Sunday, December 30, 2007

You Are Now Free to Roam About The Cabin

We had a little bit of a conflict with Windows, Dell and LinkSys fighting over control of the connection, but it was finally resolved and I am now talking to you live, from my sofa! Life is good.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Perspective

It's all about perspective.

You know how I said I had lunch with a friend on Monday and her family stories make my life look like a piece of cake? Well, I just got off the phone with a completely different friend who is dealing with even more grief than the aforementioned friend, and it really, really, really brought things into perspective for me.

I'm just at that age where I need to start worrying about my parents' health. What is going to happen twenty years from now when all the Baby Boomers are in their 80s and they are stricken with Alzheimer's and dementia and because of the economy they don't have the money to pay for private nursing care and their families can't (or won't) take them in? Who is going to shelter and feed these people?

Will the asylum culture rise again? Will we need to build large facilities where we can park these people who have mental conditions but because of the miracles of modern medicine, physically they are as strong as horses and just won't die? What happens when the mind gives out but the body lives on? I seriously need to sit my parents down and go through some preparation with them now.

My parents don't have a lot. I expect to receive exactly nothing from them when they die. They are hard working, honest blue collar folks who spent their lives raising four children. That's what they have to show for their life's work. But let me tell you this - I will fight to shelter and protect the few things they do have. The way I see it, they are owed health care in their old age, and they shouldn't have to sell their last possession to get that handout. They have paid taxes for years and now they deserve to get that money back in the form of free nursing home health care if that's what they need.

Enough said.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Soon

My new laptop has arrived! I need to get it (and my new wireless router) set up and soon I will be blogging from the comfort of my couch. Ah, the good old days.

That's how it all started, you know. Sitting on the sofa, wirelessly connected to the internet. Nearly four years ago.

Yeah, this blog has been suffering. Look at that goddam tagline - I've had it up there all year! Give me some suggestions, folks. What should I list as my new tagline in 2008?

In other news ...

... I took on a new temporary roommate. It's not nearly as much fun as when Phil was here. We're both being quiet and respectful of each other, but I don't want to be quiet and respectful in my house. I want to do whatever the bleep I want to do. I need to tell myself that it is a means to an end. Her rent is helping pay for the new laptop. And it's only temporary. But still. She can't leave soon enough.

... my friend's daughter is out of the hospital! She still has a long, difficult road to recovery, but she's out and she was able to celebrate Christmas at home. Yippee!

... I had a two hour lunch with a friend on Monday. Her family stories make my life look a piece of cake. It's all about perspective.

... I am one of two people in the office this week. And I honestly did put in a long, full day of work.

... Did I tell you the high blood pressure was back? Yeah. Genetics is kicking my ass.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

So Much To Say ...

... so little time.

Not sure I've ever gone this long without posting. It seems I'm going every single day. To the gym on Monday. To yoga on Tuesday. Committee meetings on Wednesday. To the gym on Thursday. To happy hour on Friday. To holiday parties on Saturday. Is it any wonder?

First things first - I'm getting a new computer! I cannot wait to have a new wireless laptop. Trust me, my posting will increase significantly once I can blog from the sofa in front of the television. That's how this whole thing started!

Next - my friend's daughter is recovering from her head injury. She was moved to a rehabilitation hospital on November 15 and she's now learning how to walk (on the treadmill for 10 minutes the other day before she got tired), how to talk (she still searches for words), how to eat (solid food for the first time in over a month), etc. It was very frustrating at first, but now each day there is more and more positive news.

Okay, that's going to have to do it as it is 8:59 p.m. and I'm going to go watch The Biggest Loser. Ta-ta for now!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Still Swirling

The whirlwind is still blowing.

Sometimes I've wondered - do I write more when I'm happy or when I'm sad? I think I definitely have tended to write/journal more during the sad times of my life. Interestingly enough, there have been times when I thought I was happy and wrote a lot, but looking back, those were actually bad times for me. So I think the answer is that I write more during the bad times.

So my lack of posting could actually be seen as a good thing.

To catch you up on where I've been ... the weekend before Halloween I went to Wyoming with my friends Susan and Julie. It was a great trip. All we did was eat, sleep and sit. But the sitting was on the airplane and in the car - we traveled a lot. Managed to get to Yellowstone, a first for me. I'm really glad we went in October and avoided the crowds.

So we had a great trip, but on our return, I got some bad news. My friend Susie (not to be confused with Susan) called to say that her ex-husband and children had been in a car accident. Her ex and son were fine, but her daughter was in intensive care with a head injury. As soon as I landed I went to the hospital. They had her in a medically induced coma and it was shocking to see her.

I actually hadn't seen her in a few years, and she is now 14 years old and a freshman in high school. She's not a little girl any more - she's a young woman. And there she was with all of her hair shaved off and she was swollen from the fluids they were pumping into her and she had all of these tubes ... and she was there for 16 days. Late last week they moved her to a rehabilitation hospital. I don't actually know the exact diagnosis/prognosis. She's in there, she's out of the coma now and she seems to comprehend what Susie says to her, but she can't seem to make her body work anymore.

She's learning how to sit ... how to hold her head ... how to swallow ... how to walk ... how to even reach up and scratch an itch. She has to start all over. Susie has been visiting her every day, and she's just exhausted. I have offered to do whatever she needs me to do - cook, clean, do laundry, run errands, whatever. So far, I haven't been able to do anything but offer.

I don't have children, but Susie's kids are special to me. We were neighbors when they were born (they are twins, a boy and a girl) and the only time I stopped taking my weekly yoga class was when I babysat the twins for Susie when she was taking a class. Susie was so calm and collected when she called me with the news, and I held my composure until she said "I wanted you to know because in a way they are your babies too." That's when I lost it.

And yet, I'm sure I can't even begin to experience the depth of emotions that Susie must be feeling. To have your child, a piece of you, go through this suffering and not be able to do anything about it. It's just a waiting game. This little girl will recover, eventually, but it will take a long time.

So every day I check the web site where Susie journals her daughter's progress, and I think of her, and I pray that she's able to make a full recovery. I'm trying to think positively and count my blessings, but it's going to be hard to be thankful this year when someone I care about is in pain.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Whirlwind

First of all, thanks to Sue and Deb for guest posting for me.

I love, love, LOVED Sue's speculations, and it's been far too long since I've seen Brian's backside. The truth of the matter is, I did go on an exciting trip to get a boob job (I worked hard for the money to pay for it) and I was thinking of new blog posts.

Anybody want to guess where I went?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Venus as a boy

I* like to think of Fear Not as "my other blog". To that end, I feel that lately, it has been lacking in the number of photos of Brian's backside**. This post shall remedy that situation!

Venus as a boy

* I am Scooterdeb from Cheaper Than Therapy
** I wonder if she'll ever speak to me again when she reads this?

Friday, October 26, 2007

Kenna Has Left The Building

... but would you notice unless I told you so?*

I'm hoping her request to have some of us step in and guest blog for her means she hasn't forgotten the blogsphere is still here. I've been speculating on what she can be doing while she's away. **

  • She is writing a novel
  • She went on another one of her exciting trips
  • She is moving
  • She and The Man are eloping
  • She is getting a boob job
  • She is 'finding herself'
  • She is thinking of new blog posts to regale us with when she returns

Feel free to add your two-cents' worth!

* I am Sue from The Torn Pages
**I wonder if she'll ever speak to me again when she reads this?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Heat Is On

I turned it on Sunday. I didn't want to get out of a nice hot shower and step into a 57 degree house. So, I made it until October 14.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Random

Where do I start?

1) What's with the raids on Anna Nicole Smith's doctors' offices/homes? And the talk of digging her up? Didn't they already do an autopsy? Let the poor girl rest in peace.

2) Just watched Deal or No Deal which I declared a losing proposition back in December 2005 (my God, has it already been on that long?) and they were trying so hard to give away a million dollars that they gave the contestant eight chances. And she picked a million dollar case! But sold it for $115,000. I'm not sure what point I'm trying to make with this, but she took the deal because her friends/family advisors told her it was guaranteed and she could invest it and turn it into $1 million. I hope she does.

3) Ann Coulter is a fucking whack job. Good for Donny Deutsch for challenging her. The scary part is that he said he thought she didn't do it intentionally, that she really didn't think she was saying anything wrong, that she wasn't saying it just to be extreme and get attention. Yeah, that's my point. She's a fucking whack job. There. Someone had to say it.

4) I joined the gym and last night I went to a class called Reduce Your Assets. My assets are killing me today.

5) Today is October 12 and I still have not turned on the heat in the house. My hands are cold as I sit here at the keyboard. The temperature is dropping and I don't know if I'll make it through the weekend without turning the furnace on. I made it until October 14 last year, and October 19 the year before that. Stay tuned to see how long I hold out this year.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Worst. Migraine. Ever.

I've had two others this bad, but this one was the worst. At least the other two were preceded by a drunken night of partying (and were, most likely, alcohol poisoning and not migraines). But this. Pure unadulterated hell. And I can't pinpoint a specific reason.

