Saturday, January 29, 2011

Life Lessons

Don't quit your job search just because you found one you really want. Wanting does not equal getting. (I didn't get that job I wanted. I have an interview to be a bank teller on Tuesday, though! So that's something.)

Just because your boyfriend is dead doesn't mean you should wear the same pair of earrings for a month. I know that now. I'm sorry, ears. I'm sorrier, pretty earrings.

When you do finally change your earrings, you probably shouldn't put in heavy dangly ones. Your ears are used to studs. Heavy earrings are heavy. I'm sorry again, ears.

Have your resume in front of you when you have a phone interview. You will be nervous, and you will forget how long you've been at all your jobs.

Your grandma has some really great stories, like how a car she was in once got hit by a train, and that's what made Bob start to fall in love with Muriel, who he married before he married grandma, Muriel's sister (after Muriel had died young, because she had a weak heart because she had rheumatic fever when she was young). Also, she's funny. The only dance she does is the Elevator Dance - no steps!!

You shouldn't go online shopping when you're unemployed.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Good, and bad.

My New Year's resolution of a happy thing every day is going pretty well.

For instance, today I had an interview at a kick-ass organization that I really want to be a part of. During the course of the interview, I found out that there were 150ish applicants, and they are interviewing seven of them. Holy cow. I feel amazingly lucky to have even gotten an interview!

On the other hand, today my grandma was admitted to the hospital. She's been acting strange: she thinks people have been in and out of her house for days; no one's been there. She thinks there are little boys running around; there are no small children. None of the tests they've done so far reveal anything wrong. We're almost positive she will not be allowed to continue living alone at her house. So that's.. not so good.

Good: tacos and games at Alex and Liz's last night. Also, cats.

Bad: really cold. Also, more snow.

Good: Mesaba actually paid out my vacation! Unexpected and delightful.

Bad: I don't leave the house / am not awake during bank hours, so I have yet to deposit said vacation payout, or a number of other checks in my possession.

So. There are ups and downs. More and more ups. I'll get there, somewhere, sometime.

In other news, I like Jimmy Fallon more every time I watch. I wish I had cable so I could watch Conan as well.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


Has there ever not been snow? I swear it's almost taller than me in the piles next to the driveway. And every time I look at my weather widget (because I hibernate in my basement) or look out a window (which hurts my eyes), there it is, snowing again.

All this snow really doesn't help my new anxiety. I bailed on going to Jess's house tonight, to drink delicious things and eat delicious foods and play awesome Rock Band, because I was too afraid to drive in the snow. I'm a Minnesotan, for Pete's sake! I should be an old pro at this by now. And I was, last year. This year, I'm too afraid to drive down to see my best friend on a Friday night.

I did go to a movie, though. An old friend of mine from elementary school lives five blocks from me. She picked me up and we went to a theater a few short miles away to see Black Swan, which was intense and creepy and really amazing, actually.

I actually went outside earlier this evening, as well, to help shovel. Only, I don't shovel very often, so I'm not very efficient, especially when I can't even throw the snow high enough to make it over the driveway-edge snowbanks. So instead, I climbed into the yard (since when do yards require climbing into?) and shoveled the snow banks. I pared down the massive mounds of snow into... slightly less massive mounds of snow. I got snow in my boots and up to my knees, and I shoveled the yard. The YARD. Talk about weird.

I also officially started applying for jobs today. The first one I sent my resume into is the one I really, really want. It's at a non-profit literary center in Minneapolis. Hello, job related to my degree, how you doin'?

Also, asymptotes. I named my rock band Asymptote to Hell. Then Sheldon got stuck on a rock climbing wall and said he's an inverse tangent approaching an asymptote. These things mean something, something that I can't articulate.

Unsurprising. It seems I can't articulate much of anything tonight. It must be bedtime. I have some Groupons to spend in the morning.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

By the Numbers

I'm 25. I'm a divorcee and a widow, and I never even got to walk down the aisle. I got all of the heartbreak, and none of the binding legality, none of the titles that give weight to the pain.

I'm afraid I'm going to be 90, on my deathbed, still in love with a 26-year-old. Still talking to him, still missing him. Still trying to find his scent in his old shirts.

And I'm afraid I'm not. I'm afraid I'm going to forget him, am forgetting him already. I'm losing his scent, his voice, his laugh. The way he spooned me, the way his stubble felt on my chin. I'm terrified I'm going to lose him all over again, more than I have already.

Before it was decided that I'd take all the clothes, there were a couple of specific shirts I knew I wanted, so we dug through all the laundry baskets to find them. Everything got mixed together, the order of it destroyed. (Believe it or not, there had been an order before we got to it. Kind of.) Dirty socks were mixed with shirts were mixed with towels. Now, when I pull a shirt out of the basket to smell, I go to take a big whiff, and instead of Irish Spring, Old Spice, and that indescribable Eric-ness, I get a big whiff of socks. Not so comforting.

Most days, most times, I block him out. It's the opposite of what I'd like to be doing, but it's the way I get through the day without crying. If I don't think about him, I don't cry. If I don't picture his face, I can't miss it. If I don't try to remember how it felt to hold his hand, I can't long for his fingers in mine. If I don't let anyone see how sad I am, I am not this sad.

