Thursday, February 19, 2009

I've been Posting for a Year, and Boy Are My Arms Tired.

My first post was thrown up here at 12:01 a.m., February 19, 2008. What a good opportunity to look back and see what the last year has brought. (Yeah, yeah, the rest of the world did this a month and 19 days ago. But I never really did.)

I think I can safely say it's been the most up-and-down year I've ever lived through. I'm trying my damnedest to stay positive and helpful, but I've never had so much difficulty keeping it together. I'm on edge most of the time, and I can't count the number of times I have to consciously take a deep breath, knowing the next little stretch of time will be stressful.
But at the same time, wonderful things have come. And at the end of every day, I snuggle up to the person I love best, and look in his sparkly eyes and his happy grin, knowing he's mine. That's worth it all, as far as I'm concerned.

Last year, I started listing good and bad things about the day. I liked that; especially the 'goods,' it consistently makes me realize there is ALWAYS something to be grateful for, even on the worst of days. I learned about it from Oprah a decade ago--even though I really, really don't enjoy her show, I thought her 'Grateful Journal' was a pretty neat idea. I kept one during one miserable summer working tech at Arrow Rock.

So...I might start up again. Shall I tack it onto my already-bursting Faux-Lent list? Speaking of--for the past few days, I've begun some of my habits. It hasn't been a major adjustment at all--and I forgot how dang good that Water-Pik feels on my gums.

At any rate, here are 5 Good Things About Right Now...

1. Citrus is in season. The only fruit I really have passion for, and it occurs during the worst months of the year...making them a little better.

2. Things I've already blogged about: how February isn't terrible this year. I love my co-workers; they laugh at every little stupid joke I make. Having good friends back in my life. That Neil, Meme, and Paul are slowly coming back from their setbacks this year.

3. American Idol's on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, which means the beginning of the week flies by--always the slowest part, right? It's almost--ALMOST--like when Gilmore Girls was on Tuesday nights and it was the best day of my week. Miss you, Lor... :(

4. Neil cleared off the tall bookshelf in our bedroom yesterday, so it's no longer a hodgepodge of differently-sized large books, yearbooks, huge 12x12 scrapbooks, maps, magazines, and cd cases. We've yet to box up what was cleared, but I am loving the change. I think it's pretty necessary to change things up at least once a year or so, and I didn't realize how much I *didn't* like the messy bookshelves until he emptied them. He displayed our UglyDoll collection on three shelves (including yours, Em--we named him Amiba! Neil's favorite Ugly is Abima, so it's just the same name with the consonants switched. And his little extra growth is a bit amoeba-like anyway!)

5. Okay, this may seem lame, but you don't even know how excited I was when I saw that Hot Pockets/Lean Pockets are now on sale at Gerbes for $1.59 through March 2. I am STOCKING UP, yo! I even have ANOTHER $1.50-off coupon I can use, making one of them free!

The wind chill put the temperature down to 2 degrees this morning, but it's going to get better fairly quickly. Everything else is just trucking boss at Stephens is worried about budget cuts and how that may affect staff, and while part of me thinks I should be panicking and looking around for other half-time work, another part is like "So for the next three months I wouldn't have to work so much? [since Stephens part-timers don't work in the summer anyway], that would be TOO BAD. *grin*"

Oh! Oh! You know how I've talked about how I'm Death to Magazines? Two more just kicked the bucket, thanks to my Subscription Power: Figure and Simple Scrapbooks. I just KNOW ShopSmart is next.

I'm having trouble focusing today, so it probably wasn't the best day for a post. But I'd planned to post today ever since I thought "Hey, didn't I start this about a year ago?" last week.

Anyway...thanks for reading my blather, y'all! When they say to me "don't sweat the small stuff"....I AM the small stuff, baby! IT ALL MATTERS!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

February's Hols

The past week has included three holidays (four, if you count Friday the 13th!)--all of which affected my daily life.

Now we're back to 'normal'--or, as normal as life is these days--and though this was fun, I'm glad to be calmed down.

Oh, wait. The Oscars are next weekend. Who am I KIDDING?? I need to Research!! I've seen zero of the nominated films in ANY category and I do not PLAN on seeing any! I think the last movie I saw in the theatres was "Juno"! I have a fiver in my wallet just BEGGING to represent me in the Oscars Betting Pool! I need to make a list of ironic message-cookies to present at our annual Oscars Bash!

