Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Boring Total

For the month of August I've been keeping track of our grocery and eating out totals.  People seem to focus a lot on that area of the budget, and I think we do fairly reasonable but every once in a while I keep tabs on it just to see if we're somewhat close to what we estimate.

Before Julia, we spent about $250 on groceries and $200 on eating out a month.  That's 1 nice dinner out, 3-4 medium-priced dinners out & a pizza each month.  Back then, we had a paid off mortgage and very few expenses, but even still I don't think we lived high on the hog. 

If you ask me what we spend now, I would say $300 a month for groceries and $100 for eating out.  Our groceries would be up because of 1 other person, despite the fact that she doesn't eat much.  And since we have a toddler, we tend to eat out a lot less frequently.  It's more of a hassle and not as much fun when a 2 year old decides she is DONE with sitting in a high chair when the food hasn't even arrived yet! Note this guesstimate includes household products (soap, shampoo, etc.), but it does NOT include diapers and baby wipes. 

This month we spent $262 on groceries and $36 on eating out.  All in all, I came in lower than I thought, and I hosted 12 people earlier this month, so that total includes a couple bottles of wine that we wouldn't have bought otherwise and some extra food.  I did buy a huge amount of soup online last week, and that will see us through the next several months.  It will give us 52 dinners, and the soup cost $154.  So I can even throw in $100 of that cost into the food budget for August (even though it was delivered on August 30th), and we're still on target. 

It was a good exercise, and I think I have a pretty good grasp of most of our expenses.

This is why I should never do manual labor

Monday, August 30, 2010

Told ya so

I shouldn't let it go to my head.

Heelys and Book Club

When I post things about a company on here (other than Chase or Bank of America, which couldn't care less about their reputations), I have someone from that company reading that post within 24 hours.  How would you like that job of reading people's blog posts and opinions that mentioned your company's name?  What an interesting job.  And since someone from Heely WILL be reading this, I'm giving him or her a shout out & think that person should get a raise.  Still loving my Heelys even though my coordination while on them is not up to snuff.  Heely Heely Heely Heely.  Do you think that if I mention them multiple times, the designated blog reader will get here faster?

Anyway, that's just a reminder to myself that I need to be more mindful. 

The book club I'm in is obsessed with Lisa S e e  books.  We read one a year ago, and we have another to read for September.  If you haven't read them and think you will, then don't read this.  I actually enjoyed the other one slightly, but I was kind of bugged that the whole dissolution of a friendship occurred over a sentence that was misinterpreted incorrectly based on the Chinese language.  So the whole moral of the book is that before you throw away your best friend over one sentence, make sure you clarify that is what the person intended to say?  Thought that was common knowledge.  Well, that's kind of all I got out of the book other than footbinding sucks. 

This book bugs me even more.  I'm not even a third of the way through, and I don't like it...at all.  We're back in historical China.  A 15 year old girl from a wealthy family is entering an arranged marriage with a son of her father's friend.  She hasn't met her betrothed.  For three nights, her father puts on an opera for her, and on the first night she meets a guy she falls in love with after exchanging about three sentences.  They meet on the second and third night as well.  On the third night, her father confirms the arranged marriage in front of everyone and says that it will take place in 5 months.  So what does this genius of a girl do?  Starves herself for 5 months because she's so upset that she has to marry the dude her dad picked instead of the guy she meets at the opera.  She finds out that the guy her dad picked IS the same guy as the one she met at the opera.  What a misunderstanding (just like the previous book)!  But oops, it's too late.  She dies the next day from starvation.  I'm only 1/3 through this book, and I feel that's kind of the end.  Right?  Perhaps the moral of the story will be that you shouldn't starve yourself to death until you actually meet your husband and decide that you'd rather die than live with him.  Now the book is going on into afterlife stuff, and I'm slowly plodding along despite thinking the book is over.  Unless it's like a soap opera, and maybe she'll come back to life. 

I do like the author's writing style, and she has a way of making the Chinese culture seem really understandable.  The character decisions are where I sigh.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Whoop whoop

I've been having this coughing/wheezing/feeling like I'm going to throw up after coughing thing for four weeks now.  I'm starting on my fifth week.  Two weeks ago I started antibiotics, and it seemed to conquer the color I was coughing up, but didn't really do anything for the cough itself.

I've been fearing it is asthma on top of an infection.  The wheezing and not being able to breathe thing is really getting annoying.  As if I don't have enough sleep problems, sometimes my coughing spells wake me up (and my husband).  Then the gag reflex gets going, and ta-da, I'm up for the next 3 hours.  Thank you, miserable sickness that could be asthma.  I don't want to carry around an inhaler with me for the rest of my life.

My lovely husband told me that there's a whooping cough outbreak in Washington.  Oh, really?  Isn't that what people had in 1857?  Didn't that girl in Little Women die of it?  Or maybe that was scarlet fever. 

I actually looked up whooping cough, and I have all of the freaking symptoms.  It says you have to catch it really early with antibiotics, or antibiotics don't do anything.  It lasts 6 weeks.  It's characterized by coughing so much that you wheeze and feel like you're going to throw up.  Infants can are more susceptible to it and can die from it, but supposedly it's rare in adults and not life-threatening in adults.

At least it's nice to know what I likely have and that it's not asthma.  2 more weeks?  What's 2 more weeks when I've been feeling this crappy for a month?  I've gotten to the point where my awful coughing feels normal, except when someone overhears it and asks if I need CPR.  Or tells me I need to leave work.  Or tells me to go to the doctor (which I DID!) & the doctor said it was just allergies.  And I've religiously been taken allergy meds to no avail in the coughing.

Lucky me contracted a disease from 1857.  

Friday, August 27, 2010

I graduated from this school?

One of my blog subscriptions had two very familiar names in it.  It could be sheer coincidence, but I'm pretty sure that this picture is taken from where I graduated by looking at the dorm names.  It's the first picture.  During my tenure there, I worked in the dorms doing security, and I never encountered such a problem.  It does make me appreciate that I'm a compulsive hand washer, and obviously the offender is male.  Right?  A girl would never think of it, and logistically it wouldn't work. 

I hope my college gets better claims to fame in the future because this one is kind of depressing. 

One Step at a Time

I've tried fairly hard all month, and I'm pleased to report that I finally dropped 1.8 pounds.  It took the whole freaking month, and I was starting to wonder if Stella (the scale) had been permanently set to that weight.

I don't normally like to talk about weight on here because I think the focus should be on getting healthy instead of a stupid number that really doesn't mean much.  It makes much more sense to focus on the variables to contribute to the number, like increasing exercise and decreasing calories... blah blah blah.   See, I know this intellectually.  But I wanted to see some sort of nominal reward to see that what I was doing was working.  Especially after a month, it gets a tad discouraging.

Another reason I don't like to talk about weight is that I know I don't have that much to lose. I'm 7 pounds over my high school weight, which isn't too bad after having a kid and being out of high school/community college for 15 years.  Not that I was necessarily skin and bones in high school, but no one ever called me fat (to my face).  In fact, the worst thing someone told me was by an old boyfriend.  I think he was meaning it as a compliment.  He said I have child-bearing hips.  So glad I got rid of that chauvinistic asshat!

I really like to exercise.  I love to walk.  I love circuit training.  I love targeted exercises.  I could never get into running though.  I can do it for a few minutes at a time, but then I lose all interest & it becomes tedious.  Never liked running in PE - absolutely hated it.  I started training last year, and I still despised the whole concept of running.  I wish I liked it because then I could do 5K and half marathons just like it seems like every other person in the world is doing.  At some point, you just have to be honest with yourself and admit that you tried it and it's just not your thing.  Fortunately there are 1,000 other ways to get exercise in this world!

My main problem is my eating.  It always has been.  I eat reasonably healthy, but then I screw it all up by binging on crappy food.  I know the root of my binging tendencies are bad coping reactions to anxiety and stress.  I know this, but it's hard to not have coping mechanisms.

And binge eating is a lot better than other coping mechanisms, right?  I'm not a chain smoker or an alcoholic or a gambler or morbidly obese or even obese.  Then I read all the articles that say if you carry weight in your stomach, then you're more likely to have health problems.  Well, I don't really carry weight in my stomach, other than a bit of residue from being pregnant.  So after reading those articles, I give myself even more of a free pass for my chosen coping mechanism.

