Sunday, October 30, 2011

Snow on My Parade

In Connecticut today, it snowed.  It's October, and it legitimately snowed.  Not a flurry.  Not a light dusting.  Close to a foot (at least) out there, currently.  I had an appointment to have my oil changed and tires rotated, and as I drove to the dealership, the snow started falling.  By the time I left the dealership, all of the cars were covered in snow and I wasn't there for 45 minutes.  My original plan for the rest of the day was to pamper myself.  Go get my nails done.  Relax.  I've been going non-stop since before I left for St. Louis for work.  I've been dealing with a lot lately, and it was all catching up with me this past week.

I took the long way round to get home to just drive near the nail shop and told myself if it wasn't too bad, I'd go ahead and have them done...  Well, I got to the nail shop and it was that bad.  It was REALLY bad...  but I went anyway.  I can't describe how badly I needed today- a day of rest.  A day alone.

The drive home was scary.  Lots of trees down.  I parked in our driveway and not 10 minutes after I got home, I heard a large crash.  I ran to the back window to see what had fallen.  There was a tree branch that had my car pinned in.  Our driveway is surrounded by large trees.  There were more branches cracking and dangling over our cars...  We all moved quickly.  The neighbors and I dragged the massive branches as far as we could to get them out of the way and drove to the school that's a block away to park.  My wheels spun and my neighbor had to push my car to get it into the spot...  October...

Today was depressing for a lot of reasons.  The snow/freezing cold was certainly a big reason...  Anyone who knows me know how badly I hate winter, and to have it creep up months early is almost enough to make me want to off myself...  but on top of that, it is what usually is my favorite weekend of the year.  Halloween weekend.  Normally, I would find myself in some bar surrounded by friends, all in costume, drinking and laughing the night away.  Two years ago, I had the best Halloween I've ever had in Baltimore.  Everything about the night was wonderful.  Dan and I both dressed up, had friends who we don't see often come stay with me and we used my old place of work (I miss dearly) as a playground between bars.  It was fucking perfect.  Last year I was in a friend's wedding, so Halloween wasn't really celebrated as much as the marriage was, of course.  This year, I had my dream costumes (that I've wanted to do for years) all ready to go and realized I had nowhere to go...

Tonight I don't just find myself with nowhere to go (because CT doesn't really do Halloween like MD does AND because of the weather), but also alone.  Dan took a shift at the hospital tonight...  When he asked what I thought of it, I said "do whatever you have to do" because I don't want to dictate what he does, ever, but I guess it really kind of hurt more than I was expecting.  Partly because it's an important weekend for me, last year was a rough Halloween weekend for me, we went through the trouble of getting costumes, I have been a wreck lately...  for so many reasons, I felt like I needed this weekend and I thought he would, too...  

On the other hand, since I've been such a wreck lately, the solitude has been really nice.  Sometimes I need alone time.  I need time to process thoughts and feelings.  I've been really depressed and stressed out lately and there's a lot going on in my brain.  There's a circus happening in there.  So many questions and doubts and worries and very few answers or positive.  It's rough.  It's a rough patch.  I'm unsure of how to fix any of it.

I'm so exhausted.  Mentally, I'm just drained.  I've been really fucked with for the past month and I've reached my breaking point.  My head is saying "enough!" My heart is deflated.  My defense mechanism is up and in full effect.  Unfortunately, it doesn't know how to only to be on duty while at work...  

It's these times where I know therapy isn't going to help.  It's purely situational.  So I have to fix my situation.  As usual, the responsibility falls on me to fix things for myself (surprise, surprise).  I just don't know where to start this time...  I think I do, and then I quickly realize I don't have many choices or at least not the ones I would like.  It's easy to give up when you're constantly let down.  Not sure how I'll crawl out of this one...

And on that note, hope everyone else is enjoying their Halloween weekends.  Have a drink and a dance for me.


Monday, October 24, 2011

My Parents Visit CT!

This is gonna be a quicky, unfortunately.

