Saturday, December 30, 2006

Resolution to have a happy life

Happy New Year! I spent all day thinking I should post, but the couch was far too inviting. Thank God for these last two 3-day weekends. I went out with Becky Friday night and since I didn't get home til 3am I decided to lounge the day away. Tomorrow I will go into work and finish some things up, take my car to the car wash (horror!) and maybe get the oil changed if it is open Sundays. Things I should have done today. Oh well.

So 2006. What a year of change. I started out this year living comfortably (if not a little leary of things that could be crawling around the floor) in my concrete apartment, taking taxis, buses or my two good legs for transportation, watching Spanish infomercials and repeats of "Grounded For Life" on my wee-TV from a hammock in my living room, and trying to maintain a tan. No job, very little responsibility, and of course no oven. I think by January I didn't even have a stovetop anymore.

I also had a very nice network of friends. I had dinner friends and drinking friends, beach-going friends and friends with whom I ran errands. Though I hadn't known most of them for longer than a year, I think we all connected in many ways and I was enjoying what I knew was the end of my little journey.

In February I moved back to what was once my life here. Re-entry was a bit of a nightmare. Though I was employed within minutes, and had a place to stay and a car to drive, I found that I didn't have much else. My friends that I had left a little over a year before had moved on with their lives and though I knew that was okay, I realize now that if they were really my friends to begin with they probably wouldn't have moved on so FAR.

The months here have flown by. I find it difficult to believe I will have been back for a year at the end of February. I really don't do much besides plan my next vacation, and I have been lucky to have been able to go back 3 times since June, but that's fine with me because my apartment is nice and I have consistant cable and internet and so far I haven't lost water or power once. My friends are scattered around now, not as accessible as they were once, at least not in person. Friends here? Yeah, not so much. I keep hearing things that people (person) have said about me while I was gone, and I just don't get it. I know most people try to cover up their own miserable lives by ripping on others, that's easy. I just don't know what I ever did to have it done to me. But oh well. Whaddya gonna do.

One of my resolutions will be to just blow off the negative and concentrate on the positive. I was in a bar last night and one of the people I was there with was venting about a person I used to be really good friends with, and though I had nothing to contribute, I was a little sad that this person turned out to be as horrible as she is. Then my cell phone rang and it was Dave and Marita, in Wisconsin, drunk but very happy to hear my voice. Old Joyce would concentrate on the negativity of the old friend, but new Joyce is going to concentrate on the new friends, the positive people centered around her, wanting only her friendship in return for theirs. The way it's supposed to be. We are constantly demanded of so many things in our lives - jobs, family, bills- friendships should be uncomplicaed and happy. Happy friendships make happy lives and that is what I am going to have.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

¬°Feliz Navidad!

Merry Christmas to all my readers, faithful or otherwise. Merry Christmas to those of you who stumble upon this by googling things like "show me the carcus" or "yiddish chochkie". Merry Christmas even to those people who complain about this blog, talk about me behind my back, or just plain don't like me. Christmas is a time of happiness, glad tidings, and love for our fellow man, so let this be my example.

It's Christmas Eve, and I find myself reminiscing of Christmas Eves of yore. Here in Beaverton, in Southern California, in Ohio, Michigan, Cancun. Even if I try really hard I cannot recall one that was horrific (although there have been some really whacked out ones here, let me tell you. Surely our family is not the only one into which Satan's offspring has married... surely?). I have had single Eves and coupled Eves and family Eves, Eves where I was drunk off Jello shots and wandered home the long way, Eves where I went to bed wondering if the bullets shot into the midnight sky would ultimately land in my apartment. Snowy Eves and rainy Eves and warmer-than-normal Eves and downright muggy Eves. Eves where I am happy, Eves where I am sad, and Eves where I am just content. And of course, Eves where I am feeling a little bit lost.

So on this night of nights, let me make a Christmas wish. I wish for happiness for my friends - not the general kind of happiness that everyone wishes, but for true downright happiness. The kind of happiness you get when you realize you are worthy of it, when you open yourself up to receive it, when you know you really deserve it and it's finally time to have it.

I wish them success, the real success that isn't just about money. The kind of success that affects everyone around you. The kind of success that puts a smile on your face just as you are falling off to sleep.

And contentment. I wish for my friends, so many who, like me, struggle with their daily lives and the decisions involved and the attempts to do the right thing, a contentment within. The feeling of being settled and at peace and calm.

Is it okay to wish that for myself? If it is, then I do.

To all my friends who are there for me year in and year out, whether I talk to you daily or only once a year, remember you are always in my memory and somewhere in my heart, and because we are nothing without our memories, you will be with me until there is nothing left of me. Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

All I want for Christmas is...

Ummmm, a new car. A better job. Stuff on my walls. Inner peace. The feeling of being SETTLED. So what do I do about it?

