Friday, August 31, 2012

The Bridge

Well, people. I think some of my closer friends know that I have this horrible habit of trying to stick my head in the sand and wish away my troubles. For the past couple of years, I've been suffering an assault on my female reproductive mechanisms. I stopped taking my oral contraception in hopes of alleviating some of the issues, but it has only grown worse.

Maybe you'll recall when I took my blogs down for a month or two. And I stated personal issues or just being too busy to really keep up with them. That, along with the cyber stalkers, and it was just too much for me to look after in my own time of need.

Not getting into the nitty-gritty (because most of you readers are dudes and any part of the female anatomy that doesn't directly involve copulation tends to gross you out), and that's fine. I've had some cysts in places they didn't belong. And for a few years they've stayed pretty docile and didn't bother anyone. The last real painful episode I had were back in my culinary school days, and after that initial bout of pain, they haven't really bothered me since.

My doctor hinted that those cyst could have been the reason I wasn't getting pregnant right away with that ex. My inner voice told me I wasn't getting pregnant because I didn't want to get pregnant and as a Republican would say, "My body was triggering that automatic response to ward off unwanted pregnancy." Hahahaha!! What a crock of shit!! Seriously, though, I didn't take my fertility issues all that serious because I knew I wasn't ready for a baby and if it wasn't happening with him at the time, then it was fate telling me that it shouldn't be happening. And I was cool with that.

Follow that up with a relationship where kids were a hundred percent out of the question, and it was an issue I shoved to the back of the closet....behind the hoard.

It wasn't until a couple of years ago that I started to experience some pain. I ended up stopping my birth control, hoping I wasn't one of those women who ended up with the horrible side effects or "death" as the TV law ad was warning about.

Stopping the birth control was easy. The side effects of stopping was just unbearable. My weight started to fluctuate and my energy levels have really dropped off. I knew this was all tied in together, but still stubbornly refusing to acknowledge that my body was waging a war on me, I told myself it was many other things causing havoc.

Eventually, I had to have some minor surgery to remove a growth in my ovary. Because I was just over 30 and I was still in generally good shape, the doctors slapped a bandaid on me, told me to take it easy for a couple of weeks, and sent me on my merry way. I didn't look back....

...Until it got worse. Well, that bridge I wasn't worrying about crossing till I got to it suddenly appeared right in front of me and there was no way around it. The weight gain hasn't stopped. My skin had been in ruins. Despite the dermatology appointments and meds, it wasn't getting better and I knew it was hormonal. I had to go back to the doctor. A couple of months ago, they removed another growth. They've been watching me closely ever since.

My energy still isn't what it used to be. My skin is getting a lot better. (Thank you photofacial!) But, I can feel that something is wrong. After another appointment yesterday, my doctor finally approached me with the option of getting a full hysterectomy. It was suggested as an option to me in the past by one of my surgeons but due to my age and the fact that I haven't had kids yet, it was never a serious route. I still have time, don't I?

But, since my maternal grandmother died of the lady cancer, and both my mom and my aunt have both had their women machinery scraped out, they slapped me with a "high risk" label and ask that I seriously consider it to save my health and possibly my life in the future.

I'm gonna get a little whiny here.

For fucks sake, where's the fairness in that? I'm not saying I'm one of these women who are dying to pop out a baby right now, but it feels like because I had the smarts to wait it out to make sure I could bring up another human being in the most ideal conditions I could manage; it feels like I'm getting punished for it. I see young girls and women- ill-equipped, dumb as a stump, and morally handicapped making babies like some people make coffee each morning. Effortless. Painless. And their bodies are fine and they are healthy, and can probably pop out another kid in their 40' know; right around the time their first set of kids are having new kids of their own.

But, here I am, waiting, protecting myself from an unwelcome surprise- and what happens? My machinery gets rusty or stalls out or squirrels have nested up in there. I don't know.

I know medically, it would be smart to scrape me out hollow. But, dammit, it just isn't fair, is it?

I feel like letting them do this to me is like throwing in the towel. It's like telling them I know I'm not going to be financially ready soon and I won't be able to meet a suitable DNA swapper right away. And rather than wait it out to see what life throws at me, it's best to clean out the house and board up the doors. Does that make sense? Am I making the right decision if I let the doctors carve me up to prevent something bad that MIGHT happen???

My logical brain tells me to go ahead and do this. My health has been speeding downhill the last couple of years and it's not something I can deny any more.

The other part of me says to wait. Nothing has been actual cancer. The body is full of benign little nothings that stay benign little nothings. Some people can smoke 4 packs of cigs a day and live to a hundred. Some people can stay away from smokes and alcohol their entire lives and die at 35. There's really no equation that can determine your mortality because I can step off the curb tonight and get hit by a bus. And that's the end of that.

I'm freaking out. I know I shouldn't be freaking out, but I am. A simple wedding cupcake job last night took me twice as long because of the pain. And I refuse to pop pills to mask it. It doesn't end the pain; it just tricks my brain into thinking it isn't there anymore, and I'm not keen on being deceived by anyone, least of all an overpriced pill.

