Saturday, May 31, 2008
When Eleanor was 6, she was freckled and cute in a little-girl way. She was quiet and meek, a perfect example of how little girls should be. He parents doted on her, proud of their plump girl, proud of the quiet way she spoke, the shyness, the adherence to rules, the attention to cleanliness. Eleanor hated them.
Nobody knew Eleanor. She kept herself hidden away, frightened of her dark thoughts, the scenes she created while playing with her dollies, the stories she invented to explain the shadows in her head. Eleanor was haunted, she was sure.
As a teenager, Eleanor realized she could read people’s minds. The motivations of the piggish crowds of ugly meat sacks that called themselves human were an open dirty book. Eleanor kept this hidden from everyone but the invisible men she amused herself with at night. They enjoyed hearing about her powers, and shared her pleasure.
At age 40, Eleanor woke up with the thought that she was alone in the world. She decided that this was not acceptable, and thus she began a search for a mate. She wrote an ad to post online, creating a profile of mystery and intelligence. Then she posed herself in the too-bright outdoors wearing her best underthings, striking a casual stance, dropping her face into a noncommital and proud expression, and snapped a photo.
In the first three men who responded to her ad she read sour lust, and thus they were discarded after mating.
The fourth was timid and unworthy, so was mercilessly teased with his worst fears, then sent home unsatisfied.
Number 5 admired her body, her clothing, and spoke bland words of love at first meeting. After two weeks he started trying to change her, so he was dispatched with biting mockery. Eleanor had no time to waste on such transparency.
Years went by, a parade of unworthy men wanting nothing more than to get to the soft flesh beneath her carefully-made costumes. These men were allowed access to only her body before being sent home weeping.
Into each even the darkest life a little light must shine, and on Eleanor's 46th birthday, it was her turn. They met for drinks, ordering glasses of wine the color of old blood and talking of books, veering into dark alleys of literature more and more obscure until they were certain they were the only two people alive who'd ever read what they were discussing. His eyes gleamed, and Eleanor could not see behind them. He was a mystery, and she was thrilled. She pursued him, and was excited. She made the first move, and wasn't disappointed.
On her 47th birthday, he proposed.
On her 48th, they married.
On her 49th, she gave birth to a pair of newborns with his eyes, her nose, and the barest hint of wingbuds. So much like their Daddy, except she could see them in the mirror as they suckled at her soft white neck. Eleanor welcomed the biting pain, ferociously happy, finally whole.
This for the wordsmiths. Happy birthday to me.
Friday, May 30, 2008
Just call me "Old Dismal," because I'm swamped. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA!!
Have a wonderful weekend people. And go look at the flying penis at Tepid Turkey's. And write your wordsmiths story. There's lots to do on the interwebs while I'm over here banging my head against the wall .
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
He discovered he could run between the slats in the picket fence if he pushed hard enough, and ran off.
Not once, but twice.
See, I thought the first time was a fluke. He'd been scared bad by a flea bath and was a nervous wreck, not wanting to go outside, then RACING around the perimeter of the yard like his tail was on fire until he head-butted his way through a space in the fence, dragging his ass behind him. I didn't think he'd make it, and watched amusedly, thinking for sure he was stuck, until he was on the other side, tearing ass away from the Tiny House. It was at that point his apparent high spirits were understood to be pure blind puppy panic (running at full tilt is either joyous flight or awful fright), and so I could understand the escape that time, maybe. But the second time, with nothing bothering him (or nothing that should have been bothering him), and with both Things keeping him company out back while they were shucking corn for dinner, he once again forced his way through the fence and was gone in a flash.
People, you have to know that this fence has spaces between the slats that are maybe three inches wide. He's got to really try HARD to get out. He had nothing to run FROM. Good home, food, comfy bed....
About an hour later, I saw him flash by the kitchen window, and went out to call for him, but he was long gone up the corner or somewhere, and I'm pretty sure he wouldn't come if called anyhow. I still tried, to no avail.
Over 12 hours later, and he's still not back. There was the sound of a dog fight up the street very early this morning. I don't like to think about who might have been involved.
I really think he's gone.
This makes me feel irresponsible and sad. I'm sure there are multiple things I should have done differently. Keep the dog on a leash at all times? But....There's a great fenced yard to run around in. Put chicken wire over the fence to keep him in? But....See the 'fluke' thing above. Get him chipped so he could be identified? But....His vet appointment wasn't until next week.
He slips his collar regularly, and so wasn't wearing one when he was out. There's nothing to identify him as ours.
Rationalizations aren't reasons.
Go on, tell me I don't deserve a dog. I think you might be right. Even though Nibbler isn't the world's most lovable dog (indeed, there is very little to recommend him besides an overall high level of cuteness), he's still a little critter who isn't ready for the outside world. The thought that I may have helped his apparent demise is horrific.
I hope he's there when I get home this afternoon. It's a little hope, but hope nonetheless.========================
UPDATE - HE'S HOME!
I got to the house a little past 4, and there was Nibs, curled up in the big flowerpot of pansies on the front porch.
The pansies are done fer, but the dog is back. Y'all obviously have the well-wishing mojo, for which I thank you. And Nibs thanks you, and the Things.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Checkers is not one of them.
There's something about being in the great outdoors that is both invigorating and exhausting. A little sun, a lot of rowing, some relaxing on the shoreline, and I'm about plum(b?) tuckered out. Wonderful.
Heh - that loan I took against my 401 K to 'get out of debt' is in danger of being used (partly) to purchase a cupla canoes. It's just THAT much fun, and with the lake a mere 20-minute ride from the Tiny House, it's a something that can be done at regular intervals. Heck, the Things aren't all that in love with tennis, and schlepping to a pool for swimming involves crowds and other people's children, so why NOT canoeing and lake swimming? Ah, the idle float in murkish water, surrounded by nothing but gentle breeze and your own loved ones....there's not a whole lot to not like about that, now is there?
Plus which, lake time means never having to make small talk with yupster parents while dripping wet and in a bathing suit. Lake people are casual, affable, outDOORSY types, and pool people are more SUV-driving, green-lawn-having, big-sunglasses-wearing types, don't you think? Nothing against it, but I find the sandy shore of a lake ever so much more inviting that the vast stretches of concrete pool deck.
