31 March 2008

A love letter to yoga.

I was going to write about baseball today, what with it being the Twins opener and all. There's not much to say about it at this point. Other than I'm stoked that baseball is finally starting and I can't wait until F-Bomb gets called up from the minors. Ooooh, I think I have a fantasy baseball team to manage. I should check into that. I didn't do jack shit last year and I finished second or third. Awesome!

So, since I promised Jerious Norwood I'd write a thoughtful essay about why I love yoga, I'll write about baseball another day. Honestly, I'm baffled that Mr. Norwood needs any reason to try yoga other than the opportunity to be in a room full of (potentially) hot, flexible women.

After class today, I decided to tell the instructor that it was probably my last class with her. She is really great. She even made an effort to learn everyone's name. I didn't want her to think I stopped coming to class because I didn't like it or something. One of my classmates apparently overheard our brief conversation, because she walked me up the stairs and wished me good luck. She also said she was going to miss me in class because my form was so beautiful. Um, what? I was kind of flabbergasted. She said she'd check me out in a pose and if she looked like I did, she knew she was doing it right. I really didn't know what else to say other than thanks.

I'm pretty sure I've mentioned enjoying the smaller classes in part because I get the opportunity to check my form in the mirror. And I've been surprised to see how good it is. I feel like that is a huge accomplishment. It's totally lame and vain, but I think one of the major reasons I like yoga is that I'm fairly good at it. Some of it is really easy for me because I'm naturally flexible. Not that I knew I was all that flexible before I started yoga. Sure, I kicked everyone's ass in the V-sit and reach in high school. But how was I supposed to know that would translate?

Yoga has been good for my various aches and pains. I have had a herniated disc in my back for more than 10 years. It used to bother me fairly often. However, I can think of just one incident in the past year or so where it bothered me. And that was because my bus driver slammed on the brakes one morning when I wasn't paying attention, so I couldn't brace myself. Yoga has been better than any sort of physical therapy or prescribed exercises for my back ever had been before. There's a lot of core body work in any yoga class, even if you don't realize you're doing it.

Then there is the whole spirituality of it. It sounds terribly hokey to some people, I'm sure. And coming from a girl who gets drunk to avoid going to church on holidays probably makes it sound even hokier. But there is a touch of spirituality to it; there's something about the communion of mind and body. Focusing on my breathing calms me down and relaxes me. I feel centered and focused. Poses release tension, and sometimes there is even an emotional release in certain positions.

There is no judgment in yoga. Well, there's not supposed to be. I struggle with that, both in judging others and myself. You're not supposed to do either. In fact, you're not to be concerned about anyone in the class but yourself and your own practice. It's difficult sometimes when there are so many asshats in class. But still, through the course of the class, I'm usually able to dismiss them from my thoughts, or at the very least give them the benefit of the doubt. I take to heart the end of class when we bring our hands to our foreheads, for peaceful thoughts and down to our lips for peaceful words and finally to our hearts, for peaceful actions. Sure, sometimes it doesn't take, but I try.

I often wonder where I'd be if I had practiced consistently since I started in 2000 or 2001. The progress I've made since I made a commitment more than a year ago to attend at least two classes a week is amazing to me. My posture is better. My flexibility is always getting better and it's very clear to me that I'm getting stronger. Even my balance is improving. And my balance blows, y'all.

So, how's that Jerious? It's not for everyone, but hot damn, do I love it.

29 March 2008

Wasted Saturday.

But it hasn't really been wasted. Not in the least. Sometimes, though, when I don't get up until really late, I feel like I've wasted the day. And Lord was I in bed for a long time today. My upstairs neighbor came home around bar time last night and must have had trouble getting his door open or something, because it sounded like he was trying to break it the fuck down. It scared the bejesus out of me, especially after I had an odd door incident earlier this week. Thanks, dick. There's goes whatever sleep I was going to get tonight.

Oh, I tried to stay in bed for a while, but it was no use. I got up and went to the couch to watch TV. I knew all of those Law & Orders I was recording at 4:00 a.m. would come in handy at some point! Long story short, I think I finally went to sleep around 7:00. The last time I looked at a clock it was a little after 5:00. It was early afternoon before I got up and I didn't get home and showered until like 3:00.

Now here we are, it's 5:30. Time for basketball and, I think, a Bloody Mary. The only thing I missed today was yoga. I feel like I should have had something to do or somewhere to go, but nope. There's nothing. I suppose I feel that way because I have had something to do or somewhere to go pretty much every Saturday since the first of the year, it seems. Yeesh.

I deserved a lazy Saturday, dammit. Especially if this is my last Saturday as a free woman.

28 March 2008

This is how I figured it would happen.

Interview No. 9 was the one. I was there at 11:00 this morning and greeted by the oddest interview questions ever. I didn't want to go and I didn't really care one way or another about anything. Clearly, that attitude (or being sick) is my key to interviewing well. Even with the odd questions I knew it went well. The weird questions were refreshing and really made me think and there was a lot of laughing.

By 4:00 they'd offered me the job, but with a catch -- they want me to start MONDAY. As in the next business day. As in right after the weekend. Um, I know I said I was available pretty much immediately, but damn! Who moves that fast?

I managed to get them to give me Monday and Tuesday to check with my other prospects. It's not a great offer. There would be an actual pay cut. Plus I'd have to pay a considerable amount monthly for insurance. Plus it's a fucking hike -- 30 miles round trip. That all adds up to not just any old pay cut, but a pretty substantial pay cut. However, it is "temporary" for 90 days. Which means no benefits, either. And only one week of vacation a year? Wow, I'm totally talking myself out of this. But the "temporary" status would allow me to ask for a raise after 90 days. If that's something that is likely to happen, 90 days of making less than I was, but a buttload more than unemployment wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.

