Monthly Archives: July 2010

My Official Pledge to be an Early Riser

As a (married) college student who slept an average of five hours or less during the last two years, this summer, the first one ever that I am not taking any classes, I have gotten into the awful habit of snoozing. Although I still have to be at my job by 9am every morning, it’s still a mystery to me how I’ve been able to sneak more sleeping time regardless of what time I’ve set up my alarm for.

For most of this summer I had been at peace with my morning habit, and some days, I even encouraged it. So much that it was barely yesterday when I found myself snoozing for 1 hour and a half! I’m still unaware of why and how I was able to hit the snooze button on my cellphone alarm every 5 minutes for a total of… (doing sloppy math with fingers) 18 times! This is when I realized that my initial morning habit of snoozing, had become a destructive one.

I woke up with a headache and my whole body felt heavy. There was no question that if it hadn’t been for my need to make money, I would have gotten back into bed for a bit longer- and probably hit the snooze button some more while at it. Once at work, my headache continued and I found myself craving caffeine and drooling over a Caramel Latte just so I could make it to the end of my 8-hour day.

Later in the day I went home and realized that just because it’s summer and I’m not in school until September, doesn’t mean that I can’t be the overachiever I’ve always been. After all, life is what we make it and if I want my life to be different, I am the only who has the power to change that. So I was resolved to never snooze again.

This morning when the alarm went off, I was almost pleased to hear the new alarm tone that I had picked the previous night. I rolled over and kissed my wife determined to wake her up this way. But she didn’t. “I’m too tired,” she said and rolled over. Before I could second think this new me, I left the bed and started to get ready to go to the gym. At this point my wife had gotten up and joined me.

I worked out, showered, started dinner in the crock pot (well, my wife did), gotten ready, made and ate breakfast and I was still about to go to work earlier than I ever do! This was a revelation. I never thought that not hitting the snooze button could lead to this much productivity. So far no headaches or coffee cravings have happened today. And what’s more, I finished in one day of work what had been taking me a whole week to finish.

So today, I welcome the hazing from getting less sleep and leaving my bed earlier than I would ever want to, because this is my official pledge to be an early riser!

Who Needs a Mom When You Have the Internet?

Families serve a tremendous functional purpose in society- yes they’re supposed to be an unconditional love and support system, but think about it- before you go to school and learn how to read, who teaches you how to tie your shoe laces, or make eggs, or drive, or clean your room? Well for most of you, the answer to all of these would be your mom, dad or both; for me however, it’s a mix that I’m still trying to comprehend.

As we were eating a cherry cake yesterday afternoon, I told my wife that we should bake a cake (we got this one from her mom- the cake, I mean) and I made the mistake to tell her that I wanted to bake because I never had that mother-daughter experience of baking. First she said “really?” with so much surprise that I had to physically contain myself from putting some of the cake in her hair just because she really deserved it. I was still polite enough to answer her question with a “no,” to which she looked at me and said proudly, “I have.” After minutes of her laughing and repeating that she was kidding (don’t quit your job to do improv, hon), we agreed that we would get some stuff from the grocery store later and bake a cake.

After that fell through due to the little time we had to spare, mainly because we had lots of cooking ahead of us, I sat in front of the computer and “Googled” my life away. See, there are certain things that I just know how to cook without giving it a second thought: Eggs, cereal and toast. But we would agree that this fantastic menu that I can come up with is not necessarily good. I don’t know if there’s anyone to blame (other than myself) for my lack of culinary skills, but when my honey puts me in charge of the asparagus (to compliment a Salmon with quinoa dinner), I turn to Google and the millions of websites it can find to tell me how to cook the damn asparagus.

The most fantastic part is that the search only takes seconds, and if I’m lucky enough, my results will include a YouTube video to make my life easier. And that’s how I found out that you need to trim the asparagus, put on a skillet with a cup of water, add some butter on top, and let it boil 6 to 8 minutes.

This may not be much to all those of you who were lucky enough to gain knowledge and experience from the older ones in your clan, but for those like me who are still trying to figure out how to cook pasta (shhhh!), the Internet is just about the best thing that happened to us. And when I finally make the time to bake that cake, the whole process will start with typing “funfetti cake recipe” into a search box, and Enter.

Feels Like A Monday

As I take another sip of my Caramel Latte while typing my life away, I realize that Mondays are not too bad as people usually think they are, or at least not for me, and certainly not today. It’s just another day at the office and although I would much rather be sitting outside, praying for rain, adding some dollars to my paycheck for the next six hours isn’t a bad alternative.

There isn’t a time that I don’t think that the weekends are not long enough (they never are! Really). And I think that it must always feel like this when you work Monday through Friday. But I have to admit, that this is better than working any night or any holiday- specially tending to people who hate you for no reason at all. That’s the funny thing about customer service, no matter how nice you are during your whole shift, there will always be that one a**hole who almost seems to be making an effort to wipe the smile off your face, even when you’re there just to please them.

