Saturday, December 25, 2010

Truthiness Day 5

Something I hope to do in life:

I hope to acquire kids. And I hope to get married. And I hope to live in Ireland. I'm not sure if they are mutually exclusive. And I hope to go to China and see the Great Wall. And I hope to get a job I love. That's a lot of somethings I hope to do. :)

Twas the weekend before Christmas

My family all came to visit.  We survived.  Well, not all... the older niece and nephew weren't here.  I think this year may have been the last one I buy them any presents for Christmas.  I never get one from them nor do I ever hear from them. 

With the exception of the massive hospitalization of my mother, the weekend was pretty fun.  Mandy, Kayla and I got to go ziplining like we wanted to.  It was really fun!  Not too scary.  Although I kept flipping around backwards on the line which scared me a little bit since I couldn't see where I needed to start the stop procedure.  (Well and to stop you need to have your feet facing forward to land on the platform)

We went to ICE at the Gaylord Texas.  It was awesome.  It was so neat.  They bring in some insane quantity of ice and they have Chinese artists carve it into various sculptures.  This year's theme was Charlie Brown's Christmas.  It was so beautiful.  (Well and cold!)

After that we went to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner.  That was a nice treat.  All in all it was a pretty good trip (hospitalization aside).

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Confessions from the still sleepy

My mom went to the ER last night and got admitted to the hospital. She'll be out today. It was dumb. On friday she brought her cat, Max, over to the apartment and Sam did not respond well.  In fact he cornered Max in the bedroom and was hissing and yowling and growling at him.  There are certain noises that when an animal is making that noise you don't touch it. She did and Sam bit her.  She bled a lot. And over the course of yesterday her hand swelled up with infection.  And then it started running down her arm.  So we went to the ER.  We got sent to another hospital. (She via ambulance) and finally at around 1 AM they admitted her and we got to go home. We'll pick her up today.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I did it!

I stepped on the scale this morning to see how much damage I did with my bad eating last week/over the weekend. And what to my wonderous eyes did appear... a weight lower than weight Y!  I had to look twice to be sure but there it was... a pound and a half lower than I needed it to be!  Yippee!

Saturday, December 04, 2010

I invited my parents?

My sister is coming to Dallas the weekend of the 18thish to go on our zipline tour (1.2 lbs to go!) and we'll go to holiday in the park at 6 flags and to ICE a ice sculpture show at a fancypants hotel here in Dallas.  Because I'm a sap and easily influenced by my sister, I invited my parents to come and join us.  They might actually do it!  Now since my palatial apartment isn't THAT big they'll stay at a nearby hotel.  (There is a hotel literally next door to my apartment complex. We share a fence). 

I went to a party tonight.  That's a big deal.  I don't usually do social things but I have to.  I'm sick of being by myself all the time.  There weren't really any possible contenders to be my local friends, but it is good for me to practice talking to people. I'm not so good with that.  Tomorrow I'm going to a gf event what a mexican place and then next week I'm going to a bowling party with my apartment people.  Just call me buttterfly. :)

I have an interview on Wednesday.  It is for one I phone screened for before Thanksgiving.  Since I hadn't heard anything I presumed it wasn't happening so I was pleasantly surprised to get the call.  Although it was funny because there was an email accidentally sent to me from someone about whether or not the people they wanted to interview had been called in yet.  Oops.  :)  It is a phone interview and then I suppose if I move on it'll be an in person one.  If I get called for that and it happens to be on the 20th (the day I'm taking off to spend time with the fam) I'll take that as a sign the job is MINE.  I don't want to have to take time off to go interview.  My boss is a freak about that shit.  The recruiter and I are salaried employees.  Typically even if a salaried person doesn't work 8 hours you get paid for the full day and don't use PTO to pay if you leave early or whatnot.  She charged my coworker like 3 hours of PTO when she left early.  In WA that wouldn't be legal.  Unfortunately here it is.  She also won't let the 2 hourly employees do things like work through lunch or take only 1/2 hour lunches for the week to make up leaving early for an appointment or whatever.  Have I mentioned that the 2 hourly employees are not allowed to work later than either me or bboss?  One of us have to stick around if the employee works late. So bizarre. (Usually it is less than 10 minutes so not really a big deal but so stupid!)  Anyway I've got high hopes. The job would be within my area of expertise but doing something really different than what I do.  I wouldn't have to administer leaves of absences anymore!  (I LOATHE administering leaves of absence.)

Friday, December 03, 2010

Shh....

My frequency of posts is inversely proportional (or maybe just proportional I don't know I didn't do so well on the math part) to my state of mind.  Lately state of mind not so good.  In fact I started back on the happy pills the week before Thanksgiving.  I like my apartment.  I like my car.  I like living in Texas.  I like my community.  I like my cat.  I like my volunteering.  I am excited about starting grad school.  However, I LOATHE my job. I LOATHE my boss. I only sort of like my coworkers. I have no local friends.  Apparently one side is not enough to tip the other. 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

truthiness Day 18 - Gay marriage

Another easy question for me:  What do I think of gay marriage? Similar to my views on religion, it isn't for me but it isn't my place to judge what others do. So, gays want to get married?  Let em. 

I ultimately believe that marriage has no place with government so the gov't should do civil unions to provide all the 'benefits' of marriage only and let the churches decide on "marriage."  Oddly enough, I'm also not against polygamy.  If more than two consenting adults want to enter into a relationship with some legally defined benefits I've got no issues with that.  The key words (and this is important given FLDS) are consenting and adults.  I can totally respect the issues with the FLDS church, marrying off children, chasing off the boys so there's no competition for the girls, etc.  But amongst consenting adults, who am I to judge if 2 men and a woman or 2 women and a man or 3 men and 2 women or whatever want to "marry" each other?  more power to them if they can find that many people to love and be with forever.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Ho ho ho

I am finding myself full of the Christmas spirit lately.  Like I want to decorate my balcony and put up my tree AND I was even thinking of getting a real live tree this year! (I love live trees!) Currently I am downloading all my holiday cds into itunes so I can make a holiday play list for work. This is unlike me.  I haven't put up a Christmas tree since 2003 or 2004. I don't believe in the "reason for the season." 

My sister is coming in December and we're going to do our own little Christmas the weekend before Christmas.  I'm TOTALLY excited about going to CA over Thanksgiving.  Totally ready for a few days away from work.  There's a lot of excitement around me.  Yay! :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Truthiness post 1

I mentioned when I posted the truthiness list, that I would probably not do them in order. I'm a procrastinator by nature. (Someone may call that lazy... :) ) I think I'll go with Day 19 first (mostly because it is really easy).  "What do you think of religion?"

I am an atheist. I have been since I discovered the word somewhere in junior high.  In actuality I was before, but by then I had a word to define it.  I do not believe in any higher being, higher power or whatever.  However, in general I think if people want to believe in a higher power that's on them.  As long as their belief does not impact my lack of what do I care?  I feel the same way about organized religion and church.  If someone feels better praying to something or joining with others who share the same views, how am I to stop that?  It isn't my place to make that determination.  I think extremists are bad, but I would say that about any extreme not just religious extremists.  In general I view current religion the same way we view the Greek Gods or the ancient Egyptian beliefs (Horus and Osiris and all that)... it is a nice story to explain something that is currently inexplicable.  I do believe in 1000 years from now, those futurepeople will look back at us and think the same way we do about the Greek gods.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Swarm!

If I were a biologist, which I'm not obviously, I would totally study why the birds seem to converge where the 820 and the 35 cross.  I believe there are something like 10,000 birds that all fly into this area and land on the ground or on the electric poles etc. It fascinates me! The birds end up on the power lines so close together that the line is completely covered by bird and the ground almost looks black with birds all sitting on the grass.  Then all of a sudden, they all launch themselves and there are thousands of birds darkening the sky.  I want to know why they do this.  It seems weird to me. Especially since like 1/2 mile in any direction there are almost no birds at all.  So weird.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Fait Accompli

I know that I grouse about day light savings time every year, but this year I actually managed to get a shitton done today.

1 - I took the GRE.  It was the last thing I needed to do for grad school.  I've been conditionally accepted anyway, but if I hadn't taken it by May I'd get booted out of school.  I'm not sure if I did well enough on it to not get booted but I don't think it really matters at this point.  (Actually checking UNT's website I'm way above their average score on verbal but somewhat below their score on the math part).  I used almost every minute I was given.  On the essay portion I ran out of time.  I had finished the essay but was going back through it.  The argument discussion I actually finished 3 minutes early!  Math I ran out of time to do and ended up not getting 3 questions done.  (maybe 4 but I was definitely guessing the last 5 - 6 anyway).  And the verbal I finished with I think 15 seconds to spare.  I went through registration with my advisor last Monday so theoretically I'm signed up for 3 classes next semester.  Eep!  That's considered full time. I am thinking I can do it, but who knows.  I think the drive alone might kill any weight loss I've been able to accomplish.  I will be in class 2 days a week most weeks and 3 days a week once a month.  And Denton is far y'all!

