Monthly Archives: August 2010

And things keep Marchin’ On…

Well, yesterday was quite a day.  I got up, I got myself ready and went to class.

This semester, I have only one class on campus, the other two are online.  My one class on campus is Journalism 102, which is also known as News Reporting and Writing.  It’s a class that all I do is write. Last Monday, when I saw what the course make up was, I laughed and thought to myself, “this is like giving candy to a baby.”  But, news journalism is very different from me telling y’all about what’s going on in my life.  Doc T, as usual, is right in all things: talk about having meaning, sense and clarity…I learned today that most news story leads are two sentences at the most and each paragraph after are two to three sentences at most.

So that means things become more direct and to the point.  I like it.  It’s different for me.  Yes, yes, I’m the queen of run-on sentences and dreaded comma splices, but the class is fun and I’m sure my writing will improve more over the semester.

Speaking of leads, besides traversing the city to go to class, I also had one other errand to run yesterday.  It was a place I’d been referred to by someone and well, it lead to a job.  The job isn’t half bad.  I get my school days off and I’ll always be done by 6pm.  All I have to do is answer the phone, write a bit, talk to people and basically be a gal Friday.  Coolest part:  I get to walk to work every day because I could practically fall out of my front door and be at work.

On other fronts, my apartment is officially a mess.  Pictures down off the walls, things in boxes, bags and suitcases filled with clothes all are stacking up in my living room, waiting for the movers I spent the other part of my afternoon arranging for their services.

I stopped by and gave my parents the news of what’s been happening over the last little bit.  I told the tale of how I got into school, about the job, and about the apartment.  Mom, believe it or not, was really thrilled about things.   Dad, as is the norm, was completely supportive.

Up, down, lean right, lean left…life is always a roller coaster, but before that big drop or loop comes, sometimes you just have to put your hands in the air, laugh, then squeal at the top of your lungs and enjoy the ride.

But, it’s always one foot in front of the other…

For your listening pleasure…here’s the band from the Song of the Day from my last post, One Republic, and they’re…

Marchin’ On.

Speculating on the new space…

I keep thinking about how it’s going to feel to be in my own space; waking up in a different apartment filled with just my energy and no one else’s.

I am not sure right now what it will be like.  I know it will be considerably smaller, I’ll be losing roughly 400 square feet of living space.  The bedroom is tiny compared to what I’ve grown accustomed to over the last five years, and I contemplate on an hourly basis how I’m going to get my very large bedroom furniture into my new bedroom.  I’m going from an 11-by-14 room to one that’s roughly 10-by-12.  Now this might not sound like it’s a huge difference, but when you lose roughly four feet of wall space, putting a 60-inch wide bed with two 30-inch wide nightstands on either side, well, it equals exactly ten feet, and it also resembles the one and only wall I can place my bed against because the others are taken by windows or a door.  I’ve never been good with arranging furniture and I really wish the room was of a size I could accurately fung-shui the whole thing by placing the bed caddy-corner in the room, but doing that, nothing else will fit.  So, that’s problem #1.  Trying to figure out how exactly I’m going to set up the room because it’s not only the bed and nightstands, but also my 36 inch wide armoire, my 76 inch long ladies dresser and my hope chest to fit in there too.  For some distinct reason, I think one of my nightstands will somehow end up as an end table.  What a fitting ending, huh?

Then, the rest of the space just becomes academic.  The couch fits against a wall, there’s room for my TV, and a bookcase strategically placed next to my four-seat kitchen table, in which that little table waves like a Broadway stage manager, indicating the final curtain call for the 12 seat monstrosity that has dominated my dining space for the last 7 years.

The horrid antique buffet is saying goodbye as well, destined for my storage space along with the monstrous dining table.  It’ll be the final goodbye to everything belonging to my ex.  I am not sure yet if it will feel like things are missing, but only time will tell on that.  The only thing I keep thinking about is all of the garbage I’m going to get to throw out that I’ve been dying to do and have been doing since I knew I was going to be changing spaces.  It’s going to feel so good to purge my life of all of the unnecessary things (like the French version of Scrabble) I’ve had in my apartment for so long.

The only thing I regret saying goodbye to is the huge desk that I’ve been writing from since the bomb went off.  I’ll miss the ample space for my printer, my computer’s tower and my plethora of little desktop goodies, but the plan is to just put my computer on my kitchen table.  It’s not like I’m going to be entertaining or anything in the new space, but there’s simply not enough wall space to put the six-foot-long, four-foot-wide desk anywhere in the apartment.  These are the moments I wish for a laptop, but it’s nothing compared to my beautiful tower and widescreen monitor.  So, to the kitchen table it goes, with my big foofy chair going right on the end of the table.  Like I said, I’m not expecting guests, and if people do decide to show up, they’ll understand the placement due to the limited space.  I can always move the monitor off the table should the unbelievable happen and I entertain.  The bonus to having the computer in my living space is that it will be with the rest of the apartment, not sequestered to just one small room.  I’ll be in my living room, doing just what the name implies, living.

The kitchen is small, but I’m used to that, it’s not going to be that much of a change or shock, but it will be nice to get snacks quickly from the fridge or countertops from my nice new workspace.

The artwork is going to be fun this time around.  I’m keeping the two posters that I direly want with me for the rest of my life.  Lichtenstein’s “The Drowning Girl”:

Most of the people who have seen this hanging in my bedroom find it rather morose, only seeing a woman drowning in a sea of tears.  For me, it’s absolutely empowering, reminding me that I should always strive to be self-reliant and move through life under my own power.

