brief snapshots in time. memories and thoughts. disorganized and random.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

my own bed

I miss TheDog. I miss my friends. I miss my own bed. I miss the boy, even, sometimes.

I couldn't do this for long. The living in a hotel thing. I'm just not made that way. I like my own house. My own bed.

As fun as revisiting college life has been, I'm ready for reality. Ready to go to work every morning. Ready to walk TheDog every night.

Ready to watch tv on my couch. I turned on the news last night and realized it was the first time in three weeks, I had done so. The only other tv I've watched has been the basketball game I turned on for my grandma.

I'd always thought it would be fun to have a consulting job where I traveled. It maybe would have been. But not now. Now I like my boring, stable life.

I'm looking forward to getting home after keeping my promise to my grandma this weekend. I'll get three whole nights in my own bed before it's time to pack up again.

At least this time it will be for fun, even if it is with work people.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

stranger's tears

Tears spilled from my eyes as my extremely overpriced airport purchase* blared hold on tight, wait for tomorrow, you'll be alright.

I wasn't sure I wanted tomorrow to come. Not if it meant that day was the last I'd get to see and talk to my grandma.

I was so intently listening to the music that I didn't even realize half the people around were staring at me. I looked a mess. I hadn't slept for more than a few hours in days. And now I was softly crying in a crowded public place. I'm sure I looked the part of the loon.

I packed up my laptop and grabbed a drink before I sat back down, far from where I had been. After a bit a nice woman sitting near me struck up a conversation. She said I looked a bit sad.

That's when the tears really started. She listened as I told her about my grandma and how close we were. She told me about her dad passing away this time last year. And teared up a little herself.

She made me feel less loony. She understood how mad it made me that everytime I told someone my grandma wasn't doing well they asked how old she was. As if being 91 means it's alright that she's not doing well right now.

Sure she's lived a long, great life. But she's still here. She's still with it. She still plays go fish, or something like it, with her grand kids. She's still hanging on, and I'm not ready to let her give up just yet.

My airport friend gave me a hug as we boarded the plane. We wished each other well. The kindness of complete strangers never ceases to astound me.

* Over-priced, but truly incredible!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

go fish

My cousin, my sister and I sat around the rolling tray in my grandma's hospital room, while my brother looked up the rules. She wanted to play cards with her grand kids, so that's what we did.

My mom and my aunt smiled to themselves watching us. I smiled, too. The best part of the game was none of us could remember how to play go fish. So, we sat there and laughed. And made it up as we went along.

This was how I want to remember my grandma, not the frail, crying woman I saw when I got there Friday night. Not the woman in pain who hugged me tight, said she loved me, and looked into my eyes and said goodbye this morning. It was the finality in the way she said it that brought tears to my eyes.

I replied, I love you very much! And I’ll see you Saturday!

Now, I just have to find a flight, so I can keep that promise.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

living out of a suitcase

I got home, unpacked and re-packed. I head south tomorrow. I talked to my grandma tonight. She sounded slightly better, but far from good.

As soon as I get back I leave straight from the airport to go back north. One day I'll get to see TheDog again.

But for now, I'm going to go visit the most amazing woman I know.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

not good

I can't concentrate. At all. And now is when I really have to. This is it. I'm up. My work-a-holic-ness over the past few years culminates tomorrow and next week.

But, as it seems to go, life always gets in the way. Or maybe just remind you what is really important. At least what should be.

It sure isn't work. It's not even my friends' and the boy's complaints that I haven't been around enough.

What's most important is family. And being there when they need you. And right now I have to find a way to fly south to be with my grandma, before it's too late. Be there for my mom.

She called me crying tonight. She talked to my grandma's regular doctor. He didn't sugar coat it like the others had.

I can't bear to think of my grandma withering away in a hospital. Not the strong, independent woman I love. I can't bear to think of my mom having to deal with it all alone. But there they are.

My sister had surgery today, so she can't go down until Friday. I can't go. But I will. Some things have to be more important than work.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

take the dog to Mardi Gras

There is something seriously wrong with my life when the only way I had a clue what the "ft" reminder on my calendar meant was through some late-night bloglines perusing.
(Thanks, Wordnerd and J.)

I was relieved but admittedly a little sad when I realized what it meant. Relieved that it wasn't something important that I'd spaced in my stress-induced forgetfulness. Sad because I got no reminder from anyone else.

After spending a few Mardi Gras in New Orleans, the tradition of celebrating Fat Tuesday continued with some of my friends. I even met one of my favorite exes out one ill-advised Fat Tuesday celebration.

Maybe even as recently as last year, my friends* used to send me cute Mardi Gras e-cards on Fat Tuesday. I used to reciprocate. I got nothing this year.

