RSS Feed

Category Archives: Uncategorized


Posted on

My job, an unrelenting struggle for perfection, frustrating family relationships, and countless other things lead me to a therapist a few years ago. It took a long time for me to come around to seeing a therapist (that’s what my friends are for, right?) but I can’t imagine where I’d be now without her. She’s fabulous and if she weren’t my therapist I’d totally want to be friends with her.

My dear friend K has long seen a therapist who she calls Niles. I love that: 1. Because I love David Hyde Pierce and 2. K is incredibly witty and I don’t know anyone else who would call his/her therapist Niles. So for the purposes of this blog my therapist needs an alias. But I won’t steal Niles (even though I want to). Instead I’ll go with Jane. Why? Because Jane Lynch was a hilarious psychiatrist on Two and a Half Men.

Jane Lynch

Jane Lynch the psychiatrist. Picture her when I talk about Jane, my therapist.

Anyhow… Jane and I have been discussing mad. Such a basic emotion, right? Well no. Not for me. I don’t do mad. I suck at mad. But I’m awesome at sad. I feel sad a lot and I understand it. I’ll go so far as to say that I’m an excellent crier.

But mad feels wrong to me. So instead of feeling mad I turn the feelings inward and get sad. But today was different. I walked to my car feeling sad and annoyed. And then I stopped myself and thought “Am I really sad? Am I really annoyed? — Hell no. I’m mad.” And when I got to Jane’s office and told her about this, she told me to name five things I was mad about. And I did! It was hard to do, but I did it. I succeeded at mad! Sort of. Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t sound mad. And I cried. But still – yay me!

This can only be described as a breakthrough. I’m going to work on accepting mad as a valid emotion. Mad can be good. Mad can be productive. Mad can kick sad’s ass.



he had her at sustainability

Posted on

Women tend to hone in on one or two things about a guy (or girl if that’s who they so desire) that really make them swoon. For Kate, it’s glasses. And if he’s a scientist or post doc candidate in glasses… oh you better watch out.

For Z, it’s sustainability.

Tonight we met up with a group of friends and friends of friends for happy hour and dinner.  The entire group was fabulous – smart, nice, engaging, progressive, creative. And most everyone in the restaurant was super hip. After a few margaritas and getting over the feeling that I’m not cool enough to be with such a kicky group, I started to feel like I was in a movie. You know those shots of the big group sitting around the table with drinks and 10 conversations going and laughing and overall wonderfullness? Yeah. I was in that tonight.

Anyhow… Z is chatting with this guy who starts talking about his job: working with a community organization, focusing on sustainability, recycling, etc. Well friends, he had her at sustainability. Tonight she can go to sleep painting mental pictures of a solar-powered future together. Or maybe just a few fun dates.

As I was driving home, it dawned on me: I don’t know what my “thing” is! What makes my heart pitter-patter when I meet someone new? How can I fall in love and live happily ever after if I don’t even know what my “thing” is that makes a guy irresistible to me?

The truth is that I probably do know what my “thing” is and I’m just too damn scared to tell the world or even myself. Because f I don’t define or vocalize what I want, then I never have to be disappointed with not getting it.

I need to change that.

possibly the most interesting man in Pittsburgh

Posted on

Upon returning from our brilliant vacation in Mexico, my furnace died.

Actually, it died while we were gone. I came home and my house was 51 degrees. Since I had a delayed flight and my car was dead when I finally got to it, my return home was later than I had planned and I was too tired to deal with it. S, who was watching my furry cat babies while we were away, left a note that she thought she messed up the thermostat. I was hopefully that was the only problem. No such luck.

So I called the heating and cooling guy who fixed my AC over the summer. He’s the guy who does work for my contractor boyfriend (not really my boyfriend but he’s done some great work on my houses and if I had more money I’d have him redo the whole place) so I figure he must be a good character with good rates.

Well the heating and cooling guy is certainly a character. Probably the most interesting man I’ve met in Pittsburgh. or anywhere for that matter.

