Archive | August 2011

I'd Pay Money for That

Oh man, what a crazyawesome day!  It started with a very productive business meeting, which gives me confidence that I will be able do my work more effectively, which is always a good thing.  The switch between servers will happen over the course of September!

Then, I dropped off some items for consignment, and while I was there, I found the most AMAZING 2-feet-tall wooden giraffe that perfectly matches a smaller version I already own.  If I haven’t mentioned before, I’m a giraffe collector of sorts, and so this purchase was extra-exciting for me.  As a bonus, I got lunch at Tropical Smoothie, because I love it, and I’m going out of town tomorrow, and I didn’t want to buy more food.

So then, I was all settled down to have a nice, quiet afternoon of packing and being productive, when what do you know it but Lisa tells me she wants to hang out.  And since I know she’s going to be busy soon, how could I refuse?  We ended up getting pedicures and then going to the grocery store.  I know, you’re all so jealous – but that’s just how I roll.

I got home just in time to be late to the dog park, which has started closing earlier than usual.  Almost everyone was there!  Courtney even arrived to surprise me, which was a delightful surprise 🙂  And then I left just in time to be late to dinner!  But it’s okay, because we had plenty of time to eat and be merry.

So merry, in fact, that we already PLANNED to walk from dinner to the movie.  And so we did.  And I had quite a comfortable view of the movie, if you know what I mean. Which you don’t, unless you were there with me.  But it was a really funny movie, and dinner beforehand was even funnier.  It was such a beautiful night out that we ate outside.

All I’m saying is that I need more days like this in my life, because it was awesome.

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Wacky Weekend

After starting out Friday kind of bummed out, the day took an upward swing when I started decorating cupcakes.  My friend’s son Henry turned two this week, and his party was Saturday.  Since he loves Curious George, that was the theme of the party decorations, as well as my cupcakes!  I made George faces, peeled bananas, and balloons on both vanilla and chocolate cakes.  It was a bit complicated, involving about 7 different frosting colors, but because it’s something I enjoy doing, I didn’t mind putting in the time and effort to do it!

I was working on cupcakes most of the afternoon, but before I finished them all, I had another fun event planned!  Stacy, Cathy, Brian and I participated on a Progressive house viewing.  Stacy had never seen either of our houses, and I hadn’t seen hers, and Cathy/Brian hadn’t seen my house since I redecorated.  So, this called for a mega food/viewing party.  We started out at Stacy’s current rental, and then went to her newly built house, where she’ll be moving next month.  She served us delicious mini-quiches.  Then we drove to my house, which was (amazingly) cleaner than it has been in months.  I served cucumber sandwiches and carrots.  Finally, we ended up at Cathy/Brian’s house, where we took a tour and then ate dessert.  It was so much fun!

The next day started out with Henry’s party at a lovely pavilion at the park.  There were balloons, bubbles, and party food!  The kids and adults alike loved the bubbles, and the cupcakes were a big hit.  Lots of dog park friends were in attendance, as well as Henry’s play group friends.  After the party wrapped up, Stacy and I went on an epic errand adventure.

We started out at the library, where Stacy got a card, and I got some DVDs.  Then, we headed to CarMax to get my car appraised.  I was THRILLED when I received their offer for my vehicle – it was MUCH higher than I expected, and that’s always good news!  Then we picked up my pottery pieces from the studio, and visited Costco.  My membership expires in October, and I’m probably not going to renew it.  While there, I checked out prices on some bigger TVs.  I’m quite tired of my 20 inch screen, and I’m thinking of getting a 40 inch, as well as a BluRay player, now that I know they can also play DVDs!  It was a successful trip, to say the least.

We popped back to both our homes to walk our dogs.  Then we ate dinner at Stacy’s favorite Mexican restaurant (where I hadn’t been before).  We ended the day with a quick trip to Target.  It was so great to have someone to run my errands with me, and she got a lot out of it, too!

