The show that really helped me "grow as a person."

I've had four days off and will write about Christmas later...my point is that I've had four days off, and that means some reality TV.  It was a busy weekend, but I was soooo fortunate to catch a new episode of Kourtney and Kim in New York, because it inspired me to write.

Someone needs to stop the Kardashians.

"But we're entertaining people," Khloe told the person who actually knows anything about the entertainment industry -- Barbara Walters -- and for some reason, she's right.  People keep their show on the air.  And why the fuck would that be?  Jealouuuuus?

Maybe it's because they don't understand them.  How they work.  I have never met women or men like them, and there's a part of me that wants to pick apart their circuit boards like an electrical engineer.  (That last part wasn't in jest.  I sincerely believe they are robots.)

My thoughts:

1.  Kourtney shits all over Scott's desire to get back in touch with Judaism, and he doesn't seem to be all that offended.  If my partner were to make fun of my religion or lack thereof, that partner may want to invest in a Flak jacket.  Scott was just like, "oh it's cool lol let's have Shabbat dinner."  The one thing he did say:  "Fine.  You don't respect my religion?  I don't respect your outfit.  Your shirt has no back.  And you look like a bumblebee."  You tell her, buddy.

Also, I'd like to see someone quiz Kourtney on the history and principles of Christianity.  She grilled Scott about the Old Testament and the meaning behind wearing a yarmulke, and because he didn't know those things (after freely admitting he hadn't been to temple in years), he wasn't a "real Jew," so she decided that their son would be raised Christian.  So, not only did she bash him for not being dedicated "enough" to his religion (in a one-sided scene where she whined that the navy yarmulkes didn't match her outfit while he was trying to get a Shabbat dinner organized, I wish he would've said, "Okay hot shot, so who baptized Jesus?"), but she brought their young son into it.  Here's the line, and therrrre's Kourtney way down that way.

2.  Kris Humphries reminds me of David Puddy, but Kim is more fucked up.  She cries constantly about wanting to be married and knocked up, but the girl just can't seem to stop doing the following things:  (1) Working on her "Brand."  (2) Walking out on marriages.  (3) Being absolutely insane about her personal bubble.  At what point do you not have enough money?  I would retire at that age if I wanted kids that badly. 

Kim deals with conflict about as well as my two-year-old niece, except you can point out something fluffy or sparkly to my niece and all is forgotten; Kim has her fluffy furs and sparkly diamonds but still needs to call her sister an "evil, ugly little troll" for assuming she can just WAKE KIM UP TO SAY GOODBYE.  At least five times an episode, Kim bleets, "That is like... sooo disrespectful?" or "Don't be RUDE."  And she's 30. 

3.  Maybe it's because Kris Jenner is more insane than Kim.  Kris Jenner is the one who wears enough lipgloss to fill an oil drum and acts like a raging alcoholic.  She's also the "mom" on this show.  She gets a cut as Kim's agent, so she's making damn sure that Kim stays busy.  In Kris Jenner's free time, she enjoys meddling in the lives of others and emasculating her husband in public.  Like when she gave him Viagra without him knowing.  (I've never caused a man to unknowingly ingest someone else's prescription drugs.  Is this why she's married and I'm not?)

And then there's how dramatic everything is with her.  Here's how I imagine this conversation went with a book publisher friend of hers:

Book publisher (BP):  So I heard that Kim's friend Jonathon is mentioning her in his new book?
BP:  No... no, I think he's just mentioning her in the introduction--
BP:  Really, it's not a tell-all book.  I don't even know why you would think that.  They've been friends for years.

So Kris calls Kim up, says she has "disturbing" news, and says that Jonathon is writing a tell-all book about her before ominously growling, "I keep telling you -- you can't trust anyone but your family."  I imagined those spirals from Hitchcock's Vertigo in her eyes as she said it.  Then Kim, per Kourtney's bat-shit insane advice, invites the poor guy to dinner on the premise of catching up, and before their food gets there, she blows up at him in the restaurant when he tells her he's writing "a book," along with many other projects. 

"You don't think that someone should know when you're writing a book about them?!"
His response:  /crickets.  And then, "What?"
But she just kept shouting.  And he tried to say things, and she said, "No, I don't want to listen to you, blah blah blah," and she left.  He looked absolutely dumbfounded.  Imagine having that happen, but with fucking cameras all over the place. 

He then kind of lost my sympathy and respect when he and Kim battled it out in the most mature way imagineable:  Twitter! 

Kim is surprised when she later finds out (by reading the fucking book) that Jonathon's book is not a juicy betrayal of her friendship, but about "How to be an 'It-Girl.'"  Oh noes, who would've thought that the world wasn't revolving around Kim?  Her response:  "So... it's just some like, bubblegum fluff piece?"

Nice one, Kim.  Insult his intentions, insult his intelligence by playing games with him, and then insult the genre of his book.  "Well, it's hard to know the truth a lot of the time, and when someone tells you that a tell-all book is being written about you, it's hard not to panic!"  Ahem -- Kim?  That "someone" was your MOTHER. 

