Friday, January 30, 2004

We watched the movie, "Seabiscuit," last night. I really didn't want to watch it--the only horse movie I do is "The Man From Snowy River." But it was actually quite good! I love redemptive movies. Jason said we should buy it. That and "Shawshank Redemption."

Here is Ellen's List of Favorite Inspiring Movies:

The Natural- Glenn Close is my favorite character because she knows that she has to let the love of her life go chase his dreams in order for him to truly be hers.
Fly Away Home- I cry so hard at the end when that Mary Chapin Carpenter song comes on and she's landing in South Carolina with her geese.
Sabrina- I like the Julia Ormond version. I saw it at a time in my life when I identified so much with Sabrina going off to find herself, then having to rediscover it all again once she got back home.
Strictly Ballroom- "A Life Lived in Fear Is A Life Half Lived." I just liked the dancing when I first saw the movie, but the more I watch it, the more I love the moral of the story.
The Lord of the Rings trilogy- Duh. I know. But it surprises me how many times I find my thoughts drifting back to the story. Some characters I just love because they embody what I want to be: fearless, assassin-like Legolas, wise Galadriel, loyal Sam. But there are a few characters that I find myself identifying with every day: patient, broken-hearted Arwen and mostly, Eowyn-- wanting a life that is not hers, and having to summon the strength to become what she really is.
Orange County- odd one to be on an "inspiring" list, I know, but check it out. It's all about sprouting up wherever you are planted.

I'm sure there are many others. I just can't think of them right now.

Thursday, January 29, 2004

I think I muddled up my blog. I was tweaking some stuff and now my comment engine is gone. Oh well. If you have a comment then just write me!

Jason and I had dinner at Pizza Hut with my old friend, Jesse, and his wife, Anna, and children, Sydney (8) and David (3 months.) I was slightly nervous about the whole thing-- old world vs. new world colliding. I wrote about it the other day, but I just noticed that that post is gone. Same day my comment engine disappeared. Hmmmmm. Anyway, it was a really nice time! We ended up getting mountains of pizza because our waitress was new and kept messing everything up. I felt for her, though. I was a waitress at Pizza Hut once. I know.

Jason said that Jesse seemed like a really nice guy, and interesting, which is a very high compliment coming from him. I really like Anna--she seems very grounded. Their daughter Sydney is cute as a button. She loves animals and was disappointed that they didn't come to our house for dinner, as planned (house was a mess), to meet the Matkowski Miniature Petting Zoo.

I'm always afraid that I come across as a dip, though. Sometimes it takes me awhile to catch on to what other people are saying. "What?" "Pardon?" "I don't get it. Repeat that?" Or if there is a silence, I just start blathering away about nothing. Sometimes I am a real dingbat. Maybe it comes with being an artist. Jason tells me that we are a good match because he observes absolutely everything, and my head is usually floating around in the clouds. I hope that my future children are not embarrassed by me too much.

Speaking of future children, I decided to get serious this cycle. Here is Ellen's List O' Fertility MishMash:

1) Doing Clomid again
2) Drinking Green Tea (bleh, don't really care for it)
3) Taking the OPK strips
4) Went off caffiene (the horror, I'm drinking Sprite)
5) Drinking oodles of water
6) Drinking Robitussin
7) Sadie is praying for me everyday

Take that, eggs!

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

I have decided that I do not like getting in trouble. Even if it is over a tiny thing that is not a big deal. My boss called me into his office and told me that our big boss thought my cell phone was too loud and needed to be on vibrate. That's fine, but why the "Ellen, can I speak to you for a minute?" Just come tell me my phone is too loud. The truth is...I get one call a day. Tops. And people usually laugh when it goes off, because it plays an old disco song. I felt so bad, though. I hate getting in trouble!

I feel like all the bosses are cracking down around here. It's been a really tense year-- lots of change, lots of people leaving, lots of disgruntlement. My friend just got a really rough PDP (evaluation lingo) before lunch. She was pretty ruffled by it. Her boss is right out of "Office Space." By the book. My friend has worked here for six years and has always had glowing PDPs. All of a sudden, bam. All this stuff comes out of left field. She was like, "Why didn't you discuss this stuff with me before now?" One of the complaints was that my friend questions her boss in meetings, or "puts her on the spot." (Which I think is such a dumb complaint. If this manager can't handle being put on the spot, this manager should find a new job other than being a manager.) She also is apparently "too assertive." Which is also a load of crap because if we were at any other company, other than a Christian company, being an assertive woman would be an asset. The whole thing chaffs me.

