Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Control Issues

I've been thinking a lot about "control" the last day or so. Probably because I was IM'ing BBB and, in a moment of frustration, typed "I DON'T EVEN CONTROL MY OWN HOME."

It was, as I said, a moment of frustration, and not entirely true. Allow me to explain.

Last week's much anticipated vacation was great except for the realization that I'm going to have to pour a lot of money into my car's Air Conditioning Unit. Enter Kalesy's money issues.

So, while the time off was great, it wasn't quite as restful as I had hoped. Add to that the knowledge that this week and next will be crazy. Napolean's in town this week and meeting after meeting after neverending meeting are going on - many of which are forcing me to recall that scene in Dangerous Liasons where Glenn Close talks about stabbing her fork into the palm of her hand under the table all while "smiling pleasantly at everyone around me." Insult to injury, I'm travelling next week and we all know how well I do out of my comfort zone.

The other night, I found out Mr. Zips would be staying until Friday a.m. And instead of dealing with that information like an adult and asking if perhaps it would be OK to shorten the trip by just one night, I swallowed my discomfort and smiled pleasantly.

It's not that I don't want Mr. Zips around. It's just that I felt like I hadn't been asked - I'd been told - what my living situation was this week. And since I become a total fanatic when I'm trying to leave the apartment for an extended period of time, this info really threw me.

I stewed and stewed and grumbled and IM'd in capital letters. Then, last night, on the way home, I decided I had to say something about it and worried the whole way home about the fighting and tears that would go down.

So, I asked him if he could crash at a friend's on Thursday. No problem, he said. In fact, it's probably better if he just goes home.

Boy, don't I feel like an ass.

I'm not suggesting that everything is all better. I still have a lot of my control issues to work out. As, I'm sure, does he. After all, he's trying his best to control situations so that I don't fly off the handle like a raving lunatic and throw Tofu Curry around the kitchen. (Yes, it's been known to happen, much to my eternal regret.) But he can't really control that - nor should he have to. I guess it comes down to me controlling my responses to situations and not trying to control him. Or us. Or whatever.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Bring on the Summer

It's supposed to be 90+ degrees today and so I'm celebrating - by taking my day off to Gloucester. Hopefully the beaches will be mostly empty and I can get some serious R&R.

It feels great to be taking a vacation - I've really needed it. And so has my relationship w/ Mr. Zips.

We went out Wednesday night so I could have a few margarita's and get a little verschnikered. (Poor eternal designated driver...) And then we came back and watched a ridiculous movie. And woke up on our own time. And had a leisurely breakfast at our favorite breakfast place. And sat on my porch and tormented the kitties with the birds flying around. IT WAS GREAT.

Being able to hang out and relax allowed us to be goofy and silly - which is probably the reason we fell in love with each other to begin with. (Well, that and how amazingly hot I am ... of course) It's a huge difference from how we are with each other during the week - when we're both stressed about work, schedules, etc.

I think it's been really hard putting a relationship as relatively young as ours under that kind of pressure. I honestly believe it's a testament that we - I - have been able to not throw in the towel. (Cuz we all know how good I am at sticking something out ...)

I hope we can learn to take it a little easier this summer. And I know upcoming birthday vacation to Bar Harbor will help. Trail access to Acadia - Vahoo!

OK - off to go shave so that I can appear publicly in a bathing suit. Be afraid, be very afraid.

Saturday, May 19, 2007


I am proud of the fact that I love Wait Wait Don't Tell Me (The NPR Newsquiz show, coming to you live from the Chase Auditorium in beautiful downtown Chicago, and here's your host, Peter Sagel...). I am less proud of the fact that, weekday mornings, I listen to Opie & Anthony. I'm sorry, but pre-coffee I can NOT handle news from Iraq and life during wartime, global warming, conspiracies and cronyism. Nope, pre-coffee, I want boob and fart jokes, please.

This week, O&A got suspended from XM following an off-color remark not made by them but certainly not censored by them on their show. They protested, saying, "It's not like we've got the same standards as NPR."

To which, Wait Wait replied, "NPR has standards? Uh Oh."

The dork in me grins.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Fear and Loathing in the USA

So, I'm late in catching up. But I was listening to On Point's newsweek round-up last night, covering the California Republican debate. I must confess, I did not watch the debate. I don't like any of the candidates - vehemently can't stand some of them - and, well, frankly I'd had a bad enough week as it was.

