Saturday, July 18, 2009

Belief in Control

I’m a control freak. Who isn’t right? I have tried to convince myself otherwise, but it’s no use. I LIKE the power of being in control. I want to believe I can be spontaneous and go with the flow. You know what I’m referring to - step up to the plate of life and take that curve ball, roll with the punches, let yourself go…

But there are certain moments in life where I can’t. I’m only human.

That all-too-familiar-out-of-control feeling washed over me this morning. I awoke to a state of domestic chaos: clean laundry sitting in a basket for five days, my hair products randomly splayed over the bathroom counter, and empty alcohol containers dotting every room of the 1,000 square foot box I call my home. I felt overwhelmed, out of balance, and was in a state of gut-wrenching nausea.

Not even strutting around my apartment in a favorite pair of heels could provide me with relief from the squeamish feeling. I was to the point of writhing on floor loco and pulling my hair out. I was on the verge of madness and teetering on the brink of insanity.

So I did what any person would do. I broke down and succumbed to my addiction. I put on a pair of my favorite jeans, a 20 year old faded GAP sweatshirt, and did the only thing I knew would make me feel level again…

I hadn’t even brushed my teeth. My hair resembled a starling’s nest of snarls that was going to take 20 minutes of effort to untangle. Even as a lover of the game of golf, I was oblivious to the Open championship droning over the TV in the other room. The only thing that felt right was meshing two pieces of vinyl together in the most beautiful of melodies.

I turned the headphone volume up to the point where my ears itched with impending hearing loss. Bass was pumping through my veins as I made love to the decks. A smile slowly spread across my face, and I knew EXACTLY what I needed to hear. I proceeded to remove my headphones and dig feverishly through a stack of vinyl. I was on a mission, a mission to find my anthem. I was in search of a record which came into my possession long ago, which will remain coveted for the rest of my life, and will never be returned to its rightful owner.

Jocelyn Brown. Oh yes, I DO believe that I can find a way…

I lifted the record out of the stack and turned it over in my hands. This was it. This was just what I needed. This WAS my auditory form of Xanax and security blanket. I KNEW this perfectly round 12” object was what I needed to relieve my state of unrest.

I pulled the disc from its jacket and placed it on the turntable. I knew relief was only moments away…

I placed the headphones comfortably over my ears and lifted the needle gently on to the spinning record. The track’s baseline kicked in instantly. I melted in state of sheer liberation as I began to physically move with the beat of the music. I felt balance being restored to my person as Jocelyn’s voice began to infiltrate my ears. I passionately lip-synced the lyrics and threw my arms forward pointing to the intangible obstacles of life that lie in front of me.

“You can’t sleep at night, thinking about the problems you face. And the friends you thought you could count on, they just get in your way. So when you wake up in the morning, all you gotta do is say to yourself, “Today will be the day I make it. ‘Cause I don’t need anyone else.”

“If you believe, you’ll find a way…”

Empowered, I removed the headphones refreshed to be running on a full tank of sanity. I brushed my teeth, untangled my mane and made short order of the laundry. I strapped on my favorite pair of heels and headed out the door to tackle the world. As I pulled the door closed and stood in the hallway of my building, I had a moment of reflection: If we stop and think about it, there are points in ALL of our lives where we feel out of control. The secret is having the power to believe there is a way to restore your own balance.

I’m grateful that I believe in mine.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Ever Been Pissed the F*ck Off???

I don’t normally drive into work, but yesterday I had to. I had the most pressing appointment. I had to meet with my aesthetician.

What is an aesthetician? Well, if you don’t know then perhaps you should use your Wiki skills and find out; because I refuse to go into all that with you at this juncture.

I left well before my appointment time; approximately 40 minutes. Don’t even try and doubt me, I’ve done this before. As a fabulous Diva who is aware of aesthetic upkeep, I attend without fail every six weeks. It’s the most religious I have ever been since I was forced to go to church every Sunday during childhood.

Unfortunately the city of Madison decided that now was a good time to tear University Avenue the fuck up; it’s THE major thoroughfare that leads you into the west-side from downtown. At the present moment,University Avenue is comparable to the former Yugoslavia in the 1990's.

I had maneuver carefully through the aforementioned war zone littered with orange barrels which were strategically placed like land mines. Oh, but wait... I also proceeded to hit every fucking red light on University Avenue. I can’t recall how many there were, but what I CAN tell you is that I became so enraged that at the intersection of one University Avenue and Allen Boulevard, I became unglued.

