Thursday, June 28, 2007

being thrift, splurging, and when it's worth it.

With most things in life, I would say I'm pretty thrifty. I like a good sale, discounts, and perusing through the clearance section sometimes. I like stores like Marshalls, TJMaxx (name brands for less, yo!), and I'm amused to search for and find a gem, amongst a bunch of unfortunates. I will buy the food store brand, opting for that choice over the $1.99 more version of the name brand. I'll pass up a Mobil station to pay .05 cents less two miles away.

All that being said, I would not say I'm cheap. I just recognize and love a good deal when I see one. Don't get me wrong, I will splurge with the best of them. I have more handbags than I possibly know what to do with; I treat myself to pedicures regularly. I have a colored flip flop probably for each day of summer (perhaps that's a spec of an exaggeration, but you get the point), and a shoe for every occasion. And I will continue to do all of these things, because, well, I can. For now. And I'll splurge on other items, such as face wash, lotions, shampoos, a good haircut & foil, and undies.

I'm fortunate enough to have a job that offers me the ability to do these things. I don't take this for granted. I certainly don't rake in the dough, by any means. Around the same time every month, I will often go into overdraft protection. Because I'm not good at transferring funds from savings to checking regularly enough. So at about the 3rd of every month, when I've just paid rent, I'm waiting on my next pay check, Sallie Mae just kicked my ass, and I've made both a car payment, insurance payment, and paid for food (you know, to live), and then the gas bill comes, it's pretty rough times.

And to get me good when I'm down, then comes the cell phone bill. Which is pretty much the kicker. Some people are phone people. Some would rather step on a nail. I am not one of these people. I love the phone. It's wondrous chatting with my friends in Maine and NY and NV who all have the same cell phone service so it's free all of the time. That's cool, you know?

What's not as cool, is getting charged .45 cents a minute, when I go over my "minutes." Which I did. This month. And last month too, but it wasn't "as big a deal." This month? We're looking at a $335 cell phone bill, when it's usually around, oh, $40. Opps.

So I can attribute this to a couple things:
1--My mother needs to switch to my cell phone company. She just does. I will not switch to hers; I have no interest. I don't like the provider, the service sucks, and truth be told, most of the people I talk to have my service. Which means mine is the best, clearly. So mom needs to switch.
2--I talk too much before 9pm, and too little after 9pm. Free = after 9. I try to go to bed early these days. I like to talk after work, sometimes on my drive home. Also before work, in the morning, before 9am. Well this isn't an option. Free also = until 6am. Who will I be phoning with before 6am? Really?
3--I don't have a home phone. I just rely on my cellie. Which means, any calls I need to make, during business hours, or before 9pm, on a weekday, need to be done on my cell phone. Which adds up, I guess.
4--I sing for too long on voicemails. Yes, I sing. I leave singing messages and perhaps they get too lengthy.
5--I just plain need to get a handle on things. No more of this doubling my monthly minutes. I'm allowed 7.5 hours of off peak, during the day, whenever the hell I want, before 9pm calling. I need to work on this. Restrain myself I guess.

Clearly this bill threw me for a loop. Kind of irked me, because I try to keep better control of this stuff. But then again? It really so bad. Sure, $335 isn't cool. Not at all. But, since I don't splurge regularly on really really pricey purses and shoes, just sometimes, maybe this is my thing. I like deals, and I take them when I can get them. Perhaps going over in cell phone minutes is my downfall. I like to talk. Apparently a lot. So maybe I don't have a new Coach bag to show for it, or a closet full of designer shoes, but I'm still smiling. Because I got a chance to congratulate one of my best friends on the closing of her house at 1pm on a Friday. And I have peace of mind knowing that my grandmother is feeling just fine after chemo at 5:37pm on a Wednesday night. I have laughed harder than I have in a long time talking to a new friend who is good with directions. I got to welcome my longtime friend home from France on a Monday morning at 10am. People know that they are my "sunshine" as I bust into tune on a random Thursday drive home. My penpal in WV and I can share a dodgy ex encounter at 7pm on a Friday night. I now have a new friend because I had to hound the humane society daily between 11am-4pm.
And you know what? So what, I had to pay for all of this? Quite honestly, I would say it was damn well worth it.

And additionally, I now have three new shirts and a pair of earrings that I just retail therapied myself after viewing this bill. You know, because that's how I roll.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky

There are those certain times, that while you're living them, you just know you want to make a conscious effort to tuck away a part of that memory, that moment. Etch it into your mind, your heart. The way she smiled during that conversation, the sweetness of that kiss outside in the rain, the way it felt to finally say what you wanted to say to him. There are those specific moments, snippits of time, that you can just feel it. Feel the need to really embrace it and be there with it, take it all in as much as you can. Because before you know it, the moment will be gone. You know right then and there that you need to make a yourself remember it. And then you find, that not only have you remembered the moment, but you have the details. The color of the place mat at her kitchen table and how the seat cushion was starting to fray just a spec. The way the rain was starting to trickle down the driveway and form a puddle by your feet. What you were wearing when you told him that you needed a little space that cool day in March.