The second is one I found at my local Michael’s craft store.  A poster by Norman J. Wyatt that simply reads:

And that one poster says so much, it’s unbelievable.  It’s my constant search to find things to love, people to share love with, find an overall love of life and more to the point, embrace my inner Porthos and have a lust for life.  Love is so powerful, it overrides everything else, so to have a simple poster with four letters that mean so much, yeah, that’s me.  When my depression is kicking me while I’m down, just looking at that poster makes me take a deep breath and realize that love is what we live for.  While other people live their lives completely oblivious of the fluffy white clouds upon the perfect blue sky above them, and forget to enjoy the sun on their face, I’m completely consumed with the need to make sure I take a moment to look around every day and see the things everyone else takes for granted; laughing at what I’m seeing while they’re so busy.  Every day, I watch as people have their noses down into their cell phones, surfing the web or texting their friends or just being busy trying to survive that they forget to live and look around at what’s around them.

What makes me laugh hardest when I’m out at school or out in the world running errands and such is that people forget what it is to be kind to someone else.  I was driving home from school last Tuesday after picking up my books and saw two identical Lincoln Navigators decide to cut people off, completely oblivious that there was life outside of their suburbs, soccer practice and their extraordinarily expensive, gas-guzzling, environment-destroying luxury SUV.  Instead of getting upset, I just laughed and looked out the window of my car, to the beautiful mountains in the distance.  It’s about appreciating those little things I guess.  It’s like the dirt from the other day, it’s seeing the really good things that are unfortunately ignored.

But, I can’t ignore the fact I’m moving in exactly seven days and I’ve already made a half a billion phone calls trying to get movers set up.  By this time next week, I’ll be writing from a brand new setup that *I* set up (thanks to a bit of perseverance and a nod to the ex who came through for me).

It’s time to dig in, pitch out, box up, take stock of what I think is important and move.  And whether it’s changing spaces or whathaveyou, it’s always moving in one steady direction:


Finding Hope

Sometimes you have to look really hard to find hope.

Hope likes to hide in unseen places where you really wouldn’t think to look, but more than likely, you find it hiding in a part of yourself you’ve just not found or when you’ve not found the value in yourself yet.

It’s hard to find hope when someone who’s approval means the world to you calls you and basically relays that your life as you know it is worthless, that in their opinion, everything you do is basically wrong, but they mask it under, the whole “I believe in you” or “I’m only telling you this because I love you” excuse so they can just line you up on a tee and pretend they’re a one-wood, purposefully sending you and your self-esteem straight into a very deep hole in the ground.  When that happens, it destroys every single last bit of self-esteem you’ve worked so hard to build.  It also makes hope incredibly hard to find. 

When you have debilitating depression that you have no idea how to come out of, then the person who supposedly “loves” you comes along and effectively makes your depression worse, how are you supposed to recover?  When they tell you that you have no right to become defensive, when the simple facts are, you’re being defensive to try to keep yourself from mental harm, what do you do with that?

Then hope slips further away.  You find yourself with your sheets pulled up over your head and wishing to die because not only is your depression kicking your ass, but you’ve got people who are supposedly trying to “support” you doing more damage than good.  At that point, things look pretty hopeless and your persevering spirit decides to vanish in a wave of tears from the pain you’re in.

I remember when someone else in my immediate family’s world came crashing down around her ankles.  She became unhinged and she absolutely had every right to cry and be upset with what happened to her.  I remember the day I saw her after her whole world was destroyed and all I did was comfort her.  I didn’t say anything that would hurt her, I just held her as she cried.  I never told her that what had happened to her was of her own doing, recriminating her for everything she did wrong in her marriage.  No.  I just held her and told her everything was going to be okay, because I know you don’t play “tough love” with people in that situation.  What the hell is “tough love” anyway, just an excuse to be a bitch and express your inadequacy issues on someone that is in pain?  Making someone else hurt worse than they are so you can feel better about yourself?

When the same thing happened to me, the same person I comforted with gentle words and nothing but love in my heart, they turned around and recriminated me for everything they thought I did wrong and how screwed up I was to them.  They spoke about things that they had no idea what really happened in the 10 years of my life I was married.  No, I got the “tough love” speech and dressed down in seven different ways, from my lack of a job, how I use my computer too much, that my parents were on the verge of divorce because of me and that everything that everyone was going through, that was ancillary to what was actually happening to me, was my fault.  Put succinctly, I gave her support when she needed it, when I needed it, she gave me a vicious kick in the gut, ranting at me on the phone for a solid 45 minutes, not even giving me the chance to defend myself.  Then she got pissed when I wanted to take aspirin because of the splitting headache she was giving me and I was denying myself the nice bottle of valium that my doctor prescribed for me just for moments like that so that I don’t have anxiety and I’m able to cope with being told I’m a sack of shit without having my depression leave me bedridden for days.  I hung up the phone, looked at it and said something to the effect of ‘jump off a bridge’, but let me tell you, it wasn’t as nice as that and contained some very harsh explicatives.

After that phone call, I said “to hell with it”, took a valium to calm down and called my father.  I just broke down and cried, needing the one person in my immediate family who I knew would back me up.  Since he’s still recovering from knee surgery, he sent my mother over to my house and the support I needed vanished in glares and looks that said she didn’t even understand the ramifications of the phone call berating me like that and worse, she left the overall impression that I deserved what I had gotten.  She helped me pack pieces of the apartment, taking things over to her house because at that time things were still in the air as to where I would be going, supposedly, I’d be going to her house, so into the back of her SUV some of my belongings went, and she did me the favor of taking some of my old clothes over to Goodwill to be donated on her way home.  She spent all of about two hours with me, then left, leaving me in an ambivalent valium-enduced haze to survive the ordeal that had victimized me that day.

