Category Archives: Just the Girls

Get a Grip

No, really.  A friend of mine and I agreed to buy and follow the assignments in this book:  Get a Grip: Your Two Week Mental Makeover.  Granted, that was more than 6 months ago, before life as I knew it took an even bigger turn for the worse.  So, now, since I’m no longer going to counseling and the SOS Group was a bust because of my insane work schedule, I thought I’d dust this book off and give it a shot.  Since it requires daily journaling, I thought it might also be a good opportunity for me to dust this blog off as well.  I know venting here has always been therapeutic for me, but I never seem to make the time for it, or for myself, anymore.  So here we go again…

To begin with, the first exercise requires that I take a moment to figure out how I really am…not the standard, “Oh I’m fine, how are you?” that comes out of my mouth every day when asked the question.  But the real, honest to goodness answer.  And then to spend some time answering WHY.  I actually have a hard time when people ask how I am because I know they don’t really want an answer other than the expected courteous response of fine, good, great, etc.  I have a hard time with the fake answer because I know I am none of those things.  I’m not fine.  I’m not good.  And I sure as hell am not great.  I’m a mess.  The WHYs?  I’ve overworked myself, thanks to my boss and her insane deadlines and expectations, to the point of mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion.  I’m sad because I know this is no way to live.  I’m frustrated because I have to pay the bills somehow.  And underneath all of that, I’m depressed because I miss my best friend, Red.  And I’m still so very pissed off at her for leaving me to deal with this shitty life all alone.

I alluded to it here when it happened, but haven’t actually written about it yet because my feelings are still all over the place.  And still so raw and hurt and overwhelmingly heartbroken and sad.  On December 1, while she was on her self-proclaimed trip of a lifetime to her dream destination in Italy, right before she was supposed to come home, my sweet friend decided to swallow a bunch of pills, some wine, and who knows what else, and end her life.  I was at the dr’s office that day, for some extreme pain I’d been having in my arms (beginnings of carpal tunnel was the guess….diagnosis was reduce my stress level and get massages).  When I left the dr’s office, I noticed I had a text message from Mr. Red.  I found that odd because he and I had not really talked at all since he and Red seperated.  My first thought, knowing that she was due to return home from her trip soon, was that maybe he was looking for someone to pick her up from the airport.  Estranged though they were, they were still civil and sharing custody of their almost-at-the-time 5 year old son.  Mr Red and Little Red had taken her to the airport to begin her trip the week of Thanksgiving.  So all I can think is that he needed me to pick her up.  So I clicked on the message to read his text…

The first few words were the worst kick to the gut I can describe:  Red just passed away in Italy.  I couldn’t comprehend what that could mean, in the split second it took to read that, my mind was trying to come up with all kinds of explanations, a car wreck, anything, and at the same time, my mind was rejecting the very idea that anything could have happened to her.  The next few lines said she killed herself by overdose and that Mr Red was at the airport heading to Italy to bring her home.  Tears were already pouring out of my eyes, but I still did not believe this could be anything but some sick joke.  I immediatley called Mr Red demanding that he take it back.  His voice was so strange, I know he was in shock.  I got to talk to him for less than a minute…he was literally boarding the plane.  He had a stop in Germany and then would be in Italy by early the next morning Central time.  I hung up the phone and screamed at the top of my lungs.  Crying.  Begging that this not be true.  It had started raining by that time.  So there I was, sitting in my car in the parking lot outside the dr’s office, screaming and howling in pain, hitting the steering wheel, hitting the seat, hitting the door, in disbelief and anguish. 

More out of instinct than any clear thought, I called my parents.  I needed to talk to someone.  I got their voicemail and left some incoherent wailing message that Red was dead.  In hindsight, not a good message to leave on someone’s answering machine.  Especially my parents who are 5 hours away.  My oldest brother, Dilbert, was in town for meetings that day and was coming back to stay at my house that evening.  So I sent him a text to see if he was at my house or still in his meetings.  I was hoping he was at my house and could come get me because I knew I couldn’t drive myself home in that state, in the rain.  He replied that he was in meeting so I said nevermind.  He must have had some sixth sense because he asked what was up.  I had to tell someone.  I had to get it out, so I responded that Red was dead.  It took me several minutes to type those three words…each letter was a dagger to my heart.  Almost immediately after hitting send, my phone rang.  Dilbert had stepped out of the meeting to call me.  I was hysterical and just kept screaming she’s dead.  she’s fucking dead.  He tried to help me calm down, figure out where I was and told me he would be at my house within about 40 minutes.  I sat in the car screaming and crying and hyperventilating for some amount of time that felt like eternity.  Finally I managed to pull it together enough to make the short drive to my house. 

I remember, I posted on her facebook page, “someone please tell me this is a sick joke.  please.”  Her aunt, who I’d never met before but heard of a few times, replied and said she was hoping the same thing.  I also had some cryptic message as my status that said something similar.  My friend, Mexigoalie, texted to ask if I was ok.  I said no, but it was not me.  It was Red.  He asked, I think as a joke, is she alive?  Again, it took an eternity to type two letters:  NO.  My mom had called by that time, trying to find out what the hell was going on.  There were so many calls and emails and text messages I can’t keep them all straight.  Other than my mom, brother, and a few friends, I didn’t want to tell anyone.  I didn’t know very much…only a few quick words from her husband.  I was convinced that he was going to arrive in Italy and find that it was all some horrible mistake.  The wrong person.  Or that she was really fine.  I just knew it.  She had to be ok.

