Thursday, December 30, 2004
Tomorrow will be my 10th wedding anniversary. Surprise, surprise, we decided not to make a big deal out of it. How weird would that be? "We're splitting up, but we're out celebrating our 10th anniversary." I'm OK with a fair degree of weirdness in my life, but I think that might be too much even for me.
But is it silly for me to be a little sad thinking I may never celebrate a "big" wedding anniversary? When I got married, I envisioned having a 50th wedding anniversary party someday, with our children and grandchildren and friends there. Now I'm 36 and getting closer to being single again. If I remarry someday, when I'm even older than I am now, it's pretty likely that both of us won't live long enough to celebrate a 50th anniversary. Maybe a 25th, but probably not a 50th. And that makes me just a little bit sad. It's no reason to try to fix something that neither of us thinks can be fixed, but still - there's just a little twinge of regret at the thought.
In other news: I actually got to do something fun at my job today - I mean really fun, something I can really get into. It looks like there may have been some fraud involved with one of my accounts, someone getting stuff they shouldn't have had, some shenanigans going on that might entitle someone to a good ol' ass-kicking. I'm seeing what I can find out, and when it comes down to it, I plan to stay involved and do as much on it as higher-ups will let me. I love investigating stuff, finding out things people don't want found out, the idea (and the actuality) of meting out justice where it's warranted. Hmm, perhaps I *should* consider a return to prosecution - perhaps the new me would be better at it than the old me was ten or eleven years ago. Seriously, though, if my current job could somehow be all business investigations and things like what I'm doing now, I would LOVE it.
And J's big boy bed will be here Jan. 10! Woo hoo!!!! I've ordered the bed rail to (hopefully) keep him from falling out *too* often in his sleep, and the mattress will be delivered that day. Before then, the little dresser in his room will be moved to my room, to make room to set up his big bed (it will be a full-size bed, no toddler bed for the moose boy!), and I'll have to clean out some stuff in both rooms to make way for the changes. I just hope he likes the big boy bed. The crib converts to full-size, and once it's switched, I am NOT switching it back! LOL
I'm going to finish my wine and chocolate mousse and then get some sleep. Last night I foolishly stayed up until after 1 AM watching FOUR episodes of The Shield. I just love that show - it really sucks you in. I didn't intend to watch all the episodes on the DVD, but just when you'd think surely nothing else major could happen, something did, and I just had to see what happened next. When I got to the point where "seeing what happened next" would involve a trip to Blockbuster, I finally called it a night. And naturally, J woke up at about 1:50, just crying and wanting a change and to be rocked. *SIGH* So I'm fairly wiped out.
Only about 25 1/2 hours left in 2004 - I say, good riddance, you suck-ass excuse for a year...! Nah, it wasn't all bad. I've certainly changed for the better, even if the life lessons that are responsible for those changes haven't been a whole lot of fun. And I wouldn't trade J for anything, sleepless nights and tantrums and lots of clean-up and all. But I will be glad to get a fresh start in the new year. I am seriously looking forward to changes for the better in more than just the Lisa growth and character-building department - time for good news in other areas of my life, too. Bring it on, I say!!!
Wednesday, December 29, 2004
I am trying so hard to keep a positive attitude. I know life could be so much worse - look at the victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Asia, now there's a situation that I can't even imagine how horrible it must be. When you know there are people in the world facing loss of loved ones, loss of everything they own and everything they know, the risk of disease, whose very survival is nothing short of a miracle, it seems so petty for me to whine and complain about my little problems. My pitiful bank balance and troubles at work seem so small in comparison to the suffering of others, and I feel like I don't even have the right to whine and gripe and complain. And yet my job keeps finding ways to attack my resolution to be more positive, new barbs and stings to bring me down. And it does bring me down. I feel my shoulders stoop as I sit here at my desk, feeling like I carry the weight of the world on my shoulders. YUCK. I don't expect I'll ever have a job I'm truly passionate about and absolutely adore, but is it too much to hope for one that doesn't make me feel like I'm a failure and a screw-up every time I turn around? Whine whine, bitch bitch. So much for that positive attitude, huh?
I'd better go grab something for lunch - jury's still out as to whether it will be chocolate or chili. We'll see.
Tuesday, December 28, 2004
Gone like yesterday,
Gone like a soldier in the Civil War, bang bang,
Gone like a '59 Cadillac,
Like the good things that ain't never coming back,
--Gone, Montgomery Gentry
I heard that song on the radio, and just had to buy the CD (I've listened to part of it and think I'll like it) - wonder why? LOLOL
I used my Target gift cards tonight - new phones to replace the old crapped-out ones (plugged 'em in, voila, dial tone!), and a new stereo for the bedroom! I still had my old stereo that I bought in 1989 when I moved into my first apartment (if I remember correctly, my mother bought that for me for my birthday - $750 on sale! Some things have changed for the better - I got the new one for just $160). I got a little Sony bookshelf system with a six-disc changer, bass boost, and more power than my big ol' rack system! It's a neat-looking little stereo, and I like the sound. I'll have a nice place to put it when J's room is rearranged for the big boy bed. I'll move his little dresser into my room, and put my stereo up there.
Right now I'm waiting for laundry to dry and enjoying a lovely glass of red wine while I wait and type. Bolla Sangiovese di Romagna, I think that's my new favorite red wine. I found some blue goblets in the big box o' wedding gifts, and they make good wine glasses - nice and big. :-) Hopefully the laundry won't take too long - it would be nice to get to bed before midnight for once!
Monday, December 27, 2004
Christmas was fun. K's parents came. J adores them, especially his PaPa. And he wouldn't pet their dachshund, but he sure did get excited to see her. Every time he saw her, he'd say, "Look at Annie!" and just laugh and laugh. And the first thing he said when he woke up yesterday morning (after family had gone home) was, "PaPa Annie doing?" (as in, what are PaPa and Annie doing) He was oversugared, overstimulated, and too wound up for words most of the weekend. He fought naptime and bedtime like a little maniac, that's for sure.
