Saturday, December 27, 2008

2008 Year in Review

Once again, thanks to Jacqueline for this idea (and for most of the categories), I humbly present to you my 2008 Year in Review awards "show."

Song of the Year:
• 1963 - Rachel Yamagata
• fuck was I – Jenny Owens Youngs
• The entire soundtrack from the musical Rent

And the winner is: This is a difficult category for the voters to decide this year. Music has played a huge role in Jess’s life over the course of the last 12 months, even inspiring her to start blogging when the song quoting just would not stop. The song “1963” sums up Jess’s spring and summer. The song “fuck was I” sums up a very specific episode during the month of September which still makes Jess cringe in humiliation when she thinks about it. The soundtrack from Rent has been played continually for the last four months and contains some excellent quotes and is therefore the winner in this category this year. Jess would like you to remind everyone to “forget regret or life is yours to miss.” She also states that she is “looking for baggage that goes with mine.” And she would also like to apologize for getting Rent songs stuck in so many people’s heads, thank you all for putting up with her.

Book of the Year:
• Drunk Divorced and Covered in Cat Hair – Laurie Perry

And the winner is: Drunk Divorced and Covered in Cat Hair, the only nominee in the category this year, is the winner. Jess says this book made her laugh out loud and helped her realize that no matter how horrible she might feel at any given moment in time, it always gets better, especially if you have a little wine and some feline companionship to help you through. Jess recommends this book to anyone who’s ever had their heart broken. She also says that this book was the impetus for her to begin her illustrious knitting career. Look for lopsided scarves in garter stitch at a homeless shelter near you!

Broadway Show of the Year:
• The Color Purple
• Mamma Mia!
• Rent

And the winner is: Mamma Mia! Jess imagines you’re all surprised by the winner in this category. It was a very close vote, but seeing her mother laugh so hard she cried tipped the scales in favor of Mamma Mia! The Color Purple was a very distant third and was only nominated because it was one of the three shows Jess saw on Broadway this year. Rent, though not the winner, will always hold a special place in Jess’s heart.

Movie of the Year:
• The film version of the musical Rent
• Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog
• Juno

And the winner is: Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog takes the award this year. Who doesn’t love Neil Patrick Harris? And Neil Patrick Harris singing? Even better! With lines such as “Oh, look at my wrist!” and “What a crazy, random, happenstance!” Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog made for stiff competition for the other nominees.

Work Accomplishment of the Year:

• Surviving the PeopleSoft upgrade
• The search to fill the 4th DM position
• Jess continuing to learn how to work with her new boss

And the winner is: While learning to work with a new boss is a repeat nominee (and winner in this category in 2007) it is not a two time winner. The search for the 4th DM position takes this category this year. The search to fill this position took nearly 8 months. Jess had her first choice stolen from her by her boss to fill another position in the department (Hi Courtney!). The next candidate accepted another position on campus. The third time was not the charm as that candidate dropped off the face of the planet. The fourth choice turned the position down because she felt it was not the best fit for her and her family at that time. Finally, after months and months of frustration the person Jess had been waiting for walked through her office door for an interview. This fifth and final candidate accepted the position and has been a most welcome addition to Jess’s staff.

Phrase of the Year:

• I find you aesthetically pleasing. – Heather
• I feel so lucky to be here. - Sara
• I’ll just wait for him to pull out - Francesca
• Hey Jessie, ever do something crazy? Want to rent a car and drive to Florida to swim with the manatees with me? – Scary Lori

And the winner is: Again this was a hard category for the voters to decide, but the award this year goes to Francesca for “I’ll just wait for him to pull out.” This phrase allowed the inner 15 year old boy in Jess’s head to come out of hiding and made the trip to Bar Harbor that much more fun. And as clarification, it was said in reference to waiting for the guy in front of us at a gas station to move his vehicle. The “aesthetically pleasing” phrase comes in a close second however due to the fact that it was received as a P.S. in a text message.

Meal of the Year:

• Lobster from Nunan’s Lobster Hut, Cape Porpoise, ME
• Chicken and veggies cooked over a camp fire, Hancock, NH
• Brazilian food at a restaurant who’s name I don’t think I ever knew, NYC, NY

And the winner is: While Nunan’s is a repeat nominee from last year, it does not win this category for the second year in a row. The Brazilian food was excellent (as were the drinks) and the company for that meal was also fantastic, but this year the award goes to the meal cooked over a campfire. The inventiveness and flavor of this meal coupled with the company of the folks Jess shared it with make it the most memorable of 2008.

Scariest Moment of the Year:

* Coming home from work and finding Maggie unable to walk

And the winner is: Jess says there can only be one nominee in this category this year and thus the winner is Maggie being unable to walk. The two weeks before her surgery had to be one of the absolute worst times of Jess’s life. Thankfully this story has a happy ending with Maggie being completely pain free and able to walk on her own. For a while Jess was not sure that would ever happen and she was envisioning how to make her split level house user friendly for a dog in a cart. Jess would like to thank everyone for their support and encouragement as she has gone through this ordeal with Maggie, it has meant more to her than she can ever find the words to express. She thanks each and every one of you from the bottom of her heart. Thank you.

Storyline of the Year:

• The Poison Ivy Saga of June – where was Jess getting it from and would it ever go away?
• Jumping back into the dating world – after almost 10 years would Jess even remember how to get to know someone new and how to go about this thing called dating? Would she find love in the process?
• The push to get published – would Jess be able to muster the courage to send her work to literary journals for consideration?

And the winner is: This was an interesting category for voters this year and unlike last year a hard category to find nominees for. The winner this year has to be jumping back into the dating world. The poison ivy saga lasted a long and very very itchy month and while Jess isn’t certain she found the source of the poison ivy she managed not to re-infect herself with it for a third time and will be far more careful about her gardening this coming spring. The push to get published started off strong after the initial terrifying act of clicking send on her first e-mailed submission, but the push petered out when her dog got sick. Jess hopes to get back to the submitting now that the holidays are behind her. Jumping back into the dating world was an incredibly scary prospect for Jess this past winter. After an eight year relationship starting over is hard to envision. She did have six great months with a woman whom she will never forget (and with whom she did fall in love) and Jess will always be thankful they met, but sadly that relationship came to an end and Jess is starting from square one yet again. This year’s winner may make a repeat appearance in this category next year. Stay tuned…..

Moment of the Year:

• Seeing the sunrise from the top of Cadillac Mountain
• Censored

And the winner is: Seeing the sunrise from the top of Cadillac Mountain is an experience that Jess will never forget. And she has 30 some odd pictures of it to help jog her memory in case it gets fuzzy in the future. However the censored nominee is the award winner in this category. Jess would like to tell you more about it, but suffice it to say it was memorable and worthy of an award this year.

Thank you all for following Jess's Year End awards, we hope you enjoyed this year's presentation. Nominations for the 2009 awards will begin at 12:00:00 on January 1, 2009. Jess says she’s looking forward to seeing what another exciting year has in store for her.

The song lyrics for this post come from one of the nominees in the Song of the Year category. From 1963 by Rachel Yamagata I present to you:

Oh, the days you come around
I feel so good for me
I can take most anything
Cause what you bring

I find it to be magical
I feel like I'm loving you in 1963
Flowers in my hair
Little bitty hearts upon my cheek
Baby, you'll be on my mind
Until I kiss you next time

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

On how to ruin a holiday for someone

Christmas is in two days. I haven't had much Christmas spirit this year. Maybe it's because I didn't get a tree again this year (I do have lights and decorations up). Maybe it's because I didn't really have any shopping to do this year (my parents asked me not to get them anything because of the cost of Maggie's back issues and I don't buy for any other family members and there is no special someone, so very limited shopping was done this year). Who knows why, but the spirit just isn't in me this season. So, since I don't really have Christmas spirit to ruin I figured it was a good time to blog about how this holiday was ruined for me a few years back.

Today's lyrics are from the Rent soundtrack, the song is You Okay Honey and these lyrics really just set the scene and are not from that song.