Still, I was stunned at what I heard.

Apparently, they set up a Dershowitz-type torture scenario. You know, ticking time bombs, people's lives in the balance, one guy tied to a chair. What do you do?

Short of John McCain (who as a former POW knows of what he speaks) all the candidates supported - what in essence amounted to - torture. They didn't call it that, of course. "Whatever it takes." "Enhanced interrogation techniques." "Every method they can think of."

The ironic thing here is that the people who know (wit John McCain) - generals, military experts, historians - all maintain that torture doesn't work. More importantly, it HURTS THE CAUSE.

We demean ourselves when we torture. When we do it, we subject our military boys and girls (and, let's face it, most of 'em aren't old enough to be men and women) to the possibility of torture. We create more terrorists and terrorist propoganda.

As written eloquently in The Washington Post:

"Worse, you'll have the other side effects of torture. It "endangers our soldiers on the battlefield by encouraging reciprocity." It does "damage to our country's image" and undermines our credibility in Iraq. That, in the long run, outweighs any theoretical benefit. Herrington's confidential Pentagon report, which he won't discuss but which was leaked to The Post a month ago, goes farther. In that document, he warned that members of an elite military and CIA task force were abusing detainees in Iraq, that their activities could be "making gratuitous enemies" and that prisoner abuse "is counterproductive to the Coalition's efforts to win the cooperation of the Iraqi citizenry." Far from rescuing Americans, in other words, the use of "special methods" might help explain why the war is going so badly."

What amazes me about all this is who this "Do What It Takes" rhetoric is coming from. This so-called Party of Life, Values Party. These are the people who are so damned afraid that they're willing to forgo the most important message of The Bible: Do Unto Others As You Would Have Others Do Unto You.

Hasn't history shown what this irrational level of fear can do? Didn't we all get forced to read The Crucible in grade school English class?

I don't know why I am still astounded by all of this, but I am. It just really scares me that so many people use their fear as a barometer and tune into their base desire, instead of actually listening to the facts and experts.

God Help America.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

I Must Be Invisible

I think I'm invisible today.

This a.m., had to stop at Kinko's to OK a proof of a quick print job. Was pulling into the last remaining parking spot in front of the store when a big ass SUV starts backing up into it/me.

Waiting in line at the dreaded ABP, the guy in line behind me comes up to the register, puts down his food, and starts paying the cashier even before I had my own lunch bought and paid for.

Walking back to the office I was trailed all the way into the elevator - and this includes through the revolving door - by an old guy with cigar breath. (Yes, he was so close, I smelled the cigar.)

Stuck in traffic on Mem Drive, a car pulls out right in front of me and nearly takes off my front end.

Either I've been watching too much Supernatural or I really need to start wearing neon orange.
Oh, wait, maybe my Voicemail is coming true and the NSA is after me....

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Blues, The Reds, and The Blahs

Usually this month is a very happy one for me. (Cue the orchestra...) It's May, It's May, the Lusty Month of May. (Yes, yes, I do obsess about Camelot from time to time...) But this month has been a tough one.

Not for any specific reason. I've just had a general malaise hanging over my head these past few days/weeks. I haven't even blogged because I really haven't felt like I have anything to say.

I still don't necessarily feel any better, but I've decided that I'll heed the wise words of "what you look for, you will find." Or, as the poster on my cube says, we come to feel as we behave. So if I behave happy, well, just maybe...

Monday, May 07, 2007

Would you describe me as "green"?

I am completely wiped out. But, alas, I have already poured a cup of chamomile tea, so while I'm waiting for it to cool enough to drink ... I will subject you to more ranting.

Had my first meeting of my Taproot Foundation project group tonight. And it went really well. We've got our work cut out for us, but I feel really good about the nonprofit we're working with. What I don't feel great about was dinner. We went to Bertucci's. Normally, I really like Bertuccis. But this week I am especially poor. With that in mind, I ordered a salad. Nothing more. No soda, wine, or beer. No grilled steak. Water, (free) bread, salad. So when the bill came, I expected those who ordered wine, beer, or steak to pay their fair share while I paid mine. Alas.

Now, I know I could have spoken up. Should have. But I've just met these people and I will be working with them for several months. Which, of course, is precisely why I should have spoken up. Best to nip habits in the bud before they become habits. But I really wanted these people to like me. So, mum I stayed.

