Monday, February 28, 2005

Much-Anticipated E-mail

Note from my NY/NJ "boss" to the project team:

"Office hours are at your discretion."

Basically, try and be here before 9am, and stick around until at least 4 or so, OK?

Oh, finally.

Snowing here, too.

Legos Do Escher


via Alas

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Trolling Through Blogs for Useless Trivia

It's Sunday. Looking for useless trivia that doesn't piss me off. Not finding much.

I think I'm going to go out and buy books today.

Saturday, February 26, 2005


This weekend has been reserved for much-needed decompression time. The problem with go-go-go nonstop is that I need down time in order to properly evaluate everything that's going on: to look at what's going on, re-evaluate what I want, and figure my shit out.

One of Jenn's buddies from California is over for the night, and I opened up the door to find a tall, blue-eyed guy in a suit staring back at me, and felt a startled jolt at the idea that ah, yes, this was the guy I'd been hearing about for the last five years, standing at my doorway... and I looked at him, and he looked at me, and sweet fuck, he's pretty. And damn, yes, he's currently single.

We all went out for dinner, and the plan after that was to go to the Hancock Tower for drinks and then go out to the Second City comedy club and have a night of it... but after dinner, when we came back to the place so Jenn could switch coats, I realized I really didn't want to go out on the town. I just wanted to be home. I leave for New Jersey again on Monday. All I want is this time, here, in my own bed, sleeping and mulling over everything that's going on. I haven't had enough downtime.

So I bowed out of the rest, and here I am, preparing for bed, trying to work some stuff out, wondering about life, about what I want, about how everything can fit together, wondering about... just, everything, and how it can all go spectacularly wrong and change you forever, for better or worse.

I wonder, sometimes, if relationships are just sort of like the rest of the things in my life... something I'm so afraid of, but need to come to grips with in order to live fully.

I've been told that vertigo is not, in fact, the fear of falling - it's your mind fighting your body's desire to fall. We have a tendancy to desire those jumps, those freefalls into space, and what we fight, the battle we wage, is desire against logic.

For some bridges, the big kind, the ones you jump off in order to die, these are good battles to fight: having some wit keeps you breathing. But for those more modest bridges, the ones, say 55 ft. tall with a freefall into water, well, those are more realistic bridges; the ones our mind might fear, but the sort of jump that will make us different, better, for having jumped it.

That's what I'm decompressing.

Good, Old Fashioned Romance

Everybody needs a little lovin'...

via Greg.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Ah, Chicago

Oh, I'm home....

Thai food, beer, soaking in the tub, decadent reading of multiple books...

Oh, yes. This is the good life.

You're In Trouble

Mosh just took me aside with the immortal words, "You're in trouble," and put me in a closed-door meeting with him.

Thoughts running through my head:

1) Somebody's been checking my internet time. I'm screwed.

2) Somebody found my blog

3) Somebody found out that I'm staying at the Grand Hyatt week after next

4) Hopefully, I'll be fired.

In fact, Mosh was totally being a smartass, and he'd brought me in to discuss my $1000 yearly bonus that just got deposited into my account. 40% is stock, 60% is cash, but all of the taxes come out of the cash, so I've only got an extra $221 in my account.

Not exactly a high-roller.

I was thanked for doing what I do (what do I do, exactly?) and thanked for my willingnes to travel, and told what an asset I was and blah blah and hope you'll be here many years to come and blah.

I swear, people can totally sense when you're completely fed up with your job and ready to jump ship.

The Pope

Gosh, sure is lucky he had the choice to have an elective surgery, huh? Sure is great that the Catholic church thinks going to the hospital for an elective surgery is OK, if it can potentially improve and lengthen your quality of life.

How thoughtful of them, to let him choose how he'd like to be cared for. I mean, could you imagine having the procedure in place that could potentially allow him to lead a better life, but him being unable to make that choice because his religion said that only God could play God and that humans had no right to interfere with the body's "natural" processes? Like, say, birth and death?

He sure is lucky to be a white man with choices. White men sure are lucky that way.

So Incredibly Illegal

This is just sooo incredibly illegal that I didn't even think it was worthy of bringing up: it's just so illegal. You just can't do it.

But that was when I lived in another country.

Why aren't they demanding the sexual health and histories of the men whose sperm instigated these pregnancies? Aren't promiscuous men equally suspect of being "sexual perverts" because they fucked around?

Oh, wait, I forgot: women are the sexual gatekeepers. Guys get a Get Out of Jail Free card.

This is fucking grotesque. It's a mockery of women, of the supposed "equality" of women, and it's a fucking smack in the face for every fucking woman who's fought to keep her body off the state chattle market.

Bull fucking shit. Bullshit. This isn't treating women like human beings. Watch yourself being put back into line, chiklits, one Kansas attorney general at a time.

I want a record of his sexual history, seeing as everybody's sexual history is now of the utmost importance to the State.

Fuck you, asshole.

Random Links

Alaskans make me proud... Check out the latest shuttle commander... Here's what happens when your parents get pissed off with what you write...

D.H. Lawrence gets taken to the mat:

It is hard to take Lawrence's preachings about 'phallic tenderness' seriously, other than as a reflection of the deep-rooted fears evoked by the first phase of the sexual and economic emancipation of women. He is the ultimate spokesman for a particular type of male personality, so defended against a devouring mother that he is crippled by fear of commitment.

And, Look! The Gays Are Taking Over the Phillipines, too! In the army, no less! All this gayness! All this marriage! Too much love and happiness and this world might just EXPLODE!

And, for your workday amusement... Practical Applications of the Philosopher's Stone. For Drunks.

All via Jenn. Cause lord knows I haven't had the time to find all of these myself...

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Hotels Suck

I don't know that I can do this "living out of hotels" thing much longer; this is probably the loneliest state of existence, ever. Being nomadic is fun and great, and I've done that - but when I've done that and lived out of a backpack and enjoyed it, I enjoyed it because I didn't really have a home or a life at the time. I was really just doing the nomad thing. Now I've got an actual home and an actual life, and this is a killer.

This is seriously wacky. How do people do this? I mean, I know all of the guys have been married and divorced at least once (including Yellow, who's only 34); I guess you do this shit and have to give up everything else. And you know what? It's not a sacrifice I'm willing to make.

Damn. I've got a lot of work to do this weekend to get the hell out of this job and figure out my shit.

Deja Vu

New Jersey. All next week. AGAIN. Weekend home.

NY city the next week, Mar 6-10th.

I knew things were bad when I arrived at the Hilton in Denver and thought, "Oh, I'm home."

This can't go on much longer.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

She Won! She Won!

Amanda won the Koufax for Best New Blog!


Thanks for voting!

Tipping Point

Well, had my expected little freakout at the Denver airport today. Made a beeline for Taco Bell, though I wasn't hungry, and ran into an obsessive desire to then eat a chocolate croissant and ice cream. About the time I got the ice cream, I was sick, and threw most of it away, but it was good little mini-binge the likes of which I haven't run into in a long time.

I've been reasonably good the last couple weeks; not eating great, but definately not binging. My workouts are sporadic, but they're getting done, and now.. and now...

I'm incredibly stressed out, I have too much going on, and I'm really fucking exhausted. I have no idea how the hell or if the hell I'm supposed to be doing whatever the hell I do at work, and I'm flying to New York again tomorrow morning, and all I want to do is be home and write books.

The reason I don't like the idea (for myself) of using drugs like, say, appetite suppressants or anti-depressants is that I think that when my body freaks out like this, it's trying to tell me something, and that something is usually, "You're unhappy. You're doing too much. You're losing sight of what you want. Slow down. Back off. Rethink."

A bunch of stuff has been going on all at once, and I haven't had the downtime to mull it all over and figure out what to do with it. I have such a huge, long list of shit (need to study for the LSATs, make my June test date appointment, gotta gotta gotta drop those two sizes [meaning continuing to eat right and exercising way more than all this traveling allows] if for no other reason than that there are far better clothes available in a 12 and I need to clean up my look, need to ask for a raise and/or dump this shit job [they'll squeeze until you say STOP], need to finish my fucking latest novel, need to get three more short stories in the mail [which will require, you know, *finishing* them first,] and etc. and more bullshit, and other bullshit and more...).

And it's a lot. I'm going to try and see if I can get away with only spending half of next week in NY, or a day in NY or whatever, as I've got a computer training class in downtown NY for Mar 7-9, and shit, I need some time at home. I need a life. This is getting fucking ridiculous.

And I know it. My body knows it. It's getting really pissed off at me.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Denver's Continuing Fuckups: And Why It Matters to You

From the state that brought you Littleton and the fucked-up still-unsolved Jonbenet Ramsey case comes the latest fuck-up by the Denver police. Not only was their latest serial rapist just out of prison... for being a serial rapist, but he confessed his post-prison crimes to the police and was released from their custody due to red tape issues. He then went out and assaulted more women and young boys.

As if that wasn't enough, some dipshit sent out all of the personal information about the two women he most recently assaulted - including their names - to a bunch of accountants "by accident." In fact, they didn't even know it had gotten out until the local news station brought to their attention the fact that they now had the names and details of the assault victims (this was just on the local 4 news, I can't find an internet article yet).

Go Denver police!

And guess what I was doing this morning? Why, I was walking to work from my hotel... my, my, it occured to me halfway over there, "I wonder if they've caught that rapist yet?"