Christmas bells are ringing,
Christmas bells are ringing,
Christmas bells are ringing,
Somewhere else, not here.

Three years ago Ms. Ex and I had been together for seven years. I had moved to CT six years before to be with her. We'd bought a house together and lived there for over a year breaking our backs to fix it up and make it our own. We'd adopted two dogs. We were a nice little family. That Christmas Ms. Ex bought me a ring. Yup, that kind of ring. The one that implies "forever." The one that is usually followed by a wedding. The one that says "I want to spend the rest of my life with you." That is the kind of ring I got for Christmas in 2005.

Now, in the spirit of complete honesty and full disclosure, getting that ring scared the bejesus out of me. I'm not even sure scared is a strong enough descriptor for what I felt when I opened the box (incidentally, Ms. Ex was not even in the room when I opened the box, she couldn't bring herself to watch me do it, this should have been clue #1...). By this point in our relationship I was not happy and was depressed, or at least I know that now looking back on it all. But I had made a commitment and damn it all if I wasn't going to stay committed to that commitment. I am a loyal person and also incredibly stupidly stubborn about some things. Ms. Ex wasn't perfect, but then neither am I. So, I accepted the ring, said yes, and was actually pretty happy about it all. Somehow the ring signalled to me that she still loved me and that she wanted to be with me and that would make every thing okay. Of course you know the outcome of this story already since I refer to her as Ms. Ex and not my darling wife, or my sweetheart....

So, where were we? Oh right, ring accepted, happy me. Three weeks after Christmas Ms. Ex comes home from work and wants to talk. And she tells me "I don't want this anymore." And by "this" she means our life together. THREE FUCKING WEEKS after she gives me a ring and tells me that she wants to spend the rest of her life with me she comes home from work and tells me she's changed her mind. Seriously? She couldn't have figured that all out BEFORE she gave me the ring? I mean these thoughts (feelings) don't just happen over night. Merry fucking Christmas to you too.

When she told me that I did what any sane and rational woman would have done at that point. I ripped the ring off my finger and threw it at her while yelling something about how she could give it back if she ever made up her frigging mind or something equally as eloquent. It's all a bit of a blur thankfully.

So, Christmas of 2005 was the beginning of the end of my relationship with Ms. Ex. It took another 18 months or so for the last sentence to be written on that chapter of my life. It was a very long, very emotionally draining 18 + months for sure. I certainly don't look at Christmas the same since that time. I don't look at my birthday the same way either, but I'll save that for another post. And sure as shooting (where the heck did that saying come from?) I don't look at Ms. Ex the same either. I don't think she's a bad person, but I think the proposal and then taking it back does speak for the kind of person that she is. And that kind of person is all wrong for me.

Merry Christmas every one. And if Santa brings you a ring, I hope he also brings with the ring the desire of the person giving it to you to actually spend the rest of their lives with you and you know, not just the next few weeks until they change their mind and decide that they don't want "this" anymore. Hopefully this time next year I will have found my Christmas spirit again and have that special someone to buy gifts for. But not a ring, I wouldn't want to ruin the holiday for someone if I suddenly changed my mind....

Friday, December 12, 2008

Reason Number 852 why I'm glad I'm not still dating Ms. Ex

Starting right off with the song today. Rain by Breaking Benjamin

Rain rain go away,
Come again another day,
All the world is waiting for the sun

It rained yesterday and last night. And when I say rained I mean it poured buckets. And by it poured buckets I mean it was as though someone unzipped the clouds and an ocean fell out of them. I really didn't think anything of all the rain other than "if this were snow there would be feet of it" and "I'm really glad I have no where to go tonight" and "damn it, Maggie won't pee in this weather, I hope she can hold it all night." So, I went to bed as normal and slept through the night peacefully (with the aid of some Nyquil since I still have a cold).

I got up this morning and as expected my back and side yards were (still are) a cross between a swamp and a lake. This did not surprise or concern me. It's just what happens. Someday when I have a little extra money I'll address the drainage issue, until then, it's just swampy. I got ready for work and got Maggie ready to go to hydrotherapy and was about to put her in the car when I decided to take the blankets I'd thrown down the stairs and into my family room last night all the way down to the basement where my washer and dryer is. I have no idea why I decided right then that I needed to do that, but I did. When I flicked on the light in the basement I discovered water. See, my basement leaks. Not horribly, but enough that there will be water on the floor when it rains.

Every house in my town has at least one sump pump in the basement regardless of whether or not the basement leaks. We sit on a high water table. Again, it's just how it is here. My sump pump was not pumping this morning however and the sump well was full and there was water on the floor around the sump well a good three to four feet in every direction. Thankfully it was only enough to just cover the floor but still...this is the first time this has happened to me in this house.

So, I did what any rational person would do, I calmly stepped into the puddle, bent down and lifted the float on the sump pump to see if the pump itself was kaput or if the float had just gotten hung up on something. As soon as I lifted the float the pump kicked on and the water started being sucked out. It took a couple minutes but before long the sump well had been drained and everything was fine. Sure, water was still trickling in, but it wasn't a gushing torrent and I knew it would be fine. So, I dried off my hand, shut off the light, put Maggie in the car and off we went; me to work and her to hydrotherapy.

Now, if Ms. Ex and I were still living together the scene I discovered in the basement this morning would have been cause for utter panic and chaos. I would have had to call into work to say I would be late (even though she works less than 10 minutes from here and I work a half hour from here). Then I would have had to call the vet where Maggie goes to hydrotherapy and say we'd be late and then SIT IN THE FUCKING BASEMENT AND WATCH THE SUMP PUMP. For hours. To be sure it was working. This is of course AFTER we would use every towel in the house to create a barrier around the sump well to contain the water. You think I jest, but I am not joking. Some day I'll have to blog about the great basement watch of 2005. And then again the great basement watch of 2006.

And what pray tell do you think I could do if I sat there and the pump wasn't working? Suck the water out with a straw? Bail it with a bucket? No, all I could do is call some company that would already be flooded (ha!) with calls and get on a list for them to come look at the problem in the spring. Of 2010. There would have been arguing and tension and lots of grumbling under our breaths at each other. And it would have been a shitty day all around. And that is why this blog is titled "Reason Number 852 why I'm glad I'm not still dating Ms. Ex." Because this morning I spent five minutes dealing with the problem and didn't even think about it again until the very end of the day at work. When I got home tonight with Maggie the basement was fine just as I knew it would be. No stress or tension or arguing or time wasted sitting in the fucking basement watching the water come in and the sump pump run. I'd call that a pretty damned good day.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I am sick

I meant to post over the weekend, but I have come down with the cold from hell and so that just didn't happen. In fact the only reason I am posting now is because I left work early today because I am still quite sick. I didn't want to go in to work at all today, but I called out sick yesterday (for the first time in I think two years) and was off on Monday to take Maggie for her re-check appointment at Tufts (they said she looks great!) so off to work I went this morning.

Most of my coworkers where wondering what I was even doing there today. I think I had at least 6 people tell me to go home as soon as I walked in the door. I stayed until just after noon. And if I'm so sick why did I bother to go in at all you ask? Why thank you for asking, let me tell you. There are a variety of reasons for this. In no particular order they are:

1. needed to get out of the house for a while
2. an incredibly strong compulsion to go to work every day
c. my boss came to work horrifically sick every day for two weeks so therefore I must come into work while sick too
4. in this economy I feel like every move at work is being intensely scrutinized
e. just because layoffs are supposedly not on the horizon for us does not mean that they won't happen in the future
6. this is the busiest time of year for me at work and a horrible time to be sick

I'm sure there are other reasons, but because I am still sick they aren't coming to me at the moment. And just a comment on number C above. If my boss had stayed home a day or two when she was sick then I bet I would not have gotten sick and had to be out of work. Nor would three of my employees have gotten sick and been out of work. I'm just saying.....