He did like his presents, though! He got trucks galore, including two big Tonka trucks that light up and talk and all that good stuff. I'd wondered if the lights and sound would freak him out, but he really liked the trucks. His favorite, though, was his Thomas the Tank Engine playset and the engines that went along with it (Thomas, Percy and James). He wanted to take his playset to bed with him last night, and was most disturbed when I told him it wasn't a bedtime toy! LOL I'm glad he's enjoying it so much.
Yesterday K and I cleaned out the closet in J's room. (Getting ready for his big boy bed, coming in January - he needs a big boy closet to go with it, not one filled with mama's old crap! LOL) There was a big box marked "wedding gifts", and we went through that and divided it up, stuff for me, stuff for him, and stuff to take to the resale shop. I know it's very doubtful that he and I will be together for the long term, and I know that that's probably the best thing for us, but still - it was draining, going through things meant for a shared life and splitting them up. (And this was stuff that's been in a box for 10 years - I reckon it will be that much harder when it comes time to finally divvy up the things we actually lived with.) And in the course of sorting out pictures, I came across some taken at my mother's funeral in 1995. Those really got to me, and while J was napping, I sat there and cried. I miss my mother.
In a few days it will be the tenth anniversary of my marriage. In a few days after that, it will be the tenth anniversary of my mother's death. Sad to think that what began so soon before her passing is now, ten years later, so close to ending itself. I really wish she were here so I could talk to her. I'd love to know why she and my father stayed together for 43 years, until she died, when even as a child I could see that they weren't really happy. I have my theories, but I wish I could hear it from her. I'd love to know if she thought it was more important for me to do what makes me happy, or to do what's best for Julian, or to know if she thinks those could be one and the same thing. I miss her.
And along the lines of thinking about relationship things, I've started reading a book called Second Loves: Women With Two Lives, by Sonya Friedman. It's about women who are married and who have long-term affairs. I'd never do something like that - most days I barely have the energy to live my own life, much less have some secret life that my husband knew nothing about. But reading the reasons why these women chose that kind of life, how they saw their marriages, what they get out of these long-term relationships has given me a lot to think about. It's given me a lot to think about as far as what I haven't gotten out of my marriage, why I'm looking to get out of it. It's given me a lot to think about as far as what I'd seriously want to look for in another long-term relationship when I get to the point where I'm looking for one. I'm sure I'll have more thoughts on the topic later, when I've got more time to write. I just wanted to mention this, and suffice it to say I think so much, it's a wonder my brain doesn't leak out my ears.
Is the work day over yet?!?!
Friday, December 24, 2004
And the second best Christmas gift came this morning - when J woke up at 6:45, the grandparents got up with him, and I got to sleep until almost 9:00. Ah, bliss. :-)
It's already been a great Christmas, and Santa Claus hasn't even come yet!
Hope everyone has a very, very Merry Christmas.
Thursday, December 23, 2004
Well, they got the arduous part right - so where's my ample reward? LOLOL
Today hasn't been too bad. I talked to the person I needed to talk to about the screw-up I made - we reached a resolution, and he was surprisingly pleasant, so that was nice. I've actually been trying to meet one of the goals that I think I'll fall short on. I still think I'll fall short, but at least I'm making an effort.
It's 3:30, and my brain is already gone. I wish they'd just let us go early.
I'm at work today. The roads were all right this morning, and traffic was light - I guess lots of people are taking off for the holiday weekend. The only bad thing is, I totally overslept. I didn't wake up until I heard J calling at 7:15. YIKES. Somehow I still managed to make it here by 8:30, though, which isn't too bad.
And now I'm here, and I'm so overwhelmed I don't know what to focus on first. I'm still feeling just beat down today. Too much to do, I can't get it all done, and no matter what I try to do, someone will still be unhappy with me about something. I've got to make a phone call today regarding that thing I screwed up (called the person I need to talk to yesterday, he was out, we've played phone tag, now it's my turn to call) - yeah, I'm really looking forward to a phone call where I know someone will be yelling at me. *SIGH* Logically I know I'm not stupid, I know I'm not incompetent, but this job sure does its level best to make me feel that way every day.
I'd better get back to it. It feels like the day is dragging, but hopefully 5:00 will be here before I know it. Yeah, that's right, 5:00 - I have to work all day the day before a holiday, and that sucks, too.
Wednesday, December 22, 2004
My usually-45-minute commute took me almost two hours. I saw no less than six wrecks, and I counted the overpasses I went over on my way home (ten - yep, ten). My car slid on ice more than once, and all I could do was take my foot off the gas, hang on to the steering wheel so hard I thought my hands might melt into it, and pray that I stayed on the road. Thankfully, both the car and I made it home safely. K's work sensibly let their employees off at 2:00, *before* the weather got bad, so he was able to pick up J for me. Thank goodness for that - I wouldn't have made it to daycare until about half an hour after closing time.
So what's on the agenda for tomorrow? I'm supposed to go to work. Our official policy re: inclement weather is that if public transportation (the buses, at least) are running, then we're open. Pardon me if I think that's a bit silly. The drivers of the public transit buses around here are insane drivers on good days. I don't want to be on the roads with them if there's even a suggestion of ice to be found. I saw at least three of those buses involved in wrecks on my way home today. But the long and short of it is, if the office is officially open and I don't think I can make it to work (and I don't think I can - the bridges were already iced tonight, it's not getting above freezing before Friday, and I'll still have to drive over those bridges to get back to work), then I have to take a personal day to stay home. And if I do that, I'll be worried about getting even farther behind than I already am. UGH. I'm going to get up at the usual time and check the weather and my driveway (it tends to turn into a solid sheet of ice if the weather gets squirrelly), and I guess I'll go to work if I have to. I just hope no one holds it against me if it takes me two hours to get there in the morning.
