Saturday, April 30, 2011

Soaking it up

Last Friday, the silent partner in the company that I work for showed up in my office door. It was like something out of a movie. A shadow appeared and I glanced up from my computer and there he was in the doorway and I nearly peed myself.

He's a scary man. With a public persona that is big and brash, we don't see him often. And when we do, sometimes he is scary. I was instantly intimidated.

He motioned for me to follow him. I did, of course.

"I hear you're leaving us," he told me as we settled in to the chairs in his office.

"I am," I said, giving him a half smile that showed that I was a little sad to be leaving. "It was an offer that I couldn't refuse."

He asked to hear more about my new job. I stumbled through an explanation - as I tend to do when people ask me about my new job and what I'll be doing. (I hate when people assume that all I will do is sit behind a reference desk and read.)

"That's a big job, an important job" he told me when I finished up. "Good for you."

"I have been thinking of you a lot, lately," he told me later in our conversation. "I always thought you did such a good job. Quick response and always very thorough. There are going to be changes around here," he told me, "people are going to have new responsibilities. I had been thinking of you."

What he was thinking of he did not say. And it doesn't matter. I won't be around to find out what his grand plan for me would be. It was just nice to hear, especially from someone as powerful as he is (both within our company and in the industry as a whole), that he noticed.

I always felt like I was working so hard and nobody noticed.

***

"Oh, we're just going to miss you so much. So much. We're so sad to see you go. But I know that you're going to do great things. Amazing things. I am going to see your name in lights. Keep in touch and let us know all of the great things that you're doing!"

She went on and on and on. And on. She being the woman who didn't hire me for that full time job in December.

"Does that bother you?" my coworker asked, witnessing one of the many displays of oh-we're-so-sad-to-see-you-go-because-you're-so-awesome displays that she has put on over and over and over again over the course of the last 10 days. "Hearing her say all of those good things when you know that she had a chance to hire you and she didn't?"

No, I told her. It doesn't bother me. She had her chance and she blew it.

Who am I to stop her from regretting that choice?

***

"Do you know how many people applied for that job?" The coworker who I totally have a crush on asked me. He's the one who totally stole that full time job from me back in December, who I absolutely adore even though I still sort of want to be pissed about that whole mess.

No, I told him. I never bothered to ask. I guessed that they interviewed 10 others.

"A lot of people applied for it," he said. "I know a lot of people who applied for it."

He said it in such a way that implied that I should be proud that I was the one. That I was who they picked.

Until he said that, I wasn't. I was relieved, but I was not proud.

Now I'm proud.

Finally, I'm proud.

Friday, April 29, 2011

I do love a wedding

I gathered with a few coworkers at 5:30 this morning for a royal wedding tea party in the office conference room.





My coworker Maria even brought us proper English tea cups.

We're fancy ladies!

Anyone else crazy enough to get up early to watch Prince William and Kate Middleton marry?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Flirt

I’m at the ‘brary right now, sitting and pretending to work while I watch these two middle schoolers shamelessly flirt with one another. I’m half annoyed by it (only because it is only a matter of time until someone complains and I have to go over and gently scold them) and half amused.

I was so that girl.

I was such a flirt.

I am still such a flirt.

That’s what I’m going to miss about my job. The shameless, friendly, meaningless, fun flirting.

The Athlete and The Coach were just two of the plethora of really good looking men between the ages of 22 and 40 who I interacted with at my job. All of whom I gently flirted with. And who gently flirted with me.

I’m going to miss it.

You can’t just flirt with random members of the general public. That is how you end up with a stalker and as the subject of one of those murder-mystery newsmagazines. My episode will be called Dead in the Stacks.

So, no. There will be no flirting with random dudes at my new job.

Maybe that will be a good thing. Maybe it will force me to direct my flirtations elsewhere. Like towards guys who are maybe available or interested or at least not my coworkers. And maybe now that I won’t be working 60 hours a week, I actually have a chance of finding one of those mysterious guys who is available or interested or isn’t my coworker. And who definitely isn’t The Coach.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Mental exercise

When I was walking into yoga class today, I saw my legs in the reflection of the window and I was absolutely shocked by how pale they are. I may have stopped to see if they were really as white as they seemed in the reflection. They were.