There are other times, when perhaps you weren't thinking that this is one of these times, those things that you should for sure, tuck away, keep close, to remember down the road. Sometimes they're sneaky, these memories. You'll be sitting in your bed at night listening to Rachel Yamagata, and find yourself remembering the way his hand fit in yours. How he tucked your hair behind your ear and kissed your cheek.

Time goes by, life happens. Before you know it you're sitting on the couch at 11:30pm on a weeknight, drinking beers with good friends, rehashing the remember-when's of a couple years ago. The time that you're apartment had a flood and you all stayed in a hotel for the night. When relationships were new and your best friend couldn't eat (and let's be frank, neither could you, by association) because she had that "I'm gonna shit" feeling that you get when a new guy is in the picture.

As we grow older, and life changes happen, we realize that what is, right now, might not be, in a month. Or a year. Being able to sit around and shoot the shit with good friends, drinking beers with no reserve, with no big obligations other than feeding a new kitty can sometimes be taken for granted. If you let them.

When you sit back and think of the times, perhaps a year ago, maybe five years ago or more, when things were so different than they are now, it helps to put things in perspective. Because when you're say, ten, and you want to go play outside on the swings with your best friend across the street, and you misplace a jelly shoe, that is the biggest thing in your life. That's big happenings and thinking about it now makes you realize that you had it so easy then.

Which makes you think about the present. The way things are, right now. And how quickly things can, and do change. Because five years from now, you and your best friends probably won't have the luxury to just meetup over American Idol and margaritas. People will marry, and move, and make babies. Some of you already have. It makes you grateful and appreciative for what is, right now, this instant. The small moments that pass between friends and loved ones. Soft touches and glances across the room. Shopping at Target for three hours on a Tuesday night.

Realizing that things won't always be this way, and could very possibly change at any moment, makes you just that much more appreciative of it right as it's happening. Right now.

Monday, June 25, 2007

sneaking in

We fought. Argued. So often. We'd bicker, and I hated it. Especially before bed. You didn't want to talk about the fight the next morning. I did. I wanted answers. Why did we keep doing this? Mustn't this be a sign? You said that all couples fought. And I refused to believe that. You said I overreacted, calling me selfish for wanting to talk about it because you said you were done with the conversation. And "how could I" not accept that. I told you I wasn't being selfish. That I just wanted a plan. To work on, or towards. To make this get better. Not knowing for sure if it really ever could, get better.

I was sad. Upset. And discouraged. Thinking, wondering, is this as good as it gets? This? This is what it's like? And I began to think maybe I was overreacting. I began to cherish the good, lived for the good of it all, of us. Those few and far between good times, amidst all of the turmoil. I would apologize, over and over, for making you upset. Actually believing that it was my fault.

You said you never felt this strongly for someone before. Couldn't picture life without me. You, we, we pictured a family together. Marriage and a house and children and a puppy.

We would have our happy times. Takeout on the floor over candlelight. Ice skating hand in hand on a cold winter day. Then, inevitably, it would go back. Back to bad. To yelling and drinking and tears in the bathroom, or over chai tea at a Starbucks with a girlfriend down the road on a bad night.

Using all of the emotional strength I could muster up, I tried. Over and over to make it all work. Make it better. Make us better. Tried, with all I could, to make us the happy couple that I hoped we could be. I wanted so badly for us to just be happy together. I thought I could do that could be us.

It didn't work. After a while, it all ended up being much, much more actual work, to make us work, than it was worth. I loved you with everything I had, and pulled the hardest move I've ever had to make when I told you I couldn't do it anymore. When I said goodbye.

It's been a long time since all of that. I don't think about you as often as I once did. But I still do sometimes. And it's sneaky. It sneaks up on a warm sunny Sunday afternoon in the summertime. When I'm not doing anything we ever did together, I'll think of you then. And it will throw me for a loop. We never had a summer. I'll be on a bike ride, or eating homemade salsa at a friend's house, and you'll be there. Not physically, but you're there. And it will hit me like a ton of freaking bricks. It creeps in. You, creep in. You end up in my thoughts, just like that, and sometimes in my dreams. Into my mind at a random moment.

And maybe there are some triggers, who knows. Seeing your friend, who is dating my friend. Me, meeting a new guy. Hearing a song on the radio that reminds me of you, of us. But sometimes, there you are, again, all of a sudden. With no rhyme or reason to it all, you're back. And I don't even see it coming. The bag and box of you and your things, your reminders, the notes and cards, our pictures and your boxers, they're all stowed away. Gone are the physical reminders of you.