It was the most guttural scream I have been able to muster in a good many years. I was ready for a fight, pugnacious, belligerent, and pissed-the-fuck-off. I had a bad case of the road rage. Right then and there, what I wanted to do was punch somebody square in the fuck’n face; but there was no face in the passenger seat next to me to punch. Fuck.

And so I screamed…

I’m sure someone heard my angry bellow at least five miles away. It was loud and with such force it made me cough as hard as taking my first gravity bong hit in my formative years.


I banged my fists upon the Acura’s steering wheel. I threw my entire body weight forward screaming my war cry. This was not fair. This was not fair I tell you. I gave the ‘what-the-fuck-hand’ at least ten times and cursed all those who had chosen not to go 20 miles an hour over the speed limit. I was ready to throw on the parking break, jump out of my ride and fuck up the soccer mom who was driving the Dodge mini-van behind me.

But I didn’t. I kept my composure. Well, sort of. Even though it took me 35 fucking minutes to travel seven, I repeat, seven fucking miles to my appointment.


Shit fucking happens.

Thanks for listening.

Summer Love and Simple Pleasures 7/13/09

Life is full of simple pleasures; a good laugh, sleeping in on a Sunday morning, lazing in a hammock, clean sheets, orgasms, chocolate, giving the bird to the ass hole driver that just cut you off…

And a four shot cappuccino when you have a hellacious hangover.

I awoke this past Wednesday morning as I do every Wednesday morning in the summer months; hung-the-fuck-over from drinking too much beer the night before while hacking a little white ball over perfectly manicured pastures. I know better. I’m a far cry from the days of old where I could drink men three times my size under the table. Sad, I know… And yet every week I return to the course with that dreamy look in my eye for the Capital and its tasty varieties of brewed barley and hops.

My rapport with the Capital has all the earmarks of a bad relationship; a destructive dance where I keep repeating the same vicious patterns of behavior. I know I need to break the cycle, but I can’t. I can’t tear myself away from the thirst-quenching, head-fogging, delicious summer swill. To feel the aluminum in my hand, the condensation sweating down its perfect cylinder and the calming effect it has on my presence as I bask in the glory of a summer afternoon…

Ah yes, to be so head-over-heels in love with a simple pleasure that in the end gives me immense pain and does NOT respect me in the morning.

When I wake on Wednesday mornings in the summer months I curse myself for giving into my Capital lover and its deceitful ways. I make a pact to change, that I will never, ever go back to the Capital. It has hurt me for the last time and I have indeed learned my lesson. I’m longing for a different lover in the early light of a summer Wednesday. It is a hero; one that will pick me up and provide comfort in my time of need. A sweet lover that wraps its warm arms around me, picks me up and will grant me clarity to carry on with my plight.

Ah yes, my four shot cappuccino, you provide such a simple pleasure and possess the qualities comparable to that of a great lover. I yearn for you doused heavily with sugary sweetness and your frothy 2% foam. I need you; you are my rebound to the night of debauchery with the Capital. I shall take the cappuccino and shall damn the Capital from my life forever…

However, I must apologize in advance my cappuccino, for the Capital will come calling again. The Capital will hunt me down, make me weak at the knees, and seductively call my name until I succumb to its precarious ways. The Capital has the qualities of the dangerous lover and drives me wild with excitement. I cannot say no to the Capital; its magnetic power exploits my vulnerabilities that forces me denounce all of my common sense…

I love you cappuccino, and I will need to call on you again in the near future, but my love for the Capital will always trump you as the simplest of my summer pleasures.

Boogers and Layoffs 5/28/2009

I’ve been lying in wait for new blog topics for a brief stint, on the prowl for blog worthy material. I’ve been hungry for the chance to hear the soothing sounds of my fingers typing, to experience the euphoria of placing my thoughts into typewritten text, to share with you my take on life.

Don’t get me wrong; I’ve stumbled across great substance in the past few weeks. I’ve had many adventures; I went home to see my family, spent some time with good Madisonians, partook in plenty of interesting conversations… One with a crazy fool hopped up on caffeine and chew standing over University Avenue on a pedestrian bridge. I’ve almost licked rehabbing a broken ankle and certifiably returned to the golf course. Yes. You could say I have a plethora of starting points from which to compose a great blog.

But my style of blogging has evolved to a point where I am in a constant state of trying to marry totally random topics together.

For example; boogers and layoffs.

