Thursday, December 28, 2006

Thundersnow

I can't believe it. It's happening again. They're estimating this storm to be even worse than last week b/c then the snow was fluffy and light, and now it's wet, heavy snow. Awesome. Roads are closing, the airport is shutting down, shelters are popping up everywhere, blahblahblah.

So my office closed down again today and will remain closed tomorrow, which normally would make me giggle and click my heels, but I have! cabin fever!!!

Yes, I stocked up on food and my car is in the covered garage, but I CANNOT LEAVE.

The cool thing is the news just said the front range is getting "thundersnow", which they described as just like a thunderstorm except instead of rain, it's snow. How cool would that be??? I hope I get me some of that. It would be weirdly unsettling, to hear big claps of thunder and then the silence of snow falling.

I'll keep you posted. There probably won't be any more snow pics, though, because you know - you've seen one blizzard, you've seen em all.

sigh.

Love! Winter! Still!
Not drunk!

dRunK bLogGing roX

Thank you, Tamara. Thank you for leaving behind half a bottle of Pinot. Because today? Sucked. Without going into all the nit-picky details of how my day sucked, let me just say that here is the icing on the cake, people: Tomorrow, we are expected to have a storm that might EQUAL OR SURPASS the storm last week. Yeah, the one that left us trapped in our houses for days, turning our brains to mush and our vehicles to mud-covered not-new-anymore messes on wheels.

did I mention i was a little drunk? It's about damn time. well, except for Christmas Eve with the Dupuy's... that was kind of drunk too. But you know, I have to say Pinot is a lot smoother than Beaujolais (major sp - sorry, drunk).

anyway. going to bed now, fully expecting to wake up to not a winter wonderland, but a nice pretty layer of snow over the 10-feet-high piles of black snow in every parking lot as far as the eye can see. Good times.

I love colorado! I still do!

drujnk.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Snug

Today I am recovering from the holidays and preparing to go back to work tomorrow - a week after the blizzard. I finally uploaded some pictures to share. Behold. Jess embraces the lovesac:


Evidence that Jess went out on the balcony to check out the white stuff, then performed a quick about-face and came back inside:


View from my living room:


And finally, One Happy Cat by the Fire:


More good stuff to come...

Friday, December 22, 2006

Cabin fever

So I'm not *quite* ready to gnaw off my own arm to escape, but I'm getting close. My office was closed again today and will be closed tomorrow, as well -- the streets probably won't be clear until after the weekend. So this working from home thing... while nice sometimes, I've decided I would go batshit crazee if I never had the office interaction. I was actually DISAPPOINTED to find out that work was cancelled again tomorrow. Not that I'm not working; and therein lies the other problem. I can't turn it off when I'm working at home all day. It is almost 1am and I am still checking my work email -- and still getting messages. It seems I'm not the only crazy person on a weird schedule due to days of weirdness.

I'm not having nearly as much fun in the snow as my sis down in S. Denver -- they spent the day shoveling tunnels through the cul-de-sac so they could walk around and the kids could build huge snow structures with the piled snow. Um, apartments suck in situations like this -- we're all just bundled into our little pods, alone and b-o-r-e-d. sigh.

Jess is slowly turning from grey to black from sleeping in front of the fire going on 36 hours now. Piper has made a dent in the laundry pile on my bed and is somewhere in there. I am camped on the couch, close to the tv, the kitchen, and the laptop.

So nothing exciting going on, just more being trapped in the house. I might see if I can get out a little tomorrow, if the apt. complex has plowed the roads a bit. I have my new AWD vehicle and while not magic, it will be great driving in this type of weather. But let me emphasize again, not magic. Six-feet-tall snow drifts? Um, no. I'll wait it out, thank you very much.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Blizzard.

As I feel a veritable blizzard of emotions... HA! You thought I was going to be all serious again! But, no.

One word, people: Blizzard. As in, SNOW. As in, almost 24 hours now and still going strong. At least two feet. Everything closed down, including the highways and the airport; the mall, across the street from where I live? Being used as a shelter for stranded motorists. Abandoned cars all up and down the roads. The governor has declared a state of emergency. Yee-hawww, it's ChristmasTime!!!

I am thoroughly enjoying the storm. I am snug in my apartment with a fireplace and two cuddly cats. I have spent the day in my nest working on my laptop and staring out the windows. I am fine on food, so the only thing bugging me at this point is -- damn, I'm bored. But in a good way... Looks like tomorrow is going to be like today, maybe worse since it's not going to get above freezing or stop snowing for another day or so.

My spirit will not be broken -- I still love Colorado. And damn, nothing like a metaphorical slate being wiped metaphorically clean by a 48-hour BLIZZARD..........

Monday, December 18, 2006

Hollow

I ache. In my center, in my throat, in the back of my head. The ache of suppressed feelings, of just trying to get through the day. And yet, this is so insignificant in the face of so many other things. I think about how it felt to lose someone I really, truly loved. And as much as that hurt, I wanted that person to be happy, so that brought me some peace. In this case, I can think nothing but venomous thoughts, rage coursing through my veins, an ache in my throat becoming almost unbearable until some of it leaks out and rolls slowly, hotly, down my cheeks – then I can be calm again. Until the next song, the next movie, the next flashback memory. Some not so long ago. But still, it is not a broken heart. It is simply a sadness. More wasted time. More damage from which to recover, more baggage to lug. So much fucking baggage. I should be svelte from lugging all that shit around.

So I cuss, and I deny, and I suppress, and I fervently write angry unsendable emails to release venom and maintain my appearance of cool. To get through the day.

I think more than the actual facts, what’s hurting me are the other memories that are flooding back. Past broken hearts, broken for real. Shattered and taped back together, only to be shattered again – that’s my heart. This is merely bruising, not the real thing. And although bruises hurt, too, I don’t think your heart can ever hurt as much as it can at 18, when you’re desperately in love with someone who has to go away, someone who comes back different, no longer alone. What they say about first love is so true. I will never be that vulnerable again. Only once can someone be so na├»ve and open as to allow themselves to hurt that much. Only the young, only that first time.

Now I’m grizzled, with duct tape holding my heart together. Having lived through several false loves and one true love, then falling into the rut of a barren, hollow love. I’ve never been good with endings. I like to always have a glimmer of “what if” hanging out there, but sometimes shit happens and you know that that glimmer is truly gone, gone for good. That is the hardest thing for me. Finality.

I’ve been reading a blog since November, written by a young father whose young, healthy wife became suddenly ill and was dead within 5 days – and they still don’t know why. Reading through his process, his grief, his shock, the phases of his acceptance, it is amazing. Simply amazing. I am so aware that I have not lost, not really. This man began blogging for himself, to prevent himself from exploding (and I sure do know about THAT), and he has gained so much support he never expected, never dreamed of. He has touched so many lives in the telling of his story. In the face of his loss and the loss of his children, I feel blessed. I really do.

Blessed and angry.
Sad and relieved.

Finally.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

uncomfortably numb

The more it sinks in, the less I am aware of taking air into my lungs. When she first told me, I was oddly ambivalent. I felt nothing but curiosity. But an hour later, it hit me like a ton of bricks: once again, I had been passed over in favor of someone else. This has happened before. More than once. No matter what rational thoughts I might have had initially, right now all I can think of is how unlovable I must be. Because, seriously. Did I love him? No. Did I think we had a future? Not since 2001, no. But does it hurt that in the two months since I’ve last spoken to him, he’s managed to knock up his ex-girlfriend and propose to her? Why yes, yes it does.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Just let me be

For the past month or so, I've been absorbed in my work, nesting into my apartment, hating my car, sparking my cats -- living life in Colorado. I've been so absorbed, actually, that I've lost track of time and did you know I've been here almost four months??? I know. Me too.

I've been feeling what I can only describe as "meh" lately. It's been bugging me, and I've been trying to figure out what's wrong. Then today I had an epiphany -- nothing is wrong. That's IT. For the first time in many years, I am right where I want to be, doing exactly what I want to do at this moment. It could all change next week, or 10 years from now, who knows. But for right this moment, I am -- dare I say -- content. Only I could mistake content for meh.

So here's the thing, people: I don't know what to do with myself. I can't just relax and be happy because I never have and I don't know how. Aren't I supposed to be striving toward something? Always looking to upgrade my life, whether it's a job, a house, a car, even a state? I don't. know. what. to. do. omg.

Why is it so hard to just be? Why do I feel like I should be doing this, or trying to do that, trying to improve in some way. Improve the contents of my refrigerator, improve my purse, improve my hair. But isn't it okay, sometimes, to just ... stop and relax for a bit? Take some time to sit down and enjoy the view? I've realized that the only person pushing me to feel something or be something different is myself.

I do of course have long-term goals. But for now? I'm going to try and settle into this new life I've begun for myself. The only thing that could make it better right now, besides coercing all the people I love to move to Denver? A cruise. Right. Now. A cruise would be good --- although -- is that not what I'm doing?

Weird things happen when it’s cold.

What kinds of weird things? Well, things like:

• Massive amounts of static electricity, whenever/whatever I touch, including the cats. I pet Piper when I got up during the night the other night and it looked like fireflies were scurrying around under her fur, with all the sparks that were flying. Question: Can a kitty catch fire from the sparks caused by static electricity? I need to find out. Could be bad. Also, the cats can do it themselves; I’ve seen them bump wet noses only to hear a “pop” before they both lurch backwards. Poor babies.

• Previously creamy and dewy skin turning into scales.

• Three-year-old, previously reliable cars refusing to start. And requiring two new batteries in the past two months.

• Former shop-a-holics wanting to rush straight home after work (it gets dark at 4:30 here), not even wanting to run a single errand -- just anxious to get home and into fleece.

