Winter hates me.

It’s far too easy to say that I hate winter. At this point, after the winter we’ve had around here, EVERYONE hates winter.

We’ve had more snow this winter than any in recent memory. It’s been bitterly cold, then warm, then cold, then warm and humid, and then cold again– over and over and over.

I’ve been sick three times with any given number of respiratory ailments, and no sooner than one leaves, another takes its place.

But through all of this insanity, I’m managed not to slip and fall on the icy sidewalks… Until today.

So instead of believing that I hate winter (which I do), I think it’s time to realize that something even bigger is afoot.  Winter hates ME.

I woke up a little late today so I begrudgingly decided to take my car in to work. I say begrudgingly because it meant I had to scrape yesterday’s ice and snow off the windows, and that’s never a fun job when you’re in a hurry. Also, since it had been there a couple days, it was bound to be glued to the windows and therefore a bitch to remove.  I was right.

I also decided to drive because the conditions were really icy and I didn’t feel it would be in my best interest to walk on everyone’s ice-packed sidewalks. See, in my neighborhood there are the responsible residents and the lazy residents. The responsible residents shovel, salt, and then shovel again after the salt breaks up the snow and ice a bit more. Their sidewalks clear up in a day or so and turn into safe walking surfaces for everyone. The lazy residents let everyone trample the snow until it’s smooshed into a thick glacier-like substance, and hope that maybe the temperature will rise so it will turn to slush and get brushed away by the constant traffic of people’s feet. This works fine in theory, except if the temperature decides to dive even lower the next day, which turns that solid glacier into solid ice. Not fun at all, folks.

So I chose to drive to avoid this. And it went great… until I got to the parking garage. I had to park on the roof, which never pleases me, but it’s better than nothing. I got out of the car and dodged the ice around me until I reached the doors to the elevator. I stepped up on the curb and then saw what eventually brought me down. A smooth, shiny sheet of ice.  I couldn’t avoid it.  There was no way around it.  So I stepped.

CRASH!

I hit the ground, directly on my right knee.

Now I should mention that I have pretty bad knees. Always have. My knees have always popped when I bend them, and once in a while I even tear a little cartilage if I’m not careful when getting jostled around on the El or while… um… horsing around. The tears last for weeks and are incredibly painful, and unfortunately the only thing I can do is wear a brace and wait for it to heal.

That’s how it feels right now.

I don’t know if I twisted it or just bashed it hard against the concrete. If it hurts worse tomorrow (which I suspect it will) I may have to visit the E.R. Great way to start off the new year!!!

So this winter has been very unkind to me. I’ve been its bitch, and I’ve submitted over and over again. It’s taking its toll on me something fierce…

But even still, it hasn’t beat me yet!

January sucks

I hate the month of January.  Plain and simple.

It’s a cold, gray, bleak month with nothing good going for it but a three-day-weekend on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.  The rest of the time is spent hoping that February is a little less blah; a little less dreary.

Of course it doesn’t help that about 90% of my friends are all going on a cruise to the Carribean this weekend.  You may remember that as the same cruise that I almost went on last year but backed out when common sense got the best of me and I realized there was no way in HELL I could afford it.  Probably one of the smartest things I’ve ever done — though I really could use the sunshine, warm air, sunshine, hot boys in speedos, sunshine and… well you get the picture.

The problem with hearing all about this cruise is it only makes those of us left behind even more depressed that we have to be stuck in this shit-hole weather.  They practically thumb their noses at us on the way to the airport.  Gee thanks.  Hope your ship doesn’t run into a tidal wave and flip upside down.  Which, as you know, unless you’re Shelley Winters, you ain’t gonna survive!  And trust me, most my friends are not Shelley Winters-sized individuals. 

Adding insult to injury, this weekend the temperature is expected to plummet to single-digits or lower.  Oh GOODY!  Let’s make it gray and blah AND frigid!

You may note a slight tone of sarcasm to my words today.  Well, yeah, I’m just a little down in the dumps.  There are other reasons for this that I don’t want to write about right now, so I’ll just blame everything on the weather and maybe that will help.

I need a vacation!

I'm having surgery! And I CAN'T WAIT!

Ok you’re either thinking I’ve completely lost my marbles (as if begging for money for a camera wasn’t crazy enough), or I’m very, very sick.

Well, you may be partially right in both cases.  Actually, I am having surgery next Tuesday.  It is minor, outpatient surgery, so there is really nothing to be alarmed about.  The thing is, the surgery I’m having can potentially improve my quality of life 100 fold.

Now this may get a bit icky, but here goes… remember in May when I had that nasty bout with the kidney stone?  Well, if you recall, they put a stent in my ureter to help coax it out.  And they gave me a prescription to help break up the stone and move it out freely (or so they hoped).

Well, folks, that never happened.  It’s now November– yes, SIX months later– and the stone, or fragments of it, it STILL in there.

So my new doctor is going in (you know where) to remove the stent and break up that little son of a bitch once and for all.

AND I CAN NOT WAIT.

Let me tell you what life has been like for the last six months.  I wake up and I immediately have to pee.  I eat something for breakfast (maybe) and I have to pee.  I leave for work, get to work, and I have to pee.  I work for a few hours and, whoops, I have to pee.  I eat lunch and I RUN to the bathroom afterward because I have to pee.  Work for a few more hours and, whaddya know, I’ve gotta pee again.  Pack up and get ready to go home… but wait, gotta pee again.  Leave work, get home, open my door, and nearly trip over my cats while I whip off my coat because– guess what– I’ve REALLY gotta pee.

