Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I Thought I Should Tell You...

I almost had a panic attack this weekend. For reals. It was the strangest thing, but it's true. Near panic attack. 

Here's the scene. Joel and I decided to be ultra lazy on Saturday and do absolutely nothing but lie in bed and watch Netflix. However, after a long day of lounging and sleeping, we decided to go have dinner. We were in Nashville, so it was not a problem that we'd decided to eat at 9:30, and we could walk to a multitude of restaurants. So we got dressed and began our journey of deciding where to eat.

I'm terrible at making decisions. I've told you this before. And, because Joel and I are both pretty agreeable, despite the tons of restaurants near our condo, we consistently go to the same three. But we wanted something different, so we go about our usual "It doesn't matter to me, what do you want?" "I don't know, what do you want?" banter. After walking in and out of two other restaurants to judge the crowd, band, and atmosphere (and $12 cover charge to walk in to one of them), Joel made the executive decision to eat at Virago. This is a REALLY nice sushi restaurant in Nashville, and I was happy to get to try something new.

The minute we walked up to the restaurant and got carded to even walk in, I started to feel a little off. There were three super-model tall girls teetering on six inch heels in front of us, and it took us ten minutes to walk slowly behind them as they scooted up to the hostess stand and pondered where they'd like to sit. Another hostess immediately helped us to our table. Unfortunately, we couldn't sit down because there was a man leaning into our booth pouring over some game on the television that was situated directly to the right of our table. After asking him several times to move, he finally got out of our way, and we sat down. At this point, my heart rate was rising, and I was starting to get a bit shaky.

I noticed almost as soon as we sat down that the music at the bar--which was again, directly to the right of our table, not separated by anything but other guests--was extremely loud. As we settled into our seats, it seemed to get even louder. Our server approached our table and handed us menus. She asked us if we would like still (I don't even know if that's spelled correctly, because I've never heard it asked like that!) water with our dinner. Having no f***ing clue what she was talking about, I look to Joel for a little help. He raises his eyebrows at me, being a gentleman, expecting the lady to answer first. As my face grew incredibly red, I meekly asked, "what's that mean?" The server sighed and said, "bottled water." Oh, sh*t, I wanted to say, you should have said that the first time. I nodded my head and said please, relieved. She then asked Joel, who trumped me by ordering a sparkling water, then looked back to me and said, "have you decided?" Decided, I thought. I haven't even looked at the menu! "About your water..." she continued. "Yes," I sighed, thinking I had already answered this question. "Bottled. Please." I answered.

After this ridiculousness, I begin to look at the menu, which I can barely see because it's so dark and try to read the words. The music boomed in my ears even louder. I glanced up and looked around at the seemingly thousands of people in this restaurant. Suddenly, it got really hot all around me. The words on my menu seemed to blur, and I felt like I couldn't breathe. My heart was pounding, and I was shaking.

Catching my eye, Joel looked at me and said, "Um....are you okay?!?!" "No," I mustered. "I think I'm going to have a panic attack. I don't understand. This has never happened before." "Was it the bottled water question," he laughed. I tried to eek out a laugh, but couldn't think of anything other than not passing out in the middle of this very fancy restaurant. He handed me a magazine we'd been carrying and told me to read it, as a distraction to how I was feeling, while he got the hostess. He came back moments later, telling me he'd negotiated a new table for us in a room away from the crowd and thumping music.

Moments later, feeling much better, I was trying to figure out what the hell had just happened. Nothing, seriously, nothing has ever happened to me like this before. I can pretty much handle myself in any situation. But I can't explain Saturday night. As we left the restaurant hours later, with full bellies and some good memories, I remarked to Joel, "I think I know what it is." He glanced down at me inquisitively. "If they could have turned down the damn music and turned some lights on, I would have been fine," I said. "In short, I'm getting f***ing old."

Monday, August 27, 2012

Battleground: Kitchen

Friends, Family, People Who Don't Actually Know Me But Read My Blog--

I have just returned from battle. And, of course, by battle, I mean the kitchen. I'm sure I've mentioned here once or twice that I don't cook. Not only do I not really know how to cook, but I really don't enjoy it. I don't like reading recipes, I don't like reading about people who cook, and I don't like the look on Joel's face when I try to cook, collapse into a fit of tears when I realize the eggs are sticking to damn pan again, those were our last three eggs, and now what the hell are we going to eat for breakfast because I've been told I'm only allowed to spend $200 on groceries once a week!!
What the kitchen looks like after I cook

However, my busy season at work is officially upon us, and when I'm really busy at work, I like to make a meal that will last us several days. When I get home around 8 or 9 from a long day of work, the last thing I want to do is open the refrigerator 600 times hoping that a meal will mysteriously appear or make Joel cook for the 5th time this week or order pizza again. I do have a few easy dinners in my repertoire, and they all consist of throwing a bunch of sh*t into a casserole dish, putting it in the oven for an hour, and hoping to God that I remembered all of the ingredients, didn't burn in, and that it tastes somewhat decent. Joel is a good man and has never complained about anything I've attempted to cook so I'm guessing I'm not a complete train wreck when I do try.

What my lasagna should look like (fingers crossed)
Except her cleavage is better.
I say that, but the outcome is usually better than the journey. The journey is train wreck after train wreck. Tonight, I made Portabella Lasagna. (I think I got this recipe from Jamie, so I gotta give credit where credit is due!) We try not to eat carbs in our house (I SAID TRY), so I use portabella mushroom instead of noodles. It's quite delicious. But, of course, I didn't get all the right ingredients. I mean I did, just not enough. So I threw some cream cheese in there with the ricotta. That's about the same family, right? Also, I'm not smart enough to just buy the damn pre-made spaghetti sauce, so in an attempt to make my own, I made the most gigantic mess ever, splattered red sauce all over my new shirt, burned my fingers (sticking your fingers into the sauce is not an effective way to test heat), and my mouth (also, tasting the sauce mid-heat isn't a great idea). 