So, yeah. But! Despite all, I am loving the weather. You know you’re in the right place when hearing the words, “BIG warm-up later this week – highs in the 50s!” on the morning news makes you unspeakably giddy. Also, when it’s 30 degrees outside and you don’t wear a coat – not because you’re impaired, but because it simply doesn’t feel THAT cold to you – in fact, it feels comfortable. And now that you think about it, you realize that the heat blowing inside your office is making you sweat and you kind of hate it.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Stress in its purest form: 700 words and thick ice.

The pace of today has been on par with the slippery-ness of the ice packed down on the sidewalks and less-traveled roads (e.g. my route to work). It snowed yesterday, and while the news reported my area got 4 1/2 inches, I beg to differ; I set my coke can down on someone’s snowy hood, to see how deep it was, and it sank well below the snow level until I had to dig it out again. So, deep. I love it, except for the ice part; this is the first time this season that it’s snowed and then stayed below freezing for more than a day. Yesterday the high was something like 15. No worries, I worked from home in front of the fire, but today was almost worse, though the main roads have been cleared. At least my car thought so; it is dead again. The brand new battery I bought about six weeks ago is completely out of juice, for whatever reason. I’ve about had it. I might get the dealer to replace it and then go trade the whole car in for something new and shiny. Something with AWD, that won’t slip around as much on ice-packed snow. Something that smells pretty and makes my heart beat faster every morning when I slide inside and buckle up. Oh, the thrill of my 7-minute commute, in a new car. It is going to ROCK.

Anyway… I didn’t have time to deal with the dead car today as AAA was backed up, and I’m off tomorrow anyway, so I bummed a ride to work, as I will home, and will deal with it tomorrow. In the meantime, between now (4:00pm) and the morning, I have a 4-page brochure to write. Yes. Thus my comment about the pace. The prospect is making my stomach hurt, but I tend to work well under extreme pressure, so Pulitzer baby, HERE I COME!!! Haha! Ha. ha…

Jess has spent an unhealthy amount of time stretched out two inches from the fire, all four feet touching the hot metal grate, tail lazily flicking as his insides slowly bake to a crisp. Crispy kitty.

that is all.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

post (and pre?) holiday blues

I'm trying to determine where my Sunday night went wrong. Although I guess given the circumstances, it was doomed -- last day of 4-day weekend and all. But my Sunday in general was good; very relaxing, semi-productive around the house, recharging after the holiday and such; but I've figured it out. What went wrong was Brokeback Mountain. Yeah, i finally caught it on HBO and man was it depressing. I don't even know that I liked it that much or understand why Heath Ledger got nominated for best actor (did he win?); it was simply haunting, tragic, and depressing. Bleah. Everything has been downhill from there.

Like what, you ask? Like my discovery of the unopened jar of roasted peanuts in the pantry, the one I bought for my dad and meant to take to my sister's. But forgot. That one. Also, too much Crystal Light? Is not a good thing. It is NOT the same as water, people. I'll leave it at that. TV has also sucked tonight. After the incredible Brokeback downer, an episode of the shockingly violent and raw series "The Wire" came on HBO. If you've never seen it? Make sure you're in a darn good mood when you do. But a good mood you're perhaps annoyed with, and ready to squelch. Then, knock yourself out.

All of this to say I am more bummed than usual on a Sunday night. It's the end of a 4-day weekend, the gorge-fest that was Thanksgiving, spending time with family, sleeping in for a few days, and now...back to normal. EXCEPT. Except for that pesky day coming up where you buy all the gifts? That one. Yes, that one. We're in the homestretch, the super-sonic-fast-crazy-stressful last month leading up to one single day that will surely be anticlimactic. It has been since I stopped believing in Santa. And did I mention that I don't get to go home this year?

However. I did put up a tiny tree today, decorating it with some ornaments I've collected over the past couple of years and forgot about since I've been Scrooge for, oh, three years now. So yeah, it's only 4-feet high and I give it maybe half a day of unsupervision before the cats eat it, but still.

fa-la-la-la-la
lala
la
la.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

all about nothing

As I sit in my nest, halfway watching Intervention, taking more pictures of Jess I will not get around to downloading or uploading, my fireplace on and my window cracked, suddenly and unexpectedly the fragrance of fried chicken wafts seductively into the room. It takes me a few minutes to identify the sweetness, and then it starts: the foreign craving for fried chicken. I can honestly say I have not had fried chicken in years. I don't know how many years. But suddenly, I totally want it. Now.

Awww look, the meth head just agreed to go to treatment.

But back to the fried chicken. Holy CRAP did that smell good. I am really looking forward to Thanksgiving tomorrow at my sister’s house; my parents are in town and my sis and her husband are going to cook a delightful Thanksgiving spread for us. What this means to me, besides family bonding time, is REAL FOOD. Oh, how I miss real food. The only time I get it is at sistah's, and thank you very much sistah! I don’t cook, and I have yet to find anywhere really good to eat around here. So I survive on Lean Cuisines, soup, sandwiches, and other random odds and ends I pull from my cupboard. Yeah, and sometimes, um, pizza. And noodles. And.........never mind.
shut up.

So here we go again, deep into a blog post that started off with a point and has now degenerated into boring muck. Why does this keep happening lately??

Rather than prattle on, I'm going to end it. Why beat a dead horse? Not tonight, anyway. Happy Thanksgiving ---- wait-----------we're at the END of November????????

Whoa.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

I find I’m flakier in Colorado

Now I know my Texas friends are all like, “HUH? Is that possible? You mean she bails on even more HHs and parties there than here???” Um, no. I mean literally flaky. As in, my skin falls off in delicate little flakes.

(Note: This is a beauty product post, so my thousands of male readers might want to stop here.)

My sister warned me this would happen. You see, I’ve never been a lotion-all-over-my-body person; I only put lotion on my feet, at night, before I go to sleep. I don’t know, shut up. Anyway, in Austin it was so humid all the time that I had no need to add more moisture to myself. But finally, halfway into November in CO, my arms itch. And my legs. And my back. And it’s freaking me out. Here’s the thing – I am far too lazy to lotion up my whole self. It’s just a lot of work, and then my hands are all wrinkly and over-moisturized. So I’m adjusting. There must be a better, more methodical way to get the job done than what I’m doing. It would probably also be more pleasant if I shaved my legs, but that’s neither here nor there.

So the good news is, I’m finally using up all the frilly lotions I’ve accumulated over the past two or so years of my beauty-product obsession. So that’s good. The bad news is, I’ve naturally become more high-maintenance just by moving here. BUT … the reduction in bad hair days ALMOST evens it out. ALMOST.

In other beauty news, I just discovered that Secret has a deodorant scent called “Sparkling Vanilla,” and no, it doesn’t affix glitter to your armpits. However, it smells much lovelier than your average floral/”fresh” scented deodorant.

That is all the girly-ness for today, I believe.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Chia-licious

Y'all, the chia is out of control. Check it:


It makes me sad that the chia instruction booklet says they only live about 4 weeks. Two more to go...

So it's Saturday and I'm sitting on my couch working. That's right, working. And thank God i'm on my couch, because yesterday I thought my laptop was broken and I so would have hated having to sit at my desk. Something about a desk screams "WORK" whereas if i'm lounging on the couch working, I can pretend I'm not. IS ANYONE FOOLED? I didn't think so.

It's cold today, and I like it. Jess is wheezing in front of the fire. A&E is muted on the TV. There's half a slice of cake in the fridge. And life is ... okay. Not GREAT, or I wouldn't be working on a Saturday, instead of with my friends in Austin. But still -- I see mountains out my window and it makes me feel a little better.

More to come... if anything interesting ever happens, that is... ;)

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I miss my friends.

It's late, and I'm tired, and CO is going to have a Democrat Governor -- wooooo! But I can't stop feeling sad about this weekend. Because this weekend, you see, I have been scheduled to visit Austin and see all my peeps. And this weekend, instead I will be staying here, paying a penalty for changing a plane ticket,and most likely working. So, I am very sad. I am craving good Mexican food and margaritas and the smiles of the people I love. sniffle. sniffle.

In lieu of my trip to Austin, I am finally going to post some of the great pics from my going-away Happy Hour that I never got around to posting before. I present to you, my friends:

Anita and Babs


Hope and Tamara

There are more, but blogger crashes if I post more than a couple photos at a time, so they'll have to wait. I can't believe I've been here three months now. CRAZY.

Anyway, I will be going to Austin soon, but not this weekend. So to all my friends back home, please have a margarita for me, ok?? EACH of you, ok? Have a good ole TX margarita buzz for me...

And know that I miss you terribly.

What a difference a day makes...

...in the life of a CHIA, that is!! Behold, 24 hours after the one I posted yesterday:

I'm SO going to win :)

Monday, November 06, 2006

how do you explain the concept of divorce to a 6-year-old?

Well, as it turns out, you don't.

Last night I had dinner at my nephews' house, and somewhere between the drinks and the main course my 6-year-old nephew asked me
Aunt Lisa, how come you're not married?

Everyone froze for a moment, then my sister began explaining that not everyone gets married, some people are happy to be alone, etc etc. Now being silly, he came back with
But Aunt Lisa, have you ever married a lion? Or a bat? Or a reptile?

and I answered him truthfully:
Well, I did marry a snake once...

He seemed satisfied with that.

Larva sprouts send team into fits of ecstasy

So I’m growing a pet chia dinosaur. But wait – it’s not just me; my whole row of cubes at work is having a chia contest! Yes! There are 6 of us participating, and amazingly, we all ended up with different chias. I have the Dino, but there is also a Scooby-Doo, a Mad Scientist head, a Donkey, a Hippo and a Cow. We spread our seeds (hehehe) last Tuesday and by last Friday they had started sprouting – we finally determined that’s what the white-rice/larva-looking things were sticking off the clay – and by today, after a weekend away, there was CHIA MAGIC. Today we came in to a sea of green leaves!! It’s all very exciting, considering I can’t grow a damn thing except ivy, historically. And chias are deceptively high maintenance, if you didn’t know. I didn’t. In any event, mine is doing well, as evidenced here:



Other people are doing fancy things like bringing in grow lights and “green housing” their chias overnight with plastic bags – but I’m proud to say I’m going natural and so far so good.

