Dec 28, 2006
My husband does not understand why I am so sympathetic/empathetic. Neither do I. It's just the way I am. I was embarassed to admit this, but I told him that when I was a little girl, 5 or 6 perhaps, I used to get very upset when I scraped my dinner plate into the garbage. Usually, I didn't eat all of my peas, and I thought that they had feelings. I thought they would feel unwanted/unloved if I threw them away. I used to tell them that I was sorry - I was only throwing them away because I was full and NOT because I didn't like them.
Sounds crazy, but I was very young. It's not like I do that now.
So I had sympathy for my peas, and I have sympathy for Saddam Hussein. Maybe this does make me sound crazy, but I can't apologize for who I am.
Dec 27, 2006
Dec 23, 2006
Anyway, I have been "writing" novels in my head for years - while taking a shower, driving to and from work, eating breakfast by myself. I have started a book - there's my big secret. Well, my husband knows, and only one person reads this, so it isn't much of a secret.
My problem is that I have the whole story in my head. I have characters. I compose dialogue while I brush my teeth and fold laundry. I have a tentative title (which I will not reveal at this point). I have even gone as far as writing notes, but I have yet to sit down and write. I find all kinds of excuses - too tired, too much laundry/cleaning, working on other projects, etc. Knowing and understanding my passion for writing, my father gave me a book about the actual act of writing and how we can overcome our mental obstacles. I have learned that I have a fear of rejection. I have a horrible case of perfectionism. The thought that runs through my head regularly is, "Who the hell am I to write a novel?" The best thing I have learned from this book is this:
Dec 22, 2006
The fog reminded me of the night back in 1995 when I drove 27 miles on country roads through really awful fog. Visibility was only 1/16 of a mile and no one wanted to pass me, so I had to be the lead car. By the time I got home, my arms were totally sore from tensing up while I drove.
Dec 21, 2006
Dec 20, 2006
- Finished my holiday/birthday shopping
- Purchased everything I need for X-Mas Eve dinner
- Made 4 pounds of sugared pecans
- Ate a few handfuls of those pecans
- Wrapped most of the presents
- Called animal control on my neighbors (they have left their dog out in rainy, 38 degree weather ALL DAY)
- Paid some bills
- Got my new driver's license (where I officially signed the paperwork to change my last name). I will write more on this later, as it deserves its own post.
So, it might not sound like a lot, but it feels like a lot.
Dec 18, 2006
Dec 12, 2006
To make a long story short, the show was great, my sister was successful, and we had a good time walking up and down Michigan Avenue.
Something interesting/funny happened while we stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel - aside from the couple in their mid-forties who attended a holiday party at the hotel and passed out in front of their room covered in vomit. No, it was funnier than that. On Sunday morning, we had breakfast, checked out of the hotel, and asked for the valet to get our car. As we pull away from the hotel, my husband asked, "What happened to your pretzels?" Let me backtrack for a minute - about half way through our 3 hour drive, we stopped to get some snacks. I got a $1 bag of pretzels. They were quite good, but I only had a few and I think my husband had a couple. Anyway, back to those damn valets - they ate my freakin' pretzels!!!
Not only did they eat them, but they actually left the evidence in my car. The least they could have done was throw the bag away. I'm not really mad about it. I don't care about the $1 I spent on the stupid things, but come on guys. Buy your own freakin' pretzels!!!
Dec 2, 2006
Maybe this is all a reaction to losing someone I loved very much to a disgusting, nasty disease. Maybe after some more time passes I won't feel this way.
What was the point of her getting cancer, fighting it so hard, and then dying? Was she supposed to learn something profound in those 8 short months? Were we? All I learned was to be incredibly fearful of cancer. I learned that having faith doesn't make a difference. I learned that the only people who believe in miracles are those whose stories have a happy ending. The rest of us just stop believing. Or at least I have stopped believing.
I should be putting away the fall decorations and replacing them with Christmas ones
I should be folding laundry
I should be organizing the MESS in the spare bedroom
I should be doing something constructive
Instead, I'm sitting at the computer, typing away, listening to music, and wishing that I didn't have to do any of the above activities. I'm home alone, which is nice, but there's no one to talk to.
I enjoy the holidays, but am not really looking forward to them this year. My family is dealing with a lot right now and it doesn't seem like anyone's heart is into this season. I think we're all looking forward to January - a new year, a fresh start.
I'm dreading going to church on Christmas Eve. Being the only Catholic in my new family, it looks like I will be going by myself. I know I'm going to cry and I would really like someone to go with me. It might help me tone down the tears.
