She is smiling alone.

I guess it’s been a while. Things have been kind of crazy. My 83-year-old gramma was not doing well, so I went to Michigan to visit her. Of course, the phone call from my mom sounded like it was the end, but by the time I got there, she was getting back in fighting form. She’s still not doing great, but she’s back to being an asshole to everyone, which for her means she’s feeling better. She’s driving my mom and my aunt nuts, and she’s being bitchy. The thing is, she has never been like that to me, ever. Gramma’s was my safe house. Some of my best childhood memories are from staying with her and my grampa. She let me do whatever I wanted, like stay up all night to watch Charles & Diana get married and eat ice cream for breakfast.

Seeing her was hard. Since she lives so far away, it’s been tough for me to get the time off work to go visit, and when I was unemployed, I didn’t really have the money. I knew she wasn’t well, but the weirdest thing was seeing her with her natural gray hair. Since I’ve been alive, her hair has always been a platinum blonde football helmet.

Anyway, the day I got on the plane, I had another stupid epidural steroid injection, which sadly, hasn’t helped. The doctor said Plan B is not necessarily surgery…there’s a procedure they can try where they basically implant little electrical contacts and wires and connect them to the nerves, and then implant a little device that you can control with a remote. The current is suppose to alleviate the pain. We’ll see. I’m really tired of dealing with this shit. The doctor did, of course, mention weight loss, but was cool about it…he acknowledged it would be hard to work out if you were in constant pain. I’ve been trying to eat a little better, but stress is a hungry, hungry hippo. She especially enjoys Russell Stover Coconut Cream Eggs and McDonald’s french fries, but occasionally wants something else, like nachos.

Oh and also, work got fucked up last week…I had gotten my friend a job there, and they fired her for what appears to be no reason. I think the decision may have been financially based, which worries me. I was also worried about my own job security, because I’ve had enough drama, and while by all reports everyone wants me around, still. The office manager assured me that no, no, everything’s fine, in fact you’re getting a raise….

Still do not trust them. I got a bonus right before I got shitcanned last February. Guess I’ll just wait and see what happens, but keep my eye open for anything that looks interesting. That’s about all I can do, really.

Enough rambling. Let’s move on:

It is time again for Friend Makin’ Monday. If you have a blog, I would like to invite you to answer the questions as well. Leave me a comment here, so I know you are playing. Then you can also leave a comment over at Losing Weight and Having Fun, so other folks can check out your answers as well. It is a fun way to connect to other bloggers.

1. Have you ever had a reoccurring dream? What was it?

I have a couple, and they’re both nightmares. In one, I am competing in an obstacle course, and the rules are much like those in the book “The Long Walk” by Stephen King (SPOILER ALERT)…if you drop out, you die. When I have this one, I’m usually under a LOT of stress, and the obstacle course gets more horrible night after night. Like the first night it might be swimming across a pool, by night #3 it’s swimming across a pool full of sharks. The second one is about school…I think high school. I’m in this giant, rambling school building comprised of almost every school building I’ve ever been in (since I competed in speech tournaments in high school adn college, this is a LOT of school buildings)–everything from crumbling, gothic looking brick to the 70’s and 80’s super-streamlined office-cubicle like hallways. I can’t remember my locker combination, I can’t find any of my classrooms, and when I do find them, it’s for a class I have forgotten to attend all semester.

2. What was the weirdest food you’ve ever eaten?

Hm. I’ve eaten octopus and squid, many kinds of seafood in a shell, eel, and alligator. I don’t know. I’ve pretty much sampled everything on a giant Chinese buffet. Does that count? (Hey, I’m picky.)

3. Can you comfortably eat in a restaurant by yourself? Go to movie?

Both. I don’t mind eating out alone as long as I have a book. Sometimes it’s very relaxing. I actually just did this last week. I was planning to meet some friends for some local activity, but they couldn’t meet till like 6:30 and I get off work at 5. So I went and had some delicious seafood and a $5 hurricane.

4. What would you leave in your will for the person you care about the most?

I’m sure I’ll be destitute and alone, so there will be nothing to leave.