We had been together for one year, two months, and five days.

He's been gone for one month and five days.

I don't know the hours. I just know it was the sixth, and I have a hunch it was earlier in the morning than anyone began to worry. I know he called his voicemail at 3:29am.

Chris called me at 3:47pm. And somehow, as soon as my phone rang, I knew. Because we'd been texting all day, and why would he call me if something wasn't terribly, horribly wrong? My whole life changed in those 2 minutes and 28 seconds.

I was watching the news one day, and they were talking about our most recent blizzard. Apparently, it's the most snow we've had since the infamous Halloween blizzard of 1991. (The fact that I was in Texas that year and thus missed the blizzard makes me feel like I lost out on a key piece of Minnesotan-ness. True story.) "Yes," the anchorman said, "we'll all remember where we were and what we were doing during the blizzard on December 11."

I furrowed my brow, checked a calendar, and verified what I suspected: I didn't immediately remember the blizzard, because the weather that day was overshadowed by a funeral.

But yes, the blizzard was large. It prevented me from having a luncheon with games and friends. It got me stuck at Chris and Alicia's with a group of very nice people who were nevertheless not the people I wanted to be with that day. It made me worry about everyone who was driving anywhere, any distance; I made my sister text me when they got to their hotel, two miles away. It made Jess and her large truck get stuck in a snowbank. It even brought the Metrodome's roof tumbling down.

One month ago today, we had a huge blizzard. One month ago today, I gave away two meeples, permanently. A slightly more exact month ago, I was writing a letter, the only person left awake in a quiet house; the cat at my feet was annoyed by the light.

I decided on a New Year's Resolution. Something a little more tangible than "have a happy year." Something I can do even if something terrible happens again. I've decided to write something happy down, every day. A sentence, a paragraph, whatever; just something happy, something good that happened that day. Because even on the worst days, there IS something good. So at the end of 2011, I will have a list of 365 good things.

Today, I didn't leave the house, didn't do any laundry, didn't apply for any jobs. Bad.

Today, I finished my Rock Band solo world tour on medium. Bad ass.

Monday, January 3, 2011

New Year.

In addition to the multitude of random woot shirts, the dirty socks, the stacks of random cd mixes and mystery burned dvds, the scribbled notes, the boxes and boxes of games, I inherited something kind of awesome: Eric's xbox.

Except, I don't really do video games. I never had them growing up, and I lack most of the eye/hand coordination necessary, despite playing piano and violin. First-person shooters are not so much my thing, and I'd rather watch other people kill zombies than do it myself.

When Derric and I lived together, he had an xbox. I'd sit on my computer and watch him explore weird places, sneak around, or shoot zombies. He'd offer to let me play, or to play in teams, but I had no interest. Until he bought Rockband. Then I played along. Then I learned the controls. Then I waited impatiently for it to be my turn in a large group. Then I even played for hours on end while I was home alone.

So with my Christmas money, I decided to buy myself the one and only video game I know I love for my new-old xbox. Unfortunately for me, they don't make or sell Rockband bundles anymore. Luckily for me, they do sell them online and at Gamestop. I now own Rockband, Rockband 2, and the Beatles Rockband bundle. These are the only games I own for my new gaming system that I barely know how to work; I had to text Aron to find out if I can use any usb hub or if I had to buy a special xbox one (you can use any, in case you were wondering).

I rang in the new year with my sister, her roommate, her sister, my cat, and Rockband. It was snowy and icy out. It was a small gathering, but a good one. Mellow, but rocking. And I didn't even cry at midnight (though I did post on his facebook wall. At midnight.).

And now it's a new year.

I'm not quite ready for a new start, a clean slate, whatever. I mean really, it's only been a month. But there is something about a new year. Something refreshing. People making resolutions, a whole year of possibilities ahead, an empty calendar just waiting to be filled in.

One of the blogs I read occasionally is Pioneer Woman. She lives on a working ranch with her rugged cowboy husband. She cooks, she's a self-taught photographer, she writes, she homeschools. She's just pretty all-around amazing. And she does crazy giveaways all the time: camera, mixers, Le Creuset cookware. She just did her last giveaway of 2010, in which she gave away a really nice Nikon dslr. To enter, all anyone had to do was post a comment answering the question, “What is your top New Year’s Resolution??” I wrote this:

In 2008, I made the resolution to take at least one picture every day. At the end of the year, I would make a nice photobook: My Year in Snapshots. It would include my college graduation, my wedding, my move to Arizona with my new husband. I did really well, until July, when my fiance called off the wedding.

I do always have my camera in my purse, though, and I take pictures often. 2010 was going really well; I wasn’t taking a picture a day, but I was taking lots of pictures on lots of days. Until early this month, when my boyfriend died suddenly. I don’t think I’ve taken a picture since.

My resolutions for 2011 are simple. I’d like a new job, a new apartment. But above all, I’d like to have a year good enough to take daily pictures of. I’d like to have a happy year.

Oh, also, I quit my job.

I hope you all had very happy New Year's Eves and Days!