Did I mention we’re in the high-tech industry? Does that explain a lot?

Anyway, I know that was uber compelling, but I’ve really been struggling with my bog lately, so that’s all I can give you for now... sit tight for REAL-TIME chia updates.

Monday, October 30, 2006

possibilities...

I am not frazzled today, for the first time in over a week. This is a good thing. Last week, when I was trying to do ten hundred frillion different projects and run to 40 gajillion meetings and run 890 trilgazillion errands, I remember the thought briefly crossing my mind that damn, I could sure use a clone. Why are we so opposed to cloning, again? Besides the innate creepiness and the frightening possibilities of life-gone-wrong, I mean? Come on now. Couldn’t you use a clone of yourself?

If I had a clone, I’d totally give it all the shit work while I’d go travel the world. Just think – as quickly as the clone could earn money, I could spend it! I wouldn’t even have to wait till the weekends! Or work around vacation time! On other days, I’d leave the clone at home to clean. Really scrub. Hell, I’d have the clone wash the cats.

The possibilities are endless. I could take the clone shopping with me, because I love shopping, but I’d make it try on all the clothes, so I could be forever spared from the harsh, unforgiving lights of the dressing room and the demoralization that comes from stuffing your body into stretch jeans that are STILL too tight. I would always have a designated driver. In fact, I could make it drive me everywhere, all the time! And at night, while I slept, I’d make the clone get a second job on the night shift. Just for extra spending money, you know. For all the traveling.

I would sign the clone up for eHarmony so it could weed through all the weirdo losers, and then I’d step in when it found someone worthy. Just think of it – no more bad dates, ever again. Kick. Ass. And if I did settle down and have a baby someday, the clone could totally babysit and do all the night feedings, too!

Bring it on, mad scientists of the world, bring it on.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

CO photo array

Tonight I finally FINALLY downloaded the pics of CO I've taken on my camera in the past few weeks. So in lieu of a deep and meaningful post, instead, I present you with my photo array.
First is the first snowstorm of the season. I say "first" because there have been THREE!!! This one was a couple of weeks ago, and it was my first real snow since I was 11. The photos are taken from my apartment balcony.




Now, here's a pic of the giant snowstorm we had last Thursday - 18 inches or so - my sistah posted pics of their antics on the big day. I stayed indoors and took pics instead...

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

singletons unite

Today I was reading this fish, and I stumbled upon this excerpt, referring to how she wished she could respond when people ask her why she is in her 30s and still single:

Well, because! Because I have unrealistic expectations. Because I really, really like myself just exactly this way. Because when I’m single I’m funny and rambunctious and relaxed. Because love makes me anxious and worried about losing things and having been there just too many times, the idea of loving anyone or anything more than my idiot cat absolutely terrifies me. That’s how come!

OMG. She totally stole that out of my brain, only I’ve never verbalized it so clearly. I read that and just…stopped. She’s exactly right. That is how I feel.

At first I felt such an utter sense of relief that I am not the only one. Followed by a swift, crippling sadness. Then that faded right back to relief at my simple, selfish, carefree life. I am not sad, not really; I know I will let someone in when I’m "good damn and ready", as my friend Christine used to say…

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Seasonal update

I know, I know, it probably seems like months since I updated. But I've been very busy, people; I mean, what with THE SNOW and all!!! :) :) :)

Yes, now that I'm in Colorado I'm one of those annoying Texans who flips out in giddy, childlike excitement at the first flutter of snow, who embraces the bone-chilling cold and in fact stubornly refuses to don a coat -- because I enjoy the cold over the heat of Texas JUST THAT MUCH.

It actually started snowing while I was at work Tuesday, very slowly in the morning, then picking up speed as the day progressed until it culminated in a snowy storm that gave us 4-5 inches. Yay! Anyway, you can clearly tell who has lived in CO their whole lives and who the TX transplants are. Us Texas exes were pressed up against the glass all day, staring out in rapt fascinationg at the pretty flakes! Look at them! See how they fall! From the sky! and the CO-natives were all hunched at their desks, grumbling about ice and traffic and plants and stupid things like that. And to that I say, embrace the magic, people! Snow ROCKS!!!

I have more pics on my other camera, which I will post in a timely manner (I promise), but for now I present to you my car about halfway through the storm. (Actually, it's a photo of my car after I'd driven home and parked in my apt parking garage. So that's why it's not COMPLETELY covered...):


I'm serious, y'all. If I could marry a snowman I totally would.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Welcome to my imaginary world.

I knew I wanted to be a writer soon after I discovered the wonder of reading. I read my first “thick” book, on my own, in 2nd grade. It was called Otis Spofford, by Beverly Cleary. Of course all her other books followed: the Beezus and Ramona series, the Mouse and the Motorcycle, Henry Huggins. Then I moved on to Lord of the Rings, the Chronicles of Narnia, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Roald Dahl, and eventually, Judy Blume. I giddily looked forward to those book clubs from which you could order books in elementary school (do they still do that, btw??). Reading opened up a whole new world for me, an exciting world where I could escape from the everyday monotony of being a kid in the 70s. On a military base. In Kansas. With a little brother who drove me up the wall and beyond.

I read so much that it was messing with my pronunciation. I knew what words meant, in context, but I’d never heard them spoken, so I’d pronounce them all wonky, much to my parents’ amusement. Example: I can’t tell you how utterly crushed I was to find out that a book I had read about a magical island (it was something about a dragon and an island and I’ve been searching Amazon but can’t find it) was just an “eye-land” and not an “izz-land”, which in my head was a magical, mystical place. I was devastated. The book was ruined for me. There was another time when I breezily referred to heredity at the dinner table and couldn’t understand why my mom was snorting – I had pronounced it “herra-ditty”.

I got my own bedroom for the first time when I was in 4th grade. My dad let me move into his office in the basement, the one he built when we moved into the tiny duplex on base. I slept on a fold-out couch with a “sump pump” in the corner, but I didn’t even care because I COULD READ ALL DAY LONG AND NO ONE WOULD INTERRUPT ME. Also, since I now slept in the basement with no windows, I could sleep late on the weekends without the light waking me up. Yes, my habits started early. Shut up.

My summers in Kansas were spent reading novel after novel in the basement and then riding my bike to the library with my BFF Meredith once or twice a week to load up on new books. I probably read 4-5 books a week, seriously. I always gravitated to fiction, and that is where I remain to this day. I know lots of people who diligently read self-help books or how-to books or educational books – but I’ve never been able to get that into anything but fiction because reading anything else reminds me of required reading in college. Which I hated. It’s the rebellious streak in me, I suppose. I can’t get into most nonfiction, no matter how hard I try. I just don’t enjoy it and it takes me for. ev. ah. to finish. And if I’m going to tax my tired eyes at night with more reading (beyond the computer all day long) I’m going to read something fun, something that helps me escape. The one exception to the nonfiction rule is the memoir – for some reason I love reading about other people’s fucked up childhoods. Go figure.

I enjoy books way more than movies. I’ve never been one of those people who has seen every cool movie that comes out – I usually catch it later on TV or HBO and don’t feel I’ve missed that much. The book was probably better anyway. Movies are an escape, don’t get me wrong, but an escape that only lasts a couple of hours. A book can get you into your imagination for days, even weeks at a time. I’ve never understood people who don’t enjoy reading. I just don’t get it. You can go anywhere in the world and beyond! You can experience everything! How utterly freeing! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve finished a good book and felt such a sense of loss that the funk hangs on for a couple of days, as I’m depressed to no longer be a part of that world. Until I find the next one…and there is always another world to explore, another story to tell.

All of this to say, I have always known I wanted to write. I wrote my first “book” when I was in 5th grade, and it was a very detailed science fiction story that I can still picture very clearly in my head. I’m quite confident my mom has it somewhere in the attic… I went through the bad poetry phase in high school, and then got more serious in college. I used to think I wasn’t old enough to write a novel because I hadn’t done enough. Today I realize I’m 36 and damn, I probably have stuff to say, stories to tell. So what have I done about it? Well, almost two years ago I started this blog thingie...

...to be continued...

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Exploring Colorado: Chapter 2

This past weekend was an interesting one. I got up early on Saturday to get a massage. Which – yay! On my way home afterwards, I was hungry and passed a Denny’s-type breakfast place – so I stopped and had breakfast. Alone. And didn’t even feel too self conscious. Then I went home and took a nap, which is fortunate because I didn’t yet know the plans that had been put into motion for that night… bwa ha ha ha ha!!!

But seriously. My friend K got us tickets to see a play downtown – downtown Denver, which I had not seen yet and had been dying to explore! An actor she worked with on a video recently was in the play. She also invited a long-ago friend of hers living in Denver, and he then invited us to the Grand Opening of the new wing of the Denver Art Museum – at midnight!!! (theme: exclamation points). The deal is, the tickets were free, but people had to stand in line to get them last week and they were for specific time slots – the museum was open for something like 35 hours straight. So ours was at midnight. He just happened to have two extras. We joked that we wouldn’t be home til 3, ha ha ha! Um…we weren’t.

So the play was really really good. And those of you who know me well know that I’m not usually a live production type of person – watching people perform, live, gives me a stomachache. I think it’s because I project how I would feel in that situation onto them – and I cringe if there is even the slightest mistake. I know – freak. But anyway, it was funny and interesting. After the play, we still had three hours to kill until midnight so we stayed for the (prepare yourselves) comedy improv group that performed after the play. Now – I typically hate live comedy. Same reason as above, except add to that the extreme discomfort if they’re not funny. But – it was really funny and entertaining and an all-around good time. We then had two hours left, so we went to a bar called Hamburger Mary’s and chatted until it was time for the museum.

