Sometime Between 8am and 5pm

Obviously, since accepting the management position at the nightclub, Charlie will be working more hours. Today he’s training two new people to take inventory, which means I’ll be home alone all afternoon and evening. When he returns I imagine we’ll eat dinner (I’m marinating some chicken in soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and spices and will probably make garlic mashed potatoes), hopefully the television will be working, and I’ll go to bed.  I open tomorrow and have an appointment in the afternoon with my counselor, then I have to be back on campus first thing Tuesday morning for another psychiatrist appointment (the study, not the therapy), they’ll increase my Zoloft, then I go to class. After that I have to head straight to the Science building for extra credit by participating in an experiment on attitudes about work. Or something. I don’t know what it is, exactly, but I get five points, and from what I’ve seen in my class so far, that could make or break me.

Our digital cable has been working off and on since Friday, when a repairman apparently switched lines between our house and the neighbors’. We don’t have a phone, so we wouldn’t have known whether or not there was a dial tone, but it appears we could have made a lot of long-distance calls in the past couple of days, and our neighbors could have watched some Clean House in high-definition.

A guy from AT&T was out here yesterday afternoon, but eventually had to wait on someone who could climb up on the pole and switch stuff back. It worked temporarily, but the internet started acting all wonky in the evening. Charlie couldn’t connect his PS3 to the wireless, which caused him anguish and frustration. When I got up this morning, the internet access was running fine, but the television no longer worked. We had to put in another request for service and, supposedly, someone should be here by 4pm. Great.

If nothing else, the on-again-off-again TV and wireless has motivated me to start burning CDs on to my hard drive. Currently I think I have about a dozen done. Only 288 more to go. Since we’ve had the 300-disc changer for years and years, I’d forgotten how shitty and old some of my music is. When I worked at the used bookstore, I started just collecting music, some of which (not all of the stuff detailed below, but most) I either didn’t know or didn’t particularly care for, but a housemate or boyfriend at the time may have. Which explains why I’ve pulled out albums by Sheryl Crow, post-1990 Depeche Mode, every Cure, Enya, and Sarah McLachlan album ever known to man, The Bloodhound Gang, Eminem, and even some really terrible dance/techno from the late ’90s.

I’ve long since sold or recycled the jewel cases, so my only option for this plethora of CDs is to beg someone else to take them, either via CraigsList, work, or eBay. I can’t imagine who would want something like 100 albums from 1994, but I could give it a shot.


The New Neighbor

I just discovered that one of my next-door-neighbors got married and moved out. I knew they had a new housemate over there because she came in to the coffee shop and introduced herself to me (unfortunately, her name is Kate, so whenever I talk to or about her, I can’t bring myself to say her name without an involuntary shudder). I thought the housemate was brought in to cover bills that had developed after the last girl moved out over the summer.

I came home from work one Saturday afternoon a few weeks ago with a fierce migraine. Like a dry-heaving, have-to-lay-down, thinking-I’m-going-to-die kind of migraine. Apparently the girls next door were having a bachelorette party, which I didn’t know until I’d woken up from a nap and had a post-migraine hangover a few hours later. One of the girls apologized for all the noise (and there was a lot of screaming and cackling and shrieking which led me to pound on the floors and slam doors out of anger because my head was hurting so bad) as they were heading out to the bars. No doubt covering the bachelorette in toilet paper and wielding giant inflatable penises (penii?). It wasn’t until a couple of days ago that I discovered the young lady was Sarah, one of the girls on the other side of our double.

Of course, she hasn’t come back yet to clean out the garage, get her and her now-husband’s bikes, or clean up any of the crap she left around the fence, but hooray for her, making it legal or whatever.

The new roommate seems to be some sort of hippie nurse. She never wears coats (I did once see her in a hoodie sweatshirt), or real shoes. Every time I see her, she’s flying out the door with a pair of flip-flops and a tank top on into the snow or rain. I finally saw her in scrubs, so I can only assume she does something for, with, or as a doctor. Her dread-locked boyfriend (?) also sits on the porch and smokes pot. I discovered this one evening when I was on my side of the porch, sniffing loudly and asking myself what that smell was. I didn’t see him at first, and when he realized I was there, he got a little freaked out. Which he should. Who the hell just sits on a porch and gets high? Maybe I’m getting old. I don’t know.

I’m kind of curious what’s going to happen during the course of our last year on this lease – will there be more and more girls? Will one leave and be replaced every 6 months? We have no immediate plans to move out (and I just determined that my “official” graduation date, if all goes as planned, should be after the next fall semester – as in 2009), although Charlie’s dad has asked us if we would be willing to rent a house from him, if he bought a home in the area to write off as in investment. I can’t imagine something like that really happening, the logistics, or the negatives of a family-landlord type situation. But if it does, I’m all for being able to do whatever the hell I want to the house and fill it with dogs.

