Saturday, March 18, 2006
The Russells live in what the real estate agents would call a “charming, vintage” building. It’s a lot older and it’s not very kept up. They live on the third floor.
There is a stairwell in the back from their apartment down past the other two and into the basement. It looks very much like an enclosed fire escape; wooden stairs, cement block walls, not many windows. The back of the Russells apartment is their kitchen. Their kitchen, like most people’s, is where the majority of garbage accumulates. There is a tall garbage can and a tall recycle can.
The huz is pretty good about taking out the garbage. He seems not to mind the walk down three flights outside and to the dumpster. The Parakeet may have to get it bagged up sometimes. And she pretty much ALWAYS has to put the new bags in, but the Huz can get it to the dumpster. Or so she thought.
When the Huz was in Panama, the Parakeet was cleaning somewhat maniacally. She bagged up three bags of garbage and opened the back door to the creaky staircase. She almost fell over at the sight that greeted her: a mound of garbage! 9 bags to be exact. She made three trips down to the dumpster that morning, laughing all the way. For maybe a month, that was the estimate she came up with based on the volume of trash, Huz had only been throwing the bags on to the back porch.
She couldn’t even be mad, because it was so funny. All this time, she thought he was so helpful.
When he returned from faraway lands, she wondered if it was even worth mentioning. As they were catching up, discussing their weeks, she casually said, “I took out nine bags of garbage while you were gone.” The color instantly rose in his cheeks.
“Really?” he smirked.
“uh-huh” She replied.
“Well……..I was gonna…..I haven’t really been out there so much……”
And they just laughed. Luckily, neither the Parakeet or the Huz are anywhere near the status of clean freak. So, it was honestly, just too too funny.
Monday, March 20, 2006
She Should Know…
She should know by now. She should know that it takes caffeine. When you don’t work ’till noon and you think you want to accomplish something in the morning, a good two cups of coffee are required. This fact has been proven time and time again.
This morning the Parakeet dawdled, to use a word of her youth, like she had not dawdled in ages. Since the Huz left well before seven for Toledo, Ohio, she did not even get out of bed until nearly 8:45. Then, she did….oh nothing, until getting in the shower at 10:00. The shower was extremely long because she thought about everything she could do today, everything she might actually want to do today, and everything she HAD to do today. She thought and got distracted and thought again and shaved her legs and thought and washed her hair and almost fell asleep resting her head on the windowsill and finally got out of the bathroom at 10:45!. Then she gulped down the two cups of coffee, got dressed, blew her hair dry, packed a lunch, walked the dog and left for work by 11:10.
The things we are capable of when the pressure is on. The things we can do when we start with caffeine. IF the Parakeet had drank the two cups of coffee immediately upon waking, she would have made some adjustments to the pilot episode of her hit tv show, got a headshot in the mail to the Goodman, and protested a parking ticket she got last week.
Instead, she will think about those things….ALL….DAY…LONG.
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
The Parakeet has to pee. The only other female at her job took the key down to the trading floor. She must wait until 3:15. If you note the time of this post, you will say, “oh, she only has 8 minutes…that’s fine.” Well, she first realized the key was missing at 1:45ish. The time when she had finished a can of Diet Sprite. Waiting on the key is starting to give her anxiety, which is unfortunate, because the Parakeet is prone to anxiety and didn’t need any help in that department. If you have ever felt nervous and just couldn’t sit still, you can relate to the Parakeet’s current predicament.
If any comments appear concerning certain incidents in the Parakeet’s past that may or may not pertain to the situation at hand, she will be forced to delete them. Consider yourself lucky to have heard those stories and mature enough not to share them.
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
The Parakeet went to school in Dallas, Texas. She grew up in Lake Mary, Florida. The drive between the two is nearly 18 hours and alternates between hideous and gorgeous. 75N to Lake City, 10W forever through Pensacola, Mobile, New Orleans, 49N through northern Louisiana and st Shreveport you catch 20W into big D-town. It’s a nice two day trip with a stop in Louisiana or Pensacola.
After finishing her first year, the Parakeet had planned to spend the summer back in Lake Mary with the folks. The folks decided they wanted to take a trip to Northern California. Fine. So…the Parakeet needed to get herself home. After much discussion and unnecessary complications, it was decided that Dad and the Parakeet’s dear friend (let’s call him Don’t forget to Write – I hear that’s what he goes by these days) would drive up in the minivan. Dad would fly to Cali from Dallas and Parakeet, along with Don’t forget to Write, would drive home together. Road Trip! This was gonna be awesome.
