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Feb. 26th, 2011

evil toys
 Things I need to remind myself that are not nearly as big deals as I think they are right now, because I am tired, hungry, and decidedly crabby:

-People on the bus not magically knowing I'd been standing/working for 10 hours and therefore not making space for me to sit down
-Being reminded that Catholics think they're special and different, and probably better, than other Christians
-Alex not magically knowing that I harbor the wish that he'd rearrange his Tuesday schedule in order to better accommodate us having time to see each other
-Couples being couple-y in my range of vision
-People wanting to get a late lunch or early dinner when I was already an hour past my out-time
-My warm fuzzy socks are dirty. Why didn't I wash them??

Does good luck come in threes?

evil toys
I think I'm the luckiest person in Chicago right now. I got off work at a reasonable time, which meant I could go try to shovel my car out of its spot and drive to the suburbs instead of taking the train. After borrowing a shovel from Brian and Drew I spent a minute or two assessing the situation, and began to break up the now-icy snow around the front and sides of my car.

While I'm doing this, the person parked behind me gets in his car. Holy crap, I think. Now I don't have to do any shoveling! In my excitement, I dropped the shovel as I was putting it into my backseat and when I lean down to pick it up, what do I see?

Why, only my parking sticker that I dropped in the snow last week and spent 20 minutes digging for but was unable to find.

Thank you, God, or "luck" or who or whatever arranged for this to happen. Thank you for keeping people out of Friday's so I could go home. Thank you for Brian deciding to shovel out his car which meant I had to wait for him to finish. Thank you for the trouble he had getting out of his spot so that I had to wait a little longer. Thank you for making me so hungry that I stopped to make a sandwich before heading out. Thank you for my ability to be overly excitable when I'm rushing.

It's gonna be a good night, methinks!

Brushin' Dirt Off My Big Shoulders

naps <3
 I should really be attempting to fall asleep right now, but a combination of this being a normal time for me to be awake and the fact that I have most of a Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale to drink is keeping me up, for now. I find it interesting that my first experience with beer was sampling a myriad of Weihnachtsbier while in Berlin and hating them, and now I think that Christmas ales are my new favorite.

Taking the train tonight was interesting. Occasionally my CTA trips will be mildly entertaining, but the stream of constant characters tonight really outstripped any other experience I've had before. I'm going to blame The Big Guy In The Sky for cursing me with the people in the particular car I chose, since I specifically walked down a car to avoid a pack of girls who were shrieking and stomping their feet while we waited on the platform.

First I was greeted with the disgruntling sight of a full train, standing room only. The pleasant smell of booze leaking out of pores hammered my nose and it was unnecessarily loud. First I got to witness some girl being awfully derisive about Chicago when she loudly burst out "MY city? This isn't MY city. This is just the city I'm currently in. MY city is Portland. Ugh."

You know what, Portland? You can have that lady with her ugly blue eye shadow and grating voice. I don't want her.

I was fortunate enough to witness the phenomenon of some underage guys acting all thuggish and tough while wearing their latest release Air Jordans, North Face jackets, and Ed Hardy hats as they contemplated how exactly they were going to get into the club they were headed to (rawonderland , I bet they're yours). Some dude with smelly dreadlocks snagged a seat near me and head-banged to his music which added another wonderful, wafting aroma to my olfactory delight. A couple stops later some drunk guy and his boyfriend stood near me, and the super wasted one whined about how his tooth hurt while making horrible smacking mouth noises as he sucked his tongue in and out of his mouth, all while incessantly crinkling some cellophane baggie of Christmas cookies.

People in MY city are whackadoodle, if you ask me.

Just for a moment

cake
It's the day before Thanksgiving. I've accidentally taken a 4-day reprieve from work due to a combination of scheduling and illness and this morning has been spent in leisurely organization of my bedroom. My usual clutter which consists mostly of clean laundry, receipts, and clothing tags has finally gotten to me and I decided that I wanted a clean, habitable room to come back to after the holiday.

