Monthly Archives: December 2008

Tick-tock

I’ve already said that I’ve often wondered if I even have a biological clock; I never hear it ticking.

Last night, my good friend told me she’s pregnant. She’s the first of my friends to have a baby on the way and I have always said I’d freak out just a bit when it started happening. Even though we’re in our late 20s, we can’t be old enough to be parents! At least I don’t feel old enough!

When I heard though, I hardly freaked out at all. I couldn’t be happier for her and her hubby and I’m now thinking I better learn how to knit more than a scarf.

Funny thing though, after I got the e-mail with the good news, I started thinking about the joys of pregnancy that she’s currently experiencing. And, well, I started hearing a faint ticking.

Maybe there’s hope for me after all when it comes to the whole procreation thing.

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Filed under glass half full

Senorita cranky-pants

For me, it’s the last day of vacation. It feels like I’ve had about a month off, so I guess in some ways I’m looking forward to being back at work and in my usual routine. In other ways, I’m just dreading it.

The past couple days I’ve been a bit cranky. Perhaps it’s because of the impending end of my vacation and the onslaught of work that I’ll be drowning in, starting tomorrow. Sadly, though, I seem to be taking it out on DD, and I’m not quite sure why. We had a wonderful holiday together, and good quality time in general of late. But for some reason, the past couple days he has just been annoying the shit out of me. And the crazy-crazy that I once rambled on about has been coming back to haunt me.

I’m thinking it’s just because we’ve spent so much time together the past week or so that I just need some space. The only child in me is rearing her ugly head.

It’s frustrating, because when I get in these moods and the crazy unleashes itself, it’s hard for me to dig myself out. I begin to question things and then I get scared that we’re not right for each other. There are days (like yesterday) I feel like I love him less than other days, and I hate feeling that way. Overall, the positives about him and us outweigh the negatives, but I have this misconception that there shouldn’t be any negatives. After all, if I’m getting annoyed with him after only a year and a half of dating, will I be able to live with him for the rest of my life?!

I know, it’s crazy. Of course the people you love are going to annoy you. Of course you’re going to feel less loving toward them sometimes.

Last night, on our way home from a party, I apologized for being such a cranky-pants. He asked me if there was any particular reason for it, and I said that there wasn’t. Because I didn’t want to tell him the real reasons — that sometimes, his jokes and little kid behavior really get on my nerves. Other times, they provide humor and fun, so I hate to call him out on it. Also, I didn’t want to tell him that something that happened in the past 24 hours (that I won’t get into here) had physically disgusted me and as a result I was seeing him in a different — and less attractive — light. Because what happened really wasn’t his fault and I’m sure my feelings about the situation will change after a bit of time passes.

People always say relationships have their ups and downs. I’m sure he gets this way about me sometimes. It’s just that I’ve never been in a relationship this long. I’ve never gotten past the honeymoon stage of the first few months, so anything negative that pops up makes me question the whole foundation.

I suppose I should express my feelings to him, but I don’t want to hurt him. So much of these annoyances pop up at my whim, he can’t control it. I guess for now, I’ll just keep my mouth shut and keep believing this really is just the normal course of things.

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Filed under crazy crazy, DD (aka My Man), glass half empty, rambling nature, relationships

Gran Torino

As I’ve said, my family doesn’t have a ton of traditions, but one we do keep is going to a movie on Christmas Day. This year, we decided to see Gran Torino, since it was filmed entirely in metro Detroit, and was one of the first films to take advantage of our state’s new tax credits for the film industry. I was mainly interested in seeing if I recognized any of the settings, but the plot also piqued my curiosity.

I’m not going to even attempt to provide an exhaustive review the movie, it’s entirely too late at night for that level of coherence and I’m not one to provide spoilers for people who might want to see it. Instead, I thought I’d share a few thoughts.

First, not only was I excited to see the movie filmed in Detroit, but also one that takes place in the city. I thought it could be good for the image, and goodness knows our fair city could use a PR makeover. I should have known better, though, as the movie takes place in the ‘hood and the plot’s main centerpiece is gang presence in the city. 