Alas, I finally slopped it all together and threw it in the oven before ruining it too much. Then I got the idea to use the leftover stuff to make mini lasagnas in muffin tins. So I start to prepare those and realize that the leftover sauce was gone because a--I ate most of it, and b--CD walked into the room and ate the rest (I may or may not have given him the pan thinking it'd be easier to clean after he licked it). At that point, I had no choice but to eat the remaining cheese mixture too. (It had egg in it, but it was an organic, free range, grass fed egg, so surely I can't get too sick.) So here's hoping the lasagna doesn't get burned or dropped before Joel gets home, and I even did the dishes and cleaned my mess. I am becoming a f*cking domestic goddess before my own eyes!

Friday, August 24, 2012

If You Type, the Words Will Come

So romantic
So, I've essentially abandoned my blog in the past week. Not because my life hasn't been it's usual crazy and ridiculous self, but because every time I sit down to write, the words won't come. I can't think of anything funny or poetic or uplifting. (I can think of some pretty badass complaining, but thought I wouldn't burden you with that--well, not entirely--I'm definitely going to complain a lot a bit in this post. I am still me, after all.) However, people continue to read my post-less blog, so I'm back. Hoping the words will flow out of me like the wine has been flowing out of the bottle and into my mouth lately. (Seriously. Someone in our house has broken almost every wine glass we own, so we've taken to drinking it straight from the bottle. Stop that judging immediately. We have hard jobs.)

What's been going on in my life lately:

--Joel surprised me with having BOTH of our cars detailed! As someone who spends 90% of their time in the car, this was like Christmas. And to quote him exactly, "No more melted peanut butter!" It's like having two new cars. Now I drive around judging people with messy cars. This is, until mine is messy again in like 2.5 days, then I'll judge myself.

This is the best way to deal with teenage boys.
--Joel has planned two date nights in the last week. One was a steak dinner at the farm and the other was a fish fry. They were both amazing, unexpected, and exactly what I need after the long hours I've been working.

--I've been working like a dog. (Although my dog effectively does no work at all, so I don't really understand that phrase.)

--We had my three younger brothers out to the farm Sunday to work a little and play a lot and get on my nerves a bit. They brought four of their friends. In total, it was seven teenage boys spending the day with us. This is what I learned:
        ---Never have seven boys.
        ---I am a cougar to my brothers' friends.
        ---I kinda like it.
        ---I'm not sure how to handle my brothers as    
       pubescent teenagers (arm pit hair was tough, sex talk
       is tougher, wondering how my 12 year old brother got
                                                                            kinda hot is just plain gross).
        ---And never take 7 boys to Subway for lunch unless you planned on dropping almost $100 in
            under ten minutes. There is not an ounce of exaggeration in there. I swear.

--Joel's friends came out after my brothers left. I almost prefer the teenagers. One of his friends admitted to being dumb but making up for it by being really loud. Truer words were never spoken.

Hunka hunka burning ridiculous
--I had to work the Kentucky State Fair. If you've done this for my company before, you know how terribly miserable it is. Someone on our staff was, for some crazy reason, excited about this. I won't name names but her initials are D-E-E. I remarked within the first five minutes of being at the state fair that there is not one single piece of redemption about coming to and working the fair. (I was later proven wrong.) I had to park 10 miles away, walk in the heat, and search the huge exhibit hall for my booth. I had to wear khakis--if you know me, you know this was torture enough. I saw Elvis impersonators, a kid eating a book mark, people getting temporary tattoos on their faces, dogs in strollers (my dog is spoiled, but this is simply beyond me. They have FOUR legs to our two. Surely they don't need to be pushed around.), and fat people who'd eaten other fat people for lunch. I was in sure and utter pissed-off mode until... ICE CREAM MUFFIN SUNDAE came into my life. I had searched out a healthy option of a salad for dinner ($19.50 for a salad and water--that's reasonable) and decided to treat myself. So I politely asked for one scoop of cookies and cream ice cream. The sweet (as in blood sugar, not personality) girl behind the counter suggested I get an ice cream muffin sundae. I nodded, mesmerized at her amazing sales ability. This was a double chocolate chip muffin that had been warmed to perfection and cut down the middle, then stuffed with two huge scoops of cookies and cream ice, and covered with hot fudge, whipped cream, and nuts. I ate that shit like a champ!  And it must have triggered the fat girl inside me trying to get out because I have thought about that dessert like it is a long lost lover ever since. I have stayed up at night wondering what my life would be like if that were in it every day, if I had never thrown away the last few bites, if I had decided that I needed those types of food in my life long-term. I will never forget that sundae, and there's a part of me that will always wonder, "Did it love me as much as I loved it?"

--I had to stay in a damn hotel room. Again, if you know me, you know how I despise hotel rooms, but this was worse. I got the last room in the inn, and it was a smoking room. You heard right. I had to suffer for 6 full hours what a room smells like when it has been smoked in for the past 15 years. I was irrationally pissed off and angry all night. I snapped at the hotel clerk. I threw a huge fit in the middle of the night. I screamed for no apparent reason. And I woke up stuffy and puffy and miserable. Damn you, Hampton Inn in Louisville, you just wait til I get that customer satisfaction survey!!

--Leslie and I have perfected the art of the after-work drink. There's nothing more relaxing than having a glass of wine or cold beer to unwind after being subjected to working at the state fair for far too long and a smoky hotel room. Or even a long days' work. And, girls, an after-work drink is just what the doctor ordered. (And by doctor I mean someone who has a bachelor's degree in psychology and quit her Master's program when they fired my favorite professor. I totally showed them.)