Although today is Monday and the work week is just beginning (aiming a gun at my head), today I’m thankful because I don’t have to fake a smile, clean someone’s mess, put up with someone’s rudeness, or be treated like I’m worth nothing and my life is a waste. But if you do go out today, make sure to be nice to the cashiers, the kid at the movie theater, the waitress at the restaurant you go to have lunch with coworkers, and any personal in general that does something for you- even if they’re getting paid for it. A little niceness won’t kill you and who knows, you might make someone’s day.

Single Life Sucks

When my wife told me about two weeks ago that she would be going away this weekend, I didn’t realize that my world as I knew it would change radically. It all started when I dropped her off at the airport on Thursday night. I never realized how lonely you could feel driving a car without a hand to hold or a reason to not turn your radio on. That night I made my way home in one of the quietest drives I’ve ever had. Once I got home, I sat in my room for hours trying to adjust to this new and unwanted situation.

See, once you get used to spending most of your time with that someone you love, you also get used to having them there for you. You no longer have to make endless calls on Friday nights trying to figure who’s free and willing to hang out with you. Or wondering what you’re gonna do for dinner because cooking for one is just an impossible task. Or how you really wanna go to that one movie but no one else seems to want to see it too and there’s no way on earth that you’re going by yourself.

Since she left I’ve eaten chips and salsa for dinner, KitKats for breakfast, watched the first and second seasons of Friday Night Lights (currently on the third one), take naps without being tired, leave work early- and I need to stop this list because if I continue, I might finally convince myself that I’m more of a loser than I think I am.

Before her, I was fine being with myself. I could just spend a whole weekend doing nothing at all or doing it all and being at peace with that. But now that I’m without her, I feel incomplete and nothing seems right (as corny as that sounds). My only consolation prize is that she’ll be back tomorrow and I won’t have to feel incomplete again (or lonely or lost or…). Tomorrow I’ll have my better half back, and I can go back to normal me; the one who actually showers and eats more than chips and salsa for dinner.

But for now, I’ll go back to watching the show (nothing like watching small town people make a big deal out of everything to feel better about yourself) while entertaining the idea of getting some donuts to feed my emotional eating cravings.

I miss you, honey.

The AIM Catastrophe

When I’m at my dead-end job week after week after week, one of the things that helps me get through the day is being able to chat with my wife through AIM. This way we are able to coordinate “tea breaks” and lunches, make jokes about the whiny girl who seats a few feet to my right, and my personal favorite, talk inappropriately to each other.

I still remember that when we first started IMing each other at work, we had agreed that we had to have very proper conversations; so we used to address each other in the most professional way (i.e. Good morning coworker, how do you do?). But when that got a little tiresome, topics about her getting under my desk and how last night was so amazing that we should try again increased by the days. Of course, there’s no way she could actually get under my desk and go unnoticed (however ideas are welcomed), but just being able to take my head off work for a few minutes throughout the day makes these conversations priceless.

Now thankfully, for our financial situations sake, our computer activity isn’t being monitored yet (that we’re aware of), but from time to time, there’s always the one manager that wants you to show them how to do something, and your AIM window is open with the last conversation reading something between the lines of “I really like it when I’m on top.” For the most part, I have been able to sense when someone is walking directly to my cubicle, having enough time to scramble with the mouse to make my little chat window disappear. So that isn’t really a problem at all. However, IMing something to the managers that was meant for my wife is starting to become a trend- a very scary one. It doesn’t happen all the time, and I have to be really tired to make the silly mistake, but when I get messages from my managers that range from “huh?” to “what are you talking about?” I realize that I need to be more careful if I want to keep my job (and hers).

The first accident happened when I IMed “ekjfbpoiuqeftu893p4bt3k gkehrftui23hr5” to one of my managers. Had my wife gotten that, she would have known I was trying to say that I’m confused and she’s not making any sense (I’m weird, don’t judge me), but instead, I get a little confused emoticon from a manager who’s probably thinking that I’m doing something very inappropriate in my desk- lucky for me, she didn’t come to check.

Then it was the time that I IMed “We’re leaving at 2.18 fyi. Let’s hurry so we have enough time ;)” to a different manager- the only one in the office who happens to know about our relationship. So did she know what I was referring to? Well, she has a bachelor’s in English so she is probably very good at reading between the lines. I’m just glad that she didn’t make a big deal about it and that for once, I left out the “bow chicka wow wow” part.

As far as our conversations go, I’m not sure if we’ll stop being inappropriate anytime soon- I have one of the most boring jobs in the planet, hence why I’m writing this entry from the office. But at least I’ve had enough scares now to be a little more careful and double check who I’m sending my messages to.

