Too Many Babies

Is it just my imagination or is every celebrity in the US pregnant or giving birth at this very moment? Brad and Angelina had their daughter, Shiloh (ugh), Gewn Stefani popped one out a couple of days before that, Jennifer Lopez appears to be preggo but hiding it (why do she and her zombie of a husband lie about everything? Seems like their relationship is built on a foundation of lies), Rachel Weisz, Gwyneth Paltrow, Brooke Shields, Sinead O’Connor, Anna Nicole Smith, Katie Holmes, Carrie Anne Moss, Mariska Hargitay, Jennie Garth, Britney Spears . . .

It seems like I could go on and on. Maybe it’s just that the tabloids and “news” picks up on it more than ever, or I’m just watching entirely too much TV. But it also seems like there are just way too many babies bein’ had right now.

The frustrating part, besides the fact that I seem to care, is that it also seems to be infectious. I can’t help but think “If they can do it . . .” Then again, they’re worth millions, for the most part, and I can barely put gas in my car.
I’m only working three days this week (my manager was trying to be nice and give me time off to focus on classes, but I ended up dropping my summer course for lack of money), so I can’t really count on tips.

It’s time to get really creative about my free time. I refuse to spend every day just cleaning the house, but I also have to realize that I might not be able to get out of the house for more than walking the dogs or taking a bike ride. I really, really need a hobby.

First things first, though. I should probably figure out what classes I’m supposed to take in the fall and register. That’ll be a load off my mind.

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Lonely & Trapped

To add to the entry from a couple of days ago, I feel lonely and trapped. I missed a martini party last night I really wanted to go to. For some reason I've been craving lemon drop martinis and cosmos. I spent money I didn't really have on vodka that I now won't have any use for.
I don't have a running vehicle, I'm the only person anyone ever calls to cover their shifts, and I had to force myself to go to sleep by taking Tylenol PM. I'd gotten a little caffeine boost to go to the aforementioned martini party, so I wasn't at all tired by 11pm. If I have to work at 6 in the morning I try to be in bed by 10 so I can get enough sleep to function normally. Of course, our busiest time on Saturday doesn't really start until 8 or 9am so it was almost pointless that I get called in to just make sandwiches and brew coffee we ended up dumping out every hour.

Now I'm home and restless. I didn't fall asleep until after 1am and I felt awful this morning. It didn't help that, despite our now living in a “really nice” neighborhood, someone was still blaring shitty music all night and screaming. It was hot as hell upstairs so I turned on the A/C, closed the windows so I wouldn't have to hear the shouting, hooting, and hollering. This didn't help because, as I found out, there is only one register in my bedroom, and it doesn't put out any air. So it cooled off downstairs and I was still sweating.

Eventually the partiers calmed down and lowered the volume on their music. My sleeping aid kicked in and I fell asleep. I didn't, however, hear my alarm, and woke up with only about 10 minutes to spare.

I need the money and tips for spending cash but I'm getting really irritated with everyone at work. There has got to be some way to resolve the issue of people calling in sick besides just calling me.

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If Janet Jackson can lose 60 pounds in 4 months why can't I lose 20 in one? I guess the first answer would be that I don't have four or six hours of free time per day, plus the money it would cost to pay a personal trainer come out and whip me into shape.

Of course, Perez Hilton thinks she did it with drugs, pills, and barfing.

I'm trying to imagine what it would be like to carry around an extra 60 pounds of weight. I think I'm lucky I only have 10 or 20.

According to other gossip columns Gwen Stefani had a boy, Britney kicked K-Fed out of the house, and Brandon Davis apologized for calling Lindsay Lohan a “firecrotch.” I don't even know what that means.

I am so addicted to celebrity gossip right now it's not even funny. What is wrong with me?

Lonely

I'm feeling a little lonely today. Even though Cavan's home from his trip to visit his cross-country-touring brother and I spent the evening with both him and Charlie last night, I feel kind of sad right now.
I think it's because of the friend I “broke up” with. I had a comment on my MySpace page and I went to check it out. When I did, I noticed my “Top 8” friends had changed; he's no longer on it.

I guess after you get a 40-paragraph letter from someone (probably only a mild exaggeration) explaining why they don't have the energy to be your friend you're more than welcome to remove them from your public accounts. But it happened pretty fast.
It bothers me that it bothers me, if you know what I mean. But what bothers me most is that I feel so much guilt.

I am glad for the few friends I have on whom I can always count. My friend Liz of something like 8 or 9 years is the last person I ever have to worry about. We've never fought – and not in the “girls don't fight because they just lie about it” sort of way – we just talk things out. She's rational and kind and generous.

I think I'm just frustrated with the lack of “quality” in my life. The quantity has never been a problem, but that's not what I want.

