A Perfectly Cursed Life

Because Blessings Are Overrated

Remember What I Said About Blessings and Curses? September 15, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kimwithak @ 3:36 pm
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Though I haven’t blogged about it here for fear that he’d finally read my blog, I had been planning a surprise 30th Birthday Party for The Mister for a few weeks now. It’s been one other thing to add to the stress that has been the move, my work, etc. as of late. But it was also necessary.  The Mister hasn’t had the best birthdays growing up and it was about time for him to have a good one.  It was also kind of a housewarming as it was the first party in our new place.  So I had to get things organized to a state where people could come over.

Mr. CVD and Mr. RMB were part of my plot to get The Mister out of the house while Mom, Dad and others helped prepare the place, welcome guests and hide to surprise him.  The events of the night were unfolding either according to plan or better than the plan could provide.  It was surreal.  For those who know TheMister, you know that he can be stubborn and can throw a fit about doing things like you’ve never seen.  So I was afraid he’d be throwing a fit about our mock plans or something along the way.  But the Universe was preparing me for a great fall and allowed the events of the night to unfold somewhat perfectly.  The Mister was compliant with the ruse and the timing was perfect.  The Mister was very surprised to see his friends and family in his Man Den Basement hiding for him. The only thing that was not cooperating was the weather–it was raining for two days straight at that point. But what the heck, we have a house and a covered porch.  Life was good.

In other words:  all was too well with the world.

Shortly after the party started, Mr. CVD comes upstairs and informs me that the basement bathroom is flooded.  Sure as shit (pardon the pun, but I feel it necessary to comfort myself with literary techniques), the water was everywhere and moving towards the bathroom door.  The folks that were crammed into my basement because of the rain were soon pushed out by the flood waters which started escaping the lavatory.  Dad was trying to contain the problem and for about ten minutes we thought he was successful.

Fate had other plans.

Soon thereafter, The Mister’s mood turned from celebratory to frustrated and then frustrated to irrate.  Our guests began to leave just as the festivities were really getting underway.  The water continued to come out and a plumber was required.  Said another way, we had curses coming our way.

The night could only get better, right?

Well, the plumber comes out and snakes the main drain.  At one point a weird noise comes from the drain as the machine winds more and more cord down the pipes (that’s what she said).  It sounded like a dragon hiccuping or a baby turning inside out.  The plumber informed us that the problem was not over.  In fact, the $185 it had cost us was only a drop in the bucket.  We have tree roots in our line to the sewer…something that requires excavation and major repairs to fix and something you can’t just remedy with a series of quick fixes.  His estimate–about $1850.

As The Mister and Dad finished up with the plumber, a buzzed Mr. CVD and I took Mom’s minivan (her “pride and joy” as Mr. CVD joked) and attempted to go to Meijer, Michigan’s all-hours superstore, as The Mister insisted they had carpet cleaners for rent.  Though Mr. CVD and I doubted it, when we arrived at the Meijer approximately 3 miles from the house, it turns out he was right.  So we ask the soon-to-be-discovered-as-inept kid at the service counter to help us procure such a magic machine.  He looks at us like we’re from outerspace.  The machines are sitting about five feet from him, yet the concept is completely foreign.

“I don’t know if we rent those,” he says.

Mr. CVD and I look at each other as only we can understand.

“They’re right there,” one of us replies.

He then fumbles around for someone else to help us.  Then comes this brilliant revelation.

“The day shift must have taken the key, sorry.”

Mr. CVD, in his slightly inebriated state says “The Day Shift would take the key.  You know how those Day Shifts are.”

So we stood there for about five minutes while he tried to figure out what to do.  Finally we ask if the other store which is about 5 miles away from the house has such a rental system.  I’m not sure what confused him more–the rental, the fact we asked for another store’s abilities or just life in general–but it required an older employee to help him figure out how to lift the receivier and call the store.

Sure enough, the other store had them. The catch?  We had to be there by 11.  It was 10:25.

