Musings of a Chicago-Born New Yorker

Career

A Review of My Holidays

With all the posts I wrote about the holidays I wrote in the days leading up the the holidays, it only makes sense that I would write a post now that that the holidays are past. Well, they were pretty great.

The whole great slight altruistic idea I had would’ve been great, if only we had more time to make it happen. When December 22nd rolled around and we realized we’d never made moves to get anyone gifts, we let go of an idea that we didn’t have time for anymore.

We set a time to go shopping on Christmas Eve. I feel like hesitant, reckless, or bad drivers shouldn’t be out in the streets when there are so many people around. The fiancé falls into one of those categories. I won’t say which one. But there we were, and we managed to get all our shopping done in just over 3 hours because we rock.

We went to my parents’ house to wrap gifts and hang out a bit. Of course, they had gifts for me to wrap. My daddy made the fiancé some sort of drink that knocked him on his ass. Suffice it to say, it was a while before we headed to his parents’ house.

We got there at just the right time though, shortly before his mother arrived. Once our nieces got into their pajamas, we gathered his family so they could open their gifts. We would be at my parents’ on Christmas Day, and I wanted to get pics of them opening their gifts.

We fell asleep, as we’re apt to do, and we ended up finally back at the apartment by 3 am. We woke up only 3 hrs later so we could exchange gifts and still get ready to be at church by 8 am. The fiancé bought be lovely gifts. He got me two new charms for my charm bracelet. He first bought me the bracelet for Christmas last year. He’s been filling it up slowly but surely. He also got me 2 seasons of Leverage on DVD. Such an enabler, lol.

We went to church and then to my parents’ house. I slept a lot at my parents’ house, and then woke up so the fiancé could drive me to work. They made me a plate of the dinner I’d missed and I enjoyed that at work. Three words: Sweet potato cheesecake. It’s a real thing. It’s really delicious and it’s my new favorite.

For New Year’s Eve, we went out with the couple who’s wedding we met at. We went to Quartino’s, which is where we spent Valentine’s Day last year. We brought in the new year with a prosecco toast (the Italian’s answer to champagne). It was a lot of fun. In order to spend less at the restaurant, we had drinks and hot wings with my special sauce before hand at our apartment.

We were gonna go dancing after, but we couldn’t find parking, and the more demanding half of each of the couples, which may or may not have included me, just wanted to go home. We went back to the apartment and chatted for a bit. The husband of the couple we were with insisted on trying to play with our cat Belle. Fifteen frustrated minutes later, he finally believed me when I said she’s not like other cats.

On New Year’s Day, we went to my parents’ house. We normally have a pretty amazing seafood etc. feast that day, but mostly it’s a lowkey event. Not this year. We had all our close family who lives in town. Two sets of family friends (who are from the same family), the fiancé’s family, and a friend of my brother’s. There were 22 people there in total, which is a lot for one of my family’s gatherings.

The menu was amazing. The sweet potato cheesecake reappeared, along with crab legs as large as your arm, gumbo, german chocolate cake, lobster tails, fettucine alfredo, jumbo shrimp, black eyed peas, and much much more. The best part is that there was enough for everyone. That’s right, that means more than 20 lobster tails. We were all laid out half sleep after eating.

When we finally got around to dessert, we were barely able to make room. I was so happy I didn’t have to work, so I really got to just relax and enjoy the time with my families. How was your holidays?


I Love My Job, I Love My Job, I Love My Job

I have to repeat that to myself sometimes. I really do enjoy my job most days. I save and enhance lives through organ and tissue donation. I’ve drunk the company kool-aid. I’ve even added more sugar and a splash of vodka to help others enjoy it more. But sometimes it’s easy to forget.

1) Asshole doctors. I understand that everyone doesn’t support donation. But as dispassionate as most doctors I’ve met are, how the hell do you pick your one time to be passionate as when it comes to keeping your patients from even considering saving someone else’s life after theirs is over? Seriously, WTF?!

2) Working nights. I’m a night owl by nature. But having to live my work life during the night (and I don’t even get tips or get to wear ridiculously high heels) and my personal life during the day is taking it’s toll. I’m sleepy most of the time and unless I have 3+ days off in a row, I feel off. That means I have more days of feeling off than on. I wish there was something I could do about that.

3) I miss the fiancé. We’re both looking forward to these next two weeks he has off. No matter what day of the week I work, I’ll see him when I get home from work. We’ll be able to spend much more time together. Well, that depends on what time his gigs are, but it will still be more than it is now.

When I work three days in a row during weekdays, I don’t see the fiancé for 2-3 days. That sucks so much. I don’ t think I’ll ever get used to it. It’s just a fact of life. We make the most of our time together. Trying to make sure no parts of our relationship fall by the wayside has been quite the task.

The physical aspect just gets in where it fits in. We both love love sleep, but we’ll sacrifice it if we have to. The spiritual aspect sees us church hopping between his church and mine on my weekends off and praying each morning over the phone while I’m driving home from work. We talk on the phone as if we’re in high school, but we’re maintaining our communication and friendship.

