Category Archives: recap

step one.

Register a domain. Check! I’m now the proud owner of lemonslush.com! It’s not much to look at at the moment, but I’ll be working on it soon. Bryan surfed over to GoDaddy this weekend, and I just happened to have him check on lemonslush.com, as it’s been parked with a placeholder page forever now. And there it was, for $10.87! Normally I’m not a compulsive domain buyer (like some people I know) but this domain is mine. It is the screenname I use pretty much everywhere (minus this blog, oddly enough) and it is my “brand.” Bryan also was kind enough to link up my domain with his WebFaction account, awesome guy that he is. :) So, step one complete. Now, to make something happen!

In other news, I am looking at adopting a kitten/cat. The lot of us went to the Humane Society this weekend to peruse the felines. I found two potential youngins named Reid and Fabrizio who were caged together but not siblings. Reid was born at the H.S. and would be the first of his litter adopted out were I to take him home. Fabrizio was found abandoned and brought in alone, based on his file. We all sat in a visiting room with them for a long while, watching Reid race around, cuddling with Fabrizio. They were quite the dichotomy – crazy vs. mellow, athlete vs. lap cat.

I have a couple points of hesitation, of course. (Would I be me if I didn’t?) First, I’m still wondering whether I’m responsible enough or “ready” enough to have a pet. Second, am I at a point where I can keep my stress levels down enough to have animals in my home? Will I be able to stop worrying about both their well being AND the intact nature of my furniture and breakables long enough to enjoy their company? Third, there is the issue of Fabrizio’s tilted head. We all noticed it pretty much right away, a tilt to the right and a bit of a balance problem. His medical file mentioned an inner ear infection, but there’s no telling if that’s something temporary or chronic. Also no telling if it is, in fact, not an infection but a tumor or something else life threatening. All I’d need is for my first pet to get sick or die on me immediately. :(

But I did love cuddling with Fabrizio as he purred loudly and climbed around. Erica posted a photo on Flickr, and though I look a bit mentally handicapped in it, I’ll link to it anyway. After we left the HS, we went to the local Greek place for lunch, and, while we sat looking at the menus, I heard a TV announcer say the name Fabrizio Santos. I glanced up to see he was a professional skateboarder, but since I’d never heard the name Fabrizio before the kitty, I was pretty convinced that meant something.

With so many people visiting the HS with me, it was hard to think clearly and consider my options. So I think I’ll be going back over there at lunchtime tomorrow to visit with Fabrizio again and see how we get along without Reid and the others. As much as I’d like to give ‘Briz a brother and playmate, I think Reid may be a bit out of my league. Though he did entertain himself without my even trying, but still—I want to love my kitties, and Reid and I just didn’t click.

If Fabrizio and I don’t connect, I will respectfully withdraw my application for both little boys and go back to the drawing board. I’m fine with waiting till I find the right cat(s). The last thing I want is another Tori incident, like in college. Had I known torties were so temperamental (recent feline research) and really thought through sharing a single bedroom with a cat, I would’ve waited on that one too. :P

I leave on Thursday afternoon for Birmingham and the Social South social media conference. It will be good to see that city again after some time away. I may even get to see Dennis while there. He has high-school football to cover elsewhere in the state, so he won’t be attending SoSo, but my early arrival should allow us to grab food or a drink, or for me to see the new digs he’s renovating right now. Exciting!

What else… Oh, Bryan, Nick, Erica, Alan & I played D&D yesterday! It was my first game, so I was totally unsure how everything worked. Still am, a little bit. But I caught on well enough to kill a few Kobolds and enjoy myself during the second half of the game. Nick was our DM and he was proud of the six-page back story I wrote about Elluvia, my elven ranger. Always smart to impress the DM! :D Bryan will be DMing the next round, and Nick will be taking over his human shaman, Albini, so they can alternate playing and storytelling. Should be fun to see B in action as DM, both in that game and in the other we’ll be starting with his coworker, his wife and their son in two weekends. Twice the D&D action!! I can hardly wait. :)

Also, my brain is broken. I really need to figure out how to fix it, but with about a million things on my to-do list right now, I don’t think it’s going to happen till after Ireland and a potential mom visit in October. Maybe once fall rolls around and some sort of cool settles over the land, I’ll be able to reevaluate my mental state and get things moving in the right direction. For now, I will read good books, enjoy cuddles whenever possible, share a cup of coffee with a new friend, work hard every day and accomplish as much as I can. Woot!

