Thursday, December 29, 2011

A lot of luck

I think your life experiences help mold you in becoming the person you are in life. Sure, some of it is determined by your innate personality, but I do think your life experiences determine, to a great extent, how you live your life. If you’ve experienced great tragedy, it will affect you. If your personality is more resilient, a tragedy may affect you to a lesser extent. If your personality is more sensitive, it may greatly inhibit you for the rest of your life.

One of those statistics that I have in the back of my mind is that between 1/6 and 1/4 (depends on the source) of women are sexually assaulted in their lifetime. I feel lucky to not be in this statistic for a number of reasons, but the main reason being that I think something like that has the potential to forever change your relationship with the rest of the world. Something like that has the potential of letting fear overtake your life.

I attribute my evasion mostly to luck. The odds were somewhat in my favor to begin with. Plus I happened to never be alone with anyone who was exceedingly disrespectful (luck). And I learned my non-expensive lessons earlier in life that shaped how I operated later in life (that one might not be luck).

I think about this stuff because I now have a daughter and maybe I watched a Lifetime movie in the past week, which can always be a reason to increase the paranoia level awareness.

Thinking back, I can only come up with three instances that even come close to the broadest definition of sexual assualt. But what is funny is that they occurred when I was young and before I ever dated. Each taught me a lesson, or at least I interpreted them as life lessons.

Instance 1: I was 8 years old, and it was summer. My mother had commissioned an older lady in a single wide trailer to watch me during the day while she was at work. I hated it there. The family dynamics were awful. There were two grown sons who were in and out. There were two other kids there (one girl, one boy), and I can’t recall if the older lady was babysitting them too or if they were her sons’ kids. Anyway, the older lady sat on the couch all day and smoked while we three kids did whatever we wanted. Well, the boy found a shed in the backyard that was full of pornography. Likely it was the older sons’. There were piles of hard core stuff. Then the boy wanted to act it out and got naked several times over the course of a few weeks. Nothing happened between us other than being subjected to pornography and the naked boy although it wasn’t that age appropriate. I insisted that I stay home alone to my mother vs. go back to that babysitter. I never told my mom the real reason – well, there were many reasons, but the plethora of pornography that I can still remember to this day because it is forever etched in my mind plus the constantly stripping boy are the most notable. Of course, the older lady was oblivious to all of it.

Life Lessons from Instance 1: Trust my gut instinct when I didn’t like the place on the first day. My judgment is independent of my mother's.

Instance 2: Sophomore in high school. The class setup had been moved in the previous class, and all the desks were squished together. My seat was behind the class jerk (a senior), and I had this tiny space to squeeze through next to him, and he was sitting at his desk while the teacher stepped out of the classroom. I debated my dilemma, and he was waiting to see what I would do. I chanced it and squeezed past him sideways. He pinched my butt, which I had halfway anticipated. The rest of the class saw it, and you could tell that they were waiting to see what I would do. I wanted to smack him on the head, and had I done it, I probably wouldn’t have gotten in too much trouble given the situation. But it was more that I was worried about retaliation from him and his friends because they were awful. I didn’t do anything, which in retrospect I would have done completely differently. Still, for some reason I still feel violated by the incident or perhaps it was my non-reaction to it.  

Life Lesson from Instance 2: How you react to things creates a pattern of interaction.

Instance 3: Unlike Instance 1 and 2, which were beyond my control given the situations, Instance 3 wouldn’t have happened if I had been less stupid. It involved Paul, the guy who later stalked me for a couple of years and who pulled a knife on me. When this specific instance happened, it was before all of the later escalated behavior on his part. BUT I still got a weird vibe from him. On this day in particular, he offered me a ride home from school, but he ended up detouring to his house first, which was further away than my house. Again, I felt uneasy about the whole thing and should have insisted he take me home, but at the time there was some sort of legitimate-sounding excuse on his part.  

Get to his house, and there’s no one home. In retrospect, the afternoon could have gone bad in so many ways since he was considerably stronger than me. Nothing too horrible happened, but it was bad enough to get a life lesson.

Life Lesson from Instance 3: Be less stupid about who you’re alone with.

All in all, each of these situations taught me something, and none were serious enough to do any long-term damage. I consider myself one of the lucky ones. I wish everyone else was as lucky.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Facts vs. Non-Facts

The in-laws took Miss J to S's brother's house for a day. It's her first night away from home. We're crossing our fingers that she does okay. S's parents won't admit if she doesn't do okay. For her sake, though, we're hoping she doesn't freak out.

The visit is going okay. By the end of Monday, I was done. We hosted Saturday, we hosted Sunday, we hosted Monday. By Monday a tiny house all by myself was looking really appealing. I rested some on Tuesday, and tonight Miss J is gone and should be back tomorrow night.