Obviously, that’s not going to portray a pretty picture. Sure, the movie probably gives an accurate portrayal of life in an unkept Detroit neighborhood. But it’s also probably an accurate portrayal of life in any inner city. My fear is that people will see this film, and then add it to everything else they are hearing about Detroit these days. My fear is that people will see this movie and not think about the fact that it could have taken place in any major city across the country, but that instead they will see the abandoned homes and empty lots and believe that this could only happen in Detroit and therefore Detroit must be a pretty bad place to be. I know people have thought this for decades, but given all the other negativity of late, I think the movie will fuel that perception even more so right now. 

I guess I’m putting this out there to say that if you do see the movie, and you do come away feeling that way, well, don’t. Yes, there are parts of Detroit where you probably shouldn’t be wandering around. There are also parts of Chicago that that applies to. Yes, there are gangs and violence in Detroit. I’ve heard tell New York has an issue with that as well.  

There are also parts of Detroit going through a rebirth. There are also parts of Detroit that we are immensely proud of and amazing neighborhoods where neighbors have worked hard to create a thriving community. There are also cultural aspects of Detroit that rival Chicago and New York.

OK, off the soapbox. It was still fun to see familiar sights, like my street for example! There are a couple scenes in a local barber shop that were shot just a few blocks away from my apartment and I definitely recognized the street.

Another interesting aspect was what each of us took away from the movie. There were five of us who went, and I think we each came away with a slightly different message. My father, the soldier, heard a message about life and death that the main character, a Korean War vet, professes. And me, the granddaughter, came away with a different view of my elders. A more respectful view. In fact, it made me want to call up my grandmother, who I haven’t talked to in probably two years. This is mainly because she scares me just a bit, but still. She is my grandmother, and it’s important to maintain a relationship.

Overall, a good choice for a flick. It was around two hours, and felt a little draggy in parts, but then again, everything that long feels draggy to me when I’m stuck in a movie theater seat. Still worth seeing.

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Filed under DD (aka My Man), Detroit, family values, glass half full

Tales from the ghetto, Volume 1

I’ve alluded to my awesome landlord and equally awesome apartment before, but thought I’d take a moment and give you another glimpse into my ghetto fabulous life.

Actually, I don’t live anywhere near the ghetto. I live in a very hip and trendy suburb of Detroit, complete with a walkable downtown and condos that, in a decent housing market, would go for $500K. I live smack in the middle of the walkability, but not in one of the plush condos. You’ve seen Psycho, right? You know the Bates motel? That’s basically my building, except two stories instead of one. And without a proprieter with a deadly mommy complex.

Though my landlord has his own brand of crazy.

Basically, he’s a lazy drunk. He doesn’t fix things, rarely answers his phone, and speaks at about the pace of someone who has severe brain damage — which he probably does from all the alcohol I’ve been told he consumes. But the place is cheap and safe and a mere two blocks from the aforementioned trendy “downtown”. When I got my promotion, I thought maybe I’d move someplace a bit nicer, but, well, I’m kind of too lazy to deal with that. So in the ghetto apartment I sit.

I am, however, rethinking this course of action after the last 24 hours.

Last night around 6:30, I was waiting for my friend so we could walk over to yoga (see? love that walkability!). Anyway, someone knocked on the door and thinking it was her, I opened it, only to find Landlord S standing there with a flashlight and hose. In his usual s-l-o-w voice he asked if he could bother me. Then paused. Didn’t launch immediately into why, just stopped, with his smelly-ass cigarette by his side. He went on to say he needed to get into my hall closet to try to drain the heater (it’s a water-based heater and it has an uncontrollable banging issue because it needs to be drained. Of course this is the first I’ve heard of him trying to actually do that.

I explained that now wasn’t a good time, that I was getting ready to leave, but that he could come back while I was out and do what he needed to do. Truthfully, I didn’t want to be alone with him. It’s not that I fear for my safety, but I do fear for my sanity. I seriously can’t talk to or be in the presence of this man for more than 5 minutes without wanting to throttle him and his lazy speech pattern.