Bits & Pieces

Our lovable heroin-addict-turned-methadone-addict-in-rehab at work is, apparently, gay. This came as a shock to me since he lives with his baby-mamma and their kid. I guess I made too many assumptions, despite him referring once to her as his “girlfriend.” Maybe he just meant friend-that's-a-girl.

I dropped my summer class due to lack of funds. I don't have the $450+ for the course and textbook, but they are charging me a $25 late fee for not paying the class on time. Gee, thanks.

I desperately want to shave my head but I am really, really trying to grow out my hair. This is the longest it's been in at least four years, but most people would probably still consider it very short.

I “broke up” with someone I've been friends with for almost ten years. The long and short of it is that I tried to contact him back in November and December to get his address for sending x-mas cards but he never wrote or called back. I remembered his birthday in March, but he never remembers mine. He only calls when he wants something. He's been calling lately and I haven't been good about returning his calls so I got this email (to my MySpace account – not even my home account!) about how he guesses we won't be friends anymore.
I wrote him back and said I didn't have the energy (in many more words).
After the Kate Debacle I'm determined to remove myself from – and avoid, if I can help it – toxic or unhealthy relationships.

I asked my manager for more hours at the coffeeshop and am considering trying to find a second part time job. The hardest part will be juggling the various hours at both places. We'll see if it happens. I might just be able to go full time at my current job.

I sometimes get not only songs and phrases from movies stuck in my head, but words, as well.

I don't know when it happened but at some point I realized I am a very beverage- and condiment-focused person. My refrigerator always has at least four or five different kinds of drinks (from wine to soda to tea to water to juices), and about a hundred sauces and condiments (I counted five different hot sauces, three mustards, two mayos, a ketchup, tapenade – is that a condiment? – a tube of some sort of basil concoction, and three jams, all without even having to look too hard). Is that weird?

I think my oldest pet is starting to lose some weight. He seems neither listless nor overly tired, so I'm not sure if he needs to go to the vet. But I can tell he's lost a pound or two and spends an inordinate amount of time in the litterbox. Every time I'm in the basement, he's in one of the cat boxes.

There are litterboxes for dogs now.

I usually work Wednesday mornings but next week I have to close. That means I have to put away the order. Is it odd that I'm concerned about this, 8 days in advance of it? I hate putting away our order. We get tons of 5-lb bags of coffee beans, all our cups and lids, every syrup and sweetener we use, and a bunch of crap I forget about.

Charlie's taking Friday off for a four-day weekend but he's offered to work that night at the bar. This makes me sad. But my friend Jess is having a martini party so I'm hoping to go to that. My only concern is not drinking too much so I can get myself home. If I had any friends left I'd see if they wanted to go, but I seem to have cut them all out of my life for being emotionally unhealthy for me.

New Neighbors

I had such high hopes for our new neighbors on the other side of the double (the married couple with the baby just bought a house. I mean, they're “having one built.” I love how people tell you that, when it really just means they're moving into a subdivision where all the houses look exactly the same and they were allowed to pick the color of the fridge).
The old neighbors were quiet. Occasionally you'd hear their kid making noise, but that was about it. The new ones are three girls who are, at most, 25, one of which is definitely single and looking, the other two might have boyfriends. They haven't officially moved all their stuff in yet, but over the course of the past week I probably saw at least a dozen different people helping one or the other of the girls. It confused me because I hadn't met all of them yet.
The one I have talked to is a “secret smoker.” She said her roommates don't know that she smokes so she hides in front of the porch and puts her cigarettes out in my ashtray. I think it's very odd. Why would you care what your housemates thought of your habits? This one, Andrea, works at a popular frat-boy bar on the north side and drives the car her parents bought for one of her four sisters. This sister doesn't know how to drive a stick so Andrea got it. It's brand-new Corolla, something I'd love to have, but can't afford. So you can imagine my feelings when she told me what she really wanted was a Mercedes.
Her ringtone has the Sex and the City themesong; she's tall and very thin, tan, with long hair. She always has on makeup and too much perfume. She talks on her cell a lot and makes sure everyone around can hear what she's saying. I learned that one guy won't take the time off from work to go to a wedding with her so she's talking to another guy she met at work who just-so-happens to have a condo in Florida. Which, she giggled, is very good for her.

I thought, “a condo in Florida? Aiming a little low, aren't we?” On this side of town women date men who have multiple houses, not just timeshares in Orlando. They're trophy wives-in-training looking for guys who make more than six figures and who will tolerate their, as Cavan calls them, “LSDs” (Little Shit Dogs). “The Real Housewives of Meridian Kessler,” as I call them.

