Saturday, December 08, 2012

Domestic Time

In an apparent vain effort to become more fiscally responsible, I have given up the housekeeper. So I now have cleaning supplies and a vacuum and everything. I used to think I didn't really take pride in cleaning, but I think now I get it. I have been cleaning the kitchen this morning and it has been good for me to really go through my stuff to purge and clean as I go. I have been reading about hoarding and my sister and I will have to be vigilant (probably me more than her because she moves for work a lot) because there is a nurture component to it. Which I can see. Before I moved out of Seattle, I was probably more on the brink than I care to admit. And it is easy to get overwhelmed, especially if you are as big a hermit as I am. If it is just me and the cat, why bother cleaning? Luckily I get visitors from far away places periodically. So here is an open invitation, need a place to stay in the metroplex? Come on by. : )

Monday, September 17, 2012

Fish or Cut Bait

I think I want to buy a house next year. Unlike in Seattle, I could actually get a house here and my house payments would be less than my current rent. The reasons are solid. I like my job. I don't HATE Texas. As I drove around town the other day I actually thought about making my stay here permanent. I'm sick of moving. I'm sick of starting all over in a new state. I think I'm ready to be a grown-up.

If I acquire a house, I can start the process to acquire children as well. I could do so while living in an apartment, but I live in a one bedroom and children need their own bedrooms and we go back to the I can buy a house cheaper than my current rent is - with multiple bedrooms.  The one thing that makes me nervous is the electric bill. Mine is currently appalling (to me). With so much more space in a house... I shudder to think. The winter is fine because I barely use heat but the summer... I NEED AC. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

There can be only one

I was super excited to discover that I can get Gluten-Free ice cream sandwiches at my grocery store. They are ridiculously over priced. (Well I suppose over priced is relative but I am too embarrassed to even tell you how much I spend on them which means they are over priced.)  But they are so damn good. So damn good.   So far I've been to the ice cream section three times to buy them. So far there has been one and only one container of them for me to buy. I suppose that's good because that means I have to ration my use of them and I can't go crazy and buy 6 boxes and eat them all in 2 days (which I might do).

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Family Project Phase 1

I've mentioned before that my parents' house needs a lot of help. My dad is too old to do a lot of the yardwork. My mom (and probably my dad too) is a hoarder. I volunteered (like an idiot maybe) to help them out.  My sister and I flew out for Labor Day weekend to deal with their front yard. Unbeknownst to me, they actually had received a letter from the City citing that they were violating multiple codes. We did what we could and hopefully they are back within code compliance. My sister is planning on going back over Thanksgiving to help deal with the garage. I'm not giving up my Thanksgiving plans, especially since we'll be back there in March.

This is the before picture. Those two cacti are severely overgrown. The smaller one on the left edge is called a 'bunny ears.'  The worst part about the damn bunny ears... the needles. The prickly pear on the right (also overgrown and big) at least has giant needles which are easy to pull out when they pierce the glove. Bunny ears give you teeny tiny clusters of needles. Please note the giant pile of crap up by the house. 

My parents had rented a smallish dumpster. We filled it and then my sister would climb on top and jump on it to squash the plant stuff down further into the dumpster. I think she had to do that twice. Maybe three times. She's kind of a badass because I was not about to do that.
Before lunch on the first day, we had cleaned up this side of the driveway. I pulled out an entire bunny ears behind that great big cactus. It was a mess. That big cactus, I don't know what it is called, but it also has teeny tiny spines. There was also one on the left side of the drive way which I trimmed with a chain saw. Look how badass I am with a chain saw? :) The little one in front is a cholla. Chollas tend to have big needles, but they are also hooked. That sucks, but luckily that little one was the only one that they had that was still alive.
At the end of day one we had filled this yellow trailer. I had read on the county's website that the transfer station was open until 3:00. Didn't realize that the CITY owned the compost part and that closed at 2:30.  That was not pleasing. We loaded up a bunch more on top of this over the rest of the weekend.
While I was weed whacking this little guy ended up on the top of the weed whacker. (wacker?). Super cute and he (she?) sat there as I carried it around the house, found my cell phone, futzed with my cell phone and took the picture. I had to move it onto a plant. It didn't want to leave the weed whacker (wacker?)

We filled that bad boy. In fact it was kind of bulging on top because we threw a bunch of rose bush clippings on top of it and continued to stuff. It was like packing a suitcase.
This stack of wood represents all the wood that was randomly in their front yard. There's a wood buffet amongst that crap. It had been damaged by rain. I'm not sure why they bought it to begin with. To torment me I'm sure.
Monday morning we used these old cinder blocks from a side fence and built this little "wall" to hide my father's SIX scooter lifts. Why do they have six scooter lifts? Very good question. Only one is regularly used but suggest getting rid of one and you'd think we suggested murdering one of their cats or something. One doesn't work at all. We were super close to getting rid of it but then my dad changed his mind. He's been influenced into her hoarder world.
On Monday afternoon the clouds rolled in. I convinced my sister that we were done at about 2:00. Good thing, after we cleaned up at the hotel, and went to leave to go get pedicures, it was POURING. And it continued to pour until Tuesday. Luckily SV weather is kind of weird and by the time we got from the motel to Denny's, that area barely was sprinkling.
We were waiting at the transfer station on Tuesday morning when it opened up. You may (or may not) be able to tell but there's a little brown road runner in the back investigating the contents of the trailer. I tried to get a better pic, but it wasn't having any of it. 

Here is the finished product. We got rid of all the wood. We got rid of all the weeds. That big white trailer... full of stuff. Sigh. We cut back a bunch of the cacti in the front yard. They can actually PARK in the drive way. Imagine that. Since they own 3 cars. Which is weird since there are only two of them and in general my mom doesn't drive. (although I did learn she still does periodically.)
Next up... Phase 3. I'm skipping out on Phase 2. Luckily that's not until March. 

Sunday, August 05, 2012

The Ubiquitous Shoe Box

So my mother is finally on board with the great clean up project. I can't imagine how far we'll get. I'd like to think we'll make a good dent, but I don't hold out high hopes. So the plan is such: Labor Day we go for just the weekend to do front yard chores such as raking, tearing down a wall and cactus pruning. In March, during Spring Break, we go again to focus on the indoors. My goal is to get three rooms cleared out and detrashed. That might be too ambitious a goal. We'll see. I will imagine that my mother (and quite possibly on some level my father) will fight us tooth and nail over her 'treasures.' As my sister and I have both pointed out to her - if it is damaged due to neglect then it isn't a treasure anymore. For example, she has a headboard and footboard in the front yard. According to my father she has this whole image for my nephew's old bedroom (and before that it was Mandy's bedroom and before that it was Mandy & my bedroom together).  It involves that bed. Well I'm not sure when the bed was purchased, but in Arizona they are now in monsoon season. While for many, monsoon season means heavy torrential rains for days and days like in the Phillipines. In Arizona this means that the heat and humidity build and the ground bakes and this continues for many tortorous hours until about 2 - 3 pm. Then it pours down rain like a maniac for maybe 1/2 an hour. Then the rain stops and the sun comes out and the baking process begins again. Not so good for a 'wrought iron' bed frame. (I don't know what it is made out of. She claims wrought iron, my father claims "wrought iron."  Who knows.)

