Thursday, October 18, 2012

Kevin the Handyman: my anxiety-inducing boyfriend.

Meet Kevin. Manager of Panera, father of Ren, looker-after of two wayward chihuahuas (bless his heart), but most importantly fixer of things. I've never been with someone that was so handy, so self-sufficient (no offense to you {insert ex's name here}. You were less self-sufficient but, trust me, it fit your personality).

So, the things. I will give him this: he knows what he is doing...most of the time. He primed the oil tank by reading about it online (yes, it was smokey downstairs for a while today, but hey, that probably wasn't his fault. Right?). He installed not one but TWO hanging wine racks for my glasses. He changes his own oil, uses power tools like a champ, and is currently in the middle of ripping up a rotted floor in the basement. There was the time he installed AC's into the two bedrooms upstairs (so what if we used balled up socks to block the airholes all summer) and of course he redecorated the now infamous "lanai" all by his lonesome one night while I was at work. He breaks into his own house when he has no key, puts together Ikea furniture with no instructions (does he have a death wish?!) and found an old jeep cherokee door at a junkyard to replace the smashed-in door he had. But the most anxiety-ridden project up til now definitely has to be when he transformed into super-geek-squad status and replaced the camera on his phone. That's right, let me say that again, he took apart a cell phone--completely--and replaced the camera. How, you ask? YOUTUBE.

For some reason he believes in YOUTUBE so much that he feels by watching another do-it-yourselfer expert, he will somehow become one. That may be the case, but it may also be that HE FAILS MISERABLY AND DOESN'T HAVE A PHONE ANYMORE. This is definitely the belief I had when I sat 3 feet from him as he began taking his phone apart, piece by piece, while he listened to a strange British man describe his every move. Pause. Play. Rewind. Repeat. I want to be supportive, so instead of telling him how insane I thought he was, I just sat and did my jigsaw puzzle. I did not look up. I did not utter a word. I barely breathed at all. The anxiety was building up inside me while so much uncertainty ensued: what would happen when he did, indeed, take the motherboard out? How would we afford a new phone for him? What if something happened and he lost every contact ever? Every pic? HIS WHOLE LIFE!? *here is a example of me being crazy and hopeless and completely irrational about things, like cell phones* And what is he doing while I am doubting everything ever in the universe? He's smiling along to the video, using his tiny screwdriver and his tiny pry tool to take out every last tiny computer part of this piece of electronic equipment. He doesn't know I'm freaking out, so he even goes on to say, once the whole thing is apart and the new phone has been installed, "Hmmm, he doesn't say how to put it back together...I don't remember where this piece," Well that does it! I can't take it anymore. I smile my fakest smile over to him and, ever so lovingly, declare that I think he's a complete lunatic for what he did, how are we going to keep in touch now, what is going to happen when he can't get a new phone, blah blah blah CRAZINESS!

The calm look on his face doesn't change and, like any smart man, he ignores my hysteria completely.

Fast forward 5 minutes: I'm now avoiding eye contact like the plague. At this time I've moved on to straight up irrational ANGER at him for breaking his cell phone and trusting a website (the one that brought us Gangnam Style, mind you) to be able to take him through this successfully. As I'm getting ready to scold him and explain why, as his elder, I know more than him, not only about life, but about cell phones, tiny tools, and idiotic websites that make montages of kitties famous for god's sake, he is putting the last baby screw back into his phone. Now I'm quiet because I know that, in seconds from now, he is going to feel an overwhelming rush of regret wash over him when his phone stays black as he holds down the power key.  I don't want it to seem like gloating with my I-told-you-so speech, so I make the decision to hold off. I'm a really good girlfriend.

Good at everything except believing in my Mr.-Fix-It boyfriend. Cue MY overwhelming feeling of stupidity and regret...NOW.

Wouldn't you know that damn phone not only turned on, but took an unsuspecting picture of me, a face full of true shock and surprise.  He snapped away at different things in the living room, testing his work. Then he found all his contacts, pictures, and even sent me an adorable test text to make sure that worked as well.  He was a proud peacock as he acted like he didn't care that the woman he loved had no faith in him whatsoever.
As his last way of showing me there were no hard feelings, and seeing as this was not one of my prettiest facest or proudest moments ever, like the good boyfriend he is, he erased any and all evidence of the first (and last) night I doubted his handyman skills.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Let's talk about freaky signs in life.

You know, the kind that make you go "oh shit"?

The other night I was talking to an old friend who said that I should start blogging again. I explained that, with being so busy with the baby, boyfriend, and job, among everything else, it just didn't seem feasible. Fast forward to last night, when I had a dream (terribly disturbing dream, actually) that I got SHOT. IN THE BACK. I remember seeing it happen, putting my hand on my back, and feeling the blood pouring out. The next thing I know I can't feel parts of my body and I'm being led out of a restaurant. It was the first time I'd been out since the incident and, in normal dream fashion, I was passed out for only 27 hours, then back up and at em. Right before Ren woke me up with her baby shrieking, I made the realization to my mom that I could never work again, and that the only thing I was ever going to be able to do was write.