Update: I forgot to mention that Charlie’s boss did, in fact, put in a two week notice. Charlie was promoted to general manager of the nightclub. Depending upon how long he’s willing to stay there, buying our own home in a year or two doesn’t seem so far-fetched anymore.

My Kind of Reality Show

I’ll be the first to admit that I get sucked into some really, really stupid shows. Charlie and I watched Joe Millionaire because a girl he went out on a date with — once — was a contestant. We also watched some of Temptation Island at one point. We were addicted (ha, ha) to Celebrity Rehab and most of the Celebrity Fit Club seasons. I, of course, went out of my way to watch Project Runway, but that’s different.That’s quality.

And another quality one – a new dating show on Logo that I absolutely love: Transamerican Love Story. A bachelorette named Calpernia Addams has eight different guys staying at a house while she goes through and dates them all, and, of course, kicks one off each night. But what I love about this show is that Calpernia is a post-op transgender woman. One of the bachelors, Jim, is a transgender man. I knew it right away, but Charlie didn’t believe me. I also knew Calpernia’s BFF Andrea was trans, but mostly because I know who she is from her activism. What I didn’t know was that Calpernia is a decorated war veteran from the Persian Gulf, and that her Army boyfriend was murdered by other soldiers who did not approve of their relationship. How terrible.

That’s all beside the point right now and just sort of depresses me. I just love the fact that so many straight dudes are willing to go on the show and date her. I love it and I’m sad that it isn’t going to be on again until April sometime.

Knit One, Purl None

The knitting party was nice. It was low-key, and it was really nice to see everyone and have them over. I didn’t freak out and even opened the door to Charlie’s filthy Boy Room. Melody had a lot on her plate, the least of which was trying to teach all of us how to knit. I have been successful practicing casting on a stitch, but have already forgotten how to actually knit. We have plans to do some embroidery at Katie or Mel’s house at some point in the future, at which point I will probably need a bit more instruction. I’m jealous that Annette figured it out.

I did show everyone my sewing room and admitted that, in that room, there was a bag hiding somewhere that I’d made for everyone at some point, but had been too shy to give it to them. I eventually did, after some hesitation and prodding on the girls’ part, but I was especially frustrated that I had never taken apart and fixed Annette’s bag before she got it. It was my first attempt at a bag with store-bought handles (rather than a matching fabric sewn folded over and sewn together) and it had not gone very well. Since I still have another bit of the same fabric that I used, I might make a better one and force her to give me the crappy one back.

I don’t have another appointment with a doctor or counselor until next week. Monday afternoon I see my therapist again, and Tuesday is when they increase the Zoloft to 50mg. That same day I have an appointment to be in yet another study — this time it’s just a survey to help out some graduate students and get me some extra credit for my psych class.
The side effects of the Zoloft have already mostly worn off. I have a little bit of dry mouth for a few hours after I take it, and I get slightly sleepy. I’ve had a little difficulty sleeping at night, but nothing like the first few days I was on it.

Chelsea Clinton is going to be at the Campus Center at school today, campaigning for her mom. It starts about an hour after my last class is over, and I don’t know how packed it will be. I would like to go, and I probably will check it out, but since I’ll be by myself, I’m just going to have to see how I feel once I walk over.

Craft Party #2 and Subsequent Obsessing

photo-19.jpgTomorrow is the second installment in our craft series. Mel, Annette, Katie, and Shae will be coming over and Mel will be teaching us all how to knit. At first I thought we might do embroidery, as well, but I think focusing on just one activity will be more than enough to learn. I am really interested in learning to do crewel work, but I am broke as a joke right now and figured I’d rather spend my money on food and drinks and some nice yarn to make myself a scarf, rather than purchasing more wool and linen. I think maybe we’ll do that next. To your left is the yarn and cool needles I got at Broad Ripple Knits yesterday after I got off work. When I walked in, a really nice woman (I think it was Karin) asked if I needed any help. She had her work cut out for her.

I’m excited to have some new people over, especially because it will take all our relationships to another level. But for that same reason, it increases my anxiety. Having people over is a very big deal for me. It’s stressful, and very personal to me. I used to be a lot more laid back, but the past few years I’ve gotten freaked out about the idea of having guests. My dad is the same way, and the couple of times he and my mom have come over he refuses to leave to doorway because he knows how hard it can be to have someone see your house. But the times they’ve come over I’ve spent hours scrubbing, so I get a little disappointed when he doesn’t whip out the white glove.

