Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Extravaganza

It's that time of year when the dark creeps in early and hangs out long into the morning, and the grey days of snowstorms and cold are especially oppressive. Winter solstice has come and gone this week, and on its heels one of the worst December snowstorms in quite some time over Christmas. It's been harder than usual to fight off fatigue and seasonal depression when it's been alternately WAY too cold for this time of year or way too grey. Preparations for the holiday season included a lot of crankiness and stress, some overtime, some fights, and a few tears.

But now it's Christmas Day evening: the first three of four family get-togethers are now over. The anticipation of fancy dinners, a frenzy of shopping, wrapping, giving and receiving presents, and the time spent with immediate and extended family is over, and I'm content. Exhausted, but content. I'm not a religious person at all: I am, however, very spiritual and I do believe this time of year is special for multiple reasons. If for absolutely nothing else, I believe this is the time to be thankful for family and friends, health and prospertity at any level, and love in any form.

My husband is lying on the couch playing his new (rather bloody) video game. Chewy is spread out on the living room floor, happily munching a large bone. Thor is napping somewhere. My family: spoiled and happy for this moment in time. I love it.

God Yul, Happy Solstice, Merry Christmas!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Life-1, NaNoWriMo - 0

Sunday is the last night for 2009 NaNoWriMo, and I've utterly failed. I only wrote about 8,500 words this month: between wedding shenanigans and work it just didn't happen.

We've both been monumentally cranky and out-of-sorts lately: job stresses are pushing us both to the limit of patience. He has a better chance of finding something else (that will pay equal to what he gets now) so I'm hopeful on that front. I, however, am finding NOTHING to apply for anywhere: ONE in North Carolina that sounded interesting, except it's still in the same industry I'd like to exit as soon as possible. Whether we move away or stay in MN, I have to find something I enjoy doing that will at least make enough to live on, and so far that's proven impossible. Argh.

A cosmic nudge to stop blogging and get back to writing? Perhaps...I need something to get my mind off the show on Sunday anyway, since (as usual) I barely know the choreography.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Blarg Redux

I realized after reading this (and posting before a final proof, silly me...the peeps were at the door!) that I made it totally sound like I was irked to be babysitting the kids. Absolutely not! We had a fun time: ordered pizza, watched The Sword in the Stone, and watched them play with the dogs. All was well in our house (except hubs was clearly tired).

And they're now gone, all laundry except 1.5 loads is done (one load in the washing machine, one load to be done) and will be finished tomorrow. It's even almost all FOLDED. I know, shocker. I hates laundry, I do. Still need to do the deep-Fall-cleanup in the house, since it's done outside, so when I get paid for last sessions's bellydance classes I can decide if I want to have the carpets cleaned or not. Realized it's been FIVE years this spring since we moved the hell did that happen? How did that happen without replacing windows, flooring, etc like we've planned and replanned?

Oh yeah, there was the money thing. *sigh* And now I'm considering the possibility of another long-term roommate (I'm hoping NOT, but for said possible roommate's sake, not ours, as I still hold out hope the situation will improve), which will force me to redo my office yet again and figure out where the hell I can write in peace. But that's a problem for another day: for now just getting out of bed to go to my job is quite enough trouble.

I truly hate seeing close friends in pain, especially the stoic ones. There's a thin line between intruding and being "there" for someone, and I don't always know the difference, so I'm making a serious effort to stay back, but it's really hard when you just want to comfort someone.


Worked from home this afternoon: got some laundry done and such along with a few calls to LA (for work purposes, not calling the parental units).

Spent some time being an ear for a friend, for whom I feel terrible right now. How long DOES one stay in a bad marriage before it's ok to say "I've done all I possibly can and I just can't do it anymore"? That's a state I hope I never get to, emotionally or otherwise. I can't imagine just how terrible it would feel to NOT be able to be yourself in your own home, with your family. Exhausting, that's the first thing that comes to mind. Exhausting and sad.

And on top of all that, we had to escalate the Association situation to a lawyer...and as of today it will be escalated to the county attorney. So it's possible that money will never see our reserve account again. Damn dammit. Tonight (as secretary) I get to take a letter written by the president to Kinkos, make copies (Jess...makin' Co-pies...) and send them out or walk them around to all the homeowners.

And our niece and nephews are coming over for dinner. argh. There will be no NaNo tonight, which irks me.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Kiss Army!

Ok, I'm not actually a card-carrying memeber (yes, they DO sell cards so you can BE a card-carrying member) of the Kiss army. However, we had a fantabulous time at the concert last night. Rock on (and my ears are still ringing a little bit) Kiss and Buckcherry!

It was an eventful day all around: had a tiff with the hubby, had bellydance class, board stuff, cleaning up the backyard for snow (and the lawn clean-up crew, who I'm sure would appreciate my efforts if they knew how much dog poop was under those leaves), dog park extravaganza which culminated in burdock in a certain idiot's big white tail, which resulted in Dave cutting most of the hair off said tail, and was immediately followed by a dog BATH extravaganza.

Good lord! And after the ear-blowing most excellent concert, we went to the Safety Services (Ren Fest) party at Martha's house. In a historic event, I was actually nowhere near ready to go home at 2:30am when Dave was wearing out. That's the first time EVER that he's been tired and ready to leave before me at a social event. I'm still a little shocked, actually.

And the boys are still worn out after yesterday's activities: they've been sleeping all day. Lazy bones!

