Thursday, November 30, 2006

24 days left

Every year I say the same thing: I don't like Christmas. And every year I get called Grinch or Scrooge or whatever.

This year is no different. But I am trying to be a little more open to the idea of liking the holiday season. I try not to cringe when I hear White Christmas or Jingle Bell Rock for the 12th time. I'm getting excited about my long list of upcoming holiday parties and trying to decide what appetizers to make for our own party in a few weeks. I'm not thinking about gifts or the bad stuff about being at home on the holidays; I'm trying to focus on the good. The focus shouldn't be on the obligations and feeling like you have to get into the spirit. Some of us just don't. And I shouldn't feel forced into going anywhere or doing anything I don't really want to do. I'll like Christmas and holiday cheer when I feel like it, and be a Scrooge when I feel like it, too.

Tonight, after class and a very long day, I rode home on the Christmas Bus. I'm not joking. I had just read about this bus earlier today on CTA Tattler and, surprise, it pulled up after I had stood freezing on Madison for 10 minutes. The bus is completely decorated in Christmas stuff: candy cane lights, presents, flashing lights. Holiday music plays over the PA system. Even I smiled when I got on. I kept my headphones off so I could just enjoy the ride, something that I never do on the bus. Usually, there are some weird people and annoying phone conversations. But tonight, it was like riding on the Polar Express (actually, I didn't see the movie but I am imagining maybe it was like this). It put me in a good mood on an otherwise crappy day.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

social networking is a curse

So I never had a problem trusting A until recently. Before, I never worried that when he wasn't with me, he was out with some other girl. I never freaked out if I didn't hear from him because I thought he was with some girl. And I never imagined what some girl would even look like. Sure, he's a good-looking guy and probably gets approached by girls at bars when he's with his friends. But I never really imagined him acting on it. Also, A was so busy with work and school during the past few months that he barely had time to see me. Therefore, he barely had time to see anyone else. Problem solved, worries averted.

Not that he has done anything. He has given me absolutely no reason for me not to trust him after five months of dating. Yet, here I am, wondering why I haven't heard from him today. It's not because I am imagining him hooking up with another girl. It's because I'm imagining him not thinking about me. (Pathetic? Yes.)

It all started when he joined MySpace. A month ago, social networking was my domain. Facebook and MySpace were all mine, and he was not part of my little online world. I could do what I wanted: post any pictures, stalk people, be my crazy social networking self. But then he joined and I got excited (at first). How fun! We could be friends for the online world to see! We could post funny messages on each other's pages!

And then, of course, the stalking began. And when I mean stalking, I mean looking at his other friends' profiles and overanalyzing wall postings and taking the whole thing way too seriously. He has many female friends. Female friends with "sexy" type profile pictures. I am a funny/wacky/stupid profile picture person. Of course, this is what I think he likes about me, but maybe I am wrong? Sexy picture girls leaving cutesy messages. Wacky picture girl (me) starts overanalyzing comments. Starts checking out Sexy pictures girls' profiles. Are they "In a relationship"? Do they have pictures with other guys and not him? Did he make their Top 8? Am I a total loser?

Seriously, just writing this makes me feel sort of foolish. But at the same time, I never really had a glimpse into his world until now. Sure, I'd met some of his friends, but it wasn't this way. I was there. I was the girl he came with, the girl he had his arm around. On MySpace, he's just A and I'm just one of his friends (but his top friend at that).

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

boy crazy

After three weeks of not seeing each other, I was ready to pounce on A. We made plans for Monday night (Football and dinner? was his text), but when we actually got finished with long work days, we didn't really want to do much. A was exhausted; he hadn't slept much the night before. I almost expected him to cancel our plans, and then I was slightly disappointed when he said he wanted a sort of "early" night because he was so tired. I had been looking forward to spooning with him, because that was probably what I was missing most. So I went over to his place, prepared for him to fall asleep within an hour and for me to be going home before 11.

However, my cleavage-baring shirt seemed to wake him up. (Oh, the tricks we ladies pull on our men.)

He was tired. When I got to his place, he was laying on top of his bed still in his work clothes. Once his roommate left on her date, we made our way upstairs to order food and watch tv (neither of us really wanted to go out despite the 60 degree evening we were enjoying in late November). Once we ordered falafel and couscous and schwarma, and turned on the game, he was awake. It didn't take long for me to realize that I wasn't going home anytime before dawn, and that if anyone was pouncing, it was going to be him.

We still don't sleep well together (I had his elbow in my face half of the night), but there was something about last night that restored my faith in him and put to bed (at least for a bit) those frustrations and worries that always seem to creep up sometime during the week. I'm still not 100% satisfied with the situation, more or less because I feel like it has become more work than it used to be (maybe that's what happens after 5 months?). And even though last night was lovely and he said all sorts of cutesy things, it still doesn't indicate where I stand with him. So I leave the conversation for yet another day.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


Oh dear. I am freaking out and doing everything in a frenzy as I get ready to leave the office. Why? Because I am about to go home for 3 days, a place where there is a sketchy internet connection and no cable.