But those emotional reminders, those damn emotional reminders, that have a way of getting in, unexpectedly, they go, and they stick right to my heart. And then I feel it, and I feel you, like a little twinge from time to time. A reminder maybe. Of a time when. What once was. What is so different now, today. Of where I've been and where I've come.

You're still there. Here. Sometimes more than others. Often it's nothing. Sometimes it's really intense, pulling, abruptly at my heart.

I miss you sometimes, and I don't really want to anymore.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

new guy(s)

Friday night I met a new guy.

Saturday I did a little mini-triathlon in prep for three weeks from now.


I met....



In between all of this, there were Sam Summer's with friends, bbq's, beautiful weather, and a follow up phone call from Friday night's boy.

Not a bad weekend at all.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

pawsing for a moment

Today I was in a bit of a funk over a kitten. Over a kitty I didn't get. I saw two sweet little sister kitty's yesterday. Wicked cute and of course I was totally smitten; it doesn't take much. Because I was running in a race after work (training, yo!), I couldn't take said kitten home with me that day. So I was told to call back today because the jerks nice nice people at the shelter cannot hold pets for really interested parties. Well low and behold, both kitties were gone and I was shit out of luck. Which is fine, I know it's just a cat and it's so not the end of the world, but holy hell, I really wanted this little one. And it's just no fun getting your hopes up for something like that, that doesn't end up working out.

It just mustn't have been meant to be. Probably would have been a Cujo kitty or something. I mean, I can only assume that's the reason that kitty didn't work out for me. And there are other kitty's in the sea, I know this. The right one will come along and there's no sense on getting all down and out about it. But I was for a bit today, and felt I had a right to be as I had setup kitty's room (the nursery), with food, water, and toilet (kitty treats to anyone who can guess this reference!). The whole nine. For no such kitty today.

But then I got an email from my dear friend Brooke, which always makes my day. Shortly thereafter, I had a fun chat with three good friends, which made me smile and laugh and worked me out of aforementioned funk.

And then there's Melissa who shared this gem of a video again, which always gets me. Completley hysterical. Pee before watching.

And what really did it, what always helps to make a day such as this better, is the red lipstick. The cakey red lipstick that my roommate and I buy, and don (and keep on hand) in emergencies such as this one. We've been known to bust this out if a cute boy doesn't call back, after a shit day at work, or tonight, when we looked at a kitten-to-be's quarters and there was, no kitten. This lipstick is the classic red cake that you can imagine an older woman donning, who maybe smells a bit mothballish. I don't know this for a fact, but it's a red that should not be worn out of the house. Rather, should be saved for occasions such as this, for a good laugh while one may or may not have been crawling around on the living room floor showing roommate how a kitten might bathe themselves.*

To better luck tomorrow.

*No alcohol was consumed during the red lipstick scene and/or the possible kitten bathing demonstration, which may or may not have really happened.

Monday, June 18, 2007

lately I'm beginning to find that when I drive myself my light is found

I love the time I have for myself on my drive to and from work each day. Lately with the nice weather I've been all about the sunroof open and windows down, music blaring. It's one of the only times each day, that I have, for just me. Time to think about life, or not. Time to zone out and listen to loud music. Sometimes even time to just have a quick, quiet cry, or if it's really a bad day, the ugly cry that Brandy and I have discussed. Mostly I just enjoy the me time, to have just for myself, by myself, each day. I look forward to it. I don't mind the 45 minutes it takes to get to work and back, and I seldom even mind the traffic. It relaxes me after flipping out in the morning when I forget if I turned my straightener off or not. It calms me after a stressful day with clients who have Tourette's and yell obscenities all over the place.

And for a Professional People Watcher like myself, I tend to notice the little things going around around me and I have to then rehash them to whoever will listen. Or to you guys.

To the man I see outside the little Indian market at the end of my street:
I'm sorry, but the socks and sandals combo is not really helping your cause. You look like a very nice man, you even sometimes smile at me as I drive by. This is why I think we should discuss this little minor issue. Socks and sandals, of any type, do not a good fashion statement make.
(And yes I am the authority on this issue. My best friend's name is Clinton and you can catch me on TLC on Friday nights.)

To the woman on the street a couple over from me who rakes the sand on her sidewalk every morning:
You are just adorable. Seriously. That little red sweater that you wear (albeit daily), even in 95 degree humidity, along with the red knee socks, is just too cute for words. My only request would be, that you perhaps invest in a broom. The rake just really grates on my ears. That sound on the sidewalk. It. Just. About. Kills. Me. So that's why I had Justin Timberlake blasting today. And I'm sorry that startled you.