Also? There's mud and stuff on lakeshores that young boys cam smear all over their faces and hands. There's tree stumps to jump off of. There's trees and fish and turtles and water striders, and lekking gnats, and all manner of glittering sun off waves that you just can't find at your average pool.
And I'm waxing rhapsodic here, aren't I? I enjoyed the boating and swimming a very much lot, is all I'm saying.
I heard this morning that Texas is thinking of making the adults at the polygamist ranch pay for the privilege of having their children taken from them.
Millions of dollars of privilege.
I'm not sure what to think of this. On one hand, if there was a chance that the kids were being abused, then perhaps there's a call for making the adults who abused them pay for their introduction to mainstream society, If, on the other hand, the kids were well cared for by parents who loved them, then making those parents pay millions of dollars to have their kids taken from them and put in the foster care system seems like a double jeopardy thing.
I had a knee-jerk reaction of "oh hell NO" when I heard it, but I'm cautious about the jerking and want to make a more informed decision on how I feel about this. Let's see - young girls (so I heard) were forced to marry men much older than them that they might not have even met before they married, in general the girls were pregnant at a young age and not introduced to the concept of contraception, let's not forget that the girls were also made to wear horrific dresses and Stepford Hairstyles....and the young boys were chased off the ranch once they got to breedin' age (again, so I've heard).
But, that was normal. For them.
OUR normal isn't their normal. Begs the question: Should it be? Should they be made to adjust to our way of life? A large part of me says 'yes,' because we value individual freedom in this country and as such value the idea (if not the practice) of being allowed to cast our own lots in life and make of it what we can. Also, polygamy is (I believe) illegal, and as such they were being made to live a crime.
I have a very hard time with the idea of polygamy, with the subversion (or so it seems ) of women to the will of one man, to the churning out of children by young ignorant women in order to increase the flock, to fill the quiver as it were, in the excommunication of men who perhaps might want something different from what the all-powerful sect leader (and please, go read the link....any man who says that laughter causes the spirit of God to leak from your body is not high on my top ten list of people I'd like to meet. I firmly believe that God wants us to be happy, that laughter is divine (in more than one sense of the word), and that sharing good times with joy is one of the best ways to celebrate life...) says is the truth for them, and yet I'm not so sure these people were entirely unhappy. This is their life, and even if OUR lives and lifestyle say it's abhorrent, if it's not illegal can we say that it's not right?
Of course, if it IS illegal, then they're committing a crime. Case well and truly closed.
Someone, please tell me it's illegal. Then I can stop thinking about this, and return to reflecting on more meaningful things....like what's for lunch.
Have a great day, folks - I'm intending to do that very thing. ;)
Friday, May 23, 2008
This getting up at 4:30 in the morning to do shit is NOT working out for me. I don't know how the insomniacs do it. Right now I'm hard-pressed to simply stare at the computer screen and not stab myself in the eye with the soda straw.
I'm mainlining diet Doctor Pepper to try to wake up. The 'white tea with orange' wellness drink I had an hour ago didn't do shit to keept the upper eyelids from slamming down, HARD, onto the lower ones, threatening to seal my eyes shut with their ten-ton force.
Thing 1 knows about machine efficiency and output, how to calculate them, and which one is expressed as a whole number and which as percent. He started spouting off about it in the car yesterday, and I was dumbfounded and awestruck. It was like he discovered a whole new language overnight, one that makes sense to him but leaves most normal people struggling with syntax. Because really? I never took physics, but he's got it all going on with the forces and motions and calculations of efficiency....he seems to think this shit is EASY. Doesn't he KNOW physics is supposed to be a jaw-dropping shock to your smarts system that convinces you that maybe being a waitress for the rest of your natural life is OK, as long as you don't have to massage some avoirdupois numbers of sines and tangents (wait, that's trigonometry) into a four-plexed mathematical equation to explain why water can't run uphill?
Apparently not. And it is at this point that I do believe he's surpassed me in the science-y stuff department. And me, with a Master's degree. In SCIENCE.
Let' me just say this right now to get it off my chest - I fucking HATE perimenopause. HATEHATEHATEHATEHATE IT! Go three farking months with no girly-goo action, ya think you're totally OVER it, and then get hit with the frigging tsunami of periods, big enough to swamp the pink plugs in an hour, draining enough to make your gums white, LOOOOOOONG enough to wonder if your uterus is ordering out for pints of blood. Holy shit, it's amazing! Starts with a little whimpery spotty crap, just enough to fool you into thinking that "this one's not going to be so bad," and then ba-BOOM! Ramps up in half a day to something that Carrie would have been pleased with at the prom. Sweet sainted cervix of Brenda Vaccaro (and man, if you're old enough to remember THAT reference, I'd like to shake your hand), it makes me miss the old days of one simple period-a-month-for-four-days thing. Y'all boyz don't know how lucky you are, and should count your freaking blessings, then pour a nice cold one for your lady love if you suspect she's in a similar situation. Believe me, she'll love you for it.
Today, as you might be able to tell, was not the day to nitpick at me. Sorry about the prickly way I treated you, Miss Quality Assurance Lady who just came to my desk to tell me I didn't tick a box on your laundry list of infinitesimal findings. Didn't mean to come across as such a bitch. But still, damn. Give a girl a break here. I forgot to put 'QT' in the abbreviations list? THE WORLD WILL END and we'll run out of food and children will be swept away by aliens! Everyone run around with your hands waving and an "O" face on! Panic in the streets over a missed abbreviation! It's horrible, the loose ends!
Y'all? Have a good weekend. I'm off to drown the snark in a double dose of whatever's closest.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Ah, La Casa Pequeñito, livin' La Vida Loca.
Speaking of which (the 'crazy life,' that is), the LR floor is finished. It's gorgeous! All that crazy-hard work (THERE'S your segue!) sanding and scraping and sanding and sanding and ...well, you get the picture, followed by a coat of stain and 4 coats of polyurethane (clear satin finish, thanks for asking) have resulted in a floor that is richly hued and warmly glowing.
