Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Thus Ends 2008

The 'rents, tired of the cold after acclimating themselves to Los Angeles heat (and out of vacation time) are heading back to CA tomorrow. My vacation (haha, vacation, haha) is over and I'm back at work. The presents are opened, the tree is just waiting, awkward in the post Christmas blues, to be put away. Winter decided today to remind us why we want to move away.

However, Solstice has come and gone, so there' s a part of me that just looks forward to the extra few minutes of light every day. Florida is only three weeks away, and I found four other jobs in Oregon to apply for last week. Things are definitely good now that holiday stress is over, but I'm still sad to see my parents go so damn far away afterward. I know most people think I'm weird for it, but my family's close. I like it.

I have a four day weekend coming up (starting tomorrow at 3pm WOOHOO): my plan is to hide in my house and watch both seasons of Rome (the best HBO series EVER), newly acquired from the present extravaganza last week. Hey, some girls have Mamma Mia, some girls have Sex And The City...I have (relatively) historically accurate TV. Plus Ray Stevensen and Kevin McKidd in very little clothing. I'm a geek, but I'm still a girl.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


The high today was 4 degrees above zero. 4. whopping. degrees. We were below zero until about 3pm. The temp came up as the snow fell, which was pretty and disgusting at the same time. I left work at 6, hoping if I waited the traffic would let up a little.

It didn't. After a couple of quick stops I finally made it home at 8:45pm. God I hate this city. I loathe idiot drivers who only get worse when it's raining or snowing. I hate that my house is cold no matter how high we turn up the heat and how much plastic goes on the windows, simply because the windchill is -40. I hate that my poor dog, who normally loves snow and winter, runs outside to go potty and can't even finish before his feet start to burn with the cold (evidenced by the astounding three legged dance he manages to do while doing his business...I keep waiting for him to tip over).

Anyway, enough with the ranting. I have three, count 'em THREE, days left until my Christmas vacation. Woohoo!

Haven't heard back from the dream Portland job yet, but I'm holding out hope since I submitted my resume over Thanksgiving weekend and the holidays are often sort of crazy for an HR department. It's still posted as open on their website, so I'm not giving up yet. I'm determined to get the hell out of this state before next winter. My husband is all about that...if one of us got a job today he'd be ready to pack up and move (regardless of the practicalities of driving a moving truck over the rockies in winter).

I've been working on getting my office re-set-up the way I want it so I can shut my door and get some serious writing done, but between readying the house for Christmas stuff and work I've been too damn tired to get my brain in gear in the evening. Maybe it's time to try that 6am writing habit...then again, I'm off all next week. SO glad I saved up enough vacation to do that again this year...I so need it.

And a month later, Florida with hubby and Erin. Having fun to look forward to is all that's gotten me through the past week or so. That and the idea that it's almost over. Ugh. Year end in the insurance business is stressful as hell.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008


I've been on the board in my homeowner's association for almost three years now. During that time I've gotten to know quite a few of my neighbors, if not by name at least by sight. Tonight's board meeting completely blew me away with the level of creepiness.

We have a particular homeowner who is consistently late with his dues. Upon collection notices, he often emails the board or the management company and threatens legal action while using a supposed disability as an excuse why he's behind. Thereafter, he generally pays in full and the cycle starts over again.

The guy lives across the driveway from me. I mean, DIRECLY across the driveway from me. We've met and spoken a few times and I always got a "Warning! Warning!" feeling from him, but figured as long as he stays on his own side of the space it's all good. My husband is just annoyed by him altogether.

Our townhomes are set up so that the master bedrooms face the driveway. Today at the board meeting I discovered teh man is a total peeping tom. As in, he has binoculars and cameras going at all times. Neighbors caught him pointing a camera from his front door into my next-door neighbor's window. They told her about it immediatley, and I"ve never seen her window unshaded since. And all I can think is that I need to increase the level of curtainage we have in OUR bedroom, because now I could paint the fucking things black and still be weirded out.

So this asshole who apparently runs a really bad porn site, claims to be neurologically disabled which excuses him from his responsibilities, is home ALL the time. And watching everyone he can see with his telephoto lens, or whatever he has in his room.

FUCKING EWW! A couple of people told me they've caught him peeking in their back windows. He's never done it to us, but I suspect that's becuase we have a very large, very loud, and very scary-looking dog who pays close attention to people in HIS backyard.

I wonder what the laws are here, becuase if I ever actually catch him peeping I'll be calling the cops. And maybe punching him in the face.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

The ME Generation

What is it that causes people to think more about self-satisfaction than anything else? Sure, selfishness is a standard human trait: we all have it, we all use it, we all occasionally fall victim to putting it before anyone else's feelings/needs/wants.

Americans tend to open their wallets and hearts only when a major disaster happens, like the Tsunami or Katrina. But the follow through falls short, as though we're a nation of ADHD kids who can't maintain focus on anything important. Volunteerism is down and credit card debt is up: doesn't this say that we're more interested in shopping than helping?

Reality TV is all about selifsh, immature twits who want their 15 minutes of fame regardless of the harm it causes anyone else. Watch that ridiculous show "Bad Girls Club" if you need an example. Wow. Seriously.

So now I'm in my early 30s and disturbingly grateful to my parents for having the balls to say "no" regularly, to teach me to respect others, even when they aren't going to do anything to "improve" my life. To be kind (which I fail at horribly in regular intervals, but I'm trying) and think about someone else before I do something that will damage another's feelings. To be responsible, even though the weight of it sometimes keeps me up at night with worry.

There are times now that I don't really want to consider myself to be an adult, but I've gotten to the point that I accept that I'm responsible for my life and how I live it. Today, that makes me feel old.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The First Step

Today, I applied for a job with a company I think is truly innovative, fun, and different. It would be a huge step up for me, but more importantly it would be a HUGE change.

The job is in Hillsboro, OREGON. A suburb of Portland.

Certain Banditos and aunt-types are going to kick my ass when they find out I'm actively looking, but it's time. It's SO time to make a change. If we keep waiting until we can financially make a big move we may never do it...and nine years in Minneapolis is quite enough.

My dog, who has been shoving his nose under my typing hands lately (hence the Blogging Around Dog issues) is finally napping on my office floor, the big black furball. It's pretty cute: he's surrounded by his stuffed animals. And pretending, in a very catlike manner, to ignore me.

I'm not fooled.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Posting Around Dog

Major stresses are alleviated. Suddenly Thanksgiving has turned from a nice small dinner for 4 to the hubby's whole family coming over. We tend to have an open door policy, so that in itself isn't a big deal at all...except I hope Ray and Nissa aren't irked. Then again, Ray's pretty much part of that family anyway. And, bonus for me, the family is pot-lucking so everybody's bringing something...in fact, I'm going to have to make a pie to go along with the wine and the clean house just so I feel like I'm contributing. WAY less stress, which is most excellent: was thinking I'd need to do major grocery shopping and cooking on Wednesday night after work along with a major cleaning job.

