Friday, December 31, 2010

Another Year Gone...

So, 2010 was not my year for blogging, I know this. But as I am also not that good with the "year in review" or the "resolution making" or even much reflecting, I'll just leave it at that.

Every year is different. This one had so many things going on, most times all at the same time, that finally when I had time to sit and was such old news and already competing withe "the next thing" that I'd give up and delete the draft I'd half-started. I have a super awesome grand appreciation for all the bloggers with families. How you do it I have no clue. I am shocked and amazed that I can get myself up and dressed and fed and to work some days...and it's JUST ME! You all rock, is all I'm saying.

I have no plans for 2011, aside from trying to keep the noise at a tolerable level. But that's always been my hope. Less stress, more time for me....more time to share.

You know it's taken me this long to go through and organize my vacation pictures from November? And this is due mainly because I promised a HS friend I'd get her the pictures? Seriously, with purpose, and forethought, and motivation! And hello a month and a half and I am still getting them ready to upload to flikr, or wherever. "Wherever" being more sought after as I don't seem to have a clue as to who or where or how I signed up to when I asked for my password...that spiffy email they send? Not in any of my inboxes...

See? Sample of my insanity lately. It's like I've fallen off the disorganization tree and hit every branch on the way down. (Does that twisted analogy work?) Can you tell when I write lately I'm all stream-of-consciousness/one-take? I used to do this with letters back in the day, you know, before computers? Before hours and hours and a click of a couple keys could reorganize whole paragraphs and no one could tell you wrote a page and a half and then deleted it when you thought better?

I could say I'm doing the Kurt Vonnegut thing, he was all about the writing one sentence at a time thing and not going back...except I'd be lying as I just thought of that this very moment. It's more that I missed that era of my writing.

We're so good at self-editing now-a-days that no one sounds like who they really are anymore. I do it all day in emails and calls for work, but lately also for facebook comments and even phone conversations. I really and truly I feel like I've lost a little be of who I am/was. I titled this blog tactlesswonder for a a place for me to share and get it all down and out and...well...I stopped that. I started pouring over my prose to make sure everything was "just right." That everyone and anyone who came across it would see I'm not a danger or a threat or an offense. And I'm not sure why.

So I stopped. Blogging became more than a 10-15 minute update, it became WORK. I do enough of that already.

So maybe this is me making a resolution of sorts, except I started it this year instead of next. I'm posting what I'm doing/thinking/being from-the-hip. Short and sporadic updates seem to be my thing now, but they are me again. Or so I hope. I feel like I'm trying to find my "voice" again, and like my aging body and it's molasses-style of healing? It's slow-going. Slower than my patience is happy with (what patience? where? did I miss something?...)

SO! Everyone! Thus ends another year! I hope you spend it in the company of wonderful friends and/or family (or both for you lucky peeps). May the new year be filled with lots and lots of hope and positive thoughts and a boatload of motivation and wishes and unicorns and rainbows and anything else you can throw in the mix.

Happy New Year's Eve! I will clink-clink to you now as I'll probably be snoring by the time the date change happens...not that I snore! Girls don't snore...or something ;).

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Like Getting Blood Out of a Turnip

Or so I hope....

Dear Con Artists,
I know by now Lost has probably been translated and parsed out to a multiple of countries but I'm going to say this now, what worked for Sawyer will not work for you. We've all been getting the million Zambian dollar emails for years now, we know better, really, so please stop trying to take my parents' money!

I understand how hard you've been working, what with them not being a part of the Internet generation you've had to take extreme measures and (gasp!) CALL them on the telephone, but still, really and truly, they are not so gullible (thank god) to believe that they have just won a thousand dollars!!!!!

And as old and hurty as they are? No, they will not gather up $200 cash to give you when you send them "magical" medicines to cure their ills(!!!).

And lastly? fake Mexican relative that just got into an accident and they will be sending you to jail unless you get wired $1000? Say hi to your new jailmate rommie, they didn't fall for that one either.

And really, fake Mexican uncle? You are the one I'm most offended by. So offended I'm writing you a letter! On teh internets!

You've got a big brass set to go calling someone out of the telephone book, I'm thinking, and introducing yourself by saying, "Hello! Who do you remember from way back in Mexico!" When you heard my mom's voice answer the phone (in Spanish, of course). And how UTTERLY convenient that when she said the first name that came to her head, that name was your name too! SHAME, dude. How many numbers did you have to call before you got someone to speak to you and/or answer in Spanish, I wonder...

And then! THEN! John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt, going on and on about how you were just finished filling the tank up with gas in Tijuana and were a mere few hours away and couldn't way to see her again!!!! Her, not your brother, but your sister in law? Really? And when she said your voice sounded nothing like her BIL you had the gaul to say it was because you had the flu?!? Cuz why? You thought maybe they were so soon off the turnip truck that they didn't know that these wires and tubes and electrical devices transported your voice so clearly that it's almost like they're in the same room with you? Hi, it's just shy of 2011 here boy-o, time to buy a clue.

Color me naive, but maybe I'da fallen for it too, just for a second, after a few Manhattans. Thank you jeebus that my mom doesn't partake of the fire-water. Instead she said, "Well, okay, see you when you get here," without having shared her name and address AND letting my dad know (you know, your brother? the one you didn't ask about?) that something was afoot. Which was a good thing when your SECOND call came, the one wherein you got into that accident and now "waily waily" they want to send you to jail because the driver's little girl got smashed into the windshield! (There is a special hell for such creativity you know.) And can your wonderful family send you the money before they haul you off to Mexican jail!?! (I'm guessing, seeing as you'd just called to say you were in TJ.)

Props to my dad for being equally creative, speaking to you telling you how sorry he was but "carnal," totally tapped for money due to the mint and a half he spent during xmas (see referenced turnip comment above).

You failed in your effort to extort money from my parents, but what you did do? You bastard? You upset them. You put doubt into them about what if it was him? What if we really didn't recognize his voice? What if he really is in trouble? A few phone calls cleared that up, but the damage was done, you ass. If anyone has earned the right to upset my parents, that's me, not you! Who the hell do you think you are anyway? Dude, I'm a firm believer in both Karma and bad juju and with the ferocity of bad feelings I'm directing your way? You'd just better watch out.

Your Loving Niece

Friday, December 24, 2010

I Couldn't Resist

My love of Neil Gaiman + my twisted nature = sharing Nicolas Was with you all.

39 Degrees North: Christmas Card 2010 from 39 Degrees North on Vimeo.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I'm As Bad as My Former Students...

I go on vacation tomorrow for the rest of the year (I know, it's only a little over a week, but it sounds much more fabulous to say "rest of the year" vs "one week" you know?)

And I don't want to go to work today.

I doana wanna! How poopie. Who invented work anyway! (And whateverallelse my students were prone to say on the last day before any holiday/break/summer vacation.)

But I am an adult! Or so I keep reminding myself...and I need to finish the tasks I've set out on my cube door (we have frosted glass "doors" on our cubes for "head down" time which I found out preeeetty early on - day one? That you can write on with dry-erase markers. I know, I am a dweeb, but it gives me a place to write my agenda like the old days...or something...)

Anyhow...just popping in to say I'm still here, maybe drowning in work a little, but it's okay, see above re: vacation. ONE MORE DAY!

I can do this.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Xmas Shopping Blows

Last night at the holiday party a co-worker's wife asked if we all did the "holiday" thing.

Living two blocks away from the "downtown shopping center" has reminded me just about daily since "Black Friday" what I hate about that same-old holiday thing. The daily emails telling me how much I'm missing out on all the discounts for all the shopping I'm not doing is not helping lift my "spirits."

I did put up the mini metal xmas tree-shaped ornament holder my friend gifted when she was packing for Australia. If it were a teensy bit taller it would be a much better way for me to display my FULL SIZED ornaments...but it's not, so it kinda looks a bit Jack-Skelington-style Xmas instead of what I pictured...but um, whatevers, it's the thought that counts, or something. And at least my little ever-greenie plant thing isn't bowing under their weight this year. (In a more Charlie Brown Xmas Tree style that pulled at my heart strings just a little too much last year.)

The holidays bring me down in a odd way. Thanksgiving is the beginning of the end. It used to be the last time that we could all be happy about getting together for a big meal and not be blasted by the ads and commercials and nonsense of the capitalistic nature of the US (my Santa Cruz is showing, sorry.) This year, though, it started in July...

Color me naive, but that whole "Xmas in July" thing had absolutely NOTHING to do with getting together with friends and family and being happy to be together and spend time with the kids and play and laugh and eat to was all about buying stuff. Because buying stuff is supposed to make us all happy! (These people need to watch an episode or three of hoarders, I think.)

What really got to me was when I was in LA last month. When the tee vee was on, it was commercial after commercial after commercial for toys and widgets an gadgets that you had to have to make this holiday, this was a week before Turkey Day. What happened to waiting until Black Friday? I'm just being one of those old folks who go off about "back in my day" here, aren't I?

I guess I'm just holding a little pity party for myself as I have to go brave the crowds to find a birthday gift for my nephew, as well as visit Hay See Penny's for the very specific thing my mom said she'd love another pair of (gramma jeans, my mom wants gramma jeans...sigh, and people wonder just how I developed into the fashion queen I am :).).