Tonight we're decorating the Christmas tree and making a gingerbread house. At least that's something to look forward to...
Nov 30, 2006
She got her artistic abilities from my mom. I, on the other hand, got mine from my dad. I don't think his feelings would be hurt if I mentioned ever so delicately that we both suck. My artistic skills peaked in the 6th grade when I did an awesome drawing (in some kind of heavy-duty foil product). My picture was of the ultra-hip band The Power Station. Anyone remember them? I saw them in concert with my sister and my mom, but I digress.
Anyway, looking forward to the show next weekend - will be driving back home to Chicago with my husband and staying overnight on Michigan Avenue (Hard Rock Hotel). It'll be strange to go "home" and stay in a hotel.
Sometimes it feels weird to be living in Iowa.
Nov 29, 2006
Last night I sat down alone and decided to watch it - lots of laughs. As I was putting the camera back in its bag I noticed another tape sitting at the bottom. I popped it in and watched some movies I recorded in the summer of 2005 - my niece's dance recital, my stepson's baseball team winning the championship, and my niece and nephew's birthday party. As I watched the events of the party, I heard something that sent chills throughout my body. It was her voice. She wasn't on camera, but I could hear her talking. Then all of a sudden, there it was - the laugh. Her laugh. A laugh like no other. I listened to it over and over, only stopping for fear that I would wear out the tape and never be able to hear it again. Tears came to my eyes, but at the same time I couldn't stop laughing. I was laughing at her laugh.
I miss her a lot - especially now with the holidays upon us. We had our first Thanksgiving without her and soon it will be the first Christmas - a holiday that I so associate with her. For as long as I can remember we spent Christmas Eve at her house. Even as a little girl I would sit with her in her kitchen as she got dinner ready. As I got older, she let me help her put the food in the dishes and bring them to the table. Even after the fire in 1999, she insisted that she host Christmas Eve dinner in her tiny apartment she shared with Grandma while they waited for the home to be rebuilt. Last year we celebrated at her house again, all secretly hoping that the chemo that she endured would put an end to her cancer. This year we will celebrate at my sister's house - no one can bear the thought of spending the holiday at her house without her there. Without her laugh.
Nov 13, 2006
The results are in and our Light The Night Team - Mary Lou's Cardinal Crew - came in 2nd Place in raising money for the Quad Cities Walk! Just a side note, but the "winning" team had about 20 walkers participating, while our team only had 4. By my calculations, they only averaged $240 per walker, whereas we averaged $378. So, even though this is NOT about competition, we won. We rock.
Just wait until next year...
Oct 17, 2006
It's OK, though. I have made it twenty years. I have finished college and graduate school. I've had some wonderful and important jobs. I got married. I own a home. I have a family.
I am OK.
Oct 12, 2006
We started work on the very same day back in September 2000 - and endured many hours in orientation. We had lunch together the day of my first date with my now husband (and he listened to me go on and on about how nervous I was). Together we watched the events of 9/11 unfold. I attended the baby shower for his first child. He and his wife attended my wedding.
That's a lot of big events in only 6 years!
So, for that (and all of the other unmentioned events, lunches, conversations, etc), I just wanted to say THANK YOU for being my friend. I wish I could see you and Angela more often.
Oct 9, 2006
I got into bed last night and cried. I sobbed. I haven't done that since the day she died. I attended my stepson's baseball game - mostly to get my mind on something better than death. I only stayed for 30 minutes. I drove the short distance back home and as I pulled in the driveway I realized that I could no longer hold back the tears. I sobbed as I sat in the garage - fearful that the neighbor boy from across the street would stop by to say hi.
Last night was different. I wasn't sobbing because I had just lost someone I loved so much. I cried because all of the Light The Night prep work was over. I signed up for the walk just 5 days before she died. Ever since then my focus has been on organizing my team and raising money. Last night came the realization that it was over. The realization that now I needed to face the loss. Face the grief that I stuffed down inside me.
I am afraid to grieve - afraid that if I start crying I won't be able to stop. All I can think about was what my mom said to me the day before my aunt died, when we knew the end was near: "It's so sad. I'm just so sad."
Sep 21, 2006
The first time she invited me to spend the night, I was a little apprehensive. I was too young to attend sleepovers at my friends' houses, so I had never been away from my mom and dad. But she convinced me. She talked about this "magic bed" that I would get to sleep in and watch tv. A magic bed? What did it do? For the next two days I conjured up all kinds of images in my head. I finally settled on the idea that this bed would be able to lift me off the ground so I could see the tv better. That's it...I was sold! I couldn't wait to spend the night.
