Wednesday, December 31, 2003

2003 -- it was a very good year

Well, it was a year anyways. I was going to do one of those newspaper-y style wrap-ups, like the Best & Worst thing they do in The Parade every year. I love that. Or the breakdown the paper usually does of all the major goings on from every month.

The trouble is that my life isn't really all that exciting. And I could go over the "best" things and there would be lots of gushing about getting engaged and how much I just loves my Daddy... And I do, but even I know that gets old and it's not like he's got a blog out there talking about how great I am every other day. And no, my ego is NOT big enough already!

The thing that I think though, repeatedly, is that I'm lucky. Lucky to have had a fairly uneventful year and still wind up feeling fairly content at the end of it. Lots fatter, lots poorer, but still lucky.

Sidenote: had a meeting with one of the directors today to discuss the new management re-design project. The shortest version is that they're doing a restructure of all of the managers jobs so that they can in turn focus more on helping out us peons on the floor and help make our lives better. The directors are meeting with just a few people from each skill group and my director recommended me as a good candidate for this chat. I was mildly honored, as I should have been. (Once a corporate suck-up...) So, we're in this meeting and talking off the subject somewhat (what, you Heather? Off the subject? NO!) and got to talking about how there have been SO many changes this year and how it's just been crazy. I said that it was obviously harder on the more tenured folks because they had grown more accustomed to how things were, whereas new people don't know WHAT to expect so if things just start changing all the time -- that's what we come to expect. We were changing our lives just by starting new jobs anyways. Apparently, there was a segment on NPR just this morning (I've really got to figure out which station that is) on a similar subject line... The short of THAT was that companies are trying to figure out a way to reward employees for doing a good job without creating an environment of entitlement to those benefits...

And here's where we get back to my year end wrap... The entitlement. The dictionary gives a secondary definition as "To furnish with a right or claim to something" and I guess this can take on a negative connotation when those rights are assumed and not earned. I never want to feel as though I am entitled to the good fortune I have had. I am not. I work, not HARD, but I do work for those things. That's why I do veer down these paths so often of waxing rhapsodic about how lucky I feel for the things I have in my life. I am lucky, I am blessed. I frequently have glimpses into how things could have gone in another direction. I try to be cognizant of that always and that is what keeps me on my toes. I have no rights or claims on happiness -- the simplest big or little thing could easily take away my house of cards and I try to keep that in my mind. I choose to be happy, but happy doesn't always choose to be me!

So, 2003 was the year we got engaged and the year I went back to school (and don't forget got an A!) and started blogging and had close friends move away and made new friends and the year I refinanced my mortgage and finally got rid of the last tie to my exhusband and discovered wine... I can't think of anything else, but it was a very good year.

Hope to continue with good fortunes into 2004 and wishing the same for y'all.

love & kisses,

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Born to Ramble

Wow. My mind is going 100 miles an hour, which is interesting because my brain is not quite moving at that same pace. Interesting, eh?

I was hanging out with The Unicorn tonight, drinking some wine. Which I continued to do after she left and this accounts for this state.

Came across this blog through a random announcement at Blogger about it winning some British Blogger award. It's very cool -- it's about life in a call center in London and MAN, does it make me do really bad fake British accents in my head. HP2 would be appalledK. But, very cool. This guy could totally write a sitcom about call center life and make it interesting. Although, to be fair -- he seems to be in a call center environment that would harvest that level of storytelling. Life at my cube farm is just not THAT interesting.

Speaking of the Unicorn, it's an interesting phenomenon because she knows one of my neighbors. Pretty well. Which is weird because I don't know any of my neighbors, which makes me sad. I WANT to know my neighbors. I want to live in the kind of neighborhood where it would be EXPECTED that I would know my neighbors. I miss that. Does that even still exist in our society?? It seems like it doesn't, but then I hear things about people talking to their neighbors sometimes and it just makes me sad. And even with this commonality of us having this person in common (not to mention the MINOR matter of the fact that we work at the same building), we still don't even wave or say hi. Again, this is very odd to me. What is the problem? With me and with them? Have I now passed the statute of limitations on waving and initiating "hi's?" What is that limit? When can we just get over that and start having family cookouts?

I want the damned cookouts.

I don't want to be a housewife but I do want a life where there are people that we cookout with. Is that wrong? And old-fashioned?

Probably. But, I'm tired. And still about a sheet gone.

Speaking of sheets, think I'll hit 'em. G'night!

Sunday, December 28, 2003

The Holiday Journey

I think we just about survived the holidays... New Year's will be tame and thus the running around ends.

We spent Christmas Eve with my Dad's side of the family. Which was cool, but odd having Scott there because he's even more of the antithesis of them than I am. They don't cuss or drink or smoke (except for turkeys, they do smoke turkeys) and they go to church fairly regularly and are just generally goody two shoes. I mean, they're my family and I love 'em and all, but I'll never be hanging with them on a regular basis.

We then came home and opened up our gifts. I got a digital camera -- YAY! Which means I may have to consider upgrading this here blog to show off some fabulous pictures of nothing too interesting, but at least there will be something for y'all to look at, right? I gave Scott a set of knives... I've been agonizing over this for a little while because knives are just pretty darned boring. But, he seemed to like them and luckily we were getting along well, so his desire to play with them didn't carry over to him looking over at me with a Jack Nicholson like glint in his eye.

Christmas morning we went over for breakfast at his momma's house. She threw down some cream chipped beef and I was in HEAVEN! That is one of my favorite things in life. Isn't that silly? But it's true. We opened our gifts and they gave me some clothes and some candles and some other things. I don't really like receiving clothes from anyone, but it was a nice thought.

Later on, we went to my parents' house for dinner. And then MY momma really threw down. It was so good, I wish I hadn't gotten so full so I could've had more. There was she-crab soup and crab cakes and shrimp fettucine and twice baked potatoes and a mixed medley veggie dish... TWO different kinds of dessert. Mulled apple cider that we abudantly spiked with Apple Jack Brandy. See, the food was so good I didn't even say what they gave me for Christmas! :) (That always brings back the kid in me... "And I got a scooter and I got some clothes and I got some video games and I got a new dolly") The main thing I got was a jewelry armoire, which I have enough jewelry to about half way fill, which really surprised me! Actually, I forgot about some stuff I have tucked in a drawer so it'll probably be about full once I put that in there.