Rawr. I need to learn to be a better housekeeper simply to stay ahead of the dog hair.

I missed bellydance last week due to the raging cold that kept me on the couch every night last week (or in bed by 8pm). So I went tonight for the first time since I got back from LA. My hips are gonna hurt tomorrow, but it's 11pm and I'm completely energized. Unhelpful when the alarm goes off in the morning, but right now it feels most excellent to be all loose and accomplished. Yay for a short week begun with a lazy day at work and an evening of bellydance.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Stress in Various Incarnations

1. The Truck needed new bits and pieces, which cost about $75. No big deal, except then it cost $200 to get the fucking thing aligned, because the place that did it SCREWED my husband. Oh, it's been some time since I've seen him this pissed at anyone but me. Wowza. And away floats our extra cashola for the next 2 weeks. *sigh*

2. Open enrollment for benefits is currently happening. I've always done the insurance thing for the two of us becuase, since I work for a company based in London, premiums were always cheap or nonexistant. No longer...the big-ass company that's buying us out are apparently cheapskates when it comes to medical/dental/vision coverage. The MIDDLE plan, with a $1500 deductable that applies to everything that isn't preventative care, is more than 3x what I spend now. And it doesn't cover us for stuff like, oh, strep throat, because the deductible has to be met first. Hubby's isn't much better on price, but it's WAY better on coverage, so either way we'll have to bite the big one and shell out another $200/month. *sigh* Maybe the buyout assmonkeys will increase my salary to offset the cost. God I hope so.

3. Due to all these extra costs, our Florida plan is significantly lacking in the fundage area, even though we've been planning since May. Goddammit, I SUCK at budgeting and planning...in fact, I corralate my heavyness of body with my lightness of wallet: both are the direct result of my inability to impose self control. Will? What will?


Saturday, November 15, 2008

I've been going to a therapist for a couple of months now to work on various issues that I want to change about myself. One of the exercises she gave me is something I found pretty enlightening, since most everyone I know tends to think negatively a lot of the time.

You can retrain your brain to think positive thoughts: that's the gist of books like The Secret. The idea is that you actually become your own roadblock in most things, simply because your negative little brainpan convinces you that you can't do whatever it is you want to do. And so many people find their dreams are locked away in the Someday drawer, or the When I Have Money drawer, or even worse, the I Could Never Make It Work pit.

So the exercise is to pick ONE positive thing about yourself. It must be a true thing (exaggeration and faking it won't work here). Write down that positive sentence. Now write down EVERY thought as it comes when you repeat that sentence.

You'll be shocked at the negativity that you didn't even know you were saying to yourself, simply becuase it's become so commonplace it's like subliminal messaging now. Once you've gotten everything out about that particular positive thing, pick another one and do the exercise again. And again, and again. You'll be able to start picking out those thoughts as they come in regular life, too, and if you can recognize when they're there, you can replace them with something positive.

Sure, it takes time. Think about it: most people start thinking bad about themselves in school (when they get an idea of how other kids percieve them). So if you're 31, like me, you've been carrying around these sneaky, mean things for 20+ years. Those roads in your brain will need to be worn away and replaced, and that won't happen overnight. But I'm working on it for my creative goals, for my weight/health goals, and for my relationship issues. And it's working...it's just really stinking slow. :)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Home Again

One of my favorite bosses, the one who really taught me the most about my current job and how to just BE in a corporate environment, gave me the best personal and professional bit of advice I've ever heard.

You don't always know what your limit is before you reach it. The trick is recognizing when you've hit it and to do something about it.

I realized while I was on my little toasty hiatus last weekend that I've hit my limit on a number of things. A lot of it has to do with work. I got into the business I'm in completely by accident, fate, whatever. You could say I ended up in Minneapolis by accident, but that's not really the truth: I chose to come here instead of sticking it out in DUluth and being poor until the right job opened up for me. I could've chosen differently: a different state, a different country, a different move. But I came here because a job opportunity seemed to fit and I thought I'd give it a year and move back "home." A year turned into 9 years and a job change into something I'm pretty good at. And bores the hell out of me.

I've hit my limit with this city and with this job. I've hit my limit with a couple of other things too, but most of it's just the damn area and the cube-farm I'm stuck in. I know, I have nothing to complain about: I actually have a really good, stable, relatively high paying job with kick-ass benefits. Interestingly enough, the benefits are a direct reflection of the mind-numbing boring nature of the work: employee retention is important becuase it's a weird niche and the learning curve is long.

It'll take 6 months or more to find something else in another state. A state with a warmer climate, the ocean within a few miles, and a decent lifestyle that we'd both enjoy...yup, it'll take a while. But it's time to stop thinking "someday" about all the things I want to do with my life and start DOING them.

Oh, if only I could get my husband to move to Ireland...

Friday, November 07, 2008

A moment of MWAHAHAHA

It was 85 and sunny all day today on the beach in Malibu, CA.

I hear it snowed at home.


Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Samhain Thinking

As Samhain was last weekend and thus a new year has begun, I've been thinking a lot lately about a lot of things: spirituality (which often comes back into my thoughts during the longer months, as though the sleeping earth gives me a chance to reflect without feeling guilt that I'm not outside), relationships, goals both short and long term, where I want my life to be, what I want to be. More to come on that later.

Today I spent a long time pondering the basic tenant of Wicca: "An it harm none, do as thou wilt and what it means to me. oLet's translate that from 17th century Puritan English to the modern wording, shall we?

As long as you don't harm anyone, do what you want.

Hmm. Carte blanche permission to do whatever the hell you want to do in this life? Some take it that way. Some only read the part of that sentence that occurs after the comma. Some people can justify anything as long as it means they don't have to take personal responsiblity for their actions. Some take it to mean as long as you don't INTENTIONALLY harm somone else, do whatever you want. The do whatever you want portion of that program really is a stickier issue than most people want to believe.

I know one woman who uses Wicca as an excuse to explore the darker side of her nature and by doing so left her husband and two children behind. Perhaps she needed to do so, but using a religious belief (I'm Wiccan so I need to follow my path to the end and you're not so I'm more open to change than you) is just a cop-out. Now I'm the first to admit that she's better off leaving them to pursue this downward spiral than dragging them along. But I wonder if she's considered the "an it harm none" applies to her, also?

Recently I found a really disturbing blog about a twenty-something woman who's been married for a year, and has been cheating on her husband wiht various older lovers the entire time they've been married. She justifies it by saying 1) she's entitled (ENTITLED!!) to get her sexual gratification elsewhere because his libido just isn't up to par with hers and 2) as long as he doesn't find out it's not hurting anybody. I'm still astounded at this girl's audacity. I posted a comment the other day (which, surprise surprise, she deleted: only supportive comments on her blog, thank you) that very bluntly said she's not only hurting him and their relationship with the deception, she's hurting herself. And that it's very sad that she doesnt' respect her husband enough to talk to him about her needs; instead she's willing to risk it all for a piece of ass on the side. My point about this is she really seems to think it's not hurting her husband because he doesn't know, as if her actions have no repurcussions in their relationship regardless of whether he's found out. Deep in my gut I feel it's wrong to hide something THAT big from a lifepartner. Did I make her think about it at all...who knows? But it got me thinking about the "harm none".

