Burying myself in distractions

The chest X-ray came back normal. So then why did I feel chest pains again tonight? Why does my breathing always feel so heavy and labored? What if my heart just fails on me and it’s because I had some deformity nobody thought to discover? (This is what happens when you work for a trade magazine for cardiologists, you get way too paranoid about your heart.) Why has my mood not improved yet? Why is it such a struggle to stay positive about anything anymore? When am I ever going to get out of this stupid little episode of misanthropic depression?

There are only a select few things that are keeping me sane right now:

  • NBA playoffs. I’m rooting for the San Antonio Spurs to go all the way. Seriously, just hand the trophy to them once they take care of the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference finals. Nobody cares about Miami or Boston anymore.
  • White Sox. My boys in baseball won their ninth game in a row tonight. Lovin’ it, lovin’ it! Plus everybody’s still talking about Hawk Harrelson going off on Mark Wegner.
  • Re-reading White Teeth by Zadie Smith. First read this for a class in college, decided it was time to tackle it again. I’d forgotten how funny and witty Smith is. In fact, I’d forgotten how much I idolize her. White Teeth was one of my favorite books from my English major experience, and so far it’s still holding up as one of my favorite books ever.
  • The Big Bang Theory. My brother surprised me today with the third season of BBT. Being in the fragile emotional state that I am, the gesture sent me to tears. Granted, he had a Best Buy certificate that expired today that he wanted to use, but still I appreciated the pseudo-gift. (I also have seasons one and four, now all I need is the second!) I’m starting to wonder if my emotional/mental issues stem from the fact that I feel unappreciated and nobody ever thinks to do something nice for me for once? And when you work both full-time and part-time jobs and nobody seems to consider that and nobody else seems to make an effort for you when you’re constantly reaching out to others…yeah, maybe those are my problems.

Not gonna lie, I’m slightly going through a Facebook withdrawal. But I told myself I’d stay off for at least a week, and the week mark doesn’t strike until Monday, and for a week I shall do it!

Things I’m learning

Last year I went on a date with a boy from Brazil whom I had met at the bars in Champaign. (Well, I suppose he was more of a man since he was 6 years older than me, but he looked super young so in my head he’s a boy…) He picked me up in his car, and curious, I asked him if he knew how to drive and if it was any different here than in Brazil. He said he was really bad at driving and there weren’t as many laws and rules in Brazil, at which point I nervously gulped.

Point of story is, well, I’m now starting to understand what he means. I thought Chicago drivers are crazy sons of bitches, but here in Costa Rica, drivers are legit craazaaay. Even though there are posted speed limits and alto signs and such all over the place, cars like to just zoom down even the most remote neighborhood streets at all hours of the day. Passing is the norm, and you only ever see the yellow and white lane lines on highways or around San Jose. Once, we saw a motorcyclist texting while driving down a carretera.

Like I said. Craazaaay.

There are also stray dogs everywhere in Central America. There’s one that hangs around Palí (the supermarket chain) in town that we’ve dubbed Pedro, though I don’t think any of us have seen him in a while. The dogs here can follow you around for blocks before they go off and do their own thing again. Some are small, some are huge (but not immense St. Bernard-like huge), and a lot of times they just sleep in driveways or on street corners.


Unfortunately, it seems that my host family’s dog here has joined to become one of them. From what I gather, my older host sister moved out with it, and her boyfriend doesn’t like dogs, so one day the little guy just disappears. Presumably it’s roaming around somewhere. Sad.

Also, the White Sox are affectionately known as Medias Blancas here. I don’t get it. The Chicago Half-Whites?

ETA: I take it back. I’ve since learned that “medias” can mean socks/stockings/etc. To which I say, “DUH!” because in Tagalog, it’s medyas. Silly me.

We build then we break

So The Fray and Jack’s Mannequin play tonight at Tinley Park — and I’m not there. I’m a bit frustrated. They’re my favorite band, and I couldn’t find a single soul to watch them with me. And it’s frustrating, because I made a promise to myself back in 2007 after I first saw them that I would go to their every major tour concert in Chicago, and already I couldn’t even keep it.

I don’t think I’m being very selfish by saying this, but why is it so hard for people to accommodate themselves for me? I’m starting to feel like all I do is give and give, and yet not one person so far this summer has ever bothered to really, truly ask me: “What is going on in your life right now?” I can think of one person whom I have seen at least every week this summer, and even though I know what’s going on in her life, I’m pretty sure that she has not yet considered asking me how the fuck I’m doing in mine. It’s the most difficult feeling to have, because it’s not like I have been holed up in this house the entire summer. I’ve actually been out, hanging out with people and working. But the more I think about it, the more I realize that people ask me to do things with them rather than vice versa. It just makes me feel more pathetic, how nobody ever bothers to listen to me anymore.

To make my mood even worse, the U.S. lost the Confed. Cup final to Brazil today. And I’m downright disappointed. Yes, this was valuable experience for them, but at the same time it was just repulsive the way the U.S. totally disappeared in the second half. A 3-2 result I’ll take, but I’m expecting much better next year in the World Cup.

On a much lighter note, I am super duper happy that the White Sox spanked the Cubs today, 6-0. 🙂

Finally, a Beckham I can like

A few things on my mind:

First things first: My White Sox beat the boys from the North Side today. It wasn’t an epic game of any kind, but boy oh boy, did Gordon Beckham save the day! I only managed to catch the last 3 innings of today’s Crosstown Classic, but seriously, it was like watching two snails try to race each other on a foot-long course. One team barely pulled ahead when the other caught up. It felt real good to see Scott Podsednik hitting it up again though. Kind of unreal to think that just a while ago ago he wasn’t even with the Sox anymore, what with his injuries and all. I’m glad we picked him back up again this year.

Numero Dos: Last week, my brother had randomly texted me the following while I was at work: “USA beats number one spain 2 to 0 in the semifinals.” I was so confused at first, I didn’t think he was talking about soccer — because, of course, what were the chances of a second-rate team like the U.S. beating the number one team in the world? I’m still in shock. Anyway, tomorrow’s the FIFA Confederations Cup final, and it’s the U.S. against Brazil. Hopefully we can compete well. I still have trouble grasping the fact that somebody my own age (freaking Jozy Altidore) helped to break Spain’s winning streak. A whole year until the World Cup! Yay.

Third: I didn’t really get to pay attention much to the NBA draft this year, so I don’t really have much to say about it. I did get to hear about the big blockbuster trades, though: Shaq to Cleveland, and Vince Carter to the Magic. I’ll miss Alston and Lee on the Magic; I grew to be fans of them during the playoffs. And honestly, I don’t know if Shaq’s got much left in him. I don’t think he’ll be the answer LeBron James is looking for.