Thursday, March 30, 2006


Personal, not biblical. Thank goodness. It's been kind of a weird day for me, filled with realizations; not at all usual. I'm at home alone, D's at some work shindig. It kind of pisses me off that he never takes me to these things, keeping work and home life separate blah blah blah. He never used to do that. In the beginning we worked together so it was impossible; in Vermont the town was just too small, I guess.

Anyways. I realized that I really want to explore this proof-reading, copy-editing career-flash-idea that I had recently. I don't know why I've never considered it before; I mean, reading is the single thing that I do best, that I like best, and I'm always editing and correcting what I read in my head, muttering on about clunky writing. There's not much money in it, but it probably beats the heck out of being a bank teller. You get to sit down, for one thing. I'd have to take some classes but that would be ok. My bank would even pay for those, I think. They do that.

I also realized that I'm a fucking loner. I've taken introversion to a level that's not good and I spend my time either at work, with D, with my family, or alone. Reading, on-lining, shopping, bookstore-browsing, driving . . .

Where are all of my friends? When I realized that I had the evening to myself, it came to me that I didn't feel like staying in and reading. How strange. I called my best friend, Ashli. She was busy with family obligations. I called Ben. Ditto. I called....wait. That's it. I didn't have other numbers to dial (like we really dial anymore. Cell-phone one-touch, more like.) Unless I wanted to hang out with my sister (see Family, above) which I didn't. What has become of me? I'm no misanthrope or social outcast! I like people. Some people, anyways. I've just been sucked into the marital/quasi-marital trap in which D and I spend all of our time together. Alone, together. I've always made my friends from the people that I worked with, from that hotel job that turned up D, to the Borders in Vermont with Becca and everyone, to the steakhouse's constant supply of drinking buddies and poker pals. Trouble is, I don't like anyone at the bank enough to try to be friends with them. It's not like I don't like them, just that 40 hours a week is enough. More than enough. I left friends back in Vermont; Holly, Erin, Nicki, Becca. I'm changing this dismal scene, pronto. Mara is now Open for Friendship. No more turning down invitations, staying home because D really is anti-social; no more self-doubting shyness or snobbish Mr. Darcy-ish standoffishness. Maybe I should join a book club or something. :)

Anyone who reads my blog regularly (right) might be thinking, best friend Ashli? What best friend Ashli? Today was the first we've spoken in months. Isn't that weird? It's not like we had a falling-out, although I was starting to think so. Ashli and I have been friends since seventh grade. We don't agree on anything, not movies, books, religion, politics, marriage, which guys are hot, etc. Our conversations don't tend to include any of the above. And yet we've been close friends for over a decade. She got married last June and I was her maid of honor. I last saw her sometime in October I think.

She sent me a holiday card, kind of generic, signed from her and her husband. I called and left a voice-mail to say thank you, and another to say Merry Christmas. She sent me an email on my birthday, I replied to it and sent a birthday card to her parent's house. I emailed her when my grandmother died, to tell her what happened and could we get together? She replied to that one.

I thought maybe she was just cocooning with the new hubby, or wrapped up in work; but who can't pick up the phone every now and then to say hi, or hit 'reply' to an e-mail? (Don't I sound like somebody's mother? I sound like my own mother.) I was a little pissed, to be honest, and ready to just put the friendship on hold until she saw fit to remember it. Now I wonder, though. The tone of her last email wasn't good and I think that she may be doing that...thing.... where you retreat when things get hard because to talk about it is difficult, to admit that life isn't all grand (especially if marriage has always been the goal, the panacea, and the destination) to make things even harder by trying to do everything yourself. Stubbornness, pride, that paranoid fear of seeing judgment in other's eyes. We're alike in some ways after all, I guess. Or she really has been ignoring me. Maybe she's made cooler friends, friends who don't read Harry Potter. But we're going out tomorrow night so I'll see. I'm still kind of ticked though.