Oh, and today's song is Right Here Right Now by Jesus Jones. How does it relate you might ask? Well, here are the lyrics:

I was alive and I waited for this
Right here, right now,
There is no other place I want to be

And where I am right now is at home on my couch in warm fleece pants and a hoodie. I'm about to turn on a movie and have some hot chocolate. I can't think of any other place I'd rather be at the moment than where I am right now. I should have just stayed in bed this morning....

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Ghost stories

I feel like I'm a month too late with this post, like it would have been a better Halloween post, but ce la vie. Kim asked to hear my ghost stories, particularly those from college, so here they are. But first, our lyrics for today. They come from Home by the Sea by Genesis.

Coming out of the woodwork through the open door
Pushing from above and below
Shadows but no substance in the shape of men
Round and down and sideways they go
Adrift without direction, eyes that hold despair
Then as one they sigh and they moan

Ghost Story # 1 - Sophomore year in college, October 1994

I was a very lucky college sophomore and drew the first pick in the housing lottery and selected the only single available for sophomores. Being an only child having a roommate was a huge change for me and I was looking forward to having a room all to myself again. The room was, ironically enough, directly next door to the room that I lived in my freshman (fresh woman?) year. It was directly outside the lounge on Main's second floor (the side closer to the dining hall), but on the side that had a window overlooking the courtyard.

On the night before Halloween I went into my room to go to bed, locking my door behind me. I don't recall what I did before bed, but I remember getting into bed and clicking off the light. I lay facing the window and listening to the wind blow leaves around the courtyard and rattle the fire escapes. I was still very much awake when I felt it. And by it I do mean the ghost. It sat down on the bed behind me. There was no mistaking the movement of the mattress for anything other than someone, or something, sitting down on the bed. All I could think to do was scream for help, but really what good would that have done with my door being locked? Besides all that would come out of my mouth was something quieter than a whisper.

Needless to say I was rather frightened. I have no idea how long it took me to eventually roll over and turn on my light, but it felt like years. Once I got the light on and asked the ghost to kindly go away and leave me alone I got up and went out in to the lounge for a while. I don't remember if I spent the whole night out there or not, but I do remember having to get out of my room for a while so I could stop shaking.

Ghost story # 2 - Junior or Senior year of college (can't remember which)

If you went to Wells you probably remember the tradition that involved making a class flag your freshman (fresh woman?) year in your class colors as part of the Odd/Even tradition. The flag was then hidden somewhere on campus. If you were an Odd you tried to find the Even's flag and vice versa.

The Odd/Even tradition was a big part of the Wells experience for me. I spent many hours searching for the Even's flags. I think I went into just about every nook and cranny of every building on campus searching for flags. There was a room in Macmillan that was, as I remember it, behind the projection room above Phipps Auditorium. One night I went up there flag hunting with a few other Oddliners.

There was a mirror on the floor that was leaning up against something and I happened to glance in it as we were rooting around and looking for a blue and green felt flag. In that mirror I saw legs and feet reflected which in and of itself it not unusual. The unusual part is that the legs and feet didn't belong to me or anyone else in the room with me. I remember looking at everyone's shoes to make sure I wasn't imagining things. The funny thing was that the legs I saw reflected were very much ghostly looking. The reflection wasn't in color, but rather in shades of gray. The shoes I saw reminded me of the first pair of Nike's I had as a very young girl. They were navy with a mustard yellow swoosh up the side. Besides the fact that no one was wearing the shoes I saw in the mirror, there was also the issue of the fact that no one was standing in the right spot for their legs to even be reflected in the mirror. I got chills up my spine when I realized that and I think I hustled everyone out of there pretty quick.

Ghost Story # 3 Saturday afternoon, April 26th, 2008 West Hartland, CT

It had been at least eleven years since my last encounter with a ghost. I hadn't really thought all that much of it really. It's not like you wake up one day and say "Hey, I think I'd like to have an encounter with a ghost today" and poof! it happens. Anyway, I had been seeing Five Months of Happiness Woman for about six or seven weeks. She had her house free that Saturday and we planned for Maggie and I to go over so we could spend some quality time together. See, FMHW has two young children (as in a six year old and an eight year old, both girls) and also has a friend who lives with her. So, an empty house is a luxury for her. I should probably also mention that her house is a 200 year old farm house.

That Saturday Maggie and I went over and FMHW was napping upstairs in her bedroom when we arrived. So, upstairs we went to wake her up. At some point Maggie went back downstairs to hang out with FMHW's dog or more likely to sniff around the kitchen to see what her kids may have dropped on the floor that her dog missed. FMHW and I were still up in her bedroom, door closed and, um, you know, we started off talking but it was a budding romance and one thing was starting to lead to another.

And that's when we heard it. The front door slammed open and we heard children running through it, laughing and talking and carrying on like they'd just gotten home from school. At this point, I didn't know her children well enough to know if the voices I was hearing were her kids. She jumped out of bed and ran to her bedroom door and started calling out "hello?" At this point I was thinking that her parents had brought her children home for some reason and was reconciling what that meant. I'd never met them and really how would we explain our being up in her bedroom?

So, FMHW goes down stairs and finds the front door tightly closed and both of our dogs staring at it as though they too had heard something. FMHW says she heard a baby crying but I didn't hear that. But we both heard the rucus and the laughing and the children's voices.

Those are my ghost stories. I have felt, seen and heard ghosts. I know there are lots of people out there who don't believe in ghosts, but if you'd experienced what I have I imagine you'd think differently. Feel free to share ghost stories of your own in the comments if you have them. I do love a good ghost story.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Yeah, soooo

I had one of those drives home from work today. No, I wasn't stuck in traffic. And it wasn't even precipitating which can cause havoc as people forget how to drive from one season to the next. No, I had the drive where a song popped up on my iPod which started me thinking and when I'm over tired, like I am today, the thinking is not a good thing. There are so many songs which would be fitting for today's blog, but I decided I might as well go with the one that got the whole ball rolling by popping up in my shuffle. Ladies and gentleman I give you another Sarah McLachlan song, this one is called I Love You.

Just you and me
on this island of hope
A breath between us could be miles

Let me surround you
My sea to your shore
Let me be the calm you seek

These lyrics started me thinking about the last woman I dated, she of the five months of happiness. One of the things she said to me at some point was just how calm she always felt around me and in my house. She said there's just something about me that has a calming, soothing, peaceful effect. So the "let me be the calm you seek" line really struck me tonight and I started to really miss her. And I had a break down. In my car. As I was driving home from work. Because clearly, if you're going to have a breakdown doing it while driving home is the absolute best time to do it. Who needs to see pesky things like the cars in front of them or traffic lights or lines on the road??? Apparently I have not moved on as much as I thought I had. Good to know.

And of course listening over and over and over again to a song that's making you cry while you try to drive isn't enough, no there has to be more to the story right? Well, every day on my way too and from work I drive by the place where FMHW now works (where she now works with a good friend of mine I might add). And since she started working there I've wondered sort of off handedly (is that a word?) whether I'd ever see her driving into or home from work. Part of me hoping I'd see her and part of me not. Our commuting paths cross for all of like maybe two tenths of a mile at the most, the distance between two stop lights.

You know what's coming next right? Who's car should I see in the left hand lane ahead of me? None other than FMHW herself as I am wiping away tears with a napkin I found in my glove compartment. What perfect timing! And of course I HAVE to look in her car and try not to look in her car and try not to hit the big SUV in front of me as I drive by her. And just that split second glance of her profile outlined in the dark with the ambient light from the headlights and tail lights around us was enough to get the water works going again.

The only plus I guess is that my life is not a true romantic comedy. Because you know, if this was a movie, my cell phone would have started to ring just as I turned the corner at the light and it would have been her. "Hey, I just saw you drive by and thought I'd call and say hi!" Thankfully that did not happen.

What did happen next is that my iPod thought it would be funny to play Falling for the First Time by the Barenaked Ladies. Have you heard it? It starts like this:

I'm so cool, too bad I'm a loser
I'm so smart, too bad I can't get anything figured out
I'm so brave, too bad I'm a baby
I'm so fly, that's probably why it
Feels just like I'm falling for the first time

Because when you're having a break down and feeling really shitt about yourself those first couple lines will totally help turn your frown upside down. And of course the song ends with the lines:

Anything loved can be lost
Maybe I lost my direction
What if our love was the cost?