Turns out that the magic bed was actually just a cot. The magic part was that it could fold in half and be rolled into another room for easy storage. However, my cousin and I made it more magical by folding each other up in it and pushing it through the house. Ahh, the good old days...
I've been thinking about my grandma lately. She will turn 89 in December. She's had a difficult time lately - dealing with the loss of her daughter and now having to deal with the daughter she has left. The daughter she was never very close to. The daughter that she said cruel and demeaning things to over the past 60 years.
I was putting some makeup on earlier today and had a strange memory of my grandma. Whenever we would run errands with her (she never learned to drive), I would sit with her in the back seat of the car and she would reach in her purse. Over the years I learned that she was searching for one of three things: 1) a tissue, 2) hard candy, or 3) her compact. Whenever she pulled out her compact, she would rub some powder over her face. I would watch her intently as she did this. Every time, like clock work, she would look over at me and put some powder on my nose. It smelled funny - almost medicinal - but I loved it. I loved to listen to the "click" the compact made when she shut it closed.
When I was old enough to wear makeup (and buy my own), I bought the same compact my grandma used. I've never used anything else. It reminds me of her. I think it always will.
Sep 20, 2006
This serves as a reminder that fall and winter are bearing down on us. I walked outside yesterday to get the mail and I was slapped in the face with the smell of either burning leaves or someone running their fireplace. I'm leaning toward the fireplace since there really aren't many leaves that have fallen - at least not in my neighborhood.
I love fall. OK, I love the concept of fall - leaves changing colors, Halloween, football games, jeans and sweaters, food that is not cooked on a grill, etc. However, with it fall brings many other things I could do without. The number one thing is the shorter days. How I hate that.
The shortened days and darkness coming at such an early hour can sometimes set me into a "mini-depression." Having been diagnosed as clinically depressed at the age of 14, I know what the serious stuff is all about. This isn't quite like that - similar feelings on a much smaller scale. Maybe I only feel that way for a couple of days, a week at most. I seem to be able to pull myself out of it rather well these days. Having family around me is always good and I am able to busy myself with activities and hobbies that I enjoy. At 14, the depression and anxiety paralyzed me. I could not see beyond it - no family, no friends, no hobbies could have pulled me away from it. I was consumed by my emotions. I was consumed by my thoughts.
This went on for quite a few months. My parents (thank God for them) were on top of things and a combination of therapy and medication helped me. Things seemed to be OK again. Life returned to "normal," and I laughed and enjoyed my family and friends once again. I did slip a few times over the next few years, but never once returned to that dark pit I couldn't see my way out of years before.
On a brighter note, I absolutely LOVE Halloween. I love dressing up, but as an adult I don't have much of a chance to do it. However, I married someone who also loves it, and my stepson is at the age where he still loves it. In fact, the three of us dress up together. In 2003, we went as Batman, Robin, and Catwoman. In 2004, we went as characters from "Gilligan's Island." Last year, we dressed up as two T-Birds and one Pink Lady a la "Grease." We rotate turns and each get to pick the costumes. This year is my stepson's turn to choose. We are all dressing up as Elvis - he is "Jailhouse Rock" Elvis, my husband is the brooding, 1950's Elvis, and I got stuck with white jumpsuit Elvis. Hmm...this will be interesting to say the least.
Sep 7, 2006
- A jackhammer to the head/face
- A sledgehammer to the head to be swung by any of my favorite MLB players
- Banging my head against the wall...any wall
- Being stabbed in the eye (whichever eye is experiencing the pain)
OK, so this is morbid and kind of spooky, but what else can I do with my time when I'm dealing with a 17-hour migraine that, at times, I think just might kill me?
Back to my crappy day. It was not a 17-hour migraine - more like an 8-hour migraine. I was able to work once the meds kicked in, although I was higher than a kite for the first few hours. I refuse to get in to what exactly made the work day so crappy. I will not think about it any more than I already have because it is not healthy for me to stew about this. It is not healthy for me to go back to what I was feeling yesterday. All I will say is "Circus Tickets." I know what this means and 20 years from now, I can look back on this and recall the situation. That's all that matters.
So, it's no wonder today was better.
On a completely different note, I found this picture at my parents' house a couple of weeks ago. It's a picture of my sister, me, and my mom.
(Apparently, I can't get this picture to appear - I'll try again later)...
