January Jam

In my recap of the first month of the new year, I can easily say that this month has been tiring. Not sure if I can blame it on the winter blues, stress, or just mental/physical exhaustion.  I’m pooped and here’s why:

1. Cletus – Dealing with my neuroticness isn’t an easy task and she’s dealt with it more than usual this month. She has listened to me complain (daily) about traffic, helped me organize our father’s 60th birthday party, supported me with my failed athletic excursions and laughed about my misophonia – related issues. I don’t know what I would do without her. She has a full plate of stress and I wish things would just get easier for her and her family.

2. DireMole – Has been forming new habits with me…reading in bed! Well, to be honest we only read when we can manage to stay awake past 9:15pm. Some nights we are both so tired we just go right to sleep. Dire is also the official ball-chucker at the dog park. When he can’t make it, because he’s teaching, I try to entertain the crazies. They all look at me like I’m pathetic after they run to the other end of the field, only to look back and see that the ball made it half way to the expected landing spot. The best days at the dog park is when Dire is there.

3. LevelUp – Dart Date Night has been a weekly occurring event for us. Our board has gotten more use and our wall has gotten more holes (due to me). Fitz has won every game so far and I don’t mind because it’s been fun. And we have learned that it annoys our creepy neighbor when I miss the board and hit the wall. WIN/WIN

4. PirateGoat – Is a super bum and appears to be the most tired creature in our house. Her new trick is to not get out of bed in the morning. Dire and I actually make the bed with her in it. I think she prefers it that way.

5. SillyGoose – I started half-marathon training this month. That means I get one less day to sleep in and more activities being calculated on my Jawbone. Also, I caved in and purchased my first pair of running tights. I kinda feel like a sell out because I look like all the other yuppies, but they are amazing on those cold winter days. Also, I have managed to mangle my feet on my “long runs”. Now I’m sporting a black nail and a blistered foot. It’s fairly uncomfortable and not well-deserved. Honestly, I struggle to stay motivated to run because it feels like I’m not improving. I’m moving but things aren’t operating at a point that I’m satisfied. Finally, I have realized this month that I’m compulsive… I have put a word on my “personal characteristics” list and I don’t fully know what it means (if its good or bad). I believe it’s something that I should work on…

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Will someone please explain to me the purpose of padded sports bras?

This weekend I was in the market for restocking my sports bra supply. I’ve been running in a sports bra that I’ve had since college. Truly, it’s a sad state of affairs.

To clean up my act, I decided to go to TJ-Max (and similar stores) to hit up their reduced-priced running gear. To my surprise, all the women’s active gear was on the first few racks when you walked into the store. Guess it’s that time of year…

So here I am with  2 full racks of bras thinking I had hit the jackpot… Except I only found 3 styles that did not include padding in them. What happened to the practicality of sports bras? Are all sports bras neon colored and equipped to hold padding?  My immediate reaction is that some womanizer came up with the design, or this is a new yoga trend… Seriously, how many women want to workout with extra padding? I’m still rolling my eyes.

I decided to crowd source my friends on this stupid trend via social media.Will someone please explain to me the purpose of padded sports bras?? Here’s what they said:

  •  …to make boobs look bigger and compress them to be smaller at the same time? Hmm. (first response, male)
  • To reduce how shall I say……….high beams? (female)
  • For protection if you run into something or fall on concrete? (female)
  • Sweat absorption? (female)

I guess I crawled out from under a rock… but to me this is a really unpractical fashion trend and I hope it goes away soon.

Resolution…Countdown to 66 days.

It’s that time of the year that people announce their New Year resolutions. Typically, I don’t make New Year resolutions. But this year it’s different. During a random conversation over our holiday break, Fitz and I decided that we would like to read more. This may be because he got an interesting book for a Christmas gift. He can’t help but read a few pages when he has a moment. I kinda felt left out.  Randomly, I stumbled into a bookstore and became captivated with all the options. I walked out with two new books in hand. Also, it was really refreshing to walk around a bookstore that was packed with customers. Anyway, Fitz and I discussed how we no-longer want to watch TV in bed before we fall asleep because we both find it pointless. So to get back into reading, we are swapping out TV time for reading time. It’s simple and it could be a really easy habit to form.

Researchers say it takes approximately 66 days to form a habit, which is contrary to the popular belief that habits only take 21 days. So there seems to be a disparity in committing to new positive habits over a specific time span…I’m hopeful that we will support each other abstaining from TV in bed. Also, I think a good book will support our resolution. So far so good, we are 2 nights in to our 66 days and I’m really enjoying my new book, A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain.