5. Would you rather…Go without television or fast food for the rest of your life?

TV (I mean, I can still watch movies, right?). Sometimes my hormones get hungry for french fries, and that shit stinks up the house. Also, what the hell else are you supposed to eat after a night out besides Taco Bell?

6. What was the best thing that happened to you this past week?

One of my BFF’s turned 50, and we went out to celebrate. She showed up trashed. Someone made the mistake of giving her a wand with a star and streamers, and she bonked everyone on the head with it all night. Even though the bar DJ was mostly lame (if you follow me on Twitter, I posted a few updates), the night out was fun.

7. List the food items you take at a salad bar.

Are we talking a Golden Corral salad bar, or just a puny old-school steakhouse one? Spinach (if available, or if not romaine lettuce), hard-boiled eggs, mushrooms, carrots, cheese, bacon bits, ranch dressing, and CROUTONS. Lots and lots of croutons.

8. If you were in the “Miss America” talent competition, what would your talent be? (Note: both guys & gals have to answer this question)

I would sing something totally cheesy like “Memory” from Cats. (Shit. I just realized I mentioned this song in my last post. Well, fuck it. I would say “Defying Gravity” but I can’t hit that note anymore. Maybe “You’ll Never Walk Alone” from Carousel, or “Goodnight My Someone” from The Music Man.)

9. What do you keep in the trunk of your car?

Oh god. There’s actually not much in mine right now except for the plastic protector things you’re supposed to use on the convertible if you leave the top down. But I don’t ever leave it down when it’s parked, so I’m debating tossing those fuckers. Otherwise, there are a few random things…maybe a broken umbrella, a stuffed triceratops, and a couple mostly empty bottles of car products (like transmission fluid and antifreeze). Fortunately, I just cleaned it out a few months ago. Before that, don’t even ask. I’ve had my car for 12 years. Things end up there.

10. How many rings before you answer the phone?

Not very many. If I plan to answer, it’s usually by the second ring (unless it’s buried in my purse and I don’t hear it). If I don’t, I just send it to voicemail. At work, if I get stuck with phone duty, I answer after the first ring. The phone ringing annoys the living FUCK out of me. I used to work in an office where I was supposed to be “backup” on phones, but the chick whose job it was didn’t answer till like the 3rd ring, which drove me insane. I ended up answering it a lot because it interrupted my work just as much to glare at her to answer the phone than it did to just answer it. Plus, at that job, it was for me a lot of the time, anyway, because my boss was never there and it was family law and those clients are the worst about calling all day. This is where I learned never, ever to answer the phone after 5 on a Friday, because it was never anything you could fix but they wanted to TALK about it for an hour.

Song of the Day: “A Beautiful Mess” – Jason Mraz
Today’s Time Waster: Classic album covers in Google street view.
What I’m Craving: Something fried.

Animal, Vegetable, or Mineral? (FMM)

Greetings, earthlings. This past week added to the deluge of suck that is my life. Lando’s mom is moving back to Oklahoma, after being safely ensconced 3000 miles away for the duration of our relationship (7 years). She listens about as well as my father does, so it’s exhausting to be around her for any length of time. Apparently, she’ll be here at the end of this week. She has no job lined up, no apartment, no car…Lando’s poor sister. She’s the one who is going to have to have mommy staying with her (we’ve made it clear that there’s no room). His mom actually asked his sister if we would be interested in getting some sort of house with her.

HAHAHAHAHA NO.

The only way I would live with any parents is if they were incapacitated or unable to care for themselves, and even then, there’s a nursing home and an assisted living community down the street from us. My tolerance level for family togetherness is about 4 days. This includes my family members as well, even the ones I get along with.

It also kind of sucks that she’s coming here so soon, because we were going to babysit our niece this weekend. We were looking forward to getting to have some play time with her without having to share.