Please, sir, may I have another
--I got a big dose of birth control at Kroger. Not like, I waited in line to get a depo shot, but like I saw what it's like to go shopping with several children in tow. And it ain't pretty. I went right after school released, and I'm guessing Moms had decided to shop for dinner or whatever Moms shop for at that time that day. All moms of small children in Owensboro were in Kroger that day. And they were all checking out at the same time as me. I saw mothers who clearly much rather punch their kid in the face than say yes to another pack of gum. I saw mothers scream at the lady behind them in line for encouraging their children to stick out their tongue. I saw moms start to tear up when they realized one of their four children had peed their pants again (apparently for the second time that day). I saw Casis who almost had a panic attack because all of the squealing and screaming and crying and yelling was making her heart want to jump out of her chest and cram itself into one of the sixty screaming mouths around her. Then I strolled, with my $200 worth of groceries that included nothing with a cartoon character on it, out of the store, got into my clean car, and came home to my quiet house. Then I thought to myself, "if Joel so much as looks at me tonight, the answer is no."

--I finally had a bit of time to do some cleaning and realized we have 18 loads of laundry that need to be done. EIGHTEEN. Pause--I just remembered I need to switch a load over.--Okay I'm back. Granted, it has probably been about two weeks since I've done more than just necessity laundry (we both have a lot of clothes, there are rarely loads of necessity laundry done.), and we brought home sheets and blankets from the farm. BUT STILL. 18 loads?!? The only thing that, in my mind, can explain this is that when we're gone, CD dresses up in our clothes to solidify himself as a human instead of a dog. And, in that case, he needs to start doing human things like laundry. But this 18 load shit ain't gonna fly. I have a full-time job. I don't have time for that.

--Today, I get to go pick my little man up from school, and we're going to go play at the farm. He's not so little anymore, and in fact, turns 8 on Monday, but he still wants to and asks to come stay the night with his aunt. And, for that, all of these other things are worthwhile. If he wants, I'll even do his laundry.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

This Week in News

I've been really bad about posting at regular intervals lately, and that's because every year, about this time, my job takes over my life. Then I'm so utterly and ridiculously exhausted at the end of every day that I can't bring myself to think of something clever to write for my blog. But never fear, I keep a list of funny things that happen in my phone, so that I can give you semi-weekly run-downs of what's going on. (Because you care so much.)

This week in news:

This guy has earhole issues too.
--I have an ear hole infection. You read that right. Not an ear infection, an ear HOLE infection. You see, I have a couple of pairs of earrings that, when I wear them, make my ears develop these nasty sores all around my earring holes. Then, these nasty things start to bleed at completely inopportune times making it look as if I have some sort of ebola-type virus. I typically don't realize one lobe is gushing blood until I touch it and come back with a handful of blood or feel blood streaming down my neck or someone yells, "OH MY GOD, YOU'VE BEEN SHOT IN THE FACE!!" Once I realize I have this infection again, I stop wearing earrings, but fear that people are staring at my earholes wondering if that's a beautiful shiny ruby stud or, in fact, oh yup, she's bleeding everywhere. I once realized this blood-letting was happening while on the phone with my mom (and I suddenly couldn't hear her, because my phone was covered in blood) while walking through Kroger. I made her talk to me until I left the store, because I was afraid I'd be asked to leave for not following blood-born pathogens procedures. Luckily, this is starting to heal and now it is a mere red dot that people are beginning to wonder if it's just a cute mole on my ear lobe. (Yup, it's totally blood.)

--I had lunch with Dee and made her answer a million questions about her big news. She's already put it on facebook, so I'll share it with the blogosphere. Our Dee is expecting baby number two!! Yay!!!! The jury is still out as to whether the baby is Patrick's or mine. (I know what my money's on.)

I framed it.
--I purchased an US Weekly so I can stare at Kourtney Kardashian's new baby. I can only hope mine and Dee's little bundle will be just as cute!

--I have been preparing for Baby Shower Bonanza that's happening this Saturday. I have another pal that is also preg, and we will be celebrating her new baby by throwing a very classy baby shower Saturday evening (we're bringing beer, people, this sh*t's on!). I didn't realize how much preparation goes into showering a baby, but apparently it's a lot, because I've been doing my thang like crazy, and I'm only one of four hostesses. This is going to be the Baby Shower of the Century. I am panicking slightly on what to wear to any evening bambino bath. Someone give me some hints!

--I stole a candle from TJ Maxx. On accident! I found this super cute purse/work bag/suitcase combo that I had to have because it's cute enough to carry as my purse but big enough to stuff all my work stuff, two days worth of snacks, and a clean change of undies into, and it was on sale for $15. So I grabbed it. I went on about my shopping ($95...oops!) and paid for everything. This morning, when I changed over the stuff from my old purse to this new one, I realized there was a candle inside the purse!
This candle is HOT!
I gasped, realizing I'm a thief!! I mean, I didn't put the candle in there, but I walked out with it without paying for it. Granted, it's a stinky blue ugly teardrop candle that was on sale for $1!!! But it's still thievery! I'm guessing they couldn't sell that ugly thing and decided they'd have to give it away. I'm the lucky owner. Awesome.

--I napped, b*tches. Napped!!! Two days in a row. It was awesome. Admittedly, it's why I didn't blog. But today, I pulled myself away from my third nap to write a post. But those two were amazing. It's a lost art. I'd bring it back, but...

Let me just move this sh*t over for you
so you can sit down.

