Saturday, December 30, 2006

A soft buzz...

I spent last night at my oldest sister's house, consorting with my two older sisters, watching movies and collectively being our particular brand of obnoxious... (We enjoy each other's company so much speceifically because we all understand this acid-tongued version of family fun.) And after spending the morning watching my nephews, I came back to a load of laundry, a little packing, a few phone calls, (including talking to momma for a little while,) some dinner, and a few beers while watching some sports highlights... All in all, a pleasant 24 hour period. Certainly the most light hearted overall day I've had in a while.

And now as I sit here with a soft buzz, and the packing for tomorrow evening's trip home looming, I just want to have another beer and prolong the feeling. Seriously.

No... Really.

Like A LOT.

I have nothing else to really report, so I suppose I will just write up those quotes I have been continually promising you.

QOTD:

Becky: "Hey Tyler... (my 4 year old nephew) What are these?" (Referring to cashews)
Tyler: "Mommy, those are moon peanuts."

Becky: "Hey Tyler, what's that?" (Referring to orange wedges with the peel still on)
Tyler: "Mommy... That's a juicy orange with the package on!"
Becky: "That's opposed to the baby mandarins we have at home, which are baby oranges with the package off."

Dad: "Damn... I'm sore from bowling."

(To understand the next bit, it should be noted that my dad has a deep passion for ALL things historical, with a special focus on WWII.)
[While watching "Pirates of the Caribbean II]
Patsy (My stepmom): "Bill do you want to watch this anymore?"
Dad: "Uhh... No."
Kim: "Well maybe if it were 'Nazis of the Caribbean...' You think that might interest him more?"

Random guy while shopping: "Hey how are you doing?"
Becky: "I'm infectious, how are you?"

[Christmas Eve, after "bedtime" while the parents were still up.]
Patsy:What are you doing up here?
Liz: "Sorry... I'm not trying to peek, but I really had to pee... and I didn't want anyone coming to wake me in the morning and thinking I had wet the bed solely due to Christmas glee."

[After I was essentially mauled by a guy who wanted to make out on the dance floor when I went out with my sisters]
Liz: "Whoa... What the hell was that?"
Kim: "That was a great white shark attack... It happens. They circle, looking for prey, and then when they find you off guard they go in for the kill."
Liz: "Was he even cute? I didn't even get a look at his face."
Kim: "Yeah, you were lucky. He was alright."

Running quote, issued from several sources: "Santa told me to tell you to go to hell!"

[A couple of years ago, after my dad had set up a nativity scene on the front lawn, someone stole the baby Jesus]
(Dec. 27: Dad was hell bent on getting the Christmas decorations down)
Dad: "Let's get these reindeer up in the attic."
Jessica: "Dad, why are we taking this all down so soon?"
Dad: "I just don't want to do it later."
Liz: "I think the real reason is that you don't want your precious reindeer to go the way of baby Jesus... And I don't mean that they will eventually be crucified."
Dad: "You're a smartass... But you're right."

Liz: "Jessica, what is dad doing?"
Jessica: "He's in the chair."
Liz: [laughing] "Well, I asked you what he was doing, not where he was, but your answer really does cover all the bases doesn't it."
Jessica: "Yeah... I'm pretty sure he has the history channel on."
Liz: "See, that was kind of a given."

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Drained.

I am emotionally and physically exhausted.

As I mentioned before, I went to see my grandmother today in her nursing home. It took a toll on me. My dad, my little sister, myself, and grandma's former dog made the trek to my hometown to have a little Christmas time visit. She didn't recognize my little sister at first, but she remembered her dog. She thought that I was still in school, and asked me how I did on my tests... I haven't taken an exam in over 18 months. And when I mentioned this to her she was quite confused. She didn't remember that her initial fall and resulting stay in the nursing home happened the week I actually finished the last of my college finals. She seemed to think that she had been in the home for merely a few days... She was upset because "the doctors made her sleep there last night." Of course she also mentioned that some athlete got hit in the head at the game last night, and apparently he died as a result. She also said that the reason I was good at artistic endeavors was somehow because of dogs... I just tried to be agreeable or be silent, and it was rough.

I know that while I might have been sitting there, I didn't actually say a whole lot, largely because words failed me, and I knew that nothing I could say would really help matters. I know a lot of people would say, it's important that I at least made the effort and that I showed up at all, and that I'd regret not spending more time with her once she finally goes, but I tend to think that there is also something to the whole concept of remembering someone the way that they once were, rather than what they become when body and mind is in the active process of defying everything that once was and is continually progressively failing them.

I also saw my big brother while we were in town. He has also become someone I scarcely recognize as what he once was, but for reasons I won't get into. His humor is the constant though, and it was probably the one thing that got me through the day.

That's all I can muster. Sorry.

Quotes later and pictures when I get back to Chicago because I forgot the USB cord that fits my camera.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Blue Christmas...

I know in that last post I mentioned how well my family knew me, and how well they can shop for me, but I don't think I'd be anything resembling truthful if I neglected to mention that this is a rough Christmas for me this year.

I'm not fishing for sympathy, or looking for your pity, I just think it's the kind of thing that bears mentioning.

So why are things so rough?

Well, there are several things, not the least of which is that I don't get to see my mom at all during the holidays this year. (I know she reads this page, and if she sees that written before it makes it to the bottom of the page, it will break her heart; that is also not my intention.) The fact is that my mom is my best friend, and I haven't seen her since this summer, so also missing her during the holiday, especially when I am this close to home is kind of difficult for me. In addition to that, my dad is taking me to see my grandmother at her nursing home in a couple of days... That is ALWAYS rough. She is bed-ridden and mentally "out to lunch" as my father so eloquently puts it. It's hard to see anyone you love take on such a helpless way of life. Especially when you know it is not something that was characteristic of them in better times. I hate to be such a "Debbie Downer" but it tears me apart and drains me of the little joy I've been able to manage recently. If it weren't for my sisters and my nephews being the incredible people they are, you'd probably find me curled up in the fetal position, drooling and incoherently mumbling. I would be a broken shell of my former self because, well let's face it, aside from the joy they bring into my life, it's been hard to smile lately.

I've got a few pictures and some quotes, but I will post them later because they are not handy at the moment... and after that depressing post, I need something to hook you into coming back later, because lord knows you don't come back because of the inspirational writing.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Booze and money...

We might not be the most glamorous family, and we might not have the most impressive or opulent Christmas out there, but one thing I will say is that my family knows me pretty damn well. I got top shelf vodka and cash for Christmas. It's what would have topped my list if "a job" didn't inhabit the #1 spot this year... and since they aren't in positions to hire me for work in Chicago, they did a damn good job. I hope your Christmas is going well!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Merry Christmas ... (Ok, once again... This time with a little enthusiasm.) Nothing? No? Eh... I tried.

Being excited about the holidays is just something I can't muster right now. I have done no shopping; I haven't done anything even remotely festive. I don't have a tree. There are no Christmas lights in my apartment. No garlands of tinsel, no ornaments, no cards to send out... Most people love to overdose on everything to do with the holidays... I am in a state of holiday starvation. I am totally empty of all spirit, and not even Christmas can bring me up a notch.

That said, I'm heading down to my dad's house for the holiday, and hopefully I will pick up a little something in the vein of spirit while I'm down there. Right now I'm not holding my breath. I love my family and all, but I loathe the idea of going down there and having to repeatedly explain the mess that is my life right now to everyone who I don't talk to every day. I mean I know they are asking out of concern for me and wanting to know what's going on, but I'm so sick of thinking about it that the idea of bringing everyone else up to speed just makes me nauseous.

If nothing else I'm hoping that the change in scenery will do me a little bit of good. Climbing the walls somewhere other than my little apartment might be a healthy change of pace...

I hope you all have a very merry Christmas. I will be gone for about a week... In all likelihood I'll get bored and be posting with some regularity while I'm down at my dad's too.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Don't ask me why...

I couldn't possibly tell you where I found this, or why I love it to the extent that I do, but in case you haven't seen it before, please check out "the unseen video."

The concept behind it is that depending on date, time, geographical location, and current weather, the video changes. Check it out now, and check it out again in the summer months... it's a neat experience!

My favorite part is the shot of the hands... It's a constant in the video, so you'll see it no matter when you watch.

DAMMIT! DAMMIT! DAMMIT! (UPDATED)

I went to a basketball game at my alma mater on Saturday night. It was an alumni night, so I got to see all my old basketball boys from my days in "the cage." Since we were there among all the hoops alum, we saw a graduate of the program that we never expected to see... And we got a QOTD!

"Hey, is that David Bailey? IT IS! WOW! I thought for sure he'd be in jail by now!" ~ Ciara

The title of this post is more closely linked to the fact that while I was on the way home from that game I snapped a heel on my fabulous, favorite, recently-reunited pair of shoes. I am really upset about all of this, because I really wanted to wear them to an interview this week. I will take them to the cobbler (aka the "shoe hospital") early on Monday to see if they can be repaired in time!

Also linked to the title of the post is the fact that I have broken yet another of my red wine glasses... This leaves me with one. (Please note I was totally sober and merely washing my dishes when I did this, so don't think I just busted it up in a drunken stupor.) So I am either going to have to get some new red wine glasses for Christmas, or I'm going to have to stick to drinking red wine alone. CRAP.

On a totally unrelated note, I have had conversations with my sisters in the past about our television viewing. Namely, we talked about what shows we watched in order to feel more normal. The concept behind this question isn't that we identify with the people on the show, in fact, quite the opposite. Basically we watch these shows because the people on these shows just make us feel better about ourselves. It's like a televised ego-boost. My oldest sister's selection was the Dr. Phil show. My other older sister selected Jerry Springer. I finally figured out what my selection is. I like to watch the A&E show "Intervention." I think the reason for the my selection is because I get to watch people who have drastically fucked up their lives, they have lost a great deal of what was once important to them, and in the end they are usually able to make the positive turnaround and start to redeem themselves. It's nice to know that it's possible for people who have screwed up their lives that much can still redeem themselves. That makes me feel better about my life. I don't know why I felt the need to share that, but I did.