Ah, yes. This is why police fuck-ups matter, because when you've got a predator on the streets who primarily attacks women and girls and young boys, you've got over half the population of a city looking over their shoulders. I sometimes wonder if people fuck this shit up on purpose, just to keep everybody afraid. Fuckers.

And to top off my day, which began by me looking at the news of the missing pregnant woman and her son and thinking, "Duh. The boyfriend did it," I returned home to find that yes, indeed, the boyfriend did it. And you know what, it actually got to me. It made me teary-eyed, that it was so bloody fucking obvious, that the person who fucking kills you is somebody who was supposed to give a shit about you.

Because a real man slaughters his girlfriend and her kid. That's pretty fucking manly, isn't it?

Please take your self-defense classes, my chiklits. Until guys get their shit together, about all you've got to rely on is yourself.

I'm just... disappointed.

What I Learned Today

1) Basics of Adobe Photoshop. Best. Program. Ever.

2) Improving my knowledge of Access. We're trying to implement a company-wide database system that we can apply to all of our markets. It's gonna be a tough sell to the Boys, and me and the amazing woman who put it together had a pow-wow to try and get me familiar with it so I can take it back to NY.

3) Got familiar with the electronic filing said amazing woman had set up so I can replicate it in New York.

I've got some good stuff I wanted to bitch about tonight. Will get there eventually. Leaving early today because of general exhaustion. Out to lunch. More later.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Shit I Never Thought I'd Be Doing

I've been in three different time zones in the last two days. It's now 10pm Denver time, 11pm Chicago time, midnight in New York, and I just got back from the gym where I put in my jogging time. I ate at the airport because I knew that the only place near the hotel was a sit-down, and by the time I finished there, it'd be midnight, and I'd have lost my workout time.

This was hard. It was a bitch just to psych myself up to get down there, but if I want to get in three days this week, I had to go down tonight. My motivation was simple: I repeated over and over to myself, "You'll feel better afterwards. You'll feel a lot better. You're feeling twitchy and anxious because you're traveling so much and living out of hotels and so much is on your mind, and if you exercise, you're going to feel about 80 times better. It's meditation time."

That was the only way I could get down there. Even then, I committed to a time limit instead of a miles limit because I feared I'd peter out. So it was a couple minutes walking at the beginning, a couple for cool-down at the end, and twenty minutes of jogging in the middle. I tried to stumble off toward the free weights after this, but I already did my weights this morning, and I was exhausted.

I'm committed to taking care of myself. I'm committed to being this person. The great thing about having been the absolute worst person you can be is that you always have a place you never want to go back to, and you can look at yourself now, and look at yourself then, and look forward and go, "Yea, it's possible. I can be that fucking cool."

It's possible. It's just really fucking difficult.

Stumbled back upstairs, setting my alarm for a day in Denver.

EDIT: Took out some work stuff that - it occurs to me in the light of day - might get me into trouble if it makes it back to a client.

I need to be making more money.

I'm exhausted. I was IMing my buddy Julian this morning, and peppering everything with a bunch of stupid spelling errors. I'm just wacky. I miss my MA classes so damn much. I want to go to class on Saturday, but I think I'll be risking my sanity. I'm going to need to sleep.

By Saturday, I'll have lost track of what timezone I'm in.

Keep `em Stupid

Ah, yes: America's children shouldn't be educated, they should be entertained.

"I'd rather them not do it at all," he added. "You've got a show watched by millions of children. Do children need to have gay marriage thrust in their faces as an issue? Why can't we just entertain them?"

It reminds me about the parent complaints when a high school teacher had his students engage in a debate about the validity of the war in Iraq. I think one of the parents said, basically, "These are high school students. They shouldn't be engaged in debates about these kinds of issues. They're in school to learn things, not argue. That's what college is for."

Cause high school kids are just naturally DUMB. Like women. And people from foreign countries.

For fuck's sake.

Random Links

I'm getting on a plane to Denver later today, but I've got a couple hours of office time...

So, just a couple of things. For those who haven't seen "Sideways," do. It's a great movie. I tend to bitch about movies that give me two random people who are supposed to be falling in love but don't show me what the hell it is they find attractive or interesting about each other. This one does it right. I was a believer. It's a great "people" movie about what it is that draws friends and lovers together over the long haul. Very well done.

In other news, the fucktards are back. I think they only write up this "women just don't blog" crap because it pisses women off, and gets a lot of comments going as women bitch at dumbasses who argue that women are biologically inclined to argue less. Excuse me a moment while I snicker uncontrollably. It's the same old bullshit. I think it has something to do with the incredibly short attention spans of modern media-saturated adults. Nobody stops to think about anything any more. They just vomit something up, say, "Of course," and move on to the next guy who's murdered his pregnant wife; while forgetting that yes, in fact, the leading cause of death among pregnant women is being killed by their significant other. Every time it happens people keep thinking it's some kind of fluke. Shit, doesn't anybody read anything anymore?

Amanda's got a great post up about teen girl hysteria and boy-bands/boy celebrities, and argues that a lot of this hysteria has to do with the repression of female sexuality. I have to agree with her on that point. It also puts me in mind of that scene in The Handmaid's Tale, when the incredibly repressed women are allowed to tear up an accused "rapist" a couple times a year as a way to vent their incredibly anger at the system. There's also a phenomenon among Zulu women called umhayizo a "bewitchment" exclusive among Zulu girls and young women in which they break into hysterical crying, attack anyone who approaches, and have an irresistable desire to run after and be with the man they're pining over.

There's something to be said for the repression of desire.

And, of course, there's the other point Amanda makes: that the desire for these men is articulated about being "Mrs. Somebody," and reinforcing the get-married culture. However, I think that the reason women give for wanting to be "Mrs. Somebody" may have to do with the fact that it's just not considered proper for women to have conversations about casual sex and desire. Whereas men are encouraged to talk about their attraction to women in casual terms, women get a "gotta marry him," script, even if that may not exactly be what they're looking for. There's more pressure to talk about attraction in terms of long-term viability and not "Really, it's mostly about the sex. I really, really want to drag that guy home."

Marriage - and the way a lot of women and men talk about it - has also always struck me as feeling very much like possession: wanting and desiring an object and finding a way to bind it to you in an effort to pretend that perhaps things won't change, that perhaps you can relax and be comfortable and not worry quite so much that your partner will be banging the hot thing next door. It's a false security, of course, especially now... but it's interesting to listen to people talk about it.

I'm off to lunch...

Sunday, February 20, 2005


They wouldn't give me a late checkout time, so I had to rebook my flight, which, honestly, is a way better state of affairs. I really just want to be home for awhile. Do some laundry. I might even be able to get out and go jogging while the laundry's running.

I'm a bit exhausted. Looks like they want me in Denver for a few days next week, then more time in NY... I'm looking to book a hotel closer to downtown. These transit costs are fucking killing me. I could have bought a punching bag with this goddamn money. Spent Sat. night watching HBO boxing with Brendan, which was cool. I haven't watched professional fights since I started taking boxing classes, and let me tell you, it's waaay cooler when you have an appreciation for just how fucking difficult it is for them to do what they do...

Outta here in an hour.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

It's Official

I'm in love with that guy at the front desk. We keep beaming at each other. Granted, he's paid to beam, but hot damn. I keep trying to think up ways to take him home with me...

Anyhow, as regulars have likely noticed, blogging has stalled out. We're packed into meeting blocks all week. It's an all-or-nothing business. Just don't expect miracles.

I've gotta get some food and get to the gym... Corp travel is tough. I can see how easy it is to default to bad habits. If I can travel and still get in at least three good gym days a week and continue to watch my food intake (one of the problems with being on somebody else's food schedule is that they've got you eating when they want to eat, not necc. when you're hungry). It's just going to take a lot of work.

Just like anything else.

I think I'm job searching the next time I get back to Chicago. I'm secretly hoping that in their meeting tomorrow, they decide they don't need me to fly into Greensboro, N. Carolina, and I can go home to Chicago for a week or so. I'm also trying to lock down the March 6-9th date for my return to New York - I'd prefer to do the map training they have me slated for in Manhatten as opposed to Minneapolis. Right now they're going back-and-forth with it. We'll see.

Damn, I'm tired. Sorry, I have nothing pissed off or witty to say. This is how pissed off people become conservatives: you make them work crap hours at crap jobs so they don't have *time* to think about what a raw deal the world's giving them.

We could use more pissed off people.

Out & About

Bleary-eyed and functioning on about five hours of sleep, which isn't too bad.

Had dinner in Brooklyn last night with Brendan, which I was nervous as all hell about for a number of reasons. He's the first person who's "known" me through the blog first, and met up with me offline.

In fact, this turned out to be way easier than I gave it credit for, pretty much from the moment I saw him. It was a little bit like hanging out with a smarter version of my buddy Eli (no offence in that dept. Lysha darling), which meant I was pretty comfortable after about five minutes, and felt like I'd known him a long time by the end of the night. Yay. Very cool guy. What was it I was saying about guys from NJ/NY?

I must meet more of ya'll offline. I have amazing readers ;)

More good fun this weekend, and reading recommendations.

I'm now going to go find some coffee...

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

I Went To Work Today And All I Got Was This Stupid T-Shirt

Insane. Insane. I don't know how anything manages to fly around here. Miracles. All of it.

I'm out of here in 45 minutes, fucktards.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

This is Just So Incredibly Stupid

Sucks. Sucks. Sucks.