Still, at the end of my self-talk, I come back to the fact that I really feel like I need to conquer my binging addiction.  It's not healthy; it will just cause more problems down the road.  And if I get it in check now, then I'll feel better physically and emotionally. 

I'd like to lose 12 pounds by New Year's.  My exercise is going well; I just need to keep at it, which won't be a problem.  Food, alas, will continue to be a struggle.  Until I can get over that mental hurdle and realize that food is simply nourishment and not anything more, it will be one small step at a time. 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Tiny Irritation

Flusterated is not a word.  You can be flustered or frustrated, but please don't use a made-up word that combines them.  Also, frusterated is not a word either.

Along those same lines, you insure a house, boat, car, etc.  You do not insure timeliness.  You ensure timeliness.  You can't really insure psychological states either.  I wish I could sometimes, but, alas, not going to happen.   
An illusion is not the same as an allusion. 

'Apart' is very different than 'a part' - they are pretty much antonyms. 

I'm glad I'm not an English teacher and grading essays right now.  I think I would use a red pen with wild abandon.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Freud and Preschool

When you have a kid, you might occasionally get the wind taken out of you by the most random of things.  These things seemingly come out of nowhere, and it often doesn't make sense.  And that's because they aren't your kid's issues; they are your issues.  If Dr. Freud was here right now, he'd say they are unresolved issues from my own childhood.  Since he isn't here, I'll be the one to say it.  There are unresolved issues from my childhood.

About 3 weeks ago, I was talking to the center director of Julia's daycare.  They moved the teacher I'm not fond of to a different classroom, and they moved in a teacher Julia really likes to team teach with the current teacher that Julia has and loves.  I was commenting to the director how I'm so jazzed about Julia loving both teachers, and I was wondering when Julia would phase out of her current classroom.  The director told me that it would happen when she was almost 3.  Whew, sigh of relief, because Julia has 2 awesome teachers & she's got her little best friend in the class with her.  So I wouldn't need to worry about any changes until at least spring.  Cool.

Last Friday I dropped Julia off at daycare, and the center director comes up to me and says that she's going to start transitioning Julia to the preschool room starting in September.  Huh?  I wanted to say that she just told me in early August that Julia would be in that same class until she was almost 3 years old.  Julia's only 26 months.  The director told me how advanced Julia was and how she was ready for more of a challenge.  I pointed to the kids' cubbies; they're ordered by age, and Julia's cubby is toward the bottom; she's definitely not the youngest in the class, but she's certainly nowhere close to the oldest.  The center director kept saying that she was ready for the preschool class, and I went along with it and gave my go ahead to start the transition.

After I left the daycare, I went to my car and cried as I drove to work.  Not happy tears.  Sad tears.  It's taken me until today to get deeper than a surface level processing of this. 

Let me go through my school career.  Don't worry, I'll truncate as much as possible:

Kindergarten:  public school in Pittsburgh, PA; started a year earlier than I should have
1st and 2nd grade: private Catholic school in Pittsburgh, PA
75% of 3rd grade: Muleshoe, TX
25% of 3rd grade, 4th grade, 50% of 5th grade: Odessa, TX
30% of 5th grade: Oxnard, CA
20% of 5th grade and 20% of 6th grade: Henderson, NV
80% of 6th grade, 7th grade, 50% of 8th grade: Green Valley, NV
30% of 8th grade: Laguna Niguel, CA
20% of 8th grade and 10% of 9th grade: Green Valley, NV
90% of 9th grade and 10th grade: Washington

Community college (no 11th and 12th grades): Washington

This doesn't include the various ways junior high/high school was handled.  For instance, I started 6th grade in Henderson, NV in a junior high. Then when I moved to Green Valley, 6th grade was in an elementary school.  I started 9th grade in Green Valley, which was a high school.  Then when I moved to Washington, 9th grade was in a junior high.  Then if you count all the placement screw ups, the tally goes up even more.  I was initially placed in an ESL class in Oxnard for 5th grade, which took a week to fix.  After they moved me into an English-speaking class, within another few weeks, they moved me again - this time to a 6th grade class.  So within a span of a month, I was in an ESL class, a 5th grade & a 6th grade class - all within the same school.  In Green Valley,  the school was so overcrowded that they hired a teacher mid-year.  So after being in the class for a month, they moved me again when a new teacher started.  The next year in junior high, I got placed in the lowest ability track of core classes.  It took about a month for the teachers to figure out that I shouldn't be in that track, and then I got my whole class schedule changed. 

My schooling is an utter mess with very little continuity.  It didn't help that my mother would always move during the school year.  I had some great teachers, but mostly they were there for the emotional support.  I had been dragged all over tarnation by a mother who thought nothing of constantly uprooting me, and words cannot express the appreciation I felt to those teachers who helped a very confused girl.  As for academics, I had always been a bookworm and seemed to adapt just fine to different teaching styles and fortunately never fell behind.

The most difficult part of my schooling was constantly being "the new kid" and never really fitting in with cliques that were already established.  It got to the point where I knew I'd be moving in a matter of months, so why even try?  I was used to being alone.  I was an only child, and I stayed home by myself since I was 8 years old.  I had a constant supply of books to read and things to do (video games, a computer, TV).  It was easier to seek comfort in those things than try to be accepted by a group of kids.  Particularly in Texas, where everything revolved around football, I didn't even want to be included in a group.  So it gradually just become easier to be alone.  I always seemed to have placement issues and then they wanted me to skip a grade, and most times I'd just shrug and say, "Whatever."  Because, really, I'd been through so much chaos that any more chaos wasn't going to matter in the grand scheme of things.

There are two things I regret about my schooling.  I regret starting school a year early and then going into the Running Start program, in which I essentially skipped the last two years of high school.  My other big regret is all the chaos and so very little continuity.  I don't think either of these harmed me academically, but I think they did socially.  The age difference with my peers made it more difficult to relate, and with all of the moving I learned to not put much energy into friendships because within a short time I knew I'd be leaving.  So why get emotionally invested since it will be gone soon enough?

As I sit here, I realize that are two main things that I want for Julia as it relates to school.  I want Julia to start kindergarten when she is 5.  Not 4.  I want her to be 5.  If she's not ready for kindergarten at 5, then it will be 6.

I want her to have continuity in her social circle.  I know there are some schools that are way too small, and you're with the same exact 20 kids for all 12 years.  Yes, that's completely claustrophobic.  But we're in a big school system here, so that won't be the case.  What I want is for her to go through multiple years of friendship with the same person.  She'll have kid arguments, but I want her to have to work through them with the other person.  I want her to observe how her peers grow and change over the years.  That's where the real learning about life takes place.  So much that school teaches you isn't in a textbook.  School is a somewhat sheltered microcosm of life where kids can more safely learn how the world works and those life lessons that will see them through adulthood. That's where they learn how to make friends, keep friends, and hopefully nourish those friendships that will last a lifetime.

Perhaps this is just a regretful reflection from someone who focused way too much on academics and might push her kid too hard in the opposite direction.  I don't know.  I'd like to think there is a balance somewhere between academics and social learning, and I know I hope that Julia focuses on social learning quite a bit as she grows older. Not to the exclusion of academics, hopefully in a balanced way.

Of course when the center director told me that Julia was ready to move up, there was that initial sense of pride that perhaps she was more advanced than other 26 month olds.  It didn't last long though.  Panic quickly set in, and then I thought to myself, "But I'm not sure she's socially ready yet." 

I've got to keep it in perspective.  We're talking about preschool.  It's not like they want her to start college.  So then I tell myself to chill the heck out.

Monday, August 23, 2010

A little bit of focus achieved

As I said in my last entry, I've felt a little aimless lately without a to-do list.  I am pleased to report that I've crossed a few things off my list today, and it feels good.  I've got some of my energy and focus back, even if it is for just a day. 

