Thursday, June 30, 2011
I've mostly been content to read other blogs, to escape my own life for a bit, smile, think, tear up even. I've been keeping my Reader at under 500 and I'll consider that a small victory. When I'm not trolling around other people's corners of the Internet, I've been trying to work on my apartment. I bought a guilt-inducing bookshelf from Target, but I think it really makes my entryway look nicer. I just need to put some damn photos in the frames that are sitting on it. I've got some picked out, I just need to wait until the next pay cycle to do anything about it. (On that note: I really need to color my hair, too, but my current plan is to cash in all the damn bottles and cans in my kitchen, which SHOULD pay for a box of dye, so that will thus be my motivation to get that shit out of my house.) Ugh. Money.
In other news... I am officially down 28.4 pounds as of today. I KNOW, holy shit, right?! I'm having fewer and fewer days where I cringe when I look in the mirror (those will never go away, I'm sure) and even though there are some days where I definitely don't feel "thin" - I feel better. I'm getting there. I've got probably another 20 to go, to get where I want to be - I mean, in theory, I could go even further and be in my healthy weight range, but I'll be honest, I don't need to be superskinny, and also: I like my curves. However, I am not a tall individual, and I don't really think my frame is meant to carry this much weight - in fact, I think it's eager to unload it, which is why I think I've done this well this fast. I'm dreading the inevitable plateau, but it might not come for a while. Because I've been a huge Point Nazi over the last week to make up for a crappy week the week before, which I think is helping, when I've been letting myself be a bit relaxed over the few weeks prior... plus, well. I'm active, but not as active as I could be. So if I start to get stuck, I could take the cellophane off of my Jillian Michaels DVD.
Even so, I'm proud of myself - this is the longest I've stuck with anything and I really feel like it's sticking. Even on days where I'm not tracking (ie, family reunions, of which I have THREE in as many weeks' time, whereas: POTLUCK CITY), I'm still eating less and making better choices. I'll never be one of those health food aficionados and dammit I still love me a good cheeseburger, but: moderation. That's really all there is to it.
What's also fun is that in two weeks I have a wedding back up in my hometown (of which I'm fairly certain I wrote a post about but never posted, hmm) - the likes of which will be attended by a handful of people from my high school, including but not limited to my senior-year ex-boyfriend. There's something to be said for being down almost thirty pounds. PLUS I have a new pair of glitter shoes coming from Katherine that I am stupidly excited about. (After borrowing her blue ones for one night in Vegas I decided that I NEEDED to have my own pair. If you take a look at my wardrobe, you will see why.) (It brings out my eyes) (Don't judge me). It's almost as good as dropping a bunch of weight for a high school reunion. Which I still have another two years for so I will look fucking amazing by then.
I will then officially also be able to cross that off of my Thirty Things list (bet you forgot about that one, I almost did too!) - I mean, I'm not stopping at 30 pounds, but that was what was on my goal list (it has a nice symmetry to it - 30 pounds before 30), mostly because at the time, it seemed damn near impossible. I didn't even think I'd be able to do it. But here I am. GO ME.
HA, funny story, also. Speaking of weight loss. (RELEVANT SEGUE.) I was up at my sister's last weekend and I get this text message from my mother who is somewhere in the next town over at some festival or something or other and there's this guy there that she really thinks I should meet. My sister and I shared in some strenuous eye-rolling but she didn't give up and finally I told her to text me a picture. She actually did. Firstly, he looks a lot older than she was guessing, secondly, he's moving to fucking Colorado in, like, less than a month. WAY TO GO MOM. After the last debacle, we've decided that she's not allowed to play matchmaker anymore anyway... but my point, is that in her efforts to talk me up (God only knows what she says and what she thinks is appealing) she apparently decided that it was a selling point to announce how much weight I've lost. I'm like, WTF MOM. First of all... that makes me sound like I was a huge fatty to start with (which I WASN'T, I mean, I felt like it, but in the scheme of things, it wasn't THAT BAD) and secondly THAT'S NOT SOMETHING YOU TELL PROSPECTIVE DUDES. Seriously. I mean, any guys that read this? Is it a turn-on to you if someone is all "and you should meet so-and-so, she recently dropped a bunch of weight!" - NO. I don't think it is. Firstly, it's embarrassing because then you're all "Hi, I'm the girl who lost a bunch of weight because apparently I was super fat before" and secondly... it makes it sound like you're almost desperate or something. Maybe I'm just getting carried away but I would prefer that this weight loss NOT be a huge selling point to my awesomeness. Ideally, I would just show up and BE HOT, without the lingering disclaimer that I didn't used to be. Or something.
Parents just don't understand. /cue 90s Will Smith
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
I also don't know how to get rid of those obnoxious gray drop shadows, because they seem to be tied into the template somehow. They annoy me.
Speaking of annoying, you may have noticed that I opted not to do the end-of-post ads. They were irritating me. (It took all of, um, a day for me to decide this). They're off to the side now where pretty much nobody will notice them, but whatever. I also signed up for the Amazon affiliate thinger which I think might be more useful because I tend to link to Amazon all the time ANYWAY so at least this way maybe I can profit on it. Anything beyond that, we'll see. Quite frankly, I'm still relieved at how much I was able to save by reducing my insurance coverage on my car, so I'm not quite so frantic to try to scrape some pennies together. I can come up with some sort of "game plan" now. Or something. I don't know.
So, that's about it, I guess. SHORT POST YAY.
Monday, June 27, 2011
In an insomnia-fueled bout of introspection this weekend, I started thinking about my old friendships, the ones that pre-dated the becoming of Who I Am Now. I guess going up and spending time with my family in my hometown area tends to have that effect. I feel like almost a stranger when I am there now; I left without looking back and it's not home anymore. Only a handful of people from my life from that time remain in my life now.