The day after Christmas (Boxing Day, thank you very much) we went to his Aunt Janice's down in NC. I just love her to death. She's so down to earth and so blunt, that in some ways she reminds me of me. She's way more laid back than I am though. Not that this is hard to do. She also fed us a wonderful meal -- smoked turkey and ham and purple potatoes. Yeah, purple. They looked really odd, but they tasted just like regular potatoes to me -- with the right amount of gravy on them.

And then yesterday was my long-awaited party. It was really nice. I was pretty frantic getting everything together, but Scott really stepped up to the plate and helped me out a LOT. Both physically and emotionally. I LOVE having parties and getting everyone together but it's always kind of stressful for me because of a lot of self-induced pressure. I want everything to be right and just so, I get so wound up in that that it usually takes me a little while to relax and enjoy my own party. He was so great about helping me get things ready (I daresay it'll be a while before I'll get him near any plumbing repairs, though) and just helping me to relax in general. It was the first party that I threw that I really felt like WE threw. Felt like we were in together, you know? It was nice to have him there by my side and not have that feel like a figurative thing.

Every day I love him more and it's usually for the dumbest reasons. :)

Anyways, we had a good turnout. I think altogether a little over 20 people showed up. So, it wasn't a raucous holiday throwdown -- but my house is really not big enough to manage that. 20 people and it starts to get a little crowded -- especially in the winter because you really can't congregate outside as much as you can in the summer when the weather's warmer. On a sidenote, this is the first party that I've had in a long time where I really felt like I got to sit and talk to just about everyone for a little while. Usually, the next day I'm left feeling like I saw everyone and talked to no one. This time I really don't have that Faux Pas Hangover that I usually do. Like, I can't believe I said that or didn't say this or that I didn't talk to THIS person, but talked to THAT person forever. It was just an even keeled thing. I liked that.

But the holidays are officially over for me now and the post-holiday letdown can now begin. Think I'll wait to tear down the tree though. That's the part that's the worst. Then the house just goes back to being naked and unadorned. That's what REALLY makes it over, so I usually wait til after New Years. Just so I can put off that last final stage...

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

About those Holidays...

Woke up early this morning out of habit. I really kind of hate that -- I get the time off and I get up anyways. Then, to top it off I have a bit of a headache and it's not even hangover related.

I know, I know -- it's Christmas, I shouldn't be grouchy.

But, see that's part of it. I know it's Christmas, but apparently a lot of other people are in denial. Because we're so inundated with political correctness that we can't even wish each other a Merry Christmas, it has to be "Happy Holidays."

I personally get a little tired of that generica. I was at the McDonald's this morning and the cashier made sure to wish me a happy holiday. It's Christmas Eve, buddy -- the jig is up. If you wish me a happy holiday TODAY, then you and I both know that I'm celebrating Christmas. It's fairly obvious I'm not celebrating Kwanzaa, Hanukkah is almost over and even though he didn't know this, I really don't have any idea when Ramadan even is. Nor do I care. It's December 24th, just bite the bullet and wish me a Merry Friggin' Christmas already. It's okay.

Obviously, there are plenty of people in this country who do not celebrate Christmas and of course, we should be respectful of that. But, it's just getting out of control. Obviously, again, this country is more interested in the folks who DO celebrate Christmas or, hello, December 25th wouldn't be a paid day off for almost everyone in the country. Let's get realistic about this. Are the people who do NOT celebrate Christmas SO uptight about their beliefs that if someone, in a gesture of good will and friendliness, wishes them a Merry Christmas that they're going to take major offense at that?? Seriously. Is this why 9/11 happened? Someone wishe the wrong person Merry Christmas and they were just done.

"Merry Christmas, huh? I'll show you what Merry is, pal."

I don't think so.

It's gotten so out of control that when I am on the phone at work and I would occasionally wish someone a Merry Christmas instead of Happy Holiday, I would find myself looking guiltily around to make sure no one else had heard the slip. Isn't that silly? Would the person have thought that I intentionally was trying to offend them? "I can't believe she wished me a Merry Christmas -- it must be perfectly obvious that I'm a Jehovah's Witness."

(Besides, those guys probably WOULD say something because they really are just weird. I have NO tolerance for any religion that doesn't believe in celebrating your own birthday. It's your birthday, if you hadn't had one you wouldn't be around to have all these screwed up religious beliefs in the first place.)

I don't know what the answer is and I'll be the first to admit that. I just can't believe that THIS is the answer. It seems sad that we pretend that Christmas doesn't even exist, when at the same time it gets bigger and broader and more obnoxious every year. How can these things be in co-existence?

And how far do the holiday wishes extend? No one wishes you a happy holiday around Memorial Day or the 4th of July. Thanksgiving seems to be the one holiday that we're still allowed to call by name -- everyone wished me a happy Thanksgiving and I said it back to them and no one worried that we were going to offend one another. Happy Day of Gluttony! At the beginning of the year, I think we should wish each other Happy Holidays just to make sure we're covering all of the major events for the year. Because when it happens in December, we're just kidding ourselves. If someone is celebrating something other than Christmas than we usually aren't going to understand it, aren't going to care that much if we do and ultimately we just want to know if they got good stuff.

Maybe we could just start saying "Happy Stuff Getting & Giving" -- even if that is a little George Carlin of me!

I have to go bake and wrap my dad's presents for him (when am I going to be too old to do this?), so I hope everyone has a MERRY CHRISTMAS and gets lots of cool stuff!


ps: Occasionally I will get random feedback about my writing and the blog. I love hearing it, frankly, because I have an enormous, very hungry ego. But it puts pressure on me to step up and actually write crap that's worth reading. This usually happens when I find out that someone's been reading all along and I never had any idea, much less that they were actually enjoying what they were reading... Anyways, thank you for your kind thoughts and please drop them occasionally -- but sparingly. My ego is much too large to take too much praise, though it will tell you that it needs to feed constantly. Don't feed the bears!

Tuesday, December 23, 2003


So, tonight Tony Kahlua and I hung out with a 23 year old virgin. (If it's okay to use your name, please advise here) This was interesting on a number of levels.

I don't really understand holding onto your virginity. Which led us into a debate about religion that I'm not going to repeat because it hurts my head. The fact is that I let it go so long ago that I don't really remember what it felt like to not have it. I can't remember when it was a big deal to allow someone to get past second base.