The hard part is how much these kinds of habits can impact your whole life. I've spent about 1/2 of today purging my extra crap. And most of what has been purged is trash or recycling. (Not gross trash, let me clarify that right away).  But I just dumped a bunch of old magazines. I'm chucking my ancient green bag that I used to use when I was a LITTLE girl for sleep overs. The oddly hardest thing to get rid of - shoe boxes. My mother is a big believer in shoe boxes. As children they were always kept because you can put stuff into them. Little things or slightly bigger things. Anything really. My mother used many of hers for old bills and paystubs. It took me several years to sink in that nobody gives a rat's ass about my pay stub from 1997 or that I paid my electric bill on time in 2002. My mother saved all of that stuff for YEARS. Somewhere in the 90s we were throwing away bills she had paid in the 80s. Why would you need to prove you paid the water bill from 1985? Obviously the water is still on therefore the bill has been paid.  The hoarder's mantra is "you never know when this will come in handy."  I confess this is a struggle for me. And yet, in the storage unit there are probably three or more boxes that I sort of know what is in them, but if I were to donate the box contents unreviewed to charity I probably would have no idea what is missing. And thereby wouldn't miss it.  Baby steps. If it ever gets to be under 100 I will pare the storage space again. And again until it can be pared no more.
One of the other things I struggle with is what exactly to do with the junk. For example, I have a broken rice cooker. I doubt it can be fixed. Is this something you can throw away? Do I have to take it to the dump myself? Is it going to fill a landfill and thereby cause problems for future generations? Can it be recycled? (Notice I get this hung up on a freaking rice cooker yet every day at work I throw a pepsi can in the trash because it is my own ridiculous mini rebellion since we do not have recycling in the building.) I have at least 3 ugly yellow plastic cups from Dickie's barbecue restaurant. What to do with them? I feel like donating them is shitty since honestly, what charity really benefits from them? They are the Top Ramen of donations. Currently they get used around the house, but really there are other things in my apartment that could do what they currently do. And since I have to take the recyclables to the center myself there are the bags of newspaper that fill the front closet and the bags of cans that fill the storage unit until I have enough to make the trek.

This and much much more will be the fun of doing my parents' house. Worse because I've gotten pretty good at paring down the things I don't need. They have a lot of stuff.

Succumbing to the cute!

A couple months ago I was struggling with what to get Michelle's 3 year old for her birthday. I got her a cute Fisher Price Wonder Woman with the invisible jet and a Joker and a Batman so she had a villian. Well, as is bound to happen, her other daughter has a birthday. This is a big one - five. As I wandered up and down the pink aisles of Target trying to decide what to go with, I found the little girl legos. I know blah blah blah they're pink and not empowering or whatever. They are also cute and contain little animals. So I got the pink lego. I made sure to get two kits because little sister might want a little girl to play with too. This may be a mistake, although I did check with Michelle first.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Not on the same page

During the summer there are many many Jehovah's Witness conventions at the Convention Center in the city in which I work (and live). This peeves me because they rent out the parking garage I use. It doesn't really impact me totally since I have a monthly permit and the garage does not rent out the number of spaces that corresponds to their number of monthly permits. Although depending on what time I get there this does mean my preferred spot on the 3rd floor is gone. AND if I happen to leave like I did today and come back I have to wait until they open the gate because they close it once the lot is "full." But I've totally digressed.

I was commenting to my coworker about my parking difficulties. She hadn't realized the JWs had such a large convention (and I'm fairly certain that this is just some Texas contingency, also oddly interesting it seems to be the Hispanic Texas contingency since their name badges are in Spanish - it has their name and the name of their group).  Anyway, (I'm full of digression tonight) I was lamenting to my coworker about the difficulty in finding a spot (because honestly those JWs are filling the garage at the ass crack of dawn!). She said "that's so sad" and I said "Yes it is sad that it was hard for me to find a parking space but good for the city."*  Apparently that's not what she thought was sad. She thought it sad that there was such a large group indicating that there are so many misguided people who have joined a cult. It's apparently sad to her that  all these cultists are going to hell. So not what I expected her to say about the subject. Not even close. For the record, although she knows some nice Mormons, they are in a cult and well, obviously Scientologists are too. Seventh Day Adventists are not apparently. Wikipedia claims JWs are a form of Christianity. (You know since Wikipedia is so reliable).

*I joke a lot about how "my life is so hard" with her. I say it to her frequently with a heavily dramatic voice and motions. Usually it is for something like having to go ALL the way back to my office because I forgot my trash can on trash day or something equally inane. She plays along with me so when I was being overly dramatic about parking difficulties I really thought she was kidding.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Death of a Hero

When I was a little girl I wanted to be an astronaut. I wanted it in the worst way. I studied stars and I dreamed of going into space. I wanted to be Sally Ride. I was 8 when she first went into space. Something about that just inspired me to want to do the same. I wanted to see the earth from far away and travel around with the stars. My 5th grade teacher continued to foster my love for space.  She entered into the teacher in space program. I don't know how far she got in it, but obviously she didn't go. She made special arrangements for us to watch the Challenger launch in the library live. I also remember the shock and disbelief when the Challenger blew up.  I was undeterred, though. I didn't change my view on becoming an astronaut. 

That was actually the plan for several years up until high school. High school is where I discovered advanced math and the fact that I can't do it. I also learned that in order to be an astronaut you really have to go to a military academy and to get into those you have to have a recommendation from a senator or congressman. For a shy, small town girl that was just too impossible so my dream was adjusted. (And continues to be adjusted.)

I was sad to read that Sally Ride died today. A lot of famous folk have died but her death has made me sad in a way that others' have not. I'm glad, though, that her legacy lives on with her science program for girls. Maybe had something like that been there when I was younger I may have achieved my astronaut dream. Maybe not. Geometry still would have kicked my ass.

Friday, July 20, 2012


The worlds of my old hateful job and my new not exactly perfect but I like it a lot job are about to collide. In what can only be described as a cruel game, my current employer is considering contracting with my old employer to provide a near-site clinic and other medical management. Seriously. By itself I wouldn't really care. I don't have to go to the physicians from that group. We would just offer a better deal if people went to those doctors. However, apparently this collaboration will require meetings to set this deal up. The first one will be in August and I THINK it will be at my old employer's corporate office - the office I used to work in. I don't mind the person the meeting would be with and if she were coming to our offices I would go, but I don't want to go there again. I don't want to run the risk of seeing hated boss. I wasn't on the initial invite so hopefully that means I won't have to go, although the way things work my bigger boss I won't know about it until about 15 minutes until we have to leave for the meeting.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Laboring for Labor Day

My father has agreed that they need help. It took him awhile to reply to my email proposing the help, but he is in favor of it. The downside, he thinks the front yard has to be done before March. So my sister and I are giving up our Labor Day weekend to make the front yard look less ghetto. When I was there a couple of weeks ago for my reunion (which I really should post about), there was a smashed mailbox in the yard. I say to my father, 'dad, why is there a smashed mailbox in the front yard?' His reply, 'because I hit it with a trailer.' Not the response I was hoping for. Or looking for really. What I was really asking is why is there a smashed mailbox in the front yard and not in the trash. Much of the front yard is like this. SO, instead of going to Alabama to get a new tattoo (Alabama certifies or licenses or something their tattoo artists so that I don't have to wait the 1 year to donate blood per the blood bank's rules), my sister, my niece and I are going to AZ to spend 3 or 4 (depending on if I can get Tuesday off) cleaning up my parents' front yard and maybe building a fence. We have not broached this subject with my mother. My father is worried about that. My sister is handling that aspect since I handled my dad. We're still going to be going in March, this just makes their neighbors hate them a little less. (Since there is about 3 with for sale signs in front of their homes I'm kind of surprised they haven't snuck in in the night and hauled away all the unsightly junk).

