Thursday, April 30, 2009

BRAINPURGE

Hi kids! Gather around for another edition of Random Storytime with Kelly. Please excuse my improper usage of the English language, my brain is FRIED and I do not care today.

First up - OMG this WEATHER is DRIVING ME freaking CRAZY. I love cloudy days. I will be the first to admit this. I do not, however, love six of them in a row, and I do not love rain and moisture. I haven't even been in my living room to check the earthworm situation but I figure it won't matter until it's done being damp outside anyway.

Second up - Also driving me crazy is the swine flu mass hysteria. Good Lord, people. Misinformation travels fast these days. Yes, ok, perhaps it's a threat. But it's still just a version of THE FLU. If it mutates into being something untreatable, then I will worry. Maybe. But it is being blown way out of proportion by the media and hyperparanoid halfwits that, apparently, go to Target and Walmart and buy out all of their Purell (true story, according to one of my old Target peeps) because OMG WE'RE ALL DOOOOOOOMED.

Speaking of:



And that's all I have to say about that.

* * *

In other news, I am BEYOND stressed out and it is past my normal healthy stress level into my body is physically exhausted from the stress assault and I need to curl up and just sleep but, of course, I can't sleep, so the cycle just repeats itself. Oof. On the bright side, I had my annual review today finally and very good things were said and I felt all warm and fuzzy and almost started PostMS-ing (I don't know, you tell me. Why am I so flipping emotional? I blame the burnt out stress lelves) and getting all teary-eyed because while I may be a complete attention whore I get all shy and modest when good things are said about me. So... that made the end of my day go a little better. I'm hoping this week was just a freakshow anomaly and next week will go back to a normal level of busy wherein I DON'T want to end up in the fetal position every night. Just sayin'.

*SEGUE* (Remember, kids, it's not spelled "Segueway")

Our two interns are seniors at ISU, and one of them was all "omg you should come to senior portfolio night!" and I was all "omg warm fuzzies of course I will come to senior portfolio night!" and, thus, I went. I didn't stay very long, I went and looked at my two girls' portfolios (and consequently felt a pang of "I MISS DESIGNING WAAAHHHH!" even though mere hours before that in my review I was like "OMG, I DON'T MISS DESIGNING AT ALL!" So, go figure that one out. I swear I'm not bipolar) and ran into my two favorite professors, so that totally made my night. The first one I hadn't seen since graduation, and I turned around and was all OMG MICKELSON YAYYY and he gave me a hug and actually REMEMBERED MY FULL NAME. This is the guy that makes you attach your picture to a copy of your resume so he can remember you when called upon as a reference. After the preliminary "so, what has become of you/where are you at these days?" conversation, he does his pry-into-your-personal-life bit: "Who are you here with? Do you have a boyfriend?" and I'm all, "No, Mickelson, I'm still on track to die alone with a bunch of cats, but thanks for asking." God I miss his studios. Too much fun. I also ran into Deb, who is the prof who I swear up and down should hate me for being the worst student ever (I was right in the middle of a hardcore depression episode while I had her for a bunch of classes, and basically did jack shit the entire time with zero motivation) but she always seems so happy to see me, and she is just the super nicest person EVER. She was all, "oh we'll have to get together sometime" etc which made me feel like a rockstar cause I'm all "Squee! I'm a grownup! And my professors remember/like me!"

It was a weird feeling when I was leaving... like, I felt like an alum, for once. I mean, I've been back on campus a million times, but never in a capacity of coming back to an event that was so integrated into my course of study. (I went last year, too, I guess, but it didn't feel the same). Like I am for real a College of Design Alum and actually felt like it. Like a legitimate one. Like I belonged to that damn college for the first time. It was kind of awesome. I should have perhaps been less antisocial and talked to some of the other kids, ha.

Unrelated, as all things in this post are, I think my stomach is kind of peeved at the sheer volume of coffee-like beverages I've had this week. Okay, okay, I'll cut back. I guess. I shouldn't really be spending money on them anyway.

Lastly (I say lastly, but we all know how I can drag a post on for MILES), if you'll rewind a bit to the Weirdness Debacle of VEISHEA weekend... what the HELL people. He needs to quit texting me. I don't think I am willing to be nice much longer. I mean, fine. I let him apologize, now leave me alone. I do not want to hang out. I do not want to be besties. I don't actually want anything, except for you to leave me alone.

Either that, or I could decide to be vindictive after all, and toy with him then STOMP on him and be the bitch I've always wondered what it would be like to be. Because, really, it would only be fair by laws of karma to dish back what all the boys in my life have done to me. I mean, I'm forgiving, but I'm not a saint. It would be so easy... but no, I am better than that.

Which is why I will stick to "Leave Me Alone."

Nicely, of course.

* * *

AAAAaaaanyway, it's almost 9:30 and while I realize this is absurdly early, I am going to attempt to go to bed and fall asleep and stay asleep and not wake up until my alarm goes off. I am so, so glad it's almost the weekend. I'd be more glad for the short day tomorrow if it weren't for an after-work project that needs to be dealt with, but it involves taking home free stuff, so I'm okay with it.

BEDTIME, for real. Especially since I am enforcing a Coffee Ban on tomorrow.

Good night, Internets.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I Usually Hang Out in 5 to 8

So I was joking about a "Busy Scale" yesterday on Twitter, and I decided it would be fun if I completed it. I would have posted it last night, but my internet connection was utterly failtastic and could barely manage to load the login page.

So, without further ado, here is my average weekday sliding scale of Busy.

