My lovely friend, Chelsy, started this honest, revelatory blog called Newly Wed and Over Fed. Take a look at her second entry: Step two: Hope.
I’m seriously resisting February. It was such a shitty, annoying month. These prompts are no different.
February 7th – Right to health:
Is access to medical care something that governments should provide, or is it better left to the private sector? Are there drawbacks to your choice?
I am honestly ignorant in this topic, like most, and as a result, I can’t really answer. People should have medical care when they need it. I think that sums it up. Are there drawbacks to people getting the healthcare they need? Mmm. Now I’m being purposefully mocking. Of course there are drawbacks, as there are to anything. I’m moving on because it’s 530am and I can’t focus on this.
February 8th – Karma chameleon:
Reincarnation: Do you believe in it?
February 9th – Childhood revisited:
Sure, you turned out pretty good, but is there anything you wish had been different about your childhood? If you have kids, is there anything you wish were different for them?
I’m so distracted by the awkward grammar, I … Okay. Yes, I did turn out pretty well. I hate to sound like a spoiled brat, because I’m not – there are plenty of shitty things that I’d not enjoy going through again – however, every single thing that happened in my childhood has helped shape me into the person I am today. The good things, the bad things, the frustrating things, the lovely things. Everything came together like puzzle pieces and although the picture isn’t finished, all the straight edges and corners are in place.
Oh I see now, the second part of the question wants to know if I have kids now. Well, I don’t, but I could say there are things I will try my hardest to do differently for them because of things I went through or didn’t go through. There are things I want my kids to experience that I wasn’t able to experience and there are things I’ll try to keep them from going through. One thing I always give my parents shit for is letting up on Conor’s phone curfew when they let up on mine, although he’s four years younger. Ya know, stuff like that 😉
February 10th – Teachable moment:
You have to learn a new skill. Do you prefer to read about it, watch someone else do it, hear someone describe it, or try it yourself?
Any time I’ve had to learn something new for work, and probably in general and I’ve just never noticed, I’ve always wanted to have a mix of learning techniques going on. For example, when I started my receptionist job a hundred years ago, I sat with my trainer as she told me about everything she has to do in the course of a shift, she’d point out the different buttons and what they did, in what order she had to push the buttons to page someone or transfer a call, etc; I’d write everything down so that I wouldn’t have to ask again; then I’d sit and watch her do everything for a few hours. After all of that, I’d feel comfortable jumping in. I did the same thing when I started as an escrow officer. At least as a receptionist, I’d seen a telephone before. But ask me where to put the HOA on the HUD and how much to charge for the DOT and I’ll be able to answer you correctly.
If it’s like, putting together a desk or table and chairs from Nebraska Furniture Mart, just give me the directions and walk away.
February 11th – Whoa!:
What’s the most surreal experience you’ve ever had?
Oh, yes. Finally, I have an answer on the tip of my tongue for one of these. Sigh. Most surreal experience – may or may not be the most surreal experience I’ve ever had, but it’s sure as hell dreamlike – was meeting Martin Freeman. Well, not so much ‘meeting,’ since it’s not like we shook hands and introduced ourselves, but meeting nonetheless.
In London, on North Gower, watching Sherlock being filmed. Already surreal, seeing a couple of my heroes in person and watching them create bits of a television show that has taken over my life. They took a break in filming and were setting up a different camera angle, so they had to have some of us fans shift around. My friends went off to the left and I went off to the right. I went across the side street to a smaller fan area and I think at that moment, I saw Mr Cumberbatch going over to the other side of the street. ‘Fuck,’ I thought. There was no way I was getting back over there. I looked up then and saw Mr Freeman coming over to my side of the street. I was behind a multitude of people, probably about four or five back from the barrier so I thought, again, ‘fuck,’ I’ll never get through. (And I’m not the pushing through the crowd type unless I’m at a concert). As I was giving up, I noticed him going further down my side of the street. The people were thinning out toward that end. Fuck it. It’s now or never. I hope to God I didn’t trot, but I made it quickly to where he was and he was talking to some woman in front of me. She was telling him what a huge fan her daughter was and how hard it can be to be a parent sometimes, or something like that, and Martin listened so intently and held her hand the whole way through her story. As soon as it was wrapping up, I stepped forward with my phone ready on camera-mode and shakily asked, “Martin, could I have a photo please?” (In retrospect, I wish I wouldn’t have been such a clot and called him Mr Freeman instead, ffs). But anyway, he just looked up and smiled and said, “sure, sure!” I kind of scooted next to the barrier that separated us, and held my phone out so that I could line up the shot. I’m fucking shocked that it wasn’t a blurry mess because when I said ‘shakily,’ I meant like, beginning stages of Parkinson’s. So yeah. I said thank you, or at least I hope I did, I don’t know, I was stunned, and he went back to filming.