My best friend from high school got engaged a few weekends ago and I found out from a text message from my sister, who probably saw it on facebook. A pang of unfamiliar emotion went through me; I guess I realized just how much that friendship has faded and disappeared. It's highly likely that I won't be invited to the wedding - why should I be? Our friendship lasted longer than most of my high school ties did - we went to the same university and hung out on occasion, but it became apparent that we were on two different paths and two very different people. Nostalgia can only support a relationship for so long, I think. It was a little sad to acknowledge that I'd so completely lost touch with someone I used to spend so much time with.
Meanwhile, my lifelong rival is now probably my closest friend from those days. And when I say lifelong, I mean, I remember the competition stemming back to first grade.We were the two smartest girls in our class - hell, we were probably the two smartest people in our class, period, and we were always trying to out-best each other. I'm not saying that to be vain - it was an uncontested matter of fact. We knew it, our classmates knew it, our teachers new it, the standardized tests knew it. In the end, I lost the valedictorianship to her, thanks to one solitary A-minus from a fucking art class. I got As in everything else - English, History, Math. Advanced math. Chemistry. Physics. PHYSICS, FOR GOD'S SAKE. That fucking art class. It ruined me. Had I known, I would have taken a damn study hall or something instead. Do you KNOW how infuriating at 3.999 GPA is?! It's maddening. Knowing that perfection is always out of your grasp. Art is so goddamn subjective anyway. Seriously, all these years later (eleven, if we're counting), I'm STILL BITTER. It was the spring of my freshman year and I knew that that fucking A- would fuck me over in the long run. If I'd have gotten that damn 4.0, maybe I could have gotten more scholarships in college, maybe I wouldn't be so in debt right now, maybe I wouldn't be ready to have a money-inspired anxiety attack, maybe I would be in such despair right now. The butterfly effect, right? Who even knows? Such is life. So I took 2nd place, bitter though I was, and Stacey and I both went on to be successful, productive members of society. It wasn't until much later that I even had any idea that I'd driven her ambition as much as she'd driven mine. That she saw me as the one to beat, that I was her motivator, as she had been mine. It was flattering, when I realized it. That the girl I'd been competing with my whole life saw me not only as her equal, but her competition, as well. Of course, she had to know that I was on her heels the whole way, hoping and praying that she'd stumble. (Sorry, Stace.) It was a mutually beneficial situation, though - without each other, we may have both given up. In such a mediocre public school district, it was hard to keep yourself adequately challenged. It would have been easy to coast. In retrospect, I am so grateful to have had her as my pacekeeper; I might have just jogged along aimlessly otherwise.
I don't really keep touch with many people from my class. I accept their friend requests on facebook, but I don't really seek them out.Why would I? They made me miserable. They made me feel inferior. I felt awkward and ugly and uncool. But at least I was smart. I had my niche, as cliche as it was. The smart girl. The overachiever. I was in every club and activity imaginable. (And people wonder why I run nonstop to this day - it's all I know! Being idle does not suit me.) I see a few, from time to time. My sister is married to one. I saw a bunch at their wedding, the ones I cared to see. She had to talk me into going to my five-year reunion so she'd have someone to hang out with. I actually ended up having fun in spite of myself. I sometimes wish I could see them more often, just so I can prove how awesome I actually am. I know I am one of the most changed people since high school. It was a gradual process, but I fit in my skin now. I still feel like I have something to prove to these people, even though I owe them nothing. I think they respect me more, now. They expected big things of me, which I never really considered before. I'm like an ambassador of sorts, carrying our flag, representing the place we come from. They accepted me more, now, too. I left that reunion no longer feeling bitter toward them. So I have that peace now. I still feel the need to impress them, of course, but I don't worry about them as much. My biggest concern is looking stunning at the 10-year reunion. I don't want to be the one who got fat.
But the two girls who I spent the most time with, I barely speak to now. We drifted apart, like I suppose I should have guessed. I'm bothered by how little it bothers me. I can keep tabs on them with all our fancy media these days. (They're both engaged now, incidentally. I happened to see that on facebook, when my curiosity led me to see what the other girl was up to these days.) I am losing track of most of the others - I don't recognize their new last names. I'll see them again; the ties that bind you in a small town never really go away. One girl at our 5yr likened it to being a family - we all grew up together, and we can't escape that. Our pasts are intertwined together, for better or worse.
I like that my (former) rival and I are now better friends than we ever were. We communicate on some of the social media platforms that our former peers probably don't "get". She offered to come fetch me when I was miserable and seemingly stranded at the Denver airport on my way to Las Vegas. I promised to return on purpose sometime, and I intend to. I would love to catch up and hear about her new life out west, what she's been up to over the last eight years, the details that don't make it to twitter or facebook. To reframe the past so we're no longer in competition.
To that end, my relationship with my sister is changing, too. I've long been jealous of those who are super close to theirs; I felt like we were wasting something. We were intensely competitve and fought a lot growing up, but mended those rivalries once I moved out and headed to college. I learned that she actually missed me and had actually looked up to me all those years, when really I thought she hated and resented me.
I recently gave her the link to this blog. Being dedicated though she is, she is starting at the beginning and working her way through the archives. It's like ripping my soul open and leaving it exposed and bare; I was so afraid she was going to judge me- what would she think of my stupid pseudo-relationships and chronic depression and insecurities? These are things that get pushed under the rug, that we don't talk about. But it is turning out different than I expected. She is relating to things I have written, she asks me questions. When I was at her house on Saturday, we stayed up until 1:30, talking about stuff we've never talked about before. It will take some getting used to, but I don't feel like I have to hide things anymore. And isn't that what a sister is for? To be that one person you can tell absolutely anything to? It only took us twenty some odd years to get to that point, but we've got a lot of getting old to do, so it's something to build on.