The museum. It was awesome. It has received a lot of attention for its unusual and famously-designed architecture, which while somewhat impractical, was very stunning to look at. And it was also surreal being in a packed museum at midnight! There were soooo many people there, and some good people watching too. I definitely got a glimpse into the hip side of Denver. The first exhibit we saw was my favorite, but we spent about 2 ½ hours exploring before heading home for the night. Arriving at my doorstep at 3am.

Sunday was a complete loss, but so worth it. Finally, I have seen downtown! I have ventured out of my comfort zone of North Denver/Boulder! I have seen a museum in a new city!

So there you go.

Friday, October 06, 2006

frolicking salamanders

This pretty much sums up my Friday:



What you're looking at, folks, is two gummy* salamanders getting frisky by the glow of the iPod.

I'm so glad this week is almost...ovah.........


*gummy - yes, as in edible

Monday, October 02, 2006

Excuse me while I dust myself off after my fall from the face of the earth...

Um, yeah. So I haven't posted in a while. It's not that I have had nothing to say, I've just been ... preoccupied, and too busy to say it! Even now, I can't think of a quick way to sum up the past couple of weeks except through my favorite format, a LIST! I know, choke back your excitement. In the past two weeks, I have:

- entertained the lovely Hope, who visited me from Austin
- replaced the battery in my car
- bought a lovesac


(yeah, that's me on it -- doesn't Colorado look good on me?? riiiiiggghhhttt......)

- been swallowed by said lovesac
- hung pictures in my apartment - finally!
- babysat my nephews
- hosted my sistah for a girl's night
- discovered the wonders of HBO On Demand

So I've been somewhat busy. But still, I apologize for my absence. Sadly, I've got nothing else to share at the moment, except that YAY, Monday's over! More soon....don't worry, i'll think of something...

Monday, September 18, 2006

Exploring Colorado: Chapter 1

On Sunday, we had the most perfect. weather. evah. It was in the 40s in the morning and only reached maybe 60 all day long! Perfect for sunbathing? No. But for hiking? Oh yeah baby. So I got up early (yes! on a Sunday!) and me and my friend Kirby drove up to Boulder (about 15 minutes -- because WE LIVE HERE AND IT ROCKS) and went for a several-hour-long hike. I'm probably going to spell this wrong, but the park is called Chautauqua and has tons of trails; we picked one that was supposed to be easy.

Um. Maybe for someone who can actually breathe the CO air, perhaps; but for me? Still adjusting to the altitude and out-of-shape to boot? Let's just say it was a bit...challenging... But Kirby was very patient with me and took lots of pics every 2 minutes when I had to stop, gasping for breath. I will now post some of the pics. And please note the hella blue sky... that ain't no Texas sky, my friends :)


Before the hike: hopeful; naive


After 5 minutes of hiking at a slight incline







The rest of those are views of the Flatirons (which I can also see from my apartment) and then me and Kirby sitting in these stone chairs someone built up at the top. Also, I learned today, upon bragging to someone at work that I went to the "mountains" this weekend, that "those aren't the mountains; those are hills". Um. To this Texas girl? THEY'RE MOUNTAINS.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

finding me again

When I was going through much self-revelation years ago (with the help of a talented therapist), I was encouraged to think about my childhood in a more analytical way. Interestingly, I had never spent a lot of time dwelling on any particular childhood memory. It was really hard at first; I couldn’t remember much of anything. But the more I thought about it, the more things would come back to me.

I’d remember roller skating in those barbaric metal skates that strapped to your sneakers, careening at a frightening speed down the bumpy sidewalk hill that skimmed the edge of the courtyards on Pick Avenue. I vividly remembered the exhilaration I’d felt, the excitement at the risk involved, and the trust I somehow had in myself not to fall. I can close my eyes and feel it even now. I can feel my knobby kid-knees absorbing the bumps, the cracks in the sidewalk, as I continue to gain speed. Would I do that again now? No way. What is the difference, I wonder? Well for one thing I haven’t skated in years. But more than that, I don’t trust my body anymore, I don’t trust my balance. Nor do I have the nerve to let the wind blow through my hair as I squint into the sunshine, bending my knees slightly as I fly down a hill. I am afraid. Hmm, I thought as an adult, interesting.

The roller-skating memory led me to a memory of a parade the neighborhood kids tried to put on, in the same neighborhood during the same time period. The details in my mind are sketchy, but it involved a wagon and the same bumpy sidewalk. Maybe a tape recorder playing tinny Olivia Newton John tunes. Costumes. But mostly, the excitement of planning it. Gathering the kids together, figuring out who would do what, alerting the adults to watch…but oddly, I don’t remember the outcome. The actual parade is not part of my memory. It seems it didn’t turn out as cool as we had anticipated, but what ever does? As an adult, I am curious about that excitement I felt in planning to entertain. Being part of a group, even being a leader. Wanting to impress the adults. Wanting to perform. Nowadays, I hyperventilate at the thought of giving a presentation – what happened to that exhibitionist child prancing about in Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas?

When I was a girl I climbed trees. I didn’t mind getting bumped and scraped, I wasn’t afraid of heights; in fact, I thrived on the dizziness the higher I got. I can remember being high, high up in the air, clinging to a scratchy branch, heart pounding, grinning down at my sister triumphantly. I gave no thought to the scary bugs that live in trees (although I may have been mildly on the lookout for spiders [shudder]); there was no worry of falling, not really. But now, I get woozy at any height. I can’t look over my own balcony without feeling an alarming sense of vertigo. Where did my fearlessness go?

It goes on and on like this. It baffles me that these images and feelings are still so clear in my head, but I can’t fathom being comfortable again with the risk, the exhilaration, the giddy fear, the butterflies in my stomach.

What I’ve been thinking about is, when and why do we lose that childhood sense of self? If I really think about it, I can say that it was 7th grade when I started thinking of myself as inferior to other “cooler” people. Not that I didn’t have angst in 6th grade, but we moved from Kansas to Texas between 6th and 7th, and there was quite a difference between 12-year-olds in the two states. I remember how shocked I was that girls my age in Texas carried purses and wore makeup. I was sort of thrown into the shark-infested waters of middle school with no transitional period — I didn’t have the slightest idea of the adolescent brutality I was in for. I had never heard of designer jeans until it was too late and I didn’t have any. I still had goober glasses. Etc. I don’t think I climbed trees anymore after we moved to Texas. I became more concerned with my feathered bangs and the (wrong) emblem on my shirt. I started comparing myself to others and coming up short.

I really miss the carefree days I had as a child. I miss trusting myself, knowing my body won’t fail me, feeling confident enough to actually seek out attention. I miss climbing high into the green branches and peering down at everyone else, as if I have a secret that no one else shares. I miss feeling that not only am I good enough, but in fact I’m pretty darn great.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

thinking inside the box...

I had a good weekend – very productive in the settling-in department. Sunday my sis and the boyz (including my BIL) came over and helped me do some things –- my BIL, who’s a SUPAHSTAH, hung my dresser mirror and reassembled my desk – so yay! I have a working desk now! And I can see myself in the mirror! Yes. He also helped us dispose of more empty boxes – remember how I said a few weeks ago, Nic and I experimented with dropping boxes from my 4th-floor balcony? Rather than carrying them down the 8 flights of stairs? And the loud gunshot noise? Well, we tried this again, only this time…my BIL insisted on catching them. As in, he stood on the ground below my balcony and Nic and I threw box after giant box overboard and watched as he caught them and threw them away. It went pretty well until the last box, but it was a doozy. Nonetheless, everyone (even my BIL) agreed it was MUCH better than carrying them down one by one. (for those of you wondering why I don’t just break down the boxes, I do when I can – but we’re talking about pounds and pounds of wrapping paper stuffed into each box, and it’s not worth the effort to try and get all the reams of wasted paper in a bag separately… trust me on this. Sunday I unpacked the next-to-last kitchen box, which was about as tall as my waist; inside this heavy, jam-packed-w-paper box? Six drinking glasses, a vase, and salt and pepper shakers. I AM NOT JOKING – it’s ridiculous, the paper waste…)

Anyway. After the fun-at-Lisa’s-apartment time, we loaded everyone up and went to Boulder for a few hours. It was great – highs in the high 60s, breezy, and while it threatened rain while we were there, we didn’t actually get (that) wet. My oldest nephew was called upon by a street performer to squish himself, and another little boy from the audience, into a small clear box. Behold:




All in all, I’m just a tiny bit closer to feeling like I’m not just on an extended vacation in Colorado…

Friday, September 08, 2006

everybody's working for the weekend

Reasons why I’m glad it’s Friday afternoon:

1. Tomorrow is Saturday, and the next day is Sunday.
2. I don’t have to work this Saturday OR Sunday.
3. I can do anything I want to – besides work – for the next 48 hours.
4. I forgot to wear deodorant today* and I’m starting to get paranoid. (even though it’s only in the low 60s…haha).
5. I am tired of drinking only water all day (no soda machines at my workplace – I know – barbaric!).
6. My cable is fixed as of yesterday!
7. I can go shopping for more than a lunch-hour-at-a-time.
8. I have the next two days to reassure Jess that the noises outside the (opened) windows are not monsters coming to eat him, and he can survive elsewhere other than under my comforter for 12-hours-at-a-time.
9. I might get to leave the 2-square-mile area that is my life 5 days a week.
10. I don’t have to awaken to an alarm for the next 2 days.

In other news, I am feeling enormous guilt about making the kitties live in an apartment. Besides Jess living in cowering fear of all the apartment-noises, this morning I heard a single bird-chirp outside my 4th-story window, then saw a blur that was Piper springing hopefully towards the window; poor thing is so bird/rodent/reptile-deprived she nearly broke her little neck careening around the corner to my open window. And the bird was merely chirping in passing, because generally birds don’t just levitate outside 4th story windows. Poor, bored kitties. Instead of nature, now they get to watch dorky golfers all day long. Good times all around.