The other two seem less talkative than her. That is, assuming there are two. Last night, Andrea told me she had two roommates, directly after referring to me as one of them. She'd asked me my name, so I told her. I have no idea if she was drunk, or she's just stupid. I asked how she knew the other girls and what were their names, trying to make polite conversation, and she said “Sarah and Courtney know Whitney from work and I've known Whitney since junior high.”
So I said “Oh, there are four of you?”
“No, just me and Whitney and Sarah.”

Who knows. Maybe they'll turn out to be perfectly nice girls who are just a little slow.

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The work week of hell is finally over and I decided to wait to post anything about the dentist so as not to further complicate my anxiety. I did have a little breakdown when she pulled out the needle, but I was okay. She really was gentle, unlike the doctor who shot me so hard it felt like he was stabbing my throat.
Still, it didn't feel good. I'm glad this part is over. I had two large cavities filled – the ones right in front. Pretty soon, when the feeling comes back into my lips and nose, I won't be ashamed to smile anymore. It's possible I'll still need a root canal and cap on that one but I guess we'll see how the cavity filler thingie holds up.

I was secretly hoping we'd get some of that done today, not just the deep cleaning or deep rooting or whatever the hell it was called. Thanks to my little happy pills, though, I couldn't drive myself home. Cavan's gone till Tuesday, Liz is at a conference, and everyone else is either at work and can't leave or lives too far. So, unfortunately, Charlie had to drive all the way out, sit for 30 minutes, then drive all the way back to work. I just took my car home. It wasn't that bad. Sort of like driving a little bit tipsy. I'm glad I didn't ride my bike, though, or it'd have been a mess. It didn't really hit me until I got hom that I was all hopped up on narcotics. Well, halcion. I don't really know what that is.

Time to lay down in the grass and enjoy the sunshine while my lips return to normal size.

I Gave at the Office

This was an especially frustrating weekend. Due to my working 14 hours of it, and six of those hours being on a Sunday. Let me vent explain.

Our Sunday customers are notoriously rude. Many of them aren't regulars, so we don't know their drinks. This can create longer lines since the barista can't start steaming a lot of nonfat or whole milk, pulling shots, or getting syrups into cups. Once you've worked there for a few months, you can recognize drink orders by car or the face in the window. White Saturn station wagon? Medium drip coffee with room. Black BMW SUV? Small sugarfree vanilla latte. Hot, tall guy in scrubs with short blonde hair? Large skinny cappuccino. It also seems to irritate a lot of the new people because they don't understand why it's taking so long for their drink. Despite the fact that they just ordered four drinks with extra shots and each one has a different kind of milk, and they're not at Starbucks with automatic espresso machines and milk steamers. We kind of have to do it all ourselves, but I like to believe that lends to better taste and quality.

Some of these Sunday customers rarely go out for coffee so they like to play little games — “Let's See If We Can Annoy the Barista.” One way to play this is to set down your child (diaper showing; preferably smelly) on the bar where I pass over drinks. Another is to encourage the child to ask me “What's that? What's that? What's that?” so I can say “This is water. This is a spoon. This is milk.” Ultimately you turn the barista into a performer, there more to entertain your child than to make your drink correctly.

Last night I had a woman shout at me to “Wait. Wait. Wait!” I froze for a full 10 second as she hauled her daughter over to the bar. I'm standing there, milk pitcher in-hand, obviously confused. She heaves the kid onto the counter and says “Okay, go ahead. She wants to watch you make it.”
This is fine. But please don't make it sound like an emergency.

Or they want to play “let's annoy the kid at the register by making up stupid names for the sizes of the drinks.” As if it's that poor kid's fault that Starbucks has a trademark on their 20-ounce and we had to come up with something else. As if we don't know the difference between “small,” “medium,” or “large.” Why do you have to be all fucking cute about it?

Then there's the Church Crowd – they gave earlier so they don't tip, even their leftover six cents. They also were forgiven earlier today for all the awful shit they did during the week, so they get to start over with us, on a clean slate.


I was thanking the powers-that-be that we were completely dead for two straight hours, thinking everyone was out doing Mother's Day crap and we'd be able to close in peace. Boy, was I wrong.
It was like they were lying in wait, watching the clock, and then, picking the moment when my co-worker had shut down the espresso machine and I was pondering whether or not I should just dump out all our coffee, they started filing in.
30 minutes prior to closing we sold about two dozen drinks. I watched, in awe and increasing frustration, as couple after couple and person after person came in, ordered themselves a sugarfree, nonfat, 20-ounce half-caf lattes with no foam, or extra foam, or not too hot, or extra hot. Then they proceeded to sit down. Not only were the chairs on the tables (passive aggressive hint on my part) as I had just mopped (since we were completely dead for two hours), but the radio was turned off at 10 till and I even switched off some lights. It blew me away when two women asked, irritated, why there were chairs on the tables. When we explained that would be closing in fifteen minutes, they sneered “Can you take down two chairs for fifteen minutes?”
That got my temperature rising.