Saturday, November 07, 2009

NaNo Count: 6,000

I'm 4000 words short of the goal for this week...HOWEVER, last Sunday and tonight are the first real opportunities I've had to write this week. Thank GOD this association issue should be resolved, or at least out of the board's hands, after tomorrow. I waffled quite a bit on whether I even wanted to sign up for NaNo this year, seeing as last weekend was our first weekend off in 2.5 months and there's always some family stuff in November. But even if I don't make the goal of 50,000 words by the 30th, this gives me a goal to try to meet each day or week or month, which is smaller than the general goal "finish one of the books."

However, I'm pretty damn annoyed tonight. In fact, I'm downright pissed off, and it's actually distracting me out of the storyline, which only serves to annoy me further. argh a lot.

So it's 12:21am and I'm giving up for the night with cramping fingers and a cranky mind. If I'm lucky I'll get a couple of hours in tomorrow before KISS and the SS party...but as there's also housecleaning that needs to be done and dogs to pay attention to, something tells me Sunday will be my next opportunity. Damn damn damn.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

I'm Spoda be Working

My to do list is far, FAR longer than I should've allowed it to grow. We're so far behind on housekeeping I'm actually embarrassed to have anyone over, which sucks because I realy LIKE having people over (in an odd way, it forces me to clean).

I finished the Lakeville beginner class tonight, and am both sad and relieved. Relieved because with the HOA crap going on right now I'm a little overwhelmed...sad because it turns out I really like teaching. I had some excellent compliments tonight: most of the class wants to know if I'm teaching in January, and two of the girls asked if I teach outside of community ed.'s just downright weird to think of the possibility.

And as the course of the evening wore on (after some pretty gross Long John Silver's, typing up the recent board meetings' notes, etc etc) I was offered the opportunity to teach BOTH Lakeville classes in January. So the vote of confidence in my teaching ability isn't just from my students: it's also from my teacher, under whose professional school I'm doing these it's a warm fuzzy to know that she thinks I'm good enough to teach under her name.

Plus, teaching bellydance is about the most fun part time job I've ever working in a bookstore by miles. However, the danger is that now it's 11:30pm, I should've been in bed at least an hour ago, and I'm wide awake after getting pumped up in class. and am I working on NaNoWriMo?

No. Posting here instead. NaNo in the morning though, and most of this weekend (outside of giving the two stinky furballs baths...but I don't have to do that alone. I've extracted promises of help from the hubs).

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

The Boys

My house is all about DOG right now, which I'm sure is monumentally boring to most people, but when those are the only kids we have they provide the most consistent trials and entertainment for us during the week.

I came home last night to find a bag of garbage ripped open and spread all over the floor from the front door to the living room. Both delinquents hid under the table (well, Thor hid under the table...Chewy's too big to do that so he just lay on the floor by Thor) looking pathetically up at me in a "but I didn't do it!!" way. I told them both they'd make lovely rugs, as I do often these days when they piss me off. But Chewy's 2 and a pretty untrained 2, so he's in the evil teenage stage anyway, so eventually patience wins out and they survive.

This morning, in a complete 180 of bad behavior, they actually played together instead of arguing over breakfast. The 150lb dog, who moves like a lumbering bear and has absolutely NO coordination or grace, thought it woudl be a great idea to jump on one couch, bite Thor a few times, then jump off and run/jump to the other couch.

Only the jumping doesn't quite work for him...and instead of jumping ON the furniture he'd catch his front paws and faceplant into the cushions. At which point Thor jumped (nimbly, for he IS pretty graceful and light on his feet) next to him and bit his ear. Then they'd run to the other side of the living room and repeat.

It was a most excellently entertaining way to start my day.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy New Year

As Samhain is the pagan new year (and my wedding anniversary) I'm always a little reflective on Halloween. So much to the chagrin of my husband, I decided NOT to go to bellydance class this morning and slept in, started laundry, and am writing instead. With the coffee he so kindly made for me (well, and for him...but he made a new pot when I got up) and the boys lying quietly in my office for their morning nap, I have some time to think.

Lately it's felt like I've had NO time for myself at all, much less any thinking time. From Renaissance Festival to Halloween we've been running pretty non-stop, and it's been sort of exhausting. I was lucky enough to have two trips to LA in that time, worked six 14 hour saturdays for SS and four Sundays for the SOS girls, started teaching the new bellydance session at Leslie's request, adopted a new giant dog...whew. August through October has been insane.

November won't be much better if I decide to start NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). I have the characters, I have the general plot...I can't actually sign up for NaNoWriMo because I have the first chapter done, but I can use it as a jumping off point and really make time for writing. If I can get into the habit of writing every day, even for an hour or two...oh I want to finish one of the novels percolating in my brain this winter. And then start on the next one. If I could even sell one book we'd be better off financially and I'd really feel like I can DO this...becuase the dream is to be a full time writer, but the dream hasn't been followed up by enough determination, and that has to change.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Reality Strikes Again


A certain someone asked me recently to send him a copy of THE story. The story that made the Honorable Mention list for Women on Writing. Fool that I am, I assumed he actually wanted to read it. was part of the "reconnect with past love while fighting with wife" syndrome I was the subject of last week. At least, that's my assumption since I haven't heard a peep from that corner of the world since last Wednesday. *sigh* Fickle frienships.