I have been researching cars a little bit. Don't get me wrong, the liz is running fine, it's just that I wouldn't mind an automatic. Or something where the bra doesn't have moss on it (not that I shouldn't just dump the dang bra, I mean for God's sake it is ripped nearly to shreds). Or even something that isn't a magnet to Beaverton and Washington County's finest. I have had a lot of luck with Hondas. But what do I choose? A Civic? I'm 41 for the love of Pete. A CR-V? Do I NEED an SUV? Don't I make fun of people who drive gas guzzlers and people who drive SUVs for no real apparent reason? But do I do used or do I do new? I looked at some used ones and frankly if I'm going to get a loan I might as well get a new one. But then what? Doesn't that make me LOCKED into being here for a while? What about THAT can of worms?

My job is fine. Well wait. My career is fine. My JOB is frustrating. I have very little going on in terms of new files. And the good Lord above knows nobody is marketing me. I sometimes wonder why that is, but I think I know the reason and don't really want to verbalize it. Plus there is the whole "no warm fuzzies" thing going on. I feel like I will still be a newbie in that office if I'm there another 15 years. I used to be so good at flying under the radar - that isn't happening so much anymore. Plus too I am not an enormous fan of the lack of confidentiality. I am having vacation hours issues and EVERY ONE KNOWS ABOUT IT. Shouldn't that just be kept between me and my boss? Why do the assistants all know about it? I don't know. Something's gotta give. When your job is pretty much all you have going on in your life, it should probably be pretty satisfying. Or at least comfortable.

Stuff on my walls would be great but that requires spending money. Not that buying a car isn't spending money, and that stuff on the walls is pretty cheap in comparison. I have a few more things I could throw up there, but as you can see, I am not making any moves toward the hammer and nails in the tool box right now, am I?

Inner peace is a tough one. Right now I have NO IDEA what I want out of life. How much of a drag is that at my age? Shouldn't I be all content and happy? Shouldn't I like KNOW what I want? Or at least have some kind of idea? The thought of moving ... I just know I need security. That is the biggest issue. I can't just traipse around the continent with no real security. I can't. I need to have some sort of cash flow in place. I know there are no guarantees in any kind of life, but being poor and/or struggling, yeah, not sure that is what I want to tackle right now. I know that I WANT to be down south, but the problem is the reality of it that creeps in. Reality is sort of a dark cloud over the whole situation. Pretty major one at that. So yeah I am not sure I will get inner peace for Christmas.

Henceforth, feeling settled is going to be tough to achieve. If I wasn't such a grass-is-always-greener kinda gal, it wouldn't be so difficult. I need to look up that hierarchy of needs thing I learned back in Psych 101 4000 years ago. Put things into perspective. Meditate. Find God. Do SOMETHING.

Do SOMETHING.

Fold laundry. That's what I'll do.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

I want Souplantation, gosh dang it

So I'm pretty hungry right now on account of the last couple nights being late ones and being tired and cranky makes me want sustenance. So Heather and John and I discussed our options and landed on Jesus Teriyaki, but after some contemplation over a cigarette I decided to break a cardinal rule and MAKE A DECISION THAT IS NOT WORK-RELATED. I told that Heather we should go to Sweet Tomatoes (which was Souplantation in California and so therefore will always be Souplantation to me). John resisted, but after describing in great detail the soups and the bread products and pasta choices, he relented. Plus, since I only make decisions that are work-related, he realized that history was being made and so now we are going to Souplantation at 11:30. Seriously going to start chewing on skin here in a minute.

So anyway, that Dave E was here and we FINALLY went to dinner Tuesday night. At like 8. We met at Bridgeport Village (roughly mid way between where he was clear the hell in Clackamas and where I live in God's country) and had some grub and then went in to the bar and I didn't get out of there til like 11:30. It was a blast, truly. I really like those guys, and it's a bummer that they live in flipping Wisconsin. His birthday was yesterday, so happy fucking birthday, Dave.

What else? Okay, yeah, last night Becky and I decided to go get sushi and then afterward swung into Ernesto's for a cocktail or 8. Went back to her pad at 10 or so and I didn't get home til 1am on account of all the Harry Connick Jr. That was much fun as well. But you know, I am not getting any younger and I have to get up so dang early, I am just FIRED UP about going home tonight, putting on the house clothes, and doing NOTHING.

Work is slowish just because I am hurrying up and waiting on a bunch of files, it's cool, not that much in the mood to work. Tomorrow we open our little Christmas stockings and get presents. Presents are fun. I tell John John that every day because I am hoping one day he will actually buy me something.

Okay look, it's almost 11:30 and you know what that means. You are no longer my central focus. Sorry.

Monday, December 18, 2006

This might be what you're looking for, but I doubt it.