But then, it got even more fun a few days later.  Apparently, someone I don’t even know who they are is calling my parents house looking for me.  I don’t give out my parents phone number.  The people who need to get a hold of me know how, they’re all equipped with my cell phone number.  The last time someone called my parents looking for me, my mother described them as “high as a kite”, ok, the person could have just been jubilant and Mom would probably call them “high”.  When I tried to tell her that I didn’t know who it was, she made me feel like a criminal, like I knew who it was but I was lying about it.  Ok, so what do we have?  Me telling the truth that I have no idea who is calling there, and I’m being treated like a criminal and a liar.

Yeah, the hole got pretty deep right around then.  I didn’t know what to do with myself.  My living situation was in the air, I had no idea where I was going to go, but put simply, moving back in with my parents became a non-option.  I was not going to go back into a home where I’m belittled, mentally abused, treated like a criminal and robbed of my self-esteem on a daily basis because I live my life on a different plane of existence that isn’t understood. 

Here’s where the differences are: I don’t believe in tearing people down.  I believe in lifting them up.  I have a very short attention span for people who are so self-righteous, have the view-through-a-soda-straw, are materialistic, spiritually bankrupt, or small in their worldview.  The world is too big and far too diverse in experiences to be small in your perception of the world.  You have to open up and breathe it in, let it permeate your soul and let it give you wings so that you can fly.  So, much less to say, the circumstances have changed.

After the verbal ass-ripping I got, then the whole criminal thing came down, I called the ex in tears.  I was ready to OD.  I knew if I had to spend a single night under my parents roof again, I wouldn’t make it through the night.  I had lost all care of my own person.  It didn’t matter what anyone else said or did, I had lost all fear of death and realized that I was on the precipice.  It was the very cliché “Live free or die” because I would rather die on my own terms rather than ever be abused again.  In between sniffles and tears involuntarily streaming down my cheeks, I calmly asked him how he wanted his furniture stored until he could arrange to have it moved to where he was.  I told him how I was doing and that time was short, so we needed to act accordingly.  When I described everything to him and where I was mentally, he got pissed to put it mildly.  He told me not to listen to a single word of what I was being told, that he was immediately going to make arrangements for me to move to a small one-bedroom apartment, that I wouldn’t be spending a single night under my parents roof.  He told me that he’d call me the following Monday with a plan.

The ex came through.  I don’t know how, but he did.  He spoke to the apartment complex manager and made possible to be able to transfer apartments, eliminating the need to move back to my parents house.

Then, things started becoming more miraculous.  The 50-hour-a-week job, that was robbing me of being able to go to school, became a distant memory as I found out that I had been denied entry into UNLV for the fall semester.  I called my admissions counselor in desperation.  He said the only chance I had to make it into school for the fall is to go through the appeals process.  The UNLV appeals process is simple, you provide a written statement as to why your academic performance in the past wasn’t what it should have been.  Then you have to provide two letters of recommendation to the appeals board telling them that you’re an outstanding student and give reasons why you should be admitted to school.  After hanging up from the call to my admissions adviser, I immediately penned my written statement for my appeal.  I wrote my heart out and gave the brass tacks as to what happened to me.  I have to say, the letter in itself was powerful.  It told of a young woman at 18 who had no idea where she was going, but 20 years later, how I have a clear view of where I want to go and who I want to be.  Then it was on to the recommendation letters.  I already had one recommendation letter written by a friend for the last time I faced the prospect of going through the appeals process, but then I needed a second, so I called in a marker.  I contacted my favorite professor, Doc T.  Y’all know how much I love him, he’s just the kitten’s whiskers to me.  Well, the man came through in an epic way.  I cried when I read his recommendation letter for me.  It felt so good to have someone believe in me in a way no one else ever has, reading about how he thought that I was an extraordinary student and he said it was remarkable how I was always trying to improve myself to become a better person and how he saw that I used every single bit of advice he and others had given me.   It was so uplifting.  What got me was at the end of the e-mail he sent me with the recommendation letter attached, it was three simple sentences:

Take care, Sheri.  Don’t let the bastards of the world get you down.  
Remember: you’re better than them.

After a few nervous days, I was surprised when the phone rang last Friday morning, just seven days ago…

“Hi, this is Stephanie at UNLV Admissions.  I just wanted to call you to let you know, you won your appeal.  You’re a Rebel.”

I stopped her.  I thought I was dreaming.  I wasn’t ready for this.  Things were so bleak!  How could there be a light at the end of the tunnel?  How was it possible? 

I asked her to repeat herself.  She said, “You heard me right, you’re in!  You got accepted!”  I thanked her profusely and hung up the phone.

I later called my mother and told her the news, so excited.  I got the monotone reply, “Oh.  So, that means you’re going to school?”  I sat in shock that what I want most in my life, to finish my education, means so little to one of the people who should be the most proud of me in that moment.  I hung up the phone completely drained of joy when it should have been one of the happiest moments in my life.

Then I called the ex and gave him the news.  The one sentence that should have come out of my mother came out of my ex, which was a very excited, “Oh my god!  That’s great!  Fantastic!  I am so very happy for you.  Well done!” 

