Monday, August 31, 2009

Oh, My Life is Changing Everyday

Here is a blurry photo of Coadster making a face taken by Stinky.

I'm always hesitant to sing the praises of my girls too loudly on this here blog, for fear that tomorrow one of them will hold up a liquor store with a shotgun, or I'll find they're growing weed in the back of our walk-in closet, or they'll start getting creepy plastic surgery and decide they want to get pregnant with 8 babies at the same time. But what the hell. I'm always living on the edge anyway...And falling off and climbing back up, only to fall off again. At least I know my way around it.

Coadster and her friend on the way to a football game on Friday.

When my girls were first born, I had such high hopes for their lives. I was going to do everything in my power to make their childhoods so much better than mine. I would learn from my parents and my aunt and uncle's mistakes in hopes that they wouldn't have to go through half the shit that I did growing up. Of course, I couldn't have imagined the accident, the illness, the divorce, the tornado and them living in two different houses where the rules weren't the same. I also couldn't have imagined how well they would adjust to it all.

It's not at all that we haven't had our run-ins or disagreements, but they both have turned out surprisingly well-adjusted. They're in sports, they don't skip classes, they both do community service, they are respectful, and neither one of them has even once asked for plastic surgery or the chance to have 8 babies at once. I know. Shhhh! All of that could change tomorrow.

Coadster and her friend made their assigned freshmen wear these t-shirts they made for freshmen wake up day for cross country.

One of my Churlita'isms that I beat my daughters over the head with way too often is, "You can't help what happens to you in your life, but you can help how you deal with it and what you learn from it." I'm happy to say that so far, my girls seem to have dealt well with everything that has been thrown at them. Of course, if you see their mug shots in the paper at any point, feel free to snicker at me behind my back. I was just asking for it by writing this.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

And For a Minute There, I lost Myself, I Lost Myself

Here is a sandcastle that they built downtown to celebrate the college students coming back to town.

Well, things didn't happen quite the way I thought they would on Friday...But what ever does? Basically, a friend of mine was having a rough week. I had been trying to help her through it via email during the week. By Friday night, I decided she needed some escapism, so I brought her a book and I stayed until about 8:30 talking to her. I wasn't home for even an hour when Stinky got back from the football game. So, I didn't get as much reading done as I wanted.

When I was in my teens and early twenties, I was sure I was going to die young. I guess, technically now it's too late for that, but all those years of living like I could die at any time, have had some positive influences on me. I used to wonder what would be most important to me if I died right at that moment. Would I be upset that I didn't read enough books, or have enough stuff or run enough miles or have tons of money? Not really. I decided that ultimately I would care most about my relationships with the people who mattered to me and the adventures I experienced. So, I'm sure I'll have time to read my book this week and hopefully I helped a friend when she needed me.

Here is my favorite bartender and his adorable wife.

I went out on Saturday night and had a great time. A lot of my friends were out and G.'s old college buddy was in town.

He was a great sport about hanging out with all of us loud, bawdy dames, and was even okay with the obsessive photo taking. I have a feeling when he left town, he appreciated the hell out of being alone in the quiet of his car without women screeching at him or giving him seizures with all the camera flashes though.

Don't worry. This pic is totally staged.

I stayed out pretty late for me, but I said goodbye to all the fun kids who were on their way to an afterhours party. I'll never be able to keep up with the cool kids, and that's just fine with me. I don't want to waste my Sundays trying to recover from Saturday night. Who knows what will happen to me, and I do want to spend at least some of the time I have on this earth reading books, after all.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Soul Radiation in the Dead of Night

Here are some cat tails.

I'm delighted at the prospect of tomorrow night. The girls will be in Dubuque at a football game, leaving me blissfully alone in my apartment. My detailed plan includes an evening of running, heating something up and eating it without really paying that much attention to what it actually is, doing some superficial cleaning and then reading my book and listening to a DVD full of new music a friend of mine recently gave me. So it is now that I'm old and boring...