Okay. So I'm back at it in full force. This weekend we had our Christmas party for work at Nicky's house - it was quite fun. I was in a crappy mood due to some not so fun news received at the end of the work day Friday, but it turned out to be a lot of fun and Nicky's house is awesome. I won a Cuisinart chopper/grinder thingie, so that was cool. Saturday I pretty much just hung out until around 2 or so, and then went over to Shelia's to spend some quality time with Cleo. Watched a movie Saturday night ("Friends With Money" - whatever), and then Sunday morning Barbie, Mom, Tom and I went to breakfast at the Kingston (I still can't believe I didn't have the chicken fried steak). Then home for some additional lounging, and then around 5 Barbie came back over, we went to get Becky and went shopping at the Square. I bought a bag. It's flipping awesome. Ha.

Work today? Not so fun. It's colder than CRAP out, I mean COLD. I SO don't remember weather like this before. I really truly am going to have to break down and buy a coat! Barbie loaned me some gloves last night and let me tell you, I would be suffering frostbite right now from scraping the windows this morning if it weren't for those gloves. Mother of God.

After the day from my good glory hell, I noticed I had missed an unrecognizable call on my cell and had a message, and don't you know it was none other than Dave! Yay! Here's Dave last week at My Place. I am quite certain that he is singing "Can't Smile Without You" by Barry Manilow in this picture. Dave is a big Barry Manilow fan. Okay not really, he actually hates any and all music that is not in the "heavy metal" category. But since he found out I am going to Barry Manilow on January 8 (and after he recovered), he chose to sing a little for our enjoyment. I thought I would die laughing. Anyway, Dave is in Clackamas (SE side of Portland) for a couple of nights working on a project he has been working on for some time now. We allege we are going to dinner tomorrow night. That should be fun. One week Cancun, the next Portland. What jetsetters.

Dave is the boy part of a couple that I have met in Cancun a few times now. Marita is his lovely wife. They live in Wisconsin and are a kick in the ass. I really enjoy hanging out with them, and they love hanging out at My Place, so it is pretty much win-win for everyone. Aren't they just cute?

There is a strong possibility that ol' Dave might have just finished singing a little John Denver for Marita in this picture. When you think about it, for a guy that hates all music that isn't heavy metal, he sure knows a lot of soft rock. There is more than one closet to come out of, you know, Dave.

Okay so yeah. What else? I didn't tell you much about Cancun because though I ran nonstop and had a blast with my good friends, it was, as usual, almost like I still lived there. So it's hard to like say what I did. I have funny pictures of that Liz doing her faces to the camera. I have fun Jan-Jan pictures. I did all my laundry so I don't have jeans where the pant legs are all wet at the bottom anymore. I guess if you have any questions, you can just ask me. Because I can't really think of anything. Plus my fingers are starting to get numb from the cold and the general lack of insulation (there is no other explanation) in this apartment.

Not much else, Christmas is coming upon us rapidly and I need to get some cards out quick-like. Plus some other stuff to do. Then a 3 day weekend and lots of lounging. I really enjoy lounging. It's so much better than vacuuming.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

I started out well, then sort of faded out

Okay, time to get up to speed.

I got home late Wednesday night (around 11:15pm walking in the door). Thanks to Kathy for the ride, as usual, not sure why she keeps volunteering but I sure appreciate it. Also thanks to Shelia for the early morning drop off on the Tuesday before - she was right on time as usual (always a plus for me) and I really had no issues with the rope lighting. The ticket counter agent at America West/US Air was in a great mood at 5am and gave me bulkhead all the way through to Cancun. I think she was pleasantly surprised that I didn't even bat an eye as I whipped out my Visa to pay the $50 your-luggage-is-way-too-heavy fee (60 lbs going out).

Flight there was uneventful but good Lord I dislike flying anymore. I arrived in Cancun and through immigration and customs quickly. A seat-mate from the Phoenix to Cancun leg, sort of a bookish computer geek with socks and Birks got the My Place shpiel from me, but he was staying in Valladolid for just two nights so I figured I wouldn't see him again. There was a guy in the immigration line, and a couple waiting at baggage, that got it too - they were on a rewards trip with a network marketing deal - similar to Cyberwize, different ingredient in the go-go juice. They tried selling me, I tried selling them. I think we both ended up winning.

I was in my unit (302B) at Salvia by 4pm and across the street to My Place by about 4:30. Good to be home, no question. The place of course looks great, and every time I walk in for the first time it's like I never left the last time (taking a vacation every 3 months doesn't hurt). I knew that Dave and Marita were in town so I was looking forward to seeing them again, and then there were some folks from VCI in town for their weeks and Victoria from work was also somewhere in there.