From the looks of things, we were at the "nature center," as we liked to call it. We did that a lot when I was young. I can so clearly remember running down the hill by the apple orchard, holding on to my big sister's hand and squealing with excitement as I got that funny feeling in my stomach as we descended. What happened to those times? How did I get to be 33 years old? How did I get to be so critical and negative? I remember being 4 or 5 years old and only caring about playing outside and going to the zoo or the "nature center" with my family. Now I worry about, well, everything. I care what people think of me - people that really shouldn't make a difference to me. I worry about having enough money to pay bills. I worry about getting a terminal illness. I worry about someone I love getting a terminal illness. I worry about getting old. I worry about failing - in work, in marriage, in life in general.
I don't really want to be that young again, mainly because I really don't feel like reliving all the bad times - broken hearts, high school, deaths, etc. But just for a few minutes, I'd like to have that feeling back. The feeling of no worries. The feeling of being excited about running through the sprinkler, waiting for my dad to come home from work, helping my mom fold towels, and eating a pb&j sandwich.
Aug 31, 2006
After working 11 hours on Tuesday, 8 hours on Wednesday, then attending a 2 hour staff training Wednesday night, I came home and worked until 11 PM. I woke up extra early to get a head start this morning. I was still swamped...
Anyway, the due date was today at 4 PM and I got it in 20 minutes under the wire (cue the ESPN theme music).
I officially rock.
Aug 12, 2006
Happy Birthday, Auntie!
I hope that wherever you are, you are free from pain and celebrating this day with gusto :-)
Aug 4, 2006
But I digress.
There's just something about that scene at the buffet that gets me. The loading up of artery-clogging food, the way they carry their trays to the table, the eating in silence. And then there's the line:
"Hi Margie. How's the fricassee?"
"Pretty darn good. You want some?"
I just love that movie...
Jul 25, 2006
Words I will never forget...
Jul 23, 2006
Well, too bad. I had to change my blog so I can moderate comments. So, dad and hubby, if you do leave me any more comments, just know that I have the right to censor you :-)
Jul 18, 2006
To make this story evening more peculiar was the fact that about 25 feet behind him was another elderly man dressed in a very similar outfit.
My husband thinks I was hallucinating, but I know what I saw...
Jul 12, 2006
All of the proceeds will go to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and to Team Mary Lou (in memory of my aunt who passed away on June 21, 2006 from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma) - my family has organized a team to participate in the Light The Night Walk.
I know that absolutely no one reads this blog, but if for some reason someone is out there lurking, please check out this link: http://www.active.com/donate/ltnDesMo1/1760_tmoore2406
Jul 8, 2006
It was August 2000 and I spent the day with my mom, dad, sister, and 6-week old niece. We traveled to Sawyer, Michigan to go blueberry picking. It was an annual trip - one of my father's co-workers had a summer home up there and invited the whole department (as well as family and friends) to pick blueberries once a year. After a long day of picking blueberries and having lunch in the hot summer sun, we headed home. Not a long drive, but long enough to make everyone sleepy. My brother-in-law was out of town (overnight), and my sister (a first-time mom) was a bit nervous about spending the night alone with her baby, so my mom offered to spend the night at her house. That left my dad and me to fend for ourselves...
After the long day, neither of us was interested in making dinner, so we decided to try a new Italian take-out restaurant - La Rosa's (unfortunately, it went out of business a couple of years ago). I think we just got a pizza, but perhaps there was some pasta involved. We drove together to pick up our order and talked about our trip to Michigan - trying to decide how to use the blueberries. When we got home, we ate the pizza at the kitchen table and both mentioned how much we liked it. After that, we sat in the nice, cool family room and watched the first televised preseason Chicago Bears game.
I'm not sure why this is such a good memory for me - honestly, it was one of my most favorite days. Maybe it was because it was just my dad and me. Maybe it was the good pizza. Maybe it was the Bears game (after a summer of baseball). Maybe it was the happy realization that fall was just around the corner. I think it was a combination of all of these.
I told this story to my husband this evening. I knew that I should write this down before I forgot it (the memory). I have a headache today and am feeling tired - I told myself I would write about it tomorrow. I decided that life gets too crazy sometimes and I would regret it if I ever forgot this memory, so I'm writing it now.
Jul 3, 2006
Jun 28, 2006
Jun 25, 2006
I'm in a funk today. The funeral and "official" mourning is over. Now it's supposed to be back to our regular lives. But that doesn't happen. It's quiet in my house and I can't stop thinking about her. I can't stop thinking about how sad I feel. It's a deep sense of sadness - one that extends beyond my own sense of loss. I feel sad for my grandma who lost her daughter. I feel sad for my cousins who lost their mother, and now who have no parents. I feel sad for my mom who lost her sister (and her only sibling).
