Saturday, July 31, 2010

Blog Cheating

Almost 3 days and no post. I have a secret. I’ve been cheating on this blog. Oh, the horror! I don’t cheat on this blog that often. There are times I genuinely am busy or not in the mood to blog, but longer absences are usually explained by my blogging elsewhere. And I don’t have a computer right now because my AC adapter is kaput, and I’m returning the one I bought a few months ago because supposedly there is a warranty on it. Yeah, I’m not holding my breath.

I don’t like cheating on this blog. I suppose I like that there is virtually no overlap in readership, and perhaps my few friends over there haven’t been posting in months. I probably could post what I posted there over here, especially since it isn’t bad in any way. It’s actually good.

I had to confess the cheating thing. I’m such an awful liar. I can’t even pretend that I’ve been “so busy.” I mean, I could say it because I have been working, painting, taking care of a toddler, exercising, reading, blah blah blah. But aren’t we all busy? My busy is no more busy than your busy.

Stay busy & I’ll catch you all soon.

P.S. Why do people blog less in the summer? No one is writing anything. When it takes me 10 minutes to catch up on 40 blogs after being gone for 3 days, that is pathetic.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Thirteen Reasons Why

I just finished reading Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. It's a must read. Mesmerizing. Even if you don't like teen fiction, it's mesmerizing.

I don't think I've ever been so captivated by a book. And I've read a ton of books.

Seriously, a must read. Especially if you're the brooding, overanalyzing type who lives with regrets.

A Must Read.

5 star *****

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Today's Blitherings and Chase - Again!

Here are a few random things from today:

- I have killed yet another AC adapter for my laptop. I think this one lasted 2 months. The one before it lasted 7 months. Why do I keep killing AC adapters?

- I held a newborn for an hour today, and I don't want another kid. This is common knowledge that I don't want another kid. I just feel like repeating it because most women want babies after holding babies. Sorry, the baby manufacturing facility is CLOSED...unless there is in an industrial accident!

- I have painting angst. This morning I was operating on 3 hours sleep, and I was welcoming painting the basement bathroom for a few hours. Well, the paint in that room (the old stuff) is massively weird. The new paint won't adhere to it, and I know - I should have primed. Instead, I started forcing it, and that probably wasn't the best route to take. After an hour, I just got massively frustrated and quit. Then I started painting the living room instead, got a bit done, took a nap, and then it was time for hubby to come home. I felt like I wasted the whole day off. :(

- It is such a beautiful night tonight. There's quite a chill in the air, though, and that makes it all the more beautiful. I took a walk tonight sans sweatshirt because after painting this evening, I was so hot. After 15 minutes of walking, I was freezing. I love to be cold.

Now I must write my Chase hate story of the day. First of all, I got a check that's above the threshold where I would deposit it into the ATM. So I have to go in person...ugh. All of my interactions with Chase don't seem to go well. I was detained once, then once I was forced to go speak with a person behind a desk instead of a teller. There were a few other weird things, too, but mostly I just don't like them.

So I'm standing there at the kiosk filling out my deposit slip. Then this guy (mid 20s?) scares the bejeezus out of me. "Why are you here today?" he asks. He's wearing a Chase shirt.

I stare at him. I'm not even done filling out my dang deposit slip. "Making a deposit."

"I can help you with that." Seriously, why does he have to invade my personal space? There's 1 teller who is occupied, but I'm more than happy to wait my turn with her. But nope, he drags me to his desk. Ugh, this again. Why oh why oh why must I go through this crap when I go to make a deposit?

He starts inputting into the computer. I stand there next to the desk. He tells me to sit down, he won't bite. I want to roll my eyes. What stupid crap are you going to try to sell me? I just want to make my deposit. I don't want to be stuck talking to you for 15 minutes.

He asks if I want a receipt for my deposit. Well, duh, it's a lot of money, so YES! Then he says he needs to see my ID. Why? I'm making a deposit. New rules, he says. WTF? The teller comes over to retrieve my ID, deposit slip, and check.

This is such a racket. Now I can't leave because my ID is being held hostage. At this point, he is really getting on my nerves as he starts going through my accounts. Then he starts talking about the new debit card rules and that stupid overdraft protection crap. He said that in August they will automatically switch you to that plan unless you opt out.

No, I don't want overdraft protection. Deny my purchase if there's not enough money in the account. He says most people want the overdraft protection, blah blah blah, it gives you peace of mind, blah blah blah. I know how much is in my account. I'm not going to use a debit card for more than is in my account. It's pure common sense. And if there is a debit card transaction that's for more than is in my account, chances are it's not me making the transaction. Hence, I would want it to be denied anyway.

Can he please SHUT UP? He must be getting commission off of everyone he signs up for it. But if everyone's going to switch over husband told me when I got home that it's actually the reverse. You have to opt for to the coverage; the default is to have no overdraft protection. I swear the banker told me the opposite. All I wanted was to get my ID back, get my receipt for the deposit, and get the heck out of there.

The banker put three forms in front of me, and I signed the "no" option on all of them, as he said to do if I didn't want it. Probably the idiot tricked me into signing up for it.

Then he started on his next spiel, but I said I had to go and zoomed off.

Why does Chase give me such a headache every time I go in? It feels like I'm being swindled every time I talk to the workers there.

I said this to someone recently, and I will say it again. Most finance people make me cringe. It's their demeanor, the way they treat you, and their superiority complex. It really grates on me.

Remember when? Office Edition

A quickie note: I did a Health update up above. Now back to normally scheduled post.

Remember when computers weighed 100 pounds? You know, there was the CPU, the big ol' monitor, and the Herculean dot matrix printer with its high-pitched whine as it churned out each stinking line painstakingly at 150 decibels. And it was a 10 page paper I had to print at 6am, so it took about 20 minutes for the dot matrix to do its thing, all the while I'm trying to muffle the stupid thing (unsuccessfully) by closing the door and stuffing blankets at the gap at the bottom of the door. The whole computer set-up took up a massive-sized desk; in fact, the desk was so massive that it couldn't fit in my bedroom, so it had to be in the spare bedroom. Ah, remember that? I'm kind of sad that Julia will never know a dot matrix printer because that was a true sight (and auditory experience) to behold.

The massive computer set-up ended up with its own room anyway, so why not shove all your filing cabinets in there to make it even more official? And while you're at it, put in a few bookcases, a case to hold your 5" floppy disks, a few pictures, a comfy chair (or, for the men, a leather swivel chair that reclines). By George, you now have a fully functional OFFICE!

And now there are the concepts of affordable laptops, wireless internet, and it seems like it could be the beginning of the end for the home office. At least for us. We technically have a den, and there is a desk in there... a wedding picture on the desk...a chair...and that's it, folks. Oh, I put a tiny filing cabinet in there too.

My laptop lives next to my side of the bed unless I move it to to the couch or wherever I'm painting. We use Rubbermaid filing drawers for what little files we have. Most stuff is available electronically, so I don't keep many hard copies of things. When we back up our computer files (hint, hint, husband dear), we keep the back-up in a small safe. Hence, we don't really need an office, per se. We still haven't set up a printer in this house since PDF'ing and cell phones with internet have pretty much eliminated the need to print things out.

My husband tried. One weekend he put his laptop on the desk in the office. I think he even tried to type there until he realized he was far away from everyone, and he didn't like having to sit upright in the desk chair. The experiment only lasted a few days, and then he was back on the couch or the bed with his laptop. I admire him. I didn't even try to experiment with using the official desk. Why? I knew it would end in disappointment. But if I had that dot matrix, maybe THAT would lure me into the office.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Summer Hype

When you're a kid and go to the traditional type school (i.e., non year-round), you have this thing called a summer vacation. Back then, you also didn't have this mid-winter break crap (an extra week off in February after you've been back in school 5 weeks or something like that), so you got out of school by June 2nd. Then you started back around September 2. Three whole months off. Wahoo! Now the school year seems to be slowly creeping toward year-round school with all of these breaks during the year.

