Tuesday, May 30, 2006
it had been a good week. two dates already, and a third for that night. that's when I saw the missed call. right around the time the SUV was trying to make me lunch.
seriously? a year and a half since his last call?
when the topic was brought up around my friends over the weekend, they all, emphatically insisted I should not, under any circumstances, call him back.
I hadn't planned on it. but it was interesting to hear that none of my friends liked him when we were together. particularly since that's not what they told me at the time.
I asked my friends to please tell me in the future if they think I'm dating a loser. they said that's hard to do. these are my good friends. surely we're close enough that they can say something tactful like, I'm not sure he's the best person for you.
maybe not. maybe it is something everyone has to learn for themselves. maybe sometimes it is impossible to tell a friend the truth.
regardless, it's made me question the guys I've met lately. their sincerity. their flakiness. whether one may be a good fit for me. maybe in some strange way, I actually needed this curveball.
Friday, May 26, 2006
TheMan just bought us all lunch. one of my co-workers and I took a short walk to pick it up. on the way back, we joked about my clumsiness. we decided they would probably fire me if I dropped six of the lunches.
crossing the parking lot of our building, I apparently angered an enormous SUV. although it avoided my co-worker, it did it's best to run me over.
if I hadn't been paying attention, hadn't noticed the woman on her cell phone, clearly not caring that I was in her way, speeding up around the corner. if I hadn't jumped back about three or so feet, I'd be a hood ornament right now.
get off your cell phone and pay attention!
as I grumbled in disbelief at the idiocy of some drivers, my co-worker laughed and wondered aloud if they would have fired me if the reason I dropped six lunches was because I was now a parking lot pancake.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
not too long ago I was reading on the patio with TheDog at my feet. he came over to ask how old TheDog was. I answered 12. he replied that as soon as she's gone, I would have to run right out and get another, or I'd be lonely.
I was a little taken aback. he's older, he meant well. that I know. but that didn't stop the sadness from creeping into my thoughts.
that (and stories a friend or two have told recently about dogs) reminded me of TheDog's best friend, PB*.
it's been nearly 4 years, but I vividly remember the emergency vet visits in the middle of the night.
the first, in particular. she'd been sick. it was near Christmas time. the x-rays showed she had a growth, on her spleen.
the vet couldn't be sure if it was cancer, or not. without surgery.
this was an extrememly difficult decision for my mom. our black lab growing up had surgery, right after I'd left for college. to fix something wrong with her spleen. she didn't make it through the surgery, at only 8.
with PB, it was even harder, she was 12. but, eventually my parents decided to go ahead with the surgery. the understanding being that if things looked really bad once they opened her up, they'd do the "humane" thing.
the vet removed the mass along with her spleen. it was indeed cancer. but they were fairly sure they'd gotten it all. to be certain, they gave her chemo. it made her sick. but after the treatments they were convinced they'd helped.
she got sick again. by then it was summer. one Friday my mom called to tell me she was worried about PB. I hopped in my car and drove down.
my dad was heading to his high school reunion for the weekend. so she was alone. they were trying to decide if they wanted to try yet another surgery for her. my mom wasn't willing to let her go, so she was leaning towards the surgery, it would be Monday.
Saturday afternoon my dad called to say he was on his way home. he was cutting his trip short. he'd had a feeling that he needed to be home.**
I will never forget that Sunday afternoon, my parents, PB, TheDog and I were all in my their front yard. relaxing with the dogs under the aspen trees.
my dad gave PB a kiss on the head and left to run an errand. soon after he left, PB used every ounce of energy she had and got up from her spot and wandered to the middle of the grass before laying back down.
I moved to be near her. my mom did too. I remember thinking it strange that TheDog didn't move, since before that she had been glued to us all.
I laid belly down with PB's head on my arm, her labored breathing audible above the singing birds. I prayed that whatever happened, whether they went ahead with the surgery or not, that she would no longer be in pain.
moments later, she picked up her head and looked straight into my eyes with a look I will never forget. she wasn't in pain anymore. she was completely at peace. and she took her last breath on this earth.
* this is the only digital picture I could find of PB. it was the Spring before she passed away. I have much better film ones, I'll find one and scan it in soon.
** I have tales to tell about these kind of things. but I'll save them for another day.
Monday, May 22, 2006
it was J. the offer of a short hike was made. I had to accept. I hadn't been on a decent hike for a while. and I hadn't spent much time with J recently.
we headed up the hill. it was hot already, so we set out in search of a cooler place to hike. we settled on a moderate hike up to a waterfall.
the trailhead had too many cars. but we knew of nothing else close, and we'd already driven a bit to get there. we decided it would do.
the trail rose abruptly at first, winding through stands of pine trees. past huge boulders.
