Archive | September, 2012

My gal cat pal Suki

17 Sep

Suki is quite the diva. She never cooperates with the paparazzi.

http://www.freemanjournal.net/page/blogs.detail/display/29/My-gal-cat-pal-Suki.html

She ignored me.

My best friend for the past three years had taken it upon herself to act coolly in my presence. It was pretty disheartening. Suki came into the room, I exclaimed, “Hello!” After giving me a long, hard look, she scooted across the floor until her white butt had done a 180, facing in the opposite direction.

Explanation: Suki is of the feline species. A four-year-old white tabby cat with large blue eyes … her looks could kill. Well, me, anyway.

In all selfishness, I had hoped that someone would really miss me back home. Well, that is wishful thinking. I mean I have experienced a warm welcome back, but everyone has their own lives and busy schedules here. Except for Suki. Her schedule consists of sleeping, eating, relieving herself, and playing. Oh, and begging and pouting. Don’t let me forget that portion of her distinguished day.

So as she sat on the floor with her back to me, not moving, I felt pretty awful. I had abandoned my best friend, and she felt betrayed.

In the last few years, I have held two jobs that had taken up most of my time. During that period, I was applying to schools, working on writing projects, or traveling to see my boyfriend in another state. In other words, the rest of my time was spent sleeping or lounging around my parents’ house. People asked me to go out to the bars on a weekend. There were opportunities to mingle and be social. Instead, I opted to hang out with my true blue friend Suki. We’d play ball, hang out in the backyard, or get combed (I mean, she did). Most of the time, she would sit on a nubby blanket on my bed while I read or watched a movie. Late at night, she would sneak in for a snuggle, crawling underneath the blankets. (Never during daylight hours, Suki never liked to be caught giving affection. Not her thing.)

She knew I was leaving a couple weeks before the big move. Boxes packed, she would sit in one of my suitcases with her blank expression. The day prior, she spent the entire time shutting me out, pouting. It hurt.

I can admit that I have missed her dearly. I hate not having a fluffy, furry animal to pet when I’m stressed — something to take care of and depend on me. To appease my need, I have kind of adopted a homeless black cat named Finn. I even bought him a food dish, cat treats and food. And although I know he only comes up to my stoop for his daily nourishment, it gives me a sense of my time with Suki.

I’ve been home for a few days now, and she is starting to warm up to me. Letting me pet her and even staying on my bed for a period of time. I’m sad to leave her again tomorrow, making her more confused with my coming and going presence. And even though it may make me a cat lady, for my best girlfriend to be a cat, so be it. I’ve missed my friend and she has missed me.

She has also offered me tokens of affection to bring back east. For her ever-shedding white coat covers everything I own, and no amounts of lint roller brushes can ever compete with it. That’s okay, whenever I pick off a piece of her hair from a sweater or blanket, I just smile. I love that dang cat.

 

Journeying home

14 Sep

 

This weekend, I am saying goodbye to a friend. My car. After an 18-hour journey across country yesterday, I have finally brought my Nissan Versa back home to Iowa.

I had hoped to continue our friendship on the East Coast; yet, it was not meant to be. No parking spots and astronomical insurance costs forced this empty-walleted girl to admit the obvious. I had to let the Versa go.

I had fought tooth and nail to bring the car with me. Oh, I heard the horror stories about having a car in NYC and Jersey City. Exaggerated, I thought. I visited the area and saw what kind of adventure having a vehicle could bring — major dents, premium parking costs and giant headaches. They just aren’t doing it right, I exclaimed. Weeks went by after moving out east. I was on the phone with predator insurance sales people. I began dreading moving my car from one side of the street to the next each day, in fear of towing. On Monday, I waited an hour and a half for a parking spot on my block. Finally, Tuesday, after trying arduously to have the vehicle registered in New Jersey, I gave up. I really love my car, but my sanity is more important.