In other news, I am pet sitting this week. Some of my friends go to the warm, sandy beaches of Puerto Rico for the holiday, and I get to feed the cat until I leave for Christmas at my dad's. Eh, that's my lot in this life. I'm used to it.

That's all I've got for you at the moment. Be good my darlings.

UPDATE: The guy at the shoe hospital said the shoe is shot! UHHH I beg to differ! He asked me how long I'd had them and I told him, "about a year or so" and he basically called me a liar. He said that if he COULD fix it, it would cost about $35 (which I would totally pay because those shoes were expensive, but HOT!) but he said more or less that he couldn't or wouldn't do it. Basically if he was willing to put in the effort it could be done... but there is no way that it would be fixed in time for the interview, so I will just have to wear other hot heels and be all the more fabulous.

Friday, December 15, 2006

This must be said...

Ok, we all know that I have been complaining like a mo-fo lately. That's pretty much a given right now. The cycle of lame, dull, uninsightful interview questions only makes me more likely to complain. But I will say one thing. I am a BIG fan of the phone interview. Seriously, what other situation affords you the opportunity to get a feel for the person you will be working for, or the kind of job you'll be doing and yet allows you to act all professional and put your best foot forward while in pajamas? Seriously. If I were to walk into a financial firm for an interview in a t-shirt, sweatpants and pink fuzzy slippers ... Well let's just say I wouldn't so much be walking into the building as I would be carried out by security. And yet with the phone interview, you get to do EXACTLY that. You are in a situation where you are your most comfortable, you are interviewing while sitting in your own turf, wearing what you want to wear, totally unkempt at 2PM if that's how you roll, and yet, if you can sound somewhat intelligent and coherent, people just assume you're dressed to the nines and picture perfect. It really is the best way to do the interview.

I mean really, if you think about the first interview, nine times out of ten you get all gussied up only to go into an office and realize that (A) it's not someplace you want to work, (B) they are clearly not feeling your vibe, (C) you are clearly not feeling their vibe, or (D) they describe a job or mention something that makes the job tantamount to scubbing toilets at a rest stop in po-dunk. Basically I think you should always have this kind of an opportunity to feel things out. Both parties are in a certain comfort zone, you get a feel for each other's personalities, you both have an opportunity to ask the questions you need to ask and if everyone comes to an amenable place of agreement, THEN and ONLY THEN do you any of you have to bother with the spit and polish routine. If I'm ever in the position to do some hiring, I plan on doing the phone interview first... It would save everyone a lot of time and effort.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Picture Pages: Reader request edition.

First off, I thought I'd post a picture of the flowers that I got for my birthday. I only now realized that I'd never posted the picture I took, and besides, my flowers make me happy! Aren't they pretty? (The colors are a little washed out but that was due to the harsh fluorescent lighting in my former office.) See that picture to the right of the vase? That's a little shot of my brother and I when we were VERY young. I'm playing with our pet turtle Ernie... And don't give me any crap about the pigtails... Pigtails are HOT!


This is the picture you've all anxiously been awaiting. When observing these, please keep in mind that they are all folded in half, and then folded in half again to hang over the shower curtain rod. (So basically, you're looking at them folded to 1/4 of their actual length.) For the record all the stripes and such are even, but the way they are hanging makes them look a little bit off. I assure you they are not. Lord knows I've had enough time on my hands to get them perfect.

The two-toned blue one on the far left is the one that's roughly 12 feet long. The skinny red one next to it is a gift for one of my friends. It's got red, grey, and white fringe because she is an Ohio State girl! The one at center-right is actually a wine and beige number, though the color is not as clear as I'd like it to be. I really like the super-long fringe I put on that one. The one at far right is also a gift, but as I mentioned before I don't know where to send it. It's a really pretty red and blue combination with a medium length fringe.


In other news, my efforts to stave off boredom have reached new lows. Want an example? Ok, let me preface this by saying that since I am romantically challenged (for entirely too long... but let's not even go there...) I REALLY like sleeping with my body pillow so that I have something to wrap my legs around. And my body pillow is especially good in my humble opinion, but seeing as I've had it since my freshman year of college, it's seen better days. I've spot cleaned it in the past, and I've done what I'm about to tell you about before once or twice too, but not to this extent. Today I was SO BORED that I decided to un-stuff the pillow (because it doesn't have a separate removable cover) I washed the cover, re-fluffed the stuffing, I re-stuffed that bad boy, and sewed it shut. That, my friends, is what you do when you are really REALLY bored and have nothing else to do.

UGH... I'm in hell.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

[Grumble, grumble...]

So I went to see yet another staffing company. And I did yet another round of the same old interview and paperwork routine... And then I spent the next two and a half hours doing software testing.

I mention this important bit only so that I can say this...

I HATE software testing. Software testing BLOWS.

And since I know my way around computer software, I had to take seven, count them SE-VEN tests to prove that I actually knew what I was doing and wasn't just checking boxes randomly. Seriously, there are only so many original questions one could ask about certain programs... but when you get to the 45th question on the Excel test and they are asking you how to make the text in a cell BOLD, you secretly want to punch in the monitor, if only so that you will have a piece of glass sharp enough to filet your wrists quickly and get it over with. And trust me when I tell you that after a little while your eyes do glaze over, and you just pray that the last question will come. And when it finally does, you rejoice... until you realize that you still have 4 more tests to complete. That's when the "secret" desire to punch the monitor goes public. But instead of taking a break between tests, you plug on, because to take a break means you have to sit in that weird little room that much longer, or even worse, you'd have to go back in and do the rest another day. Perish the thought!

Check in later. I'll try to put up those pictures I've talked so much about.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Oh, for fuck's sake!

Ok, so it was a two interview day...

[Insert heavy sigh and big eye-rolling]

Here we go.

My punk ass got up. I got all gussied up, I went down to interview number one. It was with another staffing company. Like I said before I wasn't really looking for this to be a big event. I got there and filled out the paperwork. I sat through the interview process and I gave my entirely too practiced responses. And the lady who interviewed me seemed to like me. She seemed optimistic about placing me somewhere, but then again, that's her job, isn't it? She made what seemed to be a big fuss over me, but she didn't give me any details on anything she had in mind for me. EHH.

On to interview number two.

This was actually a phone interview as opposed to a face to face. This lady seemed to love me. She really wanted me to come in for a second interview to be an office manager, but there was a hitch. Namely that I would have to work on commission. (How an office manager earns a commission is kind of beyond me.) And when I mentioned that my situation at present kind of requires a steady paycheck, as opposed to the uncertainty of a commission check, I kind of hit a wall with her. I tried to feel her out on this, and it all came back to that commission thing... Kind of a deal breaker when you're as financially destitute as I am right now. She liked me well enough to mention that she did have a personal assistant job coming available soon, but she is not quite ready to place someone in that job just yet, but she mentioned that she would certainly keep me in mind. And as much as someone keeping me in mind for a future position is great and all, it doesn't pay my bills today.

I've got another staffing company to see tomorrow... (At this point, one would think that I'd visited them all by now, but apparently not.) I'm so sick of trying to sell myself to these people. I'm kind of sick of myself period. I'm sick of not having any outside input or contact beyond the repetition of the interview process. I'm sick of answering THE SAME QUESTIONS OVER AND OVER. I'm REALLY sick of trying to understand how it is possible that an educated, personable, hardworking person such as myself can be having such a tough time just trying to find someone willing to hire me. It's so far beyond comprehension and infuriation for me, it's not even funny... I guess this is going to be a chapter or two worth of material for that book I write someday.

In other news, I want to post pictures of the stuff I've been knitting, (only because you have asked to see it,) but I'm having trouble trying to figure out how best to display a scarf that is 12 feet long. Also a couple of the things I've been working on are Christmas gifts, and I don't want to give away the surprise by showing them off in advance... On a tangentially related note, one of the gift-scarves that I recently completed was for a friend of mine, and oddly enough all attempts at contacting this friend in recent weeks have failed... Or more accurately, I've left messages and seemingly been repeatedly and consistently ignored. Now, I understand that it's the holiday season and that people get wrapped up in their business this time of year, but I'm talking about multiple attempts at opening an innocuous conversation, and consistently get no reply whatsoever. This friend knows that this gift was something I had planned to send. This friend knows I presently have no address to send it to them. I have pretty much given up on trying to send this as a gift to someone who clearly doesn't seem too keen on accepting or appreciating it right now. I have been down this road with this person before. It's infuriatingly familiar territory for this particular friend and I. And I think the reason it pisses me off so much is that I am just trying to do something nice for someone I consider a friend. And generally speaking, I like talking to my friends, so I find it a little irritating when they don't reciprocate conversation, or at least proffer some kind of explanation or reasoning as to why I am being ignored. But like I said before it's familiar territory for us... I should know this song and dance by now.

So that's the update. Have a good day.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Baby steps... (Updated)

"...Baby steps get on the elevator... Baby steps get on the elevator... Ah, I'm on the elevator. "

(Ten bonus points go out to those of you who got that reference. And for those of you who don't get it, you need to make a run to blockbuster and pick up this movie.)

Basically, the lizzle is trying to find the little things in life to smile about... And secretly hoping with every fiber of my being that the little things will snowball into bigger things, and well... Before you know it, I'm back on top of the heap.

So what little things have the lizzle smiling today? Well, for starters, I found my shoe.

Most of you are probably scratching your heads, or at least looking quizzically at your computer screens with furrowed brows. And that's ok. It's not like I posted flyers or anything like that...

