Fun for the Whole Family

It’s my last week of winter break, and I don’t feel like I’ve done much.  Sure, I have been to a few parties and seen a lot of my friends, but it seems a little like I’ve just been messing around at home.  I think I needed it, though.

Christmas day and the day after were stressful, angry times.  My oldest brother (Joe) pissed me off in a lot of little ways, and I’ve decided that I’m no longer going to put up with his dick-head behavior.  I’m tired of everyone accommodating and explaining it away by saying, “That’s just Joe.”  Somehow he can’t treat people with any kind of respect, and I’m tired of it.  I think that the break-up of my marriage and the subsequent exploration of what I am at my core are making my tolerance for toxicity in my life much lower.  I’m not willing to allow people in who are depressive or angry.  I absorb emotion, and I no longer want those emotions to dominate everything I do and every decision I make.

I went to a hockey game last night.  It was a lot of fun!  I went with my Aunt Ann and Uncle John, three of their children (plus a boyfriend of one of them), and my sister and her fiance.  We went to Buca Di Beppo first, which is in the complex around the arena where the game was.  There were some fights, which I enjoyed.  There was also a guy in a bright blue unitard, complete with a hood that he could zip up over his head.  Unitard man was, unfortunately, wearing his gold watch over the get-up, which just added to the absurdity of the entire thing.  He apparently had dressed up to try to attract the attention of this blimp thing that flies around the stands during one of the intermissions and drops Blue Jackets paraphernalia into the stands.  Pretty dumb if you ask me, especially since he probably spent more money to rent that suit than whatever he might have gotten would have been worth.  The home team won, which was pretty great since this was my first game!

I think that I’m going to go out today.  My godmother gave me a gift card to Sur La Table, which I would like to use.  I’m not sure that it’s safe for me to go into a kitchen store, given my fetish for kitchen stuff, but this trip may just be an exploratory one.

Sunday Updates – December 26

First thing’s first!  My Sanitation grade finally posted, and I’m happy to say that I earned an A!  I have all A’s, with one A-, giving me a 3.984 GPA.  The A- is in a 1-credit class, so it’s not as damaging as it would have been on one of the 3- or 4-credit classes.  Dean’s list here I come!

Yesterday was Christmas.  Merry belated Christmas to all of you!  As always, it fell far below expectations.  I’ve worked hard over the past few years to not let myself get too excited about anything, and since I’ve let myself off the proverbial leash, I’m finding that more difficult to maintain.  I love holidays, so it’s very difficult for me not to get excited.  It usually leads to disappointment because my idealized mental image is far more than anything could possibly live up to.  I don’t blame anyone for my high expectations but myself, though I’d love to have a Christmas where I don’t feel let down by it all.  Adding the break-up of my marriage to the mix certainly doesn’t help!

All of my siblings are in town for the holiday, which is a double-edged sword, really.  On the one hand, it’s nice to see them all, and they are a lot of fun.  On the other, they can be obnoxious ass-holes.  I’m usually the odd one out, which I’m used to, but it can be pretty damn sucky.  My oldest brother is pretty cruel when he doesn’t like what I’m doing, and my middle brother will usually follow suit.  My sister will occasionally join in on the Casey-bashing, as well, depending on her mood at the time.  My youngest brother is usually the only one who doesn’t turn on me, so that’s something.  They really upset me last night, but I find that the best tactic is to ignore them.  It’s not always easy when they’re screaming at me for something that is my sister’s fault.  It’s like my childhood all over again.

I went to the lawyer’s office on Tuesday afternoon.  It was productive, if painful, and I’m kind of glad to have it over with.  The lawyer that I chose is a woman who is best friends with one of my mom’s cousins.  I feel like I made a good choice with her.  She seems like she genuinely cares about me and my case, and she’s not afraid of confrontation, which I guess you have to be when you’re a lawyer!

