Sunday, June 26, 2005

At the PRIDE sprawled on the front (during the parade, I got to be the dorky person who drove...and smiled and waved). That's Kendyl, Mary, and Shan on top. They TOTALLY worked the crowd. I'm glad it's all over. During the parade the crowd was cheering and we could overhear positive comments about our agency. I told Palka that I was so tired and worn out, that if I heard too many more positive things said, or too much more cheering, I was going to lose my shit and start crying.  Posted by Hello

Side view with the adorable boyfriend. My neighbors were pretty passive about the whole thing. A couple that I know better (in St. Louis city...we all kind of keep to ourselves...there are a few who dare approach me) stopped to see what was up...and we borrowed ladders from both of them...convenient timing. Posted by Hello

This is the all of it's glory! I worked at PRIDE from 8 am to 5 pm (I should note that my adorable boyfriend did as well...and he doesn't get to flex off any time from his job like I do). I then had a select group of kick-ass volunteers (Joe, Palka, Patrick, and the boyfriend) come to my place, eat pizza, and put together this this mess. We got done around 10 pm...not bad for time. Posted by Hello

Friday, June 24, 2005

Almost There...

PRIDE begins tomorrow. Everything I could possibly do to be prepared to put the float together is completed. I've gathered all my HIV testing equipment, cleaned and organized the HIV mobile testing unit, organized volunteers, bought 3 cases of water ('s rumored to be in the high 90's all weekend...don't want any volunteers down). I couldn't be more prepared...except to rest.

I've been fueled by exhaustion and coffee for a good two weeks now...and haven't had a day off in almost three weeks. I've had a hard time eating or sleeping (that would involve my mind being occupied by something other than obsessing about what I have to do still), and I finally hit a wall yesterday.

Thursday, at 2:00 pm, without warning, I typed an email to my boyfriend, which said, "I'm going home. I'm doing no good here. I think I need to watch a movie. See you later". Could be decoded as a suicide note.

I walked into my bosses office and told him I was going home. He asked if I wasn't feeling well and I replied, "No, just worn out, I think I need to watch a movie". He told me to leave (knowing I have over 40 hours to flex off once PRIDE is over...the more I take off now, the shorter my department will be without a manager later).

I went home, made popcorn, and laid down...with nothing to do. I didn't review resumes of perspective new employees, I didn't work on 'to do' lists, I just watched some mindless soap opera crap. They definitely had bigger issues than me (I couldn't deal with PRIDE if I were also involved in a love triangle with my brother, trying to find my kidnapped child, avenging my recently murdered daughter, and managing a highly successful cosmetics firm...IN ADDITION to trying to build a PRIDE float).

And then, a surprise...the door opens and there was the boyfriend.

"I was 'done' too. I needed to come home...your email just hurried the process".

It's funny how being excited to see him, as opposed to having some alone time, made me realize yet again what it feels like to be in love. I would much rather hang out on the couch with him than by myself (anyone who knows me understands this shocking challenge for me...sharing my time and space). We laid around and talked/giggled, then went to get ice cream...returning home to watch TV and relax (and let's be honest...he played some computer games).

I remarked in the car as we left Dairy Queen, with a plain soft serve cone turned into a cup (it was freakin' wouldn't have made it to the car!), " You know, this is the first time I've felt carefree and at peace in weeks".

I like that I feel that way sometimes.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

I Don't Want to Die Up Here

The Prince of Paper Mache and I have really taken this float business one step further. Realizing the muslin that will be covering the float will be adhered with spray adhesive, we began wondering if the thin layer of dust and dirt on top of the vehicle would hinder adhesion (is that a word?).

So, like any normal people would do, we scaled the front of the RV (see picture below). With a bucket, mop, and sponges, we scoured the top...and watched as the grime ran down the sides. Beautiful, now let's get down. Oh, wait, the RV is wet and slippery, and it looks very steep...and very scary.

And so we sat, looking down (I warned him not to use body language to suggest we were stuck...I DO NOT want the old lady across the street knowing we couldn't get down...I'm not sure why).

Plan A: Wait for my neighbor, Michael, to get home...he has a big ladder...but may torment us a bit first.

Plan B: The Prince of Paper Mache jumps off the side, then cushions my fall as I go down the good...could mean a broken ankle for sure.

Plan C: He braces himself while sitting on top and I hold onto his arms/hands while scaling backwards off the front of the vehicle...we started that plan, and it went something like this..."No, I don't think I can do this...oh dear, it's so high...I can't do this" (that was me).

