Tuesday, September 29, 2009

When life comes crashing down

I hate that feeling, you know? That one where your entire world seems to shatter? Where you just can't breathe, and then you think to yourself, what the hell did I do wrong? Why didn't I think of taking the steps to prevent this?

Now here is the part where you realize I'm not talking about any real life shattering events, but rather a flash drive and a story I've invested almost 2 years into. Hopefully you can understand my distress.

When I was in high school, I started writing. Like, seriously writing. I would write fan-fictions (which I consider to be real writing) for the X-Files, my then-favorite show. Reading them back today, my ideas fascinate me--my grammar, though? Not so much.. But the point is, this was the start of my favorite hobby: writing.

After my X-Files phase faded, I dabbled with a few Buffy/Angel fictions which never seemed to go anywhere. Had the great ideas, and all, but I never got around to writing them. I started stories for Fastlane, and House, and even X-Men (the movies), but they've yet to make it out of my flashdrive.

My latest fanfic has been my biggest problem to date. It is a series I'm writing about Supernatural--a show one could argue that saved my life. Like all my other works, I have vested many a nights planning, plotting, and working through the fine print. There are days where I have to remind myself to eat, because I'm so engrossed, I don't dare to stop. Nevertheless, this entry is not about my story, or my sick obsession with it--it's about technology.

I've worked on this story for 2 years, and history has told me not to trust technology. Time and time again, I've lost my work due to: corruption, viruses, and crashing computers. This is why I find the concept of a flash drive so amazing. You can take your files with you, wherever you go. It's brilliant. Brings me back to high school and those darn floppy disks--yes you heard me right, floppies. I was part of the floppy generation, and I had a whole case of the colorful ones.

My most tragic floppy moment was when my mother spilled coffee over my fiction's disk; it was a blue one which eventually dried and worked again, but it was still traumatic. Almost as bad as the virus I got that corrupted my word douments--but not as tragic as losing all my work in a house fire; that one seems to top the cake.

History tells me not to trust this technology, but the technology makes it so easy and tempting to trust it. So what do I do? Currently, I use an 8GB flash drive my friends bought me as a graduation gift. I have all my stories on there, and can easily pull them on screen wherever I am. Home, office, library, a friends house. It's so easy to just sit down and continue writing no matter where I go. Imagine my amazement when I realized I could edit my stories from my work computer, I was ecstatic. When I'm not needed at work, rather than read a book, I can write one; it's amazing.

The only problem is that I'm using a MAC, and have not yet converted myself. No worries, though, neoOffice can read my files, and save them too.. So I work a little, here and there, and go home. Spent all Sunday writing When it Rains, only to save it and watch my life shatter in front of me. "Incompatible" "Encoding" "Decoding" My eyes lit up in horror. ABORT! ABORT! my head screams. Just close the document, and you will be ok! --ok!! I think and shut the program.

To my surprise, that catastrophe actually deleted my entire file. 20 pages of my story--gone in a flash. I felt sick to my stomach. I've lost things my whole life, and here I am losing more. It sucks! I try to find it, try to find a temporary word file, but there are none. It's gone forever. And how will I recapture what I've written? It took me about a week to perfect my "Dean tortures Mariah" scene, and who knows what else was in there. 20 pages, that's a ton! I just want to cry, and curl up and die.

My heart tells me not to give up. If the story is so important to me, which it is, I will be able to do it again. Better, maybe, although it never seems that way to me. I just want to throw my computer out the window; flush my flashdrive down the toilet. I'm so angry, but I somehow find the strength to search google for the answers. I type in the error fields, and what happened; nothing. I can't find any such error between macs and pcs, office and neooffice. I just give up. I watch tv, and try again in 15 minutes. Then I find Recuva, a free software which recovers lost files---Alas! my hope is restored. I try so hard not to get excited--will it find it? will it find anything? will it have the piece I worked on for hours today? Or will it find nothing and ask me to buy a registration code. I don't know. I run the scan, and find a bunch of files, but not my story.

I dig deeper; preform an advanced level scan, and cross my fingers. It finds it! I can't believe it! I'm so happy, but as I recover it and open it, there is that stupid encoding box, telling me it can't figure out the language of the text. ENGLISH! The default language of computers everywhere! Seriously, what the hell? How can it not figure this out? I want to cry again.

I recover a bunch of unnamed files, random numbers and such; most of them won't open either. Then I get to one that I overlooked, and there it was! I recognized the highlighted text immediately. I was so happy! I couldn't believe it. Was this happening? Was it real? I copied and pasted it into google documents for safe keeping. I don't think I'll be using anything else.

It sucks when life comes crashing down on you; you don't know what to do, or what you could have done differently. I know there are worse things in life than losing a computer file, but it still sucks, especially when you put so much work into it. I'm just glad this tale has a happy ending. I don't think I could have survived another loss.

Thank you cute cable guy!

Alas, there is hope for me yet. The cute cable guy has restored my faith in Time Warner Cable... At least temporarily. Here is the story:

TWC came out on Friday, but no one was home, which prompted a second visit on Saturday. Fortunately, I was home for this visit, and fortunately this cable-guy was very knowledgeable.

When we explained the situation, he ran diagnostic tests on the modem to see that it "had been working for 5 days" but it also had a but load of errors. REDEMPTION! I am not insane! He also said it might have to do with the weather or poles, I'm not quite sure his final conclusion, because he was awfully attractive. I would even say we flirted, up until I figured out (or made the assumption) that he had a girlfriend. Bummer. But why else would a guy say, "we're going camping." Seriously? Who is we? It wasn't "I'm going camping with a few friends, or buddies, or my family," it was "we're going camping." Seems pretty suspicious to me--like he was hiding something. Freudian slip. Am I right? Or just too cynical? I don't know, but anyway....

My mom and I kept complaining about how much we hated TWC and how we'd get Direct or Dish, if only we could get a signal. I say, "I hate that stupid cable box. Scientific Atlantic is a piece of crap; I don't know why they stopped using Motorolat. I miss my old DVR--you know, the one I could actually not get a headache using? The one that let me do a full title search (rather than limiting me to searching for shows via first letter--what a pain in the ass!) or the fully customizable menu (the one that I could change color to? Yeah, that rocked) Instead I'm stuck back in the 1990's with the invention of cable and that awful blue box that is an eyesore as much as it is hard to read.

Vent over. I didn't get that in-depth, but I did say I hated TWC and missed Adelphia. Then the cute and possibly adulteress (ha) cable guy, told me to just move a few miles south or east, or west or something, and I could get it back; but he also said that Adelphia had totally screwed everything up, making tons of mistakes that TWC was still cleaning up. I might have bought it, since this was before the camping comment, but until I see proof I have to remain skeptical.

Cute cable guy, who also has the first two initials as the company itself (therefore I will now refer to him as TW) told me that in the next few years TWC will be upgrading to Motorola boxes with upgraded menu features (HOORAY!!!!) and that the only reason my Scientific Atlantic didn't work was because of the area in which we lived. "In Portland, these boxes work great. Here.. not so much." (BOO!! Shouldn't that qualify us for some sort of residential discount? It's not my fault we live where we live, why should we suffer bad cable because of it? Oh yeah, because TWC *****)

So needless to say, I was redeemed and given a new sense of hope from and for TWC. I am not crazy, and Level 3 Technician Ron remains a douche. The End.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Thank you, Jim; Ron, you're a ******** and you *****

Feel free to fill in the above words however-so you choose, but this post is my rough draft to the complaint letter I'm writing to Time Warner Cable.