Boogers. Oh yes. The bat in the cave, the flapper, the avalanche, the dry ones, the snotty/sticky/wet ones, and even those little nuggets of gold on which we try to strike it rich when no one is looking.

Boogers are random and will strike out of nowhere. You could be doing anything; washing your car, riding the bus, attending a staff meeting at work, ass parked on the couch watching the idiot box, having wild sadomasochistic animal sex in the basement of a stranger’s home. Boogers can and will catch you off your guard, blindside you and take you at a moment’s notice. Boogers do not discriminate; they are an equal opportunity bodily annoyance.

Boogers have the ability, certainly, to be untimely; especially when faced with a situation where you can’t immediately put an end to your personal booger madness. While talking to a co-worker you suddenly notice that all-too-familiar tickle in your right nostril. Fuck. At this very moment you become well aware of the booger’s presence. In an instant you are no longer interested in what Sally has to say about the filth in the office refrigerator. You revert back to your basic needs, you’re looking out for number one, you’re hoping that this will be one of those situations in which your brain decides to pitch in… and will eat that booger for you. You sure as hell don’t want Sally’s office gossip Du Jour to turn into the dried wad of mucus that decided to park itself on your top lip during this conversation.

You become dreadfully uncomfortable and begin to twitch and squirm as if someone has handed you the pink slip with your impending date of termination. You try not to panic, you try to play it cool, Sally CANNOT come to the realization that you are teetering on the verge of flushing your self-confidence down your personal toilet.

My morning at Vilas Hall was like any other morning. I made a pot of coffee, checked my email, and prioritized a hefty to-do list. And then, just like that booger, I was given the most untimely of news. My last day of employment will be the fourth of January next year. When I was told of the impending date I tried not to panic. I put on my best Oscar winning performance and hoped to hell that the academy didn’t notice. I was leering over my personal toilet with the taste of vomit in my mouth.

I felt caught off guard, blindsided, and could not imagine a more inopportune time to be faced with unemployment. I sure as fuck didn’t care at that moment about installing the new version of Microsoft Office on an employee’s PC; I reverted to thinking about how I was going to put a roof over my head in seven short months.

Although the news was dire, I am hopeful that this employment booger, which has only just reared it’s crusty self at the top of my professional nostril, will be saved by my wealth of knowledge, experience and talents that I have to offer to any potential employer. I’d rather have my fellow colleagues be discussing the up and coming office potluck, not the fact that the IT Diva of Vilas Hall is in search of a job.

No Filter 4/30/09

It’s that time of year again; where the undergrads on campus are beginning to bore their annoying ways under my epidermis and my seasonal allergies have caused my proboscis to continually drip like a leaky faucet.

I decided that perhaps it was time to refill my Rx since the only other way to stop the drippy nose syndrome was to shove Kleenex up my nostrils. Luckily, there is a Walgreens within hobbling distance of my office where I could acquire the precious serum needed to live a normal life during allergy season. And no, the Kleenex solution is NOT an option.

I picked up the tele and phoned in the Rx. Sweet. I was given the affirmative that it would indeed be ready in 15 short minutes. Coincidentally this would be the same amount of time it would take me to drag myself and my Darth Vader leg across the courtyard to the University Square druggist.

The pharmacy at this particular Walgreens is set up a little different than what I am used to. Instead of the cheaply lit fluorescents with one separate window for drop-off and one for pick-up, this space is brightly lit with what seems to be natural lighting and contains several alcoves that remind me of teller windows at a bank. The space behind the counter was vacant, not a soul to be found.

I stand four feet away from the counter, dead center of the many drug-dealing bays. I'm ready to pounce upon the first human that arrives to assist me; but wait, I turn to my right and notice that there is an approaching undergrad. Not a split second later a young woman appears out of the sea of pills behind the counter inquiring to us both, “May I help you?”

Immediately, time slows to a crawl, exactly like in those showdown or impending doom scenes from a movie.The undergrad takes half a step towards the counter and I turn to face her front on with the “what-the-fuck-are-you-doing-I-was-here-first” sneer plastered across my mug. In an instant the undergrad and I were no longer standing in the University Square Walgreens, we were transported to another place and time. I was expecting tumble weeds, dust and the Wild West showdown whistle to chime in at any second…

The undergrad opens her mouth and words spill out nauseatingly like the stench of rotten animal carcass from a garbage can. That uppity, Gen-Y, self-righteous, my-parents-are-footing-the-bill tone with the East-Coasty accent, “Were you waiting?” She wore an annoyed look as though she never had to want or wait for anything in her privileged life.

