Archive | January, 2012

This blog isn’t called “Drama Happens” for no reason/My life is crazy or maybe that’s just me

29 Jan

I started my new part-time unpaid job this weekend and wow, did I learn a crap load of new information about myself. First off, I realized that I have never sat in front of a computer for an entire day before and I was struck by the fact that it is rather odd since I am 28 years old and sit in front of a computer a lot, but never for a full day of work.

When I looked back I realized that all of the jobs I’ve had in my life have had me on my feet. In high school, I worked clothing retail and hated it. Then I went off to college for four years where I spent most of my days wearing yoga pants and Illinois t-shirts. We were constantly moving or talking and rarely sitting still which was a great help for my “not getting fat” plan. Of course we did have a very rigorous and studious course called theatre history and so yes I read text books, yes I researched, and yes I wrote long papers, but that wasn’t my norm. My very first final in acting class as a freshman was simply to die as the human-animal we had created. I think I chose to suffer from Carbon Monoxide poisoning, very tragic. Cut to life after college and I get a job as an after-school program coordinator for elementary-aged children. That was an interesting and weird time in my life because I was living in Oak Park without a solid group of friends and had a boyfriend that was still in college. I also fit the starving artist stereotype because I was a part-time server. While struggling with two un-fulfilling jobs I was talking to this girl at a pre-school about how much she made as a nanny, and I almost wet myself. “YOU MAKE WHAT?!?!” When you work for a park district and you run an after-school program you don’t get paid when the kids don’t have school, and that is quite frequently, so not only did this girl have a full-time job with kids that she seemed to enjoy but she also got paid time off. So I promptly asked my boss for more money which he declined due to the fact that I did not have a degree in teaching or childcare, so I put up an online profile on E-nanny source and within three weeks I found my current family and quit the park district. Cut to my life now where I have a job that keeps me on my feet, walking, playing, cleaning, cooking, volunteering, dancing, and laughing. Bare with me, we are almost back to my original point, which is, I have never had a job where I’ve sat at a computer all damn day.

Between Friday night and Saturday I worked a total of 11 hours transcribing for a great theatre project with a great Chicago theatre company. My body did not enjoy the work as much as my mind did, because after a few short hours I had a severe pain in my neck, my eyes were fuzzy, and I swear I developed carpal tunnel syndrome. I rewarded myself with a shower at around the mid part of the day, but my legs were so stiff I had to hobble to the bathroom. I didn’t have the energy to put on make-up or do my hair, and by the end of the day I looked pretty scary.

Then, when I had about two minutes of audio left to transcribe my computer mouse froze on me. I could not access my work and I couldn’t remember the last time I’d saved it, and the Scottish had just left to go to Chase to get cash so I started worrying. I should also point out that I wasn’t thinking clearly because my brain was fried, my body felt like a brick and I was PMSing, so the odds were not stacked in my favor. I decided to unload the dishwasher while I waited for the Scottish to return. I reassured myself that a frozen mouse is an easy fix and there was nothing to freak out about. Unfortunately, as I was putting the silverware away I slammed my middle finger in the drawer so hard that I literally screamed out in pain. I started jumping up and down. Then I heard a noise from upstairs and suddenly remembered the reason that I felt like a zombie was because the dumb ass guys who live upstairs from us had a party yesterday until well past 3 AM!!! I was up all night in and out of sleep, listening to their awful music, hearing them move furniture, wrestling, throw bowling balls, and other loud activities until an ambulance came because one of them must have gotten hurt! DO I LIVE ON A COLLEGE CAMPUS? Why is there a non-stop party above me? As I remember this I start crying and say out loud to my rude neighbors that it’s all their fault I’m so tired and finally I collapse on the couch where the Scottish finds me a few minutes later. I tell him to never, ever, under any circumstance, leave the house without me again!!

Everything works out fine in the end. Of course. We restart my laptop and find out that everything has been saved. I eat some hearty pasta for dinner and my finger eventually stops throbbing. And best news of all, the landlord tells the Scottish that he heard there was an out-of-control party last night and seems concerned enough that he will make sure it doesn’t happen again. So while my petty little problems are nothing to really care about, they are funny to laugh at and I have learned that a computer desk job is not the job for me. I need fresh air, the freedom to move, and children around to keep me sane. Two weeks from now I have another weekend of transcription, I am going to make a conscious effort to not become a loony toon by the end of the day. Can I do it?!?!