But seriously, like six months ago I lost one of my FAVORITE shoes. And to be quite honest, one shoe isn't much good without the other, and if you don't believe me, just ask poor, sweet Nello. Any-who, I had pretty much given up all hope of ever seeing it again. And seeing as it is ass-bitingly cold here in the windy city, I went in search of my favorite gloves, the ones with the bunny fur lining. First, I looked for them in the pockets of all my jackets, and when the search turned up no results, I went looking in a little overnight bag that I keep in my closet, stuffed to the bursting point with my winter wear, (scarves, mittens, knit hats, etc.) and of course the gloves were in the very bottom of the bag. But as I was digging around in the bag looking for the gloves, ... lo and behold! Caught by the heel in a hunter green tangle of scarf, there it was, my missing shoe! (Mind you I have torn my closet apart several times in the interim looking for the thing, unaware that it had gotten caught in the tangle and put up on the shelf until winter weather was to reveal the spot where it chose to hide.)

So I've got my shoe. And I've got my gloves. And I've got an interview on Monday. It's just with another staffing company, so I am not getting my hopes too terribly high, but hey, at least it'll get me out of my apartment and you know... if something comes of it, I'll take it. Whatever... In the meantime, I have the distinguished title of "starving artist" because I am an artist, living on the bare minimum, waiting until something breaks... We'll just have to wait and see, but for the moment, I rather like holding the title. It's kind of a badge of honor.

That's the daily update. (I'm trying to make amends here.)

UPDATE: UHHH... I guess all I had to do was write about that big nasty wall for a sign of a trickle over the top of it. I say this because I now have 2, count them TWO interviews on Monday! What's a girl to do?!?!?

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Slinking quietly in through the back door, trying not to wake anyone...


You all know the feeling, I'm sure. Knowing that my writing caters mostly to current (and former) delinquents, I have no doubt that you have all at one time or another come home EXCESSIVELY late, curfew blown completely and utterly to bits, and you've done everything in your limited power to stalk in and stay under the radar of one or both parents or a particularly anal retentive spouse or significant other who knows down to the millisecond when you actually walked in the door as opposed to when you were SUPPOSED to walk in the door, no matter how stealthily slick you thought you were. And of course your social calendar thereafter went much the same way as a post-Katrina New Orleans... Blown to bits beyond recognition, and rebuilding would undoubtedly take an extended period of time and immense amounts of effort... Yeah, you've been there... And I know it! No need to hang your head in shame. You're in good company.

Well, basically, that's what I'm trying to do. Slink in the back, hoping that people won't realize that I've put off my posting "curfew" for a week, and that when the inevitable wrath comes down hoping it won't be too harsh... Based on the comments in the last post, and the fact that I just pointed out that I've been gone for a week, (twice now,) I am not too optimistic about my stealthy-slinking-back-in skills. In fact, I basically pulled into the driveway with the high-beams on and the horn blowing, then I slammed the back door, and I yelled, "I'M HOME! DEAL WITH ME AS YOU SEE FIT." (I've found in my time that this tactic can actually be quite effective, provided you're dealing with someone who respects honesty, and you don't come in reeking of booze, smoke, with dilated pupils, or smelling like someone else's perfume/cologne as the case may be... But I digress.)

Basically I have hit a giant wall (think: formidable and height-equivalent to Everest)... And that wall is covered in ice, reinforced with solid steel plating, covered in thorns, riddled with pockets of sulfuric acid, and everything else that makes the proverbial wall pretty much indestructible and unscalable. Yeah, that's the wall I've hit. Basically VERY few people are hiring anyone, and those that are hiring are paying slave wages or are looking for someone with 10 or more years of experience in any given field. (Seriously. 10+ years of experience to get a foot in the door!?!?! No, really, stop laughing. I have seen multiple ads like this.) The callbacks are extremely limited and the interviews are virtually non-existent. Basically, it's a REALLY shitty time to be out of work. And so after submitting my resume to any and every position I think I am even REMOTELY qualified for on a daily basis, I reside quietly in my apartment and I climb the walls in a mix of desperation, depression, and boredom. I have been knitting like mad just to keep my hands occupied and come up with cheap, but lovingly-crafted Christmas gifts, because let's face it, I'm not buying anything for anyone at this point.

I try to live by the axiom that excuses are like assholes, everybody's got one, and it's usually just covering up a bunch of total shit. But if it's an excuse, or even a line of reasoning you want, then just know that I didn't want to bore you with the tedious nature of my recent days. And seeing as I can't really afford to get out much, I don't have much of anything new to report about the outside world either. That's the gist of it.

There's other stuff to say, but seeing as I've got nothing else going on, I'll save it for another post on another day... And I'll try to post it in less than a week next time. And I'll try to manage some pictures for you too...

Friday, December 01, 2006

One of those days...

I mean REALLY... It's just been one of those days.

First off, let me just say that lately the days have started running together. And not in a good way! I seriously thought today was Wednesday ALLLLL DAYYYYY. It wasn't until 9PM when I was channel surfing out of boredom and saw that ER was on that I realized that it was in fact Thursday. You think I'm kidding, but I'm totally serious. And that is incredibly sad.

My disorientation as to the day of the week is sadly not the result of any recent blow to the head, or any major medical disorder which would cause me to lose a whole day, but I will say in my own defense today would have been a total loss anyway. I mean, when I woke up it was rainy and gross out, with occasional soft thunder, which made it perfect "cuddle up and do nothing whatsoever" weather, and then all that winter warning mess started up and at this point in the day, I can say it is official, THE WINTER STORM IS HERE! And I'm telling you all right now, I have no doubt that it's going to get ugly in the wee hours, though by the time you're reading this, it will already be apparent that I am right about this. Seriously. Chicago doesn't close down stuff for ANYTHING... And they were already announcing school closings and cancelled flights out of O'Hare on the 10 o'clock news... This is unprecedented! (And bitches were predicting all fall that it was going to be a relatively "warm" winter!?!? BAH!)

In other news it was also just one of those days for my computer. I had him (yes, my computer is a boy. In case you are interested, his name is Huey,) resting comfortably on an ottoman, and well, let's just say he decided he decided to make a run for it. And when he decided to make the initial leap necessary for his grand getaway, he leapt down off the ottoman onto an empty red wine glass. The wine glass is no more. And as much as that is a tragedy because it only leaves me with two respectable red wine glasses, the bigger tragedy is that the glass was not the only thing that was broken in the process. The little metal brackets inside the bottom of the monitor that hold it upright at the appropriate angle also broke. (Personally I was infuriated, depressed, and at the same time bewildered as to the fact that a fall of approximately 16 inches could break the metal hinge thingies... I mean they are METAL, and it was only 16 inches!) I suppose it has something to do with metal fatigue and falling at just the right angle on a red wine glass, and the force of gravity, and the moon in Sagittarius or something... All I know is that now I have to lean the monitor back on something if I have a desire to type anything without having the whole setup lying prone at a 180 degree flat angle. It's ridiculous... Fortunately Huey is still under warranty. Unfortunately, my computer is my main connection to the outside world, and a large part of hunting down job leads, and so I can't take it in for the repairs until I find a job, or an alternate lifeline to the world outside of my little hovel.

Crap.

In other news, I finally finished knitting a scarf I started roughly a week ago. It is soft and pretty, and uber-fabulous. It is a cobalt blue and baby blue wide stripe-y number... and it is OBSCENELY LONG! (I know with typing that last phrase I'm going to generate a few misguided google hits, but still, it's true!) And when I tell you it is obscenely long, I mean it is REALLY obscenely long. It's over 12 feet. That is much longer than any scarf ever needs to be... but here's why; I was wanting it to be pretty long anyway, (I was shooting for like 8 feet,) but by the time I got to that point, my balls of yarn were small enough that I knew I wouldn't be able to use them for any other complete project, so I just kept going, and figured it would finish at about 10 feet, still pretty long, but not obscenely long... And I guess I miscalculated just how much I had left, because well... it tops 12 feet and I have to double it over to make it look even remotely normal... but it's pretty and stripey, and when doubled over its extra warm, so hey I'll run with it!

Crimeny.

Well, I guess that's it. Have your hot asses a great weekend!


(And stay sexy!)


(And yes, those are condoms, so you know what I mean when I tell you all to have your hot ass a great weekend!)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Birthday Wishes...

Happy birthday to my big brother.

Yeah, we've had our differences, our physical fights, our disagreements, and yeah, he threw out my prom dress but he's still my big brother, and dammit, I love him.

He might not always seem to be the brightest crayola in the box, but he makes up for it in street smarts and charisma and on top of it, he's still a damn decent guy. And I think any of you would be hard pressed to meet anyone as giving. (The one trait I can safely say he inherited from our mom in spades.)

Truth be told, as far as we have drifted apart in our day, and as much as I have questioned his logic on a lot of things over the years, nothing could ever replace the days spent rolling down a hill in a refrigerator box together, or sledding on the hill by grandma's house. There have been a great many injuries, including, but not limited to being shot in the eye with a plastic suction cup dart, assorted bruises from throwing dirt clods at each other, a black eye from a marshmallow, cuts, scrapes, skinned knees, and well... the little scar on my forehead is a constant reminder of that game of tag in dad's home office gone terribly awry. There were nights spent playing "dark tag" with Kim and Cole in the basement, which usually ended with me squealing in pain after being blindsided by the zipper-end of a pillow to the face, but there were also immense amounts of laughter. And it's not just anyone who would (rather randomly) think to crawl into a sleeping bag, and then proceed to go sit in a shower stall and repeatedly announce, "Pee pee, poo poo, caca, I'm a little potty mouth!" or to hide behind a hill on the golf course fairway only to pop out a few minutes later, flailing his gangly arms wildly and begin screaming, "RUUUUUUN!!! THE COWS ARE COMING!! THE COWS ARE COMING!"

