Baby Got Back

I've (triumphantly) returned from Vermont, where I climbed friggin' Hunger Mountain in a thunderstorm with my girls. We're such badasses.

Pics and details to follow...now I'm just sludging through my work day after getting up at 4 am to drive back...



I made an executive decision and called out sick from work today. Which gives me time to do all the stuff that I didn't have time to do this week, like purchase luggage, go to the library, and do laundry.

I also had a chance to catch up with L by phone. So I was telling her about my health insurance woes (because who doesn't want to hear that story a million times?) and at the end, I said, darkly, "Oh, I'll get my money..."

And she paused, laughed, and said "Ok, just don't get on the 11 o'clock news while trying to get your money." I think she's afraid I'm going to resort to desperate measures.

1199 is safe (for now) because I'm off to Burlington, Vermont for the weekend. Holla!


Joy & Pain, Sunshine & Rain

Had another brilliant night with The Comedian, only to reach work today and be stymied by my health care claims (still unresolved, and I finally just broke down and cried to the Quality Assurance Representative, or whatever she's called) and my job (the building where my office is located has been sold, no plans for our relocation).

Tryin' to keep it positive...chocolate might help.

UPDATE: (Job.) Several buildings are being considered as our new office space. The top pick is currently inhabited by pigeons and the homeless. During our team meeting, I jokingly suggested getting ABC/Ty Pennington/Extreme Makeover involved with the renovations, because, hey, I'm as good at making people cry as the next girl - and I'm starting to think it's not such a crazy idea after all.


Clearly, I Enjoy Spending Time In My Own Head

My horoscope today:

Some past dramas are easy to forget, but some are tougher to erase from your mind than they should be. Today you will be reminded of a past situation early in the day, and unsettling feelings will hover around you all day. This is just your subconscious working things out, so let it. Do not try to push these thoughts out of your head. Just let them fade away on their own -- they will. You cannot force yourself to forget something. It just has to go away on its own.

Lots of thinking going on over here. It's interesting that almost directly after receiving some unsettling news, I met someone, and am now negotiating a new relationship.

There's a weird kind of synergy between ending and starting.

And this new thing is kicking up all sorts of stuff for me - mostly closeness and over-analyzing and pushing someone away without even realizing you are doing it. Because, clearly, he's right there, and he's been open and honest and adult about everything. "I have problems trusting people", I keep telling him, but I'm really only trying to have faith in myself.


Stepping It Up

Last night, after Book Club, I went over to The Comedian's house for our first sleepover. (Interesting: he lives in the same building as the ARH.)

Things were going along just fine until he did something very shocking.

He called me the g-word. (And later on, he did it again.)

Yup, that's right. Girlfriend. He called me his girlfriend. Not as in, "Girlfriend, PLEASE", as in "I've included a bit in my routine about my new girlfriend."

I think that's me.

Almost as alarming: while I was lounging around my apartment this morning, the buzzer rang, and flowers (along with a funny, sweet note) were delivered.

The boy moves fast, I guess.


Doctor Visit

So...had my annual check-up this morning.

1. I think when my blood test results come back, the reading will be something like 90% white wine, based upon last night's celebratory happenings.
2. The other 10% will be pizza.
3. I got weighed. The number distressed me until I remembered that my clothing has got to account for at least 10 pounds of the total.
4. It was really strange to hear myself say that I started smoking at age 17 and quit in January 2007. I'm no math genius, but that's, um, 17 years of smoking.
5. My lungs sounded 'clear'.
6. Heart: still murmuring. Hopefully, after the EKG and Echocardiogram, I will be cleared to run the marathon.
7. The NP asked if I was currently in any pain. I considered telling her about my hangover, then decided against it.
8. The doctor asked about my job, commented that it must be stressful, to which I found myself saying "I love trauma."
9. What? Yeah, I don't know either.
10. The initial assessment was that I am 'healthy'. Fooled them!

Poetry The Morning After M's Last Going Away Party

I feel like crap.
I need a nap.
I can rap.



