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In all fainess, why South Florida hasn’t been all bad

27 Aug

1. Because this is what I get to do every weekend:

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I’ve never been too much of a beach person, I enjoy them fine but I bore easily and can’t do it for too long. But being only a few miles from this, and having access to it (almost) every weekend, is doing a lot to change my mind. It’s hard to argue with ocean and palm trees.

2. Because this will always be the place where I fed a giraffe.

Yes. I fed a freaking giraffe. A few, actually. And they’re adorable and it’s insane to be so close to them. And I may or may not have contemplated quitting my job to work the giraffe feeding station at the zoo. I think what it would lack in the money department it would make up for in the sheer elation of being friends with giraffes department.

3. Mostly, it’s been a lot of fun to be close to family, to be around for birthday parties and Sunday dinners and whatnot. It was sort of exhausting in the beginning, but the novelty of us being around has worn off. So, we’ve ended up with a good balance of family fun and relaxing alone. Plus, I have a whole new group of people to make cupcakes for. And I do love making cupcakes.

4. Because I’ve made some friends.

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Okay, I haven’t really made many friends yet. But apparently Florida is where I feed animals. There’s tons of ducks in the various ponds we have around our apartment complex, and I may or may not feed them bread.

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Okay. I feed them a lot. So much that when they see me they run right up wagging their duckie tails. And when I don’t have bread it makes me very sad. There are different duckling litters (that’s the wrong word, I know) in different stages of growing adorable. There’s also turtles in the ponds. So, its not all spiders and alligators. (I’ve yet to see an alligator. If that does happen you probably will never hear from me again because I’m hiding under my bed, trembling in fear.)

5. Because Isaac didn’t turn into a hurricane and hit me, so I still haven’t had to deal with that nonsense. Whew. Til next time, fickle tropical weather.

Why I’m not entirely sure I’ll ever fit in in South Florida

24 Aug

1. Because this?

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Does not a skyline make. Looking at this gives me no warm fuzzies. Every time I look out the window and see this, exactly how much I miss Chicago punches me right in the stomach.

2. Because this?

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Is what the bugs look like, oh, dear lord. I’m sorry for shoving a gigantic spider in your face, but this is what I encountered – nay, nearly walked through oh my god – on my way to work one morning. The bugs here are ludicrous, and they’re everywhere. This spider is also probably one of the least offensive bugs I’ve encountered. Yeah. Think about that.

3. Because this?

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Is what a lot of the cars look like. I just… I can’t fathom why anyone would do this to a car. I’m not that into my car. I only want to spend money to keep my car going, not paint it sparkle dinosaur green and pump up the tires until they barely fit. People here are obsessed with their cars. They like their cars more than I think I have ever liked anything in my entire life. I don’t want to share this for fear you’ll judge me for being in the same general vicinity, but I’ve also seen a car painted with Scooby Doo, and a car painted with Sponge Bob. Who would do that? Also, you’ll be happy to know that the car right next to it? Under the cover? Looks exactly like this one. Twinsies.

4. Because this?

Is what a lot of the people look like. And it makes me cry. Because I am one of those people with the giant hat and the SPF 50 if I am even thinking about looking at the sun. I am terrified of skin cancer and this is walking skin cancer. And it’s everywhere. Everywhere. So much so that I even had a dream where overly tan people were trying to convince me to join their scary melanoma club.

5. Because Hurricane Isaac is coming to get me. And I know, it’s not a hurricane yet. But it will be. And I don’t care if the people around here are telling me, “Oh, it’s just a category one.” JUST A CATEGORY ONE. JUST 80 MPH WINDS. OH OKAY. LET’S ALL TO GO THE BEACH. Fingers crossed I don’t get blown away. Even though it’s more likely I’ll have a significant psychotic break from the stress of the build up to all this hurricane nonsense.

Hey, Big Spender

6 Aug

I did not wear any makeup to work today.

And it wasn’t because of the black cloud, though I’d be lying if I said it probably didn’t contribute to my being mostly okay with the no makeup. It’s because I’m dangerously close to being out of foundation, and I am saving it for occasions where people will actually see me.

Husband and I are not spending money unnecessarily for the month of August. We need to buy food, gas, rent. Nothing else. I did not check the status of my makeup drawer before making this pledge, which is why foundation is now a hot commodity. I’m also almost out of shampoo, but I’m pretty sure that can be an approved purchase – no one wants to watch me go through that.

