Monday, December 30, 2002

On becoming a Blog Slacker: I started this Blog with the best of intentions, meaning to write a little every day. And then came the Great Move (across town) and the hours sucked away into school and suddenly, I'm lucky if I remember to write once a week much less once a day. Alas.

In any case, my father's visit went fairly well. I'm bloated and kind of woozy, but that's what I get for eating out with him every night. One night we stopped in a California Pizza Kitchen before going to see The Gangs of New York (wouldn't recommend it, but Dad loved it). Usually, if I have wine with dinner, I'll order a glass. Dad ordered a bottle of Chardonnay. As we finished our pizzas and I went for some lovely, lovely tiramisu, Father Dearest decided that we needed more wine. A whole second bottle of wine, that is. Come to think of it, maybe the reason I didn't enjoy the film was that I was so bloated with food and drink that I was concentrating more on not throwing up... hmmm. No, I think the movie was just that disjointed and my being intoxamicated had little to do with it.

I did see Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers with the old man and THAT was AWESOME. I'll have to drag Jay to see it when he gets home.

And with that thought, I am going to brush my teeth, wash my face, and fall into bed where I will delude myself that I can read just one chapter before putting the book down and going to sleep. Sigh. I know I'm just going to forget and read the last 150 pages.

Wednesday, December 25, 2002

Merry Christmas! My dad just arrived from Pittsburgh...and I'm at work until midnight. Not that I'm entirely sure that isn't the preferable situation, mind you. I'm tired and he's hyper. He also thinks it's weird that we don't have a TV. Or rather, that we have a TV but don't have cable so the only thing it's good for is watching movies with the VCR. I pointed him to the radio, the CD's the couch and my reading blanket (microfleece....mmmmm). There's 2 Dos Equis in the fridge and some good cheese to go with bread or crackers. He should be just fine until I can get out of here.

Weeney boy called from Jersey... they got a ton of snow, so he's all excited. Well good for him, I guess. He got what he wanted for Christmas.

Monday, December 23, 2002

Grown Men or Little Girls? I honestly can't decide which they are -- my co-workers. I have never seen such whining and drama from people over the age of 10 and not in possession of two X chromosomes. What's the problem? Did their mommas never teach them the phrase "Suck it up and deal?" I mean honestly!

We work with people... lots of different people, both employees and guests. Now, odds are you're going to run into some real winners in that line of work -- people who are wrapped up in their own drama, people who get off on manipulating other people, people who carry their homelife crises to work with them... etc... Two rules to survive in this industry: 1. Don't take anything personally. 2. Never lose your sense of humor. If you forget these rules, you will go insane. Very simple.

So I guess I'll have to remember them myself next time my 35 year old co-manager pulls out with his "she said I did this, but I didn't. I didn't! She's lying. Waaa waaa waaa." (Of course she's lying, she fricking INsane and everyone knows it. What's the big surprise?!?!)

Okay - more water, less sugar. Repeat. Dehydration has killed my higher brain functions. Sigh.

Monday, December 16, 2002

Oh shite: I just goofed. I bought our flight tickets for Detroit and I got them for the wrong date. Crap crap crap crap crap. I have us coming back a day later than I intended. And of course, the ticket receipt says in huge bold print : TICKETS NON-REFUNDABLE. I wonder if that means that they are non-changeable, also.

I swear I put January 12th as the return date. I swear. I hate things like this that make me doubt my own brain function. Sigh.

I'll have to check with Jay and see if that will work or if I have to call them up and beg them to change my return date.


Sunday, December 08, 2002

Oh yeah, one more thing: It's my Daddy's 65 birthday! Congrats on living this long, Daddy-O. I called to wish him a Happy Birthday today. Maybe he'll remember. Not sure though because he an d my fraternal unit were in the midst of beer consumption and Steeler game observation. Kerri can be my witness though--she's the one who answered the phone.

AAAAAAAAAhhhhhChoooooooo!!! The rotten fools who lived in the apartment before us clearly left behind a large portion of their pet in the form of wads of cat hair stuck to the carpet and the blinds. Those bastards. It's not that I don't like cats, mind you. It's the steroid treatments I need afterward that get to me. Cat hair used to just make me itchy and sniffly, but in the last 4 years I've developed a more extreme reaction. Now I break out in huge welty hives that only go away after 6 days on a steroid. Yum yum yum.

I went to Fred Meyer today to exchange the broken bookshelves we bought last Sunday for unbroken ones and also picked up a curtain rod for the front window. (I hate the way it looks with just the white blinds there.) Before I'm able to set that up, however, we need to clean the whole window--blinds, sill, glass, and screen. And I'm useless at it because I can't stop sneezing and I have that awful itchiness in my ears and throat. So I'm sitting here waiting for Jay to finish, but by the time he does I'll probably have to leave for work. Splendid.

And wonderboy's bugging me about when we'll go hiking or something again. How to explain? Gee, hon, maybe when I have more than 15 minutes to rub together at a time. Maybe when our place is livable enough that I don't feel like I'm living in a shoebox. How about then? Yeah, how about then.

okey dokey pokeys, time for me to work on transforming myself from sunday bum to mostly professional manager girl. It's quite the shocking procecss, I assure you.

Saturday, December 07, 2002

It's finally happened: I'm slightly mad Ach, well, maybe not just slightly, eh? Finally, after a 5 hour ORDEAL, we have internet access at the new apartment. Took for frickin' ever. The poor installer guy was about to shoot himself. Strangely, I found it all quite funny--especially when he had his ladder balanced on the roof of a shed to lean across to the filter box on the powerline pole with the neighbor's dogs barking at him. Heh heh. But I do have a sicko sense of humor, I suppose.