Update on the stupid!Kristin thing... she may or may not have been drunk during the whole accident-and-next-morning thing. True, I didn't notice anything, but then, I never do. Intoxication, like homosexuality, usually goes under my radar completely, unless I have some reason for inquiring into either. Points in favor of intoxication: she didn't call the police about the accident, citing the fact that the other car already left the scene. Doesn't make sense because even I know that they have to make an accident report for the insurance company. But if she were drunk it would explain it better. It would also explain why we had to stop for her to throw up at the bank. We'd only been driving for 10 minutes or so, is that long enough to get motion-sick? I don't know. The other point (less substantive) is that the other bank associates who saw her do think so. Perhaps they're more observant than me. Points against intoxication.... none, really. Oh and even though she doesn't seem at all injured or hurt, she has off from work on a doctor's note until Saturday. The whole thing leaves me ticked off. Go ahead and axe her, then.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Ack! Feels like Monday!

What a jarring start to my day! I woke up from the dreaded school dream (I've enrolled for classes and about half way though the semester, I realize that I haven't been to this one class at all, that I've missed the semi-finals, it's too late to withdraw, and I'm failing. It's always too late to do anything about it.) It's always the same dream, since about 8th grade, even though it's been a good 2 years since I graduated. I guess my sub-conscious, after 18-odd years of school, just translates any stress into "school". Sometimes the school is a weird, Dali-esque version of my high school, sometimes it's college. It's always a math or science class. Anyways.

My supervisor calls me up at 7:00 (7:00!) to ask me if I can pick up Kristin from her house and take her to this meeting she's supposed to be at by 7:45. I'm in bed, stark naked and half asleep, and I'm supposed to somehow get her across town during rush hour in 45 minutes. RIGHT. She was in a car accident last night and couldn't drive her car. One interesting thing about my work: nobody seems to understand the concept of a taxi-cab: you know... you call them, they drive you somewhere, you pay them. We never make it to the meeting. Between the traffic, which was unbelievable, and Kristin's nausea (we had to stop at our branch for her to barf) I was actually late getting to work. Also feeling sick from the traffic, with no coffee and no breakfast, and I left my enormous buritto at home. The only saving grace was that my boss went out and got me a Starbucks to get me though till lunch.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

What I did on my day off

1. Slept in.
2. Tried to sleep longer but was awoke by D's mom. Our phone is turned down so we only hear messages. I was just lying there when her voice boomed out across the bedroom. She has recently discovered the internet and email, with some long-distance tutoring from D and me. ("The icon. No, icon. It's a little picture on your screen. You click on it. What do you mean, how? With the mouse!" etc.) Now she thinks that D has blocked her from sending him email and calls wondering what she's done to make him so mad at her, so upset... All she's ever done is love him and now he's blocked her emails?
Of course he didn't, he just called home last week. She's just email-challenged. Not a great way to start my morning-- I called D at work and told him to call home pronto.
3. Walked the dog.
4. Went to the bookstore, read a book, talked to Ben. Contemplated the fact that I can in no way be considered mysterious or to have an 'interesting' past unless it's by someone who doesn't know me at all.
4. Developed fucking massive sinus-headache-turned-migraine-headache.
5. Went to Tom Thumb in search of Sudafed. They keep it behind the counter like it's cigarettes or dirty magazines.
6. Took Sudafed, took Advil, took shower in the dark.
7. Leaned against the shower wall and cried in the dark because it hurt. If there's anyone out there that wonders if their headache is a migraine, considering the following questions.

Does the headache make you vomit?
Is the light too loud? Do you seek out the darkest corner in your apartment, like the bathtub with the lights out? Then it might be.

I don't understand why this only seems to happen on my off-days. Maybe because I couldn't handle it at work, I don't know.

8. After the shower, sat into a hot bath for a long time.
9. Took a nap, until like 6:30. Realized my hair is really soft because I left in the conditioner for the whole bathtime. I feel much better now.
10. It turns out that D's hotmail account will deactivate if he doesn't check it every 30 days, which is why his mom was getting her letters returned. Damn these free services that up and quit on you! He reactivated it and sent her an explanatory email.
11. We went to On the Border and I tried something called the Big Borderitto or something to that effect. Imagine a normal meal, with rice and beans and a chicken burrito with sour cream sauce. Now imagine someone took that whole plate and emptied it into a tortilla. It was an 8-pound burrito! I was, "Hey, where's the rice? where's the beans? oh, they seem to be inside here... and there's sauce. On the inside!" It was good in a messy sort of way, plus I have half of it to take to work tomorrow, as if I have time to eat a 4-pound lunch in half an hour. Ah well.

