Monday, November 28, 2005

A tiny bit of relief

I had nightmares for the last four days, and awoke at 5:30 this morning. Stress does that to me. It's ridiculous, I know. All I needed to do was go into work and break the news that I'd be leaving. But guilt is a powerful force for me. Raised a Catholic and having attended an all-girls Catholic highschool, I specialize in guilt. I know its nuances, its varied forms. And I felt it today, especially when my boss asked if there was anything she could do to keep me.

But the deed was done, and as the day passed, my guilt lifted a little. That is until I had to tell my coworkers, and one began to cry. Sigh.

But now it's time to work overtime and help my editorial team prep for a re-design and a double deadline. Oh, and yes, pass the pee test this coming week for the really big company. This is amusing, as I've never had to take a drug test before. Should I forgo my glass(es) of wine the night prior?!? How long does alcohol stay in the system? (Alas, I'm waaaay too lame, too much of a control freak, and guilt-ridden [see above] to have anything else in my system.)

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Where I feel like a schmuck

I've been back in my hometown for just a year now. In many ways, that's a long time, and in others, a flash in the pan.

It's plenty of time to remember how wonderful and aggravating family can be.
It's not enough time to complete all the plans you have for a house.
It's enough time to integrate yourself into a workplace, befriend your co-workers, and settle in comfortably.
It smacks of too short of a time to already put in your two-week's notice.

Which is exactly what I'm going to do on Monday. I dread quitting. My boss will be angry; she'll no doubt feel betrayed. It's a crappy time of year--we've got back-to-back deadlines sandwiched between the holidays. We're re-designing the magazine. We're backed up, slightly screwed, and hoping for the best. And I'm about to crap all over everything.

And coupled with guilt is fear. What if this new company blows? What if my co-workers suck? I've worked in such places before, where I'd sit behind the steering wheel wondering if getting in a minor car wreck was actually better than getting to the office. A fender bender or the leering, unsettling boss? A ticket or more sexual innuendo? A $1,000 car-repair bill or the bitchy fellow editor?

And then there's the biggest fear of all: What if I suck at this new gig? What if I can't pull it off? What if I fail? What the hell am I doing?!?

Monday, November 21, 2005

A resolution of sorts

I was waiting to post again until I was out of limbo...but that didn't happen as promised. The final word that was supposed to be handed down from onhigh Friday was postponed till Monday. That left a large expanse of weekend to be filled. Thankfully the demands of a friend's wedding kept me running around. A benefit from the type of exhaustion that sinks into your very bones? I was too tired to give much thought to Monday's answer.

Which by early afternoon still hadn't come. And oddly enough, I was a little numb to it all. If it does, fine. If it doesn't, fine. I just wanted to know so I could begin to plan out this coming year.

And then the phone call...

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

More of limbo

Still have no home for Willow. Still have no final word on the job interview. Limbo is a tiring place to spend time.

Despite the lack of hard decisions, the answers may be provided shortly. I'll know one way or another about the job by Friday at the latest--once it goes to committee. I'm feeling as if this doesn't necessarily bode well for me. If the company was interested, I think a decision would have already been made. I know I shouldn't be too stressed. I have a good job. I don't even know if I'll be in the job market in a year's time. But there's something undeniably personal about being turned down for a position. After all, you as a person didn't measure up. Still, I'm trying to prep myself for the letdown--the plummeting of the stomach, the slight rise in the gag reflex in the back of my throat. Everything happens for a reason. I'm not in charge here, and I need to be okay with that.

And while there are no takers yet for Willow, I've found someone else at work who may come by to look at her next week. It's not much to go on, but it's the most interest I currently have for my ward, so I'll try to stay upbeat.

If nothing else, The Banker and I have a rehearsal dinner on Friday followed by a wedding on Saturday. There's plenty of opportunity to lose myself in wine and dancing should the news turn out to be disappointing. And the Thanksgiving holiday is around the corner, and there's much to be thankful for. As someone pointed out, the more you focus on how much you have, the less time you have to spend thinking of what you're doing without.

Monday, November 14, 2005


I'm not proud. I'll admit it. When the Banker drove away with Willow Monday morning to return her to the vet's office, I stood at the door and cried. The Banker called to let me know that my sad figure at the screen door was breaking his heart. That's okay, because mine was hurting, too. And still is, to be honest.

A call from the really big company on Monday morn, but I missed it. So the waiting game continues.

I had an eye doctor's appointment yesterday where they dilated my eyes. Today they're still dilated! It's incredibly annoying. Little-known fact: For my 18th birthday, I received Lasik eye surgery. Before it was FDA-approved. I was the youngest patient in the tri-state area. And now 9 years later, I need a touch-up. Road signs have become hazy and the tv screen not-so-clear from across the room. Sigh. Looks like it's time for surgery again.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

An interview and a furry visitor

On Friday I endured another interview with that really colossal company. And as with many interviews were you meet a half-a-dozen people, it's a mixed bag. Some quite fun, some marked by effort and dry lips. So now it's a waiting game.

