Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Starting Now: Wide-ass Wednesdays

Tomorrow marks the beginning of October and I've done a crapass job with my 2009 resolutions.

I don't even remember most of them. Which is a real testament to my commitment. Lame. I've done so well in the past!

I seem to recall making a resolution to run a half-marathon. The big local marathon is in a week or two. I am not registered. Nor have I run more than three miles in the last few months. Half-marathon? Not going to happen.

To make myself feel a little better about this failure, I'm setting my sights on the Thanksgiving day race. I ran the 5k last year with my sister and Anna; I registered today for the 10k. It clearly comes quite short of a half-marathon. But it is better than nothing. And it gives me something to work towards.

Another thing giving me a goal to work towards: my ass.

Not gonna lie: I've been feeling like a bit of a chunker lately. I thought it was mostly in my head -- and then I was a little shocked to see the numbers on the scale at the doctor's office yesterday. Hey there, reality! You've got a bit of spunk to you, eh?

There are eight Wednesdays between now and my Thanksgiving day race.

I'll check in. Slap up my runs for the week. Toss in how much I'm weighing. Mention if I've eaten anything but macaroni and cheese for dinner.

It is called accountability.
It is also called slimming down just in time to gain it all back over the holidays.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I want this to be over

My f'ing boss ignored me all day yesterday.

No, that isn't entirely true. He was a little quieter than normal. But did he COMPLETELY AVOID the difficult discussion that I began on Thursday afternoon? Oh, hell yes.

I'm not really the type to stomp into his office, close the door and force him into making a decision.

(I have a feeling that forcing him into anything will just give me the result - "no. Not possible." - that I'm most afraid of.)

What is a passive, terrified, wimp of a girl to do?

I think I want to mention this to our one-woman HR team.

HR sort of loves me. We had rocky relations in the distant past (when her mother may or may not have accused me of being a homewrecker, a gem of bullshit that HR turned around and shared with my boss), but we're both over that.

Our office is small enough that she's going to find about it anyway.

So I think I'm just going to bring it up to HR. Because I know she'll be supportive of it. And I know that she'll bring it up, all HR and official, to my boss. (So that I don't have to. Hopefully.) And be supportive of it TO him. Which may or may not be the sell that I need to get this to all go through.

I'm not going over his head. And she's neutral, right? Like Switzerland.

I am not beyond going to Switzerland to get an answer. Even if it isn't the one I want.

Monday, September 28, 2009


I’m feeling a little sick to my stomach this morning.

a. I’m legitimately ill.
b. I assume that, at some point today, my boss and I will have The Talk.
c. Facebook leads me to believe that:
-The Athlete has a girl – a girl from here! A girl from here who was not at the infamous pub crawl! But is listed as In A Relationship! OMG. What do I not know? – flying overseas to visit him.
-The Athlete has been on my Facebook page recently.
-Technology makes stalking all too easy.
d. I’ve been drinking too much coffee lately.

Some of this better get resolved. Quickly.

Today, I am not above crawing under my desk and crying.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Sick and obsessed with worry

Oh man, you guys, I am SICK. I'm sitting in front of the telly, watching UM football, and I could seriously use the services of a strapping young man to hold up my pounding head. And refill my mug with hot tea every 20 minutes or so.

[I interrupt this blog to yell at the TV. Look at that. TOUCHDOWN! Carlos Brown. You are a stud. Hail to the victors.]

It was a hell of a week, children. I am a hot mess.

I should've known that this was the job that I was going to get.
1. I didn't tell anyone I was going to the interview.
2. The schedule is the most disruptive of any of the jobs I interviewed for.
3. The woman I interviewed with, my new boss, flat out asked me if I could make the schedule work with my other job and I flat out told her that I could make it work.
4. I filled out paperwork to go back to teaching skating - on Saturdays, a day this new job would require me to work - a handful of hours before my interview.
5. Nothing ever comes easily.

I had my fall all figured out. And then I got the call for this interview -- which I hadn't applied for (they had my information from a job I interviewed for in the springtime) -- and now everything is up in the air.