I think that the Powers That Be are starting to realize that they've got to squash the whispers of discord that are brewing.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Yoga tonight! I wish it was every night. I feel so good afterwards. I'm always in a better mood. I love laying in the corpse pose. Mmmmmmmmmm, corpse pose. (That's supposed to sound like Homer Simpson.)

My boss called all three of us (there are three of us in the gift design area) into his office individually yesterday to talk to us about our attitudes. He was really nice about it and blamed most of it on himself. "I haven't been a good model for you guys." I was really apologetic. Truthfully, I've been feeling pretty convicted about it for the past couple of months, and especially since Christmas. He said, "I know we get crapped on alot, but we've just got to suck it up and do our job." (Not his exact words, but close.) He's right. We make a choice to be here, and most of the time, things really are fine. I, generally, like my job, the people and the company. He's promoting me, too, so I'm going to enjoy the work better, I think. I think my cubicle mate blew him off though. I worry about Kyle. I hope he doesn't blow his stack one day and get fired.

Jason and I finished the movie, "Once Upon A Time In Mexico" last night. Weird weird movie. At the end of the movie, Jason looked at me and I looked at him and we said, "I'm confused." The thing that kept us going was Johnny Depp. He is so odd in this movie! But likeable. He's so odd, you have to see what he's going to do next. There was also the cutest chihuahua in the world in the movie. I was very concerned about what was going to happen to el chihuahua. (He's fine.)

I figured out how to use the sewing genie last night! I sewed four pillows! And a little tiny one for practice. Jason and I were about to start beating on the machine, but it just turned out that the thread was going through the needle the wrong way. Who would think that one tiny tiny little thing would cause such a ruckus?

It snowed last night. Not enough to really matter.

Friday, January 23, 2004

Boy, I've really just felt like my life was flying by this week. I have been really busy at work, correcting 2005 calendars. I've been working on calendars for about four years now. And for four years now, I have had no idea what year I am in. We start creating calendars a year and a half before they go into the market. So I'm always like, what year is it? 2003? 2005? For instance, it just turned into 2004, right? I seriously spent five minutes the other day, when I was writing a check, trying to convince myself that 2004 was just starting and not ending.

My house is also a testament to my life. Dirty dishes and cat hair. Dirty dishes and cat hair. (That's supposed to be sung like the "Crazy and deranged" part of Beyonce's "Crazy in Love" song.) My bedroom is the worst. Dirty clothes everywhere. Ugh. And where do we accumulate all this stuff from? Christmas? Like I need a meat thermometer.

I happened to find a new show the other night (when I should have been cleaning the crazy and deranged dirty dishes and cat hair.) " The O.C." on Fox. Ugh. They make shows like this just to destroy me. I loved it, and hated myself for it. The lead characters are picture perfect "teens" leading fabulous and eventful lives over in California. The brooding new kid, the innocent girl next door (always needing rescued), the sarcastic best friend, the good-looking understanding parents. Barf. Of course, I have to watch it next week.

Monday, January 19, 2004

Would you rather be understood or be loved? Years ago, I read that question in Parade's Ask Marilyn Vos Savant (the woman with the highest IQ.) She said, "I don't give a flip about being understood, but I love to be loved!" I cut it out and taped it on my refrigerator for a long time. I don't know the answer. I would say "Both" of course, but I figure that's cheating.

In high school/college, I would have said "Understood." But now...probably "Loved." Like, last night, I was feeling pretty down. Thankfully, Jason knows when he needs to say "Suck it up, woman" and when he needs to be kind to me. I guess when he came home last night, he could tell it was a kindness night. He sat on the couch with me and told me that I could be depressed whenever I wanted to. I felt loved, and I needed it.

But sometimes, I just need to pour out my soul and have someone nod in understanding or say, "Yes! That's it exactly!" or stay up until 4am with me, justing doing the Secret Frog Call. Sometimes, I feel overwhelmed by the need to be understood.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

I went to yoga at the Episcopal church last night. I really like it! It was so hard; my knees and wrists were shaking fifteen minutes into it. Somebody was practicing the organ throughout, so we had background music. I can see how yoga can be addictive-- I felt so good afterwards. It was like a drug.