As I unrolled my mat in the studio, I recognized the man just in front of me. A patron who I often see at my part time job. Who has some phantom nudie pictures show up on his computer last week and dragged me over to his terminal to show them to me. Because he was alarmed, not because he was a pervert who wanted to share.

Between the Twilight legs and the nudie photo guy, my concentration was completely shot before class even started. Normally, I do a decent job of quieting my mind and focusing on class. Not today. Not even close.

For your amusement, I present to you the vapid thoughts dancing through my head:
-Look at my ankles! They look so huge! Especially the right one. I suppose it is still a little swollen from when I rolled it last week. Still. Do I have cankles? Why has nobody ever pulled me aside and told me that I have a cankle problem?
-I should have worn a longer shirt. Nudie photo guy can totally see my stomach every time I raise my arms over my head.
-Oh, look! A chip on my fingernail. I should fix that when I get home. After I blog. I wonder what I should blog about tonight.
-My feet are really disgusting. I should get a pedicure this weekend.
-I hope I turned the ringer off on my phone.
-I love these cropped running tights. My ass looks phenomenal. I should wear these every day.
-The Coach gets home from his conference on Saturday. Is his girlfriend with him at the conference? Was she his girlfriend all along or did they really just get back together? She has better hair than I have. I wonder if he'll call me. What am I supposed to do if he calls me? Probably not have him over again. And give him a lecture on morality.
-Am I hungry or am I bored?
-This ponytail makes my head look deformed.
-If I have to hold this pose for one second longer I will punch somebody.
-No, I should not get a pedicure this weekend. I'll just ruin it at my soccer game on Sunday. And I really only have 9 toenails right now. My feet are too gross for a pedicure. That's really gross.
-I wonder what time I'll get to bed tonight.
-This song sounds familiar. Is it weird that I think that I recognize random new age yoga music? Maybe he's played it before. Maybe I'm losing my mind.
-Savasana! Finally!
-I hope I don't fall asleep.

Despite just listing 14 points to the contrary, I swear that I do occassionally think of things beyond how I look. I mean, it isn't all that often, but it does happen.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

In the near future, I will have free time

I made my first attempt at training my replacement yesterday and it went disastrously. I booked the conference room to minimize distractions and it was stolen out from under me. So we worked at my desk, interrupted every few minutes by a phone or a visitor or a random delivery person looking for a signature. My replacement just stared at me, mostly. Which really inspires a lot of confidence.

It is going to be a long two weeks.

It is going to be a long two weeks all around. Technically, it is just 13 days. 13 days until wrap things up and leave my office and go straight to the airport. Straight to Switzerland. Straight towards the future.

Of those 13 days, I will work 11. I have two soccer games. My aunt and uncle will be in from Chicago this weekend. I am hosting the extended family at Mom and Dad's on Mother's Day. I need to pack. I would like to see The Coach after he gets back from his conference (whether I want to punch him or make out with him is still being determined). I will squeeze in a bit of quality time with my darling Lucy upon her return from her two week trip to Israel. I'm going to make a big meal, per my 2011 resolution. I need to clear the videos off of my Flip cam. I need to find out where exactly we're staying and what, exactly, I will be doing when I'm not with Liz. I need to order jerseys for my summer soccer team. I have to convince Meg to let me borrow her dSLR. I'm going to smile through a going away party or two. I'm going to buy Mother's Day presents. I'm going to see Anna, who will be in town next weekend.

I probably won't sleep much. I'll save that for the plane.

And for my new life. The one where I work just one job. At 40 hours per week.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Waiting

My heart beats quickly
Not all of the time
So much
But some of the time
Definitely

When I think about it

When I
allow
myself
to think about it

Or when I wake up
In the absolute
middle
of
the
night

And it is the
first
thing that pops
into my head
regardless of
whether or not
I
have given it permisson

(Of course
I have not)

It is a
calming
worry
A nagging
anxious
fear
slash
premonition
of sorts

Sometimes I
imagine
the very worst

Other times
the very, very
best

Very often
it is
right
there
in the
middle

Not easy
Not impossible
Just hard

The middle
feels
real

And scary
And possible

I'm not looking
for
a glimpse
of the future

Just waiting
for
it
to come
to me

Apropos choice

This morning, I took my tea in my Kate Spade Illustrated World Traveler mug.