I did year-round school in Las Vegas for a year. The only reason they did year-round school because the number of kids exceeded the amount of space available. So you went to school for 9 weeks and then had 3 weeks off & then repeat that pattern x3. It wasn't too bad of a concept, and I've never been one that really cared for having summers off. It was kind of weird to have off 3 weeks in October, though.

As an adult, I have a hard time with summer. I suppose I don't really embrace it like I should. I work at a place where the work year (and vacation time accrual) goes from September - August, and we get a lot of vacation time. I love it, I really do. But the thing is that people really don't take vacation throughout the school year; hence, you only take a few days here and there throughout the year. Then you end up with 3-4 weeks of time you have to take by the end of August. So the office is a ghost town for most of the summer because everyone is taking their vacations. If you're the poor sap that's holding the fort down for your department, you can't get anything done because there's no one else there, or anywhere else for that matter. In essence, it's kind of like you have to take your vacation from late June - late August.

I suppose I understand asking a kid how his/her summer vacation is going. But in the office, it's just kind of weird. "How's your summer going?" is the most frequently asked question. Ummm, no one asks me how my fall/winter/spring is going. Summer gets its own vernacular, almost as if you're not truly appreciating summer unless you're laying on the beach in Hawaii and sipping a cold drink of your choice for the whole summer. As I've already covered, my husband and I are not "vacation" people, so our summer is like every other day of the year - except I tend to go to work less. Since I'm working less, I tend to spend more time doing things around the house. If I didn't have to do things around the house, I'd probably read more and, ummmm, blog more, maybe??? As much as I complain and whine about all the painting I have done and still have to do, it's not like I'd be filling my time with anything more interesting if I didn't have to paint. Yeah, I might take Julia out of daycare more and participate in more playdates if my to-do list wasn't so long. But that's about all that would change.

Here are my summer achievements, in no particular order:
- Painted
- S's parents stayed with us for about 4 weeks (1 one of those weeks was unplanned)
- S's sister and kids stayed with us for almost 2 weeks. It wasn't too terrible, but certainly threw us off our normal schedule. In essence, we hosted another family's summer vacation.
- Read 10+ books

Certainly it's not a list to write a book report on. But as I sit here, I can't come up with anything that I feel like I have to do by the end of August - except for painting, some routine doctor appointments, get my car's oil changed, and some random other small stuff.

So is it just the hype around summer that creates all this buzz around me, or am I so serious about life that I can't have any fun during summer?


I enjoy solitude. There's something comforting about being by myself and letting my mind drift to wherever I let it. I suppose the solitude was always the big lure of summer vacations to me; my mom would be at work all day, and I was usually home alone. So many hours to daydream, read, listen to music, play video games, take walks around the neighborhood. At least that was what my summer vacations consisted of B.B. (Before Boys).

Most people I know go stir crazy after being alone too long. It almost seems like a day or two of being alone is too much for them. I guess I don't identify with that. It would probably take me 1-2 solid weeks of being alone before I would call or visit someone. If I wasn't married, I'd probably be one of those people who was discovered dead in her house a year after she actually died. The concept of being that person doesn't even disturb me, and I know it should.

In theory, I know that I will have lots of solitude after I die, and I should surround myself with people until then. It's just so hard to do in practice though.

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Weird Wall Post

S has a Crazy Aunt. Well, more like 2 crazy aunts, but I've met the other crazy aunt at our wedding & have talked with her several times. On further reflection, there's a third crazy aunt who is a nun and has dementia, but for the purpose of this post we'll say he only has 1 Crazy Aunt.

Crazy Aunt has a Facebook account. I have never met Crazy Aunt. I have never even talked to Crazy Aunt. We've been married for 10+ years, dated another 2 years, so that's 12 years of not talking to Crazy Aunt. But she friend'ed me on Facebook, so that's like being BFFs, right?

In addition to not talking to Crazy Aunt, we haven't talked to her two boys (S's cousins) in that same amount of time. I talk with one of the wives, but I've never talked with the actual cousins. Of course, the other cousin married a Crazy Lady (perhaps trying to mimic his mother), and - surprise, surprise - Crazy Aunt and Crazy Lady never got along. For the past 12 years, the family gossip mill has talked all about Crazy Lady (who I also never met) and how despicable she is. Cousin and Crazy Lady had 2 kids together, and one of them filed for divorce from the other last year. S's family isn't very exciting, so this is Big News.

Anyway, I get this wall post from Crazy Aunt yesterday. She's "friends" with my husband, but apparently I rate the wall post instead of him.

"Hello, Just an update. I enjoy reading about you and the family. J e f f,G r a c e,J a n e n e and D a r r e n are going to be in S e a t t l e on Friday , July 29th. They leave for A l a s k a on Sat. Maybe you all can get together for drinks or something. Happy Belated birthday to Julia. How did she gert to be 2 yrs.old so soon?Love, ___"

J e f f is the cousin who was married to Crazy Lady. G r a c e is his daughter. Not sure why his son isn't going on the trip. Not completely sure who J a n e n e is. Maybe a new girlfriend? I saw a picture from cousin-in-law's photo album of J e f f with someone who had a Kate Gosselin haircut, ya know the cut that was long in front and spiky in back. I really didn't know anyone actually asked for the Kate Gosselin haircut. Ew, it was scary. The family gossip mill says that this chick lives with her mother and is 40ish and doesn't work. If Kate Gosselin is this chick's role model and she still lives with her parents, then obviously we will get along famously!!!!! Who the eff is D a r r e n? Kate Gosselin Wannabe's son???? Did they rename J e f f's boy after the divorce? I have no clue.

If J e f f wants to contact us to meet, can't he do it all on his own? Must he have his mother meddle in his affairs at the tender age of 40? The family gossip mill has also said that Crazy Aunt is paying for J e f f's mortgage and living expenses since Crazy Lady took all he had in his divorce. Okay, then why are you going on a cruise, Dude, if Mommy has to pay your living expenses? If my mom was paying my living expenses at the age of 40, I sure as heck wouldn't be going on a cruise.

Crazy Aunt posted something similar onto the wall of my BIL who lives an hour away. He's the one with the crazy wife, the one who called the police on my ILs last month. I was laughing my head off at what she posted on his wall: "Love you and the boys." Ha ha ha, no mention of his wife deliberately!

So I sit here and wonder how to respond to her. I have no contact info for J e f f other than snail mail. We've never contacted each other at all previously. I'm not really interested in driving up to S e a t t l e to meet Kate Gosselin Wannabe, if that's even who that name is referring to. The whole thing (divorce in late 2009, new girl whose role model is Kate Gosselin, taking a cruise when Mommy is paying for your living expenses...) is just kind of odd, and then there's Mommy trying to get you a double date thing....

Weird, weird, weird.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


I have used Craigslist. Have you? It's been an interesting method of selling & buying things over the past few years. The first thing I ever posted was a car. I posted it at 6am on a Saturday, and I had 40 responses within 2 hours. Yes, 40 responses. And I ended up getting twice as much as I wanted for it. So, needless to say, my first experience was terrific. I haven't posted a whole lot besides the car over the years. A few maternity clothes, a few baby items.

I've purchased 4-5 things off Craigslist. I'm kind of leery of used things in general, but when you have a baby/toddler, some things just make sense to buy used. Like big toys and castle toddler beds (without mattress) that are discontinued.

Every time I search the Craigslist ads, I cringe. First of all, I'm a snob about such things as spelling and grammar. Yes, people make typos; that is understandable. But when the posting is so incoherent/full of spelling & grammatical errors, sometimes you can't even figure out what they are selling. Then there are contradictory descriptions, two different prices listed, crazy additional (not needed) information. I ♥ a good story when I see one, but when you're selling items, less backstory is usually better.

So when I stumbled upon You Suck at Craigslist (, I was in heaven. This website rocks. Seriously, I have been rolling for two days straight. Yes, I have read all of the ads they posted. I have no life; this has already been established. I have been laughing so much at the craziness.

Here are some of my favorites if you don't have the time to read all 700+ entries. But if you can squeeze it in, even reading a handful of entries a day would give you so much comic relief. I can't believe I haven't stumbled onto this website sooner.