1. If I knew for sure what "twiddling" meant, I'd be doing it with my thumbs.

2. Checking email & phone with fervent OCD.

3. Turning a ten minute job into a thirty minute job to fill time.

4. Taking a lunch break and going home at 5!

5. Skipping lunch but going home at 5!

6. Not Leaving My Desk Today

7. DEEP BREATHS! DON'T PANIC!

8. Curled up in the fetal position

9. Bald patches from pulling my hair out. Mumbling incoherently to myself while rocking back and forth.

10. I have cracked, and need to be institutionalized.



Today is a 7.5

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Softball, Ice Cream, and Fiscal Responsibility

So, I think my midnight word purge did me a world of good. I haven't really had a chance to get back to my blog to update sooner, but I feel eight hundred times better than I did on Sunday. I mean, I'm still a little unsettled if I think about it much, but it's already starting to shift its way back to the latter parts of my brain in places that are relatively obscure. I'm hoping this trend continues until it vanishes entirely.

In other news, I discovered yesterday that there are, in fact, three paydays in the month of May. Can I get a FUCK YEAH! That means that I can get back on track financially without sodomizing my budget any further. Rent shall get paid, bills shall get paid, and I might even get to eat now and then. Hurrah!

Also: auto spellchecker is possessed. It's underlining half of words and words like "that" and "fact" that are in no way misspelled. What the hell? Odd. And a tad annoying.

I started the intermediate class of taekwondo on Monday. Holy damn. It's going to be freaking hard. It's also going to be freaking awesome. I'm probably going to need to put in some additional practice this time around (and no, as much fun as it would be, I'm not going to go around randomly kicking people's asses) and try to get/keep my butt in shape. Softball continues as well... it's so fun already. Some of the girls have been on my team in previous years and it's kind of like having temporary little sisters. My own sister wasn't that much younger than me so we were usually right around the same place in life, but these girls are about ten years younger, so it's kind of like having a much younger little sister, and it's kind of fun. Like, they look up to me instead of trying to compete with me. Also, I look like a rockstar to them, so I love that too. Now, if only the weather would cooperate. It was really cold and windy yesterday and kind of sucked. Soon, soon. Patience. Summer will be here before we know it, and then I'll bitch about how hot it is. (What? You know I will.) Not sure when MY softball league(s) start... yeah, I may have signed up for a couple teams, but it's super casual and slowpitch, so I'm not anticipating it will be that much of an extra deal. Plus, I have to learn how to even play slowpitch... I've never played anything but fastpitch, and while I'm getting older, I'm still young enough that I could still play it. The problem is, most other adults did not, in fact, play softball for as long as I did (I'm not sure quite at what age I started, all the way back in tee-ball, but it's probably fair to say that I've been playing for 15-20 years now) or would even take it as seriously as I do (did?), so the more casual and perhaps less strenuous slowpitch version is probably all that most people can do. God, I miss playing so much. It's like riding a bike, too. I was hitting some infield to the girls yesterday, and it was like I'd never set down the bat. I want to play so bad. It's almost a sign of defeat, having to play slowpitch instead, but, really, that's the only option, that or nothing at all. I'll stop whining now, I promise, I'm pretty sure nobody cares about my athletic endeavors... ;)

Also, I found a great new ice cream. It's a low-fat chocolate raspberry cheesecake sold in little 8-oz single serving containers and you can get them at HyVee FOR A DOLLAR. I've had my share of light and low fat ice creams in my lifetime, but damnnnnn this one is delicious and doesn't even taste like it's "half the fat of regular ice cream!" which in my book is a big win. Also, did I mention that it is a DOLLAR. I only bought two this time. I may need to buy out their entire supply next time I get groceries. Which will probably be like $10. Which equates to, like, 2 pints of Ben & Jerry's. Look at me, ma, I'm being financially responsible in the recession! (Or, to quote the Bad Idea Bears from Avenue Q, "You're on a budget! Buy in bulk!") (Repurposed to ice cream and not beer) (Ice cream > Beer).

Hmm, it appears to be a rather rambly night. I think I need to get myself to bed early tonight. I've been staying up too late and been too slow-moving in the morning. If this was winter, I'd be totally screwed. I would never get out of bed. Just knowing it's nicer outside gets me a little more awake in the morning. I think I've said this before, but even if I always scoffed at it, I really do think Seasonal Affective Disorder is a Thing, and I think it gets me more than I realize. BUT IT'S ALL BETTER NOW CAUSE IT'S SPRING! She says, as it snows tomorrow. *knock on wood*

All right, homies. I'm out. The sleep, it calls to me...

Monday, April 20, 2009

Ghosts & Memories

I may have lied earlier... this is all going to come tumbling out sooner than I thought. Mostly, I decided that it couldn't stay in my head anymore. I need to get it out so I can just be done with it once and for all. I apologize for how long this will undoubtedly end up being... and for any repetition, because some of it I wrote immediately after the fact, and some of it I wrote today, and I'm trying to put it all together to make sense of it.

To preface all of this... I don't really talk about old relationships. Perhaps because once all is said and done, I don't really even think about them, much. There's no point in revisiting the past. Once I'm over it, I maintain a "friendship" with the exes, in the loosest sense of the word. I don't really talk to them, but I don't work quite so hard to keep them out of my life. It just generally doesn't tend to matter one way or the other.

All past relationships have served a point, I'm sure. They've all made me who I am, I'm better and stronger for all of them, blah blah blah. Insert your plethora of relationship cliches here. I wouldn't take any of them back and I wouldn't change any of them. (I probably wouldn't ever say that at the time, but in hindsight, they were important in their ways).

There was one, though. One that had a bigger impact on me than anything else. If I'm a cynical bitch now, I can trace it back to this. I don't know if everybody has one of these, or maybe it's just me. That one ex that fucked me over hardcore and sent me through an emotional hell and messed me up really good. Maybe I was just young and stupid and it was a life lesson I needed, to just get my ass kicked and harden myself up a bit, I don't know. (That's what college is for, right?) But it took me a long time to get out of the dark place that immediately followed. Most of it has faded from memory by now, but it's not something that I escaped from completely unscathed. It changed me, I'm sure. But, like I said... looking back, now, I wouldn't change it. Maybe I'm an icy bitch that has a hard time letting my guard down... maybe this was why. Maybe I needed it to make me smarter and wiser. Maybe I've never really bothered to trace the connection before, but Lord knows it's there. It was significant and it was emotionally damaging and it was perfect and awful and stupid and real and it all seems so very long ago. Four years ago, it’s been now? It was a completely different time and place for me, and I'd managed to forget all about it.