I've been doing some research on what we could do with the front yard once we've got all the junk and dead plants out and it seems like a clover yard is an easy, low maintenance, not requiring mowing way to go. We'll see if there's time to put that down once we get the rest taken care of. I'm not sure if I have to do stump removal (which I will have to google) if I'll be able to get the lawn clover seeded. But they need SOMETHING and most of the cacti are dead. (Which will be so fun to remove.)

Thursday, July 05, 2012

A pending project

I've mentioned before, I think, that my parents are hoarders. My pop is 75 and my mom turns 70 this year. Their house is out of control and there are a lot of household tasks that they can't do. (Like taking down and putting back up a fallen wall).  I have enlisted the help of the remainder of my family to give up a week of our lives to spend at my parents' house to attempt to at least get them to the status not the worst house on the block. (Seriously when I was there for my reunion I'm pretty sure a truck slowed down because they thought it was a yard sale on Sunday morning). Since I don't visit that often, I wasn't aware how crazy it had gotten.  I got breakfast in bed on Sunday morning, not because my mom is nice (well she is sometimes) but because there was literally (and I do not use that word lightly) nowhere to sit except on the beds or at my dad's computer. There used to at least be spots at the kitchen table. Not so much anymore apparently.

They're both overwhelmed. They'll both admit it. Unfortunately due to my vacation limitations and the fact that the fall is the busiest time for my job (we have a black out period where nobody is allowed to take vacation during this period of time and it is about 2 months), and my little niece is still in school so we won't be able to begin this project until March, my niece's spring break. My goal, although my sister doesn't know it yet, is to get the front looking less frightening and then make their bedroom, the kitchen/dining room and living room livable. At the minimum. I'll be renting a dumpster to make that part easier.

There will be a lot more organization required. They do pretty well for themselves with their side business of refurbishing stuff they find at yard sales and then selling it through consignment shops. The problem, amongst many, is that they don't know what all they have and what they do have may be getting damaged further because of the fact that there is no space.

I don't know what their reaction will be when either me or my sister mention it. I hope they will let us help them. I'm not sure what to do if they don't. Except I won't visit again and stay with them. There's no place to stay.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

It isn't vicodin

I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but Sam, the cat, has a food allergy. His owner can't eat wheat, he can't eat whatever they put in normal cat food that doesn't cost me a ridiculous amount of money. I'm not sure which is the most ridiculous about Sam's special cat food:

It is prescription food. In order to get the dry, canned and the treats I had to get THREE separate prescriptions. For hypoallergenic cat food. This is still cat food, not cat food laced with percocet. I don't have to hae a prescription for my gluten-free food but the cat does for his hypoallergenic cat food. Said prescription apparently ran out because when I went to pick him up I had to ask at the clinic for a new prescription as well. Depending on which Petsmart I go to, I can't always get the different varieties. There are 3 different hypoallergenic types: rabbit, venison and duck. His prescription is for the duck. Some Petsmarts let me get any variety with the prescription I have in hand. Others have given me crap because I'm getting the rabbit flavor instead of duck. Seriously?

Success and failures

So I've been working on exercising more and spending less. I've been doing quite well on the exercise front. According to foursquare I've been to the gym for the past 7 weeks. With the exception of last week I've done at least three days.  Last week I had to work late three times and so no gym for those days. I think that's pretty darn good. I do 20 swimming laps on lap swim day or 45 minutes of water aerobics on water aerobics days. Swimming days are usually longer workouts than water aerobics days. Then I do push-ups against the pool wall and crunches in the water. But my very favorite part of the work out is the very last five minutes of my workout. Even on water aerobics days I do this. I lay back and float on my back and let everything just relax into the water. I usually float for somewhere around five minutes. I love it. If I could wear a snorkle or perhaps a scuba tank I think I could sleep like that. (Although I'm sure I'd get pretty damn cold eventually).  Some spas offer a "float" as a relaxation activity (kind of like isolation tanks or sensory deprivation tanks). You float (naked) in warm extremely salty (epsom salt not regular I think) water and just let everything go. I don't seem to need that. I can just do it in the chlorine. :)

The spending money ONLY on necessities is not doing so great. I go to the gym in the evening after work. I tried going in the AM but it just was not happening. Plus it is better on traffic if I go after work. The problem is I get home after 7 pm. Sometimes I'm too tired to cook too so I end up eating take out. So much for my take out only once a week thought. (That doesn't mean I'm abandoning it, next week is a new week and an opportunity to try again.)  I've also bought things that were not necessities like trashy magazines and a new shirt that I loved and well I'm sure there've been other things.  Oh and before my high school reunion this weekend I want a pedicure. I tried a DIY pedicure. I do not have mad nail painting skills. A pedicure is not a necessity though so I will have to seriously think on this. Luckily my favorite pedicure place closes at 7:30 and I am not done at the gym and back in my neighborhood until after 7 so the temptation is and isn't strong.

Monday, June 11, 2012


(Have I ever mentioned how much I hate it when real suffixes are added to a word where it doesn't belong to make a random stupidass word?  See jersylicious, yummylicious and I'll go with gymtastic).

According to Foursquare, I've gone to the gym the past 5 weeks and most of those weeks it has been 4 or more days. I'm pleased with that. I even unlocked the "Gym rat" badge. Mondays at the gym I do not love. They seem extra crowded for some reason.  Tonight, especially, I wasn't interested in going but I forced myself.  Since I really wanted to keep reading my book (Katie Fforde's Love Letters in case you care), I decided instead of swimming laps I would hit the elliptical trainer. Oh how optimistic am I. Of course there were no ellipticals open. My options were bike or go back out to the car and grab my bathing suit and lap swim. So I hit the bike. I don't like the bike. I feel like it is a waste of my exercise time. According to the calorie burning thingie on the bicycle, I burned very little calories for what I feel like is my effort. Plus since this is motherfucking Texas, it is a million degrees and after 5 minutes on the bike I was drenched in sweat. (Even with the little "fan" blowing on me). 

According to a nutrisystem chart I found, stationary cycling is not THAT bad however compared to my beloved breast stroke, it burns about 1/2 the calories the breast stroke does for the same amount of time. Hence my beloved breast stroke. So even though I only worked out for 35 minutes and burned like 12 calories in that time (ok maybe 100 calories) I'm glad I went. I may even join a class one day.

Related to this - I joined the gym in April and did the form to do payroll deductions beginning in June. I followed the instructions given - give the person at the gym the form and they mail it to payroll. Or apparently they don't. No deduction has started yet and according to the computer system I am late with my payment. So I go back in with another form and hand it over to the guys explaining that I already did this once in April when I joined and I followed instructions and are you trying to annoy me?  They took the form.  We'll see if this manages to make the payments begin correctly. I don't want to suddenly get a hugeass bill from the gym that I don't want to pay.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Girl toys vs Boy toys

One of my favorite little girls has a birthday this month. Usually I just go to her Amazon wishlist and pick out something her mom has already decided she needs/wants. Since I was in Target this morning I decided to just shop for her myself. The children's section of Target could not be more divided between pink and blue. In fact, all toys, except the baby toys, are pretty much separated into a blue aisle or a pink aisle. Was it like this when I was a kid? I don't remember. I know we didn't have zwinkies or littlest pet shop or the ubiquitous Disney princesses and faeries everywhere. Even the "gender neutral" toys like duplo blocks are now color coded so we know what to buy for the kids. Duplo blocks used to be red, yellow, blue and green. You can still get that, but you can also get pink, lavender, white with castle pieces. Do boys not like to build castles? My youngest niece is 13 years older than the littlest chick I'm buying presents for. Has so much changed in 13 years? Is my house of worship to blame for the princessification of the world? It's puzzling and disturbing.