Cue dramatic music and voila!

I'm back.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Letter to my 20 year old self

Dear 20 year old Leah,

I'm writing to you because you have a lot going on right now and could probably use the advice. I know, I know, too little too late. But better late than never, I guess, even if you can't use any of what I will tell you.

All of this stuff swirling around in your head right now, the stuff that keeps you thinking that this will never end well and that you will never know where to turn? The stuff that makes you feel scared and worthless and like you're just never gonna be ok? I promise you that soon enough, but not soon by any means, you will be stable. Your thoughts will make sense, you will think of yourself over them (those people that seem to be the only reason you breathe), and you will be able to say "yes, no, maybe, I don't know" as much as you feel inclined. Your feelings right now, though the lowest they will ever get (I promise, it won't ever be worse), the darkest days you will see in your life (at least til 30, I can guarantee), you need them. I know, call me fucking crazy (oh yeah, you won't stop swearing either), but they are there for a reason. Even though they make you feel like you can't/won't/shouldn't go on, you can/will/should. You will see the lessons in a little while, but for now, just push through. Please.

You are hot right now. You may not be this hot again, well, ever, so live it up. Wear what you want, prance around and be confident. You are not confident, and you think your butt is big now, but you are mistaken. Shake your tiny ass on a table-top and have fun.

The ones you think are your real friends really are. Also, the ones you think are your real friends really aren't. It is going to be hard to figure this all out, but just go with it. Don't hurt people, give them a chance, and be there for everyone you can. They may look back and thank you someday. Some of the people that you thought were gone for good will be some of your best friends for life, so be careful and treat each person as if they were fragile glass. Don't break anyone.

Ahhhh, but then we come to the part where you DO break some of them. You are going to do this, though I swear you didn't mean to. Always do what you think is right, what you feel in your heart, but know that this is not always going to bring a positive result, no matter what you do or how hard you try. You yourself will also be broken, but please know you can and will pick up the pieces and go on. No? You don't believe me? Just wait. Those you have hurt will come back, and you will make good with those you are supposed to. You will be surprised who is still in or back in your life in 10 years.

As you do now, remember your family is most important. You are very dependent on them, but you will eventually stand independent of them, instead of being lost among them. You need them, but you need them in a way you don't even realize yet. You will lose some of them, and this will crush you. Be there for the rest, as it will heal you in the process.
And when you think that it is over and that they will never love you again, wait it out. They will. We will be waiting a long time to see the outcome of such events, but we will never let go.

The things you think are lame will be your favorite things, and you will be a dork. Embrace it. You have so much insecurity and shame, but someday it will be lifted like a heavy wet blanket. It will feel amazing.

Try and be more confident in what you do and decisions you make. This is worthless to tell you because you won't do this, but in a few years you will realize you are an ADULT (augh!) and that there are so many more things that are important than what you think now. What you see as an end all is really just a tiny drop in the bucket. Forgetable.

Save your money, don't make me work two jobs forever! You will make good money soon and have the time of your fucking life. I look back and wish you didn't spend so much, but you know what, I can't blame you. Even now I tell the stories of the crazy fun times you had and smile with my friends about it. Good job.

Keep yourself safe. Mentally, emotionally (though these will be the hardest) and physically. We are still kicking now, so you did an ok job of that. Your metabolism rules, but try and be healthy. If not, I'll try to right the wrong you did.

You are going to think your life is going to go one way, that you are set, that your future is in stone. And then, BAM!, it is all going to fall to pieces. This will be tragic and devastating every time (yes, I said every), but you will pick up what you can salvage and keep going. You will find better every time, but you'll never know til you're there. It's ok, you will watch this go on all around you and you will feel less alone and lost. Everyone will end up better for it in the end. They just have to.

Don't burn bridges, learn patience (and practice it often) and always be open to new things. Treat others with compassion always, and let go of anger. This will be the only way you can go through this life with ease. I do all of these things still, and someday 40 year old us will write us and laugh at just how much we didn't know, even today.

Monday, April 26, 2010

A for Effort

So you know how my gf is absolutely insane, right?

Actually, to say she is insane is to say she tries the same thing over and over and always expects a different result. This is kind of the opposite, as she needed to do something once, but didn't, and expected the problem to go away by itself, but THAT DIDN'T HAPPEN. So, this ensued.

Here is just a small example of the maniacal world Donia and I live in. Just a glimpse into our reality, one riddled with crazy thoughts, pointless problems, and booze. Lotsa booze.

Let me point out that though there is usually booze, she did this sober. ALL OF THIS CAME ABOUT SOBER. Especially the relentless complaining, which makes it harder to tune her out. She drives me to drink, I tell ya, and here is an example of why.

Donia is a pretty rational being, I would say, and she is very intelligent. She can debate the shit out of anything because she IS the devil's advocate. No, srsly, he actually, like, hired her and made her fill out a W-2 form and everything. She works for him and will argue any of the points he presents to her. Not a bad gig, 2nd job-wise.