I got a text from Mr Red in the early hours of the morning.  He was in Italy and about to go to the hospital where she was.  Next, he was there and had been given her belongings that were with her at the hospital…watch, jewlery, etc.  Letters she had left for their son.  He was waiting to see her but they were doing an autopsy.  I refused to belive it was real.  He hadn’t actually seen her yet, so there could still be some mistake.

I called him at his hotel in Italy later that night.  He had seen her.  Had held her hand.  Had told her he loved her.  She was really gone.  He was so choked up with emotion I could barely understand him.  He was there, in Italy, far from home and all alone and had just had to go identify his dead wife.  To this day, I don’t know how he did it.  He had been to her hotel to get her things there.  The mess he described in her room.  I was collapsing with grief just hearing about it.  He had to be there.  His dad was able to fly out the next day to be there and support him through this, so I was grateful for that.

It wasn’t until Mr Red got back home that I learned more details.  Apparently, she had overdosed a few days prior.  They had called Mr Red, said she’d thrown up a lot at the hotel and had her stomach pumped in the hospital.  She was pretty out of it, but they thought she was going to be ok.  He even got to talk to her on the phone briefly.  He said she slurred badly but made a joke that she guessed she was going to be in Italy a little longer than he thought.  He talked to her again briefly the next day.  I still don’t know to what degree she was conscious or even coherent.  I have so many questions, but Mr Red doesn’t want to talk about it.  But basically, he had called her aunt to see if she could come to Dallas to help take care of Red for awhile.  He was flying out to Italy to get her and bring her home.  It was the day he was catching the plane.  Literally minutes before boarding when the hospital called him back to say that she didn’t make it.  That her heart just gave out.  That she had died.  That was when I got the text from him.  He hadn’t told me anything prior to that because they thought she would be ok and he was just focused on getting her home.  That quickly, his trip had a whole different purpose.  People say it was tacky that he sent me that news in a text message.  I understand though.  He wanted to let me know but didn’t have time to talk and was about to be on an international flight.  I don’t blame him for that.

He wasn’t able to bring her body home with him.  The police had not released her yet.  There was also a big mess with sorting things out with Customs that was taking awhile.  So he came  home without her.  He was having her cremated and her ashes would be shipped to the US in a week or so.  Her family (which is another story all-together…don’t get me started) threw a fit and tried to stop that, saying they would pay to have her body shipped back, not to cremate her, but Mr Red said that was what Red wanted and he would honor that.  To hell with what her “family” wanted.  Luckily, at least they seemed to back off and accept it once they understood that’s what Red wanted (or probably more likely what it would cost to ship her body back).  That’s ugly for me to think that way, but I’ve heard next to nothing good about her family from her or anyone else so it is easy for me to think badly of them.

This is only the tip of the iceberg, but I’ve exhausted my hands (which have been almost worthless the last few weeks due to this carpal tunnel crap) and my heart enough for the time being.  I’ll write more about it tomorrow, because I know I need to get these things out.  And there is just so much that I have been hesitant to write about it because I know it could fill hundreds of pages.  I’m still constantly shifting between sadness and anger and guilt.  It’s a never-ending cycle it seems.  I keep thinking if she was here, I would kick her ass for doing this and then hug her and never let go. 

I’ve never really lost anyone I was close to before.  I mean really close to.  Not to make light of my grandmothers that I’ve lost, but that was a completely different relationship.  Red was truly the first and only REAL friend that I’ve made as an adult, since I moved to Dallas in 1998.  She was the first person I felt truly “got” me and that I “got” in return.  So much of that is in question now because I never would have even imagined she was capable of this.  There was a quote we liked that said:  Best friends, because our parents couldn’t have handled us as sisters.  That’s really how I felt about her.  She was the closest thing to a sister and I loved her as much as if she was my sister…I still do.

The Red Tent

The Red Tent The Red Tent by Anita Diamant

My Review:   4 of 5 stars
I have to admit that I was not familiar with the Bible story when I read this book. Out of curiosity, I did go look it up after I finished the book.

Diamant did a wonderful job of describing what life may have been like in those days. Though I can’t imagine having to spend time once a month, banished to a tent and squatting on straw with all the women in my family, it does make for an interesting dynamic between the women. Like having a secret club where only the select are permitted, these women shared secrets and tales that only they could fully appreciate and understand.

I was devastated for Dinah when her brothers committed their terrible crime and applauded her wrath when she faced them and her father. The story took on a completely different feel with the move to Egypt, but was still just as captivating.

A few lines at the end resonated with me and now, a day later, I still can’t shake them from my mind:

“Egypt loved the lotus because it never dies. It is the same for people who are loved. Thus can something as insignificant as a name…summon up the innumberable smiles and tears, sighs and dreams of a human life.”

A message sent to someone else, but it says what I would have written here.

Right now I can’t think of her without wanting to tell her to fuck off. And that is a terrible way to feel about a best friend. I am just so pissed off at her right now. And more skeletons are falling out of the closet, so to speak. Things she blatantly lied to me about. What makes it worse is some of those things were things that didn’t sit right with me at the time, but I took her at her word…why shouldn’t I? And because of the circumstances, so many things that only her husband and I know. Things I can’t really share with others that know her or her family. So I’ve got all these crazy feelings all jumbled up. Betrayal. Anger. Sadness. Heartache. Guilt. Failure. You name it.

