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December 2011

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Dec. 10th, 2011

My Life as a Designated Driver

My career as a designated driver started, coincidentally enough, the night I threw up all over the back seat of a friend’s car because I couldn’t handle the 9-13 different shots passed to me at the dick bar that I was coaxed into going to. After a long ride home that night, where another friend took off her shirt and offered to clean up my throw up and I threw up again on the side of a major highway and in the parking lot of a Bp station, I ended up in our garden tub naked in a fetal position. Needless to say the next morning I swore off alcohol for good… but for real.

I will occasionally have a drink with dinner here and there, but usually never more than one and absolutely never more than two. I don’t drink because I’m afraid of it or because I don’t want to ever be that sick again, there is really no real reason not to, but truly it is a personal choice.

From that point forward, welcome Abby, The Official Designated Driver of Doooooooooooom! I’m usually no nonsense in my quest to get drunks home safely, don’t act like an asshole, stay in the car, buckle your seat belt, notice your windows are currently using the child-proof function, and most importantly please don’t drink yourself to the point of wild projectile vomiting once the car starts moving.

I’ve been pretty lucky, I’ve not been pulled over when driving the drunk wagon, always gotten everyone home safe and usually my car has made it unscathed. I’ve gotten applause and thank yous, hugs and kisses, but really I’m just glad that everyone had a good time and made it home safely. Seriously though readers… always, always show your designated driver love… because while it may seem to be the best night of your life, it probably isn’t going to be for them.

It’s not really fun for the DD at a bar. Downing Sprite after Sprite while I watch several pitchers of beer disappearing, shots of all kinds knocking people over the good vs. bad judgment line and mixed drinks flowing aplenty. Everyone’s face getting a little pink, slurring words, making passes at one another or other victims in the area. Sometimes my drunks are in jeans and polos, other times they are flip flops and beach wear, but the most outrageous times they are in Santa suits. Almost everyone loves a good drunk, they are entertaining, they are funny and uninhibited, they are usually the life of the party… but all that love can disappear just as quickly once that drunk gets in someone’s car.

I won’t name names, I’m sure many of you reading this will make your own assumptions, but just remember that I didn’t actually tell you who did what, so tread lightly if you choose to ask someone specific in my life if they were one of the culprits here.

Most of the time the drive home is pretty uneventful, but there are quite a few outrageous circumstances that have made me reconsider ever doing this for someone again. There was the one guy that decided he wanted to roll down the back passenger window and sit on the door, hanging outside of the window… while I was trying to get on a major highway after a baseball game. OH, but not before he asked his best friend to punch him in the face for some asinine reason. Another day I was driving a few people home after a birthday party at a bar, and two of the passengers decided to roll down their windows and start screaming obscenities at people on the road… like really bad words that people in the 21st Century should no longer use. That was the day I started utilizing my child-proof locks. The most recent occurrence has pretty much made me want to turn in my DD hat. I have never seen so much vomit… all over the passenger side of my car. It got worse, when the passenger vacated my vehicle and there was vomit… all over the inner passenger door. Fucking gross! I had to ride with the two front windows down all the way home in 30 degree temperature because I couldn’t stand the smell of it. I was just disgusted.

I’m not one to question people’s actions. We are all human beings with the ability to make our own decisions. Our ancestors worked very hard to end prohibition… But, I will say this in closing… not trying to canvas or go political here, but what the fuck is wrong with our government? Alcohol is legal, it turns people into monsters, lovers, fighters, jackasses, but marijuana is not. Marijuana, in my experience, makes people calm, cool, collected, retrospective, easy to talk to, quiet. I have never driven someone home who had too much weed and couldn’t handle themselves. Those people usually just fall asleep. I’m assuming no one in Congress has ever had to be a designated driver and has never had to drive an extremely drunk person home, because if someone threw up in their Bentley like someone threw up on my Honda, they too would question the legality of alcohol over much calmer substances. If it’s okay for people to allow alcohol to turn them into adult infants (I mean come on, illegible words, vomiting, needing help into the car = infant), then why can’t we all bend our minds as chosen with other substances? Legalize all drugs assholes… take the spotlight away from alcohol… it doesn’t deserve it.

Sep. 12th, 2010

49 Days Later


If someone tried to tell you that 49 days couldn't possibly warrant much change... they would be the farthest thing from right.

I mean, almost a whole season has passed! Last time I wrote a journal entry Summer was just getting started. Seven weeks later... school has resumed, the colors outside are starting to change, I'm seeing Halloween decorations everywhere and it is so very cool in the mornings. Yes, it's Fall, or Autumn if that's your preference, my favorite season!