Waaaaaay back in 1994, when I graduated from college with a degree in English Textual Studies (no, I still don't know what that means) and was qualified to do...absolutely nothing, I got a job at Cellular One as a Customer Care Representative.

Did I "care", as the job dictated? No, no I did not. My workday basically consisted of a lot of angry people, screaming at me over their cellular service.

And this morning, I'm right back there as I enter round 100 of trying to get reimbursement from my health insurance provider. I'm using the same words/phrases as those jerks I dealt with so long ago...you know: "unacceptable", "ridiculous", "ludricrous", "put me through to a manager", etc.

I'm the jerk. I'm the jerk.


Planning Ahead

Here in ridiculous-land, the whirl continues. My apartment is becoming a place where I drop off my stuff and sleep for a few hours in between social engagements. I guess it has something to do with summer, and the need to make plans to be out and about while the weather is nice. (Although, that theory is slightly suspect, as it has been humid and shitty for the past several days.)

L is pretty wise about this. I was semi-bitching on the phone with her last night, about the need for balance and time on my own and blah, blah, blah...and she said, "Okay, but you're also a social person."

Very true, my friend. Very true.

So, in the spirit of remaining the lovely social butterfly that I am - it's time to start planning my birthday celebration. I'm hoping that LDK will want to join forces again for a Virgoan bash...and I also have a very nice offer to host a quieter celebration at DJ's apartment. (I could do both! Let's celebrate for an entire week!)

Either way, thinking about the options is far better than remaining in a state of denial about turning 35.


Run Like The Wind. Or A Slight Breeze.

I went running in Hudson River Park this morning. It was ugly. Very hot, very humid. I ran about 2 miles, then started walking. Then jogged/walked the rest of the way - eventually (and very slowly) completing 5 miles.


I could blame the residual effects of my latest bronchial infection. Or the weather. Or that I sat in Bryant Park last night, progressing from wine to beer and stuffing my face with cheese and crackers and all sorts of junk.

But I think I really just need to shut up about it and run. There's been a lot of talk about this marathon...not a lot of actual *doing* the training for the marathon.

In other news, had a nice short date (he was on his way to a show, I was on-call for my volunteer stuff) with The Comedian on Saturday. We ate cupcakes and played pool. He's cute. So far, so good.


My Brain Hurts...

...after spending all day at a meeting up in Rockland County, discussing branding and strategy for the communications sub-committee of this coalition that I'm involved with. Slowly, I think my job is taking over my life.

And then, on the 1 train coming home, some random dude was totally trying to have a conversation with me about yoga, which forced me to remove my ipod headphones and listen to his stupidity, which I really hate. Dude, nothing personal, but I've just spent 7 hours discussing crime victims and I need a little peace and loud music and no social interaction. M'kay?

Luckily, I'm home now, and I have a cold beer in the fridge, calling my name.


Match Addendum

Those I've ruled out:

- Someone who is an "urban hunter" looking for a "lioness/sexy partner".
- Someone who remembered me from the last time I was on match (I wasn't interested then, either), emailed me, waited 5 minutes, then emailed me *again* berating me for "being snobby" and "ignoring" him.
- A 21 year old, still living at home.
- Anyone who emails and clearly has not read my profile. Example: Emails from those who list tattoos, piercings, and sarcasm as "turn offs". I have all of those things.
- Someone who suggested we get together for a "rockin' good time".
- Anyone who unironically writes me a poem.
- Anyone who I appear to outweigh.
- Anyone who feels the need to announce that they are a doctor.
- Someone whose profile included a rant about being faithful in relationships.

Game, Set, Match

The activity on my match.com account has really picked up in the last week or so. A review of the contenders:

The Comedian
Day Job: Accountant
Hobbies: Stand Up Comedy
Status: First date, 7.10.07
Thoughts: On our date, there were times when I felt like he was performing his stand up routine for me. But he very sweetly brought me a pack of my favorite bubblegum, which I had mentioned weeks ago when we first started talking.