In other back from LA last night at o-dark-thirty and had about 3 hours sleep, maybe, last night. Well worth the trip though: we had a great time, Dave got a new tattoo, saw incredible art and artifacts, spent some beach time, and ate phenomenal food. I do love the California lifestyle...and thus have applied for a bunch of jobs in the area of Newport Beach/Long Beach (as well as my standard Florida resumes when non-engineering jobs open up there). Maybe this'll be our last winter in MN yet...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Past, Present, Future

I had a pretty damn good day today, until about 8. Then I ran out of steam. I spent a good portion of my day reminscing with a friend of mine. Found a different perspective on some crappy behavior of a 20-something boy and realized I'm the idealized "one who got away" he turns to, right or wrong, when he's having a hard time at home. Over the course of the day it became clearer to me that contacting me once in a while isn't the underhanded thing I suspected, but a way for him to wonder what would've been if he'd made different choices. Only thing is, the rose glasses are on in full force for him, and I started thinking, do I WANT to be the idealized version of me at 20?

No way in HELL.

But there are some things I'm able to forgive myself for: I wasn't quite as much of a fool as I thought I'd been. My instincts WERE right, even if my backbone wasn't fully developed at the time. What I learned about being independent and still being in a relationship, about the coexistence of two people who need honesty and attention, about needing the words to match the behavior, all came from that first intense and all-consuming love I had for a boy who wasn't ready for that sort of relationship. In all honesty, neither was I: I didn't know how to be myself and be someone's love, so if he'd reciprocated unfettered we most likely would've self-destructed after a few years. I know it, even if he doesn't see it yet, because we both ended up with the people we're meant to be with, for various reasons.

So now he has some regrets, and I have forgiveness, for myself and him. Which means I can truly be a friend without reservation.


It's been 6 weeks since I had my interview, and still nothing. Well, not nothing: the last comment from the recruiter was about a week ago, and as of then the company still hadn't made a decision, so there's still hope. That's almost worse, waiting this long for a job that's a long shot anyway. I can't help but think if they really loved me as much as the recruiter says they did, why drag this out 6 weeks? Then again, rumor has it everyone is slow to hire right now.

I just need a change really, really desperately. I'm so stressed and burnt out at my job that it's making me miserable in all other aspects: I'm looking for reasons to fight at home, eating too much, exercising way less than I should be, and generally punishing myself and my household for my own stress. How fucking stupid is THAT?

We have a new "son" in our family: Chewy. A monstrously huge Great Pyrenees who is in the full 2 year old naughty stage. I'd forgotten what that stage is like, and it's only increasing the household issues. I've been up since 5:30am this morning simply because Chewy was throwing up, and who can sleep through the sound of anything barfing? Not me.

On top of the changing family dynamic, I have bellydance 2 nights a week and Saturday mornings, and the past few weeks I've had something going on every night of the week. This week is shaping up to be the same way: bd tonight, board meeting tomorrow, bd wednesday, packing Thursday for a trip to LA on Friday.

I hope I feel better after this trip, because I really need a break.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

The Art of Being Neighborly

Where is the line between keeping your community a nice place to live and invading the privacy of those who live there? The X-Files had a great episode where people in a wealthy neighborhood with an association were killed by the association president's pet monster if they didn't comply with the rules.

I'm on the board for my HOA, and sometimes I swear I'm the only one who has our collective privacy in mind during these meetings. No, I DON'T think you have the right to tell a homeowner he/she can't work on his car is his own garage. No, I DON'T think you have the right to try to force a homeowner to kick out renters just because you don't like them here. No, I DON'T think you should start fining homeowners for all those little, nosy things you pay attention to because you have nothing better to do. God, I seriously want to tell a few board members to get a life, because they're not only terribly annoying; they're really pathetic.

Does my desire for them to stay the hell out of my life (and in turn I'll stay out of theirs) make me a bad HOA member and board member? Maybe. But the whole reason I got on the board in the first place was to try to keep them the hell out of my business.


Friday, September 04, 2009

Catch Up

It's been a month already: there's been a birthday (mine), a couple of job options in the family, a trip to LA to visit the 'rents with my sisters, and Fest started again. I'm exhausted, but also pretty darn happy right now.

The critique for the story I submitted to Women On came in. It was GREAT!! For the first time in my life, someone professional has given me real encouragement and thinks i'm good. The comments meant so much I was totally overwhelmed and had a bit of a meltdown at my desk (to which my husband said "girls make NO sense" and promptly returned to his own WOW session).

more to come, but for now it's Friday nigth at 9:30, I'm wiped out, and I have to be up by 6:15 tomorrow. On Saturday. To work a 13 hour day at Fest. I'm sure it's worth it, or something.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

This Economy

SUCKS. It just sucks. I spent a few hours looking for jobs in Florida again tonight: the bottom line is I was an IDIOT to go into the career I'm currently in, becuase there are no job opportunities anywhere near where I want to live. AND, most of the skills I've learned don't transfer appropriately to other fields: too much data/financial analysis for sales/marketing/writing/editing jobs, too little accounting (and no accounting degree) for credit/finance/banking. ARGH!!!

I'm tired of feeling like the next step forward is my responsibility. And I'm damn tired of sitting still.

Empathy Classes

So. According to the Star Tribune ( today, the judge in an assult case has sentenced the six men convicted of beating the shit out of a father last summer (protecting his daughter at Valleyfair from their harrassment) to LESS THAN 6 MONTHS IN JAIL and EMPATHY EDUCATION.

Seriously? IF you have no empathy to begin with, how exactly is sitting in a classroom talking to someone about it going to give you empathy? This begs the question whether empathy and compassion are learned or ingrained in people: if you can harrass a 15 year old girl inappropriately (note all the men except one were over the age of 18: one was 20 at the time) and then as a mob beat down and repeatedly kick her father on the ground in an amusement park parking lot, where the hell are you supposed to LEARN empathy?

I'm all for the idea of rehabilitation and learning from mistakes and giving non-violent offenders a second chance, but I don't see how 4-5 months in jail (most of which is time already served) and sitting in a class room is going to convince them that what they did was wrong. Seems to me such a light sentence only encourages continued bad behavior, since they got off so lightly.