TheDog kept looking for water. although, there wasn't much to be found, she took every opportunity to cool off in the small pools along the way.
we finally got to the falls. with the dry conditions, there wasn't much water to fall. amazing at this time of the year, the time that is supposed to be the highest run-off of the season.
despite the lackluster end of the hike, we relaxed on a rock and enjoyed the beautiful day. it was getting cloudy so we hurriedly finished our granola bars and headed back down the trail.
it was a great escape from the city. from the heat. we enjoyed our hike, but not as much as TheDog did.
as we got back into town, we decided to grab dinner on a patio. the green plants on the patio were a stark contrast to the dry mountainside we were walking on an hour before.
even when nature disappoints a little, friends are there to make lazy Sundays anything but that.
Sunday, May 21, 2006
everyone says you can't find it if you sit there and wait for it.
so, what to do?
with the loss of the bet, I had to do it. and I did. but as my friend who made the bet with me insisted, just putting info up and paying doesn't mean I fulfilled the bet.
it's true. I met one great guy. but, after he abruptly did the disappearing act, it made me question the process. it made me question the sincerity of all guys.
I know they're not all the same. there are some sincere ones. I'm friends with many of them. the sincere ones just never seem to be interested in more than friendship with me.
so to truly get her off my back for fulfillment of a nearly year-old bet, I stepped it up a notch. I have dates set up. my attitude isn't the best about the whole thing, but I'm working on that. and at the very worst I get to drink a few nights this week, and not alone.
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
if you look at my past mishaps. at the flat tires, fried printers, slips, falls, other accidents. you would probably think my luck was perhaps not the best.
and so it continues.
I noticed as I left work tonight that my new cell wasn't working. I figured it was a temprary network issue. I didn't think anything of it as I met a friend to walk TheDog around the park then enjoy the beautiful spring evening over dinner on a great patio.
when it still wasn't working when I got home, I called customer service. they kept me on the phone for about an hour trying various things to get it working.
I will have to go into one of their stores and get a new card for it. and that may fix it.
not a huge deal except I have to go into the field tomorrow, and have to leave before their stores open. and I need my phone when I'm out there.
of course. unlucky? unlucky.
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
she caught up on a few quick work things she needed to do. she cleaned out the car. she ended up going through some mail, even. why? she was late. she knew she was. but that didn't hurry her on her way.
she was exhausted. for the last few nights she hadn't slept well. so, of course, she stopped to feed her addiction on the way into the office. as she walked in, she heard her everyday greetings. good morning. how are you. returned as always.
as she waited for her hot steaming cup of addiction, he walked in. a friendly hug. light easy banter.
after her addiction arrived, she lightly touched his arm and told him she had to go. his eyes gave him away.
she said she was sorry, she was late. she couldn't stay and enjoy the sunny patio again that morning. she really needed to get to work.
why, then, had she been so delayed in leaving her house. was there a reason. one she wasn't willing to acknowledge.
Sunday, May 14, 2006
at happy hour on Friday my good friend ordered Sprite. when we teased her about her beverage of choice she informed us that yes, indeed, she was expecting. she'll be an amazing mom. her nonchalant answer, when we asked if she and her husband were still planning on moving in a month or so, and if she was still starting school in the fall, assured us that she can handle whatever her path may bring.
on Saturday I spent my day with several of my great friends, at the twins' birthday party. there were a few grandparents there and three of my friends who are moms. they were all talking about things only mothers really find enthralling. and although they tried to continuously include me in their conversations about feeding schedules and hours of sleep, I found myself more at home playing with the kids.
on Sunday I spent much of the day with my mom. we took our dogs for a short hike, looked at old family photos, and had dinner with the entire family.
the photos were sorted through for possible inclusion in a slideshow at her retirement party in a couple weeks. just by looking at the pictures it was apparent that despite the fact that she was giving up her "kids" in a couple of weeks. her real job is and always was raising her own kids.
and she is very much looking forward to helping raise her grandkids. even more so now. my brother and his family are moving closer to my parents to take advantage of my moms' retirement. my mom is so thrilled by the news.
after dinner, my dad asked me what TheDog got me for Mother's Day. I told him love. then I showed him the bruises on my arm and my leg. she'd knocked me down the stairs, of course, completely accidentally.
so despite what those in the mom club say, I don't think you have to be a mom to get it. by knowing great moms, watching how they are with their kids. I think I may get it. by worrying more about TheDog after my tumble and whether she was ok then my own painful leg. I think I may get it.
I'm sure most moms will tell me I'm wrong. that you can't ever get it until you are one. I'm not sure I believe that.