The Smart Guy
Day Job: Med./Grad. Student at Yale
Hobbies: Um, just getting through two degrees at Yale.
Status: Email
Thoughts: His emails are well written, witty, and interesting. He's got a degree in epidemiology, and is writing his doctoral dissertation on race and hospital care, which is pretty cool. Photos are a little blurry, though.

The Self Professed Geek
Day Job: IT Consultant
Hobbies: Geek Stuff (his words, not mine)
Status: match.com messages
Thoughts: Lives on Long Island and I'm not sure I could handle the long distance...even though it's not really that long. On the plus side, his emails are really funny.

Beach Guy
Day Job: Chemistry Teacher
Hobbies: Anything related to the beach.
Status: match.com messages
Thoughts: His protrait made me laugh out loud (in a good way). He's a little young, and lives on Long Island (see above).

Yoga Guy
Day Job: Freelance Art Director
Hobbies: Certified Yoga Instructor, Thai Massage
Status: Email
Thoughts: Absolutely love his emails, and anyone who wants to turn our first date into 'ice creamapalooza' is just fine with me.


Much Love

In the midst of The News (news that is neither good nor bad - it just is) that my ex-fiance is married to the woman he cheated on me with, thanks to:

The Lawyer, who offered to come over and sit in the dark and eat Ben & Jerry's with me;
MS, my very own cheerleader who listed all the ways that I have changed for the better since leaving the ex-fiance;
The Librarian, for asking about my date last night, thus keeping my thoughts somewhat in the present (and HAPPY BIRTHDAY to her, btw.) *and* for researching the character of Joe in 'When Harry Met Sally', hoping to be able to tell me of a fiery death;
DJ, who called last night and left a sweet message to see how I was feeling;
ESB, who texted from San Fransisco to let me know she was thinking about me and sending good thoughts my way;
L, who reminded me that it is okay to be thrown and sad and angry by The News;
My therapist, who left me snuffle into her tissues this morning;
Honeychild, who told me that my life being like a movie meant that I was slated for a happy ending.


Life *Is* Like The Movies

Sally: He just met her... She's supposed to be his transitional person, she's not supposed to be the ONE. All this time I thought he didn't want to get married. But, the truth is, he didn't want to marry me. He didn't love me.
Harry: If you could take him back now, would you?
Sally: No. But why didn't he want to marry me? What's the matter with me?
Harry: Nothing.
Sally: I'm difficult.
Harry: You're challenging.
Sally: I'm too structured, I'm completely closed off.
Harry: But in a good way.
Sally: No, no, no, I drove him away. AND, I'm gonna be forty.
Harry: When?
Sally: Someday.
Harry: In eight years.
Sally: But it's there. It's just sitting there, like some big dead end. And it's not the same for men. Charlie Chaplin had kids when he was 73.
Harry: Yeah, but he was too old to pick them up.



My health insurance battles continue.

I *have* received a check partially reimbursing me for my January medical expenses. However, December is 'somewhere in the claims department' and I'm just starting to reluctantly pursue all of the other months.

To add to the fun, they refuse to cover my prescription for Zyrtec which prevents my allergic reaction to cats. When I spoke with them this morning, they stated they do not cover any antihistamines, even with an authorization letter from my doctor. The good news is, I had no problem getting my inhaler, so at least when the allergic reaction happens, I won't have to go to the hospital.


Drawing upon the lessons about advocacy learned in both graduate school and in, you know, life - my plan is to present myself personally at their offices on Wednesday morning to resolve my claims. I have a bad head cold which might help my cause: if it continues as it has today, I'll be sneezing and snotting and blowing my nose all over the lucky claims agent who gets to help me.