Even now, I can’t believe it. I think I texted about ten people and told them what happened. At that point, I’d already met Benedict and I think I’d met Andrew Scott? Either way, Conor was like, “how the fuck does this keep happening?” Oh, um, yeah, those were two other surreal experiences.
February 12th – All about you:
Explain why you chose your blog’s title and what it means to you.
Aw yiss. So my blog’s title is ‘Consumed with that which it is nourish’d by’ and it’s from Shakespeare’s Sonnet 73. Easy, really: I’m consumed with writing/journaling and I’m nourished by it. I always say that it keeps me sane and I’m not exaggerating in the least. Even earlier tonight, I felt like writing, so I picked up my journal and wrote about four pages of bosh. But it doesn’t matter that it was bosh, because I instantly had clear vision. Sometimes shit gets a bit cloudy, like all of a sudden life is shot through a diffuser. It’s not always a romantic look that the diffuser provides. Usually I’m fairly good at recognizing when that film slips in place and I can wipe it all away with the stroke of a pen. Hot damn.
Got off track. Maybe not really. But yes, that’s what journaling means to me, that’s what my blog title means to me.
February 13th – Shoulda, woulda, coulda:
Tell us about something you know you should do… but don’t.
You mean besides working out?
February 14th – Cupid’s arrow:
It’s Valentine’s Day, so write an ode to someone or something you love. Bonus points for poetry!
I think if the answer doesn’t automatically come to me…
February 15th – Proud:
When was the last time someone told you they were proud of you?
Probably super recently. My parents are always proud of me for some reason or another lol That’s not to say that it has lost its meaning – I am very blessed to have parents that take pride in me and I’m equally as proud to call them my parents.
February 16th – The clock:
Write about anything you’d like. Somewhere in your post, include the sentence, “I heard the car door slam, and immediately looked at the clock.”
This is just screaming for fanfiction. Or maybe I’m screaming for fanfiction. I scream, you scream.
-> She was in her hometown tonight. She’d gone downtown for a drink at her favorite bar. She went alone because she didn’t mind being alone, really. In fact, she usually preferred it.
Unfortunately, tonight there were a few men who kept coming over to talk to her. Theirs was attention she didn’t want. “Look, guys, I’m flattered, but no thanks,” she said, trying to get them away from her as politely as possible.
One of the men didn’t very much like being denied and as he leant in to put his arm around her, her stool tipped to the side. She found herself shoulder to shoulder with the man next to her. She hadn’t paid any attention to anyone all night because she just wanted a goddamn drink in peace.
The man startled and looked down at her. Instantly, they recognized each other. In his lovely English accent, he said, “hello, darling.”
“Thomas, hi,” she answered, strained at the effort of holding herself up against him.
“What, you know this fucking guy?” One of the drunk men asked.
“In fact, she does, gentlemen; so why don’t you bugger off and leave us, eh?” Thomas said to the man.
She cringed. These didn’t look like the type of men to simply ‘bugger off’ when asked. In fact, they weren’t at all.
“What the fuck did you say?”
And that’s when the fight broke out. One of the drunk men raised his fist and wound up to hit Tom. Tom dodged the first one easily enough, but hadn’t seen the second drunk man’s fist coming from the right. His fist collided with Tom’s left cheekbone and he was thrown against the bar. She picked up her beer bottle and performed the biggest cliché she could think of: she broke it against the bartop.
She pointed it at the drunk man who’d swung first and then waved it at the man who’d actually made contact with James.
“When a lady says no, she fucking means no; so unless you guys want to spend the night in the ICU, why don’t you fuck off already?” she shouted.
The man closest to her started to laugh, so she stopped forward and brought the jagged bottle closer to his face. “By the way, I know the nurse on-call, so I can make sure you get the best care.”