Plan D: Jump onto a tall red truck going by...but he didn't stop, and he didn't look the type to let our wet and dirty feet on his huge truck.

All these plans sucked.

So he modified a plan and went off the front backwards. I was braced, arms extended, ready to grab him if he started slipping. And then he had one of those moments you sometimes see when someone is scared of drowning, only to realize they're in 3 feet of water. He looked up and said, "Wow, that was really f*$%ing easy".

My turn. I turned around, started the descent (very nervous). I kept hearing the warnings/concerns of my boyfriend...he had predicted something like this might happen (after all, he knows both of us...he saw this coming).

I was scared as he coached me down (it's so clear to me that he has a daughter...very fatherly coaching, "It's ok, you're almost there"), he tapped on the bottom of my foot to show me how close I was. And I hit the hood...yes, very easy. Humiliatingly easy.

Despite it being easy, neither of us plan to ride on top of the float at the parade.

This is the RV that we got stuck on (see above life-altering tale of two float-builders fighting for their lives). That's the Prince of Paper Mache (yes, he used to be the Duke of Paper Mache, but I decided he's worked hard enough, and with an adequate amount of skill to be promoted) dangling from the front of the vehicle. That was the way we got up, and the same way we got down. Posted by Hello

Monday, June 20, 2005

Christian Bale IS Batman

I saw Batman: Begins over the weekend...and it makes Keaton, Clooney, and especially Kilmer look like a bunch of jackasses. I loved this movie...and I'm not usually all about the action flicks.

For one, it was filmed so differently than the other batmans, which, let's be honest, were a little cheesey. It was darker, more creative, and more dramatic (the sets were so clearly made to look grungy and run reminded me of the set-up at Six Flags before the Batman rollercoaster).

It was realistic (as much as a movie about a super hero in a bat suit can be) was the very beginning of his life as a crime fighter, and he made a lot of clumsy errors and mistakes that made him look like he might not cut it as the rescuer of Gotham.

Christian Bale was perfection (of course I mean this only in the sense that he was great for the part and excellent acting...had NOTHING to do with his actual asthetics). But seriously, his facial expressions changed depending on whether he was Bruce Wayne or Batman...making him look like two different people. He was delightfully slimey at parts as the billionaire playboy.

And a comment on Katie Holmes, whom I actually like. Ok, I should say that I really liked her before this Tom Cruise debacle that could possibly take down both of their careers. She was great for the roll, slightly icy, but I think as a prosecutor she was suposed to emit that feeling. I really wish she wouldn't become a Scientologist (but I also wish Dawson's Creek were still on...we can't always get what we want), and I really enjoyed that Tom got sprayed with water during an interview.

On the way out of the movie, we were basking in the unrealistic possiblity that Batman: "Begins" could mean they'd remake all the other movies with Bale. Sigh.

Here's where we're at with the monstrous Tiffany bow. We resorted to putting foam supports inside (which will be painted black...thanks for the idea Ellen...I knew that PhD would come in handy). But seriously, I was so far beyond being able to think outside of the box, a fresh new idea was needed. I'm off to buy fabric for the banners...and that is what I'll work on tomorrow (is it strange when all I want to do is my regular job in the office?). Posted by Hello

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Ahhh, the gorgeous bow...I definitely need to give a big shout out to Patrick, or as he should be known, "Duke of Paper Mache". We did this today, I finally threw down the glue and paper and suggested we incorporate a little cardboard for support. Posted by Hello

The "bow" after the first day. It may not look like a bow, but I assure you...there is chicken wire that will be a flowing, beautiful, elaborate bow. Posted by Hello

The yards upon yards of muslin as it dries. I asked Patrick and Danny to wave as I took the picture...I'm feeling pretty lucky neither of them are giving me the finger. Posted by Hello

This is my bathtub as it drained an entire tub full of rit dye in both Royal Blue and Teal. Yes, it is dreadfully stained...but I have hope that it will go away (yes, I understand that it won't go away unless I scrub at it). Posted by Hello

The Project That I Dare Not Speak It's Name (Ok, it's my agencies PRIDE float)

I am covered in glue up to my elbows. There is a huge paper mache and chicken wire bow in the backyard. I have 40 yards of "Tiffany & Co." colored muslin.

What could this all mean, you ask? Yes, I am building the PRIDE float for my agency...a massive, glue-y, paper-mache-y mess.