I can't believe that people think there is a market for some of this stuff:   **** This one is so gross!

There's the dude that can ramble about dressers for a very, very long time:

This dude is a complete pervert with some other big issues:
And this coffee table is the bee's knees:

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Grocery Store Show and Tell

I liked doing Plagiarize Yourself Wednesday. I love going back into the past. It's funny how 2-3 years ago feels like just yesterday and eons ago, all at the same time.

I went grocery shopping tonight. I spent $19.57. Here's what I got:

Sorry about the quality. It was with my phone and then I compressed it to "small." Yikes, resolution sucks.

Here's the breakdown, since you obviously can't tell from the picture:

Box of Caprisun
5 pack of Kraft mac & cheese*
4 extremely long English cucumbers**
5 packs of Kraft singles***
2 pounds of plums
2 pounds of grapes
Gallon of whole milk for the thin people I live with
5 cans of black beans
5 cans of pinto beans

* Hey, it's for Julia - do you know how many calories are in that? Okay, and maybe I eat the powdered cheese. Gawd, I'm so white trash.

** Never buy just cucumbers at the store. People look at you weird. A few years ago I did that, and the cashier (female) made some comment. Then I realize that, oh, this could look very weird. Now I always buy cucumbers along with other things. Tonight I bought the longest cucumbers I could find. 17 inches!!! Holy cow, ouch! I mean, if you're into that type of thing. Not that I am, just after that comment I will never look at a cucumber the same way.

*** More evidence I'm white trash. And I got a $5 off Catalina if I bought 5 packs of Kraft cheese. Since I went at 9pm at night, all the "real" cheese was gone. Oh well, I like this stuff on my turkey & black bean burgers. It never seems to expire.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

May I see another form of ID? - repost from 7/8/2008

Ugh, life with a fussy, high maintenance baby has been difficult. It seems like everyone I know has "easy" babies. I'm so jealous. Part of it could be that we're doing things wrong (I'm not going to blame just her), and the three of us are still learning about one another. However, this is really excrutiating. Here are my thoughts tonight.

1. She has to be swaddled to sleep or else she slaps herself in the head, which wakes her up. Then screaming ensues. I hope she gets control of her limbs soon. Swaddling is a pain in the patoot. She hates it initially, so you have to endure her screaming. S and I are insistent that she will have to be swaddled until she's 20. Can you picture swaddling a teenager? Ha!

2. It's over 80 degrees today and for the rest of the week. What do you swaddle her with when it's so hot? We tried a sheet, and she gets her hands out of it immediately. Wrong material. So we're left with a thermal blanket, and she overheats. That leaves us with her screaming because she's hot or her screaming because she's woken herself up by slapping herself in the face.

3. The Social Security office messed up her name. So we have to correct her name. We go to the SS office with her birth certificate, and they say they need another form of ID for her besides the birth certificate. What!?! She's a month old. The only thing she has IS her birth certificate. It's not like she has a driver's license or credit card. We looked through all of her paperwork this evening, and we can't find anything with her full name and birth date that's "official." Ordinarily I'm okay with bureaucracy (after all, there's usually a purpose for it), but this 2 forms of ID thing when they messed up an infant's name is a bit over the top.

4. She's totally going to be an only child. Self-explanatory.

5. In my days stuck in the house, TV and visitors are my only companions besides Julia. One thing I discovered is that the bald bodyguard from the Jerry Springer show got his own talk show. How sad is that? I shouldn't even know who that dude is.

6. She will not sleep. We swaddle her, give her a pacifier, put on white noise, bounce, and she may sleep for 10 minutes and then we start Round 393. So she's up for 7 hours at a time with only a few 10 minute cat naps, crying for most of it, and then she crashes for 2 hours. Repeat.

7. Everyone gives unsolicited advice. A miniscule amount may actually apply to her and be helpful, and the rest just contradicts things I've read or other people have told me. Put her on a schedule, feed on demand, put her to sleep holding her, put her to sleep by herself so she learns to self soothe, get rid of her gas this way, get rid of her gas that way...

8. It really sucks that about the time she'll grow out of this (3-4 months of age), I'm going back to work. Just at the time when she'll be tolerable, I'll be away from her.

9. Miss Julia has "tongue issues." According to the lactation consultant, she needs physical therapy for her tongue. I find this extremely humorous. Am I supposed to call all of the physical therapists around town and ask who will help her keep her tongue in her mouth when she eats? Maybe I find this humorous because Julia's ability to cooperate with something being done to her is zilch. Imagining someone putting his finger in her mouth while she howls and gives her "you're killing me!" scream does make me smile.

10. I hate when I tell people she's going to be an only child, and they say, "Oh, you'll forget what she was like." I will not forget. I'm dead serious. She is going to be an only child unless we really, really think it's the right thing to do or it's an accident baby. People then say she HAS to have a sibling. Why does she HAVE to have a sibling? If you had to have a sibling, babies would be born as twins or triplets all the time. I think the notion is absurd, but that could be because I'm an only child. Or that I know people who have siblings and don't communicate with them, even as adults. The only way people who are objecting to the only child notion get to voice their opinion is if they will gestate the baby, get up with the baby at 3am, and pay for the baby.

What a month! repost 6/26/2008

What a month!

It's been a while since I posted. What a month!

Julia was delivered by c section on June 4th. It was a very controversial decision; my doctor recommended a c section even before I went into labor. He said that a natural birth would have gone very badly. Part of me is very sad to not have even tried, but at 40 weeks and 5 days I had no signs of labor coming on its own. However, you don't see many 2 year olds being born, so it is possible she would have come on her own if he would have given me more time.

The surgery itself went okay. I didn't take any of the pain meds they offered me because I wasn't in too much pain. It was rough for the first week or so as far as recovery goes, compounded with the fact that you have a new baby that you can't really take care of because you can't get out of bed. I've lost 30 pounds in 3 weeks--woohoo! I'd be back in my normal clothes except I don't like clothes, particularly denim, rubbing my incision. So I'm still living in sweats and shorts.

I really hated staying in the hospital. Most of the nurses pushed pain meds. The nurses came in the room incessantly and asked the same questions over and over. After 2 days, I came home, happy to be free from the confines of the prison cell...errrr, hospital room.

Julia is here! It was quite a shock to see that she had so much dark hair. She doesn't really look like Stephan or me, but she has a few features of each of us. As one of my friends says, Julia looks like Julia. She also has quite a personality. She's a little spitfire who is noisy, mischievious, and playful. She goes from 0 to 100 in two seconds flat and loves to stick out her tongue.

We've been having a lot of sleeping issues with Miss Julia. She loves to sleep on people and not by herself. In the course of the 3 weeks she's been here, we have read 4 books on developing baby sleep habits. Last night was a milestone; she slept for several hours in her crib. It took 19 tries, but she finally fell asleep. I hope we can repeat that (with less failed attempts) going forward!

As a new mom, I think childrearing is a very controversial issue, and everyone who has had a child has a resounding opinion on the topic. Cosleeping vs. crib, bottle vs. breast, stay at home mom vs. working mom. It's a treasure trove of controversy, and it is enough to drive a middle-of-the-road person (me) crazy. Honestly I've been on every side of the debate already at 3 weeks post partum. I've breastfed, bottle fed, coslept, finally got her to sleep in her crib (granted, it was just a few hours), stayed at home without doing work for a week, been back to work already. It has been a very tumultous 3 weeks.

My thoughts: I'm far too light of a sleeper to get any quality sleep while cosleeping. I'm far too paranoid when she's in bed with us, and when she's in her bassinet next to the bed (not that she liked it), I woke up at every peep. As long as we can transition her to her crib instead of our bed, I think sleeping in her crib is the best place for Julia at night. I do have a preference that Julia eat breastmilk instead of formula. I admit that it feels more "right," and it smells a whole lot better than formula. However, we do use some formula if she gets ahead of my milk supply. As for working, I personally need to get the satisfaction that comes from work. It's a bit difficult to juggle work while caring for a baby on an hour of sleep a night although I imagine it will start to get easier.