I remember other Friday nights in different places that weren't the least bit boring. For a while I lived on 24th and Harrison Street in San Francisco in an apartment overcrowded with Europeans all living here illegally. I slept on a mattress on the floor in a room I shared with an English girl named Susan. We worked together and I was desperate for a cheap temporary place to stay. We didn't know each other very well. She was really pretty, but also a little distant. She came and went with different men. One night I woke up to her and one of these men sitting naked on her mattress on the floor, snorting lines of coke from a mirror. I pretended to be asleep, because I had no idea what I'd say to them. The year was 1986, so I'm guessing it was a pretty typical experience back then.

I used to work almost every Friday night at Great Midwestern through most of the 90's. Toward the end of my marriage, while I was marking time waiting to be able to move out of my house, I tried to make sure I got home long after my ex went to sleep. It was so much better than trying to avoid each other at home when the girls weren't awake. I usually hung out in the closed coffee shop/ice cream place reading books and listening to music. Every once in a while, one of the college students who worked there would talk me into going out with them. Going to the bars always seemed like traveling to a foreign country after hanging out with my young daughters all day.

I spent a Friday evening in 1999 trying to keep my daughter from pulling an IV out of her arm. She had been unconscious for a couple of days. The IV was pumping three different kinds of antibiotics into her body, just to make sure at least one of them worked. Without them she would be dead. The doctors told me it could be at least three days until we knew if she would be okay and able to respond to anything. I kept trying to calmly talk to her while holding her arms down. "You have to just leave it alone, sweetie. I know it feels weird, but you can't pull it out. It's helping you get better. I'm sorry. I love you," I said. I had been saying something similar to that on and off since they set us up in our room.

"I love you too, Mommy," she responded. It was the first thing she had said to me since before she was in the hospital.

When I lived in Los Angeles in 1988, I worked in the juniors department at the Glendale Galleria and sold overpriced clothes to young, D-list starlets. I used to have to take the bus home. Apparently, Friday nights were full moon nights for public transportation. (actually, noon on Sunday was probably a full moon experience on most LA buses too) One night I sat next to a tired looking woman wearing nursing whites. Directly across from us, a man in his twenties scooched to the edge of his seat and leaned over, "Hey, are you a nurse?" he asked the tired woman. She wisely ignored him and stared intently out the window. "HEY!" he yelled. "I SAID, are you a NURSE?!" he asked again. He was ignored again. "Well, if you are a nurse, can I have a shot? No. If you're a nurse, can I have an enema?" He continued to ask for an enema with the persistence of a two year old until the tired woman and I both reached our stop in Eagle Rock.

So it is now that I am old and boring... There are so many other Friday nights from other lifetimes, that have made me extremely happy about that.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

'Cause What You See You Might Not Get

Coadster giving herself bunny ears for some reason.

Well, I did get the pain with that migraine after all. Luckily, my migraine meds took care of it after a while, but I'm still all different kinds of wonky, so you get another random post. Come on, you know you all love bullet points....Or how about numbers instead?

1.) I'm on this new kick where I want to try and get a little more serious about doing actual writing on here. I know I go through this a couple of times a year, and then I lose it and then I find it again. So, if I start posting weird shit that doesn't seem like it's at all about my mundane daily activities, just remember you've been warned.

2.) Somebody found my blog by Googling, "shoveling shit in Iowa" and now I'm thinking I should change the name of my blog to that. It would be way more accurate than Churlish Figure.

3.) I recently started reading W. Somerset Maugham's The Razor's Edge at a friend's suggestion and I'm really enjoying it. I don't know how I missed it in my younger years, but I'm so glad I'm reading it now.

4.) I ran into a woman friend last week and she was telling me about how she's been in a really bad relationship. She said she knew the guy was a jerk and treating her badly, but she couldn't get over him. She decided to talk to her therapist about it, who just happens to be originally from England. After she told her the whole story, her therapist said, "He sounds like a total fucking wanker. Why are you shagging him?!" My friend said once her therapist put it that way, she had to wonder the same thing. I guess some vernaculars are more powerful than others...

5.) This is my first full work week in I don't know how long. I forgot how fast time flew when I don't have the luxury of vacation time. How the hell do I get everything done when I'm at work five days a week again? Yeah, I know. Wah, fucking wah.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Don't Be Shocked by the Tone of My Voice

If you look closely, you can see people kayaking off in the distance. Pretty.