And I am well aware that lately I’ve resorted to blogging boring lists and diatribes about socks because I haven’t done anything noteworthy in over two weeks. I’ll work on that this weekend…

*why??

Thursday, September 07, 2006

sock-o-phobic

It has recently been brought to my attention that there might come a time this winter when I will have to wear…socks. That’s right—-socks. Have I ever mentioned how much I HATE wearing socks??? But then they’re hardly necessary in TX. I only wore them when I exercised or wore boots. I could go a whole winter never wearing socks with my snuggly closed-toe mules.

But in CO? There will be snow, and it will get in my shoes. I might have to wear socks. And I’m completely bummed about it.

I’m not sure why I have the aversion to socks, or when it started; I’m thinking maybe I burned out after high school, when it was “in” to buy those [expensive] scrunch-socks from The Limited in all different colors and match them to your outfit (shut up, you know you did it too). In any event, I was in Eddie Bauer the other night and as I was being rung up the salesperson said, peppily I might add, “Oh, we have our socks on special!” And I looked at her blankly for a beat or two, then smiled thinly and said no thanks, I’m good. But am I?

A CO native told me that boots are the way to go, because apparently, snow? It’s cold and icky when it gets in your shoes. In fact, she told me that’s what boots are actually FOR, is keeping your feet safe from such hazards. This was somewhat of a revelation to me, because in TX, we wear boots because they are pretty. It makes you feel frisky to prance around in mid-calf black boots worn with too-long jeans. Boots were a fashion accessory, not a necessity. I like me some boots. So the good news? I get to buy new boots this winter. The bad news? Boots must be worn with SOCKS.

Dammit.

Monday, September 04, 2006

wired

Here I am later that day, still working, but at a less frantic pace and from the comfort of my own bed. That's right, you heard me -- I'm in bed. Typing. On my Mac. I'm WIRELESS again, baby!!!! I don't know why it took me 4 days after getting my desktop running to remember/figure out how to do the wireless router. Maybe my brain was just tired. It's very possible. But tonight I achieved victory and can once again surf, post, and yes, even work from any square inch in my apartment.

that is all.

iTunes moment #511

It's been a while, but now that I'm working FT again, I am again listening to my trusty iPod. I just want to say, how cool is it that the moment I realize I'm singing a song in my head, just like that, I can find it on my iPod and really listen to the song? Talk about instant gratification.

Speaking of songs stuck in your head, how does that happen, anyway? sometimes it's obvious; you heard it on the radio, over an intercom at a store, a commercial; but then there are other times when you're typing away on a scintillating topic such as, oh, IT optimization, and suddenly you realize you're singing "Cleaning out my Closet" by Eminem in your head. Where the hell did that come from?? Oh well, never you mind -- i'll just look it up on my iPod and feed the craving.

Technology. Rocks. The Cubicle.



p.s. yes, this means that I am at work on labor day. shhh, i don't want to talk about it...

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Out, out, damn box

I did it. Today I removed all the empty boxes from my apartment. I am so. happy. I figured since it was in the 50s all day i should take advantage of the minimal sweating (yes that was a not-so-subtle rub to my friends in Tejas). Well, that, and my cable box is broken and I can't change the channel. So, you know. unpacking.

I can't believe the last time I wrote was Monday, but this week was so busy and went by so fast. Now that I'm working again, I'm back on "agency time" which means the freakishly swift passage of time due to living in a deadline-driven world. For example, my mind is already on October b/c my project has to be finished by the end of September. But I don't want to talk about work today. No. Since I have to work all weekend, i'm not going to talk about it on my blog too. Ugh.

Last night my friend from work invited me to go to this "Mexican" restaurant with another girl from work who said it was "awesome" (note: this girl is from CO). Yes, I know I'm an idiot, but I got my hopes up that it would actually fulfill the TexMex craving I've been having. (what? this is the first time in more than 20 years that i've gone w/out texmex for more than 3 weeks). Well, me and K were polite and ate all our food (K is also from TX) and it was a good time and all, but the second we got in the car K said "was that not the worst Mexican food you've ever had in your life, or what??" Note for the future: don't believe anyone who's not from TX on their Mexican food recommendations. This place even had shitty margaritas, people. Not that I didn't still finish mine, but it was not. the same. thing.

So last night was fun and today I've been working, both on work and on my apartment. Toomorrow is all work and then Monday I'm going to my sistah's for a cookout. It's supposed to be nice all weekend (60s) so I'm tres excited. Incidentally, I'm all about setting records here; not only have I gone the longest w/out TexMex in 20 years, I've also had my AC off for the longest in 20 years. Yeehaw!

That's the quick update. I just wanted to check in so people don't think I'm dead. I'm buried alright, but not in dirt...

Oh, and a shout-out to Babs who celebrated a momentous birthday yesterday! Babs, I'm SO GLAD YOU WERE BORN!! Love you and wish I could be there... well except for the weather... ;)

Monday, August 28, 2006

Contrary Monday

I’m in such a weird and unfamiliar place. And I don’t mean Broomfield, I mean in my life. Everything just feels so abstract. I have no routine anymore – which was the point, I suppose. I wanted to be catapulted out of my “rut”, well DONE, and DONE. But it’s almost overwhelming. I don’t even know what time to wake up. And I haven’t set a time to get to work yet – it varies every day. I don’t know what “feels” right yet. I keep waking up early, because in my mind I’m still running on Texas time. I just feel … off.

So how does one “start fresh”, anyway? How does one go about forming a routine that works for them? I feel like my former life routine just sort of happened; I don’t recall shaping it. Now I have the opportunity to take control and make new habits, and I have no idea where to start.

At the same time, I feel somewhat stuck, if you can believe it. I’m antsy to plan a vacation with my friends. I know that sounds sort of insane, since I’m essentially LIVING on vacation right now (or at least it feels like it), but still. I have vacation days I must use up by the end of the year, but I have the least seniority and so I have no idea when I can take any of these days. Do I want to go home for Christmas? Will I have any extra time off? Who will I stay with? I have so many people I’ll want to see and spend time with.

I think I’m struggling with the ever-present challenge of living IN the moment. Because admittedly, one of the reasons I’m having trouble unpacking and getting settled into my apartment is because I’m already thinking ahead 9 months and wondering if I’ll want to stay in this apartment or move again. I need to figure out a way to just BE right now, and not worry about the future. But I don’t know how to do this; I’ve never really known how to do this. It seems fruitless to unpack everything when I’ll just have to pack it again at some point. But with my nomadic nature, I will only drive myself insane with that mindset. Because truthfully, I don’t know if I’ll EVER feel “settled” enough anywhere to really, really unpack everything and make it a home. I fear that I’ll continue to look at every new home as a stepping stone to the next, better place. But how do people live in one house forever and not go insane?? How do people decide they are going to stay somewhere indefinitely? Why can’t I seem to do this? I love CO, but I’m already thinking, well where could I go next? Am I defective? Is this a side effect of being an army brat?? How does one distinguish between being “goal oriented” or just restless? What’s the difference between being settled and settling?

So anyway. It’s Monday and these are the thoughts racing through my head. In summary: I don’t know where or how to begin feeling like this is home for me. Maybe a good place to start would be getting the 50-odd empty boxes out of my entryway --- y’think?

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Arachnophobically delicious

I found out today, from a Colorado resident, that while I may have left the Land of Roaches, I’ve entered the Land of Spiders. Niiiiiiiiice. Now, I have yet to bear witness to this fact, since I live on the 4th floor of a building (for better or for worse…). But just knowing they’re out there? Freaks my shit out.

In other news, I seem to be finding tons of things to do this week besides continuing to unpack. What can I say, I want to pretend I’m settled in. I actually hung curtains in my living room the other night – I climbed around on debris and boxes to accomplish this task. Ridiculous, I know. I just don’t know where to put a lot of stuff and it makes me tired thinking about it. My sistah had some things to say about being tired this week, too. I will add that I’m tired of being new and feeling clueless; I’m tired of moving; and I’m tired of getting lost. BUT. I am NOT tired of triple-digit heat because Jessie, we’re not in Tejas anymore!!!!!

Um, yeah.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Fire drill: A great way to meet your neighbors!

Around 9:15 last night, as I was watching Rock Star: Supernova (which I HATE, btw. Except for Lukas…), this hideously piercing beeping began in earnest, causing the kitties to scuttle in all different directions. Turns out it was the building fire alarm – unbeknownst to me, there is a central fire alarm system that has TWO loud speakers in EVERY apartment. Very. Loud.

I stepped into the hallway to find everyone on my floor doing the same thing. It was weird – I was finally viewing the pod people. I wasn’t alone in the building after all! Some were in pajamas, some were drunk, but everyone was annoyed. There was a global “WTF” vibe going on. Camaraderie at its best. (I will note there was at least one hot guy who apparently just moved in also…). When the alarm didn’t go off for 5 minutes, we sighed and shuffled down 8 flights of stairs to the sidewalk below. We were huddled into little groups, and I found myself thinking, “Great. Finally meeting the neighbors and I’m not even wearing a bra.” In talking to a woman in a bathrobe clutching a cat in a cat carrier, I found out she was my next door neighbor! She’s older than me, but seemed funny and she’s definitely a cat person. As I stuck my fingers into the cage and played with her cat, she whispered that she’s only supposed to have one cat, but she actually has FOUR. Made me feel better that I only have two when I supposedly have one. Over the next HALF HOUR, as the lights continued to flash and the beeping continued, we noted there was no sign of the fire department. Niiiice. I felt guilty for leaving the cats in the apt, but I knew there was no way in hell I’d ever get them into the cat carriers again, after the recent road trip debacle.