But then again, I'm in a relationship -- I don't always remember foreplay. And that's not always his fault either.

Just takes me back to when I was talking about the young guy who just joined my team at work. It's the whole being under 25 thing that I don't get. I mean, I get that you're under 25 -- I just don't get all of the mentality that's associated with the lack of experience. Because I can't take back MY OWN experiences and go back to that mindset.


Two of my best friends are dating guys in this age bracket and it completely baffles me. I wouldn't have the patience for it. It's bad enough looking back on myself and my own lack of experience but it's really just compounded when I think about the difference between guys THAT age and Scott's age. It's just a totally different mindset and list of priorities. When you're in your early 20's, you're still trying to prove yourself... Not just to everyone else, but to yourself to. I think by the time you hit your 30's, you have a much better idea of who you are and where you're trying to go. I believe that what's going to happen when I hit my 40's is that I'm going to realize that I was right about where I wanted to go, just not about how I wanted to get there.

Anyways.... I'm all over the page and I don't really have anything real to say. I guess just that 23 year old virgins are interesting and it was a fun experience. I guess the thing that bothers me is that there are some leaps and so forth that are just not going to be able to be made to get to a friendship level. I guess I'm still learning that I really can't be friends w ith everyone that I meet and like, that some people it's really only going to get to a certain level with. It doesn't have anything to do with how much everyone likes each other, it just has to do with common grounds and visions.

Hm. I don't even really believe that! What do I believe??

I believe I need to drink some wine and eat some chocolate and be thankful for friends like Tony who bring me these gifts! :)



Monday, December 22, 2003

Yes, Virginia -- it IS possible to get sappier

Most people know Scott by his "party face." So, they don't always understand why I am so crazy about him. I mean, he has a great party face, don't get me wrong. He can put the face on no matter what the situation and always carries it off with grace where need be or EXTREME entertainment where that need be.

But, that's not why I'm with him. One of the main reasons I'm with him is because he has this way of saying and doing these amazing things that just completely takes me off guard time and time again. Like the comment below, for example. Yes, it was more than a little crass but quite hysterically so (will any of us ever think of butter in quite the same way again?) but there was actually some sweet things about me peppered in there. I was surprised by that.

And last night, when we were hanging out with my cousin and her boyfriend, he was playing his music library and this song came on and he said that he wanted to play it just for me. Well, I was a little tipsy and so I didn't really get to appreciate "the moment". My cousin even said that I really should listen to the song because it was pretty awesome that he was playing it for me. I listened and it was actually a very sweet song and we had "the moment". I couldn't understand that much of it, but a little later on my cousin and I had a minute alone and she just RAVED about how awesome it was that Scott played that song for me and that was the kind of song that she would listen to and think, "Awww, I wish some guy would hear this song and then dedicate it to me... and then he did that for YOU!" She was muey impressed it seemed...

So, tonight I decide to download the song and read the lyrics, so I could see what the hype was about. Wow. He could have saved a lot of money on a ring and just dedicated the song to me along with a copy of the lyrics. (Not that I'm saying the ring was a bad way to go, you understand.)

The song is called Forever and it's by Ben Harper. I was going to paste the lyrics in here, but that might be kinda long. But you can get them here.

So, you see... THAT'S what it is all about. And baby, you can have my forever. =)

Long Anecdote (even for me)

It's actually two anecdotes, but they're mildly related.

My fiance (I NEVER get tired of saying that, isn't that silly?) isn't incredibly great with names. Lots of people are like this but he's kinda bad about it. It's understandable though because he saw SO many people come and go at his job, and he's easily recognizable, whereas all those people really aren't.

Anyways, he just doesn't really remember people too well. We were at the grocery store on Sunday and he's wandering around with a red balloon (you'll just have to write if you want THAT part explained) while I'm checking the prices on some vegetables. My cell phone rang and it was Curly Sue. She wanted to know if I knew if Scott was at the Farm Fresh right then. I turned around and she's maybe 3 feet from me and I say (to her and not into the phone) "Um, yeah and I'm standing here right behind you too." She turned around and we started laughing. She said she spotted Scott because he was kind of hard to miss, lugging that red balloon around. She said she wanted to go up and say hi but she didn't think he would remember her.

I told her she should go up and talk to him and then just act like they knew each other for a long time, real well. You know, fuck with him. She wouldn't do it, she caved early. Oh well. I just wanted her to mess with him long enough for it to be obvious that he had NO idea who she is. (He's only met her maybe once or twice so it's not even crazy that he wouldn't remember her.)

Well, tonight I finally a) got a real dose of what it's like to be in that situation and b) met someone who has taken remembering people to a whole other level...

I was again at the Farm Fresh -- different one this time, as if it matters -- and as I'm checking out this voice calls out, "Did you get your college classes worked out, Heather?" I'm looking around for a face that I know and I see none. A woman standing right in front of me, smiling at me and repeating the question. She said, "Your name is Heather, right? And you are taking college classes?" It was surreal, I tell you. I had NO idea who this woman was and yet she knew me well enough to know these things about me. Odd. She soon realized I had no idea who she was and told me that she was in the room waiting with me while I waited for a counselor. To register for my classes. On November 20th. In fact, it happened so long ago that I had to dig through the blog to find the reference! Remember when I had the captive audience and had to go see the counselor after my crappy placement test scores? Yeah, you're reading this crap and YOU barely remember it!!

Anyways, the story is that when I signed in for my appointment, I noted that there was a Heather right before me. So, I made a mental note not to get too excited when they called Heather. So, when they called the other Heather, I interrupted my own running commentary to announce to anyone willing to listen that since the first Heather was called, I was NEXT!! That was when THIS girl said that meant SHE didn't have to wait that long because SHE realized that there were two Heathers in front of her when she signed in.

But, still. To remember THAT? After all this time? Does my obnoxious craving for attention make that lasting of an impression? Wait, pretty sure I don't want an answer to that. (Which means, Tony is bound to comment!) Maybe her life is just that dull?? But, she works in a grocery store (I forgot to mention that, she worked there), so she a crap ton of people all day.

It's weird. And scary. Maybe she told people about the crazy girl in the waiting room and that's why it made an impression??