I’ve not been running, still.  Since my little tumble, I haven’t wanted to risk further injury.  Though I’m usually very impatient with the healing process, I feel like this has the potential for permanent damage, so I’m reluctant to do anything strenuous.  Plus, if I’ve been on my feet a lot in a day, my foot/lower leg tend to ache.  It’s pretty mild pain, but it’s still annoying, and it tells me that I’m not ready to do more than walking right now.  I am going to give myself 6 to 8 weeks to let it heal.  That means I won’t be running again until the end of January.  I’ve been itching to get back out on the road, but I am positive that I’ll just regret it if I go out too soon, so for now I’m staying sort of sedentary.  Once classes start, the time will fly by, and I’ll be running again before I know it!  Running has always been a good tool for me if I’m feeling angry or upset – it evens me out and calms me down.  To not be able to run right now has been difficult for me emotionally, but I’ve been doing a decent job of staying positive despite that.

Today is my Grandpa Welsh’s Christmas gathering.  It should be chaotic and irritating but hopefully there will be some bright spots.  I’m not really looking forward to it, but it will be good to see my extended family.  I’m sure I’ll have some fun, despite my current unhappy mood.  There’s usually something amusing going on.  The trick is to stay out of the fray as much as possible.  It’s not always easy, but I’ll just look for the more sober individuals.  And by that, I mean I’ll avoid my brothers as much as possible.

I think I’m going to go make myself some eggs and rice for breakfast.  I drank a lot of coffee this morning, so I’m starting to feel pretty hungry!

A for Awesome!

I just checked my grades, and all but one are in!  I have A’s in everything!  The only exception is Sanitation, which won’t be in until the final grades are submitted back to my instructor from the ServSafe people who put out the exam.  I’m assuming an A since I had a near-perfect score in the class prior to the final, but if I scored too low on the exam, my grade could end up being a B.

I went shopping with my mom and sister yesterday, and we had a great time.  We ate lunch at a Greek restaurant in Pickerington.  It was pretty good.  It’s no Marathon Deli, but it was good enough to satisfy my gyro craving.  I think I’ll persuade my brother Richie to go with me again when we go see Tron next week.

I’ve got my appointment with the lawyer this afternoon at 2.  I’m a little nervous, but I’m sure it will be fine.  I’ve jotted down a couple of questions so that I don’t forget what I wanted to ask.  The very thought of all this makes me a little nauseated.  I think I’ll probably walk down to the lawyer’s office (it’s only a few blocks away) so that I have time to clear my head before the appointment.  I don’t want to be sick to my stomach and upset when I walk in there.  Although, I don’t know that I’m going to be able to avoid any of that!

Cincinnati!

Later this morning, I’m headed down to Cincinnati to visit Angel, a girl I was friends with in high school.  She came to St. Mary when we were in junior high and was at Fisher for our freshman year, but her mom transferred her to Lancaster High for the rest of high school, and we lost touch pretty soon after that.  We hadn’t seen each other for years, when we found each other on Facebook a couple of years ago.  I was so glad to reconnect with her!  She’s married and has two beautiful daughters (3 and less than 1 year), and she seems to be very happy with her life.

While I’m there, we’re going to make a trip to Jungle Jim’s, this awesome international grocery store.  They have everything!  It’s a dangerous place for me, but I’ve given myself an internal limit of $50.  That seems like a lot, but I could spend that on cheese.  I’m spending the night down there, and Allison, her baby Cecilia, and our friend Emily are coming down tomorrow morning.  I’m very excited to have some girl time!

Next Tuesday, I have an appointment with a lawyer, then that evening I’m going to dinner with Anna (another friend from high school) and Allison.  I’m so thankful that I’ve been able to reconnect with all of these women.  It’s been a blessing to have some girlfriends to turn to who are local and able to have dinner with me!

It’s only day 3 of my winter break, and I’m kind of bored.  I don’t really know what to do with myself.  Most of my grades are not in yet, but that doesn’t stop me from checking every day.  I know I have an A in both Nutrition and Math, and I’m fairly confident in A’s in my baking classes.  Sanitation is a question mark, though.  I won’t have anything below in B in any of my classes.  I know that I have a B in the mixology class because I didn’t bother to turn in the paper that would have gotten me an A.  It was due before Thanksgiving, and I had other things on my mind.  I’ll let you all know what the end result is!

The Quarter is Ova!

To get the full effect of my title today, you have to say it out loud, ala the announcer guy on the original Iron Chef series.  The Japanese one, not the American version with Alton Brown.  That’s what the guy always said at the end:  “The battle is ova!”  I used to love that show, but it was always on at inopportune times, like 3 AM.