What do I do? Yank it all out "just in case". Or take my chances with fate? Seriously, I'm freaking the fuck out!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Mind Blown: Egg-stractor

Ok, the concept is pretty damn simple. Why hasn't anyone thought of this sooner???

A couple of tips to make this work.

  • Use fresh eggs. Old eggs have weak shells and weak membranes. The yolk will probably break while cracking it open if the egg is old. If it survives the cracking, it may break while sucking it up into the bottle. Any speck of yolk in a meringue-bound egg white will ultimately ruin your whites.
  • Be Careful! If you break the yolk due to overzealous cracking, all the bottle sucking in the world won't separate it from the whites.
  • Use three containers. One to catch the yolks. One to hold the whites. And one to open your egg into and suck up the initial yolks. If you accidentally break the yolk three eggs into this process, you won't mess up the clean whites you have sitting in the other bowl.

I gotta try this! I'll let you all know how it works out!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Get Out of RUDE Free

A few years ago, after a particularly prickly exchange, an ex sent me a caricature he drew of me. It was a side view of me with my nose up in the air holding and oversize Monopoly "Get Out of Rude Free" card. (A play on the "Get Out of Jail Free" card from the game- for those of you who don't understand the reference.) It was after a tense, heated argument about one of the millions of things we argued about and he disagreed with the way I ended the conversation. I probably said something snarky and then signed off the IM or turned off my phone. Either way, I was being rude.

Rather than continue arguing about how nasty I was and how poorly I handled the exchange, he expressed himself the best way he knew how- with a drawing. I was so taken aback, I even put it up on Social Network Unnamed. The reaction was mixed. Some people thought it was awesome and hilarious. (It was.) Other people thought it was rude of him and I should be angry about the way he went about getting his point across- passive aggressive and rather rude himself.

The way I react to things and the hair-line trigger my temper was often set on actually took his gesture in stride. I would rather have someone tell me to my face how rude they think I am (even with a picture), rather than have them passive-aggressively stick it to me by hanging out with ex-lovers behind my back. (Which also happened.) Frankly, I was all for the picture approach, given the three options:
  • A.) Fight until one of us throws down the "I'm DONE! This is OVER!" (Guilty! Not good times.)
  • B.) End the fight amicably and get back at the other by doing something that person wouldn't be ok with.(Hence, the contact with the ex-lovers.)
  • C.) Find a less volatile way of expressing our thoughts or feelings. (The picture.)

I once drew on Microsoft Paint a stick figure of myself hitting a brick wall--with purple Converse and a spilled can of Coke to symbolize how frustrated I felt dealing with whatever issue we were trying to unsuccessfully hash out. He chuckled at my poor attempt at art therapy and we had a pretty decent conversation resolving the problem at the time.

I was thinking about all this last night, as I tried to get to sleep, and this morning when I opened my eyes and saw that I was late once again. Is it ever okay for anyone to pull out the "Get Out of Rude Free" card?

My timeshare points were about to expire again, and rather than let the corporate wheel run over my hard earned money, I booked a two bedroom deluxe suite in Atlantic City this past weekend. I did this months ago, and the first invite went to my friend "J". He said he would go. I threw out a handful of other invites to people who I've promised to party with in AC, leaving out those who I knew didn't have the cash for this kind of weekend.

A few of my girlfriends who know of J were not happy about his invite. Why not make this a girl's weekend, they asked? He had been rude to a couple of them in the past and another bunch of them had boyfriends or husbands who would not be cool with another dude sleeping in the same unit. I tried to explain that his underage girlfriend would not be coming, but he was not the cheating type and they were safe. Think of him as our gay buddy, I tried to joke, but at the end of the day, only a couple of other girls were willing to go.

To make a long story short, I didn't hear from him all week and when I texted him to ask what time he would be getting to AC, he teetered back and forth between Friday night and Saturday (in case he was too tired to drive after work.) I told him who else would be driving down Saturday and maybe he should hook up with them to save on gas and tolls. He didn't reply. I already had a sneaking suspicion this fucker was going to flake on me, and I wasn't wrong. Friday rolled around and I was in my 2 bedroom suite, soaking in my pink bubble bath in the jacuzzi when I asked him again what time he would be arriving. He said it depended on his girl.The only reason he wouldn't go, at this point, was because of her.

Let me point a few things out. While his girl is old enough to vote and fuck legally, she is not old enough to do all the other fun things adults like to do. And that's on him for dating a child. When I first threw out the invite, I did politely say he was welcome to invite her, and he said she wouldn't go because she can't get into any of the casinos or the clubs or the bars. But, she had insisted that he should go and have fun. That's why I had no doubt in my mind that this son of a bitch was going to show up- ESPECIALLY after I told a bunch of my girls to fuck off when they asked if he could be left out of this weekend.