If my life was a desk, a gust of wind just blew the windows open and scattered every neatly stacked paper resting atop it. I'm trying to clean up the mess. And I have no idea what goes where.

Seriously. I was going to work Monday-Friday. Coach skating on Friday nights and Saturday mornings. Skate on Sundays. Play hockey on Tuesday night.

And now I'm cutting back my skating hours. My full time job is up in the air. I committed to a library job without having the foggiest idea of what I'm going to do if I get a "you absolutely can't leave the office for four hours on Monday" from my full time boss.

I don't even know what I want. I don't know what is best.

I'm hoping for one of two things:
1. My boss lets me flex the six hours. I keep my health insurance and my vacation days. I work late on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday nights. I teach two hours of skating on Friday nights.
2. My boss lets me reduce my hours to part time. I work 35 hours of week. I buy my own health insurance. I teach three hours of skating on Friday nights.

I'm terrified of the third possibility:
1. My boss tells me no.

What do I do? Quit my full time job for a part time one? Back out of the part time job and burn a huge bridge?

I can't stand not knowing. My life is neat. Stacked. Organized. Deliberate.

And I'm standing here, papers swirling around me. Grabbing at them furiously. I need to reorganize. I need to get settled.

This gale of uncertainty just keeps blowing.

I want it to do its damage. I want it to do its damage and go away.

What happens will happen.

But I need some time to get settled.

Do the damage. Shake up my life. Sprinkle the chaos.

Just get it over with. Leave me to figure it out.

Just get it over with. This uncertainty is a killer.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

He didn't say no:

He also didn't say yes.

He said "send it to me in an email and I'll look at it."

As suspected, he was not thrilled about Mondays.

I'm supposed to drop by the libary tonight to hand in my acceptance letter.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009


On Monday, I went to a job interview.

Five minutes ago, I got an offer. For a real, honest to goodness library job.

I am over the moon. And I feel sick.

Complications: the job is not full time. It is 15 hours per week. Unlike the library job I interviewed for last month, the weekday hours totally clash with my full-time job.

At my full-time job, I work 8:30-5. (Technically, anyway. Is usually more like 8-5:30 or 6:00 pm.) This would require me to work on Mondays, 10-2 and Thursdays, 3-9 pm.

I don't know how I'm going to get around this. I don't know what - or how - to tell my boss.

If there is any possible way, I want to stay full time. I just don't know if he'll go for it.

I don't even know if he'd go for reducing my hours.

My first instinct is to tell a lie. To tell him that I need to be gone at those times because of school -- he doesn't know that I've graduated. Or what I went to school for. Or anything of the sort.

Oh, this makes my life complex. Losing my benefits? That's scary. And I just finished - also on Monday - the paperwork I needed to get back to teaching skating. I requested Saturday classes. I'll be working at the library on Saturdays.

There is SO MUCH to this.

I dread having this conversation with my boss. What do I do if he says no? That it is Monday-Friday, 8:30-5 or nothing?

I am scared.

And really excited.

And feel as though I may vomit at any moment.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Stacation for the guilty

I should have blogged earlier today.

But I was busy. Very busy. Drinking coffee. By 2:00 pm today, I was at least 5 cups in.

I watched Grey's Anatomy and drank coffee.
I met Lucy for coffee.
I met Ashley for coffee.

And then I had a stomachache. So I watched more Grey's Anatomy. I took Monday-Wednesday of this week off of work. I have a stupid number of vacation days to burn through before the end of the year, so I figured I could use a little staycation to recover from my road trip with Lucy and Colleen.

My body and I clearly share the same guilty conscience.

"You're not at work. But you're not doing anything that is keeping you from work. You should be at work. Or sick. Or on a real vacation."

And then: I got sick.

I thought it was a delayed hangover from this weekend. And then Meg told me that there was no such thing as a delayed hangover. Plus: sore throat. Hangovers don't come with sore throats.

So I'm sick. Somewhat overly caffeinated. And going back to work on Thursday.

