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Continuing the trend

My father is the most negative human being that I know. He actually used to be angrier, or at least used to show his anger more, but as he’s gotten older, the anger has turned from cussing and throwing and breaking shit, to just being a downright bummer.

My birthday was a few weeks ago, and when I called my dad to thank him for the birthday card and check that he mailed to me, we ended up having a relatively decent 35 minute conversation about how my life was going good, how work was going good and how I didn’t really have a lot to complain about. I’d venture to say that his ability to withhold the negative peaks at around 36 minutes, though, because we quickly went from HAPPY HAPPY to “Just be glad you have a job because if you didn’t, you’d have a hell of a time finding one right now.” and “You should be better at saving your money” and “Well, I gave you that 6 months ago – you haven’t done it yet?” Thank you dad, for ruining whatever high I had on life by inserting your usual bit of negatively slanted realism. Can’t I just be happy for a frickin’ minute, here?!

Most people who do that to me usually get thanked for dropping the Bummer Bomb in some snide, sarcastic way, but my dad is not most people. He is the poster child for emotional suppression and avoidance, so if I were to bring it up, he’d just get angry and most likely say something like, WELL, IT”S TRUE ISN’T IT? To which I can’t really argue, but there is a thing called TACT that he seems to lack. In fact, his need to end on a sour note seems almost purposeful to an extent – there was nothing in our conversation that could have segued him into how suck-tastic the world is or how terrible the weather is or how awful the state of the economy is. He just started hating on shit with no prompting. Yeah, I get it, sometimes shit sucks, but if all you do is dwell on the negative, everything becomes ABOUT the negative and I’ve worked really hard to get my thinking out of that downward spiral pattern. And this, my friends, is the long winded version of why I don’t talk to my father very often and when I do, it’s in very short bursts. Gotta get out before the negativity sets in.

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Dial up the crazy

It almost feels funny to type this, as it’s been almost a year and a half since I’ve used this word, but, I have a ‘boyfriend’. He’s wonderful, I like him a lot, he does all the things I think a good boyfriend should, and I hope that I get to keep calling him my boyfriend for a very long time. With all that said, however, my crazy still manages to poke holes in what could otherwise be a completely normal relationship, and in times like these, I write.

I live in southern Pennsylvania, (southern enough that I rarely admit to the PA residency except when trying to prove that I drive the farthest to work when compared to anyone else), and for those who don’t know, Maryland and Virginia (along with many other states that i have no reason for mentioning here…) got hit with a helluva storm the last weekend in June, with 80 MPH winds, hail, monsoon volume rains and excessive lightening. There are people to this day that are still without power due to the storm damage, and my boyfriend works in Maryland, for one of the companies that’s out and about replacing some of the telephone poles that were broken, cutting up trees that were splintered and generally trying to fix some of the shit that got jacked up. Since he and I have about an hour and 15 minutes worth of distance between us, his long hours and 7 day a week shifts have taken a toll on my emotional stability the last 2 weekends, as I’ve seen him for a fraction of the amount of time that we PREFER to see each other. See, I intentionally typed “we prefer” to try to outsmart the crazy, but the crazy is uber smart, and it sees through my thinly veiled attempts with little to no effort. The small amount of time that we HAVE been able to see each other isn’t exactly the same sort of QT that I’m used to spending with him, either, as he’s exhausted, a mere fraction of his usual awesome personality, and I swear – dude falls asleep LESS THAN 5 minutes after his head hits the pillow – I don’t think a narcoleptic could top that. So this weekend, I ate dinner with him and his family, then we watched a movie, I got to sleep in his arms, and then got up at 5 am and drove home as he went to work. I’m not complaining, because I wasn’t exactly living la vida refreshed either, but as soon as I give my brain a moment to wander, it immediately jumps to him distancing himself from me for some yet to be discovered reason. Or for some reason that I may have thought of but dismissed, or for some reason that I may never even think of because there’s probably not even a reason in existence at this point. Logically, I know what sheer exhaustion can do to a person and that this is his true reason for being less than all over my grill as of late. Yet my crazy expects him to be bright eyed and bushy tailed, utilizing every second I am within his vision to adore and fawn over me, despite the fact that he’s worked no less than 10 hours per day, for the last 10+ days straight, and he’s already doing about all he can just to stay awake and spend a few hours of face to face time with me. I am interpreting his exhaustion for disinterest, and this is where I inevitably lose my sub-par grip and sob into a pillow for a few hours. Queue the red, puffy eyes I’ll have for the next 2 days.

