Thursday, April 28, 2011

Set adrift on memory bliss

I think I talked about this on FB vs here, but I may have here too.  I try not to duplicate things, but you never know.

Well, in early March for our anniversary we went to a play.  Before we had a child, we went to see plays frequently.  We're not really ones to watch musicals (jumping into song randomly is rather unsettling to me...thus, I'm not a Glee fan); it's more that we enjoy dramatic plays.  Anyways... my mom watched Julia for our anniversary, and we sneaked away to a Sunday showing of a play.  We get to the theater, chuckle that we're the youngest people there by at least 30 years, open our programs, and OMG! An old co-worker from college security is the lead.

After the show, I looked her up on Facebook and sent her a message that we were at the performance, and she did great.  Of course we hadn't corresponded in 13 years. We started making the tentative steps of getting to know each other again, and we're making a date for next week to meet in person.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Happiness Project

I read a great book recently called The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.  The whole premise is to conscientiously focus on the things that make you happier.  Our lives are full of lots of things we "should" do, and often we put aside our own happiness.  Instead, we need to focus on those things that do make us happy.  Her example is to focus on one thing for a whole month and then switch to to another focus for the next month, and so on.  The book details her year-long journey of happiness.

I've been trying to think of personal things and/or activities that make me happy:

* Blogging.  I'm not sure why, but I've immensely enjoyed blogging over the past 4-5 years. I suppose I like the writing freedom and being able to have my corner of the cyberworld that is just mine without any rules, no one is paying me to write anything specific, and it's both a gratifying and cathartic activity for me.  I do make time for it as well. That has been a definite constant in my life.  However, if I actually devoted the time I spend blogging toward writing novels, I'd probably have a whole shelf of novels by now.  But that's beside the point, right?

* Volunteering.  This has definitely been slacking since I had a child.  I need to get back into this because I did really enjoy it. When Julia's a little older, I would hope that she volunteers with me.

* Chores.  There have been some chores that I've been wanting to do.  Yes, I want to do some chores.  You know the quadrants of importance/urgency where things can be urgent/not important, not urgent/important, urgent/important and not urgent/not important?  I have some tasks that I want to do that are not urgent/not important.  It's always easy to set them aside because so many other things trump them.  For instance, I want to paint the garage.  Why, you ask?  The garage kinda smells, it's a really depressing shade of gray, the walls are gross.  I just want a clean slate in there with the dinginess gone.  I also want to clean the floor in there for the same reasons as I want to paint the walls.  It's one of those tasks that certainly isn't urgent or important, but it nags at me at least twice a day, and I would love to pull into a pretty garage.  So I'm making that a priority in the coming month or so even though it's kind of lame in the grand scheme of things.

* Exercise.  I enjoy getting out in nature and getting the heart pumping.  I hope as the weather gets better (it's back to the 30s and 40s), I can exercise outside more vs. inside.

* Photography.  I have a fancy camera, and I still don't know how to use the dang thing.  I mean, I understand aperture and all that in theory, but if it's just me and the camera and I'm forced to use manual mode, wouldn't be a pretty sight. One of the automatic modes usually sees me through well enough, and the photo editing program saves me.  I would like to hone my photographic instincts so that I could intuitively know how to capture pictures in manual mode.  One of those not urgent/not important things that would make me happier.

* Reading.  I love to read all sorts of things, and I think I'm pretty good about this.  And remember the Dewey project - that was a focused project that I enjoyed doing most of the time (toward the end it did get tedious).

I think cultivating deeper social bonds with others would likely make me happier.  I'm just so darn antisocial!  It's a hard hurdle to overcome, but I know it's important for my long-term happiness.  The interests and happiness-activities I like to pursue are, for the most part, solitary activities. I need to seek out some activities or clubs I can join.  Can I make that my 2012 resolution?  That and increase my turn signal usage.  (I'm probably at a 75% turn signal usage rate, and I'd like that to be more like 95%.) 

Good thing 2012 is eight months away.  That gives me lots of time to formulate a strategy to cultivate those social bonds, which seems like a very esoteric concept to my literal mind.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


Situational anxiety has always been a part of me. I worry that I'm letting people down, that I'm not good enough.  It's more that I think those things about specific situations rather than I feel it all the time.  In my heart, I know I try my best at most things, and I know that I do a good job most of the time. I have short moments of self-doubt that last a few minutes, a few hours, or at most a few days.  Underneath it there is a resoluteness. There’s a strength, a quiet confidence.  When I was a mid-teen, of course I wanted to be liked and accepted by people.  I did lots of stupid things I shouldn’t have. However, I drew clear boundaries with myself about things I would never do in order to get people to like me, and I was firm about those boundaries even when tested. My worries have changed over the years. Now, I have moments where I am anxious about whether my husband and I will become unemployed and not be able to pay the mortgage.  Underneath that, I know that we’ll figure things out – we both are educated and determined.  While there may be an outward shakiness I feel and might occasionally show the world, on the inside I’m actually quite strong and have been for most of my life. 

