proving ground. october 1st.


at the wedding sleepy town a little early.

feeling alright, despite a rocky day.

woke up at around 6 but tossed and turned until about 8. got up, packed. took my sweet ass time. checked my work email, for no good reason. nothing ever comes in overnight.

but something did come in. cat telling me she couldn't work today. because her car broke down.

panic, into the shower to get ready as fast as i could. but because i was taking my time, then i had to double check the packing to make sure i didn't forget anything. ran out and raced to crappy store. opened two hours late, closed three hours early to make it to the wedding in time.

now i'm here an hour before i needed to be. but traffic was gruesome as it was, so it would only have gotten worse, leaving later and being in friday rush hour in dc.

it always takes an hour, at least, to get from one side of dc to the other. i was stuck in four separate traffic jams. i'm just glad i made it safely.

my anxiety triples when i cross the maryland state border. people with maryland tags must be made to drive like assholes just to display the tag. and dc drivers are somehow worse than that. lots of weaving and cutting off. so i was on high alert for about two hours.

coming down off of that, and being grateful for my spring and summer mixes, once i was through dc, it was only another 20 or so miles to the exit for the wedding. which will make the drive to kit's sister's house better than the hour i thought it would take to get there.

on my way, i passed aberdeen and fallston, the names that i used in my novel. forgot that they were at the part in the drive where they were. and a sign i passed said 'aberdeen proving ground'. which made me want to look up what that means, exactly. i feel like it will be defined as the place where two sides meet, to wage war on one another. i could be way off, but if i'm right, it couldn't be more accurate a name.

aside from that, i am also coming down off the stress of work this week. what i didn't want to waste my time writing out yesterday was all the bullshit dan and crystal put me through this week. and kit said it best. dan is toxic. crystal didn't pull the stunts she's pulling now until she started working over there with him.

every day, something is wrong with her. this is nothing new. it's her back, her hip, her elbow. she has a headache or a toothache or her 'cycle'. which is a phrase i hate.

it's something every single day. she's tired. she's starving. working with her is a royal pain.

but on monday, dan had to leave early because he had a lunch date.

and on tuesday, crystal had to leave early because she had a lunch date.

who schedules lunch dates during their shifts? apparently, these two.

wednesday, she had to leave early because she had a headache.

keep in mind, monday, i had my root canal after work, and went in tuesday with a sore mouth. kim worked all week with a hurt back. and all three of us had headaches at least two days this week. like normal people, we pop some motrin and carry on.

the funny thing with crystal is that, when i cut her hours and schedule her to be off early, she is broke, has no money, and doesn't have enough hours. yet every day, when i go to the store between 1 and 2, she's gone already.

on wednesday, quinn caught dan changing their hours on the timeclock on the register. so she told me.

i sent him a super bitchy text saying that it defeats the purpose of clocking in if he's just going to change the times to whatever he wants. and that it will not happen again.

posted a schedule at the store, because they'd been pulling leaving early stunts all week. cut crystal's hours drastically, and gave them to the new girl who wants more. because i know she'll show up and do the right thing every day.

so yesterday was end of month. i had quinn come in early so i could show her inventory. my store was pretty busy and i had extra work to do until noon, so i planned my day knowing that dan was there until 1230 and crystal was there until 3.

at about 11, i get 6 text messages. three from him, three from her. he has a dentist appointment and is leaving early. she has a dentist appointment and is also leaving early.

i lost it.

big time snap.

so i yelled at them. i walked in and said, 'oh good. you're all here.'

and went on to tell them that they are not to leave early unless it is so dead that there is nothing for them to do at all. and they both started to say 'but-' and i cut them both off.

