Guess who’s going to NYC for $56 bucks during her 21st?
now the joy of my world is in Zion;
Today was the first day of my circuit assembly. A circuit assembly is like a half convention. Instead of the usual 5000 people, there’s about 2500. How was it?
How is every convention? Beautiful.
The assembly’s theme was about conducting ourselves as people who love God. Whenever a person of any religion professes reverence to God, one expects a higher plane of behavior, but it seems even more so when you tell someone you’re a Jehovah’s Witness. There was a variety of subjects— gossip, love, social networking, the full time ministry, Bible reading, and growing close to God in love.
My family and I were on time, which is a big deal, because we spend an inordinate amount of time late for pretty much everything. I rode in with Bro. and Sis. Z. I straightened my hair this morning and wore black. I looked and felt great.
People that I ran into include Jon and Noor, Tony and Amy, C & A, Greek God and Goddess, Will from soccer, ‘Ello Governor and his wife Stacey, Taylor the photographer and her (tall, handsome, already-totally-married-what-a-bummer) cousin, Elijah from soccer (with the beautiful dark skin and that soft, sweetly accented voice), awkward but adorable Chad with the eyes, Steve, Joe and Steph, Blue Eyes and Sal’s mum, brother, sister-in-law, nieces and nephews, and nonna.
I also, incidentally, ran into that Chaldean guy’s family too. They always liked me way better than he ever did, and so it was a delight to see them again (and it didn’t hurt that it happened to be on a day that I looked nice).
Was Sal there? No. Had he been there this day would have been perfect. With his absence, it was just really, really excellent instead. Considering how the days have been lately, I feel blessed for really, really excellent. I will take it.
The other thing that made my day was meeting a guy whom we’ll call Dante. Dante was tall, dark-skinned and baby-faced. I was coming out of the hallway when he winked at me and smiled. I smiled back, and decided to approach him. We chatted, lightly, before bidding each other adieu. He was… nice.
Why is this random instant of flirting important? The fact that I decided to go for it at all is progress. He made a move, and I actually knew how to make one back. I felt like Liz Lemon for a moment— “BLAM-O! ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL INTERACTION WITH A MAN!”
I hope I run into him tomorrow because if I do, I’m giving him my number.
The fact that I’m willing and ready to give my phone number to a man other than Sal Paradise means that I’m (maybe? kind of? probably? half-way?) getting over this and moving on with the rest of my life.
And other than the spiritual things to think about (more of which I’ll share when it’s all over tomorrow) , this was the other realization that made this day truly a treat.
When was the last time I felt like a day was a “treat”? I don’t even remember. I try to look at every day as a gift, definitely. Some days are so special that they are like golden apple, a prize, a day full of privilege and joy, unforgettable (e.g. Jon and Noor’s wedding).
But a treat of a day is that extraordinary little thing in-between— as sweet as a breath of air, as comfortable as your favorite pair of pants. It’s a day that is mixed just right with “ordinary” and ” pleasantly unusual”.
I should amend this: I have plenty of people like this in my life already…just not of the opposite sex….
Sometime over the last two or three weeks, I have decided to stop being “tortured”.
Maybe it’s because I’m at work every day. Maybe it’s because I’m getting out more despite not having the use of a car. Maybe it’s because I’m trying my best to work out and eat right every day.
But I’m not tortured anymore about anything…. not about Sal Paradise, or my relationship with my parents, or my crap job or the fact that I don’t own very much.
I’ve had trouble finishing my novel. Why? Because the character suffers from the inner turmoil that I had for so long. For now, that turmoil and misery is in remission. I haven’t felt inclined to write, or listen to Morrissey at three in the morning, or lie in bed, crippled by ennui and angst.
This weekend was spend doing things that I love— eating pizza and dancing with friends, spending the night with Tia watching Leverage and doing improv comedy with a great acting troupe I’ve stumbled into.
And for now, I actually feel okay. Okay. Really okay, for the first time in a while.
Even without him here.