Today I went to church with Courtney, had lunch at home, and will be heading to the gym and the dog park later in the day!  I also have to clean out my car, which is a pain, but SO WORTH IT for the reward I get after I sell it tomorrow.  Until next time…

Hit Me Hard

This week has sort of hit me like a train crashing into a brick wall.  I’ve been going and going and going and now I’ve come to a halt.  I accomplished a lot at the beginning of the week.  I cleaned my house like a maniac, ran all of my new-roommate errands, and visited with many of my friends.  I have even started working out again after my summer hiatus!  However, all of a sudden, lots of things have started going wrong.  My investments tanked, one of my websites got hacked (again), and my server company is dropping me, so I have to figure out a way to move all of my data to a new provider by October.  Great.

I feel like I’m drifting…  Like I have no purpose, no end-goal.  Like I’m not contributing to society, and like I’m not even moving myself forward.  All I’ve been doing is putting out fires and passing the time.  I feel woefully out of depth in my online work, and more than ever, I miss my mom.  I miss her creative solutions to any problem.  I miss her advice when I’m feeling down.  I miss her hugs and her comforting words.  My life is nowhere close to where I thought it would be, and that makes me feel out of control.  I’ve tried to deny the fact that I don’t know what I’m doing with my life, but that’s the simple truth.  I don’t know what to do, I barely know how to figure it out, and I don’t understand what keeps going wrong.

I think this week it has hit me hard that I am alone.  Even though I have friends and far-away family, when it comes down to my survival, my success or failure, I am completely and utterly alone.  I have no safety net, no backup plan…  And I’m scared.  You’re not supposed to be 23 and without a mom to guide you.  It’s not fair.

Speechless

Hard to believe how quickly this week has passed by.  I have been struck by the most interesting illness that I’ve had in a number of years.  When I last wrote, I had suffered through three days of excruciating sore throat and lethargy, with no other symptoms.  Then on the fourth day, I felt well enough to get up and about.  By the fifth day, I actually thought I was starting to get better.  Then when I woke up on the sixth day, I had no voice at all.  But since the fifth day, I have otherwise FELT fine.  And my throat hasn’t been hurting since then, either – except now, because the effort I have taken to communicate today has taken a toll on me.  When I said it was an interesting illness, I meant in the sense that it’s had specifically differentiated stages, and unlike most sicknesses that I have experienced, I haven’t needed a single tissue.

Not having a voice is much more problematic than I remembered.  The last time I remember being unable to talk was when I had my wisdom teeth removed in high school, and that was only for an afternoon.  I have been struggling to speak all week; even when I was feeling better and able to talk, my voice was quite hoarse.  And today has been a whole new level of trouble.

Do you know all the things you can’t do when you have no voice?  You can’t talk on the phone – which includes being unable to answer incoming calls.  You can’t order things at a drive-thru.  You can barely order things at a restaurant.  You come off as standoffish when you’re meeting new people at a group setting*.  You can’t keep up a conversation.  You can’t sing 😦

Years after my childhood, I finally realize the gravity of what Ariel was going through in The Little Mermaid.  But clearly, she didn’t play enough charades as a child, because I have found it relatively straightforward to communicate simple things in person, to people I know.  But I guess she didn’t know Prince Erik that well, and she was trying to communicate a much more complicated concept: true love’s kiss.  Still, I feel like she could have done better.  But I realize how FRUSTRATING it is to be without a voice.  I feel helpless.

The good news is that with so many verbal outlets online, I don’t feel completely cut off from the rest of the world.  I honestly feel more isolated when I’m in a face-to-face group, because speaking is the only way they’re communicating.  If we ever reach a dystopian future where we only communicate via computers (for instance, the recent movie, Surrogates), it won’t matter if we’re all mute!  But until then, speech is such an important part of my life.  And so, I’m trying my best to give my voice a rest so that I don’t cause any permanent damage.