I knew this whole thing was going to be a challenge for me. In general, I don’t make all that many large purchases.  I do spend money often, though. Basically, I leak money walking down the street. I can’t tell you exactly where it goes, but I have a hunch it’s mostly into my stomach. I love treats, doughnuts, coffee, muffins, fast food, fries, dinners out, late night milkshake runs. I’m the type of person who goes grocery shopping and then needs to have dinner out because the food is overwhelming, what with its need to be made and all.

I don’t need to tell you how easily this breaks the bank, especially when there are two of us doing this – Husband is the same way. Our other bad financial habit is we are also both prone to talking the other into larger purchases on top of the leaking money. We know it’s something we shouldn’t buy, so we look to the other for the support to make the bad decision. And the support usually comes in the way of a trade off – I agree he gets a big purchase, he comes back with something else I should buy for me.

Yeah, I can see why we need that Blu-Ray player right now. Saddle up.

Babe, how long has it been since you bought a purse? Too long, right? Mall? Mall?

We’re horrible. So, spending detox it is. We got that Blu-Ray player, so we have movies to watch at home. We’re making coffee and taking it with us to work. Making dinner every night. We can walk the dogs, we can go to the gym, we can go to the pool or the beach. And to be fully honest with you, we’ve already got a cheat built in. We’re allowed to go to dinner for our anniversary, which is coming up this weekend. So I don’t even have to be completely successful with this. And I’m still finding it so, so hard. I was practically foaming at the mouth for Starbucks on Saturday, and that was only day four. Hours of my day are consumed with ways to trick Husband into breaking the pact first, so I can buy a doughnut. I spend more energy contemplating the moral dilemma of buying something behind his back than I spent writing any of my papers for my ethics class. There’s no way to sugar coat it – I’m pathetic, really very bad at this.

I know in the long run, this is something we need to do. The way we are now is not the way to accomplish long-term financial goals. It’s irresponsible and juvenile and we’re going to be better off because of this and other overhauls we need to do. However, I cannot stop the venti iced coffees from dancing around in my head.

How do you keep your resolve when things get tough, money-wise?

“I’m hopeless and awkward and desperate for love”

23 Jul

I’m starting to feel… isolated. A touch lonely, maybe? I need to make some friends here, but it’s really frustrating how awkward and difficult it is to make friends past the age of 13.

There’s probably a reason most of the friends I have are from middle or high school. I’m just not sure how people get to know people outside of school settings. I made friends at my old office by tagging along on happy hours, but I never saw those people outside of work or happy hours. So, work friends. In my new office, there are far fewer people. And they all seem pretty compartmentalized. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of anyone being friends with anyone.

I have two sister-in-laws here, who are both fun people. One has two kids, one sort of intimidates me. None of us are on the level where I would dial one of them up to head to the mall. Possibly only because I am so awkward that I can’t imagine calling anyone up to hang out other than friends who I’ve known nearly 15 years. What do you say? It feels like asking them out on a date. I don’t handle rejection well. Ask anyone who knew me from 8th through 10th grade.

It’s part over-thinking it, part shyness, and part just knowing that I am a semi-offensive personality and easily come off wrong to a lot of people. I make fun of everything, and I have a wicked mean sense of humor. Lots of people don’t “get me,” which is fine, because I’ve tried stamping down that part of my personality and it only leaves me with a bunch of people I don’t want to hang out with because I feel fake and it’s exhausting being around them.

I run into the same girl on the train nearly every day, she gets off and on the same stops I do. She dresses cute, we have a few friendly words. I’ve become so desperate for human interaction I actually thought about trying to strike up purposeful conversations/a friendship with her. Probably she’d think I was hitting on her. Which is why I won’t be doing that any time soon.

Chatting up the girl on the train clearly isn’t the way to friendship (more like the way to a restraining order), but what is?

*Bonus points to whoever can tell me where the quote for the title to this post comes from.

Performance Anxiety

11 Jul

I come to my computer with the best intentions. I don’t need to check Facebook, I know I have no email. I’m up to date on any news story that happened in the past day. I am here for a purpose, on a mission. Job search. Write cover letters. Apply. Find the next step. I bring up the web browser and all of a sudden two hours have passed and I don’t have anything to show for it except a greater knowledge of Scientology or great white sharks or cattle farming. Whatever topic I’ve managed to stumble across and distract myself with.