Yes, yes. Again I am waging war with the infamous company, because, yet again, they have managed to get under my skin. I'll fill you in on the details, in a little bit, but first here is the spark that ignited my freshly renewed loathing of their existence.

Home, after a long day's work, I sit down to enjoy the internet. Like many people, I'm usually on it off and on all night at random intervals, but around 7PM, just as I'm uploading some new photos to facebook, facebook disappears and all I see is that lovely "The connection has been dropped" page that tells me my internet connection is gone.

Now, maybe this is not such a big deal for most people--whatever. They will try back later, and everything will be ok, right? Well, that's not the case for me, because this is the exact same problem Time Warner cable had "allegedly" not seen when they had been out to check the day prior. This day was Thursday, and the (apparently very nice, and according to my mother possibly hunky) cable guy who had been out to our house on Wednesday had said the internet modem seemed to be functioning properly and giving good speeds.

Now, perhaps I was a little hot-headed after being deprived of my internet for another 3 hours (on top of the shitty service I'd had for the past 2 weeks) and maybe I was ready for bed, but I would have to say that I was pretty calm when I called them, the first time, at 10PM. I talked to a fairly understanding woman who told me she would transfer me to a "level three" technician.

Surely this "intelligent" third level technician guy can solve my problems and figure out what is wrong, but come to find out, his skill level was equal to his ego, and they both sucked. I explained to him that I had just recently gotten the internet back, but it had been out for about three ours (less a 10 minute spurt around 8 o'clock). He said, "No problem, Lane, let me pull up your modem."

For the record, I'd introduced myself as Lane's daughter, but he refused to hear me, or anything I had to say for that matter. A few seconds into the conversation, I realized he wouldn't be helping me at all.

"You said you didn't have internet for three hours? That's interesting, because it says your modem has been functioning at full speed for 5 days now."

Had I bothered to do the math, I would have realized he was full of shit. I had just talked to tech support last Sunday, and the guy I spoke with had told me that my house connection was giving no signal--this being what had prompted the house visit on Wednesday.

Let us do the math here: From Sunday night to Thursday is a grand total of 4 days at most, so how is it possible that it's worked wonderfully for 5 days when, again, just 4 days ago they told me it wasn't working? I wish Level 3 technician Ron could have explained that one to me, but when I tried to relay this fact to "Level Three Technician Ron" he decided to let me know that knew more about my internet situation than I did.

"I need you to go to the modem, that black box that the internet goes through, and look at the lights."

Thank you, I'm totally 5 years old and need to look for colors and lights to know what you're talking about.

"I worked in a computer department for 3 years, I know what a modem is, and PS my name is not Lane, for the 800th time! My name is not LANE! (remember I introduced myself as ___) I KNOW the problem is with the modem, because I've changed wireless routers 2x!! Therefore it is not my wireless router. I've done your basic troubleshooting!! It doesn't work!! I've even gone as far as plugging my computer directly into the modem, and it DOES NOT WORK!!!"I tell him, agitated, but still as politely as I can.

Could he not hear the words that were coming out of my mouth? Naw, he is "Level Three Technician Ron" who knows everything. I'm just a stupid girl who can't possibly have a problem other than her stupidity.

"Ok Lane, you need to look at the modem and look for the light that says connected"

"Don't have that one, Ron. I have online. Gee Wizz!! Pardon my ignorance, but could connected be the same thing as online?"

"Good. The online light. If that is constant, then you have internet."

"Uhm, no?"

"Yes. That means that you are online."

"Then why doesn't it work?"

"Perhaps it is your firewall. You probably have antivirus software messing with it. What OS do you use?"


"Ah, yes, Vista has lots of firewall problems. What antivirus are you running?"

"I don't use antivirus. I am very careful about what files I download and what websites I visit."

"Oh, well it's probably your antivirus."

"I don't use antivirus, remember?"

"Well the problem is with your firewall.."

To myself, I think. I've been using the same internet, the same firewall, the same computer for what? 3 years now? Yes, the problem is suddenly with me, and couldn't quite possibly be Time Warner Cable's fault. While tempted to tell him I have a work computer, a Mac, that is running a MAC os without Vista or antivirus, I'm not entirely sure it is true, so I bite my tongue.

"See, you need to look at this light, because if you have a light you have internet. You are dumb and couldn't quite possibly be having a problem, so now I'll just pretend to believe you and 'document' your complaint for future reference. Good night, stupid girl! Good night you crazy person who is going to realize how wrong she is, because I said so. Good night Lane."

Have a great night, you egotistical moron!

I hang up, go upstairs to see my--the real Lane--booting up the laptop. She waits for it to load and laughs when she realizes the internet isn't working. I go downstairs to check this "green light"which allegedly provides us internet. Can't say I was surprised when it was, as I assumed, solid green. So what did I do?

I disabled my firewall. Still no internet. I checked to make sure the PC didn't have anti-virus software--it did not. Still no internet. I bypassed the wireless router and plugged directly into my green-light-lit modem. Still no internet. I called up time Warner cable and spoke with Jim, who when I apologized for being so bitchy, laughed and said he understood. Told me my box was not functioning properly, and that he'd call tomorrow with an appointment time.

Redemption feels so good. Oh yeah, and thanks for nothing, Level three technician Ron. You *****

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Dragging Today

I'm dragging today, and I hate it. I feel like gravity is sucking me down to the center of the earth, and crushing my every ambition. I just iced myself down with "ActinOn" some sort of muscle-pain-reliever.

Not sure what's going on with me. Maybe it's the cold. Maybe it's the "going out to dinner" last night that killed me. Maybe it's the medicine. Whatever it is, I hate it. I just want to go home and take a muscle relaxant and sleep... For a month.

Yesterday was rough, and I will admit I was a little bit bitchy with my family. But, after having a deep conversation with my student about "stupid things people do" I had very little sympathy to share. I got out of work around 2, and home around 3 after running a bunch of errands. Picking up my inhaler, mailing some letters, and picking up the mail. Nothing too big, right?

Well, when I got home, I was hungry, and tired. And all I wanted to do was go lay down, but after my mother sent me a text saying she was up in town with a friend, I figured that was her way of telling me "Go spend some time with your dad" P.S. I found out Sunday night that my dad was on vacation for the week. Honestly, hadn't the clue he was even up this weekend.

I guess it's my fault, for not calling. I rarely call him, but it's complicated.

Well, he'd asked me Monday night if I wanted to go for Chinese food with him and some other relatives; I said, "Sure, I'll meet you when I get out of work." And he said, "Eh, we'll probably go at 5PM."

That sucks. I don't want to spend all night at a Chinese Restaurant with them. And, physically, I can't afford that--especially when I have to wake up early and go to work all day. So I told him this and we both agreed on "Maybes."

So, I figured I could stop by and hang out with them for a bit; Dad and Uncle were trying to fix a piece of machinery.. water cleaner.. hose... spray? something to stain the deck. My dad broke it I guess, and they were standing around trying to fix it. Aunt and the Mrs. were standing around, while the Yorkie barked at the machine.

The first thing I say, getting out of the car, when asked how I am? "I'm hungry, tired, and I have to the restroom facilities." It was the truth, but no one seemed interested in my problems.