So I bought her something I liked the look of. At 3 she may be too old for it? I don't know. I like it and if she hates it (which she's 3 they aren't really THAT opinionated on toys are they at that age?) her mom can return it to Target. :)

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Goals for the Summer

I usually do goals somewhere around the new year, but I’m pretty sure I was so despondent over my situation, I didn’t make any so these will be my summer goals.

1. I’ve been going to the gym 5 days a week. I would like to get to a place where I can actually swim the crawl stroke my 20 laps instead of my current 50% swim 50% water aerobics moves with a break between some of the laps. Oh and the 50% swim is mostly the breast stroke which I find easier to do. Although reading an article about swimming, the breast stroke may actually be a better stroke to do for a variety of reasons. I didn’t know that. I always presumed the crawl was better. I can usually do at least 4 laps breast stroke without needing a break, but I don’t have that with the crawl. (And by laps I mean to the other end and back)

2. I was reading about money challenges (and not being broke but can you do this challenge) and one I am going to try this summer is to not spend any money on things that aren’t necessities. (Soda is a necessity, shoes, books and new video games are not). From now until the end of July, spending less money on luxuries. Two things that will stay 1 – breakfast on Sunday mornings. 2 – One other meal out a week. Strangely, since I’ve been exercising in the evening I am more likely to cook at home. It is odd since I usually don’t get home until almost 7, but I seem much more willing to cook. I’m debating giving up fancy cable. I almost never watch HBO or Cinemax but True Blood is starting up again this summer and I do like that. I’ll table that decision until I see the season premiere. I may also join the ranks of those who have given up their landline. I’ll have to see how doing so affects my bundle with Charter. I rarely, if ever, use it and mostly all I get are solicitation calls or bill collectors from people who had the line at least 2 years ago.

3. I would like to work on and hopefully finish at least one of the arts & crap projects I’ve begun but have not gotten very far in. I have a lot of art & crap supplies and once I’m done with a couple of these projects I can get rid of the extraneous supplies. Since I am imagining it will be super hot again, I don’t know if I’ll get out as much as I usually like to. Maybe I’ll try some of the free museums and other activities in the metroplex. (Free because see item 2)

4. I need to get back to volunteering. When I have too much time on my hands I tend to a – nap and b – navel gaze. Neither one is really that good for me. Napping screws up my sleep schedule and I have a hard time sleeping correctly. I already live way too much in my head so when I have too much time on my hands to over think about things it just drives me to obsession and that isn’t good.

Sunday, May 20, 2012


This is my BFF Peeved Michelle. Well, I don't call her that. I call her just plain Michelle. Or the boss of me. I've been friends with her since college. Apparently I don't have a lot of photos of her, but she'll probably be happy about that.

We have lived together off and on since college. Well mostly off, especially now that I live in Texas and she is still in California. I may move back there eventually. We'll see. I weep at the thought of paying twice my current rent for some scary ass shitty apartment that's half the size of mine. I try to visit several times a year or we get together other places. For the past few years we've gone to BlogHer and I've seen her there. This is her in her fabulous cheeseburgher hat. I'm not going to explain. It is too difficult and involves alcohol.

I've managed to convince her to go to Disneyland with me... more than once. That's pretty impressive if you ask me since she mostly hates crowds and Disneyland. Although she is taking her older kid there for her birthday (well probably the younger one too since it would be just mean to leave her in the car).

This is K around her 2nd, I think, birthday. M's a good mom. Very consistent. Very loving. I envy her this and hope when I acquire my kiddos I can be half as good as she is.

Every year for the past many years (except the year I had to go to AZ to be with my family and the year she went to Florida to be with her husband's family... never again) we get together for Thanksgiving. I've already asked for the time off from my job. Thanksgiving isn't really the important part of the trip. The important part is Black Friday. One year (and only one and never again) we camped out at Best Buy. It was miserable and in the afternoon we (well at least me) were exhausted. But we always get our shopping done and wrapped and ready for me to ship where they need to go by Friday afternoon and then we can enjoy the "holidays" without having to go to the mall. The mall is evil around Christmas. It is best to avoid it at all costs.

I think the night we camped out at Best Buy we had about 4 layers of blankets each. Hard to believe it was THAT cold in CA.

As part of our Thanksgiving tradition, we do some sort of arts & crap project. One year she introduced me to cake pops. That was both the best and worst year ever. Best because well... cake pops and worst because well... cake pops.

She's had some rough few years lately and I'm amazed by her strength and ability to continue moving forward. I should be so lucky to be even partly as awesome as she is. Maybe someday.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Free Weekends

In January I started my internship wherein I worked 8 hours a weekend at a library and given that it takes me about 1/2 hour to get there and back 5 hours of each of my weekend days were spoken for. Five hours in the MIDDLE of the weekend days (1 - 5) were spoken for. Since the first weekend in January I have had Easter Sunday, one weekend in February when my sister and I went to DC and last weekend off from the library.  Until today. I'm done with my internship. I have no house guests. Just me and a glorious weekend of doing what I want. Apparently what I wanted was to do boring errands that I haven't run in months, like taking the recycling to the recycling place. I need my apartment to get recycling. I lugged 5 bags (which became 6 as the "forceflex tough" trashbag broke when I got to the bottom of my stairs that was fun) of newspapers, 3 bags of cans, 3 bags of plastic bags and a shitton of cardboard out to my car to take to the recycling place. I also took a bag of clothes out to the car so I could take them to charity. I discovered I have little to no endurance.  I seem to have decided to do this at the hottest time possible (really 10:00 - 12:00 what was I high?) and it wiped me out.

But I feel accomplished and that's what is important, right? :) I also picked up a shoe organizer for the closet where I keep the shoes. Sadly it was apparently designed for children's flip flops and so I cannot fit a pair of shoes into each little compartment, but that's okay. I think now that I have free time again I'm going to get back to work on my scrapbook project for my scouts scrapbook and Lyday's (gag) orange and blue and cat hair afghan. My niece now wants one too (but it doesn't have to be gator colors thank goodness) so that's another project for me to start and actually complete.

It will be a good summer. I'm looking forward to not having homework to do or anything else really that HAS to be done on the weekend. I think tomorrow I'm going to try to go someplace I can take photos of flowers. I want to create my own flower calendar at Snapfish. At this rate it'll be an 18 monther. :)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Old Skool Music

Usually when listening to my iPod I listen to a play list of about 170ish songs. It gets changed up everyonce in a while as songs start to annoy me or as I buy new ones but there are probably certain songs at the core that are always the same. This week, in a surprising change of pace, I've been listening to my entire iPod at work. I have a little over 1800 songs on it. I'm only on about song 250 so far. It has been fun listening to all my old music. Some of it reminds me of Vlad since I got the songs from him.

I was reminded me of some of my favorite music. They Might Be Giants' Anna Ng came up. One of my favorite lines from that song is "I don't want the world; I only want your half." I have far more Britney Spears than I ever thought I did. I also seem to have way more Christmas music than I thought, yet I'm pretty sure I actually have more Pearl Jam but the Christmas music has come up more frequently.

