Friday, January 28, 2011

Learning new tricks.

So, I'm officially an adult. I changed my own headlight bulb. (Or are you officially an adult when you change your own tire? Whatever.) That's the old bulb. Which I may keep as a reminder of how awesome I am.

I don't know what went wrong while I was growing up, but I do not know cars. Like, at all. Like, I didn't even know I was supposed to get a regular oil change until I was twenty and my car broke down.

Maybe it's 'cause my dad wasn't around (I know what you're thinking. Daddy issues. That explains everything.) or maybe it was just the plain and simple fact that I didn't even have car until shortly before I moved out so there was no point in teaching me anyway... whatever the case, I don't know cars.

My mom... my mom doesn't know cars either. Right after I moved in with her, I mentioned I had a slow leak in one of my rear tires and needed air. I had never done that before (I DON'T KNOW CARS) and my mom said, "It's easy! I'll show you! Let's go!" She showed me how to fill them... later her husband showed me how to release the extra fifteen pounds of pressure.

My mother and I both learned something that day.

When my headlight went out, I didn't even notice until someone said, "You're headlight is out." I had no idea. Later, I asked, "Why isn't there an indicator in the car when a headlight burns out?" Because most people are much more observant than me, apparently.

I assumed this would be a much more painful experience than it actually was. All it took was a quick trip to the auto parts store, eleven bucks, and my dad saying, "See this here? Turn it. Pull it out. There's the bulb. Now replace it." I was in awe.

Of course, I'm in awe of anyone who knows how to fix anything on a car. Which is pretty much all men. 'Cause I'm fairly certain they were born with a car manual for a brain. God, that would explain so much.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Blue skies are out there somewhere.

These dinosaurs are not mine. They're just the computers I have to lean on to peer outside and daydream.

I think there are maybe two offices in this hotel that have a window. We have one of them. And it's super tiny, but IT'S A WINDOW. And I can open it and let in THE BREEZE. The warm breeze 'cause southern California doesn't understand the meaning of words like "winter" and "snow" and "cold."

I've decided to take more pictures. Maybe not good ones (see above), but pictures nonetheless. Probably from my cell phone. 'Cause it's easy. And wireless. This... this will give me something to do.

I admit it. I feel incredibly antsy and... well, a friend said it perfectly: unsettled. Like I can't sit still. Like I'm hungry, but I don't know what I want so I just keep wandering around the kitchen opening cupboards hoping that just one time something I want will magically appear.

You know what this means, right? I'm gonna go play with my blog template. 'Cause nothing makes me feel grounded like cascading style sheets.

Blogging has turned me into a total freaking nerd.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


I have a crush on a boy I work with.
He’s my age. Which means he’s too immature to date.
And clueless as only a 20-something guy can be.

I’ve had crushes in the past.
I was married, not dead.
And they were harmless.

They never lasted long.
A few days of innocent, friendly flirtation.
They never failed to make me appreciate my husband that much more.

Because I feel the need, I'm going to reiterate.
With my husband, I was happy.
Things were (usually) good.
I loved.

Getting over a stupid, meaningless crush made me realize
how happy I was
to be with someone who knew me
and loved me, too.

When this most recent crush developed, it was exciting.
I thought, this is what it could be like.
Exciting. Flirtatious. Fun.
I’ll meet a new someone.
A someone who likes what I like.

Now, just like before, the crush is fading.
I never expected it to go beyond that.
Hell, I realize just about every day that I’m not ready to date.
But now, along with the crush, the excitement is gone.
And so is the hopeful optimism.

And, for crying out loud, I’m sad again.
I think the crush made me feel as though I was moving on.
And now, not only is the crush over, but I’m still alone.
And I can’t go home to my husband.
And nothing feels right.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Poppy Seeds

So, last week, the husband asked me to come over and take whatever else I wanted from the apartment. He's moving out. I told him there wasn't anything else I wanted, I had already packed and stored all of my stuff months and months ago. He insisted, said he'd leave a key, so I went.