On Wednesday evening, he was here for two hours. I think he did about 30 minutes of work, and the rest of the time he talked. And talked. And told me about how he used to have a great house that was foreclosed on. It was nice when he bought it, but great once he added to it. It had an in-ground pool, waterfall, outdoor kitchen, etc. His wife raised the kids and he ran a business.

His wife never worked until his large heating and cooling business went under because he was screwed by a very large job that never paid. She fell into a great job making good money and she told him to move out. So he went to live with his mother. She called and said come home. So he did. And within a month she had lost her job. He said it was okay and they’d make do. Then he learned that she found out she was being let go just a few days before she asked him to come home. Needless to say, the marriage didn’t last. So he’s back to living with his mother.

He tried to fix my furnace. He did a repair and told me to call him in the morning and let him know if the heat stayed on. We went to the ATM so I could pay him cash for the service call. Shady, I know, but I totally didn’t care because I had good stories and heat in my house.

I called him Thursday and left a message. He must have missed the message, but showed up at my door Thursday night to see if I had heat, which I didn’t. He started it again and tried another fix.

Thursday night I learned that he was reckless in his 20s. And he spent two years in jail for selling cocaine to major league baseball players. He loves baseball! He’s clean now and has been for a long time. From observation, he runs on caffeine and nicotine now.

He called Friday morning at 7:30 to check on the heat. Then came over. Quit simply, the furnace couldn’t stay on and since it was 18 years old, it wasn’t worth sinking more money into. So we went down to the wholesaler and I bought a new furnace. Then stopped at the ATM to give him $100 cash. He and a guy came over at 5:30 Friday night to install it. They were here until 11 p.m.

That’s when I learned he was an only child. His father was an Irish immigrant who was kind as can be until he had four drinks in him. That’s when he turned into a mean drunk who had to be fetched from the bar. He was raised to fight but is afraid of mice. His Italian mother once broke the neck of a mouse in front of him and his kids and to this day it gives him the creeps.

If I could make the time and commitment, I could write a novel about this guy. Others might be frustrated by his timing and rambling but I’m intrigued and fascinated.

I have a hard time with small talk and meeting new people because I’m so uncomfortable with who I am. That’s why I love meeting people who just put themselves out there and have no fear about showing anyone and everyone who they are. It’s a little crazy and totally inspirational.

2011 = Blah.

Posted on

Unlike Roya, I’m not ready to say “Suck it, 2011!” but I’m definitely ready for the year to be a simple memory in the rolodex that is my life. While there were some ups and downs, for the most part, my 2011 was in the gray area.

I will probably remember 2011 as the year of the thyroid (or the killing of the thyroid?). In March, I had radioactive iodine treatment to burn my thyroid out. Why? Because I’m a weirdo and my thyroid felt the need to flip between Grave’s Disease and Hashimoto’s (yes, diagnosed with both autoimmune disorders—like I said, weirdo!) every couple of weeks. Basically, my life was like this: “Oh my god. Oh my god. I’m never going to be able to do that. But I have to. Wait I’ll stay up all hours to get this project done. Oh my god. Why is my heart beating so fast? I’m going to die. I. am. going. to. die.” to “I cannot get out of bed. My life sucks. I’m so depressed. No one loves me. I’m so tired. I’ll sleep for 27 hours.” Yeah—weirdo (imagine being my friends dealing with this mess… my apologies to them!).

While I would love to say that being a superhero for three days (the time I was sequestered in my home unable to see or touch anyone) was fun and that I glowed green and purple with orange coming out of my ears, it wasn’t. The ablation (the words of the doctors) led to 9 months of blood tests, waiting, more blood tests, waiting, one dose of synthroid, waiting, more blood tests, waiting, changing the dose of the synthroid, and, you guessed it, waiting. I’m told that they will figure out the perfect dose of the medication for me—but, for now, I’m still waiting.