Slowly, slowly, too, I am trying to hide less behind my keyboard, and trying to say what's on my mind with my voice. I stumble over my words a lot, and I look off into space a lot. But I am trying to get out of my comfort zone, because I want to have those deep and meaningful conversations with the people I'm closest to. It's never been easy for me, but if I take baby steps, maybe I can get there. I can evolve into the person I have the full potential to be. I remind myself, too, that things like money, while frustrating, suffocating, all-consuming, is not really what matters. It's a means to an end, and that end is really not an end at all, but a continuous path of growth and change and people. It's always the people. To be completely lame, I'm quite rich in friends, and I am very lucky in that regard. I am surrounded by the best people I could hope for, which is why I will never leave this area, never uproot, never stray. I've got it really good, and I would be an idiot to cut and run.
Now that I've cheesed up this post, I, um, yeah. Awkward. FEELINGS. Ew.
Sunday, June 26, 2011
I called my insurance guy over lunch and asked about how much it would cost to change to liability only... it should drop my monthly payments back down to what they were before, if not a little less. HUZZAH. He was insistent upon warning me that if I get into an accident, that they won't pay for it, to which I was like, "I'm aware, but if I get in an accident, it probably won't be my fault because everyone in this down drives like an asshole and I'm one of of the few [comparatively] decent drivers in this town and I NEED MONEY TO LIIIIIIIIVE." (I think I may have actually said "yep, I know.") It makes me kind of nervous to remove that full coverage, but I've been driving with liability-only coverage for TEN YEARS and was just fine. One of my friends at work pointed out that, the beauty of having a salvaged car is that they have to fix it up really, really well in order to be able to resell it, so it's probably in better shape than some random used car that I would have gotten elsewhere. So maybe it wouldn't cost too much to repair. At least this way, I can start putting money into my savings account so, God forbid, something DOES happen to my car, I can at least AFFORD to fix it. So, there's that. Maybe it will be enough to get me by for now.
Steph's got me really wanting to do some freelance photography now... I don't know how many times she had to beat me over the head with the idea before I actually decided to consider it as being something viable. I've been taking pictures almost as long as I've been writing (if not longer) and it's one of the other loves of my life, I don't know why I haven't tried to do more with it. I could always try to matte up some of my existing photos and sell those on Etsy... if they don't sell, well, it's not like I'm out anything worse than not trying. If they do, then YAY. They got a lot of compliments the time I took them to a show but nobody was really buying that day, in general. I might need to borrow some more sophisticated equipment (even though my little Canon takes AWESOME pictures, I don't think anyone would take me seriously if I showed up with it) and see what (or who) I can practice with to build up some sort of portfolio.
It's truly amazing how much just a little spark of hope makes a difference. I might get through this after all.
I mean, I'll probably get into a fender-bender on my way home now that I've lifted my insurance coverage a bit, but hey. At least I won't have to eat Ramen for a week.
Saturday, June 25, 2011
I would like to preface all of this by: I respect people that have kids, I truly do. It's a huge and wonderful thing and they're probably better people than I am. This is about me and my hangups and my decisions, selfish as though they may be. Don't throw things at me.
It surprised me that she receives so much pushback when she tells people of her choice not to have kids. I mean, I tell people that, and they largely discount it, probably because I'm STILL SINGLE OMG and then they always patronizingly tell me, "oh, you'll change your mind." Yep. I will hang up a permanent "closed for business" sign on my uterus for all time, just to spite you. You don't know me. The only one who does know me, is me. This is a huge, life-changing decision, and I will be the one who decides it, thankyouverymuch.
I guess people just don't know how to react when you choose something they didn't. Just as the people who want and love kids can't imagine why you wouldn't want to have kids... I have a hard time imagining why people DO. I get that it's supposed to be this extremely rewarding experience, blah blah blah, and someone has to perpetuate the species (though, dear lord, LOOK AT US. We'd probably be doing the universe a solid if we just stopped reproducing RIGHT NOW.). I understand all of the reasons for it. I just don't think it's something I want to participate in, myself.
I don't hate kids. I like other people's kids. Once they're old enough to be interesting. Babies are cute, sure, but they don't do anything but sit there, throw up, cry, and poo. YES PLEASE SIGN ME UP FOR ONE. They drain your finances and require constant attention and monitoring. They are exhausting. I would happily pass on this stage. I like older kids. I mean, I coach softball. I can't hate kids that much. It's actually my softball girls that make me think that maybe I might change my mind someday. They all worm their way into my frigid soul and make me feel like a better person. I just don't know what to do with the littler ones and I feel that whenever I do interact with them, I'm usually patronizing and ridiculous. If they're under a year old, I am terrified to hold them for fear of damaging them. Also, I like being able to give them back. That part is key.
I think my problem is that I didn't quite inherit the maternal gene that I was supposed to. Like I'm broken or something. Like Terra, I don't hear my biological clock ticking... I'm not even sure if it's plugged in. Just a flashing "12:00" in ominous glowing red digits.
I've talked about this not-wanting-kids thing on here before. I've maybe shared some of my reasons, I don't remember and I don't want to dig for it. Some are selfish, some are practical. (The practical ones are usually what I give people - they don't judge you quite as harshly.) A lot of them have to do with fear.
Fear of being off my antidepressants for nine months. Fear of slipping into a suffocating post-partum wasteland after. Fear for my own mental health and sanity. Fear of losing my identity. Fear of being miserable for almost a year, because my body tends to be somewhat fickle as it is, and I've learned how to deal with it, but throw in a new set of complications and hormones and I would turn into a timebomb waiting to self-destruct. I get that pregnancy isn't pleasant nor is it supposed to be... but that's a LONG TIME to be uncomfortable in your own skin. Don't even get me started on all my psychological issues about body image and self-esteem. I'm sure those would resurface with a vengeance.