Honestly, I knew this would happen. This is my luck; the story of my life. I'd get an offer when there were potential jobs out there I wanted more and I'd have to make a decision before I was ready. But at least I have the decision to make. Do I want to take my chances or do I want to be working? I think we all know the answer to that one. I've been forced to control my spending big time for the past two months, so I absolutely know I can do it. It would make a pay cut less hard to take. If my first and second choice jobs say no, then obviously there is no decision. If they're not ready to decide ... tougher decision.

FUCK. I can always keep looking, but Jesus, that is the last thing I want to do. Crap, damn, hell, ass.

I guess I have the weekend to get drunk and mull things over. I'm getting started on that right now.

27 March 2008

The people at Trader Joe's think I'm a lush.

Or at the very least Daniel, who rang me up today, thinks I'm an alcoholic. Look Daniel, I'm running low on wine and it's nearly the weekend. I don't want to run out. And Lord knows I'm not braving this place late on a Friday or anytime on a Saturday. There is a lot of basketball to watch and what if I end up having company? You know I want to be a good hostess.

Besides, you only think you may have had me in your line before. I certainly don't recognize you. There coworkers of yours who know me by either my winter coat or my religious purchases of balela (which I'm totes sick of, by the way). A couple of them even know where I work out.

So when dear Daniel said something about me being an alcoholic I was all, "Well, how can I not be when it's so cheap?" Then I coughed and he said something about did I skip work because I was hung over. "No. I just didn't work today." I'd already had to tell people I was unemployed at the basketball game and I didn't want to add fuel to his theory that I was fired for being drunk on the job. Then he's all "I'm just jealous."

Also, I'm pretty sure he called me "honey" when I was leaving. Oh, Trader Joe's, I love you so much!

High school hoopin'.

Because Lord knows I cannot get enough basketball, I am heading out later this morning to watch my high school boys' basketball team play in the state tournament. I'm not super-loyal to my high school or anything. I'm mostly going because I don't have shit else to do, I thought I might get a free lunch out of it (meeting the 'rents), they're playing in Mariucci Arena and let's face it: I love basketball.

The prospect of a free lunch really isn't on the table any longer, as the 'rents are taking the bus because they're supposed to get a ton of snow today. Oh, I'm sure I'll grab a hot dog or something at the game, but that's about it. Honestly, I'm most intrigued by seeing a basketball game in Mariucci. When my mom told me they were playing there I told her she should check to make sure that was right, because I'd never, ever heard of basketball being played at Mariucci. And according to my dad, this is the first time basketball will be played in Mariucci. I've never seen Gopher hockey in there. I've only been in the lobby to pick up my season football or basketball tickets. So, that'll be interesting.

As far as I know, my high school boys' team has never gone to state. However, I could totally be wrong about that. Our girls' basketball team went when I was in third grade, so I barely remember that. And I went to more state wrestling tournaments than I can count. But I've never actually been to the boys' basketball state tournament. When I was a senior we came up here ostensibly to go to the tournament, but the closest we got was driving by the Civic Center one day on our way to see some boys at their hotel. I still can't believe our parents let us do that shit unsupervised. I wonder whatever happened to those pictures of the bathtub full of alcohol. Good times.

Update: Holy crap did that suck. They lost by 45 points. I'm shocked it wasn't worse. Theory was they were terrified. OMG. We're playing a team full of black guys. Oh, and that one Big Whitey. Some things never change. Thank the sweet Baby Jesus tonight is the Sweet Sixteen.

26 March 2008

The hits just keep on comin'.

I scheduled Interview Number Nine today. That's nine interviews in eight weeks of unemployment and about 10 weeks of job searching. 'Cause I did start looking for a new gig before I was canned.

I've said it before, and I'm going to say it again: I'm really astounded by the response I've received. And my reach has been really limited this time around. In previous job searches, I've looked outside Minnesota. But I know now that Minneapolis is absolutely my home and not only am I just looking in the metro area on this job search; I'm trying my best to stay within Minneapolis and St. Paul. Maybe it's the master's degree. Maybe I've finally got enough experience. Maybe it's finally the right kind of experience. I can't say for sure, but whatever the reason, I'm glad.

Another of the odd things about this particular job search: this is at least the third job I've applied for and gotten a call for an interview just a few hours later. I really don't get that. But the best part is that they'll ask questions over the phone like, "Are you still interested?" "Do you recall applying for this position?" Look, I know I get distracted and have the attention span of a gnat sometimes, but yes, I do remember the stuff I did a few hours ago. Most of the time, anyway. This gig is way out in the 'burbs and probably not something I'd be too terribly interested in, but what can it hurt to interview?

Also, I'm over my insane freak out from Monday. I swear, I'm actually a fairly intelligent woman, but sweet Baby Jesus, I am a worrier. I will absolutely lose my mind and jump to the worst possible conclusion as quickly as possible if I'm given any opportunity at all to do so. Sometimes I realize on my own that things aren't nearly as bad as I made them out to be. Usually, though, I need other people to talk me down. Thankfully, I have a lot of people in my life who are willing to do that. Once I have a little perspective, I am able to have a hearty chuckle about how batshit insane I am sometimes. Besides, I think I did a great job on the writing sample. And KayGee said the same.

25 March 2008

Two years of bacony blogging goodness.

I suppose "goodness" is in the eye of the beholder. But, whatever. That's right, boys and girls, I made the very first post on I was told there would be bacon. two years ago today. Where the fuck has the time gone? As I mentioned last year on this day, I did have a blog on MySpace and I was writing on LiveJournal before that. But I consider this to be my real start in blogging. So, yay for two years of it!