The highschool years were certainly made more interesting by having to live up to the high humor standards he set, while trying to live down the rumors and reputation for the family name handed down in the process. Trying to live with the fact that most of my friends had crushes on him because of his resemblance to a blonde Kevin Bacon was a task I took no joy in. But in the rare circumstance that we had a class together, (which did surprisingly happen on more than one occasion,) I never ceased to be amazed at just how much he got away with behaviorally, just because he was so easily able to make a teacher laugh instead of issuing some kind of reprimand. Working together as lifeguards during those years always added a new dimension to things as well... And I still have to wonder what the hell he was thinking when he pushed a grocery cart into the deep end of the pool, or how in god's name he ever got it out of there. And despite the fact that he incited a fair bit of laughter at my expense, or that he occasionally went out of his way to make my job a little more difficult, I wouldn't trade those days either.

We have certainly pursued our separate lives, but on the rare occasion that we get together, I am constantly amused and enchanted by the stories he tells, the memories he recalls, and the way he can instantly put people at ease.

He taught me to play darts, he is always the first to offer to go and buy another round of beer, he has given me at least one chapter's worth of material (more likely two or three) for the memoir I would one day hope to pen, and he has taught me that there aren't too many situations that a well-timed laugh can't get you out of... or at least ease the blow of really unpleasant repercussions.

So here's to my big brother on his birthday, raise your glasses one and all... To the only guy who could ever get away with so many things, the one who taught me that it's better to laugh at yourself than to lose your sense of humor about anything, and the guy who has always been among my few cheerleaders, hoping for my every success and rooting for me even when I have trouble rooting for myself. Cheers!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Holiday nonsense...

We're not going to discuss my Thanksgiving celebration, suffice it to say that I talked to my family, poultry was consumed, wine was imbibed in large quantities, football was watched, naps were taken, and I knew what I was thankful for.

Black Friday was not spent shopping, not only because I would much rather pay full price than deal with the black Friday crowds, but also because there is no money to go out and spend on much of anything that doesn't immediately involve the immediate needs of food and rent. I'm not bitter about this fact, but it bears repeating.

I spent much of my holiday weekend doing the regular lizzle maintenance, which included the cursory hair dying job, and some necessary waxing... (Go ahead and get your head out of the gutter, because all waxing is north of the border. Lord knows there is nobody even remotely close to seeing anything south of the border, and well, it's winter, so it's all pants... Deal with it.)

I also spent nearly four hours on the phone with Kirsten whom I love dearly, and by god, if that girl doesn't always entertain me, I don't know who can! She really is a spectacular girl! She offered up some quotes of the day that I'm sure were only funny in the context of the conversation, but suffice it to say that I feel better about the prospect of moving to Columbus, Ohio if it becomes necessary. And believe me when I tell you that as much as I don't like the idea of moving, I have in fact considered it.

I've got other stuff to talk about, but I'm withholding out of my own greedy self-interest. Yeah, I'm being greedy. Get over it.

It's time to bust out the Christmas music.

Jingle bells... and what?

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

An assorted list of jumbled thoughts...

I can't come up with anything that justifies its own post, so you get this... An odd little mishmash of thoughts.

  • Today I actually heard a TV announcer refer to poker as a sport. I have to draw the line, POKER IS NOT A SPORT. Just because they air it incessantly on ESPN2 does not make it a sport. ESPN also airs the national spelling bee, and spelling isn't a sport either.
  • I find "Kramer's" racist rant beyond disgusting and TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY inexcusable. Yeah sure he could pull a Mel and check into rehab and a lot of people would forgive him, but I will not be among them. He appeared on Letterman and said he wasn't racist... UHH, HELLO? How dumb do you think we are Kramer? If you weren't a racist the thoughts never would have entered your mind, let alone exited your lips.
  • I despise Fergie. I don't understand the appeal.
  • While we're on the topic of things I despise, OJ ranks right up there. Oh, and by the way, it was never a hypothetical. Bitch did it. We all know it. Now pay up.
  • I'm not going home for Thanksgiving. I don't know what the hell I'm going to do with myself on Thursday.
  • I've seen those commercials for Zicam on TV lately and I just want to say to all of you that on the one occasion that I used it, it was not effective... And it melted the inside of my nostrils.
That's all I've got for now.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The happiest sad moments...

(Reader's note: I took a mind-altering substance to help me sleep at a rational hour, so if the typing gets bad, or the words don't make any sense, I apologize, because that's just the drugs talking.)

As someone who has seen many of the highs and lows of life, I'm going to go ahead and say that sometimes life throws a twist your way when you least expect it. To steal a line from Steel Magnolias, "Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion!"

And so I got to thinking and I must say that I agree, laughter through tears is something worth noting on the emotional scale. And it's underrated because we all have times in our life when we have good reason to weep openly, and the friends who can somehow make us laugh our way through the monsoon pouring out of our faces. I've been blessed with the kinds of friends who when of us is in a low spot and the tears are flowing, the jokes pick up a certain kind of steam the likes of which have never been seen. The jokes have to hit new highs to bring the rest of us out of the lowest lows. I'd have killed myself long ago if it weren't for that kind of levity at bad times. But for the purposes of this post, I'm going to focus on the deep sadness I felt on a couple of occassions, and the happiness that was in an incredible way able to find it's way there.

The first time in my life when I can recall an event like this was when I was 8 tender years old. My Grandfather, who I loved, adored, and idolized for all my young years had aggressive terminal cancer. The man who taught me to love my Cubbies, the man who taught me a lot about being the kind of good person I wanted to be. Selfless to a fault. The man would give a stranger the shirt off his back and then say, "Follow me home, I've got some stuff in the closet you could use too." He sacrificed important aspects of his own life so that others could have their days to dream and realize those dreams. I was 8 when he finally succumbed to the cancer. And as my childhood idol lay dead in the beautiful box laid out in front, and as the family prayer service began, I was weeping inconsolably. I sat on my mother's lap, and cried a river into her shoulder and I felt a little tug at my dress. It was my 3 year old cousin Lindsay. Giving me a look, trying to understand the pain I was feeling, and in a way that only a small child can do, she offered up her ratty doll, Phyllis, that brought her so much joy that she carried it everywhere with her. And as she looked at me, and looked back at the doll, and in the single most self-less act I've ever been priveleged enough to see first hand, she handed me the doll. Of course that doll could do nothing to break the streams of tears, but the gesture has always stuck with me because she gave up her one comfort to me because she saw my raw pain. It was such a rare moment that I could only smile and thank her for her little gift.

Being much older for the next family funeral of significance, (I say that because there were many funerals in there that were equally sad, but lacked a certain something to make me mark it worthy for mention here.) I am referring to the relatively recent loss of my grandmother... The happiest sad moments were in the hospital with her. When I arrived she woke up from her slumber and pain killers and looked at me standing in the middle of the room and told me how beautiful I looked... And she said this after I had gotten up at some insane hour, missed my flight anyway and gotten the quickest flight possible and drove straight to the hospital... It was incredible. I stood there and said, "Oh grandma, that must be the drugs talking. I'm not at all beautiful." And in her sedated-slow way she said, "No, you really are beautiful, just beautiful, no matter how much effort you put into dressing up, you are beautiful right here, right now." The tears flowed freely from then on. Over the next few days there was little we could do to comfort her, so we told stories of the past that were sure to incite laughter. And for two days we kept a bedside vigil. Never sleeping, just waiting for the end, and cherishing every moment from then until the cancer finally claimed her. We joked about her jewelry, we laughed about childhood memories of grilling out by the garage, playing baseball in her back yard, my mom and her sisters retold the gems from their collective pasts, and the lack of sleep over the days had worn us all down to the point where every tale was hysterically funny beyond ordinary constraints. And when she passed, it was the most beautiful passing possible, and to say that I felt joy mixed in with all that pain is such a gross understatement. I held her hand and watched her last exhale, and I felt such honor to be present for the event, because in that moment I saw endless amounts of love. And I learned that a love like that is worth it no matter how hard you have to work at it. To even behold it was a gift, and to be a part of it, well that is something I couldn't justify in words. As my mother and I were the last to leave, a few of the nurses pulled us aside and noted that there was something special about us in that room, and that they had never heard such laughter on the wings, nor had they seen such a lasting love so freely expressed. It was nice to know that it was something that impacted others and not just those of us who lived it.

To carry over honoring grandma's impact, we all wore pieces of her jewelry to the services. (And believe me when I tell you that grandma had some real DOOZIES in the jewelry department!) She opted for a 5 "stone" plastic-jeweled bracelet with each "stone" was roughly the size of a doorknob, and done in the colors of a city stoplight... Earrings in the shape of martini glasses, and covered in stones, bangle bracelets of every possible color shape and size, earrings shaped like broken unpainted easter eggs, or the zebra striped ones that were literally made out of napkin rings.

We knew we looked nuts, but to those who understood the references, it was a neat touch to honor a woman who knew very much what it was that she liked. And for us, that was a way of carrying on the happiness into the sad moments.

But the main thing was that there was such love, such an indescribable incredible, palpable love. And that love is something that I am trying hard to aspire to every day. I'm trying to not think about the future, because it is just an unknown concept that keeps us from being happy and showing all the love we should show every day.

Monday, November 20, 2006

"I just need to hear someone say something intelligent..."

Since it was a big weekend in college football, I had every reason to talk to Kirsten... (Which isn't to imply that I ever need a real reason to talk to her, but I digress...) But when she called, football was the one thing we really didn't talk about... It was just kind of understood. If you've ever talked sports with Kirsten or me, you understand why that is the way it is. But none of that is important, what is important is that she called.