How do people do non-xmas shopping during this time? I'm already strategizing which grocery stores I will be limited to as anything connected to any shopping center's parking lots will be prohibitively full by 8AM...and I don't know about you...but that's just not my cuppa tea either.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Flannel Sheets Make all the Difference

Color me jaded by silly things like forced air heating, and too many visits to the linens section only to exclaim, "Really? That much for flannel sheets! Are they threaded with gold or something?"

I am a changed woman.

My mom lives in LA, and as wonderful visions of Baywatch and Melrose Place or 90210 fill your vision, as well as that stand-by there is no "weather" or "seasons" there…not like Minnesota (or wherever your family is from), well, no, not really.

But as with all places, the people who live here have definitely acclimated, and like my girls in Hilo that used to pull on those super big and fluffy sweatshirts when the temps got below the constant 85 degrees, so to do the Angelinos prepare for "winter" as best they can by pulling out the various sweaters and jackets and ugh boots and flannel sheets once the months ending in "ber" come along.

And I have to keep reminding myself, really, it is a desert. It might be expected to get up to 80-some-odd degrees today, but it starts off at the "high" that Seattle was seeing all last week…somewhere in the steady 50s.

My mom seems to be a non-identified participant in the "Heater Wars" that I read other bloggers are having with themselves…her thermostat is busted, so she warms the house exactly the way it was warmed when I was a kid, turn on the stove/oven and start making breakfast.

So I might have gone to bed last night thinking, um, really? Flannel? But At 5:30 this car-alarmed filled morning (oh yeah, I've heard 4 already…welcome to East LA?) I'm snuggling in my sheets wondering why I have been depriving myself of such a obvious utter necessity.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Wonders of Modern Technology

I am typing this on my lappy at the gate to my flight.

Yep, this is still a new thing for me, having access to the 'net when not ensconced in the (relative) safety of home or work. If I ever get a smart phone, I think my brain might explode at all the possibilities I'll have at my fingertips.

Of course people around me are smirking a little as they do their surfing/blogging/facebooking on their little devices of doom. Yep, always a generation behind. Not caring all that much, really.

So, somehow I finished getting everything ready to go before midnight last night. I KNOW!

As usual I probably over-packed...but it's a sickness really, my inability to go under-prepared. Were this a school or work-related thing, it'd make sense. Rely on me, I will have the extra pen, a copy of the agenda/extra copy of the document, notes to that Chemistry class no one bothered to listen in. I am the person people come snag ibuprophen, tissues, even eye-glass cleaning supplies from (it was a free sample).

Turning that switch off when traveling? Worse, when traveling allbymyself? Impossible.

So now my back might hurt a little as dragging my not-so-carry carry-on and backpack through a million miles of airport corridors (why does my flight ALWAYS leave from the furthest gate from the check-in point??). My hope is that I'll only need half of what I'm bringing.

There seems to be stop, LA.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I Think I've Mentioned The "H" Word and Packing, Right?

It's that time of year again.

The temperatures are dipping to a lovely 50-ish degrees, I'm wearing some knitted creations that I probably haven't blogged about...and I have to figure out where I put my shorts and would sneakers or my Birks get less attention at the airport...

It's my yearly trek to LA. You know, in November, when temps are finally down to the um, 80s.

I leave on Saturday, which is coincidentally my dad's b-day. I might bake him something if their kitchen isn't in the 90s. Hmmm, just mentioning that makes me think it might be a better call to actually go out and find the necessary sugar, you know, to appease the gods...and my need for cake. (Cuz, yeah, it might be his birthday, but HELLO, :).)

I am procrastinating even going to work as my shower thought this AM was, "Hmm, maybe I should pull out the suitcase this morning...." Yeah, so here I sit, just having KNITTED on my SWEATER (the one I mentioned, I dunno, a year + ago?) instead of actually doing anything which might involve the "P" word.

As long as I pack my mac and a credit card, I'll be fine, right? I'm going to LA la land after all...

I'm sure there is a support group out there I should join.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

You Take a Month Off....

of blogging that is, and not quite a month...there's days to go before I hit 1 month exactly.

Excuses, excuses. But no one to blame but myself. Shocking! I know!

So here is a funny...Blogger doesn't seem to want to play nice with Chrome. Seeing as they are both a part of the Google conglomerate is yet another reason I should just buy the iPhone and get it over with :).

Not too long ago I celebrated the re-releasing/25th anniversary of Back to the Future with what felt like a room full of teen-aged boys:
Seriously, I looked around the theater and realized I was one of a very few women who have fully accepted their geek natures. Ah well, I also fenced, also not your average sport for a girl who grew up in SoCal. Regardless, it was a blast!

See, I do do stuff, even if I don't post about it.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

The Worst Part Is the Keeping Quiet

At 3AM? Seattle is silent.

The first Community Transit bus does not show up to the courthouse until 5:30AM, or so. Which is why my alarm is set for 5:25. I hate that deet deet deet deet of the bus, it's way too fast-paced to wake up to, and you can hear it from pretty much anywhere in my apartment.

But at 3AM? On a Tuesday, mind? There isn't even a hum from the I-5.

Unfortunately, the uber silence makes even my getting up to pee sound like a cacophony, so instead I just lie there, hoping that whatever started me awake, FULLY awake, would let me go back to sleep for another two hours and 25 minutes.

Did. Not. Happen.

Too dark to read, too dark to write, too quiet to turn on my lappy, and too damned awake to go back to sleep. I wish I could wax poetic about how the city of Seattle wakes up; the echoing sounds of hard heels on the concrete, the hustle and bustle of the service folks runny to and fro and here and there...but I live at the edge of South Lake Union, my apartment overlooks the federal courthouse...when this place gets going? It's all at once, you know at around 5:30 when the first bus discharges 20 to 30 people at a time (they are HUGE double-long monstrosities) and all of a sudden there are engines and bells and whistles and people everywhere.

Which was finally my signal to get up and start the day as well, instead of playing tag with my snooze bar as I tend to do, daily, when I am allowed to sleep more than 5 hours.

Dude! FIVE HOURS. I know, a luxury to some, but I know me, and we are not happy with less than six. One, MEASLY hour...and yet its the difference between my being able to take what the world flings toward me...and my biting you, hard, because I can.

Yes, I will not lie, I'm fully cognizant of the fact that I am always only a few hours of sleep and a meal away from being one of the, um, odd folks on the streets of Seattle, but as GI Joe taught me, knowing is half the battle.

At least I have a load of laundry going in the dryer and it isn't even 7:30AM.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Bigger, Badder, and Way More Yellow

So, here we are at the very start of the walk:I don't think, at least not on Andy's cell phone, a picture exists to show what I looked like at the end. This lack of documentation is probably best for all parties concerned.

We were doing pretty good, I think. We were somewhere in the middle of the sea of people at the start, but due to the fact that Andy, just past mile one, had to, ahem, "use the facilities," (and by no means did this translate into "honey bucket" or "porta-potty,") my friend Ann (in the sunglasses and equally yellow tee behind me) and I were racing to keep just ahead of the ambulance and patrol car that actually ended the walk.

Andy was nowhere in sight for most of the second half of the walk as, it seems, the coffee shop he'd ducked into, I'm not one to name names but let's just say it rhymes with Sully's, refused to let him use their WC unless he bought something. He had been planning on it...but not BEFORE using the bathroom as, um, hello? Would you go into a public MEN's bathroom holding your latte (or whatever?) eeeuuuwww please don't answer and let me continue believing you'd have said, "nuh uh."

So he sought out a more humane and just plain decent coffee shop, rhymes with "meets," where they were quite happy to let someone doing the AIDSwalk (hi, blinding yellow t-shirt clue enough?) do their business before giving them business. And yey for them some more, they even gave him a dollar off for being in the walk!

Anywho...I finished, which, as I said before, I was not actually sure I was going to be able to do. By the end my shoulders were killing me, so I spent the rest of the day either napping or resting or just plain not doing anything that required much walking or arm movement...and today was a little more of the same but maybe mix in laundry cuz, yeah my hip is sore, but not incapacitated, which is all I really hoped for, because dirty clothes wait for no man...or something.

So, yey for the human body's ability to heal!

Now, this could, theoretically, kick-start me into doing more walking...but I'm going to hold off on making any promises until I'm past the dreaded and much feared "day three" of any overly strenuous activity. I'm fully in that group of people that are happy-go-lucky until the magical 97th hour when their body finally realizes that whatever was done to it three days prior was really really bad and is going to get back at them for it.

Not so much yey for the human body's ability to age...

Saturday, September 25, 2010

We Shall Shine Like the Sun...

So, AIDS walk. That's still today.

I've been stretching and practice-walking with my sneakers and everything. I think I wrote about how I am such the epitome of cool in my last post...nothin' like rockin' the sneakers with work clothes, oh yeah bay-bee.

But honestly? I'd rather not mess up my knees as I'm trudging around trying to make it to a mile a day (failed most days, but not for lack of trying...see chicken pox update below.) Today will be interesting to see just how far I can go...if I knew where my pedometer was, I'd take it...I seem to have misplaced it and a wee little (dirty) tupperware container that I'm sure will come back to haunt me sooner than later.

I know I've reached uber-stressy proportions when I start losing random shit. Which makes this walk all the more necessary. Even if I don't make it, it will force me to just concentrate on walking, and nothing more. Maybe (oh please) just maybe, I'll be able to clear my head of all the static.