2 - I worked on my t-shirt quilt.  Ironing the fusible web onto all the t-shirts is the longest process.  And since I already cut the shirts I am now having a problem figuring out how to put them together. 

3 - I cooked!  I made one of my favorite soups, avgolemono soup.  I made M&M almond muffins. I toasted the almonds for the muffins even!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

That explains a lot

I adopted a cat a couple of weeks ago.  He's short hair. I have a plan for when Michelle comes to visit (he'll go to kitty care and the housekeeper will come in the day before she arrives). His name is Samuel.  He is all black and declawed.  He doesn't like to play. I have bought multiple cat toys and he really doesn't want to play.  I thought it might be because he's in a new environment.  Not so much.  We went to the vet today due to his ears bothering him... turns out he's not 18 months old as the cat adoption place lady said, he's actually between 5 & 6.  Eh.  She can only know what the people who released him to her know.

I just decided the fish weren't cutting it.  Petting the kitty (not a euphamism) is calming and I need that.  Also Sam gives me someone to talk to on the weekends. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Armadillos are the Helen Keller of the animal world

Driving home I keep driving past a dead armadillo on his back in the gutter.  I kind of want to pick it up and dispose of it properly because it makes me sad to see it there every day.  My coworker told me, though, that armadillos have poor hearing and poor sight and when startled they jump straight up which is how they get hit by cars.

I got into graduate school.  I'm VERY excited about that.  I'll start in the spring.  I still have to take the GRE in November but that's no big deal. Ok it might be.  I'm looking through this GRE book and on the one hand I flip through it and think, really?  you are reviewing THIS? and then I look at the questions and think oh that's why you are reviewing that... when was the last time I did exponents?  I thought that librarians got paid way less than what I currently earn, but I looked at the ALA site today out of curiousity and it isn't a huge difference than what I earn now.  Hopefully by the time I graduate I'll have paid way down my cc and car loan so the salary shift won't be too traumatic. One thing I'm excited about is the prospect that I could even live internationally.  With what I currently do that wouldn't work out.

I'm taking a break from calorie counting soon. I've been stuck at a weight 4 lbs more than weight x (or weight y whichever I identified as the fatter one) for the past 3ish weeks.  Maybe 4 weeks.  It is driving me nuts! (Unrelated, I LOATHE that damn Train song).  So I'll take a break and hopefully not gain my 13ish lbs back and start again renewed and ready to go. 

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

30 days of Truthiness

I found this over on Avitable's blog.  It seems like an interesting project.  I'm not certain I'll do them all and I am certain I will not do them in order (being the type that puts off the worst things as long as possible).   Although maybe it would be even more interesting to do this as inauthentically as possible. (so 30 days of lying!) I'll contemplate that. 

It’s just a series of writing prompts, encouraging you to be honest and truthful. I liked the idea and thought I’d use them whenever I want something to discuss. Here are the prompts if you want to do them yourself:

Day 01 → Something you hate about yourself.
Day 02 → Something you love about yourself.
Day 03 → Something you have to forgive yourself for.
Day 04 → Something you have to forgive someone for.
Day 05 → Something you hope to do in your life.
Day 06 → Something you hope you never have to do.
Day 07 → Someone who has made your life worth living for.
Day 08 → Someone who made your life hell, or treated you like shit.
Day 09 → Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted.
Day 10 → Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn’t know.
Day 11 → Something people seem to compliment you the most on.
Day 12 → Something you never get compliments on.
Day 13 → A band or artist that has gotten you through some tough ass days. (write a letter.)
Day 14 → A hero that has let you down. (letter)
Day 15 → Something or someone you couldn’t live without, because you’ve tried living without it.
Day 16 → Someone or something you definitely could live without.
Day 17 → A book you’ve read that changed your views on something.
Day 18 → Your views on gay marriage.
Day 19 → What do you think of religion? Or what do you think of politics?
Day 20 → Your views on drugs and alcohol.
Day 21 → (scenario) Your best friend is in a car accident and you two got into a fight an hour before. What do you do?
Day 22 → Something you wish you hadn’t done in your life.
Day 23 → Something you wish you had done in your life.
Day 24 → Make a playlist to someone, and explain why you chose all the songs. (Just post the titles and artists and letter)
Day 25 → The reason you believe you’re still alive today.
Day 26 → Have you ever thought about giving up on life? If so, when and why?
Day 27 → What’s the best thing going for you right now?
Day 28 → What if you were pregnant or got someone pregnant, what would you do?
Day 29 → Something you hope to change about yourself. And why.
Day 30 → A letter to yourself, tell yourself EVERYTHING you love about yourself

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Leap of Something

I was having an existential crisis this morning.  I have been really struggling with my job and in general what I do for a living.  I like it.  I think I like it but I just don't know anymore actually.  I'm finding I am sick of the BS associated with what I do.  There's far more governmental influence currently and coming down the pike (pipe?) than when I first started.  More (and just like everywhere I'm sure) I'm getting asked to do more on less.  And I feel bad because it really impacts employees and at my employer MANY of our employees earn 12 - 18 bucks an hour.  We then annually take away 1400 of that in medical benefits alone.  And my bigger boss is now talking more deep benefit cuts. It kills me because I have at least 5 people right now who I know for certain have no ins because they can't afford it.  To me that's wrong.  (And I can also admit I don't like paying so much for my benefits and would hate to see my benefits get slashed).  I was feeling like this, though, even before I came to my new job.  So much more Bullshit.  So much less good stuff. 

So I've been considering going back to school.  I don't know if I'll do it.  I know I've talked about it before.  UNT has a library sciences program which only runs about 12k for the tuition.  I think I could do it.  I think it might be what I'm looking for. According to UNT's site, youth librarians are in demand.  God that would combine my 2 favorite things.  My biggest concern, though:  money.  I'll earn less than I earn now.  That kind of stresses me out since it is just me.  It also stresses me out to think about being subject to the whims of the government.  In Seattle, there were regularly furlough days where the libraries were closed.  They don't get paid for those days off. (Maybe they use vacay I suppose).  I think we've had them here too.  So I think I'll take a baby step and make an appt to go see a graduate admissions counselor and go from there.  Well that and find out about GRE/GMAT testing.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Not again

I volunteered for an event today.  For the first time in all of my volunteering, I left early and I didn't let anyone know when I left.  I was so over it.  I gave them 6 hours out of the 9 I was signed up for.  I like volunteering for events and maybe I've been spoiled because I've worked so many up in Seattle for really established charities.  This group has only been doing this event for 4 years so that's not really a lot of time in the grand scheme of things.  Nobody there knew or remembered my name so I'm pretty sure it wasn't noticed. Especially since they kept moving me from place to place.

I was already annoyed when I realized I had to get there at 9:00 this morning and yet the event didn't start until 11:30.  I'm cool with helping set up events but did we really need 2 1/2 hours for set up?  No.  I got there at 9 and the coordinator for my area wasn't there.  She eventually showed up and then left me again. And ultimately we were ready like 45 minutes early.  Time wasted.  It also bothered me that they were charging for the kids' activities.  It was only 50 cents to do a game and they had some good donated prizes but for some of the games the 50 cents seemed chintzy.  Plus it then meant you had to have a ton of change which we didn't. 

I got shifted around to various jobs during the day because they had way too many volunteers for the barely used kids' area so they kept moving me places.  They needed help at the live auction.  Turns out they didn't need help and I hung around there for freaking ever.  The problem with the live auction was that they were doing like one item between each band playing.  Seriously, how can you draw a crowd to check out the live auction if it is just like a commercial?  And there wasn't enough of a crowd for the 4 volunteers they pulled from other areas to watch the crowd. 