My life has become a series of events making me realize that the people who should be supporting me most,  aren’t.  I was raised with the axiom: “At the end of the day, all you have is family.”  I’m finding out that’s very untrue.  At the end of the day, all you have is you.

I scrambled all last weekend putting together my financial aid paperwork, then searching for classes that weren’t already full to the brim, finding time to clean out a few more things before the move.

I began classes this week.  This semester, the tales I’ll be sharing with you are from Introduction to Environmental Science, also known as ENV 101; Critical Analysis of the Mass Media, also known as Journalism (JOUR) 101; and News Writing and Reporting, also known as JOUR 102.   

I’m in school.  I’ve got job prospects that will allow me to go to school and work at the same time and on top of that, I’m living my life the way I want to live it.  I’ve realized those who want to give me “tough love” have no place in my universe and now are (after a lifetime of strikes against them) officially exiled from the beauty, joy and love I bring along with being excluded from the amazing events of my life.  Burn me once, shame on you, burn me over and over and over again, over the course of a lifetime, shame on me, and it WILL NOT be happening again.  I can only give someone so many chances to redeem themselves, after that, it’s toxic to me, and I’m not going to let someone else’s inferiority complexes, jealousy and martyr complexes screw up my life.  That’s their problems not mine.  I’ve got my own issues to solve.  Call me selfish if you’d like, but please, don’t ever call me again if you feel the need to dole out some fucked up version of support called “tough love”.

Amongst the hottest of fires, the heartiest of steel is forged.  And somehow, along the way, I found hope.  I found that all of my external influences are paying off and making me realize that the darkest moments are followed by bathing in the light and soaking up the feeling of it shining on your shoulders, looking up and appreciating it for what it is.  Hope. 

Today, I took down the check from my personal bank account to the apartment complex manager and laid out all of the plans to get moved into my own space.

My own apartment.

Not mine and my ex’s.

Not mine and my parents.

Not mine and anyone else’s.

My own space.

Moving day is September 4th.  

Hope lives and breathes, it’s in me when I thought I’d never have it again…

In that spirit, enjoy today’s song of the day:

One Republic’s “Good Life”.  Pick it up on iTunes.  (If it sounds familiar, it’s on the trailer for “Eat Pray Love”.)



Alright, where are we now?

Refocusing the efforts…

Life is strange sometimes.

I went to the dentist early Saturday morning to get my crown finally put in after not being able to because of that job I had.  I’m still trying to shake off that whole ‘working in a warehouse in the desert’ experience.  It wasn’t the cleanest and it wasn’t really my cup of tea.  It really pushed me off the edge.

So after the dentist, since I was so close to Mom and Dad’s, I drove over just to check in and give my two-minute courtesy visit so they could see I was in good health, albeit not in the greatest of spirits.  What I found when I got there was my parents out front bundling clippings from the tree they had just pruned.  There was Dad standing on two very straight legs, and Mom wearing a sweatband around her head tying together the bundles.  It was probably one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen.  Mom and Dad working together outside, even though Dad still has his walker nearby because he can’t quite walk under his own power yet, his knee is still not at 100%.

Seeing them out there like that, I offered to help out.  They immediately put me to work helping Mom bundle branches so Dad could rest.  Then, I was put to work raking the front lawn to pick up the smaller twigs, leaves and pieces from the pruning.  But what was the coolest thing still was in front of me.

Let’s just set the record straight.  I’ve been a computer nerd since the very first desktop computers came into being.  My first computer was an Apple IIe.  If you remember that technology, you’ll remember that it was no where near as sophisticated as today’s desktop computing.  But, on weekends when I was growing up, when Dad was out mowing the lawn and Mom and Nan were cleaning the house, I’d always get shoved out of the way.  It was always, “you could cut yourself”, “stop being underfoot” or some other reason to be told to get out of the way.  I was always consigned to my bedroom where I wouldn’t get in the way or into trouble.  So, you can imagine, I was never really a part of the “sweat equity” that went into making our house run.  I never really ever got dirty…how could I?  I was always in my room with my technology and clean as a whistle!  I never did any landscaping or really got the opportunity to enjoy what it meant to be outside making things beautiful.

I know what some of you will say, that I’m spoiled.  I won’t lie, I am.  Rotten.  But, I don’t think it was really by choice.  I’ve always been enabled.  Whatever it is I wanted to do, or if there was something to be done, I’d either be able to do it (within reason and with heavy supervision) or someone else would do it for me.  I didn’t do my own laundry or iron my own clothes until my late 20’s.  If there was a mess, someone else would always clean it up, if it was any type of physical labor, someone else always did it and I was shoved out of the way or told it would be taken care of.  Hell, I volunteered for stuff, but NO, it was always, “get out of the way”.  So, I never really got the opportunity to do any of the chores everyone hates so much until quite recently.  Don’t roll your eyes or scoff, it’s just the way my life has been.  Call me spoiled, pampered or whatever, but let me tell you, it’s put me at a severe disadvantage when it comes to living on my own.