'i don't want to hear it. if you are working until 1230, then you don't schedule lunch dates and appointments during your shift. you guys are out of control and i'm not going to put up with it anymore. pull it together!'

and crystal says, 'so you want me to stay even if it's dead?'

and i said, 'you can't know if it's dead or not, because you leave early regardless. you can't stay if it's busy for your shift if you're going on lunch dates and making appointments. i've had it!'

and they both looked at me with big shocked eyes.

i had to walk away to calm down. i was shaking i was so super pissed off.

quinn will probably fire both of them. it's just a matter of time. and they need to be fired. i worry for what will happen when they're gone, because for the most part, they're on time every morning at 545, which is next to impossible for me to do. and because they rarely call out.

but all the bullshit and attitudes and problems will be solved.

i hope.

so. that was my week with them. so pissy with me, for doing my job. because they both think they can do it better. but they've both had more than one chance. and they're both retarded.

so today with cat was frustrating. it was totally my fault. i mean, she told me via text that she wouldn't be in at 745 last night. i just didn't check my phones before i went to bed like i normally do, or i could have avoided issues this morning.

but when i got there, there was no milk, no keys, so i had to break into the money cabinet. no change, so i was giving dimes and nickels to everyone.

it was just silly.

if i didn't care, i would have done what i planned to do today, and not worried about it. but i do. so i did the best i could, put my easy day on the shelf, and added extra stress to my life.

it's what happens. it's what i do. and it's why i get paid the big bucks. or something like that.

so now. i'm here. and i don't know house wedding etiquette. or wedding etiquette in general for that matter. so i don't know if i should go to the house before 630, if the thing starts at 7. i'm here with my last $85, so there is no card. no check. i'll mail it to them on tuesday. i won't point that out, obviously.

and i already had to message her today, because in my panic rush out the door, i forgot the invite with the address on it. silly girl. the last thing poor ash needs on her wedding day is to be bothered by some forgetful stresscase.

anyway, i don't know what to expect. how many people will be here. if i'm supposed to offer to do anything to help. or if i just show up at the last possible minute and see what happens.

hopefully there are familiar friendly faces. hopefully i don't get all awkward and say something stupid.

it's already embarrassing enough to go to a wedding alone. do people do that? i don't know. i didn't think to bring a sweater or a jacket, so if this thing is outside, which i'm sure it is, i'm going to freeze to death, because i am not dressed for the weather.

here's to the happy couple. i wish them all the best, in their last hour as single people. i'm sure they'll be happy and together forever.

this town is funny. so tiny. i went to mcdonald's (gasp!) for food and to kill a little time. changed in the bathroom. put on makeup in the parking lot. and everyone there knew each other. and i'm parked now in the public library parking lot and some random guy just walked past my car and waved at me.

cute. i love small towns. small towns in virginia with mountains as backdrops.

hopefully i'll love dc a little, too. and i'm sure i'll cry at the wedding, i do even when i'm watching one on tv. and i'll do my best to have one glass of wine and not stay too long, in an effort to get to kit's sister's at a reasonable hour, and driving sober.

hopefully i'm dressed alright, too.

kit and i were talking at the bar yesterday, and i said, 'i wonder if there will be a point in my life where i realize that everytime i worry and panic and freak out, nothing happens. it's not as big a deal as i thought it would be, ever, and that i should just stop worrying about shit i can't control.'

but i doubt that i will. that's the bitch of anxiety disorders and panic attacks. and now that i have them for no reason at all, it seems logical that i'll have them for good reasons, that have been overblown.

time will tell, i suppose.

and now... to the wedding. fingers are crossed.

flashforward. sept 30th.

end of month.

and the turning of a new leaf in a way.

with work, specifically. but i may or may not get to that here.

first, i haven't written in a few days.

here's your debriefing.

i was hooked on finishing the first season of flashforward. thinking that season two would be starting about now.

and imagine my disappointment when i watched the cliffhanger finale, only to find out that the show had been canceled.

no surprise there, really. the acting was shit.

but i had hoped for some resolution, and there was very little.

the thing about that show is that it really honed in on the fact that every seemingly insignificant decision we make, all day, every day, can have a profound effect on our lives.

and it's something i think about often. and that i have blogged about since the beginning of blogger time.

every time i put on my bike helmet, i think about the fact that it could be the day i get hit by a car. when i say later, 'if only i had taken the bus'.

or every time i sit on my stoop to smoke, i think about the people who are passing me while i'm reading. and think, 'he could have been the one i want to be with next'.