I'm working a kind of short day tomorrow, mainly because of the 12-hour monster day Monday. I'm so glad that I'm full-time and they can't cut my hours as we finally have new people coming on board so all the part-time folks' hours are being cut back to what they should be, like 20 or 24 hours a week. But it's hard to go back after you get used to being paid for say 30 or 35 instead when we're shorthanded. I'm slated for 40, and I get 40 no matter what, thank goodness.

I inadvertently pissed off someone I haven't even met, isn't that funny? My co-worker Kristin is dating this guy who wants to be a journalist and has to write papers for class. She brings them to work to edit and had me edit them as well because the guy sucks completely as a writer. I merely tried to help him but I guess he's sensitive or something. All I can say is that writing in the first person makes whatever you're writing sound like a 5th-grader's book report. As it, "I totally loved this book! My favorite character was, my least favorite part was..." And passive voice was sucked.

I think I've been put on the track of a new career path: being a mean, heartless editor and cutting pretentious writers down to size. Now how do I go about doing that. Does editing require a degree in English or something, or previous publishing experience? I wonder.

Friday, March 24, 2006

I'm back.

Sorry for the long absence there, it's been a terrible week. My grandmother died on Thursday and I flew up to Detroit with my family for the funeral and etc. Weirdly, my first reaction was anger at my dad, because he told me that she was doing better. Like it's somehow his fault that his 95 year old mother passed away. . . I guess she was trying to fake us out or something. Even stranger was my next thought, that I didn't have to worry about her dying anymore . . . not one of my more rational moments.

The trip: a bizarre combination of grief and hilarity, mourning combined with a crazy family reunion. Travelling with my parents always seems to reduce me to a child-state, which added to the overall unreality of the trip; going from my usual autonomy to being strapped into the backseat, sharing a room with my sister, and being kept on a need-to-know basis . . .


Upon first checking into the hotel, KK accidentally crushes our dad and his suitcase between the elevator doors-- she was trying to hit the 'door open' button but got confused. We're all five of us crammed into the elevator with our bags, waiting, complaining about how slow the elevator is, when we realize that nobody's hit the floor button; we're still sitting on the ground floor. Good thing nobody else tried to go up or else we would have filed back out into the lobby. Travelling doesn't bring out the best in my kin, I guess.

On the flight back to Dallas we were all in different rows because we got the tickets last minute. Right before takeoff, my mom calls me-- her cell phone to my cell phone-- to ask where we are. We are on the same plane. She wants to know what row we're in. And if I can see my dad on the plane too. (I can.) One of the many unfathomable mysteries of motherhood, I guess.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Car stupidity

Argh argh argh! Total chaos morning in Maraworld. First, have work-dreams all night long, including one in which the bank is robbed. Funnily enough it's not a nightmare, just another stressful-day-at-work kind of dream. I wake up to go to work with that feeling of having worked all through the night albeit subconsciously. I thought I'd go to the gas station before work because I was running really, really low on gas. So low that I run out of gas right before I turn into the gas station, so that my car is stuck out in the intersection with the emergency flashers on as I run to the station, pointing to my car and babbling incoherently. Two nice boys help me push the car back from the intersection so that it's back in the left-turn lane ( by "help me push" I mean, they push the car while I'm inside it) and call me ma'am, which makes me feel very old but also that society is not quite being funneled down a drain and there is more than just hope for the next generation as it includes nice young boys who push cars and stuff. SO embarrassing. Then I'm late for work, and work is beyond hectic and crazy, because as usual we're at least one person short. Can we ever have a day with no call-ins, vacations, off-site meetings...

On the bright side I now know exactly how many gallons I get to a tank of gas. (358 1/2 to fifteen gallons, city miles with no A/C) And I will never let it get to more than 300 again before refilling.