However, yesterday, I got a very interesting treat.  I finally pushed a lawnmower and mowed a lawn for the first time in my life!  I got sweaty, but I was out in the sun, feeling my skin tanning under the sun while contributing to the beauty of my parents landscaping!  It was so exciting!  Then, there was DIRT!  I don’t mean warehouse grit kind of dirt either…it was real, honest to God, life giving soil!  I can’t remember the last time I actually touched and interacted with soil!  I was wearing flip-flops because I wasn’t expecting to be doing landscaping with my morning, but this heap of soil spilled on my foot and I saw the big toe on my left foot covered in this rich brown soil.  It was so cool!   I helped my Mom carry a 50 pound bag of soil for her flowerbeds in the backyard and helped her dump it in the flowerbeds!  It smelled so incredible and full of life, just waiting to have beautiful flowers placed in it.  It was the most amazing experience helping out today…dragging the lawnmower over the rock landscaping on the side of their house to get the mower to the backyard, then to look at the grass as it was being cut, the smell of it as the blades of grass were shorn down to a close nap, fighting with my parents very eco-friendly mower which didn’t want to start for anyone but my mother, carrying a bag of soil, tying off pruned clippings, bagging up sweet smelling, fresh cut grass clippings…it was exhilarating!

It was the most perfect thing to happen to me in a while.  Before I went over to my folks yesterday, I really was becoming unhinged.  My countless bottles of painkillers and sedatives were calling to me to just swallow them all and be done with the whole mess that I’m in.  My depression has really been kicking my ass the last several weeks.  But then, after being outside and being productive, it made my fears about what’s happening to me go away a bit.  There was soil on my toe!  Yeah, my shoe was covered in soil and grass clippings and all sorts of green matter, but I looked at it with a renewed sense, that it was something that yes, had to be done, but it was something that when you finished, it was beautiful.  It seems to me that spending time landscaping and planting flowers, that while sweaty and hard work, it is so very worth it when you’re finished.

I think that’s what I’ve been missing in the whole big picture, the fact that you need to feel that what whatever you do is worthwhile.  Whether it’s mowing a lawn, dusting furniture, raking leaves, or all those chores that so many people hate around their homes, at the end of the day, it becomes very worthwhile because your environment becomes even more beautiful.

As Mom and I finished outside, I looked at her huge pots filled with bright magenta-colored bougainvillea, her trees groomed to perfection, and all of the beautiful plants in her landscaping, I realized, it wouldn’t look like that if my Mom, in some way, didn’t love beautiful things.  Yeah, she grew up outside.  I didn’t.  But it was the neatest thing to have my Mom explain to me why it was that she loved working in her yard so much.  She said that pruning trees, mowing the lawn and all of the other chores were great stress relief for her.  I took it as she was implying that nature refreshed her and recharged her in a special way.  I really don’t understand it because I’m such a techno-nerd that has made my eyes hurt in the light of the sun, but, I can’t dismiss what happened to me yesterday.  Mom’s right.  Being outside and making things beautiful is no waste of time.  But, I guess it’s just new to me.  Instead of being shoved out of the way, I got to contribute.  To me, that was worth it’s weight in gold.

I guess it’s something I get to look forward to since I’ll be living in the house that I just helped out on its landscaping.

Ok, so one more new experience for me….


It’s so neat!

One more thing…with thoughts of my twisted fate 808…here’s the tune for the day:

Riding the rollercoaster

I’ve somehow gotten onto some sort of rollercoaster and I want to get off really badly.

I’ve been working 50 hours a week for the last three weeks. My brain is basically mush because I went from doing nothing to working 50 hours a week.  Plus, I’ve been trying to arrange movers, get packed and do all sorts of other stuff with about 2 hours a night to myself before going back to work the next day.

As you can guess, it’s not working out too well.

Besides the very tacky group of people I’ve had to work with, who can find nothing better to do with their time than sit and belittle other people because they’re so incredibly bored, the supervisors at the warehouse are quota crazy.  You have to do X amount per day of X thing or you get snipped at.  I sat there just amazed on how low I’ve had to sink just for a paycheck.  Me?  Manual labor?  Really?  Even so, I am always above my quotas, even surpassing quite a few of the folks who have been sitting in that warehouse, complacent in their mindlessness, for over two years with no benefits and no permanent position.  Yet they sit there, pissing, bitching, moaning and whining.  Then you’ve got the smug people who think they know better than everyone else and don’t mind saying so, even though everyone seems to be in agreement that the know-it-all’s really don’t know shit.  It’s just one long session of being amazed at how far people will go for money.  I’m not like that.  If I don’t like something, I’m gone.  I don’t care what the hell people have to say about it.  I’m not going to sit there and be a mindless drone.  I’m too smart and way too talented for that crap.  I’ve sat surrounded by people for the last three weeks who hate that place with a passion, are disgusted they’ve had to stoop so low for so little money.  From creepy foreign veterinarians to PR majors, all the way down the line, the warehouse is just filled with lost souls.  It’s incessant whining all day long.  Ten hours every day of hearing nothing but the people around me spouting, “you can’t do this, you can’t do that, I hate it here”, noses in other people’s business so they can vicariously get their jollies over stuff that is nowhere near their business.  It’s enough to drive any sane person with an ounce of ambition straight off their rocker.

Let’s put this on top of having to pack my apartment.  I’ve got so much stuff here that still has to be sorted, thrown out, donated and such, that there aren’t enough hours in the day until the end of the month to get it all done.  I’m having to do it alone.  No help.  Last Saturday was the only day I really had to myself to get anything done. I had already missed my dentist appointment to get my crown finished up because of that idiotic job, then I had to reschedule my hair appointment for Saturday, then make time to FINALLY get my brows and lip waxed.  After finally being able to maintain myself for the first time in six months, I got it all done only to find my mother pissed off and impatient that I didn’t make it out to her house in time to pick her up and let her help me pack.  Let’s add on the fact that the ex tried to pull some bullshit with me, giving me a budget he worked up that had me paying out over $2800 every month while he got out only paying $1500.  He’s bitching and moaning, he’s breaking the lease on the apartment, telling me little to nothing about what’s happening, then I’ve got to sandwich finding movers, storage and pack all on two hours a day if I’m lucky.

