You have no idea how much I hate what I’m about to type. I got laid-off… again. Thankfully I saw it coming and wasn’t surprised at all, but it doesn’t really make it much easier. This is the fourth time it’s happened to me since graduating and I feel like my life has been stuck on pause for seven years. It’s very hard and I’m scared and sad and frustrated.

It was a rough week. Not only did I get laid-off, 25% of the company also lost their jobs. When a few of us went out to get drunk on our last day, three of the four FMIers at the table were unemployed.

And then, to finish off the week, Bear, my favorite dog nephew, was put to sleep. He was suffering from cancer, and Jason and Laurie wouldn’t stand for that (rightfully), so they bought him a steak and had him put down. I was really upset not only for Jason and Laurie, but for Ben, their other dog. Jason and Laurie know what happened to Bear, they know he’s not coming back, but Ben has no idea what’s going on. All he knows is how much he misses his brother.

Below is my favorite picture of Bear. It’s almost like he KNOWS how ridiculous he looks and is laughing at himself.

Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah!

There’s been one bright spot to this week and it’s been Allan, my incredibly loving, supportive and amazing boyfriend. Seriously, I don’t know what I did to get so lucky.

This is the time of year when the weather seems like it’s on a rollercoaster ride and my brains feel like they’re going to fall through my forehead. Spring. Love it!

Ok, get this. I’m wearing a khaki skirt, brown cardigan, cream cami, bright turquoise and gold earrings, and my Cole Haan leopard print stilettos! Color! Print! OMG! And yes, I name dropped. Cole Haan. There I go, name dropping again. These are my most expensive shoes by far, and I still kind of can’t believe I bought them. I got them while in Miami last month. I saw them and just about died – they’re beautiful. My dream shoes. But they were $$$. I called Allan and told him he had to be my voice of reason. He had to tell me not to spend $$$ on a pair of shoes. But what did he say? “Weeellll, what kind of shoes are they?”

People being unresponsive at work is stressing me out a bit. Not knowing if my position is safe is stressing me out more than a bit. I’m trying not to think about either and am instead looking forward to lunch outside of the building and in the sunshine.

Abby can say my name. She doesn’t call me Chee-I anymore. Nor does she call me Chee-addy. I walked in the door yesterday, she was laying on the couch, turned around and was like, “It’s Auntie Allie!” She ran over to give me a hug and I still wasn’t done being dumbfounded at her sudden ability to correctly pronunciate my name. Auntie Allie. Holy crap. She’s a little girl, not a baby. And she pees in the potty and makes pictures. And picks out her own clothes and can properly say my name.

What’s up, bitches? I’m sitting here doing some laundry and catching up with long-lost relatives via Facebook. They’re my aunt’s daughters. My aunt died several years ago of cancer. She was really great. I’m sure she’d be thrilled to see how many grandchildren she has, and how many of them look like her. Every once in a while I’ll catch her laugh coming from my mother’s throat, and it makes me miss her.

So, blah, this rain sucks. For the past five days, the weather in Raleigh (well, basically all of NC) has been really miserable. Gray, cloudy and rainy. I’d give anything to see some sunshine.

I’ve had two solid weeks off from the RBC Center and it’s coming to an end in a big way starting on Wednesday. And the only thing left is hockey – long and cold. I hate that my jobs take up time I could be spending with the boyfriend.

Speaking of the boyfriend, he turned 30 last week and several days were spent celebrating his old age (ha!). It was fun. There was a little birthday party on Friday night, but nearly everyone crapped out from exhaustion. Seems as though old age is affecting everyone… Then we went to his father’s house in the Holden Beach area. Although the weather – as I previously mentioned – was less than ideal, it was nice to be by the ocean. And yes, silly Yankee that I am, I rolled my pants up and waded around in the water. How can you be near an ocean and not stick your toes in?

It’s March Madness! I think this time of year is a blast. I’m very competitive and I’m a really bad athlete, so the NCAA tournament gives me an opportunity to be competitive in a game of chance. No athletic ability required! I’m in two pools and have three brackets. One bracket for work, two for Justin’s pool, which I’ve been in for at least five years. I have yet to win. But I won once in college! Score! I picked Arizona to be the national champ. Do you know why I picked them? Because their school starts with an ‘A’ (Arizona, duh) and so does mine! Like I said: game of chance!