I don't know. But when you think about how you really do have an effect on every person you come into contact with, it really kinda blows your mind a little. Doesn't it?

So be careful what you say -- apparently people really are listening and really do remember.


ps: By the way, did a little catch up with the girl -- whose name is Lanelle. Very sweet girl. She's just changed her major from Radiology to Business Administration. I think that's when you start to realize that you just don't have ANY clue what you want to do when you grow up!

You have to go to this blog NOW. Scroll down til you read the confessions.

Wow, huh?

I've never read anything like that before. Many of those things reminded me of parts of myself that I wish didn't exist.

Saturday, December 20, 2003

Bridezilla need Wedding dress.... grrr

Did my first foray into the wedding thing yesterday. Scary. SCARY. As soon as one walks into the bridal shop, one is set upon by bridal consultants in a fashion similar to vultures and fresh meat. They were asking me all of these questions and having me fill out forms and so on. Apparently, you're not allowed to even try on dresses unless you are registered with the store. And thus the registration process begins.

And it's all this cooing over the ring and cooing over your proposed selections and ideas of how you should look and what your hair should be like. And you're called baby and honey and sweetie over and over and OVER again. I just wanted to stamp my feet and say in a pouty, princess-like way, "I'm not a baby, I'm getting married, damnit."

But, I couldn't do that because I was so exhausted from being dressed by other people for 3 1/2 hours. One big huge puffy sparkly dress after the next. My, oh my.

I alternated between looking like a cake topper and the front end of a ship. And the walking? That was even funnier. It's kick the dress away, step, kick the dress away, step. I gave up the idea of seeing my feet after the 3rd dress. And then, gave up feeling them by the 4th because the shoes they had me in were NOT comfortable. I think all told I tried on at least 7 dresses, but probably more. It was exhausting. And NOT fun. Who ever said that stuff was fun?? I was so strapped and bound that nothing was moving anywhere and I couldn't breathe or bend and even though I look gorgeous, I just couldn't even appreciate it.

And the bridal consultants don't really leave much room for free thought. Which is kind of a good thing, because I wound up trying on some styles that I never would have thought looked good on me and having them turn out to be better than what I even had in mind. And very flattering to my curvy girl figure. Which wedding dresses are kind of designed for, in many ways. The corset style tops that give you the vavavoom cleavage and the full skirts that hide all of your imperfections. It's nice.

But, by the end of it my eyes were glazed over and I was more confused than I was before I even walked in. Visions of pearls and sequins and satin and taffeta dancing in my head. I was ready for a break. Visions of getting married in a bathing suit in Bermuda and all of the freedom of movement started dancing in my head.

Only time will tell what the future brings and for now, I just want to survive The Holidays!

Friday, December 19, 2003

Movies and Toys and Stuff

Went to see Lord of the Rings last night. I can’t really give away the details and ruin it for you because it’s too friggin’ long for me to remember all the details. Long, long. LONG. In fact, even when I ask people who are big fans of the genre and Tolkien and whathaveyou, their first response is still “it was long.� Or, “well, it tells the whole story, doesn’t it?� So, if even big huge fans are saying that, imagine what ordinary people like myself think. I mean, I like the movies and stuff but the honest truth is that I watch them so I don’t get left out. I just have to watch it because everyone else did.

I NEED to know!

But, the movie was amazing. The scenery was still amazing, the creatures were amazing, the fight scenes were amazing. But, it was still long. That’s just an exceptionally LONG time to sit in one place AND pay someone else to do it!

One of the most amusing parts for me was that Scott had already gone and seen the movie the day before, and so when I started checking his watch about mid-way through the movie he took that as a cue to start giving me the countdown at various key parts of the movie that would feel like the end. Something would happen that would feel like the climax and that ending was just around the corner and Scott would whisper “you think that’s the end? There’s still an hour to go.� At least I knew what to expect, and knew that I should shift positions in order to save valuable ass resources! They should have a counter installed so you have an idea just how much more you have to watch. Or something.

So, go see it because you know you have to say that you saw it.

In other news, I finished my Christmas shopping Wednesday night. If I forgot to buy something for someone, then they’re just not getting anything. Sorry!

The other thing that I realized is that I have a really hard time giving gifts to people that aren’t “fun�. Here’s your underwear, here’s your socks, here’s your whatever. I figured out this was leftover kid stuff. When I was a kid when I didn’t get “toy� stuff for Christmas, it was kind of a lame Christmas. The neighbors would get bikes and stereos or whatever, and I got clothes. And books. Snore. This feeling of disappointment must have carried over into adulthood. I fee ys a little disappointed when I don’t have any toys on Christmas morning. Isn’t that silly? But even more so when I don’t have any toys to give!

Anyways, that’s all the news for now. I checked the Sitemeter and I haven’t had one damned visitor in forever. So, I’m back to basics and writing this stuff for myself! Where are you??


Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Throw in the towel BEFORE you step in the ring

I don't really understand boxing. I mean, I guess I get the animal thrill part of it -- but the part where you let someone beat the fucking CRAP out of you. What's THAT about? How can you let someone beat the crap out of you? I mean, sure -- in the big time there's big money to be had for letting someone do this to you. But, it's not as if you don't have to work your way up to the big time. Right?

Which means in the meantime you are letting someone beat the crap out of you for nothing. Does no one else see anything strange about this?? If you ain't got your looks or your brains, because they're both housed in the same place, then I ask you -- what the fuck have you got?


So, I'm thinking. What is the dollar amount that I would need to let someone punch me in the face and the stomach repeatedly? I really don't think I could put a figure on that. And I'm greedy and poor. (Especially now they've cut my overtime -- you thought I was stressed out before, sheesh) And even factoring in those things, I still can't really put a dollar amount on my physical well-being.

If I were a more philosophical sort of person, I might tend to think that if I value my own physical being SO much that I can't put even an astronomical dollar figure on it -- well, why don't I take better care of it? Why do I smoke and drink and eat potato chips and not exercise??