I put on my "bumpin' tunes" playlist, cranked the bass on my nice computer sound system and set out to work. I put all the boxes that were on the floor of my closet up on shelves, I consolidated my 7-piece luggage set that had managed to strew itself about over the last few months, and I put all my clothes on my freshly made bed in order to sort and fold. "Fireflies" by Owl City came on and in a moment of whimsy I wrapped my hipster scarf around my shoulders and began spinning and dancing around in the small amount of floor space I have.

For a couple minutes I was just joyously happy. I love that song; I felt carefree; I was thinking about how in a few hours I'd be home with the familiar smells of furniture and cleaning products I grew up with; I was thinking about how things with Alex were, in general, quite wonderful and how I was looking forward to the next couple months of birthdays and Christmas and anniversaries; in my fanciful spinning I'd catch glimpses out my window of my very typical Chicago street and felt content that I'm living a version of life that, since high school, I've always pictured for myself.

I'm happy, my friends. I'm content. Work can be frustrating and customers infuriating but I have a career trajectory solidly in mind and that sense of purpose has lifted the cloud of failure that has been hanging over my head since graduation. I have a wonderful family who loves me including a very tolerant sister who puts up with my habitual slobbishness. I have a Thanksgiving dinner with family friends who've known me since I was naught but a glimmer in my parents' eyes to look forward to, and a cold front has finally descended upon Chicago so I think my best friend Snow is in my near future.

I am grateful and thankful for this happiness, for this contentment with my lot in life. I'm feeling a bit sentimental, but cold weather and holidays have that effect on me.

Laundry Day

evil toys
 A gigantic indication that I'm not yet a high-level Adult Human is that I require an entire day to do laundry. This would make sense if I had, say, a family whose clothing, bedding, and towels I was also responsible for but no no. Just my wee self. I might be tall-ish but my clothes really don't take up that much space, so the fact that I let it get to the place where many loads are required negates any sort of responsibility points I gain by the sheer act of laundry doing.

I was going to level-up in Adulthood today by going to the bank, but after some scrounging found I had enough quarters to do two loads of laundry. So, the bank can wait. I did encounter the dilemma that I have AT LEAST two loads of clothing that needs washed, in addition to my bath towels, sheets, and especially my comforter. 

So I had to do some laundry triage. The comforter MUST be washed. My towels desperately need it (though I could postpone them a week if I only shower once or twice). I have to wash my work pants like whoa, as well as the 3 pairs of jeans I own. So it's come down to this: one load of jeans/work pants/towels; one load of my remaining lightweight clothes which I will have to sort in order of importance; I'll Febreeze the shit out of the hoodies that aren't getting washed today; the comforter will be hand washed in the tub.

Hand washed! How grown-up is that, right?! Annoyingly so, it seems. I went to investigate the tub to find to my dismay that it needed to be cleaned. So I had to locate the tub-cleaning-things and scrub it down first before I could even begin to get the comforter clean. Then I realized I don't know how to hand-wash stuff so I had to look it up on the internet. It seems it's such an embarrassingly self-explanatory chore that no one on the internet wants to explain exactly how to do it, so I decided I'd just wing it with some laundry detergent, warm water, and vigorously rubbing the comforter against itself.

So that's done. The water turned an appalling shade of maroon which makes me think I've done something wrong (probably "not washed it enough up to this point, considering I've had it for 4 years now") and now I have to find a place to hang it to dry.

My life is hard.

Tags:

City Lights

ditka bears
I keep meaning to post about City Life (tm) and consequently forgetting. Part of it is that every single day, hell, every hour I'm outside of my apartment at least half a dozen interesting things happen to or around me. Cataloging them seems simultaneously daunting and pointless. Weird and interesting is de rigeur here.