I can’t even think of a cute transition to segue into the FMM section of today’s post, so here it is: Twenty Questions, courtesy of Kenlie at All the Weigh. If you stop by, please say hi…comments make me happy. Also, if you participate, link up here and at Kenlie’s place. Now, without further ado:

1. Share something that you enjoy doing when you’re alone.
…duh.

2. What do you plan to eat next?
I don’t know. I really want frozen yogurt in a waffle cone, though.

3. When did you first travel on a plane? Where did you go?
I was a year old, and it was from Michigan to Houston, Tx, because my family was moving there.

4. Do you currently have a crush on someone? If so, share a few of the reasons why.
Not really.

5. List one thing that disgusts you that probably wouldn’t bother someone else.
Pink food. And bananas.

6. If you could buy a new car tomorrow (and money was no object) what would you buy?

An Infiniti G Coupe. Not the most super-expensive car, but if I had a super awesome car, someone would just steal it. This is luxurious without being flashy.

Infiniti_IPL_G_Coupe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. Who was the first person who broke your heart?
This dickhead I dated in college. Not typing his name. I am afraid that, like saying “Voldemort” in the last Harry Potter book, it would call him to my location.

8. If you could spend the night with a celebrity tonight, who would it be?
I’m going to go with a not-sex-you-up choice, and say Ashley Fink – she’s hilarious, and I want to hang out with her.

9. Are you a morning person or a night person?
A night person. Mornings are dumb.

10. What’s your favorite board game?
Trivial Pursuit

11. Can you play an instrument? If so, what do you play?
Not really – I did take piano lesssons once upon a time, but now it’s mostly in the “I know which keys are which and still sorta remember a song or two.”

12. What is the last thing you ate?
A frozen burrito (cooked, obviously). I wasn’t in the mood to make decisions and/or cook something.

13. Do you wear a watch?
Not anymore…I used to, but it started making me itch and getting in my way, so I stopped. I’ve always been a little allergic to metals, but the older I get, the worse it gets. Pretty much anything but 14K gold and implant-grade steel/titanium make me itch. I have some really cute silver rings, but I can’t wear them all the time because of the itching/redness. Even the clasps on necklaces sometimes bother me.

14. Do you go to church?
No.

15. Do you ever wish on stars?
No. I sometimes sing that song to the cats, though.

16. Have you ever been on a motorcycle?
No. Motorcycles were a definite DO NOT EVEN THINK ABOUT IT when I was growing up…my dad was in a bad motorcycle accident in high school, so that was one pretty stringent rule. I kind of want to drive one once, but I would never be comfortable riding on the back of one. I have a hard time even riding in the car when someone else is driving.

17. What is the last thing you purchased?
I think “Cryptonomicon” by Neal Stephenson for Kindle…it was on sale for $1.99. It may not be the next thing I read, though… I have a lot of books on my to-do list, and my attention span for them seems a little lacking at the moment.

18. How big is your bed?
King.

19. What size shoe do you wear?
Mostly a 10, but sometimes a 9 1/2 or an 11. I really wish 10 1/2 was a size that existed…I don’t know why it doesn’t, but most brands don’t carry it.

20. What are you looking forward to most in the coming week?
Having a “day of debauchery” with my friend. I think she mentioned the words “drinking at lunch” and “smoking some of my good weed” and “bad reality TV.”

Song of the Day: “We Built This City” – Starship (I think it’s because I used the word “hoopla” in a game of Words with Friends…and of course, that’s a lyric, so that’s where my brain went. Sorry. Heh.)

Today’s Time Waster: Words with Friends – my username is goingloopy, so if you want to play, invite!

What I’m Craving: Ice cream.

Pour Myself a Cup of Ambition

So, I found a new job. I had been on many, many interviews. Most of them were a waste of time. I did not want to be a secretary. I did not want to do filing. I also did not want to work in an office full of cranky, hateful asswipes. Oh, and more money. Because fuck poverty.