I'll elaborate later. Just frickin' sucks. This is just incredibly stupid. I should be sleeping NOW. I will sleep. Turn off brain. No more thinking. I promise.


Some days, I amuse myself with my utter inability to get my shit together.

Some day, I will be a supah ninjah.

Until then, it's just me, with a brain that won't shut off. Looooong night. The pay off is that there will be some neat bows to tie off afterward, a weekend of siteseeing, and then, real life. I could use some of that.

Well, Shit. If Nothing Else, It's Gonna Be Damn Interesting.

Or, not.

You never know.

I'm going to bed. It's a Tylenol PM night.

On Being White Trash

I've talked before about being the oldest child of a couple of burger flippers, but I haven't really talked about what it was like, socially, to be the daughter of fast-food employees; however much I enjoyed my time in the restaurants, the kids at school, the people we knew socially, didn't really see it as a terribly enjoyable experience. Fast food was something you got away from, fast.

Fast food was white trash.

I can remember a time for about two years when I'd go so far as to say my parents were "poor," though we'd likely be "lower middle-class" by anybody else's standards, cause we always had enough to eat. For about two years, my parents were paying their bills with credit cards (now that they own their own business, they're doing this again - another one of my eternal battles is figuring out how to figure out money). My sister and I were subsisting primarily on scrambled eggs and macaroni and cheese. I suspect that my aversion for scrambled eggs has something to do with being presented with yet another dinner of scrambled eggs when I was five or six.

Things got better, but when we played show and tell at school, I didn't particular want to bring in my parents. When I was younger, I resented the fact that all of the other kids seemed to have mothers who baked cookies and didn't come home smelling like grease every night. When I'd go over to other kids' houses, their mom cleaned the toilets - in my house, I learned how to clean toilets when I was four.

My mom was always really adament that her kids become self-sufficient. We chose our own clothes every morning (which lasted until the day my sister dressed herself for kindergarten and forgot to wear underwear. My grandmother was horrified, and from then on, she would set out clothes for us every morning and re-dress us when my parents dropped us off at her place). We learned how to cook a remarkable amount of macoroni and cheese and grilled cheese sandwiches (I have an especial fondness for all sorts of cheese, to this day). Every Saturday or so, we cleaned the house, working with our mom from a big to-do list. Whenever we'd go out to restaurants, even if it was just the local diner, my mom would give us a rundown on basic restaurant politeness, napkin over lap, "excuse me," "thank you," and which fork to use (when we were at places with two forks).

"Someday," she'd say, "you're going to go out to a nice place, and you don't want to look foolish." What that meant, really, was "You don't want to look like white trash."

In fact, I've always sort of viewed my family as about one step to the left of white trash. The kids I hung out with either lived in a trailer packed with ten kids or lived in a crapped-out moldy place down the corner, or the dilapedated barn down the street (somebody did finally gut that fucking pigsty and redo it from the inside out).

When my dad worked some weekends for a stump grinding company, my sister refused, refused to have him pick her up from school in "the stump grinding truck" because it was so incredibly white-trash looking a vehicle.

The one time my dad did this, she burst into tears. "What's everyone going to think of me!" she cried. "It's bad enough that when everyone asks, I have to tell them you work at a burger joint!"

The one thing I never, never, learned how to do was dress like anything other than white trash. That's something I've been spending the entirety of my 20s working on. I just don't understand clothes. I don't know how to buy them. It doesn't help that fashion's not made for women who look like me. Throw in the fact that I have no idea what looks decent on me, and it means hours and hours and hours of crappy shopping time and a lot of stuff that makes it home and then gets thrown out when I realize it's way crappier in real life than it was in the store and "Sweet fuck, what was I thinking?"

The last time I went shopping, I went to Nordstrom in downtown Chicago, and I stood in the middle of the shoe store, holding two shoe styles I wanted to try on, feeling incredibly out of place among the Beautiful People who all hustled about looking busy like they belonged there, and nobody was coming up to help me, and I thought, "They can see it, can't they? They can totally see that I'm really white trash. That's why nobody's helping me, that's why --"

"Can I help you, ma'am?"

Er. Yea.

It's funny, though, how the white trash thing still stirs me sometimes. It's one of the reasons I find it so funny to be in these meetings, to put on a suit jacket. There's just this incredible feeling that I don't fit here. I keep waiting for the moment when some hotel clerk yells, "Aha! White trash! I knew it!" and kicks me out of the hotel.

I'm waiting for the corporate dinner where there's a fork I don't know how to use (though to be honest, many of these guys wouldn't know how to use it either). I worry that I'm being too nice to the waitstaff, do they think I'm being condescending?

It's funny, what follows you.

Once I got older, I realized that in fact, my mother had done me an incredible favor by being a working mom, by teaching me early that I needed to figure out how to do shit for myself. I have a friend back home who got married and realized that, in fact, toilets do not clean themselves. Her mother had done all of her laundry, cleaned the house, made her bed, for her entire life. She had no idea how to do any of it on her own, and no set routine. I have another friend who moved out and managed to burn a can of instant soup: she'd never cooked anything before. And there were others, mainly women, but lots of guys I know, who don't understand how to work for a living. Who don't know how to do an interview. Who don't know how to write up a resume. I'd been working informally for the burger joints for years, and done so many crap jobs since I was 16 that I don't even find interviews scary anymore. I clean my house every Saturday (yea, the toilet too). I can cook - sure, mostly only what can be cooked in a wok, but I can cook. I learned how to be self-sufficient really quickly. Nobody did it for me. When I moved in with a guy who *wasn't* self-sufficient, problems quickly ensued, cause I ended up playing mom. Let me tell you: I'm never doing anybody else's fucking laundry ever again.

But for the most part, I got a great gift, being the sort of white trash who had two parents who worked their asses off. They knew about work ethic. They knew that even if you fucked up everything else, if you got up and went to work everyday, you'd keep scrambled eggs in the fridge and kool-aid on the table, and some days, that's enough.

Ohh... I Found the Nice, Cozy Robes

Ohhh, I found the complimentary fuzzy robes in the closet, and the umbrella, and the ironing board, and... and the actual room rate here (they're billing a "government rate" of $111.00 on my corp. card). The actual room rate?

$350 a night

::snicker:: ::snicker:::

I feel like I'm getting away with something EVIL.

This One's for Brendan

Cause Jenn's already read it.

"ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge"

Oh, The Insanity

Wow. This is an insane business.

Blame it all on Blaine. I'm here through Sunday night, and now it looks like they'll be shipping me off to North Carolina Monday morning. Then back to NY for map training Feb 28-Mar 3rd (downtown, this time, if I have anything to say about it). And they're floating the word "Dallas" around a lot more lately.

My brain is pretty fried, as we've been talking about microwave engineering all day, and I'm not an engineer. I don't think I actually believed them when they said this was really what they were going to make my job into: flying into a bunch of cities and setting up project support and document controls for all of our wireless projects.

I'm ordering some traveling weights. I'm heading to dinner now, then to the gym.... I'm starting to understand why all of these guys are packing around an extra 80lbs. We do nothing but work really late hours and live out of hotels and eat crap food.

I might have something more interesting to say later, after food and workout endorphins have kicked in. Right now, I'm out of it. Need to make travel arrangements for downtown tomorrow, too. We've got jam-packed meetings, and I've already pronounced rather loudly that I'm out of there by 5pm, cause I've got a dinner meeting downtown.

I'm definately not doing this for more than a year. In fact, the next time I get some breathing space, I'm calling my recruiter. Seriously. I'm not getting paid enough. I do, in fact, have an actual life *outside* of work, which requires me to *spend time doing it.*

Damn, I'm hungry. Gotta run.

Monday, February 14, 2005

New Jersey, pt 2

But hot damn, these New York/New Jersey guys are fucking hot. They shipped in some guys for the meeting from NY and surrounding NJ, and then there was the guy at the front desk, "Are you still with me, miss?"

"Huh? Oh, erm, yes." Honey, I'll be with you anytime you want.


It's not a pretty-boy hotness thing, it's an attitude. These guys took everybody to the table in the meeting, chewed at them until they realized somebody knew their shit, and then everybody was the best of friends. I must have fallen in love four or five times since I've been here.

This may also have something to do with the fact that it's mid-month, but hey, hormones can be great.

Got stuck at the table next to that pesky architect, who felt it neccessary to talk about some of his dating woes. Poor guy. I almost felt sorry for him. He's tried speed dating, and the 8 @ 8 thing in Chicago, and he says he feels like he should just submit a resume before he even goes, it feels so much like a job interview.

I successfully managed to not talk at all about my own thoughts about dating, who I've dated, or how I felt hanging out and drinking with this big table of guys all night (yea, once again, 20 people, only two of us women - the usual); which I enjoy doing because I swear there's an office pool bet going about whether or not I'm a lesbian, and I want to keep that up in the air as long as possible, because it amuses me.

I did end up thinking a little bit about love tonight, because we had dinner early so the local guys could go home to their wives, and I was thinking about Mosh and CP, who haven't been home in a month. In Mosh's case, his wife holds down the fort, including the kids, and in CP's case, his wife is home about as much as he is, cause she does a shitload of work with us. And of course I'm thinking about Yellow, who's also single today, and angsting about it, and who just wants to find the right sort of woman at the right time so he can settle down, so he can have a family. And I was thinking about couples, and how the hell you make this stuff work, long-term, in an age of ever-increasing scrutiny regarding looks, and aging. I was thinking about our instant gratification culture, shortening attention spans.