Eventually I got moved again and this time it was to trying to sell fully cooked briskets outside the store whose parking lot we were in.  After they decided to move the brisket sale to someplace else I ducked out and just didn't get with the group.  They had like 5 of us there trying to sell these briskets (mostly unsuccessfully honestly).  By then I was overheated and totally done with it.  I just felt like the whole thing was a disorganized mess and it was totally unfun.  Freezing my ass off for the Leukemia & Lymphoma society was more fun than this.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

I'm easy, but don't piss me off

I'm changing car insurance companies.  This is kind of a big deal for me because in general when I sign up for a service, product or whatever I stick with them.  Short of a huge issue I'll stick with a company indefinitely.  Of course some of that is just sheer lazyness.  Once I've signed up for something I don't want to have to go through the huge project of researching information and then changing to something else.  So finally deciding to change car insurance carriers after months of spending a ridiculous amount of money took an act of extreme bad customer service to make me switch.  I called my guy several months ago and asked how to get off the high risk program.  He did some checking and thought he could and my new rate would be x - much cheaper than I was paying.  Ok great, sign me up I say.  And then nothing.  I called pack a good 6 - 8 times in the next two months with assurances that I'll get a call back.  With a "you haven't gotten the change paperwork yet?"  With nothing.  So I get a new insurance carrier and called to cancel my current policy today.  Again I get the "we're not in the office so call the 800 number" message.  Bye bye my guy.  Welcome new girl. The worst part is that I originally told them I would understand if it couldn't be done in this initial six months.  All they had to say was "Oh sorry, we can't make that change until your renewal" and I'm lazy enough to have stuck around.

Friday, September 03, 2010

10 lbs!

According to my official weigh in I'm down 10 lbs. (And by official weigh in I mean the piece of paper I keep in my linen closet where I keep my scale and I write down the weight on Friday mornings only even though I may weigh myself randomly on a Tuesday evening and a Monday morning after my shower and a Thursday right before I go to bed.)  That's pretty cool.  Technically I'm only 4 lbs away from goal weight 1.  But to give myself a little 'lunch leeway' I should probably see if I can manage 8 or more.  I have a month or so to do it.  That means I'm 29 lbs away from skydiving weight.  However I'm still about 79 lbs from learning to scuba dive weight.  (The advantage to putting these weight loss rewards in place... it gives me time to save up the needed funds to do them. :)  )

I joined a couple groups on my calorie counting website.  I'm probably going to quit one of them.  It is the "I am superduper fat and want to lose 100 lbs or more group."  (Obviously that's not the real name, that would be mean).  I was reading some of their forums and message boards and it made me rather depressed actually.  There was one whole thread about what people wanted to do when they go to their goal weight.  It made me sad for them because it kind of seemed like they were just waiting for this magical number to really do things.  I know some of what their things were they really needed that magical number - like shop at the Gap and not need seat belt extenders on airplanes - but others didn't and I just thought why make that big goal so far way out there.  You should reward yourself steps of the way.  We celebrate birthdays and not just the big ones... why not celebrate small successes?   

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Satan's Scheme

Have I mentioned there's a huge church across the freeway from my apartment building?  Huge. It is a Baptist church and I can see it from various points in my complex. It is not a megachurch as defined by some website I found about them which kind of surprises me but what do I know?  Anyway... this week on their scoreboard sign thingy they have the phrase "Satan's scheme" and each time I think is this a hairbrained activity?  Is Satan planning on hiding his new dress from Ricky because he spent all his allowance on it?  Did he go to work at a candy factory and eat all the candy?  And since Satan is my heinous ex-brother-in-law, is he actually planning on doing something heinous to my favorite nephew now that said favorite nephew lives near them? These are the things I ponder.  Clearly I have too much time on my hands.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Analog or digital

I've only been counting calories for the past 18 days.  It feels like I've been screwing around with this A LOT longer than that.  I'm not positive that I will be able to do this for the long haul.  But I'll definitely keep at it for as long as I can.  I'm trying to find that right balance between eating better and not totally depriving myself of food I like, which will make this fail. 

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Other goals

I think when I get 1/2 way between weight x and weight y I'm going to go sky diving.  I may need to have my sister visit then because I'm not 100% certain I can do it on my own. :)  (She'll do it with me.  She'll do anything apparently. : p )  She's certified in scuba diving (that's not why I say she'll do anything) and I totally want to do that too. 

Shopping is hard

One of the difficult things about moving from a location with a huge Asian population to one without a huge Asian population is finding asian food components I used to use regularly.  I'm not even looking for anything particularly exotic.  I was looking for sesame oil and hoisin sauce (hoisin sauce is difficult because I have to find GF hoisin sauce) and fresh ginger.  It took me 3 stores to find hoisin sauce that was GF and ginger.  Now I must remember that Kroger is really the best bet for most things I want. 

Murder/Suicide Pact

Back when Michelle and I were in college, we had a murder/suicide pact that if we got to weight x we were ending it all.  Well, weight x has come and is long gone and we're both still alive.  In fact, weight y has come and gone and we're still alive which shows how serious we both were about this whole pact.  I've been counting calories obsessively for about 2 weeks.  caloriecount.about.com says I should only be eating 1600 calories per day and honestly I haven't been strict about it.  Most days I'm within 100 of it.  Some days (like yesterday) I didn't but I'm still eating fewer calories than I burn (according to the site).  I've also added exercise in the morning most days (40 min).  Gilad's Bodies in Motion make me happy.  I DVRd them from Fit TV so I can ff through the commercials. 

So I have between 8 - 9 lbs (I use an analog scale not a digital one) to get back down to weight y.  Which will also mean I can go on the zipline.  So far I've lost about 5 - 6 lbs.  I know that's not a lot, but it is good so far. :)

Monday, August 16, 2010

First shift down

Tonight I went to my first shift at the shelter.  I spent the evening in the 'pre-school' room with about 8 or 9 kids between the ages of 2 and 4.  There was an actual employee with me which meant I was fortunate because in the older kid room the volunteer was all by herself.  There have been a lot of new families in since I did my orientation there a few weeks ago.  They've doubled the number of kids since I was at training.  I had a good time with the little kids.  I sat in their teeny chair and we talked about shoes and i ate pretend food and engaged as many as I could in conversation.  There were 2 new kids whose mom had just gotten there today.  The little sibling cried the entire hour. Mom was seriously missed.  Towards the end older sibling started crying.  I think younger's crying just wore the kid down.  (I know it wore me down.  I was wiped out when I left). It was fun and I'm excited to go back. 

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Fun Fun Fun

I went to the Dallas Art Museum today because it was the last weeend for the Coastlines exhibit.  Walking through the exhibit made me miss Seattle a little bit.  Even though I haven't always lived near the water, I have for the past 10 years and I kind of miss it.  It was nice to be able to see the water sometimes.  The exhibit was gorgeous!  They had a wide variety of media which I appreciated.  It was a multi-sensory experience because they also had various sounds playing.  In some areas you could hear the roar of the ocean and they also had the plinky plinky kind of music in the background.  My favorite painting was this one that was done in oil on canvas called Time and Tide by Alfred Thompson Bricher.  It was so amazing.  Until I walked up close to it I thought it was a photograph.  I tried to find a poster of it in the museum store but all they had was a little card.  I think the clouds really give it away but if you just focus on the rock and the water it is gorgeous. 

I think I may love his work.

I did go through the entire rest of the museum.  It was a really nice three hours.  (Additionally according to the calorie count site I'm using 3 hours of leisurly walking burns 781 calories just so you know :) ).  The museum has a lot of different exhibits.  Another painting I fell in love with was called The Icebergs by Frederic Edwin Church.  I could really get lost in the textures of the ice and the colors of the ice. It is a pretty big painting and it almost seemed like you could step into the painting and be much cooler. :)


In real life it is much much cooler.  It was in a section I could take a photograph of it but I didn't. (I borrowed this photo from Wikipedia).  I'll post the other photos I took later.  There was Egyptian art and just so many other neat things to see.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Trying something else

So I found a webpage that I can put in what I eat and counts calories each day.  If I eat only 1600 calories each day for the next 3 years I can get down to my "target" weight.  (This is the website defined weight not my defined weight, I don't know what that is.)  So started that out today.  Did not make the 1600 ceiling.  Not even close. BUT it is keeping it in my head so even though it may take me awhile to get down to 1600 calories/day at least I'll be THINKING about calories to maybe help reduce the number I take in. 

While at BlogHer I got my cholesterol and sugars checked.  I rocked all my numbers (well except the BMI and if that was fine, I wouldn't need to lose 15 lbs now would I?).  That was kind of exciting since I don't think I've had those tests done in years. 

