Friday, October 27, 2006

One Day I Will Grow Up

You probably know the feeling of a cold and sleepy Saturday morning when the light first starts peeking through the windows and slowly pulls you from a deep, restful slumber. You turn over to stop the morning light from shining on your face and pull the blankets up to your chin and think, "Life doesn't get much better than this," as you slowly drift back to sleep.

The only problem is that it wasn't Saturday morning, today was Friday, and my eyes popped open when I realized I was supposed to be out of bed long before the light came through the windows if I intended to make it to work on time. I had forgotten to set my alarm before going to bed.

I quickly rolled back over to gaze at the alarm clock as it flashed 7:45, a time that I should have already been on the road, but I was still in bed with my hair stuck to the side of my face.

I threw my blankets to the side with a few obscene grumbles and ran into the bathroom where I scrubbed my face, brushed my teeth, and pulled my puffy, curly hair back into a messy knot. Thankful for dress-down Fridays, I slipped on a pair of jeans and pulled a light blue hooded sweatshirt over my head. No time for breakfast, though I did take the time to dump some Triscuits into a Ziploc bag and snag a cup of applesauce from the refrigerator. I shoved my feet into a pair of tennis shoes, my copy of Laurie Halse Anderson's Catalyst and a bottle of water into my messenger bag, and I was off to work resembling myself, at the age of 15, as I left for school on my first day of sophomore year.

Even though I was a little late, I made it to work in record time and will not have to stay as late into the evening as I had originally feared. My embarrassingly young appearance is safely hidden behind the drab, colorless walls of my cubical except for a few co-workers who have peeked in to talk to me, but no one has commented.

I am tired, I am cranky, and I do not want to be here. The tiled ceiling is holding more of my interest than any of the work that has been handed to me. I am looking forward to this evening when I can relax on the couch with a vanilla latte, a blanket, and a book and I can read until I fall asleep.

And after sleeping in tomorrow (Saturday) morning, perhaps I will go through my closet and rid myself of everything that makes me resemble a teenager. It has been made quite obvious to me that I will never want to go back there.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Ups and Downs of Winter

It was 33 degrees out and snowing on my drive into work both yesterday and today. The difference is today it is sticking, accumulating in the grass and on my car. I generally consider myself lucky to have snagged a desk next to one of the few windows in my office, but today it only reminds me of how much I despise snow, and wish Jon would agree to move to a warmer climate, but for some strange reason he actually likes the cold and slippery white stuff. So, I am left to stare out the window at my little gray car, with white sludge gathering on the windshield, and wonder if my snow-brush is still in the trunk. I have to scold myself for not watching the weather because I didn't bother to wear a coat, let alone gloves or a hat. Apparently I have been in denial that this day was coming whether I wanted it to or not.

I don't remember when I started to dislike winter.

I grew up across the street from the parking lot of a church, and my brothers and I would celebrate when snowplows would appear to push mounds of snow to the edges of the lot. The mounds became forts and we dug into them to create tunnels and barriers for some of the best snowball fights and ambushes in the history of North Hill.

Nothing felt better than waking up in the morning, only to be told that it was a snow day, and I could go back to bed. I can actually remember missing entire weeks of school because of wind chills at 20 degrees below 0 or massive amounts of overnight snowfall.

We had a park not half a mile away with gigantic hills perfect for sled-riding but we thought it was more fun to all pile up on the lid to our turtle sandbox and take a ride down the long, steep hill in our front yard.

First snowfalls, snow angels, white Christmas...

I have so many great memories of winter, but one day the only things I began to care about were the days off school. I became afraid of barreling down a hill on a piece of plastic, or getting hit upside the head with a snowball. I started driving and became afraid of losing control of my car. I began commuting 45 minutes north, closer to Lake Erie and the lake effect snow, and have spent 3 hours trying to get home.

Eventually my fears overrode all of the fun, and now all I do is dread the return of winter.

Of course, I'm not so sure I'm ready for palm trees at Christmas time either.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Get Out. Leave. Right Now.