On Friday evening she called and the first thing she said was, "I am completely surrounded by imbeciles, half-wits, and morons. I just need to hear someone say something intelligent. I don't care if you talk about economic theories to end world hunger, or the social implications of whatever it is our government is doing this week, or anything else for that matter... Just pick ANY topic you want, and say something, ANYTHING remotely intelligent. I call you because I need to hear a few coherent thoughts and the occasional three dollar word used appropriately. This is what I need from you, and I called because know you can deliver." And to that I could only laugh and hope that something I said made some kind of sense. We spent the next few hours on the phone, and that was pretty much the highlight of my weekend.

I apologize that I don't have something more productive to offer right now... Check in later, I'm working on something.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Do it now...

Ok, so this post is kind of a straw poll of the readership to figure out if I'm a little bit crazy, or whatever.

So here's the thing... I spent much of Friday doing nothing, (other than looking for my phone for about an hour,) and really, I mean I didn't so much of ANYTHING. Then all of a sudden at 2 AM I got the proverbial ants in the pants and decided that I HAD to do something, and I had to do it now! So I spent 4 hours (total for all projects listed) doing the dishes, cleaning out my closet, fixing my paper shredder, touching up a little work on a couple of paintings, taking out the trash, washing the kitchen floor, moving my bed again, and then showering. Don't ask me why I all of a sudden had to do this stuff in the wee hours of the morning, but before I knew it, it was 6 AM. Seriously. And that brings us pretty much up to the moment, at which point I decided I needed to figure out if I'm just crazy, or if other people have the occasional compulsion to do things that don't necessarily have a deadline, but you've put off to the point where there is just no more waiting because something inside you just wigs out and screams, "DO IT! DO IT NOW! DOOOOO IT!!!"

Does this happen to any of you? Anyone? ...Bueller? ...Bueller?

It gets me every time...

Ok, so I've been in a grumpy mood lately. And then I drank to the point of stupidity, and had a nasty hangover on top of grumpiness. And then I lost my phone... And then I realized I hadn't gone anywhere, so I ceaselessly looked for it, and when I finally found it I found that I'd missed a few calls from people wanting interviews. Crimeny. So it hasn't been the best or most productive week. This seems to happen all too much lately. But whatever, I'll try not to bore you too much longer... I'm just setting up for this youtube clip that seems to get me smiling no matter how rotten things seem to be going. Basically if you can get through watching this clip without at least cracking a smile, you probably have no soul... Which would mean you are probably my old, much-despised philosophy professor. Because as I noted before no soul can exist in his presence, as he is well-practiced in the fine art of devouring aforementioned souls.

But here's something to inject a little levity into your day.



I feel kind of disgusted and despondent about things right now, so if you have any other cheerful things to offer, please, by all means, let me know.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

There is something else...

I have thought and thought and thought... And the only conclusion I can come to is that fate is involved and that it has something else in mind.

At this point, I have little else to believe in.

I think there is something to the fact that certain things and people are brought into and out of your life for a reason.

I mentioned before that I felt like I reconnected with a friend recently. I like to think there's a reason why that connection was renewed. Maybe I'm wrong, but I feel like I have to believe that there was a reason.

I don't pretend to know the overall picture, but I will say that I stand amazed at a conversation I had in the wee hours of the morning, and that a part of me regrets composing that last post. (And I'm not one for regret, so that might very well be saying something.)

I am constantly amazed by how well some certain people know me. And I do mean that in the most literal sense. Meaning I am utterly overwhelmed and astonished by the idea of certain people understanding me to the degree that they do. (Despite the fact that I inadvertently, or deliberately delivered cues which would otherwise cloud the meaning that I would properly intend to have interpreted.)

I spoke with the aforementioned friend at length, and found that someone I was previously so ready to give the pink slip was the first person to say something that brought be back to the reality I needed to find.

I can't begin to explain it to someone who doesn't know the proverbial ins and outs of our past, but I can say that with every possible exchange there is something newfound among things that I'd thought lost forever.

I'm not implying a hard future. I'm the last to know what lies ahead, but I will say this; I am hopeful. I am ever hopeful.

Hitting the wall...

I'm at that point again where I'm starting to lose faith in myself. And with that comes the inevitable question; what is the Lizzle qualified to do?

I've been talking to people I trust about this for a while now, and I haven't come up with much in the way of answers. I've had a few people tell me that I should write professionally... but there is a problem with that. Aside from the few college essays I still actually have hard copies of, (many were lost in the great involuntary computer memory wipe of '05) I have no real examples of writing to proffer to aside from this little gem of a blog... and well, you don't really want to show a potential boss where you go to complain about past bosses, do you?

I've had people tell me that I'm a great bartender, but the bars don't want to hire me because despite my great tits, I'm not a size two. (It's tough to come by a pair like this that aren't saline when we're talking about those size two gals... So take that for what it's worth.)

I know that I have a gift for dealing with people. But the fact remains that I don't want to DEAL WITH PEOPLE during the holiday shopping season... (read: I don't want to get stuck working retail, becuase that would probably end in a few massive Chicago funerals, probably televised if only for the fact that they will forever be attached to my shooting/stabbing/homicidal spree down State Street that resulted in the death of something like 387 people.) So that's out.

Seriously, I've torn through an obscene amount of interviews. And long story short, I don't know what the hell I am even qualified to do anymore. Seriously, what is a twenty-something, college-educated, girl with a brain and a personality (and a great pair of tits) supposed to do for a living? (Don't even suggest pole dancing... I already told you, I have a brain, and I don't care about the cliche' because ladies and gents, there are better ways of paying your way through medical school.)

Any suggestions? Any feedback? Any ideas? Any resources? Help!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Ok enough with the suspense...

As I mentioned before, there have been no professional developments. Friday's interview was a total bust. I essentially went, heard what they had to say, and upon exiting the office decided I had no interest in working for/with them whatsoever.

But the weekend wasn't a total loss.

As it turns out, I reconnected with someone who I had gotten quite close to writing off.

I was entirely too close to cutting my losses, but I decided that it wasn't fair for me to proverbially "cut bait" on this person without an honest show of my own feelings. I thought this because I felt as though not saying what I felt needed to be said would discount or completely void out all that had transpired between us because it hadn't been completely honest. And so we talked. And the more we talked, the more I found myself in total disbelief. He said things I could not discount. He made points that, despite my nay-saying I couldn't find fault with. And for as much as a part of me knew there was a great deal that had been lost between us over the years, the fact was that this conversation renewed my faith in what was left. And we talked some more. And we both shed the secrets we'd kept. And we agreed that the new-found honesty suited us. We both expressed regret over the timing of our conversation, but gratitude that it occurred. Together we recovered something that we were both afraid would be lost forever, and I think we both discovered things that made us genuinely grateful for the last ditch effort.

It's an incredibly odd feeling to find a renewed faith in something that was so close to being a TOTAL loss. A really odd feeling. Odd, but wonderful.

Oh Lordy...

My weekend has been something in the way of a development... though not in the professional regard. We'll talk later.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Some days just go better than others...

I went to another of my scheduled interviews today.

The job that they seemed to think I would be ok for was something that I've never done before, and I already don't think I'm qualified for. That being said, I'm still going on the second round interview that they have set up for me. Because it doesn't hurt to give it a shot.

Having some time to kill, I went and bought a new suit jacket to work into the wardrobe of interview apparel. And then I went to see Anthony, because he is my touchstone in all the turmoil. And while I was there, I had a conversation with a woman who seems to think that she can get me on board working for a law firm at a salary SIGNIFICANTLY better than what I've been asking. If she can pull off that miracle, I'd be over the moon... Of course, for all I know she is just a compulsive liar who simply wanted to open a line of dialogue. That would be on par with my luck. But I am guardedly optimistic about the whole thing... Cynically hopeful if you will.

But I must say that the recent weather change has been GLORIOUS. If only it could stay like this! (It certainly makes trotting from interview to interview in obnoxious heels a lot easier when you have sun and warmth to look forward to when you venture out the door.)

And now if you'll excuse me, I have to go get some laundry and other assorted goodies done before tomorrow rolls around!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

That's more like it...

After today's round of interviewing, I am just going to pretend that I didn't write yesterday's post. I had an interview today that was pretty good for a few reasons.

  1. They are looking for someone with a dynamic personality. (CHECK.)
  2. The guy who conducted my first round interview was from my hometown. He knows I'm good people and why I'm looking for work here as opposed to home.
  3. The interview was in the same building where I used to go to get good sushi for lunch back in my working days, so I treated myself to a delicious sushi dinner.
  4. I have a second-round interview on Thursday morning.

I also have an interview set up for tomorrow afternoon and Thursday afternoon. Basically, homegirl is concentrating her focus where it needs to be. (Now if only my sleep cycle would automatically go back to normal!)

Yesterday was just a low point, I am not going to let this city get the best of me dammit! I'm going to make it here! I might die trying, but I'm going to do it! Because while I'm not lucky, I AM REALLY GOOD! And though Markus wants me to move to NYC, I don't think I'm up to that kind of a jump just yet... and I know that my bank account isn't up to that kind of a challenge just yet. As for other cities, I've certainly considered them, but my problem would be finding someplace with some kind of a safety net. When I made the jump to Chicago, (despite not knowing a soul here when I moved,) I had college to fall back on. (It's easy to find people who will like you no matter what your disposition might be when you're in college.) Home seemed like an appealing option because of the size of my safety net there. But now that I've got people who love me here, I'm not ready to call it a day and say that Chicago won... I've yet to really throw down here! I'm so on it!

I'm going to leave you hot bitches on that positive note, because that's really all I've got to say.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Thoughts of home...

I have had to do a lot of thinking lately. And there is a small part of me that is seriously contemplating the possibility of moving back home.

