older child that I am...or if getting this tattoo was really a bad idea.

I kept turning the block M over in my head. It's a logo, essentially. A logo that a lot of people automatically associate with football. From an amazing school that gave me a degree. A degree that is kind of useless.

It would be a shame, however, to waste the $20 deposit. And it would be a shame to break out of my mold. I could be one of "those people." Those who take risks. Who don't take themselves so damn seriously. Those people who live their lives instead of obsessively planning them.

I realized, in the midst of my anxiety attack, that I wanted to change my design. The block M? Stupid. Xs and Os? Perfect. When I see Xs and Os I think of my grandma. My family. Love. Not the $100,000 my parents spent on my education.

So that - XOXOX - is what I have on my right lower back.

It is a little surreal. I can't quite wrap my head around the idea that it will be there forever. When I consider that - eternity, I mean - it makes me a little queasy.

I like it, though.

I better. It isn't going anywhere.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Gift to myself

The early part of this week did its best to kill me.

Seeing Dave Matthews Band on Monday night assured me exhaustion, but also a fairly positive outlook. The feeling of dancing next to your best friend and singing "dark clouds my hang on me sometimes, but I'll work it out" stays with you for a while.

I had a group project to finish/present by 5:30 on Tuesday night. I had a short paper and another group project due on Wednesday. There was a job I wanted to apply for that I never got around to (bummer) and sleep that I desperately missed. But I put my head down and plugged away.

Thursday would eventually come.

I took yesterday off of work. My team and I organized a field trip to the Tiger's game. Our seats sucked (thanks group sales department!) and it was hot as hell. But we managed to have fun.

Extra tickets allowed me to bring Meg and Anna.

We watched the game. We went to the Hard Rock Cafe and shared nachos and an ice cream brownie sundae. We stopped at the Fisher Building for a quick shopping spree at Pure Detroit and City Knits.

Anna and I bummed around the house in the evening. Eventually, we mustered up the motivation to cook up some rice, green beans and frozen Chinese food from Trader Joe's.

Then we watched Semi Pro and got stupider just from watching that disaster.

It was a really good day off. The perfect combination of activity and calm.

Hopefully I can fit in a few more days like that this summer.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Damn

I just saw, sitting innocently on Anna's desk (maybe I shouldn't have been looking), my cousin/roommate's application to be licensed by the New York State Board of Health.

Translation: she is going to move to New York City, where her boyfriend and her best friend from college both live.

Not that I am surprised. She has been out of college and working for a year and has all but refused to make friends or a life here. She sleeps until 11 or noon, works out, works the 2-11:30 pm afternoon shift and comes home to watch Sex and the City on TBS and talk to her boyfriend via webcam.

Her boyfriend - eh, he's okay. And all he seems to do is piss her off with his immaturities and idiosyncrasies.

But they've been together for a year now - and she's always flying to New York - so it isn't like I am shocked.

Just bummed for myself.

Our lease runs through November. I can't imagine anything quite as torturous as moving again. In the winter.

And I pretty much have nowhere to go. No friends who need roommates. And, with the price of gas and school and the fact that I also would like to be able to afford to eat, I really shouldn't lease an apartment on my own.

And I also shouldn't be leasing an apartment in December if I am graduating in May. The last thing I need, when I am going on The Great Job Hunt of 2009, is to be tied down to a lease.

So I guess I'll be moving home.

What a warm and fuzzy feeling.

Where else, at 26 years old, could I possibly want to be?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The progress? It is progressing.

I had a dream last night about a boy. A boy who isn’t Colin.

I had a dream about Jason – my high school not quite boyfriend. We were on campus at UM. He had just moved back from Portland and was working for a gynecologist. And we immediately fell into a relationship. Nothing dirty. But I woke up so darn happy.

I need to find that boy on Facebook. It has been eight years since we were inseparably close and I still miss him and his inability to be anything but a mad flirt.

Lucy and I drank before the DMB concert last night. We’ve never really done that before. But my former work buddy Kevin and his darling wife were at the concert, too, and before I knew it I was standing outside of their car ingesting far too much vodka.

