Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Good Day.

Yesterday, I had a fantastic day.

I drove to the Big City to meet an old friend that I hadn't seen in a very long time- we picked right up where we left off years ago. I think that's the way it's supposed to be with friends- no awkwardness, no phone smiles, just true feelings of happiness and appreciation. We drank coffee, window-shopped, ate lunch, talked books, and then ate cupcakes. Truly- it only would have been better if we were knitting together!

As it was, I sent her home with a piece of knitted goodness:

A Felicity Hat made of of Malabrigo. (Don't mind the iPhone pictures... I don't have Ranger Man's cameras any more to take good pictures, and my digital camera is so old that the iPhone camera actually has more megapixels- so y'all will have to bear with the cell phone pictures for a while).

I experienced a little bit of culture shock while waiting for Friend S. to arrive at the coffee shop in a rather upscale shopping center. It was quite a large coffee shop and it was pretty full, so there were many people sitting, sipping, talking... and they all looked the same. They all had the same color skin, the same types of clothes, the same hairstyles- it was very strange. It made me appreciate the Island and Georgia, where many different types of people might go to a coffee shop.

On the way home from the Big City I stopped at my Grandma's and had dinner with her.

Unfortunately, I seem to have caught a cold in the midst of all of this, so I will be spending the day curled up with a cat and some knitting by the fire (how idyllic!), blowing my nose.

Other than that, Webster and I are mostly adjusting to life in the PNW. We're trying to stay warm (somewhat successfully), and waiting patiently to move into our new apartment on the 8th.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

As promised...

When I was 18 (technically a senior in high school, although only taking classes at the local community college), for three months I dated a guy... we'll call him Mr. M. At 18, three months felt like an eternity and I was devastated when he dumped me like a sack of bricks.

He had just turned 21, and was much more interested in going out and getting drunk than he was in hanging out with me. We stayed in contact for a few months after we broke up, but after that we kind of lost contact. At the time that we dated, he was attending the same local community college as I was, working security at a major department store, and also working part time in a SCUBA shop. Little concrete direction for his life or definite plans other than going out and getting drunk each night. He was never a bad guy, and he didn't do bad things when he was drunk- we just had different priorities. Over time, I of course came to realize that Mr. M and I were simply not meant to be together- and that was perfectly fine. My world went back into orbit and the rest is history.

Until January 2007 (ish?). Out of the blue, he rang my cell phone saying, "Oh, I couldn't remember which K this was..." and we talked a while. Guess what- he's a firefighter! wtf! How on earth am I so predictable that I can find them before they know themselves that they're going to be stupid firefighters? Talking to him was kind of weird, but Ranger Man and I were good and so it was quickly pushed under the rug.

Until a few weeks ago. When he sent me a facebook friend request, on my work facebook page (i.e. the one that only has my work email? the one that he would have had to be truly searching for... ). And then, last weekend after I changed my information on facebook (oh, facebook, the drama you bring!), he started messaging me. And then text messaging me. And then calling me.

He's exactly the same as before- one of his texts from this weekend read "Nothing like ending one hangover with tailgating at 10 in the am," and yesterday's gem was that he loves his job because "it's like high school, only awesome." Right.

Can I just say how IMMENSELY gratifying it is to know that 7 YEARS later, this guy looks me up and has spent all weekend trying to reconnect with me? I have no intention of getting back together with him- but geez. I *told* him that he would regret dumping me. 7 years ago, I told him that I was an awesome girl and that he would wish that he was still with me.

Looks like I was right, Mr. M. Looks like I was right.

And by the way? I'm totally more awesome than I was 7 years ago. I have a Master's degree, and I knit.

Monday, December 21, 2009

It's a wrap.

Driving across the country was probably one of the most empowering experiences of my life. Not that I want to do it again, or that I think anyone who's feeling low should hop in a car... but in my situation, it worked wonders. I navigated myself across completely unknown territory, literally taking control of my life and moving forward.

Here's one of the only pictures I took on our trip- Webster perched in a hotel room in California.

So I drove and felt happy and accomplished and proud of myself.

Then... we got here.

Ugh. All of my belongings, me, Webster, a cot to sleep on, random other stuff and my brother's computer/computer desk all shoved into one teeny tiny little bedroom. And of course, no more cleaning has occurred.

Finding an affordable apartment here that (a) takes cats and (b) doesn't require a 12 month lease is proving to be a very difficult task. I got SO frustrated today, but then I went and fondled some yarn at TWO local yarn stores which made me feel better. (Yay! There are yarn stores here!)
I've got an apartment to view a studio tomorrow, so cross your fingers that it will work out, or really, that something will work out.