Okay, kids. I started feeling a little dizzy walking home from work today. I ran, and it was fine, if not uncomfortably humid. Then when I got home, I got super tired and stooooopid. That along with the dizziness can sometimes mean I'm getting a migraine. I never actually got the pain part of it, but every once in a while I get all the other symptoms without the actual headache.

So, I guess this is all an elaborate excuse not to write a real post tonight. Trust me, you'll all thank me for not trying to write another one of my famous, bullshit, bullshit, bullshit posts. I think we'll all be better served by me trying to sleep off my phantom migraine and come back tomorrow and try it again. Night, night.

Monday, August 24, 2009

I'm Not Containable

Friday was the perfect last vacation day of the Summer. It was cool and rainy most of the day. I stayed in and got a bunch of projects done. In fact, I didn't leave my house once the whole day. Apparently, I needed some time to myself. Later in the evening, Coadster and I watched a bunch of Dexter episodes. I love that serial killer with a heart of gold.

Saturday night I went out with some friends for karaoke. I had to drive Stinky to a party and back, so I was the sober girl of the group. After karaoke, we went back to the Dublin where a VERY drunk off-duty bartender showed up.

At first, I thought I was going to stick around and give people rides home. Then I remembered two things: 1.) I'm too much of a loser to stay out until bar close, and 2.) my friends don't really go home after bar close anyway.

I was quite the trooper though. I stayed out until the drunken off-duty bartender yelled out "Laaaaaast Caaaalllll" (albeit, not with half as much flair as my girlcrush does it) and the girl standing next to him promptly fell off her perch. I took it as a sign to get on home.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

And I Got Nothing to Lose but Darkness and Shadows

Here is part of a leg.

Sometimes I think everyone I know can be defined by just one of their parts. It's like when I turned our old TV set on as a kid. At first all I would see was one dot of light in the center of the screen, but then it grew and showed me the whole image. That's how I recall people too. My first mental image is that one representative part.

When I think of my mom, I always hear her voice first. Because she was a painter, you'd think it would be her hands, but it's not. It isn't even her normal speaking voice, it's the one she used when she was being silly and smarting back to the television or to my talking dolls to make me laugh. I don't think I can recall her normal speaking voice anymore, but I can still hear her making wise cracks.

It's similar with Coadster, but with her it's her singing voice. When I think of Coadster, the first thing that comes to me is her humming or belting out a song - which is pretty much how it happens in real life. When I walk into the house, I usually hear her before I see her.

With my uncle it's his eyes. All his anger and rage came out through his cold, blue eyes. When I was younger, I looked there first to see if he was on a tear or not. If they were bloodshot and looked like they were an inch away from exploding out of his head, I knew to make myself invisible. There was a storm a'brewin'.

With Stinky it's her eyes too, but for much more pleasant reasons...Okay, except for when she was a baby. She used to sleep 20 hours a day and wake up at 2 am. Since Coadster only slept eight hours a day, and woke up around 6 am, I was exhausted for those 4 hours in the middle of the night I spent with Stinky. She used to look at me, unblinking, with gigantic brown eyes and I was sure she was an alien and on her planet, they were nocturnal. Now, I think of Stinky and am instantly reminded of her big, beautiful brown eyes that can make me want to give in to her whims during my weaker moments.

I wonder if when I get very old and my memory fades and I can't see or hear, my friends and family will start to fade into their own representative parts in my cobwebbed brain. Then it will be like turning off the TV and the whole images of everyone I've ever known will recede into that one dot of light. Click.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

To Walk to School Shes Got to Get Up Early

The girls on their way to school this morning.

So, all this talk of the first day of school made me think of a little exercise. I'll try to remember as much as I can about my own first day of kindergarten and the time surrounding it when we lived in Phoenix. Ready? No? Me neither. Okay. Here goes:

Today I finally get to go to school. Billy says I won't like it, but I think he's still mad about last Winter. One night we left the hose on and it was cold enough for it to turn into ice. We had never seen ice before, except for what came out of the freezer. Me and Billy's friend Woody slid all over it, but Billy had to go to kindergarten and it had already melted by the time he came back home. I think I will like school. I want to make friends and color and do activities like the kids do on Sesame Street. I can even already spell my first name.