I hate this part of death - the after period when everyone who isn't directly involved goes back to their lives. The phone calls stop. The cards and letters stop. We're all left with this empty pit in our stomachs, wondering how (if?) we get back to a normal life/routine.
Right now I feel so far away from my family, even though I can get to them in about two and a half hours by car. I'm supposed to go to the movies with my husband in a few minutes. I know it's a good idea. I know that it will probably make me feel better even for a couple of hours, but I feel bad - guilty, almost.
I remember the day that she was diagnosed with cancer - October 14, 2005. I was shocked and upset and scared. He took me to a movie that night, too. It's kind of eerie now that I think about it.
I miss her so much already.
Jun 21, 2006
Jun 20, 2006
My hands are shaking. My legs are shaking. I drove to the Catholic church across the street from our house. I went to the chapel to say one last prayer. I'm kicking myself because last night I fell asleep without saying the prayer I have been for the past few days. Did I really think this prayer would keep her alive and cure her? No, but that Catholic guilt really kicks in...
So, now we wait.
Jun 12, 2006
2. I am addicted to CSI.
3. I didn't wash my hair today, but I still had a good hair day :-)
4. I haven't had chocolate in almost 5 months...
5. I really don't miss chocolate.
6. OK, I really do miss brownies :-)
7. I love the Cubs!
8. Husband and I froze our butts off at a May 12th Cubs game (42 degrees and raining!).
9. I just did some dishes and now my hands feel dry and cracked.
10. We have a nice dishwasher, but I always wash the big pots & pans by hand.
11. I'm tired of only being able to breathe out of one nostril.
12. I am half finished with crocheting a shawl - it has been too warm lately to work on it.
13. My sister sent me an awesome care package in the mail the other day - including pics of my niece and nephew.
14. This is going to be a stressful week at work :-(
15. I'm really thirsty - for a Coke.
16. I need to stop drinking so much Coke.
17. I need to clean the house, but I don't feel like it.
18. I need to get dinner started, but I don't feel like it.
19. I could use a new pair of black sandals I can wear to work, but I shouldn't spend the money.
20. I pray every day that someone will buy our house...
2. My family...both near and far.
3. My job - I might not always be happy to go to work, but I am employed and do something that I enjoy.
4. The fact that I can walk, talk, and think clearly (most of the time) - I tend to take these simple things for granted.
5. My home - a place to go to when I'm sick, tired, sad, and scared. It's a place where I feel safe even when I feel like things are out of control.
Jun 7, 2006
"God never promised life would be fair. The promise was that when you inevitably have to confront the unfairness of life, He will be with you."
That's all I can pray for...
Jun 1, 2006
May 26, 2006
May 25, 2006
I could have written about all the changes going on recently - most of them not very good. In fact, on Tuesday night I started to write about everything, but grew tired and empty. I still want to write about all that "stuff," and most likely will very soon, but thought that I should try something new. Something fun.
I have been trying my hand at scrapbooking. I read the magazines and am in awe of the creativity that exists out there. I don't consider myself to be very creative, but I do love taking pictures and writing, so I thought I'd give it a shot. Basically, I kind of stink at it, but I chalk it up to my beginner status and the fact that I am a perfectionist, which means that nothing will ever live up to my own standards (horrible curse!).
I took my first stab at digital scrapbooking. It has taken me a while to even figure out what I'm doing, but I finally came up with a layout. Kind of basic. Maybe a tad boring. However, I did it. I'm going to try to post it here. It's a picture I took off our balcony when we were in Cancun for our honeymoon.
May 10, 2006
Hopefully, life will return to "normal" very soon.
Apr 24, 2006
It's now three months later and I still haven't had any chocolate. I don't count the brownie that I licked because I didn't actually ingest any of it...
Apr 17, 2006
Up and down, up and down. It's enough to make me sick.
This whole cancer situation has had me thinking about how much I hate it when people say, "Life isn't fair." Yeah, I know that, but why is it so completely unfair to certain people? Why do some people get handed such crap to deal with and obstacle after obstacle to face, when others seem to just skate by in life?
I've got some theories, but none that are well-thought out enough to put into writing.
Apr 3, 2006
Apr 1, 2006
I don't understand.