One of the defense attorneys said his client was upset that the name and address of the victim was sealed because he couldn't "properly express remorse to the victim directly." Really. I can't imagine why the victim wouldn't want the gang of men who put him in the hospital and threatened his wife and daughter to know where he lives.

Empathy training. Unbelievable.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


What if mankind is wired for war by the same primal portion of the brain that holds our earliest, genetic memories? What if myth is memory?

What if there's a correlation between our inability to be a peaceful species and our penchant for belief in the supernatural?

What if all the wars since before recorded time were practice to perfect skills that we'll need against an enemy far bigger than another nation's army?

What if we've done this all before?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Frustration Abounds!

This situation is becoming intolerable. Seriously. I need a change in a major way before I go window-licking mad.

Friday, July 10, 2009


It's mid-year and I'm sort of re-energized on my goals (after a little assessment and finding I'm falling behind a bit...on all of 'em).

But a new BD session starts on Tuesday and I've been reading a lot of writing blogs/websites/magazines lately that keep me more inspired, so I'm trying to get disciplined about writing 15 minutes a day minimum.

So far today I'm at about 5...and that's all this blog.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

End of a holiday weekend. Bummer. but the job front is looking up...I've been contacted by a recruiter for a really good opportunity, all I can do now is wait and hope that I get to take the next step. It's time for a change, for sure.

I realized this morning that 90% of my problem career-wise is lack of commitment in any one direction, because I'm attracted to at least three distinct jobs: PhD in Classics (leading to professor-ing: as it turns out, I really like teaching); writing; and opening/running my own business.

None of them will work without real commitment, so instead I take the easy way out with a desk job that pays well and doesn't satisfy. Hmm. Is that a fundamental character flaw or just a really REALLY long learning curve? Not sure, but it's time to find out.

Monday, June 08, 2009


My mother's side of the family is full of strong women, starting at the top my grandmother, the matriarch. Grandma, mom, all my aunts, even my cousins are all strong females...sometimes to the point I feel sorry for any weak-willed man who falls in love with one of us, because he wouldn't stand a chance.

So the wedding I saw last weekend of my cousin to the mother of his child was really one of the most offensive things I've ever seen. The first clue was the bride's mother doing the reading...passages from JOHN, of all the apostles the most woman-hating, about obedience.

The pastor's homily was even more offensive than the time a pastor went off on his views of gay marriage during a wedding: this pastor emphasized for a good twenty minutes how it's the wife's job to keep looking THE WAY SHE DOES NOW, SUBMIT TO HER HUSBAND, etc etc etc. And what does the man have to do? Be patient with her and love her and take care of her no matter what. REALLY?? Be patient? The whole ceremony set them up as master/subordinate, not equal husband and wife.

If the asshole pastor could've seen into the groom's side of the audience, I think he may have turned green and run for his life. All the women in his family were livid and horrified. I just really hope all that crap was said because it's her family's church and they wanted to make her parents happy.

So to counteract the ill feeling I had all weekend after that, I'm watching Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Submit this.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009


So my mother in law is moving in again, this time for a long term arrangement. I'm conflicted: obviously there's NO way either of us would ever say no to her moving in, because she's truly in a place where she needs some help and we're the kids in the best position to provide it. Last time she lived with us it was temporary while she looked for an apartment after moving back from Arizona. This time she's getting out of a bad relationship and needs a chance to get her shit together.

But much as I love her and she's family, this will bring out so many stressors large and small in our household. Space is a huge thing for us: we are not small people and it's easy to feel cramped. Plus, I'm losing my office entirely this time, as we've decided to give her as much time as she needs to get going, which means she needs a room truly her own. In all fairness, he's losing his space also: we're moving my office into his and sharing, so I feel better than the last few times we've had longer term guests/renters. I hope we'll get along ok in there. And I really hope he doesn't get too cranky in general, the way he usually does when someone else is living with us.

There are small annoyances living with a third person when a couple is used to their own house. The upstairs bedroom doors are always open (even all night) to give the dog roaming ability and to let air flow. I won't be able to run to the bathroom in the middle of the night without dragging out a robe...or get out of the shower and run downstairs to grab clean clothes from the more person to figure out dinner schedules, tv schedules, etc. None of these are dealbreakers, just the side effects of a larger family than two that I'll need to get used to all over again.

I AM rather excited about her habit of cleaning when she's bored. And we don't generally have that "it's my house" thing between us. Overall it'll be good, but I'll miss my nearly perfect privacy. Aah, family.


I'm in my second month of teaching level 1 bellydance, and as it turns out I enjoy it. A lot more than I thought I would: I was so afraid I'd do the first class and absolutely hate it and be stuck for two months while subbing. But surprisingly enough, teaching seems to bring out that hidden leader in me, and I think my students are having fun. I have four classes left, and I'm sort of sad that's it.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Ode to the Liberry

That's right, LIBERRY. Yes, I majored in English and I still say Liberry (as learned from my high-school creative writing teacher). Deal. I love my liberry...because I spend FAR LESS money there than a bookstore. Although there are some genres of book just not carried by public entities: time for a DBC (Dirty Book Club) meeting with the girls to exchange books, I think.

'tis on my mind because I have books due tomorrow...books I normally would've whipped through and returned within a week, if my life wasn't so mental at the moment. Teaching 2 bellydance classes, cleaning up after minor remodeling of our kitchen cabinets, and an ailing dog have sucked up 90% of my time.