I use the bathroom, grab a half a donut from the kitchen, and avoid the temptation of chips and junk food. I go outside to watch the guys stand over the machine, pull this, twist that, talk about this, wonder about that. I'm bored. I've got Aunt and the Mrs. telling me they are hungry too, and they can't wait to leave for Chinese. So I say, "Why don't you guys fix that tomorrow? When I'm in work.. Let's go eat"


Conversation turns to the Brewfest. Great. Beer, beer, and more beer. They tell me I should go, and that I might meet a cute boy. I tell them I'll probably meet a cute, drunk, boy who is way too immature for me. I know it's not the truth, but do I really want to be designated driver for my family? No... Not really. I've got better things to do with my time.

"What if your friends get a ticket for drunk driving? You don't want your dad to get a ticket, do you?" They guilt me. I'm in no mood for that shit. "It's not my choice, it's his." I say feeling pretty bold. I'm getting better at this whole, "leave me alone" thing I think. Nothing more was said.

I'm hungry, and I'm tired, and I'm sitting there watching them fight this hopeless battle of fixing a machine. I go in the house and get the other half of the donut, and return saying "Ok, you're down a donut." I eventually add that if we don't get movin' in a half hour, I'm out. No one seems to care. Maybe it's because I was bitchy, but I don't care. I'm tired, I'm hungry, and I want to go lay down.

Half hour goes by, and I go to leave. "You're leaving?" My dad asks shocked. Uhm, well, yeah, duh. Didn't I just say that? This is boring, why don't you people get that? I don't care, I just want to go home. "As fun as all this is," I waved my hands around, "I have things to do" I said because it sounded good.

Wow I feel like such a bitch, but what else am I going to do. Sit there being bored, hungry, and in pain when I could be home, relaxing, comfortable? Not to mention I'm sick, not that I needed another excuse to get out of there, but really.

I guess I have a lot to vent about, and even though I feel like an ass I'm glad I said what I said, because that ended the guilting and the drunk talk.

So what does that have to do with today? I don't know, I guess I just felt like ranting. Chinese was good; pretty average, really. and I was very talkative. Unusual for me, but I guess I was just trying to keep myself entertained. Maybe it was the cough syrup..

Highlight of my night? Probably seeing the dogs. I do like spending time with my dad (when he's not talking in circles or slurring words; don't know, maybe you have to be buzzed to enjoy that sort of stuff?) so that was pretty good. But I always like dogs more than people, because dogs can't piss me off. We stopped by some breeder place and she had puppy German Shepherds and the cutest Chihuahua--never seen a long haired one, but I want one!

Came home and saw my raccoon friend. Everyone is freaked out about him, but I love him. Not a huggy, my new pet kind of love, but a "Wow I'm this freaking close to a wild animal" kind of love. It's amazing. I fed him some Chinese noodle things and he loved them; came right up to the door and tried coming into the house.

I'm pretty sure he is friendly, but I don't want to chance that he isn't. I'm also pretty sure we've known him since last summer, when he was a baby... I wonder if he's the same, and if he remembers me? Weird thought. Science class is over. Time to pack up and hit the road

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Chicken Shit

My self-given nickname is chicken shit.

I'm afraid of everything, and most of the time it's for no reason whatsoever. But lately, and quite frankly since middle school, my phobia has been guys. Like I said, this stems back to when I was in the 7th grade. I had the biggest crush on this kid named Paul--no pseudonym used because to this day, I think he is a total jerk. It makes life easier, even if a part of me knows it's wrong.

Well, granted, I was a total dork in grade school, and that carried over to both middle and high school. And, for serious, I'm not the cute dorky genius type--I was the awkward, bucked teeth, giant pink glasses, bad hair, weird voice, complete loser dork-type, who barely had friends. Yeah, that girl--that was me. And I had this huge crush on the school jock who had the most beautiful eyes, and well, other than that he was average and ordinary, but this was middle school people--please! Damn hormones.

So, yeah, in addition to being this huge dorkapotamus, a little known fact about my childhood is that I had scoliosis, and when I was 12 I had a spinal surgery. 2 titanium rods fused to my spine, great fun. But actually, I kind of like the rods. They were my savior in that miserable portion of my life called "middle school" Before the rods, I had to wear braces--no joke--to school. So think of dorky little me with my big pink glasses, bucked teeth, bad hair, weird voice, all girdled up in some awkward position; then having to rip those braces off in the middle of class because I could barely walk in them, let alone breathe.

In addition to that, I was not "allowed" to carry a backpack. Because of this, my loving mother ever-so-thoughtfully went out and bought me a full-size luggage roller to cart around. Yeah...

Needless to say, it's no wonder no one wanted to associate with me, but the point of this flashback of mine was to get to the point of my guy-phobia. My had-been crush and I met in the library, and I'm not sure if I'd been staring or what not, but he stopped me on my way through the library *gasp* and told me he didn't want anything to do with me *bullet to the heart*

I'm not even sure if anyone was around, maybe a person or two, but it felt like the entire school was watching, and I still can't get over it today. My world was shattered, and even today I still feel like that dweeb-- totally transparent in my crushing for Mr. Jerk-Perfect.

The last time I remember seeing this kid was a few years later, maybe right at the start of high school, at one of my sister's concerts. I was wondering the halls, bored, and there he was approaching me!

Well, I imagined he was going to apologize for being a complete ass, but the dork in me didn't have it in me to stick around. I threw my hands up and walked away before he'd said anything more than "hey."

To this day, I wonder what he might have said--if anything. He probably doesn't have a clue about how I felt, or why I blew him off that night. And I know it's childish, and stupid, but I hope he felt the same way I did--even just a little bit. Still, I wonder what he would have said.

Regardless, that fear of rejection and "I'd rather not know" attitude has plagued my lovelife ever since. I'm still that chicken-shit dweeb, that would rather run away and not know, than have my heart broken. Today that is more clear than ever.

I started my job last year, and while the majority of the people I work with are oldER and or female, there haven't exactly been many people my age to connect with. There was, however, this one guy who was pretty young, and pretty cute. But I distanced myself because work-place romances are BAD. And everyone always says not to bother--they only end badly. I'm way too "smart" to make that mistake, I tell myself. In my head, though, I can't help but wonder.

Every day he would always be smiling, and he was always saying hi to me and everyone he met--he was like me, before the accident. Just plain chipper--a rarity in high school IMHO.

Well, I went through a rough patch, to say the least, and while I was struggling to just make it through the day smiling was the last thing I could think of doing. Still he greeted me, happily, and ask me how I was doing. Before the accident, I would have said "Super" or "Just dandy." We'd exchange jokes or just plain laugh at each other. But after the accident, "how do you do" was always replied to with a grunt or groan. I was miserable.

Well, this year, I was surprised to see this teacher had disappeared; moved, transferred, whatever. He was gone, and for the first few weeks of school I felt like a complete jerk for never explaining my "bad mood." Half the people I work with didn't even realize I was in an accident, most thought I'd been fired or had quit. I don't know, I just had that same feeling of regret with Paul. That sucky, "What if?" feeling.

Well, surprise! There he was today at school, checking in with some old colleagues. At first I didn't recognize him as he'd shaved off all his hair. So I walked right by him, slightly wondering, but not sure enough to stop. Towards the end of the day, there he was (definitely) across the hall. I was tempted to say hi, but he was already talking to someone else, so I didn't stop. Had to get my student right to work to meet a quickly approaching deadline. Then, there I was, pathetic old me, wondering if he saw me. Wondering if he cared enough to still say "hi." (Not that I would, because I'd been so depressing the last time he'd seen me)

So that was it. Then he was gone, and chicken-shit me is still left wondering.