Very few of my current friends probably know anything about it; I can think of about three people that I could talk to about it now that would remember exactly all the shit that went down. So, for the rest of you that don't know the details... I probably won't tell you. I just don't talk about it. It doesn't really seem worth bringing up. Yes, I am okay now. But for the longest time, I wasn't. And reliving all those memories is not particularly something I ever, ever want to do. I can think about it from a completely detached standpoint and be fine... if I get too into it, to where I can actually feel it again... God help me, I'd be a fucking mess. I got dangerously close to it this weekend but fortunately I think I stopped right before it really got to be painful again. Not soon enough to not be completely unaffected, but soon enough to save me from an emotional disaster. So maybe most of this won't make sense without the backstory, but it's more for my own sanity, anyway.

I don't really even know how to start, now. It's hard to explain. So much of it lives in my head in places that I know that nobody else on this planet ever understood. Nobody on the outside ever got it, and I don't expect that anyone ever will. I got hit hard and these things happen, but I know people thought I was being stupid for it, but they don't know what I knew. I've brushed it all under the rug, and I've moved on. Which is why I felt that I would be okay when things resurfaced this weekend. Maybe I'm not as strong as I thought, given how unsettled I am right now writing this, or maybe it's just delayed shock from having everything brought back into the light. It's not even something I can identify, what is bothering me. It's something unspoken that I can't put my finger on. I got home and scribbled it all out on paper the old-fashioned way, and now I am going through it again to make sense of it all.

This particular ex (I am not naming names, if you figure it out, congratulations, if you don't, it doesn't matter. Beyond this entry, I may never really speak of it again, so it will hopefully become irrelevant soon), I've seen him a couple times since then, never for very long. Mostly in passing. There was a slightly-extended encounter once or twice, and it made me angry that he was still able to get to me. The second time, I was very standoffish and probably bitchy, because his presence had startled me and I wasn't ready for it and I wasn't in the completely zen state about it like I am now. I knew he was still around the area; I ran into him at a grocery store a couple months ago, and it was possibly the most awkward thirty seconds of my life, and I quickly bolted. What do you say? I had nothing to say to him.

Friday night I get a most unexpected text message from him. It was nothing but a tentative "Kelly?" and it struck me as unusual. He's still in my phone; I knew who it was. I keep some numbers for the sole purpose of not getting blindsided if/when they contact me. Like this. The next text was to the effect of "I need to apologize to you sometime." Oh God, not this again. It wasn't an entirely new concept; he's said that before, and I brushed it off, because we were past the point of apologies and I didn't care and I didn't need to hear it anymore. When I needed to hear it was long ago, and it never came, so like all else, it just got buried into the past. Given the circumstances and everything else, I just assumed he was drunk somewhere... but then he called me. And he wasn't. He was completely sober. Which I think threw me off more than anything. I was unprepared for this. I was also unprepared for the way my body reacted with that old shiver down my spine. He shouldn't still have that power over me. I don't even remember most of the conversation, except he kept saying over and over that he needed to apologize and even though it was never going to be possible to make amends, he needed me to know he was sorry. And I believed him. He sounded... I don't know. Haunted. Something. Like he'd grown up and all that shit he'd done and said to people (not just me) was finally catching up with his conscience. I was speechless. He wanted to see me and talk to me... Mostly out of curiosity, I said yes. What could it hurt? I was 100% healed and okay and it was all way beyond over. Yet I wanted to know what he had to say. He sounded so serious. Almost desperate. He needed to apologize. Like I said - I never expected an apology, nor did I necessarily want one. Relationships end all the time. This one just happened to be so... charged. I'm not sure what we even ever really had in common, but we had a connection. At the time, I always felt like there was a piece of me that would never get over it. But I did. Honestly, I'd kind of forgotten all about it, and him. And yet, that call left me all out of sorts that night.

As I mentioned in my previous post, this weekend was VEISHEA weekend, but there is always a lull in activity around the middle of the afternoon on Saturday. Which is right about when he shoots me another message asking if I wanted to meet up. I figured I may as well get it over with. I braced myself for some severe awkwardness, took a breath, and decided there was no turning back now.

Why I voluntarily let those old emotional scars be ripped open again, for his peace of mind and his need to attempt to set things right, I don't know. I guess because I knew I was stronger than he was. I know that I will heal easily. He's got too many demons and will probably never be able to fight them all off. Which begs the question of why I even care, but that's not a question I'm even going to try to answer.

I didn't say much, which made the whole thing more awkward for him than for me, but so be it. I let him talk; I was content to listen. I tried to figure out what to say and couldn't. The whole thing was so very long ago; I didn't think it would bother me to dredge it all up again... but I guess I was wrong. The whole trainwreck of emotional damage... it sucked, and it sent me to a dark place, but I cam out of it stronger, smarter, less naive, and a hell of a lot less of a doormat. It hurt like hell but, in hindsight, I wouldn't change it. It helped make me who I am, and I like who I am, for perhaps one of the first times in my life. I know I've said that a million times already, but I can't emphasize enough how very true it is. It's very central to my being and to who I am and that I know I will probably never be as broken as I was then. Everything else that will happen to me, emotionally, I know I can handle. It will still suck and it will still be hard, but I know that I can always make myself whole again. This is important.