every time i think about leaving ever. and what could have happened if i had stayed and stuck it out for a bit longer. or left sooner, and had words back in december.

or just kissed people when i really really wanted to.

or hit on boys that i thought were cute.

or expressed interest bluntly.

or asked someone to hang out.

it seems like the unrealized opportunities are piling up for me.

forking paths, they called it on that show.

and sometimes, no matter what you do differently, you end up in the same place. sometimes you end up in the same place, under different circumstances. and sometimes you miss the boat completely. and end up somewhere else. or sometimes you miss the boat you were trying to catch, and end up in the same place much later than you'd hoped to arrive.

i am having a hard time staying positive lately.

i have been sad for a long time, and unmotivated for a long time. and that is a very hard cycle to break.

when kit and i went unicorn hunting the other night, i left a note for robbie. and he called me on monday when he got the mail.

after months of not talking, he called and talked to me for over an hour. about my life and his life and how crazy and bad things are, how he tries to think they'll get better, yet somehow, every day, something else goes wrong.

he's so funny. laughing at his own situation, and trying to put mine into perspective to lighten things up a bit. and he kept saying, about himself, 'am i retarded? i must be retarded. because there is no other reason i would keep killing myself to do this!'

i feel like that all the time.

and say it all the time.

and the sandlot: 'i think he's retarded or sumthin.'

but hearing robbie say it made it even funnier. and i'm laughing now, hearing him say it in my mind.

which is a bit troubling. i have been doing that more often lately.

cracking myself up when i'm alone.

thinking of something from my day that was funny. especially when i'm walking or biking alone. and really fighting it.

i don't much care when i'm here writing it out, cracking up.

like now. cracking up. kim told a story at work. we often tip each other off when the bathroom should be avoided. and a couple days ago, she was like, 'oh. it was the worst.'

and launched into a story about this girl walking in while she was in the bathroom, yanking on her stall door (there are three others), and promptly puking all over the floor. and how there were three other toilets and two garbage cans that would have sufficed.

and how she left, without doing a thing. and how she memorized her flip flops and blue toenail polish.

and how she told the guard, and some girl had told him that there was a mess in the bathroom. and how it could only have been the puker who told him.

silly shit.

but making me look like the crazy person i am. making me laugh when i go into that bathroom. just thinking of how kim told the story.

i'm still laughing about garbage sandwiches. just yesterday, i made a pb&j from the heels of the loaf at work. wrapped it up in foil and ate it when i got home. and i started laughing while i was making it. and kim said, 'you're laughing at yourself, aren't you?' especially the part today when she asked if i paid for that sandwich.

which cracked me up then, and on my way home, and home in bed while i was eating it. and again today. and even now.

to say that work this week has been redonculous would be an understatement. i have put up with so much bullshit. and so much drama. and i've had my fill. and i snapped yesterday. and i snapped again today.

and shit is about to change. and crystal and dan will probably be fired sooner rather than later.

i don't think i can handle getting into it right now. talking to kit at the bar tonight, my heart started racing, telling the stories, because i am still so mad.

i'll wait.

i want to get back to rob. and then i need to get into the divorce. and the wedding.

so when i was talking to rob, i told him about needing a change. that i come home from work, and get into bed, and drink a couple beers, and don't get out until work in the morning.

and that i'd love to help him. to volunteer to help in any way i can. even if it's picking up food so he can get a nap.

and so he agreed to let me help the office girl, though he didn't know what to have me help with.

so i went the next day, wednesday, yesterday.

and i was there for a couple hours. i was tired. and when i got home, i did miss the time i'd lost. but it was nice to help and it was nice to be out of my apartment and out of bed, and nice to not have a beer until after 8.

so i think i'll help him once a week, maybe twice. it depends. i can't commit to any days, because my life is constantly changing and i'm a commitment phobe.

i had missed my friend. and it was really sweet to talk to him and catch up, even though neither of us had good news for the other. it was nice to commiserate, i guess.

now. onto the wedding.

so tomorrow is the wedding in dc.

i still do not want to go. but in light of the big girl pants i'll be putting on in the morning, i'm going.

i'm making myself do it.

