Tuesday, February 10, 2009

He really meant well.....

I had a bit of an internal giggle today. I was unable to answer calls today at the office due to...get this.....a computer problem. For those who don't get the irony here, I work in a tech support department. So basically my mind was free to wander for the greater part of the day. I was reflecting a bit on the movie I saw on Sunday, "He's just not that into you". I can only equate the feeling this movie gave me to a scene from "Swingers" where Mikey calls a girl who's number he just gotten a few hours earlier. He calls.....and calls....and calls...... Basically the feeling of oh god make it stop.

There were parts in this movie that made me laugh and there were parts that I could really relate to. One of those was the scene where the wife got so pissed she ripped a mirror off the wall and threw it on the floor. Then less than 30 seconds later, without even having the chance to enjoy the release, she had the broom and dust pan in her hand cleaning up the mess. Yep, that's me alright. I did the exact same thing with a nicely framed engagement photo that was once hanging in my home. Hit a bit too close to home I guess. In another part of the movie Beth, is getting fitted for her dress to be in her sisters wedding. At some point in the hole digging, her sister realizes she is inadvertently insulting her about her newly single status and how it would be fine if she remained that way. So this leads me, in a rather long and drawn out way, to this next blog entry.

I guess if I was ever asked who knows me best I would say it would be my dad. He and I are definitely cut from the same mold. I find it funny when I am introduced to people and I am standing near my mom people always say, "Wow, you look so much like your mother" But then when they see me next to my dad and I open my mouth, there is no denying who's kid I am! I think the jury is still out on if this is a good thing. Ever since I was little my mom would dress me up in the cutest outfits with my hair all done up and send me out to play. I would then proceed to get myself into all kinds of trouble. Get stuck in a tree I apparently never should have been climbing. "Borrowing" materials to build our tree house (and my dad's tools-some things never change).

It's like we share a secret language. Most of which involves swearing at inanimate objects. My mom always yells at us for the way we "communicate" but we understand. It just is how we do things. We get loud. We loose our temper. We get it out and get over it. We are Irish.....I'm not sure what part of that she doesn't understand! Since as far back as I can remember my dad has always loved to teach me things and I love to learn. He was a teacher so I guess it just came naturally. He taught me how to play baseball most likely before I could walk. He has taught me so much about woodworking, art, tools and building, basic auto maintenance, even how to drive (thank god~if you have seen my mom drive) and the basic ability to look at something and figure out how it works. I am curious by genetics.

On this particular day I called my dad. We talk a lot. He's now retired and I know if I call during the day he actually gets to answer the phone. I cannot figure out how we got on the subject exactly, because as far as my parents are concerned, I have done no dating since living in Boston. I have learned, don't get them excited about someone who will most likely not be around very long. We started talking about my past relationships and how complete and utter failures the long term ones were. And here it comes....."Would it really be so bad if you never got married? Would you be any less happy and fulfilled?" Wow dad...thanks! I know he meant well. He raised me to be the way I am. At the same time he does know that I am looking for my perfect match. Though at this point, I'm not holding my breath. Yes, I admit. I am very happy person. I am painfully independent, self reliant and stubborn....why am I single again??? But the point is, he knows me. I can take care of myself. Always have, always will. The minute a guy in my life tries to "take care of me" I tend to revolt against it. I'm looking for a partner. Not a parent.

The most frustrating parts of being single usually are the moments when I completely loose it over a jar of salsa I can't seem to get open or a huge piece of furniture I feel the unrelenting need to move right that instant. It has nothing to do with being alone. I actually enjoy being alone. I hate having to "check in" when I want to go do something or loose track of time because I was off doing something only I would find interesting. I guess it is that feeling that you have one person you can always depend on. Would I be ok with being single forever?.....ya sure, but really not what I am after. It's going to take a hell of a tough guy to understand and except me for who I was raised to be.

Thank You Dad!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Karma Cameleon

My grandmother used to say something that I never really understood until a few years ago. "Be careful what you wish for, you may just get it". The circumstances that caused me to leave my design job in CT were ones that left me hoping for the day karma would be the judge of what was right and what was wrong.