Which is precisely what a girl should sip her tea from when she leaves for Switzerland in two weeks.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

I love holidays

Today was a mess of cousins and candy and so much noise and a lot of hugs and pictures and silly videos recorded on the Flip camera and egg hunts and Easter baskets and chocolate eclairs and giggles and secret looks of horror shot across the living room and gentle teasing and so many congratulations and ruffles and scratch off lottery tickets and clearing plate after plate after plate and an egg salad sandwich and a little bit of worry and ebelskivers for breakfast and the embarrassingly frequent (and completely unnecessary) checking of my iPhone and more chocolate than I can possibly eat on my own and a pleasantly scented candle and my grandma's wrinkly hands grabbing onto my face and and one really awesome, really long run by myself where I had lots of time to think and also prepare myself for the insanity that is a day stuffed full of family.

I am so tired.

I adored every second of it.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Old boys, new boys

I had a soccer game on Monday - as I have for the past six weeks. And - as I have for the past six weeks - I saw Colin. Unlike the past six weeks, it wasn't from a distance and it wasn't like I could avoid him and there I was, standing in front of him and saying hello.

"Hey, Sunshine."

And that was all the fucker said to me. Calling me Sunshine, just like he calls every other girl who he knows casually and/or through his job and, more likely than not, does not know her name.

That shit pisses me off.

Just as pissed off, I suspect, as I would have been had he blown me off. Or been overly friendly. Or just smiled. Or gave me a hug. Or called me by a nickname. Or started crying. Or proposed. Or had the audacity to breathe in my presence.

Maybe I wasn't as ready to see him on a regular basis as I thought I was, eh?

In other news, the magic that is Facebook clued me in to The Coach getting back together with his on-again-off-again-since-the-beginning-of-time girlfriend. Maybe. The only other reasonable explanation being that he's been with her all along. Not that he's blissfully single. Which he probably never was.

Which makes me awesome and him sleazy and the girlfriend stupid.

Whether they're just back together or have been together all along, he was definitely positioning himself for a visit last Tuesday night. (I declined.)

So, like I said: awesome, sleazy and stupid.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

So Midwestern, So in the Kitchen: March

April is getting the best of me. March’s workplace insanity spilled over into April. There has been the job interview and job offer and job quitting. There has been The Coach. There’s been the start of my soccer season and dinners out with Lucy and a hockey tournament and it was my cousin Anna’s birthday on Tuesday and I haven’t even called her because, in my mind, it is April 8. Maybe April 10. There is no way we’re 21 days into April. No way.

Can’t be.

While I scarcely remember March, it does appear that I spent a few hours in the kitchen making good on my 2011 resolution to make one big meal every week. Considering how late this is, I’m awfully glad that I kept copious notes!

March started out at Mom and Dad’s house, where I was looking after the dogs while they were in California. Meg was in and out all that week, so I made us a batch of Paula Deen’s Crockpot Macaroni and Cheese as a special treat. A very special treat. That shit is magical and delicious and should not be consumed on a regular basis. But, oh, how I love it. It is my standby recipe for work potlucks and for picky Colleen’s birthday and when I’m really in need of a bit of comfort food. As far as I am concerned, comfort food is a synonym for cheese.

In the second week of March, I made Slow Cooker Chicken Corn Chile from a recipe that I found at Tasty Kitchen. I cannot recall exactly what inspired me to make this recipe, but I have a sneaking suspicion that it was one of two things:
1. The promise of garnishing the chili with avocado (easily one of my top 10 favorite foods)
2. Knowledge that many of the ingredients were already in my pantry

I thought it was a decent recipe and it made a ton. Next time, I’d throw half of the recipe into the freezer straightaway.

During week three, I found myself back at the always wonderful Iowa Girl Eats, printing out the recipe for Bruschetta Chicken Pasta. So, so, so good. The Bruschetta Chicken Pasta is pretty much my ideal meal: fresh and healthy and heavy on the pasta. (Which, I should note, I substituted for whole wheat pasta because that’s how I roll.) I absolutely adored this dish, happily eating it for lunches. Sometimes cold. Sometimes hot. Always awesome.

