Gearing Up For a Wild Weekend

This weekend is going to be filled with cleaning (yuck) and cooking and possibly some naps for good measure. But it is all worth it because those wild girls I worked with in Nashville are coming to town Friday. Batten down the hatches Chattanooga because this group of ladies are going to make mince meat out of you. And me. . .

We have been planning this weekend forever and finally we found a date that works for almost all of them. The weekend will be filled with drinks, pool time, talking, laughing and embarrassing photos. Of course, the Queen is coming up a bit earlier than the rest of the ladies. We have an appointment to get our toes done.

In order to be at my best, I am doing a pregame warm-up this evening. A friend is having a birthday dinner downtown, so I will be out and about for bit. Of course, I am the only single gal invited. Good times. . .at least it doesn’t bother me that much. Especially when the guys gather to chat so the girls can get in some girl talk.

I also did a run to two different grocery stores and find it amazing that I still manage to spend hours just loafing around, enjoying myself in there. Target was my errand last night and I managed again to spend under $50, so proud.

Now if I could just get some of this weight off I would be a happy camper. At least my girls don’t care about the pudge! So ladies, I will see you in less than six days and I will be doing the Snoopy dance when you all arrive. Cheers!

Don’t Listen to the Voices

If I didn’t know better, I would think I was ADD. I am constantly thinking, analyzing my life, planning and dreaming of the future. Those voices are the reason I also seem to be a blur to most people and probably the reason why I am always so exhausted.

I try to block them out with music but sometimes they just get louder. Does this make me crazy? I hope not. I know that it is not healthy to constantly analyze, criticize and think of the what ifs.

On the outside, I hope that appear somewhat normal. I know that my new coworkers think I am just this quiet person who keeps to herself. In truth, I hate to say that I don’t really care for them. As coworkers, yes, they are fine. We have had bumps in the road, miscommunication galore and my heart isn’t in it. The work is challenging, I am learning a lot and it is nice that I was wanted in a different agency when my job was on the chopping block but. . .

BUT, the reality is, I go in, do my job and I go home. During that time at the office, I work hard to not make mistakes, to ask questions and on the special occasion, I get to talk to my former boss, while we are making plans for the work event. I get to use my creativity then and that is what happened today. I am good at excel, I am not a numbers person by any means but I do like seeing if there is a problem and figuring out how to fix the problem. BUT, I miss being able to brainstorm with my former boss, playing in design software and talking to my friends daily.

There is a part of me that wonders what would have happened if I had taken that chance and stayed up there, would I have been able to find another job? Would I have been able to dodge the bullet in terms of a real panic attack that equaled upping my dosage? Would I have been able to forgo the sleeping pills I needed just a few months back because my brain was so overloaded I couldn’t sleep.

I am sure there is a shrink somewhere salivating at the thought of working with me. I like to call my issues quirks. That makes them seem kind of special instead of well, weird or problematic. I know that it doesn’t matter where I live, the voices will still be there. Of course, I would be happier dealing with them in Nashville but hey, I am doing what needs to be done.

The distraction of QB the other week was nice but just a distraction. Sometimes meeting up with old friends makes you see them in a new light and then you analyze that. For now, I will work on me. I will deal with the voices in my head and maybe next summer, I will be sitting on my deck with friends that only live ten minutes away. Laughing about my choice in men and realizing that just having those friends there is enough.

Really, I Am Just Clumsy. . .

After the debacle of the hula hoop competition, I hung up my dreams of taking my talent to the Olympics. After a few weeks of horrible pain and the reminder that I was no longer a spring chicken, I started to feel better.

Of course, the contact at the insurance company for my work comp claim didn’t see it as that big of a deal, which in turn made the whole ordeal even more painful than my poor back. As time went on, the more I discussed it with her, the less she was willing to listen. So I took it to our corporate office and instantly, she changed her tune. Of course, the underscore to that is a very bitter, pissy score.

I did what she told me to do, she then took a month to carry out her part of the deal, which was to schedule an appointment for me to see a specialist. While I am feeling much better and only feel a twinge ever now and again, I really wanted to start exercising again but I did not want to hurt myself in the process.

