Sunday, March 16, 2008

Getting Out

After five weeks of playing nurse, dealing with all the stress and b.s. at work and being trapped in the crowded city, we finally made it up to Vermont for the weekend but it was anything but a smooth ride up. When we were only 10+ miles into our 160 mile ride Friday night we got a flat tire. Really?, a flat tire?, I must be joking right? My week/month/year hasn't been bad enough? At least it was still light out (thank you daylight savings) and we were close enough to call for help because you don't think it would be a simple tire change do you?

B and I struggled to change the tire because we couldn't get the locking lug off. B was bending, lifting, straining and probably setting his recovery back at least a week trying to get the damn thing unlocked. We just had the front breaks done a couple of weeks ago and they must have put the locking lugs on with an air gun in addition to the key looking a little stripped. I ended up walking to a gas station to get fix-a-flat ($13 for 2 cans) but we couldn't drive another 150 miles with just fix-a-flat. We ended up limping to a gas station and having B's Dad come up with some tools so we could try to get the locking lug off and change the tire but it wouldn't budge.

B ended up having his Dad drive him to the hardware store so he could buy a plug kit, he plugged the hole, filled it with air and then we were finally on our way - only a few hours behind schedule. Plugging a tire is so easy and can save you a lot of money for a simple tire puncture. We carry the plugs when we're on the ATVs in the woods with a small compressor we plug into the lighter but they work just as good on a car or truck if you have access to air.

We had friends go up early in the day so they had the wood stove and the hot tub cranking by the time we got there. I was finally able to breathe fresh air deep into my lungs and wake up to lightly fallen snow and wind chimes instead of sirens, horns, and bus brakes squealing. I was glad we had friends up so they could stay at the camp and keep B company for the day while I went riding Saturday.

It was the first time I ever went riding without B and I've been riding for about 15 years (driving my own sled since '97). I felt a little guilty going out all day but B had friends to keep him entertained and there are only so many days left to ride. Spring is only a week away and the trails officially close on April 15th. It felt great to be out on the trails but it was weird without B. My "other boyfriend" GP (one of the guys that was with us when B broke his back) went riding with me and every time we stopped and took a break we kept saying "f'n B had to go and break his back and ruin our season. What the hell was he thinking? He should be here with us. Poor B."

I definitely missed out on the best snow conditions the past month. Our ride was a bit slushy and mushy with some snirt and mud thrown in here and there. There were a couple of miles in the higher elevations that did have some pristine stretches of trail so I was able to get my fix before it all melts and I have to start counting the days until next season.

It was rejuvenating to get out and clear my head. When I got back to the camp they had a bonfire going (after finding and shoveling out the fire pit) and the most amazing steaks cooking on the grill. I was so happy to get up there, go riding and finally enjoy myself a little.
Too bad the weekends are so short. I hope you were able to get out and enjoy your weekend.

Is it Friday yet?

Thursday, March 13, 2008


I am stunned, shocked and dazed! My boss called me in his office 15 minutes before quitting time to tell me he was parting ways with the firm. I have worked for this guy for the past 9+ years and he has been with the firm for over 20 years. He just told me earlier in the week that his wife was having a baby so I assumed he decided to get a life and get out of there so I was excited for him and asking where he was going and what he planned on doing. I felt like an *ss when the office manager walked in with a box of files and only then realized he was not leaving on his own accord, he was not going to be there a few weeks to do status memos and withdraw from all his cases, he was just being forced out of the firm right there and then.

Like everything else in that office, it is all very hush hush but it wasn't necessary to basically treated him like a criminal after he worked there for more than 20+ years. They changed all the system passwords and locked him out of his e-mail and calendar and basically escorted him out of the building in less than 30 minutes. This is just not the way these things are done in normal law firms. I remember when I left a firm after 6 years - they had a party, gifts, well wishes and my bosses even wrote and sung a song about me. They were sorry to see me leave but happy for me and showed their appreciation for all the hard work we accomplished over the years. I know when I leave this place there will be no party and as much as they may appreciate me now they will talk all sorts of smack about me when I'm gone. That is how they are. They do it to everyone that leaves no matter how good a lawyer, paralegal, legal assistant they are or how long and hard they have worked for the firm.

People think I'm exaggerating when I tell stories about my office. When I talk to friends who used to work there they brag about life being so much better on the outside. I have been thinking of leaving for a long time and actually went on an interview last week but the big problem is I cannot afford to take a cut in pay right now and I do get "combat" pay because otherwise nobody would stay in such a vile workplace.

I'm feeling trapped because until B recovers from his injury and gets a job I just can't take the pay cut. Not only would I have to take over a $10k reduction in salary but I will lose vacation time and other benefits. I'm so tired of living the life of an urban dwelling wage slave. I envy people who love their jobs and don't have to deal with abusive people on a day to day basis.

I believe in karma and I know someday these people will have to pay for their actions and misdeeds but that doesn't make it any easier to watch them use and abuse people. I've since spoken to my boss who was forced to resign and I think he is actually relieved. He said he never would have had the balls to quit that place and he had been miserable for years so they probably did him a favor but they certainly didn't go about it the right way. He knows he will end up in a better place like everyone else that has left over the years.

I have absolutely no respect for most of the people in my firm and I have to bite my tongue every single day and hold back from saying what is on my mind. I feel I'm on the verge of losing it and just quiting one of these days but it would be even worse to not have a paycheck.

Is it Friday yet?

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Spring Ahead ...

Most people here in the Northeast look forward to spring, they are sick of the cold weather, they are sick of shoveling snow, they are sick of the heavy coats, scarfs, gloves and all the winter gear they need to pile on everyday but I'm not usually one of them. I have always loved the winter and will wish for a good blizzard or nor'easter. The more snow the better.