Who am I kidding, my friends also used to remember what I looked like. But I haven't seen most of my friends more than once since before the holidays.

Because I've been holed up in my office/hotel room (for months, it seems), I was really excited to hang out with some friends last Saturday at a friend's birthday bash.

As I was leaving work Saturday evening, I started feeling not quite right. So I called J and S and told them I was skipping dinner so I'd feel better for the party.

After my nap, I actually felt worse, but started getting ready anyway. The boy came over to pick me up, and we were about to walk out the door, when it got much, much worse.

So instead of praying to the porcelain goddess after too many hurricanes, as perhaps I've done a Mardi Gras weekend or two, I was doing so because of the nasty flu.

And my friends got no reminder of what I look like.

Happy Mardi Gras!! I have to go find some silly e-cards, now. And maybe a hurricane.

*The same friends who are the only people that would get the title to this post, who unfortunately don't read this.

Monday, February 19, 2007

not a single thing

I don't have any words. I don't know what to do. And I can always figure out something to say or do.

My dad called me today. In the middle of the day. He only ever does that with really great news, really bad news, or when he's really bored. Since there wasn't any good news potential, my hope was that it was boredom.

Thinking maybe he'd heard from my sister we had a small break in work hell because some people got a holiday today. Hoping he'd called just to chat since my mom's gone. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case.

He called to tell me my mom took my grandma to the ER last night.

I should fill in some details. I've left them out because I hoped if I didn't make a big deal out of it, then it wasn't one.

My grandma fell down a little over a week ago, but she insisted to all of us when we called that she was fine. Apparently, that wasn't the truth. My mom got a frantic phone call from one of my grandma's friends last week.

My mom was on the first flight. She's been helping out, taking her to the doc, for x-rays and MRIs. But she seemed to be doing worse.

When I talked to my mom last night, she had planned to swing by the ER this evening after the doctor's appointment if he thought it was a good idea, just to have an IV put in. My mom was convinced my grandma wasn't getting enough fluids.

My grandma half-fell out of bed yesterday evening, and my mom couldn't lift her back in. So she called 911, and off they went to the ER.

They got her some fluids and did some tests. They found some issues with her blood work, so they decided to keep her for a few days, to keep an eye on her. After five or so hours in the ER, they were going to take her upstairs.

That's when things went from bad to worse. My grandma apparently lost it. Screaming obscenities. (She never swears.) Telling my mom she wasn't her daughter anymore. Telling the nurses and docs to get out of her house.

So not only is my grandma in excrutiating pain, and apparently losing it mentally, if only because of the pain meds, but my mom now feels terrible. Wondering if she's doing the right thing, having her stay in the hospital.

I assured her she was. But what good does a phone call of assurance do. I want to fly down to be there for my grandma, for my mom. But I can't. I can't get out of work right now. There's absolutely no way.

I'm scared. Really scared. And I can't do a single thing about any of it.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

the c word

I was talking to friends the other night, and started to say that weeks holed up in a hotel in northern Colorado could be interesting because some of my colleagues* are c....

One friend piped in with "Cute guys?"

I laughed, and explained, that no, I was about to say characters.

And are they ever. But there are a few cute guys as well.

Unfortunately the boy overheard the first conversation and keeps asking who I'm going to dinner with. Who's room I'm working in. Who I'm hanging out with.

Explaining I'm working over 14 hours a day, dinner is all about work, and there is no "hanging out" doesn't seem to be getting through.

Jealousy can be cute, when it's minor. And I can't tell if he's just kidding when I talk to him, or if he seriously is jealous. But I don't have time to deal with it now. But he's not helping my mild curiosity about some of the guys.

* For lack of a better word, and because I'm feeling like being vague to drive the vague-police crazy.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

weird nostalgia

I feel like I'm back in college in a way. Like I'm in the dorms. Staying up late "studying." Getting up early and grabbing cereal out of strange plastic dispensers. Everyone gathering in the "study room" to eat pizza.

The only thing that's missing is going for a midnight run around the track. Not because I don't desperately need the outlet to vent some frustrations, but mostly because it's still snowing.

In some ways it's worse than college, though. At least the engineering center had women's restrooms on the same floor as classrooms. In the building we're in every day, the few of us women only have to descend three flights to use the facilities.

I didn't even realize it was Valentine's Day until the group went to grab beer and pizza. Shortly after walking in the door, we realized getting a few pizzas to go was our only option because of all the classy guys taking their dates to the pizza joint to show them they care.

I did get to briefly talk to the boy, but it just made me sad that our first Valentine's Day together, we spent apart. He at least had the company of his dog. I had to spend what little of it I wasn't working in a hotel room, alone.

Hopefully all of you had a happy Valentine's Day. I have to live vicariously through someone.