In a nutshell, that's what I've been up to. S has been loving being a dad. He also got a new job with the same company, and he starts his new job as a financial analyst on Monday. I guess the best word to sum up our June is, "Change!"

Hopefully July will be quieter as we settle into our new routine...or am I being hasty in thinking we will have some sort of routine in the span of a month???

Dear Little Miss Neek - repost 4/23/2008

Dear Little Miss Neek,

It's about 5 weeks until your arrival, and I haven't written to you yet. I talk to you all the time though. I address you as Neek most of the time , and so does your dad (Neek is a hybrid of Nerd and Geek, which we came up with the day we found out the news about you). I call you Spastic Baby when you move around a lot (which is quite a bit), and sometimes I escalate to threatening to sell you on eBay when you're Spastic Baby for too long & I'm trying to get to sleep. I do love that I can always feel you. At first I thought you were in distress because of how much you were moving, but then I read that babies in distress are very, very quiet. So I know that you're doing quite well by the sheer magnitude of your movements. That is so very reassuring.

Your dad and I are waiting anxiously for your arrival. You really have a great dad. By the time you read this, of course you'll realize that. I just have to reiterate that I don't think you could do much better. He's patient, kind, smart, loving, funny, and adores you already. He talks to you all the time, feels you kick, and tells me all the things he wants to teach you. You will be his partner in crime in eating breakfast food and watching science fiction shows. He has even requested lessons in braiding hair so that he can make a decent braid in the event that I'm not home & you want braids that day. You're going to have a very special bond with him, and I hope you find similar attributes in a life partner.

I love you immensely already. I must admit that I'm nervous about this new role I'm going to take on. One thing that I'm sure you've already learned about me is that I'm serious. Your dad is the light-hearted, playful one. I am the one who takes life a little too seriously and needs to lighten up. Believe it or not, I have lightened up considerably since I met your dad, yet I know I have far to go. There's an aspect of parenting that does require the serious side, but there's also this incredible opportunity to see the world in a whole different way. I'm looking forward to experiencing the world through your eyes, making snow angels with you, and pulling pranks on your dad while trying to stifle giggles.

I want to support you in becoming who you want to be. The world gives you so many options, and I want you to seize the ones that pique your interest. I would love if you valued education as highly as your dad and I do. It's the one thing that can't be taken away from you, and you can't lose it. Education gives you self-worth; beauty and material possessions are often thought of as providing self-worth, but it is merely an illusion. I want to teach you to be hard-working. I define hard-working as 1) showing up on time, 2) trying your best, and 3) not making excuses. Believe me, if you do all three of those on a regular basis, you'll set yourself apart from most people. And I want to teach you to be compassionate and empathic. If you understand what makes people tick, you will go very far in life.

We can't wait to hold you. We can't wait to see what you look like. We can't wait to find out if you're as spastic in person as you are in utero. And we can't wait to gaze into your eyes for the rest of our lives.



I think it's a trick question - repost from 2/18/2008

"What are you doing on Sunday?" It's the message my mother leaves on the answering machine.

Now you don't know my mother. She's a nice person, but she's got some major quirks. Any normal person would tell you what the Sunday activity is. Not my mom--because the upfront approach is not her chosen approach.

When I call her back, she asks the same question. Be very afraid. I ask what she's suggesting that we do. After all, that is the implied question.

"I won free tickets to the Flower & Garden Show!"

Oh. There's nothing wrong with this activity at all. It's just that after knowing me, say, 30 years, my mom clearly doesn't actually KNOW me. My yard is three weeds away from getting us in homeowners association exile. I'm allergic to everything that can cause a person to sneeze (trees, pollen, grass, dust, mold, flowers, etc.). I'm closely approaching 26 weeks pregnant and am having a harder time moving around. And the only plant she's seen me tend is my sixth grade science project. My hypothesis was that microwaving plants would hinder plant growth. And guess what--it does! So what is her logical reason to think that I would enjoy walking around a convention center for hours on end looking at flowers?

Her husband is out of town, but he'll be back on Friday. I suggested that he would like to go. Actually I'm sure he would like to go. He enjoys putzing in the garden. If she wanted to do some mother/daughter bonding, couldn't we look at baby stuff, go out to eat, see a movie, or do some other activity that doesn't involve compulsive sneezing and utter boredom on my part?

If I was a dutiful daughter, I'd go to the flower and garden show with her. But 1) I'm not dutiful and 2) it sounds excrutiating.

Maybe this is what men feel like when they're dragged to bridal shows.

Holiday letter - repost 12/11/2007

I usually do a holiday letter inside holiday cards. This year…well…the one year we actually have something substantial to say & it's not really coming together. So I decided to scrap the holiday letter idea this year after my first draft didn't pass muster. Most people know S graduated and we're having a baby. For those that we hadn't already told, I thought it might be better to handwrite the news inside the card.

But, alas, I can't go completely without writing a letter so here is my first draft, for only my MySpace friends because S would probably kill me.


Dear Friends and Family,
Another year has come and gone at breakneck speed. My narrative ability has escaped me, and I blame my pregnant brain for not remembering January through April. There were a few celebrations in there; I know I connived a few free meals from my husband for being born in January and marrying him in March. And I'm sure he connived a free meal from me in April for being born. We probably celebrated St. Valentine (aka the Hallmark holiday), but I can't seem to remember how.

I do remember May because I went to Florida to see Rachel. Seeing where Anna Nicole died and seeing alligators practically chowing down on hogs right in front of me were both memorable. June was kind of cool because S graduated. We traveled down to the lovely Evergreen State College campus and saw him graduate with his Master's degree through the haze of marijuana smoke. Our two nephews, ages 12 and 9, came to visit from Guam for a week. Corrupting young minds became a new hobby of mine. Seeing S's mom staying up til 1am playing the Wii made me think I do a good job of corrupting older minds too.

I believe I slept through July and August. Got pregnant in September, so I guess I didn't sleep through all of September. S started tae kwon do, and he has gotten to purple belt so far. I presume watching him take his lessons is practice for watching a child do sports. But I must say that tae kwon do is one stinky sport. The place reeks with all those sweaty people with feet of varying degrees of cleanliness.

October through now has been full of obsessing about what to do once the child comes out. And me losing valuable possessions. And me moaning ten times a day, "I'm fat." Then S saying, "You're not fat. You're pregnant." Fat, pregnant, same difference at this point.

Other notable events:
- The annual debate over whether to put white lights or multi-colored lights on the Christmas tree
- 3am Black Friday shopping…I swear, it should be a holiday of its own.
- Seeing Treach's beautiful body in person
- Hosting murder mysteries!!
- Having a camera with an IEP and buying a camera with an even bigger IEP that they won't take back. We hate Sony!
- Coming to the conclusion that roundabout etiquette needs to be part of the Washington State driver's ed curriculum

We hope you have a wonderful holiday season, and we wish you health and merriment in 2008.

Beth and S (although S has not authorized this letter)

P.S. At least I didn't add my neverending search for Snoop Dogg's "Gin 'n Juice" in a lullaby format. It has a great melody! Maybe the lyrics aren't kid-appropriate (which is why I don't want a version with lyrics), but the melody is awesome.

I'm not so wise anymore - repost 9/13/2007

All my wisdom teeth are out now. And so, you ask, how did it go?

Given all the horror stories you have been so kind to tell me about before I went in, I think I'm doing fabulous. I initially got very scared when everything in the surgery room was covered in garbage bags & they put a head-to-toe covering on me. Seriously, how much blood spatter were they expecting? Was it going to be Texas Chainsaw Massacre III or something? That was disconcerting, and so was being hooked up to the blood pressure monitor and pulse monitor before they put me out. How many fatalities have they had, anyway?

When I wake up, I'm on the recovery couch. Last time I had this done (5 years ago), this is where I caused major drama. At the time, I made a beeline for the front door when I woke up & this caused the nurses to freak out. Apparently most patients just lay there for an hour or more, sleeping off the drugs.