Friday afternoon, I get a text which validated my suspicions. He was too tired. But, enjoy my weekend, he cheerfully ended with.

I was heated. I decided not to reply. I've learned a long time ago that me texting in the midst of a rage is NOT a good combination. He tried to continue playing Song Pop with me, and I promptly deleted our game. He attempted to throw up some comments on my statuses on Social Network Unnamed. I ignored him.

I know he's too dense sometimes to see what is obviously in front of him, but I wasn't about to start a war from Atlantic City. He just isn't worth the effort. My other friend (actually a mutual friend of ours) showed up and I gave her the rundown. She agreed with me, but I saw that she felt weird going against her obvious loyalty to J. It wasn't a big deal and we all had a great time while we were out there.

While on vacation, I get an urgent email forwarded to me from my mother from a co-worker of my father who is desperate to hire me to make her wedding cupcakes. For this coming Friday. Ok, now who the hell gets married without securing the cake months ahead of time? She asked for a price quote, and from my groggy hungover state, I sent her my quote. She wrote back how the payment structure was? What the hell did that mean? I told her since she was a co-worker of my father's, I would accept payment on delivery and not ask for a deposit. She responded if I was willing to wait till next Tuesday for the payment.

This woman was not particularly nice. In fact, she was basically asking me for a credit terms not ever having done business with her before. I was still prickly about J bailing out and effectively fucking up the weekend I had in mind, which could have happened if I un-invited him and brought out my girls instead. I wanted to reply with a "Get the fuck outta here" to this woman, but I stopped, took a hot pink champagne LUSH bath and calmed down.

Okay. She's getting married. Either she is doing so with a really small budget and has overextended herself, or something happened to her cake. It doesn't matter. She's getting married and she doesn't have a cake and her wedding is on Friday. That sucks. She is probably hoping to pay me with wedding gift money. Okay, I've been there, myself. Low on fund but high on everyone's invite list. I felt for her. So, I agreed.

Could she have kissed my ass a little more for doing her this solid? Could she have been nicer? Yeah. Indeed, she could have. However, I can only imagine the stress she's going through trying to pull off a wedding she probably doesn't have the money for. In the grand scheme of things, 156 cupcakes isn't a huge dent in my wallet. I can float the cost until she pays me, and a wedding is always a hotbed for potential clients. I will come out on top at the end of the day. I can deal with a little Bridal Rudeness in the meantime.

My mutual friend came by last night to pick up a cake from me and she mentioned she had a talk with J. He pointed out that everyone who is in a relationship needs to make their significant other their priority. He decided to make his girl his priority this past weekend, and he's not making any apologies for it. She was hinting that she understood where he was coming from since she was having an issue with her boyfriend not making her his priority. And I do believe J threw it out there that I, of all people, should understand since I was in a similar predicament myself once upon a time.

I tried not to blow my top, standing outside of my house, holding a turntable cake. I smiled and patiently told her that if he didn't want to go and leave his child bride behind, I could understand that. But, he should have had the balls to tell me that weeks ago, and not at the 11th hour, when it was too late to get other people to take his miserable place.

Our annual Fire Island trip is this Saturday, and I had to fight every fiber of my being from sending my cancellation RSVP to everyone involved. As tempted as I was at doing that, I remembered that I would be the ultimate hypocrite for bailing out last minute just to spite this fucker. And it's my friend's birthday, probably the last one in NY since she will be moving to FL soon. It would make me the biggest asshole for doing something like that.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Your word is only as good as your last broken promise.

People who do not value their integrity have no place in my world. With my time being a lot more limited and my money a lot less available; have I made the right choices giving this person president over others? As much fun as we have together doing normal mundane things like hitting Target or our Midnight Diner Run or some awesome concert- I don't think it's too much to expect a little respect when it comes to situations like this. I didn't ask him to choose between me and his girl. I have been nothing but nice to the youngster. I do take exception to being lied to and lead on when he had no intention on following through with his promise.

That's not cool.

Am I overreacting? I seem to think everyone around me thinks I am. It's hard to see the situation when you're right there ensconced in it, but I think the law is on my side with this one. Thoughts?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Skinney Medspa

I'm not really the hoity-toity MedSpa type of girl, but my side gig had me traveling up towards the Bloomingdales crowds to seek out this spa for a Photofacial. What's that? you ask? Good question. They take a laser and run it over your face to eliminate bacteria and help reduce lines and pigmentation.

It makes you pretty.

Or so they say. The spa is nestled inside on a block of brownstones. It looks like a house when you walk in and you have to be buzzed in order to gain entry. I let them know I was there, and was told they were running a little behind. After filling out a bio sheet, much like a doctor's office, I sat and waited. It wasn't a bad wait. I watched East Side trust fund babies ask a million questions about how the treatments would hinder their weekend social scenes at the Hamptons.