Red was my partner in crime. My travel buddy. My touchstone. My sanity check. My sister at heart. The one person here that I could talk to about anything and never worry about her judging me or loving me any less. She is the person who normally helps me through hard times….and I THOUGHT I did the same for her. Then she bailed on me with this big fuck you. I’m lost without her and confused and hurt at the thought that I didn’t know her nearly as well as I thought and that I couldn’t save her from her demons. And I’m pissed at her for making me feel these things.

Just such a stupid pointless tragedy…and a precious little boy who has to grow up without ever really knowing his mother.

Things to Look Forward To

Sometimes, having something to look forward to is the only thing that keeps me going.  The day-to-day at work and sleep-filled weekends certainly won’t do it.  So, I wanted to take a moment to remind myself of some recently confirmed things coming up that I am excited about.

  1. Stephen Lynch concert this Friday – the guy is freaking hysterical. 
  2. Morrissey concert next Friday – I’ve been in love with this guy since I was about 13.  Age has been kinder to him than it has to me and he still has one of the greatest voices in music.
  3. A vacation day added to a holiday weekend – yep, I’m taking the Monday after Easter off to make it a glorious 4-day weekend.
  4. Girls Getaway Weekend – we missed it in 2008 due to a hurricane, so we’re doing it in May this year.  Added bonus is that we’re doing it over Memorial Day weekend so we get an extra day together to act like the silly girls we are!
  5. Photography Weekend Workshop – I’ve been wanting to sign up for this for the past few years but always managed to miss it.  This year, I’m registered and my friend, Flirt, has decided to join me.  We’ve already got our room booked at the B&B.  So excited!

So there.  Some positives in an otherwise dull existence.  😛

You can’t take that away from us!

Friday night, Red and I returned to the scene of the crime to reclaim our stomping grounds.  We’ll be damned if we let some silly iranian boys run us out of our bar!  That was the first step…let the healing begin!

V turned up a little later and regailed us with stories of her vacation in Viet Nam.  She’s the only person I know who can return from a 2-week trip, a long ass plane ride, and then be up for meeting for drinks within a couple of hours of returning home. 

There was a brief moment when Red thought we might end up in a fight with random guy’s girlfriend, but that appeared to be unwarranted.  So, aside from the initial trepidation about returning, it was a great night!

Quotes of the evening:

Red:  She just got back from Viet Nam. 
Drunk guy:  Whoa.  Are you in the service?  Are you ok? 
V:  Um…you know that war is over, right? 
Drunk guy:  Sorry.  I’m not very educated.

“Tell striped-shirt-guy that I will make him moan all night.”

Red:  Just how horny are you?  
V:  DAMN horny. 
Red:  Ok, let me see what I can do (as she wanders off to chat up random guys).

Saturday Plans

I’m up, a little later than planned, getting ready to drive out to McKinney to meet MrsDrillTeam at the Roundup on the Range to see our friend AggieR and her boyfriend compete in the chuckwagon competition and cookoff.  We went last year, mainly because AggieR wanted me to take some photos for them.  And surprisingly it was a lot of fun and really interesting to see how much everyone does to be “authentic.” 

After that, MrsDrillTeam and I are headed out to the McKinney Trade Days, since it happens to be this weekend as well.

The weather is lovely so it should be a good day for all, including my beloved Samuel L, who is finally getting a dust off.

Before I forget…

Friday night, Barbie and I managed to get out of the house for a bit.  We went to a small local bar not far from where I live for a few (ok, more than a few) drinks. 

Within 15 minutes of being there, an older man walked up to Barbie and said, “You’re hotter than Georgia asphalt!”  Now, I have never been to Georgia, so I can’t attest to the level of heat of said asphalt there, but that didn’t keep us from falling out of our chairs with laughter.

Good times.

Shelter from the Storm

Last Sunday, my high school gal pal, Barbie, her mother and grandmother, and 4 dogs arrived at my humble abode seeking shelter from big bad Ike.  Since my parents and other family members impacted by the storm were already tucked away safely at Dilbert’s, I was happy to be able to provide Barbie and company a place to stay.

It is now almost a week later.  They are still without power in Pinewood, but rumor has it sometime in the next day or two it should be back on.  I know they are anxious to get home.  I am mostly enjoying them being here, but I have to admit, as someone who lives by herself, it has been taxing on my sanity.  I’m a creature of habit and my normal routines have gone out the window.  Nothing compared to what they are going through though, so I am grateful to be in a position to help out in some way.

Her mom and 3 aunts all had beach houses at Crystal Beach.  yes, I said HAD.  All 4 of them are now GONE.  Completely disintegrated and washed away to parts yet unknown.  All that remains, from what we’ve been able to see in videos and online photos, is the concrete slabs. 

It’s so sad to see the massive destruction there and in Galveston.  Growing up, I (mis)spent a lot of my fun-filled youth cruising the beach and window shopping on the Strand. 

Anyway, just had a few quick minutes to myself and wanted to blog a bit while I was thinking of it.

Fantastic Vacation – Part Tres

Thursday morning, we were trying to decide what we wanted to do on our last day in Cozumel.  I knew Red wanted to go snorkeling, but she was willing to forgo it since it’s not something I do.  I said to hell with that.  So we went back downtown looking for a snorkeling excursion that wasn’t an all day thing.  We finally found a trip that was just a couple of hours on a glass-bottom boat, so I wouldn’t be sitting on the boat for eternity and I’d have a nice view.  I think they wanted $35 each for that one, but we ended up getting it for $50 total.