Last year everyone went to school but me. I stayed home with Priscilla who went back to the Reservation on the weekends and stayed with us during the week while my mom worked. Priscilla was supposed to watch me, but she never did. After my mom went to work, she wouldn't talk to me or even look at me sometimes. Billy was only gone in the mornings, but that was a long time. Sometimes when I was lonely, I would go to the neighbor house where there was a mom who didn't work. I used to sit by her dryer vent outside and smell the clean laundry and listen to the game shows on her TV and pretend that I lived there.

This year will be different. Priscilla doesn't come to our house anymore. One Monday morning, we went to pick her up from the bus station and she wasn't there. So, now I go to Mrs. Hernandez's house after kindergarten and she will watch me.

When I go to school, a lot of the kids are crying. They don't want their mom's to leave them. They are like Billy and don't like school. My teacher is old, but very nice. We sit at small tables and I ask another little girl who is sad if she wants to be my friend. She smiles at me and we sit at the same table. Her name is Sheila. She tells me she is Irish and that means she has green blood. I forget that I am also Irish but my blood is red, until later when my mom reminds me of it.

Sheila walks part of the way home from school with me. Billy goes all day, so I am still the only one at Mrs. Hernandez's house in the afternoon. She asks me how my day was and makes me food. I eat soup in her living room while I watch the kids on Sesame Street. I think I like school. I don't feel lonely like last year and I don't have to sit by the neighbor lady's laundry vent to feel better.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Hope You Make a Lot of Nice Friends Out There

Stinky on her first day of preschool - which just happened to be Coadster's first day of kindergarten too.

So, tomorrow is Coadster's very first day of her very last year of high school. Holy shit! How did that happen? She is super excited about it and seemingly ready to kick ass. She's had cross-country practice for the last two weeks, so she's been hanging around the high school lately anyway.

Coadster on her first day of kindergarten talking to a girl she had been friends with since birth.

It's weird to think that next year, Stinky will be headed to school by herself. We're all pretty aware of how hard that will be for her. She and Coadster have always been very protective of one another. Our house seems to be the meeting place for many of the girls' friends and Stinky loves having all of Coadster's friends treat her like their little sister too. I have to admit, I've been happy that Coadster and her friends keep a close eye on Stinky at school too.

At the beginning of it all, and open to the experience.

So, I guess this is our last year of "business as usual". I told the girls I would drive them to school in the morning. I'm going to try really hard not to get all sappy and dorky, but I'm not promising anything. Oh yeah, there is a slight possibility (cough, cough) of a photo or two coming out of the experience.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Slow Change May Pull Us Apart

The little boy who is in love with Coadster in some cool superhero flashy glasses and one of my other neighbors egging him on.

I know it's pretty much Wednesday and I'm still blogging about Saturday, but I'm sure it will surprise exactly none of you that I'm a little slow on the draw in general.

On Saturday I was beat. I was tired and like I said a few posts ago, a little sad and I figured I just needed to stay home and regroup. In the late morning, I started my run up Rochester Street, when one of my neighbors opened her door and yelled at me. With my headphones on and my usual spacing-out, it was a wonder I even heard her. She wanted to let me know that our neighborhood party was that evening in her garage and the surrounding alley around 6.

I had been planning to stay home and be a big nerd and read and listen to music, but I've been really, really bad about socializing with the neighbors lately, so I figured I'd better show. Plus, it seemed that all of my friends and most of my family were at the State Fair that day, so if I did get lonely and want to talk to adults, it was my only chance.

My friend and neighbor, Stacy rocking the flashy glasses.

My girls and I showed up around 6'ish and ate some amazing food. I know I've said this a million times, but thank god my neighbors know how to cook and how to drink. There was everything homemade and wonderful that you could imagine. The main entree was pulled pork and beef sandwiches, but on top of that there was mac and cheese, tuna noodle casserole, egglpant parmesan and about a ton of different fresh marinaded veggies right out of their respective gardens. Mmmmm.

Around 7:30, both my girls needed rides to their friends' houses. I didn't drink one drop of alcohol the whole night, so I taxied them to their destinations and then went back to the party.

The little boy in the top photo was in the Summer day camp where Coadster worked and he apparently fell in love with her. After I got back, he was relentless, asking me when or if I thought Coadster would be back. I told him I didn't think she'd be back by the time he left. He then asked me to take a picture of him in the special glasses and then reminded me about 5,845 times to make sure I showed it to her. It was really cute, until I was too tired for it, and had to head home. Don't worry. I made a big point of showing Coadster the photo and she thought it was adorable and then felt bad that he had missed her so much after she left. Poor little guy.