I'm exploring my options for my Summer Ellen trip. I might go to Haiti and work in an orphanage for a few weeks, but the problem with that is that if I happen to get pregnant before then, I probably shouldn't go. I am still considering a tour in Ireland or Scotland also. I like Rick Steve's tour show on PBS, and I looked online and he has tours all year long wherever you want to go. So that's an option. I also have never been to New York City, so I thought that could be fun. Or I might just get my old backpack out and just pidder around Europe. I would love to go back to Prague or go see German castles.

I am taking suggestions.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Jason and I went on a date last night and saw the movie, "Big Fish." It's a Tim Burton movie, who is my favorite director, so I was excited to see it. It was wonderful! It made me cry at the end, but not in a manipulative way. It was just beautiful.

And it inspired me. One poet character ends up in this little small, weirdly perfect town called Spectre. He means to leave, but he never gets around to it. Thirteen years later, he's still trying to write his master poem, but is only three lines into it. Three very BAD lines into it. It really hit me. Sometimes that's how I feel-- I get so comfortable in my nice little rut that I don't do anything anymore.

When I got out of the movie, I said, "That poet was ME." So Jason said, "Then go somewhere." So I think I will. I'm not sure where. I might even go by myself. I might go visit some haunted castles in Scotland (I just got a cool book on them.) Jason said I could go and he'd stay home and work to pay off my trip. What a nice husband!!!

Monday, January 12, 2004

I had this dream the other night that two of my front teeth fell out. They weren't rotten or anything; they just fell out like baby teeth. The dream really freaked me out. So I went online and looked up teeth-falling-out dreams and it said that it was a premonition that someone was going to die! Yikes.

So if you are out there, and you are important to me, please be careful.

Sunday, January 11, 2004

Pretty good weekend. We had our friends, the Grusings, over last night. It's so nice to have handy friends. It's nice to have friends that you feel comfortable to ask to do to the difficult things. They are friends like that. They helped us move once, and we have helped them tile their kitchen. I painted their baby's room last spring. Yesterday, Brent picked our new dishwasher up at Sears and helped Jason install it. We had a good time. I made Thai food and the guys played Playstation afterwards. Their 9 month old baby, Caleb, is a crawling maniac right now. I guess I didn't realize how unbabyproofed our house is. I spent half of my time steering him away from the space heater. Squirrel thought Caleb was interesting and ran circles around him.

Church was good this morning. I ended up zoning out during the sermon and thinking about the whole infertility website thing. Being convicted by God is weird. When you really get convicted, you feel like you have to leave right then and do something about it. Anyway, when I got back, I wrote one last post, just to tell the women that I was sorry about their pain, because I truly am. I said I would pray for them. It's really hard wanting something so badly and seeing other people with it. I understand that, definitely.

The funny thing is that, before communion today, I actually found myself thanking God for my infertility. I never ever thought that I would pray that! But I am thankful. I have learned so much over the past year. Things that I wouldn't have known before. If I had just had it given to me, I wouldn't know the longing...I wouldn't know that sometimes we don't just get what we want when we want it. I wouldn't really believe in God's perfect timing. I wouldn't know how to suck it up and deal with the pain. Everyone has pain in life, I'm seeing, because it's a fallen world. Nobody gets a free ride.

And finally, I'm learning acceptance that God may have something else for me, and the fear of never having my own biological child subsides when I think of it that way. Maybe God wants us to adopt. Maybe I'm going to devote myself to something else other than raising a family. I have no idea. But my trust in God is growing, which, to me, has made it all worth it.

Thursday, January 08, 2004

We are cutting our extended cable back to basic cable next week. I'm sad, but it's for the best. I waste alot of time with crap TV.

I know this is truly pathetic but here is my list of what I will miss from my days of owning extended cable:

Law and Order:SVU every single dadgum night I want it
Reno 911- I laugh so hard when I watch this show.
The Kids in the Hall-I love Dave Foley with a passion (I was a avid NewsRadio fan back in the day)
The No-Spin Zone- sorry Amy! Yes, I watch O'Reilly.
Maternity Ward- I love them screaming mommies!
South Park- sometimes it's stupid and gross, but sometimes it is so perfect
Animal Cops- it always angries up my blood, but I like it.
Insomniac- I like it when he goes to the non-bar places at 3 in the morning, like a sewage plant.
VH1's trashy All Access- hmmmm. What is Britney Spears not wearing this week?
City Confidential on A&E- creepy unsolved true crime stories.
And lastly...
All those stupid 101 celebrity lists on VH1 and E!- A total and complete waste of my time, but I cannot break myself away.

