Wednesday, April 29, 2009

It's about time for a list.

I know I've been trying, over the last few years, to not focus so much on the negative.

But sometimes I don't try that hard.

I saw this on "i hate so much," and I found myself agreeing with just about all of them (except jazz music. I do love to get slightly buzzed...or more than slightly buzzed...and sit in a darkened dining room watching an attractive jazz band playing).


Ten Things I Hate That People Seem To Like

1. Running. Come off it, no one really likes to run.

2. Steam Rooms/Saunas. Granted, I've never been in one. But the idea is COMPLETELY unappealing to me. The sitting bare-assed on a wooden bench just sweating and not doing anything else but sweating? I can't even have a magazine? No. no, and no.

3a. Bananas. Yellow, perfect, in Runt form, in Chunky Monkey. (Exception: banana bread. I also used to do Dannon banana yogurt...I can still stomach the strawberry-banana Yoplait kind, if it's totally blended.)

3b. Watermelon. It's mushy. It tastes like mushy pink NOTHING. And it's so wet. And what's with those gross slimy seeds? And that white part? That's even more of a nothing than the pink part! (I will do watermelon-flavored candy.)

4. Laying Out. I suppose this is similar to the steam room/sauna problem. Sitting still, doing nothing, being hot and sweaty. No thank you.

5. Bette Midler (Singing). Her voice always sounds so atonal and flat to me. And I'm normally a huge fan of whatever the gay boys like, but I am always so amazed at why people think she's a talented singer.

6. Jennifer Tilly. She is NOT cute. Her squeaky little-girl voice is NOT cute. No matter what they say.

7. Balderdash. Not even a game. It is not even a GAME. It is lying and trying to make people think you are not lying.

8. Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Not even in the Heinz commercials.

9. Trying Out Different Ring Tones/Changing The Ring Tones In One's Phone. I find one I like, I stick with it. And that way my senses are acclimated to responding to that certain ring every time, instead of being startled out of the silence by a new ring tone you don't remember changing it to because maybe no one has called you in three weeks.

10. Reggae music. Star Wars. Weddings. Paperclips. Gardening. The sun, especially when it's cold/wintry outside.

(Had to sneak in a few. I should have known I couldn't keep to ten.)

Saturday, April 4, 2009

This and that

I'm not sure why, but I feel like I'm not reaching anyone lately. I'm having trouble connecting. I don't have any basis for this, really...just this weird sense.

Life has been completely up-and-down lately, in every area of life.

The UPS: Paul went in for a CAT scan and the tumor has immense relief, obviously, but I wish we could see their family sooner than this summer to celebrate. Lindsay had her twins, beautiful and healthy (didn't think it was possible at such an early age, but Olivia looks just like her--a delicate beauty. Sophia is completely adorable, strong and robust; neither one have that "ugly newborn" look people always try to avoid talking about). Neil is doing really well, working on his writing, getting things ready for future plans, and always taking care of household duties that I have let slide in my absence. I have more than a little guilt about this, but it can't be helped right now.

The DOWNS: Work. Work is getting me tense. In a more major way than I have ever experienced. For the first time, I have way more expected of me than I have time to do...and some that I don't actually have the ABILITY to do, regardless of time. I am so afraid I'll have to walk tearfully into my boss' office and say "I can't do this huge project. I have no idea what I'm doing." I don't like admitting defeat, but I've been astounded this week at what's expected of me...and if no one else thinks it's a big deal, then I have to face the fact that I just can't handle this job. I want to do my best, and I don't want to waste anyone's time, all the time and effort they have put into hiring me and training me...but I feel like I'm in over my head. On Friday afternoon, I threw on my Skull Candies for 4 hours and took the self-training course again that may help me. I'll finish that up on Monday, but the office is so pro-meeting that I barely have more than one free hour at a time next week. And while I do enjoy my co-workers (they are delightful, honestly), if I'm expected to complete all my duties, I cannot waste two to three hours a day playfully arguing about flyers for National Library Week or what we'll serve at our co-worker's baby shower. And I look like a bad Team Player if I say I can't make it--I've never seen anyone in the office skip what seems to be an inconsequential meeting because they're busy doing actual work.

I'm sure it'll get better...I was just so bummed that I'm feeling overwhelmed at work, too, when my livelihood has always come easy. (With the exception of waiting tables, which was infinitely more stressful, but fun at the same time, and its variable-rewards system kept me going--yes, I'm a textbook Intro to Psych case, I'm afraid.)

Other downs include, as usual, this constant "things are out of control!" feeling. I'm not getting *anything* done at home. I have dozens of thank-you cards to mail out, and I finally have all the elements to them (photos, embellishments, cream-colored cards and envelopes, pretty stamps), and every time I use our new red Crock-Pot or the red windowpane kitchen towels or the fold-out TV trays or spend one gift card or another, it's with guilt: "I didn't even thank them for this yet. I am a crappy bride. I don't deserve to even use this!" I just can't get the energy to do them. I hate that.

Guilt, guilt, guilt. Guilt's getting me DOWN. What a useless damned emotion.

I gotta cheer up, what would do that for me? What do I want...??

1. A day to catch be clean and run errands and nap and read and watch a backlog of shows and see my family and visit babies. Okay, this may take longer than a day. Maybe I just want *time*.