To the man next to me on the highway, with the Italian flag dangling from your rearview mirror, along with what appears to be some sort of medallion?:
You need to take a picture. Don't stare while driving. In fact, don't stare in general, it's kind of rude. And it freaks me out, just a spec. You are wearing too many gold chains and your hair has more product that I care to see on anyone. Keep driving.

To the woman?/man? (I honestly couldn't tell), in the red Mazda 6, who was driving EIGHT MPH today:
Pick it the hell up! I understand on side streets one might slow down, say, enjoy the kids playing at the park, the flowers on the road. Or maybe you're lost and you're looking for a street sign. But honestly? Truly? Do you really need to go 8? MPH? It really irks me. And I know I enjoy my alone, me, car time, but really. Let's be honest here. By the time I'm three or four streets away from home, I'm done. I want out and I don't want to wait another 20 minutes to get home. Please tell me what route you plan to take in the future and I'll take a different one to avoid you. I'm sorry.

To the hot police officer who appears to be directing "traffic" outside of an office building on my alternate route home:
What's your schedule? I took your way home today and holy hell am I glad. You were looking quite sexy in your uniformed garb, golden tan, and appropriate sunglasses. If I knew that this was your beat I would have taken this route ages ago. It may be sad, but I'm hoping to be pulled over tomorrow, by you my dear. Bring it.

And lastly,
To the cute grandkids of my landlord who play in the driveway, daily, with chalk:
You're really really adorable. And I just want to smuggle you into my apartment to play with trucks together or watch Doug Funny with you guys. You're way too cute. It's sometimes overwhelming, your cuteness. And you make the end of a long day really worth it.

That is all blogbuds.
Oh wait. Micey was caught. That's right. In the basement. Trapped. Dead. In case you were all losing sleep over this, as I sure as hell have been. Let's hope his friends are all outa here now as well.

Four more days until the weekend.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

family time

The weekend away was wonderful. At the beginning of the week we had been hearing nice weather, later we heard rain. So I didn't bring my bike. Turns out I should have. The weather was gorgeous. Really, it couldn't have been more perfect. Mid 70's, sunny, not humid, not until today when we were leaving.

We all met at the Maine Diner on Friday afternoon for lunch. I rode up with my mom and stepdad, and we met my grandparents and aunt, and other aunt and her girlfriend for mostly fishy stuff, which is all good because it's Maine, and I'm starting to seafood now. A spec at least. Haddock here and there, crab cakes sometimes, and if I'm feeling frisky, scallops! So lunch was good, a really nice start to the weekend. My grandmother was wearing her little scarf which actually has real looking bangs attached. Which is just so cute, and and sweet, and a little bit sad too. And she just looked absolutely adorable as did my precious grandfather sporting his new shoes which ended up keeping him up with foot cramps later that night.

Our hotel was just fabulous. Views to die for, with the ocean just feet away (pictures to come!). I was in a suite with my aunt, with a porch that overlooked the water, right on the marina with boats docked right there. We each had our own room and bathroom, we could hear the ocean from the living room, it was just amazing. The massage that we all got treated to on Saturday was wonderful. Especially after taking two runs that morning. Runs that led right to the beach, and you can imagine how much I enjoyed that whole scene.

This morning was really nice as things wrapped up with a family breakfast for Father's Day. In light of some family illnesses lately, my grandmother's recent diagnosis, and just the more obvious fragileness of life itself as of late, it was just very very nice to get away and have some quality time with my loved ones. I feel so blessed to have the amazing family that I do. And now I need to stop lest the tears start up.

The weekend was just perfect. Only thing that would have made it better would have been if I got to see my father today. I called him today, far off in Reno. Although it's a great place to visit and travel to, and I love every second of my time there with him, sometimes I just wish he were still a car ride away, close enough to just see anytime, spur of the moment. I would have loved to have swung by and picked him up for lunch and a movie today like we used to do. We will just have to take a raincheck for September when I'm going out to see him again.

Hope everyone has had a great weekend, and Happy Father's Day to all of you too.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

peace by way of water

I'm thinking maybe it has something to do with the fact that for a good solid fifteen years of my youth, into college, I was frequently in, or around water. As a kid, we'd vacation and Fourth of July (yup, I verbed that), in Maine. I'd spend sweltering, sunburned days by the beach, and love every second of it. Soon after, it was more pool oriented. Taking, and then teaching swim lessons at the local Y. I was in lifeguard training at fifteen years old (when me and Resusa-Andy became so tight). During, and after that time, it was daily swim practices and swim meets, and life guarding at the Swim and Tennis Club. Yup, the one where the unfortunate glass incident went down.

So for really as long as I can remember, water- be it the salty ocean, a chlorinated pool, or a bubble filled tub, has brought me comfort. A certain tough to put my finger on, type of peace.