Mar 31, 2006
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, once around the pan in a slow stream
Crusty bread, for passing
Heat a large skillet over moderate heat. Add oil, butter, garlic, and shallots. Gently saute shallots for 3 to 5 minutes to develop their sweetness. Add vodka to the pan, 3 turns around the pan in a steady stream will equal about 1 cup. Reduce vodka by half, this will take 2 or 3 minutes. Add chicken stock, tomatoes. Bring sauce to a bubble and reduce heat to simmer. Season with salt and pepper.
While sauce simmers, cook pasta in salted boiling water until cooked to al dente (with a bite to it). While pasta cooks, prepare your salad or other side dishes.
Stir cream into sauce. When sauce returns to a bubble, remove it from heat. Drain pasta. Toss hot pasta with sauce and basil leaves. Pass pasta with crusty bread.
Mar 30, 2006
Mar 26, 2006
peanut butter (lots and lots of peanut butter) on wheat toast and a glass of OJ
Cheese pizza and water
Cheese pizza and a Diet Coke
Two peanut butter cookies (Girl Scout!) and water
While eating dinner, I commented to Husband, "I didn't eat a single vegetable today."
Husband: "So what?"
OK, in my defense: 1) I had my performance review at work, so I wasn't really hungry for lunch, 2) With it being Lent, I felt like my choices were limited, and 3) Stepson had a sleepover, and as we all know, kids love pizza.
Lame excuses, I know, but what can I say. OK, so Saturday wasn't much better...
Mar 23, 2006
Now if only the baseball season would officially start...
Mar 21, 2006
I'm at work right now...with a migraine. Actually, the migraine is gone thanks to a nice, strong dose of narcotic painkillers. I don't know why I feel the need to distinguish between "pain relievers" and my painkillers. It must be because I've had lots of people ask me if a migraine is "just a really bad headache." I usually just laugh and explain that it's not even the same kind of pain as a regular headache.
So, right now I am working on our big special event our agency has once a year - a golf event. I know nothing about golf, but I do know how to run a huge fundraiser. I'm trying to focus on my work, but it's difficult now that the meds have kicked in.
Mar 11, 2006
I'm waiting for baseball to start. Believe me, I love football, and I love my Bears, but I just HATE the time between the Super Bowl and the baseball season. Boring. I was able to catch one pre-season Cubs games on TV the other day. God, I can't wait...
Mar 8, 2006
But I digress...
We made it back, and I loved Las Vegas. I'm picking up my pictures tomorrow afternoon and I can't wait to see them. I'm a bit worried some of them didn't turn out - especially the ones I took at night. I'm also totally paranoid that the scanners at the airport destroyed my film even though the sign said that all film under 800 would not be harmed. We'll see what happens tomorrow.
On to a different topic-
I've decided that sugar isn't what is triggering my migraines, but that the culprit is chocolate. Not a huge deal to me as I've never been much of a sweets eater or a chocoholic, but I do love my brownies. I haven't had chocolate in almost 7 weeks and I really think I'm OK about it (aside from that desperate moment a few weeks ago when I licked a brownie and then promptly threw it away). However, today I went to Walgreens to drop off my film. I picked up a b-day card for my grandpa (who will celebrate his 90th birthday on March 15th!). I strolled down the candy aisle to see what was there. I think there is only one candybar in the entire world that contains no chocolate - Payday. I bought it and ate half of it. It's actually really good. Of course, it's no fudgy brownie.
Feb 26, 2006
- A good book, Shopaholic and Sister by Sophie Kinsella (a funny, light read)
- Crossword puzzles - not too hard, not too easy
- A good, trashy magazine like US Weekly
- A copy of Simple Scrapbooks
- A blank notebook in which I can write my ideas and thoughts (if I'm feeling anxious, things I want to see in LV, pictures I want to take, etc.)
I'll probably write one more time before we leave. I'm really trying to control my anxiety. It's hard, but I've done it before...and I was successful.
Feb 22, 2006
- kept me from sleeping
- made me cry
- made me refuse to swallow my own saliva
- made me actually eat ice cream at 5 AM (and I don't like ice cream!).
So, at 6 AM, I pulled out my flashlight and took a look. Yep, I saw more disgusting white patches/blisters on my left tonsil - I do need to admit that I'm not even sure what a tonsil looks like. Anyway, it was there. This would be the fourth time in one year that this has happened.
To make a long story short, I just got back from the doctor, after enduring another throat culture, just to find out that it is probably just a viral infection. I'm not saying that I wanted it to be strep or tonsillitis, but at least that diagnosis makes sense to me. Should I expect to see these foreign objects in my throat every time I get a virus?
