I'll probably remember this day when I'm 65 and want to kick my own butt...
Next year, gift cards. Period.
[And an expression from my grandmother Hope, via my dad from an out-of-town parking lot internet connection: "I have a dual personality, not a split one." That would explain a lot.]
I called to harass after receiving his "preparing to disconnect" email, and was eventually able to leave a voicemail (after dialing a series of previous phone numbers), "How do you expect me to be normal* when you set this kind of example? Huh?"
*which is funny, actually, because I've never been a big fan of "normal". It seems like a synonym for boring.
(I've started hearing little French phrases in my head at odd times, which is weird because I don't even speak French).
I met Patrick in Atlanta, then continued the drive to Michigan with all the rest of the holiday travelers and state troopers. As we drove through Ohio, I thought of Dalehole, and wished I knew where he lived so I could pull up in his driveway and suprise/scare the crap out of him (it's a weird stalking issue or odd sense of humor I have, but it's under control. Mostly). Instead, he called me!
I usually don't answer when he calls, but occasionally I will, if only to practice proper tones of aloof and casual disdain. "Who is this again? Dale? Oh, yeah, yeah..." Really, why would I want anyone, especially him, to know how hard I fell, and how much it hurt when we stopped talking? Reject me? I think not.
He told me he'd be in Alabama for two weeks - did I want to hang out? Grab some dinner? Go to the beach? Sure. Whatever. Maybe if I wasn't too busy.
We've been together since Friday afternoon.
A rather momentous weekend, as I also broke my self-imposed age barrier and had dinner with a FIFTY year old. Yes, fifty. It's not a huge age difference, but since I'm still 28 in my mind, I wonder what he's doing with such a younger woman. Pervert.
Maybe I should've stuck to driving 2-1/2 ton trucks?
Appreciate our veterans today and every day!
- mop head
- cat food
- toilet paper
My last job came through with a check for my accumulated 4 WEEKS of vacation pay in the nick of time, fortunately, so I was able to pay for groceries without auctioning off a kidney on ebay or taking in a roommate while waiting for the new position payroll to come through. I believe, at this moment, my glass is half full. Duh. I have beer and wine.
Unfortunately, it's accompanied by some dual-core, 2 hard drive, automatic backing up, louder-than-a-jet-plane-landing CPU, and the monitor had to be sent back because it was defective. Outstanding news o' the day: our installation hasn't switched to Vista!
- Bob Dylan
My sister Tiffany emailed the other night to get my address in order to mail a check (that our dad had sent) for her auto registration, over a month late (September), and from the wrong state (Colorado). Minor details.
By now, you are hopped up on some barbituates and sleeping pills (Elvis cocktail, anyone?) so chances are you will (A) sleep walk to your computer with a pop tart in hand and read this e-mail or (B) read it at 4:00 when you awake from your drug-enhanced slumber.
*rather, they morphed into a 3-dimensional boy.
Upon starting the new job Monday, I was required to visit the Occupational Health Office. My blood pressure was high, higher yesterday, and, continuing with the trend, highest today. Of course, driving to the hospital twice a day, looking for a parking place, and being told to relax is stressing me out! The headaches are killing me...but at least I'm not pregnant.
Me: I'm trying to decide whether to increase the minutes in my plan or get one without my 18 year old son, who talks too much.
Customer Service: Kick his ass to the curb!
Alabama law forbids the sale of alcohol on Sunday, but fortunately, we had connections: my sister Tiffany's boyfriend's mother had a stash of travel-size shot bottles, which she smuggled into the nursing home to her mother every week. As we were leaving, she asked if any of us had to use the restroom, to which my son Patrick replied, "Aaaaaah do," in the thickest southern accent I have ever heard.
Tomorrow is the first day of my new federal job. When I get sworn in, I'm gonna raise that right hand and say, "Aaaaah, do!"
I entered the office and was greeted by a woman in line, who turned and said, "I love you."
I knew no one was behind me, so I smiled and hoped she would realize we had never met.
"It's your insides," she said. "They're beautiful - I can tell - and I love you."
I had always wondered if my spleen was ravishing. Fortunately, there were only a few minutes of awkward small talk before they called me back for teeth-cleaning fun. It turns out my insurance company approved a crown for a cracked molar, but the deadline is tomorrow, so the receptionist managed to squeeze me in. Let's hope I'm ushered into the back before enduring more declarations of love or group hugs.
Currently broke, I decided to take my grocery budget (who am I kidding? It's a beer and popcorn fund), and buy more stock in my favorite retail chain on Friday. Then, to increase my odds in successful dabbling, charged a bunch of clothes there on Saturday. Oh, the financial empires I could have founded on shaky ground...
