I feel like there’s a knife plunging in and out of my right temple. It’s a stress headache and they’re becoming more and more frequent. I woke up in the middle of the night and had the hardest time falling back asleep because I had about a billion and one things running through my head. I was jumping from subject to subject and wasn’t able to sleep. Eventually the sun came up and I had to grab my wonderful eye-cover thing that I got on my trip to London. Sigh.

It’s been so long and maybe those of you who read my journal, whomever you may be, don’t know about my current situation. So, I’ll start from the beginning:

I’m from Pittsburgh, PA, a fabulous northern city built around three giant rivers. One of my favorite things I’ve ever heard about Pgh is that it’s a ‘drinking city with a football problem’ & that’s totally accurate. I’m super-close to my family: my mom’s a teacher’s aid, my dad’s an engineer, my brother Jason is a college grad & police officer & my brother Gregory is almost a college grad and a confused individual! He’s currently working with my dad.

So, I decided to pass up the University of Wisconsin and went to West Virginia University, which was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I got my BS in Journalism – my major was PR and my minor was Law. I met some of the most wonderful friends while I was there, including my bestest friend, Kristen who is the other half of Chow Jackson. Long story.

After graduation, I decided to see if I could make it on my own and moved down to Raleigh. Less than a week after I moved here, Shel and I were together. I got a crappy job, stayed there for a little more than a year, then started to work for GSK. While there I worked in internal corporate communications, which I loved, and they even flew me (business class!) to London for two weeks. But, due to budget cuts my job went away and I haven’t been able to find another one. I’ve had eight interviews, but am continually passed over because I don’t have enough experience. I’m caught in that old cliche: how am I supposed to have experience if no one will give me the opportunity to get experience?

So, my unemployment benefits are about to run out and I’m terrified. I’m also depressed as hell, embarrassed, etc… I mean, who grows up and thinks that they’re going to be unable to find a job? I thought I did everything right: I have a good degree, did internships while in school, had a very high GPA, blah, blah, blah. All to no avail.

I have no idea what’s going to happen to me in six weeks and I’m scared out of my mind, but I’m trying my damnedest to stay positive and focus on the happy things in my life. I’ve got a boyfriend who smiles every time he sees me, I’ve got Henry James, the coolest cat alive, I’ve got supportive friends and the most loving family anyone could ask for.

So, what you’ve just read is the reason for my rollercoaster moods for the past six months. I’m not psycho, just unemployed.

I’m sitting on one end of the loveseat and Charlie’s on the other. He’s sound asleep and curled in a ball with his head nestled in his tail. I can barely make out his face amidst all of the fur, but when I can catch a glimpse of it, it’s completely content. His little body is moving up and down in w/ the rhythm of his breath and he looks so, so peaceful.

I set some plastic on fire today and for about two hours the apartment smelled like the inside of a chemical plant. It was disgusting, but I handled it well. You see, I was starting to make dinner and I turned on the wrong burner of our ceramic range. The burner that was rapidly heading was below a tupperware-type container, which, sadly, met its death. There were flames and tons of smoke, so that was my exciting event of the day.

I recently got back from visitng Mr. Brannan in the hospital where he’s spending some time to treat an infection. He’s in good spirits and is on a regular diet, so I’m going to bake him some brownies tomorrow morning.

There’s a full moon tonight and it’s gorgeous, so I decided to go take some pictures of it. I thought I could showcase them and show off my limited artistic abilities, but sadly, they look like crap. Using regular vision, the moon looks like a white speck in the middle of a black sea. Using the night vision feature on my digital camera, the moon is cloned and it looks like there are three or four of them. My neighbor came out while I was trying to take the pics, and when he saw the tiny images on the preview screen, he couldn’t help but laugh.

Nearly three days after Shel purchased the XM components for his car, he got it to work! LOL. He programmed a dance channel for me so I can wiggle in the passenger seat.