So...interesting day at work. Creed is in town for their concert on the 12th and their crew is all staying at our hotel. They, of course, are not staying with us, because we are not glitzy enough for them. Their tour manager is a hoot though. One guy got all pissy with me because his room wasn't ready yet (we were sold out last night and they arrived 2 hours before our check in time). As he walks away to sit down, the tour manager says "Yeah, sorry about him. He's new."

Honestly, I've never had a group check in so smoothly with so few complaints. So here's to the roadies and the tour managers and the video technicians, et al. Creed may be a bunch of big babies, but their support staff ROCKS.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming....zzzzzzzzz

Sunday, December 01, 2002

People who do not work: Or people who have never held a real job. Yes, that's right. I'm talking about professional grad students. People who get paid to go to school. People who have, other than summer jobs, never held a nine-to-five kind of employment. Not that I work 9 to 5... more like 7 to 5 or 3 to midnight. But anyway.

I go with Jay, who also happens to be one of the above, to a dinner party at one of our friend's houses. And she is *our* friend, not just Jay's. However, I don't know everyone who was there and even the ones I do know have similar reactions. I'm sure they don't even realize it, don't intentionally put that tone in their voice. That tone = pity mixed with condescension.

"So, does work still suck? And I hear you've gone back to school... the University of Phoenix...oh, I see. Sooooo, how *is* that?"

First of all, all work sucks at one point. That doesn't mean it sucks every day or that it even sucks most of the time. But anything you *have* to go to whether you want to be doing it or not, sucks at some point or another. Yes, I'm going to school, but for godssakes, don't talk to me like I'm starting kindergarten instead of a Masters program. And I'll tell you how it is: It sucks up most of the "free" time I have. It puts me in with people who clearly had an undergraduate education less rigorous than my own. It pairs me with people who are only doing the program so they can move up on the salary scale--people totally lacking in enthusiasm and occasionally, integrity. BUT, it also puts me a lot closer to the career of my choice than I was just a few months ago. So I'm exhausted and cranky, but I'm doing what I need to do. Just don't be surprised if I don't want to talk about it. OKAY?!?!? OH - and yes, I work at a hotel. And yes, I have a BA from an ivyleague school. Want to ask me why one more time?!?! Because I really never get tired of explaining it to you freaking stuffed academics, really I don't.

Gosh, but I'm hostile lately. Must be hormones. Yeah, that's it.

Sunday, November 24, 2002

Squashing the Most Excellent Grandchildren: So... had the first meeting of the new class - Child and Adolescent Development. On the syllabus it states:

* It is important to compliment your instructor on her most excellent grandchildren

Can I tell you that am so not feeling a connection with this woman? Maybe it's because she's Mormon -- her youngest son gets back from his Mission on December 21st -- and she has 5 sons older than him and also a daughter. (Though I would like to say that to her credit she doesn't look old enough to have that many kids of that age.) Maybe I just resent the fact that she's filling my head with useless junk about her family while expressing little interest in what the class wants.

She's broken up our learning team, from 6 people to 3 and 3. BUT, she added in 2 people from another group to our other half for the final project, AND added another guy to our half so may or may not show up. Fabulous. I am unimpressed.

We're working in groups more than ever - which I dislike extremely - but which I understand to be the driving force of the U of P. And the first paper which I spent a whole morning on for last week's class, doesn't even receive a grade -- but if you didn't do it, you lose points. Oh yeah, just shpiffy.

So far I am not feeling any connection with this woman. However -- the class only meets 6 times and I probably will gain something from it, even if I can't stand the teacher or her methods.

Anyway - I have to get back to the new apartment for lunch before work. I will attempt to find an attitude adjustment before coming back here. Promise. :-)

Monday, November 18, 2002

Still alive: This whole packing thing is taking a lot out of me. I still have my computer hooked up at the old place, but that's about all that's here. It's going well, though I suspect getting everything arranged to a point where both of us can live with it might take some struggle.

Reminds me of my mother's story of remodeling the family home when I was about 10 years old. We put two bedrooms -- mine and my brother's -- into what had been the attic. My mother had one idea for how to do the closets, my father had another. My father won that argument and my mother walked around crying for 2 days. The workmen were so upset they could barely look at her while they worked. Granted, Mom was also 9 months pregnant with Kerri at the time...

Fortunately, my problems with Jay seem to be limited to my offering too many suggestions when he asks for my help with something, and a disagreement over where to put the couch. We'll get over it.

I finished my first class in my MAED program. Went fairly well. I expect to get a solid A in the class. We have this week off from the demands of our learning team meeting, but the next class - Child and Adolescent Development - starts Thursday. I can't wait to be totally moved in to the new place... this back and forth while working 50 hours a week and going to school is running me into the ground.

And hopefully, once I get settled, I'll be able to keep up with this thing a bit better.

One can only hope, eh?

Sunday, November 10, 2002

PowerPoint: Would that refer to the driving headache I feel pulsing behind my eyes? I volunteered to coordinate our first group presentation for class... been working on it for about 3 hours. It's starting to look good, but I need the rest of the group's info so I can put all the slides together.