Okay. But back to now. I have all week to prepare for the silly Academy Awards.

{ohmyGOD it is SO not silly.}

Thursday was Lincoln Day, and apparently the State Government does not subscribe to the "2-in-1" combo deal of Presidents' Day, observed yesterday, the 16th. (Bonus points to whoever can tell me, definitively, if it's PRESIDENTS' Day, PRESIDENTS Day, PRESIDENT'S Day, or something else entirely. I recall an observation from Claudia Kishi's annoyingly intelligent older sister in the first Babysitter's Club book about the same issue--in that case, if the "Babysitter's" portion of the club name was punctuated appropriately. She did not have an answer then, either.)

At any rate, I had Thursday off. Wait--I had Thursday "off."

Let me back up.

I am not really a Snack Day/Work Function/Forced Social Interaction type of gal. Even regular parties with friends unnerve me; I'd rather have a Game Night with the fam, or with one or two other couples. The idea of being at a party with nowhere to sit terrifies me. The State Library folks often plan these big to-dos, or even little to-dos, where we all gather in the big meeting area and admire the crap everyone's brought in and stand and eat on paper plates while musing about this and that.

It is not my bag.

I don't like to eat standing up. I do not like making small talk. I don't like people watching me while I look over the muffins they brought to make sure they don't have raisins (because in these things, everyone stands AROUND the big table eating, making a circle, so anyone who goes up to get anything is like on effing DISPLAY choosing what they want while all the eaters look on).

So, I don't generally partake, or bring in anything. And even though it usually means I'm labeled as "The One Who Doesn't Do Anything," I'm all right with that. I'm a private person, y'know? And no, I probably won't go out to Paddy Malone's (local Irish bar/restaurant) when my division arranges a Friday night post-work gathering there, or stop by a co-worker's house for a Holiday Party. I'm just not interested, and why waste my rare down-time being awkward and uncomfortable? Nope.

ANYWAY, so at our last reference librarians' meeting, we were talking about...I don't know, upcoming holidays or something, and I realized we'd have a Friday the 13th coming up. I may have even suggested we try a Subversive Snack Day, just our little group of a dozen or so, kind of an Anti-Valentine's Day/Scary Food presentation. I figured--it would give me a chance to provide something a little different, and not *always* be the one who you can always depend not to participate. And, since the point wasn't to Be Delicious (hey, that's the perfume I'm wearing today! Mmmm, green apples...), people wouldn't think "Who brought in these NEE-YASTEE brownies?" as much as "What a clever idea! Who cares how it tastes--LOOK at it!"

The idea was agreed upon; I began my research.

I soon stumbled upon a cute idea: big, sugar cookies, dough colored to echo the gaggy pastels of Conversation Hearts:

Except...lettered in icing to be the anti-Conversation Hearts. Instead of "Lets Kiss" (absence of apostrophe NOT MY FAULT), they put "Let's Not." "My Baby" translates to "Never Gonna Happen." Reply Hearts, in a way.

I didn't want to be up all night icing plain sugar cookies with pastel icing, so I really liked the idea of making the dough pastel-colored so I wouldn't have to do an all-over Frost (just noticed that two words use to describe this process are "ice" and "frost." Why? It's not like it's particularly cold. Wouldn't spread if it was cold, anyway). And I decided to see if I could find BLACK icing for the lettering! You know, to pump up the Subversion Level!

This was going to be GREAT, I thought. Dad has a nice big kitchen with peninsulas and islands and double ovens and cooling racks and flour and sugar that I don't even have to buy. Thursday I only have to work a little bit at Stephens, so I'd have almost all day to bake and letter-ice, and Sarah was planning on coming down after her satellite was hooked up. I found black icing and tiny round icing-tips at Hobby Lobby (remember my aforementioned errand? This was it!!), I had my Standing Mixer all packed and ready to take to Dad's (no smushing up butter and sugar for hours by hand for THIS girl!)...I had a list of Possible Sayings...a recipe from exactly FOR "Heart shaped sugar cookies"...I was good to go, you know?

