So, I’m sitting here at work and I can barely hold my eyes open. It’s 12:13 and the thought of being here for at least four more hours is honestly making me depressed. I feel like my body is in slow motion while the rest of the world is whizzing by me.

I returned from Birmingham (via Atlanta) last night close to Midnight. When we got home, Shel and I played w/ the enormous monster kittens – they’ve grown tremendously – bickered and then went to sleep. Shel has a friend who I really don’t like for several reasons and it bothers me when he spends time w/ that person. I don’t know if he doesn’t understand why it bothers me, if he doesn’t care or what. And I don’t understand why he insists on having that person in his life. It’s frustrating and it was disappointing to devote so much time and energy to it when all I wanted to do was cuddle up next to him and go to sleep.

My trip to Alabama was a whole lot better than I anticipated it would be. First off, my cousin Erin is great. She’s extremely chatty, down to earth, easy to be w/, etc… We got along really, really well. She and I are only 3 years apart in age, but despite our mothers being sisters, we hadn’t seen each other in over 20 years. So, it was great to spend time w/ her and get to know her. Erin’s got a sweet husband – a real manly man! He was quiet, but very, very nice. You could tell that he absolutely adores Erin and their 5-year-old daughter, Malory. Malory was a trip! She’s a precocious, spunky little girl. Not at all annoying like some little kids can be. She colored me a picture and I have it proudly displayed on my refrigerator.

Although I thought it would be, it was never difficult to be around my aunt. We talked about cancer and her death, of course, but we mostly just talked. There were times when I honestly forgot about the reason I went down because I was simply happy to be there. Alabama is a really nice place and a lot of negative stereotypes I had of what it would be like were quickly dashed. First, people in Birmingham are sweet and friendly, and they all have teeth and wear shoes! Second, the land is beautiful. Mountains and lakes everywhere. All of the homes are relatively new and they’re pretty much all situated on an acre of land or more. The cost of real-estate down there is shockingly cheap. When I was introduced to a gentleman, he asked what I thought of Alabama. I told him how impressed I was and he said that they’ve got a great little secret going on down there and he hoped that the secret never got out.

The only thing I didn’t enjoy about my trip was the constant praising of my Uncle Johnny. He’s my mom’s brother and they don’t talk. He’s pompous, rude, self-absorbed, cocky, conceded, etc… and my aunt just worships him. I mean, she truly feels that he is the most amazing man to step foot on the earth. Looking at his picture literally turns my stomach. My uncle was terribly, terribly ignorant to my father; he would put him down every chance he got. He insulted my father in our home, in his home, in public, in private, etc… and my father took all of it in stride for my mom’s sake. Then, last May (I probably wrote about it in here), my father asked my uncle to turn the country music off and my uncle went off on my father in front of my aunt, brothers, cousins, etc… That was the last straw for my family. My mother no longer considers him her brother. He’s not my uncle. He’s not an uncle to Jason or Gregory, either. I’m an intelligent person and I have a theory when it comes to my uncle. He’s good w/ his hands – he can build things – and that’s about all. He’s not intelligent. My father is very smart – he has common sense, he’s one of the smartest people I’ve ever met – and my uncle’s intimidated. He will NOT, NOT, NOT surround himself w/ people who have more intelligence than he. Instead he’s got a wife w/ no identity of her own, a daughter who’s going to grow up to worship him, a sister who believes he’s some sort of demigod. Ugh. He only wants to be around people who think he is as wonderful as he thinks he is. If you don’t think he’s a fantastic human being, then you’re not worth his time. He’ll belittle you to make himself feel big. Well, fuck that.

Ugh – simply thinking about it is making my head spin.

I really want to go home. I’m trying to come up w/ some excuse in my head to leave and I can’t think of any.

Ok, I just read my LiveJournal history and found that I didn’t write too much about the whole brouhaha w/ my family last May. All I wrote was that I didn’t want to talk about it because it was too depressing.

I wrote this yesterday:

I’ve been avoiding updating my journal for a while, but I don’t know why.
I’m sitting at work in a skirt while my mini-heater works hard to heat my
long legs. I’m sucking on a Tootsie Roll to make the chocolate goodness
last longer while I’m thinking about all of the things I have to do today to
get ready for my trip.

Tomorrow I leave for Alabama to visit my Aunt Natalie. The time has finally
come to take the trip that I’ve been avoiding for almost a year. How do you
say goodbye to someone you know you very well may never see again? When
you’re sitting and having conversation w/ a dying woman, do you talk about
death or do you treat it like the preverbal elephant in the room? Maybe I
should take my moose w/ me. I was in a team building seminar a few weeks
ago and our instructor gave us all Beanie Baby moose (moose is one of those
tough words w/ no real plural) to remind us to talk about the things we’re
all thinking, but too afraid to broach.

I’m getting a new litter box for the Poopies – what Shel and I
affectionately call our foster kittens – today. I think their little legs
are finally long enough to hurl them over the top of a real litter box as
opposed to the pathetic blue one I got them at Target last week. I’m also
getting it for my sanity; when they try to cover their waste, they spray
litter all over the place. Not dirty litter, but the clean, dry stuff that
is easily flung into every which corner of my bathroom. The litter box I’m
getting them has a ‘hood’ on it, so it will contain the flying litter.
Hopefully. I’m tired of cleaning all of the damn time.