And now, on a completely different note. I find myself wondering lately - do I have it in me to ever be really happy with anyone for the long term? I think of things I'd get annoyed with K for doing or not doing, and I wonder - was it K's actions that rubbed me the wrong way, was he truly inconsiderate of me at times, or was it just selfishness/not wanting to do for him on my part, would I eventually end up feeling that way about anyone? Is my personality such that I could ever gladly do things for my significant other without coming to resent that person or get annoyed with them for asking me to do things? I worry about that. What if the flaw is more with me than with the dynamic between K and me? I wonder if I'll end up alone, or if I'd be better off just staying that way, and thinking of staying alone makes me sad. I don't think I'd like that.
OK, enough of the deep thoughts and whining about work and ice and snow and such. It's late, I've got to get some sleep just in case I have to brave the freeways in the morning. Part of me almost hopes I just go on to work, so I don't get even farther behind (how sad is that, to have a job where you feel guilty for taking time off, even if it's time you're entitled to take or time you're taking for a really good reason), but part of me would really just like to stay home and drink hot chocolate and play with J. We'll see what happens.
Add to that concerns about the weather - will it freeze, will it not? - and I'm a mess. I'm supposed to be here until 7:00 tonight. I don't have time to take off if we don't close early, and if we don't, I really can't just blow off my late night and leave, since I'm one of three people who will be here to answer phones. But then, I don't get paid enough in one day to cover my insurance deductible if the roads are icy and I have a wreck, and this job sure isn't worth me ending up hurt or worse over. So I don't know what to do. Why do we have to wait until the weather actually *is* bad to decide when so many of us live in outlying areas and commute to work? Does it take a rocket scientist to figure out that if the weather gets bad like they're anticipating, many of us will have a hard time getting home? UGH.
J has bought into the Santa Claus concept big-time. His stocking is hanging on the mantel, and every time he sees it, he points to it and says, "Santa Claus, come out my presents!" This morning he started talking about trucks, and I asked him if Santa was going to leave a truck in his stocking. "Hum!" He was very excited by that idea. LOL (Fortunately, Santa does have a truck or two to come out of the stocking!)
I'd better dash. I'm still at home right now - the upside to late night at work is that you don't have to be there until 10:00. I'm hoping to get the oil changed in my car before I go in, it's way overdue. So I'd better go on if I hope to take care of that.
Tuesday, December 21, 2004
Nothing particularly profound on my mind today, just a good case of the blahs and a need to whine a little bit. Back to my regularly scheduled workday....
It's cold in my office. I don't like being cold - it makes me want to curl up and sleep. And when the really cold weather (well, really cold for us) hits tomorrow, I'll bet it's going to be miserable in here. YUCK. Why is it that so often the workplace is either roasting hot or freezing cold? Can they not find something resembling a happy medium?
And I've got so much to do, but I can't seem to get motivated. Oh well, next year is another year, a fresh start, right?
I'd better at least try to get some things done. More later!
Monday, December 20, 2004
I don't have anything exciting to post. Well, I am excited at how well daycare drop-off went this morning, but that's about it. :-) Things are just going along. J is very two (as evidenced tonight by his grumpy, grumpy mood - he was so tired he could hardly keep his eyes open, but he kept fighting, and was a grouch about everything), I'm perpetually tired, and my job is a major bringdown. I am SO ready for 2005 to get here. Things have got to get better, right?
Sunday, December 19, 2004
I'm still feeling somewhat puny. Whatever I've got, sinus, allergies, barking crud, seems to be determined to hang on. I don't feel bad enough to miss work or go to the doctor, necessarily, just bad enough to whine about it.
It's kind of funny - since K and I talked a few days ago, I've felt much less stressed about things. It's like now I know we've reached a sort of resolution. I may not know a specific time frame, but at least I think I know the direction things are heading. And knowing is much preferable to not knowing, so it's a relief to have talked about it. Yeah, there are still things in my life that aren't the way I want them to be for the long term, yeah, finances aren't great, yeah, my job is less than stellar, but it will all work out. Eventually. :-)
And tomorrow is another Monday - blech. At least it's a four-day week.
Friday, December 17, 2004
I'm not in much of a thoughtful mood today. I'm tired, too tired to think profound thoughts right now. It's a big Friday night, I'm up too late, watching more episodes of The Shield, eating popcorn and drinking a Guinness. On the weekend agenda: a trip to the library and some Christmas shopping! I'll just be glad when the Christmas hoo-ha is done for another year, although I am really enjoying Christmas lights a lot more than I have in recent years, seeing them through J's eyes. He loves 'em all, every time we pass a house that's lit up, he yells, "mo' Christmet lights!" That's one of the great things about having a child, you re-learn to appreciate things you've taken for granted.
It's late - one more episode of The Shield, or bed? Eh, maybe one more - sleep's overrated anyway! LOL
Thursday, December 16, 2004
It's late, I'm still up waiting for the cookies I made for J's Christmas party tomorrow to cool. Lesson: Never make anything for your child's school parties that involves melted chocolate that has to cool and re-harden. I'm waiting for the damned Hershey kisses on top of the cookies to cool enough that they won't completely squash when I pack the cookies. I'm about to just leave 'em out all night (or what's left of it, anyway) and go on to sleep.
It's been a long, hard day at the office. I ate lunch at my desk, I've barely stopped all day long, and I still don't feel like I've made a dent in my pile of stuff to do. *SIGH*
But at least now it's time to go home. :-) Time to go get J and hear him say, "MY ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-ma!" That sure makes up for a world of evils in the workplace.