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
I was a little early for my train up to White Plains to meet up with my college roommates. So I wandered around the station. such a beautiful building. so many people hurrying on their ways. life continuing on, despite my stopping to watch it.
it's odd, I love public transportation. the idea of taking a train to work everyday intrigues me. I know those that do probably get tired of it. it's probably not nearly as interesting as I imagine it to be.
after some down time, we left the little ones with dad and headed into the city on Saturday to see a play on Broadway. it was pouring rain, so a significant part of the afternoon we spent inside catching up over lunch. as it got dark, we decided it was time to do something. we wandered around Times Square, Rockefeller Center, and saw Radio City Music Hall.
our meanderings took us to the Empire State Building. when we got to the ticket window to head up to the observation deck, they informed us the visibility was very limited. we decided to save the view from the top for another trip.
it was so great to see my friends. we met in New York because my college roommate for three years had twins in September, and we had to go to her, since she won't be traveling soon. our other roommate told us all she was expecting. and my other roommate was so excited about her new job, the cute animal stories never ceased.
everyone with so many exciting things going on in their lives. except me. I again felt as if I were stopped, while everyone else sped by, getting on with their lives. it sounds dreary, I know. but I do appreciate the chance to visit all of my busy friends. catch up with them. live vicariously. for now.
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
after lunch, I braved the subway and explored the West Village and Greenwich Village. finding myself drawn to Washington Square Park. I walked around laughing at the performers along with the crowd. there was an amazing number of people out enjoying the beautiful spring day.
as I was wandering the square, my friend called to see where I wanted to meet him for dinner. we ended up heading to a tiny sushi restaurant on the edge of SoHo. and he was right, it ruined me for mediocre sushi for a while.
he laughed at me when I told him about my day. it did not surprise him that I ended up in the parks. it made sense for the Colorado girl to seek out the blue sky.
he was right. I love big cities. to visit. I know I could never live somewhere without significant open spaces. on the subway home, he said he agreed. which made their move back to the left coast welcome to him.
Friday, May 05, 2006
two years ago, today, I was on my way to work. I was excited to be able to really work out again after my bathtub incident*. the doc had forbidden various activities including swimming and running until my neck and shoulder were better.
the day before she'd given me the ok to do whatever I wanted. it was the first time in almost 9 months that I had my gym bag in the car and intended to go for a run at lunch on a beautiful spring day.
I sat at a stop light. listening to the radio. all of a sudden, BAM. crashing noises. pain.
ever more concerned about angering other people, to get out of traffic, I pulled into the parking lot right there. the car that had hit me did the same.
I was scared. my laptop was in the trunk. I'd stayed up working late. needed to get a report out that day. and the only place that report existed was on my laptop.
I slowly got out of the car. I was in pain. I was shaking. I didn't know what to do. I looked at the trunk. it was smashed in.
the other driver asked if I was ok. I said I didn't know. I sat back in my car. disoriented. I think he called in the accident. some of the events immediately after the accident still don't make sense. have no order.
a very nice girl was heading to class at the seminary where we'd pulled in. she came up to talk to me. to check if I was ok. she asked where I hurt. after explaining, she went inside. one of her classmates had been an EMT. he came out and insisted that I needed to go to the ER.
I reluctantly agreed. still concerned about the report. when the ambulance got there, they agreed with the seminary student. the only thing I knew was that my laptop needed to go with me. could the cops please bring it to the hospital with them?
at the hospital I was scared. I was on a back board. in a neck brace. I called my dad. my mom, being a teacher, can't always take calls. and although my sister could have been there in minutes, she wasn't speaking to me then. I assured him I was ok. they were just being cautious.
he asked if I was scared. I lied. I didn't want him to worry. to call my mom and worry her. or my sister.
after several hours of waiting and x-rays and such, the docs determined I was bent, but not broken. they gave me some pain meds and told me to go see my doctor within the next few days.
I called work. our receptionist came and got me from the hospital, she insisted she should take me home. I insisted I had to send out the report that day. it was a court deadline. couldn't be missed.
after a few blurry hours at work, she took me back to my car. I insisted I could drive home. as I got into my car the nice girl from that morning stopped by. she asked how I was. gave me her name and number. she'd seen the accident. I should call if I needed anything. or if something happened that I needed her as a witness.
I never did use that number. the police determined he was completely at fault. I always wished I had called and thanked her. told her that her kindness and compassion meant everything to me that morning.
and I can't believe I've been at this a year as of tomorrow. it's cool and kind of scary at the same time. I started it last year when I was feeling a little glum about how my back had not progressed enough in a year. sadly, that hasn't changed too much. but my outlook is a little brighter. and I'm enjoying writing, again. I think I have posted over a two hundred posts. I can't believe I have that much to say. and I can't believe I have only told a very few of the stories I have swirling around in my memory.
* explanation of the bathtub incident is buried somewhere in this post...
