Count To Ten

It would be fair to say that I am just a little bit stressed. Yes, I think it would be fair to say that. Today, when the internet connection went out for no reason on my computer---and when my many attempts at pulling out and plugging back in the same cable had little to no effect on anything---I seriously considered my options. My options, to my mind, were thus: to throw, very hard, the apple that was sitting on my desk, or to climb underneath said desk and just sit and cry. I wondered for a few seconds which would be most cathartic, which would incite fewer raised eyebrows and whispers of straitjackets and work-life balance, and then I took a deep breath instead. And another. And another. And another. And then I squeezed a persimmon.

No, that's not a euphemism, there was actually a persimmon sitting on my desk, a persimmon that had, in fact, been sitting on my desk for two to three weeks and was therefore moderately (to fairly-moderately) ripe. I'm not sure if you're aware or not---and I'm thinking you're probably not---but persimmons are great for squeezing; they're just the right size for one's fist. Bonus: orange is a cheery color. Plus---and here's the kicker!---if someone walks past and asks you what you're doing, I defy you to say "I'm squeezing a persimmon" with even the hint of a straight face.

I'm not sure why I'm on such a short fuse at the moment, except to say that I've got a lot going on. I'm heading to Detroit tomorrow for work, and I get back on Saturday night just in time to head off to London next Thursday morning. I'm looking forward to both trips, of course, but what I'm not looking forward to is the packing for them, and the worry, and the quart-sized bags, and the connections---airport-wise, not Bachelor-wise---and the jetlag and the to-do list a mile long before I even print my boarding pass.

My trip to London is going to be especially stressful, as I'm going to be swinging through the spectrum of rather overwhelming emotions, starting with a very harrowing visit to my increasingly unwell grandmother and ending with seeing my friend Anna's baby, Freddie, for the first time. I'm also going to be working for a week in an unfamiliar office, and trying to divide my downtime between several very disparate groups of friends from very different parts of my life. Also, did you know the dollar is practically worthless these days? I've already figured out that it's going to cost me eight bucks just to have a happy hour beer.

And then! And then Christmas is coming up, of course, with all the extra panic attacks that that brings along with it. I can't even think about present-shopping or list-making or advent-calendar-opening---no wait, that's wrong, I can totally think about advent-calendar-opening, that's about the only thing I can think about---without breaking out into a cold sweat. As far as I'm concerned, December might just have to wait until I'm ready for it, alright? Say, sometime around March?

This evening, to combat my fairly stressful day, I decided to pour a glass of wine, cut myself a wedge of the nice New Zealand grass-fed extra-sharp cheddar I bought yesterday in Trader Joe's after I had made a man stocking shelves in the cheese aisle swear to me, up and down and on his mother's life, that it was the sharpest one they had, and wallow in a bubble bath for an hour or so, with only an Us Weekly for company ("Brit's Assistant Tells All!") Except I apparently hadn't ever had a bath in our bathtub before, and had failed to realize that it doesn't have a plug, meaning you can run the water all you like, but it ain't gonna stay in the tub.

Well, you can just about imagine what sort of outcome that had. There was wailing, for a start. And while I wailed, poor Sean---my poor long-suffering Sean---puttered around the house, testing and trying pretty much every circular object he could find, until his extensive trial and error methods revealed one that would stay perfectly lodged in the drain of the tub, keeping the water in. (For future reference, it was the cap to a bottle of Listerine mouthwash.)

Yes, I know, I know, score one million and twenty seven for Sean, the boy who can do no wrong. Perhaps I should just stop telling the Internet how awesome he is, before he starts making me look terrible by comparison. Or maybe I should just spread a little slander. Hmm, I know, how about this? Whenever he fixes something for me, he makes me refer to him as Captain Solution. For, like, a good few hours at least.