WHY do I have burning urge to write when I'm so fricken busy it's hard to carve out 15 minutes to sit down? Two book ideas are clobbering each other daily in my brainpan, vying for supremacy, and I've had too much crap going on to give either the proper attention. So perhaps I should be working on one of them, instead of dumping random thoughts here today.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Mental Cobwebs

I'm in dire need of a file cabinet for my mind, and some serious internal housecleaning. Unfortunately I haven't heard of Merry Maids for your mind, so there you go.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sunday Night Blues

Between spending too much money over the weekend (big shocker: that's nothing new for us) and attempting to put my house back in order (which, another shocker, still isn't done)...well, let's just say I need a nap. Or a vacation. Or just more than one night of no-nightmare, no stress, sleep in a row.

So Monday morning is immenent, I'm behind as usual, and the thought of getting up to work is rather overwhelming.

I have a tentative run/walk and writing schedule worked out for the week, because focusing on how much I hate my job is only making it harder to deal with, so it's time to put my energies into something more positive.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Blackberry Preakness

WOOHOO Mine That Bird...go go go! I didn't know until today that crackberry is now the main sponsor of the race. Weird: something about that just doesn't strike me as classy enough for a Triple Crown race. But I do think it's about the coolest thing ever that a 50-1 horse co-owned, trained, and ridden by the same guy won. I love that the owners showed up in a pickup and run down trailer. I love that the underdog won...I just hope they can go all the way: I'd like to see a triple crown winner in my lifetime.

I should be planting my new flowers while runnign the dishwasher today (still trying to make headway into the mess resulting from cabinet refurbishing). But instead I'm watching a $9,500 gelding's biography...I can't help it. He's awesome.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Is it Thursday?

My feet itch. There's absolutely NO logical reason why an allergic reaction to medication should make my feet swell up and itch like i wandered through poison ivy recently. But I'm home today, my windows are open and it smells like rain outside: a welcome change from months of hermetically sealed windows and constant snow.

Almost makes me ok with living in Minnesota. Almost.

My plan today is to work on the novel some, start a short story I thought up last night (need a 750 word super-shortie for a contest I want to enter) and get Pensword up and running again. Ambitious, no? I wasn't feeling well for a couple of weeks due to my utterly embarrassing health issue, but the depression brought on by inabilty to do a lot is waning and I'm rather perky about changing my situation again. Part of me just wants to write, part of me still wants to get my PhD in Classics/Archaeology so I can get paid to research my passion and keep writing as a pleasing hobby instead of "work".

There have been many times in my life I've wished I had that sort of narrow focus on only one or two interests so I didn't have to divide time amongst them. Today is one of those days.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Random Bits

This week has been utterly surreal. Have a rather minor health issue that resulted in a doctor-insisted diet of clear liquid for four days. I'm on day 2 and I'M STARVING!!

Pros: Lost 7lbs in 2 days. No other pro I can think of. Cons: hungry; unpleasant side effects; bellydance is completely exhausing; going out to dinner with old friends we haven't seen for years is uncomfortable when all I could eat was cranberry juice. Two more days...two more days...

This week (with the insidious help of Facebook) has been the week of ghosts resurfacing. Wow. An old friend from high school (I didn't keep in touch with anyone from high school over the years) found me on FB, even with my married name. I haven't posted my maiden name, as I wasn't close to many in high school and don't really care what's going on in their lives now, however this girl was one I regretted losing touch with when she left college. Ten years later...good god, it's been ten years...she tracks me down after apparently getting my married name from my Mom a couple of years ago. Weird, in a most excellent way.

So I've spent some time today sifting through memories in the brainpan, some good, some not so much. I don't wish I could go back and do things over, so I guess that means I don't have too many regrets, and that's something.

Monday, March 30, 2009

I Know a Few of These

The subject of this article, the Toxic Witch, is ever so reminiscent of a few unnamed women at Fest. Renaissance Festival is one of the most accepting places for people of all backgrounds to hang out together: that accepting attitude unfortunately seems to be a magnet for the unstable of both sexes. Occasionally the visibly "issued" will show up: men looking for girlfriends in the WAY too young age category, ex-girlfriends who follow around their former lovers and hang outside their booths making everyone uncomfortable...

But the worst are the women who purposly befriend couples only to attempt to break them up later. The ones who try to get in the man's pants while he's drunk at the bar after hours only to tell the S.O. all about it the next day, or spread insidious rumors to anyone who will listen. These women are so pathetic, they do it just to see if they have the power to create drama and trouble between a couple. Many a man has been on the receiving end of these rumors, and quite a few relationships weren't strong enough to withstand their efforts.

Fest is just like high-school: rumors fly like mad and gossip provides entertainment on the hot days. Befriending one of these women only brings out the pain-in-the-ass factor, and unfortunately it can take a little while to get the TW radar working properly to avoid trouble. But it does start working eventually, and just like any other bully in life: the more you ignore one of these raging bitches, the sooner they go away.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Child Brides

An article on the BBC dated 3/13/09,, never made it to US newswire.

In the past two years, 6,000 children have disappeared from one region of India alone. One region. Caylee Anthony disappeared, a single child, and she was all over the news for months. Her mother is still in the news as her trial nears, yet 6000 missing children in another country don't make the media here. The police in India say most of the children missing probably eloped. Excuse me? I wasn't aware a six-year-old could "elope." The article reads like a horrible Indiana Jones Temple of Doom thing: where are they all going? Who's taking them, and why doesn't anyone seem to give a damn at all? I noted the missing are predominantly poor children: because their parents don't have enough clout with law enforcement to make a big enough fuss? Or because a poor family has working parents, working children, and no one to watch out for the smallest members 24/7?