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
my friend had left for work much earlier, so his wife S and I enjoyed coffee and quality play time with their new puppy. she asked what my plans were, what I wanted to see. more things than I could fit into my short stay, so I opted to wander and relax.
still unsure of my subway savvy, I thought wandering Central Park would make a great morning, since they lived only a few blocks from the park. after The Lake I happened upon Belvedere's Castle.
it was a perfect spring day. meandering through the paths in the park. through Shakespeare's Garden. around the beautiful trees. the blooming cherry blossoms
I sat and enjoyed the sunshine on a bench near Cleopatra's Needle.
I thought it interesting that the inscriptions on some of the sides of this obelisk were barely discernable. yet on others they were quite apparent. I found out later this is due to the air pollution in the city. a sad fate for an ancient obelisk.
next I made my way to the front of the Metropolitan Museum. it's an amzing building. beautiful architecture. so many people enjoying the beautiful spring day on its massive steps.
I didn't have time to wander its halls, as I had lunch plans with S and a friend of hers. but I had to peer inside and confirm that the interior was nearly as breathtaking as the exterior. and, of course, it was. I made a mental note to get back there, and soon.
on my way back across the park to lunch, I stopped by Strawberry Fields, where I took a moment to reflect near the memorial to John Lennon.
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
I made a beeline to the airline's customer service desk, while calling my sister at some ungodly hour of the morning to have her find and deliver my ID.
as I'm apologizing and explaining the problem to my sister, I got to the front of the line. as I told my sister she'd have to bring me my ID. the very nice woman behind the desk said no, it wasn't a problem I could get on the flight.
I apologized to my sister once more for waking her up and told her I'd call her later.
apparently all you have to do if you forget your ID is go through the super security screening, where they look through all of your bags, pat you down, wand you, and laugh at the way you haphazardly packed at 3am.
it was my first time in the big city.
although I'd been to London and DC, and managed to navigate those cities adequately on trains running underground, I was a little worried about finding my way around New York City. although I'm not entirely sure why.
I was meeting my friend from grad school at his office on Wall Street. it was easy, he said. hop a bus from the airport then catch the subway. that would get me to within a block of his office.
I hopped in a cab at the airport. I may be a small-town girl, but I do know lugging my suitcase on a bus, then the subway my first time in any city was not a good idea.
I went up to the front desk of his building. they asked for my ID. I explained the problem. the security guard was not amused. he nervously called up to my friend's office to make sure I was expected. after a temporary photo ID was taken for my visitor's sticker and a bit of a wait I got to head up to see my friend.
it was great to see him, although it had only been about a year since I'd seen him last, at his wedding, those events are never that conducive to quality friend time.
he had a bit of time until his next meeting, and took me past where George Washington took his oath of office over 200 years ago, past the New York Stock Exchange on our way to Ground Zero. it hit me as I walked past the beautiful architecture, that I should have grabbed my camera out of my luggage.
when we arrived at our destination, the air seemed heavier. although there were people milling about, it was unnaturally quiet. it was strange. it wasn't what I expected. although I don't know what that was. we didn't stay long, since he had to get back for his meeting
as we walked back into his building, past the security guard, I understood better why they were so concerned about my missing ID. why the NYSE building was cordoned off. despite a friend from high school's brother being on Flight 93, feeling the mood around where the twin towers used to stand made 9/11 so much more real. so much more tragic.
that night, my friend, his wife and I walked through Riverside Park along the Hudson to the boathouse to grab drinks while we watched the sun set over the river on a beautiful spring day.
his wife was not feeling well, so my friend and I wandered over to a great Mexican restaurant. we caught up on each other's lives. talked about friendship and how valuable it is. about how lucky we were in grad school to have such incredible people there with us. about just how amazing friendship and life are.
on our walk home I thought about how much more we appreciate the good things when contrasted against the not-so-good. how brilliant colors appear after the winter. how much more we value our friendships when we've been apart a while.
Monday, May 01, 2006
they talked for a while before both admitted to being tired. as they walked out, he asked her if she wanted to grab breakfast.
over late night bacon and eggs, she started to believe her friend was back. the easy conversation. the laughter. back.
he walked her to her car. hugged her. leaned in. she turned her head just enough so that his kiss met with her cheek. he relaxed his hug. told her it was good to see her and to drive safely. she said, you, too.
but, as he walked away, she started to wonder. maybe she took it too far. her insistence that they could only be friends now. what if they were meant to be more? what if they weren't, but things became strained again?
a few days later, she stopped to feed her addiction and prepare for a morning meeting. as she walked into the coffee shop, she ran into him. he insisted on buying her coffee.
he sat and kept her company for a bit on the patio. the conversation was easy again. the laughter assured her that her earlier fears were unfounded. and although the dog at their feet was another's, sometimes coffee dreams do come true.