Except maybe I won't be able to concentrate due to the BLINDING nature of our team shirts. They are definitely YELLOW. Dear lord in heaven above we promise we are not trying to mock how bright the sun is, really, it just maybe seems like it because of the particular shade of SUNSHINE YELLOW that the CFO decided upon. I will try to get a picture, but I'm packing light. I found I cannot stand to have anything across my shoulders for ANY amount of time just now...again, see below for more details, so I'm going to ask one of the peeps with a smart phone to do the honors.

And the Chicken Pox Vaccine Update:
It started Monday. I could have sworn I had the flu. My brain was so foggy I couldn't figure out a simple excel table that I had created.

I think I may have actually creaked with how stiff my joints were. And then it just kept getting worse. By Wednesday I could barely walk to work. 800 mgs of ibuprophen at a time are the only thing that kept me moving as I was more afraid of staying still and then NOT BEING ABLE TO MOVE EVER AGAIN, than hurting a little as I maneuvered about.

I actually went home EARLY and, was it Tuesday? The days seriously ran together. I slept for 12 hours straight. Got up, was good for 3, then came home again and lay down and, seriously, started wondering which of the "dangerous" side effects I was having...the ones I'd have to go to the emergency room for...the ones that ended in my not being alive anymore. And I may have cursed the makers of the vaccine, a little. Obviously? I've gotten better, a little.

The running theory is that as I was obviously immune to the chicken pox, having gotten along fine for 36 year without ever having them, even after being exposed to them countless numbers of times...) injecting myself with the actual disease is just plain crazypants! My body HATES me now and is showing it to me in so many ways on so many levels. It's saying, "This, lady, is what you get for TRYING TO KILL US!"

Or something.

So! I'm going to attempt to walk the Seattle AIDS walk circuit today in my blazing yellow team t-shirt and see how far I get. Cuz you know? I may not be taking a camera, but advil? Oh yeah, that is essential.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Well, It Is Still September...

Quick update, mostly because I'm just not in the mood to dwell.

My still alive. I've kinda given up on the whole...well everything. I'm just there to listen to my mom and give her a place/person to let it all out to. We are preaching to the choir here. How many different ways can you say exasperated about someone who STILL BELIEVES he is hurting no one but himself with what he does. Moving on...

Chicken Pox Vaccine Shot 2 of 2 was Friday. Having been through round one, I thought I was all in the know about what was coming. Except the pharmacist burst my bubble by saying that the second shot is almost always never the same experience as the first. Even if it is was created from the same batch/set of poison, it's your body that is reacting to it in so many different I got a fever and in the middle of moving boxes, the ITCHIEST ARM IN THE WORLD....the injection spot had swollen up like a TB test, really. It looked scary and bad and my friends gave me ice and told me to sit down and maybe it was time to quit for the day... So more on the saga of cure-worse-than-the-disease as it comes up.

I feel cursed...I feel like everyone I've gotten semi-close to at work, like even almost hang-out-and-get-drinks/food-post-work...has left, is leaving, or thinking about leaving work. Some to more extremes than others, hence my moving boxes in the previous paragraph. But she's moving to Australia to go take care of/spend time with her mom during her cancer treatments. But I do feel like telling the other gal I've been hanging with about my curse so that she is forewarned. I'd be fearful about her thinking I'm a big weirdo, but um, yeah, that's not exactly secret knowledge.

Especially after the Avatar thing....cuz you know I had to go see the extra 9 minutes in IMAX 3-D at the Pacific Science Center, no less. I'm also not ashamed of saying so, to my coworkers, who are still trying so hard to be, we work in the accounting department. NO ONE will mistake us for cool. Ever. I've embraced this aspect. I mean, think about every movie, tv show, book, short story, novela, you name it...that has mentioned an accounting department. I know, I know, life of glamour and excitement. It might be an age thing. I am one of the more, ahem, mature, peeps in the group. I've outgrown the heavy black eyeliner and doc martins and way too much black in my wardrobe (well, maybe except for that last bit), but they maybe still want to be hip-hop super stars...or something. Whatevers.

I've signed up to to the AIDS walk next week...I hope my hip will take it. With the weather playing Indian Summer vs Thunderstorms, all my old injuries are acting up. This too is something my coworkers don't get...but that whole "sports" thing is something only one other in the group has done...though not to the extreme (sailing to Hawai'i) I did. So the injuries? Not so much. But I need to go do some stretches and maybe a little more breaking in of the sneakers I've chosen. If you're out there, my group will not be hard to spot, our CFO has decided on the YELLOW with red lettering T's for our "team." Good thing I'm not a fashion maven, but I am busting out my yellow socks to match! (And if we look like Team DHL to you too? We've already told him so....good thing he has a sense of humor.)

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Everything All At Once...

Why I'm glad it's finally September

When I last posted I was a happy-go-lucky/life is pretty boring/this is your thirties kind of lady. My biggest worry was wondering when the bruise on my arm would go away (still there for those of you keeping track.)

Had it not been for the official email from HR letting me know I was promoted, I think I'd have been looking for the hard-reset instructions for August.

Seriously, the month started pretty well, I got to see the uber-hyped Inception (good movie, but in my head I've already re-written it to be meh, the important part was that I got out of my rut and went to see a movie! In IMAX no less!)

But then? There was that chicken pox vaccine thing, that pretty much affected what all I did for the rest of the month (and part two can be taken any time after this weekend, yey, sooooo looking forward to that...oh, let me wipe that sarcasm off the floor, sorry, I must be dripping.) 10 days of being worried if I was going to break out, which made me break out in other ways instead; days and days of feeling just plain sick; the whole "my body is toxic" feeling; ending with the latest: MY BODY IS TRYING TO KILL ME.

It helped a whole lot that I had friends "making" me go out, celebrating birthdays, and generally keeping me from sinking into a malaise that I was totally denying, but all that kinda fell apart when my dad ended up in the hospital.

Was it heat stroke? A heart, um, what do they call them when they don't want to say "attack?" Yeah, one of those (like when they never call it "cancer" even after they've lopped off your breast? Exactly.) Maybe a panic attack? I'll know more after he has his official cardiologist appointment. He's had enough mini doctor's appointments so that he's been cleared to go back to work, but the fact remains that he is not well.

Not that he's ever been. Hello, alcoholic? His spell in the hospital may have tuned him in to the fact that if he is ill to the point of requiring medication? OR hospitalization? Alcohol will be missing in that equation.

My hope of all hopes is that finally, at almost 65, this is the wake-up call that he needs, that, maybe? Just maybe? He can finally learn to get along with the world without having to fall into a drunken abusive stupor nightly. I mean, hi? How can I and, (and I'm just throwing a number out here) MILLIONS of others do without wrecking our heads and bodies nightly? And yeah, maybe we party it up on the weekends, or more like once a month (okay, maybe every two months in my case...oh all right, maybe three), but somehow, even when there might be "one too many," the need to drink myself stupid ended back in my college days. Yeah, okay, there were a few months there during the divorce...and yet, I think he was just revving up his tolerance in his 30s. Don't even make me try to calculate how much he goes through in a week.

Of course there is the other side to this...either he stops taking his new sets of pills (for sure one is for his blood pressure, my mom didn't fill me in/and bad daughter that I am, I didn't ask what the others might be), or just reaches a new level of slow suicide and kills himself by drinking AND taking his medication...but I've decided to purposely play stupid and avoid that train of thought for with me.

Did I mention sooo happy it's September? Like a new month is a new beginning, or something. If I hope it hard enough will it come true? If my blogging on a 3AM is any indication of the month to come...I may have to wish harder. (No, not up all night...woke up from a nightmare filled sleep and being unconscious just does not seem all that inviting.)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

OW, My Arm! And...The World is So Small

Again, for those who might need to have a chicken pox vaccine, I relay my experience thus far:

So I didn't fair so well the first week or so after, like I'd been hit with the flu stick. Then came the sinus headache that I contained with my usual ibuprophen + pseudrophedrine hydrochloride (I do not make enough money to buy the brand names, currently). Little did I know that the ibuprpophen was doing double duty!

About day 10, you know, also known as "The Day of the Lesions" (if they were to show, that is), I rolled over to get out of bed and OH DEAR LORD IN HEAVEN, what sin am I being punished for now, because my left arm HURT. It seriously felt like something had taken a bite out of the "wing" that I'm developing back there (a whole 'nother blog post entirely). There was what looked like a red circular burn-welt just about where the PIT (pharmacist in training) had jabbed me...

But it was early...before I did not immediately put two and two together, oh no, first I ran over to Andy and was all, "Did you do this? Do you remember me smacking the back of my arm last night? Do we have spiders?!?!"

And my arm got worse and worse as the day went on, with the little circular welt swelling quite nicely into a big fat arm feeling...every time I flexed my wanna-be girl muscle, or even, you know, just bent my arm, I could feel the skin stretching back there as it hadn't since the aforementioned "wing" appearance. (Seriously, NOT the best gift my body could have given me for my 36th birthday, no way, no how, wings? Where did those free weights go?)

Anywho...I think it finally hit me the next morning, after tenderly exploring the area, that there was a definite BIG OWIE feel right where I'd gotten stabbed with virus 10 days previously. But dude! 10 days! I went to the pharmacy (it's across the street from my work) just to verify that I wasn't going to die from an ever increasing swelling that stemmed from my arm.