--I've been visiting each of my schools in each of my ten counties. I'm about five counties in calendar is completely booked until Christmas. Honestly. I made some rules last year about scheduling my work stuff and wanted to uphold them this year. They were: I will not work more than two evenings a week. I will not schedule more than two events in one day. I will take one day a week as an office day or comp day, if I need it. I have currently broken all of them. On multiple occasions. Luckily, I left time off for our vacations in September, October, and December (I guess November will be a weekend trip). BUT I didn't leave time off for a birthday trip in February! So there's some rearranging to be done next semester. But this semester? All I can do is stare at my calendar and cry.

It feels like just yesterday.
--My boss observed me today. Now, she mostly got to watch me walk into schools and say, "Remember me? I can't do anything for you until after Christmas, but you can call me if you have questions." But it always used to make me nervous when she'd observe me. Like she was trying to trip me up on something. Now I'm pretty happy when she rides along. I made sure to rid my car of all beer cans, wine bottles (true story--but it was full!), and underwear (one pair of mine, one pair of Joel's, one bra, to be exact) before she came out, but it was all smooth sailing. In fact, I had a really, really great day with her!

--I loved Joel a little bit stronger. I can't explain it, but there's something that pulls me closer to him every once in a while. It makes me know that this is where I need to be. Sometimes I just need to squeeze him! And that may be because...

--I met Joel one year ago yesterday. Yes, I'm freaking sappy enough to remember that. But I will never ever forget the first moment I saw him. I knew I needed him in my life. Now, it would be another month before Joel wised up and realized I was the bomb dot com, and he needed me in his life and that he really hated grocery shopping and laundry anyway and that if I pay attention to this girl, she will do that for me for the rest of my life, but... Today was the big first meeting. I sent a sweet card, because that's what I do. He said, "oh, it's been a year?" and turned on the Daily Show.

I win the effing gold at being 30!
--Today is the official SIX MONTH mark before my 30th birthday. I think it means it's my half birthday or some sh*t, so I'm having a glass of wine in mourning celebration. I gotta tell you, the closer we get the more I freak out. I mean, it's cute to be 29, it's exciting to be in your 20's...and it's coming to a f***ing end sooner than I want it to. I have never struggled with getting older, but I am losing it a little. I'm just not sure I want to be THIRTY. It's so...different...from 29. But, today my boss told me that women hit their stride in their 30's and that I need to view it is as the beginning of my stride. (That's my boss, people. Have I mentioned I love my freaking job?) So, watch out world, I'm hitting my damn stride. And you thought it couldn't get any better?!?!?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Nashville Lifted My Hex (and Facing Fears of Wax and Paper)

So I've been MIA for a few days, and my mom told me she misses my posts, so I can only assume that everyone else does too. I apologize, amazing followers, but I took a few days off work, and by work, I mean anything that even remotely required any effort. But, there are a couple of notable things that happened while I was away.

Seriously, what's your definition of irrational?
Because I was under a hex last week, I had to face one of my biggest fears two times too many (because the ideal number would be never f***ing ever). I have a HUGE, irrational (by other's terms, not my own) fear of wax figures. And when I say wax figures, I'm actually being a little too specific. My fear is broader. Wax figures, you see, would be the pinnacle, most absolutely terrifying portion of my fear. Nothing would be worst, to me, than being trapped in a wax museum. But also, I'm deathly afraid of things that resemble (ranging from semi to extremely) life-life people, animals, or even fictional characters really. (We had a comic book store in Owensboro with a huge paper mache Hulk. What's more embarrassing than simply going to a comic book store? Ducking, covering your eyes, and running into sh*t, because you're trying to get away from the huge man made of...paper.)

I can't explain this fear or determine its roots. And no amount of aversion therapy helps. Once, while visiting Jamie and Jay in Tulsa around Christmas, Jay decided I needed to make peace with my fear and touch a huge stuffed polar bear dressed in Christmas attire playing a drum. (Stupid bear.) He pushed me closer and closer to it while my heels made sparks on the ground. He forced my hand up to touch it and...its damn head fell off! I ran shrieking away while three year olds wondered what the hell was wrong with that grown up and Jamie and Jay crumbled into fits of laughter.

Because the Bachelor Pad contestants need to be creepier.
So, anyway, this week, to kill a few a little time and a few brain cells, I watched the Bachelor Pad. One of the dates they went on consisted of a wax museum where they dressed the characters up to look like figures and then scared patrons. Exactly. I hate wax figures. So, because I didn't just want to fast forward, I watched that part of the episode through my fingers, while Joel cringed and rolled his eyes at the fact that I was crawling out of my skin because of wax figures ON TV.

Then, at a back-to-school exhibit Thursday night, the Student Council Helper led me to my table, only for me to realize, they'd set me across from THIS:

I cannot tell you how many times I found excuses to get up so I could get water, go to the bathroom, visit the counselor, stretch my legs...all just to get away from the horror that was staring me in the face. I literally had my head down the entire time. The sweet little girl working the booth came over and took a picture of this for me so I could show all of you. And was sweet enough to carry on a conversation with me at my table, so that I didn't have to look at her freak show while we chatted. I have never been happier to leave a back to school event in my life.

Then, we went to Nashville!! If you know me, you know this is one of my favorite things to do because a--I fancy myself a city girl and assume that I fit right in down there, and 2--we have awesome friends there that we love to visit and hang out with. They're some of the same friends who went on the House Boat Trip with us.