When week four rolled around, I had nothing in mind and was waiting for inspiration to strike when I was flipping through my mom’s copy of the January, 2011 issue of Everyday Food. (Pretty sure I bought her that subscription. Pretty sure it was for selfish reasons.) Anyway, I came across this recipe for Marrakesh Stew that I decided to make. Even though I have little to no experience with Moroccan food, the ingredient list was filled with many of my favorite foods and spices so I decided that I would give it a try. Brilliant decision. It wasn’t exactly the most beautiful dish to look at, but the flavors in this dish were so deliciously complex. I loved it. But it wasn’t one of those meals that you could whip up for just anyone. My best friend the adventurous eater? Yes. The majority of my let’s-stick-to-the-American-fare family? Probably not.

In week five, I was back at Iowa Girl Eats, trying out Make-Ahead Chicken & Spinach Artichoke Casserole! Which I definitely made late one night after soccer, cooking it when I got up the next morning. I had some for breakfast before packing it up for my lunch. Classy? Totally classy.

I used whole wheat pasta in this recipe, too. (I hardly eat regular pasta anymore.) And I put panko on the top instead of breadcrumbs because I’m lazy and I had them in my pantry and that just seemed easier.

Since I’m already sharing recipes, I might as well pass along a few others that I used in March. First off, an old friend from Simply Recipes: cheesy bread! Easiest appetizer ever and it makes everyone who has a slice do back flips. I brought it over to my friend Heather’s house and then I was a star. More so than usual, I mean.

One March night when I had a little time to spare before I was to see The King’s Speech with Lucy, I was staring forlornly at the overripe bananas sitting on the counter and I knew that I needed to make them into something delicious. That wouldn’t take a crap-ton of time to bake like banana bread would. A little searching pulled up these Banana Crumb Muffins that were pretty much as complicated as throwing the bananas away would have been. And also they were good. And so I won.

I did a lot of winning in the kitchen in March, as a matter of fact. I’m not sure if I’m just really lucky at finding great recipes or if I’m so skilled in the kitchen that anything I make turns to culinary gold. But this might have something to do with the fact that I will eat just about anything. Maybe next time I’ll post a disclaimer.

You know what else I’m doing next time? Posting pictures. Girl From Florida gets what Girl From Florida wants!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A career

At 3:32 pm, I received a text message from The Coach. Who never texts me during the day. Asking me what was going on at work. He never asks me about work.

I took it as a sign.

And I took a deep breath and I went straight to my boss and I resigned.

And then I left his office and turn the corner and there were my two closest work friends. I immediately burst into tears.

And then I replied to The Coach and told him what I had just done. He was proud.

The last 36 hours have been overwhelming.

I'm so ready - past ready - to leave this job and I'm so excited about my new one and, at the same time, this is all really scary. I've never had a full time job anywhere else. I haven't done this before and, while I do not for even one second doubt that this is the right thing do to, it freaks me out. It scares the hell out of me.

The most wonderful and unexpected thing said to me was from my work nemesis. "Congratulations," he told me, speaking in a voice that made me really believe that he meant it. "Now you can join the rest of us working stiffs."

"Do you think that what I've been doing here for the last six wasn't work?"

"This was a job for you, not a career."

A career. He said it like it was something big, something important, something substantial. Like it was a fresh beginning and a clean slate and the chance to prove myself.

And it is. Which is exactly why I am so overwhelmed. And so scared. And so ready.

Monday, April 18, 2011

For a while, it seemed like this day would never come

I walked away from my desk for five minutes and I missed a call. From the woman I interviewed with. And I was immediately pissed off because I was going to have to call her back to get my offical rejection and I really didn’t feel like putting any more effort into a job that I wasn’t getting. I jotted down her phone numbers and shoved them into my purse, my eyes filling with tears.

I had a few errands to run and I promised myself that I would work up the nerve to call her back while I was out of the office. I did, reluctantly. Bracing myself for the rejection. Wondering why I kept trying. Wondering if I could get back up after what would inevitably be another fall.

It’s just so exhausting, falling down and getting up and falling down once again.

I prepared myself for the rejection. I heard it in my own voice, serious and steely, when I told her who was calling. I would thank her politely and get off of the phone as quickly as I could.