I was thinking about having a party to celebrate, at one point. Some friends and I were talking about having a bacon-themed party and I was all, "Oh, I'll wait and do it for my blogiversary." Obviously, that's not going to happen. Besides, not all of my friends read my blog. So it seemed kind of silly. Guess I'll celebrate tonight the same way I drowned my sorrows last night -- red wine and Wii. Awesome!

It's interesting to look back and see where I was when I started this blog and where I was a year ago. Two years ago I was all upset about Whatshisfuckingface (God, I was such a fucking idiot) and that's why I started the blog. When I wrote on LiveJournal or in my paper journal before that and even some of the stuff on MySpace, I was writing because I was upset or stressed out or in a bad place. I've gotten away from that, though, I think. I keep writing when I'm happy and when things are going well, which is something I never used to do.

Last year, things seemed to be going just fine and dandy. Save for the fact that I was "slightly annoyed" by my job, of course. I'm now slightly annoyed to have no job. Hopefully that will be changing soon. Aside from that, my life is not too bad.

Aside from getting canned, what are the major developments in my life in the last year? I finally (*knocks on wood* *throws salt over shoulder* *wishes on star*) got rid of Booty Call Matt. And I did it the way I wanted to do it the first time -- by pretty much just ignoring his phone calls. The previous time I tried to actually talk to him and break up, but that was futile. In fact, in the confessional that is a booth at Liquor Lyle's, I admitted to my friends on Friday that I never stopped seeing Booty Call Matt when I was with Whatshisfuckingface. Yes, I'm a horrible person. But I never really thought Whatshisfuckingface was being totally honest with me.

The thing with Booty Call Matt was getting a bit ... it was just enough, already, I guess. People knew me as the girl who had a mostly non-psycho booty call for more than three years. Trust me when I tell you this is not how you want people to remember you. It was a good run. Obviously, the sex was great or it wouldn't have lasted as long as it did. But there was a night at the end of September where we were making out and I thought to myself, "I am so bored with this." That was the last time I saw him. A day or two later, I asked The Boy I Currently Like out.

So I suppose that's something, too, meeting The Boy I Currently Like. That never would have happened without this blog. Or his. I got to meet Muffy, Bestie and Zennifer on the Ugly Christmas Sweater Pub Crawl. Muffy and I finally met JP just days after I was canned. I met a bunch of MNspeakers this summer at a Happy Hour. Geoff was my very first Wii friend. It's all a little surreal and totally awesome at the same time.

At the end of the day, I'm amazed that so many of y'all read the shit I post. I don't fully understand it, but I'm glad that you do. Some of you have been my real-life friends for years and others of you are becoming real-life friends. You're there drinking with me when things are going well and when my life is in the shitter, you're there to offer encouragement and support. Over lots and lots of drinks.

Thanks.

24 March 2008

*sigh*

After finishing up my work on the writing sample I will be turning in tomorrow, I decided to scan my standby websites to see if there were any new jobs posted for which I could apply. And right there, near the top of today's postings, was the job for which I'm doing the previously-mentioned writing sample.

At the moment, I'm still trying to choose between tears, beating my head against the wall or just saying, "Whatever," and pouring a glass of wine.

Oh, sure. I could be jumping to conclusions. They did say they were impressed with me after my interview. Maybe they're reposting it in case my writing sample sucks. Who knows?

It's just really disheartening.

Really, super disheartening.

23 March 2008

Uncomfortable.

Regular readers (or let's be realistic -- even occasional readers) have likely noticed that I talk about my boobs fairly often. I'm not entirely sure if other chestically-endowed women felt like they had to make the same decision I did at some point in their life, but I can't imagine I'm completely alone.

I can't exactly remember when it happened. I've always had a big rack, but The Girls had a bit of a growth spurt probably 12 years ago. Around that time or maybe even a bit before, I started actually dressing in clothes that weren't super big and baggy. In other words, I started dressing like a grown woman. The combination brought my tits to the forefront, as it were. That's when I started getting considerably more unwanted and inappropriate attention.

At that point, I felt like I had a decision to make: Go back to hiding, slouching and feeling kind of ashamed of my body or embrace my gift from Mother Nature and flaunt what she gave me without shame. Obviously, I chose the latter.

Most of the time I feel like I made the correct decision. But there are definitely times I second-guess myself. When the boss stares at my chest when he's talking to me? That's one of them. When I'm out and about and I can tell random people are staring at my chest and possibly even talking about me? Yeah, that's another.

For whatever reason, a disproportionate number of these uncomfortable moments happen when I'm home. Everyone's drunk and there's a lull in the conversation and someone says, "You have really big tits." Yeah, thanks for the newsflash, Captain Obvious. And there's the groping. That's always fun.

Last night, I was at a surprise birthday party for my friend's husband. There were a lot of people there I didn't recognize and I felt like I got a several major once-overs when I braved the crowd of dudes in the garage to get a beer. But the birthday boy's brother was the worst. He was shitty drunk when I got there around 4:30, and he made a pretty quick beeline to me. He kept asking who I was and how I was related to my friend. For whatever reason (alcoholism?), he didn't remember me being around for a million different things. I told him several times that I've known his sister-in-law since we were babies. Our parents are best friends. Dude, when your brother married this girl? I was a bridesmaid and I sang.

The stupid questions and the personal-space-invading were bad enough. But busting out loud enough for everyone to hear with "Are those real?" in a room full of people and kids? That's just ... gross. I pretended I didn't hear. What I wouldn't have given for there to have not been a time out and thus a commercial during the Marquette-Stanford game. The silence in the room was pretty fucking loud after that question.