Wiccan/pagan philosophers often say doing a helpful spell for someone else without their knowledge or permission is actually harmful and unethical. Hmm: ignorance again. So doing something positive OR negative that will directly affect another person without their knowledge is wrong.

When you really think about everything you say and do from as many angles as possible to try to keep from harming another person, does it hinder your own growth? Does it hinder someone else's growth? When does it become a block to keep you from doing whatever you're supposed to be doing in this life? If I avoid an accident and someone else gets in one (physically, karmically, etc) that I couldn't prevent, do I feel guilty?

The line for me is pretty damn clear with it comes to selfish behavior that could harm someone else (like affair blogger): if you do something that you know, deep down, WILL cause harm to another person at some point, it's wrong. If you tried your damndest to keep someone from coming to harm but still followed your heart and conscience and they were harmed anyway, well, maybe that's the way it was supposed to be. Nobody guaranteed our lives would be easy or pain-free. In fact, change and pain and loss and hardship (ishy word, but obstacle isn't any better) has to happen for growth and compassion. Nobody's perfect either, and I've fucked up plenty and hurt people around me both physically and emotionally. All I can do is try to move on and be better.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Johnny & Anniversary

I'm listening to A Boy Named Sue while writing this. Ah, Johnny and June. One of my favorite love stories of all time.

Our 5th wedding anniversary was on Halloween. Our original plan was actually to spend our 5th anniversary in Ireland (well, in Britain AND Ireland, but let's be honest...it's Ireland I love). Unfortunately, our finances didn't allow so we went to France instead. The French resturaunt at the Sofitel, that is. And it was most excellent: we definitely needed a date with no stress, and we had it. After all the ups and downs we've had as a couple since we started dating almost 7 years ago, we both still know the other is the one, and so far there's been nothing we couldn't work out. That's actually pretty damn comforting.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

No Way Norm Coleman Caller!

Political callers, whether robocalls or actual people, should be required to be unblocked for caller ID. Better yet, how about you don't call at all, but especially during the dinner hour.

Come ON! If I was thinking of leaning that way in Tuesday's vote, the call was definitely a push in the opposite direction. After all, Al Franken's lackeys haven't called yet.

I can't wait for next Wednesday!


The issue with my job waxes and wanes on a regular basis...suffice it to say that after 8 years I'm damn burnt out there. It's almost worse that I like the people I work with...I may like them and the benefits, but I truly detest what I do for a living: it's not a bad job, it's just not my passion. Number crunching and such gets to be a sucking drain of energy for me. Ugh.

It's way worse when we have an argument at home for any reason, but now that that's over I can try to cope with work, because now is a really bad time financially for me to find something else: have to wait until after year-end at the absolute minimum. So between my work stress and his, this week was rough. And our anniversary is tomorrow...I can't wait for a relaxing evening with my husband at a fancy french resturaunt and hotel.

Aah...the date.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I Am

A giant ball of anger, frustration, and sadness. I hate hate hate avoiding issues. I hate the constant hamster-wheel of negative thoughts, the perpetual knot writhing in my belly (with corresponding ishy feelings), the elephant lurking everywhere. And yet at the moment I'm stuck here until acceptance wins or avoidance drives me over the proverbial end of my patience.

Ha. Patience. No one has ever accused me of having any of that, for certain.

Perhaps this is a karmic lesson in exactly that.

If so, I don't like it.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Yahoo IM

The following is 90% of what I receive when I'm "active" on Yahoo IM. THIS is why I'm rarely, if ever, show up as online.

Weirdo on IM: How tall are you? (note not how are you, no introduction, just how tall)
Me: why?
Weirdo: just curious (this little phrase is repeated throughout the conversation) Are you short?

Short version: I say nope, tell him I'm 6'. to which he immediately asks if I wear heels, and how high, adn can I kick and how high and am I strong etc etc.

Me: Dude, I'm done. Not interested in being some weird fetishist's masturbatory fantasy.
Him: Want me to send my pic?

SERIOUSLY? Fucking weirdos! Why do they all find ME? Clearly it's time to revisit my yahoo profile.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Stuff in General

It's Friday afternoon and I've had quite the crapola week. No counselor appointment this week, which really sucks because there are some things going on I'd like to talk to her about, so I burned holes in my keyboard doing the "brain dump" writing exercise for, oh, about six hours total over the week. My hands hurt, and very little of the writing could be used for anything else, it's just a download of all the ridiculous, hurting, mental thoughts bouncing around in my head lately.

Today I took Thor to the vet because his ears have been ISHY for a few days. Yeah. Found out #1: his ears are fine, they're just waxy and that wasn't even enough to bring him in. #2: his foot, which I knew he'd been licking like mad but didnt' see anything terrible in there, is majorly infected and I was chastised by the vet for waiting so long to bring him in. Geez. The guy is sort of a jerk anyway: great with animals, sucky with people. I could see he was trying to be as nice as possible when telling me not to wait if it happens again, but I definitely got the gist of the underlying "are you stupid" attitude. And now my poor pup will be a pill popping crazy dog: benadryl 3x/day (for the allergies in his feet that apparently cause the licking in the first place), anti-biotics 2x/day (for the infection), anti-biotic foot wipes (same) AND fancy pants ear wash for the ishyness problem. And then the bill, which was probably cheaper than my old vet but still hurt. Great.

Oh, and now I'm getting the "How COULD you mom?" look. So Dave's picking up a cheeseburger for him at BK on the way home. Because we're suckers.

But on the bright side I got to work from home most of this afternoon, and contrary to any snarky comments, I actually DID work from home. If I have spreadsheets and such to work on it's actually easier for me to be at home: I can focus without all the phone calls, peeps wanting to chat/vent, and random extra emails from coworkers.

And the extra 2 loads of laundry I was able to do from the time I got home from the vet and the time I logged off the work website? Bonus...sad, but true. That's 2 loads I don't have to do this weekend baby!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


I'm an idiot. I wrote a whole post on my other blog by accident. The other one is pretty much just for Nic and I to bitch about our adventures in trying to get healthy. Adn for some inane reason Blogger doesn't allow cutting and pasting of the text without major hassle.

Oh well. It was random anyway.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Random Renaissance Festival Scenes

Things I've seen at Fest this year, both horrifying and hilarious:

-A friend of mine dropped trou, completely, and "slapped" his thighs. Funniest thing I'd seen in quite some time...but I gave serious thought to brain bleach afterward.