Doesn't really make for entertaining blog fodder, eh?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Not my finest moment

Colleen brought a guy home on Saturday night.

Back to the hotel, I mean. She brought a guy back to the hotel.

But first she puked at the bar.

At 9:30 pm.

I don't really know how any of it happened. I was drinking, of course. But I was not like Colleen. Not bring-a-guy-home drunk. Not puke-before-the-bar-was-even-a-little-full drunk.

Apparently she was drinking in the hotel room. While her and Lucy watched CNN and I napped. And then, when we got to the bar, she obviously drank some more. Not that much, I don't think. But it was 9:30 and I went with her to the bathroom and then she's spewing into the garbage can.


She rallied. We went to the next bar. We sat on the rooftop patio. We listened to the band. I made fun of Buckeyes. There was a bachelor party.

Colleen took her wallet from me. "I'm going to the bar inside," she said. There was a bar three feet from our table. She went inside anyway. This boy went inside with her.

I peeked in. They were making out at the bar. I giggled as I told Lucy. She took a picture.

We tried to leave - the three of us. We ended up dancing inside. So the bachelor party followed. Colleen's boy followed.

And then I'm checking out his driver's license and getting his phone number and handing Colleen $20 and the key to our hotel room.

They had sex.

I never tried to stop her. Never tried to get her to consider what she was doing. Just gave her the necessities. Brushed it off as two consenting adults doing what two consenting adults do when they're drunk, horny and lonely.

She doesn't regret it.

I feel a little bit like an awful friend. Like an accomplice to the crime. Who memorizes the pertinent information on a guy's identification and then hands over her friend?

Just thinking about a one night stand makes me uncomfortable.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Delayed reaction

I didn't think that I was hungover.

But apparently it was just that my hangover waited until I had returned home safely to appear.

It was a memorable road trip to Columbus.

Shockingly, I liked the city. For two reasons:

1. I got free breakfast this morning. The restaurant manager liked my UM t-shirt.
2. Conversations such as this:
Random Dude at Bar Wearing OSU Jersey: Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeey, girl.
Me: Hi. I hate your shirt.
Me: Your shirt. I hate it.
Him: What? Why?
Me: I went to UM.
Him: Bye.
Me: Bye!

We weren't even gone for 36 hours, yet I have a LOT of shenanigans and scandal to write about. Oh, road trips with my best friends. Love.

Friday, September 18, 2009

One of my biggest pet peeves

Difficult: playing soccer while simultaneously keeping an eye on the door and the office.

I dodged a bullet last night. No Colin.

It was still pretty awful.

Let me tell you something about coed soccer: it can really suck. Unless you have the right mix of men, it can be a very brutal experience. Last night? The team that I subbed on did not have the right mix of men.

When playing soccer (or probably any coed sport) any man who is normally politically correct and equality minded can become The Sexist Pig. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve played on a coed soccer team and have been:
a. really, really open for a pass
b. alone in front of the net
c. brutally run over by a dude on the opposing team
d. flat out ignored by a male teammate

I know that this is part of the game. This is how it works. Sometimes, you just won’t get the ball. And the reason you won’t get the ball is because you have a vagina. I get it.

But when it goes from bad to awful is when you’re playing, as I did last night, with a bunch of dudes who don’t know what the fuck they’re doing.

It happens. In adult soccer, teams don’t solely consist of people who have been playing for the majority of their lives. And in adult soccer, a guy (or gal) who is fairly athletic can join a soccer team and do okay.

But can they do better than someone who has played their entire life? No. Not even if that person has a vagina.

(That isn't entirely true. There are some people who have been playing soccer their entire lives and are really bad. But I am not one of those people. So I'm allowed to be annoyed.)

So lift up your head and pass the fucking ball every once and a while.

That is all I ask.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Who Wants To Be A Travel Agent?

Colleen, Lucy and I are planning a mini road trip to Columbus.