I just picked up the new GQ w/ one Mr. Brad Pitt on the cover, so I think I’m going to jump in the tub and read the lovely words that came from his beautiful mouth…

Ok – got called away from the screen by Allan – turns out he spotted a special on Primanti’s on the Food Network!! So, I just watched a little five minute clip of one of my favorite food joints on the planet! They’re only in Pittsburgh, so if you go up there, you should check one out! www.primantibrothers.com

I’ve had an extremely productive day. I cleaned my car AND my room! Seriously, if you walked into my room at any point over the last two months, you wouldn’t have been able to see the carpet. I think that says a lot about my mental state right now. I used to be a total neat-freak and now I’m a slob. It’s a sad progression.


Shel’s cousin and friend got married last night and, much to my surprise, we had a lot of fun! Shel has a funny relationship w/ his family and I thought for sure that he’d be miserable the whole time, but he wasn’t miserable at all. In fact, he even asked me to dance!! Woo hoo! He decided that we should take dance lessons – not to learn to do anything fancy, but to learn how to, as he put it, ‘socially dance’. Apparently there’s a whole skill to it, but I don’t know it. Oh well.

Tonight’s the season finale of Desperate Housewives and Grey’s Anatomy – yay!! I love Sunday tv. I’ve got Lifetime on right now and it’s some cheezeball movie w/ Tori Spelling and it’s set in Charleston, so seeing all of the gorgeous scenery is making me want to go back there. The last time Shel and I were there I really and truly did not want to leave! It’s such a beautiful, beautiful place.

Ok, I’m going to throw a couple more things into my closet before the pizza comes. Later gators!

I’m so disappointed w/ my life right now that I don’t know what to do. When I stop to think about it, I seriously think, “No, this cannot be it – this cannot be my life” and I feel like I’m powerless to change anything. I’ve never felt this helpless and disappointed before. I feel like there’s no rainbow at the end of my thunderstorm, and although that’s terribly pessimistic, I don’t have reason to believe otherwise. Nothing good has happened to me in so long, it’s just bad news after bad news after bad news. Everyone tells me that something good will happen soon, and that there are other people out there in situations worse than mine, which I know is true, but honestly, sometimes I don’t care. That’s very hard for me to admit because I’ve never been a selfish person. I love my boyfriend, I love my family, my friends, my cats and Raleigh is a great place to live, but I’m just so damn miserable that I could scream.

Written on Friday, May 13 at 8:30am
I’m sitting in Concourse A at Detroit International Airport enjoying a slightly cold onion bagel and watching the planes take off. I’m on a two-hour layover on my way to Pittsburgh. This airport is really nice; it’s got a ton of shops, restaurants and things to look at. It’s also got wireless Internet throughout the building, which I was excited about, until I found out that it was $6.95 an hour. Tempting as it may be, I decided to pass. So, I’m typing this lovely little journal update in a Word document and I’m trusting that I’ll paste it online once I get home.

Home. Weird word. Kate and I were talking about it this morning and we both say we’re going home when we go to the places we’re from, then when we go back to the place we currently live, we also say that we’re going home. Hmmm… Yeah, it was Kate who was kind enough to drop my butt off at the airport at 5am. Thank you, Kate!!!

I went to bed at 12:30 and woke up at 4, so I’m going to be one cranky girl in a couple of hours!! Try as I may, I cannot sleep on planes. I think maybe it’s because I can’t find a comfortable position, but who knows. I can’t sleep in a car for, I think, the same reason.

How I came to be sitting in Detroit is such a long story, but in the interest of time I’ll shorten it: my mom got me a ticket because she knows I’m going through a rough time, the ticket got screwed because of communication issues w/ Hotwire.com (use at your own risk) so I couldn’t go, then Shel stepped up and saved the day by buying me a whole new ticket. I feel so special to have people that love me so much in my life. I really, really do.

Oh my God am I tired!!! I think it’ll be an early night for me, which I know my mom won’t mind. I think we’re going out for a beer tonight, then tomorrow we’re going to do some gardening (which I suck at), I don’t know what’s planned for Sunday – probably church – then Monday I’ll be by myself and on Tuesday we’re going to lunch at Primanti’s and to see Monster In Law. I hope I’ll be able to spend time w/ my Kristen while I’m at home!! She’s excited that I’m coming and I’m excited to see her. It’s no fun having a best friend who lives a billion hours away.