Let's party like rock stars!!! Or sleep...

S's parents are different from us in many ways. Aside from the political differences that go without saying, there are two other differences.

1) They are consumers, and we aren't as much. We have a nice house, which was important to both of us. But other than that, we aren't big consumers. We don't buy much. We buy new things when our original thing breaks beyond repair or there's a good sale. We go out to eat about once a month. We own about 6 DVDs (it's beyond pathetic). S's parents are uber consumers. They buy So. Much. Stuff. And they can't afford to buy all the stuff they buy. We have the means to buy stuff, but we don't have much in the way of desire. They have desire, but they don't have the means. But it's okay, in their words, because "that's what credit cards are for."  Ummmm, okay.

2) They make shit up. In my world and my husband's world, there are these things called facts that are not debatable. You know, people are born, people die, historical events happened on specific dates. We're not trying to pass off our personal opinions as fact. The "why" of some facts can be subject to personal opinion and interpretation occasionally. I get that. I try to preface my opinions and observations accordingly.

But when you make up non-facts and try to pass them off as legitimate facts multiple times without any caveat like "I think" or "I heard" or something like that, it's plain weird. As in, S's dad said that a specific member of a musical group died of pancreatic cancer. I didn't know this, which I said. However, he has a track record of making shit up, so I look it up and find that the person is alive and well, just as I had thought.

I cannot comprehend why someone would pass off non-facts as facts. Does he actually believe these non-facts are facts? Or does he want to appear smarter than everyone else, and he thinks making stuff up is a way to do that even though it makes me distrust anything he says? It really puzzles me. Maybe it's because I live in a world where there are facts, there are opinions, and I think I do an okay job of categorizing them. It's hard for me to fathom how someone can be so fuzzy on the differences between the two categories.

Sunday, December 25, 2011


Merry Christmas! Hope everyone had a relaxing Christmas.

Remember my post about my Goodwill find?

Well, I need to amend it. I went through it again and found another gift card in it. The other one was a $50 gift card to REI.

I'm working on a longer post, or - well - I'm at least thinking about a longer post.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Being Replaced

Back in 2007, once this whole having a baby thing came into fruition, I really wanted a girl. Why? I don't know. I'm not particularly girly myself, but I thought it would be fun.

Then I had a girl, who is a complete daddy's girl and she can be a little too dramatic for my tastes. All my friends had these quiet, gurgling, content baby boys who wanted to be by them every second. Then I thought that a mama's boy would be kind of cool (grass is always greener).

Then I realized the terrors that some boys can be. Not so much the psychological terrors (girls still have that covered), but rather the terrors that literally climb the curtains and throw breakable stuff and draw on furniture with magic markers and look at you like you're nuts when you point out that any of these behaviors are unacceptable. THAT kind of terror that lands you in the emergency room far too frequently and causes you to lock or super glue everything in sight.

Then I came to appreciate having a girl - a thoughtful, non-reckless girl - again. If you come to my house now, most of the time you wouldn't realize we had a kid if you removed the kid books and few toys lying out. There are no cabinet locks, there are no toilet locks, breakables are sitting out, our trees are completely decorated and she doesn't mess with them unless she wants to look at an ornament. Of course, friends with little children who are terrors are mortified at the 5,233 ways a kid can hurt himself at our house.

Then I again see the attachment that little boys have with their moms and get a bit whimsical that I don't have a little boy.

And then, and then...

I realize what a strange, odd, peculiar dynamic that some mothers have with their sons and daughters-in-law if their sons get married or are in a serious relationship. It's as if the wife and mother are vying for the affection of the husband/son. At what point does the mother let go or, in some cases, does she ever let go? At what point will the mother realize that she shouldn't be washing his laundry and that her role has changed from caretaker/authoritarian to something more like a friend who should stay out of her son's personal life? Sure, she can give advice if asked, but at what point does she realize that the essence of her "job" as a mother is complete and she can take a well-deserved step back and appreciate the person she helped shape without treating him like he's still a child who can't make decisions for himself?

Not that I would be dealing with and/or observing this behavior at all, you know, with the in-laws in town or anything like that.... 

So now I'm back in the camp that having a girl ROCKS because I don't have to deal with this with her potential suitors. Well, I'm sure I will have to deal with her potential suitors, but I don't see me coming between her and her potential suitor in the same way that mothers can feel threatened by their sons' girlfriends/wives. You see, my reflections on her suitor(s) will be things revolving around her personal safety - do I get the drug dealer vibe from him, do I get the violent vibe from him, etc. I don't think I'll be having the same issues that I might be having if I had a boy. Then my thought process might go something like: I've been his whole world for a decade and a half, and now I'm being replaced by this two-bit floozy who can't even multiply single digits without face strain??? 