So I packed up and left Wednesday morning, for the trip back to Iowa. I can’t say that I wasn’t a bit excited about the prospect of seeing my family and being in a place known for its wide opened places (I have been a bit claustrophobic as of late). A day and a half through the Appalachian Mountains, river valleys and fields, I got a bit sentimental with my last car trip. It was my first brand new vehicle. I had it customized, with all my necessities (Bluetooth, keyless start and locks and my beloved MP3 dock, the real important stuff). We had gone on many trips together — to Massachusetts and back during my work at summer stock theatre; to Omaha to visit my boyfriend while he was in school; and all those drives just because. Through heartache and happiness, sappy love songs and hard rock blared from the speakers.

I fought hard to keep the Versa, but I know that she needs to start a new life with a new owner, and I need to continue on with my own new beginnings. It’s just hard to say goodbye: Not only to the car’s dependability, but also to my own freedom. The ability to head out on the open road with that sense of “anything can happen.” It is hard for someone who has had a car since the tender age of 16 to hand over the keys in exchange for a subway pass. It just is.

I … I can’t talk about it any longer. So I guess I will just say, goodbye Nissan Versa, it has been … real.

Against the grain

10 Sep

http://www.freemanjournal.net/page/blogs.detail/display/26/Against-the-grain.html

 

This time of year always brings back a flood of nostalgia. For my days running cross country, sweaty band uniforms and out-of-date textbooks. There is also this overwhelming feeling that a fresh start is more than possible. Crisp air and browning leaves seem to indicate that “it’s okay, this is a new beginning.”

I’ve been wrestling with that thought as I start a new life out east. Every day I pass the World Trade Center, a humbling reminder that nothing in my life is very hard. I can grumble and complain, be upset that not everything is going my way, and I look up. The towers stand majestic among the noise of jackhammers and honking horns, as construction continues and traffic never stops.

Although I miss my family terribly, I’ve needed this. To start over and move on from my past. In my life, there are a few things that I will always regret and are harder to forget. A dear friend of mine recently said that there is a reason why those sad moments happened in your life, to make you who you are today. I couldn’t agree more. But more than once I have looked at those times with a tinge of bitter sadness and wish for a different scenario. I’ve tried to keep those regrettable moments to a minimum as of late, but never succeed fully. I am getting better at it, though. Those instances may feel good at the time, but leave a festering scab that continues to peel.

Now, though, I am learning with difficulty that some moments, while tough, aren’t so regrettable. That while you may feel sad about the situation, it is clear what needs to happen. Such as ending a friendship or cutting off a relationship completely. That has happened in my not so distant past, and although I don’t like being an instigator, I also had to do what was right. You know, I’ve begun to trust my gut instinct and not run away from what it is telling me. It has taken me so long to not be completely impulsive and to listen, really listen, to what I need to do. In this instance, it wasn’t completely clear at first, as the past collided with my present thoughts. The memory of anger and betrayal over lies and manipulation took over, as my brain became frenzied and my face a tomato red.

Rather than go with my anger, I went on a run. I left those feelings of regret on the pavement. I knew I had to go against my own grain and do the right thing. In this case, the clarity became crystal. This relationship jeopardized what was most important to me: family. I knew that there was a right and wrong in this situation and no grey area. I’m not happy about what I had to do, but I don’t regret it. I would do it over again if need be.

I hate finality. I hate ending a friendship or cutting off something that is not healthy. A voice always enters my head saying, “Oh, don’t do that. You don’t want to do that.” But this is a new season, a new start. I’m not a child anymore, and must make decisions that are hard, and just move on.

This time of year, I think of not only the past, but also what I have had to leave behind. I’m a different person than I was five or ten years ago, and I am glad for that. I am nostalgic for those friendships I had so cherished, the newness of love and the innocence I lost. Now, though, I get off the subway and head to my destination. It’s my present, the here and now, that I must value most of all.

Such a busy day …

7 Sep

If I were a cat … this is what I would look like today.

How many job applications have you filled out, Carrie?

So I have to tell you how great the new television pilot “The Mindy Project” is. It is super witty, very intelligently written, and just plain awesome. Mindy Kaling is the star and one of the co-producers of show. Somewhat based on her real life, it plays up to what many women feel about romance. Funny, with a splash of seriousness, I believe it definitely fits in well with the Fox line-up, which includes “New Girl,” another favorite of mine.

