Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Arnold Classic

As some of you may know, my husband I are going out to Columbus, OH this weekend with his sister.  What's the attraction?  The Arnold Schwarzenegger Bodybuilding Classic: An entire convention center filled with people who could murder me with their pinky finger.

We're leaving sometime on Friday morning, so if you don't hear from us or if we're missing VIP birthday parties (I gotcha, Travis and Sarah), that's where we'll be.  God-willing, the weather will be alright for travel.  I'm not so much concerned about it when we're in the convention center.  I know they have some thunderstorm warnings going on near there, but as far as I can tell, it's supposed to stop before we get there.  I can tolerate mid-30's and 40's for temperatures.  Beats the hell out of Sub-Zero Erie.

Although I'm not much into bodybuilding, I'm looking forward to the trip.  It'll be a nice little get-away with my husband and from Erie itself.  Work and life in general have been driving me crazy, and even though driving away from the environment doesn't get rid of the problem, it provides temporary relief.

I'll try to take a decent amount of pictures and upload them to Flickr when I get back.  Leave lots of comments or messages or what have you (interpret that however you want) while we're gone.  Hope the weekend treats you all well.  Pfff...who am I kidding?  This is Erie.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Erie Bloggers

No, this isn't another reminder to get your damn butt over to our blogging meetings.  I don't think I shared with you guys that Erica Erwin and Kara Rhodes from the Times News BBS came to our last meeting to interview us all for a story.  They were guess-timating that the story would run February 24th.  It didn't, but it did run yesterday.  Click here to read the article.

Congratulations to Jenson, Eden, Mike, and Dennis for being a few of the exclusively featured bloggers (Jen and Mike are who you see pictured in the article).

To view their blogs, click their respective pictures:

Edit:  Updated the link for Eden's site as I had the wrong one posted.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Thank You

I appreciate all the comments and messages I got in response to my blog.  I'm still a little preoccupied over coming out with it to everyone.  Before the other night, there were only a select few people I even discussed this problem with.  Even though I got people telling me how thin I was nearly on a daily basis, I never talked about it with them.  It's been something I've struggled with on and off since my senior year of high school.

I think the reason why I never really discussed it with many people is because, first of all, I didn't think I actually had a problem in the beginning.  When I finally realized that this was becoming a problem, I didn't want all the fanfare that came along with my sister's battle being out on the table.  She was sent flowers and cards and had all eyes on her 24/7.  I didn't want that, and I don't want that.  It really just makes it all that much harder for me to deal with on a personal level.  I'd prefer to be under the radar.

So my coming out with this is probably confusing you given what I just wrote.  I just felt like maybe more than a few people needed to know, and hopefully, that's all the further it would go.  I don't mind a few comments or messages every once in a while to check up or offer advice, but I definitely don't want constant attention.  I just wanted to air this out in hopes that it would help; even if only a small bit.

I was scared to even blog about it, but I did it anyway.  I was scared of the responses I might get, but they've been fine.  Although I'm still scared, I'm trying to pull through.  I'm sick of pretending like it isn't a problem when I know it is.  I've tried to sweep it under the rug in hopes that it'll be ignored for years, but I still see it, and everytime someone makes a comment as to how thin I am, it gets brought to my attention all over again.

I don't think I'm deathly thin or even nearly as thin as my sister was, but I know I am underweight.  I do have days where I go for a while without eating or if I do eat, I only eat a very small amount the entire day (something as small as a piece of toast for the whole day).  There's something in my head that tells me that I'm getting too close to gaining weight, so as a result, I slim down the amount of food I eat, and this can go on for days (sometimes weeks) at a time.  Other times, I'm fine, and I eat normally, so it's not constant starvation; however, it is a constant mental battle.

I think this is the last time I want to discuss this on my blog because I really don't want to think about it more than I have to.  Also, I don't want this to be the theme of every blog I write from here on, but I did want you guys to know that I appreciate the support, and it does help.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Some Things Just Need To Be Taken Care Of

I've been really down lately, and I'm not sure why.  I fall into these bouts of loneliness and self-pity that I hate so much.  In the midst of these, I encounter demons that I thought I could suppress with time but only come back to haunt me endlessly.  I'm getting to the point where I'm tired of fighting this, and I want help.