The strangest thing to come up has been a recording of the audio tour of Millenium Park in Chicago.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

blogger's block

I keep starting posts and then deleting them. I think it is because I'm bored with my life so I can't imagine how anyone else wouldn't be bored with my life too. BUT in non-boring thoughts:

1. I'm thinking of trying eharmony again. OKcupid has provided me with a couple of dates so why not. (Oh why not? try abazillion dollars a month that's why not... but you never know.)

2. I was just thinking about cutting off my hair. It gets too hot on my neck. I have a lot of hair. (I don't actually think that is a non-boring thought. It seems pretty boring to me)

3. Oh I did have fun at water aerobics tonight.  We were doing these things called roly polies (well that's what the instructor calls them).  Basically you float on your back and then using your abs flip yourself to the front like superman and then flip back to your back. Over and over and over again. Now in class most use either the pool noodle or the 'weights.'  I do neither. I don't need either. Apparently the instructor can't do them without the noodle or the weights. Haha! Take that! (Really I don't know why this pleased me but it did.  Sometimes it is the simple things, you know)

4. I've been reading a lot of YA books lately. I seem to feel too restless to read an entire book so I've been reading a few beginning chapters. Skipping to the end chapters and then jumping back to a few of the middle chapters. That counts as reading a book, right?

Friday, April 27, 2012

My baby sister

I don't know if I ever really mention my baby sister. I had 2 sisters. One older and one younger. The older one died 10 years ago June. The younger one is still alive. She has a kid, the kid's 16.

She's super cute. (But probably dates men who are less awesome than she is).
These two were taken when we went to Leavenworth, WA one Christmasish time.

She's done a lot of super cool things like get SCUBA certified and live in a foreign country for YEARS.
She's been to more international destinations than I have.
This is her when we went ziplining. I would have been interested in it, but I'm not sure I would have done it if she hadn't agreed to do it.  

She's raised her kid mostly alone. She's much more into family than I am. Probably because they liked her better. :) (This is at the fair. I did not attempt a 'bull' ride because I am easily embarrassed and a wuss.)

Have I mentioned she's cute? And pretty funny. Oh and I'm fortunate that she doesn't hold crap against me because she totally could.

She used to be a gymnast and a diver and a cheerleader. You can tell by her form. (This is at a lake here in Texas. Total old school swimming hole).

I have a digital photo frame in my office. One of her pictures came up and I realized she really is awesome. I probably don't tell her that enough.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

What I wanted to Say

There was a post to my celiac group tonight that I feel exemplifies what I hate about my celiac community. We, to my knowledge more than any other allergen group, demand special treatment to the point of entitlement. Nowhere in the Constitution are we guaranteed the right to eat at Subway. And why, in all honesty, would we want to make a fuss about a restaurant that doesn't cater to our every whim when we are not their core demographic? I have no idea why this post is pissing me off as much as it is. I don't usually get my dander up about my celiac listserv even though I usually think most of them are a bunch of whiney princesses. The post and my thoughts after the jump

Sunday, April 15, 2012


It is amazing to think about just how desperately unhappy my job made me and how much that affected my life here in Texas.  I don't know if this is the last place I will live, I sincerely doubt it is, but now that I'm working at a job I enjoy I'm finding myself refreshed and content with living here.

I've been 'nesting' like a fool for the last several weeks. I have planted about 8 container gardens on my balcony and this weekend I picked up 2 chairs and a little table for the balcony. I sat out there for over an hour today and just enjoyed it. I haven't felt that content in a long time. (Although I did buy 2 chairs because I've read that it is bad feng shui to only buy one, you're implying that you have no room in your life for someone else. Plus I figured the cat would take one over eventually, although he has his very own mat that he seems to love that lives on the balcony too. And he seems to enjoy sitting on my lap while I'm on the balcony.) (That's a lot of parentheticals FYI). 

I am still taking my anti-depressants (although just like before I always seem to forget to take them on the weekend). I'm okay with that though.

So far I really like my job. It is mostly projects and I get to do things I like to do. I have only run into a couple things I don't like to do but since they are so few and far between it makes doing them that much easier. I like the people I work with including my boss and my boss's boss. I am the 2nd youngest one in my group (which seems to be the norm for me somehow). (And they're all significantly older than me) (Like 10 years). I even like my passive aggressive (PA) coworker. Most of them are SUPER religious. Like SUPER religious. (I don't think it is possible for me to stress enough how religious they are). Oh and the admin is a little bit... southern belleish. She doesn't believe women should be firefighters. I forget the other thing she said that made me go 'hmmm...' but it was along those same lines.

I graduate in 26 days!  Cap and gown came in yesterday. My whole family is coming to see me graduate (well by whole family I mean parents and sister and her kid. The other 2 kiddos aren't so kiddo anymore and both are poor as churchmice since their dad is Satan). We'll do a little hanging out for the weekend too. I'm trying to figure out what would be a good thing for Mother's day since I presume my little sister will have to fly back sometime Sunday.

My 20 year high school reunion is coming up in June. If I think about it too hard that freaks me out a little bit. I'm facebook friends with a bunch of them. I feel like I've accomplished nothing compared to some of them. Also, a whole bunch of them became super religious. What the hell? I've messaged a few people I really hope to see to see if they're going. That will help me decide if I'm going since by then I still won't have any vacation to use (6 month waiting period for vacay - it's the reason I'm not going to BlogHer this year).  I'll end up flying in either late Friday night or early Saturday morning and flying back out on Sunday which seems a little whirlwindy and expensive (unless I use flight benefits) for such a short period of time.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Container Gardening

I've decided I want to make my balcony useful and pretty so I've begun container gardening. I started with just a little herb container.  Actually it is all the show "My Cat from Hell"'s fault.  I was watching it and the cat guy created a little herb garden for one of the cats. So for Sam I planted cat grass, sage and parsley. So far Sam is uninterested in the sage and the parsley. (But the sage is pineapple sage which smells so nice!).  I also sowed the seeds of catnip, basil and something else. With the success of that I decided to go further. I planted some onions, columbine (flower), snapdragons (one of my favorite flowers), carrot seeds, cucumber, watermelon, red pepper, forget-me-nots and canteloupe. So far, one of the watermelon seedlings died but the other is looking pretty good. The carrots are beginning to sprout and I'll have to thin them soon I think. I managed to move the catnip outdoors since it was coming in nicely.  In some indoor sowing, I can see the canteloupe beginning to grow. So far, no sprouts on the forget-me-nots or the other two peat pots that have ... I can't remember - basil is one I think.  Today I decided to add a little bit more, but strictly flowers this time. I bought African daisy and California poppy seeds and just threw them in a pot with some soil. I'm not sowing them indoors first. The last flower I bought was sweetpea. I love sweetpeas. (The flower, not the food.  Do sweetpea flowers bring about real peas? I don't know about that.)

If all goes well, I'll be graduating on May 11th with my Master's in Library Science. I'm not going to be using it right off the bat. I still really like the job I'm currently doing. :) My parents are actually coming to my graduation. I feel kind of happy about that. I think I would have been disappointed if I asked if they were interested and they weren't. I may or may not have a 4.0. I think my cataloging class is going to give me a B. But I am hopeful. I have no idea what my collection development class will give me since the professor thus far has not returned any of my papers. I have no idea how I've done and that is really annoying me. Apparently she recognizes that's an issue since she pushed back the due date of our most recent assignment until the 6th since she knows she hasn't graded our papers yet.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Adult Nightmares

When I was a little girl, I had a "monster" bell. The bell would ring if there were monsters in the room. I remember jumping far over the edge of the bed to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night in case monsters were under my bed. I would then jump from the doorway back into bed to avoid the monsters under the bed. I think, in general, nightmares are about powerlessness. As a kid you are powerless against monsters or ghosts or skeletons or being left alone at the zoo.

