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Monthly Archives: March 2009

…can you ever just be “whelmed”?

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Well, I’m slowly but surely getting more settled into my new apartment. At times I feel like it’ll be just like that last place: never unpacked, never finished, never home. But I really want it to be different. I spent about 3 or 4 hours yesterday after work trying to get some stuff done. I organized the bathroom, put away clothes, hung up my sheers in my bedroom…definitely made some headway.

I’ve developed this unwanted feeling over the years, however, that always settles in whenever I move. I think: Don’t get too comfortable; you won’t be here forever. I know I won’t be here forever, but who’s to say I won’t be here for a few years, at least? I mean, I like Birmingham. A lot. I think that while I was in college, that was a definite thing—I knew where I would be and what I’d be doing for about 4-5 years. And I’ve never renewed a lease on an apartment because something always happens and I have to move anyway, which is why I think I always feel so temporary.

I’m really trying to work on myself this year and my whole outlook. I always seem to get so overwhelmed by things because I either try to take on too many things at once, or I have so much in my head that I get bogged down thinking about all the things I’ll never be able to do or flat-out won’t do. I forget so many things, too…I need to focus more on the right here and right now and not think too far ahead and enjoy what’s going on currently.

For example…I keep thinking about fixing my apartment. Then I think about how I want things on the walls. Then I think about putting pictures up. Then I start thinking about all the pictures I want to print out and frame. Then I think “I’d better get those together.” Then I tell myself to keep reminding myself to do it, but then I say, “No, there are so many other more important things.” Then I see something I want somewhere, and I think I don’t have any money to waste on those things; maybe another day. Then I go in someone else’s nice apartment and think that my place will never look as good as theirs, so why bother…it’s enough to give someone a really big headache.

There are always just so, so many thoughts racing around in my head. Lately I’ve been just trying to narrow it down to the most important ones. Set things out in tasks, and then just complete them as I can, in an orderly fashion. I worry a lot about work, too…I know what’s going on with the economy and the world (somewhat), but—sad as it sounds—I’m trying not to think about it. I want to feel protected in my little Summer bubble, and not think about it because I know if I do, I’ll get really depressed and won’t be able to think about anything else.

pack it up, pack it in, let me begin…

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…actually, it’s pretty much the opposite of that right now: I have a massive amount of unpacking to do right now. And as much as it sucks to have an apartment full of boxes, it’s also kind of fun. I like being able to go through every single thing I own…I find lost items (the top to my grandmother’s tea kettle!), throw things away (stacks of old magazines), and basically just take inventory of all the crap I consider to be so important that I’ve brought over to my new place. I’m trying at the moment to go from room to room, unpacking boxes and decided what goes where. I’m just ready to make it a home, like put stuff on the walls and make it feel like it’s mine. The last place I was in, I hardly did that at all, and I never quite felt comfortable there. This place just feels more inviting.

But it’s been a tough weekend. Let me just recap a little…

My dad took a half-day from work on Friday to drive up and help me with a few things. He was going to take my washer and dryer back home that evening (I have no hook-ups in the new place) so we wouldn’t have to worry about it on Saturday. It just so happens that we practically had a monsoon. My dad called me the night before to tell me there was a 100% chance of rain. Excellent. At least we were prepared. He came up anyway, and we went to lunch and to sign my lease.

As I said, it rained and poured. But after about 45 minutes of signing and reading and listening, the ink was dry on my new lease, and the keys to my new apartment were in my hand. My father and I braved the rain to go check it out. He’d been pretty skeptical, but when he saw it, his face said it all: He loved it. Feeling a bit of relief, we trudged back out to the car to head back to my old place. We decided in the end it would just be best to get the washer and dryer the next afternoon, when he and my sister would be heading up to help me out.

He dropped me off, and I began the laborious task of finishing my packing. It was fortunate that I’d started early, but it seems you never start early enough. J came over, and we continued to box things up, emptying drawers and gingerly wrapping up knickknacks. Sometime after nine, we began loading boxes into the car, hoping to do a little preemptive moving. Trying to be respectful of my neighbors, we stepped lightly and began working in a sort of assembly line manner. I soon realized how incredibly out of shape I am. Huffing and puffing, I carried box after box down the stairs to the front door, where J was traversing back and forth from the car to the apartment. When we could hold no more, we headed over, stopping at the Waffle House for some dinner.