6,000 children in 2 years. That's 250 every month. 250 elementary schoolers vanishing into thin air. I wonder what sort of attention that would get in the US, the UK, France?

In Saudi Arabia girls can be promised into marriage at any age, although their much-older "husbands" are supposed to wait until puberty to consummate. Consummate: there's another word right up there with elope. Most girls hit puberty at about 12: is that the proper age to "consummate" their marriage with a 40 year old man?

In California a man was arrested for SELLING HIS DAUGHTER into marriage to pay a debt. he doesn't understand what the big deal is: in his home country it's normal behavior.

Things are bad in the world these days, there's no denying it: economy is slipping toward oblivion, people are losing jobs, homes, vacations, bonuses, cars, THINGS. And while Americans are up in arms over AIG bonuses being stolen out of the taxpayers' pockets, 6,000 children missing are classified as foolish kids who eloped by their own police force.

Where's the attention? Where's the outrage?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Recruitees Beware: AppleOne

I've been working very diligently on finding a job in Florida so hubby, dog and I can relocate from the tundra to a beachier clime. I have an unusual experience/skill set and am smack-dab in the middle of experienced manager and fresh-from-college: in other words, I'm in a position that a recruiter may have a better time finding me something than I could find myself.

Therefore, I was ecstatic when I found four, count them FOUR perfect-for-me jobs in Orlando that are through, you guessed it, recruiters. So I followed their instructions, spending hours loading all the information into their website that you can find on my resume anyway (apparently a resume just isn't sufficient). Then I set up a mandatory interview at my local office.

Local office promptly called to tell me they only recruit for local jobs, and to get a job in Florida I'd have to contact the FLORIDA offices. Only you can't GET an interview in Florida if you AREN'T LOCAL. That's right folks, a monumental catch-22 that they don't bother to list on their website. Anywhere.

I wasted hours of my time, posted all my resume info on a website I no longer want it posted to, and argued with a stupid rep who insisted that NOBODY in the recruiter industry handles relocation positions. Bullshit honey, that's how most people with experience get jobs out of town: they go through recruiters. Get your facts straight before you lecture someone who clearly knows more about your job than YOU do. I'm still irked, and I'm waiting impatiently for them to pull my info from their site (which I requested she do immediately). If it's not off by the time I'm done with this post I'll send yet another strongly-worded email and call about the situation.


Monday, March 09, 2009


1. Watched The Watchmen on Saturday afternoon. Hmm. To remove all spoilers I'll just say that the extra hour of unnecessary gore (no really, it didnt' move the story along AT ALL and was just ishy for the sake of as much blood as possible) is an hour I'll never get back. However, the story itself was pretty good...dark, but good. I left feeling very angry and stirred up for quite a while, which while uncomfortable is still better than leaving a movie feeling like brain cells were killed during the viewing. Oh, and I seriously want to know if Dr. Manhattan is computer enhanced. If not...well well.

2. Just finished the Obsidian Trilogy (The Outstretched Shadow, To Light a Candle and When Darkness Falls) and the first two books of the Enduring Flame trilogy (Phoenix Unchained and Phoenix Endangered). All five are co-written by Merecedes Lackey and James Mallory, and for any fan of complex, earthy, unforgiving fantasy I highly recommend them. The characters multi-faceted and flawed, the history is rich and full of background, and the evil is well, evil. It's excellent, and neither author is shy about putting the characters in impossible situations or causing harm and death. The only drawback is the second trilogy isn't finished, and neither author's website has any further details. Argh!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Spring Fever and Frustrations

It's March. Yay for weather that finally cooperates with my idea of the melty season.

And along with that, my itchy feet have become restless again, as they do every year around this time. My review is done, my "bonus" will be here by mid-month, and all financial ties I have to my current job are now exciseable, if necessary. So my eyes are wandering to possible greener career pastures, especially since I'm finding it pretty difficult to get the editing business up and running. Slow going, but persistence will pay off eventually: I'm certain of it. In the meantime, I'm trying to focus all that energy on finishing creative writing projects (and start them) and edit THOSE for submission.

I'm still having plotting issues. But I'm taking a writing class on Saturday and hope to get some tips on, well, how to be mean to my characters. I have this weird problem where I don't want to do anything too horrible to them. Stupid, and boring! But there you characters' lives can't be as bland as mine, or nobody (including me!) will ever want to read about 'em.

Hmm...what sorts of evil doings can I get my Banshee up to in the next few days? Plenty, I'm sure...I forsee some death approaching...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Reviews and Employment

I had my annual performance review today. The good news is: I'm not fired. Hey, in this uncertain economy AND uncertain merger with the much larger company (who has made it very clear that "merger" really means we're buying you and making unpleasant changes)...well, let's just say I wasn't positive I was safe. In all fairness, I'm still not sure I'm safe for this year, simply because said monster company hasn't decided what to do with my department yet. But for now, performance wise, I'm good.

Except I apparently didn't do all the extra credit last year I was supposed to. Corporate jobs are all about managing expectations...and I guess I didn't manage my supervisor's supervisor's expectations of me well. I kicked ASS last year at work, but all she talked about was my stupid developmental know, stuff like attending additional training or reading books specific to my line of work...etc etc etc. For the first time I came away from a performance review feeling like I truly lacked, even though I EXCEEDED all of the actual work-related goals for the year.

Of course that was followed by "we all need to work harder with less" and no raises this year (for the second year in a row) but the goals for 2009 should be "stretch" goals. I'd like to see where the hell they think the incentive is for that, plus 100 extra hours of client-facing time, plus 10+ hours of "development" or training.