I guess that’s about all that’s new or exciting in my little corner of the world. I need to switch my laundry now. Fun, fun, fun!

Mother Nature is a tease. She gives us four straight days of absolutely gorgeous, perfect weather, then she takes it away. From the 80′s back down into the 40′s in the span of a few days. It’s not fair. She and I need to have a chat.

I got to spend the bulk of my weekend activities outside enjoying the aforementioned perfectness. We played mini-golf (I won! I won!) and went on a paddle boat around Lake Johnson (which kicked my ass), and I went to Allan’s soccer game with his mother. Ok, I get that Allan’s my boyfriend and I adore him and therefore I may be a bit biased, but he’s a damn good soccer player! He’s one of those sick, disgusting people who’s good at EVERYTHING – the kid can even juggle! – but this was the first time I actually watched him play soccer. I was very impressed!

It’s the birthday part of March. Allan’s 30th is the 11th, my uncle’s is the 19th, and my father’s is the 25th. I already have Allan’s gifts, I just send my uncle a card, and I’m clueless as to what to get my father. He likes to cook, so he enjoys kitchen gadgets. He loves fishing, but he’s got an insane amount of fishing gear and my mother has said NO MORE. And he’s an uber Steelers fan, so maybe something from the last Super Bowl would be nice, but it kind of feels like a cop out. So I don’t know. Can you think of anything he might like?

It was really hard to wake up this morning with the bedroom still being dark. Although I enjoy having some additional sunlight tacked onto my evenings, it’d be nice if my mornings were also bright and sunny!

Um, um, um. Jason is a retard. If you’re wondering why I said that, check out my latest tweet. He’s a retard, but I love him. In fact, I love him like a brother.

A – Age: 29

B – Beer of Choice: Yuk, none

C – Crush: Allan

D – Dog’s name: I don’t have one, but I have dog siblings and nephews. Savannah, Baxter, Benjamin, Bear and Buddy

E – Essential item I use every day: Sonicare toothbrush

F – Favorite TV show: The Office

G – Gold or Silver: Silver

H – Hometown: Pittsburgh

I – Instruments you play(ed): None

J – Favorite Juice: Simply Orange

K – Whose butt you’d like to Kick? Uuhh, no one’s

L – Last place you ate: McDonald’s on my couch

M – Mom: Is so freaking funny

N – Nicknames: Allie, Lee Lee, Da Leash

O – Overnight hospital stays: Tonsils

P – Pet Peeve: Long nose hair

Q – Quotes you like: Even God cannot change the past. Agathon The radical of one century is the conservative of the next. The radical invents the views. When he has worn them out the conservative adopts them. Mark Twain

R – Right or left handed: Right

S – Siblings: Jason William and Gregory Michael

T – Time you wake up: My alarm goes off at 7:15, but that’s not when I wake up

U- Underwear: Never without it

V – Vegetable you dislike: I like most of them, but I’m not a beet fan. Is beet a veggie?

W – Ways you run late: I’m always early

X-rays you’ve had: Teeth, spine, wrist, feet

Y – Yummy food(s) you make: LOL. None.

Z – Zodiac: Libra

Are you sitting down? What I’m about to tell you is SO SHOCKING, you’re going to need to be sitting down. Ok, here goes. I found a flavor of yogurt that I LIKE. It tastes GOOD. Not only do I not mind eating it, I look forward to it! OMG. It’s Yoplait raspberry and it’s yummy.

It’s very, very cold in Raleighwood right now. When I got into my car this morning (after sliding around the parking lot and scraping ice from my windows), the temperature was a balmy 21 degrees. I have a mini-heater in my office and it’s awesome, but too small. It only warms up one foot or the other, never both at the same time. Right now my left foot is getting blasted, but in a few minutes it’ll be too hot, then I’ll switch over to my right foot. Both feet are never warm and toasty at the same time. It’s a tragedy.

I know, I know, I know. I’ve been really bad about updating my blog. And I’ve been even worse about updating my picture page. At this point my picture page seems like a nightmare to catch up on despite having been faithfully taking a picture every single day. I’m going to try to fix it this weekend, but don’t hold me to it! And my blog, well, I think I’ve explained my delinquency already. But look at me now! Two posts in two days!