Nope, that's just what fat does when it's "fighting back." Um, what? Yep, peoples, I was informed that, you know how hard it is to lose weight? It's because fat is much stronger than we give it credit for. Hello! It is currently fighting off a chicken pox vaccine! Most likely by swallowing it up and making it into a pocket of nasty!

Because I dunno if you've ever lost a ton of weight as you crossed half the Pacific Ocean on a 32' sailboat, but when I did? I was sick ALL THE TIME, to the point where I begged a doctor friend (I know! Me? Voluntarily go to a doctor for advice?!?) to help me figure out if I was allergic to the Island or something! Oh no, he said noting I was about 50 lbs lighter than he'd last seen me on the mainland, I was basically suffering from every cold that my body, or rather, the fat in my body, had fought off by, um, surrounding it and sealing it up in the fat cells. (i.e. SWALLOWING it up...tasty sounding, I know.)

Yeah, I left thinking that maybe doc had had too much pau hana on the brain (we were in Hawai'i, it may have been Friday....) but here was a Seattle-based Pharmacist (not in training) telling me the same thing, sort of. This is why we get all sicky feeling when we're losing weight, yeah, there is the lack of food and fun stuff, but um, also as the cells are giving up the ghost? They are giving up the nasties that they stored inside them.

This insight does not make me happy as I am almost (not quite, maybe next month) determined to start losing the weight my last two incapacitating bike accidents have piled on...especially since I can finally walk a mile without my hip hating me for a week (or seven). It's hard enough for me to say, g'bye 15# of love and comfort, g'bye an extra 5 that snuck on when I wasn't looking (ice cream, I'm looking in your direction)....but now I might be reliving some of the uber nasty Hilo and Tahoe colds and flus I thought I'd seen the last of?

And worse yet, I'll be showing these viruses to a whole new set of people who may have never left their home state. Ah the human body and it's more bizarre aspects...sure does give a whole new concept to the small world aspect of the universe.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

So Memorable I should Blog It

Today, Saturday August 14th, I left the house without a sweater.

Yup, August. The 14th. First time, all "summer," t-shirt, shorts, and sandals. And also, yes, I too am a little sad and bewildered about the non-existent climate change and am wondering if this means it's finally summer or if I only get one week of it this year...

I know there was a day or so...maybe even a couple days a few weeks ago where it was warm enough to be out and about in just a t-shirt, come the middle of the day/afternoon, but those were work days, and I left home early enough to still need my fleece, as the mornings were chilly.

This being a Saturday? I didn't start my errand running until after 11 AM, and boy howdy! SUN! Warmth, I might even have worked on my farmer's tan as I ran from the A/C of the car to the A/C of the grocery store! I am not proud, just, you know, no longer used to temperatures over 68 degrees...

It's supposed to hit 92 today.

Hotter than LA.

Mind boggling.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Chicken Pox Vaccine, Part 1

No, the title does not imply I'm about to write an epic saga about the pox, the vaccine, or my limited interaction with it.

It's that there will be a part 2 to the vaccine in about a month...and what with my swiss-cheese memory these days, I thought that if I wrote about it, and the fact that I was jabbed on the 6th, it might prompt me to make the '30 days later' second appointment.

If I don't turn into a brain-sucking zombie first.

I don't know the mechanics of the vaccine except to say that they injected me with a live virus, I heard the word "attenuated" at one point and the fact is, aside from the double-sided pdf I printed out from the department of health which tells me I could die? I'm not looking too deeply into what is floating around in my system because I am already SUPER OOKED OUT about the fact that I had a lovely pharmacist-in-training inject LIVE VIRUS into me. And hello? I could die? Super awesome news there.

Anyhow, I think I last posted about my non-chicken-poxed status like at the beginning of the year? That would be when I was supposed to get this over and done with. But because it was left up to me? And my adoration of voluntarily going to a doctor's office? I put it off as long as I could. And then some.

Thanks to bureaucracy that again, I do not care to understand, only be mad at, my own doctor could not inoculate me. I'd have to go straight to the department of health! And thanks to messed up economies we keep hearing about, actually no, Dept. of Health could not help me, because I am not currently a patient of theirs (which is a big catch-22 in the making, but I'm leaving it there).

That's when I thought about yellow fever, and malaria, and hepatitis B. No, I'm not a hypochondriac. At least I don't think I am... But I do reimburse quite a number of folks for getting those vaccines before they go off on their Global Non-Profit trips (you learn a lot working in the accounting department, let me tell ya, you want all the good information? Make friends with the A.P. department...just sayin'). A travel clinic who can get access to the Yellow Fever Vaccine has GOT to be able to get a hold of a couple doses of Chicken Pox Vaccine. And then I kinda let the information simmer until about June, cuz, um, yeah, possibility of GETTING the chicken pox from the vaccine is not zero...and I am a chicken. (HA!)

But I finally manned up (womened up?) and called up my local pharmacy, which is also a travel clinic, and ordered dose #1 (to my knowledge not covered by my health insurance, but I'm told I need to revisit that...I hope I didn't lose the receipt...), and got stabbed by, as I mentioned before, the pharmacist in training (PIT) last Friday.

I currently feel like poo.

I was fine the rest of Friday, though I fell asleep really early... and Saturday morning I was able to get my act together and go help shop for "business casuals" for a friend, and then totally fell into a puddle of tired once back home....and the same went for Sunday, but I was having to muster the energy ALL DAY...but was able to be okay during the 3 hour birthday party for a friend's daughter....then yesterday....

My energy is coming and going in such sharp shocky spurts that I feel like a diesel engine trying to burn up the dregs of it's 36 year old tank. I hope this is normal and not the start of the pneumonia that there is a chance of in however many hundreds...fingers crossed. And double crossed if it means that in 6 days I don't wake up with the spots. (The PIT called them lesions. Yes, I know that's what they really are, but um, PIT? Really and truly, call them pox or spots, NOT LESIONS! Am I not scared enough already?!? Sigh.)

On the bright side? If I catch the pox, I won't have to go in for the second (costly) dose! (If you're wondering, I think it was $130...but again, not sure where the receipt is...)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Scary Underwear Women

Okay, so I was packing up my mom's b-day gift yesterday and this thought sprang into my brain that just won't let go...

I feel like I've posted about grandma underwear before...have I? Maybe I just thought really hard about it. Especially as my mom has officially gotten used to my procuring her unmentionables for her as birthday/xmas/mom's day gifts. Seriously, this is what she asks for, and I think it's because she's tired of trying to find out which obscure corner of the department store have they shoved the old lady accouterments. Seriously, it took me longer to find the display case than to pick out the merchandise! And if you're stuck with the same job as me? Ask where they keep the girdles. No, not the spanx, the girdles. Your goal will be within a 5 foot radius of the most horrific of the bunch.

And that got me thinking about my underpants. I already know I've become an old lady with regards to my bras. I own one "modern" thing that can stand up on its own. I feel like I'm wearing a bullet-proof vest when I don it. Seriously? I don't mind the lift of the modern day push-ups, but do I have to become a triple-D to achieve it? So instead I scour the internets looking for (and mostly failing at) finding the perfect over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder.

Where was I? Right. For as long as I've remembered/been sentient/aware of my mom...which would be a few years older than I am now... she has worn granny underwear. When I grew out of the girls' section/selection she led me over to my "choices" which included a few packs of her favorite, um, grammie whities, but was okay with getting me things that still had bows and a little lace, as long as they were WHITE. Okay, light blue was fine too.

When I visit now? She is aghast at the colors and styles of my cotton bottoms. Mostly because they are NOT WHITE and maybe a little loud in the colors/patterns (VS cotton, if you really must know). I know there is a huge age gap between well as a bit of culture shock. I know also that 40 is the new 25 or whatever, and that cougars can be sexy and all that noise...but, um...if I don't have the sexy bodies that Jessica Parker/Courtney Cox/Demi Moore are sporting when I'm their ages will I have to turn in my Victoria's Secret for Underscore? And when will they switch? Sally Field is making osteoporosis commercials...but somehow I just can't picture her modeling the brands I just wrapped up for my mom, you know?

Hence the title of the post...are we (and maybe it's just the royal we, here) headed down the road of being, ahem, mature women who wear underthings that might just scare the bejeebus out of the younger generations? Seriously, I hope not to be that old lady trying to get my wrinkled body into a pair of briefs I have no business wearing...but when will the granny pants start calling out to me?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Blueberries might Have Been on Sale Yesterday

I knew if I did one more pictureless post, I'd start losing readers...seeing as I'm down to 4 regulars, that would be tragic, as 25% is a HUGE figure. So I made the grand sacrifice and tried to figure out iPhoto, just for you.

Blueberry Scones!
But if anyone is interested in the needs a bit of tweaking.
(More on this after my iPhoto rant.)
The last time I veered away from Photoshop, was to learn enough iPhoto to walk a friend through so he could find where the original files were that was back when I still used my G3, I'm guessing 5 years have passed since then.

A lot has changed in iPhoto since then, and I think the only aspect about it that I find highly useful, as I still can't figure out how to upload pictures to Facebook, is that it has a "post to facebook" button. Aside from that? I am not pleased.

iPhoto does not trust you. It happily lets you import your photos like it always has, but if you happen to want to use, say, blogger to upload your picture from your computer? GOOD LUCK finding where it has scurried away your picture. That folder where you copied the original files to? Empty. Going to your hardrive and clicking along to the iPhoto folder to find the docs like I did five years ago? No dice. Using the obscure (but highly useful when you only have a trackpad) double-finger tap to get to the right-click mouse features and FORCE it to show you the original file? And THEN having to figure out how to make a copy and stick it back on your desktop? Not the most intuitive thing.