Sometimes in life if you are patient, you will get to see karma happen. Other times you aren't that lucky, you just have to hope that people get what they deserve. Other times you are left scratching your head thinking "did I actually deserve that?" In the past few months I have gotten to actually see closure to some of the things that had felt unresolved. It may sound paranoid for those of you who did not actually see the story unfold but I was actually sabotaged by a co-worker. I was hoping for the day his true colors would come out and the rest of the world would see what he was truly made of. He was a volatile and spiteful man who would fight his way to success at the expense of others. When I got that call back in December it was the happiest day I can remember. I can honestly say, though it may seem selfish, bitter, angry and all other kinds of negative things, I was glad to see that his true character had been seen and that the punishment had been just. I now feel at peace.

Now I am faced with another bit of what I am affectionately calling "insta-karma". Usually things don't happen so quickly and so efficiently. Within a weeks time justice was served. But now I'm not really sure how I feel about it. I know I should be happy. One person had caused so much deliberate hurt among people who cared about him. Does he not deserve the result of his actions?

"Be careful what you ask for"...... I think this is my problem. I started this. It was my decision that made everything go pear shaped. If I had I not said anything, someone I have grown to have great respect for would be obliviously happy, one would have gotten away with the "perfect crime".....and me? I'm not sure. I know unhappy would have been on the list. I would have maintained a friend but a friend that thought lying to me and to someone he supposedly cared about was the right thing to do. I guess that is not a true friend. That same "friend" tried very hard to make me look like a fool and a bit of an electronic genius! I am guessing no matter what I decided I would never really trust him again and therefor the friendship was over. A huge part of me doesn't think this is the closure to the situation I was hoping for. Even when people get what they deserve, I am always left wondering "why?"

I guess because this was all so sudden and final my brain hasn't had a chance to think about the overall effect. I will say that I am a bit disappointed. I am always surprised when people aren't who I thought they were or who they said they were. I have been told that I believe a bit too much in the basic good of people. I am too trusting. I guess I can't help it. If I dwell on all of the bad experiences and the pain people I cared about have caused me I would never take risks. I would never get to know new people and there are currently so many people in my life that don't realize just how important they are to me. That alone is worth this risk. I will miss some of the good times I had with this friend, miss the potential for more and try not to harbor any ill will. I want to be able to look back and smile not look back in anger. Karma has done all that needed to be done.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Walk me through a bowl of cereal.....

I think I am lost. I keep looking at where I thought I'd be at 31 (and a smidgen more) years old. In art school I was so sure I wanted to be a graphic designer. Have a "cool" job designing album covers or something. Find a way to combine my two passions. Wow, what a world it would be. Marry my high school sweetheart and live happily ever after. Now, ten years after graduation I can't even recognize that girl.

I headed out into the real world all bright eyed and eager. I lasted a year and a half as a cube captive in the world of design. At the time I felt a bit important with my 2 am press approvals and what felt like huge amounts of responsibility. The only people I had contact with were vendors on the phone. Right then I realized I couldn't live my life chained to a desk....oddly, they realized the same. And so, I was laid off for the first time.

What to do? Continue on and be miserable or dump 4 years of school and break my parents hearts (in addition to their already pained bank account)? Well I floundered around a bit. Worked a bunch of odd jobs and met the love of my life. Right around that time I figured I'd follow in the family footsteps and head into teaching. Hummm...art teacher. That had a pretty nice ring to it! Being a gluten for punishment I was going to school for my teaching certification, working a job in retail and just then the world kinda went a bit wonky. The getto fab apartment I was living in was repo'd by the bank and we had to move. Jesus! I had just repainted the kitchen! The boyfriend had just moved in!

Again, what to do? I'm not really sure how I got to the point of crazy that I did, but buying a house seemed like a pretty great idea. I was getting tired of moving because all of these landlords couldn't manage their bills! So what started out as a casual perusal of the house listings became an all out search. On a whim my parents were driving by an open house one afternoon and thought they'd stop in. I got a call from my mom "You have got to get over here! You are going to love this place" Can I really live in a place my parents found? Can I make the decision about something this huge with my better half over seas? Buy a house without him ever seeing it? And just then, my life as I know it now was created. We bought the house. It was perfect. We were the typical 20 something couple, spending our weekends at the local Home Depot. One day, while trying to find the humor in our 7th trip that day, he made a joke about us being here so often maybe I should get a job here. I was looking for a new job and hell, if there was an employee discount.....

