I have never, ever, in my entire life, gotten a ticket for bad driving. At least not for something that was actually my fault. I’ve gotten a ticket for not having my driver’s license once when I was in an accident. I got a ticket for not having my insurance information once when I got stopped by a cop for some routine junk. Both those were dismissed when I showed up for court. So I’ve never actually received a ticket before.

I did today.

I cannot believe that with all the people who drive like bats out of hell and ignore stop signs and zip in and out of lanes, the police had nothing better to do than ticket me.

You want to know what I got a ticket for, I know you do. Well, I got a ticket for running a red light. Only I didn’t. Run a red light, that is. What I did was drive through a yellow light. And it turned red as I drove through. So the police gave me a ticket.

I refuse to blow a gasket over this. I’m just going to pay for it and get the whole thing over with. If my insurance decides to have a cow about it, I’ll deal with that later.

bad hair day

Today was one of those days where things just don’t click. You know the ones I’m talking about, when nothing gets done no matter how much you try. You try and try and try, but you still don’t get anything checked off your to do list. Ever have one of those?

I overslept. Of course I overslept. How can you start the day off wrong if you don’t oversleep? And it’s so unlike me. Even though I’m not a morning person, I don’t usually sleep so late that I’m running behind on the rest of the day. Except for today. Today I had to rush to get little brother to school and drive through the molasses express to get to work. I think I made it there only 30 minutes late.

I left my house with a bare face and wet hair. No makeup, no time on my hair and no jewelry. I literally screamed “hasty exit.” On top of that, I picked the first thing I could find to wear. I wore a short blue skirt, a long blue tee and black flat sandals. I’m surprised I had enough time to put on nylons. I looked like one of the students, or maybe one of the interns. I’m very glad I didn’t have any meetings scheduled for today.

I spent the day trying to focus. I tried, I sweat I tried, but it didn’t work. I got no work done. I started a lot of things. I even progressed on a couple of projects. I didn’t finish anything. I didn’t end anything. I didn’t actually accomplish anything today. It was just one of those days when you feel like you sleepwalked through the whole thing. And surfaced at the end.


Happy! Happy! Joy! Joy!

My niece was released from the hospital today! We’re all very happy. That means that she’s completely well now. It means that her tests came back negative. It means that we got to take her home and away from the sterile environment of the hospital. It means that the light of my life, that over-indulged brat of a precious niece of mine, gets to spend her days at my house again.

Her parents, however, can stay at the hospital.

My sister and her husband have never had the happiest marriage in the world, but ever since she got pregnant this second time things have been worse. It’s like her hormones are so out of whack that she doesn’t know when to let something go and when to make an issue out of it. Whatever the deal is with them, they always fight in front of family and friends, and that makes it difficult to be around them.

I went to the dentist’s today. I got three fillings. I hate going to the dentist’s office. It’s always painful. It’s always long and tedious. It’s always icky. Which is probably why I wait until I have to have work done to go. I don’t just go for checkups. I don’t go just to get my teeth cleaned. It has to be something major. I know it’s not a very adult thing to do, but that’s what I do and I’m fine with it.

a bit more

Last week was my week to have lunch with my friends. Four days in a row I had lunch with people I hadn’t seen in months. For someone who can be so antisocial, I was actually nice to them. Maybe it was just time for me to reconnect. Maybe it was just that I needed to talk to people outside my family or work environment. Anyway, it was a nice change to have lunch with and talk to friends.

I got to work on a really great project today. As part of my current job I coordinate the marketing projects for a satellite campus of my university. What that means is that their marketing director decides on when and where she wants to place an ad and I hire a designer and buy the space and oversee the ad placement and design. I talked their marketing director into doing a completely new ad series, which requires a photoshoot and a new design. Anyway, today I went with the photographer and the art director to scout the locations where we’ll be doing the photoshoot next week. It was a lot of fun. I felt so productive, so creative. WE walked around the buildings and decided on lighting and angles and all that stuff. I can hardly wait to get the photos and do something with them. It’ll be great to see what the final product’s gonna look like.