Then there was my first year away at college.  That year I got rattled beyond belief to the point where I was losing myself.  The first year away from home is unsettling for most people – exciting, scary, a new dimension of freedom.  I also learned some things that year that rattled me.  But what really affected me was an unhealthy relationship, and that let the other things that happened have more of an impact.  I let someone get to me in such a way that my inner strength started being chipped away and was replaced with a deep level of insecurity that was far more than situational.

Due to how things were in the relationship, I sought out friendships like I had never before and far more than even now.  I needed people around me at the time that valued me, even if all I did was listen to their problems.  I became far more outgoing that school year and was invited to do lots of things and was the one that everyone came to at 3am when they had problems. Guys asked me advice about girls while we played a game of pool.  For once in my life, I was the one that everyone knew. In all of those instances, I got a certain amount of validation that I was deprived of because so much was taken away by him during the unhealthy relationship.  I even confided in a handful of friends, which was a novelty in my life, because I tend to not be the type to confide much in others.  In retrospect it was an awesome time in my life due to all the acquaintances and friendships, and in others it was the lowest time.  

If I had to describe myself in one word that year it would be “frenetic.” I was constantly doing something, and I rarely slept.  Although I never took any drugs that could be construed as uppers, I felt like I was on speed for many months.  What I did in one day was about what I do now in a week.  I can go at the pace for a few days now, including no sleep, but by the third or fourth day I’m dragging.  And after a week I need to sleep massive amounts to get back to equilibrium.  Back then I’m not sure how I coped for so long running on fumes.  Maybe I thrived on the extensive network of friendships I built, or maybe it was just my coping mechanism for dealing with a bad situation. I dunno.

The point of this is that I’m glad I met my husband after that particular school year was over.  Had we met during my frenetic phase, I doubt he would have given me a second glance with my over-the-topness and how wild I was, and I probably would have been turned off by how proper he was.  I was in a bad place at the time being defeated more than I have ever been defeated.  Fortunately we met the summer after that horrible school year when a substantial amount of healing had already taken place.  That summer will always be special for its healing nature: listening to The Cure, afternoon naps after class, bumming around the smallish college town at the record (!!!) store, hanging out with a small group of friends, and learning to be my true self again. I had a very light course load, wasn't working, and of course had no real world responsibilities yet. It was the most serene summer at the time I needed serenity the most.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Evening Walks

I messed with the blog design.  I'm not very stoked about it (aaaah too bright!) although I do think it is more readable now.  I wanted a darker background on the sides, but most looked really bad when I put white or a light color as a background for the text.  I rebelled by putting black on the header.  Such a rebel I am...  Remember that song with the line "chica chica cherry cola"?  I used the cherry cola font in every place but the blog text.  I think it's a kinda cute font! :) And I did updates on the above tabs too. 

Today was the first day it surpassed 60 degrees this year (high of 66 today!).  Actually I think it was the first day it surpassed 50 degrees this year (okay, maybe there was one day it was 51 or 52 degrees in the past few weeks).  I have to say that it was a nice change.  I took a walk this evening using the route I created last summer.  I have walked quite a bit at work during lunch thus far this year, but I dunno - there's something different about walking at work during the daytime on the trails in the woods with chattering teeth because it's 35 degrees vs. walking in a residential area overlooking the water on a relatively warm evening. 

I think that there is some truth to the sentiment that your other senses compensate for your weak sense.  My vision is rather poor, but I can smell or hear the slightest things. I have a crazy ability to differentiate car engines starting up.  I can tell if it's a Honda engine starting without looking at the car, and I can usually tell Honda Civics in particular.  If we're walking along in a parking lot and I hear a Honda engine starting, I'll interrupt whatever I'm talking about and say, "Honda" or "Honda Civic."  My husband usually then tries to find the car that is starting and checks the make of it.  See, I have an ability that more or less compensates for my inability to figure out the salt/pepper thing.  Anyway, I love the smells of a warm night. They overwhelm me with a huge sense of nostalgia.  Some of the smells tonight:

* Freshly cut grass
* Hamburgers on the grill
* Stir fry
* Flowers
* Fresh beauty bark
* Tagro
* Cigarette smoke

I don't smoke.  I held a cigarette once, and it took hours to get the smell off my hands.  My dad smoked, and in small doses cigarette smoke reminds me of him.  After a few minutes, it gets suffocating.  For the first minute, though, it's nostalgic.  The bar smell reminds me of him too.  I don't know what it is about bars - something about the combination of the smell of beer, staleness, and dinginess is pretty awesome...til you can't get the smell out of your clothes and hair.