Anyway, after what felt like 10 minutes, but was probably only 2, he went on his way and told me to call him when I was ready. Five minutes later, my friend showed up and I called him and left a message that I’d be gone and that he could get in the apartment. I came back an hour and a half later to find the apartment untouched.

Today, I called again and got his voice mail. From past experience, I know that he doesn’t listen to his messages, so I basically have to call every hour until he actually decides to pick up the phone. I usually wouldn’t care less, but I had cleaned out my hall closet so he could get into it, and now the stuff was sitting everywhere. I really just wanted to know if he was planning on coming so I could plan my day and clean up the apartment. I called a couple more times while I was eating breakfast and watching TV. Nothing.

Finally, I went to work out and called him when I was done. He finally picked up. I asked if he still needed to get into the apartment and he replied that he didn’t and then launched into a 5 minute conversation about the problem. Most of which was incoherent due to his usual unbearable speech pattern.

I was happy that he didn’t need to get into the apartment after all, but then remembered that due to the crazy winter weather we’ve had in Detroit, there are some mean icicles forming in my stairwell. See?

Spears of Death
Spears of Death

Anyway, I’ve seen that Grey’s Anatomy episode when Yang gets impaled with an icicle and you better believe I didn’t want any of that shit. So since I had Landlord S on the phone, I politely asked if he had something tall enough to break them off, because I didn’t.

His reply:
Well. Here’s what we could do. We could become engaged and you could walk down the stairs and the icicle could fall into your eye.
[Pause.]
I’m being flip.
Seriously? Who says that? I don’t even know what that means. If you’re insulting my stupid paranoid worry, well, that’s one thing, but you could at least come up with a good insult. This? This doesn’t even make sense to me.
After that, I didn’t really know how to wrap up the phone call, so I awkwardly backtracked my way out of the Landlord S web of conversation and hung up as quick as I could.
And immediately started thinking that the apartments I’ve been eyeing a few blocks away may deserve a look, even though they’re $300 more a month, probably smaller in size, and have a less convenient parking situation.

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Filed under Landlord S, perils

Sweet dreams are made of these…

Last night I had the oddest dream.

I was recruited by one of my favorite PR firms, the one I’ve wanted a job at since I graduated and the one I’ve interviewed at twice with no such luck. They offered to pay me what I make now, but give me a $100,000 signing bonus (obviously totally a dream, there) if I would only come work for them.

I turned them down though. The thought of leaving my current job was horrifying because I like what I’m doing too much and I like my boss too much to leave.

I woke up with a start. When I woke up, I remember being quite thankful that it was just a dream and that I still had my job that I (apparently) love so much.

I think my time off has officially gone to my head.

 

In other news, this is my 100th post. And yet I still haven’t finished the 101 things page I started when I first launched this little blog. Wups. Happy 100, anyway, little blog.

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Filed under career, glass half full

Traditionally speaking

The past few years, I’ve taken the week before Christmas and the week of Christmas off. At first, it was because I typically traveled for the holiday, but wanted to be home in time for New Years, so I would do the brunt of my traveling prior to the holiday.

Now, when I’m not traveling, I use the time off to get into Christmas. December has become entirely too busy to do things like shop and put up a tree, so taking the week off before the holiday allows me to shut off the work and the parties and the stress and actually enjoy doing those things.

I think this habit started a couple years ago, the first year I planned on not traveling. That year, work was stressful for the first time (my boss’s mother was gravely ill, we had a major press conference that I had to step in and take over as a result) and I remember it being around December 20 before I finally stepped foot in a mall and took in all the Christmas decor. I distinctly remember this insignificant moment as the first time I was able to breathe and enjoy the holiday and remember thinking that the holiday had almost blown me by entirely. I guess I’ve informally decided to prevent that and make more room for it in my life by continuing to take the time off every year.

Except, somehow, the magic that I’ve tried to make room for and keep has instead worn off.

Sure, I start out leisurely thinking I’ll start my Christmas shopping at some point, that I’ve got all the time in the world, and then inevitably the first day of my vacay comes around and my mom reminds me that I better get started so I can ship everything that needs to be shipped in time. Flash to me sitting at my kitchen table, feverishly clicking through Amazon.com and calling my extended family in Nebraska to pick up gift cards for other extended family members.

