Monday, February 24, 2014

Note to self:

Drinking a red eye in the afternoon will always seem like a great idea.  But you might want to check back in with yourself around 3:30AM--after you've develop a full on case of the Vegas eye and you're hitting the refresh button on your favorite blogs and websites fifty times in a row like a morphine drip--to see if you still think so.

Don't leave the hydrocortisone cream next to the identically shaped tooth paste tube.  Especially if you plan on being drowsy in the morning.

Don't feel bad about not exercising when you're sick, even if you've been sick a trillion times within a six month period.  Sure your eyeballs will fool you into seeing a sea cow staring back at you in the mirror, but you're not a sea cow, you're more like a baby sea cow and baby sea cow's are still pretty cute.

On a similar note: don't feel bad about ordering from Thai Vegan for the fifth night in a row.  You're supporting local businesses. 

Don't fantasize about living this shirt everyday.

Or this shirt.

Do go and pin a thousand more stylish spring outfits on pinterest.  It will make you feel better.  Trust me.

When you're feeling frustrated, be kinder and more understanding.  Maybe pay someone else a compliment; the sort of compliment you always think but never say. It will make you feel even better than posting cute spring outfits on pinterest.  Double trust me.

Also, go ahead buy yourself that pair of clogs you've been eyeing for the past week.  You need some good spring shoes and you really failed on that front last year.

...except that's when you got those moccasins that you live in, so clearly you make excellent shoes purchases around this time of year and these clogs will be everything you ever dreamed of it.

Stop writing in the second person.

And go grocery shopping, for god's sake.

Stop searching the Netflix Watch Instantly catalog every night, expecting to see that they've added the exact romantic comedy that you didn't know you were in the mood for because you know you'll only find ten more episodes of Thomas the Tank Engine and Cheerleader Massacre 4.

Don't watch Cheerleader Massacre 4 when Real Housewives of Beverly Hill basically has the same plot and is better acted.

Stop using hash tags ironically.  No one gets it.  #dummies.

Coffee and water are not interchangeable.  Drink more coffee.

It's not silly to heed your mother's advice by not worrying about tomorrow.  Tomorrow will take care of itself. 

Seriously, listen to her.  She has six kids and knows a thing or two about stress.

Okay, so don't worry about tomorrow BUT remember that you are leaving for Seattle on business in a couple days and you kind of need to deal with that.  Just don't worry about it.  And if you are a little worried, don't worry about being worried.

Even though you are clearly a nut job.

Post more often, even if it is as nonsensical as this one.  It's entertaining and possibly endearing and at least five people care.

Okay, four, if you're not counting yourself.

Always count yourself.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

A Friendolyn Was Born

Twenty-nine years ago today, my best friend Gwendolyn Joy Niven was born.

Gwendolyn and I first met when we were five, in Ms. Johnson's kindergarten class in South Hill Elementary School.  Word on the playground was that Gwendolyn was a speller.  A good speller. So one day, when in no doubt working on my latest and greatest literary masterpiece, I walked up to Gwendolyn, who was building a house out of blocks, and said: "Hi, I'm Wendy. How do you spell cow?"  She spelled it out for me and apparently that was all it took to form a bond because we have been friends ever since.

Even though we didn't get insanely close until high school, we were in the same group of friends all throughout elementary school and middle school; I was invited to every single birthday party that Gwendolyn ever had and she was invited to every single one of mine.

Reader, if you don't know Gwendolyn, I can already tell you that you would like her.

She is incredibly giving, incredibly friendly, incredibly funny, incredibly smart, incredibly discerning, and incredibly creative.

She will always ask you how you are, even if you don't ask her.  She will always be there to help you if you need it, even if sometimes you think you don't.  She will always go out of her way to make you feel included and make you feel like she is happy that you are there.

Also, who do you know at the tender age of nine, that has a "dress like your favorite character" themed birthday party and shows up as Annie, when the rest of her counterparts may or may not have shown up as various members of the Baby Sitters Club?  I ask you, reader: who would you rather hang out with?  Yeah. That's what I thought...

Gwendolyn is effusive and kind and I am pretty much her Eeyore counterpart.  But that is one of the many reasons that I love her so much: because deep down Gwendolyn sees the best in everyone and believes in everyone and I...don't exactly.  But being around her and being her friend makes me better a person.  Just by the transitive property.

So, my dearest Friendolyn...

Happy Birthday!!!

You are a true, kindred spirit and I am so so glad that you were born.  Who else would I be able to drive around with for hours and have exhilarating and complex philosophical discussions?  Who else would I be able to go out to restaurants with in Corning NY, speaking entirely in a British Accent?

No one.  Ever.

Gwendolyn did admit somewhat recently to making up about half of the spellings she gave us back in kindergarten.   BUT she did think my middle name was Suzanne until approximately five years ago.  So, I guess we're even.  I guess.

Heart you always.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

In case you were wondering...

Last night I...

-left work around 6:30PM after only hours earlier swearing that I was not going to stay late.