Which, admittedly, is a pretty random place to go. Especially when you’re a Wolverine. But we wanted to stay somewhat close. And so something somewhat out of the ordinary. Thus, Columbus Road Trip 2009 was born.

Any Ohioans out there with recommendations? Places to eat? Things to see? Establishments to get drunk in?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Nine months

Thursday has the potential to be a big day.

I was invited to sub for a friend's soccer team. Since I'm not playing soccer regularly this fall, I jumped at the opportunity. Despite the strong chance that I'll see Colin.

And a few of his buddies. Ugh. Awkward.

I do have new, cute hair. And a new, cute master's degree. And every awesome trait that I had, but he couldn't see, the entire time I was with him.

I haven't seen Colin since January. It might be good just to get it over with. To confront the nerves. To look him in the eye. To smile. And to be done with it.

Does this last forever? This nervous fear of running into him? Of having to pretend that you're okay? Of being friendly when you feel vicious? Fake smiles and polite questions?

I hope he isn't there.

And, at the same time, I really hope that he is.

Monday, September 14, 2009


I don't know if I'm regressing or progressing.

Today, I called my boss from the job I held in college -- teaching skating -- and I asked if she needed any instructors this fall.

And, with that, I landed a new job. A new old job.

I'm excited to get back on the ice with the kids. I loved it. The kids were endless sources of amusement. And, oh, how they adored their instructors. It was fun to watch them progress. It was challenging to draw the most out of every kid, no matter how unmotivated or troublesome he or she may be. It was rewarding.

I am cautiously excited. I know that I will like it. I know that it won't be like work and yet I'll be paid. The kids will be cute. The ice will be cold. I'm confident that I won't regret this decision.

But I wonder if it is too safe.
If it is me regressing.
If I'm just doing what I know. Where I know it.

I'm afraid that I'll never get a library job.
Or a decent boyfriend.
For the same reason.
Because I play it safe. I keep my current job because it could be worse. I hold tight to my independence because it is steady.

I go back to coaching skating because it is familiar. Comfortable. Fun.

If life were an amusement park, do I get back in line for the ride I just finished?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Feeling appreciative

"Nowadays, anyone with a crap laptop and Internet access can sound their barbaric yawp, whatever it may be. But the surprise is that for every person who's got something to say, it seems there are at least a few people who are interested. Some of them aren't even related" Julie Powell, Julie and Julia

Thanks for being my few, readers. I am certain that I would not be on the cusp of my fifth year of blogging without you.

Friday, September 11, 2009

I was nearly 19

Meg is watching a special on 9/11.

I stood next to the couch and watched for a minute. Before long, I had to turn away. It scares me, still. It is the same feeling I had on that day.

I was a sophomore in college. Living in a tiny dorm on the south, athletic campus with two roommates who didn't care for me much (although I didn't realize it at the time). I'd gone on an extended road trip the weekend before. Lucy and I drove all night to get back to campus in time for my 8:00 am Psych 111 lecture.

I found out when I walked home.

From a boy -- an Asian boy with the same name as one of the Beatles -- who I went to high school with. I can't remember now, eight years later, how he told me. I remember the rushed cadence of his speech. I think he might have told me to turn the television on.

I did, when I got back to my apartment. And I remained in front of it until my next class. Which was canceled, actually. I didn't find out until I had arrived in class. My professor was Canadian. It was a poetry class.

I drove home. Sat in front of the television there. I felt safer. But not safe. It took a long time to feel safe.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


You know that point that most every girl gets to? Where one day she is struck by lighting and she realizes that she's turned into her mother?

I'm way past that. Have been for years.

My mom hasn't had it entirely easy lately. Her professors' union is on the verge of going on strike. My cousin Danielle's mental state is getting rapidly worse and my aunt is in California with her. A good friend's dog died. Another friend just got a very bleak cancer diagnosis and is in the hospital.

You'll notice that, other than her union, none of this is directly related to my mom. Except that it is.

She does this thing, where she takes on the problems of other people. Where she takes in Emma for weeks at a time. Where she spends all night on the phone with my Aunt Annette, trying to help her come up with a plan for what to do with Danielle. Where she cannot NOT visit her friend in the hospital (and rough up a few doctors in the process).