Not as enjoyable as I remember as a kid. I guess that’s what adulthood does to ya.

It’s gotten me to think of the other things and traditions that have worn off. Like the tree. I have a little tree I put up each year, and I enjoy it when it’s up, but I’m not like my other friends who rush to put theirs up right after Thanksgiving. In my family, we didn’t search high and low for the perfect real tree, we just pulled the same fake one out of the basement each year. Today when I went to my parents, my mom didn’t even have a tree up. Sure, she’ll get it up soon, probably this week, but I wouldn’t be surprised if one day I went home on Christmas Day and there wasn’t one.

We’ve never been big on tradition in my family. There are a couple here and there, but they mainly surround my extended family, who live in Nebraska. It’s always been just my parents and I, no extended family near by, so we don’t really do anything special when we don’t travel to see the rest of the family. 360 days out of the year this doesn’t bother me, but when I do hear about my friends baking cookies with their families, or going out to the same tree farm every year to pick the perfect tree, I do get a little wistful.

I think what it boils down to is there is a part of me that is anxious to start some traditions of my own. Except being unmarried and living alone, I don’t have a lot of motivation to do so. I’m not one to bake a million cookies, especially in my little kitchen, or mess with a real tree all by myself. But I am anxious to start a life with someone else and make our own home and our own traditions. DD and I are a little ways from that, but it’s something down the road that truly excites me.

I hate to be all doom and gloom. Honestly, my parents and I do have some traditions (like going to see a movie after dinner on Christmas Day), and DD and I are starting to make our own traditions as well. Last year, I went to midnight mass after spending Christmas Eve with his family, and then went on to my parents so I’d be there on Christmas morning. I don’t typically go to midnight mass, I typically go with my family, but this was a scheduling necessity and something I did alone. And truthfully, I enjoyed it and have decided to do the same thing this year. I think this year DD is planning to join me. So I suppose that could become our first joint holiday tradition.

And once I get done with the few gifts that have to be shipped, I will be able to enjoy the shopping and the season a bit more.

In the meantime, what are your traditions? If you’re single, what traditions have you developed for yourself? Maybe I can steal some 🙂

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Filed under DD (aka My Man), family values, glass half empty, glass half full, rambling nature, relationships

Brought to you by the letter G

Ria tagged me, or should I say I tagged myself for this little ditty, thinking it’d be fun. That’s until she gave me the letter G…which, guess what? Is hard as hell. Thanks, Ria 🙂

I suppose you’re wondering the premise:

You leave a comment on this post, and I’ll assign you a letter. You write about ten things you love that begin with your assigned letter, and post it at your place. When people comment on your list, you give them a letter, and the chain continues on and on.

Without further adieu, here’s my list, all starting with the letter G, as bequethed to me.

  1. Google. Seriously, I don’t know what we ever did without it.
  2. Green. Go right through for MSU… thanks to my alma mater, I bleed green. Good thing I’ve always liked the color.
  3. Grey’s Anatomy. Lame but true. Except for the whole Denny story line that’s going on these days. I could get behind it if this was like a soap opera and he had legitimately come back from the dead. But otherwise? He needs to go.
  4. Grand Haven. Where my good friend makes her home and thus where my summer home is located. Best place for a nap on the beach, which I take annually.
  5. Goat cheese. Any cheese, really. But that particular one begins with a  G. And I like it, so it works.
  6. Giggling. I’m definitely a giggler.
  7. Getaways. Currently planning one for February, despite DD’s hesitancy to take one in this uncertain economy. You know what I say to that? Boooooooo.
  8. Garlic. The smell of fresh garlic cooking in the kitchen is like coming home for me.
  9. Gossiping. Yes, deep down, it’s that simple. I’m always looking for the next piece of juicy gossip.
  10. Girls Nights. My friends and I don’t get to have them nearly enough.

Whew, that wasn’t as hard as I thought it’d be.

If I can do it, so can you. If you want to try, leave a comment and let me know. I’ll send you a letter!

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Filed under About, glass half full, list mania, me! me!, Uncategorized