This is not easy for a media girl like me to digest. I'm used to hundreds of channels, VOD, Tivo, and wireless internet. Yes, I am bringing my laptop home to get some schoolwork done, but I will most likely be making a trip to Panera or Starbucks for Wi-Fi (probably Panera - it's free).

So I'm trying to do everything online that I possibly can right now, knowing that I won't be able to hop on whenever I need to until sometime on Saturday. And this is a perfect excuse for why I will need to return ASAP.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 20, 2006

a form of escapism, i guess

Next time I am in a bad mood, I know what I need to do........LEAVE.

It's remarkable how three days out of the city can drastically improve my mood. I went from being flustered and frustrated to being content with the way things are. I owe this to finally getting out of Chicago for a change because I pretty much forgot all about my concerns here while I was gone. I didn't bring my laptop (brilliant decision) so schoolwork couldn't bother me. I had no time to get frustrated with A since we were hundreds of miles apart (and he left me cute messages totally out of the blue). Basically, any stress that I associate with my life in Chicago just disappeared.

Secondly, I missed my MN friends. Especially Ames. I knew I missed her, but I had no idea how much until she picked me up at the airport. We talked and talked and talked all weekend (this is something we do quite well when we aren't watching Law & Order or Nip/Tuck). We didn't really do much of anything in Minneapolis except eat and hang out together, but that was really all I wanted to do. Just three months ago, she was just a $7 cab ride away. And now, she is much too far. Being with Amy reminded me of what I love about my friends and why I am so lucky to have them. I tend to take people for granted when they are so accessible, but once they move away, I value their friendship even more.

So I came back last night somewhat sad to be home (looming homework deadlines, a short and furious work week, and no Amy in Chicago anymore). But, more importantly, I felt like something had been lifted in my mood. No longer was I feeling quite as irritable and nasty as I was just a week ago. Now I know....when the going gets tough, I need to get the hell out of here.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

going to the north country

I can't believe I haven't been on a trip anywhere since March 2005. No wonder I can't use up my vacation days (and to think, I get an extra week next year). Since most of my friends and family live in the Chicagoland area, I really have little reason to travel outside of Illinois. And I have little money to get me very far. But this weekend, I am getting Minneapolis.

Sure, it might not sound like the most glamorous of destinations (especially in mid-November), but I've never been there and I have some pretty awesome friends that I want to see. I have no expectations for the weekend (I love that), because I really have no idea what my friends have planned. We could just sit around, eat and drink, and check out the city, and I would be pleased.

I could barely look forward to this trip because my week has been so chaotic. Work has consisted of back-to-back-to-back meetings and I've been overwhelmed thinking about my new position on this brand new team. It freaks me out a bit. Besides that, I've been busy with classes and frustrated with A. I haven't seen him since we went to the movies last week and I won't see him again until the weekend after Thanksgiving, at the earliest. There are a lot of things on my mind lately, things that I really think I need to get off my chest and let him know how I'm feeling. Neither of us are big talkers when it comes to this kind of stuff, but it has to be done.

He was, however, one of the somewhat bright spots of my week. After whining a bit on the phone last night to him, he suggested meeting for lunch today (seeing as there would be no other time to see each other before I left). I got excited for about five minutes, until I consulted my mental calendar and realized that, of course, I had a meeting at 2 which would conflict with our potential 1:30 lunch date.

Alas, no lunch. But I'm already thinking about how I am going to attack him when we see each other after this long hiatus.

Monday, November 13, 2006

my no good, very bad, terrible day

Today....was....awful. It was the kind of bad day that you see in movies where the main character is all but dragged through the mud and you feel horrible for him or her, but it's also kind of funny how these bad things just keep happening concurrently.

That's how I felt all day....and I'm just feeling sorry for myself at this point because I've had no one to whine to about my horrible day. And if someone is willing to just read this (or at least I think someone might be willing to read this), it's almost like I'm whining and you're listening.

5:45am: Alarm.

5:50am: Actually get out of bed, thinking that going to the gym isn't such a hot idea but are another 45 minutes of sleep going to help anything?

6:20am: Finally leave the house.

6:21am: Regret deciding to wear heels during my commute. However, decide not to turn around.

6:25am: Regret wearing blazer and coat over blazer because I thought I would be cold. Turns out I am dying of heat exhaustion. Stupid heels.

6:34am: Stare at people on the el. Feel sick.

6:44am: Arrive at the gym and feel crappy already. Decide I will probably take it easy today as I have cramps and that is a good enough excuse.

7:05am: Get off the treadmill. I feel like shit. Lift weights for a few minutes and then determine that I really just want to be in the shower.

7:25am: Why won't the water get hot?

8:02am: Why am I at work already? Feeling overwhelmed.

8:45am: Leave for offsite training. A FIVE hour offsite training. At least they're giving us breakfast and lunch.

10:05am: Almost fall asleep during training. This coffee is weak.