i know it will be fun, because ash and dave are two of the most awesomely fun people i have ever known. they're silly and hilarious, and wonderful and sweet. and because they rule, their friends are awesome. i mean, i am. just kidding. no i'm not. just kidding.

so even though i don't have any friends who will be there, i know i'll make a couple. and hopefully see a few people from their christmas party i hiked to in the blizzard. because that night was a lot of fun, after it really kinda wasn't.

i guess there are a few sources of the anxiety.

for one, i know that ever has had the paperwork for a week. and asked the lawyer. who said nothing yet.

after 90 days of nothing yet, we can go to court.

but i really REALLY don't want that.

so every day, i check all of my email accounts, fearing that there's something from him flipping his shit, or from my lawyer saying he's lost his mind.

that's background stress. this week, it feels like it's noise being blasted from a loudspeaker all day every day. i think about it during any lull in my day. and in the shower in the morning, which is the worst possible way to start my day.

add to that the nightmare that i had the other night.

it was the first time i can remember that i woke up in a cold sweat from a nightmare about ever and the divorce. something about selling the house, and him showing it to people without agreeing to sell it. and then i went there, and worked with two of the girl interns, and then the lawyer came home. or paralegal, rather. and i realized that one of the interns lived there. she came out of the room that was our bedroom.

i can't explain it. it was like i was cleared to be there. because ever had a box of random shit there for me. but i was talking to people i used to hang out with, and then i crossed some invisible line that i wasn't allowed to cross. and then the lawyer said something about my ipod being up for grabs. and i stood up and went off on him about the house and the business being up for grabs and i woke up. and ever was just about to arrive in the dream.

so that effected my subconscious as well as my everyday self. and it took the better part of a day to shake that off. and by that night, i was still thinking about the nightmare. but i woke up sick. and cold sweat-y. it was awful.

and i guess that i just am afraid to go to a wedding. i know it's somewhat illogical. but it's how i feel. maybe i don't want to see other people find it and be happy in it. maybe now i just want everyone to be alone and sad like i am from time to time.

i found out tonight that the boy bartender i've been eying is engaged.

and i don't know why, but just like coffee, he's with a girl who is very young. and because i thought i waited so long, young marriages and relationships seemed doomed from the start to me.

and in the age of facebook, it seems like no one would get married. that everyone would get divorced. because now the possibilities are endless.

and every fork in the road, and every decision we make can be undone, or revisited.

this is my life. it probably is the only one that i will and have lived.

i know that the time is coming where i will take the reins and steer it in a new direction.

but until that happens, it feels best more often than not to sit and judge other relationships. and wonder how many people sat in judgment of mine. before it happened. while it was happening.

and who knows now, and says, 'i knew it wouldn't work. she had it all wrong.'

am i going to end up where i was suppposed to end up? did i just take a ten year detour? will i find the ending, or the next part, where i find the person i'm going to spend the next chunk of time with? will it be at the end of my life, in the beginning, or the middle?

will i be smart enough to realize it when it's happening? or will i have my nose in a book, oblivious to the boy who just passed me by.

roots canaled. september 27th.

well, it's done.

and i got a discount. $400. flippin sweeter.

and it took forever, but i am feeling fine. better than fine, actually. i was expecting to feel like i did post-wisdom tooth pulling. but if i didn't have a worn spot on my upper lip, and a sharp point on the almost dead tooth, i wouldn't even know i had anything done today.

thanks, fake motrin. thanks, dr kearney.

as i was laying there for over two hours, i thought a couple things.

one: 'novacaiiiiine. for the soullll. before i sputter out.'

and two: 'i will never do this again. i will never let my teeth go again.'

because let me tell you. that was sickening. and though i don't know the procedure because i kinda liked not knowing, there was a lot going on for a long time. tons of drilling and prying and metal and powdered teeth smell. sick.

never. again.

as soon as i recover financially from this mega speedbump, i will start with the cavities. or fillings, rather. and that will be the end of that.

what else happened today?

work was horrible. i won't talk about it. if dentist talk didn't make you sick, work story from today surely would.