The man put his hands up in surrender, seeing how serious she was. “Alright, alright, fuck.” They stumbled away.
She put the bottle on the bar and put up her hand to the bartender who was about to tell her to hit the road. “I know, I know.”
She looked at Thomas, who had been staring at her with his wide eyes, made even wider by her actions. “Blimey! Remind me not to fuck with you.”
“Goddamn right.” She grabbed his hand and pulled him toward the exit. At the end of the bar, she spied a glass of ice, so she checked for the bartender and then took the glass.
Outside the bar, she held the glass of ice to Thomas’s cheekbone. “Here,” she said, “hold this.”
He exclaimed as the glass touched his face. “Jesus!”
“We should probably get moving in case those assholes decide to leave, or more likely, get themselves thrown out,” she offered.
“Right.” He answered as they started down the sidewalk.
“My car’s in the parking garage just a block over,” she said, digging in her purse for her keys. He answered again, “right.”
Once they found her car, he set the glass of melted ice on the barrier. “No,” she said, “take that. I’ll wash it.” He gave her a look as she got in the driver’s seat. “What? It’s a free glass,” she said with a wink.
Fortunately, it was still early in the evening, so maneuvering out of the parking garage was a breeze. Once she’d gotten them out and away from downtown, she asked him what hotel he was staying at.
“Um, the Marriott,” he answered quietly.
Not responding to his answer, she asked another question. “What are you doing here, anyway?” She cringed at her approach and immediately felt bad. He had taken a punch for her after all.
“I, um, well, I was here for an assignment. A project.” So he hadn’t scaled down after all. She wondered if that meant- “So yeah, as I’m sure you’re thinking, I’m divorced.” He looked down at the lighter line of skin on his left ring finger.
She let out a breath. Yikes. “I’m so sorry, Thomas. I didn’t- She didn’t-“
“No,” he said, “after you left me that night, I stood there staring out at nothing for ages. I felt like as soon as I moved from that spot, I’d have to make a decision. And I didn’t want to. I wanted to go after you, to be honest.”
She sucked in a breath at that. She remembered thinking she wished he would have. She kept preparing herself to be grabbed by the arm and spun around by him. It never happened and she never looked back.
“But I knew I couldn’t do that. I could have made things so much worse for myself by doing that, um, no offense- I mean, I hope you understand what I-“
“Of course,” she cut him off. “No, the last thing you should have done was come after me,” she admitted. Sealing her lips, she focused on the drive.
“I finally decided to just call her right there, so I didn’t have to move.” He made a sad sounding chuckle. “I tried to tell her that I could cut back on what I was doing and still be there for her and the boys, but she was so tired of it all by then… She had already made up her mind.” He sighed and rubbed at his eyes, flinching a bit, forgetting about his sore cheek.
She didn’t know what to say. It was just as well, as she pulled up to the entrance of the hotel.
“Well,” she started. As she was taking a breath to start again, he interrupted her.
“Stay with me.” It wasn’t a question. Not really a command.
Without a word, she put her car back in drive and pulled away toward the hotel’s parking lot.
She knew it would be only once. Just as it would have been before. This would never work as anything. But it would kill her to leave in the morning all the same.
She found a spot relatively close to the front door and grabbed her purse out of the back seat.
He met her behind her car and took her hand. She appreciated the gesture and smiled at him. She hoped he wouldn’t be able to read in her face what was really going on in her mind.
They made their way through the lobby to the bank of elevators. She was hoping his room was on a high floor so that she could look out over her city. It might help ground her.
He was. He motioned for her to exit the elevator first and then followed, grabbing her hand again in pursuit of his room. She was sick to her stomach when they reached his door. She almost hoped his key wouldn’t work so she could run.
It worked. She couldn’t deny that she wanted this, and he was divorced now, but it still felt entirely stupid. She’d do it anyway.
His room was fairly large. A nice room. A king-sized bed. The bed where, she couldn’t help but anticipate, a huge mistake was about to be made.
“I think I’ll, um,” she began, “I’m going to use the restroom.” With that, she stepped in and locked the door behind her.