I'm almost afraid to step on it.
As luck would have it, the new floor color still matches the new rug that was bought to match the old (chocolate brown) floor paint color.
Yes, PAINT. Imagine the horror.
Anywho, there are some blocks of color in the rug that match the new AWESOME floor color to a tee (tea? 'T'? and why 't' anyhow?), which makes me happy in a Martha-ish way. It's the little things in life that need celebrating, people. This new floor, the product of much work, a cuple too-tree hunnert dollars of cash outlay, is a little thing, but important to me and a source of great happiness.
And the first one who scratches it is on my shit list.
A puppy update: y'all know I was concerned about him being so shy. Well, it's my happy duty to report that Nibbler is coming out of his shell even further! He went to the chili dinner date the other night and he played and played with their puppy until their players were sore, and then! He took a walk! On a LEASH! He didn't need to be dragged at all, not even one tiny step! I suspect he's more a fan of the harness-type walkies arrangement than the collar and lead type, and isn't it lucky for us that we have a harness at home just waiting to be broken out for Nibby's first 'at home' walk?
He's also taking treats from our hands now, and sniffing a LOT of cat butt.
Oh, it's nothing but good times and youthful hijinks around these parts. Again, a small but happy thing. I'm in the mood to be happy, aren't you?
Y'all have a fine day. I'm off to Thurs it like a wild woman!
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
It's obvious, someone at Haloscan has done an 'upgrade,' and while we're all waiting for the shit to settle we have to settle for shit.
Heh. I just made that up. I'm sure I'm not the first to do so.
So. The tornadoes yesterday. They almost got me.
SRSLY! Dudes, I was all like driving home on 540 (not "THE" 540, because please? we're not in California) yesterday afternoon, and what to my wondering eyes should appear behind me but a cloud so dark you knew nothing good could come of it. Oh, it came a-rolling in, and because the traffic on 540 was almost at a standstill what with all the OTHER folks trying to get home before the tornadoes hit, the tornado-laden big black cloud of imminent doom was freaking GAINING ON US at an alarming clip.
We, all the other similarly concerned commuters and I, crept along at 3 miles an hour, then 10 miles an hour, then to full stop before starting the maddening cycle all over again. The voice on the radio mentioned that a twister'd been spotted in Southeastern Wake County and was progressing at 35 miles an hour eastward. I called some friends that live in that area, who reported that 1) they were stuck 40 trying to get home, and it didn't look good, and 2) they'd gotten stuck not but a half mile from home, at which point their almost-new car got pelleted with 2-inch hail (which, as we all know, must be equated to a piece of sporting equipment, and so I choose 'golf balls,' which makes me eligible to report the weather on the teevee, I'm thinkin'.). Both friends were OK at the time I talked with them, a little freaked out maybe, but I shared their freak and it was good.
Or, not good.
My storm, my own special freakshow, was still gaining on me. Licks of lightning whitened the sky, the crack of thunder became ever more synchronous with them, fat blobs of rain smacked down, wind whipped, and my freak grew three sizes that day.
I was sure I was going to die, and it wasn't fair because I was supposed to go to a friend's house for DINNER, and I was going to perish before I could have their world-famous (or nearly so) chili! Chili is one of my favorite foods, and yet this stupid STORM was going to grab Tinkerbell by the bumper, lift her off the ground, launch her in the air, and spin me and her at 70 miles an hour (Note: windspeed, for the traffic was still doing a steady 5) into the 18-wheeler ahead of me, and kill us both dead.
I am not a fan of the dead.
As you can tell, and am sure are happy to hear, I am not dead, but that's only because right about the time the storm was about to lick at the heels of my demise, the exit I needed came up and I was able to turn Tink northward, away from the clutches of the ravenous beastly thunder-stormy storm. Within 5 minutes there were clearing skies, no rain, and a shrinking freakout on the menu.
And chili. We made it to the dinner party an hour late, but no matter. Chili can simmer. Just not to death.
Today is Thing 2's 11th birthday. Hard to believe, but true. 11 years ago today he was hauled out into this big world, a wondering little blob of human who has grown into a wonderful, amazing, caring, pesky, smartassed young man. At 11 years old he's almost as tall as me, his hands are as big as mine, his mind is agile, his heart huge, his wit astounding, and his feet a size 12.
I love that kid, and wish him a happy happy birthday today with his Dad and tomorrow with me. Double-up the treats, dude, you totally deserve it.
Have a great day folks. I'm headed off to find out just how much mental torture I can take before hiding under my desk blubbering about the details, the details, the awful, awful details!
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
People who don't review things when they ought to and then want to change something at the very last damned minute, expecting that the person who has to make the changes will smile and say "of course," as though it's their pleasure to make the changes, re-send the item for approval, chase after the approvers, and basically reiterate a week's worth of frigging work just so that the person who didn't look at the damed thing when they should have can get in their tuppence.
The grizzled old guy in the 1950's Ford Pickup who couldn't get that puppy over 25 miles an hour on a 45-MPH speed limit road, and who refused to pull over. For ten miles. By Cracky, I'll just bet he's a native farmer who thinks that if the tobacco will wait for him to get to the fields, then by gum the yuppie commuter behind him will too. Which she did, cussing a creative blue streak at him the whole dadgum way.
Towels that don't fold correctly. The tails should come out evenly if the first fold-in-half is done properly, yet it's rare that the resultant rectangle is accomplished with all tails matching. WHY IS THIS?
Silverware that spots as it dries. We hand wash everything at the Tiny House, there not being enough room in the kitchen for a dishwasher, and I've yet to figure out a way to keep the silverware from spotting as it dries. Spotty silverware irks me, and so I'll take the time to shine it up on my shirttail before putting the drawer, which I'd rather not have to do, but when you're just a tiny touch OCD (albeit sporadically), you do these things because to leave the spotty silverware in the drawer would be to invite unexpected guests, who would no doubt tsk-tsk at the slovenly housekeeping skillz you exhibit, and that's never a good thing, the tsking.
And that, for now, is that.
What are YOUR irksome items of the day? Feel free to vent in the comments, and have a lovely day.