This time I yet again pissed off the nurses. I woke up, and I was walking down the hall to the lobby. "Where are you going? You can't leave until you can walk by yourself!" One sternly lectures me. Ummm, isn't that what I'm doing? I'm walking...not stumbling or clutching the wall....walking in a straight line. She made me lay back down and thankfully got S. He came back there with me as I made tons of eye rolls toward the idiotic nurses who made me sit there for another half hour. Yes, I apparently pissed off the nurses.

I got some prescriptions for pain killers and antibiotics from the doctor, but I didn't get them filled because I was feeling just fine. We finally arrived home just in time for Ellen (even a bedridden girl has her priorities). After Ellen, I fell asleep for a couple of hours. I woke up, and S was asleep next to me. So I went back to sleep. We woke up at around 3pm, and I was voracious. I ate a smoothie, about 12 ounces of salmon, veggies, 3 sundaes and two juice bars. Then S and I took a mile walk.

The only bad part of the day is that I felt good enough to challenge S to a game marathon. And I lost. So I'm out $100 for that.

As pain goes, I feel "t" is for "terrific." No pain at all. I know I'm probably one of the lucky ones. Tomorrow I may change my tune, but for now I feel really, really good.

Have a lovely weekend, all. I've convinced Stephan that we need to paint our living room this weekend. And a friend is coming to visit tomorrow. That will keep us busy for the next few days. Yeah, and I'm "recovering" still. I get to use that excuse for a few more days.

Enjoy the weekend! Feel free to come visit and paint with us. :)

Countdown to Being Bedridden - repost 9/11/2007

The wisdom teeth will be coming out in 34 hours, which means you'll soon be entertained by Vicodin-induced rambling posts.

I'm planning on staying in bed for 2 days. Last time I was only in bed for 3 hours. I'm 5 years older this time & am not sure I'll heal as quickly. So plan for the worst and hope for the best.

Always the planner, I had planned bedrest projects. I was going to put together the new photo album, do homework & finish a cross stitch project. It turns out I completed the photo album last night, finished the homework last night & tonight finished the cross stitch project. Being productive early in the week gave me precisely 0 bedridden projects for later in the week. I need to look at other options.

Option B is writing rambly blog posts.

Option C is reading. I got 2 Sedaris books, 2 books on living in the Midwest during the Great Depression & a book on buying a franchise--all from the library. (Libraries rock. I love everything about them....air conditioning on hot days, books, free public service, info about anything only a few feet away.)

Option D is writing more of my short story. I haven't written anything in months.

I learned today that MIT offers FREE online courses! Almost ALL of the courses they offer at the undergraduate and graduate level are available. You can't get course credit unless you pay--that's the one hitch. But imagine all that knowledge at a click of a mouse. I think it's the coolest thing ever!!!! You know I'm a nerd, and you know I like free stuff. So just let me bask in free nerdy heaven, and if you're interested check out this link:

Nerdy girls will rule the world one day!

My First Heely Injury Drew Blood - repost 8/10/2007

The stock market is going down-down-down. I scrounged up some money, and I'm buying some mutual funds today. Buy low, sell high or at least that's what they teach you in business school.

I had all my savings in ING Direct (4.85%) and Emigrant Direct (5.05%). Well, I decided to switch to WAMU because they finally have an online savings account that pays a better interest rate than 0.25%. Their online savings pays 5%, and you don't have to wait that annoying lag time for the electronic transfer to go through. For now, I'm keeping both ING and Emigrant open with teeny tiny amounts in them.

Dinner's Ready is Sunday! We did Dinner's Ready/Kitchen 2 Kitchen/Dream Dinners/Dinners Done Right pretty consistently from Nov '04 to Dec '06 although Dinner's Ready soon became our favorite. Then Dinner's Ready changed the meal structure, and it seemed like you paid the same price for 1/3 less food. How devious they were! So then I tried to boycott this year, but then I realized that we're eating the same thing over and over + going out more. So Amy, Otto, Stephan & I are going to get our chef on this Sunday. I must admit that I've been missing it. It's a bit of a hit to our food budget, but if you look at total food costs (groceries + dining out), it's not too bad. We usually spend about $400-$450 a month on total food costs. Groceries are about $300, and dining out is about $100-$150 depending on if we have a Stanley & Seafort's trip in there. If we do Dinner's Ready, our grocery costs go down quite a bit AND so do our dining out costs. We make less impulsive trips to Red Robin, Applebee's and the like if we have decent meals that we can just pop into the oven.

My membership is stressing me out. I love the Total Access program, but the struggle is that it's too good of a program. I constantly have movies to watch, and then I choose to watch movies instead of exercising, reading for pleasure, or working on my CEBS assignments. How many movies have I been watching? About 18 a week. Yes, 18 friggin movies a week. I feel like Lucy eating the chocolates on the assembly line. I know, I could slow down the pace. But I'm a compulsive, Type A, OCD person that cannot seem to do anything but watch a movie if I have one in front of me. I will be canceling Blockbuster before the 27th. I can't take the pressure anymore!

Last night after I watched 3 movies, I took my Heelys out for a ride. Actually, it was more like my Heelys took ME for a ride. I have a nasty bruise now—my first Heely injury and, without a doubt, it won't be my last Heely injury. What possessed me to get these things? Oh, my "I'm almost turning 30" crisis. I picked the Heelys over the Acura NSX because I thought the Heelys would be less expensive than the car. But if you take into account medical bills, the Heelys will probably end up being more expensive in the long run. Heelys are indeed a deathwish.

I walked to the park last night, where I could practice in relative darkness. The thing with Heelys is that even if you walk on your toes, occasionally the wheels will still activate. So you start rolling suddenly when you're not expecting it. This can cause a variety of things to happen: you can jerk suddenly (I can only imagine what this looks like to someone watching), you can bite your tongue, your feet can roll away while your body is still just merely walking (resulting in falling on your butt)…I believe that's all I experienced in my one block walk.

I got to the park, and I practiced a bit. My definition of "practice" involves clutching a post for dear life as I try to balance. Whatever you do, don't point your toes in different directions! You'll start to roll in two different directions, and you will do the splits—whether you have the ability or not.

Amazingly injury free still, I attempt to walk home. It feels like I'm in driver's ed. I come to an intersection, and a car is coming in my direction. If I was walking in normal shoes, I could have crossed well before the car came anywhere close. But since I'm on my Heelys, I have no flipping idea what will happen (i.e., wheels activate, roll over a pebble, twist my ankle, fall down and get run over by the car). So I stand there forever, waiting for the car to pass just like when you're learning to drive and wait for there to not be a car within a mile radius before you do anything. After I cross the street, more cars are driving by. I keep doing the jerk thing as my wheels activate suddenly. I'm not sure if passerbys thought I was drunk, had a neurological condition, or was just plain schizophrenic. My Heely bruise occurred on the downhill to my house. Rolling…I'm doing okay…too fast…TOO FAST!....crash! My very patient husband bandaged me up.

I'm looking forward to the weekend! Going out with a movie with a friend tonight, a friend's coming over tomorrow, may go to game night tomorrow night & then Dinner's Ready on Sunday. In my free time, I'll have 9 movies to watch through Blockbuster, exercise & work on my homework. Oh, and I can practice on my Heelys if I'm interested in losing some skin. ;)

Take care, everyone, & have a great weekend.

Hotdogs and Astroturf - repost from 7/19/2007

Have you seen the Hot Dog on a Stick uniforms? They are beyond embarrassing. I hope those employees get an extra $10 an hour for putting up with that humiliation.

I park in BFE when I go anywhere. I see the last car in a row, leave about 5 empty spots, and then I park mine. Why is there always a car parked next to me when I get back to my car?

Why can I always find the first geocache of the day but never the second, third or fourth?

Why is not socially acceptable to Astroturf my lawn? Then it wouldn't require water, would be easier on the eyes, save a ton of time, I wouldn't have to own a lawnmower, edger and other various lawn implements (more room in the garage), and it wouldn't irritate my allergies. Plus it would be GREEN!!