I could ask hundreds of questions as to why I have these demons in the first place, and everyone could give me their own opinion as to their origin, but which one is correct?  Are they all correct?  Either way, I need to fight them, but I don't have a known weapon to fight with.  I feel helpless.

When I have a day off from work, I want to relax, but lately I can't.  These thoughts are constantly consuming my mind, and my body is [supposedly] deteriorating with time.  Everyone else sees it, but I don't.  They know it, and I know it, but I really don't.  I feel it, but I really don't.  None of this would probably make any sense to any of you.  You're probably scratching your heads wondering how I could be so clueless.  This is why I have a problem fighting it.
Who do I talk to that understands it? 
Who understands the thought process behind not eating? 
Why do I not want to eat? 
I don't even know why.  How can I be sure anyone does?

I watched as my own sister struggled with it through high school.  I'd often think how she could see herself in such a way.  We all saw her as too thin, but she didn't see it.  Is she blind?
I even wrote a research paper on this subject my junior year, and I learned why they think the way they do.  I learned the in's and out's of the disease, and I thought I understood it enough to know that it's all mental.  I still do understand that, but what I didn't learn and what no book could teach me was how to fight it when it's happening to you.  It doesn't explain how to pull yourself out of the mental trap you've created for your mind as well as your body.
This is my stumbling block.

Now I'm trying to take a step forward towards ending it because now it's at a point where it's affecting what I do and what I don't do.  I used to go to the Y quite regularly with my husband, but now this disease has driven me away.  It's put shame into my mind, and I see that, but even still, I can't get rid of it.  Just knowing that that's why it's there isn't enough.  It does nothing for me.  All the knowledge in the world about this disease is just a waste because it provides no means to an end.

It's a constant battle, and I just want out.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

I Love How...

For my husband, Jonathan:
  • I love the way you looked the first time I saw you.  Your eyes had a gleam, and I felt something real.
  • I love the way you tried to give me a full synopsis of the first two Lord of the Rings movies fifteen minutes before the third one commenced.
  • I loved that you let me rest my head on your shoulder through most of the movie.
  • I loved that you never tried to make a move too soon.
  • I loved the way you did make a move in the store as I shyly lowered my head to avoid it.
  • I loved that we would talk on the phone for hours at a time about seemingly senseless topics, but we could also sit in perfect silence just knowing the other person was on the line, and that was fine with us.
  • I loved how I couldn't get you off my mind and feeling something completely different and real with you.
  • I love the way you looked the first time you told me you loved me.  It was the first time I ever truly believed that someone did.
  • I love the way we sang the Quzino's song nearly everywhere we were and got several stares and strange looks, but we didn't care.
  • I loved that you found me funny and laughed even when no one else did.
  • I loved that trip to Niagara Falls in August of 2004.  I knew I wanted to share more times like this with you.
  • I love the way you looked at me when you told me you wanted to marry me.
  • I love the way I felt when I realized I wanted to too.
  • I love that Christmas Eve of 2004 when you proposed to me.
  • I love how shy and cute you looked while doing it.
  • I love how you were there for me through every second of the stress.  I regret not returning the favor.
  • I love how you assured me that everything would work out perfectly and that I worried too much.
  • I love how you were right.
  • I love how we talked on the phone for a long time before going to bed on the eve of our wedding because I couldn't wait until the morning to see you.
  • I love the way you looked as I walked up the aisle towards you.  You had that same gleam in your eyes as the first time I saw you only it was so much more real.
  • I love that you grabbed my hands and held them through the whole ceremony, rarely taking your eyes off me.
  • I love the way you looked at me during our first dance and told me it was the best day of your life.  It, admittedly, brought a tear to my eye.
  • I loved that you didn't smash the wedding cake in my face (as much as I know you wanted to).
  • I love how we shopped at Kohl's right after our wedding (at least, I found it humorous).
  • I love that your family loves me almost as much as you do, and that's a feeling I've never had before.
  • I love how I can tell you anything that's on my mind, and you never think of me differently.
  • I love that you're there for me when I'm sad; even if you're feeling sad at the same time.
  • I love that whenever I feel jealous, you don't get angry with me but drop everything to help me get through it.
  • I love how you always put me before everything else; even though I don't deserve it most of the time.
  • I love that you love me unconditionally, and I know that will always be the case.
  • I love you with all my heart and always will.
Happy Valentine's Day.