I got up early Thursday morning, went to Dad's, and mixed the dough. And I am officially never ever making sugar cookies without a mixer AGAIN. Wowza. Like three minutes, folks, seriously--four sticks of COLD butter and three cups of powdered sugar. It was--apologies--like buttah. The rest of the mixing process went smoothly (how the hell long has it been since I've used a sifter? Forever!), the dough went into the fridge for the recommended 2-3 hours, and I left for Stephens for a two-hour shift.

Sarah was held up by the wicked Satellite Men, so after work and a couple errands, I went back to bake. I figured--no problem. I'll split the dough into five parts, color each section by kneading food coloring into the dough, roll it out, cut out varied sizes of hearts, bake it up super-quick because of the double oven, and be done in no time, ready to letter.

And, I mean, that's how it went. It's just that each one of those steps took an INORDINATE amount of time. I have no idea the proper way to color dough, and getting a consistent shade of pastel was difficult using only my hands. I'm sure a big batch would be easier to color using the mixer, but 1/5th of a double batch isn't much. Also, by the time I was done, my hands looked like Rainbow Brite had puked on them. I had to keep washing bowls and hands over and over so I wouldn't transfer the just-used colors onto the next section of dough and it just took FOREVER!!

The rolling-out-and-baking part was tedious and sticky and floury and frustrating, and even moreso when I got the sheets out of the oven and SOME batches would spread out so the hearts were unrecognizable and others were absolutely, positively perfect. I NEED CONSISTENCY!! That is ALL I ask from life!! I think I made eight batches, and by the time I was done, it was well past dinnertime. Poor Sarah was stuck with Satellite Guy until almost 8 that night, so she never got a chance to come down--a rotten day off for her, poor thing. :(

I decided to ice at home, so I wouldn't have to transport newly-lettered cookies, and so I could watch "The Office" while doing so (P.S. Um, Holly? Don't tease us with your presence, saying you'll be returning, and then not show up when we need you. I miss you, girl.).

And I did get it done...I was reasonably happy with my efforts, and the cookies turned out surprisingly good, thin and chewy (I don't like hard/crispy cookies much), but substantial and, for the most part, shapely. Lettering took me the better part of three hours. The icing, thank goodness, dried so I could stack the cookies, so I only had to deal with two large-ish Gladwares to tote into work the next day.

Here is the display, in our little meeting-area at the office:

And here:

{This tray includes one of my favorites, texted to me by Sarah: "Loathe Ya!"...but the "A!" fell off, so it's not as effective. I tried to hide it underneath others so you don't notice the flaws, but it makes me sad that it never really got a chance to shine.}

And the last:

Another one of my personal favorites here...Aim Lower.

My co-worker Abs (Abbey, but I like nicknaming people, so she got "Abs") brought in Voodoo Doll Tea Sandwiches. Absolutely adorable, and multi-cultural! Different skin tones!

It was a fun morning. And, guess what? I put my food on a paper plate and put it in my cube for later. This way, I wouldn't have to eat standing up AND make small talk. One out of two ain't bad, right?

Okay, so I got through that. Neil went to "Friday the 13th" that night, so I watched "The Bachelor" (I am so behind but I am SUCH a Jason-fan) and had a rare evening off.

The next morning, Valentine's Day, Dad came by at 8:30. He drove us to Kansas City to my favorite museum ever: The Nelson-Atkins. Come on--who doesn't love the shuttlecocks?

We had a wonderful lunch in their courtyard, I saw the new expansion I'd been aching to visit, and I had some absolutely fulfilling moments in their Cloisters exhibit. I can't explain how I feel when I'm in there. I just can't.

After five hours or so, pleasantly exhausted, we drove back home. A real day off!

That night, Neil and I cooked the heart-shaped Papa Murphy's pizza I'd picked up the day before and watched "Forgetting Sarah Marshall"--I knew it would not disappoint, and it didn't. But don't get me started on how hypocritical it is that they could only have a very, very limited number of shots of Jason Segel's wang in order to keep the film's rating. And HOW many boobs are in Wedding Crashers?? GRR!!! When the MPAA rating in the beginning said "Rated R for graphic nudity," Neil was all "Aw yeah!" and I told him it wasn't the nudity he thought it was going to be...

At any was a very, very pleasant February 14th.

But the weekend was not over!

Sunday night, after work, I went home to change. For tonight, my friends...tonight, was a Night At The Theatre.