I must feel safe with my boyfriend, though, because instead of bottling it up and becoming aloof, I’ve opened up and explained these feelings to him, and god love this man, he consoled me and assured me and managed to quell my concerns in just a few words. In past relationships, I would have been told “That’s stupid, why do you feel that way?” and it would end up being an entire discussion about my feelings and why they are dumb, his lack thereof, and I would still never feel that acceptance or understanding that I longed for. Despite the fact that I want to talk about my feelings, I don’t feel the need to make an entire presentation out of it – I want to say my piece, have him reply, and move on. Then I want to reiterate his reply in my head to make myself feel better whenever crazy girl sneaks in and tries to overwhelm the awesome that I have created. Seriously, I know that these crazy thoughts are crazy things that only crazy people make up, but I literally CANNOT help them from seeping into my brain and once they are there, the only way to make them go away is to say them out loud and gain affirmation for their complete idiocy, or their legitimacy.

One huge thing I’ve wanted in a boyfriend is someone who would actually listen to what I say, and HEAR me when I say it. I don’t need it fixed, that’s on me, I just need a man to understand that I have feelings (I know, you’re thinking ‘You’re a chick – DUH you have feelings’ but wait, explanation on this to follow) and be OK with hearing them out-loud. Too many men seem to completely suppress, or downright forget that chicks have feelings, and need to express them to get over them, and firsthand I can say this has created more than several issues with me and men in the past. This one guy I dated told me that I wasn’t ALLOWED to tell him when I was disappointed. His reasoning was that he didn’t like making plans anyway, so when plans fell through, I wasn’t allowed to be disappointed because it was something I used against him to make him feel badly. Not badly enough to NOT break plans or to even TRY to not break plans, just bad enough that he didn’t want to hear about it. I feel that you don’t get to know a person if you’re always just putting on a show, so I want to be honest and try to share who I am in my entirety. All the world is a stage, but even the stage hand gets to know the REAL person playing the part, and I want to be with someone who knows all of me, not just the stuff that’s lollipops and gummi bears. Long winded reason # 47 why my boyfriend is awesome.

 

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Don’t hate me because I love yarn

I am ├╝ber proud of my Granny Skillz. And by ‘Granny Skillz’ I mean my abilities to knit and crochet. I don’t care that I’m 30 and love knitting, I happen to greatly enjoy sentient activities and this one allows me to at least FEEL productive while I use as few muscles as possible. It’s quite remarkable, actually. You can spend hours moving little more than your arms from the elbows down and yet you can create these beautiful, imaginative items that are often made out of extremely long, but single pieces of yarn, all woven together in pretty little patterns. You can create flowers (seriously, you can, I can’t, yet), scarves, socks, headbands or little sock like things for your kindle to keep them from getting banged up in your purse since you carry it everywhere. Yeah, that was my first crochet project – it left some things to be desired, i.e. I MUST learn how to make prettier end stitches before moving forward with much else – and it is complete, for all intents and purposes, and it’s not a bad go for the first time I’ve crocheted, either, so I’m cool with it. Not gonna sell the pattern for profit, but I can consider it a success.

