Monday, July 26, 2010


I just got off the phone with the unemployment hotline. Again. This time my hold time was about 45 minutes. That gave me enough time to study for 30 minutes on the treadmill, take a quick shower and study some more. Not quite enough time to repedicure my sorry looking toenails though.

Aaaanyway, I talked to a lovely woman named Sharon. I'd like to take a quick second and say really nice things about the customer service skills and pleasantness of the two people I've talked to on the unemployment hotline. I'm pretty sure they deal with negativity all day and they really were delightful to work with. Now back to the story. So when I called last Tuesday I was told that it was in the hands of the supervisor and should be resolved imminently. I just realized most of you don't know the situation. When my base closed at the end of April I became eligible for unemployment. Since I started school May 3, my eligibility was questioned by the unemployment powers that be. At the end of June I had an appeals hearing where it was decided I was eligible after all. It's the end of July and my status is still POSTPONED and I have received no money.

I called back today, since it had been a week. I was told since it was an amendment instead of a reversal it had to go through a different department for which I could not be provided contact information, though a supervisor could call me back in about 48 hours. I was not thrilled with this recourse and asked Sharon if there was anything else I could do. She put me on hold to talk to her supervisor. As I was on hold I mentally composed the expose I was going to send to 9 News about the broken unemployment system in Colorado.

When Sharon got back on the line, she informed me I should receive a letter of decision by the end of the month. I read her the letter of decision I had received at the end of June. She was stumped but did what she could, which involved putting me on a list for the supervisor to call me back(in 2 days)and assuring me the supervisor was on it.

Stupidly, I am once again hopeful, though skeptically hopeful, which feels like an oxymoron. Now I'm going to put the finishing touches on my 4th Step and paint my sorry ass toenails.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Life as I Know It

If courage is being afraid of something but doing it anyway, is there a word for being lazy but doing stuff anyway? Because that pretty much sums up my life lately. In the past I was never willing to admit, even to myself, that I am lazy. It's a very shameful thing to be lazy in my family and America in general. So I'd hide the laziness under overachieving. But now, in order to live my life successfully, to achieve the goals I've set for myself, I actually have no time to be lazy. I get up early and go to school. After school I study. For hours. Then I work. Then I work out. Then I have a few hours to sleep before it starts all over again. Tomorrow I have an entire day off. I can lay around all day and do absolutely nothing. But I know that won't happen. I'll go to a meeting and the gym where I'll study while I do my cardio. Then I will put the finishing touches on my research paper, make a lot of flashcards and study some more. I may even work on some end of semester projects. So I guess "day off" is really a relative term for me for the next couple of years. It's a really different life from laying around in hotel rooms for hours on end.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Profoundly Happy Most of the Time

My life is really good. And I honestly believe that's primarily due to the fact that I quit drinking, found my way to AA and made my sobriety a priority in my life. Let me explain.

The twelve steps, in my opinion, are basically a guide for life. When I was drinking I wasn't really a productive member of society. By that I mean I was a taker and I was a victim. I didn't add much good to the world. And I was so pessimistic. Though I always said, 'I'm not a cynic, I'm a realist.' The truth is, I wanted the world to suck, so it did.

Then at the end of April 2008, I drank myself into a corner. I went to rehab to save my job. Turns out I'm actually an alcoholic, though it took a while for me to really accept that. But once I did, I got a sponsor, and with her guidance, I worked the twelve steps. And they have completely changed me. I don't want to be miserable anymore. And, to quote one of us, I am profoundly happy most of the time. If I wasn't, why would I want to be sober? At least when I was drinking, I could block out the pain I created while I was drinking. But working the steps removed the source of the pain, so there's no need to escape anymore.

Is everything perfect? No. But I know how to deal with life in a way to make most situations better rather than worse. Do I do this perfectly? Not hardly. I would still really like things to be the way I want them. But again, I can deal if they're not, sometimes with more grace than whining. I'm working on making the whining period shorter.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

An Open Letter to a Jail-bound Starlet

Sure, a jail sentence seems like a bad thing. But this could be a great opportunity for you. Let's just say, hypothetically, that you have a problem with drugs and/or alcohol. A brief stint in jail will get you away from the bars, the clubs, your friends, your family. You can focus on yourself without all of the distractions. You can figure out what brought you to your present circumstances. Sure, you can blame others and make excuses (but that doesn't really seem to be working anymore) OR you could take responsibility for your choices and actions and make a few changes in your life. Because, I've learned it's true what they say: if you keep doing what you're doing, you will keep getting what you're getting, which at the moment, is jail time and lawsuits. If that is your goal, by all means continue, but if it's not, you have options.

Here's something that helped me: When I went to rehab, I didn't think alcohol was my problem. I had a lot of problems, but drinking was separate. I just liked to have a good time and be social. I don't know when "having a good time" became throwing up, falling down and passing out in random locations every night. I don't know when "being social" became drinking alone at home watching the Disney channel. It doesn't really matter. The one thing that became perfectly clear to me was once I started drinking I couldn't stop until I was unconscious and I had zero control over the events that followed. And you know all that bad stuff that kept happening to poor me? It stopped happening right around the time I quit drinking and started working the steps. Coincidence? I don't think so.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Home, God and Country

I was lucky enough to spend the holiday weekend in Missouri with my family. The boyfriend was lucky(?) enough to come with me. I actually enjoyed myself despite the heat and 10,000% humidity. How humans can actually live there is a mystery to me. The positives of Missouri include: legal fireworks, homemade cobbler made with local fresh picked blackberries, and homemade ice cream.

Short detour re: the ice cream. My health-food and exercise loving parents are now living in the land of the super big gulp and pie at every meal. Consequently, they tweaked grandma's homemade ice cream recipe a little to make it nonfat. We made some and took it to an Independence Day party yesterday and people loved it. It's the most amazing nonfat ice cream ever. Tastes just like real ice cream, only a little fluffier. We could be Ben & Jerry for the health conscious crowd. We'll be billionaires!!!
Back to reality, while around my house it's a passive aggressive scavenger hunt, it was a scavenger hunt of a different kind in Missouri. God bless my right wing family.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Passive Aggressive Scavenger Hunt

It appears the roommate is not over it. Before she left town for the holiday weekend, she labeled random things in the kitchen. This has turned into a pretty entertaining game. :)