Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas 2008 - The Aftermath

I really couldn't stand it anymore.

The water in the tree stand had turned icky and smelly, and we couldn't take the tree down without taking everything else down, lest we open up the red Rubbermaid storage bins next December and are greeted by year-old Douglas fir needles, so my house is now totally and utterly devoid of any Christmas decorations. And, like every year, I am reminded of how much a pain in the ass a real tree is. Behold:

Notice how my "helping" is "taking pictures to document the mess so maybe I'll consider going fake next year". At least this time around the tree didn't crash and (figuratively) burn in the middle of the night, or leak a careful solution of Super Special Tree Preserver all over our new laminate floor, as has happened in years past. Sigh.

And to answer the question regarding the appearance of a Wii under said Christmas tree: sadly, no. Though after seeing my face after opening all our gifts to each other on Christmas morning, J promised we could get one this week. However, after calling (literally) a dozen stores in the area, it appears that there are no Wiis to be had in the tri-county area. That could be an exagerration, but I spent a good hour on the phone calling around, and I tired of the game and gave up. For today.

And it's probably for the best anyway, since today we made the trek out to Ikea and dropped an obscene amount of money (by J's standards, which you should know by now means "more than 20 bucks"). At any rate, it was much more than we'd intended on spending, but I wore J down and we bought several things I've been wanting for a while, so I am less heartbroken about my lack of Wii (Wii Envy?). Check out my new office chair and plastic rolly mat thing:


And the chair isn't much, but I did put it together all by myself.

We also bought a new area rug, a clock, some laundry sorter things, and a new dresser-thing for the bedroom to store our linens, since the hand-me-down antique buffet-thing we'd been using all this time is pretty old and busted. Thing thing thing.
And since I have contracted some kind of gross snotty upper respiratory thing (thing!), our New Year's will be spent at home, in sweatpants, assembling affordable mass-produced umlaut-laden named furniture, cursing the neighbors who will shoot fireworks until the wee hours, and removing terrified cats from the ceiling. So okay, maybe it won't be that different than any other day, but just in case you were wondering.

P.S. Dear Blogger, WTF with the wonky spacing. Love, Gin

Monday, December 29, 2008

Today is the first day in the week that I've been off that I did not have to set an alarm to get up early because of an obligation that day. I celebrated by staying in bed until 11, drinking much too much coffee so far today, and plan to stay in pajamas until this evening, or perhaps all day. I am giddy with the thought of Nothing on my plate today. HOORAY, SLOTH!!!!

Our Christmas was good, even though I sort of stumbled through it all in a kind of My God, Is It Really December? haze. For some reason, I'm just not feeling it this year - I don't know if it's the stress, or the meds, or the fact that the weather has varied wildly from highs near 80 to lows in the 30's over the past couple of weeks. I'm kind of relieved it's over, but sad that I didn't enjoy it like I normally do each year - I didn't even get all weepy over cheesy holiday commercials and It's A Wonderful Life. And it's just not Christmas without unexplained crying jags!

The highlight of the past week has been spending time with Jamie and her husband Chris. It really, truly did my heart good to hang out with My Best Girl, even if our proposed Pie-Making Tutorial devolved into Let's Sit Around And Gossip And Drink Coffee (but those are the best kinds of diversions).

Let me digress into a backstory which, trust me, is worth it, so just stick with me here:
So. J's grandmother is a notorious hoarder and garage sale queen. Our Christmas gift each year consist sof, literally, a box of crap that she has collected from rummage sales from the past year (or ten years ago). Last year we received a replica of a Spanish galleon with sails made out of old Pepsi cans. Seriously.

About a month ago, she sent J a large box of "work shirts". Upon opening it, after the fumes of Old and mothballs had cleared the air, we discovered a portal to the past: garage sale finds from 20+ years ago. The atrocity of this collection cannot be put into words, and so without further ado:

Chris and J's Impromptu Fashion Show Of Horrors

I should note that at this point in the evening, no alcohol had yet been consumed. Also, should you ever chance to meet J in person, I would recommend not mentioning this incident right off the bat, as that could result in him divorcing me (ha).

I have NO idea what possessed them to play dress up, but it was the most hilarious thing Jamie or I had seen in a looooooong time. Even the appearance of a camera - evidence! - did not deter them; I think the siren call of the Rayon, Polyester, and western wear circa Urban Cowboy was too much.

Tell me, are Jamie and I not the luckiest women in the country?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

And so today begins my much-needed not-quite-two-week vacation. The past month has kicked my ass, and I am very much looking forward to turning my brain (mostly) off for a while. As a precaution, I've posted a reminder:
We'll see if I stick to it.

This year has been HARD. Between work, the To-Baby-Or-Not-To-Baby thing, more work, hurricane, more work, stupid bullshit foot surgery, more work, panic attacks, more work, not to mention all the scary real world shit that I have sort of ignored because it was all I could do to handle my own business...I am SO OVER 2008. And while, realistically, 2009 does not appear to be any less challenging - it's likely to be just as grueling, if not more so than this year - I'm hoping to have learned enough about myself and what I can handle (or not) that I can at least manage it all a little better.