On a positive note, we got up early today and managed to take four big boxes of stuff up to the new apartment, along with my fan, mountain bike, and x-country skiis. My little smoke-surrounded box is beginning to look empty. Yay! Not to mention the yummilicious Indian food we gorged on last night and the breakfast I treated us to at Sage's Cafe this morning. So... not really a bad weekend at all. If only I could kick this headache and get the muscles in my neck to unclench. But I won't be greedy. Today.

Monday, November 04, 2002

How old?!?! I just realized that my wee baby sister is about to turn 16. 16!!! Old enough to drive. I somehow still think of her as the cute little 7 year old who helped drop me off at college saying, "It's okay, go talk to someone. You can do it." Obviously, she's not the shy one in the family. She was the one I sent to borrow an egg or a cup of sugar from the neighbors if we'd run out while baking cookies. I remember playing with /torturing her and Karlyn when they were little. (Reference to the infamous electrical tape incident below.)

What makes me sad, though, is that I've spent more years away from her than with her. Until the trip we girls made this summer, I didn't really know who she had become at all. We don't have as much in common as Karlyn and I do perhaps. Kerri's sweeter and more sensitive -- less confident, maybe -- but undoubtedly nicer than her older sisters. She's got different attitudes about what's important, and I'd really like to know what they are. So I guess that's what I want to do this coming year: get to know my munchkin better. With a little luck, I hope to get her to come visit me. Not that I have a ton of free time or anything. But for her, I would make time.

I guess I'm just feeling a little homesick for my sisters.

And now back to the regularly scheduled programming: packing and boxing and cleaning - yee haw. Ennh.

Saturday, November 02, 2002

I have a home Yes, ladies and gentlemen, instead of living in the apartment complex from hell, I now have a nice 1/2 house apartment. Nicer neighborhood, nicer neighbors, yard and garage... I'm pretty darn psyched.

And now that I have ABsolutely no money, I'm going to the mall to buy new shoes because I wore through the sole of my old ones completely today. And they were only 10 months old. Worn 5 of 7 days a week for the last 10 months at a job that keeps me on my feet 7 hours out of 9, but hey... I think they've earned a funeral.

We have an apartment!! Hee hee!

Friday, November 01, 2002

Just stay calm So, we got a look inside the apartment today. It's partially underground so the lighting isn't the best but it wouldn't cost as much to heat or cool and considering our environment, that's a big plus. The landlady's awesome -- outdoorsy, liberal, practical... she liked us, too, because she said that if we wanted it, we could have it. Yeah.

And my classroom observation, which I had been dreading, went very well. The teacher who scared me last week turned out to be a very nice lady who just happened to be coming down with a nasty cold last time I saw her. Glad I made the second attempt. I'll be going back on Tuesday to interview her for the second part of the assignment.

So now I have to run around and fix my car insurance issues and pay my cell phone bill - all $17. Wish the insurance was as cheap. Argh.

Still experimenting: And no, you pervs, I am not referring to my earlier post. For some reason the stats program I had on the site was making it very slow to load... which annoys the heck out of me, so I changed it over to a different one. We'll see how I like it - may have to make another change.

Speaking of change... I should change out of my nice warm wool sweater and into my fuzzy pyjamas. Sigh. But it's so COLD.
Rather disturbing, actually So, surfing though weblogs today, I found this link, which I foolishly followed... Googlism. Once there, I entered my first and last name and came up with this:

kate **** is reisboekenschrijfster

kate **** is like a magician as she makes your c*ck disappear into my a**

So is anyone else disturbed by that, or is it just me? Granted, I don't know what the first means, but the second makes me sound like a illusionist madame in a gay brothel. My next career, I suppose.

Wednesday, October 30, 2002

The search is on! Did our first night of apartment hunting this evening. Jay made all the calls - because I suck at calling people (I get nervous and forget to ask important questions) - and we drove around looking at potential sites, had appointments to look at two of them, and got a call back about a place we liked the look of.

So Friday we'll know what it looks like on the inside. It's a 2 bedroom apartment on the first floor of a house in a good neighborhood for only $550/month if we (if Jay) decides he wants to mow/rake/shovel snow. Which he will because he's like that. Not cheap, I mean, but liking yardwork. I dunno - seems odd to me, too.

Anyway, what with school having started and until I find a place to live these next two weeks might be sparse on updates. I'll do my best though. More for my sake than anyone who might be reading, of course.

Bedtime for me. I can't believe I'm going to bed on time. I am so becoming a responsible adult. Help.

Saturday, October 26, 2002

They want me! I have been nominated to carve our departmental pumpkin for the contest! Ohhh, Oooh, oooooooh. Yeah anyway. I have to admit, there aren't many things as satisfying as stabbing a big ol' knife into the top of a pumpkin and scooping out the guts. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the artistry of creating the face or design, too. Just the initial chop and gut brings an intense feeling of rightness to my world.

Sometimes I think I'm creepy, too. Heh heh.
More family pastimes: In response to one of the queries in my comments... Cousin Heather can still hold her alcohol, but she's moved on to more butch beverages: screwdrivers and fuzzy navels. As I said, she's more interesting now. Still just ever so But definitely more interesting.

After a rather annoying encounter with MB and his posse (the men only tonight) who were guzzling out of state beer like there's no tomorrow, I decided that I would be better off hanging out here with my computer instead of driving them all over town. But annoying encounters call for countermeasures, and countermeasures mean Chocolate. So the cookies are a-baking as I write.

