Friday, September 26, 2008

If I could, I'd like a do-over for today, thanks. Yeah, just start the whole thing over and try again, because really, it's off to such a horrible start!

I feel like the worst mother in the world. I locked my baby in the bathroom before I left today. He has food and water and his litter box, and he does, from time to time, like to nap on the bath mat. But I feel awful closing him up in there. Thing is, they're installing new windows in my apartment today, and 1) I don't want him in the way of the workers, 2) I don't want him running out the door when they leave it open to bring things in and out, and 3) I don't want him to jump or fall out of an open window. So I left my cat in the bathroom with a note on the door asking them to please do the bathroom window last so that by the time they do that one, he'll be okay in the rest of the apartment. And it just about broke my heart to close him in there. Now the only thing I have to worry about is if they take the windows off from the outside without seeing the note I left on the bathroom door. I don't think my cat would jump out the window. But the thought of losing him...knowing that the last time I saw him, I hugged him and kissed him and then locked him in the bathroom...

So I get to work, and I'm the first one here. This is not normal. Usually, there are two or three other people here by the time I get here. But today, I'm the first one. Only, nobody ever told me the password to turn off the alarm. Yeah, not fun.

So I deal with that - finally - and I'm half expecting the police to show up today to file a report (but I know the password now to let them know it's okay), and I find out that our email server at work is down and I potentially lost all of the emails my international customers sent me between 8:30pm last night and about 8:30am today. Might not seem like a big deal, but that's prime working hours in Europe.

And then, to top it all off, I get a call from one of my co-workers who rides the train to work. The train he was on hit and killed someone this morning.

So please, can I have a do-over? Today is just not a good day, all around. Can we start over and try again? Please?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

We're getting new windows on my building! Starting with my apartment on Friday! Yay!

Did I mention, yay!

So I'm starting to think that at least part of my problem is that I keep having really bad dreams, so when you think about it, it's been quite a while since I got a good night's sleep. Granted, reaching REM sleep and having dreams is what most people would consider a good night's sleep, but if the dreams are upsetting or stressful, you can wake up even less rested than when you went to bed. For example:

A couple of weeks ago, I dreamed about an oncoming storm. My mom, my brother and I were all kind of sitting outside, waiting for this storm to arrive, half thinking that it wouldn't be that bad when it hit, and half watching the sky get blacker and blacker. Finally, we decided that since the storm was about five feet away, we should seek shelter, but I couldn't get away quickly enough and I was swallowed up in this big, puffy, white tornado type cloud. It wasn't really a funnel, though, or if it was, it was a funnel with a really wide bottom. It was kind of the shape of a cartoon drum that is full of too much water and is about to burst. Or a barrel, perhaps. But anyway, I'm now stuck inside this bright storm, and I'm on all fours in the hopes that a lower center of gravity will help prevent me being blown away, and I can hear my mom and my brother yelling for me to go one way or the other since we've now been separated, but I can't find them. So I decide to crawl the other way and I finally get to the eye of the storm, where it is perfectly quiet and not at all windy, but it's only about three feet in diameter, so I have to move along with the storm. And suddenly I realize, there isn't much air in the eye of the storm because it's all swirling around me and I can't breathe anymore. So I try to get out of the eye, but I have to break through this thick, plastic bubble first.

And then, I think, once I broke through the bubble, I was in another dream. I was back in college, and very upset about something, but I don't remember what. My mom offered to talk to me about it, but there was some costume thing going on, and I wouldn't talk to her until she dressed up for it. She dressed up as a geisha, but with hot pink lipstick.

On a totally different night, I had a dream that my mom was in the hospital and I was there with her when the doctor diagnosed her with terminal cancer and gave her about three months to live. She was strong and optimistic, but I was a wreck. I don't know that I've ever cried that hard in my real life.

And then last night, in my dream, I was back in high school, but I wasn't high school aged, you know? It was like they turned the smart kids program I was in into some competitive reality show type thing and I went back to participate. I don't remember what the point of our challenge was - maybe an exercise in socialization? - but we went to a grocery store and had to kind of mess with people in the produce department. Some of the other kids were moving vegetables around or following customers through the store, but I thought it would be fun to sit in with the vegetables and hand them to people as they walked past. One of my friends and I found that there was some space in with the tomatoes, and she climbed right in. I was screaming at her, furious that she had stolen my idea because I was convinced that it was clever enough to win the challenge, but she wouldn't budge. So I had to go try to find another spot in the produce section where I could hide amongst the veggies. There was something similar wrong with the new spot I found with the lettuce, too - either someone else snatched it out from under my nose, or someone who worked in the store started yelling at me because people are not allowed to be in the refrigerators or something like that. And I was so upset that my idea had been stolen, someone else got credit, and I lost.