I still feel kinda gross about it today. I don't really understand why most of the time I can handle those inappropriate comments without a second thought (or I can even find them funny), but every now and again I just feel really, really icky. Oh well. I'll get over it.

21 March 2008

The most wonderful time of the year.

Ah, the opening days of the NCAA tournament. Is there any better time of year? I would say not. The only thing that could make it better would be watching basketball while drinking at Lyle's during a snowstorm. Okay, so it's not exactly a snowstorm out there today (though, my mom would have you believe otherwise), but drinking at Lyle's with KayGee and Sweetness while watching Day Two of the NCAA tournament is pretty sweet.

My brackets don't look too bad after yesterday. You don't really get a sense of how you're going to do the first weekend, anyway. I think last year I thought I was done after opening weekend, but boy did that change. So my big upset didn't happen. Big fucking deal.

I'm concerned about how much basketball I'll be able to watch tomorrow and Sunday. Stupid fucking Easter. How dare you screw with the NCAA tournament. Not only do I have to figure out how I'm going to get to watch the games while I'm attending a surprise 40th birthday party, but I also have to figure out how I'm going to skip out on Easter Vigil Mass tomorrow night.

Though, I think I figured that out while discussing my usual Mass-avoidance strategies with The Boy I Currently Like last night. It's completely passive-aggressive, but I don't want to fight with my dad, so I usually just suck it up and go. But sweet Jesus, Easter Vigil Mass sucks. It's late on Saturday and it's LONG. I may have to sacrifice some basketball, but if I spend my afternoon and early evening hours drinking at this birthday party, I think I'll be okay. Lord knows you can't go to Mass drunk.

19 March 2008

Finally.

It's amazing what a little extra sleep will do for a body, apparently. I didn't set my alarm today and I only slept about 45 extra minutes, but I didn't feel absolutely exhausted today. Hopefully this means I'm finally on the mend.

Yesterday, I actually ate meals, too. That probably helped. I barely ate anything when I was sick. What's the point of eating when you can't taste anything? But the sleep was key. I kinda feel like I should do it again tomorrow, but it's the first day of the NCAA tournament. The first game starts at 11:10. I have to be home from the gym by then. Ugh. That means I have to get my ass up and get going.

Getting up and getting my shit together (which I don't think I ever have managed to do on the opening days of the tournament) is a small price to pay for four entire days of basketball. There is something riding on this, too: I want to win another Jesus statue! There's some weird link thing going on here. I link to the IDYFT post, which links back here, which links back there. How totally meta.

I don't expect to win this year, though. I should hope for second or third place, since I have the statue already and try with renewed fervor for the Football-playing Jesus in the fall. You may notice that I called Big Blue Monkey out in the comments of that post for failing to get me my prize for third place in the NFL Pick 'Em contest. He remedied that today. He was much more prompt this time. I only had to wait about half the time I waited to get my Jesus statue. Such a delightful young man, he is.

18 March 2008

"My quick smells like French toast."

Um, okay.

I see this commercial replacing the Formerly Fat Fuck commercial (airing this very second!) as the one that eventually drives me crazy during the NCAA tournament.

Last year, it was the Coach K commercials for State Farm.

For now, though, that line ("My quick smells like french toast.") is still cracking me up/confusing me. I keep inserting another word for "quick" every time I see it. Okay, it's usually "farts." Hey, I'd be holding a press conference too, if my farts smelled like French toast.

Why won't you love me?

I'm really getting tired of interviewing. For every up, there are two downs. I swear. Remember the whole am I dating or interviewing thing? I've reached the point where, if I was dating I would be giving up. Unfortunately, I need a job, so I just have to keep plugging along.

Interview number seven went well enough, I guess. I was freaked out about getting there, with the snow overnight and all. Of course, by the time I left, the roads were fine and I got there a half hour early. So, I sat in my car and read. Much better to be early than late, but I kind of take it to the extreme. I've been ridiculously early for most of my interviews, because I don't know what traffic will be like. Will my car start (it's been really super cold for a few of them)? How long will it take me to scrape my car? Are the roads okay? What if I get lost? Where will I park? You'd think I'd have it figured out, but I bet I'll be super early this afternoon, too. Can't be too careful.

These tag-team interviews are especially trying. The first group was ... meh. But I quite liked the second group. They seemed to like me, too. The first group? No idea. All I can do is write my thank yous now and wait, I guess. And go to interview number eight this afternoon. I tried to get them closer together, but no dice. This is the third time it's been scheduled, so I hope it happens.

There's really no specific reason for me to feel so discouraged today. I mean, two days ago I was all full of optimism. I think it's this stupid cold. It's just lingering. I'm SO TIRED. How the hell did I manage to make it through life when I was working and would get sick? Yesterday and Sunday I had zero energy. All I wanted to do was sleep. I pretty much feel the same today. But I have another interview. I need to go to the gym. I have a writing sample to do. This place is a dump and I need to clean it up because The Boy I Currently Like is coming over tomorrow night. I have to figure out what the hell we're going to eat for dinner.

Unemployment has been a lot busier than I imagined it would be.

16 March 2008

Anticipation.

There's a feeling in the air around me. It's been building for several days now. I feel like ... something is going to happen -- something good. Maybe. At least nothing bad. I know that feeling of impending doom entirely too well. This feeling is pretty much the opposite. Granted, that feeling of anxiety and impending doom is usually nothing but my hormones being out of whack when I start a new pack of birth control pills. I highly doubt this feeling of positivity is due to anything hormonal.