However, chocolate reminds me of a little adventure I had this summer with my mother and sisters. See, Father Dearest, no doubt as a thank you to my mother for not booting him out on the street about ten years ago when he was having... issues, chose to finance a three week vacation for us women to France and Switzerland. Yeah, tough life, I know.

We took the night train from Paris to Zurich (a miserable experience in the oldest couchettes in existence) and were wandering around town looking for breakfast and entertainment before catching the train to Bern and Adelboden. The Sprugli gods of chocolate have an outpost in Zurich which we hunted down as quickly as possible. Circling the goods, we at last arrived at the counter containing the croissants, brioches, and other yummies.

Now, all four of us speak French to varying degrees, but none of us know more than a word of German, much less Swiss German which is a bizarre mishmash of German with French words thrown in to add confusion. I say that only to explain what happened next.

We nominate my mother group spokeswoman. She smiles at the sales lady, holds up two fingers and points them at the goodies in the display. "Mmmmm..." she says. "Mmmm... DER?"

Karlyn and I slap hands to foreheads to hide our faces and even Kerri rolls her eyes as the saleswoman says in a crisp accentless English, "Oh, goodmorning. You'd like two of those? Anything else?"

I take over at that point, order up two of everything (there were only 3 choices - I'm not that much of a pig, thankyouverymuch), and hustle us out of the store where we all crumple up laughing. In my family, when something strikes us as funny, we laugh till we cry and watching each other turn red and teary only makes us laugh harder. If someone ever really does die laughing, it will be one of my relatives.

God bless my momma. For the rest of the trip -- and most likely the rest of our lives -- all we have to say is, "Oh, mmmmmm...DER?" And we'll be right back there, falling over laughing at my mom's goof.

More imp-family moments to come...

Friday, October 25, 2002

Hear me roar: I admit, I think the online quizzes are funny. Don't know who makes them up, but, you go! Heh heh. My results: (funny only because I am wickedly allergic to cats of all kinds)

Take the Purrsonality Quiz!

I knew I was smarter than my computer! Finally figured out what was wrong with my photogallery link on the page. And it only took me...

Three and a half hours.

Okay, so maybe I'm not a lot smarter than the computer... but I'm a lot more stubborn.

Thursday, October 24, 2002

Stressed? Me? I just had a mini-nervous breakdown with the tech support people from school. See, they told me last time I called that the reason I couldn't read any of the downloads was that I didn't have Word on my computer. (Yeah, I know, who doesn't have Word...?") Hence the huge outlay of money as mentioned below. So I spend three hours today getting the increased memory and then installing the new OS and Office package.

Still couldn't download.

So I call back the tech guys. Turns out that Exploder for Mac doesn't work with their website. I download Netscape - BINGO - downloads perfectly. I still like the old Exploder just for familiarity's sake, but now I know: Netscape for downloads. How simple. Just shoot me.

Going to treat the ulcer and wipe the mascara tear streaks off now. Sigh.

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Ouch: Just found out that in order to use a lot of the software and downloads for my school stuff, I need masssive upgrades on my computer. I've known that I needed to do this for a while, granted. I just wasn't expecting to have to do it all at once. When I add it all up - Operating System upgrade, Office upgrade, RAM upgrade... comes to roughly $750. Joy.

Excuse me while I go whimper in the corner.
Why we love our mother: And why she would beat me if she read this page. Heh heh. The following clip is from the aforementioned sister email. She forwarded my mother's message and her response to it. I would just like to add, as a point of interest, that the word "sex" has never been exchanged in any conversation between my mother and myself. By some unspoken, mutual decision, we've decided that she waited far too long to have any imput into that aspect of my life. (Also as a side note: My father continues to refer to my boyfriend as "Your friend, that boy." *grin* That boy and I will be moving in together next month.. wonder if he'll then merit a name?)

My mother writes first:
The floors are currently being sanded... the house is interesting... the front lawn is interesting and will be for an hour or two until I finish finding places for chairs...! Steelers won last night... so both men came home relatively happy.
(editors note: notice how simple she starts out. Misdirection is the key to parent-child communication)
I know you are living your own life... and/but I do not want you to live in fear of pregnancy or STD's... Do not take anything for granted with anyone that you meet. ... I do not feel happy about casual sex for fun's sake... it just doesn't belong in a short-term relationship. I certainly wasn't thrilled about **** and **** but at least it has had a natural course of time.
Love, MOM

Karlyn responds:
Oh Susan, Love the progression of your email. Floors...Rob...Steelers...

Casual Sex.

My roommate wants to add that I've only had sex with ten guys since I've been here and they all looked clean. But I can't remember their names anymore.

If you're referring to the new relationship with (mystery boy), you can also chill out. He's a smarter combination of (former cute but stupid boyfriend) and (former musical, moody, eagle scout boyfriend) with a stronger belief in God. He's a virgin, so you can rest assured that we will not be discussing SEX for a very very long time. That is, except for Thursdays when we go to our swingers club.

Do you feel calmer? Goodness, mother. Do I scream "whore" or did Rob (our brother)get the same chat? :o)

Try to sleep at night...

I love Karlyn for sharing these with me. I can just see my Mom looking very serious/silly as she writes the message. (She does this tongue sticking out the corner of her mouth thing when she's embarrassed but trying to be sincere.) And Karlyn's eyes rolling as she reads it out loud to her roomie.