Did you make a resolution this year? If so, what is it? Can you commit for 66 days?

I Feel Like Dancing

Don’t ask me why, but recently I feel like dancing. Specifically to hip hop.

I want to be like the little girl in Missy Elliott's videos.

I want to be like the little girl in Missy Elliott’s videos.

Sometimes I just want to bust a move at my cube. Which I think would be entertaining for everyone. An almost 6 ft tall, white girl in boring office clothes breaking it down while silently jamming out to a secret song. Then resuming back to business-as-usual.

So anyway, I have searched around the city for hip hop classes that are ideal for that someone who has the coordination of a baby giraffe. I think it would be an interesting hobby to have and a nice addition to cross-training options.

P.S. I created that image to give you a visual of me in my hip hop attire.

Could I be a Hipster?

I find myself wondering if I’m a hipster. Typically something at work triggers my questioning of hipster-ism. And then yesterday, Pandora asked me if I wanted to listen to Hipster Holiday Radio. Apparently my music preferences align with hipster according to Pandora’s algorithm. So I decided to see what hipsters are all about before I could self-identify.IMG_3515After reading Wikipedia’s and Urban Dictionary’s definition of a hipster, I realize I fit the description. According to Wikipedia:

The hipster subculture typically consists of white millennials living in urban areas.[1][2] The subculture has been described as a “mutating, trans-Atlantic melting pot of styles, tastes and behavior”[3] and is broadly associated with indie and alternative music, a varied non-mainstream fashion sensibility (including vintage and thrift store-bought clothes), generally progressive political views, organic and artisanal foods, and alternative lifestyles.[4][5][6] Hipsters are typically described as affluent or middle class young Bohemians who reside in gentrifying neighborhoods.[7][8]

But to be a true hipster I can NEVER call myself one. Touche.  Also, I don’t want to suggest that Wikipedia and Urban Dictionary are primary resources. I’m just specifically mentioning them as two of the sources I reviewed.

So the reason I am posting about hipsters is because there is a low-level form of bullying at work that I endure on a weekly basis. It has caused me to feel like I don’t fit, I don’t belong, and that I’m not equal. Am I back in high school? Possibly. Does it feel comforting that I fit into a subculture. Yes. Is it ok to be different? Absolutely. Sometimes I just need to remind myself of my self-worth, values, and weirdo-ness. It’s not me… It’s you.

The Other 19%

Yesterday I joined the 19% club by accidentally dropping my phone into the toilet. Good news, it was clean water. Bad news, my phone has no sign of life.

Like everyone else in the club, I ran to the internet seeking advice, remedies, and consolation. I learned that all smartphones have water sensor tabs so the manufacturer can ensure that you aren’t lying to them about your phone “just won’t turn on, I don’t know what happened…”– scenario. My water sensor was red and there was no hiding that my phone has water damage. I contemplated grabbing a flashlight, a magnifying glass, and some whiteout… and doing some Etsy-style craftiness to my phone’s interior. But then I felt like a cheater.

So, I talked to my local IT guy and asked him if he had a mini Philip screw driver so I could begin an emergency surgery procedure. Of course he didn’t. And he thought I was completely nuts for thinking that this request was reasonable.  Whatever. It was worth a try.

In a panic I left work and drove to the nearest store to buy a bag of rice and a box of plastic bags. A completely normal shopping list. In the future if I spot someone with a similar basket, I would know what’s what. And possibly tell them there is hope for a desirable outcome.

As soon as I left the store and got to my car, I performed the voodoo ritual of adding my phone to a bag of rice. According to the internet, every second counts in hopes that a phone would spring back to life after a swim. I prayed to the electronic-gods that my phone would pull through its coma over the next 24 (critical) hours.

I arrived back at my desk  and placed my comatose phone next to me. That way I could continue monitoring its condition under layers of rice. I felt relieved, unburdened, hopeful, and impatient. But then I became uber productive. And attentive. And almost sociable.

As 4pm rolled around, I was hopeful that traffic wouldn’t suck on my commute home. If it did, what would I do for an hour as I sat on the road with all the other rats? Ugh. The anxieties of not having phone stimulation perplexed me. This could be a creative or really boring commute. And what if Fitz was trying to call me to tell me he would be home late? How would I know if I should walk the PirateGoat without him? I was pensive and liberated. It was kinda nice not having a phone and feeling no responsibility to answer a call, text, or comment.

Dropping my phone in the toilet  gave me a 48hr vacation of distant communication. This is a good thing, I thought to myself…

Luckily everything went well. Traffic didn’t blow, Fitz got home early and I had one of the best times at the dog park in weeks. I wasn’t focused on counting my steps and calories. Instead, I ran, laughed and talked (mostly with other humans). It was pleasant.