Wednesday, December 15, 2004
Had an appointment with my counselor today, and then had a talk with K. We discussed going ahead and filing. His first reaction was along the lines of, that's a worst-case scenario, and we talked about it and I ended up feeling very distressed. I was thinking, we've stepped into the tar baby and we'll never get out, we'll be in this separation limbo forever. We talked more this evening, though. (I'm paraphrasing and shortening quite a lot here, but you'll get the gist.) He'd asked me what was the point in filing now, and when we talked this afternoon, I told him I knew filing now wouldn't solve the financial issues that we're working on. He said, no, but it would give us closure from an emotional perspective. My point exactly. If the emotional attachment to the marriage is no longer there, if we still care about each other but not in a spousely kind of way, why prolong the spiritual and legal ties? What function would that serve? So I think it was a good conversation. He said maybe it was just the shock of actually hearing the idea of filing sooner rather than later voiced that threw him earlier. I think we both felt better after talking, and it's kind of a relief, but kind of sad, too, that the marriage may be over sooner than we thought. Of course, it will probably take a little while after filing to get a court date and have everything finalized, but still.
I asked my counselor about the thought of what's better for J, us trying to work on the marriage if at least one of us doesn't have our heart in it, likely ending up in the same position months or years down the road, with J then being old enough to *really* be aware of what's going on (and to be getting a skewed perspective on marital relationships in the process), or us breaking it off now, staying involved in J's life, letting him know we love him, and taking a chance on being really happy, even if it's not with each other. She told me that I'd answered my own question.
And K and I talked, too, about why we got married. Emotionally, I think we were both pretty immature at the time, with not a whole lot in the way of dating/relationship experience. We were in a small town, in a church community where we were just about the only single people around, and everyone just "expected" that we'd get together and settle down - we were both done with college, ready to start a career, and it would just be natural for the two of us to hook up and get married. Not that we didn't love each other as we understood love at the time - we did, I don't think we'd have gotten married otherwise. I think it's more that we've both grown and changed, and thought more about what we want from a spouse or significant other, and we've realized that we aren't what we were when we married and now we aren't what the other needs. It's sad, yes, and it's not the path anyone would pick for themselves going into a marriage. But it's not the end of the world, and it doesn't make either of us bad people for wanting out.
So it's been an interesting day. Kind of weird to think I could be divorced in, oh, three months or so. Yikes. December 31 would be our 10th anniversary - we debated whether we should buy each other presents. LOL We finally settled on splitting the cost of a really good bottle of champagne and using that champagne to give 2004 the big "fuck you" (it's been a rotten year!), ring in what will hopefully be a much improved year in 2005, and celebrate moving on, and whatever other odd things we can throw into the toast. LOL
And on top of all this conversation, I was trying to deal with work. I'm sorry, but it's a little difficult for me to really feel sympathetic for a client wondering why his account has only grown by $60,000 in the last year and a half when I'm just hoping to stay in the black from one payday to the next. (By the way, I did NOT overdraw my checking account this time - got paid today, I was still on the positive side! Woo hoo!!!! It's not complete financial stability, but it's a step in the right direction.) I'm not sure I'm people-oriented enough to really do well at this job. It's almost like you have to have more of a call center and sales mentality, and I've always avoided those things like the plague because I know I'm not temperamentally suited for it. Maybe I can find other career opportunities here, maybe I can start my own business (law practice or otherwise), maybe I can win the lotto, but I don't think I'll have this particular position forever.
Yesterday I had no voice at all. Today I still sound rather like a man, but at least sound comes out when I talk. Bourbon, honey and lemon - works every time. :-)
Oh, we had our team Christmas party yesterday evening. It was fun. You get a whole new perspective on your boss after you've seen him take a few jello shots. That's one of the best things about my job, the people I work with. They're great, and I'm very thankful for them! Too bad the job itself makes me so nuts.
Monday, December 13, 2004
And speaking of, Divorce Court is on TV right now. You know, I'm really not missing much by not seeing daytime TV every day....
So I've been thinking some more (always a dangerous proposition). If K were to say, hey, I want to work on us (and I don't think he would, we've had that conversation before), am I obligated to try? Is that what would be best for J, us trying to fix things? I'm sure the conventional wisdom would say yes, it's best for a child to be in the home with both parents. But is it best for J for us to try - for me to try - when deep down I feel like I'll just be waiting for the same shoe to drop months or years down the road and put us right back in the middle of a similar situation? Is that "best" for J? For me? For K? Or is it better for all of us to just end it now and move on on good terms? I don't know. I second-guess myself daily as to what's best for J, and I worry about that like crazy. An online friend of mine said that she eventually ended up divorcing her first husband because she was the only one trying to save the marriage, and she couldn't do it alone. Would it be fair to K if he did want to try to have him jump through hoops if my heart wasn't really in it? I have a real-life friend who's in that dilemma - her husband moved out, has moved back in with the intent to work on things - she's going along because she thinks it might be best for their child, but her heart isn't in it. From what she's told me, that sounds like a real bad place to be.
And then I think, is this just hurt feelings on my part? Are my feelings just hurt that he paid more attention to some other woman than me? If I'm 100% honest, well, sure, my feelings were hurt at the time, and yes, I still feel some hurt over it. But is that the basis for me wanting out of my marriage? I don't think so. I don't think I'm contemplating ending it in a fit of pique, in a snit because of something K did. I've had a long time to think about all of this, and I don't think that's all it is, me being upset and saying, "I'll just take my toys and go home." I really do think K and I bring out the less-than-stellar qualities in each other as spouses, and I think we'd be happier with other people. I think if we didn't take a chance, if we stayed in our marriage, that some time down the road we'd both regret not having taken the chance. And what if we did stay together while J is young, only to split up when he's older and have him find out we stayed together for him? Is that better for him, easier for him to deal with, finding out that mama and daddy didn't really love each other but endured for him than growing up with the idea that mama and daddy love him but are better off not being married? There is no good answer to that question, but it seems to me like the former would be worse than the latter.
I feel like I'm talking in circles here, so I think I'll stop. I'm just ready to *go* some direction, I'm tired of feeling like I'm drifting. I know it's not just me, I know K feels the same way about being in limbo. But I don't feel his feelings (if that makes sense), I only know they exist because he tells me they do - my feelings are the only ones I can *feel*, and my feelings are about to drive me bonkers.