Instead, my husband gets to deal with all of those psychological "being replaced" fears while I'm the cool and collected one for once.

It's good to have a girl.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

An unexpected treasure

I went to Goodwill looking for a white elephant gift for the gift exchange. If you haven't participated in one of these before, basically you find a tacky gift to nicely wrap (so people want yours) and then the lucky "winner" gets to take the tackiness to enjoy in the privacy of their own home or office.

The best "finds" for these sorts of things tend to be tacky homemade craft pieces from the 80s that have been given to Goodwill. Crotcheted Santas with lots of bells, tackiness that sings loudly, crotcheted candlestick covers... anything a "crafty" grandma from the 80s would have made.

One of my grandmothers died before I was born, and the other wasn't crafty. I still have tackiness around my house, but I want to keep my tackiness. So I went to Goodwill searching. I didn't find the "perfect" gift, but I found something that made me chuckle. Done!

Then I got distracted by some other displays and ended up buying something for myself. Inside the box, as I was rooting around to make sure all the parts were there, I came across something. I saw a Christmas card. (Don't you love seeing Christmas cards to/from people you don't know?) Then I found something odd. It was a gift certificate to the Outback. Free dinners, including appetizers & desserts, up to a $45 dollar value. No expiration date. Since it was a gift certificate and not a gift card, I knew it had to be a few (or many) years old.

I bought the item, including the gift certificate, and brought it home. I called The Outback. They said they would honor it.

So S, J & I went out for dinner for free (except for tip). I paid $2.50 for the item and ended up getting a $45 meal for free. Woot woot!

You never know what treasures you'll find at Goodwill!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Non-breakfast foods

The world discriminates against anti-breakfast food people.

On Friday I flew across the state and back on the same day. I was up sinfully early at 3:30am after going to bed at midnight. When one wakes up at that godforsaken time, let's just say your first thought isn't, "What's for breakfast?" Your first thought is, "I wanna go back to bed and NOW."

I dutifully tried to take breakfast with me to the airport, knowing that I'd eventually be hungry. The problem? What is non-messy, portable (not needing dishware), and doesn't need reheating? (I tend not to like granola/cereal bars and they have gluten in them anyway.)  I ended up taking an apple and 10 almonds.

By the time I drove to the airport, parked, and got through security, I was famished. This usually happens to me; 1.5 - 2 hours after I wake up, I'm very much like "Feed me!" I demolished the apple and 10 almonds very quickly, and I was still hungry.  Then I decided to pick up something at the many places to eat at the airport.

I know I'm a picky-ish eater. I don't like eggs, I don't like most breakfast meats (bacon, ham, sausage), I should stay away from gluten pastries, I don't like coffee.

My first preference was Qdoba. Mexican burrito place like Chipotle. I practically run up there because it's OPEN! A yummy chicken, rice, cheese/sour cream burrito! But wait, they're ONLY serving breakfast burritos. Eggs, some pork meat item (no chicken this early), sour cream/cheese all wrapped up in a tortilla. But if I got one, I'd only end up with sour cream and cheese wrapped up in the tortilla since I don't "do" eggs or that meat. Fail. I asked about something else, and I was told no.

Then I go to the next option: Wendy's. Egg biscuit sandwiches, coffee, pastries. Eh, no thanks.

I even check out the Japanese food kiosk. Maybe I could get some teriyaki chicken. Umm, nope.

Then I see Ivar's (fish) is open. I could eat some fish and fries. Oh, silly me, they have a "special" breakfast menu. Maybe it would include clam chowder then? Nope. It's more egg biscuit sandwiches.

Why is there only 1 sanctioned breakfast meal served at the airport?

Who has determined that eggs and pork on a biscuit (Mexican version: wrapped in a tortilla) is the only acceptable form of breakfast? 

Why can we not eat anything else between 4am - 10am/11am at the airport?

At this point, I've given up hope. I will just have to have a rumbling stomach during the whole plane ride and chance passing out from being famished (don't you love when I get all dramatic???). I decided to walk the terminal a little more before my flight, and I spotted a Quizno's. I saw their big sign about breakfast. As you might imagine, eggs and breakfast pork on a sub. I go in and look desperate. "Is there any way I can get something else other than the breakfast subs? Pleasssssssse?"  She said they had salads. Salad! Yes!!!!!! 

I gleefully ate a chicken caesar salad at the gate, extremely happy that I figured out a way to get non-standard breakfast food at the airport.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Not much to say

I haven't posted in a while.

Reason 1: Something's potentially in the hopper. A big change of sorts for our family. Things are kind of loosey goosey, nothing definitive, but I don't really want to talk about it until there's a decision.