She has this coworker who we will call "Mary", because honestly, every anonymous story has a Mary in it. Mary is overweight, which is fine, but her chair does not think so. Mary's chair squeaks and do you know how I know this? Because Donia has brought up the squeaky chair EVERY DAY FOR THE LAST 2 MONTHS. Not every other, not only business days, no. Every. day. Now I love my gf and I'm there for her and to listen and blah blah blah but really??!! Get over it, put your ipod in, do something to take your mind off the fact that you have never harmed a human but you want to SCRATCH MARY'S EYES OUT AND THROW HER ON THE FLOOR when she moves about and is sqeaking. And please, do it quick, cuz I can't be with you if she is going to be the topic of conversation over dinner dates EVERY TIME WE GO OUT.

So here is what my batshit crazy gf has done about this. She can't possibly tell Mary that she annoys the shit out of her because 1. she is too nice and 2. she has to work with her. She can't switch chairs because there are no extras, and besides, she is convinced nothing will stop the squeaking, it is the person-to-chair ratio working against her here. She can't move her desk because that would be too obvious, she says. "Hey yeah, no, love you to death, just can't stand to sit next to you anymore. No reason". To that I say fuck obvious, you need your sanity (and for the love of God, I need mine back as well).

About a month ago, I was in charge of doing the bi-monthly Walmart trip to grab all the toiletries and supplies we would need for the apt. On this list I see WD-40, and I immediately wonder what in the hell we need this for, and how does Donia know what this is? I know you would think she is the handy one, what with her baggy jeans and lack of femininity, but I'll tell you here and now that if it is broken, Leah fixes it. If it is too high to reach, Leah gets it down. And when something goes awry I work on instincts and experience, while she googles the hell out of "What to do when the microwave starts sparking and sets the kitchen on fire".

So I go to Walmart and I'm searching for this WD-40 that she insists she needs for reducing the noise the fan in the bathroom makes-- a loud rattling noise. Ah-ha, my assumptions were correct. SHE HAS NO IDEA WHAT TO USE THIS SHIT FOR. This particular rattling is not something that this product was made for, but that darling dear insists she needs it. "Just do it Leah. Remember all those hot pink towels you bought when I sent you for guest towels? Yeah, this is for that." Touche, my good sir, and good game.

I am all done at Walmart, I have gotten through the list in record time. I have coupons ready and I want to go, but what is left on this list? You got it, WD-40. I am going up and down the "man" aisles, as I like to call them, looking for this shit. And they are not "man aisles" because women can't use the things in these aisles, but because if you are seen in them in Walmart and you are not a man ALARMS GO OFF! They track you down, it's like they can smell your estrogen and within moments there is a man in a blue smock asking "Are you lost, little girl? Where is your husband/bf/brother/father/protector?" On this day, though, just my luck, my estrogen was non-existent apparently because NO ONE WAS AROUND. I searched every aisle, from camping to home improvement to automotive to paint. It was a crap shoot where this shit really was. I even mosied by the guns a few times just to look creepy so that someone would jump out and ask me "ARE YOU TRYING TO STEAL A WEAPON AND ROB US??" to which I would have replied "No, thank you for asking. But now that you are here..." and I'd use and abuse that toothless sales associate for all he was worth! I got nowhere, I started to give up, but I remembered all those times I came home with stupid shit that Donia detested, but let slide, and I knew I couldn't leave without this shit.

I looked another ten minutes, up and down the same aisles. I looked in the toy aisle hoping to find an empty plastic knock-off for little boys playing mechanic that I could bring back and then say "Oopsie, didn't know it was pretend", but I saw nothing. Finally, I heard a strange sound...angels singing?...trumpets sounding?...and there it was. WD-40 is kept between automotive and camping stuff ON THE TINIEST SHELF KNOWN TO MAN. It's in a corner by itself! There is no other product like it, its not tucked between the other greasy stuff and the oily stuff. No, it has its own zip code in Walmart, which is code for HAHAHA FUCK YOU THAT WAS A FUN GAME FOR US! Hide the WD-40 is awesome, let me tell you, and when I finally did grab a can I was tempted to go BACK to the guns and ammo and really let Walmart know how I feel. I'm sure all you need to have to get your hands on one of those rifles is a drivers license and some sort of knowledge of a Jeff Foxworthy redneck joke and you're in. Also, I have boobs, so knowing the men working back there, I'd have myself a whole arsenal AT A DISCOUNTED PRICE in no time.

I got home and put the WD-40 away, hoping that it has slipped Donia's mind that she needed it. It did not. That girl is an elephant, and I can say that because I am referring to her elephant brain that forgets nothing! She whips out the can that night and uses a screwdriver (oh shit!) to take off the cover to the bathroom fan. I am in the living room with 9-1-1 on speed dial as I am praying to God above that whatever comes of it, the disfigurement won't be that devastating. If she loses a limb in the explosion, please let it be her left arm, cuz the bitch is fast on the 10-key and that job is our livelihood.