# 3 goal in Columbus, OH on get out of Ohio
# 9 goal in Cleveland, OH on move to Pennsylvania

I'm beginning to see a trend here.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Drunken Bowling

I can count on two fingers the amount of times that I have been remotely intoxicated; once was my twenty-first birthday when I vaguely remember being handed ruby slippers every 5 minutes or so and doing a lot of bar hopping in Downtown Akron. We ended the night in a bumpin' and grindin' dance bar that smelled like sweat and cigarettes, where I plopped myself down at a table with a mudslide and watched the room spin, all the while wondering when I was going to lean a little too far and fall off my stool. The second time was a year later and just pure stupidity on my part to show up to a wine tasting party without having anything to eat beforehand. Seeing as it was a tasting, I didn't have a full glass of any particular wine, and about five tastes in I was feeling a little lightheaded, but I kept going anyway. After what was likely the equivalent to a full bottle of wine it was all I could do to silently plead with myself during the drive home, in my friend's car, with a crystal clear picture of her clean, gray floor mats in my head, "Don't throw up... don't throw up..." I've usually taken a Diet Coke over alcohol since.

Last night Jon's softball game was canceled so he and a few friends decided to go bowling, and I went along even though I am an embarrassingly terrible bowler. Surprisingly, I lost my handicap after the five guys took down five pitchers of beer in a little over an hour. By midnight their original scores had been halved and they were playing a game of P.I.G.: Bowling Style. Around the back, through the legs, and to the right for a strike, man! My personal favorite involved a lunging motion as they slid across the floor and pushed/threw the ball down the aisle. I watched at least two strikes take place through this method and each time all five guys doubled over laughing.

I've never seen my husband drunk before and he was so far gone last night that I had to link his arm through mine and drag him with me as we waddled after another guy who seriously thought he was going to drive himself home.

It was 1:00am before all completely wasted members of our party were partnered with a non-wasted buddy and I took the keys from Jon as I directed him to the passenger side of the car. I know it could get very old, very fast, but it's been a long time since I've laughed as much as I did during the drive home last night, thanks to conversations like this one:

Jon: "Let me give you a little bit of advice... when you've had as much to drink as I have... don't stare into the lights that go around and around... even though it is SO much fun!"

Me: "If it's fun then why can't you stare into them?"

Jon: "Because they give you HEEBIE HEEBIES!"

Me: "What are heebie heebies?"

Jon: "Puke."

I'm so lucky to have a husband who creates his own vocabulary when he's drunk.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Weekend To Do List

Accomplished Today:

I crossed the finish line of the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure Cleveland.
I took Jack to the dog park. And let me just say that I am going to begin recommending the dog park as a place to meet eligible bachelors for my single friends. There are generally more men than women there and who doesn't love to strike up a conversation about their dog? Too easy. Of course, I'm married, so I shouldn't even be thinking about this.
I spent two hours blowing leaves out of the front yard and into the street. Leaf pick-up is on Wednesday and I haven't even made a dent.
I threw the frisbee around with Jack (again) in the backyard.
I scrubbed my entire kitchen including the cabinets.
I'm now working on the laundry.

To Be Done Tomorrow:

Stan Hywet with a digital camera.
Borrow my parents digital camera because mine is on the fritz.
Bring some organization back to the laundry room.
Hit up the grocery store for some food.
Scrub bathroom floor. (Ick. I may avoid this one as long as possible.)
Bubble bath.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Things That Shatter in the Night

When I registered for the not so fragile drinking glasses as a wedding gift I was thinking of my ever so clumsy husband and expecting them to last about a year, rather than the six or so months the cheaper sets seemed to limit us to. And you can imagine my surprise when they lasted not only our first year, but also our second, and now three and a half years later, we were standing strong with ten of the original twelve glasses. Truly an amazing record for us.

But last night it wasn't my husband who broke the third glass, taking us down to nine. It was me. And it was the first time that choosing the more solid, not frail, set of glasses backfired on me.

It was one o'clock in the morning and I was half-asleep when I dropped my fleshly dispensed glass of ice water on the kitchen floor, sending cold water and ice in all directions. Shards of glass were sent flying through the darkness (because who needs a light when you've made this same trip a thousand times), and I was surprised to walk away without atleast a minor cut. But while trying to clean up the mess I found that the sturdy glass had severely chipped two of the brick red floor tiles. By chipped I mean good-sized, obvious chunks of red ceramic were missing, leaving behind several white craters, which would not have been so annoying if they hadn't been centered in the room. Multiple speckles of white, right smack in the middle of all that deep reddish brown. It looked like I did not own, or could not operate, a broom.