Reason 2: My family was in town for 48 hours this past weekend. It was a good but exhausting visit. S's parents and sister are coming starting next Wednesday, and the parents are staying for 3 flipping weeks. Sister will likely be staying 3 days. You probably don't want to hear me lament about the visit where we will stare at each other while I'm on vacation and S is working, right? I don't even want to think about it. One week I can tolerate just fine. Three weeks is pushing my tolerance level.

Reason 3: I've been fantasizing about a teeny tiny house (see above reason). As in, a 65 sq ft house, which is more like a jail cell ... but you could make a house the size of a jail cell kind of cozy.

Reason 4: I don't have much to say. I will spare you my bank saga rant for another time.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Thoughts from Nano

I completed Nano.

For those of you who regularly read this blog, I doubt you are surprised that I hit the word threshold of 50,000. I can sputter 50,000 words of crap quite easily, you already know this. What I do feel accomplished about is to have written 50,000 words relating to one slightly coherent plot with a couple of sub-plots and with a slight amount of character development. That, folks, is not something I was sure I could do because I do have a bit of ADD in my writing.

I have tried to write a novel since I was 10 years old. I'd get to about page 20 and start to lose steam. I'd put it down for a few weeks, and then...I'd forget, and by the time I got back to it I'd have to re-read the whole thing, and I'd still be lost. Nanowrimo is great because it's writing a novel in 30 days. The timeline is so short that you don't forget where you're at or where you're going. It's a continuous word vomit. When I wasn't word vomiting this month, like when I was at work or trying to go to sleep, I'd mentally work out where I would be going next in my writing session so that when I was in front of a computer, I could word vomit.

In short, it was an awesome exercise in discipline. And I made it!

Now people are asking to read it. I think my husband asked, but he doesn't directly put me in a corner about it like a lot of other people have. One thing that I personally struggle with is not having people learn all facets of me. I feel incredibly vulnerable the more people know. My Nanowrimo project was almost like a huge therapy session due to the subject and the themes. I don't think the theme and subjects are ones that I discuss here, so for someone who only reads this would be taken aback. Plus it needs a LOT of editing work, and I think at least one of the themes isn't socially acceptable. So I doubt I'll be sharing anytime soon.

Around 42,000 words I felt done. I had lost sufficient steam. I'd written the conclusion; the end was there, but I still needed to get my word count up. So I worked on filling holes. And you know what? I was impressed with my ability to fill holes, and I ended up creating a sub-plot of sorts that I weaved through it. There's something to be said about forcing yourself to go a little farther when you already feel like you've done "enough." I hate that part in running, but in writing it's far more tolerable.

I feel kind of proud of myself. Not just in actually doing it, but in getting the time management down. There are certain people I know that get overwhelmed by only a 37.5 hour workweek. I get that we all have our own independent standards of "busy," but there's something strangely satisfying about working full-time, having a husband, having a kid, training for a 5k, AND writing a novel all in the same month. I'm sorry, I just don't have pity on people who complain they "can't" do things when really they don't want it bad enough.

It's all about the priorities you make in life.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Holiday Weekend Recap

It's been a busy and a not-so-busy long weekend all at the same time.

S and I were up kind of early (i.e., alarm was set) to make sure we got to the race on time. We had to take Miss J to my mom's beforehand, drive home, and then walk to the nearby race location all by 8:30am. There were a LOT of people at the race. There were over 1,000 people alone who finished the 5K, plus there was a walk and a kid's dash.

Everyone has said that participating in a race is so much fun. Even S said that. I didn't get the fun vibe, especially as it relates to running. Remember, I do not like running. Every year for the past 3 years I try to run in the fall, and it never works out well. I never get to the point of euphoria, or the runner's high as other people call it. Well, anyway, I actually did better at the 5K than I thought I would. My time came in 5 minutes lower than it has been. As a side note, my practice time on the 5K has always been within a minute. Apparently running the same route with other people, and with the constant competition, kicks my butt into a higher gear. I only finished 2 minutes after my husband, which I find amazing, since I expected to come in at least 10 minutes behind him. So, all in all, I was pleased, but again for the record I still hate running.

S and I got home, showered, and we went through some of the Black Friday ads. I had seen most online, but there's something about physically holding them and laying them all out in front of you that makes the experience far more enticing. The rest of you all can stick with your runner's high, and I'll stick with my high of placing Black Friday circulars all around me. I started to fill my discard pile. Some stores only have 1 thing, and the closest location is 20 miles away. It's all about prioritizing your Black Friday time and money. Some things aren't displayed well in the Black Friday ad, so you need your computer on hand to look up the specs. Again, I like my Black Friday high.