Most of my summer was fairly uneventful. Just 7 weeks ago, I had no major plans aside from the normal routine.

Then August 5th, just 9 days after my last journal entry... Jonathan and I scored some seriously cheap flight tickets to Buffalo, NY! Just $177 each after taxes! And Buffalo was just 2.5 hours from Toronto, Canada! We were going to Canada to see our friend, Megan... in only 23 days!!!
 

OBLIGATORY TIME WARP MOMENT (I did warn you in my very first journal entry, that I would experience moments of clarity and recollection, thus filling in my life at times during my writing, since I've failed to keep a journal until the ripe age of 27!):
 

It's actually an interesting story how Jonathan and I met Megan. On September 21st, 2009, we jumped on a plane two days after our wedding for our honeymoon in Negril, Jamaica. We stayed at The Blue Cave Castle on the West-End of Negril, right on the cliffs... I could see, smell, breathe, feel and hear the ocean within a suddenly leap off the wall! It was incredibly beautiful. Anyhow, Jonathan and I had been there for a couple days before we met Megan, but we already knew before then that she was the only other person staying there at the time. The 3 of us had this amazing place all to ourselves for most of the week. After a couple of days, Jonathan and I were heading up to our Penthouse suite (swanky, eh?) and we had to pass by the room that Megan was staying in to get there. Megan stopped us and introduced herself and her Jamaican friend Carter. She told us that Carter could take us anywhere we wanted to go... so long as she wasn't using him. Long story short, we hung out with Megan a good bit during our honeymoon. She would protest at times, saying "I can go if you guys want some alone time" to which we replied "please, we just signed ourselves up for a lifetime together, you're really no bother". At the end of the week we agreed to stay in touch. Jonathan and I felt that we had just made a lifelong friend! She even came down to Atlanta two months later and hung out with us for Thanksgiving!

RETURN TO PRESENT
 

Excellent... something to look forward to and something that I didn't have to wait long for. A vacation... a trip... an adventure... to a place we had never been to and with someone whose company we thoroughly enjoy! I was ecstatic! The next day I when I went to work, nothing could bother me, I had made travel plans, and I had my motivation back, I was happy to go to work again...

Or so I thought...

At about 3:00 PM on Friday, August 6th I was asked to join the Office Manager and the Managing Director in the conference room. I thought it was simply an impromptu office support meeting. I had no reason to think anything was going on..... but then these words: "Abby, it has become clear that you are unhappy in your job. We've also found your resume on Monster.com". I, of course, immediately hit the defensive, "Am I getting fired? I didn't post my resume on Monster!" "Abby, it's not the quality of your work that's the issue here, you see everything through to completion, your care is apparent in your work... We just need someone here who wants to be here." WHAT?!?!?! I was in shock, I just broke down... crying uncontrollably... could I save my job? Was there anything I could do? What's going to happen to me? Am I going to lose my house? What is Jonathan going to think? My Mom? My In-Laws? Everyone is going to be so disappointed....................

I was told that my last day would be September 3rd. In actuality, my last working day at Modis was Friday, August 27th (I was leaving for Canada on August 28th)... 3 weeks later. I legacy, a chapter, a big part of my life was being taken away from me in just 3 weeks. Something that defined me, a fixture in my life, it was all going to be gone. Dear God... what now?!?!?!?! This is NOT what I asked for! I mean, yeah, I asked for the day to come that would change my life forever, BUT THIS ISN'T WHAT I HAD IN MIND!

Those 3 weeks I firmly believe to be the absolute hardest consecutive 3 weeks of my life so far! I had to go back there and work for 15 more days! I was told that I would receive two weeks additional pay after my last week if I came in and worked professionally and transitioned all my work peacefully for the final weeks. It was so awful, every day I just wanted to run out and never look back. As people found out what was going on, I was more and more embarrassed. They interviewed and hired a new girl by the second week. On the third week all of my information was being changed over to the new girl. I wasn't able to tell any of the contractors, so I wasn't able to say goodbye. It felt like being erased... the end of the pencil starting at my feet and finishing up with my face.

During this time I looked for a job. I had a couple phone screens and two face-to-face interviews.