(also - thanks for the well-wishes yesterday. They worked, and I'm back at work and the 50 bajillion e-mails and phone calls that came in yesterday. Hoo-ray, I'm sure).
Monday, May 19, 2008
"What variety of sick?", might you ask, being a curious person who is concerned for an internetly friend. Ah, friends, 'tis a glorious sick indeed. It's the barfy, ass-pee kind of sick that makes you want to curl up n' die. The kind of icky gastrointestinal sick that shows you how well you chew, how quickly you digest, and just exactly how sensitive your stomach is while you're in the head-up toilet position.
Go on, read between those lines. We've all been there.
It's the kind of sick that waters eyes, flushes then whitens skin, shivers timbers and bones, cramps intestines, empties guts, and I despise it and the infection it rode in on.
At first I blamed the bourbon, but this ain't no hangover. This is for real.
I hate being sick, and so in response I sleep, for if I can't FEEL the sick perhaps it will get huffy and go away.
So, the sleeping. Lots and lots of sleeping.
It seems as though this strategy may have worked rather well, because the good news is, at 4:45 p.m. it seems the corner has been turned. I haven't puked in 8 hours, am no longer shivering beneath two comforters, and the thought of food doesn't make my spit taste like hate.
So, there ya go. One thing for which to be thankful on this was-to-have-been very busy Monday. Hope y'all are doing well, and that sunshine and rainbows are your constant companions.
See you tomorrow.
Friday, May 16, 2008
Housing posts surprising rebound in April
Suzie Housing, of Nome Alaska, wrote of a new boyfriend in her blog, not but two short days after being unceremoniously dumped by her former boyfriend, Dolf Harglenobbins. Her BFF, Mandy Tinklebottom, gushed "it all happened so suddenly, and nobody expected it because Suzie's kind of a bitch, but you never know what boys like. I mean, yeah, she puts out and all, but I've heard it's notTHAT good. You're not writing this down, are you?"
Bush in Saudi Arabia to discuss oil
Hedge in Cornwall to prevaricate on low-cost housing. Shrub in desert to deliver fiery speech on righteousness.
Tours of Hanford nuclear waste site draw interest
About 4% a year, or so it's said.
El Nino may have helped Magellan cross the Pacific
A recently discovered trove of historic documents indicate that Magellan, the famed world navigator of the 16th century, may have relied more heavily on the expertise of his personal assistant Bernardo "The Baby" Fertuccini than was previously thought. Extracts from the documents point to Bernardo's knowledge of Pacific Ocean island chains as the key factor in Magellans' successful travels over that vast body of water.
Robotic suit could usher in super soldier era
<----- Knows all about super suits and how important they are in a fight against eeeee-vil!
But never, EVER, should they have a cape.
On the home front, a bit of news: it's possible for a puppy to tear apart a new screen door in 15 minutes if he's left unsupervised.
Looks like I'm going to learn all about 'splining' this weekend thanks to the little bastard. But ha ha ha, I'll have the last laugh, because he goes in for a fixin' in a couple of weeks. THAT'LL teach him to rip up what ain't his! Mwuahahahahaaaaa!!! I'll have his BALLS for that!
Dudes, I have no plans for the weekend (but for the aforementioned splining, and possibly the next iteration of floor sanding). What fun thing should I do? What do y'all like to do with your free time that's cheap and doesn't involve too much planning?
Help a sister out, and have a terrifical Friday.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
And after looking at it a couple of times decided that I really shouldn't be in the business of giving people the shivering jibblies when they come to NAY, so I changed it to the slightly better tie-dye background you see now. Too bad, really, because I do love the color combination, but something about it just screamed "50s kitchen," which really isn't what we're all about here, is it?
The appearance of this blog hasn't changed much in the last 18 months....which might be boring to most folks. I, however, do not care. I LIKE the banner, I like the layout, I like the little cocktail glass that starts all the posts, but I can't seem to help messing around with the background now that the first shark has been jumped. There was the clover on for March, the pastel-y one for April, and now this tie-dye thing for May. Oh, and let's not forget the devil girl background that was up for a while in honor of the 666th post. THAT one was pretty awesome, but it didn't render correctly on IE, and because IE is all I can use at work (damned administrators and their restrictions!) I got frustrated and....changed it.
Because I can.
I had toyed briefly with the idea of putting the spider-suit lady as my new background (oh, by the way, are you writing your wordsmiths story yet?), but I don't think I could bear looking at her pale soft oh-so-sexay body each and every time I check the blog to see if anybody's left comments (which happens about 20 times a day, because I'm always ready for a distraction)which I think you'll agree is far too much spider suit lady for any one person.
What is the recommended daily intake of spider suit lady viewings, anyhow?
Turning away from that matter for a moment, though I do reserve the right to return to it as the fancy takes me, I had a 3-month follow up visit with the vein doc (or, more correctly, the vein doc's nurse) this morning, and the reports are all good. I'm a very facile clotter, apparently. The big ol' greater saphenous is shrinky-dinking itself into near oblivion, which is a wonderful thing to hear if you WANT it to. If you didn't want your greater saphenous vein to shrink, I'm sure that bit of news would be the cause of some degree of concern, wouldn't it?
Here is a visual of the great saphenous vein, in case y'all were wondering what the hake I'm talking about:
The bit around the knee area is where the doc spent most of her time, pulling loops of clumpy vein to the surface and snipping them out. Mmm, clumpy veins. As I think back on it now, this is about the time when I started sweating uncontrollably and clenching my teeth so hard I could have bent steel with my jaws if there's been any lying around. Then, once my pits were good n' soaking, she moved on down the leg, plucking still more loops of vein out, snipping, cutting, stitching, and occasionally (say, when I yelped in pain) having the nurse reinfiltrate the surgical area with ever more anaesthesia, which it seemed like I was pretty resistant to, what with all the FEELING I was doing.
When I look at that picture, it seems impossible to me that getting rid of the great saphenous and a fair number of its minor tributaries wouldn't cause some kind of problem with blood flow, but that's not at all the case. You dam up a stream, the water finds a way to flow, and the same is true of blood making its way back to the heart. Veins are everywhere, and losing one simply means that others are put into service with nary a bother. I should know, because it happened to me. And that is kind of cool, don't you think?