Yeah, that didn't help all that much. Thanks iPod. You can go back to playing Rent every other song now, that would be great. Or even Christmas music. Or the Ani that you seemed to think I needed to hear all day at work today. Any of those would be great. Thanks.

Really what I need to do is just go upstairs right now and go to bed (at 7:30 pm on a Monday nigth) and hope I don't dream about alligators and foster children who mug social workers again tonight. Perhaps I also shouldn't eat oreos right before going to bed....

What I will do instead is play around online, probably e-mail FMHW and say "Hey, guess who I saw on my way home from work tonight?" because I am a glutton for punishment and try to figure out what to do about the situation I now find myself in with a woman I've been chatting with on the dreaded online dating site. Who I'm not interested in in that way who has now sent me her phone numbers. Ugh! I am so not cut out for this stuff.

Oh and Kim? The ghost stories will be forthcoming, just have to find the right song.....

Friday, November 21, 2008


I have had my fair share of ghostly experiences. There were a couple times in college (and no, I was neither drunk nor high for either of those experiences) and then once more recently (this time I wasn't alone and again neither drunk nor high) when I know for sure without a doubt that I was in the presence of ghosts. So today's chosen song is the theme from the movie Ghostbusters.

If there's something strange
in your neighborhood
who you gonna call?

And those Ghostbusters need to come to the bathroom at work. You think I jest, but seriously something is up in there. Why else would the automatic paper towel dispenser dispense paper towels when there is no one standing any where near it? I can't count the number of times when I have been alone in the bathroom (it has four stalls) and that darned dispenser makes its little whirring noise and dispenses its contents to no one. No one at all. Just the air. And last time I checked the air does not need to dry its hands.

I have joked for years (nearly eight years actually) about the paintings of the old dead guys in the room which houses most of the "offices" (read cubicles) in my department (which we are thankfully moving out of soon). They constantly stare down at us and when strange things happen I blame them for causing it. Jokingly of course. Now I have to wonder if these old dead guys are playing games in the bathroom or if they're just enjoying the automatic paper towel dispenser because they never had such a thing while they were alive. I have no idea what's going on but it certainly is strange.

Of course the logical explanation is that this dispenser is just super sensitive and shadows or something cause the sensor to think someone needs a paper towel. I prefer to think we're being haunted. It's more fun that way.

Also, this bathroom? It was remodeled a few years back (it is now very very very blue). Remember how I mentioned it has four stalls? Well, there's a different toilet in each stall. As in two manual flush toilets at either end of the row of stalls which are different from each other and two autoflush toilets in the middle which are also different from each other. Why? I have wondered about this for years now. Why are they all different? Were they on sale? Did different people buy them? Were they just what the contractor had left over from other jobs? And why do I wonder about this so much?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Break ups

This song popped up on my iPod on my drive home tonight. I'm not sure how it snuck into my shuffle between all the Rent and Christmas songs my iPod thinks I should be listening to the last couple days, but it did and it got me thinking about break ups and how the dumpee feels after being dumped by the dumper.

Today's song is Seeds of A Lifetime by Kristen Hall. I first heard Kristen's music at the student union during my freshman year of college (back when you had to walk all the way up the hill to get there!). I didn't buy her CD then, but I did copy someone's tape. When that tape wore out back in 1999 or 2000 Ms. Ex used this new fangled invention called the internet and helped me find the CD I should have bought all those years before in college. I sort of rediscovered Kristen a couple years ago and picked up another CD which I listened to once and promptly forgot about after loading it into iTunes. So, today's song was a bit of a surprise since I haven't heard it in a while and also because the music is a bit "twangier" than I usually care for even though the vocals are not. Anyway, here are the lyrics:

How can I sit and watch
Let a good thing ride away
Suddenly all is lost
As I search for words to say
But all that comes are a million tears
One for every time I should have told you
Fear burns hard and slow
We've got a long hard row to sow
Seeds of a lifetime, truth and forgiveness
Growing like a grapevine, like nobody's business
Bitter tears we have cried,
But they never change a thing
Suddenly time gets lost
How we spent it now means everything

Tell me, who hasn't searched for words to say when someone is breaking up with them? Who hasn't thought after the fact I should have to her X, or if I'd just said tears stream down their face? I really think Kristen captured the feeling of a broken heart in the moments after it's been broken. Hopefully I won't ever need "I've just been dumped" music again, but if I do I'm going to remember this song and put it on my playlist.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


I had trouble finding a song for this post and think I probably could have come up with something better, but this will have to do. And also, I Google some odd things. Without further ado I bring you Pimple Life by Infected (and no, I have not actually ever listened to this song...I told you I had trouble finding lyrics....)

Rash on face it's so cool
Just because you has been a fool
Pimply life your fate
And you looking at pimple with hate

Have you guessed the subject of today's blog yet? I want to talk about the adult acne that has plagued me for the past two months or so. Well, I'd rather not have to talk about it, in fact I don't even like calling this much attention to it, but I thought perhaps if I put this out there in the Universe my problem might clear up. I have NO idea what happened, but sometime before it officially became fall I started getting a lot of pimples. I was a lucky teenager in that I didn't get pimples. I was a lucky college student in that I really didn't get pimples then either. In fact it's typically a rare thing for me to get a pimple.

Lately however, I seem to have a new one every damn day. And not just little hardly noticeable blemishes. No, these are large, red, painful protrusions that hurt if you accidentally brush gently against them. This is a very uncomfortable (and not very pretty) situation. I've tried changing facial cleansers and that hasn't helped. I haven't changed my diet at all from what I was eating before this epidemic began. I thought perhaps they were stress induced, but now that Maggie is on the mend there's really nothing stressful in my life. Perhaps it's hormone related or maybe my town changed something in the water?

I really have no idea what the heck has caused it, but I'm more than ready for it to be done now. I would like to have my clear, soft skin back now please. I would like to look in the mirror and not wonder when Mount Zit between my eyebrows is going to erupt or when Mount Pimple in my hair line will start gushing when I brush my hair behind my ears. I would like to look in the mirror and think "wow, I'm having a good hair day" instead of "my god! there's another one!" Now I know what those poor 15 years olds with acne felt like back in high school. It really sucks.

Random thought of the day....I wonder why the 50's music station on Sirius satellite radio was playing a song from 1962. Isn't that the wrong decade?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Okay, so I'm kind of stretching for the lyrics today. But I had trouble coming up with something more fitting. So, today you get Chicago's You're the Inspiration.

You're the meaning in my life
You're the inspiration
You bring feeling to my life
You're the inspiration

And that's what Maggie is to me, an inspiration. She has not let her recovery from back surgery slow her down. Instead of pouting on her bed because she can't walk like normal she just goes with the flow. The flow may require her to scoot around in a sitting position or maybe she's pushed herself up into a standing position and she staggers around like she's had a fifth of tequila for lunch or she has to wait for me to help her go outside. She's not embarrassed that she can't walk like normal. She doesn't care what anyone thinks of how she's walking or not walking (or how she looks with a shaved back with a four inch scar in the middle of it). She isn't discouraged because she's not getting better fast enough. In other words, she's not like a lot of people who would be whining and complaining about their situation.

Her tail wags and wags and wags. She's just plain happy. She's happy to go outside. She's happy to get a treat. She's happy to do her physical therapy. She's happy to eat her breakfast and her dinner. She's happy to walk around the house. She's happy to get attention from me. She's happy to sniff the cats. She's even happy in the tub when we do her evening "tub time."

I hope never to have to experience first hand what she's gone through this last month, but if I do I hope I have the same happy and determined outlook on life that Maggie has. She is one independent, stubborn, determined and happy little girl. Like the bumper sticker says "More wags, less bark."

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Tonight's post is quick and simple. I am finally proud to be an American again. I feel like perhaps the country will get back on track with President elect Barack Obama at the helm. So, I'm going to leave it short and sweet this time with a little Cool and the Gang and Celebration.