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Filed under animals, depression, friends, fun, happiness, plans, recap

I stopped believin’ after about 30 minutes.

Photo strip from JourneySooo… I mentioned having won tickets to see Journey in concert, right? At any rate, the show was last Saturday at Mud Island Amphitheater. And while I’d like to say it was a sweet show and I loved every minute of it, that would be a lie. What I did see was just fine, of course, but that was very little. We arrived just before 7 o’clock, when the doors opened. Now, that was foolish on its own because we could’ve been sipping milkshakes at Café Eclectic instead of overpriced bottled water in the midst of a growing crowd (and resultant rising temperature). But there we sat, past the 8 o’clock showtime,  and another full hour until 9, when things finally got going. By that time, it was hot and muggy. The crowd was HUGE because the show had sold out. And while the Memphis Flyer definitely hooked us up with awesome seats, I got to feeling claustrophobic and panicky not long after the opening number.

It wasn’t until the girl next to me lit a rather rank cigarette that I started getting lightheaded and ill. I sat down for a few minutes and tried to block out the screaming 8-year-olds behind us (How are children that young even AWARE of Journey? I have no idea.) the cigarette stench, the blaring music, the flashing/blinding lights, the heat and the crowd, but it didn’t work. Fortunately, Bryan is a saint (and also not a huge Journey fan) so we left after about a half-hour of the show. I’d never felt such relief as when I reached the top of those amphitheater steps and left the screaming crowd behind.

We walked back across the pedestrian walkway from the island to the mainland and stopped by the Mississippi River exhibit at the museum. We walked along a good bit of that and I climbed onto the display that contained the floodplain and Michigan so I could point out the approximate location of my hometown, though the mitten was stretched uncomfortably on the x-axis.

We rounded out the night with milkshakes from Steak ‘N Shake, which really was way better than bobbing my head to the sad remnants of a long-dead band. Not to say they weren’t doing their darnedest to bring back the sound, but it just didn’t happen, at least not in my book.

The rest of the weekend consisted of being lazy, playing Rock Band, creating my D&D character (Elluvia the Elf Ranger! :D) for upcoming games, buying and reading some of a travel book on Ireland and petting a tiny black kitty. Even when they’re pretty low key, I wish weekends would never end…

View from the walkway to Mud Island

View from the walkway to Mud Island

Journey on stage

Journey on stage

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I whiffled. Now I can’t move.

Yesterday afternoon marked the first real physical activity I’ve had in a while. Not the routinized jaunt on the elliptical trainer, mind you, but straining of muscles, unfamiliar motions. I’m so incredibly stiff and sore today, I can barely move, especially after sitting at my desk in a single position for just a bit too long, which has happened more than once already today. And how did I hurt myself to this degree, you ask? Playing whiffle ball.

I went with Bryan to a cookout at his parents’ house yesterday afternoon. I’d met his dad the previous weekend (and played a few rounds of billiards with them both) but this event resulted in meeting the mom, the brother, the brother’s girlfriend, the “uncle” and his wife. It also meant that the men in the family broke out the whiffle bat and balls for a rousing game of hit-the-roof-or-you-lose in the backyard.

I wandered outside to watch them from afar for a few minutes. It was humid out after one of many short rainstorms that had punctuated the day after a full-blown thunderstorm in the early-morning hours. With the heat, the thickness of the air, the skirt I was wearing and the predominate testosterone of the players, I thought about staying in the shade, out of the game. But as soon as my bare feet sunk into the warm wet of the backyard grass, my girlish tendencies sort of switched off. I was transported back to those days in my own backyard, when my brother-in-law taught me how to hold the bat, swing harder but smarter, watch the ball until it hit the bat. I couldn’t stop myself from elbowing my way into the game. And while it may not have appeared that way to the others involved, that is precisely what I did. Because, as I said to Bryan, I’d much rather play than watch. As the other ladies looked on from the shade of the patio umbrella, I wandered around in the muck fetching balls.