-went to three groceries stores to get ingredients for Moses' and my Valentine's day dinner.  Everywhere was out of scallops and everywhere only seemed to be selling bottles of Frangellico the size of a small water heater.  I ask you reader: who needs that much Frangellico?  I ask you this because as a consumer you are part of the demand in the supply and demand economic model, so clearly you are responsible for this.  Jerks.

-came home to find that Moses had cleaned the apartment, done laundry, emptied the dishwasher, bought me flowers and a step ladder so that I could reach all shelves of our insanely tall kitchen cabinets, which are currently only half full and the tippy tops of which are currently not in use and probably filled with black widow's nest.

You see what I am dealing with here?

-cooked dinner (and dessert) with Moses, followed by drinking champagne and eating by candle and christmas lights (the latter of which have now been up for a full year and won't be coming down any time soon).

-watched approximately 20 minutes of Princess Bride before I fell asleep.

-had basically the best, most relaxing night ever.

Today I...

-broke my two day streak of dessert for breakfast and had a bagel.  This choice was less about health and more about availability (we had no brownies).  Insulin levels, sminsulin smevels.

-went to get my taxes done while Moses went to a board game conference.  You know, your typical Valentine's Day weekend activities...

-remembered how last weekend, when I got my nails done, the manicurist asked me why I wasn't getting pink or red for Valentine's Day.  I looked down at my goth nails, smiled, and debated telling her that I was the Angel of Death.

-made plans to spend my evening redecorating the living room, cleaning my bathroom, catching up on trashy t.v., and entertaining the idea of exercise, which has about a 50% chance of actually resulting in exercise.

It promises to be an extreme, no holds barred thrillfest. But that's just the kind of gal I am I guess...

-decided to end my blog post with this obligatory Valentine's day selfie...

...and felt no shame.

Happy long weekend!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Simple Life (with a spattering of memories)

So I am sitting here on my bed, fully jammied (or in my pajamas for those of you unfamiliar with the tots adorbs Kozak-Wilks vernacular), laptop appropriately perched on lap, sipping a cup of early gray tea with milk (because I am feeling decadent), catching glimpses and sounds of season one of Lost as part of Moses' experiment to see if the beginning of the show is really as good as he remembers it being--before it all went to hell in a poorly woven hand basket, according to him. (But I wouldn't know because I've never seen it. Don't let the 2004 version of yourself judge me too harshly.)  Maybe in an hour or two, Mose and I will watch some Law and Order SVU before we turn in the for the evening.  Because we crazy like that.

And at this moment, I am feeling relatively content.  Nothing has really changed from when I blogged last: work is still stressful, my to-do list is epically long, I still have this weird bump on my neck near my jaw (probably cancer)--I didn't post about that last time because...bigger fish--and yet, somehow, I'm sort of doing okay.  I seem to have reached an impasse at some point last week and have been steadily sliding into apathy ever since.  First chill--then Stupor--then the letting go--, I suppose.  But with considerably more stress induced heartburn beforehand...

Anyways, I don't want to dwell on this or to just rehash everything I said last week but before shifting gears entirely, I want to document one thing. Perhaps it's because I have had so little control over my workload or over how much I can get done in day at my job but I have been cu-Razy productive at home. Even if I don't get back until 7 or 8PM, I still exercise, make dinner, do the dishes, and clean up around the apartment.  So clearly, by cu-Razy productive, I mean doing passable amounts of housework.  But it still makes me feel like Popeye after downing some canned spinach. [Insert gif from imagination here.]

Why I couldn't have inherited my Polish grandmother's diligence for domestic work instead of her compulsion to feed people I'll never know...she even used to iron underwear.  When my mother discovered this while doing her and my Dad's laundry at my grandparents house when my parents were first married, she said she knew right then and there that she would never be able to compete.

So.  Onto the next unrelated topic: Valentine's Day.  It's...not a big thing in our household. (Shocker, I know.)  I don't wage campaigns against it in the name of cultural subversion the way that some people do but I also don't really care about it.  The thing I find loveliest about Valentine's day is that it helps me remember Moses' and my anniversary.  Valentine's day is our six month anniversary and August 14th (not the 15th, not the 15th, not the 15th) is our year anniversary.

The first Valentine's Day/six month anniversary that Moses and I shared set something of a dubious precedent for all future Valentine's days.  But nowhere to go but up, you say?  Fine.  Be my guest. Pollyanna your way up and down this story, just let me tell it first.

Moses was busy that Valentine's day because he was pledging a fraternity at the time (GASP! Yes, I know) and had to spend the evening going around to the different sorority houses caroling "You've Lost that Loving Feeling."

Pause for reaction.

This was back in those guileless days before I had entirely abandoned the idea of celebrating special events on their actual date.  So although we planned on just celebrating that weekend; it was my first Valentine's day with him and (at the time) a significant relationship milestone (6 months then tied my longest relationship). We had already said I love you, I was already starting to suspect that this was going to be a life long thing, and after a long day of class and work, I decided that I didn't want to wait until Saturday; I wanted to see him, even if only for five minutes to share some chocolate together.  So after my last class got out, I walked to the local bakery and bought a mini-heart shaped flourless chocolate cake.  Gross, I know but I was young and in love, so whatever.  I surprised him by showing up on his doorstep, bearing the cake in its recyclable container (because that's how Ithaca rolls) and two forks mere moments before he was about to leave for his night of off-key serenading.