Call Me Virgina

So for a project, recently, my student was asked to pick her theme song. This got me thinking, what is mine? What song describes me perfectly? It's hard to say, I like so many. And certain lyrics to different songs strike me in different ways. I love "Beautiful Disaster" and "Her Elegance" But they don't always describe who I am. Then I thought of Train's Meet Virginia, and I don't think there is a lyric in that song that doesn't fit me to a T.

She doesn't own a dress, (well, I own several, but I'm too embarrassed to wear them)
Her hair is always a mess (How true! I like messy hair, because it's natural; But even when I deck myself out, it always ends up the same way--a disaster! Why bother?)
If you catch her stealin,
(ok, not a thief, but I do try to get away with things I'm not always supposed to.)
she wont confess (I'm pretty stubborn like that)
Shes beautiful
(So I'm told, but I don't always believe it)
She smokes a pack a day,
(Nope, but... listen on..)
oh wait, thats me but anyway (I've had a few crushes on guys who smoke, and sadly I have that "I can stop that" mentality. BAD. People don't change! Don't date smokers!)
She doesnt care a thing about that, hey,
(I hate that I don't care and would put up with that if I really like a guy)
She thinks Im beautiful
(Damn me, why? Don't date smokers! Gross! Stick to your moral values!!)
Meet virginia She never compromises, (Damn straight! But to my defense, I don't always stick up for myself. I only do that if I'm 100% positive I'm right, and I hate it when others fail to recognize this. See? Totally stubborn!)
loves babies (Oh yeah!)
and surprises (I do love surprises)
Wears high-heels when she exercises (Whenever I get dressed up, shower, or whatever--that is when I feel most ambitious. Something about feeling good about the way you look makes you more likely to exercise, I think. And I definitely don't mind an extra long walk when I do wear heels, because I don't want to be "girlie" or weak. I bought a new pair of clogs, just recently, tried them on, and took them for a 1/2 hour walk. Had blisters for 2 weeks.)
Aint that beautiful (Maybe? Maybe not..."
Meet virginia
Well she wants to be the queen (I want to be loved and popular)
Then she thinks about her scene (I realize I'm not so great with the popular crowd)
Pulls her hair back as she screams (I get really frustrated with myself and others)
I dont really wanna be the queen
(I like my simple life, and am generally uncomfortable in the lime light.)
Her daddy wrestles alligators
(Hmm, what's a good metaphor?)
mama works on carburetors (Hmm, need another good one; but my mom does do pretty good with the tractor)
Her brother is a fine mediator for the president (Yeah, I got nothing. So maybe a few lines don't apply to me... but they aren't really about me anyway.)
Well here she is again on the phone (There's another; I hate the phone, but replace it with the computer, and we're golden!)
Just like me hates to be alone (I love to be alone until I realize I'm alone and then I'm lonely. More about that later!)
We just like to sit at home, (Totally love this; no wasting money, no embarrassing myself in public. Good times!)
and rip on the president (I've been known to make fun of some people, just not the president.. well, maybe bush. but I'll admist I'm not qualified
Meet virginia
Well she wants to live her life
(I want to enjoy my life and be happy)
Then she thinks about her life (But sometimes thinking about it really pisses me off so I...)
Pulls her hair back as she screams
(Yeah, that)
I dont really wanna live this life
(Sometimes I wonder why I'm so happy)
She only drinks coffee at midnight, (I hate coffee, but it's growing on me, and I always crave it when it's the worst possible time--IE, I don't want to drink it in the morning. But in the afternoon, or at night, is when I crave a coolata from D+D--then I think....)
when the moment is not Right, (Great! If I drink this now, I'll never get to sleep tonight)
her timing is quite-unusual (My gosh, have you ever met me? My timing usually sucks!)
You see her confidence is tragic, (I am probably the least confident person on earth; but I'm slowly becoming more bold and sure of myself)
but her intuition magic (I can usually tell what people are thinking, and it's scary. Also, when I know who is around, I'm pretty good at figuring out who they are by the sounds of their breath and steps...)
And the shape of her body - (Eh)
(That's what I'd say. People say they'd kill for my body, and the art teacher thinks I'm "Perfectly proportioned" but I usually hate myself. Especially when none of the clothes I like ever fit, and people keep bumping into me in uncomfortable places. *sigh*)
Meet virginia-
I cant wait to
Meet virginia
(That's me.... in a nutshell. Really. It is. )

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Birthday Bash

So it's mom's birthday, and I'm always good with pulling one over on her. What do I mean? Well, when I buy a gift, especially for mom, I like to see that, "What on earth am I going to do with this?" face. When I bought her a Nintendo DS, I wrapped it up in a Glad trash bag box. When I bought her a cross just last August, I taped it to the back of a card. I like to be sneaky. I like to surprise. And I love to play pranks.

Well, This year I bought her a gold necklace (or at least I'm hoping it's a gold necklace--you never know with those fancy art stores. I first found it on a Wednesday. I know it was a Wednesday, because I've been seeing my Osteopath, in Ridgeville, every other week. Actually, now I'm not so sure it was a Wednesday. But I'm pretty sure it was a Wednesday.

Anyway, we'll pretend that I remember the day. It was, yes, a Wednesday, and I believe it was my first day of work (which was actually my third day of work, because of meetings, and me being an idiot and showing up on the wrong Monday, in the wrong place, etc) So, yeah, after that day of work, on Wednesday, I went to my appointment in Ridegville.

Mom and Elsa also had appointments in Ridgeville, so they convinced me to go meet them just as soon as I got out of work--and them being them, didn't tell me where they were, or answer their cell phones. So I gave up, and noticed a little artsy store next to my doctor's office. Me being me, decided to go in and investigate, and I found tons and tons of things I liked. There was a Siamese cat painted on a rock (which I immediately took a picture of on my camera phone and texted to my sister, and instructed to come over--but was ignored by). There were tons of afghans, and knitted hats, scarves, etc. They were gorgeous. There was jewelry. There were paintings. There was photography (and I'm doubting my grammar on those last 4 sentences, 'cus it sounds funny, but oh well). Needless to say, I was amused, but BROKE.

The one thing that caught my eye, though, was this one necklace. It was a decent sized gold heart, with two pink gold roses. There was also a set of matching earrings, which weren't as attractive, but still looked nice with the set. The set cost $119, and was supposedly real 14K gold. Not so great, but it was so pretty. I liked it, and I thought my mom would like it, so I said I would buy it for her when I got the chance.
[End flashback]

Presumably 3 or 4 weeks later, when I had gotten my first paycheck, I knew I needed to get my mother a birthday present. I had totally forgotten the necklace, and the art store, and it had honestly slipped my mind that her birthday was so soon. I knew it was comming, but I didn't realize how fast. I felt awful, and trapped, because I had had a few chances to "sneak off" unnoticed and find the perfect gift. I blew them all. (mostly the mall trip)

WELL! There I was, in Ridgeville for my next Osteopath appointment. I knew I had to get a gift (and I'm now sure this was Tuesday the 8th). I was thinking Brenny's or that little Horn shop before it, but I really didn't want to buy some knicknack gift for my mother's 49th birthday. I parked behind the Osteopath's office and as I walked by, it hit me! The Art Store!!!!!

I went in, and mindlessly gazed at the crowded shelves until that heart necklace called to me. "Hey, Damn it!" It said, "Remember me??" And I did. I remembered it as if a holy light shone down on it. Angels sang majestically around me. And while none of that actually did happen, I knew that necklace before I'd even made it 3 feet to it's locaion.