All in all, it was a useless false alarm that allowed me to meet a few people in my building. The cat lady next door said to come by anytime; I’m only slightly hesitant because I fear that could be me in 10 years -- alone with an alarming number of felines. Although I suppose I should just learn to embrace such a fate; it will make it easier on everyone in the long run, don’t you think?

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

10 Things Not to Do After Moving to a New City

1. Do not freak out and eat three+ cookies from the newly discovered yummy bakery across the street. After eating a large sandwich for lunch. And consuming a large Dr. Pepper. Hello, SUGAR CRASH.
2. Do not spend so much time shopping in the first week that you lose all perspective of reality. For example, do not -- no matter how tempting -- do NOT pay $24.99 for a “pretty” toilet plunger at Target. Do. Not.
3. Resist the almost uncontrollable urge to roll your eyes every time someone says something about the wretched heat. Even though it’s true that CO people don’t know what “real” heat is, the eye rolling can be taken as offensive and bitchy and you’re trying to MAKE friends.
4. Try not to glom onto every person who gives you half a smile. It only makes you seem desperate. And they don’t need to know this until/unless they get to know you…
5. Do not slip back into the habit of wearing no makeup to work just yet -- this is a new start, try and make the most of it. These people don’t know yet that you’re uber-lazy.
6. Do not start unexpectedly crying the first time your BT calls you from Austin “just to see how you’re doing”. It’s embarrassing, really.
7. Do not bug your friends back home every single day about how they need to move to Colorado. Take it easy — every other day is fine.
8. Do not let yourself get sucked into the magic of the new DVR until you have at least unpacked the TV remote control. Have some standards, yeesh.
9. Do not lame out and stop at 9. Unless you reallllly can’t think of anything else.

(I’m tired, okay??????)

stuff! i have it!

So the movers came on Saturday. Night. But still! I have my stuff, finally! It was a fiasco til the bitter end; they showed up earlier in the day with an 18-wheeler that wouldn’t fit anywhere near my apt. building and couldn’t even make the turn into my complex. So they had to go RENT a Ryder truck, unload my stuff, reload it into the new truck, come back, THEN bring everything up 8 flights of stairs. Um, yeah. Luckily – not my problem. The problem I DO have is that I just moved from a 3-bedroom house w/2-car garage into a 2-bedroom apt. with virtually no storage. Not pretty. Not pretty at all. Right now there are more boxes empty than full, but removing the boxes from my apt. requires me to lug them back down 8 flights of stairs. So who knows when THAT will all be done. I’m still panting helplessly with the altitude, so it may take months…

Nicole came over Sunday to help me unpack (THANK GOD) and we tried an experiment where I dropped a box off my balcony (um, 4th floor) to the sidewalk below; and while the box didn't explode or anything, it made a "WOOF" sound that sounded a leeettle too much like a gunshot. So we decided not to drop any more lest the police show up. And arrest us for box dropping. The problem is there's so much damn paper in each box; breaking them down doesn't make it that much easier to carry down 8 flights of stairs. Ugh.

BUT. I have TV now. And while I have yet to unpack the damn TV remote, I can change channels manually (yes! TVs still do that!) and I’m slowly but surely remembering when my shows are on. It’s like I have moving amnesia or something; I have forgotten what comes on what day at what time; what I used to watch; my routine is so messed up. Which was the point, though, wasn’t it? I wanted to shake things up – well I have, that’s for damn sure ;)

Work is going well. I have a rule not to blog about work, but I will say that while it’s going well, there are over 100 people I don’t know and I HATE being the new person. So again, time will make it better. In the meantime, I’m shopping on my lunch hours since there’s pretty much everything one could ever need within 2 miles of the office (and my apt.) and believe it or not, even with all the shit from my house there are still pieces of furniture I need to buy. Where’s an IKEA when you need one? It kills me that a new one was just about to open in Austin when I left. Siggghhhh…..

Ok, that was the quick update. I have been taking lots of pics, so at some point I will post those. Must find my CPU first, though – it’s in one of the 100s of boxes in my “office” at home…

Thursday, August 17, 2006

cube conversation

Hip girl, walking by my cube:
Where did you get that little stuffed leopard? How cute!

Me:
Um, [person] was cleaning out her office and I happened to be standing there, so I got it. It’s special.

Hip girl:
OMG, I totally carry a stuffed penguin with me in my purse all the time. But that was too much information, wasn't it?


We’re totally going to be friends.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

It's Official: I'm HomeLess.

Guess what? You no longer own a house in Austin! You are now free to start your new life in Colorado!

OMG. Why did those reassuring words from my awesome realtor just now make my stomach plunge? Why do I feel tears behind my eyeballs? Why do I feel more lost than ever?

I know I should feel immense relief, happiness, whatever. Instead I feel sick. Maybe I'll feel better when I get the check in the mail in a few days...


...to be continued...

Monday, August 14, 2006

The eve of employment...

I start my job tomorrow. the first full-time work I've done since March 14, when I was laid off from my previous job. It's been 5 long, interesting, change-laden months, that's for sure. I'm nervous about tomorrow. Do I remember how to act "professional"? Did I buy the right clothes to wear? Will I hate the clothes in the morning? Will the shirt buttons pop open? I'm sharing some of my anxiety with my nephew Cole, who started first grade today -- his biggest fear going into it was what to do about lunch -- who to sit by, what to eat, how it all worked... i'm kind of thinking about the same issues as they are related to my job. Will I come home for lunch? Try to run errands? will someone feel obligated to take me to lunch? It's all just so unknown. maybe i'm too old to start over? well, too late now...

I've been having lots of stress-related physical symptoms, including dizziness, stomach cramps, and general hysteria. I was beating myself up about it until i realized I've pretty much maxed out on the list of things in life that cause stress. Do we have losing our job? Yes! Moving? out of state? Hell yeah! Starting a new job? Woo hoo, yessireebob.

I shopped for two days worth of clothes this morning, came home for lunch, took a nap, and went to a movie. I saw "The Descent" and it was creepy and interesting, but I didn't like the ending. Then I hit Nordstrom Rack and found a couple more work-clothes-related items. Now I'm home and I can't find my mailbox. I have the key, but I took a long exploratory walk around my building and cannot locate the mailboxes I saw when I was shown the apt. a few weeks ago. Hmmm. Also, I have in my inbox a PDF of the closing papers on my house in Austin, so tomorrow I will sign them, fedex them back, and will once again be a non-home-owner. Is this going to sink in at some point?? because right now it seems surreal. I feel a little sad about never being in my house again. It was a good little house. Oh well. The next one will be even better, right?

Going to go take a bath in my huge tub now. Making the most of the tub, you know. More soon... think good thoughts for me tomorrow, ok?

Saturday, August 12, 2006

solitude

So here I am on Night 2 of Project Apartment-Camp Colorado (PACC). Today I caught up a bit on my sleep, then went exploring. I hit the retail jackpot when I discovered a Super Target, Ross, and TJ Maxx just 5 minutes away – IN THE SAME SHOPPING CENTER. I swear, I almost took a picture of this shopping nirvana, but decided that was too geeky even for me. I feel pretty geeky so far; I’m wearing ratty moving/traveling clothes everywhere because – guess what – that’s ALL I HAVE. Sigh. Tomorrow I have to go clothes shopping. Normally that wouldn’t be considered a chore at all, but it’s no fun when it’s required. Much like college reading or married sex. haha. ha…… (hey, i can say that -- I was married)

I bought a semi-non-ugly lamp at Target, so I can read in air mattress tonight instead of struggling with this lame bendy booklight I bought a while back. I’m going to have to go back and buy Q-tips tomorrow; it’s funny what you miss, y’know? Besides the lamp, my best purchase today was little speakers for my iPod, so at least I can listen to tunes. Thank God. It’s so quiet! Well, except for the door-slamming and neighbor-peeing I can hear. Ahh, apartment living. We (me and los gatos) will get used to it, I’m sure.

I’m currently hi-jacking a wireless connection from one of my hundreds of neighbors, so I’m going to post this and go read my book. In summary, here is a short list of improvements today over yesterday:

- I have an air-mattress-side lamp
- I have musica
- Jess is off the fridge, finally
- It’s 70 degrees outside!

More soon. I’ll be sure to update often with PACC happenings…
me

Friday, August 11, 2006

Can I hear a "woooo-hoooooo"?

So I made it, pretty much. I’m sitting in my dark, empty apartment typing this on my laptop, which is ingeniously perched on a box. I found out today that my furniture will not arrive until at least next Saturday. I have no clothes for work. I bought a cheap chair at Walmart just so I’d have something to sit on, but it hurts my ass.

BUT – I am here! My father, the cats, and I survived 17 hours of travel with no physical trauma. Emotional, but not physical. Hey, it’s something…

Jess stayed under the passenger seat in my car both days. Entirely. Meaning, his entire body was somehow under the seat, and he stayed under there the entire time we were driving, only coming out growling yet bendy when my dad pushed and I pulled. Piper, however, seemed just fine the 2nd day, when she realized I wasn’t dumping her somewhere. She even sat in my lap and looked out the window. Who would have thought The Clawww would travel better than Jesstifer?? Not I.

The cats were mercifully tranq’d and were tripping awesomely. The medicine made them mellow and somewhat bendy, but not unconscious. I kept wishing I had meds too. I have never been a fan of long car trips, so it would have been heaven to sleep the whole time to wake up in a brand new place. Oh well…

I have cable, and my brand new DVR is sitting, forlorn and unconnected, in my empty den. No TV. For a week. I may end up renting DVDs to watch on my laptop, I have a feeling this week might be looonnnggggg. Oh, the irony of DVR and no TV. Sigh. At least I have Internet access, or at least I did for a while this afternoon.