(this is a long one, so sorry;)
I spent the weekend with my cousin, unexpectedly. She is a distant relative of my mum’s and also happens to be a JW. We met her this year after a mutual friend of the family connected dots and last names. Since she has met us, she has been constantly inviting me to spend a weekend at her place. I’ve spent most of this time declining her invitation. Why? She speaks too bluntly, too harshly to other people. There is nothing wrong with being honest, but her proverbial bedside manner just…sucks. She gossips, she asks too many questions and she’s got a lot of opinions about matters that do not concern her. I can appreciate boldness, and I can appreciate zeal, but she browbeats. I do not enjoy being around her.
Her apartment was awesome, though. She lives in a tower block for senior citizens downtown. Her building is literally around the corner from every place that I hang out down there— The Fillmore, The Fox, The DIA, Greektown, Hart Plaza, The Majestic, Vincente’s, Campus Martius, Eastern Market, Comerica Park and Ford Field. If it were a regular tower block, I’d move in just for the location alone. There is a building across the street from her that seems to have lofts, even though I thought the joint was empty. I’d like to inquire about some real estate down there, and see if I can move close to where she lives.The only reason I ended up staying Saturday night with her is because it was preferable than trying to catch a Detroit bus home after seeing City and Colour perform. And Dallas Green is all kinds of amazing (really, he is), but his sets last for a long time. The doors opened at 8:00 and the show didn’t end until midnight. If I hadn’t stayed, I’m pretty sure I would have been calling a cab home (and a 30 dollar night would have turned into an 80 dollar one).So I decided to take the bait and endure the consequences. She had a few people my age over after the meeting on Sunday, and they were funny and nice, but I’m grateful I didn’t have to spend two nights there. The bathroom was clean. The bedroom was clean. She cooked breakfast and dinner. We talked about being single and that was the most refreshing part of the conversation. Bathing in a clean bathroom after growing resigned to the dirty one in my parents’ home was a joy. But my cousin is overbearing, aggressively hospitable. That kind of aggressive hospitality puts you on edge
My first day at my new assignment was today. Do I like it? Not really. After being spoiled with a 15 minute commute (even with the actual waiting for the bus), going back to 3 hours every day on the bus is a killer. The lady that was training me was annoying. I did not like her. Did she know what she was doing? Absolutely; she was perfectly competent. She’s just abrasive, and she’s one of the “team leaders”. Add her to the mealy-mouthed antics from the guy I met a couple of weeks ago, and I can sense many tension headaches are in my future.
My actual boss (not the supervisor I’m contracting for but the one for the temp company that pays me) made an appearance today to talk about how other temps/contractors are abusing the system and taking days off whenever they freaking feel like it (something I’m always tempted to do, but usually don’t do) and over-reporting their time. This is the first assignment I’ve had in a long time with an actual time clock you punch in and out of. Most of the time, you just get a ditto sheet from the website, fill in what you’ve worked and then fax it over on Fridays so you get paid. Once I met the other temps, however, I realized why they had to do this. If what I saw today was any indication, the quality of their work is fair-to-middling anyway.
The one thing I really like about this company is that my actual boss does not and cannot micromanage us. She’s like Charlie and we’re the angels— rarely, if ever seen, and working in a completely separate office. It’s as free as the 9-to-5 rat race gets.
But I’m paying for that freedom. I did some calculations and if I want to move out by April, I need to make almost twice what I’m being paid now, and it cannot be contingent in nature like this job is. For example, today, they sent all of us temp employees home at 2 pm. TWO. And frankly, I commuted a really long way to get gypped out of half a day’s work (and hence, because I’m hourly, pay). I spent only 5 hours at work, and I don’t get paid lunch. I spent almost the same amount of time commuting than I did to make the 33 dollars I’m going to take home today.
I want to get the eBay store started in December, but I can’t do it without seed money. I’m trapped in a weird limbo at my contract job, and I don’t like it. Without stability, bills just don’t get paid, and that’s how I ended up in debt over the summer in the first place.
Is 600 dollars in debt a lot? No. Compared to the credit card debt that enslaved my parents’ for years, it’s extremely minor. That’s only 2 (full) weeks worth of pay. But it’s a lot when you don’t know where your next meal, prescription, pair of shoes, transit pass or bar of soap is coming from, much less to fund dreams, goals and ideas.