The Project
I manage our HIV Prevention Deparment, I also still function in my old role...coordinating our mobile testing unit. In our Prevention Department, we are currently attempting to hire a new MSMW (Men Who Have Sex With Men, White) program coordinator. If he were with us, this blessed soul would be building a float to celebrate the 20 year anniversary of our agency. Being this absent person's supervisor...I shall do it.

The mobile testing unit will soon be the victim of a horrifying makeover. The trailer of the RV is being covered in fabric the color of a Tiffany & Co. box. There will be a 15 foot long, 4 foot tall white paper mache bow on the top of the RV (Please, God, I normally don't pray for things...but please, please lead me to an idea of how I am going to get this frickin' bow on the RV). Two sweeping pieces of white fabric on each side will say in silver paint, "EFA, Platinum 20 Years".

The photos I'm posting are "in process" pictures as the project lurches along...more to follow.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Five Things That Make Me a Maniac

Since I'm feeling a little maniacal today, let's do a little list, shall we?

1. I'm not as confident as I'd like you to believe.
I really wish I felt the way about myself that I lead everyone to believe I do. Walking with my shoulders back, making direct eye contact, participating in complicated conversations (and bowing out when it's over my head) do not a confident person make. I have a clear vision of who I'd like to be, and where I'm heading, but my defects and limitations of character are really clear to me right now.

2. My pride is easily bruised.
I want to be the pretty pretty, really, I'm not that special, I understand why I'm not the pretty pretty princess...WAIT, I DO want to be the pretty pretty princess. Please love me accordingly.

3. No matter what my mother has always suggested I do, I cannot talk myself out of things.
Yeah, walking it off is something I'm not capable of. I'm afraid in any instance, I do a certain amount of obsessing, which is painful, before I can move on. I can know the facts of a situation and accept them...but my insecurities pop up and question what I know to be true.

4. I'm struggling with depression and am spending a lot of energy trying to deny it.
There could be numerous reasons why depression is rearing it's ugly head. I keep telling myself that it's not (mostly because I can get involved in something and get distracted from how I feel), and then when I have time to think I start feeling like crap again. I'm trying to accept that I'm allowed to be happy and that the happiness I feel isn't going to slip through my fingers (although it could if I truly am a maniac as I suspect).

5. I think I should go back to a head shrinker on a regular basis.
I need to work through some old baggage and I don't like that I can't do it on my own. I won't be able to be that person I mentioned earlier until I deal with it.

And as a footer to all this doom and gloom...when my hormones stabilize in a couple days I'm hoping all the above will as well. I'll hold off on calling the head shrinker.

Friday, June 10, 2005

This project was inspired by a friend of mine. She's a very strong, independent woman...completely brought to her knees by the evil Thin Mint. After working her way through all of her Girl Scout cookies, she went to Ebay and bought an additional case of Thin Mints to eat at her leisure until her favorite month of the year...the month of the Girl Scout Cookies.
 Posted by Hello

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Irony is a Bitch

Do not EVER write about some poor dude driving in his car looking upset.

"Oh, you poor, sad, man...I am so happy in my car of emotional security...eating my wheat toast and daintily drinking my soy milk. You distraught man, I hope happiness for you".

Yeah, so that completely bit me in the ass. Yesterday I was dispensing well-wishes to the anonymous sad the tables were turned.

I've been working through some personal issues since, oh, shortly after I parted ways with the dude of desperation. By today, I'd worked myself up pretty well. I was so completely unravelled that I got at least 200% more done in the office than I usually do (and I'm normally one productive girl).

I'd been holding in tears all day. I even made it through a syphilis elimination meeting that's facilitated by the CDC. I'm hoping my shaking voice and swollen eyes masqueraded as being super passionate about eliminating syphilis.

Finally, the end of the day. I'm close to getting closure on the situation (although at the time, I didn't know resolution was around the corner...I felt pretty lost and hopeless...ah, hindsight).

I get into my car and I begin to cry the ugly cry. Yeah, that's right, driving down the street, red face, giant tears streaming down my face, forehead in palm (sound familiar?)...sobbing, choking, gasping for air.

And then I see him...some happy-looking character in a red pick-up truck ahead of me. He's peering at me in the rear-view mirror with sympathy. Perhaps wondering what's wrong? (Someone keyed my hatchback? A giant splinter of fiberglass in my ass from a cruel water park slide? I got picked last on the team playing kickball?).

Perhaps he wished that my day would get better.

Enjoy it now, Buddy...your day's tomorrow and I might not be there to hope things get better (but someone else might...and the cycle goes on...or at least in my mind it will).

