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!

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... 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


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…

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...