I’m not sure I can pinpoint what we do to nurture our emotional relationship. He pays more attention to emotions than I do, but if we’re not doing anything, we’ve got to work on that. We’re far too young as a couple (we just met July 2, 2010) to settle into a rut this soon.

So for now, I’m trying to maintain building my relationship and career. And I’m telling myself, “I love my job, I love my job. I love my job.”


Long Term Borrowing

I know what some of you are thinking. You took one look at that title and figure I’m going to talk about grown-up stuff an engaged person such as myself might discuss. Possibly a mortgage, possibly student loans, possibly one last cash infusion from the parents (other than the wedding of course).

You’d be wrong. I’m talking about taking something that’s not yours with the intention of giving it back… eventually. The fiancé brought me dinner to work about a week and a half ago. He brought me food from a restaurant at a hotel we had for the night. It was the night before my bridal shower and it just made sense to sleep nearby for a few hours before heading to my shower. It maximized the time I’d have to sleep. And this hotel’s restaurant supposedly had really good food.

I requested a salad, salmon, and a drink. This drink was from their non-alcohol menu, so I didn’t worry about ordering it during a work shift. When the fiancé brought me the food, he handed me a bag with two styrofoam to-go containers in it. Then he reaches in the backseat and pulls out–

This glass definitely screams, "I had alcohol in me".

a glass. Not a styrofoam to-go cup. An actual glass that I’m sure the hotel never intended to leave the premises. Since he didn’t help with the registry besides picking our fancy china (the most important part!), he doens’t have any idea how much glasses cost these days.

But apparently I’m the Bonnie to his Clyde because I took that glass, only threw him one judgemental look, and happily took it back into the office to enjoy with my dinner. Of course my co-workers were confused as to where I just got a glass that was full of some sort of fruity drink.

That picture above is of the actual glass that I took with my Blackberry while writing this post. That hotel where we’re staying is pretty nice. It’s the perfect place to get away for a weekend, so I imagine we’ll be going back there at some point when I don’t have to work.

So eventually, we’ll take the glass back. Probably…


Men Who Don’t Stand A Chance

The fiancé and I were recently discussing people we used to date. Quite frankly, everyone says that’s something better left un-discussed. But we overshare, and we do what we want. It helps that in each of our eyes, our current partner far outweighs all the merits of anyone we’ve ever dated. So, we talk. One thing that we haven’t discussed much though is new people who pop up.

The fiancé meets more people than I do on a regular basis. He’s a teacher and a musician, and I talk on the phone all day. If someone is going to get fuck-me eyes, it’s going to be him, not me. But I forget that occasionally I do meet people who are in my life for about 2 min tops and yet leave a lasting impression. Remember the post about the police officer?

His lasting impression lasted long enough for a blog post and a laugh with the fiancé. But there have been others. These other men I meet are at work. There are a couple co-workers who give me the eye, but they’re not worth mentioning. What is worth mentioning are these ridiculous delivery guys. I know what you’re thinking. My late-night Chinese food delivery guy is hitting on me. Well, you’d be wrong.

The men who come to pick up organs and tissues that we ship all over the country for transplant and research are the ones hitting on me. I don’t know if it’s my naturally friendly smile, pretty face, or the fact that it’s late as hell at night when we cross paths, but these men are a trip. They flirt with no shame, with their smiles growing ever bigger regardless of how I respond to them.

There was “Nah, You’re Not Black” Guy. He was some sort of Middle Eastern man. I couldn’t place the accent. He told me I was very beautiful and asked for my phone number. I told him I was engaged and he told me that didn’t make me definitely off the market yet. He made a comment about “our” culture, and I told him I was black. I could’ve sworn the dreadlocks would give it away. When I wore my hair straightened, it was a mistake Arab men often made with me, but now? Seriously? His response was to give me a compliment that I didn’t look black, so at least I had that going for me. WTF?!

There was also “You’re So Sparkly and Shiny” Guy. This was a nice-looking white man in his late 40s I would guess. Looked like he could have had a daughter around my age. I was wearing a sparkly top and a headset (because I answer phone and make a lot of phone calls on my job). He watched me walk up to him with this growing smile on his face. Once I was in earshot, he said, “wow you look like Brittany Spears with that shirt and headset.” Maybe his daughter was years older than me and not living with him in years. Maybe that’s why he didn’t know that’s not a compliment to tell someone they remind you of pre-freak out Britney Spears. I don’t know if he expected me to start dancing with a snake, but I was glad to see him go.

Then there was “I Like To Watch You Breathe” Guy. When he arrived to get his package, there were several ready to go out. We weren’t sure which one was his because he had no identifying info for the package. He didn’t know where it was going or what tissue type it was. So while he called dispatch to figure it out, he stood there and stared at me. For four full minutes. I don’t know if you’ve ever had a stranger stare at you for four full minutes. But it’s quite awkward. I tried to look away or inspect the packages as if they held the answer to some mystery. But it was just… creepy.

Every couple of shifts (darn night shift), I run across one of these types of men. They seem mostly harmless, looking to encourage any friendly face they’re lucky to see in their line of work. But they are still woefully uninformed for how to talk to a nice stranger they find attractive.

The good news is I got a good blog post out of it. And who knows, this may become a series of blogs if these guys keep it up.