I had gone out after work and nursed one beer in the local brewery for two and a half hours. Came home at 8:00 or so and made a quesadilla using leftover chicken. Maybe it was bad yeast in the beer. Maybe it was bad chicken. But to wake up in a cold sweat with a headache? I tried taking my migraine medication, but threw it up. Managed to go back to sleep for awhile, but couldn't kick the nausea or the headache. Lost track of how many times I hurled.

At one point I thought was throwing up the guacamole I had put on the quesadilla, but I think it was just the bile from the bottom of my stomach. Nice, bright fluorescent green. Really astounding. Couldn't keep anything down. Not even a banana which was the fix on the last two massive migraines.

Eventually, it worked its way through and I was able to keep down some toast and banana. Around 6:00 I took more migraine medication, but stayed in a prone position most of the day. A pity too. It was a nice day and I completely missed it. Still moving in slow motion today.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Who Knew?

So I just logged on to my online savings account and I realized that I could view my statements. And when I clicked on the link I saw that I could always view my statements and that, in fact, I was supposed to have been receiving statements all along, but the email bounced. So I started going back and viewing and saving the old statements and there it was.

1099-INT.

Attached to the December statement. Which I never got. And therefore never submitted as part of my tax return. So yes, I admit it. I failed to report $35 in interest income. I just updated my email address. It shouldn't happen again.

In other news, I kept getting these PC Tools error messages so I decided to download the most recent program and run the full scan on my computer. That was three hours and 88,000+ files ago. The good news is that the number of infections found? Zero. Of course the computer hadn't been plugged in or turned on for 162 days so ...

Yes, it's time for a new 'puter.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

SpamAlot

In the past 30 days my gmail account has accumulated 1,394 pieces of spam.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

That's Just Wrong!

So this couple we know, they're getting married. And I just got invited to the shower and since we're not going to the (destination) wedding, I have to put in an appearance at the shower and represent, you know?

Now, I know that things have evened out in the shower and wedding department lately. Sure, you'll still see people register for towels and linens and silverware and blenders and throw rugs and draperies and the like, but now the guy gets to ask for a few things he would like too.

It's not just Macy's and Bed Bath 'N Beyond or Target and Kohl's where you register. You can register at home supply stores, like Lowe's, too.

But riddle me this .... would you put this on your wedding registry? Yes, there it is. A 16" gas chain saw for $199.00. Oh, I think I'll add that to my cart!

Can you imagine? How cool would that be if I showed up at the shower and gave them the chain saw as my gift? "Hope you have a wonderful life together and I really don't want to know who intends on using this or how ..."

And yet, somehow, if you knew this couple, you would think it totally appropriate. Yeah, I really don't have an extra $200 so I think they'll be getting the $49 chafing dish instead.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Exhausted

I am utterly and completely wiped out.

Could have something to do with the 800 miles I traveled over Labor Day Weekend. Or the fact that I am at least ten pounds overweight. Or the very thought of packing and moving again.

I could go to bed right now. In fact, I think I will.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

I Tought I Saw A Coyote

I did! I did! Earlier this evening I spotted a coyote!

I was sitting here at the computer and I spotted some movement out near the car. I stood up and saw what looked like a small dog and quickly realized it was a coyote. It's very unusual to see them. I called for The Man but he thought I was just talking on the phone and did get up until it was too late.

It freaked me out a little, thinking that a wild predator was this close to the house, but he wasn't that big, and he probably is more afraid of me than I am of him. Plus, he was just a little thing - I think I could take him. Not like those western wolves. So, my brush with wildlife. It happened too quickly for me to get a picture, and besides, the camera would definitely have spooked him anyway.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Everything Is Miscellaneous

So, remember a few weeks back when I went to pick up my car and it wasn't ready? And I had to walk a mile and a half into town to kill time at the public library? Well, while I was there, I checked out this book called "Everything Is Miscellaneous" and it really got me thinking.

I read the book (okay, skimmed the first few chapters) and it was pretty interesting. You know how we all have boxes of photos that we never seem to put in photo albums? And how, now that we have digital cameras we think we're going to finally organize our photos? Have you done it? No, because instead of making things easier, we've made things more difficult.

Now we have options. Instead of putting things in one physical album and labeling it August 2007 vacation, suddenly we can apply multiple labels. Yes, it's a 2007 photo, but it's also a photo of DisneyWorld, and you were there in 1996 and 2002, so why not also label the photo DisneyWorld and have it there by the other DisneyWorld photos so you can see that it is indeed a small world after all?

The author also made the point (much more eloquently than I'm about to do) that iPods had something to do with this. See, with your iPod you can create a playlist that has special meaning - all the music you grew up with, music from angry female rockers, music from 1984, music that reminds you of your ex-lover - you name it, there is a custom playlist out there.

Not that I would know. I still haven't figured out how to create playlists on my iPod. In fact, I had to dig it out of my backpack this morning and hook it up to the charger. I'm just lucky I figured out how to download my contacts two years ago for my west coast trip. Anyway, the point is, the more we have to organize and the more we try to do so, the more complicated things get.

Even worse is the fact that it's so hard to throw things away. With digital photos, you take 101 photos of your garden. And because they aren't cluttering up your physical space, you keep all 101 photos, even if some of them are out of focus or the lighting is off or you have one really good photo of the roses and five not so good ones, you keep all six instead of just the one really good one. And you think you are fine because the photos aren't cluttering up your physical space, but you aren't because unless you go through and label all 101 photos then you have no way of sifting and sorting through them. And all you have are 101 photos that weigh you down.

It's the same way with email. The whole gmail concept is Evil. "With this much space, you never need to through anything out." So I have, what, 787 842 messages in my gmail box and only 15 of them have any real value to me. And the labels. I resisted using the labels because I was used to folders. I wanted goddam folders in my gmail. So I didn't use the labels and now my email is out of control. Yes, I can search my email and find the message I want. But it would be so much easier if I had just applied labels in the first place.

It didn't occur to me until I read (okay, skimmed) this book that the labels really were better than folders. Because I can apply more than one label, but I can only physically place a message in one folder. But if you think I'm going to go back and label all 842 messages in my gmailbox, you've got another thing coming.

I think it would be quite liberating if I were to simple go in and delete them all.

Well, at least delete everything prior to 2007.

Maybe I could search for certain messages (i.e. message from The Man, for example) and label them before deleting everything else.

Yeah. Right. I still have 842 messages in my gmailbox.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

My, How Time Flies

I have a friend who I hadn't heard much from over the past few months. Turns out he's been going through some personal relationship challenges. I don't have the full story yet, but I can't say I'm surprised. I never felt comfortable about this relationship, and I can't say I told you so because I didn't - but I thought it.

In any event, this is a friend who was a much bigger part of my life three years ago. I can't believe three years have gone by. I've been blogging for three and a half years, and I have at least 3 1/2 blogs out there, and none of them is a true reflection of me. I'm okay with that. The world wide web is a scary place and I'm glad that I haven't put everything out there.

I've been saying for at least two years that I need to brush up on my web/computer skills, so today, for the first time in a long time, I visited one of my links, ProBlogger Blog Tips. When I first started blogging, it seemed that I was able to attract readers fairly easily. I very quickly assembled my little virtual community, and it was good. Lately, though, I've noticed that I don't seem to attract any new readers.

One reason is that my blog isn't devoted to any one particular topic. Another reason is that, well, I'm just not that into blogging anymore. Anyway, one of the reader tips from ProBlogger was to link to newer blogs and blog posts. I guess that would be one way to attract more traffic. Or I could just be satisfied with the referrals I get when people do a search on the Duggar family which just spawned child #17. Or the Google images referrals of that muscle-bound Match.com guy. Or the people looking for information about Matt Kaplan.

Why did you stop by?

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Strange Bird


So, those long walks I've been taking down the driveway to get the mail ... one day I came upon three turkeys but I didn't have the camera with me. Now I try to take the camera with me in case I come upon some wildlife.

I can't for the life of me figure out what this bird is doing up here in the mountains of upstate New York.

Monday, August 06, 2007

The Best Laid Plans

I thought I had it all worked out.

I went away for the weekend with my girlfriends and left my car for service. Oil change, inspection and exterior detail. Not too hard, right? I specifically asked them to check the brakes because I remembered they said my rear brakes were at 30% the last time I had it in - would the brakes make it another 5,000 miles and if not, please replace them.

So I leave it at 10:00 a.m. on Friday and tell them that I'll pick it up Monday afternoon. Plenty of time to get the work done. I don't hear anything from them, so I assume it didn't need any extra work (they would need my authorization for anything more than $25 beyond the oil change, inspection and detail). We get up this morning, I turn my cell on ... no messages. We begin our trip back, stopping to shop and for lunch along the way. It doesn't occur to check my phone for messages.

My girl friends drop me off at the dealership at 2:00. I think I'm going to pick up my car, stop at the grocery store and be home in time to make dinner for The Man. Wrong.

"Your car didn't pass inspection."

What do you mean my car didn't pass inspection?

"You need new brakes."

Yes, I specifically asked you to look at the brakes and to replace them if they needed it.

"We called and left you a message."