How do you love someone, when you don't even know how to look them in the face?

And why bother staying with someone when things are tough, if you're not financially dependent, if you can take care of yourself? Because a lot of what held together marriages in the past was dependency. Somebody had to do the laundry. Somebody had to pay for your food. If you were really lucky, you'd start to like each other after a decade or so, and maybe after twenty or thirty years, you'd be in love. Then, luckily, you’d die before you figured any better. Love can be like that: familiarity breeds comfort.

Yet despite all that snark on my part, I'm not cynical about love. Not real love, not the real thing. In fact, it's something I think would be pretty neat. The problem with love, the sticking kind, is that you're in it for the long haul. That's the scariest part about it, loving somebody. Going, "You're fucked up, and you'll probably fuck up again, but you know, I like you anyway. I'd walk through fire for you."

And if you're lucky, they feel about the same. It’s the mutual part that’s the toughest.

Doesn't happen often. And certainly hasn't happened to me, not really, so I suppose I can't talk much about it.

I walked back up to my hotel room (it's like a fucking apartment. It has three fucking sinks and two TVs. What the fuck am I supposed to do with three sinks?) after dinner, and changed into my pajamas and scrutinized my body, poked at those places that don't please me, leaned toward the mirror, looked deep into my own face, wondered what, exactly, other people see there. What do people see, when they see me?

And I thought of all of those boys I shuddered over today (in a good way), thought of all of their imperfections. I couldn't tell you what drew me to them, it's just... this thing. It's something. It's a looks issue, yes, but not pretty looks, not perfect plastic people.

One of the things I like about having dinner with the Boys is that everybody I work with has been to all sorts of different places. India, Germany, Poland, bullshit places in the US, all over the US, everywhere - and they have really great stories. They have all sorts of things to talk about, lots of projects. They've lived. And I can just sit around and drink beer and listen to them, and of course, I have my own stories, so sometimes I can join in, but mostly, I just listen, because I love stories. I love people who've lived.

Maybe I saw some of that in those boys. Maybe I saw men who had stories, and attitude. What I always wonder is what men actually see when they look at me, because I'm not traditionally "hot." I'm not remarkable, except maybe in heels, when I'm 6ft tall and look like I can kick your ass. Then there's just sort of awe when people look, and that's a different sort of attraction.

So there's something else people see, and I know that they see it, because I know a hundred guys who love to sit and chat with me but wouldn't be caught dead dating me. And, of course, two hundred more who would date me because they thought my cool life could make up for their crappy one: the vortex people.

I was stuck in the airport, and CNN was on, and they were doing a bullshit interview with that matchmaker in that NY Times article, and she said the top three things women looked for in men was:

1) Intelligence
2) Sense of humor
3) Character or integrity

I had to agree with that, and found myself nodding. Then she gave the top three for what the men who come to her are looking for:

1) Attractive/good looks
2) Thin body
3) Younger than him

Luckily, the sorts of guys using her service aren't the sorts of guys I'd be interested in (why the hell would I want to date a guy a decade older than me?). But shit, could you imagine limiting your possibilites like that?

Shape magazine just did a study that says that only 2% of women describe themselves as "beautiful" and only 9% (9%!) consider themselves "attractive." Shit, women, I've got low self-esteem, but even I'd call myself attractive.

People get older, people make money, people acquire things, and as they get richer and make themselves better looking, they start to look at people like things, too, to be bought, sold, traded in. Upgrade. Download. Whatever. Everything else is so fast and easy, why not this?

And I thought about Yellow saying, "I think I found the girl," in reference to the woman he wants to marry and have kids with. Not "I really connected with this amazing woman," but basically, "I think this one fits the bill." And I think about another guy I work with, who's also 35, and just got engaged to a woman he's been dating for two years when - not six months ago - he was moaning about the woman he "should never have broken up with" back in San Diego.

What the hell are these guys thinking? "She's easy and convienent and here at the right time in my life, and she likes me, so why not?"

I guess that's how it should work for some people, or... no, no, bullshit. No fucking way.

You want to spend the next thirty or forty years of your life with somebody, really? Like, truly? No bullshit?

Then you better find somebody you’re fucking wacky about. Your blood better boil. You better get giddy. You better be thinking about them when you go to sleep at night, when you get up in the morning; you better be thinking of them in the middle of the night, shit, when you can’t sleep. You better be wondering about what they’d have to say about your day, about that bizarre person you bumped into on the train. You better know when you see the absolute perfect thing for them. You’d better want nothing more than to move heaven and earth to hang out with them.

Cause what the fuck else are you going to have to go on when you’ve been together five or ten years and gotten older and complacent and comfortable? What else are you going to have to go on but the memory of that fire, and working toward feeling it again when you two get too cozy? Why the hell would you want to spend any amount of time with somebody who didn’t drive you fucking nuts?

I really had nothing to say when that poor architect brought up his dating woes, because… I had no woes. I had no sad Valentine’s story about why I was there and not pining after an actual SO, only imaginary ones. I was amazed to be there at that table, actually, sitting somewhere in New Jersey where I could see highway signs that said, “New York City.”

I am twenty-five years old, and I was one of two women sitting in a room full of men running projects worth millions of dollars, and even though I hate this dumb job and I’m not going to stick with it longer than another year or so because it doesn’t challenge me, it’s not my passion; still, when I touched down in that stupid plane I felt like I’d won something. This was what my parents worked so damn hard for. This is why I worked all those bloody stupid jobs. So I could – even for just this moment – not have to spend my life flipping burgers. So I could be twenty-five years old with a corporate card and going to New York for the weekend and keeping a place in Chicago with hardwood floors. So I could live well, so I’d have a 401(K) and medical insurance.

This is it. I win. All of it.

And whatever happens from now on, whatever stupid thing I do that might get me back to working at Starbucks while I go to law school, or go back to living in a cockroach-invested flat while trying to write books or whatever – whatever happens, I’ve got this. I did this. I did that perfect, right, corporate kick-ass powersuit thing, and I did OK at it.

It’s not my thing, this powersuit crap, and I know that. That’s why I hate it. That’s why I’m not writing enough. That’s one of the reasons lots of other stuff is stalling out. This isn’t my passion. I could care less about it. And though, in the short term, not caring about your job is great, in the long term, it sucks away your soul.

And I’ve chosen my out, and I’m out of here in summer of `06, and on to other things…

But tonight, this night, after good food, decent beer, good stories, I can tell you my life feels full.

Love, love, love. Yes, there are people I care deeply about. No, marriage and children aren’t on my list. Yes, having lovers in foreign cities would be fun, if I was that sort of person. Could I ever find a partner? Somebody to share this big, wacky, ever-changing life with?

Well, miracles happen. Sometimes.

But mostly, I think, we just live. And it’s funny, and warm, and cozy, and good, and you live with friends, and family, and you find some affection even for your wacky co-workers, and that’s it. That’s life.

It's messy. It's life.

Now go to bed, and don't bitch at me cause you're doing it alone, cause you know what? I'm sleeping alone, too, and have been for some time. And you know what? That's OK. It's not lonely, it's OK. Yea, there are people out having sex tonight, and a lot of it's probably great, but some of it's probably not, and they're sitting awake lying next to somebody who they thought they knew really well, somebody who's turned out to be a total stranger, who doesn't give a shit about them at all, who's not going to understand them, who doesn't know why they read books, and they're going to sit next to that person and feel a big gaping vortex of their own and wish they were single, wish for this night, just this one night, to be alone with their own thoughts.

The grass is always, always greener.

That's life, too.

Make your own life. Nobody's gonna match it all up for you. It's your game. Your pieces.


New Jersey

I'm not impressed.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Night Thoughts

An incredibly lazy day, full of me wondering why I felt so stressed-out and lethargic (answer: cause my brain won't shut up). Watched a lot of movies. Realized blogging has given me a shitty attention span. I'll need to start taking out my internet card when I sit down to write. This shit's gotta stop.

I also realized something tonight, feeling incredibly tired, worried about missing this week's MA classes, wishing that this week I've so looked forward to was just *over* already, thought about all the things I wanted to do, I needed to do, how silly I was for being concerned about stuff of very little importance that I really shouldn't even be thinking about... and I realized that it's never going to be perfect.

I'm never going to get everything done that I want to do in a week, cause that means trips to New York or Glasgow or Egypt won't happen. Getting locked into the "perfect" routine only means that I'll be less flexible when the good stuff comes up.

I'm never going to have a perfect week. It's never going to be perfect. I'm never going to get everything done.

Relax. Sit back. Enjoy. Have fun getting on a plane. Hope for clear weather in New York/New Jersey.

Enjoy yourself for once. Shit, woman.

I'll be up early and on a plane tomorrow morning, heading out. Mixed feelings. Books are packed.

And I'm incredibly, incredibly tired.

Web Hosting Going Down

Jenn is switching out our internet service provider this weekend, so I've gone back to stealing bandwidth for my title image, for the short term. I'll also be losing my webpage hosting space for my personal webpage, photopage, and profile photo.

These will be out of commission. I'll take out the links to them in my profile when I get back from New York, and go back to using Hello or something until I can figure out the deal our new provider gives us. Kinda sucks. Comcast has got a great user-friendly upload service now. Bah.

