Thursday, October 17, 2013

Time to Breathe (a work story in cat gifs)

When I got back from vacation, I was pickled and sick, but I was looking forward to slowly getting back into the swing of work and life.

Post-vacation: I am that cat.

But, I came back to a company in transition and ended up getting a mini-promotion. And one thing I realize now is, I never appreciated my job as an admin until I was made a manager.

I am that cat.

Between the 10/2 to 10/15, I worked close to 100 hours. That's a lot of work time, reviewing and preparing the same 143 page document and two 130+ page attachments. This was my first time acting as a manager. It was a big deal. That freshly signed lease I have was encouraging me to do all that I could not to fail.  So I feel like I've been on edge all month; working late, not sleeping well, missing social obligations and getting snappy and overwhelmed every 36.2 seconds.

I am that cat.

I more than likely made a bigger deal out of it than I needed to, but that's me. With the conditions at work being what they were, it was hard not to make a big deal out of it. And on Tuesday, when I shipped off that 75 lb. box of work, I felt a huge weight lift off of me. But, yesterday at work, otherwise known as "the morning after," I felt this... huge void. For two weeks, I had worked super charged, super stressful 10-12 hour days that flew by in a meth-head's blink. And then suddenly, nothing. It was like going warp speed for years and coming to an abrupt halt. I couldn't comprehend that now, hours were taking, like hours to pass. Further, I couldn't comprehend that I actually missed the stressful, fast flying days. That I was starting to like the managerial role and the time management and the always having something pressing to do. My brain turned into pudding.

I am that cat.

I sat at my desk in a daze. Eventually, my boss came in to talk to me. Since I volunteered so much time (boo to not being able to accrue overtime) and worked on a Federal holiday, he decided to give me the next two days off.

Hello, 4 day weekend! 

I am that cat

Yes, I have come to that point in my professional life where a 4 day weekend is just the best thing that could ever happen in the history of ever.  Oh, who the fuck am I kidding, 4 day weekends are always goddamn amazing. Especially when they're unexpected and paid for. Hell yeah.

I am that cat. ya'see?

I want to get all sorts of productive things done, like dismantling Mt. St. Laundry Pile, catching up on Boardwalk Empire, finally taking a shower, and unpacking my rooms upstairs. But, that's the dream. The reality will be somewhat sleepier.

I am that yawn.

Welcome back to the world, Audrey. And work, let's please be better next time.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

I am my mother

Yesterday morning, I woke up with this haunting, slow, sensual piece of symphony stuck in my head It was all French horns, flutes, and violins. Maybe some cymbals. It sounded like a sunset, like sand being blown over dunes, like clouds turning in and out of themselves.

I had one bar of it stuck in my head. I couldn't remember the rest. I couldn't remember what it was called. I couldn't remember where I'd heard it.

All afternoon, it plagued me. I couldn't concentrate on anything. I was almost getting frantic, trying to remember how the rest of the song went. It was one of those irrational I CAN'T DO ANYTHING UNTIL I FIGURE THIS OUT problems that I seem to have on a bi-hourly basis.

I ran through all the movies I knew where there was a desert scene with some slinky music.
Spaceballs? No.
Aladdin? Close.

I pulled up you tube and ran through all the musicals I know, but none of them had desert scenes.

I ran through the operas that I know, and realized pretty quickly that I don't know any operas.

I ran through the 2 ballets that I know. It wasn't Swan Lake. The Nutcracker, perhaps?

Hey! The Nutcracker!

A quick search yielded the results:

As soon as the music started, I was instantly soothed, in a way that only screaming babies who are instantly contented with a  bottle or a pacifier know. Yes, that was it. It's the coffee dance from The Nutcracker.

I grew up listening to The Nutcracker because my mom is a bit of a Nutcracker fanatic. But, I rarely, rarely give it a second thought. Sure, whenever I watch a movie with Macaulay Culkin in it, I remember when my friend Valerie and I watched a trailer she said "He's gay. Boys don't wear tights." because Valerie was a hick whose parents were obese swingers and I'm pretty sure she grew up to be a stripper.

so wee

I think of the fun trip my friends and I had going to see it our senior year of high school. And there were these songs we used to sing in elementary school, and they were all facts about Tchaikovsky set to the songs from The Nutcracker. But, I heard the "greatest hits" version of it so much during the course of my childhood that it typically just gives me a shuddering response. The way hearing someone say your full, first-middle-last name makes you think you're in trouble. And I typically find my way out of seeing it every year at Christmas.   

So I was surprised, when, after I listened to the Arabian dance about 7 times, I proceeded to listen to the whole suite. Twice. And I was like, heeeey I actually like this.