I’m tired and cranky and stressed and cranky and did I mention tired? I just wanted to check in to say I’m alive and I made it! I will hopefully be back to my chipper self in just a couple of days. I also have some funny pics from the road trip to post, but not tonight. There’s an air mattress calling my name….leeeeeeesssa……leeeeeeeesssaaaaaa….

Monday, August 07, 2006

paralyzed on moving day

oh, the irony.

it is actually pre-dawn and i am awake because i totally zonked out on the couch around 11 last night and didn't wake up until about an hour ago. good times. i am now scrambling to get stuff done before the packers arrive. it seems simple enough: I should just make a little pile of stuff they can't pack, and they can just go at it w/everything else. um, not so easy. the "little" pile keeps growing. the cats are getting suspicious. i'm still bone-tired, and i don't see napping in my future today. i see panic and anti-anxiety meds. and... Babs! Yay for Babs! she is coming to hang out with me on this stressful day. i seem to function better with someone standing over me, motivating me (ordering me) to do stuff. my dad will arrive tonight to take over the task.

so when i zonked on the couch last night, i did it with every light on in the house and the tv too. i awoke to nightmares of that economics class I failed in college, the one i just stopped going to because it was so over my head the professor made charlie brown's teacher sound succinct. turns out i was dreaming about this because what had been the E channel when I fell asleep had for some reason morphed into some kind of news commentary show and there was some boring guy talking about -- you got it -- economics.

i'm already sweating -- i've left the computer a couple of times to take out the trash, drag stuff to the curb, rearrange things in my garage... today is going to suck, did i mention that already???

it's not even 7:30 am and i'm sweating. it's already warmer outside now than it will be all day in the land of mountains and new apartments ;) just a few more days.. if i can only last a few more days..........

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Unrelated to my crazy life. Well, my CURRENT crazy life...

I got this idea from Hopelyn who got it from Fussy. I'm behind on blogging and it's been a while since I did a list, and this one caught my eye, so I present to you...

The Top Ten Reasons Why I'm Not With You Anymore

Let me preface this by saying I am not referring to just one, but to several exes.

1. You enjoyed killing squirrels with hammers.
2. That time I found a [real] severed bobcat paw sitting on the top shelf of your refrigerator.
2. Your temper and your love for guns scared me.
3. You were mean to my friends.
4. You were gay.
5. You married that girl while I was away at college.
6. You divorced that girl, impregnated her, then remarried her. Then divorced her again.
7. You thought you were always right and I hate that shit.
8. Your idea of the perfect marriage was my idea of the perfect nightmare.
9. My intensity scared you.
10. You were only good (ok, really good) at one thing.

The scary thing is I realized just now how easily this could turn into a Top 100 list...

Friday, July 28, 2006

It is done. YEEEE-HAAAWWWW!!!

So here I am, battered and bruised, limping down the other side of the mountain I have been tediously climbing since about April. I am tired, travel weary, trembling with adrenaline and fatigue, but ... I no longer have to worry about selling my house. Yes ladies and gentlemen, it SOLD in less than 24 hours. TWO offers by the end of the first day. It's under contract and might even close before August 10! Can we all breathe a shockingly, head-rush-inducing, deep, cleansing breath in my honor, please? Can I hear a "HELL YEAH"?

{HELL YEAH}


If I don't sound more gushy and excited it's simply because I've been almost constantly on my phone for the past two days, calling everyone with updates, back and forth with the realtor, etc etc. I am emotionally drained. My body aches from the tension. This time a mere week ago, I was about to blow a gasket from all the loose ends hanging open and the severe lack of knowing. Now, I am looking forward to being able to fully relax in...say... six more months?????

Anyway, in honor of selling my home, I am going to Denver this weekend for a quick house-hunting trip, and in a wild turn of events, Tamara is going with me! We leave tomorrow night and return Tuesday night. Staying with my sis. Checking out different parts of the city, deciding what area I like, visiting many properties, both from Craigslist and from an apartment locator service...it will be a whirlwind for sure, but MUCH more fun than the whirlwind of getting my house on the market!

It's hard for me to believe that we are almost done with July; it seems like the last time I was conscious of my surroundings and time and space was in early June. Then I had the DC trip, the CO interview, and then the whirlwind turned into a whirlgust and BOOM here we are. The worst behind us. Dear God, please let the worst be behind us.

I'm sure I will have deep and meaningful things to say about all of this in retrospect. The past five months of my unemployment have been pretty interesting, and totally different than what I was expecting from past experience. I'm sure I have learned a lot and grown a lot and blahblahblah, but people, i'm just hanging on by the solid-white-freakishly-thick-and-curly hair I plucked out of my bangs this morning, and I gots to get some sleep.

But I couldn't sleep without shouting it from the rooftops:
The Adventure is Just Beginning!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Rock Star: Super-Lame?

Sorry, but I'm watching this right now and Tommy Lee dances like a girl. And, does Dave Navarro really have any credibility? Really???? I mean, yeah, once upon a time he was in a great band, but he's not that...er....well, he's not the brightest bulb on the tree, now is he? Ok, maybe I'm being a shrew tonight. Maybe I'm slightly irritable because I've been working my ASS off getting the house ready to go on the market (hello -- TOMORROW!!) and I'm dirty from climbing around my muddy (yet giant hole-less) yard, and I'm tired b/c I have not been sleeping much, for various reasons. Anyway, I am a self-proclaimed reality tv junkie, but this Supernova thing seems...Ugh. And are any of their feedback comments really helpful? "Duuude, your head bobble is not doin' it for me..." "You lost me on the hip grind -- it's so...predictable..." -- I mean, who ARE these people? These so-called heavy metal "superstars"? I'm just sayin.

And don't even get me STARTED on the contestants.

Ok, i'm grumpy. yes. Nervous. yes. Excited. almost. Spontaneously throwing up. yes.

But -- today two of my favorite people in the world were born -- Steph and Claytie -- and I am so very glad. Soooo very glad. Happy Birthday, Lovies! Incidentally, Steph was an undisputed **rock star** this weekend, helping me get my house ready. And I'm glad one of us was excited about cleaning out the closets!

More soon...............I'm kind of emotionally drained lately, but I'll try to think of a mind-boggling list or something ;)

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

What is Hell?

Hell is... Texas in July. Hell is... Texas in July with NO A/C. Hell is... having to pay $350 to repair your A/C unit the WEEK before your house goes on the market.

Today I woke up and it was hot. I mean, it's always hot here, but it was hot IN my house. By noon I was sweating, just sitting around. By 1:00 I realized I had a problem. A big problem. By 2:00 I'd called several A/C companies only to find that in July? In Texas? Forget about getting same-day service, unless you are willing to pay out the ass for "emergency" service. But seeing as it was over 95 degrees in my house by 4:00, it qualified as an emergency in my book. So between 4 and 7:30 today, while waiting or the A/C people to come and save the day, I alternated between taking ice-cold showers, to lying naked on my bed with the fan going full-blast, no TV on (it generated too much heat), back to the cold shower, back to the naked fan sprawl, and so on. The cats joined me in their nudity, only they chose to sprawl on the kitchen tile, spread eagled on their backs. I decided I didn't really feel like being naked on my kitchen tile. But anyway.

Now it is cool again, but I'm exhausted and generally irritated that I lost a day of packing. I suppose I could still get something done now, but surprisingly, being hot for hours on end, IN YOUR OWN HOUSE, kinda saps the productivity right out of you. Or out of me, I should say.

Tomorrow: I'll get craaaazzzeeee and double up, doing the cat room AND the coat closet. weeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!

Moral of the story: don't ever take air conditioning for granted. Ev-ah. Second moral: move to Colorado, stat.




p.s. since people seem intent on informing me that it has been hot in CO this week too, let me respond by saying AT LEAST IT WILL END SOON THERE. Texas is just getting warmed up, so to speak, and will not see any trace of cool-ish air until mid November. So, HA.

It's Real

It's official: I've accepted an offer with the dream company in Colorado!! And I even have a start date: August 15! Yes! OMG! And my realtor wants to put my house on the market next Monday! So now I have that deadline and have been stunned out of my paralysis!

So I'm a little wound up. Sorry. Today I conquered my bedroom closet. Behold:



My shoe solution:



And in this one, the emphasis is on the Floor. How it is Empty. Yes.



So anyway, the goal is to one dreadful task a day. Tomorrow I take on the utility room. Read: catbox room. Ugh.

I really am excited, but I can't quite see past the logistical nightmare ahead of me in the next 3-4 weeks. The premium situation would be for my house to be sold in less than a week (HA) then I can *really* pack and take everything with me when I go to CO. If my house was sold, I could go ahead and rent a place up there. But this plan hinges on my house not sitting on the market for months. I don't think that will happen -- things are selling pretty well in my neighborhood right now. All very exciting!! Either way, I'll be staying with my sis (read: nephews) for a while, which will be cool. Very cool.

Well that's the scoop for now, I'm going to try and sleep...maybe I'll sleep easier tonight? It hasn't quite sunk in yet, but the bottom line is

I HAVE A JOB!!!!!!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Going out with a silent hissssssssss…

So since it looks like I’m definitely uprooting and moving to CO within the next month or so, my list of things “to do” has dramatically increased, as well as increased in intensity. Yet I spent this weekend, the first in a month that I was at my own home, paralyzed and freaked out. I simply don’t know where to start, or at least that’s what I tell myself. Usually shopping helps loosen me up and garners inspiration, but I can’t even make myself go buy those plastic shoeboxes I’ve decided are the solution to my closet shoe problem. Which would hopefully kick-start the official and awful cleaning of my closet. The thing I dread most in the world, at the moment. But every time I go in there, I get bogged down in my messy bedroom (with a partially unpacked suitcase still on the floor, Piper’s new cat bed) and bathroom (a pile of dirty clothes I can’t seem to relocate to the laundry room) before even getting to the odious closet. I have, however, changed out a few light bulbs, which is SOMETHING, people. I don’t know why it never occurred to me before the visit from the house-selling guru, but putting in 75-watt bulbs in my closet and laundry room made a HUGE difference. Go figure. I mean, why has it never occurred to me that perhaps the rooms wouldn’t be so dark if there was more light??