-Four children, two boys and two girls, all aged well under 10. They apparently work for the Pony people. One of the boys was wrestling with the older girl: the other boy yelled "get off my wife!". The little girl responded with "are they going to have sex?". The boy wrestling said "your wife's a bitch", and the girl wrestling hit him. WTF??? Seriously. I'm still horrified, and it's been a week. Ishy.

-At the annual Fencing booth tournament, the entire crowd got together to donate over $300 to Make a Wish foundation. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Fencing boothies: they're generousity is inspiring.

-A very cute bellydancer strolling casually down the lane, carrying a fishing pole with a beer bottle tied to the end. Fishing for boys. Ah, gypsies. They're awesome.

-The King, cuddling a very very small brindle colored chiuahuah puppy wearing a King costume. Lulu got FAR more attention than the King, as her cuteness was just beyond.

-A drunk patron so "upset" about being rejected as a suitable husband during a bellydance show, he jumped into the pond. I believe he didn't realize the pond is chest deep...he was quite shocked.

Oh yes, there are more. I'll keep an eye out for good ones this weekend, as it's the final weekend for the season. Sad, but welcome at the same time. It'll be nice to have my weekends back, for sure.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Strange Days

I'm baffled.

There is absolutely nothing extraordinary about me that would lead me to believe I'm the ideal person to counsel others. My interests are strange and varied, my job is boring as hell, my life is far more suburban than I'd like, and my marriage is good but not perfect. I've never done drugs, I've never been a smoker or a heavy drinker, I've never been through a major trauma. I can't think of any experience I've had that would qualify me to be in the role I often find myself in: that of listener and advice-giver-type.

My husband jokingly said it's because I'm welcoming and sweet. I'm offended...I purposefully try to NOT be sweet and girly, dammit! I've come to the conclusion that there's some sort of sign, an invisible tattoo on my forehead that screams "hey, hey you with the issue, this girl will listen to you and try to help!"

I don't mind taking on the role amongst my close friends, after all, I sort of purposely keep that circle small and intimate so it's not a burden. But why do VERY casual acquaintences and people I've just met find me so irresistable to unload all their strange relationship issues? I'm not really complaining, it's more that I'm just weirded out. I'm pretty damn standoffish with people when I meet them, actually. I make every effort to keep them at arms length, at least, becuase I've been burned way too many times thinking someone would be trustworthy. Now, unfortunately, I assume someone is NOT trustworthy until they've proven otherwise. Sad, I know, but it's the way I am now.

I find it ironic. I'm ever so far from normal, and on top of that I'm pretty damn boring. This is just weird weird weird.

Friday, September 19, 2008

I'm beginning to wonder if our trip to FL planned in january is such a great idea. After so long a time with little to no extra cash, we've been making a good living since April when Dave landed his awesome new job. And as a result, all those little things we put off for years is coming up...like tires for my truck, some major work on his truck and car that will need to be done by winter and spring (respectively), getting the furnace checked out etc etc etc. *Sigh* All those maintenance items that we put off and put off and put off, and now we have the money to get some of it done. Which means we're not putting spending money in the bank for Florida in January.

It's damn frustrating, seriously, for both of us. But the awesome part is, if we can stick it out for a few more months all of those weird, irregular costs will be done and we'll be on our way to a better financial position overall. And that's pretty cool.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Still alive!

It's been a stressful couple of weeks. My company's gettin gbought out by a MUCH larger company...which could be really good or really bad. My job isn't really in danger, but the culture could change significantly, which would be upsetting to say the least. Especially if the changes don't come with a big 'ol raise and/or bonus. I won't know anything until November at the earliest. Argh.

One more weekend that I'm working Fest. Only two weeks left of fest at all, which is crazy. This season's been really weird anyway, working every other week and hubby being unemployed out there...we haven't spent mny whole days out. Crazy. And nice...it was 50 and raining all weekend last week and we only had to be there for about a 1/2 hour on Sunday.

Bellydance started again last week, which is awesome. I missed it and never realize how much until I'm there again after a long absence. I had a request from a new friend to teach level 1 BD to her. Weird! But I suppose I've been going now for 4+ years...which is a weird thought in itself...so I shouldn't have too much trouble teaching the basics.

And it's Beavis' bday today...we're off to her bday dinner!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Sleeping Dogs

My grandmother, the uber-conservative one in Bloomington (not the farmer in Cloquet), sent me a pro-Palin email today.

Great. This election has become so "exciting" that the side of my family that NEVER talks about contraversial subjects is now sending around Republican propaganda.

*sigh* I responded with "too bad she's too conservative on women's issues for me. How about lunch next week?" because hopefully she'll get the hint that I'm NOT in the same political view as her (and thus stop sending me emails) yet keep the peace.

Good lord. Can it just be Thanksgiving already, so all the pre-and post-election garbage is done?

Friday, August 29, 2008

Ahh, sweet Karma

Two weeks ago Renaissance Festival started, and both hubby and I were reminded exactly why we love it out there so much: saw all the old friends we hadn't seen for a year, relaxed instead of the usual 14 hour days, and had a MAJOR karmic bonus on top of it all.

One of the two major drama-causers in our life (there are 3 total, but one left the state some years ago), in fact, THE major drama-causer for me out at Fest, was REMOVED FROM SITE. WOOHOO!!! that bitch is too broke to come out without a job, and after being fired from the JC's she has very little chance of finding something that will pay, becuase she'll be considered untrustworthy by the crafters. Here's the best part: I did absolutely nothing except ignore her for the past 5 years. I never responded to her persistent rumor-spreading, never bothered to confront her face to face, because I knew that she'd screw it up for herself before long. And she did: people who meet her generally like her until they get to know her better, then she's dropped like a rotten diaper. Why? Because she's a drama-queen who seems to need to be the center of attention, even if that means hurting the people around her, and eventually her behavior catches up.

I'm not a good enough person to just say "huh" and move on without giving this downfall some due, because while I pity her for her mentalness, I'm not above feeling vindicated in some small way. And now that she's out of the Festival, at least for now, maybe I can enjoy it without hearing her call out rumor comments every time I walk by. Her blog, by the way, is hilarious, because she's a raving liar and tries desperately to convince everyone else that she's honest. Ugh. And then she wonders why boyfriends drop her as soon as they spend any time together and friends back off after a short time. So yeah, I pity her, but I'm still really happy she won't be out there to harrass me and Hubby this season.


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Thirty F-ing One

It was my birthday on Sunday. Whoopee? I'm now officially in my 30's instead of standing on the border...and as usual it makes me introspective. What have I done, what haven't I done, what should I do: add to that I've been stressed out since Con and I'm just glad it's over. Fest starts next week, my 'rents will be in town, and maybe my life will take one some sense of normal...or at least as normal as my life ever gets!

I wonder sometimes if I'm a good enough friend to people: I could probably name at least four or five people I consider fairly casual acquaintences even though they clearly consider me to be a friend. That's not to say I couldn't consider them closer friends eventually, but I'm not generally and instant-connection person: I just don't trust people for a very, very long time. I could probably figure out the reasons why if I wanted to sit down and really think about it, but the short version is I'm just a small inner circle sort of person, I guess. I feel bad about that sometimes, though, because I've probably hurt some of them with seeming indifference. *sigh* Told you I'm introspective...