As much as I dislike my hometown, I've heard enough people tell me that if I were to move home how easily they could get me a job. Compound that with the number of times I've heard lately, "Oh you're young, and you just don't have enough experience yet..." and then you start to get the general idea of the catch 22 I've found myself in lately. I'm young, so I don't have enough exprience for people to hire me, and yet, I can't get experience unless someone is willing to hire me. Yeah, sure I have been working since I was fifteen, sometimes two or three jobs at a time, and yet I don't have experience... Yeah, that makes sense.

I've always hated the people who have had things readily handed to them. I've always asserted my independence and a desire to avoid the easy way out of a tough situation, but I'm starting to think that this city might have beaten me. I'm starting to see the appeal of moving home and having a job handed to me. But then again, I'm also seeing myself living in my hometown again, and I am once again revulsed.

I'm so confused.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Lack of Focus...

Attending the schools I've been fortunate enough to attend in my young life, I learned at an early age how to write well. I'm not trying to imply that what you see here is always good writing, or that it is polished to the point of perfection, far from it.

Once I got to college, I certainly noticed the disparity between my writing and the writing of many of my fellow students. This became incredibly clear upon taking a core English course with a professor who delighted in a rather brutal form of grading that involved making copies of work that students submitted as finished work for his class. He would white out the student's name at the top of the page, make the copies, pass them out, and then as a class we would go through the paper noting problems with the text in front of us. And believe me when I tell you that there were some student works that were utterly massacred by a class of 40 students. Their precious paragraphs dissected ad nauseam to the point where every singe word choice was scrutinized, and the placement of every comma questioned. People cried. I'm not kidding. And while the professor was sparse with compliments, and harsh with penalty on papers, you always felt proud when you did well, because you knew you earned the grade. But the thing that he was consistently trying to hammer home in the minds of my fellow students was that while a good description of something is important, the most important thing was to retain a very definite focus on your topic, and to not let the overall theme get lost in tangential descriptions. Basically, he wanted us to learn to stick to the point, and elaborate only as much as necessary. Surely there are some of you out there saying, "But doesn't he know that greatness is in the details?" Yes and no. He loved it when you gave him details, but the details need to be pertinent to the main idea. There is no sense dallying on the extraneous.

So what am I getting at?

I think this is something that we need to apply to real life. (And by "we," I mean me, because I don't dare tell other people how to live.) And so we get to the heart of the matter in an efficient way. And when the job is done, it's done right. This might be why I have felt like I have been floundering lately, my lack of focus. And so I decided to try and take on things with a new-found focus. I'm going to try methodically grinding away at one task at a time. I focused on cleaning my bathroom last night. I took over an hour to scrub the grout lines in my shower with a toothbrush, and to polish the mirror to a streak free shine. I spent nearly two hours cleaning a room that is roughly 24 square feet. (Which is a little crazy.) But the fact is that while I was doing it, I was focused on doing the job right. I was consumed with the goal of making it as polished and perfect as I could manage. And when I was done, I was happy with the result. And so I'm going to try to work in a more task oriented way for a while. I want to see if the feeling of accomplishment at the end of each task is as rewarding as a spectacularly clean bathroom. And tonight's task? I think I'm going to take a run at that painting that I've been putting off for all too long. (For those of you familiar with my active canvases, the red one with the lady.) I'm going to try to focus on it and make it work.

Friday, November 03, 2006

The happy book...

Back when I was in college I decided to start writing a book, though it was more of an extensive leather-bound list than an actual "book."

It was called the happy book.

The concept behind it was that I carried around what was essentially a blank journal (with a nifty cover) that I used to list the things that made me happy. And being the social butterfly that I was in my college days, I opened the happy book up to contributions from my friends. In the spirit of the happy book, and seeing as I've been quite a grump lately, I'm going to try and change my energy and come up with a list of many things that make me happy just off the top of my head. (Most of these are probably in the book, but the book is not currently available for reference so this is just an odd jumble.) And like the original list, I'm opening it up to outside contributions, so feel free to list as few or as many things that make you happy in the comments! (With the exception of the top three, the rest are in no particular order.)

  1. My momma.
  2. My friends.
  3. Knowing that I am a Cubs fan, even if the actual baseball part has caused me to be very sad in recent years. (Likely a continuing trend, seeing what's going on at the moment.)
  4. Puppies.
  5. Kittens.
  6. Baby Pinguins! (Yes, that is how I say it, so that's how I'm gonna spell it.)
  7. Long nights of "confessional drinking."
  8. A good pair of sweatpants. (Strictly for lounging at home purposes.)
  9. Dancing to extremely cheesy music without regard for how I might look to others.
  10. Thunder storms.
  11. Sunshine on my face.
  12. Crunching fall leaves under my feet as I walk.
  13. That perfect fall weather when it's cool enough for a sweater or a light jacket, but not so cold you need a coat.
  14. Slow dancing.
  15. Driving on an open road on a sunny day.
  16. Camping.
  17. The beach.
  18. Genuine compliments.
  19. Playing in the rain.
  20. Curling up with a good book.
  21. My bed.
  22. Shopping at the art supply store.
  23. Gentle breezes.
  24. Working in the jewelry lab.
  25. Riding a horse.
  26. Air conditioning on those supremely hot days.
  27. Laughing so hard it gets hard to breathe.
  28. March Madness.
  29. Visiting with old friends who you haven't seen in a LONG TIME and finding that nothing has changed.
  30. Watching little kids play.
  31. My nephews.
  32. My sisters.
  33. (Occasionally,) hanging out with my brother also makes me happy.
  34. Seeing a really great music act do a live performance.
  35. Hanging out with someone for hours and having that feeling like it's only been mere minutes.
  36. Singing along to the radio in the car and not worring about how bad I might sound.
  37. People watching.
  38. Seeing my friends succeed.
  39. Playing cards with my friends.
  40. Engaging in random acts of kindness.
  41. Good sushi. (Crappy sushi can really ruin an otherwise good day!)
  42. Boys. (They are also known to ruin many perfectly good days.)
  43. Perfectly ripe fresh fruit.
  44. A really good stretch.
  45. Baby feet.
  46. Looking for pictures in the clouds.
  47. That feeling of accomplishment I get when I finish a big project.
  48. Getting flowers.
  49. Watching fireworks.
  50. Visiting art museums.
Okay, that's fifty... Now it's your turn! Like I said, it can be ANYTHING, as long as it makes you happy. Go wild!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Soul Searching

This second round of unemployment has led me to do a lot of soul searching.

A LOT of soul searching.

The conclusion I've come up with so far?

I'm so fucked up.

And I don't know the best course of action to fix myself.

And I'm not sure that this is the best forum for working out my mess.

I'm just perplexed.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

I hope you had a good one...

For all those of you who celebrated Halloween, I hope you enjoyed it. I also hope that you enjoy all the candy your little heart desires, and not gain an ounce!

Also a special Hallo-birth-ween-day shoutout to Loni aka Meljoy. She is older than me. And she always will be, and she will be even older than me when I start sticking after next year.

I spent my halloween applying for jobs, playing phone tag, watching fight club, napping, and at the end of my halloween, despite the fact that I don't have much of a sweet tooth, I went and I bought myself a little candy, just because it only felt right to have a little candy on halloween, seeing as I did nothing else that was celebratory in nature... Unless you count that nap... I totally celebrate the fine art of afternoon napping.

Oh, and for the record, I LOVE David Letterman. (If you didn't catch the original airing of this a few days ago, please take a few minutes and enjoy! (Sorry it's split in two parts, but both are worth your time.)



Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Perhaps I should have elaborated...

Or maybe I elaborated in the wrong way...

With my last post, I didn't mean to imply that I am in any way ready to just settle down, get married, and have babies. Far from it. I know I was talking a great deal about the fact that many of my friends have decided to pair off, but (at least mentally,) I was more focused on the loss of my spark. Upon re-reading the post, I can certainly see how I lost the focus on the spark and got bogged down in all that other stuff. Sorry.

As happy as I was to see that you all think that all the fun hasn't totally leapt out of me, and that it's just a side effect of unemployment, I am still a girl who has lost her spark. And as such, I don't have much to report to you. I'm no fun. I'm a shit.

So cheers to you, I'm going to have another glass of wine, and another couple of episodes of Sex and the City... Because that's what we boring people do.

Monday, October 30, 2006

A murky picture...

As a denizen of the self-involved realm of blogging, I have a tendency to do a certain amount of self examination even when otherwise engaged in the most ordinary tasks. Some would say that this kind of behavior is exactly what's wrong with the world today. I tend to disagree. I am pretty sure one of those philosophers or scholars of old once said that the unexamined life is not worth living, and that I am more of this school of thought. After a day spent in-part with a friend who was occupied with the task of finding an end table to go with her new sofa, I got to thinking about my situation, how I got here, and where I'm headed.

Overlooking the professional aspect of this whole picture for a moment, let's look at the life of Lizzle. (The professional portion will come into view soon enough.) Ok, Lizzle is terminally single. Due in no small part to the fact that she gets hung up on all the wrong people. I engage in semi-self-destructive, self-indulgent behaviors. I live in a little apartment in a big city. I don't talk to my friends with nearly the frequency I'd like. I don't go out and drink and laugh until 5 AM on a Saturday night like I used to... And not out of a need for recovery time, I can still hang and recover on a Sunday like a champion. In fact, I've noticed a distinct deficiency in the giggle department of late... And I don't like that one bit.

I used to be so loud and happy and fun. Now I fear that I'm becoming one of those quieter brooding types. Yeah sure, I'll bump and grind on the odd Saturday night without any regard for how I look to anyone else, but now it's because I've been drinking for a few hours, and I'm not going to embarrass myself because I'm alone in my apartment, and not because I just don't give a damn what other people in the bar might think. (Rereading that last sentence makes me feel intensely pathetic and probably makes you think I'm a total alcoholic... I assure you that while I might be a little pathetic, I'm not an alcoholic. And no, I'm not just in denial.)

