The Week That Hated Me

Well hello old friends! I am, in fact, still alive. Hooray! I’ve quickly learned how easy it is to keep letting this blog slide. Getting back on the old blog-horse is harder than hopping back on the work-out-bus after a brief illness! Plus, I’m oh so easily distracted. I’ve had some really fun journeys the last half of the summer that I completely intended on sharing with you all but life got in the way big time. That’s something I’m actually happy about considering my lack of money, job, and all that. I was visiting family in multiple states, eating way too much awesome food, and enjoying time with amazing friends that invited me to a beautiful wedding that they so truly deserved. Maybe I’ll share all/some of those memories if I deem you all worthy!  😉

But today, dear readers, I have to vent about my week. This week has been absolutely… weird and if I have to encounter another one like it soon, I’ll probably curl up in a little ball and bid you all farewell. So fingers crossed people!

I think I’ll go day-by-day, just to keep the flow going. Let’s start with last weekend.

Last weekend, we all know, we marked the tenth anniversary of September 11th. A very somber time that I honored by staying in my apartment, not watching any of the coverage (because it’s still just too depressing), cooking and drinking vodka to keep my mind on more positive things. I drove up to New York that Friday before the anniversary, freaking out the whole way through the Lincoln Tunnel thanks to that whole heightened terror alert… and because tunnels freak me out in general. I reflected on the tragedy, thinking about how I was supposed to already be living and going to college in New York on that day in 2001, but my housing had fallen through and I had to defer one semester until I secured my current apartment. I like to think that something/someone was looking out for me that fall, because I don’t know that I could have handled myself in a sane manner amid all that chaos and stress that was the uncertainty in the weeks that followed.

Luckily, the day passed very quietly. But it did set the tone for the rest of the week.

Monday’s event was an afternoon of babysitting for a family with two children. One is a four-year-old boy and the other is an eighteen-month-old girl. Doesn’t sound too bad, right? The boy dominates EVERYTHING and is extremely hyper-active. Once he senses his mother is ready to leave he clings to her like a spider monkey while screaming at the top of his lungs. There is not much distracting him, until he’s ready to move on. I was able to temporarily take control of the situation by suggesting we put on some music to dance (a double whammy since he loves to dance and it’s an energy zapper), that is until he got over-excited and started attacking his little sister. I had to stand in the middle of them the rest of the evening in order to prevent the boy from sweeping the little girl off her feet with one swift tug of the ankle, sitting on her chest, dragging her across the room tempting rug burn, trying to pick her up or pull her onto things with the help of only one little limb, and pushing his index finger as far as he could into the middle of her chest while she was laying down, just because. Needless to say, I was exhausted physically as well as vocally thanks to repeatedly yelling his name and the word ‘stop’ for multiple hours. I soothed weak vocal chords with some vodka.

Tuesday, I was enjoying a quiet afternoon when I encountered a Facebook status update that read, ‘Holy crap! The store just got robbed!’ It was posted by a delivery driver from my dad’s pharmacy. My father owns a pharmacy on the grounds of a regional hospital in a quiet Pennsylvania town where my sister also works. I called my sister immediately to ask what was going on, but she couldn’t talk because the cops were there interviewing everyone. It turns out, masked and armed men burst into the store, ordered everyone on the ground (staff and customers included), stormed the back of the pharmacy and ordered my father to empty the locked drawer that holds all of the controlled substances. My sister was in the other office that happens to be on the other side of a partial wall. Once she heard what was going on and was able to overcome her shock, she ran down the hall to call the police. Some damn, dumbass tweekers put my family and friends in danger for a couple bottles of pain killers and I’m not OK with that at all. I had to soothe my frayed nerves with some vodka. The newspapers reported that this is the first ‘take-down’ robbery the small-town police department has had to deal with. We’re still waiting on follow-up news, but I’m staying very positive. I’d like to think the police would be interested in starting off their foray into this new type of crime to solve with a 100% ‘take-down’ robbery conviction rate.

Wednesday actually came and went without a hitch. I had a really good dinner with an old friend and some shows started their new fall season. The little things make me happy!