Do I sound happy?  No.

I went in on Tuesday afternoon, to the Nazi who runs the warehouse, and asked politely if I could leave work at 4:30pm, after putting in 8 hours, instead of having to put in the other two hours of overtime for the day that would have equaled 10.  The guy looked at me and very snippily said, “Why?”  I stood there completely shocked.  In the last 10 years there has not been a single person who has questioned why I’ve done something.   More to the point, being asked to work 10 hours a day, five days a week, week after week after week tends to burn people out a bit, especially me when it’s the equivalent of going zero to sixty in about two seconds flat in a car that hasn’t seen the freeway in 10 years.  Yeah, working fifty hours a week went over with me like a lead balloon.  Then the guy asking me why I wanted to leave after my eight hours were up and not do their “mandatory” overtime just sent me over the edge.  I sat there thinking to myself, “Really?  Did he really just ask me that?  I’m working as a mindless drone, the inflexibility of the job has made it so that getting into school this semester near to impossible when the Basic Production class I want to take is at 8am, I’ve got to move back in with my parents, my ex is being a piece of shit, Dad is still recovering from knee surgery, and on top of it all, I’m supposed to work 50 hours a week AND move?  You’ve got to be shitting me!”  Oh yes, I want my aspirations and future pushed aside for a meager $11/hour job and an asshole asking me why I want to leave after working my 8 hours instead of staying for 10 hours doing something that insults my intelligence surrounded by the dregs of humanity.

I got to leave at 4:30…lucky for the Warehouse Nazi or I would have probably skinned him and put his hide up on my wall.  I left work, picked up some paperwork from my apartment that needed to be dropped off at the employment agency and then promptly went over to my doctor’s office.

By 5:45pm, I was sitting on the table in the doctor’s office shaking like a leaf.  I was so wound up, you could have easily used me to spin a top from Vegas to Seattle.  I’m serious.  There was no amount of nicotine I could pump into my body to slow me down or ratchet down my stress.

The Doc looked at me and said, “yeah, we need to slow you down.”  I sat there incredulous thinking, “Noooo.  Ya think?”  I had to answer a mood-disorder questionnaire…another “ya think?” moment.  Dude, I know I need therapy.  I know I need to sit on a psychiatrists couch for about a year to get even remotely near sane again.  The doc looks at me and says, “yeah, a bit of depression there…”  I nearly about took his head off with the “no shit, ya think?” that was dying to go flying from my mouth, but didn’t.  I’ve been battling depression for how many years now? I sat there thinking to myself, “where has my legendary patience gone?”  I’m well known for how patient I am with people.  I just think my plate is too damn full for me to do anyone any good at this point.  But the doctor applied for sainthood as he loaded me up with some very nice 10 mg Valium (Xanax just wasn’t doing it anymore…my body was laughing at it as an anti-anxiety tool, so he decided to try something different).  He also gave me samples of Cymbalta to try to get me leveled out again.  I go back in two weeks so he can check on me.

Lucky for me, the job assignment ends Friday.  I get to push to see if I can still get registered for classes this semester AND find a part-time job that will allow school to come first, still leaving room to make enough money for my car payment, insurance and a little bit of pocket money, all while having to drive 45 minutes to school and work every day instead of the 30 minutes from the apartment.

But then it occurred to me.  The ex.  All of this crap could easily fall under the umbrella of being enabled by him for the last 10 years.  I had just finished watching 9 1/2 Weeks (one of my favorite movies from my teenage years…ok, if that doesn’t tell you how screwed up I’ve been from the get-go, I don’t know what will) and realized (because I did read the novel which is no where near what the film portrays), me spouting off about being questioned as to why I wanted to do something was from the fact that my ex never asked me anything, he just enabled it all and I had to do no explaining as to the “whys” I did anything.  For someone to tell me to do anything or fit into a ‘corporate’ structure as a drone just doesn’t work for me anymore.  Since the ex has been gone, I’ve been autonomous, doing what I want, when I want, with no one telling me I could or couldn’t do something.  I’ve gone to my classes, done my best, and fit in really well doing that, but as far as a work culture goes, um, no.  I’m struggling there because I don’t answer to anyone but myself.  For some Warehouse Nazi who probably couldn’t do what I do in his wildest dreams to come and order me around…oh, yeah, that’s not going over too well with me.  That’s like having an army private give orders to a full-bird colonel.   It’s just not happening.

Then let’s just add the cherry to the cake of it all.  Just when I thought I was going to get out into the world and start dating again?  Nope.  I got a text message last Saturday (of all things…omg…let’s just add that to the rocket fuel, y’all know how I feel about texting…) saying that the guy was cancelling, that he “couldn’t do it” right now…meaning who knows what…but bottom line, he didn’t even have the balls to call.  I got a fucking TEXT MESSAGE to cancel a date.  What kind of world are we living in?

When my date went belly up, I called my pal Chance in tears.  With all this crap happening plus some bitch at work deciding that she was going to pour a ton of salt in wounds she had no business asking about then proceeding to make me sound like I was psychotic because I don’t like dogs and don’t have children, I was at my breaking point.  Add on the Warehouse Nazi having the nerve to ask me why I needed to leave on time instead of working overtime…I am about ready to blow up.