But. That’s about it, as far as progress. I’ve been in denial and freak-out land, spending a lot of time sleeping. Because when I’m sleeping my tummy isn’t doing flips and my mind isn’t racing with “omg what have I done”-type thoughts. I did manage to socialize Friday night, but bailed out on plans yesterday and today because I couldn’t make myself get moving soon enough OR I was asleep. Very very sad. Maybe I’m preparing myself subconsciously for the solitude that will most likely accompany me after my cross-country move? I will say it: I am scared shitless. This doesn’t mean I don’t want to go – I’m going! But I’m scared. It’s hard to imagine starting over at 36 – it feels very different than the last time I uprooted and started over, more than 12 years ago.

So. That’s the state of the Lisa. I’m thinking at this point I will not be going out with a “bang”… it feels more on target with my mood right now to slink out of town, thus in denial of all the sad “goodbyes” and such. We’ll see… Maybe I’ll feel differently tomorrow. Because this is what I want, what I have wanted – right??

Yes, yes it is.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Observations on travel - the short list

During my recent jet setting, I have learned/observed various things. Things such as:

1. Don't E.V.E.R. fly with a sinus infection.
2. Don't consume 5 cough drops in under 10 minutes -- even though this may prevent said infected sinuses from exploding upon takeoff and landing, it will make you somewhat dizzy. And nauseous. Also, don't freak upon reading the cough-drop instructions and seeing you are only supposed to take "1 every 2-3 hours". It's too late. Deal.
3. Be prepared to battle ants in the catfood -- for the first time in a year -- upon your late-night return.
4. Do not expect to sleep after leaving said cats alone for 10 days out of the last 14. Having a petsitter doesn't take the edge off. At all.
5. It's okay to think hateful thoughts about the person seated next to you on your 4th flight in 14 days. Thoughts like, "If that person steals my armrest ONE MORE TIME i'm spiking her water with cough drops when she gets up to go to the bathroom for the 4th time in half an hour..." Think it, but don't do it.
6. Don't expect to meet lofty goal of getting your house on the market four days after returning from many travels, much stress, and a sinus infection.
7. Don't be too hard on yourself if you're not feeling particularly prolific upon your return to hell - er, Texas in July. ;)

Um. Yeah, so a list of seven. Sorry, that's the best i can do right now. More to come...

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

musings from colorado

I can hear the sound of things falling into place, with little light plinks, clicking with satisfying snaps. Thoughts running loose in my head. I try to read, but my mind wanders. Beyond logistics, or money, or work. I am recalling things from my past, things that in retrospect, have all lead up to my present. It is disconcerting.

BT sent me a message tonight, uncharacteristically thoughtful of him. Uncharacteristically mindful, actually – I was not aware that he kept track of my whereabouts or remembered my schedule. But I am reminded of a time, many years ago, when he called me, and I listened in silence as he haltingly apologized to me. Even then it was surreal to hear him say it was his fault, not mine. He had been an idiot, I had not been too clingy, too emotional, too anything. He was simply too…himself. And long ago, we tried again to make it work. Tried to be more, tried to be everything. And there were – are – moments of synchronicity. But it has been years since I thought we could be anything but what we are now. So I wonder why these memories of a more innocent, more hopeful time, are visiting me tonight, so far away from home. Or is that exactly why?

My heart aches with the knowledge of all that I am leaving behind to come here, to start fresh, to “reboot” my life, so to speak. I will not lose my dear friends, and Austin will still be there, waiting for me, but everything will change, more than I can probably imagine at this point. Will I feel the additional distance between myself and those of my friends that I already see sporadically? Or will it feel pretty much the same, with phone calls and emails and visits. Will they forget about me? Will they fill in the gap of me and continue, the same but different? And just how lonely will I be here, thousands of miles away, alone at a new job, a new city, a new life. What will I do when I plummet into my occasional darkness, when I hit my internal emotional wall? Who will I call when I need to connect, when I need someone to hold me? I know there will be other arms, new arms in my future, but will that soften the blow of losing the arms that hold me now?

Tomorrow is going to be exhausting and I should try to sleep. A full day of more interviews, then a race to the airport to catch a flight home, where I will fall into bed tired and mindless and not be able to sleep because there will be two needy felines anxiously curling around my body, nuzzling my ears, mewing their relief that I am home.

Home?

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Back at home for two days -- quick update

Well I obviously did not end up taking my laptop on my trip to D.C., and as it turns out I would have had no time to blog anyway. I am working on the summary blog, but in the meantime I got back yesterday and I'm working on getting sick, which is perfect because I leave for CO on Saturday. Yay me!

But I did want to check in and say that I survived and those Vietnam Helicopter Pilots are tough cookies and damn I feel like crap.

More soon!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Kitty Toes! and News!

First things first -- I present to you Kitty Toes:



Aren't they scrumptious?? Ok, now down to business.

I have been inordinately busy so far this week because I FINALLY got a call from CO --and I have been summoned to Denver for an interview!!! YAY!!!! I fluctuate between being really excited to totally freaking out. It's a roller coaster, and it doesn't help that starting this Friday, it's going to be Go Go Go for the next 2 weeks...

First, let me just say I had the longest weekend in the history of my life, or so it seemed. And not in a good "long weekend" way. I was pretty much reclusive and despondent, wondering and worrying about why I hadn't heard anything yet about the interview. Then yesterday, at 3pm, after I'd pretty much written it off with only a minimum of hysterical sobbing, THEY CALLED! And I'm going! And they're sending me up the weekend prior so I can visit my sistah!

So here's my schedule for the next two weeks, since I know everyone is dying to know:

Friday, June 30 - Wednesday, July 5 -- In D.C. with my parents and my sister for my dad's annual VHPA (Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association) reunion. Never mind that it's flooding in D.C. right now, we're talking about thousands of grizzled old helicopter pilots and it takes more than a river of rain to phase them. There's a PARADE on the 4th, even, Lord help us all.

Saturday, July 8 - Tuesday, July 11 -- In Denver for weekend w/my sistah and my 2-day job interview -- woo-hoo!!!

Yeah, so my upcoming schedule is a stark contrast to the last couple months of my life. Guess that's how it works, and that's okay with me -- I'm ready to move on to the next phase...

I am planning on having my laptop w/me on these trips, so I can still stay connected to the Internets.

Thank you all for your continued support! I could feel the good vibes...

Friday, June 23, 2006

Reluctant

The following is the first in a series of writing exercises I'm going to be working on. I got this book with ideas of how to inspire yourself to get started, to get your juices flowing, so to speak, and this is the first thing that came bubbling out of my psyche.

************************************
The summer of my discontent began innocently enough, although annoyingly. Summer actually started back in spring, the first time it hit 90. As the temperatures rose, so did the tension and stress levels, it seemed. People at work were edgier, wound tighter, less likely to go out to eat than to huddle at their desk and furtively read blogs while “working” through lunch. It seemed the world became more sluggish, as the burning sun sapped the strength and energy out of everything. Work even slowed down, at such an alarming rate that layoffs were necessary, and yours truly was one of the casualties. Spending so much energy trying not to take it personally is exhausting. Takes the fire right out of you.

Unemployment is a lonely affair. Suddenly, the people who have been part of your daily life for years are ...not. It is like on top of losing one’s self respect and dignity, one also lose a family of sorts. One day you’re “in”, the next day you’re “out” -- with zero time to absorb the transition. And it's somewhat awkward when you do meet up with your work friends; is it okay for them to talk about work? Do you really want to hear that they're sooooo busy right now, that the company that laid you off because business was slow is now doing fabulously? or would you rather hear that the company is tanking? It's all so complicated, and you don't even know yourself.

Those close to you assume that being unemployed means you have tons of free time to skip and play and stay out till all hours of the night; to go to the park all day long, writing lazily on a laptop while floating down the river on a raft. They imagine all the time they’d have to work out, to really get in shape, or to learn to cook or get organized; they ponder all the wine they would drink. Even better, all the unlimited time to travel, unfettered by deadlines for once in their life. Oh, the possibilities seem so limitless and unattainable, to those who have never been laid off.

But they’re missing a huge chunk squarely from the center of the puzzle. They’re not seeing the part of you that is wounded, the gap where your heart was, your soul, whatever that part was that believed in your worth and motivated you to get up every morning and do something productive. Being laid off is like being forced to open the door to a burning room – the unbearable heat sucks you in, singing your pride and killing your sense of humor. And it is a slow, painful death. How long one can pretend is a personal matter. I started tanking after a couple of months, gradually withdrawing into my own little bland, colorless world. Who in their right mind would want to join me here? Here sucks right now.

Here's the thing. Traveling costs money; wine costs money; partying costs money. And writing on your laptop at a funky coffee house all afternoon? Costs money. Basically, leaving the house AT ALL costs you something. Your social life is slowly disintegrating because, think about it – when was the last time you had a friendly gathering and didn’t drink wine? Or order pizza? Or make margaritas? See a movie? Everything. Costs. Money. And it’s awkward for those who have it as well as those who don’t.

What this summer has become is hours of fitful sleep, at all the wrong times. A constant knawing in the pit of my stomach, worrying about the next job lead – or lack thereof. While job searching, you lose your ability to trust pretty quickly. Positive feedback or even promises are empty until the ink is dry – and it's pretty fucking humid in Texas. The process will always take much longer than they tell you it will. In the meantime, you burrow further into your cocoon.

Only this time, way deep inside my fuzzy cocoon, I’m doing something: I’m writing.

**********************************************

Still no definitive job news. Trust me, I'll shout it from the rooftops when and if I hear something fabulous.