The conversation was very circular, and the same themes kept surfacing. He was sorry. So very, very sorry. I could read very clearly that he was sincere. All the shit he'd done and said to people over the last few years was haunting him. These were his demons now, not mine. I suppose I could have been vindictive; I pitied him instead. I healed, he hadn't. At the time, he didn't care. Or, maybe he did, but refused to acknowledge or deal. I've always known he was a bundle of trouble, but I couldn't reach him. The him that I knew had changed dramatically from when we started and finished, and I don't think either of us noticed. I did notice when he pulled away and I couldn't pull him back... but I didn't know what to do. I was helpless. Something happened; he was in his dark place, and he became a complete asshole and, even now, that he's pulling himself out of that... that's always going to be a piece of him. It can only stay dormant for so long, and he fears that.

He opened up to me, though. Probably the first time in years that he'd opened up to anyone. I saw him get close to breaking down a couple times, but he held it together (thank God, because that would have been even more awkward). He told me about the relationship that had fucked him up for all future relationships. That everything between us was in absolutely no way my fault - I, apparently, had been great and perfect, and too damn nice for my own good, and that was also, apparently, the problem. As I always sort of suspected, he admitted - he got scared. He was falling for me, and it terrified him. So he ran. He ran and avoided me and I was left holding the broken bits, utterly confused. I didn't let on to him how much he'd actually hurt me; my pride wouldn't let me, and he was torn up enough as it was. It wouldn't do anyone any good. The fact that I wasn't angry anymore, at all, actually made him feel worse. I didn't scream or yell or react, I just sat there and listened, and he could read nothing back in my eyes. Honestly... I was fine. I've been fine. It was him, now, that wasn't fine. There was nothing I could say that would let him let go of it, now. Maybe if he did, we'd both be free of it, for good.

He knows what he did. He knows how badly he handled things, how immature and awful it was. There was no good reason for the things he said and did and for everything that happened. He knows this. He confessed that all of this was one of his biggest regrets, because along with it, went our friendship. I feel like he was idealizing it, but we all remember things differently. We did talk a lot, when we'd started as friends; I didn't realize, though, how rare that was for him, to be able to talk to me so easily. And it was easy. There was no work to it. We connected, we fit. We had started off great together (which defied all logic, really); we balanced each other well, and God only knows what pulled us together in the first place, but oddly enough, it worked. Until, I think, he realized how much it worked, and he shut off, and sabotaged the whole thing. I feel now that it was probably all for the best, but back then, I'd really never been hurt quite so badly before, and it was a horrible time for me.

It's hard to recap all that he said, because while this was the first time he'd actually said it, it wasn't new. Everything aligned with the assumptions I'd eventually made; cementing the fact that I probably knew him better than either of us had thought. Even after all this time.

I had almost barely recognized him. I mean, he looked exactly the same on the outside. But he looked, also, so very lost and broken. Every once in a while in his eyes I could see what I remembered, and it only confused me, because I didn't know what to feel. Even now, that is what bothers me most today... those eyes are burned into my head. There was a lot in those eyes.... mostly pain, and regret, but if I looked hard enough, he became completely transparent and I could really see him. And I don't want to. I don't want to get pulled into the tragedy of emotion that lies back there. I don't know if escape is really even an option, now, but I don't want this. I want to rewind to the moment before all this happened, when it was nothing but calm waters under the bridge, and I was in a peaceful, blissful state of forgetfulness. Already, he's tried to call me again. I don't know what there is left to say now.

So what next? Now that’s all out there on the table? I don’t want either of us to keep hanging on to this, but I know he will. It becomes a burden for me, too, then. I guess I’m glad that this chapter can finally be closed, because he’s apologized and been forgiven, and it all needs to go back where it was – in the past. Can we be friends? I would like to think so. But I know he’s got other issues to deal with than me, and I don’t know if he can do it on his own… and I fear I may be the only one who can help him, that he would even try to talk to. But I don't know if I can. I don’t want to get too close again. And as I realized in being around him - there is a history and I know where my weaknesses are and it's thin ice to skate on. Who knows how long until that other side of him takes over again? I know that I wouldn’t let him hurt me the way I had let him do before… but someone is bound to get destroyed in the process.

All told, it could have been much worse. I don't know what I was expecting for the aftermath, as far as being able to instantly return to normalcy, but I can't, right now. The dust needs to settle again, and I need to figure all the shit out in my head. But I can't figure out what needs figuring out, which leaves me frustrated and unsettled. I don’t want to go down this road again. I want to go back to being me. I want to go back to silly crushes and daydreaming about happier times. I don't want to be stuck in all of this. Probably tomorrow I will feel stupid for saying all this and putting it out there. I'm reading and re-reading it and stalling on clicking the "Publish Post" button. But I am hoping that by writing all of this down and setting it free, it will purge it from the places it went to, and I can once again move on from this once and for all, and be done with it. (Again.)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Dazed and Confused

Well. That was a hell of an interesting weekend. It will probably be at least tomorrow before I say much about it... mostly because I ended up scribbling all my thoughts out on paper by hand, and I'm going to have to sort through those and type them up. And quite frankly, I don't want to revisit that particular train of thought anymore this weekend. Sorry for the cryptic vagueness (hey, what's new?), but I promise I'll get to it eventually. It's just going to take me probably a little while to do. I need to figure out what the hell happened and get my head back to where it should be, first.

