Organize My Days

It took me fifteen minutes to pick between a red faux alligator print or the silver. Both were similar in style. What was inside certainly was the same; 52 weeks, 365 days. Blank spaces waiting to be planned. Kind of like life, in a way. A blank slate, waiting for life to happen.

January 2, 2009. Dinner and drinks with Kevin and Katie.

I remember that night. I had sushi for dinner with my old coworkers, one of whom an old fling. Other guests included young girls, teenagers practically, who had taken over my old job. I felt old. I had way too much to drink. We went bar hopping. I let a man probably in his early 50’s buy me a drink and chatted with him way too long. I stumbled home and threw up sushi into my kitchen sink. Seaweed doesn’t digest very well. I don’t remember much of the night. I woke up the next morning terribly hung over, my father laughing at me when he arrived to help set up my new furniture.

I pondered the size of it. Did I want something small and compact, that I could easily carry around with me? Or did I want something that could hold more? More plans, more things to do. I fingered the soft leather of one, but liked the metallic colors better. I checked and re-checked prices.

February 27, 2009. Meeting in AC. Cubicle Shuffle.

I used to joke that I worked in the coat closet. My cubicle was located right off of the kitchen, in a sliver of space that also housed the coat closet. I would see everyone come in, I would see everyone leave. I could see my boss come in and out of his office. It made me the perfect target for playing secretary. I hated it. We were supposed to go to this big pep meeting in our other office. It was supposed to help raise our spirits during the tough economy. Instead we changed the cubicles around and I got a nicer, larger cubicle. One that I would rarely use. Barely 7 days later we found out our pay was being slashed, three people were laid off and suddenly I was playing front desk receptionist.

In the end I went with the silver, the same model as last years only a different color. I worried that maybe I had gotten the wrong one. I’m funny like that with my daily planners. It’s silly, really. To worry that your planner is perfect. It probably sat on my dresser for three days before I took off the packaging.

March 22, 2009. Amazing Race @ Jen’s-6:30. *Ice & Dessert*

My coworkers Steph, Jen and I discovered one day that we all loved Amazing Race. We decided that every week, we would take turns hosting a dinner party at our respective apartments to watch the show together. This was the first one. I can’t even remember the dessert I brought. I think it was No Pudge Fudge brownies, with frosting on top to totally cancel out the fact that it was supposed to be healthier. I had gotten into making that around that time of year. We had our favorite teams and it was a highlight of an incredibly depressing spring.

Last year’s was purple. I picked it up from Borders, the same place I got mine this year. It was on sale for three dollars and I couldn’t resist. It wasn’t my favorite but everything had been picked through. I immediately started filling in the plans. All the dinner and drink plans. All the dates. I can’t even remember who they were, what they looked like. If I liked them or not. They have names like Jack, or Blaine or Dave. I dated a lot of guys while I lived in NYC. My 2008 planner had even more dates, more drinks with random men. But I don’t remember them.

June 10, 2009. Shakespeare in the Park. DUD.

My coworker Jen was laid off the Thursday before. I sat in the receptionist desk right outside the conference room while her and David got let go. They didn’t shut the door so I wouldn’t hear, they didnt lower their voices. Even when David asked if it was OK that I was privy to this. They didn’t care. I remember Jen’s face when I went back to her cubicle afterwards. She had the biggest smile on her face as she loaded up her box. This is the happiest day of my life. We made plans for 8am to meet on line. We arrived way too late for Shakespeare in the Park so we sat on the grass in the park and ate the picnic we prepared for ourselves in the sun. We talked about LEED, about what Jen was going to do. I had just broke the news to them earlier in the week about my quitting so we talked about that for a while. We walked south through the park and split up at the base. I bought a book at Strand’s small shop along 5th Avenue.