Swimming for two hours every day, brought me a kind of escape. A time, although often spent with a team, was also in many ways so individual too. It was a time where time, life, actually stopped for me. Was kind of put on hold, while I would swim my worries and stress and whatever else away. It was two hours of freedom. Just to be in the water brought on a feeling of relaxation and ease.

So, not being a "swimmer" anymore, or a competitive one at least, I miss it. The water, and its effect on me. Sometimes, when I just need a break from life and daily stuff, heavier things and sometimes not, I take a drive to the nearest place with water that I can get to.

A year and a half ago when a boyfriend of the time sent me the song "Goodbye My Lover" while I was at work, and told me that my "thank you" to the flowers he sent me was bullshit, I escaped. Left work at lunch, drove to a park, and sat on a bench in front of the water and cried. Afterwards I felt better.

In Myrtle Beach a little bit ago, I left my group of friends to take a walk on the beach, alone, for an hour. I brought along my ipod and headed off in no direction really, with my feet in the sand and salty water, and just went. It was a time where I could just be. Afterwards I felt refreshed. Rejuvenated and at peace.

Today during my lunch hour, I came to the river where I'll be swimming for the triathlon in a month. I walked by the Boulevard, found a quiet spot under a tree, and sat next to four ducks, and wrote in my journal. Afterwards I felt more relaxed, more balanced.

And this weekend, I'll be taking a family trip, eight of us, to a beautiful scenic place by the sea. Between family breakfasts, Father's Day activities, cocktails (because there will be some of that), I plan to take some time on my own. Away, by the ocean. A chance to gain some clarity and balance, some perspective and direction on things. Because that's what I do. I know that when I get feeling anxious or nervous, flustered and off balance, what I really need is some quality time around or in water.
Or with my mom, which will also be a bonus this weekend.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

on intruders, and ex boyfriends

I thought it was my worst nightmare come true. Because I'm very, very scared of burglars and things in the night, in the dark. Breakins and such. So when I got a text message, and a phone call, at 3am from my roommate, down the hall, I knew something was wrong. My heart raced, big time as I noticed the missed call. Woken out of a dead sleep, I picked up my cell phone off of my nightstand, flustered and not quite getting what was going on. Who the hell would be calling me right now? I didn't even have time to go through the list of possibilities, before a text message came through. She hadn't left a voicemail. I didn't even bother to read the text, I immediately called her back. No answer. Holy hell. Freakish scary things began going through my mind. I sat up straight in bed, hair in a wavy mess on top of my head, too warm from the humidy outside and having forgotten to open my window more.

She wasn't answering. I wasn't moving. Was someone in there? In our apartment, in her room? Did she call me in her only free minute to get away from some intruder? Oh my god. I was flipping out.
So I went to my inbox. Scrolled to the newest text.

"brookem i just saw a mouse oh man"

An intruder is right! I breathed a sigh of relief, in that moment, as I read the message. Because the intruder wasn't some bad bad man coming in with knives for fingers, or needles to inject my belly (because this does happen in real life, and clearly television gets the best of me). The intruder was of another sort. A small, furry? (are they furry?) sort.

So I finally made my way out of bed. This was all over the course of two minutes. This is dragging the drama out, but really, this is just how freaked I was by it all. Seriously. I don't do well with any type of intruder. (As if that wasn't apparent enough already.)

I made my way over to my roommates room, calling her name as I was walking towards her. No response. Holy hell, the mouse has gotten her. It's pitch black, I'm barefoot, I don't know where micey is, what if I encounter it? This is serious.

I get to her door, which I have to push open, as she has it barricaded now with Old Navy bags, shoes, and other paraphernalia. Because this will keep micey out, since she thinks she saw it leave.

She's in a ball on her bed. Fetal position style. I tip tow sprint to her bed. We both just look at each other. Seriously, in horror. Well where is it?! Are you sure you saw it? Did you hear it? What color is it? Did it wake you up?!

She was 95% sure she saw it. She had apparently woken up, looked towards her door, just in time to see sicko micey skrinkering away. Under her door. That nerve.

So now micey was on the loose, in the apartment. Out of her room, in the living room? The kitchen?
MY BEDROOM? No. It couldn't have gotten there already. Plus, my room is smaller, not as much hiding space there (or so I tell myself and roommate, now at 3:15am). We're trying to believe this. Micey is out of her room. She says she can't stay in her room. Alone. So we go back to my room. Flashlight in hand, two freaked out roommates, probably holding hands if I remember correctly, make their way across the apartment, back to my room. We hop in the bed. Fast. Cat like reflexes we get there that quick.

Of course we had to rehash all of this. How could this happen? Are we leaving cheese out? Why does he want to come in here? How did he get in? (Because by now, we just both knowingly determined it, is a he.)
"So you're sure you saw him??" "You're positive it's a mouse, right?" She thinks so. We're sweating now, anxious. Kind of laughing a spec too, because really, this would so happen to us. I decide to turn out the light, reluctantly. We don't hear anything, don't see anything, things seem safe enough at this point. We need to get some sleep, it's now almost 4am, we're getting up in mere hours.