I check my phone. They called at 11:25 this morning. They have had the car since 10:00 a.m. on Friday. If you were me, wouldn't you have assumed that if you hadn't heard anything by now that all was well? So now they are working on it but my ride had already left and I had to walk a mile and a half back into town. It could be done by 5:00. It might not be done until 7:00.

They'll call me.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Finally!

... After about sixteen tries, I was able to reset my Hallmark.com password. I still think it was them, not me.

... The Man started his new job today!

... I started exercising. Sure, it's just a long walk down the driveway to get the mail and back, but it's something.

... We have a kitchen sink!

Friday, June 29, 2007

Let's Get It Started In Here

Remember how I said something's gotta give and that we were just waiting for the party to get started? Well, 2007 is gonna rock and the partying has begun!

First I hear from Sally that she found her missing mojo - she's gotten rid of a toxic relationship that was dragging her down AND she got a new job. Then I hear from The Man. Turns out he has a job offer pending! And finally, I managed to connect with an old friend from high school - someone I hadn't talked to in years - and we talked for an hour an a half, like it had been 22 days instead of 22 years since we'd seen each other.

And to top it all off - Trucklet came home today, good as new and I secured an adorable studio apartment for a little mini girls getaway weekend. Everything is coming up roses.

And believe it or not - it all happened on what would have been my 16th wedding anniversary AND I already had a porch party scheduled for tomorrow night.

The planets they are aligned.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Who Knew?

That lost post? Not lost. Just not visible to me. Turns out I needed to clear my cache. I hadn't cleared my cache in like ... ever.

Seven and a half hours of yard work today. More to be done but it's going to have to wait. If I'm lucky, tonight I'll do some laundry and pick up around the house. Tomorrow I go with The Man to check out an assisted living facility for his father. LOTS more behind that but I won't get into it here.

When I get back tomorrow night I drop off Trucklet so she can get fixed. It will be good to have that behind me. Of course, her annual check-up (inspection) is due in July, so I'll have to take her in again before the end of the month.

Just saw that they found Jesse Davis' body and that boyfriend Bobby Cutts has been charged. Who didn't see that one coming?

Friday, June 22, 2007

Lost In Space

I created a post earlier tonight, but so far it hasn't appeared. Hmmm. Lots of stuff running through my mind earlier. Now, not so much.

It's been an exhausting two weeks. After the accident, I rented a car to drive home to visit my family. I was annoyed that the car didn't have cruise control, but pleased when I realized it got 40 mpg. I put over 600 miles on that baby, so I was thankful for small favors. Had a nice time with my family. Spent some quality time with the new niece. Helped my mom put together a new swing for the pool area. Came back and started shoveling mulch.

Things are taking a turn for the better. Something's got to give, and I think the walls are starting to crumble. The Man and I agreed that our motto would be "2007 is Gonna Rock" and we're just waiting for the party to get started!

Another One Bites The Dust

I saw the announcement a while ago but I didn't have time to comment/reflect on it until now.

Jenica is gone.

Oh, she's still out there, but she decided that for the good of her career, she needed to take her thoughts about work elsewhere. I know from whence she comes.

This blog started as an outlet when I was in a job that bored me to tears. In its early years, I frequently posted from work and I even joked about it in naming my blog by adding the tag line "On Company Time." The blog has never been solely focused on work - heck, it's never really been focused on any one thing. But all the same, I started it using a pseudonym and I have been pretty careful to protect my 'real' identity from anyone who might know me.

As Jenica points out, it's pretty difficult to remain truly anonymous when you are posting your thoughts and opinions out there for the whole wide world to see. And as careful as I thought I was, I know that my former employer discovered this blog and has been checking it fairly regularly since last fall. Curses on those computers that 'help' you by remembering every email address you entered and providing them whenever you pull up a web form asking for username/email address!

I've enjoyed Jenica's blog and I'm going to miss it. Oh, sure, I can email her and ask her for access to the now hidden site. But then if I link to her eventually someone will come across the link and she'll be outed once again. No, I won't ask her for access, but if she offers to provide it to me then I'll stop by every now and then just to check in and see how things are going.

Fare thee well, Jenica and Drew. I will miss you.

Monday, June 11, 2007

When Bad Things Happen To Good People

I did not have a great weekend.

It was filled with stress and tension and to top it all off, I was rear-ended. Totally blew out my rear window and jammed up the tailgate. Poor Trucklet! I took photos of her in all her misery, but of course somehow neglected to put them on my flash drive.

I. Am. Exhausted. Emotionally and physically.

The only good thing to come of this is:

a) it was the other guy's fault so insurance is picking up the tab, including a rental car for me (I believe) so I can still go visit the family this weekend; and
2) The Man called this morning and he had gotten a call back from a potential employer that wasn't smart enough to hire him the first time around when he interviewed there a few months back.

Please let all the pain and misery and suffering be worth it in the end.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

She's Back!

I don't even know how I lost track of her, but I did. And now, for your reading pleasure, I once again link you to Advanced Maternal Age. Enjoy!

Friday, June 01, 2007

22 Days Later ...

... I get around to responding to Sue's tag.

I'm supposed to reveal seven random facts or habits about me.

1) I pace when I brush my teeth.
2) Yeah, I admit it - I pick my nose.
3) I was once arrested for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.
4) Lately I've gotten in the habit of only drinking half of my morning cup of General Foods International Coffee (French Vanilla, of course). I put the other half in the fridge and have iced coffee as soon as I get home at the end of the day. I don't know why.
5) I've got a pile problem. And it's growing
6) I won't know unless I pull a Britney, but I suspect that if I were to shave my head I would have a very shapely noggin.
7) I daydream about hitting the lottery.

Had a lovely evening. Met up with Denise and Amy for dinner and then we strolled around the park chatting for a while longer. Bumped into the local newspaper photographer and since we all knew him, no introductions were necessary. Now I know I've been living here a long time when I know the local news photographer and all my friends do as well.

Was at my final pilates class in the park (a different, bigger park) the other night and there was a concert going on. We asked some of the kids who was playing and when they told us Fall Out Boy and Paul Wall we said, huh? Then one of the guys said, "Sorry, Neil Diamond and James Taylor are more your speed." Why yes, yes they are.

It's official. I'm no longer young and hip.

Notice that I didn't say I'm old, because I'm not. I'm just not as young as I used to be.

Was walking to work yesterday and bumped into an old acquaintance who just happens to be celebrating her 25th college reunion this weekend. I told her that I was floundering, professionally. She looked at me and said, "Yeah, you're right about that age."

It hit me - it's not just me! I'm not the only one going through this "is this all there is? Shouldn't my life have more meaning?" phase. It still sucks, but at least I was reminded that I'm not the only one singled out for this misery. Welcome to my world.

More later. Or some other time. Whenever.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

20/20 Vision

I can't focus.

I know there are craploads of things I could/should be doing. But I start one thing and run into problems and suddenly everything devolves and I find myself just going in circles.

Tonight it was the damn camera. I just can't seem to get the computer to recognize the camera. Plug and play my ass. I've gone 'round and 'round with this thing oh so many times before. And why is it that the stupid camera and scanner wizard doesn't have Canon listed anywhere? Agfa, yes. Lexmark, even, sure. But not a Canon camera anywhere from which to choose.

Not that it matters. The computer can't see that the camera is connected anyway.

Heavy sigh.

I've started reading a local political blog and I'm enjoying it, but it also repeatedly reminds me of why I loathe politics. Just a bunch of crooks and cowards anonymously slinging mud. And then you get the smart ass 'expert' who goes ahead and proclaims that s/he can identify an anonymous comment by tracing the IP address - "I have done it before for a client attacked in a similar fashion." And, of course, the expert makes this claim anonymously.

I just shouldn't even go there.

After wondering aloud where all the bugs were, I now am scratching constantly. Noseeums. I thought it was just a colloquialism until I looked it up. On my forearm, my knees, and now the top of my foot.

Looks like these file piles are going to live to see another day. I'll be lucky if I can just find those retirement account papers I need for tomorrow. Tried to rollover three accounts into two and ended up with one big mess. They've been mucking around with it for a month now. What do you think my chances are of them compensating me for putting the funds in a money market account for the past 30 days instead of investing it appropriately in the carefully selected funds I told them to roll it into?

Yeah, I thought so.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Things You Can't Do By Yourself

1. Apply sunscreen to your back.
2. Apply aloe vera lotion to your back after aforementioned lack of sunscreen scorches your skin.

Sue - I'm not purposely ignoring the meme; I do plan on getting around to it one of these days.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Happy Birthday, Jacob!

I couldn't think of a title for what is sure to be a rambling post but then I remembered it's my nephew's birthday, so good enough.

Traveled to visit my family this past weekend (part of the reason for the slew of vanity plates) and met my niece. She was born on April 28. What a little peanut! I know, everyone thinks their child/niece/nephew is the cutest ever, but she really is! It was great to see my brother with his daughter and to watch my parents with their granddaughter. I spent some time holding her too. Just holding her and watching her breathe. Watching the funny facial expressions while she sleeps. I'm sure if I was responsible for her 24/7 that would eventually wear off ...