So Mr. CVD mount up into the Minivan and start out on the second part of our journey.  That’s when the hunger pangs hit.  I had about half of a half of a sandwich and a pickle spear.  I was starvin’ like Marvin and the four drinks I had in me made it difficult to control that hunger.  So we made our secret (but now exposed due to this blog post) stop at McDonalds on the way.  If The Mister knew, he’d be pissed.  But I didn’t care.  I was about ready to pass out.

We get to the other store and, for a change, the clerk was quite helpful.  I mean, it still took forever, but she was helpful.  (Side note to self:  write her manager a letter, I’m sure she doesn’t get enough praise for being the only employee at Meijer to give a damn.)

We get back and Mr. CVD insists on doing the cleaning.  So that’s what’s done.  I drive him home.  I get to bed around 2 a.m.  tired as can be.

The best part of this?  Today is my birthday.  And although I have an excuse to work from home for the time being, I’m still going to be out about two grand and I can’t wash clothes or use the dishwasher for a few days at least.  I was told to limit my bathroom use and showers, but honestly, they can bite me.

The blessing of having The Mister be compliant when I needed it most was tempered by the curse of a faulty plumbing system.  I’m telling you–I cannot make this stuff up.  My life is a series of checks and balances in which I’m constantly laying in wait for the next turn of my luck.

The good news is that I should be in for some good news.  The bad news is that there’s probably bad news to swallow soon thereafter.  I guess what they say is true: “you take the good, you take the bad, you take it all and there you have the facts of life….the facts of life.”  Too bad there’s no half-hour time limit on the saga of my life.

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Easily Distracted–The Tickertape In My Head September 5, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kimwithak @ 5:04 pm
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I haven’t updated my blogs recently.  My chronic health blog has taken a turn for the worse simply because I haven’t had the time, patience or motivation to do anything about it.  It’s no one’s fault but my own, but I can’t bring myself to make it better.

The past two weeks have been hectic at best, crazy most of the time, and downright insane at worst.  We’ve had family drama, moving into the new house, busy work schedules and The Mister’s birthday.  If ever there were a perfect storm of activity, it is now.

I’ve noticed some weird things about life/me/etc. recently.  They’re like floating ideas that don’t deserve their own post, but just enough to men

tion here.  So here are the things that have been ru

nning on the ticker-tape in my head as of late:

1.    People advertise movers that pack your stuff, but no one advertises movers who unpack your stuff.  Furthermore, movers are great, but they are constantly asking you were stuff goes.  Like I know!  I kept saying “just put it in the Red Room for now” or the like.  Eventually The Mister took over as one room was being barraged with boxes and the others were empty.

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2.     I’ve had a Friennassance with coffee.  I used to drink about a cup or two a day.  For the past week, I’ve been drinking coffee non-stop at work.  (In fact, I just took a sip.)  I know I’ve been sleep deprived and tired, but I don’t think that’s it as much as it is the taste.  When I was little, I used to want to drink coffee with my Grandma.  She’d give me a cup that was about 2/3 milk and sweet n’ low and 1/3 coffee.  How I loved that taste!  I still take my coffee with milk and sweet n’ low (splenda at work because they’re sweetner nazis here).  Maybe it’s a memory thing.  Maybe it’s a taste thing.  But lately, coffee has been my new BFF.

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3.   Things could be a lot worse.  Without going into details, The Mister has had a family situation over the past week involving a lot of drama and he’s had to take the brunt of it because, well, his family is just like that.  It’s made his birthday week a bit sour and I resent his family for that alone, but more importantly I resent them for making him the pillar of responsibility.  Seeing this reminds me that my family, while crazy, could be a lot worse.  My ever-commenting Mom can be a pain, but she’s genuinely one of the nicest people anyone could meet.  My Dad can be stubborn, but he’s also one of the strongest people I know.  My Brother is idiotic and comical, but he’s got a good head on his shoulders.  The Mister’s family isn’t composed of bad people–they’re just misguided.  And this week I feel blessed that it’s not my family drama at the center of our lives.