I listened to some blonde nitwit whine about wanting beautiful skin for her wedding, but refused to wear a hat or put on zinc at the beach house her mother owned that she frequented 4 out of the 7 days of the week. (She only works 3 days, she giggled to the front desk staff.) When the tech insisted again that she really can't opening expose her skin to the sun after having the treatment, she went on a whine about how Samantha Jones (Sex and the City) ended up with a hideous red, puffy face after an errant run-in with the laser. The tech laughed and reminded her it was only a movie, and sun damage on freshly lasered skin was no joke.

So, my tech, Adriana, is gorgeous. I mean, really beautiful. Perfect skin, perfectly highlighted light brown hair, a perky smile and a mini skirt with tall fuck-me pumps to accentuate perfect legs. She wore a lab coat with her name on it. This is probably to give the illusion of making her look more professional, but I had already found out that wielding a laser at someone's skin doesn't require many, (if any), credentials.

Never the less, I went in, she reviewed my skin sheet, and agreed that clearer skin would be a wonderful goal for someone as young as me. When I told her I was 33, she was reluctant to believe it. She contemplated doing a chemical peel on me, but after reminding her I was leaving for a vacation the next day, she relented on sticking with the laser.

A cold goo was spread all over my face and she went to work. If you've never had any skin laser procedures done before, this was my experience:

Your eyes are covered with a protective goggle much like the one's used in tanning beds. A cold blue goo is spread over your face to keep your skin cool and to help the laser affect the areas targeted. She starts moving around and warns me when she is about to pulse the laser. Even with my eyes closed I see a flash of red every where when she pulses. It's lighting up all those tiny veins and capillaries mapped across my skin. She asks me how I feel. The pulse makes a noise which makes me jump, but after the 2nd pulse, it doesn't startle me anymore and I'm not jumping. She asks if I feel anything. Nothing. She stops and turns up the knob. She pulsed again. Anything? No, nothing. Another knob turn. Again. Nothing. She adjusts that knob about 4 times before a feel a little pinch of heat hitting my skin when she pulses. Then, she's satisfied that she has the right intensity going.

I'm glad to know she didn't crank that thin up to fry the hell out of me right from the beginning. I would have lost my patience the 2nd time around and given the knob a good turn, but she was careful to ease it up slowly so she wouldn't hurt me or burn me. The whole thing was done in under ten minutes. She wiped off the blue goo and rubbed a lovely smelling sunblock all over my face. I was worried that my skin my suffer if I slabbed my foundation back on, but after looking at a mirror I was floored to realized I didn't need any. My skin looked....looked....flawless!!!! I had a lovely glow. There was no redness or blotchiness. I looked like a normal person with PERFECT skin.

Holy shit on a pita!! Is this how the rich people manage to look pretty ALL THE TIME????

I didn't experience any redness or peeling afterwards, which makes me think she could have cranked that laser up a little higher. However, my skin was certainly a million times better in touch and in sight that it was before I walked in there. She only did my face, and not my decolletage, and I can see the difference.

There was a groupon type deal on line with them which gave you 1 IPL photofacials for $200 which is about half off the normal price. I did see women in there for a 3 for $99 deal but I don't know if that was for laser hair removal or something else. The photofacials really did a number of my skin and I gotta say, after checking out the pictures my aunt took of my on vacation, I look.....dare I say....better? 

I don't know how long the laser treatment will last. I'm a little sad because I know this isn't something I'd ever be able to afford on a regular basis. I'm really glad my gig let me experience something so luxurious, but I know I'm already struggling to pay the important bills. Little "me" luxuries have already been cut out of my budget. It's hard to imagine there are women in this city who can do this without blinking an eye on a regular basis. It makes me wonder what they're doing right and what I'm doing wrong.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Seattle Day 1

Friday, August 10

It's 4am. SHIT!! I was only supposed to take a quick nap last night at 12am, then wake up, shower, and pack. That's right. I haven't packed anything yet. Are you surprised? I should be at the bus stop by 5am. Hopefully, the bus comes before 5:30 which will give me a leisurely hour to get to JFK. I'll be checked in by 6:30am, and hopefully on line for security with plenty of time to grab a small bite to eat before boarding my flight at 7:50am.

5am- SHIT!! I fell asleep again. Now, I'm really going to be late. I rush through a fast shower, hopefully getting all the shampoo out of my hair. I didn't even have time to shave my legs! I'm racing with my clean laundry from the basement up to the Hoard, mentally checking off what I'm bringing with me.  At 5:30 my mom tells me she knows I'm not gonna make it and that she'll drive me to the Air Train, thereby eliminating my need to take the Q43.

6am- I'm finally out of the house. I get to the airport at about 6:30am, which surprises the hell out of me. I owe my mom big time for this one. I wait in line at security for about 15 minutes before I'm on the other side. I stop to look at the food and decide I don't see anything I really want. I'm also not that hungry. I'm more interested in making sure I make the flight.