Things achieved today:

*  Went to Target & got Julia some clothes and diapers
*  Went grocery shopping
*  Went to work (duh)
*  Called my uncle (dad's brother) in Pittsburgh.  Talked with him for an hour.  He's my only relative still alive from my dad's side.  (I ponder why I plan so much for retirement when the odds are I'll be dead by 50.)  It was good to talk with him and catch up.  I think he likes to hear from me, as I am his ONLY living relative, aside from his wife and son. 
*  Called my aunt in California.  She wasn't home, but I left a message.  Still counts, right?
*  Instead of doing a long walk, I did The Shred, and then I did the Jackie Warner Power Circuit Training workout.  I could do it while S was at tae kwon do (since someone has to stay home with Miss J), and I worked muscles I don't normally work when walking. 
*  Wrote a thank you note
*  Went through and organized Julia's dresser drawers
*  Balanced my checkbook

And I'm on target to get to bed by 10pm!   When I put my mind to getting something done, I'm a machine.  It's just hard to put my mind to something for a continuous amount of time.  :)


I haven't written out a to-do list in a long while.  Typically I'm in "check off my to-do list" mode, particularly since moving into this house.  There is always so much TO DO on top of treading water.  In late June, I made some goals about what I wanted to achieve over the summer, and I'm proud to say I (and S) have completed most of that list.  I read at least 10 books. I finished all the painting. We're doing work on the front yard.  I didn't really get to the backyard like I planned, but I got railroaded by this horrible, supposedly allergy-induced lung thing.  On top of that, the work we are doing to the front yard is more extensive than we had originally thought.  10,000 pounds of rock were dumped in our front yard this weekend, so we've been hauling around rocks.  But anyway, most of my summer goal list is done.

This weekend I've realized that without a more current to-do list, I fumble on the weekends.  If I'm not focusing my energy, I pace the house, do random things without any cohesive plan, nap too much, and spend way too much time on the internet. 

So I'm going to go back to making lists to try to keep myself on track. 

We're still not done with the home renovations.  The master bathroom shower needs to be taken out and replaced, then we want to get the tile redone in the master bathroom (that's probably 300 sq ft or so of tile when you include the walls).  We want to replace the upstairs carpet, but it makes sense to do that after the bathroom tile is done since the contractors are going to mess up the carpet.  Then we want to refinish the hardwood on the first floor, but it makes sense to do that after the upstairs bathroom & carpet are done.  Oh yeah, and we want to tear out the entertainment center that takes up the whole wall in the family room and replace it with one that matches the kitchen and can accommodate a wide screen TV. We should probably wait to do the hardwood until the entertainment center is done.

We have the money set aside to do all of the above, but honestly we don't want to deal with the hassle of it all (the bathroom ripped up for a week, picking out tile that is timeless, moving all the furniture in preparation for the new carpet, more furniture moving for the hardwood refinishing, etc.).  I think our home renovation tolerance is tapped out right now. 

So where to focus the energy?  I don't know.  That's why I need a to-do list.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


I strive to make my Facebook presence lighthearted and quirky.  I don’t think I necessarily achieve it, but hey, it’s the goal.  It seems to be a good way to go so as to not offend anyone.  And being that I’m friends with my manager, some co-workers, Julia’s daycare providers, my in-laws, and some church moms, it’s probably for the best.  Occasionally you will see a glimmer of the real me if I hit “post” too quick, but usually I’m far too sober to be that reckless.  Here you will find more of the true me, the one who rolls her eyes & is sarcastic & finds so many things annoying.  I still have no blog identity, and that kinda bugs me.  Do I want to write about having a kid, losing weight (that never seems to happen though), exercise, the awful empire of Chase, photography, finding good coupon deals, home remodeling?  I jump around topics like crazy, and they say when you blog you have to pick a topic and Stick. With. It.  Oh well, I have no theme & can’t stick with a topic.  Sticking with one topic is bor-ing, and it’s not an accurate representation of me. 

Back to Facebook.  Some people have defined their Facebook presences in very annoying ways, at least to me. 

The Braggarts:  This type must announce how profoundly awesome they are all the time and all the cool stuff they do that you don’t get to do because you’re a mere mortal.  They are always going to Hawaii and announcing all the interesting (in their minds) stuff they get to do that day.  Or they are retired and announcing that they just spent yet another day on the golf course.  Or that they’re going to the best concert ever because their perfect husbands got them tickets.  I have no problem with occasional posts about the fun stuff you do.  My problem is that this type only posts these picture perfect snippets from their lives - nothing else - as if they are striving to get people to comment “so jealous.”  Am I to conclude that if you aren't posting, you actually have a normal life and it's kinda boring?  The truth is that I’m not so jealous when they boast.  If I wanted to be on a golf course all day, I would find a way so that could happen.  And I don’t like Hawaii – too touristy and hot & humid.    So I either roll my eyes at the consistent Braggarts, or I hide them if de-friending isn’t an option (in the case of my sister-in-law and brother-in-law, who are both in the Braggart category).

 The Political Ones:  I work in a profession that is highly tied to politics.  I’m liberal, I support most of the liberal causes.  But even I get tired of the zillion links the Political Ones provide every day.  I suppose I admire that you’ve successfully made your Facebook presence have a defined identity, but for the love of gawd, give it a break for a day.  Please.  I’m so close to hiding you.  Even though I do have some conservative friends on Facebook, even they do not post that much in the way of political links and the like. 

 The Religious Ones:  I know you’re religious and read the Bible, but I can really do without all the obscure Bible quotes in your statuses.  This is mainly from the daycare workers, who are evangelical Christians.  I have a problem with Bible quotes randomly inserted into things without any context.  Things can be misconstrued very easily without the all important context. 

 The Really Negative Ones:  Every post is a complaint about how awful your luck is.  Then why don’t you try and make your life better?  Oh yeah, because nothing is your fault; it’s your bad “luck.”  Way to go for external locus of control!  You don’t have to take any responsibility for your actions because everything is done TO you.  Got it. 

 The Facebook Trainwrecks:  These are the people who shouldn’t be allowed to have Facebook accounts.   This group is kind of analogous to the people who should never be issued a parenting license if there were such things as parenting licenses.  They either do not understand the mechanics of Facebook, or they are way TMI.  But because they don’t understand Facebook or are very TMI, they turn your Facebook experience into so much, much more.

 Let’s dissect the Trainwreck category some more.

 Let’s say your friends with 2 people who are also friends with each other.  One of them says something derogatory about the other on your wall.  The Trainwreck doesn’t realize that the other person can see what was said.  Wall conversations between people you are mutual friends with show up on your wall even if you’re not a participant.  This is why the Facebook gods invented chat and messaging, so as to avoid these uncomfortable situations.  And if you’re talking directly to one person (as in a conversation), write it on the person's wall vs. your status, unless it’s uproariously funny – and then it’s okay.  But from what I observed, it seemed definitely like a conversation directed at one person but actually got aimed at everyone when put as a status. 

 Remember that family dinner with S’s cousin and his girlfriend?  And how I accepted her because I knew she’d be some awesome entertainment?  Oh yeah, that’s definitely turning out to be the case.  She’s definitely in the Way TMI category, and I seriously think she has an anger/mood disorder due to her posts.  She’ll fit right in with the rest of us, I suppose, if she ever officially gets into the family.  Why is she so entertaining?  1) Because of the ho-licious (her word) pictures of herself.  2) Because she posts these self-help messages all the time – the kind you would get at those motivational seminars that are part of pyramid schemes.  Kinda like what the religious folks post, but no Bible citation.  3) Because you can follow the bouncing ball.  She had a date last Friday with her boyfriend (the cousin), but he stood her up.  She wrote that she had gotten stood up.  Then the next day she wrote that if you can’t be #1 in someone’s life now, then there’s nowhere to go but down or something along those lines.  If you follow the bouncing ball, they probably had a fight about him not being there the night before, and she didn’t like or accept his reasoning for missing the date.  Then she took down her profile pic of her and him. 

 (Do you see why I want to pop popcorn and keep watching all this?  But at the same time, seriously… stop the insanity, in the words of Susan Powter. I shouldn’t be watching the demise of a relationship in real time over Facebook.)

 Then it looks like he promised to make it up to her on Wednesday night because she posted she was looking forward to her date on Wednesday night.  And the thing is, I now have started to go back to her wall to see the comments on her statuses to see what is exactly going on.  Because now I’m emotionally invested, or completely interested in the trainwreck, it all depends on how you want to spin it.  :p   Then she took down the Wednesday post on Thursday, so now I’m left in complete bewilderment. 

