Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Row Your Ducks

Good news! I'm starting to feel like I'm getting my life under me. My ducks are slowly arranging themselves into a row.

I'm exactly two months away from the wedding (well, yesterday was exactly two months), and I am thrilled to have a honeymoon coming up. I need a vacation. Like, whoa.

Jillian Michaels: 30 Day Shred arrives today. I bullied Mike into doing it with me after work. There's a good chance we'll both have massive heart attacks. Seriously.

But, what I am most excited about is life after the wedding. When we are married, and we don't have lists and lists and lists of wedding related To Dos. Where our weekends aren't spent searching for the perfect centerpiece vase, or updating our registry. We'll be able to actually focus on FINDING A HOUSE. The concept of having our own place to live, to put down roots thrills me to NO end. And decorating it with trinkets!

Plus, I really want to have an eventful summer. I want to go to 6 Flags and Second City. We're planning to go camping at Starved Rock State Park.

I hope we're able to do all these things. Our finances are going to be tight for a while. Especially if we buy a house. Especially if I go to school and have to student teach for a semester. Sigh. I want to be a teacher - but I REALLY don't want to have to go to school. And I REALLY don't want to pay for school.

I've looked into Teach for America, but I wouldn't be placed until 2010, assuming I even got accepted. And we have Chicago Teaching Fellows in IL, but they only want math/science, Spanish, Chinese and Special Ed. I'm not much for any of those. Nor do I have the backbone or cajones to teach in Chicago. I read about too many bad experiences to put myself in a situation I am unprepared for. I'm sort of embarrassed to admit that. I feel like I should be passionate enough about education to jump into an under served school head first.

I wish I could find a job at the community college. I like working in Higher Education Administration. I feel like if I could get an Academic Adviser position there, I would be content for a while. I'm sure something will fall into place soon.

Friday, March 27, 2009

The dogs

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This is how I spend my Friday nights. Putting pictures of the dogs' heads on Jib Jab videos.

Too many balls?

I feel like I've got too many balls in the air, and I'm juggling badly. My life feels very messy or sloppy or disorganized. It's perpetually frustrating.

I feel like I can't manage the wedding, and go to work, and keep our room (hah, how sad, just a room!?) clean, and pay attention to the dog, and keep in touch with friends, and continue to SEARCH for a new job, and look for a house, and get my paperwork ready for RooseveltU, and keep the bills paid, and have a functioning relationship with Mike all at the same time. It's adult life, yeah. But it's daunting.

I like to feel like I have all of my ducks in a row. I wish I had more time to manage. Hopefully this feeling will faaaaade once the wedding comes to a conclusion, and we're honeymooning away.

Speaking of weddings! Exciting! One of my friends got engaged last night. I think I'm more thrilled about her wedding than I am about my own.
(I'm just burned out on mine. I can't wait for it to be here, so I'll be married)
Unfortunately, I can't keep my mouth shut and I'm already giving her unsolicited advice.
Well, I'm trying to keep my opinion out of it, but I want to share my wedding resources, websites and things that helped me to sort through the whole process.
Overstepping my bounds? Probably. But, it's what I do.

I now have a total of 10 followers. That's big news! I'm really excited that you guys are interested (or at least are pretending to be) in what I have to say. Thank you, I genuinely appreciate it!

I think the biggest function of this blog, currently, is that it is an exercise in looking on the bright side. I realize that NO ONE wants to read my sad-sack, Debbie Downer nonsense. Occasionally, sure, it's warranted. But, it's more fun to read about others' successes.

On a totally unrelated closing note, I heard a snippet of Ozzy Osbourne's appearance on Jimmy Kimmel last night and he sounded AWESOME. Now, I never knew anything about Ozzy until their show The Osbournes, but he always sounded so messed up. It was really sad. But last night! He sounded great. Totally understandable, no slurring. He made clever comments and had witty comebacks, and I was very excited to hear it.

Also - I love Ikea. If I could live there, I would.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Not fat!