8am- My flight is leaving and I'm not on it. I didn't make the passenger list. Apparently, there were other standby passengers who deserved to go more than me. Bummer. The next flight leaves at 10am and I'm shuffled onto the passenger list for that one. I hope I get on. I look at new food options and decide on a hot pannini and an iced tea. I find my new gate, grab an empty chair and munch on my breakfast. Not the best thing I've ever eaten, but since I want to sleep on the plane, I decided to get all the eating out of the way now.

11am- That flight was a bust, and after waiting for an hour for the gate agent to roll me over to the 4pm flight because she was busy dealing with paying passengers who were bumped off, I unhappily make my way to Gate 11 to catch a shuttle to a different terminal where the 4pm will be taking off from. When I get there, the Gate 11 Gate Keeper tells me the 4pm was just cancelled. I'm seriously pissed now. It doesn't look like I'll be going to Seattle afterall. =(

12pm- I'm sitting in the Delta Lounge. There are private tables with their own iPads and charging stations. My phones are taking turns getting juiced up. All the texting and calling I've done all morning long as really depleted their full charges. I had sent out the texts to my friend and my uncle, telling them it didn't look at though I would be going anywhere. I had gotten on the courtesy phone to talk to an agent at the Delta call center. They were much friendlier there and explained that a local tornado forced the 4pm cancellation, and that all those people on the 4pm would now try to squeeze onto the 6:30, so my chances of getting on that flight was slim to none. She booked me on the next morning's flight- 9am. My friend was not having it. My uncle thought I was going to cancel and he and my aunt had the nerve to remind me they took off Monday to take me around. Like I had any control over the damn flights!!! Ross (my friend) made me go to the lounge to relax as she took a look online. As I charged my phone, she called to let me know she booked me on the 1:30pm to Salt Lake City. From there, I could connect with one of two flights to Seattle. I had to get to the gate fast to check in. I chuck all my stuff into my bag, grabbed my weekender and hauled ass across the terminal to the new gate. By now, the security guards, gate agents, and various other airport staff have watched me traipse back and forth from gate to gate with the most forlorn look on my face. This time, they're smiling at me, wishing me luck, and reminding me to stop to get something to eat before I pass out.

1pm- I'm sitting on the other side of the terminal now and it's one of those temporary spaces that's in the middle of a huge renovation. The shops and restaurants are all brand-spanking new but the seating area is limited and crowded. The few available outlets are all taken and there are just people everywhere. I checked into the gate, making sure my name was on the standby list. As the flight loaded, I watched as other standby passengers I recognized from the other flights I tried to board were all waiting. Maybe three of them got on this time. I made friends with a lovely Brazilian woman who I lent my phone to so she could call her daughter in CA. She gave me a Brazilian chocolate bar which was heaven. My stomach was rumbling, waiting for some lunch to make it's way down. As soon as the airplane doors closed and I knew I wasn't getting on, my phone started ringing. It was Ross. She has me scheduled to fly to Portland. She planned on making the two hour drive down from Seattle to come get me . I told her that was crazy, but she insisted that she was going to make sure I made it to Seattle. She gave me the new gate information for the 4:30pm flight. It's nearly 2pm and I'm ready for lunch. The new flight would allow me lots of time to stop for something decent to eat.

3pm: I've been sitting at the bar for nearly an hour now. It was a nice spot with overpriced airport entrees and a decent wine list. I start doing my part to break in a newly open bottle of Malbec. Freddie the bartender brought me a bunch of new grapes to go with the oversized cheeseplatter I ordered for lunch. It was a poorly done cheese platter. The cheese was cold and dry, which meant it was pre-done and sitting in a cold walk-in before making it's way out to me. Most cheese needs to be served room temp. The cheddar, brie, blue, and parm definitely were way too cold to enjoy right away. Plus, the portion sizes were insane. It was more cheese than accompaniments, thus my request for more grapes. The toast points were un-toasted. The grapes were a little wrinkled. The walnuts, which I normally don't like at all, were the only saving grace to this disaster. I let my cheese come down to room temp as I sipped my Malbec. I look up at the bar mirror in front of me and notice that mother fucking Count Vigo from Ghostbusters 2 has just parked his Carpathian ass right next to me at the bar!!! I wondered to myself how in the hell I was going to get this guy's picture. I have many, many friends who are die-hard GB2 fans and this guy's mug would have been perfect!!!! When Vigo got up to use the loo, Freddie the Bartender and I conspired on how we were going to get this done. He was going to take my phone and pretend to take a picture of me, but slightly turn so that he gets Vigo instead. Unfortunately, Vigo got frisky with a waitress on his way back and the waitress raised a ruckus and Freddie made him pay his tab then kicked him out. Dammit, Freddie!!! What about that picture???

4:pm- I made my way back to Gate 11 to take the shuttle to a different terminal. It was horrible. It was crowded and that terminal is a shithole. There were no food options there so it was good that I ate at the other one. Freddie turned out to be awesome. He bought me the 4 glasses of Malbec I sipped upon, and only charged me for the cheese platter. I tipped him generously before making my way to this temporary hell. I found an outlet and immediately started to juice up my severely depleted phones. These smartphones are a serious pain in the ass when it comes to battery life. My little Alias would last for days on end back in the day before mobile internet. This terminal is packed. My name is next on the standby list but I'm worried I may not make it again. There are so many people. Ross kept up a steady stream of text messages to let me know the other options she was considering if this fell through.