I'm So Disappointed

I am nerdier than 46% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

Go Vote for Mouse Words

Amanda's up for the Koufax Award for Best New Blog. Go vote for her, please. This is for a good cause. She deserves wider recognition, and this is one way to go about that. She doesn't have any ads, her content's all her own (it's not a group blog, or sponsored by any party), and it consistently kicks all ass. Voting is easy - just fill out a comment at the site above and put "Mouse Words" in it.

As an aside, she's also the only woman on the list of eight (best I can tell), which sure the hell is interesting, considering that there are actually more women bloggers than men.

Very interestting. And that's all I'll say about that.


50 Books I Need to Finish This Year

During good weeks, I can get through 2-3 books a week on the train. Unfortunately, I've been spending most of my train time lately listening to music and staring off into space. Like my writing, my reading has been suffering.

It's time to get back on track.

In preparation for my trip, I've compiled a quick list of the 50 books I either need to start reading or need to finish reading this year, roughly in this order (an asterik denotes those books I'm currently in the middle of reading):

1. Romance of the Three Kingdoms(volume 1 of 2)*
2. Shriek by Jeff VanderMeer
3. The Male Body by Susan Bordo*
4. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrel by Susanna Clarke
5. The Persian Boy by Mary Renault*
6. Love by Toni Morrison*
7. Ahab's Wife by Sena Jeter Nasland*
8. War in the Shadows: the Guerilla in History by Robert B. Asprey (in fact, I need to buy this book - I'm accuring a lot of library fees for it)*
9. Orlando by Virginia Woolf*
10. Dreaming by the Book by Elaine Scarry*
11. Secret Life by Jeff VanderMeer
12. Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brien
13. Nightwood by Djuna Barnes
14. Golden States by Michael Cunningham
15. The Histories by Herodotus
16. The Insult by Rupert Thomson
17. Tess of the D'Ubervilles by Thomas Hardy*
18. The Boundaries of Her Body: The Troubling History of Women's Rights in America by Debran Rowland
19. The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler*
20. The Trumps of Doom by Roger Zelazny
21. Blood of Amber by Roger Zelazny
22. Sign of Chaos by Roger Zelazny
23. Rats and Gargoyles by Mary Gentle
24. On War by Carl Von Clausewitz
25. Gloriana by Michael Moorcock
26. Half the Day is Night by Maureen McHugh
27. The Art of Memory by Frances A. Yates
28. The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu
29. The Crimson Petal and the White by Michael Faber*
30. Iron Council by China Mieville
31. Constantine's Sword: The Church and the Jews by James Carroll
32. Oriental Mythology by Joseph Campbell
33. Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi
34. Natural History by Justina Robson
35. A Harlot High and Low by Honore de Balzac
36. Lost Illusions by Honore de Balzac
37. Homosexuality and Civilization by Louis Crompton*
38. Fool's Errand by Robin Hobb
39. Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson (must... fight... through... it)
40. Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton
41. A Mind of Its Own: A Cultural History of the Penis by David M. Friedman
42. Solitary Sex: A Cultural History of Masturbation by Thomas W. Laqueur*
43. Bloodtide by Melvin Burgess
44. The Dress Lodger by Sheri Holman*
45. Same-sex Unions in Pre-Modern Europe by John Boswell
46. The Comforts of Home: Prostitution in Colonial Naroibi by Luise White
47. Latro in the Mist by Gene Wolfe*
48. Brightness Falls from the Air by James Tiptree Jr.
49. Feminist Social Thought: a reader by various*
50. Moby Dick by Herman Melville.

And yes, for those wondering: all of these books - except two of the Zelazny - are, in fact, actually sitting here in my house.

Our latest book count?


Thus concludes this morning's procrastination post.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

I'm Sorry. I Have to Link to it.

I just keep clicking over to John's place and snickering...

I'm so easily entertained. It's like I'm twelve or something.

Why Jogging is Like Sex

You really want to do it. You know it's good for you, on some level.

But you know, the first few times, it's not all that fun, you're not terribly sure what you're doing. In fact, you're not even all that sure that your body's supposed to move that way. But those first few times you know that afterwards you feel pretty damn good - and sometimes during - and you know, afterwards, you want to do it again.

The more you do it, the easier it gets, the more you actually like it not only when you're done, but while you're doing it. You find yourself the right music, the right partner (hey - some people have jogging partners), figure out how to breathe properly, how to feel confident in your skin... you stop being so self-conscious, and it gets easier, and more fun, and you look forward to it.

I did just over three and a half miles today, which meant I was doing more walking than I would have liked at the halfway point, and I took the tunnel at a walk. I started to default to self-hate talk, and shut that off when I reminded myself of conversation I was having with a blogging buddy about level of difficulty in the tasks we set ourselves in our lives.

Jogging is hard for me. I spent the vast majority of my life reading and writing books, and though I enjoyed playing outside, I lived in the Pacific Northwest, and the weather was always for shit. I recognize that there are other people who spent their childhoods involved in sports, who carried that on into highschool. There are a lot of people whose families don't have a propensity for obesity, who didn't celebrate the binge-and-purge cycle, who don't have propensities for alcoholism and depression. And I know that a lot of those sorts of people won't have to fight as hard as I do for what seem to be such incredibly basic things: like jogging three and half miles, or staying at a reasonable weight, or not sitting down to table with a feeling like they're going to war against themselves.

They won't understand me and my battles. In fact, they'll think my battles must be petty things, because obviously, they've wanted to eat more than their fill on occasion, and if they have the willpower, why can't I? If they can get up at four thirty in the morning and go jogging, why can't I?

The answer, of course, is that I can. It's just that I'm going to have to work harder at it. It means I'll have more low days. It means that some days, I'll have to walk more. Some days, I'll eat more than my fill. Some days, it will be harder. I'll have to fight harder.

And one of the biggest things I have to come to grips with this year is that it's OK that I have to fight harder. It's OK that this isn't easy.

I spent my whole life thinking that whatever it was I was supposed to be doing with my life should be easy. I should take the easiest path, take only those choices that fell in front of me, that passed through my life. I should not fight for anything that would be hard, difficult, complicated. In fact, I should not fight for anything at all. If it was meant to be, it was meant to be. If not, it would slide through my fingers like sand.

Problem was, I didn't realize that I did, in fact, have the option of closing my hand and holding onto that sand, instead of waiting around for the wind, the rain, the bitchy guy on my right, to come over and take it away from me.

Now I live my life a lot my feel, by making connections, by viewing all the paths open and moving toward the ones that feel right. And when it feels right, but doesn't come easy, it doesn't mean you're doing the wrong thing. It just means that doing the right thing often means doing the hardest things. Sometimes the best things in life are the things you have to fight for.

Since I made that decision, nothing in my life has been easy. Pieces have fallen in place, dominoes have lined up, but I had to work my ass off to gather money, resources; sometimes flights didn't line up, I've had to argue with people. I've had to send strongly worded letters. I've had to beg favors. I've had to accept those favors. I've done favors for others. I have worked crap hours at crap jobs so that I could make something bigger and brighter work. I have learned that being passive and accepting only what comes easily may be the simplest sort of life, the sort of life that others may want to live, a life that may bring them not only contentment, but happiness.

But that is not the life I want to live. And that's not the person I want to be; someone who casually accepts whatever comes her way. Who passes off on whatever is the most difficult, no matter how much her heart says otherwise.

I want to be a fighter. That's what I do. This is the life I want. I don't expect it to be easy.

In fact, it can't be easy. Ten percent of everybody's life is luck. The rest is hard work, and persistence.

Anybody who tells you different is selling something.

Love Coupons

For that special someone.

I have the most cynical sense of humor, ever.

Geeky Guys Are Incredibly Fucking Sexy

Comments are back up, thanks to Eb at bloggerhacks. He's also updated the comments interface, so you can click bold and italic and put push-button hyperlinks in the comments. I'm trying to figure out how to change the bold/italic/link button colors so you don't have to scroll over them to see what they are (their default is black, and I've got a black background).

No class this morning: it occurred to me last night that I'll be gone over a week, and I have a shitload of stuff to do before then. Gotta go jogging today to make up for it (which'll improve my mood, too).

Clean the house, water the plants, laundry, bedding, gotta do something with the books piling up in my room again, need to pack up and donate the clothes I threw out last week that have just been sitting in a pile outside my door, return library books, need to pack, pack, pack for the trip (including jump rope and jogging clothes and food that's Not Crap), need to buy new headphones (oh, yes, I've broken yet another pair), a few groceries, need NYC maps and need to figure out what I want to hit this weekend, have a zillion things to remember.

Trying not to get irritated again at missing MA classes - from the beginning, I've approached these with an eye for balance. It's not my intent to be a super ninja. It's my intent to have an actual life that this is a part of. And living means traveling to new cities and not getting irritated about all the money I've spent on classes I'm missing, again.

It's a balance issue. I need to keep up my workout routines (again, my hotel has a gym) and Not Eat Crap. I don't ever want to be one of those people who makes diet and exercise the sum total of their lives. So I'm not going to worry about it.

There comes a point when you have to have enough confidence in yourself to belive that you won't revert to default.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Comments Down

I've been told that the comments are down (thanks, J.M.); I just tried to post as well, and came up with the same problem. Not sure what's going on. I'll work on it this weekend.

UPDATE: Fuck. Looks like Blogger updated the way it does comments, which broke the Blogger Recent Comments Hack I've been using. Fuckers. It might be awhile, guys. In the mean time, I may have to take out the Recent Comments hack, so we're not gonna have the scroll on the right-hand side, which sucks in so many ways.

Bah. I'll deal with it tomorrow. I've got movies to watch...