Monday, February 12, 2007

little surprises

If you give them a chance, people will usually surprise you. And usually just about when you've given up on them.

He had mentioned once upon a time that he didn't like Valentine's Day. It was a fabrication by corporate America simply to make money.

I figured I didn't have to worry about making time to hang out with him to celebrate such a "useless" holiday. Particularly after he cancelled our plans Saturday, claiming he was just too tired to grab dinner.

I admit, I was a little disappointed. It's the first Valentine's Day in forever that I've had a nice guy to take me out. I decided it wouldn't be that big of a deal, as I'm heading out of town for most of the week for work, and will be spending the actual evening in my hotel room.

But while we were taking advantage of the beautiful weather, walking the dogs in the park, he told me he was taking me to dinner for Valentine's Day. To one of my long-ago-mentioned favorite restaurants. And early, since I have to leave town.

I was pleasantly surprised. Now if I can just get all my work done, get packed, and still have time to relax and enjoy dinner before I leave.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

mountaintop inspiration

Those changes I was referring too? Not a new job. (I actually like mine, despite being swamped.) Not a new boy, yet.

It's my look that needed a little update. The haircut may not be a drastic change, but the "face lift" is a little more noticeable, and an improvement, I think. Hopefully you all will agree*.

Some of these changes have been a long time coming. Some have not. But all got a little kick in the pants last weekend.

I was standing on the top of the mountain, wondering to myself how I let things get this far. What had possibly possessed me to wait until February to make it up for my first day of the season. Why hadn't I been before.

There are very few things that make me feel as serene as standing on top of a mountain with boards on my feet and a bit of white stuff below them.

Right then and there inspiration hit me. I had great intentions with my resolutions, but crazy work deadlines and cold, snowy weather kept me from addressing many of them. No more.

This week, every day, I took some time for myself. Some time to get a haircut. Some time to do things I love to do.

Ski. Watch a little football game with great friends. Walk the dog. Enjoy the sunshine. Be a little creative. And a wonderful long visit with my good friends and their new baby.

Hopefully, the change in attitude will remain, even after the "new" look fades to old.

* Just know, I'm still tweaking a little. Working on links, and getting the "of the week" stuff up and running.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

a brother's love

Today's e-mail exchange with my brother:

Brother: [link to video at bottom of post]

Me: haha

Brother: SOOO TRUE!!!
How are you?

Me: Ridiculously busy... and you?

Brother: DITTO!!!!!!!

And The Boy thinks it's just me, he doesn't understand my entire family is full of workaholics. At least we all have a (warped) sense of humor to get us by.


Don't be alarmed if things change a bit. Sometime soon. I've been working on them forever, and finally got a respite to (hopefully) finish them up.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

out of the loop

I was getting on the bus on the way to a far-off-campus party with my friends and their dates, when he walked past. He saw me and ducked his head.

I had thought he was my friend. A close enough friend that I could ask him to be my date without him getting all weird about it. When I asked, he had answered that he was sorry he couldn't go, he was leaving town. Apparently not.

And even though he was only a friend, I still got that crushed sensation. Maybe because he was a friend. Because someone I considered to be a friend couldn't just tell me the truth.

I got that sensation again tonight. Looking at a friend of a friend's site I found out a guy I dated is now hanging out with her. Until tonight, I'd thought she was my friend, too.

I have no claims on him. We have remained friends, but not that close. I just would have liked to have known.

One of them should have told me. The boy, who less than a month ago made me an interesting proposition. Or the FoF. Or at the very least, my friend. She's the one who introduced me to him, surely she knew they were hanging out.

I actually think they would make an interesting pair. Interesting in a good way. But I hate that feeling. The feeling that everyone knows something I don't. Where I am the joke.

Monday, February 05, 2007


There are little things everywhere that spark memories. Bring back feelings of nostalgia. The mountain I see out my office window everyday, about 60 miles away, reminds me of home. My real, growing-up home.

Seeing a ticket stub from a nearly forgotten event, reminds me of friends from that time. Of good times. Great conversations. Laughter. Love.

Hearing certain songs brings back memories, too. An entire segment of my life that I can remember more clearly than I remember the last month.

One such song just sparked a few. I remember sitting in my sister's house, listening to her roommate's cd, while I worked on her computer, since mine was in my apartment with my crazy roommate.

It was my first year of grad school. Luckily during the roommate saga, my sister was still in school, and lived a few minutes away. Her roommates were kind enough to let me crash while I figured out my living situation.

At the time, I was head over heels for my best friend. He was not, then. Yet, again. I met many of my now closest friends in grad school. But he knew me best. He understood me like none of the others did at the time.

I miss those days, sometimes. Miss his friendship. Not enough to want to go back. But definitely enough so that when I look through the shoebox of memories from then , I smile. Lies or not.