My adult nightmares are also about powerlessness, but since they're all things that COULD happen, they get that much worse. Last night/this morning I had a dream that Michelle's kids died. Like the 3 of us adults watched it happen, but while she and her husband were part of the scene, I was more like Scrooge and just observing the scene. I couldn't help the kids I couldn't help her and her husband.  I couldn't reach out and save one of the kids. I just had to watch it happen. Another recent dream was that my mom was in the hospital with a heart attack and was on the brink of death. But nobody would let me in to the hospital.  Nobody would tell me what was going on, I just knew it in my bones that was happening.  I think I had another one about Kate (in Vt not Katey) and her husband Dave dying.   Before Vlad died my nightmares were more about despair and hopelessness but manifesting itself in different ways. I was in a hospice dying all alone. I was homeless. My sister had disappeared and I couldn't find her.  Now it is all death all the time and all I can do is watch as the people I love die and not support the survivors.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure this out. I'm hanging on to so much guilt that I need to let go. I know in my head I did the right thing for me at the right time. Vlad was an alcoholic. He owed me money. I loaned him a computer he never returned. I helped him move after he'd been evicted TWICE for non-payment of rent. He became more and more aggressive when he drank and I would get so embarrassed by his behavior. He lost jobs. The jobs he began to take were all in bars where he could then drink for free.  I couldn't be around that anymore. I get, in my head, that backing away from our friendship was right. Hopefully someday my heart will agree.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Taking Back Sundays

For the longest time Sunday was my favorite day of the week. I'm a morning person and since Sundays are lazy days for a lot of people (or church days for others) I could get up, do my laundry and run my errands in the morning leaving me the afternoons free to do Sunday Adventures! In some respects, that hasn't changed for me here in Texas. I'm still an early riser.  Since I have a washer & dryer in my apartment I don't have to fight the laundry room crowd so I don't always do my laundry on Sundays. I get up and go to brunch or breakfast and then (currently) spend the afternoon in my practicum or else working on homework. 

The hard thing about Sundays is that there was always a cloud hanging over my head. Sundays meant going to work on Monday and goodness knows I didn't want to do that. The amount I dreaded work increased throughout Sunday until Sunday night when I would have a hard time sleeping. With my new job, at least currently, I don't dread Sundays. This past Sunday I got up early, went to breakfast and then went shopping before my practicum at 1:00. It was nice. I had forgotten how much I love Sundays. The only down side to Sundays in Texas is that a lot of stores don't open until later than I'd like. But a minor issue and once my practicum is over, I'll get to play again.

Friday, March 02, 2012

On Dying & Pets

My parents have 2 cats. Max and something else. Sweetums I think.  They are LONG haired cats because my mother loves Persian cats. Sweetums is old, I think. Max is not so old maybe 3.  My parents are OLD (75 & 70).  It dawned on me recently that the odds are good one or more of the cats will outlive them.  Since my nephew, who kind of liked Max I think, lives with Satan right now he wouldn't be able to take them. That leaves them to my sister or I or one each. The reason I got Sam was because he's a short haired cat. Many of my friends are cat allergic and while a cat is still a cat, short hair is easier on them than long hair. They can tolerate the short hair for a longer period of time.  It is a sort of compromise without really being one. Also I hate Persian cat coats because they require intensive maintenance. I brush Sam when his fur is shedding into my face a lot, but I never have to worry about him looking like a psychotic ball of mats.

A couple of tweeps suggested ASPCA or euthanasia.  Neither is really an option.  We have a long and somewhat weird history with pets. Growing up we always had cats and dogs. All of our pets were strays acquired either from shelters or somehow through my older sister.  Especially from my older sister who would acquire them and then be living in a place that wouldn't let her have them.  I have no idea where Charlie (cat named after Charlie Bucket from Willy Wonka) or Keffie (daschund) came from (I believe they moved from PA with us when I was 4ish).  Mouse (a dachapoo) came from my sister. We went to the animal shelter when I was age something (like 6 or 7) and I got to adopt Midnight (black cat obviously).  Boogack (another black cat I think my sister named it and it may have had another realer name before that one which if I think about it hard enough the original name may have actually been "Black cat") also came from a shelter. Nick (another daschund) came via my sister. Smokey (gray cat awesome but a hugeass bitch) sister. Sebastian I adopted from the shelter via my mother who was there for some random reason. We had to put Seb down maybe 2 years later tops for feline leukemia.  For a brief time we had TJ Waterbuffalo (a sheepdog who went to live on one of my sisters' friends' ranches he was just way too big for our little house and yard) and he came from my sister natch. There was Groucho who had been a neighbor's cat but decided she liked us better. (And the neighbor's grandmother with whom they were living was just fine with that solution).  For awhile when my sister lived with us again her manx cat Jamie lived with us too.  Jamie she always kept with her. I'm sure I may be forgetting a few. Oh after I left and was a grown up they acquired Ming (shih tzu) from when my grandmother died. And how could I forget the one that started her Persian obsession... I want to say his name was Buddy. He was gray. I think he came via my sister. He also, at one point in his life, got into a battle with a neighbor cat that he almost lost and got his throat ripped open. Or maybe that was Smokey. (Seriously the gray and the black cats run together after awhile).  I also think there was a second Buddy in there, Max is kind of white but she had a tan Persian for awhile too.  Champagne puddles (also Persian cat) I think also came via my sister (although I could be wrong about that one). 

All in all, growing up we had a lot of pets most of whom were cast off and rejects from other places.  Smokey had been a feral cat out at a trailer park where my sister lived for a time. How my sister decided we needed him I'll never know, but I liked Smokey even though she intially pretty much hated people. I was the only one who could flip her on her back and pet her chest while cradling her like a baby. My father always thought that was brave of me.  It was drilled into me that you don't give up the pets. It isn't their fault if you are a fuck up. Now, as an adult I can definitely see the gray areas in pet ownership.  If a pet is dangerous to to the family or other people, that's a problem. Having been attacked by someone's pet dog more than once (once requiring 9 stitches and had it been a little higher my girlie bits would be a lot different), I'll never say that all pets should be kept at all times by all people.  And while I don't believe necessarily in "dangerous" breeds, I do know that some animals, due to inbreeding or just the way their mutt genes combine, don't turn out quite right.  Champagne puddles (registered name Champagne Bubbles) was an awful cat. She never came out from under the bed, unless it was to pee on the bed. She peed on it once with my father in it asleep. They had to keep a shower curtain on the bed because of her. And yet, as my father pointed out, it wasn't her fault she was batshit crazy. Since she wasn't a danger to anyone, she got to live. We never, as I recall, had any dangerous dogs. The worst was probably Smokey who we mostly let have her own way until she got used to us. She was hostile, but not aggressive.

When my sister died in 2002, she behind more than just 2 kids. She and the kids had pets.  The horses were actually already willed to people so that was taken care of. (And it was a good thing since Satan wanted to sell them out from under the rightful owners).  I believe my nephew's dog had already died by that point. I know Jamie had passed by then. So that left a ferret named Slinky, a lunatic Australian Shepherd named Robin and my niece's cat Sugar.  When I found out my sister died, one of the first things I said to my parents was make sure you take the ferret. I knew Satan wouldn't want him and wanted to make sure Slinky lived out the end of his life content.  I offered to take him but they decided to hold on to him.  So this left Robin and Sugar. As I understand it, Satan offered my 12ish year old niece a choice. She could keep Robin, her mother's dog, or Sugar, her cat. He then had Robin put down.  To be remotely fair (not really) Robin was pretty old. Sugar was very young. He then left Sugar at the empty house until one of the rightful horse owners picked her up and brought her back to live with my parents.