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4.  I love giving gifts more than getting them. I’ve always assumed this to be true, but now more than ever I’m convinced of it.  I was so excited to get wicked awesome seats at the Tiger’s game for the Mister on Wednesday and reservations at the Tiger’s Club.  I also had his name put on the scoreboard.  At first he was actually mad at me for spending the money.  But I told him to cut the games and, eventually he did.  See he grew up with his birthday being less than stellar.  I refuse to play that game.  Especially now that he’s turned 30.  I have one more gift to give today and I’m ecstatic to give it to him.

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There’s probably a lot more, but those are the main throughts that have been streaming through my brain.  I need to get back to work, but I had to get this out there.  I feel like I’m having a backlog.  I need some sort of brain/creativity laxitive.

For more exciting Kimisms check out my Kimisms Google Page. I’m always saying something witty.

 

Exhausted September 1, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kimwithak @ 1:36 am
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We moved into The House this weekend.  Actually, Friday to be exact.  And because I represent unions, I have to get up early to go to the Labor Day parade tomorrow.  That’s alright–I love unions and union people and Barack Obama and Joe Biden will be there.

I do hate the feeling of stuff all around.  I’m not a neat freak, but it kills me to be soooo disorganized.  I wanted to do more today than I did, but I just felt like total crap all day.  It’s times like these that I’m reminded of my many chronic ailments.  I like to ignore them alot, but they always sneak back up on me.

So now I sit on the corner of the couch in our new home.  I think Rocky is waiting to go back to the other place.  For weeks we’ve made this house a retreat for activities and then gone home.  It must be confusing to him.

I think tonight is an early to bed night.

 

Only in Kimerica: For A Good Time Call August 27, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kimwithak @ 2:27 am
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My life is nothing if unpredictible.

This weekend Mom and Dad helped me prepare the house some more.  One of the projects was painting the “Rock Room” red. (For your reference, the Rock Room is a room where I will house CDs and rock and movie memorabilia.)  Also for the record, my parents hate the idea of a red room. My dad says that it reminds him of a whorehouse. (Why he would know what a whorehouse looks like, I don’t know or want to know.)  But this is my house, and having grown up in a beige and off-white home, I’m having color damn it.  It should also be noted on the record that I bought stupid Home Depot paint, not wanting to spend a fortune on Benjamin Moore or await the reopening of the paint store on Monday.  For the record again, Behr paint is crap.

The Mister and I did the dark primer Saturday night and on Sunday it was ready to go.  Well, I thought it was.  Perhaps it was the paint fumes, perhaps it was exhaustion, but in any event, while painting, Dad got giddy.  After about twenty minutes or so, I walked in and instead of painting the wall to paint the wall, he was drawing a large face and next to it it said:

For a Good Time Call TY-871.

TY-871 was the number on an old commerical in the area.

He thought he was being so funny and for about ten minutes it was funny. And then I realized that it was on there kind of thick. I stopped laughing.  My dad did not.  He continued to sing “Roxanne….you don’t have to turn on the red light…” for a good hour afterward.  I’m glad I could provide him with such entertainment.

Then came the reality–the damn paint didn’t cover it up completely.  I put the second coat on tonight and I’m praying that the face doesn’t show through.  I think, the “for a good time” part is covered.  I’ll find out tomorrow.

And then I’m going to drag his ass over there to fix it.

To make everything easier, I tried telling my mom about the lasting impression today on the phone.  Her response? “Well you bought crappy paint.”

Yes.  Of course!  How could I miss this?  This is my fault.  Clearly, my crappy paint purchase forced my father into being a juvenille and vandelizing my home.  Understandable.

Behr Paint–you’re on my list. Obviously this is all your fault.

 

The Door of Destiny August 22, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kimwithak @ 8:39 pm
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When our new lock could not be placed on the old front door at The House, The Mister was convinced we had to get a new door.  I convinced him otherwise.  Money’s not just floating around right now.  Doors are expensive.

This is what happened:

Ever since I set eyes on that photo I can’t help but think that this is the story of my life.  Just covering up the imperfections until there is time or money to really tackle them.

Now I’m convinced we should keep the front door in place even more.  It’s a fitting tribute to two people, still in progress, working on the imperfections as we go along.