The only guys, outside of my pharmaceutical savior doctor and my immediate family, who have been there to really lend support have been my WoW guildies.  They’ve been there, sticking with me, come hell or high water.  When I called Chance, he just told me, “I’ll check on flight prices, I’ll be down this weekend.”  I grabbed onto KP with both hands, realizing that dating is so not for me, and realizing more than ever that I need to put the cash together to get on a plane for Hawaii so I can get a solid hug from a guy who’s been mopping me up and taking me out to do things (albeit in a virtual world), being supportive and having all the time I spend with him feeling cared for and loved, exactly when I need it most.

Up, down, loopty-loop…side, side…hills and stomach lurching drops…

I’ve had enough of this fucking rollercoaster!  I want off!

Saturday Night Out…

Well, picking up where we left off, I closed up my blog, changed up, put on some make up and bumped my ends (for those non-hairstyling people, “Bumping ends” means that I curled the ends and roots of my hair with a curling iron to give it more volume).  Get your minds out of the gutter you dirty birds!  My friend Heidi will no doubt give me a “dirty” for that one, but, my intentions weren’t dirty in the least.  Hey, I wanted great hair, give me a break!

Laurie and I jumped in our cars and headed up to Red Rock Station.  It took me a few minutes to find Kay and when we did, she informed us that our table at The Yardhouse wouldn’t be ready for another hour, so off to the sports bar we went and ordered our first round of drinks.  Laurie went with red wine, Kay went with some sort of Raspberry Vodka/Sprite concoction and I ordered my Malibu Madras.

As we found a table, Kay let me know that we’d be joined by her friends Lee and Jeremy, two young men who are close friends with her fiancée.  As Kay described her friend Lee as a “walking tardy” (where have I heard that phrase before?  Oh yeah, that’s me…), her phone rang and believe it or not, Lee was on time.  I giggled a bit as a young, beatnik goateed, black rim glasses wearing, 22 year-old, dashed up the steps and flopped down beside Kay, Laurie and me.  As I watched him, I couldn’t help but think he reminded me of someone, but couldn’t put my finger on it…I settled for a very sort of beatnik goateed Sean Lennon/quasi Maynard G. Krebs.  Cute.  Ok, when you’re my age, any young man who’s 16 years your junior at first glance is going to be “cute”, and you remind yourself that your nephew is the exact same age.  Kay, earlier in the week, had described Lee as a guy that, “if you’re having a bad day, he walks in the room and you completely forget about it.”  Ok, now I could sign up for that, I have lots that I’d like to forget about.  As Kay had promised, he was charming right from the start.

Just as Lee had ordered his first drink, Kay’s buzzing coaster from The Yardhouse went off, our table was ready.  We walked down to the restaurant and as we arrived at the hostess stand, we were immediately whisked off to our table.

The area we were seated in was very beautiful, as it was an outdoor veranda filled with misters and ceiling fans gently sending a cool breeze over the well dressed, well coiffed patrons; each sipping beer from a menu which contained 200 different kinds of beers, ales, ciders and other brewed finery.

But, unfortunately, Laurie didn’t look comfortable, so a glass of wine, a glass of water and an hour later, bidding us all a great night, she left us to go home to rest (she volunteers and had worked all day).  Replacing Laurie at the table was Lee’s cousin Jeremy, who just happens to be Kay’s fiancées best man for their wedding coming up.  So, it became more of a “family” affair.

When I was handed the menu, my brain was already close to fried.  I was outside.  This was enough to send me into sensory overload, but then being saddled with a menu who’s first two entire pages were nothing but different sorts of beers, I felt lost.  I searched the menu for anything that looked familiar.  I had remembered my WoW pal Stephen mentioning a beer called “Smithwicks”.  It was on there, along with unique named beers such as “Moose Drool” and a plethora of other oddly monikered brews that would send any ad person running for cover.  How in hell do you market “Moose Drool”?  Anyhow, beer really doesn’t appeal to me much, so eventually, my eyes found what seemed an appropriate choice since I had drank it before…cider.  At first, I ordered a Raspberry Cider and ewww…no.  It was pretty gross, so I talked to our server, Michael, and he promptly changed out my Raspberry Cider for a Pear flavored one.  Much better.

After we had received our first round, we ordered some snacky foods to make sure we weren’t going to go three sheets to the wind too early on.  It was 9pm, Vegas doesn’t even begin to come out to play until 11:30pm or midnight, so Lee gnoshed on an Ahi Tuna Sandwich, Kay on Chicken Lettuce Wraps and me (since I had just finished eating dinner an hour earlier) Spinach Artichoke dip.  Jeremy opted for soda pop all night…he had gone out Friday night and got himself firmly plastered, so he was using Saturday to recover.  Poor kid.  I felt bad for him, but he was great company, so I figured he was going to be ok.