Now, you see, I am not one of those annoying girls who loves to talk about sports and leaves the TV on ESPN so the next man who turns it on marvels at what must be her sexy habit of watching sports all day. Hah. No, my best friends can tell you that I am not like that at all. But I DID play softball. And I DID like it, when my parents weren’t forcing it on me and I wasn’t pissing my pants with anxiety while on deck on a hot July afternoon, sweating through my light-gray #44 T-shirt. And I DO like other active things, like kayaking, gym exercise, taking walks, hiking, occasionally climbing a rock or two. It was that piece of my personality that came alive when I watched them swing the little yellow whiffle bat. So I elbowed. And they relented, patiently.

I didn’t hit the roof, but Bryan did give me the opportunity to come close on two occasions. It was enough to make me want to try again someday, if I’m still in the picture come their next backyard pick-up game. And maybe then I won’t swing at terrible pitches. And maybe I’ll have learned to trash talk well enough to fit in.

The remainder of the evening included some delicious hamburgers and hotdogs, photos from Bryan’s mom’s trip to Yellowstone (beautiful!), some billiards playing and a couple corner brownies with ice cream and raspberry sauce. Even being the oddest man out, I reveled in the familial vibe in that house, in the constant, comfortable conversation that reverberated through every room. It made me miss Michigan even more strongly than I had already.

We vacated when Bryan’s weekend head cold refused to back down and he was overdue for another dose of meds. We returned to his house, I went out to get him some groceries for his recovery at home today and then it was another early bedtime, which made me happy. I had whiffled myself into a state of exhaustion. Now to keep that up as the summer progresses. I had forgotten how awesome it hurts when you do something active. It’s one of my favorite feelings in the world.

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Filed under exercise, fun, happiness, health, recap, thoughts

dimly on a Friday evening

I can almost guarantee this entry will be neither thought provoking nor particularly eloquent. I’m sitting in a dim living room at the moment, looking out over two snoozing felines, listening to deep, even breaths coming from the nearby bedroom… erk! Hoping my ringing cell phone didn’t just wake said deep, even breather!

My regular phone calls home prove to me that my life is not very interesting at the moment, at least not in the conventional sense of the word. I am not fighting crime or building empires in my spare time. I am hanging out with a boy and his cats, watching a bit more TV on DVD than usual, playing (and wanting to play) Lego Star Wars on the Xbox just a little too much. Not working out enough, sleeping enough or being motivated enough at the office. It is a familiar phase for me, and it will pass eventually—this much I know for sure. But, just now, I’m enjoying it while it’s here, while I have an excuse to be starry eyed and silly 95% of the time. I’m giving myself a free pass just this once, no deep-seated, self-induced guilt trips or sudden, random dips into depression. I’m coasting. It feels good.

Now, that’s not to say everything’s perfect; it never is, in fact. But it’s damn near for me. Even as I stare at empty frozen-custard cups that beg me to pitch them, even as I grumble through a month’s overdue laundry, even as I yawn my way through a day at the office, I realize that the happiness I get to have now is worth the imperfections. When I am unhappy, life is one big imperfection, one giant blemish in the grand scheme of things. And when life IS the grand scheme of things… well, that’s a tough one, isn’t it? So I will take this near-perfect situation and hold it dear to my heart. And laugh at its occasional pitfalls and fairly noticeable quirks and tics.

In the professional world, things are the same as always, though I grow irritable more quickly with my tasks than I once did. I suppose that’s a sign of the times, both for me and for the company as a whole. Everyone is quicker to anger now, quicker to threaten walking out, even with no place else to go. We’re all on edge and we’re all a bit fed up with what we cannot change, what happens higher in the ranks than we dare to tread a single step. And that height is the very thing that causes the strife for everyone. For those who wish to attain greatness, the strife comes in the form of glass ceilings, hiring freezes, cut positions and a sort of moratorium on progress. Those who wish to remain in the lower bowl (me, for example) turn a spiteful eye to those out for personal gain, become tense when issues of clout are discussed, wish the whole system would dissolve into the disorganized heap it really is so we could start fresh and make something good out of our company again. That said, I know they’re doing the best they can with what they have… most, anyway. Those that aren’t, that are looking out for #1 and #1 alone… well, they can head out any day now, and I don’t doubt for a second they’ll never be missed, at least not by me.