On a personal note, my niece is still in the hospital. You should see her. She sits in that hospital bed like a princess. Regal, composed, in control. She’s like a queen, ruling from her throne. She is, of course, much better. It’s her parents who are giving the world fits. They’ve been fighting over every single thing. My brother-in-law has decided that he doesn’t want the doctors to draw blood from my niece, because it’s “unnecessary.” I don’t really understand what the motivation is behind this attitude of his, and my sister is equally confused. Unfortunately, my sister shows her confusion by calling him an idiot in loud, sniding tones that carry along the hospital halls with frightening ease.

My sister and her husband are fighting. What else is new?

The sad thing about today was that it was my niece’s birthday. We didn’t remind her that she turned three today. We didn’t want to let her know that she wasn’t getting her Chuck E Cheese’s birthday party, which she has been asking for for months. We didn’t want her to know that there weren’t going to be balloons and friends and cake for her because she was still in the hospital. We didn’t want to disappoint her.

We will, of course, celebrate her birthday at a later date. WE just didn’t want to remind her that she wouldn’t be getting the celebration today.

The big shocker today, however, was when I went to the hospital after work to visit the miss princess niece of mine, walked in to her room and there, sitting as if nothing was out of the ordinary, was my father.

My father. Sitting there. In the same room as my mother.

I stopped dead in my tracks. Nothing seemed to be wrong. No one seemed to be upset. No one seemed to be angry at all. How could that be? my mind screamed. My mother and father in the same room, with my sister and brother-in-law and other assorted people, and nothing seemed to be wrong.

There’s no way this could be the same couple that broke up in a hail of fire last October. But it was. They were sitting there, like adults, like perfectly polite adults. They were nothing at all like my parents. Nothing at all like the people who took 27 years to mold me into the utterly hopeless person I am. Nothing at all like the selfish people I have grown to expect.

They actually spent several hours in each other’s company without blood-loss.

Will wonders never cease?

ordinary friday

Hectic days always begin with someone getting up late. Ever notice that? I have. Probably because it’s usually me that’s oversleeping and then playing catch-up for the rest of the day. I hate it when that happens.

Today, in fact, I overslept so much that little sister had to take younger brother to school. He goes in early to do weightlifting and has to be there before 6:30 a.m. I usually take him, out of the goodness of my heart. On this morning, however, little sister had to take him there since he couldn’t rouse me out of bed. Normally not a morning person, today I was even worse.

Of course, it doesn’t help when, on top of playing catch-up, I also have to bum a ride. My car did that won’t-start thingy again, and is in the shop, again. So little sister had to take me to work. Again. I hate having to depend on the goodwill of others. I especially hate having to depend on the goodwill of my sister. It’s always so iffy whether she’s going to make me beg for the help or not.

I got to work and realized that I’d forgotten to pack a lunch. I’m trying very hard to economize. And nothing wastes money like eating out half a dozen times a week. Lunch, lunch, lunch, dinner, dinner, dinner. It all adds up. So I’ve been taking my lunch to work and eating at my desk. And that way I have the added benefit of getting work done. But not today. Today I forgot my lunch because I was so rushed because I overslept. Do you see the pattern?

I figured I might as well make the most of it and asked a coworker to go to lunch with me. We sometimes go to the dorm lunchroom and have the buffet. It’s this little place that most people don’t even know about. It’s rarely crowded and frequently has good food. We like it there.

I ended up not going.

My friend the production assistant popped into my office about 10:30 am to drop off something. She had taken a personal day from work and was getting her other stuff done. I was on her list of errands. She invited me to go out to lunch with her and I accepted, after giving my apologies to my coworker. I know, I know, that seems rude, but it really wasn’t. We always cancel on each other if a better deal comes along.

My friend and I had a nice lunch. I like her. She is one of the few people I truly like. We went to college together, though were never very good friends. In fact, it wasn’t until we were out of college that we’ve become closer. I think it has something to do with being the same age and in the same industry. It’s hard enough to be in the communications field. Try being a Hispanic female in the communications field. It’s hell. So we get together and gossip and catch up with each other. She supports me and I support her. It’s a nice arrangement.

I must confess, however, that I’ve always envied her her poise. She’s always so put together. There’s a degree of confidence in the way she carries herself that I haven’t quite acquired yet. I’m a bundle of nerves, usually this mass of untamed energy that comes off in blabbering, stuttering or fidgeting. She’s calm, controlled, poised. I’ve never seen her lose her cool. I wish I had that.