Were I just a mac-nubie? I'd have never known where to go or what to do, yes, there is both an "email" button as well as a "post to flikr" button, so there are alternatives, and I even know why they made this change...too many of those aforementioned newbies who might move or change the names of the original photo files and then wonder why iPhoto can't see them. But even knowing this still has me a bit pissy about the whole thing.

I need to apologize to a friend of mine who shared the awesomeness of AppleCare and their ability to walk him through how to move his photo files onto an external drive so that he could still have access to them on a different drive. I was all, "Really? You needed their help for that?!?" Now I know better. The way they have protected us from ourselves? If my life, job, access to the pictures of their baby from birth, depended on it? I would be useless in trying to help them, and that bothers me to no end.

Big fail, Apple. I'm glad I own a copy of Photoshop, no matter how ancient it is, I'd rather have complete access to my original files and suffer the consequences of my own stupidity, thanks.

Okay, rant over... That was more long-winded than I thought it would be.

These are pretty easy to make, but as I said, I need to tweak the recipe a little as the original calls for 3/4 cup of buttermilk, but it's not real buttermilk...or maybe it's the liquid that you gather after doing something fancy with cream and other ingredients to make a glaze or something.

See, as the friend who gave me the recipe did not use the glaze? And she is a super awesome cook who doesn't really rely on measurements but on look and feel? And owns a food processor? She only passed on the actual scone recipe, wherein if you use the 3/4 C of buttermilk? You don't have enough liquid for the 2 cups of flour, 3 Ts of sugar, 1 T of baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda 3/4 tsp kosher salt 3/4 stick of butter that you pastry knife into the above until it looks like coarse meal, to become the "batter" that you can "spoon" from the bowl onto the baking sheet, especially not after adding 1 1/2 cups of washed AND dried blueberries. (The recipe said to "fold them" in after adding the liquid, but um, yeah, I dont' follow directions and I hate breaking blueberries as I try to get them to "fold" into batter. Much easier to add the liquid last. )

I further tweaked the recipe by adding a teaspoon or three of poppy seeds (let them soak in the butter milk as you mash away at the butter).

So I grabbed handfuls of the stuff and kinda patted them together and stuck them on the baking sheet. Then, instead of buttermilk, I used my regular 2% to "coat" the tops (I wet the tips of my fingers and more like massaged the milk into the crumbly dry things to try to keep them from falling to pieces on the baking sheet) and sprinkled brown sugar on top instead of more white sugar.

Bake for 17-ish minutes at 400 degrees, cool on a wire rack if you own one.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I Get It...Sort Of

I think FaceBook is making me ponder humanity and their actions too much.

It's not a wonder I look in once in a blue moon to stalk people and post the ridiculousnesses of my life (which I then expand upon here. Seriously? I'm a blogger more than a FB/Twitterer, like I'm an emailer more than a texter. Is it only me who equates these things with the drugs of the 80s? I'd be the stoner over a tweeker. Not just because of the munchies and inactivity involved versus the energy and activity that the other side of the coin is connected with...but maybe the brownies and the intense need to make food (I did attend the University of CA at Santa Cruz, after did those people feed me well.))

Where was I?

Right, pondering my navel.

I was friended by another HS acquaintance recently and I started to wonder what all had become of their group. I always felt like I was at the periphery, only there because my best friend from high school had struck up a friendship...with this particular girl, actually. The one time I found myself near her, post-high school (and slumming the Berkeley area with the group of odd-fellows I'd befriended and my wonderful roomie (dude, how did you even put up with me?!?), it was awkward, to say the least, to be around one another sans my bff from hs. I do believe that was the very last time I had any contact with her. And she seemed so...well...normal, no longer the crazy red-head from high school.

Fast forward 17 years (I KNOW!) as I think about my baby brother starting his first college-level-esque classes (he's doing what used to be known as summer bridge, now known as "XL" at Pasadena City College (!)), combined with a comment I heard from that same bunch of girls with regards to one of their number deciding to attend, as a last-minute switch, a tiny college in the South vs the huge UC where her group of friends were going. The gist was that they were ready to be the weird fish going into the big ocean to meld with/find more of their kind and stop being seen as weird, where as she was going where she would stand out, on purpose.

To me, who was going to a tiny little UC so I could get away from everyone, this seemed an unfair judgement. Were they thinking the same about me?

To me now, with my baby bro choosing PCC over any other Community College in the area (it's LA, there are loads), I get it. He's picked a school close to home, yes, but also far enough away from his current neighborhood that maybe, just maybe, he'll find the pond has turned into a lake instead. Maybe, just maybe, he'll see just how he fits into the puzzle of society, without, you know, having to go 370 miles away like his big sister had to.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


Yep, still here...had a bit of a rough time the last um, almost 2 weeks (really? July 5th?!?). Not that I made any out loud promises, but I had been trying to post more regularly to keep the emails asking about my demise at a minimum. Seeing as I'm about as bad at responding to emails recently as I am picking up the telephone. You'd think I'd become a hermit. And sometimes I wish it was that and not the fact that I've been spending 46 or so hours a week at work...

But that has officially changed! Or so my supervisor keeps telling me. We've finally filled the empty position in our group. No more doing my job AND someone else's...well, sort of. Now my day is filled with rushing through my work and training (and maybe retraining) the new person. And then trying to finish up my stuff before 7PM every night! I can understand why a desk manual would be super useful right now. Alas my company is known for "oral history" style of training. And shoot-from-the-hip style fix 'ems. These worked back in the day when there were only 100 or so people, but they're almost 10x bigger now, and things are simply no longer that simple. As such, one of our tasks is to have created our manuals by the end of it boggles my mind that the person I'm training isn't writing anything down...Yes, I did tell her about the desk manual. Yep, told her nothing was currently written down for their position...umm hmm, did say we were each responsible for creating our own parts as no one has the same job description in our group.

And as the blog as my witness, I am not going to worry about it anymore, promise. Not my job. Besides, I need to worry about my own desk manual.

So, aside from the above, I feel like a million and one things have occurred that I'm in no way going to be able to cover, so as is usual for me, I'll just randomly update as the pictures get uploaded...which is part of the bloggy problem.

I am lacking in resources just now. Sort of. See, I'm writing this from a new-to-me lappy. It's a 3+ yr old macbook my father procured for me from the ones my old high school/his current employer was selling off as they are from the graduating seniors and are too damaged to be given to the incoming frosh. Superficially damaged that is. Mine is missing a chunk from one corner.

How have I lived without a laptop for so long?!? It is the bomb to lie here with it resting on my lap/legs and type this out for you. However, I haven't actually merged what's on my mini onto the pictures, no bookmarks, no links to explain my goings and doings...not for lack of trying, more for lack of organization. See, remember the whole carpet-being-replaced dealy? So even though my mini's cpu, keyboard, and mouse are within proximity of one another, they have yet to be connected. There are boxes and boxes of things that are of a bigger priority for me to get back in order in order to REACH the computer. Which, I'll have you know, was uploaded with pictures and notes and maybe a funny story or two, prior to being disconnected. I thought it was only going to be for a couple days, you see.

Then I got the lappy...which is, again, the total awesome. I can surf the web and fulfill my morning need to find out just how bad things are in the world (pretty bad, don't look, it's not worth it), and therefore kill the need to connect up my slooooooow mini even more.

Except for the pictures and bookmarks and such, that is. Minor details, I know. But like I said, now that I have my bloglines and blogger bookmarked, I'm one step closer to having no excuse to regale you with tales and updates and maybe a rant or seven. I do try to keep those to a minimum, but I think Andy is hoping I blog more and rant less the way I blog about my knitting and make him look at my stitch definition, less. You know?

And it's late, and I've promised I'd help finish getting the living room in order tomorrow, so more later...much more, promise.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Why the Cap'n Slices his Apples...and other Things...

So I went into Williams Sonoma yesterday...okay, more descriptively: Slowly semi-limping and trying to clear my head as my back spasmed AGAIN, I stumbled into Williams-Sonoma looking for an overpriced, but all-metal apple-slicer.

'member how I said my back didn't seem hurt after all the moving of big furniture that happened for the carpet? Right, scratch that. My back being sore is not the big issue, it's the cramping-spasms that have lately thrown themselves into the mix. NOT HAPPY.

But what was sneakily worse was that they didn't start until after I'd ventured out into the gloominess of Seattle and ordered my clam chowder lunch...see, for the second time in a row, I seem to be sick on 4th of July. And a piping hot sourdough bowl of clam chowder sounded so yummy. And it was.

What, you ask, hot chowder on the 4th of July? Are you mental? If the weather were even half decent? (It actually rained yesterday, hard rain, real rain.) I would have agreed. But hot cocoa in front of a roaring fire-place fire sounded like a better plan than being out in the stormy day waiting for dark. And I'da totally felt kinda super pissy about crawling into bed and forgetting about the world a little later that afternoon... But um, yeah, hurty back, scratchy throat, and rain? I'd rather watch vampire/werewolf episodes on Hulu.

But the apple slicer hunt...was a total bust.