So yeah, I'm not sleeping very well. Feelings of loss, would seem to be the underlying thread in all of these dreams. I wonder what I'm not dealing with that I need to deal with to be able to sleep peacefully. Could it still be residual band stuff, and once I have a complete band again, I'll sleep better? Or is it because I lost the fantasy of that one amazing man out there, who I connected with one night, who turned out to be just like every other man out there? Or am I starting to feel the loss of things that I could have done with my life, that a lot of other people my age have done, that I haven't and that it is probably too late for me to do? Roles I never got to play. Time wasted being afraid to sing in public that could have meant I'd have a music career by now if I had tried harder. A family of my own. I dunno. Maybe it's all of it.

I do want to thank you guys for your love and support. Yes, I've been having a rough year (I'd like to think it's not been a year, but let's face it, it's been a year), and I will get through it just fine. But it's nice to know that you all are still in my corner, that you love me, and that you'll listen to this crap if I need to spew it all over the internet. Thank you for that.

Monday, September 22, 2008

I cooked tonight. I think maybe I'm nesting or something because I'm feeling really domestic. By which I mean I feel like cooking. A friend of mine sent me a link to a bunch of lovely recipes, most of which were vegan if you omit the cheese, so I stopped at the produce store on my way home and bought the necessaries for about five dollars. And cooked myself a nice, healthy dinner. Granted, next time I make this, I'll use a little more water on the mushrooms and a little less on the potatoes, and I'll cut the Swiss chard up a little smaller, but it was still tasty and I was kind of proud of myself for making dinner. I should do this more often. And/or if I ever have a family to cook for, maybe I won't suck at it.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


All I can say is that this is a really exciting time to be a Cubs fan. I wish Harry Caray was around to see it.

Go Cubbies!

Friday, September 19, 2008

So I got to talk to my friend in Houston today. She's okay, as is her family, as is her house. Of course, I've known that for a few days, but still, it was good to hear her voice. Having not ever lived somewhere that was hit by a hurricane, it's kind of hard to imagine what life is like after something like that happens. Once the storm is over, then what, you know? The clean up is one thing, but so is finding lunch the next day, you know? And it can get tiring and old and hard and I have to say, it was just nice to hear her voice. To hear her laugh. To know that yes, she's tired and frustrated and annoyed, but that she also still has her sense of humor and a general positive attitude.

My sympathies to everyone in Houston and Galveston and anywhere in between who lost someone or is still without water or power or a place to live. And thank you, my friend, for calling to let me know that you're okay.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Okay, so I have a Facebook profile now. I don't know how long I'll maintain it, but it's up there. Yay. And apparently, there is some application on Facebook that allows you to buy your friends as pets. I'm not quite sure I get it, or what the point is, but it's there and today, I was bought.

Surprisingly, I'm a little miffed that I was bought. I'm a little miffed at who bought me, but also, just the general principle of being purchased...and I was purchased for $550. Apparently I'm only worth $550.

Now, in high school, one of my friends sold me to another one of my friends when we were in Morocco for 80 camels. This was in 1994. Let's assume that the Moroccan inflation rate has stayed at about 3% since then. This would make my current going rate just over 121 camels. Let's say a really good camel goes for $5,000, that would make my going rate $605,031.15. Significantly more than the $550 this guy bought me for on Facebook.

I'll be he doesn't even feed me.

I'm so worth more than $550.

Monday, September 15, 2008

So we all know I have body image issues, like most women in America. And most men in America. And probably lots of people elsewhere, too. It's just the way our culture works. And I think we also all know that I've done a bunch of things in my time to try to fight what I look like all together. I don't wear colors so I won't stand out. I mess with photographs of myself so I always look goofy. That kind of thing. All in an effort to get people to pay attention to the person, not the body she's in.

The strange thing is, it seems to be working. There were several people at the event over the weekend who didn't recognize me when I said hello or asked them to dance. But as soon as I reminded them of my name, it was like sensory recall. They remembered, for lack of a better word, my aura. Who I was, what we did oh so many years ago (and get your mind out of the gutter - I'm talking about dancing or tooling around London or whatever), and what I meant back then. If you look at it one way, it's a little depressing - I have an utterly forgettable face. But if you look at it another way, it's really flattering - my personality kind of transcends my physicality. Which is exactly what I was going for.

Kind of an odd take on the "glass half-empty or half-full" question, isn't it?
So I'm realizing that I used to write about interesting things in here, or at least things that weren't all whiny and poor me and all that stuff. It's funny - I get annoyed with myself for getting all girlie about things and then I fill this blog with feelings and boys and crap. I need to make a shift back to randomness.