Seriously, why am I still there?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Whale Watching

All right, now that's just cool...and probably nothing I'll ever see in person, as I detest the cold and can't imagine visiting the Arctic Circle anytime soon.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Monster Monday: Man-Eating Snakes

What is it about snakes that scare the bejesus out of most people? There some deep-seated horror in the subconscious that spawns horror movies like Anaconda. Every few months an email goes around the internet with those pictures of a man's legs and lower torso sticking out of the burst belly of a giant snake. Rumors and urban legends about people-swallowing snakes are so popular even the new Discovery channel show Monsterquest covered it, sending investigative teams to the Everglades and the Amazon to look for uber-snakes.

For me, the idea of being swallowed whole is even more horrifying than the idea of being killed by a wild animal. I think it's because ignorance is bliss: I don't have a big sentimental attachment to my body after I die. Donate it to science, bury it, burn it, leave it for the wild animals as nourishment: I won't be using it anymore, and one way or another Nature will take care of recycling it for something else's use. However, I do NOT relish the idea of somebody or something else making use of MY body before I'm done with it. Add to that the speed with which constrictors eat their prey, the "eww" factor of saliva and presumed crushed bones, and the prospect of being swallowed alive and whole is just not a good way to go.

So, is this some throwback to our cave-man memories in the lizard part of our brain, some deep subconscious memory of the fear our ancestors felt while walking the jungles and grasslands? Is it memory from even before Homo-Erectus...maybe a fear from the evolutionary brain dating back to our primate days? Or, is it because we HAVE had to contend with monster snakes that could swallow a human being, a cow, a horse, with no difficulty?

This article just serves as a reminder to skeptics out there: just because we don't see evidence of a monster in plain sight doesn't mean it never existed. The world was about 10 degrees warmer year round when this snake lived. Now THAT's enough to make a girl worry about global warming...

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

On Fairytales

I wonder what would happen if little girls weren't raised on a constant diet of damsels-in-distress, of princesses who only become truly happy when they're finally married off and in a position (presumably) without any work? Look at Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty: NONE of them are happy until they've met Prince Charming in one of his many incarnations. Perhaps more disturbingly, none are happy until they're married to a man wealthy enough to 1) take care of them and 2) save them from any sort of labor.

Granted, cartoons have become a lot more progressive since then: look at Mulan, the girl who became a soldier...who again was happiest at the end when she'd found a man. Is society a reflection of the crap we watch, or is what we watch a reflection of society? Are women only truly happy when they're in a romantic relationship, or are we just bred to think that way? I think it's really interesting that statistically it's MEN who report being happier, more content, and are longer lived when they're married. So who perpetuates the idea that women are happy married: women, or the men who want to marry them?

I won't lie: I do wonder now and again what it would be like to be single, to be responsible for only my own feelings/goals/dreams/household/job etc. Who wouldn't think about it now and again? I don't generally feel guilty about it either: it's not a wish to be single, it's an idle wondering. After being through all ups and downs in my relationship over the past seven years (good GOD, seven years) I honestly think I'm happier overall being married than I would be single.

I was reading that blog again today: the one written by an young woman (maybe mid 20's) who's been cheating on her husband the entire time they've been married. With several different men. Reading it always leaves a really bad taste in my mouth, as I'm particularly offended by any type of betrayal, but most especially betrayal of the S.O. kind. It's just part of my makeup: honesty is #1 for me, even if honesty hurts I'd rather that than the lie. Anyway, while today is no different, I found myself wondering why an adulturous woman is called a homewrecker when an adulturous man isn't? Don't they wreck the respective home(s) together?

Is the Jezabel label another product of the fairy tales we teach little girls...that only bad women sleep with men outside of marriage? Only sluts and bitches fall in love with people they shouldn't? But why is behavior often percieved as a "weakness a wife should forgive" in a man percieved as "evil homewrecking slut" in a woman? And more interestingly, why when there's infidelity in the marriage does the spouse blame the OTHER person, not the offending spouse?

I don't have the answers, but I think this'll roll around in the brainpan for a little while. Maybe it's the product of American Puritanism. Maybe it's based on biological impulses to compete for genetic dominance. Maybe it's all a load of crap and people need to just rediscover honor.

Monday, February 02, 2009


I'd like to say I'm fast on my mental feet, so to speak. Unfortunately I can't often say that: I'm the girl that comes up with the snappy comeback to a nasty comment about three hours after the fact. The girl who thinks up the perfect joke after already making an ass of herself at a party. Yeah. I'm not that girl. I'd be kicked out of the comedy olympics with a dirt medal: dead last. For some reason almost all my wit comes out in writing, not in speech.

As it turns out, I'm even clumsier at dance improv as I am at the vocal variety. Give me a choreographed piece and I'll learn it and be able to make changes from there. Turn on a piece of music I've never heard before and, while the rest of the class makes up moves and dances all around me, I'm the girl-in-the-headlights. I can't move, I can't think: seriously, I could get hit by a bus. And usually I'd prefer it to improvising dance to something I've never heard.

Yet that's how many of my BD classes seem to end lately. I know I'm supposed to get better at it with practice, but the fact is, after 5 years of bellydance classes, the last 2 in advanced classes, I'm still no better doing improv than a beginner whose never done the moves at all. I'm beginning to wonder if this is a dance disability I've given myself somehow, or if my brainpan just can't function in that situation.

For the record, I have a crappy time dancing at clubs and such if I don't know the music, also.


