Archive for the ‘Kate’s rants’ Category

Finding that sense of peace

When you’re a kid – you throw a temper tantrum and someone tosses you in time out.

When you’re an adult – you have to learn to throw yourself in time out. Or you could act like a piss pot – but then you won’t have any friends

I spent a lot of time acting like a piss pot the past couple weeks. With all the life changes, I kind of forgot the sound of my own voice. Work picked up and so did my pace and soon enough I was burnt out and unable to remember what peace felt like. I felt a feeling I hadn’t felt in a very long time – discontent.

I took everything apart and studied hard to find the culprit. Was it my job? Was it the chair in the front lawn? Was it PMS? Was it Portland? Was it Jaime? Was it the fact that the chairs we ordered 4 weeks ago still had not yet arrived? No. It was me. Buried under piles of to-do lists, excel sheets, projects, laundry, Facebook posts, financial projections and project aspirations was little old me – folded 4 times over, wrinkled, dusty and quite annoyed. I was tired, but I wouldn’t let myself rest. I wanted more R&R  on the weekends, but I wouldn’t take it. I was exhausted from work, but I still kept working harder and longer hours. It was just dumb.

I realized I needed to give myself a time out. Here I was happily married living in a beautiful apartment in a beautiful space and I was so miserable I couldn’t stand to be around myself. So on Friday, I rebelled against myself and worked from home. I even took 40 min and sat in the sun. I told myself – I don’t want to ever say “if I had my life to live over, I’d have ‘this’ or ‘that.” The whole reason we moved to Portland was to enable ourselves to break free from control and learn to live again and here I was getting right back into my old bad patterns.

I told myself, if I felt exhausted – to go slower, if I felt overwhelmed – to delegate, if I felt tired – to take a nap, if i felt stressed – to be with mother nature and get some exercise. So far so good.

Tonight I got to run for a few miles in the park while Jaime walked the boys. When we got home, I cleaned up the lawn and watered the grass and now – now I’m sitting here in Jaime’s office watching the last glitter of daylight tiptoe down the leaves of the back tree and I honestly can’t remember all the things that frustrated me today. And I don’t care about them. I only care about how peaceful I feel right now.

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This never would have happened had you just called Goodwill

A few weeks ago, on a Sunday I believe, our neighbor dragged all of her living room furniture onto the curb: Two couches and one big ass sofa chair. No idea why and no clear sign of replacements.

The first couple of days, we would spy the younger  kids draped across the oversized couches – engaged in deep discussions about their friends and pop culture. Passing by, masking my judgements with a forced smile, I would think – how cute and yet so ghetto.

Two of the pieces were picked up quite fast by Craigslist “FREE” crawlers, but one remained. And it stayed there – lonely and defeated – until the rains came and swiftly washed away its potential of ever having a new home.

When the rains had subsided for 1.5 days, a new flower box was installed where the two couches had been stationed. I thought – how nice – such pretty flowers. Then I noticed that the chair had moved and was now in front of our house. Clever.

I obsessed over this chair. I did. I worried about rats and cats and what not, and I fumed about my neighbor’s audacity and fantasized about how I would put her in her place – NY style. But I told myself to be patient – to not focus on it, for surely it would be disposed of soon.

That was eight days prior to this morning. See I was checking a voicemail and happened to gaze out the window only to spot that Harry the homeless guy had taken up residency in our front lawn. This was no joke. This dude had moved in. His dusty self was draped across the chair’s lumpy frame. To his left was a plate of beans and a camping cooler and just behind him, parked at a 15 degree angle, was his big blue shopping cart. One you’d get at Walmart – substantially large and quite an eyesore for a residential neighborhood.

I was furious. My neighbors’ tacky and waterlogged sofa chair had been  defacing my lawn for weeks, and if that wasn’t bad enough, now I had a homeless person and his ugly cart to deal with. And I should have seen it coming. Furniture to the homeless people is like milk to stray cats – you put it out and they come. And then they stay.

I have no problem with homeless people. I feel for them and want to help them. But having one 20 feet from the safety of your home is not something easy to digest. Because you don’t know if they’re crazy; you don’t know if they are messed up with drugs, off their meds, homicidal maniacs… you know nothing, and so you can’t confront them. You just have to watch them and pray that something inspires them to leave.

I closed the front drapes and wrote a nice note (double-spaced on loose-leaf and cluttered with smiley faces) to the neighbor requesting that she call for a bulk pick-up and have the chair removed. No mention of Homeless Harry – I figured that was assumed.

About an hour after I taped the note to their front door, I heard the neighbor clunk down the front steps and shoo Harry away,”You take that to the corner, that is just disgusting!” she said. She must mean the beans – they did look pretty gross. Hey – why the corner? Is the corner less offensive?

Harry is gone now and the loose-leaf note has moved to my door with the addendum, “it will be gone by tonight – *smiley face.” Poor chair.

Would You Like To Come For Supper?

Yesterday was the second time a colleague of mine invited Jaime and I over to their home for dinner. We haven’t obliged just yet as things are quite busy, but we intend to. There is something about being invited into someone’s home. It’s their safe place – their routine – and they want you to be a part of it. It’s pretty awesome.

We’re very accustomed to meeting new people out at a restaurant or bar, so this will be entirely new. And I just don’t know what to expect.