Ah family.
I have two younger sisters (8 and 10 years younger than my own youthful self). Kerri and Karlyn. I recently received an email from my sister Karlyn who has just started her freshman year at some institution (of higher learning, not mental) in Virginia. This email, which will be posted in an edited version soon, reminded me of this tidbit that I copied from one of our Instant Messenger exchanges about 2 years ago. I think this can stand on its own. We really are an odd family.

ivykate98: What happened to Kerri?
ivykate98: You kill her?
Karwyn3: she was too drunk to sit up
ivykate98: Ah, I figured as much.
ivykate98: She did sound a little disjointed.
Karwyn3: no, i'm nice to my baby sister, i couldn't kill her
ivykate98: I was nice to you both, but i seem to recall an incident with electrical tape nonetheless...
Karwyn3: yes yes
Karwyn3: well, oddly enough we enjoyed that
ivykate98: i knew it.
ivykate98: you weirdos

Tuesday, October 22, 2002

Family: As much as my family makes me absolutely crazy -- I don't live 2000 miles away from them for no reason -- I love them to death. I mean, they're the source of most of my best stories. You know, the ones that leave your listeners slack-jawed with fear or laughter. Yeah, those.

My dad, workaholic (and some other -aholic that will not be named) and "advisory scientist"... What the heck does advisory scientist mean, you ask? Good question, but that's what I put on my college aps way back when. In any case... The man had a heart attack or two about two years ago and has since been on anti-stress drugs and whatnot. Well, he failed his stress test (I could have predicted that - duh) and had to have a cardiac catheter exploration expansion something or other. Goes in on Thursday - doctors open up the femoral artery, send in the camera crew, decide that the blockage isn't bad enough to warrent futher measures, stitch my dad back up and send him home with orders to rest.

The nurse calls on Friday to check on the old man. My mom, unsuspecting, answers the phone. "Oh, he's a work," she says. BUSTED. So they called my dad at work to remind him that he's not supposed to get off the couch. He promises to go right home. Eight hours later...

To give him credit, work probably was considerably less stressful than being at home would have been. My Uncle Bill - his brother - was in for the weekend. Uncle Bill's a wicked, wickedly funny guy -- even more so since the stroke, I think. For a while, the only words he could say were of the four letter variety. Did I mention that he also has no teeth? Hasn't had any for as long as I can remember. From what I understand, he got them all yanked in his thirties because he'd never been to a dentist and they were all rotten.

My mom takes him in at least one weekend a month to give my Aunt Maryann a break. When I was home for Christmas last year, seeing the two of them together was like watching a special-ed comedy routine. Aunt Mary asking if we want to see the scars from her breast reduction surgery (NO - Please no!) one minute, and smacking my Uncle's good hand away from the cookie tray the next. He loves his cookies. Or at least I think that's what he meant by, "Bitch, I eat. You f**kin'... Woman." As I said, the stroke wiped out some of his higher speech functions. Ahem. We also got a visit from my cousin Heather -- formerly a boy crazy ditz always tipsy on wine coolers, now a lesbian who can actually hold a conversation and a job. I like her better as a lesbian, to tell the truth. Oh, and can't forget Chris, her younger brother, who showed up with his 15 year old girlfriend. Did I mention that Chris is 23? Statutory rape anyone? Gak. He's a wee bit too sleazy for my tastes.

Just been thinking about what I'll be missing this year by not going back for the holidays. Sigh. I suppose i'll live.

Monday, October 21, 2002

Thoughts on coolness:First, speaking of cool, I finally upgraded my browser... after two and a half years. Amazing how much faster everything works now. Wish I had thought to check it out earlier. Silly me.

I haven't been posting much, mostly just fooling around with my template: adding links, shuffling tables, changing colors -- that sort of thing. I've also been browsing other people's blogs. I have to say that the negatively toned ones way outnumber the positive. Are we overwhelmed with pessimists? Are people really that unhappy, or has happiness just become "uncool"? Granted, some people have legitimate reasons for feeling down... I thank (insert deity of choice) everyday for my continuing good health. I think that must be one of those things you don't fully appreciate until you lose it.

But a good number of the blogs I read are normal people facing normal issues who seem to need to pan everyone and everything around them. I didn't stay to read much of those blogs -- couldn't face the emotional drain. I hear enough bitching and moaning from the people I work with... more than enough. Some blogs are pointing out issues and inconsistancies in the government or the media -- highlighting their absurdity. This is different. I view those as more a call to wake up and pay attention -- social commentary with a dash of satire. If you've gone bloghopping though, you must know what I'm talking about: the blogs written by people with so little self-confidence that they attack anyone who might be reading with insults like "Don't you have anything better to do, you pathetic blog-reader. You must be a real loser to read my blog". Well, duh. But I mean, c'mon. I heard better insults on the kindergarten playground.

Why this attitude? The blogs I most enjoy are those whose authors purposely remain positive despite the crap floating in their pool. (so to speak.) They can look at the negative elements in their life and find the sense of humor about it all. Because honestly, things that suck in the moment can make pretty funny stories after the suckiness wears off. The real trick is to see the humor while the fit is hitting the shan. That's what I'm trying for in my own life. I don't always get there. I catch myself sliding toward the negative every once in a while. But I think that making the choice to be happy in life is a pretty cool thing. (And I've always wanted to be cool - heh heh)

Saturday, October 19, 2002

Early is bad: I got home at 12:45am last night, got back up at 4:25am to drive MB to the airport. Got back to my bed at 5:10am. Unfortunately, it takes way too long for me to fall back to sleep so I was laying in bed for about an hour. Just wrong, just wrong, I tell you.