I ended up with exactly two pictures, two folders of old paperwork that I'll unlikely ever need, the five canisters we bought for flour, sugar, etc... and this jar of poppy seeds. Because poppy seeds aren't exactly cheap, and, well, the husband's not gonna do anything with 'em. (If he suddenly takes up baking after we're divorced, I will kill him.)

I bought the poppy seeds shortly before I moved out. I was planning to make a bread or, I don't know, muffins. (Costco has the best poppy seed muffins, but they're, like, the size of a small house. And just as fattening.) (And, yes, I know houses aren't fattening, but you get it, right?) Still haven't gotten around to it.

Problem is, I don't exactly enjoy baking in my mother's kitchen. Which is why I haven't been. So, if anyone has any good, easy recipes, pass them along. I refuse let these sit here and go bad and be forced to eventually throw them away. I really hate that.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Politics! Scary!

Oh, peeps, we're gonna have a field day with this one.

So, my mother and her husband are republicans. Also, conspiracy theorists. Well, they swear they're not, but... they are. I zone out whenever one of them begins a conversation with "you want to know what I read online today?" or "I saw this video on YouTube..." because I know what's coming. Obama! Democrats! The government! Scary!

According to my mother, we are one crisis away from a total economic breakdown. And food riots. This is why they're hoarding rice and tuna in the attic. And on their boat. Which they fully intend to sail around on like freaking Noah when the whole world goes kaput. 'Cause that'll save 'em. (How do you escape the END OF THE WORLD?)

The other thing I should tell you about my mom is that she's forgetful. Terribly so. Which means, I've gotten sucked into her theories not just once, but many times since she can never remember that she's already told me. (Sometimes it's painful listening to the same stories over and over again.) (And, by "sometimes," I mean always.)

A lot of people have theories on the end of the world. Many expect it within the next couple of years. To this I say: blah, blah, blah. I just want to live my life. I want to be happy again. I want to flirt with a cute boy and have a first kiss. I want to have a home and a dog and several kitties and a turtle. And, I dunno, a kid. Maybe. Someday.

If I start buying into the whole Nostradamus-2012-Mayan-calendar-world-is-ending thing, then I might as well go back to my husband now. I mean, might as well spend the next two years with someone I love, right? And not, oh, I dunno, in my mother's house. Listening to her go on and on about what Obama's done now. And her estimates on how long 200 pounds of food will last.

(Not that I don't love my mother. I do. But.)

But when she starts talking END OF THE WORLD, I start thinking "what if" and feel that tiny seed of fear begin to root itself in the pit of my stomach and that nagging desire to just go home, to my husband. Because END OF THE WORLD! SCARY!

Okay, go ahead and call me crazy. But my mom started it. So, ahem... your thoughts?

By the way, my mother just ended a phone conversation with, "Let's get together soon. It'd be nice to see you before the whole world goes into the toilet." I'm not kidding.

Monday, January 17, 2011


I told you 2011 was the year of the library.

(No cracks about the young adult novels. They were free.)

I found Paradise on a shelf in the used bookstore for all of a dollar. It is, without a doubt, my favorite book ever. Even more than Twilight. (Gasp!) I had given up on the idea of reading it (again). My copy is packed away in storage and I draw the line at purchasing something I already own. When my sister asked me to take her to the library, I checked online. None of the local branches had it available. Of course, I never leave the library without checking the bookstore. (You can't beat books for fifty cents.) I couldn't believe I found Paradise... just sitting there. As if expecting me. I am so going to spend a few happy hours falling in love with Matt Farrell all over again.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Playing tricks on myself.

I think I might be losing the battle. I swear, I'm trying to stay strong, resolute... but I feel myself slipping. I want to reach out to my husband. I fucking miss him. It's harder and harder to stay away, to not talk to him, to not see him.