 

Note to Self: Things Appear Easier Than They Are August 18, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kimwithak @ 2:53 am
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We closed on our house Thursday.  After a minor (yes, only minor) meltdown, I was off to the races to pick paint colors.  I’ve been living in white and beige apartments so long that my heart called out to a color–any color–to save it.  “Please Mr. Yellow (yes, Yellow is male), please help me.”  (Mr. Yellow didn’t win out so far.  Mr. Green and Ms. Blue did.  And yes, Blue is female.  Take that patriarchy!)

So Friday after I got an obligatory appearance at work out of the way, I dove into some painting clothes and into a project I didn’t understand the depths of until it was too far underway to stop it.  I’ve painted before–but never on my own.  I’ve never planned the project, bought the materials and followed through until the end.  I’ve just hopped in and out where I’ve felt like it and watched the rest unfold (or stand still as it did so many times in my home growing up) and pitched in where I felt the urge.  No one reminded me of that prior to engaging in this project.  Suffice it to say that by Friday afternoon I was awash in a sea of questions, doubts and misgivings.

But with help from Mom and Dad and Mr. CVD, my two first painting projects–our living room and our bedroom–are 90% complete.  And looking mighty fine, if I do say so myself (and I do).

These projects and my lack of preparation got me thinking that this is more than just a happenstance along the way of life.  It reminded me that this, in fact, is the way I approach most things.  I kind of plow into them head-first and ask questions later. One day when I was about fifteen I was sick of all of the posters and pictures on my wall. So I tore them and all of my wallpaper down.  I decided yellow was a good color and convinced my parents to invest in the project.  Months later, sleeping in a bedroom with the furniture perpetually pushed together so people could work on the walls, I quesitoned my committment and allowed them to finish the project.

I could probably think of countless projects like my childhood bedroom where I was anxious to start, blessed with grand ambitions, but frightfully lacking in the follow-through department.

That’s not the point of this tale, though.

The point is that for once, I’m close to finishing something. Granted, I have had help, but damn it, I’m on my way to seeing a project through from conception to completion, having been there every step of the way.  It’s not just a blue bedroom and a green living room that I have to look forward to–it’s the knowledge that I can complete a project without getting so frustrated as to throw the towel in, abandoning all hope of completing it.

I’ll take the small victories where I can have them.  And this, I’d say, is a medium sized one at worst and a good start on a larger one at best.

I’ve picked out a few colors for my spare bedroom/writing room.  If I start and complete that, we’ll claim another victory for the soul.

 

How long till my soul gets it right? July 28, 2008

I am one person with two minds.  The mind that is rational and can map out a solution to a problem in 2.5 seconds.  Then there’s the emotional mind that has trouble even looking at a spreadsheet and would rather investigate my motivations like an actor in rehearsal than rationalize my behavior logically.

This is a tale of another battle of those two brains.

Last week I spent about $30 on iTunes searching for songs and ended up downloading about $15 worth of songs that were songs I used to have on my old desktop in college that never made the transition to the ipod and then this computer.  These are songs that meant something to me at some point between the years 1999 and 2003.  These songs do more than entertain; they bring back floods of emotions that I haven’t felt in five years or more.

There are quite a few of what I call “Womyn With a ‘Y'” songs–Ani DiFranco, Indigo Girls, Dar Williams, Jonatha Brooke, Patti Griffin, etc.  These take me back to my days at the Women’s Center–planning events that I hoped would change the world, but knew would change at least one person’s mind.  They represent these coming-of-age tales that encompassed my life for years as I moved in and out of new places, in and out of back home, in and out of the country.  They remind me of my free spirited days.  While listening to them makes me happy, sometimes it makes my soul a bit misty for these times.  Even though I cried many tears those days, they were emotions I’d never forsake.