It's a busy week for me. Pilates on Monday. Yoga on Tuesday. Pilates on Wednesday. Community walk-a-thon on Thursday. Girls Night Out on Friday. I won't get to see The Man again until Saturday. I'm beginning to drag a little. I am just not as young and energetic as I used to be.

So at the risk of putting too much personal information up here, I had my second mammogram on Friday. All clear so I don't need to have my boobs squished for another two years. I also ended up having a thyroid scan and bloodwork done. All functioning normally although the nodule on the right side now seems to have morphed into two separate nodes, but as long as I don't have any problems swallowing or breathing and the thing doesn't double in size and grow out the side of my neck, I'm fine.

That's all I got. What's new with you?

L8TRG8TR

Oh ... clever!

MOZART

I'm guessing a music lover ...

KMUNIK8

I liked this one.

INDYMOOD

I can't decide - car lover or subtle sexual innuendo?

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Yippee!


My Aunt Kenna is going to come visit me this weekend!

I Wish ...

... I could turn back time.

I can't believe two years have gone by. I wish I could go back and relive 40 all over again. It was a great year.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Applause! Applause!

Wow ... someone liked my last post so much they gave me an award!


It's a start ... who knows what will come next ... a Bloggy? ... a BoB? The sky is the limit!

Friday, April 27, 2007

What Are You Afraid Of?

Okay, so maybe reading The Secret (or at least skimming it) will lead me to a breakthrough after all. Or not.

I continue to ponder my role in this world. I haven't found my place in the workforce yet, and I'm still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. I know, "Join the club," you say. We're all trying to find that magical blend of challenging, meaningful and financially rewarding work.

But I think about it. A lot. And I'm still hedging when asked the question, "If you could do anything, what would it be?"

My first response is nothing. The only reason I work is to make money. If that weren't an issue, I would not work. Period. Of course let's talk about your definition of "work." It's not work if you love what you are doing, right?

So what do I want to be? And why am I afraid to admit it - to myself and others?

I was pressed on that question last night, and I finally said "I want to be a writer."

There. Was that so hard?

"Then why don't you do it? I've read some of the things you've written - you are a good writer."

And that's where I started with the excuses. I'm used to earning a living wage; I'm afraid that I couldn't earn enough to maintain my lifestyle. Of course that's a copout. What is really behind that excuse is this - I'm afraid that no one will care what I have to say. Or worse - that my writing will be criticized.

And so I’ve allowed this fear to keep me from doing what I want to do. I have ideas for stories, novels. But I’ve never totally fleshed them out. I’ve never put together that finished piece and tried to do something with it. In some ways, this blog is my book. You know the adage that if you want to write, you should write every day. That’s what I do here. Sometimes more often than others. Sometimes more eloquently than others.

I think I’ve run out of excuses. If writing is my passion (and it’s just about the only thing that I’ve ever even considered attaching that label to) then I need to do it. I need to put together a finished product and go with it. It doesn’t even necessarily need to be a book. I could start out small with an article or a short story.

Maybe I’ll get paid to write, and maybe it’s just an outlet for me. Maybe I’ll never earn more than the $150 I made two years again when I wrote those silly society columns for the local newspaper.

Or I could just end this sentence and hit the “publish” button.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Learning how to say "no."

Last night I had a meltdown in the middle of Barnes and Noble's cafe. It had been eleven months in the making.

Eleven months ago, I let my self be coaxed, cajoled and pressured into working on a collaborative project with my neighbor Celia. A person I thought was turning into a friend at long last.

Years ago when we first moved here, my first impression of Celia was that she was a condescending know-it-all. I stood firm in that belief for a good 4-5 years. But then she invited me over for pool parties and coffee and she seemed sort of fun and I thought, "At long last, a friend!" My loneliness and need for adult relationships overshadowed my initial instincts when it came to Celia.

Celia discovered that not only could I write, I wrote very well. She latched onto me, like a parasite onto its host, deciding I could be most useful to her. She pressured me into writing a children's book with her even though the tiny voice in my head (the voice I refused to listen to!) screamed, "I'm not interested in writing children's books now! I don't want to write with a partner! I don't really like Celia all that much!"

For the next eleven months, denial and excuses became my modus operandi. As work progressed on the book, the sheer accumulation of words necessitated that I stick with it, despite that tiny, ineffectual voice inside me fighting to be heard as she tried to tell me, "This writing sucks!"

Celia wanted my writing abilities but as we work, she rejects my ideas and suggestions. She sits at the helm, in control, typing her words. My purpose? Was to inspire and motivate her, apparently. Celia's writing style is to take an ordinary object or action and describe it to death. A flashlight hidden on a ledge in a cave becomes an intricately described grooved metal cylinder. And to what end? Purely to pad word count and reach "The End" faster. Celia operates under the delusion that writing makes money and the faster you do it, the faster you get those royalty checks.

I've been writing for publication since 2000 and I'll tell you right now I've made a grand total of about $90 for my writing.

There's so much more I could say about Celia. Anyone who read my blog regularly knows what a struggle I've been through and you're probably nodding your head vigorously now as I admit I was in denial that there was a problem. And you're probably shouting, "YES, FINALLY, SHE GETS IT!" when I say that Celia is an obnoxious pushy bully that I should never have gotten so deeply involved with.

So this meltdown had been building. Recent events leading up to it: I asked Celia for a current copy of our book so I could look it over, begin editing it on my own to try to make it interesting and possibly salable. But I looked at that first page and Celia had listed her name first even though alphabetically mine should naturally come first. Right there - those simple three lines of text symbolized my struggle. When she had first set down those lines and I asked her why her name was first (I can't even remember her reason), that should have been when I bowed out.

But I figured if the thing was ever published, an editor would fix that right up. So I continued editing and as I looked over that first page, I felt ill. My voice wasn't there at all. It was written completely in Celia's dull, klunky, over-detailed style. It was pure crap.

Eleven months and 112 pages of pure crap.

And every Tuesday and Friday morning I'm supposed to head to her house, my mind races for ways out.

So last night, in my writers' group, with my two closest critique partners, I had a meltdown which they watched unfold without surprise. They knew it was coming. And they told me only this:
Celia's got to go.


I spent hours with them trying to teach me how to say "no." And then I came home and spent another few hours with my husband teaching me how to say "no."

No. No more. I'm done. I'm out. No. No. No. NO!

There's nothing wrong with telling people no. If you don't want to do it, if your instincts are saying one thing, don't say another. Just say no. My husband said the only person who can say "no" to look out for you is YOU.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Suddenly, Spring - Part II

I had the BEST weekend.

Even though Saturday wasn't my own, I made the best of it. Volunteered for a group helping to rehab a home 12 miles out of town. They were siding, building decks, adding gutters, installing a new hot water tank, painting the living room and kitchen and installing new kitchen cabinets. I was good for painting and that was the extent of it. But I did it with some of the gals from my women's group and we all went out for a drink afterwards and did a little bonding.

Then up the mountain to spend the night with The Man. He threw a few steaks on the grill and we settled in to watch my latest Netflix movie, Stranger Than Fiction. I must have had great big gulps of fresh air because I was asleep on the couch by 9:00.

The Man and I had agreed to go for a bike ride on Sunday, so around 10:30 we hit the road. It was a picture perfect day. Not too hot, not too cool - the temperature was just right. It's still a little early for bugs, so we were pest-free the entire way. We zoomed down hills and raced back up. We went down dirt roads and paused beside the river. We came upon an old cemetary and went in to view the names. It was indeed an old cemetary - everyone was born in the 18th or 19th century. There were war heros buried there. Octegenarians and young children.

We made a big loop around the mountain, got some ice cream at the general store and then walked up the steep part of the hill leading back to The Man's place. Along the way we talked and just had the best time ever. We both enjoyed it, and we're already talking about doing it again.

It's nice when you have a great weekend!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

SHEZGONE

Seen on a big yellow Hummer. Yeah, I would have left the asshole too.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Suddenly, Spring

So the Nor'easter has passed and suddenly it's Spring.

I still have a waist high pile of snow on the north side of the house, hidden by the overhang of the porch, but it is melting more and more rapidly. The forecast is for high 60s and into the 70s over the weekend and into Monday, so it's bound to disappear quickly.

I heard the birds singing when I woke up this morning. I really hadn't heard them before this. Patty and I had lunch and walked through the park and we bumped into Amy. It was so nice being out and about.

Tomorrow I'm volunteering on a house rehab project, so I hustled to do as much yard work as I could after work tonight. I won't get a chance tomorrow, and right after the project I'll be headed up to the mountains to spend the night with The Man. I'm taking my bike and we're going to go for a ride on Sunday. It will feel good to be out stretching our legs.

I'm waiting for the second load of laundry to finish in the washer so I can throw it in the dryer. I'm going to need the jeans for tomorrow. I was hoping to get to bed a bit earlier, but oh well. Kind of a slow, boring end to an event filled week.

The tragedy at Virginia Tech has been on my mind all week. I didn't hear about it until about 8:00 on Monday night and I was just stunned. It's all so senseless. I was wondering when we would hear from the shooter's family, and I see that they did finally issue a statement through a representative earlier today. I feel for them. It wasn't anything they did or didn't do. He was just a horribly sick young man.