SIDEBAR: I am taking a week off from the blog…insert sad faces here….because I refuse to do any work while I’m in NYC having the time of my life! And then because I’m a crazy person, I’m also hosting a party for the Superbowl the day after I get back into town. 🙂 So the next blog entry will be on the 8th of February.

Hugs and kisses til then, and stay away from those winter blues!!
Stephanie

Quote: “Without rest a (wo)man cannot work. Without work, the rest does not give you any benefit.” Abkhasian Proverb

“We talk about your heart, bout your brains, and your smarts, and your medical charts, and when you start”

25 Jan

My favorite relationship of all is probably the one I have with myself. Probably. I love spending time with myself but I do find it to be frustrating at times. My brain is powerful and I’ve yet to find the off switch so it can be very exhausting to be me. I’m crazy, loud, unashamed, and intense. But overall I have to say I am a big fan of myself. Plus, I’m attractive. One of my favorite stories about my nanny kid Derek takes place while I was driving them home from school one day last year. I must have told Derek he was going to have to do something that he didn’t want to do because he playfully said that he did NOT have to listen to me because I wasn’t his mom or his dad. And I said something to the effect of, “Oh yes you do, I’m in charge right now.” To which Derek replied, “Well, but you are kind of pretty.” I have no clue how that made sense in his mind, but I’ll take it. And now it’s time to take stock of this pretty girl’s life. It’s time for an update to access how things are going. I normally do this in my head when I’m stressed out and trying to count my blessings, but in this case, it works as a blog post too.

House(s)– Apt: Feels like home after months of moving in items slowly, so much so that I have now reached the point of having to pack a bag to go BACK to my condo. It’s clean, the laundry is done, there’s food in the fridge, but I still feel like there’s a million things left to get done.
Condo: Feels empty but clean. I go back once or twice a week to check the mail, fetch things I need, or to relax and watch cable. Looking forward to the day when it will be an income property.

Job– Really good right now. I love my new schedule of working 4 ten-hour days. My mid-week day off allows me time to make appointments, clean the house, blog, work-out, and so much more. It leaves me feeling refreshed and ready to be a good nanny. Relationship with boss and kids are good, everyone’s doing well.

Boyfriend– Awwww, I love seeing him all the time. Just being in his presence calms me. We may fight (I know you’ve all read the last blog) sometimes, but I’m disgustingly happy with my Scottish.

Family– I.have.the.best.family.in.the.whole.world. I don’t even know how I got so lucky. Immediate and extended, it’s all goooooood. I have no reason to complain…ever. It’s good to remind myself of this.

Friends– I have a lot of friends. Sometimes it makes me feel like I’m spread very thin, but in the end, I just try to give as much as I can in that moment. I have an awesome best friend who I rarely see in MN, she knows the most about me of anyone, but I miss all the fun we used to have when we lived closer. I have a wonderful friend who’s planning a wedding and I’m very excited and focused on my Maid of Honor responsibilities right now. I can’t wait to celebrate her big day! I have two really lovely and special friends in New York that I can’t wait to go visit and submerge myself into their lives once again even if for a short time. I have my Sister Wives who are my local girls that make city living so amazing and fun. I don’t know where I’d be without them. And then I have artistic friends, childhood friends, old and new friends, each a unique relationship and each a blessing.

Car– HAHAHAHAHAHA. It’s an old Hyundai Elantra from 2004. I call her my silver baby, and I’m gonna drive her as long as I can. She has seen me through college and has been witness to many of my Chicago driving mistakes, but I wouldn’t want anything flashy. She’s perfect just the way she is, and she’s paid off.

Money– Oops, should have saved the laughter for this one!! 🙂 Money is and will be a struggle for a while, but I’d spend my last dime on someone who I care about, and one day I hope to not have to worry about it as much as I do now.

Blog– Going well for the most part. Some weeks are better than others, and I’m very excited to see how it grows.

Acting– Auditioning and that’s all I can do.