We went over to my mom's, and my stepdad had arrived at midnight and had been in the shower when we had initially dropped off Miss J. We said hi to him, got plenty of hugs from Miss J like we had been gone for days, and helped my mom some with the meal. I continued to plan for Black Friday. Can you tell I take this seriously????

The food was good, it was nice to spend time with my mom and stepdad. We came home, and I finalized the battle plan for the next morning. I had narrowed it down to 4 stores with a 4:12am wake-up time. Thank heavens Toys R Us wasn't on the list (just stay away from it, folks), and of course Wal-Mart is never on the list. I'm not that crazy.

After a lot of grumbling and yawning at 4:12am, I ended up getting everything on my list at all four stores. The worst part as far as crowds go was when I had to get a cart at one store due to the sheer girth and weight of a few items, and it was impossible to navigate with all the other carts. As much as possible, I tend to avoid using a cart on Black Friday for maximum navigation. Oh well, I still got the items at the first store. The other stores I got away without a cart, things were stocked reasonably well, and I got home at 7:30am. S and Julia were both sleeping still. Dang them.

I got Julia up by asking if she wanted to see the Christmas tree and flowers (poinsettias) that I got in the car. That got her attention, and she eagerly walked downstairs to help. S came down, and our day together started. Part of the plan was to get another (fake) Christmas tree for this house. I know, it's sort of excessive to have two Christmas trees. But but but but... we have a big house and a toddler who is really excited to decorate. Anyway, S with the help of J started putting up the trees. I ate because I wasn't hungry before I left that morning and was now practically ready to pass out after shopping for several hours.

Thanksgiving leftovers eaten, I was in a food coma, Christmas music was on, and I decided to take a nap. Yeah, it was something like 8am, but a girl needs to nap, right????

Fast forward to 11am-noon. Tree 1 is up, S is starting to put up Tree 2. Some decorations are out. The house is in a disarray because Christmas tubs and boxes are strewn about. I still haven't emptied most of the car of my Black Friday finds. Tinsel seems to be everywhere. I'm not doing much of anything, as I'm still pretty much useless after the shopping adventure.

I decide to go out Round 2 shopping. We ended up needing additional ornaments for Tree 2, a timer for Tree 2, a tree topper for Tree 2 (yeah, we didn't plan out the whole accessories for another tree thing very well). The mess was overwhelming me anyway. I took Julia with me to the store since I figured it would probably be less crowded. I also had some other things to pick up that were going to be on sale during the weekend as well. Julia and I went to four stores, and I got what I needed.

Both trees were lit and decorated by the time we went to bed. Some decorations were out. I made fudge and snickerdoodles.

Decorating continued. S messed with the lights outside with J's "help." He put up his Christmas houses collection inside. I vacuumed up tinsel, miscellaneous crap that was all over the floor, and focused on catching up with NaNoWriMo. I think I wrote 7,500 words that day. I hadn't written since Wednesday night. I remember watching my true crime shows. Honestly Saturday was a blur, and I don't think we left the house.

My bright idea was to get 2 turkeys during the Thanksgiving turkey sales. My goal had been to get them for free, but I ended up paying something like $6 each for two turkeys. Not too bad. We're saving one for Christmas and due to freezer space (i.e., lack thereof), we decided to cook one for a belated Thanksgiving. S prepped the turkey while I took Miss J out for an extension cord (this was the first time we've put up outside lights in this house and whattya know, we need an extension cord). I think S was particularly proud that he ended up not leaving the house from Friday - Sunday. Of course I got the wrong extension cord. Not really. S wanted one with only two prong holes; I told him that there were NO extension cords that filled the bill; they all had 3 prong holes. Anyway, he still has to fix that debacle by getting an adapter or something.

I did some writing, and so did he. I made stuffing. I made a different fudge recipe. I think I like the first fudge recipe better, and it was easier to make so *double score.* Turkey was good.

Fell asleep by 8pm, up at 11:30pm. Had some leftovers and am writing this entry. Probably should be 1) sleeping or 2) NaNoWriMo.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


I am writing this on Tuesday night. I'm NaNo'ed out currently (at 31,000 words as of Tuesday night) and feel in the blogging mood.

I started this blog almost 3 years ago, and before that I was on MySpace for 2-3 years. Now no one's on MySpace. They're all on Facebook and Google+ even though MySpace had a better format. (Perhaps I'm still bitter that I had to abandon my absolutely awesome page layout in MySpace.)

I made initial connections via this blog either from other MySpace converts or some online groups I belong to, and - well - they all stopped blogging or moved their blogs, and I just realized that I get very few people that I actually know on the list of people/sites I subscribe to. It's all coupon blog posts or sites that do one post a day. No one who was blogging back when I started is still blogging. (Or they moved their blog and didn't tell me where it is because they're afraid I'm going to stalk them....because I'm paranoid like that.)