We met Roger, Amanda, and Brad at Jesse, for the Bestest Show Ever On Earth Ever, "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee."

{Now...I don't mean to say that it's *specifically* my favorite. I just consider it to be, all around and in general, the best show. The most entertaining, if you will. There aren't any songs that I'm dying to hear, no breaking into the titular song that gives me chills all over, a la "How do you document real life..." It just keeps you laughing, for a solid hour and three-quarters. What other show can do that for ya?}

I was worried that after two spectacular performances in Chicago, that this cast wouldn't be as good. And they weren't, in every sense. William Barfee wasn't big, and I think it's his graceful "big-ness" that makes his character such fun to watch. The vice-principal looked more like David Cross than Sam Lloyd (the lawyer on Scrubs), but it didn't not work. It was just different.

Best of all, everyone really loved it. And what's the point of taking a few friends to the theatre, if not to say "SEE? I told you!! I told you how good it was!" at the end?

Monday was also a day off...I guess for Washington's birthday? I don't know. Anyway, I worked at Stephens...but I did get to sleep in a bit. And I got home before five.

So now, it's back to the grind, and back to normal.

YAY Oscars eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Lent for an Agnostic

I am uncomfortable with religion, for the most part. I'm not uncomfortable around religious people, as long as they don't try and get me to ride their crazy train (kidding! kidding) fact, I am absolutely fascinated with what people believe and why they believe it and what interesting variances their religion has from others, and learning about their practices. But when it comes to practices IN practice, I shy away like a skitterish pony from a rotten-looking kid. I don't really know why; it's almost like I feel like it'll taint me or something. I think I need to loosen up a bit.

{This is a really big cross I like to laugh at whenever we drive to Ohio.

It's in Effingham, Illinois. It's an Effing Big Cross.}

It's kind of ironic, because I am completely religious when it comes to things like Christmas, the magic of autumn, feeling my mother's presence, and the love between my husband and I. I'm not churchy religious (obvs), I'm just....traditionalist. I am filled with a glad spirit. I feel like something more is happening other than what my eyes can see.

Anyway, I've decided I'm going to do some different things for Lent this year. I think it's one of Christianity's few good ideas, and even though I'm doing it for the betterment of myself instead of sacrificing for Jesus or whatever, I'm betting not every Christian vows to cut out full-fat milk for forty days just so the Man upstairs will like them better.

I'm not approaching this year's Lent as a 'cut this or that out' endeavor, necessarily. Instead, I'm going to try and reclaim some habits that have fallen by the wayside and that need some renewing.

I've heard it takes 21 days to form a new habit. And I haven't had the time, or the motivation, to adopt nearly ANY of my New Year's Resolutions this last month and a this is a renewal of sorts. And I figure, 40 days isn't that long, right? And by the time it's done, we're into Spring!

1. Drink 8 glasses (that's SIXTY-FOUR OUNCES!!) of water a day. I do this some days, but it's easy to slip and have half my 64-oz. jug of water left over by the time I go to bed.

2. Read one library book a week. This is, of course, a pleasure, but I haven't been making time for it. And I think it's an important part of my days: help keeps me sane, allows me to get lost in another world for a little while...

3. Try the NYTX daily. For awhile I was religious about this, back when the Java applet actually worked on our computer. Now it doesn't, and I don't get to play the timed game against the other subscribers. But I can still work them crosswords in Across Lite, and by gum, I'm-a gonna.

4. Never go to bed with clothes out in the bedroom. (i.e., not hung up, put away, or in the hamper.)

5. Use the Water-Pik EVERY DAMNED NIGHT. And brush TWICE a day.

6. As for exercise....this is tricky. Because I know myself far too well. I almost don't want to put anything in here about it, because I know I'll fail. My life, albeit crazy-busy, is timed out perfectly these days, and I like it:

Mondays: Jeff City job, 7:15-5:45, Stephens work, 5:45-8:45, bed @ 9-9:30.

Tuesdays: Jeff City job, 7:15-5:45, Home to make/eat dinner, Idol 7-9, bed.

Wednesdays: (see Tuesdays)

Thursdays: Jeff City job, 7:15-5:45, Stephens work, 5:45-7:45, home for dinner & Office, bed.

Fridays: Jeff City job, 7:15-5:45, home for dinner, collapsing, Inside Date Night.