When I graduated, I put in over 150 applications for employment. That led to two interviews, which led to my one job. All in all, I was unemployed for four months. I know this isn’t a lot, and that some people go through a lot worse. This was a dark time for me, however. I felt so useless. They could have used me in commercials for antidepressants for how typical it all was.

I’m afraid of revisiting those feelings of uselessness and rejection, though the circumstances are different. I’m not unemployed, so I can do the whole thing at a slower pace. I can only apply for things I’m interested in, as opposed to the madcap scatter of applying to anything that remotely sounded in any way like a job I could do that was hiring. People don’t have to know about it so they won’t be asking me about my progress, forcing me to say something vague about the job market and change the subject.

Conversely, though, there’s no pressure, no impending sense of doom and destruction if I don’t get a new position. And with no external motivation, I’m unsure if my internal motivation is up to snuff. It’s just so much more comfortable to pull the blanket over my head and tell myself I’ll try again tomorrow.

Ah, irony. My good friend. Welcome back.

29 Jun

I know ten minutes isn’t a lot of time, but when you’re waiting for your ride (train) home, in 95 degree heat and no shade, it seems like an eternity. I’m so easily bored. I take out my phone, realize there’s nothing there. Put it back in my purse. Shuffle my feet. Take out my phone. Put it back. Pace. Try to people watch without letting people know I’m people watching. Fantasize about the car I’d buy when I win the lottery so I don’t have to take the stupid train anymore.

Realize it’s only been two minutes. Repeat, ad nauseam.

Yesterday, because of all the rain, the train platform was crawling with worms. I think they were worms? They seem a little more… prehistoric and sturdy than the earth worms I’m used to, but “worm” is the word that comes to mind when I look at them. So I was watching them, because what else did I have to do. Making their way across the platform, avoiding people’s legs, twisting and turning through the obstacles. I was watching one in particular when I noticed a woman on a phone shuffling back and forth, not paying attention. About to step on the worm I was watching.

I had a second or two to think about it. I really thought I was going to warn her, but I didn’t want to come off as a nutterbutter and then have to listen to her tell whoever she was on the phone with about the tree-hugging worm-loving hippie. I didn’t act, and she stepped on it. I was instantly upset I didn’t do anything to prevent this massacre. If I said something though, and she reacted poorly, what would I do? What if I told her and she was the super cruel type and stepped on it anyway? I might cry.

What would I do if someone had warned me I was about to step on a worm? I think I would thank them. But I also think  I’m a smidgen crazy, and my reactions are not exactly the best to gauge what normal society will do in a situation.

As I was contemplating the possible actions and reactions, I felt something crunch under my foot.

I think I’m pretty much never going to get over the guilt, with the blood of two of them on my hands.

Tale as old as time

20 Jun

I know time and time again, girls have whined about this and boys haven’t listened. I can’t help it though, I’m compelled to complain about it. What is up with the beeping at girl pedestrians, dudes? Who taught you how to do this, and why haven’t you stopped already?I’m about 99.9 percent positive that no girl has ever thanked you for this behavior.

Living in Chicago, walking everywhere, I don’t think I had to deal with this once. Maybe it was the fact there’s too many pedestrians. Maybe the fact that traffic basically crawled, so if you embarrassed yourself with the beeping you couldn’t make a fast getaway. I don’t know for sure, but I do know that I’d gotten used to it, so much so that I didn’t even remember it was a thing that happened in the world.

Then I moved.

I walk about 3.5 miles total a day, to and from work, on major streets. I am beeped/shouted at anywhere from 2 to 6 times a trip. I ignore because there’s really no proper response. And that’s the problem with the whole thing. There’s no response. You’re not going to get anything from me, be it my telephone number or a punch to the face. So why? Is it funny? It’s not because I’m pretty, because you’ve seen me for all of two seconds while you speed by, and also my 60 year old grandma used to get beeped at, too. It’s not a compliment, and sometimes it’s downright scary. If the car slows down in any way I’m pretty much convinced I’m going to get kidnapped. One time a semi truck beeped at me while we were under the overpass, and I honestly thought I was going to die, it was so loud. I’m a big fan of knowing the motivation behind an action, and I simply can’t wrap my hear around this one. Hence, it is not a legit course of action.

I think we, as a society, need to cut this shit out. It’s not funny, it’s not cute, and sometimes it’s terrifying. And it gets neither of us anywhere.

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