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Traveling Debacle

If I were one of those people who believed in "signs" or "the universe telling me something" I totally wouldn't have made it to BlogHer in NYC this past weekend.  
  1. I had to gate check my suitcase.  I gate checked it all the way to JFK.
  2. Weather closed the Charlotte airport.  It eventually reopened and we landed but my JFK flight had already left.
  3. This is midnight and there aren't really any other flights going to the NYC area so I check into a Quality Inn for a whopping 3 hours to get some sleep... with no clothes since my bag got gate checked.
    1. The irony (is it irony? maybe Murphy's Law) was that I actually contemplated pulling out a clean undies, toothbrush and toothpaste and a clean shirt when I discovered I had to check my bag but decided not to because I was the 3rd to the last on board and the line was actually moving down the jetway.
  4. The next day I get to Charlotte.  It is too early for any place for food to be open and I spend so much time trying to figure out my next move it becomes too late to try to get food.
  5. Miss my first La Guardia flight.  Discover that the 2nd La Guardia flight had a TON of seats open so I didn't have to worry about getting on that one. 
  6. Headed down to luggage to see if it would be at all possible to get my luggage shifted to La Guardia so I don't have to go to both airports.  Don't hold your breath I'm told.
  7. At La Guardia we have to circle the airport for 20 minutes because they are reconfiguring the runways.  I don't even know what that means but I could have cried.
  8. Here's where the weekend gets saved... I get the next La Guardia flight and even better - Luggage makes it! I had the luggage lady scan my tag to see if I should even bother waiting and it was there! I could have cried with joy.  And I might have told the luggage lady I loved her.  It was a heat of the moment thing. :)

Saturday, July 31, 2010

I am not destined to lose weight

Yesterday after work I stopped at Wal-mart to buy several things including a scale.  After 45 minutes and walking across the store 4 times, I finally found one in hardware.  Why are scales in hardware?  Why are they not with bathroom stuff (technically they are with the bathroom stuff because they were with the toilet seats and the towel bars and whatnot but they are not with the shower curtains and soap dishes).  I finally find one in the back and make my way back up to the front and get in line... to discover that my wallet is not in my purse.  I left it in the car.  I'm at the end of my rope so I put everything back and head out to the car to go home. 

This morning I get up to run errands.  Among them I go to Wal-Mart because the other Wal-Mart had Cabot cheese and I still want a scale.  So I go to Wal-Mart and they have one style of scale. It is not the scale I want (I want cheap analog and not uber fancy expensive kind).  I'm done.  Not buying a scale after all.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Maybe I could hike or something like that...

For today's Sunday Adventure I field tripped to the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge.  It was so cool!  There were a ton of trails.  And on Sundays they have various things going on in the afternoon. Today's was a hike down at the boardwalk and river bottom trails.  I was the only one who showed up to go, though so it was just me and the naturalist.  How cool is that?  Awesome!

This is in the Lotus Marsh area.  They set up this fence around certain areas to see what was being eaten.  Now they're not only not sure what was being eaten, but they're not sure what is eating it.  They originally were concerned about what wild hogs were eating. 

View of the boardwalk from the pavilion in the Lotus Marsh.  The boardwalk is a little rickety right now because apparently when it floods the boardwalk ends up under water.

Up close of a button flower.  I like how they are tons of teeny tiny little flowers in a ball. They're all over the marshland.

Can you see the mysterious thing in this photo?  As we were walking back on the road to the car we took to the head of the boardwalk trail they bounded across the road in front of us.

Can you see the mysterious thing in this photo?  This was in the marsh.  I like how the duckweed and the fern (whose name I already can't remember) looks like solid ground.
This red is also in the marsh.  It is a fern that turns red like this in the fall.

This butterfly on the button plant was HUGE.  So pretty.

The duckweed and the fern make it seem like you could walk across this carpet of green.

A part of the Trinity River and the Lotus Marsh.

Dragonfly in the marsh.

All sorts of trees grow into the marsh. 

Cool old tree.  I think it is an oak. I know it is dead.

Old willow tree in the marsh.

Pavillion in Lotus Marsh.  It is out on the river so it is cooler than on the paths.  I could see turtles and fish in the water.
Can you tell the difference between poison ivy and a plant that isn't poison ivy?  These two are growing right next to each other.  (I can't remember the plant's name even though the naturalist told me like 4 times.)  The poison ivy is the one with 3 leaflets in a cluster with red edging.
Awesome red dragonfly.  I like how it is tigetstriped.
I think this is the Trinity River.

Can you see the bird?  White egret on the river.
These strands attached a spiderweb from a tree to the deck.
There's a brightish yellow spider in the trees which by itself is cool, BUT you add in that it makes a zig-zag web that makes it even cooler.  Apparently it is a common spider but I thought it was pretty nifty.

I'll be feelin' that

I bought a Groupon to do a zipline for me and my sister and her kid.  The problem... I have to lose 15 lbs to meet the weight requirement.  Obviously I have to lose more than 15 lbs but the 15 lbs are a semi-immediate loss. (Like before December when the groupon expires).  (Or before they visit and want to actually do this.)

To that end I've DVR'd several exercise shows from FitTV.  Sadly the shows have commercial interruptions but two 1/2 hour programs give me a 40 minute workout.  And they're different and some are kind of fun.  Although yesterday while I was doing Bollywood Dancing I was reminded of college when Kate would kick me out of the dorm while she did her step aerobics.  I have no coordination. :)  

Saturday, July 24, 2010

That wasn't unsuccessful

Have I mentioned I'm going to BlogHer?  I am.  I have been waffling about this lately.  Part of me doesn't want to go and save my money.  The rest of me wants to because a - it is NYC which I have not been to since I was 8, b - Michelle is one of the presenters and I want to see her presentation and c - I think it will ultimately be fun even though I'm all apprehensive now.  I became even more when I heard there are going to be over 2000 people there.  That's a lot!  But I got my BlogHer pass in the mail yesterday with a random quantity of drink tickets (I say random quantity because PM got one number, I got a different and someone else we know going - yet a 3rd quantity.  I can't figure out the logic there).

Anyway... that's a long intro to today's Saturday adventure.  I drove into deepest darkest Dallas to go to a pre-BlogHer meet up.  All in all it wasn't a bad time.  It made me nervous to go but I met some very nice women and a nice husband.  Saw some excrutiatingly cute children. (The eyes on Rory's baby were amazing. Such a cute little chub!)  Ate a small bowl of ice cream.  Learned about what some people are doing in blogs.  Found a couple I'll probably follow.  Heard about a couple potential Sunday Adventure spots.  Not too bad a way to spend an afternoon.

I just do what the disembodied voice in the box tells me to...

I just got back from a trip to deepest darkest Dallas.  Since I'm new to the area, and especially new to deepest darkest Dallas, I was using the GPS.  The GPS and I tend not to agree on certain things and frequently I find myself yelling at her.  (I use the female voice on the GPS because the male one sounds way too much like a Speak & Spell).  Today was no different.  In the part of Dallas where I was, apparently there's construction and it took me like 1/2 mile on two different freeways just to get back to the 183W.  I don't know why we couldn't use surface streets.  I especially couldn't figure out why we couldn't use surface streets given how bad traffic was for that 1/2 mile.  (I know I'm relatively new to driving in traffic.  Walking in Seattle for 6 years does not prepare one for bumper to bumper traffic.)  On the way home things got even weirder.  I'm driving along getting ready to get onto my freeway close to home and it tells me to take a certain exit.  Hmm... maybe it knows something I don't.  So I get off the freeway.  Then it tells me to take a right and get back on the freeway.  WTF?  I could've stayed on the freeway I was on because the exchange was coming up.  Stupid box. 

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Welcome to the Cliche

I blame PM's incredibly adorable and well behaved children for the recent slap to my "biological clock."  (Ok it is probably not their fault.  I am 36 and do have ovaries and a theoretical maternal instinct.) 

I want to have kids. I have waffled about it in the past, but if I'm being honest with myself I think that waffling was mostly to bother my mom and not something I honestly believed.  But god the pull is so strong sometimes.  It's run through my head that I could just go be slutty in bars until somthing happened.  (that something would more likely be one of many STDs given the "difficult if not impossible" label and lack of periods since April - wow TMI for all of you isn't it?).  But I'm not a total moron so I don't.  (And I don't want diseases.  50% or whatever of the population may have herpes, but I don't and I'd really rather not get join them just because)

I now follow several twitterers (what is that noun?) on twitter who are foster/adopt resources here in Texas.  I regularly spend time at adoptuskids.org and the one for Texas (whose site I can't remember off the top of my head) looking at available kids (The kids under 4 on the Texas site... holy cow do those kids have problems.  It is excrutiatingly sad.)  I want this badly, but I also recognize that I want to have my financials in order and my job in order so I can focus the time and energy onto my kids that they are going to need.  I'm hoping to attend an adoption orientation session in the next couple of months.  I know it is still too early to really begin the process since I won't be ready until I can move into a bigger place, but I feel like I have to be doing something to move forward on this.  I don't want to be 45 and look back at what I didn't do.  (Ok I still could adopt at 45 and I'm being overly dramatic I know). (ooh perhaps it is the sign of an impending period, eh probably not.) 

And ultimately when all is said and done I think I'm just lonely here.  When I moved to Seattle I at least had V to hang out with and then Matty P and then other friends eventually.  Here I know nobody.  And while I generally don't like people, spending the bulk of 3.5 months by onesself is hard.  I'm going to a pre-Blogher meet up next weekend.  Maybe something will come of that.  And although Kate in VT says I'm good with friends, I find it very stressful and difficult.  As a kid I always latched onto like one or two people (which if you look at my friend track record is still in effect 30 years later) and they would be my friends.  Whine whine whine wah wah wah.  Tomorrow is another day and it will be a good one dammit! :)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

I got to screw!