I'm having a really hard time trying to motivate myself to exercise.

I really want to BE in shape, but getting there is proving more difficult than it ever has before. I used to be an AVID runner, but I haven't exercised in over a year, and unfortunately, I think a lot of it has to do with my commute.

I leave the house at 6am - so in order to exercise in the morning, I would need to get up around 4ish. And unless I want to go to bed at 8pm, this isn't a viable option. Going to be at 8pm, isn't really an option either, unless I want to move, permanently, into The Dark Place. Because with my commute, I don't get home until 6pmish. 2 hours of interaction with Mike just WILL NOT DO.

And in the evening, once I get home, I am just SO tired, and so hungry. I've looked into getting a gym membership, but at the moment, we just can't afford it.

HOWEVER, there may be hope! I stumbled across a fellowblogger who mentions Jillian Michaels - 30 Day Shred, and I have promptly put it at the top of my Netflix queue. Amazon reviews were great, and Jillian Michaels insane, so maybe this will work? I'm actually excited to try it.
Maybe Jillian will shame me into exercise!

Also - I realized today at work, that I am nearly useless here. I file papers. Maybe fill out a few forms. I wish I had a career I liked! Or worked in a office where I felt like I was helping to grow the business, or develop the company. I work on a horrible account that doesn't even account for 5% of our sales. Talk about sad!

Oh well, something will get better eventually.

looking up!

Things are looking up!

Mike's car situation seems like it's going to be taken care of by the other guy's insurance. Unfortunately, this is still tentative.

I have a meeting with a Roosevelt adviser on April 2nd to determine whether I am going to be in the Fast Track program.

Mike and I are starting to get some idea of where we want to live. We're hoping to look at a few houses this weekend. We did a couple drive-bys last weekend, and found a sweet area filled with townhouses. Our mortgage lady is wonderful.

There is still some bad news - I'm having trouble fitting into my pants. Sigh. Not too badly, but the waistbands are a little snug. I have two months until the wedding, I can make some progress by then, right? Sure!

The wedding stuff is starting to wrap up. We spent last Sunday hiding out and finishing the programs, and a couple other projects. Now we just need to get them printed and assembled.

We need make a few musical selections, too. That's going to be tough.

AND - I need to figure out how I'm going to wear my hair.

I am yet undecided. Plus my hair is pretty short, so I'm limited on options. I might as well just curl it and pin it back and see what happens. HA!

Also - on the topic of weddings - I had a dream last night that we were having the wedding at my parents' house, and RIGHT before it was supposed to start I realized that I hadn't written my vows yet. So, 2 minutes before the ceremony, I was scrambling to write down my deepest confessions of love, and a series of lifelong promises. It was VERY stressful. Then my dad started yelling at me. I was also wearing a short dress, with black tights and black ballet slippers.

It was very strange, but it also sets off the first (of what I'm told will be MANY) wedding dreams.

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Dark Place

I have a Dark Place.
Last year, around August - October, I was in my Dark Place. I was negative all the time. Felt completely stuck in my job, in my apartment. Completely ruled by commutes, paychecks and cubicles. It was horrible. I cried a lot. I slept a lot. I picked fights with Mike a lot. When people (read: Mike and my mom) try to tell my positive things, it's like they are speaking Russian, I just can't understand.

Usually when I go into my Dark Place I want to cut my hair. Last October, I did. I spent two years growing out my hair for the wedding, and in October, I decided that my hair looked like Cocker Spaniel ears (and it did),

and I felt more like myself with short hair (sometimes I do).

Instead of getting a new style, or trying something a little less drastic, I cut about 4.5in off my hair. I was pleased, at first. Now, I just have short hair. And that's annoying. And the wedding is in two months.

However, around October I also made the conscious decision to dispel negativity! To have a rosier outlook! To look for the good in every person and every situation! To stop picking at Mike! And it worked. By just making the decision, I felt a million times better. Plus, the time in our little prison of an apartment was coming to an end, and I felt like soon I would find a more fulfilling job.