Nobody should have to pee this much.  And in most cases, I probably don’t… but because that stent is still there, I constantly feel like I have to pee.

And then there is the issue of the pain.  Sometimes the pain is so bad I can barely stand it.  Other times I can barely feel anything.  It hurts more and lingers longer when I do anything strenuous– like climbing stairs a lot or walking long distances.  My bike sat chained all summer long because I couldn’t bear to ride it.  I’ve been driving to work every day for the last six months because walking to the train station, waiting for a train, and then RIDING the train would be sheer torture.  I’ve gained at least 15 pounds due to inactivity just because it hurt too much to do anything else.

It has really, really sucked… and I am SO ready to be free of this once and for all.

So even though next week is “Hell week” for the chorus show, I am taking two days off to remove this monster from my body.  And hopefully I will be able to stand and sing without any pain.  Hopefully, come Monday, I won’t have to drive to work because it hurts too much to walk… hopefully I can ride with all the other ‘normal’ people again.  And hopefully my visits to the bathroom will become less and less frequent– and certainly less painful.

I’ve never been so happy to have surgery in all my life.  I hope I will never have to be this happy ever again!

I'm now reminded why I am still single…

I had a date on Sunday.  Yes… a date.  It was planned before Thanksgiving, so I revised my schedule with my mom so I could come back Saturday night, rest up and be ready for it.  It was pretty casual– we planned to meet briefly and see a movie.

I met him online, of course.  The pictures all looked good to me and we really seemed to hit it off nicely. We chatted for months… and I do mean months.  So it seemed natural that it was time for us to actually meet in person.

Unfortunately, things weren’t as good in person.

I went to get my hair cut before heading out to meet him.  They were busy and the haircut ran late.  I phoned him just as I got out– 15 minutes before the movie was to start.  Fuck.  I knew this wasn’t going to be good.   I drove as quickly as I could to the theater but it was definitely too late to see the movie.  He was waiting for me in front of the box office.

Now I should add that I have been dealing with a cold sore the last few days as well.  It showed up on Wednesday and is just about gone, but it’s still visible.  I hate those motherfuckers.  I have all the medicines in the world: Abreva, Releev, Carmex, Blistex, and so on.  Sometimes they work great, but this time it’s being difficult.  So I had that headache added to the mix.

Anyway, I got there and he was waiting for me.  And right away I could sense that things were going to go sour.  He just… didn’t talk much.  As in– hardly at all.  I asked him if he’d like to see another movie, and he turned to stare at the movie times for at least 5 minutes without saying a word.  So I asked him, “…anything look good?”

No response.

Then he said, “Well, the next showing (of the movie we were planning to see) is at 3:30 so that’s one and a half hours with nothing to do.”

Well alrighty then, Mr. Glass Half Empty!   So I said, “Well, surely there’s someplace we can go to spend the time.”

More silence… then, “Well, I’m sure there’s a Starbucks nearby.  In fact I think I saw one around the corner.”

So we left to grab a cup of coffee.   We went in, ordered our lattes, and found a seat by the window.  Once we got settled, we actually talked a bit and had some decent conversation.  But it didn’t last long.  After about 10 minutes, the silence started.

And it lingered… and lingered… and lingered.

He sipped his coffee.  I sipped mine.

Hello, awkward!

This roundelay of brief conversation and LONG silences happened at least four times, and each time the slience grew longer and longer.  By the third time I had already planned my escape.  There was a Chipotle across the street.  I was hungry and hadn’t eaten lunch yet.   When we finished our coffee and got up to leave, I would say I was going to run and grab a bite, rather than see the movie.

So when the moment arrived, he said he would like to walk through the Borders across the street for a while.  I gave him my Chipotle story (which wasn’t a lie– I truly was hungry).  He didn’t seem all that disappointed, and Lord knows I wasn’t either.

So we said our goodbyes and parted.

And so ends the first date I’ve had in at least 2 years.

The first thing I said to myself as I crossed the street is the title of this post: “I’m now reminded why I am still single.”  Dating sucks ass, and I hate it.  I am so much happier– so much better off being alone.  I have friends.  I have family.  That should be enough for me.  Screw the rest.  It’s not worth the effort, especially when it’s as painful as this was.

Aw but hell, who am I kidding?  I’ll try again when the time — and the guy — is right.

Maybe…

All is right with the world (for now!)

My car is fixed and running better than ever. In fact it’s like a brand-new car– the clutch is so sensitive I practically have to re-learn how to drive it!  It’s wonderful.

My sister is home from the hospital and resting peacefully.  She and the babies are healthy.  This weekend I’m taking my mom to see her, and we’re both looking forward to it.

One of my friends had a string of bad luck as well– his cat died and is iPod was stolen.  Last night my friends and I got together for his birthday and gave him his present:  a new iPod and lots of love and support. 

Bad things happen in big bunches.  But eventually, everything seems to right itself and things don’t seem so bad. 

Let’s hope that all stays right with the world from now until the end of the year (at least).  As we enter the holiday season, I think that’s all we can ask for!