I was offered a job with a Chinese import/export company, which I ended up accepting. I was asked to come in for training the week before I went to Canada so that when I started after Labor Day I would already be ahead of the game. I arranged with Modis to work part time my last week. I went to training the first day (Wednesday, August 25th) for 2.5 hours. It wasn't the job that I wasn't able to do, after learning it I wouldn't have had any issues... What I absolutely could not live with was the Draconian environment. I was told that (a) I would have to ask the boss for permission for Jonathan to meet me at the front door to take me out to lunch... on my lunch hour! Reporting my lunch time activity was definitely NOT mentioned before I accepted the job. (b) If my cell phone was seen on my desk, even if it was OFF, I would be written up & after three write ups I was O-U-T. Are we in High School here? (c)  I could have no contact with the outside world whatsoever while on the premises. YIKES! (d) It had to be library quiet in the office at all times, all communication needed to be made through email. Ummmm... I don't think so!!!! There was no way in hell that I was going to be able to do this. Not to mention the fact that there were more cameras in and around the office than EMPLOYEES. And they didn't even have medical benefits. No way... the second day I sent them an email explaining that I wasn't a fit for their office. I later said to someone that the "12 minute drive home wasn't even enough to get me to stay... and it has been taken me well over an hour to get home for the last 5.5 years"! I was fully prepared to be unemployed due to this decision, but I still firmly believe that it was the right one!

On the same day I went in for that training, I'd had my second face-to-face interview with a company staffing truck drivers. Not my dream position, but wouldn't have minded if it worked out. It didn't though; I received the confirmation of not getting that job while I was in Canada.

Speaking of Canada!!!! This trip was absolutely amazing! We had a blast! At first, I thought we wouldn't go... lord knows we weren't in a position to be spending money after receiving the news of losing my job. Jonathan insisted that we should, because if anything I certainly needed it now more than I ever did before! And there was no shortage of fun to be had... BuskerFest, ChinaTown, CORA's, Little Italy, Kensington Market, CN Tower, Niagra Falls, Fan Expo! There was so much going on in the city while we were there!

What really made this trip fantastic were all of the parallels to Burning Man we experienced while there. Even though we didn't get to go to Burning Man we felt its spirit all week long.

The theme of Burning Man this year was Metropolis: The Life of Cities. So we ended up spending the week in the actual metropolis of Toronto!



And of course, the home of "Metropolis Records".

 



And the art in the city was just stunning! Much like the art of Black Rock City!

 






There were "Back To School Specials":

 



BUSKERS:




Big Holes in the Ground:

 



And bonding between relatively new friends!

 





All in all it was a typical Team LaLiberty vacation! We had a blast and made memories to last a million years! I'm actually happy we didn't go to Burning Man because this trip was everything I needed, wanted and more!!!

So, when I returned home from Toronto, I knew that I would have to hit the ground running in my job hunt. On Tuesday, September 7th I posted my resume everywhere and applied to like 5 jobs. The next day I applied to another 7 jobs. On that Thursday I received a phone call from a staffing agency, so I went to go through the motions with them on Friday. On my way home from that office I had another phone screen with another company. Where I sit now, I don't have anything pending really. There haven't been too many new jobs posted that I can qualify for in the past couple weeks, though I have applied to all I can. Plus I have that staffing company working for me as well. So, hopefully something will come soon. I have come to realize though that Modis sort of did me in here a little bit... they gave me a fancy job title and none of the proper skills to back it up. So now I'm having a difficult time finding something similar because I'm missing key skills. I'm trying to stay positive though!

I did manage to get unemployment taken care of. That was a very stressful day!!! I'm not one to be judgmental and I will choose to keep many of my comments to myself on this one. Everyone has a reason they are in this position, some more admirable than others. My one major quip though... some of them are just so ruuuuuuuuuuude about it!!! You know... I understand what you're going through on some level, I'm going through it as well, but as slow as they are these people are trying to help you. Don't bite the hand that feeds you per say... jeez!

On Saturday, September 11th, my mother treated Jonathan and I to a wonderful first anniversary gift. She basically finished our guest room... new mattress set, new bed coverings, decor.... and it is absolutely beautiful! I am thrilled to have our future guests sleep in this room. My Momma always taught me to make your guests at home and now I can do that and they don't have to sleep on the couch anymore!!! This was an adventurous day with my family and it was a GREAT day!!!!! 

On Sunday, September 12th, I was surfing Facebook and I took a look at the "People You May Know" list they always provide. There in the midst of that list was the name of the girl who replaced me at Modis. God, my heart sank deep into the bowels of my stomach... I couldn't breathe for a moment. I just couldn't believe... how are we connected?!?!?! I look at the "mutual friends" and there, clear as day, I could see her face. I remember it vividly now. My embarrassment level sky-rocketed, my anxiety shot through the roof. We were in Color Guard together for one year, I was a senior and she was a freshman and the four people connecting us are all Color Guard related. I freaked out, I immediately put her in my blocked list! I didn't want her to realize who she replaced and then start trying to look me up and see into my life. I almost deleted my Facebook page right then. I was so embarrassed... I mean, of course she didn't know, so I couldn't feel anger toward her, but I just felt so betrayed in a way... of all the human beings on this Earth, in this State, in this metropolitan area... why did it have to be someone I knew!?!?!?