It was...awkward.

He was apologetic about not being able to spend the evening together, I was resentful that he was ditching me for something so stupid as his stupid pledge event. We sat at the kitchen table with a toaster oven between us, sharing in silence the heart shaped cake that I had meant as such a romantic gesture.

Now I find this story incredibly amusing, endearing even.  After nine and a half years together, it seems laughable to think that there was ever a time we felt awkward or unsure around each other.

But that first Valentine's day I learned an important lesson.  Never again did I expect anything remotely special.

And I haven't been disappointed since.

Moses even brought me flowers last Valentine's day and I was so surprised and delighted--I felt positively giddy filling a vase with water for them.  Moses thinks this reflects poorly on him.  It does. (Just kidding.)

This year, we have our standard romantic plan in place: cook dinner together, drink old fashions, and watch movies. Predictable but perfect.  And there's a 98% chance that at least one of us will be jammied for most, if not all of the evening.  Does that makes us lame?  Probably.  But we are old and in love, so whatever.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The slump

I've started and stopped writing this about half a dozen times over the past couple of weeks and even now, I am still not sure I should blog about this.  Not because this is anything particularly controversial--it's probably not going to kick up any unwanted dust by my otherwise lightly treading moccasins--it's just that I am beginning to detect a slightly unsettling (is alarming too strong a word? probably) pattern, which I suspect will steer what few readers I have to other greener, funnier, more optimistic pastures.  Traitors.

January was a rough month. Yeah, yeah, I realize that's what I said about December too so I'm either bad at dealing with stress or perpetually crying wolf about the hard knocks of my life but any way you slice it--well, any way that I slice it--it was.  It really really was.

But before you add another tally to bratty comments I've heard Wendy make this year--because why wouldn't you keep track?--know that I am fully aware of how good I have it.  Comparatively, my life's a piece of cake. I work one job with good benefits, job security, and decent pay, instead of working multiple jobs that have none of those things.  I have an incredible support system of family and friends, instead of having to support myself (or a family) all on my own.  I have a great apartment with lowish rent, stylish glasses (and disposable contacts for the non-lazy days, otherwise known as never), a working car, access to trashy t.v., a moderately functioning heater that only rattles sometimes for those cold SoCal winter nights where the temperature dips below 50, leisure time enough to exercise, cook, ride my bike, and maybe even write if the mood strikes me.

I know. I know. I know.

It's what makes the funk I'm in all the more ludicrous/lame/narcissistic/almost as unsympathetic as Justin Beaver (because I will never refer to him by his actual name).

And yet, here I am still typing this.

It's just that I am tired of feeling exhausted and stressed all the time.  It wears on you.  It makes you break out even though you are almost thirty and thought you were mostly done with that shit.  It makes you watch things like Lizzie Borden Took an Ax: The Lifetime Original Movie.  It makes you order take out just one more night even though you went over budget on groceries this month and it will mean having to toss out that kale.  It would make you worse at house work, if you weren't so bad at it to begin with.   It makes you fantasize about being skinnier, better, more productive, and doing literally anything else with your life where you have just the slightest chance of feeling more satisfied and fulfilled at the end of the day, even if it were for only 50% of the time, instead of powerlessly watching your to-do list grow steadily more and more impossible: five more items added for every two you take away.

I don't know, maybe I am being melodramatic or pessimistic because hello, have we met?  But honestly, for once, I don't think I am; I'm burnt out.  Maybe someday, I will have a job that doesn't require all of me.  Of course, I give all of myself to whatever I do, so maybe I'm the real problem.

I've been rehearsing caring less, putting in less effort, putting myself and my health and happiness first and I am successful at that sometimes.  It certainly makes things easier.  You would think that after over decade of caring too much in the workplace I would know that.  But just call me...ha, I almost typed, just call me "Al"...but really, just call me Dory, because this little fishy's memory seems to reset about every five minutes.

So you know how when defining harassment in the workplace (I know, where am I going with this, but just hunker down for the ride and stop asking questions), they say the act must be deemed as offensive by a "reasonable" person.  I get that.  Nobody wants a Milton Waddams howling harassment after you accidentally nudge his stapler with your elbow. But what I wish someone would explain to me is what a "reasonable" person would define as reasonable when it comes to work ethic.  At what point does dedicated and competent end and crazycakes levels of overachieving begin?  A colorful venn diagram detailing this distinction would much appreciated.

Ugh, I am sorry I am making you read this and I am sorry if your life is actually challenging in ways that I couldn't even imagine (i.e. you have real struggles and/or children).  Like I said, I have no delusions about how lovely my life is; it's just that sometimes...well, let's just say that January was a long month and there seems to be no shortage of long months in my future, if you know what I mean...but how could you when that makes no sense?

Anyways, I just needed grumble and send those grumbles into the ether because the internet cares so so deeply, I am sure.  Perhaps it would if I were to fashion the sentiments of this post into a gif.

Scratch that, I thought I knew how to create gifs but apparently I don't.  So much for comedy gold...