Pretty much one day bleeds into the next. I did all the things I like to do on a Cancun vacation these days - run errands. Run errands. And run errands. Seriously, you are there from 10am and don't stop until sometimes 2am. We would find ourselves saying, Yesterday when we were at Costco... and realizing it was just earlier that morning.

My Place is starting a Tequila Tasting Tuesday gig - sounds fun and dangerous. 20 tequila tastes for $10 US. The first night Joe tried it out (my last night there) he had 2 people doing it and they raved at how fun it was. Good to know. Because of this gig, they are stocking up on some really nice tequilas. Cool bottles, fun shapes... seems like every time I sat down at the bar somebody would stack them all in front of me though. Like this:

Besides all the running, I did some fun things. Met Kim at Plaza Kukulkan for some UltraJewels event that was basically an excuse to drink wine, chit chat, and look at Tiffany and Coach. It was nice, and one of my earliest evenings.

Saturday was the IWC Holiday Tea, nice, but sort of quiet - not very many people came. It was good to see people from the club though. Also had dinner on Tuesday with some girlies, and I really enjoyed that as well. Woops, some girlies and Chris. Sorry, bro.

The weather was uncooperative if you were a tourist but okay for me as I preferred the running around part and didn't want to feel guilty missing out on the sun. How's that for a positive spin?


All in all I had a good trip, hanging out with the people I want to hang out with, seeing my friends and acting like I don't have a horrifically stressful job back in the states that unfortunately pays me well and affords me the luxury of traveling back to Mexico often. I don't work with many people like this:As for here, well we had a big windstorm that knocked out power to a bunch of people (but not me) (though it DID kill my cable for a morning - bad Wilma flashbacks) and to businesses like my Starbucks and ALL THE OTHER BUILDINGS BUT MINE in my office complex. Nice. This morning there is a thick frost on everything but at least it isn't raining.

I have errands to do. Perhaps I will write more later (like this wasn't enough). I just didn't want you guys to feel neglected.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Out of touch

I promise if I have internet this weekend I will blog. I was out of town. Then we had this big wind storm and though I didn't lose power or anything, I woke up this morning to no cable tv or internet and that bummed me out. So yeah, I'll be back.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Leaving on a jet plane

Well then, it's almost time to go to bed. I just made my bed bed and will be sleeping on the sofa. I can't bear to unfluff the whole situation. I guess I am just about ready, hopefully I won't forget anything. Shelia is coming at 3:15 (flipping) am to haul me and my routinely over-weight luggage to the airport for my 5:35am departure. I have done pretty much all I need to do work-wise and apartment-wise, and now it's time to get some sleep and get the show on the road again.

I sure hope I don't get any grief for the box of rope lighting. Sigh.

Okay, adios. See some of you soon, see some of you in a week or so.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

What I do when I should be hauling out the vacuum cleaner

Saturday update. You know, I really don't do much in general besides work. And work-related activities. Which really isn't true because I was supposed to go to a holiday function last night and I couldn't make it.

Today I am getting another piece of furniture from Shelia. She and Jim are delivering her sofa at around 2:30 today. So I have to finish cleaning this place (make it look acceptable, really, to others) and then I have a 12:30 pedicure and major wax overhaul because quite frankly I am a big furry mess. I need to vacuum and break down the growing number of carboard boxes in the entry hall, clean the kitchen (already did the bathroom) and somehow take a shower. As you can see, despite the need to get this done, I sit here, blogging.

REALLY not much going on. We had some weather but it wasn't much of anything, just cold, and I need a coat and some gloves because my apartment really isn't retaining much heat and I am sick to death of being cold all the time. I have been slowish at work and I assume since I am leaving on Tuesday things will pick up right about Monday, that's the way that works. I haven't really tanned much either, but that shouldn't be too surprising either.

Somebody told me you shouldn't shave your legs the day of a pedicure because you could get a staph infection from the ped water or something and die. Or something. I hadn't shaved my legs in oh hell I don't know, ever, so I did on Wednesday morning (you guys want to know this, don't you?) thinking that with the cold and all that it wouldn't be too damaging to Xiang by today. And you know, they really aren't that bad but it still is wierd to me to NOT shave right before a pedicure, and frankly, it's either a staph infection from the ped water or a Tri Met bus, either way, when it's your time it's your time.

So on top of the cleaning, blogging, and showering that needs to be done in 2 1/2 hours, I also need to hit Target (what am I, NUTS?), pack, make sure I have room for sugar free Kool-Aid, Pam's phone, some treats for Jan Jan and a box of business cards. Imeldita alleges she is taking me to the airport on Tuesday morning but criminy, it is SO EARLY. I feel badly making someone do that. We'll see.

Not much else, honestly, and I am really just procrastinating (like that's a big surprise) doing this with so little to say... sorry. I see the hits are dropping off here so I figured updating would be good. At least maybe it got you here.