Tag: Busy

Short. Out.

“I’ve got the brain of a four year old.  I’ll bet he was glad to be rid of it.”
– Groucho Marx

Apparently, without my knowledge, consent, or approbation, my brain has thrown up its metaphorical hands and decided it’s going on holiday now, the next five days be damned.

My Christmas shopping is done, the presents are (mostly) wrapped, many of them have gone out in the mail, the place card holders for Pieter and Sadie’s wedding are done, and the list of things for her bacherlorette party is done.  “Therefore,” my brain thought decisively to itself, “I am done.  There is nothing else that I am taking care of until January, and you can’t make me!”

The symptoms of this revolt have been acute and worrying.  I tried to do some last minute shopping in Barnes and Nobel the other day when I suddenly felt tired.  Spying one of the rarely vacant armchairs was unoccupied, I sat down for a second.  Five minutes later I woke up (gasping and clutching my purse in belated panic), but unscathed.

Yesterday I got a quick lunch with a co-worker, which I couldn’t finish so I decided to save in the department fridge for lunch today.  This morning, I woke up thinking I’d forgotten to pack a lunch the night before and dashed around the kitchen trying to throw things together at the last moment.  Only to get to work and remember that I have a lunch date with Savvy today.  So I have a carton of Chinese food and a tupperware of chicken soup sitting pretty in the break room that will just have to come back home with me today.

I’ve lost my keys in my own hand and my glasses on my head.  I’ve gone to the library to return things, only to to realize I’ve left the books on the kitchen table.  I walk into rooms and completely space why I entered them in the first place.

It’s grim, possums.  A vacation is clearly required.  Two more days of work, one wedding, and I can check out.  In the meantime, is anyone else sliding into a holiday coma, or have I just well and truly shorted out?


“I’m Very Busy and Important!”

“A charming woman is a busy woman.”
– Loretta Young (boy, I hope this is true…)

My kittens, my ducklings, my belovedest of beloved possums!  I’ so busy these days I could gleefully indulge in a tiny breakdown…but I haven’t the time.  Last Friday I helped coordinate a small baby shower for Hennessy, two weekends ago was consumed with preparations for Pieter and Sadie’s wedding, last Saturday was an evening with J.’s family, Trixie and I are throwing Sadie’s bacherlorette party this coming Saturday, there are two birthdays within my godfamily this week, a dermatology appointment, a dentist appointment, and there’s a wedding next week the day before I fly home for Christmas.  And somehow, I still need to find time to get the oil changed for the car, finish up place cards for the wedding luncheon, and pack. Woof.

Here’s a sneaky fact about one’s husband going off abroad for grad school that no one tells you: going back to taking care of everything for oneself, without someone to share the chores, is rough.  Bone tired, constantly frazzled, get home and all one wants to do is curl up on your sofa and refuse to acknowledge the rest of the evening, rough.  But one can’t do that, because one has to shop for brie and baguettes, continue the fight against one’s ancient flat’s march towards decay, and eat every once and a while.

I’m no ingrate, busyness is a boon: it keeps me from being lonely or bored.  All I’m saying is, I could stand being a little less busy.  Luckily the Christmas vacation looms, wherein I plan on doing very little, in very good company.  How are you holding up, darlings?

See C. Run

Projects?!  I will give you projects!’
– C.

I’ve been home about a month, and it’s two months until J. and I meet up for Christmas at my parents.  In the past month, in an effort to fill up some of the free time I’ve found myself with, here’s what I’ve taken up:

In my case, boredom.

Exercise classes: working for a university means I’ve an overabundence of such resources.  Zumba (Latin dance based cardio) three times a week, yoga at least twice.  It’s quite funny to watch a bunch of uncoordinated people like me jumping around while an instructor bellows, “Put your hips into it!”  There’s on particularly secure young man, freshman I think, who joins in and shakes it with the best of a room full of women – hats off to you, sir!  Although apparently my previous ballet expirience makes my yoga teacher want to weep.  “Why are you pointing your foot?!  You are supposed to sink into the earth like a tree, at one with the universe, not contort yourself into an unnatural shape!”  Naff off, lady, after 15 years I’ve still got a perfect bevel to my foot!

Pintrest: I’ve heard from everybody and their dog that it’s an addictive site.  They were terribly, horribly right.  This perusing of good ideas has led to an increase in –

Cooking: I’ve stocked the freezer with frozen chicken tetrazzini, made homemade chicken broth, endless amounts of soups (all necessary for chilly Fall weather) to freeze or enjoy now, perfected my already pretty good chocolate chip cookies, and started to plan my campaign of holiday baking.