To quote the cutest 2 year old ever, an AH-HAAH!! screamed in my brain, and I walked over to the necklace.

"This is real gold, right?" I asked the woman, who may or may not have had a British accent.

"It should be." She said, obviously unclear of what she was selling. I didn't care though, it was so beautiful and fated. It was honestly my destiny. I looked it over, debating on whether or not to make such an extravagant purchase without my sister's approval (we usually split the price of gifts, especially ones that large.)

"Twenty percent off Jewelry sale ends today," She tempted, and I hesitated until my guy said, "Knicknacks or necklace? Seriously, what else are you going to find, this nice, down here in Ridgeville?"

NOTHING! DUH! I said to myself, whipping out my ATM card and approaching the woman. "What the heck!"

I bought the necklace and texted my sister. Then I went to Brenny's and bought a small day planner, gift bag, and some tissue paper. Yellow and white. It was gorgeous, and the bag was a matching yellow with a "Happy Birthday cake," with glitter candles.

Since I know my mother can be snoopy, I decided against hiding the tissue paper wrappers (I've made that mistake in the past and busted myself). I intentionally placed the plastic in the downstairs barrel, and when my mom questioned what it was for, I pretended to sound guilty, and said, "Oh, gift for my friend..." Very shady, I know.

My intention was to hide the pretty jewelry in the planner, so when she opened it and saw it's red binding, she'd say, "What the heck?? Am I disorganized??" However, not to ruin the surprise, I hid the jewelry under my dresser until yesterday. I did, though, leave that bag in plain view, sneakily in my closet. Not sure if she snooped or not...

Well, the party planning was a horrible disaster, but I'll get to that in a later post! This is just about yesterday (minus the 3 paragraph flashback). I got home, and mom had already eaten. Bummer, because we'd been planning a lobster party for a few weeks. I gave her a Boston cream donut with a candle (and balloon tied to it), said happy birthday, and told her not to eat or go anywhere. Then I ran to my doctor's appointment. Then I came home again. What fun!

For an hour we hung out, because Blitzen? wasn't going to be home from Hindham until 5PM. I tried to be real sketchy in the meantime. Mom was assuming people were coming to the house, so she cleaned all day. When I returned from the doctor's appointment, I opened my TENS unit and made a mess on the table. "What are you doing?? You're making a mess? what time are they getting here??"

"Who??" I'd laugh. "I'm not having any people over! You are crazy!"

Several times she asked, and asked why she couldn't go anywhere or eat. Well, the eating was due to the lobster party, but the not going out was because Elsa had sent flowers. So.... Yeah, that sort of cramped my style, but whatever. The flowers arrived, and Mom instantly thanked me. I laughed and said, "I didn't send them."

We skyped Elsa later to thank her and show off the flowers. Then, while skyping, I pretended I had a wonderful gift I needed EVERYONE to see. I asked where we should go to show it off, then typed: TELL ME TO GO TO RUDY'S. Eventually, she replied the way I wanted her to, and I said, "Oh yeah, that's a good idea."

Rudy called me and said he was 15 minutes away. I called Sharon to see what she was doing. Then I told mom not to go upstairs (for no apparent reason, really, it was just funny). I went up to get her meds, then got the brilliant idea to blindfold her. It was hilarious. We couldn't stop laughing.

"Why? I know we're going to Rudy's" She said, but I just laughed. "No you don't!"

When we were all in the car, I knew I had to make it good. So instead of taking a right at the top of the hill, I went straight. I took her over the bridge and down one of the side roads--turning around in some random parking lot. The guy thought I was crazy, and lost, but I knew where I was going.

After that, I drove down my dad's road, and up another, and finally wound up Charlene's neighbor's driveway.Then I led her across the yard and past Charlene's house, did a few circles on the street, and eventually wound up leading her to the house, accidentally tripping her on a rock. Oops.

She was mad but laughing, and I was laughing too. Blitzen looked out the window and asked why my mom was blindfolded. There was no reason, I just wanted to have some fun. We went in and ate our lobsters, opened presents, and ate a blizzard ice cream cake topped with Peanut Butter cups. Mom supposedly loved all her gifts, but I'm still not convinced she liked my necklace. why am I always so.... skeptical?

Maybe it's because she thought the peanut butter cups were heath bars and said, "Oh, you got my favorite! Heath Bar, OO0o00!" I don't know when that changed, but what a blow to my planning. I wanted to get Oreo, but I got peanut butter because I knew it was her favorite.

Oh well.

This took all day to write, and I'm sure it's inconsistent. Oh well.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

So Unloved.

So my sister doesn't miss me. And, truth be told, I'm not sure I've really missed her. So what's wrong with us? Why don't we care?

She's off having fun, and she's far too busy to even talk to us. She won't call us. She won't text us (except, of course, as a courtesy reply). She won't make plans with us. Heck, she is not even sure she wants to come home for Mom's upcoming birthday.

Me? Honestly? I'm so busy with work, and so used to not seeing her already, that it really doesn't make a difference that she's not here anymore. When she was home, she'd sleep all day, and I never saw her anyway. When I get home at the end of the day, all I want to do is crash and bury myself into the internet. I truly feel like an awful person for "not" missing her, and, of course, at times I really do miss her. I just don't think I'm as sad as I think I am? If that makes sense.

When her cat does something cute, or something happens that I'd know she'd find hilarious, I want to tell her right away. Then I remember she's gone, and the humor is gone. So that's sad. And on the weekends, I'm torn. I'd like to do something with her, but even when she was home, doing something with her was like pulling teeth. When I get ambitious, I want to go out, but I feel bad about leaving my mom. So it sucks.

But I'm not really sure if I miss her? But it hurts a lot that she doesn't miss me. We talked about it last night. "I'm really having a good time," she says, "So I haven't thought about it."

Funny. Just as I was writing this, I got a call from my sister. Apparently she wasn't answering her phone because she was in the shower. Apparently she DOES want to see us (or just wants to hitch a ride down to the mall--she did say she wanted to buy new jeans).

More about the mall trip later to come.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Pathetic Addictions

So, I wanted to make a post today, while I'm doing nothing, and the only thing I can think about is my pathetic addiction to the television.

Last night, as I was talking to a rather new friend and giving him the classic "brb," I realized that I am pathetically addicted to TV. I've known this for a while, but it never really seemed entirely pathetic until that very moment in time.

Big Brother was on at 8PM and Supernatural Premiered at 9. Monk and Psych on Fridays. Desperate Housewives on Sundays. Criminal Minds on Tuesdays. Wednesdays belong to NCIS. (or perhaps those last two are vise versa.) Regardless of the schedules, TV is a big part of my week, and sometimes it's all that gets me through the day.

Perhaps it's because I live in the middle of no where and have few friends. Maybe it's because I'm too cheap to go out every night; too poor to blow money on things I can't rationalize that I need. Or maybe I'm just plain pathetic. Whatever the reasoning, my obsession is not with purses, clothes, makeup, trading cards, knickknacks, collectibles, or anything like that; my biggest obsession is with the boob-tube.

I love watching TV, and will openly argue with anyone who says that it "rots the brains." Sure not all shows are complex and inquisitive. And sure, some shows do not capture the interests of all people, but I can't even fathom my brain to be rotting when I am delving so deep into characters, plots, and action.