I may or may not have mentioned I've joined a couple of Meet-Up groups.  I haven't really decided how I feel about the Meet-up groups, but whatever.  The book club one I haven't been to yet since they keep doing books I have no interest in.  The other one is a volunteering group. 

Today I volunteered for a ramp project where we built a ramp for a home.  It was actually fun.  The main group is a group of older men volunteers.  They were really funny, bickering with each other like... well like old men. :)  I got to drill and clamp things.  The smell of fresh cut wood is really attractive.  Calvin Klein could bottle that up and I would be very happy. :) I really enjoyed the project and I think I'm going to do it again.  Hopefully I can volunteer with some of the same people again so maybe I can make friends.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

blocked

I could not be more blocked if I tried.  I start a post then delete it.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Fait Accompli!

Remember earlier in the summer when I said I wanted to clean out my storage unit?  I did it.  Go me. Go me.  Go go go me.  I cleaned out 8 boxes into 3 trash bags and 3 boxes for charity and 1 tote to go back into the storage.  Not too shabby.

My car is in the shop this week.  Luckily the person who hit me hit the part that already had a scrape so that's getting fixed by default.  Yay!

I have a 2nd date with the minotaur this weekend.  Dating.  Yay! (Well that may be a stretch.  We'll see how it goes.)

I'm going to a volunteering meet up next Saturday.  If things don't pan out with the minotaur (and I really don't think they will... I'm not that interested), maybe I'll meet a new one on Saturday... one who knows how to use tools and volunteers. :P  Yay!

My sister and her kid came to visit last weekend.  Yay!  I'm sure they'll come again.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

I was almost tricked into supporting Right to Lifers

While I was running my errands this morning I drove past a car wash for life and I thought ooh! I'll get my car wash and support life. To me "life" means either lifelong aids alliance or cancer. It wasn't until I saw the t-shirt that said "pro-life" that I stopped myself. Phew. That was a close one!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Maternity Leave is almost over

On Saturday I will have been here 12 weeks. Because I work in benefits 12 weeks to me means FMLA time. :) (I know it is illogical, but go with it)

So I have been here 12 weeks and maybe it is due to the comfort of my AC and my absolutely fabulous sofa I'm sitting on, but I feel like I have no opinion on living here yet. I don't hate it, which in itself is surprising given how I hate to be hot. There are definitely things I do like about living here (palatial apartment notwithstanding). Of course part of that is just amenities I have now that I didn't have in Seattle. It is nice owning a car again. I hadn't realized how much I missed driving. Maybe not driving so much but the freedom owning a car brings.

My job... I don't know yet how I feel about it. There are aspects I like. There are aspects I want to like. I was lamenting to PeevedMichelle a couple days ago that I wonder where I would be careerwise if I had never moved to Seattle. I usually get this way when I am stressed about money. Where I am now is more than I was at the u. It took me over 5 years to get back to my LA salary in Seattle. Michelle very astutely pointed out multiple things... 1 - for almost everyone working, the grass is greener somewhere else. 2 - the extended unemployment and then working at the casino really did a number on my confidence. 3 - the university ultimately didn't help because it was so much better than the casino (but in the grand scheme of things not great either on several levels) that I just stuck around out of gratefulness. I also stuck around because certain benefits were just hard to give up. Having as much time off as I had was awesome. Ultimately this all leads me to the fact that this is not my end of the line job. I'm not sure how long I'll stay at my current place. I like it well enough, but they don't pay for most benefits, I'm iffy on how they treat employees as a whole, and there's no growth possible. Also I'll need more money if I'm adopting in a couple years.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Funny


This cartoon from Stone Soup totally cracked me up this morning.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Orientation

I've decided Fort Worth's volunteering organization(s) will be ones that benefit women. I've emailed Dress for Success in hopes of volunteering with them but haven't heard back from them. The other is a secret organization who helps women get out of DV situations. I decided to work with that one because they have a kids' program and I think it might be helpful for me to work with kids who have come from less than ideal situations since I'm hoping to adopt from foster care (and those kids have definitely come from less than ideal situations). I attended orientation this morning. I'll have to do an interview and then some more training and I can start working with their kids' program. I think I could end up working just 2 hrs per week or 3. I'm excited to start this. I think it will be a good project for me.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Summer Goals

Something about this new apartment is inspiring me to be better about organization and whatnot. So I have a goal for the summer... get organized. I got rid of a lot of clothes before the move, although I'm pretty sure there are more to do.
  • I have 4 boxes of chaotic photos. Toss the ones that are bad. Label them all. And put some to be on display in my photo boxes.
  • Go through the boxes in storage. There are boxes in my storage that moved with me from Alaska. I don't think they've been gone through since then. I'm sure there's a lot to get rid of, but I do want to keep my kid books.

Hmm. That doesn't seem like a lot, but given that my storage unit is pretty full it will be. :)

Monday, June 07, 2010

Why Disneyland is better than Six Flags

So I'm now a Six Flags PlayPass holder. Basically I can go to any one of many Six Flags parks in the US this year if I wanted to. I get a discount for the passes from work and I knew my sister would come back and theoretically Lyday is going to come and go and given that an individual ticket is I tihnk 50ish bucks and the Play Pass is 50 bucks it worked out well.

So my sister came down and we went this weekend where I realized that Six Flags will not replace a Disney park but it might be a nice distraction sometimes. We hit all the coasters and high tension rides. I got sunsick twice. The first time we managed to cool me off by going on Roaring Rapids and getting soaked. The 2nd we were in the car on the way home. We had the AC blasting and it just didn't help. We stopped in to get dinner and I couldn't eat. I got home, turned up the AC and turned on two fans and lay down in the bedroom. I could tell the moment the heat broke because all of a sudden I was FREEZING and had to cuddle up under the blankets. Had my appetite back and FINALLY could eat. (I drank water. I drank juice. I drank vitamin water. It was just too hot for me. And there are not a lot of cooling off options.)

Anyway as I thinking about it on Sunday I realized my issue with Six Flags. There are no middle of the road rides. All the rides (as near as I can tell) are either extreme rides - roller coasters and whatnot - or baby rides. There's no middle ground. Or at least what I consider middle ground. Admittedly Disney doesn't actually have a lot of thrill rides (and definitely not by Six Flags fan standards). But it is nice to get to ride Pirates of the Caribbean or Small World as a little lull. As it was we had to take a break after every 3 or 4 rides for me because too many in a row would make me ill. Maybe I just need to accept that I am not Six Flags' target audience. :P

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Ahh Texas

So while I was walking around the grocery store like a normal person does when I came along the "international" aisle. The heading on the aisle: Mexcian & Chinese. Cracked me up a lot.

My sister is here in town. It is so exciting. I like it when she visits. We're going to Six Flags today. Tomorrow we're going to Wicked. It'll be a good time (albiet expensive). :)

Monday, May 31, 2010

First Dates are Awkward

I went on a first date today. I haven't been on a date in awhile. I wasn't even actually sure it was a date initially since I kind of think I was the one who did the asking. We met via OK Cupid, which I never really knew was a dating site, I thought it was just a dumb (albiet totally silly) quiz site. Lyday turned me on to the site. It's free and honestly, you get what you pay for with them. I found more poly couples looking for a 3rd or 4th than I have ever seen. And it didn't stop once I moved to the Bible belt!

Anyway, we'd been emailing back and forth for about a month and a half. I wasn't sure if he was really interested. He'd email like 2 or 3 sentences and I think at least once I think he asked me the same thing he had previously asked. I started to not respond since I figured he wasn't really that interested and yet he'd email again.

So we met today at Fuddruckers which is not the restaurant I thought it was, but it was fine. We talked a lot and then went to get snow cones. He's a nice guy. It was a fine time. There's not a lot to say about that.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Doggie P0nr

I want a pet. I have missed having one basically ever since I've moved. However, in order to get a pet, I have to pay the pet deposit and the adoption fee and then all the accoutrements a pet needs and I'm just not quite there financially yet. I'll get there, maybe in July, but not yet. Until then I've been scouring petfinder.com and craigslist. It's become an addiction. I had found one I was really interested, but I had told Michelle I would not adopt a dog until after her visit and he's no longer listed so I can hope that means he was adopted. In reality I couldn't have anyway (see previous part about $$). I can't get a cat because apparently everybody I know is allergic so it has to be a dog. I'd prefer an adult dog because I honestly don't want to deal with potty training and/or crate training a puppy. Michelle has offered me their dog, Shelby. Her size made it really difficult for them to find a place to live. Weight wise I could actually take her (I thought I couldn't). She's a really good dog and she and I get along very well. But her poop would be ginormous to pick up! :) So I'll wait and maybe the perfect pet will present itself.