4.  If you ever want to see an example of "Battered Wife Syndrome" on reality TV, you won't need to look any further than Bruce Jenner. 

I kind of want to sneak over to their house and unlock all the doors.  Even if I put bacon or something on the doorknobs, it would still take him a few days to find the doors, learn how to work them, and make sure no one else was around -- but eventually, he would stumble forth into the bright, unfamiliar sunlight, confused about the last several years and amazed at how modern cars have gotten since he saw them last.  "Am I... am I free?" he would wonder to himself with a trembling chin (but not a dimpled chin...pretty sure it's made of plastic), remembering with fear all the horrific things the Kardashian women put him through, not to mention all the things they're doing to his two young daughters (one of whom is already doing racy bikini photo shoots). 

"NO.  YOU'RE NOT FREE."  Kris drives up in her obnoxiously ginormous car.  "OUR TWO YOUNGER DAUGHTERS ARE GROWING UP TO BE HOT.  I NEED SOMEONE TO TORTURE ON CAMERA WHILE THEY'RE AT PORN MOVIE SETS."  She turns to the camera, "You know, I definitely just luuuurrrve my husband," she coos.  "He has definitely made me...grow as a person?  I definitely should learn to not take him for granted."  Bruce turns to the camera and mouths, "help me."

Kourtney's puppy Scott is headed the same way.

5.  The last time I hung out in bed with my laptop, which they always seem to be doing, I did not have full make-up on and Fancy Hair.  Maybe that's why they're married and I'm not.

I might think of more things to say about them later.  Don't worry, I've got lots of episodes on my DVR.  I wish I could say that was a recording glitch...but it isn't.


"Baby Jesus, born to rock."

Got a little gift from my favorite co-worker -- including the best ever kind of Ghirardelli chocolate:  Peppermint Bark.

Thanks Rachel!!
You know, I've never done stuff like that, and I've always wanted to.  I've never sent greeting cards or organized neat baggies of candy/stocking stuffers.  And it makes sense to, doesn't it?  At least for people I see more often than I see members of my own family.

There is, of course, the whole religious connotation.  I don't celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday, but I've mostly gotten over my whole "militant atheist bans all social engagements that have to do with religion" thing -- makes it a little hard to go to weddings and funerals -- and now I celebrate it as a social holiday.  And I, as always, celebrate the food.  And I celebrate the abundance of paid time off within such a tiny time frame. 

But damn it, I want to be one of those people that goes all out!  I've got Christmas decorations, but they aren't up.  I have now completed my gift shopping, including for The Bean's birthday, which is also this week, but that's all I've done.  I see so many Facebook status updates that report the baking of gingerbread, the stringing of homemade decorations, the festive drink recipes for parties.  I haven't even managed to buy wrapping paper.

Am I missing a gene?  The "cozy" gene?

I last achieved this coziness at the Christmas parade downtown in 2006.  I was in a one bedroom apartment in a historic building along the parade route, so that morning, I sat on the stoop with hot chai and a blanket, waving at the politicians, snow princes and princesses, and firemen.  After that, I poured myself more tea and did the Sunday crossword puzzle at my windows, watching everyone bundled up and walking into St. Boniface church across the street. 

And sure, my apartment smelled like cinnamon and spices, but I had to pee all day from drinking so much chai.  And I was tired in the afternoon from waking up so early and having nothing to do.  Then I couldn't really concentrate on homework because I was so deadset on being someone I wasn't.  Someone so... "twee."  I felt like I could only do homework while listening to the radio, humming, and not looking like I hadn't seen a mirror at all that day.

Maybe people outside looking in see my life differently.  I feel like it's a mess all the time -- like, there's always something to worry about, clean up, be late for, get fixed, catch up on, pay off.  I wonder if "twee" people feel that way too, and how they manage to bake Christmas confections in spite of it.


Okay -- what the hell is domar.ru?  I'm getting like nine hits a day from Russia, and they're all coming from this website.  Any time I've gone to it, I've closed it out for fear of getting a virus, because it seems that bad.


I close my eyes and see a Sith Inquisitor

Spent pretty much the entire weekend playing SWTOR.  Stayed up late every night, woke up late every day, and played in between.  Left briefly to go to my dad's, where I ate for the first time in a while (so imagine a Dirt Devil...) and got my ass handed to me in euchre.

Emerged long enough into reality to hear David saying that Kim Jong Il died.  I kind of shrugged, and said, "Aww, that's sad."  "Um, no, it's not sad.  He was a dictator."  "Yeah, but didn't he sing that 'I'm So Ronery' song in Team America?  He sounded sad."  For the next hour, any time David looked in my direction, he would shake his head and say, "just...wow."

Okay -- so just like bin Laden -- if someone has not directly starved, shot, stabbed or otherwise persecuted or harmed me -- I could not give two shits.  If that makes me narcissistic or a terrible American, then great, because it's a lot easier to live that way.  And -- just like bin Laden -- I do not celebrate the deaths of other people.  If I hear that Kim Jong Il was only 69, I feel bad because that's really young, and I wonder if he could have been healthier.  North Korea is unstable, yes, but it's a lot more useful to me to worry about my finances, which are also unstable.  Possibly moreso than North Korea. 