Watching TV has brought me into the writing world, as an author. All the things I've learned in English class, have been present in the shows I love. By watching, and rewatching, their stories unfold on TV, I have seen irony, foreshadowing, and other literary devices one might encounter in a book. And having such a passion for the actors, it really (and obviously) makes the stories come to life. After all, isn't watching TV like reading a book for imaginatively-impaired?

No, my imagination is not dead. Perhaps corrupted by the instant-gratification society in which we live, but my imagination is not dead. I am highly creative individual who is great at problem solving, as well as thinking out side the box. Maybe I can't read about Joan of Arc, or Tolkien's mighty Aragorn, because I get bored staring at words in a book, but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy a great story when it's read to me--or played out on the big screen.

So, what's my point? I don't know. Maybe I'm pathetically addicted to TV and am simply rambling on to justify said addiction; or maybe I'm thinking outside of the box. You decide.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Things that irritate me

What a misleading title; there are a lot of things that irritate me, but the inspiration for this post was something that happened to me the other day.

Ever since my first day of college, my professors have told me to stay away from "the drags." They said, to my class, "When you walk into a room and hear the teachers complaining, WALK RIGHT BACK OUT." Because once you listen, you'll start complaining, and it is just unprofessional.

In my current position, I work with primarily with special ed students. I am, for the most part, cheery and upbeat. I have an off day every so often, but I rarely complain 'seriously.' I'll joke, and tease, about being unhappy, but it's always with a smile on my face. I don't believe I have the seniority to complain, and I hope I never will.

Well, there are definitely some complainers where I work, but more than that there are people I find degrading. Not always, and not to me, but to the students. And, granted, their pokes and prods, go right over the students' heads--they don't have the mental capacity to see things on the same levels as we do. It irritates me.

This isn't to say the people I work with are bad; they are genuinely great people. However, I am not comfortable with the fact they choose to amuse themselves the way they do sometimes. Maybe I'll see things differently after 20+ years of teaching, but I hope not.

I am fortunate enough to work with a student who is completely "with it." My student keeps me from joining that dark side of the education world; i not for my student, who knows where I'd be or how I'd feel. She keeps me in line.

Well, the point of this post? I've recently volunteered myself to help out another student. I don't work with her, I just make sure she gets where she's going, because this student has, perhaps, a processing problem? I'm not sure. I don't ask, but I tried fishing for a little information to try to understand this student.

I was sitting at lunch with another, less gossipy, tech. I asked about said student, and the fact this student repeats and always asks questions, hoping to figure out more about this student I was working with. But it just lead to more stories and laughs.

All I wanted to know was how I could help said student, but I give up.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

What to do? What to do? (unabridged version)

I can't believe I'm mad at my cousin.

I'm hoping time will heal things between us, as I know it will, but every time I think about it, I just get frustrated. Even as I sit here, taking notes in Science class, I find my eyes welling up with tears. Frustrated tears. Imagine "the teacher" as the kids call me, sitting here crying as she stares blankly at her computer screen.

I'm an emotional train wreck; the littlest things make me cry. And I wish that I could say it is because I'm upset about my sister going to college, or blame it on the new medication, but the truth is I've always been this way. It sucks. I try hiding the heart I wear on my sleeve, but sometimes it's not that easy. So when I found myself angry with him this past weekend, it was hard for me to pretend otherwise.

So what happened? That's the big question.

Friday afternoon I received a text from my mother; I love her, but she sometimes strikes me as paranoid. She was sort of upset about something, which I later found out was with my aunt--whom she had called, and allegedly been ignored by, three times. I can't remember the specifics of the text, but I remember she was already upset about my cousins coming; not that they were coming, but that she thought she'd totally be abandoned by them.

I rolled my eyes and laughed her off, assuring her that they woutldn't do that. Don't be silly.

Well, Friday night comes, and I can't wait to see my cousins. I'm sad when I find out they won't be arriving until midnight, but that's ok. I'll see them in the morning. I think I talked to them around 8 or 9; they were already on the road. McPreggers had to pee, and I remember yelling (jokingly) at him to let the pregnant woman pee.

Saturday came; I think I want for a walk with him and Sargent Pollo (P.S. I suck at pseudonyms). I'm pretty sure it was Saturday, because Sunday I avoided him. Maybe it was Sunday night, and not Saturday; I really don't remember. All I know is that after the morning walk, and hearing McPreggers rave about my mother's mattress (they'd slept on the first floor, because mom has been sleeping up in Elsa's room) Mom and I ran to the store. I felt like I was ditching them, but at the same time, I had to go to the store to buy the stuff I needed for my infused french toast. If I didn't go, Mom would have paid for everything, and I didn't want her doing that. Especially where I had just gotten a pay check.

Well, we tried to be quick with the shopping, but that never happens. I went and I bought my crushed pineapple, cream cheese, some crescent rolls, and half-and-half for their coffee. I also bought cool ranch doritos for McPreggers. Mom had previously purchased Nacho cheese, which was awesome for me (and maybe the guy who stole Chubby-cheek's identity) but I clearly remember the fact that pregnant women love cool ranch doritos. I ended my search for strawberries; there were literally no strawberries, which depressed me. I found my mom, and found that she had already gotten a thing of creamer, so she told me to go put mine back and pick up a red onion. So I went back and did what I was told; miraculously finding strawberries on the 3rd walk by the aisle. Whatever. I know they weren't there to begin with. Perhaps the stocking-lady had something to do with this. I'm betting she did. I'm positive she was hiding the onions too, but she told me where to find them.

I remember I called them 50x from the store; they usually forget their phones, so I was hoping they'd hear it ringing at least once. They wanted me to pick up white bread, but I wasn't sure what kind, so I figured I'd call to tease them. "Whole grain white bread? Giant white bread? Hearty Canadian White bread?" Everywhere I looked, there was another type of white bread. No one ever answered so I went with Giant.

On the way back from the store, we got a little distracted by a yard sale. (I, personally, blame Chubby-cheeks, because when we drove by there was this little worm-cycle bike thing that caught my eye.) Upon closer inspection, the wheels didn't work; but I did find an awesome wooden ship that would have been a great toy, had it not been broken and out of my price range.

Well, we got home a little later than anticipated; I knew they were on a walk, so I tried not to bug them; calling only to let them know we went down to the Wildwood Barbeque, and that they were more than welcome to stop down and grab some lunch. I grabbed my camera and took pictures of my neighbors (hoping to be able to identify them at a later date; seriously I don't know their names...)

It seemed like forever before they got back; and I'm 99.9% sure they played wii and farmville. Halfway through the day, his back started to hurt; so we gave him heating pads, patches, and medicine to try and help him out. I'm not sure if that's before or after we all fell asleep on the couch, though. After that, I can't really remember the full details of Saturday night. I know we had steak tips, and McPreggers' mac and cheese. That took up most of the evening. Somehow we wound up by my dad's campfire, though.

I think we drove over. That fits in my head--we drove over, and I sat with my dad for a bit. They walked up to the..... ReLays? Sure. They disappeared for quite a bit, and my dad and I talked about what? I don't remember. It was sort of awkward, as was the rest of the night. I know Mr. and Mrs. Poodle stopped by, and I occasionally talked with them, but really nobody talked to me. They were all off in their own conversations.