1
Carol Snider
Nov 13, 2007

I've noticed a plethora (ooooh, good word!) of posts around the blogosphere lately about feeling drab and dreary. I swear, it's this whole "winter is, in fact, a reality" thing.

What always help me is a nice, long, hot bubble bath.

Oh wait... sorry about that!

Carol

2
maddy
Nov 13, 2007

I have a massive, MASSIVE deadline on Friday and I'm getting my house renovated, the WHOLE house (OK apartment) and the contractor is waiting for me to buy taps and showers and a million other accessories for him to install and i just dont have time to. Coz I cant go out to buy these things because I need to meet my deadline and if I do happen to go out I feel too guilty because I really should be working.

I just keep telling myself that it will be over soon.
I would suggest the same mantra to you.
Take care

3
Liz M
Nov 13, 2007

Does he really make you refer to him as Captain Solution? I can't say for sure, but I'm reasonably certain I would find that pretty hot.

4
ellbee
Nov 13, 2007

Is winter, in fact, a reality? Because damned if I don't live in Colorado, where there is no SNOW...no not even really any in the mountains...most of the ski resorts are running on man-made snow! Aaaannndd, it will never ever EVER rain enough out here to require me to buy awesome wellies, like in your flickr stream, so I might as well curl up and die. Or go buy a persimmon.

Hang in there!

5
tiff
Nov 13, 2007

Detroit! For work! Come visit me!! I mean, you're probably busy with work stuff, but if you want a tip on where to eat or drink or release some stress, I'll show you the market full of fresh persimmons!

6
Carolyn
Nov 13, 2007

It's a good thing I'm deliriously married and have been for nearly 11 years to my own Captain Solution (I may start calling him that of my own volition--I think he would like it) or I might develop a crush on your Sean. I just love when nice people happen to nice people.

There's a few blogs I read in which the writer tells all about their mates, and I have to think to myself, 'This guy must have redeeming qualities, but the way she tells it, he sounds like a first-class-ass.'

I would never think that about your Sean. He just sounds like a really good guy.

and my own sweetie? I'm pretty sure if I wailed to him that I needed help keeping the drain closed, he would have given me a few choice ideas on what might work to keep it from draining. Then he would come in and laugh at me shivering in a cold, empty tub. We're sweet like that.

Still. I do so loves that guy.

7
Maureen
Nov 13, 2007

The "Captain Solution" thing just makes us love Sean more.

8
Twice Five Miles
Nov 13, 2007

I'm not entirely sure I know what a persimmon is. Off to Google them now...

9
Skeezix
Nov 13, 2007

Man, I've most certainly had days- No, entire spans of weeks were I've felt the way you do. Just last month there were several days where I had go home in the middle of the day and cry.

10
jive turkey
Nov 13, 2007

Stuffing a washcloth in the drain also works quite well (I've lived in 4 different places and NONE OF THEM had a stopper in the tub).

Hope you enjoy your trips & that things settle down for you!

11
Willow
Nov 13, 2007

You are my most favorite part of my work day! Does Sean have a brother even half as fit for boyfriendhood?

12
DiaryofWhy
Nov 13, 2007

That is too, too endearing. Please, tell me you're making all this up. The kitty litter trays, the "just because" gifts, the calm and rational response to even the most over-wrought emotional situations. It's too much! I bet he never forgets to put the seat back down, either.

13
Sheila
Nov 13, 2007

I think that you, along with all of America's retailers, are having Premature Holiday Anxiety. It seems, however, that you've already figured out the cure: a little wine, a hot soak and, of course, a superhero to sort everything out for you.

14
Sarah Marie
Nov 13, 2007

If only air travel came with Bachelor-esque connections.

Ladies and gentlemen, today we will be serving complimentary beverages and a choice of "for the right reasons" chips, "last rose of the evening" pretzels, and "fentasssy date" peanuts. After your snack, you will get a hot "quality time" washcloth to refresh yourself before landing.

I think it could work...better than the Hooters airline service anyway. Not that I know anything about that.