They sent us out onto one of the piers for the boat to come pick us up.  When we got onboard, I was completely freaked out.  MUCH smaller than I expected, and the seating was literally a small bench directly against the side of the boat.  As someone who freaks out over open water, I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to do this.  I sat there quietly for awhile, trying to calm myself down, while we rode over to another pier to pick a couple up from one of the cruise ships.  By then, Red could tell something was wrong.  She made some comment about my sour face and that’s when the tears broke free.  She asked, loudly, why I was crying and, of course, that just made me worse.  I ended up telling her to just leave me alone.  She was asking if I wanted a life jacket, and damn near ready to tell them to let me off, but I just kept saying, leave me alone, I’m ok.  Deep breaths.

I managed to calm down on the ride out to the first dive spot and I’m so glad I did.  It was just gorgeous water and the breeze felt nice.  I got to take some pretty pictures while Red got to swim with the fishes.  And, of course, as soon as they opened the ice chest, I was the first to reach for a beer (I don’t even like beer, but it was the only alcohol they had and I was needing something!  lol).

 (gonna add to this later….blog is acting up)

Fantastic Vacation – Part Dos

Alrighty.  So Wednesday morning, we got a call at around 8:30am that the rental company was there with our jeep (30 minutes early).  We threw on some clothes and went down to sign the paperwork and get the keys.  Then grabbed breakfast and went back to the room to get ready. 

We headed back north toward downtown in search of the transversal road that crosses the island.  After a few wrong turns and asking for directions, we finally found it and headed off to the San Gervasio ruins.  It’s a small ruin site on the island that is believed to date back as early as 100 BC.  It was super hot and super humid, and even though I thought I was going to have a heat stroke, it was cool walking through and seeing all the structures. 

Cozumel 062

Not to mention all of the iguanas!  They were everywhere!

Cozumel 072

After the ruins, we hopped back in the jeep and continued our drive across the island.  The road dead ends into the road that runs the length of the other side of the island.  There are a number of restaurant/bar/beaches there, so we wanted to go check things out. 

The first place we stopped was Coconuts.  You walk up a bunch of steps into this giant covered palapa where the bar and tables are setup.  We walked through there and out the other side to find sand, tables with umbrellas, and the most AMAZING view of the ocean from our perch on a cliff.   Being the person I am, I had found coupons online for a number of places in Cozumel and printed them off, just in case.  Sure enough, this was one of them.  So we ordered our giant umbrella drinks and some lunch:  Fish Tacos and Ceviche.  It was YUMMMMY.  The ceviche had lots of lime juice and a little bit of a spicy flavor.  Fan-freaking-tastic.  The fish tacos were pretty damned good, too.  So we kicked back, ate our food, sipped our drinks, and enjoyed the view.

There were several dogs milling about that must belong to the owners.  They were really well-behaved, not bothering anyone, not begging for food.  Just chilling in the shade.  While we were there, these dogs ended up laying at my feet!   Red kept joking, calling me the Dog Whisperer.  And saying, “….and you aren’t sure if you’re ready for another dog!” 

After that, we headed further down the road and passed a number of other beaches but decided to keep driving to see what else there was.  We ended up at the Freedom in Paradise Cafe, aka the Bob Marley bar.  While it did sit on the beach, you couldn’t walk out into the water from there because of all the rocks, but man, that was the most peaceful, tranquil place I’ve ever been in my life.  We ordered a couple of pina coladas and found ourselves a table near the water.  I swear we sat there for nearly an hour in almost complete silence.  You could hear the waves crashing on the rocks, the faint reggae music in the background, and stick your feet into the softest sand I’ve ever felt.  It was like powdered sugar, it was so soft.

Pure heaven.

From there, we were almost to the end of that side of the island, but as we turned the corner back towards the side our hotel was on, we stopped at another beach club that was designed for more people.  However, like everywhere else, it was pretty deserted, too.  We had about an hour before it closed, so we, again, ordered some drinks, and then took a quick dip in the ocean before lounging around some more.  Then we started heading back to the hotel.

It was, by far, the most laid-back, relaxing day EVER.  Worth every penny.  We loved it so much, we were considering keeping the jeep another day so we could do it again on Thursday. 

That night we were total bums and pretty much hung out in the hotel room watching movies.  Red had a headache so we ended up calling it a night.  I was wired and rearing to go, but popped an ambien instead so I could get some sleep.  The next day was our last full day there so we didn’t want to spend it sleeping late.

To be continued…

Fantastic Vacation – Part Uno

Now that I’ve had a week to re-adjust to normal life, I thought I’d blog about my trip to Cozumel.  Red and I had such a fantastic time….definitely one of the best vacations ever!

We got to our hotel Monday around 11am and had lots of time to kill before we could check in (at 4pm).  So we changed into our swimsuits and hit the little hotel beach and checked out two of the infinity pools.  The first one was deserted, so we moved to the other one, where Louis, aka Okie Dokie, the bartender at the swimup pool kept our glasses full.  Red has been tanning since February, so she was soaking up all the sun she could get.  Me, on the other hand, took many opportunities to go sit in the water at the pool bar in the shade and make friends with the bartender.

Cozumel 005

A little before 4pm, we headed up to the lobby to see if our room was ready.  After waiting another 45 minutes, they gave us our room keys and sent us off on a wild goose chase to find our room.  We finally found it, no thanks to the directions they gave us, and waited for the bellboy to arrive with our luggage.