However, I talked to the parental units and we've agreed on a loan schedule for my masters degree stuff, so that's one less thing I have to worry about. Yay!

Now if only I could settle things at work, I'd be ecstatic. Right. In the meantime, I'm job hunting. Notice a lack of faith in my employment situation here? My problem is that while I do enjoy what I'm doing most days, there are days of sheer hell and unnecessary anguish. I don't trust the other department heads anymore. I certainly don't trust the company to pay me what I'm worth. And with the whole bonus or no bonus guessing game, I'm just tired to playing along with these people. I'm worth more and I intend to get it. Of course, that's a lot of what my going back to school is about: finding a career I love instead of a job I can live with.

Somehow just thinking about this all makes me want to crawl back in bed for a nap.

Friday, October 18, 2002

I've added another link to the page. And YES, I'm still at work -- SOOOOOO Slow tonight. This one is for It's for a girl who has Lyme Disease, which most health insurance doesn't really cover. Her site is set up to help her raise money so that she and her mom don't lose their house and everything that goes along with it. I think it's a worthy cause and would donate if I had any spare money at the moment. However, this not being the case, I can at least provide yet another link for the site. Not that many people are stopping by here yet, but anyway...
Hmm.. So, I decided to check my blog at work, just to see how it looked on a different browser. Either the computer monitors at work SUCK -- everything is greenish and dark -- or my Mac is just more eye-friendly. I'll have to check Monkeyboy's computer to see if it's dark on that one, too. I hope not because most of my friends have PC's (sillies). I would like to be able to share pictures with the people I never see in person anymore.

We shall see.

Speaking of MB, I'll be getting up at 4am to drive him to the airport. He's headed back to New Jersey for a combined 50th Birthday Party for his mom and a Bon Voyage party for his brother who's moving to Hawaii. I'm stuck here with work. Of course. Can't complain really though -- I did take off a combined total of 5 weeks this summer.

Alrighty - I'm stealing work time here (not that we have anything to do) so I should cut myself off now before I really get going.

Ha ha! Successsssss with the image posting! Oh such happiness I know.

(And I promise I will sleep before posting anything else. heh heh)
The neverending drama that is my job: So, in the last three days we've experienced a bit of a turnaround at work. A turnaround as in -- The Rats are Abandoning the Ship. We've lost two of six front desk clerks; 2 fulltime clerks have dropped to parttime; and one PBX operator resigned. I hear that our Director of Security has also resigned and my boss says that he does not expect to be here past the end of November -- if that long. Frabulous. If he leaves, I'm really not going to want to be there, because my counterpart is sure to be promoted into the position. And we just won't go into what I think of him, eh?

On the good news front: I turned in my written notice to the apartment management today. I will not be renewing my lease in this den of Smoking Russians. Oh, there's a couple Mexican families and two little old ladies, but the building has become the personal playground to a very large Russian family -- they have 6 of the 12 apartments on my floor now -- and all of them are heavy smokers. Gag-alicious -- cough cough. Can't wait to move out.

WRITING: I'm in a definite slump. I did get my three library books read in record time, though. I think my terror at starting grad school has frozen my creative juices. I must thaw them soon or I will lose all momentum. Notsogood.

Aaaahhhhh YAWN. It is so time for bed. How did it get so late? I suppose that's what happens when I don't leave work until midnight.

Tuesday, October 15, 2002

Evil Insomnia Conspiracies: So, after four days off in the row (I have floating weekends at my job), and perhaps not going to bed early -- unless you consider 2am early rather than late -- I had a wee bit of trouble falling asleep last night. I think I dozed off around 12:30am or so. At 1:15am, I hear pounding on the apartment door next to mine. Door pounding and doorbell ringing. The little old lady who lives next door is mostly deaf, so I didn't think a lot of it, merely cursed and stuck my head under the pillow. Eventually, I hear pounding on other doors in the hall... including my own. Then I hear the call "Fire Department!". Crap. Just what I was hoping, eh? I grabbed my jeans off the floor because I couldn't find my robe and tripped across the living room to my front door trying to put the darn things on. I get to the door, unlock it, open it -- most of the other residents are standing around in the hall in robes and/or pyjamas looking confused. Frabulous. The fireman asks if I've left my stove on or have anything against a lamp or heater. I don't. He explains that they got a call about smoke in the building -- and I can smell it at that point -- but that no one's smoke alarm has gone off yet so they can't pinpoint it. I shake my head or nod at the appropriate questions and ask if I can go back to bed. They say okay, I return to the bed that sleep forgot. Still wearing my jeans, just in case. They stayed around talking and banging on doors until around 3am -- they might have been there longer, but that's when I feel asleep.

Did I mention that I had to work this morning at 7am? Yeah. Yeah, that was fun. But my car is fixed and all else is trivial, I suppose.

PLUS - as a karmic kickback to make up for this weekend - my friend the Furry Italian Boy is making dinner to go along with the magnificent bottle of Chianti Classico (Ruffino Riserva Ducale, Gold Label -- yummmmm) that I bought him for his birthday last month. I think it's just going to be me and Monkeyboy and FIB's roommate. Oh yeah.

Now, if I'm lucky, this will post without a problem. If not... I made a copy to repost later. I learn from my mistakes. heh.