I also downloaded some Van Morrison favorites.  These are universal and very few of them relate to a specific part of my life.  But one of them, “I’ll Be Your Lover, Too” is a haunting song that never leaves my side.  I never really entertained the song much until I saw “Proof of Life” with Meg Ryan and Russell Crowe (you know, the one when she allegedly left Dennis Quaid over the Gladiator guy?).  And since then, all I can picture is the last scene of the movie as Meg Ryan’s character rides away and Russell Crowe’s character just watches her–knowing he can’t have her–and the bittersweet tension that had filled the movie ends in a heartbreaking moment.  I remember being obsessed with the song after that.  How many times had I watched someone I can’t have walk, ride or drive away?  That song just filled the bill so perfectly that it was almost as if it were written for me.

Then this weekend I saw the new X-Files movie.  It’s hard to explain to people who don’t really let themselves be sucked into a cult-like phenomenon like the X-Files how your emotions can be tied up with it.  I remember being a young adolescent with dreams of uncovering the truth of something, though I didn’t know what that something was, and thinking of how brilliantly devious and haunting that show was.  I eventually gave up on it for reasons I never did uncover.  Since then I’ve been playing catch-up and although I like the show still, I never got sucked back in like I used to.  But when I left the movie theater Friday night, I felt that distant pang of a young girl who wanted to pursue a career of something bigger…or uncovering something bigger.  (And seeing Scully and Mulder together as a couple living together only worked to confuse these emotions, let me tell you.)

So you can imagine that while I’ve been doing this thinking what my dreams have been like.

Or can you?

The thing is that these dreams that are not haunting because they are surreal.  I could deal with that.  Instead, I’ve been having the most real dreams of my life–dreams of times gone by.  Not in exact replay, but close enough.  These aren’t just dreams about themes or symbols or songs or fears–these are dreams that encapsulate the exact emotions that I’ve tried to escape either by growing out of them or just simply leaving them behind.

I’d like to think that this is all just coincidence.  The intelligent part of my brain overrides the emotional one and informs me that this is not the case.  Coincidence can describe one dream like this…but not a week’s worth of them.  The fact is that I know exactly where this is coming from and I don’t know how to stop it.  More importantly, I don’t know if I’m ready for them to stop yet.

As wickedly cliche as it sounds, I think buying a house really is bringing up old fears of settling down.  It sounds ridiculous that this happens now and not right before my wedding.  To be fair, it did, to some extent.  But you get so busy planning the wedding that most times you don’t feel the accompanying emotions for more than a second.  By time you realize what has happened, you’ve already moved on.  Now that I’m legally committed to buying a house–with a husband no less–some sort of adulthood alarm has been set off in my psyche.

There is no moving home this time.

There is no changing majors.

There is no switching a CD to change a mood.

There is only the future and as simple as that may sound, it isn’t.

There’s something unsettling about “settling down” for a girl like me.  I’ve lived with two examples my whole life: (1) living as a couple and eventually a family and giving up any dreams held prior to the relationship, or (2) being a free spirit and riding out your dreams only to forgo the domestic bliss.  The two were never explained to me to be anything but mutually exclusive.  Now that I have the domestic part working towards bliss , have I conceded the old free-spirited dreams and ambitions? Does embracing my dreams and hopes concieved before the bliss was a reality derail the domesticity? It’d be silly to deny that by settling down we all give away certain things we though of while we were on our own (living in France, getting a master’s degree in literature).  But would it be just as foolish to deny that I still want some of those things?

In my intelligent mind, I know that the two aren’t mutually exclusive.  I know that one can have dreams and hopes and aspirations that are mighty and ambitious and maybe even non-conventional and still maintain a domesticity that gives you somewhere to call home, someone to call yours and something to call your own.  My emotional mind is not yet comfortable with the fact that I have to make my own model of that type of happiness. There’s no road map to the trail I’ve decided to blaze.

That, my dear friends is what scares me.

I like maps and charts and spreadsheets.  Hell, I’d even take a set of powerpoint notes at this point.  But there’s nothing out there that tells me how to get the things I want and keep what I have in any sort of helpful way.

So here’s to starting a new adventure.  One of setting the past fears aside and doing everything in my power to mesh my two dreams–of love and life and of dreams and ambitions.

But if anyone has a spreadsheet to explain this, though, I’d be glad to review it. Right after I get done listening to this next song…