I went back to bed with fears of new flooring, or having to bring in a professional to repair the two tiles. I tossed and turned through nightmares of Home Depot and new grout that didn't match the old grout. When I woke up this morning I had to double check, just to make sure it wasn't all a bad dream. Unfortunately it wasn't a dream. My floor still looked like I snacked on a sugared donut the night before and didn't bother to clean up after myself.

Jon and I stopped in at both Home Depot and Lowe's tonight where we discovered that, like most tiles over a year old, our tile has been discontinued. I'm still checking a few places around the house to see if perhaps the previous homeowners stashed any of the leftover tiles somewhere. In the meantime I came up with a much more temporary solution. I pulled out a large box of colored pencils, sat myself down on the floor, and colored my little heart out. I found the perfect color combination between three different pencils, and surprisingly, even I have a hard time finding the destruction from a short distance. But like I said, the pencils are definitely temporary. If I can't find something better, I may be putting in a call to my mother-in-law, the artist, and ask her to work her color magic, and hide my hideous spots.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


I am at that fine line between caring and not caring that I look like a stoner. I feel crappy enough to not care, but just well enough to peer into the restroom mirror at my swollen, bloodshot eyes and Rudolph red nose, and announce to anyone who cares to listen: "Eww! I should have worn mascara!"

Monday, October 9, 2006

Vice Versa

I spent most of Friday evening trying to stave off Jon and his sneezing, sniffling head cold with an abundance of dirty looks and as many nice, wifely variations of BACK OFF as I could think of. He was still in the early stages, free of the migraine headaches and severely clogged nasal passages, so he couldn't see the fault in breathing on me, or nonchalantly leaning in for a kiss. I defended myself by putting a hand on his chest and explaining, "Jon, seriously, I CANNOT get sick! I'm too busy at work and I can't get time off, so please, stay back!" Though he tried, it was not in earnest, and it seems I was destined to catch this cold. And when I woke up Saturday morning with a stinging, prickly feeling in the back of my throat, I would have screamed, if it didn't hurt so much.

My sore throat was tolerable and left me feeling minutely lucky as I watched Jon's version of the cold turn into something much more annoying. He spent most of Saturday hauled up on the sofa, watching ESPN while I drove to the market, walked the dog, and took care of our normal, weekend errands. He barely had the energy to blow his nose, let alone breathe on me, and I sincerely thought I'd escaped the worst of it.

Sunday found me in the same predicament as Jon, but while he was clearly on the road to recovery, I was struggling to see through my blinding headache and breathe through my stuffy nose as I got ready for mass. It took me an additional hour compared to the usual Sunday, but we wandered into church, almost on time, and situated ourselves in a back pew where I thought I was less likely to pass my cold onto an innocent bystander. I successfully fought every urge to cough and/or sneeze and when the time came to shake hands with other parishioners I just smiled, nodded, and greeted them, and when they didn't get the hint that I could not touch their hands I blatantly announced, "I'm diseased." Most people laughed, others still didn't understand, but I continued to smile and nod my way through mass. The homily was about woman being made from man's rib and the two becoming like one person. Jon took this opportunity to whisper to me, "That's why both of us had to get sick; we're like one person." I had to laugh, but quietly began cursing man. I persuaded Jon to leave at the earliest opportunity so that we could dodge the crowd before they became sociable and blocked off the church exits, leaving me to breathe a little too close for comfort.

Not surprisingly, I spent the rest of Sunday on the sofa, watching IFC movies and CSI reruns. I tried to sleep as much as possible, convinced that I could sleep the sickness away, and be mended by morning. And, of course, I was wrong. The soreness moved from my throat, to my ears, to my head, and back to my throat again. Breathing became more and more difficult as the evening progressed. I can remember Jon waking me a few times, telling me "I don't think you're getting enough air in that position. You should turn over," but he didn't know that, amidst all other positions, flat on my back seemed to provide me with the most air. While it was far from quality, I did manage a little sleep last night.