During that Wednesday dinner, my friend mentioned that a friend of hers was looking for my number so I could babysit her daughter on Thursday night. She and her husband are having some heavy marital issues and she has been dying to get out to have a little fun in order to escape the stress at home. I agreed to get in touch with her since I was free that evening and could use the money. One of the first things the little girl said to me when I arrived was, ‘I slept with daddy last night and mommy slept on the couch. Isn’t that weird?’ It shocked me so much that it took me a minute to respond with a reassuring answer. Later that evening, I was sitting at the table with the girl doing crafts when her father walked in the door, obviously disgusted and surprised at the sight of a babysitter in his home. He ignored the little girl’s attempt at a welcome home hug and uttered loud enough for me to hear across the room ‘I see your mother went and hired a babysitter’. As he walked further into the room, he brought the icy chill with him and flatly said, ‘I’m going to have to ask you to leave, you can come back tomorrow so [she] can pay you.’ I stood up, picked up my bag, and began to walk towards the door. He followed so close behind me that all I could do was grab my shoes so they wouldn’t be left behind. I turned to say goodnight to the little girl, but he slammed the door in my face before I could even focus my eyes on her. I had to sit down in the hallway to put my shoes on. I stood up completely shaken at the brazen rudeness I had just encountered and left afraid for the state of the little girl inside that house. I came home and soothed my inflamed adrenaline rush and raging anger with vodka and pizza.

Today, Friday, I decided not to tempt fate and stay home. I did go out to sit in my car for street sweeping day this morning. If you aren’t familiar with the free street parking in NYC, twice a week you have to go sit in your car for an hour and a half so you can move your car for thirty seconds when the street sweeper comes. If you are not in your car for that whole hour and a half and a cop walks by, you get a ticket that rivals your monthly rent. I’ll sit in my car to the very last second in order to avoid that slap in the wallet. Today, as the street sweeper was approaching, the girl in the car behind me turned her wheel a little too hard and proceeded to jump the curb. She kept on going to not just kiss, but make out with a tree on the sidewalk. She crunched the whole front driver side corner of her car. I just thought to myself that with the week I have just had, I’m so glad that wasn’t me.

Maybe my luck is changing… or at least the bad has jumped on to someone else for a bit.

Have you ever had a week that just wouldn’t stop poking you?

-xo

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Desperately Seeking Substance

I’ve been intensely bored lately.

Having no job seems like it’s all fun and games. You have all this time to do whatever you want, the world is your oyster! … As long as it doesn’t cost any money.

This summer has been both awesome and lame. I’ve gotten to do a lot of things with family that I may have not been able to do on a 9 – 5 schedule. I’ve gotten to go away for a weekend and decide to turn it into a week at the last-minute, which fits right into my hatred-of-all-things-planned kind of lifestyle. But what to do with all the other times when there isn’t anything to do? The random Thursdays where everyone else is at work and you’re stuck in the house trying to decide if you should go for yet another walk or just find a new bench to read that next chapter. And by the time you figure out which one sounds less monotonous today, you’ve spent the whole afternoon on Facebook.

Oh yes, my life is so glamorous.

And you’re probably like, ‘hey dumbass! You live in New York-fucking-City! There are thousands of things to do!’ True. Although, just about all of those things cost money. Surely I can go to a museum and skip paying the ‘suggested’ donation price, but then I’ll just feel like an enormous dick the whole time I’m trying to enjoy beautiful art. Plus, how many pictures can you really stare at before your eyes go goofy? I get bored easily, especially when alone. And don’t get me wrong! I love being alone. I cherish my solitude more than most, but after spending much of my time flying solo I would prefer to enjoy my art-gazing with a side of conversation. I”m just kooky that way.

So, what else is there? Shopping? No. Trying a new restaurant? Nope. Head for the gym? Can’t afford it. Get my nails done? Even if I had the money, I wouldn’t waste it on that. And so on.. you get the drift. Therefore, I try to get creative. I crochet, try to learn new things, I’ve even picked up cooking. Nice, low-budget hobbies that can keep me entertained (and productive) in the hours that I’m taking a break from the job search. But the problem today is that I’m still dog-sitting, which means I’m not at my own house. No yarn, because I chose not to lug my two current projects (already in full blanket mode) across the city and I don’t really enjoy cooking in someone else’s house, I can get messy. So, I’ve taken to walking with and without the dog. Walking at least five miles a day, up and down the city.

I realize this all seems very trivial. Most people would kill to have so much time on their hands and when I do finally get a job I’ll look back at these times with envious fondness. But the problem is that I’m bored with freedom.

That’s a huge problem.