Anyone that KNOWS how to knit and/or crochet will tell you how EEEAASSSYYY it is. And I will admit to having done such a thing myself, but let me tell you this: that is bullshit. It’s so freaking hard to learn one or the other and it’s even harder to know one, and try to learn the other. They are similar, but so VERY different and it’s like trying to teach a lefty how to cut construction paper snowflakes with righty scissors. It’s as difficult as trying to explain the color blue to someone who was born blind. Ok, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but I was feeling rambly and trying to make that work…anyway, it definitely took me a few hours of patient one on one teaching to learn the pattern and movements of crochet and I still have some cleaning up to do of my stitches but overall, I think I’ve got the basics down – half shells, double crochet, single crochet, and chains – not too shabby. I remember when I started knitting, I didn’t realize that there was a front, and a back to the piece of work – I thought it somehow magically knew that on its own or something, or perhaps I just didn’t imagine it made a difference as I expected patterns to follow my method, not the proper one. Truly, until a few years ago, I knew how to knit, but I had been doing it all wrong. As soon as you recognize a front and a back, the patterns make SO much more sense and you can actually create something that looks like the picture – I HATE it when stuff I make doesn’t end up looking like the picture, but that’s an entirely different rant – and people then look at what you’ve knitted and tell you how beautiful it is and ooh and ahh at it while they touch it and rub it against their faces… and then you say, Oh, it was EASY.

 

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What I learned today, or, Why I should go the hell outside sometimes

  • Today I learned that I can, in fact, sit on my couch and watch 35 consecutive episodes of Reno 911. The show is THAT. GOOD.
  • Today I learned that a three-day old bruise from giving blood makes me look a lot like I have a problem. With injecting things into me. Like, drug things. People look at you funny when they think you have track marks and suck so bad at shooting up that you cause yourself to bruise egregiously.
  • Today I learned that my mother’s dog whines and follows me around more than my own problem child dog, and it’s really starting to annoy the shit out of me, 24 hours into dog sitting him. I thought my tolerance was through the roof since I live with a dog who thinks he is my shadow; to the extent that I ALWAYS find him outside of the bathroom door whenever I open it. ::SIDEBAR:: As a habit, I tend not to close doors in my home as I live alone and have ridiculously dependent pets, but when I shower, I like to get all steamy and fog up the mirror and shit, so I shut the door. Never fails – my helper is laying in the hallway in such a way so that he can see my face from the moment the door’s crack is wide enough for recognition.
  • Today I learned that I do love that annoying little dog and his habits of being near me at all times, even though he drives me insane and causes me to trip over him on a daily basis. There is something to be said for being that loved by a soul.
  • Today I learned that if you own a pick up truck with a lift kit, and you’ve re-routed your exhaust to go up and above the cab of your truck, 18-wheeler style, it’s in your contract to hang out in the Arby’s parking lot. They take their obligations VERY seriously.
  • Today I learned that 50 degrees F and no sun makes for a very cold, long day that continuously seems later than it truly is, which causes you to waste the day away while at the same time wondering what happened to the day.
  • Today I learned that fountain coke tastes better than fountain Pepsi. But if given the choice between a can or bottle of coke versus a can or bottle of Pepsi, I would choose the Pepsi. This fact was validated today on two separate trips to places that sell fountain sodas.
  • Today I learned that evenings in are more fun whilst intoxicated. Tanqueray and limeade is the SHIT, people. You don’t know what awesome is if you’ve never tried T&L.
  • Today I learned the most pretentious way possible to google ‘quotes that make me happy’, which is a very popular search and gets me a lot of hits. This is an IRL google search that got someone to my blog: “to make life colourful and happy wordings”
 

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Some girls really do have all the fun

This weekend was my annual family reunion. My dad’s side of the family is Italian and they make it a point every year to re-une. Every one from my grandmother to my cousin’s one year old was there this year and it actually was very nice. No one got stupid drunk, no one set anything on fire, and no one managed to cuss anyone else out. All in all, I’d consider it a raving success, especially when you take my family into account.