One last thing - Nibbler the puppy had a puppy friend come over to visit last night, during which visit we discovered that he is a fast little sucker. My goodness! They were chasing each other all over the backyard, zooming and zipping around the weeping willow, flopping all over each other, ploomping their front paws down in the butt-up 'come play with me' posture, then ass-tearing around the yard another eleventybillion times. It was good fun, I'll tell you, both for the puppies and the people watching them. It's good to see Nibbler have fun, and so his new puppy friend and he are going to get together soon. (in other Nibbler-related news, he's now big enough to get up on the furniture. I had thought the Things had put him up on the chair in the LR, but nope, he did it himself, as I witness this morning. It took him three tries, but by God he was determined to get up there and up he did get. He's willing to put out a little effort to reach peak comfort levels, it would appear)
So, anyhow, that's it from me for now. This is a post about nothing much, at which I threw a bunch of words just in case something good might come of it. So, tell me, did it?
Have a ducky day, y'all.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Or maybe the other meeting I have in the middle of the 3.5 hour meeting?
Or maybe the 30-minute meeting I have this afternoon to talk about something I think I forgot I was supposed to do?
I was going to complain about my job again (it's my damned blog and I can TOO whine. Again!), but then I thought:
"Shit, man. I could be in Myanmar, or Schezuan China right now. I could be buried under rubble, swept away by wind, crushed under the weight of rampaging boulders or torrential floods. I could be starving in a gutter someplace, sleeping under a tarp on the side of a highway, begging for help for my injured children. I could be wondering if my family is still alive in the pile of debris that used to be my home, or if somewhere an aid agency has discovered the bodies of my relatives. I could be in so much worse shape right now than sitting in a cushy office chair with too many meetings, a little too much work to do, a yen to be outdoors, and a cup of hot coffee near me to bring me through the TRAUMA of yet another day at the office."
And so I told myself to shut the fuck up already. 99% of the world's population would gladly trade their troubles for mine. If I bitch and moan about my fat ass, my need for outdoor time, my stress at having to live up to the expectations of a busy job and home life while being afforded the chance to live a life of such extraordinary ease that despots and pashas and kings of long ago would have turned green with envy, then my priorities are suffering a serious case of the kinks and I should be sorely ashamed of myself.
My life is full of gifts. I am rich with them, embarrassingly so. Yeah - I have debt and bills and stress and obligations aplenty, but I'm not starving/dying/hurt/lost/hopeless. Not by a long shot.
So, no complaining. Not today. Today I'll be glad for what I have, what I'm working for, what I've been given. It's the very least I can do when the options could be so much worse.
That is all. I'll step out of the pulpit now and go to the next meeting with a smile on my face. Y'all have a great day now, and don't forget to count yer daggone blessings.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
It was a difficult time in our group, and the powers that were thought that the people in our work group should get typed to figger out just why there was so much dysfunction. We took some kind of long-assed paper test that was sent away to be 'scored' and 'interpreted,' which resulted in much speculation and trepidation among the members of our little group, thereby forging an alliance of common fear and anxiety. Our shared angst brought us together for a moment, and it was good.
Schadenfruede being what it is, we all revelled in the secret knowledge that the other people in the group were in for a real surprise once the results came in. I was personally convinced that one of the two people that reported to me was going to blow a total gasket when she got her readout, because she was convinced that she was the only hard worker in the group and that she deserved all awards and accolades that were being handed out, whether or not anyone else thought she deserved them.
Yes, we all circled around one another, griping collegially about the 'test' while all the time knowing that everyone else was farked for sure and that we were the lone shining examples of how rational people ought to be.
When the day came to meet and discuss the results, you could sense that if we were a pack of wild dogs there would have been a shitload of teeth-baring and growling going on, just in the process of picking out where to sit. "is this the right place to put my corporate ass? Is it dominant enough without being overbearing? Is the middle of the room the place where well-adjusted people sit? Am I doing this right?"
The thick envelopes in front of each of us held portents of either doom or glory, and the time had come to find out just who we were that we didn't know about, and to try to figure out how to mesh that unknown 'me' with the mysteries and vagaries of everyone else in our group.
As it turns out, the group manager and one of his direct reports were EXACT OPPOSITES, which explained why they couldn't get along for love or money, and perhaps went far to explaining why the report quit the giant monolith not long thereafter.
My boss was very different from me, but not incompatibly so. I recall that she was NOT terribly happy with the results of her test. I thought it captured her quite well, but harsh truths are about as easy on the psyche as constructive criticism.
My direct report was some incomprehensible jumble of letters that wound up spelling 'trouble,' and a year later she too was gone from the company in a mighty huff.
For the record, I was an ENTJ, aka "The Executive." I happen to think that this personality type fits me to a 't,' even the ugly bits. Except...one thing.
My curiosity got the better of me, I re-took the test, and it appears that in the 10 or so years since I took the first test, I went and changed type.
Now it appears I'm an ENFP, aka "The Inspirer." What? I CHANGED? How can this be? I'm stable as a rock, never-changing in my outlook, firm in resolve and ability to lead! I can't go and CHANGE! The "Inspirer? What is that, like , someone who BREATHES? That doesn't sound very exciting or rife with possibilities, now DOES it?
And so, because I was maybe a touch huffy about the Inspiring, I did a little research in just what it means to be an ENFP.
This little gem just about sums the new me up in a nutshell:
ENFPs are basically happy people. They may become unhappy when they are confined to strict schedules or mundane tasks. Consequently, ENFPs work best in situations where they have a lot of flexibility, and where they can work with people and ideas. Many go into business for themselves. They have the ability to be quite productive with little supervision, as long as they are excited about what they're doing.
When I read that, I had a CLEAR 'ah-HA!' moment, because, really! That is SO me.
Also this bit (bolding is mine):
Because they are so alert and sensitive, constantly scanning their environments, ENFPs often suffer from muscle tension. They have a strong need to be independent, and resist being controlled or labelled. They need to maintain control over themselves, but they do not believe in controlling others. Their dislike of dependence and suppression extends to others as well as to themselves.