Throughout the evening I kept walking over to see if my phone had a pulse. Iit was kinda nice, in a bittersweet way, when it didn’t respond. I contemplated when the next time would be that I wouldn’t want or need my phone…maybe when I’m on a tropical vacation? But then I worried about the cost of having to repair or replace my water-logged phone right before the holidays. Ugh, the agony!

So there it is. I’m annoyed with myself for being so clumsy and inducing  unnecessary stress. But in the silver-lining, I’m enjoying the vacation and realizing by dependency. I wouldn’t want do it accidentally again… but I’m secretly looking forward to the next time I can voluntarily put my phone away and patiently await the next time to use it.

Notable November

Well, I’m a bit late posting my wrap-up for November. It took me a little over 2 days to be a productive after my “staycation” Thanksgiving holiday. It was a decent month and here’s how it went.

1. Cletus– She found a home for Sadie. Thankfully that pup is no longer named “Satye” and her new owner is so happy for a new companion. Also, we solved all the world’s problems through automagic. Thank us later.

2. DireMole– This month we discovered that if we were in an emergency at home that we could jump off our balcony and survive without injury. We might expose ourselves to our neighbors, but at least we wouldn’t be the first.

3. LevelUp– Well, we brewed a chocolate stout for the holidays. And… made 8 different types of cookies to share with family and friends this year. I would like to consider myself an advanced-beginner in the art of cookie making. Of course we were drinking brews while baking. Who doesn’t?

4. PirateGoat– She patiently helped us bake cookies and enjoyed her humans staying home for a long weekend. Now, she can’t get her ass out of bed in the morning to go for a walk. Super bum.

5. SillyGoose– I hate pot lucks and I have finally sat down and curated a list about why I don’t like them. I think it’s reasonable. Also, I had a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. The people and dogs listed above are some of my most favorited and appreciated in my life.

We didn’t think she would do it… But she did.

As we were brewing beer and watching the football game, we heard yelling from outside our condo. Our first reaction was to quiet down and try to understand if the yelling was due to a football game or for help. We realized it was time to react because the noises suggested that something was very wrong.

The yelling was coming from outside, so I went outside to our condo’s balcony. I quickly realized that the yelling was coming from a visiting female on our neighbor’s balcony. She was yelling about Jesus and looked panicked. She asked me if I could come over and hug her. I told her I couldn’t make it over… since there was 9ft of space and a 25ft. drop between our balcony’s. Other neighbors were outside trying to assess the situation.

Fitz was right behind me and saw that this chick was out of her mind. Our neighbor always has girls visiting his apartment… and we rarely see the same chick twice. We’ve always been skeptical of his activities, but this is the first time we saw a girl holding the door shut and yelling for Jesus. I tried to talk to her and understand why she was upset. And before the onlookers knew it, she made a bizarre, exorcist-like movement and hauled herself over the railing. Fitz ran out of our condo to alert our womanizing neighbor that the female on his porch was threatening to jump two stories down.  Also, the neighbor above the womanizer’s apartment came running down to alert him that the girl was over the railing. As the two guys confronted our next-door neighbor about the situation that he seemed oblivious of, I continued to monitor the girl. Yep that’s right. Half a dozen people came outside to help this girl, except for the guy who’s apartment she was in… and his other guest.  She was hanging from the railing and quickly loosing her grip. I started yelling “Help, someone help” and other ramblings that came out too fast before I could think. She lost her grip and fell.  During her fall she hit the below neighbor’s balcony and knocked his plants off the ledge. Her fall resembled someone hitting their head on the diving board, except remove the pool of water and replace it with leaf-covered ground. Her body was laid out on the ground like a crime scene victim. I ran to find Fitz and alert him that she was down.0

Fitz came inside our condo and I grabbed the phone to call 911. As I was on the phone, Fitz told me to stay inside and he locked the doors. I stayed by the window to keep an eye on the situation. Then, she got up. Yep, she fell 25ft and started making moves. It was nutty. She had lost a shoe and her pants had slid down exposing her buttocks. She picked up her wig and in a very disoriented fashion made her way to the fence. She miraculously climbed the fence and made it to the sidewalk where she stumbled around. Her pants were still down and she placed her wig on her head while wandering around. I guess putting on the blond wig was more important than covering up the lady-parts. But who am I to judge? It didn’t seem that she realized what happened and the commotion caused by her leap of fate. By this time, the host of the apartment she was previously visiting, proceeded to throw the rest of her belongings over the balcony. Classy. He and a male friend (apparently another neighbor that I had never seen before) abruptly left the scene. They claimed the girl was nuts and  knew nothing about her erratic behavior. As I gave the details to the emergency operator, the fire department arrived. By this time, the girl had climbed over the fence again and was back on the property. It appeared that the firemen had herded her back to her original landing spot. As they questioned her, I gave details to the emergency operator. The ambulance and the cops arrived and shut down the street temporarily. The fire department left and seemed relieved to hand this one over to the paramedics.