 Oh yeah, and she doesn’t have her relationship status on her page.  You know how you can say you’re single or in a relationship or even in a relationship with ____ (after you do that confirming thing)?  I just thought it was odd since she seemed to be the type to publish such things.  The cousin has a Facebook account, and I’m not friends with him.  I didn’t really like him when I met him, and plus then I’d get to see their lovey dovey crap that they post to each other all the time, so I didn’t friend him.  And I tend not to friend people.  I suppose I don’t want to be the one that no one accepts.  I couldn’t take the rejection. 

 And my crazy sister-in-law STILL hasn’t approved the cousin’s girlfriend as a friend.  Of course, it gets me wondering because I could have sworn my crazy sister-in-law hates me.  She never talks to me at family functions, which are the only time I ever see her.  But yet she seeks me out on Myspace and Facebook.  Then when she called the cops on S’s parents, she de-friended them and most of the family.  But she didn’t de-friend me or S.  I dunno, I find it weird.  Obviously she has some criteria for friendship even on a social networking site, and somehow I met that criteria, but it still leaves me wondering.  I want to ask her if she likes me, and if she does like me, then why doesn’t she ever talk to me or even acknowledge my presence?  Another thing I find weird is that the cousin’s girlfriend isn’t friends on Facebook with the cousin’s mother.  Even I am friends with the cousin’s mother, and I haven’t even met her.   And the girlfriend told a lot of stories that included the cousin’s mother, so obviously they know each other & something else is going on.  

Although I must say that the cousin’s mother is almost as weird as the cousin’s girlfriend.  On Friday I got a card from her for Julia’s birthday.  Julia’s birthday was in early June.  It’s late August.  2.5 months late on a birthday card?  At that point, why not just wait until next year?  I don’t get it. 

 I suppose I don’t understand lots of things.  I wish I did.  Or maybe it’s better that I don’t understand.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The "Maybe I don't hate Chase as much" post

Last week I scored a super deal.  I got 5 shirts for $1.39 total, including tax.  That's like 28 cents per shirt.  Awesome deal!  Combine a $10 off a $10 purchase coupon with a mega clearance sale, and you end up with a smokin' deal.

I really don't like Chase Bank.  I've said it enough.  I don't like going into there because I always get detained and cornered.  There are never any envelopes to the ATMs, so I can never make a deposit through the ATM.  But now....they have added the feature that you can make deposits via iPhone.  Holla!  I tried it out last night, and it worked.  Score!  There's a deposit maximum of $1,000 a month via iPhone, but it's not like I ever deposit that much.  It's those small $7 checks or $22.67 checks that I end up with.  Believe me, if you sent me a check over $1,000, I wouldn't mind taking it to the bank personally.  :)

Saturday mornings before Julia were always so nice.  The slower pace of the morning was phenomenally awesome.  We'd usually wake up around 9am.  Then S and I had this thing of laying in bed and having these very long and drawn out conversations that would go something like this:

"What do you want to do today?"
"I don't know.  What do you want to do today?"
"How about we just lay here today?  I wish we had a personal chef to serve us breakfast."
"Yeah, that'd be great."
"So what should we do today?"
" Take a bath, play a game, eat, take a nap, eat again.  Then have some ice cream and go to bed."
"Sounds fabulous."

By the time this conversation was done, it would be 10am.  The transcript would pretty much be the above repeated about 20 more times.

Then I'd take a bath.  Sometimes my dear husband would join me.  I would lay in the bath, read a book, ponder life, or just put my head under the water and see how long I can hold my breath.  Cuz I'm weird like that. 

By the time I got out of the bath and was dressed (remember...this is Saturday morning time when it takes you 10x longer than normal to do ANYthing), it would be 11am.  We still hadn't eaten breakfast at this point.  But because it's 11am, then most restaurants are now open.  I think we both know this, and that is why we move at a glacial pace on Saturday mornings.  One of us looks at the clock and says, "Hey, we should do brunch."  The other says, "Sure, where should we go?"  Then there's another few minutes of debating between favorite places.  By the time we get to the lunch venue, it's almost noon.  We eat, and depending on where we're at, we either poke through Target, the mall, or the grocery store.  Although I don't advise going to the grocery store when you're completely stuffed because nothing looks interesting, and you end up with two things - if that.

By now, it's 1-2pm.  Gosh, it's been such a hard and difficult morning that I need a nap.  :)  By the time I wake up, it's 4-5pm.  Oh, it's almost dinner time.  What should we do for dinner?  I dunno, how about we play a board game while we figure it out?  Two or three board games later, it's dinner time.  Let's throw something together to eat.  Time for my nightly walk!  Usually I could drag my dear husband with me, by the time we get back it's probably around 8pm.  Time for ice cream, and then he'd watch some sci fi show while I read, or we'd play another board game.

After a very tough and grueling day pondering what to do and eating and napping, it was time for bed.

I solemnly swear that accurately captures about 40% or more of our Saturdays pre-Julia. 

I'm working on a long post hopefully to be posted Sunday.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Signage or lack thereof

My little vacation is ending.  I really haven't done much of anything for the past few days.  And I mean anything other than small household chores.  It's kind of nice, but then it's also kind of mind numbing to be so useless.  My infection seems to be clearing up, but the coughing/wheezing is still hanging on...ugh.  Anyway, I've been working my butt off on house projects for the past 8 months and working, so it's nice just to sit and relax and be a bump on the log.  I don't even veg out in front of the TV.  Aside from the usual Barney and Elmo hour a day of TV watching with Miss J, I've probably watched about an hour total of TV in the past few days.  And I got some clunkers of books from the library recently, so I haven't even been reading.  It's hard to even account for my time.  Maybe I should be excited to go back to work and actually do something productive all day. 

One thing I did do today was to take a long walk.  Usually I stick to the surface streets, but it's sunny out today.  So I headed to the state park, which is full of trees and provides cover from the direct sunshine.  Ah, because we all know that I'm a vampire...before they became cool due to Stephenie Meyer.

Although I do adore being on the trails, I despise the lack of signage.  There's lots of forks in the trail with no real direction about how to get anywhere.  I was going to the beach, and I know that it's about 200 feet down in elevation, so of course it makes sense to take the downward trail when the option is that or a flat trail.  Duh.  Occasionally there was even a sign, like this one.

One time there actually was signage.  It was a true delight.  See the fork in the trail, and there's a sign! 
What does the sign say?  Let's take a closer look.
Two of the three signs said this.  Okay, you can hike or ride your bike.  To where?  Hmmm...who knows... The other sign said this.
Pretty much like the other two signs, except that your dog can go on this trail.  Why can't your dog go on the other two trails?  Who knows.  Remember, I don't make the signs.  I just show them. 

I ran into this circular little trail.  Evidently the trail used to go to the left, but then a fallen tree came and ruined that thought, so people went around the other side. 

I love steps made out of logs.  It's so freaking awesome.  It was a steep climb but so worth it.  Then I came to the worst fork in the road yet.  It's a 5 way trail intersection. It only looks like a 4-way in the picture, but straight ahead it splits off again.  Notice the lack of signage because, after all, why would you need signs when you come to a 5-way intersection?  Nah, make it interesting, make people work for their hike.  By the way, the way to the beach is to the right.  The way out of the park is to go straight ahead and then make a subtle left up Heart Attack Hill.

Ah, sun!!!!  When I find pockets like this, where the sun is getting in through the trees, I want to hide rather than walk through it.  Perhaps evidence that I may be part vampire.  How did I survive living in Las Vegas for 3 years with the relentless sunshine? 

Yet another trail intersection without signage.  Seriously, must I bequeath in my will a sum of money to make proper signs in this park? 

And that was my walk in the state park without proper signage.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Dream Job

Question:  What is your ultimate dream job? Do you think you'll ever live the dream?

Answer: I like my job.  I really do.  But I sure do have a dream job that I lust after.  Too bad it's only in PA, AZ or NC.  The only one of those I could tolerate is PA, which is where I was born.  It's too much to give up everything here and move my husband and I across the country.  Now if he also got a dream job in PA, then...hmmm...okay, I'd do it.