12:20pm: Hooray for lunch! Hooray for potato wedges and chocolate and Diet Coke.

2:15pm: Walk back to the office and buy a vanilla latte because I have cramps. And arrive at my desk shortly after to find my inbox flooded with emails. Overwhelmed again.

2:45pm: I am OVERHEATING. Blazer off. Tank top and bra straps exposed. It's November. I don't care.

3:07pm: I'm cold.

5:30pm: Time for some cookies.

6:30pm: Leave work in blazer and coat ensemble again. Probably a bad idea. Feet are starting to really hurt and I am dreading the walk home. Don't want to make myself dinner or do anything.

6:35pm: Pick up prescription from Walgreens. Receive text from A. Smile a bit. It's about Taco Bell. Stop smiling.

6:40pm: Decide to stop at Cosi because I don't want to put any thought into making dinner and I am just feeling like crap and want to feel more like crap by eating a fatty TBM sandwich. Yum. Consider buying a brownie but resist.

6:55pm: Where is the damn train? My feet are killing me. Can't wait to sit down.

7:01pm: There are no seats on this train. I am about to tip over. And I am wiping (yes, wiping) sweat off my face. Probably look sickly to fellow el riders. Want to go home.

7:12pm: Walk home slowly because these damn heels don't let me walk any faster. Am still hot and listening to Berlin on my iPod.

7:35pm: Comfortable now in sweats and flip flops, I sit down in front of a CSI rerun and devour my sandwich.

7:45pm: A calls. Brief chat because I really want to get back to my sandwich. His day sucked too. But I'm smiling again (food and A).

8:00pm: Call A, but no answer. Boo. Why don't we have any chocolate in the house? Think about walking to the convenience store on the corner, but then see myself as pathetic. Damn hormones.

9:20pm: Give up on doing homework for the night. Try calling A again. No answer. I think he fell asleep.

9:30pm: Watch an episode of Da Ali G Show. This is the happiest I've been all day. Laugh out loud even though I've heard the jokes before.

10:15pm: Maybe I should just end this bad day.

Tomorrow....well, tomorrow is Tuesday (already bad news) and my work schedule is heinous and I have a group meeting for my class project after work and I am already feeling like it can top today as being awful. I think I'm gonna need a drink soon.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

they start earlier every year

Upon going to grab my morning coffee at 8, I was greeted with the most unpleasant site.

Holiday cups at Starbucks already?!?

It's November 9th!

And my friends wonder why I'm such a Scrooge...let's start celebrating the Christmas holiday slightly closer to its actual date. Maybe I would like it a bit more.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

holding my hand would have been nice

I've been unexplainably irrational lately. I pride myself on being practical, but when it comes to my love life, all rational thought disappears. Combined with potentially PMS-induced moodiness, it's becoming troublesom.....

Monday night was terrific. For our date A had chosen a cute wine bar which, when I looked it up on Metromix, had multiple reviews about its romantic setting. Perfect! Dinner was excellent. We ordered too much food (as usual) and I had one too many glasses of wine (as usual). Conversation was excellent. We ordered dessert (or rather, he ordered dessert because there was a raspberry/dark chocolate item and he knows that those are two of my favorite things in the world and even though I wasn't hungry for dessert and he doesn't really like raspberries or dark chocolate, he ordered it for us to share). After dinner, we went back to his place and watched TV before finally falling asleep some time around 3 am. It was a struggle for both of us to wake up Tuesday morning.

During dinner I mentioned that I had two free passes to a screening of Stranger Than Fiction for Tuesday night. He looked at me as if he were shocked that I hadn't already invited him. So we made plans for Tuesday night to meet after work and, again, I was really looking forward to it.

But then this is where he got weird and I started being irrational.....

The entire night - no touching, no handholding, no kissing until our goodbye. Not saying that I'm a PDA kind of girl (I'm not. I'm very non-touchy. I don't cuddle, I don't really do hugs, and kissing in public has always been awkward for me). Even so, I would have liked some showing of affection at some point during the night. It was as though we hadn't ever dated and he was a boy I liked and he was totally giving me the "let's just be friends" vibe. After the movie, we grabbed drinks and some dinner and, again, totally weird. He walked me to my bus stop, giving me a quick kiss before I boarded, and then continued walking down Chicago Avenue, checking his phone messages (I could see him from the bus).

Twenty minutes later when I stepped off the bus and started walking home, I started to feel really sad. Confused. Two nights, two completely different vibes. It's not that I started to doubt A's interest in me, but I did begin questioning where I stand with him. And this isn't really a conversation I want to have.

Monday, November 06, 2006

dinner and....

A is taking me on a date tonight.

You would think that after almost five months together, this wouldn't be so exciting. But because we've been so busy for most of those five months, real dates have been few and far between. (Don't get me wrong - cuddling on the couch for 12 hours watching football is fantastic, but sometimes a girl wants to be taken out).

I am looking so forward to this, you would think it was our first date all over again.