Monday, February 12, 2007

No Sleep...

I began washing dishes on Friday afternoon, and my nose began to "stuff up".  Thinking it was allergies, I  just brushed it off.  I continued on with my plans of having Olga come over that evening and help me with one of my Russian lessons.  I tried to assure her that I only had allergies, and it certainly wasn't a cold (at least, that's what I had convinced myself of at that point), but I'm not sure if she believed me or not.  I tend to resort to saying I have allergies everytime I get a little sniffle or cough going on.  If you tell anyone you have a cold or may have a cold, they automatically give you that SARS look and want to toss you into quarantine.  I find that you don't create a 50 foot radius around you if you just say it's allergies...even if you know it not to be true.

Friday night, however, I wasn't able to sleep.  I would guess that I had about one hour of sleep that night, and I had to be up at 7:00 for work Saturday morning.  Not only was I sick, but I was stressed out about a few things going on.  I was tempted to call in sick to work, but I knew that calling off on Saturdays just doesn't fly, and I really didn't feel like getting yelled at.  Therefore, I sucked it up and went to work only to find that about a quarter of our morning crew had called off sick.  Yes, folks, 95% of our coworkers are sick; hence (probably) why I'm sick right now.  This is my fourth time since the end of November that I've been sick.  Burlington must be a warehouse for bugs.  I think I need to be thrown in a bubble.

All day Saturday, I felt like I needed to go home, but I stuck through the whole eight hours and finished out my day.  I came home, and I tried to relax by watching some episodes of Party of Five in between attempting to sleep (the sleep part didn't happen).  Meanwhile, Jon and Ron played Warcraft III and Neverwinter Nights 2 in the other room.  During quiet parts of my show, I could faintly hear the sounds of towers and farms being destroyed.

That night I got about another hour or two of sleep, so collectively, I had about 2-3 hours of sleep between those two nights.  I knew I had to try to stick it out for last night.  After all, it was my idea, so I needed to show up:

A couple weeks ago, I asked Olga if she'd like to go out to dinner for her birthday, and our department would treat.  She obliged, so we set up a date for February 11th.  Little did I know I'd be sick as a dog on this day.
We went to Golden Corral and were sat next to 3 or 4 tables (long tables) of very obnoxious, black folks (I apologize for bringing race into it, but it gives you an idea of the noise level we were dealing with).  I was battling an oncoming fever and headache as it was, so that didn't help.  I leaned over to Roni and said, "It must be fried chicken night," where she jokingly scolded me and told me to be nice.  In all seriousness though, I think it really was fried chicken night.  That's about all they had up there for meat besides fish (neither of which I like).

Other than the food situation, the obnoxious table neighbors, and being sick, I had a good time.  I asked the staff to make an announcement for Olga's birthday (which, in reality, is the 18th, but she's planning on relaxing all day at home), and she actually didn't get upset over it like I thought she would.  At least they didn't come over to the table, sing to her, and throw a sombrero on her head.
Sue picked up a card for her at Hallmark, and we all signed it.  I added my own Russian touch to it for her by writing "Happy Birthday" in Russian for her (which is s'dnyom razhdyeneeyah, by the way).  I'm not sure if she could read my writing (she didn't mention it), but I tried to make it big enough.

After dropping Roni off, I came home, barely made it through a trip to Wegman's with Jonathan, and then I crashed.  I got a few more hours of sleep last night, which was a relief compared to the past two.  However, I still felt too wiped out to come into work today, so for the first time since I've been there, I called in sick, and thankfully Christine was the manager to answer the phone, so I didn't have to hear an earful when I called (amen for that).