it sucked. i'll leave it at that.

with a face half numb and droopy, like bell's palsy, i couldn't smile. i couldn't talk clearly. more importantly, i couldn't light a cigarette, had a nearly impossible time smoking once i did get the thing lit, and came pretty close to drinking beer through a straw.

kit was on the bus that was circling to take me home. so i rode with her. straight to the bar.

seemed pseudo-appropriate following a root canal.

had one half pint pumpking beer.

came home after taking some fake motrin. in bed.

three hours later? flashforward marathon. i'm on episode number four in a row.

and i have nothing else to say.

i'm taking a moratorium on ever today.

and now, one more episode. then sleep.

awake in the rain. sept 26th.

it's my dad's birthday.

it's sunday.

i woke up sad, almost crying even. and this is what's on my mind:

first, there was work stress. place an order. what did i forget? and the health department. always living in fear. plus the irrational fear that i've overslept for work on a sunday.

the dream i woke up from finally was about the wedding i'm going to this friday. the end was funny. i was crying because it was so sweet and cute. i don't know. dave got ash a ms pac man arcade game. i have no idea where that came from. but they were married and then he wheeled it in as a surprise.

before that, i was having nightmares that i don't remember now.

and i was tangled up in cords in bed, because i fell asleep watching tv on blacktop and the headphones and charger were mixed up with me and the sheets. i guess i was just really uncomfortable, so i tossed and turned a lot, woke up and went back to sleep a lot.

but more than anything, i think it's the ever stuff. mixed up with the wedding.

i really do not want to go to this wedding. going alone is about the most depressing thing that i can think of, in the middle of getting a divorce.

i don't want to make the drive down. it will probably be about seven hours start to finish. google maps says four hours, but i know better than that.

but it's the first wedding i've believed in for many years. and i know it will be a lot of fun. if i can just get myself there.

i was laying in bed, half awake, thinking that i have nothing to wear. which may or may not be true. i can't remember the last wedding i went to. really. cannot. i know ever and i went to when's wedding. and also to brownie's sister's wedding. but missed the ceremony so i don't count it.

ah. got it.

friend's wedding here. yes. the only wedding in phila. i don't know if i believed in that one though. i feel like they broke up just before getting engaged due to religious differences in how they'd want to raise a family. but it's one of those things where they've been together and living together for something like 15 years. and so i guess i did believe in it. they wanted a kid i guess. she was pregnant within a couple months of being married.

haven't seen or heard from them since the wedding.

this is all irrelevant. i think i fear that i'm not ready for a wedding. i don't know. if i think of it like a party, where two awesome friends are throwing a super fun party, it will be fine.

but just like i knew i couldn't handle her bachelorette party before i moved out, i worry that this will be a big problem for me.

and i think about saying i can't go. but i just can't do it. i have to go.

and to be independent and determined (and, yes, stubborn), i want to drive down, be there for a little while, and drive back.

i don't want to complicate kit's weekend, i don't want to crash with her sister post-wedding in dc. if i'd met her before, maybe. but i don't know what time it would be when the wedding reception is over. and i don't want to impose.

i don't know. kit's trying to help me like always, and make it easier on me, because she knows where i am with this. but i hate complicating things. i just need to do this and be done with it.

and then there's the little root canal tomorrow.

i have been a lazy bum this weekend. my credit card is still at bbq house. and i still haven't gotten it back, or made an effort to. and i will most likely have to do that today.

money stress, too. added into the mix.

just super stressed.

and the thing i somehow spaced on mentioning when writing about the show the other night, was what kicked off the stress for going.

the thief who stole all that money from our company. i had a feeling she was going to be there, because she loves them. and so i was afraid of running into her. and i guess that's why i went into the night already worried and anxious.

luckily, i didn't see her. i don't know if she was there or not. but i didn't have to see her, so that was a huge relief.

i'd better call my dad soon, so i don't forget. i already placed that order, so i can put that aside.

it's been a music weekend again. and it's been nice to watch tv shows online, too. helps take my mind off things i guess. even if it goes right back in between shows.