Fuck. She thought. What the fuck am I doing? I always think I know what I’m doing and then I end up in these goddamn situations. She let out a breath. Her eyes caught her reflection in the mirror. She looked good, but she looked how she felt: conflicted. She listened for clues in the room. She didn’t hear anything. Surprised she didn’t hear a belt buckle or a boot dropping to the floor.
I mean, I don’t have to do this, she thought. It’s not like I’m obligated, and I’m sure he’s not the kind to force me into something. She squeezed her eyes shut and took another deep breath.
I’ll just tell him I can’t. I’m so glad I drove us here and not to my apartment.
She took one last deep breath and gripped the door handle. I can do this. I can tell him I can’t do this.
She opened the door slowly and listened again. She couldn’t hear anything. She practically tiptoed out of the restroom and around the corner. Then she saw him.
Passed out on top of the comforter, Thomas was fully clothed.
She had to stifle a laugh now. All of that for nothing. He must have been a bit more intoxicated than she noticed. Either that or he hid it well.
She went over to him and sat down beside him. She brushed his bangs off of his forehead. He stirred a little.
“Hey,” she whispered. He moaned a sleepy response.
She made to take off his boots. He tried to help by pushing his toes against the other foot’s heel, but his toes kept slipping off of the leathery boot.
“Stop it,” she giggled, “just let me fuckin’ do it.” He moaned another sleepy response.
Once she’d gotten his boots off, she put them at the end of the bed and decided against wrestling the comforter from underneath him. Luckily, there was a spare blanket in the closet. She covered him up to his chin and tucked the end of the blanket under his feet.
She stood and looked at him for a minute or two, secretly thankful for the decision she didn’t have to make. Again, he’d taken a blow for her. She bent over and brushed her lips against his forehead. He was completely out now.
Noticing the standard notepad and pen on the nightstand, she picked both up and went to the little desk by the television.
What do I even say? “Thomas,” she started. She froze for a moment before putting the pen down and quietly ripping the sheet from the pad. She tore it up and put it in the bin. She sighed.
She turned around to look at him. He had grabbed the blanket and pulled it tightly against him. He looked like such a child.
She stared at the notepad. She should thank him for defending her against that asshole at the bar. She should tell him again how sorry she is for his marriage falling apart. She should apologize for not being there in the morning.
“Talk soon,” she wrote.
She signed her name and put the pen down. She got up and went to the window overlooking downtown. She heard a car door slam and immediately looked at the clock. Jesus, she’d been standing there for twenty minutes. It was time to go.
“Goodnight,” she whispered.
Six and a half hours. That’s straight through with no stops. Truck drivers carrying property have driving rules, I know that.
Truck drivers carrying property can drive a maximum of eleven hours after ten hours off-duty (US DOT: FMCSA).
Let’s say there were a few stops along the way. Interstate 80 runs along quite a few potential stops, and this is assuming that the transport truck started at Madison and made its way west. Could have had a stop in Dubuque, Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Des Moines (very likely), and then arrive in Omaha. Maybe even, depending on the route, a stop in Rockport, Davenport, and then Iowa City, Des Moines, and Omaha. Who knows how many dealerships are along the way, and frankly, I’m not about to get into all that. This is frustrating me enough to sit down and be pontificating pedantically about this as it is.
That being said. So, eleven hours max. Stopping four times along the way bumps the travel time to twelve hours, which would be over the limit, never mind how they measure time when they’re stopped or resting (the US DOT website uses confusing language, so I’m not going to try to understand that). So clearly, this journey would already take more than a day. Got it. Maybe even two or three.
That being said. It’s taken a week.
I called my salesman today because I hadn’t heard anything and was met with the typical I-totally-wasn’t-about-to-call-you-but-I’ll-tell-you-that-because-it-sounds-like-I’m-trying-to-keep-you-in-mind answer of, “I was just about to call you!” (no harm, I used this more often than I’d care to admit when I worked in an office and I’m sure it hasn’t left my lips for the last time). “There were some issues with the transport truck, so we’re looking at tomorrow” (as in Wednesday, as in, a week).
The point of having the car brought down to Omaha for me was strictly convenience. I worked at a car dealership in Omaha for almost four years, and when I found a car I liked at one of our branches even just a couple hours away, they’d bring it down to Omaha out of convenience for me. Makes total sense. Good customer service.
