I wonder if parenthood is an exercise against futility. I’m feeling a lot of that these days, and I found myself wondering that late last night.

I’m struggling because yesterday I gave up my beloved baby cat Gypsy. She went to live with my brother Mark. This will be the best thing for all of us, I think – I will be without the stress of trying to clean up after her accidents all the time, Mark gets a cat that he absolutely adores, and Gypsy gets a good home that isn’t the Humane Society – but it was still horridly hard. She was so sweet last night – and cute and good. It broke my heart to give her up, but I know it was the right thing.

And I’m worrying about my other cat because this is the first time he’s been alone. He’s managing just fine so far by pestering the hell out of me, and in the middle of the night we had to have a talk about not launching himself off my side after the catnip mousie. In fact, there will be no launching off me period. But before the launching he was sad and snuggly, and I hope he’ll be OK.

And – I don’t know. My friends are struggling, and I can’t help. My cat is lonely, and I have to work. The boy that I love is far away and having a hard time, and I can do nothing but wait for him to need me, and hope he knows I’m here for him. I just feel like my hands are tied.


just easier

Friends are a good, good thing. Spent Sunday pm with Sarah and Hannah, watching movies and eating good food. Sarah and I put together a bookcase, and I gave myself a nasty blood blister. I needed the companionship after a long hard night and morning – I am eternally glad of them.

Yesterday was lots of working – at home and at work – then Sarah came over and Jonathan later. Randomness ensued, and the cats were implicated in some sort of conspiracy. Nice to just have people here hanging out.

Tonight was pirates and tacos with Michelle and Diana – Michelle and I talked about our boys and how we miss them and what we miss about them. She misses having fun with hers, misses his smell, misses him being affectionate. I’ve gone through many phases of missing in the last 2-3 weeks. I’ve missed his laugh, his voice, his gorgeous blond hair, sex with him, his companionship, just being quiet together, watching him get dressed in the morning, curling into his body in sleep. Right now my bed feels really empty, and I just want him here so I can sleep next to him. Only a little more time. Michelle’s boy is in Iraq. I can’t even imagine.

Anyway, it’s been good, having friends around. Makes the nights less empty, you know? Some days it’s good to have time to spare – and others I just crave human companionship. My cats are lovely, but they are lacking in the communication skills.

And things are better with the boy, too. I didn’t hear from him today, but we talked yesterday and it was wonderful. I sent him a package of randomness, which he received and enjoyed muchly. We talked about silly and serious things, and laughed. He emailed me late Sunday night setting some things straight, and I emailed back in the morning when I was feeling much more stable. Michelle said today that long distance relationships are really hard unless you know definitely where you stand before you go away. I maintain that they’re hard, even if you know definitely where you stand. There are some things (and I’m not even talking about the physical) that are just easier when you’re near. It’s been a strange week already, and some days the ache is damned near overwhelming – but I know – I know – that this is what I want, and that it is worth the heartache. If you’re reading this – you – I love you far beyond words.

Crossposted from my LJ

I listened to a bunch of mix cds on the way home from Rockford this weekend – discs I burned before I went home at Christmas. They were pretty random, organized mainly by letter, as I filled them disc by disc going through my collection. Some mixes turned out really well, others were hit or miss. And that got me thinking about favorite songs, and that got me thinking about mixes again. So, here’s my question. If you were to make a mix cd to introduce yourself, a cd to sort of define who you are in 15-20 tracks, what would be on it? Please expound on why if you will, but mainly I’d just like a bit about you, in other people’s words and music. I’m still working on mine, but I will post it here when I’m done. Post it in my comments, or on your own blog, or gmail me. I’m looking forward to hearing from you – and hearing you. 🙂

Waiting for The Man

It is 8:45 and for the last 45 minutes we’ve been waiting for our trainer so we could start work. So for 45 minutes I’ve been sitting here, drinking my Maxwell House hazelnut coffee (with the terrifically buttery taste – this stuff’s freaking amazing) and checking my email and the blogs and such. Seems like a waste of 45 minutes x 3 (for my other training kids as well), but hey, that’s their choice.

