Archives for September 2014

Thursday Ten: Slow Like Molasses Edition

1. I’m typing this while I’m on hold with the internet server provider people to talk to them about my INSANELY SLOW AND SOMEWHAT UNSTABLE internet connection. It’s kind of become a huge pain in the ass to have my internet essentially stop functioning for an hour and a half every evening around 8:30.

2. This is the kind of thing I can do while I work from home this morning because my iPhone is still full of peanut butter and so I can only use it when I’m on speaker on have headphones in. And I can’t find my headphones (or I’m lazy – I have a pair in my purse, a pair in my camera bag…). [Update: Booyah! A technician is coming out!]

3. I have to go to the dentist today. I haven’t been in ages because of that whole not having insurance for a long time thing. I hate the part where they floss my teeth. My dentist uses cheap, hurty floss.

4. It’s beginning to look a lot like ArtPrize! Pieces are starting to appear around the city – like this one spotted in front of the Grand Rapids Public Museum yesterday.
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5. I’ve been having an epic battle with a gross head cold since Saturday evening. While I’m up and around now (Sunday I was like a bump on a log), I’m still feeling less than a hundred percent and I’m very underwhelmed by how absolutely miserable I am. I do NOT like being sick.

6. One of my favorite things about Friday Night Lights binge watching is finding all the people from the show Parenthood in the cast.

7. I have not yet updated to iOS 8 because I learned a few years ago that updating my operating system on the first day of its release is a quick way to temporarily brick my phone. Maybe I am getting more patient with age.

8. Or maybe it’s just that I’m too busy trying to restore normal breathing through my nose.

9. How is it even Thursday already? Crazy how some weeks fly and some move so slowly. This one is flying – it’s been busy and productive and well, I’ve been sick for most of it, but still. Flying.

10. It’s getting chillier. The chill in the air makes me want to bake. Lemon squares, anyone?


There’s something about realizing that twenty years ago right around now, I was just beginning my freshman year of college. I got a flash of memory lane over the past weekend when Chris and I made it to Ann Arbor for a Michigan football game (Go Blue!) – because twenty years ago, right about now, I was attending my first game at the Big House as a student there.

And I have a flash of that all being twenty years ago because my 20-year high school reunion is in two weeks and the invitation is sitting on the bookshelf in my bedroom and as of today I haven’t RSVP’d nor have I declined the invite.

They all have husbands and wives and children and houses and dogs, and, you know, they’ve all made themselves a part of something and they can talk about what they do. What am I gonna say? “I killed the president of Paraguay with a fork. How’ve you been?”

I’m pretty sure I’m not going. I mean, originally, I was all, “Oh yeah, I’ll be there!” but now, I don’t think I’m going and the reason I’m pretty sure I’m not going is that the RSVP deadline passed two weeks ago and I’ve also ignored a text asking if I was going and I am filled with this…weirdness about it all. A weirdness that I am not even really sure comes from any reasonable place that I know, but I’m choosing to listen to it and to not ignore it, because I do know myself.

And I know from knowing myself the way that I know myself – whether my sense seems to have any rhyme or reason (or not), it is what it is.

Everybody’s coming back to take stock of their lives. You know what I say? Leave your livestock alone.

I actually didn’t mind high school. I wasn’t a popular kid. I wasn’t bullied. I was a nice middle-of-the-road kid, good grades, nice to most. I’m guessing I didn’t register with enough people to be much disliked, though I guess I could be wrong. When I look back on those years, I am not filled with the dread or loathing that some have when they remember high school. It was…okay. I wasn’t tormented. I wasn’t miserable. I wasn’t angry. I wasn’t wishing the years away.

Oh but how I couldn’t wait to fly away when it was all over – couldn’t wait to find my wings – couldn’t wait for life to start. While I was there, while I was in it – I enjoyed myself.

I passed notes in class. I made legendary index note cards for chemistry exams. I played the flute badly in band. I wore a scratchy peach dress in our high school’s performance of “Oklahoma!” It was a fate worse than death to be home on a Friday night. I went places. We drove around town, yelling “Beer!” if we passed a car with a headlight out (I later learned that most people say “pediddle”? I have no idea. It was what they did so I did). High school dances. Slipping notes in locker vents. At lunch eating square pizza seated at round tables.

I just find it amusing that you came from somewhere.

In the age of Facebook, I know how most everyone is doing. I know what they do for a living. I know if they’re married or not. How many kids they have. What sports teams they root for. What side they prefer when they’re taking their facebook profile selfie shot. If they have pets or not. If they like pumpkin spice or not. I know what sports their kids play. I know their political affiliation. I know who has heard of Snopes and who hasn’t.