Weight Watchers– Lost 6 pounds in total so far. It’s one of the toughest things I’ve done in my life and also pretty easy at the same time if that makes any sense. It’s well worth the slimming rewards but I’ll never give up my love of food. I rewarded myself with a candy bar last week and to quote Rapunzel in the movie, Tangled, “BEST DAY EVER!”

God– How could I forget this one until last? Maybe that says a lot about where my head has been… My mom would say your favorite relationship should be the one you have with God.

Quote: Do you know the Toby Keith song called, “I Wanna Talk About Me?” Sometimes I picture the Scottish singing this to me even though he doesn’t like country music and he would never sing this song. It’s just the words that crack me up.

“I wanna talk about me
Wanna talk about I
Wanna talk about number one
Oh my me my
What I think, what I like, What I know, what I want, what I see
I like talking about you you you you, usually, but occasionally
I wanna talk about meeeeeee”

Great Men-Spectations

22 Jan

The Scottish and I had a fight this morning. It was a normal fight. I feel this way, he feels that way, we both end up feeling hurt. But in the end, we always make it through. In my opinion, during a real fight (as opposed to a silly or kinda fight) there are two big moments. The first moment is one of disbelief. How can the person I love more than anyone in the world make me feel so terrible? How can they not understand how I feel? How can they think I meant to hurt them that way? It’s that moment of confusion and disbelief that causes the anguish and stress. We want our other half to understand us completely all the time, we want them to anticipate our every need, and we want them to never disappoint us. But no one can be perfect 100 percent of the time and mistakes happen. The real relationship test is how you deal with them.

I don’t deal well. I enjoy playing the “victim”, I like drama, and it’s imperative that I get my way… along the time. You might be judging me right now but the truth of the matter is we all have our issues and I’m just embarrassingly honest about mine. The Scottish has his hang-ups too, but I don’t need to get into those, after all, this isn’t his blog. But needless to say, we were very upset with each other this morning and I felt that moment of disbelief in a strong way. He just didn’t get it.

But he does get it. He knows me really well at this point and after a taking a moment to calm down and step back from the situation, we had the moment of clarity. You know that point in a fight where you see through your angry haze and you remember how great they are and how wrong you were or how much it doesn’t matter what happened in the first place. You can feel the clarity in their embrace and you can see the calmness in their eyes. It’s the downhill slope of the fight that brings you back to earth and back to reality.

And then the strangest thing happens, you both go back to normal life. To me, that is the funniest thing about long-term committed loving relationships, life goes in spite of the fight and the things you had to do that day still need to happen, so you just jump back in.

The Scottish is by far my favorite person to fight with too. Is that weird? He always looks so adorable when he’s annoyed with me that it makes me want to giggle, but men don’t really like being giggled at when they’re “in serious mode.” So I don’t. I keep my thoughts of how cute he looks to myself and keep communicating my ass off, until that moment of clarity comes and the fight dissolves.

I know every couple is different, some people disagree less often than others, and some people set up HIGH expectations that can cause the occasional disgruntled discussion. I don’t mind the fights, really I don’t. Fighting means we are communicating, it means we working on our balance and we are changing for the better. I look forward to many more fights with my amazing boyfriend.

Quote: “People seem to fight about things very unsuitable for fighting. They make a frightful noise in support of very quiet things. They knock each other about in the name of very fragile things.” G.K. Chesterton

I wrote a poem for You

18 Jan

Hi. This post is kind of unique in that it is a poem. It’s actually the first poem I’ve written in about five years (unless you count passionate break-up journal entries, which I do not), but lately I’ve felt inspired to get back into it. When I was younger, during middle and high school, I discovered I had a gift for writing poetry. I would just start with an idea or a topic and let the words flow out of me in whatever way they came. I do revise my poems, but for the most part they just naturally come into being. I would say that poetry is a very intimate art form and always makes me feel vulnerable, which is probably why I’m drawn to it. True to my blog, this poem is about relationships, or rather, my relationship. I hope you like it. Read with care.

If I had a button

If I had a rewind button, I’d seldom push it.

I’d want to go back to hear your laugh

To see the way you looked at me

But I’d be too afraid of getting stuck.

I get lost in myself frequently.

But I can always find you.

You are my gift and I know it is not by luck that I found you.

