Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Obligatory "I'm still alive" check-in

Yikes. I just logged in to Bloglines for the first time since Friday, and I'm a wee bit overwhelmed by the number in the "Unread" brackets. Apparently I decided to take an unofficial break here. Frankly I hadn't even noticed it had been longer than usual since my last post until I got an email from my good friend Lara today. "I just popped over to your blog and saw you haven't posted in ages," she wrote. "Is everything OK?"

Apparently six days equals "ages." Wow. I had no idea I was such a prolific poster! (I kid, Lara; I kid. It's lovely to know anyone's concerned about me.)

Anyway, all is fine. I've just been busy with largely uneventful things and for some reason entirely unmotivated to write about any marginally eventful things. I'm very much hoping the late-summer malaise that seemed to hit so many of us last August isn't rearing its ugly head again... I haven't felt particularly out of sorts lately, but I found myself abruptly near tears twice today, and neither time was prompted by anything typically deemed worthy of a good cry, so perhaps I'm more inexplicably fragile at the moment than I thought.

The first spontaneous tears incident? Traffic. No; really. I'm ashamed to admit that myself. I really would like to think that when I finally do snap and lose it, I will have something far less mundane and predictable than commuting to blame for it. But you see, I am convinced that the construction on Minnesota's Highway 36 this summer is nothing more than an extremely elaborate (and presumably expensive) social experiment, and I'm not proud to admit it's gotten to me. That's right, MnDOT. You've broken me. I'm like the emotionally damaged lab rats who get an electrical shock every time they reach for a food pellet, except that I didn't attempt to reach for any proverbial food pellets. All I've done is try to get to work each day. And all you've done is thwart my efforts with periodic lane closures that sprout up as unexpectedly and confusingly as the village of Brigadoon. The weeks-long construction at the intersection of 36 and 35W? That part I could deal with. You installed temporary cement guard rails and porta-lets in the area, clearly indicating "We've set up shop. Sorry folks, but we're gonna be here for a while." And that "Single lane ahead. Expect major delays." sign near 35E? That one I could cope with as well! You gave me precise dates for the anticipated lane closure, after all. "Single lane July 18 to 29," you said. I could tick off the days in my head, knowing I would hit a bottle neck in that area but taking some small comfort in the fact that I'd been warned about it at least. Expectation is everything; is it not? But these random, sporadic, one-day lane closures in areas of the road that you JUST REBUILT LAST YEAR?? Areas of the road that you made me detour around for SIX MONTHS while you made it all sparkly and smooth and new? No. That is NOT OK, MnDOT. As our friend Stephen Colbert says, "You are on notice!"

Ahem. Where was I? Oh yes. Tears. Spurred by road construction. I'm not proud.

So what was the other thing that made me whimper? Oh yes. My neck. I've developed a knot near my shoulder blade that is sending a dull ache straight up my neck, where it's growing into a constant headache of the "I actually feel sick because of this" variety. The knot has become a pressure point that prompts an unfortunate reflex. I press on it in a futile attempt to loosen it, and tears well up in my eyes from the pain. I think it may be time to schedule the second massage of my life, but I'm a little worried I will start to sob uncontrollably when the poor massage therapist assigned to me starts her work. Maybe I need that. Maybe that knot is holding all sorts of bad thoughts and life-in-general tension, and working it out of me will release all that negativity from myself as well. (No, I have not been reading any New Age books recently. My imagination just works overtime on occasion, I suppose.)

And that about catches you up on the past week, I suppose. I mean, yes, I went to a barbecue, visited friends in my alma mater town, finally finished the pair of socks I started knitting months ago, and had a furniture-moving misadventure that I could surely milk a paragraph or two from. But I'm pretty sure my not-so-ergonomically-correct desk setup might have something to do with the neck pain I was just complaining about, and I really must get the aforementioned stray furniture out of my living room before the gathering I'm hosting later this week (a gathering of grown-up friends with children and giant houses who've not yet actually seen my cluttered spinster shoebox), so I'd really best get off my computer and start cleaning this place up a bit.

I'm still entirely behind on my Bloglines feeds though, so do me a favor and tell me... Have I missed anything particularly amusing or important lately?


flurrious said...

Go get your neck taken care of! I'm sure the massage therapist won't mind if you cry. Just tell her it's because you feel bad about that little girl that China said was too homely to sing at the Olympics.

Feel better!

Neurotic Grad Student said...

Oh, my GOD, the construction. MnDOT has taken to tearing up the major street two blocks away from house so all day long I hear jackhammers and the sound of horns from cars almost colliding in front of our building. And don't even get me started on the 35W/36/494 ramp closures.

My personal favorite is when they post the signs that say "take an alternate route" but they don't give you any suggestions!! I don't know the surface streets of the city well enough to just come up with one on the fly!!