On a completely random tangent, Lenny Kravitz has the most kissable lips.  I watched his "Again" video to catch a glance of his bare butt (which was blurred out on wasn't blurred out on VH-1 a few years ago).  Then I got distracted by his lips.  It's a rare guy who can be sexy despite wearing a feather boa and heels, but somehow that dude can pull it off.

If you celebrate Easter, Happy Easter!  I have a post I'm working on and if I finish it tonight, I'll set to post tomorrow afternoon.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Being "Busy"

I went to bed too early.  9:15pm.  I woke up a little before 1am.  Grrrrrrr.... I hate my stupid insomnia. I have all three versions:  can't get to sleep initially, wake up in the middle of the night, and then waking up too early (although I have to say the third one is a fairly rare occurrence).  I wish I was one of those people who could fall asleep immediately and wake up 6-8 hours later. I always envied a past boyfriend who could do that,  close his eyes anywhere and be dead asleep within 2 minutes as I toss and turn for hours trying to get to sleep.

I've had lots of blogging topics going through my head lately.  It's been a week where I am conscientiously trying to spend time on specific tasks between getting home from work and going to sleep (or at least trying to sleep), but I find myself blogging in my head as I am doing my other projects.  I just wish I could capture my stream of consciousness thinking blogs.  I suppose they'll come back to me if they were that important.

One thing that I've been noticing is how freaking busy everyone has been claiming they are.  Do you know how many "I'm busier than anyone else" diatribes I have heard lately?  I just don't get it.  Why do people do this?  Yes, we're all busy; there are a zillion competing priorities for our time that we ALL have. You do, I do.  It's kind of like money.  We ALL can put $1 million to use somehow, but most of us don't have $1 million at our disposal.  Instead, we have far less than that and a zillion spending options, but we're adults that have to make deliberate choices on how we will spend the money.  Same thing with time.  Claiming we don't have enough money for everything is a valid claim, but it's just one of those "duh" moments.  You have to prioritize your money for the things you want to do.  Just like with time.

When I hear one of these diatribes people tell me about having no time (which of course wastes MY valuable time listening to them), of course I wonder why they're doing it.  Are they martyring themselves and just want acknowledgment from me that they are indeed the busiest people in the world?  Do they feel like they do more stuff than I do and are trying to prove that? Is it all an act?  I just don't know. Then part of me feels a little guilty because I don't feel completely overwhelmed.  I mean, I don't see myself as overly busy. I do work full-time, have a child, have a husband, have a long list of "to-do's," but I can fit things in if I really want to.  I'm not sure if it's because I have a firmer grasp of time/priorities or if indeed everyone else is so much freaking busier than I am.  I suppose my "really busy" threshold is if I'm at the office for 12 hours a day for several days in a row, have an incredible long task list that I cannot make even a small dent in because of multiple constraints, extreme frustration/stress, absolutely no ability to partake in any activities I enjoy (exercise, blogging, reading, etc.).  For me, that's "really busy."  A week or two of that would get me to say that I've been really busy. However, outside an oddball week here or there, I cannot legitimately say that happens all that much. Even during our epic move and overwhelming amount of house projects, I still blogged on a steady basis and could make time to read a book. 

Maybe it comes down to the fact that I define "busy" differently than the people who give diatribes on being busy.  Or maybe if they actually spent less time giving those diatribes on being busy and instead did stuff, they might feel better.  Or maybe they just like to have something to complain about.

There are so many potential root causes.

P.S.  A reader told me that the white text on black gives her headaches. I like the white on black (reminds me of the Unix days), but I don't read my own blog. So, in an effort to be more readable but not abandon the look I'm going for, I'm going to try to mess with fonts and text size to see if I can make it more readable. So it will kind of be an eye test: 1 or 2, 3 or 4, 1 or 2.  Please yell at me if I'm making it worse or if I do need to make it black on white versus the other way around. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

More holes = salt

I have the hardest time with the most basic of things.  I mean, I can amortize loans and do calculus derivatives in my head, but I cannot walk and chew gum at the same time.

Know what else I can't do?

I cannot figure out which one is the salt shaker.  Do you know how many times I've added pepper to a recipe instead of salt? And it was a cookie recipe, not a chicken marinade recipe.

My husband laughs at my ineptitude. Every freaking time I am presented with the salt/pepper dilemma, this is how it goes.

1. I try to make do as much as possible before going for the salt/pepper. Assuming the food is not palatable without seasoning (you know, if my mom is cooking), I begrudgingly grab the salt and pepper.