If only you were more perfect.

But then what would we fight about?

If only I wasn’t so difficult.

Life would be boring.

If I had a fast-forward button I think I’d want to push it

But I know you wouldn’t let me.

You’d say the journey has already started

And I’d say that it only gets harder.

And you’d say that it only gets better.

And I’d agree.

You picked me

I knew this from the start.

You loved me the most.

I might trip but there is always more love to find.

If you go to the stars I will never be the same.

If all the world went blue, I would find the purple

And I would take you with me.

If I had a present-time button I would push it. I would hold your hand.

I would watch the sun come up and I would close my eyes to feel the wind.

I would not let go.

Quote: “A poet is, before anything else, a person who is passionately in love with language.” W.H. Auden

What is something that gets me into trouble every time I do it?

15 Jan

COMPARING!! I compare and I contrast and then I get hurt. Everyone warns me in my acting life, my personal life, and everyday life, do NOT compare yourself to others, it only leads to icky and envious thoughts. So I can’t think of a better topic to blog about than COMPARING. My sister and her boyfriend were in town visiting the Scottish and I this weekend. We had an amazing time making sushi, visiting Willis tower, watching live Blues music, eating out, and staying in. While they were here I asked their permission to write a blog about our relationships. This stinks of disaster, does it not? It might stink but that’s precisely why you should keep reading. There is no room for that “every couple is unique and special in their own way” crap, we’re just gonna lay it all out there and see what happens.

For the purposes of this blog, I will refer to my sister as Sister and to her boyfriend as SBF or Sister’s Boyfriend. And of course the Scottish is my boyfriend, and I’ll be known as I, me, Stephanie, or crazy-pants Nini. We will begin by comparing the women to the women, the men to the men, and then contrasting why, on paper, the Scottish fits better with Sister, and why SBF should really be with me.

For starters, it has to be said that my sister and I are literally the same person. LITERALLY. And kudos to us for finding men who not only put up with us, but like us sometimes too! We are similar in the way we talk to our men because we expect perfection and we have a nice little tone that we use which has been passed down to us from our mother which in turn was passed down from her mother. The women on my mom’s side are the leaders of their families and we tend to gravitate to men that are relaxed, calm, understanding, and a little bit lazy. Both SBF and the Scottish fit the bill perfectly. Sister and I are also similar in that we have no freakin clue how to relax. We spend our “vacations” visiting family and friends, cleaning the house, and getting shit done, while SBF and the Scottish could lay in front of the TV for days. We do not get this, because growing up, our family went camping. Camping is not sit-on-a-beach-relaxing, it’s packing, driving, setting up camp, starting a fire, cooking a meal, walking half a mile to the bathroom, taking down camp, and driving somewhere new to do it all over again. Now we loved our family vacations growing up but we use the term “vacation” loosely and because of this and the fact that our mother has difficulty sitting still as well, we tend to be on the go, all the time. That said, both Sister and I are dedicated to our life’s work, Sister is an amazing teacher, and I would call myself a very passionate artist of many trades. We both loves games, shopping, and annoying each other.

But SBF and the Scottish are very similar too, as mentioned before they both like to chill-out; they both like video games and sleep. They love exciting things that give Sister and I tummy aches, such as theme park rides and sky diving. They both love music, jokes, and sushi, and they both know how to say the wrong the thing at the wrong time. I have to say, it’s so nice to be able to spend a whole weekend together and know that our guys not only get along with each other, but are becoming friends too. Win win.

Now why on earth would I say that we are better off with each other’s partners? I must really be crazy-pants Nini!! But look, Sister has LIVED in England for a whole year, OK? She gets the UK, she loves to travel and the thought of flying back yearly and getting to explore more the world excites her! Then there’s me, who didn’t even own a passport when she met the Scottish and who saw very little reason to travel outside of the US. Of course I’m a changed woman now, but back in the day, we all thought Sister would come home with an Englishman, and she has even said to me once, “I’m supposed to be the one with the UK boyfriend!” But instead she found her wonderful, SBF, who is a great guy, a guy who plays guitar and sings live in front of audiences, similar to what I do when I perform in a play. He’s an artist and he gets what it’s like to do something you love just because you love it, but for little to no money, and he can relate to that feeling of rejection that comes solely with being a performer. Sister and the Scottish don’t get that.