Work was fine last night. I worked 6-9 with Megan, who just turned 21. No one splashed grill water on my food, and I got to actually talk to KFan while I ate my quesadilla (cheddar and chihuahua cheese, sesame mango dressing, black beans and corn). Every other time he’s been in I’ve been busy, or Shawn’s been there, so it was nice. Dave and I talked about cooking a lot – I’m bringing him cookbooks, and along the way got a little more inspired about cooking for myself. I went to Meijer after work and stocked up on produce, so this morning I had a smoothie with strawberry yogurt, OJ, half a banana, and a white peach. Tastiness.

I got to talk to Shawn for a little bit yesterday. I feel like I’m being the pathetic girlfriend at home, spoiling his fun by missing him – and I don’t want to be that person. On the other hand, I don’t want to have to beg for his attention, because I know I’m worth more than that. So I’m in a strange place, and I’m just trying to find my way. And I know I’ll be fine, and this’ll be over sooner than I think – but it’s still strange and hard at times.

Am actually finding people at work to talk to outside my training group – and that’s nice. I sat in the lunch room on Tuesday and felt totally out of place – like at the last two jobs. I’m fine with being overeducated and underpaid, but it’s always easier if there’s someone with whom you can commiserate. At AMCORE I had Dan, and at Busey I had great customers who thought our decorations equally lame (I miss my customers!). I’m still finding my way here as well – so maybe it’s an OK thing that no one talked to me in the lunchroom. Honestly (and this is terrible), I’d rather sit by myself and read than have to talk about reality TV and/or the latest deal on beef. Don’t get me wrong, I have trashy and superficial convos as much as the next girl – but the people with whom I have these convos can also talk about stuff that’s totally over my head.

OK, it’s now 9:03 and I’ve been doing nothing for literally an hour. I should’ve been reading – I could’ve finished Fellowship by now. Perhaps I should go pretend to be a diligent student – I think my frantic typing has given me away.

A night of spills

This was my night:
6:00-8:30pm: constant traffic, and terrible tips. tables with multiple meals. smiling and taking orders and hoping like hell that the new cook could keep up.
8:30pm: make dinner before the grill is turned off – turkey, provolone, tomato, vidalia onion sauce in a warmed-up wrap with peach salsa and chips. set aside because we have another rush.
8:45pm: decide to put food in the microwave to keep warm as eating will be a long time off. new cook is cleaning the grill. new cook has liberally doused my sandwich, salsa, and chips with nasty black grill water. throw away dinner.
9:30pm: finally get another break, make another sandwich (in the micro), read for a few minutes. finish a chapter, not the book.
10:30pm: clean the bathrooms. both toilets are backed up. finish the women’s bathroom and try to start on the men’s, but a line forms and i abandon the grossness for a bit.
11:00pm: finally get back to the men’s room, and the urinal hasn’t been flushed. i don’t know how men are so gross. gross gross gross. fix toilet number two, and officially declare myself off bathroom duty for the duration of the week.
11:30pm: lock up the patio furniture and check the trashes. back trash is half full of water, meaning half full of a watery sludge of cigarettes, food, drinks, dirt, etc. manage to dump at least half a cup of this mixture on my feet and legs and hands.
11:45pm: bring in front patio furniture. soak front of pants in some unidentified liquid.
11:50pm: prep mop. leave sticky line of mop bucket soap on my pants. these pants are having a really bad night.
12:15pm: mop the entire place. manage to NOT dump mop liquid on self (quite unusual for me), but soak my foot with hot water while rinsing out the mop bucket.
12:30pm: third trip to the trash. declare that the fragile trash bags aren’t a worry at this point because i don’t have the knock box bag.
total evening gross out factor: very high. all that was missing was vomit and blood-borne pathogens. and what got me through the night was the hope of talking to shawn when i got home – or maybe just an email. but i got nothing, and now i’m going to bed disappointed AND grossed out.

Tuesday already

It’s Tuesday already – Tuesday pm. I could say “where’s the week getting away to?” but I’m just glad it’s going.

This weekend was terrific, bookended by crazy. Friday we were supposed to leave at 6, but I got off work early (as you know). No word from the kids until 5:15, when Sarah called from the Saturn dealership – her car was dead with a four inch hole in the engine block. Terrifying, but a good thing it didn’t happen a couple of hours later when all three of us were in the car. We picked up Hannah, made a few frantic phone calls, then hit the road. On the way to Rockford Sarah expounded on her biggest news – that she and Greg are engaged. Aahh! It’s on the down-low for now (not that kind of d-l, Ice-T), but still exciting. Got into town around 10, and hung out at Jen’s for a while with Jen, Cassie, and Jen’s hella cute bunny Peter. I gave Hannah the tour of the house (yes, we do actually have five bathrooms), and we crashed.