Outta Here

Heading out of the office. I think I put in a grand total of four hours today.

Off to New York Monday morning.


It's a great life.

Quote of the Day

"You are not stupid. You are human, which is different, but often feels very similar."- Jenn

Oh, boy. Ain't that the truth.

Thoughts On Valentine's Day.

Ah. Feminism and Valentine's Day. And Brutal Women and Valentine's Day. And more random batshit from psychos who think making babies makes them people. I love how I put all of these together.

Despite articles like the above about Emma Forrest, single men are actually freaked out about Valentine's Day just as much as women (Yellow was moaning about this quite a lot during our car ride). The fact that I feel it neccessary to engage with this conversation is a testament to the commercialization of holidays, and just how great social pressures are at making normally strong, stable, happy people think that there's something wrong with them. As I've spent the last three weeks gearing up for Valentine's Day and pushing through it, I'm actually feeling fine about it.

I'm trying to think what Jenn and I did last year for Valentine's Day. Did we go out to dinner? No, I think I had a friend drive down from Wisconsin, and we went up to the top of the Tribune Tower and drank $10 martinis. That was really fun, actually.

The Valentine's before that, I bought me and my buddy Julian each a rose (he was also single at the time), and cooked myself a nice dinner, as I recall.

My most memorable Valentine's Day moment was when the guy I was dating had the local pizza joint cut up a pizza in the shape of a heart, and we sat in his car and ate pizza and talked outside the high school theater until my curfew. No jewelry. No cheesy cards. No mondo expensive dinners in places where I'd have to wear a dress. Just one of those, "Hey, we're out tonight anyway. Oh, it's this day, isn't it?"

This year, I'll be in New Jersey, and likely me, Sarah, Garret, and a bunch of the architects who are stuck out there will probably go out to dinner, get very drunk, and gossip about work - because that's what we do when we travel.

What I think about Valentine's Day is pretty cynical. I never much cared for the "holiday." It seemed like if you had to tell somebody you loved them on Valentine's Day, then you weren't doing a good enough job telling them you loved them the rest of the year. It's a great holiday for restaurants and luxery-item places to make a lot of money. It's a great day for lazy guys to plan marriage proposals. It's a great way to encourage single men to get drunk and hit on random women in bars who they otherwise wouldn't be looking for and make women who are staying at home studying for the LSATs with a good bottle of Pinot Noir wonder if, indeed, there's something wrong with them.

It's a great way to get us all to buy crap we don't need for people we may or may not care about, or people we think we should care about. And lots of couples use it as some kind of touchstone: if s/he screws up Valentine's Day, that's the end of it. S/he doesn't really care about me. Life is Over.

Valentine's Day is a lot like Christmas. If this is the make-or-break time for you and somebody you give a shit about, then you've been doing something wrong all year. And if you're not around anybody you care about during this time, then you just do the regular thing and live - you surround yourself with whoever you've got, you go out, you have a good time, you celebrate life.

But then, you should be doing that every day anyway.

Chicago Morning

Spent the morning dancing around to Greenday's "Holiday." Called into work and got in quite late, as I didn't get home last night until 10pm, so I have no guilt. Nobody's around anyway.

We had a furious last minute back-and-forth about the New York trip yesterday; "we" being me, Sarah, Yellow, CP (one of the corp folks who flew to Indy for the meeting), Mosh, and some others. There was talk that we'd start Indy work Monday morning, in which case Sarah and especially Yellow wanted me to stay in Chicago. Mosh deliberated about whether or not he really needed me in New York, and I told CP my tickets were bought and paid for, told Sarah I already had dinner plans. Insisted again in the meeting that really, I'm not doing anything in the Chicago office, and could be better utlized in New York while they set up their office there. After the Indy meeting, Yellow called Blaine and let him know no work was going to start on Indy for at least two weeks.

Yellow would still rather I'd stay in Chicago next week, but I've been pushing. "I'm not doing anything, no reason I shouldn't go help out there," and "I have plans already. Booked. Paid for."

Got into work this morning and immediately checked my company e-mail.

Nothing from the Boys. No last-minute cancellations. Sarah's booked all her New York flights as of this morning.

I'm booked. Unless I get something last-minute today, I'm on.

Point for being a pushy bitch.

I love my job.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Notes of All Sorts

My dad let me know that, apparently, my hometown dentist has just confessed to killing his wife with a pair of scissors. No shit. The guy's been my dentist for over a decade. Go figure. Small towns. Happy relationships. Psychos.

More reasons why I don't date.

In other news, Yellow - of all people - suggested we stop by Borders before the meeting, and I did pick up my much-wished-for Greenday CD. It's a damn good CD. He also sought relationship advice from me about some woman he's been pining after. I told him I'm bad at relationship advice. I'm surprised to hear that he called her "a real smart girl" at least twice. I should have bet he was actually drawn to smart women. He has three or four sisters, all of them high-powered, quick cookies. One's a psychiatrist, one a lawyer or doctor or something, or maybe one a doctor and one a lawyer. They'd be cool to meet.

He admitted to being hesitant to suggest restaurant choices to take her out to, because she lives around the Loop downtown, and pretty much knows every place like the back of her hand.

"Well," I said, "Why not just owe up to it? Why not just tell her, `hey, this is something you do better than me, would you mind picking a place?"

"You mean, instead of trying to be the guy?"

"Yea... no offence or anything, Yellow, but you're kinda bad at it."

"Is it that obvious?"

I'm reminded of lunch that day, when he mulled around the foyer of the restaurant we were at, indecisive about whether or not we should wait for Sarah to finish her cigarette before we sat down, or to sit down and wait for her inside. I gave him about five minutes of mulling around, talking aloud about what would be best, before I realized he was doing what Yellow does, and I went up to the hostess and got us seated. Indecisiveness drives me nuts, at least until I know how the dynamics are gonna work. If I'm with somebody who hates making the call, I'll make the call, but I tend to default to thinking they'll make the call. Can be annoying, until you figure out the dynamics with the person you're with.

"I just don't like telling people what to do," he said.

"Yea, well."

"I mean," he said - baiting me again - "on dates I'm totally decisive. I tell her where to sit and where to stand."

"And what to wear and what to eat," I said, "and then you wonder why you don't go on more dates."


The problem with hanging out with Yellow is that I've avoided him so much the last year that he's not used to me harrassing him, so when I do, it sort of sideswipes him.

As per the usual, he spent some time baiting me - and for once, I finally gave in and started baiting him back. Talked too much about politics. I drew way back on that one - he's moderate-to-moderate-conservative, so I had to ease off. It was fun. Enjoyable trip. Crappy, useless meeting, but fun chatting with Yellow and Sarah. I love working with these people.

Realized again, after spending time harrassing Yellow, how great people are... and how many men there are in the world just like Yellow; pushing 35, looking for wives, families, picket fences. Ready to settle. Slow down. Cozy jobs. Nice people. Funny, how it's almost like he's sort of looking for somebody to fill a role; actively seeking "a wife," someone to have kids with. Actively looking for the picket fence. I often forget he's a decade older than me because I'm not sure what, exactly, he's done with all that time. Got married and divorced, apparently. And worked a lot. Raced motorcycles. That's about it.

We had a very long trip to Indy, and during the downtime, after we dropped Sarah off and hit some crappy traffic, we got to talking about his racing, and my book writing. Apparently, there are racers who race for "contingency money" - which means that if you win a race wearing/using the products of a company like Suzuki or whatever, then that company will give you X amount of money for winning a race using their gear.

"So," Yellow said, "has anybody ever asked to be a character in your book?"

I laughed. I know Yellow. I know where this is going. "All the time. Though, not since high school."

"So, would you make me a character in your book?"

"You know, you're just the sort of person from high school who would have asked me that question."

The guy who hangs half with the stoners, half with the preppy kids, the one who finds me interesting enough to talk to, but is way too fearful to date me. Yep. Met a million like him.

I wonder what he'd think of being a "character" in my blog....

"What's the title of your book?" he said.

"Which one? I guess the latest in my series is called Over Burning Cities."

"Over Burning Cities?" he considers this. "I'll write the name of your book on my bike, so that if I win, you'll get the promotion."

"Do I have to pay you contingency money, or just make you a character?"

"Well, it would help if I was a character in your book..."

The idea of Yellow writing the title of one of my books on his bike - for whatever hypothetical silly joking reason - is one I find strangely endearing.

And at the end of the night, when he dropped me at the train station, I realized that I'd finally let myself just enjoy hanging out with this guy. I hadn't worried too much about speaking my mind or making fun of him back, because I realized, for the first time, that I wasn't worried about him hitting on me.

Not that I'd mind him hitting on me - I just never trusted myself before to turn him down. I didn't want him to ask, I didn't want to be nice to him at all, to interact with him too much, because I was afraid that there were enough things about him that I liked that I'd try and force something to work with him, because I worried I was too picky, too cynical, that I was turning perfectly good people away.

And yea, Yellow's a good guy. He's got a passion. He's cute. He has nice shoes. He looks very good in cargo pants.

But I'm not crazy about him. He's an Alaska Boy type, meaning I have affection for him. I think he's funny. I like to harrass him. He's the sort of person you're friends with, not the sort of person you're drawn to. He doesn't light up my day. I don't feel a huge pull. What I feel is that he's the sort of guy I'd be settling for. Somebody who was almost, maybe, OK, "He's nice, but he doesn't read books. He doesn't think like I do. I don't connect with him about anything. We look out at the world and see absolutely nothing in the same light. We have way different paths we want to take with our lives."