I had my Nutrition final today, and I was kind of nervous going into it.  Everyone I talked to told me that it was really difficult and was nothing like what she had covered in class.  I didn’t find that to be the case.  There were a few things I didn’t know for sure, but beyond that, I knew most of the answers.  I will find out tomorrow what my grade is in the class.  I hope that I’m able to keep the A I have right now!

I had my Breads final on Monday, and that was pretty easy.  I walked up to the chef and told him that he could save himself a little work because my exam was going to be a perfect score.  He knows I’m a smart alec, so he just laughed at me.  I’m fairly confident, though.

On Tuesday, I had my Math final, and I am happy to report a 103 average for the class!  So, I’ve got an A in that so far, too.  For me, math is like riding a bike – I never really forget it.

So, now I have two and a half weeks of nowhere to be.  I don’t usually like being idle, but it will be nice to not have to be up at 5 every day.

Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow

Tomorrow is the last day of the quarter!  It’s finally here!  I haven’t been counting down to it or anything, but I feel as though I’ve been heaving myself toward it since the end of September.  This quarter has been a lot of fun, and I have made tons of new friends.  I can’t wait for next quarter to start to see everyone again!

I have my final session with my therapist (I’ve decided to start calling her my Life Coach) tomorrow at 1:30.  Then, I have my Nutrition exam at 5:30.  It shouldn’t be too bad.  I’ve been keeping up with the assigned reading and I have done really well so far in the class.  I just hope that it carries over!

In between getting ready for finals, I’ve been doing a pretty fair amount of reading.  I am on the 5th book in the Harry Potter series, and I hope to be finished with all 7 very soon so that my cousin Johnny and I can go see the next movie.  I was thrilled to find out that he’s a fan!  It will be good to have someone to go see the movie with instead of having to wait until it comes out on DVD or begging (read:  bribing) a sibling to come with me.  I’ve also been trying to catch up on my New Yorker subscription, and I started getting Harper’s, which is monthly and much easier to stay abreast of without feeling overwhelmed.

We found out a couple of weeks ago that my sister is going to have a boy.  It should be interesting.  Clara’s already banned me from contact with the baby without “adult supervision,” to which I responded that babies love me, and I’m just trying to make her baby as awesome as possible.  I have suggested that the baby’s middle name be Hazard, but she hasn’t responded to my text on that yet, so I’m guessing it’s a no.  I think that we’re all (my siblings, that is) pretty excited about the baby because Clara may be the only reproducer among us.  Let’s face it, I’ll be approaching the baby-making danger zone in a few very short years, and I doubt I’ll have the desire until it’s too late.  My brothers don’t seem too keen on the idea of progeny.  So, Clara may be the only chance my parents have at grandkids.

Clara is now engaged, as well, which is wonderful!  Although my own marriage ended in heartbreak, I’m still thrilled to hear about happy relationships from other people.  It kind of gives me hope that maybe things will turn out okay for me in the long run.  I’m sure they will.  It’s just hard to remember to think positively sometimes.  My Life Coach has been immeasurably helpful in that regard.  Not only has she helped me through some difficult and painful emotions, she’s been giving me some good coping methods to deal with the bad feelings as they come up.

I had to drive to Columbus on Monday morning to get finger-printed, which was a treat, especially in the snow.  I did not swerve or have any scary moments, but traffic was horrible!  Starting at Pickerington and ending right after the 270 on-ramps, traffic moved at about 10 miles an hour.  I left here at around 6:30 or so, and I just made my appointment, which was scheduled for 8:30.  The finger-printing itself took all of 10 minutes, and that includes the time it took her to start up her computer, clean off the scanning machine, and make idle chit-chat with me for several minutes.  But, it’s done!  Hopefully, I’ll hear from my uncle this week about when I can start training and things.  I’m not holding my breath, but it would be nice to be able to get the training out of the way during my break.

Sunday Addendum

I know you have all been wondering how the pig candy came out yesterday.  It is amazing!  It’s got some crushed red pepper flakes in it, which give it a nice little bit of smolder at the end.  I made peanut brittle once before, but I don’t remember it being this time-consuming.  It took a good hour to get to the right temperature and color.  Boy was it was worth it!  Despite the lengthy process, this is definitely staying on the Christmas confections list!

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