It isn't good for my mom. I see that it is hard on her. Caring so much is exhausting. And absolutely, entirely not an option.

I inherited that trait.

In the past, my mom has warned me about it. Not wanting me to turn out like she is. So full of love that her life is full of pain.

I can't help it. I can't help but answer the phone when Emma calls. Or panic when Meg's sick. Or be scared for Danielle. Or offer up the number of my orthopod when someone's injured.

I wasn't made to be neutral. To feel empathy any way other than deeply.

I suspect that it will cause me more harm than good.

It is a trait that I admire.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Good intentions

I've been wandering around my apartment for the last 40 minutes, trying to decide what I wanted to blog about.

I had a funny conversation with Meg today. But every entertaining aspect of it requires a long explanation. Fail.

I went to Bridezilla's Mary Kay party today. It was equal parts uneventful and boring. Fail.

England qualified for the World Cup today. This isn't a soccer blog. Fail.

Was going to email The Athlete. First time since he's been gone. No. Second time since he's been gone. Still. Could've written about it. Except that I didn't write the email. Fail.

Considered a lengthy diatribe about my current schedule and how it is keeping me from the gym. How many times have I written that before? Fail.

I hate when blogging feels like a chore.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Do not suggest alcohol as a solution

Dear Readers of So Midwestern (all 8 of you),

Do any of you happen to be an inventor? A witch? A fairytale godmother?

I'm in need of something. Something special. A potion or a treatment, I suspect. One that will dull my feelings. Turn down my memory. Mute the loud beating of my heart.

What I need may be a special coating. Make me a duck. Give me the feathers. Let it all roll off of me.

I find it too easy. I do it too much.

I can't always be this starry-eyed girl.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Playing house

My two week vacation from routine ends tomorrow when Lucy and Chet's plane touches down at Metro Airport.

It was nice, actually, breaking up my monotonous life. It is always good to feel needed -- and I suppose what I did for L + C was a big favor. Two weeks is a long time. And Wolf did hate me for 25% of our time together.

I'm thrilled that Lucy will be home.

But I'll miss it. The cute dog. The cute house. The cute neighborhood.

The last two weeks have sometimes felt like I was a child again, stepping into my mom's shoes. Here I was -- cute dog, cute house -- trying on Lucy's life. I liked how it fit.

Last night, I babysat for Aviva's niece. Aviva's brother and his wife were in a bit of a babysitting bind. I stepped in. She's seven months old. And has these steely blue eyes and the most edible cheeks. She was so good. And when she wasn't -- when she got fussy -- I handled it. And I liked it. And then I breathed in the scent of the top of her head and I liked it even more.

Stepping into another life that wasn't mine. Liking, again, how it fit.

While I wouldn't categorize my life as particularly privileged, there weren't many things that I wanted that I did not get: the place on the varsity soccer team as a freshman, the college that I wanted as a senior. So please excuse me if I'm a little astounded, a little frustrated, a little confused.

Because I know what I want.

And I'm not getting it.

Friday, September 04, 2009

He was never even labeled a good guy

I went out with my soccer team last Saturday night.

I don’t even know how he came up in conversation. Somehow, amongst girls who know him through the sport, he became a topic of conversation.

I wonder how he’d feel about that. I’m honestly not sure. A little embarrassed, I suspect. But vain enough to want to know what we said.

I’m talking about Colin.

Nothing was good.

One girl told me about how they played together in an out-of-state coed tournament. He was drunk the entire weekend. (This doesn’t surprise me. His drinking, it is problematic. I imagine that he could be classified as an alcoholic.) And supposedly did not brush his teeth once over the course of the weekend. And also tried to have sex with some girl. While another girl was sleeping in the same bed.

Then another teammate of mine said he’d had a run-in with a girl that we both know. “I’m not sure of the entire story,” she admitted. “But all I know is that she was locked in a room with him and people hear her yelling for help. Some guy had to go in there and get her out.”

