Monday, May 31, 2010

Foreshadow Week

Earlier this week, I had pizza and beers with an old colleague of mine. He was the guy who introduced me to iPods, bluegrass and kayaking, so was quite influential on me (obviously) and it was really nice to catch up and talk about old times. Invariably, when we talk about old times, we talk about a particular person who was a contractor we worked with on media stuff. For years, we couldn't shake this guy - he was everywhere, and he annoyed us, and we were merciless when we discussed him behind his back.

After about 2 beers and three pieces of pizza, I actually started fondly remembering this guy. In part, because it was so fun to deconstruct him and tear him apart after hours, but also, despite being annoying, his heart was in the right place and he was never anything but nice to me (I'm a horrible person).

Then, the very next day, I walk into work. And there he was. In the flesh. Doing all those things we used to make fun of. Immediately, I no longer fondly remembered him, but made nicey nice anyway and caught up a little bit on what projects he was working on, what projects I was working on, yadda yadda.

It was so bizarre and coincidental. And I wouldn't have even mentioned it, except that it happened again yesterday.

On Saturday, during our drive to the river, my friend and I started discussing men. Of course. What else would two women talk about when faced with 2 hours of highway at 7:30 am? We discussed her man, my man, other people's men... Sometime over the course of the discussion, man hair came up, so of course, I had to talk about BB, who is still the hairiest mo'fo I've ever seen. His name came up a couple other times during the drive, but you know, its pretty normal to diss on ex's on long car trips.

And then, Sunday night, I had several Facebook messages on my email. One said "BB wants to be friends on Facebook" and a little thumbnail of his face was right there, staring me down. Taunting me. It was too much. I had an involuntary reaction - the same reaction that I've had every single time he has emailed, phoned or texted in the past year and a half. Its a combination of cold sweat, anxiety and nausea. I can't believe I still have a physical reaction to that dude. No, wait. I can't believe he keeps contacting me so that I have to have that reaction.

I feel like I made it happen. First the media guy. Then the BB. I need to stop talking about people I don't want to see. Maybe I'll learn my lesson.

But, at any rate, once again, I've been put in a situation where I have to make a decision to respond, or ignore. Every freaking six months, he puts me back in this situation. What is it?! You'd think he would have forgotten or given up by now. I sure have. You don't see me randomly contacting him. Its sad, and its terribly annoying. Dude can't be my Facebook friend. End of story. That kind of access to my life is limited to my real friends. And my kayaking friends. And people from middle school I haven't seen or spoken to in 23 years. Because they don't make me want to hurl when their thumbnail shows up on my screen.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Head Killing Kayaking

Happy Memorial Day, ya'll! And thank god, because I for one can seriously use an extra day off work to blow off steam and chill.

Yesterday, I took my new second-hand kayak (if you are counting, this is #5) out on a real river. We had a great group of people going out, and I was really excited to spend some time with my river people and get to know my new boat, which likes to tip me over at unexpected times. Unfortunately, once again, my head had to come in and ruin the deal.

I've been going back and forth with good days and bad days for headaches. Friday was a good day. Saturday was a bad day. Today seems like a good day. I still can't figure it out.

So, Saturday morning, my head was throbbing and since I had stayed at Prof's house, I had no migraine pills. I was in charge of river logistics for the day, so felt like I couldn't back out. And, I didn't want to back out, but I also didn't want to run a river with a migraine.

I did everything I could on the way to the river to take care of my head - moderate amounts of caffeine (not too much, not too little), food, chocolate, coke, and copious amounts of OTC painkillers. For a little bit, I thought I had it under control, but after about an hour on the river, I started feeling really, really, really bad. My head throbbed, I got sort of sick to my stomach and I was shaky. These are very not good things when you are trying to navigate through rapids.

We stopped for lunch, and I was told that I looked pale. Yeah, well, I felt pretty pale. I ate a powerbar and laid on the rocks. I could barely talk - just moving my jaws made me want to hurl. I couldn't imagine getting back in my boat and paddling, but I also couldn't imagine trying to take my boat off the river, dragging it up a steep hill and trying to get someone to take me to the end point.

Long story short, after going back and forth about it several times inside my traitor of a brain, I decided to get back in my boat, suck it up and get my ass down the river as quickly as possible. An interesting choice really, since the hardest rapid on the river was just downstream of our lunch stop. The pain in my head took away any anxiety I usually would have about that particular rapid - I just bopped down it like it was no big deal, and waited for everyone on the other side. And as the day went on, the pain started to subside a little bit. By the end of the trip, I was feeling good enough to grab dinner with everyone and stay awake and chatty for the ride home (I wasn't driving, thank god).

When the pain from a migraine subsides, I feel almost euphoric. The throbbing and pain is so intense, that when it lets up, you just can't hardly believe how good you feel. Sad, really, but that's how it is.