Celebrate good times,come on! (Let's celebrate)
Celebrate good times, come on! (Let's celebrate)

There's a party goin' on right here
A celebration to last throughout the years
So bring your good times, and your laughter too
We gonna celebrate your party with you

Monday, November 3, 2008

Snow White

I have these fantasies sometimes, these dreams or wishes that I know deep down will never come true. We all have these dreams I imagine. One of my dreams probably has it's root in a Disney movie, the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Today's song is Someday My Prince Will Come. The lyrics are:

Some day my prince will come
Some day we'll meet again
And away to his castle we'll go
To be happy forever I know

Some day when spring is here
We'll find our love anew
And the birds will sing
And wedding bells will ring
Some day when my dreams come true

Yeah, I know it's about a guy and a girl (who lives with seven diamond mining dwarfs) and me being gay (and not living with dwarfs) and all it's not really all that true to life for me. Work with me on this one people okay?

Anyway, one of my dreams involves the silly notion that some evening I'll be sitting here on my couch as I do most nights and my doorbell will ring. I'll get up to answer it and there she'll be, my princess. She'll have flowers for me and a big smile. I'll ask her why she's here and she'll say she doesn't have a reason, that she just wanted to surprise me. I get all teary just thinking about it now as I type. I think about this dream every time I go to the door to take my dog out to pee, especially in the evening.

I know it's kind of a silly dream. And besides that my cat eats any plants or flowers that I bring into the house so they never last long. But we all have to have dreams right? We all have to have something to hang on to, something to give us hope that some day it will be our turn for our dreams to come true. And really, am I asking for all that much? In the scheme of things I don't think so.

The line that really sticks out in today's song is "to be happy forever I know." I really like to think that I can find someone to be happy forever with. Someone that I fit together with perfectly. I know relationships take work, but I do believe that the work is worth it if it means having a happy and fulfilling life with someone you love. Perhaps finding someone to be happy with forever is an antiquated notion based on the institution of marriage which was "created" by people who's life expectancies were less than half of what ours are today. Perhaps it's just the hopeless romantic in me who believes that "the one" is out there somewhere waiting for me to find her. Who knows. What I do know is that I'm about to take my dog out to pee and as I open my front door to go outside I'll be picturing my true love standing on my steps with flowers in her hands, a smile on her face and eyes only for me. Not such a bad thing to be picturing really is it?

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Its my life

I signed on tonight to write a different blog than this turned out to be. But as any writer knows you can't always control what comes out when you start typing. It just sort of happens. Today's song is It's My Life by Bon Jovi. I've picked the chorus of this song for today's post:

It's my life
It's now or never
I ain't gonna live forever
I just want to live while I'm alive
My heart is like an open highway
Like Frankie said I did it my way
I just want to live while I'm alive
It's my life

I have these flashes sometimes that come out of the blue where I realize that this is my life. The emphasis is on different words at different times, but the phrase is always the same.
This is my life.
This is my life.
This is my life.
This is my life.
And sometimes the punctuation is different:
This is my life?
This is my life!
This is my life!
This is my life?
You get the picture.

One thing always strikes me when I have this flash of revelation. Yes, this is my life and it is happening now. Life does not wait for someday. Life does not wait for the time to be right. You cannot pause life or ask for a time out. Life is now. Life happens with every breath we take.

I think a lot of people, myself included, are waiting for the time to be right to do something. We wait and we wait and we wait and we never end up doing things because we've spent so much time waiting. The things we're waiting for (until I have more money, until I have someone to share that with, until I can fit into those jeans, until I have a better job title, until, until, until...), these things don't just happen. We have to work to achieve them. And we have to decide somewhere along the way which are the things that WE want to achieve and which are the things that other people think we should want to achieve.

I spent a lot of years working toward things that someone else wanted for me. Working to get those promotions so that I could have a better job title, make more money, achieve more status. Those weren't the things I wanted out of life however. What I want are meaningful relationships with people who I love. I want a happy home filled with love and laughter. I don't care if I never make a million dollars. I don't care that my dish towels aren't designer. In the end will those things really matter? After all she who dies with the most toys still dies. After I'm gone I don't want people to remember me for the kind of car I drive. I want to be remembered for the kind of person I was. I want people to remember my laugh or my smile or my kindness. Those are the things that matters.

It's the little things that make me happy. Like my dog snoring away on her bed. That makes me happy because as quiet as she is the house felt completely empty for the nine days she was in the hospital. Little things like watching the squirrels eat all my bird seed or long hot showers on cold winter mornings or a short note from a friend who just wanted to say hello, those are the things that make my days worth while. All I need now is to find someone who also enjoys the little things and isn't afraid of a serious committed relationship with me. Someone who understands it's not the price tag on the gift that's important. In fact gifts aren't important at all, it's the time spent with the one you love that's important. She's out there somewhere and I will find her. I would say I'd find her someday, but that would imply that I'm waiting for the time to be right to start looking.

It's my life.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Subconscious Memories

Last week was a rough week. Maggie was in pain and very uncomfortable and had been for two full weeks. She finally had an MRI last Thursday which showed a herniated disk in the middle of her back. The vet and I agreed that at this point surgery was the best option for her (which I had known all along was what we'd end up with, but you have to follow the protocol because some dogs do get better using only medication). During this whole ordeal I felt as though I was at the end of my rope (see previous blog post about that). I felt like nothing was going right and that nothing would ever go right again. I was grieving and I didn't know why or what, but it was grieving for sure. And then it dawned on me what it was. More on that in a minute.

Our subconscious holds on to things in amazing ways. Some people say things like "oh, October is always a hard month for me" or "June always seems to be awful for me." I think part of that has to do with the memories that our subconscious holds on to. They are always there, floating under the surface, influencing our emotions even though we may not realize that's what's happening. These subconscious memories color how we see things on certain days or weeks or months and most of the time we never even realize it.

So, the lyrics for today's post come from a song by my favorite artist, Sarah McLachlan. The song is I Will Remember You and the lyrics are:

Remember the good times that we had?
I let them slip away from me when things got bad
How clearly I first saw you smilin' in the sun
Wanna feel your warmth upon me, I wanna be the one

I will remember you
Will you remember me?
Don't let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories

Last week marked the ten year anniversary of when Ms. Ex and I got together. A full decade ago we were feeling those wonderful and rosy feelings of new love (or infatuation/lust as the case may be). And though I am soooo over her and can't imagine why or how we stayed together for so long, I was grieving the end of our relationship last week. I'm sure the emotions wouldn't have been nearly as strong or overwhelming if the timing had been different. If Maggie had gotten sick a few weeks earlier or a few weeks later. If my hormones weren't all out of whack because it was that time of the month and I am a woman and lately, the hormone induced mood/emotional swings have been quite an interesting ride for me (again I am reminded that I do need to blog about the song quoting incident of 2008).

I saw Ms. Ex on Friday night. I hadn't seen or really talked to her since January or early February. I'd had an episode of being over nice on Friday morning and invited her to come see Maggie. We'd been in touch via e-mail since I first took Maggie to the vet. I thought Ms. Ex should know that there was something going on since I would want to know if our situations were reversed and there was something going on with our other dog, the one who lives with her now. I think I had an inkling that Maggie would have surgery in the very near future and that really tipped the scales toward offering for Ms. Ex to visit Maggie.

Ms. Ex has not changed one iota which does not surprise me in the least and was actually good for me to see. While I have no desire to get back together with her, after all I think I was probably miserable and very depressed for at least half of our relationship, you just never know what you're going to feel when you see an old flame again. And what I felt on Friday was absolutely nothing or maybe more appropriately I felt relief. Relief that I did not have to deal with her status seeking car obsessed self anymore. Relief that she was someone else's problem now. Relief that even though the break up was horrific for me because of the way it all happened it was still the best thing that could have happened to me at that point in my life.