And I don't know what is going to happen. Maybe I'll finally break through in one of these interviews and get a job soon? Apparently, I was impressive on Wednesday. The agency wants me to create a new writing sample for them. They're even going to pay me a nominal fee to do it. I've never heard of such a thing and I would totally do this for free. But hey, if they want to toss a little cash my way, who am I to object?

The Boy I Currently Like has surprised me a few times in the last month or so. It's never anything big; just a little something here or there that catches me completely off guard. In a good way.

Really, though? It's probably all this extra sunlight and warmer temperatures joining forces to make me feel good. Or at the very least, the weather is giving everything else a lovely glow and warming the cold, black recesses of my heart. Whatever works, right?

14 March 2008

M-I-N-N-E-S-O-T-A!

Ski-U-Mah, motherfuckers!

It's not quite the same listening on 'CCO (fuck you, Comcast!), but dammit, it's fucking good enough.

Also, who do I have to blow to get a highlight on ESPN or ESPN2?

13 March 2008

Enough, already.

For the love of all things holy, please God, stop with the Subway commercials about that formerly fat fuck Jared and his 10 years of not being fat, but being totally fucking lame. Maybe it's because I have been watching a ton of basketball lately (approaching hour nine for today), but sweet, merciful crap, I feel like I've been seeing those commercials nonstop.

Commercials are annoying and these grate on my nerves more than any others that come to mind at the moment (are there any other commercials? I can't think of a single other commercial I've seen today. Oh, wait, that stupid A-Rod one), and that's bad enough. But you know what's worse? That formerly fat fuck Jared hanging out with the Big Ten commissioner in a suite and getting some screen time during the Gopher game against Northwestern this afternoon. Steve Lavin said, "Isn't that the Subway guy?" And Brent Musberger said something about yes it was and he'd lost "what? 150 pounds?" HAVE YOU NOT SEEN THE COMMERCIALS BRENT? He's lost 245 pounds. And kept it off for 10 years. And he's still an asexual dork with the personality of belly button lint. And I want to slit my wrists. Someone got on the horn and set Brent straight within seconds. He made sure to pass that on to us lowly viewers. Thanks, ESPN.

Oh! Here's the commercial again. That's it -- tomorrow I'm keeping a tally and I'm boycotting Subway. Not that I can remember the last time I went there (probably due to a horrible, aborted lunch at work). Still.

But even stupid Jared can't ruin the fact that today was super-mega gorgeous. It's just about 8:00 and I've had the door to my deck open since early afternoon. I've now got windows open, 'cause I'm playing test kitchen and the oven is heating shit up. I'm trying to healthify my pumpkin bread. It looks and smells good. We'll have to see how it tastes. My family loves this bread. LOVES. IT. Dad said I could and should sell it. But where? "Oh, I don't know. Those craft fair things your mom always goes to?" Um, thanks for the vote of confidence, Dad, but DO NOT WANT.

I'd planned to do all of this baking this week, but since I've felt like ass, that didn't go as planned. I want to try my hand at Irish soda bread and homemade whole wheat bread. But I need to be my own guinea pig before I ask anyone else to be a secondary guinea pig. The 'rents are happy to take on that role, but I'm not going to just hand off baked goods without trying them myself. So, I've got to kind of spread this stuff out, you know? I can't be eating a loaf of bread a day. I mean, I could do it. It's probably not the best idea in the world, though.

Then again, my family doesn't really mind of a piece or two of something is missing. I might try the Irish soda bread tomorrow since my interview needs to be rescheduled to next week. That was excellent news, 'cause I just don't feel like I'm all there yet. One cold-medicine-soaked job interview in a week is probably plenty, no?

12 March 2008

Tournament time comes early to the unemployed.

I've made a big deal about taking off work the first two days of the NCAA tournament for the past five or so years. I'm of the camp who thinks it should be some sort of national holiday. I mean, the tons of money lost in worker productivity is a news story every year. You're not going to get any work done, so why go through the silly charade of actually going to the office?

Someone (or several someones) always makes me feel like an ass for taking days off work to watch basketball. I get over it pretty quickly, though. You know what? I love basketball. And the best two days of basketball in any given year are the first two days of the NCAA tournament. So screw you, Judgey McJudgerson.

Oh, but what's this? Conference tournaments are televised during the day? I can watch basketball all day the week before the NCAA tournament starts? How delightful! I even get to see the Gophers play in the Big Ten tournament tomorrow.

Can you take a sick day when you're unemployed? 'Cause I'm totally going to do that tomorrow. No getting up at 7:00. No perusing the usual suspects for new job postings. I'll still go to the gym, because that will make me feel better. But other than that, it's resting on the couch and watching hoops. Especially since I have a second interview this week (two interviews in one week, not a second interview for a specific job) on Friday. I don't think my interview went particularly well this afternoon, as I'm seriously not well. But I really didn't think I could call in sick to a job interview, right?

I may do some baking tomorrow. Though, I can't really trust my judgment as I'm so congested I can't taste much of anything. Perhaps I'll find something else to do with my energy. I'm sick and went to yoga and a job interview today, but I've still had a bit of excess energy. *sigh* I'm a lost cause.

11 March 2008

Does Lunch Lady Doris interview well?

We'll find out tomorrow, suckers. I have no idea what the etiquette is for interviewing when you have a cold. Will they notice the Vick's VapoRub gleaming on my cleavage? What if I devolve into a horrible coughing fit? And I don't even want to tell y'all what's been happening when I sneeze from time to time. But shit, they only called 24 hours in advance, so I'm guessing there's some sort of hurry. I want to be accomodating.