The fact is that not only am I not a philosophical person, I definitely am never going to make those sort of leaps and bounds in logic to be able to get to that point. How did that line go? Scott knows. It was something about "If I used the energy to apply myself I wouldn't be able to sit here on the couch." Remember, honey? That cute blonde girl with the high voice who did voices? <--- what am I doing? "I'm establishing intimacy."

hee hee

Anyways, I'm gonna go philosophize elsewhere and still I say -- this face is priceless baby! :-)


Monday, December 15, 2003

"Madame Scrooge, we've got the Counting House on Line One"

These darned holidays, they really do bring out the Scrooginess in me. I hate it. Why can't I just be like Martha Stewart (pre-criminal days) and just bring everything together with a stiff, pasted on smile?? Have my Christmas cards addressed and mailed.

Shit, have Christmas cards TO mail!

Every single year without fail I PROMISE myself that next year will be different. I will pick up thoughtful gifts for friends and family throughout the year. I will plan for the holidays in advance and set aside money for last minute gifts and donations and parties and so forth. I will actually buy AND mail out Christmas cards to 76 of my closest friends and family. There will be thoughtful notes and perhaps even a photo included. My tree will be decorated with care and love. I will have stockings, they will be hung and they will be stuffed. I will bake goodies and have little gifts for everyone who crosses my path. I will be festively dressed without sinking to rock bottom and actually wearing Christmas sweaters, just do little things -- like have a jingle bell necklace or Christmas light earrings.

And it never happens and I spend the majority of December beating myself up for being such a terrible daughter, girlfriend, cousin, friend, granddaughter, etc etc etc. I can bearly see the red and green because of the black and blue I've put myself through. I just let everything go to the wayside and it makes me feel terrible and I can't even enjoy much of anything anymore. I can't just relax.

I want to just relax. But, I just don't see how that's possible when I'm worrying that I should buy Scott this or that or the other, or how I can't believe I don't have more stuff to give my mother and why am I not giving Scout a Christmas present? And what about getting ready for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and now even Boxing Day? I have 6 things planned for 3 1/2 days. How is this possible?? When am I going to get to sit down and just breathe? Sit in front of the fireplace with my honey and have some eggnog??

I think I need to buy a Santa hat or an antler headband or some other such frothy Christmas silliness to try to remind myself that this is supposed to be a season of sharing and joy and love. Not commercialism and who did more for whom when.

I'm very blessed. And it's not like I'm a "Believer", but I do know this. I have it good. I have a man who loves me 97% of the time, both my parents are still alive to share the season with me, I have friends who support me in good times and in bad, and my boobs haven't completely hit the floor yet. So, things could be much, much worse.

And I don't friggin' care how the punch turns out, as long as there IS one.

I'm gonna go roast some chestnuts now...


Sunday, December 14, 2003

Sometimes you gotta lose control

I realized something rather disturbing about myself whilst in the middle of an argument with my fiance this morning... Yes, you read that right: an argument. It's not as if we were transported to some lovely shiny bubble of a world where everyone is happy and dopey and in love all the time. I admit, that I did kind of think that it would work that way but apparently it doesn't.

So, here's the nature of the argument for all to view. Basically, he has offered to help me out with a couple of different things concerning a party I am throwing towards the end of this month. Very thoughtfully, in fact because there's several things to do and I can't really figure out when I'm going to have the time or the resources to get them done. The problem is that I am an anal retentive, perfectionist control freak. (And those are my words, not his before y'all get hyped up on my behalf...)

But then again, who's going to get hyped up because most of you probably realized this about me a LONG time ago and are surprised to learn that I didn't realize it about myself until this morning.

I'm still reeling from the shock. I keep trying to figure out ways to justify this thing about myself and I'm not really coming up with anything. It's more than a little disturbing because basically this is the icing on the "I'm turning into my mother" cake.

Here's what happens, he offers to do something, I accept his help and then I will proceed to give him specific instructions on how I want the thing done. On the one hand, he's doing the thing FOR me, so shouldn't it be how I want it done? Yeah, probably. But, on the other hand -- he's doing the thing so that I don't have to do it or worry about it. Which means I have to relinquish control of the thing. That's a problem. I can't just let things go.

I do NOT like this about myself even a little bit. I never realized I was a control freak. Well, I mean I sort of knew, but I didn't really. Not to the obnoxious level that I'm starting to really see in myself now. And the thing is -- how do you let that go? He doesn't understand because he's laid back about so much that this quality is often very complementary to my own need to be in charge. It's only when my need to be in charge becomes dominating and pushy that he starts to fight back. And usually by then it's too late because I have my heels dug in over the particular issue at hand.

And so, right now I'm doing this mental battle of not wanting to be an anal retentive perfectionist control freak versus not wanting to have things that are contrary to my ultimate vision.

This is actually one of THE primary reasons that as much as I really want to have a wedding, I really DO NOT want to have a wedding. I know that I would turn into Bridezilla and I'd wind up walking down the aisle to... NO ONE! I don't want that. I'd rather just offend the fuck out of everyone by eloping and telling them about it later. It's JUST too much trouble. I don't want to plan on the catering and the music and the flowers and what everyone's going to wear and where it's going to be and so on and on. I know I'll get crazy about it, he'll get crazier because I'm crazy and the whole meaning is going to be completely lost. And what's the point? He'll be left to wonder why he wanted to marry me in the first place and I'll be wondering when can I just relax?

I can't control everything. I don't want to control everything. I want to let go. So, I'm making my resolutions early. I'm going to work on letting things go and realizing that if we are going to be a team then part of that means actually accepting help from him when it's offered and trusting that even if it doesn't turn out the way I think it should turn out, that doesn't mean that it's not going to be good. Or even better than I had planned.

letting it go,

Saturday, December 13, 2003

And I want to eat worms because...why?

The above of course being a reference to the early bird getting the worm. But I don't like worms. That commercial where the girl is eating the worms always makes me a little squeamish. But, now that I'm in a routine of getting up early every day for my job I can't seem to sleep in much on Saturdays. The problem is that one thing or another happens on Sundays and I wind up sleeping in til 11:30 which means I stay up late that night which makes it harder to get up on Monday and this cycle goes on and on every week. Usually by Wednesday night, I'm back to being able to get to bed at a "decent hour" (can't you hear your mother standing over you and saying this??) so getting up in the morning isn't as hard.