2. I hold one in each hand.

3. I think really hard (eyes closed), remembering my husband's mantra to me: "More holes is salt."  I may even mouth it, which at his point my husband has paused whatever else he is doing to observe my incredible inability to figure this out.

4. I open my eyes and compare the two side-by-side.

5. I say again, "More holes is salt" (because I've forgotten it in the past few seconds...thank you awful short-term memory!).

6. Figure out which one it is.

7. Sprinkle my spice.

8. Look at my husband smugly, showing that I figured out the conundrum in under 10 minutes.


Know what else I have problems with?  Figuring out the hot vs. the cold water.  I am blind, so if I don't have a visual aid apparatus on, I seriously don't know which one is which.  Until Husband told me there's a code: "Left faucet is hot."

Ooooooooooooh.  Really?????

He looks at me oddly, reminds me that I'm over 30 years old, and I seriously HAVEN'T figured this out on my own yet?

B-b-b-but the bathtub faucet faces away, so that one is kind of backward if you turn it on when you're standing in front of it as opposed to when you're in the tub.  Then hot is on the right, and my whole world schema is thrown out the window.  Thus, I can't prejudge which side is cold because I could inadvertently scald myself!

He walks away, shaking his head that he could have ever married anyone so stupid.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

How clean is your microwave?

Yesterday I started the day with volunteering at the daycare. They wanted work done in the community garden and a deep cleaning. I started cleaning the kitchen because, well, isn't that the better option when your other options are cleaning the bathroom that 80 kids use or using a woodchipper (visions of chipping a body part accidentally)? 

The microwave there was nasty. I mean, disgusting.  You would think the Health Department would care about the state of the microwave in the kitchen where they cook for 80 kids, right?  I mean, I would...if I was a health inspector. Even as a parent, it completely grossed me out.  Not that I'm immaculate.  If the Health Department did a drop-in inspection on my kitchen, I'm sure I'd rack up a few violations. Plus my microwave isn't all that clean.  On the other hand, I don't claim to feed 80 kids every day. The microwave at the daycare is positioned really high.  I'm 5'5.5", and I had to use a step stool to get up there.  So it is possible that no one can see how nasty it is...

After my two-hour duty was up, came home, napped (two hours of work is a LOT!).  Then Julia and I went shopping - Home Depot and food shopping.  She is at the perfect age where she's a delight to take out to the store. She merely observes things and is pleased as punch to sit in the cart.  She doesn't even say she wants much.  If I say no, she says, "okay." 

Today my mom took Julia for a few hours. The husband and I went to see a movie and went out to linner (late lunch/early dinner).  As I've bemoaned before, we can never agree on a movie.We settled on Scream 4. It was okay.  Since we can never emphatically agree on a movie to see, is it surprising we end up with mediocrity? Came home, I napped.  It's also worth noting that Julia didn't nap on Saturday and Sunday while I had a 2 hour nap each day.

I had to clean the microwave tonight. It wasn't as bad as the daycare microwave, but I felt compelled to not have my microwave outcleaned by the daycare microwave. 

Tomorrow both S and I took off from work. I have a few chores to do (trim paint in Julia's room while she's not there), and of course a nap, and then maybe we can squeeze in something fun. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Coerced volunteering and fundraising

Remember my frustration with school fundraisers? I dislike them so much that I wish we could just pay more in tuition to not have them.  After all, I don't want to spend $30 on a hanging basket that I don't want just so that the school can get $10. It makes no sense - why not just pay the school $10 directly?  That's my theory.

This weekend the school is having a work party.  They need stuff done both inside and outside and want the parents to come help.  Okay, I get that they need to get stuff done. Don't we ALL need to get stuff done?  If you have a house, there's always a ton of stuff that needs to get done.  And if Julia's in daycare full-time, isn't the presumption that we both work outside of the home 40ish hours a week and therefore have a more limited timeframe to get our own stuff done?  I would LOVE a few hours to work on the yard or deep clean the house. I don't have enough time to do all that on top of everything else in my own household. So why should I take time away from my daughter and husband on my valuable weekend time to clean and do yardwork at the daycare?  Again, my theory is that if they need yardwork and deep cleaning done at the daycare, they should figure that cost in the tuition rate.

Guess where I'm going to be on Saturday?  Grumble, grumble. I'm such a freaking sucker that I said yes, but I'm not exactly feeling warm and fuzzy about it.  S is taking Julia to swimming lessons on Saturday morning anyway, so I suppose it works out that I can go clean the daycare while those two are doing that. He offered to go to daycare while I took Julia to swimming....but the horror of having to put on a bathing suit made me instantly prefer to clean the daycare instead of going swimming.  :/

For the upcoming egghunt, I bought 3 pounds of candy and we stuffed 100 plastic eggs with candy.  I don't mind that stuff because it makes sense to help out with things you participate in.  I'm just not enamored with the fundraising and doing chores for the daycare on the weekend.