And during the breakup and it's aftermath I had forgotten the fun that Ms. Ex and I had together in the beginning. I'd forgotten how we could make each other laugh. I'd forgotten what good friends we were. I am not in any way shape or form ready to be BFF's again, but maybe down the road she can be someone I call up (or more likely e-mail or text since I have a phone issue) and have coffee or dinner with one night just to catch up. That's a big maybe though, not a definitely. Time will tell. The most important thing for me right now is getting Maggie well.

And here's today's random observation, why did it take a HUGE event at work (involving large donors) to get the burned out lightbulbs in the ladies room changed? I cannot believe how BRIGHT it is in there now. We'd been peeing in the dark for so long I'd kind of gotten used to it....

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sweet Magnolia Blossom

I'm not sure if I'm doing this right, but I thought I should post some photos of Maggie. She's so very cute if I do say so myself. Here she is sleeping on my pillow. She sees nothing wrong with this. Apparently the rest of the bed was not comfortable enough for her....

To see more photos follow this link:

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I have no title to put here so just make one up okay? Thanks.

I've been really down lately. The kind of down where you're at your wits end, kind of hanging on to your normalcy by one tiny thread that's getting pretty slippery from the snot and tears. As my friend Crazy Aunt Purl (okay, so we're not really friends and she doesn't know me from Adam, but she has a fantastic blog and if she lived in Connecticut we would totally hang out and talk about our cats and knitting and how you keep putting one foot in front of the other day after day. Go check out her blog when you've got a minute, she's awesome:, anyway where was I? Oh yeah, as my buddy C.A.P. would say I've felt like I was thisclose to directing traffic in my nightgown with my bra on my head talking into a Pepsi can. Except I don't wear night gowns. And I don't really like soda.

Why do I feel so down you ask? My poor little Maggie beagle still cannot walk on her own. She can't hold her back end up at all. She's so unhappy and uncomfortable and that breaks my heart. I cry every time I hear her whimpering in pain when I lift her to carry her outside to pee which is often since the prednisone makes her thirsty. I cry harder when she screams at me in pain when I lift her to take her outside to pee. She pants and won't settle down because she's in a lot of discomfort. I don't know what else to do for her. I can't fix it, can't make it better and I'm falling apart because of it. Everything in my life feels like it's a mess right now. I haven't vacuumed in oh, probably a month. My kitchen is a complete disaster which is not like me. You can gauge my mental/emotional well being by how clean my kitchen is. On a scale of one to it's time to send the nice men in white coats to come take me on "vacation" I am probably at a seven if you're judging by my kitchen. I haven't changed my sheets or towels in an embarrassingly long time. My bathroom, we just shouldn't even talk about my bathroom. I like to think that my shower is a "mood shower" and that the pink film is just a reflection of it's mood and not the water mold that it really is. There is cat fur and dog fur and my hair and oh my god the leaves! all over my floors. And I just don't care. All I can bring myself to do when I'm at home is sit on my couch and surf the net or watch tv or movies.

Todays lyrics are from the late, great Roy Orbison. The song is appropriately titled Crying.

You, you couldn't tell
that I'd been crying over you
crying over you

This song is appropriate for me on so many levels. But first let's go back to the dog and the crying. Yes, I cry over my infirm dog. And mostly I cry in my car so my dog does not see me crying. That's right, I hide my crying from my dog so she doesn't feel bad or maybe so I don't make her feel worse. Is this normal? I tend to think not. I mean really, I get in my car after work and the first thing I do after I pull out of my parking spot is start crying. The tears come on and off until I pull into my garage. Then I wipe them away and put on my happy face and go inside. To my dog. I put on my happy face for a dog. I even use my happy "isn't life so great and happy and exciting!" voice when I talk to her. I can't tell if it helps her at all, I think I do it more for me than her. Like if I can fake the happy with her then everything will be alright.

And by everything I mean EVERYTHING. Not just that she'll get better. Because she will and I will do everything in my power to make sure that happens. She's a young and otherwise healthy dog and by god she will get well because I NEED her. She got me through the worst time of my life. The only reason I was able to drag myself out of bed last winter was because I had to take care of her. My cats could take care of themselves. They have their litter boxes and their food is out all the time so they were good to go. They would have let me stay in bed with the covers over my head for days, until their bowls needed to be refilled or their boxes needed to be scooped.

But Maggie needed to be let outside. She needed to be fed twice a day. She needed to be walked and given attention and loved. She is what saved me 10 months ago. This tiny silly little girl was my reason for getting out of bed in the morning when I could barely remember how to put one foot in front of the other. She helped me more than I can ever repay her for so now it is my turn to help her. And it's killing me that I can't just fix it for her. Killing me that she's been in pain and uncomfortable for so long now. It is simply heartbreaking.

Also by everything I mean that I will somehow soon be able to just f'ing let go of the past and move the hell on. As I sit here on my couch in my pajamas (which, hi, are really not flattering, how many different shades of gray can one person wear at a time? It's a damn good thing that I don't get visitors who just pop in to say hi) with tears rolling quietly down my cheeks (so my dog doesn't hear me crying, I am maybe not quite as sane as I used to be) not having eaten any dinner and unlikely to make anything for dinner I want only one thing. I want to know she cares. Okay maybe I want two things. I want to know she cares about me like I care about her and I want a hug, from her. And I am not a hugger. At all. I avoid the hug if at all possible especially if I don't know you well. I do miss that feeling of coming home when her arms were around me though. I miss the comfort of knowing she was there. I miss her. I could list all the things I miss about her, but I'm sure you'd fall asleep well before I got to the end of it.

So, the song lyrics fit for this aspect of my life too. Because I am crying over her. She of the five months of happiness. She who got under my skin when all I was looking for was to figure out the whole dating thing, to get back on the horse. She who showed me what it felt like to be treated the right way in a relationship. I am crying over her. Grieving for what could have been, should have been but she was too afraid to allow it to be.

I don't believe in Hollywood love. I don't believe that anyone rides happily off into the sunset. Relationships are give and take and they do take work to make them last. I don't believe that I need to be "completed" by another person (hello Jerry Maguire did you hear that? you do not complete me, only I can complete me). I do believe however that humans are pack animals and that all of us need that special person in our lives, especially when we're down. And when that special person doesn't exist we often turn to our pets for comfort. But when the down times coincide with the time that your pet is ill it kind of feels like a double wallop.

And so I cry in my car so my dog doesn't see me crying. I swallow my tears as she's screaming in my ear in pain as I gently lift her and carry her outside to do her business. I swallow my tears when she's panting in discomfort and nothing I do eases her pain. Because I know that once I start crying I won't stop. The floodgates open and I become a dripping mess who wants to curl up in a ball in the corner and stay like that forever. And I can't do that. Maggie needs me and I need her to get better because I need her too.

Friday, October 17, 2008

I just made you say...

We'll start with the lyrics today. My chosen song is Pinch Me by the Barenaked Ladies. The lyrics are:

On an evening such as this

It's hard to tell if I exist

If I packed a car and leave this town

Who'll notice that I'm not around?

I could hide out under there

I just made you say 'underwear'

That's right,
I just made you say underwear because that is the topic at hand tonight. But I don't want to talk about my undergarments. Although I will say that the bra I chose to wear today, not really all that comfortable. Cute yes, kinda sexy yes, comfortable not so much. And you know when you pick a bra to wear in the morning you should choose the sexy one when you know you're going to spend the day by yourself (i.e. alone, solo, sans other people) dealing with the billion and two leaves in your yard because it's autumn in New England. Oh and you don't even have anyone to look sexy for other than your two cats and your dog who can't walk. That is the perfect day to wear the sexy bra instead of the comfortable and supportive bra. I was maybe not really thinking clearly when I got dressed this morning. And yet, here it is nearly midnight and I have worn the less than comfortable bra all day long.

Anywho that's enough about my underthings. What I really wanted to talk about is something that's been on my mind, well it's been on my mind every damned day for the last two months. That's right I think about something regarding underthings every day (sometimes more than once, especially if it's laundry day) and these underthings
are not mine. So my question for you is what do you do when a relationship ends and you still have in your possession some items that belong to the person that is now your most recent ex? And mostly pointedly, what do you do when these things are not items such as CDs or books or even a sweater, but instead they are underwear? Let's just forget how these items ended up in my possession shall we? Thanks. Moving on...