Costco - repost from 7/21/2007

One of the many things that I've never really understood is the allure of Costco. I'm not a fan of the place after having a membership for about three years. Here's why it's not for me:

- Its hours are ridiculously short. It's usually closed by 8pm.

- Insane amount of people

- Checkout lines are long. I have 1 thing and have to stand in line for 1/2 an hour.

- Not a very pleasant shopping experience

- It's hard to leave the store without spending $100, and you only end up with 4 things...if that.

- At least 3 pounds of my extra baggage is due to the family-sized bags of chocolate covered pretzels. :)

- I hate standing in line to get OUT of the store. Of all the stores in the world, it is probably the most difficult to shoplift from Costco. It's hard to get the 10 lb pickle jar in your coat. For some reason they still insist on matching your crap to your receipt before you are allowed to leave.

- The prices aren't that great. I do better by just watching the weekly grocery sales. But we don't have kids, and maybe it would be different if we did.

- Costco promotes overconsumption. Big packages and big carts lead to buying more crap, need a bigger car to haul it all home, need a bigger house to put all your just keeps going and going.

What's a con list without a pro list? Costco isn't ALL bad. Here's the good:

- It's kind of nice to buy a 3-year supply of garbage bags at one time.

- Food samples

- The aforementioned chocolate covered pretzels, yummy frozen yogurt, grilled chicken caesar pizza

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Plagiarize Yourself Wednesday

I'm clearing out my Myspace stuff, which means that I'm going to move it to over here. I've decided that I will autopost some old entries here for tomorrow, at 1 hour intervals. So if you knew me on myspace, you can disregard tomorrow's entries. If you didn't know me back then, then it will be like a ton of new posts for you!

Slept in til 9:30am. That's like 13.5 hours of sleep minus the hour or two I was up in the middle of the night. If I have some life-threatening disease, I hope it takes me quickly.

G'night, okay, it's afternoon still here. But with how it's been going, I'll be asleep within an hour or two.
The fog has not lifted. What is wrong with me? Did I catch malaria in the backyard or something?

To review: I slept 13 hours on Sunday. Today I had a horrible headache. Then I went to bed at 8pm. 8pm!!! I couldn't even stay up for Murder She Wrote; even the 80 year olds won't accept me into their group!

I lie. I put Miss J to bed at 8:04pm. Then I brushed my teeth and set my alarm. Thus, it was about 8:10pm before I fell asleep. Usually I lay in bed for at least an hour before I fall asleep. My mind is too busy. But not last night.

And I slept well. I woke up at 3:30am, but since my body can't sleep continuously for that long normally, I'll take it. 8:10pm - 3:30am. 7 hours.

Tired again, back to bed for a few more hours.

Possible reasons: cancer, malaria, yellow fever, iron deficiency, cancer of the 20 other organs I didn't think about initially.

This is too depressing to think about. 'Night.

Monday, July 19, 2010

All Hail the Hoodie

Last night I put on my favorite dark green hoodie and went for a walk. I walk a lot; that's not unusual. But I don't wear hoodies that much. It reminds me of a much different time when I was 16 years old. Last night didn't really feel like summer. It hit maybe the low 60s as a high, and last night it was definitely in the 50s. Hence, more clothing was required for my walk.

I love hoodies. I think they are the world's most perfect clothing item. They are warm, in a drizzle you have easy access to a hood. They can hide almost any body issue. There's that perfect pocket for your keys, phone, iPod, or you can merely use it to keep your hands warm. I have several that zip, but I've always preferred the sweatshirt kind. I loved sitting down and leaning against something, putting my knees up, and putting my hoodie over my knees. Why can't it be acceptable to wear jeans and a hoodie to work? Even better would be to put my hair in a ponytail with a pen. I loved going to community college on days I didn't have to work afterward with that exact outfit.

I had a really nice walk. I got off the main streets and went into the neighborhood without street lights. Yeah yeah yeah, it's probably not safe. But if I've lived this long and been through all that I've been through, I can't be afraid of a few dark streets at midnight. Seriously. It's the people you know that are typically more dangerous than the strangers out at midnight. Anyway, without the ambient streetlights and with the aid of a clear night, I could see so many stars. What a rare treat to not only see the bigger constellations but to also see the lesser known ones. Hundreds of stars, and I felt like I could touch them. What a pretty night. It was fairly cool, though, and you wouldn't know it was summer just by being outside. It could easily have been a late spring or early fall night.

When I take this walks at night, I feel so much like I did when I was 16. In many ways, I don't feel like I've changed much. I think about the same things I did then, I'm just as confused now as I was then. It almost feels like I'm playing house when I go back to my house, my husband, and my daughter because on these walks I feel like I'm back to being the kid I used to be. Or maybe I was never a kid at 16, and I was more grown up/mature. Or maybe I'm an immature 32. Who knows.

Back when I was younger, I'd take midnight walks too. I loved to sneak out. There was always something thrilling about sneaking out and the potential of getting caught and the potential of what the night could bring.

I definitely need some hoodies in my fall wardrobe.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The one thing we must not joke about

Today was freaking weird. For the past week, I've been getting by on 6ish hours of sleep at night, and yesterday I had a nap. That's actually not bad. It's much better than the 4 hours a night that's more typical during the work week.

Today I woke up at 7am after going to bed at 1am-ish. Again, not bad. I stayed awake until 10:30am. Then I took a nap. Until 2:30pm. Then we went to a birthday party. My allergies started acting up. We got home at 5:30pm-ish. At 6pm, I fell asleep on the couch, and my darling husband told me to go to bed. I went up to bed and slept. Again. Til 10pm.

In summary, I woke up at 7am and had TWO four-hour naps today. It's 11pm now. And I'm still completely exhausted. I don't feel particularly sick, other than my stupid, persistent allergies.

And then I try to think logically about such things. What could it be? And then I think (and perhaps you think this too), what if I am pregnant? not think about it. That must not enter the mind in any sort of way. That would be completely ludicrous. God's sick joke.

I'm going back to bed and pretend I did not think of it.

Off to Court

I've been to court once in my life before Friday. My criminal justice class in college went to a murder trial. Other than that, my experience has only consisted of an occasional episode of Judge Judy. And that's okay. I don't mind.

About six weeks ago I picked up food for Julia's birthday party in a nearby city, and I got a red light photo ticket in the mail a few weeks later. I knew the area had photo cameras, and I thought I was careful. I must admit that I'm a sucky driver. I do try to be careful, but my mind wanders, I like to drive fast, and bad things occasionally happen.

The pictures ("evidence") they sent weren't especially convincing. It was at a red light, and I was turning right. Perhaps I rolled more than I should have. I was shielded by people making a protected left. But I do recall stopping. I knew it had a photo camera there.

So I contested the stupid ticket because I didn't want it to go on my record. My court date was on Friday. I was really nervous because I haven't ever been to court. All I knew was that I needed to dress up, so I wore a suit. There were about 30 of us there. Apparently they bunch up all the photo ticket offenders and do them together. Everyone else was dressed Pacific Northwest casual. Shorts, t-shirts, sandals. I felt horribly overdressed, but I thought you were supposed to dress up. And it couldn't hurt, right?

I wrote out my little statement. Not that I had to, but I thought I had to give testimony so I had the points I wanted to make on a notecard. My goal was to get it dismissed completely, but my standby was paying the fine but it not going on my record.

The judge started with her photo ticket speech. Apparently I hadn't closely read my ticket. Photo tickets didn't go on your record, so I breathed a HUGE sigh of relief when I realized that my insurance company wouldn't find out about my rolling right turn at a stoplight.

The judge seemed really nice; I guess I was expecting a mean judge who would tell us that we were all the lowest human beings ever for running red lights.

Being in the middle of the alphabet was so nice. She started at the beginning of the alphabet. I was looking forward to getting familiar with how this was going to go with the other people in front of me so that I could prepare my defense the best.

First dude goes up. We watch the video. I watch this video so closely. I was waiting for the glaring error. His car came up to the red light. He was making a right turn. He stopped, and then he turned right. We all look confused, we were all giving each other looks.