My mother called last night to say that some sort of threat had been called into her school, and they were going to be in total lockdown today. She was pretty sure it was a prank, and sure enough, it was. Classes were held and no one was hurt. I don't know how many parents kept their kids home, but that was just what the prankster wanted. I believe in taking precautions, but you can't always protect yourself. When these things happen, they happen. When your time is up, it's up.

So live life to the fullest, close your eyes and breathe. Lift your face to the sun and smile. Sounds like a plan to me!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Only Four Left!

So I've been getting these CareerBuilder job postings for truck driver jobs. First it was 12 jobs available, and then it dropped to ten. Now I see that there are only four positions left. I hope they fill them soon so I stop getting those emails.

It's snowing. Again. Still. A Noreaster they say. As much as running is a part of John's life, I think it's a good thing he isn't competing in the Boston Marathon this year.

The pork roast is cooking in the crock pot. We're going to have an early dinner so I can get home before the storm gets too bad.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

SpamAlot

In the past 30 days my gmail account has accumulated 1,863 pieces of spam.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Adoption Rights

I recently read about a woman who was given up for adoption, found out who her biological mother was, and is now asking for a part of her multi-million dollar estate. My first thought was, of course she's entitled to a part of the estate. And then I thought about it a little more. I don't think my opinion has changed, but the issue does open up a whole can of worms.

Children who are adopted are considered legal heirs to their adopted parents estates, aren't they? So why shouldn't biological children have the same rights even if they were given up for adoption? Here's where it gets sticky - what about all those children conceived via sperm donations? Would allowing an adopted but biological child to make claim on an estate open up the door for sperm donor babies to go after Donor # 709?

I'm sure that there are tons of forms and papers and legal documents that the mothers sign waiving any and all rights for themselves and their potential children before they are ever allowed to make a withdrawal, but someday, don't you think someone is going to try to test that?

I'm already waiting for sperm donor kids to grow up, go out and multiply with each other. Seriously. I mean, they had all these sperm donor babies on the news together. All these women who used Sperm Donor # 401 - basically their children are all half-siblings to each other. Is there going to come a day when these kids grow up, start dating, and have to tell their potential mates "Hey, just so you know, my father is Donor # 401 from the Fairfax Cryobank. Who is your father?"

I don't know. Wacky world we live in, isn't it? Here's an interesting story at Slate with lots of other links. Something to think about.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

RDSXGIRL

Being the gutter gal I am, I thought it said "rowdy sex girl" but The Man figured out it probably means "Red Sox Girl."

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Loose Ends

Trying to tie up some loose ends this weekend.

* Sent job posting to Greg
* Emailed John to say hello
* Paid my phone bill which somehow I neglected to pay last month
* Picked up a new supply of aspirin for my once a day heart healthy routine
* Finished putting together a birthday basket for The Man
* Pulled two garbage cans from out back and picked up the large sticks in the yard
* Made carrot raisin salad for tomorrow's easter brunch
* Taxes ... ugh.
* Laundry
* Dishes

The crocus' are blooming and the daylilies and tulips are coming up even though the ground is still frozen. Or at least refrozen. It got cold again and I actually had to wear my winter coat to work yesterday.

Today is The Man's birthday and we're going out with the gang tonight. So I guess I'd better get a move on and hop in the shower so I'm ready when he gets here. Later!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Every Which Way But Loose

Just did some catching up on my bloglines. I don't think it shows in my blogroll, but once upon a time I subscribed to ProBlogger. I had high hopes that I might become the next Fish or Washingtonienne or Tequila Mockingbird (interestingly enough, when I went to find her blog I discovered that she had just posted today for the first time in over a year!) or something like that.

So far - not.

I haven't found my niche. I'm not linking enough. I'm not commenting enough. I'm not populating my posts with links. I'm just too scattered. I keep saying I want to focus on this, but then I come home at the end of the day and the last thing I want to do is sit in front of the computer. Ah, blogging On Company Time ... those were the days!

These days I'm too busy to blog. Pilates on Monday. Yoga on Tuesday. Pilates again on Wednesday (except for those nights when it conflicts with my women's group meetings). Dinner with The Man on Thursday, followed by Survivor with Mary. Friday? Happy Hour. Last week it was $4 cosmos with Phil; this week it's $7 cosmos with Denise. Saturday it's run around, pick up the house and then go over to spend the night with The Man. On Sunday, crock pot dinners and then back home to start all over again.

And what's new with you?

Monday, April 02, 2007

Rambling

Am I the last to know that postage is going up again? I'm still working through my holiday stamps, thank you very much. Speaking of which - I need to remember to send a birthday card to my friend Diane.

Made corn and cod chowder for the last time this season on Saturday. Once spring and summer hit, it's just not the kind of meal you crave, you know?

Watched Casino Royale and didn't hate the new Bond.

Did my taxes over the weekend. Looks like I only owe $200 instead of $400, so that makes me MUCH happier. I feel like I just 'found' $200!

One of the women over in accounting who walks past my cubicle six times a day to go outside and smoke a cigarette? Said she won $4,000 at the casino over the weekend. On the same machine that doled out $2,700 to her a few months back. Some people have all the luck!

Actually, if I'm to believe The Secret, we all have the luck - it's just some of us know how to better cultivate it. I'm trying. Thinking positive thoughts and trying to attract positive outcomes to me.

Hard to do when you follow up on a job lead to find out that you aren't even getting an interview. But then you come home and hit the job boards once again and see a training position that might be a fit and you happen to know the executive director so you email him to get more info.

'Cause if it doesn't pay at least what you're making now, there's no sense wasting that $0.39 stamp.

Wanted to tweak my template and was actually looking to use the lovely drag and drop feature that New Blogger has. Except the Layout option seems to have disappeared. It's like I've gone back to the dark ages again. And I really don't want to sit here and go through the whole transfer process again and I don't think I should have to - other New elements (such as tags) are showing up. Why is it that I seem to have simply lost the layout feature - just when I wanted it.

Grrrrrrr......

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Is it worth it?


I am taking advantage of Kenna's open invitation to be a guest blogger. I have had the pleasure of meeting her in Boston the past two years. I won't get to Boston this year to run the marathon, so I will have to settle for posting on her blog. Not quite the same, but it is a rendezvous of sorts anyway.

This topic is inspired by a frequent reader / guest blogger of this very site: Sally


John StrainI was a Cub Scout and a Boy Scout. My brother was too. My sister was a Blue Bird and a Campfire Girl. My dad was a scout master and my mother was a den mother for Cub Scouts and a leader for Blue Birds and Campfire Girls.

As a kid, I breezed through my scouting adventures oblivious to the hard work and sacrifice my father made. I am sure my brother and sister would say the same thing. Our parents were involved and it cost them time and effort.

With my family at the Grand Canyon
At the Grand Canyon wearing a Boy Scout T-shirt


If you have read Sally's writings about her Girl Scout leader adventures, you get a pretty good idea of what is involved. There are lots of meetings and trainings to attend, there are difficult people to work with, and there are issues that come up with your own child to workout. One does not always know "the answer" and there are loads of challenges, costs, and insecurities to handle.

From time to time, such leaders must ask themselves, "Is it worth it?"

Is it worth giving up weekday evenings and various weekends to be exposed to people you would rather avoid than do volunteer work with?

Is it worth being the "heavy" because it is the right thing to do and having all of the kids hate you?

Is it worth the certain occasional issues that come up trying to balance being a parent to your child and treating them like an equal in the group? You will be accused of playing favorites by some kids and their parents, and you will field protests from your own child that you aren't being fair to them.

I suppose each leader has to answer these questions. These are the things that don't appear in the leadership recruitment brochures.

When adults volunteer to help their children in a group, whether it is scouts or sports, they have a vision in their mind. They have an idealized, Norman Rockwell scene playing in their mind's eye. Then the reality of the setting slaps them awake, but by then it is too late to retreat.

I love the scene in the movie Parenthood. Steve Martin was a baseball coach and he encouraged / made his son of about 8 or 9 play second base. Suddenly, the batter popped up a pitch and it was headed for his son. As the ball flew through the air awaiting the catch, the viewer was given a glimpse inside Steve Martin’s head. It was in the future and his son was receiving a college degree. The son was making a speech and he said, “I want to thank my Dad, for making me play second base.”

Back to reality, the ball came down in his son’s glove, but he couldn’t hold it. They lost the game and his son was the goat. Again, we were given a glimpse inside Steve Martin’s head. This time, it was an emergency scene. One heard gunshots and people were taking cover. “He’s in the tower,” someone said. Then the camera panned over and you heard someone “obviously the son” shouting from the tower, “You made me play second base.”

We imagine one thing but get another.

I can relate to this. I coached baseball and basketball. There were times I really did not want to go to the field or the gym on a Friday night or a Saturday morning or afternoon. It seemed such a sacrifice. My grass needed to be cut. My shed needed to be cleaned out. I had to pay my bills.

I always told myself, "Someday, you will want to see John play basketball and you won't be able to. This is temporary." I was right. John is 22 now. I don't have to go to anymore games. But you know what? My grass still needs to be cut, my shed still needs to be cleaned, and I still have bills to pay.