Is it weird that I imagine a woman of the 50s with a red-checkered apron working in a yellow kitchen? Have I just watched too much TV? It’s also a bit unnerving – like, what if we just don’t jive – or what if they’re really weird – or what if the food is inedible. I suppose I should look at it as a win-win – provided we survive – we would a) walk away with new friends or b) walk away with a killer story.

An Irish Annex

Last night we decided to go out for St. Patti’s. I’m tired as hell as we both had to get up early, but we had to see what was what. We had to.

We ventured to Jakes – the one with the big crab on top as they have had banners advertising their St Patti’s day extravaganza since we got here. Or maybe they never take them down. Anyhow, we arrived to see about 6 white tents wiggling a “NOW that’s a party 2011” dance mix. The cover was $10 and it was cash only.  I mean – who listens to Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” on St. Patti’s. NO. That is a FAIL. You are SUPPOSED to pretend to be of Irish descent. You are SUPPOSED to sing Irish songs, dance Irish jigs and in attempts to sound Irish – talk like a pirate.

There were 5 of us and not one was in the mood, so we ventured to McMenamins’ Annex.

You walk into this place and it’s like 60 sq ft. You pass a narrow bar with an eerily grinning bartender, venture down 11 wooden steps and you’re in this little pub area with handmade tables (3′ deep) and music posters all over the walls. I personally was most happy with the table – it was the perfect depth and beautifully crafted. My IPA was delicious as well

We had a couple of drinks and many laughs – then our exhaustion kicked in and like a bunch of old farts, we joined a chorus of yawns and left.

It was a happy St. Patti’s though. I had fun.

Hey, have you seen this. Hi-larious

 

So You Had A Bad Day

I woke up this morning in a fit of anxiety

A FIT!

I was sweating with stress about the wedding – all the things that could go wrong – all the drama that could ensue. And then next steps – where will I work, what will I do? And then the event in London – never been there – have no sense of direction – have to stay up for 24 hours straight – what if I get lost… what if I oversleep and miss my flight… And then Jaime – her plants are dying back home. She loves those plants. Is she unhappy…

So I went running – ran a couple of miles at a good pace. Felt better – but still, not right.

I took the dogs out and Kojak would not poop. Naturally. But nothing like taking more control from someone who feels completely at loss for control. I wanted to wring his tiny furry neck – but he just looked at me and said “Mom – I just don’t have to poop right now.” Simple.

So I brought them back inside and threatened them that I got word of an accident, they were in big shit. Then I realized that I was 30 min late to work. So I stormed out – fighting back tears.

I know everything will be okay. I know I need to just sit back and take one moment at a time, but I would love SOMETHING to be consistent and stable.

And then I think about the people in Japan and those in the states with relatives in Japan. I can’t process.

I guess it is when we start doubting ourselves that the rug really gets pulled out. We are capable of surviving, of enduring so much more than we would ever think. Trick is to stop back-seat driving and enjoy the ride.

I still feel like I’m gonna cry, though.

 

There’s not enough CANDY in Portland

I am tired, okay?

When I am tired, I need sugar. Mike + Ikes, shock tarts, skittles, something.

We have a candy machine – but it’s near empty. Savages!

There is nothing – no bodega man with a plastic bin of stale Bazooka gum and gobstoppers. I need!

Where is it hiding? There must be a place! Where is it!?

Am I going to have to resort to doing an order off of Amazon Marketplace!?

I have a problem with this image. Everything is fine, except – well – Hi – who eats Halls as candy? Who? You? You have a PROBLEM. Seriously.

Finding the Next Gig

Monday will be 4 weeks. Can you believe it?! It’s amazing how fast a month goes when you’re loving every minute and how S-L-O-W a month goes when you’re miserable.

Anyhow, I need to get myself the next gig. And yes, I have decided I will contract for a while. It has taken me far too many years to accept that I do not like settling down with a company. I guess that stability and consistency makes me feel antsy – like I’m confined. I guess it’s also that I know once I am a mom, I cannot flutter around this way and that – so I want to get all of this opportunist behavior out of my system.

Finding a job is like dating. Most people memorize your interests and profile on LinkedIn and claim to be everything you’ve been looking for. A few handful are bitter and self-loathing and almost want you to help them find a new job. Filtering through that is ever so enjoyable.

The key is to flag buzz words “kick ass,” “process,” “traditional,” “growing so fast,” “working out the kinks – perhaps you can help”

They need to say things like “client loves us,” “proprietary,” “resource manager,” “quality of life,” “learning”

Hi – just like I wouldn’t date someone with loads of baggage, I won’t take a job and help you fix all your crap. You’re the boss. You’re the person with the bigger check. Tell me where my desk is,  tell me of my assignment, tell me where I can find the bathroom, check on me from time to time and we’re good. Helping you work out your process or conditioning myself to work without one, no thanks.

If I go back in time and log all of the times I was happy, it would have been all of the times I was doing what I love to do – organizing chaos, brainstorming, creating, leading, actualizing, optimizing, learning – all that. The times I have been miserable have been when I could not or was not doing what I wanted to do – like swapping static graphics on a Facebook tab or coding a page myself due to lack of resources.

So this will be an interesting exercise.

What is this, by the way?

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