BUT I got some entertainment out of this, from CBS News:
North Korean legend has it that Kim was born on Mount Paektu, one of Korea's most cherished sites, in 1942, a birth heralded in the heavens by a pair of rainbows and a brilliant new star. Soviet records, however, indicate he was born in Siberia in 1941.
Man, I wish I could do that.  "Susie was born at the base of a volcano, which shook with the intensity of the new soul on earth, and the umbilical cord was snipped by a bolt of lightning.  Angels and Stevie Wonder provided the music with fanfare trumpets adorned with flags.  It was 1984."

The weird sleep schedule and the fact that every time I closed my eyes I saw my Sith Inquisitor casting Force Lightning on Republic targets caused me to get absolutely no sleep last night.  Went to bed at a semi-normal hour, maybe a little late, and then rolled around uncontrollably until seven this morning.  No matter how I tried to sleep, and no matter how comfy I got, I could not sleep.  I rolled on my stomach.  My back.  My feet hanging off the side of the bed.  Rolled up into a little Susie blanket burrito.  My head under a pillow.  Shaped like a swastika. 

I could not fall asleep.  Eventually, even the cats went "fuck this" and left to sleep elsewhere, raising their noses and sniffing the air, making sure I knew I was disturbing them.  And when my alarm went off, I nearly cried. 

Now I am going to try to survive the rest of the day -- work, grocery store for tonight's dinner, P90X, dinner, trying to sleep tonight.  And Christmas shopping????? -- where do I fit this in?  I haven't done any yet.  Just used my entire weekend for SWTOR (not considering that a "wasted" weekend one bit...some people blow a weekend doing nothing but fishing, and no one says anything).  And considering my roommate, on whom I depended quite heavily for income, just got laid off and hasn't had any responses to his resume yet, I have no idea what I'm going to get for people.  I also haven't put up any of my Christmas decorations.  I promised myself I would this year, but who would be around to see them?  David's spending Christmas in Nashville, and my brother is hosting... I don't even think people will be at the house at all between now and after New Year's.  Okay, that's depressing.


Square peg personality

So I have a number of what people might be inclined to call "dude hobbies."

I play computer and video games (got my early access yesterday in SWTOR, yay!), my fantasy football teams do really well, I love IndyCar, and I get bored really easily when people talk about relationships.  David might disagree, but I'm also going to go ahead and say that I can predict the thoughts and actions of men pretty well.  I can think like a guy.  Like a sixth sense, except useless.

You would think that, if I were in a group of guys talking about any of the above topics, I wouldn't get talked over, interrupted, etc. -- and that's if I can get a word in edgewise to begin with.  Sometimes I think about yelling at the top of my lungs and beating everyone else unconscious just so I can throw in my two cents to the conversation. 

Mostly, this is about lunchtime.  Happens all the time when I'm on a break for lunch.  If there are a bunch of guys together*, it's like they know the exact nanosecond that the guy talking is going to stop talking, and then exactly one guy starts and ends a sentence, and so on.  Every three seconds, I open my mouth to speak, but someone else jumps in.  If I do get to speak, it's like I'm not even there.  I'm either interrupted or they drown me out.  OR, I'll speak, but they're not listening because something has already clicked in their minds that tells them the conversation has officially, cleanly ended.  And then there's some stupid girl still talking about it.  When did she get here?  Who the fuck is that, anyway? 

Sometimes I'll get a grunt in response when I keep talking beyond the conversation cul de sac, but most of the time, that's when the dudes suddenly become really interested in the food in front of them.  Maybe they think that if they listen to me, I'll stop and say, "Oh!  Now that I have your attention...[costume change]  Let's talk about omigawwWWW SHOPPING FOR PURSES AND WHO IS GETTING TOTTTALLY FAT AND THIS GIRL AT MY GYM THAT IS SUCH.  A.  BETCH!  [jazz hands]"

Back in October, I was talking to one of my co-workers at lunch about Dan Wheldon.  A few people at the next table were talking about the same thing.  After a while, one of the people at the other table came by and said, jokingly, "You're not a very good eavesdropper." 

Me:  What?
Dude:  You were talking about what we were talking about.
Me:  Yeah, but it was on my mind, too.
Dude:  Oh.  Wow, you know who Dan Wheldon is?
Me:  Was.  (In my head:  Now leave me the fuck alone.)

That guy was being not only a bit of a prick and not to mention sexist to assume I didn't know the name of a racecar driver, but also a narcissist to think I was only talking about that because he and his buddies were.  And this happens all the freaking time.       

* This phrase is blowing my mind right now.  I wrote it and then thought, "Hmmm.  A 'bunch' is singular, so wouldn't it be 'there is a bunch'?  but then how can a bunch be 'together'?  What the fuck!  WHERE AM I?!"


