Time Elapses

All weekend I have been meaning to write about last weekend, and now this weekend is almost over.

Right now I am sitting in Carl’s kitchen while some French horn playing is going on and Carl is making a ton of cookies for his clients. I have weighed in on the important issue of the oatmeal-to-raisins ratio, and have also given a lecture titled “I Know The KitchenAid Is Cool But It’s A Lot Easier To Do This By Hand, I Assure You.” I have participated on a fact-finding mission concerning How Much More Butter We Need. This is a lot of cookies. It’s awesome.

The big project this weekend was Getting Organized. I’m not even halfway through, it’s awful. I am terrible about managing my money, as the good people who send me the overdraft charges can tell you. Taxes? Same thing. Same thing with bills, with my freaking student loans that I will be paying probably even after I die, everything. Since I graduated from college I’ve kept all my records in this little portable file cabinet…by “kept” I mean, of course, “thrown them in there in no discernable order and often without even reading.” So yesterday while at the U bookstore I got a crate and a box of recycled hanging folders and went to town.

The only reason I stayed with it as long as I did was because Carl brought over his fancy label maker, which has completely won the 2002 Chiara Award for Best Gadget. After labeling all the folders, I began labeling the bulk flour, the shelves, the bathroom door. I escaped labeling the cats and my own body parts (“Left Elbow,” “Clavicle That I Broke in 1985.”) but only because I went out to dinner. So, people of the world, if you are feeling sad and blue and can’t afford therapy, I highly recommend investing in a label maker, as it is guaranteed fun for the whole family.

Speaking of therapy (and of smooth segues) I had my first client at the new externship on Thursday. I can’t talk about clients on the internet, even though no one reads this journal, but I can talk about how utterly, thoroughly, and completely incompetent I felt meeting with this person. I haven’t seen clients since May. I haven’t practiced any of those basic social work skills, like the ones where you try not to babble ceaselessly and thereby alienate this person who, you know, came to you for help. It felt really weird. I think I ended the session better than I started, so that’s good at least. We’ll see how it goes.

Oooh, the French horn players just started playing a trio in the living room of Carl’s house. I have to say I enjoy horn music much more than I enjoy horn practice.

So, let’s see. I have a job interview on Friday at a Large Mental Health Agency. I’m sort of scared. I’m glad I got an interview, at least. I’m scared because of the reputation of this LMHA, which is sort of…how can I say this gently…not known for being therapist-friendly? I have never been there but a lot of my classmates had their practicums (practica?) there. I don’t know what it will be like. I guess I shouldn’t worry until I have the job, right? Right. So I’ll keep everyone ( hi Mom!) updated on that.

And speaking of jobs, and even smoother segues, Carl got a new job. He’s going to be IT Director of one of the companies that hired him when he was running his own company, which is a very long story and not really mine to tell. It means that he gets to get out of the basement and can do more of the stuff he really likes to do, so that’s cool. That’s very cool, actually. And remember last time when I was being all snarky that he was going out with another man on Valentine’s Day? Yeah, well, it was with the guy who offered him the job. So there you go, shows you what I know. Anyway, good job, Carl. I will miss calling you from work and asking you to run over to my house and check if I put the Neufchatel cheese back into the fridge.

So, that’s this past week. I had Monday off last weekend and had a great time all four days, which included going to see Gosford Park which features many many of my art-house girlfriends and boyfriends (hi Kristin!) as well as some great understated costumes; taking a walk to the Arboretum; having a wonderful dinner on Saturday night at a swanky restaurant; going to Archie McPhee, and buying a couple of plastic tropical fish from the plastic tropical fish bin…by the way, I can confidently state that if you want to go on a fully kick-ass date, you must immediately go to Archie McPhee. That’s all there is to it. If you are dating someone…or even married to someone…and they haven’t gone with you to this store, clearly they do not love you. Your vows are a sham. You’re living a lie.

And Speaking Of Love (hoo hoo! Three segues!)…so, in between going to the KAVU sale, which netted me a very nice pair of corduroys, thanks for noticing, and the aforementioned Store You Must Go On A Very Fun Date To, Carl and I stopped into a little sandwich place for lunch. They make their own bread there and it’s very good. Right across the street from where his new office is going to be. Mmm. Anyway, there was this sort of creepy balloon-animal-making guy there. Making balloons for kids, doing his thing. As I passed him on the way to the sandwich line, he stopped me and gave me a blue balloon bear holding a yellow balloon daisy. Pretty nice as balloon animals go, if of course you’re into that sort of thing, but I’m not really in the market right now for a balloon animal. But whatever, he gave it to me, so I got a turkey and swiss and a balloon bear-with-daisy and went on with my life.

So I was having such a good day (and such a good sandwich) and was feeling so happy to be out and about with some new corduroys and my sweetheart…and just at that moment, Carl turned and gave me a little kiss. I know. I know…it’s gross, it’s PDA, I don’t condone it. I think the kiss was on the forehead, but still. Bad. Bad kissing in public. But apparently Balloon Guy was all over it because he…he brought over a big red balloon heart that featured a blue balloon bear with a yellow balloon daisy clinging to it. Brought it over, and said, “I think this is more appropriate for you two. Happy Valentine’s Day.”

Okay, so that’s cheesy, but it was fine. Whatever, you kiss in public and you get called lovebirds and then you get a balloon. But then! Then, he picked up the previous bear-with-daisy he’s given me, and gave it to this other girl sitting nearby, saying airily, “And this one is more appropriate for someone who is alone.”

Oh man. I felt so bad. This girl…who, incidentally, was sitting with another girl, so she wasn’t alone at all…looked at him in horror, as is only natural. I went over to her table as we got up to go, and she was very cool and funny about it, saying that she had wondered what kind of a loser she was, and now she knew. We agreed it was important…no, crucial, to understand where one stood on the Balloon Animal Hierarchy. “I have only a bear, ” she said, “So clearly I am a loser.” “Yes, ” I said, framing my face with the gigantic balloon heart, “this that I have right here is clearly not the balloon of a loser. No. No loser here at all.”

So there you go…my weekend, both my weekends, and the intervening week. It’s been pretty nice around here lately, even with job stress and freaking out about money and having clients again, even with the general wigging out (“What am I doing? What’s my purpose in life? Why am I here? What am I doing with you? WHO AM I?”). I am going to have some cookies now.

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