How the mighty have fallen! Here I am, back in my Dark Place. I feel completely STUCK. What we can and and can't do is based on our paychecks and our bills.
Our paychecks are determined by the time we spend at our jobs. Coming home at night I'm completely exhausted from work and from my 1.5 hour commute, and all the cool things I want to do are completely shut out of my mind. We can't get a house anymore because we don't have the money to support monthly payments. I can't find another job, because other jobs don't really exist currently!

I got accepted to Roosevelt. Which is cool. But at the same time I'm just piling up MORE debt. And once I graduate from the program, am I going to find a job? Probably not! Last year 18% of graduates with an Elementary Ed degree got jobs. Teachers are being laid off left and right in my area. Spectacular. Add $30K+ to our debt pile, then subtract the possibility of employment, and you end up with my Dark Place.

Not to mention, living in my parents' house is starting to drive me insane. My parents are great, and so accommodating, but Mike, and Maddie (little dog) and I have to essentially live in a tiny room. Our stuff is EVERYWHERE. We have no choice as far as what to eat. If we decide to lay around, we look like lazy freeloaders. We need to get out. BUT WE CAN'T AFFORD IT. The Dark Place has no sunshine.

I can't find a job closer to home. I can't find a job. Period.
I work in the sales department. I am officially an Administrative Assistant, but have been given the unofficial title of Project Coordinator. I don't coordinate any projects. I interviewed for two sales positions, but was rejected because I don't have enough experience in sales. Granted, I don't WANT to be in sales, but I would hope that I would seem QUALIFIED to do it. I'm qualified to be an administrative assistant. That's it. I used to think I was qualified for working in Higher Ed. But the longer I stay here, and away from higher ed, the less relevant my experience becomes, ESPECIALLY because it was a student job.

The only thing I have to look forward to currently is getting married, and our honeymoon. Not the wedding, I'm terrified of the wedding. Plus it's a money suck and a lot of time and energy and attention and talking to strangers about things I don't really care about.

Welcome to the Dark Place.

Who bashes into a parked car?

Last night, all I wanted to do was eat dinner than go into the basement to watch The Office. It was a terrible day (nothing dramatic happened), and I was in my dark place ('ll explain my dark place in a moment). Mike and I finish eating, 8pm rolls around, and Michael Scott, Jim Halpert and Pam Beasley join the party. Literally, 5 minutes into the show my mom leans downstairs and goes
"Michael...your car has been hit, you need to come upstairs"


Mike's car was parked on the street in front of our house. And it was hit? Let me clarify, we live in the suburbs. You don't come down our street unless you are going to, or coming from one of the houses in the neighborhood. The speed limit is 25mph, and it is not a high traffic area.

Mike thought she was joking, and I didn't really want to get up, because I figured someone had just bumped his car. But I got up anyway, and when I get upstairs my sister is telling me that my dad said to call 911. And again, I'm all "what. the. fuck?"

We go outside, and this bastard didn't just bump anything. HE BASHED INTO MIKE'S CAR. The front of this guy's car is TOTALED. His airbags went off. A totally gnarled mess.

Everyone was fine. 911 was called, just for the police. But an ambulance AND a firetruck came. It was quite the spectacle. The guy who hit our car was only a kid, 18 years old. The worst part? He was coming from a neighbors house...4 houses down. It is a COMPLETE mystery to me how he managed to get ENOUGH speed to do THAT MUCH damage in such a short distance.

The police (Matt Maninio was there!) confirmed he wasn't drunk or high. We think he was leaving a friends's house, trying to show off and gunning the car. His new car. His new manual transmission car that he just learned how to drive, and his brakes locked up and he bashed into Mike's car.

Luckily, Mike's car has minimal damage. The rear bumper is a little janked up, and a piece of it broke off, and his exhaust has part of the other kid's car jammed into it. I hope to b able to take it in today and get it taken care of this weekend.

It was absolutely the last thing I wanted to deal with last night. And I didn't even get to watch The Office.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

omg. i feel awkward.

