I've never gone on vacation before when I've had social work clients. I'm worried about them. I've already alerted my co-workers about who they might be hearing from while I'm away...called each person to make sure they are 'okay' before I leave (or as close to okay as they can be)...and given my cell phone number (for emergencies) to our admin.

I just need to let go. Worrying about my clients isn't fair to them. Or to my skills as their therapist.

So...I've set my 'out of office' responses on email and voicemail. Cleared off my desk. Updated my files.

The only thing left to do is to get a pedicure and have some goodbye cocktails with MS & Groom.

Why am I blogging?


Madness. Madness, I Tell You

I'm going on vacation on Friday.

My first vacation since I started working last August.

I cannot explain how much I am looking forward to being away.


The mad dash to get ready to go on vacation at work (scheduling/rescheduling clients, reassuring clients, cleaning up my desk, wrapping up the school project for the year, attending meetings, finishing another grant, returning phone calls, etc.) and at home (packing, cleaning my apartment, errands, laundry, etc.) will almost surely be the end of me.

I haven't stopped. For about 3 weeks. It's going to take a significant part of my vacation just to slow down from the gearing up for vacation.

And somewhere, in the back of all this craziness, is me feeling just a little bit panicked that I am going to be in public in my bathing suit.

(And pushed even further down is the knowledge that MS & Groom will be moved out of the city by the time I return.)


I Am A Badass

Last night, after reserving precious lawn space at Bryant Park for the screening of Annie Hall, I ran over to the drug store to pick up a prescription that I had dropped off an hour beforehand.

When I arrived, I grabbed a Diet Pepsi from the cooler, and took my place at the back of the 12 person line at the pharmacy counter. I noted that the store was not air conditioned and it was already unpleasantly hot. I opened my soda and began to drink.

I waited. And waited. And rolled my eyes and tapped my foot. And waited some more. I could feel everyone in line getting more agitated by the minute.

And then, something awesome happened. A woman near the front of the line, whose prescription had apparently been 'lost', started having a meltdown. A meltdown of epic proportions. She started screaming and swearing and saying she was going to faint. At one point, she even went behind the counter and into the room where the drugs are stored so she could yell directly at the pharmacist.

As her tirade continued, the people in line started mumbling about the wait and the ineptitude. This woman's freak-out was releasing a communal freak-out of sorts.

After another 20 minutes, I reached the front of the line, where 5 people were now yelling at the staff. I got my prescription (lucky!), paid, and ducked out of the commotion. As I was walking towards the exit, I noticed the bottle of Diet Pepsi in my hand. Unpaid for Diet Pepsi.

Paying would mean waiting in line again.

And as I walked out the door without stopping at the register, I convinced myself that the soda was payment to me, owed for my time spent waiting in line. Yes, that's right. I neglected to pay for my soda. Kinda sorta on purpose.

I HATE that drug store, and although they are all over NYC, I will make every effort to avoid patronizing them again. I'm not going to name the store, but it rhymes with, um, Schmane Need.


Bullets Are My Friend

  • Friday Night: The Librarian and I go to Bamboo52 for dinner. We take full advantage of happy hour until 9 pm. (Holla!). We eat a lot of sushi. We falter while doing the math on the bill. Later on, we are joined by MS and his friends who are in from Boston. We drink more. I freak out a little when the bar turns off the Yankees/Mets game in favor of the Daytime Emmy Awards. I tear up when asked about MS/Groom's pending move to Boston, and then realize it is time to go home.
  • Saturday morning: I meet up with HC for brunch. I decide I need a Bloody Mary. We journey up to tha Bronx for the Yankees/Mets game. She's wearing her bright orange 'Mr. Met' shirt. This goes over like a lead balloon with most Yankees fans, including me. We have some really expensive beers. We laugh uncontrollably at the concept that Mr. Met should be called 'fathead'. The good guys win. After the game, we meet up with JP and Buzzkill who only stay for about 10 minutes (Buzzkill strikes again!). Shortly after they leave, we are approached by Shaun, a 22 year old Yankee fan from L.I. and his friends Sam/Jeff (he used both names) and Bobcat (no, I'm not kidding). On the way home on the subway, HC and I wonder why we attract such random guys when we go out together.
  • Saturday night: I resist going across the street for a pint of ice cream. I read my book club selection. I watch crappy movies on TBS. I flirt with the idea that I am lame. Buzzkill strikes again! (Oh wait, this one's squarely on me.)
  • Sunday morning: I wake up thinking about the ARH. I had a strange dream about him during the night.
  • Confession time: (No, not at church. Don't you know me at all by now?) I sent him an email. I'm not sure what I'm expecting from this, probably nothing, but I feel good about what I wrote and about sending it.
  • Sunday afternoon: The Jerz. The deck. The sun. The Peanut.
  • Sunday night: NJ Transit. The rage. The train delays. The crowded subway. Finally, the apartment. The air conditioning. The bed.