Monday, August 17, 2009

If I Could Make a Wish, I Think I'd Pass. Can't Think of Anything I Need.

Coadster looking a little annoyed at the beginning of our trip.

Sometimes I wonder why I do it. Is it really worth all of the hassle? All that running around, acquiring things and packing and shopping and forgetting stuff and shopping again. Then there's the driving and the getting lost, or not really getting lost but thinking I'm lost because the Mapquest mileage seems to be off by quite a bit.

Stinky knocking her elbow getting out of the teepee we found during out hike.

Then when we finally get there, we go through that transition period. The girls are suddenly out of their elements and their phones don't work, and there's no computer or friends to talk to and it's all a little bit disconcerting for teenage girls.

There's usually weird attitudes and meltdowns to contend with on the first day too. One kid always seems to want to do the exact thing that her sister just said she hated. I've been through it during almost every vacation, but I always hope we can skip that initial transition phase. It seems no matter what age they are, we still have to suffer through it.

The girls during our kick-ass hour and a half long hike.

Without even being aware of it, the next day things change. Everything is easier and the girls are so much more amenable. We're having actual conversations about books and music, instead of what some dumb boy at their school said or which girls are pregnant.

My daughters finally adapt their "guest" personalities - the ones they usually reserve for other people's parents. They take it upon themselves to help. They decide between themselves what activity they'll be willing to do. Suddenly, we're all going on long hikes and laughing and then cooling down at the beach.

Stinky stuffing herself with s'mores.

On the last night, we've all but forgotten the initial stress of the trip and try not to think about all the musty smelling clothes we'll have and the sand that will follow us back across the state line.

The girls all hopped up on sugar on our last night.

We make s'mores and we all get a little sugar crazed. It's okay, though. Because everything is hilarious and my girls are totally charming. I am in it and aware of it at the same time. This right here makes all the other stress worth it. It's always nice to be reminded that we can all hang out and have this much fun with each other. We're the entertainment and we don't need glowing boxes, or texting or social networking sites. Right then, we're enough.

My girls with my brother in Madison.

We ease back into civilization and home, by way of a visit with my brother in Madison. We wander around State Street and go to a Chinese buffet for lunch and the girls' phones are working again and Stinky goes on a texting rampage to make up for lost time. While we all look forward to going home and blogging and messaging and reconnecting with our friends, we're also glad that we got away from it all for a little while. The perspective is always worth the bother.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Ghosts Appear and Fade Away

Here is a weeping willow we saw on our hike while on vacation.

Maybe it's the time of year. I'm always weirdest in August. I seem to go through a kind of emotional molting every year about this time in order to gear up, or more accurately, brace myself for the Fall and Winter. Don't get me wrong, I love Fall and the early part of Winter. It's just that it's when a lot of the bad things have happened to me in the past.

I had a friend who had cancer twice in his life. The first occurrence was in high school and then later in his twenties. He was one of the first bone marrow transplant patients in Iowa, and he's still alive and kicking and stirring up shit in his forties. But once we were working and he was telling me he was feeling kind of sad and anxious and couldn't figure out why. He came up to me about an hour later and said, he finally figured it out. It was because it was March, and both times his cancer had occurred in the Spring.

It's like that for me too, but it always takes me a bit to figure it out every year. Duh. My mom died and Coadster and I got into our accident in October. Stinky had meningitis and my mom's birthday were both around Valentine's Day. So, this has always been a reflective time for me. It's not bad at all, it's just like everything is a little tinged with sadness. I'm not all morose, and contemplating going Goth or anything, I'm just more of my quiet, less social self this time of year. In some ways, it's probably good that I give myself (and those around me) a break for a bit.

That having been said, I had a lot of great experiences this week. The camping trip was wonderful. I'll go into more detail about that tomorrow. Then when we got back on Friday, I went to see Colin Hay at the Englert Theater with a friend of mine. The show was amazing and absolutely perfect for my frame of mind. "Overkill" could easily be my theme song around this time of year. I was surprised that he could still hit the high notes in all the old Men at Work songs too. His band kicked ass, and I found his wife extremely entertaining to watch dance around and whatever the hell else she was doing up on stage. If you get a chance to see him, I highly recommend it - especially if you happened to be in high school in the eighties and apparently remembered every song from a couple of albums. Ahem.