The pleasant aspect of this afternoon, though, was when a customer told me that I had the most beautiful eyes she'd ever seen. This made my face turn bright red, something which rarely happens as it's relatively difficult to embarrass me. I probably haven't had someone compliment the color of my eyes in years. When retailers began selling colored contact lenses, most people would alternately tell me how pretty my eyes were, immediately followed by “Are they real?” One of those sort-of-a-compliment compliments.

So, as you know, I requested the weekend off: Friday's the dentist; Saturday is my folks' celebration; Sunday is for the art fair.

This doesn't mean I won't be asked to work, though. Aside from the two people who've flaked out on us in the past few weeks, we have a returning college student who may not be able to work since he's decided to “stop speaking” so that he can “learn.” I'm not saying this is an utterly ridiculous idea, except when you stop to consider the fact this kid chose not to speak at all, right before he's supposed to come back to work.
And yet another full-time employee is waiting to find out if he'll be going to jail for possession with intent to sell. This would be our second employee in a similar boat, so I'm waiting for the third shoe to drop, so to speak.

I'm in at 6am tomorrow, so it's time to start shutting down. Literally.

Heavy Metal

After Scott told me that the Crate and Barrel leaning bookshelves looked kind of cheap once installed (which, of course, appear stunning in the catalogue), I tried to come up with a less expensive way to house all my books. I've probably cut my collection in half (or more) since I worked at the bookstore. I've moved so many times that when I start boxing up books I eventually haul one or two to sell.
I ended up going with a five-story chrome unit from Target for only fifty bucks, rather than the $300-500 I was going to spend on the leaning shelves.
Right now I have all the books pushed back to the wall to leave space for frames and my small collection of Chinese teapots, which are perched precariously on the top shelf. I think I'm going to need to come up with a creative way to balance them.

The metal storage was probably designed more for garages or basements, and would look pretty good in someone's swanky loft as a room divider, but I felt it created a good balance of feng shui-y type ch'i in the house. Right now we have all wood floors, coffee table, bookcases, entertainment center, and end tables. The dining table is a vintage green and chrome which sits right next to the new unit, so I was a little worried that there would be “too much” metal in the dining area.
But, hey, easily solved with a tablecloth, right?

I spend entirely too much time thinking about where I put stuff and not nearly enough time making money to organize myself. It just seems, at thirty, I should have stuff that “matches.” That's an existential dilemma I don't want to get into with myself right now.
I wouldn't really have the time since I worked every day this past week, from Sunday till last night, but was off today. My next day off is next Friday, which will be the beginning of my many dental appointments. I discovered that part of the reason they spaced out my dental work is to save me money, but also because my insurance will cover portions of it as long as I'm getting local, and not general anaesthetics.

I requested next Saturday and Sunday off, partially due to it being the weekend of the Broad Ripple Art Fair and wanting to make an annual pilgrimmage with Jay and Scott, but also because my parents have made tentative plans to drive down, see the house, and receive their anniversary/Mother's Day gifts. I suggested we also take them out for a post-anniversary lunch or brunch but haven't heard anything back. I need to check with Scott and Jay, though, to figure out which day they want to go to the Fair. I'd like to go out with them, but I also want to see my parents when it's convenient for them and they're willing to drive out.

So. Reminder to self.

Parking Issues

Okay. I know when you live in Indiana you're pretty much used to convenient driveways, cornfields, and just parking wherever in front of the house in the 'burbs. But at some point, when you make that transition to The Big City, or even on a college campus such as IU or Purdue, why is it people never learn how to parallel park?

Honestly, I have not lived anywhere in this city with off-street parking, and I have to share a street with people who don't know what the hell they're doing. It's not a girl problem; it's everyone. Right now, my car is parked on the corner, right before the driveway of our neighbors' house, where it generally stays since I drive least often and have the weirdest schedule. Approximately 6 feet in front of my car is the SUV of the woman who lives on the other side of our double. Six feet in front of her is her husband's car. If she just scooted her SUV up a bit there'd be enough space for someone to park between us. If he scooted his car back a bit there'd be space for a second car in front of him.

But no.

I mean, look, I understand if you're embarrassed that you can't do it well. But no one's looking — just get out and check. Does there appear to be a huge gap that could only fit another vehicle if airlifted into the space? Then get back in the car and put it in reverse for just a second. Better yet, if you're paranoid about worried about hitting the car, then go ahead and pull up just a tad.

See, now? That wasn't so difficult, was it?