I write down the silliest things in my planner. Gym schedules. Reminding myself to take a run through the park. Get eyeliner! Lost season finale :(. Do your laundry already. Grocery lists for Trader Joe’s. Make your big meal for the week. QUIT YOUR JOB! Send Conor a birthday card. (I never did). Don’t forget to pack your iPod and camera charger. Phone charger too! Go yell at Verizon. My new camera arrives! I BOUGHT MY PLANE TICKET TO GERMANY!! I wonder if I thought I’d look over it later and actually listen to myself.

August 3, 2009. Lobster Dinner @ Monika’s!

I officially moved out of my apartment on July 27th. That left me hopping around, apartment to apartment. First I stayed with my bestie, Lauren in midtown. She had a cute little puppy chihuahua, Paisley, and we spent friday in our pajamas watching old episodes of The O.C. I then went to stay in Williamsburg for a week with Monika, my beautiful polish friend from F.I.T. and her cat Puka, which means Fluffy in Polish. The cat hates me. But I liked tormenting her a little bit too. Hiss. One night we decided we were going to make lobster. My friend Pearl sent me YouTube videos of how cruel it is to kill lobsters by boiling them. We were boiling them anyway. We took pictures with our lobsters.

I love to look back through the pages at what I had done, at what I had accomplished. Most things were just small, like drinks with friends, a dinner here, a brunch there. August through November were filled with big things. The thursday before I flew to Europe, I wrote in big letters: DDAY and underlined it. Then there was my trip. Plane to Munich! Overnight train to Berlin. Ferry to Norway. Flight to Scotland. Ferry to Amsterdam. Bought my plane ticket to Morocco! Overnight bus to Paris. HOME 😦 😦 😦 December is depressingly blank.

Another year has come and another planner with it. It’s blank now but will soon be filled with plans for the big move across the country, plans with friends in Colorado. Interviews for jobs (hopefully). A trip to Vegas. To Wyoming. To New York. Countless dinners and drinks. Parties and events. It always makes me feel important to pull out my planner and “check plans.” To look like my life is actually organized. That my days have structure.

Right now, my days consist of staying in my pajamas all day and watching episodes of HGTV’s House Hunters. Not quite exciting fodder for my planner. I have high hopes, though.

Boots with the furrrrr

These are my new snow boots I got for christmas:

Cute right?

Now this is my new theme song every time I wear them:

It Isn’t Christmas Until Someone Throws Up.

First of all, Merry Christmas! That’s a very young me on Santa’s lap circa 1984 and I’m pretty sure that must have been my dentist since we were at his office, sitting in that dreaded chair.

Last night was our big family dinner. By big? I mean my grandfather, his wife, and my Great-Uncle joined my parents, my brother and I. Usually it involves my mom’s entire side of the family (which means DRAMA) but this year people called in sick with excuses like they had to work during the day or their neighbors were having something so they were feeling lazy and just going there.

Fine. Whatever. I’ll hang out with the old folks for a night.

Sounds kind of boring, right? Except that my grandfather, who is very Italian and likes to think he’s Frank Sinatra,  can be quite the character and my Great Uncle…well “character” doesn’t even begin to describe him. The evenings festivities included deciding that my grandpa and I are going to write his memoirs, listening to my Grandpa sing Christmas carols (that he made up. I tell ya, Frank Sinatra wannabe), and trying to keep my Great Uncle from discussing politics.

There they are sitting by the tree that I picked out and that finally got decorated two days before Christmas. Poor thing.

Theres the rest of the crew sitting by the fire on the opposite side of the tree. Isn’t the back of my brother’s head nice? He resisted having his picture taken.

We ate a ton of good food–lasagne and italian sausage, I ate too much possibly bad cheese and got violently ill, revisiting everything I ate that evening. This lead to lying around the rest of the evening moaning to myself about how I was “dying.” I’m kind of dramatic.

Besides my little foray into death, I did learn the secret ingredients in my Italian Great-Grandmom’s pasta sauce, heard some interesting stories about my Great-Grandpa delivering turkeys in his truck during the Depression, and how my grandmother’s maiden name is German for bag and how that last name is plastered all over Women’s bathrooms for the sanitary napkins to be placed into. That’s just…special.