When everyone else went to the bars later,
we stayed home because of this. :)
It was our friend, Rachel's birthday, and her boyfriend Scott had put together an awesome surprise party. We surprised Rach with a group dinner at Urban Flatts (ahhhh-mazing, you should try it if you're ever in the area), and then took the group up to the guest suite Joel and I had reserved and Kristin, Crystal, and I decorated (Rachel totally walked in mid-decor process, and then everyone decided to go to the rooftop lounge about five seconds later, but at least the decs were enjoyed for a few moments). From there, we all just hung out and made each other laugh. I met some really awesome people, and at one point, my new friend Emily said the three words that no one should ever say to me: "You're so funny." The reason this is a bad idea is because, at that point, I take it as my sole duty to be a one-man comedy routine and blur the lines between funny and annoying and what the hell is she following us around talking about. And the next day, I never know if I was, in fact, being funny, or really just funny in my head and worry that my brand new friends may delete the phone number I insisted they store in their phone so I can make then laugh anytime and hope they never see me again.

But! Emily and Crystal and I all talked the next day and decided we need to hang out again, so I'm thinking not too much damage done. We also had the most amazing brunch I've ever had at the Tavern with the birthday girl and Scott. After ordering six brunch drinks to split between the four of us before 11am, we remembered it was two-for-one and realized we had to drink six more (free!) drinks before we left. That's about the time Joel and I decided we should probably stick around Nashville for a while.

Birthday girl brunching
We went on an impromptu sailboat trip later that day, and Scott and Rachel were gracious enough to lend Joel and I something to wear on the boat. Joel threw in his very own black socks to be donned with his borrowed camo crocs. That man is the portrait of modern style. I, however, did not come bikini-ready and was worried the entire time that these people would think I'd tried to smuggle a wookie onto the boat via my swimsuit. Joel assured me that no one noticed and duh, Casi, people don't walk around staring at your crotch. (I know he was only saying this to make me feel better, because people absolutely walk around staring at my crotch.) After our boating adventure, Joel and I weighed the options of sticking around Nashville for another night (because honestly, if he'd agree, we'd stay forever. I always find myself begging for another night in Nashville until he reminds me we have responsibilities in Owensboro--oh yeah) or biting the bullet and driving back home, so we didn't have to get up at 4am and drive. We decided to forego pizza and movies with the gang and settled for a drive-thru dinner and a quick trip home. For the record, Joel slept most of the way, and I cried over my audiobook.

Us brunching
This morning, it was dark and cold in the house and the rain sounded so relaxing that I stayed in bed way too long willing myself to soak up the last few moments of non-work before having to face it again. And now, I'll go visit some schools in the pouring rain, because nothing says professional like that wet rat look.

Aren't y'all glad I'm back? Me too.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Beef with Blogger

I've always been told that I shouldn't bite the hand that feeds, but a--I'm currently making zero dollars and zero cents off this blog and, in fact, probably losing money because the hours that could be spent working that I, instead, insist upon spending with my blog, and b--I'm under a hex this week, and my actions cannot be held against me.

But here are some things that really make me frustrated with this site, and that I want to email blogger about, but instead I'm making them come to me. Counterintuitive, right? I'm hoping it's backwards day.

--Why, oh why, are the pictures so hard to place?? I've complained about this before--with agreement from other bloggers--and still seem to wrestle with it daily. It takes me a maximum of ten minutes to write my posts, as you can probably tell from the spelling and typing errors--but then another 45 to position the pictures correctly. And even then, when I review the post later, the pictures have moved, making the sentences hard to follow and leaving huge blank spots on the page. C'mon. It can't be that hard to follow my mouse when I move it. Make it work.

--I cannot tell you how many comments I've left on people's posts. That's because they never get published. Blogger wants to be sure I'm a human, which I appreciate, since I don't want non-humans commenting in their alien script on my posts, but come the hell on. I know, on more than one occasion, a letter or number that is not a real letter or number has been included in my "are you a human" test line. They want me to retype what I see but an upside down blurry squiggly line isn't on my keyboard. AND even if I type the line exactly as it shows, they tell me I have typed it incorrectly. And they like to do this until I give up, delete the comment, and punch the screen. This isn't even addressing trying to leave a comment from my iPhone or iPad. I've had other people text me to tell me they're trying to leave comments from their iPhones and can't. I've also spiked both of those devices on the ground after trying without success to be identified as a real human.

--Dear Blogger, when I add a site to my reading list, please send me updates when they occur. I have three, count them, THREE sites that I follow that never make it to my reading list. (To clarify: I follow more than three, but those specific ones don't show up.) I have to check those sites individually each day, every hour, obsessively until a new post is published. I don't know why blogger wants to keep them from me, but please, please just send me their damn updates.

Okay, I think I'm done. I think, otherwise, I enjoy using this site and am grateful for the ease with which it has helped me create a blog. I also appreciate it telling me who my audience is and where they come from (Shout out to Latvia!). And if these glitches ever get worked out, it would be perfect, but until then, I got some beef with blogger.

PS--my hands naturally typed beer instead of beef. What's on my mind??

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

How Do You Break a HEX?

Someone's put a hex on me. No, really. That's the only thing that makes sense as to why the most random, ridiculous sh*t is happening to me. It's not one big thing or even lots of big things, but it's little annoying things that are starting to make me think I'm losing my damn mind.

So, whoever you are, this is what you've caused me this week (yes, I realize we're only three freaking days in):
Wait a minute...I think Joel was in this band once.

--I wake up Monday morning and realize I've completely forgotten to do a HUGE report, and so I have to rush to get it done and turned in FOUR DAYS LATE.

--Because I was spending so much time fixing the first blunder, I miss the deadline for a report that was due that same morning. So I complete it and turn it in late.