I was told, however, that I can eat "frozen desserts" if that would help. Now only if I was able to eat sugar...
Feb 20, 2006
Feb 17, 2006
I once read (or was told by someone) that the sense of smell is the most closely related to memory. I find this to be so true:
- The smell of Salon Selectives hairspray immediately transports me back to my junior year of high school.
- The smell of vanilla reminds me of when I was little and my mom would spend one entire day baking Christmas cookies.
- The smell of lilies takes me back to my grandma's funeral - the sickeningly sweet smell turns my stomach to this day.
- The smell of fresh orange juice makes me think of the warm mornings Patrick and I sat eating breakfast overlooking the Caribbean in Mexico.
Feb 13, 2006
This reminds me that I need to call my doctor to get a prescription for Valium. Valium helped me get to Cancun for our honeymoon. Valium is my friend.
Feb 7, 2006
I also found some cool "migraine art" that depict how a migraine feels. It's impossible to actually describe the pain, but I think these pictures do a great job. Here are my favorites:
The pain in and around the eye is unbearable...
Even the smallest bit of light can hurt...
This is how I feel after 17 hours of a migraine with no relief from any medication (including narcotic painkillers).
Looking at these pictures makes me sad.
Feb 2, 2006
Feb 1, 2006
I just purchased a "slightly used" zoom lens for my camera - a fantastic camera my parents got me for my birthday 6 years ago. To get specific, it's a Canon 75-300mm f/4.0-5.6 EF III Lens, and I'm so excited to start using it (yes, it's another bit of incentive to get on that plane - just think of all those pictures I can take!).
My purchase got me thinking about the whole digital camera vs film camera debate that goes on. Let's face it, there are people who love one or the other. I will admit that the digital camera (which I only use at work) does have it's benefits, but I am still a film camera girl at heart. I grew up with an amateur photographer as a father, which means that I was photographed regularly as a child (and teenager). If I'm not mistaken, he purchased his camera within the first couple of years of my birth. Hmm...maybe even before that. He was always experimenting with the aperture settings, the focus (which was NOT automatic!), and even black & white film - way before we were able to scan pictures into the computer and with the click of a mouse, change our once colorful pictures into b & w.
So, I am a staunch supporter of film cameras, and here are a few reasons why:
- Digital cameras offer our already too fast-paced society even more instant gratification. Yes, we still have 1-hour photo shops (in which I do not partake), but we still have to WAIT to see the pictures.
- I love the way that camera film smells. Weird? Yes. But who cares?
- Let's not forget about the sound a real camera makes when it takes a picture. It's not a beep, but a nice, solid click.
- I don't care what anybody says, digital pictures just do not look as good as developed film.
- And finally, I saved my biggest reason for last. Digital cameras let you delete your mistakes. I love my "mistake pictures" - blurry pics, closed eyes, uncentered focal points, etc. Even if the picture doesn't look good, it's still a picture I took at a certain (probably important) time in my life. I don't want to erase my mistakes. Mistakes are what makes us who we are. Life would be pretty boring if we could always just delete what we didn't like, what didn't look good, what didn't turn out the way we thought. Where would I be if I didn't make those mistakes? What kind of person would I be if I never learned from those mistakes?
Jan 26, 2006
Last weekend was a breakthrough! I visited for my birthday, and brought home a great pair of Kenneth Cole pants that I have had for over a year, but have never hemmed. Right before I left to come back home, she gave me a quick lesson, and might I add a very good one. Last night, I sat down, turned on the Australian Open, and hemmed my pants all by myself. I've yet to talk to my mom this morning, but I'm sure going to tell her the good news.
It's funny how such a small accomplishment can make me feel so proud of myself.
Jan 23, 2006
The view from our hotel:
Another view of our hotel at night:
I took a vacation day on Friday and today, so I think I'm dreading things more than usual. I keep telling myself that it won't be that bad - my attitude is only making it worse. Ironically, we had a management meeting at work and talked about how our attitudes can affect our work, etc. Anyway, I heard the phrase "choose your attitude," and I've been trying to use that when I get into a funk (like right now). I'm not normally one of those perky, cheery, ain't life grand people. I mean, I like to try to think positively and see the silver lining, but I completely understand when other people get in pissy moods and just want to vent or complain. I would never tell anyone else to choose their attitude - mostly because if someone said that to me...
I'm OK thinking it to myself. So, I'm going to do my best to choose my attitude for tomorrow and especially for Wednesday.
