Tuesday, November 28, 2006
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
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
- 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.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
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
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
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?
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
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.
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
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.
Friday, November 10, 2006
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
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
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.
- They are looking for someone with a dynamic personality. (CHECK.)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
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
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
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.)
- My momma.
- My friends.
- 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.)
- Baby Pinguins! (Yes, that is how I say it, so that's how I'm gonna spell it.)
- Long nights of "confessional drinking."
- A good pair of sweatpants. (Strictly for lounging at home purposes.)
- Dancing to extremely cheesy music without regard for how I might look to others.
- Thunder storms.
- Sunshine on my face.
- Crunching fall leaves under my feet as I walk.
- That perfect fall weather when it's cool enough for a sweater or a light jacket, but not so cold you need a coat.
- Slow dancing.
- Driving on an open road on a sunny day.
- The beach.
- Genuine compliments.
- Playing in the rain.
- Curling up with a good book.
- My bed.
- Shopping at the art supply store.
- Gentle breezes.
- Working in the jewelry lab.
- Riding a horse.
- Air conditioning on those supremely hot days.
- Laughing so hard it gets hard to breathe.
- March Madness.
- Visiting with old friends who you haven't seen in a LONG TIME and finding that nothing has changed.
- Watching little kids play.
- My nephews.
- My sisters.
- (Occasionally,) hanging out with my brother also makes me happy.
- Seeing a really great music act do a live performance.
- Hanging out with someone for hours and having that feeling like it's only been mere minutes.
- Singing along to the radio in the car and not worring about how bad I might sound.
- People watching.
- Seeing my friends succeed.
- Playing cards with my friends.
- Engaging in random acts of kindness.
- Good sushi. (Crappy sushi can really ruin an otherwise good day!)
- Boys. (They are also known to ruin many perfectly good days.)
- Perfectly ripe fresh fruit.
- A really good stretch.
- Baby feet.
- Looking for pictures in the clouds.
- That feeling of accomplishment I get when I finish a big project.
- Getting flowers.
- Watching fireworks.
- Visiting art museums.
Thursday, November 02, 2006
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
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.)