My biggest fears, though, are much broader. I can't imagine being in charge of someone else's life. To be responsible for another human being. To have that blank slate that you have to mold into a moral, respectable person that doesn't choose "serial killer" as what they want to be when they grow up. How? How do you do this? How do you instill everything you know about the world into your mini-you? It blows my mind, really. It's a gradual thing, I know... but I am a person whose world heavily revolves around to-do lists and specific tasks done at certain times. Patience is not one of my virtues. (Which, in itself, is a huge problem.)
Financially, there is no way in hell I'd be able to support a kid. I can barely support myself. Granted, one would hope that if I were to embark on this endeavor, I'd have another half who would be another-halving the monetary aspect of it, but... yeah. I don't want to have to live off the system. Which right now would be my only choice, and even then, it probably wouldn't be enough.
I just don't think I'm built for that lifestyle anyway. I've been pegged as the "career woman" in our family and quite honestly, they're right. I have a lot of ambition stored away in me, even if I don't know what I want to do with it. I want to live my life full of crazy passion and spontaneity and trips to Las Vegas and unwashed dishes and sleeping in on Saturday mornings, to be able to take off for the weekend without even having to tell anyone (though I usually do, because I like someone to know where I am.). I like being free, even if it does get overwhelming sometimes. I like my life as it is, and where it's headed on this particular trajectory.
I can't get excited about smudgy fingerpainted drawings or "jam hands" (quoth Elliott from Scrubs)(sorry, I can't find a link, so I'm just going to assume you know what I'm talking about) or projectile vomit or the horribly soul-sucking Thing that is children's entertainment. Can't do it. I draw the line at Disney movies, I love those, but I can't deal with anything involving bright colors and obnoxiously grating sing-along songs and overly cheerful grown adults in strange costuming who, seriously, this is your life? I hope they get paid well.
I digress. My point is, I don't feel like I need to shove a tiny human through my ladybits in order to still have a valid and meaningful existence. I'm sure, if I had kids (and I reserve the right to change my mind someday, you never know), I would do just fine. I'm so competitive and such a perfectionist that I would totally feel the need to be the Best Mom Ever. Clearing my fearhurdles is the biggest thing... that, and being able to take a breath and accept having to sacrifice my fabulous single-girl lifestyle for a greater good. I'm too young and immature to do that yet. I don't know how people younger than me are doing this without blinking an eye. IT'S TERRIFYING TO ME, why is it not terrifying to them?! Then again, they probably have that maternal gene that I don't. I barely feel like I'm mature enough to be in the age bracket of people-getting-married. When my mom was my age, she was having her second kid. I can't even imagine that. We're in such different places.
I get that society has changed. People are getting married later, they're having kids later. That emphasis about Doing More (I think I already linked my post about that somewhere, I AM TOTALLY NOT EVEN KIDDING YOU, I THINK I AM HAVING AN EXISTENTIAL CRISIS THIS WEEK, these things keep coming up in my brain like a broken record. I mean, this blog is rife with these types of crises, but this week in particular, it's crazy) that is placed on us... it's a lot of pressure. It's a lot of pressure even just doing it by yourself. Throw in a marriage and a mortgage and a kid or two and the idea of it makes me want to hide under my blankets. I can't do it. I like to think I can do it all, but I really can't.
And I really don't like being made to feel inferior about the whole damn thing, either, thanks. I can recognize my limitations and I think that in itself is a pretty admirable thing. Some people can't. Some people choose not to. I don't think it works out real well for them.
Lastly (oh good, we're almost done)... just because I don't want kids, doesn't mean I want to end up alone, either. I would still like to find somebody, get married. Build a life that may or may not end up with kids. Marriages without kids are just as valid as those that have them. It's another reason it makes me so angry when politicians use that as an argument for opposing gay marriage. NOT EVERYONE WANTS KIDS, OKAY? Does that mean I can't get married, because I don't plan to have kids? No, it does not, so STFU already. Plus it is hurtful to those that can't have kids but desperately want to. You are invalidating them, too. (Wait, this is sounding familiar... oh yeah: this post.).
My point is: I'd still like to get married and be happily domestic (well... as domestic as I get, anyway) even though I don't want kids.
I shall leave you with this quote from Roger Ebert that I pulled from his blog, which isn't totally about movies and is frequently very interesting and insightful, I keep bookmarking various posts of his, for future reference, I don't know.
Anyway, the bolded emphasis is my own:
The biological reason we fall in love may be to encourage reproduction. Yet why did nature provide homosexuality if that is the only purpose? Why do people marry with no prospects of children? Babies are not the only thing two people can create together. They can create a safe private world. They can create a reality that affirms their values. They can stand for something. They can find someone to laugh with, and confide in. Someone to hold them when they need to be held.
- Roger Ebert, on his blog
Babies aren't everything. And I've long ago forgotten what the point of this post was other than to support Terra and her post and chime in with my own reasons for not wanting to have kidlets of my very own. Everyone that chooses their own path has their own reasons for doing so, for reasons that are legitimate to them, even if they don't make sense to you. If it's not your life and doesn't affect your life directly, then just hold your peace. We get choices for a reason. And other peoples choices are allowed to be different than yours.
On the bright side, if I ever change my mind, I've got at least three maternity dresses that I bought at Target when I was at the peak of my weight gain, so I've got a head start there...
Thursday, June 23, 2011
This really isn't something I would have found or cared about on my own, but the fact that a handful of my coworkers use it makes it really fun. We've got a couple other local social media guys that hang out in our room too (see how I just took part ownership in it?). Today we are doing a Color Theme where all the songs or artists must have a color in their name. It's super fun. If you're bored, stop on by our room - it's the 3 Guys from Iowa room. I'm going to be DJing until I run out of color songs.