He wants kids. A wife, a woman to fill a role. A picket fence. He's lived in Illinois his entire life. He will die here. He loves this life, this simplicity. And I respect that, and I enjoy hanging out with him. But there's no life I could build with this person.

And it's funny, because there are so many people in the world, and so many guys like Yellow, guys who are funny and nice and simple, and I've been accused of turning them away, of not seeing them, of being "too picky." And it's funny, because so far, I'm lucky: I'm 25, not 35, so not too many people are trying to force me to settle for somebody who's second, somebody I'm not wild about, somebody who's simple.

If I can find these wild, crazy, brilliant friends, I hold out hope that I can find a lover or two who's just as wild, crazy, brilliant, and inspriring. I think that when something's not right, you know it. And when it's right, you know that too.

And Yellow is fun to work with. And I won't be a bitch to him anymore, and I can say "hello" to him first now. I'm not afraid of what I'll do if he ever says, "So. Valentine's day. You're single. I'm single."

Cause I can just say, "That must have taken a truly decisive mind to figure out. Where are the structurals for site XXXX?"

And we'll move on.

As it should be.

Indy Today

Why the crossroads of America?

Because, if you know any better, you'll cross through it without stopping.

Will be quiet today as we head down for a kick-off meeting in Indy, so every time you click over and see this post, you can think of me traveling through the scenic red state of Indiana with Yellow and Sarah while Yellow sings his own rendition of, "Ice, Ice, Baby," and Kameron-baits me with questions like, "So Kameron, what do you think of that book, `What Would Jesus Eat?'" and "I really like soy milk. What do you think of soy milk, Kameron?" and "Why won't you eat this cookie? There's nothing wrong with it. These are really good. You're so complex, Kameron."

"No, Yellow, you're just very simple."

::watch Yellow's *entire face turn red*:::

Oh, yea, that was a great day.

Anyhow, that's pretty much what my day's going to amount to. It's good because we're meeting up with Pete and Bettie, who we shindigged with last summer, and who I enjoy working with very much. They're really good people.

Should be a fun project.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

In Which the Protagonist Engages in the Usual Sort of Freak-Out Behavior Related to the Stupid Things She Does When She Knows Better Than to Do Them

Oh. Wow. Look at that. All of my freak-out triggers just fired. Every damn one. Why is it, again, that I don't date? Ah. Yea. Cause of that. There. This feeling.

I know I'm out of it not just because I flaked out on tonight's MA class and left work early with the "I have to be up at 4am and spend all day in Indy excuse" but because I stopped by Borders to pick up the new Greenday CD, brought it home, unwrapped it, put it into my computer... and thought:

"Hey, this sounds a lot like U2."

Look at CD again. Read label again. But the Greenday CD has a bomb on the cover, right?

Oh, shit.

Oh. Dear God. I bought that crappy new U2 CD instead of Greenday.


I've created my own special kind of hell.

Writing Today

Writing today. More after class tonight, perhaps.

"You see a lot of smart guys with dumb women, but you hardly ever see a smart woman with a dumb guy." -Erica Jong

"Let us not confuse stability with stagnation." -Mary Jean LeTendre

"Love is the difficult realization that something other than oneself is real." -Iris Murdoch

"We don't see things as they are. We see them as we are." -Anais Nin

Booked & Paid For

New York, Feb 14-22nd. Well, actually, New Jersey. But I intend to spend a great deal of time on the train.

Up tomorrow morning at the ungodly hour of 4:15am so I can meet Yellow at the train station out here at 7am so that we can drive down to Indy for a project kickoff meeting.

Funny talking to him. I miss Yellow. He needs to come into the office more often. If only so I can check out his shoes.

Snow. More Snow. Bah.

Is it Friday yet?

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Nice Guys

oohhhh. This is a good one.

Typhonblue has a rant up about "Nice Guys" vs. "Jerks"... (Hugo has an entirely different rant up about this article, but it triggered way different things for me).

Who would you rather date? (for those of you, fair chiklits, with an interest in dating men).

She has some interesting stuff up, and some good thoughts. But I worry when she says she's happy to have Jerk boyfriend who'll hit her back when she hits him. If you guys are smacking the crap out of each other in anger, you shouldn't be together.

But that's me. I still like to pretend that men and women can be in equal, respectful, loving relationships where they make each other better instead of dragging each other down into a pit of abject despair.

I'm old-fashioned that way.

I constantly hear Nice Guys ranting about how this woman who is just gorgeous, just like a model, is living with this good-looking, unemployed, alcoholic dickwad when she could get any man she wanted. Nice Guys never seem notice that the woman is an unemployed alcoholic dickwad.

Ohhhh boy. Yea. Ain't that the truth.

My buddy Jem: "She seems like such a nice girl. Why is she with that asshole, Kameron?"

Me: "Cause she's an asshole? Stop thinking with your dick and pretending it's your logic."

I have had a good many "nice guy" friends who I got to listen wax on about how amazing some woman was (and in high school, these were usually the "experienced" women - the ones who slept with four or five different guys every year - only, not with them), how "no one else really understands her," how "she's just so sad all the time, so confused, I could help her," how "I don't understand why she comes and talks to me and has sex with him."

Believe me, buddy: it's better for you that she's sleeping with him. They deserve each other. That woman ain't no soft cookie. She'll eat you alive. Or, hell, the one I'm thinking of would have eaten *me* alive, too.

The "all women are goddesses" lament is a problem because it creates a dichotomy. If all women are goddesses, but the goddess doesn't want you, you start to resent women, and "they" get pushed onto the flip side of that, which is "whore."

The problem with worship is what happens when you lose your faith. You tend to want to destroy everything you believed in.

And I've met "Nice Guys" who did that, too.

Nice Guys are incapable of discerning differences in the personality traits of women. Perhaps this is why Nice Guys always bemoan the model-types who date Jerks, rather then the average types who date Jerks. Since all women have the same personality – beatific, angelic, perfect – there is no way Ms. Plain Jane can compete with a beautiful woman for the attention of a Nice Guy via any positive character qualities she might posess. Beauty is the only criteria for judging women in the eyes of a Nice Guy. Thus the Nice Guy’s astounding tendency to complain about how no woman notices him, while a Nice Girl is trying to say hello.

Yep. These are the Nice Guys who'll sit over coffee with me lamenting about all of the amazing women who aren't interested in them, even though they open the door for them and everything. Often, I'll try and sneak something in like, "Maybe if you were employed and had some passion about something, she might look twice at you," but that might be stretching it a little thin with them.

The worst sitting-over-coffee-with-a-nice-guy thing is when you're listening to him moan about how great the hot chick with Major Issues really is (cause he can just see into her soul), while all you really want to do it is leap across the table and have sex with him right there.

Being a not-hot chick with minor issues, you either fall off the Nice Guy radar, or they put you on it as "goddess," and don't treat you like a real person.

And I think that's what the author was really getting at: guys who actually act like themselves, who say, "This is me," and treat you like a real person are the sorts of people you want to hang out with.

Guys who pull on a Nice Guy hood and then bitch because they're moving all of the pieces around and not getting any "reward" for it (like, say, sex), aren't really Nice Guys at all. They just think they are.

Here's where I start to worry about her rant:

Because my Jerk boyfriend doesn’t carry my pack, I’ve gotten that much stronger and more rational about what I pack. Because he doesn’t give me his jacket, I learn to remember it so I have it even when he can’t offer his. Because he doesn’t always drop everything and tend to my emotional ills, I’ve become more independent and capable of tending to them myself. Because he hits me if I hit him, I’m reminded that I’m accountable for my actions. Because he doesn’t reward my bad behavior, he’s helped me mature and grow up.

Cause it's your boyfriend's job to play dad?

The hitting thing bugs me, but there's something to what she says, and here's where I agree: I'd rather I was treated like a human being than an angel. That doesn't mean telling me I'm a fucking loser, stupid, or hitting me. That's not treating me like a human being either.

What is does mean is that if you get me a dozen roses every week when, in fact, I actually don't like roses, you're not actually being all that nice to me (yes, I had somebody who did this). What it means is that you haven't heard a word I've said, and you're getting the roses for yourself, which is great: but don't pretend it's about me. You're living in a fantasyland about the way the dynamics of a "relationship" are supposed to work, not being yourself, and not respecting me (as a side note: it turns out he liked roses, and wouldn't have minded me getting him roses... now, that I can deal with. Shit, guy, tell me these things, OK? No, darling I don't "think it's gay." Damn. This is why communication is important).

And what I see when I look at men who try very hard to be "nice guys" and then wonder why they aren't getting dates with the sorts of women they want (and there are, indeed, some who are indeed quite happy to date women who look like real people), are guys who are trapped in "this is the way it's supposed to be" script.

As nice as that script may work for imaginary women living in fantasyland, you're going to get more affection if instead of playing by a set script, you listen to what the hell she's saying and make some alterations in your "affection" tactics. If she doesn't like flowers, find out what the hell she likes. And - and this is important - if she disrespects you, leave. Because I wouldn't expect a woman to stay with a guy who disrespected her any more than I'd expect a guy to. Cause people are people, and if we can get away with being assholes, most of us probably will. And who the hell really wants to be with somebody who doesn't respect themselves?