Then we have the drinking issue. SBF doesn’t drink which is a perfect match for me, the non-drinker drinker!! SBF used to drink in the past but it made him really sick and doctors advised him to give it up, so he did. Sister enjoys her drink every once in a while and finds humor in drunk people, I on the other hand, really dislike being around drunk people for fear of them puking, and what did I find? A Scottish man who can drink any American under the table and says sometimes you just gotta puke cause it makes you feel better.

And don’t even get me started on the ring thing. So, Sister and SBF are talking about the future and marriage someday too like the Scottish and I, but the discussion of rings came up this weekend, and SBF wants to know what my Sister wants, but she wants to be old-fashioned and not help him pick it out or give him any ideas. Then there’s me, who would love to help the Scottish pick out a ring, (then maybe I can stop having these nightmares where I dream he buys me a large opal instead of a diamond and I’m forced to pretend I like it), but he refuses to have any help from me and keeps it a hush-hush secret.

SBF and I are your standard, run-of-the-mill romantics, and my Sister and the Scottish are your classic down-to-earth realists. I could go on, but you get the point. It’s funny, right?

I suppose this is the time for the hokey comment about how our differences only make our relationships stronger and we have nothing to gain by comparing… unfortunately that sounds like a real yawn-fest so I’d rather not tie up the loose ends. But I will say that I have the best partner possible for me and Sister has the best partner possible for her, and that’s all the explanation you need.

I do feel the need to say that my little Sister and I are super competitive when it comes to life and sometimes that really sucks. I feel like we know how to be caring and sympathetic to our friends, but we are so hard on each other. We have a lot of really big things coming up in life: weddings, babies, and houses to name a few hot topics. And we are very excited at the thought of doing all those things together. We also know that everything will come at a different time for each of us and that’s OK. I know that I will be so excited for all of her big news, and she will be excited for mine. If I’m being perfectly honest, when I think about her doing stuff FIRST, BEFORE me, I get frustrated, but when I think about her not being in the loving relationship she’s in right now, I feel devastated. Her happiness is one of the most important things in my life. Because she’s my Sister.

Quote: “I’m at peace with myself and where I am. In the past, I was always looking to see how everybody else was doing. I wasn’t competitive, I was comparative. I just wanted to be where everybody else was.” Courteney Cox

V is for Virgin

11 Jan

So, it’s time to talk about virginity. It’s actually a subject I find very interesting and very under-appreciated. I am not a virgin. (It’s ok, my mom already knows this.) But at one point, when I was younger, I did think about waiting until marriage. Alas, I am now 28 years old and technically single, at least that’s the box I have to check when filling out my taxes, and I decided long ago that sexual modesty was not something I felt strongly about. It’s not like I don’t have values, on the contrary, I follow rules to the point of obnoxious, I don’t do drugs (not even in college), I’ve probably been drunk twice in my life, I respect things like tradition, my elders, work ethic, children, and animals. But I lost my virginity a long time ago and I’m OK with that.

But I do know virgins. Do you? I bet you’d be surprised if you found out who was actually a virgin but had to hide it because society says it’s not so popular anymore. In fact I have a friend who says, “It seems that virginity is the only aberrant sexual practice left in society.” People can share that they’ve had a gay/lesbian experience or a threesome and no one blinks an eye, but if you say you’ve never had sex and you’re past the age of 18, people are really shocked! I take that back, in my generation, you can say you’ve had a threesome and no one blinks an eye, but I doubt that is the case in every generation. Within my peer group it seems that sexual liberation and sexual discoveries are more common than not exploring your sexuality at all. The times have changed and we are now at the point where virginity is shocking.

It is shocking. Sex is a pleasurable experience and many people can’t wrap their heads around the fact that someone is able to withstand the temptation. But it doesn’t have to be shocking. It can be normal. Twenty years ago, a child with two dads or two moms was very bizarre and almost frightening, but now it’s just a part of our diverse world. Granted I do live in a big city so perhaps if you go to a different part of the country, gay parents are more shocking than virgins, but you get my point, and also, I’m glad I don’t live somewhere like that.