It somehow (thank you, Jesus!) goes off without a hitch and she thinks she has fixed the fan. "Listen to that, Leah, silence! SILENCE!", until 3 hours later when she turns it on and it rumbles its harmonious rumble again. The girl is defeated. I assume she will throw the WD-40 that I ALMOST KILLED FOR in the trash, and that would be the end of "Donia: Miss Fixit."

Fast forward to last Thursday when her phone started going off in the living room and I needed to silence it. She was downstairs and I saw that her alarm was going off to alert her of a reminder she had set. We have no secrets, so I opened it to see what she needed to know at that moment. I figured if it said "call my other bitch" that she was already downstairs, and I would just deadbolt the door and be done with her for the night. Crackheads sleep under the building, so why can't she? At least, unlike them, she has body fat to keep her warm when the temp drops.

The alert said "WD-40" and I had horrifying thoughts of what this could mean. Did I have to go buy more because there was no way I was going throught that again. I had PTSD! Just the thought of going back to that battlefield would give me flashbacks like a Vietnam Vet. Then I thought, more worried, what does she need to grease up now?

Then it hit me. The whole past couple months flashed before my eyes and I realized what she was doing. She came upstairs to prove me right: when questioned, she indeed told me SHE WAS TAKING IT TO WORK. She methodically planned to have it on hand for the single opportunity to use it on Mary's chair! She WAITED for Mary to mention she was taking a day off, for a whole MONTH she waited, and now she was ready to jump in and grease the shit out of that chair! Part of me wanted to commit her for being so preoccupied and menacing about planning this crazy ruse, and the other part of me wanted to give her the pulitzer prize for brilliance. She said that Mary would be out the next day and she gets to work so early that no one would be in to walk to her area and smell the chemicals til they had already dispersed and ceased to smell anymore. This. girl. is. dangerous. I best watch my step as well as my back. If anything ever goes wrong and something happens to me: USE. FORENSICS.

Donia, indeed, got up the next morning, packed that shit in her bag, and went off to work. She, indeed, sprayed the shit out of that squeaky chair that was bringing her to a homicidal place, and she, indeed, sat back and smiled at herself for figuring out just how to make her life better. Proud as a peacock, she let me know "It is done", like some hitman who just got his target, and she washed her hands of the whole situation. Her life was complete again and she was at peace, or so she thought, until Monday morning when Mary came in, well-rested after her long weekend, sat down and


went her chair.
(You can't win em all, kid, but you put up a good fight.)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Yes, this just happened to me

What you are about to read, internet, is what I would call a "bad day". Now, I am aware that people have bad days all the time, but me: I do not. I try to find the good in every day, and I constantly work on patience and awareness. Sometimes, though, it's just got to be statistics that say every day cannot be good. I guess I was long overdue, and this is what ensued. This story, in no way, is a dramatization of what actually occurred. It is a play by play of something I can't even call a bad day, because in actuality, this is one hour and 15 minutes of my life today.

It started when I walked from work to my car in the parking garage, headed to see my trainer for the first time in 2 weeks! I wanted to cancel, of course, because it is much more fun to be lazy, but I said to myself, "Self: You need this. You will regret not going, and so you will go, and you will love how you feel after. Trust me". This pep talk happened as I walked in the brisk fall air of Seattle. I drove to the gym, found a wonderful spot right outside the gym and the ATM (double score!) and proceeded to turn the car off to get out and buy a parking sticker for the next hour. A tiny thought rushed past as I pulled the key out of the ignition and automatically, without thought as always, placed the keys in my purse. The thought said, "Lock or don't?" I immediately thought "lock" because the street I was on is riddled with homeless people and hoodlums, and my purse was on the front seat. I had my mini wallet in hand, opened the door, locked it with the auto lock on the door handle, stepped out and shut it. I walked halfway to the parking meter when I got that sense of impending doom in my tummy. Immediately I knew what I had just done, but I told myself, "Maybe not. Maybe you didn't hit the lock like you think you did." Just for shits and giggles, I walk back over to the car slowly, as if it was going to explode at any second, and peeked in. ALL. DOORS. LOCKED.

In moments like these, the mind starts going so fast that you can't really think straight. My first idiot move was to check the locked doors. Maybe today, by some act of God, they would open. Even though they were locked. Maybe for some reason. COME ON GOD, JUST MAKE THE LOCKS BROKEN! Jeez, srsly, is this really happening? Last time this happened it was Donia's fault, and it's so much easier when it's someone else's fault, isn't it?

My next stupid thoughts were "I'll call Donia". No phone-it's in the car. "I'll just tell my trainer that I can't work out with her, I'll use a payphone." No phone numbers memorized. "I'll just go home and figure it out there." No keys=no house keys, no landline phone to figure anything out you idiot!!! I, luckily, had my ID, credit cards, and bus pass on me, so I deduce that the one and only thing I can do is walk back downtown to where Donia is working and get her keys. My God, tell me her keys are not in the car in her backpack that she dropped in there before her shift because she knew I'd be picking her up anyway. If I have that, at least, going for me, I'll hug and kiss the next person I see, dirty or not. I promise.