Um, yeah. That is also an 'ah-ha' moment of gigantic proportion. I can see those traits manifesting themselves frequently...
There is much much more information available online about this new me, and I really want to spend all day reading about me, and how awesome and flawed I am, but that would mean I'm focusing on exciting things and not on the trivial drudgework that needs to be done, which is just so ME I just can't take it and so have to something OPPOSITE OF ME in order to fight the predictable me.
And I've just confused myself, and so will leave you now. I'm off to drudge a while!
Take the test yourself, and tell me who YOU are, won't you? And have a nice day.
Monday, May 12, 2008
It was like that yesterday, when it seemed like I couldn't stop getting in my own way while trying to figure out where the day was going to. For the life of me, I can't now remember what it was I DID all day long, except that late in the afternoon the power went out due to a storm a-blowin' through, and, as curious humans will do, Thing 1 and I took a little walk to see who else was similarly affected while Thing 2 took a nap in the big chair in the living room. It was a slow-moving walk to end a slow-moving day, during which time I took a look at Thing 1 and realized he'd done one of those "sudden change" deals that kids will do when you're not looking and they're busy turning into someone else.
To make matters worse, I snuck a look at Thing 2's sleeping face when we got back from the slo-mo perambulation, and noticed he'd done the same damn thing.
I must begin to really LOOK at my kids more often, for fear that one day they'll change completely and I'll have forgotten to notice what they looked like "before."
Ah yes - Mother's Day....I got chocolate, and chocolate, and more chocolate, some good smelling exotic soap, cards, and hugs. I got two boys who behaved reasonably well all day long, hardly complained about the green beans I served with dinner, and did their homework when asked.
Oh, that's right - I did go grocery shopping with Thing 2, during which time he said "what kind of foods grow in South America?" and I took pause for a moment and asked back "I don't know, why do you ask?" to which the reply was "I need to bring in some South American food for a school project," the only proper parental reply (which I nailed on the first try) was "when IS this project due?" by which time I'm sure you could see the answer coming a mile off as being "tomorrow," because you, dear reader, are smart like that.
Which is why the grocery shopping trip took twice as long to get done and over with as it normally does, because once one starts perusing the 'weird foods' portion of the produce section, one does tend to get a little wrapped up in discovering the origins of papayas and mangoes and coconuts and jalapeno peppers and bananas and plantains, only one of which does not grow in South America. Also coffee and chocolate (or cacao, from which cocoa is made, which then of course turns INTO chocolate through the admixture of the duplicate sins of FAT and SUGAR, bless us!).
Papayas are an abnormally large fruit.
Anywho, once the trip was over I went one better on the 'project' and suggested that Thing 2, in all his 5th grade wisdom, might like to look UP where all those exotic foods are grown in actual-factual South America, and so I spent a good hour with him Googling and Wikipedia-ing the cultivation regions for that aforementioned list of wonderful edibles, typing up the list, and finding a cool map of SoAm to assist in the co-location efforts of his classmates, should they choose to give a good goddam.
Hey - at least I now know where Brazil is.
Saturday was mostly eaten in half by a tae kwon do testing iteration, the result of which is that the Things are now yellow belts, which means that they need NEW SAFETY GEAR, which costs about a million dollars a kid to purchase. Sigh. This TKD stuff I'm SURE is good for them, but it does sting a little when you realize that the new Headquarters the TKD people have built is 50,000 square feet of air-conditioned comfort, complete with marble floors in the lobby, a fountain out front, and a new PAGODA made of redwood stumps out near the parking lot.
A pagoda. A farking HUUUUGE pagoda, no doubt built off the proceeds of several safety gear sales to parents of eager students, like me. At 30 bucks a pop just for shin and armguards, I'm afraid to ask how much the chest and headgear's going to run...but Papa-san needs a new pagoda, and I'm the sucker buying the lumber.
Also? I woke up at 3:30 this morning in a full-on panic about work. Nothing to do for it but fire up the 'puter and get stuff done, right? Right. Oh, and let the puppy out, then spend ten minutes trying to convince him to come back IN (fenced yards rock, except when it's time to go back indoors), only to realize that by standing IN the doorway (read: in the kitchen hallway, where it was warm) while holding the door open is perceived as a righteous threat by the wee canine, but standing aside the door (read: out on the porch, where it was raining) while holding it open is perfectly fine and a very safe thing to do as far as puppies are concerned.
He's not even 4 months old, and already he's training me. I suspect he's far smarter than he looks.
Hope y'all had a lovely lovely weekend full of good things, and are ready and rarin' to come on out into the world and conquer whatever portion of this life you have assigned to you. Hey, it's Monday, might as well come out swingin'.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Won't you consider adding YOUR take on this most intriguing picture challenge to the roster or usual suspects at WSU? Spider lady would be so pleased.
HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to all those who are mothers, who have a mother, who are married to a mother, or who are 'mothers' of a different sort altogether.
(Question - gay couples with kids..... Who gets celebrated on Mother's Day? Does it depend on gender or on role, or neither, or both? I ask this from a real desire to KNOW, to understand, so if you have insights please let me know.)
Mother's Day - ah the memories. When the Things were little, all I asked for on Mother's Day was a day to myself, a day on which I didn't have to cook or do diaper duty, or have to clean up pureed squash, or have to soothe the wailing baby for the umpteenth time. Let's face it - mothering little children is a difficult, tiring business, isn't it? Yes, you get paid in cuddles and hugs and the adoration of the wee ones who think that you are no less than God, and that's all well and good, but my GOSH that effort it takes to get the daily grind accomplished.
For that reason, I used to love that period just before the boys bedtime, when the daily grind was over and the Things would snuggle up into my lap for a few minutes and we'd just....sit. Warm and cozy, tucked up into one another, one little boy noggin on each shoulder, their bath-damp hair wafting baby shampoo smells, their jammied bodies warming toward sleepytime.
Now that they're older, I miss that. I'd go back for a day of that, to see the little boys they used to be, to be the one to bathe them and snuggle them and hold their soft wee hands, to stroke their round cheeks, to look into their wide eyes and fall into the depths of the people I was just beginning to know. They were remarkable little boys, and in their little boy ways taught me love that I didn't know existed and patience I didn't know I had. The exhaustion of those long-gone days was worth it to learn those lessons.