It’s actually a little more scary than I’m making it sound.  It’s easy to make a joke about it, or coldly analyze my predicament.  But I have no guarantee that this loss of voice isn’t permanent.  What would life be like if I became mute?  I think a big part of my soul would die if I lost the ability to sing.  And I would need to learn sign language or carry around pen and paper to communicate in person.  I would also need to buy one of those text-to-speech programs for communicating on the phone.  It would make all verbal communication seem impersonal and stilted.  In short, it would be a drastic, negative change in my life.

It’s amazing how much I take my voice for granted.  I feel crippled without the ability to verbally communicate.  I hope this, too, will pass, and that I come out of it unscathed.

*Tonight I attended an alumni event with some friends, where we all met to paint pottery.  I met a few new people, but mostly I couldn’t participate in the socializing aspect event.  And it kills me, because I am usually so outgoing!  But when a smaller group of us did go out to dinner later, I amused all by my miming, text-talking, and communicating with the server.

Where oh where has the summer gone?

I feel as though I haven’t written in ages, but it really has been less than 2 weeks.  Still a lot has happened, so it feels like a long time!

My favorite band is Maroon 5.  About 2 years ago, I realized that in the age of iTunes and MP3 downloads, I don’t ever buy CDs.  I just buy singles – whatever is popular at the time.  As a result, I don’t really know very many bands well – just a selection of the Top 40 hits, and some other rock/alternative stuff that’s also my taste.  So I went through my iTunes library and decided that I should have at least one band that I followed and knew well.  And when I started examining my collection, the answer became obvious.  I had more Maroon 5 songs than practically any other band (except the Beatles).  Then, last summer, an opportunity came up for me to see them LIVE in concert.  And I was just thrilled, and loved every second of it.  Last week, I had another opportunity to see them, and let me tell you, it was a bit more complicated than last time…

First, I knew about this concert months ago, but couldn’t find anyone to go with me when the tickets went on sale, so I missed the window for buying good tickets online.  But as soon as the window closed, I started to regret my decision.  So I kept checking online, and to my dismay, no good seats opened up.  Additionally, I am completely fed up with the extra fees those sites charge.  I didn’t want to pay $30 more per ticket for crappy seats!  So as the date of the concert drew nearer, I convinced a friend to go with me.  She’s not as into the band as I am, so she didn’t have a problem with “lawn seating” behind the amphitheater.  I was okay with this idea, too, because it was a LOT cheaper, and I had seen them live before – I just wanted to go for the music and the experience.  However, when we got to the box-office a few hours before the show, we decided to ask if there were any better seats left, and sure enough, there were!  We lucked out and got 6th row center – not on the floor, so it was about 30th row from the stage, but still.  SO GOOD!  It was an AMAZING concert – really.  And we felt like we had really dodged a bullet, because right before Maroon 5 came on stage, it started POURING rain, so all the people on the lawn got soaked.  I did not envy them, and was glad not to be among their number.  Plus, I actually got some legit photos so … it was totally worth it!

Also, I’ve gone to both the amusement park and the water park this week, but those visits were separated by a sore-throat illness.  Not good.  I wonder if with the concert and the park last week, that’s how I caught it?  Either way, I’m quite a bit better now.

Not too much going on this upcoming week, except I’m preparing for a housemate who’s moving in next Wednesday!  I’d say I’ve got her room/closet about 70% ready.  Hope I can get it all done this week without too much trouble!  My goal is organization for the whole house – a good end-of-summer cleaning.  Also, my grandparents cancelled the cruise at the end of the month, which is a huge relief.  I’ll probably still go up and visit for about 3-4 nights, just because I haven’t been to see them all summer.

Not a very exciting post…  But I can say that I feel a lot more prepared to handle the fall now that I’ve survived the summer.  I’m on top of my game (whatever that means), and if I slip, I know I’ve got people there to help me back up 🙂