The last couple of years, my one cousin has been hosting the reunion at his home, which happens to have my fathers house between it, and me, so I called my dad to see if he wanted to carpool. I need to preface this with the fact that I did NOT ask my father if he wanted to carpool with any ulterior motive – I just thought it would be nice, and as long as he was OK with leaving when I needed to so that I could get home to care for my dogs, I thought it actually made some sense. Anyway, so when I got to his house, he had the garage door open and his truck out in the driveway, which meant one thing: we were taking the VETTE! Hot Bloody Damn! Here we go, boys and girls. We were taking the 2000, 6 speed, 345 hp black on black convertible to the family reunion. Please understand, my dad does NOT bring the vette out but on the rarest of occasions, and it must not be raining, have rained, or have rain in the forecast, or else she won’t come out from under her car covered, curtained windowed garage prison. But saturday was GORGEOUS and my dad was feeling ire, apparently, so out she came! AND………….wait for it………………….I got to DRIVE!!!!

We arrive in perfect condition, and I will admit to cresting nothing above 80 in that car – I honestly didn’t feel safe as I drive it so seldom, and if ANYTHING were to happen, I think my dad would LITERALLY kill me. Then and there. Seriously. So the rest of the family reunion carries on as expected – drinking, eating, laughing, reminiscing, kids screaming, adults screaming, etc. – until my dad says “Did you tell your sister you drove the vette?” NO, Why would I do that? So that she can give me some whiny crap about how it’s been such and such amount of time since SHE’S driven the vette? No. Thank. You. So, my sister says “No, but you did” back to my dad. Then started: “Ya know, I haven’t driven the vette in YEARS.” Neither have I, sister. “Well, you know, I didn’t even drive it that far last time I drove it.” Well, sister, I didn’t ASK to drive, dad offered. Next time, you can drive and pick him up so that you can drive the vette. Ok?

I must admit that I do find satisfaction in burning my sisters ass. She gets herself so worked up over the dumbest things, it just cracks me up when she gets so upset. She starts in with the Woe-is-me routines and lays it on thick enough that others not savvy to her ways would be sucked into her abyss of negativity. All I heard was Blah Blah Blah as she rambled on about how unfair it was, half in jest, half in stark faced sincerity. Thankfully, this all happened as my dad and I were leaving for the night, so I simply got in the car and did what ANY good sister would do – I hammered that shit down and just about spun into second gear, then third. My hair waved GOODBYE as my left foot pumped the clutch and I jammed it into third and my smile opened up greater than it has in a long time, and stayed that way the entire ride home. She’s so pretty, she’d make just about anyone smile.

You'd be jealous, too

 

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Who’s got two thumbs and a serious case of the Mondays? This girl.

I once saw a bumper sticker that read “Mondays are a horrible way to spend 1/7th of your life.” It made me laugh and nod in agreement then, and it still pops up into my head now when I have a day like today.

My job is technically based – I work with computers and in multiple proprietary applications all day long, in and out. When I have a computer problem, it effects my entire day. Today, I had internet issues, then VPN connectivity issues, then Outlook issues – it seemed never ending. I was in the midst of a conversation with my manager via an internal instant messenger service when my internet went out for the first time, cutting the conversation off mid sentence. I did all of the things I knew to do – reboot the router, reboot the comp, try my personal comp, then call my ISP. Turns out it was most definitely an ISP problem and it took them a couple of hours to fix it.

I finally got logged back in around 2:15p this afternoon only to find that the email message I needed for a task was unavailable because my outlook took a shit and didn’t want to open up properly, due to the loss of VPN connection from earlier, when my internet went out. Long story short, technology is aggravating me today as nothing seems to be working properly. In the past, I’ve always relied heavily on technology because most things are a computer program of sorts – and computer programs DO get bugs in them, but are often fixable easily enough, even if you have to revert code to a previously working version. Computer programs make sense to me – tell them to do something and they do it. Most often, if it doesn’t do what you intended, it’s because you made a coding error. So it’s understandable when a technology/computer fail totally screws my day, and my mentality.