I used to be a cleaning lady for this man in Champaign, he was SUPER interesting. He led this awesome life (a UCLA boxer, a rock climber, a best selling author, an inventor, a pilot, an artist), but his wife divorced him and his two sons had grown up and moved away. So he was VERY lonely. Whenever I came over to clean, I didn't get much done because he wanted to talk to me, and show me his art or his inventions.

After Thanksgiving my junior year of college, he never called me to clean his house again. And the last time I was over there he was really down. He was trying to write a new book, but he had writer's block. I hadn't thought about him in a really long time, but lately I was telling someone I work with about him. I CANNOT remember his name. But I DO remember that I wrote a long entry or two about him in my Livejournal.

I'm trying to find the entry, but that means I have to troll through a lot of my Fall 2005 entries. And there are a LOT of them. I DO NOT like re-reading my journal/blog entries. They make me insanely uncomfortable. I think they sound weird, and self-indulgent. I get squeamish reading them.

I finally found one of the entries and another one titled Galen.

Ugh. Reading through my old stuff made me feel weird. Nauseous? Irritated? Vapid? Whatever, this new blog is still pretty vapid.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Dry skin?

So I've ditched my old face wash in favor of something gentler. I grabbed Pond's Cold Cream from Target, and I'm in love.

It has a total of something like 6 ingredients, and it's super gentle. Neutrogena dried my face out like WHOA. Pond's is pretty kickass, although, taking of my mascara still remains a challenge.

I was talking to Mike last night on the way home from work, and I CANNOT WAIT until I am a certified teacher. And he is a certified teacher. I think I can safely say that within 5 years we should both be on board. I hope.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

What am I doing?

I. Love. Google. Reader.

I genuinely believe it is the greatest creation known to man. I can check all my favorite websites in one place. Even if they are blocked at work.

I'm totally uninspired lately. I mean - I drive 1.5 hours to work. Sit in my cubicle filing, entering data, crying hopelessly, and emailing Mike. I drive 1.5 hours home. I eat dinner and watch TV. I sleep. Occasionally I exercise. Most of the time I feel sorry for myself.

I think I want to move, but I don't. I really like being near my family and Mike's. I like being around when our friends come home. I like living in an area I know. I like being comfortable. I feel like maybe I'm trapping myself? Mike and I want to settle here, but in light of our new circumstances, affording a house doesn't seem to be in our immediate cards.

I've been reading Pioneer Woman lately,and I like her life. I like the thought of living a rugged, hard-working existence. I like being self-sufficient.

I'm losing sight of where I'm going to end up. I'm accepted to Roosevelt. I'm going to get into their Fast Track program and have my masters 16 months (or something) from August. I'm going to be a teacher. I'm going to teach. I'm going to have Christmas break, and Spring Break, and summer vacation!. This is good.
After that, Mike and going to go to school. He's going to become a teacher. We will have summers off together. We'll take road trips, and vacations, and sleep in late, and take long walks.
We will be active members of our community. We will feel tired and fulfilled at the end of the day. We will make some sort of difference.

It's just going to take a little while to get there.

Sorry dudes. I'm being crazy. The commute makes me crazy. I think I would be better off if I had a shitty job like this, but it was 20 minutes from my house. I need those three hours back. I need time for life.

I'm going to go back to reading about lives more interesting than mine.

Friday, March 13, 2009


So I guess good news has to be tempered with bad news.

Good News:
Yesterday afternoon I got an phone call from Roosevelt University. I was accepted to their College of Education (pending a passing score on my Basic Skills Test). So, YAY! I need to call their admissions department to meet with an adviser and go over my previous coursework. This will determine whether I am accepted to their Fast Track Program (16 months, weekends and online classes, I finish with a Master's, close to my house) or their traditional program (2 years, evenings, in Chicago - too far).

If I don't get accepted into the Fast Track program, I think I need to go to another school. I can't commute to Chicago in the evenings. I won't make it to classes on time, and I won't get home until like 10pm.