All you need is a facebook friend that's already in, to get in. Otherwise you have to wait for an invite. If you're friends with me, come on in!
Umm.... the end? This is why I don't usually blog about this sort of stuff. Heh. ABRUPT ENDING IS ABRUPT.
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
What about you, Internets? How did you find your way?
Monday, June 20, 2011
Sunday, June 19, 2011
GUYS. I made a vlog last night.
Or something that kind of resembles a vlog.
I apologize for this hot mess of cinematic atrocity, profusely and without end. It's terrible. I'm acknowledging that outright, so you don't sit and whisper mean things to each other about it. I realize this. There's just nothing I can do about it.
I'm actually going to blame Ashley for claiming that vlogging was “life-changing” and Jenn for being all enthusiastic about the 20sb Vlog Day (which I ignored... until I saw everyone else's... and we all know how I feel about being left out of things.) So I'm only... what, ten days behind everyone else? Meh. FASHIONABLY LATE.
There's some weird static or something throughout most of it and I have no idea where it's coming from or how to make it NOT BE THERE, plus I wasn't really talking loudly enough, possibly because I felt weird talking to my computer, I can't quite say... Either way, it's really hard to understand. BUT, I'm too lazy to re-do it and I invested five minutes of my life into making it and another ten into trying to watch it and because I love you so much, I'm going to try to transcribe it below. Because there are parts where I can't even understand what I was saying and I'M THE ONE WHO SAID IT.
I also seem to have a very concerned look on my face throughout the majority of this. I frequently had to pause it to write said transcription, and I generally look very distraught on all the freeze frames. (Except for the one that Vimeo chose to leave as the preview image. In that one, I just look like a moron.) Probably because I know what awfulness it is. PLEASE DON'T THINK LESS OF ME. I'M SORRY I HAVE UNLEASHED THIS INTO THE WORLD.
Anyway, enjoy, I guess. Unlike this girl, I only mention cats once.
Hello, people of the Internet. (really scary shot where I lean in toward my computer for some reason). This is Kelly, and I blog at a blog called “Insert Clever Title Here”, which came about because I couldn't think of a name for my blog. The link for that is, cleverly enough, insertcleverlinkhere.com.
This is my first attempt at a video blog, or “vlog” (air quotes), which I actually dislike the word vlog almost as much as I hate the word blog. Which is quite a bit. I have put off ever doing a vlog because I expected it would be... just about as awkward as this, with me sitting here talking to my computer. (and then I think I say “like... so” but there's a big pause and, look, I don't know.)
Recently there was a specific vlog day, hosted by 20something bloggers, which I, again, skipped out on, but then I started looking at everyone else's vlogs, and then Ashley from Writing To Reach You made the claim that vlogging would change your life. So far, my life does not feel changed, but I've been talking for about a minute now, so maybe it just takes a little longer than that.
The theme was “introduce yourself” which seems like a good idea for one's first vlog.
I am 26, which means I am on the downhill slope to 30, which is scary, and it will be scary until I actually turn 30, and then I suspect it will not be scary anymore. On that note, I also have a second blog, of thirty things to do before I turn thirty, (incoherent mumbling but I think it was because my screensaver came on?), which is at mythirtythings.com, and I'm a good chunk of the way through my list. I have cheated a little bit, and taken some things off the list, because they seemed like they were going to be not possible or because I didn't care about them anymore, so... I can do that, because it's mine.
I'm from Iowa, which is not as bad as you think. I promise. I have a cat, and one of my goals in life is to not become the crazy cat lady. But I don't think I will be getting additional cats because (conspiratorial whisper) I hate the cat hair. And the shedding. Drives me crazy.
I am entirely too dependent on technology, as evidenced by the fact that I was using my blackberry earlier to look up some directions, and it sent us a half an hour in the wrong direction, because it told us to turn left instead of right. And, yes, here in Iowa, we measure distance by time, not by miles. I coach softball in the summers and I play softball, on a slowpitch team. Which is about as athletic as I get. I don't run. I should run. But (mumbling, I can't tell what it is and I don't remember, sorry. I'm sure it was riveting.).
Ummmm. I work a lot. I am a workaholic. The first step is admitting you have a problem. But I love what I do, so, that's good. I hate cleaning my apartment, which is fortunate that you can't see most of it. It's embarrassing. I don't have people over hardly ever. Um, what else... I recently went to Bloggers in Sin City, which was amazing, as you may have noticed by the fact that I posted about it for a week. But it was truly the best experience I've had, probably... in my life. I met so many amazing people and it was really something that made me step outside my comfort zone. I used to be really shy. And now I'm talking to the Internet on my computer, so... that's exciting.
Umm.. what else, what else... I can't really think of anything. I don;'t know why I'm doing this right now. It seemed like a good idea at the time. I fully expect full life-changing things to happen... tomorrow... otherwise, I'm blaming Ashley. For everything. Also, I don't know how to edit videos, so it's going to have to be whatever happens here, is what it's going to look like. (No, that sentence doesn't make any sense to me either.) My next goal will be posting this, so if you're watching this, that means I succeeded, and you should probably be proud of me. I will be proud of me. I really don't have anything to say, I don't know why I thought this was a good idea. And I hate the sound of my voice. And the fact that I have to look up here (points at camera) instead of, like, at me, because I feel like if I look at me, then I'm talking to a person, but then I'm not looking at you, it's very awkward, I'm sorry. I don't... I don't know. I've never done this before. I probably won't do it again. It's awful. (random mumbling.) Yeah. We're done here. Thanks for suffering through.. five minutes? oh my God, I'm sorry, I'm very sorry, (scrambles for “stop” button).
Saturday, June 18, 2011
First: okay, I'm working at my part-time job, but it's only for three hours, which is the perfect amount of time.