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Going back to work on Monday was so hard. I was crabby all day. But little by little, this week has gotten better. Part of it is due to a gift show in Atlanta that most of my category went to, leaving me here to work in peace.

One thing I've discovered through 3 1/2 years of marriage (you know you are still newly married when you still count in fractions, I think) is that Jason and I should not be together in the mornings. We both need our morning time alone to pootle about the house. Jason usually wakes up at 5am and is gone by the time I get out of bed. We both like it this way, I think. On Tuesday morning, Jason slept in and got out of bed when I did. Talk about clashing. Everything I did was wrong. I was too slow. I wouldn't get out of bed. Those damn cats of mine got hair on his pants. Blah blah blah. He asked me if his sweater and pants matched. How should I know? I can barely dress myself. So he got upset at me for not being girlie enough to know proper clothing etiquette. "You're like a guy!!" he said, throwing up his hands. Pardon e moi.

Then he kept bugging me when I was in the shower. Look at this shirt. Where are my keys. Have you seen what that damn dog of yours did on the rug. Hey, buddy, shower time is Ellen time. Finally, I was like, "Will you PLEASE get out of the house?!"

Today, he got up at 5am as usual and we were both much happier.

Sunday, January 04, 2004

Still thinking about nursing school. No closer to a decision. But thanks for your support!

I had a good day today, but tonight I feel lonely and restless. I read somewhere, a long time ago, that the right side of your brain is connected with depression in some way. Like, when you use it, it triggers some depressive response. I would believe it. It always seems to happen that way. Today, I made "Emotion and Feeling Cards" for Jason to use in his therapy groups, then I worked on some more cartoons. Now, yes, I feel depressed. Which is odd, since I was really productive,'s nothing new. It's such a struggle, using your creativity. At least for me. A love-hate relationship. I have to keep doing it--it won't leave me alone in my mind-- but sometimes it's like trying to climb out of the deepest pit. And for what? I don't even know what I'm doing with it. I have stacks and piles of cartoons and little stories, and I have no idea what they are for. Shelley and Jason tell me I should send them somewhere, but I don't. Is it fear? Is it laziness? Alot of it is my own perfectionism. I work really hard on a cartoon, then I hate it. I see every glaring mistake in it, so I put it away in my closet.

Maybe that's why writers and artists and such have always been such a mess. Art is such a blessing and such a curse. You are compelled by it, yet it eats at you.

If your right side brain produces depression, maybe the left side causes serenity. I know that I always feel really calm after I organize the CD cabinet at work or balance my checkbook. Accountants usually seem fairly angst-less.

Saturday, January 03, 2004

Hello. I'm back again. The holidays are over, and as much as I had a good time, I am glad they are finished. Maybe that's the hallmark of being an adult: you feel relief instead of sadness when Christmas is over.

Lots of family, lots of food. I took off of work from Christmas until now, so I slept in alot. Pretty much accomplished nothing, but so what. I am feeling much better about life, and I feel well rested. I am even reading an actual book instead of watching Comedy Central (I love Reno 911 and The Kids in the Hall.) I am reading Where the Heart Is by Billie Letts (Yes, it's an Oprah Book) and it's really good. I watched the movie again, on TV last week, and remembered how much I had enjoyed it, so I went and got the book. I like it because it's about imperfect people.

My in-laws decided that I should go to nursing school. My husband got really excited at the idea and wants to sign me up for classes immediately. Truthfully, I've thought about it in the past. I've grown up around the medical establishment, I like hospitals, I don't mind poo and blood, I like charts and organization, and I like to take care of others. But I'm scared. What if I'm not smart enough for the classes? I hated math and science growing up. I did okay in them, but with alot of help from others. What if I go all the way through and hate it in the end? What about my job right now? How am I supposed to balance? I am not a very disciplined person at all. It's very frightening to me.

But I should decide soon. I don't have kids yet, so this would be the time to start the classes and such.