So more X-rays, turn here, bend there, does that hurt? And on and on went the questions and directions. Then it came time to check my reflexes. I almost took the doctor out with my right leg. He did it again, same reaction. I just kind of laughed and said, yeah, that is a normal reaction. After mumbling medical jargon to the nurse and a slightly concerned look on his face he pushes back to his side of the room.

Then he asks me to come closer so I can look at my X-rays with him. He again does the medical speak, mentions an anti-inflammatory to the nurse and physical therapy. I was happy with the PT, since that will build up my lower back muscles and therefore, I won’t harm myself trying to exercise. Then he has me go and sit again.

According to him, I have “brisk reflexes” and that is a sign of all kinds of things. He said it could just me a compression in my neck around my spinal cord. Umm, okay, English please? More than likely it is nothing but he said that he would recommend an MRI. Well, since I have to pay for that, it is going to have to go on my list of things to do at some point. . .

So off I go with my new meds (which make me very sleepy, so there goes that twice a day thing) and the next round of waiting for my claims rep to approve the PT. I am hoping I can start that at least by the beginning of October. I wouldn’t be shocked if she dragged her feet until Christmas to approve it. To say that I am not impressed with her ability at her job would be an understatement.

So I get home and do what any normal, obsessive control freak would do, I called upon Dr. Google himself to see what ails me. According to him, I could have had a stroke, a hemorrhage, a lesion on my brain, MS and a number of other illnesses.

The doctor (the real one) asked if I lost my balance from time to time. Umm, dude, I trip over my feet with no help, I fall up stairs and I have been known to almost take a dive off my chair from time to time at work. I am clumsy. Hmm, says the good doc.

Really, I am just a klutz. But I can tear down a kitchen to the studs with no problems okay?

That Didn’t Last Long. . .

The sweet, cool breeze that I enjoyed last night lasted about as long as most of my first dates in the past year. It is now sticky, hot and any desire I had to get some stuff done today melted as fast as an ice cream cone in this weather.

Work was decent, one of those days where I don’t really see the to do list going down until it hits 3:30 and all of the sudden I am marking things off, right and left. Of course, some of it might be contributed to the late day run to Starbucks for a $2 iced mocha. . .

I also have a dozen things that need to get done for my former office’s charity event and have yet to see any of those items get marked off, which makes me terribly nervous. It was one thing when I was running around with no head organizing the event in Nashville. Now? Let’s just say that I might be booking a padded room shortly before the event happens. I am terribly nervous about it, we are in a new venue (third year in a row) and while I have most things designed and just have to change up the color. . .well, it all seems a little much right now. But the good news is I know it will all get done, it is just a matter of buckling down and focusing on my work here and there.

This evening was a detour of all sorts when it comes to my routine. I went to meet my parents for dinner and celebrate Dad’s birthday. Grumpy doesn’t like people to know but hey, I have editing rights here, so HA! I think he liked his gift from Starbucks, you never know with him. Of course, he would prefer something to do with his reloading hobby but have you checked out the prices for that stuff? Maybe Christmas daddy. . .

One of my favorite recent memories with dad has to do with a certain football game. The man loves football, clearly I am his daughter. When I was in Nashville, I used to get the hookup from time to time in terms of suite tickets for Titans games. So, I being a daddy’s girl, begged, pleaded and whined, I think, to my boss so I could get three tickets instead of two so he and a buddy could come up to the game.

He was worried about the parking and the walk to the stadium. Not a problem, got a parking pass right here. . . we literally parked in front of our entrance. Stairs up, puleeze, we take the elevator up. Then the look on his face as he enters the suite. . .priceless. I believe his words to mom’s voicemail had to do with heaven. . .So dad got to eat to his heart’s content, sit on the front row of the suite and potty in private without the masses for his very first NFL game. To me it is old hat, I got spoiled. . .

The next year, he and mom come. Now, let me just say that my mom is not a sports fan, so these perks are lost on her. But dad and I just sit there, grinning, watching the game. I may still have some pull this year (God willing) and if that is the case, well. . . daddy, you will get to go to another game.