I decided that perhaps, in this instance, I will let the devil win out. The devil who perches upon my shoulder and whispers nasty, caddy, scathing remarks into my ear. The nasty, caddy, scathing remarks that I am forced to filter several times a day.

Instead of playing the Midwestern game of passive/aggressive behavior, i.e. I’ll say nothing and bitch about it later; I drew my guns, gave her the up and down and retorted in a dead-pan fashion, “No, they pay me $20 an hour to stand here and look pretty.”

I then started toward the counter, head held high in triumph, to take my rightful place in the two person line. But the devil wasn’t finished and the filter was still in the off position…A step and a half later, I turned my head and glanced back at the undergrad with the look of pure evil in my eyes. In a Gen-X, I’ve-been-working-for-the-man-since-before-you-were-born, sticky-sweet, stinging dagger reactive way I added, “Oh, I’m sorry, that was rather snarky of me now, wasn’t it???”

I hope she was able to smell my Jasmine and Lavender shampoo as I snapped my head back around; my long locks flying through the air barely missing the look of utter dismay on her nineteen year old face.

I paid for my drugs and hobbled back to work, coming to the conclusion that obviously it’s that time of year. The time of year where those of us who work year round on campus are anxious for the majority undergrads to leave for the four month summer hiatus. Yours truly is feeling the itch, and is also grateful that the drippy nose syndrome is on the wane.

Rehab Numero Uno 4/28/09

This past Monday I made my virgin visit to what other injured folks have referred to as the “Physical Terrorist”. No, no; they are inherently not malicious individuals and their intensions are for the best. Their goal is to see one fully rehabilitate from any injury and I fully believe that PT personnel do have your best interests in mind.
I have a plethora of exercises to perform in order to get my leg back to full working status. According to the Orthopedic surgeon, the two plates, three pins and six screws that lie beneath the shallow surface of the skin of my ankle are now being absorbed by my fibula. I’m ready to rebuild the leg that I call Rome.
As a side note on the hardware/fibby; I derived great pleasure a few days ago when I told my two sisters and mother that I would hold them at gun point the next time we rendezvoused… I would make them touch the screw sitting at a 30 degree angle that you can clearly see the outline just above the ankle bone. To which they replied, “EWWWWW, GROSSSSSSSSS!!!! I’LL PUKE!!!”
Of course, I laughed hysterically.
I did give up the scooter, however, the nicknames have stuck. That’s quite alright. I’ll just chalk these up as terms of endearment. The rehab process is more arduous than riding around upon my aluminum steed. It’s painful, it’s sore, it at times feels as if there is a group of indigenous peoples from a foreign land poking red-hot needles into the bottom of my foot during a right of passage ceremony. As long as I get my leg back, I guess I’ll join the ranks of those who follow the, “No pain, no gain,” mentality.
Walking for a week I figured it was time to try my hands (and leg) at the manual transmission. I was ready. I was psyched. The leg was ready. John and I were at the local grocery mart; I didn’t care about food. I cared about driving the car home. The groceries were loaded. I got in the driver’s seat; I clicked the seat forward to my bodily specifications. I took a deep breath. I can do this. I can drive this car. I can drive this car NOW.
Hell yes. I made sure the parking brake was on. I put the shifter in neutral. I placed my hands at ten and two. I looked forward through the windshield with determination; I would conquer this task as though it were a computer with a run-of-the-mill Trojan virus at work. I was ready.
I couldn’t even depress the clutch into the floor half way. I was devastated. I felt deflated like that balloon that you tried to hold onto during your sixth birthday and the helium leaked out and sunk to the floor within a day and a half. I almost broke down but I didn’t. I said aloud, “Fuck” and with a bowed head retreated to the passenger seat; where I have been since the fourth of February.
If I can say, at this moment, I was thinking something so rudimentary.
“This is fucking stupid.”
And it was. I knew I wasn’t ready. My left calf muscle is still the meat the vultures wouldn’t pick if the nuclear holocaust were to happen.
But I am determined. I will be ready soon. I will find you. You will see me at a stop light and I will look over to you with the, ‘Do you want to drag’ snarl. I will blow you off the line like a NASCAR driver under the influence pure adrenalin racing for the win. You will fear me. You will.


Ahhhh, the Onion. The use of profanity in this little clip is rampant... If you enjoy satire and swearing as much as I, I highly recommend spending the 2 minutes and 23 seconds to view this little ditty.