*Mike & I have been going out for over two months, but I'm not exactly sure if we're dating. He takes care of my "honey do" list like installing ceiling fans, hanging blinds, and all the yardwork every week, but there's no romance (maybe he's playing hard to get? Sly.).
We drove six hours to his parents' place in North Carolina for a long weekend in the mountains. I can safely say I'll never hike in flip flops again.
My aunt Pat suggested I wouldn't find love until I was ready for emotional intimacy. Perhaps she's right, but I don't believe I'll be ready until men stop sucking.
Perhaps I exaggerate.
[One of the bridges near the Market Street Brewery in St. Louis, which I didn't need to cross to get to my hotel room, fortunately. The tricky part will be to submit my expense report to the corporate office to explain the quantity of "brew" taken there. They should be more specific regarding sustenance]
Flights were grounded, cancelled and delayed due to the tropical storm in the Southeast. I've never been afraid to fly, though I'm starting to dread hours spent at gates and definitely see a pattern with routes through Memphis.
I was in St. Louis last week for a drinking/work conference (bonus: discovering an amazing brewery with my friend Mel), which I parlayed into a weekend visit to Wisconsin to see my friend Holly. I couldn't ask for more fun or better friends, but after ten days out of town, I wanna go home...
Last week, we (somehow) arrived at the airport in Montgomery on time, only to discover that Northwest had cancelled our flights and rebooked the next day at dawn's early light. We spontaneously decided to drive two hours further, to Atlanta, because we are nothing, if not a family bonded together by spontaneous road trips. Two of our rescheduled tickets were upgraded to first class, which made the extra travel more tolerable. Free drinks and extra-large leather seats go a long way.
Quin-la-palooza was fantastic, and Patrick stayed an extra week in Michigan bonding with my parents. I was driving up to Montgomery to pick him up tonight, when he called to tell me his flight had been cancelled. I'm all for adventure and spending quality time apart, but stranding my 18-year old son in Memphis, Tennessee? Irreprehensible.
When they say "it's not the destination, but the journey", I'm guessing they never flew Northwest Airlines.
Three-day BamaJam is headed to my small Alabama town for three days. Included in the line-up are Hank Williams Jr., ZZ Topp, Lynrd Skynrd and a crapload of other country music stars. I'm not sure, but I don't think I could care less.
Truthfully, I wondered how he'd get through Elementary School with all his stubborness and disruptive antics, regularly being kicked off the bus and spending so much time in the Principal's office, but tonight's graduation ceremony marks the official end of his public school career. Commencement speaker, First Lady Laura Bush, will be on hand, attempting to impart some wisdom to the EHS Class of 2008.
Will I feel sad watching him walk across that stage? Or will the joy of getting his crap out of my house, taking his key and changing the locks, completely overshadow any empty-nest thoughts I might be inclined to have? Woo hoo! [I'm kidding!]
Since we already have the same Q family crest tattoos on our shoulders, we thought it would be a hysterical grand finale if I were to also get the same sun on my ankle that she has because really, how many matching tattoos can two sisters have?
Dan and Lise were recently engaged, so she's been hoping to strike up some sort of friendship with me since she'll be moving to town. They invited me over for drinks, and I can safely say I harbor no ill feelings great enough to pass up free alcohol.
It was awkward for about 6 minutes. After that, we sat out on the patio and laughed, had great conversation and genuine fun. Lise and I are very similar in looks and interests - I could see how Dan would be torn between us.
Around 11:00 pm, Team Drama took over.
Dan (to Lise): I KNEW you were still a lesbian...!
Lise (to Dan): And I knew you were still in love with her...!
Me (to myself, rather awkwardly as they started fighting and throwing stuff): Uh...I'll just take this beer and let myself out. You guys have a good night...
Lise called today to apologize, told me they had broken up, and asked if I wanted to go to the beach sometime.
I normally work 10-12 hour days, but this week I'm having to neglect my work load so I can traipse around in heels, answering questions and hoping they don't find any violations worthy of a $32,500 fine per day.
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; and the ability to bowl inspectors over with bullshit...
Now, however, the party's over: the dental powers that be have decided antibiotics are no longer required for people like me. To top it all off, a lifetime of nachos and popcorn has cracked another tooth, requiring crown #2.
Pass the applesauce and geritol.
I told Patrick before I left that if he fed the cats (as opposed to locking them outside the entire week I'm gone, as he's prone to do), took care of the mail and other minor cleaning chores, AND I won at the casino, I'd give him $50. If, on the other hand, I lost? He'd get nothing. I have a good feeling about this year's Mother of the Year committee visit.
As I was standing in line at the hotel registration to get directions to the casino, four other conference attendees told me to come along with them - they had a designated driver! We must've talked about work a little bit - I have scribbles on bar napkins to prove it - then drank and threw down $100 bets with reckless abandon.