At my interview my ability to turn on a computer became my greatest asset and so a kitchen designer was born. Two and a half years, two states and two Home Depots later I was hooked! I had finally found my calling. I had all but abandoned by dreams of teaching. Art programs in public schools were being cut and things with the then fiance had gone from bad to worse. Designing at a big box store was not nearly as challenging as I had hoped. I was finally ready for bigger and better things. While living in Rhode Island, I answered an add online for a designer at a design/build firm back in CT. Back to the place I had run from and much of the same things I had left behind. Even stupidly, the same boy. Though things with him failed again, from then on I lived and breathed design. I had never been so happy in my life. Granted there were many days I would leave the office in tears (I worked for the devil) but this was the job I was born to do. After being with this company for around two years I finally had a following. Clients would request me. Refer me to their friends! I was making more money then I knew what to do with and doing something I would have done for free. How great is that!

Designing people's spaces is a tricky balance of budget and ego. Clients usually have champagne taste and a beer budget. Design is all about the presentation. Let the client lead you (or feel like they are leading you) figure out how to read what they really want (because they won't actually tell you) and figure out that the budget they have given you is not really what they want to spend, all while trying not to kill your project manager.

So one day a client comes in with her husband. The husbands rarely ever came. But when it was time to talk money, they were always there. So the husband sees what I have put together. The wife is ooo-ing and ahhh-ing. Gushing over the "materials" part of my presentation and the husband tries to see if this 20something actually knows her stuff. "So walk me through a bowl of cereal" he says. He's one of those engineer types we all dread but I was ready. We sat for the next what seemed to be an hour, talking about all of the necessities for making a bowl of cereal. Where the bowls were kept, is the cereal close enough to the spoons and so on. He was sold. I had so well planned the function of his space, he was ready to sign on the dotted line. Gosh I loved my job!

While the economy takes a plunge so does the design industry. I moved on from that firm to a firm here in Boston. Hoping for another challenge in life. I have since been laid off again. Looking back I have still not been as fulfilled as I was back then. I would not change my time in Boston for anything but I can not wait for the day I can be as proud of what I do and who I am as I was back then.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The life of a dog...

So it's currently 8:30 pm on a Tuesday it's snowing, I'm freezing (not uncommon) and I just managed to get home from work. I am a mid-afternoon captive of the MBTA for about 45 minutes to an hour to get to work on time. I have had a weird day, filled with missing the redline T by about 20 seconds, catching the next one only to have that one get stopped for a "random" security sweep and then finally get to the office about 20 minutes late.

Once entering the office, oddly thrilled to have actually arrived, I sit at my desk and.......nothing. DAMNIT! They have deleted me. There goes my day! I can't get on to any computer. You see, I do NOT work at Fort Knox, but apparently terrorists can take over the world with educational tools? One would assume (and yes, I do know that is always a bad decision) that working in a tech support department...perhaps someone could give me back my access so I can justify my existence????

Anywho...so after a day filled with cosmic signs to "stay in bed - don't even attempt to leave the house". I finally make it home. Where I am greeted by the most wonderful sight. My exceptionally lazy Golden Retriever hauling her plump self off couch. I can almost hear her saying "I did my job. Couch is warm". Now to get the full mental image you have to understand; I have had her for about 2 years now. She is around nine or ten years old and I rescued her from a rather miserable life of beatings and starvation. I had her for about two weeks before she "named herself". The agency had called her "Peaches". Really??? Who does that to a dog???

I believe it was the first time she fell. Over nothing. Literally nothing. Just fell. She falls up the stairs, she falls down the stairs. She turns her head too fast...WHACK! right into the wall....she falls out of the car, backwards and lays there with all fours up in the air like an awkward turtle. She falls out of bed. I catch her just sitting in the corner staring at the wall...ummmm...ok???? So right then and there Dazie was named. I thought at first maybe she was blind or maybe deaf...I can be right next to her calling her name and nothing. She truly is special....maybe that is what makes her so wonderful.