To answer Bezzie's question and make me not look like too much of a princess? I pre-slice my apples for my lunch. I know, I am not a browncoat and no one is going to hide an explosive device in my Fujis. But barring say, cherries and blueberries, I pretty much slice all my fruit before eating. Yes, even strawberries if they are um, suspect enough. I think this goes back to growing up on the fruits that came out of my dad's backyard. I know this must be the case because I'm getting all heebie jeebie about it... Let's just say there is NOTHING like biting into a peach that someone else has already laid claim to... Remember that scene in Labyrinth? Yeah, that one? With the peach? Urgh...lived it, thanks.

But I never used an apple slicer until a few years ago. I think I was first introduced to one at one of the temp jobs I had in Seattle. I had no idea how easy/one step such an instrument could be! And you can use it on pears just as easily! But $10 for one at the fancy kitchen tools store? Dream on, I was temping after all! Every penny counted back then. So I got the $2 plastic one from IKEA. With the number of apples I consume in a year? I should have invested on the more expensive one. Because now? Looking for the all-metal one that Williams-Sonoma used to sell for around $15? Total fail. They've changed it up to be a plastic-handled one that "dials" the size of your slices and costs over $20. Really? I can go back to wielding a knife while preparing my lunch, thanks.

Oh and just in case anyone says, but dude, how often will you find a rotten piece of fruit/infested thing when you bite it? With my luck? The last time I bit into a whole apple was last year, the morning of a friend's b-day party as we were snacking before getting the enchiladas started. Of all the apples I could have gotten? Right, mine was a rotten-core one. Just a coincidence? I don't care. Life is short, and I eat a whole lot of apples.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Thumbs are WAY More Useful than You'd Think...

I have learned my IKEA lesson. I promise. No more $2 apple slicers, no matter how red and happy they look.

I broke mine this morning and messed up the tip of my left thumb some kind of bad. Have you any idea how hard it is to slice that little bit of apple seed area off with only 9 digits? Yeah, I still had the prehensile movement going for me, but as my left thumb was happiest up and away from any more sharp things? It was more of a battle than it need be.

Thankfully I am right handed. Otherwise I would not be here typing this, what with the spacebar and thumb connection. I knew it was too good to be true that I didn't throw out my back with all the recent furniture moving...urgh.

Monday, June 28, 2010

T-Minus 11 hours

The carpet guys will be doing awful things to my living room floor I'm about to shut down the computer and frantically figure out where to put all the last minute things and get my room ready to do the same but opposite tomorrow night...

Before I do though, I have to share my latest trauma...Wells Fargo sent me back a "legal copy" of the Toyota Finance refund check...that bounced. See, apparently I overpaid my car loan (I know!), so they sent me the difference back in December while I was visiting my family in LA. I lost track of the check until last week when all this cleaning and sorting for the carpet replacement came up. So I guess the fault was my own for not cashing it immediately, or so the customer service representative was trying to convince me. See, it even says so on the check, void after 90 days or somesuch BS. And it is BS.

There is no reason, except utter spite, that Toyota should refuse to allow a valid check # to be cashed. Having worked in an accounts payable office for almost 3 years now? I know the drill: Bank A tries to get funds from Bank B via a check draw. Bank A's check is out of sequence (by a lot) so Bank B contacts the issuer of the check via message/email/in some way, shape, or form so as to get a person to accept or reject the check # & amount. The issuer says it's okay, fund transaction happens, EVERYONE HAPPY.

Toyota denied Wells Fargo my $13.19. Seriously. So who got dinged? Me. Not only did the cashing become a withdrawing, but now I have a $7.00 fee for the service. You bet your aunt Fanny I'm on the phone with Wells in the AM.

However, I feel I must give out the secret password to the internets. If you find yourself in a conversation with a customer service representative FROM ANY company and they tell you that they cannot do anything about the fact that your check has "expired?" It's a lie. Demand to speak with their supervisor. A company cannot "void" your refund/money it owes you. They must clean up their books LEGALLY, and those funds get to go to their home state as unclaimed cash. This takes a LOOOONG time. We wait a year before starting this process. Step #1? Contact the vendor and see why the check was not cashed. It is NEVER void the check and keep the money. No matter how small the amount. Again, ask for a supervisor.

Yes, I may have gotten a bit irate over $13. But really? Listening to the CSR convince herself that this is the way things are done and she can't do anything to change their policy? It galled. It rubbed me so the wrong way. It raised hackles. And then she went and called me ma'am.

Do not believe the money is no longer yours. It lives in their system as an uncashed check. If they keep it? It is officially stolen from you. See, I can't change policy either, but I do know how to read the lovely notices the IRS sends us with regards to unclaimed funds.

I started to wonder how many people believed her story, or any other CSRs similar explanation. They use very level and even voices, sound pleasant even after you've blown your top (ma'am), put you on penalty hold if they think you need a time out...and are very surprised when you're still there...oh yes, I was. I mean, what else did I have to do? Especially now that I felt like I was fighting for every person who had ever hung up/given up. (Blame it on being overworked...I dunno, seriously could not stop myself.)

So I'm being issued a new check. However, I still need to find a way to get Wells Fargo to reverse their $7 BS fee. Maybe someone else in the internets has a success story to share. THEN I will shut down and pack like a madman.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

By Waterproof, I Did Not Mean the Yarn Needed to be Superwash...

On Thursday we had such awesomely wonderful weather that I seriously considered playing hookie. We've spoken about my work ethic at length. You know this is not an option. Except Thursday? SO NICE.

But this just means summer is finally here, tra la, not to worry, plenty time for sun and fun and did I mention sun?

Mother nature hates me.

I walked to work IN THE RAIN on Friday. Not fog as Andy said, looking at the forecast on the 'puter, not "mist," oh no, this was rain. But so determined was I to cast on the 150 stitches I need for a hat I'm playing around with (100% wool, superwash), that I trudged through, sans umbrella, and only shoved the hat into my pocket when I noticed the bamboo was no longer slipping through the stitches all that easily.

It's been "All Summer In A Day" here for so long that I'm seriously thinking it's affecting my attitude. Me, who isn't all that enamored of the ball of flame that gives me freckles that are starting to look like perma-stains along my wrinkle lines can think of nothing better to do than stand at the window and let the heat burn the back of my neck as I waited for signatures on checks last Thursday. Mmmmmmm what a lovely memory.

There was a marathon or some-such event today, but except for a quick bento box lunch out, I've been inside sorting and packing and getting ready for new carpet. Yep, they raised my rent but I insisted that if I had to pay more? Then the carpet stain/bleaching the size of doormat that the previous tenants left us had to be fixed. As it's too big to patch? And the carpet reached some magical age? We're getting all new carpet for the entire apartment.

(If I already posted about this, I apologize, it's almost 2 AM and I've been packing and sorting and going insane with the mess all day). I'd feel all put out about missing more nice weather but um yeah, when we were out getting lunch? It was not warm enough to wander about in just the light sweater I'd thrown on. The sun on my face? Lovely. The breeze making me shiver? Not so much. Besides we had work to do. Seeing as we have to move everything around for the carpet guys, we've decided to do a thorough clean and sort of our stuff at the same time.


I am not a neat person. But there is something about the boxes and the unfinished packing ALL OVER THE APARTMENT that is driving me batty. I need a sorting/packing system. I pick an area and I go go go until it is done. It is my way. My nature. Andy, however? Not so much with the patented one-box-until-it's-full method. I'm sure he has a plan of his own, but it's disjointed enough to make we want to weep.

He said earlier this evening that I needed to not spazz out so much, it would get done and it's not as if we're on anyone's schedule (seriously, our choice for what days they come in...), but I can't live like this. It's like moving out without moving out and the boxes are everywhere and I no longer know where anything is! His solution is for me to think of "everything" as my keys. I am notorious for not knowing where they are. I might have smiled, but also maybe stifled a cry.

It's time to pass out now, as there are more boxes and messes to deal with when the sun comes out...that is, if it's not stuck behind some new freak-never-happened-this-late-in-the-year storm. Seeing as we plan on putting a slew of stuff out on the deck to get it out of the way, join me in asking the sun to start summer here already, seeing as it's almost July and all. Just a thought, no big rush or anything...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Apparently I'm Only Tight Up to A Certain Size...

This is a knitting post, promise :). And I know! How long has it been since I wrote about what was once my obsessive passion? Let's just say that same damned bike accident changed even my near addiction to something I could do when sufficiently not hurting...aaaauuuummmm, moving on...

I've posted before...years ago maybe? About my ability to make water-proof socks? Or "stand-on-their-own" non-felted socks even? I have this thing about knitting something utilitarian/non-lacy on super small needles (US1s and 2s), the tighter the stitches (without actually stretching out the's a VERY thin line I cross) the more durable/strong/scary the fabric. It works, especially for plain socks.

Not so much for scarves, or lace though.

So for larger-drapey items I use a slightly bigger needle size than called for, you know, a US3 vs US2, or maybe US4, depending. My US7's get lots of use in lieu of US6's (I'm not actually sure if I own a 6...). As well as constant vigilance that I am not gripping the yarn in a death hold. If knitting is relaxing, I should not see white knuckles, right? Right.

Then something wonderful happens after that. Maybe it's because I feel like I'm knitting with pencils? I dunno, but it's magical. If something calls for a US8? I can use an 8. A US9 you say? No worries, 9 it is.