How does one return these items to their rightful owner?
Should you return these things, these underthings, to their rightful owner? What is the proper etiquette in this situation? Do you package them up neatly and mail them with a nice note? "Hi, you left these at my place. I thought you might like them back. We should have dinner sometime and catch up." Do you drive to this person's house and secretly leave them in their mailbox? Would that be considered tampering with the mail? Do you leave them discreetly in a bag on their porch? Driving to their house in the middle of the night of course so you won't be caught leaving underwear in a bag in their mailbox or on their porch. Do you leave them in a bag on their car at their place of employment (or in their car if you're lucky enough to have dated someone who does not lock their car)? What do you do in this situation? Perhaps an e-mail? "Hey, I know we're trying the whole let's be friends thing and I gotta tell you that's going just swimmingly considering we haven't seen each other in two months and we rarely even e-mail anymore and then there was the whole song quoting incident and so um, I have your underwear and I was wondering if I could exchange it for the glasses I left at your place?" Somehow that just doesn't seem right either.

The easiest thing to do would be to just get rid of them then I wouldn't have to think about what to do with the damned things every day when I see them. But I can't do that. I am too conscientious. I would know what I did and would feel bad about it, guilty even. I have this incredibly overwhelming need to return things to their rightful owners, to do the right thing so to speak. The funny thing is I'm sure she doesn't even realize these items are missing. Probably doesn't miss them at all. Unlike me who knows my glasses are in her house somewhere and while I don't need them because they are my back up pair, I want them because well, they
are my back up pair. I could just throw the underthings in a bag somewhere and try to forget about them instead of keeping them front and center in the drawer which houses my underthings, but that feels kind of wrong to me too.

So far the only way I've been able to come up with to return these items is to get myself invited to her house. I will then put these items in the pocket of my jacket and throw them in her laundry hamper when I have the opportunity. This plan would not have worked when it was really warm out, but now that it's getting colder and a jacket is a justifiable piece of clothing I think the plan could work. The hardest part of the plan now is of course getting myself invited to her house. Considering I've suggested getting together for dinner, oh let's see, probably four times now and it still hasn't happened I'm not sure if I'll ever see the inside of her house again so this plan may be hard to accomplish.

If I was feeling brave I could take a day off of work, drive by her house a few times to make sure she wasn't home and her roommate wasn't home, sneak in (which would start her dog barking up a storm), throw the darned things in her hamper, find my glasses and get the hell out of dodge. But this is my life we're talking about here and I know for a fact that as soon as I shut the front door behind me and was walking toward her hamper she would pull into the driveway and I would be caught like a deer in headlights, undergarments in hand, looking like a lunatic stalker. "Hi, so nice to see you, you look great! What the hell am I doing in your house? Well, I thought you might like your underwear back so I was just returning it." And that is exactly how you want to see the person who is now your ex even though you (and by you I do mean me) still think the two of you should be together because too damned many things had to happen in a certain sequence for you to even meet. Especially after the song quoting incident which I swear I will blog about soon. Yes, this is exactly how I want to be remembered by this person. Not for the good times or the laughs or the, um, fun, we'll call it fun, had behind closed doors between consenting adults. No, I want to be remembered for going into their house when they aren't there and being caught with their underwear in my hands. I'm sure you can imagine why I'm not feeling brave enough to try that method of returning the garments to their rightful owner.

Tell me please what you would do in this situation. How would you return the underthings? Or if you wouldn't return them, what would you do? I am at a complete loss on this one so suggestions are most welcome. Please and thank you.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

So much and yet so little to say

It seems as though I can compose entire blogs in my head while I'm in the shower or while driving to work or while I'm doing anything but sitting in front of my computer. Then I sit down with my laptop and faced with this blank page I forget everything I wanted to talk about. So, this blog will be a compilation of a few of the things I can remember thinking I should blog about.

So, since the theme of this blog is memories the lyrics for today are from the musical Cats and the song of course is Memory.

All alone in the moonlight
I can smile at the old days
I was beautiful then
I remember the time I knew what happiness was
Let the memory live again

First I'll talk about the random flash of memory I had last week when it was unseasonably cold here in New England. My mother suggested putting up curtains across my stairs to keep the heat on the first floor where I spend my evenings. So, when she was here a couple weeks ago we did that. One evening early last week I went upstairs to go to the bathroom and as I was walking down the cold hallway (the curtains DO work for keeping the heat where I want it!) I had a flash of memory. It was just a half a second but it took me all the way back to being a little kid. The flash of memory was of the stairwell at my grandmother's house. She always kept the door closed at the bottom and most of the time at the top as well. In the winter that stairwell was very cold. And it had a certain smell. Not a bad smell or a good smell just a unique to that stairwell smell. I actually smelled it when I had that flash of memory last week. I wonder if my cousins remember that smell or ever think about those stairs? The stairs we used to ride mattresses down "in secret" while the grownups were talking about grownup things in the living room or the dining room or the kitchen.

Next, memories. What would we do without our memories? We would probably torture ourselves less with the what ifs and the if onlys and the could have, should have, would haves. I can't help but wonder how things might be different for me today if. That's it, just if. How would I be different if I'd never moved to CT? What if I was the one who ended the relationship way back when it should have been ended? What if I'd taken a different job when I first moved here? What if I'd gone to a different college? What if, what if, what if? But the what ifs do no good. This, right here right now, is where I am in my life. And for the most part I'm happy with it. I like who I am, I love myself and that's what's the most important.

Memories also carry us through the hard times. My dog has been sick. I'm not even sure if sick is the right term for it. She can't walk because of a bulging disc somewhere in the middle of her back (technical veterinary diagnosis is disc disease). I'm terrified for her and what it means for her future. But I look at her and try to see past the discomfort and the sadness and remember her as she was and will be again, the goofy and happy go lucky little beagle that she is. My little Magnolia Blossom. My little beagle butt girl. I'll look back on this blog in six months and be able to smile at the memory of she and I "walking" in the yard, me holding her back end up with a sling made out of my fleece scarf. We make quite the sight. She doesn't quite get that I'm too big to travel along her typical routes and I am not the best at keeping her body aligned so sometimes she fishtail's a little bit.

I know there are more things I wanted to blog about, but frankly my mind has been a bit mushy lately. Worrying about your baby will do that to you and my dog is my baby. I don't have or want children of my own so my pets are my children (just ask their piano teacher, joking, but closer to the truth than I'd normally like to admit). I just wish she could talk to me, tell me if she's feeling any better or if it's worse. Tell me what might help her feel better. Tell me if the medicine is making her stomach upset or if she's thirsty or hungry or sad or lonely or whatever. Instead I tell her how much I love her and how we're going to make her all better and hope that I'm not telling her a lie. I can't bear the thought of my little girl not smiling her goofy smile at me as she throws herself down on my bed and rolls over for a belly rub when I get home from work and she's over joyed that I returned! Again! Or never seeing her get so exciting she can't contain herself when she realizes we're going for a walk so she does her "We're going for a WALK!" dance. Or even watching her roll in ecstasy in some other animal's poop that I know I'm going to have to wash off of her and her collar. There is nothing in the world that can take away the "I'm having a shitty day" feelings for me than seeing her so happy to see me.

And seeing my little girl hurting and trying to drag herself around using only her front legs makes me a little lonely. I'm not even sure lonely is the word I want here. It's more that I'm feeling an absence in my life. Missing that person to turn to for comfort, for a hug. My friends are all great of course and supportive and fantastic, but I miss having that special person to share this with. The one I can cry with or to and who will just put her arms around me and that simple act alone will make me feel better. I miss that. I don't need it to survive or complete me or anything like that, but I do miss it. I do feel the absence.