Fortunately, there's another program...but I've put off applying because it requires a LOT more work that I don't want to do, unless I have to. Sigh.

I don't particularly want my Master's, but this program really works for me and my situation. Hopefully I'll be able to get a job with it. Sigh. I've got a lot of time, so I'll worry about that later.

Bad News:
So, today Mike was informed that they're cutting hours at his work. He's now only going to work 4 days a week. Cool for getting a day off, but suuuuuuuucks because he's only getting paid for those 4 days. This puts a cramp in our housing plans. Like a big one.

I get paid peanuts at my job, but now, we make about the same (if my calculations are correct). Great.

So that's that I mean, it's not a HUGE inconvenience (OK, it is).

There go my dreams of having a cell phone with a QWERTY keyboard. Or a beautiful dress for Anthropologie. I can't justify spending that much money on nonessentials.

I guess you could say I'm pretty bummed.
Sorry to be a downer, dudes.

On top of all this - I hate my hair and the outfit I chose to wear. I feel really sloppy today. And the tacky ring I'm wearing is turning my finger green.
It just keeps getting better.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Done yet?

I need this wedding to be over. Desperately.
I need my life back. I need to get some hobbies. Although, unfortunately, I don't think I'll get any hobbies until I get a new job, and my commute comes to an end.

I really want to knit, crochet, sew and bake. That's what I want. What a wonderful world that would be.

I also want a house. omg. I love my family, and they have been so wonderful to us, and we are incredibly grateful to them for letting us live here to save money. But, seriously, I devolve when I live here.

When I had my own place, I kept it immaculate; my laundry was done weekly, everything had its place, the bed was made, candles were lit. But living in my childhood bedroom, I'm a 15 year old again - clothes strewn about, piles of laundry, shirking chores.

I'm a little embarrassed to be honest. My parents think I'm a slob (well, yes, in this house I am). I just want to take ownership of my life. I'll eventually find a job that I love and am happy to wake up to, but until that time comes, I need to feel in control of another facet of my existence.

I'm getting married in 2.5 months, which is well and good, but the wedding isn't necessary, and it is yet another element of my existence that is mostly out of my control. Well, I guess I could control it if I wanted to. But I don't. I want everyone else to be content with it because I don't care. As long as I'm married to Mike at the end of the day, I will consider it a success.

Speak of the devil he brought me home this guy from Florida.

Along with some seashells he collected.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


I got my lady bits waxed today. Well. Not totally waxed Brazilian style, I got wax Jr. It was my first time, so I was a little (a lot) nervous. But, it wasn't bad! at all. Now, I'm excited to get it ALL yanked out. JOY!

I discovered 20somethingblogger.com, and it's all sorts of wonderful. Like minded people, writing cool stuff. Complaining. Showing me neat-o things on the interweb. Plus, it gives me something to do to pass the time at work.

On that note. OMFG. SERIOUSLY. I need a new job. Something more challenging. Something where I am ON me feet, moving, active, thinking. Barf. Back in 2004, I talked about I didn't want to work in a cubicle, ever. But here I am. Everyday.
Even then, I was planning to be a teacher. I wish I hadn't changed my mind. That was the right path for me. Now I've got to go to school all. over. again.

I found out about the Day Zero Project, from yourwishcake. It's an absolutely compelling project, and I want to take part. I am planning to start making my list now, and then start doing things once we return from the honeymoon. I'm excited to take on a new project.

Michael returns from Florida tomorrow afternoon. I'm pretty excited about that. We don't spend much time apart, so 5 days is a stretch.
Also, I need a haircut.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Equal Rights?

"Fidelity": Don't Divorce... from Courage Campaign on Vimeo.

New life?

So I spent most of my day at work reading blogs. I've thrown myself into this blogging thing so wholeheartedly that it has quickly become an obsession, and I have spent far too much time on the interweb.

On the topic of work. I need a new job. Pronto. I can't enter data anymore. I feel my braincells melting. Not to mention the agonized screaming coming from the student loans I wasted on a BA in English. Really? Entering data, with no room for advancement? Great.