Saturday was sleeping in, then breakfast with Mary J. We did some running-around-shopping, then spent the afternoon in the pool and the sun, smoking too many cigarettes and drinking wine coolers. It was a stereotypical girls’ day – and just what we all needed. I floated on my back in the pool for a while, thinking that it was the best sort of feeling – the cold of the water against the hot of my skin and the sun on my skin. I thought that the only thing that could improve on that moment would’ve been Shawn, but then it wouldn’t have been the same sort of day. Dinner at Beef A Roo, then I picked my parents (and Coo) up from the bus, where they’d just gotten in from Europe. They were deliriously tired, but it was good to have them home. More running around (including delivery of the naked mole rat book to Nicki and Cory), then more hanging out at Jen’s, this time with Krist, Erika, Devon, and Carly. Oh, and Peter too.

Sunday was a lovely breakfast with my parents, followed by lots of driving – to Lindenhurst to get the new car, then to IKEA, then home around the city. Sarah‘s new car is exactly like mine, except white and tinted windows. Good finds at IKEA – I now have kitchen canisters and ideas for the new apartment – and a nice dinner at a salad buffet place (name escapes me). The drive home was long and boring, but it was nice – I always forget how much I love love love driving in the summertime with the music up and the windows down. No word from Shawn, but it was the first day of the Academy, and I didn’t really expect to hear from him. Talked to Newman for a while when I got home, then crashed later than I’d planned.

Monday was a blur of lame-o training. My trainer has a Jennifer Tilly squeaky-voice and treats us like we have the intelligence of a flatworm. 4-5 more weeks of this might just drive me to drink – or to a regular smoking habit, which I’m trying to avoid. Sat on the porch for a long time when I got home, just reading The Fellowship of the Ring, then ran around with Sarah and had some nice quiet movie time.

Today was more lame-o training, plus a rainstorm and sub-par sushi. I have to work tonight, and am hoping to both finish my book and talk to Shawn later. A few other things on my mind to blog about, but I’ll put them separate from this great recounting-of-events. Hope your weekends were lovely. xo

I know I said I was going to take a break from blogging, but we all knew that would be short-lived. It’s hot, and I’m bored, so what else am I going to do? I got off work at noon – they ran out of things for me to do – and I’ve been hanging around waiting to hear from the kids so we can take off for Rockford. Not that I’m packed or anything. I do have my laundry together, and my apartment is (relatively) clean. I went through a bunch of junk, and sorted out what I think are the last of the things to be returned. I’ve watched a couple of movies – Hideous Kinky and Down With Love. The former was gorgeous, the latter fun. I watched some of My So-Called Life and remembered being 15 and feeling desperately lonely and unattractive and like no one would ever want to be with me – not that I knew what I wanted anyway. And it was hard to realize that in many ways I’m still that fucked up 15 – though I think I was better at the straight face back then.

Yesterday was a rocky day. Work was fine – they found things for us (me and two other trainees) to do, which involved filing and climbing around in a record room and data entry. I got home, and five minutes later I was on my hands and knees soaking cat urine out of the couch again. Gypsy made her point – extravagantly. Cursing and crying followed, and a feeling of being utterly overwhelmed. My apartment was a mess. I’m broke. My cat is so bad. I’m lonely. My hair is falling out. Blah blah blah. So I took a hot shower and felt sorry for myself, and then forced myself to snap out of it. I did some dishes, then went to Kopi for food. Sitting in the window, watching the storm, drinking coffee and reading – just doing something nice for myself felt really good. I came home and finished cleaning, then talked to the boy for a few minutes. I know he’s really busy, and that it wasn’t a good time, but he feels so far away from me right now, and that’s a hard thing. He’s really quiet and withdrawn sometimes, and that’s hard to deal with, even when I can see his face. I hope I’ll get to talk to him this weekend, but I don’t know. The Academy starts in earnest on Sunday, and after that who knows. I have a photo of us by my bed – it’s from the weekend I moved here, so many months ago. We’re lying on the futon at the kids’ – he’s lying behind me and our hair is tangled up together on the red pillow. His arms are around me, and my hand is in his sleeve. We look so happy and peaceful, even though things were still so tumultuous. Remembering how crazy things have been makes dealing with the current crazy a little easier.