This is how dumb I am -- I was plugging away on the treadmill on Thursday and the thought popped into my head that it's really too bad I've been off work and not sick. I mean, if I'm going to be sick at the end of cold and flu season (which I am every single damn year), it would be best if it happened while I was unemployed, right? I didn't think anything of it when I busted out the inhaler I keep in the drawer of my coffee table later that night because I was all asthma-y. I'm like that chick in The Hand That Rocks The Cradle. I have inhalers stashed everywhere.

So, yay. I'm sick while I'm unemployed. I kind of forgot about the whole job interviewing thing. And since this cold started with a cough, I totally sound like Lunch Lady Doris. Sexy and professional, y'all.

I'm anticipating another wrinkle for tomorrow, too. I came home a bit ago to find no new faucet on my bathtub. Um, I was under the impression it was going to be fixed on Monday and that's why I went home. And it wasn't fixed today? What do you want to bet they show up tomorrow? God, I don't want to have to pack all my shit up again and haul it to the gym or my sister's place or something.

Know what? I'll deal with whatever happens as best I can. My hair and eyebrows look fabulous, at least.

This positive attitude has been brought to you by DayQuil and vodka.

I can taste your sadness.

And it is delicious!

I went to town to meet my mom for lunch, and on my drive back to the highway I saw something that gave me a hearty giggle. Some dork has a big ol' Packers flag in their front yard and it is flying at half-mast.

For some reason, I feel like I should go burn Favre in effigy in their driveway. But I've got a hair appointment, so I guess I'll have to do it next time I'm home.

Also: Holy Jebus, is it beautiful outside. It smells like Spring!

10 March 2008

Didn't even have to unpack.

When I was showering on Friday before my trip to Chicago, I dropped my shaving gel on the tub faucet and it broke off. What a fucking disaster. Thankfully, I was done with my hair and everything -- save for rinsing my conditioner out. I did that in the spray coming out from where the faucet used to be. Awesome. And I only managed to get one leg shaved. Sexy!

The maintenance guy was able to get the shower portion up and running -- and running well. I had no idea such water pressure existed at my place! However, the faucet still needed to be fixed and that is being done today. Now, I'd figured that I'd just shower at the gym after yoga and that would work out just fine. But then I realized that if there are dudes working in my bathroom that a) there would be dudes in my bathroom and b) the water would likely be shut off, both making it very difficult to pee. And I have the tiny Irish bladder, so I have to pee fairly often.

So, I'm at the farm today. Lord knows I need more family time. At least I got one night in my own bed before taking off again. And I'll only be here tonight. Actually, I doubt I'll see the 'rents much at all. They're not around right now and they're going to visit The Nun tonight before going to watch the high school boys' basketball team in the section playoffs. I could go with them, and I would love to have dinner with The Nun. But I do not want to go to the game. It's a moot point anyway, because I've got a cold and I don't need to be bringing my germs to The Nun and her 94-year-old immune system.

I'll have the house to myself tonight. I'm doing my laundry for free. I'm re-importing all of my dad's music that I lost in my system restore last month. I'll be sitting in my mom's massage chair watching college hoops tonight with the dog. I suppose things could be worse than spending one more night away from home, huh? But I swear, when I get home after getting my hair did tomorrow; I'm holing up there for as long as possible.

09 March 2008

Home sweet fucking home.

I'm finally home after spending the weekend with my sister, visiting our aunt in Chicago. I say "finally" as if I was gone for much longer than about 48 hours. God, it felt like fucking forever. And I say "Chicago" as if we'd actually gone into the city instead of a variety of suburbs. I did see the skyline, though.

This trip was planned just a few days before The Great Canning of 2008. My aunt was on my ass to book our tickets and I'd been putting it off, but finally I gave in and purchased them about three days before I was let go. Awesome. So, I'd been dreading the trip because of the whole unemployment thing. Add to that the fact that I could have been house/cousin/dog sitting for a few days and would have made money doing that. My aunt was looking forward to us visiting and my sister wanted to go and everyone else was like, "Oh, you should really go." So, whatever. I fucking went.

I feel like a horrible person because I didn't really have a good time. What did we do? We went shopping. Let me tell you how much fun this is, first of all, for a person who doesn't have a job. It's even more fun when you don't have an income and you also hate, hate, HATE shopping. God, I hate it so much. Even when I have money, I don't like shopping. Of course, I do it when I have to do it. But in those situations, I have a plan. I know what I need and I've likely done a ton of research online so I don't have to fuck around at the stores when I get there.

And I actually even had money to shop this weekend. My aunt gave me birthday money. I should have gone with my original plan and blown it all right away at Sephora on Friday. But I went against my better judgment and decided to wait until Saturday. We went to a suburb with "a bunch of cute, little shops." That's code for "stores so crammed full of knick-knacky crap that you can barely move and will be gripped by claustrophobia constantly." I wanted to slit my wrists.

My sister said today, "Why didn't you say something?" What the fuck am I supposed to say? "Can we do something else? This sucks." The only proposed option was going to see some movie my aunt and sister wanted to see that I thought looked terrible. Gee, the possibilities were endless. And I did say I wanted to go to this used record shop (I could have spent the entire time and all of my birthday cash in there, no doubt), but it seemed no one heard me. Even though I said it more than once and said it quite loudly.

Again, whatever. The shopping sucked. My sister tried to be nice and told me I could watch basketball yesterday afternoon when we came home from shopping. That of course, made me feel horribly selfish. I was hungry the whole damn time I was there, because we only ate two meals each day. This is not good for me. I slept like ass on an air mattress. I say "slept" as if I actually slept. The freight trains running by all night and my ice-cold nose, fingers and feet actually prevented me from sleeping much at all. (This makes it sound as if my aunt lives in some shithole. This is not the case at all. She actually lives in a fancy-pants condo.)