Between that boringness, and the fact my cousin could barely sit still, I got the bright idea to sneak home and change the sheets on my bed (great excuse in my book, though it didn't fly with my dad, who wanted me to stay and apparently twiddle my thumbs the rest of the night. Again, boring.) So I snuck off to do my heroic deed of back-saving with three thoughts on my mind: 1) the memory of how much my back hurt after sleeping on my mom's mattress, 2) the fact she'd been sleeping on my sister's mattress, and how it always made her back feel better, and 3) hoping they would both be able to get a great night's sleep.

I got a text from McPreggers shortly after I left--asking me where I was going.

So I told her, and asked her if she wanted to come with me. She never seems entirely enthusiastic about the campfires, so I figured she might want to escape with me. Surprisingly, the reply was a no. Well, we texted back and forth for several minutes, until I wound up walking into a tree on Gecko's lawn. I managed to find my way back to the road, minimally disoriented.

I went home and had a minifight with my mom. She didn't want to change beds at midnight, and I told her she didn't have to and that she just had to give me them. I proceeded to tear off my sheets, and stuff all my junk in my closet (sheets, blankets, extra pillows, room crap, furniture, etc) I put on the new sheets, brought up their blankets and pillows, the electric heating pad, and did my best to ensure the bed was easily accessible (it's sort of stuffed in the cove of my room, so I moved junk so it was easier to get in and out of) After this, I got the "I love daddy" onesy I bought for Numero Uno, and put it out on the bed so that when they came up they could have a little surprise.

Still being texted by Mcpreggers, and still trying to convince her that it was no big deal, I got the text, "well all our stuff is downstairs" so I moved that too. It was only two little bags, so it was really no big deal. I sent off my reply, "Not anymore"

Shortly after that, I went to lay down and rest. My phone rang, and it was him; I know he was drunk, though McPreggers would argue against it. I know what a drunk phone call sounds like, though; when people talk in circles and fail to let you interject. Yeah. I could tell just by the tone of his voice he was pissed. "We're fine! Just leave our stuff alone! We're fine! You won't take no for an answer! We're fine! Just leave our stuff alone!"

"It's already done" I tried interrupting three times, until I just bit my tongue and shut up. "Fine. I'll move it back." I finally said, and one of us hung up. My initial reaction was to jump up and go throw his stuff down the stairs, but I resisted. I actually laid there for maybe 15 minutes to see if they'd come back and apologize. Maybe hangout. With me. But I wound up going upstairs and stripping my bed; carrying down their blankets and pillows, and belongings. I grabbed my blankets from the closet and tried to sleep; it was impossible. I was furious. I didn't fall asleep until long after they'd come back, and I was half-tempted to go yell at him, but as it was, things were already going to be awkward come morning. I just cried myself to sleep instead.

Mom, oblivious to everything in her state of slumber, texted me around 230 or so telling me there was no toilet paper in the upstairs bathroom. I snuck downstairs, hoping to avoid everyone, and brought back some toilet paper.y

Sunday Morning, I stayed upstairs. I didn't know what to do or say, so I hid upstairs. Stupid, I know, but I didn't know what else to do. I didn't want to be alone, especially where I was still so upset. And did they even know I was upset? How could I sit there and return a smiley "Good morning" when my insides were boiling.

Finally, mom woke up and went downstairs. I went and hung out with her and McPreggers. I think we talked about it a little, but it was really uncomfortable. I tried keeping conversation light and off-topic. McPreggers wanted to have the infused french toast, that morning, but I wasn't feeling so generous. Instead I stalled and said, "Well I wanted to wait for Elsa to come home" (obviously wanting to have a big, happy breakfast with my sister). I had also had a bagel, already, not wanting to have to wait to eat and take my meds until they were ready to wake up and eat. I texted Elsa, but she was unclear as to whether she was coming home Monday, or if she wanted to come today.

He came in, and immediately came over to give me a hug, kiss on the side of the head, and an apology. I said it was "ok" and called him a jerk with a half smile on my face. I asked him how his back was, and he said better. I said "good." I don't know if that was the truth, or just a lie to keep me from saying "I told you so," but I'm glad he was better. (Although, I really did want to be right about the mattress thing)

Then, in an effort to forget my hostility, I ran upstairs to get the gift I had intended on surprising him with. "Here you go, you big jerk." I told him, deciding then that I would just call him a big jerk for the rest of their visit.

I was hoping the gift would smooth things over for me; I'm always happy when I make other people happy, so that should have been the end of it. But things were still a little weird. Especially when I started thinking about the texts from the night before. We'd texted back and forth, and at one point I had said, "pick one: mine or elsa's" In regard to tempur-pedic mattresses. The reply to that had been, "But where would your mom sleep"

In the back of my head, I was thinking, "why such the fuss about sleeping in my room?"... "why would they be willing to sleep in Elsa's room?"... "What's wrong with my room?"

I'd been offering them my room since before they'd even been pregnant, or staying with us. It finally started clicking in my head that maybe they didn't want to sleep in my room for some reason. Why would they stay in my mother's room and my sister's room so easily? What was wrong with my room?

"Screw them," I decided, and told myself to take the offer is off the table. But when we talked about it later that morning, and I was trying so hard to avoid the tension, confrontation, and blowing my lid, I told them they could sleep wherever they wanted. They may have picked up on the insincerity of my tone, but I didn't quite care. I still had done a lot of work for them, and if they wanted to sleep in my room (with apparent cooties) I was going to make them do all the work themselves.

"So let's talk about sleeping arrangements, " Mcprggers stated; as mentioned, I was less than enthused. I remember saying it was whatever was best for his back, and I remember them saying "we're fine where we are."

So, whatever, my room had cooties. After that, I'm pretty sure McPreggers started playing Farmville again, and, I know for sure, he played wii. I know this because during one of his rounds of tennis, I said, "Well I know you didn't come up here to lay around and play video games; what do you want to do today?"

No response.

How awkward was that? No one said anything. Did they not hear me? Or what? I know my mother had tried to make plans with them the Saturday morning. She told me that she had told McPreggers she wanted to get me out of the house. Why was it that they really didn't want to even discuss making plans? Let's go for an ice cream? Let's go to North Conway? Let's play that freaking board game I've been talking about every night since you got here? Let's go for a walk? Let's do something??

Mom went for a walk after this; she went down to the CrazyLumber Docks. After about 10 minutes or so, I followed. It was sort of awkward watching them play video games with no intention of talking. I went down and talked with Mom, and saw that she was frustrated too. She just wanted to do something, and so did I.

I called Elsa to see what she was doing, and she said her plans had been canceled. She wanted to come back today, so I think, GREAT! Something to do!! It will totally be less awkward if she's here--we can all talk about college, and stuff like that.

Well, I talked with her at the docks and then went back to share the good news. He'd been standing there, playing wii, and he stopped to talk. I could tell, just by the tone and pace of his voice, I wasn't going to like it. He was tense, I could just tell. Like he had something to say that he knew I wasn't going to like, but he had to say it anyway, so he was just going to get it over with. "so," He paused, "I talked to [your father]. He's going to the sandbar."

AKA, "We're ditching you yet again, we're going to the sandbar."

I was disappointed, but what was I going to do? The tense stand, and the way he'd said it had been awkward enough for us both. I wasn't going to make matter worse and argue about it. I wasn't going to tell him that the only reason Els was coming home from college was to see THEM. Or that she was so excited to see them that she was willing to clean her dorm room to show it off to THEM. Maybe I should have mentioned this beforehand?? But it was too late now.

I can't remember what I said, but I remember trying to be upbeat. Then I decided I'd go with my mom to get Elsa, because I really didn't want to hang out on the beach. I really didn't want to ditch my mom. I just wanted to have some fun, and after thinking about both options (going to the beach and being ignored vs going for a ride to see my sister) the car ride seemed more fun.