Of course, it started pouring pretty much right after we put the last box in the car. Smiling at my good luck, I put the key in the ignition and prepared to leave. Then I remembered—the new apartment keys were still inside. Cursing myself and my slippery mind, I put my hood up on my jacket and sprinted back up the stairs (three small flights) to get the forgotten keys.

After dinner, we unloaded the cars in the new apartment and headed back for more. We made two trips and decided to call it a night. It was almost 3am.

My dad and sister arrived sometime around 10am the next day. We had some light, drizzly rain and a chilly wind, but it wasn’t so bad. We broke for lunch and pressed onward as the rain grew heavier. When my family left, it was freezing outside, and there was still much to do inside. I was determined, though, to leave that place for good and not have to come back at all. It was almost 4am when we got back to my new apartment…and I still had to return to the old one for my vacuum and a bag of clothes that needed to go to the Goodwill.

As if the weather hadn’t spit in my eye already, Mother Nature decided to deliver a curve ball that seldom occurs down south, here in Alabama—snow. Yes, it frickin snowed the first night I was in my apartment, while there still boxes of my stuff that needed to come up. It was everywhere. And while we Southerners are usually in a bit of awe at the sight of a winter-white wonderland, I was just pissed. Not to mention, every single muscle in my body like it had been tied in a knot, and my head was pounding. Muscles I didn’t even know I had screamed at every step, threatening to take me down if I refusing to give them rest.


A view of snowy Birmingham from my balcony.

I didn’t even get out of bed until about 2pm, and by the afternoon, most of the snow had turned to slush. J and I bundled up to go grab some dinner and run some errands, including rescuing my beloved vacuum from the old apartment. We returned home, still exhausted and sore, and began trying to make some sense of the mess. I finally fell into bed around 1am.

While this weekend presented me with many problems, several out of my control, I still feel the same way—I’d do it again in a heartbeat, even in worse conditions. I love my new place! It’s so much better than my old apartment. I don’t quite feel like it’s mine yet. I told J that I feel like I’m in a hotel or something. I took some pictures, but please don’t judge the fact that it’s teeming with clutter or that my stuff is strewn about the rooms.

This is the kitchen. It’s kind of small, but there are a million cabinets with tons of storage, and the counter space is incredible. I love it. It looks better than this now; I’ve put away most of those things that are on the counter now.

Here’s the bathroom. The sink and mirror are separated from the shower and toilet, which is nice. The lighting is really cool (embedded in the ceiling), and if you look in the mirror, you can see the best part: There’s a little counter on top of some cabinets, with two more cabinets above! The shower part of the bathroom has lots of cabinet space, too.

Of course, this is the shower. It’s a pretty big tub (bigger than my last one, by far), and I love the stone-like tile on the walls.

Here’s the bedroom. It looks so sad right now! There’s one big window, which I plan on hanging my sheers over very soon, and there are two closets off to the left (that you can’t see). I plan on moving my TV and dresser in front of the bed. Off to the right, there bookshelves made into the wall. It’s about the same size as my old room.

This is the view from the hallway leading into the den. Again, it’s so super messy.

Here’s the den, overcrowded with my shit. You can see the vertical blinds that cover up the sliding glass door that leads to…the balcony! (I love sitting outdoors.)

And this is the gorgeous view of the city from my apartment. It’s so nice right at sunset…sigh. I can’t wait for warm weather.

I love the bar pass through window in the kitchen. Now I won’t feel so closed off from anyone sitting in the den while I’m working in the kitchen. Not to mention I can watch TV while I cook!

The view from the walkway outside my front door.

what you see is what you get

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I moved this weekend. ALL weekend. It took for-freakin-ever. My muscles feel as if they’ve been twisted and rung out like wet washcloths. Muscles I didn’t even know I had are crying out with each step I take. I haven’t had hardly any sleep…but more on the move later.

My point is, I’m tired. This morning I got up knowing full well I was going to be later for work. I contacted my boss, hit the snooze, and got a little more sleep. When I did finally get up to get ready, I dashed out the door without any makeup on. Before I went in, I put on a few quick swipes of mascara, slicked on some tinted lip gloss, and puffed on some pressed powder. I checked my reflection and felt okay with the way I looked. “I’ll just put on some foundation later,” I thought.

When I got to my desk, I pulled out my compact. I didn’t think I looked too bad for someone with no makeup (really) on. Little did I know.

I went to someone’s office to chat for a sec, and she took one look at me and said, “Whoa, you got some sun! Goodness, your face is so red!”

“Um, yeah…that’s it,” I responded.