I love the way the snow softens the sounds of the city and puts a pure coat of white over the dirty streets making them seem safe and serene. I love to get out and play in the snow more than anything else and most winter weekends I am doing something in the snow. We used to spend our weekends skiing at one Vermont mountain or another where we would always have a great story to tell about some secret trail, a good wipe out or crazy lift ride. As long as nobody gets hurt it is always a blast to spend the day on the mountains. We would fly down some crazy black diamond trails and yell at each other to "go big or go home," or "if you ain't scared, you ain't skiing downhill." I even started snowboarding the past few years and spent lots of time on my *ss but loved every single sore minute of it.

The past few years we have done less skiing and snowboarding and more snowmobiling. We would anxiously await the weekend forecast and pray for fresh snow so we could plan our weekend rides around the best areas. The past few years we've had to trailer the sleds for miles to find the good snow but this year we were blessed and could take advantage of the trails in our own back yard. Cruising down the trials and in the woods on my snowmobile relaxes me, thrills me and gets my heart pumping like nothing else.

When I'm riding I'm not thinking about my stressful job or my battle of the bulge, I'm not thinking of how much weight I need to lose or the size of my thighs, I'm not thinking about all the housework that I need to do or the bills that need to get paid, I'm not thinking about anything except the trail ahead and taking in as much of the amazingly breathtaking scenery as I can. I have perm-a-grin all day long under that helmet and sleep like a baby after a good 150-200 mile day-long ride.

This past month has been incredibly tough because not only have I been playing nurse to B who broke his back but I haven't been able to take advantage of one of the best snowmobile seasons in the past decade. The riding this past month has been pristine and I have been stuck in the dirty, crowded, noisy city trying not to get too depressed about missing out. I'm jealous of everyone out there ripping up the trails and taking advantage of the white gold that finally found its way back to the great white north.

Every year on this day I would be hoping we still get a few of those big spring snowstorms to improve the trail conditions enough to get us through to the end of the season (April 15th) but this year I just want it to be over. I don't want to have to shovel it and deal with the cold if I can't have the joy of going out and playing in it.

Now I know how people who hibernate all winter feel. They just wait for those longer days and rejoice at the site of melting snow. I'm sad to say that I have reluctantly joined that group this year. I'm forced to look forward to next winter when my riding partner is back in the saddle and can join me on the trail again.

I'm not happy about it but I'm springing ahead ...

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Big Girls Don't Cry

But I do. I can't seem to stop the tears once they start no matter how much I want to be strong, tough, thick skinned and assertive. Ever since I was a little girl I have always been overly sensitive and the tears will flow over the smallest things. Even when I'm mad as hell and want to fight and yell, which I do on occasion, I usually end up crying and can't seem to figure out how the hell to prevent it or stop the tears and toughen up. I hate to let people see me cry but I just can't control it. I need to figure out how to toughen up and shield myself with thicker skin and not these layers of fat. Am I trying to insulate myself? I need to find a way to control my emotions and the flood of tears so I don't feel like a blubbering idiot all the time. I'm 40 years old but still cry like a baby.

I have been trying to do some soul searching so I can find the reason behind the weight. What is keeping me fat? What is it that I keep trying to stuff down my throat? Why can't I find a way to let it all out and get control of my emotions? Why do I feel so out of control and taken advantage of in many situations? People keep telling me it doesn't pay to be nice, I shouldn't be so generous, I should just look out for myself but that doesn't seem right to me. I want to have control of my emotions and not feel like the dam is ready to burst at the drop of a hat, spilled milk or whatever trivial thing that sets me off.

I wonder if everything always has to go back to development and childhood years? I don't think I need to sit on a couch and tell a stranger about my mother and father? I'm sure I could entertain them with some crazy stories - at least the ones I actually remember - and could do my part to help them pay for a fancy new car or vacation home. I know I would never be able to get any closure because the few times I've brought up certain things to my mother she'll insist it never happened and I don't know what I'm talking about. I can be absolutely sure of some of my memories because my brother has the same ones but she'll tell us we don't know what we're talking about and will say "that never happened."

She has convinced herself that we had a perfect childhood and I don't think she can admit to some of things she did. I realize she was raising two kids by herself but it wouldn't hurt to admit that she wasn't always the perfect mother and we certainly did not have a perfect childhood.

I'm starting to think that the reason why I never wanted to have kids is because I didn't want to mess them up. I had a pretty messed up childhood and blocked out so many events. Do I really need to dig all that stuff up to get healthy? I remember reading a passage in Mitch Albom's book the Five People You Meet in Heaven that makes me wonder if I'll ever be able to put all the pieces back together.

He wrote:

All parents damage their children. It cannot be helped. Youth, like pristine
glass, absorbs the prints of its handlers. Some parents smudge, others
crack, a few shatter childhoods completely into jagged little pieces, beyond

Will I ever be able to get control of my emotions or am I shattered beyond repair?


Clarification/Update: I'm not talking about depression although life certainly gets me down sometimes and every woman knows that there are certain times when the moon is right we are more sensitive than others. I'm talking about getting overly emotional in everyday life. I can be feeling fine and having a great day and then tear up over an unintentional comment or thoughtless remark. I just feel as if my emotions are always so raw and right on the surface for everyone to see. I can't seem to hide the fact that I'm upset and when I allow people see how much they get to me it is so frustrating.

I want to be able to get mad and fight without all the waterworks. I want to be able to have an argument or express my emotions without the river of tears. I caught the end of Dirty Dancing this afternoon and starting bawling from the time Johnny came in and said "Nobody puts Baby in a corner," all the way through 'til the end of the movie. I can't even watch a stupid sappy 80's movie without making my make-up run.