Now that they're older, the snuggling is not as frequent, but each and every morning I get hugs from Things almost as tall as me; their arms fully able to wrap around me, their heads only an inch or two lower than mine, and I marvel at how in the space of just a relatively few years, those soft round babies could turn into such wondrous almost-men. Things change so quickly, you know?
One thing that won't change though is that I will always be their mother. Even when they're grown men, taller by far than me, stronger than I'll ever be, with lives and families of their own, they'll always be my children, my babies, my Things. That's how it works, that's how it has always worked, generation to generation down through the tree of human life deep into the roots of history.
Everybody is someone's baby. Everyone. Astounding.
To my Mom - thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything you did and do. I love you.
For all y'all other Moms - way to go. Being a Mom is an act of bravery.
For all y'all who HAVE moms - tell her you love her if you do, tell her you respect her if you do, tell her you miss her if you do, tell her she's special and one of your heroes if she is. No Mom is perfect, but I'm guessing that even if you've had tough time with you own personal Mom, you can think of one nice thing to say to her. At the very least, she's the reason you're here, right?
And have a wonderful day.
Friday, May 09, 2008
Go on, read, be inspired. I'll be back later with more.
Is it later yet? Good, because I just watched this and HAD to post a link. At almost 7 minutes long, it will take some fierce powers of focus on YOUR part to navigate fully, but if you stick with it you might just learn something about our feline friends, and their possible contribution to the global energy crisis.
How to care for cats....by an engineer.
More later-later, I'm pretty sure of it.
OK - here we are at the later-later bit, which won't be all that interesting BUT will help me spread the word of today's truth, which is as follows:
AN INGROWN HAIR IN YOUR COOTCHAL REGION HURTS LIKE A MOFO!
I woke up this morning with an inflamed girly bit, most likely due to some pube that has decided to ingrow its wicked little self after my latest shearing session. Hot damn it hurts. Currently, if you're interested, the inflammation is about the size of a marble; not the Big Daddy kind, but the littler ones that get whacked out of the playing field by the Big Daddy ones.
I'd like y'all to know right now that if this thing reaches Big Daddy proportions (and my God, isn't here a NAME for the Big Daddy marbles?), you can be sure I'm heading to home and a hot washcloth, because at that Big Daddy point my delicate Princess Parts are going to be all I can think about.
This is probably TMI, but I'm pretty careful about my netherscaping. All the care in the world won't stop things from sometimes going...awry, and I'm left with issues like this. This kind of issue is, quite honestly, what scares me away from waxing, because that shit pulls the hair out by the ROOTS, and I can just see my body saying 'oh no you di'int just yank out my hairs by the roots, bitch! Oh, you wait, we gonna give YOU something to cry about nay-yow! All them hairs you just yanked out? They're INgrowing from now own!"
My body is a little inner city when it gets mad.
If I was an underwear-wearing type of girl, I'd be going without today. There are just some things that cannot be tolerated, and elastic pressing on an inflamed and very tender private area is tops of the list for today.
Thursday, May 08, 2008
I do love me some public radio.
I do not, however, have to like the people that are ON public radio. More specifically, the VOICES of the people on public radio.
Y'all know of my distaste for having to listen to the venerated Carl Kassell suck spit through his upper plate while giving the rundown of major world events. It's the daggone spit sucking and juicy glottal stopping that prevents me from focusing on the news and instead puts my attention on the pronunciation of said news...but I've gotten used to it. I've heard he's a very nice man, and of course he's got tons of awards and shit, so I'm willing to give him a tiny smidge of leeway, but only for the 3 or so minutes it takes him to urp out the headlines. Any more than that and I'm looking for the Pepto.
OK, so enough about Karl/Carl Castle/Kastle/Kassell. Let's turn now to a local guy, Eric Hodge, who does a GREAT job on WUNC's Morning Edition, but....his voice. It's....grating. It's has this grittyhigh timbre that is like a bee buzzing or a sizzing snare drum sound. Put it this way - It's not a voice I'd want uttering sweet nothings into my ear; it'd make me way more ew-ticklish than sweet n' juicy. I don't know WHAT the problem is, but it's something. Not a something so bad to make me turn off the radio, but a something that prompts me to try to use the bass/treble adjuster every morning while he's on, just to see if it will help any at all.
However, there IS someone who DOES make me want to turn off the radio, bless her. It's Diane Rehm. If you haven't heard Diane, she sounds like she's about a million years old, her quavery voice a fair imitation of Captain Kirk's if Kirk slowed.down.even.further. In my mind I picture her in a mobcap and pince nez, her spindly hands resting awkwardly in her meager lap, her milky eyes blinking slowly as she forces out the next syllable.
To say that her voice was a turnoff for me is a vast understatement, and so I'd turn HER off on a fairly regular basis.
But then, one day, I listened, a little by accident. The topic was interesting, and so I thought I'd just bear with her for a while to hear what her guests had to say, when lo and behold, Diane began to grow on me. She seemed smart! She actually emoted a tiny bit, her normally monotonal voice rising a little from time to time, and I became interested in her. Who IS Diana Rehm, and how on earth did this ancient old crone get to interview such powerful/influential people?
And so I did some research, bound to get to the bottom of this oddity of the radio, this fly in the ointment of my listening pleasure.
And found out that Diane Rehm is 1) not a gazillion years old, 2) not crony at all (aamof - she's pretty stunning IRL!) 3) has something called "spasmodic dysphonia," which almost ruined her career a number of years ago. This spasmodic dysphonia is what makes it difficult for her to speak, why every time she says 'institute' it comes out 'in...sti...i...toote,' why it takes her forfreakingever to say what she's got to say.
And thus, with the spasmodic dysphonia, my option to mock Diane Rehm was swept away in the gusting wind of my shame. Drat her. Drat her all to 87.9 on your radio dial.
Sigh. Guess I ought to go back to my love/hate relationship with Carl/Karl. At least he's seems to be simply getting past his radio prime, instead of having some rare neurological disorder.