Let me now share with you a little bit about Seattle weather. It is a common misconception that it rains all the time in Seattle. To clear this up, I will tell you that it is gloomy and cloudy and very much overcast for most of the year (we're talkin September through May). Now, when I say we have had the most beautiful summer ever, I mean it, and I have actually heard Seattlites themselves share this opinion with me over the last couple weeks. As fall rolls in, we have all been basking in the last rays of sunshine we can, and shedding a single tear for the weather to come. I bet you can guess where this is all going in my bad hour, and you guessed right. If you love irony, or just love the big ole F you this universe can thrust at you from time to time, you'll enjoy the next part of the story where I SWEAR TO GOD, INTERNET, IT STARTED RAINING TODAY IN SEATTLE. AFTER A BEAUTIFUL, RECORD-SETTING DRY SUMMER. It hasn't rained in I don't know how long, but it sure as shit rained today. The day I locked my keys in my car. And couldn't find a bus route. To take me downtown. The 30-some-odd blocks I needed to go. So I walked...

And I walked and I walked and on my walk I thought of a few things. First was the negative "I hate my life life sucks I want to cry but I won't but I really want to but I can't cuz people will see me and think I'm a crackhead all f'ed up walking down the street in the rain and SO HELP ME GOD IF ONE CRACKHEAD ASKS ME FOR MONEY I WILL SPEW THIS WHOLE PATHETIC STORY ONTO THEM UNTIL THEY ARE CRYING FOR ME AND NOT THEMSELVES ANYMORE". That is where I am at at this point. My next thoughts were good ones because, seeing as I wasn't giving in to the urge to cry, I was going to need to think positive. I had Donia as an out-I knew exactly where to find her and didn't need my phone to do it. I'd worn a hoodie and sneakers today to work because I was that lazy and didn't feel like doing more than putting on a wrinkled tee and covering it in an oversized sweatshirt. Well, at least that was going for me too. And I had my ID and money so if, God forbid, Donia had no keys for me, I had the means to drink until her shift was over. And the means to drink a lot. My last thought was that I wasn't getting to work out, but I sure as hell was getting a nice walk in for the day.

Sidenote: you may be asking yourself why I didn't call AAA. Well, readers, my membership had expired as of last month, and when I saw the $80 necessary to renew it, well now. You know that in true Leah form I procrastinated because WALKING TO THE KITCHEN AND WRITING A CHECK IS REALLY TAXING, and I probably wouldn't really need AAA, right?

Let's see, where are we now, ahhh yes. We are somewhere downtown in Seattle between the car--which, btw, does not have a parking sticker on it because I couldn't open the door to put it in the window and NO WAY IN HELL AM I PAYING FOR PARKING SO THAT SOME ASSHOLE CAN WALK BY AND, JUST FOR FUN, STEAL MY PARKING STICKER THAT'S HANGING ON THE OUTSIDE OF THE WINDOW--and Donia's work. I will not let anyone have the last laugh in this one, besides maybe the meter maid who will surely find my car and give me a ticket. That fact I am just putting out of my mind for the time being. I've got bigger fish to fry.

Walking through Seattle is always a challenge, and at this time of night people out on the streets are ready to party, and when I say people I mean those living on or near these streets who are always wasted/cracked out. They are in rare form as all of the timid 9-5ers wait at the same bus stops they do their drugs at, and it's fun to see them all scared, with their ballet flats and their umbrellas, as some drugged up woman screams, "No one want to lay next to yo scrawny ass anyway, you nuttin but a child molester, motherfucker!" Ahh, lovers quarrels. I guess crackheads need love, too. But you do remember that I am taking NO SHIT on this walk today and I am ready to go, come on hooker, give it all you got! I've never hit a bitch, but I ain't got nothin against starting my fightin history with you. Bring. It.

I make it through the storm (literally, but not literally, more to come on that soon) and finally reach the symphony hall where Donia is catering. Yes, fancy shmancy symphony hall with well dressed people saying intelligent things sipping $15 glasses of Moet. I am in the elevator and I just know I have to exit the elevator and walk past the entrance to the gathering they are having tonight, probably a high priced hou- long appetizer and wine party that cost more than any wedding I've ever attended. Wouldn't you know it, the elevator doors open and there's a lovely group of business men using words far beyond my comprehension, and me in my rain soaked hoodie, ripped jeans and sneaks. I rush into the kitchen ASAP and summon Donia over to get her keys and...drumroll...SHE HAS THE KEYS! Lord, You have not forsaken me, nor will You ever. Amen.