But then she offered me the job. And everything changed.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Don't bother calling, I'll figure it out (eventually)

I haven't heard anything about that job.

They called all of my references. From what I'm told, it wasn't a simple reference call. More like an interview that didn't include me. I suppose they were doing it in lieu of having a second interview. Which is dumb. And not fair for my references, who are all great and wonderful and were happy to do it for me - but, still. Be respectful of their time.

Annoying.

I had planned to pull the trigger and buy my plane ticket last Tuesday, but then things were moving along with that job (or so I thought) so I stalled on booking the Switzerland trip. Which, honestly, fuck it. I'm going to Switzerland regardless of where I'm working or if I feel like I have the money to actually take the trip (which I don't and that makes me nervous but I am willing myself not to care).

Yay for Switzerland. I guess.

In other disheartening but absolutely not even slightly surprising news, I've barely heard from The Coach in the last few days. And, of course, I haven't seen him. So, I've officially entered the part of this whole charade where I feel very stupid and also like crap. Not that I didn't know it was coming. I knew it was coming.

In summation: the last handful of days have been spent staring at my phone. I feel bad about myself. And I am going to Switzerland.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The soccer snob gets what she deserves

When it comes to soccer apparel, I am very picky. My socks have to be a certain length (at the shortest, they should fall just above the knee cap). My shorts absolutely cannot be a short-short length. And I am simply not okay with cutsey things like pink shorts or delicate little ties to hold up the sleeves of your jersey. You would think that all of my requirements would make it difficult to find the proper soccer apparel, but I actually find that most of the soccer gear made by the mainstream soccer manufacturers to be suitable. As long as I don't buy it in pink or slut it up.

I've been playing for the same summer soccer team for five or six years now. When I first started, we wore horribly ugly sleeveless jerseys that looked like a cross between garbage bag and a volleyball jersey. So, so unattractive.



When I ended up taking over administrative responsibilities for the team with another teammate of ours, I lobbied for new jerseys. Hard. And then the co-manager wanted sleeveless jerseys, I fought against that. Hard. What can I say? I fight for what I believe in. And I really, really believe that soccer players should play with sleeves. Maybe I'm a traditionalist. Or insane.



I was invited to play on a spring season team. A former teammate emailed me, inviting me to join her over-30 team. I replied, responding (probably with a little too much glee) that I was not age eligible for the squad. She assured that it wouldn't be an issue, and I decided that I would join the team. Even though over-30 soccer is notoriously bad and I (this is going to sound cocky) am likely a little too good to play in the league. But bad soccer is better than no soccer and I'd like to have a little tune-up before the summer season starts. And that is how I ended up illegally playing on an over-30 team.

I should have quit the team as soon as I got the email from the manager indicating that they wanted to do "something cute" for their jerseys. I don't do cute. Especially when cute comes in the form of tie-dyed tank tops. "Wouldn't it be fun to put silly nicknames on the back, too?" (Thankfully, they didn't go that far.) And that is how I ended up illegally playing on an over-30 team wearing two items that should never be allowed on the soccer pitch: tie-dye and tank tops.



And then I found out that our jerseys were going to cost $25. Which is more than my summer teams plays for our new, awesome, Dry-Fit, Nike jerseys. And that is how I ended up illegally playing on an over-30 team wearing two items that should never be allowed on the soccer pitch: tie-dye and tank tops and paying $25 for that monstrosity.

Our first game is on Sunday. Despite my complaints, I am legitimately excited about it.

Or I was, anyway, until I saw the weather forecast for Sunday. It is going to be 40 degrees.

And that is how I ended up illegally playing on an over-30 team wearing two items that should never be allowed on the soccer pitch: tie-dye and tank tops and paying $25 for that monstrosity. While freezing my ass off in the process.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Cinematic fodder

It is all secrets and rawness and disconnect and lust and vulnerability and hope and confusion and anticipation. It is no wonder that screenwriters are basing entire scripts around it.



Take the elements of a real relationship, sift out most of the important stuff. Throw what remains into a blender. Sprinkle with a lack of communication and serve with a side of forced casualness.