Saturdays: Stephens work, 9-5, stop by Dad's/home for dinner, errands, bed.

Sundays: Stephens work, 9-5, stop by Dad's/home for dinner (Saturdays and Sundays often switch between the two), clip coupons from the week, bed.

I just don't see where I could put a half hour of exercise, even around the house, and not go absolutely nuts. I know I need jeans complain daily to remind me. But I don't even have time these days to watch one of my guilty-pleasure shows (and yeah, I would totally exercise while watching them if I could do it in private, like shut myself up in our bedroom, but I'm not comfortable with exercising in front of anyone...I even felt self-conscious on the TreadClimb at the ARC, with totally normal old people all around who didn't care. And I can't watch the DVR'd shows in our bedroom.) Lunch hour is another option, I guess. But the thought of giving up my only free hour, which I usually use to read or play word games, makes me depressed. Jeff City is not exactly the most pleasant town to walk around in, and our "gym area" at work consists of, like, a weight bench and one Nautilus machine.

They do say exercise will improve your mood, though. I don't know. I just don't know.

I should just try it one day, one nice day, to see how it goes. I could walk up to the capitol building and back, and find out once and for all if that big hill will kill me as much as I suspect it would. Maybe that should be my resolve: to just try it once. I could do that. And sneak in 30 minutes here and there when I can.

(I suppose I could also get up at 5:00 every morning and watch a show on the DVR while hopping around. Would the downstairs neighbor hate that, though? More importantly, I would never, ever get up at 5:00 in the morning.)

So I've covered intellectual improvement, home improvement, dental health, and a nudge in the direction of physical fitness. Dietary's the hard one. It's been rough going these days....sometimes, food is the only thing that'll cheer us up! I'm wondering if I should try something like...

Eat at least one salad a week for dinner.
Don't eat either dairy or sugar at least one day a week, all day.
Grilled/baked chicken for dinner at least one day a week.
Only one meal out a week.
Don't buy anything especially indulgent (i.e., doughnuts or Big Reese's Cups).
No fried foods.
No non-diet soda.

It's complicated, I know. But I have to take baby steps!

Okay. Ash Wednesday is the 25th. I'd love to approach that date and have already begun to adopt some of these habits. We'll see...

I think I need a planner for all this planning. I am so bad at keeping up with planners. I really want to be better. Maybe another item should be "keep up with a planner for 40 days."

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Kind of crabby.

I don't know why, but I've been annoyed lately. Not at the general public or anything; no, my annoyance is focused on a few specific people. I don't really know what brought it on. Nothing had changed recently with them.

I think it may have to do with reconnecting with other friends, those where the relationship is way more 'give-and-take' than one-sided, and it's making me realize how frustrating it is to be in a place where I'm not getting anything out of the friendship no matter how much I give to it. Conversely, I'm sure I've treated others this way myself--not realizing that *I* am taking up an awful lot of the friendship-room talking about my own problems and not taking the time to make sure the other person needs some attention, too. It would be an easy trap to fall into.

For a while, after I moved back to Columbia especially (after New York), it was hard for me to make friends. I found myself in the most familiar place in the world, but it had changed. I couldn't just call up Jamie and be like "Hey doodles, let's hang just like we did five years ago!" I was working and meeting people there, but I didn't really like anyone enough to spend time with them socially, and they felt the same way. It wasn't a big deal, I thought; things would turn around, and for the time being, I could spend more time with the family. I lived alone, for the first time, and I could do things like watch any show I wanted! Dawson's Effing Creek! I could make pita and hummus and leave the tub open to double-dip from!

After the better part of a year, I did start to find my footing socially again, and had a fine time with a group of folks I'd known forever. It was one of those summers you look back on and smile thinking about. I've only had a few of those, and they almost always involve Maplewood Barn Community Theatre.

Okay, if I don't stop this, I'm going to turn this into an "ah-the-old-times" entry, and no one wants that. (Okay, *I* do. I am way nostalgic. But not right now.) My point is--and this sounds terrible, kind of, but I was kind of desperate for friends there for a little while. I'm not Miss Social Butterfly, so I had to wait for people to 'discover' me, and along the way, I think I didn't realize how much I was depending on people who probably shouldn't have been made to have that responsibility. I wanted much more from our friendship than they were willing to give--not that they were terrible people. Just that I was a bit lost, and grasping for friendship-straws wherever I could get them. And now, I'm kind of realizing how it's REALLY been throughout these years.