Ok, I’m paranoid and although I have well over an hour until my flight leaves, I’m going to sit at my gate and read a book. Next time I update this, I’ll be in PITTSBURGH!!!

(I keep wondering if Eminem or Kid Rock will walk by … LOL.)

Written Tuesday, May 17 at 8:30pm
It’s now Tuesday evening and I’m back in Detroit. My flight has been delayed and when all is said and done, I will have spent over four hours in this city while never leaving Concourse A…

My trip home was wonderful and way, way too short. I feel like I just arrived in Pittsburgh yesterday rather than nearly five days ago. I really needed to go home in the worst way. I’ve been so depressed and stressed for such a long time that my body and mind needed a break from everything. Although I’m looking forward to seeing my boyfriend and critters and lying in my own bed, I’m dreading having to face everything that sucks in my life.

I’ve gotta make this a quick entry as I only have like 20% of my battery left. I’m just typing on here to break up the monotony of reading all the time. Reading too much is a weird complaint for me to have as reading is one of my favorite hobbies. I’ve picked up The Last Juror, it’s Grisham book and combines my two favorite things: journalism and law. It’ll be good for me to take a break from reading true crime for a while although I can’t seem to pry myself entirely away from crime. I almost got some James Patterson mushy book, but decided that I’m in no state of mind to read or do anything mushy. Blah to that.

While I was home I ran into a good friend of mine who’s recently become engaged and has THE SPARKLIEST diamond ring I have ever seen. It was so sparkly that it almost looked fake! (my flight has been pushed back another six minutes!!) Also, another friend of mine saw me at the mall, but by the time she checked out of the store, I was gone. It would have been really nice to see her especially because she’s now living in Boston and I’m in Raleigh – weird that we were both in Pgh the same weekend.

I got a slice of pizza from Hungry Howie’s Pizza and although it’s decent, I have absolutely no desire to eat it. I’m just kind of looking at it. I haven’t had much of an appetite for the past few days, which is a good thing. Maybe I’ll lose some weight. Wouldn’t that be nice!

I’ve got a tension headache I think. I get very nervous during take-off because of all the shaking and dips and other things that make my stomach feel like it’s falling to my feet. I do the sign of the cross thing before I step food onto any airplane. Weird, I know. I’ve got some Extra Strength Tylenol in my purse, so I’ll take two of those before I get on my next flight.

I’d consider getting the Internet thing this visit to Detroit, but it would be a waste because, as I’ve stated, my battery is nearing the end of its life. I’m happy to have the laptop w/ me though, because it makes me feel productive and look less like a loser. I was recently thinking that I’ve only traveled with someone three times in my life: with my family to Florida when I was five, with MP to California when I was 19 and with Gregory to North Carolina when I was 22. Other than that, every single flight I’ve ever taken has been taken alone. It would be nice to have someone to sit here and talk to. Maybe someone I know is also having a layover in Detroit right now, but I sincerely doubt it.

I only ate less than half of my pizza, I’m definitely done. I got a Happy Meal at McDonald’s at the Pittsburgh airport, too, and ate half of the cheeseburger and NO French fries. See… I just don’t have much of an appetite.

So, yeah, being at home was great, great, great. While driving to the airport, I again realize what a beautiful place Pittsburgh is and how lucky I am to have grown up there. I miss it so much, but I’d never move back. Raleigh’s just too nice to want to leave!

I just had a brilliant idea to DL the pics I took from this trip, but my camera is in my suitcase and God only knows where that may be at this point in time. I took some photos of my mom’s room, which was redecorated while I was at home. It was a lot of fun and her room looks SO MUCH better!!

I think I’m going to go now. Maybe I’ll try to get comfy in one of those plastic airport chairs. I wish I could take a nap because I feel like this is going to be a long night…