As if that wasn't bad enough, adding to the awkwardity was the fact he told wouldn't be coming back from the sandbar until 7PM. "We don't want to rush, so we'll be there until 7PM" or something like that. "We'll eat dinner when we get back"

I'm sure what he said was less demanding, and I know he only said it to avoid what happened last time (where my mom freaked out when the three of us came back and asked if the 3 cooked chickens were ours or what not; come on, that's confusing. Why would a person cook 3 chickens for 2 people--and get mad when 3 people wonder if 3 chickens are for them or not)

Anyway, what he said had been one of those things that you say and sounds wrong no matter how you say it--even though it wasn't wrong to say.

Still, the damage had been done. We left to go get Lys and were back by 4PM We stopped for the ice cream I'd been craving (not custard--unfortunately--but I got a root beer float with chocolate chip icecream--hey don't diss it until you've tried it!) I got to see my sister. We caught up and laughed. Talked about boys, and school. Then we fell asleep on the sofa.

I think we woke up around 6-6:30 and they were back from the sandbar. We talked, and it was ok, but it stunk that Elsa came all the way back to eat dinner with them and leave. When my mom went to drive her home, I stayed to hang out with them. They decided to go to another campfire--third night in a row.

Goodbye board game. Goodbye face masks. Goodbye fun evening. Hello drunk half-conversations in which my sanity is lost. Sure I sometimes have fun, but that's only sometimes. It's not cool listening to your dad talk in circles. It's not cool sitting by yourself because everybody else talks to everybody else, and you only get into a conversation when you (a) know what is being talked about and (b) are acknowledged as a participant in said conversation. Like I said, sometimes it's fun, but more often than not, people are so enthused with hearing themselves talk, or so excited about the story they are telling, they rarely let you in.

So I decided to make an appearance. This time, I didn't get ditched for the ReLays, and instead I went in to see their new extension. It was nice seeing them, but depressing at the same time. Gwen could barely walk, and apparently she'd fallen off the extension several times. She was drugged, and confused. It was sad. It's also sad that I always get along better with people's pets than I do with the people themselves. They were all doing shots of Mead, and I guess one of the girl's husbands was attempting to drive home shitfaced.

Great, I think to myself. In a few days I'll be attending a funeral. What a great way to spend the night! Before I had even gotten to say "hello" I could tell the guy was hammered. He was slurring his words, and barely able to stand up. Now he was going to drive home?

I don't get why people drink, so seeing them drink always puts me in a bad mood to begin with. Alcohol ruined my life and destroyed my family, but that's a ranting for another time. Let's stay on topic, shall we? I've already written a minibook here as it is.

Cut to the fire: Amanda sits by herself again. Big shocker. Topic of conversation: drug addicts you once knew in high school. I went and talked to my dad--about what I can't remember. But I know I helped him in the kitchen, so that made me feel good.

I went back out and stood in front of the fire--waiting for someone to ask me to move. No one seemed to notice, though.

It was cold, so I got a chair and sat by the fire. Checking my phone every few minutes to see if it was 11Pm yet. Mom had left at 9; it had been an hour there and back. Occasionally I chatted with a ReLay girl, but it never got serious. I just tried butting in on a few conversations, but they never went anywhere. Finally it was 11 and I went home. My excuse was that I couldn't stay up too late, because I needed to stay on my schedule for work. Really I was just bored. Bored and feeling bad for having my mom sit home, alone, for the second night in a row. Especially after she had worked so hard on the dinner--chicken, peas, stuffing; it was like thanksgiving. Cranberry sauce. etc, etc.

So I went home to hang out with my mom, assuming my cousins would follow wanting to spend some time (on their last night here) with us. But you know what they say about when you assume. (When it's an ASS U make of ME---ASSUME) I didn't see them again until morning. Heard them come in, though. It's hard to sleep when you are upset.

So I evaluated my situation, I posted a somewhat-angry facebook status of being "disappointed with the weekend." I knew it was going to be hurtful to them, and I debated upon it, but I was really upset. I bragged all week about getting to see my cousins. It was the "finish line" I used to get through work, even when I was miserable. "It's ok. I get to see my family this weekend." I'd tell myself, and the hurdles seemed less large. I still don't get how I could be so excited to see someone, and then wind up crying myself to sleep 2/3 of the nights they were here. Mom had been right; they had basically ditched us; we should have just gone out ourselves.

The more I thought about it, the more angry I became, and it just builds and builds into tears of frustration. I'm a bottle up when it comes to emotions, that's no secret; so what am I supposed to do when I reach this point of explosion? I know I'm too upset to be thinking clearly, so I have to bite my tongue. I have to resist the urge to march down there and tell them how disappointed I was in the way things turned out.

I didn't want to increase the awkwardness, or have them be mad at ME for being so "crazy."
I didn't want to create some schism in our relationship, but at the same time, I feel it has already split, because it seems like they don't really care about me--which is stupid, because I know they love me--so I wonder if I'm being irrational--but I wonder how can I be irrational if I have a legitimate reason to be upset--which I have--or think I have--I didn't know anymore, I just wanted to cry.

I blasted my ipod, but that didn't help. I couldn't get my mind off of it. I tried listening to an audiobook, and loud music, but I couldn't stop my head from thinking. Maybe I was crazy; Maybe I wasn't; Maybe I shouldn't be angry; maybe I should be. I was just confused, and as much as I wanted to sort things out, I knew going downstairs to talk about it would probably end badly. Was I too upset to not lash out? Was he too drunk to not take offense and understand where I was coming from? How would it end? I didn't care to find out.

I just had to contain myself one more morning. McPreggers had already said they were "leaving early" because they didn't want to spend the day in traffic. I knew it was probably just because things had gotten really awkward, but I didn't care. It was just uncomfortable to be that upset with someone you love so much.

I just continued my internalization until I fell asleep. Morning came, and I hated myself for wishing they'd just go without saying goodbye. I thought I was being stupid, but I distanced myself just in case. I pretended to fall asleep on the sofa so I didn't have to talk to any of them. I eventually started talking to McPreggers. She wanted to use my computer to play farmville again. I took my time handing it over because I was pretty insulted that's how she wanted to spend the last of our time together. I try hard not to use the computer when people I like are around, and it's a little known etiquette of ours (Elsa's friends come over, then go on her computer, and ignore us most of the time; that's how we figure out which of our guests really are our guests or just people looking to take advantage of our luxuries.)

They went along with their plans, and packed the car. They didn't feed Sargent Pollo before they left, which surprised me. Somehow I was more surprised that when they said they were going over to my dads, yet again, to say goodbye. Secretly, I figured they were going to spend the day with him, and the leaving early was just a ploy. I don't know. I don't care. I just wanted them gone. How can I say that? I love them so much, but things just did not work. The chemistry was wrong. The timing was off. It was just a terrible visit.

I guess I'm not really "mad" at him. I'm extremely disappointed in him, but mad at the situation. Pissed with the situation. Raging insane about the situation. I'm mad that things turned out the way they did, and I'm mad at myself for being so upset that I made things awkward. And I don't know what to do next: do I call and talk about it? or just let it go? I don't know.

I know that I don't want to make things even more awkward--if that's possible. They probably haven't even thought twice about the situation; why bring it up? why risk inflicting more damage? why not just let it go?

What to do? What to do? I don't know.