On this particular day, I get home as she is trying her best to get her old bones up, do her typical nose to tail stretch and gently hop off the couch. It is apparent by the condition of the rest of the house and her food and water bowl that she has most likely been there all day. Lucky dog. She walks slowly over to the door and greets me. When she is happy to see you but doesn't want to waste what little energy she has, she gets what I have affectionately called the "propeller tail" going. It looks just like that. The propeller on an old prop airplane. Instead of the typical back and forth excitement of a "typical dog", her tail goes slowly in circles like she is winding up for something. This is her superpower.

No matter how.....interesting.... my day has been, walking in the door and seeing Dazie waiting patiently for me to get home just makes it all worth it. I am very sure that on several occasions this blog will be filled with the odd adventures, rants and raves that follow my days with Daz!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Day One.....Why am I doing this again?

So here I am finding the need to be expressive. In the past couple of days I have learned a lot about myself. Mostly, when I have something to say...I just have to get it out there. So this is the name of my new blog.

I have been told on more than one occasion that I should hit the road on a comedy tour. I was also asked if I had given any though to writing. Hummmm.... Maybe this is just what I needed? I promise, this will get funny. Not at the moment though. That's just not where the past few weeks have left me. I guess the bizarre things that happen around me, to me or that I manage to get myself into are just hilarious or that I try to find humor in everything to avoid loosing my mind. My latest adventure is one of......I fight to not use the word "epic" proportions... but it is really the best word for the situation. So this lesson as I am going to, from now on, refer to as the "event" is not one based on the hilarious nature of life, just the basis for which I am starting to blog.

I often pride myself in being outspoken. That is a bit of a double edge sword. As much as I am blunt, I can sometimes be harsh in my truths. I have been putting a real effort into saying things in a manner that will not leave the mental image of comic strip "pealing tires" in my head. Basically said: I'm really trying not to piss people off. I seem to be failing in this new character building exercise because in this attempt I am actually loosing the ability to communicate. I am, far too often, leaving people scratching their heads saying "What the hell was that girl trying to say? I want that 5 minutes of my life back!"

So in this "event" I got myself, unknowingly, in the middle of two people. I will refrain from details because that is not the relevant information here. The interesting portion, or the part that made me pay closer attention to myself is that while trying to do the right thing and confess my sins, I had sugar coated the things I didn't want to say so much that my point never actually got out there! Where is it that "I" have gone? I guess I need to get back out the "bitch boots" to go along with the "big girl pants" I was told I needed. (Yes Patty, this one's for you=) Have I gone soft in my old age? Have I been beaten down so much that I am afraid to say what needs to be said? Hurmph....not liking this so much.

Something else that I knew about myself but had not actually seen in full force in quite sometime...I am extremely defensive when it comes to my honesty. If I am being called a liar to my face, I will fight to the death to prove that what I am saying is the truth. At the very least the truth as I see it. There are two sides to every story, but when hard facts are involved, no matter how bad telling the truth may make me look, I will tell it. It is much easier to beg for forgiveness when screwing up than it is to get caught in a lie. I treat honesty as a sign of friendship. I once read and now live by "I'm not sure what hurts the most; being lied to or knowing you weren't worth enough to be told the truth" The ability to admit when you have screwed up is is truest and most wonderfully humbling experiences and shows a true vulnerability and openness in a relationship. Oh crap...I have gone soft.....

In this incident it was not the outcome that so much mattered to me. I was truly the idiot that got herself stuck smack in the middle. It was more that I was told if I was believed, that "X" would happen. My curiosity for knowing if or not "X" happened was based on my need to be believed. It is entirely possible I got a little carried away by the end......

In an effort to not need people to buy a map, a compass, a full set of cliff notes and a box of bread crumbs (just incase) I will now try harder to be clear AND polite...crap...now it is in writing...I think I may be in trouble here ;)