So, let's see... just in case we're keeping score here.... in the last 7 weeks I have lost my job to someone I knew, gone to Toronto and Niagra Falls with an amazing friend and my wonderful husband, had my guest room finished, lived through unemployment and have been riding one hell of an emotional roller coaster. I would proudly say that there were many more happy moments in the last 49 days, but there have been some very intense ones as well, but thank goodness there have been few of those.

I will say this in closing... I am absolutely amazed at how much better I feel... emotionally, spiritually, physically, mentally.... I don't feel like the crazy person I was while working at Modis. I don't feel so self conscious anymore. I don't feel so angry. I haven't raised my voice or gotten antsy toward anyone. I just generally feel healthy... like the life isn't being sucked out of me anymore! I feel free! And that's exactly what I DID ask for... so I suppose all of this has happened for a reason... as is usually the case! =)


Apr. 7th, 2010

Things... They Are A'Changin'

Can I get a "YAY LIFE"?!?!

It amazes me still how many things can happen in the span of a week. Every day truly does bring something new... good, bad, ugly and great!!

So, here are some things that have happened for me:

(1) My Best Buddy moved to Colorado! Such a bummer for me, but so amazing for her! I miss her terribly, yet I'm so incredibly happy for her at the same time. She arrived on Monday, April 5th and is settling in nicely. During the course of her trip out I knitted a project for her... an earwarmer/headband thingy to help fight the cold winters. I will be sending her a package soon... a "welcome home" package if you will. I hope to see her again very soon though!

(2) I'm UNDER CONTRACT on my (our) first house!!!! I'm so excited, yet so anxious!! This is such a grueling process... getting under contract is only the first step out of many to purchase a home... a little piece of heaven on Earth. Our home inspection was yesterday and the house got rave reviews! Even our Realtor was shocked, "I have NEVER had a home inspection come back squeaky clean"... can we say EXCELLENT?!?!!! I hope these are signs that the end result will be good!

Those are just the major happenings. Otherwise I spent an amazing Saturday before Easter with my Mom, Step-Dad, Hubby, Sister, and Sister's Boyfriend! We played frisbee, went shopping, ate some phenomenal BBQ and talked until late into the night. I'm so blessed to have such an amazing family where everyone talks openly and gets along so well. My hubby and I have been bonding a lot more lately... getting more active now that it's so nice outside and chatting about the exciting things to come.

Life truly is good now! I hope to write again soon, we'll see what else happens within a week!! =)

Mar. 31st, 2010

Getting Started

Why is it so hard to start a first journal entry? All my life, from the time I was a little girl with more thoughts running through my head than I could handle, I've wanted to write in and keep a journal. But then life happens and there is always an excuse to put a journal on the back burner. As I've grown older and had life experiences I've wanted so badly to get better about writing them down so that I'll never forget. Yes, we always have our memories, but as your brain ages some of the details sort of fade away.

I don't know why I would choose a public internet venue for my journal, but it seems like a safe enough bet... I can't lose a book here and I don't have to worry about my hand cramping up in the middle of writing. Unfortunately, I bare down very hard when I write, so I can never get more than 4 sentences in before I give up from hand cramps.

And so, here I am... 27 years old, newly married and experiencing all the things that makes an adult... well, an adult and I am finally starting a journal. I figure that even though my life through the last 27 years is a bit of a blur that I will recall memories and experiences when writing about new events... I will probably have cause to reminisce whilst comparing something from my past to something in my present. So, onward then...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Today, March 31st, 2010 I celebrate a mini milestone! 1 year ago today I smoked my LAST cigarette. I know to a non-smoker this might not seem like nearly as big a deal as I make it... but I consider it a mini victory in my life. As someone with a somewhat addictive personality once I started smoking I was almost certain that it would be my demise. Now I look back over the last year and I realize how much healthier I am and I'm quite impressed with my ability to breath in deeply again! I'm very proud of myself and while some may roll their eyes at me today I really could care less. Sometimes its the smaller victories that mean more in the long run!

Speaking of smaller victories, my husband (Jonathan) and I are also waiting to hear back on an offer we made on a house. While we are aware that there are 5-6 major hurdles that must be cleared when buying a house, the acceptance of an offer is definitely the first. We hope to be celebrating another small victory later this evening, but updates on that will be given as they are received.

Otherwise, I must now get through the rest of my work day. And now I can finally say that I have successfully completed my first journal entry... though not as interesting as my life has proven to be, but definitely a good start.