And I look at all this, think about my situation, and wonder - if I meet someone down the road, someone I want to be serious about, will he ever question my loyalty, my ability to commit to a relationship? I sure hope not. If someone is loyal to me, I will be loyal to them, maybe even past the point where it's prudent to do so. If someone makes a commitment to me and I make one to them, I will honor that commitment. I sure hope no one would ever question that. That would make me very, very sad indeed.
1 pound semisweet baking chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used Scharffen Berger)
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used Scharffen Berger)
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-ounce pieces
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup pecans, toasted (325 degrees for 12 minutes) and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup walnuts, toasted (325 degrees for 14 minutes) and coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Melt the chopped semisweet chocolate, unsweetened chocolate and butter in the top half of a double boiler or in a medium glass bowl in a microwave oven (I microwaved for 2 minutes, stirring about every 45 seconds), and stir until smooth. Set aside.
In a sifter combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Sift onto a large piece of parchment paper or wax paper and set aside.
Place the eggs, sugar, and espresso powder in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle. (I used a regular hand mixer.) Beat on medium speed for 4 minutes until the mixture is thickened and slightly frothy. Add the chocolate and butter mixture and mix on medium to combine, about 1 minute. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Operate the mixer on low while gradually adding the dry ingredients; mix until incorporated, about 45 seconds. Scrape down the insides of the bowl. Add the chocolate chips, pecans, walnuts, and vanilla extract and mix on low to combine, about 10 seconds. (I did this part of the mixing by hand.) Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a rubber spatula to finish mixing the ingredients until thoroughly combined. Note that a yummy batter-like consistency is achieved, rather than dough-like.
Using 3 heaping tablespoons (approximately 2 1/2 ounces) or 1 heaping #20 ice cream scoop of the batter for each cookie, portioin 6 cookies, evenly spaced, on each of 3 nonstick baking sheets. Place 1 baking sheet on the top rack and 1 baking sheet on the center rack of the oven and bake for 18 minutes, rotating the sheets from top to center halfway through the baking time (at that time also turn each sheet 180 degrees). The third baking sheet may be placed in another 325-degree oven or held at room temperature and then baked after the first 2 sheets are removed from the oven. [Lisa's note: This all sounded awfully fussy to me. I used one stoneware baking pan, six cookies at a time, and baked the cookies on the center rack for 18 minutes - I didn't mess with rotating, moving from top to center, all that nonsense, and they turned out just fine.]
Remove the cookies from the oven and cool to room temperature on the baking sheets, about 15 minutes. Store the cooled cookies in a tightly sealed plastic container. [Lisa's note: I cooled the cookies on the baking sheet for just a few minutes, then moved them to a wire rack to finish cooling.]
Recipe says it makes 18 3-inch cookies, but I don't guess I made mine big enough. I made 18, and still have enough batter in the fridge for at least six more. Goooooood....
The margarita pie turned out well, too. I had some of the filling left over (probably enough for a third pie if I'd had a crust), so I've got goodies on hand to take care of my sweet tooth for quite a while. Woo hoo, happy holidays! LOL
I'm also making margarita pies for our team Christmas party tomorrow. I took them for a potluck before, and they were a big hit. They're pretty easy, so I figured they'd be a good party dessert.
OK, this is annoying. The CD player in the living room is skipping like mad. I'll bet it needs cleaning. Either that or my brother's spirit is playing jokes on me.
I'm feeling a little puny today. I started with the cough and scratchy throat last night, so I'm dosing myself with lemon and honey and cognac (not the best taste, but I'm out of bourbon) in hopes of heading off the crud. I don't have time to be sick! I might take a nap after a while. Uninterrupted sleep is always a good thing.
Cookies are done - back soon with a report!
Sunday, December 12, 2004
I miss feeling like I matter to someone - not "matter" as in hey, you're my friend, I like you. I miss feeling like I'm the only woman in the world as far as someone is concerned. I miss feeling special to someone, like someone's world gets brighter just because I walk into the room, like someone's heart beats a little faster just to see me, like someone would want to give me a hug and kiss just because he loves me so much. And sometimes I wonder if I'll ever feel that way again, if anyone will ever feel that way about me again.
Even before all this separation stuff came up, I didn't feel special to K. He'd gotten to be friends with JG and was investing so much time and effort into his friendship with her that I felt completely unimportant. She'd call, he'd jump, and that left me feeling like I meant very little to him. Sometimes I think that if, when he'd realized how he was starting to feel about her, if he'd stepped back and said "no, I won't go there, I want to work on my marriage," I'd have done it. If he'd walked away from his friendship with her and tried to mend things between us, I'd have tried anything, I think. But he didn't, and I eventually stopped allowing his feelings for her to have the power to hurt me anymore. And at this point, even if he were to say tomorrow, "I've been so wrong, I'm sorry, I want to fix our marriage," I don't think it would change how I feel now. That friendship with JG that, at least on his side (and I think on hers, too, even though she'd probably deny it until she turned blue), became something more did enough damage that I don't think I ever could try to repair it. Even if he suddenly turned into the most attentive, most solicitous, most considerate man around, I'm afraid I'd be suspicious of his motives - I'd wonder, is it me he really wants, or is it just the security of a marriage? (This is the same reason I don't think there'll ever be any "sex with the ex" - I'd feel like it was more just a warm and willing body he was interested in, and not necessarily *me*, the person, and then I'd just feel rotten about myself.) And that's a sad, terrible thing to think. It hurts me to feel that way about K, because when we met, I thought he was one of the most considerate men I'd ever known, and now it comes down to the fact that I feel he wasn't considerate enough of me. I can't spend the rest of my life wondering if or when the same scenario will play out again. I deserve to find someone who does think I'm the most special woman in the world and is willing to give up a friendship if it's coming between the two of us.
But right now it doesn't feel like I'll ever get there. What if I get out of my marriage and never find anyone else? What if I die old and alone and bitter? Blech. I'm pitiful. Maybe I should just go to bed and stop sitting here feeling sorry for myself and making up worst-case scenarios. Yeah, it's 11:45, I should definitely go to bed.