I’m so bored that the Lisa who started looking for jobs with such a huge amount of dread and loathing for the working world doesn’t really exist anymore. She has turned into someone who would be willing to take just about anything just to have a purpose, and that’s not a good place to be. I don’t want to settle. I don’t have time to settle. I’m thirty-years-old and have to pick my next career carefully because chances are it will be the last one I’ll have. It’s a scary thought that has left me paralyzed with fear many nights. I didn’t go to college with dreams of falling into a position that didn’t leave me fulfilled at the end of the day. I don’t want to end up being the one who cheesily exclaims ‘I’ve got a case of the Monday’s’ after each weekend, dammit!

I suppose I’m still naive about it all. Chances are I’ll become the same blurry-eyed, office zombie that most people are because I have to make a living. It’s a realization that I’m slowly starting to slip into, though will never wear happily.

Now I will answer the question that everyone probably has on their minds, especially my parents’: Why are you still unemployed, I’m sure there’s something you can do?
I shall reply with two simple answers:

  1. I said it above, I’m scared. I’m scared to become a corporate drone just going through the motions in a beige, lifeless office. I can’t imagine spending the next thirty years of my life waiting for five o’clock to slink along. Contrary to popular belief, I kinda like being busy!
  2. (And this is the kicker). Out of all the applications I’ve sent in, I still haven’t heard back from one person that wants to meet with me. This fact, of course, throws me down further into the lack-of-a-job death-spiral. Maybe I’m not as creative as I thought, maybe I’m not capable of having the kind of job I’m hoping for, maybe I’ve been totally wrong about myself all these years. Maybe I’m just not destined to write. These aren’t thoughts I like to entertain, but they are hard to ignore at times. Then I grab some vodka and drown my sorrows. Just kidding! …?

In the end, it all swirls around in this vicious cycle that is very hard to break out of. It renders me useless at times and ferociously determined at others, but the result, so far, has remained the same. But I know one day it’s all going to change and I’ll be lamenting the horrors of my working life too. Because apparently, I’m never happy. But let me make this clear; I am happy, but I also know there is more out there for me and I want to know what it is. I’m ready to leave limbo behind.

So! Whose got a job for me?

-xo

I’d Like to Dedicate This Song To…

I took a little drive south for the weekend, again, to visit my best friend. She’s moving out west soon so she threw a little gathering which included beer drinking and dance partying. It was, as always, a great time. On my drive home I was listening to my iPod and singing along as I normally do.

On long drives I end up becoming one of those people passing drivers stare at, because I quickly go from mouthing the words to belting the song out within seconds. Before I realize it, I’m putting on a concert for my dashboard and I’m total crazy-person-entertainment for all of I-95. It’s my only way to live out my rock star dreams.

Suddenly, Debbie Gibson’s ‘Foolish Beat‘ came on and I was ready for my big performance. I’m not ashamed at all, I’d sing it again right in front of all of you if the mood struck. When the feeling comes over me, I can’t be stopped. I sang along with Debbie as if I was some heartbroken teenager scribbling on a school book in my room. Someone really must have broken her fragile, little, seventeen-year-old heart. When it was over I grabbed my iPod and played it again… just because I could.

While I was lost in Ms. Gibson’s heartache, my mind started to wander back to the early to mid 90s when a Philadelphia radio station, Star 104.5, played a late night show called Between the Sheets. It played from probably 8pm to 12am, spinning love songs and taking requests from heartbroken souls and the lonely half of two lovers. They’d call in, tell a little story about why a particular song reminded them of the dedicatee, then the smooth-voiced DJ would speak out to all those hoping to hear ‘their’ song.

For some reason, my sister (who was probably around 16 at the time) loved listening to this love fest on our drives back to our mom’s house, from our dad’s house, after having dinner. Maybe she thought her boyfriend was going to call in and dedicate some cheesy Celine Dion or Bryan Adams song. I guess that’s romantic. I first thought the whole idea was lame, but I soon came to find myself understanding the need to reach out to someone while driving down a dark road counting headlights. It instantly became nostalgic, and it never hurt that I almost always heard ‘Eternal Flame‘ by The Bangles. It’s a classic.

Now I tend to recreate this in my car, alone, more often than not (sans all the mushy dedicating). Especially since I’ve been going on so many long drives this summer. I promise, though, there is no Celine Dion and the only Bryan Adams song on my iPod is ‘Run to You’. But you bet your bippy that little Debbie Gibson is going to be thrown into the mix a lot more, since she seems to have been hiding among my playlist in plain sight. That was definitely my main jam yesterday.