Of course, I offered him tickets last year but they were club level. . .apparently dad’s two visits to the suite has made him realize that club level is so beneath him. Great, I created a monster. . .

So Happy Birthday Grumpy and you just might get another present next month. . .

Why I Do Not Like Mondays

Sunday night loomed like that bug collection project I had back in high school that I waited until the very last week to start. And it was only Friday night when I started feeling that horrible thought. Sunday nights have once again become that night that I dread as if I were still in school. But it has been way too many years since school but I still dread them.

The night was evened out with the return of My Boys, a show that unfortunately sat in DVR purgatory while I was in Nashville. I have a love/hate relationship with my DVR but I digress. I caught up on the previous season on Saturday. The thought of walking out of my apartment to go anywhere, even to the pool or check the mail seemed lost on me. So I snuggled up with the cat and caught up on PJ and her male friends. Then last night I watched the first two episodes before finally calling it a night.

But Mondays are horrible and here is why:

  • I have to wait five days until the weekend
  • It reminds me that while I am counting down the days until the weekend that more than likely my weekend will be filled with no plans
  • The commute to work is torture, I miss my ten minute drive
  • I have long since gotten out of my daily work routine
  • I am reminded of how long that list of to do items is at work
  • I am not a morning person, so it takes some effort to get going that first day of the week
  • I pay the price of leaving my cat since he has since forgotten that I have to work to keep food in his dish
  • And finally, I just plain, old hate Mondays

Even when I was in Nashville, Mondays were not on top of my most liked things. Sure, I got to catch up with everyone but still, it is a Monday. . .

Maybe I should just find that White Knight in Shining Armour, get married, have babies and stay at home. . . there is a thought! I could perfect my 50s Housewife persona. Oh wait, I don’t do housework. Nevermind.

Me? Obsessive? Nooooo. . .

Last week I picked up a used copy of Julie Powell’s book, Cleaving. I just started to read it today and don’t have many thoughts on it as of yet but it brought back my memories of joy when I was reading her first book, which then led me to see the movie, get my parents to pick up Mastering the Arts of French Cooking, which then sent me on a mission to read anything and everything about Julia Child.

Today, after a short time baking by the pool, I ended up surfing the internet and landed on past articles on Judith Jones, Julia herself and Julie Powell. Ms. Jones was the editor of Mastering, a friend of Julia’s and has given insight on what Child would have thought about Powell’s book and the movie.

I found her blog and the mention that a writer from the New York Times wrote that people in today’s world would not cook from the book. That it was tedious, etc. Here is the deal, people who love food, who love to cook, they will cook from the book. Those who just happened to see the movie that like food but have no interest in cooking traditional French cuisine will not.

I have cooked from it many times, I have pages marked with bright pink post-it notes and wine splatters over some of my favorite recipes to boot. Will I attempt preparing aspics? No, nor will I go for some of the other recipes that do not appeal to my taste buds. But I cook from it throughout the year and giggle with glee when I pull it off!

I wasn’t one to cook with wine before. Let’s just say that there was an incident years ago where I might have gotten the oil too hot when making fried chicken and there might have been a flash fire in my kitchen. . . but after being with the boy, watching him cook with wine, well, I became brave. Plus, after the boy was out of my life who else would cook those dishes that I loved so much?

So off I went to try my hand at cooking with wine and my oh my! I actually can cook with wine. It adds a depth to the flavors that I had not known before. It also made me sound like I was cooking some fancy dishes, when in reality Child’s recipes from France were traditional home cooking. And that is what I do best, ask Sonia. . .

So I fervently read up on recipes, thinking, contemplating what to try next, having discussions with myself as to what my level of talent is, trying to find a way to step it up. Baking is still a great love of mine but since I have taken that step to really push myself in terms of cooking, well, it is on the back burner, which my clothes thank me for.

It has been almost a year since I tried a Julia recipe for the very first time, all by myself and all I can say is, Child is one fine instructor. I still have moments where I want to pull my hair out, can’t figure out what this or that means but ultimately, it is about trying a recipe out, working out the kinks and going for it.