In other/better news, VEISHEA weekend was a blast, I had a great time, the weather mostly cooperated, it got to be a little rainy and chilly but it was fantastic. Fortunately nobody did anything overly stupid (*cough* riots *cough*) even if they did have to shut down Welch Ave for a bit. I've got some great pics, mostly of the shows I went to, because that's mostly what I DID this weekend. Saw my favoritest band ever, Halestorm, and much to my joy, was able to snag a pre-sell copy of their album for $5 and it doesn't even come out for another week. Though pre-ordering online would give me the REAL CD as well as three bonus tracks, so I'm conflicted. I kind of still want that. I don't know. (Part of me is kind of bummed that the album is 90% new songs because I looooove their old stuff that I'd been hearing at their shows for years, on the flip side... NEW SONGS YAY!) Other show highlight was Ludo, who I wasn't overly familiar with, but was fucking awesome to watch. Face = rocked. On the downside, I ate a bunch of shit that was bad for me (a particular batch of fries from Saturday comes to mind) but I did get my annual Friday night gyro, my Saturday hamburger, and my cherry pie, so all was well. I was also exceptionally financially irresponsible this weekend, mostly when it came to food. But, I spent 12+ hours on campus on Saturday, it's not like I had many other options. And it's once a year, and this weekend felt like an actual vacation from my normal routine, so you know what? I don't care. It'll all shake out eventually. Though I did get my first short-hours paycheck on Friday. It was a little painful. I might need to bite the bullet and just call Target. I don't even know when I'd have time to work, though. I'm coaching softball again this summer, plus I've got taekwondo, plus I'm actually signed up to PLAY on a couple adult softball teams (Fri & Sun). Time... not something I have lots of extra. On the bright side, though, my old manager that runs the Ames store now definitely still remembers me... I saw her in the VEISHEA parade and yelled hi and she got all excited and ran over and gave me one of the reusable Target bags they were handing out. So that was fun :)

That was a really rambly, non-exciting paragraph, so I apologize. Fluff only, today. Check back later for something of substance. I may also update this post with pictures, once I eventually sort through them.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

This Post Needs A Title But I Can't Think Of One So This Is All It Is

Hi Blog!

How are you? Have you missed me while I was away? I don't have a whole lot new to report, which is kind of why I was neglecting you. I mean, it's not like I haven't THOUGHT about you, I just don't know what I'd say to you. I guess I will just fill you in on the little things that have been going on lately, since nothing is really big enough to constitute an entire post to itself.

April is a busy, busy month for me. This past weekend was Gross Domestic Product, the local band showcase that I have gone to every single year except last year, because last year I was trying to pack and move all about this time. I volunteered this year too, which means I got in for free, and sat at the ticket table for about four hours. I also managed to find probably the only parking ramp in Des Moines that isn't FREE on the weekend, but, well, it was quite literally across the street from the venue, and the safety value of not having to walk multiple blocks alone at midnight is worth something. (Yes, I know, it's Des Moines. Still, I'm healthily paranoid.) The very next day was Easter, so I had to get up early and driiiiiiiive all the way to my dad's/grandma's for lunch, then driiiiiiiive all the way to my other grandma's for, well, a nonmeal but there was food anyway, then driiiiiive all the way to my mom's for dinner, then driiiiiive all the way back home. I spent a good majority of the day in my car, but, as a bonus, the FM Transmitter that I scored at a Target post-Christmas clearance for $5 actually worked this time, so I plugged in my iPod shuffle and it kept me pretty entertained. Long drives kind of suck, though, because I get left alone in my head and while sometimes it's just casual daydreaming, sometimes my brain actually starts to get going and I can't shut it off and I just want it to SHUT THE HELL UP ALREADY YOU ARE MAKING ME ANGSTY. Or something.

Anyway. This weekend is VEISHEA, which you have to be affiliated with ISU in some capacity to understand, so if you're not, then you probably don't, and I'm sorry. I know most Iowa Staters have an affinity for VEISHEA because it's a tradition and it's just something to do... I don't know. I actually like VEISHEA in all it's lame cheesy good clean fun. AND they are bringing in my favoritest band EVAR this year, so I'm a happy camper.

The following weekend is the Freeman Spring Concert, which I have gone to every year and done the design work for the last two, three counting this year assuming I get my ass in gear, which is really what I should be working on instead of blogging, because I needed to have the tshirt design done like yesterday, but I couldn't cause I had belt testing* and somehow it got to be a late night. I don't even know.

So naturally today it's a little after 8 and I've done absolutely jack. Well, that's not true. I went for a 2-3 mile walk and started some laundry. So it hasn't been UNproductive, just not as productive as maybe I would have liked.

Anyway. I'm going to go do something more productive, I suppose, upon commenting that I haven't been productive, but it's hard to be productive during every waking hour, so I'm usually done with the productivity by the time I get home. (Has productive started looking like a non-word yet? Cause that totally became my goal after about the third time I used it.)

*Belt testing, yes, it went well. I was kind of nervous yesterday because I thought I was extremely unprepared, but apparently I kicked butt because all the judges said nice things and seemed impressed, and I guess the lady I work with who takes it also, she was helping put chairs away and stuff (her son is the instructor) and I guess they were talking about me and saying nice things. So yay! And technically I'm not probably supposed to know the results yet, but they get posted online, so I do, and I totally passed. LEVEL UP! Now we get into real sparring and board breaking. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL BABY.

Anyway. Yes, for real, like I was saying. I'm going to go be productive now.

Thanks for listening, blog.

XOXO,

Kelly

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Anti-Antibiotics

(Biotics? What?)

So, I'm kind of fond of yesterday's post, but I hesitate to advertise it, because there is a lot of swearing and while people I work with are cool, the thought of (however indirectly) swearing in front of my bosses weirds me out a little. That said, if you know anyone that might enjoy my rant, feel free to pass it along.

But that is not why we are here today. Oh, no. We are here to bitch about Things That Suck That We Can Do Nothing About: Medical Edition.

So I was feeling rather crappy last weekend and while I was feeling better by the time Sunday evening rolled around, I figured it would be best to get myself in to a doctor. It was surprisingly easy to find one, which was my biggest worry, because in my past however many years here, I've never really found one. For my yearly physicals I made the trip up to my old doctor (who, in 2007, announced she was going into dermatology and thus I had to see someone new last year anyway. Still, all my records are there and while it's kind of a hassle, I need an excuse to go visit the relatives anyway). Point being: I don't want to have to drive up to North Iowa every time I have a health issue. But, Student Death Health was close and cheap and gave me a myriad of horrid diagnoses that amazingly hopefully didn't wreck my longterm health. I'm digressing. Point was: I didn't "have" a doctor here in this lovely metropolis and yet it was a much more painless process than I would have anticipated it to be. I found a doctor easily enough and got in for an appointment for Monday afternoon, yay hurrah all is well. (I still need to find a dentist though... Any recommendations?)