Mostly though, other than the frustration, I still feel really great. I may not have as much as I had when Ranger Man was providing every thing for me, but at least what I have is truly mine, and I have to work for it. I'm in control now, not any one else. I do what's best for me and for Webster, and I truly believe that was coming home. Plus, I am grateful (even if it doesn't sound like it) that my dad let me come here. Not everyone even has a little room to share with a cat and a computer. I am lucky.

For tomorrow... the tale of the immense gratification when your ex-boyfriend from when you were a senior in High School really does look you up 7 years later. I *told* him that he wouldn't be able to stop thinking about me! Hahaha. stay tuned.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Almost there

I'm finally on I-5, which is the "right road" to take to get home. It's still going to be Friday until we actually arrive- but we're so close! The trees are starting to look more normal, and I'm beginning to see familiar chains of restaurants, etc.

For the most part, Webster has been a prince. I have a new picture of him perched atop the highest point in this hotel room, but the shady wireless connection is preventing its upload. He's not happy about this situation, but he's (mostly) been such a great cat.

By the way- was I the only person that didn't know drivers entering California have to pass through an agricultural inspection station? As we were passing from Arizona to California, all of a sudden there were these big signs on the sides of the road "Inspection Station Ahead- all vehicles must stop." I was confused- had I accidentally taken a wrong turn and ended up in Mexico? What were they inspecting? Do I have all of Webster's papers? Ack!

In the end, the Very Nice Inspection Guard informed me that it was an agricultural inspection, and asked if I had any fruits or vegetable... "no." Then the Very Nice Inspection Guard asked if I had any plants or animals... "uh... (gesturing at the big box on the passenger seat)... I have a cat."

He then declared very matter-of-factly in a very deep voice that "Cats are OK."

Insert HUGE sigh of relief from me, until---

"Can I look in your trunk?"

Me, out loud: "sure, no problem." Me, inside my head "please, please, please don't unpack my car- I have no idea how I got this much stuff in here in the first place!"

I believe that Very Nice Inspection Guard saw the jam-packed nature of my car and trunk and decided that I didn't pose an agricultural threat. It made me glad that my stash was on the bottom of the pile in my trunk- I don't know that I would have wanted to explain all that yarn...

Friday, December 11, 2009


The best way I can think to sum up how I've been feeling lately:

I know this is the right thing to do... I just wish that it wasn't.

One of my co-workers was really sweet and got me flowers the other day:

Also on Thursday, my co-workers surprised me with a potluck lunch, and brought bagels for me- My favorite! It was such a great and sweet surprise.

I've also had the best kitty ever to keep me occupied with ultimate cuteness:

Webster has so far liked moving because there are lots of boxes, and he loves boxes. I don't think he's going to continue to like moving once we are in a car all day long for a week.

We have a route planned, and Webster-friendly stops along the way. Most everything has been shipped, probably down to one more trip to the post office.

I've got some more whining and moaning to do, but I'm going to try not to do it today.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Holey Moley.

This is hard. Much harder than I thought it would be.

Send wine and chocolate.

It's interesting how even though, cognitively, I know that I've made the right decision... It's still one of the hardest things I've ever done and hurts like the dickens.

More later perhaps, after the wine wears off. There's been lots of wine to cope with today.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

On driving across the country

Shortly, I will be embarking on a cross-country voyage in my car, with a cat. In the long run, driving is going to be the most cost-effective way to get there- but it's also probably the most stressful/longest way there.

My dad really wants to force my little brother to fly out here and then drive back with me. My friend, A has offered to do the same thing. While I feel incredibly lucky, and blessed, to have these options, I really want to make the drive alone. Which I think makes me a little crazy.

I know, logically, that it would be a good idea to have someone with me. I know that I could get more driving done during the day and it would probably be good just to have someone around.

But this drive feels like such a turning point in my life- I've been almost looking forward to the drive itself as a way to wipe the slate clean and focus my mind and my thoughts on myself and moving forward with my life. The drive itself is something that I'm looking forward to as cathartic- a time to mourn and heal. Since it's going to be such a long drive, I figure that I'll have time to go through a lot of stages.

I've planned to take my iPod to listen to podcasts, CDs for music and I'm going to get an audio book or something as well. This drive feels integral to the process of breaking up and moving on, and thus I want to do it alone.

I must be crazy. But really, I may like A and lil bro right now, but I'm sure that I wouldn't like tham any more if I had to spend that much time cooped up in a car/hotel room with them!