I'm not sure what's up with K. Sometimes I talk to him and he sounds fairly OK, sometimes I talk to him and it's almost like he'd rather be talking to anyone else in the world *but* me, like he'd just as soon walk across the street and avoid talking to me altogether. I'm trying not to get too bent out of shape about it, but sometimes it's hard. I keep reminding myself, it's probably bound to happen, when the marriage is officially over, things may not stay on "best friend" terms. Not that I think we'll ever hate each other or anything like that, and I sure don't think we'll end up like my sister and her ex (he did horrible things just to be nasty to her, didn't give a fat damn how it affected his kids, and now they're old enough to see him for the pig-dog he really is - if he weren't such a weasel, I'd feel bad for him). But things are different, and it's an adjustment. Some days I wonder if we'd both be better off just going ahead and filing, having some resolution to all of this. Whatever happens, I don't want to let the limbo of separation drag out so long that we *do* get to where we can barely stand the sight of each other.
J is super, as always. Tonight when he was trying every delaying tactic in the book to avoid going to sleep, he looked at me and said, "Rock a baby," meaning he wanted me to hold him and sing Rock a Bye Baby. *sniffle* Of course he got five more minutes of awake time with that one! :-) So I rocked him and sang to him - he was so tired, his eyes were just rolling back in his head when I was rocking him, but he wasn't quite ready to give it up yet. I so seldom get to rock him anymore (he's getting so big, pretty soon it will be a real challenge for me to do so), and I thought that was the sweetest thing. That ranks right up there with "luv oo" and "MY ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-ma" as the sweetest things I've ever heard my baby boy say.
I've probably had lots of other stuff cross my mind over the past few days that I'd wanted to remember to write about, but it's gone now. Oh well, if it's important, it will come back. I'm going to go fold laundry while one last load dries, and then it's night-night for me, too.
Saturday, December 11, 2004
Last night - J didn't give it up and go to sleep until almost 11:00. YOW. And he was *still* up before 8:00 this morning, and fought his nap for all he was worth. I gave birth to the Energizer bunny, he keeps going and going and going....
Other than that, it's been a pretty low-key weekend so far. I don't feel like getting into a lot of my thoughtful bits right now, too much effort. Maybe later.
Off to walk - I've got to start getting the weight off again! I was proud of myself - I actually put a chocolate pot de creme back in the refrigerator, unfinished. Now if I could just bring myself to stop making the damned things altogether, that would be an even bigger accomplishment.
Friday, December 10, 2004
I'm sure I've had tons of things on my mind this week. I've learned that without the distraction of the Internet, my job isn't the hellhole I thought, but it is incredibly boring. I'm good at the admin part, but it's no intellectual challenge. I don't like the dealing with people part, although it brings a little interest. So where does that leave me? Still not incredibly happy with where I am - I don't think it's a career position for me. We'll see where things go. I'm considering opening my own practice, but I'd do something completely different if I could make enough at it to support myself and J. I do calligraphy - I'd love to get into that as a money-maker, practice, get better, learn new styles. I could start with invitations, special occasion things, and if I got really good, work my way up to artwork. That would be cool. I like making candles - another fun thing to do. I'd love to be able to invest enough time in it to have a stock of candles on hand to market, maybe start at craft shows, check with local gift stores. And I enjoy Pampered Chef. If I had the financial resources to just quit my job, I'd be perfectly content to have a career doing creative things. See, law school *didn't* kill it entirely! And of course, I'd love to have my Bath Junkie franchise on the side. :-) If a Wells Fargo truck would just let one little bag of cash slip off right outside my house....
I am SO enjoying today. After I dropped J off at daycare, I came home and slept for about three hours. Ah, bliss. I feel rested for the first time in I don't know when. And I get to do it again on Monday!!!! After I got up, I cranked up the stereo and danced around the living room for a while, played the piano (if I play while J is awake, he likes to come play with me, and if he's asleep, I can't really turn loose on the Beethoven), and now I'm watching The Shield. Man, that's a kick-ass show. This afternoon I think I'll watch a little more Shield, make some chocolate pots de creme, run by the grocery store for a couple of things, and if I get real motivated, maybe I'll go pick out J's mattress for the big boy bed. (That's only if I get real motivated, though - may not happen! LOL)
One good thing about very little online time at work - it's given me lots of time to write in my real-life journal. I wrote 17 pages day before yesterday - that's a lot! I've thought about many, many things. I'm going to take a break and get something to eat (just realized all I've eaten today is a handful of chocolate chips - yeah, that's healthy), and I'll be back to write more later.
Tuesday, December 07, 2004
This also means I won't get to visit blogs as often as I'd like. I'm really bummed about this. I'll just make do with slow dial-up at home on evenings and weekends, I reckon. No, really, I'm *really* bummed.
Of course, this means that I'll probably write novels when I do post! LOL
All that being said, here I am at home with not a blessed thing on my mind, if you can believe that! It's late, I worked out tonight (walked on the treadmill - only 20 minutes, but it's a start), and now I'm enjoying a lovely Guinness, no doubt undoing any good the workout accomplished. I think Guinness must be one of the greatest beverages ever - good, good stuff.
Now I really should get off of here and get some sleep - the alarm goes off early at 5:00. See y'all later....
Yesterday's review: not great, but not as bad as I feared. In a nutshell, I need to be better about getting here on time, on the Internet less, better about returning phone calls, and better with time management. So I'm working on it. I always thought I was pretty good at time management, and I can't decide if my skills in that area are getting worse or if it's just the volume of work that makes it seem that way. Dunno. *shrug*
I told J I loved him when I put him in the car yesterday, and he said, "Luv oo." :-) Sweet boy.
More to write about, I'm sure, but I'm just not feeling very chatty today. Back later, must work now.