The morale of this story is that I'm damn proud of myself for pushing through the pain and coming out on the other side. I'm also damn proud of myself because I have clearly become a better paddler. Paddling this river in a new boat and not killing myself is pretty good. Paddling the river in a new boat without killing myself, with a migraine? That's pretty damn impressive if you ask me. So, I could be ready to hurl myself down some bigger water this summer. If I can keep the headaches away.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Lonely & Dissatisfaction

A strange thing happened to me on Sunday afternoon: I got home after two nights with the Prof and instead of being happy and content with finally being in my own house, I felt lonely.

What the fuck is that? I felt so strange that I had to stop and go through all of the emotions I could possibly be having to figure out what was wrong with me. Am I hungry? No. Not hungry. Am I stressed? No. Not stressed. Am I sad? No. Not sad. Oh. Lonely. I'm lonely.

Let me count up for you the times I've felt lonely in my house... It won't take long, because counting to zero doesn't take any time at all. I've never, ever not once felt lonely in my house. Even when PRex and I split and I'd never lived by myself. Not lonely (joyful, really). I've always been happy and content to be by myself here.

But now, I don't like it. I think it might very slightly have to do me enjoying Prof's cable and big tv, but the other 98% is because I just like being with him. And now that we've really started talking about living together, I just want it to happen now. I don't want to cook dinner for one anymore. I don't want full control of the remote (doesn't really matter when you only have five channels anyway). I don't want to wake up alone. Thinking about moving has made me dissatisfied with what I've got.

Usually in my life, I'm fine with everything as they are, until I decide to change. Then I hate everything and can't wait to ditch it. It wasn't until Prof and I started talking about moving in together that the neighbors really started to drive me nuts. And my town started looking really dumpy. Same thing happened with grad school - I was totally fine with life until I got accepted and then I couldn't wait to ditch my family and friends to make a new start across the country (ps, it didn't work out. Couldn't wait to get out of there as soon as I got there). I was fine with my couch until I decided to get rid of it, then I wanted to torch it immediately.

And so, I've decided to make this big, huge change. And its making me dissatisfied with what I currently have, and with how much time I get with Prof. Many, many, many things have to come together before we move; we are looking at fall sometime, if we are lucky. I fear that now that I've found this lonely discontented feeling, that I'm going to start getting mighty cranky. And that's no good for anyone.

(Please remind me of this post in a year, when I start bitching about living with Prof and wish he would go on an extended research trip so I can have the house to myself for a while)

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Fly

After an incredibly busy and exhausting day (nay, week) at work, I came home to a peaceful neighborhood, for once and spent a few minutes outside watering my veggie garden (which is still alive after a week. Let's see how long I can keep this up). Before heading out to Prof's house for the night, I thought "I'm just going to lay on that new wonderful couch for a minute and close my eyes."

So I did. Took a little nap right there in my quiet living room, where no noisy neighbors, children or ice cream trucks were threatening to ruin it. The cats were even leaving me alone. It would have been perfect, except for...


The sound of houseflies buzzing around my head woke me up every five minutes.

What the fuck? I mean, really. Can't I catch a break? I finally get to hang out and nap in my gorgeous new living room on a Friday night and I can't sleep because of the sound of flies dive bombing me? I guess I should learn to not leave the patio door open.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Twelve Months

"It must be true love if I'm picking your nasty snot rags off the floor." -Prof

And thus began the first day of our second year together.

Yesterday, May 15, marked a year since Prof and I went on our first date. It was the best first date I think I've ever been on (except that he didn't walk me to my car, which I think I've forgiven him for) and its just gotten better and better from there. Yesterday, we talked about how he almost canceled on me - he was tired of dating and was having trouble stomaching the thought of another date that would just lead to an awkward "break-up" after 3 dates. I wasn't about to cancel (free dinner and all) but had the same concerns. I mean, let's face it. My track record on men wasn't spectacular, except for the venom I produced when I talked about them afterwards. I had pretty low expectations going in and never thought this year could go so fast.
It makes my stomach turn to think about what could have happened if he had decided to cancel. Would we have rescheduled? Would I have written him off entirely and moved onto the next douchebag, and the next, and the next? Would I have been with someone who wouldn't have supported me during the hospice stay? Or maybe worse yet, would I have had to deal with that alone? I can't imagine it. And am so thankful that I don' t have to.

But, we both canceled on our anniversary plans. He had made reservations at a sweet funky Mexican place in the city so we could have a fancy pants night out. It was going to be a little hectic, given that this is the last weekend before the end of the semester and we both have lots and lots of work to do, but we were really looking forward to it. Then, on friday, I got the scratch in my throat and pounced upon any frozen drink I could find to numb it. Then, on friday night, Prof got it too.