I wonder if blogging was a fad that passed for most people. Or my friends have ADD. Or they really are avoiding me. Or?????

I think I'm more suited to the LiveJournal commitment level but more have the Blogger personality. Whenever I stumble around in LiveJournal without a goal, I always wander into a scary place. Now that I've been to the scary places enough times, I'm rather desensitized to it.

You may ask what kind of scary places one can just wander into on LiveJournal. I'll leave that to your imagination. Actually, most of the time I realize it's a scary place because I have not a CLUE what the conversation is about, and once I figure out the conversation using Google to define words and phrases I don't know, I realize that the literal conversation is subtext for a different conversation. And then I want to cry because the antisocial kids in high school now have their own effing culture that the slightly-less-antisocial-but-clearly-not-popular me doesn't understand.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Tomorrow is the 5k. I will finish. Maybe not with a great time, but I will finish barring any unforeseen issues.

Let me speak to an issue that I've realized is very important while I've been training for this: clothing.

Now, I'm not one who is big on clothing. Jeans, hoodies, sweatshirts, maybe t-shirts in the summer. That's my normal mode. But when one is running, clothing suddenly becomes important. Or at least for me.

#1 Important Clothing Piece: Bra. Not just any bra, but a good bra. A bra that makes your boobs look good will not do. What happens when one wears a bra that makes your boobs look good while running? Well, your boobs will pop out, particularly if you have big boobs. One might then logically look toward sports bras. Just as a warning, all sports bras are not made the same. 

#2 Important Clothing Piece: Pants that don't fall down or ride up. Sweatpants fall down (at least on me). Yoga pants fall down (at least on me). Running shorts ride up (at least on me). I have not had one satisfying experience with running in pants. They all suck, or I pick ill-fitting pants. I think part of my problem is that I put my phone into my pants if I don't have a jacket pocket. The phone weighs down my pants, which starts the slippage process.

#3 Important Clothing Piece: Jacket with pockets that zip for your phone/iPod. Self-explanatory.

#4 Good underwear. I must have been smoking crack a year ago when I bought several pairs of boy short underwear. Of course you can't try on underwear before you buy them, but did I have to buy 82 pairs of these stupid underwear on a lark? It felt like I bought that many; I'm sure it was really a more reasonable number like 8. Anyway, they are stupid. First of all, I'm not a boy. I'm a girl, and I don't know why it's en vogue to wear things that are supposed to fit a boy. Second of all, they are stupid. They have a lot of material on the outside of your hips that gets wadded up, rolled down, etc. Third of all, they move a lot, particularly when running.

This could all go back to my ill-fitting pants problem. Perhaps I always pick out improperly sized underwear and pants.

Now I must tell you about the day I did the run where I violated all of these clothing tenets. I usually violate at least one of them just because it's hard to keep it all straight, and the clothing learning curve was quite steep.

Cute, non-functional bra + boy short underwear that started to fall down + sweatpants (that I might have worn while I was pregnant) + no jacket. I was a freaking mess trying to put my boobs back in, pulling up my underwear, pulling up pants, back to boob maintenance, hike up those pants...all while running! 

I did learn some things, as in I know what jacket I like to wear, I know what bra I need to wear, I know what underwear I need to wear. But I still haven't figured out the pants. The shorts ride up, the sweatpants and yoga pants fall down. Now I realize why people wear those tight pants that resemble thick leggings. But I wouldn't feel comfortable in those because of my huge amount of body issues soooooooo.... I'm still working on it.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Julia has taken intermittent swimming lessons for two years now. They consist of Daddy going in the pool with her, she kicking her legs, blowing bubbles, playing with a ball, and Daddy tossing her up in the air repeatedly until the staff tell Daddy to knock it off. It is kind of like kid paradise, all under the guise of "swimming lessons."

Then she turned 3. It's practically like she's an adult now (I jest, but the sentiment is kind of true). She's expected to go into the pool ALONE, sit when instructed, do assorted swimming-type activities with her classmates when instructed, have the teacher help her do certain swimming-type activities, NOT play with the balls in the water (like the babies do...), etc.

She's had two of these lessons since she's turned 3 years old. Guess what part she has excelled at?  She sits when instructed. She is the most well-behaved little girl. When the teacher tells them all to sit, she sits. She keeps her hands to herself and pays attention to the teacher. She doesn't splash other kids. When other kids splash her, she throws them dirty looks. She is the model of prissy decorum.