And just like that, I realized I'm slowly becoming my mother. From my collection of tea pots, to my closet half full of linens, to my 3 sets of china that I kept from Mary's wedding, to buying a little vase just because it looked neat, to instagraming my cat, to knowing that chores get done faster if you have A Few Good Men or Jesus Christ Superstar playing in the background, and blowing off said chores half way in lieu of reading, I am slowly morphing into my mother.

But... at least my mom's pretty awesome.  

brb, gonna go listen to it again.

*Side note, I've gotta bone up on my culture. No operas? 2 ballets? And 1 of them I only know from watching Black Swan? Go, America.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Beer Fest Best Fest?

Last week, I went to Munich and Stuttgart, Germany for Oktoberfest and Volksfest. That's the #1 and #2 biggest beer festivals in the world. Our group did both 'fests in 5 days.

Holy. Shit.

That was a lot of beer. 

Ok, here's the part where I make myself sound like a bit of an alcoholic, so Mom and Dad, just skip ahead to the pictures. 

I'm a big a drinker. (shocker!) But, I've significantly toned it down this past year. Nowadays, I don't drink more than one drink by myself. At brunch or the occasional happy hour, I'm having 1 or 2 drinks where before I'd have 4 or 5. However, parties and vacations are veritable booze playgrounds where I forget that I'm older and more than 2 drinks all but guarantees a hangover. 

With that being said, I was worried that after a liter of beer and half a chicken, I'd be too full drink anymore. I was concerned that I wouldn't like the beer because I have such a gutter pallet. I mean, yeah, Natty Boh and Miller High Life are in my top 5. I'm a classy bitch. And, I kept thinking about my horrible hangovers and how they'd be especially detrimental to this trip.

But, I think I did pretty well for myself. The first night, I think I made it to 4 liters. I think I managed 2-3.5 on the rest of the days. I say think because once the Frau started bringing the beer, I lost track. And those Fraus brought a lot of beer. And we found late night food stands that served McDonald's or kebabs or greasy pizza, so I managed to stave off the hangover curse. Success all around!


In addition to drinking a lot of beer, we had a lot of fun. Super fun, jah! I butchered the German language (but I can count to 5 and order food now!), puked in public, made random German friends, went to a German porn store (why? uh, why not?), ate a big mac, or "Grosse Mac" at midnight, rode a ferris wheel, spoke French with a Polish carnie, figured out the German train system on my own, ate lots of German food I never thought would be delicious, like sourkrout, liver soup and Steckerlfisch, wore a dirndl, drank wine on a balcony overlooking Stuttgart, saw a glass blowing demonstration, grew accustomed to mineral water, and basically had an amazing time. Except for that one night I had mind melting anxiety attack, it was quite the trip. 

And even though I came home with fun souvenirs like a bladder infection, sinus infection, and blisters, I'd do it again.

I got to Munich first, so I spent the morning walking around Marienplatz, touristing up the Glockenspiel and the food markets.

Turnerfest! Turnerbund!

inside the Hofbrau hall. Contrary to what I expected, it only vaguely smelled like beer and feet. More like fantastically cooked meat and fresh bread.

The first round

Oktoberfest was basically beer halls in the middle of a state fair. Awesome. 

Life changing chicken. Seriously. It was the best I've ever had.

Scott and James Van der German, our new best friend

Table dancing. Yes, I did partake! 

I rode the ferris wheel! And it was only mildly terrifying. 

Midnight McDonald's

our hostel in Stuttgart had a killer view of the city. Too bad that killer view meant walking up a mile of stairs later that night. #deadlegs

the look our livers--nay, bodies--were giving us by day 4

And no fucks were given.

Volksfest is a more locals-only venue. It's 2nd to Oktoberfest, but it felt bigger and had more things to do than Munich. 

There was an old German village section with glass blowers, hand made crafts, and the best food, ever. And gnome tits. 

"Shot" Skasick. He was a little too good. I guess all that time playing HALO has paid off.

Volksfest! There were so many rides and roller coasters and carnies

This guy was hilarious. He made us kiss this kitten on a rocking horse toy, and gave us all princess bandaids to wear so we could be in his gang. I think here, Scott is telling him the difference between Star Wars and Star Trek

The mob line for the women's room. Also known as "why I have a bladder infection." At one point I had to elbow/shove a lady out of my way who cut me in line and tried to jump in a stall before me. Elbow/shoving a drunk German woman in a dirndl in a bathroom mob is the ballsiest thing I've ever done, btw. 


I have a billion more pictures that I'm going to put on Facebook later today. If I get around to it. haha, wahhh uploading pictures is so exhausting. 

I'd love to go back to Germany and do more sightseeing. I was bummed I had to leave while the gang was headed to Baccharach and the Rhine river valley. One of these days I'll get back there.  

But now, the time is back to work, which is decidedly less fun than Oktoberfest. But hey, at least I'm still able to work. I mean, for the time being... ugh. #shutdown2013
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