I am not quite sure how this tastes other than weird. It tastes decidedly weird.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Loving


OPI You Don't Know Jacques polish. I'm obsessed with it right now. I'm fairly obsessed with having my nails painted any shade, actually, but You Don't Know Jacques polish makes me especially giddy.


Adele's 21. So good. Blows my mind. Good for anything. Good at any time. Makes me happy. Brilliant.


Having a reason to hope. My references are getting calls from the place that I interviewed at on Friday. Don't uncross your fingers just yet - they were having a hard time getting in touch with one of my references (yikes - I'm sure that looked just great) and called last night to get an alternate number and say "don't get too excited. But you are a finalist." Despite the warning, I'm officially too excited. But, damn, it's nice to get just a little bit closer.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Sunday

I wouldn’t mind every Sunday being like last Sunday.

I slept in. I drove home and ate breakfast with Meg and Mom.

I packed up Blue and Ellie and met Lucy and her dog, Wolf, at the dog park. Which was absolutely packed, it being the first gorgeous weekend day of the year. The dogs went absolutely wild. And, of course, Blue and Ellie were immediately attracted to the pond-sized puddle that had accumulated in a low spot at the park.

They were a bad influence on Wolf and pulled him in to their shenanigans.



And then Blue got tired and decided to lay down in the water.



She did this several times, actually. Each time drawing the gasps and points and stares and giggles from every other owner at the park. I just shook my head.

When we got home, we found Meg out on the deck. The weather was unseasonably warm - in the 80s - and it didn't take long for me to change into shorts and a tank top and join Meg on the deck with my sunglasses, my book and a glass of ice water in tow.

One of the best parts about lakefront living is how easy it is to get up and wander inside for more refreshments or a trip to the bathroom or the quick check of your work email even though you know better than to check your work email on a Sunday.

It is just very convenient.

Unless you return to the deck to find that your spot has been stolen right from under your nose by a hairy brown creature.



(My mom would die of humiliation if she knew that I posted a picture of her garden in its current state. Summer is much kinder on the surroundings.) (She'd probably die of humiliation if she knew that I blogged at all. But that's a topic for another post.)

Is anyone else as fired up about the return of spring as I am? Am I the only one who celebrated with a little sunburn?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Just for fun

You guys! There isn't anything else to tell you. Seriously! Well, nothing that is appropriate for the wide open internets, anyhow. If you need any scandalous details, shoot me an email. We'll work something out. (Translation: I'll totally spill about you whatever you want to know.)

It was what it was. And what it was, honestly, was a Booty Call. Capital B. Capital C. Booty Call. Plain and simple.

There's no relationship coming of this.

Thankfully - seriously, thank goodness - Little Miss Emotionally Attached Without The Slightest Bit Of Reciprocation (that would be me) is very aware of this. It's exactly what I expected.

And that is why I don't check my phone every five minutes.

And that is why, when I didn't hear from him yesterday, I didn't really care.

And that is why I saw him at work today and it wasn't even awkward.

It was fun.

Maybe we'll do it again. Maybe we won't.

It is what it is.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Who's that girl?

Friday night: not the best series of decisions I've ever made. But I'm surprisingly okay with each and every one of them. The night just sort of fell together in an effortless way and all of a sudden it was just past midnight and I was standing on my front steps watching The Coach climb out of his car.

It's still a little surreal, to be completely honest. I was thinking about it when I was driving today, and I had to remind myself that it was real and he was here.

I'm not even sure if he is the reason that the whole thing remains so unbelieveable. He did, to a large extent, exactly what I expected him to do. I was the wildcard. I surprised myself.

That's why I'm still not exactly convinced that it happened. (It totally did. I have evidence.) Because I don't know that girl who I was on Friday night. I don't know myself without caution and worry and doubt and fear. And I had none of those. I had none of those and a really, really hot guy in my apartment.

Best night ever.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

False Alarm

Forget what I said about The Coach being all talk.

Bwahahahahahaha.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Heard it

I've
Read this book
Heard the story
Listened to the song
Seen the chick flick

I
know
exactly
how
this
ends

Clarification:
I know
exactly
how this
ends
in the event
that it
begins

Which
Is supposed to

This weekend

Not that
I'm holding
my
breath
By any means

All talk
I said that before

I'll say it again
All talk

All talk
And
legitimate and deserved
compliments
About my fabulous
Ass

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Call me what you like

I love nicknames.