I guess it's lately, through new friendships at work and through FB, that I'm getting to see just how good I had unselfishly fabulous my best friend at Grinnell is, how I connect absolutely perfectly, on just about every level, with my best friend from high school. I'm loving having these friendships back. I am so grateful to have another chance with them. I love my current friends, absolutely, and don't want to take them for granted...but sometimes, I wonder how I could have let those past ones go. And if I can learn to let go, just a bit, of the unhealthy ones that remain.

I feel like I'm being a downer, but I actually just cheered myself up writing this.

Okay, I'm going to change the subject.

February is a quarter gone! My least favorite month ever, and we've had like three days of 70-degree weather so far. I have two days off in the next week and a half, and one of those is a REAL day off, can you believe it? My adorable father sent me an e-mail invite to go to Nelson-Atkins, my favorite museum, on Presidents' Day! I haven't seen the remodel yet, and I do miss my Cloisters. I wish I could bring a book and sit in that area all day.

Neil and I have one more hump, next week, and then we'll start talking about what's in store for us. I don't know if this will mean an end in sight for me and my ever-busy schedule, and to be honest, it's okay if it doesn't. My schedule is tough right now, but life has gotten much easier to deal with.
However, my mother-in-law Meme is in the hospital, which is the one dark spot in this brightening time, and it's torture to get little snippets of news here and there via Facebook updates and phone calls--I know there's no other way to really do it, but it just makes me worry, and I am so, so, so tired of that emotion. It's an absolute waste, isn't it? My heart leaps into my throat every time I log on and see Neil's brother Mark's update as "Mark is worried about his mom," but I can't begrudge him for speaking his mind. I just think, after so many events have caused our families to plunge into "worry," why focus on it so much? It's just going to get us closer to a heart attack--or so it feels. (Plus, I might be in a unique situation--since I'm at work most of the time, every time I see a FB update that concerns me, I'm sometimes not in a place where I can immediately find out if something terrible has happened.)

I suppose it goes hand in hand with 'prayer,' doesn't it? Does 'prayer' eliminate worry, or exacerbate it? I always thought it was a hopeful thing--whenever people say "I'm praying for you/your mom/Meme," it feels like a warm thought, like they're making an effort to put in a good word with their god, on my behalf. Even though I inevitably don't share their beliefs, I am touched that they would go to the trouble, and any good thoughts can only help, right? If people are worrying about something, and they pray for/about it, does the worry leave? Does it stay the same? (I'm not really asking to find an answer--I know it's probably different for everybody. But since my in-laws are prayerful folks, maybe they're *not* dealing with worry the same way Neil and I are.)


I've found that, for the first time in my life, I'm having to organize way more than I ever did before. I have to almost choreograph my days in order to get everything done that needs doing. Last night after work, and after we had dinner, I wanted to pop back out again and run the errands that had been building up all week that I hadn't had time to do. It was about 62 degrees outside, and I wanted to enjoy the niceness for a little bit more, before it's gone forever in the subzero hell that is February. So before I took off, I thought long and hard about what I needed to do. It was 7:00, and both Hobby Lobby and the ARC close at 8:00. Gerbes is open 24 hours, and I wasn't sure about the car wash. Since HobLob, ARC, and Gerbes are so close to each other, I checked those off within 45 minutes, and was able to get gas and go through the car wash right by our apartment, and was home a little after eight. All I *really* had wanted to do was go to Hobby Lobby, but looking ahead to the rest of my weekend and week, I knew the rest of the stuff would never get done, so I figured I'd tackle them all. And I'm so glad I did! Of course, it effing RAINED all night, so the car wash wasn't really necessary, but mine was the only car in our lot this morning that was sparkling clean as opposed to pretty clean after the rain.

Tonight, I have a lot on my dry-erase board list: go to Dad's, clean the Water-Pik (nope, haven't done it yet!), clip coupons from several weeks' worth, and get a list together of supplies for cooky-making on Wednesday. I don't believe I can do this all in the four hours from when I get home until bedtime, especially since the Grammys are on (and despite my non-love of music in general, I cannot resist an awards show)...but I'm-a gonna try.

And that, folks, is a minutiae-filled blog entry. Wow.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Inconsequential things, mostly.