Monday, December 06, 2004
I flipped through it, though, and one thing that caught my attention was the part about stages of divorce. The materials said there are three stages to divorce: emotional, spiritual and legal. The emotional stage is where someone finally admits/recognizes that their marriage is over. I think K and I are both past that point - I know I am. At this point, I really don't know what we could do to put things back together, and I don't think that's what either of us wants anyway. So that leaves us to get past the spiritual and legal stages of divorce. The spiritual stage is referring to the fact that you made a vow before God, and that you should honor that vow even though the marriage may be emotionally over. It talked about having friends and support, but seemed to imply you were a horrible person and putting any future relationships at risk if you even thought about anything more than that. (The book was written from a Christian perspective, and I thought it was a little over the top on that point, but maybe that's just me. Not like I'm out running around looking to break my vows anyway.) And the legal stage is referring to the point where action is taken to legally dissolve the marriage. It made for interesting reading.
Half an hour until my review. Eek.
Things are a bit chaotic. Printers aren't working correctly, things aren't all finished out, supplies aren't where they should be, and one of my co-workers doesn't even have a working computer. Isn't moving fun? Oh well, it's not a bad space.
I have my quarterly review with my manager at 11:00. Eek. I'm nervous. At my old job, at least I'd been there long enough to know where I stood and to feel reasonably sure my higher-ups were pleased with my performance. Here, I don't know. I hate not knowing. I hope it goes better than I think it will.
I've probably got more to write, but can't focus now - too busy worrying about my review. Wish me luck, and I'll be back later.
Saturday, December 04, 2004
Yesterday was good. It was so nice to get some clutter cleared out!!! I'm nowhere near done, but at least it's a start. I got rid of it all at CD Warehouse and Half Price Books - not a great deal of cash, but I didn't care, so long as I didn't have to take that stuff back home. Of course, just my luck, I got to Half Price Books and opened up the back of my truck only to find that the load had shifted. Before I opened the back gate six inches, I knew I was in trouble. But I was stuck - couldn't catch all the books and CD's, couldn't push them back up to where they wouldn't fall. Finally I just opened the gate and let the law of gravity do its thing. A stack of about ten or twelve big, heavy cookbooks fell on my foot/ankle. OW, OW, OW. It's not serious - hurts a bit, and looks pretty rough, but no permanent harm done. I did have to deal with the embarrassment factor of trying to pick up a shitload of books and CD's out of the parking lot, but a nice woman came over and helped me, so no permanent harm done to my pride, either. :-)
But boy, was I tired last night. I didn't realize what strenuous work it was to go up and down the ladder and move boxes and unpack and repack and organize and rearrange while I was doing it! My back and arms were sore when I woke up this morning. And now I'm at work. I was just learning my way around the old office, and now I'll have to relearn this one. Oh well, we'll all be in the same boat!
Back to work, so I'm not here all afternoon!
Friday, December 03, 2004
Sometimes I wish I was in a movie
Or some 70s TV thing
Where everything gets neatly wrapped by the end of the show
Yea, but this ain't Hollywood
And this sure ain't the Brady Bunch and
How this plot's gonna all pan out I don't really know
--Michael W. Smith, Love Me Good
I may not know how it will all pan out, but it will all be OK.
I'm off to hopefully trade crap for cash and to meet my old college roomie for coffee. It's a glorious sunny day. I wish my driver's side window worked, so I could roll it down and enjoy the wind on my face (well, at least until I got too cold to stand it anymore - it's nippy).
It's a good day. :-)
Thursday, December 02, 2004
I'm better than I was earlier. K and I had a good talk tonight.. We are on the same page about our relationship, my concerns/thoughts were groundless. I asked him if he had to decide right now where he sees us ending up, reconciling or divorcing, what would he say, honestly. He said he saw us getting divorced, that he just couldn't see us getting back together after all that's happened. I agreed - I think if either of us were going to say, "hey, wait a minute, let's fix things", we would have done it by now. And the fact that I never tried to talk him out of moving out when the topic first came up way back when speaks volumes to me. We talked about lots of things, up to and including what all is involved in getting divorced in Texas, what the hearing would be like (i.e., would there be a need for lots of witnesses and testimony - no, not unless there's a big dispute about anything - I'm pretty sure all that would be needed would be the basic prove-up questions about residency in the county and state and whether we think the marriage is truly insupportable with no hope of reconciliation), speculation as to what court costs would run. It was an interesting conversation, and a good one. I'm glad he and I can talk about these things without throwing things or having fits. So unless something *really* strange happens, it looks like divorce is in my future somewhere down the road. Two months, six months, who knows, but it's coming. And I'm OK with that - yes, it will be a change, yes, there will be difficult parts about it, yes, it will be an adjustment, for me and for K and for J. But change is not necessarily bad, and I know the end of a marriage is not the end of the world. And I'm glad K and I talked - good to know we are still on the same page about this. What would really suck is if, somewhere along the way, one of us wanted to fix things and the other didn't. Seems like that would be a much more difficult situation.
And now for something completely different! My son is the cutest thing ever. (Good thing he's got blond hair and blue eyes, I seem to have a thing for them! LOLOL) Playing with him and hearing him let out a big ol' belly laugh is the greatest thing in the world. I love it when he wants me to go somewhere with him and he grabs my hand and says, "Mama, let's go!" I think it's funny that he and another child at daycare were squabbling over who'd get to help the teacher do something - not fighting over a toy, but both wanting to help. He's really good about saying "please", and will occasionally say "bless you" when someone sneezes, and even more occasionally say "thank you". He's getting there - guess I'm doing a little something right. :-)
Yep, it's been a decent end to what started out as a very crappy day. I'm glad of that. And tomorrow? Mental health day, WOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOO!!! If y'all don't see me on here, that means I'm either out running errands and organizing my house, or that I'm taking a long, uninterrupted, much-needed nap. Either way, it's all good.