In my mind there are three reasons people maintain abstinence:
1. religious values
2. personal values
3. sheer lack of opportunity

I respect everyone who has decided that the best choice for them is to wait until marriage, until love, or until the right person. Back in the day, virginity was equated with honor for women. It meant you were pure, clean, and you more desirable to men if you hadn’t been de-flowered. I think there is still honor in it today. Being a virgin until you are married means you are keeping something sacred to share with only one person. It’s a beautiful gift you are giving that person and it may be old-fashioned, it may be abnormal, and it may be slightly rare, but it should be celebrated. Unfortunately, more often than not, it’s cause for celebration if you’ve hit a certain number of sexual partners. I’m not saying having multiple partners is wrong, my point is just that whether you’re 30 and have you’ve had 30 partners or you’re 30 and you’ve had zero partners, it shouldn’t matter. To each their own.

We need to remember that we all have been given our body as a gift. It doesn’t matter if you think your body is a gift from God or from the earth or from a past life, regardless, it’s your gift to take care of for the rest of your life. You get to make the decisions pertaining to your body and no one else’s opinion matters as much as yours.

The next big topic I want to delve into is open relationships. We will take a peek into this unique subject by interviewing a married women who is also in an open relationship. Do not miss it.

Quote: “I know this sounds incredibly lame, but I don’t want losing my virginity to feel like I’m losing something. I want it to feel like I’m finding something. I want sex to be amazing. I want it to be life-altering wonderful. And I want it to be with someone I love.” Sonya Sones

Why do I look so fat in pictures?

8 Jan

I am sincerely interested in this, why, oh why do I look so fat in pictures? It couldn’t possibly be because I’m fat. I like my body. I’ve always enjoyed having curves, big boobs, big butt, no problem. I’d rather not be a stick and overall I’m generally pleased with my reflection in the mirror. But in pictures I am some mammoth beast woman with a puffy face, a wide torso and the flabbiest arms I’ve ever seen. WHO IS THAT GIRL?!?!?! Therefore, due to the unfortunate circumstances of me being a fatso in pictures, (and because my tummy does sometimes bulge out over my jeans) I have decided to join Weight Watchers. Insert applause here.

I am doing online Weight Watchers and I’m very happy to report that it’s going swimmingly well. Yes, I can safely say that since 9:30 AM this morning (when I joined) I have been completely successful. And I’d also like to report that I’m STARVING. I haven’t had any dessert yet today and there is nothing I love more than a good cookie, cake, or bowl of ice cream. I know that with WW (Weight Watchers) you can eat whatever you want but now that I know how many points my favorite foods are, I’m starting to feel awful. And at the same time I’m doing my best to keep my head in the game, by picturing my body nice and thin, my jeans so loose I’m forced by new clothes, and how beautiful I’m going to look in my gorgeous dress come April at my friend’s wedding.

The key is portion control. I get that. But my idea of a small bowl of cereal looks like a giant-sized portion compared to what Weight Watchers deems a serving size. Sigh. And it doesn’t help that the Scottish is the thinnest man in the world who survives solely on carbs and red meat and barely eats any vegetables. NOT FAIR. The good thing about dating skinny men is that they can become constant motivation for you to keep yourself in shape. My grandma still laments how grandpa can eat whatever he wants whenever he wants and doesn’t gain a thing, but she has to watch her food intake closely.

Soooo, WW, when do I start seeing results? At this point, I’d be content to lose the cookies and fast food weight I gained over the holidays. I’m only 13 lbs above the healthy range for my height and while I love full disclosure in blogging, I’m not quite comfortable in sharing my current or ideal weight yet. Once the pounds start falling off me, I’ll probably be more candid in my results. Right now, I’m just trying to get through pasta dinner with the girls tonight without going over my remaining 13 points. It’s like my own tragic video game, but instead of dying when you run out of points, with WW the only thing you have to deal with is self-loathing and knowing you’re a failure. HA.

Alright, I’m off to eat a zero-point apple for a snack. This is going to be a loooooong week.

Wednesday’s post is going to be all about virginity, so get ready. Questions and ideas welcome! And also if you’ve had success on WW, pass on the hope!!! 🙂

Quote: “More die in the United States of too much food than of too little.” John Kenneth Galbraith

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