Once home, I gave Patrick some money so he could join his buddies at the beach for this final weekend of Spring Break, then found a styrofoam bucket full of fish in the office (?). I bought a glass aquarium, some plastic landscaping and fish food, only to find out they're bait for Patrick's new fishing hobby.
I also found out from Tiffany that my new pseudo-fiancé was out with another woman Friday night - thank goodness my impulsive self didn't jump on that wagon!
*YES! I have a new car! My personal auto sales manager, Mitch, called me up last week when a woman traded in her 2006 Audi A4 (turbo!). I wasn't interested, until I broke the console in my old car and the door leaked (again!), so he gave me a deal I couldn't pass up. Payments are $2 less/month, and all I have to do is have a beer with him. I'm hoping he'll agree to pay my next speeding ticket, but we're still negotiating.
I was planning on spending the morning doing taxes and packing for my trip to Tucson, but I had to go into work first because the shady, misogynistic, money-grubbing 32 year old white male supervisor I demoted last week has filed an EO complaint behind my back. Really? Is that the best you've got?
When we went out again this past weekend, I was telling him about Tiffany's new job as a bartender at the country club, so he suggested we go there for dinner. He's a member, so we sat with the mayor, while Tiffany waited on us. Unfortunately, Steve's a Miller beer distributor, and I can't help but think I'm drinking swamp water off a sweaty teenager* when I drink Miller products.
*When I was sixteen, my friends drilled a hole in the bottom of a can of Miller Lite, drained it, then replaced the beer with water from the river. They sealed the hole with a bead of adhesive, so that the container still went "pffft" when I pulled the top, then took a giant swig. This was obviously traumatic.
On Saturday, Steve proposed to me, but I had to decline the offer since I had nothing to wear. I've come to the conclusion that older men must be desperate - afraid of dying alone with no one to take off their boots.
I frequent a Mexican restaurant outside the gates of Ft. Rucker, where the nachos are smothered under six pounds of cheese and the Coronas never end. When possible, I schedule work lunches there, and occasionally meet dates (one week, I met three different men there for lunch - it was a fluke, seriously).
Today, as I was waiting in line to pay, the owner came over and told me how grateful he was for all the business I brought - and told me lunch was on him. Next step? Bar tab...
[Is that as bad as it sounds? Oy]
As a self-proclaimed speeding expert, I've had this theory: if you overpay your speeding ticket by $1, the books never get closed because the city clerk will never send a rebate check for the difference, so your insurance company never finds out. Ignorance is bliss, you know, and I delusionally hoped my rates wouldn't reflect my "I need to see your license and registration, ma'am" status.
Perfect in theory, not-so-perfect in reality.
After my most recent "68 in a 55" (on New Year's DAY! Apparently, I need a designated driver to get places while I'm sober), I procrastinated* too long and had to make the payment in person.
*which comes first: the procrastinator or the speeder?
I handed the city clerk a money order for $121, so she attempted to give me $1 change. I said, "Oh, no, that's a tip. I don't want it."
We argued back and forth for a while, and as I was pocketing the change (those city clerks are badasses, I tell ya'), I asked her about my theory. She informed me that if I had mailed in too much money, they simply would have raised the fine to the amount sent, so the ticket would be closed.
What's a poor lead foot to do?
Sorta-boyfriend Christian is out of town in a week-long fishing tournament in Georgia so TQ and I headed to the bar and met up with some of my ex-coworkers.
This morning, as I was wandering around in last night's wet clothes, with my hair sticking out at right angles, looking frantically for my work cell phone (my personal cell phone died recently and I still haven't been able to find that one, which is somewhere in the house, I'm sure of it!), my 17 year old son passed in the hallway and said, "You know you're an adult, right?"
*not so much large as FAT. There's something about having my company pick up expenses that causes me to eat several large meals per day, including Crab Ravioli with pesto and snacks from Starbuck's. I might possibly need an intervention.
As I was walking through the hallway in the Conference Center this afternoon, I passed by a familiar face (conveniently attached to a body) that I knew from somewhere. I turned around to stare, as he did the same. My first sergant from Ft. Lewis, Washingon in 1988 (!), here from Ft. Bening, Georgia. He asked if I kept in touch with anyone else from our unit, but other than awkward, accidental yearly visits with my ex-husband, sadly, I did not.
The husband of one of my friends/co-workers is a contestant on this season's "Biggest Loser", so we all gathered (and dare I say bonded) together last night while watching the episode with with beer, pizza, and chips. Ironic, no?
Thought for the week: do not, under any circumstances, attempt to shave your legs in the bathtub, while talking on your cell phone. It will end badly.