But first, a tidbit about San Francisco. I've been there twice now and had an amazing time on both trips. Thank you to my hosts for letting me stay - it was really fantastic to see you. But I don't know that I would ever be motivated to move to San Francisco. I don't know if I don't think I'm outdoorsy enough, or that I'm not big on constant fog, or if that it's a matter of the level of dirtyness of the city. Which seems kind of silly because I love New York which smells of garbage every night. Or maybe it's the hills. I wonder if that's where the shin splinty feeling came from - walking up and down too many hills. Flat may be aesthetically dull, but it certainly makes walking faster. The food in San Francisco is excellent, as is the tea, but I think it's more a good place for me to visit so I can come home to Chicago to live.

Chicago. Sweet Chicago. My cat missed me lots and lots and lots. It was kind of cute, until he still wanted scritching at four in the morning. For future reference, always take the day after a vacation off of work. Good for healing the shins.

So I start thinking that I should go out dancing more often again because really, it is a lot of fun. And then I remember that these types of exchanges are a sort of heightened reality for swing dancing. You put all the best dancers in the country in a room for a weekend and of course you're going to want to dance more. But then you go out in your own town and all of the people from your own town are there, playing the same silly games they always did, stuck in the same odd, incestuous world you left so many years ago to find something else going on in your life. I dunno.

I should probably rest my shins.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

So basically, it was what I expected. A great weekend. Lots more dancing than I thought I was going to do. Found some really amazing dancers who I hadn't met before, realized I still remember how to dance, and reconnected with some dancers who I know from way back in the day when the thought of leaving the dance at 3:30 instead of 5 am was ludicrous. I got a little bit of a sunburn because we walked on the Golden Gate Bridge today. The boy who I wished would give a rat's ass that I was there didn't. Which is probably better because it means I can get over it and stop romanticizing about "what if." And people who I wouldn't have thought would give a rat's ass that I was there did. Which was nice. It's comforting to know that even though we don't necessarily talk regularly, these people are still my friends.

And I'm tired now. I'm ready to be back in my home. I'm ready to not wear shoes for a day and I'm ready to sleep in. I'm ready to stop being sweaty and gross. And I might just be ready to stop feeling sorry for myself and get on with things.


Friday, September 12, 2008

Okay, great vegan food and amazing tea to be had in San Francisco. I mean really, great tea. And I am, fortunately, staying with exactly the right people to be able to enjoy the tea in San Francisco. Makes me think I should go out for tea more at home.

And this is before even a lot of the dancing has happened. Last night was a precursor to the main events, and there were a lot of people out who I haven't seen in years, and a lot of people who won't be going out tonight or tomorrow, so that was fun, in that I got to dance with people I probably wouldn't get to dance with otherwise. The music was great, my shoes were nice and slippery. It was a really fun night.

I'm excited for tonight, and nervous. But some of my favorite Chicago people will be there, too. I found online some video footage of me dancing with one of these favorite Chicago people and that was kind of fun to watch. Sad, in that it proves that I've had a large behind for quite some time, but fun to watch anyway because we dance goofy together.

Anyway. I'm also really really really hoping that Ike isn't too hard on Texas. I love some people in Houston very very much and would be devastated if their lives were disrupted, ruined, or lost. So please send whatever good energy you can to the Galveston/Houston area so that the destruction isn't too severe. Come on, Ike. Be nice.
Greetings from San Francisco. All I can say is that I am SO happy to be here. It's just nice to have a change of scenery every now and again, you know?

Thank you mostly to my hosts who are letting me stay on their couch/fold out bed thingy for a couple of nights. This place rocks. But now, seeing as it is about 3:30am my time and I've been up since 6am yesterday my time, I think I should be getting some sleep. Sleep is good. It is not for the week, like some folks think it is. It's for the smart who know that they are going to be dancing like idiots for the next 72 hours-ish.

Good night from the left coast!

Monday, September 08, 2008

I'm going to San Francisco this weekend, just for a little time away. I have all of these romantic notions about what would be really fun if it happened, but in all truth, I'm probably just going to hang out with my friends, dance a little, and come home. I'm looking for kind of a low key weekend. I think I need it. Take a brief trip to the green world and come back ready to be me again. I've been thinking a lot lately about who that is and there are some things that I really really love about her. A few things I'm not crazy about, but a lot of really good things. For example:

I'm the girl who sings along with her iPod.
I'm the girl whose friends can count on her when they really need her.
I'm the girl with a bunch of great stories.
I'm the girl who is doing as much as she can to make the world a little better.
I'm the girl with the really strange laugh.
I'm the girl who can find the humor in just about any situation.

And maybe when I get back, I'll be prepared to say a few more nice things about myself. Honestly, it's making me a little uncomfortable at the moment, even though I know it's good for me.

Friday, September 05, 2008

One more thing about the Presidential races.