Now don't laugh at my dream job.  I know it's very few people's dream job.  I know I'm weird.

I want to crunch the data behind the scenes and write this.

Political musings

For the most part, I avoid politics on here.  To each their own, is my general philosophy. I belong to some groups whose politics are very different from mine.  S's family is vigilant Republican.  The kind with NRA bumper stickers on their car.  So, suffice it to say, I mingle with people whose politics are very different from my own.  I think S's parents think I'm communist.  Kinda funny since I have a master's degree in finance; there's got to be a part of me that appreciates capitalism.  I don't think you can be a communist AND a finance person.  Isn't that mutually exclusive or something?

While I'm fairly Democratic, I think the government has interfered with the economy too much in the past decade. 

I'm against the death penalty. 

I'm pro-choice.  Yes, yes, I know this contradicts up above.  And I know it goes against the view of the church.  And no, I probably wouldn't ever do it.  But still...I support it.

I'm pro gay marriage.  Don't make me watch "Queer as Folk" again though.  I accept it in theory, but when I see the technical part & can't find the remote...make it go away!

I support a progressive tax system and think tax rates should be higher at all levels.  If we want quality education for all, state and national parks, a safety net for those down on their luck, etc., then a strong tax base is required to support it.

I support national health care. 

I cannot stand Dino Rossi.  The king of smarm. 

I support the Social Security age increasing.  I believe Social Security should be there to provide a minimum level of retirement income.  I also believe that it's a person's responsibility to save for the future.

I believe in welfare being a safety net in times when people lose their jobs and unemployment income has dropped off.  I think all people recognize that people fall under hard times, and that safety net should be there.  As far as welfare abuse, that just makes me sad that people would choose that route. 

I wish people would only have children if they could afford them in the time, money and energy that they require. 

Democrat?  Most certainly.  Marxist?  Don't think so. 

A miniscule amount of willpower

Orgasmic cookies

I freaking love these cookies.  They are the softest, most delicious sugar cookies topped with a yummy frosting and then sprinkles.  They come in packages of 10 (I think...they never last long enough for me to count).  I will do whatever you want if you promise to give me these cookies as payment.  It's that bad. 

When I went to the store on Monday, these were on sale for $1.  $1 for 10 of the most delicious cookies ever (200 calories each, btw).  $1 for a little slice of heaven.  I wanted them so bad I could taste them.  I wanted to open the plastic container then and there and munch on them as I walked the aisles.  My desire for these cookies is endless.  And it could be justified with the $1 price tag. 

Alas, I didn't open them then and there & shove them into my mouth as fast as possible.  I didn't even put them into the cart.  I stared at them lustfully without even fondling them.  But then I told myself NO, and I walked right on by. 

Two days later, and I'm still thinking I made the wrong decision.  Who needs self-control?  I should have bought at least 5 packages.  50 cookies would have lasted me until at least yesterday evening.

Monday, August 16, 2010

What to do?

I have the next few days off! And I have nothing planned. At all. Scratch that, I have a lunch date on Wednesday. Except for the lunch date, I have nothing planned.

It's a weird feeling. What's even weirder is that I have not much desire to do anything.

Watch a movie? Initially I was stoked about this. Tuesday is $1 day at the movie theater. I could see a double feature...all by myself! How cool is that. Until I looked at the movie selection, and I was thoroughly unimpressed. Since it's the $1 theater, it's showing movies that came out 3 months ago. None of those really appeal to me.


I could go shopping. Unless it's grocery shopping, I don't really like shopping. What? Get out one of those gender identification tests like they did on that woman/man runner from Africa. What supposed girl doesn't like to shop? Me, that's who. Even the morning after Thanksgiving, when the lure of sales is at its all time high, I can maybe do 2 hours of shopping maximum. And that's hitting about 7 stores in 2 hours. I often wonder how women can travel in packs and spend ALL FLIPPING DAY at the mall.


I could read. I've read 2.5 books since Saturday, so unfortunately I'm starting to get tired of reading. Maybe in small doses though.


I could exercise. But it's flipping hot. Even at midnight.


I could cook. I suppose I could throw something together that resembles the soup in the dorm on the last week of school (3 weeks of leftovers in broth).

I could blog. I like to blog.

I could write. I like to write.

I could sleep. I like to sleep.

I could clean. But not all day. I don't like to clean THAT much.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Blitherings on a hot night

It's hot. At midnight it should NOT be this hot unless you're in Las Vegas. Even if it's hot during the day here, usually in the evening it cools down a little & there's a breeze. Nope, not tonight. Stagnant, hot air is not my favorite walking environment.

I read a book today that I'm thoroughly embarrassed about reading. And I'm embarrassed for the library for buying it. The thing was full of typos. Horrible, horrible typos. Illusion/allusion, principal/principle, insure/ensure. Then a long paragraph was repeated in its entirety. I'm so embarrassed about the atrocity I'm not even posting it on Goodreads.

As I was catching up on my blog reading, there were a few perma-happy bloggers that apologized for having some not-so-happy blog entries. I don't understand why people feel they must only post happy blogs. Life is full of ups and downs, and the bad comes along with the good.

I suppose I use the opposite formula as the perma-happy bloggers. I tend to be more cynical in my blog than in real life. If you know me in real life, you know that I'm a reasonably happy person. I know I was dealt a nice hand in life. What I wasn't dealt I worked hard to achieve. What was taken from me made me stronger. I don't pick that many battles to fight because they aren't that important in the bigger picture.

I admit it, sometimes I play the stupid card. What can I say? It works with most people. You can get away with a lot if you play the stupid card, and in turn people don't expect much from you. Probably the best advantage of playing the stupid card is that you can stay at least 10 steps ahead of whomever thinks you're stupid.

Sometimes when you let things slide that you probably shouldn't, and then on top of that you dumb yourself down on occasion, you just need to be able to let it all out somewhere. Despite my cynicism on here most of the time, I truly am happy. Probably the only thing I wish for is to be around more people who I can connect with. It doesn't seem like I know a lot of people who truly understand me. I'm not talking acquaintances to do things with; I'm talking about people who really, truly understand. That seems hard to come by. I can usually figure out a person far more easily than I can be figured out. It's not because I think I'm a weird enigma or anything. I just think it's that I don't share myself well with others. Hence, the blog. I'm trying to work on it.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Neverending Green Stuff

I went to the doctor on Wednesday for my horrible cough, and I was told allergies are the root of the problem and given all these allergy prescription meds. I'm actually taking them too. I know it's only been 36 hours, but I haven't seen any relief. My reason for going to the doctor was the horrible cough & consistently coughing up green stuff. Every time I have consistently coughed up green stuff in the past I have had some sort of bacterial infection. However, she wouldn't give me antibiotics this time because she says it's allergy related.

I think if you've been coughing up green stuff for a week that there is some sort of infection going on. All I want is some antibiotics. Last August I had this same thing (although the cough wasn't as bad), and I got the allergy speech + allergy meds + antibiotics. I told the doctor about the green stuff this time, and she said that's not an indication of infection. Whatever.

I can see if someone is begging for a Percocet/valium prescription every month that perhaps something illicit is going on. But I don't think a once-a-year begging for an antibiotic due to sinus/lung infection is too unreasonable. What does she think I'm going to be doing with it? Selling my antibiotics on the black market? Or does she think the once-a-year thing means I'm addicted to antibiotics?

My cough is starting to go into the scary territory. I woke up an hour ago coughing. But it's not just cough-cough-cough, go back to sleep. It's a cough where you lose your coughing leverage, you start wheezing, your husband wakes up because he thinks you're about to die because you can't breathe kind of cough. And then you can't get back to sleep because you spend the next 15 minutes coughing up an ounce or two of green stuff and trying not to puke when you cough so hard.

So do I go back to the doctor on Friday and be more adamant about the antibiotics? Or do I wait until Monday to see if it's better? Ugh, but it's been 2 weeks and it hasn't gotten better, and I dread another 3 days of this. It's just gotten worse over the past two weeks. Along with my disposition, which is also getting worse, since the cough is interrupting more and more of my sleep.