So I go, I get all checked in early, which naturally got my hopes up, because I then waited for about forty five minutes staring out the window at our melting snowscape (snow in April is a whole separate issue) before it was my turn. Yadda yadda yadda, I got in, got my Rx, and was on my merry little way.

Antibiotics make me a bit nervous. Mostly because the end of my senior year, the quacks at the SHC had me on a series of them that made me really, really sick... probably helped to set off my series of stomach issues that came later that year (coincidence? Possibly. I hadn't thought to make the connection until my mother pointed it out today. Or the other day. Recently, at any rate.) Since this was for the same thing I had then, I was a little afraid they were going to prescribe me the same drugs again. Which, odds are they did, but by this point I couldn't remember which one came in which sequence so I was hoping this was the one that made me the least sick of the three. (The fact that I was on three different drugs in a row should give you an idea to the degree of their ineptitude.)

Two doses later, and... yep. Completely miserable and sick. Fabulous. So I called them and went "no more death pills please" or something probably more eloquent and the nice phone-nurse lady found the doctor on call and they phoned in a new prescription for me. (Retrospect: Dude, I should have grabbed another Target ad for the coupon for the $10 gift card for a new Rx. Although it was the same people that were working yesterday, so they would have caught on to my hijinks. Still, one gift card, while not as good as two gift cards, is still better than no gift cards at all.) My mother, being the dutiful RN she is, whipped out her drug book and looked it up and all but promised me that this one shouldn't make me sick. So, if it does, I'm holding her accountable. Ha. But, I'm hoping she's right. I hate hate hate being sick. I hate being sick even more than I hate being poor and broke.

The main point of my blog, here, today, kids, is that it sucks when the medicine you are taking actually makes you sicker than whatever it was you were originally ailing from.

And, to emphasize my point, my friend Christina was nice enough to send this quote to me from Jeff Foxworthy:

There are so many drugs out there. They advertise this prescription stuff, and I swear, nine times out of ten, the side-effects are fifty times worse than what the thing cures. It's like, "Try new Fluorofluor. For itchy, watery eyes, it's Fluorofluor. Side effects may include: nausea, vomiting, water weight gain, lower back pain, receding hairline, eczema, seporiasoriasis, itching, chafing clothing, liver spots, blood clots, ringworm, excessive body odor, uneven tire wear, pyorrhea, gonorrhea, diarrhea, halitosis, scoliosis, loss of bladder control, hammertoe, the shanks, low sperm count, warped floors, cluttered drawers, hunchback, heart attack, low resale value on your home... feline leukemia, athlete's foot, head lice, clubfoot, MS, MD, VD, fleas, anxiety, sleeplessness, drowsiness, poor gas mileage, tooth decay, parvo, warts, unibrow, lazy eye, fruit flies, chest pains, clogged drains, hemorrhoids, dry heaving and sexual dysfunction." I'm watching it, going, "You know what? I'll just have itchy, watery eyes..."


Thanks for tuning in. Happy Tuesday!


SIDE NOTE/UNRELATED: Today is my 1-year anniversary at my job! I must say, it went a whole lot quicker than it did to get to my 1-year at Target. I'm just sayin'.

Let's hold hands and celebrate. No? Just me? That's okay too.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Big News In A Little State

(I know this is kind of old news at this point, but I was sick all weekend and spent most of my free time curled up in bed sound asleep. So, you get it now.)

Now, I don't normally blog about politics. (I also don't blog about my deepest darkest secrets or personal details, either, but that is neither here nor there). However, when something comes along that either (a) really pisses me off or (b) really makes me happy, I feel compelled to say SOMETHING.

Fortunately, as it is, it falls into Category B.

For those of you that have been living under a rock, on Friday, April 3rd, 2009, the Iowa Supreme Court turned over a same-sex marriage ban, unanimously citing it as unconstitutional.

Let me repeat that. The IOWA Supreme Court turned over a SAME-SEX MARRIAGE ban, *UNANIMOUSLY* citing it as unconstitutional.

U-freaking-nanimously. In Iowa.

This comes two years after Polk County Judge Robert Hanson basically said the same thing, but put a stay on his ruling to let the big boys (or girls) in the SC handle it once and for all. From my understanding of the Iowa legal process (which is minimal) it sounds like it's actually going to take quite a bit of work to try to appeal/overturn the ruling. A couple of legislative sessions and a constitutional amendment, in fact. BUT, need I reiterate, UNANIMOUSLY. God that makes me so happy.

Now, I'm not a lesbian. I'm not even bisexual. (Though sometimes I wish I was, just for the extra choices, since the field of available men has been a pretty consistent letdown). This ruling has no real direct effect on me or my life. Yet I am extremely ecstatic.

Why?

Because it's only right, dammit. You should be allowed to love who you love, no matter who they are, and if you want to commit to be with that person the rest of your life - why should anybody stop you?

Answer: they shouldn't.

Not to dredge into the entire summary (I've only read the shorter, 6-page version because that's about as much legal-speak as my poor little artsy brain can handle, but maybe sometime if I'm feeling ambitious, I'll attempt the full, 69-page one), but there are a few key points I'd like to make from it.

1. It probably helps to understand the structure of Iowa's legal and judicial systems. I don't. I still managed to understand most of what was said, though. Basically, it explains how the case was set up and why it got to this point, etc. - making a note of Iowa's past "progressivism" in such epic times as slavery, segregation, and women's rights. Did you know that Iowa was the first state to allow a woman to practice law? You do now.

2. This fell under the Equal Protection Principles which from my understanding (correct me if I'm wrong, please - I know I have law nerd friends out there. *cough* CHRISTINA *cough*) basically sets down whether a statute is constitutional or not and/or if said statute does anything to achieve an "important governmental objective". This trails into determining if two "classes", for lack of a better term, are "similarly situated" and thus comparable and thus "now kids, are we discriminating again?" (I think?)