That's when we all got the right turn on red lecture. In the video, she pointed out the white line in the right lane. You are supposed to stop BEFORE the white line. Something back from driver's ed was starting to come back to me. Like something about stopping twice at a red light. Stopping at that line, and then creeping forward and stopping again. Back at the time, it didn't seem to make any sense to stop twice. And in practice, I never do. It doesn't seem like anyone else does either.

She gives the dude the stopping at the white line first, then creeping forward and stopping again speech. Then she dismisses his ticket.

Next up. We watch another video at the same intersection with the same thing happening. Exact same thing.

For the love of GOD! We were all there for the freaking same thing. It's not like we all blatantly ran red lights. We were all making a right on red, and we stopped after the white line on the street.

This had to be the stupidest city money generator ever. Seriously. We're quibbling about stopping a foot over the line?

Short story: My ticket got dismissed, and I conquered my first (and hopefully last) court appearance.

Moral of the story: Always stop at the white line when making a right turn at a red light camera intersection.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Busting out of Victoria

I have a bit of weight to lose. I've never been a rail, I've always been curvy. Or very curvy. I don't look that big to most people. I'm not really that big. My problem is that I have dense bones (no chance of osteoporosis here) and am, ummm, rather top heavy. In a non politically correct way, I have big boobs.

It's a blessing and a curse. Well, actually it's just a curse. My top size is much bigger than my bottom size; hence, I can't wear dresses. Dresses just hang on the bottom in an unflattering way. Those cute little shirts all the tiny girls can wear - I can't. That sucks. I have at least an extra 5 pounds there, which strains my back, makes me top heavy & klutzier, and is just a general nuisance.

I suppose the only upside is that boys don't complain.

Today I went to Victoria's Secret. I don't know why. I saw they had a sale on bras, and I just drifted in. I look at all the bins and am dismayed to not find anything close to my size (huge!). Of course one of those tiny 32B workers comes up to me and asks if she can help. I say it doesn't look they have my size. She takes one look at me and says of course they do. The thing she doesn't realize is that I hide my boobs really well.

I was weak, what can I say? I let her drag me into the back. Let me say that if you are going to be fondled by someone in a backroom, you want it to be a chubby grandma who was seen her fair share of big boobs. You don't want to be fondled by an 18 year old 32B who has a neverending supply of perkiness.

After some fondling, she tells me my size. I don't really believe her because that's a smaller size than I've been told before but whatever. She takes me out to the front, and I find 4 cute bras to try on in my size.

(Just in case I have a hard time remembering my name and my size, she gives me my own personal Victoria's Secret card that has my name and size on it. Aren't I cool with a card with my name on it? And my bra size? I could copy them off and hand them out with my phone number on them.)

Anyway, I try on this cute teal bra. And, well, there's lots of spillage. As in, I have more boob than cup. Way more boob. Cute, perky girl knocks on the door and asks how I'm doing. I show her my dilemma. She backs out, "Let me get you a bigger cup size." She brings back the bigger one, I try it on, same issue. There is such a spillage issue that you cannot tell the difference between the D and DD. And that's as high as they go. So I can't get that cute bra.

I can just barely stuff myself in a not-as-cute bra. I get it just because I want a Victoria's Secret bra, and gosh darn it I'm going to fit into one of them.

Mission accomplished!

Memories: Men's Edition

There might be something to the premise that a gal sets the tone with relationships with men from her first relationship with her father.  Heck, I’m not Freud, but there is definitely something to it, at least for me.  My father dealt with low self-esteem and depression his whole life, and he drowned his sorrows in the drinking/gambling/smoking cycle.  He was absentee, like a lot of fathers in the world.  It wasn’t like he had 4 marriages, 12 kids, was dragged onto Maury all the time for DNA tests.  He just…never grew up, never took care of himself, and perpetually wallowed in self-pity and misery at the bar quite a bit.  It’s hard to make a marriage work when one person is working, paying the bills, taking care of the kid & the other person is skipping work and going to the bar all day. 
 My big question has always been why my mother married him.  He was the type to always talk about big plans (and never do them), do really stupid, impulsive things, and be very selfish.  I suppose there’s something to say about love making you blind, even my lieutenant colonel mother. 
 My father became very sick when I was 14-15 years old.  He was probably sick for even longer than that, but he hid it as long as he could.  I’m sure his horrible diet, excessive drinking and smoking, and sedentary lifestyle didn’t help, although I’ve been told it wasn’t a direct cause.  It was hard to see him go downhill because he always wanted to be my hero.  The fact that he could no longer walk, take care of himself, and someone had to feed him his dinner took away any remaining ability he thought he had to be my hero.   Even a few days before he died he still had his sense of humor.  His eyes sparkled up until the very end, and when I see Julia’s beautiful, expressive hazel eyes, I think of how he could communicate so much even at the end through his eyes. 
 There was a part of me that was always disappointed and angry at my father.  He was so smart with so much raw talent, and he threw it all away in a spiral of depression, horrible coping mechanisms, which lead to more depression, and so on. 
 Here is one of my few and only letters from my dad.  When he got sick, he actually started wanting to write/talk with me since he was forbidden to drink & smoke.  And I think he realized what he missed out on by making his vices a priority over his daughter.  But there was a limited window of time when he could still use his limbs and talk.  Within a couple of years, he had deteriorated so much that he could not talk or write.  So for a few years he would call once every few months or send a card/note in the mail.  I know it was his way of making amends.  It’s still sad to read his letters because I can see how far reaching his depression and self-hate really went.

When you get to be of a certain age, there is definitely some appeal to dating a guy like this.  He’s brooding, he’s exciting and unpredictable, you can’t quite figure him out, he’s a challenge.  When you go out, you never know where the night will lead since of course it’s not like he started out with a plan for the night.  You want to save him from proceeding on his path of self-destruction.  In essence, it is completely mimicking the courtship of my father and my mother. 
I’m the responsible one.  I always have been.  I do what I’m supposed to do.  I could navigate an airport sufficiently by myself from the age of 8.  It’s who I am, I can’t change it.  Of course I have stupid moments of “perhaps you shouldn’t have done that” like everyone else.  But at heart I try to please whomever I am dating, my mother, my work colleagues, and my friends as much as possible and try not to be flaky.  I don’t want to ever disappoint anyone. 
Dating the brooding bad boy can be very fun.  It’s definitely more exciting than dating the ultra religious boy who has you home by 9pm.  A relationship that’s very exciting like it is with a bad boy has has all the more further to drop, though, when it does go bust. 
 Have you ever heard of those t-shirts that say, “My parents went to Hawaii and all I got was this stupid t-shirt”?  That’s what I feel like saying after dating this guy for 7 months.  He was a bad boy, and he was extremely handsome.  Awful, awful combination.  All I have to show for it is this note that he left at my door back in March of 1996 plus a few printed out e-mails.  I like this note because it’s handwritten and then I can sigh at his lack of spelling ability. 

 Then there’s Paul.  He’s the reason I got into the Running Start program (i.e., to get away from him), and then I never really got away from him because he followed me to college (see for that whole story).  I never dated him, or even liked him.  My civil interactions with him were just to keep him docile enough to not go crazy.  Well, that didn’t work.  But anyway, he left me cards and letters for me all the time in college.  Some were love letters; some were hate mail. It depended where his mood was.  Sometimes I would get love and hate mail separately in the same week.  In his head, we were in a relationship even though we were the furthest thing from it.  I usually threw away all the gifts and letters he gave me over the years, but this one I kept.  Perhaps I found it endearing that he spelled my name wrong.  How freaking hard is my name to spell?

Occasionally student interns or friends will ask for dating advice.  My best advice is to date the bad boys, but never marry one.  Yes, it’s exciting to date one and always wonder what is really going on.  But at the end of the day, you want someone who is fully-functioning, not self-absorbed, who won’t bring you down with himself, and someone you can fully trust.  Unless there’s some sort of radical transformation, most bad boys will stay bad boys until their dying day. Sad but true.
 There are holes to fill in this story, sometime I might.  Perhaps you can just use your imagination: a series of bad boys, getting through to a few of them, in the end they still decide to throw their life away, I stumble onto a fully-functioning and endearing man who I marry, and happily ever or pretty close to it.  A girl with a few bad boy memories in her box.  Yep, that’s the short story.    