Now I wash my hands of the remaining 8 days of the year, and 2009 can Suck It and wait until I'm ready. Bring on the food, friends, family, and more than a couple glasses of wine. Let's all enjoy the In Between, shall we?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Yesterday was a much, much better day - the most in control I've felt in weeks.
I saw my doctor earlier this week, and I am on medication - something to take the edge off every day, and something to help when I feel an attack coming on, and it's helping a LOT, but I have very little appetite. It's worth it to feel capable again, like I can get out of bed, like my life is worth getting out of bed for. I know this will be something I struggle with for a while, but I have the support of my family, friends, and awesome blog peeps. I sincerely appreciate the kind words and thoughts - thanks.

In the meantime, I have a LOT of work to get done before I can start my Christmas vacation - so no more posts from me until next week.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Is it funny or sad that it’s more acceptable to tell your coworkers that you spent most of yesterday with your head in a toilet than admit that you’ve been having panic attacks, yesterday to such proportions that you couldn’t get out of bed?

People can better handle the idea of someone vomiting than they can a grown woman that can't handle her shit. Or am I projecting?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

My husband is amazing.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A great big Thanks For The Awesome to Courtney over at In(side) The Loop for Christmas Mix 2008, currently the soundtrack to my (slightly buzzed) blogging. Hot pizza, cold beer, and Yuletide tunes - it's a pretty damn good Thursday!

Although there are still a few weeks left of the year, and I have presents to buy and wrap, friends to catch up with, and much more drunken Christmas carols to sing before the month is through, 2009 looms on the horizon – bright, shiny, unmarred, full of possibility.

It’s with a crying hangover blurring my vision, a slightly bruised ego, and a heart full of hope for the New Year that I present to you my list of resolutions for 2009.

1. Post more comments.
I am the WORST about commenting, y’all, and yet I’m still a whore for them on my own blog. Shower me with attention and witticisms so I can promptly ignore you! I’m sorry, you guys – I will try to be better.

2. Find a hobby.
J pointed out the other night night, as I was still wallowing in my pity party, that I really don’t have anything outside of work, which is probably why I brood so much over it when anything goes wrong – I let it define me. I was in a book club and a Bunco group, but both dissolved over a year ago, and I never found anything to fill that void. I need something else to distract me when the inevitable I-Screwed-Something-Up comes along again. I am open to suggestions - if you've found something you dig that helps keep you sane, please spill.

3. Make a concerted effort to be more spontaneous.
I know that I have always been this way to an extent, but the nature of my job has made me even more of a rigid planner. If Gin leaves her house at 7, sits in traffic for 38 minutes, drives through Starbucks for 4 minutes, walks through the parking lot for 7 minutes, eats lunch at 1:30, leaves work at 5:40, sits in traffic for 45 minutes, how many gray hairs does she sprout when someone disrupts the schedule and makes her late for some imaginary Home deadline? This drives J nuts, that I need a day’s notice to know if we will go to the grocery store on Thursday instead of Friday, because I have to reconcile it somehow in my head. Plus, it’s totally exhausting.

4. Toughen up.
Or, as the ever wise Jay-Z puts it, Get that dirt off your shoulder (words to live by, friends).
I am jealous of people that seem to waltz through life without getting too riled up by anything, or anyone (even if it's an act). I have no poker face, and I wear my feelings in very close proximity to my sleeve. Sensitivity has its benefits, but it can be such a hindrance, and pain in the ass (see above re: crying jag). Maybe it's something that comes more with age...in which case, I can't WAIT to be an old lady.

What are some goals you have for the new year?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Dear Universe,
What is the effing deal? Did I cut someone off in traffic? Did I accidentally kick someone's dog or something? Was it that red light I sort of ran the other day? Because I can't figure out who or what I have angered, and the shit you're throwing at me is about to break me. Seriously. I am teetering on the edge of sanity. THISCLOSE to losing it, dissolving into a mess, and being escorted out by security. One more email away from walking away from this job. I Can. Not. Handle. Any. More. Please. Stop. It.

At Wit's End,

Monday, December 8, 2008

Just because I've had it in my head since Friday.

Down! Down!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Isn’t it funny (and not ha-ha funny, more like knock-the-wind-out-of-you awful and strange) how you remember most vividly the mortifying things that happen to you?

When I was in 7th grade, a boy named James told me I had a big twinkly, shiny nose. It had never occurred to me before that my nose was that much out of the ordinary, and looking back, this comment was probably more in the vein of I-like-you-so-I’m-going-to-tease-you and not meant to be cruel, but it sparked a neurosis that haunts me to this day. You will never see a picture of me in profile, and at any given moment I generally have a powder compact or blotting papers within reaching distance.

When I was in middle school, I was “going out” with a boy named Alan. One weekday evening, my friend Kristina called me from the pay phone outside the school gym. She and Alan had stayed to watch a basketball game. Kristina told me that Alan said if I wouldn’t kiss him, we would have to break up. I was in my third year of wearing braces, and terrified at the thought of kissing a boy and him telling everyone I had food in my brackets, or some ridiculous thing. I said I couldn’t do it, and I heard her move the phone away from her mouth and tell him, “She said no.” I hear him murmur something, and Kristina ended the call by saying, “Okay, you’re broken up then. Bye!” CLICK.”

