Monday, September 12, 2011

Make-up Novel

Apparently, as of yesterday, I have written 365 blog postings.  Now, as it has been only 11 months and a few days since I began writing, I know that I'm not finished yet.  This does, however, signify a major point in the year of writing I set out to do.  It means that I've written more than one post many days.  It means that technically, I could stop here and have written a year's worth of posts, one post for every day.  But I'm not ready to stop yet.  I still have much writing to do.  I have approximately 22 more days of writing left, and I am going to try to squeeze everything out of those days that I can.

I haven't kept a count of how many days I've written something along the lines of "I don't feel like writing today," or "I'm too tired to write today," but I bet those add up to at least a couple of weeks worth of posts, if not more.  I'm not really sure how to account for those days - because there are some days where I've written two or more posts, and there was a day back in March where I transferred a bunch of posts from an older blog that I'd gotten going awhile back.  Maybe all those erroneous posts make up for my too-exhausted-to-write-anything days.

Either way, this is the home stretch, I guess.  I've kept a pretty accurate account of my life for the last year, a record of my thoughts and feelings and my personal analysis of what to do with the thoughts and feelings and how to handle them.

Honestly, I feel like I'm about 90% cured of having depression.  There are days when I can feel it creeping up beside me, about to overtake me, but I've been almost entirely able to catch it early and do something to change my mood, or use a coping mechanism to ward off the alienation and isolation I feel I instinctively need to protect myself.  I've learned a lot about myself and my abilities, and about how to take care of myself when I am feeling vulnerable.  I've worked really hard on my self-esteem, and I've done the best I can to work out the issues that tend to send me on a downward spiral.

I think I still have a shitload of work to do, and so for right now my plan of action for after writing for 365 days straight is to keep writing, although I'm not going to force myself to write every single day.  I'll write as I need to, which at this point I feel is going to be just about every other day or every two days.  I think that choosing to write explicitly and candidly every day for the past year has been more helpful than I ever thought.  Deep down, I hoped that I would attract more followers and get more people interested in my process and I was hoping to decrease the stigma that's attached to mental illness, especially for people like me who are extremely intelligent but broke, who have almost no resources with which to attempt to rehabilitate with.  That didn't really happen, although I have gotten a ton of great feedback from the people that I know that have read and followed my progress.  I haven't really decided what to do with the 350+ posts that I'll have just lying around, but I don't need to make any kind of decision anytime soon.  They can sit there and collect dust.

As for my weekend lack of writing - here's what transpired:

Saturday, I woke up on my own around 8:30am.  I had planned to wake up and get going at 9am.  Meredi and I had had a little roommate-bonding dinner of grilled tilapia that I made when I got home from work on Friday night.  Remember how I couldn't decide whether or not to stop at the liquor store?  Well I did, and I got a big bottle of Barefoot white zin, which is sweet and bubbly.  I cooked and Meredi and I talked and drank wine for a few hours.  I took another glass up to bed with me, too.  So when I woke up, I had the worst headache ever.  I didn't feel nauseated or anything, but I was definitely hung over.  I was planning to go to my parents house, pick up Z and take him running, so I took 4 ibuprofen and 2 aspirin to knock the headache totally out, and it worked.  I got there around 9:30am but it took forever for us to find his bike helmet so we didn't leave until almost 10.  We ran the 3.5 mile loop, with a quick stop at the pond at the Westminster rec center.  The weather was beyond perfect - about 70-75 degrees, calm winds, no clouds.  I stuck around the house for a little while playing with the kiddos while my dad did some work on my sister's van, but I had to leave to go home and shower before my shift with Meredi's catering company.  She told me to be at her work at 1:15pm, so I got ready and headed over there.  She processed my paperwork, and I got my uniform and we drove to Lyons.

Let me interject here and say that catering is hard fucking work.  I am not sure if it's like this all the time or not, but holy shit.  This particular location was really pretty, but the layout was incredibly difficult.  We were catering a wedding for 92 people.  There were three different areas where things were happening - a small courtyard and covered table for pre-ceremony refreshments and post-ceremony cocktails before dinner, another courtyard where the ceremony was to take place, and the huge-ass fancy event tent that had three chandeliers, next to a pond with a fountain and token ducks who were adorable.  There was a road made of rocks for set-up companies (DJ, bar, bakery) to drive down to the tent, but the rocks were slightly bigger than marble-sized and real pointy, and I can't even tell you how many times I walked back and forth from one area to another on those rocks.  There was a small storage area where all the decorations and extra beverages for the bar were being kept, which was up a small hill, down which we had to carry the decorations and beverages, and again up which we had to bring the decor and leftover beverages back.  This was enough bottles of white zinfandel, merlot, champagne, cran-grape juice, sprite, hawaiian punch, and pineapple juice for 100 people.  For each person to have multiples of everything.  Plus the decorations.  The pre-ceremony refreshments were humongous (I'd guess 4 gallon) glass jugs for fruit-infused waters (cucumber mint, strawberry, and lemon), which I had to carry from that area to the tent, entirely full of ice-water.  Linda had carried them over to begin with.  Also, there was a keg in a trashcan full of ice that had to be moved down the hill.  The only guy on our crew recruited the owner of the location to help him move the keg down the hill and I carried the ice.  I couldn't lift the keg. 