The Poopies are growing bigger and stronger every day. They’re really happy
little critters, which, of course, makes me so proud. When I heard them
purr for the first time I half laughed and half wanted to cry. The laughter
came from them sounding like a lawn-mower struggling to get started and the
potential tears came from me knowing the rough start in their life and
seeing them so happy.

Valentine’s Day was this past weekend and it was pretty great. I made an
absolutely fabulous dinner for Shel and I. Wolfgang Puck I’m not, but was
quite the little chef! I found a recipe for Chicken Francise on the
Internet and whipped it up along w/ croissants, Lipton Onion Soup potatoes,
asparagus w/ Hollandaise sauce, a Caesar salad, etc… Pretty fancy, huh?
Despite my culinary triumph, it was too much work and Shel’s decided to take
me out to dinner next year! Ha! For a gift, Shel got me a dozen beautiful
red roses and The Thorn Birds on DVD. I was so touched! A DVD doesn’t
sound all that special, but I mentioned wanting the DVD back in December and
he remembered!! The thought was what was so special to me. I’d say 95% of
the time the thought means more to me than the gift itself. Unless you’re
my mom who got a NEW CAR for Valentine’s Day!! The car – a brand new Trail
Blazer – really wasn’t intended to be a V-Day gift, but because that’s the
day my dad bought it, my mom will never live it down! She probably won’t be
getting another present on V-Day for at least 10-15 years!! To my dad’s
credit – the car’s for my mom and HE’S the one making all the payments.

It’s looking relatively certain that Jason is going to be a police officer
in Cambridge, MD, starting this summer. It’s such a fantastic opportunity
for him – he’ll get experience he needs to move up in the world of law
enforcement and he’ll also have all of his student loans paid off thanks to
a special incentive the police department is offering. Although I’m
disappointed that this practically rules out any possibility of Jason moving
to the South (closer to me), I’m really very happy for him. He’s such a
good human being and he deserves good things to happen to him.

I miss my family a lot.

This is silly, I know, but I’m sooo filled w/ love right now. I’m crazy about the two little kittens playing on my couch. And I’m absolutely mad about my boyfriend also playing on my couch! I love Charlotte, my forever kitty. And I adore my family so much that I feel like my heart could explode w/ all the love I have for them.

No, I’m not on crack.

Today is day three w/ the cutest kittens ever created. I have to write-up litle bios about them and take more pictures in the hopes that they get adopted. I’ll be really sad when they leave, but I think I’ll be even more upset if they’re not adopted together. They love each other so much. Yesterday they were asleep in the corner of my couch and they were balled together so tightly, you couldn’t tell where one started and the other ended. Yeah, yesterday they discovered the couch and sleeping on my lap. It was adorable. Kate came over and helped give me give them their medicine, but it didn’t go terribly well. Henry didn’t want to swallow his, so he let it sit in his throat and there were medicine/spit bubbles coming out of his little mouth. So today I’m going to stop at the store, get canned cat food and see if I can hide their medicine in there.

Although he won’t admit it, I think Shel’s attention deprived because my focus has been on Charlie and Henry. Of course I love Shel more than any kitty, but I think maybe I need to do a better job reminding him of that. He loves the kitties, too, though. He talks to them and plays w/ them and holds them – seeing him interact w/ little babies, whether they be of the cat, dog or human variety, makes my heart swell. There’s just something irresistible to me about seeing a grown man interact w/ infants.

Laura may be coming down next weekend, which would be fun. I haven’t seen her in a while. I always want to go up to VA and visit, but it seems like every weekend something little comes up and I can’t leave. That, or I’m too lazy. Kristen is still saying that she’ll be down here for Spring Break and I hope that holds true. She’s made some major changes in her life and, although I hate to say it, I kind of feel like I don’t know her any more. Her life is so different; she’s friends w/ people I’ve never heard of, she’s suddenly got a new boyfriend I’ve never even seen, she’s in Pharmacy school instead of being just a regular WVU student. It’s weird. Jeff says that friendships don’t last because of distance, but I always hoped ours would. I mean, it’s not ruined or anything, just evolving.

I talked to John for a bit last night. He’s such a strange little man. He’s far from little, actually, but strange no less. When I go to Philly this spring I think I’m going to get to see him. I think it’s been over a year – I don’t remember the last time we saw each other, but I think it was last September. Wow – it’s been a long time. That’s what happens when you go to an out-of-state school and make friends w/ people from places like New Jersey, Philly and Virginia Beach.

I also talked to Jason last night – he’s confused as to what to get Wendy for Valentine’s Day. I told him to get her something nice from Victoria’s Secret, which grossed him out because he doesn’t want to hear things like that from his sister! Haha. I meant a nice pair of pajamas or something, though, and sent him links to their website. Maybe he’ll order something from there, but probably not because apparently he’s more of a prude than I am!

Ok, back to doing work I go…

The link is to a photo of the newest additions to the our family: Charlie and Henry. The kittens were part of a litter of four that was tied in a plastic bag and abandoned on the side of the road. Now they’re staying w/ us for a while until they get adopted. They’re very tiny and incredibly brave! They were roaming all over the apartment, playing w/ each other and causing a ruckus! Charlotte is terrified of them, but shows NO signs of aggression, which is a good thing!