Maybe I can call and talk to a nurse and maybe ask for an antibiotic to be called in??? I don't think that will fly, but oh how I hate the rigamarole of getting an appointment and going through that whole thing.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Just a short one

I'm tired. And sick - finally went to the doctor. So just a short one tonight.

My two weeks of cutting back on dairy has been completed. Final verdict: my stomach has never felt better. Dang it. Cheese and I are BFFs. But it's a toxic relationship. I lust after it, and it puts me through the ringer. Hence, I need to keep my distance as much as possible. This is gonna be hard.

I'm so glad my hosting of 11 people for dinner/snacks/Bunco is over. It had been nagging at me, and I'm just glad it's done. It went fairly smoothly.

I took some pictures of my friend's newborn today. I have to do some minor editing. Overall, though, I think they turned out very, very well.

In there somewhere today, I went to the doctor for this awful cough, which isn't going away & I'm coughing up colors of the rainbow that I shouldn't be. The doctor thinks it's allergies. She says I'm draining quite a bit of liquid from my sinuses. (Last year I had surgery to widen my sinus drainage holes, and consequently I went to the doctor last August for the same thing as now.) So the theory is that due to my heinous allergies, my sinuses are producing copious amounts of drainage, most of which is draining into my throat, but some is getting diverted to my lungs. Lungs don't like sinus drainage in them, and hence my horrible smoker cough. She said I need to take Flonase religiously on top of Zyrtec. And I should also take albuterol. Blech.

When I had a hacking episode tonight, I was coughing up Flonase tasting stuff, so I guess the doctor might be right. My sinuses are draining into my lungs. Lovely. So if I hadn't messed with my sinus drainage holes, I wouldn't be draining into my lungs. But my sinuses would be killing me with all the drainage that couldn't get out. Fix one problem, create another. Sheesh.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Terms of Endearment

I got my new AC adapter! Woohoo! I've been using my lovely husband's computer for the last two weeks, but it's a pain to share one computer. (Remember when having 1 computer in the home was a luxury item? Now there's more computers than people in most households, including ours, but the older ones are slow and virus-ridden.) It's a pain to share because we're home at the same times, and he's quite fond of Hulu. Hulu is great, but a girl can't blog when her husband is watching a zillion episodes of Dr. Who. I was missing my photos and my editing software. So much of what I do is web-based that I didn't really miss that many of my programs though.

Guess what I woke up to today? A friend request from S's cousin's girlfriend!!! (Can you read the sarcasm in the multiple exclamation marks?) I should have figured that she would friend us out loud to my dear husband, so it would have been on record when it actually happened. That chick is sooooo trying to infiltrate the family. Since you have to accept friend requests from family (or someone who is trying to infiltrate the family), I accepted her. Okay okay, I needed some entertainment for the day. Perhaps that's the real reason.

Let us review Facebook etiquette for 40 year old women with the Kate Gosselin hair and wardrobe, per what I learned:

- Do describe yourself as ho-licious. It is indeed a great adjective.
- Post as many pictures as you can with guys who are touching your ass.
- Pictures with your boyfriend touching your ass get denoted with a ♥♥.
- Pictures of just your butt are a plus.
- In all of the aforementioned pictures, be holding or drinking alcohol.

Perhaps I'm just jealous because I have no ass. :(

She DOES have a job! She's a part-time Mary Kay consultant. I will refrain from comment on that one.


On a serious note, I cannot believe what S's cousin posts on her wall multiple times: "Babe..."

I hate hate hate hate the word Babe. Is it supposed to be a term of endearment? I thought it was the name of a pig.

There must be three types of women in the world. The ones that love to be called that, the ones that hate to be called that, and those that are ambivalent. You know what type I am. I have a name, ya know. Not that I'm enamored with my name, but you can do something with it. Or make up something, but not that word and not any other generic one like Honey.

I must give out the vibe that it is not acceptable to call me that because no guy has ever called me Babe/Baby/Honey/etc. One guy addressed me as "Woman," and I quickly told him that was not going to fly. My husband calls me "Sweetie" occasionally, and I've let that one slide. Maybe because after 13 years, I think he knows my name, and it's not done in that ownership tone.

I find this division among women interesting. Back in college, there was a guy who had it down to a science. He was a freaking genius, and perhaps that was why he was so popular with a certain segment of the ladies.

I was in his dorm room with his roommate (I was friends with his roommate, not really with him), and there were 2-3 other guys there. I was the only one of the female persuasion. It was around 10pm, we were playing video games/drinking/etc. Then the freaking genius turned to me, "Hey, make me some eggs."

There were so many problems with this statement, from my perspective. 1) It's a command and not a question. 2) Add "please." 3) I'm not dating you. 4) I don't know how to make eggs. 5) And even if I did, make them yourself. 6) Because I'm the only girl here, does that make me the designated omelet maker? See #4.

Of course I told him to make his own damn eggs. What else would you expect me to say? It's a no-brainer, as far as retorts from me go. Honestly I didn't think there was any other option.

Until I was back in his room a couple of weeks later, and he said the same exact thing in the presence of two other girls in the room. And they argued over which one of them would have the PRIVILEGE of making Chuck his dang late night snack of eggs. I would also lay money on the table and bet that they both love to be called Babe.

So I say Chuck was a freaking genius (while I also acknowledge he was a complete ass). He could easily delineate which group each woman belonged to with a simple statement, and, if he was right, he could get some eggs out of the deal and only needed to remember the generic "Thanks, Babe" to whomever served him his eggs.


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Climb of 295 feet

I'm going on two weeks of this horrible smoker cough. These past few days have been interesting because after a few deep coughs, I feel gaggy and like I'm going to puke. A few times I almost did. And since I'm trying to cough into my elbow, I would have puked all over myself. Attractive, huh? Seriously, cough, please go away. People are giving me these looks like I've got super contagious whooping cough. And the whole gagging/puking thing sucks. My husband just asked if I'm blogging about my ever persistent cough. YES! Why doesn't he have it? Aren't I a kind wife for not sharing this nasty sickness?

Elevation check: 197 ft above sea level at the lowest point on the hill, 492 ft at the highest point. I climb 295 feet on my walks (about 30 stories), but there's lots of winding around in that too, so it's likely a lot more. Of course nerdy me had to GPS the altitude. Rock hard glutes, here I come!

Family dinner with the relatives who went on the cruise was tonight.

The way the girlfriend of the cousin spoke was just like my aunt in Pennsylvania. I don't know if it's a way of speaking, or an accent, or what. These folks are from New Jersey. I was born on the East Coast and lived there for several years, but I think I've been completely westernized since I can pick up on that dialect.

The girlfriend was kind of mean. A Kate Gosselin kind of mean. She rehashed her story of how the cruise was awful, and she had a horrible room, and she had to demand an upgrade. And the hair cut. Oh my goodness, the hair. It was dark, with two blond stripes, that long thing to the side in the front, and the poof thing in back. Just like Kate Gosselin's style pre-wig, except this woman had darker hair. I could not stop staring at the hair. It needed its own nickname or something. She dressed like Kate too. And she called his daughter her daughter. They've only been dating for a few months. Eeek eeek eeek.

Oh, and the crazy sister-in-law who called the cops on S's parents was there. Then she and the girlfriend tried to outdo each other on who has seen the most/best concerts. It's times like these where I appreciate that I'm the type who doesn't have to contribute to such foolishness.

We took our token picture taken for the mothers. I realized that if I was a guy and had to choose between my crazy sister-in-law and the Kate Gosselin wannabe, I'd choose to be a priest instead. My husband said he's glad he married me. Awwww, I'd feel warm and fuzzy about the statement if he actually wasn't envisioning himself stuck with either of the other two.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Secret Love

On Sunday John and Rachel are coming down from Seattle. It's been a while, and it will be good to see them. Then S's cousin finally contacted us, and he wants to meet for dinner with his girlfriend and daughter. Eh, I'm not thrilled, but I think I'll tag along with S. Maybe she won't be like Kate Gosselin after all. We'll see.


The following was the question of the day when I logged into my other blog last week. I didn’t have time to answer it at the time, but I e-mailed it to myself to make it a future journal entry. So here we are.