They loaded the minivan full with stuff and headed out east on 20. Times were good. Much laughter filled the vehicle. But Don’t Forget to Write was always having to pee. The Parakeet comes from a ‘don’t-stop-driving-until-the-tank’s-empty’ family, so she was giving him a hard time. Somewhere in Louisianna, but almost to Slidell, Don’t Forget to Write had to pee. They had stopped only 20 minutes earlier. With fake rage, the Parakeet swung the minivan into a parking spot at a gas station and hit one of those concrete poles that sticks up so you won’t hit the curb. Fairly hard.
The two of them, experienced mechanics and auto-body experts, looked at the headlight hanging from it’s socket. The wires were still connected, but it swung loosely, a casualty from the collision. The consensus was –shove the thing back in place.
They pulled back on to the highway and started discussing how the “broken-light” situation should be handled with the Parakeet’s family. Just as they decided maybe the best idea would be to say that someone hit them in a parking lot; they just happened on the damage–the light flew out of the car bumping behind them on the interstate.
The Parakeet flipped. And not in a giggly, nervous way. Knowing her father and his habits with fixing cars and picking up discarded hubcaps, she did not want to go home without the light. She was also sure the light flew out of the car because God was letting her know that it was not good to lie to your parents.
She pulled off the interstate and looped around to come back the other direction. Then, she requested (that’s a nicer word than what actually happened) that Don’t Forget to Write run through traffic on the highway to pick up the renegade auto part. Being the amazing friend that he is, he did just that. They drove home the rest of the way almost without incident. (The gas cap was left in Mobile, but easily replaced).
Mom and Dad were pretty understanding. They were, after all, fresh off a trip to Napa. The Parakeet was able to replace the light from a junkyard for about $70, which wasn’t fun in college, but definitely not the end of the world.
The Parakeet hadn’t talked to Don’t Forget to Write in over two years. He remains a close friend of the family, though, and was able to visit Chicago last weekend. They had so much fun catching up. It was really great. In a spontaneous moment of fun, which is known to happen often when Don’t Forget to Write is around, they spent an afternoon ‘flying’ at the Chicago Flyhouse. If you’d like to see pictures of that, just shoot the Parakeet a message and she’ll get you a link.
The moral of the story is ‘Don’t even think about lying to your parents unless you have a friend good enough to run through highway traffic for you’.
Thursday, March 23, 2006
First time in Eight Days
The Parakeet, for nearly eight years, has been quite into fitness. It’s general that way; she has tried all types of things; kick-boxing, running, cardio machines, weightlifting classes, yoga, pilates, bike riding. There was a brief attempt at swimming laps, but after ten minutes it appeared either an asthma or heart attack was imminent. Plus, her eyes were burning and she looks twelve years old in a one-piece bathing suit.
She likes exercise. She likes working out. For six of the last eight years, she has put a mark on a calendar whenever she completes at least 30 min of activity that day. This is why she is acutely aware of how long it has been since the last workout. She has gone through phases of writing down exactly what she does and grading it, but even the Parakeet has learned to give a little over time. Those types of charts didn’t make her feel any better anyway. And while she has been called up-tight, anal, or even obssessive in her day, the truth is she isn’t those things, she just wishes she was. Dear God, give her routine.
Last week was a busy one for the Parakeet and she didn’t make it to the gym. She had one 40 min walk in her neighborhood, which was nice, and one night of squats, dips, ab work, etc. in front of the tv – which was pathetic.
So, this week, out of the routine, it has been difficult for her to get the expanding booty to the gym. She made excuse after excuse; monday, tuesday, and even Wednesday when TWICE she got dressed for the gym, but just didn’t quite make it (a twenty minute wait on the bus and then a phone call). This morning, however, there was no stopping her. The guilt alone got her out of bed and the gym bag packed.
She went to the Bally’s Downtown –not her favorite for reasons too numerous to mention. She pedaled her little self on the elliptical for 35 minutes, stretched, did some crunches, then showered and changed for work.
People, IT FELT GREAT. This was not first-time-back-at-the-gym pain. This was I’m-happy-to-be-alive-my-anxiety-is-melting-away pain.
The Parakeet endorses exercise. Big time.