Today I had one of those long, tedious work days where it seems that you’ve accomplished nothing. One boring detail after another. In spite of the fact that I work in an office that often requires me to be creative and deadline-oriented, today was just one of those administrative-duty days that leave me wanting to go home and do something fun. Ain’t life grand?

I did have something fun planned for this evening, though. The Go Tejano Committee of the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo was going to have its Fashion Show at T-Town 2000. For those of you who don’t live in Houston and aren’t aware that the Rodeo is perhaps the biggest event of the year in this city, on top of being the biggest Rodeo in the country, then you probably don’t know that the Rodeo events raise millions in scholarship money for hundreds of students every year. The Go Tejano Committee is the Hispanic arm of the Rodeo and T-Town 2000 is a multi-club facility that boasts a Tejano bar, a Rock en Español bar, a Karaoke bar and a Pop club. (FYI: many people believe that Selena’s last show was at the Rodeo; that’s wrong. Her last show was at a scholarship fundraiser at the now-defunct El Dorado Ranch. The same people who owned El Dorado own T-Town 2000.)

I didn’t have tickets to the show.

The plan was that little sister would give me the keys to her car on the way to her class. Did I mention that little sister goes to school full-time as well as working full-time? It’s convenient because the university is on her way to work and then when she goes to class, she just walks by my building.

Anyway, little sister gave me the keys to her car so that I could go buy the tickets for the fashion show because tickets were considerably more if we waited to buy them at the door. So I went to buy the tickets while she was at class. I even left work early to beat the traffic. Of course, leaving early was no big sacrifice.

Going to buy the tickets should have taken me an hour at the max. and it would have. If a blue car hadn’t swerved into the freeway railing and caught fire. If there hadn’t been 4 fire trucks, countless tow trucks and several EMS units on the freeway. If every drive in every car that drove by hadn’t felt the morbid need to see if there was any blood which pretty much turned the freeway into a parking lot. If none of these things had happened it wouldn’t have taken me 2 hours to buy the tickets.

And, of course, I got paged 3 times while I was caught in traffic. 3 times. And my cellular service discontinued my account because I’m so behind in my payments. So I couldn’t call. At least not from the freeway. I had a bad feeling it was my sister. I kept thinking that maybe she got let out of class early and she was waiting for me, steaming, trying to figure out where the hell I was. And I was caught in traffic. So I figured I’d wait until I got to the university and see if it was my sister, and if it wasn’t, I’d check my pages from my office. All in all, not a bad plan.

I was relieved to see, when I finally made it to the university to pick up little sister, that she was just being let out. So that was one less thing to deal with. The last thing I wanted was to have to endure little sister all evening after I’d put her in a bad mood.

I went to my office to return the pages I’d received. One was from my mother. One was from my married sister. And one was from my brother-in-law. All three had left a message on my pager instead of a number. All three messages were urgent. My niece was checked into the hospital with a urinary tract infection.

Little sister says that I was supposed to be a guy. She says that I have the insensitivity, the thoughtlessness and the short attention span of a guy. She says that the fact that I don’t like to talk on the telephone and don’t notice what people are wearing are proof of that. That’s relevant only because I have to admit that the first thing that went through my mind was //Oh shit! We’re not going to make it to the show.// The second thing was concern that the babe wasn’t going to take hospital life very well. I always get my priorities straight eventually.

We didn’t make it to the fashion show. Instead we spent the evening at the hospital, commiserating with a soon-to-be three-year-old about how she was sick and nobody understood her. She looked almost regal in the middle of the mechanical bed, hooked up to an IV that scared her and bothered her parents. She commanded attention and amusement and, occasionally, food and drink. She was bored. And she learned very quickly not to the trust the men and women dressed in white.

The doctors say that she will be there for several days. Her parents stayed the night with her. Little sister and I stayed until she fell asleep. Throughout the evening we made sure that the parents were fed and had everything they needed. Trying to be useful because there really wasn’t anything we could do for my niece.

It was an ordinary Friday in the life of this drama queen. How was yours?