“Have you ever secretly loved someone you shouldn't have? If so, did you confess your feelings? Any regrets either way?”

I think it's hard to secretly love someone. The question seems to imply that you pine away for someone you can't have, either due to circumstances (such as they're with someone else/you're with someone else) or almost like it's a huge crush from afar where you just never gather up the courage to say something. I call that lust or intrigue, but I don't call that love. Personally I feel that love develops over time, and the other person needs to be a somewhat active participant. And if you're close to the object of your love over the months/years it takes for the love to develop, then it's not really secret, now is it? At least on some level, the other person has to know how important he/she is to you. Otherwise, why would you spend so much time with him/her?

So I guess my simplistic answer is that I've never secretly loved anyone I shouldn't have, if even for the mere fact that I don't think love is instantaneous.

If you delve a bit deeper, then you can perhaps use the loose definition of love and widen the scope to include smaller crushes. Have I ever had a crush on anyone from afar that I couldn't have? Not really. I say not really because I'm sure I found a couple of boys at least intriguing but gave up the thought for one reason or another. For example, there was one guy in high school who I liked, and we were friends, had a class together, and went to the same church. I remember we danced at Homecoming (despite coming to the dance each with different dates). He drove me home a few times. He was nice. It never went anywhere though. It's not like I stayed up thinking about him as a teenager. In fact, he only comes to mind because I saw him last month at the local grocery store. He looked exactly the same, and I wanted to go up and say hi to him and see what he's been up to. But I was afraid that he wouldn't remember me. I remembered his first and last name, the
class we had together and our teacher's name, the things we used to talk about, his sister’s name, the time we got busted at church camp, etc. I knew it probably wouldn't have gone anywhere for the long term. He was very traditional, wanted a career in law enforcement, and there were tons of little things that made us a poor match. But whenever we saw each other as teenagers at school or functions, we hung out. We just never purposely hung out.

I guess I think to truly like/love someone, you have to spend lots of quality time with him/her, and then I just don't see how it can be secret.


Friday, August 6, 2010

Ponderings about Glutes

Our new house is on a huge hill. It's toward the bottom of the hill. There's a main road that runs horizontal, but it's not a very long road & who likes to walk on main roads anyway? That leaves me with a lot of scaling hills. I wind up and down the streets, often repeating parts of the same hill. Extreme up, extreme down, on repeat.

Our last house wasn't on very flat terrain, or at least that's what I thought at the time. Compared to this house, that house was surrounded by complete flat terrain. When I walk next, I will have to log the elevation changes. It's got to be a couple hundred feet difference between the top and bottom of the hill. And I wind up and down it many, many times when I go for a walk.

My butt has been so sore. Glutes. The word is glutes. My glute muscles have been so sore. Is that better? I think I'm going to have rock hard glutes with all of these hills.

This is all leading to butts. I do not understand people's fascination with butts. Perhaps it's because I don't have a butt. I was blessed in other departments, but I got nothing in the butt department. There's always extra room in the butt of my jeans; unfortunately, there's not a small butt version of jeans that I can find. "Baby Got Back" was not written about me.

What I find more odd is how women are obsessed with guys' butts. I've been with lots of women who point out a guy with a good butt. I do not understand this at all. When I see a good-looking guy, I look at his face, maybe his overall body, smile, eyes...never once do I even look at his butt. What is the purpose of a good butt? Can someone please explain this to me? How can I have lived this long without such critical knowledge?

After this happened multiple times, I honestly did try to look at guys' butts. Even just to try to distinguish a good butt from a bad butt. I tried for about 5 minutes, and then I got completely bored or distracted by some guy's FACE, which is such an atrocity when there are butts to judge, right?

I don't even know what kind of butt my husband has. I remember Wendy said something about his butt in college. What was it? Maybe he didn't have a butt. I think that might have been it. I suppose people without butts are attracted to each other like people with butts are attracted to each other. Like that theory?

So if I keep climbing all these hills, I'll have a rock hard small butt. Is that any better than just a small butt?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Expired Oksana

Today was my massage appointment. I feel like I must take my blog with me on it. Are you ready for a voyage into my crazy mind?

First: preparations. I waited to take a shower until right before. Have I shared my obsession with thinking that I smell? No one has ever said I smelled, but perhaps people are too kind. I shaved my legs...then I got to thinking that this is like a Big Date. Then I was worried about what to wear. I wore a tank top, a shirt over my tank top, shorts and jeans. That's a lot of layers, particularly on an August day, but I wanted to be ready for anything.

Get there. There's a Russian lady at the front desk. She's wearing a white coat, as if that makes her all ... I don't know what look she's trying to go for. Maybe the look of a beautician at Macy's? I check in, and then I pick up a trashy magazine. Gotta love trashy magazines.

I have only had 1 other professional massage in my life. It was by a mannish woman in her 50s, and it was a relaxation/touch massage. Lame. Gentle little circles. It was kind of like a 6 year old was giving you a massage. This one was going to be a deep tissue massage - hopefully a lot rougher. Gosh, that sounds like I'm some sort of masochist. I didn't want a painful massage, but I'd actually like a massage that kneads my muscles.

After about five minutes, the masseuse comes to get me. Oksana. When she first introduced herself, I immediately thought of Lillehammer. Remember Tonya and Nancy? Remember those embarrassments to America in 1994 (I never liked Nancy - she played the victim a little too much, and she never seemed all that nice)? Those two Americans were so busy trashing each other that Oksana kicked some American butt at the Olympics. I wonder where Oksana is now. She had a few run-ins with the law a while ago, but hopefully she cleaned up her act.

See, I digress, but my mind does that frequently. By now, masseuse Oksana has taken me into the massage room. Oksana isn't wearing much. Kinda like a black tank top with a short skirt. And no shoes.

May I say that I think it's weird to pay someone to touch you? I got this massage as a gift, but even so, it kinda makes me think I'm dirty somehow. I also have problems with getting a pedicure; it's just weird to pay someone to touch your feet. Please note that I don't have a problem with people providing the services for free (you can massage me anytime, dear husband). My problem is the whole paying in exchange for being touched. Me and my issues.

Oksana has a thick accent, and I think she tells me to get undressed and lay on the table. I think she also tells me to take off my bra and leave on my underwear. Or something like that.

Did you know that I'm a semi-nudist? It's actually that I'm perpetually hot, so if the inside temperature is above 65, clothes start coming off. When the inside temperature is above 75, clothes most certainly are off. When the inside temperature is above 85, I'm almost certainly lying in bed naked with the fan blowing on me. I actually don't have a problem with nudity, despite how prudish I must seem.

I followed her instructions and laid face down on the table. Yikes, the table was HOT! One of those heated things that I would love to have on cold winter nights, but being as it was August and 75-ish degrees in the room, I could do without. The blankets they use look thin, but they really are warm. Despite not wearing much, I'm close to dying of heat stroke before it even begins. Oh yeah, I forgot to say that the room was almost completely dark (makes getting undressed a challenge), and there was that fake-y calm music. Ocean waves with xylophone accompaniment.

Oksana breezes back in. She gets out the lotion and starts her thing. She says my back feels tense. Really? Me, tense? Yes, I'm completely and utterly tense. I actually tried to un-tense myself before arriving because I didn't want to be yelled at for being tense. Guess that didn't work!

What is a deep tissue massage like? Well, it's like having your back, neck, arms & legs rubbed. Not too hard, not too much pressure. I expected more pressure. I must be a masochist at heart. It was more pressure than the one other massage I had years and years ago. Probably 2/3 of the way into it I actually started relaxing. Early on I had to cough (I still have that smoker cough). I sound pretty bad, and I didn't want to cough around her, so I waited until she was more at my feet. Then when I coughed, she apologized, saying it must be the cloth. No, it's my stupid smoker cough that I've had for the past week.

She definitely devoted a lot of time to the back, which I liked because I carry a lot of tension in my back. And when she's working on that part, the blankets are down and I actually can feel some cool-ish air on me.

I started wondering if she had male clients. I wonder if any of those male clients made a move on her. I wondered if she ever gave any "special services." On this table? Ewwwww. See, the things I think about when I'm getting a massage. Then I think about what that's called. I seem to recall something about "happy endings." I'm not sure where I read about those massage parlors that give a little bit more. See, do not give me time to think. This is where my mind goes, and it's a very bad place.