This is when I quit my cushy desk job and become a waitress at a diner. Doesn’t that sound fun, kids? Take a risk, start a new life AND force myself to speak at a normal volume all in one fell swoop!

In things-that-don’t-frustrate-me news, Bryan lent me a book called Storm Front, by Jim Butcher. I’m about three chapters in and loving it so far, in spite of the fact that Butcher is still just setting the scene. I’m OK with that—I appreciate the opportunity to visualize the scene and the characters in greater detail before delving into the story. While it’s nice to be reminded as you go along what the characters are like, and add to their depth and breadth with anecdotes and revealing moments along the way, I desire a solid foundation to go on most of the time. Unless I’m reading one of those pointedly confusing books written to make one’s head spin in circles.

I am attempting to create an online resume (on Bryan’s Mac laptop, so I have no idea how to make accented “e”s or how to find a character map, if there is one at all). I really need to do it myself using HTML and CSS, but I haven’t had the energy of late. I did start piecing something together using moonfruit, which is free and sleek and lovely. But that won’t fly when I’m looking for HTML AND CSS JOBS. Ha. However, it is giving me inspiration for how to make my real site look. And if I can just figure out some fancy-looking-but-not-actually-difficult-to-implement JavaScript, we’ll be good to go.

I’ve also noticed a few things I’ve been missing in my life lately. But then I look at what my life DOES contain and wonder how on earth I’m supposed to wedge it all in. Maybe I’m too shallow and one-dimensional. Maybe I need to hone my multitasking skills until they can slice hairs without even being in the same room. There are NPR shows I want to listen to, movies I want to see, books I want to read, places I want to visit, languages I want to learn, games I want to play, experiences I want to have just once to say I did, foods I want to eat, laughs I want to share… There’s just so MUCH to be done and seen and FELT in this world. I feel like I’m still fresh and warm from the womb with about a million miles to go before I reach the first summit of what I expect will be an endless mountain range of life experiences. And that’s great, I love that—I just don’t know where to begin. That indecision breeds laziness and stress, which then makes me drop out of the race completely and return to base camp without even donning all my gear.

I need to start with one thing. One. Just one. Not one thing to get to another. It CAN be one thing that eventually leads to another, but I need to keep my eye on the thing, not the other. If I want to learn to knit, I need to focus on learning, not on producing the World’s Best Scarf Just in Time for Christmas, Which is Three Weeks Away. No, no! See how that breeds failure? If I want to volunteer my time more, I need to focus on finding good places to volunteer, choosing one and trying it out. Not choosing seven, trying to volunteer at all of them and stretching my resources so thin I have nothing left to give anyone at the end of the week.

What one thing would you suggest? Or what’s one thing you’ve been wanting to learn or do lately? Or that you are learning or doing as we speak? If nothing else, it would be nice to read about others’ plans, others’ triumphs. Or failures—either way. I’m usually a happy-endings kind of gal, but I can revel in tragedy with the best of ’em!

That is enough drivel for one dim Friday evening. I’m going to see if the heavy breather is still breathing and maybe flip on a light or two.

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Filed under books, dating, fun, happiness, jobs, recap, thoughts

I’M UPDATING. LOOK AT ME UPDATE. SHOCK & AWE!

OK, first? I am thankful for having a (tiny) blog following, but seriously people? You are all my close friends. So if you want an update on the mundane details of my life, PICK UP THE PHONE.

Ahem.

/rant

There is way too much to tell now that it’s been 3 weeks since my last update. Now, the synopsis will be short, but the details overpowering. So here’s the synopsis: Everything is the same, ‘cept now I have a boyfriend.

Is that sufficient?

No?

OK then. His name is Bryan and he’s a super-cool dude I met through various social media channels and one key contact in Memphis. He has two wonderful felines named Pete and Nancy that I may actually like more than him. ;) We’ve spent quite a bit of time together in the past month, eating dinners, going to movies, playing video games, going to Murfreesboro for 4th of July weekend. It’s been a good time thus far. Hopefully will continue to be for a while yet.

Otherwise, almost nothing is new. Work is still as crazy-busy as ever. I am now an official Tennessee resident. My apartment is working out fine. I am working out as well, though not as much as I should be. I spend a lot of time on Twitter, so you should follow me there because you’ll get 30+ daily updates that way. Much easier than blogging. And I’m lazy, so it’s fitting.