Just a little drunk, we missed the first two minutes of the show. We have NEVER not been in our seats when the band has walked onto stage. It was not the end of the world. It is amazing what a little bit of maturity, some alcohol and some perspective can bring you.

We had an awesome time. Those concerts? Those concerts are why I am friends with her. When we can dance like fools and squeal like a child and sing at the top of our lungs. She is so fun and so genuine. I am lucky.

Meg got me when I was at the concert. She knew I was weak and she honed in on my weaknesses.

I have been talking about getting a block M tattoo forever. Teeny tiny. The size of a dime. Maybe a nickel. Not bigger than a quarter. A few weeks ago, I told Meg that we should go and get our M tattoos, now that she is also an alumna.

Last week, she said that we should go and get my tattoo. (Curiously, no mention of hers.)

Yesterday, she was offering to make my appointment.

Today, she did.

Am I going to go through with it? Should I go through with it? I am on that damn preverbal fence.

I just keep thinking that I’m not the type of girl who gets a tattoo.

But I am so sick of typecasting myself.

Monday, June 09, 2008

It’s hard being the mommy

I don’t know if I have mentioned it or not, but a teammate and I took over running our soccer team this season. She – a saint – is taking care of all of the money and the league paperwork. I am on the roster as the coach; I make the lineup, email in our scores and do a bit of damage control and public relations. We’re two games into the season, but so far it is going okay.

Well, there are a few small problems.

Yesterday, we had a clusterfuck of a substitution and ended up with too many players on the field. It was completely my fault. As a result, the referee gave a yellow card to one of our girls. (Which, I should add, it completely harsh. It was a mistake, dude. Warn us after our first infraction. Hand out cards after.) I told the referee that the card should go to me – I was the one who had made the mistake. And, easy as that, I had my second ever yellow card. The first time, you longtime readers might recall, was much more entertaining.

Our second problem is that nobody knows how to properly substitute. They stay in the game far too long. The people who are on the bench get frustrated. And everyone is grumbling about one thing or another.

So, there I am on the field, worrying more about who is sitting on the bench and how long they have been there than I am about the game. Not the best plan of action if you want to play well.

I had a good second half of the game. There’s hope that I will get over this and back into the game.

And then maybe I can tackle that same problem is every. other. aspect. of my life.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Sister/Navigation System

My sister and a few of her teammates are going downtown for the Red Wings championship parade today. She asked me to go but, obviously, I could not because I am an old working lady and am not permitted to have fun.

Meg and I were on the phone, discussing parade logistics.

“You could just park at our regular garage,” I tell her. We always park in the same place when we go to Wings games. “You’ll know right where to go. And you can walk to the parade route from there.”

We discuss the logistics.

“You could try to see if you can get parking at the Compuware building,” I tell her. “That will be right in the middle of the action.”

We discuss the logistics.

Meg is interrupted by an incoming call. “Just park at our garage,” I tell her quickly. “Park there and take Cass to Jefferson and take Jefferson down to the parade route. It will be easy and…”

“I’ll call you later to talk about this more,” Meg tells me. “You’re way better at this than me.”

Read that sentence again, kids.

I am better at something than Meg.

And she even knows it.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Hockey history

My name is Alyson. I am from Hockeytown.

In case you didn’t watch SportsCenter this morning: my Detroit Red Wings won the Stanley Cup last night.

I feel all warm and fuzzy and sentimental.

You have to understand – and I don’t think that I have ever really chronicled it here – that I went through a phase in middle school/early high school that Red Wings hockey was right up there with soccer. My true passion in life. It was All Hockey, All The Time in my brain. I watched hockey and I learned hockey and I knew the players and I could tell you where they were from and the exact location of their picture on the collage on my wall.

I also set the hook in a friend, Dee. She was at my house when they won the Stanley Cup in 1998. In 1999, she decided that it wasn’t cool to like hockey. Or to be my friend. Which turned out to be perfectly fine because she didn’t have any personality besides Biggest Suck Up Ever.