I can’t really explain exactly why I love nicknames as much as I do. I just know that I love them. I love getting them. I love getting them. I love being called by a nickname. I love calling others by their nicknames.

There’s just something about a good nickname – one with a good story behind it or one that is said with a certain intimacy behind it – that makes me happy. Nicknames are a verbal display of affection that is so subtle and so accepted and so awesome. Give me a good nickname and I’m on your team. Get a nickname from me and you’ll know to count me among your biggest fans.

I’ve always adored it when a boy elects to call me Aly – generally used exclusively by my family, Lucy and Colleen – instead of Alyson. Or when a soccer teammate calls me Al. Or when my boss comes up with something new and random to call me. Which usually happens twice per day (see: Alistair, Average Al and, my personal favorite, Rhonda.)

At my workplace – which full of jocks – nicknames are very commonplace. Nearly everyone has one standard nickname that is used by nearly everyone in the company. I like it. Except when I saw a customer’s eyes bug out when she heard my coworker call me by my nickname, which she misheard as “asshole.” Awkward.

It probably comes as no surprise that I’ve given far more nicknames to my sister, Meg, than to anyone else in my life. From Meg to Meggles to Monkey to Bubba and My Little Pony – she’s easy to nickname because I know her so well. Maybe that’s the reason that I like nicknames. They’re verbal proof of closeness to anyone who may overhear. I don’t call just anyone “Ladybug,” but that’s what I’ll call Colleen or Lucy or one of my cousins when the time is right.

A note to young lovers everywhere: nicknames are different from pet names. The difference being that pet names are overused and obnoxious and generally lacking in any sort of creativity. Pet names are the ones that make other people want to vomit. Nicknames do not. (If you are not sure whether you’re using a pet name or a nickname, please leave a comment and I will happily serve as judge, juror and executioner on this matter.)

Anybody else have a passionate love affair with something so tiny and insignificant and intangible? Tell me. Help a girl feel a little less crazy.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Preparing to score

I have a job interview on Friday. I'm approaching it a little differently than I've approached other job interviews. I've tried being really, really nervous. It hasn't helped. I've tried being really, really prepared. It hasn't helped.

This time, I'm going to try on confident and capable for size. I'm going to accessorize with a bit of calm. I'll prepare tomorrow, but I won't over prepare. And hopefully, hopefully, cross every one of your fingers and your toes, it will pay off.

I am tempted to jump ahead. To start planning. To think of all of the great things that a new job would bring to my life. It is a mindset that a soccer coach of mine encouraged. I was always good at flubbing on breakaways, so he told me not to worry about the shot, but to think of a way to celebrate the goal that I was going to score.

Good for soccer, perhaps. It hasn't translated so well to interviews. I've done it every time and I'm tempted to do it now, too. I want to live in my daydreams and figure out housing arrangements and my grand return to skating and what I'm going to do with an extra 20 hours in my week that isn't spent at my desk. But I'm not going to. Not this time.

First I'll score the goal.

And then I will celebrate.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Restaurant Week: I'm a fan

It's Restaurant Week here in the D and, like last fall, I've managed to get out twice for some fantastic eats.

Yesterday, I went out with two of my coworkers and was so in love with my meal that I forgot to take crappy iPhone pictures. I'll share what I ordered anyway. Imagine your heart out, friends.

First course: New England Clam Chowder (served with garlic croutons)
Second course: Herb-crusted Lake Superior Whitefish (served with beurre blanc and glazed baby carrots)
Third course: Apple pie. Only because they were out of the restaurant's signature dessert, the Mini Chocolate Coach Torte (layers of cashew caramel, chocolate caramel ganache and milk chocolate mousse, wrapped in chocolate).

I am seriously bitter that I didn't get that dessert. And our waiter was a tool. The meal wasn't the best I've ever had, but I enjoyed it, and the restaurant itself is gorgeous and fantastic and on the 72nd floor of a building that is right on the river. Fantastic views. If David Beckham wanted to propose to me there, I wouldn't mind. ...as long as I got that dessert.