There's this little boy in her class named Christian. He's one of those kids that every adult knows the name of because the teacher has sternly talked to him 4,523 times during the 30 minute swim lesson. He runs on the wet cement. He dangles from the bar you're supposed to hold onto when you get in or out of the pool. He pushes other kids. He splashes other kids. He yells. Whenever the teacher's head is turned, he tries to overthrow the class. He's going to be one of THOSE kids. He's why God made Ritalin, I suppose.

Christian is one of those kids that makes me appreciate having quiet, risk-averse, panic-attack ridden Julia. I could sincerely NOT keep cool if I had to deal with a reckless kid who got into everything, who deliberately caused harm to others, and was on his way to juvenile hall at the mere age of 3 years old.

BUT...and this a big BUT...

Christian gets, or rather cannon balls, into the water all by himself. You don't have to coax him in. He doesn't have a panic attack if he can't see his mom - heck, he probably wouldn't even ask about her unless she was gone for 12 hours. He's completely comfortable in any new situation, like an overeager puppy.

Then there was my kid, who was clinging to me during the whole swimming lesson. I WASN'T in the pool, and she was SUPPOSED TO BE in the pool, so this basically turned out to be her sitting on the pool ledge as I held her hand. The teacher held out a kickboard for her to get on, and the teacher was going to pull her around the pool. Julia would have nothing to do with it. I eventually bribed her to at least lay on the immobile kickboard for 2 seconds. If it was my husband or me in the pool with the kickboard, she would have no problem. But my kid freaks out in the presence of any other adult, so she would have none of that. Basically the 30 minute swim lesson is her sitting on the ledge of pool while holding my hand and staring at Christian like he's a science experiment.

All of the other parents were sitting in the viewing area behind glass. I was the only parent who had to be two inches from her kid, and even then Julia wouldn't do half the things she was supposed to do during the class.

I should have ground up some Xanax and put it in her orange juice.

As I was leaving the pool with my kid who had suddenly become unmute (as opposed to her being mute for the whole swimming class), I wondered what kid I'd prefer. Would I prefer a Christian, or would I prefer a Julia? Honestly I'd probably prefer a middle-of-the-road kid. But if given the choice of extremes, I'd pick Julia.

Less emergency room visits.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Whew...halfway done

This weekend was exhausting but productive. I don't know how, but I got everything done on my list.

- Did a big grocery trip Friday night
- Went to a toy sale bright and early on Saturday.
- Went to 2 craft bazaars.
- Took Julia to swimming class. 
- Met the new neighbors. They are our age! (No kids though)
- Wrote 3,000 words Friday night - Saturday night.
- 3 loads of laundry
- Joined a credit union - finally! I keep whining about Chase but don't switch over.
- Made butternut squash soup.
- Saw my mom.
- Took a bath.
- Joined Costco.
- Went to the Costco event.
- Got Julia's Santa pictures done. It was the FIRST time she 1) actually sat on Santa's lap and 2) didn't scream like a banshee.
- Won a $25 gift card for a local pizza place from a scavenger hunt.
- On Sunday wrote 5,000 words. (I'm halfway there! 25,000 words so far, only 25,000 to go!)
- Made a Costco trip.
- Went to Fred Meyer (grocery store).
- Bought a second turkey.
- Vacuumed
- 5K practice
- Downloaded pictures off my camera.
- Took a nap.

I'm ready to collapse.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Power of Smell

I started off NaNoWriMo with a bang, and then I had that work trip, and then...well, I was trying to focus on the 5k training, and then...oh, I don't know. I ended up neglecting it for almost 2 weeks.

I'm at 15,000 words right now, which isn't necessarily bad - except that I have 35,000 words to go in 12 days.  Ummmph.


I love my sense of smell. I'm a sniffer of everything. My favorite is an old work phone directory that smells like donuts for some reason. If I flip through it really fast, I still get a whiff of donuts. The directory is from 2005 and updated each year, so I don't "need" to keep this relic from 2005. Needless to say, I kept it for the smell. I still dig it out of my desk and fan it out occasionally just for the hit of donut smell.

Being so ultra sensitive to smells also has its downsides. Especially at work, I can literally tell who has been in the hall based on the scent left behind. X's perfume, Y's smell, Z's gum. It's a bit bizarre, and I try not to announce my suspicions because - well - it can be a bit on the creepy side, and I do wonder if I'm part werewolf (they have the good sniffer, right?).

This week I was doing the 5k route. It is cold out (high 30s/low 40s). I really hate the longest part of the 5k route because it is so pedestrian un-friendly. It's a curvy road, one lane each way, with no sidewalks and no streetlights. The road itself isn't well tended to, and there are ditches about one centimeter away from where a car would pass. The best time to run to avoid being squashed by a car is at night because at least you may get a little bit of warning if their headlights are on. However, it becomes somewhat of a hazard if you see that a car is coming at you, and you try to move out of the way and fall into the ditch. On the other hand, you can see the ditches if you do the route in the daylight, but if your headphones are on, you don't get much warning about a car coming at you. So really it's a competing force: would you rather a twisted ankle from falling into a ditch or would you rather being squashed by a car? I tend to choose the twisted ankle threat and run at night.