The last part was written at work after the busy rush. I got to come home and relax, chill with D and the animals for awhile. Then my boss calls me (crying) to tell me that our co-worker, Mary, had just died. She was the one that called in sick, which in retrospect was very out of character. Apparently she had some sort of stomach bug and a fever and went to the hospital, but...

I'm just shocked, it's just too weird. I mean, nothing was wrong with her on Thursday or Friday, at least not that we could see...and it turns out she was fibbing about her age, she was actually 80, not 70 or 72 like we thought. God. I can't believe she's just gone, just like that, that when I said goodbye to her on Friday it was for good. Did I even say goodbye? Did I notice her leaving at the end of her shift, or did I just keep working? I can't remember now. I feel unrationally guilty for impatient thoughts that I had about her as though it makes any kind of difference.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Sunday, Lazy Sunday

When I started into the banking business, Sunday became my favorite day of the week. There's no banking on Sundays! It's always, guaranteed, a day off. D and I had our usual Sunday breakfast out, and today we made it early enough to actually be breakfast instead of lunch which is what usually happens. Sign from Poor Richard's Cafe in Plano:

Do Not Leave! We will seat in 10-15 minutes. We seat 260 people. Why would you want to eat somewhere that's not busy?

Why, indeed. On weekend morning/middays their line stretches out the door and around the corner but it does move fast. They have thin bacon there. I hate thick bacon, the way you have to chew at it and in a sandwich it all comes out in one bite because you can't bite through it. But obviously the people that make it think it's great, because you always see advertised, "thick-cut bacon!" Give me thin crispy bacon any day. Anyways.

Because we don't have kids yet I can get away with being judgmental of parents that we see out and about. For example in line at PR's was a family in which the mother is asking her son (maybe 2 1/2 or 3 y.o.) repeatedly whether he wants pancakes or a hamburger. He's just blinking and trying to turn away from her, into his dad's shoulder where he's being held. For pete's sake, I don't think I got my own meal at a restaurant until I was as least 7. At that age you can just give them bits off of your own plate, can't you? A triangle of the French toast, a piece of bacon. Three year olds don't need to make decisions like that, leave the poor kid alone! You know that later she's going to be all, "You said you wanted pancakes! Eat your pancakes!" or whatever. I'm sure that having kids of my own will be very humbling but until then, I can scoff.

Got a terrible sinus headache that D tried to fix by taking me to Barnes and Noble-- he claims that almost anything wrong with me can be fixed with a book and a cup of coffee although in this case he was wrong and it took my usual cocktail of Advil and Sudafed. The problem is that I hate taking medicines so I wait until I feel so bad that there's no other option, so it takes forever for them to work because the headache is kind of ingrained by then. Other headache sufferers will know what I mean-- it takes over your neck and shoulder muscles as well as your whole head and face. Now it's gone, thank goodness. A hot bath (naked!) helps with that. D has to be MOD tonight, he's working 3 until midnight or so. Bleargh. I work all Saturday, he works Sunday. I wish we could get it together better.

It's off to Mom and Dad's for dinner tonight, and KK and I are going to the gym(!) later tonight, so at least I won't be lonely. Also taking advantage of D's absence to play the piano for awhile. It's weird about the working out, because lately I've been wanting to start again and then she suggested it out of the blue. Great minds, I guess.

Saturday, March 04, 2006


Oh no! Long blog absence. It can be explained though; I've had a really boring week. And a really stressful week. Somehow the two correlate well. We were supposed to be having a baby shower for the girl here at work who's preggers but it's all fallen apart; people who were supposed to plan things didn't, people have called in sick... we are still doing it but it's going to be pretty lame. On Saturdays my goal is usually to get home as soon as possible and forget that work happened at all that day; not happening today. My day off seems to have been moved to Tuesday which is not a good day to have off, it seems to me. Too soon after Sunday and all; it makes the rest of the week too long.

I made chicken enchiladas last night for dinner and they were really good. I was in a weird funk and didn't have the energy to make the rice or the beans or the cream puffs that I was going to bring to the shower but at least I tried a new recipe for the first time in ages. By "make the beans" I mean open the can and heat them up. Those random bubbles of depression really sap your energy.