Some of the staff has a laugh over my debaucle, but they still really don't know all the gritty details of the last, at this point, 40 minutes. I get the keys and leave as quickly as I can, so not to embarass my girlfriend or my place of work with my wet-rat appearance any longer. Now I exit the building and, if I thought I was a wet rat before, I ain't seen nothin yet. I get outside to good news and bad news. Good first? Ok, well, my bus, the only one I know will get me to the vicinity of where I am going, is sitting outside the door, but about to leave. I run to the door and just make it. The bad news: It is downpouring. Like DOWNPOURING. Remember that little meteorology lesson I gave before on Seattle weather? Well, I forgot to tell you that it just doesn't ever rain hard here. It's always a sprinkly, drizzly rain. Keeping with the theme of the hour, you guessed correctly that it hasn't downpoured but a half a dozen times in the 2 years I have been here. Make today time #7...

Now, this bus ride is in an unfortunately busy area at an unfortunately busy time, but at least I'm dry. Or drying. The stop I need comes pretty quickly, but it is approximately another 10 blocks from where my car is. Did I mention that it. is. raining? And hard? At this point nothing is breaking me though, I have already come so far, I can see the pot of gold at the end of my rainbow. I know I will soon be home and in a snuggie. I can feel it! I can taste it! I can smell...whoa. Just then I pass by a covered bus stop and I see a woman struggling to light a cig. Then I realize, after that god-awful and unfamiliar smell that, internet, I think I just got my first wiff of crack cocaine. Srsly, I have never been in the actual presence of it before, but that smell was like no smoke I have ever smelled before. I press on because no little contact high is going to stop me now, even if I do feel woozy and sick. I get closer and closer, and yes, I know everyone is looking at me saying , "That poor girl", but more likely saying, "That scrubby girl lives on the street. She should get a job like the rest of us". I guarantee people thought this because it just so happens that where my car was parked and where I was now in my journey is an area of Seattle riddled with homeless teen and twenty something runaways who are always strung out and looking to panhandle or rob you. At this moment I could have been one of them, no one would have known better. Great, now I'm insecure too!

I reach the car and magically, and unbelievably to me, I HAVE NO PARKING TICKET! An hour and fifteen minutes, and no meter maid came by! It is pure luck I tell you, because in this exact spot a month ago I saw a man park, run into a deli, and come out under 3 minutes later to a ticket. I kid you not. I blew God a kiss and threw him a wink. He wasn't all bad today, with his little "let's see what you can handle before you crack" joke that he played on me. The keys, the rain, the lack of busses, the dodging of the crackheads. It was all a test of my patience. Well, A++ if I do say so myself, with extra credit for not bitching someone out or shedding a tear in the process.

I am finally in the car, soaked to the core, but victorious. I actually took camera photos to reiterate just how wet it was out. When I said no dramatizations, I meant it. Worst case scenario EVER!

I am now home and in dry clothes, a snuggie thrown over me for warmth. Yes, I do have to leave the house again later to get Donia, but you know one thing...I AM NOT GETTING OUT OF THAT DAMN CAR FOR ANY REASON. Keys in the ignition until I am good and ready to run back into the apt and back into the snuggie for the night. I'm not taking any more chances with this day.

Please excuse my language when I say fuck you, Tuesday, and all of your dirty wet tricks.

** I now invite the aforementioned "one-uppers" to top that, biotch!**

Monday, July 27, 2009

29 for the next 5 years, at least.

For the first time ever, I was very content--no, I actually felt the urge--to be alone on my birthday. Not alone like off-myself-when-no-one-is-looking alone, but alone in that I wanted to stay home from work and wake up when I wanted and do what I wanted and walk by myself and think about the number 29. The AGE 29. A friend pointed out that today is the first day I am 29, and the first day for many years to come that I will claim to be 29. I love that. I have seen it on TV and in the movies, and no one wants to let go of 29. So for the next year, I will enjoy it.

Someone also once told me (I have lots of friends with lots of good ideas) that you change every 7 years. You, your personality, your view on life. Think about it sometime. If this is true, then the last year has been a huge change in me, and I agree with that. Not my location or relationship or friendships or likes and dislikes, but an innate change in yourself that you can just feel. A way of seeing the world clearer, with less filters. A way of knowing that all that mattered before was just a shallow view, a terribly skewed and backwards view of what it's really all about.

I feel like I don't care what people think--of course everyone says this when they are trying to prove maturity--but it's not like that at all. It's not in a rebellious, "I'm wearing these sweats out and I don't care what people think" way, when what you're really looking for is the attention being different brings. It's in the "I don't even care if I'm uncool or that that 16 yr old Paramore fan just made a comment to her friend about how the 'No Doubt crowd' is a bit older." It's just a content and happy feeling that you have for your own life, and for what you have. You don't compare it to others' lives or try to live parallel to theirs. It's knowing that what you have is what you need and that the road that got you there was important. It was the whole point.

Last night I was happy about today being 3 hours away. I won't say I'm happy to be this age, but I know I am this age and I probably wouldn't want to go backward if given the chance. I wouldn't want to revisit the depression in college, the extreme insecurity (which lingers only but a touch), or the low self esteem that made me take my youth for granted and always look to be someone else. I see my flaws now, and though I'll never stop trying to change them to be better, I will stop letting them hold me back from being who I can at the present moment. And I don't mean to get deep for the sake of getting deep, it is just that reflection helps when you're 29. You want to know that you will be ok and that, after all the prior b-days where you thought you wouldn't make it or just wanted aging to STOP, you did go on and experienced things and would never take those things back. I know, even at this "old age", I have so much more to do and be a part of that will change me and make me stronger and more aware. That is what keeps me going.