The Kids Are All Right: And so is the Family

When I first saw the trailer of the movie “The Kids are All Right” which is opening on July 23rd, I must admit that my feelings were mixed about what this movie would mean to the gay community as a whole. I haven’t seen the movie yet but after finding the following comment to a discussion about the movie in the New York Times, my feelings are now a little more defined:

baltimore, md
July 21st, 2010 10:21 pm
Gay families? What’s a gay family?
Hollywood may deal in fantasy, but in the
real world the only real family is man, wife
and children, the children conceived and
nurtured by male father and female mother.
The gay part is merely a diversion, not
applicable to real life. Movies about gay
families are merel illusion.

Prior to meeting my wife, I had little knowledge about what I could expect in life from being a lesbian. At one point I even started to believe the people who would tell me that I’d end up alone- I mean, it makes sense; being gay is just a phase anyway, right?* But then I met my wife’s aunts- Yep, as in two lesbians who are committed to each other.

They have been married (got married in Canada) over 20 years ago and have a 12 year-old son. They are the most functional family I have ever met. Yes they have problems like all of us, but they’re my role models. I can only wish to be half as good to my wife as they are to each other.

They are stable- something that I’m sure my divorced parents would envy for life. But they’re not great because they’re lesbians, they’re great because they LOVE each other. I’m not making a case for lesbian families here, I’m making a case for a family. Same-sex couples are not the reason why families are being destroyed- It’s people in general why this happen. People that marry someone for money, or looks, or other situation other than love, respect and committment.

This movie disappoints me, but I’ll still go see it Sunday night to make sure my feelings are justified. I just wish Hollywood had something better to say about us than that we are desperately wanting to meet our child’s donor so we can cheat on our partners. It just saddens me. We deserve better than that.

As far as “Rimantas” goes, I wonder if he’s ever heard of single-parent families… but I guess since there isn’t a man (or woman, whatever the case) in that picture, then it’s definitely not a family.

*My mom told me that this was just a phase in 2006. I told her she was wrong. I hope she’s no longer waiting for the phase to be over.

Baby Steps: Betrayal

I got home from work earlier than usual that day. I was surprised to see my mom’s car in the driveway of the house I shared with my roommate, Alex. As I opened the front door, I double checked my phone hoping to find a missed call from my mother where she had announced her visit, but there were no missed alerts. I walked into an empty living room growing weary of the situation and feeling an increased fear that something had to be wrong because things seemed so out of place.

I reached for the bedroom door knowing that I had been quiet enough that my presence was still unknown to anyone in the house. I was able to open the door a little before Alex jumped to close the door on me. I was only able to see my mom sitting in front of the computer that Alex and I shared. “What’s going on?” I yelled to the door. I was asked to wait in the living room.

I took my shoes off and walked back to the kitchen. I was going to get some water and rethink the scenario. They were dressed as I expected them to be. It never crossed my mind that there was something going on between them- and yes, Alex was a much older guy. But to find them on the computer was worse than finding them naked. I skipped the water and sat on the couch.

“This is it,” I thought. There was only one possible reason as to why they were in the room, looking at the computer. And if I was right, that meant that Alex had betrayed our friendship. It meant that I had been thrown into a cold river with no warming or mercy. But this was just the beginning; the worse was yet to come.

Will continue…

Fireworks Aren’t What They Used to Be

My wife* was sitting about four inches away from me. My in-laws and their friends were sitting around us. The fireworks were loud and colorful as usual. For years this 4th of July ritual filled me with happiness and hope. I always used to sorta get lost with the noise and pretend that I was watching the fireworks next to someone I love. This time, I just had to pretend that the someone I love was my friend and nothing else.

This wasn’t my first time meeting the in-laws but every time gets more interesting than the prior one. We decided it would be a good idea to come down to Arizona and relax for a week, while my mother-in-law decided that a pool party on the 4th of July was what we needed. My idea of relax is certainly different from hers. Don’t get me wrong, a pool party DOES sound nice, but not when a bunch of people I’ve never met before are coming. Actually, scratch that, I’ll take the strangers- but when I have to be “the friend” to please the strangers, that’s another deal.

Every one introduces themselves and their spouses and their kids and the grandchildren… while I’m just a friend. But here’s the thing, I’m not just a friend. I’m proud of my girl and the same way these strangers like to talk about how their kids went to Sweden, I wanna talk about how my girl and I are going to UCLA and how we got a new apartment and whatever else we’re going through with our lives. Okay maybe I didn’t care that much to talk about ourselves, I just wanted to hold my wife’s hand while watching the fireworks.

Maybe next year will be different. There’s always next year.

* Technically, we’re only partners, but she’s my wife whether the state, country or world recognizes us as such or not.

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