I just walked to the Jewel a couple blocks away with the intention of buying milk and leaving with ten pounds of salad dressing. Chicago has obviously not changed my dietary preferences. On my walk there I encountered:

-An old man wearing and selling umbrella hats-A guy in one of those goofy street sweeper vehicles, whom I smiled and waved at
-4 guys who passed me on the sidewalk who told me I was beautiful
-An abandoned copy of Richard III at the Berwyn stop
-Two teenage girls screaming at each other about liking the same boy

It's never a dull day in this city. I'll probably have more interesting encounters on my train ride/bus ride to Poncho's later this evening which will be unremarkably remarkable.

PS I'm meeting Alex tomorrow to "discuss the possibility of working it out". I have no idea what will come of this.

Couple-a-things

evil toys
 Bullet point style update because I feel like writing, but not necessarily going in-depth.

-Went to P. Stan's 35th birthday party, had a fairly good time. I made the mistake of making a cup of sangria for S'Becks and, naturally, EVERYONE wanted sangria. It's nice to feel wanted. I survived John innocently asking where my "future husband" was, and got a big, drunk hug after my response of "two streets away, actually. Also he broke up with me." I was also strangely tickled to be served jello shots at a celebration for a 35 year old at a house that before the bubble burst was probably worth near a cool mil.

-The weather out today is absolutely gorgeous. Living so close to the lake is wunderbar, because the breeze is delightful.

-NewFriday's is taking a lot of getting used to. I keep making the mistake of comparing it to OldFriday's, so naturally it isn't going to match up. None of my new coworkers are my friends, so I don't have as good of a time, and I don't want to stay and work later because "gosh I'm tired" outweighs any other desire to stay. The place doesn't feel like "home" so I'm slightly resentful of working long hours, instead of semi-happily admitting that work IS my 2nd home. I don't know the routine, the ebb and flow, the general pacing of the place so I'm constantly on edge trying to get a grasp of what's going on. It's just...uncomfortable, for now.

-On the brightside, some of my new bartending coworkers noticed me reading "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" which instantly clued them in to the fact that I'm no ordinary PotterFan, and enthusiastically insisted I attend Potter Brunch, which seems to involve going to see the movie at midnight and then going out for food to discuss/gush/criticize. It lifted my spirits by a million.

-On the darkside, my spirits were instantly dashed last night to find an e-mail from Alex in my inbox. My resolve had crumbled a week or so ago and I sent him a brief e-mail, essentially reminding him that if he wants to get back together (now, later, ever, whenever) to not hesitate to contact me. I didn't think that it actually merited a response, and had taken his previous lack of response as my answer. It was helpful to the moving on process. Alas, he took it upon himself to respond last night, and all the defenses I'd built up went crumbling down. I'm not going to respond (though Lord knows, I want to) because I, unlike some people, recognize when an e-mail doesn't invite reply.

-I have a lot to be looking forward to. There's Birthday Dinner for Danny on Thursday. This coming Saturday I get to go back to OldFriday's and judge the bar flair competition. There's an LBC concert in two weeks. In three? weeks I'm flying out to Oregon to spend a couple days with SB. September 25th I'm going to a Blackhawks game with Lauren and Poncho. Now to deal with all the inbetween times.

-I'm slowly trying to get my room in order so it feels like I actually live here. Putting up a multiple-picture frame doo-dad helped, though it currently has no pictures. I'd bought it ages ago with the intention of making it a me and Alex thing, so trying to figure out what to put in it instead is making whatever it is I choose feel a bit cheapened, like "here, friends/travel photos/family, you're my 2nd runner up".

-I bought some really awesome shoes. They make me six feet tall. I'm excited to think up an excuse to wear them.

The Revisionist Period

a few words
When considering hindsight, it's difficult to do so completely unbiasedly, and for me especially so when it comes to remembering emotions. This is why, whenever something upset me in my relationship, I'd either write it down or immediately call Miranda to vent because if I left it alone, twelve hours later I'd forget why it was I was upset in the first place.