"I'm coming home via Chicago"

Now that it seems like Micky is better, I would like to tell you all about that time when I was in Macy's with my mom and aunt -- I wandered off and got lost, and they freaked and tried to find me... I freaked and tried to find them... by myself in this huge, crowded department store around Christmas and in downtown Chicago no less... then I went back to where they were when I thought I got separated from them, and I found my mom talking to a store employee, totally panic-stricken.  "Mommmm!" I yelled, and then I was upset because I thought she was mad at me, and my aunt was glad I was found safely but also visibly a bit pissed.

And that was just last week. 

You'd think that it wouldn't be a big deal anymore for someone in their twenties to "wander off" in a store, but I found that wasn't the case.  I can't even be trusted as an adult.  Oops.  (David will probably find me later this afternoon in the backyard, playing with matches, or in the basement calling 911 and hanging up just to see what would happen.)

Anyway, highlights from Saturday's trip to Chicago with my favorite mom and favorite aunt:
  • Never actually developing a hangover from the night before, when all of David's now-former co-workers came over with many bottles of alcohol to console/cheer him and bash on the higher-ups at the company.  Didn't go to bed until two, and had to be at the Imperial Travel place to catch our bus by 8 a.m. sharp.
  • Making fun of the bitchy lady sitting next to Carol on the bus.  She was rolling her eyes, snorting and huffing at everything Mom, Carol and I were talking about.  Then on the way back home, she sneered at me and asked, "How's the hangover?"  I was on my cell phone at the time, so all I could really do was give her an ice-queen-ish "fine."
  • $2 six inch Subway meatball marinara.  Warm, tasty, hit the spot.
  • A boy about my age gave us directions and my mom fell in love with him.  Like, she wants to adopt him.  I don't know what it is about cute, well-spoken gay men, but my mother adores them.  I wish I'd gotten a picture of her face when she was gazing up at him.  It was like this: 

  • Some kind of German fest.  Christl-something.  It was at Daley Center or whatever it's called.  Obviously I was paying attention.  Anyway, at this event, we did a lot of walking around and accidentally bumping into strangers.  We also ate some really good food -- I forget what they had, but I had a bratwurst at one point.  We also saw a lot of interesting booths:  Handmade German Christmas ornaments, beer steins (one of which Carol bought for a Christmas gift), blown glass artwork, etc.  We also went into a "warming tent" (oh -- I didn't mention that it was like 14 degrees outside) that had hot wine cider served in a tiny boot, which was decorated in a German theme.  This event also featured many very, very attractive German vendors my age, none of whom actually looked at me twice, not even when I turned to Carol and, in my best German, said m√∂chtest du etwas trinken?.  But still.  I probably got it wrong.
  • We saw the puppet bike on the corner of Dearborn and Washington.  If you ever wonder what it's like to see a puppet bear and a puppet cat dancing together to 1950's style rock and roll in a puppet stage-type contraption on the back of a bicycle, let me tell you -- it is awesome.  And adorable.  There was a little girl dancing to the music near the puppet show; she was so cute.  My mom gave me a dollar and told me to ask the little girl to put it in the tip box.  Her parents were impressed and thanked me.  Maybe they're rich and live in my town and will want me as a nanny.
  • Saw a cute guy at a coffee shop, and my mom forbade me to ever speak to him because she didn't like his butt.
  • We are now two for two on seeing the Chicago Bucket Boys, as we saw them near Millenium Park after the St. Patrick's Day parade, and then we saw them on Saturday in front of Macy's (after I got lost).  Only been to Chicago twice this year, and I ran into these awesome guys both times. 
  • I lost count at 20 for the number of homeless people who approached me or yelled something out.  I didn't give anyone money or cigarettes, but I did give someone outside the German fest a plate of fried potatoes, mostly because he was very well-spoken and looked like he was absolutely freezing.  (Also, he didn't ask for money; he asked for food.)  Other than him, the most memorable homeless person was a kid younger than I am, shouting out, "I WILL TELL YOU A JOKE FOR TEN CENTS.  I SWEAR -- I AM REALLY, REALLY FUNNY."  I would've given him a dollar just to shut the fuck up.  Oh, and this woman who cleared out an entire McDonald's when she walked in because she smelled so badly of urine.  What's actually weird about all this is that I was not approached by one single homeless person when I was in Chicago in March.
  • The Man Who Saved Christmas is a really... really bad movie. 
  • I need to find out if there's a Nordstrom Rack store closer to me, like in Indianapolis maybe.  They have some pretty sweet deals.  Found a pair of Prada kitten heels for about $90.
  • ALSO.  I need to find a CVS that sells Purdue hoodies.  I bought a Wrigley Field hoodie for $10.99 there, and Purdue hooded sweatshirts start at $50.
  • It seemed like everything in downtown Chicago on a Saturday night closes at 3 p.m.  What is that all about?
  • There was a fire in the Macy's building -- we saw smoke coming out one of the windows.  Several firetrucks zoomed into the area, but after about five minutes, the firetrucks left.  Didn't see anything happen.  Smoke still pouring out of the window.  Pedestrians on the sidewalk not even paying attention.  Totally unfazed.  And then there are these three chicks from Indiana, looking up at the building and practically screaming, "Why aren't they doing anything?!"  So again -- what is that all about?
Wonder if there's anything I missed.