I had a fabulous weekend.  My parents came up to visit.  It's the first time my dad has been up to CT.  He (finally) used his xmas gift I got him last year and went to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.  I'm so glad he went and was able to enjoy it.  He's had a rough past year with his knee replacement surgery and lots of other health issues and work conflicts (conflicts is a nice way of saying "works with and/or for at least one cocksucker" - remember that for later).  Being a huge baseball fan and former baseball player (pitcher for University of MD - Number 7), I couldn't stand that he hadn't been, so I got him a one year membership and a plane ticket to ensure his ass would get there.  If I didn't put a time limit on it, he wouldn't have gone.  Point 1 for me.

Anyway, during the day, my mom updated me with several pictures of the neat exhibits at the Hall of Fame and pictures of my father looking like...  well, a child at Christmas.  It was brilliant and warmed my heart.  They made it down our way on Friday and were waiting for me at home when I got off work.

Born and raised to hat the Yanks.  Now you understand.
My mom surprised me with tickets to see Jersey Boys (the documentary-style musical that follows the Four Seasons through their conception to the end).  I guess my dad surprised me the most by attending the show.  He's not really a musical type dude, but this was filled with hits from his childhood and lots of cursing and Sopranos-type machismo filling it out.  It was a great time.

Saturday we went and picked out pumpkins and my parents finally got to meet Dan's parents.  My mom met his parents when she was up to help me with my surgery, but you know-- to have all four of them together was pretty big for me.  It was a great time.  Lots of laughs, drinks, etc.  Aside from some of the topics I would have liked to have avoided, it was a wonderful experience.

Dan and I took my parents to brunch on Sunday and then saw them off.  I spent the rest of the day missing them and dozing.  I've been exhausted from my work trip to St. Louis.  It's been a hell of a past few weeks.  Aside from work stresses, drama and workload, I had a friend from back home die, a good friend from back home get married (and I had to miss said wedding because of work), my pain has been awful and NOT getting better, and missed out on two shows Dan and I had planned to go to...  Work conflicts [elbow].

Me = a complete hungover mess pre-brunch Sunday.  Look at that HAIR.
I've been beyond depressed lately and really need to get myself out of the situation I've found myself in...  The only thing keeping me from one continuous panic attack is knowing that I don't plan on staying in my current situation for long.

And on that note, that's why this is going to be a quicky-entry.  I don't really have the attention span or feel happy enough tonight to get into detail about my weekend.  It wouldn't do it justice.  Instead, I'll be cutting my cuticles (and all skin surrounding my nails) until they bleed...  Gotta focus on something, right?


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Few Reasons to Miss Maryland:

I have been spoiled rotten lately with all the friend-filled weekends I've been having.  This weekend was no exception.  The weekend was jam-packed wall-to-wall with friends AND it was a long weekend, so that made it extra exciting!  Friday night, I drove down to Baltimore with Dan as my co-pilot and DJ.  He made the road trip fun and hilarious, as always.  It was a smooth drive for the most part and we made no stops outside of CT.  Straight on through to Emily and Jeremy's in record time.

Jeremy greeted us in his PJs and we caught up quickly before settling into bed and having a laugh session that was so intense, I got to that point of silent laughing (because I can't breathe) and tears streaming down both sides of my face.  Something about putting my finger in Dan's ass and "Urethra Franklin?"  I blame it on being delirious from the insane work week, lack of sleep because of the insane work week, and the 5.5 hours of driving.

In the AM, we were promptly greeted by Vegeta (Em and J's friendly and vocal cat) and tons of squeezes from Emily.  It was fucking great.  I talk to Emily every day, so it pains me that we don't get to physically be together that often anymore for the great hugs, happy hours, fashion shows, or just the exchange of laughter between the two of us.  God damn do I miss it, and I really had no idea just how much until returning home and going through all of my pictures from the time spent there (I got a bit depressed, but I'll get to that later).  We had such a good time.  Sarah came over and brought her precious little Luke Marley who was so chill and sweet and I didn't want to let go of when he fell asleep on me right before heading home.  Come ON!

After grilling, we just hung out and chatted and got ready for the evening.  We headed to Hamilton Tavern for pre-dinner drinks.  It was as cute as I was expecting and we had dinner at Clementine (FINALLY).  Em and J started by ordering the charcuterie plate (of the day) that was to die for.  The sausage was insane.  Hands down the best I've ever had.  It was accompanied by a dijon cheese and a chicken liver pate that had brown sugar in it.  The mix of sweet, salty and savory was PERFECT.  I had the meatloaf, and it was so delicious, and of course, Em and I killed two bottles of red.  Since that wasn't enough, we headed back to Hamilton Tavern for a nightcap.  I had such a great time.  My cheeks hurt from smiling so much.  It was non-stop chatter and laughing.  I couldn't have asked for a better night.  We headed home full and happy and buzzed and I spent the next hour teaching Emily how to do a time step (a tap step *HOP-STEP-SHILLACK-BALL-CHANGE*).  We did this on her porch for at least 40 minutes, then took it inside.