And that's where the magic ends. I have a "Goldilocks Shawl Kit" that I won a while back now sitting and stewing, and maybe losing 1+/- of it's 540 yards in my trying to knit using the called-for 6 mm/US10 needles. I just can't do it! The yarn is too thin, the needle to fat, increasing as the directions called for was near impossible so I did my own, and it looked so bad, especially with the start and restart and restart again and this time try one larger? Okay maybe one smaller....that I seriously had to cut my losses. Mohair/silk? Does not play well if you've had to start again a few times.

So it's in time out. And I'm back to carting my mom's mom's day socks (yes for 2012 at the rate I'm going) and not knitting on them...They are panda-something-or other, and I think that's the problem...I think I need to give those a break and just pull out something more woolly and more forgiving...and maybe willing to become waterproof.

Sunday, June 20, 2010


This morning? Much better.

Something happened on Friday...actually, Thursday. No, I did not go postal on my workmates in the fantastical way I described I could be pushed to do so as I chatted with my mom this morning. Or maybe I did, but only in my head.

See, my back? Got much much worse before it got better. As I sit here typing sitting up straight and trying my best to type at the correct angle (the desk is a might too tall, the chair too short, it's not like I sit here 40 hrs a week, and I do love my desk...but I'm silly that way...where was I? Right, so bad that I could neither sit nor stand nor lie down nor crumble into the aforementioned ball...much less manage to call my "butt-doctor" and see if he could work a miracle. Instead I flat out busted out and cried my eyes out.

That's when I realized that there was a lot more stress tied up into my hurt than what I was giving credit. Mind over matter and all that? Why not? If 800 mg ibuprophen was barely cutting it, I was open to multiple suggestions from everywhere and anywhere.

And people? A good cry is sometimes exactly what the doctor ordered. That and ranting a little to your immediate supervisor who was about to go on vacation (!) about how much you do not look forward to training a new temp because you've actually not been given official notice that your current temp is leaving on Friday and why am I the one in charge of these people if I'm the lowest man on the totem pole!...also helps, LOADS.

See, I've mentioned my horrible work ethic before, right? Horrible in that I maybe care more than my station and take on extra work and responsibilities and possibly get recognized for my efforts, but never ever compensated. I know it's probably because every job I've had was me being responsible for getting my work done without someone having to remind me of my to-do list because: we were a really small office; I was working for myself; or it was just the easiest thing to be the shift supervisor so we could get stuff done.

There is, however, a limit. And seeing as I do not want to end up like my mother with her handful of ulcers and high blood pressure, I need to chill more. If my supervisor is willing to go on a long weekend during our search for the next team member? Check-run be damned, I should not care so much. Eventually, once the team is fully staffed again, we can meet all our goals. Until then? I promise I will not work myself to death.

And so...on Thursday, 5PM we were booted out of our system as we were finally upgrading to the official latest version of our accounting software. So for the first time in how long? I was able to go home...ON TIME. I could not do any more work, too bad, so sad, I know! And Friday? No system. I was able to clean up my inbox like you wouldn't believe. All with little to no interruptions as everyone in the know, knew I had no access to our records, so....I couldn't find any information for them even if I wanted to! And the day was lax enough for me to give my back a break, and yet still be able to get my act together for Monday. Except maybe I think the temp took the key to the lockable drawers in the cube...I'll have to ask about that, later. Cuz you know what? Not really my problem. And that is my theme for the time being.

As the blog as my witness, I absolutely refuse to get sucked into the ball of "must happen yesterday" that my wee little team can delve deeply into. I'm too old for that (yep, that would be me saying everyone else on my team, barring our main boss, is younger than me, it happens, I guess).

And my shoulder is starting to tingle a little...probably from a combination of typing and thinking about all this mess, so that's my cue to stop.

For any dad's reading my crazy-pants musings: HAPPY DAD'S DAY!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Someone to Watch...Over Dummies Like Me...

So I lost my American Express Card on Friday...and didn't even realize it until Sunday when the nice folks at AMEX let me know they were cancelling my card and rushing me a replacement and could I let them know what the last purchase I made was?

Yes, my heart may have stopped/skipped a beat just before performing a hard staccato/piano forte tune. But after a multiple number of expletives (I'm sorry neighbors whose very thin wall is the only thing separating us...I could not stop myself), we realized that the last charge was indeed mine, and nothing more had been placed on the card.

Given that I actually lost the card 7 or 8 blocks away from where it was last used? At a completely different business? This seems rather miraculous to me. Yep, we had dinner near the convention center and meandered closer to where my friends were going to watch a show and found ourselves across the street from a dessert shop, The Chocolate Box. Yep, free advertisement for them because dude! Not only did they have yummy gelato, but someone found my card, kept it "safe," AND called it in to AMEX so they could find me!

I only wish I could say that that's the worst of what happened this weekend.

What? More? I messed up my back carrying groceries...either from the cart return to the car...or from the car to the apartment. I'm not really sure when it happened as it wasn't your traditional all-at-once-omg-I'm-going-to-die feeling that I once got bending over to grab a tupperware. See, there was a twinge a couple times, but I totally ignored it. By the time I was done making myself some dinner? I had no appetite and it was all I could do to keep moving about and not curl into a ball and die...except I doubt I could have gotten myself into a curling position what with my back hating me and all.

And yes, for those of you following along for years's all related to that busted hip/bike accident of years ago. My muscles are not as strong as I wish they were, and my tendons are far more stretched out than I let on. Last night was a reminder, I guess. But what is a non-whiny way to say that I'm so very sick and tired of being a puddle of broken?

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Empty Headed...or is it White Noise?

I've mentioned more than a few times that I need a brain-to-computer connection...or a pennsieve (sp?) or similar to get all the vying thoughts smashing into one another in my brain OUT and somewhere where I can sort and enlighten myself, and maybe entertain others.

This morning I finally made time to sit and draft a post (or seven), and as soon as I logged in? Nothing....or rather, too much, yet it's all white noise. I've been sitting here trying to wrack my brain and figure out a starting point...and I can't.

So much is going on in my noggin, all whirly and intertwined and knotted so well that I can't catch even one strand to make even a random list to share with myself, much less the world at large. And yet? Because I am mean and like to torture? I'll try:

- To those who realized my lease is coming up again this month? Chances are 99.999% good that I'm renewing for another year. Until I see the actual lease? I'm not saying for sure. Yes, I know I'm cutting it close, what with that whole 20 days notice...does anyone know if that is business days or calendar days?

- And those of you who wonder if I knit anymore? I feel like I've unknit more than I've knit lately...which is kinda impossible if you think about it...but of the 9 projects I had going, (I know!), I have 2 finished items (baby hats), one that would be finished if I could make a pom pom...which I am absolutely unable to lately (child hat), two that are completely stalled (socks, both for mom), one that I just restarted for the fourth time (a cowl) and 3 that, though temporarily started to look like something (a scarf, a cowl, a hat) that are now pretty little cakes of yarn, or knotted little pieces of ... yarn.

- Yes, all very small projects...good for sticking in my work bag and forgetting completely about because work has been, hard. People shuffled about just enough to leave a HUGE, GAPING hole in my team and as much as I appreciate the temp they brought in? She has the temp mentality, you know, "I'm only here for a month." As such? Of the three things we brought her on to take over? She's only accomplished one. Which leaves me to add even more to my plate. Overtime is nice, but I'd rather have a new hire, stat.

- It's 8:15...I should be heading off to work right this second...instead I'm sitting in my robe typing this. I'm having the adult version of, "I doanwannagoto school." It sucks. Why isn't the guilt kicking in? Oh right, maybe because I didn't leave work last night until almost 7PM.

Gah! Okay, much more later, I hope.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Walking Past Johnie's Machine Makes me Nostalgic for Days Long Gone

This very rainy morning as I walked to work and passed by Johnie's Machine, seriously, that's what it's called, I was surprised that he was open and even more surprised that the smell that emanates from the open garage door is not something that builds up throughout the day, but instead something that is always there.

And when I say smell? I don't mean it in a bad way.

It's the smell of years of motor oil and grease and engines and ancient mechanical stuff.

It's a smell that reminds me so very much of my dad's section of the carport growing up. You know, back when I was young and innocent and, as I had no boobs, was allowed to participate in the striping of alarm locks and pieces of old car engines and getting my fingers black with the goop and grime of a thousand oil changes.

Good times, people.

And as I was figuring out a title for this post, I couldn't help but think of that Primitive Radio Gods song, "Standing Outside A Broken Phone Booth With Money In My Hand," mostly because of the length of its title...and maybe because it's the same bittersweet mood I got into as I pined for the childhood where I didn't have to be the "girl" or the "sister" but was just a "kid." Getting dirty and fiddling around with stuff that was definitely not pink or soft...

Anywho... As I've taken to embedding things for us all, here's the actual song...and before today? I'd never seen the video for this song before. Thank you internets :).

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Stuff, and Superman

I was getting that "cluttered" feeling lately.

But instead of like actually physically cleaning up my space (sorry, Andy), I started sorting through random files on my computer.

Mostly I was looking for music. Most specifically "Superman" by R.E.M. I no longer seem to have that song on my computer. Thinking back? I know I owned the cassette tape...for the life of me, however, I have absolutely no idea if I ever upgraded to a CD of that album, much less put it on my hard drive.