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Walk it Off...Tomorrow's a New Day

I'm driving to work today, contentedly eating my wheat toast that my boyfriend made for me and sipping soy milk out of a sippy cup with straw (why does everything taste better out of a sippy cup?). We (boyfriend is driving ahead of me, soon to turn left where I continue straight) veer around a car letting 2 or 3 small children out to attend Mason Elementary School.

I'm driving straight, wave goodbye to the boyfriend where we go our seperate ways, and I'm sitting at the light. Mmmm, this toast is delicious and I wish I'd brought more soy mild with me. I feel very relaxed.

I look in the rearview mirror and see the car that let all the children out. There's a man in the car, perhaps creeping up on 60 years-old, and he looks tired. His brow is furrowed, flat palm against his forhead, eyes closed. He's taking a moment to sit still, perhaps to rest, perhaps to ponder something that lie ahead in his day. Either way, he looked stressed.

I start to make up little stories in my head...he's dropping off his grandkids whose mother (his daughter) didn't come home last night...he has to go help his purebred poodle birth the bastard poodle/pitt bull mix puppies that were the result of his haste in not closing the yard gate...he lost his job and doesn't know where to go after he's completed his one concrete responsibility for the day.

The light turns green and I pause before slowly lurching forward (I tweeked my left knee and driving stick with a brace on is tricky). He didn't honk, he didn't pump his fist at my delayed start. The car behind him honks. As he begins to look up, he slowly wipes his hand over his eyes, opens them, and begins to follow me through the intersection.

We're passing two yards, each with a pitt bull in them (perhaps one was the father of his poodle's puppies). One is still as a statue, the other is ferociously barking in the other's face...yet wagging his tail.

The man remains behind me, but at a much slower pace. When he turns onto a side street, I give a quick wish that the rest of his day unravels with secret surprises (good ones...not ones like his 58 year-old wife is pregnant), and unexpected delights.

One day soon I'll be the one with my hand on my forehead. Perhaps he'll be ahead and wish the same for me. I wish for him that this is a temporary place for him to be...that tomorrow's better.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Oh Yes You Did Hilary Faye...

I highly recommend seeing the movie Saved. Who knew that Mandy Moore could be so deliciously evil? I love her character in that movie...evolving from the popular, perfect, Christian girl...only to show that her judgements based on her religion were actually making her a closed-minded, cruel person. Beautiful on the outside and ugly on the inside.

I loved that the movie showed the struggles of fitting in are universal, and all of us freaks have got to stick together, that celebrating differences are what makes us interesting. Even though I was raised in the Catholic Church (and have since left), I've never seen zealots of that sort. It was so over-the-top that it wasn't annoying. And I'll DEFINITELY quote from it in my normal everyday life (I could easily say something about..."I know what you're looking at "insert friend/boyfriend's name", and so does Jesus!".

Saturday, June 04, 2005

On the Road to Hippie-dom

My boyfriend and I are SO going to end up as on a mini-commune (meaning just the two of us...but doing all the other commune stuff) off the land...not relying on "the man" for anything.

We're not quite there yet, but the way we're talkin', it's only a matter of time. We had dinner last night, and it made us really happy that most of our dinner came from our backyard. We're taking little baby steps to being self-sufficient.

The signs of what's to come...

We joke around about solar panels once we get more settled (half joke...I could TOTALLY get down with some solar panels).

We have extensive gardening plans (we already have a garden...but we're talking about one like our yoga instructor's, Kitty, who's super hardcore and has glass panes of old windows over her seedlings when it's cold).

Getting a couple chickens in a few years (on the condition that when he wants to eat one, he can't tell me, and he has to replace it with one that looks I can live in my lovely little world where chickens aren't killed and made into delicious dinners).

This little future that seems inevitable (and probably not quite this far-fetched) sounds like a wonderful dream. My only stipulation being that he can't grow a long gray pony-tail...that would just creep me out.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Early Bird Gets the Crappy Water

I just rode my bike to work again. My friend and I grossly overestimated how long it would take to get here. We were aiming for 7:30...I am here, at my desk, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, at 7:00 am. Had we met at our original time, I would have been here at 6:45 am.

The ride was fantastic. The weather's beautiful, but I'm very concerned about the crazy drivers swerving, veering, screeching, speeding, and causing other types of vehicular mayhem. I had a couple flashes of how easy it would be to get hit. I DO NOT want to die on my bike on Vandeventer Ave.

I never realized how bad the tap water at work tastes. I guess the first one here gets the crap water that's been sitting in the pipes all night. Gross.