(I’ve managed to pay off most of that debt and still have fun, but I’m on a slippery slope here).
This poverty is eating me alive. I’ve got to come up with some more ideas about how to make money, and fast.
In my current weight loss journey, I have gained back only 10 pounds over 3 months. Considering that I’ve eaten a lot of crap food out of stress over the last three months— pizza, burgers and greasy ethnic dishes— that’s not so bad. That means I’ve still kept off 28 pounds that I used to have.
My current goal is to do a 30 minute workout in the morning, and 60 minutes after work/pre-concert Wednesdays- Saturdays (Saturday’s errand day, so it’s almost like a work day). I’ve found a service that delivers organic vegetables to your crib, and a halal meat market round the bend that does the same (and the grocery bill is more or less what I was spending anyway). Combine that with the fading influence of my obese parents (and unhealthy friends and sister) and I can seriously see me breaking through my plateau, re-losing those 10 pounds, and possibly losing 30-40 more. 40-50 lbs would take me from size 12 (I’m still there, baby!) down to size 4 (the lure cheap fashion sales at that size beckons). In the meanwhile, other people have told me to stop where I am, but it’s not just about great clothes and bragging rights (although those things do not hurt). I also want to become a serious athlete while I still have enough power in me to do it.
One of the attornies at my old assignment does rollerderby. She is a quiet soul, so I never would have guessed that, but the way she talked about it cultivated a deep interest in giving it a go, along with rock-climbing, indoor soccer (I can’t stand the football itch anymore) and parkour (it looks awesome). I’m quite strong as it is, but I’d be a beast at size 4.
So I’m going for it.
And besides, for every workout, my heart aches a little bit less for all of things (and people) I’ve yet to have. It helps me to feel okay and cultivate patience.
And considering how my finances now, I need all the help I can get in both areas.
my day off was spent:
I may have reblogged this before, but it’s worth posting again.
So, not after an hour after writing vignette #2, my boss came into the kitchen/staging area where me, tall Tracie and Patrice hang out/ set up the food trays.
“Hey.” he said. My boss is a quiet and wry little man, with brown hair and a right eye cocked sideways. He’s clear about what he wants you to do and then stays out of your way, so I personally love the guy.
“Hey!” I said, through a mouthful of chicken stew. I took out my headphones.
“There you are! Hey, when you’re done, could you come down and see me?”
“Sure!” I said.
“Okay, great.” He left the smell of Pall Malls after him.
What did I do now? , I thought to myself. This law firm is pretty liberal as far as law firms go, but there are still some weird, unexpected boundaries new people stumble over (e.g. whose pot of coffee is communal or exclusive, or which attorney only wants to be called “sir”, or which top exec will threathen to axe you if you put whole milk in his refrigerator… yes, really…).
I finished my stew and went downstairs after having an extended conversation with Jeffery.
When I got to my boss’ office, another bloke was standing in the door.
“Hi, I’m Mark. I’m the regional manager.” he said, offering me his hand and calling me by my entire name.
“Yes.” I said, immediately suspicious. I try to only give people initials when I first meet them, especially well-dressed, middle-aged White men.
“Your boss was telling me that you’re perfect for a position across town we’re trying to fill.” He then went into all of the details and asked, “Can you start the Monday after the holiday?”
“Yes!” I said, with no hesitation. Relief washed over me as I realized that my immediate problems— what am I going to do for money when this is over? and God, I’d love to be with this attorney, even if it’s forbidden— were completely solved in just one hour.
Now the “new job!” jitters have worn off, and I have since announced it to many of my favourite co-workers. They were all sad to hear I was going; one that’s grown particularly fond of me almost started crying. It is bittersweet. I love this firm; it’s a talented, diverse group of people working in a non-tense environment. I don’t really want to leave either.
But I couldn’t stay. My position there was temporary, and it will be eliminated after I leave Wednesday. I can’t say I’m not pleased to be moving somewhere where my hands won’t be wrecked at the end of the day.