--Then after turning two reports in late, I have to email my boss and apologize for working too many hours this pay period. You see, anything we work over 37.5 hours needs to be noted as comp, and because they don't want us taking 6 straight months off, we're not allowed to accrue more than 10 comp hours in a pay period. And if we do and seek prior approval we can earn more, but not more than 20. Well I had to email my boss and say, "Sorry about those 22.5 comp hours I earned. Oops."

--So I think the worst of it was over for Monday, until I almost ran out of gas. I was panicking and traffic on Frederica Street was ridiculously busy, and apparently there's only ONE gas station on the busy part of Frederica Street so I'm praying that the fumes I have left will inch me another mile or so to the Shell. And it does.

--Because I'd taken the rest of the morning off in an attempt to not accrue even more comp time, I looked at my phone only to realize I had about 30 emails that had piled up and needed responses. So I get the gas pump going and get back in my car to try and get some of those emails done. Suddenly, a woman starts banging on my trunk, because the gas pump had not only filled my tank up, but was also soaking the car, the parking lot, and everything around it with gas. I jump out of the car, slip in the huge puddle of gas, soak the bottom half of my pants with gas, drop my cell phone in it, and am still unable to get the pump to stop. When I did stop the pump, I notice that I have pumped almost $30 of gas all over everything. Including myself. The woman who helped me said the same thing had happened to her at the same pump a few days earlier. She retrieved the manager who said if I would please move my car, he would hose it off. I insisted he do something about it, and he gave me a free $6 car wash to help get the gas off my car. Gee, thanks.

--Smelling of gasoline and realizing my cell phone case has soaked up the smell and will never be usable again, I head off to my evening work event. Apparently there was a glitch in my GPS--that glitch may or may not have been user error--and because I was engrossed in my audio book, I didn't realize it had taken me TWO HOURS in the WRONG DIRECTION. And to a street that ended into a lake. I mean, the street resumed on the other side of the lake, but what was I supposed to do?? I don't have one of those cars that turn conveniently into boats.

I wish I'd been given a sign.
And that was just Monday. Other things that have happened:

--I overslept.

--A dress I planned on wearing to my staff meeting yesterday--which was clean--had some sort of questionable material stained all over it. It looked like gorilla glue, but I didn't want to jump to conclusions at 4am, and frankly, I didn't have time to because I had to search for something else to wear and get on the road.

--I missed my exit not once, not twice, but three times en route to my staff meeting. There was also so much construction--and weird construction--that it made me think I'd mess up and was driving on the side of the highway that was closed. But, no, no. The road crews had us driving on the shoulder, because the entire highway was closed.

--I thought I overslept, but apparently I didn't because I got to Frankfort 45 minutes too early. And when your wake-up call is 3am, 45 minutes is like a month.

--I ate four pieces of pizza and Arby's yesterday. (This hex includes over-eating.)

--I yelled at Joel for no apparent reason two nights in a row.

Outta my way. No, SERIOUSLY.

--I can't freaking sleep.

--I spilled ice water all over me and Sharla at lunch. It was hot out, but not hot enough to want to go the entire day soaked.

--I showed up to visit schools not only on the first day of school--which is crazy busy and the contacts look at you like, " know what you can do for me? Leave me alone," but also during bus pick-up. So my car got blocked in, and I had to stand and wait until all of the buses loaded and pulled away in the 95 degree heat at three.different.schools.

So, many times over the past couple of days, I have said, "I'm done. I'm going back to bed until this hex is broken." But I haven't given up yet. I'm taking Friday off and using this three day weekend to unwind and hit the reset button. Next week will be better. I know it will. Because the Universe told me it will...

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Just F***king Fobulous

No, No, that's not a typo. I meant to type fObulous. You see, recently, my company, decided we need to take every measure imaginable to be a secure steward of the private information of our clients. Now, I don't personally work with clients, but some people who work at my job do. But still, I have to go through all of the security measures too.

The first one was having to go through federal security clearance by writing down every place we've ever lived, the names and numbers of every neighbor we've ever had, every job we've ever had, every school we've attended, every car we've ever driven, everyone we've ever dated, slept with, or thought we might have a slight crush on, everything we've ever eaten, every time we've ever sneezed and what we were wearing at the time, and every time we've ever gone number two and what color and consistency it was. They also took fingerprints, mug shots, height, weight, BMI, shoe size, pant size, ring size, and length of our second toe on each foot.

My security paperwork
 During all of this, there were stirrings that we should be scared that something they find out like you once peed your pants because you puked too many times would mean that we were no longer employed at this particular establishment. Then someone who actually knows what the hell they're talking about told me not to worry that no one had been denied security clearance and especially hadn't been fired. But then I was told that they are, in fact, beginning to contact every person you put on your clearance paperwork to make sure you're not a complete effing train wreck. This has me a little freaked out, because not only are the people I put on there going to say that I am a complete train wreck who takes down every small village in my path, but also because I made up half of the people I put on my paper work. Joe Schmoe never lived next to me on Brentwood Drive and his number is definitely not 867-5309. (Note: In case the feds are reading this, that's a lie. No one on my paper work is made up. I just thought this bit was funny the first time I used it. Sorry, Mr. Obama, I won't crack that joke again. But now it lives in internet infamy and will be giggled at for centuries. Who's got the last laugh now??) (Other note: Probably STILL the federal government.)

Then the real bomb dropped last week when we had a meeting in Frankfort. We were informed that, from this point forward, we must carry around a fob that will give us a new code every minute. We must input this code into our computer, or we will be locked out. Let me tell you why this is a problem for me.