We were gnoshing and drinking happily for a while.  The cooled desert air was wonderful, the company was terrific and I just sat happily listening to a group of young people (I was the oldest one there) chat the evening away while I glanced to neighboring tables.  One table housed a virtual male smörgåsbord.  There were guys of every make and model sitting there, all of them around my age, some cute, some not-so-cute, with not a single one of them turning a favorable eye at me. Depressed about it (remembering the days when men would make fools of themselves to come over to say “hi” to me), I refocused my attention back to our table and the conversation there.  The table on the other side of us was filled with Indian (and I do mean from India) doctors who were kvetching about medicare, insurance, their wives and kids.  One of the doctors, believe it or not, had actually gone to Texas A&M, which makes its home where?  Bryan/College Station, where the entirety of my Dad’s family lives.  They were making Aggie jokes on the poor doctor (who was dressed remarkably like the ex in a bright yellow Polo shirt and sans wedding band, oh like you think I’m NOT going to check?  Please…), but hearing them bag on Agg’s, I butted in and lent my moral support to the guy.  He flashed a smile at me and I promptly turned back around to my table.  Good thing too.  Not but two hours later, what word comes out of his mouth?  WIFE.  Oh yeah, that was a HELL NO, I should have been tipped off by the yellow polo shirt.  The term “sack of shit” came to mind.  He could smile and make eyes at me all he wanted, but I didn’t care, I refocused my attention back to the table I was sitting at again, regretting I had helped the guy out.

At about 11:30, after having several brews apiece and a couple of shots, we decided to change locales to the Chicago Brewing Company.   After arriving there, I was seated directly in front of the taps at the upstairs bar to the welcome sight of a very attractive bartender.  Yeah, all night long, since starting at The Yardhouse my eyes were having a field day with plethora of eyegasm inducing finery, but when we got to the Chicago Brewing Company, my heart sank.  The whole bar was filled (from my 38 year-old view) with young people who could have been 12 or fresh out of diapers.  There wasn’t anyone in my age range to be found, much to my chagrin.  But the best thing of it all, I got to hang out with Kay, talk a while and be entertained by the ever-so-charming, beatnik goatee wearing 22 year-old that made me rethink the term “cougar”.  NO NO NO.  Not going there…don’t even think it, NO.  Kay ribbed me, saying, “You should go for it.”  Then there was more shaking of the head NO.  Nephew = 22.  NO.  Kay asked how long it had been since I had, well, you know…. and I had to honestly reply that it had been close to two years.  Yeah.  She left me with few reasons to say no to a youngster who would be more than aptly therapeutic.  The kicker is…the guy actually asked me out.


I sat there shocked, going, “Excuse me?”  I have image issues, I have an overwhelming amount of luggage that  would make the hardiest blanche, and there’s this kid and he’s all kinds of gung-ho over me.  Yeah.  I didn’t get it either.  Shhh, stop cheering you there in the back…LOL.  I had been talking about cooking and he promptly asked me on a date so that I could cook for him!  I’m sorry, but that’s not a date.  You don’t ask someone out so THEY can do the work…but he was awfully charming and I mulled over the fact I do eat alone all the time…

Ok, I’m just going to leave y’all in suspense as to what my reply was.  Nope, not telling.  Just laugh with me over the fact that I DID go outside, I was around people, I laughed and drank and had a WONDERFUL time.  Even down to forgetting all the bad things happening to me courtesy of a 22 year-old beatnik goateed young man.  Offer for a date or no, I had fun.

And that’s what counts.

It’s amazing how fast things change…

I’m going to have to make this entry relatively short, as the clock is ticking…

Ok, short summation first.
For the last 10 years, I’ve barely been social.  Yes, this is what happens when you marry an anti-social introvert. It leads to a very, very non-existent social life.  My only source of social interaction over those last 10 years has been with my friends in online worlds.  That’s right, all I’ve had to really talk to, outside of my immediate family, have been disembodied voices over a computer voice-over-IP program.  From Uru, to There to WoW, that’s all my social life has ever been and being that I’m a social butterfly, well, it lead to a very dissatisfying life. 
Today, I got up and showered and headed out to Mom & Dad’s for an afternoon of cooking from scratch.  Snap green beans and potatoes along with German Meatloaf was the main course, with watermelon and cantaloupe for little sweet sides.  Since Dad is recovering from his surgery, I even folded in my Aunt Bonnie’s Famous Chocolate Poundcake for him to snack on during the day.  
During the cooking, well, Mom and I caught up.  For the last week, outside of stewing in my own juices from my  job in a 90+ degree warehouse at work, the ex has decided to pull my funding.  Ironic, isn’t it?  As soon as I get a job, what happens?  He pulls all funding that he signed up for in the first place and put in writing that he said he would do, citing that he’s about to declare bankruptcy and so forth.  Underneath it all, I found that it’s whole slew of lies as I’ve dug through our joint accounts and found all sorts of proof that he’s lying through his teeth.  Much less to say, come September 1, I’ll be living at my parents again.  *sigh*  Not happy about that. 
But, after dinner with my parents, the phone rang.  It was my friend Kay from work.  She’s invited me out to a place called “The Yardhouse” at Red Rock Station.  Being that it’s my first time out in a LONG LONG LONG time, I’ve decided to take backup, my neighbor Laurie.  She’s actually sitting in the living room waiting for me.
Kay knows the whole story behind the ex and well, she knew since I had one hell of a week, she figured I might need to go out.  As I was at my parents when the phone call came, I looked at them and asked if I should.  My mother practically heaved me out the door as she said, “Oh my goodness, PLEASE, go out!  Make some new friends, get on with your life!”  With that, I was ushered out the door to come home to change.
I knew I needed to chronicle this because this is a HUGE step for me.  To be honest, I’m scared to death.  I’m not comfortable anymore in large social environments, but Mom is right, I’ve got to get out and start living, not just existing.  I want to, I’m just scared at the moment.  
Anyhow, my neighbor is waiting on me.  I’m actually going out on a Saturday night.  OMG.  Someone pick me up off the floor.
I’ll chronicle the whole night for you tomorrow.
Wish me luck!