I feel the need to be healthy and spiritual. I never needed to be healthy before, I was just lucky to have the biological makeup that I had. I have to work now, and I can't say I love it, but I see I need to do it. Religion and spirituality mean two different things to me, and I want to explore both my Christianity and my Spirit here on Earth and see how the three things can connect. The Earth is a magical place and if you don't think so just look at the other empty planets. I want to remember the little things, but not sweat them. I practice patience more than I can tell you, and I try to remember that we are all in this together, even those who are really just in it for themselves. They are the ones we need to reach out to the most and show that without others, they would be damn lonely on this big planet.

Moving away has been a big part of "growing up" for me. I always went out on my own, had my roomates and dorm and apartments and such, but I never went away and experienced another place, void of my friends and family and the comforts of home. Now some do this and others don't, and to me both sides of the argument have their points. I do know that for me to see another side of the country, another culture in and of itself, different people and views and attitudes, has brought me a new understanding of me, the world, and the part I play in it. Of course I found people way over here that were like me and had the same views, and those people were easy to befriend. It's the ones that differ from us that open our eyes to thinking and feeling differently. If you give them a chance, everyone can teach you something. I'm not even talking about being in search of a new religion or political stance or anything as drastic. It's just the small things that differ between place to place that make you not only appreciate that place, but more appreciate where you came from. I was against this move from the get go and ready to never give it a chance and beg my way home, but when I let go and rode out the experience, I got way more from it than I ever thought possible.

I like having the confidence in myself to not need to hold my parents' hands all the way through (though some nights I just wanna be home with them!). I like knowing I don't take on the persona of the person I'm dating anymore and that I am me, no matter who I am with. I like feeling like I want to be with the person I love, but not needing to be with them to survive. I like having a clean slate with no secrets or lies that are always lingering in the back of my mind. I like to know that if something happens, I can count on me first and them second if need be That I can get myself through, but that I can reach out if I need a little help.

I like knowing that after all these years, though only few have emerged victorious, I have some lingering good friends I can count on for anything. I have a best friend who is still here and we have changed together and still know how to use each other when we need a boost. You never know who you'll end up with when you are out partying and working and in school and meeting all sorts of people from all walks of life. I am happy to say that I have been able to hold on to the best of them, by the grace of God, and their graces as well.

Sometimes I still feel that little girl's fears come out and I just want to run and hide. Sometimes the insecurities of my teenage years emerge and bring me down to places I never wanted to see again. And then there are the struggles that came in my early twenties where I sometime felt as if I were circling and circling only to find I could not pinpoint exactly what I was looking for. Dizzy from circling and booze and conflicting feelings and views coming from the people around me. Where I was disappointed every time I thought I had found IT, only to be heartbroken when I was told that this wasn't it yet again. I feel these things now because no one can ever be truly whole or happy or okay, but I deal with them as I know fit. Without these things we would not keep working at ourselves, nor would we see how far we have come and how proud we should be.

Next year I hope to be closer to home for my 30th. In part because I'm almost ready to be there again, and also because I will need one big crazy ass party with lots of booze to keep me from going insane and crying for weeks. It will be one part party, one part suicide watch, and all parts love and fun. I am ready for adulthood, today on my 29th. I can't say I was ready yesterday, but this morning I woke up and made the decision to sign up, put on my "Hello my name is" sticker, and participate in the rest of life. To be rid of my 20's and prepare for the ever popular 30's. Is 30 the new 20? I'll never know and I'll never tell cuz I'm 29 from here on out...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


I haven't been inspired lately by too much...too much positive stuff that is. And though this is going to sound like a very negative situation that has inspired this blog, I can't take it as that at all. Maybe if you read on, you'll see what I mean...

We found out that my Gramma, a.k.a. Rev. Barbara Mattscheck/Barb/Gram/mom/Pastor Barbara, has cancer again. She beat breast cancer about 10 years ago, but the doctors are saying now she has a lump in her lung. The whereabouts and specifics of this cancer are not my main goal to get across here today, though. The point of this post is that you are only as sad, sick, helpless and depressed as you let yourself be. I realized the power of positive thinking and living a while ago, and I've never looked back since. My Gram is another one of those people, but to such a higher degree, I don't know if I'll ever get there. She does not work alone, but puts all of her faith and belief in God. I know this is what gets her through the day, and what will get her through this battle as she forges ahead.