1. There are SEVEN calendars in my railroad cubicle. And I love them all for different reasons.

  • 1: UglyDoll calendar from my darling brother Joe. 2: Vintage Harlequin poster, because I am an AMBASSADOR, people, that's right, an AMBASSADOR for them. 3: A spoof of the "Keep Calm and Carry On" graphic, a different statement for each month--this one gets a lot of attention. 4: A standard daily flip-calendar that I write my appointments and things on; very utilitarian. 5. A Page-A-Day Cute Overload...I love Page-A-Days, because it gives me a little thrill each morning. I'm not huuugely impressed with this one, but sometimes it's amusing. 6. A very large dry-erase calendar poster, hung on the cube wall behind me, with markers. And, 7. A standard monthly appointment book that's good to take to meetings. Roger got me the new Office calendar for Christmas, and I may have to fit that one in here too. It's kind of become a thing.

2. I posted a new meme today. It was exhausting. And I think some people who read this are WAY bigger movie buffs than I, so theirs would be much more entertaining. Anyway, here it is, on my other blog:

3. We're having an anti-Valentine's day Snack Day on Friday the 13th, and I have SUCH a good idea for it! I may even take photos so y'all can see!

4. Two words: Norman Gentle. On Idol. (that's 4, sorry.)

5. I'm really getting into the groove of this all-the-time-working-thing. My body's adjusting, the commute's no biggie, and I remembered a good way I can get more audiobooks for simply the cost of the blank cd's I'll burn them onto.

The way I'm figuring it is this: When I worked 20 hours, I had a *lot* of 'working' was actually more of this annoying distracting thing I had to get done before getting into the real day. Working 40 hours, work begins to become more of my life, so I live for the down-times, since they're rarer. And Sunday nights suck hard, because I've just gotten USED to the down-time, and suddenly I have to give it up for five whole days (except, working for the state and all, it's usually four). Now, though, I don't normally have a day off. So little things become more precious--like getting to go home to watch "Idol," getting to sleep in an extra couple of hours on Saturday and Sunday, having Subway for dinner. And all THOSE things happen quite a lot--almost every day, there are little good things about that day. It's like I'm suddenly an optimistic person or something. Weird. (Oh, BUT, Lily said something so, so touching last night, even though it sounds's really not. She said "You know how you were before you got to be really sweet? That's how [this girl she talked to that day] was." I felt so good after she said that, because maybe it meant I've actually changed. I hope so. I really, really hope so.)

6. The people at my work laugh at everything I say! (In a good way, not in a mocking way.) I swear to god, I'm always a little stunned when something I observe (like how people should always flush twice after dropping a deuce in our bathroom, because skid marks are not okay for the next visitor to deal with) that isn't that funny, gets hearty laughs all 'round. I feel like a damned celebrity. I guess it's because I generally make friends with people who I think are hi-LAR-ious, and it's always a little harder to get hi-LAR-ious people to laugh. Higher standards, things like that. So when I'm with other, non-work friends, I don't often get the laugh I'm aiming for, and I have to try harder. Not with these folks though. They do a body good, seriously.

(I am not, however, saying my co-workers aren't funny...they totally are. They just also think I am!)

7. Steve was here this weekend. I love that kid. He makes me laugh til tears come out my belly button. And Joe left for Oberlin, which was sad, because I love that kid too. We are completely unstoppable at Password. I am serious.

8. In general...and I haven't been able to say this for a little bit...I'm doing all right. Happy, even. We are going to be just fine, and eventually things are going to be better in terms of family issues and financial issues, but there was a time there when every day was pretty dang dark. I wasn't really sure when, or if, they'd get better...but it's only been a few weeks, and they are. (It definitely helps that I found Diet Sunkist Sparkling Lemonade at Wal-Mart. We have now stocked up and have six 12-packs on deck. We both love it so much. I have trouble finding a diet caffeinated soda that I like, because I dislike both Mountain Dew and Dr. Pepper, and can only barely stand diet colas. I was thrilled to find out Sunkist had caffeine, but diet orange soda DOES get old after drinking it every morning. And Sunkist Sparkling Lemonade is my FAVORITE DRINK! The Diet doesn't taste very much different even!)

9. And finally, pumelos are thriving. How I do love a good pumelo.