Fob and badge. Together they succeed,
together they get lost in my sh*t.
We were also given badges to get in and out of our buildings several months ago, and mine have--at time of publish--been replaced three times. I lost one. I'm pretty sure that one still exists somewhere in my property but its whereabouts are forever unknown. And one was sold with my car. Realizing I'd sold my security badge for a the low-low price of $2000--because the value of my car was at least $6,000 by my estimate and everyone said I was silly to think it was worth that, and they even scoffed at me when I said I was going to price it at $3500. Every car buyer in town jumped at it when I priced it for $2500, and it quickly sold for $2000. Days later, after the transfer, I went to pay the taxes on the blue book value of the f***ing thousand dollars. So I refuse to say that I took a five grand hit on my car, but rather, like to think of it as selling my picture off my badge for the low price of $2000 and throwing in the car because I'm a good person--I contacted the buyer on multiple occasions, and she would never call me back or drop my badge off. I'm convinced she's saving it for when I'm famous, then she'll make a financial fool of me for the second time in my life.

So not only am I afraid I'm going to lose this fob and have to pay my company a million dollars to have it replaced, but I'm also scared that I'm simply not smart enough to use it, and thus they'll discover my incompetency and simply quit submitting my paycheck realizing I'm too dumb to notice.

Me, Destiny, and Jo graced the IT guys with our collective presence last week when we had to be trained to use our fob. I hold a belief that IT guys have boring lives jobs, but that could be completely unfounded. Much like the belief that someone who drinks as much wine as me is considered an alcoholic. But I am positive that we rocked those IT guys' worlds. In an effort to cover up our fear of being too dumb to continue to be employed by the state of Kentucky, we spent almost a full hour in the IT office making complete fools of ourselves, and generally cracking the guys up. We needed no less than three explanations as to the difference between passwords and passcodes. We refused to follow directions, thus making them have to repeat themselves about 100 times, and we were pretty much preoccupied by making each other laugh the whole time.

This is what Dee did while she was supposed to be paying attention to our fobbing lesson.

At one point, I questioned, because I'd heard this rumor, if the fob tracked us wherever we were going. One IT guy said absolutely not and even if it did, they didn't care where we were, which I know isn't true because if people didn't care where I was and what I did, my phone would never ring, no one would read my blog, and my mom wouldn't think I was dead if she hadn't heard from me in 5 minutes. Also, I'm pretty sure our bosses care we were are because we're being paid to be in a certain place 37.5 hours a week. The other IT guy, when asked--because I insist on polling the audience--said at any given minute, the government could run a report and figure out exactly where each of us is. This is really scary, because I don't really like that someone gets to know sometimes I spend the better part of an hour in the bathroom, sometimes I sneak to Pizza Hut and eat an entire pizza by myself in the dark parking lot, and that I have been spotted in Rue 21 more than once. So I've decided I'm going to start leaving the fob in weird places where no one will mess with it--like the janitor's closet at one of my schools, in a mailbox of a home that's for sale, or in my state representative's trunk--so that if the government decides to track me, they'll think something far more entertaining is going on than what actually is in my life which is usually that yes, I am at the Pizza Hut buffet for the third time this week.
Let me save you a report.
This is where I'll be.

But that gave us a great idea. And by us, I mean Jo, but we now all act as one. We are going to start taking pictures of our fob in funny, random, or exciting places and sending the pictures to our staff with the subject line "Where Have You Been Fobulous Lately?" The IT guys found this pretty funny, until I announced--way too loud--that I was going to take a picture of mine between my butt cheeks because that's both random and funny, and they threatened to take my fob and have me escorted out immediately.

Jo is busy being fobulous in Cali
So my charge is to not lose my fob, try really hard to remember how to use it, and apparently to keep it out of my orifices. I can't promise that I will succeed in all or any of these, but I will have a pretty damn good time taking pictures of it in fobulous places. I just hope the IT guys never do a scan of email, because I don't actually like it when people other than Jo and Destiny see pictures of my naked bum.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Dreams of Reality

 Recently, over a few glasses of afternoon wine, my girlfriends and I discussed the image we'd had of ourselves as almost thirty-somethings and where we actually are in our lives. I thought this was quite interesting, because none of us were living the lives we thought we'd be living at this point. But, we wondered, is it better? Worse? Or just unexpected?

Also, in my dreams, I was a cute preg Asian lady
If you had asked me when I was 12, 15, 18, or even in my early 20's, if I thought I'd someday be 29 years old, unmarried with no children, working for a not-for-profit agency promoting higher education, and living in Owensboro, KY, I probably would have answered with some colorful four letter words.

Why did this image come up when I
googled 'modern working woman?'
I just...there are no words.
But, the question is, where did I think I would be? I can remember imagining my life as a teenager and young adult--hold the effing phone. Am I no longer a young adult? When the hell did that happen?--and having two distinct ideas of what my life would be. The first one was living in a big city, working for some cutting edge agency, possibly in advertising or as a writer at a fashion magazine. Every day, I'd wear some ridiculously fashionable dress, stilettos, and have my cell phone (those totally didn't exist in my fantasies) constantly glued to my face talking about the upcoming deadlines I had to meet, or better yet, tell my staff to meet. This fantasy was akin to Samantha in Sex and the City, only with fewer curse words and bedfellows.

I don't understand. You're not Asian in all of your dreams?

The other image was being a happily married working Mom. Hustling my kids out of the house in the morning to rush to my job as a counselor, where I could leave if one of my six children got sick at school or needed to come home from daycare because they missed their working mommy a little too much. Relieving the nanny, I'd stroll into my large, beautiful home in a quaint town to cook dinner and wait for my hard-working husband to get home from his equally busy and glamorous job. (Plus tell me why the most disturbing part of this blog so far is the fact that I thought someday I'd want to cook???)