I don't think my feet have ever hurt so bad.  I thought the shoes I wore were one of my most comfortable pairs, but I think they are some of my most comfy shoes for a sitting job.  Not a walking and carrying heavy things job.  Now I know that.  My back and arms and legs were all really sore when I got up yesterday, and I discovered that I had two blisters - I think I wrote about them - on my right foot.  Which according to my stride analysis carries 55% of my weight.  I apparently favor my left.

Overall, I feel really proud of myself.  For following through with the job, for making the money, for learning the system of catering an event like this, and for just plain doing it.  I left the house at 1pm and arrived back home shortly before 1am.  I thought I'd pass right out but I stayed up and watched a few episodes of Friends on Nick at Nite.  I was also famished, so I snacked a bit.  On cheese and garlic croutons, which was about the healthiest thing I could think of that wasn't McDonald's.

The wedding itself was pretty, and as fancy as it was, apparently it wasn't the fanciest.  Meredi said it was a really easy event - low-key - because we weren't passing the drinks, dinner, and cake.  Everything was buffet-style.  The food was a Caribbean theme - cornbread with green chiles, rice with mango and coconut, black beans, and Caribbean jerk chicken and barbequed pork-loin with a mango salsa garnish.  Really delicious.  Yes, we got to eat after all the guests had finished, and Linda took some home.  They had a specialty drink for the cocktails, called a Purple Peacock, which was the cran-grape juice with Bacardi hurricane and a lime garnish.  At first people were really wary of it, but that ended up being the most popular drink of the night, aside from the beer.   They had cupcakes instead of a cake, three kinds - strawberry with a champagne cream filling, amaretto with a chocolate ganache filling, and butter pecan with a buttercream filling.  They were amazing.  I cannot for the life of me figure out how they got the fillings into the cupcakes.  I ate the frosting off one and saw a little hole in the top, but they had to have removed some of the cake in the middle to make room for the cream fillings, and I can't figure that part out. 

They partied until just after 11, when the contract had stipulated the location would shut down, and when we were scheduled to start breaking down.  It was actually like Kara's wedding - where the guests were all staying in rooms and cabins on the property, so I'm nearly positive the celebration continued well into the night like hers did.  Meredi had actually sent Linda and the guy on the crew home around like 8, except that he'd left some of his things in my car and so I gave him my car key to get it all out before he left, but he left with my key.  Meredi tried calling him and Linda, but couldn't get a hold of them, and he finally showed back up at like 10 with the key.  Dumbass.  I couldn't believe he'd forgotten to give it back to me in the first place, and I was definitely pissed that I'd let him leave with it, and actually let it dampen my mood a bit, but I felt a lot better when he showed up with it.

We had to pack everything leftover into my tiny car, along with Meredi and her friend Julia, which was a trip.  Poor Julia had to sit in the back seat with a huge bag of garbage.  Meredi tried to have me drive my car down to the back of the tent, where the Spice truck had been and where the DJ pulled his Jeep to, but I couldn't figure out how to get there (hint: move the cone and drive down the rock driveway, and take a right at the pond), so I gave Meredi the key to my car and told her to do it, saying I was too stupid to figure it out.  Julia and I got things ready to pack into the car, and waited, and waited some more, for Meredi to drive my car up, but she ended up walking back down, saying I might have been too stupid to figure out how to get the car back there, but she was too stupid to figure out how to get my car into reverse.  I'd forgotten to tell her you had to lift up on the handle of the gear shift to put it into reverse.  In my defense, and hers, it was late and we were exhausted.

So that's the story of my catering adventure.  I made about as much as I'd have made at work in 9.5 hours, sitting on my ass, watching Lost and doing homework.  Which was what I was aiming for - to make up for some of the time I'd missed going down to Florida.