Second: going garage-sailing with my friend Trish. I LOVE ME SOME GARAGE SALES. Currently, there is nothing that I *need* but you never know what sort of awesome shit you can find, for CHEAP. Last time I was at one I found a supposedly-fully-operational Polaroid camera for a dollar. Which I still haven't found film for. Because it's SO EXPENSIVE because THEY STOPPED MAKING IT and now I can only get it off, like, the black market of instant film, aka eBay. Wah.
It still goes nice with my vintage camera collection though. Which I should show you sometime. Remind me.
Third: going to a FREE show of The Cues, our beloved local band that plays at Prom almost every year. Plus I used to work with the lead singer before he left for other opportunities so I totally have an IN, if that's something that was at all useful. Trish and I will be joined by Calee and it's going to be an awesome evening. I've never actually been down to the marina so that will be new and fun.
In other news, now that I've decided to look into taking myself more seriously as a blogger (I know, right? YAWN. I'll try not to let it interfere with the quality programming you are getting currently, but the American dream is to somehow make money doing what you love, right? And while I do love my day job, I capital-L LOVE blogging and writing, so. No time like the present, right?), I looked up my page rank. Which is not something I understand, other than higher = better.
Funnily enough, I was at a 2 before I decided to buy my own URL. Now I'm back to zero. Bummer. EVERYONE START LINKING TO THE NEW URL SO I CAN START WINNING AGAIN.
Also, I have something in the works for next month that is going to be so exciting I just might pee my pants. Or maybe you won't find it as exciting as I currently do BUT YOU SHOULD and that's all I'm going to say for now.
Also-also, because people have been asking about the outcome of this... we're going to have lunch sometime next week, I'm going to try to keep an open mind, we'll see what happens, but honestly, I can't really get past the fact that I've never seen him as anything other than a friend. It also doesn't really help that I might be developing a small inkling of a thing for this other guy I know. That's all I'm going to say on THAT for now, too. If it actually becomes a Thing, I promise, I'll tell you.
Anywho, busy day ahead, I will catch you on the flipside. Whatever that actually means.
Friday, June 17, 2011
I'm going to kind of phone it in (again) today. YOU GET SNIPPETS AND LINKS, is what you get. It's been a draining week, for things I don't really feel at liberty to discuss, as they are largely work-related, but, alas. Friday is for short days and afternoon naps and for grownup softball and contentment.
It is also for the Naked MJ tumblr created by my dear friend Calee, who, for whatever reason, felt compelled to buy a naked Michael Jackson doll off of eBay one time (from the non-creepy era) (don't worry, it's not anatomically correct and thus probably safe for work) and finally found a use for it.
It's for this beautifully written post by my friend Steph about her wedding, which I have not written about yet because I am a slacker and have not gotten a chance to edit all my photos yet.
It's for celebrating a 3rd place victory with my softball girls after lamenting a loss on Monday. My team returned to me on Wednesday and played like the girls I remembered. I hate the end of the season, because it's such a quick fleeting moment. I don't know if they'll remember me, and to be honest, I don't remember all of the girls I have coached before. I mean, statistically speaking, six years with teams around 10 players? I would have had over sixty girls pass through my life. Granted, some have been repeats, and those are usually the ones I remember. I remember all of my coaches growing up, though. Tori and Jen and Christina and Leah. Maybe my girls will remember me simply for being the only non-parent coach they've had. Hopefully as a positive female role model. Who knows? I'll have a new group of girls next year, laced with the same emotions of sadness at the end of the season. I think I'm starting to know how teachers feel, but on a much smaller scale, and with a much smaller impact. It's hard not to get attached.
It's for not being hard on myself for falling off the wagon this week - I did so good last week, counting points, and I was rewarded with reaching my 25-pound milestone this week (technically 26, but tomato-tomahto). I've eaten too much nearly every day this week and I expect to see a gain on the scale next week. But it's okay, because this is a journey and not something that needs to define me, like I thought it used to. And I'll get myself back on track, and it will only be a minor setback. I need to learn to not be disgusted at myself when I make mistakes. I'm human, after all.
It's for celebrating the end of this exhausting and stressful week, and taking a huge breath, because I MADE IT. We'll start over next week, and everything will get back on track, and back to the way it should be, and if we're extra lucky, maybe I'll even clean my apartment, so I can stop stressing out about that, too. ANYWAY. TGIF, etc.
Today's rambling post brought to you by lack of quality sleep and probably too much diet soda this week.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
So, you might see ads, and I'm sorry for selling out, but... a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.
PLEASE DON'T THINK BADLY OF ME. I'M SORRY.
Monday, June 13, 2011
I've learned to do it. I've learned to do it with grace. Given the situation, I can even do it with a smile and a self-deprecating joke.
Tonight, though. Tonight was a disappointment followed by unexpected bitterness.
The disappointment: we should have won. Truly, we should have. We played a team that we have beaten all season. They weren't a good team, by any means.
But they showed up to play today, and our girls didn't.
I don't know what happened to the team I had all season. They weren't there tonight. I don't know who I was coaching, but it wasn't my girls. We did the best we could. We got off to a bad start, pulled ahead, and lost it again. We fell apart.
As a coach, there really isn't much more I could have done. I put together the best lineup I could. I gave them pep talks and I cheered them on. I shouted directions from the sidelines and I reassured them that no harm was done whenever there was a flub. I watched helplessly as things refused to go our way. I reminded them that the game wasn't over until the last inning, and I all but begged them not to give up on themselves.
Even so, afterwards, I had nine sullen girls on my hands, disappointed by a loss that should never have happened. We should have won that game. We should have had a chance to play for the championship title on Wednesday against my recently-proclaimed nemesis, the team that has yet to be defeated this year. We were the only team that could give them a run for the money. We managed to tie them once. That's closer than anyone else has done.