15
superblondgirl
Nov 13, 2007

Ugh, I am feeling the same way about the whole holiday thing. Usually, I love the holidays and I get all annoying and sparkly and carol-singing, but this year? This year everything is just so... weird. And I am poor. And next week is Thanksgiving and I'm not ready and then comes December and wasn't it just summertime? Didn't I just barely put my swimsuit away? My sunscreen is still in a bag in my car, all sandy, as if I could just run out to the beach again at any moment.

16
Nothing But Bonfires
Nov 13, 2007

Sarah Marie, I think we should go into business. All of the past Bachelorettes could be flight attendants and you wouldn't have a boarding pass, you'd just have to give the gate agent a rose instead. With maybe your name on it. And if the gate agent didn't accept the rose, you couldn't go on the flight.

17
Jemma Riding
Nov 13, 2007

I just came home from Cornwall. I exchanged $200 dollars for pounds and was given 80 pound.

18
Kristin
Nov 13, 2007

It's nice to know that even happy-go-lucky, spreader of cheer Holly has bad days! I hear you, though...I'm heading to San Francisco for Thanksgiving, then straight to Singapore and the Maldives for a week for a writing assignment, then back to New York where I will leave for some undetermined destination that a magazine just assigned me for a story. Yikes! I so feel your packing/stress woes!

19
Alana
Nov 13, 2007

I am with you on the stressed about the holidays thing. I had a baby September 28th, and totally missed Halloween, which is my favorite holiday. I go back to work December 17th (ok, for three days before Christmas break), and feel the need to complete all of my shopping before then. The kicker is that I am on unpaid leave, so I can't just shop like I want to. It's 80 degrees here in Texas, so it doesn't feel like the holidays will be here soon.

I also believe that baths cure everything. I wasn't allowed to take a bath for six weeks after I had the baby (very conservative doctor), and I got the all-clear Friday. I was looking forward to soaking in the tub Saturday night, and did get to have a bath, but I was having a gallbladder attack at the time. I didn't enjoy the bath, and ended up in the ER.

20
Gretchen
Nov 13, 2007

Poor Holly. Stress! And travel is always stressful, even if it doesn't involve emotion and jet lag and unusual work conditions.

I'm glad you have a persimmon on your desk. Me? I have a can of Heinz Spotted Dick on my desk. I will probably never eat it, but it's certainly a showstopper here in the U.S.

21
Heather B.
Nov 13, 2007

Oooh! Are we playing a rousing game of "How much my life sucks right now"?

If so, my rent check bounced after I had to use a different ATM card in FRANCE where again, the dollar is worthless. And now that I'm back I have a 36 hour turn around time before going to Las Vegas/California so my body clock is going to be supremely f*cked up and did I mention that I am a supreme bitch when I don't get proper sleep??

And Christmas...Christmas and Easter need to make a quick switch that's all I'm saying.

22
whoorl
Nov 13, 2007

Oh, Holly! Supremely sucky days, well, just suck. I hope today is a better one.

(Try not to think of the packing..yeah, right.)

23
Janet
Nov 13, 2007

I tried a persimmon for the first time at an art show on Friday night. How is it possible that I have gone 27 years without having a persimmon for either eating or squeezing?

24
Courtney
Nov 13, 2007

I second the offer of Detroit FUN! (Who knew you had such a big following in Detroit?) Blame the Junipur's... but I swear it was joyunexpected who sent me here first... maybe not.... Anyway, email if you wanna have a drink while in the D.

25
Sarah Marie
Nov 13, 2007

YES! A thousand times yes. Holly, I will accept your rose and your business proposition.

26
jkrunning
Nov 13, 2007

Is it wrong that his nickname makes him seem all the more adorable?

27
Blakeburn
Nov 13, 2007

No need to stress too much about packing/paying for London - we have plenty of weather appropriate clothes you can borrow, a flat full of wine and so, so many varieties of tasty cheddar...