Things To Do When You Find Yourself Awake At 2:38 AM For No Good Reason

  1. Catalogue mosquito bites on your legs from a few days ago, notice a few new bites, and start to think you have bedbugs again.
  2. Tear apart your bed (mattress, sheets, pillowcases, comforter, the whole deal) looking for phantom bedbugs.
  3. Track the stuff you will get rid of *this* time around if you do have to battle the bedbugs again.
  4. See a rogue mosquito during one of your searches, remember that you have a window open, and thus try to mentally walk away from the bedbug scare.
  5. Close your window and turn on the air conditioner.
  6. Try to sleep. It is now 3:12 AM.
  7. New mosquito bites start itching, turn on the lights, locate bendryl cream, apply.
  8. Bites still itch - wail on mattress in frustration. It is now 3:41 AM.
  9. Think about life a little bit. Specifically, your life.
  10. Get freaked out about not taking care of yourself, physically or emotionally.
  11. Talk yourself down the ladder again.
  12. Still wide awake, empty the clean dishes from the dishwasher.
  13. It is now 4:07AM.
  14. Force yourself to think calming thoughts. Realize it's not working.
  15. Wonder if drinking warm soymilk (the only kind of milk in the house) will have the same somnolent effects as warm regular milk.
  16. Nope.
  17. Get up to use the bathroom. You drank a lot of soymilk.
  18. Since it is now 4:38 AM and you are wide awake, pack for your weekend trip to DC.
  19. Assess clothing choices, repack for trip.
  20. For lack of anything better to do, tweeze eyebrows.
  21. Look up estimated time of sunrise on the internet. Think about taking a walk to see the sunrise. Dismiss idea.
  22. Water the plants.
  23. Get back into bed, and drift off to sleep at 5:17 am - 45 minutes before your alarm clock is scheduled to go off.


Isolation Booth

I had plenty of offers for things to do yesterday: picnic in Prospect Park, visit the Museum of Natural History, go out to dinner, eat a home-cooked dinner, watch a parade and fireworks in NJ, go to a movie night, indulge in an afternoon drinkfest, watch the NYC fireworks from a fabulous roofdeck, or go to the beach.

I chose to remain in my apartment for the entirety of the day, in my pajamas, alternately watching the Project Runway marathon on Bravo and napping.

The only active thing I did yesterday was to think about being described as 'guarded' by both a close friend and a stranger in a bar, within days of one another. If it happens a third time, I'm gonna have to believe it's true.


From The Home Office In...

Since Cherry did a list of 10, I'm gonna do a list of 10.

1. I am currently very, very tan. While on vacation, I used 30 sunblock all week but am still tan (thank you, 50% Italian genes!). I look really good tan. I know this sounds conceited, but seriously, I look good. I'm actually thinking it's a shame to waste my tan hotness on work right now. I should be out somewhere slutting it up.

2. I, too, feel like I am the only one at work today. I am debating going outside for lunch because I'm sure I'll see a parade of people, walking toward the subway, released at an early hour from their jobs.

3. Then again, it's freezing in my office and going outside would help me defrost.

4. One of the only things I miss about my corporate ex-job was the 'surprise' pre-holiday go home early. I'll be here until 8 tonight. Sigh.

5. After staying in my apartment while I was away, and with me through the weekend until this morning, MS packed up and left to go to work, then Boston. Where he lives now. It's gonna be a little sad to go home tonight and not have a roommate to giggle with.

6. Monday night drinkfest? Check. Druids? Check. Wine followed by beer? Check. Bad idea? Check.

7. In the immortal words of Phil Collins, Genesis, Abacab...I've received 'No Reply At All' to my missive to the ARH. Ah well. I thought about it during vacation, and realized that this is a man who didn't choose to be with me - not once, but twice. Surely I deserve something better than that.

8. Damn, it's really cold in here. Despite my self-professed hotness.

9. Has anyone tried the new 'Frosty Freeze' from Wendy's? Man, those are good. Once again, I'm going to choose to believe that milkfat is essential for marathon training.

10. And speaking of running, I really need to get my ass in gear. Everything is in place for November 18th (hotel, cheering section, race registration, gear) except for my ability to run 26.2 miles.



I'm home.

It was quite an adjustment to wake to my alarm this morning, blowdry my hair, and apply make up. Stuff my feet into high heels. Ride the subway. Sip coffee and listen to my iPod.

I'm trying to hold onto that vacation feeling for as long as possible. So, please, New York, keep your distance for a little bit longer...