The County was arguing that the two parties were NOT similarly situated to civilly married heterosexuals (please note: civilly. Not religiously. You can go fight that fight somewhere else, cause it ain't got no place in the government) because homosexual couples cannot procreate naturally.

First off - *facepalm*

Second off - ok, if that's the best you've got, then fine. It might be worth noting that not all heterosexual couples can procreate naturally, either. It's also worth noting that not everybody WANTS to procreate. Naturally or otherwise.

The court shot this down by saying something to the effect of "you guys are dumbasses. We mean SIMILARLY SITUATED IN TERMS OF THE LAW. LEGITIMATE PURPOSES OF THE LAW, EVEN."

There's more language I don't understand because I haven't used big words in my vocabulary since college which will just go ahead and segueway* into my next numerical bullet point since I forgot why I was numbering things anyway.

3. The County tried to argue that the same-sex marriage ban did not discriminate on gender or sexual orientation. The Court went, What the FUCK are you on? Of course it does!! That's ALL this is about!!!!

4. Judicial Scrutiny. I quite don't understand this bit but my favorite part is determining whether a character in a group is "immutable" is as follows:

"Addressing the issue of immutability, the court found sexual orientation to be central to personal identity and that its alteration, if at all, could only be accomplished at the expense of significant damage to the individual's sense of self. This would be wholly unacceptable for the government to require anyone to do."

YES. There were other criteria also. I can't quite explain them in terms that would still make sense after they traversed through the Kelly filter, but basically the gays won them all. If, you know, we were keeping score. Which we should be. Because the conservative assholes are LOOOOOOSINNNNNNG!

5. Next up, we consider the Governmental Objectives and the County's lame-o arguments. I will answer these with what MY opinion is and what the Court's opinion is.

ARGUMENT OF COUNTY: Tradition
KELLY SAYS: Screw your "integrity of traditional marriage" and your "maintaing the historical and traditional marriage norm as one between a man and a woman." First off, "Tradition" has pretty much become a 50-50 shot into Divorce Court anyway, so clearly us heteros are doing AWESOME at it. Secondly, who the hell cares? I do not think gays marrying would "threaten" the "sanctity" of my (theoretical, hypothetical, imaginary) marriage or anyone else's. Live and let live.
SUPREME COURT SAYS: We agree with Kelly. (Just kidding.) They did say that tradition alone was insufficient to justify such discrimination. And they moved on.


ARGUMENT OF COUNTY: Promoting the optimal environment for children
KELLY SAYS: Um, yes, because all of the straight parents are awesome. Also, there are a hell of a lot of single parents also, so forget your nuclear family doctrine cause IT DOESN'T EXIST ANYMORE. Also, gay couples are allowed to adopt in Iowa, so - what are you going to do about that? Huh? NAH NAH NAH.
SUPREME COURT SAYS: No proof that a man-woman parenting situation is ideal, though they did consider several studies that said this was "optimal" - YOU'RE STILL BASING THIS ON SEXUAL ORIENTATION AREN'T YOU? BAD COUNTY! NO TAX MONEYS! NOW YOU GO TO YOUR ROOM AND THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU'VE DONE! Also, congrats, because you found an argument that was both UNDER-INCLUSIVE *and* OVER-INCLUSIVE. Under, in the sense that this particular reasoning does not bar child abusers, sexual predators, deadbeats, violent felons, etc (basically your gamut of unsuitable parents), so why the gays? The gays are not dangerous OR bad parenters. Over-inclusive, in that (a) not all couples want kids and (b) this really has no effect whatsoever on how often the straight people screw and pop out babies. They'll still procreate at their normal levels. This isn't a competition. TRY AGAIN PLZ.



ARGUMENT OF COUNTY: Promoting procreation.
KELLY SAYS: Ugh. This again. Do we REALLY need to promote procreation? I think we're all doing JUST FINE thanks.
SUPREME COURT SAYS: We've been over this. Straight people will still screw like rabbits even if gay people are married. Quote: "exclusion of gay and lesbian individuals from the institution of civil marriage will not result in more procreation." And a big old resounding DUH. (What? Are the straight couples going to sit around going "OMG ADAM AND STEVE GOT MARRIED! WE CAN'T HAVE KIDS NOW!" Um, no, they're not. Because that's ridiculous.)


ARGUMENT OF COUNTY: Promoting stability in opposite-sex relationships.
KELLY SAYS: As previously stated, what other people do has NO effect on MY relationship (again, hypothetical, but in this case, I can speak with some degree of confidence) and it is not going to undermine anything in my life.
SUPREME COURT SAYS: Direct quote from the summary, cause I can't restate it any better: "There was no evidence to support that excluding gay and lesbian people from civil marriage makes opposite-sex marriage more stable."
YOU HEAR THAT ASSHOLES? IT DOESN'T MATTER. WE'LL GO ON DOING WHAT WE'RE DOING, DESPITE WHAT OTHER PEOPLE ARE DOING.


ARGUMENT OF COUNTY: Preservation of state resources.
KELLY SAYS: O rly? How so?
SUPREME COURT SAYS: Well, we'd save a lot of resources if we banned other groups too. Why this one in particular? BECAUSE YOU ARE IGNORANT ASSHOLES THAT'S WHY. SORRY NO CAN DO.
[Okay, they didn't really say that. Not verbatim, anyway.]


ADDITIONAL ARGUMENT OF COURT, RE: RELIGION. This was not brought up, but basically the SC took a giant red "Separation of Church & State" stamp and went to town on their opinion. Just because they knew that's what people were thinking. Yes.

And, finally, the conclusion of the judges, which I will merely repeat rather than paraphrase...

"We are firmly convinced the exclusion of gay and lesbian people from the institution of civil marriage does not substantially further any important governmental objective. The legislature has excluded a historically disfavored class of persons from a supremely important civil institution without a constitutionally sufficient justification. There is no material fact, genuinely in dispute, that can affect this determination.