So where did it all go so very very wrong? I don't know. I know that a lot of people would have me believe that this is just a part of growing up, and that since I'm not in college anymore that it's only natural to start acting like this. But I don't think that's it. Yes, I totally lived every day to the fullest during my college years, and no, I can't believe they actually gave me a diploma for the minimal amount of effort I actually put into it. But I feel like apart from just growing up, and seeing so many of my friends move off to the burbs, I've lost something more substantial. I've lost more than just that spark... I feel like someone or something has snuffed the candle in its entirety. And that bums me out. It's like the death of all that was once fun in me.

I've watched my friends grow up too. They have started to pair off and settle into happy domestic adult lives. They have started their own little families. People I went to high school with have husbands/wives and children. And I am still stalled back on the day I heard the locker room rumor about them getting caught making out in the dugout after class. As much as I would really welcome a meaningful relationship right now, I can't help but wonder, did they just settle because they don't know any better, or is it that they are [gasp] genuinely happy with how things are playing out for them? No matter how long they have been together, somehow I am still shocked when I hear about my friends having weddings and kids, partly because I know that I can barely handle taking care of myself, let alone a small child. (There is a part of me that is vaguely jealous though, because they have things in hand. They have a settled plotted life ahead of them... Whereas I am currently confused and blindly staring out into the void, desparately searching for some sign of life and calling out, "Is there anybody out there?")

If I was saddled with a kid at my age, I could understand how I might lose the compulsion to go out and drink myself retarded on a weekend, but as things are, there is no real definitive answer.

Some of you might be thinking that this lack of fun is due to the recent lack of funds... And at first glance I would have been inclined to agree with you, but upon further examination I find that's not it either... Well, maybe in part, but certainly not as a whole. Although I must say that if it is a contributing factor, I would say that unemployment has been far more costly than originally calculated... And by that I mean it has cost me more in spirit than I could ever make up financially by having a stellar credit rating, (which is also shot to hell). The financial loss I could make up, given time... I fear the loss of spirit is far more insurmountable and far more difficult to replace.

And in my original plan, I had decided that I wanted to be back in school working on my Masters degree by now, but suffering the repeated and incrementally-increasing setbacks that I've seen since my matriculation from undergraduate studies, well, that plan has been put on hold. It would seem that the school of hard knocks isn't quite ready to quit taking my money, and just give me my diploma just yet. (For the record, this school of hard knocks degree is requiring much more effort and lost sleep than my last degree.)

Maybe I'm just losing my damn mind... I hope it meets up with my spark of spirit out there in the void, meanwhile I'll just be sitting here boring and crazed... You think?

Friday, October 27, 2006

The Beatles knew their shit...

John and Paul knew what they were talking about when they wrote the song "With a Little Help from My Friends."

I was not doing anything in particular when my phone rang. It was Kirsten. She was calling because she needed to vent. She was having one of those weeks where nothing in particular went wrong, but not much seemed to be going right either. She'd been sick all week, had a bad day and come home from work and had a cry, and once she came to her senses, she called me. We talked for a couple of hours, she learned of my recent plight, I learned about her bad week, we both talked at length about our disdain for sports broadcasters, we laughed, we talked about our families, and when all was said and done, we were both better off having talked to the other.

I'm always taken by surprise by these kinds of phone calls. I didn't expect the call, but as it turns out I felt immensely better when it was over. And Kirsten summed it up well by saying that talking to me was just what she needed because she got a chance to vent, and knew that I would say exactly what I meant in reply to her woes. (It's nice to have a friend that just gets you like that.)

I don't have anything else to report to you. I'm sure I've probably bored the hell out of you with this, but let me assure you that it was still the best damn part of my week.

Be good my lovelies.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Reflections from square one...

Ok, this is my third try at this post. The first time blogger ate it. The second time my computer wigged out for a second, and poof, it was gone again... Let's hope that the third time is the charm.

Here goes nothing!

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I called my mother to discuss my situation here...

She gave me the old gem, "That which doesn't kill us only makes us stronger."

(First off, I'm glad I've got that one written down now... Heaven forbid we lose the formula for that brand of rocket surgery!)

I replied, "That may be the case, but I'd really like a period of atrophy."

And by atrophy, I don't mean to imply that I want or expect a part of life where nothing goes wrong. I am not asking to win the lottery, or to find suddenly that I have been left a fortune by some long-lost acquaintance who elected to put me in their will for lack of someone of equal or greater awesomeness deserving of inheriting such a vast fortune. I just want a period of time when I catch a few breaks, and occassionally things might happen to turn out well for me. I'm just asking for a little while when I can know the sensation of not only standing on my own two feet, but to also feel like I'm doing well for myself. (And maybe be able to afford a vacation to someplace where I have never been before... I'd like that opportunity.)

=================================================

I am taking this rough spot as an opportunity to learn something about myself.

I figure if I'm going to have a rough spot, I might as well try and learn something from it.

I suppose that's the "make us stronger" part, huh?

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Learning from tough times is one of those thinge we do, I suppose... I mean sure, you can learn from the good times too. But the tough times are always a kind of crash course in the life lessons, aren't they? I hate that accelerated learning curve thing...

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I guess I'm just really hoping to get something out of this other than a piss poor credit score.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Later...

I wrote a real post.

Blogger ate it.

I got mad.

I gave up.

I decided it was time for bed instead of rewriting everything.

Check in later, I might have reconstructed it by late afternoon.

Then again, I might not.

You never know.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

NEWS FLASH!

There is good news, and there is bad news in the land of Lizzle.

The good news is that I still have my health.

The bad news is that my health is not insured as a direct result of my being “let go” on Friday.

Oh… That being let go part? Yes, well, that’s also bad news, I suppose, isn’t it?

Yes, it’s true I’m afraid. Just as I began the motions necessary to totally, completely, and fully extricate myself from the guttural existence I had called home little more than a month ago, I have found myself cast back to square one.

What happened this time? Hell if I know. What I do know is that one of the more tolerable partners in the firm where I was employed pulled me into his office late Friday, (and for the record that line in “Office Space” is true, they do always do it on a Friday afternoon to prevent an incident… anyway,) and he let me know that while he knew I was still new to the job in general, and that despite that fact I was performing at about 80% of what they would fully want, (he noted that 80% was quite good given the time I’ve been there,) that I was still technically in the probationary period of employment. And that as such, and seeing that they are going into the winter slump of the real estate market’s typical flux, they figured that they could get by utilizing the other two admins they had, and rely on temps for extreme situations. Thus they save the pay they would normally issue to me, and since that “probationary period” was still in effect they could also get out of paying the finder’s fee to the woman who made the last month possible. (If any of that sounded familiar to you from the last time we went through this, I assure you that I too have noted the similarities, and I only wish I was making this entire thing up.)

So what did I do wrong?

I can’t really pin it down.

Did I sit and do my nails at my desk? No. That was one of the other admins. Did I screw up a mailing? Nope, that was the same admin busy doing her nails. Did I drop a phone call? Yes, but so did everyone else… The phones have been an issue for everyone lately in that office. (Mind you, I was also LEARNING the phone system.) Did I read magazines when I should have been doing filing, or copying, or something equally menial yet semi-productive? Nope. Once again, that was the admin/manicurist. Did I perform my puppet show for the wrong client? Nope… I didn’t even have a chance to finalize the script, or make key casting decisions. Did I come in late? Once, and I have the red line trains to thank for that one… And I did call as soon as I figured out I would be late. Did I spit in the boss’ coffee? No, although I did have motive and opportunity on that one... (I think I should get extra credit for not doing that!) Did I take personal calls at work? One, on my cell phone, on my birthday. The other girls spent HUGE chunks of their days on personal calls. And since we’re on the subject of phones, at this point, I would like to point out a HUGE disparity between the number of calls I took on a daily basis as opposed to the other two people who knew what the hell was going on. Not only did I not take personal calls, I fielded 95% of the incoming business calls to that office. At first I considered it a “trial by fire” type of deal where I was forced to learn the phone system through sheer volume, but after a couple of weeks, it became apparent that the phone duties had pretty much entirely passed to me. Ok, so what else is left? Did I steal from the company? Nope, even though I did have a day when I was handed over $100,000.00 in endorsed checks to deposit. Did I come in hung over, unkempt, and reeking of booze? Nope. Not once. I always showed up fully dressed, made-up, coiffed, aware, and prepared for the work day. I am willing to contend that the fact is that if there were any “unprofessional” behaviors which I engaged in, that I didn’t engage in any of them until I saw a standing precedent which led me to believe it was acceptable practice in this office. Basically when you’re working your butt off, and one admin is on a personal call, and the other is watching YouTube clips, you feel like your job is pretty secure… Apparently not.

Was I perfect? No. I’m not trying to pretend that I was. Was I doing my best to learn the way things were done at this particular office? Yes. Was I in any way acting with flagrant disregard for the way things worked there? I don’t think so. Despite the few mistakes I am more than willing to concede, I can’t think of anything deserving a dismissal... I think this was just another maneuver on the behalf of corporate America to save money at the expense of (low man on the pole,) Lizzle. In this case, not only do they save my salary, they also save the fee to the dear sweet woman who put me in touch with these … these … (Well…My momma taught me that if I couldn’t say anything nice about someone I shouldn’t say anything at all, and in the interest of listening to her, for once I’m not going to finish that sentence.)

And of course this would happen just after the purchase of my new winter coat… Mere hours after I removed the tags on my bargain.

And so I’ve spent this weekend alone, just trying to breathe, and think, and not wanting to feel this crap all over again and so I’ve been behaving like an alcoholic and drinking myself retarded in the evening hours so that I can get a full night’s sleep only so that I can get up in the morning and breathe and think and feel it again the next day… And come Monday, I am going to look down at my new place on square one, and I’m going to say, “Ok, here we go again. This is as good a place to start over as any, so LET’S GO BITCHES! LET’S THROW DOWN!"