Shopping: but only minimally.  We’ve car payments, rent, utilities, and now loan payments and I, my darlings, am being good.  I had to replace a couple pairs of shoes that were well and truly past their sell by date, got two knit dresses that go marvelously with boots and leggings for work and play, and had an indulgence purchase of two pashminas (for the price of one!).  Because I live in them from September to April, and because I found one in an incredible emerald green that simply needed to live around my neck.

Organizing writing projects: after a strict talking to by Scarlett to do so.

Reading: I have a reservation list a mile long at two of my libraries (university and local).  But please, add suggestions to it.  Vigorously.  I read terribly fast.

Documentaries: I quite liked Ken Burns’ newest offering, Prohibition.  Fun fact, Mum and Dad met at a discotheque called The Prohibition.  Which is entirely unrelated, but I still find it funny.

Finding a bridesmaid dress: Sadie and Pieter are tying the knot two months from tomorrow!  I’m ridiculously excited and happy for them, but still haven’t found le frock juste for the occasion.  Bridesmaids dresses can be just as tricky as the  Big Dress itself sometimes…

End results: I’ve lost, no joke, 9 pounds in three weeks, despite all of the food I can’t seem to stop making.  I live at the library in the evenings – when I’m not talking to J..  I’m getting excited for the holidays, though disgusted with all of the Christmas decorations that are cropping up everywhere.  I categorically refuse to play my Christmas music until the day after Thanksgiving, although I can admit that I’m occasionally tempted to…

What projects have you taken up recently, kittens?

For Your Saftey…

We are rather busy and terribly grumpy.  We are hiring nearly 30 people, firing about 20, and processing paperwork for all of them, along with giving all our 200 employees an individual raise.  Your complaints about not being able to buy more targets to vaporize in shooting practice, bafflement on how to use the fax machine, repeats of questions we’ve answered dozens of times, or excuses of why your work is late will not be acknowledged, much less tolerated.

Go away.

Top. Men.

“We have top men working on it right now.”
“Top men.”
– Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark

Pictured: a villain immediately preceeding his revalation of exactly how badly he has been behaving for the last hour and a half.

In almost every movie there is that incredibly silly moment when the villain is confronted with the fruits of his or her destruction and, looking over the rivers of lava/ looming black hole/ annihilation of an entire civilization/ etc., murmurs in despair, “My god, what have I done?!”

I had one of those moments today.  After getting all the archives into chronological order (which you’d think they’d already be in, right?  Hah!), tagging them by date, pulling original photos and making notes on when/where they originally occurred in print, and hauling it one massive armload at a time to the library, I asked for the archivist.  Student employees helped me carry the stacks of papers and binders and asked what I was doing.  I couldn’t very well shout, “Saving history!” in the library, so I quietly whispered the tale of the iniquitous order to dispose of fifty years of information.
“He told you to shred it!” one girl squeaked in horror.
“I know,” I squeaked back.

We were all awash with the enthusiasm of the young until the archivist appeared.  He looked like Eeyore the donkey in human form: droopy, awkward, exhausted, and less than thrilled to see me with my arms full of documents.
“Hi, I’m C. from the police department.  We talked on the phone and–”
“Oh, right,” he sighed, “Follow me.”

The whole cavalcade meandered down some halls and through secured doors…to a lonely room, lined with shelves and piled with papers.
“Here’s a project for you,” he mumbled to what appeared to be a heinously overworked student employee, and ordered us to drop the whole pile on her (already covered) desk.

My project is somewhere alongside the Ark, I'm sure.

Which is when I had my cinema-villain-is-confronted-by-what-she’s-done moment.  I’d committed the most rookie of cardinal sins: I’d just turned over fifty years of history to a bureaucracy!

I’ve gained all sorts of skills and experiences at this job, but law enforcement is not my calling, to say the least.  But history!  Oh, yes.  And this project is the first thing in over a year and a half that’s come close to the things I’ve studied and feel passionate about.   Certainly it’s the only thing that’s got me excited enough to annoy my co-workers with my near constant cries of, “Read this!”  And now, I’ve an awful premonition that my precious bundles are only going to slowly decompose in the bowels of the library.  There is no justice in the world.

It Was a Simpler Time

“All the ancient histories, as one of our wits say, are just fables that have been agreed upon.”

Yesterday Lt. Citrus called me into his office and waved his hand at a pile of binders.  It was the media files archives of our department, newspaper clippings mostly, and it went back to 1960.
“We don’t need these anymore,” he said.  “Can you get rid of them and save the binders?”