Yet, there we were. Sitting in the grass behind our dugout, dejected, quiet. I just wanted to give them all hugs. I wanted them to know that they had played hard, they'd played their best, and sometimes these things just happen. It sucks, but it doesn't define us. I don't want it to define our season, either. The best we can do now is 3rd place, which, in a league of 4 teams, really isn't saying much. From the beginning of the season, I had predicted us to be the 2nd place team. Sure, I would have loved to try for the championship, and who knows, under the right conditions, we may have snagged it.
It wasn't meant to be.
We did finish 2nd in the league for the overall season. I will be pleased with that. Between a 2nd place finish and the fact that I won my very first game as a head coach, I have no complaints.
But I feel sad for the girls, who expected a better outcome.
I reminded them before the game to never take it for granted, because they could surprise us. (And weird shit always happens in tournaments. It's almost inevitable.) Don't get cocky. Play hard, even if we beat them effortlessly last week. We were guaranteed nothing. In a way, I was reminding myself, too. I'd been plagued by an odd anxiety all day yesterday about this game. I told myself that I needn't worry, but that didn't stop me from obsessing over the lineup and from showing up ten minutes earlier than I told the girls to be there. It's almost like I saw it coming. I knew it was a possibility, but it was never one that I wanted to acknowledge. I wasn't prepared to end the season like this. I wanted to fight for first place. I so badly wanted to play that game. I knew it would be a good one. I wanted one more opportunity to face the unbeatable team, to see if we could be the ones to do it.
I was oddly calm throughout the game, even though I felt my heart sinking with each inning that we scraped through. I felt the game slipping through our fingers but I refused to let my disappointment register. I didn't want the girls to take it any harder than I knew they were going to anyway. I tried to keep us fighting until the end, and it was all I could do.
The bitterness comes in because we lost to the team with the bitchy assistant coach. The one that my player told me had been talking shit about them on the field. I was furious. It was unsportsmanlike and a bad example to be setting, and besides, nobody talks shit about my players. When I mentioned it to other people, that coach's reputation preceded her: everyone knew exactly who I was talking about, and knew she was terrible. It was a bitter pill to swallow, losing to her. I had set that as a subconscious goal from Day 1: we would not lose to her. I would not give her the satisfaction of a victory over us.
Pride is not a particularly easy thing to swallow.
There's not much that can be done, though. They get to go on to the championship game on Wednesday, where they will undoubtedly lose. We will have to content ourselves with aiming for the bronze medal. It's all that's left.
A loss is a loss, it's not the end of the world. I'm left eating my words, when I said once that it was good for them to lose every now and then. And it is. But not tonight. I would have rather taken a regular season loss. It's rough to end the season on a sour note. Even if we win on Wednesday (and I'm determined that we will), that's all that it is: a consolation prize.
It left such a bad taste in my mouth to have to enter the scores into the system tonight. To acknowledged that we'd been bested by the team I'd vowed never to lose to. To watch their name appear in the championship bracket instead of ours.
This is my sixth year coaching. I've had teams place in all sorts of areas at the end of the season. I think I have another bronze medal somewhere. Two of my previous five teams took the gold medal. One is draped over the team picture in the entryway to the living room. The other, well, there weren't enough for the coaches, so I have no physical mementos from the season other than the team picture. Last year was the most invested I've probably been in a team, as I was treated as more of a co-coach than an assistant coach. I finally had more confidence to be more than the assistant coach.
This, though. Year six. It's the first year I've been in charge of a team. It was a learning experience, to be sure, but at the end of the day, I just wanted to make sure everyone was having fun - myself included. All in all, I'm not sure what I'd change, if anything. We gave it a good run.
I guess it's hard because I always felt I had something to prove. As the youngest coach in the league, as the only female head coach (although, unlike last year, not the only female, period). Among the sea of softball dads and softball moms, the only one who was there because I genuinely loved the game. I wasn't getting paid. I wasn't helping out a family member. I used to question whether or not even belonged there, being so unaffiliated with anyone. That, and I didn't play softball in college. I mean, I played for almost my entire life, but does that qualify me to coach? Maybe. It's hard to say.
No matter how the season ends, I can't complain. We've only lost three games all summer (plus one tie, in which nobody won, and nobody lost). We bonded as a team. The girls that were catty with each other at the beginning, even if they aren't exactly friends now, have at least stopped antagonizing each other. These are the things that matter.
When I get an email from a parent telling me their daughter enjoyed being on my team this year, or that they're disappointed when they had to miss a game because of a family vacation, when they're excited to be there, when they volunteer to bring treats for the team. Those are the things that matter.
Years from now, nobody will remember our win-loss record. They may or may not remember that we finished second in the league, or that we (hopefully) finished 3rd in the tournament. If we get a medal, it will go on a shelf, probably. It will be brought out at their high school graduation with all of the other awards and achievements that they rack up through the next few years. It will eventually get put in a box and stored away. What they will, hopefully, remember instead, is that they had fun playing softball. What I can only hope they remember is their awesome coach from 2011, the year we wore red tshirts, the year we had goodies at almost every single game. That she was nice, and encouraging, and made the game fun. So that maybe when they're in their twenties, they'll still love the game so much that they will get involved with coaching too, and pass that on to another generation of girls.
Those. Those are the things that matter.
Not the numbers on a scorecard.
A scorecard that's already in my garbage can.
Friday, June 10, 2011
This. This is what happens.
Yes. That is a vase of goddamn flowers that arrived to my workplace on Wednesday afternoon.