I find it vaguely fascinating as I scour Craigslist that people will give up cats for free. Lots and lots and lots of free cats, but rarely dogs... Dogs always have a "rehoming" fee. I've seen one free dog in over 100 listings and this one was dumped and has only 3 legs. Oh let me back up... I just saw 2 more free dog ads... for pits. Now I have nothing against Pit Bulls, however my apartment complex does. No pits or anything crossed with a pit. (Also in case you care no: malamutes, rottweilers, German Shepherds, Huskies, Doberman, Chows, St. Bernards, Great Danes, Akitas, American Staffordshire Terriers (Pit Bulls by another name) and American Bull dogs.)

Stephen had to have Rigby put down. I knew it was coming. In fact if she hadn't been so spry I would've probably done it before I left Seattle because I knew at her last appointment she was declining rapidly. (She had lost I think 70 or 80 grams between 2 vet appointments that's a lot for a pet that only weighed 780 grams to begin with). By the time Stephen took her to the vet she was down to 400. Poor girl. Poor Stephen.

The Plan for Today

Shower
Go to Brunch(sadly by myself)
Unpack the last 4 boxes
Maybe go see Letters to Juliet
Buy some vinegar to combat the fungus gnats on one of my plants.
Put away what needs putting away
Laundry

What's on your agenda for today?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

On A Lighter Note - I'm so not in kansas anymore.

I joined the party planning committee at work. I did this of my own volition. I thought it would be fun. Clearly I'm a moron. We're talking about doing a "shirt" day once a month when the whole site all wear shirts following a theme (sports teams, hawai'ian, etc) This month is Memorial Day so we're wearing red, white and blue. The committee sent around a flyer (flier?) for opinions before it got sent out and I commented. Holy crap. I clearly opened up a can of worms. I just found some of the phrasing to be a little potentially offensive and should we try to say it a little differently. I then pondered if perhaps honoring Memorial Day wasn't a little too political. Again, clearly I said that perhaps we should all eat babies for dinner for their tender and succulent meat. Luckily I got lectured on the history of Memorial Day so now I could not possibly be confused about potential offensiveness of Memorial Day. So I'm sharing this whole ridiculous drama with my coworker and we both came to the same agreement: not everybody is for the wars that have been fought recently and Memorial Day honors those that fall in war and MAYBE it could be offensive to some. And then she says "Yeah, we should have just nuked the shit out of them and been done with it." Funny how that works sometimes.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Health Care Reform: My take

I spent last Thursday at an all day event talking about health care reform and how it is going to impact us, employers, in administrating our benefits. It sucks. I do believe that uninsured should have options. I do believe the uninsurable should have options. I do not believe the legislation that passed is the right answer.

Exchanges: When you buy a car, you buy car insurance. You can't expect to call up just after you got in an accident and get car insurance to cover that accident. The exchanges will not work that way. You, an uninsured person, could not bother signing up for health insurance and pay your $8.00/mo fine until you get sick. Then you can sign up with the exchanges and get coverage immediately that will cover that condition (since no pre-existing condition rules apply and you cannot be rejected). You could then drop back off the insurance once you're done receiving treatment. This is not a sound business practice. Potentially they will be paying out way more in claims than they're bringing in in premiums and since they will be hamstrung on increases by the government, they won't be able to continue to offer plans and/or stay in business.

Employer penalties: If your company employs more than 50 people, they must offer health insurance. Failure to do so results in a $2,000/year/person penalty. I can promise you that your health insurance costs your employer more than 2k per year. It might be easier and cheaper for your employer to chuck insurance altogether rather than deal with the rest of the governmental mandates that have come up.

If your employer's plan is too "rich" (EMPLOYER cost exceed certain limits) a 40% excise tax will be assessed to the insurance carriers. Like they aren't going to pass those on to the employer as higher rates? Yeah right. Insurance company rates are established by the company's experience and demographics. An employer who has a particularly poor year or two may find themselves on the receiving end of that penalty. Further, what difference does it make if an employer wants to offer a particularly rich plan to its employees? How is it good business to penalize companies for offering more for their employees? (If you start adding on riders such as infertility treatments the rates can go through the roof).

If your employer's plan is too poor they can be penalized. There are minimum standards required now. I'm not against this. Most employers plans are there, HOWEVER, similar to the talk amongst employers about dropping health insurance many are considering cutting plans to the bone to comply with the too rich rule. If costs to the employee are more than 9.5% of than their family's AGI, the employer can get dinged. If costs to the employee are between 8 and 9.5% of their AGI, the employer is required to offer vouchers so employees can go to the exchange. How in the hell is the employer supposed to know what the family's AGI is? We have no way of knowing that. So an employee could take our voucher (worth the value of the plan we offer) and turn around and get a lessor plan in the exchange (the minimum plan is a 60/40 coinsurance plan) and pocket the rest.

Employer insurance must cover clinical trials. They must also cover the fix if a clinical trial doesn't work or makes things worse. I know that clinical trials are necessary, however experimental treatments are expensive. Covering them will increase costs and see above about plans that are 'too rich.'

Starting Jan 1, 2011 Flexible Spending Accounts can no longer cover over the counter medications and in 2014, the max will only be 2500. There's this perception in DC that FSAs are the tax shelter of the rich. As I announce that change in my open enrollment meetings, it isn't the doctors lamenting that change.

And finally the CLASS act. This is a "voluntary" long term care policy that starting January 1 you will be autoenrolled in if your employer can offer payroll deductions. Of course they can. There are very few employers that cannot accommodate it. Therefore if we CAN do this, we MUST do it. So we have to autoenroll employees unless they proactively opt out. The government is counting on most people failing to pay attention to their paperwork to sign up for this plan. The plan pays out only $50/day for your Long Term Care needs. There is nowhere in the country you can get care for $50/day. And, for most young employees, you can get better rates from the independent market than what the government is offering them for.

Some things Health Care Reform doesn't address that perhaps they should...
Tort Reform. Medical lawsuits are out of control. I'm sorry for people who lose loved ones, but a million dollars isn't going to bring them back. Fifty million definitely isn't going to bring them back. Perhaps if there were limits on lawsuits, physician's medical malpractice insurance wouldn't have to be so high and perhaps their overhead wouldn't be so high and on down the line.

Tort reform would also decrease the use of defensive medicine. Defensive medicine is the provier's practice of recommending further tests or treatments that may not be helpful but is more of a way for the provider to cover his/her ass in case of lawsuit. Nice how that works, right? That raises everyone's medical costs.

I think there should be help for people who can't get it. I do think it is ridiculous that some people pay over a thousand dollars for family coverage. But this health care reform isn't it. However, given that there are 4 to 8 years between now and when some of these practices start (not all), who knows what the hell will happen.

Growing up in a border town

(The first of two political posts. Yeah I know I don't usually blog about politics but get over it.)

I spent all of my formitive years living in Arizona. I grew up literally 30 miles from Mexico. Probably even closer since that 30 miles is from my town to another town using highways. Growing up in a border town gives you a vastly different perspective on the issue of illegal immigration than those who live in the rest of the US. Most people only see the immigrants. I see an illegal immigrant and think of the coyotes (the people paid to smuggle illegals into the country). And that, in my heart of hearts, is why I have a problem supporting illegal immigrants here in the US. To ME supporting illegal immigrants is supporting the coyotes that bring them here and that I can't stomach.

Coyotes are out for only one thing... themselves. Growing up I read more than once about how vans or trucks had been abandoned with people inside. They had baked to death or shot. According to a governmental report (read it... it's fascinating... especially about the Tucson sector( my sector)), in the 80's there were about 300 per year. By 2005 that number had doubled. Of all the deaths of illegal immigrants analyzed from the 80's to 2005, 25% were due to exposure to the elements... and worse 15% were homicide. In case you care... by 2005, almost 1/2 of all the illegal immigration deaths were in The Tucson Sector. 250 people died somewhere in southeastern Arizona after crossing the border illegally. According to the report, not all of the remains are able to be identified. All I can think is that some of those 250 people had families who have no idea what happened to their family member.

On a closer to home level, my dad went out to get the paper one morning. There he met a young woman who spoke no English. She couldn't have been more than 20 he said. He didn't know what to do with her so he took her to a nearby house where he knew the homeowners spoke Spanish. The coyote dropped her off by the highway and told her she was in Miami (Arizona. It is over 175 miles to Miami AZ from where my parents live.) The people my dad brought her to helped get her to her family in Miami, but hard to say what would've happened to her if she hadn't found helpful people. It's easy to get all up in arms about shit when it is in the abstract, when you're looking at the 'poor innocent immigrant who just wants a better life' but it is just as important to remember that not all illegal immigrants are good kind people. Not all of them want to come here to improve the lives of their families back home.