5:30pm- I made it!!! I'm on the plane!! Seattle, via Portland, here I come!!!

This beauty is taken with my iPod Touch from my window seat on the plane. From what I was told, this is Mt. Hood. Yes, I used my iPod Touch. You cannot turn on your cell phone during a flight, people!!!!!
9:00pm (Portland Time)- I get off the plane with little trouble at all. I didn't eat my inflight snacks or bother to get a drink while in the air. Five hours is just too long for me to hold my bladder and you all know how I feel about airplane toilets. If I'm not Mile High-ing it, then I need not be in there! I look around Portland's terminal. It's huge and so clean....and so empty. Where are all the people? It's like a ghost town. All the shops are closed. There is no one waiting for any flights. I feel like the whole airport is deserted. I find an empty gate area and immediately plug in my phone. After a two minute charge, it's juiced enough to receive a text from Ross. I am to make my way to an Alaskan Airline agent and pick up my ticket for my 9:45 flight. I need to hurry!!! I looked down at my clock to see it was already 9:15!!! Balls!!!! I snatch up my charger and my phone and haul ass, looking for Alaskan airlines. I find the gate on the map, but realize I need to be in Terminal A but I was currently in Terminal C. I check the map, looking for a way to transfer terminals without having to go through security again. I took the wrong connecting tunnel and found myself on the wrong side of the Homeland Security Desk. Godammit. Since I was going to have to go through security, I decided to find Alaskan ticketing and make sure they checked me into the flight. Time was running out and I know Jet Blue would lock you out if you didn't check in half an hour prior to take off. Alaskan was MUCH nicer. They even said I had a lot of time. I grabbed my ticket and made my way to the security line. I waited about 10 minutes before I made it through without any issues. By now, I was a frequent visitor of the full body scan. Why do they always pick me for that fucking "I SEE YOU NEKKID" machine??? There's nothing to see but my padded bra and a slightly smaller beer gut. I go down several long hallways, down two flights of stairs, another long hallway, and up one flight of stairs to finally find Alaskan. It was a tiny gate with just a few cushioned seats; each with their own outlets and small side tables. Swanky place to hang out. Everyone is wearing hoodies and light jackets. Me; in my sleeveless tunic shirt and leggings- felt really out of place. They thought I just  flew in from Hawaii and the gate agent gave me a blanket to use on the flight, which was boarding right then and there. The plane was tiny. Our carry-on baggage are taken before we climbed the small stairs into the aircraft to be stored below. I was surrounded by Alaskan airlines flight crew who were headed home and a handful of granola munchers. It was colder in Portland. I want to guestimate 65 degrees. I wrapped my blanket around my bare shoulders like I just ran a marathon. When I looked down at my ticket, I realized my friend bought me this shuttle flight, and it wasn't just a connection she booked on my original ticket. Crap. I'd have to pay her for this. Well, part of my ticket fare was a complimentary adult beverage. I had a great local microbrew ale. It was just enough to relax me for the hour-long flight to Seattle. No pictures this time. It was too dark to see anything out the windows. That's a good thing. That means there is more land than there are people. That's always a good thing.

11:00pm (Seattle Time)- Seattle's airport looks amazing. It's big, bustling and full of food options. Too bad I'm exhaustd and my ass is parked on a bench, charging my phone. I thank Ross for her awesome flight-booking skills. I talk to my aunt and uncle who have sent a driver to pick me up and take me to my hotel in Downtown Seattle. After the driver calls to tell me he is about 30 minutes away, I settle on my hard bench and let my phone charge as I watch the people around me. Seattle's airport is visually stimulating with lots of art hanging everywhere and a very specific coastal, nautical theme throughout the buildings. The restaurants I could see from my perch were all amazing seafood options. If I had more time....Oh, well.

12:00pm (Seattle Time) - I am checked into my hotel now. The Red Lion Hotel in downtown Seattle. It's beautiful. I knew it would be because it was damn expensive. The front desk clerk gave me a couple of food options in the area, but they warned me against walking around this late at night by myself. They also suggested the pub attached below the hotel. It looked awesome from outside, but admittedly, I was too pooped to really want to venture down. The view from my 10th floor room is nice. I can't see the water, but the city looks clean and sparkly from my vantage point. The windows are huge and the people in the City Center across from the hotel can look right inside and see me admiring the view. I pick a bed. I stick my iPod into the dock next to my bed and head into the bathroom, which is gorgeous, also. It's not a jacuzzi or a soaking tub, but after spending the entire day in the cesspool that is JFK and then airplanes and two other airports, I needed a good soaking to take the weariness out of me. I pour in my Lush bath bombs, make sure the water temp is perfect and soak for a good half hour before I shower the suds off me, wrap myself into the luxurious hotel bathrobe, and snuggle into bed. I stare out into the Seattle night sky, slowly falling asleep to the Counting Crows, Untitled Love Song.