Let's talk about where my life really is. At 29, I'm almost a year into a relationship with a wonderful man/business-owner. At this point, we're not so close to the marriage dream. And although we I want children badly, things keep ringing through my mind like, "well I don't want to be knocked up when we go to Florida in Sept/celebrate Destiny's birthday in December/celebrate my 30th in February/celebrate Jo's bday in May/during the summer/on weekends/on holidays/on days that end with y." I work for a non-profit agency that gives me 15 hour days and months worth of 6-day work weeks. While I'm comfortable on my salary and in my career, it definitely doesn't afford for ridiculously fashionable dresses (hell, I'm flying if I don't wear the same outfit every day for a week!), stilettos, high-rises in New York, or huge houses with bedrooms that sleep my six fictional children. We live in the town we both grew up in and find joy in grilling dinner at the farm or watching movies in bed most nights.

I wouldn't give this guy up!
And it really makes me wonder would I be happier had those dreams become my reality? Would I feel fulfilled? More exciting? Or would there always be something missing? Would I always wonder what life would be like if I lived closer to home or did important work rather than lucrative work?
Perfectly happy in this life

My guess is that's the eternal question. Where could I be? Where would I be? I do know that had I moved to a big city after I graduated college and sought a job at a fast-paced, cutting-edge agency or married young and birthed six children right away, I definitely wouldn't be the person I am today. I never would have found passion in higher education and outreach, I never would have met and fallen in love with Joel, I'd never get to have slumber parties with Jaxon or see his Christmas plays, my family wouldn't be a five-minute drive away, and I never would have met half of the friends who mean the world to me now. So, while it's fun to think about the woman in stilettos working in an office with all windows or the woman feeding organic chicken to her yup-lets, when it comes to reality, I'm perfectly happy right here at home.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Happy National Best Friends Day!!

In honor of National Best Friends' Day--honestly, guys, I heard on the radio it was TODAY, August 5th, but now that I've googled it, the interwebs is saying it's June 8th, August 1st, or August 15, but whatev, I heard today, so here goes--I'm going to give shout outs to my OSOs. I'm thinking about honoring each of these awesome people in a post this week, so I've confined myself to one line each. (Update: I can't do that. I'll just try to keep it brief.)

*In no particular order*

Leslie and Shannon--these girls are essentially one person. They finish each other's sentences and speak a secret language. But, I know when I need a girls' night, these girls are on it. And that we'll have more fun and laugh more than any other night of our silly lives.

Megan and Brandi--again, we were a three gal show. These girls stood in my office and helped me not go crazy for two and a half years. Somehow when we worked at the worst place ever, we made the best friends ever.

Elizabeth--she's someone I can talk to about everything that's going on--good or bad. She identifies with my ups and downs like no one else can. I am so lucky to have this beautiful person in my life.

Erin--E used to live down the street from me, and we spent the better part of a winter and her first year of marriage sitting on her couch eating cheese balls, chocolate chip cookies, and drinking red wine while watching TV. Sometimes, she's the only one who gets it.

Sharla--Few people in this world have shot up so quickly on the best friends list. I met her and knew right away we would be part of each other's lives forever. She does more for others than most people I know. And we can freaking party like rock stars when we have the energy.

Trina--I remember seeing her for the first time and thinking, "there's a cute girl in a fashionable dress living in Owensboro, and I don't know her, how'd that happen?" Whether it's impromptu weekend trips, coffee breaks, long walks, or just sitting on her couch with our faces in our phones checking our facebooks, just being around her makes me happy.

Jo--when I need a real, honest, no-nonsense perspective, I call Jo. She'll tell me like it is and even make me laugh while she does it. Sometimes til I pee my pants. She's basically a certified therapist without the office. And one word about this girl: perfect. 

Destiny--this girl is my sister from another mister. She knows my inner-workings and loves me anyway. She makes me laugh and motivates me in ways no one else does. I can talk to her about anything, literally anything, and if we need each other, the hour between Owensboro and Bowling Green feels like a ten minute drive. 

Carrie--I have known this girl since I was 11, and as an icebreaker, she hit me in the back of the head with her cello bow. She is the one person who knows everything about me and never needs a back-story to what's going on. When my parents got divorced, she laid in bed and cried as hard as I did. She's been there through it all.

Jamie--I never know where to start with Jamie, because our friendship means everything. She's known me since I was born, but in the last four years has known me better than anyone else. We're each other's non-marital soul mates. Like we have some sort of unspoken connection, we know when each other is hurting, we feel each other's pain, and can count on each other to listen when no one else can. We stay up all night talking, laughing, and crying when we're together. And God is smart enough to not put us in the same city, because together, we are the perfect woman.

CD--Not just a man's best friend, but mine. He will recharge me and comfort me unlike anyone else. And there's something heart-warming about someone who is so excited to see you when you get home. 

My bros--what can I say? I love those boys.

My Grannie Annie--the woman can listen for hours. And never once judges that I haven't asked how she's doing. She thinks I'm her "poor baby, poor baby" when I need it, and her "beautiful, smart, loving" granddaughter when I need it. And I'll always, always need her.

My mom--always a girls' best friend. She's completely irreplaceable and, although I make fun of her all the time, I can't imagine my life without her and never want to know what that's like. Because, sometimes, a girl just needs her mommy. And when I do, she never lets me down. 

Joel--the love of my life. The man who surprises me with the ability to help me keep everything in perspective when I'm falling apart. He is the one person who I can tell my deepest thoughts to as I'm falling asleep, and he'll still love me unconditionally when we wake up. I love this man with everything I have, and although he knows I need my time with the girls, could spend every single second with him. 

Casi--everyone needs someone in their corner, and I'm smart enough to think I deserve to be my own biggest supporter. Luckily, I have amazing friends and family, but when all else fails, I have me. And, I gotta tell you, that Casi Clark girl is really something.