2/3 of the way through she had me turn over. She massaged my neck while I was facing up, which was fine, except that she kept moving her heads up my scalp, and she got a ton of lotion in my hair. Lotion in the hair is awful. It makes it a greasy mess that makes you want to whack it all off. Seriously. Toward the end of the massage, she did some weird thing with my face. She put her hands on my forehead. No pressure, just her hands on my forehead. I didn't quite get that. Her hands were all lotion-y, and I hate people putting their hands on my face - much less their greasy hands.

She tells me that I'm supposed to drink lots of water afterward and that I'm not supposed to do something because I'll get nauseous. Eat, maybe? I think she said not to eat. While I get dressed, she gets me some water. Then comes my anxiety over the tip. I got the massage as a gift, but I still need to leave a tip. Do I give it to her, do I leave it in the room, do I give it to the receptionist? I don't know these things! I left the tip next to my empty water glass, but it feels kind of dirty to do that. Yes, I have hang-ups.

As I was getting dressed, since my eyes were adjusted to the dim light, I saw her massage license leaning up against the wall. It had her picture on it, and in the picture she had all this cleavage showing. Who gets their official picture taken with all that cleavage? Then I noticed the dates on the massage license. It was initially issued on 3/4/2010, and it expired 7/28/2010. So her license is expired, or she didn't put up her new one. Why was the license issued for such a short time frame? Why? Why? Why?

After I get dressed, I leave. As I'm leaving, I see a guy in the waiting area. Now he could be waiting for his wife, or he could be Oksana's next client. Would that be her client...or would that be her cliiiiiiient?

I can make everything be lascivious, can't I?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Remeeting your Kid Self

How did you envision your adult life back when you were a little kid? How does your current life match (or not match) what you envisioned?

Back when I was a kid, I always envisioned being focused on my career when I was older. I wanted to be a psychologist, have my doctorate degree, and teach at a university as well as have a private practice. A fallback position would be to teach at a university and do research instead of have a private practice. I didn’t want to get married, and I didn’t want to have kids.

And here I am. I have a master’s degree (no doctorate), don’t work in the psychology field at all, am married, have a child, and have never taught. If you look at what I envisioned versus how I have fared thus far, it doesn’t feel like I’ve come anywhere close to fulfilling my dreams.

It’s okay though. I LIKE my life. Most of the time, I love my life. It’s a more stressful life now that I’m a mother (the worry seems to be neverending), but I still love it.

I think my disdain for the concept of marriage is one of the things that attracts men. Really. I’m not sure why I was so opposed to marriage growing up; maybe I was just cynical after seeing my mother and father divorce. My life premise was that I’d rather be alone than married to an idiot. I didn’t want to cater to someone else, pick up after someone, and do the 50s housewife thing. That wasn’t me. Then there’s the fundamental issue of trust. I trust very, very few people. Most people are flakey, not self-sufficient, irresponsible, and don’t follow through on their promises. There was little to no hope that a guy could get through all of my barriers and on top of that be smart. I don’t like to hang around people who are stupid. Please don’t take offense because if I hang around you, I think you’re smart. Even as a little kid, I knew this package of qualities was a tall order, and I knew I didn’t want to compromise. At all. I wanted my version of perfection. Since I knew I wouldn’t be able to find my version of perfection, I knew I’d casually date but ultimately never find “the one” and instead should focus on my career.

There is definitely something to having a disinterest in long-term relationships and marriage that does intrigue men. It’s likely the hard to get “thing.” Or maybe it was that I just was never very close to females growing up, so I had a much easier time interacting with men. Girls were always more difficult to have a friendship with. They were more emotionally needy, full of drama vs. guys, who you could just watch movies with in silence or play video games with. And when the right person comes along, then it seems stupid to let my version of perfection get away. I doubted that I ever would have found it again.

I realized early on in college that perhaps psychology wasn’t my thing if I didn’t like emotionally needy people. I do enjoy listening to people, but when they go on and on about the same stuff over and over, or when the sheer volume of other people’s problems weighs you down, then perhaps it’s not a wise career choice. It was good I took an internship in college at the crisis center, where I could learn first-hand that I just didn’t have it in me to do psychology for the rest of the life. That’s why I went back for a degree in business. Give me something tangible to do. Let me analyze profit and loss statements, create a cohesive business strategy, or calculate how much you need to pay off your debts. That I can do.

I like what I do now. Sure, my dream job is working at Vanguard, synthesizing client data into cool reports. But I kind of do something similar, just in a different field. Plus I like all the time off in my job; I doubt Vanguard would give that much time off. So all is good.

As for not having a doctorate, I’m not sure what I’d even get it in. The things I’m interested in are personal savings habits, microeconomics, that sort of thing. I don’t think there are any doctorates that really focus in that direction. Plus, it’s just not right to go for something just for the status of it. A master’s in financial planning actually targeted what I really wanted to obtain more knowledge about. So, again, it’s okay.

As for teaching, I have been told that I have the qualifications to teach part-time at a community college. I actually would like it, but it doesn’t really mesh well with working full-time and having a toddler. And I heard it pays really, really crappy, so it’s not worth it until Julia’s older and more self-sufficient anyway. Thus, it’s okay.

Yes, I was never really one who was itching to be a mother. Some people know it’s in their destiny. I was always the one who was reluctant about it. So much responsibility, I have horrible genetics, I’m not a mother “type,” and the list of excuses went on and on. As mothers go, I know I could be better (more patient, more nurturing—I’m not the type to fawn over a kid, I’m more the type to say, “get up, you’re fine, try it again”). I could also be much, much worse. You won’t ever see me with a whole carful of kids though.

So I sit here and try to think what I as a kid would have thought of my current life. I think a young me would like it. I think she would approve, but she would want me to push myself more. She might think I’m too complacent with some parts of my life. Particularly my work. It’s hard to argue with her. I have been pretty complacent in that area of my life. I do my job, and most days I think I do it well, but I get so dejected by the real and imagined obstacles that I have gotten complacent. I don’t want to be complacent.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Bring Sexy Back

I am totally bringing sexy back with this horrible cough I've got. I think it might be allergy/sinus related. I sound like I've been chain smoking for the last 20 years, and I might feel like it too.

I'm almost one week into no dairy. Well, it's been really, really modified. It's more like "limit ice cream and pudding, just say no to cheese, say okay to milk in sauces." Huh? Yeah, basically I'm really cutting back cheese and somewhat cutting back ice cream. I never, ever would have thought dairy would be harder for me to cut back than gluten. Bread and I are like the original BFFs, or so I thought. I guess it turned out I had a closet BFF in cheese. After a week of no (or little) cheese, I'm feeling pretty good...other than the whole smoker cough thing. It might be too early to say that cheese is a huge trigger for me, and I mourn the day I say buh bye to it. But maybe after a few months of no cheese, it will be something I no longer crave (huh?) or I'll be more easily able to incorporate small amounts of it into my diet.

Eye doctor on Thursday. Have I ever said how much I dislike the eye doctor and the glaucoma test and the 1 or 2, 3 or 4 crap? Humans are irrational. I had horrible experiences at the eye doctor for the first few years I went, and I will forever be fearful of optometrists. For a few years as an adult, I had a great eye doctor, but then he retired. So now I'm back to not having a permanent eye doctor, which means it's back to the luck of the draw. And I don't mind dealing with the luck of the draw when it deals with dentists or even general practitioners. When it comes to my poor, weak eyes, I really want someone who will understand.

Massage on Thursday. Deep tissue, yum! I've never had a real deep tissue massage by a licensed professional. We will see how this goes. At the mall, there are these dudes that offer to massage you, but it seems weird to be rubbed by a guy in the middle of a mall. Doesn't it? And why should you have to pay a guy to rub you? Most will rub you for free. :) This massage is courtesy of my lovely husband, something about payment for tolerating 8 of his family members staying with us for 2 weeks...or something like that. So it's a 1 hour deep tissue massage by a licensed professional at a spa. Full report on the deep tissue massage on Thursday. I think it will be the highlight of my week. That or the eye doctor, tough call, huh?