So, yeah. It looks like I'm back blogging and trying to sort out all of my shit in front of an audience... And how have you all been?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Lost Between Tomorrow and Yesterday

Here are some people fishing from far away.

I've been the worst, most selfish blogger lately. My excuse is that I'm on vacation and I'm getting the girls all ready for school and us all ready for our camping trip.

I'm not sure if I'll blog tomorrow. Then we leave for Wisconsin on Wednesday. I promise next week I'll be back to blogging and reading other blogs on a regular basis. RAWK!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Time Don't Matter to Me

Trying to take a respectable photo with a Yayhoo getting in the way of it.

This weekend was a weird thing...Or maybe I was the weird thing this weekend. I felt structureless for most of it. I've always loved that feeling. When I was a kid I used to pretend there was no time and try to stay up all night and read books or watch old movies and defy it all. As an adult it's not so easy, but this weekend I did my damnedest. I suppose it didn't help that I'm reading The Time Traveler's Wife.

Finally getting it right but realizing the top one is more fun.

I did go out for brief periods both nights. The only reason I did was because I had friends in from out of town. Actually, the guy on Friday wasn't a friend, but a friend of a friend. Both of my girls were out doing their own things, so I had exactly two beers and stayed out for a couple of hours.

This particular friend of a friend is also a good friend of that one guy I dated about a year and half ago. I introduced myself to him, and didn't once mention the guy I dated. About five minutes later, he called said guy and came back with the phone and asked me if I wanted to talk to him. Don't you think that's kind of odd? It wasn't a big deal. I don't have a problem with him, it's just that I haven't heard from him for at least six months, so it's not like we're buddies. I would never call the friend of a friend's ex-girlfriend (who I know) and tell her I met her ex and then ask him if she wanted to talk to him. Some boys are just funny.

Some friends taking the bicycle rickshaw home.

Saturday was kind of a bust. I did socialize and saw another guy I knew who was in town from Denver. We had a good talk, but I just really wanted to go home. I was in one of those moods where I wanted to lie around and read my book. Nerd.

Today I did a little of that book reading though. My girls were at their family reunion with their dad, so I had a beautifully structureless day. I woke-up and read and then ran and then went to my friend K.'s house and talked to her for a bit. I did go to the store, so I suppose that was practical. Then I read some more and my daughters didn't get home until almost 10.

I suppose tomorrow will end my wonderful streak. I have plenty of errands to run and things to take care of before we leave for our camping trip on Wednesday. It just helps to slow everything down for a day or two and pretend that there's no time or deadlines or a thousand chores to do every once in a while.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

And Babe, Don't You Know It's a Pity That the Days Can't Be Like the Nights

Here are some flowers on both sides of a fence.

So, yeah. Hey, things are going well here tonight. We finally finished up having Coadster's senior pictures taken. Whenever we get them in, I'll be sure to post some.

I know I just took a vacation, but I'm taking another one too. I'm off tomorrow and all of next week. It looks like it's supposed to rain all day tomorrow, so the plan is to run a few errands and then clean the hell out of my house. I think I might just stay home tomorrow night and read and/or watch movies with the girls.

On Saturday the girls are supposed to go to the Quad Cities with their dad for their family reunion. I don't have a lot planned for the day. It's supposed to get hot again, so I guess I'll have to wake up early and run before it gets up to 100 degrees.

Saturday evening, I'm supposed to go to a weird more casual wedding type reception in someone's backyard. Then my friend G. wants to go to karaoke again. I'll probably go watch, but I'm not quite sure if I'm in the mood to participate. I guess I'll decide when I get there.

What about you guys? Will you be running errands or running from the heat?

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Oh Heaven Restores You In Life

My computer is being kind of weird and won't let me download a pic on blogger right now. I'll have to wait until I get to work and maybe put something up.

Now that I'm back to work and getting up early, I'm also back to not sleeping enough. It's been a long time since I've had a week off, and the main thing I noticed was how different I am when I'm not sleep-deprived.