Due to the fundraising annoyance, the volunteering this weekend, and the work on the filling of the eggs, I'm going to skip the parent meeting next week.  I'm kind of spent on all this daycare work.  I'd happily pay another $50 a month in tuition if I didn't have to spend the 10 hours a month and buy hanging baskets I don't want.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Being more deliberate

I definitely need to be more deliberate in how I spend my evenings. There are so many things that I "should" be doing, like the following:

Playing with Julia
Writing (that novel won't write itself)
Blogging (my therapy)
Bathing Julia every other day (hubby and I rotate)
Watching movies
Painting (in 2011, I should be painting the trim for the whole house)
Grocery shopping
At least pretend to cook and do dishes
The garage - I've never seen such a dirty garage, not sure what the previous owners did in I want to know?
Other chores (clean the bathrooms, sweep, etc.)

That's a lot. Obviously I can't do all of that every night.  I go through spurts where I'm uber productive and uber sluggish.  Even so, I am quite displeased with my laziness at home in 2011 as compared to 2010.  In the span of five months last year, I did a huge amount of painting, organized a kitchen remodel and 3 bathroom semi-remodel, and seemed to be a productivity machine.  This year?  I have no freaking idea where my time goes, but I have nothing to show for it.  Nothing painted, nothing deep cleaned; however, I have read 5 books in the last two weeks and watched at least 5 movies.  And gained 2-3 lbs.  And not exercised.  Hmmm....

I do need to get started on the garage cleaning and the trim paint.  The garage cleaning will probably involve painting, but I think I should at least try to clean the walls first.  It is G.R.O.S.S.

If my 2010 energy and productivity could come back to me, if even for a few weeks, I would be eternally grateful.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Let There Be Light

I've lived here for 20 years now, and only in the past two or so years have I realized how utterly depressing winters here are.  We are fairly north, so the winter days are short.  Short short. As in, I go to the work in the dark (7:45am) and come home in the dark (4:30pm). Anything that requires anything close to natural light, like weeding or walking, is extremely prohibitive to do on weeknights. Then there's the weather. This winter especially has been horrible. Rainy, soggy, cold, blustery.  Just miserable.

It may have taken me 18 years to realize it, but I can kind of see why people want to go south in the winter.  Maybe just a little.

This spring I really noticed how the longer days help the soul.  The sheer amount of light (6:30am - 7:30pm) is quite nice. The weather's still mostly crappy, but today there were some episodes of clear skies. I call them episodes because they last the length of a sitcom. Still, they are good for the soul..

Tonight I went to the grocery store at 7pm-ish.  Dusk was approaching, and I realize just how much I love dusk in non-winter.  In winter dusk is like at 3:30pm, which is just wrong.  Dusk in spring is so scintillating.  I don't know what it is. Okay, maybe it's that there's a chill in the air, but it's not a bitter chill.  It's the dusk chill, which is a staple of spring, summer, and fall.

I'm ready for some warmer weather.  Just don't give me any 100 degree days, okay? I'll try to take some 80 degree days without complaining...too much.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Blast from the Past

Here's one of my e-mails to myself in the spring of 1996. Boy angst, gotta love boy angst. Names abbreviated when I retyped it; otherwise, it's the same.


Dear Self,

JN and I broke up a few weeks ago. We said we’d be friends, but I don’t really know what means. I interpreted it to mean that we would keep our distance for a few months. If we see each other casually, we would say hi and stuff. Primarily we would focus on moving forward in separate directions. I haven’t contacted him. He’s been contacting me. First he dropped by my dorm to see some friends. He came by my room to say hi. Then he called me about something he didn’t really need to call me about. The third time he dropped by my room again and said that he was going to the mall and if I wanted to come along. I went. I suppose I haven’t been innocent in all this because I should have just been civil and not went with him.

Then spring break came. He approached me for the fourth time right before we left for break to say maybe we could do something over break. What? We broke up. Didn’t we have the conversation a few weeks ago where we decided to not see each other? Stupid me just thought those things but said yes to him. I guess I justified it by telling myself that it’s possible that friends see each other over spring break. So he calls me during break and we schedule that he’ll come pick me up on Friday night. Where are we going, I ask. He says it’s a surprise. Because friends go to surprise places all the time, I guess. He ended up driving from Redmond all the way to FW to pick me up (1 hour), then he drove me to Snoqualmie Falls (another hour), it was dark and cold there, stayed there for about an hour, he drives me back to FW (1 hour), and then he goes home (another hour). It seems like a lot of time to spend if we’re just friends.