And getting away from Jeffery was imperative. I am nearly 100% certain that if I had remained, one of those brightly coloured silk ties he wears would have ended up around my wrists as we ruined our lives together.
It could have gotten very, very bad for both of us.
I am grateful to God that is not what happened, and I am fine with starting my new job after the holiday.
work vignette #3:
I saw a picture of someone I used to be crazy about on Facebook today. He was with another woman. She was small and petite, and (this is important, and you’ll see why in a moment) brown-skinned like me. He looked…a bit less rough than the last time I saw him. Almost like he used to when I was into him.
(And what do I mean by into him? In love? lust? infatuation? obsession? <—- more like all of the above)
I would not trade one second of my single life as an adult to have had those desires realized. When I look back at that time of my life, I feel like I was a child who kept trying to put on a favorite piece of clothing that they’ve outgrown. It just don’t work, and I’m glad that he and I just didn’t work out either.
I would like to see him again, preferably with one of the fabulous men that I’ve met over this summer on my arm. Even if that was not so, I’d still like to see him again and prove to him (and myself) that I’m much happier without him as a constant fixture in my life (we grew up together, and I had to see him constantly every week for 8 years).
The man I’m talking about is Chaldean, and proud of it. Historically (I don’t know if this is just amongst Chaldeans here in America or in all of their communities) they don’t date or marry Black women.
The fact that he’s willing to be seen with one has changed my ideas of why we did not happen. All of this time, I thought that he was a bigot; now I know that it was just me.
It’s always just me in these kind of situations, and it will always be “just me”.
love vignette #1:
work vignette # 1:
Thanks for well-wishes everybody! I feel a lot better now.
I’ve spent the whole week healing up and watching The IT Crowd and falling in love with Moss (Richard Ayoade is a sexy,sexy man to me, even in Moss’ silly get-ups). As a consequence I came back to work with a psuedo-British accent and a weary smile.
I am currently battling a fierce, unexpected, completely dangerous attraction to one of the attorneys at my job. He is tall and slim, with jet black hair, flawlessly pale skin and huge, huge brown eyes. He has this clear, melodious voice and a shy, sweet manor one-on-one. We run into each other in the kitchen a lot. These kitchens are more like alcoves— near the exits and small, with the door always shut tight. When the appliances are off and you’re all alone in there, you can hear your heart beating.
It’s a delicious place to be caught alone with a hot man.
We started at this job on the same day. When I saw him walk in, I nearly dropped the plate I was holding.
I hate this. I’ve been trying to avoid him in order not to make this worse. I succeeded for nearly two weeks before one morning, he decided to come in for diet soda while I was loading the dishwasher.
We gave each other the awkward work “hey” you give to co-workers you don’t know very well.
He stared at the vending machine a moment and abruptly said, “This has actually been the hardest decision of my day.”
I laughed, nervous.
Don’t drop anything, don’t drop anything, don’t stare at his behind, don’t drop anything.
“I suppose that’s good.” he continued as he turned away from the machine, empty-handed. “ That the worst decision you’ve gotta make is what soda to get.”
“I’d say so, but not from experience. I don’t drink the stuff.” My voice sounded foreign to me— a lower pitch than usual and yet more girlish.
“Really?” he said, gracing me with a smile. “Good for you. This stuff is terrible for you, but I’m a bit of an addict. I’m Jeffery, by the way.” he said, extending his hand. “I don’t believe we’ve met.”
“Diane.” I said, taking his hand. He has small, pale hands soft with years of education and privilege. Mine are brown and callused and dry from the cleaners they make me use.
“Nice meeting you. “
He left, leaving the scent of affluence after him. I think all wealthy white men wear the same colonge.
Him and I crossed paths again the next week, where he asked me what I was doing over the weekend.
This morning, I ran into him in the hall. I told him I liked his tie. It was a bright cherry red, and undoubtedly silk.
Today, as I was trying to purge him from my mind and reenter the suite, the door opened …. and he was standing on the other side of it.
I felt myself start. I gasped.
“Oh, I’m sorry! excuse me.” he said, in a sweet, apologetic tone. He swings the door open and then holds it for me. “We keep meeting like this.” he said, as I smiled sheepishly. He smiled back.