In any event, the only way pets left the family, with the exception of TJ, is via their own death. Either we had them put to sleep after they were too sick and it was too cruel to make them live anymore or they died on their own somewhere in the house. I remember Charlie died under their bed. Midnight had to be put down due to Feline Leukemia. It happened while I was on vacation in Japan and I was heartbroken.  The cats were all indoor/outdoor cats. They could come and go as they pleased and I feel fairly certain one of them became hawk food right out of our back yard. 

I don't know what this will mean for Max and Sweetums. Sam HATES other cats and makes Max's life miserable whenever my parents drive through on their way to Florida. Of course he'd eventually get over it and/or Sweetums would knock Sam silly with her still clawed paws and that would be the end of that. But (Along with a house that would make the people on hoarders see dollar signs in terms of how much money we would have to pay them to take care of it all) they are something me (or my sister) will have to figure out when the time comes.  I suppose it would be unkind of me to say to my mother "You can't get any more cats because you are old and I don't want to end up with them."  But I kind of want to.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

New Job!

For those not following along at home, I quit my evil, horrible, made me sad, I can't work for this psycho bitch anymore job.  Surprisingly while I worked out my notice, I actually got offered another job. I originally was only taking a week off between jobs, but evil boss decided she didn't want me there when she was gone, so I ended up leaving early from that job (and getting paid out).  My baby sister and I went to DC which none of us have ever been to. We packed as much as we possibly could into our 4 days. It was AWESOME! And I have pictures I have to pull off the camera eventually. 

I started the new job on Monday. So far it is good, but beginning a new job is exhausting. I was so tired yesterday, Wednesday, I fell asleep at 6:30. Woke up long enough to watch Revenge via the DVR (at 10) and then went back to bed. My new boss has really just started me right away on projects, which I appreciate. The downfall is that I have zero cell reception in my office.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Remembering Vlad

I've been running non-stop since Sunday to avoid thinking about this. My friend Volodiya died. Early readers of this blog, that may only be Michelle, may remember he used to post here periodically.

We met in college. He was the first gay person who I knew was gay. Even then, I had to have it explained to me since I thought since he had a picture of Marilyn Monroe that must mean he was straight. I was naive, I confess. We hung out through college. When Kate & I had our falling out he was there to pick up my pieces. He took me out to the middle of nowhere to celebrate my 21st birthday where we ate cake and drank a lot and had friends come out and drink.  He's the reason I can type 80 words per minute.  One of my favorite letters I received from him while he was in France complained about how useless the internet was. (This was pre-search engines).  He used to call me up and say "Hey, Baby, what are you wearing?"  My response was always "Nothing but a smile big boy." He would then scream like a girl and we would laugh and laugh. We spent one Christmas break playing Super Nintendo and listening to The Smiths. Only Morrissey understands! 

Volodiya made me laugh and made me cry. He protected me. He drank with me. He supported me when I needed it. We grew apart and lost touch. I missed him and still do. And now he's gone and I'll never be able to apologize. And I'm not sure how I'll get over that.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

This is not a post about my work status or my schooling.

Aren't you relieved?

I needed a new skin care regime. My "T" zone was super dry and flakey sometimes. I went to Ulta and was chatting with one of the sales reps. She recommended Dermalogica so I bought one of those kits. I'm now being a grown up and not just using hand soap and regular facial lotion on my face. So far I like what it is doing to my face. It feels nice.  AND I recently got a compliment on my face by a coworker. She said she could tell I'm doing something different.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Bittersweet Relief

My period of unemployment theoretically is over before it even began. I was offered a job yesterday.  I am excited about that. I am relieved about that.  The thought of actually being unemployed scared me a lot. Now I say theoretically I was offered a job because technically I have not received an actual offer yet. I've received verbal confirmation that I'm their first choice, but right now they are calling my references and doing a background check. One of those two things could cause me to fail. Maybe. I hope not. I also don't know how much salary or what start date would be yet so although I may have a job, I'll believe it when I see it. 

The Pros:  in Fort Worth so I don't have to move from my current apartment. In an industry I've been hoping to break into. It is a job with income, hopefully comparable to what I earn now although I know the max is less than I currently earn.  I can rehire the housekeeper. :) (although I won't until I actually get an offer and a salary).

The Cons: It isn't in a library. There's a fellowship I really want which would mean moving in July and quitting which would make me feel badly. (Realistically speaking the odds are low I'd get it but I'm still applying because it would be kickass).  I'll be working full time while juggling 13 credit hours. I was kind of hoping for a little break so I could really focus on school. 

Luckily, I won't start until after comp exam so I'll have a week off between the two jobs. I'm going to DC with my sister and her kid for a little long weekend which I've never been there. I'm feeling really positive about things, which is exciting because it has been a long time since I've really felt positive. (Positivity tweets notwithstanding.) 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Journey into Unemployment

Today I gave notice at my job. I am super excited about leaving this job. As part of getting ready to be unemployed I contacted my housekeepers to tell them 2 things. 1.  They haven't billed me for last housekeeper day. 2. I'm cancelling because I'm about to be unemployed.  Well, they claim they haven't billed me for last housekeeper day because the housekeeper didn't come.  Sadly that is incorrect since I had a newly made bed that I didn't make. Which I reported to them. She said she would investigate, but then said she may not look too hard since I'm about to be unemployed and all.  That was super sweet!

My evil boss has agreed to not fight unemployment payments for me.  This is kind of huge because it means I would at least have some money coming in.  Sadly it would be a whopping $426 per week and I make more than that, but at least it would be some money.  Interestingly I could survive on that and it would leave me almost $400/month for everything after bills. (Provided it is tax-free which I think it is). 

I've actually got two job interviews lined up. One is with the same company I had a first interview last week.  The other is a place I've been trying to phone screen with since last Monday. And here's where I now have a dilemma. What if I actually get one of these jobs? Do I take it? Even with the fuller than full time schooling? I feel like I would have to. I'm not sure if I can actually BE unemployed.  I already don't talk to people on a regular basis (or ever really).  If I am home all the time for unemployment... This could be bad for me. :)  But what if I get that fellowship? Then I'd be quitting in July. I would feel badly if I left a job that I just started 3 months later. But what if I don't get the fellowship and can't find a library job. I suppose I'll just have to wait and see. That's about all I can do isn't it.

Sunday, January 22, 2012


I almost never talk about finances because I HATE finances. I hate thinking about money. I hate dealing with money and I've often said I'd be better off if I gave my money to someone else to dole out an allowance to me. I suck at money. BUT since I'm quitting on Monday I need to figure out where to cut expenses and how I'm going to live while I finish my degree and find a new job. Long term blog readers may know that it took me almost a year after moving to Seattle to find a new job I liked and that didn't make me want to drink heavily.  I would rather not repeat that experience. So in an effort to figure out how to best handle my about to be new found unemployment, I took a look at what I spend my money on.  After bills, I'm ashamed to admit I spend a shitton of money on food. I am embarrassed at how much I eat out. It is ridiculous.  $180 in a month in eating out alone.  That's $6 a day I'm throwing away. Even worse is what I spend in groceries. (Although it may be skewed slightly because I also get my gas at Kroger and my debit card doesn't show the difference but really I put in about 30 bucks every 2 weeks so mostly it isn't gas).  I spent almost $600 in groceries last month.  I'm one person. What the hell am I buying?  And, I don't even know how much rotten food I throw out because I don't eat it.  Clearly I can cut back a lot on both of those items.  Oddly enough, I spend very little on other things.  I spent about $100 on gluten free baked goods.  That's a lot but it is also an anomaly.  I don't think I usually buy that much in a typical month.  And once I'm unemployed I won't buy that much at all. 