I'm sure I've written about this a hundred times before, but I'm just going to do it again. I have always had a hard time falling asleep. I'll be exhausted and the minute I lie down, my brain perks right up and it could be a few hours before it finally calms down again. A woman who works in my office likes to tell me that it's a sign of ADD. And I like to say, Um, duh. Once I finally fall asleep, I can sleep through earthquakes(and have). So, when I worked in bars and restaurants and didn't have to wake-up at the ungodly hour of 6:30, I was fine. Now, though? Now, I'm lucky if I get four hours of sleep a night.

It's been interesting to see the difference in myself last week when I got sleep and this week when I haven't had much. All my other ADD symptoms - the restlessness, the non existent attention span and spazzing seem to be caused by sleep-deprivation. I guess the real question then becomes; which came first, the sleep-deprivation or the ADD.

Monday, August 03, 2009

I Guess I'll Find Love, Peace of Mind Some Other Time

G. faking drama, but not really feeling it.

Saturday night we went out to celebrate with a friend. Her ex-fiance was getting married less than a year after they broke-up. She wasn't sad or mad about it. She just said it was weird. At first she thought she might stay home and chill-out, but D. and I convinced her she might just want to go out, so she didn't find herself stewing about stupid shit at midnight or whatever. We had a great girl night. There were a couple of guys with us, but for the most part it was us girls listening to cheesy music on the juke box, playing pool, dancing and laughing our asses off at our own expense. The guys who were there were giving us shit about playing Duran Duran and Hall and Oates. My excuse was that it was stupid, but really fun to dance to, and one of the guys replied, that he didn't dance so it was all lost on him. It hadn't occurred to me before, how much would be lost in most cheesy music, if you didn't want to dance to it.

G. with some drinking money all handy on her person.

Because it was that kind of night, we did some talking about relationships. One of the issues was whether a woman should ask a man out. A few of my girlfriends, who consider themselves feminists, thought the guy should either grow some balls or put on their big boy pants and ask the woman out. One of our guy friends who is in his mid-twenties disagreed. He said every person should create their own happiness. If we wanted to date someone, we should try to make it happen.

Of course, the big thing for me is my fear of rejection. In general though, I wait to see if the guy will ask me out first. If he doesn't, I usually lose my patience and ask him...Sure, I'm extremely awkward, with much stuttering and overuse of the word, "um", but I suffer through it. How about you all? Do you think it should be the man's, the woman's or should everyone just feel free to ask whomever they like out when they get the urge?

Sunday, August 02, 2009

If I Could Only Give You Everything You Know I Haven't Got

Here is a UNI panther.

Soooo, this weekend seems like it went on for months....In a good way, though. It was a great weekend. I had a lot of fun, I got to spend time with the girls, and actually got some stuff done.

Coadster and I went on our college visit to UNI. It was helpful for her in a lot of ways. She's so spoiled living in our college town. The campus sits right next to our downtown area and it's very convenient for students. At UNI, the campus is a ways away from the downtown and Coadster didn't like that as much. Their music education program is probably the best in the state, and unlike our music building, theirs didn't get ruined in a flood. We'll still go visit Iowa State as well as a few other campuses in the next few months.

The weird thing about the visit for me was that most of the outsides of the buildings looked the same. Going back there brought on this incredible feeling of loneliness. I don't remember being super lonely when I was a student back in the eighties, but it hit me so hard for the few hours we were there. It felt a little like if we walked too far off the campus, we'd find that the world just ended there. Like UNI was the last island somewhere in the middle of nowhere. Odd.

Here is our friend John ripping open my favorite bartender S.'s shirt. Always awesome.

I took the girls to their dad's house and went running when we got back into town. I had a few lovely hours to myself and then met people down at the Dublin at 9.

We had a great time and it just so happened they were having the West High class reunion of 1983 meet there. They had postponed their 25th high school reunion from last year because of the flood. I didn't go to school there, but I knew some of the kids from college. So, the fun was multiplied.

Here we are all sending/shoving our friend John back to Boston.

I tired to stay out as long as I could, but it had been a long day on top of a long week, and I needed to go home and rest. Hopefully, our friend John was sufficiently hung-over when he boarded his plane the next morning.