My cousin is getting married in 3 days. A cousin I babysat when she was really little...under 5. I feel old people. Old! And at the same time I feel like I have lotsa time. How weird is that?

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Craigslist and Relationships

Over the past month I've been conducting an experiment on the Craigslist personals pages. 4 times I've put 3 or 4 messages in various places on the Casual Encounters pages.

99% of the messages are flagged in the first 5 minutes, regardless of the topic or page it was placed. Interesting: who flagged them? Why? A mystery that will doubtless never be solved. Of those that are left, almost all the responses are from married men...most of them specifically say they're married and looking for something on the side, or their wives aren't satisfying them, or whatever other pathetic excuse they're using to troll the net for a fling. Only a few asked if I'm a real person or if my *ahem* offer was real.

The questions about these married men trolling the web are numerous: 1) how many of them respond to ads just to see if they can get a responce (which begs the question, if given the opportunity would they truly cheat)? 2) How many of them are actually married...as being married gives a better impression of NSA (no strings attached) if they're looking for a quickie with someone they can discard? 3) is this the new, interactive version of Playboy or Penthouse, or is it REALLY a place people use to hook up?

I found one response to my ads in particular personally interesting, which caused me to really think about the possible motiviations for a man to read the casual encounters ads and respond. Given the volume of response (my last post had over 200 responses in 3 hours) there are either a WHOLE lot of assholes in my city or there are a whole lotta bored boys looking for a little excitement, and not necessarily the physical act: I wonder how many of them would've followed through and how many were just responding to see what would happen.

Are men wired to have trouble with monogomy? Will any man cheat if given the opportunity? I can't to believe that, because I think if I could it would be impossible for me to be in any relationship...with a man OR a woman. Believing most of a gender is wired to cheat just isn't fair to either gender. However, there are documented studies about men being more easily stimulated by visual cues and it's possible the fantasy is exciting enought to prompt responding to the ads. When faced with choosing between the fantasy or a real wife, which would they choose?

Gods help the man whose wfe finds a response her husband sent to ads in that section. If those boys are looking for a little excitement in their lives, it's bound to get exciting in their households when they're caught.

I have jealousy on occasion, sometimes seriously uncomfortable jealous thoughts. They're irrational and based on my own fear of being left because I'm not good enough. I try to control them, but they're there all the same. However, I've noticed that spending a lot of time on CL looking at the ads and rants and raves have exacerbated those feelings when I've had them. A fact my poor husband has to deal with and probably doesn't even know why. Hopefully I'll continue to be lucky enough to have a man willing to put up with my occasional craziness and love me enough to work it out, because I think if I couldn't talk about stuff and work through it I'd end up hitting the self destruct button on my marriage without intending to.

I wonder how often that happens with the people on the CL personals?

The New Feminism Conundrum

The bleach in the washing machine is making my eyes burn. *sigh* Housekeeping is not my forte. And on that note, I found the most interesting article on CNN today: http://www.cnn.com/2008/LIVING/wayoflife/08/05/lw.nokids.nojob.wives/index.html

100 years ago, suffragettes rode in wagons through the streets of Tombstone. In the 1920's the women fighting for the right to vote were imprisoned and tortured with force-feeding, someties to the death. In the 50's Rosie the Riveter gave back her dungarees to be the perfect housewife, which led directly to the fight my mother's generation for their rights. The Feminist fight has always been for the right of a woman to choose her own path through life, first through the vote and later through the resistance to traditional home-bound roles.

Now that plethora of choices has resulted in some women staying home. Not to be a mom, just to be at home. Stay-at-home moms often complain their working friends and acquaintances look down on them for choosing to accept the traditional role of raising her children. What about the woman who chooses to accept the traditional role of homemaker even though she has no children. Will she be seen as selfish and spoiled, or gutsy enough to follow her own happiness (clearly this only works with the support of a spouse, male or female) regardles of what society thinks?

I know the feminist push of my mother's time was to get career oriented women accepted into the workplace, and we still have some serious obstacles in breaking through the glass ceiling (my company's board, for instance, has NO women on the international level and only ONE on the national level). I can see, however, that the point of feminism was to give us the choice to do what WE want to do with our lives...if that means a woman gets to fulfill her dream of becoming Charlotte and having a magazine-quality home, go for it!

I can't help but wonder, though, how long anyone with the drive to get a master's degree will be happy not working outside the home?

Then again, I'd write full time if I could afford it, and wouldn't that be working at home? Isn't that a weird choice compared to the droves of young women working their asses off to climb the corporate ladder?

Monday, August 04, 2008

Tempting Fate

So my last post, as I look back today, could very well be the root of all my relationship issues over the past month and a half. Clearly I tempted the fates with my statements about love, and the fates decided I need a reminder.


Why must the bumps in our road consistently be in mid-summer when we're supposed to be happy and out having fun in a non-winter environment, and WHY must they be right around my birthday every f-ing year???

Is it because we get so busy in the spring due to cabin fever that communication skills fall by the wayside and the fallout occurs mid-summer? Is it just general restlessness? I don't know, but I'm pretty damn sick of worrying, and even more sick of not talking everything out.

Saturday, June 28, 2008


It's Saturday night at 8:30 and I'm a little blah. Hubby's not home (dude, you left for the shop at 2pm and it's 8:30 and not even a call about dinner? Thanks!) and I've been working on an article about Medieval Warhorses all afternoon. Reading and noting and reading and noting and outlining...now I'm at the writing poing and my brain is bleeding so a break is necessary.

Saw Wanted today, because I adore Angelina Jolie. I'm not sorry about it either: the woman rocks, and she's occasionally weird and doesn't apologize for it. Yay for her! But unfortunately, this particular flick wasn't as captivating as hers usually are for me (nor as empowering, I might say). Yeah. I prolly could've waited for it on video...

I'm unhappy at work, but I'm afraid to do anything about it. Terrified really. I wonder soemtimes if I'll be stuck in the life I've allowed to form around me without ever taking control of it myself. Will I be 80 tomorrow and regret that the only thing I had the guts to follow through on is my love life? It's wonderful and hard and confusing and exciting, but love isn't all there is to fulfillment, is it? Or maybe it is and there's something wrong with me for wanting more. maybe there's something wrong with me for wanting something more exciting than what "normal" people need. I need a little adventure in my life, I guess. *sigh* I just don't think I should feel old at 30. Things need to change.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I Am Wonder Woman!

I took my furfaced dog to the hiking park by our house and did I take the measley 1k, not quite a mile easy hike? Ha! I poo-poohed the wimpy walk and we went for the gusto baby...the full 5k hike through hill and dale (and the occasional mosquito, mud, and pond that of course he had to try to jump into).

and now I'm on the chair, fairly unable to move. But stretching and a sammich and I'll be good...because dammit, I DID IT.