The only other time in my life that I have received flowers was from my mother when I was in college and they told me I had mono and I was pretty sure my life was ending because if I had mono then there was no way I would be able to continue to work my ass off to get accepted into the actual graphic design program and WOE, ALL THE WOE IN THE WORLD. (Spoiler alert: my "mono" subsided rather quickly and I did get into the graphic design program, which I then promptly stopped giving a fuck about halfway through my sophomore year when I was blindsided by a massive bout of depression and somehow still managed to pass off mediocre work enough to get decent enough grades to land on the Dean's List. Even in the midst of wanting to spend my entire consciousness mired deep in unconsciousness, I was still a fucking perfectionist.)
I may have gotten off track.
So there's this thing of flowers waiting for me down at the front desk, and I carry them up the stairs with a massive look of puzzlement on my face and helpless shrugs as all my coworkers are all, "ooooooh and who are THOSE from?"
Turns out they are from a friend of mine from college who secretly had a not-so-secret crush on me for I don't even know how long, probably longer than I even knew about, but didn't actually fess up to until about two years after we had graduated and he was safely back in Ohio. We met in student government (YES I AM A NERD, THAT IS NOT THE POINT). I hired him on as my treasurer (excuse me, Director of Finance) when I was the president of our hall council. And somewhere in that time frame of me being this bad-ass bitch to be reckoned with (I mean, okay, it was residence hall government in college, but still. I was intimidating and I got shit done and people actually listened to me and dammit I miss those days), he apparently developed a crush on me. While simultaneously being scared of me. I don't know. Which... I sometimes suspected but never really had confirmation of until someone flat out told me. It was one of those "oh" moments. Obvious in hindsight. Anyway, while I knew he was back in the area, I hadn't actually seen him or spoken to him in at least six months. Which is why it was SO BIZARRE and AWKWARD and OUT OF LEFT FIELD.
(If you're sitting there going "awwww" right now then I'M GOING TO PUNCH YOU IN THE FACE.)
I am vexed, Internets. Because while he claimed that they were just something nice to brighten my day (which I can only assume I made some sort of relevant status update on facebook), I suspect ulterior motives. It caught me totally off guard and like anyone with a pair of ovaries, I am obsessing over this and what it meeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaans.
Now, he is a very nice guy. I will cede that. Nice enough to randomly send flowers? ehhhhh. Maybe? I don't know.
I also don't know what the protocol is here. I DON'T KNOW HOW I AM SUPPOSED TO RESPOND TO THIS.
I mean, obviously I said thank you, and we started small-talking via facebook message and made plans to meet up for lunch next week and I'm really only one of the few people left in town that he knows so maybe he just wants, you know, a friend, but. BUT. I am very suspicious by nature and I feel all sorts of awkward about this.
For starters... I've never seen him as anything more than a friend. I just don't see an "us" working out very well*, and so I've always done my very best to not ever lead him on. I don't want to waste his time or mine if I end up being right. Once it was out in the open, his prior infatuation, it was something that he would joke about. I didn't expect it to ever come up again. Ever.
*For example: we have very very different political viewpoints. to his credit, though, he's eased up on the militant Republican propaganda to a more moderate stance, but, hi. Have you met me? I mean... I have Republican friends and I will consider the conservative viewpoint before deciding to dismiss it if I do not agree with it, but I'm just not sure I could date one. Not successfully.
But he doesn't push the issue of an "us" or even approach the issue, if it is an issue, so while part of me is relieved, the other part of me is, well, still suspicious.
It doesn't help that Every Single Person I tell this to is all OMG YOU MUST DATE HIM, HE SENT YOU FLOWERS, THAT'S SO CUTE, AWW, etc. In my gchat conversations of the last few days, the general consensus is: go for it, it might be one of those things where he was totally right in front of you the whole time, blah blah.
Yes, it is cute. Yes, it was sweet. Totally fucking random, but sweet. An yet.. it's so loaded. Flowers, they're a Thing. A big thing. A boy doesn't just randomly send flowers to a girl... right?
I'm trying to frame it in my mind, the same way that all my friends have automatically done. I'm trying to envision what it would be like if I gave him a chance, "you never know", etc. But I'm still drawing a blank. Why is this? Why can't I just be swoony and happy about it like a normal person?
This is my problem, guys. I am kind of a bitch. I mean... not really. I used to be, I've gotten soft. But I feel like I am always mean to the guys that actually like me, and even though I recognize that they are sweet and nice and, you know, interested... I just can't make myself be. It's like I'm turned off by the fact that they're into me. (What that says about my self-esteem, I don't want to know. It's either self -esteem issues or I'm one big walking cliche. Neither option seems like a particularly flattering one.)
It's not like I fall for the assholes, though, either. Other than that being horribly cliche, it's also a waste of time and I've been there, done that. I have an asshole radar the way some people have gaydar. It's finely honed and I have a zero-tolerance policy for douchery. Instead, I merely fall for those who are otherwise uninterested or unavailable. (Or, let's face it, usually both.)
Wouldn't the obvious choice be to find someone who liked me? Who obviously has liked me for a long time? Despite the fact that I have never given any indication of a reciprocation? OH GOD, I AM THE UNREQUITED INFATUATION. Funny, I never pegged myself as the heartbreaker type. That was supposed to be my sister. She was the outgoing, flirty, fun one. Until we got older and switched roles, I guess. Now she's the one that's married living in suburban bliss and I'm a starving artist living in a shoebox apartment with men metaphorically falling at my feet. (Men. Man. Whatever. There might be more out there, WE DON'T KNOW). So, that was a life turn I never would have seen coming.
So, I don't know what to do. I don't even know what etiquette calls for here. I guess I will see what happens. I will go to lunch and we'll probably have awkward small talk and he'll probably continue to be shy and not make a move and I can go on my merry way pretending like I don't know that he wants to. Then spend my time feeling guilty about it because the evidence is sitting on my goddamn desk.
I'd rather go back to complaining about being fat and poor. At least those were tangible problems with identifiable solutions. Ugh.
Yes, I know. It sucks so much to be me. Small violins, playing everywhere. STFU.