The rooms were really nice with marble floors counters, a nice glass shower, and a glass balcony that overlooked the main pool and the ocean where the cruise ships pulled in most days.  After showers and a quick nap, we headed down to the buffet for dinner.  We’d decided we’d just hang out at the hotel that first day.

Tuesday we got up, had breakfast, and then got a cab to downtown to do some shopping and see the city a little.  We were hoping to rent a car to drive around to the other side of the island one day, and we had been comparing prices.  Ended up getting a great deal on renting a new-ish (2004) Jeep for Wednesday.  We’d been told as much as $110 but ended up getting ours for $60, including insurance and them dropping the jeep off and picking it back up at our hotel.

But back to Tuesday…we wandered around downtown for awhile, wasted our time trying to barter with people who were asking insane prices for their sterling jewelry, sampled some tequila at a tequila shop.  I had been hoping to find more coffee tequila to bring home with me and this shop had it….but because it was in a special handmade bottle, it was more than I wanted to pay.  So figured I’d keep looking and find some elsewhere.  Never did find anymore so now I’m wishing I had just gone ahead and bought it.  Oh well.

After walking around in the sun for awhile, Red and I were both ready to find a shady spot and a drink.  One of the places we passed handed us coupons for 4 margaritas and an order or nachos for $15, so we headed there.  It was an upstairs, open air bar that looked out over the ocean.  So we sat there, enjoyed the breeze, the view, the drinks, and the nachos for awhile. 

It wasn’t long before one of the bartenders asked us where we were from.  We told him Texas and he said, “Dallas, right?”  We were both surprised that he guessed that and asked him why.  He said we looked like party girls.  Oh boy.  With that, he brought us over what he called “Bumper Shots.”  Not knowing what they were, but being up for it, he went to Red first.  Stood in front of her, blew a whistle, slammed the shot glass on the table 3 times, and then proceeded to pour it into her mouth and then grabbing her head and immediately shaking it around in circles before jerking it forward and backwards towards his crotch.  I’m cracking up and taking pictures, of course.  Then he annuonces it is my turn.  Oops.

Another waiter came over not long after with another round of these.  He was much more, um, suggestive with his routine, standing straddled over our laps while pouring.  By then, we were having too much fun to care!

After our margaritas and 3 shots each, we decided to go walk around some more.  Red found souvenirs for her hubby and son, we tried a few more jewelery stores, everyone still way too high on their prices (apparently this is a ploy they use when the cruise ships are in for the day).  Then we grabbed a cab and headed back to the hotel.  We got back just before 3pm, in time to make reservations at one of the hotel’s speciality restaurants for dinner.  Went back to our room, showered and napped a little then headed down to dinner around 6pm.  We were planning to go out downtown that night.

After dinner, we got a cab and went to Senor Frogs.  Boy was that a disappointment.  The place was EMPTY.  There were maybe 5 other people there.  We had a few drinks, some shots, and then ended up heading back to the hotel because their drinks were too expensive.  By the time we got back to the hotel, Red was ready to go to the room for the night but I talked her into one more drink at the sports bar (all-inclusive, so free drinks).  The next day, Wednesday, our Jeep was supposed to be at the hotel by 9:30am.  So after that, we headed to the room.  I think we were in bed by no later than 11pm the entire time we were there!

More later…

So much to do, so little time!

A week from tomorrow, I leave for my much-needed, well-deserved vacation to Cozumel.  It was supposed to be a girls’ trip, but everyone but me and Red wimped out.  Apparently everyone else is afraid to go with us because we are just “party party party.”  Whatever. 

Red and V went to Los Cabos last year (I couldn’t go because they accidentally scheduled it on top of a work conference I had to attend).  Red and V had never really hung out or spent time together one on one, so they got to know each other a little better I suppose.  V is very laid-back most of the time, and was looking forward to carefree days, lounging by the pool or on the beach.  Red, who had been through some rough stuff with her husband recently, was in full let-her-hair-down-and-live-it-up mode.  So needless to say, there were some conflicts.  Nothing major, and they both had fun, but I guess some residual comments have been made.

Either way, Red and I are going to have a blast.  I just know it!  I’m all for lounging with a book and a pina colada on the beach, sight-seeing, and nights out partying.  We’ve got 5 days, so time for a little of everything.  And since Red and I DO hang out and DO know each other pretty damned well, I don’t think we’ll have any problems telling the other one when we’ve had enough of something.

The downside, Red is about 5 foot 4 inches tall, with a great figure.  Me, I’m 5 foot 7, and a good 70 pounds heavier right now…the heaviest I’ve ever been in my life.  We’re going to look like Mutt & Jeff.  I didn’t get nearly as serious about going to the gym these past two months as I’d planned, so haven’t made much progress there.  But at least for the past two weeks, a fire was lit under my proverbial ass, and I’ve been hitting the gym pretty hard on the weekends at least.  During the week, I just can’t make myself get up early enough to go before work.  And after work, I’m just drained.  Excuses, I realize, but it just ain’t happening. 

I started fake-baking last weekend, in the attempt to get some kind of base color on my lily white self, otherwise I’m likely to burst into flames at the beach!   I’m not tan by any means, but I have at least gotten a tiny bit of color…and still have the rest of this week to work on that and keep going to the gym.  I won’t be a bronzed goddess in any way, shape, or form, but I figure there’s nothing like the last minute panic to do as much improvement as I can.  :)

I’m doing laundry and (re)assessing my wardrobe options.  I’ve been shopping like a fiend lately, mostly trying to find some shorts that I like.  Yeah, the shorts I own don’t fit right now.  Did I mention that part about being the heaviest I’ve ever been?  Ugh.  Depression does as much damage outwardly as it does inwardly.  But yeah, I think I’ve got most of my clothing together.  Just need to do more planning of outfits to figure out what goes with what and, of course, to make sure I have enough day/night outfits, shoes, etc.  I figure later this week I’ll actually attempt to start loading the suitcase.