Thursday, October 19, 2006

A little love...

I must say, that I was touched by your comments on that last post. I'm glad that you all know I'm still around, even if I've had to resort to lurking. I'm glad you still love me, even when I don't love myself. And I love that you don't think I'm an asshole, even though I know better! You are all very sweet! (And no Brenda, as much as I do love you, I'm not doing your dishes! I don't even want to do my dishes on a daily basis. I only deal with mine because they are already here, and because I know if I don't deal with them they will stink up the place, and make me look like a hethen/slob to house guests... and that's part of being an adult isn't it? If you really don't want to do them that badly, then throw them all out, and go get a new set at Target! Thirty bucks, problem solved!)

And since I'm talking about love, and being an adult, and spending money, I'll go ahead and declare that today I decided that since I'm an adult, and I love myself enough, I was going to spend a little money on myself. (Forgive me here, this paragraph is all about my self-indulgence. I admit that you might call me a spoiled brat when you read what comes next, but I will shank you until you come to terms with the fact that I AM WORTH IT!) And so I bought myself a $600.00 cashmere coat. Because. I'm. worth. it! And I've been needing a full length coat for a long time. Those of you who know me well know that as much as I love myself, I didn't spend $600.00 on a coat. After all, I'm no celebrity, or trust fund baby, or the kept woman of some benevolent sugar daddy. (Although... now that I get to thinking about it, I need to really look into getting one of those for myself. I know I'm worth that!) No, I went shopping on my lunch break, and Nordstrom was having a tag sale. I got my beautiful new coat for 25% of the original price. Yeah. I got a full length cashmere coat for $150. And once again, I declared my supremacy over the retailers of the world. And let me tell you that $600.00 coat looks great and feels incredible on a girl who was about $30.00 from the bottom of the barrel a very short while ago. And to be honest, after going that long without being able to get anything for myself other than food (I use the term "food" loosely, because I am NOT lying when I tell you that I resorted to college food budgeting at a certain point fairly early on and bought a case of ramen noodles for $2.00 ... And I'm not entirely sure that ramen qualifies as food... but I digress,) anyway, I felt like a little self-indulgence on that first big paycheck was in order. (Wow, rereading over that paragraph is a total stream of consciousness experience.) Call me what you will. I will still call myself AWESOME! And now I'm AWESOME and WARM in my new coat.

Some of you out there are saying, "But Lizzle, you could have bought a much cheaper coat and given the rest of that money to charity!" And you're right. I could have bought a cheaper coat. But you're not going to find many full-length winter coats for less than $100. ...Well, you might, but then you're going to encounter at least one, if not both of the following problems; A) It's not going to be classically stylish and be out of style next year, or B) It's going to be poor quality and fall apart on you. Either way you're going to have to get another coat next year, and spend that charity money you had all socked away for those poor starving African kids, and so we're right back where we began. Only in my scenario, I look hot, and am staying warm now. Yeah, I win. Because like I've been telling you,

I'M AWESOME. (Which is why you kids keep coming back here!) Oh yeah, and for the record, I do charitable works too, I just don't make a big ordeal out of it, because I think charity should be because you want to do it, not because you want recognition for it.

I'm going to quit yammering on and wasting your Friday now.

Go play!

No, seriously, GO PLAY!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

I feel like such an asshole...

I'm going to freely admit that I have slacked off lately. While I have been reading your blogs, I have not been commenting like I usually do.

To be honest, I've been running around like a damn fool trying to get my finances back on track, trying to rearrange my apartment, and clean up all the mess involved with that, trying to pare down some of the crap I've amassed since coming to Chicago, (for the record, that's FIVE YEARS of crap,) and trying to manage all that goes into being an adult, like laundry, dishes, trips to the grocery, cooking, cleaning, etc. And while some days are slow at work, other days have been HECTIC. As a result, I've been to exhausted to be witty, (as evidence, you have this less-than-polished post) and I really only like to post a comment if I honestly have something to say, and I can say it in a funny way.

I honestly can't explain how excited I am to "fall back" in like 10 days, if only so that I'll have a day with an extra hour in it!

I'm sorry guys. I'm really hoping next week will be better.

Oh and as for PR, I think Uli got robbed!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Not much to say...

I'm a tired baby, so I'm going to post some QOTDs and call it a night.

QOTD #1: Picture it, an average day at the office, and your usually-in-a-foul-mood boss is in an incredibly good mood. So good, in fact, that he walks into a meeting, and despite being a middle aged, Jewish, white guy, and looks at one of the guys in the meeting and says, "SUP, DOG?"

I nearly spit my coffee all over my computer.

QOTD #2:

Scott: "Did any of you watch the Bears last night?"
Liz: "I did."
Tie: "No."
Scott: "Oh yeah, Tie, what did you do?"
Tie: "I was asleep!"
Scott: "Wow, the suburbs are that lively, huh?"

Monday, October 16, 2006

Televised sports will be the death of me...

[With the noted exception of the NBA,] The Lizzle LOVES televised sports. (That's certainly no secret.)

So far this season, the Bears have been a joy to behold. And Monday night... When the game was nationally broadcast? Uhh, yeah, not such a joy anymore. In fact, for the first three quarters, it was bordering on downright grueling to watch. It was just plain UGLY!

Touted to be the BEST team in the NFL, the Bears were being absolutely manhandled by the ARIZONA CARDINALS!

THE ARIZONA FREAKIN' CARDINALS!
(In case you couldn't tell, my voice got really loud and really high on that last bit!)

Honestly, I think they know exactly what they are doing when they build me up only to gleefully tear me down. SONS OF BITCHES!

And in that last quarter? They rip me from the depths of despair and put me on cloud nine with an absolutely INCREDIBLE miraculous win.

But I am still bitter that they played such shoddy football for the first three quarters. There is NO EXCUSE for that. You hear me? NO EXCUSE! NONE!

Speaking of Chicago sports news that displeases me immensely, the Cubs inked a 3 year deal with Lou Piniella. Yet another groan-inducing move to be tabulated in the KING BONEHEAD column. Honestly, it's the Cubs. I should have seen this coming from miles and miles away. Hell, I should have called it back at the all-star break... We're just that predictable when it comes to making dumb moves. Further compounding the groan factor, there are rumors that Piniella wants to aggressively pursue Alex Rodriguez... UGHHHHHH. Part of my soul just died.

Based on what you've read so far, I'm betting that I am probably coming off as a really embittered sports fan, aren't I?

I'd say that's fair. But in the interest of portraying myself accurately, I'll paint the picture for you.

First off, I have sports loyalties. I own them, and I stick to my guns. If I call a team to win, and they end up losing, I fully admit my error. I will not back-track for the sake of saving face. It's important that you know this. It's a big part of being a real sports fan.

About a half an hour before the game, we turn on the pregame show... Less for the arbitrary pregame commentary, and more to see how everyone looks before things get underway, and to get the latest scoop on the most recent round of suspensions, injuries, and criminal charges. (I wish I was kidding about that "criminal charges" thing, but unfortunately, I'm deadly serious.)

About two minutes before the kickoff/tipoff/first pitch/whatever opening to whatever sporting event is in question, I grab some kind of alcoholic beverage and I make sure that I take care of any necessary pregame bathroom trip. I get comfortable, and the game gets under way. I then spend the first half of the game watching, cursing at the television in the event of a stupid play, and yelping and whooping when things go well. I also spend the first half of most any game sulking and hating sports announcers.

Why do I hate sports announcers? I'll tell you. I understand that a part of their job is to more or less impartially narrate the events of the game, but that doesn't sit well with me for one reason. The reason being that they NEVER remain impartial, and they base their partiality solely on the score of the game at that moment. You think John Kerry was known for the "flip-flop" during the last presidential campaign? Apparently you've never heard professional sportscasters announce a game with a lead change. If you're watching a game where the teams are mismatched, and the favorite has an early lead, you hear them say, "Oh we all expected this," or "There was never any question that they were going to come out and play this way..." But as soon as the underdog makes a few plays and turns it all around they try and back out of everything they have been saying all game long by throwing something out like, "Oh we knew that if they could make the plays despite being the underdog there was no way that they couldn't make a game of it and end up winning this thing!" Bullshit! If you're going to broadcast your bias, stick to your guns! Don't welch on what you said ten minutes ago strictly because of a change on the scoreboard! ...And the rest of the time they quote stupid stats that nobody cares about, trying to make every game extraordinary. They always find a "first" that happened in this particular game. Word to the wise: I hate to be the one to break it to you guys, but some games are not anything special. It's not that big of a deal. And this is coming from a raging sports fan.

That said, I have a tendency to spend at least the first half of the game wondering why I have the volume audible at all. About 80% of the time I do leave the volume where it is though. (If they piss me off enough to push it into that 20% you can bet that they do get the mute button.

The second half? (Or the late innings) I am usually grumbling and cursing profusely if things aren't going my way. Depending on the importance of the game, if things are going my way, I'm either leaning back and cracking another cold one, or crouched on the edge of my seat watching intently, and in the event of a big play in a big game you can bet my retarded ass is jumping up and down, hollering and screaming, "RUN MOTHER F#*KER! RUNNNNN!!!!!"

Yeah, I'm that obnoxious brand of sports fan who expects there to be little to no conversation during a game. And when there is talk, it better be about the game, or you will be leaving the room, either because I gave you a stare-down that indicates your safety has been compromised by your chatter, or because I will physically be tossing you out a window. Yeah, I'm that sports fan. If you don't like it, I suggest you go read a book in a different zip code, for at least the duration of the game.

I swear these televised sports are going to give me an aneurysm, or a massive heart attack, something sudden and unpleasant... It's less a question of how and more a matter of when...