Not that I have much time to sit and fret. We have Willow with us this weekend, as I try to entice all I know to adopt this adorable beast. (She'll return to the vet's on Monday, but unless I can find her a suitable home, we'll have to keep her over the Thanksgiving week. Yikes!) So far, only vague interest in the "Let me talk to my husband" sort of way.

The Banker finds himself humiliated by this dog. Willow's brilliant. She's trained, understands what we tell her, and more importantly, she does it. And she puts in sharp contrast the lack of control we have over our own dogs.

The chaos we are experiencing is that weird combination of exhausted and giddy joy. This dog rocks. But we can't possibly keep her. But what if? Yes, she can jump our fence. And yes, Ginger's going ballistic, and our house is too small and beginning to reek of dog. But what if?

I hope someone takes this darling creature soon. Please, someone, please. Take this perfectly perfect dog from me before we go insane.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The big questions belly up again

So that really big company, the one that I'd given up hope on, has called again. I'll be meeting their editorial team on Friday for a second interview. I'm a little conflicted with this whole thing to be sure. It would mean an exit from magazine journalism and entrance into a huuuge, monstrous company that specializes in capturing emotions on cards and such.

So, if this behemoth offers me a job, do I trade relative comfort for the unknown? Forgo the two degrees I've obtained and work on my rhyming? Trade my comfortable group of six colleagues for several thousand? A job that lets me wear jeans for one that has a stricter dress code? A short commute for a longer one? A job with a company no one's heard of for one at a company no one can avoid knowing about? And pay that's somewhat insulting for ???? And should I even bother jumping ship if there's a very good chance I'll be re-evaluating my role in the job force in a year or so? (And on a similar train of thought, could we even afford such a move? And would I go clinically insane staying at home with rug rats?)

I know it's ridiculous to start asking such painful questions before I know whether I need to answer them or not. Maybe the decision will be made for me. At least, if this company isn't interested, the first several worries are moot. The last couple of questions still need to be answered, though. And my brain remains so thoroughly fried, I can't begin to fathom the right answers. I used to take every opportunity regardless of what changes it brought forth, but think I may be getting to the point in life where I need to weigh such possibilites a bit more seriously. Remind me why growing up is such a great deal, again?

Monday, November 07, 2005

Funny looking creatures

At any rate, it's slightly more attractive than my bruise...

Sunday, November 06, 2005

A Cinderella Complex

Such is what I'm currently suffering from, according to my mom. It's that thing where you've spent your entire weekend focusing on everyone else's needs. I was designated driver, cook, cleaning lady, personal shopper, entertainer, and laundry woman.

So the houseguest is gone, and after this weekend of fun, I'm feeling sore, exhausted, and more than a bit irked. And what else am I? Bruised all to hell:

That's the inside of my thigh. Nice, huh? Courtesy of the mechanical bull at Saturday's thoroughly exhausting bachelorette party and a morning horseback riding lesson. It hurts to walk. But that's one item I can check off my to-do list. Mechanical bull? Check. And I actually held on for quite a time, finally giving up because my wrist felt like it was going to be torn off. What a thorough beating I've taken this weekend.

For once, I might actually be thrilled to start a week of deadline tomorrow.

Friday, November 04, 2005

A gypsy housecleaner

I should be cleaning the house right now in preparation for our House Guest. More accurately, The Banker's House Guest. The Banker and the House Guest will swill lotsa beer, make a mess of the house, and go watch men in tight pants run around and tackle each other for money.

I HATE when men in tight pants run around and tackle each other for money. I know, I know. Yet another reason I should become an expat. That and politics, general way of life, and the driving desire to be called mum.

See, The Banker has his Irish citizenship. (Some crazy wife nagged and nagged at him to get it. And what did she get? Jack squat. For after 9-11 Ireland tightened its borders and now no longer grants citizenship by default to spouses of citizens. Bloody hell.)

But I don't think The Banker would ever be down for such a dramatic move. (Our two years in the really big city was actually a really big deal. His parents were pissed. After hearing the news they said, "Oh. We were really hoping you were pregnant." We'd been married for only a handful of months at that point. Geez crazy people!) A vacation destination, of course. Permanent residence, not so much.

But I think I'm a bit of a gypsy. I think it scares my mom, perhaps making me seem a bit like my grandmother. Shudder. Shudder. But I'm just a gal that craves the exotic, change, challenges, and constant learning. Sigh. Think I should work more to embrace the mundane and show gratitude for what I have. (Thanks to an incredibly introspective blogger by the name of Naiah.)