Love My Carpet??

They were perfect hosts, and perfect friends and I miss them already.

Sunday, however, we had morning coffee and split an english muffin, recounted our evening, showered and headed out.  I must've hugged Emily 5 times before leaving.  Gah.

We headed to the mall.  I brought a dress that I adore, but is really big on me.  This is one of many in my closet that I can't really wear because they don't fit properly.  I need a tailor.  If the bottom of a dress fits me (and is fitted snug on my body), then chances are the top does not.  My body is not proportionate.  I don't have big jugs to go with my big ass, hips and thighs.  I've grown to appreciate my curves a bit more with the help of Christina Hendricks (Joan Holloway), but she has the top half to match the bottom half...  Anyhoo, I found a new dress that fit a bit better, we had lunch and headed to our hotel to check in.

We made our way to Patrick and Nikki's wedding which ended up being a total blast.  I saw people there I hadn't seen in months, like Mr. Don Boots (who, by the way, DRINKS now.  Yeah.  That was different), and people I hadn't seen in YEARS, like my old bosses from Mission Media.  They were thrilled to see me and we laughed and caught up like no time had passed.

Custom weddin' shoes.  Golden Girls approved.

Yeah, so THIS happens, now...
I traded my sky-high strappy wedges for my chucks right after the ceremony.  The wedding was beautiful and every detail was perfectly executed.  We danced a lot.

One of my favorite pics ever taken.
The weekend really made me miss Maryland for the first time in a long time.  A lot of what I considered "home" about Maryland has changed so much since I left, but clearly, after that weekend, I knew there was still a lot there that was very "me" and very "home".

Lighting our way out of the drive.
Dan and I made our way back to CT Monday, and aside from some incredibly uncomfortable cramping, the trip went smoothly.  Unfortunately, the moment I drove back into the state, I got a bit depressed.  Our apartment and anywhere I am with Dan is home for me.  That's easy and simply true, but there's so much about Connecticut that hasn't been easy...  and there's so much about Maryland that is/was so effortless.  I know it isn't fair to compare a place that I grew up in with a place I've only lived a little over a year, but it's more about the vibes, the people, the connections...  or lack thereof.

I know once Dan finishes his residency, we'll find a place that can be that effortless for both of us.  I still sometimes secretly hope that by the time his residency is over, I'll be in love with the state and have a ton of great friends and love my job and want to put roots down here...  but it's unfortunately not looking so great...  I guess deep down I know how much Dan loves it here since he wanted so badly to come back, so I hope I'll fall in love with it too.  I want him to be happy more than I give a shit about my happiness, but at the same time, there has to be some sort of a balance.  It can't be all great for one and all awful for the other.  There's got to be some positives in my life...  I just haven't found them here in CT, yet.

I'm struggling with not having something to look forward to...  although maybe I should make the end of Dan's residency my something to look forward to?  It's farther off than my usual little goals of happiness are, but I've got to start looking forward to something.  Looking ahead.  My happiness has seemed to be falling with the leaves, lately and getting through each day is as far as I can look ahead.  As we all know, when it rains, it pours, and it's been getting a bit damp around here, lately.

I'll leave it at that for now, as I could run on all day about the "what ifs" and "should'ves"...

For now, thank you, Maryland, for another wonderful weekend.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

High Roller Weekend

This weekend was pretty fab.  I got to spend it with Dan, Adina and my little sister, I went to the "So You Think You Can Dance?" tour, bowled at a luxury bowling alley, tried a real martini for the first time (and loved it), and gambled away $200 foolishly.  It was a fucking blast.