My first view of the room.

Nicer shots of the beds.

The window and seating area.

The tv, pricey water, and hidden mini fridge.

Closet with bathrobes.

I don't know why I found the frosted glass doors so fascinating, but I did.

View of the commode from the outside.

Nicer view of the commode minus the actual commode.

They had one of those awesome curved shower curtain rods, which I love.

Full view of the tub area.

The really gorgeous vanity. I like the open storage below.

Full length mirror right outside the bathroom.

Semi artsy shot of the other bed.

It's been a long day, but it was worth it.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Overflowing Plate

You know that expression stating something about having too much on one's plate? I did it again.

I should have spent the week getting ready for my trip; laundry, packing, taming the hoard so I have a welcoming space to come home to....but no. I took on way too much.

I did a follow up visit to Wink last night. The night before that I tried doing a cake consultation with a customer who ended up flaking. I am thinking of kicking her off my To Do list. I would lose the 2 c notes I was going to charge for her cake, which is nothing to sneeze at. Money is money and this is a very easy cake to make.

I'm pissed because she wasted my time. And I don't want to set a president for people to waste my time. She's flaky. What if I do this damn cake and the bitch doesn't pay me for it? Fuck it. I'm going to cancel her order.

Anyway, I agreed to do another research gig tonight at a med spa. I'm getting a photo facial and this better not fuck up my face!!! I need to be showered and out of the house at 4:30am tomorrow morning in order for me to get to the airport in plenty of time to veg out and relax. (Hopefully with some breakfast in my tummy.)

I have two loads of laundry on my bed that I haven't put away, an empty weekend bag, no clue what to wear since I'm fat now and all my West Coast friends are hot and sexy. I wanted my bed sheets washed and April-fucking-fresh when I get back home on my red-eye Tuesday morning so I can nap before the concert Tuesday night. I need to run to Walmart tonight to buy tiny toothpaste and tiny shampoo so I don't have to check my bag. I also need some make-up. Why Walmart and not just Duane Reade? Because I have less than $100 cash to my name, a little piddly credit available, and my Walmart card is free and clear for a little vacation spending. Says a lot about what type of vacation I'm take, doesn't it. =/

I wish I didn't agree to the facial for tonight. That was such a bad idea. I have too much to do, and once again, I didn't allot enough time to do it. What part of my brain is so damaged when it comes to time management?

I'm frazzled. On top of all this, I have no gift. =(

I'm beginning to wonder whether or not this trip was such a good idea.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Where Were You?

So, I'm cleaning the Hoard (the term I've affectionately given my room) yesterday. I was making headway. I actually hit carpet and hardwood once three full garbage bags were tied up and taken away. Imagine that??? Admittedly, I threw out a lot of things I thought I wanted to hold onto, but in retrospect, I can admit that I have been a prisoner to my possessions.

Anyway, as I'm feeling good about clearing out junk and making my living space look less and less like the homes in Hoarders, I got a phone call out of the blue from K. I have not heard from K in months, and I was beginning to think I was just another one of those hidden pints of Ben and Jerry's that people keep in the back of the freezer to pull out in times of need. In other words, I felt used.

The conversation was pleasant enough as we filled each other in one what we had been up to the last 60 days or so. Suddenly, it took a hard turn left. He informed me he finally met a person whom I don't really see anymore. This story would flow so much easier if I could just use real names, code names, or say how this person relates to me. However, since realizing that I'm A LOT more public than I originally thought I was, I've been determined to bring it in a little to protect those people- whether or not they deserve the courtesy.

Anyway, K goes on to tell me that he met this person at a beirgarten during a get-together that everyone else was invited to.....except for me. He asked why I wasn't there, and if I could say who this person is then it would make a million times more sense why he assumed I would be there, but like I said- I'm not doing the name thing anymore.

"I guess they didn't want me there."
"That's weird. I thought you all were close."
"Maybe things changed. Oh, well."

I played it off like it didn't matter, but in truth I was a little hurt. I mean, I thought I always brought my A-game to the beirgareten; you know, ever since I learned how to drink REAL beer. I thought I was fun company, except for that one time that I drunkenly made out at the bar with my cousin-in-law's friend from school. (A one time deal only!)

What could I say? Picking up on my tone of ,"Hey, it's cool! Not everyone needs to be invited to everything!", he dropped it only to say quietly a few minutes later, "Maybe you should have a talk with "X". It can't hurt right?"

Maybe it can. I laughed it off and said it didn't matter. This is just how my people roll sometimes and it wasn't bothering me. I did my best to make sure I sounded like it wasn't bothering me. I switched the subject over to exersize, art, and a trip to Colorado next year for ACTUAL snowboard lessons when he got back from Afghanistan. (That's a whole other subject I don't want to get into because it makes my chest hurt.)