I sit here confused. I like him. I like him a lot. Things between us just aren’t right though. I know he likes me. It’s a weird feeling - I also think he hates me. Maybe hate is too strong. How about dislikes strongly? Is that a little less I’m-going-to-stab-you-in-the-shower?

Like when he is doing his homework and gets frustrated. I go over to see if I can help because that’s what I'd try to do with anyone, I take a look at his book, help him at least a little, and he gets mad at me that I helped him. I’m not an engineering major like him. I’m just a stupid psychology major. He gets mad that a stupid psychology major can figure it out. I think he’s also mad that I’m far closer to getting a degree than he is even though I’m 3 years younger than him. He gets mad that I’m not clingy enough. I don’t call him. I guess what it boils down to is that he gets mad that I don’t need him, and he needs me more than I need him. He has a point. He has a car, and I don’t. That’s about all I need him for. That’s just how I am. I’ve always had to everything myself, and I can figure things out on my own. I was raised not to “need” anyone. It gets under his skin that I’m not like all the other girls he’s dated. 

There was the whole furniture saga. One time after we broke up he came over to my room and saw that I moved my furniture. He got mad. At first he thought I had another guy move the furniture. Not sure why he would care if another guy was over, right, since we were broken up.  But that's not even what happened. I moved it all by myself. I told him that. Then he got mad that I did it myself. He said I could hurt myself; that didn't make much sense because it's heavy but I can nudge it along the floor just fine.  It's a little slow to do it myself yet I CAN do it. When he got mad when I told him I did it, I asked him what I was supposed to do. He said I was supposed to call him.  That doesn't make sense either. Why was I supposed to call an ex to come move my furniture? JN is the type that he always has to have something in it for him. If we're not even dating, I can't see why he would even do it.  Even if we were still dating, I wouldn't ask him to come over and move my furniture. I guess that's why dating JN is so frustrating. If I had another guy move the furniture, he would go ballistic. If I did it myself, he would be mad. And if I did call him, which I wouldn't, then he would say, "What's in it for me?" Then I'd get mad at him and call him an ass, and then a fight would start. I guess he's looking for a girl who will say, “Oh, JN, I can’t figure out how to move my desk. Can you, big strapping man, come over and move it for me?” Adding some eyelash fluttering would be a great added touch. That’s not me. He wants me to be like that and gets mad that I'm not like all the girls that do that to him. Men!

All that aside, I do know that he likes me. There’s something he sees in me that he likes a lot. He can’t get past the other stuff. I can’t get past that I get frustrated and angry when he wants me to be someone I’m not. 
He’s not the only guy out there. I know that. In a few weeks DG is coming up. He has a meeting up here on Friday, and then he’s going to stay the weekend to hang out with me. I know he likes me. There’s ML, who seems like a great guy and sends me sweet little notes, far more frequently now that I told him JN and I broke up. He's been pretty clear that he likes me. Then there’s E in my demography class. We hang out every afternoon after class and have gone out on two semi-dates. See, JN isn’t the only guy around. Not that I “need” any guy. It’s not like I have to date anyone. I can just be single; that’s definitely an appealing, less stressful option. Well, maybe not less stressful because then juggling 3 guys when I’m not officially dating any of them can be more work than one I’m actually dating - although JN is awfully high maintenance for being one guy.  He's kind of high maintenance even after being broken up.

Even with the other guy possibilities, I still think about JN. I know things won’t work. We’ve tried and tried again. Fundamentally we are two very different people who, when it comes down to it, we dislike some aspects of each other (and maybe ourselves) very strongly. I wish he wasn’t so darn captivating. If he wasn’t so captivating, it would be far easier to let him go completely.


Saturday, April 9, 2011

A loud start to the morning

Today I stopped by the grocery store on the way to work.  It ended up that I didn't even find what I was looking for, but that's not the point of the story.

Anyway, I got out of my car, still in that early morning brain fog.  I don't drink coffee like the other 95% of Seattle, so I'm a bit sluggish in the morning.  I can hear yelling.  At first, I thought it was an excited/happy yelling.  Then it got more accusatory, and I thought perhaps I stumbled upon something more interesting than usual. 

It was a woman in a small SUV screaming at a guy who was smoking at one of those Starbucks-like tables in front of Safeway.  "Why aren't you at work?  You're going to get fired, and we're going to be homeless.  Is that what you want?  Do you want us to be homeless because you can't go to $%^#^% work." 

The guy just sat there while she screamed. 

As I walked by the car to get into the store, I looked in the car.  In the backseat, there were two little babies.  Talk about heartbreaking. 