I just listened. What do you say to that? How do you respond? I could tell them that those stories didn’t reflect that Colin that I knew. But even that wasn’t entirely true. No, he never once tried to hurt me. And he always maintained his hygiene.

But he was a drunk. An irresponsible drunk. The guy who would put his fist through a wall. Or fall down a flight of stairs. He drank frequently. In mass quantities.

I never liked him much when he was drunk. And he was drunk fairly often.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Too long to Tweet, too short to blog

My boss is currently in his office, wearing no pants. He pulled his groin this morning. Came into the office with a bag of ice in his hand and a grimace on his face. He closed his door. I will not be opening it. Under any circumstances.

I’ve been watching season two of Gossip Girl. It is not unlike eating two cupcakes every day for a week. Unquestionably enjoyable, but cannot last forever.

Today is the first day that I’ve worn my newly-short hair curly. Straightening it isn’t too terribly time consuming. But curly is so easy. And. (Drum roll please.) It looks cute with headbands. OMG. I love headbands.

I’m considering cancelling my cable TV subscription. Mostly because I just got my first post-pay cut check last Friday and, it really becomes real when it is direct deposited into your bank account. Or not direct deposited, I suppose.

I think it is safe to say that I didn’t get that job I interviewed for two weeks ago. Since the hiring manager said that they were going to make their decision by the end of last week. Lovely!

I did get a call from another library. They were mostly putting out feelers for a position that they haven’t posted yet. It is another part-time job. The schedule wouldn’t work with my current job as well as the other one. I would have to find a way to make it work. And I would.

Wolf no longer hates me! We’re buddies, now, and we do fun things like go for walks and act excited when I come home and other activities that do not require him to cower at the back of his cage at all hours of the day. Lucy and Chet don’t come home until Tuesday; we have plenty of time to continue our bonding until then.

One month from today, I turn 27. I’m finally starting to understand all of those things about being carefree and enjoying your youth and all that crap. I am also starting to understand the Deafening Tick of the Biological Clock.

Which. Seriously, folks. How can a person watch Gossip Girl and have an insatiable urge to procreate?

I am convinced that this phenomenon would puzzle even Darwin.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009


Within a very short period of time, my cousin Danielle quit taking her antidepressants, broke up with her boyfriend, hurt her back and, because of her back, started on a steroid treatment.

I don’t know what triggered it. Or if it was a combination. But she’s pretty unstable right now. And I really feel bad for her.

She has friends calling up her mom, staying something isn’t right. Log onto her Facebook page – it is documented with her status updates. Chat with her online – she told Meg that she should move to California to study with the alternative medicine healer that she is seeing for her back pain.

She calls my mom. Talking a mile a minute. Saying things about how her ex-boyfriend has her phone tapped. About how she cannot take on the pain of others. She’s supposedly taking a family friend – 6 years her junior, never had a real job, never had a close relationship with Danielle – to Greece because he “has a bad family life, too.”

At one point, she called my mom when my Aunt Lynn was over. They listened to Danielle – completely in shock. Wondering if she was on something. Worried. “Does Aly have any vacation days?” my aunt asked. “We need to send her to California to bring Danielle home.”

Me. The intervention specialist? Not quite. It has yet to come to that.

She keeps spewing things about how awful her parents were. A year ago, I swear she adored her mom and dad. They were in California, visiting her, a few weeks ago. Apparently she went off on them – all vicious and full of hate. Happy to tell them how they’ve ruined her.

There’s more. There’s so much, honestly, that I could never detail it all. She is all over the place. Happy and sad and angry. She fell down at the airport. She’s drinking heavily. Generally acting unlike the sweet and funny Danielle that I know.

It is scary. It is scary how she is acting.

Selfishly – because I shy away from the hard things, from confrontation – I don’t want to be the one who flies to California to bring Danielle back. But I would do it. I would get on the airplane today. I would do it in a second.

I hope it doesn’t come to that.

I hope she can find some peace. And that she gets the help she needs.
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