I know my parents both grew from their experience as leaders. To this day, they both spout words of wisdom taken straight from the leadership seminars or scout manuals. My mother would tell all of us at times things like, "Always finish what you begin." I think that is some sort of Blue Bird motto.

Scouting drilled good values into my head. We recited the scout pledge and the scout laws at each meeting. We took off our hats, placed our hand over our heart and said the pledge of allegiance at every meeting. We learned respect and patriotism.

It meant a lot to have my parents involved as leaders. I was proud of them and they provided another level of security that I enjoyed.

Now that I have grown up and had my shot at enjoying the sacrifice others made for me and making the sacrifice myself, I have no regrets. I think it was because my parents led by example that I felt a certain obligation to step up when it was my turn.

The value of volunteering is immeasurable. It pays dividends from now until the end of your days. I profited as a child experiencing scouts and enjoying the sacrifice my parents made. As an adult, my leadership ability was enhanced by my earlier experiences and I persevered because I had a good example from which to learn.

So is it all worth it? It was for me.

Until the next time
John Strain

Saturday, March 31, 2007

COUGGRRL

I thought calling a woman a "cougar" was a derogatory thing, but apparently this grrl is proud of who she is.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Crisis management.

Why is that once I decide to cease blogging, I suddenly need an outlet to vent?

Kenna, thank you so much for letting me spout off here!

The other day I attended a Girl Scout leader training class. At one point, the crowded room was filled with noise from the multiple conversations going on. We'd been discussing girls in our troops with special needs. I mentioned to the woman next to me that one of my Girl Scouts had been diagnosed as clinically depressed years ago and had tried to commit suicide. This was an eight-year-old, mind you! Anyway, the woman's response was to confess that she, herself, had recently attempted suicide and had just gotten out of some sort of care facility. She concluded by saying it had been a "nice little $16,000 vacation."

I was a little taken aback, to say the least. I fumbled for the best respond I could muster, asking, "You're doing much better now, right?" She said she was but she thought her meds dosage needed increasing.

Today I mentioned all this to Celia, my neighbor/friend/writing partner. Celia reacted with shock and the first thing she asked me was, "Did you report her?"

What? Report her to who?

Celia informed me I should have questioned the woman's position as a Girl Scout leader and that I should have immediately reported what the woman told me to someone above us. We debated this for a bit before, blessedly, the subject changed and we returned to our writing.

But I was so rattled and dismayed over Celia's reaction for several reasons:

1. It seems such a brutal thing to do - to immediately "tattle" on the woman for suffering depression, to question her ability to manage as a GS leader.

2. Why cause the woman even more strife and stress??? And why take away something that she enjoys doing?

3. Shouldn't girls (at least older ones) know that depression is a mental illness that can be managed? Couldn't there be some positives to this?

4. I have an appointment this Thursday to speak with a doctor about my own depression. Celia's reaction, her thoughts on this woman's condition versus her ability to function as a leader . . . it hit home! I wanted to blurt out, "I've been horribly depressed - do you think I should step down as a Girl Scout leader? Are you going to report me?"

It was all very distressing for me; I could barely manage to continue working with her this morning, I so desperately wanted to escape, to go curl up in a ball and cry.

And seriously: if someone had confessed such a thing to Celia in a similar situation, would she have reported her? Or would she have questioned her further, made sure the woman had a good support system in place? After all, troops are required to have a minimum of TWO leaders. It's not like the other leader would stand by while the depressed, suicidal one handed out razors and taught the troop how to properly slice open a vein.

Man, I wish I'd come up with that argument for Celia when she was scolding me for not tattling! I hate that I'm so slow to react, that my clever responses hit me hours too late.

Any thoughts on this? What would you have done in either situation: first the woman confiding in you about her depression/suicide attempt and Celia's reaction? I'd like to know.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Inspiration

I hesitated doing this because I loved seeing that last post so much that I didn't want to displace it. I get a kick out of coming home, checking my bloglines and seeing that somehow a new post has mysteriously been placed on my blog! Maybe I should get me some more guest bloggers.

By the way ... the iPod? Haven't touched it since that last post.

Oh - hang on a minute. I forgot that my dinner was in the toaster oven and I need to go check on it.

Okay. I'm back. I changed the batteries in my smoke detector and I didn't want to burn the dinner and have the smoke detector go off. I'm shoveling food in my mouth because I have to be at a meeting in half an hour. I'm sure there will be some food at the meeting, but I don't want to count on it, and chances are it will just be nibblies. I'm missing out on dinner with The Man for this meeting, so it had better be good, dammit.

Enough about Kenna's iPod.

It's been days and that iPod post was still up. DAYS, I tell you.

Let's talk about something else. Like, my eye.

Three days ago it felt like something was in my eye, wedged in between the eyeball and the lower lid. I pried it open and looked but saw nothing out of the ordinary, other than it looked slightly redder than normal.

Three days later, I wake up and it's puffy and I'm a little nervous. What if I lose my eye due to a raging infection of some sort? Eyelid Cancer? Would I choose to wear a patch or get a glass eye? I called the doctor to see if they could squeeze me in and they could NOT. I had to wait until the evening urgent care hours and then the doctor announced it was simply "An Irritation." I'll tell you what's an irritation. Waiting all day to see the doctor, driving thirty minutes to urgent care only to find out the urgent care hours didn't start for another hour, waiting at urgent care for 1 hour, twenty minutes, then waiting in the exam room for another thirty minutes. THAT, my friends, is An Irritation.

He prescribed medicated eye drops, probably an overpriced version of Visine. I can only administer the drops twice a day and they don't seem to help much so, on the pharamcist's recommendation, I also bought some Visine to help soothe the eye. It's become more painful, red and itchy today, but not as swollen.

I've noticed a pattern in my family's health. Every March, without fail, each one of us develops an illness or injury requiring a visit to the doctor or urgent care. My daughter injured her foot early in the month. My husband hurt his back. Then my daughter got the flu. And, finally, my turn, my eye inexplicably develops An Irritation.

What is it with MARCH? I think I hate March. I'm skipping it next year.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Progress

It's taken me hours, but my iPod is now finally up-to-date, and I managed to get some of my music files back on to the laptop. I had to find a helper application to transfer from the iPod back to the laptop. I suppose that there is a way to do it via iTunes, but I didn't have the manual and the laptop moves so slowly that I didn't want to try to access the manual online and try to run iTunes at the same time. But I do want to give the folks at SharePod a shout out, and my voluntary contribution will be forthcoming.

I haven't uploaded my contacts to the iPod yet - first I need to be sure they are up-to-date (I think I'm close) and then I need to go back and find another helper app that I used (and paid for) once upon a time, PalmPod. All this and I still don't know where the actual Palm Pilot is - I'm just using the software on my desktop.

And through it all I kept getting Norton worm warning messages that iTunes was trying to access my machine externally, even when I didn't have the program running. Evil, I tell you, pure evil. The other thing I want to do is find some sort of workout mix for my iPod. Something that will take me through a jog/walk cycle. I suppose I could try to do a mix on my own, but why reinvent the wheel? I'm sure someone has already put together a workout mix that I can download, even if it costs me a few bucks.

So while I've been messing around with the laptop, I uninstalled IE 7.0. Just didn't like the feel of it. Downloaded the latest version of Firefox and I'm good to go. It's been a productive weekend. And now I have to go home and shovel some snow.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

How Stupid Can You Be?

I have several different email addresses, one which I set up to use in conjunction with my (in)famous other blog. Amazingly, Kathryn Kelly seems to think that she has that email address, and she keeps applying for jobs in Long Island:

Date: Sat 17 Mar 2007 01:24:14 PM EDT
From: olasadmin@pnwboces.org
Subject: Jobs Applied Kathryn Kelly

Dear Kathryn Kelly,
Thank you for applying through the Long Island Region Online Application System for Educators!
The districts you have applied to will contact you if you are to be scheduled for a personal interview.
You applied to the following jobs:

Lynbrook
Math - Secondary
3/17/2007 12:24:14 PM
You have chosen to allow all districts to view your application.
Please note that you can re-enter the system and upload job-specific cover letters
for each job to which you have applied. Click ''Manage My Jobs.''
We appreciate receiving your application and wish you success in your job search.
Sincerely,
System Administrator
The Long Island Region On-line Application System for Educators.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Copyright © 2006 P/NW BOCES. All Rights Reserved.
http://www.pnwboces.org

This is not the first time that I've received such a notice. You would think that Kathryn Kelly would get a clue the first time she tried to access this email account and discovered that she could not, in fact, log in.

I wondered if it was just spam, but I've gotten the same notice several times, and it only happens with this gmail account, so I suspect this is a real reply.

If you know Kathryn Kelly, would you please tell her to use another email address when applying for jobs on Long Island?

Thank you. Thank you very much.

Let It Snow

What a pleasant surprise to see that post from Sally! I had given her (and a few other folks) guest blogging privileges when I went on vacation in November and I just never took away their access.