I got off the phone and Fitz and I just looked at each other baffled. Like WTF, did that just happen? We were surprised and relieved that the girl was ok. As we debriefed about the situation, one question remained on our minds … what the heck was going on at our neighbor’s place at 5pm on a Sunday that caused this girl to leave from the balcony and not the front door? It was really an upsetting experience.

The cops didn’t stay too long and didn’t seem interested to meet the resident of the condo who just had a girl fall from the balcony. All that remained was the ambulance. We awaited its departure as we resumed our brewing process. But the ambulance didn’t leave… instead, the doors opened and the girl came traipsing out the back. This time she was dressed, wig and all, and used a bed sheet to cover her exposed arms. She and a paramedic were back on the scene with a flash light searching for something… After 30mins of searching for her belongings, the ambulance drove away and left her on the sidewalk with her new bed sheet. Am I the only one who thinks that this is getting even nuttier? Why didn’t they haul her away?

I was worried about her. I didn’t care if she was on drugs or whatever the situation was… she just fell from two stories and wasn’t dressed to be outside on a cold evening. I yelled down and asked her if she was ok. She informed me that she was looking for her phone and couldn’t find it. I asked her if she needed a sweatshirt or a coat, because I was worried about her condition. She wasn’t interested… all she wanted was her phone. She asked me if it was on our neighbor’s balcony. Sure enough,  it was sitting perfectly on the edge. She wanted me to go get it or to get her a ladder so she could retrieve it. I’m not sure why she thought there was a 20 foot ladder lying around or that I could fly over to the balcony… but I did tell her that we would try to contact our neighbor and the two of them could handle it. Though I was concerned that maybe our neighbor was the original threat to her…  I kept asking if she was OK and if I could help her. Meanwhile, the womanizing neighbor was still hiding from the cops and not home. But the rest of the joining-walled neighbors were still outside trying to figure out what the heck was going on. The jumper asked me if I could drive her somewhere. I told her we were working on getting her phone by contacting our neighbor, and that I had been drinking all day (I mean we were brewing) and unable to drive. She was worried that we were calling the cops and not her previous party-host. I reassured her the cops weren’t going to be back due to us. She continued to wander around outside with the bed sheet and I decided to go back inside.

Within a few minutes there was a knock on our door… it was our womanizing neighbor. Yay, he returned! Fitz informed him that his guest was outside, looking for her phone, and that her phone was on his balcony. We left it at that, went back to brewing, cracked open another beer to calm our nerves and to watch the rest of the football game. The last thing I saw was our neighbor driving off in his car.

I don’t understand the entire situation and I’m sure I never will. However,  I know that I will never forget the sight of a person deciding to fall from a balcony. That was some scary shit.

I want to Fart on Office Potlucks

A slew of emails went out this week notifying staff of the annual Thanksgiving potluck lunch. We are all familiar with this tradition… Company pays for the meat and colleagues bring in all the fixings. A sign up sheet gets posted in the main break room and everyone notices who is cheap, who thinks they can cook and wants bragging rights, who slacks by opting for the donation-option, and all the other amusings between.

It’s the holiday tradition in most offices and I just want to fart on it, around it, and pretty much all over it. I absolutely disgust potlucks and people’s behavior resulting from potlucks.

The following scenarios will happen:

1. Person with food allergies/sensitivities– Awkwardly singled out for either bringing their own food or nitpicking everyone else’s dish to make a federal case out of their dilemma.

2. “Chef” competitions– Who’s grandma has the best recipe for sweet potato casserole? 7b5c33971a26779c2df047ee16a8fc86What’s the ‘secret’ ingredient in her bean casserole? Is it farts? Because it looks like shit. But we all know that there will be some sort of rivalry over the food categories. The pies, the potatoes, the stuffing, the cranberry sauce… Someone’s side will go faster than someone else’s in the same category. There will be a winner. And there will be a loser. And the drama will continue throughout the rest of the year. Yay!