My new job is awesome. I’m sure I’ve said that before, a long time ago. But this time? This is different. I’m not being thrown to the sharks. Sure, my predecessor quit unexpectedly, but the job wasn’t vacant long and did not go through three one-week wonders before I got there. My office is twice the size of my old office. I’m making $5K more a year, starting. And I do not come in to 50 emails detailing (1) how I fail at life and (2) how they still want me to do three weeks worth of work in the next three days. The new people are nice and they have low expectations. Also, they bring food. They have my favorite sodas in the fridge (I seriously thought I was the only Fresca drinker on the planet.) There is a candy dish on every available surface. And they are very happy to discover that no, I did not feed them full of bullshit, I actually do know what I’m talking about.

Score.

Had a long conversation with Mr. Music (my former boss) last week, wherein we both cackled maniacally and discussed how strange we both felt about being in a situation where no one is being a dick. Like, we both sort of expect the worst of everyone and feel terribly odd when it doesn’t happen. The new associate I work with (hmm, nickname time. I’ll call him Mr. Clean, since he’s bald) is a lot like Mr. Music, so it’s not as much of a culture shock as it could be. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a culture shock. I still wonder how long the happy will last. But at least for now, it’s giving me the chance to get my head back in order instead of just being emotionally exhausted from dealing with the crazy all day.

The one thing I do miss is having lunch with BFRB every day. Today, I went and ate something, and still had like half an hour to kill. So I went to Target, which is conveniently right around the corner. I may see if I can leave half an hour earlier and only take a 30 minute lunch…having extra time to shop will pretty much negate the raise. And there is a LOT of shopping near the new office. Target. The mall (which has a Lush, a Sephora, a Lane Bryant, a Bath & Body Works, Dillard’s, and at least two cookie places); Talbot’s, Avenue, Wal-Mart, Shoe Carnival….all of these within about a 2 mile radius. There’s also a Barnes & Noble somewhere, I think, and some other stuff. The new place is a little further away, but by the time you factor in the parking garage trek, I leave at the same time. Also, no one at the new office is going to send me a shitty email for being one minute late.

BUT Big Brother starts up again this week, so BFRB and I are going to have a two-person watch party, which will be awesome. I hope to fucking god they don’t bring back that stupid whore Rachel again, because I will vomit. I’m done with her, and if I have to listen to that stupid annoying laugh for another season I will puke. I hope they bring back someone besides all the people who were there last season. I don’t want to be bored with my summer trash TV fix.

“For a Minute There, I Lost Myself”

I should really stay off the damn internet when I’m depressed.

So I’m surfing Twitter, bored as shit because unemployed + broke = lame, and I see that one of the trending topics is “Karma Police.” And it’s trending because Radiohead is playing at Bonnaroo, and six years ago, I was in the crowd when they played that song. I remember that BFRB and I were sitting on some sort of tie-dyed sarong shit, leaning against the picket fence surrounding the VIP tent, stoned out of our fucking minds and enjoying the feeling of being part of the crowd without being all up in the middle of it, alternately playing with our glow bracelets and taking stupid pictures of ourselves that we have vowed that no other human shall see.

And all I can think is, I should be there. I should be anywhere but here. I should not be struggling this hard financially to survive, I should not be putting myself in the position of seeking approval from those least likely to be granting it, I should not be pushing forty and feel like I’m less successful, career-wise, than I was at 25. I feel old and tired and angry. And I do not want to feel this way. All I want is a fucking stable job with a decent salary, one that will let me buy a new car and maybe a house and some furniture that isn’t secondhand or doesn’t come out of a box and indulge my Amazon e-book and MP3 download habit. One where I can come home and not think about it until the next day.

But I don’t know how to get there. I don’t know what the magic words are. I don’t understand why so many stupid fucking people have jobs that pay twice as much as I’ve ever gotten paid and NO ONE WILL FIRE THEM. I don’t understand why boss types seem to get some sort of fucking kick out of completely crushing any spirit I have, instead of harnessing it and letting me do things that will make them money and save them time. I don’t get why I need to be shoved into some little “paralegal” or “legal assistant” box and just do exactly what I’m told. I am round. I do not fit in square boxes. I want my own fucking sphere of happy, dammit. People find those. But I’m not one of those people, evidently, because I must have some expression on my face, in my eyes, that makes people want to stomp it the fuck out.