"How do you feel?" I ask her. Because I know she was freaked. Oh god, not that I wasn't. But she is the one who encountered this intruder.

"I feel like I just saw an ex boyfriend. But this is worse."

And this, this is why I love this girl so much. No one else I know would come up with this so true connection. And I agreed wholeheartedly. This ensued a long winded conversation about ex boyfriends, to which we decided, we would prefer to see, encounter, the worst of the worst ex, over seeing this mouse on any day. We recalled boyfriends from the past, those that ended badly, those that didn't. Those that we still had feelings for maybe?, those that we were completely done with. And still, we concluded, seeing any of these men, over micey would be our total preference.

And that's pretty bad.

We finally got back to sleep. Kind of the one eye open type though. I got up at 6ish to run, and luckily didn't lay my eyes on any such micey beast. Thank GOD. Today, calls were made to Mr. Landlord, who says he will be supplying us with copious amounts of peanut butter, and traps. He wants to set up one in roommates room, to which we will, and are of course freaking out at the thought of. Co-workers tell me I just need to break this things neck. Which leaves me feeling so warm and fuzzy inside. Truly.

Holy hell to the day that we find this little sucker slammed down in a peanut butter mess. And you can be sure updates will be on the way.

Monday, June 11, 2007

tri'ng to find a spouse

What was really encouraging today, as I was browsing through books at Barnes and Noble on triathlons, was this line in one of the books:

"Your biggest supporter in a triathlon will be your spouse."


going for it.

So maybe I've seriously dabbled in swimming since I was 7 or 8 years old. And okay, maybe I've always just needed a reason to push myself a little harder when I'm running. And perhaps, maybe, it's time I put my sweet ass bike that I got as a graduation present in 2004 to good use.

(And obviously I need more excuses to buy cute workout apparel. But really, that's not the point. Although it is so true.)

Maybe there's a reason why I've always left things until the last minute. My old tendency to bust out 20 page research papers the night before they'd be due. Printing up random stats on clients minutes before a staff meeting. Buying baby shower gifts an hour before the par-tay. Because leaving it to the last minute is pretty much how I roll.

Perhaps this can just go to show that for the next month, it's game on. It's not heaps of time, but that's never really stopped me before.

So, here goes nothing. July 15, Triathloning here I come.

And PS- Now I will be held accountable. Because I've confessed to all of you on this here blog. And, wicked importantly, and so deserving of many many heaps of thanks- Egan, my Triathlon guru/mentor, THANK YOU for the encouragement and the push I needed.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

just different.

As you may or may not know, I'm a girl who loves purses. Bags. All shapes and sizes, different colors for different ensembles. For all occasions. I'm all over it. I probably buy purses just about as often, if not sometimes more! (depending on the season), than shoes. Believe that!

There's always been something about a woman sifting through her purse that I have found I think, intriguing. Interesting. I have to watch it; if it's happening in front of me, I find I can't look away. What are they skrinkering around in there for? What will they come up with? My earliest memories of my infatuation with purse obsession go back to when I was a kid, sitting in church with my family or for school. I went to a Catholic grammar school up until 6th grade, uniforms! and knee socks all over the place. I remember going to church either during school, or on a weekend, and how excited I'd be for the collection time. Other than just for the good people watching in church, I would anxiously anticipate the collection because it meant for some good purse scenes going on, and that's what I loved.

I would watch as women, specifically I remember it being elderly women that I was really interested in, went through, shuffled around in the purse's inside hidden pockets. I was always so anxious to see what gem they might pull out in a quest to get to their money. A checkbook? Car keys? Red cakey lipstick? Maybe one of those rain, hair cap, things? You know the type, the ones that some older women wear when it's misty outside to cover up their just "set" hair? Anyway, this whole purse thing was a whole delight for me. It still is. It would offer me such a distraction. Make my imagination run wild wondering these women's stories. Take my mind away from another reading, or a song annoyingly sung by the choir, so out of tune. I loved this game.

Fittingly so, it's not surprising then, that almost 20 years later, I have this huge, strong, kind of freakish? affinity for purses and such. Having always been so interested in them, what you can fit in them, or hide, strategically, sneakily. This has been a long time thing for me. Admitting it is the first step, right?


When I see my grandmother go through her purse, it's a different, not-wanting-to-look-away kind of feeling that occurs. Like back then, back in the church days when I was addicted to the whole purse scene, but now, different. Different because it's so close to home. I know this purse. Who it belongs to. It's story. It's no longer about imagining what this and that are for, where she lives and who she wakes up to every morning. It's what I already know about it all. What I know about her. Her story.