I fell in love with hockey because of my dad. He is a very wise man. We only had one television in the house. He wanted to watch hockey. So he taught us how to watch hockey. And love hockey. And be the daughters who could recite, on command, the year Steve Yzerman was drafted by the Red Wings.

Once, I was babysitting for the neighbors on a Saturday night. When they came home, I was watching Hockey Night in Canada on CBC. “You’re going to make a man very happy one day,” the dad said when he saw me, all of 14 years old, engrossed in a hockey game.

I’m still waiting for his prediction to come true.

In the meantime, I’m still loving hockey. I don’t watch it like I used to. I don’t have the time or the energy to put in the love. I won’t go to the parade tomorrow and I probably won’t buy a championship hat.

And I’ll still consider myself a fan.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Timing

I’m bad at checking the voicemail on my phone. When I finally did, during my epic journey to the west side of the state on Friday afternoon, I had two voicemails from Kate.

Kate is the girl who just asked me to be in her wedding.

The messages were very cryptic. I deleted them both before I got to the end. Rambling, incoherent. She sounded upset.

Her voice was shaky when she answered the phone. I immediately apologized for taking so long to call her back. I asked her, gently, what was up.

Her dad has cancer.

Terminal lung cancer. He was given 8-12 months to live. Her wedding is one year and one week away.

I am very sad for her.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Oh

So the Wings decided to give up their lead with 30 seconds left in the game and then lose in triple overtime. No wild Stanley Cup celebration, just a dejected ride home and an enormous struggle to get out of bed this morning.

In all fairness, the game was exceptionally entertaining. And we got nearly two entire hockey games for the (inflated, Stanley Cup Finals) price of one! The anticipation shaved at least eight months off of my life. By the time we got home, it was after 2 am.

I asked my boss for today off. I really could’ve used a day to catch up on my sleep and my homework. No dice. He says I have very important things to do.

That probably doesn’t mean blogging on company time.

Monday, June 02, 2008

I like 'em on ice

My first major celebrity crush? Not really a celebrity. It was Chris Osgood, the 23-year-old goalie for the Red Wings.



It might seem strange – but the Wings were huge at the time. And I certainly wasn’t the only one. Kristen Bell, that Veronica Mars/Heroes chick, who grew up in the area, shares in my amazing taste. (Even though I have very reputable sources that tell me that she is a raging bitch.) “Chris Osgood was my first crush. Brad Pitt be damned, he had nothing on Osgood's rookie skill and sad eyes. There was actually a day in high school when I wrote on a name tag 'Mrs. Osgood' and wore it the whole day. I really thought we were perfect for each other. I'd love to meet him and probably apologize that things never worked out.”

He was strawberry blonde and shy. They called him Ozzie. He had his mom sitting beside him in the convertible during the Stanley Cup parade. I was in love.

Okay, I’m still in love. Wife (probably stunning) and daughters? I’ll overlook them. He is still strawberry blonde and shy and a hell of a goaltender. And, though we might not get married – I was quite convinced that it was destiny – I still hold a special place for him in my heart...and in my closet, where his jersey still hangs.

I’ll be screaming for him quite loudly tonight.

And he might even be able to hear me. Since I will be in the building. Watching Game 5 of the Stanley Cup finals. Hoping to see the presentation of the Stanley Cup at center ice of Joe Louis Arena.

My Red Wings are up against the Pittsburgh Penguins. With a win tonight, they can clinch the Stanley Cup for the fourth time in 11 years.

In my humble realm of fandom, this is a very big sporting event. I am positively giddy.

I hope Ozzie gets naked at center ice.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Strange but true

This is how weekends are supposed to end.

My legs are aching. My thoughts keep returning to my bed and how incredibly good it will feel to crawl in. I have a good song on repeat. And I'm really happy.

Now lets all hope that my boss gives me Tuesday off of work. My legs will still hurt, but my happiness will be off the chart.
 
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