I'm obviously carrying around a lot of bias against guys who described themselves as "nice," because when I sit down with them, they sound a lot like martyrs. I used to describe myself as a "nice" girl. But you know, I realized being nice was, in fact, really boring. I got a few dates that way, but they weren't with people who were very interesting, and there was going to come a point where I was going to be who I was, and he would either freak out, or try and get me back to being "nice."

So I don't bitch that I'm not dating anyone because I'm "nice." In fact, I'm not dating anyone by choice - the people who've made inquiries or who I've met haven't done much for me, and I'm not yet at the point where I'm ready to actively pursue.

But I did used to bitch about being nice and unnoticed, so I know where some of these guys are coming from. I know all about what it is to try and play by the script, and not have it work, and not know why.

In my case, it was because I never got to be myself, so I never had any fun, so the guy I was with didn't have much fun (or if he did, it wasn't enough fun for me to continue).

The Nice Guy, while searching for a Goddess, eventually turns into a non-person, too, and might even become somebody he's not so sure he really wants to be.

Find out who you are first, before you go looking for a woman to fill up the void in your life.

You might realize that that was the problem all along.

Weighing in On "Why I'm a Feminist"

This is an old one, but I only recently found it. Check it out.

And So My Schedule Shapes Up

Finally, a project kick-off that will result in actual work. I'll be in Indianapolis on Thursday, heading down with Yellow and Sarah the construction manager. Not an overnight thing, but home late. Meaning I'll have to go jogging Friday night instead of Thursday night. That's OK. I can handle that.

Heading to New Jersey on Monday morning, booking the 14th-22rd (which gives me my New York weekend ha ha - see my sneakiness), unless Mosh uncovers my sneaky New York weekend plan. But I don't think he'll mind. Me staying over a weekend *saves* them money, in the long run. heh heh

Possibly, more New York the first week of March for some training sessions. These people keep investing more and more money in me, like I have a Real Job or something.

It's going to be a busy year.

EDIT: My bosses are all insane. They can't make up their minds. First it's X, then Y, then Z. They better figure out what the hell they want me to do, travel-wise, by the time I leave today, cause you better bet I have no interest in staying here past 3pm, being bored out of my ever-loving mind, and I've got plans to make.

Another Day, Another Roundhouse, Another Bad Right Hook

Had a tough MA class last night. I was frustrated at work, and then showed up to class and wasn't performing at the energy level I really wanted to perform at, and I kept feeling like I was fucking everything up, which launched me into my self-hate talk, which wasn't made any better by the presence of all the mirrors.

Sometimes it just gets to me.

When I got home, I realized how hungry I'd been, and ate, then fell into bed at quarter to nine - realizing how tired I was, and slept right to my alarm at 5:15am.

What amazes me about taking martial arts classes is how much it's about repetition. You do the same things, the same drills, over and over and over again. Then you get corrected on what you're doing wrong. Then you do it over and over again. Then you get corrected again. Then you do it again.

The amazing part about it is that after a while, somebody tells you to do a front kick, a double jab/right cross/left hook, or jab-jab-cross-front kick-roundhouse, and you just sort of do it. You know what they're talking about, and even if the form isn't perfect, you do it.

One of the women taking a trial class last night asked me how long I'd been coming in, and I didn't realize until I said it, "Eight months," that that's really how long I've been doing this. I was frustrated, again, that I wasn't performing better during that class, knowing how long I've been doing it. She asked how I liked it, and I got to wax on about how much I love my martial arts school, how nice everyone is, how great Sifu Kat is, how it's worth every bloody penny (and it's a lot of pennies), how my confidence has improved, how it only took two weeks before I started seeing muscles, increase in strength and stamina. And as an afterthought (she wasn't thin), I added that I'd also dropped a couple of sizes.

But I realized that bit was indeed at the end of my list. Sort of an added bonus.

I've talked a lot about how frustrating my weight has been for me, especially since I'm used to crash dieting and crash binging, jumping alarmingly up and down the scale as I please. And during class, I know that one of the big motivators for my self-hate talk were those mirrors.

And I don't know when I'm going to come to grips with my body. Every time I think I've nailed it again, everytime I think, "This is the last time I'm going to bitch about myself," I'll have a low day, and my record gets stuck.

Because I know that at a size 20 or a size 12, I have the same view of myself. My body gets smaller, but retains the same shape. I will never been thin, I will never be boyish-looking. I will never dye my hair blonde. I will never get a boob job. And no matter how much I get irritated with my body, I'll never get liposuction.

I have resolved to like myself just as I am while striving to be the best person *I* can be, not the best person hair dye and scalpels can make me, because ultimately, what scalpels do is make you look like everybody else. They don't make you look like you.

I have bad moments. I get frustrated. I want to punch in the mirror and scream at it, "How can I be working so goddamn hard and still look like *this*?"

Last night, talking with the woman taking the trial class, who was not thin, who had been working her butt off in class with us and kept up pretty damn well, she mentioned she'd been working out with a personal trainer for a year.

She, like me, did not look like she'd been working her ass off for a year.

And I wondered, "How many of us are there? These incredibly strong, healthy women who eat well and exercise and are going to live until they're a hundred and twelve, who are being told there's something wrong with their bodies when in fact, there's nothing wrong with them at all? When in fact, they're some of the healthiest people you'd ever meet, and the only thing eating them up every night is worry over why it is their hips continue to carry around baby-making weight when the last thing they really want is babies?"

I have amazing genetics. Despite the fact that some of them treat themselves like shit (no exercise/crap diet/alcoholic), we live for an amazingly long time. Going by genetics alone, unless I get cancer or get hit by a bus, I'll live at least into my nineties, and probably pretty far into that. And I'll do it with these goddamn hips.

And maybe that's the worst part of the self-hate talk, those self-hate moments, because that night, pulling on me sweat pants and tank top for bed, I looked in the mirror and realized that I, personally, really did actually like myself. That I didn't mind the flair of the hips, or the fact that I could stand to lose 25lbs. I didn't mind being curvy and solid.

The reason I was so stressed out in class was because I was with a bunch of other people who we're thinner and/or stronger than I was. I was with a group of people who could possibly be judging me, and for anybody who's ever identified as a fat girl, you know how worried you can get when exercising en mass. Thinking, "I'm too fat to perform well," meant me not performing as well, meant me tripping up, meant me falling into the hate-talk spiral.

This morning I rolled out of bed, well-rested, with a pleasant ache from class, and got dressed in new shirt, my brown jacket, my favorite jeans. Put on that French perfume, got my hair right - and startled myself when I looked in the mirror.

Because I like the way I look. No, I'm not perfect. And no, I don't look like everyone else. Yes, yes, I told myself as I looked, I can stand to lose 25lbs, and I'm doing that this year, slowly, like a reasonable person, because that's my set weight, and that's where my body's headed. But right now, that person staring back at me, that body, is really OK. Seriously. Really. You look like yourself. And that's not mean or bad or ugly or evil. It's just you. You look like you. And you're not a bad person.

Stop. With. The. Self. Hate. Talk.

Dammit. Just... stop.

Why do you constantly care about what other people think? Why do you constantly break yourself down before they get a chance to?

One of the survival tactics I developed in the 6th grade, when I experienced the worst of grade-school harrassment, was to find out all of my faults and think up the worst insults they could result in *before* my tormentors did so. It made me very good at finding all of the things "wrong" with me.

Later, as I got older and started pining after impossible guys who weren't interested in me, I'd try and figure out what about me I was supposed to change in order to be loved, in order to be liked.

What I realized later was that the moment I liked myself, the moment I stopped caring about what everyone else thought, the more I stood up for myself and said, "Yep. Here. This is who I am, and I like being this way," the more people were drawn to me, the more people wanted to hang out with me.

Self-confidence is a powerful thing, and I know that I had one good friend bitch at me because of that confidence when I was first discovering it as a high school freshman.

He insisted I was becoming arrogant, I was becoming "a bitch..." What I later learned was that this "friend" of mine was upset that I wasn't spending as much time with him, that my newfound confidence meant I could expand my social circle and not rely on his "counsel."

Add that to the fact that I spent some time being "trained" and then spent down time in a household full of self-hate talk, and what you end up with is a woman staring into the mirror who's constantly at war with herself.

One day, I remember I really like the way I look, and fuck all you fuckers, the next day I get pissed off because I'm not "thin enough," which in the US is now equated with being "good enough." Not just in an attractive sense, but in a literal moral sense. Being overweight is being seen as a sign of moral decay. You're lazy, decadent, give in too much to your desires.

And I think of that woman in my MA class who was seeing a personal trainer, I think of myself, who's not only running twice a week and going to three MA classes a week and working with free weights every morning, watching what I eat, but I'd been doing those free weights and light cardio for six months *before* I started the classes, and before that, even though I was eating crappy and taking crappy care of myself, I was still doing light exercise regularly. And *before that* - except for a couple crappy six month periods - I spent two years in Alaska and a year before Alaska actually being somewhat active and paying attention to what I ate.

And I think: I'm going to outlive everyone. I'm going to be a size 14 and outlive everybody, and I'm going to be able to kick their asses, and unless I stand up for myself, and stop fucking hating myself, I'm the only person who's going to know that.

If I get pissed off at what I see in the mirror, they'll see it and get pissed off, too. If I can't even treat myself with some kind of respect, I can't expect anyone else to do so.

I need less bad days. I need less self-hate talk. I need to alter my default.

It's one day at a time. It's never over. Some days are just better than others.

And you deal with that. And you get up, and you go again.