Tonight, Lucy and I headed to one of the restaurants inside of the MGM Grand Casino. The meal was slightly better and the waiter was way less of a douchebag.
First course: Shrimp Roll (served with Louie dressing, avocado and celery salad)


Lucy's second course: Roast Michigan Chicken (Served with Marengo sauce, fried egg and toast)


My second course: San Francisco Cioppino (clams, shrimp and mussels in a pepper-tomato broth)


Third course: Irish Coffee (Bailey’s Irish Cream, whiskey caramel and double chocolate chip cookies)

Both meals were great, but I found tonight's meal was much more pleasing. It was less boring. A little less standard upscale food and a little more creative. The inside of the restaurant certainly doesn't have the views of the city that the other restaurant did, but it was decorated impeccably. And, of course, you can't beat Lucy for a dining partner. Seriously. She is the most awesome ever.

The big downfall of tonight's restaurant was that you have to walk through the casino to get there. The loud and obnoxiously smoky casino. Michigan finally passed the Smoke-Free Air Law (casinos are exempt) a year ago and I'm finally used to getting home from the bar and not smelling like an ashtray. So the smoky walk to the restaurant was a bit of a shock. As is the current scent of my hair. That was not awesome. Nor were some of the leering men strolling the casino, but what can you do but wash your hair and laugh it off?

You can eat Irish Coffee ice cream dessert, that's what you can do.

Word count

About my weekend in 137 words: hockey game at 11:30 on Friday night. We tied. Work on Saturday. Hockey game on Saturday afternoon. We won. Lunch with my teammates. Hockey game on Sunday night. We lost. I was especially sucky. Trip to Starbucks. Tall, nonfat, no whip, extra hot mocha. Shower. Makeup. Lucy and Chet’s house. Bizarre nightclub that caters to cougars and their male counterparts (Which are called what, exactly? Wildebeests?) that we love for that very reason. Chet’s drunk friends. Not drunk me. Not drunk Lucy. Chauffeur service. I force an inebriated Israeli boy to serenade me with “In Your Eyes” at 3:00 am while I am driving him home. Bedtime: 4 am. Mom and Dad’s house for late reakfast. Hockey game. Tournament final. We lost. Hate losing. Watch Life As We Know It. Trip to Trader Joe’s. 9:45 pm bedtime.

About my Monday in 78 words: for all of the shit that my coworkers claim that only I can do, I’m really not compensated accordingly. So busy. Detroit Restaurant Week date with the only two coworkers who I don’t want to punch in the throat. Fancy yummy dinner. Tool of a waiter. Home in time for my 10:00 pm soccer game. Saw Colin. Scored a sweet goal. Home to shower and blog and take a deep breath for the first time all damn day.

About The Coach in 4 words: He is all talk.

About The Coach in 21 more words: I cannot believe that I could want and expect so little from a guy only to have him let me down.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

There it is again

I don’t have the words today.

Not the words that I want. I want words that fit together perfectly. But this is what I have. An imperfect rambling.

Fitting, as you will see.

I am fixated on imperfections. Which happens, sometimes, with me. When I can’t step far enough away from the mirror to realize that that lone frizzy, floppy curl really isn’t making me look like a mad scientist. When I can’t stop staring at that one nail with the chipped polish even though nobody else could see it unless I was standing with my thumbnail right up to their nose. When I can’t just leave well enough alone even though, overall, I am fine. Not perfect, never perfect. But fine.

I get like this when I don’t have enough sleep. I can’t snap myself back to reality and that bruised toenail and that frizzy curl and my chipped polish make me wholly damaged and entirely undesirable.

Which is where I am at right now. Exhausted and intensely aware of everything about me that is not perfect. It’s a long list, but I will not share it. Sleep would help, I imagine. Sleep could smooth over some of my jagged edges. Ease the darkness under my eyes. Act as a salve on the rawness that is burning away at me.

I won’t be resting. Not soon. Not soon enough.

The Coach is in town. The Coach is in town and I feel – oh, I’m not even sure that there exists a word to describe how I feel. Is there a word for this emotion? A single word that would encompass excitement, fear, regret, flaws, pain, rapture, confusion, complacency and a touch of unbridled happiness?

I want that word.

I want only that word.

I want that perfect word.

Perfection. Always perfection.
 
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