Before I decided on this particular MINI, there was one on the east coast that had even more of what I wanted, but was a bit more expensive and would have taken ‘over a week’ to get here. I was trying to drive to Canada (today), so a week wouldn’t cut it – I decided on the one that was closer with fewer of my requests because it would get here ‘this weekend; Monday at the latest.’
Honestly, I could have set up a rental return in Madison either last Thursday or Friday (you know, because it was due Friday before I had to start paying for it), and then done the F&I in Madison and driven home in my car. Have I needed it? Not necessarily; it’s just the principle of the thing at this point.
I realize how whiney and bratty this sounds, but I won’t again get into the ridiculousness of how this would be for someone with a family and full-time job to handle while constantly having to add days to their rental for which they are now paying for out-of-pocket because of the ‘insurance guidelines.’
I said I wouldn’t get into it again, didn’t I
I’m sorry that there’s been an almost-daily (more than daily) commentary about this situation, but it’s just the most frustrating thing going on in my life at the moment. While I’m trying to buy a house, do my taxes, plan for company- holy fucking shit, I’m an adult, when the hell did this happen?!
This isn’t all for naught. Luckily. I’m learning a lot from it. Life experience, I guess. If I wasn’t learning from it, it would be wasted on me; so yeah. Nevertheless, I’ll be working on my pout when I
hopefully finally go pick up my car tomorrow. I should probably use it when I visit my loan officer as well. Sure we can’t do any better than 4.125%? *insert pout*
Lately, I think I’ve been stressing (mildly, I admit) about how it’s been since September I’ve been back now and I still haven’t found a job. I keep thinking it’s because I’m not physically ready – as in, in shape, and that’s partially true. However, it’s also incredibly mental. As in, intellectually/psychologically.
In this time of being, not only completely jobless, but completely single, I’ve obviously had ample time to myself. Time to laze about, time to think, time to suss out what I truly want in many different aspects of my life, but more importantly, if not most importantly, I’ve had time to learn.
Not only learning facts and information about the world, but things about myself.
I feel like the lesson is done once you’ve learned it. I learned an exponential amount about myself, culture, others, etc while I was in London, but that came to an end
unfortunately. I learned valuable educational information from my masters program, but that came to an end, thank God.
I felt myself in a state of flux, again, being done with my masters, but not having a job. I was not, and I’m still not, driven to take up a job just for the sake of it. I want my next job to be something I wholeheartedly desire, from which I can grow over the years, and maintain as a career. (I know it’s a lot to ask as a baby). I still want that. But during a rather luxurious shower this morning at sun-up, I realized something that brought a sob of relief out of me:
This time has not been wasted in the least.
I can’t even put a quantity on how much I’ve learned since I’ve had nothing doing. No wonder I’ve never been bored. No wonder I’m not itching to get a job to pass the time. This entire time, I’ve been absorbing vast amounts of knowledge. And sometimes food.
I’ve read so much that I had to get eye drops for the deserts that had become my orbital sockets. I’ve watched so many documentaries and biopics and have been able to hold the most brilliant discussions with friends. I’ve not even gotten started with all the meta-analysis on Sherlock, but boy, what I’ve done so far makes me salivate. I’ve had my poor, dry eyes opened on so many occasions in the past four-ish months. I never stopped my quest for wisdom, I’ve been on it all along.
It’s been entirely fulfilling and rewarding. I’ve been spending such wonderful time with my parents, my brother, and consumed a mass amount of tea (and coffee). I’ve Brit-binged thanks to BBC America and Netflix. I’ve applied for about fifty jobs since October. I’ve even been able to get a feel for the housing market in LA (not as bad as I imagined), Manhattan (half a mil for a studio?!), and, because I’m a bit of a masochist, London (sorry, what per week?!). I’ll be prepared when I get that call.
I have the brightest goddamn outlook for myself, it may err on the side of fantastical.
But that’s okay.
It’s easy, well, sometimes, anyway, to look back on a situation or time of your life and think, ah, that’s why I had to endure that: I learned __________. Hindsight is usually 20/20, as they say. I seem to have House-epiphanied my reason for this time in my life, which simultaneously thrills me and frightens me.
Does that mean it’s over? Or close to being over? Lesson-mostly-learned, right?
Until I know for certain, I’ll keep on this path. It’s not one I’m looking forward to leaving, but I know the next turn will be an exciting one.