So right now I’m hot, and bored, and ready to go. I’m ready to swim, to see my sister and my parents, to go to IKEA. I’m ready to get out of town. Have a great weekend.


My surprise was waiting on the couch when I got home – Shawn drove the 4-or-so hours from Wellsville back to Champaign to spend the weekend with me (and Jen, down from Rockford). Lots of tears followed – and continue to follow. I’m thrilled that he’s here, sad that I can’t spend more time with him, sad that I can’t spend more time with Jen, devastated because he has to leave tomorrow. I managed to rearrange my schedule so I can have the next two days off from Aroma, so at least I get to spend some time with Jen. Shawn’s going to leave tomorrow afternoon, though, and I don’t know how I’m going to do it – how I’m going to say goodbye again. And I feel like I’m being a terrible hostess because I can’t stop crying and because I had to work and because there’s nothing to do.

the week

Some surreal stuff that I think I’ve glossed over because of the intensity of the last week. I’ve been so caught up in the anticipation of missing him, then missing him, that I haven’t had a chance to just live, you know?

Anyway, on to the randomness. Last Tuesday I closed at Aroma. I was out on the patio locking up the furniture and happened to look over into the Barfly patio. Sitting in the patio, to my great surprise , was Rachel Link! We met in third grade and graduated from the same high school. I hadn’t seen her since graduation seven years ago – so it was a big and random surprise.

Speaking of surprises, the boy sent me an e-card this morning promising a surprise when I get home from work. I’m hella intrigued. I did have a nice surprise at work this morning – Michelle got me Hello Kitty PJ pants, some caramel kisses, and jasmine incense. Yay for random last day pressies.

But even more random was the email I got last Friday. For a number of years I was desperately in love with a guy named Scott. We met when I was 8 and he was 12 – his grandparents live next door to mine, and we would see each other every summer and on the breaks. As I got older, going to Davenport meant going to see Scott, though I nominally was with my grandparents. When I was 17 we started keeping in touch through letters and email – I had a letter from him nearly every Friday my freshman year of college. By that time, though, I was with someone, and he had a girlfriend as well. I didn’t know the full extent of his feelings for me until the following summer, when everything reached a fever pitch and my relationship nearly ended over it. Six months later my relationship did end (over someone else), and Scott wrote to me to propose. His girlfriend found the letter, and I didn’t hear about it until six months later, when my relationship had repaired itself and Scott was with someone new, a girl who was expecting their child. Since then we’ve fallen back into the old routine, seeing each other at holidays and such. Somewhere along the lines I got over him, but I always knew that I was the one for him – the Big One – the one he’d never get over. His grandmother told me that they always hoped the two of us would get together – and his stepmother said they never worried about him getting married because “[they] would wait for Elizabeth.”

So this week I got an email from him, the first time I’d heard from him since last summer. He said his life is shit – that the only thing keeping him going is his son – that he wishes he had the nerve to do what I did [leaving]. He then alluded to the earlier proposal, ending with “just wondering.”

So what do you say to that? I was totally taken aback. I thought about it all weekend, then replied as tactfully as I could. I told him about my new life, about Shawn, about how happy I am. I told him that I did remember his proposal and that while it’s sweet to think about how we once felt about each other, I’m a very different person now. I will always care about him, but that relationship never could work – never would work. Oh, and Shawn and Sarah said I couldn’t marry him because he has terrible grammar.

This week has been relatively uneventful, those weird things aside. Wednesday night I was supposed to have curry with Sarah and Hannah but was called in to work instead. Sarah came in to see me, and left a food surprise in my fridge at home. On my walk home I passed a couple of coworkers at Monkey, so I stopped and had a drink with them. Yesterday was mainly quiet – work, then the doctor’s office and new birth control. I talked to Shawn for a long time, did some dishes, watched tv, and read in bed. I finished Ghost World and thought about calling Shawn before sleep, but the line was busy and I fell asleep with the phone in my hand. I miss him terribly, but I’m surviving.

Free and Fun

A couple of brief notes while I’m thinking about it:

Aroma now has free wireless. Not sure if it will always be free, but it is right now. So more reasons to come visit me at work!

We’re thinking about going to Jupiter’s Saturday night for pizza and pool. If you’d like to join us, gmail me.

I have a giant pile of novels and graphic novels on my table for my June reading frenzy. Any other suggestions of free fun things to do to keep my mind off the blues?