The evening was capped off by a game of Balderdash that I perked up just enough for a game and a half, before everyone took off. If you’re not familiar with that game, you get a word and a definition and the rest have to make up a definition and decipher which is the correct definition.  The first time I played this game we used a dictionary and kept track of the score by points. This game had little figures you moved around a board, but same concept I suppose!

Some definitions that stood out included: “the beginning form of leprosy that is caused by eating a lot of bad cheese.” (That was aimed at me. Thanks, brother.) and “Dhole: The disowned son of Bob Dole who could never spell his last name right.”

Here’s a picture of my uncle unable to contain his laughter trying to read the definition that involved leprosy:

And no my Uncle is not freakishly tiny, my brother is really just that much bigger than my uncle. Than all of us, really. Whenever I see a picture of him with any of us, it always looks like he’s been photoshopped in at the wrong scale.

At around midnight we decided oh what the hey, lets open some presents. Or how about all the presents? Who wants to wait til Christmas morning? Apparently, not us.

Except there was a small problem. I hadn’t wrapped ANY of my presents (I know, I was supremely lazy yesterday.) and two of my presents? Were on my computer, still waiting to be burned onto a CD.  Whoops.

Besides the unwrapped presents and late hour and the fact that I was still not feeling great, we had a good time opening gifts. I got a new pair of snow boots, a nice purse, some sweaters, two books (including Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by my new favorite author, Jonathan Safran Foer. Can’t wait to read it!), a Julia Childs cookbook, the requisite socks (but surprisingly, no pajamas. Every year I usually get a pair of pajamas because my mother never approves of the shirt and yoga pants I always wear. I guess she just gave up this year.) and a gorgeous white leather, huuuuuge jewelry box, which I’ve already filled to almost capacity. I have a lot of jewelry, what can I say?

I hope everyone enjoyed their Christmas and that Santa was as good to you as he was to me! 🙂

Curiosity Will Kill This Cat

So my parents had four cats right? They all have different forms of neurosis: one hunts, one thinks she can attack dogs, one ate itself to death (i’m not joking. TO DEATH), and one…well…I hate to say this. But he’s retarded. In the “got sick when he was a kitten” kind of retarded that morphed into Oh don’t mind him, he’s just our cute, adorable, slow cat.

Sad, really.

You know how you have to hold out your hand to a strange cat so they can sniff you to trust you? You have to do this EVERY time with him, he has no idea who any of us are after about 30 seconds.

He has curiosity like none other though and is constantly finding himself in sticky situations. Like the first day we got him home from the shelter and he climbed the beams in the barn. AND I HAD TO RESCUE HIM. Silly little cat has no balance whatsoever and almost plummeted to death. He’s gotten stuck in numerous garages that don’t even belong to us and I have received several calls from the parents telling me that Roger has been missing for days and they think that this time he’s really not coming back.

He emerges every time. Dusty, yes. Confused, you betcha. Alive, somehow.

He can be humorous: he likes to imitate our killer cat, Daisy–in fact I’m pretty sure he has a full blown cat crush on her. He will take animals she’s killed and play with them. While not that humorous, it is when you consider he has NO IDEA what he’s doing. He just thinks its fun. Once, we caught him with a wing sticking out of his mouth.

We all were shocked–HE CAUGHT SOMETHING! We of course yelled at him to drop it and he opened his mouth, and a bird flew away. Sure he caught it, he just….didn’t kill it. Key components to hunting, Roger. KEY. COMPONENTS.

But eventually his curiosity is going to kill him (luckily not in the way Lily, our cat-dog almost got herself killed. She attacked a dog. Not just any dog, but a GIANT SCHNAUZER. Do you know how big those are? Yeah, Lily, not your brightest hour). Or he will outlive all of us. Somehow.

He really is the sweetest cat though, very loving and likes to hold hands (i’m not joking, if he’s lying on the couch with you, he has to put his paw on your hand. Its adorable) and will cuddle with you. Up until the point when he forgets who you are.

And now, I sound like an old, spinster cat lady. Maybe I am?

Can you see the confusion?