I went to the kitchen to snag a cup of coffee. A co-worker doing the same took one look at me and said, “Ooh, long weekend? You look really tired.”

A bit perturbed, I said, “Yeah, moving weekend…busy time.”

Walking up the stairs, I was met by yet another co-worker, who stopped me by the arm. “Hey! …oh, you don’t feel too good either? Everyone’s been sick…you look like you don’t feel too well.”

Good gravy! I just ignored this last person and dismissed them with a shoulder shrugged as I trudged up the stairs to my office.

I’m looking for my makeup sponge as we speak…
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

valentine’s day…yes, I know it’s march.

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I didn’t get a chance to write about Valentine’s Day…so I’m doing it now. And I know it’s March, but I don’t care. Boo ya.

Ah, Valentine’s Day. Usually a day I like to avoid but never could—I worked in a restaurant for over 5 years. V-Day was more like D-Day in that it was an inescapable evil, perpetuated by insatiable couples pawing at each other while we made sure they had enough cheese biscuits on the table and water in their glasses (as if they needed it; I had a lot of customers who looked like they were going to each other alive as it was). $2 tips from the happy couples only helped to fuel my fire and convince me that February 14 was a day I wanted no part of. Here’s a brief look back at where I was three years ago. EDIT: Ok, the link isn’t going where it should, instead it’s just linked to this page, so here’s the actual link: http://thatswhatsummersaid.blogspot.com/2006/02/happy-tuesday.html

This year was different for me. I’ve never really had a valentine, never been dating anyone around that time of year. Well, except for that one time. In fourth grade. He turned out to be my very best friend in the whole wide world. (Also, did I mention he’s gay?) But it was a good one. I remember V-Day was on a Wednesday, and he gave me balloons and other presents on that Monday and Tuesday, and then he gave me this adorable stuffed white tiger from Hallmark. I still remember the poem on the card:

I wild about you, and that’s putting it mildly
But then, tigers always do everything wildly!
So love me to pieces, it won’t be atrocious
Because I’ll be loving you something ferocious!

But I digress.

This year is different. J and I have been together (officially) for 10 months, dating almost a year. I didn’t really expect anything for V-Day, considering I didn’t really have anything to compare it to (save for my white tiger). All I really wanted was to cook dinner and hang out, but I really wanted to recognize the fact that it was Valentine’s Day, for the very reason that it meant something to me. Maybe that’s dumb or whatever, but that’s how I felt.

The week leading up to Valentine’s Day, nothing was really said about the fact that Saturday was February 14. All that had been discussed was that I had an appointment to go check out apartments that day, in the afternoon, and there was a party at my friend’s house the night before. We went to look at places, as was planned, and he helped me by being my voice of reason. Afterward, we decided to walk down to 5 Points for coffee. Once we got there, he gestured over to the 5 Points Grill and asked did I want to just go for lunch, since we were going to need to eat soon anyway. So we did.

We were treated to a sign advertising Valentine’s Day specials, including $2 mimosas and $8 bottles of champagne. Being the lushes that we are, we opted for the latter. Our waiter brought us both the champagne and a carafe of orange juice in a nice little ice bucket, accompanied by champagne flutes. It was all so fancy. And delicious.

We ordered our food, and while we waited, we talked about the day’s events, and then, the day.

“I’m sorry I didn’t really have anything planned,” he told me. Then he said we should cook dinner that night. I told him that’s all I really wanted…that, and to actually make plans. I just wanted to know that it was Valentine’s Day. I told him that.

Then, after talking about it, I realized that I didn’t have to have plans, or hear him say it to know that he loves me and that he was glad to be spending this day with me. He took my hand in his and told me he loved me anyway, and that was really all that mattered.

We finished our yummy lunches and headed back out into the crisp air. Later that night, we headed back to his place to make dinner, where he surprised me with a box of chocolates. It was then that I remembered all the little things he does—playing my favorite music (actually knowing my favorite music!), cooking my favorite foods, watching my favorite TV shows—and all the reasons why I love him. I love the silly things, too—like when we were looking at my new place for the first time, and he spun me into a slow dance, humming one of our favorite songs, then singing along with his own made-up lyrics.

I love him just as much on March 3, or November 8, or July 21 as I do on February 14 and every other day of the year. I already feel special enough; I don’t need a special day. Nonetheless, it was the very best Valentine’s Day ever.

My delicious lunch.

J was equally as excited about his food.

My chocolates!