I can proudly say that I can poach eggs now, when frying up eggs, I can flip them in my skillet without the aid of a spatula and my omelets are to die for. . . I can’t wait for it to get a bit cooler so I can cook up quiche and eat it to my hearts content. Nor can I wait to try (again, I need to be more patient when it comes to sauteing my onions) French Onion Soup or my easy, go to soup of choice, Potato Leek.

I still love Martha Stewart and she is the one I go to for my meatloaf. I also tend to stick with her when it comes to baking. I also have Magnolia Bakery’s cookbook that serves the perfect recipes and memories of NYC when it comes to cupcakes.

So while I surf the net for all things Julia, I also know that there are a few more cookbooks that I am in dire need to acquire. My love of cooking might not ever produce a man to sit at my table nightly but who cares? I get to test and push myself in the kitchen. Cooking and writing are my therapies of choice. I can express myself through cooking and enjoy it immensely. And then I can over share about my crazy life here on this blog while my mother goes to shake her head and wonder just exactly how I became me.

A Battle of Wills

I was talking to a friend today and she inspired me to think about something that is an attribute in me. I am strong willed, stubborn to a fault and a control freak. Part of it apparently comes from my mom’s side of the family, I like to think some of it comes from me being the youngest and the final part comes from a comment my dad has said plenty of times to me while growing up. That comment apparently shaped me as a person and it is. . .

Only rely upon yourself, never count on others to support you.

I am paraphrasing it since I can’t remember the whole lecture word by word. But it is something dad always said to me, which could be the driving force in my relationship history. I took it literally and while, yes, I do lean on my friends from time to time, I always tried to make sure that I could support myself when it came to guys in my life. It makes sense to always be able to take care of yourself, knowing that whatever crap comes your way, you can handle it.

I am a grown woman, I know what I like and prefer to pick and chose what I like, whether it is activities, eating, watching tv or what I read. People tend to see my strong willed nature and roll their eyes. I know, sometimes even I can see that I am too much to deal with. I have steamrolled friends, boyfriends and even my parents from time to time. In the back of my head, I can see that I might be pushing a little too hard and should back off but sometimes that little voice isn’t quite loud enough to take me down a notch.

I question those actions sometimes. I know I basically barked demands off to Stacey and J the day Liam passed. Taking them to eat, look for clothes and getting them back home. I made that call to the funeral home and accompanied them. I hope that my behavior wasn’t horrible but I just felt like at that point in time that putting one foot in front of the other, just getting the basics done was what they needed. They never said an ill word to me about it though, so I am hoping that I didn’t step on their feet. Because I felt like if I were in their shoes, I probably would have needed someone to tell me what to do and when.

Dating has always been interesting to me. It is part dread, part questioning everything and part, I hope this is it. But I have dated guys in the past that I have battled with in terms of what to do, when to do it and how. I didn’t with Mike and bless his heart, he now deals with Amy the friend, who tells him that he is paying for dinner, deals with the whining (at least when we were in the same city) when I want a malt from Bobbie’s and other random demands that I throw out there. For us, this works in our friendship and it may have to do with the past more than anything.

I don’t want to be with someone that I can steamroll but I also don’t want the asshole who determines what I am going to eat, etc. It bothers me. I like a challenge but I also like when that guy respects me enough to let me handle things in my own way. The boy used to mention my cleaning skills, it was a playful thing, not harsh; but I retaliated by writing hello and my name in the dust that was on his furniture. He got to see a side of me that had not been shown before when we were dating. Mainly just the blunt, this is what this is, these are your issues, etc. conversation that left me feeling better but left him filing that conversation in a file titled “Thoughts to Avoid.”

There have been times when after spending time with a guy, I have left, scared to death that he just might have my number. Other times when I realized, yep, not going to happen and more times than not, just downright confused by the whole thing. Mixed signals, comments in jest or the inability to just be honest seem to be the defining factor in most guys I have dated.