the new modern family was awesome. i really love that show. i've never seen a bad episode, and there was a part in this one where i was hysterical, couldn't see the screen because i had tears in my eyes from laughing so hard.

really well done.

and then, out of boredom mostly, i went back to watching that show flash forward. i like the idea of it, even if the acting isn't so hot. so i got about halfway through the first season back at the house, and picked it up again this weekend.

more out of curiosity for what they do to end the season. i doubt it will be back for season two. seems like it would have been canceled.

i woke up today with the song 'no one's gonna love you' by band of horses stuck in my head. it's so sad and his voice is just amazing. really love that song. and i watched a bunch of live videos of them. and that led to davendra barnhart. yesterday was morrissey/the smiths, with lcd soundsystem live stuff mixed in. and more beirut.
i keep running into people who remind me of morrissey, so i listen to them all together to see if i'm right or making it up. i'm convinced that i'm not making it up.

and kit went for a ride to the bakery with me last night to try to pin down the unicorn. he wasn't there. i left a little note this time.

and we listened to lcd in the car for that ride, too. i was super bummed to not find him there. and i cannot for the life of me figure out why he isn't trying to be in contact with me. it really shocks me that i haven't talked to him since nina was here, and i talked to him in the yarn store. it's unacceptable. i miss my robbie.

and because intern commented on a lyric i posted, i started thinking about him again. i guess i mentioned him to kit a couple times this weekend. how i can't. and won't. but i really still want to. i wish i could.

one of his friends said something about sensitive considerate guys never getting any action. and i said 'your friend lies to you'.

i was there to tell him about el ten eleven. because we have similar taste in music, and i think he'd really like them a lot.

he was doing music reviews for a local magazine for a while. i don't know if he knows them already. in any case, that's why i was there to see the other.

then felt like a chaser for having comments for him.

then fell asleep last night thinking that i should just ask him to a show down the road. conveniently have an extra ticket.

that's right. the queen of circles. and not sticking to my guns. i can't help it. but, actually, i can help it. and i've been doing a pretty good job of not acting on my fleeting thoughts and desires.

when kit and i walked to lunch yesterday, she joked about my needing a leash that she could yank. because there were so many guys walking the streets yesterday, just being hot. and some of them were in groups together. i was drooling all over myself.

i guess it's been three weeks since chalk was here. this must be when i start to get all wound up again.

it will be strange this time. because i can't have him back.

it's been bothering me a little i guess. kit and nate are in agreement that he broke rule #1 about buddies. there's a finite beginning, during, and end. and he tried to stay past the end that i'd determined for him.

and kit thinks he knows he screwed it up. and i just think he has hurt feelings because i didn't let him stay another day. i don't know what it is, but he hasn't had any contact with me since he left. maybe it's just the novelty of the first time being worn off this time around for him. he didn't have to try, to ensure that there would be another time.

but it's been on my mind, too. i guess because i wonder what will happen when i go home, as far as he is concerned. i'm not gonna lie. it would be nice to get some when i go home. i don't see him coming back before then.

kit has really saved me this weekend from a bottomless pit. i keep coming up for a break from it, in her company. last night, we watched the craziest mashup of movies. scifi channel meets hallmark channel.

sharktopus. return to snowy river. dinogator vs supercroc. titanic.

luckily i left before titanic got heavy. it reminded me that leo is one hot dude.


low key. and yes, spending a little money i don't really have. because of the stupid dentist. i'll go to bbq house today, i guess. i hope.

and the newlyweds will just have to understand that their present will come later. total embarrassment.

the sooner that next payday gets here the better. i am sick of money worries. all these unexpected expenses that keep cropping up in my life. wedding money. and i have tire problems again. so that will be next. after the six fillings i need, and replenishing the trip home money, and iphone because the replacement phone i got is doing what the last one did and is going to die soon. and a passport. not that i'll have money for a trip anywhere anytime soon. but i could get lucky, i guess. if i can ever remember to buy lottery tickets.

or if ever signs the papers. and lets us sell the house.

i'm drained. i'm broke. i'm sad. this is getting old. it's tired. i'm tired of it. and feeling old.

and i need a hug.