I'm thinking a little more sleep, some hot chocolate (the only kind of chocolate I'll consume), and some more Party of Five or King of Queens box sets are in my future.  That's some good R&R...

Monday, February 5, 2007

Pay Attention To Me

There's nothing that I hate more than customers who demand your full attention and time and act like small children if you don't spend every waking second with them.  They expect to be treated like they're the most important people alive.  News flash:  I'll be more willing to help you if you don't act like a two-year-old.  If you can't handle that, I'll find someone else to help you.  I'm sure I can find a lap dog somewhere.

I had one such customer on Friday afternoon.  Olga and Sue were on lunch, and Jay had left for the day, so I was on my own momentarily.  Luckily, it wasn't busy.  I decided to finish some things at the desk before I headed to the floor to clean things up and help customers, if need be.  After a few minutes, a man walked over.  He was a little grey and scruffy, wearing a baseball cap and was most likely in his 50's, and I could tell right from the beginning that something wasn't right.  He just stood there and stared at me with the creepiest look I've seen in a long time.
"Hi, can I help you with anything," I asked.
He just stared at me for a couple seconds...literally.
I stood up, and he finally answered.
"I have a question about your gliders," he said.
"Ok, what did you want to know?"
Again, he just stares.  Now he's starting to creep me out even more.  What's wrong with this guy?  I feel like I'm talking through a satellite, and there's a time delay.
"Is what you have out on the floor what you have?"
"Yes, it is, but some of them come in different colors of wood."
Insert continuous staring here.
"Do they come with the ottomans?"
"Some do.  If they do, on the tag it'll say, 'Glider with Ottoman.'  If not, then it's separate."
And more creepy, drawn-out staring...
"Do they come assembled or disassembled?"
"They come in a box disassembled."
I don't think it's necessary to type this anymore.  You know what goes here.
He looks aggravated for some reason.  "Well, what do the pieces look like?"
Geez, dude, it's a glider rocker.  "They come in about 5 pieces, I believe.  They don't take long to put together."
"Ok," he replied, and he slowly turned, still giving me that you'd-better-watch-your-back stare as he walked away from the desk.  Did I warrant this in some way?  Ok, whatever, dude.

Almost a half hour went by, and by that time, Olga and Sue had returned, so I told them about the guy.  Olga replied, "Is that same guy in glider on cell phone?"  She pointed about 50 feet down the floor, and all I could see was the back of the glider rocking.  I said, "I don't think so.  I think he left already."
No sooner had that come out of my mouth than he got up from the glider and started walking towards the desk.  Damn it.
He looked directly at me.  "I'm interested in one of your gliders."
I began walking towards him a little as I asked, "Ok, which one were you looking at?"
He shot back, "Well, are you gonna come with me so I can show you?!?  I'm not just gonna tell you!"
"Yes, that's what I was about to do," I calmly replied.
I began following behind him, as I shot a look towards Olga and Sue.  He turned around and remarked, "You know, you've been very little help!"
"I'm sorry to hear that."  A**hole...
"Well, I'm gonna be truthfully honest, you couldn't be bothered to help me and show me the gliders."
I didn't even bother to reply.  I apologize for not holding your hand around the sales floor, sir.  I'm just curious:  Are you still being breast-fed?  Shall I hand you a pacifier to ease the whining and boo-hooing?

I think I ended up redeeming myself towards the end of that.  I was nothing but overly nice to him (as hard as that was).  The glider he wanted, we only had the floor model left, but he said he would buy it.  There was also a bassinet that he wanted.  However, he wanted to pick both up at the same time when he brought a bigger vehicle.  He didn't ask to put either on hold, and I wasn't about to offer.  Let's end this association as soon as possible.  Although, in retrospect, a name would have been nice to add to Danny McGrath's hit list (i.e. Billy Madison).

On Saturday, however, Olga sold the glider that he was looking someone else.  She tried to assure me by saying, "I save you from guy."  I think I'm only halfway in agreement with that.  Let's just hope he doesn't come in while I'm working looking for that glider or we'll have WWIII ensuing.  I have three more work days to get through before I have a couple days off.  Thursday couldn't come sooner...