And on Saturday, we were both miserable with the same cold. Happy Anniversary baby. Please accept this rhinovirus and box of puffs plus as my gift to you. Dinner was canceled, since we were both exhausted and couldn't taste anything. I pushed through for a few hours and worked in my garden, then had to sleep for the rest of the afternoon. He did about the same. Despite my exhaustion and need for bed, I drove my ass up to his place so we could at least see each other on our anniversary, if not "celebrate." We got take-out thai and watched half of Anchorman before neither of us could hold our eyes open anymore. We went to bed before 10.

Some anniversary, huh? Well, at least I got some presents out of it, including a very horrendous university themed snuggie that I had been asking for since Christmas. I was waiting for them to go on clearance - but apparently, cheap fleece doesn't go on sale, even in 90 degree heat. Who knew it was going to be needed so desperately? I love my ugly snuggie. I particularly like that he had to go buy it, in person, and risk being seen with it. Ha! Why are snuggies so damn funny?

So, the thing is, I was disappointed that we didn't go out for our big night on the town, but I was just happy that he was there with me and sharing my misery. Because really, that's what its about, right? Having someone you can contaminate with your germs and who will pick up your snot rags and still love you.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Good News Friday

By 9am, today was deemed Good News Friday, and despite having a debilitating headache yesterday and bureaucratic crap all over my desk, I was in a damn good mood all day.

The first piece of good news was really the best news I think I've gotten all year. My friend's husband has been critically ill with kidney failure for the past year, due in part to his Type I diabetes. Its been really, really difficult for them, as newlyweds, to deal with such a blow. Dialysis never really seemed to do the trick and he just seemed sicker and sicker and sicker. Until today, when he got the call. A tragedy for a 19-year old's family turned into a celebration for my friend and her husband. And yes, when you stop to think about this whole organ donation thing, it gives you pause to be so happy for an event that was born out of such unhappiness for others. But, it is what it is. And right now, friend's hubby is under the knife, getting both a kidney and pancreas (no more diabetes!). They still have a very, very long road in front of them, but they finally get to begin their journey.

And, on a much, much, much, much less significant note, I won a tiny victory in the battle of the next-door-douche-buckets. Last night, I looked up their landlord's business card and wrote him a very nice email, with as positive a tone as I possibly could. I told him about the douchebaggery next door, how it was affecting me and my home and asked what we could do to work together to solve the problem. Got an email back from him at 8am that said he would take care of it. No problem. Let him know if it continues.

Damn. Why didn't i do that three years ago?

So, major victories by 9am kept me buoyed and happy all day. It was nice to finally get to be the positive happy one in the office, instead of the cynical bastard I've been recently. I hope it can last at least through the weekend.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Still here, I swear

You don't know how many great blog post ideas I have every day - because they sure as hell never get written for you to read them. There are so many random musings, rants and stories in my head for you, I can't keep track of them. And I'll never be able to catch up. But trust me, my yet-to-be-written thesis on women's bathrooms is going to kill! (I'm totally serious.)

I don't know what's happened. No. That's a lie. I do know what's happened. And so do you. I'm in this committed, stable, nice happy relationship with a dude who is smart and funny and supportive AND a vegetarian and I've got absolutely nothing to bitch about. The venom and snark was what used to keep the posts coming your way on an almost daily basis during the dark years, but now, my venom and snark is mostly reserved for upper management at work, and my douche-bucket neighbors (oh so much venom for the douchey neighbors).

But hard times are afoot my friends. There are going to be some pretty serious changes in my life in the next 6 months or so. Prof and I have ramped up discussions about moving in together.

I'll just let that sink in for a second... Ok? Good.

For a while, the "if" was emphasized in statements like "If we lived together, you could rub my back, everyday!". Then for a couple weeks, it was "when" we live together. Then it went back to "if." Its back to a pretty solid when. His lease is up in November, and his landlord wants to up the rent by what I consider to be an utterly ridiculous sum. He could swing it, but on principle, he needs to get out of there. However, owing to the smallish nature of my townhouse, coupled with the douche-buckets on the front porch, him moving in here isn't really a viable option. That is, its not a viable option if we'd like to successfully live together without stabbing each other, or the occasional neighbor.

So, we're talking about buying a house.


With like, his money, and my money, combined into our money.

When I stop to think about it, it makes me just a wee bit uncomfortable. But when I don't do the thinking thing, it sounds quite nice. Then, after .0001 seconds, I go back to being uncomfortable. But this is how it works. In less than 2 weeks, we will have been together for an entire year, and it was some kind of year. If we can get through this fall together, I feel pretty confident that we can get through most things. Though, even just thinking about the dividing of household chores makes my skin crawl.

So, we are still just talking, and a lot of things have to happen before we can move to somewhere new. And it terrifies me, and excites me all at the same time.

And just for good measure, I checked out lawn tractors at Sears this weekend while he was getting lawn mower tune-up parts. Because of the current neighbor situation, I am finding myself attracted to houses on excessively large lots. Excessively large lots that require mowers that do not plug into the wall and have more horsepower than my beetle. And so, it begins...