There are several reasons this morning person thing bugs me. First and foremost, my boyf... my FIANCE is not a morning person by a n y stretch of the imagination. When he doesn't have to get up for anything and he's out of bed by 10am, I am shocked and wondering if he's feeling okay. I figure only health problems (or the possibility of my own snoring drowning out his) could get him up at such an ungodly hour. (Or the desire to hit McDonalds before they stop serving breakfast.) He stays up late and likes to sleep in. The problem is that if you're a morning person, you're up and about like 2 or 3 hours before your partner is. You're ready to do stuff and are chomping at the bit to do it by the time they're finally roaming around the house. It's frustrating. After all, they're night people. They're loners by nature, so while they're up at night they're not prowling the halls hoping you'll wake up from your slumber.

Also, I've always considered morning people to be odd. And they are. Most morning people wouldn't consider me an early riser for getting up at 8am, for example. That's LATE to them. I remember when my grandma used to come and visit us in the summer. By the time I would get up for the day around 10, she'd have been up, drank several cups of coffee, had breakfast, had shower and may have already been to breakfast with one of her buddies. I still had sleep boogers in my eyes. And she was all perky and chipper and I didn't get it. Half the time she'd go to bed before primetime tv was even over, which I REALLY didn't understand.

Plus, night people mock morning people. They're up all night, ruminating their plans for world domination or whatever so there's an air of evil about them. If you can't stay awake past 11, then you are a source of amusement to them. "Does the sweepy wittle pwincess need her rest? I bet she does, I bet she does!" Yuck. I don't want to be a sweepy wittle pwincess, I'm the friggin' queen dammit!

Also, if I'm going to be up this early in the morning -- why can't I be more productive about it? There's stacks of papers everywhere -- why don't I sort them? Why do I need to sit on the couch for hours and drink coffee and read and pretend like I'm a normal person?! I'm not normal -- I'm up in the single digit hours of the morning. That is weird.

Now, I need the damned coffee. Specially since I bought this cool stuff to put in it, in anticipation of my early rise this morning and need for caffeination....

Talk to you when y'all nightcrawlers finally get up.

Friday, December 12, 2003

Money, money, money

I've been grouchy and stressed out lately about the evil green monster. I hate the control that it has on my life. I wish I could just be independently wealthy and be done with it, but it just doesn't work like that.

The fact is that there is ALREADY pressure (as I've previously mentioned) on when, where, and how Scott and I are going to get married. I try to put a big bubble around him to protect him from these things because he's like a skittish kitten when it comes to planning -- too much of it and he hides under the bed. Figuratively speaking in this case. The point is that if too much comes out, he's gonna get scared and in case y'all weren't reading, I kinda want to marry the guy.

Anyways, one of the issues about the wedding thing is the millions of dollars these things seem to cost these days. I frankly don't need or want an actual diamond tiara, caviar for appetizers and Dom Perignon champagne pouring out of an ice sculpture but it would be nice to have my friends and family around me and not look at them and think how much their presence is costing me. Because if it comes down to that level of stress and planning then believe you me sister, we'll be getting married while we're in Bermuda faster than you can say "duty free." Scott suggested I install a Pay Pal account over here to try to grease you up for some money to help out. I'm looking for some feedback on this idea. This came from the man who thinks I was brought up in a trailer because I thought it would be fun to get married on the 4th of July. (My plan was that at least he'd never forget the date!)

After all, I'm providing these random insights from my head for little or no charge and let's face it -- if I ever get discovered, you'll have to pay to come see me. Perhaps we could just start acclimating to that idea NOW, just in case. I could password protect the thing and make people pay like a quarter to read the thoughts. Quarter's not that much so maybe folks would pay just out of curiousity. Kinda like a peep show. Only not as good! :-)

Anyways, if you're willing to pay to peep then give me a holler...

Sorry the blogging's been kinda lax this week. It has been SUPER slow at work and that tends to drain my brain cells more than the busy time. I get out of the habit of thinking and into the habit of staring into space and occasionally having a little stream of drool running down my chin...

I'll try to give you more entertaining bits -- after all, if I'm going to be charging for it, it probably should be worth reading, huh?


Thursday, December 11, 2003

Blog all over the page

It's a funny thing about life changes. You expect them to change your life. And my life IS changed. Don't get me wrong. But, I still get stressed out about silly things. I still get insecure about things. My feet still hurt after wandering through K-Mart too long. I'm still broke. I still don't like to cook.

Where did THAT come from?

The reactions have been interesting all around. Largely congratulations, but there have been many who were more than a little surprised to hear that I, Ms. Cynical, was getting married. After all, I certainly went through a small bitter period, didn't I? I think some folks were as surprised to hear the news as I was when I was asked!

Maybe even more so. After all, my tag quote on my email was "a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle" up until about 6 months ago. If that.

I don't know. I guess this fish decided that while she didn't NEED a bicycle, it sure is fun to tool around the ocean on one. Makes things a lot more interesting. The fact is that there are dull moments with Scott, but there aren't many. He keeps me guessing. And he loves me. (Not that I blame him, I'm pretty great.) These things are hard to come by and I say that I accepted because I want him to be legally required to keep hanging around and making me happy.

The fact is that while my cynicism has kept me company on many a night -- it's done little to keep me warm or make me laugh or make me think. I still don't think marriage is for everyone. I'm still a little surprised that I believe it's for me. But I do. I like thinking about things in terms of us and not just me. It does make things seem easier. (For his part, he'll have a built in excuse to get out of doing all the things he doesn't want to do. Trust me, that may be worth the price of admission for him!) Yet, it is still weird to adapt to that. I was talking to my aunt about trying to get together NEXT Christmas and I realized that those plans would no longer be my own to create. (Well, at this point the idea of planning something a year in advance is so weird to him that in that regard I am on my own) So, I guess I like thinking about the power of two -- but I am still a little overwhelmed by that power.

Anyways. I'm still fried from shopping on limited left-over budget. I'm going to stop trying to make sense, and start trying ot make some zzzzz's! :)

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

so much to say

Not gonna blog this late at night anymore. I have all of this stuff I wanted to say about the Average Joe finale and now I'm too friggin tired to do it.

Short version is she picked the cute guy. The bottom line is that she would have had to have been pretty darned shallow to pick Adam just because of his money but it was worse because she picked the other guy just because he was cute. Yuck.

There's just so much more to life than that.

Anyways, I had to at least jot that down. Will let y'all know about some of the reactions I've been getting to my news tomorrow...

Sunday, December 07, 2003

Life under that rock must be rough...