Here is the reality, sometimes being honest is going to hurt someone’s feelings; sometimes the way you feel may scare you but isn’t that what it is about, getting through the fear and finding something great; or knowing that all it will ever be is just friends, so keeping it light is the only way to go. If I am really interested in a guy, then well, the game is over for me. I don’t like games anyway but after a history of dating and doing the three date max, well, it helped me see at least what I didn’t want.

I might have a lot of armor on but past these walls, there is a heart on my sleeve that can get hurt easily And yes, I am strong willed, stubborn and a control freak but those are my quirks that I get to deal with not a challenge to a guy to see if he can break me. One ex did that and the scars from that are still there. It took a long time to get over but I did. And thank goodness because he is a dear friend and it all comes from the ugly that was within our relationship.

I have only been in love twice and each time I was met with disappointment. But I learned quite a bit on the way and can easily say, I wouldn’t change a thing. So yes, I maybe a pain in the ass sometimes but I have only good intentions. I step back from time to time when I am not sure what direction I am going in and sometimes I just jump in without looking. But more often than not, I opt to look and see since I like to know what the deal is.

Mostly, my quirks can be attributed to my mom’s side of the family. But I love that within my control freak nature that is one uncontrollable factor, panic attacks. Thank you dad’s side of the family for that one. Take one control freak, get her going on her course of life and then throw in random panic attacks just for fun, no reason at all and you get me.

And some of my parents’ friends wonder why I am still single???

Pondering Deep Thoughts

It has been one of those weeks, filled with tons of work, catching up on sleep and actually getting out on a school night. Life has been kind of crazy this summer, which makes me long for the simpler times when I was in Nashville. But some good memories have been made and also I have learned a lot, so it can’t be all bad right?

Sometimes I wonder what my life looks like, all planned out but we don’t get to see it ahead of time, only as it unfolds. Which kind of sucks for a control freak like myself. I like knowing, not interpreting, so dealing with anything that is not planned out causes me to panic. I know, living your life in the moment is the best way to live. I try, I really do.

I have done that this week and it has been freeing. I have learned a great deal about myself just in a short amount of time. I also know that walls that have been up for years at a time take awhile to tear down. Butting heads with a friend this week made me see that sometimes while fun, everything must be put into perspective.

I talked to the boy the other night. That was interesting. He says he knows how to deal with me when I am irritated at him. But the reality is, sticking your head in the sand doesn’t make the problem go away. He is who he is and while there are times when I feel sorry for him, I know that I shouldn’t waste my time. But I still pick up the phone when he calls.

I had drinks last night with a coworker and talked to QB. He met us there as we were winding down and we hung out talking. I can always use another friend but sometimes even I get frustrated. I read on a message board the other day about whether the internet has been a blessing or a curse. We can catch up with people we haven’t seen in years via Facebook, email, text and basically forgo actual conversations. But the written word can be misconstrued all too often. Comments meant in a teasing tone can be taken as insults or just normal day to day, how are you doing type texts, can be perceived as something more than just the common courtesy.

It is interesting how technology has come this far yet the problems, questions and simple miscommunication can cause all sorts of problems. There have been times when I have made a comment on someone’s journal, blog or FB that ended up with an email or phone call asking me what the hell was I talking about.

I have a degree in Mass Communications and even I screw up when it comes to communicating my thoughts. It is hard to be open and honest with those that are near us, even harder when it comes to the opposite sex. And I always had more guy friends than girl friends! One would think that having my degree in communications and being raised around a bunch of guys that I would have this down pat but I don’t. There is a fine line between being honest and just being blunt. And after so many failed relationships, I tend to just throw everything out there because if that guy is the one for me, he won’t run from the quirks of me being honest.

I won’t lie, it kind of felt good when I was talking to the boy and the conversation went to the other weekend. He expected my normal answer of I didn’t do anything, just sat around. Did it bug him that I was out until the wee hours of the morning. Doubtful, probably more like shock. There is that horrible part of me that wants him to feel the hurt that I felt last summer. But I can’t do it.

I am not sure where my life is heading but I am trying to loosen the reins a bit so I don’t go completely over the edge. I also need to understand that sometimes I don’t get my way and that I have to be okay with that too.