I wish I could have held onto the mad from a few months ago. That would certainly make things easier. Or, at least keep clear all the reasons I thought this divorce was the right idea in the first place, but noooo. All I think about are the good times, the things that made me laugh, made me happy. And most frustrating of all is the thought that our marriage was, for the most part, a good one. I know you're calling me eighteen kinds of fool right now, but it's true.

I'm too involved, too blinded by all the messy emotions, and I wonder what it looks like to the outside world. Did our marriage always seem destined to fail? Did I only talk about the bad? Would it surprise anyone to hear that things were pretty wonderful 97% of the time? Or, is that the doubt playing tricks on me, making me see things as better than they actually were?

I hate this.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Sometimes I read.

So, I read some books last year.

Did I mention I like to read?

Although, let's be serious. That second to last book? I didn't read so much as stare at the cover.

Of all the books I read last year, I only gave five of 'em five stars. Three of those included the Hunger Games trilogy. Peeps, if you're only going to read one book this year, please read The Hunger Games. (Which means you'll have to read three books this year, 'cause you won't be able to not continue after the first one, but it's totally worth it. They are all so, so good.)

Now, I find myself in between books and without a clear sense of where to go next. Sure, I have a "to be read" pile, but I'm just not feeling any of them right now. Suggestions?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Round 1

I saw my husband on Saturday. I went over to finish sorting through some of our stuff. Which was about as much fun as having my armpits waxed. Everything was fine until he snapped at me and I jokingly said, "Do you wanna fight about it?" To which he very seriously answered, "Yes, actually, I do."

So, turns out, I've become the bad guy. He lied (many times)... he was involved with other women... he, on more than one occasion, had the "I don't know if I want to be married anymore" talk... but, somehow, I'm now the bad guy. For not wanting to deal with his shit anymore. I'm the asshole for not wanting to give him another chance. Number 916, mind you.

I said, "This isn't fair that you're trying to make me feel guilty." He said, with hands up, palms facing me, "Hey, if you feel guilty, that's not my problem." Me: "I don't feel guilty. I have nothing to feel guilty about. Maybe you should try taking responsibility for your actions for once."

There was more. The same old "I said I'm sorry! What more do you want from me?!" and the like. Eventually, we were both staring down at our shoes, at my car, at the one lonely box of marital remains sitting in the back seat, anywhere but at each other. And then, finally, the awkward goodbye. Which really wasn't a goodbye at all, but more of an "okay" with a shrug and a turn to get in the car.

The worst thing of all is that, after leaving, I couldn't stop thinking about him. I mean, I can't stop thinking about him most days, but this was worse... somehow. I live with my fair share of doubt, but this was like an incessant buzzing in my brain.

Hours later, I found myself approaching his apartment door. I didn't know what I was going to say. I'm sure it was something totally clever and eloquent. Probably not. My level of doubt was at an all time high and I'm pretty certain I was going to say, "Okay, let's try this. Again." What an asshole. (Me. Not him. Well, him, too.)

I circled the building, walked back to my car, walked back to the apartment, and back to the car again. I'm fairly certain the couple on their patio were about to go all neighborhood watch on me, and I finally left for good.

I don't know why I went. I don't know why I walked away. I think it'd be really easy to give him another chance, fall back into that same ole safe routine. (You know, the same one that got us here in the first place?) But I just know I'm not strong enough to leave again when it all blows up in my face. And, let's face it, it will. And if I believe that, then why, WHY, would I go back?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

I might run around in my underwear next.

Before deciding to completely abandon ship and start the new blog, I hadn't been writing very often. Posts were few and far between, mostly because I couldn't handle the worried looks that I'd get from my mother. She was fine, business as usual, right up until her third cocktail. Then, with her face all scrunched up in scotch-induced concern, she'd say, "I wish you weren't so depressed." Which would be followed by: "Jon is an asshole." Mothers. Can't live with 'em... unless you're broke and getting divorced and have no other choice.