Things are crazed at work - last-minute packing and running around, no work getting done at all. I'm really looking forward to having tomorrow off. I'm hoping to sneak out a few minutes early! :-)
I'm much better than I was earlier. I got a lot of help and a listening ear from my team leader - I didn't tell her all the gory personal details, but I did tell her I had some stuff going on and that work, on top of that, was a bit overwhelming at the moment. She walked me through the disaster I had going on this morning - it's mostly done, and at least under control, so that's a relief (and a learning experience, which is good). She made me feel better about not having it all together, she's been doing this five years and told me it's normal to feel overwhelmed, it's a lot to get a handle on. And that helped a lot, hearing that from someone who's been there.
Then I went to the Dallas Estate Planning Council meeting, and it was nice to get out of the office. I realized what a law geek I really am. The topic was the use of life insurance in estate planning. I realized that not only did I know what ILIT's and GRAT's and split-dollar arrangements were, but that I *liked* the discussion, I *wanted* to have something to do with that. I frighten myself sometimes. LOLOLOL
So, I'm not going to burst into flame anymore, which is nice. I'm off tomorrow. I plan to take my car in for an oil change and tire rotation, and hopefully exchange stuff for cash at Half Price Books, CD Warehouse and Once Upon a Child. And maybe I'll have time to come home and take a nice nap in a quiet house, since J will be at daycare. :-) Mental health day for Mama!!!!
And then there's my marriage. I have so many thoughts rolling around in my head, I'm not even sure if they can come out in an organized fashion. I've been flipping through a book called Are You the One For Me? by Barbara De Angelis, and a couple of things have hit me. I don't have the book here, so I can't quote directly, but I'll go from memory as best as I can. One section talked about the wrong reasons for being in relationships, and one of the reasons was guilt. There were ten statements at the beginning of that section, things like "you grew up in a situation where your feelings didn't count (i.e., alcoholic, critical or controlling parents)" and "you have a hard time identifying what you need and an even harder time telling the ones you love what you need". If only a couple of the statements applied to you, the book said you probably have a normal amount of guilt attached to your relationship. If four or more applied to you, then you might have some problems with guilt in your relationship. I think eight or nine of the ten applied to me. AACK. So am I staying with K out of guilt?
There were some other things that struck me, too, but it's hard for me to talk to K about them (this ties in with the guilt - one of the statements that applied to me was something about not expressing opinions if you saw it would hurt or upset the person you were talking to - yeah, I do that). Some of them had to do with respecting your partner. I can't remember the specifics, but reading it, I thought that maybe K doesn't respect me, or at least not enough for us to have a healthy relationship. If nothing else, it's at least something we should talk about. Some of it was about your partner needing to grow up, and I thought some of the things mentioned there might apply to K. But how do you bring that up, how do you tell a 35-year-old man that he might need to grow up?! It will upset him, I know that - it would upset me if someone told me that. So how do I get past the concern about upsetting him to talk about this?!
And taking all this into account - do I owe it to J to try to put the marriage back together, even if I don't think I'll be happy doing that? Does K owe it to J to try that, even if he doesn't think he'll be happy? I'm getting back to what I talked about a while back - I grew up with the example of parents who were together but not happy. If I try to mend my marriage, am I doing it out of love for K (the kind of love that a marriage should be based on, not a friend type of love), out of obligation to J, out of just falling into the pattern I saw my parents demonstrate? If I decide I want out, how do I know I'm doing the right thing? Or *is* there any way to know? Is it all one big crap shoot, based on what you think seems like the right thing to do at the time?
I wonder, too, what effect the end of his friendship with JG had on his feelings about us separating. I asked him once if the fact that she was separated from her husband around the same time he said he wanted out (I don't remember the exact timing, but JG and her husband had been having problems for a bit, and he'd finally moved out) had anything to do with him wanting to separate, and he said not really, that anything to do with her was maybe 10% of the reason he wanted out. But still I wonder - on some level, does he think the separation isn't such a good idea now that she's not in the picture? And if he does think that, does he think that because he's decided he might want *me*, or because he'd want the security of the marriage rather than me specifically?
And then I feel guilty for even thinking all these things. Damn, I have some serious guilt issues. It's true, I do feel responsible for everything and everyone, and how everyone around me feels. How do I get over that?
Then there's the question of, are my thoughts skewed by society's notions of romantic love? Am I foolish to even dream of/think about/hope for a relationship where I feel swept off my feet, where my partner absolutely makes my toes curl? For centuries, marriages weren't commonly based on love - they were based on other, more practical considerations. Would a marriage based on friendship and a desire to raise our son be enough? Is that something I could live with? Is that something K could live with? Would it be fair to either of us to even try it? I don't know. And if the two of us could live with it, would it be right or fair to J to give him only that example on which to base his notions of what a relationship or marriage should be like?
And in the middle of all my musings, I'm trying to get stuff packed up for the big move at work, answer phones while the people who normally do that go tour our new space for a bit (we all get to do that today, but I'll miss my scheduled time because I'll be at a lunch meeting), and put out fires that are biting me in the ass. I feel so inadequate and incompetent at this job. I could just cry.
Wednesday, December 01, 2004
- Limited time only:: Yeah, right.
- Voluptuous:: Busty.
- Nutritionist:: Someone paid to tell me what's good for me when I already know.
- Belt:: Buckle.
- Star crossed:: Romeo and Juliet.
- Snakeskin:: Boots.
- Athlete’s foot:: Itchy.
- Boom:: Sonic.
- Freezer:: Buying groceries.
- Store hours:: I'd better plan to go on a weekend.
"You will make many changes before settling down happily."
Oh, stop it, you're killing me, my sides, they split! LOLOLOL
And here's a fun little time-waster, courtesy of The Odd Wife:
Enjoy! My highest score so far: 346.1. I'm determined to get past that reindeer.
I bought myself a bottle of Damiana liqueur last night. I found it mentioned in a little drink recipe book I bought, and thought it sounded interesting. I'll have to make something with it and see what I think - I did open the bottle last night, it smelled really good!
I'll write more later, I'm supposed to go see my counselor at 2:00, and I've got so much going on, I hate to take the time away from my desk. And I've got to pack up stuff for the upcoming move, fun fun!!