In an IM to Kristen that I sent minutes ago:

My grandfather – not the cool one – had to be rushed to the emergency room last night. Turns out he has bleeding on the brain and they’re going to operate w/i the next few hours. He’s not doing well at all and, because of his age, may not survive the surgery. He’s a really strong guy, though, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he lasted another 10 years. Just thought I’d let you know.

I’m just going to type what I think. I’m going to type whatever pops into my head and I’m not going to hold myself back or delete any of it. Trouble is, nothing’s in my head. I feel very lonely right now. I feel like all I want to do is be surrounded by people, by people I love, by friends from school, by friends from home. Funny, isn’t it? I still call Pittsburgh home. When I’m in Raleigh, Pittsburgh is home. When I’m in Pittsburgh, Raleigh is home. Home is where your heart is, and my heart is scattered across the north east. Well, North Carolina’s not quite the north, so I guess it’s better if I say my heart’s scattered on the east coast.

See, I’m sitting in my cube and it’s 7:40pm and no one – not even the janitors – are here. I’ve got a meeting I have to go to in a little over an hour – 9:00 – and I have to stay late for the meeting. I get to talk to people in China and Hong Kong (actually, I guess Hong Kong and China are the same things now) and New Zealand, etc… tonight. Fun, fun . Nah. Not really.

Umm… I have to pee but I don’t feel like getting up. I’ve chugged half of my Nalgene bottle in the past hour.

I want to call my mom. Ok, yeah. I’m going to call my mom now.

I’m sitting in Shel’s office right now and I swear it’s only about 50 deg. in here. They have many air conditioners blasting away and I’m freezing cold. I have some random guy’s jacket on to try to warm me up. I’m ready to leave.

Shel and I were planning a vacation to Mexico or the Bahamas, but his car broke and all of his money went to fixing it up, so I think we’re going to have a little mini-vacation on the Isle of Palms in South Carolina. I love South Carolins and I think a vacation there would be great, but I’m bummed about not splashing in the turquoise seas of the Carribean.

Oh well.

I think we’re going to get milkshakes now!

Well hello, little journal. Long time no write, huh?

I just got back from a fun weekend in Philadelphia, City of Brotherly Love
(or, as my father calls it, City of Brothers on Drugs), home of Independence
Hall and the Liberty Bell, and birthplace of the US system of democracy.

I’m making it sound more exciting than it really is.

I don’t quite know how to describe Philadelphia. The city doesn’t have a
magnificent skyline or anything, then again, I’m quite biased towards
Pittsburgh. It has a very Northern feel to it, which I enjoyed because I
miss it. There were dozens upon dozens of ratty old rundown row houses
stacked on top of one another surrounded by grayed concrete and sparse
lawns. It really made me feel almost at home, while at the same time it
made me miss the newness, cleanliness and openness of Raleigh. Visiting
Philly reminded me of both why I love the North and why I moved to the

Yes, I had a Philly cheesesteak! It was really good, too. I would have
eaten two, but I’m trying to shrink the square acreage of my ass. The
Delaware River (I think) creates the natural border for not only the city of
Philadelphia, but for the state of Pennsylvania. Across the river is
Camden, New Jersey – the armpit of the United States. John – a New
Jerseyite – didn’t come to visit me while I was there, which I expected, but
it still would have been nice to see him. I miss my big butterball of a
stud muffin, though he claims that he’s a little less butterball and a
little more stud since graduation from college. He’s going to be a gym
teacher in Jersey starting in the fall and it truly stuns me that he’s going
to have influence over hundreds of snotty-nosed kids, although I think he’ll
be a fantastic teacher.

Philly has nice outlet malls. I took my mom on a mini shopping spree, which
both she and I enjoyed a whole bunch. She came home w/ three entire outfits
and a suede coat. Sorry vegetarians, but I got a suede coat, too. It’s
like, I don’t know. I love, love, love cows – I’m counting down the days
till the state fair so I can pet some – but I also like steak and ground
beef and leather and stuff. I just don’t know. I have mixed emotions about
being such a fanatical animal lover and a carnivore.

I feel so lucky to have been able to spend the last two weekends w/ my
parents and w/o anyone else. I don’t know if I’ll ever be so lucky as to do
it again. At some point I’ll start popping out kids and having a husband
(although not necessarily in that order) and then I’ll lose the luxury of
one on one time w/ the people who created me.

Yesterday I got to see Shel after a 12 day interval, our second 12 day
interval of not seeing each other this summer. When I looked at him, all
tan and smiling, I almost couldn’t believe he was there in front of me. I
don’t know why and I’m sure it sounds strange, but it’s true. Looking at
him was like looking at a mirage and it was only when I crashed into his
chest head-first and felt his arms around me that I realized he was actually
there. Then he got all pissy about some stuff and everything went back to
normal… To his credit, though, he’s had a rough couple of days.

I can’t wait till this weekend when I get to bum around and do nothing.
Absolutely nothing. My apartment’s clean, I have no commitments and I plan
on spending an entire day laying in bed w/ my little brown eyes glued to the
tv or a page in a book. I used to do that every once in a while in college
- I’d just lay in bed all day, being comfortable and alone w/ my thoughts.
It was pretty great.

It absolutely tears me up inside like you wouldn’t believe when I hear about or see abandoned animals. I have this feeling of utter helplessness, like no matter what I do, I can’t make things better. It’s just heartbreaking.

I’d write more, but I’m a really sleepy gal and I’m looking forward to my head hitting the pillow and cuddling w/ my little baby Henry James.

I’m missing Shel, by the way. I wish he wasn’t 3,000 miles away from me.