I'm not depressed. (Thanks, Prozac!) But, yes, I am sad. There hasn't been a day that's gone by without feeling that painful clutch in my heart. I miss him. Sometimes I think it's getting worse. According to a friend, this is totally normal and to be expected. Okay. Got it. But. When does it start to get better?

Despite all that, I'm looking forward to posting more often. I hate that I feel the need to leave the old digs behind in order to do so, but it is such a relief knowing that no one will read this. (No one I have to make eye contact with, anyway.) Maybe they will someday. That's fine. I don't plan to write anything that could offend my family or friends (not yet), but being here means an escape from the pitying looks, the concerned e-mails, the "we need to find you a man" pep talks (shudder).

And I'm glad I can post again more freely, 'cause as much as I wish none of this was happening, I'm going to want to remember. I'm going to want to look back one day and go, "Gosh, remember when I thought I'd never survive?" or "Geez, I was so melodramatic!" or "I can't believe I'm still living my my mother."

(If that last one comes true, I will kill myself. I'm not even kidding.)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The "about me" post

(This post originally written on back when life was a lot more confusing.)

I'm getting divorced. I think. Maybe not. It's doubtful. And highly likely. Maybe. We'll see. (And that about sums that up.) I've been known to go on and on about the same boring divorce-related drivel for paragraph upon paragraph in fairly frequent "why me" blog posts. Feel free to skip those.

I use curse words. Not always, but sometimes. Often enough that I feel the need to put this little fact about me in my "about" page. I understand it offends some and puts others off. I get it. To each his own. I have found that sometimes the F word is necessary.

I work in a hotel. I rarely talk about my work, but I just celebrated my 10th anniversary. (And, by "celebrated" I mean business as usual.) In 10 years, I've quit twice and have been laid off once. My 12th anniversary will fall on 12/12/12. I might have to stay with the company for that reason alone.

I live with my mother. My bedroom has no door. It fucking sucks. (See what I mean about the F word?)

I love animals. At one point, my husband and I had three cats. Two have been lain to rest over the years, one just recently back in August. (Luke. My heart still aches for him.) The husband has custody of Mercedes.

Sometimes I take pictures. Sometimes I bake things. Sometimes I take up projects that never last. I rarely finish anything I start. (This is not something I'm proud of.)

I am obsessed with Twilight. I love Edward Cullen. I love romance novels, young adult novels, the library. Books in general. Any book that makes me cry is bound to get five stars. I am Team Edward, Team Ky, Team Adrian, Team Loki, and Team Peeta. And I have no shame in admitting it.

Re: the name
Stephanie Harsh is a play on my real name and something a co-worker came up with. It made me laugh. And the tag line? Well, I can't begin to count the number of times I've heard someone say, "When we first met, I was so afraid of you!" I'm not mean. I swear. I'm just a little... standoff-ish... until we get better acquainted. I'm also a teensy bit socially awkward. Okay, more than "a bit." Whatev.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Unfortunately lacking that new car smell.

Every January 1st, I get the nearly irresistible urge to start a project, something... 'cause when better than the FIRST DAY of a BRAND NEW YEAR? And this year is no different. Except that it's worse because I got it into my head to start a new blog. Which normally wouldn't be so bad, but for one small fact. I already have a blog. One that I love. One that I've maintained (almost regularly) for more than two years. That's a long time! Especially considering I've had other blogs in the past that didn't fair so well.

But, recently, the blog and I have gone more public that I ever intended. And it's not quite sitting as well as I had hoped. And, for a long while, I've tried to accept it, deal with it, move on... (it was, after all, my own fault for outing myself), but I find I'm stifling myself more and more. And the more I stifle myself, the less "at home" I feel. And that's just not cool, man. Blogging is and has been my outlet. If I can't talk openly about my impending divorce and unrelenting obsession for Edward Cullen, then why bother blogging at all?

So, despite much uneasiness, I'm throwing in the towel. It's a new year. Maybe it's time for a new blog. (I'm still not entirely sure.) But Happy New Year, anyway.