So I'm going to embrace scrubbing the toilets for the House Guest. Yep, the Pig-penesque man who once tried to get in my pants our freshman year of college. The Banker once wanted to kill this guy. And now he wants me to clean the bathroom for him. How the world goes round...

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Halloween pics

Yes, I actually wore this to work. No shame have I! But I wasn't alone. Here's the editorial team...

And it could be worse. I could have dressed my animals and brought them into the office, too. Like this...

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

The family Curse

I love Halloween. I love dressing up, gallivanting about like a kid, and embracing a crisp, chilly fall night as a perfect cover for fun and mischief. So this year I dressed in full costume to greet trick-or-treaters (photos to come) and binged on candy I otherwise never touch. And after The Banker retired for the night, I stayed up and watched Most Haunted Live, where a bunch of Brits travel to haunted locals and try to convene with the dead. All great fun, if you ask me, but it's not The Banker's cup of tea. And oddly enough, it's not my brother-in-law's cup of tea, either. Maybe it's because of the family they married into. What my family finds comfortable and normal, most find bizarre or out-and-out creepy. I guess it's all a part of living with the Curse.

It found it's origins in Venezuela, where my mom's parents met, married, and began their ill-conceived family. Both were Americans but living in the steamy tropics for various reasons: one was bored, another was there for oil. One night my grandmother woke up terrified, flush with sweat, and dizzy from an all-too-real nightmare that still seemed to clutch at her from the depths of memory. She'd dreamt she was driving her car through one of the common ramshackle neighborhoods where Venezuelans crowded together in makeshift homes. A ball came bouncing into the path of the car, followed immediately by a small girl in a pink dress. My grandmother was unable to slam her brakes in time, and she hit the small child, killing her with the force of the behemoth car. The dream upset her greatly, which speaks to how real it must have seemed. (My grandmother was not an overly emotional woman, caring more for her place in society than her impact upon it. Even as a child, I remember thinking her "cold" whenever I visited.)

The next day with the thought of the suffocating dream still heavy on her, my grandmother ventured out into the world. Slowly she crawled her car through the surrounding neighborhoods out on some errand or another. It was then, without warning, a ball bounced into the roadway, followed by a racing child. A girl in a pink dress. My grandmother was so on edge, she was able to stop in time, sparing the destruction of two lives.

We all grew up knowing about the Curse, but never giving it too much mind. It was just plan weird, plus it wasn't about to win us any popularity contests. It wasn't until later that we began to understand that the Curse lives, in varying degrees, in each of us three girls.

One bright sunny day, I gasped, realizing my earring had gone missing, most likely at the dog park thanks to a friendly husky. I mentioned to The Banker that I'd had a sneaking suspicion that my diamond would go missing. "Of course you did," The Banker sighed. "You told me three days ago about your dream where you lost your earring at the bottom of the pool, lost in grass."

Granted, my dream differed from the actual event, but I never lose an earring...ever. And the similarities were enough to keep The Banker warily eyeing me for the next few weeks.

And it wasn't just the occasional dreams with glimmers of some future truth. Sometimes people's celebration of joy would bring a sinking sense of dread, indicating that things weren't going to work out. Or I would sit in an Irish pub on State Street in the really big city and realize that a tchotchke on the wall would fall. Within minutes, for no apparent reason, it would.

But for all the weird, random occurences that mark the Curse's minor, fleeting influence on my life, it's nothing compared to its hold on Sister 1. (Sister 2 thus far doesn't have any wild tales to tell. It may be because she's so tightly in control of herself that she squeezes such possibilities out.)

Sister 1 can sense a loss before it happens, frantically calling all her friends before she finds the one who's father has suddenly died of cardiac arrest. But the one incident of the Curse that really shook her husband occurred right before his eyes.

Before they were married, Sister 1 had returned from a long weekend diving meet, exhausted and sore. She promptly fell asleep on my future brother-in-law's couch. About a half hour into her dead-to-the-world nap, she awoke screaming, asking after their recently adopted mutt. "Where's Guinness? Where's Guinness? He's on the highway!!" she cried, tears streaming down her face.

"Guinness is right here," her soon-to-be fiance assured her, petting the shaggy creature at his side.

"No, the highway! The highway!" she screamed, racing out the front door to the street that ran alongside her boyfriend's house. He raced after her, afraid she'd lost her mind. But what he saw in the street sucked the air out of his chest.

There in the two-lane highway a small dog dodged cars. Drivers contined to race by, unmoved to the pup's plight. My future-brother-in-law was struck dumb. But he quickly rallied to help his frantic girlfriend stop traffic and pull the frightened dog from the highway.

To this day, my brother-in-law doesn't like to talk about that day. He's a former Marine sniper who's seen an awful lot of royally fucked up things. But nothing in his training or experiences could explain how a dream could help save a life.

But for us girls, it's not that hard to believe. After all, it's happened before.