I am not in a ‘bad’ mood, or depressed; I’m pretty much just annoyed with everything today. Struggling to WORK is a mood killer and definitely is aggravating and makes me want to punch a baby in the face, but I won’t. Instead, I’ll stew in my annoyance tonight and probably roll into work early tomorrow to try to get my shit together and accessible while I’m connected to the mainframe directly, not through a VPN connection. I’ll have to work a long day to make up my missed time due to my malfunctions, but I do have the hope that tomorrow IS another day, and that my tech bugs will sort themselves out and go bother someone else. I don’t know if I can manage two, completely unproductive days in a row, because of computer issues. If that happens, tomorrow’s post is bound to be much more on the downswing than this one.

So, Mondays. Why do we hate you so? Oh, perhaps it is because you come directly after the most loved days of the week, and signal the return to reality that most of us would rather not see as often as you come around. Perhaps it is because, in a client facing business, clients stew all weekend and then explode phones and emails with pointless issues and merit-less concerns first thing in your morning. Or perhaps it is because we have, as a society, been so indoctrinated to HATE you, that we cannot help it; if you don’t hate Monday’s people think somethings wrong with you. Perhaps you have taken on the embodiment of all things great and evil and you give us a fixed point to direct our disappointment and anger at. Or perhaps it’s just that we hate having to work 5 days, and only getting 2 for play. Whoever came up with this 40 hour work week shit should be drug out into the street and Pink Bellied until they split that shit to 4 days on, 3 days off… Meh. A girl can dream, can’t she?

 

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I’ll see your ‘Fat Face’ and raise you a ‘Eat shit & die’

I am lucky enough to work from home a couple of days a week. In light of that amazing perk, one would imagine that dealing with traffic only 3 out of 7 days would give me more of a buffer zone for idiots, however, one would assume that INCORRECTLY. Apparently, either my tolerance for people en mass has gone down, or society in general is deteriorating by the day.

This morning on my way in, I happened to end up behind a big, diesel, maroon, Dodge pickup truck. Simply by my inclusion of the words DIESEL and PICKUP TRUCK, you should have been able to gather that I was dealing with what most people would call a RED NECK. There were no antlers tied to the hood or brass balls hanging from the trailer hitch, but there was a slight hint of asshole in the air the first time that we passed a dotted yellow line. He went from teeter-tottering around the speed limit to EIGHTY (80!) in like, two seconds and then slowed back to the speed limit as soon as the double yellow reformed. After this pattern repeated between a couple of the passing zones, I began to realize it was intentional, and that the driver was not in fact, having a seizure.

Unfortunately for me, my heritage includes large chunks of Italian and German – and by that, I am trying to invoke the reference strictly to illustrate temperament – and instead of resigning to call an asshole an asshole, I retaliated. I attempted to pass a couple of times, one of which I was almost forced off of the road by this dude, only to eventually end up following him until there were multiple, single direction lanes, and most importantly…WITNESSES.

At the next light, he pulled into the left turn lane as I wanted to go straight; I saw the passenger window come down and thought “REDEMPTION!” only to be leered at by two skinny, tooth missing, Klan wanna-be, exclusively monosyllabic processing, repulsive excuses for human beings who’s infantile reaction to me questioning what the HELL they had been doing was “You have a fat face!” So I made a pouty face, ran my finger down my cheek like I was chasing a tear, threatened a full scale police manhunt and then peeled away when the light turned green, deeming them, combined, as the Official 1st horseman of the pending Asshole Apocolypse – Conquest.

Anyone with Police ties in the state of Maryland or Pennsylvania, please contact me as I have a license plate and vehicle description that I’d like to track down the owner of in order to file a complaint/grievance/asshole report on. And yes, in my heart of hearts, I really do believe that such a thing exists.

 

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