We have a constitutional duty to ensure equal protection of the law. Faithfulness to that duty requires us to hold Iowa's marriage statute, Iowa Code section 595.2, violates the Iowa Constitution. To decide otherwise would be an abdication of our constitutional duty. If gay and lesbian people must submit to different treatment without an exceedingly persuasive justification, they are deprived of the benefits of the principle of equal protection upon which the rule of law is founded. Iowa Code section 595.2 denies gay and lesbian people the equal protection of the law promised by the Iowa Constitution."


Beautiful.


***
If you are so interested, the Des Moines Register article can be found here.

You can also read/download a PDF (courtesy of the DM Reg) of the Varnum vs. Brien Complete Ruling or the Summary here, from the rather eloquent justices.

Because they did not actually shout or swear at the County like I may have made it appear.

My apologies.

Almost.


* * *

Please note, also, that this is MY blog and if you choose to write hateful and ignorant comments, I shall exercise my First Amendment right to either call you an asshole, ridicule your mother, or simply delete them. You can disagree with me but do not be an asswaffle about it. Or, better yet, go start your OWN blog. The Internet's a big place and there is plenty of room for everyone.

/end preemptive counter-negativity measures.


* * *


*Also please note: "segueway" is not a word. I have met the single word in the English language that I could not spell, and even dictionary.com was like, "Bitch, what the hell are you trying to say?"


Turns out it's "segue."



Saturday, April 4, 2009

Peepageddon

I've got bigger, more epic things to post about, I'm sure (see: Iowa is awesome), but in the meantime, I leave you with this.



Video footage of Peepageddon, courtesy of my friend James. Still photos are available on facebook as well. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Inxtrovert?

It occurs to me, as it sometimes does, that for as outgoing as I've managed to become in the last few years, I am still very much an introvert. It seems counterintuitive that those two traits would coexist inside the same person, but they do. Sometimes I am willing to be completely open... a lot of the time, I keep everything to myself. The important things, really. Well.. the personal things. I have no problem with sharing my opinion or being the center of attention - when I want it - or even talking to people I don't know well, which is a prospect that would have terrifed me about five years ago. I've probably gotten a reputation for being loud and outspoken. Yet, at the same time, I feel like I'm still hiding inside myself. I don't talk about my feelings or any of that shit... I just assume that if you want to know, you'll ask, and if I feel like sharing, I will, and if I don't, I won't.*


*(Unless I'm drunk. In which case, I will share, whether you wanted to know or not.)

We didn't talk about our feelings much, if ever, when I was growing up. What was the point? If "emo" was a thing when I was in middle school/high school, I'm sure I would have embraced it. NOBODY UNDERSTANDS ME! As I slam the door to my bedroom, where I sat holed up listening to the radio and drawing or writing (mostly writing) or whatever else I did in the days before I had the world constantly at my fingertips or a phone that was smarter than I was. I didn't even HAVE a cell phone in high school, let alone the ability to text. Maybe that would have changed the nature of my friendships. Maybe not. I was never inclined to be overly social; I was withdrawn and independent and a loner (mostly) by choice, and I was okay with that.

Then I got to college, and my entire world shifted, for what I believe to be the better. I made a lot of friends - friends by choice, not geographical convenience - and kind of got to figure myself out and who I was and what I wanted and was all the better for it. I became the me that most people know and (hopefully) love today.

Yet somewhere buried in all that is still the uncertainty and self-consciousness that has always been there. I won't tell you my secrets, because what if you mock me? Then you're not just making fun of the shell of me, but the actual me, the me that means something. It's a painful concept. So I don't. I won't tell you what I'm really thinking or feeling or needing or wanting, because it's nobody's business but my own. I don't NEED anyone else. I'm fine. I'm more than fine, I am okay.

Still, it tends to be, from time to time, a rather lonely existence.

It's those times that I wish I was more able to open up, just let the gates down, and spill everything. I could, I suppose, but with there's so much that's been stuffed away, it would be like an avalanche if I were to let it go. And I would be the one that got buried.

So what is my point, you ask? Well, I'm sure there are a lot of points to be taken from this, but for funsies, let's just pick one. This goddamn blog. It mocks me. Of all the blogs I've ever bothered to write, this one is the most inane, boring, worthless one of all. I say a lot without ever saying anything at all. And why? Because this is the "for real, official, I mean it this time" blog? One that (some) people actually read? Maybe. Maybe I'm just afraid of how transparent the Internet has become. I can't hide anymore. Even in my own space. If I allow myself to be open and vulnerable... well... then I'm really open and vulnerable.

Or maybe I just need to get over myself and just pretend I am talking with an audience of only myself, like I used to. Then this blog might actually serve its purpose: to be an outlet.

Otherwise, I'll just continue to post random links and pictures and pretend like there is absolutely nothing (ever) going on in my head.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Good, The Bad, and The Random

Good: I found out my favoritest band in the history of ever is playing at VEISHEA this year. I am actually super psyched about VEISHEA and am definitely more than willing to pay the $5 ticket price this year. There are a couple other bands that I really want to see too, and even if I only see those three, I will be a happy camper.

Halestorm. This chick can fucking sing.

Bad: My friend Christina is going to get to see Demetri Martin. In person. I am not. I am so beyond jealous that I don't even have words to describe it.

Demetri. I hearteth you.

Good: I get to go blow up Peeps in a microwave tomorrow. My lifelong dream will finally come true.

Excellent article on Peep Jousting. With pictures!

Bad: Our company is closing at noon on Fridays from now until August. Which means we're getting cut to 36 hours. On the bright side, it will be nice to have a long weekend. On the downer side, I have no idea how this is going to affect me financially. Thank God I got at least one of my loans granted for a forbearance; I'm hoping the other one is right behind it.

Random: See all of the above. Especially the Peep Jousting.