The Memphis weather has turned sweltering, shifted back to normal, sweltering again and now a bit chilly with storms rolling through all of last night. I am surviving, though my electric bill may kill me yet. I use almost no energy otherwise, so it’s sad to see my bill double due to increased A/C use.

What the heck else… I have met some new friends/acquaintances through Bryan. They’re all really cool people, and I’m hoping to see more of them over time. His bff, Nick, is a great guy and we spent the Murfreesboro weekend with him. Nick’s girlfriend & Bryan’s good friend, Erica, is an awesome, sharp-witted chick who propelled the potential “thing” with Bryan forward and recently acquired a pink scooter, on which she zips around town. I may get to hang with her tomorrow night, so I’m looking forward to that.

I’m not hating Memphis anymore. I’m really not. And I fully intend to write a series of posts as to why, but that’s not happening today. I’ll also post some key photos from my escapades of the past few weeks…later. Tonight I’m going to see the new Harry Potter movie with Bryan. I am gleeful about that, or at least will be once the workday is over.

I do appreciate all your patience with my blogging-ball droppage. I will get back into the groove soon. Cross my heart. For now, please enjoy this photo of Bryan’s cat, Nancy:

nancy

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Filed under animals, blogging, dating, friends, fun, memphis, photography, plans, recap, twitter

creative outlet

poetry
I realized the other night how much I miss writing poetry. Also how much I miss writing and drawing on my arms and legs. At some point I either tried to turn into an adult or got really worried about ink poisoning, because I stopped my former habits of temporary body art. But the other night I couldn’t sleep, so I lay in bed writing notes about myself on legal pads and writing poetry on my leg.

My poetry isn’t good. Neither are my blog entries, half-hearted attempts at short stories or anything else that falls even close to the realm of actual writing. Even my to-do lists make almost no sense and fail to follow a logical progression! But writing is necessary for me. It is what keeps me sane and makes me feel somewhat whole. I spend so much time in my head, writing is the only way to let those thoughts leak out somewhere along the way. I’m not dropping them off for keeps, but I am giving my mind a break from them. A much-needed one at that.

This has been a busy week, hence the late-night poetry slam. I met a new friend on Tuesday night and it turned into a 6-hour marathon of smoothies, Web development tutorials, semi-sweaty walking, mosquito bites and a too-late BFD at IHOP. I didn’t get home until almost 1 a.m. and didn’t fall asleep for at least another hour after that—insanity on a school night! Wednesday night was a fancy dinner at Frank Grisanti’s Italian restaurant for work. I ate WAY too much and ended up feeling mighty sick afterward. There were sausage-stuffed mushroom caps, prosciutto-wrapped shrimp, cocktails, chicken, pasta, garlic bread, tiramisu, cheesecake with berries, apple ravioli… That list in and of itself makes me a little queasy, actually. =P

levitt shell, memphisThursday night wrapped up my busy week with a concert at Levitt Shell, Memphis’ outdoor amphitheater next door to Overton Park. They have a free concert series every June with themed shows each day; this year it’s Americana, R&B/Gospel/Soul, Kids, Musica Latina and World Rhythms. Thursday night’s show featured local favorite Todd Snider and, on drums, my coworker and good friend Joe! =D Joe hadn’t played with Todd and the rest of the group for about 15 years, but after a single night of rehearsing, there he was on stage in front of hundreds of Memphians and other assorted guests. He did awesome, of course, and it was a great time. I brought refreshments for my group (Clay, Robby, Steven & Bryan – the new friend) and a blanket for a little added comfort on the grassy knoll.

After all this, and random inconsistencies in being able to fall asleep once I got home at night after these activities, my brain and body are both spent. I actually feel much more run down right now than I have in a very long time, so I hope I’m able to sleep tonight and wake up at least semi-refreshed in the morning. I have an insane amount of laundry to do to start off the weekend, as well as grand plans to clean, get some work done, possibly take myself to see “Up” in 3-D before it leaves theaters and attempt to accomplish at least one thing that’s been on my I-Want-To-Do list for the past several months.