When I was a freshman in high school, I had to write a biographical paper on Freud for my pre-AP English class. In typical Gin fashion, I put it off until the very last minute and was up until the not-so-wee-anymore hours finishing it on the day it was due. Towards the end, I was just rambling and throwing in sources and citations to meet the minimum requirements. I can still quote the last line of the paper, but it was so awful and I’m so ashamed of it that doing so would make my head explode, and I wouldn’t be able to look any of you in the eye.

When I was a junior in college, my mom and dad drove up to visit me for Parent’s Weekend. On Saturday night, in the middle of the stadium parking lot, my mom and I ended up getting into a screaming fight in front of hundreds of people leaving the stands after the game. She threw a biscuit at me that she’d saved in her purse from dinner (I don’t know what the fuck that was about). I went back to my room and sobbed on the floor for a long time. Jamie came and held me, and we rocked back and forth on the floor, for a minute? An hour? All night? The next morning, she and my dad stopped by the campus to say goodbye before they made the drive back to Houston. I was wearing a yellow t-shirt. Outside the UC, my dad gave me a big, long hug. My mom refused to speak to me, and shook my hand before getting back in the car. She wouldn’t look me in the eye. I hate the color yellow.

The incidents that I wish most to be stricken from my memory are those are the ones that hang doggedly on, popping up in nightmares or in wandering thoughts on a random Tuesday, sending my stomach plummeting to my toes, my palms clammy, tears pricking my eyes. The red-letter days – the ones that I want to engrave on my heart so I can treasure every scent, every sound, every ray of sunshine, every word of every song we heard on the radio on the way there – are the ones that are fuzzy. The only distinct memory of my first kiss is that it was near a dumpster. All I remember from my college graduation was slipping off my painful heels after I made my walk across the stage, and that J told me later the kid sitting next to him was Mormon and tried to witness to him. I can’t recall much of my wedding day, even though it was only four years ago.

I had one of the shitty, sickening things happen at work on Friday. I’ve spent the past three days brooding, crying, nursing an ulcer. And even though the mistake I made was an honest one, and in the end can be corrected with little pain, I know that this will be one of the memories that haunts me for years. Even though I can try to psych myself up, play all of my Loud Bangy Fierce music on the way to work tomorrow, walking in and facing the repercussions Monday morning will be unpleasant. (I’ll note here that it’s entirely possible that I’m making too much of this, and that it all may blow over with little more than a chiding email and a bruised ego, but that won’t erase the punch-in-the-gut feeling of I Fucked Up that keeps washing over me).

If you could spare some good vibes, please send them my way.


Thursday, December 4, 2008

It has been a crazy, weird week. My utterance of choice has been, "Holy shit - wha-?!"
Every day something has happened that, in the grand scheme of things, is not that strange - maybe only qualifies as Notable, or merits a Cocked-Eyebrow; not even Blogworthy (not that most things I post are necessarily worth writing about) - but to me, in the context of My Life and Work, and in such close proximity, all these happenings have caused me to question my mental health. Is this all actually happening? Am I dreaming? Did someone slip me something funky? And is it really only Thursday? You mean I still have TOMORROW to deal with?


Wednesday, December 3, 2008


A long time ago, I came into an agreement with Jamie and with J, that if I ever started showing a preference for or go so far as wearing certain types of clothing, they should Kick Me In The Box.

As in Crotch. Groin. "Vagina"*.

For example: Sequined sweaters
Faded colors. Holiday-themed. Dowdy and sad.
Kick Me In The Box.

Mom Jeans

High rise. Elastic waist. Tapered leg. With a braided belt.
Kick Me In The Box.

Animal sweatshirts

As in anything featuring (but not limited to) household pets, or furry woodland creatures.
Kick Me In The Box.


Patchwork. Pom-pommed. "Festive". Featuring abovementioned furry woodland creatures.
Kick Me In The Box.

My mom called the other day to let me know that she’d bought matching shirts for her, my sister, and I to wear in upcoming family Christmas pictures.

J: “Dude. You know what I have to do, right?”

I know, it's not really that bad (right?), but still. Pink. Christmas tree. T-shirt.

Do they make athletic cups for chicks?

*By the way, may I just interject that the vagina is actually internal, and it bugs the shit out of me when people use it as a catch-all to refer to anything in the vicinity of a woman’s groin.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Facebook is the devil.
There are so many things going on, swirling around me, and I feel like I'm just being pulled along in the current. I can't process it all fast enough. My brain has reached that frustrating point of Can't Deal, Shutting Down. And the more I try to focus and push myself along into On-Top-Of-It Efficiency, or at least Modicum Of Productivity (though at this point I'd settle for Just Hanging On), the more sluggish my mind seems to become.

I understand why people abuse Ritalin.

Monday, December 1, 2008

OH MY GOD. It is truly astounding how stupid people can be.

That is all.