I'm with The Man and we are snowed in for the weekend. One of those lovely late winter storms that dumped 10" overnight. I was expecting weekend guests but the weather caused cancellations so I just came up here last night. I figured if we were going to be snowed in, at least we would be snowed in together. I'll try to post a photo, although with all this snow all you would see is a lot of white. And that's assuming I could get my camera to download.

I'm hoping to work on my laptop today. It's been a year and a half since it worked properly and I was planning on just using it as my iTunes server. Of course, it only has a 20 gig hard drive and a 2001 processor and probably not enough RAM, so no wonder that thing came to a grinding halt. I'd like to get a new one but a) the aforementioned lack of desire to be a Vista guinea pig and 2) I owe $400 in taxes so it's not likely I'm going to have the jack to plunk down on a new computer any time soon.

But it's all good. More later, I'm sure.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Surprise guest post!

Just because my blog is on a brief hiatus doesn't mean I can't post over here at Kenna's blog. Right?

You get used to using your blog as an outlet when you're frustrated or down. Or even as a place to post good news, get feedback or just sort of socialize. Maybe I'm going through a bit of withdrawal. That's why I'm over here.

Why is my blog on hiatus, you ask. Or maybe you wanted to ask but were afraid to. Or maybe you just don't care. Well, I'm going to tell you anyway.

I'm burnt out (or is it burned out? I don't even care. Well, obviously I care because I question my word usage. But I'm trying not to care.) I don't feel I have any fresh offerings for my adoring public, all 11 of them (and I think I'm exaggerating the numbers a bit in my favor.) I'm all whiny and "boo-hoo, I can't find a job" and "Wahh! Nobody likes me!" and "Tsk, my neighbor annoys me!" God, how can those 11 people even stand it?! How is it none of them have gouged out their eyes with toothpicks so they won't have to read another bit of crap from me? I don't know. Maybe they HAVE gouged out their eyes and then promptly bought computers for the blind, the kind with Braille keyboards and a sexy automated voice to read aloud whatever is on screen. I'm not sure how it works but I'd like to know.

Where was I? God, I hope Kenna deletes this. She'd be completely justified - I'm tainting her blog with my drool-flecked blabbering.

Why does a person put their blog on hiatus and then pop on over to buddy's blog to corrupt it? I'm depressed, that's why. I'm unhappy and misery loves company so I'm generously sharing.

There are other reasons - for the hiatus, I mean. Not for corrupting another person's blog. I have no further reasons for that. Sorry Kenna. But I won't go into that now. I'll save that for another late night pity party/buddy blog corrupting fest.

Later taters!!

SpamAlot

In the past 30 days my gmail account has accumulated 1,851 pieces of spam.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

And Another Thing ...

I knew I didn't want to upgrade to new Blogger.

And I definitely don't want to be one of the first to suffer with Vista, but if I buy a new computer now that sucker is bound to be loaded with it.

Anyway ... I totally hate that Blogger is connected and tied in to my Google account. Now, in order to post here, I have to log out of my real gmail account and then log in to my Kenna Fearing account. Just a royal pain in the ass.

Just Do It

I'm having a fairly productive day. Instead of sitting around thinking about all the things I should be doing, I'm actually doing them. So, instead of producing a list of things to do, today I proudly present you with the list of things already done:

1) Get up
2) Take medication
3) Go to the grocery store
4) Fix healthy breakfast
5) Make carrot salad
6) Bake cookies
7) Do the dishes
8) Catch up on old episodes of Melrose Place and Beverly Hills 90210 on SoapNet (done while accomplishing # 5, 6, 7 - I am a multi tasker!)
9) Phone in regrets for next Wednesday's women's group meeting
10) Phone prospective members for women's group
11) Check out my Coke rewards code online
12) Make plans to go to a gathering with The Man
13) Do two loads of laundry
14) Send resume and cover letter to Dan for his input
15) Further tweak said resume and cover letter; compile list of references

... and so much more to come!

Dear Palm ...

... thank you so much for the following reminder:
====================================
You are receiving this product-related message because our recordsindicate that you have purchased and/or registered a Palm device.

Daylight Saving Time (DST) begins March 11, 2007 -- three weeksearlier than last year. DST will also last one week longer in thefall as well, changing back to standard time on November 11, 2007.

To help your calendar events and email reflect these new DST changes,please visit the link below to download the DST update for all Palm(R)devices. Remember, your device will NOT update automatically, so please download this update from Palm.com before March 11:

http://News.palmnewsletters.com/cgi-bin13/DM/y/ekJl0VsI4q0HXH0Zlu0Gm
=====================================

Unfortunately, I don't even know where my Palm is. I haven't used it in like, two years. I figured out how to download my contacts onto my iPod and I haven't updated my address book since (in case you were wondering why you hadn't heard from me).

But if I do find my Palm, I'll be sure to reprogram it with the correct date and time.

Dear CareerBuilder ...

... what makes you think I am interested in this job?

US-NY-Upstate 10 Trucking Jobs Open - Training Available - Upstate, New York DriverCareers

Oh. Wait. It was a sign and I missed it.

I've been getting these job alerts for a month now (except initially they had 12 jobs and now they only have ten; must have filled a few positions) and I didn't realize it was a sign.

See, if I were a truck driver then I would have won the lottery.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Late To The Party

Someone was indulging in a selfless lack of self-promotion. Glad I finally caught up with you, Scooterdeb.

Empty Handed

Okay, so long time no post.

As most of you know, I am not a Georgia truck driver, and I do not purchase my liquor in southern New Jersey. Hence, I still cannot make use of my previously claimed blogspot, The Mega Millionaire. As soon as I hit the jackpot, the posting shall commence. But thanks for the love anyway. It helped me get through a frigid (single digits and below zero - in March!) week.

It was a busy week at work and it will continue to be busy for at least another month until we can fill an open position. Of course, by the time they fill that position I hope to be moving on. I did not get the job I interviewed for last month, and I subsequently received a less than stellar review at work. I have since transitioned into a new role, and I continue to pursue other opportunities that might be a better fit for my talents and skills.

Because yes, I remind myself, I do have talents and skills! Actually, I'm excited about a position I saw posted last weekend. It would be very similar to the job I left in 2005 but in a different capacity. I'm hoping they see the parallels as clearly as I do. Not being too cocky here, but I can't imagine not getting an interview for this job. I will keep you posted.

Again, thanks for the comment love.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Love, Love, Love

Send me some comment love. Didn't win the jackpot last week and the Mega Millions jackpot is now $346 MILLION DOLLARS. That's $346 MILLION DOLLARS!

John was a bit late last week but I'll consider it an early display of affection for this week. (Should you choose, however, to leave even more comment love, then you just might be in for a bigger share of el jackpot.) Even Scooterdeb came out of hiding to share some love, so come on, y'all, leave a little love!

And now for something completely different.

I went to another funeral over the weekend. One of the ladies who belongs to my women's group died last week. She was 51 years old. She had a stroke at home over the weekend, and her son found her on Sunday when he came over for their weekly Sunday dinner. No one knows how long she had been down. They got her to the hospital and she seemed to be doing well, although one side was paralyzed. Then, suddenly on Wednesday, she died. We're guessing from a second, massive stroke.

This just freaked me (and a lot of other single women) out. I know that sudden illnesses such as this can strike at any time and at any age, but 51 years old? Makes me believe that I totally did the right thing when I took some time off after losing my job.

Live life to the fullest and take advantage of every day, because you never know if it will be your last.

TWAZNTME

No one wants to accept responsibility any more.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Show Me The Love!

Was just emailing Sally and I told her that I had just bought a MegaMillions ticket (or four) and that reminded me of the good old days when I would buy a ticket and offer to share the proceeds if only you would show me the love.

Go on - you know you want to. Show me some comment love and if when I win, I'll share my good fortune with you.

P.S. Would have included links to the good old days so you would know the proper way to show me the love, but g*ddam New Blogger gives me a fscking error every time I try to do a search.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Le Interview

I went on a job interview today.

I know, I know ... I've only been at my current job since Memorial Day. And the job before that only lasted 5 months. Believe me, I am not a job hopper. I want to be in a job where I am happy to stay for years on end. And since I don't feel that way about my current position, I'm looking.

It's hard to say how the interview went. It was unlike any interview I have ever been on. Of course, every job and job interview I've had previously was for a company that had 1,200 or fewer employees. This company? A Fortune 100 corporation. A national retail chain with over 250,000 employees. And yet ... the care and consideration that went into this job interview was unbelievable. I was made to feel that this hiring decision was one of the most important decisions that would be made.

I think it went well, but you never know. One thing it did do for me is cause me to give even further thought to what I want to do and where I want to go, professionally. I haven't spent enough time thinking about that, and to be honest, I'm not sure why. It's like I have this mental block. Like I can't come right out and say what I want to do with my life because deep down I don't think I deserve to have what I want. Does that make sense?

I have my own little inferiority complex when it comes to life. But it's like someone who smokes or who is overweight - you know it's not good for you, but for the life of you, you can't seem to change things. I know that I haven't taken responsibility for my own life. Trust me, this is a really hard thing to admit ... I'm crying as I type. I walk around with a chip on my shoulder, always feeling like somehow I got dealt a crappy hand and there is nothing I can do about it. Always wondering why other people, who I know aren't as smart and talented and creative as I am, seem to be having more success (note that most of the time, the correlation here is paycheck) than I am.