Not Me

I'm so pissed off at the shit that's been going down at my job lately. Not the work, or the clients, or the kids on the school project.

No, I'm talking about my co-workers.

Yesterday morning, I was the sole employee in the office, covering the hotline while two people were at all day conferences, another was on vacation, and another was taking comp time. (This is not the first time in the past few weeks that this has happened.) Towards 1pm, in addition to everything else that I was trying to finish, I got a call to consult on a case that was in the hospital, which is a 10 minute walk from my office. With relief, I noted that one of my colleagues was due to arrive at work shortly. I figured she could at least cover the phones while I went to see the patient. However, while I was on the phone, she came into the office, and then, without checking in with me, promptly signed herself out to lunch for an hour.


I've been here, alone for the past 5 hours. Don't you think I'd like to take a break? Get something to eat? Because of this fucked up scheduling, my afternoon of comp time turned into me running out the door 1/2 hour before I would have left anyway. (So much for my glorious plans of clean laundry.)

There's no sense of teamwork here. This has been apparent from the very first day I came to work, but lately it's grown more and more obvious. Everyone looks out for themselves, their own schedule, their own activities. And despite my best efforts (group supervision, monthly team meetings) nothing changes.

The problem is that I'd like to do the same things. I'd like to schedule my time out of the office without thought to the impact on our clients or my colleagues. I'd like to tell everyone to fuck right off.

But I don't want to be that person.



  • Much like Jay Z, I "can't let the day go bye without me being fly, fresh, and def".
  • I'm so immersed in my job right now, that, at any given moment, I have all kinds of facts spinning around in my head, like "alcohol is the most commonly used date rape drug" and "85% of all sexual assaults are committed by someone the victim knows". Fun for me and everyone around me.
  • Looking in the mirror this morning, I had the startling thought that I look more and more like my dad as I get older. If this continues, I'm likely to develop an Italian accent and start wearing cardigans purchased in 1962.
  • Yesterday, during a particularly low moment of yet another presentation to apathetic 8th graders, I just stopped speaking. And stood there. And thought about leaving. The kids did not seem to notice my lapse, as they were busy with side conversations, wandering around the classroom, and starting mini-fights with one another.
  • I feel like a match.com loser...8 emails sent, no replies. I have received 2 unsolicited emails: one containing a slightly creepy poem about my 'mesmerizing eyes' and the other from someone who lives in the midwest.
  • Today, following three 12-hour workdays, I'm leaving early. I have something very exciting planned. Laundry.



I am so tired today that my emotions are bordering on the irrational. Which happens even when I'm not tired, but it seems especially apparent today that I am ready to burst into hysterical tears/laughter at any given time.

I've been at work since 7:00 am, teaching three classes in a row to seriously bored 8th grade students about 'Relational Styles: Aggressive, Passive, Passive-Aggressive and Assertive', followed by a school staff meeting, 2 counseling sessions with clients and a conference call. And blah, blah, blah...cry me a river, because this is the job that I signed up for, but I'm also trying to cover our hotline because we have 3 staff members out of the office, along with returning the gazillion phone calls and emails that built up over the weekend.

Adding to the stress, we got word today that our temporary supervisor (who's been 'temporary' and a 'supervisor' since January) is quitting in less than a month. I wonder how much longer I will have a job here.

I suspect that heading to the gym and running will clear out my head a bit...but I'm equally convinced of the worth of going home and planting my ass on the couch with a pint of ice cream and a silly movie.


She's A Maniac

I am so damn happy today it hurts.

It's payday and I have this new pink grapefruit bodywash that I love and my school program kids actually had an intelligent debate about sexual harassment this morning and I'm about this close to being accepted to a trauma studies certification program and later I'm hanging out with DJ, Bons, and BC and tomorrow I'm going to the beach.

Even the horror of trying on bathing suits this morning didn't bring me down. (Okay, maybe that sucked a little, but I recovered pretty quickly.)

Happiness. Weird.


Almost Famous

Tonight, The Lawyer and I will be journeying over the the NYPL for a screening of a documentary about sexual violence by a social service agency that provides internships in filmmaking for high school students. I'm in the movie, giving a tour of our Emergency Department and talking about our Rape Crisis program services. (And offering my opinions about sexual assault prevention strategies, patriarchal models, and victim-blaming.)