Okay, I guess I needed to vent on that as well. You are not alone in your frustration.

lizgwiz said...

Well, you certainly haven't missed anything amusing or important on MY blog. Unless you need further verification that dating sucks. ;)

Go get a massage, definitely. But yes, it will hurt. When you need it the most, it's the least enjoyable, in my experience. (Why should that surprise me?)

Noelle said...

It's been a really, really quiet August all around the blog world, so I think you're safe.

And I agree, get that neck massaged! The only drawback is that you're going to want to go all the time. Also, you might want to look around to find the appropriate masseuse first. But as long as you tell them where the trouble spot is, they should be able to help. Glad you're okay!

Jess said...

I am with the others--the massage is totally worth it!

And no, nothing noteworthy. Is it bad that I blog entirely about things that are apparently not worth mentioning?

-R- said...

Nope, nothing exciting. AND my internet is broken is home, so I couldn't post anything even if there was something exciting to post!

Anonymous said...


News: Jonna's knocked up! I can't remember if she visits here, but that's the only news I can recall.

And your house isn't a spinster shoebox: it's a cozy house that you don't have to rid of dirty man socks and sticky kid fingerprints. And oodles of primary-colored plastic. And sports equipment, electronics, and pocket dumpings. And Legos. Remember stepping on THOSE suckers? Yeah.

--Shana in MO

Sauntering Soul said...

I'm kind of new to your blog but I'll go ahead and tell you this anyway so you won't have to waste your time coming by to visit: I've been writing about dead people a lot this summer. Seems it's kind of happening a bit too much lately to people in my life. So yeah, nothing exciting to read about at my blog because everyone I'm writing about is, er, dead.

Whiskeymarie said...

I've cried twice in the last week over bloggers cat's dying.
Yup, it's August.

Other than me getting pregnant, moving to the Bahamas and winning the lottery- I can't say that anything of note has been going on.

Whiskeymarie said...

Oh, and I still can't punctuate.

God, I really need to start proofreading these things.

Courtney said...

I must thank you for your posting deficiency. See, I only have limited time to be on the Internet, and you not posting means I didn't fall behind. (Not that I don't love your posts! I do! But it was nice to have one less thing to read.)

Aaron said...

Don't be too hard on yourself: my traffic-y commute drives me to near-tears quite frequently. Other times it drives me to homicidal rage, but that's neither here nor there.

Melliferous Pants said...

I am certain that traffic is the route of all evil. Since moving to Utah one year ago, I have cried on multiple occasions due to traffic and ridiculously un-christian behavior from stupid f'ing Utah drivers.

Did you get your neck sorted out?! Get yourself a massage and don't be hard on yourself about it. As long as I'm on a crying over-share...I've also cried during massages. My sister is a massage therapist and tells me this is a very normal and somewhat common occurrence. Feel better!

3carnations said...

I hope your neck feels better soon. I've been there, and well...it's a pain in the neck. :)

Stefanie said...

Flurrious--I've been oblivious to most of what's going on in the world lately, but I did actually hear about that! Poor kid.

Grad Student--My favorite is when they suggest you take an alternate, but they're in the middle of tearing up the most logical alternate, too. What, did MnDOT get a boatload of money for construction projects this year, but under the condition that they had to use all of it immediately??

Liz--I already know that dating sucks, but I need to pop over to see just what the latest evidence is from your perspective!

Noelle--Maybe we're all too busy enjoying the last remnants of summer to stay inside and blog. It's a theory.

Jess--If that's bad, then probably MOST of us are bad bloggers (under those criteria, *I* certainly am...)

R--No Internet?? The horror!

Shana--You're right; I don't have any of those things in my house, but I have plenty of my own clutter in its place. And since it's a shoebox of a house, I don't have nearly enough places to stash it!

Sauntering Soul--I doubt coming by to visit is a waste of time! I don't know what to say about the dead people, though. Wow. Creepy.

WM--You actually almost had me on the pregnant thing. I should have known better. Also, at least you had the right number of apostrophes; you just had one of them in the wrong place! :-)

Courtney--I know exactly what you mean. Glad I could help you out.

Aaron--Somehow I can't see you in a homicidal rage. But then, I've never met you in person. Perhaps you're an angrier man than I thought.

Pants--It always bugs me when the most selfish, jerkiest drivers have those damn Jesus fish on their bumpers.

3Cs (and everyone else)--I've got a massage scheduled for tomorrow. Wish me luck! :-)

Metalia said...

Only b/c I think you'll appreciate it, having read the books, I will tell you that you may have missed my Twilight Drinking Game on my blog. Other than that, not much! :)

Oh, and the Brigadoon reference? BRILLIANT.

L Sass said...

I've been up to all sorts of craziness, not including, sadly, hanging out with you and -R-. I suck, I am sorry.

Also, my mom planned out basically every moment of my time in MN. I just can't say no to her!