2. A trip somewhere to enjoy spring. To the gardens, or a baseball game, or a state park, or to go to Cosmo Park see my tiny brother Joe play in his tiny-tots soccer league where everyone would just run together in a pack after the ball. (Okay, that last one is impossible, as Joe is no longer tiny, nor did his soccer career take off.)

3. A scrapbook shopping spree in stores I've heard about in Kansas City (that Heidi Swapp herself raves about!)...a trip to Grinnell to stay in the Carriage House B&B, wander around the campus and campus bookstore the first day, then drive to Des Moines and Iowa City the second day to raid their glorious scrapbook stores...then stop by Jaarsma's on the way home for goodies.

4. June to come, so this schedule will lighten by a third.

5. To have the time/energy to eat better and exercise. I feel like such a PIG lately!

A few random observations to close...

  • This morning, I left the house at 9:40 AM. I ran THREE errands, and was strolling into my Stephens work a little past ten. I have no idea how I did it.

  • I am kind of, slowly slowly, working my way through my pile of library books. I'm a horrible librarian to have well overdue books, and I really just need to go through the pile and say "Okay, which of these do I really not care if I read or not?" Maybe I should do that tonight...

  • I know this may look a little cutesy, but I *love* this idea...if I had a cat or a small dog, I'd be all about it! But I'd never have a cat.

And, with that, I close.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Spring's shoelaces seem to be untied.

It's running, trying to catch up to where it's supposed to be, but it can't run fast because its shoes are flopping around its feet, the laces flying out in four directions. And any minute now, it's going to trip over itself, and break the lace, and then you have one shoe with a dead-end of a shoelace, and why does that ALWAYS seem to happen when you're just in the beginning of the All-School Picnic at Cosmo Park and have to spend the rest of the damned day with stupid broken-laced shoes and you can't play anymore? And you haven't even gotten to go up in the Rocket-ship yet?

(P.S.? That rocket was SCARY! I bet they took it down because it was a safety hazard.)

I may have taken the metaphor a little far here.

All I'm saying is that I should not still be wearing socks every day.

So this morning, I was finishing the NYTX...groggily, yes, but ever since Intro to Shakespeare my freshman year at Grinnell, when I frantically read Henry IV a few hours before my morning class when it was due and for the first time, actually UNDERSTOOD IT, I've realized I do my best thinking in the morning. And I am NOT a morning person. So I very rarely get to have the opportunity to THINK in the morning, because every instinct is telling me to get to bed.

Anyway, so I did about half last night, then saved it so I could go to bed with my cutie of a husband. This morning, pre-shower, I turned the TV on low (KOMU-TV's morning broadcast...YAY ERIC ALDRICH!), and opened my half-completed puzzle. I was moving along, but one 3-letter area was stumping me: "NL team, on scoreboards"...and it was idiotic, because if there's anything I know, it's my National League teams! And I know their shortened names! I had "N - M" and couldn't get it. "New MEXICO doesn't have a team. Nam? Is Vietnam suddenly in the Major Leagues?" Frustrated at myself, I idly glanced over at the TV...and just below the reporters, on the scrolling Current News Bar, at that *very second*...was yesterday's score of the Spring Training New York Mets vs. StL game. It was a strange moment of "Oh my god, DUH!" and "Whoa...the TV is totally psychic!"

In other news:

1. Lindsay is having TWO KIDS today! Two! I thought it would get less surreal each time as friends have babies, but it's really not. It's pretty much always "Whoa, KIDS?! But *we're* still kids! We have rehearsals for the All-School musical every night next week and that huge research paper due for our Honors English class at the end of the month; how will you have time to watch after babies?" Maybe this will be an easier adjustment when someone who *already* has a kid, has another one. But definitely not two at once. Wow.

2. Megan was finally, mercifully booted off "Idol" last night. She is one messy piece of crazy with a dollop of "wtf?" thrown in. I liked her at first, when she was earthy and barefoot and warbly, but she morphed into this ugly big-haired inappropriately-styled train wreck who chose "Rockin' Robin" on MICHAEL JACKSON NIGHT. You have the world at your feet, sunshine...and you choose Rockin' Damned ROBIN??

3. Anyway.

4. While I am following a *few* of my faux-Lenten promises, my "check-off sheet" is behind a few days. And I haven't exercised. I wore heeled sandals yesterday afternoon (too soon; it was way chilly) and my calves were feeling it. I'm okay for walking long's those other muscles that have lain stagnant for so long.

5. I was driving home on Tuesday evening, heading down Forum Blvd right past the Walgreen's and the turn for D. Rowe's, when I saw a horse. A man on a horse. Plodding along. Looking sad. The horse was brown and white and almost shaggy, like a pony, but big like a regular horse. The man atop the horse was a corpulent, odd-looking character, dressed in one of those small-patterned camo jackets; head down. It was so extremely out of place--I could see a Stephens girl bobbing along on her sleek brown steed, wearing one of those weird velvet hats and pants that have the weird shape and holding herself perfectly erect...I mean, it would still be strange, but not so fish-out-of-water as this dude slowly, sadly ambling past the Country Club with everyone in their Altimas and Priuses gaping at him.

6. I'm suddenly out of steam. Not permanently, just for the moment. And I haven't changed my calendars yet!