“We do. Thanks.”
He’s….gorgeous. And intelligent. And exceedingly polite. And wealthy. And physically, just my type. My type. My type.
Oh, this is bad. Baby, this is so bad.
I haven’t slept since Monday, not really. Tuesday was the meeting. Yesterday was the concert (which was awesome!). Tonight Brianna came over with hot wings and tales of hot men. Tomorrow I’m going to the lounge with Tara and Sherry. Saturday I’ve got preaching, pho and shopping with A. I know that by Sunday I am going to be a zombie, and there will be nothing I can do about it, because I’m almost certain I have plans then too (and I just can’t remember what they are at the moment). I love being this active, all of the time, but I really need to take a day for myself. I can already feel the culumative exhaustion creeping in.
Transit rides have been cold, rainy, short and quiet without my iPod. I have been taking the bus everywhere in order to keep my word of not putting anymore money into that stupid car. I have to figure out something though, and soon, because Detroit transit is talking about making major cuts, and they all affect the routes I take. I hate that they are talking about cannibalizing a transit system that’s already bare bones. The little they’ve given us in mass transit is terrible, but necessary. I hope to God these cuts do not come to pass.
If they do, a move to a city with better transit and more opportunity sounds in order.I like my job as a dishwasher just fine, but my feet don’t. I can’t continue to walk 15 miles a day, everyday, in office loafers. I will cripple myself.
Just the word “walk” makes my feet ache in psychosomatic pain.
Money is good, but I like sleep better.
Coffee and bad salads and day old bread keep me fed. Books keep me sane. And the daydreaming during my job keeps my heart burning.
ancestors and infractions
1. I spent the morning with Jon and Noor and Sal’s mum. Their uplifting, loving spirit spread a smile across my face. We talked, laughed and preached before I got to share in something very personal.
Sal’s nonno is dead.
(His nonna is very old)
Sal’s mum had Jon stop in order to visit Nonno’s grave.
We all got out of the car and made the trek towards a wall of graves, sort of like how in France and Haiti, the graves are above ground. Towards the middle of the wall of tombs was his grandfather’s.
An unmarked stone is next to it.
“For my mother.” Sal’s mum explained, grimly.
Nonna is healthy, but still 88 years old.
I stared up at the grave. There was a vase full of silk roses latticed to it. Carved into the stone was his name, his birth to death dates and his portrait. I could see where Sal got the thick hair and the shoulders. His grandfather was still handsome, even in old age.
We stood there silently as Sal’s mum paid her respects. Her face was awash in old memories. Jon and Noor held hands and looked up at the grave (and at other graves, for sadly they knew other people interred here).I stood, staring at Sal’s mum, not understanding why I was privy to such a ritual.
Strangely personal things like this happen between Sal and I and his family. We are not dating. We are not married. But I have already met his family, eaten his food, seen all of his baby pictures and seen him half-naked. And now I have been to his ancestoral burial grounds.
My mother wants to have him ove r for dinner and told me this two days ago.
I’m trying to get over this man, honest I am.
What is this?
2. Today, I got pulled over by a cop less than three mile s from home .
My Bohemian parents who never pay their bills on time let both the plate and insurance lapse on my Lazarus of a car. I was bottlenecked into one lane in a construction zone. I was about to turn the corner when he flashed the lights.
The man that pulled me over was beefy, eyeless behind sunglasses and a condescending prick.
(but being a prick seems to be a prerequisite for such a hated job)
I was about to grab all of my things out of the car, expecting him to impound it. He decided to write me a fat ticket instead, told me ”Don’t try to run next time .” and sauntered back to his Crown Vic.
300 dollars in 14 days or my licence is suspended. 300 dollars more to put tags and insurance on a car that is not mine (as my father likes to constantly remind me ) and that I won’t be driving past this winter. I need a full tank of gas, and I’ve got no money from this check left for the bus (I spent it fixing this thing).
I’ve only had the car back for a week and it’s already cost me 1000 bucks.
I’m thinking that I should pay the ticket so I can keep my license, sell this money pit and close my pocketbook for the rest of the year.