The SYTYCD tour couldn't have come at a better time because since the season has ended, I have been bummed about my Wednesday night TV.  There's been nothing to look forward to.  It sounds silly, but that show really helped me over the hump mid-week.  Not only was it impressive and beautiful to watch, but it inspired me creatively and physically...  I miss having it around.  The tour was far better than the one Adina and I went to a few years back in Bmore.  It was wall-to-wall dancing with seamless transitions between numbers.  They did all of my favorites (even the ones that didn't feature the top 12 dancers).  They did the Jeff Buckley routine and I cried.  Not because of the actual dance (because it wasn't executed nearly as well as when the original dancers performed it), but because I got to hear Jeff Buckley's guitar and voice in this amazing theater with wonderful acoustics.  LOUDLY.  I was moved.  Needless to say, I had goosebumps throughout the entire show, but by far my favorite performance was Melanie's solo (You can see it here - it starts at the 2:30 mark and is the best version I could find at the moment).  She's by far the best dancer they've had on that show.  She can do it all.

The luxury bowling was out of this world.  We ate really fancy food there for dinner pre-bowling (though you can eat while bowling at your fancy table and leather couches) and Dan and I got one free game each for checking in on foursquare.  The drinks were absolutely delicious (martinis and bloody marys), there were massive projector TVs at the end of each lane (alternating between music videos and sports - Daft Punk's "Technologic" came on and I danced and Mandy was terrified by the video), sexy ghost gray leather couches to lounge on in between rolls, and chandeliers lining the alley.  It was perfect.  We danced.  A lot.  It was only the four of us and we had an absolute BLAST.  I want to go back to Foxwoods again just for the bowling.  It spoiled me.  Regular bowling will never be the same...

The other plus about Foxwoods was that when I got home, I realized I didn't have my vintage gray leather jacket my aunt found for me at an antique shop (it's probably from the 50's if I had to guess) years ago.  I was beyond bummed.  I had already decided that it wouldn't be turned in to a lost and found if they even had one, and if so, how would I get it back?  It's an hour away and I was sure they wouldn't hold it for me for long.  I decided to call the lost and found number, anyway, just so I felt like I tried.  Surprisingly, I was transferred to an older gentleman who was perky and eager to help.  I gave him my room number and he said, "black jacket?" and I said, "well, it's gray leather, but yes!  That's mine!"  He said, "yep!  We've got it."  And I told him he made my night.  He then asked for my address so he could ship it to me.  I asked how much it would cost and he told me not to worry.  That they'd take care of everything.  I was floored.  I guess that's what you get when you stay at a posh hotel, but it also kind of made me sad to think of how defeated I was before even calling.  There wasn't a GLIMMER of hope in my mind.  Customer service is such shit nowadays, and people are so dishonest, it's hard to believe anyone would do anything kind for a stranger these days.  Pretty sad.

Also, when I went to check in, they didn't have the room I booked reserved for me.  She told me she had the reservation, but they didn't have any room with 2 queen beds at all.  They could give me a king with a rollaway bed.  I told them that could maybe work, then she informed me the only room they had was on a smoking floor.  I told her it was unacceptable.  I had made a reservation for a room with two queen beds on a non-smoking floor.  Not only did they have zero rooms (on smoking OR non) with two queen beds available, but now they ONLY had rooms on a smoking floor.  I get sick when I'm around smoke for a while.  Even being in the casino really bothered me.  I was sneezing and had an itchy and sore throat and headache that night and the next day, and they wanted me to also sleep in that mess?  No way.  The room was NOT cheap.  After asking to speak with the manager, then waiting for 10 mins, then asking again and informing them that I wasn't going to be paying $300 to sleep in smoke that was going to make me sick, they finally had the awkward gal at the desk "find me" a non-smoking king room...  All of a sudden one just appeared?  Anyway...  that didn't really encourage any optimism when noticing I had left my leather jacket behind...

All was well, however.  Dan, Mandy and I all slept in the king bed and Adina got the rollaway bed.  She told us all a bedtime story, and then everyone fell right asleep...  except for little old me who forgot my sleeping meds at home.  Ah, well.  The night was worth it.  I'm so lucky to have Adina, Dan and good family in my life.  They really all keep me going.  It was nice on Saturday to forget about my pain for a few hours and wouldn't have been possible without them.

This month is hellishly busy.  Every weekend we have something going on (two weddings, Louis CK, parents visiting, and Halloween) and work is...  insane.  Not fun insane, either.

October is always the best month, though, and this past weekend helped reenforce that.  Yay for October!