I figure you'd have to be living under a rock not to have heard me shouting from the rooftops that my Daddy decided to make an honest girl out of me! :-)

I'm fairly certain that everyone knows the story, so I won't go into that aspect of it here. Just that we're engaged and I'm EXTREMELY happy about it. Overwhelmed, actually. I think that I've got it all in stride and that I'm calm and cool and then I get to thinking about it (distracted as I am by the enormous diamond ring on my finger, hee hee) and I just feel almost weak in the knees again. I was about faint with excitement the night he asked me (Friday) and I feel the same way. I hope to carry that feeling with me always. The opportunity, the gift of being able to spend life with the man I love is incredible indeed.

I know, I know. I make myself sick with the mushiness, but you know what? Take a pill people and get over it -- the ooey gooey is here for the long haul!

Or until I've been completely inundated with plans and whirliness and whatnot. The only thing that has to be worse is when you announce you're pregnant... As far as the stories and the theories and the comparisons, ad nauseum. And it's so easy to get sucked into that snowball that hours after he asked I'm thinking about the guest list and how am I going to do my hair and will he wear a tux and all of that crap that gets tied into The Wedding. It only gets further magnified because people want to know when and where and how and they love giving you ideas. And I love hearing them but it just gets to be out of CONTROL. It's crazy. One minute you're starstruck with the idea of getting to hold hands with your partner, your best friend for the rest of your life (oops, there I go again) and the next you're thinking about place settings and venues and bridesmaids and all of this focus on just this one day.

The fact is that I want The Wedding, I do. (Pun intended.) It's important to me because the idea of "our community" (stealing ideas from Dave the Blogger's wife Jennifer) celebrating this big step in our lives is very important to me. It always has been. That's why I throw parties -- I like to celebrate events in my life with my loved ones. And this is a very big deal for me. I really love Scott more than just anything and can't wait to start our life together and really want to have my friends and family there to celebrate that joy with us.


I don't want to be snowballed. I don't want The Day and The Event to over-shadow the very important reason for those things. The fact that we have decided to get married doesn't mean that we have decided to have a big huge party one day. It means that we've decided that we can tolerate each other enough to smell each other's bad breath every morning and put up with our weird night habits every night until death do us part. And I want to be cognizant of that and just celebrate that for now. That doesn't mean that I don't want to talk about all of the nuances of The Day, but I don't want to get overwhelmed with them right now. There's time for that. Plenty of time.

Right now, I'm going to stay in my shiny, happy bubble and just think about what an excellent decision my fiance has made. Isn't this just proof of how SMART he is?!

By the way, for those of you who fear coming around us because the sappiness and good cheer may be too hard for your delicate stomachs -- never fear! We're still our usual snappy selves, just with a little more sweetness to the edge than usual. Suddenly, I'm both not as easily annoyed and not as easily annoying!

So, I'm off to throw the rest of the Christmas decorations up, maybe. So close to being done and yet so far.

More tales from the Engagement Zone to come. Normal activity will resume, eventually.

kisses all,

Thursday, December 04, 2003

I'm tired.

And I don't want to blog, but there's the obligation. I'm going to have to get out of the obligation thinking, I suppose. Because when I have THAT feeling, then I shoot out useless drivel like this.

Went out with my work crew tonight and that was fun. But, there's a new guy and since he's new he gets to be the center of attention. Which is cool enough because he's funny and interesting but I'm so vain (I probably thought that song was about me) and I get kind of drained when I'm not the center of attention... Which is SO lame.

Which brings me to a long-lost ne'ever blogged bit... The night before Thanksgiving I scratched out a bunch of bloggery stuff, reflecting on my strong need for people. My chicken scratch was this, "Sometimes it seems like the reason I pull so hard towards other people is really for completely selfish reasons -- it's to try to see me as they really see me. And I get so wrapped up in how the other person sees me and what I can do to make that perception closer to what I want it to be -- what I think it already is -- that I forgot that I'm just supposed to be me because it's not as if I can control how the people react... But I'm stretched towards them like a rubber band poised to be slung at your pestery neighbor in the fifth grade until I catch a glimpse that's the non-sparkly side of me. See something that is a completely distorted view of how I want me to be and yet that distortion is the truth, the reality.
And I :::snap::: back into me and I become confused about being in me because I've been stretched away for so long that I don't even feel like I fit in... IN ME! I bounce around like the soda bubbles from a newly poured soda pop -- dizzy from this new knowledge of me. Of this bad part of me. And all the buildup from being stretched out and extending towards the pretty shiny me suddenly dissipates and I'm in a puddle of plain old REAL me... It takes a while to take to plain old real me, because it's somehow jus tnot the same as that me with the sprinkles and cherries on top."

Anyways, all of the psychoanalytic bullshit summed up is that I really don't like that ever-present need to be the center of attention but it wasn't really something that I realized until recently. And it hit me as being fairly ugly. Tony (there's your name in bold letters even) says that at least I'm mildly amusing most of the time with my overwhelming personality (or something) but that's little comfort sometimes. On the one hand, I don't want to be that girl that's so loud and dominating and spotlight hoggy, but on the other hand -- I AM that girl. Who am I to denounce her?? If I took that away, would there be any me left? And would that me be fun?

I'm not going to find that answer tonight. But I'll sleep on it and we'll see.

"Here's what's happening in MY neck of the woods"

Don't you love how they say that on those national morning shows when they refer you to your local weather?

Worst news is that they shut down one of my favorite radio stations, the Coast. I couldn't believe it. I did my usual channel surf on my horrendous drive home tonight and when I flipped to the Coast, I heard this booming voice saying, "You've asked for it -- more country music here in Hampton Roads!"

Me, outloud to self in car: I have
Radio Guy: You have. You've been dying for country music and that's why we're going to give it to you! 93.7 has stepped up and is giving you the country music you've been wanting.
Me: I haven't been dying. I'm dying now. Can you make it go back?
Radio Guy: No. Country is here to stay.
Me: What happened to my cool radio station that played slightly alternative music and new bands before they got big and local artists??
Radio Guy: I am not at liberty to say, but it wasn't pretty.
Me: Oh. Get out of my car. (frantically re-programs the #1 spot on auto-tuner.)