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Memories: Ladies Edition

Tonight I started going through my box of memories. Here's my box (Rubbermaid container) full of other boxes and loose stuff:

I read all of my letters and cards from friends tonight.  Many tugged at my heart; these scraps of paper are such reminders of all the lovely people I have met throughout my life, and some I am fortunate to keep in touch with even today.

My mother and I have a very odd relationship.  I love her, she loves me, I suppose that's all we really need to have established.  The letters she has mailed to me over the years (sigh)... not even one of them is 100% pleasant.  Every single stinkin' one of them takes some sort of issue with me: my weight, my irresponsible nature, me not studying, the boys I dated, blah blah blah.  But anyway, here's a humorous one (click to make it bigger).  Yes, that says I shouldn't spend $5 rashly toward the bottom:


Here's one that tugs at my heart in a big way.  I met Dena when I interviewed to be on the city commission.  I ended up being on the commission for 3 years.  She was the staff support to the commission.  She was such a great lady.  She was so smart, kind, ethical, and I was privileged to have her as my confirmation sponsor when I was confirmed at St. Vincent's.  Confirmation sponsors wrote letters to the newly confirmed, and here is what she wrote me:

She met a wonderful man, and Dena married him while I was in college.  They had a son Luke.  When her son was 6 months old, she was diagnosed with cancer.  She lived to see him become 5 years old.  Then she was taken from those of us who witnessed her incredible nature.

The summer before I started college at Western, I worked full-time at a counseling agency.  I was working in the collections department (collecting money from mentally unstable people...beautiful!), and my other duty was to relieve the receptionist when she went to lunch.  One day this extremely crotchety older lady came in, and of course I got stuck with her when she checked in.  She was mad about one thing or another, and she was waving her cane around and swearing.  She had to fill out her paperwork despite insisting she didn't have to.  That day I sat with Dot, and I talked with her.  I filled out that pesky form for her by asking all of the questions in a conversational way.  Every time she came in after that, she'd make a point to say hello to me.  When I went off to Western, she and I became pen pals for a year.  Here is the beginning of one of her letters to me.  They weren't all that cohesive, but remember she had to be at least 80 years old and on a considerable amount of medication:

And I close with a picture of me. I look at that little girl now, and I see a little bit of Julia in her.  I see a girl who wanted to please everyone.  I see black pants, white socks, and brown shoes... and Santa was a freaking PIMP!  ;)

A few projects

A day off is nice, really nice. A real homebody at heart, I am the happiest putzing around the house, listening to music, and lying around. I'm a simple girl to please.

I've been working on a couple of projects lately. First off, I've been wanting to revamp my blog for a while now. I finally set aside some time to dedicate to that. Every year or so I seem to have a blogging existential crisis. Do I want to keep doing this? Why do I keep doing it? Where am I going with it? This current existential crisis was about being more honest with myself and trying to disclose more. Suffice it to say, those who regularly read my blog know me a variety of different ways. In normal everyday types of conversations, I'm not apt to tell you a whole lot about myself. It's just not how I am. Can you believe I worked with someone for a year who wanted to set me up on a blind date? I told her that was kind, but I was already married. See, I kind of think something like this tells you something about yourself. Perhaps I should share more. (Or maybe the other person is completely clueless and in her own world all the time.) The whole disclosing more thing is something I constantly debate about in my head. If people don't ask, then why share? At least that's my policy in verbal communications. But since I don't twist anyone's arm to read this, then I don't feel so bad about actually talking about the things I'm thinking and feeling.

My second big project is working on my books to Julia. I have filled two journal books of my letters (i.e., think diary entries) to her. I started these before she was born, and it's a gift I'm going to give her at some point. I thought it was a way that she could learn about me & she'll always have it to keep. Well, I need to finish those letters. At least to the best of my ability, and then I can add later if needed.

My third (smaller) project is going through a huge bin of mementos that I have. It's a lot of old high school and college letters. Do you think that this new generation of teenagers still writes by hand to each other? There's so much to take away from a physical letter in your hand - the penmanship, the deliberateness, the type of paper, the smell of the paper. Yes, I'm that wacko that sniffs paper. I kept all of these letters and mementos for all of these years, and I need to organize it all in some way. The majority are letters and cards (by the way, I'm not a fan of cards where people just sign their name...copout). There are a few printed out e-mails circa 1996-1997 or typewritten letters, but most are indeed letters written out in longhand. I want to savor them all, and then I want to come up with some system to organize it all. A full 18 gallon Rubbermaid container probably isn't the best way. Do I sort by friendship letters/old boyfriends/other clippings? Do I give each guy his own box within the tote (S has his own box already, but what about the others)? What do I do with all of the passive aggressive letters from my mother?

See, my mind is busy with trying to make sense of old things and focusing on a way to continue forward.

Am going to try to sneak in a little nap before hubby and Miss J get home!

New Look

This blog has a new look! Woohoo, I finally like it. The previous green layout was only supposed to be in the interim (for a few weeks), but it ended up hanging around for more like 8 months.

I had the new layout completed yesterday evening, and then I realized comments didn't work. I think I worked through that, but if it's still not working, let me know.

I got all fancy and even did different pages at the top.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Things I Love

The name of the project is talking about & showing the things you love (no people).

1. I love my phone and case. I searched all over for a case, it took me forever to decide, and a year later I'm still in love with it. It's me. To me the purple represents traditional girl, and the black represents the darker side. I guess it's me saying I don't have to be just one way in life - I can still be a girl who wears pink, and I can also march to my own drummer in my interests and beliefs.

2. I love my pink, sparkly nail polish. I really do love to show at least one pink or purple thing a day. During the summer, it can be my toes! :)

3. I love fast cars and especially the Acura NSX. Yes, I can drive a stick shift. I wouldn't ever drive an automatic by choice. Maybe that means I'm an OCD control freak....hmmmm

4. I love amusement parks, and Kennywood in particular. Here is the Thunderbolt roller coaster from Kennywood. Off to the left the picture cuts off, and what you don't see is that the coaster goes off a cliff. You know how on most roller coasters you go up, up, up right away? The Thunderbolt is different; you start off by going right down the cliff. And at the bottom of the picture is the Potato Patch. Best cheese fries ever!

5. I love to eat. I love sweets. And lemon cheesecake is da bomb. I can't ever find it though, except for places like the Cheesecake Factory.

6. I love this song. It's "You Found Me" by The Fray. Love it. Love it.

7. I love cloudy, rainy, stormy weather. The heat makes me sweat. I hate to sweat.

8. I love books. I love libraries.

9. I love to do cartwheels and the splits still! Wahoo for being flexible! Too bad I'm a cheerleader dropout.

10. I love board games. I especially like this game Euro Rails because it's fun AND you have to think AND you can become the pimp of European travel.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Caffeine and distraction and heat

It's been a very distracting few days. I'm working on a personal project, it's flipping hot, and I think I accidentally gave myself a caffeine overdose. Normally I just drink water. I have never drank coffee. I very, very rarely drink soda. Maybe herbal tea occasionally.

It's been so hot & S + his parents love iced tea. Plastic bottles of iced tea where on sale at the store this week, and I bought 48 bottles of it. Seriously, a lot of iced tea. I put it in the fridge, and since it's been so hot, even I have been drinking it. Kind of excessively. Like after work, I'd have 3 bottles of iced tea between 5pm and 10pm. And I haven't been able to go to sleep until 5am. After lamenting about this yesterday, my father-in-law said those had a lot of caffeine in them. Really? I didn't think tea had caffeine. At least the tea I drink occasionally always said it's decaffeinated. Different types of tea, I found out. Hmmmm....maybe that's why I the perpetual sleeper has slept 10 hours in the past 4 days.

My mind has been elsewhere lately, I'm hot and cranky, and sleep-deprived. It's a lovely combo, isn't it?

I will be back after I finish my personal project, catch up on some sleep, and it cools off some in this house.