Sorry, I digressed. Honestly, it's a horribly crappy route. They better close the road completely for the 5k.

As I was saying, I was running/walking the route this past week. A car drives by. It's one of those souped up Japanese cars with a stupid spoiler on the back. (What is the purpose of a spoiler anyway?) I wasn't really paying attention, so I forget if it was a Nissan Sentra or a Subaru. Anyway, the car zooms by with the music blaring and the passenger window rolled down. After the car passed, I got this whiff of a heavy smell. Cologne. Lots and lots of cologne.I didn't know you could smell cologne from outside of a car when it was practically freezing.

You know you're wearing too much cologne when you can be smelled by someone on the side of the road while you're driving by in the late fall.

Can you imagine the poor girl who has to smell him? That must be why the windows were rolled down. Poor girl couldn't breathe with that suffocating smell.

It's sexy to smell someone from 2-3 feet away. 50 feet away? Not so sexy.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


My current goal: To obtain a "free" turkey

Why "free"?  Well, it's not really free - as in, no quotes.  A free turkey would imply that it is free without any strings. I don't think that is possible. The next best possibility is a "free" turkey; whereas, you spend an obscene amount of money (like $150), and you get a "free" turkey.  But of course I don't want to spend $150 on random crap because that negates the "free" aspect of the turkey. If I spend $50 more on useless stuff or stuff that I can find cheaper elsewhere so that I can get the "free" turkey, it really becomes a $50 turkey.

Holiday angst is beginning, all with the "free" turkey. Then there's the Black Friday sales, which I treat as a series of battles. I am not a shopper who lingers on Black Friday, or anytime actually. I am a get in - get the stuff - and check out in the garden section because everyone else is checking out in ladies' fashions. Ha! The garden department is desolate AND staffed, suckers! On to the next store and repeat, about 4x. Come home, eat Thanksgiving leftovers (second time of the day since I had Thanksgiving leftovers before I left the house at 3am), and then go through my loot.

Still working on my Black Friday battle plan.

My work is closed December 21st through January 2nd. Doesn't it seem like S's parents were just here? Well, anyway, we were told they were coming December 14 - 18th, going up north from December 18th - 22nd, and then coming back here on December 22nd - January 4th.  Oh yay, I'm on my work vacation almost the exact same time they will be here.  2-3 weeks of staring at each other, all day every day.  Lest I sound unenthusiastic, I am happy to see them, but I don't think I'd be ecstatic to stay with anyone in the same house for that long, even Will Smith.  Plus, it's going to be cold here, so they are going to be whining about how COLD it is in our house and in general. Which my only response will be, "Then go somewhere warmer."  Because, you see, I don't deal well with whining about things you can change. You chose to come here for 3 weeks in December (heaven knows why), and you need to deal with the ramifications of that or don't come here in December.

I am stymied why they are supposedly only staying 4 days with their older son and 3 weeks with us. It doesn't make any sense, especially since their older son is clearly their favorite. I can only surmise that there's not enough room up in his house. Which means, oh dear god, every dang day they will 1) complain about the weather and 2) put us in a corner about inviting favorite son down to our house. Which my response will be, duh - "If you want to see him, go up to his house. Otherwise, shut up."  Okay, I will try to start out more polite but by the 20th day they are in our house and I'm completely running out of patience, I'm sure that will be my verbatim response.

Are you sure it's not to late to go to Hawaii for the holiday vacation? It may put us in the poorhouse, but at least it might be a vacation, which the latter half of December will NOT be for me as it stands right now. Julia and her grandparents will bond, S and his parents will bond...that is the chant I must repeat. I will be lamenting that I can't go to work.  It's all good, happy holidays and all!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Big Ass Flowers

I've said how much I hate these things, haven't I?  They look ridiculous. Take a cute baby and put a big ass flower on her (hopefully her) head. I refuse to even consider it for my daughter.  Once this stupid phase ends and people realize how utterly obnoxious the practice is, my daughter will thank me for not putting that crap on her head.

What's even worse is when the big ass flower is on a grown woman's head. It wasn't even on a 20 year old. The big ass flower was on the head of a woman who is pushing almost 60 years old. I wanted to ask her if I could take a picture. It was THAT obnoxious. What do you say when you see a 60 year old try to mimic an awful fad for even a baby?  When a baby can't even pull it off, don't even try it.