Monday, October 14, 2002

arrgh. No pictures tonight. I have the jpgs, but they are HUGE. So the one that I'd like to post, I need to first take back to Monkeyboy's computer and use his image editing program to chop it into manageable pixel height and width. Until then, here's a link a kiss from the wicked imp. I'm going back to playing with things I understand for the rest of my waking -- and not so waking -- hours tonight: reading and sleeping.

Allergies: Another battle I seem to be losing these days. News guys say the sage and mold allergens are high now -- after my attempted hike today, I believe them. Almost had a panic-attack level asthma episode in the first fifteen minutes of hiking. Got it under control and managed not to die on the rest of the walk. That's all it really was, honestly: a walk in the Wasatch. At least Monkeyboy is getting used to them so he doesn't worry quite as much. I really freaked him out last year skiing in the Uintas.

As my reward for hiking with him, the boy fixed me up some tomazukibean soup. Yummy tomato soup with chunks of zuchini and both pinto and black beans, with some rigatoni thrown in for good measure. Oh - and fresh tea. Chamomile and bunch of other stuff. I don't keep track -- it's the boy's hobby, not mine. Mind you, I enjoy drinking it, I'm just too lazy to make it myself. Especially with all the tasty bagged teas they make these days.

READING: Read one of my library books and am most of the way through another. I'm also reading Cause of Death: a writer's guide to death, murder, & forensic medicine. That's the one I read when I can't sleep. Strange but true. I find the whole Writer's Digest series very interesting, but they lull me right to sleep every time.

WRITING: Again, the writing should probably also be listed under reading, because all I did was read over the scene I wrote last time. I think I need to sleep on it before I can push forward again. Other than that, I put my two cents here and I ftp'd some jpgs to my files so images should be arriving soon! That, uh, sort of counts as writing, right? Write?

Saturday, October 12, 2002

ONGOING CAR BATTLES: I'm losing. Yes, I just returned from my two mile walk back from the garage where the nice tow-truck driver dropped me and my attention-needing car this afternoon. Tried to start the darn thing this morning before Monkeyboy left for school/work -- no dice. The battery juiced itself out -- nice puddle of battery acid underneath it. Well, at least I can get my hazard lights fixed at the same time. And it really was the perfect day to walk home -- cool and sunny, leaves changing colors, downhill the whole way. I'm supposed to get the car back on Monday afternoon, so really, it couldn't have happened at a better time. I'll just keep repeating that to myself when I'm doing my weekend errands on foot, eh?

WRITING: I confess, I haven't gotten a lot done in the last couple days. I've been having too much fun figuring out HTML and webpage building. I found a nice little book at the library that has pictures! So important for someone -- like myself -- who has no idea what half the terminology means. Maybe I can get MB to send me some pictures so I can spiff up the place here. Of course, we do have the PC to Mac compatibility problems -- exacerbated by the fact that I desperately need to upgrade my system.

READING: Ahh ha ha ha ha! I have a lovely stack of library books waiting for me. One book of short stories and two novels. I am trying to limit my book purchases again. I did cave in and buy S.L. Viehl's new one Eternity Row and also one by Laurell K. Hamilton -- Narcissus in Chains. But those are special cases -- I NEEDED them. Everything else must come from the library. At least until I have moved aparments in December... then maybe I'll let myself pick up a few more for Christmas.
Today was LAUNDRY DAY. This particular one merits the capital letters because I am wearing my very last pair of clean underwear right now. And not the good ones either - you know, the pairs of underwear you only wear when you've put off laundry so long that you're not even sure the laundry basket is still under the mountainous heap in the corner? Yeah -- buttfloss, that's what I'm talking about. Don't even know why I have any at all. I think it was the product of a shopping trip with my younger sister. She's all about style. Me? I'm more into comfort. Cotton and stretchy fabrics, not scratchy lace or stringy nonsense. Anyway, enough about my undergarments.

Besides the all important cleaning of the clothes, I also resolved part of my financial worries regarding tuition. I'm filling out the financial aid packet, of course, but that won't kick in for 60-90 days, so I'll have to pay the first class costs out of pocket. My pockets are pretty empty right now and they won't be filling up again until I get my vehicle issues resolved. But my parental units stepped up and offered to pay for the first class. Yay! I love my parents. Granted, we get along much better now that I live 2000 miles away from them, but we all have love for each other. I'm pretty lucky with my family. At least now. When I was in high school? Different story altogether.

Alrighty - I'm keeping monkeyboy waiting, so I should go. Tomorrow, hopefully, I will be adding more links to the page. Possibly even getting some pictures up. Oooh Aaaahh. The excitement. ;-)

Friday, October 11, 2002

Interesting evening. I went to the orientation for the teacher certification program just to see what it was all about. Somehow, I have just signed myself up for a MAED/TED-S program. Translation: Masters of Arts and Education with a teacher's certification in secondary education. I wanted to get certified to teach English, but I don't have the undergrad credits to back that up, despite the fact that I can read and write circles around just about everyone I know. (At least the people I know in "real life". The onliners at the writer's site -- which I will link to when I figure out how to do spiffy things like that -- are pretty darn impressive.) Did I just say darn? I have been in Utah WAY too long. So it looks like I can probably get an endorsement to teach French at the secondary level with only minimal additional classwork in the subject.

Needless to say, I'm am scared out of my mind, yet totally psyched about this new thing in my life -- maybe I'm weird, but I love change. Or should that be Change - capital "C"? And having resigned myself to living in Utah for another THREE YEARS, I am in desperate need of change on a smaller scale. Not that getting a Master's degree in 18 months is truly smaller scale. In fact, I'd say it's pretty big. Okay okay, I'm babbling. I'm excited and terrified. ohmigodohmigodohmigod.