Additionally, my boss thinks she's coming to my wedding. Don't get me wrong, she's a wonderful lady, but, the wedding has already morphed into an unruly beast. If I started involving my work-world in the wedding, then I might explode. The wedding itself might explode. My father might rob a bank.

On the topic of the wedding...I can't wait for it to be over. I am so excited to be married. But the wedding...it's just so very consuming.
More importantly, once the wedding is over, then we can focus on moving into a place of our own. A condo, or townhome, or apartment. (Backstory: we moved in with my parents around Christmas, intending to stay until after the wedding on May 30 in order to save up for a down payment.) The thought of having a place where we can STAY for over a year, that is entirely our own makes me quiver with joy.

A screened in porch! No bugs! I can grow plants! I can read when the weather is nice!

A BUILT IN BOOKSHELF. A HUGE built in bookshelf.

I want to buy the damn condo for these two features alone. PLUS a fireplace!

Now. Let me be clear. I haven't even SEEN the place. Like, in real life. I'm putting all my love-eggs in one basket. Hopefully this place is as lovely as the pictures suggest. There's another condo in the same complex that is bigger, and less expensive, but it needs more work.

Tomorrow...I get waxed.
Mike gets back from FL on Wednesday.
Friday, I'm supposed to go to a concert with Rache at the Vic.
Saturday is the bridal shower, and I feel like I shouldn't go out?

However, I'm a 23 year old grandma lady who doesn't do anything. I should go.

Zombie LaLohan?

I had the strangest dream on Saturday night. It was one of those dreams that occurs right before you wake up, and feels like hours pass.

In this dream, we were walking along this grassy path, all the grass was dead. I don't even know who the "WE" were, but there were a bunch of us. It was very much like Lost, meets 5th Element.
There was this woman, who had horns like these:

All of a sudden she stopped dead in her tracks because the horn had grown, and stabbed her in the skull. It wasn't gross, or bloody or even that disturbing. It was a very matter-of-fact sort of situation. So were like "bummer, dude." then kept walking.

We walk along this path and see Lindsay Lohan, in this wire coffin thing, and she's dead. Not breathing, very clearly dead. So we gave her a "burial", of sorts, by throwing her and the wire coffin into the lake. We start walking over this bridge, and I look back to the lake to see the sinking Lohan and coffin, and her leg starts kicking. So I'm all "Oh, fuck", realizing that she's coming back from the dead and gonna be PISSED.

Well, the bridge we were crossing led us into Las Vegas (my dreams are bizarre), and I'm all of a sudden dressed to go to a club. I see Zombie Lohan, with an entourage, wearing red lipstick, and I get the fuck out of there. Also, it was snowing.

Then I woke up. It's pretty anti-climactic, but it was insane

Saturday, March 7, 2009


This blog is going to serve multiple purposes. Most importantly, I am going to write again. I've made this promise time and time and time again. But, I'm genuinely hoping that it will stick this time around.

I used to be an avid blogger. But I fell off the wagon during senior year of college. My old blogs can be found at FranticIowa and Suburbian_Calm. They're not that interesting. Mainly a list of to-dos, and plenty of self doubt. I can't read them myself. I get embarrassed for...myself.

The second purpose...I'm not entirely sure. I had one a moment ago, but the moment is gone.

I'm also on Twitter
I'm learning to tweet. Unfortunately no one else is on Twitter, so I'm essentially updating to myself. Sweet.

Sometimes I feel that as technologically savvy as I like to think I am, things are already starting to get away from me. RSS feed remains a mystery. I joined LinkedIn, and remain ambivalent. Craigslist brings me unparalleled joy. I've been all over Facebook for a bunch of years. I abhor myspace. I feel better when I have an educated opinion of these online meeting places, so I shall learn as many as I can.

On an unrelated note, I finished The Glass Castle tonight, and it was pretty spectacular. I love memoirs.


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