One other random tidbit. Dictionaries are great, but if you don't know how to spell the word they're awfully hard to use....and I am not the world's best speller. Ponder that for a bit.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

In my head

Lately I've been thinking a lot about life and death and love and work. Okay, let's get real here for a minute, I think about these things all the time, just lately it seems like I've had more cause to actually admit to thinking about them. I've come to some interesting conclusions. First I've realized that I am not afraid of my own death. I used to be, used to be terrified of it in fact. Now though I'm more concerned about what would happen to my pets if I were to die. I think this means I'm growing up and am peace with who I am and with my life. That's comforting.

I've also been thinking about death because a good friend of mine lost her mother. Another friend of mine has a close friend who may not make it to the end of the year. Death really puts things in perspective. My petty little complaints about my office being minus twelve degrees seem, well, petty. Death also serves to remind us to tell those we love how we feel because you never know when that person won't be around anymore for you to tell them. So I urge you all, all like two of you who will read this, tell your loved ones you love them. Tell your friends you care. Do it now, do it today, don't regret not doing it.

As for my thoughts about work, well, work is work and I hate feeling like work is work. I want to feel good about what I'm doing, and lately that feeling just hasn't been there for me. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I maybe don't respect my boss all that much. I have what is probably a superiority complex when it comes to her and that's probably bad. I consider myself a far better manager to my staff than she is to me (and compared to how she treats other members of her staff I have it great) and I don't feel like I'm learning things from her. Maybe we've just worked together for too long and so therefore I've seen her in more respects than just as my boss, I don't know. I'm need to figure out a way to make work work for me again so I don't go home feeling like I've wasted eight hours of my day five days a week.

Onto love. Here's where the lyrics come into play for this post. Our selection today is from the Rent soundtrack (shocking, I know!). The song is Today 4 U and the lyric is: Today for you, tomorrow for me.

I realized not so long ago that all of my relationships have followed this pattern to some extent. I have given up myself for the other person thinking I'll worry about me and my needs tomorrow. This is soooooo not good. There's a line between being selfless and losing yourself. I tend to lose myself. I did better this last time around (with Five Months of Happiness woman that is, who incidentally does have a name, but I don't believe in splashing her personal business all over the internet, especially without her permission and since getting her permission would require me actually hearing from her that might be hard since apparently "I still want you in my life as a friend, I can't imagine my life without you in it" means "you will hear from me maybe once a month if you're lucky").

I'm sure now that I've had this epiphany about how I lose myself I'll do even better still next time around. I mean for criminey's sake I moved to CT to be with Ms. Ex (she of the eight year relationship and the three week engagement). I gave up my happiness in NY, my friends there, my life there, to move to this state that was like a foreign country to me just to be with her. I think I knew pretty quickly after I got here that this was a mistake, but damn it I made a commitment and I was going to stick with it. And stick with it I did even though I was unhappy and probably depressed. Perhaps I am also a bit on the stubborn side? Must be the Aries in me.

Anyway, that leaves me with thinking about life. Life is a funny thing. So many lessons to be learned. So much to do and see and experience. I've been wondering if I'm living life to the fullest. But I took a step back from that question and asked myself "who's definition of fullest are we talking about here?" Are we talking about what others think you should be doing to really be "living" or are we talking about what MY definition of living is? Once I figured out that I had been basing my idea of living life to the fullest on what other people think I should be doing it was pretty easy to let go of that notion and realize that I love my life. I have a good life. I am an incredibly lucky person to have the kind of life I do. I am healthy. I am able to provide for myself. I own my own home. I have two wonderful cats and a silly little beagle who love me no matter what. I have family and friends who also love me no matter what. Who cares that I don't travel to Asia three times a year or that I don't have a summer home on the shore or a 70 inch plasma TV (although, hi, that would be awesome to watch movies on while I'm knitting). Those things won't answer the phone if you call them at three a.m. crying. They aren't there to greet you at the door when you come home from a long day at work. They don't matter in the long run. What matters is that I love myself and my life and some day soon I will meet a woman who loves me for me (okay so I've already met one of those, this time I mean I'll meet one that won't freak out on me because the relationship is getting serious).

These are the things that have been running through my mind lately. Perhaps now that I'm feeling a little more chipper my next post will be about the Song Quoting Incident of 2008. I'll leave you by saying I am discovering that I am perhaps a little bit less than sane at certain times of the month.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Welcome and this got longer than I intended

Welcome to the inaugural post of My Life Through Lyrics where I plan to share my life with you through, um, well, song lyrics. Or more appropriately I guess I should say I'll post lyrics that are fitting to my state of mind for each post. Why bother? Well, because I have apparently been stricken with the "ICan'tStopQuotingSongs" disease which led to the "Song Quoting Incident of 2008" a few weeks ago (which when I'm feeling a bit more chipper and able to laugh at myself I will blog about so you can laugh at, I mean with, me) and I thought perhaps this blog would help cure me of this nasty quoting disease.

Today's lyrics are from "Climbing Mountains" by Meg Hutchinson
Dreamt last night I was climbing mountains
Way beyond the earth’s strange pull
Dreamt last night I was climbing mountains
Way beyond love’s fierce hold

And last night I did dream. I wish I could describe the whole thing for you, but I can't. Let's leave it at it had a lot of people from work in it in a dark and crowded auditorium/lecture hall. In addition to the folks from work it also had someone I went to high school with that I haven't thought about in forever who was wearing an ugly bikini, had a really really bad hairdo and incredibly long hair in a very private region which was poking out through said ugly bikini. Scary stuff right there. I didn't even remember that some people were in the dream until I heard their voices at work today. It was a very strange dream to say the least. But the biggest question is why am I dreaming about people from work? What significance does that hold? Could it be because I lately I have been feeling like I am so done with my job? Or perhaps it's just the fact that I need a vacation that might be enough to cause strange co-worker dreams? Who knows. The dream I had over the weekend about the tornado makes perfect sense however. Tornadoes in dreams signify disruptions and upsets in your immediate environment and specific or current issues that may be overwhelming. And well, that pretty much fits although the dream is about five or six weeks late, but I've never been one to keep up with the Joneses.

My life the last few years has been a nearly constant state of disruption and upset. That story I will save for another time. But this year I spent five wonderful months the happiest I can remember being perhaps ever in my life. Five months filled with fun and joy and fun and some other things that are better left between two consenting adults and behind a closed door. And that happiness was taken from me and there was nothing I could do or say to stop it because no matter what we do we cannot change how another person thinks or feels or how they react to their fears. And losing this happiness is what that tornado dream was all about. I finally had my life under control and I was happy and feeling like I was moving on and BAM! buh bye without so much as an "I'm freaking out can we try to work on things?" Instead it was "I can't do this right now. I'm sorry." Granted, my happiness never rested solely in this person's hands, but I did find a lot of happiness through her, with her. And she is who I miss when I feel lonely or alone. This wonderful woman who came into my life during a really dark time, she is the one I think about. Not the woman I spent more than eight years of my life with. Not the woman who I bought a house with and got dogs with and was engaged to (however briefly) and thought I would spend the rest of my life with. No, I don't think about her. I think about this other woman who got under my skin and showed me that it was possible for me to love again. She is who I think about, she is who caused my tornado dream. And no matter how much I miss her or how much getting dumped sucks (because let's face it, it does suck no matter how long you're with a person and no matter how sorry or honest or kind they are when they dump you, it still sucks, suck, suck, suckity sucks) no matter all that I will always be grateful for the time we had together. I will always be grateful that we met. I will always be grateful that I was able to see her smile, hear her laugh, feel her touch and see the special look she got in her eyes when we were alone together. I'll never forget those things.

Weird things cause me to miss her, this five months of happiness woman. Apple picking this weekend for instance caused this enormous ache for her that I was not expecting. Apple picking for christ's sake. Something we never did together, never talked about doing together and as far as I can remember something that I've never even done before. But as I got in my car to drive home on that beautiful fall Saturday I couldn't help but think how much I would have enjoyed doing that with her (it was fun with you to F. don't get me wrong). I have to wonder when will these pangs stop? How long before they don't catch me off guard anymore? Is there a statute of limitations on these things?