I rock. I'm not afraid to admit it. Mwahahahahahaha.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Some Enchanted Evening...

My husband is at the shop for the evening. Therefore I get Steel Magnolias without bitching, surfing the net, eating brownies (well, that's not really something I should be doing, but mmm!), and generally being a girl.

I adore this movie. The way Weezer's such a cranky old bitch who grows tomatoes for the neighborhood because it's what Southern women are supposed to do. The way Clarie makes fun of Weezer all the time, and they're clearly best friends. The way Annelle goes from lost soul to tramp to bible-banger to at least having SOME humor. The way the friends stick together regardless of the time apart through the course of the movie. yes, it's ridiculous and sappy and I LOVE it. Mwahahahaha!

It does not, however, make Louisiana look any better to live in. The only Southern state on our list of possibilities is Florida, however I still want to check out the Carolinas and Georgia before we make the final decision.

Yup. Random girl today.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Catholic Pope is an Idiot.

Yup. The current Pope is a backwards, bigoted, sexist, corrupt idiot. Let me elaborate.

The Pope, in yet another demonstration of his disconnect with people, has essentially said, publicly, that sex can be like a drug without the "consequences" of preganany. Then to top iot off he said that if your spouse doesn't fear pregnancy his desire for sex can be so overwhelming that he'll force himself on you.

Yes, the leader of the Christian population actually said in a live speech that BIRTH CONTROL CAN CAUSE YOUR HUSBAND TO RAPE YOU.

What a charming attempt to throw us back to pre-feminist thinking where all women need to be covered from head to toe because just the sight of a female could cause men to lose their minds and become raping criminals. Sound familar? Perhaps the Pope thinks his flock should wear Burqas?

And he wonders why people are leaving the Catholic church in droves. How can you preach to people about morality if you have none? How can you attempt empathy, counseling, understanding when you've never had a life? The man was a Nazi-youth, and then in the seminary. Has he even HAD a meaningful relationship with another person, male or female, in his pathetic life? Or has it always been about self-righteous power mongering?

I told two silly teenage Mormon missionary boys the other day (after being accosted by them in a local park while walking my dog) that I can't find spiritual fulfillment through a religion that so devalues women, intellegence, learning, and personal responsibility. Christianity may have valued all those tenents when it was created, but the Church has corrupted the Christian faith beyond all hope. And the Pope doesn't seem to see that everything he does is only pushing people further away. I for one can't say that's a bad thing.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

It's 7:39pm on Wednesday night, and I find myself paying very close attention to this moment. A typical married-at-home-boring evening. Furface is sitting behind my chair as I write this, panting a little in his wild hope that I'll either throw the ball or let him outside to play with his Pomeranian puffball girlfriend next door.

Just so there's no confusion, my husband is lying on the couch watching some Discovery channel show about knives. I'm sure if he was a teenager in school right now that statement alone could get him kicked out of the local school district.

There's a remodeler somewhere in our complex using a circular saw on some chunk of wood. The off-and-on whine mixes with noisy birds, the chirping puppy next door (her face is about the size of a bird's, so chirp is more accurate than bark), and some neigbors having a move-in or move-out today.

Contedness hits at the oddest times. I'm happy just to be sitting here, surrounded by my family with the patio door OPEN without freezing and the setting sun shining into the living room. All is well at this moment. I'm enjoying it while it lasts.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

I can't think of a pithy title for this.

By this time I'm sure you've heard the story, as it's all over American news (as opposed to BBC, which is where I try to get most of my world news since they have a more balanced world view).

A man, if you can call him that, in Austria was recently caught after holding his own daughter hostage for 20 years in his basement. The psychological and physical horrors that woman endured at the hands of her own father are nearly beyond comprehension: living in a dark, underground box with the SIX children resulting from rape that began when she was 12, told the cell was rigged to gas her to death if she made noise, knowing her mother was above her head and either didn't know or wouldn't do anything to save her. And the kicker: this disgusting excuse for a person's lawyers have said he will be seeking an INSANITY DEFENSE.

Our current society has become so ridiculously politically correct that people actually want to believe mental illness can cause someone to do such heinous acts. What the hell happened to EVIL? I'm not a particularly religious person, and I don't consider myself to be a Christian for a multitude of reasons. However, I do seem to have enough common sense to see that a person who commits acts of evil cannot claim they were insane when they clearly demonstrated they knew it was wrong. Take "wrong" as religiously or morally or even just majority-ruled, and the man obviously still knew what he was doing was disgusting and reprehensible. Yet the ridiculous court system will allow him to try to prove he wasn't sane, and potentially he could get off. Explain that one to me. Mental illness, TRUE mental illness or insanity, is NOT THE SAME as evil for evil's sake.

Boiled down to the basic components, evil is the selfish disregard for anyone else around you in favor of your own immediate satisfaction. Ultimate selfishness. Empathy, sympathy, a general ability to see anyone else is missing. You want to blame that on childhood? Fine. But having a shitty childhood doens't give you the right to be an evil human being as an adult.

How is it that this can even be brought up as a defense? How can "I was beaten as a kid" be an excuse for violent behavior? Um, sorry: what percent of the population grew up with beatings, beltings, whippings, spankings, etc and turned out not only fine, but have gone on to NOT do it to their own children (much less attacking the general public)? How many rape victims have fought through their experiences to be able to lead a normal life afterward? How many WAR VETERANS, the people who see the worst atrocities, have been able to lead a life when the war is over without attacking their neighbors?

I'm a pretty firm believer that the capacity for good and evil is in us all, and it's a person's CHOICE to become either. Unfortunately, evil is easy. Evil is often the shortest path with the least resistance to your desire, because nothing and no one else matters.

Maybe instead of putting all moral responsibility in Church and the government oversight committees and the media, people should take responsiblity for their own morals. Maybe along with taking responsibility we can create a justice system that doesn't allow such bullshit as "I'm a serial killer/child molester/rapist/etc so obviously I'm crazy" stand as acceptable, because there shouldn't be any excuse for it.

Is there rehabilitation for the truly evil? I don't know. Maybe. I like to think, regardless of my cynicism about the world, that people can change if they have enough motivation. I hope so.

Monday, April 28, 2008

It's done!

That's right...and I DIDN'T fall down! And I remembered ALL the choreography! Woohoo!! It actually was pretty fun and not as nervewracking as the first time Nic and I danced the Guild show. Don't know if that's because we had more people in our group (as opposed to a duet) or because I was more confident this time, but I'm goin' with it.

Mom and Dad left, which was hard but good for them at the same time. It's weird, becuase I haven't lived with them since I was 19...over 10 years now, but it still feels a little like a security net I didnt' realize was there is gone. Like suddenly I'm really on my own. Stupid, I know...as if I haven't been on my own since i moved to Mpls, or since I got married, or since we bought a house. But none of that logic fixes the empty feeling I have when I think about how I can't really go back to MY house in Duluth, to the barn I spent so many hours in, to the pasture Shadow and I raced over (probably lucky I didn't kill us both), to the house I grew up in. It's not home anymore: it'll be someone else's home now. And that's just damn sad.