Next I'm going to do something I know is a very bad idea. I will pay a penalty for it which is a waste of money.  I'm going to cash out my retirement plan with the University and pay off my credit cards and my car so I'll have no debt during this period of un/under employment.  I will then call my credit card co and not cancel the card altogether but reduce the max to a very minimal amount.  My student loans won't start coming due until December/Jan and hopefully by then I'll have a real paying job in a library.  And I'll get another job but it will be primarily mindless. Contract or temp work would be ideal.  Something that will allow me to pay my bills and perhaps still eat.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Leap of Faith

For those that don't follow me on twitter or are friends with me on facebook, I'm about to embark on something insane. I've added one more class to my semester which puts me at 13 credits. And I'm going to quit my job.  This way I can be done with my degree in May instead of waiting until August.

This all came up because of a fellowship a friend sent to me.  I could qualify. Exemplary grades. An essay. A bunch of other things. BUT I have to have my MLIS by July 1.  If I had stuck with my current plan I wouldn't have it in time.  But in reality it makes sense. I'm on the fringe of being fired. I made a mistake. A huge one. My boss made a similar mistake but even huger, and I'm on the fringe of firing and she's not but whatever. This is my 2nd write up. I know she's planning on replacing me since I found the job listing "blind."  So this makes sense because I need a new job before August. And I don't want to work in benefits anymore which is what I'd have to try to get a job in if I left before I got my degree.

The leap of faith comes in since I could end up unemployed. For a long time. This terrifies me. I was unemployed for almost a year after moving to Seattle. I still feel the financial impact of that. BUT it is the only answer. I can't keep up at this job. (Well obviously since I'm on the brink of firing).  I'd rather quit than be fired so there you go.

I don't really believe in things happening for a reason or anything like that, but it seems like this whole change is the right thing.  My friend tweeted me about the job posting today. I read it and fell in love with the posting and discovered I wouldn't finish in time. I emailed my advisor about when I would finish if I took my summer class and the test then to discover I was 42 days after the cut off. So then I emailed back and asked about adding one more class and capstone this semester (since I didn't know what the graduate credit limit was).  The advisor called me right away because today was the deadline to add a class and pay for it. In a very short time she had me registered in a class and I paid and it is a done deal.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Online dating

So in an attempt to get something interesting or good or whatever in my life I've started online dating again. This is nerve wracking on a number of levels.  I don't think I translate well online. I've been trying to be more proactive than I usually am. Usually I post a profile and wait to see if anyone expresses any interest in me. They don't. Or sometimes super weirdos in other states do but that's really worse.  So this time I'm taking the initiative and contacting guys whose profiles I have thoroughly explored. I'm amazed at the number of guys who believe that both creationism and evolution should be taught in school.  I try to console myself with maybe they believe that since we're in Texas creationism is taught in school so evolution should be too, but I'm pretty sure that's not the belief.  That seems to be one of the lightning rod questions for me. I do like the fact that okcupid allows you to answer a lot of different types of questions (both publicly and privately) and use that to help match you up with someone. Although he's geographically less desirable, I've been texting with a guy who I am 99% compatible with according to their algorithms. I'll be meeting him on Friday night. We'll see.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Passion (less)

For the past several years I haven't felt excited about what I do. I'm not sure I've ever felt excited about what I do. I just happened to be good at it. Maybe I liked it for awhile. Hard to say at this point. I thought I liked it. But I do recall being uneasy about getting my CEBS certification because I feel like I would be pigeonholed by this job path. Luckily (or unluckily as the case may be), I hate what I do now so much I no longer want to do it ever again. Sadly I'm in kind of a weird place. I'm not done with my MLIS degree so getting a real library job isn't going to happen quite yet, but I have to get out of my current one. I tried to quit last week. Evil boss talked me out of it. Turns out evil boss has been looking for my replacement since January 4th (week before I "quit").  So really she just doesn't want me to quit until she has the new me in place and then she can fire my ass like she has wanted to for sometime. I have a phone and an inperson interview this week. Hopefully one of those will pan out so I can get the hell out of dodge.

I've started doing my practicum for my library school.  So far I've only been there for 4 days. I'm not thrilled that it is Sat & Sun from 1 - 5 PM because that means I have no days off. BUT until classes start so far it isn't totally killing me (yet).  Last weekend I mostly observed the desk but I did get to answer a few questions. I liked (for now maybe that'll change) helping kids find the books and materials they were looking for. This weekend I spent the weekend searching through the catalog to see if the books in these magazines that had positive reviews were purchased for the library. So far, not so much on the non-fiction.

I've never really felt like a person who believes you have to LOVE what you do or follow your bliss or whatever. Work is work. It would be nice if it isn't so awful you cry all the time and/or want to drink heavily, but I'm okay if I can find something to like about what I do and who I work with.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Ch Ch Ch Changes

It looks like the Peeved family will not be moving to Texas. Michelle & I talked about it the other day.  Peeved husband LOVES his new job and his new office and his coworkers and has been pushing to stay in CA.  They also have lots and lots of family there to help with the kiddos when necessary.  Strangely, I'm not at all sad about it. Mostly because I think this experiment in cheap, friendly, Republican living isn't really working for me.  I know the job thing is a HUGE part of the issue. If I were happier in my work I might be happier here. But there are some fundamental flaws with Texas.  Things like I HATE WIND.  They may not have written a song about the winds sweeping down Texas' plain, but it does.  I don't love 100+ degree weather. It may be a "dry" heat but it is still fucking hot and like the wilting flower I am I regularly suffer.

So what does this mean?  I don't know.  I'm going to start applying for jobs in CA and maybe a few other states. I have to finish my practicum here in TX.  (Well I don't HAVE to, but I would imagine it would be hard to change practicum mid-stream.)  I should be done with it on tax day, which is actually sooner than I originally thought.  Everything else I have to do can be done online. I can't figure out if I should just slog through the hell job for another 3 - 4 months so I can finally apply for library jobs since I'll be essentially done by May/June or find another benefits job for awhile.  If I move to CA, it will have to be another benefits job. As it is, I almost cried when I looked at the rents there. Who knows what is coming, but I'm keeping my mind open to it.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

God doesn't want me to have a good New Year's Eve

I went camping this New Year's Eve. I had this whole romantical idea that I would ring in the new year under the stars.  That sort of worked out and sort of didn't.  I did enjoy eating my dinner by the lantern and then sitting by the campfire. That part was awesome.  And I had left my tent open, not put on the rain fly because I could see the stars.  You can see a lot of stars in Texas.  Then... the wind started to blow. And blow. AND BLOW.  I don't like wind.  It creeps me out. I don't like the noise. I don't like the feeling of it. I don't like wind. (I know I am now living in a plains state, what the hell was I thinking?).  So I ended up going to bed early. That was fine. At midnight there was a loud ruckus so I at least woke up to ring in the new year. But then I had to get up and put the rainfly on the tent because I was also FREEZING.  Got home around lunch time today and proceeded to take a 5 hour nap. I will post photos later. I toook a bunch! It was super pretty there.