Still, why can't we hire people on our NPR who sound lovely, like the BBC's Owen Bennett Jones or Claire Bolderson? I never have to adjust my knobs and gizmos for THEM. Plus which - Owen sounds like he's got a bit of humor, and that's never a bad thing.
So, anyway. Maybe I'm too hard on people for what they can't change. Maybe I'm just jealous that I gave up my little radio career before the first petals of that bud really started to open. Maybe I'd like someone to be mocking ME for my voice, my cockeyed ever-changing accents (Southern when I'm happy, New York when I'm pissed off), my penchant for overemphasizing. Maybe I'm simply an envious, small-minded, picky twitch who only wants things HER way, and preferably with a British accent thanks for ahsking.
I could be, but I don't think so.
Tom Brokaw? You're up next. We need to talk about those "Ls".
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
RUN to the computer by 6 a.m. to make the zip files to fling some work over to the UK.
RUN through the next 4 e-mail strings to follow up on white-hot monkey rush matters by 7.
RUN out an e-mail to the boss to rearrange a meeting for 10 because another meeting is already in the place the first meeting was supposed to be.
RUN to the coffee pot - refresh with caffeine!
RUN to the shower to race through the bathing.
RUN around the house to catch the puppy to put him out to make him go.
RUN to the car to get to work to start the computer to check the e-mail to send off new notes to remind me to do XYZ by 10.
RUN to the second/first meeting to present updates on white-hot monkey rush project 2.
RUN to the first-second meeting to update boss on WHMR projects 1-10, and normal rush projects alpha through zed.
RUN back home to wait for the refrigerator people.
I'm not fit enough for this life. Not at all. The worst of it is, all the running is mostly done on my ASS, so it's not reaping any of the benefit of the mental exercise. That, my friends, is a crying shame.
NC elections - over. I voted. I voted with very little idea of who I was going to vote FOR, because I have not done my research and thus was filling in boxes in the very worst way, which is to do it on name basis only. It's a suck-ass way to vote, but I did it, and because I wasn't going to vote in the primary because, let's face it, I'm horrifically uninformed, at least the vote I cast in full knowledge of the person for whom I was casting my vote counted for something.
So, civic responsibility attained, albeit half-heartedly.
I need puppy tips, y'all. The dog is simply not warming up to human contact. What to do? How to get him used to the fact that we're not out to harm him in any way? He's skittish and shy and fearful, and I'm not happy about this.
Also? When you follow the advice to use a pumice stone on your feet as often as you condition your hair, a marvelous thing happens....those awful dried-up nasty-looking calluses on the the aforementioned feet GO AWAY.
I've worn sandals all this week in celebration.
This post brought to you by the letter R and 10 minutes of my life. Hugs to all - I gotta RUN!
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
Monday, May 05, 2008
What is WRONG with y'all? Yeesh!
Thanks to all who took the time to click over and vote. I have to say that it was a load off my mind, the not having to make a decision thing...
So then - now that you've voted, why not consider writing? It's 500 words of pure fun, after all.
Drum sander, belt sander, orbital sander.
My favorite is the orbital. It's not as scary as the drum sander, and it doesn't require cowboy-like skillz to wrangle like the belt sander. My ARMPITS hurt from the wrangling, y'all, and I didn't even do that much of it!
Or maybe it was from the paint scraping, or tennis-ing. Anyhow - armpit pain is SO not good. Makes languorous stretches most difficult indeed.
The puppy is beginning to answer to "Nibbler." He is also the laziest damn dog on the face of this earth. Is it normal for a puppy to sleep 22.5 hours a day?
Also, I'm still waiting for him to wag his tail, just once. This is not so much of a happy-go-lucky pooch (can puppies be autistic? If so, I think I have one. If not, we'll just call him 'antisocial'), and so the wagging is still not a milestone. DO puppies even wag their tails? When he runs around in the backyard he's all smiley and the tail is straight up, but once he comes back inside it's tail down and he's looking for a place to go to sleep.
Sigh....I was SO hoping for a cuddly bouncy puppy, and I got one for whom the perfect day would be spent in the apartment next to Greta Garbo.
TELL me he'll be OK, won't you?
Another thing - how is it that when a 10-pound cat sleeps on your head, he feels like he weights 50 pounds?
Albert decided that my cranium would make the BESTEST EVER sleeping spot early this a.m., and I awoke to a head bedecked with hot pussy.....uh....cat. My skull was practically being crushed under the weight of the adoring feline, causing me to have some very strange 'just before awakening' type dreams involving large hats and handcuffs. Not even the GOOD kind of handcuff dream, either.
So, sleeping with the bedroom door open? Never again.
That's all for today folks - have to git into work to grind my nose a little further as grist for the mill of productivity.
Mmmm, nose grist. Hey - Isn't that what they call 'boogers' in the old country?
Friday, May 02, 2008
So, thanks Pollcode.com. Y'all rawk the casbah.
So, moving on to the meat n' taters portion of this post, THE CHOICES for the next Wordsmiths story prompt!
A VERY happy aliigator.
An adorable, yet, topsy turvy, baby duck.
A painting (I suspect by Malach himself, tho he doesn't admit to it in his linkafication, more's the pity) with religious overtones named "Jihad I."
A set of bathtub hardware that Pete Wentz oughtta have, they're so emo.
The "spidersuit" lady that my Mom thought was ME. Oh my, the chuckle we had over that one...
Now, CHOOSE! But only once, for the poll, she knows if you've voted before, and only until Sunday. My poll, MY RULES. Mwuahahahaaa!!!
And then have a great day.
Thursday, May 01, 2008
Gads, that metaphor sucked lard.
But still! A chance to influence the choice of a spur of creativity! Who doesn't want to take part in spurring artists? Especially mimes, but they don't count here, now DO they? Everyone wants to spur a mime...or six. It can't just be me.
More later, perhaps, after I get an 11 a.m. meeting done, a document sent out to a vendor and internal team, another document's comments incorporated, a third document written (or at least a START made), and a 1 p.m. luncheon with Thing 2 accomplished.
And this is an EASY day. Geez.