Other than the thyroid, the year was, like I said, blah.

I had some great times. Thanks to conferences, work meetings, and random trips, I got to play with Roya more times in the past year than we had in a few years combined. I got to eat cranch and boom boom wings at Wing City in Fredonia, NY (don’t knock it until you try it!). I played in Disneyworld with Roya and attempted to run a ½ marathon of which I ran 5 miles and then stopped (I hadn’t trained and I wanted to have plenty of energy to walk around the magical kingdom the next day). I went snorkeling and saw sea turtles and stingrays. I taught a new course with 200 students enrolled and learned the problem of forgetting to turn off the microphone as I sang “Look at me now. Uh. Look at me now. Uh. I’m gettin’ paperrrrr” (that is definitely one for the memory books). I laughed, smiled, and danced (mainly in front of my classes) a lot in 2011.

There were also some low moments. I cried a lot. I questioned what I was doing with my life a lot. I needed hugs a lot.  I was mean to myself more times than I care to try to remember (though it is easy to remember because it was almost every other day—and, some weeks, every day).

So, I guess it is time to make 2011 a memory and welcome in 2012. I’m thrilled to be ringing in the New Year with Roya (one of my favorite New Year’s memories was with her, Carrie, and me making braised cabbage—yummy!) and hope kicking off the year in a happy way will lead to great things.

In 2012, I’m going to find my inner athlete (insert laughter). I’m going to read 50 books (that one I can do). I’m going to blog at least two times a week (try to at least…). I’m going to have cranch and boom boom flavored wings at Wing City again. I’m going to go to SpaWorld in Centreville, VA. I’m going to travel. I’m going to find my backbone again. I’m going to smile and laugh and dance even more. But, mostly, I’m going to be nice to myself. I have to.

Suck it, 2011!

Posted on

Okay. I shouldn’t be so belligerent seeing as there are still three days left in the year and I’ll be traveling the friendly skies on one of them. And my car is in the shop awaiting diagnosis. Still plenty of time left for 2011 to give me another wallop.

But really, I’m over you 2011. You were not kind to me and I’m ready for us to part ways. Some of the highlights:

  • I smashed the side of my car and, being the classy lady I am, waited 11 months to have it fixed, complements of my dad. Yepp. That’s right. A special X-Mas gift from father to daughter – a new passenger side door on a 2002 Mazda.
  • I went to Disney World for the first time ever at the age of 32. Since Andi and I were together it was tons of fun, but not the trip I had planned. I had ambitiously decided to train for the Disney Princess Half Marathon.  But injury kept me on the sidelines. It was an ambitious plan because, well, I don’t run. I suggest if you have any inclination to train for any kind of race that you make sure you actually like running before you register. Just sayin.
  • June offered another stay at the Shadyside Resort and Spa (AKA UPMC Shadyside Hospital). It was four glorious days of backless hospital gowns, gelatin dessert and tests. Third time was not a charm but the flowers from friends and family were lovely.
  • A psychic told me she was sad for my soul. Seriously.
  • My job. Read into that what you will.
  • General depression and disappointment. (I know, very vague and not parallel to the other items but it’s my blog entry and I’m leaving it that way.)

But I’m going into 2012 optimistic. Andi and I decided the best way to kick off a new year is to run away. So we’re going to the Riviera Maya for a week. It will be wonderful and fabulous and a brilliant start to what I have decided will be the best year ever. EVER. Adios, 2011.

Well look at that – we have a blog.

We’ve talked about starting a blog for… well… a long time. And a few months ago we set up this URL and wordpress site. And then it sat. And we sat. And wrote blogs in our heads. And talked about needing to actually write on the site we so thoughtfully (not really) set up.

So at long last, here it is. Blog entry number one. First step is the hardest, right? Now we’ll just groove along, telling the worldwide web about our many adventures and misadventures as we struggle to find blissful acceptance of our imperfections. Enjoy the ride, friends.