Although I was sad that all the plans we tentatively made this winter won't be happening because he's going back overseas, it does give me a year to whip my fat ass back into shape. Why Colorado? He said, in case I'm living on the West Coast, it will be easier to meet up there, and he assured me the snow was better.

It felt good to know someone still thinks I have what it takes to pick up and move. Granted, the me he used to know vs. the me I am now may not be the same person, but does anyone really lose their ability to accomplish shit?

I don't know what it is about me that pisses people off or makes people want to exclude me from stuff that they used to have fun doing with me. Maybe my company was tolerated more than enjoyed back in those days, but who can really say for sure. A lot of the people I used to really enjoy spending time with are either gone or about to go, so maybe it's good all the old ties are being severed.

It makes saying goodbye a lot less difficult.

In the Night

Sometimes the worse thing about insomnia is not just the inability to fall into a peaceful sleep at the right time. The worse thing sometimes is the chaos that ensues when the monkey wrench thrown into your schedule takes down your plans like dominoes during an earthquake.

Not only is my brain rotting from all the extra crap television I end up watching from my fetal position in my bed, obviously awake when everyone else in my time zone is snoozing. But, I don't have enough strength to get up and actually do something; like my week's baking that I can theoretically do ahead of time or the pile of laundry patiently awaiting my attention in the corner. The lack of sleep makes me lethargic all day long. My body and mind is fucking exhausted, but my consciousness never got that message so it's up all night long and doesn't shut down till about 4:30am, when my REM sleep should be wrapping up so I can get up and shower and be ready for work at around 5:30 (the time I should be leaving my house). But no. I can't drag my ass out of bed till about 8am, half an hour away from the time I should be clocking in at my desk.

I should not be surprised that the Office Cunt is kicking all kinds of ass at work. She makes it in on time and has the wherewithal to stay sharp and aggressive in that shit environment. Do I want to do what she's doing? Really, I don't. But, it chaps my ass when ALL the doors are thrown wide open for her just because she has the right last name, the blonde hair, and has perfected the fine art of brown-nosing in White America. Don't be fooled by the PSA's. Getting skeedaddled to the front of the line is still in full effect in the federal government if your skin as as white as snow.

Shit like this shouldn't bother me because I don't plan on checking out of the working class as an office drone. In other words, I won't be here much longer so why should I care? But, I do. The unfairness of it all cuts into my gut like a hot knife through butter. The injustice bugs me more than I'm comfortable with, and it eats at me even more because I look for a solution and I know there isn't one. There's not much I can do about it. And I know long after I'm gone, if I ever have a kid; if it isn't a male, light-skinned, good-looking "popular" kid from the start- his chances at getting a fair shake in this world will still be stacked against him. That shit sucks. If my kid isn't as charming as a politician, as gorgeous as a Keanu-looking Asian/Caucasian half n half, then it really won't matter how smart he is- he will be relegated to the back of the IT department.

A half-witted, brown-nosing, back-stabbing little cunt will make twice what I make and get ten times as many pats on the back from the people I've worked with the last eight years because she looks the way she does, and I'm going to get orders for cupcakes and a bunch of "Why are you wasting your time here?" because of the way I look.

This is the shit that flies through my mind when I can't sleep. All the injustice and the tipped scales come swimming back at me like a tsunami all because I can't sleep. My mind just won't shut itself off.

My phone used to be my worse enemy during my insomniac years. Long after Joel and I went our separate ways, Verizon kept us chained together. I couldn't sleep and his voice was comforting....even from hundreds of miles away. I learned from that mistake, though, didn't I? No random "I miss you" texts or "What are you up to?" phone calls. Let's just say my cell phone bill will never be in danger of running over on minutes anymore. Thank goodness those days are long gone. There's nothing worse than Ex Regret.

Do you know what Ex Regret is? It's the stupid text message or phone call you succumb to after months or years of non-contact. It's the "I miss you, too" reply or the teary voice you croak into your phone at 2am, as you admit that you really weren't as over as him you made it out to be, only to realize he's perfectly happy and you only received the text for one of 3 reasons: curiosity to see where your head or heart is at, revenge against his current girl, or the satisfaction of knowing you're still pining after him while he's long gotten on over you.

Yeah, it's happened to me on more than one 3am silence. And I walked right into it- hook, line, and sinker. And the self-loathe that I endured after was something fierce- even worse than wanting to bang your head up against a brick wall, muttering Stupid! Stupid Stupid! all the while.

I try not to lay down with my cell phone beside me anymore.

Who am I kidding? They're within arm's reach right now; both of them.

I was wrong. The worse thing about insomnia is that awful feeling that you're the only one in the entire world who is awake and can't sleep. The only one with a billion thoughts happening all at once. The only one who is thinking of someone from the past. The only one.....The worst part is being alone, trapped in sleeplessness....until the sun rises, that is.