Jan 21, 2006
Patrick and I ate dinner that night with his parents. Not only was I nervous about starting my first day at my new job, but I was experiencing the most bizarre lightheaded, out-of-body sensation. What am I doing here? When can I go home? Who are these people sitting at the table with me? Where's my family? I want my family. We got back to Patrick's house, where I would be staying until my apartment was ready. I was freaking out and ended up doing things on autopilot - picked out my clothes for the next day, made my lunch (unable to locate the jelly for my pb & j sandwich; who has the pb in their house without the j?), made sure I had all of my legal/financial documents needed for that first day of a new job. I went to sleep. At least I think I did.
Next morning, I went to work. It was a blur, but I do recall that Patrick dropped off a brand new jar of grape jelly for me. This made me smile - the only bright spot in that entire day. The people were weird and I wasn't sure I would ever be able to handle the projects I would be in charge of. Why did I ever up and quit one of the best jobs I'd ever had? By the end of the day, I was exhausted, frightened, hungry, and lonely. Walking out of the building toward my car, I relished in the cold, bitter air that hit my face. I pulled out my cell phone and called my dad. "I don't think I like this. I think this was a huge mistake," was what I desperately wanted to share with him. But I couldn't. I faked like it was an OK day. I told him about my new co-workers and that the work seemed interesting, but would be an adjustment. He told me, like a good father should, to hang in there and to call them tomorrow - maybe things would be better (I knew he could sense the apprehension in my voice). As soon as I hung up, hot tears filled my eyes. I sat in the parking lot of my new job and sobbed - alone. Had I just made the biggest mistake of my life? I have no family, no friends, no connection to the past 30 years. The crying didn't stop there. I cried all the way home (a home that wasn't really mine), while I sat in the car and waited for Patrick to pick up the pizza, while I ate the pizza, and while I got ready for bed. I cried until my head ached and my eyes swelled shut. It was a bad day - a day I don't like to think about. A day that no one close to me even knows happened.
Visits to see my family are a blast - we laugh, go out to eat, and always hit the bookstore. The down side is that once I leave, I feel an emptiness. It's usually not so bad when I leave with Patrick. Today's trip was by myself. I had 175 miles to think about how much I miss them (I'm crying right now and think I should stop writing).
I've wanted to write about this day that occurred almost 3 years ago, but never had the courage. So now I did. It's out of my system. I really don't want to think about it any more - it's just too difficult. So now I will turn my attention to something a bit less emotional - the dirty dishes in the sink and what Patrick and I will be having for dinner tonight.
Jan 19, 2006
Birthdays seem like the perfect time to sit back and reflect on your life - at least for me. I've been thinking a lot about the title of this blog - An Unencumbered Life. It came to me very easily. I guess I always thought it would make a great title to something - a book, a song, a movie. Anything, really. Does anyone live an unencumbered life? No fear. No anxiety. No self-doubt. No sadness. No regret. Is that even possible? Maybe that is why I chose this title.
Yes, this is a little morose for a birthday entry, but I can't help the fact that I get reflective on and around my birthday.
On brighter note, Patrick took me to dinner tonight to one of our favorite restaurants - one that we used to go to when we first started dating oh so many years ago (OK, it was only 5 years ago). We had a nice time and even got a free piece of cheesecake!
I guess turning 33 isn't so bad...
Jan 18, 2006
Soon, however, I discovered these fancy, beautiful hardbound journals. I imagined writing all about my exciting life - romances, travels around the world, and my meetings with fascinating strangers. Not quite. They're actually filled with painful stories of unrequited love, bad first dates, difficult break-ups, struggles to finish graduate school, anxiety over finding a "real" job, etc. Quite a number of years ago - almost 20 to be exact - my father gave me a book as a gift. It's by Hugh Prather, and it's called Notes to Myself: My struggle to become a person. If I could steal that title without getting in trouble, I would. That seems to be the theme of my journals.
Despite being 24-hours shy of turning 33, and having finished graduate school and found a "real" job, I still feel like I struggle to become a person. I don't think that's a bad thing.
So, why the blog? In the past couple of years, my journal writing has slowed down. I don't seem to have the time or the energy to sit down with my notebook or journal. Honestly, it makes me kind of sad. I feel like if I ever decide to read through my life, a few years will be missing. And they were good years, too. Somehow, I always find the time to sit at my computer, so I decided that the blog is the way to go. Who knew that I would ever make the "journaling" switch? Not me, that's for sure.