And with that, time to get up and get some stuff done around the house before I head to the gym and to tan.

Happy Sunday!

Life’s a beach.

I haven’t worn a swimsuit in public in almost 10 years. I’m in the worst shape of my life right now. I haven’t been to the gym in over two months. And what do I do??

I go and book a trip to Cozumel with the girl(s).

Two months to do some damage control. My gym membership has 4 days a week that I can go. I better just make sure I’m there every single one of those 4 days between now and the end of April. Today was my first day back in the gym and I did ok considering. Still got 45 minutes of cardio, kept my heart rate up above 150, and did upper body resistance workout. Tomorrow, more of the same except I’ll do lower.

I think I can…I think I can….

Click for Cozumel, Mexico Forecast

Another step closer to crazy

Dang it. I did it again. I wrote an entire entry, detailing my new (old) cameras, the events of the weekend, etc. I remember it quite clearly.

Only I didn’t. I dreamed it apparently. Freaking odd, this is.

Anyway, here’s a summary:

I received my other cameras last week and have named them all now. The Kodak is Dee (duaflex II). The Spartus Full-Vue (120mm) is Sparticus. And the Fotex toy camera (35mm) is Foxy. I loaded up Sparticus, Foxy, and the ever-trusty Samuel L Friday evening and headed out to the City Park in Farmers Branch. I was planning to go watch the Frozen Waffles game later that night so figured I’d go early and snap some photos at the park nearby. Only I miscalculated how much daylight I had left and ended up at the StarCenter almost a full hour early.

Turns out quite a few of us decided to show up and watch the game that night. What was supposed to be a laid-back, non-drinkfest kind of night evolved pretty quickly. Maybe those $1 shots at the StarCenter are to blame. Either way, we all loaded up and headed a little further west to meet my brother at a bar near his house so we could shoot pool. It was a fun night, but certainly became a drinkfest. I think Red and I had a shot with every round. Breakfast at IHOP so we could sober up, then I went with Duckie and crashed at his place so I wouldn’t have to drive home. It was a good night though. I love hanging out with my brother and we don’t do it nearly as often as we should.

This weekend is the girls’ getaway. I’m excited to see everyone and catch up. And my girl, Barbie, is joining us this year as well as AggieR, who couldn’t make it last year. Wheeee! Should be good times. I’m leaving work at noon on Friday and I’m not putting make up on again until Monday morning.

I was hoping to get the roll from Sparticus developed before now so I could confirm whether or not the camera is actually functioning as it should. Not to mention, get an idea of just what the set shutter speed and fixed aperture is. But since I didn’t make it by BWC in time, I’m not going to risk blowing another roll.

Instead, I’m bringing Dee with me. I got my re-rolled 620 film I ordered today. For those that don’t know (and likely don’t care), they don’t produce 620 film anymore. It is essentially the same as 120 film, the difference being the spool. So you re-roll 120 film onto a 620 spool. I went ahead and ordered a few rolls to get me started. Now I’ll have some extra 620 spools and, when I get a little braver, will go lock myself in the bathroom and try my hand at rolling my own.

Lots of meetings tomorrow, which means I’ll have to make sure I get my ass into the office. Wish me luck.

Saturday in the park

Oh wait. That was Sunday.

Although it completely wiped me out, I have to say, this past weekend was the best I’ve had in AGES! It started off rough because of my sleepless Thursday night. Then my sis-in-law and nephew stayed the night Friday, so I had fun visiting with them. I should have collapsed that night, but instead, I got about 5 hours of sleep.

Saturday was kind of lazy. I called off all my errands and opted to do some laundry and squeeze in a nap before the mad dash to color my hair and get ready to go out. Red and I headed to a surprise birthday party which was mucho funo. Got to hang with some good friends and enjoy some really good food. Mmmm fajitas!

From there, we hit a local bar and took over a pool table. Met some cool guys who tried not to be too embarrassed by the beating we gave ’em. One was a hockey fan, so that was a bonus. And I think they all eventually ended up admitting they’d do Mike Modano. Took turns buying shots. Drank entirely too much. Came home and crashed (after confirmation that Red made it home).

Somehow in the midst of that I had the good sense to check in with Mexigoalie and Zany and confirm our plans to meet up on Sunday. At noon. I’ll be honest…I fell asleep on the couch in my clothes Saturday night at a little before 4am. Woke up at 11 in a panic, had a quick whore’s bath, and ran out the door for Fair Park in the same clothes (I know, ewww).

I’d never been to any of the musuems out there, so it was pretty cool to get to see them all for free. I am not convinced I’d ever pay money to attend any of them again though. Especially not the Railroad Musuem. That was just lame.

The Discovery Gardens were my favorite. I wish we could have been there in morning or evening rather than the harsh afternoon light, but they didn’t even open until 1pm so that wasn’t really an option anyway.

It was ridiculously hot with very little shade and I was sweating BUCKETS (of alcohol….bleh). But it was fun. I thought I was clever for bringing some bottled water, but Zany was genius enough to pack snacks and juice drinks for her boys and kind enough to include extras for Mexigoalie and me, too!