I got lots and lots of sleep last night, which I needed because I was exhausted. I went to bed at 9:30!! So, so tired. My theory is this: although I love spending time with the boyfriend, I’ve been spending SO much time with him lately, I haven’t had a chance to fully relax in a long while. So last night, when I was alone for the evening, I crashed. It was a struggle to get even the tiniest bit accomplished. I ate some left-over quesadillas, painted my nails, read part of a book, then visited Dream Land.

So, I don’t watch The Bachelor, but it’s hard to not know what happened last night. It actually was pretty surprising. Apparently he picked one girl, but then after the show ended, realized he wanted to be with the other. So he dumped the girl he picked in order to be with the girl he didn’t. Although not an ideal situation, I don’t understand why that pisses so many people off. Actually, I’m surprised it’s the first time it has happened. Who hasn’t second-guessed a decision at some point or another? I wish I would have watched the After the Rose special, though. I bet it was entertaining!

So, it’s Monday. I totally did not want to come to work this morning. I’m super thankful to currently have a job to go to, but I did way too much this weekend with not enough sleep. It’s basically the story of my life. I took Wednesday off for some annual doctors appointments, and I’m already looking forward to sleeping until at least 10:00.

Without taking a step out of North Carolina, yesterday was an awesome Pittsburgh day! When I’m home (home being Pittsburgh), I love to go to IKEA and a restaurant called Bravo. Well, yesterday we went to the new IKEA in Charlotte and then stopped at Bravo in Greensboro. I got a few little odds and ends at Ikea – plus a new coffee table! – and I got my favorite salad at Bravo. It was like going to Disneyworld!

I was a little nervous about some things this weekend, too. First, Allan and I went to a hockey game on Friday night, and although I adore my coworkers, I was afraid they were going to embarrass the crap out of me. Thankfully only one did, and Allan thought it was funny. Second, I met (or re-met) Allan’s mother. Very scary to meet a mother when you’re dating their only child. Lots of pressure! I’m not really sure what she thought of me – this liberal yankee chick the same height as her son – but she told Allan I was very easy to talk to. That’s not bad, right?

Ok – I wrote the above three paragraphs at the beginning of the week. It’s Friday and I’m only now finishing my update. It’s been a busy week at work!

On Wednesday it was SO nice to have the day off. I got 11 hours of sleep, did all kinds of chores – things I don’t normally have the time to do – and made dinner for Allan. An actual dinner, one that required using the oven and the stove rather than the microwave. He was impressed. After my relaxing day, we went to the Ben Folds concert with Shel and Tiffany. This was my fifth evening with Mr. Folds and it was awesome. He played a bunch of songs from his new CD – which was to be expected – but the majority of the show was filled with old goodies from his first two solo CDs and a lot of early Ben Folds Five stuff. It was Tiffany and Allan’s first time seeing a Folds show and I think they liked it.

Today is our monthly company meeting and I’m a bit anxious. Just like nearly every other company out there, FMI is cutting positions. About 12 people have already been let go, and we all strongly suspect more cuts are on their way. I have no idea if my position is safe. I’m leaning towards thinking it’s not. Marketing/public relations/advertising is always one of the first departments to experience big cuts, and that’s the department I’m in. I’m extremely stressed about the situation, but I realize there’s really nothing I can do about it except do my job and wait to see what happens. It seems like everyone here is on edge right now – we’re all worried about what could be coming our way.

Blah, blah, blah.

I have a full weekend coming up, but it could turn out to be a little lazy depending on the weather. Although it’s going to be a balmy 68 today, rain is on its way and is supposed to hang out in Raleigh all weekend. If that’s the case, I won’t be doing a 5k tomorrow morning. I’m already registered, so I’ve already made my donation (it’s for Special Olympics North Carolina Summer Games), and if I end up spending the morning in bed with my boyfriend rather than walking around NC State’s campus, that would be okay with me!

The song Glycerine is playing on the radio. When I was in high school, I was obsessed with this song and with Gavin Rossdale. I had pictures of him plastered to the back of my bedroom door, and I would buy obscure guitar magazines just to read an article that talked about what strings he used. And when the video for Glycerine was popular, I’d watch Total Request Live on MTV just to see it. Amazing video – not much more than Gavin’s face. Aahhh. Georgeous, curly-haired British guys do it to me every time.