So, this is a big bummer. No more Coast. This exact same thing happened to me in high school -- Z104 became Eagle 104 and my favorite radio station was gone to country. Major bummer.

I had more to add, but I've been distracted by something shiny so I must away...

hugs & kisses all,

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

Tis the Season to feel Guilty fa la la la la la...

Tomorrow Christmas season officially begins for me because tomorrow my Christmas bonus hits my paycheck! Wa-HOO! The only problem is that the guilt has already started to seep into the cracks and crevices.

Biggest reason? My team is sponsoring a child through our office "Angel tree." What a great thing to do for a kid that's local and in need. I went out to pick him up some pants tonight as part of the process and that's when the guilt kicked in so hard that I thought I would pass out in the middle of the Old Navy. The only thing on this poor kid's wish list is clothes. That's it. Remember when you were a kid and you got a bunch of clothes for Christmas, what a letdown that was?? I just got the visual of the kid coming back from the Christmas break and all the other kids talking about all the cool toys they got and him just shuffling along, talking 'bout he got some clothes. And the fact is that if he's in a position to be asking for clothes for Christmas, then things are rough. I mean, the boy's only 10. Ten years old and doesn't ask for a bicycle or anything else like that -- he's asking for clothes. Which means he must really need 'em.

And damn, doesn't that just break your friggin' heart?? I think about all the times I have agonized in the morning about what to wear to work and thought to myself, "I do not have ANYTHING to wear." Yeah, just a closet full of damned clothes. It's sickening. And I don't have a lot but I think when is enough going to be enough?? When will I be satisfied?

It's the guilt. I feel guilty for having things and not being able (and let's be blunt, in some cases willing) to do more for others who don't have things. It's ridiculous. I can't put money in all of the Santa's buckets, can I?

I don't know. I do know this -- I am lucky. Damned lucky. I have clothes and while I don't have food, that's a choice. I have a house and it's warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Both of my parents are still alive and doing pretty well and they never beat me or verbally abused me or anything. I have friends who listen to me in all my Princess glory whining and bitching and crabbing, usually when I have little to complain about. I have a boyfriend who loves me and makes me laugh and listens to me when I cry and accepts me for all my warts and everything.

I'm not going to let this guilt bring me down, I'm going to channel it to remind that I feel that way because I DO have it so good and learn to appreciate that more.

Happy Holidays Y'all -- Rise about the guilt!

Monday, December 01, 2003

Pretty Blackfoot, you restore my optimism

I received an unexpected ego boost today -- which are always the best kind! I was hanging with my homies at work today and we were randomly chatting about the things you chat randomly about at work. I was mocking my own vanity in light of my Glamour magazine reading material. (I love the thing, it's a big time guilty pleasure but I'm embarrassed about it so I make fun.) We got to talking about some of the new people coming out of training and how Ashley tends to scare them away. Apparently her new deskmate is another Heather. I announced with mock snootery that we wouldn't be inviting her to the cool kids table, har har. And then went on to say in all seriousness that I really hadn't ever had any other Heather friends because most Heathers were kind of snobby and stuck-up and well, bitchy. The group looked at me pointedly at the bitchy comment and I exclaimed that while, of course, I'm bitchy, that it's really in a snide, sarcastic kind of way. Tina told me that since I was nonetheless bitchy and admittedly vain that I probably come across as stuck up. And then she said that I was PRETTY and that this just added to the stereotype.

I almost kissed her on the MOUTH! (Which would have thrilled Tony Kahlua to no end, I have no doubt.) She thinks I'm pretty? I was literally flabbergasted and tried to downplay it. It's high praise, in my world. Especially because as vain as I am, it's not because I think I'm pretty. By annnnny stretch. On good days, I'm willing to concede that I'm not unattractive. But, I just don't think of myself as pretty. Furthermore, I don't think of myself as the kind of person that anyone would look at and think, "She sure is purrty."

I mean, Scott says it. But, he's like contractually obligated to say it once in a while, right? Keeps the biscuit buttered, keeps that booty coming. And I guess he means it, but he's seen me un-done so there's no way that he's ever really going to look at me and really believe that I am pretty. He knows the smoke and mirrors that goes into me getting myself together and that just takes away the whole thing, as far as I'm concerned.

So, that really was neat. She'll never really know how much her saying that really meant to me, but it was really sweet. Really, can I say really some more to compound the fact that I'm lacking in adjectives here?

In other news, I went to the spray on booth today to try to get some color for this silly Holiday Gala on Friday. It was an elaborate process and I felt like a doofus the whole time. (Especially when they offer me stickers. I'm fat, I don't want stickers for Christ's sake. I know, I'll put a sticker of a cheeseburger on my stomach so when the tan develops it'll be like an X-ray of what's inside!!) But, I went and even though I tried to follow the directions to the T, I still messed up and now my feet are black. The bottoms. I think it's because even after I wiped them off, I then walked through the tan stuff I had dripped off! Ah-HA! I just realized that! Anyways -- the bottom of my feet now look like I'm some mountain child hillbilly kid. Scott called me Blackfoot. Won't that be cute in my strappy sandals?

Super-silly stuff on Average Joe, but the bottom line is that she got rid of that stupid Zach. Serves him right for making fun of fat girls! I actually had a lot to say about that little scheme and I may still, but I really wanted to comment on Adam. The dude has got romance DOWN, boys -- seriously, take some notes for the love of God! He told her that being with her took him back in time and reminded him of the first time he ever had a girlfriend. That feeling of newness and hope and excitement just because you got to take a girl to the movies. He told her that she gave him a sense of optimism again about love! BAM! That totally is the best thing you can ever say to anyone ever. Who doesn't want to think that they are capable of restoring someone's hope in love?? I mean, that is just friggin' awesome I'm sorry. I mean, he didn't seem like Mr. Hard-hearted Cynical Guy, but you don't know what he's been through or what his experiences are. I don't know. I like him. I'm still rooting for him. Maybe she'll figure out that pretty boy is just a head but Adam's all heart!

Last but not least -- the new look. Hope you guys don't hate it, but I totally fucked up my template for the design and couldn't figure out how to fix it. It's been over 6 months, so just pretend I'm Microsoft and it's time for an upgrade to the thing you just sunk $140 in 6 months ago. The only difference is, I'm not charging you for Inside Heathers Head xp 5.2

Is it getting better? Or do you feel the same?

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