28
Sarah
Nov 13, 2007

I really hope that Captain Solution wears a cape.

29
Elizabeth
Nov 13, 2007

I'm sorry, but that only makes him cooler.

30
Leah
Nov 13, 2007

Every time I hear the word "connection" now I'm going to say "non-Bachelor" in my head. Unless, of course, I am talking about the Bachelor.

p.s. Hot tubs are better than baths, and you two have an open invitation to use ours, you know. Buuuuut...you have to wait until after December because we're too damn busy!

p.p.s. Turns out we'll be in London proper on the 25th, thrifting and ransacking curryhouses and whatnot.

31
Junewell
Nov 13, 2007

In college I took a bath using my giant ball of Blu-Tac as a drain plug. Then ever after the Blu-Tac left horrible marks on the walls and posters, stuck to everything, etc. I have probably grown out of that kind of idiocy but it is nice to have a man around when such technical issues arise.

32
Anna
Nov 14, 2007

You can't beat a NZ cheddar or a NZ Chardonnay to make you feel better!

33
A'Dell
Nov 14, 2007

Honestly, not A SINGLE suggestion on the cupcake bakery of choice in Detroit? Only thoughts about baths?

I would have figured that someone would have said something about desserts in Detroit. I mean honestly...Give Holly a little sweet something to look forward to on her trip please.

(The only place I've been in Detroit is a little Mexican place by the airport. It was not very nice. You should not go there. That's my destination advice to you.)

(Oh, and try not to get delayed by weather. Otherwise they'll put you on a bus to Chicago where you will wait for hours and hours since the weather will be terrible there too. Not that I would know anything about that though.)

34
tiff
Nov 14, 2007

well if you insist on sweets, and your in the city, your destination of choice is Astoria Bakery. It's a slice of heaven, in Greektown. And also Avalon breads, in the university area... so good.

And I'm sending positive vibes that you will not get delayed and that you land in the magical new Northwest airlines airport, and not the currently-under-construction airport we don't speak of.

35
Emily
Nov 14, 2007

I used to bathe with a tube sock stuffed down the drain. And I had to figure that one out myself, Dave was no help at all.

You don't have any connections that come through Washington, do you? I always have a spare moment for airport rendezvous.

36
Kristie
Nov 14, 2007

I bet a lot of us wish we could put off the holiday's for a few months. Or maybe just ever.

37
Saucepan Man
Nov 14, 2007

But Christmas in Singapore will make it all worthwhile...and we can stay in the house til end of January (and you WILL go to the ball!!)

38
hashak
Nov 14, 2007

I think I had a similar experience with desperately needing a bath and not having a plug. My fiance was also "captain solution," and found that a votive candle fit nicely if you crammed it in there hard enough. Nice to know I'm not the only one with these "issues."

39
cristen
Nov 14, 2007

thank goodness you got your tub to hold water. a bath usually helps most troubles.

40
leelee
Nov 14, 2007

I'm so loving your story, but I have to say, Holly, that you now have me addicted to Bachelor (mostly because it comes after Dancing with the Stars which is MY Dirty Little Secret but also because you watch it) and I am looking in vain for posts for the past two episodes. I mean, my gosh, Bettina got dumped for Pete's sake. And then the evil dumped bitches all got together and clawed at each other and the Batch. I look to you to help me find the meaning in all of this!

I know we voted on Bachelor Lite, but this is Bachelor way-way Too Lite!

41
metalia
Nov 15, 2007

I think the lesson here is that cheese cures all (oh, and mouthwash caps). Hope your trips go well, and that you're feeling less stressed very soon!

42
Bird of Paradise
Nov 15, 2007

At first I thought you had made the man stocking shelves in the cheese aisle wallow in a bubble bath for an hour or so, with only an Us Weekly for company!

Next time, I'll look more carefully for commas.