Anyway. That's what I'm thinking.

Did It Really Come With Tatoos?

Okay, so now I got the two bogus posts out of the way, the real reason I wanted to post here today ... Fruit Stripe gum.

I was going through my cookbooks (okay, cook pamphlets) and I happened to have mixed in there a November 2002 issue of Yankee magazine. Must have been a recipe in there I wanted to save. So as I'm flipping through it, I see a photo featuring two sticks of Fruit Stripe gum!

It took me a moment to recall the name, but I did remember it. I remember LOVING Fruit Stripe gum. Did I remember the name of the Zebra? No. Did I recall that each piece of gum supposedly had a temporary tatoo? No. I did, however, remember the sharp fruity taste that lasted but a moment.

So there it is, my little blast from the past for the day.

Grrr

Just ran into my first New Blogger error:

bX-2n20js
Additional information
blogID: 6411602uri: /posts.ghost: www2.blogger.com

I was trying to search past posts. Since I wasn't immediately taken to a page where I could report the error, and since I don't want to waste my time searching for said page, consider it reported.

SpamAlot

In the past 30 days, my gmail account has accumulated 1,933 pieces of spam.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Snow Day!

I really didn't think it would happen, but it did.

Work was cancelled today.

We're getting the blizzard that's been sweeping the nation and my employer had the good sense to tell us all to just stay home today. The snow started later than they had predicted, so I only had about 4 inches when I went out to shovel at 7:00 a.m. But it is bitter cold, and now it's not really snow we're getting - it's mixed with sleet and freezing rain. Part of me says I would have been better off not shoveling because now I'm just getting a layer of ice on my sidewalk and driveway. But if I hadn't shoveled, there would be that much more to deal with at the end of the day, and I actually would rather shovel 4-6" three or four times than try to go out there and deal with 1-2 feet all at once.

Of course, I could just wait for the Boy Next Door to come over with the snow blower. But that would be assuming that he's going to want to clear my snow in addition to his. It's better that I make the good faith effort. And hey, it's great exercise.

Speaking of the Boy Next Door, I realize I haven't told many stories about him lately. Probably because there is not much to tell. He's had a live-in girlfriend for the past two years, so he's quite domestic. And since he got a job last summer, he's not around as much as he used to be. Still, we do make time to get together. Just this past Sunday The Man and I went over for dinner. The Girl cooked a turkey, and we had our own much belated Thanksgiving. Good friends are hard to come by, and I definitely count the BND and The Girl as friends.

So along with this unexpected snow day, my evening meeting was also cancelled and so that means that The Man and I can have Valentine's Day dinner together after all. Of course that's assuming he can get some of his good friends to help him plow his quarter mile long driveway so he can get over here!

That's all for now, kids. Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, February 09, 2007

Conspiracy Theory

So I was totally shocked when I got home from work yesterday and heard that Anna Nicole Smith was dead. I was glued to the news, and after that, Entertainment Tonight, since Mark Steines was the last person to interview her ten days ago.

It was eerie to see the CEO of TrimSpa commenting while they showed footage of her TrimSpa ads filmed at the same Hard Rock Cafe hotel/casino where she died. And I was not at all surprised to hear that Larry Birkhead was demanding DNA samples from the corpse, although it didn't occur to me why it might be important - that someone might try switching babies. Yeah, where is that poor baby girl?

And I thought about all the mystery and intrigue behind the pregnancy and birth of this child, and the strange death of Anna Nicole's son, Daniel, and I came up with my own theory on who the real father is. I know that when I say this publicly there will be those who condemn me for suggesting it, but I think it could be a real possibility.

I think Daniel Smith was the father.

But if that's not the case, then maybe it really is Zsa Zsa Gabor's husband, Prince Frederick von Anhalt. Just when I thought this couldn't get any more bizarre, he comes out with a story that he had a decade-long affair with Anna and he thinks the baby is his.

Time will tell, and I have to say that I'm surprised that the initial autopsy report does not show signs of a drug overdose. That would have been too easy, wouldn't it? And believe it or not, there is already a web site out there hawking t-shirts. They've got both sides covered - you can get a t-shirt memorializing her or one mocking her. All in all, in very poor taste.

It just may be that this really is a truly tragic story.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

730 Days Ago Today

So, I'm cleaning out my mailbox and I come across a folder containing only eight messages. No need to save that, I say, but first, let me read the message. Lo and behold, I uncover a classic written exactly 730 days ago today. This is the kind of stuff I used to write!

(A bit of background: the women's group I belong to was bringing Dr. Ruth to town for a seminar/lecture/presentation, thus the impetus to write a letter to Dr. Ruth):

Dear Dr. Ruth:

Last weekend I went out for a few drinks with a girlfriend, and by the end of the night I'd had three glasses of wine, two White Russians, and innumerable shots of Captain Morgan. I brought home a man who I barely know and we ended up in bed. He was a perfect gentleman and nothing happened. Obviously I was inebriated, and now I'm a little embarrassed to show my face around town. What should I do?

Silly Girl


Dear Silly Girl:

I'm glad you asked. As luck would have it, I will be in your town on Saturday February 5. You must come see me - I want to hear all about it. How large was his penis? I want to know!

Anxiously Awaiting the Details,

Dr. Ruth


Dear Dr. Ruth:

Well, even if he had removed his long johns and shown me his penis, I doubt I would tell you about it. Some things should be kept private, don't you think? In any event, I feel somewhat awkward around this man now. I was drunk (which I didn't even realize until the hangover hit me the next morning) and I'm not sure if I said something or sent signals that I might not have sent if I was sober. I mean, we were in bed together. We kissed. I snored. He felt my breasts. What must he think of me?

Silly Girl

Dear Silly Girl:

What are you so worried about? It's the 90s - oh, wait - I'm 90. Anyway, here's what I suggest. Next time you see him, make sure that you are sober. Sit down over a cup of coffee and just talk about life in general ... you know, the weather and stuff like that. It's okay to take a step back and start over and do things the right way. Get to know each other a little bit better. Become friends. Then decide whether or not you want to see his package. I would imagine he's feeling a bit awkward as well, so he'll probably appreciate your being direct and honest. Good luck - and when and if the time is right, good sex!

Dr. Ruth


Ah, the good old days!

Various

1) It's freaking cold here today!
2) Time compression - have you noticed that you now have less and less time to pay your bills? I got a bunch of bills on Feb 1 that are due on Feb 22. Exactly three weeks to pay the bills. Whatever happened to 30 days? Good thing I open my mail - if I didn't the bills would pile up and I'd be evited just like Kathy in House of Sand and Fog. Great movie. Totally disturbing, but great movie.
3) I'm as old as the Super Bowl - which, by the way, I may or may not watch tonight.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Happy Blogiversary To Me!

Can it be? Am I really starting my 4th year of blogging?

Check out how it all began ... harken back to my second year when I started a second blog ... go back one year and see that discontent with my blogging habits is nothing new ... and check back in a year to see if I'm still here.

I really can believe how quickly the last year went. It's true - time goes by more quickly when you get older. And I seem to be stuck in this three year cycle ... I was just coming out of a cycle when I started blogging. It had been about three years since my separation/divorce. Lots of personal issues that I was finally resolving, beginning to reach out and really actively seek a romantic partner. I think I was ending a three year personal cycle when I started the blog.

And then a three year professional cycle began. Believe it or not (I really can't believe it!), it was just about three years ago that I learned that I would be losing my job in June 2005. So, three years have gone by with the job cycle ... let's hope this is the start of a new three year cycle where everything, all of my personal and professional goals, come together.

One can only hope.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Going, Going ...

... gone.

I just left an abbreviated version of this comment over at Zulu's page. This blog hasn't been filling the same void it once did for me, and my posts have been increasingly infrequent. It's weird how others in my blog world are feeling the same. Looks like Zulu may be taking a hiatus, and Woo Woo has left the building. It's like when I was in college and it seemed like all the girls on my floor were on the rag at the same time. It just happened that way. Somehow, we would all eventually get on the same cycle.

It's very strange to think it can happen in cyberspace too!

I'm not calling it quits just yet, but it has crossed my mind. We'll see where things go in the next few weeks and months.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

To-Do

Take down Christmas tree
Unpack CDs
Take a shower and get dressed
Pay doctor's bill
Email sister-in-law about shower
Leave tickets on table for Susan
Email the Whack Pack about Casino Night

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Little Miss Sunshine

The Hoover family ain't got nothing on my family. Snippets from my grandfather's funeral over the weekend:

"At least he didn't bring his fat girlfriend with him."

"Is your cousin gay?"

"I'll talk to anyone who wants to talk to me. But I haven't spoken to my brother in seven years."

"Dad would roll over in his grave if he knew who the pall bearers were."

"Grandma's here; have you said hello to her?"
"No, she can come over here if she wants to talk to me."

All in all, it was a great visit with my family, despite the circumstances that brought us all together. And I brought home a lovely basket of flowers.