3. The overachiever vs. the underachiever– Everyone was given the option to bring a side, utensils/cups, or donate financially. Someone will show up with a $1 bottle of soda or a box of pop-tarts. They may even go back for thirds to stretch their dollar for that extra lap around the table. Technically, they found the loophole to the $10 donation rule…. And then there’s the person who decided to bring in the over-the-top lobster souffle. They brag about the fancy cream and cheeses they handcrafted over the weekend to include in their dish. They spent hours and a significant amount of money to show off their side. And…they will be pissed about the guy who brought the bag of marshmallows and 4 canisters of Tupperware for leftovers….

4. Food Preservation is Nonexistent– There will be a huge spread of food. Then after the first 10 people have laid their eyes and hands on the buffet , the spread will begin to look like a pack of rats attacked it. The food will become unappetizing and picked over. Someone ate all the edges of the casserole or ate the middle of the pie. The only pieces left are oddly shaped crumbs. How did it get to this point? Or the food has sat at room temperature that now it’s lukewarm jello slop and cold mashed potatoes. Yum! Totally worth the calories… I’m sure of it.

5. Surprise!– Someone will get socially manhandled into putting something on their plate that they didn’t want because the cook forced them. Or, you thought the corn looked kosher but after that one bite you are left scrambling for a napkin to spit into. Your left thinking “This tastes like shit!” While forced to hold a big smile on your face because the chef is fishing for compliments. Yay!

And more reasons on why I will not participate:

6. The Infectious– Have you taken a good look at your co-workerH Pot Lucks? We all know of someone in our office that tends to skip on washing their hands after using the restroom. Or maybe you share a wall with the “cat-lady”. She has 4 cats, her cube is decorated with cat-attire, and when she can slip a kitty-pic, she will. But after work she goes home… to her cat-infested house. And her kitchen looks like? You can only imagine.  Do you really want to eat something from your zombie-looking co-worker who suffered a bout of mono over the past 3 months? Just consider it before you take that first bite.

7. Gone Postal– Again, have you taken a good look at your co-workers? Have you pegged the person that is “Most-Likely to Go Postal”? I have. And I’ve also planned my escape if/when they do. A potluck could be their most ideal time to go nutty. Maybe a little sprinkle in the mashed potatoes? NO THANK YOU!

8. The “I Wife-d Her Guy”– He’s a tool and is completely incapable of cooking. Maybe the grill, but that’s  questionable. So he opts out of creating anything for the potluck and signs his wife up to do the chore. His topic of conversation is all about how he got his wife to bake cupcakes. It’s borderline demeaning and it slowly approaches inappropriate sexist remarks when his immature buddies join him. These guys get forced to eat his wife’s cupcakes while swapping stories about their own wife’s cooking excursions. I truly wish that this guy’s wife walks in to the office and begins flipping tables. That would be a memorable potluck.

9. Brainwashing and Forced Socialization– The real reason for office wide potlucks is because someone in management decided it was a good idea and it may boost morale. They lied and they were wrong.

10. Other people feel the same. Google it. This entire post has been scattered with links to other people’s disdain for potlucks. I say we walk in to the next potluck, lay a fart, blame it on the asshole who brought in cabbage and walk out.

Where Do We Go From Here?

Sometimes I think that I’m just not meant to be in a long-term relationship. I would say there is an equal part of me that  fantasizes about this happy, obnoxious relationship. The other part of me that fantasizes about being a  hybrid professional female bad-ass/world explorer that seeks an internal nirvana while putting relationships in their time/place within my journeys.

I like protecting myself from being under someone’s control. When I start feeling like my control is threatened, I push back. I try to question why I feel the way that I feel and consider if this is a temporary issue or apart of a bigger problem.

Over the weekend I realized that Fitz and I have a bigger problem. From what I can access, it’s not something that will go away. We handle things fundamentally differently and the way he goes about his friendships stresses me out. I tried to stay patient and hide  my feelings. But all that did was cause me to not eat, excessively drink, not sleep, and become depressed. Something that is so simple for him wrecks havoc on my well-being. It’s not intentional on his part and it’s not fair for either of us. I don’t want to deny him his simple pleasures. But I can’t emotionally and physically handle it.  I have become angry and resentful. Which makes me feel awful because I don’t want to be like that…

I want to run away from this relationship, this small-minded city, and my stupid job. Get things back into control. Live my life and stop holding off  my goals until he accomplishes his. I wrote down my 3 issues on a sheet of paper and carry them with me as a reminder to reconsider, to reassess, to over-analyze… and at the bottom I posed the question, Where do we go from here? What’s next?

I just don’t know and I don’t think I should be the only one solving the question.