Also, it’s hot. And it’s only June. Which means this summer might kill me. Last summer was mild for Memphis, so it’s like I’m experiencing a Memphis summer for the first time now. And me? I’m not all that excited about it. =P Goodnight.

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illness redux?

pills
My fiery arm and I went to the doctor at noon on Saturday. The wait was minimal and the wonderfully nice nurse from my Catholic bible study who first got me an appointment there was working the front desk, so I got to catch up with her briefly. I felt infinite guilt for dropping the study when I was recovering from pneumonia. The breakup with Dennis and moving kept me away for the remainder. I just couldn’t be there anymore. But she didn’t prod for answers—she even offered to let me come live with her if I wanted. =) People are mysteriously nice sometimes.

Anyway, the doc sent me in for an x-ray right off the bat, which I knew would show absolutely nothing (ding!). When he came into the exam room, I shoved my list of ailments in his hand. I figured I’d keep track of all my aches, pains and weirdnesses in case a pattern revealed itself in my various problems. He stapled my list into my chart (surprising) and ordered some major bloodwork. The nurse came in to take four vials and give me an anti-inflammatory shot in my hip. She also handed off a prescription for two anti-inflammatory meds and one nerve med to try to deal with whatever was happening with my arm. Apparently my litany of symptoms prompted the doc to call for a CT scan of my head, which the nurse sprang on me as I collected my belongings and prepared to leave. Fun! I was just glad not to have to drink any contrast or wait two hours. I was in and out of the office in about an hour and a half.

Prescriptions filled, my arm is feeling a bit better, but the pain lingers. I’m not kept immobile by it now, though, which makes me think at least one of the three meds is working. The fact that I still have some pain when taking deep breaths, yawning and sneezing makes me think that the pleurisy inflammation never fully faded, so methinks it’s hanging around other places too.

I spent the weekend doing a lot of sleeping. I took a long nap on Saturday that lasted most of the afternoon and evening. Woke up early Sunday for breakfast with RP at Blue Plate Café before church. Went to the early service at Highpoint Church and then their Green Light class for those just starting out with the church. Watched “The Visitor” (wonderful film; made me rethink my stance on illegal immigrants… at least a little) and rounded out the afternoon with another nap.

The weekend ended with a bang when team Bigger, Badder, Bushier went into the Memphis Trivia Finals swinging on Sunday night! Dan McGuinness was packed and closed to all but trivia participants for the evening. A total of 67 teams were competing from across the city, so after just squeaking by to qualify for the finals (we were 12th place of 12 teams accepted from our semifinals location) I didn’t have high expectations for this leg of the race. But. BUT. I was astonished and grinning like a fool when I heard we were in SECOND PLACE at halftime. Second FREAKING place, people! Of 67 teams!

I can take no credit for this, aside from being the most gung-ho about trivia and getting the team there in the first place. I did answer one question that no one else knew (name of Oscar the Grouch’s orange worm friend) but that was hardly a big help. Our team was almost entirely not our own, too, which was kind of a bummer, but the replacements were extremely smart men from the promotions department at Channel 3. BC, our hub and the team’s namesake, didn’t attend because he was pulled between two teams initially and then got forced out by replacements. =\ But CB, our other regular, was there and the Channel 3 guys were his friends, so I was glad for all of them.

As we went into the final question, we’d dropped slightly to fourth place, but we were keeping hope alive. Though the riskier members of our team wanted to bet the full 30 points on the final question, I’m glad we went with 0, since we were way off. Final questions are tough. We had to participate in a tie breaker question at the end (total area of the State of Missouri?) but found out later it was to figure out who would be 13th and who would be 14th. =P But still top 15! Which meant we won a prize! So now we have a half-food/half-alcohol $50 gift certificate for T.J. Mulligan’s next door to my apartment complex (woo!) and $100 free play at Southland Park Gaming & Racing (woo?) So, we got free booze, bar food and some money for the track. Makes me laugh every time I think about it. =)

So, that was my weekend. My test results are pending from the dr., but they’ll call me in earlier than my six-week followup if anything crazy turns up. I’m excited about their testing my thyroid though—I have a good feeling that’s part of several longtime problems for me. So we’ll see! For now, it’s bedtime. Peace and love, kidlets.

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