My mom broke the news to me about the cancer. My mom was not the one to explain the situation to me, though, as she was visibly upset and unable to get through it without crying. She handed the phone to Gram. Well, wouldn't you know, this woman got on the phone and acted as if she were going to tell me a fun story or announce wonderful news! She did not sound like a woman who was just told she had cancer at all, which is what helped me through the phone call. She went on very matter-of-factly, explaining to me what they'd found and what was going to be done. She talked about chemo with the positivity of someone talking about a lovely picnic in the park. She never got down with her tone of voice or even told me to worry or not to worry. To her this was another thing life had thrown at her, and she was gonna deal with it and move on. Now this is not to say Gram is not in touch with reality; in fact she is a very intelligent and rational woman. She just will not let the fear of this disease get to her. I am sure she is afraid in a way, but she has such neverending and unyielding faith, she doesn't even go to that scary place. She believes that the Lord will get her through this and that everything will be ok, and that's all the rest of us should believe as well.

Maybe it is because I'm way out here in Seattle and don't see her all the time, but I just can't get afraid over this. Something in me says everything is going to be ok, that there is no way she is not strong enough for this. I wish I was there now to be with my family, who is in need of comforting right now, and it's times like this that I regret being way over here. I will see Gram in July, probably after she has already started chemo, and it will be very, very hard, but I know what I will find when I get there. A positive woman, without fear, who has put all of her health and wellness in God's hands.

I have to say, without offending the very few men in my family, that I know and have always known that Gram is the head of our little family clan. She is the matriarchal leader that we look to when things are bad, or even good. She has been a pastor her whole life, bringing the Word of God to people far longer than I can even remember or imagine! She has devoted her life to helping those in need, whether it be physically, mentally, or spiritually. Her aura just oozes faith and love and compassion. So many look to her not only as their spiritual teacher, but as a quasi mother, grandmother, or friend. Even the occupation that she chose for herself was not only selfless but rewarding! Dog shows and dog breeding brought in money, of course, but think of all those people who came to buy puppies that they and their family could love and enjoy for years to come! Nothing says love like chihuahuas and Jesus!

I have always looked at my Gram, not as a timid and subservient woman from another generation, but as a strong woman who was ahead of her time. She is independent, and maybe a little pushy in stores, but she does what is best for herself and others and doesn't compromise herself. Just this past Christmas she had me and my mother on stealth missions in the middle of a fabric store, fleeing a potentially angry mob of consumers who would have stopped at nothing less than beating us to a pulp if they saw us leave with the items we came for hours before they would receive theirs (It's a long story, don't ask!). It's always an adventure going out with Gram, but her mantra is "there's always a way around everything". Some would think this is the mantra of a seasoned criminal, but I say "nope, it's just my Gram". There are endless stories I could tell of being with my Gram and the rest of the family, visiting and sharing and having some good ole fashioned family fun. You probably wouldn't believe some of the wackiness that has ensued in the past when Gram was involved, but some of my favorite past times are when these things occurred, or when we all sat around and reminisced about the stunts she's pulled. It's more fun than any bar I've been to with friends, any date night out at the movies, or any other mindless task we fill our days with. Family will just always beat all that other filler out.

Currently Gram is leading her own church, as well as feeding and clothing the homeless and prostitutes in RI. What more could you ask for in a human being than to use their time and energy to help others? When I first heard about Gram's mission to go out and help people on the streets of the city, it was through a request that I give her all the clothes I didn't want anymore instead of throwing them out. When I questioned her on what she would do with them, she answered, "The prostitutes can wear them". At first I was appalled and offended that she thought my wardrobe was fit for a prostitute, but then I realized what she was doing. She was trying to get them off the streets and out of this line of work, which for most I'm sure was almost a necessity in order to just stay alive out there on the streets. Of course I made the obvious hooker jokes at first, but when I stopped to think about what my own Gramma was out there doing, I was amazed at the person she was. Brave and giving and doing the work that the Lord put her here to do.

I can't even begin to understand why things like this happen to good people. People with such a positive influence in so many people's lives. People who could never be replaced. I am not saying that bad people deserve anything like cancer, but I am certain my Gramma doesn't for sure.

She will tell you herself to just pray and believe. I'll never forget being 8 or 9 and struggling with asthma and my Gramma laying hands on me and saying "By the stripes of Jesus, I am healed". She taught me that Bible verse and, at the time (and even still a little now) I didn't really know what "stripes of Jesus" were. I pictured a zebra whenever I prayed that prayer in my bed, and I'll be honest, when I utter this prayer now, I still think zebra. The Lord works in mysterious ways, I guess...

When people get sick they can either look to God and blame him and ask why, which was my first reaction. Your other option is to turn to Him and pray for strength and His power of healing. So I ask you now: pray for her, have faith, believe that she will beat this and get through it with help from the Lord. Be there for her when she doesn't feel well, be a support and a comfort to her when she needs it. I will do it from far away, but I will do all I can. This is not anything but a struggle she will get through with the love of her family and friends, and a bit of that faith that we should all be lucky enough to learn to have and to hold on to.

I think it's sad that people don't always know how highly we think of them. It's times like these that make us think and wonder and appreciate what we have. We can question and be confused, but what we can't do is lose faith in God and the power he Has when we believe...