And now I want to be annoyed.

My ten-year-old cat Micky is sick.  She isn't a stranger to throwing up, as many kittehs seem to develop bulimia or something when they get older (or a passive aggressive "I don't like your friend.  I shall vomit in her purse."), but yesterday she threw up all over the house.  I counted four massive piles of vomit -- one of them next to my computer chair, so that evening I was lucky enough to accidentally step in the wet spot on the carpet twice.

Since then, she's been "hiding."  David noticed we hadn't seen her in a while, and when I thought about it I realized that I hadn't gotten annoyed at a pompous cat standing in front of my computer monitor, which is kind of a big deal because she's typically such a sociable cat.  Seriously, the girl is constantly up in my bidness.  But we eventually found her in the back of a closet in a room that we barely use.  Just sitting there.  I picked her up and tried to get her to sit in my lap, which she usually loves to do, but she jumped right back down and went to the closet again.  Seeing her hide in the closet was weird, but when she left my lap to go back to the closet -- making it very known to me that she wants to be alone -- was weirder.  She does not prefer being alone. 

I brought her to bed with me last night, and she stayed curled up next to me.  David's had an eye on her and told me that she was still curled up on the bed at noon.  I went home to see her and tried to get her to eat something -- I took her downstairs, put her in front of her food, but ignored it and sat in a corner of the living room under one of the kitty towers.  So weird.

I called the vet, and now David's taking Micky in at 2:15.  I hope she's okay.  The only personality change I've ever seen in her is after she's gotten her annual shots -- she gets lethargic, she doesn't interact with people, and won't eat or use her litterbox. 

David's already at the vet with her.  He says she's "skeered."  Poor thing.  :(

Update:  David called and said Micky has a fever, which they think might be from getting scratched or bitten while playing with Bellatrix.  They also saw that she was down a pound from July -- and for something that's only eight pounds to begin with, I'd say that's a pretty big deal -- and that her fur from half of her body has been lost because of excessive grooming.  They said that's from nerves.  I feel like a terrible mommy -- I'd noticed that the hair around the base of her tail looked funny, but I hadn't noticed that she'd lost so much weight.  Maybe because she still looks so much bigger than the kittens.  :(

So at the vet, they gave her a shot to break the fever, and a shot of antibiotics.  Follow up in a couple of weeks to talk about behavior.  David says they're on their way home now, and she's sitting up in her cage, calm.  I hope she feels better soon.

Another update:  David sent me a picture shortly after he and Micky got home -- she's eating, yayayayayaya


What to do when your roommate gets laid off.

...should I Google that?  Because I have no idea.

So it actually happened.  I'm affected by the economy now.

I accepted a job offer during finals week before graduating from Purdue, started this "Big Girl" job within days of graduation, and I've been there ever since.  I've felt so lucky in this shit economy -- it seemed like everyone else around me was dealing with it, but I was in my air-conditioned ivory tower.

Then this morning, David got laid off.

He'd seen it coming for a while.  He noticed the big contracts they were losing, the "re-organization" of certain teams, a lay off here and there at the Indianapolis location.  Then this morning, I got a phone call at work, and it was him.

"Is this like what you pulled on April Fool's, because if so--" "No," he said, his voice shaking a little, "I'm holding my termination letter in my hand.  I'm coming to your building right now."  I hung up the phone, breathed a loud "fuuuuuck," and burst into tears.

I waited with hot chocolate in the lobby of my building, and he strolled in.  Almost smiling.

We sat in the cafeteria and talked while I hid my red, puffy face with a tissue.  "It's going to be fine," he said, and explained his severance package, reimbursement for his vacation days, and applying for unemployment in the meantime.  I worried about the house, the cats, his son's insurance.  Then I cried more.

"Let's go on a field trip," he said, and we went to the AT&T store to get him a new phone, as his cell phone was for work.  Then we came home, where my brand new computer monitor is all fucked up, and then Cissy peed on it.  And I cried more.

Now he's on hold with Best Buy, and they've got holiday Muzak playing -- currently, Deck the Halls, and he's singing along to it, a la A Christmas Story -- "fa ra ra ra ra, ra ra ra raaaa."  I have no idea how he's so upbeat.  It's like he feels like he can do anything now.  Like a weight has been lifted.  But I'm still worried about the house.  The pressure to make money.  The pressure to survive on my salary.  The pressure of having to make sure that I don't come home from work and find him in a recliner, covered in bits of popcorn, watching The Price is Right on DVR.

There was a co-worker of his that I didn't like very much whose girlfriend is one of the biggest bitches I've ever met.  Like, bitch in a bad way (there's another co-worker of his is a "bitch" in a good way, as in a completely anti-feminist way of saying that she's assertive and knows how to get what she wants...and when you're a professional female and a mother of four, I'm sure that comes in handy -- hi Katie).  "Does this mean I don't have to see them (not you, Katie, I mean the other two) ever again?" I asked, and he laughed and said yes.