Charlie always tells me to just stop — no one will even notice what I don’t do, he says, so just leave it alone. But the moment he left for work I found myself mopping, sweeping, dusting, and reorganizing things that “just don’t look right” where they are.

My dad once told me that we “can’t go through life straightening pictures that are crooked.” I half-jokingly responded “Why not?” But I know what he means.
Today I stopped after the dusting and mopping. Despite the fact that my mind is telling me these things need to be done, I’m telling my mind it isn’t necessary. People aren’t going to come over to the house and freak out, scream, refuse to speak to me ever again, or throw up because they think I’m a filthy pig. Everything looks fine where it is. The spare bedroom really is a wreck (and I’d take a photo of it to prove to you that this isn’t just OCD speaking — and I don’t have OCD or I wouldn’t actually give up out of frustration when I clean), but I’m not going to do anything to it. I’ll just close the door.

All About Change

Call me Barack Obama, but I’m all about change right now, I guess.

Yesterday I gave Charlie the thumbs-up to add me to his gym membership and today, for the first time in about 14 years, I went inside a gym (I also utilized some of the fitness equipment, but you get the idea). It was kind of weird, intimidating, daunting, and not very fun. But I’m not going because I want to or enjoy it, but because I have to. I got weighed at the doctor’s office last week and was distraught to hear the results. I’ve known for a while that I’ve put in a bit of weight in the past few years. Since high school, try about 40 pounds. FORTY POUNDS! Granted, I was a pale waif at that time, but it’s definitely time to make some adjustments, seeing as how I have absolutely no metabolism and none of my clothes fit.

I also had another counseling appointment this morning, but it was just another hour of questions. I don’t really feel anything has gotten done at this point, although I know she has to get to know more about me before we can figure out how to tackle some of the issues I have.

After hearing the psychiatrist’s plan yesterday afternoon, I’m not sure I’m totally committed to this study. They want to increase my Zoloft every 1-2 weeks by 25mg increments until I’m taking the maximum amount allowed – 150mg, I believe. At that point, if I don’t feel “at least an 80% improvement” in my anxiety, they’ll introduce the study drug (or placebo). Even if I got the placebo, I still don’t know that I want to take that much medication. I was feeling like this was a great opportunity for me, but what if 50mg does the trick? I know at any point I can drop out of the study and stop taking the medication, but what if it does work? How do I fill a prescription for something like that if I don’t have health insurance?

Since I am in counseling and I expressed my desire to learn coping mechanisms and strategies for dealing with anxiety, and since I’ve already experienced 6 of the 8 possible side effects of Zoloft, I don’t really know that I’m feeling the whole drug therapy thing.

I’m on it for two more weeks before I see another psychiatrist, so I’ll at least give it that much time. I’m not going to just stop taking it unless I have some wacky side effect. But the “natural” side of me wants to work more on the talk therapy, and less on the drugs.

Wrenching Financial Crisis?

Tomorrow at 9am is my first “official” counseling appointment. I don’t think I’ve ever really made it past the intake phase. This afternoon I meet with yet another psychiatrist — I don’t even know who it will be since everyone I’ve met thus far is on vacation — to be prescribed a SSRI. Dr M thought he might put me on Zoloft, although I’m not sure what they’re going to give me, or for how long. I mean, I know I’ll be on something throughout the study, but I’m not sure how long I have to be on that before they give me the drug/placebo they want to test. I’m a little nervous about it, because I haven’t really ever taken an anti-depressant. I was on Zoloft once for about a week and decided I didn’t want to take it anymore, and I broke out in hives after a doctor put me on Welbutrin with the hope that it would help me quit smoking. I asked Charlie if he would keep an eye on me and make sure my moods aren’t too wacky.

I don’t know how much he’ll be around, though . . . Charlie just told me that someone might be leaving the club which would seriously affect his schedule. I don’t know how much I should repeat since I’m not sure how many of his current and former co-workers read this (only one comes to mind, and he’s in Spain), but just in case, I’ll be vague. If the other person stays true to his word from last night and puts in his two week notice, Charlie could both double his paycheck and, unfortunately, triple his workload.

This is a conversation I think we have been having for, oh, I don’t know, about six years. It seems like whenever things get settled at the club, someone leaves or gets fired suddenly, everything gets turned upside down, and they want him to take on more responsibility. I don’t know for sure what Charlie would make or have to work, but I know it would be considerably more than right now.

I guess when former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan says: “The current financial crisis in the US is likely to be judged in retrospect as the most wrenching since the end of the Second World War. The crisis will leave many casualties,” working a few extra hours when you can seems like a pretty smart idea. I put gas in my car yesterday and almost had a heart attack. I have never, in my entire life, spent that much at a gas station, especially considering the fact that I already had a quarter of a tank when I pulled in.