I go into the store, can't find what I need, head back out.  Now the guy is standing front of the other entrance smoking.  The SUV is about 50 feet away and slowly approaching.  I walk to my car.  The SUV stops in front of him.  He gets in. 

I wonder if she ended up driving him to work, or if she just screamed at him the whole way home. 

I wonder why he doesn't want to go to work.

I wonder why they chose each other.

I wonder why they fight so horribly in front of the children.

I wonder why they chose to have children.

I wonder why he's given up. 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Adventure vs. Thrill Seeking

I think one of the hardest parts of parenting thus far is seeing yourself, particularly your flaws, in your child.  My mother's strategy for dealing with this is that she ascribed all my flaws to my father, and she took credit for all of my strengths.  Nice tactic, mom, but let's just say that might be a bit, ummm, self-serving. 

I know that my daughter has a few of my strengths and a few of my flaws.  Some of the flaws are strengths in certain situations and vice versa. 

I love thrills.  Scary movies, roller coasters, driving fast, getting that heart rate pumping by being in scary places that I'm not supposed to be.  It's all very exhilarating, and I relish those types of experiences.  My husband is not a fan of thrills though. 

My husband is more of the adventure type of person.  I, on the other hand, am not.  I like to know where I'm going, I like to know what is coming up in terms of obstacles and opportunities.  I do like to take long walks where I may not know exactly where I'm going, but I have a pretty good directional instinct and can find my way back fairly easily. If I go somewhere, I like to have the logistics planned out beforehand.

My daughter is so like me.  She's cautious, she likes to really understand things before she feels comfortable doing them.  She wouldn't do anything wild and crazy like climbing up a bookshelf because she's not sure how it will end.  On the other hand, if she's around people she's comfortable with, she will swing really high on the swings, be swung upside down by her feet, and likes that extra bit of adrenaline.  You know what I'm looking forward to?  Having someone to ride roller coasters with, watch scary movies with, bungee jump with.  Unfortunately, I don't know many fellow thrill seekers.  In about 15 years, I will bet money that I'm going to have a partner in crime in thrill-seeking.  

The ebb and flow of blogging

I smell like maple syrup.  I really don't like maple syrup.  I remember that I read something that if you smell like maple syrup, you could have a specific disease.  1) I didn't want to appear to be a hypochondriac by going onto Web MD and trying to figure out what the specific disease was. 2) My husband reminded me that I made maple and brown sugar oatmeal for Julia tonight, and that's likely why I smell like maple syrup.  Oh, thanks.  Really, thanks, because I didn't remember that little detail.  It's not like I ate the oatmeal.  I've washed my hands at least 10 times, and I still smell it.  Remind me to have my husband make the oatmeal from now on because smelling maple syrup for 6 hours straight is kind of nauseating. Or a lot nauseating...I'm not feeling too well.

I had a sentimental thought today as I was reading my blog subscriptions.  People/blogs really change over time.  There are so many blogs that have ceased to exist.  Others have changed their focus.  There was one by a women whose boyfriend was going through chemotherapy, and now that he's cancer-free (yay!) her focus has switched to "pretty things."  I actually liked hearing her thoughts before, and now it's just pictures of pretty things that I don't really care about that clothes and fancy food.  Then there's the very sarcastic blogger who I loved hearing from who now only does recipes.  It's like they both changed, and I didn't change along with them.  Kind of like when a good friend from elementary and you split ways when you move on to junior high with her interested in band while you're interested in sports.  There's a soft spot in my heart for those that have consistently been there and not changed their focus.  It's like we're still trudging along together, even if it is merely in cyberspace. 

As I was going through all of my stuff/junk, I found a few e-mails I wrote to myself 15 years ago.  Back then I did have a physical journal, but I had roommates and I was kind of paranoid (ha ha, some things don't change!).  So I e-mailed myself at (gotta love when e-mail first came out that they made you use your student number as your e-mail) the stuff I didn't want people to know I wrote.  It's kind of like I was blogging before blogs even existed.  And then before I left school I printed out some of the e-mails to myself. 

The sad thing is that the person who wrote those angst-filled, confused, frustrated e-mails to herself still deals with that same angst, confusion, and frustration.  I think I'd give myself an "F" on growth in those areas.  In some other respects, I do see a little bit of growth in myself. 

Maybe on a slow blog creativity week, I'll retype them. 

Better get to sleep - night!

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Things We Ponder

Setting this to publish in advance...

Wifely good deed of the weekend: Realizing Netflix now has MI-5 Seasons 5 and 8 available for streaming.  Score, make hubby happy and free up the DVD queue for non-MI-5 stuff.

My Kevin Smith obsession still continues.  I watched Mallrats for the first time.  Did you know that J London wasn't all that good of an actor back in 1995?  I can't speak for his talents now, but he was really awful in Mallrats. 