I know this post is very disjointed.  I'm just kind of writing.

And I know it'll be okay.  I worry.  But he's been through worse -- coming home injured from Iraq, getting laid off from two or three jobs right off the bat, dealing with the aftermath brought on by being a veteran.  He's got pretty thick skin, and he's been affected by the economy before... it's just new to me.


Four things that made me feel better

1.  Monday night, we cleaned the crap out of the house.  Still have some catching up to do on laundry, but the house is clean in general.

2.  Working out.  Tonight, more looking death in the face plyometrics.  We tried the ab workout last night after doing an hour of chest and back work, but swinging my torso from the ground to my ankles just wasn't happening.  Also, it made something on the inside of my chest hurt.  Not my heart... I'm thinking a muscle of some sort.  Or maybe my boobs are just getting in the way again -- like they got in the way when I was doing "dive bomber" push ups. 

If you don't know what that is, picture someone in the up position, like before they go down for a push up.  Then picture them suddenly turning into a pelican:  go down nose first, collapse until you're going down chest first, and then nose goes in the air with your arms straightened up.  So, at the end, you kind of look like you're doing the upward facing dog yoga pose, except the look on your face is not from serenity, but terror and pain.  Anyway, so I can't get past the part after where your nose goes down, because the next part is to curve your head up and get your chest down... because my boobs then act as brakes on the floor, and then I do a face-plant into the carpet.

3.  My older niece, who I call "The Bean," and I address her as simply "Bean," wrote me a letter for a class project, and she drew a picture of me and her next to a bonfire.  She obviously holds my appearance in higher regard than I do, because I saw the picture and thought, "Wow, what a tiny waist she gave me!  And my hair never does that!" instead of noticing my amputated forearms and Mom Jeans:
I totally notice that she spent more time on her hair than on mine.  But that's okay.  At least I was able to tell what the drawing was.  I spent years saying, "Awwwww, what a lovely elepha--"  "Walrus."  "--aaalrus!"

As part of her project, I had to answer questions that she wrote me.  Things about my favorite classes, teachers, etc. when I was young.  But she also asked me what was my least favorite thing about being a kid, and I almost put "being bullied," but just in case she had to read it in front of the whole class, I didn't want 20 eight-year-olds feeling sorry for The Bean's wimpy-ass Aunt Susie.  So instead, I wrote that sometimes I had to eat food I didn't like, and now that I can cook for myself, I don't have to eat anything I don't want to.

I also told her that Language was my favorite class in elementary school, because I always loved to read and write.  I then hopped onto a soap box and told her how I had wanted to be a writer since I was a little kid, and now I am a writer, so Bean!  Do something you love! etc.  I left out the part where I wanted to be a novelist when I was a kid and now I'm a technical writer, but she can find out how boring I am when she's older.

4.  I was joking around with some co-workers in the cafeteria this morning, and later I found a tiny, work-made gift basket on my desk with mints and Starbucks hot cocoa mix in it, and a note that read, "Thank you for a good laugh this morning!".  So I feel like I did something today that brightened someone's day.  But I forget what made her laugh.

Background -- me and my brother (left), at a cousin's wedding; my parents' living room 1984:  David holding cousin Jon (of Vintage Union fame), David's sister Janis doing God knows what, my brother holding me.  Foreground -- a bitchin' thank you gift.

The only bad stuff about today is that (1) it's cold; and (2) I keep forgetting I have a cut on my finger, so every time I put on hand sanitizer, I kind of want to stab out my eyes.


I am a child.

1986.  And 2011.
I spent most of the weekend around adorable children or people who have adorable children.  Both Saturday and Sunday, I woke up past noon, hungover and dazed, and then I'd rush to get ready for things I'd agreed to do.  Didn't do laundry, didn't clean the kitchen, didn't work out.  David was home all weekend, but he had a beta invite, so that's where he was. 

Despite the fact that nothing got done this weekend, the fact remains that no matter what I do, it's never enough.  For the house, at work, with money, for my health, for anyone.  And as I stuffed my face with ham and cheese omelettes this morning while thinking about this and being depressed about it, I felt lost and stuck at the same time.  Like everything is whirling around me and I can't grab onto anything -- even time is going by too quickly.  I can't even stop to read a magazine or regain the "cozy" feeling my mom and I identified last night that I used to have when I was a kid, in my fort of pillows and a good book.

Let me back up.  Every single day, I am surrounded by people who can wake up early in the morning, get to work, and yell out, "Hey, good morning everybody!!!!!!!!" and "How was your weekend?!!?!"  Sometimes, they even have a work-out first.  And then, "Here, look at these pictures of [my spouse and 2.5 children/my bathroom renovation that cost an assload of money that we'd actually saved up/my granddaughter, who we named Metallica/an ultrasound/a family vacation to the best place EVAR]," and I'm like, "Oh, yeah, cool, wow," instead of actually saying, "Do you wanna see pictures of my cats?  Oh, you don't LIKE cats?  Well, I don't like your stupid kids."