Friday, January 30, 2009

What's Really Important

Layoffs hit hard this week, not just at Target and Best Buy, but also at my company. So far I've been lucky, and I know exactly how lucky I am. I've consistently been clear on my feelings for my job, but when it comes down to it, I still have one. For now. And at this point, any job is a good one, so I'm grateful to be employed.

That doesn't mean I'm not working on writing so someday I can leave the land o'cubes for my dream job, but the fact is any steady, decently-paid position is nothing to scoff. Our taxes and any possible bonus (oddly enough, the SAME DAY layoffs swept through the parent company, it was made fairly clear that there will be some sort of raise/bonus situation in March) will help. Pay off debt, put some in the bank.

I love my husband. I love my family. I love my dog. The rest? Job, money, debt, house, car...just frosting.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Because It's Cool

The Rocket Garden at Kennedy Space Center...a great place for tall people to go to feel short.

I Heart Tax Season

I realize it's ridiculous to be excited to do my taxes, but this year we have some serious deductions and such that will create a MUCH bigger tax refund than last year, per Turbo Tax's calculators. Since we do have quite a bit of debt, this makes me monumentally happy. Paying off some big ticket items and sticking a chunk of change into our savings will go a long way to making me feel more secure, especially since even my company started laying off people today. Granted, our layoffs are the result of a merger causing overlapping jobs (none of which should effect my department at all), but still: uncertainty is uncertainty. For the first time I don't really feel guilty about our recent vacation: it was worth it, we saved for it, and now we'll replenish those savings and pay off some debt.

On top of that, my husband gave me the ultimate writing compliment the other day. Generally a lot of what I write isn't really his style, but he'll be supportive anyway and say whether the writing is good or not, regardless of the content. The most recent shortie was, in his words, "Poe-ish." Wow.

He did suggest therapy, too...but the story has had several incarnations and is as polished as I can make it without obsessing, so it's off. We'll see what happens next.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Argh. Seriously

It was in the 50s an 60s the entire time we lounged on the beach (in jeans and hoodies) last week in Florida.

It was 73 and sunny the day we came home, to -13.


Doesn't matter though: vacation is still vacation, and it was ever so excellent to be away from work for a week.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Monday monday...

I got SQUAT done last weekend, but I did run my butt off taking care of my sick husband, who spent the entire weekend migrating from the bed to the couch to sleep, whispering how much his throat hurt, and generally feeling miserable. Turns out he has strep, which thankfully will be knocked out by Friday...and even more thankfully I have a doc who is compassionate enough to prescribe antibiotics for ME as a precautionary measure, in case I get it also. Ugh. Last year I had an ear infection on our vacation...I do NOT want strep throat this year, dammit!

So it's Monday and I stayed home from work in case I had the disease (becuase it's terribly contagious until you get 24 hours of antibiotics in you) and the earliest appointment I could get was 11:30am. That means instead of being stuck in hours and hours of traffic hell this afternoon, I got to spend it watching the pretty snow fluff accumulate on my back patio, over the frozen dog poop in my back yard (from Thor AND his pint-sized girlfriend next door who insists on pooping on our side of the fence).

And now, -30 windchills for the rest of the week. Seriously. Saturday can't come fast enough.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

9 days

Until Florida, THANK GOD. Between the holidays and job hunting for something in the Portland area, even my days off aren't really days off, and I could really use a real vacation. I think hubby could too.

And tonight is our 3rd "Rome" date in a row...8pm, lying in bed cuddled up to my favorite person in the world to watch a DVD from the first season of Rome is a most excellent way to spend my evenings.

The dog is giving me some trouble this week: his ears will NOT clear up no matter how often I clean them with the crap the vet gave me, in fact, he keeps scratching an open sore in one. DAMMIT! I'm going to have to take him in if the sore doesn't heal up by the end of the week. Neosporin isn't helping, and it actually showed up just before he was done with the antibiotics. Argh. Maybe the foot wipes I was using for the infection between his toes will do the trick on his ear...

Thursday, January 01, 2009

New Year, New Goals

I'm sort of a major scrooge on New Year's Eve. 2008 was a shitty year anyway, in pretty much all aspects of my life. Looking back was just depressing and put me in a major funk, which of course started a minor tiff with the hubby and resulted in me being even more, well, unhappy (because "funkier" is just completely different). Plus after the holiday insanity for Christmas I generally don't feel like partying on fact, I much prefer staying at home (where it's warm) and hanging out with friends. Last night i stayed home but it was mostly by myself (Hubby made an appearance at a friend's party and got home about 9) and I'm not ashamed to admit it, I was pouty...which is why I completely encouraged him to go to said party becuase I was NOT in any shape to hang out with yesterday. Seriously.

But, new day, new year, new goals, new me...right? I'm such a geek: I AM one of those people who sit down and make goals for a year...not resolutions, because those ridiculous things never work. But I'm not an ordinary organized geek...oh no. My writing background is too ingrained for that: I don't make goals, I make OUTLINES, as in major goal followed by SUB goals, to be completed over the course of the year. This year, because I've read in multiple places (and rumor has it this is in The Secret) I'm writing down an actual outline with timing and putting it up on my office wall.

I have major goals in most areas of my life: body, mind, soul, relationship, living situation, career. I'm 31: it's about time I learn to find some balance in my life and get my shit in order. Seriously. I started many of them right around Samhain, which is a much better (and less stressful) time for me to begin the New Year, however there are some that just weren't feasable to begin until after the holidays, so only baby steps were made in those 2 months after. NOW, in the darkest, coldest, and slowest time of the year is when I can really focus my energy on kicking all my goals into a higher intensity and build it over the year, instead of driving them all to burnout by February.

2009 is my year for change. I can feel I just need to follow through and DO it.