It made me stop and think about technology and its evolving nature and how my parents must have felt with vinyl vs. cassettes. They still have a working turntable, so there is that. For me, however, I have that added (self-imposed) challenge of moving every couple of years. And when the packing boxes come out, I tend to toss things that I just can't stand moving one.more.time.

I did this when I was deciding what to do with my tape collection. I just couldn't stand to schlep it about again especially as the CDs I owned were well, more compact (hence the name, right?!?), so I left them in LA for my brother(s) to commandeer (my older brother ended up passing most of them to my baby brother when he was done with them).

The crazy thing was/is that I never really tried to rebuild my old collection, that gets expensive if it wasn't super cheap at the used music store in Santa Cruz, I probably don't own it anymore. That is my excuse for my inability to remember if I own a copy of the Life's Rich Pageant album anymore. Besides, it's far too late to be rummaging around my stuff.

And really, it's only in these once-every-six-months sessions that I'm rooting around for specific music. Thanks to the interwebs, if I must have a listen RIGHT NOW, it's just a google search away.

Here, I'll share:

As a bonus? Christopher Reeve....(sigh). Yep, that old. Sorry.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

All Cookies Are the Same Cookie...

Did I ever mention I spent almost a decade in Santa Cruz, California?

That goes a long way to explain my title today, eh?

See, when I was in college (UCSC) and my brain felt too full or the drama got turned to eleven, I'd beg, borrow, or steal a kitchen, and bake...cookies. Chocolate chip cookies to be more precise.

I did not grow up baking things with my mom. I think I may have mentioned this as a comment somewhere some time ago, I didn't even know my mom could make anything other than out-of-the-box cupcakes for the school cupcake sales until the one time she brought home cookies she'd made at work...from scratch. Chocolate chip cookies.

In the Spring quarter of my freshman year at UCSC...oh so very many years ago now, I remembered that moment and the absolute surprise and joy that cookie brought that 9-(maybe 10) year-old me. (College is a very strange time for most kids, far away from home, surrounded by so many people and so totally alone...and way too young to know any better--dear lord, who said that!) So I went out and searched for a chocolate chip cookie recipe. I had a plan, you see, I'd recreate that damned cookie if it was the last thing I did.

I seriously think this little project saved me from having a nervous breakdown. I baked a lot of cookies during the five years it took me to collect a couple sets of initials after my last name, always the same kind, but never quite the same cookie. By the third year it wasn't just my friends that knew they might be able to score some chocolate chip baggies of love, I was literally rolling in dough (hee), having started a side business in selling cookies to homesick classmates (all quite secretive and under the table, mind, I did share the kitchen with the residential assistants, and bubbly-headed and obnoxiously popular they might be, but they were also the law.) These were very much virgin cookies, by the way. The stoners ate them for the munchie need, not cuz they were in any way packed with stuff I had no way of affording, had I even realized the monetary potential.

In grad school, a little north of Santa Cruz, all I had was a toaster oven (!), and I could make exactly 8 cookies at a time...but there were a number of 3AM mornings that found me creaming up butter and sugar and hoping that there was enough chocolate in the house to stem the anxiety.

I stopped the crazypants baking shortly after graduating, getting married, and moving firmly back to Santa Cruz and next door to Zachary...whose very being inspired my title tonight. When my X got into one of his uber-bitter moods, Zach was right there with his, "Positivity, man, no negativity." I wonder where you are now, mr. positivity, I really hope you found your place in this crazy world...

That was the headspace I was in tonight when I remembered I'd set out two sticks of butter when I got home so I could try an oatmeal-cookie-that-looks-like-a-chocolate-chip cookie recipe I saw on Super Eggplant's blog.

See, I may own about 7 or 8 very similar but not quite the same chocolate chip cookie recipes that I've made a million times over in that span of 5 or 6 years (it's a RARE thing for me to make cookies of the chocolate chip variety now), but I never did learn how to make any other oatmeal cookie than the one stamped on the cardboard tube top of the Quaker oatmeal box. And an oatmeal cookie that fooled the eye into thinking it was NOT an oatmeal cookie? This I had to try.

There are 3 cups of oats in there...where they are hiding? I couldn't say. On my hips? Well, yes, there is that.

What I learned:
- I am very rusty at following a new cookie recipe.
- I had to fight against myself so as to follow the recipe exactly and NOT try to turn it into my chocolate chip batter. Except maybe there should be vanilla in there, that's all. And would shaved chocolate do it any harm, really?
- I must use my experience of making cookies all by hand to realize that some sort of mix-master-flash special mixer was present to be able to actually add in and combine those aforementioned 3 cups of oatmeal AS WELL AS the cup and a half of raisins, without creating a caked up mess. I only own a small handheld mixer. I almost burnt out the motor by the time I got to the oats. (See above about following the recipe exactly.)
- Must try again, but ditch the mixer after the egg...or even maybe during the egg? And maybe watch the oven like a hawk so as to take the cookies out when they're still soft in the middle.
- Start much earlier in the evening. 10PM is not the best cookie eating time for me.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I Don't Even Need to Pack a Bag

If I'm to believe the weatherman (which I've learned one does not when one lives in Seattle), this coming Thursday we are to warp space and time (cuz you have to do both) and borrow Hawai'i's weather.

70 degrees and 85% humidity.

Who needs to travel when the weather is coming to us!

But that is days away. All I know is (and oh boy, do I know) is that my internal barometer is rising and dropping faster than I can deal. Sudafed, my dear wonderful BFF, is keeping it kinda sorta at bay, but man oh man, whatever the weather is going to do? Can it please do it, like now?!? Before my head explodes, out my eyeballs?

But enough about me me me.

My mom is doing fine. It was just one of those super paranoid-crazy-tin-foil-hat feelings I was going through yesterday. Although I wanted to share that throughout yesterday weird stuff KEPT happening. Not so much the breaking of things, but for example: at work I had a long message from someone saying they were calling for some big company we lease office equipment from asking me to call them right away with regards to our account. Seeing as we have 4 or 5 accounts with the same company, I went all last-century and pulled our paper files to make sure I was well prepared for them to tell us how much we owed on what invoices...

Well, that account? Not in my files.

So I try calling...And the number I had reached did not exist according the the telephone lady-voice.

And people wonder why I subscribe to the "they really are out to get you" point of view!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Is Today Jinxed?

The necklace I tell everyone my mom gave me (bought with birthday money from her, close enough, right?) broke this morning in a completely unexpected way.

I'm not super superstitious (just enough), but I'm waiting anxiously until I know my mom is done with her morning errands so I can call her.

Or maybe I should just attribute it to it being my unanniversary? Is it to be an "everything that can go wrong," will sorta day? Is it because I've ignored it for so long? My last mention of it (even to myself) was in 2008. And now it's angry at me and wants my attention...or something.

This could explain why this weekend was packed full of fun broken blog, (I'm using chrome today), my sewing machine, and now my necklace. If things happen in 3s, I'm good. It's all taken care of now (hear that, universe? Can you please go find someone else to torment? My X maybe? That'd round things out nicely, I feel.)

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Technical Difficulties

I haven't been able to log into my blog all week.

I thought at first it was some work-blocking thingie and to be honest, totally forgot to check at home as these last two weeks've been kinda rough on the workload aspect.

But just now? Also not able to log in from home. Something about cookies being disabled. Only, um, Firefox's preferences tell me that I have cookies I am at a loss. (Yey for blogger's email posting ability!)

Were this my sewing machine, I could just take it apart (again, like I did yesterday?) and tinker 'til everything was working okay. Except, um, does anyone know where I can get a new bobbin winder? Because until I figure out this cookie thing, I can't even order the part from the ONE online store in Georgia that seems to carry it. I suppose I could try (gasp!) calling...or maybe another browser, but man, this is just annoying. Anywho, that seems to be my excuse this time around.

Happy Mother's Day to all my mommy readers!


Just a test.
More later.

Friday, April 30, 2010

But Enough About Target...

Really? I had that post up about my new belt for how long?

This is what happens when work takes over my life. I'm not putting in more than my usual 40 hours...of work working... But lately a whole bunch of stuff has been going on that involves me in meetings about updating/upgrading/making my life at work better that apparently sticks with me long after I've shut my computer off.

Like this morning, when I woke up realizing one of the awesome new changes they are trying to implement for a payment module simply will not work. It took me dreaming about it to realize that we were heading down the wrong road.

And I just finished sending the email to the appropriate contact, who, if she sees the time stamp, will think I maybe need to not be in office mode at 5 AM. I reread the email about 7 times because, yes, this was before coffee even.

And moving on from that...I think I've realized what I'm really good at. You know how people have made it a business to come in, take a look around, and then tell you what you are doing wrong and how to fix it? I don't quite despise those people, but it's close. Simply because they come in and without actually trying to do your job, they are telling you how it "should" be done because it's worked in the past for the hundreds of prior clients they have had. Cuz we are all automatons or something.

I am not one of those people. Who I am, though, is someone that needs to use the systems in place, work with what I am given, see the pros and cons, AND THEN, once it's been something I do for a month or two, start changing them to both benefit who I am, how I work, and those around me.

Too bad it's not the career-making ability like those people I dislike so much who can do it in a day. But it has put me in the position where I am in hours-long meetings to review/revamp/shed light on what has been done and what I think should happen moving forward. Which, in it's vicious-circle style, now has me working ALL THE TIME.

I need a raise.