It's not a checkbook out of a red leather purse this time. It's not a set of keys from an embroidered clutch. Now it's a CVS receipt for a long list of prescriptions out of a Vera Bradley handbag. A grocery list to give to her daughter, since she's been a bit too weak lately to make it to the food store all on her own. It's several 'get well,' and 'thinking of you' cards that she's collected from the mailbox. Or a pretty scarf to wear on her head now that she's lost her hair.

It's a totally different set of items now. A completely different experience. Now, a not so fun at all type of feel to it all. This woman is no longer a stranger with no defined story, with a blank slate to life, with a story I can make up in my own mind and run with. It's a purse that represents so much more than just a silly handbag. It's a story, a life, of someone that I know and love.

It's a different feel now, this whole purse thing.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


If you're not one of us, if you didn't actually make up the word and have been using it since 2003/2004, and to this day, then you probably don't know what skrinker means.

Basically, it's a verb. But I guess it could go noun too. To define it seems somewhat complex, but really it's not. Once you hear what it is and what it's all about you'll get it. And I'd like to see you use it. Implement it in your daily conversation; I dare you. It feels good.

With the recent questions surrounding the term, I figured I'd go straight to the source. I sent out an email recently to the girls, for their take on the definition, and asking them to use an example. Because examples are good, and if we're doing a little tutorial here it makes sense, right?

Definition 1- To me, the word skrinker means to kind of get in something. Move about, play around, tinker with, check out, make. For instance, I skrinker around in my closet for an outfit to wear on Friday. I'm skrinkering up some plans for the weekend. Let's go in the bedroom and skrinker. To me it just kind of takes on its own meaning based on the context it's used in. Noun form I'd probably say… "I made some dinner, but there's only a skrinker of it left so I'd whip something else up too."

Definition 2- ok well...i'd say skrinker is definitely a verb. it has many meanings. the primary meaning is something like 'sneaking around' or 'causing mischief'. like k definitely skrinkers when she's lookin online, or just bein herself. it can also mean to plan. or to put something together, like to organize a party ("we should skrinker some people over") or to make a meal ("i'm trying to skrinker something to eat outta these slim pickins"). i also have used it to mean 'slink' or 'traipse' like when someone enters the room in some notable way. another one is "to look for." like, if someone was digging around in a drawer, you might ask "what are you skrinkerin' over there?"
i really could go on for pages and pages. but i guess those are the main ways i use the word skrinker. it's an excellent word, one i will proudly use, whether my audience knows what the fuck i'm talking about or not.

Definition 3- Here goes nothing:
skrinker: To move about with no apparent direction e.g. "K had nothing to do last weekend, so she just skrinkered around Worcester on Saturday." Also, it could be used to describe a mischievous person, possibly that weird guy at the corner of the bar looking to cause trouble. This would prompt a lean-over to a friend, saying, "Look at that random skrinkerer over there. You can tell he's up to no good." However, it does not have to only describe a person, for example, it can describe ideas. If you have a lot going on, you can be said to "have a lot of different thoughts skrinkering around in your head." In which case, I guess a good synonym would be "meandering."

Definition 4- I thought about what skrinker means (by the way, it ain't in the dictionary from what I can see):It means to mosey around and sometimes do random non describable activities - such as 'skrinkering online' - What? I guess just meaning lookin around and scoping scenes. K always comes to mind when I hear the word skrinker. It reminds me of being a little sneaky/discreet about what you're doing - not in a bad way, just in a silly way. That's how I see it :)

Definition 5- I'm sure the other girls have already covered everything about 'skrinker,' but here's my definition. skrinker: 1. to mosey around without a particular direction or purpose. In the setting of a day when someone doesn't have to do anything, and really doesn't plan on it, that person would be "skrinkering around" usually I think about it in the context of staying in your apt or house in your pj's and watching TV. To skrinker involves minimal movement. That is the main way in which I would think of 'skrinker'; 2. however I would also use it meaning to make something out of minimal resources. Kind of like Magiver, but with a lazy connotation. ex. instead of going out to eat we skrinkered together some dinner. You could also use it referring to an outfit or a cocktail, anything someone would normally want to put effort into making. Those are the two ways I would think of skrinker; however I'm sure it's been used in many more circumstances.

Definition 6- skrink-er \skrĭng'kər\, verb, skrink-ered, skrink-er-ing
1. To wander aimlessly.
2. To maneuver around in a sly manner. You may or may not have a purpose in doing so.
—Related forms
skrink-er-er, noun
skrink-er-ing-ly, adverb
T's the definition of a skrinkerer. A skrinkerer can be good or bad depending on who he/she is. Trina is a good skrinkerer. A bad skrinkerer is someone up to no good (i.e. the smelly drunk guy at the MB bar). A bad skrinkerer is mischievous and can cause annoyance, harm, and/or trouble.
My question is this:
Now that we know what skrinker means, what is a skrink?