But I'm home. My bed is here. There is food and it's nice and warm. I'm watching the Twins and college hoops. I'm all showered and I'm sure I'll feel much better after I take a little nap (early flight + springing forward = even fucking less sleep). Then, perhaps, I'll stop feeling like such a horrible, ungrateful fucking asshole.

05 March 2008

Duffless.

Last year, I decided to cut down on the amount of beer I drank as part of my plan to be a healthier Jess. It's not like I cut down on my drinking, though. I just replaced beer with red wine. Did you know that shit's good for you? It's like heart healthy and full of antioxidants and whatnot. And I figure, if one glass is good, a whole bottle must be awesome. Right?

Right?

And I've added other stuff to my drinking repertoire -- bourbon, whiskey, dirty gin martinis, Bloody Marys, Manhattans, Old Fahioneds (I've got a thing for retro cocktails) and so on. So, honestly, it's not like I was lost without beer. Sure, it was hard at first to get used to drinking liquor. With beer, I always knew how much I could drink. With liquor, though? Well, it took me a while to get used to drinking whiskey or bourbon all night.

Oh, I'd maybe switch to beer after drinking liquor all day. Plus, I went to a couple of beer festivals last year. It's not like I'm not going to drink beer at those. And sometimes there is just nothing that can compare to a cold beer on a hot day. But for the most part, I barely drank it.

It's now gotten to the point where the idea of drinking beer doesn't even cross my mind. A friend sent me a bunch of New England microbrews around Christmas and I haven't had a single one of them. I forget they're even in there.

Last night, I was at my sister's having dinner with her and my nephew and my brother. I decided to have a beer with dinner because, why the hell not? Holy shit. I could barely finish that one Bell's Pale Ale. My brother didn't like it and there was no way on this good Earth that I could have finished the half that remained. I was so fucking full and God help me, I just didn't want to drink any more beer.

I never thought it would go this far. I kinda feel like less of a person.

04 March 2008

"Do you carry babies around?"

I was at the gym, on my first set on the chest extension machine. (I could have sworn it was a press, but I looked at the name and it said "chest extension.") It took me a minute to realize the older man on the oblique machine directly across from me was talking to me, as I was listening to my iPod and staring at a point on the wall about three feet above the dude's head.

Finally, I figured out what was going on, took out my ear buds and said, "Pardon?"

"How many reps do you do?"

On a good day? Its three sets of 10. But on that first set I could feel that probably wasn't happening today. We did a buttload of vinyasas in yoga yesterday and I spent a lot of time in chaturanga. The fronts of my shoulders were screaming already on that first set.

But, I went ahead and told him, "I do three sets of 10, usually."

"Are you serious? Do you know how much weight you have on there?" Um, yes, I do. I put the pin in the plate that says 87.5 all by myself!

"You're strong. Are you an athlete?"

I played sports in high school and even played intramural softball all through college. But in no sense of the word could I be considered an athlete today. So, I laughed and said, "Um, no."

"Do you carry babies around?" Hahahahahaha. WHAT? "Well, how did you get so strong?"

How do I respond to that? "Um ... lifting weights?"

I kept trying to put my ear buds back in, so I could finish the machine. But the guy had me cracking up and I couldn't concentrate or breathe and that fucking thing kicked my ass. He was just marveling at my lifting all 87.5 of those pounds. He said he could never do that! Well, sir, you are probably 25 or 30 years older than me. That might have something to do with it.

Finally, I finished and moved on to the hip abductor and adductor machines. That's when he popped by and asked, "¿Cuántos años tienes?" For you non-Spanish speakers (and this guy wasn't. He said "tieno."), he asked how old I was. And I replied "34" in Spanish, but what he said back to me was 13. Then he asked if I spoke Spanish and instead of saying, "Well, I speak it better than you do, apparently." I said, "Un poquito." Which is habit, because if a native speaker ever asks if you can speak Spanish and you just go ahead and say yes, you could be in trouble if you're not totally fluent. So, I always just say "a tiny bit."

Why he asked all that in Spanish is beyond me. He certainly is not a native speaker. And I've only been mistaken for Puerto Rican once, so I'm pretty sure he didn't think I was a native speaker. Maybe he was trying to be polite about it? 'Cause you certainly aren't supposed to ask a woman her age.

I thought I'd finally gotten away from him when I went to the lat pulldown machine. But of course, he'd used it before me and came by to see how much weight I had on it. And it was about 30 pounds more than he had. And then, he felt my bicep.

Aaaaaaaaah! I need an adult!

The bicep-feeling made the whole thing a little creepy, but mostly the guy cracked me up. And hey, it's a nice little bump in the self-esteem, regardless. I've seen this guy at the gym before; I think he's there when I am on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Does this mean I've got a new gym friend?

Oh dear Lord. I forgot the best part. He wears the same t-shirt whenever he is there. I think, anyway. Maybe I just notice it because of the shirt? It says, "Relax! God is in control." Will do, Churchy!

Whose dick will Madden suck now?

Brett Favre retiring from Packers, reports say.

I won't believe it until the season starts and he's not in uniform.

03 March 2008

Stuff 'n' junk.

I got a catalog in the mail today from Kohl's, advertising their semi-annual shoe and handbag sale. Just what I want to browse through when I'm unemployed! Thanks, dicks (same to you, Sephora). Fortunately, there isn't anything in there I feel like I need desperately, or even that I want mildly. I love, love, love handbags, but I've hated nearly everything I've seen in the stores for ... Oh, I'd say at least a year. I can only remember buying one purse in 2007. That is unreal.