Both sides lie and give us half-truths. A co-worker of mine pointed me to, which is a non-partisan website dedicated to debunking the statements made by both parties. It's kind of fun to read, especially after some of the bigger speeches are made, i.e. Obama's acceptance speech, Palin's speech (they haven't posted about McCain's speech yet), etc. And what I am learning from this website is that neither side is giving the full story. But the Democrats are being a bit more honest than the Republicans. And that the Republicans, who seem to be focusing the majority of their energies on trying to discredit Obama, are doing so with blatant falsehoods. Obama may be stretching the truth and padding his record, but most of his statements have a least a grain of truth in them.

Please, go read the stuff for yourself. Pay attention to both sides and make your decision based on the actual information, not what the TV ads are telling you. Please. This is important.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Okay, I hate politics, but I feel like I need to say something. I know that this entry is going to piss a lot of people off, but please keep in mind that these are my opinions when you look at things from my perspective. I am the first to admit that I could be wrong. But these are my opinions when you look at things from my perspective.

Okay, let's do a quick run-down of the two sides:

One of them is anti-abortion, even in the case of rape or incest. The other would examine the situations on a case-by-case basis.

One candidate is on his second wife who he publicly called a trollop and a c*$^. The other is still married to his first wife.

One of them believes that women should get equal pay for equal work. The other voted down measures that would allow for just that.

One of them believes in exploring renewable energy sources. The other thinks the feasibility of renewable energy sources is so far off in the future that we should open up the Alaskan wildlife now to allow for more oil drilling - oil that won't hit the market for years and that will last about six months.

One side consists of a relatively inexperienced candidate who has served as a State senator and a United States senator, backed by a candidate with years of experience in foreign policy and whatnot. The other side consists of the oldest candidate ever to possibly be elected with years of foreign policy experience and whatnot, backed by a candidate who governed a town of 9,000 people until just recently when she became the governor of her state.

One side thinks our country has been doing fine for the last eight years. The other thinks we could do better.

You have probably figured out by now which side is which and how I feel about both of them. I can understand that if you are in the top 1% of Americans from a yearly income standpoint, how you might not want to vote for Obama because he's going to tax the bejesus out of you. McCain, however, will give you tax breaks, while increasing taxes on the people who already have nothing. I can understand how if you're in the top income brackets, McCain makes sense. If I ask you if you are better off now than you were 8 years ago, chances are that you would say yes and a stay-the-course president is just who you're looking for at the moment.

However, there are a LOT of people out there who aren't in the top income brackets who have sunk further and further into debt as food and fuel costs rise. Ask them if they're better off than they were 8 years ago and they will vehemently reply that they're not. If you are one of those sympathies are with you. And I think it is also pretty clear to see which presidential candidate's sympathies are with you. Please make sure you are registered to vote, and please make sure you go out and vote. We have a chance to change things here, and I think we should take advantage of that opportunity.

Okay, I'm done. For the moment. Let the barrage of hate-emails begin.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

There is something inherently sexy about a man in a suit. Yes, men can look really great in a t-shirt and jeans, too, but a man in a suit...I'm not sure what it is. Probably that men's suits are designed to highlight all of the things that are wonderful about the male form.

I do think, however, that someone needs to teach men how a suit is supposed to fit because I see a very large number of men walking around in suits that are too big. These men are mostly young men, fresh out of college, who probably got some sort of sales position at some company, maybe selling toner door to door or making business to business visits to talk about IT needs, and were told that they had to wear suits because let's face it, are you going to talk about your IT or toner needs with someone who isn't even wearing a suit? So they go out and pick up a suit in whatever style happens to be in at the moment - for a while it was three button jackets which can be really fun, but you have to be of a certain body type to pull that off, just like double breasted suits. Fat men should not wear double breasted suits - it makes them look quadrupled breasted. Short men should not wear three button jackets because they get lost in them. And these men buy suits that are too long in the arms because they're used to wearing t-shirts that cover their hands so they can do the brooding sensitive guy thing. And they buy suits that are too wide in the shoulders so they can hopefully make themselves look more masculine by having wider shoulders, but what they fail to realize is that we can all see that the shoulder pads are hanging down near his elbows and he ends up looking like a kid playing dress up in daddy's suit.

Sleeves should be just a tad longer than the wrist. The shoulder seam should hit at the actual shoulder - the outside of the shoulder bump. The length of the jacket should be no longer than the fingertips. With possible exceptions to these guidelines based on the man's actual measurements/proportions.

So go forth, young men, and buy your suits so you can feel like important sales people. But first, listen to the man trying to sell you a suit and have it tailored. Trust me. I'm much more apt to buy toner from a well-dressed man than from a kid trying to grow up too fast.
One year ago today I went to probably the best wedding I've ever been to - my brother's. I don't know if I can even explain how crazy insane great the wedding was, so I think I'll not even try. But I do want to say Happy Anniversary to my brother and sister in law. One year down, a lifetime of joy to go. I love you guys!