All I really want is for someone to fucking believe in me, someone to tell me that my cloudbursts of self-doubt are stupid, someone to stand up for me when it matters, someone to be a mentor, someone who is not afraid.

That’s the problem I’ve had at work. I feel like I get stuck in the role of advisor, of teacher, of the person who can answer your dumb questions without tattling to the boss that you don’t know shit you should know, the person who can keep a confidence. The thing is – I don’t want to be the person who knows everything. I want someone to teach ME something, sometime. Someone who doesn’t just insinuate that I’m wasting all this potential.

At what point does potential expire? Because I feel like my shelf life is nearing its end. I can’t sit through any more bullshit interviews for jobs I could do in my sleep, only to have them offered to someone who is a little less … intimidating. I feel like I could be doing more with my life, but I’ve been so focused on just surviving that I don’t know anymore what that is or what I even want. I read all these statistics about how often people change careers but how? How do I make that happen? Do I go back to school? Because anything I’m interested in, school-wise, has a shitty job market at the other end. Do I wait until the Magical Career Happiness Fairy gets around to me? Do I resort to ritual sacrifices? Find Jesus? Stay? Move?

What karmic debt am I paying? And when will the balance be paid in full?

Would You Like a Side of Cranky with That?

Ten things that are currently pissing me off (Pete initiated this trend today, and since I’m feeling cranky but simultaneously incapable of telling an actual beginning-middle-transitions-end story, I thought I would institute as a new, well, that M-word that I fucking think is stupid):

(1)               Ms. Whiny.  I don’t have another actual trial with her till October, but she’s bugging me about wanting fucking notebooks on a case so she can draft the answer.  Bitch, the documents are in the fucking computer.  And I know you know how to find them, because you take great delight in telling me all about what is and isn’t in the everfucking notebooks.  So find them, and shut the fuck up.  You’re not on top of my list right now. 

(2)             The weather.  I think the ice from last week almost has melted, just in time for it to rain and then freeze again this weekend.  My car does NOT LIKE inclement weather.  It is a fair-weather friend.  It’s low to the ground, and rear wheel drive, and the driver’s side window leaks when it rains.  However, it’s also close to being paid for, and so I’m telling myself it has personality and planning what I’ll do with the $500-ish a month I won’t have to pay to the bank after October.

(3)               My supervising paralegal.  She is usually cool, but I swear she’s not getting any or something lately, because for real, if she obsesses over one more fucking folder on one more closed file which is (all together now) in the motherfucking computer and is CLOSED AND OVER WITH ANYWAY I will surely scream and throw things.

(4)               My mail person, who doesn’t seem to understand the note on the mailbox that says “LEAVE PACKAGES IN HALLWAY.”

(5)               Lando’s douchebag boss, who can’t seem to retain an employee long enough for him to have a whole weekend off. 

(6)               The tights I bought from a certain national plus-size retailer which LOOKED like they were the same as the other four pairs I have at home and love, but ARE NOT THE FUCKING SAME.  Less spandex, or something, so they’re all baggy around the ankles and tight around the ass.  Grrr.

(7)               My cats, and I’m not sure which one, for throwing up on every single pair of my favorite shoes.  They were probably ALL in on it.

(8)               World of Warcraft, and its creators/administrators, Blizzard, who, despite much downtime and alleged improvements, STILL cannot manage to keep their game servers active and lag-free for longer than an hour at a time.

(9)               The fact that my boots which are the best in the snow are also the worst for walking any distance whatsoever.  They’re steel-toed workboots, which I bought on sale about 11 years ago and still look almost new.  But the steel part hits right where the seam on socks is (I’ve tried ALL my socks), and the blisters = not cool.  I miss flip-flops.

(10)          The fact that both BFRB and I are having some work-type scheduling issues which may make us unable to go to this year’s Bonnaroo.

 

Really, I could go on for a while, but unfortunately, I have to go deal with Mr. Snorty’s bullshit.  Super.