I would like you to know that I’m actually not at all a sap. I don’t very rarely cry, I don’t dwell on lost relationships, most of the ‘love’ songs that remind me of past boys are not your typical ballads. (In fact, many are synth-pop 80s songs). Yes, I’ve been called a robot on more than one occasion but I’m really nice, I swear. I prefer upbeat, dancy music that makes me happy. I want stuff with a good groove that I can bop around (as well as sing) to, even in my seat, and that’s what I was doing on the ride that brought my car odometer to 100,000 miles.

Go Speed Racer!

It was late morning on the Jersey Turnpike, hence the location of the arrow on the speedometer. I did slow down a little so I could get a good picture, don’t worry.

I dedicate this picture to my dad, because he got me the car oh so many years ago. We’ve been through a lot (the car and I), mainly this summer (as previous posted here). It was starting to become iffy as to whether we’d actually make it to this momentous milestone, but we’re still going strong. I’d be lost without that crazy thing, I have so many more mobile concerts to put on for myself.

-xo

Can’t Say Nothin’

I have a pretty killer case of laryngitis currently, so I can only communicate through text. I feel like Louis in The Trumpet of the Swan, I should get my chalkboard. Today is worse than yesterday, but I’m pretty sure most medical professionals wouldn’t recommend going to a party – where talking over music and drinking all day is par for the course (my course, at least) – as a health regimen. But I had to go, the party was celebrating my niece’s graduation from high school. I can’t believe my niece graduated from high school, because that means I’m old. I remember getting the call that she was born, I was already in my early teens.

She’s the daughter of my step-brother, a step-brother who was already grown when my dad married his mother, so we were never close. But I’ve always been close with my niece, probably because I’ve been around since she was born. She looked up to me from an early age, even when I was too young to grasp the gravity of being a role model.

She’s been through a lot in her young life. Her family situation has been less than stable, she’s shuffled around from house to house, seen many family arrangements. Yet she’s prevailed and become a great young adult with goals of going to college to become a teacher. Goals that, as a high school graduate eleven years ago, I hadn’t yet figured out (and some would argue that I still haven’t figured out).

High school sucks, I’ve said it before, so it’s amazing that some kids actually have their futures kind of mapped out. Being a teenager is like playing a life-sized game of dodgeball where every hormone, emotion, idea, urge, and desire is being thrown at you at once. It’s no wonder most kids are so confused and angry. Who ever says those are the best years of your life is a pretty sad person, or was a jock who was never able to achieve the amount of stardom in his life outside of the gymnasium walls. I do look back on those years with a tinge of fondness, only because I was able to finagle my way out of most of my high school career so I could live my life. Most aren’t so lucky. Who constantly wants to feel like an outcast? Who constantly wants to feel stupid or under insane amounts of pressure to perform up to the standards of their parents? Who wants to be treated like a child when you’re screaming to be taken seriously as an impending adult?

The only things high school provided me was a place to socialize and nap. I didn’t know it then, but I was conserving all my energy for college.

My niece didn’t take the same road, mainly because she is a totally different person, and I congratulate her for that. She’s smart and determined to make a difference, and I’m so excited to continue to watch her grow.

A party is a great way to kick off the next stage in her life… But then again I’m always a fan of finding any reason to party, laryngitis or not.

-xo

Oh Boy!

I got to meet my new little cousin yesterday… or I guess he’s my first cousin once removed… I never understand how that stuff works. He’s not even two-weeks-old so he’s still all tiny and mushy. My mom and I went back and forth between holding him for over two hours, and then I got a stiff neck because I’m not used to propping up a little, mini baby noggin in my elbow.

This makes three little babies within two and a half years on my mom’s side.

There are four of us cousins, between my aunt and my mother. All girls. My grandmother had two children, both female. My mother had two children, my sister and I, and my aunt had two children, my two girl cousins. So when my little cousin was the first to get pregnant three years ago we were certain she was having a girl. It just made sense. She had a boy. A big boy, at over ten pounds. Then my sister announced she was pregnant, and we were certain she was going to have a girl. She had a boy. An even bigger boy, at almost eleven pounds. So when my other cousin broke her news, we chose not to jump to any conclusions. She had a boy. A teeny boy, comparatively, at just nine pounds. A shrimp among his cousins!

Now all eyes are on me.

Would I have a boy if I got pregnant? Would I also have a huge baby? Would I too have to suffer through a C-section after a tough labor? Am I ever going to settle down? Will I give up the spinster lifestyle? How many cats will I end up owning? Some of these things I’m afraid to have answered, pregnancy and the future scares the bejesus out of me. But sometimes, sometimes, a small part of me does want to get knocked up just to see if the boy trend continues… though I’m not that curious yet.

-xo