And there you have it. Thank you to my wonderful girlfriends for their own takes on the word. Now you blogbuds know a spec more about my title here.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

wicked chaud and sticky

I'm sitting here in my undies and a tank top, drinking a glass of red wine on this dank night. Maybe that's more info that you needed or wanted. But damn is it hot. And humid. I want West Coast weather on days like this. When I go and visit my dad, it can be a day that's almost 100, but there, it's wicked dry and doesn't feel like 100. Here, 100 would be downright oppressive. Humid and buggy and sticky. Ick.

Tonight I went food shopping. (I call it food shopping, never grocery shopping) The little old lady at work tells me I should go in the mornings, to meet a "nice man." I really don't have time for that in the morning, but I'll tell you that at night, at 8PMish in the evening, not much really goes down at a local Shaws. I had most aisles to myself, except for a couple employees, teenage employees specifically, flirting with each other, putting random items away. Yogurts were 20/$10. Tell me, who buys that many yogurts? The deli guy was especially friendly, and I could tell under his hat that he had a good head of hair. I got flustered trying to decide what kind of turkey to get, and picking out bananas took me way too long.

Did I mention that my landlord finally said yes to a kitten?! You read that right. Holy hell, it's about time. And I couldn't be more excited. (I want no comments on my lack of skills in fish caretaking please!) So I'm on a mission. And let me just tell you, holding a kitten has been scientifically proven (based on my experimentation), to raise my day from a 4 to a 7.

Saturday I'm going to a baby shower for my college roommate. And at night I'm going to see Feist. Who's heard of her?

My grandmother is getting her second round of chemo tomorrow. She's feeling good right now, so it's hard to see her sign up to get this shit poison put into her precious body. But I guess it needs to do it's job, and we're hoping this time around the side effects won't be as rough. Friday I overheard her tell someone that I'm "her pride and joy," and I had myself a little moment right then and there.

I'm finding I'm watching way too much Lifetime as of late. With all the good shows off the air, really, what's a girl to do? TLC is also showing tons of Miami Ink which I just love, because of the time I met and got my picture taken with those studs. And the new season starts next week so at least that's something to look forward to.

And if this doesn't go down for one of the most scattered posts ever, I don't know what does.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

do you hear the THUNDER?

Anyone ever watch that show, I think it was on either VH1 or MTV, one of those casting type specials, looking for male strippers? For the "Australian Male Revue" which would come to be known as the Thunder from Down Under (ha), and would end up being featured as a regular show in Vegas. Well I watched it. Obviously. Back then I lived with three other girls and really what better way to occupy a weeknight than watching a casting special such as this.

I remember the show from back then, and when I heard on the radio a couple weeks ago that they were touring around here!, I was interested. Mainly just because I had watched the whole process, not because I'm really into strippers and such. Frankly I think those guys are pretty big meatheads. But I was still intrigued by it all, and when I was coming back from the beach last weekend with my good friend who works for a local radio station and I heard the ad for the show that was going on in RI, imagine my amusement when she told me she could hook me up with some free tickets! Woot!

I wasn't totally sure what to expect. Would there be tables that we'd be seated at, where the oiled up men would come dance around us, with us, on us, and we'd slip $1 bills into sketchy places? Would we get lap dances? How much would they bare? Turns out, we were in this big event center type place, housed in a casino. Because we were going with a radio station we had free VIP access before the show which included appetizers and adult beverages all for free. Our seats weren't the greatest, but we could still see enough. It was basically just a group of these men, busting moves to Justin Timberlake like songs, Save a Horse Ride a Cowboy combinations, doing their little routines, some coming into the audience, all the while, wearing knee pads. Yes, knee pads, which I thought was odd. There were tons and tons of women just all over the place, and lots of bachelorette parties really into it all. Women with veils going up on stage, best fake orgasm contests, who can shake their ass best, etc.

It was definitely a fun night. Almost more fun to watch some of these skanky women in their ass bearing dresses, shaking it in hopes of a stripper coming over to THEM!, ohmygod!

I couldn't help but thinking, as some of these women were up on stage, some of these brides to be, how I would feel if I were their fiances. I'm all for going on a girls night out for a bachelorette type affair, but some of this stuff was kind of bordering on lewd. Gross really. These women going up there, the men actually grabbing and fondling their breasts, them making the girls grab their junk!, it was almost a bit disturbing. You have to wonder, if these girls are okay with partaking in this whole scene, would they be equally okay if they knew their fiances were out doing the same thing?

Ah, anyway. It was a wild night and one to go down in the books. Also one of those kind of things where once you've seen it one time, you've seen it all.