In short? I know more about these people now than I ever did.

And many of us didn’t go far – I don’t mean that in the metaphorical “What have you done with your life?” way, but geographically? Most of us are STILL. FREAKING. HERE.

I went to my kids’ open houses – and ran into a good portion of my graduating class. And I’m not saying that like it’s a bad thing – but it seems to me that it used to be that reunions were to bring people together that lost touch and now? You can’t lose touch. Social media has you so extensively IN TOUCH that good luck trying to cut yourself off from the world.

Not that I mind. Because I like knowing what they’re up to and what they’re doing. I do.

But. Sigh.

Hey Jenny Slater. Hey Jenny Slater. Hey Jenny Slater.

And you would think, “You know these people. You went to school with them. You’re connected with them on Facebook! This should be fun!” But.

I’m still an introvert. I’m still socially awkward. I’m still me.

I am the me that – while I cannot imagine that there is anyone who harbors any lingering hatred towards me – also cannot fathom that there is anyone who would cross a room to speak to me. I have this vision of sitting at a table eating my overpriced plate of rubber chicken and not talking to anyone. And – that’s somewhat humiliating to admit. I’m not the type to cross a room to start conversations.

And say someone did approach me – how do I want to explain the years since I saw them last at our ten year reunion? Stabbing the President of Paraguay with a fork would be infinitely more amusing than the reality which is that life has happened since I saw them last – life with its ups and downs and divorce and job hunts and finding my way and finding a job and finally finding a little peace again and that’s awfully deep for a conversation over rubber chicken and it’s not a conversation I want to have with anyone. And I don’t want to talk about the weather.

Some people say forgive and forget. Nah, I don’t know. I say forget about forgiving and just accept. And… get the hell out of town.

I wish them all well. I do.

And maybe I’d feel differently if I hadn’t just seen over half of the expected attendees three weeks ago. Maybe I’d feel differently if I had a big personality and was less of a wallflower. Maybe I’d feel differently if I truly believed my glory days ended twenty years ago.

And so it goes.

I’m making other plans, plans that don’t involve rubber chicken and a cash bar. Plans that don’t involve sucking in my gut and forcing myself to stand up straighter for hours on end.

Maybe in ten more years I’ll feel up to it. Right now, I’ll just plan to get the hell out of town.

Thursday Ten: It’s Been A Few Weeks edition

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1. I bought myself flowers this week – including this amazing dendrobium orchid. I love its vibrant blues and purples. Love photographing this orchid. And they usually last forever if forever was more like three weeks.

2. What’s been going on in my world that’s kept me away for two weeks? Well, the girls started school again and I’ve stopped sleeping. Well, I sleep – just not well. I’m tired. Gotta find our groove again schedule wise because whoa nelly the mornings are a bit more chaotic now.

3. Apple’s announcement this week and I have to say I’m… on the fence about the iPhone 6. I mean, I need a phone seeing as how mine has peanut butter in the receiver – but… do I invest in bright and shiny or save some money and buy a 5S which still sounds perfectly lovely? I need a phone, yes, but… which one. (I know me, I’ll go for the bells and whistles and then kick myself for spending money I should have saved because THAT IS HOW I DO.)

4. The kids are in the second week of school – glad the school waited that long before they sent home all their fundraiser gobbledygook. Anyone want to order a bucket of ready made cookie dough?

5. Could fall weather be coming? Oh goodness, I hope so. I just want that one perfect first fall day so I can get that one perfect salted caramel mocha. Gotta give in to that craving once – and only once – each year.

6. The Princess is already in Christmas mode and has been scouring Netflix for Christmas movies. It’s September. OY.

7. Pumpkin is on a mini-crusade to teach people that pitbulls aren’t bad and that any aggressive behavior is learned and based on bad owners. I haven’t done any research on any of that – but I do appreciate my kiddo’s love of four-legged fur-friends and her passion to educate and advocate for animals. Her handwriting is messy as hell but her heart is a good one. Works for me.

8. I feel like I should say something profound about it being the anniversary of 9/11 – but I have nothing profound to say. I cannot believe it’s been 13 years.

9. It’s amazing to realize that it’s September, and that the end of 2014 is creeping towards us or we’re creeping toward it, rather. This year started one way and has turned around and so you know, I’m excited to see how it wraps up as we approach autumn. Oh how time flies.

10. Watching heavy metal rock stars talking about tofu is one of the reasons I love Top Chef Duels.