After reading a post in the datinandrelatin  community about "Mr. Right Now" I had what I'm going to call "a moment". I'm not sure if it was a revelation, because for all I know I'm just clinging to this concept because it makes me feel better rather than it having any truth. What I do know is this:

I'd always approached my and Alex's relationship with a "go with the flow" mentality, a "we'll see how this goes" game plan. Our relationship was ambiguous at best in the beginning (I think it was finally May of '06 when, over a MySpace message [lol forever] we confirmed that we were, in fact, each other's boy/girlfriend) and we never spoke of the future. Every love letter we wrote to each other had the tinge of "whether we're together for the next 50 days or 50 years..." I'm not sure if at some point this changed for me for realsies, or if in a panic of seeing everyone around me solidifying and legalizing their relationships I convinced myself I was feeling more seriously about things than I was. I don't know. I probably never will, what with my degenerate emotional memory.

I've been spending the last few weeks mourning the ending of my relationship, of panicking about the future state of my love life because all my hopes, dreams, and plans had been tied up in this one thing. I had forgotten that for at least two years, if not the entire time, I had been perfectly happy being on a "wait and see" wavelength. We were happy 90% of the time. We enjoyed each other's company. We made each other laugh, we made each other think. We challenged each other, and I don't doubt that we loved each other. At the time, things were just right.

I don't know if it was true for me in the last year, but for now I'm going to pretend it was: I was content to wait to see how things went, and things went great until they didn't. This is how it goes. At one point I had the emotional capacity to accept that things would end when it was time, and that the ending didn't invalidate the time and effort put in before that. So, I will cling to that, for now, and hope that it's more true for me than not.

The Marrying Kind

evil toys
I'm still not convinced that going to Megan and Brian's wedding was a good idea for me. On the one hand, I had a lot of fun. We giggled our way through the ceremony when Brian, as predicted, started crying at 5 minutes on the nose and the pastor went on and on about how Megan would find it easy to submit to Brian as it would be just like as she submits to the Lord. The reception was a boatload of fun, probably the most well-paced and energetic one I've been to. It probably helped that there was a veritable boatload of young people who took full advantage of the open bar. I drank, I ate, I spent time with GR and Hannah, and I even danced.

On the other hand, it did stir up all sorts of unpleasant emotions that have left me with that knotted feeling in my stomach that I haven't been able to shake. In the last year or so I'd started paying more attention to wedding things because I'd had in the back of my mind that in a year or so I might have to plan my own, and it'd be helpful to actually have opinions on this sort of thing. So as I sat through the ceremony and went to the reception and actually noticed things like how there weren't silly decorations on the chairs, how there was a high table and it actually didn't seem too bad, how the meal seemed a bit rushed, how the introductions were done etc... it made me realize that I didn't really need to pay attention to these things anymore. While Alex and I never seriously discussed marriage, we did mention it sometimes, make jokes about it, agree that ours would be simple and inexpensive.

The moment that really solidified that uncomfortable knot in my tummy has left me feeling pretty stupid. "Brown Eyed Girl" came on, and all the emotions just hit me all at once. I felt stupid that it was such a generic song that I'm sure millions of girls with brown eyes have had applied to them, I felt stupid that it coincided with Megan's trip to the restroom, so despite my going out into the hallway to be alone to cry and not ruin anyone's fun Megan and her mom saw me anyway. I felt stupid that it was the freakin' bride who was the one to stop, ask me if I was okay, and when I unconvincingly said I was, asked "Is it Alex?", which just made me cry more. She hugged me, said she was sorry, and I told her to not worry and go out and have fun.

I'm still just so sad. To top things off I had this horrible dream where he called me and asked to meet. He sounded excited, hopeful, and I was cautiously optimistic. Then I woke up, and all I could think of was how much I want to call him up. Pathetic.

Chicago'd

evil toys
 I'm typing this to you from the Starbucks across the street from my new apartment. Other than getting the address on my license changed, I'm officially a resident of the glorious city of big shoulders.

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In a few hours I'm going to hop on the 147 and see how long it takes me to get to Friday's. I'll probably take the red line back up to compare. The joys of everyday public transit, here I come.