Also needless to say, I've gotten no writing done today. In the near future though, I will also be writing things like 3 to 5 page papers on educational subjects. I hope I can keep my word count down. heh heh.

More updates to follow. (BIG HUGE SHELLSHOCKED GRIN)

Thursday, October 10, 2002

Aaaarrgh. Okay - Good News/Bad News time.

Good News? Writing related: I figured out what direction to take this next scene in my dreaded middle of HG. Added tension, advanced plot - more showing, less telling. All in all, I'm satisfied.

Bad News? Car related: the fuse was not the cause of my hazard lights being out. I replaced the fuse but still... no flashing lights when I push the button in. Phoooey. Phoooey. Phooey. If I don't get this working by Friday, I'm going to have to pay the inspection fee all over again. My car registration expired while I was on vacation and now it's been almost 6 weeks because of my stupid stupid hazard lights.

Aaaaaargh. I might as well go to bed. Tomorrow's going to be another long day.

Wednesday, October 09, 2002

I feel so productive today. Not only did I finally call the dealership to make an appointment to get my airbag replaced (I've been receiving the notices for 2 years now -- I guess it is a bit overdue), but I found out where my fuse box is. Gasp. And it's so easy to get to, I'm almost embarrassed. Except that none of my "car expert" friends knew where to look for it either. So I don't feel too foolish since I readily admit I am car-clueless.

This fit of responsible behavior was obviously too good to last though, because I just signed up for Blog*Spot Plus. I'm trying to pay off the credit cards now, not spend more money. But I couldn't resist -- hate the ads and want to add nifty stuff like pictures. Sigh. Oh, I suppose the credit card debt isn't as bad as it could be. I've just had quite a bit of fun traveling this summer -- France and Switzerland in July, Washington and Alaska in August/September... worth every penny.

I am also happy to report that the car alarm issue seems to have been resolved. I was one of six or seven people who reported the guy to the complex managers -- they said that one angry guy said that if he ever caught the Jeep's owner, he'd pound him into the pavement. So... alerted to the potential lynch mob and eviction from the apartment complex, the Jeep owner made the wise decision and disabled his alarm. Yay!

WRITING UPDATE: I got my first draft of HG back from my friend Devan who courageously volunteered to read it and offer suggestions. So far I've revised the first 200 pages. Of course, most of the total crap parts are in the last 300 pages. Sigh. Up until now I've mostly just been tweeking the story line and fixing typos and whatnot. Now I must hack and slash and totally rewrite enormous sections. I know the story will be better for it... it's obvious now that I was pretty lost on the plot line and characters in this middle section. I like my ending -- but only if I lose the last 20 pages. I slashed the first 20 pages, too. Probably a good thing, considering that I'll be adding lots of new pages for the dangling plot lines that were interesting but were abandoned for no apparent reason... I've got a lot of work to do before I'm publishable.

And just because I don't have enough to do right now, I've decided to go back to school to get a teaching certificate. While I do enjoy my job, I feel like I'm not really accomplishing much -- or making use of my pricey undergrad degree. Orientation is tomorrow night. Cross your fingers for me!

Tuesday, October 08, 2002

CAR ALARMS: EVIL AND WRONG. Especially when the car in question is parked directly outside my bedroom window so that not only do I get the loud blaring honking, but I also get the lights flashing through my blinds. FABulous. What's worse? This is the third night in a row. The blaring this morning began at 4:48am and continued three minutes at a time for the next hour or so. I could have dealt with it, except that the intervals of sound were completely sporadic. Like aural chinese water torture. 4:48 to 4:51 Honking. 4:51 to 4:58 no Honking. 4:58 to 5:01 Honking. 5:01 to 5:11 no Honking. 5:11 to 5:14 Honking. 5:14 to 5:15 no Honking, BUT 5:15 to 5:18 Honking again. You get the idea. Why, you ask, did the imp not go bash this individual's car into smithereens? I believe in warnings, that's why. So I left a very nice note and reported the problem to the apartment managers. Naturally, if that doesn't work, the imp and I shall resort to more... intense... measures.

Monday, October 07, 2002

Oooooh no. It's finally happened. I've allowed myself to talk to myself online. Yes, now you no longer have to work with me, encounter me in supermarkets, work out at my gym, or visit the library to hear me babble to myself.

Who is this wicked imp, you ask? At the moment, I'm trapped in Utah. I honestly don't know how this happened, though I do recall something about packing up my car and driving... but really, I think it must have been a subconscious need to repay an enormous karmic debt. Why else would I be living in a theocracy populated by ultra-conservative hypocrites? Why else would my "only for a year" job have become so permanent? Why else would I not be able to find the fuse box on my stinking car?!?!? (I mean really, WHERE IS IT???) Ack. But life is not without compensation or a warped sense of humor. Here, in the most beautiful -- but over regulated -- state of Utah, my wicked imp latched on to a monkeyboy who provides a frighteningly perfect complement to my sick self. Said monkeyboy is living voluntarily in Utah to top of his edjumacation with a PhD - foolishchild. We be tied to the place for another un, deux, trois, count'em THREE YEARS!!! So. In an attempt to save my sanity -- what's left anyway -- I will dish up my wicked imp's leftovers at the end of my days. And maybe in the middle of the day if I get bored at work. Probably not in the mornings because mornings are evil and wrong. >;-)