Helping with this project was an interesting experience. The kids I met with were smart and interested and well-prepared regarding the topic. And their questions were tough! It can be hard to eloquently explain why rape occurs, and how societal norms contribute to the problem. Or what "fair" punishment for sexual violence would look like.

The Lawyer will be there tonight for moral support mockery, as I generally hate seeing/hearing myself on screen. Afterwards, we'll cope with my fame with empanadas and sangria.



Right Back In It

Thanks to some prodding by OrangemanMike, I'm excited to announce that we'll be running the Philadelphia Marathon on 11.18.07! Yep, a full one this time. I'm back to my training schedule, healthier eating, etc. (We can just ignore this past weekend, when I sat on my ass and ate anything I wanted. Actually, isn't that the whole point of the ridiculousness of marathon training? That you can eat with abandon?) I'm even going to join this Master's swim team for more consistent cross training.

Aaaaaand, thanks to some prodding by my book club girl, Nashville, I've signed up with match.com again. I haven't entirely closed the door on The Musician (or MySpaceGuy, for that matter) but it's good to have options. And when I say 'options', I mean 'men between the ages of 33-40, residing within 2 miles of zip code 10019'.


In The Interest Of Clearing This Out Of My Head

My Engagement, 2001


On a Friday evening, we're drinking margaritas in his sister's small kitchen, looking out at gray skies and trying to summon excitement for the upcoming Memorial Day Weekend. His brother-in-law is ducking out into the drizzle to check the progress of our dinner on the grill.

At one point, he interrupts the silence to ask if he is too old for me, and I feel everyone's head swivel, anticipating my answer. This is an unexpected question, asked lightly, but with layers. There are always layers. I look up at him, trying to gauge his mood. I finally shake my head and smile a little bit, but it doesn't break the tension. Maybe I'm not trying hard enough. I reach out and awkwardly take his hand.


Earlier in the day, at lunch, my co-worker asks about my relationship. She wonders if I love my boyfriend, if we have a future together. I don't trust her, so I order another drink and change the subject. When we get back to work, I realize that I am slightly drunk.


The blender is whirring, preparing another round of drinks. He is unusually attentive - refilling my glass, asking if I have enough to eat. He talks about his temporary job with a landscaper. He is content. I notice that he has showered and shaved in between work and here, and the knowledge of this effort creates a slight rush of affection. Still, I look at his movements and feel like I'm watching from behind a glass wall, completely disconnected.

Saying goodbye is going to be easy.


On Tuesday night, I leave work and travel down the highway toward home. His home, his house, not mine. Never mine. I can't stand the thought of being there, so I pass the exit and continue south, heading toward the ocean.

The awfulness of the day before has brought me to this point. I sit in the parking lot, in my car with the radio off, staring at the waves. This is rock bottom, I think. I care about nothing. For the first time in a long time, I know what I need to do.

When I walk into the house several hours later, I am unconcerned about being late. He meets me in the front hallway. Strangely, he is not angry. He tells me that he was worried, and tries to kiss me. When I walk past him into the kitchen, I see that he has made dinner. There are flowers and a greeting card, demonstrating his apology.

That night, I lie awake in the dark, listening to him snore beside me, planning my escape.


We open champagne, pouring a bit into each plastic cup. Before we drink, he asks everyone to name something they are grateful for. When my turn comes, I know the right answer to give: for my amazing boyfriend, who loves me so much. My delivery is flat. No-one cares.

We toast, and his brother-in-law notices that my boyfriend hasn't said anything.

"Me?", he says, happy to be the center of attention. He draws out the moment. Inwardly, I roll my eyes.

"I'm grateful for this." He takes a jewelers box from his pocket, holding it out to me. I am frozen. I am panicking. All I can think about is the absurdity of getting engaged while wearing baggy carpenter jeans and a ratty t-shirt. I take the box and open it. A perfect diamond, the one I've always wanted. Without knowing why, I slip the ring on my finger. (After, when I can be private with my thoughts again, I will remember that he had to be prompted to ask The Question. I'd been obedient for so long. Why would he even need to ask to be mine?) His family erupts in celebration.

I am not present. No-one cares.


The ring feels foreign to me. Heavy. I am afraid. We are linked, he and I, in some kind of awful dance, playing itself out over and over again.



The good thing about being sick is that you go to bed extremely early on a night when you would normally be out and about doing ridiculous things and drinking too much.

And now, I'm up early, with the whole day in front of me. And a bin of recently-returned-from-my-parent's-garage-bedbug-free books. (I didn't realize how much I was missing my books until I got them back. I'm a frequent re-reader.)

Jamba Juice and Central Park are calling. Along with a possible date hang-out with The Musician.