Remember some time ago probably maybe 20ish years, there was an anti-pot commercial that went on and on about how if you smoked pot, you were supporting all these illegal other things on the back end. That's kind of how I view illegal immigration... by supporting them in this country, we're supporting the illegal means they used to get here and making the coyotes richer and more dangerous. I don't know what the right answer is. I really don't. I tend to think if we could improve the conditions in their home countries maybe this wouldn't be as big an issue. (I don't mean to sound racist. I hope I don't. I just think if I grew up in relative poverty some place or with terrible governmental corruption and wanted a better life and I packed myself up promising my family I'd send for them or return for them or whatever, if where I lived was better in the first place maybe I wouldn't take such crazy risks to try to make a better life for myself.)

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Sing, Sing out loud...

I stopped in to my favorite barbecue place to pick up dinner tonight after work. It was odd. There were A LOT of cars in the parking lot. Hmm. Usually it is not that crowded. I go in. First of all there is a table of firefighters. Nice. Secondly, and far more unintentionally hysterical, there were about 6 - 8 old people jamming in a little group. They were singing and playing really old country and western songs (as opposed to what you would consider country songs). Most of them were along the Tumbling Tumbleweeds variety.

Friday night I went out for Chinese food. It was not good. Apparently the Chinese place (maybe it was Saturday) is a haven for single people to eat by themselves. I am pretty sure I got checked out by this one guy. Probably won't go back again if I can avoid it. The food was just eh.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Tears running down my face

My coworker and I were talking about Girl Scout camp the other day. She, like me, was a camp counselor. She sang a song that I had never heard that was the most hysterical Girl Scout Song I'd ever heard. It was about the Titanic. The chorus goes like this:
Oh it was sad, so sad
It was sad, too bad.
It was sad when the great ship went down.
To the bottom of the husbands and wives, little children lost their lives.
It was sad when the great ship went down.
Down to the bottom of the sea
blub blub blub


I could not stop laughing. What kind of psycho thought this was a song appropriate for girls to sing? What kind of freak wrote the song to begin with? Clearly the song has fallen out of fashion.

I joined a committee at work. Officially it is called the activties committee, but secretly I call it the party planning committee. I'm on it with a woman who honestly looks like Angela from The Office... down to the old fashioned shirts. We're doing free nachos next week for cinco de mayo. We also do the Christms party and a birthday thing once a month.

I'm almost moved in. (and by almost I mean probably not as moved in as I think I am). I have to finish by this weekend though because I have a housekeeper coming in on Wednesday before I drive to Arizona.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Settling in

So all my stuff arrived on Monday. I've been slowly unpacking, but I do hope to be done over the weekend. I want my table set up. I want to find the rest of my pots. :) I was thrilled Thursday when I found my capri pants. It's already pretty warm here. I'm doing pretty well though. I've got a lot to get rid of again. I really need to go through the boxes from the storage unit.

I decided to paint my ancient Ikea bed white to match my dresser. I started that today. I think once the 2nd coat gets on there it'll look awesome. Unfortunately I'm not sure where the parts to put my bed back together ended up when I moved. I took my bed apart instead of letting the movers do it and now I don't know where that ziploc baggie went. I gave it to them. That's all I know. Worse comes to worse I can go to the hardware store with one of the bolts from the headboard and ask them to match the size. Although since it is Ikea, it is probably some random weird size.

My new job is going really well. It is quite the challenge. It feels really good to have a boss who believes I know what I'm talking about. Although there's a teeny tiny part of me that worries that the brokers don't think I know what I'm doing. Sometimes I feel like I'm asking questions I should know. But they're scared of me so I'm not too worried. :) (Brokers are always worried when a new person starts... they may want to change brokers)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Good day!

I bought a car today. I've enver purchased my own car all by myself before. With Ben, the bronco, my parents went with me and actually paid for it. This time I found it (heh, Lyday actually found it online), test drove it and did all the paperwork for the loan. It's a little intimidating if I consider just how much money I've spent in the past 2 weeks so far. I haven't spent this much money in a LONG time. So the new car is a silver Scion xB. I've been considering one for awhile and I wanted an automatic that was NOT black. (There seem to be a lot of black ones for sale around here but I grew up in AZ, the thought of owning a black car in a place this hot makes me nauseus.) She doesn't have a name yet but hopefully soon something will come to me. :)

My sofa also arrived today so my living room almost looks like a normal person's living room. Theoretically my boxes arrive next week by Thursday. I'm not sure where they're going to put them all. But I can't wait. I want other clothes than what I have with me. And I want to boil potatoes so I can make mashed potatoes. And and and... :)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Good, Better, Best

The Good: My sofa is getting delivered tomorrow. It was supposed to take 3 weeks to come. They're delivering it between 1 & 3. I will no longer have to sit on the camping chair I bought at Big Lots last week. So exciting.

Better: I think I'm buying a car tomorrow. I've never bought a car on my own before. My mother has suggested I bargain. I don't do that. It just seems like a pain in the ass. It is a silver scion. I think I shall name her... Hmm I don't know what to name her.

The Best: Michelle and K is coming to visit! I'm so excited about that. They're coming the weekend before memorial day. We will swim and go downtown to Fort Worth to watch a cattle drive. While we're down there I may see if Michelle wants to ride a train. I know K likes them and there's some festival that weekend downtown that has a train ride available.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

More shopping

I went to Wal Mart today to return some things. I ended up spending a lot more. :)

I bought a new lamp. I'm tired of sitting in the dark. It is a simple black floor lamp and it was $12.00 I'm not breaking the bank with it. I also gave up and bought 2 plates, 2 forks and 2 bowls. I'm tired of using paper and plastic all the time. (And worse, washing the damn plastic forks). I have no idea where my stuff is at this point, but I've probably guarnateed it will arrive on Tuesday. (It won't actually. On Thursday it hadn't even left WA yet I don't think... or maybe CA.)

I bought 3 new plants today. Two look like they're on the brink of death. We'll see if I can rescue them. The other is a Christmas Cactus and just needs some water to perk up. (hmm... a Christmas cactus is not a true cactus. I never knew that)

I'm starting to settle in, well as much as I can. I baked cornbread this morning which I put in a bunch of pepper jack cheese. It tasted awesome. :) \

I'm surrounded by "super" stores. I have decided I don't like them. I was telling Lyday yesterday that I feel like they don't give you enough variety. It's like they mash up 2 stores into one space that is not the equivalent of 2 stores but MAYBE 1.5 stores tops. I think that means they don't have enough variety. Although I've never thought that about the Fred Meyer in Fairbanks.

One thing I'm working on is finding new GF stores and suppliers. I've found a few things at Wal Mart and at one of the two different grocery stores nearby, but nothing as much as I used to be able to find in Seattle. Of course, I haven't looked for a Whole Foods or a health food store. I was actually fairly shocked I found what I found at Wal Mart. I found pasta and mixes and a few other things. No bagels though. :(

Friday, April 09, 2010

Some things

There's a part of me that kind of loves my apartment right now. There's almost nothing in it. I have a coffee table, and washer and dryer and a dresser brought by my dad and nephew last week. They also brought me a kitchen aid mixer that I originally told my mom I didn't want, but for a change I'm glad she ignored me. She also sent a little pan so I have that to cook on. I bought myself a new TV when I realized it might actually be 2 weeks before my stuff gets here and I have a new bed. I got rid of my mattress in Seattle because it was over 12 years old, from Ikea and $200 when I got it and had a big sag in the middle. Obviously not quality. So although in a weird way I kind of like this minimalist life, I dislike that I'm sitting/laying whatever on the floor all the time. The living room does not have any light so I leave the kitchen/dining space light on all the time. Sometimes, though, (like when I'm poking around behind the TV) I have to use a flashlight. I think it is also helping to keep me from feeling truly settled.

I keep buying little things. Today I bought a baking pan so I could bake a cake. Two days ago I bought some spoons. I've been using paper plates and plasticware. Since this was a "celebration" model apartment, they left me 4 cups in the fridge. Oh and I bought a new rice cooker.

I AM about to run out of money, though, so no more shopping until payday. Sadly, for me payday isn't until the 23rd. Sigh. (hee, when I set up my labels, I set my home one to be "home home on the range"... that's kind of funny given my new home)

Thursday, April 08, 2010

1 Week almost down, who knows how many to go...

So I've survived most of the week. My first thoughts are:

1 - In the future I will not live to the west of my job, I'm always driving into the sun and it is blinding.