What's worse is this. This a.m., I learned one of my co-workers won $2000 in Keno last night. Keno. $2,000. And instead of being happy for her, I felt angry, jealous. I am really - REALLY - not proud of my immediate reaction. I should have been happy. I should have opened my heart to her good fortune. But I didn't.

Is it jealousy issues or money issues, or both? If I can figure that one out -- and what to do about it -- I'd be a much happier camper.

Sunday, May 06, 2007


Yesterday was Cinco de Mayo -- Mexican Independance Day. I must admit, for someone who spent three years of her life working in Mexican Restaurants, I know very little about Cinco de Mayo.

But I do know this.

One year ago, Cinco de Mayo, was my last day of working a second job. For one full year, I have been relying on one single paycheck. And, while I constantly moan and stress about my finances (and, yes, I will be eating ramen and mac n' cheese for 9 days until I get paid again...) it feels REALLY GOOD to have a normal work week.

It's given me a lot to think about. Where I've been. What I've gone through. Where I'm going.

And to a certain extent, I think much of the recent past has been part of a misstep. A precocious mid-life crisis. But it has gotten me to where I am today. And while that sounds trite and cliched (or, as Napolean would say, cliqued), it's no less true.

So, here's to freedom! Pour me another Spider Cider, rocks, salt.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Precious Moments

My best friend's daughter, who is 17 going on 35, has landed a job. She is working at Taco Bell. The best thing about her new job, other than the fact that the uniforms are purple (purple is a ery good color for her) is that she doesn't have ask, "Do you want fries with that?" We all have our standards.

The other night, she was tasked with cleaning the men's bathroom (after closing time, of course). After this nightmare event, she dialed up her boyfriend. Below is a rough transcript of the conversation, as related by her mother.

"What's up with you guys and your lack of aim?"


"Well, sometimes it's a game. And sometimes you get, you know, distracted. By like a fly or something."

I'm so glad he provided a concrete example to prove his point.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

I'm a Toys R Us Kid

Remember those commercials? "I don't wanna grow up, I'm a Toys R Us kid!" They were great.

I've been doing a lot of thinking about that lately.

I went on a job interview on Tuesday. It was a great job with a great organization. And I really think I would have had a chance. If, say, I had an MBA and about five more years experience.

And I came home and started thinking about getting an MBA. It's a conversation I've had with myself many times.

But then I took a step back.

I'm currently being forced to curb my exercise habit. For better or for worse, I will be getting home much earlier than 7:30/ 8 p.m. these days. And I will be significantly less ravenous when I get home. So, in theory, I should have much more time to write.

And, truth be told, I've got a LOT of ideas kicking around in this ole head of mine.

Then I remembered back to the words of a well-respected member of a previous writing group. Who told me (and I paraphrase) "You've got style and ear. When you figure out what it is you want to say, you will be a great writer. PLEASE find an MFA program and enroll."

You can't exactly get an MFA and an MBA at the same time.

So it seems I'm at a crossroads. On one hand, getting the MBA will allow me to earn the money that could - potentially - allow me to take the time to do the writing that makes me happy. On the other hand, getting the MFA will help me to better do the writing that makes me happy. Of course, while both expensive, one is considerably more expensive than the other. See employee Continuing Ed section of contract.

I don't need to decide this all at once. But given all of the stuff that's been coming up for me in reiki and meditations, in conversations and dreams, I do think it's got to be decided relatively soon.

I don't want to read the headline in the Boston Globe, "Novelist, at age 85, has first work published."

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

What a Day

I've been meaning to post all day. My phone started ringing around 10:30 a.m. and did not stop. You know the easiest way to have a really busy day at work? Hope like hell to have a nice quiet one.

All things considered though, it wasn't a bad first day back. Long Napoleanic conversation, which was to be expected, but otherwise I managed to put out most of the fires and even meet some very friendly people over the phone. (Of course, drop a huge gourmet chocolate truffle order in the laps of a mom & pop gourmet chocolate shop, and they'll be nice to you.) So non-stop, but not necessarily in a bad way.

And then ...

I had reiki tonight.

And whatever else is going on in my life will have to wait. I feel positively blissed out. Drunk on energy.

Oh yeah - and I need to get in touch with my inner child. But what else is new?

Sigh. I love spring.