Made a new playlist.  Instead of my typical frenzied rap and hip hop playlist, I went mellow.  I should call it My Depressed - Love Lost - Want to Shoot Myself playlist.  After listening to 5 or 6 of these songs in a row, I'm ready to pop some Prozac.  This must be how I justify listening to Naughty by Nature.  Naughty by Nature doesn't make me depressed.

We think S's cousin and his clingy girlfriend (Kate Gosselin wannabe) are having problems, as evidenced by the past three of her FB posts.  I would post her past three statuses here, but I'm afraid that Google would bring it up.  Soooo... I'm paraphrasing:

Kate Gosselin Wannabe is perfect and wants to shout that if you can't accept my whole perfect package, then walk away!

My favorite is comment is the "oh boy" from one of her guy friends.  I want to add, "Run, don't walk, boyfriend."  Yes, I don't like her. She's self-absorbed, narcissistic, demeaning, fakes power which she then abuses, materialistic...oh wait, she's exactly like Kate Gosselin but without the 8 kids.  Even if he does ditch her, I know he'll just find someone equally as distasteful to replace her since by all accounts his ex-wife was very similar to his current girlfriend.  It's not like his taste in women has improved over time or anything.

My husband often asks why more women aren't lesbians.  I always give him the scrunched-up nose thing when he says that.  WHY?  Most women are high-maintenance and annoying, I tell him.  Then he says that I'm low-maintenance and not annoying.  Ummm, well since I can't date myself, my options would then be high-maintenance and annoying women if I were lesbian.  And I'm not attracted to women.  I can't understand why more men aren't gay.  Seriously, why would anyone want to date women when you can deal with low-maintenance and not annoying men?

Such the things my husband and I ponder, like why more people aren't gay.  We're great advocates for our respective genders, aren't we?

Me: "Women suck. Why aren't more men gay?"
Husband: "Men are awful.  Why aren't more women lesbians?"

Sunday, April 3, 2011

And so it begins, the dreaded F word

I apologize for my lack of blogging lately.  I had pre-published the last Dewey one, so it's really been a while.  I did great on gluten-free/dairy free for the first 5 days.  Days 6 and 7 were a struggle.  I fell off the wagon considerably on Day 6; Day 7's indulgence was some cookies.  So far so good for Day 8. Healthy soup (without cheese...sigh) on the docket for dinner.   I need a GF/DF sponsor for Gluten Dairy Anonymous. 

Onto another subject.

I am fairly open that I'm a Democrat.  I don't mind paying taxes. Paying taxes avoids the free rider syndrome and helps pay for roads, defense, libraries, fire stations, etc. Make some rational (at least pretend that it's rational) system for calculating how much I owe that isn't crazy high, and I won't complain. 

I operate on that same philosophy in other aspects of my life. Most notably, Julia's school is a non-profit, and of course they subsist by charging tuition (she's not yet old enough for public school).  Make some rational system for charging tuition based on the cost of staffing, supplies, utilities, maintenance.  As long as it's not really expensive, I won't complain.  Got it?

The problem is that they want to do more than what they have charged in tuition this year.  They want to replace the cribs for the infants, replace the flooring in the bathrooms, and get new shelving.  How I would handle it is calculate the cost for all of these things: $1,500 for the cribs, $1,000 for the bathrooms, $500 for new shelving. $3,000 total.  $3,000 represents a ??? increase in tuition.  Let's say it represents a 2% increase since I can only make an educated guess.  If I were the ruler of the tuition gods, I'd say that we need to make a one-year only increase in tuition by 2% to pay for these specific projects. 

As we all know, I'm not the ruler of the tuition gods.  And how they're going about it just makes me want to scream. 

We are Fundraising.  Oh how I deplore fundraising.  Pimping out our kids to hawk stupid, overpriced crap that no one needs in order to hand over 25% of the proceeds for some noble function.  I do not philosophically understand fundraising.  It seems to mostly help the company who manufactures the stupid, overpriced crap, and only a small fraction helps the cause.  It just does not make any mathematical sense. 

Our first fundraiser this year (sigh) is selling hanging baskets of flowers.  I'm allergic to most flowers.  I don't even particularly like flowers.  They are selling each hanging basket for $30.  $10 of the $30 goes to Julia's school. 

It doesn't make any sense to pay $30 for something I don't even want just so the school will get $10.  It makes most sense just to pay the school $10 directly.  Right?  Which is why it would make even more sense to issue a temporary tuition increase. 

The other parents on the committee are so EXCITED about this flower fundraiser.  I am the lone one that sits there and thinks, "This is so stupid. It doesn't make any logical sense."