2 - I'm shopping like a fiend. I think I might be sublimating my loneliness with my master card. (And by master card I mean debit card)

3 - I can't decide how I feel about living here. I think I'm still not 100% convinced I live here. Even though I drive to and from work each day it is still kind of surreal. Probably once my stuff shows up I'll feel more settled. Now it is just more like I'm staying in a hotel.

4 - I think I like my job. I didn't realize that I am basically #2 in the office. And they have some weird rules. I learned tonight that my coworkers have to leave when the managers leave. I packed up my crap and was about to leave when one of them said something about just finishing one more thing and the other said that they had to leave if I left. It was fine. I dawdled (is that how you spell that?) so that they weren't rushed.

5 - I need to buy a sofa. I'm sick of sitting on the floor. (Also, my hips are sick of me sitting on the floor).

That's all for now.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

A Hippie Chick arrives in Dallas

I made it to Dallas in one piece and relatively unscathed. Spent most of yesterday afternoon settling into the apartment and helping the nephew and my dad bring in some things for me. I now have a washer and a dryer of my own. Whee. (And in the great tradition of doing laundry on Sunday mornings, there is a load in both the washer and the dryer right now. :) )

My apartment is GLORIOUS. I'm really excited to be here. The bedroom is HUGE. My tiny air mattress and the small dresser I asked for from my folks look like children's furniture. I have a nice little balcony. I'm going to get a chair at some point and put it out there so I can sit on the balcony and read. I think I'm going to try my hand at container gardening again. I liked doing that in CA.

I slept terribly last night though. The air mattress is NOT comfortable and it needed more air sometime in the night. BUT when I get a real bed it will be much better. I also got surprisingly cold last night. I think partially it is due to the air mattress so if the Super Walmart is open today I'm going to head there and get an extra blanket. :)

I haven't quite figured out how I feel about all this. It is still kind of surreal. People are freakishly friendly here, though. Like beyond anything I'm used to. My leasing person hugged me for goodness sake. I don't hug people. I also met my downstairs neighbor and a woman who lives in a nearby building. My sister ordered me flowers (isn't that awesome!) and the across the building neighbor received them for me.

There are definitely aspects of TX that remind me of Arizona. There are doves cooing (is that what doves do?) outside and I remember them from growing up in AZ. We'll see. With any luck I've got a long time to figure it out. :) One thing I did see that made me think that I wasn't in Kansas anymore... a bumper sticker on a truck "Visualize no Liberals" I'm sure that will go nicely with my equal rights bumper sticker and whatever else I put on my hatchback.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Burning the candle at both ends

I woke up this morning and my first thought was not WTF am I doing up at 4:45? It was "I hate the phrase meet-cute." I don't know why I hate it, but I really do.

Despite going to bed last night at midnight I purposefully woke up this morning at 5 to capitalize on my morningpersonness. I finished some pots in the kitchen and boxed them up. I've realized I'm at that space where I just want shit in boxes and I don't care if things get broken in the move. I should care. I'm not independently wealthy.

My eyeballs are like sand. They burn the flesh. I've been rubbing them like a toddler an hour past her naptime. I think it is allergies.

I finally found my netflix dvd that I've had out since...November. That's right... november. I could have bought this DVD 4 times over with that. I'm going to watch it at lunch time today and then suspend my account for 1 month and mail it back. (Awesome. Holding the acct on netflix is totally easy!)

Today I'm going to pack up my office. This will allow me to just have a box already ready and sealed so I don't have to repack this stuff when I get home.

Holy crap, if I find any more arts & crap supplies or girl scout stuff while moving my head may explode. Just fair warning.

Monday, March 15, 2010

My White Whale

So in the course of packing I've discovered the room I thought was going to be the easiest, my bedroom, is turning out to be the biggest pain in the ass. First of all there's no space. I have to put the boxes on my bed because there's no room at the foot of it for boxes. Apparently I've also taken to just dumping stuff in the bedroom. It's the first room as I walk in the door and about 99% of the time I walk in and immediately have to pee. It doesn't matter if I'm coming home from work, from dinner, from an evening out, the movies... whatever. 99% of the time I walk in the door, throw off my coat, backpack and anything I'm carrying on the bed and then go to the bathroom. My bedroom has become sort of a catch all for everything... old mail, dry goods, bathroom stuff, etc. It is ridiculous.

I have to begin making lists. I'm not a list person naturally, but there's a lot of shit that has to be dealt with for my move... like my cable box... if I sign up for comcast in Dallas can I just bring this one? Do I have to return it to them... and on and on and on. I don't think I have time for this.

Tonight's my last scout meeting. I have mixed emotions on this. On the one hand, of course I'm sad. I love these girls. I've been with many of them for YEARS. I will miss them terribly. On the other... I'm tired. I've been burnt out for the past few years and I know the troop has suffered as a result. I will consider doing it again after Michelle & Bryan move with K & O. If Michelle is interested in having the girls in scouts I'll consider doing it again... or not. :)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

April 5th.

I start my fancypants new job on April 5th. I end my current job on April 1. I'm probably going to fly to Dallas on April 3rd. Eek. This is very soon. I might die of soonness. :)

I have sent in my application and fees for a new apartment in Ft. Worth. It is about 8 miles from my new job. I'm pretty excited about the place. It is gorgeous. It has a pool and a dishwasher and a walk in closet and a balcony. I'm getting a corner unit. It doesn't have a washer/dryer in the unit, but there are hookups for one and my crazy mother has one in her garage for me. I can park my car and not pay $100/mo to do so. It has a fire place. And the one they are holding for me is a corner unit! Below is a sample floor plan for it. Isn't it cute?



I'm being stubborn. My mother has offered me her car, a Nissan something or other from some time in 2000. I don't want it. I've driven it before. I didn't like driving it. It would be free for me though. but I really want to buy my own. I want to pick out my own cute little hatchback and pay for it and negotiate for it and all that jazz.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

It's all done but the details...

I submitted my letter of resignation today. I'd already verbally resigned, they just needed the letter for my file. I also submitted my intent to vacate to my apartment people. Now I just need to pack. Ugh.

I hope I have found an apartment. The place is beautiful and has good ratings from an apartment ratings website I found. The costs are more expensive than move.com posted but still cheaper than my current rent for a 2 bedroom. Although maybe in the interest of saving money and paying down debt I should just go with a 1 bedroom. The 1 bedrooms they have are even cheaper (obviously they're only 1 bedroom. :P ) Ugh. This indecisiveness is annoying me. I like the idea of having a 2nd bedroom to put like my sewing machine and for when guests visit. The cost difference is only 120/mo (2160/yr).

Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Pros and Cons

I've been offered the job in Dallas. They called an hour (ish) after I left from my interview. I don't even know if they called my references. I think she already knew I was the one she wanted but just needed to meet me in person to finalize. I just emailed my potential new boss with a few questions about vacation, retirement and holidays. The holidays thing because the casino bragged about how they gave you 9 personal holidays but only 1 week of vacation. It sounds good (because that is more than 2 weeks vacay) until you realize that they do not give you time off for ANY holiday. Had I stayed I would have been expected to work Christmas and Thanksgiving, day after Thanksgiving etc. That would have sucked balls.

So the pros of moving to Dallas:
1 - It is on the approved list (although in all honesty Michelle had to convince me of Texas to begin with and then Dallas was not approved until desperation set in)
2 - It is much less expensive to live there than it is here. I can rent a 2 bedroom apt near my work for less than I pay in rent for my barely 1 bedroom now.
3 - I think it would be a really interesting and challenging job. I would be the sole benefits person eventually teaching the HR asst benefits as well.
4 - I'll get to work on implementation of a completely new software for benefits & hr. That's exciting.
5 - PM is interested in Texas and hopefully would be moving there too in a couple years.
6 - My sister is really excited to have me move nearer to where she is. And it would be nice to live near her.
7 - I could eventually buy a kickass house for pennies. (Seriously, on move.com today and there are some really nice houses (to my eyes at least) for 100k or less. The one I saw for 280 was like a palace. Appeared as nice as the one PM just moved out of, and I'm pretty sure she didn't pay only 280.

Cons:
1 - I will have to move! I know I've wanted to, but it has always been such an abstract thought. Not something that ACTUALLY will happen.
2 - I'll miss my girls.
3 - I'll miss my friends.
4 - I'll have to make new ones. (I'm not so good at that. At All.)
5 - Maybe I wouldn't be good enough for my job.
6 - I'll miss the people I work with now.
7 - There are benefits I will be giving up. I'm pretty sure they don't do a 10% contribution to retirement. They don't have dental. I'm checking on a couple things before I decide.

I don't want to say no just because I'm terrified, but I also don't want to say yes just because I'm desperate.