Heat and exhausted-ness aside, it was still a great day and I had fun taking photos. Would’ve been some great Holga shots, but I was too blechk to be digging in my bag and juggling multiple cameras.

Funniest part of the day was Zany’s younger kiddo running through the giant fountain! I was sooo jealous. That looked like it felt damn good! And he was dry within an hour or so. lol

We were out of there by 5 or so. I picked up some dinner on the way home, had a shower (oops, sunburned!), and laid around and watched movies the rest of the night. Saw III was so disturbingly gross, but I have to admit, a damned good addition to the now trilogy.

I’m tired and I, I want to go to bed.

I had big plans today. A haircut, some shopping at Kohl’s, fresh haircolor, and a night out with Red.

Now, after the all-nighter followed by a semi-sleepless night, I’m opting for a nap and forgoing most of the previously established plans. Otherwise I’ll never make it to the night out part. And after being house-bound for weeks, that’s just not acceptable. As for the shopping, I’ve been frumpy this long, what’s one more week. Hopefully there will still be time for some color though…I’m beyond overdue and nothing cheers me up quite like Brilliant Bordeaux.

NuvaRing Update

Forgot to update on this, and since I’m facing sleeplessness, might as well do it now.

So, I put the ring in last week.  It’s not quite as flexible/bendy as they lead you to believe, but it was easy enough to do.  I guess I wasn’t thinking, but didn’t realize I’d have to use my finger to push it up further.

The first couple of days I was nauseous.  I accepted that as my body becoming reaccustomed to the hormones and stuff.  I felt fine after that though.  For the next week, I was obsessed with checking it out.  Making sure it was still there.  Making sure it was in far enough.  I sit on the couch with my legs pulled up in front of me a lot and I can’t tell you how many times I wondered if it would somehow expel itself in that position.  But it didn’t.

My only real complaint so far is this uncomfortable pressure on my….I don’t know what.  Front wall??  I don’t know if it’s the fact that I’m typically sitting all day, bad posture, or what.  It just seems like it pushes down on me.  It’s not painful, but it’s not exactly pleasant either.

Gak has me paranoid now after that comment she left about it popping out during sex.  So then I’m all paranoid wondering if it would be all icky if it came out.  Of course, I remove it just to find out.  It’s fine, but I did notice it is permanently creased in the form that it was bent to insert.  Yeah, so not as flexible as I thought.  Plus, I keep thinking, if someone were to use their hand, it wouldn’t be hard to miss.  Makes me think of a ripcord or something.

I’ve been googling about it and came across some message boards where people talked about their experiences with it.  Lots of mixed reviews.  Some love it, some hated it.  Most that hated it seemed to have had problems on birth control pills, too, though. 

Lots of people said they gained a full cup size!  I don’t think I’d like that.  I’ve learned to be happy with my smallish boobs.  Now if it would shrink my stomach and thighs, I’m all for that!

Others said they had absolutely zero sex drive and/or no lubrication.  I don’t think I’d like that either.

Most said their partner couldn’t feel it and if he did, it was only in certain positions and not really a big deal.  Personally, I’m more worried about what I will feel.

And yes, several mentioned the inadvertant cock ring.  How awful!  Or incredibly funny.  I can’t decide which.

I don’t know if I’ll find out any answers to my concerns during Dr Honeydew’s visit.  But atleast if it was to happen with him, he already knows about it and could give me an honest opinion.  Since we talk about all that stuff anyway.  😛

GNO, the final countdown, & painted corners

Last night was GNO for the hockey group.  We take turns planning them, so this month, Miss Hut opted to have us meet for dinner at Gloria’s.  While a nice restaurant with yummy food, the timing was bad.  There was an away game on at 3 and dinner was at 6.  Being Stars fans, helloo….we wanted to watch the game.  So a few of us made an impromptu decision to meet up before dinner to watch the game.  The girls and the guys.  That was fun.

Then the 4 of us girls headed to Gloria’s, where there were no reservations previously made, waited on everyone else to show up, were seated at a long table that made it virtually impossible to talk to anyone other than those on your immediate left or right.  Two girls left quickly after dinner (one had a date, the other had a bday party to go to with her hubby).  The rest of us decided to head over to a local bar for a few drinks where we could chat more easily.

We get to the bar and everyone is even more sedate than before.  It was just an odd mix.  About 15 minutes later, the husbands of 2 of the girls showed up.  Normally, this would have been a serious GNO faux pas, but in this case, it was welcome.  The GNO was over and it never even felt like it got started.  Odd moods all around. 

Dr Honeydew will be here in 4 days.  And I find myself very moody and irritable.  The most surefire way to make me crazy bitch woman is to paint me into a corner.  This time, I think I helped hold the brush, but I am becoming annoyed with the whole situation.  Suddenly now if I don’t feel like talking about any preconceived ideas of an “us” I’m acting weird or distant.  Um….no.  I’m acting like the FRIEND that I have always been.  There is no US, remember?! 

He says I’m allowed to have doubts….these AREN’T doubts.  How can you doubt something you don’t even know?!?!  I know he is a good friend.  But stop acting like I am supposed to know how I feel about you as anything more than a friend right now.  Yes, I’ve seen pictures.  Yes, we’ve been talking for 2 years.  Yes, I met you briefly once upon a time.  Yes, we’ve had phone sex a few times.  But for fuck’s sake, that’s not enough to make me all mushy lovey dovey about seeing you in 4 days.  Hell, NOTHING is enough to make me all mushy lovey dovey all the fucking time.  That’s not me.  I might have moments, but that is not who I am 95% of the time.