How many job applications have you filled out, Carrie?

Another show worth checking out is “The New Normal” on NBC. Some people may be wary of the new hit because it revolves around the life of two married homosexual men. I thought the show was pretty funny, even with all of the blatant stereotypes splashed on the screen. It won’t be a show I catch every week, but who knows. BTW, all of these new pilots are on Hulu online. I mean, why wait for them to premiere on television when they are waiting right there for you?

How many job applications have you filled out, Carrie?

Oh, I must tell you about this new Pinterest recipe I found yesterday. Super easy. Six thawed chicken breasts in a crock pot, dump a packet of taco seasoning and a 16 oz. jar of salsa on top. Wait for a few hours and violà! The meat for your soft- or hard-shelled tacos is ready to devour. I never thought that I would get so into pinning on my boards. Just once and awhile. But lately, I have become so organized, creating boards for this and that. And I really think people are enjoying following all my pins.

Ahem, how many job apps?

It’s been a crazy day. I had to wake up, watch all those television shows (to get them out of the way.) Showering was a task. Then there was the Today Show, and putting all that stuff in the crock pot. That pinning, well I had to make sure that everything was legit. Oh, and I spent a bit of time cruising on www.dog-shaming.com. Hilarious. People write a note next to their dog of whatever bad thing they did. What shame. Did I mention I ventured outdoors to the mailbox? After all that, I just need to drink some wine or drink a couple beers. I’m wiped.

Dear Lord.

Oh the job applications … I had the job sites opened up. It is right up there on my list. Just after I wake up tomorrow.

Ever have one of these days?

A city of love (?)

3 Sep

http://www.freemanjournal.net/page/blogs.detail/display/23/A-city-of-love—-.html

I have idealized NYC. The romantic movies that I have watched over and over again show one thing: This is the city of love. It blossoms from something messy and confusing, sprouts into an undying symbol of unity. When the credits roll, I turn off the movie, sighing — hoping that one day, I, too, could encounter such romance. Never once did I think, “this is really good writing.” No, instead my thoughts were, “If this many romantic comedies take place in New York, there has to be some truth to it all.” Yes, that is what I thought.

Okay, I have grown up a bit since then, and realize that movies sell for a reason (especially to idyllic young women). But I still want to imagine that my younger self wasn’t completely wrong. This city is a place for dreamers. Young actors and singers arrive in droves to fulfill their wildest fantasies. Partly due to all those stories of “making it” in NYC, and partly due to the small truth that it does happen for some individuals here.

In any case, I’m still waiting to witness a Meg Ryan moment in this town. When I’m out strolling around, my main job is to people watch. A couple having a witty conversation out on a bench at Central Park. Two people walking with their hands clasped together while out in Manhattan. A guy quietly brushing the hair out of the girl’s eyes as her gaze matches his. You know, that sorta thing.

Instead, I have witnessed many fights and arguments. Oh don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen enough people hardcore making out in Central Park as parents with children walk by (hurriedly, might I add). But seriously, screaming matches. One sticks out for me. A married Russian couple in their thirties. Although I don’t understand Russian, I do know body language. He was three benches away from her, sitting straight forward, his face tomato red as he looked away. She, on the other hand, was facing toward him, pointing accusatory and yelling and crying. It was a mess. You couldn’t look away. It was obvious that she thought he had done something wrong, and he wanted more than anything to get out of the conversation.

The subway has been another eye-opener (in so many ways, but going to stay on subject). Couples seem to take the opportunity around many strangers to unleash their anger on each other. I have eavesdropped on many upset arguments (don’t judge me).

So I can imagine my younger self being quite confused about NYC. I just didn’t take into account that sometimes with love comes the downs and outs of relationships. Some work out, some don’t, and others continue to hang on by a thread, so unhappy. And while real life doesn’t completely resemble a romantic comedy, those movies aren’t all hearts and roses. There is always some kind of break up or moment of sadness before cupid’s arrow takes flight.

Maybe I will witness that sappy kind of love here. I mean, the autumn leaves haven’t begun to fall and the Christmas season is still months away. Well, anyways, a girl can dream …. :)

 

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