Even if I had seen something I fancied in the catalog, any desires would have gone away the second I reached page 11 and saw -- jelly shoes. Wait. Jelly shoes? Oh, hell no. Enough with bringing back our awful '80s fashion mistakes! Those things were ridiculous. They hurt your feet and made them sweat, so you'd slide all over the place inside your shoes. Also, they were ugly. These appear to be no different. Well, they do seem to have an actual sole, which might solve the sliding-around-in-your-own-feet-sweat problem. Um, score? Fortunately, I don't see myself suddenly having a change-of-heart and embracing jelly shoes. I subscribe to the "If you are old enough to have worn it the first time around, don't wear it when it comes back" philosophy.

On to other things. My hands are so fucking dry. I am disgusted by my finger nails. Fuck off, winter.

I noticed something Saturday night when we were playing Wii. It seems that girls are way more stoked about creating their Miis than boys are. When The Boy I Currently Like showed up the day I got my Wii, I was all, "Oh, you have to create your Mii before you start!" He took all of two seconds to create it. And I was all, "But ... don't you want to ..." No, Jess. He just wants to play the game.

On Saturday, Macho Man did the same damn thing. Well, he did spend a tiny bit more time fucking around with it, just because we were all egging him on. Now, when the girls were making theirs? It's all trying a bunch of different hairstyles, fucking endlessly with eye shapes, trying out the penis nose, eliciting squeals of delight when trying out a Fu Manchu on your female Wii ... you know, that kind of stuff. I can't say I'm terribly surprised by this, especially with the crew of girls who were here. They were a girly bunch.

In other news, I think I've been getting a little too much family time. I've been going to my nephew's basketball games every weekend and that usually means a little extra family time over lunch afterward. I don't know why I've been going to all the games. It's fun to watch him and there's a good bit of hilarity, but I usually don't go to nearly all of his games in a season. I think I've just gotten into the habit. It'll be nice when they're done and I can start going to yoga on Saturday mornings again.

There's no end in sight to this family shit, either. I'm kind of dreading being around my sister this weekend because damn, she was a bitch on Saturday. And then I have to get my hair done next week and my mom is trying to get me to come down for a day or two. Jesus Christ, people. Just because I don't have a job doesn't mean I don't have shit to do here.

Ugh. This got a lot crankier than I intended it to be. Sorry.

02 March 2008

It is bad enough ...

That you're doing the couples workout thing. Though, I was terribly pleased to be spared any PDA. I suppose you could have been one of those couples, walking around the track, holding hands. Or God forbid, the girl in my yoga class one Saturday morning whose boyfriend came in while the class was dispersing for chit chat and kisses. What the fuck is this, junior high? Gyms should have a no kissing policy.

So, yeah, there was no PDA. But dudes -- matching workout clothes? The matchy-matchy thing is bad enough, but y'all had to take it up a notch, didn't you? Oh yes. You had to have matching Carolina basketball t-shirts, didn't you? *shakes head sadly* What I wouldn't have given to have one of the unitard guys around to provide a little delightfulness to my Sunday workout.

Side note: I'd totally forgotten about the Dish Network installation on Friday and was all, "CNN? SportsCenter? What's going on?" when I stepped on the treadmill. Sure, SportsCenter was over right after I arrived and Pro Bowling (not a looker in that bunch) followed. Still, I think bowling is better than some stupid infomercial or whatever.

01 March 2008

Impromptu soirée.

Last weekend, I thought it would be a fabulous idea to have a (Wii!) party for Leap Day. We only get one every four years. We should probably do something fun with it, right? But people were busy or sick or apparently didn't fucking care enough to let me know one way or another if they were interested (a common problem with some of my friends). So, I said "Fuck it," because I was all moody and shit anyway.

The World's Worst Wing Woman is on Spring Break and her sister is in town, so we were supposed to hang out. Over the course of our planning last night to hang out tonight, we've managed to make it into a bit of a shindig. There's a law school friend coming. A former work colleague and oh, Mrs. Dirk, too.

I've become a bit obsessed with this hostessing thing. Maybe I'm watching a bit too much Nigella. But really, you can't have too much Nigella. God, I love her. I often tell The Boy I Currently Like how I want to wrestle her in chocolate. After I made her Triple Chocolate Brownies last weekend, I now know that batter is the form of chocolate in which I wish to wrestle with her. Sweet fucking Christ, those things are rich. But so good.

Damn. I've gotten off track. Stupid, sexy Nigella! I watch whichever incarnation of her show is on Sunday mornings on Food Network. She is always feeding groups of people and it's often some last-minute, pulled together thing. That's what I'm feeling like tonight is. I've got random things I can pull together to create a bit of a spread and then I'm going to try out her Red Kidney Bean Dip, which I've been wanting to test out for a while.

I think I'm getting much better about having stuff around the house that can be used for little nibbley things when people come over on short notice. I want to be a good hostess. Maybe not so nuts as my friend's mom who will say she's going to make us a snack and brings a plate of fruit and cheese out and then follows that up with homemade Pad Thai and a Thai beef salad (did I mention her mom is Thai?). That's something to strive for, of course. But I'm happy at the moment if I can bust out cheese and crackers, chips and salsa (maybe even guac), hummus and pita or veggies or whatever. Or some little frozen thing from Trader Joe's, which I almost always have now.

I may not always have booze for them, but I can at least feed them so they don't get too drunk too fast and get sick. Though, I really do try to have extra liquor, just in case. (And God forbid I run out if there's a snowstorm or I'm feeling lazy or something.) It's rarely necessary, because if my friends are good about one thing, it's bringing their own booze to the party/pre-party/whatever.

When I started writing this, I was feeling kind of tired and blah and not wanting people to come over. I think I've talked myself into being a bit more stoked now. It's about time for me to get my ass in the kitchen.