Yesterday when I woke up, I felt like I was walking on painful little pillows because the bottoms of my feet were swollen.  I tried sleeping in, but woke up early anyway.  I was able to get back to sleep for about an hour before I had to go over to my parents house to babysit the kids while my mom drove my dad to the airport.  I was so tired I felt like I was drunk.  Luckily, the time of day that they had to go to the airport was essentially naptime - the baby took a nap and the boys had what they've been calling "quiet time," which is just a couple of hours to watch a movie and relax and be quiet.  Z snuggled me really good for awhile, and I fell asleep.  We watched Monsters, Inc.  They woke me up when it was over, and my mom came home right then.  The baby had awakened and was lying quietly in her crib so I grabbed her and brought her upstairs.  My mom had asked if I wanted to stick around until she had to pick my sister up from work, so I did.  I had the kiddos come out and hang out in my car while I cleaned it out, which they got bored with, so my mom got them going on washing their bikes.  Even the baby.  I vacuumed my car out while they "washed" their bikes (read: played in the water and soap), and then I had them all come over and help me wash the outside of my car, too.  Which they did a surprisingly good job on.  Especially the baby.  She was intense!  Such a good little worker!  And she had a blast, too.  By the time we were finished with that it was time for my mom to leave again, so we went inside and the kiddos played while I read a little of the paper.  My sister had offered to bring food from work for dinner in exchange for me watching the kids, so we had Olive Garden for dinner and it was wonderful.  I haven't had cheese-filled pasta in such a long time.

After we were done eating, I cleaned up my mess from outside and Phoenix and I left.  When I got home, I popped in the shower and got ready for bed, and was ready before it was even 7pm.  I had a movie called Conviction on, so I laid down and watched it until 8 and then tried to go to sleep.  Which I did just fine, except that I woke up at about 1am because I had to pee.  This shit has been happening a lot lately, pretty much every night.  At first I attributed it to the fact that I was drinking a lot more water to compensate for all the exercising I've been doing, but if that's the case, I should be rehydrating and using the water, not voiding it.  I drink almost no soda now (I had a couple diet coke's at my mom's), mostly water, protein shake and wine, but I didn't think I had enough to drink yesterday (not talking alcoholic beverages) to have to pee that bad in the middle of the night.  And then again this morning.  When I got up during the night, I couldn't fall back asleep right away, either.  And when I did fall back asleep, I had a lot of trouble getting comfortable, kept tossing and turning.  So I woke up this morning feeling like I'd barely slept.  I feel like I haven't gotten a good, restful night of sleep in about a week, which is killing me.  Between the amount of exercise I'm getting, and the sleep I feel like I've been lacking (and for whatever reason my body is telling me I need a whole lot of sleep right now), I am drained.  I force myself to exercise even if I don't want to, and I try to get enough sleep but I just can't seem to feel like I'm catching up.  I'm worried that the lack of energy, the high thirst and the excessive urination are all symptoms of diabetes, so I'm going to the doc on campus before class in the morning to have some tests done.  It's been going on for about a month now.  I'm also concerned because I'm actually gaining weight despite my exercise.  I was attributing it to the Lupron, but I'm tired of working really hard with no results.  

Something else I'm really proud of is my determination on Saturday to do what I'd planned to do - go running and work the wedding.  Even though I woke up with a crazy headache that morning, I went running anyway.  I didn't really even give not running a thought.  It was just like, this was my plan, this was what I was going to do, so I did it.  That's kind of unlike me, at least over the course of the last 7 years.  I used to take whatever excuse I could get to not have to do anything, but I'm really glad I got up and got going the way I did because I set the tone for my whole day that way, and I think I could have made my mood much worse if I'd excused myself from running and/or working just because I had a hangover headache.

I'm hoping I can use the good feelings I got from doing things this weekend even though I didn't want to do them as fuel for the rest of this week because I am motherfucking tired as shit and I really want to just do nothing for at least half a day.  But I think that will have to wait until the weekend.  Or maybe Thursday because I have a test in my lab and that only eats up like half an hour. 

This is one long-ass post.  Holy hell.  I think that helps make up for the lack of writing from the weekend.  I don't think I included some of my more random thoughts during the wedding catering adventure (like, how the hell are these people still conscious after that much booze and all that dancing?!), but that's okay.  Maybe I can include them in a more serious post about how depressing it is to be 26 and single and have to attend weddings more than once a year.  Although going to a wedding of people I didn't know was a lot easier than a family or friend wedding.

I think I'm going to treat myself to sushi tonight.  It's been awhile and I do not have the energy to cook the chicken I want in a salad...or else I'll just have the salad....

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