And maybe I actually do like their stupid kids, but I'm just jealous of the fact that everyone else has kids.  Someone told me once that I hadn't taken the opportunity, and I could've punched her in the throat.  Occasionally, I'll come back to earth -- like yesterday, I briefly came to my senses when a baby I'm not even blood related to farted on my hand.  Somehow it's more bearable when my nieces did that.  But then I went right back to "I wanna have babieeees... like five hundred babies...."  Oddly enough, any time that I've gotten even close to having kids, the thought of it being real freaks me the fuck out.  Everything I've wanted before -- house, job, a wedding -- has always been too much for me to handle once I actually get it. 

How do people grow up, go to work, save money, have kids, take care of the house, stay healthy...?  I can't even handle work and the house.  When I lived alone, my apartments were spotless, but it seems like I upgraded and upgraded to a dwelling that I can't even take care of.  It gets too dirty too fast.  I'm pretty sure I only cooked three times this week, but when I came home last night after pretty much being out of the house all weekend, it looked like something had exploded in there. 

It's just too much house.  Sometimes I can't wait to sell the damn thing and go back to apartments.

So I want to have kids, yet I can't even keep a house clean, even when I'm hardly even there.  I can wash and dry clothes, but somehow they still never make it out of the laundry room (and when I do take them upstairs, they stay in the hamper unless I fold the clothes and put them in drawers).  I can take dirty dishes back to the kitchen, but all they do is sit on the counter.  I want to have kids, but I can't figure out how to save money, and the book on personal finance that David bought for $0.03 is sitting on my nightstand, barely touched (for some reason it's my job to read it).  I want to have kids, but I can barely get myself out of bed if I have fewer than ten hours of sleep.  I want to have kids, yet every single morning for the last year, I have stared up at the same showerhead and thought -- every time -- "Hmmm.  I should take a toothbrush to that thing and scrub off the soap scum."  EVERY SINGLE MORNING FOR A YEAR.  Have I done it yet?  I'll give you two guesses, but you'll only need one.

"Then fucking grow up," you'll say, but I don't fucking know how, and I don't feel like I'm getting any help, either.

Update:  I realized I'd missed an Orkin appointment and noticed a stain on my shirt.  Both happened while the Beck song "Loser" was on the radio.  Can't make this stuff up.


Testing the water, testing my strength

When David ordered the P90X workout system on DVD, I figured I'd join in.  I was an athlete for a long time, and since seeing my slender, muscular 15-year-old self pitching softball in home videos last week, I've longed to get myself back in gear.  If I were to ask Dwight from The Office if he thinks I'm hot, he would probably tell me that I have been declining steadily since the age of 25.

So the DVDs arrived, and we did the fitness test immediately.  I stood with my knees bent, back against the fridge for a minute and six seconds; I did 11 push ups; I stretched my arms three inches past my toes; I did a dozen or so curls with the resistance band.  And then I discovered that I can't do one bloody pull-up. 

I used to do like five at a time, more than once a day, thanks to the bar my dad installed in the garage door.  Every time I walked in or out of that garage, I hopped up and pulled myself up enough for my hair to touch the top of the door frame.  And now, I absolutely suck at it. 

I'm also allergic to jumping jacks.  Can't even do them for thirty seconds at a time. 

So the first day of the P90X "schedule" was focused on chest and back.  Given my aforementioned suckage at pull-ups, this day made me feel inadequate and sad on the inside, but I was able to finish the workout at least by roping a resistance band around our pull-up bar, sitting on the floor with my back to the door, and pulling until my elbows touched the door behind me.  Then we all felt great.

The second day was something called "plyometrics," which comes from the Greek words metric, which of course is "to measure," and plio, meaning the seventh layer of hell "more."  This took place on Wednesday, and it is still difficult for me to walk down a flight of stairs.  I can't even rest my hands or arms on my thighs because they hurt so bad.  Oh -- and thanks to all the squats -- it's hard for me to do any kind of sitting movement.  I have to bend at the waist, aim my butt over the seat, and then -- whoosh -- plop down on it as if I'm falling backward to do a flip.  I'll just say now, this happens everywhere.  Like my car.  Or a toilet.  I can only imagine the faces of any others in the ladies' room when I get into a stall and then groan out, "ahhhhhhhhhhhhh, omigod whoosh [something slamming onto porcelain] ow..."

Yesterday, we did shoulders and arms.  This one was easy for me -- I was on pretty light weights, so I'd be able to do a lot of reps.  That's the key to not being bulky, and my shoulders are too broad as it is.  I want Michelle Obama's arms.  Anyway, so David and our friend Jake were doing the exercises with resistance bands, and while I was speeding through my curls, they both looked like they were about to have coronaries, judging by the labored breathing, red faces, and flop sweat on the floor. 