I stretched out my hands dumbly and let him plop a stack in my hands and then tottered back to my desk where I opened them up.

The Civil Rights movement, the Vietnam War, the first female officer to graduate from the state’s police academy…the earliest documented complaints about parking (an as yet unresolved problem!) when we had a fraction of the student number we do now…a completely unique perspective on the history of the campus was sitting on my desk and I was supposed to just shred it?!  Clearly they forgot I majored in history!

I begged off my other chores and began putting things in order.  I’ve spent the last day and a half scanning articles and photos that document the history of the department (beginning back when we had an ex-LA cop fish a bunch of wallets out of the campus pond and search for the owners, all the way to the 40+ full time, state-certified officers we have now along with nearly 200 student employees).  And come across some real gems!

Throw this stuff away.  Pfft!  I’m already in contact with the university archivist.

Showing off items abandoned in the Lost and Found. The one on the right kind of looks like Peggy Olson from Mad Men.
Contrary to popular belief, we neither live in Mayberry, nor whistle frequently.

I Need a Weekend…

“It’s a sin to be tired.”
-Kate Moss

Round about finals, we all get a little loopy.  J.’s schedule affects me just as much as it does him because we only have one car so where one goes, the other must follow.  Meaning, that because J.’s exams start at 7am, guess who also gets to come into work an hour early?

The disruption to our sleep schedule means that C. becomes a walking zombie of ludicrousness.

Our flat hasn’t been cleaned in over a week, I reach a point of exhausted hysteria by 9pm every night, I can’t speak properly, the smallest and most basic tasks become incomprehensible, and I have a perma-migraine raging behind my right eye.

Pictured: J.'s friends Tim and Heidi. As seen by C. at 10pm.

But I knew I’d reached critical mass last night when driving home from my sister-in-law’s (Milly) bridal shower (her fiance spent his evening with the future-brothers-in-law and assorted children), J. was talking about his friends, “Tim and Heidi,” and I furrowed my brow in tired confusion.
“Wait?  Tim and Heidi?  As in Gunn and Klum?”

Sidenote: do they not (his friends, I mean) have the potentially most awesome Halloween costume?

Married Alive


“So, you liking married life?”
(awkward pause)
“Wait!  I mean, I love being married to J. but being married itself is hard!”
-Daae and C., who was not paying proper attention to the question
If we're being honest, though, let's admit that as long as we're not at this point, we're doing rather well!
If we're being honest, though, let's admit that as long as we're not at this point, we're doing rather well!

Now, my other young married girl friends, back me up (especially us breadwinners Angel, Jane, Venice, Daae, and the rest of you!), it was a bit of an adjustment when someone took Beyonce’s advice and put a ring on it, wasn’t it?  There are dozens of variations on this theme, but they all involve trading total independence for total inter-dependence and that, my dears, is no easy feat! 

See, everyone tells you that being married is work and tries to warn you, but nothing prepares you for the reality of factoring in another human being into every decision you make.  And nothing can even hope to brace you for the blow that comes from being utterly independent (parents in another country, never asking for money, graduating, travelling, etc., all on one’s own), and then being the sole supporter of a newly minted family! 

No more sharing bills with flatmates, extra money now goes towards feedings this guy (who eats approximately 56 times as much as you do, rough estimate), and say goodbye to nearly all your free time!  Lunch breaks for me ever since we got married have been spent running errands, getting my name changed on everything imaginable, and putting him on my various policies.  Evenings are spent shuttling us around to our various commitments, and I’m the only chauffeur as J.’s ability to drive a manual aren’t up to par.  On top of which, the flat, cable, electricity, gas, car, insurance, and only full-time job we’ve got is all on my head.  And laundry, because J. hates it (which is ok, because I flat out refuse to touch dirty dishes).

Much to my chagrin, this look usually makes J. laugh.  Which is odd, because I've found to be very effective in other aspects of my life...but my husband think's it's hilarious.
Much to Small Dog's chagrin, this look usually makes J. laugh. Which is odd, because I've found to be very effective in other aspects of my life...but my husband think's it's hilarious.

Occasionally I get stressed out/mildly resentful of all this change slapped on at once.  Busiest time of year at work, J. starting his program (which is one of the top ranked in the country) and therefore falling off the planet, and adjusting to living with a new spouse, with all the curious incidents that entails

But I am fortunately/unfortunately married to a person who absolutely understands the way my busy little mind works.  So when the stress gets to be too much, J. cracks a joke or makes a rather ill-timed comment, and I turn freezingly silent for hours/days while I try to reign in my temper…as soon as I emerge from my little nuclear winters, J. can say, “I understand,” and I know he means it.