Today I am at work as the annoying girl that everyone uses the forefinger cross to ward off, and exclaim that I shouldn't be here, or had better not get them sick. I smile, and nod, and try not to breathe on them. I only speak from a distance and I have washed my hands so many times that the skin on my knuckles is beginning to chap. I have officially gone through two travel-sized packages of Kleenex and had to use part of my lunch hour to stop at CVS for another jumbo box (the other part of the lunch hour being used to write this journal entry). I'm caught in the catch-22 of trying to keep the boss happy or my co-workers safe. Obviously, I sided with the boss and made face at work, and in turn, took on the glares and disapproval of my co-workers, even though I've made every attempt to keep them as healthy as possible. Luckily, I haven't received too many comments and I actually gave Jon more grief on Friday while he was in the comfort of his own home.

I'm hoping that, after tonight's dose of Claritin, this cold will be a distant memory by tomorrow morning; that I can stop acting like the world is ending, like I will never be a healthy, vibrant 24-year-old again. And then I'm going to scheme and make ready for the next horrendous thing that I can pass onto Jon, seeing as we are one and we should share everything and all.

Friday, October 6, 2006

An Ex-Diet Cokehead Wannabe

I recently discovered the convenience mart down the road from my office building bought a new fountain drink machine. They now have caffeine-free Diet Coke on tap, and I keep catching myself heading in that direction, and I ask myself the same question each time: What is it about Diet Coke that I cannot give up? It's obviously not the sugar, because, well, it's diet. And apparently it isn't the jolt of caffeine, because I no longer need the caffeine to stay awake or keep my body functioning. I am past the point of shaky hands and migraine headaches from caffeine withdraw. That leaves me to ask: Is carbonation addictive? Or maybe I am subconsciously defying the numerous changes I have put upon my body in the past three months.

Perhaps part of me is rebelling against my new smoke-free, caffeine-free, water guzzling, 3-miles-a-day, fruit-eating self. And if that is the case, I say to her: Tough luck! I love the new me. I haven't felt this good in a long time, and I only intend to improve upon myself for the next three months.

My defense against Diet Coke has been to not keep it in the house. And I'm fine with that. I drink only water or juice while at home, but mostly water. I made it a point after I quit smoking to begin drinking the recommended 64 oz. of water daily. Something about it made me feel like I was flushing all of the ugly, blackness from my body, and giving myself a new start.

Now if I could only come up with something like that for while I'm at work...

Thursday, October 5, 2006

As It Should Be

Jon did eventually make it home on Monday night/Tuesday morning, after his direct flight to Cleveland was canceled. He was put on a flight to Miami, where he had a three hour layover, and then a flight home that was frustratingly delayed, but touched down at Cleveland Hopkins Airport around midnight. And probably not so surprising was that his luggage was nowhere to be found, even though he was told it would be waiting for him. He spent an additional hour arguing with the airline only to find that even they were unable to locate his baggage. It was 1:00am before I watched him cross the bridge from the terminal to the parking deck, where I had been waiting for an hour in the 30 Minute Only parking slot, to finally take him home with me. After the long and hectic day of wondering if he would make it home or not, and the baggage gone MIA, our first encounter in nearly a week was far from ideal. It was a quick "Hi. Hello. I'm driving," and we were off on the 40 minute drive home. I could only imagine the stress he had gone through during the day so I didn't press it, but I gladly accepted an apology and kiss when we finally made it back to Akron.

I called work the next morning and informed them that I would be taking a vacation day. I was exhausted after our airport rendezvous, and it just felt too good to be lying in bed, next to his warm body, our arms wrapped around each other, and the dog at our feet. Everything was as it should be again and I wanted an entire day to live in the perfection of it all.

Around 3:30pm the doorbell rang and it was American Airlines with his suitcases. His luggage smelled like Texas. I was glad that he didn't.

Monday, October 2, 2006


Ugh! Jon's flight to Cleveland was cancelled and instead of getting home at 4:20PM as anticipated, we will be lucky if he is here by 11:00PM! He is now coming home by way of Miami.

Oh, and his luggage is somewhere in Chicago on stand-by for a flight back to Cleveland. That makes no sense to me.