Change is hard and painful 99% of the time. I know I just need to work through it. I wonder how much of this is normal and how much is due to my own insecurities about being "adult" and about being married. It's been almost 5 years since we actually said vows...more than 6 that we've been together, and I still worry often that he'll decide I'm a HUGE mistake and say buh-bye mental girl. I know that's probably childish and silly, but there's a part of me that can't help it, and it feel a little like a support has been removed. Not an essential-to-everything support, but a support none the less. And it's not even my 'rents moving...after all, LA isn't in another country (I'm sure non-Californians think it is, but as far as I know a MinnesOtan doesn't need a passport to visit there yet). It's the childhood HOME that's gone. I'll get used to it, but this was a pretty rough weekend all around.

So now it's Monday night at 9pm. I should really log on and do some work. Even more so, I should plug in the flash drive and work on the book I've been neglecting for the past two months. But instead, the bed calls to me because the stupid alarm starts screeching FAR too early these days. Ugh.

Friday, April 25, 2008


It's Horse Expo weekend. It's also the weekend my parents are making the final move to Los Angeles and the weekend Nic and I are in the Guild of Oriental Dance annual show. Yeah. I'm not really ready for any of the above, to be honest.

Bellydance was not my usual positive-body-image class last night, for some reason. Maybe it's becuase I had a bad day anyway...one of those shitty days where every stupid, inane thing goes wrong for absolutely no reason. So I probably had a bad attitude going in, but watching myself in the mirror while attempting to dance was just a sad sad sight. Oh well...they can't all be good shimmy days. Seriously, some moves I KNOW I can do just would not work properly. And then we rehearsed choreography for Sunday's performance. I haven't performed for over 2 years, so I'm already nervous as hell, and we have a couple of excellent dancers in our class. I'm not one of them...I'm sort of hoping nobody pays attention to me in the back row with those two (my sister is one of 'em) in the front.

Took the day off today to hang out with my hubby, who starts the awesome new job on Monday that will 1) keep him happy with mechanical doings, 2) pays enough to allow us not only to catch up on stuff but maybe to actually get ahead and 3) has normal hours/days off/holidays. Yay! So we're celebrating on this rainy, cold day by sleeping in (as much as Thor allows), going to starbucks, and heading for the Horse Expo for the day.

Rawr. I'm random today. My house needs a good cleaning (and the garbage needs to GO AWAY). We saw The Forbidden Kingdom last weekend...I'll probably stick a review up here on that one later. The short version: it was fun!

Friday, April 18, 2008

TGIF doesn't even cut it.

Yeah. that's really all I can say. Thank any and all deities that I might actually be able to catch up on my sleep this weekend.

Only one more week until the Guild show. I get sick just thinking about it...I'm SO NOT READY.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Feeding the Ravenous Imagination

Ok, maybe not HEART, but I have been completely swept away. I must say, these books are even more engaging than Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar novels, and for me that's saying something. Seriously.

If you have any ANY interest in fantasy novels I highly recommend Anne Bishop's Black Jewels series. Definitely not for children, this adult fantasy (and by adult I don't mean porn). Brutal is the best word I have for her work, in the sense that you simply cannot put them down once you've been hooked, and that hook gets you in the first chapter. Dark but not overly gothic, violent but not overly bloody, and sexy but not generally explicit...I bought the Black Jewels trilogy a few years ago in a single book and somehow lost it during one of our moves. I picked them up again at hte library a few weeks ago and have completely given up on TV while the series is in my house (now 6 books: the original trilogy, a stand alone novel set a few centuries earlier, a book of novellas in various time periods, and a follow-up novel). The main characters? Sataen, Lucivar, and Daemon SaDiablo. That's right peeps, they're the heroes. It's awesome. What a pathetic word to use in a review, especially by someone who supposedly has some affinity for writing, but I honestly can't come up with anything better. Most Excellent, as Roberto would say. Most Excellent.


I will own every one of her novels by this time next year. I guarantee it.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

History Channel: The Great Misinformer

I was so irked at The History Channel today I had to send them a comment. We're watching a show that's supposed to investigate whether Cleopatra actually killed herself using a famous FBI Profiler and modern forensics. I think it's a great idea. Except for the same glaring issue that plagues ALL of the History Channel shows: Christian-value based experts who assume ancient peoples had the same social mores and values that we do now.

Guess what Pat Brown: Suicide WAS NOT a last resort by a person in extreme pain in Cleopatra's time. Suicide was a better option for Cleopatra than being paraded by Octavian as a war prize in front of the entire roman population, only to rot in prison forever or be killed in the games as Vercingetorix was. Christianity took such a dim view of suicide because it WAS seen as an honorable, viable alternative to being killed by the state, and suiciding would take away martyrdom, becuase by killing yourself you take your fate out of God's hands.

Sometimes I really love the History Channel for bringing ancient knowledge to light for the average person. most of the time I hate it for being inaccurate and using experts who don't bother to learn any of the history before they comment on something.


I fully accept that killing herself with a snake is unlikely and probably part of the mythology of Cleopatra, but having an expert say she wasn't the type to kill herself at all is just damn idiotic. Of course she doesn't fit the modern profile of a suicide: she wasn't a modern woman. Idiots. Ignorant fools.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Almost Hopeful?

So it appears the Bob Job is real...it pays sorta decently and he's getting fingerprinted at the airport tomorrow...to start Thursday. This is still a temporary fix to an ongoing issue though, because I know running a forklift and a floor polisher won't be sufficient for him in the long run. But in the meantime, it'll get our bills paid, replenish our savings, and buy the damned iphone he wants so bad.

I have chosen to remain stuck (I guess since I chose it I shouldn't call it stuck) at my job until at least 4/1/09...because instead of normal bonuses this year we got a "partnership" bonus. meaning if you take the bonus and leave before 4/1 of the next year you have to pay it back. 100% of it...even though f-ing bonuses are taxed at 39% because the government sucks. Anyway, there you go. I'm sticking there for a while longer and trying to refocus on writing for the long term instead of finding something I like to do more than Reinsurance consulting.

It's fucking snowing. Again. It's March 31st and we're in the middle of a goddamn major snowstorm, of course it won't be big enough to close the office tomorrow. Oh no, so I'll get a joyous morning commute.

I'm cranky. Must've been the bad dreams last night about Terminator chasing me. Weird! No more Red Lobster for dinner after 8pm!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I Think My Mummy Won...

I am NOT Excited

So. A good friend called today to say she got the job: the uber job at the Strib that will 1) make her significantly more moola and 2) allow them to move from Hopkins (1/2 hour away in good traffic) to Eagan (10 minutes away and closer to her fiancee's job and kids). WOOHOO and CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!