There are some great things going on around me and I want to share in all of my friends’ joy. Also, I have managed to put myself out there a bit and while I am still stumbling along, it is kind of fun. Like when I used to actually ride roller coasters and my stomach would flip as we were hurtling down the track. Those stomach flips are nice to feel, whether they are really real or not doesn’t matter. And maybe I will get to feel a few more of them in the coming months because that can put a smile on my face.

Rocking It Out

It amazes me sometimes how productive I can be when I stick the ear buds in and rock out while working. My former boss always thought it was odd that I concentrated better with the music turned up. Of course, he is kind of ADD and I have a feeling his mind would wander if he listened to music as he worked. . .

But this afternoon I was having a case of the Mondays even though it is clearly Wednesday and the thought of curling up under my desk for a nice little nap sounded really good. So I remembered that while my IPod was at home, I do have Pandora on my phone and rocked out to 80s metal while working on my spreadsheets. I have a radio at work and listen to it most of the time but sometimes listening to the current rotation on the local station gets on my nerves.

So up went the volume and I tapped, tapped, tapped away, literally knocking out a ton of reports. What a nice way to spend the afternoon! Even better as I marked off each account as done, making some nonproductive days disappear.

I guess music is my drug of choice, while I tend to go old school, I do love some of the current musicians out there. Paramore and Wakey! Wakey! are just two of the groups that I love to hear on the radio and if they aren’t in the rotation, well, I have my handy, dandy mixed CDs (and that just doesn’t roll off the tongue like mixed tape) that I can throw in while driving home. There is something so freeing about the windows down, music up and driving down the road with my hair going crazy.

Luckily tomorrow is Thursday, just one day closer to the weekend and that my friends makes me happy. As well as getting an email from Stacey today saying she felt good, on cloud nine and even looked online to check out coming home outfits for the newest addition. And that makes me smile even bigger!

Music also makes me think about things, decisions that need to made, things that should be said but never will. It helps me write but then there are times when I wouldn’t mind just finding my spot by the river and sitting there to think. I used to do this when I was growing up. It was my favorite thing, music up, windows down, taking the curves like I was on a race track. Then I would see my destination, pull over, climb down and just think.

The water clears my head but at this time of the summer, I would be more in the way and well, you can’t really clear your head when there are tons of people hanging out there. But it is the thought that counts.

Maybe one of these days I will just go with my gut, let it out and move on. I would be simpler that way. But I am kind of stubborn.

QB, Texts and a Phone Call

Well, well, well. . . I have learned something tonight. That sometimes being sarcastic doesn’t translate well through texting. I also had to admit that it is pretty darn hard to write a post now that I know that he reads this. Knowing your mom reads your blog? Well, that is a lot easier, since she tends to keep her mouth shut and doesn’t comment.

But to get feedback from QB? Heart races and then I start to cringe. I think but am not 100% sure, that my post about cads might have been interpreted the wrong way. We all have our bad habits, ones that we break but from time to time, slip up and repeat. But I have to say, the whole bad boy thing has been broken for awhile. It is one of those habits that I know will leave me in a sobbing, heartbreaking mess, so why go there.

Hence not really dating much since the boy. It is hard to talk about past relationships with anyone other than your closest girlfriends. And meeting up with QB for a drink and to catch up didn’t seem like the time nor place to delve into my horrible taste in men. He has dealt with a lot too in the past, but that is not my story to tell, so I will keep that out of here.

But blogging sometimes allows the reader to put together an opinion on a posting that is far from the truth. And sometimes it is a manual on how not to do things.

In truth, talking to him tonight while he was heading home was nice. It also made me want to put him under my wing and take care of him. A habit that while nice, needs to be harnessed. This is not about him but me. But for now, I will just say, damn, you are making it difficult to blog because sometimes you just pop up in the story. Thanks for making me laugh and especially getting me to see that sometimes Chattanooga can be an okay place to be at.

But mom, that doesn’t mean I have changed my mind. . .so don’t start thinking that this place is growing on me like the kudzu.