When I talked to him last night I said I just want to know that no matter what, we will be FRIENDS like we’ve always been during your visit.  He says of course we will.  Do I believe that?  No.  I think it will be awkward as hell if one of us isn’t interested in anything else.  Shit.  I should’ve never let the past 2 months of conversation turn into this.  We could’ve just met as friends, been cool, had fun.  And hey, maybe we would’ve had a few drinks that might have led to more.  Now everything has all these fucking conditions and strings and doubt and fantasy world bullshit attached to it.

I DON’T WANT ANY EXPECTATIONS!!!!  And as much as he says there are none, I know that there are some….very high hopes atleast.  If I’m not attracted to him, he’ll be all hurt and then I’ll feel shitty and then it will be all weird.  Yes, based on pictures I’ve seen, I think he’s cute.  Note I said cute.  I’ve never dated anyone I thought was “cute.”  I’ve dated people I thought were HOT.  Does that make me shallow?  Not necessarily.  Some of the same people I thought were HOT, others thought were meh at best.  I can’t help who I’m attracted to.  None of us can. 

I know I’ve always gone for the tall, lean (to the point of being ricidulously skinny according to others), dark haired hot guy with an edge.  Tattoos, facial hair, pierced ears, blue collar.  Some combination of all that.  Yes, the traditional “bad boy” look.  I know.  So I tell myself, this guy is NOT a bad boy, I should try (again) to learn to like the nice guys.  He’s tall…..that works for me.  He’s also atleast 70 pounds heavier than anyone I’ve ever dated.  Will that bother me?  I have no idea.  I’d like to think that it won’t, especially given the fact that I’m certainly not at the weight I need to be.  But at the same time, that’s yet another thing that makes him so drastically different from any guy I’ve ever liked.  Granted, he has a lot of GOOD qualities that are drastically different from the men of my past, too.  Which is what draws me to him I think.

I just want to go back to being excited about my FRIEND coming to visit, hang out, and catch a few Stars games.  And I don’t even know if that’s possible now. 

This is me freaking out.  It’s not a pretty, but I had to vent somewhere and this really isn’t the sort of stuff Dr Honeydew should have to hear.

Playing catchup

I’m not meaning to neglect you, dear blog.  I’ve just been on brain overload.  This past weekend was good though.  Another day or two longer and it would’ve been perfect.  😛

Met MommyK and MrsDrillTeam for lunch at 1pm on Saturday.  An appetizer of fried pickles, our entrees, and several glasses of wine later, we found ourselves on the patio, with more wine, a couple of shots, and a case of the giggles.  Good times.

A phone call with Dr Honeydew during the midst of all that was funny.  He may not have thought so though.  I told him MrsDT wanted to talk to him, he said ok.  Then she, loudly, asks in the background, “CAN I ASK HIM ABOUT THE PHONE SEX?!”  Guess he got his first taste of the bluntness that is my girlfriends….which, of course, is why I love them so much.  One reason anyway.

We finally left Love & War around 8pm.  Since it was so close by, I decided to swing back by the furniture store to check out the living room furniture I’ve been eyeballing for months.  I couldn’t find the exact match I was hoping for, so, with the decision making skills of someone who’s been drinking (lightly) for the past 7 hours, I ended up getting the whole set (sofa, chair and a half, ottoman, and chaise) in the same fabric.  It’s a cool golden tapestry print with a little burgandy and olive green in the background.  It’s scheduled to be delivered on Thursday.  Yippee!  I can’t wait to curl up in that big cozy chair with a good book this weekend.  Or lounge around and watch movies on the chaise.  Or maybe even snuggle with Dr Honeydew on the sofa next weekend!

I’ve got another game-watching gathering and GNO dinner scheduled with the hockey girls this Saturday.  Should be good times as well.

Work has been busy, but better lately.  With the transitioning of my being the primary support for all functional issues to me being the backup and 2nd level support and SD becoming the primary, that will free up a lot of time for me to get the rest of my responsibilities handled.  Granted, there’s some training time to make all of this happen, but the plan is, by the end of the month (and before I leave for vacation) she’ll be up and running and able to handle it moving forward.

I finally started yesterday, thanks to the added push from the progesterene pills Doc prescribed.  I’m supposed to insert the NuvaRing 2-5 days into my cycle.  So I’m going to try to wait until Thursday or Friday to do that to make sure the 3 week removal date doesn’t fall during my trip to San Diego.

She also called me with my test results from all the bloodwork I had done last week.  No pregnancy, no HIV, no STDs, no thyroid problems, no extreme hormonal imbalance.  So YAY for all of that.  She wants me to come back and do the glucose test again, after having fasted for 8 hours.  Apparently she has a very slight concern about that and something called PCOS.  But I’m not to panic until we redo that test.  I’m not horribly worried about it yet anyway because I don’t think most of the symptoms apply to me.  Although, the fact that I’ve been on birth control pills for the past 15+ years could have been what has kept (or delayed) me from experiencing some of them.  Hopefully I’ll make it by there this week to do the repeat bloodwork.  Figure if I go first thing in the morning, that will take care of the fasting part.

Dr Honeydew flies in next Thursday night.  He’s got a work-related trip to Chicago first, so now will be flying in from there….after having been up for atleast 24 hours straight from the labtime.  Anyway, I’m excited.