And in other job-y news, Hubby got a job! Now, the reason for my title: i am NOT going to get worked up about this until he has a confirmation of pay, bennies and start date. However, it's pretty much a lock since the boss is a good buddy of ours. He'd be working at the airport, which isn't far away, for probably (hopefully) more money and better hours than Goodyear. So...yahoosama may be in order, but I'm holding off on the actual celebratory dance until it's confirmed.

Of course, "hey I have a job" was IMMEDIATELY, as in the same breath, followed by "I get to buy an iphone now, right?"

*sigh* doesn't even begin to cover my response. Sometimes I'm more wifey than I'd like to be, but I put forth in my own defense that I'm only more wifey than necessary when he's more husbandy than I can stand. So there. Nyah nyah.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Random Wednesday Thoughts

My keyboard is acting all wonky today. Not sure why...is it sausage-finger syndrome, or is there actually an issue?

I have a $9 late fee at the library. Oops...the whole point of going to the library is to keep my book addiction costs down! I suppose it didn't help that I picked up 6 more last night...got a few fun books and a few research books. Cable may well be on its way out in our house, depending on the job situation for the hubby, and in that case I really need to get on track with the reading and writing instead of watching TV all the damn time.

The dog is giving me the evil eye for typing this instead of playing with him.

Hubby is at the Auto Show with the boys: woohoo for a night at home mostly alone...as long as puppykins stays content with his spot on the couch this promises to be a relaxing night.

My job still sucks.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

And more on the cat theme...

Got the new picture from a fun email. I know I know: lotsa cats lately. I'm working on uploading some nifty Thor (aka Furface) pictures from the new digital camera we got for xmas...but I'll admit I'm slow on the technological uptake. I'm sure my gadget-wielding husband would agree. And said Furface is lying on the guest bed in my office right now, fussing at me for typing instead of throwing his well-abused octopus toy down the hallway. I'm not sorry.

The Mall of America during the state hockey finals? Hmm....I belive the 8th circle of hell is an apt description. Although it wasnt' so bad until the stupid Prom fashion show was over and the cattle were released from the Rotunda. Getting to Barnes and Noble was completely impossible after about 11:30 am...getting out by 2:30 was a priority. Wowza.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Irregular Cat Hats

Oh my god.


Funniest thing I've seen all day. Sometimes I think I may have more fun observing oddities in people than anything else.

Hence my fascination with Renaissance Festival, I suppose. Sometimes Craigslist reminds me a lot of fest...

Kung-Fu Hamsters and Writing Contests

So my mom decided to take a pretty fancy-pants job at Cedars-Sinai in LA. No, she hasn't seen Britney Spears yet. But she HAS moved out there, which must be quite the shock-ola coming from Duluth, MN...the cold left buttcheek of the universe (per my husband). Dad's not moving until spring, so she's alone out there...and I discovered the other day that Target sells the most obnoxious toy ever.

Kung-Fu Fighting hamsters. In a full gi with nunchucks. Press the hand and what do you get? Everybody was kung-fu fighting, of course, complete with dancing and spinning of said weapons. So I sent it to her with no explanation: just the idiotic toy in the box. She said I'm disturbed: learned from the best, I did!

I'm taking a major mental health day today: my job is NOT going well, at least not for me. I believe they're happy with me, which is most excellent because I have too much pride to be completely sucky until I get fired, but just becuase I do the work and do it well doesn't mean I have to like it. I know, I know: that's why it's called WORK, right? THe last six months at my job have made me really REALLY miss plumbing. A lot. Corporate america is not my niche, but I haven't been able to wind my way out of the maze yet. It's frustrating and depressing and I'm sure my hubby should get a medal for putting up with me, except that he's still working on finding a job so we've both been hard to deal with. Even the pre-paid (as in, paid for last fall when we both still worked) vacation to Florida didn't help much: still stressed out, still broke, and still hating the MN right now. Ugh. I did find a job or two in Portland I could apply for (unfortunately they're both for one of my company's major competitors, so it would be in the same industry, but sometimes just a change of pace is enough, right?)...we'll see about that one.

The guidelines for MN Monthly's annual short story contest are glaring at me because I'm writing here instead of coming up with a fantabulous new story for the contest. You only get one entry...and in all honesty I have very VERY little hope of anything because I write fantasty. MN Monthly's short stories are usually of the more, hmm, mundane fiction type. The kind I generally can't read because I get so damn bored. However, that is NOT stopping me from sending something in, it's just making me think hard about what I want to do to really put forward the best shot. It's not about the best story, it's about the best story that will be marketable for them (and hence publishable).

I've discovered that the long rides in the car to and from Duluth when I'm visiting home are excellent brainstorming times. I've also discovered that trying to write down even shorthand versions of those ideas while going 75 (ok...probably closer to 85 or 90) miles an hour on the freeway is not really the best idea on earth. May have to invest in one of those nifty digital recorder doohickies, because I had some fantastic ideas for the book when I was on the road between Hinkley and Burnsville last weekend. And I can't remember the details for a single one! DAMMIT!

On that note, off to write on my sneaky day off. And because I know you're the ones who read this, hi Roberto and Brenda!! :)

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Restless Cold Feet

It's -0 right now...some days I hate Minnesota. *sigh*

I'm having some serious job woe today. I'm thinking a good chunk of it is just new year resolution crap, but the bottom line is that I'm just not motivated there. Maybe it's just because I'm sort of trapped here right now: stuck in the house because it's butt-cold, stuck in MN because the housing market is so shitty there will be no attempt for at least a year, and and stuck in the middle of winter blues. :) Therefore I say, suck it up and read a book! Or in my case, suck it up and write a book!

And so I'm off.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008


And suddenly a whole new year begins...one with unemployment anxiety and Daytona 500 excitement...hopefully the first will be resolved before the second arrives. Oy.

2008 appears to be a year for major changes in my family. My parents are discussing moving to California after my mom got a HUGE job offer in Sacramento. The emotional stew brewing about this is pretty confused: it'll be hard to see the house I grew up in go to someone else. It was really hard at Christmas this year, realizing that will probably be my last Christmas in that house. But at the same time, this is a major opportunity for her and they're really excited about it. Plus we've been talking about moving out west for a year or two (after the housing market comes back up and we can actually SELL the place we live in now). Portland, OR is my current frontrunner choice, which wouldn't be far from Sacramento OR from Seattle. My sister's talking about moving there after she finishes her PhD, so we'd only be one family-member short on the west coast.

I'm still sick to death of my job, but until my hubby finds a new one I'm sort of stuck...which is probably the biggest reason I'm sick of my job. Besides, now that I'm here for the 401k dump that happens right around mid-January, I may as well stay until bonuses come out in March, right? Ugh...that's how I always talk myself into staying another year...this will be 8 with my company. Maybe we'll win the powerball tomorrow night and I can do something else entirely!!