The one thing that has been taking my focus away this entire time, though, is Tony Horton -- the creator and instructor of P90X.  Yes, he's built, and kinda funny, and explains things well, but I CANNOT stop looking at his face.  Not because it's gorgeous and totally presh, but because it looks like the dude plucks his eyebrows.  At first, I thought maybe he'd had work done on his face because of his cheekbones, which you could set a book on, or maybe he was wearing makeup.  He definitely looks like he's gotten an eye lift. 

Can you believe this dude is in his fifties?

But then I was thinking about his eyebrows in the shower yesterday morning (future self:  please make sure I think about more productive things in the shower, like yardwork or the stock market), and I yelled "A-HA!" so loud that Bellatrix roared at me.  I'd disturbed her morning nap on top of the bathtub.

Tonight, we're taking a break due to our schedules, and we will resume Week 1 on Monday.  I have a massage this afternoon, which should be interesting, given my physical condition.  And David got ANOTHER DAMN BETA INVITE, so I will be sans roommate for the weekend.  Left to my own devices.



Perspective...and how I wish I didn't have any

My friend Eric was talking to me yesterday about how the meaning of things/people is relative depending on where you are.  Literally where, sometimes, and "where" as in "where in life" others.  Every change you make in your life means that some things will become less important, if not nonexistant, and others will take priority.  Maybe that's why you made the change -- to get away from some things, put importance on others, or maybe just find something else that you're able to care about.  (That hits close to home.  Pretty sure that's what my fianc√© did.)

So you work at a company.  The president of that company is a very important person. 

Say that I work at a different company.  I could not care less about the president of your stupid company.

If you change jobs and begin working at my company, that president -- around whom you would be on your best behavior, if not become nervous -- is no longer important to you whatsoever. 

You put so much thought into what that president thought of you -- I should word this email flawlessly.  Am I dressed right for this meeting?  Does he/she care that I'm leaving?  And not even just the president, but the whole company, the internal processes, any friendships, your cubicle.  All that goes on there seems so important.  Things have to be done.  But anyone outside your company doesn't care.  I hear it all the time:  "I'm a realtor for Coldwell Banker," "I'm a photographer for the Journal & Courier," "I teach second grade at East Tipp"... people state their job titles with such importance.  However, I have a pretty intangible job title, at least to anyone who isn't in my industry.  So what happens when someone puffs out his chest and says, "I'm a Strategic Business Unit Leader." 


We have people with that job title in my company and I even had to Google it.

When that person is no longer important to you, where does all that energy go?  Just to some other president whose importance to you is relative to whatever position you hold at the company?

I want to work on not caring so damn much.  That way, if my life ever changes, I won't have to redirect my energy to some other ridiculous thing -- office politics, gossip, my hair.  I'm at the point where I need something more, and I can't get more if I spend all my time giving a shit about what other people think.  I thought that I had already accomplished that years ago, but I find myself pouring into molds that others have made for me, and it's exhausting. 

I want to be silly, funny, and loud without anyone asking me if I've taken my meds.  I want to do different things on weekends instead of sitting in my $8 green chair. 

Which is amazing, but still.

I want to read and write more without being told what to read or how to write.  I want to be able to vent about work without anyone else saying, "No more work talk!  Boooo work talk!" because damn it, I have to fucking vent to someone sometimes, and you're not letting me.  I want to have fun in public or at least around other people in my own house without anyone accusing me of being annoying or not acting my age, because actually, the point of my life is not to be attractive to someone or act like a prude, but the point of my life is to live it the way I want. 

Point is, I'm pretty sick of having to act the way other people want me to act.  Trying to be a "lady" is mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausting, which is why I only really put effort into being ladylike at company events or when I'm in public with people I don't know very well.  If my thong is hanging out of the back of my pants, then OMFG that means I'm just like every other woman in the country who (unintentionally... coinslot girls, I'm not talking to you) has that happen.  When people point out that the phrase is "swear like a sailor," and not in fact "swear like a nice, educated woman," I'd like to point out that the word "fuck" has been around since the 14th Century and was used -- well, wittily, and often -- by Chaucer.  Who's only... you know... the Father of English literature.  Yes, I realize that uneducated people swear too, but some of the best writers use language in a way that invokes feeling... when I swear in my blog or in life it's because I'm trying to get that feeling out, and sometimes, saying "I am so angry" doesn't cut it, but "FUCK!" does. 

The last few weeks have been hard because I've been saying more what's on my mind and acting the way I want -- this leads to tension around those closest to me, because (1) It's been a long time since I've acted like "me," and (2) I suppose I could have warned them first.  People don't expect me to speak up when I don't think something is fair, but now it seems I'm doing it every few minutes -- maybe because people have gotten used to talking down to me, and I had gotten used to either believing it (ugh) or keeping my mouth shut.

Now I just have to get past some of the fear I still have about piping up.  Mostly I'm afraid to do this at work, but I'm also afraid to do this in my personal life because it's just so much easier when people aren't mad at me.  For some reason, most of the people I know enter the Twilight Zone when they're mad, and there is absolutely no reasoning with them.  I have to practically document every single thing before starting a discussion on something, because I'll get lost among the fast-talking angry people before I even know what we're arguing about.  Even if I do get my point across, what are the chances that things will change?